We seem to have been fixing up our house forever…I wonder if it will ever be a guest lodge? A blog of our (slow) progress would have been good, but then of course, we started before blogs existed. But I do have photographs, so perhaps I will compile a picturelogg.

Park Road


In 1995 the in-laws put it up for sale. We didn’t really want THIS house, but needed a place to stay overnight, have a base for farm deliveries, and couldn’t really imagine our lives without that facility.
What we did know, is that this property fulfilled the “three ‘P’s” the estate agents always go on about when it comes to choosing real estate. Position, Position and Position. Situated in Park Road, it’s close enough to town to walk, yet quiet enough to get a decent nights sleep. We reasoned it will one day be designated for ‘commercial purposes,’ so can be used to run a business.

So we bought it…

For ages, we didn’t really know what we wanted from it. We used it as a commune – managed to get rid of my brother – he hooked up with one of our tenants!!! We continued to have the stock feed delivered here, the cement…run my husband’s consulting business.

And then…we got kicked out of our house on the farm…. and we had somewhere to go…unlike many farmers. Shell shocked we retreated into it, trying to make some sense of our lives, find some direction. We still had two kids living at home, so just knuckled down to try to make a home here…
People often walk into it cooing…”Oh what a lovely old house…” and I always roll my eyes thinking, “Yeah, you think its cute cos you don’t have to pay for the maintenance.” And it’s steep let me tell you. No sooner do you fix a faulty light, than the drain pipes break. Turn your back for a second and the termites eat the front door…
At some point, when both kids had left home, we realised neither of us wanted to rattle around in a huge house. We were happiest in the ‘hut’ out the back. We decided a guest lodge would be the best thing, because even if we had a few guests in a month, it would give us some reason to keep the place up…a lounge, dining room, we never use. Five bedrooms….

As I’m sure you must have gathered, my life is not complete without animals…and no, I really can’t make any of those awful jokes about men…it would smack far too much of pots and kettles…

We brought the animals we could from the farm, added chickens… Once Shakyk had to stay here a day or two. Problem is he is such a friendly guy every time we came out of the house he neighed. Our muted “Keep it down, Shaykh, the neighbour is a vet and kinda knows a horse’s neigh…” didn’t stop him. We had a boar and two females for a while…Actually we have been able to keep a whole barn-load of animals over the years.

All tolerated by Sasha…the focus of this post. Gone to doggy heaven, poisoned doing her job, Sasha was the best dog we have ever had here in this house. She knew her job absolutely. My sister, who ran a business from the Heyman side, had clients arriving constantly. Shasha would sheppard them in, lie wagging her tail under the desk. Yet woe betide the beggar who dug in the dustbins, or a hawker with a cap. Sasha (and Jabulani) hated anything wearing a cap that looked anything, policemanlike.


For a ferocious rotty cross labbie, she loved kids…any kids. Even those irritating school kids who ran up to the gate, trying to get a rise out of her.


And… Sasha kept up a running battle with the neighbours dogs…conducted through a hole in the wall….about the size of a twenty cent piece….Midsummernights, dreamlike.

She would stuff her nose into the hole, retreat and attack the neighbouring nose, sometimes for hours. She had a distinctive high pitched yelp, perhaps caused by her leap when she tried to eye out the guy next door.

When we added the bay window in our room, the bricks were piled against the neighhbours wall….The pics following tell their own story…

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11 responses »

  1. LOL at the “innocent I tell you” caption!

    I’m kinda intrigued by the whole face lift/renovation thing with your home. I’d love to see the progress in pictures. And with all the maintenance, did you ever consider tearing down and rebuilding, or is it that some of the value (and potential value) is in the house’s age?

    • Regularly Lesley, do I threaten to pull the whole thing down….but it would cost too much to rebuild with Zim as it is…You have reminded me though, I should take more photos, start a blog of our (slow) progress.

      The house is more than 100 years old and some of it is built with mud bricks. It’s expanded rather alot since it was built, but I think, judging by comments when people come into the house…it does has some appeal and hence our guest lodge may get more visitors than some of the square rooms I see in other parts of suburbs. I know a property where the owners knocked down the house and built rooms all round it….they just put a sort of open shed thing in the middle as a community room, kitchen lounge…the rest was full up with rooms. I’m sorry, rather go to a hotel then…thats not a guest lodge???

      But yes, thanks for kicking my butt…I must get going on that!

      And that dog…let me tell you she had a look for everything…I could write stacks of stories about her…I remember at nights, she would hate to leave us…go outside. When we said, “Common out Sasha,” she would slink down, a sad, sad look on her face, occasionally flitting a beseeching glance up at me to see if it was working, while lifting one foot ever so slowly, putting it down, checking again….If I gave in, she would be so awfully happy…but ten minutes later, rouse me from the bath to come and open the door for her… She was a magic dog. May she RIP and the bastards who poisoned her, FRY

      • LOL only you can end a very sweet story with “and the bastards who poisoned her, FRY.” Sounds like a sweet dog to me. RIP Sasha.

        Haha already up in the competition’s face. I’m guessing perhaps some visitors do prefer boring blocks of identical rooms. But that’s not to my taste – I prefer your kind of lodge with old (and perhaps even beaten-up) walls and all…

        If that’s one picture of it in this post, then it does look appealing.

        And maybe if I sign up now, well before the lodge opens, I may get a big discount (hey I’m a Zimbo).

      • Scroungers (that’s another slang word..) to the man are Zimboes…always on the cheap and yes, that is a pic of the house from the Park Road side…the back looks like the “tradesmans entrance” The pic of Sash with P is taken in the lounge – the wooden paneling is in that room only and it probably Oregon pine like the floors.
        Sash is standing on the pile of bricks we used when we added the bay window to the room we are now using, but that BCC have marked “bedroom 3″…possibly may change that to something like York room, or Sturges room or something more memorable!

      • haha I remember ‘scrounger’ from my Milton High days.

        Sounds to me like the preps are in full swing. I’ll keep my eye out for the (slow) progress updates.

        If you don’t want to publish a whole other blog you could just set up a page in this one. That way, you can direct lodge-progress-update traffic to ST…

      • Did you guys have Milton speak, like Falcon speak? I did my final linguistics paper on “Falcon Speak” It was cool fun – I went to all the boys asking them their own slang and where it came from, and yes – linguistics was another of those ‘filler’ subjects like archaeology although I had to do more work for it!

      • You know I’m not really sure if ours was unique, as in different from that of schools like Prince Edwards, Petra, etc. But yes, it was certainly some slang. Perhaps it was one of its kind because we really mixed it up with Ndebele.

        Haha that’s an interesting filler subject. I think the one class I actually took as a pure filler class was called Global Geography. Learned a lot about certain world regions, and realized the world is really messed up.

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