FiVe Years Later: From Vuvusela to Vitriol

(c) 2015 Edward C Lunnon / 8 years 9 months ill … / Physical: Deuce – Mental: Adv Ed 

  
Five years ago to the day, we watched the opening game of the 2010 World Cup between Bafana Bafana and Mexico. We were at the Brazenhead in Stellenbosch where we watched the game played in Johannesburg on TV with hundreds of other Matie students. The “gees” was at an all-time high in the Land.

Later that evening we drove through to the Peaches in Paarl where we spent the night.

It was the start of a few weeks of a New South Africa.

Now, five years later, we have a New FIFA! Vitriol, scandal, bribery, corruption, arrests, resignations, extraditions, prisons, …

Was our hosting the World Cup rigged? What was the $10 million really for? Was it a bibe?

And the legacy? Wonderful memories and costly stadia that are unused and falling apart.

We are still paying for the party.

The construction firms who built the stadia have been fined for collusion and price-fixing – they are paying for the party.

Blatter and Valcke and the other top dog FIFA executives are the only ones who have been smiling all the way to the bank.

Will they still pay for the party?

In’s and Out’s

(c) 2015 Edward C Lunnon / 8 years 9 months ill … / Physical: Deuce – Mental: Adv ED

Last Wednesday, I started writing a blog in the hospital radiographer’s waiting room (see In the Waiting Room). 

I didn’t finish it because i was called in for an ultrasound of my hip, which has been giving endless bouts of pain. An hour and a half later, and I had been IN and OUT. I would get the results the next day, which proved all clear!

So now, it’s pins, patches and pills for the pain. And so far, two pain-free days!

So, it’s been that kind of week – a time of in’s and out’s!

Me at  the radiographer, and this morning, me OUT at the Valley Market IN Port Elizabeth’s Baakens Valley. Together with thousands of others, I went to experience PE’s first artisanal food market – an authentic market experience where unique and creative kinds of food are available, from exotic paella and gourmet burgers to artisanal chocolate and fresh fruits and vegetables. It wasn’t a quick IN and OUT!

It’s a great start to a new monthly experience, and a portion of the proceeds goes to charity – Love Story, run by none other than the wife of King’s captain, Luke Watson, and friends. Long may it prosper, and may the Baakens Valley soon also prosper with all the development earmarked there.

                

Sepp Blatter, no introductions needed, was also IN and OUT this week. Danny Jordaan was IN as Mayor of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality. Watch this space as to when he will be OUT! Nkandla is still IN and many would wish that No 1 was OUT! Panayiotou is IN and not OUT, and $100 million was given OUT by the SA Government but never went IN to the West Indies Development account. A number of FIFA executives are OUT of FIFA and IN prison.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, was IN again, and the leader of the Labour Party, Ed Milliband, and that of the Social Democrats, Nick Clegg, are OUT.

Sr Gill, my carer IN the Hospice, is soon to be OUT – as a result of austerity measures and retrenchments! It will be a sad day when she leaves at the end of June. We went OUT to the Hospice fundraiser which was IN the Feathermarket Hall. It’s always a good evening of music, and in addition I got to make a brief plea for donations which raised an additional R12000! Thank you all for taking the money OUT of your wallets and purses and putting it IN the Hospice baskets.

“Neil Diamond” sang IN the Old Grey Hall so I went OUT to that. Isaac continues to come IN and OUT on Thursdays and Annette, Jane Woodin, Liz Findlay and I went OUT for coffee at the new coffee shop IN the Valley. I’ve forgotten its name – forgetting is not ruled OUT at this stage of one’s life and is definitely IN mine at the moment!

All in all, I’ve been IN a lot lately and not getting OUT as much as in he past. It takes some getting used to!

I’ve been IN considerable pain and not OUT of the woods yet. IN a way, I was hoping they would find something at the hospital so that they could take it OUT.

So I’m IN the storm – let’s ride it OUT! 

PS The best of all: the electricity hasn’t been OUT all week so we’ve not been IN the dark for a while!

