Tag Archives: home

Homeward Bound 2

“Again the Ghost sped on, above the black and heaving sea — on, on — until, being far away, as he told Scrooge, from any shore, they lighted on a ship. They stood beside the helmsman at the wheel, the look-out in the bow, the officers who had the watch; dark, ghostly figures in their several stations; but every man among them hummed a Christmas tune, or had a Christmas thought, or spoke below his breath to his companion of some bygone Christmas Day, with homeward hopes belonging to it. And every man on board, waking or sleeping, good or bad, had had a kinder word for another on that day than on any day in the year; and had shared to some extent in its festivities; and had remembered those he cared for at a distance, and had known that they delighted to remember him.” ~ Charles Dickens

IMG_8160 (Large)

I was a little late getting to Amapondo Backpackers / Amapondo IBackpackers for a sundowner last week as I stopped up the road towards Mthatha to take some snaps. The people, goats and cars were all homeward bound.

IMG_8153 (Large) IMG_8165 (Large) IMG_8212 (Large) IMG_8216 (Large) IMG_8226 (Large)

Port St John

Homeward Bound 1

“Again the Ghost sped on, above the black and heaving sea — on, on — until, being far away, as he told Scrooge, from any shore, they lighted on a ship. They stood beside the helmsman at the wheel, the look-out in the bow, the officers who had the watch; dark, ghostly figures in their several stations; but every man among them hummed a Christmas tune, or had a Christmas thought, or spoke below his breath to his companion of some bygone Christmas Day, with homeward hopes belonging to it. And every man on board, waking or sleeping, good or bad, had had a kinder word for another on that day than on any day in the year; and had shared to some extent in its festivities; and had remembered those he cared for at a distance, and had known that they delighted to remember him.” ~ Charles Dickens

1 (4)

I was a little late getting to Amapondo Backpackers / Amapondo IBackpackers for a sundowner last week as I stopped up the road towards Mthatha to take some snaps. The people, goats and cars were all homeward bound.

1 1 (5) 1 (3) 1 (2) 1 (1)

Port St John

The ache for home lives in all of us ~ 3

This is a follow-on of “The ache for home lives in all of us ~ 1“.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned” ~ Maya Angelou

Untitled (Large)

An artist’s impression below:

gillitts (Large)

As I posted “The ache for home lives in all of us ~ 1” I saw that Steve McCurry, who I follow, had done a similar post called “Home Again”. Take a look at his lovely photos.

The ache for home lives in all of us ~ 2

This is a follow-on of “The ache for home lives in all of us ~ 1“.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned” ~ Maya Angelou

“Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration”  ~Charles Dickens

Happy Valley Sherwood (Large)-001

As I posted “The ache for home lives in all of us ~ 1” I saw that Steve McCurry, who I follow, had done a similar post called “Home Again”. He takes lovely photos and had clearly beaten me to the draw.

An artist’s impression below:

Happy Valley Sherwood - PW (Large)

The ache for home lives in all of us

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned” ~ Maya Angelou

Rossburgh and Seaview are residential areas situated alongside each other in Durban South Africa.

Some of the older houses are really interesting; basic brick or asbestos walls, and corrugated iron or tiled roofs.

They are mostly sturdy in construction and not surrounded by high walls and other security measures (barbed wire / electric fencing) like many other houses in Durban and other areas in South Africa.

Both areas draw persons from all walks of life and the atmosphere generally seems friendlier and more down-to-earth than most other places in Durban.

A wide selection of shopping geared for the thrifty consumer can be found in a small radius.

Whilst both areas may have fallen a little off the map, are dilapidated in places, I really love visiting to find a good purchase / deal, meet interesting people and relax – enjoy life in a slower lane; even if only for a few hours.

It’s not fancy; just simple with a taste of that “old-time goodness” that a lot of places have lost.

20121214_sea view house & shop (1) (Medium) 20121214_sea view house & shop (2) (Medium) 20121214_sea view house & shop (3) (Medium) 20121214_sea view house & shop (4) (Medium) 20121214_sea view house & shop (5) (Medium)

“A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body” ~ Benjamin Franklin

An addition to the original post:

As I posted “The ache for home lives in all of us” I received an email (40 minutes prior) and noticed that Steve McCurry, who I follow, had done a similar post called “Home Again”.

He takes lovely photos and had clearly beaten me to the draw.

