The Mosaic weekend has come and gone and it was so lovely to have the ladies here. They arrived on Friday and we had dinner and chatted and laughed over some sherry and discussed what we’d do Mosaic wise. Next morning after breakfast they came over to the main house where everything had been set up in the downstairs bar area which leads out on to the deck. After a little trepidation from some of the ladies who’d never mosaiced before they started designing and planning their work. I have a table out at the pool and basically gave them each a section of table to work on. The theme was a rock pool and the designs they came up with were beautiful – I was so pleased too because the lady who was the most nervous (I won’t mention names!) ended up making the most intricate design. They were so involved that I cooked lunch for them and they sort of ate whilst they worked. By late afternoon we packed up and went for a quick game drive and were so fortunate as the first thing we saw were three magnificent rhinos right next to the road. The evening drive was beautiful – we saw so much game and the mountains and views all around were awesome; I use that word advisedly because we really are blessed here with some spectacular scenery.
Later the ladies took themselves off to Seeplaas for some Sundowners and had dinner at a local restaurant – I started packing for Pretoria as I had to leave early Sunday. I thoroughly enjoyed having the ladies here and, reading their comments in the Guest book, I think they had a good time too. Have a look at the Craft photos to see the lovely mosaics they produced. I hope to post a picture next week of the completed table – it’s two thirds done.
I left early on the Sunday morning for Pretoria to visit my daughter who’d broken her foot – I like to think that I helped her for the week but I managed to reverse her car into a tree and various other stupid things; in my defense I blame the altitude and my grandchildren eating my brain.
On the way home, sitting at the airport waiting for my flight, I received a call from a biking friend to tell me that she and her husband were at the Pinkhaus for a weekend visit – where was I!? Thank heavens the flight is a short one and I was able to get home and spend a relaxing evening on the deck with them whilst Andre braaied for us. It was good to see them and catch up on the news but what really crowned their visit was the fact that they identified the call of my mysterious night bird. They called it a ‘naguil’ which, according to the Roberts, is a Nightjar. I’m almost certain it’s a Fiery-necked Nightjar as the call is exactly as described – either ‘Good Lord, deliver us” or “jag weg, die wewenaar”- it sounds more Afrikaans than English though.
On the wildlife front we had a beautiful Death Head Moth on the balcony for a while – I’ve put a photo of it under the fauna section, it has the eeriest squeak if you touch it. The mongooses have been very busy and are becoming quite brazen, they just sit and stare at us if we accidently walk into them. Speaking of brazen – whilst I was away the sparrows moved in lock, stock and barrel. They have a nest in one of the upper rooms and the daddy sparrow is most protective – he harasses our poor cat Sputnik and chases him out of the room. Also, no other bird is allowed into the house otherwise full scale ‘sparrow wars’ ensue – they swoop up and down the house fighting, banging into windows and tumbling down the walls onto the floor. So much for the peaceful countryside.
Since returning to the Pinkhaus I’ve had to reacquaint myself with the goats. They tend to bond with their owners and because we’d only had them about a week when I left I hadn’t really had chance. They have grown well and now weigh in the vicinity of 20kgs. Their previous owners told me I had to grab them and ‘give them a cuddle’ so that they would get used to me. This I’ve been doing and it definitely works as they follow me around and nibble my fingers, however it does mean that I smell a little funky occasionally! Their personalities are developing and they chase each other around the pastures and mock fight – really sweet. One of the rheboks has moved into an adjacent piece of veld and ‘talks’ to the goats in grunts, yesterday it came onto our property and was grazing on the other side of the fence from the goats.
The chickens are doing really well – they are huge and range far and wide over the farm. The rooster, Rodney, is starting to crow – it sounds rather dire at the moment but he’s getting there. When I feed them they are so impatient that they try to fly up into the bowl to see what I’ve got for them.
Everything is green and flourishing after the wonderful rains we had two weeks ago – first we had 63mm then 103mm. We managed to nearly fill the swimming pool, filled all the tanks and let the overflow run into the big dam which rose by about 20cm. I’ve ordered 100 tilapia fish to put in there and must start looking for waterblommetjies to plant in the dam. This morning when we walked down to the dam there were hundreds of tadpoles swimming around. My vegetables are doing well – all except the mealies which something walked along and bit the top off each one! We are eating tomatoes, strawberries, spinach, beans, rocket and coriander from the garden and tomorrow I will use some of the Pak Choi for a Chinese meal. I brought a pile of nearly ripe peaches back from Pretoria and made the loveliest jam with them – it set so well, normally my jams are a little runny. I also bought some rennet and a culture a want to try making my own cream cheese this week using the cream from the dairy farm where we buy our milk.
Lastly – I have invested in a Field Guide to Fynbos – what an incredible book. The more I read about fynbos the more I’m blown away, it is so diverse and yet so fragile. I’ve managed to identify quite a lot of plants so far – now when we go walking it’s with a book in one hand and the loppers(for the aliens) in the other. Fortunately the goats love to eat the wattle and rooikrantz which we remove – that pleases my recycling heart! Till next time.