Rainbow Flokati Pioneers

The wonderful African Jazz Pioneers were appearing at the RAINBOW Jazz Club in the Pinetown taxi rank! Could NOT miss the opportunity. HAD to go and experience their wonderful sound and vibe.

At Ben Pretorius’ Rainbow Restaurant they serve their beers in ‘quart’ bottles, about 750ml in the shade. What can you do? I ordered a small Castle. I wasn’t boycotting SAB yet. Then I noticed the guys next door were drinking Black Label and saw theirs was 5,5% alcohol while Castle was only 5%, so I ordered a Black Label next. No use wasting time and effort drinking and not getting full value.

But hey! Some okes were drinking Milk Stout quarts – and theirs was 6% alcohol! I smoothly oozed over to Milk Stout and then stuck with it. I’m not the kind of person who would mix his drinks. All the while the African Jazz Pioneers were playing their seductive swinging special jazz. Between sips we would stand up and dance like umLungus amongst them who really could sway and jive, hoping we were unobtrusive.

Many milk stouts later we might have been asked to leave, last song, last round and all that sad stuff. Tell you what!! Let’s gate crash Mike Lello for a ‘last drink’ on our way home! Good Idea! Who’s driving?

The delightful and hospitable Lellos were sober and just sitting down to supper when we staggered in. Feeling slightly hungry, I sat in Mike’s chair and polished off his supper. Feeling a slight need for a leak and maybe a small burp, I meandered down the passage and here’s where people start to embellish the story.

Rubbish!

Who has a white flokati rug in a loo anyway? Loo carpets are usually short-haired and much closer to a milk stout colour. In my experience.

~~~oo0oo~~~

~~~oo0oo~~~

Anyway, what’s a flokati? enlightenment:
A flokati rug is a handmade shag wool rug. Making flokatis is a long-time tradition of the Vlachs in the Pindus mountains. The natural color of a flokati rug is off-white, but they may be – and SHOULD be! – dyed different colors. The entire rug is wool, including the backing from which the tapered shag emerges. After the rug is woven, it is placed in the cold water of a river to fluff the shag. They continue to be handmade in the mountains of Greece and are regarded as desirable in American modern decor and children’s rooms.

~~~oo0oo~~~

I’m off to fluff the shag

~~~oo0oo~~~

Fecundity

When we got to River Drive in 1989 we were warned it was a fertile zone and if you weren’t careful babies would start popping out all over. This was from the Lellos who had produced three offspring there; the Greenbergs, two; The Hockeys, a few, Donna was the only one around then; the Howard-and-Dofs, three boys; And there were others. We were blissfully child-free and at least half of us were determined to remain that way.

Then the Naudes arrived and produced two boys but we had stood firm, determinedly child-free ’til 1999. When we left that river in 2003 we only had two children, having managed to sell three others after fattening them up and putting a smile on their faces.

In Elston Place there was a swarm of children; The pool was always overflowing. They all soon learned the gate code and the place was like a railway station. And nothing has changed in the thirteen years we’ve been here. Here’s the latest crop with Jess – who turned eight the month we arrived here. She goes down the road to visit most evenings:

– they worship our Jessie –

Three of these are kids of the older kids who used to swim in the pool when we first arrived!

Here are some of the early-days kids with a young Jessie leaning back:

Elston Place gang (2)

The Cherries in Ficksburg . .

. . were delightful. But they were all chaperoned by big ugly ancient males:

Ficksburg_Hysterical_Tour_2018[1].jpg
– 6 centuries of old toppies (at least) guarding these lovely cherries in Lesotho –

Oh well, I made the most of it by looking for Vrystaat poppies. At least some of them were unaccompanied:

Hysterical Tour Ficksburg-002.jpg

And the local birds were also obliging:

Ficksburg Hysterical Tour 2018_3
Ficksburg Hysterical Tour 2018_2
Ficksburg flower & mountain

Saturday Supper was delicious. Cafe Chocolat hidden in a massive pile of priceless collectibles: or stuff someone threw out with relief:

Hysterical Tour Ficksburg Junkyard
– Barbara’s pic of the treasure –

We had a hilarious mixed message, crossed wire and different-planets outcome when I enquired about birders who might know where to watch birds around Ficksburg. The only ‘bird guy’ they knew was Johan and he replied to my sms asking where we could watch birds in the Ficksburg district thusly (translated):

Hey! Jong, in Ficksburg it’s only me and Martin and Willie. But its breeding season now and I don’t take people through my cages now, only end-January again.

~~~oo0oo~~~

Meanwhile, back at home some life lessons were being learned by my young adults:

20181104_224930.jpg

 ~~~oo0oo~~~