Graffiti on a windy day

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This Dog is just saying – I am not one to complain – that the weather has been sort of … less pleasant in Paradise for the last few months. The video above that Herself made in mid September (a bit shaky, sorry about that) will give you an idea of what we have been putting up with. The wind is still blowing and we’ve had very few nice days, BUT we hope that the wind will push the clouds over the rest of the country where an awful drought has everyone worrying about water restrictions, failed crops, thirsty beasties and what not.

So what does one do in weather such as this? We went underground, or rather, under bridge, on a cold and windy morning and just look what treasures we found.

N2 Freeway bridge over the Mtwalume river, KZN

In the front is the coastal freeway bridge over the Mtwalume river and in the back you can also see the train bridge. Remember, Herself showed you the view from the railway bridge in her post Automattics-Worldwide-WP-5k-2015: We-went-walkabout. This picture was taken from higher up on the river bank down towards the beach.

But here’s what I wanted to show you. We saw the most stunning paintings on the supporting concrete columns under the bridge. We have no idea who was responsible for these works of art (or who those stupidoes responsible for spoiling the effect by spray painting their names over some of the paintings are).

Enjoy and have a great day.

Lovies, Genis

Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k 2015: We went walkabout

Well now, I’ve been away for a long time, ever since the time that woman lost her teeth and found her bad temper as I told you in https://genisondiet.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/that-stupid-womans-done-and-lost-all-her-teeths/ and because she is my official Hand Holding the Pen, I stayed away much longer than I wanted to. So, what do you think was the first thing she did when she eventually found another pair of teeth in the Tooth Shop? – she went and posted this blog on her own site. I decided to be spiteful and reblog her post, just to remind her that I haven’t visited with my blog friends in a long while. Betcha we will be back here on my site with more Paradise stories one of these days.

Dis Ekke

I am 64 years old and (supposed to be) retired. We moved to the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal in January this year. For health reasons, but mostly just because we love to do this, my daughter and I walk for two hours every single day. I also love blogland, therefore, I am quite happy to join in the Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k 2015 initiative.

We live in a little coastal town where the majority of the dwellings are occupied during school holidays or long weekends only. There are no shops or entertainment venues within a six kilometer radius, which means that in order to buy a bread, we can either walk or drive, and we prefer to walk.

Starting the daily walk from our backyardStarting the daily walk from our backyard

The route which we decided to walk today, is my favorite, because we can combine walking with fishing and swimming or adding to our huge collection…

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That stupid woman’s done and lost all her teeths

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Just wanted to let you know: This Dog is still around, but Mom has managed to lose all her teeth in one go. The dentist just took them all without getting MY permission first. So now we don’t have any smiles, all foodstuffies come pureed and that mouth is too sore to hold the pen.

At the moment life is a beatch (it used to be a beach)…

Beach2

… and Mom hangs out at the dental clinic all the time. If I were Dad, I’d go check up on that Dentist Guy and ask him about his HONORABLE INTENTIONS.

Meanwhile, I still love y’all and we’ll be back for more smiles later 😀 😀

The Mutt and his Dad – the language of love

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Genis and his dad

Genis and his dad

Today is National Mutt Day according to Dr Google. We are not quite sure what standard of mutty breed Genis is: there are definite signs of a fox terrier forebear in the appearance, but the long curly hair and the cutesy facial expressions indicate that there was a Maltese poodle involved in the parental relationship. There may be more branches in his family tree that we are not aware of, but this is what makes him special. His dad calls him a “pavement special” and he doesn’t seem to mind.

I hijacked Genis’s blog to tell you about the Mutt’s relationship with his Most Favourite Person in the world – his dad. Genis is not a Happy Dog when his dad is not around. When Dad goes out and leaves him behind, he will sit around and mope until he hears the click of the door lock – the sign that Dad is back home. When my daughter and I leave the house for hours or days at a time, he hardly notices.

Dad and Genis have developed their own language through the years and they understand each other perfectly. They talk all the time, or rather, Dad does the talking and Genis takes his orders from whence they come. I sometimes eavesdrop on these conversations and try to interpret them. I think I got the gist of it. It goes something like this:

“Genis, please get out of my shoes!” – meaning that the mutt is underfoot.

“Genis, I can wash my own face” – translates into “stop licking me!”.

“Genis, you had quite enough to eat and cheese is not good for dogs” – to which Genis responds by sitting back on his haunches, prettily begging until he gets a piece of cheese.

“Scold her!” – causes an immediate volley of barks directed at the human (usually me) who refuses to dish up treats or to vacate the couch so Genis can watch the telly with Dad.

