Spring Break – Visiting Brooklyn Farm

1 October 2012

It was a really beautiful day today.  The temperature rose to 27 before 10 a.m. We were up early as we had a lunch date with Barbara and Andrew at Brooklyn Farm.  But before that we needed to go into to town to buy tackies and crocks.   The kids were thrilled because Grandpa promised to take them to Spur for breakfast

A Spur Treat

Shopping in Kokstad is a hectic affair.  It is not exactly a metropolis but it is a very busy place. One has to fight for parking and walking along the pavements means dodging both potholes and seething crowds of people.  But everyone is very friendly and although the area has a reputation for violent crime I never once felt threatened.

We were the only white customers in Daks Shoe shop.  The range of footwear was impressive and the service from a well-dressed, polite young black assistant was excellent.   Within 10 minutes I had a comfortable pair of black tackies with pink trim and Earl a pair of rubber slip-ons for fishing.   Before we left we were asked if there was anything they could show the children!

Earl and I took the kids to the farm while Lauren finished some chores before joining us.  Barbara treated us to tea and homemade scones and tea served in her beautiful garden.   We were amused by the ducks that found the bird bath a lovely place to cool off.  We enjoyed watching many birds come to the feeding table before the heat drove us indoors.

Tea and scones at The MacKenzie’s cottage

The only duck pond she could find

Once again we were treated to a more than adequate meal!  Roast beef complete with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and vegetables, followed by apple crumble and custard.

The MacKenzie grandchildren popped round and played with Shannon and Simon and then we went across to greet their mom, Birgitta who had her mom visiting too.   The kids played in the pool.

Earl , Barbara and I decided to walk off our lunch with a walk round the farm which brought back fond memories of the wonderful holidays we spent here in years now just in our memories.  Then the farm dogs now long gone joined us on these rambles and now Jet did the same.

Jet waiting for us to catch up

Earl and Barbara

At the labourers’ huts we saw Andrew’s reliable old herder, Mandla.  He’s now in his 70s and still as fit as a fiddle (as is Andrew) He was starting on building a new hut and was so excited to see me.  “Where is the fisherman?” he called as I was slightly ahead of Earl.   Then when he saw him, “Now the fish are going to die!”  He’d always enjoyed finding Earl at the dam trying desperately to get a bass on his hook and usually succeeding!

Barbara and Me

Back at the cottage we found Ann with Caitlyn and James and it was lovely to see her too.   She and Dean are building a house on the farm and we all went off to see its progress – it should be done by November.

Ann and James

Caitlyn and her grandfather, Andrew

Just before we left Joan arrived home so we had a quick hullo and goodbye to her too.   She is getting married in February so we’ll be back for yet another Mackenzie wedding!

The Cows

Young Herd Boys

In the evening Lauren and Allan’s friends, The Bakers and Nicoline’s parents Paul and Lily came to dinner.   So it was another big meal – Pork done in the Weber with crackling to die for and a potato dish and salad provided by Nicoline followed by Rhubarb and custard. Yum.  What fun catching up with good friends.  The Bakers are such amazing friends to our kids Their two children Scott and Robyn being exactly the same age as Shannon and Simon get on extremely well together. It was also great that Paul and Lily were visiting from Durban at the same time as us as we have got to know them well over the many Christmases we’ve spent together.

So ended another wonderful day catching up with family and friends.

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