THE HOT, DRY BUSHVELDIn September we joined Rob Garmany and Alan Clegg at Rob's stunning bush lodge in Olifants Private Reserve. On the first evening we were joined by a few elephants, who were stripping the bark off leafless broken branches of stunted trees...so terribly sad, how hot and dry everything was - and still is, only worse.
This is Russ, watching one of the elephants, which is likewise watching him!
Rob and I were watching another ellie alongside the bedroom Russ and I were lodged in, when suddenly Mr Ellie decided he didn't like us and would rather like to give us a fright...so this is a glimpse of an ellie and then blurrrrrrrrr.
It was a lovely weekend and so wonderful to catch up with Alan and also with Rob, who we had not seen for years! He had had a bad helicopter crash which left him with some physical challenges, but he is amazingly energetic and positive.
Two months on, there is no more water in the river.....this is very very worrying.
FAIREST CAPEA bit later in September we flew down to Cape Town for two weeks. During that time we spent a night in Paarl, in order to attend the wedding of Donald Gardner to Cheryl Read. I found myself sketching in the nice little wedding booklet given us, and today - nearly two months later, came across the booklet with my sketchings, and finished them from memory, not terribly well, but I was glad I did it!
|The bridesmaids wore blue, and the bride looked stunning.|
The reception was held at Nantes Wine Estate, in a beautiful setting amidst the vines.
|Cutting the cake...|
A few days later we stayed overnight with my sister Maureen and her husband Adrian in Somerset West, in order to attend a presentation by Barclays at Hidden Valley. Excellent food and lovely wines....oh yes, and a good presentation!
By October 3rd we were home in White River, and reunited with our furry family.
Then on October 7th we drove to Johannesburg so that I could have the keyhole surgery (arthroscopy) on my knee, which had been troubling me since April. I had seen Dr Bradley Gelbart at the end of June and an MRI had shown a miniscal tear. This was at the Linksfield Hospital in Johannesburg and HOW I wish that I had gone to our local orthopaedic superstar Dr Kuhn at the Lowveld Hospital! The operation was fine, from a surgical point of view....but the post-op care was abysmal.
Now I am going to give vent to anger...so skip down to the NEW POOL if you like....
I was not given a compression stocking after the operation although I did enquire for one...told I did not need it. I received only obscure post-op care advice and no physiotherapy - I was told to put no weight on the leg and to keep the leg straight (two weeks later he said "OH! I meant while in bed") and so on. The surgeon's report, urgently requested by my White River physio on Monday, five days after the operation, had been lost by the typist. My physio got a verbal report from the surgeon six days after the op! I was NOT impressed. Physio started late and still no written report.
And then - two weeks after the operation, at my checkup in Joburg, I was sent for a Doppler because of concerns the surgeon had, and lo! A DVT! Deep vein thrombosis, that is.
So they sent me down to a vascular surgeon, Dr D. Revelas. Dr Revelas gave an amazingly realistic impersonation of Eeyaw (of Winnie the Pooh fame), but did his own depressing Doppler and prescribed a blood thinner and sent me on my way. That was the Thursday two weeks after the event.
Once again, no real INFORMATION! Sofour days later, on the Monday, I saw my White River GP...he sent me for fitting for compression stockings and gave me advice on treatment.
End of rant!
Do you KNOW how horrible compression stockings are in heat!? It has been about 37 degrees C for a while now. I love our new pool!
THE NEW POOLI had been wanting a pool that I could swim in - not just paddle around - for some time. This year we did it!
|12,5 metres long, so makes a good exercise pool. In the hotter part of the summer afternoon, most of the paving closest to the house is in shade.|
NOVEMBER TWO WEEKS IN....Our Saxonwold neighbours of years ago, Andre & Biddy Wessels, after nearly 13 years in Dubai, have moved to the Lowveld. Biddy is also a watercolour painting friend, and is keen to keep painting and get together with a group of Lowvelders with the same interests.
Biddy and I went sketching on Wednesday morning, but spent so much time exploring Casterbridge Centre and meeting people and so on, that we managed only one sketch each - given that it was about 37 degrees Centigrade, we opted for sitting in a cool area and selecting this old cart as our subject.
I am so glad that Biddy introduced me to Sumac - a sort of salt - even though she says it is wickedly expensive here.
The heat continues, but we are seeing some haze and cloud...could there be rain this weekend? The reports say there will be, but are notorious for being wrong.
Tomorrow our guests, and home exchange partners, Bill & Judy Morton, arrive from the US of A. They will spend four nights with us, tow of which will be at Satara, before flying on to Simon's Town for ten days. This should be fun!
Watch this space.