Monday, November 27, 2017

Human tasks

(which the dog and cats love!)

This weekend, Grant had to do running repairs on the accommodation, Cave Inn. Our first guests had a problem with the shower not turning off; or so they thought (remember I posted that Fanny had phoned me at 11pm panicking that they'd not turned the controls in the correct direction.) What
actually happened was that when they showered, a lot of the water collected in a rocky bowl above their heads. As there were too few water holes, once you turned the taps / faucets off, the water still drained out for several minutes. 

On Sunday morning Grant, armed with a drilll, entered the shower cubicle and drilled several more holes. He also cleaned out the existing holes which were clogged. 

On Sunday afternoon we turned on the shower (me standing well away!). The water poured out and when Grant turned off the tap lever, within about 30 seconds, the water stopped running. 

The cave shower: the water pours straight
 out of the rocks above you 

Then it was time to sort out the rock pools. There is a plunge pool just outside the cave door. And several pools running into each other from the garden above the cave and ending in the plunge pool. 

Grant had to get the slightly murky water clear,  fill the top ponds and get the pump running.  It had been unused for a couple of months and needed a boost. 

All this outdoor activity delighted Skabenga and two of the four cats.
 Ginger was the first to arrive on the scene 
 Skabenga checking up on Ginger and Grant 
 Ginger the works manager 
 Shadow followed the sounds of splashing and arrived from the shack next door ! 
Skabenga plodged in every pool while we waited for the water levels to rise 
 Skabenga wet and happy as Larry 
 And a good shake all over Mum and her camera!   
 Mmm , the water is refreshing!  
 Oops, the earth is tilting! My horisons were not level
The water running in from pools above and over this waterfall into the main swimming pool was eventually beautifully clear 

Once Grant was happy with the condition of the pools and the clarity of the water, he went around and under a rock to turn off the waterfall pump. The two cats didn't know where their yoomen dad had disappeared to and were peering over the edge to find him! 

Oi Ginger, where did he disappear to so fast?  

When we walked back home, two cats and a wet dog in tow, we came across Ambrose and Chappie sunning themselves on the shack roof.
 Ambrose stalking, leopard-like across the warm roof of the shack . Chappie was on the other side of the slanted roof. She was too comfortable, lazy (methinks)  she says, to come and pose for my blog photos
 I love how the perrenials are bursting into bloom - in little gardens on TOP of the shack roof! These are the indigenous Wild Iris (Dietes Grandiflora) 

Hen-and-chickens (Cholorphytum comosum) flowering in another small garden on the roof! 


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Father and son

Hi Bozo and Mum's blog readers; this is Ambrose and I'm not sure if you have a post today. We remember that you're on holiday in your lovely place with other pets.

Mum took these photos of me and Dad Ginger and one of Unca Shadow in the shadows. 
 I, Ambrose, am in the front with Dad Ginger asleep in his paw behind me
Unca Shadow asleep in the shadows! 

For more cute pet posts, please click here

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Arty African Critters

Hi Eileen, I'm not getting out enough to photograph real wild critters, so I thought I'd share a few critters with whom I share space in the shop every day.
 Leopard stalking the unsuspecting buck 
 Leopard cub  - one of my most popular sellers
 Lioness carrying a cub. Lionesses move their [very] young up to five times a day; this is to avoid the father or other predators discovering them who would kill them 
 This is a painting of the mounatain peaks in Champagne Valley: Cathkin Peak and Champagne Castle being the two main ones 
 A helicopter rescue into which the artist superimposed the hand of God and the hand of Adam  from Michaelangelo's painting in the Sistine Chapel (the image of the near-touching hands of Adam and God has become iconic of humanity)
 The Bearded Vulture - endangered and now being conserved in the Central Drakensberg 
 Brahman Bull; painted originally on leather and taking four days to complete 
 These cattle were emerging from the dam called Spionkop. This is on the site of the Battle of Spioenkop (Anglo Boer war)
This painting is called Cow and Calf. It hangs on the door to the shop and stops everyone in their tracks 
Muthi and the Meerkats is my best seller on canvas, on coffee mugs, on magnets, coasters, potstands, mousepads, keyrings and clocks 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters here


Friday, November 24, 2017

Double rainbow

I couldn't resist posting all the images I have of the double rainbow over our shopping centre - taken on Wednesday after a welcome thunderstorm. 

For more beautiful sky posts, please click here




Thursday, November 23, 2017

First Guests!

On Monday, 20th November, I received a text message on my phone congratulating me on guests, Fanny and Yohan having booked into Cave Inn from Tuesday 21 - Friday 24th November. Feeling quite panicked I forwarded the message to Estelle who immediately phoned me. She told me to go onto my AirBnB site and I'd probably find I had activaed "Instant Booking" I checked and it was there. I immediately deactivated the function for the the future.


