I Remember Sonja

7 years 7 months on …
Mental: Advantage CBD / Physical: Advantage CBD

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I remember Sonja van Rhyn …

Last Friday I was at home in The Strand. Sebastian, my nephew, took me to see Sonja, unannounced! We were at Hottentots-Holland High together. She was diagnosed with MSA (Multiple Systems Atrophy) shortly after my diagnosis and is now confined to a wheelchair. I caught her in bed!

Loubser, their son, has been visiting from London and has been there for some six months now. He made me coffee and we chatted for a short time ..just twenty minutes or so.

It was great catching up with Sonja, it was great meeting Loubser. Whoever knows whether our paths will cross again on this earth. When i said goodbye, it was with a lump in my throat. I have learned to wipe the tears away, privately and discreetly, I think!

Sonja sets such an example to me. She keeps a blog site too – please read it at http://msainsouthafricawithsonja.blogspot.com.

Karin Holtshauzen, also from HHH, is such a star friend to Sonja, and then there’s Lilian, the domestic, who has even undergone a course in home care. Together with Sonja’s husband, they give Sonja such great support.

But, too soon, I had to leave.

I will remember …
those twenty odd very special minutes.

Today, Louber left for London. Sonja wrote the following:

He left in the night. Part of him will always be here living in my heart. In the olive tree he planted (which he fed, one last time, with Seagrow last night in the dark). In the memories of 6 beautiful months he spent with us, mostly putting our needs before his. I wish I was so selfless at that age. We learnt much from each other. I am thankful. I let him go…

I am so thankful for those special moments when we discussed that favourite city London … when you grow tired of London, you grow tired of life!

Neither Sonja nor I are there yet!

I will remember …

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And the Sky Fell upon her Poor Little Head

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Thursday 17 January 2013: 6 years 4 months on …

Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Advantage ED

Yesterday was Back to School Day for thousands of youngsters in our coastal provinces. For some, it was for the very first time: the beginning of the next twelve year phase preparing them for Life. Phillip went back on Sunday already for the last time. This is his grade 12 year.

The internet and social networking sites were loaded with pictures – sorry “pics” is what we say nowadays! I tried to find pics of my first day at school.

I couldn’t!

I couldn’t find any and I couldn’t remember whether we actually owned a camera. Possibly we had a Kodak Brownie Box, but maybe we didn’t. Maybe we didn’t have the money to buy a “spool” or have the “photo’s” “developed”!

Remember those words we used to use?

Remember “Chicken Licken”?

How many of us grew up and learned words and learned to read on “Chicken Licken”?

I did! Fifty – yes, 50 – years ago, in 1963, I started Sub A at the Hendrik Louw Primary School in The Strand.

My first reader was Chicken Licken. She (was Chicken Licken not a “he”?) served me well and taught me all about reading and writing – the most wonderful skills that I still treasure today and which opened up the world for me. Sadly, besides paralysing my body, the CBD also slowly whittles away at these skills. 

Yes, the “Sky fell upon her (his?) poor little head”.

Yesterday, during peak rush-hour traffic time, a helicopter crashed into a crane on a high-rise building in central London and the debris showered down onto the road below.

Miraculously, only two people were killed – the pilot and a pedestrian. The sky fell upon his (her?) poor little head!

What are the chances of walking “through the streets of London” and having a helicopter fall on you and killing you?

What are the chances of diving into the surf and becoming paralysed – even killed? What are the chances of developing cancer or motor-neurone disease or CBD? What are the chances …?

Yes, there are times when the sky falls upon our poor little heads and we ask “Why Me?”

Those are the times when we need to “Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder. Let the challenges make you strong.”

“Life isn’t about how to survive the storm. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

CHICKEN LICKEN

AS Chicken-licken was going one day to the wood, whack! an acorn fell from a tree
on to his head.

“Gracious goodness me!” said Chicken-licken, “the sky must have fallen; I must go
and tell the King.”

So Chicken-licken turned back, and met Hen-len. “Well, Hen-len, where are you
going ?” said he. “I’m going to the wood,” said she.

“Oh, Hen-len, don’t go!” said he, “for as I was going the sky fell on to my head, and
I’m going to tell the King.”

So Hen-len turned back with Chicken-licken, and met Cock-lock.

“I’m going to the wood,” said he.

Then Hen-len said:’ “Oh Cock-lock, don’t go, for I was going, and I met Chicken-licken, and Chicken-licken had been at the wood, and the sky had fallen on to his head, and we are going to tell the King.”

So Cock-lock turned back, and they met Duck-luck. ”

Well, Duck-luck, where are you going?”

And Duck-luck said: “I’m going to the wood.”

Then Cock-lock said: “Oh! Duck-luck, don’t go, for I was going, and I met Hen-len,
and Hen-len met Chicken-licken, and Chicken-licken had been at the wood, and the
sky had fallen on to his head, and we are going to tell the King.” So Duck-luck turned
back,and met Drake-lake.

“Well, Drake-lake, where are you going?”
And Drake-lake said: “I’m going to the wood.”

Then Duck-luck said: “Oh! Drake-lake, don’t go, for I was going, and I met Cock-lock, and Cock-lock met Hen-len, and Hen-len met Chicken-licken, and Chicken-licken
had been at the wood, and the sky had fallen on to his head, and, we are going to tell
the King.”

So Drake-lake turned back, and met Goose-loose. “Well, Goose-loose, where are
you going?” And Goose-loose said: “I’m going to the wood.”

Then Drake-lake said: “Oh, Goose-loose, don’t go, for I was going, and I met Duck-
luck, and Duck-luck met Cock-lock, and Cock-lock met Hen-len, and Hen-len met
Chicken-licken, and Chicken-licken had been at the wood, and the sky had fallen on to
his head, and we are going to tell the King.” So Goose-loose turned back, and met
Gander-lander.

