Preface: A weekend away, after weeks of stress at the gold/salt mine, was welcomed with open arms and the Perth Trippie 2019 group all descended on Dikhololo, a resort in the African bush, situated a good two and a half drive north west of Johannesburg.
1 The Perth Trippie 2019 group, far from the stress and feeling at home in Northbridge, Perth WA!
Our exit from town was with last minute details and I handed Linda the keys to the Koleos, knowing I would be busy for at least an hour with month end stuff and putting clients at ease until Monday. My weekends are often gobbled up walking the extra mile for them!
The traffic was a breeze as, almost every day, Joburg starts emptying around 1pm and by 6pm the worst is long gone. I handled what I could on my smart phone leaving the complicated stuff for my laptop at Dikhololo. I hope they have a strong signal there!?
As it evolved, the signal at Dikhololo was weakfish and took a good hour of the late evening to achieve what had to be achieved. In the meantime Hansie had both fires going outside. One to braai the meat on and t’other a log fire with leaping flames as a sociable event, or more simply put, in Afrikaans, a Kuier vuur! The evening was dark and in the light cast by the tongues of fire small mammals like Dassies, Squirrels and Meercats (Mongooses) could be seen foraging in the massive monolithic rocks, with wild fig trees defying all logic and growing out of cracks in the rocks behind the chalet.
2 A Dassie family shot! (Also known as Rock Hyrax)
Excellent food, a toast to Elize’s birthday, many stories related, a struggle to get the wee bairn to sleep and we closed up shop for the night, disappearing to our various sectors of the chalet. The stress told as, once the teeth were brushed, the eyes lost all focus and an unconscious sleep followed, absent of dream!
Saturday was busy with catching up on Super Rugby semi finals, walks around Dikhololo, a game drive and all the usual nibbles and sips that make up a weekend away, not to mention the quality time extricating words and squeals from the family’s centre of attraction, Xander, now just on ten months old. Note that no mention is made of the Black Caps poor showing against the Aussies in their Cricket World Cup match!
3 Impossible trees growing out of the rocks at Dikhololo.
It was Dan’s turn to get the Kuier fire going that evening, as Hansie set up the gas burner and slowly the ingredients were added to the large cast iron pot, starting with onions that were the first flavour enhancer of the Biltong and pasta Potjie, tonight’s meal and delicacy all in one! By 10pm we all had had our fill and we greeted for the night.
4 Biltong Potjie! A meal and delicacy all in one!
At 11pm, my first George happened upon me and thanks goodness for the small plastic rubbish tin next to the bed, as I would never have made it down the darkened spiral stairway to the toilet in time! Once cleaned up and rubbish tin restored to it’s previous state and strategically placed next to the bed, I was filled with confidence that the worst was out and my continued quick healing ability, and sleep would befriend me. Helas, chunder continued throughout the night!
At my fourth stomach emptying ‘George’, around 4am, I passed out and was wall and floor ‘toe’! The whole household was awakened. It was decided to get Dan to the emergency clinic in Brits. Linda and Hansie drove in convoy over those loose sandy roads, far from Brits, and halfway there, I Georged again and passed out! We made it to Brits though, where after urine, blood, xrays and a bag of lactose, I was stabilised and we headed for Sandon Clinic. In the Brits Mediclinic parking lot still, George came across me again! I came to and we were at the emergency entrance! Linda was shouting “I’ll be back just now!”
They booked me in again and it was decided to do a, wait for it, C-T scan! Which we did and although lacking in certain areas, (!) there were no white flashes amongst the grey matter, which would have indicated meningitis! Phew! Uneasy about a two hour journey with no back up and a real risk of collapse, we called on the system and an ambulance was organized to get the patient to Sandton Clinic, two hours away, but close to home! Still out of it, I spent the night there and through the night started to feel the aches and pains that resulted from the fall.
5 Thank God this is Not my CT scan! Those white flashes indicate meningitis or encephalitis!
Sent home, next morning, with the assumption that I had been struck by a bad, bad, bad stomach virus and with me well on the way to full recovery, Linda, who was, by then, feeling nauseous, (yikes!), and I are collapsed on our sumptuous bed, and watched The Lovely Bones, a chilling but incredibly good movie! As in Silence of the Lambs, the baddie won an Oscar for his performance!
6 Up in Heaven, Susie is torn as she sees her distraught family and her killer go about their daily lives! Recommended viewing.
Tears can also heal!
Van Morrison and Have I Told Lately That I Love You:
St Vincent School For The Deaf helping the hard of hearing to listen:
Down Durban way The Fulton School for The Deaf:
Abraham Kriel Childcare group, caring while we work:
The Avril Elizabeth Home for the Mentally Handicapped was opened in 1970, and for the amazing work they do for the less fortunate they deserve great accolades: