Phinda

Aitch thought she’d do nursing after school; very soon found out that wasn’t her, so she tried blood confusion. Well, that’s what I would say and she’d correct me: ‘Transfusion, Koos!’ Bit better, but then she discovered cardiovascular perfusion. Now that she regarded as a career! She loved it. About ten years later she leftContinue reading “Phinda”

The Red-Faced Barbet

Aitch used to look at these Two-Puddly birds and say ‘Why Black-collared Barbet? they should be called Red-faced Barbet!’ There’s probably already a red-faced, I said; and I don’t know why I didn’t go looking then. I suppose life happened. Listen: Here’s why we called ours ‘Two-Puddly’ (old man Geoff Leslie used to call themContinue reading “The Red-Faced Barbet”

Kosi Bay with a Boat

Kosi Bay is a wonderful place and the campsites are superb. Good birding and great habitat. It’s an estuary system comprising of four lakes – Amanzimnyama (dark waters), Nhlange (reeds), Mpungwini and Makhawulani – the system is connected by meandering channels and fringed wetlands before it runs into the Indian Ocean via a shallow channelContinue reading “Kosi Bay with a Boat”

Fogg's Folly

or Destiny Castle Driving through the beautiful Eastern Free State you see many flat-topped sandstone kopjes like these. But suddenly you say, ‘What’s on top of that one? It’s a CASTLE! Can’t be. But it is!’ Truth is, you knew it would be there – as you’ve been invited to visit it – to beContinue reading “Fogg's Folly”

Simes' Cottage in Lotheni

There’s a lovely old sandstone cottage in the Lotheni Valley, one of the Drakensberg / uKhahlamba’s beautiful valleys. We had some great adventures with good friends and our kids up there. As an adult retreat it’s my idea of paradise: no electricity, no cellphone reception, no wifi. Peace. Plenty of hot water, a gas stoveContinue reading “Simes' Cottage in Lotheni”

Washington Honeymoon

Fresh out of that Hole in Wyoming we landed in Seattle and immediately headed for the hills. Or the sound. Puget Sound. I’m a bit allergic to cities, so we picked up a little rental car – would you believe a Toyota Tercel, with all-wheel drive and six forward gears . . what? I’ve saidContinue reading “Washington Honeymoon”

Lochinvar Park in Zambia

In 1297 the Gordon family arrived at Lochinvar from Berwickshire. They established a castle on an island in the lake – or loch, as this was in Scotland. Lochinvar. In 1908 another Scot, Mr Horne, a cattle farmer from Botswana, arrived on the banks of the Kafue river in Northern Rhodesia long before it becameContinue reading “Lochinvar Park in Zambia”

Blue Lagoon

Let’s go fishing Dad – at Blue Lagoon. Just till 7pm. As we were leaving the plaintive ‘flat battery’ cry of the Water Thick-knee (Dikkop) sounded from across the lagoon . . ~~~oo0oo~~~ again, thank you xeno-canto.org for bird sounds ~~~oo0oo~~~ A week later the fishing bug is still strong! This time Tom goes toContinue reading “Blue Lagoon”

Old Lilani Spa

On our first visit, with Bruce and Heather Soutar, the remains of the old hotel were still there. You walked into the foyer under a roof, the reception counter awaited you; But you soon walked out into the sunshine, as it was just a remnant of roof and a built-in counter with nothing behind it,Continue reading “Old Lilani Spa”

I’m, um, Normal!

Such a pleasure to meet weirdos who prove I’m normal. Friends Petrea and Louis – speaking of weirdos – cracked me an invite to an early morning visit to Bill Oddie’s house in David Maclean Drive to spot some twinspots. To do some twin spotting. Actually Roger and Linda Hogg’s home – what a beautifulContinue reading “I’m, um, Normal!”

A Real Live African Jazz Pioneer

What do you do? I ask the old soldier sitting in my chair. I’m a musician in the army band he says. Aha! Cool! What do you play? asks I. The Saxophone, he says. The best of all the instruments! I flatter. How long have you been a soldier? Not long, he says, I joinedContinue reading “A Real Live African Jazz Pioneer”

Mom’s Days

Just in case anyone was thinking Aitch only had Mom’s Day, I gotta tell ya – not at all! She had her birthday 6 January; She had her second birthday 6 July “‘cos it’s unfair my birthday is so close to Christmas, everyone used to give me one present, and my day was lost inContinue reading “Mom’s Days”

Hwow! Hwange is Hwonderful!

One of Aitch’s list of ‘things to do’ once we knew she had cancer, was to visit her twin sis in Botswana. Janet quickly mustered her network and arranged a trip to Hwange, Zimababwe’s world-class national park. We’d been once before. Her friends Beks and Sarah Ndlovu of African Bush Camps own a concession andContinue reading “Hwow! Hwange is Hwonderful!”

Die Donkie is n Wonderlike Ding

I was going too fast, but we were late and I could see miles ahead along the sweeping roads on the hillsides of Lesotho. A speck of dust would show up then disappear as we rounded a hill, then reappear later a bit nearer, but still far away. Eventually a car would materialise, turn intoContinue reading “Die Donkie is n Wonderlike Ding”

Fietsry in the Karkloof

So we enter the 19km event at Karkloof on our pushbikes. Me n Jessie. Aitch n Tom are going to do the 10km. We head off and Jess does well, stays on her bike on some gentle uphills, no pushing. Riding up one hill after 4 or 5 km we hear a whooshing sound, andContinue reading “Fietsry in the Karkloof”