Jaynee J had a luxury courtesy suite at Centurion Park cricket ground and she invited us to watch a game. The Springboks / Proteas were playing someone in an international test match. 2001, so Sri Lanka, maybe.
Jayne didn’t call it a courtesy suite; she called it her ‘champagne suite’. Jayne Janetsky could POUR, and – as always – she had laid in enough stock for a siege. Or a rainy day. And that day Centurion Park was not like this:
It was like this:
This led to puddle-jumping with Jess behind the stadium:
I had great fun watching the people. Especially a guy in the next-door Telkom box, scanning the crowd with powerful binoculars, looking for girls. Whenever he saw someone watching him he’d say “I’m looking for my sister.”
We had to take two year-old Jessica along and it wasn’t really her thing. It rained off and on, so we were indoors with Celebrity Guest Barman Johnno Green, who was intent on quality control, sampling and plying. Boobs and Booze. Aitch and I took turns amusing Jess and keeping her (mostly) out of the adults’ hair.
After a while (cricket matches carry on and on and when you think they MUST be finished, surely? – they stop for tea) I had to feed and change Jess and decided to take her back to Jayne’s home. Change of scenery for her and a break for the adults.
On the way back to the stadium, with freshly-fed and -wiped Jessie strapped in the car seat behind me, I missed the freeway off-ramp to the stadium. Didn’t have a clue how I’d get back to the stadium now, so I was kinda tense and focused and fuming. What if I missed Jayne’s famous lunch? Finally I figured it out and managed a tricky u-turn after the next off-ramp and got back on track. Finally I could relax.
Tom is at Lungelo’s but he has to be at Kip McGrath extra maths at 8am so I call him and remind him to be at the gate at 7.15 sharp. Lungelo stays in the Westville Prison grounds.
He’s not that wide awake when I get there and protests at having to wake early AND do work IN THE HOLIDAYS! Do I understand the concept of “HOLIDAY”?
We’ll stop at Spar and get you something to drink and eat and you’ll be OK once we get there, my boy. Well, I’m going to sleep straight afterwards and can I have a Monster energy drink please?
Outside Kip he eats his smoked beef slices and sips his Monster. I watch a black-headed oriole and a golden-rumped tinker in the trees around us.
When its time to go in he says Please don’t let anyone finish my Monster. Put it in the fridge for me. (He’s going to walk home).
Take it with you and sip on it while working, I suggest.
Oh Emm Gee, another phase. Now we’re thirteen and we NEED to “get buff“. To bulk up. School starts in a week and five weeks of lying on the couch while I say “Come for a walk” is over. Suddenly, we now need to get fit and bulked up in the next couple days!
It’s 6.55pm and TomTom and his mate Francois who’s staying over NEED money and NEED to walk to Pick n Pay to buy “future life” a fake-promise cereal endorsed by people who will say anything for $$$. OK, OK, off you go, I say. It’s late, but PnP is just 200m up the road.
Pring from his phone: Dad, PnP is closed, can we go to Spar. Spar is 4km away and it’s 7.15pm. I ask: Don’t they close at 7.30? No at 8pm he says We can make it Dad!
I’m not going to stop him. Off you go.
Halfway through my apple crumble n custard and black coffee which I’m eating as part of my alternative Tim Noakes diet – the original one; my other diet is the Tim Noakes ‘Banting-type’ Diet – I have misgivings. His friend with him is an only child and his Mom once specifically worried about him not being able to ride a bicycle out in the big wide world, so maybe she wouldn’t approve of a 4km walk at 7.15 and a 4km walk back in the dark.
So I head off once I’m done to see how far they’ve got and to give them a lift. Just like most other Westville Moms.
Actually, Tom has ridden a lot and walked a lot and swam quite a lot these hols, so I do exaggerate somewhat.
They made it – I found them on their way back already.
Jess got home from her last day of school on Thursday with a friend.
To stay the night. Oh. OK.
It’s Saturday and the friend is still here.
Not a word, nor a call, nor an sms from a Mom or a Dad.
Now they want another friend to visit. OK. Get him to ask his Mom or Dad and get them to call me. You know how it works, Jess.
They mXit him. Then they give me the Mom’s cell number. He says I must call her. Jess, you know the drill: Get him to ask his Mom or Dad and get them to call me – like I said.
Ah, Dad! Yes, my dear. That’s the way it has always been. It hasn’t changed.
Bloody hell. Of course, they haven’t called, so she didn’t come.
I have now sms’d the parents of the girl who is still mysteriously here, asking “When are you fetching her?”