“Look, they are going to the beach without you!” – going to the beach is the only activity which can convince Genis to leave his dad’s side. Unfortunately for him, once he is in the car, he may realise that he is on his way, not to the beach, but to the vet or the pet parlour. Apparently lying to a dog does nothing to swing his loyalties.

“It’s time for Genis to go down”, shouted from behind Dad’s desk sends Genis to the front door to wait for his entourage to go “potty”. He will only consent to do his business with Dad watching from the balcony and his personal pooper scoopers (my daughter and me) marching him to the edge of the lawn.

Somehow this special relationship makes all of the above appear quite natural.

From the groupies revolving around the edge of their lives: Happy Mutt’s Day Genis and his Dad, and the same to all his Mutt friends!

Paradise is closed

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… due to bad weather.

The weather has turned cold; I mean back-breaking, bone-crushing cold. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad. We still reach 16-20°C during the day, however, it has been raining on and off and the wind is forever howling around our apartment building.

When the weather lets up, we dress up in our winter beach wear (as modeled by Sissy and myself in this picture – sorry, I had a bad hair day) and we go down to the beach for a quick walk.

Winter days on Elysium beach

Winter days on Elysium beach

The sea is very angry and very mean. We usually stay on high grounds, not that This Dog is likely to get into the water – there are some scary looking waves breaking right over the wall of the tidal pool, even at low tide.

Today there was no wind and although we could see a storm brewing over the sea, the calm water in the lake mirrored the buildings on the opposite bank of the river.

Stunning, isn’t it?

Mtwalume

Mtwalume river

We found more of the beautiful shells flushed onto the beach during the night

Shells on Elysium beach

Shells on Elysium beach

When the weather is bad, I amuse myself by watching the critters living in our back yard. I already told you about those pesky monkeys, but we also have a few wild bucks in the bush higher up on the hill and warthogs in the valley below.

This mommy lizard and her babies live in the roof of the downstairs apartment.

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These storks paid us a visit yesterday. Dad says they eat insects and *gasp* small reptiles like lizards. I hope our little lizzies stay safe under that roof.

License to dish out a Lekker Vet Snotklap

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Friends, Romans, bloggers, countrymen, lend me you ears. In my dire moment of need I appeal to you to stand up for my rights. You will remember that in my previous blog Flipping the bird I told you about that rude, arrogant plover that attacks me every single time that I put my paw on the beach. Well, to my real shame, I must admit: That Bird has turned This Dog into a quivering, spineless jellyfish.

Excuse me, do you really think it is a good idea to walk this way?

Excuse me, do you really think it is a good idea to walk this way?

There is more than one way to get to the beach from our complex, but this-a-way (notwithstanding the fact that it is the shortest path to the beach), is not-a-way that I want to go. I know very well what dangers to expect if I go there. This is the point at which I turn around and go back that-a-way, up our driveway and to the safety of our apartment.

Genis digging in his heels (or at least, applying his brakes on the tarred driveway)

Genis digging in his heels (or at least, applying his brakes on the tarred driveway)

Today I got away with this – my mom drove me all the way to the tidal pool in Mtwalume for my daily swim, but she says I will have to learn to cope with That Bird eventually. But how? That Bird is protected by law and I’m not even permitted to hurt it a little, even if I could get hold of it.

So, I came up with a plan: maybe I can ask my Ouboet to give That Bird just one Lekker Vet Snotklap to teach it a lesson, once and for all. Let me translate this Afrikaans expression –

Lekker = nice or pleasant or enjoyable, but those words are so … vanilla, lame actually. Lekker expresses exuberant, unbridled, uninhibited enjoyment of a situation.

Vet = fat, plump, heavy, but in conjunction with “lekker” it amounts to a massive, ponderous, unconstrained action.

Snotklap = (according to the Urban Dictionary) means “to administer a hard open-handed slap sufficient that it causes mucus that was formerly inside the recipient to come out rapidly”.

So, there you have it. A Lekker Vet Snotklap.

Mom says that is not the way that educated, well-bred people behave. Well, first of all, I’m not a people; secondly I’m a crossbreed and thirdly, if anything is the matter with my behaviour, the blame for my lack of education must be laid at the feet of the parental unit. Not so?

Mom says that argument does not hold water – I can ask anyone who is anybody and they will tell me the same story. Not so, I say, I will ask my friends to vote on the matter and the outcome will be proof that any pet with self respect will opt for the Lekker Vet Snotklap solution in the same situation.

PLEASEVOTEFORME! PLEASEDON’TDROPME! Do it! Now! In this block below MAKE YOUR CHOICE AND PRESS THE “VOTE” BUTTON. If you choose “Other” please comment at the bottom of the voting block and propose another solution.

