On the Road Again (2)

Tuesday 1 October 2013: 7 years 1 month on …

Physical Advantage CBD / Mental Deuce

(continued from “On the Road Again”)

Unlike Port Elizabeth, Cape Town is spoilt for shows. There were a number to choose from and I had heard rave reviews about “Blood Brothers”.

So we decided to head over from the Southern Suburbs to the Northern Suburbs – in travelling terms for Phill, the learner driver, from the N2 to the N1, via the Black River Parkway. We would book tickets and then go and visit Gretel and Willem Wüst in Eversdal before the show.

At the Century City Shopping Centre, we tried to book tickets via Computicket at Checkers.  The lines were down! I also couldn’t get hold of Gretel on the phone, but managed to get hold of Willem. He would be home soon, but we weren’t sure about his wife. And I would buy two theatre tickets for them too – too bad if Gretel had something else on!

The staff member was not too excited about helping to get tickets but with some coaxing from me, eventually started tickling the computer keyboard and suddenly it went online! But, they were mostly sold out – we couldn’t get six seats together. One in the front row, two in the next row and two right on the other side of the Theatre on the Bay would have to suffice.

Into the N1 rush hour traffic we progressed to Eversdal, had a quick supper, and the headed back via the City Bowl, over Kloof Nek and into Camps Bay on the Atlantic Ocean seaboard of the Cape Peninsula.

It was all worth it – a great musical adapted for Cape Town from the original British version. It tells the story of a set of twins separated at birth only to be re-united in later life with interesting ramifications. The issues of nurture versus nature and wealthy versus poor all brought together in the music adapted by David Kramer and in the Cape Town dialect and humour of the Cape Coloured.

It was past midnight when we dropped the Wüsts in Durbanville and then took the R300 back to The Strand. A long, unplanned day came to a tiresome, but exciting, end.

We slept in on Thursday morning. Then, we headed off to the Somerset Mall. I was sore and tired, and mall-trudging was not on my list of priorities. But what a small world – we sat down to lunch next to Beverley Keeling, our friend from Pretoria who was also holidaying in the Cape.  We had last seen her and her family in Pretoria when we returned from Thailand last year.

Then home for a snooze – before I headed off to Rondebosch to meet up with ex-scholar of mine Nico de Vries. We were going to Groot Constantia to attend a Cape Town dinner of the Old Greys’ Union.

(Pera and Phill would head off with Sebastian to cocktails at the Mount Nelson Hotel and then dinner at the Asian Restaurant in Kloof Nek.)

It was great meeting up with 175 Old Greys and many of my ex-pupils. The venue was exquisite and for a moment I thought we were in Cana of Galilee – even the water seemed to be turned into wine (red, of course!)

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Ex-Rector and my ex-boss, Dieter Pakendorf, was there, as was the present Rector, Neil Crawford, and all the office bearers of the Old Grey Union. Ex-Springboks Bob Skinstad and Andrew Patterson (also an Old Grey) were there and they managed to keep the talking going, even when it became apparent that guest speakers Siya Kholisi and JJ Engelbrecht – current Springboks and Old Greys – did not get there! (They had been held up at an Aussie/Springbok affair before the big game at Newlands on Saturday.)

There were too many people to mention – but it was a great evening, and I was astonished to see so many photographs that I appeared in later on Facebook. I certainly don’t remember posing for those!

Neither do I remember too much about the trip back to Rondebosch or the stowaway that we found in the car and delivered in Pinelands! I was surprised in the morning to see that I had remembered to take home with me the lovely Old Grey glasses we were given and the box of Lady Anne Barnard wine that I had won in the lucky draw!  

Pera had wanted to return to Port Elizabeth on Friday morning. I managed to delay that to early Saturday morning!

So, on Friday, we visited Vergelegen, the farm given to Willem Adriaan van der Stel by the Dutch East India Company in the 1700’s and now owned by Anglo-American. It was a tour through South African history.

Later, we wine-tasted and lunched and unfortunately missed my Aunty Frieda Stanbridge who manages the wine centre there, but was on holiday. She is the wife of my late mother’s youngest brother Eric Stanbridge (also known as Uncle Bully or just Stan!)

And then it was time to say goodbyes – first to my sister Lynn and Anton and then for supper back to Durbanville and goodbyes to Gretel and Willem.

Sebastian had in the meantime got suite tickets for the Rugby Test at Newlands and the Wüsts were having a family gathering on Sunday – me being the adopted “sixth” of the five Wüst brothers!

I would have had my arm twisted to stay, but not Pera – so early on Saturday morning we headed off back to Port Elizabeth – with Phill, as ever, at the wheel.

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We stopped off at Greyton for breakfast – a really must-see little dorp between Caledon and Riviersonderend. There was also an unplanned stop near Swellendam as a result of a horrific car accident and some casualties. It brings home the fragility of human life!

