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