Still me

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

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday, 30 August: Spring today, summer tomorrow

Suddenly bougainvillas blaze red, purple, brick, white.
Coral trees (Erythina caffra) burst into red flame. Clivias delight but only for a few short weeks.

My oak is too impatient for the last withered leaf to fall. The tender green leaves unfurl overnight, pushing the dry foilage off the branches, littering the courtyard.

Petunia trees line streets in more delicate pink and white. By mid morning the blue sky is hazy with fine dust swirled around by late August winds.

Last weekend I was in winter woolies; this Saturday I am in sandals, camisoles and cotton skirts. Pass the suncream, darl!

Soon it will be the jakarandas and the breathless wait for the early rains.

Nothing in South Africa comes in half measures - the bad and the good; the ugly and the glorious; the hope and the sometimes despair. That is why those of us who have chosen the beloved country as our forever home love it so much with old-fashioned passion, commitment and faith.

God bless South Africa and grant her and her people peace!
N'kosi sikelele, Africa!
Written in exile from South Africa

Hibiscus was red
(It grew by my window)
And salvia,
The spikes of aloes,
And the coral tree
In flaring splendour.
Here there are flowers,
Frail lives of loveliest name,
Daffodils, primroses, daisies,
Fritillaries, buttercups.
But nowhere in England,
That pagan colour,
Nowhere that red
That flamed by my window.

by Charles Ould.


MyJourneyBack said...

Thank you so much for coming by and leaving such a sweet comment. It Blessed me and then when I came over and saw all your beautiful photo's I am doubley blessed. God's creation just is asstounding there. I am not great with geography but sounds like ya'll are heading heading into warm weather while we are moving into cool.
I will definately come back for a visit thanks for the invite. We will definately love reading more about the dogs.
Tomorrow we have a doggie post planned. Come by and see it.
Many Blessings,

Eleanor said...

I certainly will, Sherry. It was good to visit you too. Sometimes things get so hectic, it takes me a while to get back to everyone. But in the end, I do make it all around the world!

willow said...

Oh, Eleanor! Here you are! I've been over ringing the bell at Thatchwick and there was no answer. I see you're out here for a glorious walk and your poem describes it perfectly. So good to see you again my friend!

Willow x o

Poetikat said...

What a moving and rousing post! I greatly enjoyed looking at the photos and your commentary along the way. The poem is wonderful!
Sadly, I think the west has a fairly negative image of your country, but you are enlightening us with every post--brilliant in so many ways!


Joni B. said...

Thank you for leaving a comment - it was much appreciated. I sometimes forget that the exotic flowers we grow in our homes are actually ones that grow outdoors. Your beautiful photos remind me of their origin. It is wonderful that through blogging a whole world has opened up. I love to hear of your homeland. It is a place I have always wanted to visit. Take care. You are heading into summer and we are heading into winter.:)

KarenHarveyCox said...

Such lovely photographs, what a lovely place. I once had bougainvillas on my balcony in Hong Kong. Oh, I wish it were the beginning of summer all over again here. My girls are beginning school next Wednesday and we are entering the Fall season. Have a lovely weekend. Karen

Sreddy Yen said...

South Africa definitely has a wide diversity of flora! Love all the pictures.


Kelli said...

What lovely springtime photos, Eleanor! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful poem with us, too!

Deb said...

Hello Eleanor
Thank you for visiting my blog. Yes, I've just finished reading Good Dog. Stay ~ it was wonderful except I cried all the way through! It reminded me so much of my Ben.
Your plants are wonderful ~ I love the bougainvillas.

Ms.Daisy said...

What lovely flowers and Springtime trees you are enjoying! Thank you for the pictures - I can feel your joy through them!

It will be cooling off here soon, but we do enjoy a beautiful Autumn here on the Jersey coast.
Thanks for stopping by - I always appreciate your comments.


kari and kijsa said...

Thank you for all your prayers and blessings!
Have a wonderful Labor Day,
kari & kijsa

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I adore the new photo of your charming cottage on your blog header. So lovely! And as always, I love seeing photos of your garden!

Lavinia said...

Lovely botanical images. I echo your sentiment. May the Lord bless your beautiful and bountiful land...

Mary said...

Um, petunia TREES!!! Never knew of these - are the blossoms like the ordinary petunias we plant as Summer annuals? All the blossoms are so colorful - now I know why people who've had the fortune to visit your beautiful country are always ectatic about the scenery!!

I have one oak just like your's - hangs on to bunches of crisp brown leaves throughout the Winter before the new bright green ones give them a shove!!

Barbara Martin said...

Beautiful post and the photos of the new blooms. To think in the northern hemisphere we will soon be readying for fall and winter, and there you are delighting in summer weather.