A New Night Before Christmas.

Please don’t go Daddy” pleaded Sam to her father, with that look on her face.

Sam was our second child and part of their amazing family package of four.

She, Samantha, had been specially delivered by a paramedic colleague three years ago without warning, whilst Terry and Angela were at a birthday party.

I looked across the dinner table at my wife for some assistance. Getting this problem solved was going to take the expertize of ‘The Boss’.
But Angela merely shrugged her shoulders and started clearing the dishes away.

Thanks a whole heap, thought Terry, as he watched his wife head to the kitchen.
How does one explain shift work to a three year old?

Do you remember what Daddy’s job is?”
Yeth” lisped Sam. “You’re a Paddymedic”
That’s correct, Munchins”

Terry smiled inwardly at his daughter’s description.

Sometimes Daddy has to work at night to help the doctors & the hospitals”

Sam slid off her chair and came to stand in front of her father, hands on hips and a determined frown on her face.

But it is the night before Christmas, Daddy”
I know it is hard for you to understand, Sam”
But why?”

James, their ten year, sat at the other end of the table, listening with a quizzical look.
Sam was starting to dig in and was not having any of it.
Terry looked across at the wall clock, time to nip this in the bud if he was to get to the station by eight.
Angela had returned from loading the dishwasher.

Come now Samantha” using her ‘Don’t mess with Mommy’ voice.
Time to kiss Daddy goodnight & for you to get upstairs and into bed!”

Sam gave a huge sigh, turned away from me and headed for the stairs.
Will someone just rip my heart out, thought Terry?

Just one moment, young Lady” admonished Angela.
You have forgotten to give this to Daddy”

And with that, Angela opened her hand and showed Sam the Badge.
Sam’s eyes became a large as dinner plates. She squealed with amazement and joy!
Off in a flash, she retraced her steps to her father.

“Here Daddy, you nearly forgot your ‘Santa’s Badge!”

Terry solemnly pinned the Santa Helper badge to the front of his jacket and smiled gratefully at his wife.

Quick, Daddy, you must not be late for work!” advised Sam.
Santa will will be very cross if you are”.

Mission accomplished. Terry gave his two favourite ladies a big hug and headed for the door
Santa’s Helper had work to do?

The GrandPa called ‘BoomPa’?

Some months ago, while talking on Facebook about how I missed South Africa and specifically my daughter & her family, something very strange yet wondrous took place.
No, it was not the 8th wonder of the world, but something just as powerful.

Some people got together to encourage me to jump on a plane and visit. Led by my niece, a close friend and a host of supporters, they started a collection. Crazy lot!

To tell the truth, at first I was overwhelmed and more than a  little embarrassed. I just could not get my head around that it was fast becoming the time of simply boarding a plane and getting there?

Well, after much arm twisting and lots of frantic planning, the 7th September soon arrived and I was winging my way to Johannesburg. I think I bored a lot of fellow passengers with my talk of this exciting trip. So what, Grandfathers are suppose to do this , right? Right!

Frantic planning?
There were 3 main goals. One, get to the  Port Shepstone High School Reunion on the 10th September.
Two, Visit & spend time with Grandsons in Pringle Bay and Three, observe & absorb as much of South Africa as possible during the period that I was there.
Did I achieve all I wanted too in 25 days? I believe so. (O.K. there were a few grumpy moments along the way).

PSHS                                    Some of us                         Mementos
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The Saturday started with a tour of the school, with the current Headmaster, Mr. Peter Jenkins, doing a wonderful running commentary of the facilities & achievements. I spent a bit of time with him, discussing the school and what the future holds for the students. Ended up being left behind by the rest & he kindly drove me through to the Port Shepstone Country Club, where lunch had been organised.

 PS Country Club           Excellent menu                Occasional ‘dop’
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During my visit to Port Shepstone, my accommodation was provided by http://www.lomboklodge.co.za/ B&B in SeaPark.
Quite divine.

Then Back to Durban & on to Cape Town, to meet & greet some family members.
One of the co-conspirators of this trip, Cathy was on hand to spoil me rotten, with trips around the city and a get together at http://www.piratessteakhouse.co.za

Mad CPT Family            Hout Bay               Chapman’s Peake Drive Toll ?14344177_10153704185222163_6108642404809386435_n  2016-09-15-11-37-47  cpd-toll

 C P Drive –   http://www.chapmanspeakdrive.co.za/the-drive/history.html

in Hout Bay I stayed at http://www.tarragona.co.za/

Other than Pringle Bay, this would be a grand place to live. Has grown somewhat since the Republic of Hout Bay days?
But sadly, Cathy’s limo service came to an end when she delivered me to the Plant (Vegan) Restaurant.

