Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Hello there- I'm back after a long absence punctuated by doctors, hospitals and other impediments. I'm not in Aurora at the moment but in Pretoria, and the most noteworthy thing to happen since I got here was snow - for the first time ever, here! All of 3mm thick at the height of the 'storm.'  Fortunately we have a huge supply of wood, from a couple of fallen trees, and a fireplace which that evening, warmed the house.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fisheries Museum

In Velddrif an old and historically interesting building, near the fishing harbour, has been converted into a museum filled with fascinating bits and pieces, from the fossilised bill of a swordfish to the most up-to-date equipment, aimed to make the most of the rich seas off our West Coast. Sadly these are rapidly being depleted by illicit overfishing by Far Eastern countries.
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Monday, September 12, 2011


Growing in a small crack in the edge of the tarred road, this albuca junctifolia has survived against all odds. The wild flowers of this area have to be tough in the face of climatic and human challenges.
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

While we're talking houses...

Take a look at this one. It is in the Kruger National Park and each unit is simply a timber platform with a canvas-tented superstructure. It overlooks a river bed with a seasonal stream of water where animals come to drink or to wander up the river. And it's my idea of heaven.

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Friday, September 9, 2011


Also in Velddrif, this old house has seen the addition of a 'braai' (a barbecue hearth) that echoes the older structure.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Another old house

Another older house in Velddrif, with the tell-tale columns that date from the earlier part of the 20th century, but still retaining the air of serenity that goes with a simple lifestyle.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011


This old cottage, beautifully converted by its owners, is typical of the early cottages along the Berg River. The big chimney breast held a cast-iron wood-burning stove, and the little window in it provided light for the cook. This end room would have been the living space and other rooms would have been bedrooms. It was a simple and compact lifestyle, that today seems to be coming back into its own. Except, of course, where ostentation rules!

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Palms and pines seem unlikely neighbours, in Piketberg, with low cloud beinging promise of misty rain.

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Monday, September 5, 2011


A bridge leads to the front door of a house in Velddrif, and a label on the big bluegum tree warns 'beware of the troll.' I am enchanted - and I wonder whether this Scandinavian newcomer is challenging the place of our South African tokolosh!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mist on the mountain

In Piketberg, the mist rolls down the mountain into the town, until a little later it turns into a fine rain
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