24 April 2011

The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men ...

Gang aft agley, as our fav'rit poet says
and this morning proved him right yet again. The Alpha was poorly and stayed at home, and it was threatening to rain so we decided to modify our grand plans to walk to Maclears and just do Cecilia Ridge and back to Constantia Nek. So out we set, Sue, Paul, Pauline, the Food Lady and us two Scots, through the protea experimental garden at Kirstenbosch (on the dog path) and up onto the contour path. "O' foggage green!" The mist was rolling and billowing and the Food Lady thought it was smoke from a smouldering fire!

The view over Wynberg right back to Tygerberg Hills. The rainclouds were not very encouraging as far as photographing and walking was concerned.

There were lots of these pretty wild sweetpeas coming up on the path to Rooikat Ravine. It is Indigofera cytisoides.

One of those noisy sugarbirds.

We decided to not go up Cecilia Ridge as it started raining quite hard and didn't look like stopping. So we just went via Cecilia Waterfall and back to Constantia Nek where Sue and the FL had left the Land Rover. Sadly, it was too wet for tea, but so what. Tails up! We love this weather!

This is us in the dense, shady, wet, wild woods above Cecilia. And those shade-loving loons that are always shouting for shade say there are no trees and no shade in the fynbos! They should come up here.

And just to refresh your memory - here is the whole poem To a Mouse by Robbie Burns. (Apt at the moment because Dougal caught a wee timrous beastie in the kitchen last week - having nibbled all the Food Lady's Easter egg presents, some candles and all the fruit and veg it could find.)

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie,
O, what panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle! I'm truly sorry Man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave 'S a sma' request:
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' wast,
An' weary Winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee-bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald.
To thole the Winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still, thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

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