2 Grandsons                      3 Flavours B&B              Peace & quiet
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And then I moved into Pringle Bay to be more central.
Stayed the remaining 2 weeks at the ‘Pringle Mingle’


My, did those two weeks fly by. Apart from the wonderful time spent with my family, I also met some amazing people in Pringle Bay. Far too many to mention all here.

Many photos were taken. Here are one or three, with the rest found on Facebook.

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Soon, it was time to take me back to Cape Town & on to the airport for my connecting flight to Johannesburg and on to London.
One last look at the family in the Company Gardens in Cape Town, with Table mountain looking down.


Pass the Kleenex?

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The First Cheap Magazine for Middle Class Women.

In 1856 Samuel Beeton persuaded his wife, Isabella, to be a joint editor with him in a new publishing venture, a monthly paper called The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine. Initially priced at 2d, this was the first cheap magazine for young middle-class women, and it was an immediate commercial success, with an advertised circulation of 50,000 copies by 1856. (Ref: British library)

One wonders if this type of magazine would be published today, would it be considered Sexist or at the very least ill advised?
When the above mentioned magazine is compared to today’s offerings, with circulation in the millions, could one consider today’s ‘Good Housekeeping’ (Circulation +/- 500,000) an indication of what might have been?

When visiting the local supermarket, one just has to look at the Magazine isle to see what is on offer, the predominance of which could be considered for the ladies to choose from. This is a presumption on my part, as I observed more women perusing the racks than men.

Many of today’s magazines are becoming digital offerings, both free & by subscription. Does this indicate a positive trend & perhaps the death knell of print? Only time will tell.

The Loneliness of a Long Distance Grandfather.

The Loneliness of a Long Distance Grandfather is not an easy occupation. I am not unique; there are many members of this special club, with a membership that is graded from Newby to Hall of Fame.

Most days I, GrandPa(UK), keep myself amused with various tasks to help pass the long days of forced retirement.

Most days (& nights) I have got this routine down pat. Today was different.
I fell out of bed around 4 in the morning & said to myself, ” Mr Flipping Amazing, you’ve made another day”. (That F word has been edited for the more sensitive readers?) And so the routine started.

Well, today was a train wreck. A Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang without a driver. A Flossie without a pilot, heading for a mother of all tailspins. A sailor believing he had a master mariner’s ticket, approaching an unknown port.
Are you still with me?

Well, for reasons beyond my ability, the meds did not work & the routine refused point blank to stabilise, no matter how much Boem, Chardonnay or other elixirs of life I tried. In fact, it was the Chardonnay, a rather pleasant grape variety from the Cape of Storms that caused the most damage. No reflection on the vintners expertise!

There I was, minding my own business, reading about Faith & her thespian exploits on FB, when I decided to check whether the chardonnay was ‘corked‘ or not. Actually it was a screw cap, so I guess I was testing whether it was screwed or not?

I soon reached the stage of – my ou maagie voel so warm – a contented tummy & believe me that takes some doing with my present girth!

There was much to think about. A recent suggestion by my darling niece, Cathy, ably supported by my daughter Barbara & a few other stirrers, broached the subject of getting this old man, the aforementioned GrandPa(UK), to come & visit the grandsons in South Africa.

That is all Sub Judice at the moment. For three reasons; the obvious one(?); will the medical profession allow me to travel & if I did go, would I really want to come back to the UK? Oh & yes, would Rolaine want to join me on this escapade? That was close! That’s the problem with living alone, one’s mind tends to forget certain things.

Now I know the old doc is going to ask whether I will be swimming, flying, cruising or what. She really is a fabulous doctor, with illusions of what I am capable of achieving. My B-in-L, Rob, who is a marvelous motivator would say skies the limit. Ja Boet?

Without getting into the financial aspects, I started thinking about what mode of transport.
Flying was the quickest & they had some rather nice staff on board, of both persuasions & an interesting wine list. It is only 6022 miles / 9692 Kilometres / 5233 nautical miles to Cape Town.
I suppose if I asked nicely, my good friend with his own plane, John T, could make a slight detour?
Then there is the cruising bit, but it is a tad longer, some 29 odd days & a wine list that would cause me to end up in the drunk tank in Cape Town!

A side thought. Clifford has this rather lekker boat, but I heard he is busy killing the big ones off PE lately. What about Jeremy, he has some experience on the South American route?

Decisions, decisions. At the very least, I think this diatribe should be posted on my blog. What do you think?
The midnight hour has come & gone & it is time to sleep, perchance to dream?