Thursday, June 30, 2016

I like big birds (and I can not lie ...)

Jackal Buzzard at Eagle Encounters last week.
Jackal Buzzard in the tree in our garden this week.
Holding a 13kg Cape Vulture aloft.
Cleanest Vulture you're ever going to see - that neck hasn't buried inside a rotting carcass ever (at Eagle Encounters)
Hadeda's - most hilarious noisy birds - in our tree.
Sooty Gull (and friends) trying to pilfer off a seal currently enjoying a little break from dodging sharks in False Bay (by hanging out in our lake).
Magnificent graffiti by Sonny in Woodstock, Cape Town (not my pics). I drove past this recently and fell in love.
... I'm hooked and I can't stop staring.

Monday, June 27, 2016

travelling without moving

Last week I organised an event in the City. The schedule necessitated my being there at 08:30 for a couple of hours, and then not being needed again until much later that afternoon.

It seemed silly to travel all the way home, and back, again so I went in search of breakfast, and somewhere to work for the day.

It was a crisp winters day in the Company's Garden, where I had brunch with this cheeky fella.

(And yes, that is a giant weaver bird nest in the background. I didn't go in, it was still damp from the morning dew and distinctly pongy.)

Then I headed to Sea Point, a part of town I very seldom visit - even less so since we moved to the other side of the peninsula - and spent the afternoon there. Visiting deli's much lauded on Instagram by the Cape Town hipster community (only to find them full of Jewish pensioners having lunch) ...

... and drooling in decor shops I'd only read about in magazines.

Eventually settling in a bakery with wi-fi and big glass front windows, where I spent a productive few hours working and watching a different part of my world go by.

An impromptu business trip to the other side of town - quite a welcome change for a work-from-homer such as myself.


This girl turned 9 and I can't comprehend it.

Babyhood, the delights of 1, the terrible 2's, the fuck-you 3's, the peace of 5 - these are all well-documented stages that one reads about as your child grows. One anticipates, prepares, lives through them when they happen like that, fret if they don't because why is yours doing it differently?
Then there's tweens and teenagers and in fact, tweenagers these days apparently - all of which seem some part of a murky undefinable future.

But right now it feels like we've wandered off the map, into uncharted territory where anything is possible - and it's kind of lovely.

She's still a kid, very much, still playful and innocent and prone to flights of fantasy. But she's also reading 700+ page Harry Potter books and asking big questions about the world and occasionally falling victim to hormone-charged outbursts and irrationality. She's a growing, learning, questioning human being, and she's divine.

Frieda's birthday wish was to take a small group of friends to Eagle Encounters.

It was really fun hanging out with her buddies - entertaining and kind, this age is good for that too -  no one needed their bum wiped, no disputes needed parental arbitration - just sweet kids full of chat and laughs and opinions.

We had a great time roaming the grounds in the winter chill, having a picnic in the car park (because we're too stingy to pay for the over-priced picnic baskets full of things the kids won't eat) and dodging the intermittent showers. During one of them we sheltered under some (luckily not-whomping) willows while Frieda's friend Seth serenaded us - A Wonderful World sung by a completely un-self-conscious 9 year old boy. It felt like a magic moment in time.

And of course, the birds! The birds were magnificent.

An enormous collection of rescued and rehabilitated birds - some of whom will be released into the wild, some of whom are too damaged or tame to make it on their own. It was such a privilege to see these magnificent fowl up close, many of which live among us but we hardly ever see. We learnt so much and ALL enjoyed it thoroughly.

Then home for owl and eagle cupcakes, a romp around the garden and the now traditional G'nT's and snacks for the parents long into the evening. A different kind of party from the ones we've thrown in the past - but just as lovely. Uncharted territory is fun!

Monday, June 06, 2016

duck duck duck cake

We took our (very dirty) pedalo for a spin around the lake yesterday. It was a lovely, sparkly, sunny Sunday afternoon with a nippy breeze and clear green waters.
We also took our end-of-week stale bread collection and boy were we popular!

Cheeky buggers even boarded us. Don't those magnificent orange feet look chilly?

And then we came home and ate cake. Birthday cake, because I never got round to one when it was my actual birthday and everyone knows a cake credit is a cake credit right?

This was a combo of two of my favourites: a carrot cake cheesecake. Yes, it sounds weird and yes, it was DELICIOUS and if you saw me yesterday and I didn't mention I had cake then yes, I am a bad person ... but I'll definitely be making it again!