Monday, 12 July 2010

Going back

I'm just back from my holidays so there's not much to tell. Everywhere I look the vegetation is burgeoning- especially in the garden. And while my back has been turned, the heather has started to bloom. Some years you get a lot of flowers, others are bloomin' awful. I think it's going to be exceptional this year.
Unusually for here, I'm taking a stalker out after a Roe buck tomorrow. That means we'll be guaranteed to see loads of does ,kids, stags and hinds.
As I've so little to say, I thought I'd give you a taste of how my blogging came about:-

Jan 31st 2009

At long, long last we have started our adventure. As expected, we set off in a state of exhaustion as a result of me having trouble getting off to sleep and Louise waking up early. I suppose that between us we've had a good night's sleep....

The flight to London could hardly be described as restful either. The moment the "fasten seatbelts" sign came on as we moved away from the terminal, Jack announced "needaweewee!". He continued his announcements with increasing frequency and volume through the taxiing,take-off and ascent until, in desparation, Louise made an unauthorised sortie to the toilet with him. This was unfortunately repelled by a stewardess and thus a panicky search of our hand luggage ensued. The final lightning swap from "big boys pants" to nappy was done to a yell of "WEEWEECOMING!" that was heard from cockpit to tailfin. How I dread tomorrow's 10 hour flight.

But for now, we are ensconsed in a comfortable but wholly unremarkable room in the Heathrow Holiday Inn. We've had a surprisingly nice meal here with Louise's folks and, as of 9.30, I'm the last man standing. But not for much longer. This rock'n'roll lifestyle ain't for pussies, y'know......

Feb 1st 2009

Hello from sunny South Africa !

And sunny it is- or was anyway. We've finally arrived at Tswalu and as I type this, it's 9.30pm and still 33 degrees (where's the little "degree" sign on this keyboard? I have a feeling I'll be needing it often.)

The trip here was a long one but I shouldn't have worried about Jack having ructions on the flights. The poor lad was catatonic with a fever all the way from Heathrow to here. We were getting more than a little concerned but after a 5 hour sleep under the air-conditioner he's a lot more sprightly. Let's just hope he's over whatever bug he's had. And talking of bugs........ but I digress. First, the flight.

The flight down to Johannesburg was a night flight and pretty run-of-the-mill. I had a window seat and (as an inveterate insomniac on any form of transport) was fascinated to see the sprawling mass of lit-up, built-up areas in Europe give way to fewer and fewer lights of any kind the further South we went. When dawn arrived I was itching for my first glimpse of the African continent but it kept the mystery up with a thick blanket of cloud right up until the approach to Jo'burg. That's not to say that I wasn't aware that I had a very different country waiting for me. An hour before landing we were at 38,000 feet and we passed a thunderhead that towered above us! We were within half a mile of this massive, dense mountain of cloud and every few seconds it would be lit up from inside by huge lightning bolts. It looked bloody impressive from where I was sitting but I reckon it would make even more of an impact experiencing it from below!

By the time we landed we were feeling somewhat travel-worn. We were expecting to be met and taken to a place in Jo'burg and perhaps get a little sleep. Not a bit of it . We were met all right, then hurried through passport control to a waiting cab then driven to another part of the airfield ( or maybe a different one, for all I know) where we waited in a lounge for a while before being joined by Mr and Mrs O. Shortly after that we boarded a small (but amazingly fast) Lear Jet and set off for Kimberly. After dropping the Os off there, we flew North from there to Tswalu. And Jack slept for practically the whole trip. Pity, because, unless he becomes a rock star, he wont be doing that again!

And so here we are, back down to earth and feeling very much out of our depth. How's THAT for a mixed metaphor? It only remains to bid you goodnight and wait and see what tomorrow brings. And the bugs? The house lights must draw them for miles, the place is moving!!

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