acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

evening elephants

Evening. The sun is sending honey pink streamers across the sky. The impala herd flows in procession from left to right and back again. They are like a school of fish swimming through a jungle of green leaves and grass – filing past windows in the view. The ground birds are calling – proclaiming their territories. The light is soft – diffused.




From the forest the crack of a branch breaking, then another signals elephants. We sit waiting for them to emerge from the forest, watching the curtain of green for glimpses of elephant shapes. The moon is high, waxing gibbious on its way to full moon. A blue moon to mark the start of 2010. Once in a blue moon – perhaps this time the new years resolutions will hold?



The birds settle and the bush goes quiet as the day shift knock off, and the night shift are starting to wake. The elephants wait as light fades, until it is the same colour as their dusty grey hides. Pieces of grey appear amongst the green. A glint of a tusk gleams whitely. It all happens fast now. Elephants are morphing out of the forest right left and centre. Suddenly our view is full of mighty Jurassic creatures.



Matriarchs walk purposefully to the waterhole, tiny calves in tow. The bulls rush to join them in the delicious reed beds, but soon the cows and calves are pushed on as the waterhole fills up with bulls young and old. They fan out. Browsing on new mopane leaves, pulling up tufts of lush green grass, checking everything for palatability – they haven’t been here in a while and the summer growth is enticing.



The small waterhole nearest the house, is a favourite drinking spot of the warthogs who mud bath on the edges. A young elephant discovers this emerald jewel, and is followed by his bigger siblings. They crowd in, and the air is full of munching slurping noises. A push and shove of silent beasts in grey light, their presence told by their noisy eating habits only.



Light fades to monochrome moonlight. Grey shapes and shadows move all around amid the bushes and trees. One elephant lifts its trunk high. The wind is swirling and she has caught out scent. The group pauses for a second or two, and then turn as one, moving steadily away. Withdrawing from the cool water and luscious salad feast. They melt into the twilight – moving fast but not running. Here and there a flash of ivory, giant legs like tree trunks make negative shapes, ears flap dark shadows. The stragglers follow the herd on into the mopane. A bat swoops low overhead and the elephants are gone like a memory of a dream.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

the tree outside



the tree outside - its a marula tree
resplendent in summer green with the gift of grass around its base
marula fruits form the base for Amarula
a creamy christmas tipple some of you may be familiar with?
elephants love marula fruits too
this tree is a grand old lady and grants us a delicious pool of shade
shade produced by trees cools the environment to the equivalent of
numerous air conditioning units
we need them
so much




view through the back door

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

my christmas tree



here it is! a metal baobab sculpture by South African artist Dave Roussoux
it makes the perfect christmas tree
with eight white candles
doesnt drop needles
or require you to cut, transplant or otherwise traumatise a
naturally growing tree

we do displace a few spiders though when we drag it out each year

we will light all the candles on friday
and think about absent friends and family

the candles will probably last about two minutes
in this heat

stop global warming now OK!

To all my bloggy friends and visitors who may be packing cars, or doing last minute shopping
stocking up on bog rolls, light bulbs and last minute gifts
wading thru snow
or still at work while sunshine beckons through the window

thank you for your friendship and all the fun
wishing you and yours the happiest of festive seasons
in every way

xxx

Monday, December 7, 2009

of Schools and Ships and Hermit Crabs



As memories of mozambique time sail into the distance like a brightly coloured ship, I am bobbing on turbulent summer waters in a sea of green, while HMS Christmas Day steams steadily towards me, belching tinsel smoke and trailing streamers. She is on course, and will not be deterred.





But first – Mozambique. Getting there in pouring rain, that turned the national coastal road into a slippery slide of sloshy mud and potholes with drop-offs alongside to give you a full rush of vertigo. A narrow navigable strip in the center that had to be vied for with massive growling juggernauts hurtling confidently towards us. It was slow going, and it got dark, and the adventure would have gripped the imagination of any Play Station addict. But we made it. The rain became drizzle, the mud cleared and the traffic lessened as we drove further north.