Let us settle this argument once and for all.

Something fishy

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This past week everybody was either hanging over the balcony wall watching for dolphins or whales or trailing fishing rods down to the beach all hours of the day. I was right there where the action was. Action? What action? Fishing seems to be a rather laid back kind of sport.

Fishing on Elysium beach

VERY laid back, indeed.

Laidback fishing on Elysium beach

People are on the beach from early morning till late night. Mom has started complaining about the fishy smells in the house, which turned out to be the wet clothes in the bathroom, fishing tackle on the lounge furniture and a smelly jacket that Dad hung in the corridor closet where Mom keeps her “smart” clothes. The latter almost caused the start of WWIII.

Elysium beach early morning fishing

All this changed when Dad spotted a truck, trailing a boat, racing along on the beach. Everybody thought that the long awaited sardine shoals have arrived. I told you about the expected sardine run in my post Flipping the Bird. So we got our butts and fishing rods down to our favourite fishing spot.

Early morning fishing on Elysium beach

On the beach we found quite a few happy residents with bagfuls of shad which were netted just a while earlier. Unfortunately, no sardines yet.

The fish is in the bag

All the fun was over already and only the empty net remained, so we packed up and went shopping for fish to barbecue tonight.

Elysium beach fisherman netting the fish

Flipping the bird

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Meet my arch enemy. This little bird has many names: Dr Google refers to it as a Lapwing or Blacksmith Plover. Dad calls it a Kiewiet or a Waterkant Kiewiet (a kiewiet that lives at the water’s edge). Sissy calls it the flippin’ nuisance, the arrogant @#$%& with a death wish, the little sh!t and many other names.

"Vanellus armatus (taxobox)" by © Hans Hillewaert / . Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

“Vanellus armatus (taxobox)” by © Hans Hillewaert / . Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

We have two breeding pairs living at the edge of our lagune, right there where we have to pass through to get to the beach. All of the wild animals and birds living in our area are right friendly and neighbourly, but these little birds constantly display spiteful, rude, unacceptable behaviour. Dad says they act this way to scare away intruders and protect their nests.

Unfortunately they seem to think that I am the enemy that needs scaring away. Why target me? They scare the living daylights out of me swooping down and pecking at my head. Have you ever seen one of these guys in flight?

"Blacksmith Plover ( Vanellus armatus) 3" by Lip Kee Yap - originally posted to Flickr as Blacksmith Plover ( Vanellus armatus). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blacksmith_Plover_(_Vanellus_armatus)_3.jpg#/media/File:Blacksmith_Plover_(_Vanellus_armatus)_3.jpg

“Blacksmith Plover ( Vanellus armatus) 3” by Lip Kee Yap – originally posted to Flickr as Blacksmith Plover ( Vanellus armatus). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia  

So there we were, strolling along the edge of the lagune, looking at the foam and flotsam in the water after our big storms over the weekend …Lagune1… when all of a sudden one of these rude flippin’ birds swooped down on me. Sissy took a few swipes at him with her walking stick (which is actually a wooden club that she carries just in case a venomous snake or spider happens along). While she was swiping away and renaming that bird a few more times, I just stood my ground (behind Sissy) and Mom clicked away on her ever present camera. Sissy was not impressed. 😀

Lagune3

During the night a few fishies were washed onto the beach and we were picking them up (fishing on dry ground so to speak) to use as bait when the family goes fishing. Imagine our surprise when Sissy picked up a little fish known around here as a “pinkie” (little finger) and the “bait” started wriggling in her hand.

Lagune2

Being kind of heart, she raced across the divide between the lagune and the sea to put the pinkie back in the water, where it happily swam away. Lucky fish! We did find a few that were already dead (how unfortunate for them), but still rather fresh, and they are now resting peacefully in our freezer, waiting for the annual sardine run to happen, because … swimming right behind those small little sardines are the bigger fish that we here at the top of the food chain are waiting for.

Visit http://www.sapeople.com/2015/06/04/sardine-run-durban-kwazulu-natal-south-coast/) for details of this momentous occasion 😀 😀

The humiliation of wearing a little tartan number

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Lately we haven’t been visiting our beach as often as we used to. The whole family came down with the turn-of-the-season-flu and we had to stay indoors. This was accompanied by a spell of bad weather, howling winds, thunderstorms and a drop in temperature.

I’ve told you about our beach before – warm sunshine, tranquil ocean and lake with a stretch of golden sand in between, a soft little breeze, the lulling sound of water lapping on the beach … it’s all there. Can you feel it?

This is the normal view from our balcony:

Elysium lagune and beach1

This is what it looked like this week:

Elysium lagune and beach

The roar and the crash of the waves on the beach frightens me a bit, especially when the waves crack like a whip against the rocks.

Elysium beach

This is the tidal pool where I usually go swimming:

Mtwalume tidal pool

Scary stuff, hey?

This morning the sea is a little bit calmer and it is not so cold, so we decided to go for a walk. I was besides myself with joy, but … there’s always a BUT isn’t there? … then Mom decided that I should wear a jacket. To the beach!

I loathe wearing clothes and only submit to this kind of indignity when the nights turn really cold or rainy and I have to go outside to do my business. Now I have to wear this ensemble to the beach? Cos it’s winter says Mom. Really?! It is 17°C out there Woman! I tried to appeal to Dad, but he just smiled and said “Put on your little tartan suit, Genis”.

Then, of course, I had to “sit” for a photo shoot:

Genis wearing a tartan jacket

There will be no forgiving this. Not for a very long time.

A Very Sad Day

My Very Old Human passed away on Friday, 15 May. She was 96 years old.

We are fortunate that we have loads of happy memories to look back on, but it is still a very hard experience for us. Please excuse us if we do not visit your blogs for a while – we will be back.

Old Human

Love, Genis and Mom

The parental unit: When the sands run out

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Our Cat is now ten years old. Like me, and all our family pets previously, she was also rescued and adopted. There are only the two of us with fur and four paws left in this dysfunctional family, the rest having grown too old for this life and passing on to a better one. We have good parents, but they are a bit … strange. At least we have Sissy to hold the reins.

Where we previously lived, we had a big, enclosed garden with lots of trees, huge lawns and a vegetable patch. Ponsie stayed outside in the garden the whole day, hunting birds in the trees or sleeping in the sun.

Ponsie

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Ponsie loved helping Dad with the digging in the veggie patch. Dad used to get most upset about this and always said the cat should have her own patch of sand to dig in. There’s gratitude for you.

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Then we moved to Paradise, where we also have a very big garden, and lawns, and a beach with lots of sand, but Ponsie refuses to go outside for her hole digging excercise. So Dad got his wish: Ponsie now has her own sand patch and she loves digging holes there.

Ponsie1

Mom used to buy special sand for the litter box, but this became a problem one day when Mom forgot to put it on the shopping list. Our nearest shop is in the next town, half an hour’s drive away. Sissy hit on the idea of using sand from the beach and dug up a fresh bucket of sand for Ponsie every morning. Problem solved.

Or maybe not.

Last week it rained for three days straight and Sissy couldn’t find dry sand anywhere. She left a bucket of sand out on the balcony to dry, but progress was slow, as we had no sun to speed up the drying process.

Ponsie got real impatient and started yelling at Mom. Mom got nervous and started yelling at Dad. Dad suggested that they could dry a batch of sand with the hair dryer. Mom jumped at this wonderful idea … and two minutes later we had fine beach sand everywhere on the tiles and surfaces.

Meanwhile, Ponsie was still yelling and trying to jump into the bucket with the wet sand, so Dad thought they could dry the sand in the oven, but Mom accidentally tipped the bowl over and all the sand ended up on the bottom grill and in the grooves where the oven door fits when closed. The door doesn’t close properly anymore. Mom says it doesn’t matter, we are getting a new one anyway.

By now, Ponsie was getting hysterical and Sissy tipped wet sand from the bucket into her litter box. Ponsie immediately started digging her holes. It turns out that she does not mind one bit that the sand is wet, as long as it is clean and fresh.

Next time, for goodness’ sakes, just listen to what the cat is telling you!

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge (Day 5): Labour Day

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Far Out In Africa invited me to take part in the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. Please visit visit this blog, you will love the stunning pictures and the stories attached to them.

The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge and my reasons for honouring bloggers living in and writing about Africa is explained in my Day 1 entry. The more I get involved in blogging, the more “Africa”-bloggers I meet and yesterday only I stumbled onto Rip’s My Blog. Those beach photos are to die for! Go have a look. This beach is just a few kilometers north from us, so guess where we will go exploring this weekend?

Before we carry on with the Day 5 story – scrapydotwo, in response to your remark on my Day 4 entry The joke is on me, this one is for you to enjoy. Take a good look at that mouth – not a good advert for toothpaste, is it? 😀

Margate Holiday 20.07.2014-125 - Southbroom.Riverbend Crocodile Farm


Yesterday, being a public holiday, was a good enough excuse for The Hand Holding The Pen not to finish the last entry for the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. So we laid back on our camping chairs, watching the scenery from our balcony

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and reminisced about previous Labour Day experiences.

