She Spotted Janet. Or Did She?

I thought the nervous client had spotted Janet also looking at the scorpion and the puff adder in her room. But it wasn’t like that; Janet wasn’t there. The lucky, nervous – and ‘happy at the same time’ – client had spotted a scorpion, a puff adder AND a spotted genet like this one: AllContinue reading “She Spotted Janet. Or Did She?”

Umhlanga Lagoon

Tom went to visit Ziggy in Umhlanga so Jess and I had a late breakfast at Europa Cafe – poached eggs, haloumi, mushrooms, bacon, tsatsiki, all-sorts, yum! Followed by delicious hot bitter black coffee and some sitting back and sighing. And then, what the hell, a chocolate milkshake! Then off for a stroll at theContinue reading “Umhlanga Lagoon”

Shit Birders Say

. . and that I wish I had said . . “To a person uninstructed in natural history, his countryside or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall” – THOMAS HUXLEY – English biologist “Bird-watchers are tense, competitive,Continue reading “Shit Birders Say”

Our Special Road

The little uns in our cul de sac from a while ago are big now, and new little ones are making their presence felt! Thabiso (Tabs) and Andile are big now – all senior primary school longs, shirts and ties; while little Lisa heads off for her first day of ‘Big School’ (pre-school)!! Michael –Continue reading “Our Special Road”

Kelso Rocks

Go to bed early and be up early guys! That’s Tom, Ryan and Ziggy. They want to go fishing in Kelso on the rocks in front of Tom’s happy childhood haunt Happy Wanderers. So they get to bed at 2am and I have to roust them at 5:45am. C’mon, move! We drive off at 6:20amContinue reading “Kelso Rocks”

Sheila at Fugitives Drift Lodge – Sit Still!

Sheila worked at Fugitives Drift Lodge with David and Nicky Rattray for a while and met many interesting people and characters from all over the world. She should write about the weird folk she met – the judges and military men and colonial types and rich folk and historians and chief constables and all theContinue reading “Sheila at Fugitives Drift Lodge – Sit Still!”

Hella Hella TV

A TV aerial perched right on top of the Hella Hella mountain. The tall pole had two aerials, one aiming off towards distant civilisation, the other aimed straight at the Porters of Game Valley Estates’ TV aerial on the roof of their lovely homestead down in the Umkomaas river valley below. Now, living in splendidContinue reading “Hella Hella TV”

The Reindeer got . .

Mother Mary stumbled a bit through her 2019 rendition of Jingled Bowels . . She wasn’t up to her usual high standards. When she finished she turned to Sheila, who was filming her, and said: ‘The Reindeer Got A Puncture!’ I wondered if the reindeer hadn’t got . . . . stuck into the champagne??Continue reading “The Reindeer got . .”

Wikipedia – A Good Story of the 2010’s Decade

Every time I see a new bird I look it up and learn all about it, its scientific name and which other birds its related to. Just recently Steve in Aussie sent me his picture of a ‘Bush Stone Curlew’ nesting on an island in a parking lot. That immediately reminded me of our waterContinue reading “Wikipedia – A Good Story of the 2010’s Decade”

Birdwatching Old-Style

‘Of all birds there are few which excite so much admiration as the Resplendent Trogon.’ ‘Its skin is so singularly thin and the plumage has so light a hold upon the skin that when the bird is shot the feathers are plentifully struck from their sockets by its fall and the blows which it receivesContinue reading “Birdwatching Old-Style”

My Meadow’s Feathered Insecticide

He darted in, snatched a caterpillar and swallowed it, followed by some winged insect – munch – and then he was gone. A Tawny-flanked Prinia, my meadow insecticide. A few minutes later he returned and I got some footage. But this time he or she was after nesting material, not insects. ~~~oo0oo~~~ A few daysContinue reading “My Meadow’s Feathered Insecticide”

A Fascinating Case History

I took Mom to the ophthalmologist in Pietermaritzburg. She’d had some visual phenomena and her description of a curtain falling over her vision against the wall made me decide she must be seen right away. My good friend and colleague Owen Hilliar gave me the duty roster and I phoned the surgeon on duty –Continue reading “A Fascinating Case History”

Earning Her Keep

Monica said ‘Don’t worry Mary you needn’t play today,’ but I protested: No Way, you have to play! How else will you earn your keep? So she gamely fired up her stootoot – isithuthuthu – and beetled off to the dining room where her friend ‘Mauritius’ was in her wheelchair, waiting for supper. She rockedContinue reading “Earning Her Keep”