It's pouring with rain, deluging down on our tin roof, interrupting the satellite signal broadcasting a tense cricket match between South Africa and the West Indies into our sitting room. The boys leave, clad in waterproofs, to find a house with a better signal. The girls bake rusks. Youngest is itching to get outside again. She has just taught herself how to ride a bike. This morning she at last triumphantly gained the necessary balance and confidence and keeps saying to all who will listen, "But it's so easy!"
While the rusks fill the house with that comforting smell of baking I download the photos from my camera. A reminder that winter in the Western Cape can be pretty benevolent despite the torrential rain today. This was last Sunday:
I found Youngest out on the lawn in her dressing gown, at 10 o'clock on a midwinter Sunday morning, playing with her toy horse by a bright yellow gazania.
And it was warm enough to sit reading a book on the lawn in the sun, cup of tea and daughters to hand. Later on we played Monopoly, which revealed itself to be a horribly mean and capitalist game that veiled the weekend relaxation in tears, as our son acquired Clifton (Mayfair in the UK) and proceeded to build hotels and ruin his two sisters, who had to sell the houses they'd so proudly acquired and mortgage all their properties. This was the first time we'd ever played to the bitter (and it is bitter) end. Monopoly might well find itself pushed to the back of the shelf in favour of Pictionary and rummy. I can't cope with the stress!
A baby tortoise was tempted out by the sunshine this week. The girls rescued it from an upside position on the stoep, probably left there by a dog. A satisfying crunchy bush snack for a border collie. He is no bigger than an egg, with bulgy baby eyes. He peed all down us, refused the apple we offered, and then scarpered into the restios at top speed on his thin legs when we released him further away from the house, in the hope that the dogs wouldn't find him again. We last saw him wedged firmly into a maze of restio stalks. Let's hope he's warmly tucked away in the sand today.
Next weekend is our Midwinter festival - we're hoping for a clear night for our bonfire, lanterns and sparklers. It can rain all it wants to this weekend though. The fire is lit, the satellite signal now producing roars and cheers from the sitting room and the rusks are baked.