A petrol refill and a light (s)lunch at The Rod and Reel in Plettenberg Bay were our last stops of the trip, before we eventually arrived home with 5 minutes remaining of the Newlands Test!

It was a painful return trip for me – both emotionally and physically. Emotionally, because I am always sad to leave my Western Cape home and my friends and family there; but this time also physically: my butt and left leg started paining in Swellendam and never let up – not till now! It is the first time since I have been ill that I have experienced such pain.  Not even my visit for a massage yesterday has improved it – if anything, it has got worse!

On my return to The Bay, I always wonder if I will see the Cape of Good Hope again. I guess if a car trip of eighth hours is too much for me physically, there is always a plane trip of one hour!

And, maybe, just maybe, Phillip will be in Stellenbosch next year.

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On The Road Again!

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 30 September 2013: 7 years on …

Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Advantage ED

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Isaac has just paid me his usual weekly visit, and we discussed our “not meeting” last week and the reason for that – I’ve been on the road again!

Last Saturday afternoon 21 September, we left Port Elizabeth headed west along the N2. This time, we had Phillip at the wheel, still operating on his learner’s licence as a result of continued strikes in the Traffic Department in Port Elizabeth.  Sean remained at home due to work commitments!

We were headed for the Western Cape in general:  Cape Town and Stellenbosch specifically.

We broke the journey after 2 ½ hours of driving in Knysna and spent the night there with our good friends Hermann and Sally Kapp. We haven’t seen them in a while so there was lots of catching up to do and many pictures to see from their recent overseas trip to Italy. Of course, with Pera having been in Italy last year, too, there were many comparisons to be made!

Sunday morning, after breakfast, we continued with our trip, stopping in George for petrol and in Riviersonderend (“River without end”) for lunch. The green fields of the Overberg interspersed with bright yellow flowers and the snow-capped blue peaks of the Western Cape mountains were a welcoming sight.

We arrived in The Strand (my hometown) at about 17h00 and offloaded our luggage at the holiday flat of our Pretoria friends, Thomas and Marzeth Moolman. This was to be home for the next week – just a block up from the white beaches of Melkbaai strand. (See the background pic of my blog.)

Then we were off to Michelle (my niece) and Sebastian Ridgway for a Sunday night braai.

On Monday morning we headed for Stellenbosch University – the real reason for our trip. First, a morning tour through Helshoogte residence (where I lived as a student) was conducted by Martin Visser (next years Primarius) and House Committee member Andre Coetzee. Then we joined the myriad of students for lunch at the Neelsie – the CJ Langenhoven Student Centre.

At 14h00, we arrived at the Engineering Faculty and met Prof Basson who spent the next two hours discussing engineering in general and mechanical and mechatronic engineering in specifics. Phillip is still not sure what he wants to study next year and where he wants to go. So all of this is to assist him to make up his mind; however, maybe it’s confusing him even more!

After drinks at the BrazenHead – to clear the minds! – we leave him “under the wing” of my niece and god daughter Jessica Scholtz. She is also from Port Elizabeth but is currently a student at Stellenbosch University. According to Jessica, it’s also important for Phill to understand the Stellenbosh nightlife, and seeing that Tuesday is a public holiday, there’s no better night than tonight!

Pera and I headed back to The Strand for supper and a visit from Sebastian and Hannah.

Tuesday, at noon, we all gathered at Lourensford Farm in Somerset West.

We all being Pera’s mother Shirley Southwood and Aunty Joan Peach (Shirley’s late brother’s wife), her brother Bruce Southwood and Fi (with their two children, Kate and Daniel) and on my side, my (late father’s last surviving sibling) Aunty Doreen and Uncle Peter Volsteedt, their son Jeremy (my cousin) and his wife Merissa, my sister Ingrid Scholtz’s two daughters and my nieces, Dr Lindsay Scholtz and Jessica (returning Phillip to us looking the worse for Stellenbosch wear!), my eldest sister Lynette  and her husband Anton Muller, their daughter and my niece Michelle and her husband Sebastian (and their daughter Hannah) Ridgway.

Twenty family members in all celebrating Heritage Day in style at one of the most scenic wine farms in the Hottentots Holland Valley! What a privilege it was to gather as family in such awesome surroundings!

On Wednesday morning, after my radio programme on AlgoaFM, ED is in Wednesday (with Tové Kane this week) we headed off for Pera’s part of the week – shopping! First to the Green Cross Factory shop in Epping and then Access Park in Kenilworth, where we were joined by Lindsay Scholtz ( who was taking a break from Frere Hospital in East London to attend a wedding in Cape Town).

Whilst at lunch at the “being revamped” Forries in Newlands, I came up with the idea that we should go and see a show!

Well, more of that later … I just can’t sit anymore … for the first time since being ill I am now starting to experience excruciating pain … chat soon!

