Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Gamekeeper turned Poacher!

The Blog returns after a 2-month hiatus!

Once again a long silence - 2 months plus, in fact, but connectivity, moving house, Retrenchment Boards and auctions have somewhat intruded. Then in the course of the move, my camera underwent an alternative ownership program, and I lost all the pics not yet transferred; I am now using my daughters camera. And to top everything off, my computer got sick and though still not fully recovered, is at least usable.

So this is a catch-up blog, just to let you all know we are still alive!

Back then, to January

At the end of January we held our auction sale at which the entire contents of La Rochelle went under the hammer. Well, not quite entire - there were two burned lampshades that even the inimitable Mr Holland was unable to palm off on unsuspecting buyers. But everything else went during the course of the day.

Including the Hotel cat - Shupa!

Here then, is a pic of some of the beds lined up in the car-park awaiting buyers....

 The day after the sale the girls came home from school to find the house and hotel completely empty, and two rather bemused-looking parents waiting for them. There were a few tears as the reality of leaving their home of the past 14 years (Courtney had been born while we were at La Rochelle) sunk in, and then we packed the car and went to Nyanga for the week-end, because we no longer had any furniture - all our household goods had gone into storage..

Earlier in January - about the 6th, I think, the children had gone back to boarding school, and because Cara had to start at 07.00 on the Monday morning, we had traveled to Marondera the day before, and spent the night at Malwatte - a very basic accommodation option close to the school.

The amazing thing about our stay there was the fact that I used to set out for a day's shooting from that very building as a kid of about 15 years old. It had been a house occupied by the Maberleys whose son Will and I used to take a couple of rifles and disappear for the whole day in the bush. The old house has now been converted to Guest Accommodation.

Here are the three girls at dawn on the veranda of that building - ready for school...

Cara, our eldest, has her own study this year as a senior pupil, and she took no time at all in settling into her school accommodation.....

By Zim standards, she is extremely well looked after in terms of her bedsit/study, and even has her own bathroom with shower, basin and toilet. Lucky kid!

Having settled the girls back into school after our Nyanga trip, we made our way to Harare where we moved into a cottage in the garden of some friends and past guests at La Rochelle - the Jongelings. They offered us the cottage in their garden for then next two months at a very reasonable rate (compared to the rest of Harare!), so from being their Hosts to their Guests was a quick transition - and thus the Gamekeepers became the Poachers.

The cottage was quite small - here are some photos of our Lounge, our Dining Room, our Study/Office, the children's bedrooms, and our bedroom...

Ok - so it was only one photo... but it does indeed show all of the above! Our new home was quite small, but definitely cosy, and very much appreciated!

We have now moved into our permanent Harare home - more pictures to follow. Suffice to say we are safe, settled, and hopefully I will post on a more regular basis. And maybe one day soon I will find a job?

Have a great day!


  1. Simon,

    I am so happy to hear that you are settled and we can expect to hear from you more often. We missed you!

    Tucson, AZ

    1. Thanks Noreen! Have missed posting and will hopefully be able to do so on a regular basis. Simon