A Whole New World

(c) 2014 Edward C Lunnon

8 years 1 month ill …
Physical: Deuce / Mental: Advantage Ed

Listen here: http://youtu.be/PmvT7B3u7II

I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering, splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
You last let your heart decide?

I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over, sideways and under
On a magic carpet ride

A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we’re only dreaming

A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I’m way up here
It’s crystal clear
That now I’m in a whole new world with you
Now I’m in a whole new world with you

Unbelievable sights
Indescribable feeling
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky

A whole new world
Don’t you dare close your eyes
A hundred thousand things to see
Hold your breath – it gets better
I’m like a shooting star
I’ve come so far
I can’t go back to where I used to be

A whole new world
Every turn a surprise
With new horizons to pursue
Every moment red-letter
I’ll chase them anywhere
There’s time to spare
Let me share this whole new world with you

A whole new world
That’s where we’ll be
A thrilling chase
A wondrous place
For you and me

Today, for me, was a whole new world, my eyes were opened and there were a hundred thousand things to see!

Nothing dramatic happened! It was just that I received my new spectacles.

Having CBD, one would think, is bad enough and that I would be spared all the other things that may also go wrong in the body. Alas, that’s not the case!

For a while now, I have had problems with my right eye. Last week was a return visit to the ophthalmologist and he suggested another eye test too. That resulted in my new vision today. What a welcome change!

I also lost a tooth last week whilst eating my muesli and that necessitated a trip to the dentist.

I need to thank all the various professional people who assist me in every possible way, especially those in the last week who have come to my assistance yet again. They kept my last week very busy! In between all the other glamorous things that I am so blessed to be able to do, the daily housekeeping can not be neglegted!

* Dr Dean Barclay (and Dr Jan Venter in Dean’s absence) from the Eye and Laser Institute and Bryan Dowley and Tim Seaman from Spec-Savers care for my eyes
* Dr Alisdair Brown who cares for my teeth
* Andre Grundling (Orthotists) manufactures and tweaks my arm and leg braces (my “scaffolding”)
* Grant Randall from Front Cover looks after my hair and beard
* Stuart Dicke, and Julian and Marby Fletcher massage my tired muscles
* Annemarie Salmon keeps me moving in and out of the water at Aurora Hospital
* Sr Gill le Roux, Sr Janice Malkinson and Isaac Ruben from PE St Francis Hospice who visit me regularly and lift my spirits when they start falling.

(Please forgive me if your name is not here – this was just the last week and I will acknowledge you when your turn comes up! My memory is not the best anymore, either!)

So, life isn’t just all the glitz and glamour of the photoshopped pictures which we have all come accustomed to seeing on Facebook.

Nowadays, in our “whole new world” of social media, we tend to display our carefully manicured and Instagrammed lives to each other to view. Let’s not forget that there is a lot of dreary and drudgery (is there such a word?) maintenance that goes into keeping ourselves and our Facebook’s looking good and Twittering for others to see!

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Walk and Fly

8 years 1 month ill …

Physical Deuce / Mental ED

(c) 2014 Edward C Lunnon

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I am angry!

This morning we have heard of yet another killing – this time the captain of our national soccer team shot down in cold blood.

I have written an open letter to the President of the RSA. Decisive action is needed to stop the lawlessness and crime in our country.

This comes after a wonderful weekend. A weekend that shows us just how we could live in this country of ours.

It started off with the Big Walk for Cancer. Nine thousand people walking five kilometers along the beach front of Port Elizabeth. All this to raise awareness and funds for cancer treatment in our City.

The weather was fine and the atmosphere electric. Singing and dancing and music and merriment, and in the process, a record established for the most number of feet through a hotel foyer of the Boardwalk Hotel.

Pera and I were two of the nine thousand!

Then we moved up to the Port Elizabeth Airport for the Bay West Air Show. All this to raise funds for the MTR Children’s Home in our City.

What an excited crowd – I’m not sure how many but the place was choc-a-bloc full.

“Oohs “and “aaahs” from little boys and little girls and not so little boys and little girls! The things that dreams are made of and the defining moments that determine the future occupation and pasttimes of so many little people.

Pictures grace all the pages of the social media and print media this morning.

These are the things that determine whether people remain in this country or flee overseas, as so many of our friends and family do.

We’re all on a high as we return home to watch the Currie Cup rugby final between the Lions and the WP – and WP wins! Even higher we go!

And what a choice of activities we had this weekend: in between walking and flying, we could have celebrated the Oktoberfest, attended the Aurora fete, tasted the whiskey and the cigars at the Fairview Expo, viewed the Bedford Gardens, …

All enough to make you high – the joys of Africa!

