a prospective property owner’s … dream?

Driving sedately through a quiet neighbourhood with a butterfly-stomach and a racing mind seems somehow at odds.

And then there is only this vague sense of knowing the destination of this trip. Rounding a corner, further up the street an assortment of vehicles are visible. Yeah, okay this is it. Climbing out of the car seems like a great effort. The heavy rhythm of a bouncing heart is not helping. Something doesn’t feel right. But… Dad’s car is here too. This must be mine. My property. My house. Finally!

Heartened by the thought I walk to the open front door with a lighter step. Wait! The feeling of doom returns. What am I missing here? Entering the house, to the right I encounter a wall. My mind scramble to try and make sense of it. There shouldn’t be a wall. The house has an open plan design. Right? I creep a little forward to look into the room. Tiles, a horrendous shade of pink, unevenly spaced, decorate the opposite wall. To the left… shouldn’t there be a kitchen? But that is an open bathroom – no walls, no doors. A tingle start at the back of my neck and render the rest of my body momentarily motionless. What is going on here?!

Finally going to explore the rest of the building I find a tiny, tiny space which seems to be the kitchen at the back of the open bathroom. No-no-no-no! This can’t be right. The rest of the place is all nooks and crannies too. Hearing voices outside I turn around and storm back out the front door. My Dad is talking with a guy. The builder?

Time seems to pick up speed as I confront the builder guy – demanding to see the house plans. BECAUSE! This is not what I wanted!! This is not… I look at the house plans and it is exactly the same as the house behind me. What?! And why isn’t the plans signed off – no signatures, no stamps? Was this even approved?! Searching frantically over the paper my eye catches the number of the plot noted on it. Hey! HEY!

It isn’t mine! IT. IS. NOT. MINE!

scary house

scary house (Photo credit: Janek Kloss)

I wake up, my heart still pounding, my mind and body weighted down with relief!

Phew!  That was a close call.

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waaa . . . babies on my doorstep!

Incredible!  You go to sleep, like any other night and nothing is out of the ordinary.

You get up at 2 am, still a little bit asleep. You keep the lights low, or completely off in support of greener living.

You go to your computer to finish the work you started the night before.  You reach for your mouse to wake up the screen, and your brain can’t quite compute the different feel to the table-cloth your arm is resting on.

Then your screen wakes up . . .

baby spiders - can you see them?

My photography skills are much worse in the middle of the night, but you get the idea.

little invaders

I was looking for the place where they hatched, but found some more under the chair’s arm. . .

more babies

I have no idea what kind of spiders these are . . . um. . .  were.  They definitely aren’t the offspring of my usual visitors (rain spiders)!  Button spiders maybe?

Right, so they weren’t exactly on my doorstep – but I had to make you come look, hadn’t I?!

dear ant family from the colony outside my house

I confess that I find much to admire about you.  You are clever little creatures, yes you are!

You give new meaning to the terms “cooperation” and “teamwork”.  Or maybe it’s the other way around?

You would leave humans eating your dust in the sport of powerlifting.  I might be misinformed but I’ve never heard of  a human who can carry 50x his/her own weight!

You’ve mastered the art of magic – appearing within seconds when we leave a crumb or foodstuff unattended.

You are hard workers that don’t mind clearing away the debris of dead insects that litter our floors.

You have some not so nice qualities as well, but right now, my biggest disappointment in you is this –

Why have you not yet figure out a way to catch fleas?!  They are smaller than you in size – mostly.  They have one-track minds, only looking for things to jump on and suck dry.  They are tasty, yum-yum! – but you’ll not think me rude if I decline your kind invitation to dinner. . . or lunch. . . or breakfast,  I’m sure.

Can’t you be true to your clever little ways and find a solution to my problem, I beg of you?!

Kieter begs you twice as hard and promise not to flick you off her tail when you catch a ride from outside!!

a friendly competition of “caption this . . .”

About four weeks ago, Lisa, over at Notes from Africa, started a new, fun series called “Caption this . . .”  As if creative thinking isn’t challenging enough, she’s laid down some rules, and provided some guidelines.  I really hope you’ll go over there and join in the fun, if you haven’t already!

Lisa: “When you spend time watching animals and birds in the bush, you often see them in amusing situations or poses.  It always makes me wonder what they’re thinking. It’s so easy to ascribe human emotions to them. So I thought I’d give you all a chance to think up captions for some of the funnier photographs we have taken.”

having fun at Port St Francis in aid of rhinos

Who’d have thunk it?!  Raising funds and awareness for a serious cause doesn’t have to be dull, boring or “heavy”.  Just ask the people of St Francis Bay who participated in the Run for Rhinos organized by St Francis Sport, St Francis Tourism and Port St Francis.  St Francis Bay is a small town a few kilometer down the coast from Jeffrey’s Bay.

Now, you know me.  I’m not a journalist, but I felt like “reporting” on this event, if only because I finally stopped threatening to participate and actually joined in.  And I’m glad I did.

In honor of World Rhino Day 2011, which was officially celebrated on Thursday, 22 September, the fundraiser, in form of a fun run, was held on Saturday, 24 September.  Saturday was also the day on which we celebrated Heritage Day.

Run for Rhinos was also a fundraiser for the Chipembere Rhino Foundation, a privately run and registered non-profit organisation fighting to protect these animals against poachers.  ”It would be a great and tragic loss if a specie that has been in existence for around 50 million years would be extinct,” Brent Cook, one of the trustees of Chipembere said at the prize giving.  >>  read the full article in the St Francis Village News.

The event started off on a very light note.  All the participants were in a good mood, and the person who officiated added to the atmosphere.  He explained the two routes, 5km and 10km, in a very humorous way.  On the 10km route there was a muddy patch and, in almost the same breath with which he cautioned people against injury, he offered a prize if someone felt like showing some rhino “solidarity” by coming back with proof of having rolled in the mud.  And then he entertained us again, although probably not on purpose, when he tried to sound the start of the race with a vuvuzela.

going up - second incline

As we set off I was somewhere in the middle of the group, but by the time we reached the second incline I was breathing like a rhino after a good run (I imagine).  I needed to rest and what better way than a quick stop to aim my camera at something . . .  or the people who overtook me. . . er, us?  My sister Adri, who also entered the event, stayed close to me.  Poor woman, she was being very patient with my need to take regular photo-breaks.  Note to self – it’s not a good idea to do photo-walking in midst of a race!

For all those breaks I didn’t take that many photos.  At some stage the wind picked up and played havoc with my macro attempts.  We did see some interesting flowers and plants on the route, like the one below.  I have no idea what it’s called.

unfamiliar plant

After we checked back in to let the organizers know we didn’t get lost or injured somewhere along the way, we took a little path that runs along the seaside.  This turned out to be the end of the 10km route.   The last of those participants arrived not long after we completed our 5km stroll.  It’s a good thing I didn’t enter to win because that would’ve caused some serious embarrassment!

Adri taking a break to look out over the sea

St Francis coastline

Unfortunately we couldn’t stay for the informational talks that were scheduled for later in the day.  But, we did need food.  While we waited for our order at one of the restaurants that look out over the harbour, we were treated to a water ballet by two sea lions.

water ballet - act I

water ballet - act II

What a great end to our morning!