Africa, Birds & Birding, Family & Kids, Wildlife, Game Reserves

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 beautiful garden! I didn’t take a picture, damn!

Now, looking at birds is normal, of course, as is drinking good coffee. Here are some of Roger’s bird pics. No, I’ll show you the weird part later. His daughters must die of embarrassment. I now can prove to my kids how normal I am.

– Roger Hogg’s garden bird – normal –

Here’s the part that pleased me:

– Roger – how very English –

Here’s the real Bill Oddie, a crazy Pom. I got to know about him when Aitch bought me his ‘Little Black Bird Book’ cos she agreed with his assessment: ‘Bird-watchers are tense, competitive, selfish, shifty, dishonest, distrusting, boorish, pedantic, unsentimental, arrogant and – above all – envious’.

And here’s an embarrassing discovery: I’ve seen lots of twinspots, but I thought this one in Roger’s garden was a first for Westville. When I went to add them to my life list, I saw that I’d twin-spotted twinspots in my own garden! In 1999 at 7 River Drive!

Petrea’s response was sharp, as always: ‘How wonderful to suffer from Sometimers. Every bird is a lifer! And anyway, ‘normal’ is a setting on a dryer.’

– more Green Twinspots –

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British birding – we should realise how lucky we are!

“Only around 150 people can look through the fence and see the bird at one time, so we have been organising a queue system. People can see the bird for ten minutes, then get to the back of the queue and wait their turn again.”  – aaah! – to be born English is to have won first prize in the lottery of life – Geoffrey Caruth esq quoting that scoundrel Cecil John Rhodes

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Aitch, Home, Nostalgia

And a Party in a Pear Tree

I think my favourite Aitch Art piece hanging on our walls was the Pear Tree ceramic. I broke it.

Smashed! DAMMIT!!

Oh well, we’re going to buy . .

One box of wine

Two packs of beer

Three sticks of glue

Seven . . . . dancing . . . . girls

and hold a –

Party-y in a Pear Tree

And we’ll fix it – yep. Louis is going to be the GluMeister, I’ll keep it lubricated, and Petrea will bring a semblance of order.

Bits n Pieces

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Update: A preliminary Cocktails and Curry evening has been held in which a Mak Martini was drank; also a cream vodka with mint sprig; and a medicinal flu jab consisting of one part gin one part vodka one part vermouth and freshly squoze lemon and orange, garnished with a slice of lemon and topped up with Little Miss Muffet’s whey orange juice from Tropika. Oh yes, and some practice glueing was done by the Glumeister.

Who also made the curry, fresh from New Delhi, the gurugram district. It was delicious, spicy, tasty, filling, warming on a chilly evening. Jess supplied dessert: Baked cheesecake, dark chocolate, double-thick cream; Then strong filter coffee in zebra hide cups.

Africa, Home, Life

I Know

When you’re trying with little success to rid your place of stuff and when the stuff fills a double garage and at least one room, with other rooms a bit crowded, you should not accumulate any more stuff, but I can explain.

There was a damsel in distress. I was on my horse. She asked ‘would you?’ What was a gallant knight errant to say? There’s only one thing a gallant knight errant can say in such circumstances:

– hie kom ek! –
– knight in the background knows this is mistaken logic –

Actually quite chuffed: Check those armrests as drinks platforms: These are practical, serviceable, lekker chairs. And comfy.

– the plastic furniture can go now . . –

I do suppose Louis knew Petrea was divesting them of assets while he was far away in Gurugram . . .

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This is made worse as just the day before I was rolling my eyes at my Dad (96) who in one breath was stating his absolute determination – ‘this time’ – to get rid of stuff; and in the next breath was mulling over buying two new armchairs for the room he wants to add on to his house ‘for her (that’s Mom Mary) to sit in the sun as the room will have big windows.’

Right. Alone in a three bedroom house with Mom now in a home, he thinks what he needs is an extra room and two new chairs.

~~~~oo0oo~~~~

Africa, Family & Kids

Jessie’s 21st Party

Jess did it all herself; drew up lists, hired lights, organised a DJ who brought her own equipment; we bought some stuff; we bought booze. Jess invited a few good friends round, and so did I.

Jess 21st party at home

The adults came early, we had a slide show on Jess from the early days. I was being a bit Nervous Norman, so thank goodness for hooligan friends. First the Lodders added their usual mayhem. Then star Lydia our Gautengaleng student friend stepped forward, deciding things were a bit quiet for a 21st. She took over the bar, mixing cocktails and getting the kids to pour them down their throats. The party was launched!

The adults disappeared except me in the background. Jess and her gang had a lovely evening with their favourite music and lots of chatting. Later, some boys arrived drunk but peaceful and friendly and joined in. At midnight the DJ’s mom arrived to fetch her, they packed up and peace returned to the valley.

Africa

Fuckit the Fig Fell!

I don’ believe it! In a high-wind storm the beautiful big old fig tree which made the corner – it was THE feature of that whole block! – at the top of our road fell down!

Fig Fallen (2)

I stopped to look, and Jess and Sindi spotted each other. Sindi came running across from Juke’s Pizza where she was working. Typical high-energy Sindi, a run, a hug, much to tell:

Fig tree fallen Sindi running

Fig Fallen (1)

Fig Fallen (3)

Fig Fallen (4)

Here’s the worst part: Seems we don’t have any pics of the old tree standing! We’d taken it for granted and now it’s gone! Petrea, whose optometry practice looks right out on the fig had pics after it had started falling but none of the fig as it always was.

Fig Falls in Salisbury

I searched my albums and found ONE pic of it standing earlier this year – but barely visible in the dead of night! You can catch its outline way in the background between Lungelo and Tom’s heads:

 

mom-bday-lupa-Tom Lungelo_lightened up