Memories of an African Airport

Which of you can claim, as I can, to have landed on Matekane Airport in Lesotho. The runway is 400 meters long and the straight down drop at the end of the runway is 600 meters down a cliff. This was all made a bit more exiting as the pilot, who smelled very heavily of the local fermented maize drink when he arrived three hours late and the co pilot during this time was siphoning some fuel out of a 44 gallon drum with an old hosepipe to fill up the plane. The last straw, after two failed attempts to take off,  was the pilot admitting to the only passenger – me – that he does not fully understand the Russian plane. Never the less, we took off from Maseru and landed “safely” at Matekane. Needless to say, I took a donkey taxi down the mountain back to Maseru – taking all of two days.

2016-03-11 - Matekane Airport - Lesotho

Living in Lovely Dunedin: GRADUATES EVERYWHERE

2014-12-18 - Dunedin Parade

 

The picture is not my own see http://www.otago.ac.nz (next year I will have my camera ready!)

I am totally bowled over by this small university city!  On Saturday morning we drove through the central business district (for starters, where else is that possible!), and got caught up in a traffic jam. The main street was closed and as the litany of complaints rose from troops in the back seat( ‘I will never see my mommy again’ was just one) we heard the pipers coming up the road.  A group of pipers fully kitted out in splendid kilts and all led what must have been all the graduates of Dunedin University of this year, plus the staff. Billowing robes and sashes, flags, beaming students and proud parents running hither and thither with their cameras filed past.  It felt as if the entire town, including us, was out celebrating with the successful students. What a blast! Where else but in Dunedin!

COLOURFUL GIFTS IN DUNEDIN

 

2014-11-19 - Mary's Flowers2014-12-07 - Roses from Mary2014-12-04 - Sweet Peas

Just to prove that Dunedin for all its cold and rain has green fingered gardeners that produce fabulous flowers! Fresh flowers are a luxury on grey, dark days and Mrs BYF tends to take her flowers with her as she moves between the kitchen, living room and bedroom to lift her mood. The unusual,  vibrant sweet peas are burgundy and indigo and the perfume is every bit as intense as the colors. Thank you!

Garden Slugs and Booze

2014-08-28 - Slug

Trying to grow vegetables has many obstacles, none being as difficult as the always  present garden slug. These sneaky little gastropods wander by night and eat the leaves and fruits of many plants.  Once you have them, it is time to take quick action as they can be devastating in a short period of time. There are as many techniques to kill slugs as there are gardeners.

Having the problem myself, I consulted with my neighbour, who is a DOC employee, and I value his opinion. He promised me that even though I see him sneaking around his garden at 7 AM  in the morning holding a bottle of beer,  he is not drinking it, but is feeding it to his slugs. He promised me that slugs are all alcoholics and love beer. I was advised to put  a plastic container with smooth sides, so they cant crawl out when drunk,  in a hole close to the plants and fill  it with cheap Kiwi beer, any Speight or Emerson would do, and the next morning you would find drowned drunken slugs by the dozen. Now, since my slugs are used to eating from the best Italian garden I argued that cheap Kiwi beer is not good enough for them and purchased some Peroni beer. Also plastic containers were not up to standard and glass was provided. After three days of feeding my slugs good beer I can come to one conclusion only – the more beer they drink, the more they eat, as I now have no Broccoli, Cabbage, Salad or Rocket left and have a lot of happy tipsy slugs.

I then remembered being a member of a Gardening group on Facebook and went researching. Soon I found a plethora of organic slug control remedies. The one I have opted for recommended blending chills, garlic and olive oil,  sprayed  on the leaves of the plants, which I duly did and will soon see what the effects on the slugs are. If these slugs have had any Italian influences in there lives, I would suspect they would compliment me on my the salad dressing, but comment on the shortage of enough salt and pepper, then continue ordering some red wine in stead of beer.