Friday, 29 June 2018

June 2018 Photo Treasure Hunt

Once again Hawthorn has set us an interesting set of picture titles.  I have searched through my  archives and added a few new so hope I have some interesting stories and pictures for you.


 I wracked my brain for something different as I had used yellow rape and flowers previously when I had a sudden brain wave.  Years ago, when living in Central Africa we could not travel without a valid Yellow Fever certificate and I knew I had seen ours somewhere ages ago.  When we found them we were reminiscing when B told me a story I had not heard before.

As a school boy he lived in Mongu, Barotseland, a province of Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia.  It was a small administrative town in the middle of nowhere!  He had to fly to and from school in a De Haviland Beaver. One year when he was 13 he arrived at Lusaka airport with his Yellow Fever Book only to be told his inoculation had expired.  He was immediately put into an isolation room at the airport then moved to Lusaka Hospital where he again was put in isolation for ten days. He had to take what he needed out of  his trunk which was taken to his school.  He said he saw nobody except a nurse checking his temperature and someone who brought him food.  He had nothing to do, no books to read, nobody to talk to so spent his time watching Social Weaver Birds building nests in a thick clump of bamboo outside the window.  His biggest worry was that he had sneaked a packet of 50 Gold Leaf cigarettes into the bottom of his trunk which was not allowed and he was concerned that he would get 'six of the best' (cuts) when he got back to school.  He had asked that his trunk be put under his bed and he would unpack it when he got back to the hostel. When he eventually got back to school he made a bee line for his trunk only to discover it had been unpacked and everything put away in his wardrobe, but no cigarettes.  Nothing was said about them so he thought that a friendly house mistress had quietly sneaked them out.

This is a copy of my Yellow Fever Book. 

It Starts with a T..............Terrible Tonkenese Twins

We were looking for a Siamese kitten but none were available but I saw an advert for Tonkenese kittens.  This was long before Google or Alexa so I had to go and check them in the library and found they were originally a cross between Siamese and Burmese and had characteristics of them particular were 'aerial cats' which was so true.     

After much pouring over an atlas I found  the name Thai-shan, on the border of Burma and the old Siam, now Thailand.  It seemed appropriate.  

We lived in Richmond, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa where there were huge Forestry Commission plantations of pine. One of these forests was to the left of our garden and formed part of 'our view' and we were devastated when they came to cut it down.  Then one day our little Thai-shan disappeared.  Just like that.  One minute she was playing in the garden, the next she was gone.  We searched and searched but to no avail. Then a couple of weeks later I saw a small article in the local paper saying that since the large plantations were being cut down the Vervet monkeys had disappeared too and the various raptors, who normally fed on these small monkeys were now taking small pets, cats and dogs, and then we knew what had happened to our little cat.

We contacted the breeder again and put our name down for two more Tonkenese.  We had to wait a while till there was another litter.  We chose two and called one Thai and the other Shan. Seemed appropriate.  They were the Terrible Tonkenese Twins.  Whatever mischief there was to be done, they did it.........together. 

They lived up to the description of 'aerial cats', they would both shimmy up the curtains and sleep on the top, or on the top of the bookcases and wall units we had, or their favourite spot - on the bird table (although they may have had an ulterior motive there).

But tragedy was to strike again.  This time it was Shan who disappeared, taken by a python.  Thai was  heartbroken as were we.  She searched and called and called for her sister for ages.  Then we moved house to one  a few miles away as the crow flies.  She would stay at home with us for a couple of weeks then go back to the old house, still looking for Shan.  After a while we knew we could not force her to stay so we very sadly offered her to the new occupants of the house and she moved back there.


As soon as I read the heading 'Lilac' I dashed outside and took a picture of one of the last spray of lilac flowers on a small tree.  I had only just picked a few of the last flowers for a vase.  Thank goodness I did as the 'beast from the East' arrived and just blew off the remaining flowers the next few days.  I did however take more pictures of flowers that were not necessarily lilacs but the right colours. 

It Starts with a G............Great Zimbabwe Ruins

Great Zimbabwe is located southeast of the town of Masvingo (formally Fort Victoria) and one of the best preserved stone cities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Site is 722 hectares and name means houses of stone.  Its origin has been debated over the  years with some attributing the ruins to the Phoenicians.  Historians believe they were first erected around AD 1100 and added to up until 15th century with the purpose being more religious and political rather than for fortification.  At its peak it was believed to be home to some 18,000 people who traded in cloth, beads and ceramics from Arabia and China for gold. ivory and copper. It is now believed they were built by the ancestors of the Shona people who are indigenous to the area. (Details thanks to Wikipedia)

It is a strange place, with the Conical Tower within the main structure.  I remember how cool it was walking in the narrow passages on a very hot day. 

My own Choice ....Great Friends

For many years our son and his wife lived a few doors down from us.  They are the owners of Roxy and Jess, two mad Labradors that we saw almost daily.  Jak our cat knew them both from when they were tiny puppies and kept them under control if they got too pushy.  Whenever we went away our son would come across and let Jak out in the morning after feeding him then put him away each evening with his food.  It was always the same, Jak would put up with this for a couple of days then would decide that we had deserted him forever and would never come home again so he just moved in with the dogs.  After his morning breakfast and usual check around ours and our neighbours' properties he would yell at out son's front door then just saunter in and make himself at home.  He slept with the dogs, sharing their old settee.

 Jak with 'his' dogs, Roxy and Jess.
Jess with Jak.