Jeepers! What a Round Road Trip

7 years 8 months ill …
Physical: Advantage ED / Mental: Advantage ED

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I Remember …

… Two weeks ago, Sean mentioned that he may need to deliver a Jeep to a client in Johannesburg (there and back, some 2000 km and twenty hours travelling away from Port Elizabeth)

… My overseas friends: Johannesburg is to Africa what New York is to North America – our powerhouse and economic hub. It’s the City of Gold – both literally and figuratively. Situated on the Witwatersrand ( white waters ridge), it even lends it’s name to our currency, the rand!

… I offered to go with Sean for two reasons: everyone knows my penchant for travelling by now; but, more importantly, he has never driven to Johannesburg nor in Johannesburg ( and I couldn’t imagine my booytjie doing it by himself!) He, of course, turns 22 today, so a very happy birthday son!

… The arrangements for the trip changed by the minute. Then it was on, then it was off, then there were holdups at the bank, then unsigned documents, then a change of heart by the customer, then problems with the delivery time, then time constraints, then … then … then …

… Each time the change in arrangements necessitated a change in the logistical arrangements for travel and sleep overs. Phone calls and BBM’s and WhatsApp’s and and and. The help of friends and family all over the country was called in! Thanks so much for all the assistance!

… Eventually, last Friday was departure scheduled for 4am, then 9am, then 1pm, then off, then on, then postponed till Saturday 9am. Each change brought a change in delivery time to the client and a change in route, change in sleep over arrangements, etc etc.

… We left Port Elizabeth at 9am Saturday morning and Rory Duncan, ironically, was in the lane next to us as we left the City.

… From PE, we travelled via Cradock, Hofmeyer, Steynsburg, Venterstad (not to be confused with Ventersburg or Ventersdorp!) and the Gariep Dam to Bloemfontein, arriving at 4pm Saturday afternoon.

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… Then at 6pm, thanks to Rory, we went to watch the Cheetahs play the Brumbies at Free State Stadium. Cheetahs won 27 – 21! Afterwards, we visited the Castle Corner, then the Players Den (where the players relax post match) and then the local night club Barbas and The Office ( just a drive by as it was getting late in the morning!)

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… At 8am Sunday, after a gourmet Rory Breakfast, we left for Johannesburg via the N1, leaving the Free State behind and entering Gauteng Provnce, the land of the big smoke, at about 11am. We had the car washed in Cedar Road, Four Ways, and delivered it in Broadacres at the agreed time of 12h30 … okay 1 minute late because of a holdup at the security gate of the gated complex.

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… Fifteen minutes later, we had delivered the new and collected the old car.

… At 1h15pm, we were at the Ocean Basket in Modderfontein had lunch (fish from the coast!) at the Ocean Basket with friend and erstwhile colleague Graeme Gathmann.

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… We finished lunch at 3pm, completed the ring road around Johannesburg on the N3 and then headed back south on the N1 to the Free State, with thunder cracking and lightning flashing and rain pouring all around us.

… A pit stop at Kroonstad, and another in Bloemfontein (to pick up a friend returning to Port Elizabeth) took place before we reached Springfontein at 8pm, where we stayed overnight with friend Sandra Staples at the Kuilfontein B&B.

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… After breakfast on Monday morning, we headed for PE at 9am, via Colesberg ( pitstop), Middleburg and Graaff-Reinet (pitstop), arriving home at 2pm.

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… From the Friendly City to the City of Gold, we had completed 3 days, 2000 kms, 53 hours, driven two vehicles through four of the nation’s provinces (Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State and Gauteng), gone through 6 toll gates (there and back), paid R200 in tolls, (and who knows how many e-toll collection gantries and e-toll fines!)

… ED is in tirED!

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The Shades of Grey

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Thursday 1 August 2013: 6 years 11 months on …

Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Deuce

It was about half past two last Friday afternoon. The odometer on my car read 88 888 km and we were just passing over the longest and largest South African river, the Orange River,  from the Northern Cape Province into the Province of the Free State.

Three provinces in a day!

In the past we have done this trip by train (see my previous blogs) but now the South African railways have become non (dys?)-functional and they are unable to supply rolling stock. It’s such a sorry sight to see so many worn-out carriages parked along the way of hundreds of kilometres of unused and deserted and disintegrating railway tracks!  (Phill reckons his life mission is to get the trains back on track.  Steve Jobs said “The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do! So go, Phill!

