Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Photos taken while in Africa - because of poaching I am not stating where they were seen, we travelled to many places.

Maximum temperature in the Charente today 14C, minimum 0C. Dry. 13km/h North-Easterly winds with gusts up to 25 km/h!!

Impala, (Aepyceros melampus). An interesting fact about the Impala is that mothers can delay giving birth for a month if the weather conditions are harsh. 

Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) facing the camera and Hartebeest, (Alcelaphus buselaphus), with its back to the camera.

African buffalo or Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer).

Young South African giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis).

As above.

White rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum).  This animal is a hand-reared orphan returned to the wild after its mother was killed by poachers!!  Hopefully, it will have a better life than its mother

The rare occasion of elephant twins. African elephant (Loxodonta), they were only a couple of weeks old...

As above...

As above.

Male lion (Panthera leo). The female was hiding behind a bush. They were both fat and lazy ofter a meal of zebra...

As above.

Yellow mongoose (Cynictis penicillata), sometimes referred to as the red meerkat.

See also my Bird blog, I have many photos of birds and I will put most of them on this blog.

Friday, November 29, 2019

29/11/2019 Back home.......

Maximum temperature in the Charente today 13C, minimum 5C. 8 mm of rain measured this morning. 15km/h Westerly winds with gusts up to 54 km/h!!

Just to keep you up to date with what is happening at home in France while I go through many, many holiday photos.  Part 3 to follow soon.

Down the road, autumn colours and energetic cyclists.

Looking the other way - grey skies.

Home and a very wet road.

Struggling roses in the garden...

As above.



Homegrown ginger root.

Homemade mincemeat ready for mince pies.  All made from our own homegrown dried fruit.  It will be interesting to see if the pies taste better than the usual bought ones ūüėä

See also my

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Part 2 of our trip to South Africa

Maximum temperature in the Charente today 13C, minimum 9C.  25 mm of rain measured this morning.  27km/h South-westerly winds with gusts up to 57 km/h!! Very breezy! 

We arrived at Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape in the late afternoon of Monday 14 November after a 2-hour flight. The winds were so strong that the pilot battled to get the plane down, but the landing itself was smooth! We were met by Christelle and Patrick, who drove us home to their place in Kenton, which took about 1 1/2 hours. They had gone to a lot of trouble to make us so welcome and the rondavel with en suite was fabulous!

 On arrival, Nigel was feeling unwell and sadly spent the next two days in bed with bad flu-like symptoms. 

Nevertheless, I was up and about and spent some time with Christelle's family who were there for a couple of days from Zimbabwe.  We took a trip down to the beach and borrowing a pair of rock sandals, I joined them on a walk before the tide came in.  The tide almost beat us to it, and one corner was a little too deep for me and Christelle's nephew gallantly gave me a piggyback around the corner to the rocks on the other side!!  I wish I could show you the video, but with our slow WiFi, it is impossible to load it, so here are a couple of stills taken from it!!!!

It was deeper than this in places...

Rounding the corner...

and Christelle helping me back on to terra firma.   I was very grateful for the lift though we all had a laugh.

Beautiful beach.

This is called Carriage Rock.

The following day the family all left and C and P took me out for a drive to see some of the nearby places.  They are so lucky; close to them is San Estate, and although privately owned and one can only drive around the edge, we saw plenty of wildlife.

Impala (Aepyceros melampus).

Zebra (there several species and sub species {Equus quaggabeing} being the most common and Hartebeest, (Alcelaphus buselaphus) on the right.


Nyala males, (Tragelaphus angasii)...

Nyala youngster...

As above.

South African giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). The giraffe is the tallest land animal in the world. Males can reach a height of 5 m, and females 4.5 m.

See also my Bird blog I have many photos of birds and I will put most of them on this blog.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Part one of our trip to South Africa.

Maximum temperature today 12C, minimum 8C.  Very wet!  We were told it had hardly stopped raining while we were away!  The rain gauge was overflowing at 72 mm, so our annual measurements are therefore unreliable and we will never know how much we really had!  It continues to rain, and since being home we have had another 30mm. Today there are cold 19km/h northerly winds with gusts up to 40 km/h. Not weather to be out in, if you don't need to!

