I went to switch the oven on to preheat it and heard the unmistakable loud PFUUT of electrical wires shorting. We live in a wooden house and having once been contracted by Norsk Hydro to investigate the causes of a fire that completely destroyed one of their residences here in Luanda, I am almost paranoid about earth leakage protection. Next to my generator is a sturdy copper rod that has been driven deep into the water table and all the earth circuits are connected to that. So, instead of the shorting oven setting fire to my house, the main board tripped plunging me into darkness leaving me with a number of choices.
I could slice the leg of pork up and fry it. I could stick it back into the fridge until I had sorted out the oven or bought a new one if it was really stuffed. Or I could grill it. I really wanted pork crackling so I decided to grill it and, perhaps because of all the extra attention it received, it came out fantastic.
This morning I pulled out the oven from its housing and started to dismantle it. I had switched it off but had not disconnected it from the mains as I wanted to use a multi-meter to check the circuits. As I lifted the back panel off I noticed a cable completely devoid of insulation. Ah, I thought, an earth cable and grabbed it to move it out of the way. The lights went out again and Marcia hurried over to see why I had suddenly launched myself from one side of the room to the other. With the main board tripped I figured it was safe for me to investigate further. First thing I noticed was that all the heat insulation had been chewed to heck. Then I noticed all the cables that had been chewed as well.
'Rats', I told Marcia, 'rats have been living in our oven.'
Marcia was appalled. I wasn't too chuffed either.
In disaster lies opportunity. It won't be long before rats start invading our new home. The temporary accommodation we had just vacated was infested with them at one time. They chewed every cable, nearly caused two fires and stank the place out. Marcia laid enough poison to kill a city, all to no avail and then I started introducing snakes into the room. Marcia was not happy about that but within a couple of weeks, we saw not hair nor hide of any rat.
Now I could have told Marcia the truth, that this was not recent, that the rats had attacked our oven while it was in storage and had long since left. But I didn't. I looked at her standing there striking a B movie horror film pose and said, 'I think I need to catch some snakes'.
'Oh please no!' she implored, 'I can put down poison.'
'Marcia,' I crooned, 'it didn't work in the last place but the snakes certainly did,' I added.
I settled down to rewire the oven and decided that as soon as my snake bitten foot had healed, I would be off on a snake hunt.
|The lounge in the cottage |
Once I have built a few more of these, you can rent them to rest in after spending the day sport fishing the Atlantic
|Marcia praying at the Altar of Ice Cream.|
With such a short skirt and shapely legs spread wide, I am sure the machine will give her a good squirt.
|Inside the shop, the boring section|
|The interesting section, all the booze! (look beyond the fruit juice rack)|
|Front view of the shop. The temporary fence will be replaced with a smart one soon.|
|Another view of the shop|
|The cottage. Soon I will start irrigating the land and planting a lawn.|
|Cottages under construction at the restaurant site|
|A right mess now but pretty soon it will all be cleaned up and organised|
Notice extensive use of Cro Magnon orange
|Bandit. It didn't take Alex long to work out how to pour himself and his friends an ice cream.|
He thinks that by hiding under the shop his larceny will go unnoticed.
I loved the photos.. Sorts of fleshes out the wordsReplyDelete
Reminds me of reading BORN FREE in paperback when I was a child..... I always flicked to the centre of the book to see the illustrations
You should buy Bernhard Grzimek's 'Grzimek Unter Afrikas Tieren', you would love it. I have just checked and Collins have published it in English entitled, 'Among Animals in Africa'Delete
Looks very inviting.ReplyDelete
Careful catching those snakes.
