Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Well, here we are nearly to Christmas and the end of 2009.

Our November newsletter got sidelined with the general rush, Cherry festival and jam making. Unfortunately, not with our own fruit which was blown away by an icey wind in September although hopefully we will have some figs soon…

We have two new calves, Ace (yes she is completely black but we couldn’t call her Blackjack…) and Pearl, so named by Hamish, as he was up every morning at 6 waiting for her to arrive, and because of her white drop marking on her forehead.

After the scatty season with the quackers, we had three mothers sitting on eggs but have unfortunately only managed to get two to the teenager stage. Unlike the geese and hens, they are the most dreadful moms.

The ‘Piet-my-Vrou’ has been desperately yelling all morning, and how we would love some rain but unlike a few weeks ago when the garden looked amazingly lush, it is very dry and a little crisp around the edges. We did the bicycle trail and back along the river road this morning and had many gasping guests heading straight for the pool after tea. This afternoon the twin bridges walk is planned and hopefully a little cooler in the shade.

The river is so low at present that it seems impossible that a few short weeks ago we were able to take guests tubing, in a rather muddy Caledon River.

After our annual assessment by the AA we have now been awarded the title of Highly Recommended Accommodation instead of the previous Recommended Accommodation. I think that the newly revamped dining room had a lot to do with this decision!

Christmas decorations are up and everything is in place – hopefully, for a great holiday period – trusting that the weather and Eskom all behave. Father Christmas has the address, the turkey is ready (no not one of ours)and we have dusted off the midnight oil for New years when we are going to celebrate the night with “Wyndford’s Got Talent”!! Wish you were here.

There is still place available for the last few days before schools go back for all of you with little people, and for the oldies…the 30% discount will once again be available after the 12th January 2010.

Until then, stay well,
We wish you a special Christmas and a Winning 2010!
Best regards from the Wyndford Team

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yes I know it is already October but things move slowly on the farm…

While driving near Jo’burg recently and listening to the radio, it was interesting that the traffic report after the news took so long, that by the time it finished it was nearly time for the next news bulletin (yes, it was Thursday afternoon and three trucks were stuck on the van Buuren Hill – unfortunately all in different lanes!) it made me think of all our guests – past and future – living in the cities and decided that we need give you the gift of peace and quiet and space and fresh air.

This picture was taken from the top of the road to Fouriesburg and shows the fields stretching to the distant Maluti Mountains…and not a car in sight! So take a deep calming breath and inhale the space and quiet!

Spring has sprung and all is green.

We had the most beautiful display of fruit blossoms but unfortunately we also had an icy wind and for the second year in a row have lost most of our fruit. We have had some wonderful rains over the past few days – great for us and the ducks – not such fun, we know, for moms and dads with little people on holiday!

Gratefully, Celvin and Angelique are safely back from leave as we had a few interesting moments while they were gone. A devastating fire swept through the area and George, Shane and Christine were out for about 4 hours as well as Lucas and Joseph with Dermot from Camelroc on his water truck for most of the day. I just had to contend with a Basuto man who insisted he could come through the farm as he had a passport for his cow… Quella our bull in the flower garden along with Buttercup in the veggie patch….. went to fetch Ponty down from the paddock only to realize that I wasn’t sure which way on the headband (halter – that’s the word!) went on -one or two tries later we walked home with him looking at me with a very longsuffering expression on his face ….after that I collected the eggs, all 108 of them and muttered mightily about the person who built the nesting hocks deeper than arm length….fowl poop makes cow poop look good!! Needless to say all of us slept well that night.

One of our calves arrived, and has been called ‘little Moo’
– of course there is great debate as to what she will be called when she is older… least our milk supply has improved. Spinach, radish, carrots, beetroots, rocket, broccoli and cauliflower (sorry kids!) are all flourishing in the veggie patch and the roses are ready to pop into full riotous colour. You just have to love spring!

We are also pleased to inform all serious bowlers (and the not so serious) that this year the bowling green is just that! Green! Looking forward to some good friendly duals in the next few months.

Wyndford had a great long weekend with special guests and even a celebratory 60th Wedding anniversary! Can anyone beat that….

October and November (remember Cherry festival time) still has availability so take the proverbial bull by the horn and call Angelique or Patricia in the office to book your pre end of year ‘refuel’ break.

