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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday, 6 June: Thatching in process


I am gratified that visitors, old and new, like my new Thatchwick banner. Yes, this is dear Thatchwick Cottage, my haven, with the summer sunlight streaming over that dear old roof. At the moment Thatchwick is getting a new layer of thatch over two-thirds of the roof. Thatching is in process! And what a messy,dusty job it is! Enoch of Thatching Construction Co (a very pleasant and professional young African man who is justly proud of his own thatching company) and his happy team are dressing the roof. These men are keeping alive a dying art and they sing, joke and laugh as they do the job. I know - I work from home and hear them all day.

Oh, dear the mess!

The roof over the guest room. Four rooms in Thatchwick: the Guest Room, the Grandchildrens' Room and my bedroom are rondavels. So is the dining room. A rondavel is a round room with a conical thatched roof. Afrikaans: rondawel. Arranging furniture in a round room is a challenge which will even have Kari & Kisja scratching their heads!

A pile of thatch grass - golden like the veld from which it was harvested (veld is the high broad grassland in southern Africa), sweet smelling and so typical of Africa! I love it!Thatching is also a very English tradition. But my dear Thatchwick home is definitely out of Africa.

N'kosi Sikelele - God bless Africa, and all her children and bring her peace!

20 comments:

Mary said...

Goodness gracious - memories of "Out Of Africa", Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), that amazing life in Africa I would never have known about had they not made the movie - and what a great job Meryl Streep did!!! Always to be at the top of my favorites list.

Eleanor - thank you so much for these wonderful photos as work progresses on the cottage roof - it's just fascinating. I used to always stand in awe watching thatchers at work in Devon - such a craft, let's hope it never dies out. You will really look spiffy with all that beautiful, fragrant 'grass' above your head. How nice they serenade you while working - here they'd most likely be cursing....in Spanish!!!

I just checked South African Airlines to Johannesburg - while dreaming about sitting at that table with you - a bit pricey but they partner with other airlines so perhaps I could use mileage!!! Are you serious? Maybe it could be done - even dh is encouraging!!!

Hope your weekend is wonderful.
Hugs - Mary.

Eleanor said...

Dear Mary, all things are possible to them who dream! You would be truly welcome. We South Africans are a hospitable lot - it is a leftover of the colonial days, I guess, when distances were far and visitors were fed and bedded on the farms and outposts. I think I was still fixing up this posting so I hope you will see my answer and pray a blessing over Africa and her people. Love.Eleanor

Ms.Daisy said...

Eleanor - What a lovely cottage you have! I also really like your blog name, "Thatchwick Cottage!"

I am in the States and would love to have you visit my blog. I am a brand new blogger (Just started in May, 2008 - I don't have a camera yet so very few pictures!)but I think you and I would find we have a lot in common. Please visit soon!

Jean

Carrie said...

Ohh, your new banner shows more of your beautiful home! It is interesting to read about the thatching process.

Dee Dee said...

What a lovely post...I think the whole process is incredibly wonderful...I love this singing is part of the process....I feel God has placed you in a beautiful part of the world Eleanor...Your description of the thatching process had me right there with you....Blessings..Dee Dee

Rebecca Ramsey said...

What a GORGEOUS home you have. I love thatched roofs. It really is beautiful and the whole process is so interesting.
It's very nice to meet you!
Becky

Kelli said...

Your little cottage is so beautiful and welcoming, Mary! I hope you are having a great weekend.
~Kelli
P.s. Thank you for the new puppy tips. :0)

willow said...

This is all so very intriguing and romantic. I, too, think of Karen Blixen when I see your Thatchwick.

Loved seeing your work in progress, Eleanor.

I am going to look for Woody Allen's short stories at the library this week. :)

The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

Oh how excited I am to find your blog! I do adore your banner, and thatch roofs. Very interesting process, I have to show my husband as he was just asking last night about looking it up on the net, ha!
Just gorgeous...
Nikki

Tracy said...

Hi, Eleanor! Thank you so much for visiting me at my blog...for it led me to your wonderful spot here in blogland! Your thatched cottage is like a fairytale dwelling...it is beautiful, and very exciting to see the work in progress. Your home and life look lovely...your dogs are so sweet. I miss having dogs. And your quilting is amazing--what gorgeous work. You seem a woman of many talents and interests! I look forward to visiting here soon again. Happy weeknd to you :o)

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Eleanor!
I was so thrilled to see such a magnificent home with a thatched roof! What a incredible art and craft it is!
Thank you for inviting us to visit you on your veranda. I am so glad we can journey to South Africa so quickly these days from Ohio,USA via blogging.
Have a fabulous week Eleanor!
Hugs, Sherry

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

What a magical place to visit! Thanks for sharing your blog with us! We've added you as a link so others can enjoy!

Sara said...

Greetings from Southern California.

I have fallen in love with your so very charming and picturesque thatched cottage! Wow, it really is like a dream cottage to me, steeped as I am in novels by the likes of Miss Read and Elizabeth Goudge, etc! Of course, we have nothing like this where I reside. At first I assumed you were in England, but then I noticed the palm trees, and then I read a little more of your blog to find you are in South Africa!

This is my first visit to your blog; I came over from Rose Colored Glasses, and I will be back again. So glad to have found your blog.

Sara

Brenda said...

What a glorious world you live in!

I lived in a 17th century thatched roof cottage in England for 3 years when I was a teen. I loved that old cottage and grieved when we returned to the states after my father's tour was over.

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

Hi Eleanor, you will have to show us the round rooms one day, hint, hint . HUGS !

KarenHarveyCox said...

Oh this is so amazing. Eleanor you don't need pretty blog enhancements, your photographs speak for themselves. How exciting that you have taught The Great Gatsby, my favorite book when I was young. Etsy.com is this wonderful place started by a young man living in Brooklyn New York. It was started to celebrate hand-made products. There are now thousands of people selling on Etsy. It is a sweet, and different approach for artisans and artists to sell affordable art on-line.

I am so excited that I found you, Thatchwick Cottage is a wonderful place. Blessings, Karen

KarenHarveyCox said...

Eleanor after rereading this post it brought me back to my favorite line from the book Out of Africa, "I once had a farm in Africa." I devoured that book in search of my desire to explore, and hoped that my life my reflect that adventure some day. The Lord was faithful and led me to living abroad for ten years when my children were young. When we lived in Canada we were blessed with the most wonderful family from South Africa, they lived next door. They are back in Cape Town now and we never got enough stories of Africa to satisfy us, nor tired of listening to them speak Afrikaans.

Your writing takes me right into your adventure.

Blessings, Karen

pammiejo said...

I just stumbled upon your blog in the last couple of weeks and spent time reading past blogs you've written today. How very interesting to learn of another world so very far away and yet seems so close. You are an excellent writer and I see very well through your mind's eye! Thank you for sharing South Africa with me!

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