Five hours on a bush track, and we were there. The warm sun sweeping away the remaining clouds, and the wide vista of aqua blues poured balm on knotted shoulders and necks. Paradise found.






First things first – down the boardwalk to the soft white sand. Dip toes in gentle silky wavelets. Greet the hermit crabs labouring through sand under water – leaving a tracery of tracks in dappled sunlight. Watch out for the sunglass stealing fish – who are there in gangs and leap from the water at a moments notice. Breathe deeply, and again, slow the pace.








Days of Dhow Jones Cruising lay ahead but first we must deliver the boxes of donated school books, stationary, toys, pencils and crayons – lovingly compiled by Geli of Letters from Usedom, who has been supporting the primary school in Morape village in this way for the past seven years. School had closed for the holidays, but word was sent around and many of the children showed up to meet us at the school.






Thanks Geli!!!

The school is currently a loosely fenced area of sand with a series of classrooms in various states of disrepair. The main school room having been destroyed in the cyclone three years ago. These kids have very little in terms of learning aids, but have no shortage of energy and enthusiasm – especially when it came to the two footballs that tumbled out of one of the boxes! Thanks to the wonderful efforts of our friends in the blogosphere, we will be able to rebuild one of these school rooms in the new year – with a tin roof, cement floor, and real solid walls.



one of the classrooms



this little girl arrived late having run all the way in her best dress





The gesture sounds simple, but it is no small feat organizing logistics, transport of materials by dhow across the bay; getting the approval and co-operation of the Chief, and village elders, and and..but we persevere and at last it looks do-able especially as the fathers of the children now seem willing to participate and assist where they can with labour, moving materials, gathering local materials and so on. It is wonderful to see their enthusiasm and interest.



On the way back from school we stopped to buy coconuts; and Dhow Jones came over the horizon. She has a motor now – an on board that sounds a lot like a tractor but can get you home when the wind drops or blows the wrong way.






She took us to islands of dreams – white sand dunes emerging from turquoise seas; she showed us turtles and dolphins and even a dugong. Gazing down into the giant aquarium seas watching starfish or many colours drift slowly by. When we were cooked, thirsty, tired and salty, she brought us safely back to camp backlit by technicolour sunsets, or later lit by soft moonlight on gentle water.







Time stood still in languid moments, but behind the scenes it was racing, and the week sped away. We drove home in two days, and jumped back in at the deep end. Suddenly everything needs to be done before the country shuts down for the Christmas holidays. We made lists; we are ticking things off – we are getting through it all. I started chipping away at the shopping list. I even stumbled over a CD of Christmas carols by Bob Dylan.

Truly. I will get it all done – I will. Then on that strange day of days, when so many people fight loneliness, I will cook a turkey , and we will pull crackers, read corny jokes, eat and drink, and toast to absent friends and family.



But first back to the list….





P.S - I finished my Nanowrimo challenge - Fifty Thousand Words in one month!! It felt good - a sense of achievement. One of these days I shall look back and read the strange tale of a river, a window in time, and things that can happen there. I had fun with it - though at times words flowed easier than at other times, and maybe the ending was abstract - and certainly the whole script calls for a rewrite, but the journey was all.


























Thursday, November 19, 2009

gonna spend some time in mozambique - YES

Drizzling soaking rain. The ground is a saturated sponge. The trees are bursting to the seams with new green grown. Tiny leaves are poking their way out of holes in the branches. The road is a running stream and all the dams are full of froggy water.




Tomorrow we are driving to mozambique. I have been writing words like a creature possessed – trying to stay ahead of the word count for the next few days when we are on the road. But I find I am having so much fun with this nanowrimo thing. The characters have become people in my head. I talk about them confusing the living with the fictional. The story would not withstand an expert eye but who cares! Its my story and its all about getting fifty thousand words down. FIFTY THOUSAND WORDS. And I am nearly at forty thousand now. The thought blows my mind. Its more words than I have spoken aloud this whole year I am sure.



Where they come from nobody knows. Where they are going only they know.



So I am taking it with me, and when I have put my feet in that warm silk sea, and gazed at the fish from the boardwalk; and had my first sighting of Dhow Jones on the horizon; and eaten my first prawn, or pineapple, then I shall pull out my laptop and with luck bash out the final stages.



