Africa, Aitch, Family & Kids, Life, Nostalgia

Time Scurries

Hate it, but it’s true: Things fade. A month late on our annual tribute. Six years now. Don’t worry, you still do occasionally cause changes to the way we do things, and “But Mom said . . ” is still used to some effect!

Jess still regularly asks if there wasn’t more we could have done to save or cure Mom. When she hears of a new treatment for some or other disease she’ll ask “Why didn’t they do this for Mom?” I explain the difference between bacteria and viruses and cancer to her each time.

Here’s what she wrote to you this Mothers Day:

Jess Mom's Day 2017 (1)

Jess Mom's Day 2017 (2)

Yeah, I cried . . .

She was on her Bhejane field guide course up north of Hluhluwe and lonely as anything. Her selfie was taken in the little wooden Wendy hut she stayed in.

 

Africa, Aitch, Family & Kids, Life, Sport

I shoulda said Gosh! or Darn!

Jaynee J had a luxury courtesy suite at Centurion Park cricket ground and she invited us to watch a game. The Springboks / Proteas were playing someone in an international test match. 2001, so Sri Lanka, maybe.

Jayne called it her ‘champagne suite’. Jayne Janetsky could POUR, and – as always – she had laid in enough stock for a siege. Or a rainy day. And that day Centurion Park was not like this:

Centurion cricket ground

It was like this:

Jayne J Champagne Suite Centurion Cricket (2)
Me telling Jessie “See love, this is cricket: Not much happens”

This led to puddle-jumping with Jess behind the stadium:

I had great fun watching the people. Especially a guy in the next-door Telkom box, scanning the crowd with powerful binoculars, looking for girls. Whenever he saw someone watching him he’d say “I’m looking for my sister”.

We had to take two year-old Jessica along and it wasn’t really her thing. It rained off and on, so we were indoors with Celebrity Guest Barman Johnno Green, who was intent on quality control, sampling and plying. Aitch and I took turns amusing Jess and keeping her (mostly) out of the adults’ hair.

Jayne J Centurion Champagne Suite

After a while (cricket matches carry on and on and when you think they MUST be finished, surely? – they stop for tea) I had to feed and change Jess and decided to take her back to Jayne’s home. Change of scenery for her and a break for the adults.

On the way back to the stadium, with freshly-fed and -wiped Jessie strapped in the car seat behind me, I missed the freeway off-ramp to the stadium. Didn’t have a clue how I’d get back to the stadium now, so I was kinda tense and focused and fuming. What if I missed Jayne’s famous lunch? Finally I figured it out and managed a tricky u-turn after the next off-ramp and got back on track. Finally I could relax.

“Pete?” came a little voice from behind me.

Yes my love?

“FUCK!”

“FUCK FUCK FUCK!!”

Oh, boy . . . . .

Aitch, Life

Fame! Riches! The Life of Aitch

Hey, they’re making a movie on the life of heart surgeon Professor Chris Barnard.

Sunday, 3 December 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of the world’s first heart transplant, so they obviously want to cash in on that.

Aitch worked with him till he retired. On 14 December 1983 she went to his farewell. She wrote this in her diary. CNB – Christiaan Neethling Barnard: (Later: A new book had a picture taken at the farewell!).

Aitch Diary (2)

Aitch & Barnard at the heart-lung machine
Barnard & Aitch

I wonder who they’ll get to play Aitch? Maybe Olga Kurylenko, Bond girl in Quantum of Solace?

Olga Kurylenko Bond girl

And I wonder what percentage we’ll get of the gross earnings? Surely they won’t cut the kids out of the proceeds?

.

Barnard wrote a book One Life. If I wrote a book on Aitch I’d call it One Wife.

 

Home, Life

Off the Grid – A Confession

Going off the (electricity and water) grid is too much of  mission and the costs don’t justify it.

And I hate it that I just said that, so I’m committing to re-looking at it.

