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”

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”

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”

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”

Molumong – Wool Trading Station

We stayed at an old sheep shearing station in Lesotho one winter – 2001. The innkeeper welcomed us on a chilly night with a deep bath full of hot water, a hot coal stove burning in the kitchen and warm friendliness. We had taken our time on the way, so it was dark when weContinue reading “Molumong – Wool Trading Station”

Some Spring Sightings

Palmiet Nature Reserve is ready for Spring! We’ve had a cold winter, some early rain, wind storms and today a hot ‘Berg wind.’ Nature lovers in the Palmiet Rangers group have been spotting all sorts of interesting life in our valley. Then some Palmetians went to Roosfontein and shot a Nightjar! Meantime, Pigeon Valley inContinue reading “Some Spring Sightings”

What a Lady

We were so lucky when we started fostering kids that Anna Kiza Cele was with us. She taught us which end to wipe and which end to feed. I’m sure she must have done some private eye-rolls at what we didn’t know! Here she is with her big mate Aitch, plotting against poor me: ThisContinue reading “What a Lady”

Trader Horn and Me

Reading Tramp Royal again! So here’s a re-post from 2016: I lapped up the famous Trader Horn books ‘The Ivory Coast in the Earlies’ and ‘Harold the Webbed.’ I’m still looking for their third book ‘The Waters of Africa.’ ‘Their’ being his and the special and talented lady whose sudden insight made it happen whenContinue reading “Trader Horn and Me”

Palmiet Sightings & Discoveries

An exciting weekend in the valley; good sightings, plants to identify and maybe even a new species discovered! The eggs – ?? – brought some guessing! I asked vegetable or animal? No-one knew. Fish eggs, with a water mongoose being the predator? Berries? Frog eggs? Crab eggs? Eel? Turns out Ingrid D’eathe had found themContinue reading “Palmiet Sightings & Discoveries”

Rainbow Flokati Pioneers

The wonderful African Jazz Pioneers were appearing at the RAINBOW Jazz Club in the Pinetown taxi rank! Could NOT miss the opportunity. HAD to go and experience their wonderful sound and vibe. At Ben Pretorius’ Rainbow Restaurant they serve their beers in ‘quart’ bottles, about 750ml in the shade. What can you do? I orderedContinue reading “Rainbow Flokati Pioneers”

Now I Know

Ole man phones on his new cellphone. FINALLY a cellphone like I always wanted. As usual, its a one-way call; he can’t hear me, but I can listen. The phone is perfect. BIG numbers, which display BIG on the screen when pushed AND I can actually hear when I push the button; And get this,Continue reading “Now I Know”