Oh Danny Boy (new verse)

  

Oh Danny boy, the people they are calling

From north to south, for you to step aside

The free ride’s gone, and all the top guns dying

‘Tis you, ’tis you must go and must resign.

And don’t come back when DA runs the the Metro

and  when the City’s rushed and on the go

‘Tis We’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow

Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, you have to go.
And if you come,that Memo’s twittered virally

And you are dead, as dead you well may be

You’ll come and find the place which you were buying

Ten million and the ANC killed PE.

To The Grey Class of 1990

(c) 2015 Edward C Lunnon / 8 years 8 months ill / Physical: Adv CBD Mental: Adv Ed

  

Dear Carlo, Dave, Seton and the Men of the Grey Class of 1990

Where has the weekend gone?

Where has the week gone?

Where have twenty five years gone?

Where has the time gone?

I left The Grey and teaching at the end of 1988. You left The Grey and your schooling careers at the end of 1990, just two years later.

We have all gone our separate ways to the farthest corners of the globe.

Life, for some, has treated us kindly and, in other instances, Life has treated us less kindly. Indeed, all of us have experienced some good and some bad fortunes along the roads that we have travelled.

But all those roads have brought us back, this past weekend, to where all our numerous interpersonal friendships started in those years of our educational eighties – back to the Tower and back to the now 100-year old Mill Park campus of The Grey.

It would appear to me that that Tower remains our anchor which roots us in our lives’ travels and our beacon which guides us along the way and brings us back to our roots, time and again.

This experience, this 25 year Grey Reunion, is a unique event in the lives of Old Greys.

And it happened again this past weekend.

I have been privileged to experience Grey Reunions (and especially 25 year reunions) over the last seven years, and in most of those years have written to the classes with which I was associated. (You may read those letters on my blog site, http://www.edlunnon.wordpress.com).

The sentiments that I expressed in those letters remain the same for each one of you.

They are worth repeating here.

So let me, firstly, congratulate you on the magnificent reunion weekend that you organised.

Everything flowed seamlessly and smoothly, but I know that a lot of hard work and effort goes into making it all happen. I know that everyone enjoyed all the various functions which they attended.

Secondly, I would like to thank you for inviting me to share in your reunion with you. It is very rewarding for a teacher to observe the results of his handiwork and to know that he has been partly responsible in shaping their future.

You can all, like me, be justly proud of the contributions, small or large, that you individually have made to the lives of your families, and to your communities, your school, your countries and, indeed, the whole world.

The Class of 1990 has certainly continued the Grey tradition of raising the bar to new heights.

I have fond memories of the very special years, 1984 – 1988, that I had the privilege of teaching you and getting to know many of you at The Grey. Yes, in many ways, I am as much a part of your class as any one of you.

It was thirty two years ago to the month, in May 1983, that I arrived from the Western Cape at Grey High School. It was for the very first time that I had come to see for myself the school at which I had been appointed to commence my teaching career in 1984 and to continue setting up a very new departmental computer centre for Port Elizabeth based at The Grey (with an Apple 1 and three mainframe consoles!)

You arrived at the High School in January 1986. You being the very junior Standard Sixes and I was the very young and junior “Sir” – a mere few years older than you!

We continued our high school careers there – all achieving various levels of success. But, in 1990, it came to an end for you and you passed ‘neath the Tower which I have previously referred to, for the first time. You went your various ways into an unknown world for which we, your teachers, had hopefully prepared you.

I swapped the academic world for the business world, married Pera (now a grade 2 teacher at Grey Junior) and we had two sons, Sean (who matriculated in 2010) and Phillip (who matriculated in 2013) and who have kept my ongoing connection with The Grey – firstly as a teacher and then as a parent. When Phillip left ‘neath the Tower at the end of 2013, it brought to an end thirty years of my direct connection with the Institution.

But, as you have seen this weekend, the School and the Tower remain a magnet that continuously draw us back.

