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...


Thursday, October 13, 2022

To weigh or not to weigh

Good morning, dear Blogger friends. Many of you may know that I am an online Weight-Less Group Leader (which has become a form of life coaching in a big way) and I run Weigh-Less groups in town and in the Valley. 

I can hardly remember a time without my kitty, Georgie, at my side.

When  I weighed myself a week ago, he was there hands on   paws-on! 

This morning I had the scale on in my office and decided to weigh Georgie.  

And guess what? It just didn't happen! Every time I placed him on the scale, as I let go of him and aimed my camera at the LCD screen, he jumped off. 

Can you believe the CATTITUDE! 

Make me!


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Refletions by a canine photographic assistant

The image before we arrive at the dam 

My canine photographic assistant always obliges by jumping into the dam...

A hearty shake and tailwag at Mum's praising


Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Who to ask?

Good morning, dear Blogger friends. I recently discovered the real name of Agony Aunt, Anne Landers was Eppie Lederer.   I grew up reading Anne Landers advice to people who asked for it. 

My friend, Brian, who replaced my ceiling last month, calls his repair business "Ask Brian".

Mmm, I find that many a time, when people need something done, they say: "Ask Jo." In the case of Georgie being rescued by my neighbor, when she brought it home, she and her husband stood at the gate of their large property, behind which their 16 dogs were baying fit to deafen humans, they knew they couldn't keep Georgie. They looked at each other and in one voice said: Ask Jo.

Last month, early one morning, I looked out of the same glass door which Georgie scales in frustration and saw my neighbor standing there. Opening up she said she had a problem and a needed a favor. Her husband had taken her dad and several old gents fishing in Zululand. He happened to look at the vehicle license and noticed it should have been renewed in April this year.  He obviously said... ask Jo! LOL

She gave me the proof of residence letter, a license renewal form and a wad of cash. I told her I would sort it out. 

I was attending a ladies' breakfast with friends from our Taigalates (our three-tier discipline) class that morning. I enjoyed a lovely breakfast with the ladies, and then drove to Estcourt to renew the license.

As I posted in April, when I applied for my driver's license, any service pertaining to bureaucracy - in any country in general and in Africa in particular - can take hours to be completed. 

This morning however, when I arrived at the traffic department, I was the only person needing a vehicle license renewal. I explained that I was doing this job for my neighbor who was several hundred kilometers away. The helpful clerk at reception completed the blue renewal form for me and then asked if Mr .. was available to sign the form. I reiterated that the owner was faaaaar away and that was why I am renewing his vehicle licence for him. The clerk asked me so how I will get the form signed by the owner. I suggested he turns his face away; I swung the form around and scribbled a signature which could have been anything! 

I handed this same clerk the receipt for my personal driver's license which I had applied for early in April. He said he'd check if it had arrived. 

At the cash office, and I slid the forms in under the glass partition. Once the calculations had been done, the cash I had in hand was not enough. Fortunately, we are able to pay via credit card which is what I did. My neighbor would (and did) reimburse me once he returned from his fishing trip. 

As soon as I had the disc, I took a photo and sent it to the neighbor. If the traffic officer stopped him, he could at least produce proof that his vehicle license HAD been renewed. 

The helpful clerk was waiting in an adjacent ante room where he had my new driver's license card. He asked me to sign for it and I slid the new card into my purse. 

My new driving license card

For those of you who remember the long wait I had when I applied for the above, I had to have an eye test and subsequently was prescribed driving glasses. 
My prescription glasses to be worn when I drive

My dear friend, Sandra (Madsnapper) introduced me to Lunapic many years ago. This morning I decided to play with it again.


Monday, October 10, 2022

Georgie update

 Good morning, dear Blogger friends. It's been a while since I've posted about my cats. As you know, I acquired a new kitten (by default) in June this year. 

Georgie is now a teenaged cat, growing in leaps and bounds. AND full of enery.

Yesterday as Skabby and I were in the garden, I heard a "knocking" sound on my glass door. 

Scooting up the reed curtain on my glass door
See Skabby's reflection in the window!
How come HE can be outside, and I can't? 

Georgie is still too small and FAR too adventurous to be outdoors on his own. Uh-uh.

On Friday I will take Georgie (and one of my friends, Colette's cats, Dennis) to the vet in Estcourt. As posted on this blog before, Georgie is known at this surgery. Last year I helped Colette and took Houdini for the "procedure".

I'm not sure when I will be confident enough to let Georgie out into the garden. But it will eventually happen. Let's get Friday over with first...


Friday, October 7, 2022

Another annual task completed

 Good evening, dear Blogger friends. For the past five years, I've had to execute all manner of unfamiliar tasks myself.

One yearly event is having my trusty little vehicle serviced in the town of Ladysmith, some 80km from home. 

When I bought my car three and a half years ago (also done all on my own, at my own expense), there was a Motor plan with the purchase.  This year, however, the plan has expired, and the service was for my own account.   

