Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What was that?


Fisherman’s Warf Cape Town.

It is the funny little twists in life that keep it interesting. How many of us have just missed something  or come across the unbelievable by a matter of chance. On one occasion I had only just arrived in Durban, I had been in South Africa less than 24 hours when I was assaulted. My brother and I were taking a stroll along Durban's beach front , it was nearly dusk when I was leapt on from behind. I got a fright of my life and thumped the offender.

Who the hell was it that jumped me? I didn’t know this guy from Adam. Ready to give him a good hiding to nothing with my brother also trying to get a good look in, he said my name and my brothers. Unbelievably it was the brother of one of my best friends in England. The last time I saw him was about 4 years previous when I went to his wedding, shortly after he came to live
in South Africa . He saw me and recognised me. After spending a few days catching up I never saw him again until Easter this year 26 years later. I was shopping at my local mall and I walked straight into him in a lift.  His sister in law lived two streets from me and he was down on his first trip to Cape Town. His son knew my youngest from chatting on Mixit , a social iphone site. Small world.

It is funny how things come about as well. Like how Tracy ,my wife, ended up marrying me. I never proposed but it happened.

How it came about was like this. I had to have an operation to repair my pelvis in 1984. I caught septicaemia and almost died and the result was I was in hospital for about 4 and a half months. I had encephalitis during my stay and had lost the ability to walk , and think consecutive thoughts. Still have troubles to this day with that.  It took me two years to recover to the extent that I could work so I was unemployed and living off my savings. After the first year it wasn’t to bad as I did small jobs for loose change , slept more often on the beach and generally had a good time. A proper beach bum , black as a native and living from day to day.

Always food on the beach, in those days crayfish , muscles and inshore fish were in good supply and I was always partial to sea food. But of course this couldn’t last, eventually the money was getting tight and I was not going anywhere so had to go back to the mainstream of life and get back to working a nine to five regular job. There was little work in the late 80’s in Cape Town, in the engineering trade ,so I became a permanent temp for a while. My father had had his third stroke and had to more or less give up working so for a few weeks I helped out by running his garden service for him. I wasn’t doing much at the time so got a little pocket money. Tracy was the daughter of  one of the family's who had their gardens taken care of by my father.

So I was their gardener. Tracy was a young school girl, just doing her matric exams. Guess she took a shine to me , which I found at the time a bit embarrassing.  My fathers health finally collapsed and as I had just started to work back in Engineering full time I moved from Bellville ,where I stayed ,to a house in Kraaifontein. This made economic sense , houses were cheaper to rent in Kraaifontein and I couldn’t afford to support my parents if I stayed in Bellville. By that time Tracy had left school and after meeting my mother in a shop came round to visit regularly. I was seldom home generally working and going out when not. I was invited around for a braai(barbecue) one weekend to celebrate her step brothers  engagement. From then on I would pop in for a visit once or twice a week . In those days I would enjoy a drink and would  have a couple of shots there with her parents before going night clubbing. This went on for a few months, one night there was a party at their house and I was invited. It was a partners sort of get together and being not attached I went alone. Tracy was my partner that night at the party and we danced for most of the night. As it got later of course the more tipsy the guest became so just to pull my leg her mother asked in a loud voice what was my intentions too her daughter, as a laugh I said I was going to marry her and she would have a son in law almost her own age. I never asked Tracy ever to marry me and yet just over a year later we got married and we only ever went on two dates alone together. On the 30th of April we will have been married 22 years and I have never regretted it. Life is funny………100_4101 Most of my wedding pictures got destroyed in a flood ,what we saved , more than a few were stolen in a robbery amongst our personal goods that were taken. They steal anything in South Africa even your identity.

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