Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rolling in the daisies

Day 2 of my flower journey and this is the day that we go into the Namaqualand desert to see this year's display and there is a lot of excitement and debate about what sort of display there will be this year over breakfast. Breakfast includes a choice of egg dishes and the number of rashers of bacon and is a perplexing affair - the waitress is pulling her moustache out already! The rest of the group shuffle in slowly and complain about how dark it was last night .......Hello! I think its called night time for this reason!
I cant wait to get onto the bus but before we leave the dining room we are waiting for our flower guide to join us. Her name is Lita....."Rita?" shouts the deaf Margo....."No Lita," says Alex patiently....."Oh Anita," says Keith......."No Lita - like a measurement of milk," says Alex.... "Pay attention everyone, all say Rita", Everyone sits up to attention and says "Rita" in unison. "Now replace the R with an L. Lita, La La La Lita," says Alex. Everyone says "Lita" .... I say, "2%". Alex gives me the dirtiest look yet and informs us that the bus will be leaving at 0930 sharp. I know that I am toast if I am not on that bus by 09.29.
We all assemble at the bus and Lita arrives - she really is half pint size and I like her immensely at first sight. I tell her that I have nicknamed her 2% and inform her that I am 'full cream' - she laughs and I do believe I have made a new friend.
Getting on the bus proves to be a little like the 'Okey Cokey'. I have to be on the right side so I can stretch my left leg out says Margo. Ruth swaps as she has to be on the left side for her leg. three people announce simultaneously that they HAVE to be in the front and Alex informs me that he has reserved the back of the bus for me. I can stretch out....well I am in the boot where the luggage was the previous day, with today's picnic equipment, cool box and food packed around me. I ask Alex to take a photo and he obliges. I tell him that I am going to put it on Facebook with the caption "Landscrap" tours. He narrows his eyes to slits, breathes deeply and asks me why I would want to do that! No reason Alex just that I have paid the same money as everyone else and I am travelling in the boot of a combi with a cool box between my knees and the strong smell of food.
We are OFF! Lita's nursery is a stones throw away and is charming. Everything that could possibly be recycled is here and planted with something beautiful. There are a number of cats and pieces of furniture have found their way in between the flowers to become planters or climbing frames or 'object d'art'. There are bright pelagoniums fluttering in the air and the earthy smell of rich soil holding tiny cacti with minute colourful flowers accompanied by the creaking of a windmill - Proof of heaven! I love it here and see there is a cottage on the property for rent.
Already I am making plans to return and stay here - its perfectly peaceful and surrounded by hills of golden yellow, orange and green.
We leave and make our way into the National Park and I ask Lita if I will be able to lie among the daisies (as a friend of mine has a gorgeous photo of her doing just that). Alex answers for her. "Absolutely not!" It will crush the flowers and there are signs that forbid it. I sulk!

We arrive to a field of orange as far as the eye can see, it is breathtaking. My bottom is in the air and camera starts clicking - there is so much to take in - so many flowers that I cannot resist. I find the place that I want to have my photo taken - right in the middle of the orange field and no one can stop me, "This is the happiest that I have been since January!" I declare and Lita takes pity on me and runs into the orange veld with me and before Alex can stop me - I am rolling in the daisies and Lita is clicking away. We are a team!
Many, Many stops and photos later we park up for lunch - the best of picnics - eaten in the open under the widest sky and surrounded by flowers. Its delicious but it seems that I have been nominated to retrieve serviettes as I am the only one who can bounce out of my canvas chair quick enough to catch them. I am convinced that Alex is dropping his on purpose!
Ruth asks what wine we are going to have later - its 2pm and she is planning our wine! Margo asks me if I go to gym to keep fit and I tell her about my Zumba classes - she looks at me as if I have grown 2 heads - Brazilian moves - like a pole dancer? Ruth looks keen though! Perhaps I will give a demonstration at supper time. Late afternoon we call for tea at a quaint tea shop on the outskirts of the park. conversation over tea is about flasks and the merits of a metal flask over a plastic one. Alex is lamenting the availability of the metal flask and complaining about the size of the plastic ones made in China. I yawn - and as he gets impatient to clear away the tea things - I sip my tea as slowly as I can and then as soon as I am finished walk briskly to the combi looking at my watch I shout, "Hurry up Alex, we are 14 minutes late according to my itinerary!"
Alex self-combusts!!!!! I can sense its open warfare. Cant wait for dinner this evening - there is to be a quiz too!