Last year, we were still living in the Vaal Triangle and the family spent the day in the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve (yup, you guessed right – no dogs allowed). It was at the end of a very dry summer, but even with few rains, the reserve was still amazingly beautiful.

Suikerbos 02.05.2014-55Suikerbos 02.05.2014-52

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Paradise can be found anywhere; you just have to look around a bit.

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge (Day 4): Quiet times

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Far Out In Africa invited me to take part in the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. Please visit visit this blog, you will love the stunning pictures and the stories attached to them.

The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge and my reasons for honouring bloggers living in and writing about Africa is explained in my Day 1 entry No legs needed to fish.

Visiting Perdebytjie se nes is a blog experience that you should not miss out on. Go check out those awesome images.


We love those quiet times in Paradise when the holiday season is over and we have whole stretches of beach to ourselves.

When even the lifeguards can take a rest

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early in the morning when ours are the first footprints at the water’s edge

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or late afternoon when we can play undisturbed

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or in the early evening when we sit down in our camping chairs and watch the waves

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or when darkness falls and we can watch our lanterns fly into the night skies.

Margate Holiday 19.07.2014-103 - Margate

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge (Day 3): The joke is on me

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Far Out In Africa invited me to take part in the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. Please visit visit this blog, you will love the stunning pictures and the stories attached to them.

The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge and my reasons for honouring bloggers living in and writing about Africa is explained in my Day 1 entry No legs needed to fish.

Today, I would like to let Spokie Sny Spoor know just how much I enjoy her stunning pictures of animals in the wild. It will be worth your while to visit her blog and see for yourself.


I must admit that I prefer to see wild animals, reptiles, insects (especially mosquitoes) and in fact, everything that bites, stings, and swallow their prey whole, on photos rather than meet them in person. My weird human family, however, sometimes insist on testing the limits of my bravery.

We have two crocodile farms in the vicinity and whenever we have visitors from other parts of the country, they are treated with a visit to one of these breeding grounds. Thankfully, dogs are not allowed and during a recent outing to show off the crocs, I was left in the care of a friend. However, Sissy promised to give my regards to the crocodiles. Not that I actually sent my regards, but there you are …

Crocodiles are aquatic reptiles, meaning that they actually live in water, however, they love sunning themselves on the river bank. The peeps have to stay behind the safety barrier and they are not permitted to touch or feed the crocs (with good reason, methinks). Sissy had a good look at the crocs and then decided that this one with the friendly smile would receive my regards with thanks.

Yeah.

Margate Holiday 20.07.2014-126 - Southbroom.Riverbend Crocodile Farm

Having gracefully received my remote greetings, the croc’s smile now stretched from ear to ear. It was indeed a very friendly specimen, she thought.

Yeah.

Margate Holiday 20.07.2014-127 - Southbroom.Riverbend Crocodile Farm

Emboldened by this apparent sign of success, Sissy showed the friendly croc a full page photo of her favourite doggie.

The response shocked her.

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When I saw this video later, I was so embarrassed that I went off my food for at least an hour. I will NEVER be able to live this down.

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge (Day 2): A likely tale

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Thanks once again to Far Out In Africa who invited me to take part in the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. You should really check out this blog – if you haven’t done so yet, you are missing out big time!

The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge and my reasons for honouring bloggers living in and writing about Africa is explained in my Day 1 entry No legs needed to fish.

Today I would like to nominate a lady who currently lives in Ghana, but also has her heart firmly enmeshed in the beautiful country of Namibia. I especially enjoy her tales and pictures of the daily lives of women in Africa. Please visit her site Thulana and enjoy.


My Day Two entry for this challenge:

Yesterday, as is our usual routine, Dad and I had a little nap after lunch. The best time of the day to go to the beach in order to collect shells, is when the water is low and yesterday low tide was around lunch time. No surprise then that while we were stretched out on the couch, the two women did a disappearing act.

Even in Paradise there are dangers lurking everywhere and Dad has put some very strict rules into place, to be observed at all times when we go out on our daily walk. Of course, having given me the slip, the women had no one handy to remind them of the rules … and they broke every single one. Dad noticed that the moment he woke up.

Rule 1: The Dog must be on watch. Rule 1 broken.

Rule 2: Always stay within sight on the beach. We live high on a hill and from our balcony, we can can see a very long stretch of beach, but as you can see below, the beach was deserted. No tick next to Rule 2.

