There is always something new to learn.

(Questa e’ la versione inglese del post “C’e’ sempre da imparare”. 25/05/2017)
(This is the English version of the post “C’e’ sempre da imparare”.)

Maybe the enthusiasm of the first hour has passed and gone. Could that be the reason why I lately seldom write?

Actually, I do not think so. Rather, the tiredness of the last months is catching up and I can only manage to organize daily activities

After my very short post of Friday, two weeks ago (Crazy Friday 3), I have received a phone call from Auntie H (Tannie H). Do you remember her? She has been visiting us a few weeks ago. She has been wondering what has been going on here, referring to my words “the thousand and one thing” of the above mentioned post.
Well, nothing really happened, especially if you compare it to the fires of the month of March. But it has been a constantly continuous trickle of small to medium, but nevertheless annoying, happenings. They will undermine Job’s patience.
Would you like to hear few examples?

My South African temporary residence permit has almost expired, it gives me stomach pains only the idea of everything waiting in the near future. I have slowly started collecting all the necessary papers, but I am already late. I have to present x-rays and a good health certificate. I have been to the closest hospital, and after almost four hours I got out with my necessary documents.
We got back home on time to bath the little busy bees, and suddenly the electricity goes off. We have to ask our neighbours if they have it or not, so we make a call from the only spot with cellphone coverage. Exactly there, on that corner of the window. Unfortunately they do have electricity. It is therefore our only problem. After a romantic dinner at candlelight, we manage to contact the electrician, who, thanks goodness, arrives as promised the following morning. They go up and down, from the central box, to the shed to the house and back, and eventually the fault is discovered and it can be fixed in a couples of hours of work. Nevertheless a little shock to my nerves.


Water, water, water. Which we do not have.
A  farm nearby has the equipment setup of the national weather station. We have been told that never has been so dry in the last 80 years. It is very complicated for all of us in the area, especially for us with our developing farm.
The house gets the water from a source up in the mountains. A pipe funnels it to a tank, which is set at a necessary level to have enough pressure to be able to operate “lifesaving machinery” as the dishwasher and washing machine. In the last few months we used the water from the tank to serve the house, to water the mini tea plantation and the animals. The flow is never constant. Which means that busy bee dad has to go up in the mountain, or better higher up in the mountain, to get rid of an air bubble. Many times.

As per today, we are in quite a critical situation. There is no more water at the source we have been using, and the tank is completely empty.
For the last two days we washed ourselves like the cats do: the children in a small baby bath and us with a small trickle of the water still remaining in the geyser (luckily it holds 200 liters!). Thanks goodness that resourceful of dad A, with a very complicated system of pipes and bypassing the tank, managed to get water from a lower pool. Result, we do have water from the tap.
May I tell you something else? Two minutes ago we have been outside and we heard a dripping from the roof. No rain….but the solar geyser has a HOLE! Another problem. Another shock to my nerves.


Daaad, I don’t see ANY water!


Last week Tuesday, A left for a few days, and the little busy bees and I stayed at the farm. Alone for 24 hours (after that Oupa and Oma [grandparents] have arrived, and also a couple of Dutch guests)
It has been an interesting experience.
First of all I have been so wise to decide not to have any lesson, choosing to do something we all like. What better then backing chocolate chip cookies?
Right. We started around 11 in the morning, and because all of the following happenings of the day, I ended up around 23.00 with the ready dough standing on the counter. What to do at that time? Bake them, obviously!!!


In the meantime we also prepared the yogurt for busy bee N, chocolate pudding for busy bee C, and panna cotta for busy bee J.


That morning, we went to water the mini tea plantation, and after the first row, there was no water coming out of the drips. Trouble nr 1
In the meantime the little bees have been playing in the mud….

From home we see the horses freely roaming where they shouldn’t. We then go to get them, luring them with dry bread. Trouble nr 2

After lunch we see the sheep, grazing where the shouldn’t. Well, while N sleeps and C decides to stay home, J and I we go to push them out of the forbidden pasture. Trouble nr 3.

Mission accomplished, and we go to check if the neighbours cows are not maybe walking on the only pasture we might have for the winter. And they are there indeed.

My helper J and I, we leave the car and walk to the mountain side, trying to push the bovines to their own pasture. They do not want to collaborate and they walk on a steeper and rougher terrain, and they hide in bushes taller than me.. Trouble nr 4.

I decide to go further by myself. I tell J that he can walk home if he wants, but if he doesn’t see me after quite some time, he must phone Oupa (grandpa). Venturing into tall grass covering fallen trees, I found myself flat on my back with a leg dangling down among broken branches that cover a dry stream. My leg goes toward the bottom of the stream, but still it doesn’t touch it. If the entangled grass and branches had not resisted I could have had few bruises. Luckily the all structure resists, and I get out of trouble. I don’t give up. I try to follow the cows again, but at the end I scream an insult or two and I walk back, first to J and then to the car. Trouble nr 5
That has been a sequence of shocks to my nerves.

We had a few more happening, but I guess it is enough to have an idea.

Did I learn anything?

Yes. First of all that I have not understood anything yet of my own limits and when it would be wise to stop.
Secondly that when one decides to take it easy, that same one could decide to skip even baking and do absolutely nothing.

Un abbraccio e buona vita.

Ps tomorrow I have an appointment with the local bureaucracy regarding the renewal of my permit. Let’s hope for the best!




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