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To come …

Wüsts

Blood Brothers

More shopping

Beverley

Nico

Old Grey Dinner – Groot Constantia

Vergelegen

Goodbyes: Mullers and Wusts

Return trip

Greyton

Accident

Rod and Reel

I am Breathing

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Thursday 20 June 2013
6 years 9 months on …

Advantage Bronchitis!

It is somewhat ironic that, in this week of the release of the movie I AM BREATHING, I should get bronchitis – for the first time!

I am now in day 5 of not being well ..it all started on Father’sDay – Sunday. Hopefully I will be well enough to attend the premiere screening of the movie tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have personally watched the movie. It is not for the feint-hearted. And for a few moments I have allowed myself to think ahead of where this CBD takes me and my family. I get scared, but it kickstarts my coping mechanism. I won’t allow myself to dwell too much in the future.

There is still too much to do in the present – so I can’t waste too much of it.

A few of us in this life are selected to be the Neil Platts, some are selected as carers and helpers; and for the rest – the public: you become those people that we depend on to fight our cause and to help RAISE AWARENESS of our situation.

I hope to see you at the premiere tomorrow at 11h30 Old Grey Club Port Elizabeth.

ED’s Diary: Sun Eleven and Mon Twelve March Twenty Twelve

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Sunday 11 March 2012: 5 years 6 months on … Advantage ED

I received an SMS early Sunday from Colleen Ogilvie to tell me that Dick was playing cricket in the Old Grey Six-a-Side tournament – the 50th time the event was being staged and making it the oldest such tournament in the world! Dickie bowled for EP in his day but that day was some thirty years ago now!

This was something not to be missed, so she fetched me at ten and off we went to Kemsley Park and we were later joined by their daughter, Megan.

It became a long day … we were joined by Pera for lunch (she was hurriedly completing reports at school) and eventually left after the final – Old Grey bowling Grey High out for 19 runs and comfortably beating that target in the second over!

At home, I had a little snooze and then our planned lunchtime braai became an evening braai, competently organised by Sean when he returned from NSRI duty. We were joined by Colleen, Dick, Megan, and Ken and Dorel MacKenzie (and later their son Duncan). Phillip left at nine for the hostel and it was way past midnight when we eventually got to bed!  

It reminded me of our early Port Elizabeth days in the eighties. Dick, Ken and I taught together – in fact, we were a very happy staff during those years. We not only taught together, we socialised together and we spent many days and nights at the Old Grey Club – cricket, hockey, squash, beers, and raconteuring with each other and many of our pupils’ OLD parents.

Now we are the old people, our ex-pupils (like on Sunday, the Gioconni’s, the Elficks, the Loons, the Strydoms, etc) are the “youngsters” who frequent the Club and their kids are the ones who are playing around outside and patiently waiting for their Dads to finish that last one for the road!

Old Grey Club, Lennox Street, Glendinningvale was considered the address of many of us teachers (now called educators) who were unmarried, footloose and fancy-free at the time.

And if we weren’t there, you could find us at El Cid Steakhouse (especially on Sunday nights where colleague Neil Tommo sang in the bar – Neil also sang at our wedding and Dickie was bestman). Monday mornings would see us have hamburgers delivered from the Hamburger Hut in Russel Road to the staffroom at breaktime!

And if you didn’t find us there, we were possibly at Lily’s at the Holiday Inn or The Pig and Whistle at the Marine, Faces under the old Elizabeth Hotel, Bar Bonanza, St James, the Pizza Palace, or late night at Evergreen, It’s Country or Cagneys at the Kine Centre in Rink Street!

Even the Railway Bar at the Port Elizabeth Station or the Farmer’s Home next to Mike’s Kitchen were occasionally visited and once, I recall the Hubcap in North End and the Campanile off Main Road – and in those days the Grey boys (and others) also occasionally, we thought, visited all those places! The rule, mostly kept, was that if a staff member entered such a place, the pupil would leave as quickly and unobtrusively as possible. In such a case, no one really saw anyone else, did they, and no canes were required on the following day!

So, yes, Sunday was a day of good memories, and Monday I felt a bit worse for wear.

Despite that, I managed to have Holy Communion with Bill Lindoor, from the Newton Park Methodist Church.

Next a meeting with Old Grey Dean Vernon, author of a new book PORT ELIZABETH in your hands – a must-have guide to Nelson Mandela Bay, it’s history and things to do (with most of the above watering holes now gone!)

In between, preparations for a trip to Cape Town …

Then Isaac Reuben arrived for our regular catch-up chat, then a quick power nap, took the boys to have their gum guards fitted for the new rugby season (thanks to MAX and Nico de Vries), early supper alone (Pera at governing body elections, Phil back at hostel and Sean at Old Grey rugby practice – the next generation of Old Grey Club patrons!)

By eight I was bushed and in bed, after reading (more looking at the historical pictures) a good deal of Port Elizabeth in your hands.