Until then, stay well, Best regards from the Wyndford Team

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Can you just picture this….Ducks freestyle skating! Yes it’s true, this morning the duck pond was frozen. I guess there is a reason we use goose and duck down for duvets! Fortunately the bunnies and horses have fur coats as we have had an exceptionally cold few weeks, with morning temperatures of -5 the norm. The days have been beautifully crisp and clear and walking in the mountains has been both a warming and stunning activity.

This morning is very quiet at Wyndford, most of our guests have gone up to Afri ski in Lesotho to have fun in the snow. Some brave and energetic folk played action cricket twice this week after dinner (a chilly occupation for spectators!) and four square was another warm favourite followed by hot chocolate and much laughter around the fire in the lounge.

Fire, great in the lounge, but a menace on the farm. This week saw us burning fire breaks (superbly aided by some energetic guests) on top by the Tortoise and the Slippery slide and down to the Mast. George, along with the border policeman and the local Chief had an indaba, a two hour session, seated in the cold, while some school boys confessed to starting fire after fire on our side. There were a few hot little bottoms after they were told to report to the cop station with their parents for a hiding! - no fires reported since!

Great news on the ongoing milk producing saga…we have three confirmed pregnant cows! All far enough along to be Bliksem’s offspring, so Quela will have to wait his turn. Buttercup and Daisy continue to grow in leaps and bounds and led all the guys a merry dance round (and out!) the paddock last week as they tried to dehorn them.

I’m afraid that spring is going to be blooming in the tummies of our three resident buck. They have eaten all our spring seedlings, and most other green things in the gardens - roses, violets and spring daisies being the most favourite. Pity one can’t train them to eat the weeds!

The shed is standing up straighter after a new coat of paint and a few tweaks including a fire place that works well. Our ‘new’ piano in the lounge has arrived and sounds fantastic – looks beautiful too! Thanks to Bruce and his assistance in getting it sorted out! – and to anyone who would like to join us for two evenings of gentle piano playing by Bruce, book for the weekend of the 31st August!

Great news for all bird enthusiasts! The Black Storks have come back to roost in Ibis Gorge. The same nests are being used as last year, along the ledge from the Bald Ibis (it would seem that they are happy to sub let their gorge) and it is wonderful to see them each afternoon gliding home, to what has to be one of the most beautiful spots on the whole farm.

The long weekend in August is fully book at present but there is plenty of availability on other weekends!
Hoping to hear from you soon
In the meantime, stay well and warm
Best regards from us all at Wyndford

PS Sarah, Zazoo the horse told me to say hello and sends you her love!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hello again from a beautiful brown and frosty winter Wyndford!

Last Monday we woke early (well, some of us did) to a warm morning but by 9am it had turned bitterly cold…with the result our first sighting of snow on the Maluti Mountains. Guests driving up to us from Natal encountered thick snow on van Reenens pass. Sadly it did not stay, however the mountains have been so beautiful in true winter fashion of pink and purple hues in clear blue skies.

We are pleased to report that we now have new family member. We were joined by Quela the Jersey Bull. After three weeks, we were a little worried that he was not living up to his name - Quela means to climb up – but Lucas happily informed us this week that he did work! Fresh Wyndford farm milk and cream seems set to continue. Who ever said country living was genteel…

Wyndford the cat continues to thrive and get up to mischief. Upsetting water all over the telephone systems main computer was his highlight last week – burning smells and dead phones didn’t bode well…..Forty minutes of delicate ‘hair drying’ by Lindy and Angelique under the desk switching it back on with bated breath. All fixed – just a pity about George’s additional grey hairs! Who ever said country living was dull…

We were going to add a picture of our new look dining room to this newsletter but on seconds thoughts decided to let you come and see for yourselves! Dorchester’s new bathroom is operational and approved by guests who have just spent a week with us. Instead we will show you the garden bedecked with Porsches as the car club joined us from Gauteng for the weekend! A garage full of them and Shane’s new camera out of action! – the boys did however get a ride down the ‘S’ bends at speeds we won’t mention in case their mother’s read this newsletter.

Cool crisp FRESH air, fantastic food, peace and quiet, stunning mountain views, great walks, and cozy fireside chats. Time and space to relax and recharge. Plus a four nights or longer stay gets a 20% discount during July. What are you waiting for………!
Hoping to hear from you soon
In the meantime, stay well and warm
Best regards from us all at Wyndford

Sunday, May 24, 2009

May update

Greetings once again from a chilly Wyndford!

