Hi Bozo and Mum's and Mum's blog readers; this is Ambrose and Mum's LATE! She says she's been working very hard at the shop and only came home late every afternoon. But my Dad Ginger has been looking after me while Mum's not here.
Unca Shadow and Auntie Chappie are also doing well.
After last week's post of the pet spider who shares my living space, I decided to post a few more acceptable critters. The bee below should be clearer but somehow I'm having challenges with the macro function on my camera .
The moth below that is also a resident in my bedroom at home.
I'm linking up with Eileen's Saturday Critters here
I normally post every day on this blog, but lately I've not had a whole lot of time to do this. However, I''m not over-busy, I'm not stressed; just doing things to keep the pot on the boil. It's only me now and this forces me to prioritize.
And I'm still living in peaceful surroundings when away from work - and the work at the shop, is something I enjoy with my whole heart. I think I have a healthy mix of work, rest, relax and enjoy the Valley and its beauty.
Sunset last night over the farmyard
The Pup and I are still rigidly following the training regime...
...which has improved our relationship a hundredfold
Shadow and Ambrose enjoy the evening out on the lawn
Chappie annexed my computer bag (she doesn't look too impressed with the camera flash going off in her face!)
Last week while ironing my guesthouse linen, as I unfolded a pillow slip, and spotted a bug scurrying into the folds. Of course, I grabbed my camera and snapped - when the bug allowed. It was very keen to get away from the danger I represented, so picked it up on an envelope and placed it outside on the lawn.
The first Thursday of the month and its the Probus meeting. As the newsletter editor, I take photos of members, especially new members and/or guests at the meeting. A job in itself - albeit most pleasant. This meeting past I stood in as service manager for friend, Lynette who was on leave. The task of service manager is far more involved than I'd realized. For ten days ahead of the meeting I have to remind members (who have already had an invitation and reminder to confirm whether they'd be attending Probus or not) to confirm! It's like pulling teeth. At cutoff date, I forward the numbers and our choice of menu, to the venue. On the evening itself, I check with chef that he'd been informed about the various dietary needs (no pork, the banting diet, gluten free diet, vegetarian etc) and if everything else is on track. After the business side of the meeting where President Neil Crawford welcomes members and guests (I had brought two) and reading the AGM report, it was time for the entertainment. At Probus we either have a speaker (always incredibly interesting) or entertainment in the form of a game of bingo or in this case, a quiz: musical and general knowledge. Interestingly enough, members shy away from attending the AGM - fear of being elected to office - and are terrified of looking foolish when taking part in interactive entertainment. While living and working as expats on various and often most remote mines, you lose your shyness and partaking in entertainment. I have been the organist at a mock wedding (Grant was father of the bride; we've attended Burns Night, the men wearing their clan's tartans; women in long satin dresses (made in the village) and sashes to match the men's kilts. We've taken part in a mini Olympics using the swimming pool and various fields to swim/run/jump. Once the brief was to dress as a favorite character/actor/ I (Goldie Hawn) dressed up as Private Benjamin; of course Grant went as Peter Fonda's character, Wyatt in Easy Rider) In between we had pub quizzes, wine tasting evening and beer festivals. So it wasn't a novelty for me to be part of a team of six people taking part in a quiz last week. And what great fun it was. Each team was given a piece of paper and a pen. Then while the quiz master, Jacques lit up a rear projection screen with the questions, his girlfriend, Claire, read them out aloud. We were sure that we had done very badly, especially when it came to the music questions. So great was our surprise when Claire called out the scores at the end of the quiz. She started with the losing team and when got to the second-to-last team's name, our team started to cheer and clapped. I think I even beat my hands on the table!
Quiz mistress, Claire reads the questions from the screen which her fiance, Jacques is controlling from his laptop
The winning team!
We each won a voucher from the local chocolate shop here along the veranda: handmade chocolate slabs embossed with the mountain peaks, beautifully presented in gift packaging. I gave one of the three slabs to my friends and landlords Ronnie and John (it was his birthday last month) and another to a lady who's going in for knee surgery tomorrow.
Since I've had the art shop, I have had several friends pop in to see me. Originally it was because I advertise the shop extensively on social media. See here .
