Flying High on Jungle Juice

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 12 August 2013: 6 years 11 months on …

Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Deuce

Since returning from Bloemfontein at the end of July, it’s been another hectic few weeks!

Firstly, I Discovered on my way to Bloem when I filled up the car that there was no money in my bank account!

I then Discovered that my disability benefit had not been paid into my account by my insurers! So, between my broker and me, it took many calls, emails etc. to get that sorted out. Stress and tension don’t do me any good, and not being paid one’s “salary” leads to all kinds of problems at the bank when your debit orders have to be paid! Thank goodness, I Discovered that just in time, and with some fast remedial work, I was able to minimize the damage. I’m still waiting to hear why it happened – it’s not the first time!

In between that I met with my bank broker, Kyle Jacobs, at the newly revamped South Ender pub in Walmer; Michael Halbert who helps me with my personal finances, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University meeting to discuss Phillip’s academic future, Nadine van Westenbrugge to help with admin and the Ratepayers meeting to discuss how best to combat non-service delivery in the Metro. I have been diligently distributing protest letters in the neighbourhood!

I had drinks at the Pitch & Putter with Len van Kempen, lunch with Ben Roth and his father at Finezz, brunch with Annette Jones and Liz Findlay at La Boca and Kevin Paul’s farewell party at Finezz before he headed off to the International Swimming Championships in Canada, where he will be swimming this week.

At Bluewaters Café, there have been visits from radio listeners, the Coggers and the Serfonteins.

I have had my home visits from Gill, the Hospice nurse, and Isaac, my weekly chat buddy!

And then there’s a video which Adrian is filming about my life and which will be shown at Mpekweni Sun in September.  I am writing the script which also takes a lot of time!  

Meetings and calls were made to the Groenewalds in Humansdorp to arrange for Martin (injured in Bloemfontein) and his Dad Adriaan to appear on our radio show last week.

Julian Fletcher has been at the house on Fridays to massage my tired muscles and I have been to see Stuart Dicke twice on Mondays for some physiotherapy and Johnny Raath for some gym work. My weekly haircuts and beard trims are done by Grant at Front Cover in Newton Park (phone 041 363 2529).

Tuesday was the monthly Motor Neurone disease meeting at the Old Grey Club with Stuart Dicke as the guest speaker.

Then there have been a few blogs to write, and updating my blog and web sites with pictures and text!

On Thursday evening I attended Mandy Gurr’s benefit show, Gino Fabbri’s Just Laughter, at the Old Grey Club, with additional background singing by Mandy herself on a CD that I burned off the internet!

And then rugby, rugby, rugby … Phillip’s last school games against Framesby last week and Selborne College this last Friday (Women’s Day). The Boarding House Fundraiser Farmers’ Day was arranged at the same time to maximise profits.

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Phill’s team lost to Framesby last Saturday but beat Selborne this week. The First Team won both encounters – with Framesby being an exciting last ten minute charge to win the game and Selborne being a white wash victory for Grey! The Firsts are “flying high” at the moment having come to the end of the rugby season with an unbeaten record against Eastern Cape schools.

I was flying high on Friday, too; after having had a number of the “Jungle Juices” (orange juice and cane spirits) sold at the Farmers’ Market. I’m not too sure what the interactive effects are of my medication and the cane, but for a while there my body appeared to be working normally!

 It was really pleasant visiting under the wonderful red Bedouin tent which had been erected in the matric quad to keep us dry from the steady rain which fell on Thursday and Friday. After going home with Sean and Phillip in the late afternoon, I slept right through until Saturday morning!

Congratulations must be extended to Niekerk and Ingrid Ferreira, all the boarder parents and the boarders for having arranged such a vibey and, I hope, a profitable Market Day!

On Sunday, we had a quiet restful family lunch at the Chartroom of the Yacht Club in the Port Elizabeth harbour.

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Today is a blog write day, a visit from Iain Fyfe, ex-Grey teacher (Sean’s u15A rugby coach) visiting from Hong Kong where he has taught English for the last six years – he left just after I became ill and was happy to see me still in such “good” health, a visit to the physio and the gym and something more mundane like getting the roof repairers in to check on the leaks in the stoep roof!

This has been just another “quiet” week in my life – the week that was!

I need more Jungle Juice (and Carbolev and Lyrica) to keep me going!

