Cows, bees, spiders, monkeys and magic

#ParadiseLife at the moment is a mixture of awe, awesomeness and awe-fulness all rolled into one. It resembles the best and the not so great of my existence here in my mountain paradise. We have had snow followed by a splendorous show of spring and apparently, as we are about to throw a mighty spring party, it is going to snow on Gaika’s kop again tonight!! This means that we will have snow hunters and flower sniffers arriving in a communal tsunami wave this weekend. Jaribaaaaaa!!!

The magic
Just to remind you (and me) of the magic of my paradise life here in Hogsback, let’s backtrack and have a quick reminder of the wonder of snow….

And to show you why you just HAVE TO make your way up to Hogsback for the #spring #hogsbackcelebrations and open gardens (last week)…..

Sooo, you  may ask, where is the awfulness in all of this? Clearly it is all so , so so fabulously awesome!! Well that brings me back to my old “favourites”…

The Bees.
The beekeepers assures me that the bees loves my cabin because it is such a happy space. And I have to say that I love my bees. Note, I even call them “my bees”. But I am absolutely gatvol of encouraging them to not squat in my house. Despite taking precautions to deter them from coming in (jeyes fluid etc etc), the stubborn little critters keep swarming back. And we even had a Bee War between different Bee warlords for the best spot in my cabin.  So now I am sitting with 3 bee hives, one in an old spot in my floorboards above Jaap’s, and 2 in new spots high up in my cabin and bedroom ceilings where I cannot get to them without breaking my neck.  And when it is super hot, like it has been this past week, they happily swarm around my lounge, buzzing  away, leaving a perpetual buzz in my brain, even when I am not around them.

My attempt to seal the hole in the roof where they were sneaking through to play in my lounge, was quite catastrophic. I ended up squirting silicone everywhere except the hole from hence they originate, including my hair, my clothes, the couch and the walls. The silicone descended like snow flakes ….EVERYWHERE. I am still peeling strips of silicone off places that I rather not mention.

The cows

Just as I reminded myself that I am so glad that the lush greenery is providing for the cows down in the valley, as I have not entertained them for a while, a whole new crew of cows came wondering over to munch and gallop across my terraces. They are tame and totally not scared of me. If I chase  them (screaming and shouting), they just move a few trots (just out of strike distance)  and then stop to meditate, munch and throw me loving cow-eye looks. I am starting to think it is God’s way of making sure that I get some exercise in between my dead-lines.

It also forced me to check out my own Ilifu garden and I am glad to report that, even though the garden has gone a bit wild and wacky, everything is in full bloom and looking quite amazing, cows and all!!

The monkeys (and baboons)

I just returned from doing a late night cow-run and have just settled back into the comfort of my bed, when I heard the happy tap dancing of monkeys on my roof. There must be some delicacy hidden in the gutters between my bedroom and dining room as they where happily scratching and screeching on my roof.  I took a copper pot from my bedroom fireplace and flung it against the ceiling, hitting and shattering my antique lampshade on the way down. Cry. At least it had the required effect on my furry friends, with them scuttling back into the forest.

The Spiders

Spiders are fantastic. Just like bees we cannot survive without them. They eat the mosquitos, which I hate more than anything, anything, anything, so I generally do not have a gripe with them…Except when they bite me when I am leisurely sipping a fabulous fountainy gin and tonic while having a very rare midweek work break outing. Not on.

The End? 

So I am being asked all the time how I am going to get rid of the cows, the monkeys, the bees…. I don’t know. Loads of advice are forthcoming from all and sundry, on and off the mountain, but I am still waiting for the answer to present itself. In the mean time I got Justice to venture up the ladder to seal the bee hole before the heat set in again. (It has gone from 30 something degrees to huddling in front of the fireplace, in one day). Tomorrow we will have our #spring #hogsbackcelebrations with something for everyone, snow and flowers, gin and tonic, potjie and picnics, you name it we have it here…along with the birds, bees, monkeys, cows, spiders and other goggos.  Come visit, the awesomeness far outweighs the awfulness! And the awfulness is actually awe-full!!

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A cow story #paradiselife

In Hogsback we don’t chase cars or pavements, we chase cows. These four legged, agile, garden trampling, flower gobbling, leather cladded creatures stroll leisurely from garden to garden, munching on anything and everything.


Considering that the cows we have here in Hogsback, can graciously jump over fences, there is nothing much that you can do to keep them out of your beloved garden. It must be all the special herbs and spices that they munch on all over the village that gives them superpowers beyond imagination. I no longer think that the cow that jumped over the moon is just a story. That particular cow must have come from Hogsback.

So I wake up in the middle of the night, thinking there is an earthquake. My whole cabin is shaking and my cat is hanging onto my hair in fear and trepidation. A quick squizz out my window quickly reassured me that it is not the mountain that is shaking, it is a very large cow scratching herself on the corner of my cabin, in the moonlight.

My fear turned into fury. I managed to hobble into my slippers and grab a stick. By the time I reached the bottom of my stairs, the gathering of grazing cows had danced down to the next level of my garden munching on takeaways of snow drops and other remaining delicious greenery.

cow6If anyone thought that cows are slow moving, gracious animals, I want to dispel that notion straight away. They are, as I have mentioned, agile sprinters, jumpers and record breaking endurance munchers that could easily represent us at the next Olympics.

So before I knew it, I was standing, in my pajamas, with mud soaked slippers, in the moonlight, at the bottom of my garden, wondering #whattheheck. Those who know my garden will know how steep it is, and those who know me, will also know that I am not your average, jumping, running, athletic type. To get back up to my cozy bed will be a long haul in the dark.

When a cow was found in the main road, not quite alive, my cow story became a murder mystery. Who killed the cow? I just want to state for the record that I was not involved in any way in this part of the story. As a matter of fact I had a firm alibi. The fact is that I really liked cows, up until the point that they trampled the remaining remnant of my blossoms not devoured by the goat mafia that terrorise my abode from time to time. So no, I wont hurt a cow.

cow4They say that when life deals you lemons, add gin and tonic and throw a party. So I have decided to stop being a cow-ard and make my “hide”-away a cow sanctuary. Bring your mother in law, send your ex, book in your boss who is making your life a misery…for that matter, send all the cows in your life and come and hang out at Ilifu! So what if I don’t have a prize garden, and if things are going a bit wild! We will figure out a way to make face masks from the abundant cow turds and biltong from the rest.

See you in paradise. Weather you are a cow or not. #paradiselife

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