Tag Archives: farming

Some bare facts about living on a farm in South Africa:


Some bare facts about living on a farm in South Africa:

  • You have to watch out for snakes like puffadders and ringhals and some of my friends have Cape Cobra’s too. They are VERY aggressive.
  • You can’t pop out to the Kwik Spar or Woolies food store for supper ingredients. Your pantry has to be filled with incidentals and ingredients to whip up a cake or a dinner for 10 at all times.
  • You can’t walk around in your knickers as someone will invariably be walking past the window with a pile of wood and see you.
  • You have to be on the look out for strangers.
  • It’s peaceful
  • There is dust everywhere
  • Everything packs up at once: for example

geyser bursts

tap leaks

shower door comes off its rails

toilet blocks(this will ONLY happen when you about to greet a carload of visitors or when everyone has sat down to tea!)

tractor needs a new gear box

pump gets flooded

pool filter packs up

washing machine refuses to spin

fridge makes a last dying sound

  • the above did not all happen at once but I have been in a similar situation
  • Oh and the worst…..is not being able to get decent “experienced handy men to work on the farm…such as tilers, electricians, plumbers, builders etc. In town you have a choice of 30 plus, we have one choice!
  • AND THE worst…..sending your child away to boarding school….boo hoo
  • oh and everyone expects 3 x 3 course meals when they visit you

I had a little nap after lunch, that’s probably why I’m grumpy. That’s another thing you can do on a farm….send Molly off with the nanny and have a lovely after lunch snooze.

oh and eat copious amounts of biltong and drink lovely fresh water to balance out the water retention.

and our kids can play with guns and shoot buck up and shit. (said with tongue in cheek!)

Living on a farm is a juxtaposition in more ways than one.





A little bit of this and a little bit of that………..


So the kitchen renovations began last week. Pulling off of tiles, plastering, undercoats etc. Today we start on the cupboards. By the end of the week we should be on granite tops, painting and next week hopefully my absolutely delicious flooring I’ve chosen. Then curtains etc.

Fun, to a point. Messy to the moon and back. I find myself uninspired to cook too. My freezer is crammed with Woolies soups, breads, meals etc. Yes, I’ve become a lazy whore  woman. Nina Deli has made a killing out of me with their ready cooked lasagnes.

Oh by the way, Woolies Pumpkin and Sage soup is delicious. Just saying. I’ve never really cooked with Sage. I’m more of a fresh coriander, basil, parsley, thyme, organum and mint kinda gal. So it was lovely to taste that combo together. I shall definitely be looking into what else I can cook with Sage. Yes, I can be a philistine limited cook.

Yesterday we had the photographic club here for the day. The theme was Railway tunnels and Trains. John took them to the Vulture Kranz and they photographed the Cape Vulture in all its splendour. The kids and I joined them after lunch. Spent a lovely morning slothing. Although they all arrived at 6-30am, so I was up early serving coffee.

This morning I pruned my roses, I’ll be shifting some rose bushes and lavender bushes. My one bed is annoying the crap out of me. It’s all unbalanced and has no flow. I get vexed every time I look at it. I need to seriously get a life.

Have a good week.



Valentines dinner and a right royal time….


Last night’s Valentine dinner was an absolute winner. Yay. Thought the wine and chocolate pairing would be ridiculed but the farmers embraced and loved it. Thanks to CharliesBird for the heads up and instructions. Made me look and sound like a pro!

Here is the link:


We started with the chocolate and wine pairing. I had a table laid out with a white tablecloth, ten glasses, and 5 bottles of different Leopards Leap  wine and 5 different kinds of Lindt Chocolate. Surprisingly the Chilli chocolate went down like a lead balloon with the favourites being the wine and Sea Salt and Mint combo.

I thought 5 couples a perfect size for the dinner party. The wine tasting wine was finished before we started dinner. While standing at the pairing table after the tasting, I served Cream of chicken, mushroom and veg soup in tall shot glasses. Went down well with some asking for seconds.

We then sat down and I served deep-fried camembert halves rolled in egg, flour and cooked couscous on a bed of fresh beetroot, rocket and red onion. accompanying this I had individual chinese spoons with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. with more wine.

The next course was deboned leg of lamb, stuffed with roasted almonds, spinach, onion, garlic. (must just say at this point that I deboned and tied the stuffed leg up myself with string. looked professional, thanks to YOU TUBE and google). I served this with roasted new potatoes, sweet potatoes and wedges of red onion and also steamed green beans. with more red wine!

For dessert I made mini cake pops, with a chocolate layer, heart-shaped chocolate brownies and a sliver of chocolate cheesecake.

Altogether a stunning evening, GREAT company, lots of laughs. John and I had a great time.

