Richmond. March / April 2013.

There were lots of family events going on over the Easter period as it was Veronica's 21st birthday (she's Pat and Colin's granddaughter so our great niece) and Pat and Colin's eldest daughter, Catherynn, and her family were visiting for 3 weeks - they currently live in the UK.

Jason and Mark, our great nephews, are now at High School in Pietermaritzburg. They are both in the under 14 rugby teams. We went to watch one of the matches.

Dylon, our great-great nephew, with his 'bush cutting' gear.


Before Catherynn arrived we took Jason and Mark to Tala Game Reserve for a day.

After spending a few hours driving round the reserve, seeing plenty of animals we stopped at the picnic site for a braai and were able to find a braai site with good shade and a view over the nearby dam. There's also a pool there so were able to cool off.

When we arrived there was a giraffe eating the accacia tree leaves at the picnic site. It didn't bother at all when we walked quite close to it. As we were braaing a a couple of warthogs wandered past us.

Most of the family were at the airport to welcome Catherynn, Hayden, Conah and Nathan (thanks to Dez for the photos).

The following day the whole family (21 of us!) got together for a braai at Pat and Colin's. It was a lovely day and after the braai there was a game of cricket on the lawn.

The 6 boys: Dylon, Conah, Nathan, Jason, Mark and Matthew.

Sitting outside under the shade of a large tree waiting for the food to cook.

When Colin was doing some gardening he found this large caterpillar. I looked it up on the internet and it's the caterpillar of the death's mask moth, so called because of the 'death mask' marking at the top of its back.

Most of us visited Bisley Nature Reserve which is just outside Pietermaritzburg. We had a picnic and then went for a walk. There was a big group of giraffe near the entrance.

We found shade under some trees for our picnic.

Mark carrying Matthew back from looking at the zebra.

The kids (and adults!) had a lovely day at the beach (thanks to Catherynn for the photos).

Veronica's party was held at the school across the road. There were plenty of helpers around on Friday and Saturday to help set it up. The theme was 'Western' and most people came suitably attired.

Veronica with her boyfriend Matt.


The rodeo bull that Colin hired was a great success, especially with the kids.

Nathan had loads of goes on the bull.

Veronica and Dylon.

Richmond hosted one of the four Mudman 2013 events at Beulieu Dam. It was organised by Richmond Primary School and Pied Piper Pre-Primary so Pat and Veronica were both involved in helping out.

The adult event consists of running, cycling and swimming or canoeing.

There's also a Mudskippers event for youngsters which has then running, cycling, going down a water slide and finally going through muddy water aat the edge of the dam. It was a beautiful day and most of the family went to watch. It was Catherynn, Conah and Nathan's last day in South Africa before returning to the UK.

Dylon was in the youngest group. They had an adult going round with them - in his case his great-grandad.

Nathan's group running away from the start.

Conah making hsi way though the water at the end of the course.

Easter. Veronica's 21st. Catherynn, Hayden, Connah & Nathan's visit. The Mudman Event.

July/August. Visits to Mapalane Nature Reserve and Umlalazi Nature Reserve.

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