Sunday, August 27, 2023

Two walks this weekend

 Dear Blogger friends. As mentioned in last week's blog, I have returned to doing the Parkrun (with my trusty Skabby) and I'm enjoying being back in the field. 

Before Covid, my friend, Marelize and I would also attend the monthly evening 5km walk in the Champagne Valley. 

Last night she and I completed our first one in three years. This walk is similar to a mountain hike: very steep downhill paths, rutted roads and several uphill climbs. Marelize (who is 50) had a knee replacement a year ago. She wasn't as fortunate as I was with my knee repair surgery earlier this year and is still challenged while walking. 

Our monthly Friday night walk (0or run for the fitties) in the Valley

However, on Friday night, with Skabby dragging me on the leash and Marelize holding onto my right elbow, we (with four healthy legs and two healthy knees between us, LOL!)  completed the course. It took us more than an hour, but we were thrilled that we'd started doing this walk again. We made a pact to do it every month.

Afterwards at the hotel . Marelize, her daughter,  two granddaughter, aged two and four years old and who had completed 4km (!) and I sat with the other contestants enjoying drinks on the deck. There were also hamburgers for sale.

Skabby, has never been on this walk and was the star of the evening. People who had never met him, made a huge fuss of him. Which he loves, of course. I had his leash under the cast iron chair leg and when one of the barmen came out with a tray of drinks, Skabby moved forward (dragging the heavy chair!) to see what the barman was offering. This man spun backwards and dashed back into the pub, slamming the door! When I went indoors, he said:  hau that dog is so beeeg. I laughed and asked him to bring a plastic container with water for Skabby so that he could make friends with the dog. When the man placed the water in front of Skabby, who stuck his head in and lapped thirstily, everyone laughed. Now the barman was stroking Skabby's head and talking to him. I said: See he's a friendly dog!

This is the beeeg dog that frightened the barman !

On Saturday morning it was Parkrun as usual. I thought Skabby would be hanging back.  Not at all:  as I opened my car door, he hopped in. At Parkrun, I looped his leash around a handy post near the children's swings. At least I then I could hang my car keys up and greet my friends. 

That day we could feel summer is on its way. When we got to the second dam (near the 4km mark), I urged Skabby into the water for a plodge and a drink. This helped tremendously on the last stretch which is always challengingly hot. At this point, it also feels as though the end will never come. 

By now, Marelize and her little Daschund, Tiger, had caught up to, and passed us. She was trying to improve on her time from last week. She arrived at the endpoint at 50minutes and eight seconds. I clocked in a little after her at 50 minutes and 22 seconds. We both agreed that having had the walk the night before made the Parkrun much easier and pleasurable. 

Saturday, August 26, 2023

White-headed Fruit Dove

 Or.. Not sure!

Hello dear Blogger friends. I saw this beautiful dove in Spain during my holiday there in May. I cannot find any reference to this specific bird on Google. Having seen it in captivity (in a large butterfly enclosure in Malaga) I'm not even sure if it's endemic to that area.

However, being a striking looking bird, I decided to share it here and have also linked to Eileen's Saturday Critters, here


Saturday, August 19, 2023


 ...a nationalized South African word meaning surprise, annoyance, resignation. 


When I use this expression, I tend to stamp my foot in frustration; slap my palm against my forehead with exasperation, 

I never meant another two weeks to elapse before posting. But here I am again.

Apart from my work, I have returned to my weekly exercise classes in the Valley.   After our seven-minute-drop-a-dress-size-warm up- video, we set out in twos and threes to do the Friday 5km walk. 

I find since my knee injury, I am not at all adventurous any longer, no trying to better my time, etc. Fortunately, Estelle walks very slowly and she and I caught up on all the news while we covered the distance. Ironically, this was the FIRST time I attended since the last week in May; and we had a farewell brunch afterwards for our coach, Caroline. 

I know how to pick my events! 

Caroline is seated second from the end on the right of this photo. She has returned to Australia for two years

Estelle is continuing with the classes and to prove that I can attend functions and workouts without the lure of a meal, I joined the girls last Wednesday. It was a public holiday, the temperature sub-zero, but I enjoyed every minute of the exercises. I joined them this past Friday again and will continue to attend regularly, cleaning schedules permitting. Estelle supports my Weigh-Less group and I need to support her in this.

Meanwhile, during July and this far in August, I have had full house at The Bunker.  Thandi and I have cleaned after guests checking out and prepped for the next ones checking in.

A perfect 10 and positive review from guests is always appreciated 

Last week I offered to do "tea" after the church service. I supplied the sandwiches and scones and poured cups of tea after  attending the service! No freeloading this time, LOL!

The day before this, I did the Parkrun again after a long layoff. I'd had Skabby groomed and took him along: HIS first time back too. I don't know who was more excited: Skabby being back on a LONG walkies or my friends who had gotten to know him when we walked on my quest to achieve my 100th Parkrun!

The reason why Skabby hadn't been at Parkrun during the hot summer months is that I was trying to get his hot spot healed. Not just a teeny, little red dot. It was a HUGE raw area which took four months and many trips to the vets to heal.
Skabby's left shoulder area which had become a huge raw sore area
His left rump which was also a large painful area of raw skin

To add insult to injury (although it was for his own good), Skabby was fitted with a clone. This was to prevent him licking his wounds. The vets also bandaged his left rear foot to prevent him scratching the itchy areas and causing more problems.

Throughout this whole traumatic time, Skabby never once showed anything but a sunny nature. The surgery personnel marveled at how happy this dog always was, even when his mum brought him in for MORE injections and more treatment. And always he'd greet the vets with a lolling tongue and a wagging tail.
Finally the day arrived in mid-August where he was back at Parkrun. 
Cooler weather and a happy dog with a beautifully sleek coat



Cloned dog

 Poor Skabby...

At the beginning of this year, he developed a hot spot while walking the Parkrun with Mum.. 

In my next post, I explain more about this debilitating condition and that he is now HEALED.

Praise God! One of the measures implemented to help him on the road to healing, was to fit him with a clone. Thank goodness Gavin, my neighbor, came across and fitted the contraption for me. I could not have done it by myself. 

Skabby adapted to wearing the clone immediately

The date was 28 January 2023.

 On 16 April 2023, I finally removed the clone.

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen, here