Funny I always worried about how to start a book. But that was easy – I just jumped in the water and started swimming. There was no plot or plan , I just started pushing out words. Then a sort of story line started to emerge – several actually – and I worried about how they would all come together. Now I wonder how to finish.



No pictures today. Sorry but I must go and pack my swimmies and my sunnies. When we get back this place will have transformed into summer green. Stay well everyone, keep smiling – even when people think you are deranged – and enjoy it all. Blog on!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

frog party is on tonight



Yesterday was sweltering hot. The ground was a furnace – I went out without shoes and had to hop skip and jump to the shade. I walked around the house dripping sweat from every pore like a leaky water sack. I jumped in the pool, I had a shower, and each gave five minutes respite before the radiator started boiling again.




At sunset we saw the big male lion walk past the front of the house. He went after a warthog, which broke into a flat out run. I have never seen a warthog stretch his pace so far. He escaped the thundering lion. The lion stopped by the waterhole and looked around to see we were watching. He looked right at us, and then stooped to drink at the water for long long minutes.



A sound behind the house, the dassies scampering from the trees, a branch breaking. The lion looked up and ran over to the water tank where the rest of the pride had brought down a young nyalla. We drove around and there they all were. Some with bloodied fore-paws, plenty of growling and munching sounds; the cubs had not eaten yet. The spotlight reflected pairs of eyes all around the footpath and in the rocks.



We came home. Then the researchers arrived. It felt odd to be in the house, while researchers spot lit feeding lions just by our water tank. So we turned the lights off and watched again.





During the night, I was woken by flashes of light. Bright as fireworks – lightening all around us. I got up to unplug the phones, and computers. The thunder was still far away and I wondered if it would rain at all.



Then it started. Our first proper rain of the season. Sounds like stones being thrown onto our roof, gaining momentum to a heavy thrumming. The ground so hard, and hot, during the day, now ran with rivers of silver rain – lit by the lightening show.




Water poured in rivulets down roads and pathways, finding its way to the dam.




This morning a whole new world of freshness. Bright green new leaves already showing in sprays along grey branches. The earth plumped up like a sponge is soft and cool to walk on. Bird calls fill the air, and the bull frogs are out. Tonight there will be a frog party in every waterhole – deafening us with their distinctive calls. The base notes of bull frogs, the tenors of red toads, trilling of rubber frogs, and glooping of bubbling kasinas. I can’t resist it. We go there and the sound completely fills up our whole heads. I will record it …. again; and send it to vaguely interested pals…..again. It never ceases to amaze me.






The frog party is ON tonight everyone - and if you can find a prince in there somewhere GOOD LUCK!



Saturday, November 7, 2009

magical moment



Its getting late and I've written thousands of words today - or 'southands' as some people would say.
This NaNoWriMo thing has taken over my brain - fun though it is - its a froggy leap of faith


so i thought we would nip away together to a special place where the sea is like warm silk and the fish jump out of the water and steal your sunglasses



we could go by boat - on the magnificent Dhow Jones. Her well worn timbers creak and moan when she is under way - its like she is talking to you or singing a wooden sea shanty



and then we could wish on stars!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Crocodile Tales




We are sitting on the stoep of my friends' lovely home, with the broad sweep of the Chobe River visible through a window in the evergreen forest.  It has been a stinking hot day, and the pool sparkles invitingly. Two bull terriers bark at a partially submerged pool brush – their water sport; one of them dives in to retrieve and emerges sleek as a seal pup.

We are all old friends. We have spent so much time together over the years in this part of the world. We start to reminisce – like real old people. Do you remember when….
Sounds of construction, traffic, heavy transport vehicles, rumble back from the main road. A river of sound and chaos passing by unseen in the heat zone. We are caught in an island of serenity between the Chobe and the river of sound.

Somehow the conversation turns to crocodiles.  Long ago we used to jump off the jetty and swim in the cool brown river. No-one would really think seriously of doing that today. The crocodile population has increased enormously, and they are not shy.

