Those were the days

Something happened last week that brought an inward chuckle to the fore. Still being carless, and still house-sitting on a little farm in Pennington, I needed to go to Amanzimtoti for business.

This meant that my wife had to drive from Scottburgh out to Pennington to pick me up and we could then proceed to Amanzimtoti. However, I had to walk along the dusty farm road to get to the R102, and knowing that by the time I reached the pickup point, my shoes would have been covered in dust, I had taken a tissue to clean my shoes. This brought to mind, how often, in the days when the competitive spirit still existed in my mind, I would go cycling in the early hours before work to get some training in for an upcoming cycle race.

Often, towards the end of the ride, one would come across people coming to work and, on occasions, a smartly dressed female would appear from the bushes alongside the road and stop to clean the dust from her shoes before continuing her way.

The inward chuckle came about because the wheel has certainly turned for many South Africans, and for some of us, the wheel has been spinning in the opposite direction to which we have been accustomed.

In the same vein, I must convey to readers an incident that occurred when friends and I were cycling to Cape Town shortly after my retirement. The 110 km ride from Indwe to Molteno in hot, windy conditions had taken its toll on us, so we decided to take a rest day at Molteno, the home of Ouma Rusks. The campsite was at the Molteno Dam.

During the afternoon of the rest day, we experienced a terrific thunderstorm that thoroughly soaked the countryside. The wet road caused a few problems when we departed the next day, as our bikes were not made to cycle through thick mud.

We stopped at the first filling station in Molteno, and used the facilities to hose down our bikes, and while doing so, we engaged in conversation with the attendants who were rather bemused by three senior white men and a woman, cycling to Cape Town. One chap burst out laughing and when we asked why he was laughing so heartily, he said in Afrikaans (loosely translated into English), “I like the new South Africa.

Long ago the whites drove around in motor cars and the blacks rode bicycles. Now it is the other way round!” We all had a good laugh as we set off on the next leg of our journey.

The balmy weather we have experienced this past week is fooling, not only us humans, but Nature as well. After the recent good rains, trees are starting to sprout green shoots. But be warned, winter is not yet a thing of the past.

While most of us have enjoyed the good weather, this did not suit everyone. The mini sailboat enthusiasts who have their mini regattas at the Yellowwood Nursery dam, have not been able to sail their yachts because of the windless conditions, but, recently, their patience was rewarded when a strong south-westerly arrived enabling them to get in a few hours of exciting .



Henry Parsons

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