So, we (Pera, Phill, Brad McKenzie and I) had departed by car from Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape Province, at nine, and left behind us Uitenhage, Jansenville, Graaff-Reinet (where we had lunch at the Polka Restaurant), Middleburg, Noupoort and Coleburg.

Still to come along the N1 – our country’s major arterial route – was Springfontein, Trompsburg, Edenburg and then our destination:  Bloemfontein, the Judicial Capital City of South Africa and home of our country’s Supreme Court of Appeal. It is the third capital city of South Africa, the product of compromise when SA was formed in 1910, with the other Capital cities, of course, being Cape Town, the Legislative Capital  with its Houses of Parliament and the Administrative Capital, Pretoria (or Tshwane, as it is being called by some nowadays) with its imposing Union Buildings.

Bloemfontein is also known as the Rose City. But we weren’t here to pick flowers and flowers we certainly didn’t collect!

The purpose of our trip was rugby: Grey High from PE versus Grey College from Bloem and Phillip’s last school away game for Tommo’s mighty Thirds. It would also be the end our school boy sporting trips – first Sean’s rugby and cricket career and then Phillip’s rugby, cricket and waterpolo career now also drawing to a close.

So this was a rather nostalgic trip for all of us. One which I had not really looked forward to, as I had been very busy, tired and experiencing a bit of pain in my left buttock and left leg. A long eight hour trip was not what the doctor ordered for me. But Phill on his learner’s licence had driven us most of the way. I took over for the last stretch into Bloem!

We arrived at our guest house, Blessings, in the suburb of Dan Pienaar (recommended by the Engelbrechts of Paarl), at about 17h00. We had got lost a few times – Bloemfontein also being a city of the modern day New South African compromise as well: renamed Nelson Mandela Drive lies next to Kenneth Kaunda Avenue lies next to Walter Sisulu Avenue lies next to Gen Dan Pienaar, Gen Hertzog, Kmdt Senekal, Unie Avenue, President Kruger – and the GPS doesn’t always know the changes!

Anyway, we were there safely! Supper was to be at the Villa Bella Casa. We would join our Pretoria friends Thomas and Marzette Moolman who were sleeping over in Bloem on their way home from a holiday in the Eastern Cape. They had visited us earlier in the week from Port Alfred and Marzette had left her diary next to the bed when they had left last Thursday. So we arranged to meet in Bloem to return the diary!

Well, a good supper later and some great company and red wine, and the diary has come back with us to Port Elizabeth!

Because the First Team game was being televised, Phill’s Third Team game was brought forward to seven o’clock on Saturday morning! So it was a very early start for us – and a very cold start! The temperature was about 4 degrees C and my picture of a scrum has the moon in the background and the frost at our feet! Every picture tells a story …

Phill’s  3rd team loss with a deficit of about 50 points was about the average tale of the day with scores coming in from about 120 high to only one Grey Port Elizabeth team (the u14B!) clocking up a narrow win!  He also played in the second half of the 2nd team as the injury count went higher and higher. The hardness of the ground and the hardness of the opposition do not seem to go well with our Port Elizabeth sons! Yet, we return second year after second year (of course, they visit us at the coast every other year) to be taught a severe lesson in rugby playing!

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In the First Team game we also witnessed that horrific accident to Martin Groenewald when he broke both the tibia and fibula in his leg. It sounded like a gunshot going off and put a damper on the rest of the play. Unfortunately, once again (and never ever) were we able to beat Grey Bloem 1st team in Bloemfontein.

Our thoughts, prayers and good wishes accompany Martin (who lives with Phillip in the Grey hostel) on his long road to full recovery. The operation which he underwent on Saturday evening was successful and as I write this, he has now arrived back at his home in Humansdorp. It takes the worst in Life to bring out the best in mankind, and once again, we have witnessed the outpouring of the kindness of friends and strangers who have offered their assistance to the family in so many different ways.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon socialising at the Bloemfontein Old Grey Clubhouse, had a quick zizz at Blessings, and then went for supper at the Block and Cellar. It looked like Port Elizabeth was empty because there were so many Algoa Bay locals having supper there on Saturday evening.  It’s always fun socialising with other parents in this way and maybe one of the reasons why we do these trips so willingly and eagerly. They surely will be missed by us and will become part of the memory box of our strange journey through this trip that we call Life!