Whilst I can never lay claim to being an Old Grey (and my son Phillip kindly reminded me that not even a blood transfusion could give me the Grey Blue Blood that was necessary to lay claim to that title of “Old Grey”), I will continue to be a proud member of the Old Greys’ Union, together with each one of you. Hopefully, we will continue to see each other in many years to come!

In 1859, the very first year that classes were taught at the brand new Grey Institute on The Hill, the Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir George Grey, was recalled to London. The Staff and boys of the school wrote to him expressing their regret at his departure and “gratitude for the benefits he had conferred upon them”.

He replied to them as follows:

Gentlemen and Students

Your letter at expressing your regret at my departure is one of the most gratifying which I have received. Every man desires to aid in blessing others, and in doing good; but it is not given to many men to see such early fruits springing from those labours in which they themselves and others have engaged. God has, in the case of the Institution from which you write, given me this pleasure, and has allowed me to hear that, from the Grey Institute, and from amongst yourselves, good and able men have come forth.

If any of you who have done credit to the Institution, require a friend in Europe, remember that you are, in some sort, children of mine, and have a claim upon my sympathy and aid which I shall not overlook.

From your affectionate friend

G. Grey

I am pleased that from the Class of 1990 “good and able men have come forth”.

G. Grey, your affectionate friend, whose mortal remains lie in St Paul’s Cathedral in London, must also take great pleasure in seeing the fruits springing from his labours.

There are many life lessons, but one which I recall is the fact that “time comes to an end”.  We cannot (yet!) turn it back.

Our time together at The Grey and my teaching time at The Grey, about which we reminisce so much this weekend, came to an end in 1988, our weekend together came to an end all too quickly on Saturday evening, and, indeed, our time on this earth will come to an end (and, for some of our group, has already come to an end. We remember them with fondness.)

During our time on this earth, life will hand us many different “Dear Johns”. Many of you are aware of my illness. I will most probably not see some of you again. Please keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to walk the road that has been set before us.

My wife and I watched the movie  “The Theory of Everything” yesterday. It tells some of the story of Professor Stephen Hawking who also has motor neurone disease and who researched and continues to research  the theories of TIME!  In a very poignant closing scene in the movie, the Professor talking to his ex-wife, refers to their children and says, “See what we have made!”

As a young teacher, just a few years older than yourselves, I taught you mathematics and computer studies, but I don’t think we ever spoke about life or what we make with it. We were all too young for that!

In some sorts, you are also “children of mine”. If I may then, let me give you one last lesson: Let me encourage you to make the most of each and every day. Live for the moment. Live each day as if it were your last, because some day it will be! 

See what you can make with your Time on this earth!

Until we meet again … thank you for the memories.

Your teacher and friend

Ed Lunnon

 

T28 and counting …Dying for Medicine

  

(c) 2015 Edward C Lunnon / 8 years 8 months ill / Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Deuce

LoadshEDding has become a daily occurrence. Look at the picture and spot the old and the new – no lights, no TV, headlight, smartphone, transistor radio, marking, sleeping, communicating, etc etc. I’m lights out!

Port Elizabeth has been in the news for all the wrong reasons – murders, rapes, mayors, embezzlement of funds, etc etc.

People are crying out for medicine, others are wanting medicine for purposes of euthenasia or weed for pain relief, etc etc.

Last week we had supper with the Terblanches, lunch at The Friendly Stranger and saw a Centrestage show at The Old Grey Club. Becoming quite social again in my old age and my eighth year of illness, etc etc.

It’s been two weeks of no Wednesday radio. It’s great not being in the public eye (ear!) but I must admit I do miss it! Lance is overseas in the East and we will soon be in the West! The New World! Watch this space when we all back again! All our visas have been approved and arrived now … All we need are Dollars … American and Canadian!

This week is reunion week at Grey. OH Lordie, give me strength! I hope to see the week through and report back next week!

And now it’s eight fifteen and the lights have come on after two hours. I’m actually enjoying the peace and quiet that comes with the darkness.

