Another New Year: 2017


Ill 10 years 4 months | Physical Advantage CBD / Mental Advantage CBD

(C) 2017 Edward C Lunnon

I have not written or spoken for a long while now. Let me not try and find any reason for this other than just being absolutely forthright. I have been struggling to keep the pieces together.

So much has happened in the last few months and I have not been able to stay on top of it.

Mentally, things are going awry. Physically, my body is taking a pounding. Psychologically, I am not coping. Emotionally, I am in a dark space.

So, as we enter the second week of the new year of 2017, please keep me in your thought and prayers. Let’s hope that it will be a better one than the previous year. 

I need to get back on top, and I will. I promised myself right in the beginning of this journey that I would not let it overtake me. I won’t!

So watch out … I will be back soon and fill you in and what has been happening!

May it be a Happy New Year for us all.

High Days and Holidays; Birthdays and Boycott Days

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(c) 2016 Edward C Lunnon: Physical: Adv CBD / Mental: Adv CBD

My blog site has been quiet for a long time now. That means that all is not well in the State of France! Nor in the State of South Africa and Not in the United States. Nor in the state of Ed!

We are all familiar with the terrorist attacks in France and Je Suis Charlie and all the subsequent terrorist attacks. In South Africa, we are currently dealing with student boycotts, fees must fall, university closures and police brutality and racism. In the USA, it’s all about Hilary and Donald – another Clinton and who holds the Trump?

I tore a tendon in my ring finger some four months ago. Two months of care has followed, an operation and a further two months of rehabilitation.

Despite celebrating my 60th birthday in September, and having my family and some friends with us, I am battling the physical and mental demons of my illness.

Ten years into my illness, I have lost so much. My job, my holiday house, my company, my self-esteem, my bank balance, my driver’s licence and now my car and my independence!

The biggest loss, psychologically, has been my car. Being in the car business, Sean sold off my X-Trail. It has gone to St Francis Bay and I hope it accumulates many happy kilometers there. But with it has gone the remnants of my self, and, I must admit, I am struggling with this one. Thank God for Uber taxis!

I am struggling with the physical deterioration of my body and the many pills that I have to take daily, just to make me “look so good !”for all of you. My memory is nowhere and my mood swings become greater. I’m shaking like a tree in the Caribbean  Hurricane Matthew. Every day is a High Day!

My eyesight has become problematic, and my reading ability becomes more and more difficult. To crown it all, that which I do see, I see in double and triple vision. Please God, just one good image and not three poor ones will suffice! We take so much for granted when we are healthy.

My sister battles her own health demons and we take strength from the courage, fortitude and determination that she displays each and every day. We pray for her and all others who battle cancer and disease.

Holidays are no longer what they used to be and the disintegration of the “nest” has happened to us too now. The High Days are only the high days now!

I am struggling to control my brain. I know there is so much for which to be grateful, but tell my brain that …

I am struggling.

In the words of the student protesters, “The Struggle Continues”!

Investment Club


Last night, Wednesday 5 July 2016, the day after Pam’s passing, we met at 29 Prospect Road, Walmer, the home of the Thomsons.

The we, this time, being the Lunnons (with Sean and Phillip), the Stapletons, Lindsay Scholtz, and the Thomsons (sans Pam but with Greg, Lynn, and her boyfriend Peter).

The we are  also the remnants of our Investment Club – the Lunnons, Scholtz’s, the Stapletons and the Thomsons.

Many years ago, the four families met monthly at each other’s homes.We started off as eight people and ended as sixteen, each couple adding two more children to the group.

Some would say that we added more people than we did money. On that score, each coupled invested R100 per month and I invested the money, with the ultimate goal of cashing in the investments and going on a world tour.

However, we soon realized we were only dreaming! So, annually, we cashed in our fortune and spent the December long weekend away. We did Katberg, Plett, Keurbooms, East London, Knysna, Blanco, Hogsback, …

Last night, we cried and laughed. We spoke about Pam and remembered her in all her ways, and we cried.

We spoke about our Investment Club and remembered all our ways and we laughed.

It struck me how we and our children had learned so much from both. We certainly had not hit the jackpot with our investments, but we had achieved far more in the education of our children.

Stapes later wrote:

“I am touched … I touched … I was touched.

We all touched. What a lively, lovely evening with the Thommos.”

Still later, he said

“Yesterday, with heavy  head, heart and feet, I threaded through the day.

But time invested with friends, is time well spent,

and I heard a bird, singing in the Heavens.”

Yes, for the first time maybe, I realized just what the meaning of our Investment Club really was.

I realized just how much our children learn and had learned from us.

I realized just how much Pam was loved and the example she set both in our own kids and also in the pupils she had taught over the years.

So, at the end of the old chapter and the beginning of the new,

We remember that money is not our only investment.

We remember the value of friends.

We remember the meaning of life and the permanence of death in this world.

We remember the memories.

