Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tot Facienda Parum Factum

"So much to do, so little done". This is the motto of Cecil John Rhodes; the founder of Rhodesia, and the benefactor of the Rhodes Scholarship Trust. It certainly applied to the farm.

While the previous owners had removed all their possessions of value, they left behind years and years worth of other accumulated junk. One entire storeroom was full of old magazines - SA Farmers' Weekly' which although of interest, needed to be disposed of. Likewise with bottles and old machinery chassis and other metallic junk.

Inside the house, major changes were needed, including the need to do a complete renovation of

the bathroom


and kitchen.

More importantly, there was an old gas oven (top right in the photograph) that was the only means of cooking - it had to go! Shopping was necessary to start the process. In short order we bought a deepfreeze, a new oven and a washing machine.

With the deepfreeze in the storeroom, the new oven placed temporarily in the old cupboard space and the washing machine placed in the

outside rondavel,

we were in business. I placed a water feed and a drain into the building (there was a power point already installed). One of the greatest advances, in my opinion, in modern agriculture is the invention and development of the black plastic pipe. What would previously have required a great deal of time, a plumber and specialized equipment can now be done professionally by amateurs - and I should know!

This rondavel is an interesting bit of agricultural history. It was originally built as a cream store. It previously had an internal wall. the space between the exterior and interior walls was filled with charcoal. Water was sprinkled on the charcoal and evaporation kept the interior many degrees lower than the ambient temperature. Churns containing cream were thus able to be stored for several days without the cream going sour, before being taken to the rail siding and sent to the dairy.

The construction of the external wall is of interest. It is built of naturally occuring ironstone "spheres" which are as hard as hell, held together with cement.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Well, I grant you the tile on the bathroom floor sucks - and I don't think too much of the brown wallpaper/paint either - but, all in all, it doesn't look all that bad. The toilet doesn't look bad at all either. But where I really reveal my old-fashioned sense is in the kitchen. Dang, I think that old gas stove looks cute. Personally, I would have kept it. Unless it burnt your food or the gas was too expensive, I would have kept it on (saved myself the expense of a new stove - cheapie that I am). I do like that Rondaavel, though. It looks perfect for a wash house.