Family and other wild animals

Today’s recipe: Elephant stew
A photo of sea and rocks in Port Elizabeth.
In light of all the miserable weather in the northern hemisphere, I am almost ashamed to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the summer sunshine in the southern hemisphere. If it makes you feel any better, I have had a spot of bother with sunburn, food poisoning and hate mail from freezing Europeans

SORRY again for taking so long to write – as some of you may remember, my parents are coming to stay with us in France this year, so we packed up 45 years of memories into (a few – their opinion) (a million – my opinion) cardboard boxes. It was hard work for everyone, but it was also fun going through all the old memories that store up in a house with 2 parents and 5 children never mind friends, grandchildren, animals wild (includes one brother called Tim) and friendly - like Alison’s male cockatiel who used to take the peanuts out of his food and sit on them for weeks trying to hatch them…

Talking of which, said beloved baby sister and her family were in South Africa from New Zealand for a (far too short) visit too. It was absolutely wonderful to see her again, and my gorgeous niece and nephew, but the time went by too quickly. I hadn’t seen them in 5 years and she has had 2 strokes in that time, something you could barely notice as she is fighting her way back to full health. Do you know how much children grow in 5 years?! They went from 12 and 13 year old kiddies to full blown adults without batting an eye-shadowed eyelid. In the following photo you will see: Bianca (my beautiful niece), me (mad blogger), Ann (my lovely aunt) and Alison (my much loved younger sister).

Bianca, Me, Ann, Alison

They crammed in as much as they could into the 3 ½ weeks, so I’ll mention just a few of the highlights – do I need to mention the “pleasure” of spending time with their adoring sister and aunty??

- playing with tiger cubs – apparently even a tiny cub can break your legs as he swipes at them in an attempt to knock you down and eat you. It would seem that the broken legs would be the very least of your worries…

- stroking lion cubs – these proceeded to undertake the huge task of laying there and sleeping… I went onto the website of the game park where all this excitement took place ( ) and discovered that one can buy a (sleeping) white lion cub. I am thrilled and it is now on my Christmas wish list along with a pony (a friend for the lion), a Ferrari (you don’t honestly think I still want a pony do you?) and an around the world cruise (now you’re getting the picture).

Sleeping white male lion.

Hey kitty, kitty. Now, who wouldn’t want this adorable creature sleeping on their bed with them? These photos have been stolen from my darling nephew Martius and I am hoping that he won’t feed his doting Aunty to said kitty...

Lions enjoying lunch.

- Addo Elephant Park – a massive reserve (360 000ha and 120 000 ha marine reserve) with massive amounts of elephants, 450 at the last count, which is probably accurate as how do you hide an elephant, right? Wrong! For 5 hours all they saw were tortoises - makes you wonder about their driving speed and vision. But after lunch their luck changed and they saw the (small) beasts everywhere – makes you wonder what they had for lunch. They spotted the signs saying “Beware of dung beetles” (or was it beware not to drive over dung beetles?), but didn’t see any of the shit-rolling darlings. Unlike their aunty who can spot shit rolling uphill anywhere…

A dung beetle rolling his shit.

And you thought you would see a photo of elephants – silly you. Anybody can spot a huge elephant (well, the less said the better), but a dung beetle, now there’s photographic genius at work.

This post is just a starter or appetizer (if you are one of my darlin’ American friends) or taste teaser of more blogs to follow on my wonderful SA trip. Talking of food, and considering that this is after all a food blog, today’s recipe is for Elephant Stew. Now I know some of you might find it a bit rich, but all I can say is it’s far more filling that tortoise stew (which is also a little tough and the shell takes days to soften)… Just kidding so keep your claws off the keyboard and crawl back into your shell!

Although I have my own Elephant stew recipe (I mean who doesn’t?), I found that has a very good one. Personally I think it could do with some added ground black pepper (oh about, 5 handfuls should do the trick), but otherwise it’s right up my elephant walkway. Do enjoy and tell me how you enjoyed it, i.e, write comments please!!!

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