Recording, reminiscing and occasional bokdrols of wisdom.
Random, un-chronological memories.
bokdrols – like pearls, but handle with care
Dad, says seven-yr-old Tom, I’m tired of the 5km and 10km races with Mom. I wanna go on a longer race with you, please.
So we enter the 18km race starting at the Eston country club and meandering thru Tala game reserve. Days before, it starts raining; and it rains; and there’s mud – A LOT of mud. I pushed, I shoved, I carried, I dragged. I went ahead, dropped my bike, went back and pushed their bikes;
We watched people bail left and right. Tractors and trailers were available en-route to offer rescue, and the trailers got piled high with bikes abandoning the slog. But we pushed on, stopping every few metres to scrape sticky mud out of the brake calipers.
And they made it! Not many did. On the way home they recuperated:
Not one pic of the mudslog! Aitch had the camera; Anyway, my hands would have been way too muddy!
Mfolosi again. Just one night with three twenty year old lasses, Jess, Tarryn & Jordie.
On the way one of my pet theories got a bit of backing evidence! When birding by car, I say, ‘Stop anywhere: There will almost always be some birds around’. Busting for a leak I stopped under a bridge on the N2 North. While sighing with relief, I spotted what looked like a black plastic bag flapping in the breeze in a small tree about 30m back; but my binocs revealed it to be a long-crested eagle staring intently at the ground a mere metre below it; then it pounced and fossicked around in the grass; when it flew up it had a plump grey rat with a shortish tail in its beak – a vlei rat, I’d guess. What a lovely sighting at a chance stop.
In the reserve Jess took the wheel awhile; she hadn’t driven for years, so I was pleased when she asked to; she did real well until – Murphy’s Law! – an open-top Land Cruiser came around the corner right in front of her, full of tourists and a tour guide driving; Having to suddenly remember clutch in, steer left and gently brake was a bit too much so she just drove into a little thorn tree, slammed on brakes and stalled. I pretended to be peering into the thorns, some of which were in my open window, through my binocs! Here you can spot her little skid marks:
Dad I want to get a tattoo.
Aaaargh! I shrieked in my head but “O-ka-ay” I said out loud, all calm-like, “Have you thought about it?”
Oh yes, lots.
“OK. What’s a tattoo? Is it safe? How much does it cost? Does it hurt? Who would do it? Have you got enough money? etc”
Oh, she hadn’t thought of any of that.
“OK. Do your homework and get back to me with the answers please.”
She did. Now that she knows more, she’s more nervous. But still determined. After all, Sindi has a lovely outline of Africa tattoo’d above her ankle.
The very next day she arranges a visit to the tattoo parlour with Sindi, where they are going to find out more and then come back for a final decision. They take themselves there by taxify.
The main thing I’m interested in is: Who’s the artist? Is he/she good? Does he/she do a skilful, safe job? Ask to see their work. Show me their work.
So I’m furiously kicking for touch and I think I’m delaying things nicely. I went through enough trauma with the piercings, I hope to dodge this mutilation. I feel like I’m handling things well as The Dad. I’m In Charge.
So I get a message: Hey Dad please can I have mom’s birth date and her death date.
The message is sent from here:
** sigh **
When we grew up outside Harrismith ca 1959 we couldn’t use the lounge. The lounge was filled edge-to-edge by an upside-down speedboat. The old man built his first speedboat in this lounge, shown below many decades later:
Younger sis Sheila, in the picture with Mom & Dad, says he also built that fireplace.
Then, after we’d left home and Mom & Dad had retired, he developed another urge to build a boat. Luckily this time in a boatyard with the help of boat builders.
On a cold winter’s day ca1990 we took it, shiny new, for a spin on Sterkfontein Dam outside Harrismith: Me, Dad, two Eskimos and a semi-eskimo.
We zoomed over the spot where Mom estimated her old farmhouse was – on Nuwejaarsvlei, where she grew up.
Back in 2005 our kids were quietly acquiring wisdom and knowledge (and singing and dancing skills) from an impeccable source – me – when they received a setback: A weekend visit from the Brauer at 10 Windsor Avenue. Old Pete visited. Luckily with Terry.
The bribery started immediately:
It took effect:
Precariously, reluctantly, ominously (more words here) I had to go to work Saturday morning. I KNEW this did not bode well. Indoctrination intensified in my absence. Sugar-laden indoctrination.
When I got back it was too late. You think corruption is bad nowadays? It was worse back then: The kids were now calling HIM Clever Pete and ME Old Pete!
It took a long while for Tom to recover:
I don’t think he was – I sure hope he wasn’t – bemoaning the fact that fate had given him a paleface barber who obviously didn’t know what he was doing.
. . were delightful. But they were all chaperoned by big ugly old males:
Oh well, I made the most of it by looking for Vrystaat poppies. At least some of them were unaccompanied:
And the local birds were also obliging:
Saturday Supper was delicious. Cafe Chocolat hidden in a massive pile of priceless collectibles:
We had a hilarious mixed message, crossed wire and different-planets outcome when I enquired about birders who might know where to watch birds around Ficksburg. The only ‘bird guy’ they knew was Johan and he replied to my sms asking where we could watch birds in the Ficksburg district thusly (translated):
Hey! Jong, in Ficksburg it’s only me and Martin and Willie. But its breeding season now and I don’t take people through my cages now, only end-January again.
Meanwhile, back at home some life lessons were being learned: