Saturday, January 30, 2021

Lesser Striped Swallow and garden pleasures

 Dear Blogger friends. This week our area in Central Drakensberg has been much cooler with lots of rain. Fortunately Skabby and I have managed to get out for our walk once a days which is a treat for both of us.

Two weeks ago a pair of Lesser Striped Swallows started building a nest in the corner of the veranda above Ronnie's office door. 

With a good supply of mud around, the swallows have built a sturdy nest in the corner of the veranda

It's rained every day and then the sun comes out. This always means that everything grows like mad, not least the grass. John has a ride on mower and Nurse has mowed all three gardens every two days! 
Nothing as welcoming as a newly mowed lawn 
Ambrose and the other cats LOVE the garden - as he mentioned in his post last week
Ditto Skabby the dog
My first agapanthus in this garden! 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here 


Monday, January 25, 2021

Hedges KItties update

 Hello to all Mum's blogger friends; this is Ambrose after a L O N G time when I could not post. Mum has been busy and this is the first time I am able to do an update.

As always, the Hedges kitties are well cared for and happy. 

Mum photographing me, Ambrose striding across the lawn. I love being in the garden 
Skabby plodges in his big bowl of water after Mum has walked outside with him
The dog feet cooling way

Mama and Missy play a lot 

Chappie sleeps a lot! 
Mama resting after a play date with Missy

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Fallen giant, little critter and White-faced Duck

 Hello dear Blogger friends. I trust you are all safe and keeping healthy. 

Here in South Africa the summer heat continues as do the summer rains. Right now we await the backlash as Cyclone Eloise hits landfall in Mozambique on the East Coast of South Africa. Today has been hot and sunny but as from Sunday heavy rains are forecast 

Two weeks ago we had strong winds followed by a downpour ; the roof of my office was damaged and water poured in down the walls. A tree in the top paddock, which provided shade for the cows,  that John, the 75 year-old-farmer remembers all his life, was buffeted by these winds, cracked and fell over. 

Majestic old giant felled in one swoop

These days Skabby and I go out early in the morning.  I wear an apron over my shorts as protection to keep me clean for work later on.

Skabby jumps into the water with great gusto every time ! 
Early morning sun over the dam
The flock of duck on the dam were  quite unperturbed  by Skabby cavorting in the water 
White-faced Whistling duck on the dam 
Very distinctive white face, overall dark color and barred flanks 
The mountains were particularly beautiful today  
Back home I photographed a praying mantis before going outside and removing it to the safety of a shrub in the garden

I'm linking to Saturday Critters here


Monday, January 18, 2021

Cute Critters and a dog in the grass!

 Good morning dear Blogger friends. The weather is very hot, 39 ° C every day since Christmas, and we have had daily summer storms and heavy rain. There were several days last week when Skabby and I didn't get out for our walk; the going was just too muddy. But in between and when I was off from the farm office, we managed to go out early in the morning.  The photos of the cows ambling along the road to their daily job of munching long juicy grass in the paddock above, were taken after the morning milking session.

Persistent baby has a drink on the hoof 
Skabby looking for a tidbit on the way, as well! 

The grass is lush and very long. I cannot get near the dam edge and managed to photograph Skabby with difficulty!

ERRGH. Now this new version wont allow me to scroll down. 
I am linking to Saturday Critters here


Friday, January 8, 2021

I'm still here!

 Good evening dear Blogger friends. Yes, I am still on planet earth; I've been hectically busy in the farm office and with accommodation. 

A happy and healthy 2021 to you all!

Re the Covid suspect: yes, the man's wife phoned me on Wednesday 23rd December saying he'd tested positive and they wouldn't be able come after all.  Thandi and I went up to The Bunker that morning to clean after guests who had just checked out. I had already announced on our Berg WhatsApp group that I now had a vacant unit. The Valley community of accommodation owners and hosts were incredible. As they were getting enquiries which they couldn't honor, they passed my number to the guests. A friend, who is a booking agent,  was on holiday in the Mpumalanga, 1000km from the Berg. Such is the world of technology today that it was she who managed to book The Bunker from 24th through 27th December, Another hostess in the Berg contacted her friends. They'd booked to go to the beach in the Eastern Cape, but... our president had closed all the beaches for the duration of the December holidays. So she convinced her friends come to the mountains and to book with me. They stayed from 28th through 1st January. Via the reservation agency, I had guests from 2 January through 5th. A Pretoria couple contacted me on Monday and booked from Tuesday until Friday. And so we are back in business. 

On Saturday when Thandi and I cleaned between guests, I heard her cough - through the mask which we wear at all times. I asked her if she felt ill and she said she had a cough and was tired. By Sunday night her sister. Mavis phoned me to say Thandi was too ill to come to work the next day. I arranged with her to meet me with Thandi on the main road inside the township on Monday. I put a pillow and rug for Thandi to lie on the back seat; we loaded her (she was that weak) into the car and I set off to the clinic in town. 

The clinic hours are from 8.30 am until 13h00 every week day. I paid for her appointment and the Zulu receptionist told me I was No 11. I said I would wait in the car with Thandi as she was too ill to stand in the queue on the pavement. Ten minutes later this same lady came out to my car and said she'd spoken to the sister seeing the patients. And had permission to move us up to No 3! She called me within five minutes and Thandi and I waited outside the clinic sister's office. Within another five minutes, the sister came out, asked Thandi what her name was. Then she asked me if I had paid already. I handed over my till slip and she took us into the rooms. 

Thandi didn't have any of the Covid symptoms (although who knows with the new mutant strain rampant in South Africa!) Her temperature was normal; she didn't have a wet cough; she didn't have sniffles. But she had a bad dose of flu. My payment covered a course of antibiotics, pain pills, and a cough syrup. The sister also administered a Vitamin B injection while we were in the surgery. 

With Thandi lying on the back seat covered by the rug, I took her back to the township. I'd phoned ahead and Mavis met me on the road. I told her that Thandi is to go to bed and stay there until she was well again. Mavis phoned me every day, keeping me in the loop and last night Thandi phoned me. Her voice still sounded reedy so I told her to rest at home and return to work on Monday.

So yes, while it's always hard physical work to clean after the last, and prep before the next guests, I've always had Thandi with me. We each have our tasks up at The Bunker. This week I did it all. Back home I also had to wash and iron the linen (Naturally Thandi hasn't been in to iron since our Saturday guest departures and the new arrivals) and I only have three sets of king-sized linen.

Ergh. It was hard work but I believe it strengthened my character! It's definitely toughened my muscles. 

Apologies for the long  (wordy) explanation, but I had to tell you why I have been so errantly absent. 

The beauty of having to rise early (especially early this week !) is that I experienced several beautiful sunrises.  I share one here with you. 

Stay safe and have a great day