More recently however, several friends have been on holiday and especially looked me up to commiserate since Grant's passing. In February, Jill and Jimmy Londsdale from Monzi, Zululand (where Grant and I lived for 11 years) popped in to see me.
The day before my birthday in February, a man approached me on the veranda where I was straightening an item on my display table, and asked where the restrooms were. As I looked around, I shouted :Norman! He and Hester, who later emerged from the shop next door, are related to BIL and SIL in Marquard so we consider ourselves family.
Norman, Jo and Hester
Last week a young man approached as I was seeing to kitty on the veranda steps and said: Hallo Aunty Jo. It was Nicos, our neighbor while we lived in Marquard. Later on he brought his wife, Annemie and we spent a good half-hour talking about Grant. They were both very fond of him. Incidentally, last year in August, Nicos phoned Grant and after a chat, he asked to speak to me. Between 2000 and 2005, I ran Weigh-Less groups in and around Marquard. Nicos achieved his goal weight through my groups and remained on target until approaching middle age (he's 38 now) when he was challenged with extra weight. Meanwhile, he and Annemie had been together for nine years and they'd decided to tie the knot. He enlisted my help to get down to his goal weight (to lose 12kg / 26lb) before his wedding in six weeks' time. While I did. I sent him recipes, tips and hints via Whatsapp. He, in turn, weighed himself once a week and sent me his losses. I don't think he ever had a gain although he would've sent this through as well. A week before the big day, he sent me a WA saying he was on goal weight. After congratulating him, I then sent him a maintenance plan. This and many other things, is what Annemie, Nicos and I discussed last week. Nicos, though, says after a week's holiday in the mountains, he feels he needs to get back on track. So I offered to send him the hints and ideas to help him shed the extra weight. With Jill and Jimmy and Nicos and Annemie, I clean forgot to take photos . So when Sally and Ray arrived to see me on Saturday, I called Charmaine to take photos of us.
Moi, Sally and Ray
While our boys were growing up, Grant worked for Ray on a sugar cane farm in Zululand. We spent 11 years living and working there. While Sally and I caught up on friends, I noticed Ray and Charmaine deep in conversation with her showing him photos on her phone. Charmaine, who manages the off-sales next door, lived on a cattle farm for several years: breeding Brahman. Before Ray moved to Monzi in the seventies, he managed a cattle farm. So he and Charmaine had a great time discussing the merits of her herd.
Yesterday when Sal and Ray came to say goodbye after breakfast at the Purple Giraffe, I introduced them to Colette. Colette and he husband Bardy hail from Zululand and within minutes, Ray and Colette had discovered people they both knew from that neck of the woods. While Sally and I chatted again, she remarked that Ray always connects so easily with people.
Have a wonderful Monday in your part of the world.
Hi Bozo and Mum's blog reader; this is Ambrose. Mum didn't take any photos of us kitties at home. I must say she did do a lot of extra jobs as she was late on two days. But she always comes home and we always have food and water even when she's out at work all day. So she suggested I eat humble pie this week (what's humble pie, Unca Shadow? Oh it's just one of the funny ways yoomens talk?) and post photos of the shop kitty.
Mum says the shop kitty helps to bring customers to the shops on the veranda! So I've decided she's worth a post! OK I will.
Mmm, Unca Shadow. This kitty is better than us at socializing with yoomens. We always run away and hide and only come home again once everyone has gone. Better she carries on with the good work.
Earlier this week a beautiful young woman walked into my shop and started to browse. As she turned to the other shelves, she squealed and said: "Look at that HUGE cricket." I stepped forward to look just as she squealed: "It's GRASSHOPPER - I'm outta here!"And she was gone. I bent down, took my camera out of its bag and snapped the praying mantis. Afterwards I carried the picture frame with the mantis still on it and gently slid it onto a shrub in the garden.
The art-inspired praying mantis in my shop
The next day, Missy was out on the step. when I saw her pounce on something on the paving. It was another preying mantis Fortunately this mantis was too quick for the inexperienced little cat and flew up onto a beam above the veranda.
Missy watching me photograph the praying mantis!
A s;lightly different praying mantis also visits my shop area
And back home. Bertha is still sharing my space - this time she's on the wall between my bed and built-in wardrobe. I love the way her many legs throw the shadows