Sunday, November 27, 2022

Five years...

Good morning, dear Blogger friends. Today marks the fifth anniversary of my husband, Grant's passing.

I had a nostalgic afternoon on Saturday (after cleaning my accommodation!) going down memory lane looking through digital photos to commemorate the last 15 years of his life. 

In Guinea, West Africa, 2002 to 2006, Grant managed a fleet of heavy earthmoving gold mining vehicles
In bis element driving a 773 CAT 

At the end of 2006, when the mine closed in Guinea, Grant lead a convoy of mining vehicles and machines from Guinea, cross border, skirting the Western Sahara, along Sahel Desert to a working mine in Mali. The trip, much of it in the beginning, bushwacking, took him 53 days. The distance: 1800km

In Northwestern Guinea, he managed a spot of recreational fishing! 

Crossing the desert, you had to dress appropriately 
In Mali the road conditions improved. Grant took this photo of his vehicles successfully being delivered to the working mine

BACK HOME IN SOUTH AFRICA  - Just in time for our son's wedding. 
Apart from an adventurous spirit, Grant was always game for  - well, a game! Here he poses in a realistic wolf suit with our son Angus on the morning of his wedding 
Mere hours later,a gentleman to the hilt, and the father of the groom

We spent many happy days touring South Africa and the neighboring states on the motorbike 
On the longest hanging bridge, Nature Valley, Western Cape, circa 2009
Fastforward to 2012, Tanzania 

Grant, a Master Craftsman   designed and built a cat tree for our three cats
Contract manager of the diamond mine earthmoving plant

Back home in South Africa on retirement

Granddad playing peek a boo with the Littlest Hedges

Granddad pushed the same little lad through the town streets, with carols by candlelight 

With his 88 year old Mum on the way to have her cataract procedure

The move to the Central Drakensberg, 16 October 2016. This was the last photo of the Hedges family
Grant and I joined the mid-w eek hiking club. Here, Grant, then 66, Ant Muirhead, 76 and Alan Leggit stop on the trail for a chat

Grant and I joined Parkrun which happens on a Saturday.  After six years, I am still very involved in Parkrun, Here Grant and Alan meander towards the end

Grant discussing plans of the cottage with Amon the builder

Here Grant poses with me where I managed an art shop for dear friends, Estelle and Steve

Grant at the Breast Cancer Pink walk at the end of October 2017

Exactly a month later he passed away...


Saturday, November 26, 2022

Praying mantis

OK OK... Here I am after 20 days' absence! I have been very busy with my various irons in the fire, not least the accommodation, it just has not let up. Which Thandiwe and I are very pleased about.

On Friday as we opened the Trellidor gate, I spotted a strangely colored praying mantis on the bars. Of course, I photographed it. And then before we slid open the gate, I carefully removed it and placed it on a plant in the garden.

According to Google, praying mantis can turn brown after they have molted.  In fact, (and I did not know this!) brown is the most common color of praying mantis after green. 

I also enjoyed the last two guests' comments in my visitor's book. The first couple was from the Northwest Province, South Africa. They stayed from Tuesday until Friday and had their 16-year-old Yorkie with them. 

Even more precious was the blessing which they bestowed on me...

The couple who stayed last night, were from the UK and waxed lyrical about how their stay at the Bunker has been the best on their recent four-week road trip through South Africa. 

Most edifying!

I'm linking my post to Saturday Critters with Eileen here 


Sunday, November 6, 2022

Papa update

 Dear fellow Bloggers. I posted about the successful rehoming of a dear old gentleman cat who was ousted from the lifestyle center where he had lived for 12 years.

My friend Jane and I took him to my brother, Phillip, a retired teacher who lives on a farm outside Estcourt. I knew it would become his peaceful forever home. 

And it has turned out to be so.

On Friday my brother sent me a photo of the old kitty curled up on his favorite chair in the bedroom.

At home as never before!

This morning Phillip sent me another photo...

Papa enjoying a sun puddle 

So, all's well in Kitty paradise! 

Cardinal Woodpecker

 Good morning, dear Blogger friends. Once again, I have been AWOL but I am HERE now. 

