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Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Musical Birds

I am prompted to write this following a strange happening yesterday. It is winter in the Eastern Cape, and it had been raining for much of the morning and the previous night, but in the afternoon the wind had dropped to a serene calm – not enough to stir the wind chimes on my porch. I was watching one of the few local satellite Olympics channels, when the wind chimes started ringing out their music – something these particular chimes had not done for many a day, since the sail and clapper had been missing for some time. I decided to investigate this weird occurrence and peered out through the window.

Some time ago I had made a perch for a pair of swallows nesting just a few feet away. It is just a length of stiff electricians wire put there to replace a string of Christmas lights that the swallows had become used to. There on the wire was perched a glossy yellow-eyed starling, a frequent visitor to our yard. The starling had decided to play with the shiny silver tubes of the chimes and with the strings from which they are suspended. I would be interested in hearin whether this was typical of the behavior of this species.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

An External Facelift

The New Look

It's now a couple of months since Liz returned to the States to stay with her daughter - I will follow just as soon as I have sold the farm. Speaking of which, I decided to carry out a bit of a face lift on its exterior. I had been quoted R23,000  by a traveling decorator from Natal a couple of years ago - no doubt a quote today would be far more. Well, I hired a local man (actually he also doubles as the local preacher ) , who gave me a quote for the complete job for R750 (labor only). I supplied the materials and hardware and Headman got to work at the end of last month - he finished the job yesterday, and as a result what was a dirty pink color that had been untouched for more than 20 years is now a pristine white with a gray trim. Total cost R1,150 for materials and R1,000 for labor (I gave him a bonus of R250), one tenth of what was originally quoted. The sole object of this exercise is to try to get the farm sold a little quicker.

The Old Look

If by chance you're interested in more details you can see them here. I'm very happy with the results.