Our return journey started at nine on Sunday – retracing our steps back the way we had come; except this time we stopped for lunch and petrol at the Steers in Colesburg (full tank used up – literally and figuratively – to Bloemfontein, and three quarters of a tank used down to Pe!). We arrived back in Port Elizabeth at about five, safe and sound, worn-out and weary, and nostalgic about never having to do this school trip again.

The shadows of Life get longer, and the Shades of Grey get darker. 

 

Flying High!

Monday 1 August 2011: 4 years 11 months on … Advantage ED (Lyrica?)

Last Wednesday, on our AlgoaFM radio programme “ED is in wED”, Lance and I had the privilege of interviewing Hannes van der Merwe.

He was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of seventeen.

But it wasn’t his illness we spoke about – it was his grit and determination.

One night, a few weeks ago, he was attacked in his home by four intruders. They ransacked his house, took his belongings, tied him up, put everything in his car, took him, his belongings and his car, went to a number of ATM’s forced him at gunpoint to withdraw his money, then took him to a remote spot between Despatch and Uitenhage and, in the middle of the night in the icy cold weather we have been experiencing, threw him out into a deep ditch next to the secluded road.

Left to die!

But his courage and determination (and luck / chance / God – delete whichever you think is not applicable) saved Hannes.

Some chance pedestrians found him there, and Hannes was saved to tell the tale on our programme. (You may listen to an interview with him on the AlgoaFM website www.algoafm.co.za.)

The previous Wednesday, after my radio show, I met Gabi van Rooyen and her Mom Debbie at Bluewaters Café.  Gabi is a five year old with muscular dystrophy and who faces her challenges with the most beautiful smile on her face. She had been featured in The Herald that morning.

On Thursday evening, I shared a few beers and a few stories with friend and boat fundi Len van Kempen at Dagwoods. I first met Len in St Francis Bay when we bought our boat, Rolls. Since then, he has always been close at hand when we have had problems with the boat.

He told me about our pharmacist, Shaun Kennedy, at St Francis Bay who recently, with others, was dramatically rescued at sea one night from an overturned yacht near the southernmost point of Africa, Cape Agulhas. 

Their stories are just three of many that display true strength of grit, determination and survival – a salute to the triumph of the human spirit.

I am kept going, and kept determined, by these and similar stories of survival – and by more and more drugs.

I am becoming a substance abuser of note – and the latest drug to be added to the list on Thursday is Lyrica (with active substance Pregabalin). Previously, I had faxed my neurologist that the spasms I was experiencing were becoming intolerable. Despite trying every device, cushion and chair in the book, sitting down had become just impossible!

He suggested, like everything else I have used, that we “trial-and-error” a new medication. So when I collected the capsules from the pharmacy, I asked for the paper insert. I’m not sure if anyone ever reads the insert – if they did, they wouldn’t take the medication! – but  I have learnt from all the previous “trials” that I need to prepare myself for any of the possible side effects that these tablets bring about.

I don’t always understand what I’m reading in these inserts but I give it a go anyway.

Lyrica is classified as a central nervous system depressant – an anticonvulsant (including anti-epileptics). It is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with neuropathic pain due to Herpes zoster infections (shingles) and diabetes. It calms the nerve activity in the brain. I see it is also helpful to take it in conjunction with small doses of medicinal marijuana!

The rest of the information I don’t understand, and the list of possible side-effects (from common to rare) takes up a full column of the double-columned 60cm long white sheet of paper!!! Is there anything that may not possibly happen?

Anyway – after five years (almost) of being ill, I’m used to being a guinea pig.

So, at 2 x day – with or without food, let’s see what these do!

On Friday, I was flying high, and I haven’t landed yet! I can sit comfortably and the spasms are currently few and far between and, through all the haziness, I feel like I’m on a trip … to where?…

Well, I’ve been on the go ever since …

Thursday night was Dagwoods – just a few beers on top of the medication!

Friday was a trip to the Home Expo.

Friday night was out for supper at the Cape Town Fish Market.

Saturday morning was the rugby test – SA Springboks against the NZ All Blacks in Wellington, New Zealand.

Saturday afternoon was back to the Home Expo.

Saturday evening was dinner and the musical show The Good, the Band and The Ugly at the Old Grey Club.

Sunday morning was a lie-in until eleven! – I haven’t done that in ages, but obviously needed it!

