Returning festival fundi, Duncan Hodge, stayed over with us last night; Smithfield is the ideal distance to break a journey from Grahamstown to Gauteng. This time he arrived without his Dalmatian, Daisy, so my dogs were a little disappointed. He saw a couple of shows in Grahamstown but he needs to get back to work – he’s an economics prof at Unisa and knows the value of time more than most. I think I have persuaded him to try an alternative route home, and if everything goes well he will be driving through the most beautiful part of the Free State today. The eastern highlands along the Lesotho border might even have some snow. Lucky man!

Here he strikes a suitable theatrical pose in the Trading Places garden, against the background of our Smithfield mountain. No snow here yet!

Duncan Hodge in heroic mode, about to conquer the eastern highlands of the Free State