The Western Cape was hit by a crippling drought. The level of the main storage dam, Theewaterskloof dropped to 25% and vast tracts of it were just dust and loose sand instead of water. I had this poem rattling around in my head and it just demanded to be written.
Dust bowl dam. Sun light glitters, stark on pale
Bone white surfaces, black stark tree skeletons,
Dry shod, heat struck, sand blasted we cross
The sparkling dam that once was and is no more
Oven heat scrapes roughly across our exposed skin
Slitted eyes blink against the wind hurled dust
No breath to spare for the pointless vital question
What have we done? What have we left our children.
Many years ago, I announced my intention of going to Verneuk Pan. A friend, on hearing this idea asked me to go to Granatsboskolk as it was in the same area.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because I read an article and the writer said finding Granaatsboskol was like finding the foot of the bed with your bare toe in the dark.”
How could I resist?
“Bring back pictures.” he said
In Brandvlei, I went into the pub called Die Windpomp and asked for directions to Granaatsboskolk. I was greeted with a stunned silenceand then someone asked. “Why?” I didnt explan and eventually someone issued directions.
Just as an aside, Die Windpomp is on the N7 and serves ice cold beer and huge slabs of very edible ribs. Stop in and enjoy!
So, join me on a trip to Granaatsboskolk and decide if finding it is like find the foot of the bed with your bare toe.
Get onto the N7 and turn left at the sign. Easy enough.
Drive 40 km along the road.
Cross the Sishen Saldhana Railway line. If you are lucky you will see the 1 km long ore trains. Breaks the monotony.
When you stop seeing a sign to Granaatsboskolk, you are there
I wanted to enter an art competition and decided on a photo collage. I grabbed photos from my various albums and concocted an image which I called Walking into Twilight. It did not make the grade. Oh well, better luck next time
The house had the original steel frame windows, the glass covered in bomb proofing plastic. As the plastic aged, it became opaque and bubbles formed. The plastic was impossible to remove, the frames were starting to disintegrate, so we decided to replace them. First you have to remove the windows.
An old Greek proverb says that civilisation is when old men plant trees that they may never get to sit under. I am getting early so that I can sit under the trees. Seriously though, we managed to germinate 18 Kei Apple trees and 10 spek boom (Portulacaria afra) in Gardens for planting in Riviersonderend.