Bits n’ Bobs

Autumn will soon be upon us … and it cannot arrive soon enough. We are experiencing a mini heat wave here in Johannesburg and temps have been approaching 30c.

I am too young to be having hot flushes, and probably the wrong sex!

It seems the only cure is an ice cold beer and a pool lounger.

Oh, the stress of it all.

Meanwhile …. on the load shedding front.

We have a new man In Charge(sic) of the electricity thing dontcha know, and lo and behold the power cuts appear to have all but ceased. I can’t speak for the rest of the country but here we have experienced minimal load shedding these past few days and long may it last!

This might add fuel to the fire…’scuse the pun… that we wos being robbed by those thieving barstewards and their cronies in the ANC and Eskom.

On the subject of  what do Chinese men do when they have an  erection?

Why, they vote of course!

And on that note … the missus received a call from the Other Party ( the Democratic Alliance) a couple of days back enquiring if we were planning on voting in the next erection …. dammit, there’s  my one track mind again. Election.

The missus launched into a lecture that would have impressed any school teacher faced with an unruly class of bloody animals. Children to you and me.

Eventually she told the canvasser that yes, she would be voting for them but if they let us down …. well, I wouldn’t want to be a member of the DA if they don’t come up to scratch and my missus were to come calling. Presuming of course they win next year. Personally I doubt they will.

But you never know, right?

A few photos …

Some of you may recall we rescued  a tiny week old rat we found abandoned on the driveway last year and Ems tried to rear it. Unfortunately the poor thing didn’t make it.

However … the cats found another one and this one had a stronger constitution.

Say hello to Ratty!

He is as cute as a button and as domesticated as I can imagine any wild rat could be and he loves his ‘Mummy’ to bits!

He has a nice cage, posh food and gets to run around her bedroom every evening.

He will soon be sporting a brand new Rat Harness and we can look forward to Walkies in the garden.


Bark Mantis.

This one was being shown a little too much attention by one of the cats and had to be rescued.

It showed his/her displeasure by flaring out his her wings. First time I have managed to get a shot of this display.

After the photo shoot our mantis was carefully placed in a nearby tree and promply faded out of sight.


The girlfriend of one our my son’s mates runs a dog grooming service so as we like to support local business we asked if she would pop around and give our two a wash and brush up.

Baxter was cool, as he is, but Ella seems a little nonplussed by the whole experience.

On the garden front …

Probably the largest Gemsquash I have managed to grow so far. A real whopper.

More garden produce

Making a fresh batch of chili, this one with green peppers, garlic, coriander and lemon ( all home-grown). Very tasty.

On the Baking Front …


In the Studio.

Putting the finishing touches on a baby shower cake

Delivered to a concert pianist over here on tour.

On arrival the crew were greeted by the pianist’s South African PR who turned out to be one of our clients and they were offered tickets to the show. Unfortunately, unlike the Santana gig we baked for, there were two more deliveries so the gracious offer had to be declined.


A chance encounter with a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. I only had my phone with me as I strolled around the garden so this was the best shot I could manage.

Death’s Head Hawkmoth caterpiller.

Found on the lawn. No doubt courtesy of the cats. Gently picked it up took a few photos for my records then relocated on one of the raised veggie beds where it will burrow underground and later emerge as a fully grown moth.

This was an unusual find.  These two (unknown) beetles were among several that had congregated on one unripe tomato.  I saw no others anywhere.  I  left them undisturbed and monitored their behaviour over the following week. The tomato remained un chewed and the beetles showed no inclination to move to another fruit.

Then, one morning they were gone.

Finally …

As I am sure Nan has been holding her breath throughout this post, bless her,  and not wanting to disappoint her …

Red Backed Crab spider discovered on on one of the Wild Daisies in the back garden last week.

There you go.

Time for a coffee and a piece of cake I think.



57 thoughts on “Bits n’ Bobs

  1. Very much enjoyed reveling in MOST of your post since you have been among the missing for several weeks (outside of visiting other blogs). And I sooo appreciate that closing image!!! 🤢

    BTW, I like this lighter background much better. Everything is much easier to see and read. JMO.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When there is a fair amount of writing, as here, I agree, this background makes it easier to read. For pics the dark background can make the images jump out a bit more.

      Anyway… variety is the spice of life, so it’s said.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Well, all the pics looked really good to me on this lighter background but it’s YOUR blog …

        P.S. Seems to me you took a straw vote sometime back and several preferred the lighter background. Or am I just projecting?

        Liked by 1 person

          1. And talking of footy…
            We have managed to see Ted Lasso.
            Fantastic show. The crew and I binge-watched almost the entire first season last night.
            ‘Just one more, just one more!’
            I had to call a halt to proceedings otherwise my lot would have sat through the whole damn lot!
            I had to remind them we do have work tomorrow, dontcha know?
            Anyway, thanks for the recommendation, Mister D.
            Great show.
            I have a feeling we will be glued to the box for the next couple of weeks after work .
            RMS said after watching Ted bake his ‘cookies’ he was dying for shortbread biscuits.