But then this morning’s news brings you crashing back to the realities of Africa!

And as I write this, my younger sister Ingrid and my niece Lindsay are visiting my youngest sister June in the Land of the Long White Cloud –  Aotearoa. Travel safe, enjoy and keep the pics flowing for our armchair travelogue!

I am not only angry. I am also galla!

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An Open Letter to the President of the ANC (and by default) the President of the RSA

Dear Mr Zuma (I’m not sure you deserve the title Mr President)

When Chris Hani was shot, Madiba spoke on TV and assured the Rainbow Nation that our country was in good hands – that all was under control!

Yet another killing – one too many and a bridge too far!

Surely, the time has come for you to show some statesmanship, Mr Zuma. Carpe Diem – seize the moment – and reassure us that all is still well in our country and in your hands!

Tell us what your plan of action is to stop all these senseless killings! Or do you intend retiring to the Nkandla bunker whilst the rest of the country gets involved in a Wild West shoot out? You surely don’t want a Western solution to an African problem!

You, Mr Zuma, are in charge and the buck stops with you! You can’t just take from us – it’s time to pay back!

Please tell us what you intend to do!

We cannot continue with this mayhem and lawlessness, from the veld around Vosloorus, to the Pretoria penthouses, and from the fields of our farms to the shopping centers of Somerset West! From all these senseless shootings of innocent people to the stupidity of shooting traffic lights in our main streets – it’s lawlessness and it’s got to be stopped!

The Biblical Jacob, father of the 12 tribes of Israel, was determined to work long and hard for what was required and we learn from his life that security does not lie in the accumulation of goods.

The People of South Africa deserve no less from you!

CRY (no, Weep) the BELOVED COUNTRY!

Ed Lunnon

PS Please, Sir, don’t put that Social Worker on the TV at noon today … In our darkest hours, we need the President to light our way!

HHH40 Reunion 2014 (Part 2)

8 years 1 month ill …
(c) 2014 Edward C Lunnnon

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I said some more than sixty replied in the affirmative. I’m still not sure exactly how many attended – there were still people booking on the Friday morning that the reunion started and some arrived without booking!

The more, the merrier!

Originally, one event was what I had in my mind. But as more people from afar replied, that grew to three official events – and a few more unofficial get-togethers!

All were planned from Port Elizabeth for the weekend of 26 – 28 September 2014. I had also arranged to return to the Cape on 13 September in order to ensure that everything was in place (and an excuse, I guess, to go “home”!).

Communication with everyone was problematic. Not many of my era are computer-linked via the internet and some don’t even have an e-mail address! I had to resort to letters, envelopes, stamps and the Post Office – when last did you post a letter in a red letter box?

The functions planned were a get-together at the school on Friday including tea with the current staff, a tour of the new school buildings and an spitbraai in the evening.

Saturday was winetasting at Vergelegen Estate, rugby and starters at Erinvale Golf Course and Dinner (courses 2 and 3) at Lourensfords Millhouse Restaurant.

Sunday was a brunch and farewell at The Lord Charles Hotel.

I arrived in Cape Town on my late father’s birthday (it would have been his 99th!). In between all the arrangements, thanks to my niece and her husband, Michelle and Sebastian Ridgway, and friends Gretel and Willem Wust from Durbanville, I was able to visit family, friends, wine farms, pubs, restaurants, etc etc. The Cape of Good Hope does not seem to run out of entertainment options.

I celebrated my 58th birthday in the CBD (not my illness!) of Cape Town and in style with my Strand family. I haven’t done that in many a year!

All the time, the reunion dates came closer. People started arriving early in the week, like Kevin Russell from England, Piet Faure from Johannesburg and Carl Groenewald from Pietermaritzburg. We ate various meals at various places, from Gordon’s Bay Harbour to Helderberg’s Slopes.

Cecil Bond arrived the previous Saturday from Vancouver – and he and his wife and I managed to get in a few good visiting hours at The Lord Charles. He then also managed, in addition to our function, a SACS reunion in Cape Town and a family 60th birthday party in Kimberley!

And yes, despite the best of plans, things do go wrong! As the guests were arriving at the front door on Friday, the pub organisers were threatening to withdraw because they still had not received my EFT deposit from the bank!

Imagine a reunion without a pub!

The dinner was double booked and I had to improvise a two stage dinner at two different venues!

But, the people arrived, the memories were unlocked, the camaraderie gelled, the wine flowed and the chatting continued, by some, until four in the morning!

Too soon, it was all over. But not the pics, the memories, the history and the renewed friendships.

