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Category Archives: Happiness

Sounds, Planting and Last Narcissi

I can’t show you a photo for my first beautiful thing tonight.  I just want to share the sounds as we sat in the sunshine having a cup of tea this afternoon. The dominant sound was the baaing of the sheep in the field behind (see a couple of days ago for a photo of the lambs) closely followed by the gentle buzzing of insects seeking out the pollen and interrupted occasionally by the crying of seagulls. What a joy. We are so lucky to live where we do.

The lovely Mr S has planted lots of Cosmos this evening as I was out singing.  We have long loved Cosmos, especially the white ones, and were delighted to find them growing so profusely  alongside the roads in South Africa. Now, I will love them even more, even the pink ones!

Cosmos

We have moved the finished pots of tulips and daffodils to a space at the back for their leaves to die down and will plant up other pots to replace them on the steps. I cut the last few Narcissi to enjoy them indoors.

Narcissi

 

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KwaZulu Natal – Last Day

Dawn over the mountains this morning was as beautiful as every other here.

Today we leave for the airport and will be at home on Friday afternoon! We have been in Africa!

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2018 in environment, Happiness

 

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KwaZulu Natal – Day 9

May 2nd 2018

We are in the Drakensburg Mountains, where my Dad was at some point in WW2. It feels a bit of a pilgrimage to be treading in his footsteps, seeing things he saw and he is in my thoughts as we take in all the grandeur.
We were up early to catch the Sunbirds collecting their nectar then after breakfast went on a walk to Belinda Falls, a pretty if a bit scrambly walk.

Sun bird

Later, after the gang had set off for their Grade 5, 5 hour walk up the mountains we went with the Leader’s wife to the Lake Jarred Overlook, another gentle and delightful walk spotting birds and flowers.

African Hoopoe

Grasshopper whose wings flash red when he flies

Beautiful remains of a Grasshopper, as yet unidentified

 

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KwaZulu Natal – Day 2

On our first full day here we woke to Nyala prancing about outside our window, spent the morning being immersed in the Zulu culture with a fabulous guide who took us first to a Primary School (where the 41 children in one class sang and danced for us. We were asked if we would sing or dance for the children. I sang Skinny Marinka for them and got a round of applause. D danced and was similarly rewarded!).  ) Thence we went to a village where we learned a great deal of fascinating information about the local way of life and their customs.

South Africa’s National Anthem which I sang along with, having learned it many years ago with The Quirky Choir

In the Zulu village

The afternoon was a long walk through the woods and alongside the water at False Bay, quite a challenge!12,500 steps on my counter, 24.000 on someone else’s!

On the trail

Yellow Billed Stork

 

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Labels, Seeds and a Good Read

British Summer Time begins tomorrow as we put our clocks forward tonight so it felt appropriate to start planning our summer garden. Off we went to the Garden Centre. First I found some pleasing terracotta labels for the vegetable patch.

Labels for the veg

We found lots of flower seeds – below are the Viola seeds for the vegetable trough near the kitchen where I plant salad stuffs, some herbs and these little flowers that are brilliant for decorating salads and desserts.

Seeds for the trough

I’ve just finished reading Sebastian Barry’s amazing novel, ‘Days Without End’. He writes in a most accessible yet surprising style, full of lyricism and humour that catches the reader unawares. There are so many little quotations that caught my imagination and some of which are now in my note book. I love the following with its alliteration and unexpectedness. “Your brain is molten in its bowl of bones.”
If you haven’t read it, give it a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I think you may be horrified and delighted in equal measure.  If you have read it, please let me know what you thought in the comments below.

A cracking good read!

P.S.  We haven’t seen our little Bullfinch today. In fact, it has been a very odd day with no birds at the feeders. For the first time this Winter/Spring, the feeders have stayed full all day.

 

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What a Difference a Day Makes!

After four freezing snow and wind-filled days, first there was rain to melt most of the snow and then glorious and truly warm sunshine so off we went for a walk along the coast at Godrevy. It was a gloriously peaceful walk given the past four rather fraught days.

Leftover snow and the Godrevy lighthouse

Haematopus ostralegus, Oyster catchers on a rock with Gulls who have just landed

From Godrevy across to St Ives in warm winter sun

Seal – look at his whiskers!

We met a beautiful dog who was having a wonderful time dashing about but who stopped and posed for us when asked by his owner!

Jake, who is blind

 

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St Ives, Happy Dogs and A Robin

The tide was in when we arrived in St Ives, the sea being whipped into white horses.

St Ives – tide in

I loved the poetry pillars in Tate St Ives.

Poem in The Tate Gallery

We always love watching dogs playing on the beach. These two were racing about and I’m pleased that my photo caught their sandy splashes and their reflection.

Dogs dashing through the waves

By the time we had visited Tate St Ives and were on our way back to the train, the tide was well out.

St Ives – tide out

A very friendly Robin was sheltering from the bitter wind in the shelter on the platform as were many of those waiting for the train.

Robin by my feet in the shelter on the station

 

 

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