Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Roof is on

 Friday last week the roof went onto the cottage
 The opening above will be a sliding door (the bricks in the middle are supporting the wall now)
 Inside the cottage facing an door  opening to the original building 

  The shower off the bedroom (the large window will provide a view of the mountains while you ablute!) 
 Grant standing in the middle of the bedroom. Once the old "loo" is removed, we'lll have even that much more space 
 Open plan area: the kitchen will go here
 Facing the other way to the lounge/dining area 
 My back door: there will be steps leading up to a deck on the bank beyond 
 The view from the patio (once it's built! ) along the driveway to the hotel below  
 And a view across the garden to the forest below 
 An elevated view across the new roof to the forest below 
This gives an idea of the newly added-on cottage with the existing house in the right of the photo

The builders are plastering as this post is aired. The electrics are in; the TV man has laid cables for Caroline's house. Even though we don't have a telly, she has instructed him to connect our house to her PVR cable. Some time in the future, Grant may be able to watch Supersport again! Whoo-hoo! 

All things being equal, the building is still on track and we should move in on the estimated date. 


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fiery-necked Nightjar call

Before we left Bergview (while our cottage is being built) I managed to record the Fiery-necked Nightjar early one morning. I hope you can hear it. The call sounds like: "Good Lord deliver us" 

At first the bird's call seems stuck on the first two notes. Then it calls properly and you hear my whispered: "yessss" There are other bird sounds in the middle of the video as well: the Spurwing Geese were flying over while I was out there. 

I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday here

Open and shut case?

Seen on the door of a printing factory while collecting banners for The Art Box

(They were open that day, LOL!)

I'm linking to Wordless Wednesday here

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Nine years of blogging...

... and a year in the Drakensberg! 

Note: this post is about 15 pages long but as an "old" blogger in more than one sense, with "old" blogger friends, I reckon those who want to read what I have to say, will do so. 

Way back in the second half of the last decade, I came home from living in West Africa.  I had with me our cat Mandu - the first of many times that I'd fly a cat across the Continent. 

Once I'd resettled and involved myself daily working in my indigenous garden, I started to play around on the Internet in the evening. While in Guinea, I had learnt how to "surf" and join chat sites for my writing passion. I also accessed the Weigh Less site as I ran an image club for the very few women who lived on or visited the mine site. 

Through the latter site, I met a young friend, Lynda who was living in Tanzania at the time. She started a blog and sent me the link. I read it and was hooked! With Lynda's help via e-mail, I started my blog and posted for the first time on 1 October 2008. 

I don't have the time to go back and link up to posts that I did at the time. Except for this one. And this one. (do click on this second link - even I enjoyed reading it! LOL!) 

For the first 23 days, Lynda was the only person commenting on my posts. Dear sweet girl. Another blogger "Hill upon Hill" from Oz also commented. 

Through Lynda's blog,  I started "meeting"  other bloggers: Esther Garvi (Ishtar' s  Ark). Esther, a beautiful young woman living in Niger, West Africa, died in a car crash in 2015. Lori (Skoog Farm Journal) Penny, (Snap That;) Peggy from Ireland; Gaelyn (Geogypsy) and Gattina (Writers Cramp.) Diane (Rhodesia)

When I first started to blog, I posted about gardening and also regularly posted recipes; always with a story attached. 

In 2009, I moved back to live with Grant in Africa. Khartoum, Kenya and finally Tanzania. Many of you joined my blog while I was back on mine sites: Betsy (Joyful Reflections) Kay (An unfittie's guide ...) Janie from Utah.

And in more recent years, Eileen (Viewing Nature with Eileen) Diane (Adventure before Dementia) Author Mac Wheeler, William (Ottawa Daily Photo) , Bill (Somewhere in Ireland); Margaret (Birding for pleasure) Anni (I'd rather be birdin') . 

So many of you and all so very welcome. 

Thank you! 

Thank you one and all,  for visiting my blog and commenting.

My life changed oveer the years: I've wandered the streets of Omdurman wearing an abaya (kaftan like covering over my Western clothes) and habib (head covering). I had a tutor and learned basic Arabic. 

Grant and I attended three (one double) weddings and were taken out to dinner (by the company's manager) on several occasions.  Do please click on the links if you have time and read about these interesting cultural events. 
The wedding invitation of one of the weddings probably cost more to print than our whole wedding forty years ago!  
Off to a Sudanese wedding 

Grant and I traveled into the Nubian desert almost every weekend. We rode camels, saw old temple ruins, visited pyramids and picnicked on samoosas and black coffee amongst the golden dunes. (many photo ops in the desert!) 

Moi atop a camel in the Nubian desert 
The Kush Kingdom flourished for 900 hundred years from around 800 B.C. to 280 A.D. and held power over a vast area covering much of the Nile Delta and as far south as Khartoum. Meroe became very important as the Kingdom's center from around 300 B.C. to 280 A.D. Egyptian influence remained strong and Egyptian artisans were used to build the Meroe Pyramids to commemorate dead royalty. The dead were buried in chambers underneath the pyramids. (Source Internet)

Riding through the desert in a 4 x 4 Toyota Landcruiser 

Subsequently our two year sojourn in North Africa ended. We flew home with a new [rescue] cat,  Shadow. We spent three months in South Africa before Grant was head-hunted for a position on a fluorspar mine in Kenya.

During the year there, I crept through the lush African bush in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya 
with my friend, Sue...
My dear friend, Sue with whom I birded and wandered through the bush almost daily 
and across fields birding and taking photos.
A bird's eye view? (LOL!) 

