Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Different Start

Well it would be lying if my return to South Africa was actually a move to the unknown. My family was over there, my mothers surviving 18 brothers and sisters and 7 of my fathers family, not counting countless other cousins and close relatives. The original plan was that my ex-wife and I would come over but not plan to settle . We would travel and get a feel for the country and maybe settle later. I wasn't keen to sell my UK house , give up my job and take the risk of not finding my feet again. Whether it was planned or just how the wheel turns it never quite went as I planned . I ended coming over, I was to find a place and my wife was to follow. Never happened, 2 months after my arrival she told me she wasn't coming, I was to spend a month or so seeing my family and return. Not so easy in 1983, she forgot I was a South African and had to obtain re-entry visas to get into England otherwise it was on a tourist short term visa. Applying for a British passport I found that I was never registered ,as my brothers were ,at the British consul and had to make a full request for a passport, apartheid years made it very slow and convoluted process. My parents were not keen on my having a copy of their marriage certificate and in South Africa you never got a full Birth Certificate just a copy from the register of births. It took A year and a half to sort out and the delay was blamed on me by my ex. Everything came to a conclusion eventually, Coming home from a party one night, in the early hours ,as a passenger with 2 other friends in the rear seat, a close friend driving ,his girl friend in the passenger front seat. We were smashed off the road, the guy who hit us I found out later  had a heart attack and was probably already dead. The car went over an embankment and rolled several times. Those in the rear received injuries but not major ones. The driver and girlfriend were killed, she dying squashed in the car and he on the way to hospital. The roof had to be cut off and the car basically cut up to get us out.Naturally the rescue unit concentrated on getting the badly injured out and just set up drips for shock ,for us that were trapped. This was a life changing incident for me and finalised all my previous decisions. It seemed it took most of the day to get us out, but it was more like 4 hours.

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