Wild Encounter Jan 08: How I dream of being at school again as my boys prepared for the New Year after almost two months holiday, I think Bianca can’t wait so her holiday can begin. On their way to school they spotted a cat sized furry animal in the tree. Its distinctive large bushy tail coloured in black and white hoops had them paging through volumes of wildlife books to identify it. Unable to find it anywhere and thinking they were on the brink of an Australian fauna first she returned to find the animal still in exactly the same position. Quietly and carefully they crept nearer to take a photo only to be surprised that it was only a stuffed toy left behind in the tree by some kid.
Aussie Sports and general culture Feb 08: A devastating weekend for Australian sport, with the cricketers losing to India, which doesn’t often happen. Surprising that the perception I used to have of Australians which was based mostly on the arrogance of the Wallabies and cricket team when touring SA, has changed dramatically since moving here. They are in fact a very modest, compassionate and generous nation who will chop down anyone who appears to be ‘wind gat’ and full of themselves. Their voluntary support and out of pocket donations for any disaster was and is unbelievable. It is quite normal to volunteer your time, skills and support for those in need. This sense of community is something that as lost behind high walls and the risk of becoming a victim when helping strangers back home. The strange thing is it’s like living in SA in the 70’s when I would cycle to the shop to buy my moms ciggies at the age of 7, the postman would come to the front door to drop off a parcel, you can play cricket in the street and jump over the neighbours picket fence to get your ball back, even the shopping trolleys back wheels spin around resulting in everyone crabbing up and down the aisles.
We woke early on Saturday to a perfect summers day and launched the boat and headed south down to the Gold Coast on glassy flat water were we explored the various canals and prestigious marina developments before going up the Coomera river to have tea with some friends. The Reds played a warm up match at Ballymore so we got a parking on ‘B Field’ mid afternoon giving the little guys a chance to kick the ball around while the grown ups fought off dehydration with determination. It only took a few beers for some of the grown ups to take up the temptation to charge down a kick, side step a few kids and pull a hammy after shanking a pathetic drop goal at the group of laughing adults around the braai. Bianca and us boys thoroughly enjoyed the game especially Teal who got to throw the ball back onto the field after a successful kick at posts. Back to the braai after the game to part with more beer induced expertise on the game plan before heading home.
Miss: Black rock mussels. The passionate intensive energy of South Africans.
Don’t miss: Jumping out of my skin when there is a loud bang nearby. The limping, blind moontoo with a kid on the back begging at the robot. Escom or the lack there of.