Day 157 – Succulent

South Africans love rain. For a Finn, that is hard to understand. Intellectually, I understand rain is necessary after 6 months of dry season. I may even enjoy the fresh air after the downpour when all the dust settles. But I don’t enjoy rain itself. And South Africans truly do. I guess that for a country where succulent plants are the norm, it is (somewhat) understandable.

A colleague made me laugh last year. My parents were flying to Johannesburg, and the forecast promised rain for the entire weekend. Very sweetly she came to me, and from the bottom of her heart wished that the forecast would be correct, and we would have proper rain for my parents. For her that was the best thing she could wish for. For a Finn, that is the very last thing you wish on your holiday!



Day 151 – Walk Haven

Little outside Johannesburg – in the middle of nowhere – is a farm with a brilliant business plan. They have converted the area into a dog park with a restaurant, dog spa etc. Although that sounds simple, there is no direct competition anywhere close by – and people drive long distances to get there. The dogs are allowed to play freely between the tables, while you have your lunch or a drink; there is a pond for swimming and several short walking routes. It is the ‘critical mass’ that matters tho. There are always plenty of other dogs to play with, and lots of mud. Merlin’s idea of heaven on earth.


Day 128 – Time to get back home

The combination of early sunset and the safety issues in South Africa make it a challenge to take Merlin to the park during weekdays. Luckily he is such a curious little chap that he keeps running in our back garden all day long – and our domestic helper also takes him out several times a week. As a result he is (with a wide margin) the fittest creature is our household. Admittedly, that is not a high bar.




Day 113 – Worrying Kind

In winter it does not rain for 6 months in Johannesburg (Or at least it shouldn’t…). This means that by mid-winter, it is dry. And dryness inevitably means grass fires – some natural, but most of them not.

I continue to be puzzled on how casually South Africans treat these small fires. As long as they are under control, they are left to burn. For example, there was a small tuft burning in the neighbourhood park. The first time I saw it, there was a park maintenance team standing next to it, but after careful consideration they left it to burn. It was still smouldering the next day (unless somehow there was a second, unrelated fire at the exact same spot.

The Hadida found it quite worrying, tho. Although a little less worrying than a little puppy charging him from behind.