Friday, May 29, 2009

Fresh Bread and more...

We have patiently been waiting for the month end to come so we can stock up on groceries again. It has been an interesting week of meals made from those items that have been hiding in the cupboard and the freezer! We have been able to make the most delicious breads thanks to my sister who kindly left her bread machine with me while she is away for a couple of months.

This morning I fried eggs for the children and served them on freshly baked herb bread. They wolfed it down! The machine was set straight back into action while we did our lessons for the morning. The aroma of freshly baked raisin bread was calling to the hungry tummies just in time for lunch! It was eaten with lashing of butter and plum jam while still steaming hot.

J has just finished reading Jock of the Bushveld as part of his studies. It is a true story by South African author Sir Percy Fitzpatrick. The book tells of Fitzpatrick's travels with his dog, Jock, during the 1880s, when he worked as a storeman, prospector's assistant, journalist and ox-wagon transport-rider in the Bushveld region of the Transvaal (then the South African Republic).
Fitzpatrick later recounted these adventures as bedtime stories to his four children. Rudyard Kipling, a good friend of Fitzpatrick, also took part in these story-telling evenings and eventually persuaded him to collect these tales in book form.
The book was first published in 1907 and had an extremely warm reception, being reprinted four times in that year alone. Since then it has achieved the status of a classic South African book and has been also widely read abroad - more than one hundred editions have been printed and it has been translated into Afrikaans, Dutch, French, Xhosa and Zulu, amongst others. Jock was saved by Fitzpatrick from being drowned in a bucket for being the runt of the litter (he would ruin the litter if left with them). Jock was very loyal towards Percy, and brave.

There is a statue of Jock in front of the City Hall in Barberton, Mpumalanga
He was once enticed to fight a baboon by Seedling. He killed the baboon in the fight, due to his small, stocky build.
Jock permanently lost his hearing when a kudu cow kicked him. This is attributed as one of the main reasons he died, as he could not hear Tom Barnett when he called him, and was mistakenly shot, because he was thought to be the dog killing chickens on the farm (when Jock had meanwhile already killed the other intruding dog).
Jock was an English Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

This afternoon we huddled under blankets on the couch to watch the original movie of Jock of the Bushveld. It was great to watch this movie together as we have studied so much South African history in the last year and a bit. I could not help but shed a tear in the movie. The children know their soft old mom so well and kept checking to see if I was crying yet!

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