For two days I was looked after by my cousins Alison and Graham, which included ferrying me around Johannesburg so I could buy all the stuff I needed. My savings are soon going to run out and I need to learn that I can’t simply buy things on a whim. The likes of Cape Union Mart, Outdoor Warehouse and Due South should be avoided for the future stability of my bank balance.
On the Saturday I flew excitedly down to Cape Town where Mum and Dad picked me up from the airport. The reunions continued at my Aunt and Uncles’s farm in Villiersdorp the next night when brother Johnny and his wife Emma came by for a braai before continuing with their holiday/honeymoon which included a fantastic dinner for all of us the following night in Francehoek.
After five nights at the farm it was down to Cape Town for the next leg of my leave, but only after a quick visit to the barbers, doctors and dentist with the latter threatening me with a root canal. We all stayed in the same guest house, but on the first night it was just Johnny, Emma and I. We had a braai that night with Leon and Debbie joining us from down the road, luckily we’d invited them as first we had to raid their alcohol supplies, we’d been caught out by the SA law of off-licenses shutting at 18.00.
The next day it was lunch at La Med in Camps Bay/Clifton – this is now called the Bungalow and is all grown up and upmarket, I suppose I should be likewise. That evening it was Corporate Hospitality at the rugby for a Super 15s match which Stormers won by one point in the last minute. The next day it was Hospitality again, this time at the cricket for South Africa v Australia.
My whole weeks leave was amazing, lovely spending so much time with family and friends. We went to some great restaurants and also spent time at the Kelvin Grove private members club courtesy of Dad sorting out a reciprocal arrangement with the MCC. It was all a far cry from life in the bush so I made the most of it, fitness took a back seat and I’m dreading my first couple of sessions back in Makuleke.
Before Johnny, Emma and I flew up to Joburg so they could see Makuleke for themselves we managed to squeeze in a family visit to Hidden Valley vineyard for a spot of wine tasting, then on the final afternoon we had afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel with some good family friends.
The opulent lifestyle that we lived over the last week came crashing down driving through the Joburg airport suburbs looking for our guest house in the pouring rain. We weaved our way through numerous prostitutes sheltering under umbrellas. This wouldn’t have been too bad if we hadn’t passed the same one a couple of times, she must have thought she was in business.