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Strand Storms

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Beach Rd Strand closed now! Thursday 16h00

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From Polo to Golf

Tuesday 12 February 2013: 6 years 5 months on …

Physical: Deuce / Mental: Deuce

This is an abbreviated blog of the last week:

Wed 6 Feb: AlgoaFM with Briony; Meeting with accountant; Sabet (Dr Brown) Dentist; Sean (drink at Old Grey Club)

Thu 7 Feb: Admin with Nadine / Graeme Harris visit from Graaff-Reinet / Hydrotherapy / Visit from Isaac / Jester Trip into Algoa Bay with Ashley and Bev

Fri 8 Feb (my 6th anniversary of diagnosis): Rodriguez Lookalike concert at Old Grey

Sat 9 Feb: Trip to Graaff-Reinet – hail storm 50km out of GR!!! Car turned from Polo to Golf ball with dents … ten minutes of hell …

Sun 10 Feb: Flash floods at home in PE: 40mm in 30 minutes ?

Sat till Wed 13: With Gordon and Rose Wright in Graaff-Reinet

 

 

Jaaaa Boet!

Ja Boet!

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 19 November 2012: 6 years 2 months on …

Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Deuce

On Saturday evening we attended a show in a 700-seater marquee at Grey called “Boet and Swaer” (Brother and Brother-in-Law). It’s a parody on South African life told through the eyes and in the accent of of two farmers from the Albany / Grahamstown area.

The show was preceded by the International rugby match between Scotland and the Springboks at Murrayfield in Edinburgh (which we won), followed by a dance ably discoed by Charlie T of AlgoaFM’s  DMB Morning Show and interspersed by a well-stocked Castle Corner.

Four years ago in 2008, I was at Murrayfield watching that game (which we won) with Barryvan der Vyfer, and his son and neighbour. I also bumped into MikeCarswell there who was head of Meriway House at Grey in my first year of teaching in 1984. I also attended the Old GreyDinner in London the following week. (This year’s dinner is scheduled for this coming Thursday evening – a gathering in central London for all the Old Grey’s who (tragically) now live in the UK.)

Two years ago in 2010, I was at OliverTamboInternationalAirport in Johannesburg watching that game on TV (which we lost) with friend AndrewJonker and his business associate. They were on their way to do business in Europe and I was on my way to watch the England / Springbok game at Twickenham the following Saturday (which we won), visit MikeCarswell in Dublin and to attend the Old GreyDinner in London.

Anyway, back to the show. It’s a good laugh at ourselves as “Souties, Dutchmen and Dlamini” South Africans and we need to be able to laugh like that sometimes. All the F words – after Ficksburg,  the floods and fires, farm and factory unrest, the Police Force and force, the Farlam Commission, the financial impropriety and woes of the President and his multi-million rand private house(s) and the falling rand of the last few weeks, we especially need to laugh – and we don’t need to use that F-Word to do that!

It’s been a long haul from Andries Tatane in Ficksburg in the Free State, through Julius Malema in Limpopo to Marikana in the Northwest, the farm violence in the Western Cape, Nkandla in Kwa-Zulu-Natal, the floods in the Eastern Cape, the President’s penis and E-tolling in Gauteng and on to Mangaung next month in the Free State.

Sometimes in Life it’s necessary to halt, take a long pause and ponder the options and way forward. Sometimes it’s necessary to take one’s head out of the sand, take action and to get involved.  

As Boet says, it’s in those moments (which the audience thinks are scripted but when you actually just run out of words and don’t know what to say and just ponder about what’s to come) when, like now, that you just say:

“Jaaaaaa,  Boet!”     (Yesssss, Brother!)

Light in the Night

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Tuesday 30 October 2012: 6 years 1 month on …

Physical Advantage CBD / Mental Advantage CBD

As I write this, I am watching on TV the devastation that superstorm Sandy is leaving in its wake in the eastern states of the USA. It is one of the biggest – if not the biggest storm – ever to have hit the United States.

The storm has moved in from the Atlantic Ocean and has swept in from the East Coast visiting, amongst others, the states of New York, New Jersey, Virginia,  Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Baltimore …

A thirteen foot high tidal surge, rain and wind has left New York New York, Atlantic City and other  towns and cities reeling under floods, fire and snow!

New York is powerless!

Indeed, one week before the American Presidential election, the State of these States has been declared a “major disaster” by President Obama. However, there will be many stories of personal heroism and human endeavour.

It affects me!

It affects me because these are areas of the US that I have been privileged to live in and visit and because I have friends and family who live there.

I am as familiar with Battery Park, Manhattan, Ground Zero, Central Park, Wall Street and Fifth Avenue in New York as I am with St Georges Park, Third Avenue Dip, Brickmakers, Target Kloof and Port Alfred.

The latter places, of course, all being here in the Eastern Cape where we also faced the fury of Mother Nature last weekend when some 200 – 300 mm of rain was dumped on us.