We have been back home for the last 10 days, but neither of us feels perfectly well and do forgive me if blogs are slow for a while, as I'm short of the energy needed to go through the many hundreds of photos that I took! HOWEVER, this malaise takes nothing away and did not detract at all from the fabulous welcomes, entertainment and trips organised by our generous hosts, Steve and Cathy, Patrick and Christelle and Gordon and Julie! We really enjoyed seeing them again and joining in with the arrangements. It was to be a truly memorable and varied holiday!

We arrived in Johannesburg on Friday 11 October. Our health problems emerged a few days later in the most unusually cold weather in RSA, which was generally the pattern for all but a couple of days in the Kruger Park, when the temperature rose to 46C; talk about extremes!  Airconditioning is always a concern for us both, and the long flights can be draining on the system.  Three flights going there and three coming home, plus a 9-hour wait in Gatwick to board the final leg between Gatwick and Bordeaux. This was perhaps a "too ambitious" schedule and age is not on our side!

  I didn't take a lot of photos in Johannesburg, as my telephoto lens was playing up! Thanks to an internet search and to Cathy for ferrying us, we managed to get an identical second-hand replacement in a nearby mall. It later proved not to be in perfect shape, but I think I have some reasonable photos to show you over the next few weeks!

Flying from Bordeaux to Gatwick on 10 October.  We then had to bus to Heathrow with all our suitcases!! No luggage transfers by the airline!

Arrival in Johannesburg on 11 October - wonderful Jacaranda trees!

In our friends' garden; some strelitzia flowers.

A distant shot of what I know as a Grey lourie - it seems now that the common name is simply the Go-Away bird due to its call. (Corythaixoides concolor).

Laughing dove (Spilopelia senegalensis).

 Common bulbul or Black-eyed bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus).

Hadeda ibis (Bostrychia hagedash), They are very noisy and had a liking for the friends' cottage where we were sleeping.  Not only with their call, but they seemed to enjoy jumping up and down on the tin roof (not this one!) as well!!

Our friends, Cathy and Steve's cat Leo.  He is a Main Coon, apparently the largest of the domestic cat breeds.  At just 5 months, he already weighs in at 9 kg!  So beautiful and with a fabulous temperament.

We took a trip to Steve's workshop to see what he was working on.  This is his race car, a Porsche 910, and.....

and he painstakingly restores other sports cars.  This looks like an interesting project with plenty of work to do!

Finally, more jacaranda trees! We caught them almost in full flower and before the heavy summer showers could drive the petals to the ground!

On Monday 14th, we flew to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, where Nigel was the first one to feel unwell and he spent the first two days there in bed!

I will be copying this post to My Life in the Charente 2 as well as some folk still follow that !

Sell also my Bird blog at


Monday, September 16, 2019

16/09/2019 A day of photos that I forgot last time........ and a visit to Cognac on 1 September.

Maximum temperature today 32C, minimum 17C.  Very dry.  17km/h North-easterly winds with gusts up to 27 km/h. 

Thank you to everyone for the comments on the previous blog.

Celebrating my birthday; 19 August.

As above, our friends Michael and Mary from the USA.

Driving home - the weighbridge at Marillac-le-Franc...

The scales as above.

Same town as above, Eglise Saint Didier...

As above.

The lavoir at St Adjutory with M and M.

Resistance Memorial at Chasseneuil sur Bonnieure...

A little closer.

Old houses in Cognac 1 September...

A sundial on a wall...

Waiting for the gates to open for a tour of Chateau Royal de Cognac, the home of Baron Otard Cognac...

Waiting in the reception...

The smell in the cellars is amazing ūüėČ 
Note: the spiders that live down here have got so used to the alcoholic fumes that they cannot live out of the building!!!!

Tasting the amazing cognac after a fabulous tour.
Highly recommended, both tour and cognac.

Finally standing on the bridge in Cognac looking down the Charente river.

As I said previously blogs are going to be very hit and miss for the remainder of this year.