Mkhuze Mantuma Camp

Boy, we had weather! Bright sunshine, then wind, then a massive ongoing thunderstorm at night, with the thunderclaps within a second of the bright lightning flashes. Then long flashes followed by bangs and long rumbles receding into the distance. Followed by really soaking rain. Then a cool cloudy day, less wind, but a stiff breeze.Continue reading “Mkhuze Mantuma Camp”

The EM Diet

A childhood friend is writing a lovely book on his mountaineering exploits and the journey he has made from climbing the mountain outside our town to climbing bigger and more famous mountains all over the world!! Flatteringly, he asked me and a Pommy work and climber friend to proofread his latest draft. Being a techno-boff,Continue reading “The EM Diet”

Go Straight

Cecilia went home in March, as did Tobias. We thought it was for three weeks of COVID lockdown, but it turned out to be forever. So now at last I was going to take the mountain of stuff she had accumulated while staying here, to her home in Mtwalume. She has always said she livesContinue reading “Go Straight”

Where do our Eels go for the Holidays?

The eels in the Palmiet River down the road lead an interesting life. And there’s still lots we don’t know about them. Especially me, so know this is a story of our eels written by someone who’d like to know more. Firstly, there are about four species. I say ‘about’ as the number is likelyContinue reading “Where do our Eels go for the Holidays?”

Palmiet Night Walk

A few Palmiet Rangers went on a night walk led by herpetologist snake catcher and all-round naturalist Nick Evans. And they saw good stuff: Meantime I took some pics in my garden lately And another of our naturalists, Suncana, was busy as ever, spotting new and fascinating things: While Roger and Rory shot more birds:Continue reading “Palmiet Night Walk”

Natural Health Drink

The conifers are a wonderful group of trees including pines, yellow-woods, redwoods, junipers, cypresses, larch and spruce trees. From the bark and sap of the pine one can distill TURPENTINE; and From the berries of the juniper one can distill GIN. – . . . sort of . . . YAY!! Juniper berries are actuallyContinue reading “Natural Health Drink”

More Palmiet Privilege

Spring has sprung. (iNaturalist ID’d the first moth as one of the Giant Silkworm Moths Subfamily Saturniinae) ~~~oo0oo~~~ Forgot to include this. Suncana Bradley’s earlier pic of a female Black Cuckooshrike flying towards her. Unusual, striking.

2007 M.A.H.E.M Hysterical Tour

Ken Gillings led us on a Magical Avian and Historical Expedition to Memel in the Free State in 2007. Mahems – Crowned Cranes who trumpet ‘Ma-Hem!’ as they fly overhead – are found year-round in Memel, but I can’t remember if we saw any. They’re nomadic, so they come and go. Did we see any?Continue reading “2007 M.A.H.E.M Hysterical Tour”

Maputaland Meander

Re-post from 1992 when Mike & Yvonne Lello kindly lent us their Isuzu Trooper 4X4 for a breakaway (OK, another breakaway) where I knew we’d be on soft sand and needing 4X4. Aitch was impressed with out first stop: Luxury with Wilderness Safaris at Ndumo, grub and game drives laid on. Ice in our drinks.Continue reading “Maputaland Meander”

TomTom Homework Book

Found an old primary school workbook of Tom’s. School was not his very best thing. He summed up school as – S.ix C.rual H.ours O.f O.ur L.ives !! Math – M.ental A.buse T.o H.umans ! Homework – H.alf O.f M.y E.nergy W.asted O.n R.andom K.nowledge ! . . . and ended with a heartfelt plaintiveContinue reading “TomTom Homework Book”

Cars n Aeroplanes

January 2010: Have you checked my white horse? Well, white VW kombi – WHICH . . was towed into the garage while on holiday two days before new year. Today I towed it again – to a clutch place. I’ve been driving Trish’s ole man’s 1980 Opel Kadett. He handed me the keys, his visionContinue reading “Cars n Aeroplanes”

2009 D.A.F.T Hysterical Tour

Ken Gillings decided to make it more real this time: We’d actually walk the Fugitive’s Trail from Isandlwana to the Fugitive’s Drift across the Mzinyathi (Buffalo) River, then up a little way on the other side on Fugitive’s Drift Lodge land belonging to David and Nicky Rattray. (Slides change every four seconds. To pause clickContinue reading “2009 D.A.F.T Hysterical Tour”

Aitch’s Dogs

TC was her first dog, and she was Aitch’s favourite. She arrived while we were still living in our flat in Marriott road. She was a flat dog for a month or two and couldn’t believe the wide open spaces of our first suburban home. … … … Then Matt (because he wasn’t glossy whenContinue reading “Aitch’s Dogs”

Safari 2003

On our trip up north in 2003 Aitch and five year old Jessie kept a diary; when they got home they made this picture album as a memento of the trip. Enjoy the slideshow! (Slides change every four seconds. To pause a slide, click in the top right corner. To speed it up or toContinue reading “Safari 2003”

High as a Kite (if you want to . . )

Faster than Light (if you want to . . ) – Moody Blues “The Best Way To Travel” I’ve always wanted to fly. Who hasn’t? But I dislike noise, so while my first flight in a light aeroplane – with an Odendaal or a Wessels piloting it – was great, and my first flight acrossContinue reading “High as a Kite (if you want to . . )”

A Gardener’s Wisdom

Bruce sent this:always mow the lawn after 3pm.Then the dog turds are dry !! …. Me:Hosed myself!! Just picked up some steaming ones this mornin’Strategically placed by Sambucca the black labrador where I’m most likely to step in them. I just KNOW she’s thinking “Ooh! UGHHHH! There! He can’t miss that one”. …. Jon TaylorContinue reading “A Gardener’s Wisdom”