Despite the devastation, there have been tales of personal heroism and human endeavour.

That has affected me too!

Not only because we witnessed the rain and the devastation first hand, not only because it angered me so much that a lot of the damage could have been prevented by better maintenance, preparation and supervision, but also because we got caught up in the floods.

We went out on Saturday evening for supper to celebrate Phillip’s prefectship. On our way home, down Wychwood Avenue, we got caught up in the water that had flooded the road. The car stalled and we had to be towed out.

On Monday it was towed to Maritime and on Tuesday I was informed that all was well – the engine was turning and would require a bit of TLC to get it back into shape.

However, on Wednesday, I was informed that it had been the wrong car (!) and that mine would not start. Yesterday, I was told that my car would have to be written off! We especially bought the station wagon because of my illness – it is automatic and has space for a wheelchair and whatever else.

I am devastated.

I have lost my health, my job, my holiday house and now my car.

I am devastated.

But, as I have said so many times before, it is in the darkness of the storms that life throws at you that you have to look for the little flicker of light that will keep you going.

I have to pick myself up from yet another blow.

I will find that flicker and the light will shine bright! 

Mr Mayor (or Whoever is in Charge?)

I feel so safe and comforted that the Mayor and his spin doctors (and his TV crew) are visiting the residents of the Metro (including Essexvale) spreading the good news and to reassure us that all is under control. What I would like to ask you Mr Mayor – on that TV camera of yours – is where is that to-do maintenance list of your Council, who is responsible for actioning it, how much of all this d…

amage could have been averted by ongoing maintenance, why did you not remove the trees under that bridge weeks ago, why are the lights in Target Kloof and outside my home not working, where is the money coming from now, are we still going to play soccer, why are there three people working fixing that bridge whilst fifteen are standing there with spades in their hands doing nothing, do they also get R12 500 per month, why were the private enterprises in Brickmakers cleaning up yesterday already when the municipal employees were nowhere to be seen, where was the traffic dept in all of this, whoheads up that dept,,, just for starters Mr Mayor … I’m gatvol figuratively and literally like the “gate” outside the airport … I think we deserve answers
 
 
 
Sir, not recorded feel-good hospital visits …
 
 
 
  Of course , I am tired of being a bystander to our country being raped by Zuma and Wayile and Co …by the way where is the premier of the Eastern Cape …havent heard a word from her since the storm set in ..or is she somewhere in Sweden encouraging our twin sister city to send tourists to a province that has been flooded off the map!
 

Come back to Earth with a Bump! (Thailand Day 22) – Reprise

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 16 July 2012: 5 years 10 months on … Advantage ED

It was approximately half past five in the evening on Saturday 14 July 2012 – the last day of our trip and we were approaching Port Elizabeth airport.

British Airways Boeing Flight 6237 from JHB to PLZ was about to land. We couldn’t see from which direction because outside it looked like pea-soup! The pilot had said that there was a strong southerly wind blowing and that it was raining hard.

We had read that the coast was in the grips of a severe storm and I had phoned the airways before we left to ensure that all was in order. I was assured that all flights were travelling normally.

But this landing was far from normal … you couldn’t see a thing until we emerged from the cloud just above the Port Elizabeth harbour. The wind was buffeting the plane from the left side as we came down with the engines racing. The we lurched to the right, back to the left and then hit the ground hard … bump, bump, bump! Heads hit the lockers and people screamed. We shuddered, skidding from left to right to left along the runway, and then returned to normal as we slowly taxied to the airport building and parked right in front of the arrivals section.

There was a cacophony of noise inside the plane – nervous tension being released, I think – as passengers shouted, laughed, giggled and finally applauded the pilot for landing us safely. I would love to know at what point he would have decided to abort the landing; but we really had come back to earth with a bump! Both literally and figuratively!

The wind was howling and the rain was pouring down in sheets of water as we quickly sped across the concourse to the airport building. Port Elizabeth (and the country) was in the grips of a killer storm, and we had landed at the height of it. (It was howling, raining, flooding, snowing and had been since Thursday and was to continue until Monday.)

In the warmth of the arrivals terminal we collected our thoughts and our luggage. Then dashed to Kerri Botha’s double cab and slowly made our way home through the dark, windswept, wet, deluged streets of Port Elizabeth.

Once home, the boys quickly off-loaded the luggage in the pouring rain. We were all eager to see Charlie and he was nowhere to be found! Then suddenly he appeared at the sliding door on the front stoep – wet and cold and jumping all over us!

Yes – we were home – Charlie was our welcoming party in the height of the storm!

We ordered in burgers from Steers and started unpacking: washing, dirty clothes, crumpled clothes, summer clothes, winter clothes, new clothes, old clothes, pamphlets, passports, tickets, booklets, unused bahts, chargers, cables, phones, toiletries … it was the end of our trip.

