South Park Self

I'd much rather have a mansion in the hills

I have just found three CDs in the side pocket of my Ipad case. They are unmarked, save for a small, cryptic barcode sticker. They do not play when put into a normal drive. I have absolutely no recollection of these - where they came from, who gave them to me, what they're for. I have been reading enough dodgy fanfic that I am half convinced they're a sneaky hacker ploy, and the seven seconds the one spent in my drive making meditative and abortive read noises to itself is in fact the herald of my entire system melting into slag, because unlikely superviruses. This is ridiculous. I know my memory is bad, but this is ridiculous. Who's given me CDs lately? Why? What are they? How long have they been there? What is the meaning of life?

In the Department of Memory, Lack of, Total, there's also Bartholomew's Klip. We had that lovely weekend there over Easter - five-star luxury on a game farm with nothing to do except go on desultory game drives and consume early tea and muffins and biscuits shaped like rabbits, brunch, high tea, sundowners and godlike snacks, dinner, and the shortbread and decanter of sherry in your room when you went to bed. It was bloody marvellous. The group represented that happy confluence of 8 people any one of whom was interesting to talk to in their own right and who were downright hilarious in combination, which is pretty much the definition of a good weekend, although owing to the booze flowly-freeing more or less continually, it was also extremely argumentative. (In a more than somewhat entertaining way, although I do find myself wondering what the hapless staff thought). Jo and I don't agree about feminism, but a bottle of champagne soothes all ideological ills. The food was beyond excellent. Vi pwned me at Scrabble.

I've just remembered that there are a bunch of photos of the place on my camera, and have been since Easter. A full month later, here are some, in a spirit of memorial penitence. (There are a few more on Flickr).

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Lovely old farmhouse, lots of garden space, weaver nests in the tree outside the dining room, and if you hang around on the wicker chairs on the patio reading dodgy fanfic on your Ipad for long enough, someone brings you a gin and tonic.

The landscape is also very beautiful, in that sparse, self-contained sort of way I love about the Karoo.

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There were inordinate varieties of buck, but my camera skills were not up to capturing them. Also, renosterveld, and heart-warming stories about endangered tortoises and invisible Cape leopards. And my dawn and dusk camera skills have not entirely deserted me.

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We slid in on an off-season half-price, and booked out the whole house (five double bedrooms for eight of us), and it was expensive but bloody worth it. A++. Will spend absurd money on again.
Thank you, but I think it's mostly because it was a glorious spot :>. I'm always a bit blindsided by the way in which such a stark environment can be so beautiful.
Various tracking studies and collaring projects and what have you reveal that there are leopards in the area, and the game reserve has a lovely selection of small buck suitable for leopard noms, but none of the rangers have ever caught sight of an actual leopard. There was one sighting by an electricity-pylon-mending guy dangling by a cable from a helicopter, and they've photographed a leopard on the farm with a hidden camera precisely once, but that's it. I love the idea that the area is inhabited by secret, invisible leopards.
Needs more leopardcams. Also, some time I should check just how absurd the money required is. My budgetary limits may ... differ from yours.
Ah, that earning in pounds thing... www.bartholomeusklip.com/, we were in the main house, which is the fully catered one.

(Which may be why LJ refused to post this comment initially, on the somewhat amusing grounds that my cookie had disappeared.)
Particularly if your scale is earning in pounds, and mine, relatively recently, is earning in grad student peanuts. Despite which, I will be totally on board with any attempt to repeat the weekend, at least on a similar scale of discount. (I think we got it at half price).