And the rest of Sunday was spent braaing at the Stapletons.

That’s the way I like it – busy, busy, busy. And when you are feeling good, it makes it so much easier to be able to do things, and when you are able to do things, it makes you feel good, and so the upward spiral continues. How long will this high last? I don’t know, but long may it continue!

Yes, the pills have their side-effects. I am blurry eyed and everything is hazy. (I thought the Test rugby out of New Zealand looked blurry because we were beaten so badly!)  I am Swinging High (lol … also the name of a show that I starred in on Broadway – that’s Broadway Street, Sulphur, Oklahoma, on which our High School is situated and where I played Mr McDuff, the English School Principal). I’m not quite in control of myself (which is a bit worrying) but I’m flying high – which is great for the moment.

It also made it easier to accept that, for the first time in twelve years (I think?) we weren’t going to Bloemfontein to watch Grey play Grey. With Sean out of school and Phillip not playing rugby this season (for medical reasons), we didn’t have a son playing there this year. So a trip was unnecessary, although Sean managed to wangle a lift with the Westcotts to go and watch, and that left Phillip unhappy at home.   It seemed strange not to experience the Gariep Dam, the Bloem City Lodge, Springfontein’s Kuilfontein B & B and the Gathmann’s and their farm, the cold and frosty Bloem mornings, the expectations and exhilaration of beating Grey Bloem and the disappointment of losing, the train trips, the Kalahari Dot Fish restaurant and the Bloem Waterfront. What wonderful memories we have all those sporting trips that we have undertaken over the years. 

But the pills and the weekend activities made up for it. As did the music …

Saturday evening’s popular tribute to all things cowboy and country, The Good The Band and the Ugly, had me glued to my seat.

Joining forces with Black Peppa Caterers and the Old Grey Club, Centrestage (owned by ex-pupil of mine Gary Hemmings) brought dinner theatre back to Port Elizabeth. The band paid tribute to The Highwaymen, CSNY, The Eagles and The Travelling Wilburys. We also heard the music of Johnny Cash, Willy Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Joan Baez and Janice Joplin.

The band was made up of keyboardist Khanya Matomela, Old Grey Russel Sneyd on drums, Old Grey (and another ex-pupil of mine) Joe van der Linden (bass guitar), Claire Harmse (keyboard), Alan Kozak (lead guitar and covering Willy Nelson and George Harrison), Francios Hugo covering Kris Kristofferson, musical director Wayne Kallis appearing as Waylon Jennings  and Lionel Hunt covering Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. (Lionel is South Africa’s premier Elvis Presley tribute artist and lives in Port Alfred, where he offers his talented services “Anything relating to the King of Rock ‘n Roll” on 083 457 0720.)

We heard all-time favourites such as Ring of Fire, Walk the Line, Ghost Riders, Boy named Sue, Help me make it through the night, Me and Bobby McGee, Southern Cross, Desperado, Heartache Tonight, the Night they drove Old Dixie down, Piece of my Heart, You got It, Pretty Woman, Don’t bring me Down, Hold on Tight, Here comes the Sun, Got my mind set on You, Just like a Woman and Forever Young.

It was Shakespeare, in Twelfth Night, who wrote:

If music be the food of love, play on…

So, on Sunday morning, I found my old Roy Orbison music … and The Seekers … and Olivia Newton-John…and The Hollies, the Beach Boys, the Mamas and the Papas, Creedence Clearwater Revival …

The volume was turned up high, my foot was tapping and the pills complimented the music.

 And the CD’s went with us to the braai at the Stapletons, and we reminisced …

Music to the ears.

Life is Good!

 

Memories are Made of This

Tuesday 10 May 2011: 4 years 8 months on … ADVANTAGE CBD

I have made much about my and our family travels over the years. Before I got married, I was fortunate to travel extensively overseas. Thereafter, it happened less frequently because of logistics and cost. However, as the boys grew up, besides holidays, we also spent a lot of time following them around the country as they became involved in various school activities.

We have been to all four of the old South African provinces to watch school sport and listen to the orchestra – Pretoria, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Bloemfontein and Cape Town. In the Eastern Cape, over the years, we have frequently visited Queenstown, King Williams Town, East London, Graaff-Reinet, George, Knysna, Grahamstown, Uitenhage and Despatch!