I was so pleased that I had persevered, despite the difficulties, to continue with the arrangements and to renew the links.

I was so pleased that we had all come.

I had finished what I had been doing and stopped working. It was all good, so then I rested!

And, before I flew back to Port Elizabeth on Tuesday morning, I managed to slip in a visit to my neurologist at Tygerberg Hospital Dr Henning and his lovely wife Helen. The supper was great, the pills were upped and the company was good!

I did wipe back a tear as the British Airways plane took off over the Cape Flats, False Bay and the Hottentots-Holland Mountains.

“Our school has done well, may it ere excel …”

HHH40 Reunion: 2014 (1)

8 years 1 month ill …
Mental: Advantage Ed / Physival: Deuce
(c) 2014 Edward C Lunnon

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I went to Hendrik Louw Primary School in The Strand, Hottentots-Holland High School in Somerset West and Sulphur High School in Sulphur, Oklahoma, USA.

I then attended Stellenbosch University and did some of my practical teacher training at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch and Hottentots-Holland High School.

I did some brief teaching at Sulphur High and taught for five years at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth from 1984 to 1988.

I have also lectured at what was the PE Technikon, the University of Port Elizabeth and the UPE Business School.

My sister is a teacher, my brother-in-law is a teacher and my wife is a teacher. Teaching is in our blood!

Five years ago, in 2009, I organised the 25 year reunion of the very first class that I had taught at Grey – the Grey Class of 1984. Grey is a school with a very strong Old Boys’ Union and has annual reunions for many of its classes – the 10, 20, 25, 30, 50, 60 and many more! Thousands of Old Boys return to their Alma Mater every year.

This year, I assisted a bit with the 30 year return of the Class of 1984. My health would not allow me more than just “a bit”!

Whilst busy with those arrangements, in May of this year 2014, it dawned on me that I had matriculated in 1974 and had been out of school myself for 40 years! Not once, in the ensuing years, had our class ever had a reunion and most of us have never seen each other since we left “… the Valley famed both far and wide since the days of Van der Stel”!

So, when the Grey reunion had finished in May, I started with the arduous task of trying to organise a reunion for my own class in a school where reunions are not annual events but held on a very “los and vas” basis!

I had a few names of HHH classmates on Facebook. Like throwing that proverbial stone into the water and watching the rings that that creates, I approached those first few people to gauge the water – would anyone really be interested in getting together after 40 years?

The rings kept getting bigger an bigger, and soon we had the complete name list of 99 people. With the most unbelievable sleuthing skills by Annemarie Nieuwoudt (Sherlock Holmes!) we managed, in three months, to find that nine of our class had passed away. Of the remaining 90, we traced and spoke to 89 (all except our headboy) and received affirmative replies from over 60 of our class mates!

The stage had been set for a good reunion! (to be continued …)

Rob Stear

(c) 2014 Edward C Lunnon
8 years 1 month ill …
Physical: Deuce / Mental: ED

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Last weekend Pera and I spent with Dickie and Colleen Ogilvie on Doorndraai somewhere in the midst of the Karoo.

In their passage hangs a photo frame with photographs taken of various friends when we all lived in Port Elizabeth. I collated the pics and gave it to them at their farewell party when they left PE.

There is a photo of Rob Stear at David and Debbie Capel’s farewell party at the Thomsons. David was the professional cricket coach at Grey and they were returning to Britain.

The dress was semi-formal – formal from the waist up and casual from the waist down.

We spoke about those “good ole days” when we were just kids ourselves!

We spoke about our good friend Rob Stear – the life and soul of every party.

“Never fear because Stear was here!”

October being cancer awareness month and the Oglvie/Watermeyer homes being familiar with the fight against cancer, we spoke about cancer, hospices and fundraising.

We discussed Rob’s recent battle with cancer.

I said that when we returned to PE I needed to visit Rob.

The visit never took place!

None of us anticipated that Rob would pass away the very next day.

He had a name for everyone and I was Edgar. When we met at Old Grey Club, he would paraphrase the previous week’s radio interview that Edgar had concluded with Lance du Plessis.

He would talk to the ceiling, telling it what “kak” they played on the radio nowadays! It was always just loud enough for me to hear about his complaints. He never admitted to listening to one of our discussions!

Thanks Rob for listening! I know you got something from our talks! In the grand scheme of things, I was supposed to go before you … but then we just never know, do we?

I hope you have that dinner table prepared for our next function – maybe formal this time, but knowing you, it may just be completely casual?

Oh yes, but then I quess I don’t have to remind you, don’t forget the beers!

RIP Rob Roy Stear

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