Some attribute this to escapees from the nearby crocodile farm. Apparently these penned crocodiles are in the habit of climbing out of their pens at night and into the river – returning home at dawn to lie around and wait for feeding time. I can't say whether this is true or an urban legend. What is real though is that there seem to be many more crocodiles, and they don't move away too easily from the boats.

Fishermen have been grabbed and pulled into the water. There are signs warning people to stay away from the banks. Ignore these at your peril.  In a campsite, a young German couple put their tent on the wrong side of the warning sign. That night a crocodile crawled out of the river and grabbed the girl through the tent. Luckily her screams awoke the other campers and a young guide leaped onto the back of the crocodile and managed to free the girl. She escaped with some bite marks and scars to tell the tale.

Another man, persuaded by his son to go 'skinny dipping' in the river after a few drinks – watched as a crocodile grabbed his son and swam away with him into the swirling depths.
That night the Defense Force and local residents of the town searched and searched the river and banks but found nothing.

At the rapids, a local man was fishing when a crocodile leaped up and grabbed his dog. Crocodiles love to eat dogs.  It wasn't such a big crocodile so the man managed to fight it off, but his hands and arms were badly mauled in the process. He crawled to the roadside to get help.  Someone stopped and he was rushed to the nearest emergency ward in Francis town – 5 hours away.  He was kept there for a few weeks for treatment and recovery. In the meantime his faithful dog sat by the roadside, where he had left his bloodied shirt, and refused to be moved. He waited and waited. Soon people started to bring him food.  He stayed right there until his master returned!

Each story told evokes another tale – some are legends and some are all too current. Children stolen by crocodiles; crocodiles hunted – wanted for murder - the evidence held in their stomachs.  Sometimes many crocodiles are shot before the guilty party is discovered. Sometimes the culprit is never found.





Despite the technology of town, building sites, traffic jams and road rage, the river continues steadily, and the crocodiles – unchanged for millennia – continue their reptilian ways. We grab another cold beer from the fridge and reminisce some more.








Friday, October 16, 2009

the jiz of giraffes



Inspired by a recent comment on my blog from Reya of After The Gold Puppy, I shall attempt to describe giraffes from a very non scientific but observational place.


Giraffes are cool. They may have invented cool. They stand around like fashion models, with long legs and long necks, gazing out of heavy lidded limpid eyes through a veil of dark lashes. They are aloof. Different. They don't speak or make a noise that we can hear. They communicate between themselves via ultrasound – a secret language only giraffes can share.


Giraffes are unintrusive. They are quintessentially African, able to co-exist in areas with human livestock by their ability to reach higher browsing levels. Their collective noun is a Journey of Giraffes. Although often seen in small groups the larger group is usually more widely scattered, so they seem to travel together over a broad space keeping an eye out for each other over the treetops. We usually find that there are no giraffes at all in sight, and then suddenly they are everywhere – peeping out from behind trees, anthills and cruising the floodplains.



Giraffes can stare longer and harder than any other living thing. They can win any staring contest hands down. If they see something unusual or potentially harmful, they stare fixedly while deciding whether they need to flee. If we are looking for lions, we often try to follow the giraffes gaze, but sometimes they are just dozing, or ruminating.


They live on tiny little leaves of the acacia trees which they strip with the aid of their long blue tongues. Sometimes they chew on old bones for calcium. They have special valves in their neck so that when they stoop to drink at the waterhole, the blood keeps flowing to and from their brains – otherwise they would faint.



Because they are so quiet, aloof and elegant, we tend to assume they are non aggressive. However bull giraffes can get into angry fights when they swing their giant strong necks at the opponent – aiming a good size body blow. Their horns are bony extensions of their skulls covered with hide. On older bulls the bone can show through on the tips. An angry bull fight consists of graceful arcs and swoops, necks entwined, that can be to the death of the opponent.


Their main defence against predators is a powerful back kicking motion delivered while in flight.  They are strong enough to break a lions jaw, and send it flying. It is not uncommon to see giraffes with the scars of close encounters with lions, on their flanks. While on their feet they are pretty agile and strong, so a predator would need to knock them off balance in order to pull them down – or catch them in a tight corner.