On Friday night, after a particularly mobile day (meaning I was in the car all day, ERGH) I eventually parked in the carport at 5pm. I decided, that as soon as I taken the goods from my car, a packet of groceries and several boxes of Avon (to be unpacked!)  to pop over and say hello to my neighbor Ron They had been at their beach house on the North Coast for the past week and I had manned the office for her. 

As I walked back into the farmyard, I head tap-tap-tap. Of course, I dashed back into my office and grabbed my camera. 

And was amply rewarded... 

Cardinal Woodpecker, male

The male Cardinal Woodpecker has a red crown with a brownish forecrown. Its heavily streaked throat and cheeks eliminates confusion with the female. The woodpecker breeding habits are monogamous. 

The bright sunshine that evening prohibited me from actually seeing the detailed opening. This woodpecker has been hard at work in the jacaranda tree in my neighbor's garden. The opening faces my garden and I intend to keep an eye on it for future activity.

I am linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen, here 


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

The show goes on

 With increasing regularity, Thandi and I are up at The Bunker. Cleaning after guests checking out and the next ones checking in. 

I'm dusting the surfaces while Thandi wipes the fridge shelves down 

Wiping the yucca plant with a wet wipe

As explained before, when guests check out, frequently I stand and talk to them on the patio while Thandi starts stripping the bed indoors and sweeping underneath. Once I have let the guests out of the property gate, I join Thandi and together we make the kingsized bed. Refilling that ultra large duvet covet takes two of us...

Once this is done, I place the pillows and cushions at the top of the bed. Roll the guest towels and prop a chocolate against each. 

Thandi is by now wiping all the kitchen surfaces (and refreshing the fridge - as in the photos above) and will ultimately mop the unit's floors. 

While she is busy sweeping the patio, I load the fridge with breakfast for two days; I write out the welcome card for the guests and send them a WhatsApp message with directions and key retrieval information. I reload the wireless dongle with 1GB Wifi complimentary and ensure the holiday bouquet on the DSTV is active.


Monday, October 24, 2022

Annual Breast Cancer Walk

 Good morning, dear Blogger friends. October arrived and with it the annual campaign to raise awareness for breast cancer. 

 We here at the Parkrun venue, meet at 4.30pm. You are requested to wear pink, pay a nominal fee and from 5pm we do the 5km circuit walk in aid of breast cancer awareness. 

The local news lady took photos. I was flanked by two friends; the one having gripped my waist (I am very ticklish) and caused great hilarity. 

I did the Pink Walk without Skabby but the next morning at 8am, we were all back at the Parkrun venue, ready for the normal Saturday walk.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Georgie: the procedure

 Good morning, dear Blogger friends. Ten days ago, Georgie had the customary snip which I never miss doing for my pets. I believe it's painless and safe. The only thing that the little kitty was most indignant about was the car ride in a cat carrier, to the vet.

I have a box weighted down with a nest-a-plug, into which I push all tax invoices for further    later perusal. Mmm...

Yesterday, as I walked into my bedroom, I was met with scattered and crumpled tax invoices all over the floor. 

Exhausted after tipping Mum's office onto the floor

Sleeping against Mama, his best ally ever 

The angle of the photo makes Georgie look like a tubby cat! I have to find myself a small area on the bed after three of the four felines make themselves comfortable for the night


Saturday, October 22, 2022

 Good afternoon my dear Blogger friends. As always, I'm glad to get here and do a post. 

Last week as Thandi and I were leaving The Bunker (in readiness for the incoming guests), she pointed through car window and said "kwagga". I looked and saw a pair of zebras on the property.

The zebras striding along the top of The Bunker garden
When I sent the image to my friend, Estelle, on the same estate, she responded thus...

Steve giving tyhe same pair a tidbit. They also have a bachelor guinea fowl on their property!

I managed Steve and Estelle's art shop in the Valley for two years after Grant's death. They are very dear friends of mine. And oh, Steve cuts my hair every month. 💇

Last week at home, I noticed my Buddleja salviifolia had all but died on the one side.  We lopped off the dead branches, dug a good supply of compost into the ground around it and gave it a good soaking. I'm happy to say, ten days on it's looking a lot healthier and greener than the photo below.

My Buddleja salviiflora looking a little worse for the wear

On one of the branches, I found this sunbird nest; obviously in between uses

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here


Wednesday, October 19, 2022


 The illusion...

The model...