Our new neighbours move in day after tomorrow. This affects us more closely than many because we live in one of three homes on the same property. What was originally a much larger farm has been eaten up since the mid-sixties by one of Pietermaritzburg’s suburbs and the advent of the N3. What remains on our side of the road is a largeish piece of land with a farmhouse and two outbuildings that have been converted into residential units. While initially regretting that we don’t live in the cowshed (longstanding bovine joke at my expense), our keyring bore the label “The Stables”. With Margaret’s death came the offer to move to the former cowshed but we decided against this because we are very comfortable in our own home, have put in a fair amount of work on the immediate garden, and all the work of packing up and moving down the garden just didn’t seem worth it.
As an addendum to the post regarding all the items passed on to me by Margaret’s family, from the worm farm and wooden pot stand to the watering can, the circle was completed with the gift of a water jug and basin as they were locking up the home for the last time. The set has apparently belonged to a number of members of the family over years. Apart from my obvious delight at another “w”, it is blue. Blue is good ; I’ve thought so ever since I had a name to put to the colour. There are a couple of cracks and chips but only last week the local newspaper carried an article on a porcelain restorer who may be able to assist me.
Being a longtime reader of The Witness, it is fitting that another newspaper article from about a year ago brings me to our new neighbours.
The couple who will be moving in are well known aloe farmers who have over the years collected more than two hundred species from around Africa and Malaysia. Some of these will be accompanying them, as will a cat and two Ridgebacks. We have been a bit apprehensive about how our cat will adapt as she is a recovering stray who still tends to be shy of anyone she doesn’t know and distrustful of other animals. It took her months to accept Storm but they now have a good working relationship. I fully anticipate a number of vocal hissy fits and screaming dogs but they will hopefully all soon settle down together. In the meantime I’ll just go to work with black rings under my eyes and wet feet as I return to the garden with a (more portable) water jug in defense of our cat. We have met the couple on a few occasions as they ferry plants in and we are looking forward to the next chapter.