February 8th, Monday
Went down to the river garden. It was very pleasant down there with the sound of the birds call and the running water. It is splendid having that water and we are never without vegetables of some sort now.
Went down again. On the way back stopped to watch the wheat being thrashed, which is being done by hand as we haven’t enough for a thresher. The scene reminded me of the Bible, to see the women beating it out and then winnowing it in the wind. Our very first sack of wheat!
Feb 12th, Friday
The building of the guest house is in full swing and the roof will soon be up. Unfortunately the floor boards and doors are still far distant and we shall have to wait sometime for them. I am busy having holes dug for the planting of shrubs and trees as soon as the rain properly settles in. Each day we have storms now so I suppose the short rains have begun.
Feb 14th, Sunday
This last mail brought St Martin’s Review and in it I see that poor Sheppard’s health has again given way and he is to be absent for a year now.
Very busy having holes made for the planting. This is waiting season, nothing can be transplanted with safety really till April and so it behoves one to have everything prepared. I am too early with a lot of my seedlings I think and another year shall not sow anything till Jan.
Feb 16th, Tuesday
This morning while working the well known cry “A Car” went up and on looking saw it contained Mr Kirk, Major Knapman and another. They had come up to view Wreford Smith’s farm which I was surprised to hear was on the market (Bank, I suppose). Major K has just sold his farm of 1300 acres for £20,000 after a three year occupation and an original purchase of £1 an acre!
The latest English Illustrateds are full of the appalling floods in Europe. Great loss of life, thousands homeless and fearful damage. All day long the cry of the ploughmen is heard now. From 6.30 to 6 it will now go on for weeks and really there might be a native raid in progress, yells, shrieks and howls, and the placid old oxen keeping up a steady pace as though impervious to all this clamour.