As we unpacked our suitcases, we unpacked our memories and our thoughts of a magnificent holiday. Each item unpacked had some connotation attached to it and we shared this with each other. Later, the laptops, the I-Pads, the cameras and the photos were produced, compared, laughed at, recollected, transferred, stored, face-booked, emailed and shared with the world.

This would continue on Sunday and Monday and … who knows … as the storm abated, we would slowly come back to earth and return to normal life: Phillip back to the boarding house on Sunday, Pera back to work on Monday, Sean discovering that he still had a week’s holiday  ( at 9pm Saturday evening he was called out to do emergency NSRI rescue duty!) … and me?

Well, there’s the documenting of our holiday that needs to be done and will keep me occupied for the next few days.

In my mind, I have been comparing Life to a Holiday. There are so many similarities.

So, watch this space, as I try to share our exciting journey with you … and enjoy the pictures with us!

In the meantime, it was great falling asleep in my bed for the first time in three weeks!

Our grateful thanks are extended to all who made this trip possible.

 And to

  •          the Bryants from Plett who shared their holiday with us and did all the hard work as the tour guides
  •          Tyler Botha for looking after Charlie and the house
  •          The Uptons, Reelers, Moolmans and Keelings for their hospitality in Pretoria
  •          Cheryl Price and Kerri Botha for airport transfers

 

 

Come back to Earth with a Bump! (Thailand Day 22)

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 16 July 2012: 5 years 10 months on … Advantage ED

It was approximately half past five in the evening on Saturday 14 July 2012 – the last day of our trip and we were approaching Port Elizabeth airport.

British Airways Boeing Flight 6237 from JHB to PLZ was about to land. We couldn’t see from which direction because outside it looked like pea-soup! The pilot had said that there was a strong southerly wind blowing and that it was raining hard.

We had read that the coast was in the grips of a severe storm and I had phoned the airways before we left to ensure that all was in order. I was assured that all flights were travelling normally.

But this landing was far from normal … you couldn’t see a thing until we emerged from the cloud just above the Port Elizabeth harbour. The wind was buffeting the plane from the left side as we came down with the engines racing. The we lurched to the right, back to the left and then hit the ground hard … bump, bump, bump! Heads hit the lockers and people screamed. We shuddered, skidding from left to right to left along the runway, and then returned to normal as we slowly taxied to the airport building and parked right in front of the arrivals section.

There was a cacophony of noise inside the plane – nervous tension being released, I think – as passengers shouted, laughed, giggled and finally applauded the pilot for landing us safely. I would love to know at what point he would have decided to abort the landing; but we really had come back to earth with a bump! Both literally and figuratively!

The wind was howling and the rain was pouring down in sheets of water as we quickly sped across the concourse to the airport building. Port Elizabeth (and the country) was in the grips of a killer storm, and we had landed at the height of it. (It was howling, raining, flooding, snowing and had been since Thursday and was to continue until Monday.)

In the warmth of the arrivals terminal we collected our thoughts and our luggage. Then dashed to Kerri Botha’s double cab and slowly made our way home through the dark, windswept, wet, deluged streets of Port Elizabeth.

Once home, the boys quickly off-loaded the luggage in the pouring rain. We were all eager to see Charlie and he was nowhere to be found! Then suddenly he appeared at the sliding door on the front stoep – wet and cold and jumping all over us!

Yes – we were home – Charlie was our welcoming party in the height of the storm!

We ordered in burgers from Steers and started unpacking: washing, dirty clothes, crumpled clothes, summer clothes, winter clothes, new clothes, old clothes, pamphlets, passports, tickets, booklets, unused bahts, chargers, cables, phones, toiletries … it was the end of our trip.

As we unpacked our suitcases, we unpacked our memories and our thoughts of a magnificent holiday. Each item unpacked had some connotation attached to it and we shared this with each other. Later, the laptops, the I-Pads, the cameras and the photos were produced, compared, laughed at, recollected, transferred, stored, face-booked, emailed and shared with the world.

This would continue on Sunday and Monday and … who knows … as the storm abated, we would slowly come back to earth and return to normal life: Phillip back to the boarding house on Sunday, Pera back to work on Monday, Sean discovering that he still had a week’s holiday  ( at 9pm Saturday evening he was called out to do emergency NSRI rescue duty!) … and me?

Well, there’s the documenting of our holiday that needs to be done and will keep me occupied for the next few days.

In my mind, I have been comparing Life to a Holiday. There are so many similarities.

So, watch this space, as I try to share our exciting journey with you … and enjoy the pictures with us!

In the meantime, it was great falling asleep in my bed for the first time in three weeks!

Our grateful thanks are extended to all who made this trip possible.

 And to

  •          the Bryants from Plett who shared their holiday with us and did all the hard work as the tour guides
  •          Tyler Botha for looking after Charlie and the house
  •          The Uptons, Reelers, Moolmans and Keelings for their hospitality in Pretoria
  •          Cheryl Price and Kerri Botha for airport transfers