Category Archives: Galaxy

Spring is in the Air

Red Freesia 1

Haiku 218

A little treasure

Hidden in a winter pot

Surprise! Spring Freesia

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Red Freesia 2

Most of my few surviving freesias are yellow, so it was lovely to find this solitary red one popping up in an abandoned flower pot; providing a welcome warm colour in our most changeable season.

Red Freesia 3

One day the sun bakes down ferociously, then the next temperatures drop rapidly, with driving rains and howling winds.

Red Freesia 4

Throughout it all, this brave little freesia just keeps on blooming.

 

Lavender

Lavender

Haiku 217

In between storm fronts

Morning sun bathes lavender

Idyllic respite

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While we’re still in Lockdown, Level 2, we’re now also having Loadshedding, Stage 4. So, lots of power cuts and planning your day around them.

All the more reason to stop and smell the lavender!

 

Stolen

Variegated Plant 1

Haiku 215

If you grow my side

Technically you are now mine!

Law of the jungle

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Variegated Plant 2

So how did I steal these plants?

There used to be a broken down wooden fence between my property and the neighbours. This old fence became overgrown with their creeping ivy, bulging out on both sides, till nothing remained of the fence.

Underneath the ivy, in a few places, some of the neighbour’s plants grew through on my side.

Variegated Plant 3

Two and a half years ago we replaced the mass of overgrown ivy with a vibracrete wall on the property line. I planted four honeysuckle bushes along my side and carefully tended them. I noticed a few straggly bits of plant had survived from the neighbour’s side, even after the wall was built. Well, as Nature knows no boundaries, it’s Finders Keepers and all the more for me!

Variegated Plant 4

I also carefully tended these stolen plants; weeding and watering along with the honeysuckle. The plants have variegated leaves of green and white and are pretty to look at, even without any flowers. In fact, I didn’t know they were supposed to bloom.

However, they have finally rewarded all my gardening by producing a few purple flowers. Now they are even prettier.

How lovely. Stolen plants and free flowers!

 

Renewal

Erica 1

Haiku 214

Delicate as lace

Tiny tinkling flower bells

Spring is in the air

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Erica 2

Mr Spaghetti legs’ plant returns each Spring.

Although it isn’t really Spring till next month, I am certainly not complaining. I’m always happy to see the plant is surviving and even growing a little each year. You can see just how small it is by the bricks.

Erica 3

This plant with the tiny delicate flowers is a fynbos, Erica Quadrangularis.

Mr Spaghetti Legs.

Mr SL is all ears

 

Golden Flower

Yellow Freesia 1

Haiku 212

Like a Buttercup

A tiny drop of sunshine

Cradled in petals

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Yellow Freesia 2

Early morning sunlight is caught by my solitary freesia in a pot on the stoep. Such a cheerful bright spectacle.

I’ve mentioned recently that the garden centres were shut due to Lockdown earlier in the year, when I wanted to replenish my dwindling supply of bulbs. For once I had remembered at the right time of year! Coming from England I still think Spring is in April and you plant your bulbs in September.

Yellow Freesia 3

But of course, that is topsy-turvy down here, like everything else. You have to plant in April for your Spring bulbs to pop up in September. Year after year I only remember in September, that I should have planted them in April. Oops!

What can I say? I have found my formative years to have a huge impact on my life.

Oh well, this, along with so many other things, will have to wait until 2021 – which is going to be the Best Year Ever!

Photos taken with my new Galaxy A50.

 

Iridescent

Dianthus 1

Haiku 210

Incandescent glow

Shimmering and glittering

Luminescently

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The evening sun illuminates my few Dianthus flowers with its last rays.

Dianthus 2

I usually plant Pansies as my winter flowers in this bed. However, the garden centres were closed earlier in the year, due to Lockdown, so I had to make do with these Dianthus that, luckily, I’d bought just before.

Dianthus 3

They sat there very quietly to start with, all green leaves, with barely a glimmer of colourful flowers. Now they are blooming merrily away, in various shades of red and pink, and cheering my winter days.

 

Close ups taken with my new Galaxy A50.

 

Cheers Y’All!

Vodka!

Haiku 203

To drink or not drink

That is the burning question

Apparently not!

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We had a severe Lockdown at the start of the Corona pandemic in March, here in South Africa. At Level 5 we were not allowed out to exercise and many things were not for sale; including alcohol.

Level 4 provided some easement of the restrictions and we were allowed to exercise between 6 am and 9 am. Still no alcohol.

Finally Level 3 arrived on 1st June, bringing further easing; more freedom to exercise and more things for sale. Alcohol was permitted again. Hooray!

We quickly replenished our stocks of alcohol and relaxed a bit.

As can be seen from the photo above, I went a little overboard with my vodka purchase, but I can explain!

