I try to write this blog at least once a week, sometimes more, with the aim of staying current with the flowering cycle on the mountain. For some reason the past 10 days have been particularly busy. We had a series of guests, family and friends, which is wonderful although it puts paid to quiet nights when we can watch TV and write blogs. Then horses and dogs have needed trips to the vet. The magnificent Seamus has had a bad time. He got a tummy bug, received treatment and then had a frightening adverse reaction to the treatment. It is a well documented allergy, but so rare that our vet had never seen it. Two days of worry later he is much better although his back legs are not working perfectly and we don’t know if he hurt himself, or if it’s a consequence of the neurological reaction he suffered from. He’s not in pain; he would tell us if he was, but it will be at least a few more days before he’s allowed running on the mountain again.
The horses were just getting all their routine annual innoculations, check-ups, dentistry and so on. All of which needs doing but is rather time consuming along with work and the guests. I must remember next year how busy this time of year can be and plan a little bit better.
Peter’s business has picked up and while we wouldn’t say orders are flooding in, the painful trickle has certainly become a steady trickle. Which should be wonderful except that labour protests are growing in South Africa and he had a sit in strike at the factory today. Fortunately it was resolved quite quickly. How frustrating finally to have some business, so that we can potentially pay more and afford bigger bonuses and instead be dealing with strikes and knowing our overseas customers are watching this and wondering whether SA is the right place to do business. That’s not to be negative, just realistic. Peter is brilliant at managing these situations and he will sort it out.
To my delight there are all sorts of happenings on the mountain which make running a pleasure. In particular several different Helicrysums are in flower. Plants that flower at this time of year tend to have dry looking or tiny flowers that can cope with the potential heatwave as you can see from these pictures.
I started this blog last year in March when the first of the proteas came into bloom. So it is exciting to witness the burgeoning of protea life as the shrubs of Protea repens are covered in buds and will flower in the next few weeks. That, for me, is the start of our flowering year and I cannot wait.
We have exceptional sunsets at this time of year. Almost every night and it is a lovely time to walk around the farm. With Seamus on the sick list we haven’t gone far and last night I took this picture of the farmhouse with the pink mountains behind us.
Sometimes we can get strange effects of the light as the sun goes down, like this photo of the sun just dropping behind Paarl mountain. Taken a moment later than the one above there is a circular glow around the setting sun that was distinctive and I was surprised it was captured so easily by the iPhone camera.