Saturday, September 30, 2017

Clear skies and critters

We've had drizzly weather and overcast skies since last Saturday. I wanted to photograph the moon on Thursday night but it just wasn't visible! 

This morning the dogs and I were out at 4am, me wearing the headlamp and the dogs enjoying the crisp early morning air while we walked. 

The jackal were yipping in the distance and the Spotted Eagle-Owl's call: "huuuh....hruuuh" from a large tree in our garden. Because I know what'ss coming next, I waited and listened carefully. Another Spotted Eagle-Owl called from the forest below our house.  The Red-chested Cuckoo rendered its strident call: "Piet-my-vrou". Then came one of my favorite night sounds: The Fiery-Necked nightjar was calling from the neighbor on the other side of our garden. On and on..."Good Lord deliver us; Good Lord deliver us"

Later this morning when I hung out my towels, I noticed the peaks were open. I dashed back into the house, grabbed my camera and managed these beautiful images...

The peaks visible for the first time in a week! 
 As always, my boy is alongside his Mama 

Driving down to the centre just before 8am, we saw the Beared Vultures circling above. They were catching a thermal as well as homing in one of three vulture restaurants up near our house. 

The estate management puts out a carcas of a pig or cow on all three locations twice a week. 

It's very challenging to photograph these gracious and endangered birds in flight. The sun was in my eyes; I was leaning out of the car window and of course the birds were moving all the time. 

Grant caused me to chuckle when he said: Bergview Airforce is out in full force this morning! 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here


Friday, September 29, 2017

Building going great guns

 Monday ...
  ...stamping down the levels 

 Grant and Amon discussing the next phase 
 On Tuesday afternoon the pesticide man sprayed for ants and Amon lay the plastic and coarse wire mesh
 The pesticide company issues a certificate for spraying 

   More planning...
 ...this happens every morning 
 Jody, the local electrician (my cousin's son!) arrived early on Wednesday morning
 As soon as the electric cables were in, the builders threw the concrete 
 Taking shape 
Skabenga checking up with Mama 

And by last night the first proper progress was obvious! 
 Amon instructs the "brickie" 

 While the other men watch and wait to follow suit 
 Grant, Amon and the brickie discuss the window opening 
 The Plan 


Wednesday, September 27, 2017


I've mentioned The Purple Giraffe a few times in posts about life along the veranda here in the Cedarwood Village Mall. Craig and Linda run this homely restaurant and a few times a week, Steve orders him and Grant a cuppachino each and me a pot of rooibos/redbush tea. 

As mentioned in my post earlier this week, Grant helped Craig when his car had a problem. On Monday night Craig and Linda moved from their rented house on a farm to another rented bungalow further up the Valley. Craig and Linda are cat lovers and have four cats. Over the weekend, when I asked Craig how he would be transporting the cats, he said in an open chicken coop and in a cardboard box. Grant and I warned him that this was not practical or safe as the cats would probably escape and run away into the veld en route. We offered him our four travel containers which Grant fetched from home.

On Monday afternoon Craig invited me and Grant for breakfast on the house before we opened shop on Tuesday morning. The first thing we asked Linda when we arrived was how did the transporting of the cats go? She said the cats were meouwing and hissing so badly that she began to stress. She eventually was hyperventilating so badly that Craig took her to the pub for a double whisky. 

The cats arrived at their new home quite safely but by the morning were still hiding behind the curtains. I suspect that by evening they'd have forgiven their humans for the upheaval and would be settled in well. 

Grant and Jo being treated to a Purple Giraffe breaksfast 

While Grant and I enjoyed a delicious breakfast and chatting to our hosts, Val, one of he other tenants, who owns the laundromat. arrived. She sat down and was offered a cup of tea which she readily accepted. 

When I opened my shop, I remembered that my till roll had reached the end the day before. This is one thing Grant cannot help me with. I set off down the veranda in search of Val who had set up my cash register at the beginning of the month. I found her at the Chocolate Shop which is at the other end of the veranda ! She was enjoying a cup of coffee with her husband Robin and daughter, Sherona. 

