Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend of cat-training and International rugby

We arrived home from Nairobi (a six-hour trip, the last eighty minutes on a rutted, bone-jarring gravel road) early on Friday afternoon. Grant and Zephania (driver) unloaded our luggage and shopping and then they returned to the office. Feeling exhausted, I couldn't wait to get into a pair of shorts and flat shoes and begin to unpack.

This was not to be. Answering a knock on the front door revealed the refrigerator technician from Eldoret. I'd forgotten that I'd reported condensation inside my vegetable tray. So I had to empty the freezer compartment of the fridge and left the technician to correct the problem.

When I tested the hot tap in my bathroom, I found the water was ice-cold. Checking on the geyser (hot water system) in a cupboard in the passage, I found the unit was cold. So there I was (by now very tired, I may tell you) texting Grant with this triviality although I knew he was trying to complete his tasks before the end of the day. I also mailed Human Resources department and asked them to send an electrician as soon as possible. In African time, this could mean anything from half -an- hour to three days, LOL!

By now the refrigeration technician called me to the kitchen and explained in detail what he'd done to re-set my fridge. I thanked him, showed him out of the door, returned to the kitchen and repacked the freezer box.

Grant phoned me to ask exactly what was wrong with the geyser, and told me to switch it off and on again. I told him I'd done this to no effect and he said he'd see if they could send the electrician. In due course, Zephania arrived with the electrician who immediately checked the power source, the control dial and said he'd have to return in the morning. That meant a cold shower that night, and as we shower twice a day, early the next morning as well.

About fifteen minutes later, I opened the cupboard housing the errant geyser again, and, lo and behold, I heard the water bubbling gently inside.  I checked the hot water in my bathroom, and found it was quite hot.

Then I started to unpack the cooler box containing our meat order which we'd collected in Nakuru on the way through and the shopping bags of supplies that I'd bought in Nairobi. I unpacked our small suitcase and the small back-pack which we always use to transport my hairdryer and extra shoes for me and Grant.

By 5.45 when Grant arrived home, I'd been home for more than three hours and really needed that hot shower. He was thrilled to find that the geyser problem had corrected itself and said he'd cancel the electrician's visit the next day.

I personally was glad when the day ended and I could slip into my own bed in the quiet valley here at home!

The All-Blacks perform the fearsome Haka before the game

On Saturday evening Grant and I watched a much-publicised rugby match between the South African team, the Springboks and New Zealand's All Blacks. I downloaded the results from an Australian site on Sunday.  

SATURDAY'S clash between the Wallabies and All Blacks in Brisbane will decide the Tri-Nations title after a second-string New Zealand team lost 18-5 to the Springboks.

South Africa's resolute defence was hailed as the difference between the teams in this morning's Test in Port Elizabeth.

In their final match before next month's World Cup, the defending champions' forwards, in particular, turned in a powerful performance against a weakened All Blacks.

“South Africa played with a lot of physicality and passion,” said New Zealand coach Graham Henry. “They scrambled in defence very well. We created probably six opportunities to score and only converted one of them. That was frustrating.”

“I'll go to war with these guys,” said Springbok coach Peter de Villiers, adding that South Africa's victory was a just reward despite the fact that all their points came from the boot of fly-half Morne Steyn, who landed all five penalty goal attempts as well as a drop goal.

New Zealand scored the only try of the match, through centre Richard Kahui, but several times were stopped almost within touching distance of the try-line as South Africa tackled ferociously. Source:

On Sunday Grant and I went birding as usual. We spotted a new waterbird at the dam and a sunbird feeding her young. More about that later this week.
After leaving the dam, I showed Grant the route which Sue, Ruth and I had travelled along when we had our picnic beside the river. We decided to come back and have a picnic some time
With all the rain we've had over the three-and-a-half months, the river is flowing so strongly that to get to the office, we now use the higher bridge above the low-level concrete bridge 
As usual I made lunch. This was the first weekend Grant and I were alone for a couple of months and we enjoyed it as usual. I made a very different dessert called Lemon Self-saucing  Pudding.
The very tasty Lemon Self-sourcing Pudding

Lemon Self-saucing Pudding
Serves 6

1 Cup Self-raising flour (or 1 Cup flour/1 tsp baking powder)
3/4 Cup Caster Sugar
1 Egg
40g Butter, melted
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 Tbs Cornflour
1 Tbs Custard powder
Icing sugar to dust (I forgot to dust the finished product!)

Set oven at 180 C
Combine flour and 1/4 of caster sugar
Add beaten egg, melted butter, milk and lemon rind
Beat well
Pour batter into greased oven dish
Combine cornflour, custard powder and remaining caster sugar
Sprinkle over the batter
Combine lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups water and pour over as well
Bake for 30-40 mins
Dust cooked dessert with icing sugar
Serve with cream or ice-cream

Hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.


  1. Hi Jo, Love seeing your posts featuring your kitties and of course, all of your birds... But today--I'm loving that lemon dessert. YUM.

  2. Dear Jo, I could so empathize with you after having a long journey and being so tired. When one doesn't have hot water at the ready, we sure do miss it! I'm glad the hot water issue was sorted out by itself and that you were able to relax at home after a long journey. Though I don't usually watch rugby or football, I know the games can be quite exciting. The pudding looks good too :-)

  3. What a return ! I am also feeling a little tired with all this showing around but it's fun !

  4. Stop putting puddings on your blog, it's wicked.

  5. Oh my, my! I could TOTALLY identify with the frustrations of everything you posted here about the rough roads, the technicians and schedules, and the water geyser problem. My heart went out to you. But - although bad things happen to good people, good things happen to good people, too. Your geyser re-started itself! You were able to watch the soccer match! AND best of all, the pudding was made! WONDERFUL!

  6. I LOVE this pudding! Haven't had it in Mum used to make it fairly often and it was one of my favourites! Thanks for your recipe, Jo. I have lemons to pick right now :)


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