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Rule 3: Always carry a fully charged cell phone when leaving the house. Yes, well … the two fully charged cell phones lying on the coffee table were witness to the fact that Rule 3 was not observed.

Rule 4: Never, under any circumstances, stay away for longer than two hours at a time. So when the two culprits walked in more than three hours after the event of low tide, an explanation was asked for.

Sissy, obviously appointed as spokesperson, hastened to explain that they walked a little further than planned, because the shell harvest proved to be very successful. They .. sort of … well, wandered off around the bend to inspect the boulders where the seagulls drop the mussels on the boulders to break open their shells. This was well worth watching for a few minutes.

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“A few minutes”, says Dad. Yes, and then they felt a bit tired and sat down on a tree trunk to have a drink of water (well, well, they actually managed to adhere to Rule 5: Always carry a bottle of water.)

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“Oh”, says Dad. Just that. Oh.

Yes, explains Mom, now taking over where Sissy left off. Then they saw something move under a bush and upon closer inspection, they found a common garden snake in obvious distress. The poor thing was in labour and the women tried to help out by delivering the little snake. Mom produced the evidence in the form of a very small baby snake. Stillborn. Such a shame.

DSCN6875[1]So, Mom loftily declared, we’d better go and have a shower to wash off the trials and tribulations of the afternoon.

“You know Genis,” Dad says, “That must have been a very difficult labour.” I knew exactly what Dad meant; that little snake has very obviously been dead for more than a day. Or maybe two days. I just looked at Dad, waiting for the explosion.

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But Dad just winked at me: “Genis, a very wise man once said ‘Never let the truth get in the way of a good story’.” I nodded in agreement; Mark Twain was indeed no fool.

Knowing my dad, though, I knew that we would get to the bottom of the snake-in-labour story eventually, and This Dog is never wrong.

Later that evening we heard the women giggling from their study hide-out and what did we see (or rather, WHO did we see) on the computer screen when we sneaked in? None other than The Next Karate Kid herself. There was the explanation for the time spent Lost in Paradise – two grown women playing silly games in the sun and losing track of time.

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Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge (Day One): No legs needed to fish

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My sincere thanks to Far Out In Africa who invited me to take part in the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. I have been following this blog for quite some time, not only because I also reside in Africa, but because I really appreciate the beautiful photography, the stories behind them and the love for the countryside which is so aptly demonstrated through the pictures. I must urge you to visit this blog if you have not already done so.

The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph and then you nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge. Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command.

Being new to the blogging community, I very rashly accepted this invitation to join in the fun without fully having grasped the consequences:  it is only now I realise that I am neither a photographer (aim and push the button is the best I can do), nor am I a writer and I haven’t befriended that many bloggers yet. However, I have been following some bloggers publishing stunning photographs of our beautiful continent and weaving stories around these pictures. I am sure you have also met most of them already. These are predominantly Afrikaans blogs, although some writers also blog in English, but I find that the pictures tell a story of their own. I would like to honour these bloggers and (who knows?) just maybe they will agree to play along with the challenge. 😀

Today I salute a motor cycle enthusiast by the name of Sparkle. Her travels on two wheels “following her nose”, have led to interesting small towns and villages in South Africa’s breathtakingly beautiful countryside. Her pictures tell interesting stories of these places and the people who live there. Be sure to visit her site Doutrapper and enjoy.


My Day One entry for this challenge:

My mom suffers from cardiac arrhythmia and This Dog suffers from a condition called “I-ate-way-too-much-in-the-past-and-now-I-have-to-pay-for-my-sins”. In order to keep the weight down and to prevent my mom’s heart from attacking her, we not only live on a very strict diet, we also walk distances of at least five kilometres every day, come rain, hail or sunshine.

Walking on paved city sidewalks really held no attraction for any of us, so we recently moved to the Southcoast of KwaZulu-Natal, which we promptly renamed to “Paradise”. We love exploring the coastline on foot, walking on the beach through thick sand, collecting shells and driftwood and stopping every now and then for a swim.

Sissy, who is much younger than Mom and much prettier than me, accompanies us on these walks. Sissy suffers from an overactive imagination and she sees a story in every pebble or drop of water, but she is way too lazy to write, so she just takes pictures and Mom does the writing. Very early one morning we were walking along the beach front of a town called Margate, and this is what we saw:

Margate Holiday 18.07.2014-13 - Margate “Oh My Dog”, says Sissy, “Look at that empty wheelchair. What have here? A suicide attempt? Should we call the police?”. Mom tried to calm her down, but she kept on spinning tales of gruesome drownings.