Last time I looked at solar water heating (meant to be the no-brainer) the cost was so much higher than Eskom that I hesitated. Then they told me the system would likely only last for 5 or 6 years and so I did what I do well: procrastinated.

It also turned out to be more technical and complicated than I thought. People who have done it always say “Ag it was nuthing! I just did this and that”. Not true! Here’s a pic that demonstrates this – Proud Brian Brooks of Tokai with his system (admittedly a borehole, not just roofwater):

Own Borehole

Holy guacamole, this is NOT for me! I will start off with catching rainwater off my roof. Then I’ll tiptoe on to investigating solar water heating. After that we’ll see. And I’ll report in unvarnished fashion with no hidden costs.

Watch this space! (But don’t hold your breath).

Procrastinator

Family & Kids, Life

Bums off Seats

Keen to get their lazy asses off the couch I said Go for a Run! That’s Tom, Ryan and Jose, three 15yr-old musketeers. Here’s two of them:

Tom Ryan

“How much will you pay us? We’ll need a cooldrink afterwards!” came the mercenary reply.

R50 for all three of you for 5km. It’s a team thing.

“We’ll run to the mall and back”, they offer. It’s 2,5km one-way. Uphill.

OK, but you have to make it in 15 minutes. Whinge whinge negotiate negotiate.

OK 17 minutes. Take a photo when you get there and whatsapp me, then I’ll ewallet you.

So they did.

IMG-20170702-WA0002[1]

So I did.

Family & Kids, Life

Mom Mary & Jo Onderstall

When her great friend Joey de Beer – later Jo Onderstall, author and talented botanist in Nelspruit – the Lowveld Botanic Gardens – heard Mom had decided to go nursing after matric back in the late 1940’s she said in her forthright way: “What a waste of a good brain!” She was so right! Mom could have done anything.

Here’s Jo’s 2002 Christmas card to Mary:

Joey de Beer to Mom 2002

 

 

Free State, Vrystaat, Life, Wildlife, Game Reserves

Lepidopterism

From: pete swanepoel home

Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 7:03 PM

Subject: Lepidopterists lead exciting lives!

This from my LepSoc newsletter: Hi everyone; We will be doing a day trip to Tswaing crater, just north of Pretoria, on the 24th September, where special butterflies such as Brown-lined Sapphires, Saffron Sapphires, Hutchinson’s Highfliers, etc. can be seen.

*********************
Us lepidopterists see not only these but others such as Skollies, Nightfighters, Pirates, Policemen and Admirals. Playboys and Pansies are also sought-after! One can go prancing after them wearing a pith helmet and waving a net! What’s not to love?

There’s even one called swanepoelii and one called brauerii

Lepidopterism is one of the more fun diseases to contract, and lepidopterists lead exciting lives!
========================

Soutar wrote:

Keep your net stockings on.

We off to Karkloof today. Will try to bring back a dead Karkloof Blue.

That and a Pink Elephant.

================

Pete wrote:

¶¶ . . and a Stuffed Delegorgue’s Pigeon, a Dead Cape Parrot and . .

¶¶ Planks from a Yellowwood Tree . . ¶¶

.

Hey! We could write a song like that . . .
========================

steve reed wrote:

When we lived in Clarens we had an annual visitation by what must have been the self-same Swanepoel. Khaki clad solitary figure, fleet-footing round the village with his net like something out of Peter Pan. Regarded by the locals with great interest (and a good level of suspicion ) . . .

========================

Real-Life Lepidoptometrist

Hilton Pike is a nimble optometrist fella who darts around lithely with a butterfly net, holding it rather like Obelix doesn’t hold his menhirs. A talented lad, young Hilton, he builds fancy hi-fidelity speakers, refurbishes phoropters and mounts butterflies with pins on polystyrene in glass cabinets, all the while making children. Lovely chap, I miss him. Where is he?

from LepSoc‘s stunning website

One of me own: Lepi Fordus radiatorii