I met Jaynee J through optometry. She had launched a hugely successful large-format glossy trade magazine VISION which changed the way eyeball marketing was done in Africa. So I had to meet her.
And there she was: This gorgeous blonde Pomshell laughing, thriving and swigging champagne! Succeeding and enjoying. Larger than life. Full of adventure, mischief and mirth. Unforgettable!
She got hugely involved in things optometric and ophthalmic, becoming famous in no time. Then suddenly one day Jayne’s focus changed. Oh no! She was no longer solely focused on us Eyeball Mechanics! She had a lot of strange new men in her life. What was going on?
Then I saw: She’d launched a similar magazine for vets. Veterinary surgeons. Testicle Mechanics. Now when I’d visit her, weird okes would rock up at The Rock with scarves tied round their heads. Everyone knows where a scarf goes. Around your neck. But these ous were on motorcycles. Holly DaveySounds they called them – and they had a weird sound. I dunno, a 1952 Vincent Black Lightning was always good enough for me.
Ever-versatile, our Jaynee J had transitioned from eyeballs to dogs balls. Detailed descriptions followed of primitive de-nackering surgery in Mocambique vs high-tech de-nackering surgery in Sandton. I think she enjoyed my empathetic squirming.
Ever-mobile, she moved from Lonehill to the Reeds to the Rock to Vilanculos. Every place she moved into was The Best and Wonderful and became a place where great meals were served with champagne. Always lashings of champagne. ‘Hold the bottle at 45°and you won’t waste any!’ None was wasted.
Recently Jaynee J had a big round birthday and her kids Jessie and Jason gathered a bunch of tributes and made a video for her. Lots of lovely people saying lots of lovely things. All true, like this tribute.
Hey Eddie! Thanks a lot. I had a lovely quiet day at home with lots and lots of messages – way more than I deserve, as I remember only a few birthdays, so I say to them – as I say to you here – hope you have a wonderful day and year too! So many people remember my ruddy birthday. Can’t think why???
Spoke to Mother Mary on the day. She’s well. Also to the old goat, who pretended to hear what I was saying. Sisters Barbara and Sheila both phoned, and a host of others; a call from Janet in Botswana, a long call from Glen and Ali in Aussie, an even longer call from Larry in Ohio; people are amazing. Messages from all over. And all because I was lucky enough to be born on a highly suspicious day on the Gregorian calendar that people tell me is somehow appropriate to me!?
And guess what I found out yesterday for the first time in sixty six years? Mary said, “Yes, you made a fool of me that day. You arrived two days late. You were due on the 30th March.” First time I ever heard that! Who the hell would want to be born on the 30th March!?
I’m guessing as Mom’s recent grey cells die off, and she loses what happened yesterday or this morning, some of the ancient ones – up to ninety two years old – are getting a fresh look at daylight, being dusted off and telling their story? Maybe?
Thank goodness I waited those two days, incubating quietly and delaying getting out into the noise. My whole life would have been different if I hadn’t been born on the 1st April. Different; Less fun, I think.
“Yes, you made a fool of me that day. You arrived two days late. You were due on the 30th March.” Then, “Did I tell you that?” Poor dear Mom Mary repeated that surprise news in the same call, not three minutes after telling me the first time.
‘She’s got the key of the door; Never been ninety one before . .’
The lovely ladies at Azania gave Mom a special cake and a rousing song.
Maybe due to austerity measures each candle used has to represent thutty years. Also due to fire regulations, maybe? And ‘part thereof’ probably doesn’t count: you have to turn 120 before you get a fourth candle.
Just in case anyone was thinking Aitch only had Mom’s Day, I gotta tell ya – not at all!
She had her birthday 6 January; She had her second birthday 6 July “‘cos it’s unfair my birthday is so close to Christmas, everyone used to give me one present, and my day was lost in the Xmas/New Year hype”. Right.
Then she was really big on the kids’ joint birthday 11 December, making that a big day, plus the two separate parties she would organise for them, there being a four-year age gap. I tried to combine it after she was gone – whatta disaster!
Then she always remembered the day we met, 27 August, I think. We would celebrate that. Also wedding anniversary 27 February. Celebrate.
Then CHRISTMAS!! An Aitch Day if ever there was one! She was BIG on Christmas. Much planning, buying and the whole house had to be changed: Xmas decorations – putting up the tree was an event! – Xmas crockery, Xmas coffee mugs, Xmas lights, Xmas pictures on the walls, all other paintings had to come down. Mantelpieces would be festooned.
Then she had Mothers’ Day when the kids made a big fuss – she’d see to it. And last but definitely not least there was All Fools Day, April Fools Day – my birthday. You won’t believe how she went to town. She’d get a Big Brass Band to play!
