On Sunday, Boxing Day, as we came out of church we met our friends, Julius and Carin at the local cafe. In Marquard everyone meets everyone at the cafe, especially on Sundays after church. The different denomiations finish their worship services at about the same time and afterwards everyone heads for the cafe!
This day, Julius and Carin invited us to join them for a picnic on their newly-acquired farm a few kilometers from Marquard. Grant and I came home, packed camping chairs, picnic plates, cutlery, salad and vegetarian sausage for me and off we went. Oh, as an afterthought, I packed one of the two Christmas cakes I'd ordered from a young farmer's wife who makes my fruit cakes every year.
My little Nissan pickup, which did me well for the past three years, was sold to make way Big Brother
Grant's new (previously-owned) Nissan Hardbody
In my Christmas Eve blog I said that Grant had made quite a large purchase at the beginning of the week. Well, he sold my little Nissan and bought a high-rise, hardbody Nissan. It 's a two-wheel drive with a diff lock so Grant will be able to take us almost anywhere off-road and bundu-bashing. Grant was thrilled to be able to "test" his Nissan on the dirt road to the farm. Not that we needed any hardy vehicle on the well-maintained and recently-graded road, but he wanted to see if his vehicle had any rattles. (result: no rattles)
The farm road leading to the homestead and the allotted picknic spot
We arrived at the allotted picnic spot to find Julius like a little boy. He has just bought this farm and kept telling us to look at the view. I took MANY photos as did everyone else with cameras.
We also met Carin's brother, Theus and his wife, Lynette who are lecturers at the Faculty of Economics at Rhodes University. For years now, Carin has been trying to get us together with this couple as Grant and I knew Lynette's brother, Hanre, while working on the diamond mines in Namibia. Hanre's wife, Annelise was my sister's best friend at school, so the connection goes way back! It was wonderful to meet them and we spent a lovely day, as only the Free State can deliver in summer, out in the bush.
We enjoyed a delicious braai (BBQ) followed by Christmas fruit cake and coffee. Then we just relaxed, yarned away and enjoyed the day.
It was after 5.30pm when Julius asked us to pack up and follow him to a spot on his farm from where we could watch the sun setting.
Another hard day's work in Africa! Lol. There's one thing South African's can do, and that is enjoy the outdoors. Above is Grant, Julius (newly Esquired!) and Theus, Carin's brother all enjoying a day in the bush
My beautiful friend, Carin, her e80 year-old mum, Anna and Carin's sister-in-law, Lynette (PS I only noticed later that I had my ISO too high hence the darkened features on faces, grr)
Carin and Julius have a Dachshund called Nicholas and Carin's mum and dad have one called Oscar. Nicholas and Oscar are great friends and also very much part of the two families. They were on the picnic with us. Here Oscar does his begging trick for his 84 year-old master
The view which Julius is so proud of, and rightly so. It's beautiful!
Off to the other side of the farm. Julius wanted us to watch the sun go down from a place which he had discovered
We stopped at an ancient mulberry tree which was laden with fruit. Delicious but so messy...
Like I said: so messy! Theus said I should write a story called: Murder under the Mulberry Tree!
This calf needed his supper and had no problem with the humans who had invaded their space that evening
Jules sweet talking a cow
Julius indicating the beautifully private spot from which to view his farm!
Carin photographed Julius on the border of his farm. If you enlarge the photo you will see the two sausage dogs (Dachshunds) in the long grass
The sunset was spectacular from Jule's Spot as we dubbed the beautiful place he took us to in order to show us the view over his farm