Friday, July 13, 2012

Winter works

We went up to the plot on Friday at the end of June to attend a meeting of the local Water Committee. The main purpose was to elect a new chairman.

Our Water Scheme is run by the local residents. Water is bought in bulk from a neighbouring town and then, through a long reticulation scheme and some storage tanks, delivered to any resident who applies for it and pays the various fees involved. 

You can imagine the impact on the scheme (made up of not more than about 50 residents)  when some residents don't pay their accounts, thousands of litres are stolen (yes!)  or if a leak in the system occurs. The whole set-up is a teeny microcosm of larger government entities where the majority of those with a well developed sense of responsibility, end up paying for the have-nots, the will-nots, disasters and corruption, in an effort to keep the resource available and the administration afloat (pun intended). 

We were fortunate to have good weather, despite the cold. John pitched up on the Monday and Tuesday and proved his amazing worth again by painting and sealing the one fascia board. The mere thought of the 4 metre drop from the scaffolding was something that made my feet tingle but he bounced around up there like a well-trained acrobat. His tiny stature and nimbleness were of great advantage. 

Witpoot, aka Pote, John's happy little dog, accompanies him everywhere. She does get lonely on the weekends when John goes off to Swellendam to spend his wages at the local and then usually latches onto us if we happen to be there, even at the risk of being bathed and sprayed with Tick & Flea preventative.

It is always a miracle to see Pote each time we arrive there - that she has survived sleeping in the open outside John's house, covered in ticks from cattle fields etc. She overwhelms us with happiness when she sees us and, if I didn't have to return there again, I would probably dognap her.

Pote keeps an eye on things

We sealed the wood with a membrane and waterproofing paint. It's a bit of an experiment which I hope will negate the need to paint or varnish this ever again. Of course, the wood could just go rotten beneath the membrane but hopefully not in our lifetime!

John had plenty of time to continue with the task of sealing the bricks 
with some water-resistant sealer. 


We still have a long way to go to be water-tight. Apart from unsealed bricks,  Roy has left gaps in the brickwork where he has various pipes in the cavity-wall and these pipes still have to be connected and tested in the future. Of course, they are all on the weather-wall, along with the two doors which are also not water-tight yet, so the winter rains bring quite a lot of wet and dampness into the building. 


The days were lovely but the evenings were chilly. Each evening we toasted our little bedroom with the gas heater before ducking under the covers.

New Moon Rise

On Wednesday we left to visit my friend in Laingsburg as we had done in January, along the R62 and the R323.  The R323 is an excellent way to link up with the N1 from the R62 and well worth knowing about. The 50 km gravel road from Ladismith area to Laingsburg went by so much faster this second time around, although I had forgotten one or two very sharp hairpin-bends which left me gasping with surprise as we sped along. Luckily it is well sign-posted and nobody could say that they were not warned to pack their parachutes. 

One lesson I learned was not to drink a cup of coffee along this route, even from a cup fitted with a lid and tiny sip-hole!
With wet coffee stains on trousers, I arrived to visit my friend.