Africa, Birds & Birding, Family & Kids, Nostalgia, Travel Africa, Wildlife, Game Reserves

Secrets of the Cavern

Off to the ‘Berg with the kids. To a hotel! A real hotel! The Cavern in the foothills of the Drakensberg. At last their Dad listened and took them somewhere they didn’t have to cook and clean! (This was back in 2012).

They loved it. Especially once they worked out one of the secrets of the place: If you gave any hotel employee your room number, he or she would give you anything you wanted under the sun. They had discovered the key to endless riches. They loved it. They no longer needed me. All they needed was to quickly invent their first signatures. When I said I was going off on a hike, did anyone want to come along? No! Go! Enjoy yourself Dad, BYE! They watched impatiently as I packed my rucksack with lunch and binocs and books. Go, Dad!

Movies, the pool table, tennis, drinks at the pool – all ‘free’!

With them happy in civilisation it was up to me to enjoy the hills and valleys, wildlife and – especially – birdlife.

This long-tailed grass lizard looks like a snake as he whips through the grass after grasshoppers. But look closely at his body:

– his tiny legs can be seen in the red boxes –

The next day I encouraged a bit more action. With some trepidation these townies went horse-riding.

– and loved it –
– Tom tried fishing –

The other secret was mine: a secret rendezvous with a buxom lady I had met many years before.

Africa, Family & Kids, Nostalgia

Sindi’s Twenty!

Jess joined her great friend Sindi Angelos last night to celebrate Sindi’s birthday.

Here’s Sindi in yellow, Jess in pink with Tom down at Gayle’s Hibberdene beach cottage in the olden days:

The jol was just up our road at Jalapeno’s, popular after-work dop joint. Jess walked home after a few hours. When she next heard from Sindirella a few days later it was like ‘Jess! We got so drunk! I’m never drinking again!’

Africa, Aitch, Family & Kids, Life

Forbidden Ink

Dad I want to get a tattoo.

Aaaargh! I shrieked in my head but “O-ka-ay” I said out loud, all calm-like, “Have you thought about it?”

Oh yes, lots.

“OK. What’s a tattoo? Is it safe? How much does it cost? Does it hurt? Who would do it? Have you got enough money? etc”

Oh, she hadn’t thought of any of that.

“OK. Do your homework and get back to me with the answers please.”

She did. Now that she knows more, she’s more nervous. But still determined. After all, Sindi has a lovely outline of Africa tattoo’d above her ankle.

The very next day she arranges a visit to the tattoo parlour with Sindi, where they are going to find out more and then come back for a final decision. They take themselves there by taxify.

The main thing I’m interested in is: Who’s the artist? Is he/she good? Does he/she do a skilful, safe job? Ask to see their work. Show me their work. This is for evah, don’t skimp.

So I’m furiously kicking for touch and I think I’m delaying things nicely. I went through enough trauma with the piercings, I hope to dodge this mutilation. I feel like I’m ‘handling things well’ as The Dad. I’m ‘in charge.’

So I get a message: Hey Dad please can I have mom’s birth date and her death date.

The message is sent from here:

Jess_tattoo[1]

** sigh **

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