Monday, October 14, 2013

Bloomers - and a toast!

Much appreciation to everyone who responded to, and remarked on, my last blog. Thanks also to those who passed it on - there have been 2,945 page-views to date, and much contact from old friends (and even a few enemies!), which has been great. Kind of like a mid-year Christmas card thing. Bottom line is that everyone is aware the hotel will be closing and there won't be the usual flurry of rumour.

We now have potential work for 7 of our staff, loads of places for Della and I to stay if we don't land on our feet straight away; plus a very refreshing view of humanity after all the positive thoughts, comments and wishes. Thank you all.

So onwards and upwards with life at La Rochelle.

Winter has now truly gone. The biggest indicator of this every year is the onset of 'Jacaranda season' - a phenomenon remarked upon in my book 'Sorry for that!'.

Jacaranda season is simply a massive spray of purple across the Zimbabwean landscape as the thousands of Jacaranda trees all come into bloom. I am not going to try and take photos of Mutare in her purple jacket because there are folk with better cameras, and a much better eye for a picture, than I. But this is a photo of the tree at La Rochelle - and even against our brilliant sky... it kind of stands out!

Everywhere you look, there is colour - and it is not just purple - there is a veritable kaleidoscope of every hue... like a floral smorgasbord. So here is a small selection of the flowers in the gardens at La Rochelle - all of them right here, right now. Winter is officially over, and it is time for growth and regeneration:

What this time of year does mean is that the evenings, before the onset of the rains, are brilliant for outdoor entertaining. And so it was that we laid up for a function this week - starting just after sunset....

The event we were hosting was the Hillcrest College Toastmasters Awards - and it was great to see the leaders of tomorrow finding their way in public speaking...

However the thought police will probably berate me for the sexist and exclusionist term 'Toastmasters'? Possibly. And it could be argued that there is no such thing as a 'Toastmistress', and in that you would be wholly incorrect. Because actually

a) my computer recognises that as a word, and

b) we have our very own resident Toastmistress at La Rochelle.

Well... more of a Mistress of the Toast than a Toastmistress - but the same thing in the end:

So... a toast to you all.

Have a great day!

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