Seeing the light....

Saturday 18 November 2017

Out selling

Thank you to all of those who came to GAF in Burseldon. Here's the link to see and buy photos:

I will also be at Burseldon brickworks museum Edwardian Xmas on Sunday 26th Nov and Sarisbury Green Xmas fair on Dec 10th

Saturday 1 October 2016

don't run for your life

The bush walk starts with checking the area where bushbuck were heard barking in alarm yesterday evening. We are treading carefully, looking for tracks when I spot something red under the trees. Neatly stripped ribs glisten red and my eyes make sense of the twisted carcass. The intestines have been carefully removed and covered with leaves. The empty eye sockets of the ex-bushbuck stare blankly. Excitement erupts - it is a leopard kill, only 100m or so from the lodge. Staff are fetched and measurements taken. Then wee start to look for tracks - not easy in the cloudy low light conditions and with much of the ground covered in leaves. We find tracks on the road - a small female with a cub. We try to follow to where they entered the property but lose the trail. 

It's a little disconcerting, hunting for, then following leopard tracks, as every so often I recognise my trainer print from where I ran just a short time before the leopard made its kill. Bushbuck are only a few kilos less than me. I would be an easy kill panting round the dusty path. I make mental note to explore other ways of keeping fit. I don't think my sports bra will be much protection against a stealthy predator.

Monday 26 September 2016

running wild

What makes a run a P.B? Even with my unrivalled contempt for acronyms I've worked out it means personal best. Going faster? Going further? Or maybe the best view? Most memorable? This was mine.

After a dubious look at the bottom of my well-worn trainers (cushioned soles vs acacia thorns could bring forth some unwanted acupuncture) I gave a quick nod to the concept of a warm-up and trundled off on the 2km path around the lodge  with the hope of surviving two loops. Running under a steel grey African sky. 

As my heart rate increased every interesting creature fluttered, slithered and leapt forth to tempt me to slow to a walk and begrudge not having my camera. Why is it that animals run away less when I'm running? A grey duiker stared in disbelief, Impala looked up nonchalantly from their grazing and a bushbuck gazed from a far closer distance than I'd ever managed to sneak armed with stealth and camera. I have a theory; I'm pretty sure the bushbuck was thinking 'if that's you idea of running then I really have nothing to fear.' 

I made it round my two loops - I confess I did stop to look at a bird that looked like a storm trouper and to pick up a little porcupine quill. I had a few looking-over-my-shoulder moments just to check I wasn't being followed (not that there is much I could outrun even if I was) I returned, promising myself I'd make more effort to keep fit. I'm not sure how far I went or how fast, but definitely a P.B. in my mind.
Grey Duiker - deciding if I'm a predator or fellow prey?

Synchronised impala - another runner unimpressed by my speed

Saturday 17 September 2016

rain beautiful rain

I could quote research about global warming and the effect on regional weather patterns or I could describe the dying hippos and hungry lions seen in Kruger national park today. Victims of the worst drought in 20 years. Instead I want you to imagine a wet windy night (not difficult if you are from the U.K.) then imagine screams of joy as the first rain in months falls on the dry thirsty soil. Rain = life. 

Tuesday 6 September 2016

officially on sabbatical

well, it's officially the second day of my sabbatical; wide-eyed year 7s will be starting school, clean and tidy without me to scare them with Bunsen Burners. I am almost organised - just wondering what vital thing I will leave behind this time.

Sunday 3 April 2011

closer to home

a duck takes off from the lake. I want to capture the feeling of flying; not quite being able to see the world quick enough to focus. My feet are infirmly stuck to the muddy ground and the naked trees try to grasp a hint of spring from the grey sky.

I wonder if ducks can shiver?

Sunday 20 February 2011

12th December: Chris de Burgh and the fowl

I am woken at 5 am by Chris De Burgh squelching Lady in Red from a badly tuned radio. Yep, I'm back in Fort Dauphin. The town smells of poo. Human poo. I did, however, get to eat veggie burger and chips, but have now woken to stomach cramps, probably due to the exotic food. I also seem to have given away my flea powder prematurely as I am covered in bites this morning. 

As I'm having a good scratch to the less than good music I suddenly realise what happened to all the duff albums which had been lurking at the bottom of every Woolworths’ bargain bin for the last 20 years. When they went bust, each and every one of them was sent to a Malagasy radio station.

......And suddenly it's quiet. The Malagasy do have taste and have turned it off.

.......And suddenly it's not quiet; the demented cockerel is doing his best Chris De Burgh impression. I think I prefer it to the original.