Ex Freistata Semper Aliquid Novi

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.

~~~oo0oo~~~

“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.

Nature Red in Tooth and Claw

Memory is a Dodgy Business. I remembered the scene so clearly. Standing next to a fresh buffalo carcase red with blood; looking around, nervous that the lions who had obviously recently killed it might come back and be annoyed with us for putting our feet on its lunch.

We were on a walk in the beautiful wilderness area of Mfolosi game reserve; no roads and restricted access; accompanied by our two armed Rangers we weren’t in any specific danger, but the feeling of ‘we’d better be careful’ was there, and I kept scanning the area around us.

Or that’s how I remembered it over the years. An actual picture painted a different picture! Photographic evidence of how dodgy one’s memory can be and how the years can enhance it! The top picture was sort of my memory; Here’s the actual ‘carcase’ – it’s a skeleton! No lion would want to look at it! Nor a hyena, nor a vulture! Only detritivores would still be interested in those horns n bones!

NOT Jonathan's picture - his was film-less

Aitch took the picture with her point-and-shoot Nikon. Our group photographer is the colonial Tarzan-like oke on the left. He had the penis-substitute camera and bossed us around and lined us up and made us pose (poeseer, he said, sounding like one of SanMarie’s jokes – she’s on the right with a rifle), and fiddled with his f-stop. A purist, he was still deeply into film and darkroom development theory. So where’s his picture?

He’d forgotten to put film in the camera! We have not let Taylor forget it.

~~~oo0oo~~~

Here’s the moth that will get to those horns in time:

Moth-horn-borer
Ceratophaga vastella

and whose larvae will make them look like this:

Moth-horn-borer_2

. . and here’s an old-timer-y look to make the carcase look fresher:

– olden daze –

. .and another desperate attempt at the realism I so clearly remember:

– we came upon a freshly-killed buffalo! –

~~~oo0oo~~~

Mom’s SensaYuma

Gogo Mary & Great_Grandkids (1)

Mom’s short-term memory has got a bit shaky since a TIA a few weeks ago.

Today she tells me she’s getting on famously. “I sat down at the piano and played a song I haven’t played in YEARS. My fingers just remembered it. It was ‘Maria Elena’ . I played it without a single mistake”.

Her sense of humour hasn’t changed one bit as she pauses, then muses:

“Of course, I may have played it last week”.


“Maria Elena” was written for the First Lady of Mexico, the wife of president Gil, by Lorenzo Barcelata (1898 – 1943), a Mexican composer. It topped the charts in 1941. In 1963 it reached No.6 in the US charts & No.5 in the UK charts.

~~~~oo0oo~~~~

Sheila told another lovely story in June 2012 – Thought you’d all enjoy this: My niece Linda was telling her gran Mary Methodist and me about a friend who had all his precious work stored on his laptop, but had failed to back up anything, anywhere. Aware of the potential dangers, he was very conscious about the possibility of having said laptop stolen, so when he had to go out one day, sans laptop, he hid it in the oven.

Well, you guessed it: Hours later he was met in the drive-way by a very embarrassed partner, who had done the unthinkable. The precious laptop was melted, done to a crisp, warped etc etc.

Oh no!” interjects Mary, He had cooked the books!”

~~~~oo0oo~~~~