They are very vulnerable when stooping to drink , and their stares pierce the surrounding bush for long minutes before they decide it is safe to do so.  In order to reach the water they have to spread their forelegs really wide, which also makes slippery mud a hazard. If their feet slip they can damage themselves so badly that they may not be able to get back onto them again. It is also a hazard of the mating procedure – so its not all plain sailing to be a giraffe.



I love it when the giraffes move in around the studio. They usually stay for several days and venture ever closer. It does mean though, that they are short of browsing in the reserve so it's a sign of a difficult time for them.


Their jigsaw pattered hides are distinctive and evocative, and amazingly good camouflage. If they are standing still amongst the trees, it is possible to drive right up to and almost past them before seeing them. Standing still and staring seems to be their first resort. Perhaps they are the information gatherers of the spectrum- silently watching all others go about their business and daily dramas. Giraffes are calm.


"Take Giraffes - why are they so dinosaur like and why cant they speak? I know why they survive but its like they go out of their way to be bizarre - a long snake like tongue, two horns sticking out of their heads that they hardly use.  They  seem to be on a different time scale to us too.  The stare too long.  They take too long to drink. Their clocks are ticking at a different pace. They have big bones - yet they eat little leaves, make tiny droppings, ; whats going on up there? Its embarassing - all they do is stare and not speak.  "  KJ

They don't peck on your windows, poo in your kitchen, steal your food, chase your guests, bite, climb trees, or scream in your ear.
Giraffes are cool.



Friday, October 2, 2009

promoted



I woke up this morning to two giraffes staring through my window. Giraffes can stare in a way that would be rude in anyone else, but somehow not in their case. I sat up and they spun on their heels and moved back down the driveway, feeling safer staring from behind the bare branches of the leadwood tree.

After the weeks of swelter, we have had cool windy days. We are on the edge of the rain that is happening further inland and on the Natal coast. We have no rain yet, and may still not get any but at least it is blissfully cool and we can move around and think.

Yesterday I was promoted. I understand that in the mighty corporate world, it is a great sign of achievement and success when one is moved into an office with a window – and even more so if that window has a spectacular view – more than a wall of bricks!  Well yesterday I moved out of my tiny cluttered office with no window, into a big beautiful blue room with a view of giraffes walking by.  It used to be a guest room but now its mine!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Summer Swelter







Lying in bed I feel  like my internal radiator is overheating. There is not a breath of wind and the hot air sits heavy on me like a large invisible elephant.  I get up and take a cold shower allowing the air to partially dry me before trying to sleep again. Mercifully before dawn there is a convection wind that sends dry leaves raining down on our tin roof. Breathe deeply - cool air - not cold but cooler.


We take an early morning drive out as the sun inches higher behind the tree line -  breathing cool dust laden air . The wind dries my eyeballs, reminding me of a Rolling Stones song from way back when. The song runs around my brain repeating half remembered words.  A hyena comes running in to the waterhole flicking his tail. He lies down quickly in the muddy water, drinking it in and lying in it at the same time.


Baboons arrive. The whole troop walks purposefully in. They are earlier today than usual. The hyena is lying down in the water blinking slow blinks - keeping an eye on the comings and goings from the water.  Baboons watch him warily and settle on the opposite side of the water, leaning forward to drink - rear ends in the air - tails hanging in a row.  Having drunk their fill they file off to the shade of a small hebaclada thorn bush resplendent with yellow pompom flowers. They rest in the shade - mothers feeding small babies, bigger babies hanging on the branches.


The hyena lies flat all day. We start to wonder if he is sick or injured in some way.


There has been an elephant in camp all day. He has been keeping a low profile whenever we walk or drive past.  He has been peacefully feeding- leaving large brown droppings along the pathways like giant bran muffins gently steaming. He is hardly visible amongst the greying leaves and tree trunks.  Sometime after midday we see him hurrying to the waterhole. The hyena is forced to move away from the waters edge.






