We should have paid closer attention to the weather report, after all it warned us that it would rain today. We first fetched 11 bags of compost again and were delayed by Mr. Vermaak needing a chat.

It had rained in PE the two previous days so we decided to weed in the entrance circle because the soil would be soft. Turned out the rain had bypassed Van Stadens so the soil was actually quite hard. We were most surprised that the staff had planted some Hawortias and other plants on the east bank and had landscaped the west bank. They had even watered the new plantings. The weeding took longer than we anticipated and we only finished at teatime when we went to the nursery and first offloaded our compost and put it in the greenhouse.

Cathy, Ruth, Keith an Rob joined us from their hacking and I could show off our first rooted Pelargonium cutting from the misting house, not quite greeted with the enthusiasm I expected, ag, they are easy to grow was the comment.

While we were having coffee it started to rain and we had showers for the rest of the day. This curtailed our activities somewhat, I put up some shelves in the Fovs room, Rob went out in the rain anyway to pull out inkberries while the others potted and filled rooting trays in the greenhouse. The misting house is now full!

Lunchtime Keith and co left, Rob carried on with some more ringbarking and we chainsawed some branches off the cut down bluegum before proceeding to the nursery. There we were surprised again to find bundles of thatching grass in the rondavel. Could it be true that they at long last decided to fix the Xhosa huts?


It was drizzling steadily again so, apart from spreading some compost around the young trees we missed last time there wasn’t much else we could do so it was a good opportunity to inspect our water pipe for possible leaks as I have been worried about the pressure lately.

We followed the pipe down the slope through the wet vegetation and were very happy that the pipe is very well covered and only near the bottom were there a few places where more rocks need to be placed over the pipe. There is now also a new path to some logs across the stream which crosses the pipe and some rocks have been kicked off.

IMGP6971 We noticed that the erosion in the riverbed is getting worse and worse.

IMGP6972Here we found the first problem, the cable ties holding the pipe to the supporting wire have broken in places and the pipe sags considerably, we’ll need a ladder to sort that out.
IMGP6973On the other side of the stream we found the biggest issue, a young bluegum has fallen over on top of the pipe, again breaking cable ties and putting considerable tension on the pipe. A handsaw and some replacement ties will do the trick here.

We then crossed the fence to what we still call Gibson’s place, nowhere is the pipe exposed and the air valve looks in good shape so no problem there apart from the place being overrun with aliens, quite a dramatic sight.
So the conclusion is that the pipeline up to Gibson is in very good condition apart from the few issues highlighted above. There is no visible reason in this section why the pressure should have dropped so it is time to visit our new neigbour and inspect the pipe on his property all the way to the source.


Back at the nursery we made good use of a length of gutter Rob found in the bush to secure our pots which keep on blowing over.

We still tried our best to warm up with a cup of coffee but we were chilled to the bone and only a hot bath back at home sorted that out,