Vilanculos – Sunny Spot!

Vilanculos, said Jaynee J, is a beautifully sunny spot . .

. . with the odd shady person!

When she was about to leave Joburg for her paradise in Mocambique; to find another atmospheric cottage to inhabit and love; move into a new town, in a new country; and change the place – Vilanculos, not just the cottage – she asked some muscled 4X4 mechanic with his sleeves rolled up high on his bulging biceps, wearing tiny khaki shorts* what she should drive – and he sold her this:

  • well, this is how I picture him anyway!
– the monster –

After she’d been passed by her tenth Uno, her twelfth Polo, her fifth Corolla and numerous bicycles, she sold it. And found a cottage with a view:

One day I’ll have to write a story about Jaynee J – It’ll have intrigue, suspense, suspenders, laughter, optometry, launching colleagues and setting them free; Sundry veterinarians, optometrists, champagne, ophthalmologists, vets, veterinary specialties, veterinary marketing, veterinary publishing, veterinary posturing, veterinary skinder, candle-lit baths; It would have hospitality, laughter, publishing, amazing meals, cottages, fairies, champagne friends, neighbours, boat trips, idyllic islands, champagne, hospitality, bed making, bed using, champagne, joy, faeries, friends, a long-ago husband, champagne, laughter; Tales of taking real, genuine, valuable veterinary services to under-served countries, castrations old-style, castrations state-of-the-art, laughter, adventures; There’ll be two fine kids, special grandkids, favourites-in-law, champagne, a champagne suite at the cricket, amazing meals, champagne, The Reeds, The Rock, champagne, hospitality, success, laughter, laughter!! Champagne-induced laughter, some hicupping, nostalgic laughter . .

I’m only scratching the surface here . .

She sees things:

– Jayne J’s Vilanculos creatures –
– she notices satire and aspiration –
– the MMM probly thinks this is normal –

. . and boy, can she organise things! When her Manky Mocambican Mongrel (that’s a registered breed) needed treatment, only the best would do. So a hand-picked Joburg vet had to make a 1450km house call by road – from Joburg to Vilanculos! How many house calls need an overnight stop on the way?

Of course, the Manky Mocambican Mongrel did what any MMM does, and croaked, but not before sub-continents were crossed by the vet and his lover, love was made, proposals were made, proposals were accepted; all done in large, huge STYLE. The vet and his fiancee drove back to South Africa with huge smiles on their faces! Best housecall ever! You do things right, Jaynee J! Unforgettably . .


– three ladies and a dog –
– four ladies –

. . there are still chapters to be written . .



Mabibi and Sibaya

Camping at Mabibi in Zululand with the kombi – and Taylor with his puny little JEEP.

On the way I pretended (!) to get stuck to give the JEEP owner an ego boost:

– sundowners on the lake – Tom, Dizzi, Gayle, Jessie & Aitch –
– every body had to get lip-stick’d –
– Jon took a shot of me emerging sylph-like out of the champagne-clear waters of the lake –

. . which reminded me of Ursula in Dr. No . . Me and Ursula were like twins, ‘cept I wore less clothing and had something useful in my hand . .

Ursula Andress did it in 1962 in Dr. No; Halle Berry paid homage in 2002 in Die Another Day; and I trumped them both in 2003 in Lake Sibaya.


Dad open up its urgent! Midnight at home, a bang on the front door.

Lots of blood all over him. He’s bleeding from a deep cut on his lower eyelid and a nick in the lid margin. My handsome boy is now handsome and, uh, interesting.

‘I fell against the metal deep freeze drawers.’ Damn! I’d meant to put those drawers back in the deep freeze. He and a mate were sleeping in the cottage on a Saturday night.

I staunch the bleeding and disinfect with gargle. It’s all I can find, we’ve re-arranged the house in the middle of renovations. Go to bed now, fella. Luckily only him injured, so I don’t have to please explain to any Moms of other 13yr-old boys.

Next morning I phone the ophthalmic surgeon on call. On the way to his rooms at Parklands hospital I say, “OK level with me: What happened?” I had seen shards of glass and found a broken bottle hidden behind the bed.

Two boys. A champagne bottle. ‘We couldn’t get the cork off.’ A tussle. ‘The wet bottle was slippery. We dropped it. It exploded.’

The eye man checks Tom and pronounces him OK. No stitch needed. Lucky lil bastids.

That was Sunday. On Monday his mates nicknamed him Scarface.


Wafting – High Over Sossusvlei

Namibia Balloon (4)

Up in a hot air balloon with Aitch high over Sossusvlei in the Namib desert. Up in the pre-dawn, we go and fetch the sun from where he’s snuggling, reluctant to get out of bed. Beautiful to see a sunrise while the ground below you is still in darkness. Later the sun actually rises for the earthlings below us and the trees start throwing lo-ong shadows. A 10m tree has a 200m shadow on the sand. We rise high, then sink down till we’re zooming at treetop level, then soar up again till the trees are little specks and only a dust trail shows where the ground crew is chasing after us, estimating where we’ll land. The intermittent roar of the gas flame is harsh, making the silence between bursts even more special and serene.

Namibia Balloon (2)

We land and our swashbuckling pirate-pilot smacks the head off a champagne bottle with his sabre. Bubbly and breakfast in the cool early morning standing around a table decked with a pretty tablecloth.

Desert Theatre!