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Grey Farmers’ Market

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Grey High School Farmers’ Market with Derby Day against Selborne College

Venue: Grey Campus College Drive Port Elizabeth

Date: Thursday and Friday 8 and 9 August 2013 (Womens’ Day)

Farmers’ Market next weekend Thursday and Friday.  Fruit and veg, meat stall – biltong, droë wors, wors, chilli bites, venison pies, lamb etc. rusks, cakes, preserves.  Pizzas, sliced lamb on spitkoeke, warthog rolls.  Freshly squeezed orange juice. Thursday evening during hockey: potjiekos

Phone for tickets / bookings / orders / information: Ingrid Ferreira Cell: 0823616611

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ED is in week EnDing Mon 13 August 2012

5 years 11 months on … Advantage ED

  • Mon 6: Visit by Isaac; Water restored
  • Tue 7 : Meeting of MNDA of SA at Old Grey Club – talks by physiotherapist and Charl Parkin
  • Wed 8: Kevin Paul in AlgoaFM studio with me; Trip to East London; Drinks with Old Boys at EL Golf Club
  • Thu 9: Womens Day; Grey vs Selborne; Philip’s last rugby in EL (lose), 1st Team Win; Drinks with Scholtz’s at Beach front; Seve’s Mom passes away
  • Fri 10: Return to PE
  • Sat 11: No electricity for 15 hours until Sat evening
  • Sun 12: Gym; Closing ceremony of Olympic Games in London
  • Mon 13: Seve’s mom’s funeral; Double walk on the golf course

The End of an Era

Monday 16 August 2010: 3 years 11 months on …

Pussy Cat Pussy Cat

Where have you been?

I’ve been to London

To see the Queen

Londres is my favourite city in all the world.

Ironically, my surname LUNNON was originally a habitation name for someone who came from London or a nickname for one who had made a trip to London or had some other connection with the City.

 

In my case, I first got the name and was then so fortunate to have visited there no less than seven times – the first time in January 1976 when, aged 19, I was returning from my year in the USA.

 

Then I went back in June 1981 on my student tour of Europe, in June 1985 on the Grey Cricket Tour of UK and Holland, in December 1987 en route to the USA, in June 1999 on holiday in the UK with Pera, in October 2001 with Pera, Sean and Phillip on returning from the USA and in November 2008 when I was in the UK thanks to my matric class of 1984.   

 

It was only on the last visit that I got to see the Queen – up close and personal – on her way in her horse-drawn carriage to officially open Parliament at Westminster.

 

But then I have also seen the diminutive Queen Elizabeth – up close and personal – in Port Elizabeth when she visited here in 1995. (And, despite the utterances of some politicians of the present day, there is no connection between the Elizabeth as in the Queen and the Elizabeth as in the Port – the latter being Elizabeth Donkin, the wife of Sir Rufane Donkin, who named this seaport in 1820 after his then late wife who had passed away in 1818 at the age of 27).

 

Like it or not, we just don’t seem to be able to get away from our Colonial English roots.

 

And so, this past weekend saw us leaving Port Elizabeth for London again – only this time it was East London, just 300 km east up the N2 in the area that is known as The Border. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this area was the war-torn border between the arriving white European settlers from the west and the migrating black Xhosa tribes from the east.

 

The tourist signs along the N2 refer to Frontier Land, and, on Friday morning, with Sean at the wheel, we passed a number of these signs as we headed east this time and passed through Grahamstown, Peddie and King William’s Town en route to East London – now also referred to as Buffalo City.

 

East London had a particular attraction for my late father, Herbert Louis Lunnon. When I was ten, our family went on a rare holiday – a unique caravan tour through South Africa. I remember our caravan parked in the East London caravan park on a site high up on the terraces facing the Indian Ocean somewhere behind where the Holiday Inn (Garden Court) is today.

 

Mom and Dad loved the place and Dad always wanted to retire there. Sadly, Dad never retired because just two years later, in 1969, at the age of 52, he suffered a debilitating stroke that left him totally paralysed and speechless until he passed away in 1976.

 

In 1977, I recall my Mom, Doris, bringing Ingrid, June and I on a return visit to East London. We stayed in the Bliss Holiday Flats on the beachfront – they are still there today!

 

I recall being quite scared in King William’s Town, where we were caught up in masses, if not millions, of Black people who were attending the funeral of Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko who had died (committed suicide, read as murdered!) in police custody some days earlier.  

 

Sadly, Mom, too, never retired. She died at the early age of 55 in 1986 – my third year of teaching at Grey.

 

I also got to enjoy East London during my business career. Almost weekly visits led me to have an almost permanent apartment, C3, at the Blue Lagoon. The Highlander brings back fond memories. I know Slummies (or Slumtown as some prefer to call it) like the back of my hand. It was said that there are four women for every one man in Slummies!

 

But, on to the next generation and last weekend: This time, Sean, Phillip and I passed through King uneventfully. The only excitement there was when we stopped at the Buffalo Wimpy in order to have a wee.