Jess joined her great friend Sindi Angelos last night to celebrate Sindi’s birthday.
Here’s Sindi in yellow, Jess in pink with Tom down at Gayle’s Hibberdene beach cottage in the olden days:
The jol was just up our road at Jalapeno’s, popular after-work dop joint. Jess walked home after a few hours. When she next heard from Sindirella a few days later it was like ‘Jess! We got so drunk! I’m never drinking again!’
All hands employed in making April fools. — At midnight almost nearly all the watch below was called up in their shirts; carpenters for a leak: quarter masters that a mast was sprung. — midshipmen to reef top-sails; All turned in to their hammocks again, some growling some laughing. — The hook was much too easily baited for me not to be caught: Sullivan cried out, “Darwin, did you ever see a Grampus: Bear a hand then”. I accordingly rushed out in a transport of Enthusiasm, & was received by a roar of laughter from the whole watch. —
“grampus“ is an old name given to several sea creatures, as well as other animals. Grampus may refer to: Grampus (genus) of the Risso’s dolphin; or a common name for the orca.
~~~~oo0oo~~~~ Paul McCartney was sixteen when he wrote the lyrics to “When I’m Sixty-Four”. When the Beatles released the song in 1967, I was 12. Now when I sing it I realise with a shock ‘Shit! I AM sixty four!’ — When I get older losing my hair Many years from now Will you still be sending me a Valentine Birthday greetings bottle of wine If I’d been out till quarter to three Would you lock the door Will you still need me, will you still feed me? When I’m sixty-four I could be handy, mending a fuse When your lights have gone You can knit a sweater by the fireside Sunday mornings go for a ride Doing the garden, digging the weeds Who could ask for more Will you still need me, will you still feed me? When I’m sixty-four
One of the things I remember my Old Man saying when I was a kid was “Please Shoot Me When I Turn Sixty!” Now he’s 96 and planning on reaching 100. Living alone and still driving legally. Life doesn’t always follow the script . .
Four generations and friends met at Mom’s house to celebrate her 90th today.
It was an all-day affair that included morning tea and lunch. Even when I got there after two there was cake and cheese and biscuits and olives and chips n dips, coffee and tea. Then champagne and sherry. Mom had to forego her nap!
Here’s Mom n Dad, three pensioner kids, an adult grandkid and two great-grandkids.
Woke up to breakfast in bed. The bacon was crispy:
The card was mushy:
Thank you Jessie love!!
Tom was first to wish me. That’s because he got home in the wee hours and woke me to open up for him, giving me a big “April Fool!” as I welcomed him home.
April Fool’s Day started before me! PROOF:
On this day in 1582, the Council of Trent called for France to switch from the Julian calendar. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognise that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.
These included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.
Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to ancient festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. There’s also speculation that April Fools’ Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.
England had a similar tradition and by the 18th century, April Fools’ Day had spread throughout Britain. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event.
My old man has very little interest in his own birthday and has maybe remembered about 10% of my birthdays, and those with the old lady’s prodding. He also has remembered ZERO percent of my kids’ birthdays (they’re both 11 December, he’s 15 December).
So for his latest birthday I was away out of cellphone comms with Jessie at a game reserve. Then I needed to phone Tom and went to where I found signal and did so. I had remembered the old man’s birthday so for the old lady’s sake, I phoned. It was the day after the actual date.
“I’m most upset and disappointed with you. You forgot!” he says as she hands him the phone (he’s joking of course).
So I said “Hell, I remembered 93 of them. I thought to hell with the 94th.”
I woke up this April Fool’s Day to a strange sight – Two baleful yellow eyes staring at me over a bright orange beard. I thought it was a hungover Irish leprechaun and tried to think where I’d been last night.
Turned out it was two fried eggs and a big helping of warm baked beans on a plate brought to me in bed by my ever-loving daughter Jessie for a birthday treat!
I’m sitting up drinking my tea plotting how to smuggle Sambucca the black Labrador in to polish off what’s left on the plate.
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!
Every year Trish got a professional photographer to the kids’ parties. Me, I’m scrooge. I’ll take the pictures. I can do this! So at the kids’ uShaka Waterworld party I tried to photograph everyone. But I didn’t get one of lovely young Hannah, and she left early.
I told Tom.
“Doesn’t matter”, he says, “She’s a brownie/blondie hair kinda person”.
Oh. That’s obviously okay then.
Tom with friends whose pics DID matter . .
Joining the fourteen year-olds and the ten year-olds parties was not a clever idea! These below do not blend well with those above! I rushed around searching for bodies all day. Never again!