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A Domino piece I excavated from our garden.

A Domino piece I excavated from our garden.

 

The things I find in the ruins of The Broken Palace vary so much, from building material and tiles to bottles to coins

And then there are more personal items like kids toys that give an insight into the life the people at The Broken Palace lived.

 

Such as this Domino:

I like to think elderly men sat on the stoep playing a fierce game of Domino:

Slamming the Domino piece on the table with a loud slap as if it was in the face of the opponent.

Their laughter echoing far over the streets of Woodstock.

 

If you know more about the Broken Palace, please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de. 🙂

 

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What a buzz!

Some new visitors decided to make a stop in our garden: Bees!

Bees are settling in our garden.

Bees are settling in our garden.

Every now and then a bee colony runs out of space. Part of the bees pack up and decide to find a new place: They swarm.

On their way they stopped in our garden. Unfortunately they didn’t stay. Maybe not yet enough plants around for them to make it an attractive spot.

But a nice inspiration for what could be: Some homemade honey sounds very appetising.

Maybe next time they’ll settle for good. 🙂

 

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Your dirty dishwater could kill some of those creepy bugs.

Your dirty dishwater could kill some creepy bugs.

 

My urban gardening guerrilla tomatoes (guerrilla because they kind of have the tendency to grow themselves) were all of a sudden not faring so well. A close inspection revealed they were under attack: Red Spider Mites!

 

When I researched How to Get Rid of Red Spider Mites Organically I was surprised to read a simple recipe for bug spray listed:

 

Easy recipe for bug spray

1 litre water

+  2 tablespoons cooking oil

+  2 tablespoons soap

 

That’s basically my dirty dishwater!

 

If you brush your dishes free from food leftovers and wash them with biodegradable dishwashing liquid, you can use the dirty dishwater on your plants as a bug repellent. You might need to add oil or soap, or just want to use it as a preventative in a mild mixture.

 

Vinegar, lemon juice, hot sauce, essential oils are also great bug repellents. So if you have any of these left over, don’t waste them down the drain, but spritz them on your plants instead.

 

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Fire at 27 Greatmore Street! AGAIN!

Fire at 27 Greatmore Street! AGAIN!

 

Saturday night just before midnight I woke up to my nightmare:

 

Since the fire at 27 Greatmore Street I’m anxious every time I smell something burning.

 

The image that had imprinted itself in my memory danced in front of me again: Flames leaping up alongside our house, knocking on our second storey windows.

 

I just screamed: “It’s happening again!” and with that leaped out of bed to get ready to combat the fire, this time knowing exactly what to do:

1) Call fire brigade

2) Set up ladder to get up to the roof

3) Carry up water canisters

 

Luckily the police arrived quickly and shortly after the fire brigade. Fortunately the fire was already subsiding, thanks to a bit of rain and our neighbour hosing down the fire with his garden pipe – history repeating.

 

I cannot believe this happened a second time.

 

The irony is that we had warned the people living rough at 27 Greatmore Street and they had put out the fire just a couple of hours earlier.

 

The authorities know about this. The City of Cape Town’s Waste Management Department was meant to clean up the site.

 

The police even came through one night and chased away the vagabonds. But they just come back and build a new hokkie.

 

In the meantime the whole neighbourhood is at risk of burning down if one of those shacks goes up in flames.

 

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DIY Dog Digging Defence: Our dogs are allowed do dig anywhere in the garden, except here.

DIY Dog Digging Defence: Our dogs are allowed do dig anywhere in the garden, except here.

 

We have clay soil in our garden and it’s super difficult to work:

When it’s dry it’s rock hard and requires a pick axe to be loosened up.

When it’s wet, it’s so dense, it’s waterproof and we have puddles in our garden.

 

In addition, we have a whole house buried in our backyard and any gardening work is interrupted by digging up rubble and rubbish and excavating the odd curious piece easily dating back several decades if not 100 years.

 

So I don’t mind our dogs digging. They’re doing us a great favour with this unmanageable soil and are inspiring in their determination to keep on digging.

However, out of all the places in our garden, the dogs choose the one corner they’re not allowed to dig: Where our paving meets the clay ground. – In order for the pavers to stay in place, we need the clay ground to stay put.

 

How to explain to dogs they’re allowed to dig over there, but not over here?

 

So I put up a DIY Dog Digging Defence:

Every time the dogs started digging too close to the pavers, I’d plonk down a concrete brick.

Needless to say: Our dogs would just start digging right beside it next time they got a chance.

So I’d plonk down another concrete brick.

Now we have a row of concrete bricks forming a small divider wall between pavers and clay ground.

 

Turns out this has additional benefits:

With the ground becoming loose in times of drought and Cape Town wind, we have dust everywhere. This small barrier helps keep the sand at bay.

It also works as a little jump in the obstacle course that our garden turns into when our dogs get the zoomies. They love any reason to jump, which seems to more than make up for the lost digging opportunity. 😉

 

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This piece of glass excavated from our garden can tell a story.

This piece of glass excavated from our garden can tell a story.

 

I love excavating things that have enough information on them to date them.

Amongst the endless amount of glass shards buried in our garden, I do find every now and then an intact bottle or a piece of glass with some inscription on it.

 

This small piece of the bottom of a bottle reads “Harveys Bristol”.

Turns out this is a sherry called Harveys Bristol Cream.

 

Furthermore, their bottles are blue now, and changed from green to blue in 1994.

So this bottle is definitely from before 1994, and probably vintage.

 

I can just picture how the residents at The Broken Palace sat on their stoep, sipping on a glass of sherry on a warm summer evening.

Does this ring true or is it just a romantic notion? If you know more kindly get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de

 

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I can start a coin collection:

South Africa, 1952, Threepence (1937 to 1952), King George VI Series – Silver Threepence (Tickey)

South African 1952 Silver Threepence (Tickey) (1937 to 1952), King George VI series. As per Professional Coin Grading Service: The obverse design: Head of King George VI. Inscription: “GEORGIVS VI REX”. Designed by Henry Paget (“HP”).

1952 George VI South African Silver Threepence

1952 George VI South African Silver Threepence. As per the PCGS: The reverse design: A Protea (National Flower), in full bloom, forms the center of the design. An inverted triangle surrounds it. The sides of the triangle consist of three bundles of four sticks each. The three bundles denote the coin’s value and the sticks represent the four provinces of the Union of South Africa (Transvaal, Cape, Orange Free State, and Natal). Inscription “SOUTH AFRICA” to the left, the date at top center, “SUID-AFRIKA” to the right and “3p”, flanked by two little flowers to the left and right, at the bottom center. Reverse design artist: Kruger Gray (“K” to the left and “G” to the right of the flower’s stem).

I found another 3 pence coin amidst the rubble of The Broken Palace in our garden.

It is part of the 1937 to 1952 King George VI series coins from South Africa and made from real silver.

But it’s so small and so light the value of the coin outweighs the value of the silver.

The 3 pence coin is also known as the “Tickey” in South Africa.

Even though the tickey was only around until 1960, after which the British currency was replaced by the Rand, the word stuck in South African vocabulary.

Many South Africans will remember the “Tickey Box”, the old public telephone:

Excavating relics from our garden is like a history lesson in action.

If you know more about The Broken Palace, please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de 🙂

 

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