Monthly Archives: December 2013

Gone, completely round the bend


I missed out on a family get together when we went to the Victoria Falls.

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At this time of the year, here in Zimbabwe, there are flies everywhere. As the first rains arrive, they breed up and they bug the hell out of me. They sit all over my legs when I try to catch a zizz, all over the table, on the food…

Twinks also hates them. But for her, its more of a love/hate thing. She stalks along the bed and then jumps on them. I think I’ve only seen her catch one, and it was already reeling from a headache I gave it when I swatted it. We have one of those square tent mozzie nets which I can put down in the afternoon. What fun for Twinks. She leaps up at the flies gathered on the outside of the net, gets her fingernails caught, and suspended, like a bug on a spiders web, yells for help.

Not good for the afternoon zizzz

A fly landed on my screen just now and I watched it, illuminated from the back. A minute imitation of Twinks sitting on the end of the bed, washing her face. And while a fly doesn’t push it’s leg past it’s ear, it washes up over those huge bug eyes, round the back of its head, first with one forearm and then the next….It shimies to one side, stops and then washes again. Maybe flies are not dirty pooffy things. Maybe they are as clean as cats are, although more annoying.
Watching the fly I remember our Biology teacher, Mrs Sherlaw, describing how a fly eats…: “first the fly lands on its chosen food, say a dog turd. It regurgitates it’s last meal, mixes it well into a small portion of the turd, all into a sludgy mess and sucks up the runny liquid…” a little like the trunk on the tame elephants at Victoria Falls…
“Then…” continues our Biology teacher….“it flies to your Christmas dinner. Regurgitates its last meal…..”

Boy. I wish I had not eschewed bug spray…and where the hell is that cloth for cleaning my screen…

Twinks the boxing cat

Twinks can box too…

The elusive…


I’m practicing my wild life shots and still very far from getting it right…I took several shots of this little guy, who obligingly stood still for me. This pic is my favourite one of the whole trip…I love these little guys

Hwange National ParkThe automatic lens focused on the foliage, but I liked it, cos it made him more elusive…the next shot focused more on him as he crept away.

We had a pair of these on the farm. They used to play together in the very early morning in the field by the shed. Early risers could watch them until the sun chased the mist away…I never got any photos of them…

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Just one of those days…

Just one of those days…

Wobbling up a ladder, planing and sanding an Oregon pine beam for our new kitchen, I felt my phone vibrate. Our newly born foal had a frightful diarrhea and would I please come over to help.

It had been one of those days…I hadn’t eaten lunch, so just popped a chewing gum in my mouth hoping it would take the hunger pangs away. I jumped into the car, and headed up to see what I could do. The foal, only two days old had gutsed itself on colostrum so I couldn’t understand how it could possibly get diarrhea.
When I got up there, I found a very uncomfortable mum, huge udders and a very thirsty foal. I avoided mummy’s kicks while I drained the milk out, held her while the foal suckled and now, with milk streaks on my bare feet and grease stains on my cheeks, horse hair everywhere, I headed home for a bath. Coffee first though. I wanted a strong cup of coffee with thick cream.

Yup – it was one of those days – I didn’t have cream. Luckily I remembered this on my way down Hillside Road, not at my gate!
No probo – I turned left instead of right, at the robo and parked in the little sloped parking slots I am so thankful for in Bulawayo. Another thing I am thankful for is that the security guard who works this parking lot wears a smart uniform, helps me reverse and never solicits money to look after my car. So I ALWAYS give him a coin.

Another thing I’m thankful for is that here in Bulawayo we don’t have poor-whites in the car parks. I don’t know what it is with them, but their body language is just perfect for that guilt complex I have sitting there in my tummy…waiting. In Johannesburg they are even at the robo’s. Where Rabie crosses Republic in Randburg, there is a scary, tall woman who stalks along between the cars and stares you down. I avoid her if I can and if I can’t, I run up my window. On our recent trip I watched with glee, a man in an open BMW try to keep looking forwards while she harangued him!

Have you noticed, poor whites are never white. They are always brown. Why is that?

I parked my car, greeted the security guard and walked into the shop. I always walk fast, not only when heading home for coffee and a bath, its just me. Almost level with the tills, I was stopped by the shop security.
He told me I couldn’t go into the supermarket.
“How come?” I asked in between chews.
Because I didn’t have any shoes on, he said.
I had shoes in the car, but didn’t want to put my dirty feet into them, and I only wanted a bottle of cream which is in the fridge closest to the door.

Still chewing and looking down my long nose at him I said, “You’re kidding, right?”

I glanced over at the fridge intending to ask him to fetch me the bottle of cream and saw a reflection of myself in the glass door.
I saw a person dressed in dirty shorts, no shoes, ankles splattered. Brown skinned and chewing gum, with hair hanging un-brushed and dusty, I thought the guy had a point. Its not often I really look at myself and see how others see me.

The arrogant look was entirely out of place on this brown skinned, poor-white. So I nodded at him thinking I would go to Greenvale where George certainly won’t kick me out, shoes or no shoes.
Leaving the supermarket, I could only smile at the flabbergasted car guard as he took my proffered coin. Open mouthed, he stared from me to the supermarket guard, to my car, unable to believe his eyes. He tried to change my mind, remonstrate with the other guard, but I was gone, off in a hurry, for that mug of creamy coffee and deep bath…
My novel Silk Threads can be downloaded here:

And Jack and Jill, here:

Please take a look



Zimboes are brought up tough and they remain tough.
Ages ago, I stood next to a guy at an auction whom I know well enough to chat with casually. It was a little chilly that day. The wind blew through the auction house and seemed to make it worse.
“That’s a nice jacket,” I said to him.
He nodded.
We waited a bit while the auctioneer did his thing, and since we weren’t interested in buying anything…he decided to tell me the story behind the jacket.
“You know us Zimboes are tough, hey?” he said and I nodded.

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