Val returned to the shop with me but after struggling to insert the till roll, she said she'd send her helper, Thulie who always sees to her till in the laundry. Thulie then arrived and after quite a battle, managed to insert my till roll.

Voila! I was in business again! 


Words of wisdom

I'm linking to Wordless Wednesday here

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Farewell with a difference

Yesterday Grant and I attended a farewell in the Valley. It was different in that the person we were saying goodbye to had passed away in August. Martin Goulding was a past president of Probus, Champagne Valley and he and his wife, Wendy were very popular and well loved. Because his funeral was held in Johannesburg (many miles from here) and many people couldn't attend, the present president of Probus arranged a get together where we could sympathize with the widow and enjoy a cup of tea and eats
 Tea and eats aplenty 
 Present Probus president, Neil with Probus member, Janet and the widow, Wendy 
 Brian Angus who's known Wendy and Martin for 56 years shared a few recollections of Martin's life 

A large gathering of friends came to say a final farewell to Martin 

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here


Monday, September 25, 2017

Long weekend business

24 September is Heritage Day (previously Family Day) in South Africa. As the date fell on a Sunday, today, Monday is a public holiday. Which meant this past weekend was a  long one for most people. 

The city people arrived in the Central Drakensberg in their droves on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. And this, the Cedarwood Village Mall is now one of the popular destinations in the Valley. 

Not only that; we've had incredibly hot and dusty weather for the past two months. Saturday morning we woke to a heavy mizzly rain. Visitors are often disappointed when the weather is inclement, and stop off at the shops to find a hot coffee or cuppachino or to browse. this caused businesses to do a roaring trade on Saturday and Sunday. 

  The parking lot was almost too small for all the cars 

 My signboard on the veranda 

 Customers for The Art Box  

On Saturday morning, restrateurs of The Purple Giraffe had car problems. It wouldn't start so Linda and Craig walked from their home on a farm to the centre - a full four kilometers! Grant took Craig back to his house, fixed the problem and the two men returned to the centre in their cars. The day before a local farmer brought his lawnmower to Grant's workshop to repair. That afternoon Grant phoned the farmer and said he could collect the machine.  The grateful man paid Grant and asked if he could bring another after the weekend! 


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Hedges Kitties asleep!

Hi Bozo and Mum's blog readers; this is Ambrose with photos of the boy kitties. (Aunty Chappy was asleep in our yoomen Dad's cubboad)

Mum said the photos of me and Dad Ginger were "mirror image" 


Not sure what that is but I know that we slept well that day! 

  I, Ambrose and Dad Ginger in a mirror image! 
 We don't even know that Mum's taking the photos! 

Last week while Unca Shadow sat on the front veranda a baboon walked up and looked at him (I don't think baboons know cats!) Unca Shadow just looked right back at him. Phew ! That was a clever thing to do. If he'd hissed at the baboon, it might have attacked him. Well done, Unca Shadow for holding your pose. 
 Unca Shadow on his green cushion, thinking about the baboons outside! 
 Later Mum found Dad Ginger asleep on the BBQ bag behind the BBQ grill! 

Undercover Critter

I got home from the shop yesterday and walked the dogs in the mist. It had been raining all day but my two trusty furry friends weren't letting me off the hook. As I'm not made of spun sugar, I leashed them up and off we went.

We were almost at the point of the grassy track where we turn around to come home, when Skabenga gave a low growl. I looked up into the mist  rain and saw a small herd of zebra. We came home, I collected my camera and with the dogs waiting inside the garden, I returned up the slope. The herd was on the horizon and I couldn't go too close else they moved off. 

While taking the very misty photos and trying not to get too much water on my camera, I thought I noticed a "different looking" zebra. When I downloaded the photos, I saw a donkey in the herd. I'm not sure if this donkey belongs here... 

A lone donkey in a small herd of zebra enjoying the welcome rain in the mountains

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here