Money and the Boks

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Tuesday 19 June 2012: 5 years 9 months on … Deuce

Last Sunday, we celebrated Father’s Day by having lunch at Old Grey Club together with two hundred other people doing the same! The food was great, the atmosphere jovial , the music good and the weather played along, too.

There was no TV to watch rugby, which is what we seem to have been doing for the last few weeks.

Two Saturdays ago the Boks beat England in Durban. Last Saturday, we joined the Stapes’s and the Scholtz’s and watched the Boks on the box beat England in Johannesburg. By doing so, the Boks also won the series of three matches against England.

But now, it’s the third game in Port Elizabeth this coming Saturday. England is hoping to save face by winning this last test. We are hoping for a series white-wash!

The Springboks are in town.

Yesterday, five thousand people (including our whole family) watched the team practice at Grey High School. Today and tomorrow they practised again – this time behind strict security cordons keeping the public at bay.

England is coming to town. This time not to colonize Africa, but to play rugby against the Springboks.

The whole country appears to be in town or coming to town – to watch England and South Africa do battle against each other.

The rugby gees is in town.

It’s a scene reminiscent of the Football World Cup of 2010!

And as everyone comes to town, we are planning to leave town. We will not be at the Stadium on Saturday, as we will be flying out to Johannesburg on Saturday morning (in a near empty aeroplane, I guess!).

And, in order to get ready for our trip of a lifetime to Thailand, I have spent the last few days getting everything in order. The checklists and the checklist for the checklists get longer and longer.

Overseas travel is not for the feint-hearted and when you have a degenerative brain disease, it becomes even more difficult. Thank goodness, the international arrangements have been taken care of – but there’s still the rest …

Passports – check. E-tickets – check. Itinerary – check. Map – check. Vodacom – check. Blackberry – check. IPad – check. Charger – check. Plug – check…

Wheelchair – check. Assistance – check. Seats with legroom – check. Walking stick – check…

Winter clothes – check.  Summer clothes – check.  Swimming gear – check. Snorkel – check…

House sitter – check. Dog – check. Newspapers – check. Gardener – check. Security – check…

Insurance – check.

Bank card – check.

Baht – check.

Now that the money’s in my hands, it’s all starting to look real.

Krung Thep – City of Angels – here we come! And who cares if the rugby players get heated under the collars on Saturday. At 31 degrees and 80% humidity, we will surely be getting hot as well!

And my money (Baht that is!) is on the Boks.

P.S.

Thursday is international MND/ALS day – check.

Thursday:  speak at Grey High: write speech – check!

Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 11 June 2012: 5 years 9 months on … Advantage CBD

Last year this time, in my blog “Who Painted the Moon Black”, I wrote:

And to ourselves, we need to remember that the moon did not stay black forever. After the darkness, it turned to the most beautiful red and then slowly returned to its normal bright shining self (and maybe even looked just a tad brighter after the darkness than before!)

We, too, must now look forward to the next exciting era in our lives that begins today.”

The last twelve months have been a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs, and always seen against the background of a disease that continually takes more and more of my self – physically and mentally.

Yes, a lot has happened in the last twelve months – most of which is documented in my previous blogs.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks.

A lot has happened in the last week!

No, I did not make the Wine Festival on the weekend; but, thanks to Good Fellas, I did make Dean’s 40th birthday spitbraai on Saturday night (despite the pouring rain and howling wind!) Ironically, it was exactly one year to the weekend that we received all the rain last year that broke the drought!

Yes, after AlgoaFM and Bluewaters café, I also made the hairdresser, the oral hygienist and a meeting at Old Grey on Wednesday; my hydrotherapy, my admin with Nadine and my massage with Julian on Thursday; lunch at The Brewery under the Bridge with Charles and Sean and Helen Harris’s overnight visit on Friday; and the rugby test and Dean’s party on Saturday!

Sunday was, as the Good Lord intended, a rest day, and it was good!

 And, today, I cancelled the swimming but had the gardener, the lawn mowing crew, lunch with Sean and Sevé, a visit from Isaac and some more rest! My walking is becoming increasingly affected and the brace and walking stick almost my constant companions – one or the other!

In between all this, I have been putting the finishing touches to the plans for our trip to Johannesburg and Pretoria during the upcoming school holidays.

The opening lines of my website read as follows:

I am Ed Lunnon, and Ed Lunnon is a happy traveller. On Thursday 8 February 2007 I was in Cape Town, South Africa, but this time on a very different journey. At 9h00 I walked into the neurologist’s office and when I walked out, it was the beginning of a trip unlike any other I had previously undertaken.”

So, our trip to Gauteng, is a trip within that trip.

As the shadows grow longer and longer in my life, this Gauteng trip was originally planned for the family and me to spend quality time together and to meet up with friends in that part of the country. Over the years, we have spent many happy times at various places around the world and with many friends with whom we have been privileged to share our journey.

 The time has come, whilst I still can, to personally say thank you and au revoir to as many of my travelling companions as possible.