            Bye, y’all

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Haha, so you are saying you and the family really enjoy the show, particularly the American sporting method? 😉 In a Southampton way I’m a bit envious you are watching it and I cannot. Dayum it. 😕😄 Had a good hunch, Ark, the show would be right up your alley. Any sore ribs yet… from laughing so much at us Americans? 🤭

            Liked by 1 person

          3. It is only available on Apple+ streaming with a monthly subscription membership fee of $7. We already pay way too much for 10,000 various channels thru Spectrum TV, but also a $15/month fee for Amazon Prime streaming. If I wanted to watch all great world class European football games, leagues, tournaments, etc, I would have to pay around $50-$60 per month to about 5 different sports streaming services! Ark, I can’t even watch every single Arsenal game because THAT TOO is another streaming service called Peacock, with NBC Sports.

            Getting the (hyper-expensive) picture here in the most opulent country in the world? 🙄😟


          4. Hey PT — have you checked out YouTubeTV? They have several sports channels. Of course, it would just be one more “subscription!”

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi nan. Indeed ark has been busy on ‘other’ blogs, trying to refute the reliable scriptures……as well as try to defend a whirlybird earth. lol ( I challenged him to prove it on his site. Maybe he’ll listen to u)


      1. I’ve only seen him on a couple of other blogs, but I may not be visiting the same ones as you. I think they’ve been having some problems with power facilities so he hasn’t been as active as usual.

        I doubt he’s going to change his thinking on the “reliable scriptures” or the “whirlybird earth” — and I think you know that I side with him. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Indeed, and this one is a real character. I love to spend a few minutes when I can just to sit and watch him… and maybe have a few words!

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello Ark, you are remarkably observant. I really like that bark mantis – I have never seen one before. I like to take pictures of insects too, but I’m not as good at finding them as you are. Or it could be my pet hadeda, Eleanor, she likes to eat them … The cakes are all amazing and I am particularly impressed with the piano. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the visit.
      It took quite a few years before I saw a bark mantis.
      I was sitting in my office one summer evening with the door open to the garden when one flew in and landed on my keyboard!
      I was amazed.
      I had no idea what it was but fortunately I was in exactly the right place to find out.
      So after taking numerous hurried shots with my camera ( which resides on my desk) Google came to my rescue.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. My garden is regularly full of cosmos from a few seeded I librated from plants we found over at Koi Mecca inBoksburg many years ago. We also have a pair of herons that live in the nearby Observatory golf course and they come visit our koi pond every now and then!


  3. Goodness gracious… so much to comment on and ask! Where do I start? Hang on a minute, I know! HEADLINES READ:

    Liverpool Seek New Manager — Lasso Front-Runner! (hopefully this link works for you…) 😁

    This is where/when it all started, 9-years ago for NBC Sports picking up exclusive rights to televise the EPL. Really hope this works for you there!

    Will make my other comments, questions, etc, following this one sir.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Okie Dokie, seriously now…

    Very happy the load-shedding seems to be very minimal. That sort of inconsistency would’ve driven us and most Texans bat-shit crazy; like Vive La Frahnce, Frenchy style revolution with heads rolling from the guillotine! 🙃💀

    Be sure Ems doesn’t go outside with Ratty when the Hawks are about! I’ve witnessed spectacular carnage when we had our outdoor goldfish pond and Leopard frogs about. Yikes! 😬

    The batch of chili sounds mouth-watering, perhaps even eye-watering with those green peppers!

    Ems cakes are just simply breath-taking. Wowzaaa! I too LOVE the piano! How’d she get the piano-chords in there? 😉

    So the Hawkmoth hummer comes from that caterpillar!? (in his best Ted Lasso impersonation) 😉

    Those beetles most certainly came from the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Deutchland. EVERYBODY knows that Ark. Sheesh!

    Gorgeous Red Back Crabby-crawler that even Nan has to hug and love on! 😈 hehe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We will wait and see how long this respite lasts
      It is either a pre ejection plot or a demonstration of just how much incompetence and corruption run through the government, it’s cronies and parstatals.

      To even contemplate the ABCmight lose the next general eletion would have been a pipe dream a mere year ago.
      Now…well, we’ll wait and see.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Same thing is happening on California’s coast. Those condos and homes with all the wonderful (read: expensive) views are quite literally sitting on the very sodden edge of a cliff.

            Liked by 2 people

      1. Jesus H. Christ…
        You know the tale about the guy who said: “Hey! What a perfect day. No traffic at all on the road.” Until he turned around the corner and got caught up in a traffic jam…
        I sympathize… (Do you have a cistern or something to store water?) 💦


        1. We are blessed with a borehole.
          Of course this is reliant on there being electricity!

          It turned out that the huge water storage facility a few clicks down the road from us had sprung a rather large leak.
          When I went to the vet for food ( for our animals, not me) the receptionist had captured the ‘leak’ on her phone. ( Bless technology!)

          The storage facility is built on a steep rise and the water was pouring out like a damn waterfall!
          Never seen anything like it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Makes me think we are all so near the brink to total disaster…
            As an example, I wonder in which future flight the pilot will make the following announcement:
            “To passengers and crew, this is the Captain speaking. We have a couple of minor issues with the plane computers. That means we have to reset the entire system. That means the engines will shut down briefly but at our altitude of 30,000 ft it should not be a major issue. It should also take only a few seconds to reboot, but since the air will also be shut off, I suggest you all take a deep breath. On the count of three…”
            ((To the vet for food? you had me worried for a second…)
            Take care Douglas…

            Liked by 2 people

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