Of Kingfishers & Caterpillars

I have to share this – oh to be home at this time of year…………..

Of kingfishers and caterpillars – do they remember – By Cathy Buckle

Dear Jag
It’s the calm before the storm in Zimbabwe, and we’re soaking it
up, watching, waiting and bracing for what’s to come. It couldn’t
be a nicer time to be watching! In the cool, clear mornings the
Woodland Kingfishers wake you up with their insistent, noisy
chattering, going on for so long that there’s no chance of going
back to sleep and plenty of time to get up and admire their exquisite
blue wings and astonishing red bills.

As the days warm up and the political wannabees fight it out in their
primary elections, we are basking under a glorious, wide blue sky.
Power cuts of early winter leave us listening to what’s going on
outside and this week it’s the soft plopping sound of caterpillars
falling out of trees. Fearsome looking black caterpillars, 5
centimetres long, and covered with long grey hairs are falling out of
the Musasa trees at a startling rate. Unlike most hairy caterpillars,
the grey hairs on these caterpillars don’t shoot, sting or itch,
they are soft and fine. Around here they call them Madora and the
caterpillars feed on Musasa trees and are a sought after delicacy at
this time of year. Squeezing the innards out, a quick rinse and then a
few minutes in boiling salted water. When they’re cooked and dry, if
you can get past the psychology of the business, it’s difficult not
to like them: hard and crunchy with a spicy, peppery flavour.

Listening to Kingfishers and eating caterpillars while the politicians
tear themselves apart makes you wonder if all these grown men and
women fighting over power and diamonds can remember what it’s like
to see, taste, hear and smell these little treasures of our amazing
country anymore. Only thirteen million Zimbabweans in this vast 391
thousand square kilometre country; isn’t there room enough for us
all to share this treasure regardless of our skin colours and
political persuasions?

As the sun sets over Zimbabwe this June, it’s almost always into a
golden, coppery horizon accompanied by the whistling of a Heuglin
Robin and the screams of distant Francolins. Reaching for our winter
woollies we wait for another star- filled night sky and wonder how
much longer this relative calm will last and how much longer before
the dreaded elections. Until next time, thanks for reading, love
cathy. 1st June 2013. Copyright  Cathy Buckle. www.cathybuckle.com

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Hello world!

karensfossickingsite

Hello World !

I signed up for a blog many moons past! Never did a thing about it. Since then I have mostly posted on Facebook and Pinterest, but seem to think now that I could have saved so much time with a blog instead?

I started out as a young girl keeping a diary – in retrospcet would have been better to have a journal. My mother and grandfather regularly post/ed the days events in a diary. My grandfathers was very humdrum but as he started when he was 17 in about 1921 what is interesting and often highly amusing is the language – quite aside from snippets of what pioneering life in Rhodesia (as it was then) was like.

1921

1st January   “1st Tennis Tournament at Lilfordia”

5th               “Started to make a seat near my hut”

6th               “Went out camping after…

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Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Hello World !

I signed up for a blog many moons past! Never did a thing about it. Since then I have mostly posted on Facebook and Pinterest, but seem to think now that I could have saved so much time with a blog instead?

I started out as a young girl keeping a diary – in retrospcet would have been better to have a journal. My mother and grandfather regularly post/ed the days events in a diary. My grandfathers was very humdrum but as he started when he was 17 in about 1921 what is interesting and often highly amusing is the language – quite aside from snippets of what pioneering life in Rhodesia (as it was then) was like.

1921

1st January   “1st Tennis Tournament at Lilfordia”

5th               “Started to make a seat near my hut”

6th               “Went out camping after dinner – shot two buck”

9th               “Played cricket all day – court was too wet”

13th              “Spent most of the day making a yoke”

14th (Sat)     “Had a lovely dance in the evening – we stopped at 2.30am”

16th              “Played tennis the most part of the day. Had a few hymns in the morning and evening.

18th              “Caught a night-ape this morning”

19th              “Went out shooting this morning. Caught a baby stembok. Let the night-ape go”

20th             “Daddy bought me a razor”

27th             “Cut boot laces”

6th May        “had a public debate. The motion was ‘There is nothing new under the sun”

8th June       “Left by goods train to go home”, – only arrived in Salisbury on the 10th !!

14th              “Collard (“Boss”) and I went to the paddocks to ride donkeys. Killed ox in the evening”

3rd Sept      “Went up to the station to get weighed”

16th              (Plumtree) “School sports, Daddy came down by mail. Tons of people came down. I did quite well. Had a fine dance in the evening.

1922

January – Holidays – they played tennis just about every day, lots of People came to visit, they had dances and singing in the evenings, went out shooting (reed buck), had picnics at the bathing pool (on the Mzururu River below the bridge), printed and fixed photos etc.

11th Jan          “Found out what fools we were for not kissing Jes and Peg”

7th Feb                    “Skinny gave me a book – ‘My Cricket Life’”

13th              Plumtree “Vack (teacher) lost his shirt with our class, God he was wild”

17th              “Started oiling my bat”

27th Aug         Plumtree “Borrowed air guns. Shot 57 birds”

3rd Oct          “Very windy last night – nearly blown out of bed”

1923

17th Mar         “Eclipse of the sun”

6th Apr           Home to Nyabira – cattle looking well “ Fiddled about with tobacco. Picked most of the apples“

23rd             Went to the paddock early in order to catch donkey, had breakfast on Hope Kopje……two boarders arrived”

2nd May           “Great excitement. Erlines birthday. Went down to river for afternoon tea. Took couple of photos, developed in evening”

This sort of thing – schooldays and later farming, from scratch, living in a mid hut and so on.

 

 

The world has changed immensely since then. The most exciting days of the week were Tuesdays and Fridays when the RMS lorries brought the mail – was dropped off at the farm “Halt” on the side of the road. It was sacred, we could help sort it but never open the big padlocked canvas bag! Everything was done my mail ! From payments to and from to letters from those one knew to Invitations and announcements. It is rather sad that few letters are actually written these days. Yet, lives are busier than ever and with online communication it is rare to even get personal mail!

So – I think this blog is going to be a but like a journal. To fossick actually means ‘rummage’ – sorting through materials for recreation mostly. It is what I love – rummaging through history, photos, places, beaches, items of interest. So I will see how it develops.

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