Very perturbed we walked on at a fast pace, until we came to an old pier jutting out into the sea, and there were loads of fishermen throwing in a line in the hope of an early morning catch. Sissy barely stopped to catch her breath, but ran down to the pier to tell the fishermen about the abandoned wheelchair.

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To Sissy’s great surprise they took this dreadful news in their stride and then they explained to her that the wheelchair belongs to the person sitting at the very tip of the pier, calmly fishing for his breakfast.

Margate Holiday 18.07.2014-31 - Margate Mom never said anything as we slowly went on our way, but like always, she got in the last word by presenting Sissy with the picture below:

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Caught Red Handed

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The much-verbalised, long-drawn-out War of the Dog’s Diet, may just have been brought to an unexpected and rather abrupt end. Or not 😀

Genis at the beach reastaurant

It all started out very merrily (the event that may end the war, not the war itself) when we all visited our favourite beach restaurant. The weather was hot, the beer was cold, the pizza was delicious – trust me, I know.

On such occasions I’m allowed to sit on my Dad’s lap and join in the conversation, but once the food is served, Dad puts me down on the floor between his feet and that is where I stay until the meal is over. I never object to any of this; I’m a well-behaved dog as you all know.

Once the food was on the table and the dog on the floor, the usual admonishments and counter arguments followed in rapid succession:

“Do not, do NOT I say, feed the dog under the table!”

“I never feed the dog, not under the table or anywhere else, for that matter.”

“Then please do explain how it is possible that he is not losing any weight?”

“How must I know? YOU are in charge of the dog feeding department.”

Blah-blah. On and on it went until Sissy put a firm stop to it: “Stop it now! Everyone is watching us and listening to you squabbling. Nobody will feed this dog!” Sissy has spoken and (relative) peace and quiet descended. The family started eating while watching an impromptu show by street artists.

I just sat there … very quietly … and waited … very patiently; I know the drill. While all eyes were on the dance show, a hand with a nice cheesy piece of pizza crust crept under the table and the tasty morsel was dropped into my mouth. Just like I expected.

What I did NOT expect, was the camera that flashed in my face at that very moment.

Genis gets lucky

This image will hit the internet shortly; I know this family – secrets do not remain secret very long. I also know that the picture will be studied v.e.r.y. carefully to see whose hand that is. And then … well, we will have to wait and see, won’t we? 😀

Spreading the love

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Thought I would just pop in quickly and say hi everyone, love you lots and would like to spend more time here. Mom and I don’t have much time for blogging these days (those dreaded deadlines you know?), but I am keeping up with your news, reading the blogs when I have time.

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To top it all, we had some very bad thunderstorms and our internet connection was as slow as a snail.

However, the weekend has finally arrived, the weather is much improved and we were able to go swimming. Sissy surprised me with  a plastic “donut” – always thought those were supposed to be eaten, but no, this one is used to float on the water.

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At first she refused to let me on board – she’s an awful tease – but soon enough I was happily floating along.

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Afterward, we went for a long walk on the beach. I really enjoyed running around. I hate being cooped up in the house all day long. I hope the bad weather stays away.

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School is starting again next week and most of the holiday makers have left already. Our beach is once again quiet and deserted.

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A River Runs Through It

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Today was quite an exciting day here in our usually serene Paradise. I was doing my couch potato imitation this morning when Sissy came running with my leash and her camera. Yay, time for our daily walk!

But this was no leisurely stroll. We were hurrying at full speed towards the beach when we saw movement on the sandy road. Sissy let out a blood-curdling yell, jumping up and down and pointing at the tree next to our gate. And Forrest, I immediately thought of you because …. what did I see? None other than that guy that Dad refers to as Our Gatekeeper (better known as a green mamba – a highly venomous snake that lives in trees). Sissy calmed down just in time to take a pic of the tail-end of the snake as it disappeared into the branches and over the wall. Yup! … that was scary.

The Gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper

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Nude and freckled on a public beach

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No hair, no privacy and no dignity. I lost it all.

The rest of the country has started to unpack their winter clothing, but here summer is still in full swing. Dad says there is only chicken wire between Paradise and the Very Warm Place. Due to the excessive heat and the myriad uninvited guests that are trying to move into my thick fur, Mom delivered me to the doggie parlor for a shave. I arrived back home with nothing but freckles, a fluffy little tail and a few stray hairs on my head.

Mom took this unflattering pic of me to rub in that I’m still shaped like a beach ball, despite the fact that I already shed a third of my body weight, due her hefty diet regime. Dad almost split his sides laughing at this image of The Dog.