 

As I walked into the cloakroom, I heard Lance Du Plessis behind me. (Lance is my interviewer on AlgoaFM: Ed is in Wed and after 5 months of interviews, I’d recognise that voice anywhere! As I spun around to say hello, I became aware that he was not there – only his voice on the radio that was broadcasting on the loudspeakers in the cloakroom!

 

I suddenly realised the power of radio, all the strange places that it was to be heard and the impact that our radio programme was having. (Wherever we went in East London over the weekend, I was known or introduced as the “Ed from the Radio”!) Once again, I have been humbled by the opportunity to raise awareness of CBD that is being afforded me by AlgoaFM and Lance!

 

Phillip and Sean were playing rugby against Selborne College on Saturday morning. But Sean had to be at the school at 11h30 to set up for a music evening. The Grey Symphonic Winds, The Grey Voices, The Grey Strings and The Grey Orchestra were scheduled to entertain us, together with the Selborne Military Band, on Friday evening.

 

This was it!

 

It would be Sean’s last appearance as a schoolboy trombonist in the Grey Orchestra. It would also be his last appearance on Saturday morning playing rugby for his school in the Reds – Grey’s Third rugby team.

 

Well, the weekend started on a high note (!) with superb performances by the musicians, but the enthusiasm became flatter and flatter, as one Grey sport team after the other turned in a loss!

 

Sean managed to put his team into the lead by creating a break for a fine try. But, in the presence of a poor kicking performance by their regular kicker, Sean was given the conversion kick. He missed, and it left Grey just one point ahead of Selborne.

 

And then, Selborne were awarded a penalty – it was over, they moved two points ahead, and the final whistle was blown. Selborne won by two points!

 

I guess Sean will always remember that last game as the one that they could have drawn IF he had kicked over that conversion!

 

But, at the end of this era, remember Sean, that wonderful break, that wonderful try, and ten years of wonderful rugby that you have experienced since your under 9 days.

 

Remember what you have learned – from that first game in Queenstown when, quietly on the back seat of the car you told us that your team was going to play rugby against Queens and no-one even knew how to play the game!

 

Remember the players that you have played with and against along the way. Remember all the friends that you have made.

 

Remember the coaches that have spent hours training you.

 

Remember the many families that have hosted you, and the boys that we have hosted.

 

Remember the many and happy trips we have made together to Bloemfontein, Queenstown, Cape Town, King William’s Town, Graaff-Reinet, Stellenbosch, Durban, Pietermaritzberg and East London.

 

Remember the sportsmanship and the wonderful example that you have set for Phillip.

 

Remember the many hours of pleasure that you have given your Mom and Dad as we have watched you from where we have stood and sat next to the many sport fields that you have played on.

 

Remember all the friends that, through your activities, we have made along the way.

 

 Remember the FUN!

 

Remember the wonderful music that you have played for us, and we pray that you will be able to keep on playing – on the fields and in the music halls – for many years to come.

 

On Friday night, your Orchestra played “Band of Brothers” by Michael Kamen. Remember the band of brothers that you have at Grey.

 

Above all, remember that, as on the sports fields, you do not win everything in Life.

 

Life’s not fair, and when the knocks come, as they always do, and when we perceive life to be unfair, as some parents perceived the referees on Saturday, it doesn’t help to rant and rave and to shout abuse, as some parents did on Saturday.

 

It’s how you take the knocks that count! And, you have already shown us, Sean, that you can take the knocks.

 

In the end, as Grantland Rice said,

 

For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes — not that you won or lost — but how you played the Game.

 

Remember, that you have made us very proud parents.

 

And, the rest of the weekend?

 

We had a great time. Friday evening, after the show, we had supper at the Black Bull with Robbie and Clair Blair, Frank and Jenny Collier, Ronel Charalambous and Stuart Keene. And the Band of Brothers!

 

We stayed on the beachfront at Cintsa in David Nosworthy’s (ex pupil and currently touring as coach with the emerging Proteas cricket side) beach house (thanks to Rory Lavender’s arrangements).

 

Saturday evening, we called back the past and braaied with Uwe and Carol Tinhoff, residents in Beacon Bay and friends of mine from the business days, and the days when we were still able to run the Knysna Forest Marathon!

 

And Sunday morning, we visited the new Hemmingways Mall and met up with Stella Heuer, an ex-business associate of mine. (Stella arranged a contract for me to do HIV/AIDS training in the rolling hills of Transkei in 2004 – but that’s another story for another time!)

 

Our visit was brief, because we had to get back to PE for Sean to get to … rugby practice at 15h00! It’s BODAs vs DAYPOTS on Friday. So much for the end of the era …