And whilst we say to Tommo, thank you for the music, we also say to Pammie

Thank you, Pammie, thank you for the memories.

The Last Supper


Ill 9 years 10 months / Advantage Mental CBD : Physical CBD

Some few weeks ago, as we often used to do many, many years ago, we gathered for supper at 29 Prospect Road, Walmer.

The we being the Lunnons, the Ogilvies, the Mackenzies and the Thomsons. 

29 Prospect Road is the home of the Thomson’s.

In days gone past, we used to meet there almost weekly, sometimes by ourselves and sometimes in far larger groups. The Tiger’s Arms did brisk business! On the odd occasion, we even managed to get the owner and resident singer to haul out his guitar and entertain us.

Tommo, after all, was according to one fan at the Holiday Inn in East London, the “best in Africa”!

The hospitality here was also top-notch, on a par with the Ogilvie’s in Villiers Road. As a bachelor, if I didn’t make it to Villiers Rd, then often I used to sleep over in the guest room in Prospect! The waking-up scenario just used to change!

Anyway, that was the past and this was the present. In our conversation, though, the present did take up much of that past. We reminisced, we laughed, we joked, we drank, we ate.

Tommo has become a chef par excellence, and with Pammie not well, his culinary skills have been even more tested!

It was like “the good old days”. We wined and dined.

Just a little bit slower, little bit fatter, little bit greyer, little bit tireder ….and we spoke about retirement, something we didn’t even think about in those days of yore.

When we left this time, we didn’t have to worry about kids in carry cots, or toys and baby bottles… Just empty baskets and empty bottles!

When we left this time, we didn’t think that it was almost time up, that we were running out of time, that the sands of time were passing us by, and that this would be the last time.

Yes, with Pammie, when we left this time, it was our last time …it was to be Our Last Supper!

……

Last night, we met at 29 Prospect Road for supper yet again. It is the beginning of a new time, but we will not forget the old time. We said Grace and drank a toast to Pamela.

Cheers!


Thank you for the Thomson’s 


Ill 9 years 9 months … Adv CBD

Today, I attended Neil and Pam Thomson’s retirement farewell at The Grey.

Neil has taught there  for forty years and Pam some thirty years.

I first met Tommo in Stellenbosch in the late 1970’s when I was a student and he was singing at Die Akker.

Then we taught together at Grey until I left teaching in 1988. As a young, irresponsible and wayward youngster, I spent many evenings drinking in the “Tiger’s Arms” and sleeping in Pammie’s guest room.

We celebrated many occasions around and under the Thomson’s dining table. Pam, forever the lady, endured our wanting behavior with her customary “goodness gracious”!

Tommo sang at our wedding at St Albans Prison.

He sang at many PE weddings, corporates functions, restaurants,  El Cid, 21st parties and other occasions around the world.  After all, he was “the best in Africa”.

Together with the Thomson’s, the Scholtz’s and the Stapleton’s, we continued our Investment Club and our friendships.

Pera has remained Tommo’s private hairdresser and has witnessed the colour change from pepper to grey to white!

Yes, we have been colleagues and friends. We have celebrated the ups and cried through the downs.

We have lived life together.

It’s been a long and winding road, and continues to be so.

Thank you, the Thomson’s , for the music, the hospitality, the ride and above all, the friendship.

Life has thrown it all at us. But we shall overcome.

The Finger

9 years 9 months Ill  … | Physical: Deuce / Mental: Deuce
I recall my mother and father sleeping on the bed that I have been sleeping on! So I guess it must be some sixty years old!

So, last Saturday, it was time for a new one, and we went shopping.

Monday, the bed arrived. And it was also the start of my increased dosage of new medication – week two.

And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

During the night, I experienced my “hallucination”: shouted and screamed, knocked the lamp over, the glass of water and hit my hand against something!

When I woke up, I had a swollen ring finger on my left hand.

I thought it would just go away.

But Dr G Scholtz of Heidelberg, at my brother-in-law Mr A Scholtz’s 60th last Saturday (behold it was very good), told me otherwise, and suggested I see a doctor.

“He rested on the seventh day from all his work”, and the Stapletons braaied with us on Sunday.

On Monday just past, on Dr Scholtz’s recommendation, I saw Dr Butters and Mr Andre Grundling, orthotist extraordinaire!

A torn tendon needs to be strapped for a month, they say, and that coincides with week three of my new meds – one Pexola and one Oxpola three times a day. If I thought I was high last week, come fly with me this week!

And Monday evening I was to address the Uitenhage Rotary Club …

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Welcome Back to the Family


Nine years 8 months Ill | Physical Advantage CBD / Mental Deuce

The very first car that I bought, in my 2nd (3rd?) year at Stellenbosch, was a secondhand (maybe third?)light yellow VW Passat. For the first time, I was a member of the VW family.

The car cost me R2500 and I purchased it thanks to a student loan from the Standard Bank.

