Monday, January 14, 2008

South Africa and Australia for some!

Well, this blog starts some five weeks ago when Nicki and Tayla left for South Africa on holiday. Yes, that meant it left me at home on my own waiting for term to end. Believe it or not I get far less holiday in Bermuda than I did in the UK - some 20 days fewer!!! I was left to tend for myself whilst the girls sunned themselves on the Umdloti beach.

I followed them the following weekend and spent an enjoyable night with Matt and Kerry Arnott in Joburg. Matt displayed some far improved braaing skills (than I remember from the last braai) cooking a fine piece of meat. It was great to catch up with Johnny B, Dyl and his "new" lady Laura. We did spend a large part of the evening having a rather loud rant about sport, children, Jacob Zuma and friends around the world. Of course we have to have a toast to Jamo & Bridg, Nathan & Kimbo, Ryan & Sarah, Scott & get my drift!!

I joined Nicki and Tayla in Umdloti and we spent a fairly relaxing time on the beach and around the pool. It was great that Tayla could spend time with Jadon, Josh, Joshua, Jarrod and Molly. With so many J's the poor girl is still getting to grips with exactly who is who - you should have heard the parents!! Christmas was a family affair with Carol down from Joburg, Ian and Liz down from the bush (Nelspruit) and Billy's family in Umhlanga. All in all a good time and far too short. I did manage to reinact the World Cup final day with Ian enjoying probably the same amount of beers.

We all the headed down to PE into the family home along with the Joburg Horan's. Mike and Mom gave up the marital bedroom for us and the sanity of space. Bren, Hayles, Joshua and Molly terrorised downstairs. A packed week saw us keep the kids entertained with walks on the beach, swims, movies, painting, football and a variety of games you would never admit YOUR kids played!! Our stay include a special night out at "Kleinrivier Wilderness"; Mike and Brad's bush retreat and probably the most relaxing wilderness farm in Africa. If you are in the Eastern Cape I would thoroughly recommend a few nights at the Black Eagle tented camp. Check out the website The slow buring camp fire and a hot cup of tea really warms the soul and reminds one why Africa has such a pull. The week culminated in the "7's" party - Mom's 70th, Mike's 77th and their 7th year of knowing each other. A wonderful reunion of friends and family took place in Walmer with Thommo strumming his best tunes and leaving far too early in the morning after discussing how to hit a drive across the line and over the top - I say no more!!

We were also fortunate to catch up with the Caveney clan at "The Links", St Francis Bay for a relaxing afternoon of great conversation. It was then back to Bermuda after an early morning beer at Neil Thompson's bar. A much needed beer as Nicki headed to Sydney and Tayla and I trekked back home. Yes, 38 hours door to door did test my patience, father skills, teaching skills, diplomacy, cleanliness etc, etc. It was with much relief that we arrived home on Sunday ready for school and work the next day.What fun!

Nicki's trip to Oz was delayed by a day in Joburg (say no more!) and she spent a night with her mom. In Sydney she stayed with James, Bridg & Sean Law and thoroughly enjoyed catching up and seeing the big city in action.
We are now back together and, to our relief, back in routine. Work has started with a bang with change and opportunity for both of us looming on the horizon.

We hope this finds you all well and we wish you a prosperous New Year. We miss you all and hope that we will be able to catch up at some point at 2008. Our door is open for a visit at any time.

Until next time!