I must apologise for the absence - we've been in the hinterland and the normal runner-with-cleft-stick has been eaten by lions -- or in other words we've been visiting people with very dodgy internet connections. This is an exercise to make me appreciate it working... Ok after murder-game we delivered Paddy to the tender mercies of SAA and airline food. Result, Airline Food went down to a superior side, and the lad is now in Malawi with Clare. I gather he is going to climb Mount McGungie er... Malange. Very beautiful I have been told by my bro who was part of a long-ago expotition there to find the East pole (with apologies to Pooh Bear). A steep walk on the side I hope Pads goes up, a vertical jungle on the other, with a distinct lack of the cracks we climbers rely on.
We then proceeded from the traffic chaos to farm near Standerton where we stopped by to visit some good friends, and learn about grazing sheep, the fertile/milking cycle of cows and how to wean bull-calves, and the insatiable appetite a border collie can have for stick-chasing. Exhausting though they are I think they're gorgeous dogs, bright and utterly hyper.
The bizarre thing is on a huge farm - the house is next to main road near a mining town. Not quiet. Once again we were reminded of the semi-siege state of much of SA, with walls and mast-spotlights and electric fences. They've given up keeping sheep - too much theft. They've given up on beef cattle now too, after the horror of finding a bunch them hamstrung and being butchered in the veldt. Pete keeps and breeds and adores these exotic Parroty beasts - which are valuable to other ornamental fanciers. I hope no delightful bandit tries psittocotophagy or he may go go completely mad. I planned to sneak out and show them some parrot-porn (you can find anything on the net ;-)) so they will breed and they can afford to come and visit us.
We then returned to cradle of mankind (a place near Lanseria airport) -- via the overdue for changing nappy of mankind - AKA the road-system of Johannesburg. As nervous wrecks we descended on SA's international ballooning champion - B's cousin Felicity who lives thankfully out of town on a sort of nature reserve place. A good thing we got there after the container was packed or we might have had a bubble car and a marine diesel engine in with us -- Her son, Pete (the 3rd) has just bought a collection of these including a Messerschmidt that I loved. Flea refused to come and ferry our future Ute to Flinders by Balloon - which I thought was very poor spirited of her ;-). Her business is repairing and I think making hot air balloons and I'd like to put her in our hand-luggage, although I think the large boerboel puppy may be an impediment to this cunning plan.
Then we picked up James after his Kruger park holiday and hit the long road back to Durban. The heat was vile -until we got here - where it is very very humid, but raining. Hey we have washing to do (not a lot of clothes). Inevitable.
Oh and my Publishers have sent me my hardcovers of the next Karres. very nice. But it is 6.5 kg - and we have airline weight restrictions. I have begged them not to post to here, but to Flinders -- but it seems there are always multiple postage addresses in the system. Oh well.