31 August 2015

Beneath the trees where nobody sees

On Sunday Pauline, the Alph, the Food Lady, Phil and Harvey joined us for a walk. It was wildly windy so we de-camped to Newlands Forest which is always sheltered from the prevailing winds and set off into the deep, dark, Sambar-deer-filled forest.
We crossed the rushy river,
and explored the canyon (can you spot moi?)
beneath the trees where nobody sees,
and climbed up Newlands Ravine - up and up into the Southeaster mist at the top.
Tea-time - with the Food Lady, us, and Phil with his beanie on as it was quite chilly. Pauline was somewhere in there too and the Alph took the photo. 
After tea, the Alph, Phil, Laddie and Harvey carried on up, but the Food Lady and Pauline turned back. So there I was, in the middle, torn between the two. And what does one do in a situation like that? You stay put! Stubbornly put.
Eventually I had to follow the gels down, reluctantly and half carried by the Food Lady, but joy of joys! After about 10 minutes, the boys re-appeared and we were happily (albeit Scottie-restrainedly) re-united.
Then they left me behind after that, so I thought I would try some trail-running to catch up,
but found the naughty-pine roots a bit much so I had to settle back into a gentle trot.
Besides, I didn't want to finish the walk too quickly. But all good things come to an end.
And afterwards we went to visit Harvey's new house for the first time. This is his super-stylish grassy patch which I sampled and approved of. I also sampled some of the fertiliser in the pots which earned me a rebuke from the Food Lady when some soil spilled out. Such a fuss pot!
Phil was getting the gee and tees sorted
using special gin, fancy Fever Tree tonic water and all sorts of trendy indigenous cordials to add zing and zest.
It was all too much for the Harvester who took to his bed
while Kerryn (who was rather full of cold and sore throat) showed us round their lovely house.
Sadly I just couldn't make it up the stairs even though Harvey told me it was easy. I then fell down rather undignifiedly but luckily I didn't break my neck, but just rolled down, proving that being plump has its advantages.
PS Hope you are feeling better Kerryn.

Mind your own business

28 August 2015

Holiday to KZN

Here are some reflections from the Food Lady on her and the Alph's holiday to KZN (without us) ...
"It was difficult to say goodbye to you both - but we knew Leticia would look after you well.
Tammy all grown up and off to the ball.
Snoop Dog met us at Wana Farm
and took us on a guided tour.
Gilly with her herd of jerseys (strictly out of bounds for chasing).
Mary in the middle of the cow's feed.
A Muscovy Duck.
We walked up Inhlosane - first obtaining permission from the hotel staff of The Everglades.
Rugged, intrepid conquerors of Inhlosane.
Beers with the locals afterwards.
Tikki the fox-lookalike hunting for reedbuck on our evening walk round Pipkin Farm.
Mavis who makes the most delicious Jersey milk cream.
The Alph joined Wyndham and Gilly on a gruelling mountain bike ride,
but I stayed behind and relaxed with the dogs
and watched some spotted-backed Village Weavers weaving their nests.
Late afternoon walkies with Gambit the elderly Airdale.
Next stop was Thendele camp in the Drakensberg where we were met at our chalet by this friendly Chorister Robin-chat.
No dogs allowed here as there are lots of wild animals around - including some Grey Rheboks
that, judging by the bushman paintings nearby, have been around here for quite a while.
We walked up to the Policeman's Helmet rock,
and saw some Drakensberg Cycads (Encephalartos ghellinckii) clinging on the rock face
as well as some pretty Geraniums - possibly G. wakkerstroomianum.
We also walked up the Thukela Gorge right to the end.
Micky (mother of several intrepid Jack Russels and a Ridgeback who were also left at home) and the Alph with the Amphitheatre in the background.  
And especially for you Coco - baboons!
On Thursday we had to leave Thendele and head for the dermatology conference at Champagne Castle Sports Resort - Micky left early,
and we stopped en route for coffee with a House Sparrow at the Pig and Plough in Winterton.
This is Bobby who showed us to our hut at Inkosana Lodge,
which consisted of a rondavel en suite, surrounded by beautiful gardens, views of Cathkin Peak and
wild grasslands filled with amazing flowers and wildlife,
and some domestic life too.
Louise and Richard were there for the conference and joined us for some walks,
and a visit to a nursery to buy aloes for Gilly's garden. This is another crazy Jack Russell who was intent on killing the wheelbarrow.
On the last day we walked up to the Sphinx with Richard and Louise,
past lots of proteas that grow here. I think this was a Protea roupelliae.
Then is started to rain and thunder and lightning forced us to turn back.
We thought about taking another route down, but were a bit daunted by the prospect of vicious dogs waiting for us at the bottom!
We said goodbye to Richard and Louise, and went back to Wana Farm where Gilly gave us tea and Scottie biscuits from Scotland.
We met their new calf - a few days old -
who will join Gilly's Jersey herd.
Then is was back to Durban airport, and home to you two. "