I had budgeted for this job but with any big expense, it tends rattle me somewhat. Yet ironically while I waited in the customer lounge with several other, albeit it, male vehicle owners, I managed to recruit four members on my Weigh-Less group and booked out the large house for three extra days this coming week. I also qualified for loyalty discount as this was my fourth service with this dealer. Expense covered in one (two-hour) sitting! 

My trusty little car 

I'm always amazed at how blessed I am...

Praise God! 


Thursday, October 6, 2022


 Good morning, dearest Blogger friends. Thandi is back and business is brisk, The Bunker, always popular, has been so well occupied these past months. We are eternally grateful. Yes, Thandi too, as it means extra income for her when we work up at our holiday accommodation. 

As explained before, we share certain tasks, like making the kingsized bed. And afterwards we get on with our separate tasks. 

Thandi wiping the kitchen surfaces, tidying the utensil drawers and checking on the crockery

I polish and shine all the other surfaces, arrange rolled towels and chocolates, set up the continental breakfast, replenish the toiletries, load the WiFi, reconnect the DSTV and write out a welcome card for the guests.

After posting the pin directions and key retrieval information to the incoming guest, I always travel up the mountain to the large 14 sleeper house which I manage as well. 
The family holiday home in the early morning sun

The view from the house: the majestic Cathkin and Champagne Castle peaks


Wednesday, October 5, 2022



Taken from my cottage veranda

Reflected in the window behind me


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Meeting old acquaintances

Good morning, dear Blogger friends. Yesterday I posted about my weekly Parkrun activities. The first time I took Skabby along, I had to stop at Thokosiza Lifestyle Centre, where our old Papa cat was evicted and is now at his forever home with my brother, Phillip.

As I walked towards the shops, I spotted a large white SUV with an FS (Free State) registration plate. The driver, a mature gentleman was sitting in the car. I stopped, greeted him and asked where he was from. He said: Marquard. 

MY WORD! My old hometown.

I took a closer look at his face and said are you Frik Fouche. He answered in the affirmative and said Luette, his wife, was shopping. 

Luette was the matron of the retirement home where my MIL,
 Pam spent her last six years


Monday, October 3, 2022

Parkrun : my activities update

 Good morning, dear Blogger friends. As posted over the months, when Winterton Parkrun reopened after Covid restrictions, I was asked by the Run Director to come and volunteer.  This was in October 2021. (see here). 

I did many volunteering stints, but since 6th August 2022, I have started doing the Parkrun walk again.


I am on a mission.

All will be revealed soon.

On 27th August, I loaded Skabby into my car and took him along to his first Parkrun ever. 

A new routine has been established. 

Skabby and me on our first Parkrun

No flies on this dog. He pulled me around the 5km course at a rate of knots. I have to keep him on lead (he's used to being let off the hook here on the farm roads); he weighs quite a bit more than I do AND he is 4 wheel driven. 

We finished at 2minutes faster than I had been doing since restarting the walk and for three days afterwards I felt every muscle in my shoulders, back, arms and legs. In fact, I had shin splints which is not an injury known to a vintage (non-running) lady such as I. 

Every week is better than the last; Skabby, while still terribly excited for this long weekly walk, has learnt to calm down by the 2km mark.  He has also become very well known by the other local Parkrunners who are surprised to see Jo's large black dog. One acquaintance said she's known me for five years and never associated me with having a dog. 

Well, I cannot remember a time in my life that I did NOT have a dog.

Visitors also approach and ask if they may pat him; even bringing their young children to stroke Skabby's broad head. He obliges every time going loopy-eyed and drooling while being petted. 

Three weeks later, the Tailwalker videoed all of us at the start of the Parkrun.
As you can see, Skabby's leash is taut, my grim countenance shows my concentration, and he has me almost off my feet! 


Saturday, October 1, 2022

Newborn calf, Glossy Starling, Blacksmith Plover...

...and a happy dog! 

Hello dear Blogger friends. I haven't submitted to Saturday Critters with Eileen, but here goes.

I took this photo through the car windscreen so as not to stress Mama cow 
with her newborn calf
Glossy Starling on my lawn

Happy pooch running along the farm road

A Blacksmith Plover giving voice to try and lure us away from its nest (the nest is usually far away from where this bird would be acting as a decoy)

Skabby gave the plover a wide berth and dived into the dam further along

A good shake while in the water! 
And always a couple of gulps of water!
Back home we found Chappie in a cardboard box which I had thrown out 

She jumped out as soon as Skabby started plodging in his water bowl, splashing water across the veranda floor. 
Skabby noticed that Chappie had run onto the lawn to watch him cooling off
You should try this Chappie. Cools the paws!
Chappie stops a safe distance away and watches...

Here's thinking of those of you in the path of Ian - may you be safe!
I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here