While in Kenya, I entered and won a competition for a recipe which I'd submitted to a magazine. It had a story attached, of course. The prize was dinner at "The Executive Chef's table" at the renowned Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi. Even though it was a six-hour road trip, Grant and I attended, staying overnight afterwards at the company flat in the city. 
Off to the Sarova Stanley Hotel for a chef's table dinner 

Our three-year-stint in Tanzania, was most interesting as well.

I managed the company guest house which housed and fed 21 fussy expats, planning the meals, working with two wonderful chefs and a small kitchen staff; overseeing all domestic issues and going to market every week. I was involved with Grant in everything that happened to the employees .

 I joined the three other ladies at pottery every week, and ultimately became very involved in the school for endangered (Albino) children in Shinyanga town nearby. We made toys, trinkets and game boards for the children. We also baked cookies, made soup and popped popcorn which we'd take to the school and serve the children. 

Below I'm doing a presentation on hygiene and health guidance at the school. (I was in the grip of a high malarial fever at the time!) 
Omary  translates my talk on hygiene while I stood by in a fevered daze!

Grant and I did lots and lots of birding in Tanzania.  I posted regularly about the beautiful (and new) birds we saw.  We also had social outings with other expats. 

In February 2015 we returned to South Africa, ostensibly to "retire" . 

During our 16 months at home, the dogs and I went walking every day. 

Dear sweet Eddy  shaking off after a swim in the dam 
Skabenga still chest deep in the water 

With Grant's health failing in the Free State, our son, John asked us to come and live on his small holding in the Drakensberg while the family was in Mozambique. 

Once again, while Grant recuperated, the dogs and I established a regular walking routine on the property 

When the children put the property on the market, Grant and I moved to a house in an estate a little further along in the valley. 

At the same time, good friends, Steve and Estelle asked me to re-open Steve's art shop in the local shopping centre. Apart from selling Steve's eclectic art and Estelle 's popular souvenirs, I also have a natural multivitamin booster which I've been promoting in the shop and on Facebook. (one of the many positive results of taking this powder, are beautiful nails) 

(I had fun playing with Lunapic when posting the photos below) 

The rest is history...

Thank goodness for blogging; there are many things which I've almost forgotten but managed to find and relive again in the blog archives. 

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Hedges Kitties new abode

Hi Bozo and all Mum's blog readers; this is Ambrose and we're pleased to see you back home, Bozo.

We kitties and Skabenga the dog, are staying in a small  place at the moment. Of course, not one of us is uncomfortable. 

Mum brought all our donuts, bankets, rugs toys and of course our bowls along too.

So we kitties (and the dog) are in clover as always. 

We don't go out yet, but I watch from the top of the fridge as the swallows fly into the passage outside the shack. 
 Aunty Chappie went walkabout when we first arrived, but she came back!  Here, she's the queen of her donut and special rug 
 Unca Shadow only sleeps on Mum's bed  
 Dad Ginger and I, Ambrose asleep together on our donut which is covered with a bedspread and which has a pillow at the back as well  
A basket of toys ...
... and scratching post under the table  
 Aunty Chappy drinks water at her dish under the sink 
Skabenga the dog, sleeps on the floor next to our yoomen dad at night. He's a very good doggie 


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dogs, hot air balloons and other critters

Last week I snapped several things happening around the shopping centre and also while driving home one night. 

 Two Great Danes keep an eye on their yoomen as he walks along the veranda at the shopping centre  
Grant called me to see this apararition parked outside the shopping centre. It's a hot air balloon deflated and crated while in transit 
 It's not time to burn fires now but there are herders who lease land and then do as they please
Beautiful but illegal at this time of the year

Last week, going to watch the rugby match between South Africa (fourth in the world)  and New Zealand  (number 1 in the world), Grant donned his party piece : a wolf suit .
 An unusual animal in Africa: a large grey wolf! 
Steve and Wolf Man enjoy a chuckle 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters here


Friday, October 13, 2017

Snowy mountain hangs and blue skies

I'm linking to Skywatch Friday here


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Roof Trusses and breaking out

This week the roof trusses, which Grant and Steve made in my lounge, are on the house. The roof beams have been added and tomorrow the roof sheeting will go on. 

The existing outhouse has also been de-roofed; the walls into the new add-one broken out and the original door bricked up. 
 Outhouse with original door opening onto the patio
 The  outdoor  toilet was demolished as well
 The builders removing shelves 
 This wall will have a door opening and will be our bedroom 
 Skabenga has on last look at his and Eddy's erstwhile bedroom ! 

 Grant and Steve collected the roof beams in town and brought them to site 
 Amon, the builder caught a lift to town with Steve and Grant; he went to the bank while the men loaded the materials 
 The roof trusses are on. This view of the add-on cottage shows the big house on the right 

 These images show the added on building with the original outhouse on the patio
 An elevated view of the cottage with the big house' roof peeping out behind it
 Grant has arranged with our friend, Stuart, to hire his Bobcat. The operator will lift the builder's rubble and put in a pile. Through Stuart, Grant found a farmer who needs the rubble to soak up a swamp on his land. He will come in, load it and cart it away

Praise God!

Now I know that the building always goes up in a flash. This has... I think we're at the end of week three of actual bricklaying, plastering and adding door frames. Then apparently things slow down to a snail's pace. 

I don't believe this at all. Even before the builder needs materials, Grant and Steve order it and stand on the hardware shop's tail to deliver as quickly as possible. 

The electrician (a relative of mine!) came today and Grant showed him where we need wall plugs and light switches. He's even marked out a TV plug although we don't own/have never owned a telly. Tomorrow the electrician comes to chase the walls and Amon, the builder will plaster the walls. 

So far, so good.