Onwards. Minding my Step.


I finished Kate Spicer’s Lost Dog late last night and cried soft snotty sobs into my pillow.  When I told Hat I was going to read it she asked, ‘you sure that’s a good idea, Mum?’   But it was. It was because it reminded me that the madness that descends when you lose a precious four legged companion is quite normal.

I keep walking. Just Jip and me now. Miles and miles each evening beneath two mountains which blush at the setting sun. Sometimes when I walk, I walk past ranks of sorghum which sway in the breeze and whose seedy heads are rattled when clouds of quelea take flight which makes me jump. And then freeze stock still in case it’s a buffalo.


17068e21-772b-426d-a57e-66829484841c (1)

There are buffalo on the farm. I see evidence of them. Their tread. Their dung. Sometimes still too moist for my liking. I stop still then too and have a careful look around. And once, just beyond my garden. Five of them.  They gazed in my direction beyond a bed of Strelitzia as I stood and stared squarely back from safe confines of the sitting room.


And elephant.  Their tread is less light than the buffalo. They have been on the rampage in the avocado trees and left tangled, torn branches sliced and felled.  One evening as I let Jip out for a last pee she went nuts – boldly barking the odds from the relative safety of the kitchen step and then I heard the unmistakable irritated blow of an elephant as if to say, ‘oh for God’s sake, do shut up!’. Ant did not believe me. But I heard the eles that night, near the veggie patch. And what’s more, Jip heard them too. Definitely.  The elephant left the veggie garden alone where porcupine did not, a whole family ripped through the maize crop and scoffed the lot. What a bunch of pricks, I said to Ant. He didn’t think it was as funny as I did.

I live on a chicken farm. Sometimes we get the old overflow. Yesterday I got ten, ready for the deep freeze. TEN. They arrived in a fertilizer sack on the back of a motor bike and I had to madly cull contents of freezer before they all got too warm. Life on a chicken farm has solved one of life’s great riddles. Ant told me. Chicken and egg? The chicken definitely came first he announced months ago. How do you know I asked? ‘Several hundred arrived on the farm in a lorry, no sign of any eggs’.

Almost time for a walk. Jip is beginning to stalk me lest I have forgotten. She follows me into the loo. I will pull on a hat, put on my trainers and we will walk.

And I will not look back.


Long day, long walk




One Response to “Onwards. Minding my Step.”

  1. G Burrow Says:

    I love the way you write. When are you going to write a book? Would love to do a house swap holiday with you. I am in Perth Australia. Keep well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: