Family & Kids, Life

For You Guys When I’m Not Around

For You Guys When I’m Not Around

Like, if I was on an island in the Okavango Delta sipping champagne out of cellphone reach and you can’t ask me for advice or money?* Then read this . . .
Love – I love you guys more than you’ll ever know. And I’m very very proud of you and so very very pleased I am lucky enough to have you as my children.
Kind – Be kind. Especially to the poor, meek and timid.
Help – Where you can. Help yourself, be kind to yourself (and hard on yourself as far as getting things done) but also help others wherever you can. It feels good, and it’s rewarding.
Do it for you – When you help people, don’t expect a reward; When you greet people, don’t expect a reply; Do it for you.
Work – When you’re at work, work. Work honestly and deliver. If you’re unhappy, don’t leave. Plan first. When you have your alternative ready, leave on your own terms, without rancour. If no alternative pans out, and where you are is really bad, then leave anyway, and work honestly and deliver on the next job. When you’re unemployed, you still have a job: Finding your next job. Work hard at finding it: Plan, prepare, talk to people, work at it.
Religion – Look into all religions. Understand their origins and the holes they were meant to fill. Know that we know far more now than they did then (even as recently as the 1950’s when L Ron Hubbard started his religion (called Scientology – hidden behind the recruiting front called Dianetics); Hell, we even know more now than in 2005 when Bobby Henderson started one of the kinder, more rational religions, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Learn about how many Gods there are (hundreds) and what each one of their followers believe. Take the time to really understand religion. And when you have carefully worked out why people dismiss all gods other than their own, you will start to see how ALL gods have actually been created by humans. In their own likeness. To fill a need.
If learning about the world and how it works doesn’t satisfy your need for “why are we here”, and you feel you need to be a something, then become a Humanist. Read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism – and when you have time to read slowly and read over & over, read here: http://infidels.org/library/modern/fred_edwords/humanism.html – its just 8 pages, well worth reading and re-reading.
Even better, DO something: Become a scout leader, a coach or a dance teacher.
Teach – Be a teacher. Even if you don’t become a teacher, still be a teacher in your life. Right near you there are children who need guidance and support and fun. If you have a car and they don’t, just take them to the beach once a month. Or take them fishing with you. Teach them how to attach a hook and cast. Teach them how to use a computer. Or to play a game. COMMIT to once a month.
Laugh – Laugh lots. Laugh with people, not at people.
Be scientific – Require evidence. When someone asks you to trust them, ask them to do you the courtesy of giving you proof, evidence, a link – or at least their statement in writing, signed by them (a lot of strong adamant statements evaporate – or at least dilute – when asked for in writing). “Trust me” is used by too many dishonest people to trust it. Look for evidence. And always get a receipt (remember my mantra “slip and change”!?)

Love again – Love people. Love them. Be gentle with them. Sure they can irritate you and frustrate you, but they’re great, all in all.
Mom – Mom loved you fiercely. She loved you with her whole heart – and was awfully proud of you. Same as me.

Well, we weren't married yet . . . .

.
Oscar Wilde said: Advice is great stuff – in the giving . . . .

*or if I have shuffled on . . .

Family & Kids, Home, Travel Africa

Thutty Yizz! (that’s ’30yrs’ to you)

Aitch never held my culinary skills in high regard. Her favourite meal to mock was my chicken-onion-n-potato-in-a-pot special which she described as pale and tasteless. It wasn’t. It just looked bland. With enough red wine taken internally it was fine.

She was right about my braaiing skills, though. Luckily Tom’s genes skipped back about seven generations to when burning dead animals on a naked flame was considered an advance in civilisation, not like I believe it to be: a pointless exercise now that Eskom has been invented. So he is now my braaiing stunt double.

Tom braais

To show that I’m an early adopter, I’ll have everyone know that when Aitch met me back in ’85 there was already an AEG microwave ensconced in my bachelor flat, faithfully re-heating coffee, poaching eggs and heating up the half hamburgers I would find on my chest after a good night out.

Which same microwave gave up the ghost this week. That’s correct. My AEG microwave, bought on 26 March 1984 fizzled on me on the 26th of March 2014. How’s that for hi-fidelity?

And just to show I really will avoid playing the primitive pyromaniac if I can help it, here’s a picture of me pulling my shirt to hide that same microwave behind me at Kosi Bay, Zululand ca 2002. I snuck it into the kombi knowing their campsites had Eskom power and knowing that heating up Tommy’s bottles was a fiddle without it.

microwave in Kosi Bay 2002

Update: Now I’m pissed off it packed up after only 30 years:

93-yr-old woman is pissed off her oven packed up after only 53 years!

In 1963 John F Kennedy was president of the US, the Beatles had released their first album, and Winifred Hughes of Crewe, then 39, paid £79 for an ultra-modern Belling Classic electric oven. It turned out to be an amazing bargain. Winifred,­ now 92, used it almost every day since and, she says, “it never let me down”. Sadly, just last week, the thermostat finally gave up, and Winifred says she is “heartbroken” her beloved Belling is no more.

53-yr-old stove

~~~~~ooo000ooo~~~~~

Peter Brauer wrote:

“…which she described as pale and tasteless. It wasn’t. It just looked bland. With enough red wine taken internally it was fine.”

Wasn’t she talking about you??

~~~~~ooo000ooo~~~~~

Terry Brauer wrote:

You truly are the nuttiest oke I know. For a greenie this is like true confessions. Nuking your food.

Go Tommy! You inherited your mother’s skills . .

Aitch, Travel, Travel Africa, Travel USA

San Juan Honeyprune

We spent a week in Washington on our ’88 honeymoon. Way up in the San Juan islands, across the Puget Sound by ferry, on Orcas Island.

Anacortes_Orcas Ferry

Our little cabin above Doe Bay was cosy, but we’d seen a sign saying “suits optional” and were curious. It was an outdoor hot tub. We figured the sign meant bathing suits, not formal suits (we had a South African giggle at the wording), so removing all our kit we slid into the steaming tub overlooking the picturesque bay.

To Aitch’s consternation we were joined by four more people, she being kinda shy. We had a lovely chat about Washington, Canada, Africa, America – and after a long soak they hopped out up the steep ladder, causing the polite among us to avert their gaze from the under-chassis glimpse this afforded one.
Aitch wanted out, but only after the last of the ‘locals’ had left did she make the climb, looking decidedly prune-skin.
That memory gave us fond chuckles for 23 years!

Lonely Planet review of Doe Bay (decades later):

There are resorts, and then there’s Doe Bay, 18 miles east of Eastsound on the island’s easternmost shore – as lovely a spot as any on Orcas. By far the least expensive resort in the San Juans (Ooh! Caught out! Yes, ours WAS a budget honeymoon!), Doe Bay has the atmosphere of an artists’ commune cum hippie retreat cum New Age center. Accommodations include campsites, a small hostel with dormitory and private rooms, and various cabins and yurts, most with views of the water. There’s also a natural-foods store, a café, yoga classes, an organic garden and special discounts for guests who arrive by bike. The sauna and clothing-optional hot tub are set apart on one side of a creek.
Read more 

Family & Kids

Moving? Don’t use Swanie’s Van Lines!

We were moving don’t ask me why. I would happily die here, I said to Aitch. “It’s outside the best schools’ catchment area” Aitch said to me. Which was why I was loading stuff into a rented trailer after fifteen years in River Drive.

Look, it wasn’t a bad trailer. It was – OK, it was a BIG trailer. And it was cheap. It was covered, too, in case it rained, which it didn’t. We had picked Pickfords to do the bulk removal, but I was doing the fragile and precious stuff, me being reliable, dependable, organised, punctual – OK, some of those. We were only moving about 4km to our new temporary home while Aitch searched in earnest for her ideal place.

Picture frames, certain favourite pot plants, some old furniture was expertly packed by me, learning as I went.

So I hitched it to the kombi and off we go. River Drive is right at the bottom where you have to be to be on a river, so I gunned the kombi up the steep hill. She battled at first but then seemed to catch power and roared off lustily. I started humming that song from the removals ad on TV. Y’know: The toothless ou driving along oblivious that his load is falling off the back . . ?

A glance in the mirror showed the trailer right there behind me. Except it was getting smaller . . . Whoa! The trailer had escaped! Which is why the kombi had suddenly felt quick! I watched in horror as it careered down the hill heading straight for Geoffrey’s new gate and wall!

Yanking up the handbrake, I leapt out and ran after it in slow motion, like in a movie. Pointlessly. What would I have done if I’d caught it? Luckily it slewed to the right and hit a small palm tree on the pavement just before Geoff’s gate and smacked to a halt.

Ignoring the big gouge out of the tar where the disselboom had hit the ground, I reversed the kombi up to it, hitched it up again (checking the ball hitch more closely this time), and gunned the kombi up the steep hill . . .

Moving-Truck-Losing-Furniture

I would clean the potting soil off the pictures later.

footnote:

We found a lovely new home in the Palmiet River valley right near “the right schools”, just as Aitch had planned. Then – Murphy’s Law – the kids were sent off to a remedial school in town 20km away!! The best-laid plans of mice and Aitch . . .


Aitch did have the last laugh, though:

https://bewilderbees.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/a-plan-comes-together/

Life

Smoked! I’ll take two please

Mother Mary (85 in 2013) went into Pick ‘n Pay looking for smoked hocks to use for making soup.

Two delightful ladies behind the butchery counter looked at her curiously when she asked for smoked hocks.

What?” they asked “Smoked ‘ocks?”

Yes,” she replied, “Smoked hocks.”

No, sorry, we don’t have smoked ‘ocks.”.

But I bought some here last month and made the most delicious soup!” Mary protested mildly.

.

The two of them looked at each other, turned to Mother Mary and the one said decisively, “We have never had a smoked ox in this shop.”

– What!? – oh shit! –
Africa, Family & Kids, Sport, Travel, Travel Africa

Slack Mountaineering

Aitch and I took Jess & Tom up Table Mountain in Cape Town. We took the cable car up, and Aitch took it down as well.

Table MTN walk (24)

Here the kids are – about to walk down Platteklip Gorge.

Platteklip Gorge

They bounded down like rock rabbits. I felt my knees wobbling about halfway down, so I sat down ‘to examine some interesting little flowers’. Was stiff for three days after!