Chat soon!

The Merry Month of May

(c) 2015 Edward C Lunnon

8 years 8 months ill …

Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Advantage CBD

  

Our radio programme ED is in wED came to an end at the end of April. I shall miss it and the large number of people that I have met through it. I am grateful for all the messages that I received and am humbled by the many lives that we have touched. Again. my grateful appreciation is extended to AlgoaFM and Lance du Plessis for 5 years and 260 interviews, and to all the listeners worldwide who tuned in every  week.

In the meantime, I have been learning to cope with more pain (not always succesfully!) and have had to see the neurologist, the doctor, the physiotherapist and the pharmacist at varying intervals.

I am not in a good space at the moment.

I have had to cancel a few trips ( to Cape Town and the Karoo) and find the days are becoming longer and longer and more difficult to manage.

At the same time, there are exciting projects in the pipeline and I am ever grateful to all of you who keep me in the loop. As soon as I feel  better, we wil tackle those exciting ideas! 

Watch this space!

I have not written much, but the world remains an unhappy ball(s up). Volcanoes in South America and earthquakes in Nepal have resulted in thousands of deaths and injuries, elections in Britain and in South Africa have left some in and some out, defacing of statues and other historical places in South Africa leave some feeling happy and others feeling dejected, murders and xenephobic attacks at home have some calling for the death sentence and others wanting to emigrate.

The world has become a moving mass of mankind looking for a better place to live. Ironically, it was the colonialists who established the colonies in the centuries gone by. Now, it’s those who were colonised who return to the colonialists searching for that elusive sunshine. We see it here at home, in Asia, Australia, the Americas and around the Mediterranean Sea. 

We live in an unhappy world and many of our lives are unhappy. It is left to us to manage ourselves and our surroundings.

We, too, will be moving soon and as i write we still await our Canadian visas. What usually takes ten days has now taken more than a month. I am told the Canadian embasssy is inundated with applications from South Africans who are wanting to emigrate!

I have been watching My Last Summer on Tuesday evenings on BBC Knowledge network. It tells of the last days of people who have various life-limiting illnesses. It’s worth a watch and reminds me that I am not alone in this world. My experiences are yours, too and my frustrations are shared with so many others. My thoughts are with so many of our friends who also battle illness on a daily basis.

If you have good health, treasure that gift and thank God!

See you soon …

  

I Cried a Tear

(c) 2015 Edward C Lunnon
8 years 8 months ill …
Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Deuce

The best of times … the worst of times!

It’s been a difficult few weeks: Earthquakes in Nepal, Murders in Port Elizabeth, Xenophobic attacks around South Africa, load-shedding in the country, pain in my leg and bum, my last radio talk with Lance on AlgoaFm, … the list continues.

It has been a difficult time for me – both physically and emotionally. I promised myself that I would not allow myself to become emotional on air last week, but I did! I cried that tear!

The CBD not only takes your body away from you – it also robs you of your ability to work and hence your job, your livelihood, your assets, your friends, your social life, your personality, your memory, your driver’s licence, your being … the list continues!

Hidden away among the hype, the “skinder” and the rallies of the Port Elizabeth Jade murder last week, has been the ground-breaking court case in Pretoria related to assisted death (euthanasia) for people who suffer from life-limiting illnesses.

It is an emotive subject. One that will divide the population.

Thou shalt not kill!

Is it OK to call for the death penalty in the case of murder, but not assisted suicide in the case of severe illness and pain?

I must admit – I have cried a few tears this week.

It’s time to face the world again.

Cry Freedom!

8 years 8 months ill …

(c) 2015 edward c lunnon

imagine the scene last monday

freedom day in sa

on the hill … overlooking algoa bay

gathered on the donkin a crowd

all come to shout it out loud

it’s all such a pity

please heal our city

enough is enough

we want our freedom

and vincent swanepoel sang 

the most spine-chilling rendition of

no longer slaves

listen here

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=XxkNj5hcy5E