Friday, 28 April 2017

Moments of Joy

Making friends with a tame springbok

We are back home. My brother-in-law is (incredibly) holding on, his pride intact, not yet bed-ridden, but terribly thin. Every day that we were there, many people came to visit and every day some-one phoned and said they would be coming the next day. So we made cakes and served endless tea and coffee and he willed himself to get out of bed, shower and dress - for his guests. Those in the know say it is unbelievable how long cancer sufferers can last when to the observer things look terminal. In between, farming must go on: at one stage we were asked to feed a hand-reared baby 'duiker' (a small buck) while our nephew was away for a night.  At first, she was very reluctant to accept the bottle, although she did lick my neck when I sat on the floor.  Eventually, I stood up, accidentally holding the bottle between my legs - and voilĂ ! Success.
Getting the right position by chance
Then she was OK.
Then she was OK.  My sister-in-law's garden looks amazing (lots of underground water and a full-time gardener). It's very therapeutic and I know it will sustain her when she is alone. Another time, I said hello to a previously hand-reared springbok, now fully grown and in with the herd.  She will still separate herself from them and come to the fence to renew her ties with humans. But increasingly less, as it should be.  And so: a carer having been installed (but not yet being allowed to help) we have come home to catch up on our lives. We have had out first shower of rain so we are hoping the drought this end of South Africa will have a chance of being broken this season. Not so our economic 'Junk' status.  But this is Africa - land of the corrupt presidential regimes.  Little did Nelson Mandela envisage such a scenario when he and his advisers devised our 'wonderful Constitution' which unfortunately, allows a President basically to have Absolute Power - and we all know where that leads.  George Orwell had it right.
Part of my sister-in-law's stunning garden

Saturday, 8 April 2017


Stem not dependant on Viagra (giggle)

I haven't managed a post for a month so I thought I would need a catchy title to get some attention .......No, seriously I will mention Viagra in passing...
It's been a difficult month.  We've been down to the Karoo for ten days to help out: my brother-in-law is in the last stages of liver cancer and felt too unwell to attend the wedding of his oldest grand-son down here near Cape Town.  As all the family would be attending, we offered to keep them company on the farm so they would not be alone (read:isolated) for 5 days.  In the end, we stayed for ten and a humbling experience it was.  Almost every day, people came from near and far to say their last goodbyes - one life-long friend even flew down from Johannesburg.  We are back in Cape Town for the time being, and he is still not giving in, but we are on standby...
Do you like this flower?  We went for a walk last week and saw several of these in the our drought-devastated countryside. At first I thought they were made of plastic, which some kind person had planted here and there to provide a spot of colour for walkers. Not so.  I found the name in our wild-flower book, the "March Flower". We've never seen it before, in all the years we have walked here.
Regarding Viagra,  I was reading an (I hope exaggerated) crime novel about the professional golf circuit in America.  Think: huge prize money, groupies, match-fixing, drugs etc.  It was actually distasteful and sleazy; I was quite shocked at the repeated mention that a large number of the golfers regularly took doses of viagra as a matter of course - and they weren't even old!
Can it have a basis in truth? 
Just asking.