Grade Four Afrikaans Presentation

R has done this Power Point ‘My Pet Amber’ to support a presentation she has to give in Afrikaans at school. I think it is charming, particularly the whirly bit!

If only we had had such aids available during my schooldays …

© May 2018 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Cats, Gardens, Grandchildren, Writing | Tagged , | 15 Comments


Low tide on our beach.
R has taken up running down from home to this part and then back along the road with a friend and the friend’s father to get fit. I wonder if I should try it?

‘An incredulous thing, to make you incredulous.’  Which word is wrong?

Neither, as each usage to that meaning can belong;

An incredible thing to make you incredible — can this also go?

No, for here ‘Incredulous’ the second one should show.

Annoyingly, people are tending to revive the meaning of ‘incredulous’ to include ‘incredible’, as was the case a couple of centuries ago. Shakespeare used it as such.

The distinction has worked well for two hundred years, though, but now some people who are either ignorant or trying to be smarty-pants are bringing it back to mean ‘unbelievable’ rather than ‘unbelieving’. I would definitely edit it out if it appeared in a manuscript I was going through. ‘Incredulous’ in the recent understood sense of ‘unbelieving in an amazed way’ is too valuable to have it polluted with an additional meaning for which a perfectly good word already exists.

© May 2018 Colonialist
Posted in Grammar, Rhyme | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Rufus Leering at Edward Again

Another observation of Rufus, the eagle owl from Tabika. The latest previous ones were way back here.

© May 2018 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Birds, Cartoon inventions, Fantasy, Writing | Tagged , | 6 Comments


Today I flitted round a lot
(With fixing things, not like a bat!)
And now and then, when tired I got
Or found that I had lost the plot,
I stopped and had a chat.

Or played the piano for a while,
Especially to my cat:
Beethoven can that cat beguile,
M sits there with a kitty smile …
Then at computer sat.

And as I blogged so merrily
(The words all came out pat)
I felt some things crawl over me,
Next, itching started furiously,
Then, biting they were at!

These tiny creatures are bad enough when it comes to crawling in a swarm, but their bites are incredibly effective for mandibles too small to see!

The keyboard was jam-packed with ants
That wanted me to scat!
Crawled up my arms and down to pants,
Ignoring all my raves and rants,
(You know, like, ‘Oh my hat!’)

The keyboard innards. I had to make sure no trace of ants or ant-killer remained to scramble the circuits. So far so good …

Screwed keyboard open very wide,
Squashed lots of ants quite flat!
And ant-icide inside applied,
Plus desk on which it rests, beside;
I hope now, that is that!

Footnote: We had to buy some ant poison after the bed invasions a while back, even though insecticide goes against our principles. I also had to discourage ants from putting up family portraits in wall plugs, multiplugs, transformers and other electrical equipment. Maybe the little brutes have been plotting revenge, though, and decided that cutting off blogging would get me where it hurts. Oh, my sainted ant!
The keyboard was most seriously in need of cleaning, anyway — but why is it necessary to secure the bases of them with no less than eighteen difficult-to-get-at screws?

© 8 May 2018 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, DIY, Humour, Nature, Really Awful Rhyme, Rhyme | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Above-ground Pool Supports Repair Without Draining.

Large above-ground pools have a good lifespan on the vinyl liner. But for homes right on the sea one cannot say the same for the metal supports. It has taken from 22nd December 2014 until now for some of those in our pool to rust through completely. Seeing them on their way out, we began to explore how to buy spares, but before this had been developed we saw the same pool advertised for a really good price so decided to buy a whole new one for spares.  The liner is still holding up, so it was only the metal bits that need replacement now. For replacing the liner, there will be no alternative but to drain the pool, of course, but now that we are out of our rainy season I really didn’t want to take any water out to do the repair. I wondered if it were possible to do this without loss of water, particularly as the level is currently lower than we would like, and decided to ‘give it a go’.

It wasn’t easy, with learning by trial and error, but finally the objective was met! Here are some tips for anyone who needs to go through the same, or a similar, process.

Start with a section where the horizontal pipe is completely severed, or saw through the final part if necessary. Hammer the securing pins up from the bottom to release, and remove them.  Unclip from upright, by freeing up base of upright and tilting as needed.

Use a pipe or dowel of the size shown to insert in the gap at the bottom of the horizontal pipe, and by rolling it upwards and around loosen where the pipe has adhered to the vinyl. Remove and replace pipe with a new one. Also replace the ‘T’ piece if necessary.

Have the spare parts handy, and a hammer to persuade stubborn sections to loosen. Also have a piece of wood to hold against the pipe and be hit upon, to avoid damage to the pipes. Note the state of the first section of pipe removed, shown on the left.

Starting from the section worked upon, it is now relatively easy to seek out and replace further damaged sections like this one.

After removing the parts needing replacement, and propping up or temporarily replacing to avoid collapse, insert the good pipes into the vinyl ‘tube’ then push at a slight angle into the end of the ‘T’ piece by slanting the pole as necessary. Some strength is needed to get it far up enough to go in, amd tapping the other side with the hammer against a wooden buffer may be necessary to seat it.

When all replacements have been made, the upright pole must come out for the last join. This is effected by using two levers (I used spades inserted from the handle side) to force the vinyl to stretch outwards until one can start sliding the final part into the ‘T’. Once this is done, a hole is made in the ground sufficient for the pole to go low enough to clip in at the bottom. The ‘T’ piece is then propped up, the pole lifted to clip into it, and a support placed underneath to keep the pole at that height.

And there you have it: replaced supports without draining.

© May 2018 Colonialist
Posted in DIY | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wildly Unlikely

This is, of course, a picture of pictures I took for the cover, but that isn’t what makes it unlikely. More unlikely is that one would ever get a peek at a peak so exactly shaped like a rhino, as in the Rhino Peak which is a main setting for the book.  Still, that isn’t the reason for it being selected for this topic either. No the most Unlikely  thing is the genre, which is Fantasy.  If I write fantasy, then the unlikely is what I do!

© May s018 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Colonialist, verse, writing, music composition, fantasy, Africa, journal., Fantasy, photo challenge, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge, Writing | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Got Lines — Misbehaved?

The Current Photo Challenge is on the Lines of lines, so I’ve lined up a trio taken recently with lines in abundance.

The Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban. Ignore the curves. There are lots of lines, in defence.

Kings Park Pool Durban where granddaughter R recently swam in a Provincial gala. This could be British with all the red, white and blue stripes!

A well-underlined school pool where granddaughter J has just climbed out after an inter-school gala swim.


© May 2018  Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Grandchildren, photo challenge, Photography, Swimming, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , | 5 Comments