I don’t do DIY. I was going to say except for our wedding, but on reflection, I also did that the way I do everything: Stand back and watch as others do it all, while trying to save money.
What I did do was buy the booze and fill Mike Lello’s Isuzu Trooper and trailer with it and drive it out to the Barry and Lyn’s farm Game Valley Estates – or just Hella Hella – on the Friday. Lots of rain, muddy roads. It had been a wet summer following the huge September 1987 flood.
Like most bachelors when they do fall, I headed off cheerfully to meet my fate, all my own advice forgotten, marching singing to the gallows!
Luckily Saturday cleared up. Sunny. Then hot. Then scorching.
Barry’s old 4X4 Ford F150 gave people a tug up slippery Hella Hella Pass so they could get to their lodgings at the nearby Qunu Falls Lodge. The Brauers, the du Plessis, the Reeds, the Schoemans, the Stoutes, the Stewarts. The Hills live nearby. Family stayed in the concrete A-frame lodge on the farm.
The sauna was pitched on the lawn under the Hella Hella mountain.
Necessary preparations like beer and braai. Eskom lay down and ceased, so Dave Hill roared off and fetched his big generator on a trailer. At first it wasn’t working but Enea Spaggiari soon fixed it and Let There Be Light!
Iona coaches her daughter: Make all the big decisions, but make him think he made them . . . Aitch: Ha Ha I already do that . . .
Then the usual stuff, the ominous music tun tun ta da; the father of the bride having second thoughts; guys thinking hm hm hm; ladies smiling; Aitch saying ‘Honour? OK; Obey? Are you mad!?’ and so on:
Then The Lies!
Followed by The Truth:
At last, we could change into shorts and relax and party. Later, The Getaway:
We wore getaway kit appropriate for our honeymoon. We were headed for Deepest Darkest America.
On the Monday friend Allie Peter flew over Hella Hella in a helicopter and took pics of Rapid 5&6 looking downstream and then back upstream:
No.5&6 29 Feb 1988
No.5&6 29 Feb 1988
Twenty Five Years Later – 28 Feb 2013
—– Original Message —–
Crazy, innit! 25yrs ago today Aitch and I got hitched down in the Hella Hella valley in a fun DIY game farm wedding.
She made it to 23yrs of married bliss (OK, she might have had something to say at this point . . ) and one month short of 26yrs together. We celebrated that 25yrs-together milestone in August 2010.
Thinking of all you good peeps that made it memorable – that’s the bachelor days before, the day itself, and the 25yrs since!
Lotsa love – Pete – and now Jessica & Tommy!
BTW, Lyn and Barry Porter of Hella Hella also died in 2011:
Lyn in January – also breast cancer, Barry in April – hospital infection, and then Aitch in July.
Remember the week-end like yesterday! Struggling up the other side of Hella Hella to the Qunu Falls hotel in the mud and rain – Dave Hill saving the day with a BIG generator.
Will have an extra glass of vino this evening – great mates and good times.
Those pics are great. What a wonderful record of a very special day.
I remember the incredible heat and how you, Pierre and Pete sneaked off and changed into shorts straight after the ceremony. And how the phone kept ringing in the middle of the ceremony in the house.
Linda was flower girl, Robbie was so proud of his brand new red “tight”
and Jeff kept putting off going to change, saying that he was charge of the spit – he dithered for so long that there was no time to change and that pleased him no end.
Bess & I sneaked down to the pool for a kaalgat swim and found Iona had beaten us to it!
Will always remember the weekend; a great occasion. I think it was thanks to Mike and Yvonne in the 4×4 that we traveled safely back through the mud to our lodgings. Fond memories – raising a glass tonight to all of you!
I remember Brauer chasing a tight deadline speech writing – wise.
Damn. Been holding my breath during this stroll thru memory lane hoping that no-one noticed at the time or that no-one would still remember that poor last-minute effort.
Steve nothing has changed! PB has his own website called lastminute.com
Speech was excellent. Not many can compose a wedding speech while putting on a tie with the other hand. Besides, Swannie probably tasked Brauer with the job as he was getting dressed himself.
Yip Brauer remains an orator of note and Swanepoel continues to notify me he is coming to stay usually on the day when he lands in Pretoria – 😀 Those old dogs ain’t gonna learn new tricks but love them both! T
I had prepared well in advance.
Brauer procrastinated and ignored my two rules: Keep it short; and NO LIES.
If I stuck to the latter rule the first would have fallen into place quite easily.