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Wednesday, 18 January 2006
Delicious Monster

Monstera deliciosa

This is a leaf of the Monstera deliciosa (delicious monster) plant. The plant originates in Mexico and South America, but is a popular house-plant.  It also grows very well in the climate of KwaZulu Natal, where I took this photo.

It bears a tasty fruit (often not when grown as a house-plant) that tastes something like a misture of banana and a pineapple. It is essentially a sort of creeper, and an interesting fact about the plant is that when the seeds germinate in the wild the young plants grow away in the direction of the darkest area until they find a tree trunk. They then grow up the tree towards the canopy.  Another delicious monster leaf is visible in the background of the photograph I posted yesterday.

Posted by bigblue on 18/01/2006 at 09:05 PM
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Tuesday, 17 January 2006
Burmese Python

Burmese Python

This is a Burmese Python at the reptile park at PheZulu. A nearby notice advises that this snake

is a common pet snake that is unfortunately often released into the wild. It has larger scales than the Rock Python and has a light orange in its patterns. All pythons have a small claw on either side of the cloaca (this is the area between the tail and the body where the private parts are situated, under a large scale under the body).
Its diet includes ground birds, deer, boar and domestic animals.
Average length: about 6 metres
Locality: Bhutan, Burma, Vietnam and India.
This exotic snake is not indiginous to South Africa.

The guide took the snake out of its enclosure and several of us had turns holding it (over the shoulders).

Posted by bigblue on 17/01/2006 at 10:03 PM
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Monday, 16 January 2006
Gangers Hill

Gangers Hill

One week into the New Year we had some snow, and I went out and took some photographs.

This is on Gangers Hill on the North Downs Way.  Someone told me that in the olden days a gang of travellers lived in this wood. They gathered and sold firewood. They also kept pigs and bred fish (in some man-made ponds in the wood) in order to survive through winter.

According to the Ramblers’ Association (link above):

For much of its length the Way parallels the old route known as the Pilgrim’s Way between Winchester and Canterbury. Much of the traditional route of the Pilgrim’s Way is now part of the modern road network and walkers wishing to follow it are advised to use the North Downs Way as an alternative.

The National Trail site has a brief history of the Pilgrims’ Way.

Posted by bigblue on 16/01/2006 at 08:32 PM
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Thursday, 12 January 2006
Funniest Blonde Joke Ever

This is supposed to be the funniest blonde joke ever. Maltesers may also get some enjoyment from it.

Posted by bigblue on 12/01/2006 at 10:19 PM
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Kalk Bay Harbour

kalk bay harbour

This is the view in the opposite direction. The beach actually opens onto a small fishing harbour, so there are no waves and the water can become relatively warmer than the open sea. When the boats come in it is possible to buy fresh fish in the harbour. There are many excellent restaurants in the vicinity where the seafood can also be sampled, but I would recommend The Harbour Music Club at the Acoustic Cafe.

The aim of the Harbour Music Club is to promote good acoustic and rock music in Cape Town, a place for established musicians to play in an informal atmosphere and also try out new material or for new artists to get their performing sea legs.

You are not really going there for the food, which is simple and cheap, but for the Wednesday and Friday night live music, or the Saturday afternoon jam sessions. 

If it is food you are after then you would be better off at The Harbour House, with its excellent views.  If you are interested in theatre, you could try The Kalk Bay Kitchen. Meals are (deliberately) served cold, and it has more interesting vegetarian options (as does Olympia Cafe which is where the theatre started out).

I also found a nice little site showcasing Kalk Bay here.

Posted by bigblue on 12/01/2006 at 06:19 PM
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Wednesday, 11 January 2006
Kalk Bay

Kalk Bay

Kalk is the Afrikaans word for lime, and this place gets its name from the mine and kiln here in times past. 

The railway that cuts the beach off from the high street and village is the Cape Town/Simonstown line.  Just on the other side of the railway line (almost beneath it) is the Haven Night Shelter, which opened in 1994

after numerous discussions with the relevant parties and having overcome various obstacles with opposing ratepayers.

According to their website, they not only provide shelter to the homeless of Kalk Bay but also provide food aid to 2000 people in the area.

On the Kalk Bay main road are the antique shops and fancy restaurants which pull in tourists and locals alike.  For breakfast, it should be Olympia Cafe. Bookings are not taken so you should get there early and join the queue (put your name on the white board at the entrance, and don’t be put off by the brusqueness of the staff who can’t seem to handle the pressure.  If you decide to foresake the buzz of Olympia Cafe for one of the emptier restaurant next door then you have made a mistake.

Posted by bigblue on 11/01/2006 at 10:01 PM
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Tuesday, 10 January 2006

rotary sign

This is a Rotary sign above a lucky frog, inviting you to make donations to Rotary. The frog doubles as a money box. It is situated in Mitchell Park in Durban. I know that I can’t spell, and I am not wanting to gloat, but I do know the difference between the words peer and seer.

Posted by bigblue on 10/01/2006 at 06:38 PM
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Coram Boy

Coram Boy set

This is the set for the play Coram Boy currently playing at the National Theatre in London. I snapped it with my mobile phone before the start of the first half. (Scarlett complained when I referred to half time, apparently it is known as interval in theatrical circles).

It is based on the book Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin, and Scarlett took Pinkie and me to see the play on Saturday night as a Christmas present.  I thoroughly enjoyed the play. I read the book some years ago, but Pinkie gave us a refresher synopsis on Thursday in preparation.  Scarlett has mentioned the play in her blog here.

I haven’t posted much since returning from my holiday last week, but I have been busying myself as mum, dad, cleaner, cook, taxi driver and general dogsbody. On top of this, Scarlett was bitten (several times) by some insect on an internal South African flight during our holiday and I was bitten once on our flight from Cape Town to Frankfurt (thanks SAA).  The culprit is probably something like this Wolf spider.

Normally blogging service should now be resumed.

Posted by bigblue on 10/01/2006 at 12:00 AM
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