Our travels with the boys have been some of the best memories that I have – besides the sport and the performances, our discussions in the car, the scenery, the history and geography – even the mathematics sometimes – have made all those trips very worthwhile.

We have visited old friends and made new friends around the country, gone sight-seeing, attended shows – Phantom of the Opera in Cape Town (together with the Thomsons, Stapletons and Scholtz’s) comes to mind, gone shopping and seen the country.

I have written a number of blogs about these trips, notably “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “I was so Glad that I had come”!

“Heaven is a place on Earth” describes our trip to Stellenbosch round about this time last year (2010) for the annual derby day against Paul Roos Gymnasium (incidentally where I did my practical teaching as a student at Stellenbosch University).

The previous year (2009) we had visited Wynberg in Cape Town in May. I had not started writing blogs yet so I have no record of that trip. However, despite my short-term memory leaving me in the lurch, my long-term memory remains almost intact.

I had attempted to organize a bus trip for parents to Cape Town for that long weekend. We were due to stop over in Rawsonville at a University friend, Stanley Louw’s wine farm, stay at the Newlands Sun Hotel, take in a  show, ABBA, at the Artscape Theatre on the Friday night and a Super 14 Rugby match at Newlands on the Saturday (and, of course, watch our sons play against Wynberg.) However, it was just at the time of the economic crunch taking its toll on our South African pockets, and I had to cancel the plans at the last moment because of insufficient numbers.

So we drove instead. We stayed over, as usual with the Kapps in Knysna, and then stayed with the Reelers in Pinelands. After the rugby Saturday, we watched the Stormers play at Newlands, and then discovered a delightful pizza place in Rondebosch. On Sunday, on the way home, we stopped over for lunch at the Rod and Reel in Plettenberg Bay!

Two years before that, May 2007, I had just been diagnosed with CBD in the January and had to make a return visit to Tygerberg Hospital at the time of the Wynberg encounter. I flew down to Cape Town, saw the doctor and very little of the rugby, as I recall spending the Saturday afternoon assisting Dylan Collins (Head Boy 2006) who had eaten a suspect hamburger and was not feeling too well!

Despite the bus trip to Wynberg being cancelled and my illness taking its toll, I had organised two very successful train trips for parents to Grey Bloemfontein in August 2007 and again in August 2009. I called it the Grey-V Train, One and Two!

In 2007 we were almost 250 parents who filled the train. We left Port Elizabeth station 4 hours late (due to a train accident at Addo) – after having emptied the picnic baskets at a party on platform 5! – and encountered the coldest night of the year and snow in the Karoo and the Free State. We arrived late in Bloemfontein and some parents (including us) did not even get to see our sons play!

However, the memories and the stories of that trip will remain legendary. So much so, that when 2009 came round, the demand for another train was there. Unfortunately, due to a number of factors, notably the SA Railways not being able to guarantee a train, it was a last-minute rush and we did not have as many passengers as the previous trip. This time we only arrived an hour late and managed to keep warm on the train (but the Heavens opened in Bloem and it poured with rain!)

And so, all these trips have very special memories and I could highlight many over the past 27 years since I became associated with Grey, first as a teacher and then as a parent.

Last weekend, it was time for the Wynberg trip again. With Sean out of school and Phillip not playing rugby temporarily this term, there was really no reason to go to Cape Town, except to make an excuse to go! And I don’t really have to look too far to find such an excuse to go home to the Western Cape!

Besides Grey rugby, the Stormers were also playing the Crusaders at Newlands, so we looked at all our options! But, much as we tried, nothing worked – I doubted my ability to sit in the car for eight hours, Sean was writing a test, there were no flights available, the Newlands seats were sold out, the price of petrol has just increased YET again, I didn’t want to drive in the dark, etc … so, in the end, we made the difficult, but sensible, decision to stay at home.

So we were at home on Sunday afternoon when we got the news of the tragic death of grade 8 pupil, Stefan Ehlers, and his mother, Theresa, in an accident on the way back from Cape Town when their car hit a kudu near Willowmore. The father, Rian, was admitted to hospital but escaped serious injury and was discharged Monday. Our sincerest condolences go to their family at this sad time.

My condolences also go to the family of Robin Small, an ex-colleague of mine at Grey who also passed away this week after having battled cancer for some time. His memorial service took place at Grey yesterday.

