Posts Tagged ‘sundowners’


Enough already! I thought I had passed the ‘Winter Test’ this year! We have endured the blasts from the Arctic Vortex, had metres of snow thrown on us and braved the sub zero temperatures!  We had just begun to thaw and had enjoyed a few days out in the garden and have even sipped our first of the season sundowners on the deck. The hesitant sun had begun to warm our frosted lily- white winter limbs. Our mood had lifted and there was a spring in the step. But it was not to last…….

The morning scene.....

The morning scene…..

We woke up this morning and the world outside was all carpeted in snow! Oh no! It was hard to assimilate that we had regressed back into winter over night.

So out came the liquid sunshine, the ‘must have’ vitamin D tablets, at breakfast. I had pushed that right to the back of the tray as I felt they would not be needed for a few months. How wrong I was! Warming Jungle Oats would be at the top of the menu once more rounded off with a cup of hot chocolate. There would be no walk for our canine member of the family either. I just could not get myself out of that door to duel with the wind. Josh had that ‘gatvol’ expression on his face as he went out for his morning ablutions on his snowy patch. He had reveled in the sun over the weekend as he rolled in the grass and luxuriated on his back in the sun. Now all he could do was jump straight back into his warm basket and sulk.

I fumbled in the dark coat cupboard for my tried and tested and ‘very sick of wearing’ blue padded jacket. When I first arrived in Canada I could never understand the reasoning behind having so many coats. I used to listen to locals discuss their ski coats, walking jackets, evening coats, weekend coats and spring coats. What on earth was a spring coat? Initially I decided that this was surely extravagant and I could manage with far less. I muddled on for the first winter and even the second as they were both mild. But then the ‘big guns’ hit us…….this last winter! It did not take me long to realize that my sensible repertoire of 2 coats in the mudroom cupboard was just not enough. I would feel an attack of SADS coming on when I reached into the cupboard and selected one from my meager choice! Then the warm boots were reluctantly pulled on too. Oh for a pair of peep toe sandals!

I long to give my summer sandals an airing!

I long to give my summer sandals an airing!

So as the sun breaks through those clouds and the snow begins to melt yet again, the prospect of spring becomes a reality once more. We can look forward to new growth and new life! But in the meantime a couple of mallard ducks have set up home down at the river at the bottom of our garden. There has been much courtship and spring shenanigans going on.  It looks like there is soon to be a batch of baby chicks. What a lovely way to celebrate Easter!

Our mallard ducks make whoopee in our stream.

Our mallard ducks make whoopee in our stream.


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The enthusiastic rooster heralded in the morning across the quiet lowveld hills. It was 3am so this fellow was certainly taking his job seriously! It was pitch dark outside and the soft patter of rain could be heard on the sodden African earth. The rooster had not woken me but merely added to my wakeful state. There was another culprit……the recently refurbished family grandfather clock.

 It was also doing things by the book. Its old hands had struck out the bewitching hour with 12 loud thuds. I listened to the gongs every hour. After that I felt qualified to comment on the quality and tone of this marvelous time piece. It had a proud rich tone and had the added benefit of a fine pedigree too. This distinguished clock had been keeping time on the farm homestead for 3 generations. The grand dame had witnessed many joyous family celebrations and faithfully sounded out the rising hour when it was time to do the day’s toil. But she was also there when it was time to savour sun downers on the patio and reflect on the day. Surely ‘she’ was allowed to be heard! The even sound comforted me in my jet lagged state. 
I always find the whole process of jumping continents a difficult one and my body clock was objecting to the 7 hour time difference.  It felt like it was trying to tell me something.

“Hey, get up! There is a whole world out there waiting to be discovered!”

He was cock of the walk!

He was cock of the walk!

Sleep had come easy that evening after a few glasses of a fine red in front of the crackling fire.  The excitement of being back in South Africa and reconnecting with our ‘old life’ had lulled me into a temporary soporific state. The soft farm bed and the joy of being horizontal instead of being cramped up in an airplane seat just added to my comfort. Oh the pure joy of stretching out my tall frame! Unfortunately my luxurious comfort did not last long as the disrupted biorhythms kicked in. Bong! The grand daddy clock’s loud dong of 12 strikes struck my wake up chord. My eyes stretched wide open and that was me done for the night.

 “Hello world, I am ready for the day!” 

But there were some benefits……I listened to the familiar sounds of an African thunder storm. It crashed and rolled down the valley and resonated through the hills. Then the heavy patter of rain clattered on the tin roof. The already damp earth soaked up more of the run off.  I was back in Africa for a while and I had to make the most of every moment! There were places to see and old friends to meet!

It takes a child to to remind us to look around...

It takes a child to to remind us to look around…

‘From the day we arrive on the planet and blinking we step into the sun, there is more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done. There is far too much to take in here more to find than can ever be found.”



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