Week of the Proms

7 Years 9 months ill …

Physical: Advantage Ed / Mental: Advantage Ed

 

I Remember …

… This was the week of frustration with GEMS Medical Aid. All I want is my medication. After all, I  have paid into the medical aid since my first salary cheque in January 1982, that’s 37 times! What frustration and thanks to Provincial Pharmacy and DisChem Newton Park for assisting! Thanks to Sr Janice from Hospice for her help, too!

WordpressBlog 008

… For the last 7 years and 6 months, since December 2007, I have been living on and driven and fuelled by my Pot ‘o Gold – Carbilev! From this Sunday I am now on my new fuel – a generic medicine called Teva Carbi-levo. Why? Because my new medical aid says so (it’s cheaper!) The old pills came in a plastic pot 100 at a time – the new ones are blister packed and have to be removed one-by-one from the blisters – ten on a sleeve. Rather stupid, me thinks, when they are for people whose fine motor skills no longer work and who cannot use their fingers!! Let’s just hope the 25mg carbidopa and and 100mg levodopa keep me moving like the old ones ….

… Last Night of the Proms and Banquet was attended by Pera, Gran, Peggy and I on Saturday evening. What a show and spread! Thanks to Gavin Loon, Investec and St Francis Hospice. I spoke at the Sunday afternoon show … see my speech blogged here :

https://edlunnon.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/hospice-heros-thank-you/

While you there also view my blog Zip Zap!

WordpressBlog 006

… I had lunches with my matric maths teacher, Michiel Ackerman, and with Ben Roth

… We started preparing for our HHH40 Reunion in Somerset West on 26/27 September 2014

… We went to the Mumford Revolution show at Old Grey with Stapes and Trish …wow!

WordpressBlog 007… Beer tasting at Barney’s is always a pleasure and add in the view!

… Swimming and exercising at Aurora Hospital and Rehab Centre is now on my weekly routine schedule. Followed by a meeting at Dis-Chem Pharmacy to sort out my pills.

… I used to spend days away from home on business trips – Jozie, Cape Town, East London, George. The best was leaving the Big Smoke and coming home. Today, Sean flys to Jozie on his very first business trip. Be safe!

Welcome to the world of delayed flights, waiting, airport lounges and company beers! Enjoy!

Haha … And the first flight IS delayed!

… And it’s time for another MND meeting at Old Grey … With Iron Man, motivational speaker , ex house mate and colleague Alec Riddle!

Last Night of the Proms

proms

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 3 June 2013: 6 years 9 months on …

Game ED

Justice Malala, TV Presenter and Newspaper Correspondent writes in The Times today, “Our current leaders seem incapable of resolving our challenges. These are tough worrying times…”

In the same newspaper, I read the headlines

  • ·         Children Betrayed
  • ·         Far too few social workers to save our abused kids
  • ·         Welfare services are in a bad way
  • ·         Overloaded but underpaid
  • ·         It’s sink or swim time
  • ·         Proper governance is the only way to save us
  • ·         Education is priority
  • ·         SA’s firewall up in flames
  • ·         There is no excuse

There IS NO EXCUSE!

Yes, this is but the tip of the iceberg and the headlines above apply to all our non-governmental organisations. The very associations set up and designed to provide assistance to the ill, the elderly, the children and the needy are themselves in need – often because government is remiss in providing these organisations with the financial assistance that they are budgeted and expected to do!

So the organisations turn for help to the business community (who themselves are battling to post profits) and to the ordinary man in the street (who is also battling the ravages of the current poor economic climate!)

As Justice wrote this morning, “We are going nowhere slowly.”

So it was that this weekend, the St Francis Hospice of Port Elizabeth staged its annual Last Night of the Proms at the Feather Market Centre – a fund raiser of note … literally and figuratively! … and in memory of a great Port Elizabeth benefactor, Philipp Rowland Gutsche.

This year it featured the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Richard Cock, soloists the well-known Von Memerty Family and Musa Ngqungwana, various massed choirs from local schools and the community, the Algoa Caledonian Pipe Band and the McWilliam’s Academy of Dance.

Despite a number of other shows on in Port Elizabeth at the same time, the two shows on 1 and 2 June 2013 were a sell-out – a glowing testament to the people of Port Elizabeth for their magnificent support.

I proposed that we do a sort of retiring offering at the end of the show – asking the audience to empty their pockets for a good cause. It is a good cause – I (and the family) benefit so much from the weekly visits and support that I get from Sisters Gill, Janice and from Isaac and Jenny.

So how does one say thank you to people and an organisation like this?

I tried to do that in the two minutes that I was allowed (see previous blog: THANK YOU) and I hope that I got my message across.

But, if I didn’t, then I saw this on Facebook: Where words fail, music speaks. It surely did this weekend at The Proms! (and in the movie Les Misérables that I watched last night.)

Maybe, the flip side of government’s inability to govern allows us the opportunity to still see and enjoy fundraiser shows such as Last Night of the Proms!

Watch this space next year for another show … and book early.