My next car was bought in Oudtshoorn at the commencement of my military service at the Infantry School. It was a brand new burgundy red Toyota Corolla with a white stripe, and cost R7000 odd. It ended up in the car graveyard in Rawsonvillle. I wrote about that earlier in a previous blog.

Then I returned to the VW family – a white Jetta (thanks to Bruce) and then a few more Jetta’s and a bright red Kombi thanks to Pick ‘n Pay.

The big time was hit when the Merc was delivered, and the low time when it was collected, after Pick ‘n Pay paid me to resign.

Then followed the French Peugeot era, the one with the glass fishbowl top and the white  diesel one that became Pera’s wheels.

She had arrived there via a VW golf, a red Bantam Bakkie (truck), and a red CitiGolf.

When Pera got the white Peugeot from me, I replaced it with the silver Merc station wagon, and when she thought that a Merc could also be a boat, it ended up in the Markman graveyard and I bought the X-Trail.

Yesterday, thanks to our Salesman Sean and Group 1, the Peugeot was replaced with a white Polo 1.6 TDI Comfortline and so Pera returns to the VW family.

In the meantime, Sean started his vehicle life with the black Polo which has since become Phillip’s wheels. I’m too lazy to get up and look in the filing cabinet to see what the price was, but I could put a few of my first Jetta’s into that Polo! 

So Phillip’s inThe Family!

As for Sean, it’s a different car every day, but that’s the nature of his job. May he sell many more!

And my X-Trail makes me X-Family. 

I’m feeling sad that I may not drive her anymore and she’s feeling lonely locked up in the garage. So I guess we are going to have to find a new caring owner for her. Until then, she’ll come out on high days and holidays! Thats’s what happens when you are not part of The Family. It’s sometimes weddings; often funerals.

“But this is my life and I’m passing on the memories” …


 

Fly Me to the Moon


9 years 8 months Ill |Physical: Adv CBD / Mental : Adv CBD

It’s week 2 of my new medication.

From 1 tablet a day last week ( that’s over and above all the others), I now have to take three a day!

And now I’m flying again.

This morning at 4am, I experienced more side effects. A guy wearing a balaclava put his hand over my mouth and tried to smother me. I screamed! I screamed so loudly that Pera came running through from her bedroom. In the process, I had knocked over my glass of water and the reading lamp. I could have electrocuted myself!

Well, some of this happened and some not!

Lesson no 1 of the new meds: push back the pedastals next to the bed (at least until I’ve acclimatized to the increased dosage).

All very dramatic and very different to our quiet walk along the beach front on Sunday morning. 

We haven’t done that in a long while. 

The morning was crisp. The sea was flat.There was not a breath of wind. The sun was just edging from behind the wispy clouds. 

There were yachts out, canoes, walkers, runners, kids, the elderly – all doing their thing …

In me, the pills were doing their thing, and I was flying – despite the serenity of the occasion. On the positive side, I had not experienced any spasms since Saturday. And I had laid in for a while on Sunday morning, savouring that moment. On the negative side, I was seeing the world through the haziness of my meds again. I guess, you’ve got to take the good with the bad!

We walked from Hobie Beach to Something Good and back. Then a latte at Bluewaters cafe. 

We need to do this more often. 

Tonight is the Thomson retirement function at the Old Grey Club. Forty years for Tommo and thirty years for Pam. I’m looking forward to that and all the old (yes both meanings!) familiar faces.

Fly me to the moon … 

Two Dozen Birthdays


8 Years 8 Months Ill | Physical Advantage CBD / Mental Deuce

Friday 20 May is Sean’s birthday  – his 24th this year. It seems like the other day that we were celebrating his 21st at the North End Power Boat Club!

So, as always in our family, we celebrate special occasions by going out for supper. Sean’s choice was Rocamama’s! It reminded me of Fudruckers in Atlanta which we visited way back in October 2001 – just after September 11 when Sean was 9 and Phillip was 6! Man have they grown taller since then!

And those self-styled Rocamama hamburgers were also tall ones, together with medium chips (French fries), cheese cake and peanut butter milkshakes.  It was a meal with a difference.

Elsewhere on the Internet and on Facebook, you will be able to see the pictures and messages of Sean’s birthday. Funny to think that fifteen years ago there was no Facebook! Now, nothing much goes by unnoticed …

My new tablets are starting to take effect. The first week will be completed tomorrow and I’m starting to feel like Halley’s Comet spinning around the sun. Let’s hope the spasms will stop and the shakes will disappear.

Today, we went to buy a new bed. I’m spending more time lying down and our old one is getting tirED (much like me!). It’s difficult to believe that one bed of today could have bought me two motor cars of yesterday!

And talking about yesterday – this coming week sees us celebrating the retirement of Pam and Neil Thomson after some 30 and 40 years  respectively of teaching at The Grey. I’ll write more about that next week.

Until then, keep the new drugs coming!