South Africa: 18th January 2019
Siri fees Lucy the horse and she uses her left hoof to tip the plastic bowl over. She prefers to eat her feed of the dusty ground rather than out the bowl. She has been whinnying in grief most of the night. Yesterday, her companion, Gypsy drifted off to horse Nirvana and was buried on the plot. Lucy stood like a mourner, watching the entire process, with wide-eyed sadness.
Just 11 days before we leave South Africa for England.
I am staying on smallholding, staying with friends. My last days in South Africa will be spent in this most African of locations.
Life on a small holding
I’ve lived alone this past year, with my two cats for company and occasional visits from my teenage son and friends. I have fallen into “living on your own” routines.
Eating dinner in bed watching Netflix.
Staying in your PJs all day at the weekend.
Having cooked oats for supper rather than a proper meal.
Now, I am living with other people.
I am adjusting and transitioning to their routines.
To having sundowners just after 5pm (it’s summer here of course).
To three meals a day. What a treat!
And a host of animals.
My friends have a small menagerie: A horse, 10 massive tortoises, four dogs, three budgies, some fish and a Siamese cat.
I am adding my two kitties to their household.
And the animals’ routines.
In the morning, the horse and cat must be fed.
During the day, perhaps some fresh cabbage or lettuce for the tortoises.
In the evenings, the dogs, birds and fish.
Sometimes, monkeys come to visit and eat the shrivelled oranges from the drought-ridden fruit trees. This drives the dogs crazy as the monkeys are canny enough to stay high up in the trees.
Last night, we had a flypast of hadedas over the course of an hour – squawking their message to whoever wanted to listen. When they fly, they utter their loud three to four note calls in the evenings when returning to their roost trees. Raucus birds, I will not miss them!
I was born in Africa.
I have been back here in South Africa for 18 years.
I cannot put into words the joy of being able to “live close” to a smidgen of real Africa before my departure for the Northern Hemisphere.
My final memories will be good ones.
I am so grateful for the space around me; for my friends’ hospitality and for them providing a loving home for my cats. Thank you a million times!