Clearly the elephant's  radiator is close to boiling as he spends a good half an hour sluicing water onto his parched feet, and throwing water over his back and ears, fanning his ears constantly. Finally he starts to relax and after a long drink he slowly walks off into the grasslands for a change of diet.


The sky is no longer blue, but a soft dust grey.


Evening, and the convection happens in reverse. A welcome breeze cools the sweat running on our bodies and faces.  The yellow grasses glow brighter in the late afternoon sun - outshining the sky.


The sun sinks - a giant dayglo beachball in the sky. It descends slowly through the layers of dust fading inch by inch. Francolins proclaim the end of day loudly calling from their vantage points. Daylight ebbs away and the sky belongs to the stars again.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

airstrip

We drove to the airstrip yesterday afternoon. We left early and followed the edge of the water, breathing heady scents of new blossoms on the acacia trees and enjoying the active bird life on the flooded grasslands.  We were early at the airstrip so we parked in the shade on a small rise and stood on a fallen tree.
All around us were golden grasslands and tree islands of acacias, sausage trees and llala palms.  The horizon a tree line in shades of hazy blue.  The airstrip is a cleared strip of land in this sea of golden grass.  The first impression of people who arrive here by plane is the warmth of the sun, and the scent of wild sage.
Elephants move slowly between tree islands reminding me of distant sailing ships. Their ears the billowing sails. Their course set along well used paths.  Some more are wallowing in mud pools, sloshing and splashing the cool mud over their warm backs. Still more have crossed the water and are grazing on lush green grasses on the other side.  Further across a herd of buffalo have moved into a palm island. Their presence heralds lion activity, as the lions follow the buffalo herds and prey on them nightly.
We wait and listen for the small plane, turning and turning on our lookout log, taking in the view. Each time we turn something has changed, emerged, vanished. We know there are lions there somewhere but they are hidden from our view - probably lying flat in island shade, or deep in the yellow grass.
This is how the world made itself - meant itself to be - without all the rattle and clatter of cities and traffic.  Bird calls fill the air. The anthill we stand on is a living thing - a hive of industry. Everything in its niche fulfilling its role which we humans have vigorously tried to separated ourselves from.
We strain our ears for the sound of the plane. It comes into view, glinting in the late afternoon sun like an evening star.  It looks so small and vulnerable as it circles overhead turning to land.  A flying machine - always an awesome thought.
They land neatly, and taxi up the strip - the wind whisking their dust far and away.
People unfold and emerge chattering. The pilot opens the luggage pod and bags are pulled out and retrieved by several hands.  We are here to collect a parcel - a food order from town - for ourselves. We are handed the mail bag for Selinda and another parcel for camp.  
Guests for the lodge are settled into their awaiting vehicle. We let them leave first to save them riding in our dust.  They take the floodplain road and we head straight home to watch the big red sun setting in the purple haze; and the amber moon take up its post in the eastern sky.