When it is finished, it will be a garden in the wilderness.Delete
Nice to see how the Marcia/Cap'n Gowans empire is developing. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. By the way you said that you crooned to Marcia - does that mean you sang "it didn't work in the last place but the snakes certainly did" just like Frank Sinatra?ReplyDelete
More like Dean Martin, I was pissed as usual!Delete
This really puts a face to the brown mud and packing wire you started with back then. If you had suspenders, your thumbs should be under them.ReplyDelete
I am so overweight now there is no room under my suspenders for my fat thumbs nor trousers to suspend that I can fit into!Delete
Looking good. An Angolan B&B sounds like a very interesting proposition. Maybe the visitor could pick their own snake to keep the rats at bay as an option. Good to hear the toe is on the mend.ReplyDelete
Snakes will be available on room service.Delete
all I need is the airfare now, I heard there is a post of fishing instructor coming up soon, thought I would apply.....lolReplyDelete
George! How lovely to see you pop up again! I see from your blog you are ever industriously making floats and catching trout and grayling.Delete
All I could offer you is US dollars two grand a month tax free, two flights a year, your work visa, eight weeks leave pa, food and airconditioned private (not shared) accommodation, internet access, access to comapny transport and 25% of your takings giving fishing lessons and running clients on boats up the river or out to sea.
In return, I expect you to maintain your equipment, the boats, the vehicles, the generator and whatever other jobs need doing that are maintenenace related.
I also have a vacancy for a decent Chef under the same conditions. Preferably a Chef who can do European and Asian cuisine, I will provide him a Sous Chef who can prepare the local cuisine.
If either applicant for the above posts has a wife or partner (of either sex, I don't care) who can manage the accounts and run Front of House, I want them as well.
We have an 'almost brand new' Brandt fan oven, which has recently become deranged. It suddenly turns itself on and off (in quick succession), refuses to turn itself on when asked, and wont turn itself off. Any chance you could pop round and take a look at it?ReplyDelete
This happened 3 days after the bloody guarantee expired; ain't that typical!
I'd be delighted. I'd even pay my own air fare and bring my own tools but, I warn you, I may be tempted to just attach it to a long cable, fill it with anything explosively combustible, fling it over your neighbour's Orange Wall and switch it on remotely.Delete
Pictures are great, now if it was only a long weekend away :)ReplyDelete
My ex wives always complained that a weekend with me was an eternity. I guess it is all relative.Delete
Wait until it is all finished and maybe we can do a holiday house swap. I have never been to Austrália and of all the places to go there, I really fancy Cairns. I was very nearly a policeman in Darwin, by the way, but that is another story.
That "cottage" looks wonderful ........ although I'd prefer it without the snakes of course.ReplyDelete
The snakes are trained Addy. If you visited, like St Patrick, I would order them out of the house.Delete
I grew up in the country in a semi-finished house (back in the late 40s). The house had no window screens and an ill-fitted door threshhold so there were always insects inside. From my youngest memory, there was a toad or 2 living under the bathroom sink (unfinished cement floor). Every night they would venture out and dine on the crawly community. Probably seems weird, but back then, to us kids, it was just normal. Didn't everyone have a house toad? LOL Your snake solution seems pretty normal to me. :-DReplyDelete
And miles better than lacing the place with poison, eh?Delete
This place is still new so I have yet to see Gekkos running up and down the walls at night but they will come.
Oh good heavens yes! No poison. I envy you the forthcoming gekko guards. Pics when they arrive, please. :-DDelete
It looks like Paradise! Unfortunately including the snake...ReplyDelete
You are not allowed to eat the apples either.Delete
Yoghurt Knitter hereReplyDelete
Wow your place is really coming together.
Does something happen every week there? Snake bite, then being flung through the air by electrical current?
we want pictures of the toe please.
And there's me looking for just a quiet life!Delete
You do not want to see my toe...
My god it hasn't fallen off has it?Delete
Parvis e glandibus quercus.ReplyDelete
At the rate this project is going, an oak tree could have matured and started producing its own little acorns!Delete
Coincidentally my husband was trying to mend my cooker as I was reading your blog. I told him to check for rats. He replied "Whaaaaat?" All fixed now, just a loose wire.ReplyDelete
Clearly a man who in his environment knows what he is up against.Delete
That shop is TOO neat!ReplyDelete
Remember basic safety: get. small child to touch the cables first!
Burnt through too many, This time it was my turn. Besides, a five year old can't handle more than the standard 13 amps. This was a cooker, 30 amps.Delete
Hang on...so did you instal the oven from storage without checking the wiring? How's the toe coming along? The pictures make it all look quite idyllic, its the words that betray the image!ReplyDelete
Yup! I just unpacked the box marked Bosch and installed it.Delete
Ah, images versus reality! I guess I shan't be selling you a package tour for a while yet!