Saturday, January 30, 2016

A little hectic but an exciting start to the year!

A whole month - Whoosh! An indication of how this year will whiz by if I let it. I have an a varied, travelling, rootless life these days - sometimes too varied - and this month it has been hectic! I know for sure that I will never die of boredom.
Where I have been. Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Pietermaritzburg, Ballito, San Lameer, Port Elizabeth again via the long drive through the Free State, Oudtshoorne to visit the Cango Caves - a first for V,Madi Madi  in the Karoo in the banks of the Kammanasie River for my birthday, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town to visit Vs daughter in her new home of five months that we have not been able to see.I think that you will agree that it a lot of miles to clock up in a month. I have come to cherish the peaceful days when I can potter around my home, getting dressed late and doing everyday chores.I have been to book club armed with my camera expecting an orange sunset but was sent a smokey blue sky instead - We went back the next evening with a picnic and this time basked in the sun's blood orange farewell - The remains of the day!

Who I have met. Well I reconnected with old friends on my birthday over Paella, Sangria and Pavlova - no not in Spain - but in my home. I have also met interesting passengers on aeroplanes - a man from Leeds today a silver surfer - enjoying a long and lovely holiday in South Africa with his very lovely pounds! I was a little jealous - of his pounds not his having to go home to Leeds! V shook Thuli Mandonsela's hand at the airport in PE as she glided into the Business Lounge looking as serene as ever - A woman I truly admire! I met four elderly gents drooling over a row of Honda 50cc motor bikes at a classic car rally in Plumstead - strangers made young again for a moment as they remembered their ducktails and drainpipes and reminisced about the 'old days' before they meandered off  - strangers again.Of the four legged variety - I have met Bokkie at Madi Madi, a young abandoned Springbok hand reared and unable to be released, who took quite a shine to me and fancied I was one of his harem lol and then the meercat who climbed into my handbag at dinner the same night. I went to bed feeling a little like Dr Doolittle but with a bruised foot a result of bokkie trying to have his way with me! In a street cafe in Oudtshoorne I met Anita who served a lovely Margarita - and when asked about her life, told us about her thieving neighbours who steal her washing and her sons bicycle. She works hard and they don't...they just take - I could hear her frustration but she told her tale and then put the smile back on her face and made me another mean cocktail - I think she poured some of her frustration into it because it nearly blew my head off!!

What I have learned. 
I have learned that I will never tire of the Cape - we truly live in a beautiful country and The Cape is the most beautiful part of it - Route 62 is a pleasure to drive with wall to wall mountains and fynbos. I have learned that in the grand scale of things our lives are just a blink. When you go into the bowels of the earth and see the ancient stalagmites and wonder at the hundreds of thousands of years they took to form, you really know that humans will never destroy this planet - it has been here since forever and has survived relentlessly -  mother earth will destroy us first if we do not respect her. I have also learned that my claustrophobia is a permanent feature of my life - I managed 2 chambers before I ran towards the life and cried  with relief when I felt the fresh air on my face.
I have learned how to make paella - I tried to get a caterer to come and make it as I had never done it before but they didn't return my call so I got my trusted 20 odd year old Gray School cook book out and it all came together very nicely - tasty it was and easier than I thought.
I have learned that time does not heal and that you can never predict how you will feel on the anniversary of a loved one. I coped less well this year on Tony's anniversary and my sadness was like a heavy blanket the whole day. Its like living with a piece of glass in your heart.
I have learned that the folk of PE are amazing. I was at the car rental office at Durban airport to collect our vehicle to take us to 'Maritzburg today and was informed that they didn't accept FNB cards outside banking hours - which is rubbish! I didn't think it would go through on my other card as they take a hefty deposit and was about to fetch V and the heavy artillery when a lovely lady and friend of my son and wife, who I have only met once or twice, offered to put it on her card! Amazing that an almost stranger would do that DESPITE knowing my sons lol. Seriously I was very touched - that is so kind of you Joanne and I may have had to take you up on your offer but my other bank card saved the day and cooperated.
I also learned that I am a granny again - Welcome to our family Adam Jarvis Gaskin - I haven't met you yet but I know I will love you forever.

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