Meanwhile, I had guests coming in to stay the next day. I phoned Thabesile who works for owner, Ian, and cleans the big house and Cave Inn three times a week. I asked her to really blitz Cave Inn as this was the real deal.

On Monday afternoon Grant and I walked down to Cave Inn (just behind Diddly Squat where's we're still living while building continues) Skabenga and cats in tow, and checked up on the accommodation. Thabesile had come up trumps. The place was sparklingly clean, the linen was fresh and crisp. Towels were hung in the shower and extra toilet/washbasin cubicle. 

Christina, who services all three Estelle's accommodation units had helped Thabesile to set everything out beautifully. There were new mini soaps in the shower and toilets. There were tea bags, coffee sachets and packets of sugar in the kitchen. There was a small jug of milk in the fridge under the bar. Dishwashing liquid, dish swabs and drying towels were set out at the kitchen sink. 

We checked the fridge; it was clean and working. We lit the gas stove plates; all working and we checked the big screen TV. All A1 and 100% perfect. 

 The kitchen and living area 
The bedroom

On Tuesday Fanny messaged me via the AirBnB site,  and said they were at an adventure resort about 70km from here. They would be in quite late; was that in order? Although my website stipulates check-in time from 2pm - 5pm, Grant and I reckoned as our first guests, and because we were still on the premises, we would permit a late check-in this time. 

At 9.10pm Fanny phoned me; there were passing the shopping mall where I have the art shop. Grant and I drove through the electrified estate gate, onto the road and turned around. He drove back to the entrance and with hazards flashing we waited. Within three minutes a car approached, indicated to turn right. Grant opened the gate and they followed. 

We stopped the vehicles beside Cave Inn and got out and greeted our young guests who were from Sweden. Fanny spoke Queen's English (she grew up in the UK) and Yohan spoke slow but good English.We told them where they could start a rigid hike into the mountains and who to contact should they want to rock climb. We told them about Scootours which is new in South Africa.  They are very fit and into adventure sports. And we told them when visiting the Central Drakensberg, they should not miss the Wednesday afteroon Drakensberg Boys Choir concert.  After chatting for a while, we bid them goodnight. 

At last Grant and I (normally very early-to-bed-birds) bedded down. At 10.59 my phone rang. It was Fanny, most apologetic. They had had a shower but weren't to stop the water from running. The shower head continued to pour water although they were sure they'd turned it off. 

Oh dear. I'd forgotten to tell them that the water collects in the roof (no ceiling in a cave!) and even after turning off the taps, the water runs out for quite a while afterwards. They were happy with this explanation. 

Tomorrow is their last day. I've messaged Fanny and asked that she and Yohan visit me at the shop before they leave the Valley. 

Grant and I have had our initiation into guest accommodation. We spoke about it the next morning and felt it had all gone well. 

Our next reservation is a honeymoon couple who are booked in from 17 - 24 December. The family occupy the big house (and possibly the cave) over the holiday period. Then we have a couple from 29 December to 2 January. We know this couple which will make it a little easier. Or will it?

In between I'm hoping and praying for a few bookings (not Instant, that's way too stressful!) from now 25 November until 16 December. 

And with all this, it's business as usual  on the building site and in the shop. 

Here's wishing you all a wonderful Thursday.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Egyptian Goose



Last week as we left the little petrol station in a holiday resort, Grant pointed out that the Egyptian Geese wandering around the campsites had young. Well, it was probably two weeks ago. This morning when we stopped at the petrol pumps again, I noticed the same flock of geese.  They were a lot bigger than a fortnight ago but I decided to photograph them.

The Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca) is a member of the duck, goose and swan family (Anatidae). It is native to Africa south of the Sahara and the Nile Valley.
Egyptian geese were considered sacred by the Ancient Egyptians, and appeared in much of their artwork. They have been raised for food and extensively bred in parts of Africa since they were domesticated by the ancient Egyptians. Because of their popularity chiefly as an ornamental bird, escapees are common and small feral populations have become established in Western Europe. 

I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday here

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Building update

I'm so behind with posting about the building up on the hill. I've been busy in the shop (Praise God!) and now that I have accommodation to manage, I just don't seem to get to the site after hours to take photos. These below were taken ten days ago; since then a LOT has been done like the flooring is laid and the cupboards are about to be fitted this week. 

The shower floor mosaic has been laid; Grant will hang the shower cubicle. The toilet has been installed. The plumbing is just about plumb done! 
 The windows have been fitted  (perhaps I've said this before)
 The ceilings are in (I'm sure I've posted this as well!)
 The ceiling fans are in 
 The downlights are inserted 
 The archway between the living area and the bedroom 
 The retaining wall at the back 
 Steve will insert river rocks once Amon has completed this part of building the wall 
Caroline and Mr Tibbs came to inspect the cottage as well (he's almost pulled her off her feet!) 

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here