Before I left for the North at the end of June I was unable to post because I was feeling uninspired and negative about life in general - probably the Post-60 Blues.
I thought that it didn't matter whether or not I posted my usual "I'll Be Bach" entry when I go off-line for awhile.
... I was wrong and I apologise to those of you who became alarmed by my extended silence.
Even though we may never meet and only communicate through blog comments and the occasional mail, it's finally beginning to sink into my skull that the feelings of affection and goodwill we have for each other here in cyberspace are as valid as those in 'real life' (indeed, even the distinction between real and cyber is rapidly blurring).
When I arrived home I was horrified to find that one night of Black Frost had destroyed many plants ... the whole world seemed bleak and grey. My neighbour lost hundreds of Mango trees.
What upset me most was the loss of the ever-messy but shade-giving Flamboyant Tree in front of the house.
I've seen Black Frost a few times but it's never affected the Flamboyant before - I'm hoping that it's not dead but, when I left a few days ago, there was still no sign of any new life.
Spirit seems none the worse off after his castration in April - I got him to the Vet just in time, because Mutt was starting to recognise Spirit as a potential rival and attacked him viciously every time he saw him, attempting to drive him off.
As for Mutt, I was also going to have him 'done' in April but I had to cancel two hard-to-get Vet appointments because both times wily Mutt outwitted me and escaped from the room in which I'd locked him ... I've decided to just leave him alone now and let him be a Tom - I reckon that after his two incredible escapes he's earned his 'wings'.
At least now, when Mutt returns home every few days to grab a bite to eat, he still gives Spirit the evil-eye but refrains from attacking him.
I wish that Spirit would make himself more useful though - by catching mice instead of birds and lizards.
I spent six weeks building a new Septic Tank and in the process screwed my back up - I was in agony for the whole period and it's frustrating that my body hurts so easily these days.
Perhaps I should take up knitting instead - (don't laugh, I have vivid memories of my Grandfather knitting while puffing on his pipe).
I had to construct the Septic Tank as a matter of urgency because without it I can't progress much further on the house. I chose to build it during winter because it would have been sheer hell down in that hole during summer - also the risk of flooding if it rained.
The tank is very big and probably a case of overkill on my part but, ... hey, now I can die satisfied, knowing that I've provided a service to Mankind which may endure for centuries ... :)
There were dozens of different species of birds around, including my favourites, the Fork-tailed Drongo - I just love the way these birds dive up into the air to catch insects at dusk. Drongos are aggressive birds, fighting amongst themselves and also attacking much larger birds of prey.
The Drongo is known as "Rungada" amongst the Owambo people who also call it the 'Foreman of all Birds' because it is the first to start singing and calling before the sun rises ... it wakes the chickens up.
Also, for the first time in twenty-something years, I saw two Crows fly over the house.
The Fur People are all ok and Stoffel enjoyed our nightly walk-a bouts, chowing bugs and digging up sprouts.
I take Stoffel out as the sun is setting because then she's less likely to wander off and get up to mischief. After she's done her rounds she comes inside quite happily, has a drink of Horlicks and then heads off to bed, snuggling under the covers during winter.
Sunsets were spectacularly red because of all the dust and smoke from bush fires.
I know that winter is the time of death and rebirth and all that but, I much prefer summer, even though I often long for just one moment of coolness during the oppressive heat ...
I hope to have some interesting post in the next few days.
Once again, my apologies for being so thoughtless:
... if I were a Good Man, I'd talk with you more often than I do ...