Waste not – want not

The original loose brick floor of the main stoep (verandah) was thought to be a little too rustic for our new, permanent, ‘glazed’ dining venue so it was removed in order to lay the new ‘slightly less rustic’ terracotta quarry tiles, but what to do with all those bricks?

The answer soon became obvious – leave them where they are but instead of being in a pile set them out as a ‘lower’ terrace where guests can sit after breakfast or before dinner and enjoy the magnificent view over our new lake. One may need to have a good imagination as well as the patience required for the lake to fill up to its maximum 50 million litres, but one needs to be optimistic with such major undertakings.

The lower terrace is also going to be enhanced with a water feature at either end as well as stepped planters up to the main stoep. The plants are ready and waiting to go in, once the workers have ‘signed off’ and will complement our trained grape vine which adorns the front of the building. We now need lots of sunny days and not too many cold nights so that the plants can get established – perhaps just a small pocket of ‘global warming’ around Galenia would be welcomed.

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Size matters…. But even we are surprised

How much space do you need to hold 50 million litres of water? It seems like it is a lot! Our contractors are continually surprising us with the amount of equipment they are using on the repair and renovation of the dam – bull dozers, tipper trucks, excavators and compacters.

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But at last we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel as the large hole in the dam wall is being filled in and the lining of the dam itself being spread and compacted. It is certainly going to be BIG and will create a whole new view from the main house and the suites – once it is filled with water. How long this is going to take we are not sure. We have a good supply of water, coming from the kloofs of the Langeberg Mountains behind us, but we suspect that we will need ‘divine intervention’ in the form of a good few torrential rainfalls to make any impact at all. We are aware that this part of the Western Cape does not have huge rainfalls – the annual average is just 250 millimetres – so guests at Galenia may have to participate in a daily rain dance in order for us to achieve our objective. We suspect that patience will be necessary.

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