Cold Turkey (Everybody’s Free – To Wear Sunscreen)

It was all engines go and roaring for the UK and then Turkey in my last post. It was set in stone – tickets & accommodation were all booked. I explained in great detail to friends and colleagues how Timol and I would walk the markets and alleyways of Istanbul, and then sit down to rest with a Turkish coffee and hookah. Really now, what could go wrong?

We landed in the UK and had two days at New Barns farm outside Birmingham and exploring London CBD before I received the first SMS / text.

I am sure all of you know some of the Baz Luhrmann lyrics to “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”. The full lyrics appear at the end of this post, but for here & now I specifically highlight “Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good”. This was said for good reason.

The SMS suggested I return home immediately as my Mother was critically ill.

Within 5 hours of getting that message (only 48 hours after landing in the UK), Timol and I were boarding an Emirates flight to head back home. Turkey was out the door.

I didn’t know if Mother would make through the next 22 hours whilst we hurried back home. I sent messages asking that she just hold on a little while longer: that last smile, warm hand, touch, goodbye, word, bit of advice, smell seemed all so very important at that point but definitely not when I hurriedly left Mother about 3 days before, to look after things while I was away.

Long story short. I have been home 9 days, never saw Turkey but did see Mother tonight at the hospital. We watched a little television, shared some memories and how our days went today, got some fresh air outside, sampled the view over Durban CBD, held hands and made arrangements to see each other tomorrow.

Things are not at all well with Mother and the chances of improvement are ultra-slim to nil, but we have shared 9 glorious days that perhaps should not have been ours – I have told Mother that this is indeed our “bonus” time; like in pinball: we are scoring big and I for one love it!

Yes, our days together are surely numbered but I think that they have always been; from the moment I entered this world from her womb. It only now that we appreciate this a little or lot more.

A little advice from my Mother today “savour, enjoy and appreciate that simple cup of tea or plain apple, because you don’t know what it’s like (how terrible and torturing) when you can’t have them any longer”. Mother is no longer able to eat in the conventional manner and in all likelihood will not do so again in this lifetime.

I cannot even begin to describe Mother and the enormity of her heart, the unconditional love, care for all, warmth, courage of a Lion (she is a Leo) and many other talents.

Perhaps the pictures below of Mother and her son (me) taken about 40 years ago will provoke some thoughts.

It’s nearly bedtime for me so let me leave you with the promised lyrics:

“Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind sides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen”

St. Thomas’ Home for Children visit to CROW

Can you also hear the CROW of St. Thomas’ Home for Children?

Here is the big idea:

  • Benefit two non-profit organizations in one go
  • Organize a trip for the children of St. Thomas’ Home for Children to visit CROW
  • Bus transport, entrance fees, snacks, cool drinks and lunch are required
  • Sunday 26 August is a possible date, subject to CROW & St Thomas management tying up loose ends
  • All sponsors, helpers, their friends, family and children to attend the event
  • The standard visit is as follows: “We are open to the public on the last sunday of every month. The gates open at 10:30am and the guided tour starts at 11:00am. A donation of R20-00 per person is asked upon entry and refreshments, t-shirts and diaries are sold before and after the tour. Please support CROW and join us. Gain an insight into the world of wildlife rehabilitation in one of the biggest centres of its kind in South Africa”
  • With help from others it will happen soon
  • Interested to join this fun heart-warming event then please email St Thomas principal@stthomas.org.za or Andrew awharvard@gmail.com
  • Cash or consumables sponsorship for this event is strictly payable / donated to St. Thomas’ Home for Children for their use
  • Any other support of any type for this event or anything else would be greatly appreciated
  • This blog will be updated shortly with more information

Given Gain: “St. Thomas’ Home for Children is a place of love and protection for children in need of care. We are a non-profit organisation providing residential care to 60 vulnerable children between the ages 2-10 years, all of whom have been found in need of care by the courts. Our children require our care for a variety of reasons, from being orphaned, abandoned or neglected to being physically, sexually or emotionally abused.”

Tel: 031 207 3223
Email: principal@stthomas.org.za

CROW: “CROW is the Centre For Rehabilitation Of Wildlife situated in Yellowwood Park, Durban. It is a wildlife hospital that cares for the injured and orphaned wild animals and birds in Kwazulu Natal. CROW has 12 depots in and around the Province and is considered to be one of the leading rehabilitation Centers in South Africa”

Tel: 031 462 1127

Email: info@crowkzn.co.za

Below are some images I recorded during a visit to CROW

“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals (children*) are treated” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

*not actual quote