Wednesday, May 21, 2014


It is well over two years since our cats died unexpectedly, three in the space of six months. Since then, I have resisted acquiring another cat. Its difficult to be away from home when you have pets.

 Instead, we took on a second dog, Midge. She is small and fulfills many yearnings for a lap-pet. It is easy enough to take dogs with us to our plot. 

But I have been overwhelmed at times by the huge hole in my life that only a cat can fill. 

These last two years have been the first cat-less life lived in at least 5 decades! 

Meet our new kitty, Gypsy. 

She was lost or abandoned by somebody and there is no way to track down her previous owner. No microchip. No lost adverts with photographs to match her appearance. 

She has fitted so perfectly into our lives and its as though we have always known each other. 

Yes, she has taken over our hearts completely!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Oom Geeltjie's Finale

Following on soon from the last building session, in the last week of April, Roy went up for one final fling with the concrete mixer at the plot. 

Brother-in-law once again joined him for the first weekend. Roy found himself repeating a photograph of sunrise, sunset...



The final cement and concrete work totaled five working days and, as per usual, it was hectic. The weather delayed the session by a day and on one rainy day, after such delays,  building took place well after sunset by the light of two solar lights. 

The "to-do" list included three main tasks: screed topping on the rest of the verandah; a concrete apron in front of the cellar opening, with a step to hide exposed foundations; the last layers of the brick platform, built to elevate a water tank, a planned future purchase. 

One problem that needed to be solved was the rough finish of the step in front of the sliding doors. The opening for the door proved to be half a brick too high when built a few years ago and the quick solution then was just to chop off half the height of the bricks. Its rough-shod and uneven levels were a headache now.

The bricklayer had to carefully plan levels  to provide for water  run-off as well as be something aesthetically pleasing.

Exposed foundations needed to be neatened off in conjunction with a concrete apron outside that cellar opening. The apron needs to divert water flow away from the opening.

Rain caused them to pin up shade-cloth to protect the wet cement, on the screed under the deck,  from water erosion overnight. 

Before returning to Cape Town, final touches included John filling the brick platform, painting the rails with NS4 and Roy installing the steps on the stairway. 

John could only help on weekends and public holidays as he is currently working for someone else and duties had to be light because he was sporting a hand injury.

So at last, Oom Geeltjie, the concrete mixer, has turned his last load of cement for us and awaits a new project and owner for the future.