Monday, April 8, 2013

Monkey Mischief

We spent last week up at our plot, after delaying our departure time and again, due to some pathetic lethargy on our part.

Wet fields greeted our arrival and a Cape Gooseberry bush, heavily laden with ripe fruit, waved happily at us as we examined our garden. I picked a few  fruit and decided that I would pick a handful each day as a celebration of garden edibles being "baboon-free" in this environment, unlike our Cape Town garden.

The seasons always seem to turn on the Easter weekend  in Cape Town and, arriving on Easter Sunday, this proved to be true of the plot's environment too. It rained on and off for the whole of Monday and Tuesday and we luxuriated in being lazy and reading a pile of books. At one moment, while we were absorbed in our reading, the dogs rushed towards the window, barking. I was too late to see the monkey but Roy described it to me and I knew exactly what it looked like. (a photo later found on the internet).  It had peered inside momentarily and then dashed away on seeing the dogs and us. We walked outside to see if he was still about and then noticed some berry casings lying on the ground. Every ripe gooseberry had been picked! The single green granadilla was missing in action too!

A new idiom: A ripe berry in the hand is worth hundreds left unpicked on the bush!! 

I had no idea that this type of monkey ranged in this area. I know that there are baboons which occasionally leave the Tradouw Pass and glean fallen oats and wheat from harvested fields not too distant from our plot. So this means that there are TWO possible primate types in this environment!

Can you spot the creature in our flower box which has been nibbling on the contents?

On Wednesday, the sun shone and John pulled all the ivy creeper off the back of the bungalow, and more importantly, off the roof of the bungalow. The onduline roofing is made from some sort of pressed cardboard material and I had finally convinced Roy that it is not worth taking a risk that the ivy damages the roof with its roots and shoots.

I had long ago admitted my error in planting the wretched stuff but one of Roy's quirks, being a non-gardener, is his reluctance to kill/pull up any plant once it is established. He insisted on leaving some of the ivy clinging to the fence poles alongside the bungalow so I can foresee that this will be an ongoing item on the chore list.

Thursday, neighbour Ed and Roy helped another neighbour get to hospital. His health had steadily deteriorated over the last eighteen months and the danger of living on one's own in a fairly isolated area and without  transport was highlighted by this emergency dash to the local hospital. The stress of the morning was cured that evening with a superb dinner at Dani and Rman. She cooked a leg of lamb in her solar oven and it had the most incredible flavour. Accompanied with all sorts of delicious goodies from her garden, it showed us just what can be done if one is determined to make it all happen!

Looking at my schedule for the next few months, sadly, we won't be able to get up there again for quite a while. We left the trees, which are now big enough to cast shade, and look forward to seeing the difference that a couple of months will make.


 Planting trees today that others will enjoy tomorrow, is a worthwhile, 
selfless mission in life.


  1. Dear Roy and Linda, keep it up, we so enjoy your tales of Rietkuil and long for the day when we're there permanently, Helen and Rogan.