Genis, the couch potato

Genis, the couch potato

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Trouble in Paradise

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Some time ago, in response to my blog entry Paradise is less than perfect wherein I described some of the everyday perils that This dog must put up with, one of my blogger friends made an observation which boils down to the fact that the unknown causes fear, but that we should not let this blind us to the beauty and the good to be enjoyed out there. “Everyone thinks that because we live in Hawaii we are always under threat of volcanic eruption or tsunamis or shark attacks”, he said.

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Not a good day for fishing

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This afternoon just before sunset Dad and Sissy grabbed their fishing rods and set out for a happy hour of fishing fishing. Mom and I decided to tag along. Dad thought that today the weather conditions were perfect: the lagune presented a full body of water, the wind stirred up a little waves and the fish were ready to take the bait.

Lagune

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Off the leash

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The past few weeks have been a bit hectic around here what with This Dog being a little bit under the weather and needing a lot of sympathy treats, which proved to be a weighty problem. Added to that, we had a spot of rain and wind, which meant I had to stay indoors; no exercise also added to that little weighty problem. I did not exactly GAIN weight, but I did not LOSE much either.

So yesterday we returned to the strict diet and exercise routine and I was let out for a walk. But guess what? Here’s the good news: I was allowed to run around without that dreaded dog collar and lead for the first time since we moved here. Hurray! You have no idea how much I enjoyed that.

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The shaming of my favorite frenemy

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Sunday started out as a beautiful sunny day, no wind, just the perfect weather to have a quick barbecue lunch on the balcony. We have a portable bbq grill for just such occasions. So Sissy prepared steak for Dad (and me), a lamb chop for herself (and me) and fish for Mom (and me).

The moment that the fishy and meaty foodies were done, the wind came up and the clouds started rolling in, so Dad parked the grill against the wall to cool off and the family moved inside to eat in front of the telly.

What we saw next through the glass sliding doors was this (the end is hilarious):

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Paradise lost

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My friend Noodle has been feeling a bit under the weather lately (you can read all about this on his blog noodle4president), and he had to visit the veterinarian to get his blood works done. Luckily it turned out that he is just fine.

I was so distressed by this that I developed a sympathy illness (this happens when you have such a close emotional link to a friend with whom you empathize so strongly that you start to feel ill yourself). So, after my daily swim today, I suddenly started coughing and soon I was in the grip of a severe asthma attack. Not to be outdone, Sissy went into a full scale panic attack and Mom decided to drive us to the veterinarian 20 kilometers away.

The road disappearedWe were racing downhill on a very narrow lane, when all of a sudden … the road disappeared. We thought that the bridge had collapsed, because everything was under water. Mom, of course, drives like a bat from hell (says Dad, so I’m sure I’m allowed to repeat that) and she just put her foot down on the pedal. The next moment we were slipping and sliding through the murky water.

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Paradise is less than perfect

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It is high summer here in KwaZulu Natal, which means that we can go to the beach most every day. However, today was overcast and drizzly, which made my Humans decide to explore the hills and and valleys at the back of our complex.

There is a deep valley at the back between our house and the South Coast highway and we can see the bridge across the Mtalwume river from our back lawn. The grounds have been cleared almost down to the river and Mom suggested that we walk in that direction. I immediately vetoed that decision; it may be beautiful down there, but –

Elysium view of bridge over the Mtalwume river

Elysium view of bridge over the Mtalwume river

can you see who was sitting at the edge of the lawn, watching our every move? If you look closely, you will see those naughty Vervet monkeys under the trees. They may be cute, but I am still a bit … well, not scared exactly, just careful.

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It’s all about trust in the human race

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PonsiePonsie (otherwise known as Our Cat), is having a hard time adjusting to our new home and lifestyle. Ponsie and I were both adopted. She is a year older than me, but she is a lot smaller.  She was separated from her cat mommy when she was just a week old. They used to live in a storm water drain where her cat mommy had to scrounge for food.

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Monkey business

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MonkeyThis morning Dad and I went to put out the garbage and I saw the cutest little monkeys. Dad told me to stay in the car, as these monkeys are not very friendly, although they are very inquisitive and came right up to the car to inspect me through the window. He could have saved his breath; I was definitely not going anywhere outside that car. I just stared at them and tried to look like a very ferocious dog.

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Saying goodbye is never easy

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WalkervilleThe past few days have been taken up with so many new impressions, sights and activities that I hardly paid any thought to those friends, family and familiar places, previously very important in my life, which I left behind.

I just want to let everyone know that “goodbye” does not mean “forgotten”. I will be thinking of you often and I will remember the good times. So shake my paw and wish me well, as I do all of you.

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