Obviously, there were long queues outside the booze shops once alcohol was on sale again, so I waited a few days before going. As I queued for my turn to enter the shop I saw notices stating there were limits on what you could buy. I selected a few bottles of whiskey for my husband and then went looking for my vodka. The shelf was bare! But I did find one plastic bottle right at the back, so put that in my basket.

Heading for the check out, I suddenly came across a shelf stacked full of glass bottles of Smirnoff vodka. Yay! I asked a shop assistant how many bottles of spirits I could take. She said, “You can have one!” I looked at the three whiskeys in my basket already and repeated to her, “I can only have one?”

“No,” she said, “You can have what you want!” Honestly, no-one can hear a thing anyone says in masks!!

And that’s how I ended up with so many!!

Just as well I over-stocked as it turns out, because –

Without warning, alcohol was banned again last Sunday night. There was no chance to stock up.

Now we are back to eking out our supplies until it’s legal again.

Other measures were also put in place, such as a curfew again, between 9 pm and 4 am. Taxis (most of ours are mini buses holding many people, which function as buses) can now run at 100% capacity for short distances and 70% for long distances. They are going on the theory that you can sit in a confined space for a short time and not catch the virus! Also gatherings of up to 49 people are now allowed for religious practices, and – get this – casinos!

So we can go gambling, but we’re still not allowed to see family members.

Why all the ups and downs with alcohol?

Some people abuse alcohol, causing an increase in drunk-related casualties and violence. The hospitals become overrun with alcohol-related cases, taking up doctors’ time and beds that could have been used for Corona cases. Sad but true.

So the majority of us have to do without our sun-downers, because of the irresponsible behaviour of a few.

Our severe Lockdown measures at the start of Corona in SA curbed the spread, giving us time to build extra hospitals and make other preparations for dealing with the pandemic.

Now, however, the numbers are rising at an alarming rate, despite all the mandatory wearing of masks and hand sanitizing. There are just too many people living in densely populated areas.

Today’s Corona Stats for South Africa –

Confirmed cases: 324221; Recovered: 165591; Deaths: 4669

Still, the death rate in SA is quite low compared to other countries. For example, though our total number of cases has now exceeded that of the UK, our death rate is only 10% of theirs, and we have the same number of total cases as Mexico, but only 12.5% of their deaths.

Also, because misery likes company, we are now having power cuts again! Of course we are. It is mid-winter, the Cape has just been battered by violent storms and there is snow on the mountains. Why would you need electricity to make a cuppa?

The power cuts are scheduled, so at least you know what time you’ll have yours. It is called Load shedding and naturally we have levels for that too.

But you may as well laugh about it all, as South Africans are wont to do. We are at Level 3 Lockdown and there’s a meme where our President says, “My fellow South Africans, we are going to Stage 2 . . . of Load shedding!”

And another meme which says, “I can’t believe it’s Load shedding season already. I still have my Covid-19 decorations up!”

However, like the rest of you, I’m fed up of 2020 already!

 

Blue Skies

Blue Skies and Cape Bulbul

Haiku 202

Nothing but blue skies

And chirpy little Bulbul

On sleeping grape vines

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I was wandering round the garden with my new cell phone, taking pictures of flowers and stuff to familiarise myself with the camera.

I was snapping away at my yellow honeysuckle when I heard a determined twittering coming from overhead.

I pointed my camera upwards and clicked.

Luckily, before he flew off, I captured this cheeky little Cape Bulbul, sitting in the winter grape vines and telling me to get lost!

Though he’s not quite in focus, I’m showing the photo here because of that blue, blue sky!

And I know I’ve said it before, some years ago in I see Skies of Blue, but obviously it still bothers me, so I’ll say it again.

As a teenager at school in England, I always painted my skies this deep blue colour. My art teacher, who didn’t like me or my work, criticised yet another of my humble efforts, squashing any artistic dreams I might have had, when she briefly glanced at my “work of art” and said, “You don’t get skies that colour!”

Well, Ma’am, “Yes you do!”

Over here, most days, all day, the sky is resoundingly this marvellous deep clear blue. And my blue wasn’t even as deep as in the above untouched photo!

The thing that bugs me is how teachers back then often totally crushed any individuality or creativity in you.

I mean, it was a painting for Pete’s sake. Why couldn’t the sky have been green, had I so chosen?

 

To see how blue the sky really was, tilt your screen away from you. 

 

Sunday Musings #199

Mirror: You look cute today.
Camera: Um, no.
Instagram Filters: I got you.

– Unknown

 

This made me smile. Though I’m not on Instagram, I do have a Beauty Face option on my Galaxy Smartphone camera. I put the setting high for selfies and just like that I am ten years younger!

 

This one’s for you Garfield Hugs, by request, in response to your post A New App.