Now……on another note, am floundering a bit at the moment with framing. I have NEVER had so much work in my work room at any one time before. The work is piling in on a daily basis and I need to get cracking so I don’t lose the plot. I normally have a two-week lead time for delivery but I’m on about a months lead time at the moment. That’s how busy I am. Am grateful…..but phew tog mense!


what’s in my makeup bag?

eye shadow in shades of browns

ear buds


blush brush

Estee Lauder double wear


and my favourite lipstick of all time REVLON Colourstay Overtime. ETERNAL ROSE

I love make up. It transports me from a frump to someone who has confidence. Am at that age where I need to start wearing make up.

The pigmentation, spots and blemishes are frightfully bad and a bit of foundation can cover up a multitude of sins!!!

It’s frightfully hot here in the Eastern Cape at the moment. On a good note, John thought one of his cows died of Heart Water (which is VERY VERY serious) but got the autopsy results back from the vet and it was something completely different. Something not serious and unavoidable. Glad for his sake.

Have a great day………..


end of the year salti crax……


Great that Summer has shown her face for more than 3 days. Another stunning sunny day.

So horray (I hate the word hurrah), for warm weather and the promise of lazy days in the pool, sundowners, sunburn and cheerful dispositions. and of course work in between.

Jingle bell rock, the smell of pine shedding on my new carpet (well, newish), the promise of a holiday for two weeks away from the same mundane-ness. I love everyone around me, but it’s great to have a break. To just re-group, chill and smell the sea. Those of you that live close to the sea, probably don’t realise the healing properties of the sea, I suppose just as I don’t realise the full healing properties of wide open spaces, our view of the valleys and mountains in the distance, of thorn trees and aloes, of blesbuck and Cape Vultures.

I’ve stagnated a bit on the Christmas present front and need to get my backside into gear.

One of my mom’s friends, adult children have discovered that their child is cerebral palsy. My mom is now the expert and is telling me what she told the friend about all the stages  I went through. You know, when you discover the cerebral palsy thaannnng. Well, I must say, I never knew I went through all those stages. If you detect an underlining undercurrent of annoyance, yes, you’d be correct! It’s still a raw emotional thing for us and remembering that time in the black whole of Calcutta (do you remember Auburn Alice?) is sort of stepping over private unchartered territory. surmising and bringing it up may result in a snapping puffadder. (that’s assuming puffadders could snap)

Although I didn’t snap, I courteously ended the phone call and moved on.

One month until I’m on holiday.

Yay for me!


read sloth read…….


It’s 10-20am and Molls is still sleeping. She woke up during the night and decided to play ‘silly buggers” by laughing and shrieking and having a right old royal time. When she does this, I check up on her and we leave her safely in her bed. We have a rule in this house. 7-30pm to 6am is sleep time. If you choose to wake up during this time it is for your  own entertainment. You may be awake as long as you are quiet and in your bed. How you choose to spend your sleep time is up to you. (give or take a few loose parameters, as we know with kids)

All my ladies(domestics) have gone to town to sort something out with their Child Grants. Not sure what? All I heard was that they wouldn’t be here the whole of Thursday. After that my brain scrambled. I panicked coz I can’t really remember when last I made my bed and I’ve never cleaned the fireplace out.

I’m never alone in my house. It’s real treat. There’s always staff, kids and John. It’s an awesome opportunity to read and sloth and read again.

So off I go, to lie on my crisp, white 400 thread count Percale linen. I’ll read and read until I hear John’s  farm bakkie pull up and then I’ll run with amazing speed into the office and pretend I’ve been working the whole morning. My mamma never raised no fool.

You see, I have a lot of admin to do and a fair amount of framing…so my slothful reading session will not be completely guilt free. I am a woman after all. Guilt is part of my genetic makeup.

P.s Just completed The light between two oceans. Very good read and I’m halfway through the The Good Daughter. Also good. Set in Iran.

It’s raining cats and dogs………


It’s pissing down in these here parts. Sunny as anything at home, don my tan coloured kiff slingbacks, get in the car, drive kids to school and it starts pissing down. Drop Molly off at school, hop out of the car and feel the mud squish between my toes. Fliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip. I hate wet feet. It’s my pet peeve. I hate wet grass on my feet. Makes me ghrill (prounounced- ghhhhhr-ill). I do barefoot, but not in mud and wet grass.

On the one hand, at least the farmers are happy with the moisture. Makes for a peaceful atmosphere jong!

In the shearing shed….


Shearing has started.

Haven’t got there, waiting for kids to finish school.

Here is a photo of Aidan and his chommies when he was a mere 1 and a half years old. Don’t you just love it?…one of my favourites ever.

P.S Auburn Alice, I have the most divine pressie for you. I bought it this morning. Can’t wait to give it to you.