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Wednesday, 9 May 2012


It has been quite chilly of late, especially early in the morning, which is to be expected in May in South Africa, since the Sun is already 6 weeks into the Northern hemisphere. Today is quite unusual - 87°F (that's 30°C) here in Martindale. The farm is looking good after the 2 inches of rain we had during a thunderstorm about a week ago. The lawn is green but has just about gotten into its winter hibernation program. This is the time of year when molehills start appearing, but so far there are just scattered examples - warnings of things to come. 

The farm is still for sale (and will remain so until sold). One prospect who looked over the place 3 weeks ago took 2 weeks to let me know it was too far from Grahamstown and lacking in security. How little they know, this must be one of the most secure farms in the area - not one incursion in the six years we've been here, other than the locals collecting firewood, which I have no objection to. I have enough wood here to build a couple of houses and to keep the stove hot for several years. A German couple turned up with Philip, an old friend, on Saturday to look over the place. They are interested but have to sell their property in Deutschland. They did enjoy the Guavas though, and carried of a few handfuls. I'm glad someone likes them - I personally cant stand them, and I have 14 guava trees (4 pink and 10 white) on the property, as well as nartjes. A local farmer phoned a few minutes ago and has taken the details of the farm. He seems fairly interested so will join the list of hopefuls.

 Headman, who is the local preacher and "odd job man" had his last remaining teeth removed yesterday - presumably at the government hospital in Grahamstown. He was told, and I find this odd, to expect his false teeth to be ready for a fitting in December - 7 months? I guess that's yet another sign of the way things are going in this country. I think everyone (except for HRH Robert Mugabe) knows how Zimbabwe became a god forsaken country. It seems as if South Africa is going the same way - a little more slowly perhaps, but the signs are all there. Even today there was an extensive item on CNN investigating the gradual failure of democracy in the country.

 Liz  has now been back in the US of A for 2 weeks - how time flies, and yet the days are very long when she's not here. We chat either on the phone (MagicJack) or Skype every afternoon or evening for a good 30 minutes or so. She looks very happy, and clearly enjoys being with Dena and the kids. Come on someone - buy this little corner of Paradise so that I can fly myself and Katie across the Pond to be with her. What I need is some keen philanthropist who wants to set up a small home industry school, or some other project, for the local Martindale community. At present they just exist, and there will be few opportunities for the 14 kids who attend the farm school in the future, unless someone steps in. This place would make an ideal base for such a project. Indeed, one of my prospective purchasers (who was turned down by the banks) had such a project in mind, had the sale gone through.