Firstly, I spent the last three weeks of June in Leeds, England, visiting my brother daily in hospital and then at his residence, after he underwent a huge operation to replace his aortic heart valve and repair the aortic aneurism that had developed just above the heart. The valve replacement has been on the cards since the age of about 14, but the aneurism was a nasty surprise, discovered in the last two years and increasing the urgency for the operation. We received about seven days notice of the operation date and, as you can imagine, it was a crazy rush to get myself over there before the event.
Thankfully, Leeds General Infirmary seems to be known for its excellent
While not a "Shout it from the Rooftops" kind of believer, my knees certainly saw a bit more action in the prayer department during this time. As back-up, I had notified all my friends, especially those who are known to have a "direct line", to keep prayers ongoing for us during this time and it certainly seems to have delivered a promising result and hope for the future.
Secondly, we have not been up to the plot for ages because every visit now produces angst at how our water supply is being starved by the increase in demand for water. Unfortunately, the topography works against us and the entire system depends on gravity feed and storage tanks that need to be kept full to the brim before we get any decent pressure. A tricky deal if you are only there for a couple of days and you want to check the irrigation system. A permanent owner could just sit and wait for a day with better pressure, no stress.
And finally, freezing any writing urges, this winter has been the wettest we have had in ten years in Cape Town and we have just kept ourselves tucked in against the cold, misery and short days, and not been too active in any department.
Just recently, the sunsets have improved their showing, in between the rainy outbursts and snow on top of Table Mountain.
Our local wetland is just pouring its heart out and sending surplus water on its way down to the sea.
We have worked on and off in the "new" part of our garden, getting it ready for planting out in Spring. Compost and mulch have been spread over all the re-landscaped surfaces and the process of selecting plants to disguise the retaining structures must begin. I have tons of plants grown from seeds and cuttings, so there is no shortage of resources, that is for sure.
Old ugly asbestos plant pots thrown out by one neighbour, adorn a wall of retaining blocks, thrown out by another, after some redecorating on our part.
As usual, Clivias provide a splash of colour in the wintery shade of the garden. They are a little bit early this year but are so welcome.
A few sunny days have seen local wildlife defrosting in the sun.
The other day, a fully grown Rooikat (Lynx) walked across my garden. I could hardly believe my eyes and was so disappointed that I could not lay my hands on the camera in time. While it is certainly a privilege to see a wild animal like this at such close range, I do worry about the mongoose family living in our garden. We have not seen them since. I am so pleased we do not have to worry about owning a cat which pops in and out of the cat-door. I am sure that a Rooikat would have no problem placing its smaller relative on the menu.
The local yobs sit about in the feeble sunshine, on roof-tops, to check whether there are any edibles available for snatching.
The Blesbok in the nearby Nature Reserve make (eat) 'hay' while the sun shines, before the next rainy moment.
Roll on Spring!