The most wonderful scenes here yesterday with dark rain clouds and a beautiful full double rainbow over Wyndford. Unfortunately the pot of gold did not land on us – we were once again bridesmaids and not the bride at the AA Awards ceremony in Durban yesterday!

We have therefore had our four weddings and a funeral… Bliksem, our bull up and died suddenly as did one of our cows, so maybe next time …. Be assured that we always strive to give our best service and most memorable holidays whatever the awards might say!

Once again Wyndford guests are stretching boundaries! Yesterday a new minimum age for abseiling went to six year old Stacey Robinson who went down with panache observed by her proud family. This morning, Shane along with two guests did the return from Ibis gorge in 18 minutes…beating the horses on the same trail!

We have recently had special moments watching family groups celebrating landmark birthdays – maybe we should have a new record for the oldest… It is always good to see families spending time having fun and reconnecting without the stresses of everyday life.

For those of you following the upgrade progress, the curtain fabric for the dining room has at long last arrived and maybe by the end of May we will have our new look! Dorchester fans will be happy to know that as of yesterday the old bathroom no longer exists, and that next time you come, you will be able to enjoy a shower in this wonderful old rondavel!

We look forward to being able to give you a warm Wyndford welcome, hearty food and great time round the fire, remembering that at Wyndford there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet!

Hoping to hear from you soon
Have a great day
Best regards from us all at Wyndford

Saturday, April 25, 2009

April News

Greetings from a chilly Wyndford!

Yes, our temperatures have taken a dive and the last two weeks we have had 5 degree mornings and cooler evenings. Beautiful sunny days are the norm and the countryside is in full Autumn uniform. Tall Poplar trees are all stunningly yellow and our Liquid Amber trees are in all shades of yellow, oranges, brilliant reds to dark burgundy – a great show alongside the church.

We had our first baby dedicated at the church last week, which was very special as mom and her family had been coming to Wyndford for many years and she was married here last year. Great to meet the next generation of Wyndford children…needless to say there was also a queue of baby sitters in the kitchen!

We are desperately trying to squeeze a few more growing weeks out of the vegetable garden before the ground becomes frozen hard. The horses are all looking fat and furry with their winter coats on. Unfortunately, Dozer having developed some spectacular dreadlocks due to the burrs and grasses which were impossible to get clear with a brush, had to be shaved to clear them all off. He was very unimpressed with us but is looking better.

We are once again Finalists in the AA Awards program and Celvin and Angelique are going down to the ceremony in Durban as Wyndford representatives on the 10th May 2009. We have been finalists for the last few years and yet to be winners so hold thumbs with us!

Shane and Patricia are off on leave shortly, which means the new industry at Wyndford – stick making - will come to a halt for a while. Lindy and George are trying to find a gap to visit Kirsty and Josh in London at some stage – the good news is that you are all keeping us busy! We do appreciate your support.

We have a new ginger puss (looks like a junior Garfield!) with white socks and a great engine…called ‘Wyndford’. He was an SPCA cat which we couldn’t leave behind….. so now he lives in our staff lounge or office and is very spoilt. (He can also clear a room very quickly when he uses his turbo boost!)

Remember that the June July holiday period is not in season, so the discounts do apply. Get your bookings in soon to ensure that you will not be disappointed. Our draw winner this month is Dianne Kilan. We look forward to being able to give you a warm Wyndford welcome, hearty food and great time round the fire, remembering that at Wyndford there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet!

Hoping to hear from you soon
Have a great day
Best regards from us all at Wyndford

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Wyndford Team have at last joined the world of bloggers (after many failed attempts!) but looks like we are up and running.

The Eastern Free State is looking wonderful after a few good rains. The ilolated showers mean that sometimes we get all the rumbles of the thunder and it rains up the road and not on the farm....very fraustrating. The lush foliage and stormy weather means that the lighting on the sandstone cliffs is spectacular for photography.

All our animals are doing well, even our late 'lammetjie' duckling which appeared from nowhere?! Maluti has been up to his usual tricks and needed about 30 stitches last week but is doing well.

The trees are begining to turn already and it would seem that we are in for a long cold winter - not a problem with underfloor heating and open fire places to enjoy. We still have availability for the April holidays so don't miss out on the opportunity to abseil, zip line or play in the three tree houses, as well as all the usual things Wyndford has to offer! Great food, peace and quiet....