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Monday, November 08, 2004

Bobby bought some palm trees for our back yard yesterday, to replace the trees that we lost during the hurricanes. The guys from the nursery just came to put them in, and left me feeling like a completely negligent garden-owner. Which I am, I just don't like it pointed out. During the course of a five minute conversation, he mentioned that the weeds in the back yard are out of control, the hibiscus is straggly, some plant whose name escapes me is about to further damage our pool screen, and some of our cycads are in mortal danger because they have cycad scale.

The new palms look lovely though. It must have broken the nursery guy's heart to leave them in our incompetent hands.

Saturday was tons of fun. We went up to Jacksonville for a bouldering competition. (Bouldering being climbing where you don't go high enough to need to tie in). They didn't have youth categories, just beginner, intermediate, advanced and open. So there were adults and teens competing in all four categories. However the girls are really happy, because Sophie placed second in Beginner Women, and Ems placed second in Intermediate Women.

Here they are in action. Sophie's doing the yellow route to the left, and Emily's doing the white route in the centre of the picture. The yellow route was one of the ones there which were set a bit too high for my liking. Sixteen or eighteen feet may be okay if they're impossibly hard routes and you're thinking that only a couple of the strongest teens will manage them. But it's not appropriate for routes that the better of the younger kids will want to tackle.

Stephen got way more points in the comp than Em managed, but unfortunately the Men's Intermediate is such a strong category that he had no chance of placing.

After the comp we found a nearby Indian restaurant for dinner. When the Kenyan owner discovered that we were South African he got all excited and insisted on phoning a friend of his; a local Indian doctor who had emigrated from Durban a few years ago. He got him on the line and then handed the phone over to Bobby, who had to chat with the doctor and his wife for a while. Bobby handled it all with immense poise; I was feeling a little awkward about it all so I'm glad I wasn't the one who was given the phone. They were really keen for us to come round to their house and meet them but neither of us wanted to lug a bunch of grubby tired kids over to drink coffee with strangers - even South African strangers. We probably should have gone anyway - I'm sure we would have enjoyed meeting them in the end - but we chose the unadventurous antisocial boring option. The food was yummy though, and Bobs and the owner's son got to chat about cricket - one of the things I do not miss about South Africa.

Time to make Steve a snack; he's just got home from school ...

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