“Well, Gander-lander, where are you going ?”

And Gander-lander said: “I’m going to the wood.”

Then Goose-loose said: “Oh! Gander-lander, don’t go, for I was going, and I met
Drake-lake, and Drake-lake met Duck-luck, and Duck-luck met Cock-lock, and Cock-
lock met Hen-len, and Hen-len met Chicken-licken, and Chicken-licken had been at the
wood, and the sky had fallen on to his head, and we are going to tell the King.”

So Gander-lander turned back, and met Turkey-lurkey.

“Well, Turkey-lurkey, where are you going?”
And Turkey-lurkey said: “I’m going to the wood.”

Then Gander-dander said: “Oh! Turkey-lurkey, don’t go, for I was going, and I met
Goose-loose, and Goose-loose met Drake-lake, and Drake-lake met Duck-luck, and
Duck-luck met Cock-lock, and Cock-lock met Hen-len, and Hen-len met Chicken-licken,
and Chicken-licken had been at the wood, and the sky had fallen on to his head, and
we are going to tell the King.”

So Turkey-lurkey turned back, and walked wiith Gander-lander, Goose-loose, Drake-
lake, Duck-luck, Cock-lock, Hen-len, and Chicken-licken. And as they were going along, they met Fox-lox. And Fox-lox said:

“Where are you going ?”

And they said: “Chicken-licken went to the wood, and the sky fell on to his head, and
we are going to tell the King.”

And Fox-lox said: “Come along with me, and I will show you the way.” But Fox-lox took them into the fox’s hole, and he and his young ones soon ate up poor Chicken-licken, Hen-len, Cock-lock, Duck-luck, Drake-lake, Goose-loose,’ Ganderdander, and Turkey-lurkey; and they never saw the King to tell him that the sky had fallen.

 

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!)

Kevin Paul: Paralympian Gold Medalist from Port Elizabeth

This is Kevin’s schedule at the Paralympics in London – print and keep!

Opening Ceremony is this coming Wednesday 29 August @ 21h30 (SAST)  [20h30 BST]

Please note THESE ARE LONDON TIMES … ADD 1 hour for SA times

 
200 Individual Medley  SM10 Class
Heats   11h00 – Won in time of 2:14:97 (new AF record). Watch final tonight ..
Finals   19h39  London Time (20H39 SAST)- came 4th
 
 
50 m freestyle   S10 Class
Heats    10h09. Came 4th in new AR of 25,49 but did not qualify for final
Finals    18h16
 
 
400 freestyle    S10 Class
Heats     09h50   Came third in AR 4:19:64 .. Qualifies for final tonight
Finals     17h45. (18h45 SAST)
 
 
100 freestyle    S10 Class
Heats     11h23
Finals     20h07
 
 
100m   breast stroke   SB9
Heats     09h30 Through to final
Finals     17h30 Silver medal
 

Places, People and Pipe Dreams

(c) 2011 E.C. Lunnon

Saturday 12 November 2011: 5 years 3 months on … Deuce

I have written before that Home is where the Heart is  –  about a number of places where I am privileged to have lived or visited.

But now I have a broken heart. It is split and  parts remain in those wonderful places. 

Stellenbosch is where I was born and educated.

There is the greater Cape Town Metropole including the City of  Cape Town itself and the Hottentots-Holland basin: The Strand, Somerset West and Gordons Bay where I was raised and spent my formative years.  

Then there is the United States of America, in general, and Oklahoma and Sulphur in particular. I lived and went to school there too.

There is the Eastern Cape where I have lived for the past twenty-seven years.

 

I have visited Londres no less than seven times. 

It is the city of my surname, my forefathers and my dreams: the New Jerusalem to which I look forward. But, if that destination is anything better than London, it can only be called Heaven!

And from the noise and bustle and coloured tracks of the tube trains of London, there is the quietness and simplicity and dust tracks of The Karoo.

 

With each of these places comes the so many people who are my friends and acquaintances.  

 The simpler one’s life, the less one has to give up and the less one has to say goodbye to.

The more privilege, the more pleasure, the more places, the more people, the more presents, the more pets, the more paper, the more photos, the more possessions, …

Yes, the more parts of your heart …
 
And the more parts lead to the more partings and the more pain.

 

It is hard to start saying goodbye to a hundred places, a thousand people and a million pipe-dreams. 

To The Grey Class of 1986

Monday 16 May 2011: 4 years 8 months on …

Dear Rob and Class of 1986

My first email to you “disappeared” into cyber space last night, so let me try again!

Firstly, Rob, let me congratulate you on the magnificent reunion weekend that you organized. Everything flowed so smoothly and seamlessly, but I know that a lot of hard work and effort went into making it happen. I am sure that everyone enjoyed the various functions that they attended.

Secondly, I would like to thank the class 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, in part, he has been responsible in shaping their future. You can be justly proud of the contribution, small or large, that you individually have made to your families, your communities, your school, your country and your world. The Class of 1986 has certainly raised the bar to new heights!

Also, a very special word of thanks is extended to you for the shirt that you presented to me at the golf club function on Friday night.

I shall wear that shirt with fond memories of the very special years, 1984 – 1986, that I had the privilege of teaching and getting to know many of you at The Grey.

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 1986 “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 to see the fruits springing from his labours.

I watched a movie, Dear John, on TV last night. There were many lessons, but one which I recall is the fact that “time comes to an end”.

Our time at The Grey, about which we reminisced so much this weekend, came to an end in 1986, our weekend together came to an end all too quickly, and, indeed, our time on this earth will come to an end.

During that time, 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.

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.

In some sort, 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!

 Until we meet again … thank you for the memories.

 Regards

 Ed Lunnon