Aitch, Family & Kids, Life

Seven Years Today

You would be SO jealous if you were watching down from your cloud right now. The kids are in SUCH a good space. They’re a pleasure to be with. Sure, they give me a bloody hard time often and sure, they manipulate the hell out of me but they love their Dad!

May this last a few more years and then may they depart and start sending money home. Hey, we gotta aim high.

We miss you and talk about you lots still.

2003Apr kombi tom dizzi gayle jess trish 2
Two sober kids in this picture – champagne on the shores of Lake Sibaya

Oh, and Sambucca has gone grizzly about the gills and eye sockets. Past grey, her muzzle is now white. Also her eyesight ain’t what it used to be and she’s deaf. Otherwise she’s fine. Still manages to fool one of us into feeding her twice by promising earnestly that she hasn’t eaten for DAYS, when someone else just fed her. She has recently discovered her bark (I think that’s about all she can hear now) so she has gone from a silent snoozer to an enthusiastic barker who can only be shut up by tapping her on the shoulder and signalling SHURRUP! That causes her to bounce around with glee saying “I KNEW there was someone here! So it’s you!”

 

Sambucca old (2).jpg

Also, we found this in the garage this week: Sambucca’s pedigree! You hid it! So this is why she cost us R2000 when all our previous dogs had come free or with a R20 note tied on their collar!?

Sambucca Pedigree.jpg

So now we know Sambucca was born 23 August 2006. Twelfth birthday coming up, greybeard!

Africa, Aitch, Family & Kids, Life, Nostalgia

Jess and her Tummy Mummy

Jessica & ThembiJessie’s Tummy Mummy Thembi became a good friend thanks to Aitch and her conscientious follow-up and ‘adoption’ of Thembi.

Aitch nurtured her and encouraged and empowered her. She arranged classes such as computer and sewing courses; she had her teeth seen to and hugely improved by the state orthodontists at Addington and King Edward hospitals.

Once a month she would take Jessie – and me and Tom sometimes – to meet for lunch with Thembi when we would also take her supplies and goods to sell; Jessie loved those lunches. She and Thembi would gossip and giggle and point at people walking past commenting on their looks, dress, gait, whatever. Scandalous! They loved it!

Once we took her back to Port Shepstone so she could show her Mom and Gran that Jess was fine.

Thembi's Mom and Gran
Thembi’s Mom and Gran seated; Thembi’s long hair

Thembi met a guy who was very good to her and was very happy but tragically she then contracted AIDS; Aitch pitched right in and arranged to meet the chief HIV / AIDS doctor in charge at King Edward. She saw to it that Thembi got her treatment on time. She sickened rather quickly though, and grew weak.

Jess wrote to her when I visited her in Addington:

Thembi card frm Jess Jan2010

She died in Addington hospital. I took her boyfriend and her brother Dumi in the kombi to buy a coffin and then to fetch her body; then arranged for them to get her remains – and themselves – to Port Shepstone.

Aitch, Family & Kids, Life

100 years

Well, twenty nine anyway. Me n Aitch would have been married 29yrs today!  A toast and good memories! We were together 26yrs, married 23, and I got 34yrs of kids value out of it (19 plus 15)! Add all that together = 100yrs.

Jeannie Stewart, Aitch, Jane ___ and me - at 7 River Drive Westville

I had a hard time, as she would gallivant with handsome young bucks on Harley Davidsons when I wasn’t looking:

Aitch on a Harley !

Aitch was a secret biker chick in her day. She went to the Buffalo Rally:

and she was into convertibles, Cadillacs in America, Audis and jeeps in SA:

and into taking photos to mock me:

 

Aitch, Canoe & Kayak, Family & Kids, Life

That Institution

As we were going to have a small wedding out in the sticks, we held a Pre-Nuptial-Party at Kingfisher Canoe Club back in 1988 to celebrate with friends who couldn’t make it or who hadn’t cracked the nod. Who to invite and who to discreetly ignore is one of the things that makes the lead-up to tying the knot vrot with danger as anyone who has gone singing to the gallows well knows.

I was reminded yesterday about that happy gathering by Barbara Mason, who I only occasionally see as she lives a normal and sane life, parallel to the madcap canoeing world that links me to her hubby Charles (him a legendary paddler, me a used-to-be wannabe).

She told me she quotes from my speech of that night to this day. I had forgotten that I’d even spoken, but she assures me I spake thus:

“Aitch and I gave careful consideration to the pros and cons of getting married, but we decided to go ahead and get married anyway.”

Pre-Nuptial Party_crop

(Check the invite! Remember typewriters?)

Aitch, Family & Kids, Life

Four Birthdays

It’s the fourth time we have celebrated your birthday without you. And it’s not the same. It was chaos, of course. After two weeks of hum n haw, the kids decided we needed to go to Butcher Boys in town for big steaks. Then they decided on John Dorys nearby for fish n chips. Then Jess decided not to go.

In the end TomTom, Lungelo & I went to the nearby centre. They each had a R99 mixed platter, I had steak and we brought two calamari n chips home to Jess & her friend Tarryn.

When they’d finished the boys walked home and I finished a second glass of wine and paid. Just before I left a lady at a nearby table came over. She knew Tom from aftercare and was all complimentary. I thanked her for helping to get the lil bugger to pass!

We missed you.

Aitch & Judo Kids (1)

Aitch, Family & Kids, Home

Matt, the other man

When the new boy moved in I experienced times of being firmly relegated to 2-IC, second-best, sidekick, supporting cast – in Aitch’s life. Me and TC had to step back as she fell deep and hard in love with Matt. Here’s when she found and chose him:

matt-arrives-2

He was not glossy, so we called him Matt.

TC and Matt at their bowls - Touched up using FxFoto

Then he grew. And his coat became glossy on the expensive vet’s food Aitch fed him. He was at the tail-end of the docked-tail era.

TC thinks WHAT the hell is this!!!? matt-tc-river-dr-4

matt-tc-river-dr-2 dogs-river-dr-matt-tc

This was back when these dogs were our children (prior to adopting two of the longer-lasting, more expensive, less appreciative, two-legged kind!).

I found Matt on the freeway late one rainy night. He was probably after an intriguing new smell which enticed him out (he hadn’t wandered before). He was a growing boy, after all! Hit by a car on the M13 when he went loping off thinking “Love Is In The Air”, he was dead. His collar with our details on it was still attached.

We shed tears. I dug his grave. We buried him in the garden.

Then we got a lawyer’s letter and the guy who hit him sued us for the damage to his car. He was entitled to do that, and we paid. Felt crappy, though.

True love – Aitch & Matt; Matt about 1989 to 1991.

True love - Aitch & Matt; Matt about 1989 to 1991 - buried at 7 River Drive