Friday, September 4, 2009

picture window

We came back to Selinda yesterday. It was a three day drive. I thought you might like some pictures taken through the windscreen as we went along.  Some of the blurs are beetle juice, and others are  chips from flying stones.
Part of the long road we travelled runs to the south and west of the great Makgadikgadi  Pans and east of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Round about a town called Rakops the scenery is flatter than a pancake. A bright white moonscape of open salt pans, spikey grasslands, and stunted acacia bushes. Dustdevils travel the open plains freely - coasting about on the horizon and sometimes boiling up in your immediate view and spinning across the mirage laden tar.
People live here. Traditional style villages of mud and thatch dwellings provide scant shelter from such an elemental zone. Donkeys, hobbled in two's and three's still taste the wind and try to run in their tragi-comic shuffle. 
Cattle are rounded up on horseback - cowboy country. Road hazards are mainly livestock - cattle, donkeys, horses, goats. There are no fences and in such a giant landscape, they seem intent for some reason on snoozing on the tar. 
This road takes us to Maun - safari capital of Botswana and the jumping off point to the Okavango Delta. A sprawling dusty town built around supplying the tourism industry. We caught up with some pals, and bought supplies then set off through the Moremi Game Reserve heading west to get north.
Things got interesting after we crossed the bridge at Kwai.  Contractors are building a new calcrete road, there are detours for construction, and detours for new floodwaters and pretty soon you only have the shadows on the sand  to tell you which direction you are heading in.  We found ourselves on a track going west, threading through mopane forests and flooded grasslands. Driving through water then sand for miles and miles. We needed to go north, but kept heading further west until sometime mid afternoon we came to a junction.  You could say we were lost, in that we didnt know for sure where we were. 
So we chose the track that went north, assuming it would eventually connect with a route we knew that would take us to camp. We were lucky the track stayed true north but it rolled and rolled through scrub mopane forest with hardly a break in the scenery for two hours. We tried to keep the courage of our convictions along the way, but couldnt help but wonder. Thoughts wandered to Dr Livingstone, and later Selous, trekking through this endless mopane at a much slower pace, desparate to find water.
The shadows grew longer. I had the sun on my left shoulder and K had the moon on his right. Just as we were beginning to despair we arrived at the crossroads on the TFC (tsetse fly control) road and over the way the last leg of the journey to Selinda.
Floodplains opened up around us and lions were calling as evening fell. Peace descended and all the rattle and clatter of travel and towns eased out of our shoulders. It felt so good.
Oh and for those who were following my previous posts about the Selinda Spillway and water pushing in from the Okavango River after 30 years of dryness. Well the two channels met whilst we were gone. Apparently after constant checking and monitoring, the last few meters went so fast that everyone missed it! there was a celebration gathering to mark the occasion anyhow as new water is Big News in a desert country!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

red carpet hour



The hugely talented Nicky, at Absolute Vanilla.blogspot.com, and whose prolific writing and creative imagination have me awestruck – has very kindly listed Monkeys on the Roof on her roll call to receive this illustrious award. Thanks Nicky!




The award is the Kreativ Blogger award and the rules are:



1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.

4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.

5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.

6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.



Ahem so seven things about me that might be interesting….even mildly….thinks…





1. I first popped into the world in Canada – New Westminster, BC. Apparently it is beautiful there though I have yet to return. We left when I was small (was there ever a time?) but I think I get visceral memories when I see north american scenes, lakes and coasts with big pine forests. I own an inch of a totem pole somewhere there, but still haven’t found the certificate to prove it;

2. I did schooling in England and often still miss my English friends and life, but I have an amazing African life – living in wild beautiful places which is full of adventure and wonderment;

3. My sister had a horse called Kennedy who had a huge barrel chest and frequently ran away with me like a express train – all well meant of course but I am of the sack of potatoes style of riding. He also used to stumble mid gallop. It’s a wonder I stayed on at all – and I didn’t always. I still love horses but prefer ones that can stop when you want to;

4. Monkeys have been thundering up and down my roof all day.

5. I once did a bike trip through the Kalahari with my friend Pam to prove we could. It was the best fun.

6. I love clear night skies and the change of seasons, my wonderful friends, reading a good book, hearing lions at night, dark chocolate, being in the blogosphere, listening to elephants browsing quietly, the smell of first rain, having water on tap, that first cup of tea, laughter, incense, music, art and the miracle of life; and so many more things..

7. sometimes I wonder…………..



The seven Kreativ Bloggers I nominate – and this is the toughest part – what only seven?? – and trying to avoid those that have been nominated already….



Petie at Verily I go

Bonnie at Original Art Studio

Tam at Fleeing Muses

Pink Dogwood from Wandering Mind

Kathryn from Last visible dog

Chris from Middenshire Chronicles

Lauri from Thoughts from Botswana

Janelle from Ngorobob Hill House
Janet from Under a Blood Red Sky








Dear Lauri from Thoughts from Botswana gave me a beautiful award some time back, and nows the time. It was the Friendship Award


Blogs that receive the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers.


Kristin from Candy Sandwich
Miranda from The Times of Miranda
Janice from Life in Matthews
Nicky from Absolute Vanilla
Tessa from Aerial Armadillo
Reya from The Gold Puppy
Lori from Lori Times Five
as always if my links dont work please look on my sidebar.


Hurrah! Congrats everyone and Blog On xx