The last ten years of our family life have been difficult ones for us all. Each one of us has, in very different ways, had to contend with the challenges that life has thrown at us. We have not always been able to do the things that “normal” families are able to do.

Hence, the reason for the Gauteng trip. But then it all changed.

Thanks to that silver lining – one that wishes to remain anonymous – an opportunity arose for the Gauteng trip to be extended just a little bit further! It took a while to sink in and even longer to actually decide to “just do it”!

Was it the right thing to do? Are there not other priorities? Will my health stand up to it? Even after making the final decision to go and knowing that it may not happen, I have insisted that no-one would talk about it, and that it was still the Gauteng trip!

However, my family (and me, I guess!) have found it very difficult to keep this secret. Whenever they get asked what they are doing in the holidays, the give me a curt glance and promptly answer “we’re going to Johannesburg!” Later, I get asked “Dad, when can we say something? This is just too difficult and it’s not true!”

Lest, I therefore be held responsible for them telling untruths, we agreed tonight to lift the dark cloud.

From my website:

“These activities, and the public support in reaction to them, have sustained and encouraged me along the difficult steps of that journey and the act of saying farewell to a beloved world in and through which I have so enjoyed travelling.

Hopefully, the time you spend travelling through this website and blog site accompanying me on my final journey, will encourage you to live Life each and every day, and to remind you to embrace the delicate, transient moments of your lives.

After all, our lives and the precious moments we share with the people we love are gone so soon.

But we never need lose the time we spend enjoying them. It is the memory of those times that can assist us to conquer our fears of our final earthly trip – of facing death and leaving behind those whom we have loved and with whom we have shared that time.

“And if we can conquer our fears, we can conquer anything.”

In exactly two week’s time we will be heading eastwards to the lands from where the Star and the Wise men came. We will be  landing at Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport in Thailand en route to Phuket International Airport.

We are so very grateful and thankful for this wonderful silver cloud and the opportunity that has been afforded us to travel yet one more time as a family in this magnificent world of ours.

All the Queen’s Horses and All the Queen’s Men

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Tuesday 5 June 2012: 5 years 9 months on … Deuce

I have mentioned before that my forefathers come from England and that my surname results from the mispronunciation of London, from where they originally came.

 I suppose that is why I love London and all it represents.

This has been an exceptional week for me and all London lovers. Sky News has been my constant companion as I have eagerly watched the celebration of the diamond jubilee of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

It’s the P’s that attract me: the places, the parades, the pomp, the pageantry, the preciseness, the precision, the punctuality, the picture, the people, the pronounciation,  the patriotism, the pride, the purity, the process, the perfection … (ha-ha, the Princess)

So, Saturday (in between Phillip playing rugby for the 4th team against Dale on the Philip field and Sean refereeing on the Pyott Field) I spent the day at the races.

And Sunday, despite Frank and Jenny and Lesley coming to braai, I spent the day on the Thames with the thousand other boats that formed part of that magnificent flotilla.

And Monday, after swimming at Humewood Gym (perhaps too much, because I can feel some very eina muscles today) and meetings with Duncan McDonald (Supporters’ Club) and Bruce Jefferies (Outdoor advertising), I attended the Jubilee Spectacular Concert at Buckingham Palace – not once, but twice!

Tuesday, I started watching the Parade through London to St Paul’s Cathedral, but then had to attend the inauguration meeting of the motor-neurone disease support group (more of that later!)  Later, I saw the Parade down the Mall, the balcony appearance and the flypast, and in the evening, watched a re-run of the Church service.

Thanks to modern technology and SKY and BBC, I was there.

At the end of the day, Life boils down to family and friends, Church and community, and service above self!

I saw all this in the celebrations of the last four days in London.

I saw this in the meeting at Old Grey Club this morning to initiate the Eastern Cape chapter of the SA Motor-neurone Disease Association. Whilst strictly speaking my CBD is not a motor-neurone disease, there are so many similarities in our symptoms, that it makes sense to pool our resources and help each other.

I am so pleased that Sr Gaynor Bishop has taken this job upon herself and that I have been able to assist her in starting this sorely needed support group for people with neurological illnesses here in the Eastern Cape and in Port Elizabeth in particular. May it grow from strength to strength!

In the afflictions that we grapple with daily, we are aware that there is (currently) no cure. However, we can do with all the support and assistance that we can get!

 

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall; Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, Couldn’t put Humpty together again!  

Motor Neurone Disease Association of SA (MNDA of SA)

I am so very pleased to announce the very first meeting in Port Elizabeth in order to establish an Eastern Cape Branch of the South African Association of

Motor Neurone Disease / Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (and related illnesses)

Date:   Tuesday 5 June 2012

Time: 10h30 – 11h30

Place: Old Grey Club Lennox Street Port Elizabeth (opposite Mt Road Police Station)

Enquiries: Sr Gaynor Bishop (Professional Nurse & Counsellor)                           Cell no: 079 591 2148

Please pass this notice on to anyone who may be interested in attending.