Thank you again for your support!

(And in the same newspaper I read that that the Communications Minister spent R700 000 on a visit to a prize-giving in Mexico, an unauthorised shopping detour to New York, R35 000 for 2 nights at the Ritz, R10 000 for luxury car hire for 2 days, unaccounted amounts on another trip to the Face of Africa function in Nigeria, twenty other overseas trips, a R6 million management fee paid to her “spouse/boyfriend” …)

How many sick people or abused kids could be cared for out of that?

When will the people communicate with the Minister and with our government? Hopefully at the next election … or is that wishful thinking?

 WordpressBlog 004

Thank You St Francis Hospice and Supporters

This was my thank you speech at the LAST NIGHT OF THE PROMS held in the Feather Market Centre, Port Elizabeth on 1 and 2 June 2013.

The event is held as a fund-raiser for the St Francis Hospice.

WordpressBlog 003

Ladies and gentlemen – good evening, and thank you for those words of introduction.

Yes, I am Ed Lunnon – the face of a voice that you may have heard on AlgoaFM. 

If I may paraphrase Shakespeare, let me say to Ian von Memerty and the dancers today 

“If music be the food of love, dance on.”

 But, unfortunately, in life, the dancing does come to an end.

 And, for some of us, that dancing comes to an end far too soon.

 The “us” I refer to, are the 600 patients with life-limiting illnesses who are the caretakers supported by the caregivers of St Francis Hospice.

 But, we are not just “patients”. We are husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, oupas and oumas – we are people, just like you, for whom the dancing has abruptly stopped and who need care and support.

 Today, I am their face too.

 And, on their behalf, I wish to thank the organizers and the musicians for making this magnificent production possible.

 I wish to thank the men and women of St Francis Hospice who sustain and encourage us along very difficult steps.

 ‘Kind of angels’, Bono called them. They are caring people – Just like YOU are caring people!

 People who support and assist financially to enable the Hospice to remunerate their carers to continue providing comfort to us

 and possibly, sometime in the future, comfort to you and your loved-ones.

 Thank you, our loyal supporters, for all your care shown in the form of financial support, today, in the future, and at the end of this show!

 Your caring for St Francis Hospice allows them to care for us.

 So, from the bottom of our hearts,

 To you, the supporters – Thank you for the money.

 To you, the carers – Thank you for the moments.

 To you, Richard and your performers – Thank you for the music.

 

The Human Spirit

The Human Spirit

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Tuesday 29 May 2012: 5 years 8 months on … Deuce

Not one of us chooses to come into this world.

Biologically speaking, we come into this world because of a choice made by our parents!

Once we enter this world, if we are “lucky”, approximately the first quarter of our life is spent preparing for life, the next two quarters are spent living life and the fourth quarter is spent in “retirement”.  

Once we are in this life, the ride is not easy, and the choices along the way are ones that we make. We can blame no one else for the route that we take. What we make of this life is our responsibility. What we do with the talents that we receive lies in our hands and our hands alone.

Over the last two weeks, I have had the privilege of watching school rugby against Graeme College in Grahamstown and St Andrews College from Grahamstown in Port Elizabeth. Phillip has been playing and Sean has been refereeing and coaching.

The human race possesses the most amazing athletic ability (well, some people do!).

But the human race also possesses the most unbelievable artistic ability. I suppose it is that which sets us apart from other living species.

I had the privilege of listening to the Hospice’s Last Night of the Proms at the Feathermarket Hall last Sunday.

Philharmonic Orchestra, singers, conductors, soloists, Pipe band, dancers, organists, marimbist, violins, violas, cellos, double bass, flutes, oboes, bassoons, trumpets, horns, trombones, tubas, keyboards, percussion instruments – all moulded together into a harmony of the most soothing of sounds. I can transport myself out of my paralyzed body into another world!

The music of so many talented people who have gone before us is on the programme – Strauss, Horner, Williams, Handel, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Rossini, Grieg, Parry, Elgar … the list is endless.

I also had the privilege last Tuesday evening of watching The Port Elizabeth Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s presentation of the musical Evita.

Again, acting, music, lyrics, staging, orchestra, direction, costume design, choreography, dancing, lighting, sound – all moulded together into a professional production of visual and auditory superlatives. Once again, I can transport myself into another world!

The talents that we have received know no bounds.

But all of these talents pale into insignificance when I compare them to the strength of the Human Spirit with which we have been imbued.

Over the years I have had the privilege of meeting many people who have risen above the adversity of life and who have managed to succeed. Every new day, I meet more such people.

I am busy reading the book Man’s Search for Meaning authored (another of the artistic talents that we possess) by Viktor Frankl, survivor of the Nazi concentration camps.

It tells the tale of the extremities of human suffering, but also the tale of the amazing powers of human endurance.

Man can endure so long as it makes sense to him to go on living: “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.”

“Men and women can be set free from despair and find new courage to face circumstances which seemed beyond them.”

It’s that which also sets us apart from the other species.

It gives me courage to continue the fight.