We cannot predict the future

We cannot change the past

We have just the present moment

We must treat it as our last 

This week, hundreds of Old Greys will converge on Port Elizabeth for their annual reunion.  Since last year’s gathering, we have lost a number of our family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues. We remember all of them for having enriched our lives along the way.

So my message to you is, if you are having doubts about attending this weekend (or, for that matter, doing whatever you have been putting off or have been uncertain about), make the decision now to join in the reminiscing and the fun. Live for the moment.

We have just the present moment – We must treat it as our last.

 

Over The Hill

Monday 24 January 2011: 4 years 4 months on …

My late father had a stroke in 1969 which left him completely paralyzed on his right side and unable to talk (save for 3 or 4 words). At the time, I was in Standard 5, my eldest sister Lyn in High School (Standard 8), my younger sister Ingrid in Primary School (Standard 1) and my youngest sister June, at 4 years old, not yet even in school.

My late mother had her hands full, looking after a disabled husband and raising four children!

After his stroke (and until he passed away in 1976), we never had the luxury of a holiday. Mind you, before his stroke we seldom went away on a holiday either.

There is one holiday, however, that I remember well. Our green Studebaker towed a Gypsy caravan (the silver variety) from The Strand north to Bloemfontein, south to East London and then down the coast, visiting Port Elizabeth, Jeffery’s Bay and Knysna along the way. (It was in Bloemfontein that my Dad left a message for a friend that Herbie Lunnon was in the caravan park, and he almost did not get to see the friend because the message was relayed by the secretary as “Herbie’s linen was in the caravan park”!)

Whenever we traveled, we never stopped at restaurants for meals. In fact, I don’t think that places like the Wimpy, Golden Egg or Steers existed in those days (or maybe we just couldn’t afford to stop there!)

Instead, Mom packed the picnic basket (a large brown cane one with a lid) and inside was the black metal flask with coffee and the drumsticks, hard-boiled eggs, fried sausage, and sandwiches (mostly wrapped in the obligatory silver aluminium foil).

We would stop along the national road at the concrete table with the concrete stools, usually under a few trees that had been planted there for shade, and the concrete bin for the throw-away rubbish. A meal stop would include the obligatory wee stop and the waves to the passers-by.

But before we stopped, we would play all kinds of games in the car to keep us busy and designed to prevent us from fighting. The wireless would either be on the “A” programme (the English SABC programme, as opposed to the “B” programme – Afrikaans) or on Springbok Radio, and one had to constantly keep turning the dial in order to keep the wireless on the programme – often the sound would just fade away into a rowdy static racket!

And in between the stops we would constantly ask “How much further?” or “When will we get to Three Sisters, or Colesberg or Hanover or …?” 

Something I learnt from my Dad (Things my Father said!) and which has transferred itself into our own family travels, was his usual reply, “Round the next corner!” or “Over the Hill!”

But our destination was never over that hill or round that corner, to which Dad would reply “I said the NEXT hill!”

And the reason I have been thinking of this is because it reminds me that in Life we never know what lies around the corner or over that hill. And we just don’t know how much further we have to travel.

 

But we need to stay busy with our radio and our games to keep us from fighting, and we need to have our short-term and long-term goals like our regular stops, our next corner and next hill and our next town to make the journey more exciting.

During these past holidays, we stayed on the St Francis Links for a week or so. Not being a golfer myself, I watched the players pass by on their golf journey.

They start their course and play eighteen holes. Each one comes with its unique built-in challenges and the ever-changing wind and weather patterns.  They have to adapt each stroke by assessing the challenge and choosing the correct club, often with the help (for better of for worse!) of their companions, and by playing the stroke with the necessary acumen.

However, the play doesn’t necessarily go (and seldom goes!) according to the plan. Often your ball is lost and your way is lost and frequently a standby plan or improvisation needs to be implemented in order to get you out of the rough.

In my case, as the CBD relentlessly attacks my body, I progress from one hole to the next, and each time a club gets removed from the bag. As I proceed, I have fewer clubs at my disposal to master each succeeding green, and the round becomes more and more challenging. How many more holes I do not know, but the respite of the 19th hole lies somewhere there in the distance.

As I said, I was never a golfer, but I have run the Knysna. And it’s become like running the Knysna.

You don’t know if it’s the half marathon or the full, but you become increasingly tired along the way and I am starting to feel over the hill.

I keep on watching out for that finishing line. How much further?

Is it around the next corner or over the hill? Is there a next one?