Family & Kids, Home

Home Invasion

It’s holidays!! yay. They’re short. YAY!!

So I get this: “Dad – May 7 people pls sleep over?”

Home Invasion

So I put my foot down and Negotiated Tough. We settled on six total.

Then one arrived by bicycle and one’s Mom dropped him off. So I ended up only catering for eight meat-eating 13-and 14-yr-old noisy, farty, rugger bugger boys. Just as Tom had asked for in the beginning (no doubt having told them Yeah, No Problem! right from the start!).

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Poor Jess!

(Sunday I got rid of three of them and then I had five referees playing rugby in the pool. Loud shouts of “Played On!” “Offsides!” “Release!” “High Tackle!” “Use it!”)

~~~oo0oo~~~

Family & Kids, Sport, Travel, Travel Africa

Fishermen’s Tales

Two avid fishermen, Lungelo and me went down to the sea. Or to the Umtamvuna River at The Old Pont. Lungelo and I were not the avid ones. That was Tommy and Ryan, passionate, persevering pêcheurs.

20141218_145446 Fishermen in blue.

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Luxury accommodation on the banks of the Umtamvuna.

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Besides the river fishing I also took them to the rocks near the Port Edward lighthouse.

20141219_185433  After the rain the front recedes

Lovely sunsets and one rain squall – with the boys’ tent left wide open, so the second night they had a bit of a damp night. The fishermen latched on to many, many fish, most of them BIG and desirable (yeah, right!). But they landed far fewer – and smaller – ones. Crabs plundering their bait gave them hours of amusement. All but one fish (used for bait) survived their endeavours I’m pleased to say (pathetic bunny-hugger that I am. Or is that guppy-hugger?).

Family & Kids, Life

Boys n Girls in the Movies

Took three 12yr-olds to the movies on Friday night. They asked me to disappear before they got spotted with me – ruin their reps, I would.
So I wander off to my man cave substitute, Exclusive Books and wait, surplus to requirements.
They walk in bright-eyed a few hours later.

The movie? Oh, the MOVIE!? Ja, it was good. They’re bursting to talk, but they’d probably arranged “Don’t say nothing”< and I get non-commital grunts.
It couldn’t last. There were GIRLS! Some not even from their school, and some taller than them! They sat near these chicks and in front of them and spoke to them and they took the sweets the boys offered them! And it was a 16 movie, that’s why they needed me away before they bought tickets. But it’s fine, they let them in no problem.
Oh boy . .

Family & Kids

Wheels and Status

Car spotting and car bragging is a (very) competitive sport at Tom’s school. Every day I hear tales of Ferraris and Range Rovers taking kids to school and the sad lament of what the isikoroskoro we drive means to his standing.
We usually park far from the school (I let him walk the last few hundred metres) but yesterday I parked right outside the gate and poor Tom got bust: His mates spotted the Ford Ranger double cab. Worse: It’s only 4X2.
This morning we parked far away again as he told me they ragged him mercilessly. “We saw your Dad’s Bhugatti, Thomas!” they said with great delight.

the wish Bhugatti–   reality Ford

– – – – – – 883Kw                                        103Kw

Ah well, he has inflicted pain, he has to learn to take pain.

Africa, Family & Kids, Free State, Vrystaat, Life, Nostalgia, School

A Slow Walk, My China

Way back in around 1962 Donald Coleman and I walked home from school. The Harrismith Kleinspan School.

It was about a mile and we set off around 1pm. When we got home we got the “Where have you been!?” treatment. Apparently it was 5pm already and getting dark and cold. Well, we wouldn’t have known and anyway, we’d had a lot to talk about and Donald had a box of matches, so we had stopped and made a little fire of plane tree leaves in the sandstone gutters of Stuart Street. These gutters used to channel water from Platberg to town according to Blanche Hawkins, local historian.

Fast forward to 2014 and 12yr old TomTom asked me if he could walk home from school today. It’s about 4km and school ends at 2pm. When I got home at 5pm he had just got in and Cecelia and Carla had been worried: “Where had he BEEN?!”

I knew where he’d been. His journey was double mine and he’d taken one less hour. Why, he’d almost hurried home! And no matches, so how could I complain? You have fun, my boy? I asked. He’d stopped en route to buy a pie, a packet of jelly tots and an energade drink.

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Feature pic: Me, Anne, Donald & Sheila in Platberg’s shadow