Sunday, 31 December 2017

Goodbye 2017

Last day before 2017 slides into the sea and 2018 climbs into view tomorrow morning!
Where on earth has this year gone?
How did it get past me so quickly?

So, being time to reflect on the year as it grinds down, I decided that I would give you a sort of alphabetical list of the things that were (to me at least) the memories of 2017.....

A.. Ants. As the garden has become drier and drier, we have been inundated with the little buggers. They bite naked flesh, so gardening has been a challenge as I have to hop and swipe and curse every few seconds.

B.. Birthday. Yes, I know they come round every year but it's not every year you hit a milestone and this year was the Year Of The 70th! As they say in the classics 'Good Grief!'

C.. Cursing. I have done a lot of that this year, from gardening (see A above), to listening and watching the news. Not good for blood pressure! (see M below)

D.. Dust. This may seem a silly thing but our road remains un-tarred and every car/truck/bakkie/builders mate that hurtles past our house leaves behind a cloud of dust that wafts happily onto the veranda and into the house to settle on everything it can. Then there is a lot of C (see above).

E.. Elephants still under threat from poachers. This leads to a lot of C (see above), and thoughts of gory things that I would love to do to poachers that involve blood and pain.

F.. Fish. We have eaten our way through many kilos of hake. Battered, crumbed, grilled or fried, we eat hake at least four times a week. My favourite fish is any that I have not had to cook and especially the hake from St Helena Nursery and Coffee Shop!

G.. Garden. I have watched much of my garden die this year from a serious lack of water. But it has led to clever 'dead' areas of the garden being re-modelled with klippies and pots and a bench. The latest invention is... a wooden 'lugtoring' or lighthouse, complete with solar lights! A boer maak 'n plan!

H.. Hiccups. Have you noticed that you can go for weeks, months without having hiccups? Then suddenly they arrive three or four times in one day and leave you exhausted and fed up? Drink water from the wrong side of the glass... works every time!

I.. Influenza. Avoided that this year, again, thanks goodness. We had our 'flu jabs at the start of the season and wore garlic round our necks when we went shopping!!

J.. Jacobsbaai... what else! But sadly our little village has grown and crept over areas that we were told would never be developed. It has doubled in size, at least, since we moved here nearly eleven and a half years ago. Hence the cursing at builders and all associated with them. But also, the new houses are all huge monstrosities that cover every inch of plot and certainly do not follow the 'quaint fisherman type accommodation' that was the whole idea in the first place!! But having said all that, it is still the best place to live!

K.. Klippies or little stones. I must have bought several tons of these this year to spread over the re-modelled bits of my garden!

L.. Lekker by die see..... roughly translated means 'lovely at the sea', but it is one of those wonderful Afrikaans sayings that just do not translate!

M.. Medical Stuff. Yes, as we get older we visit the doctor more, and worry about our heart and bowels! Blood pressure medication, cholesterol pills, heartburn muti, we carry it all around with us, terrified to miss a day! We have a wonderful doctor, I love going to see him as we have a good chat and a laugh and I can hear him mentally adding up how much more he now has towards fixing the wind-pump on the farm!

N.. Neighbours. I have mentioned our wonderful neighbours before. Where or who else, could you phone with a request for something important that you forgot to buy and know that they are either on their way to, or in, or just near enough to turn round and head back to, our local Pick n Pay? Emma, I thank you for all the chats, gifts and laughs that we have enjoyed this year, over the wall!

O.. Oyster Catchers. We have these beautiful black birds with their bright red beak and legs here in our baai. They nest on the beach and among the rocks on the little islands offshore and we hear their squeaky-toy call daily. They are one of the many different bird species that grace our village and we are truly lucky to see them.

P.. Politics...... there is nothing nice that I can say about our 'great' politicians, from the president down. In fact, enough said. (See M and blood pressure.)

Q.. Quiet. One of the reasons we chose to live here is for the peace and quiet that we enjoy throughout the year. Even though our village has grown, there are still no shops (apart from a little keffie), no bottle stores, no garages, no schools, no through-road to anywhere else, so apart from the three short weeks over the Christmas period, our quiet remains.... and long may it do so!

R.. Rob. Another year of laughs and companionship and damn fine soup! We have been together since February 1998, so we are a couple of months off our 20th anniversary, and in the words of the old old song 'And it don't seem a day too much...' With 2018 coming up, we hope to enjoy more of the same, plus more trips in the caravan with Alfie to distant lands (not too distant as Alfie doesn't have a passport!)

