Showing posts with label home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home. Show all posts

Defeated

By the time our latest bout of Stage 6 loadshedding had finished we had exhausted five inverters of varying capacities, and had to declare a defeat.

Eskom, you won this round!

2023 was another good year for reading, though I read fewer books than in 2022 (I fell short by four books).

Oddly enough, my favourite books of the year were the final four, consisting of: Russia by Antony Beevor, Conspiracy to Murder by Linda Melvern, Iran by Michael Axworthy and the most excellent Embracing Defeat by John Dower.

We were quite amazed but very blessed to receive a solitary Christmas card this year, but then we looked at the envelope and realised it was posted on the 16th of December last year!

And yet, somehow it has managed to sneak its way through a very broken South African postal system (to call it a service would be to overplay its abilities), and even managed to get redirected from the Somerset West post office to our address in Strand. An impressive feat given the state of the post office.

Rescued Rocks

Recently I dug out a bit of the garden to make a new flower bed, and I was very happy with the result (see Percy Thrower, I Am Not).

A week later on a walk with Daisy, I noticed the municipality had dug up a bit of land, and had left a pile of rubble awaiting collection for the landfill.

Shortly after we moved into our new home just over a year ago, I went on a recce around the neighbourhood sizing up which gardens might donate a cutting or two to our rather barren garden.

I collected many cuttings over a few weeks, and gently nurtured them into sturdy young plants, and today we managed to dig out and plant our long desired and planned new flowerbed at the front of our house.

Welcome to Loadshedding Corner.

Yes, we actually have a corner of the house dedicated to just keeping various items charged and running for  when the power goes off.

So far in 2023 we haven't had a single day without loadshedding, and recently we seem to have graduated from mostly being in Stages 1 & 2 to mostly being in Stages 5 & 6 which often means we get to enjoy four hours of uninterrupted blackouts at a time.

It's not all sunsets and ice creams, sometimes we get to see the sunrise too.

I'm trying to get a regular pattern of early morning walks going and though I've been a bit lackadaisical with it thus far, when I do manage to take Daisy out early we have a great time.

I am really chuffed with how my swing-seat renovation turned out!

It was looking quite sad and forlorn which just wasn't right for such a well loved piece of garden furniture, so just before we moved I set about restoring it so that it would look magnificent in our new garden, and even if I say so myself; it turned out pretty well.

A New Day...

Today truly is the beginning of a new stage in life...

Eli is now walking to school on his own and really enjoying the space and freedom of it (though Paula is missing her time with him chatting in the car). Some days he also skateboards to school just because he can. He's also enjoying the freedom of hanging out with school mates or messing about on the beach on his way home, just because he can.

What a joy it was to take Daisy off for a sneaky walk (Rosie was asleep so didn't realise we'd slipped out) to the beach.

This was her first ever outing to the seaside and she absolutely loved it, especially once she realised she could leap into the waves and they would knock her back to the beach.

Keys

Today is a blessed day as we picked up the keys for our new home. It was very exciting to take possession of it and we're excited about this next step. 

This move should lead us into a positive change in lifestyle which is exciting us. We'll be just a five minute walk from the beach which will make a big difference to our mental well being, and having a sun room that spills out into the north facing garden is also a big change for us. We'll also be a bit closer to church and won't have to drive through the town centre to get there!

Packing Up

Today felt quite monumental as we count down the days to moving house on Wednesday.

I always knew that the garage and my workshop would be the single biggest job in terms of packing, so I was chuffed to get it all done today.

I'm feeling quite sore all over, but it's worth it for the progress and the sense of achievement.

Our power situation doesn't improve. 

We had loadshedding until 4am this morning followed by scheduled maintenance from 6am until 4pm which stretched out 'til 5.30pm. The only bright spot in this was that our scheduled loadshedding from 6pm was skipped this evening.

Anyone who knows me knows that one of my great joys and pleasures in life is unicycling. 

I regularly ride for at least an hour twice a week and often more if I can squeeze it into my week, and if the weather allows.

So it was a real joy when Carla said she would like to learn to ride the unicycle. She took to it quite quickly and wasted no time in applying some of her ballet techniques to help conquer the balancing side of unicycling. With just a little more practice she'll be riding with no problems.

Gymnogene

Over the years we've had some special visitors to our garden, and this afternoon it continued as we had the  pleasure of seeing a Gymnogene or African Harrier Hawk flying over before settling in to the neighbours oak tree. The hawk sat there for quite a while, even ignoring the protestations of many songbirds which tried to get it to move on, before taking off to join another hawk in flight.

Home Again

After an exciting ten days back in Blighty with family to celebrate our middle niece's wedding, Paula arrived home this morning, much to the relief of all the trousers.

The junior trousers survived and were fed, watered and made it to their various commitments on time as well as getting home again safe and sound, so I'll call that a win.

Well that was a funny old morning.

Paula went out and as she did so I was about to get in the shower when I heard a strange hissing noise. Initially I thought it was coming from her car, so I quickly threw my clothes back on and went out to check all was OK, but Paula had long gone, but what was that noise?!?

Three Down, One To Go

Three quarters of the House of Trouser are down with Covid and looking at the bulk of the symptoms it seems fairly clear that we've been got by the Omicron variant. There are plenty of headaches, sneezing, sore throats, runny noses and fatigue to be going on with. 

However, not all things are equal. 

Dean seems to be getting away with the lightest symptoms, Paula's definitely the worst and then some, whilst Joel is just really fed up with not being able to go to work.

Firewood

I always get ridiculously overexcited by our annual delivery of firewood, especially when it arrives in the middle of our hottest month and it seems impossible to think that we'll actually need the heating.

I think one of the things I like best about the wood delivery is that the garage smells heavenly for a few weeks after as the wood continues to season, though this year's lot is already incredibly dry.

Winter Warmth

On days like this we're really thankful for our wood-burner and the heat it provides.

Winter is in full swing down here at present, and our wood-burning stove in the lounge is the only heating source we have in the entire house, so it's a joy to see the fire roaring inside it on days like today.