acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Friday, July 15, 2011

midwinter musings

Its evening now and the little wooden house is flooded with golden light from the evening sun. I am about to make supper. The candles are lit for when the power goes off and its all looking rather festive.

Earlier this evening we heard the mournful death cries of a large animal - possibly a buffalo - being taken down by a predator.  We couldn't see what or where this was happening but the cries carried far and wide across the grassy floodplains. There were some splashing sounds as if this was all taking place at the edge of the water or one of the pools.

I raced to the office to let the game drivers know over the radio.  The path to the office is full of tracks. At this time of day there are human tracks interwoven with animal and bird spoor - wild dogs, hyena, elephant, impala, squirrels, partridges. Sometimes i walk along here looking at tracks and forget to look to see if the actual animal is standing there.

We have strung up a cammo net infront of the house to help it disappear into the forest. It looks pretty cool dark and shady inside now, and more like a bedouin tent. Unfortunately when the baboons find it they will probably tear it to shreds just by playing on it but until then it feels even more like a hide as we peep out onto the waterhole at passing herds.

The last two nights we have had hot water for showers.  This is such a luxury and really appreciated. The elephants had leant on our hot water system while we were away so we had to do some running repairs - but now - yeehah - boiling hot water out of the tap!! Cold showers on winter days are no fun at all.

Overall though these winter nights have been strangely quiet. I cant think that the animals have found somewhere warm to hide in this desert country of sand and water.  However, this morning early we heard lions calling, and elephants screaming in the forest so that feels a bit more normal.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

a pinch and a punch

July 1st

Well i didnt know it until last night but the planets were up to something yesterday. I had to go to the accountants with my computer to upgrade the accountancy programme. For some reason this didnt work - the disc refused to be read or acknowledged. We assumed that my computer was at fault because it was a little dusty. We live in a dusty place. 

So we tried to upload another way. This took sometime. We started to discuss some of the 'findings'  - I dont pretend to understand their job; accountants are a necessary evil to ensure our tax payments are in line with requirements.  We were spoilt with our last CA - he was so calm and kind, and always explained everything in ways i could sort of follow.  

Our new lass is a not so kind. Encounters with her are like sticking your hand in a hornets nest.  I find myself repeating "which means?" after everything she is telling me. my stress levels rise and i am trying hard not to throw my toys. The meeting is not going well.

I leave, taking faulty, dusty computer to the next town, 80kms away, where I know someone who can fix it. Having phoned first they promise to deal with it today - even though its friday afternoon and month end.

Arriving in Phalaborwa, the town is pumping with people. I struggle to find a parking space to offload - which is very unusual for this little rural town.  One of the fashion shops has some speakers outside and blaring thumping music reverberates around the square, pounding through my head.

Having delivered the box to the nice repair man, i take myself off for a lovely delicious capuccino, sipped slowly with a spoon to scoop the cream off the top.
On return, no - the computer is fine, its the disc thats faulty. I sit and wait while a plan is made to download the new programme via a memory stick. At last it works.

The car park is chaos with vehicles reversing and jamming up the exits. Once free I roar out of town. By now the day is gone and a million things that should have been done will have to wait.

At home our guests arrive five minutes after my return. My sweet god daughter and her friend, are on their way home to Botswana for the school holidays. Their Dad a long time friend of ours. They unfold from the car and settle in. We have some catching up to do.  

We even manage to watch part of the wimbledon semi finals, but Andrew Murray didnt make it through to the finals. Cmon Andrew - next year right?

The monkeys are all over the roof again now, with the mid winter cold and dryness. We are feeding them crushed maize and lucerne - which they love. But they still need to check inside the kitchen to see what we are eating.

ok planets - whats the plan for today?