S.. Shrinkflation. A lovely word (but not the concept) this! It crept up on us un-noticed until it was mentioned on the radio. So, we now have things like this; a 2 litre tub of ice-cream is now only 1.8 litre at a higher price, a 3kg bag of Friskies cat food is now 2.9 kg, but the price has gone up from R114 to R144....... these are just two examples but to focus on it leads to another S word, stress, and that leads to C and M (see above).

T.. I just asked Rob what I could do for T... his answer? Scones!! I should have known better!

U.. Umbrella. We have several of these gathering dust. Unused this year, and for several years before this, we have children now asking what they are and what they are used for.... Maybe I could use them for bird feeders or pot-plant holders.

V.. Visitors. Lovely lovely family and friends! I just need my sister to come to see us now..... Rob's daughter and partner left just yesterday after a flying visit, and tomorrow I am driving to Stellenbosch to my daughter, and then... joy of joys, we are meeting my son and two of his three gorgeous children! (We shall miss Irina and Sasha, but hopefully next time). A wonderful week of having my kids together and I can't wait! I know that really this is taking place next year.... but I am stretching the rules. After all, it's my blog!

W.. Water. The word that is on everyone's lips here in the Cape. We are in a crisis situation with dams close to empty. The taps will run dry sometime in April unless we have 3 years of above average rainfall before then. And seeing that our rain is only expected in May (if then), we are in deep s**t. Here on the West Coast, our annual average rainfall is 422 mm, but this year we only had 179 mm. Rob and I are saving every drop that we can, we have funnels and 2 litre plastic bottles in the showers to collect the first cold water. We collect washing water for the garden, and we are wearing our outer clothing more than once. We have dropped our consumption to 3 kilolitres,that is about 50 litres each daily. As my friend says 'I have a bucket list.. a bucket in the shower, one in the kitchen......'

X.. X-ray. My thumb is excruciatingly sore. I cannot bend it at all, so I may need one of these soon.

Y.. Yell. This is what you do several times a day if you see the following; a snake, a scorpion, a cat bringing a live mouse into the house, speeding drivers who raise a cloud of dust behind them (see D above), or if you want to attract your neighbours attention to ask them to please bring a small plain yogurt home from Pick n Pay because you forgot it even though it was written on the list. But the list was left at home, hence the need to yell. (See N above).

Z.. Zuma. This ties in well with Y and P and M, especially the blood pressure. Hopefully by next December 31 he will be history......

Happy New Year Everyone!

Monday, 11 December 2017

Santa Paws Is Coming To Town!

Surprise! Surprise?

This morning I decided to get my A into G and write a blog before the end of the year! It actually took me a few minutes to remember how to do it... but never mind, I forget things easily (especially how to sweep and dust... and cooking is fading fast) these days.

So I thought that as left you hanging last time, surely desperate to hear how things are going/went with Santa Paws, the least I could do was to update the news!

I had great fun filling my bags! Food, toys (a home made catnip rabbit, sadly minus the catnip as I didn't have any), useful articles and blankets all went in, and I proudly put them into the spare room, idly wondering if the room would be large enough to hold all the bags once they came pouring in.
And slowly, slowly the bags began to trickle in.

It was great fun shopping for all the bits and pieces for my two bags, and then four beautifully presented bags arrived. My friends rallied round and helped my final tally to..... drum roll......14... yes, fourteen bags are now ready for me to deliver to the beneficiaries in this area. They are neatly placed in the spare room and although I wish there were more, I think fourteen is a pretty good number for the first time. (Note just through from the Admin at Santa Paws..... they have 120 bags for Ronel!!! That is amazing!)

Both Alfie and Basil have been great helpers.. Alfie spent a lot of time sitting staring into one bag. I finally went to look and there was a beautiful new tennis ball!

Basil on the other hand, just wanted to climb into every bag and there were all kinds of rustling and scrabbling noises for a while!

Will I do it next year?

That's for sure... I am hoping for at least 30.......

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope that Santa Paws visits you too.

I am so sorry but I cannot upload the photos that I wanted to show you. I am doing all the right moves, but it simply refuses to put the photos in the text!! Highly frustrating!! HELP!!!