Notes from Fathers Day

There are two new dads in our immediate family – my two sons-in-law, Shaun and Gareth. Fathers Day this year was the first for both of them, and I wonder what went through their minds, about their new status in life, their new roles and responsibilities. Or did they simply shake their heads in wonder and surprise as they got on with the business of changing the nappies?

No nappies for me, mind you – not on this particular Fathers Day, anyway. Instead it was off to Roots, at Forum Homini in the Magaliesberg, for Rob and me – the place where we got married, for a smashing six course Fathers Day lunch and wine tasting menu, starting just before one and running into late afternoon, as the light on the highveld turned golden.

It was the first time since we returned to South Africa, the first time since Rob got back (for the second time) from Canada, that we had had an afternoon to unwind, to feel the African light and the sight and colour of the African bush (only forty minutes from Johannesburg) sink into us. As the afternoon moved on, with the slow movement of the sun across the sky, the sense of letting go, of remembering – and then feeling – what it was to just be, was balm to the soul.

It’s been a hard year, so far, but it’s getting better.

Eve and Shaun, it was your gift that we spent, on one of our best dining experiences ever 🙂

Here are some photos.



Family Business

A lot can happen in three months.

It’s a little less than that, in fact, since we shipped my mom up from Cape Town, to meet her great-grandson, before he was wafted away by his parents to start a new life in Canada. “He’s going to speak with a Canadian accent,” I told Eve and Shaun brightly. They looked at me, disbelievingly.

We had a nice day, as I believe I have blogged about previously, at Kathy and Gareth’s, and given the nature of the occasion, I took lots of photographs, which I loaded onto a memory stick and gave to my son-in-law and daughter. Some of them (the photographs, I mean) are in this post – plenty more where they came from.

I mean, babies are so photogenic, aren’t they?

Well, Eve and Shaun are settled now, in Canada, and on their way already. Eve has landed a great job in her field, well paid, and Shaun is working construction, thanks to Rod and Terryl, who put him in touch with a friend of theirs who is in the business. And Kathy, who had a bump in March, now has a baby – Thomas, as you know, who will be featuring a whole lot more in these pages.

I should mention, also, that Hayley and my son Jono are having a baby, too, six weeks from now. I’ve heard of sympathetic pregnancy, but this – three grandchildren in a 12 month period – is in a whole other league…

Meanwhile, Rob has been back to Canada and the US, and returned again to South Africa – working too hard setting up shoots for AirBnB, while I am kinda keeping my head above water, on an interesting project, with a great client, and a good company, but a colleague who is hell on wheels. I musta done something really bad back there, somewhere!


Time out

There comes a time, readers, friends, and family, when a little time out is needed. The almost two weeks since Rob arrived here in Johannesburg from Canada has been weirdly disjointed – wonderful to be together again, after too long an absence, but on the work front, the kind of disfunction and toxicity (not with the company I work for, or the government department, or the funder, fortunately) that I had thought – hoped – not to have to experience again, at this stage of my life and career.

So – after working all Saturday – this Sunday is time out. No photos, no chatty stories or reflections. Just time for myself. And Rob. And family.

You’ll understand, I’m sure.

Man meets man, Nirox

I throw this image onto the table – Man meets Man, from the Nirox Winter Sculpture Festival – like a playing card, to signify risk, a gamble, a certain funkiness of things. Look at the silver boots on the winged feet of the old geezer with his back to us: that could be me, facing an inscrutable future.

A quick counting of the cards:

  • Rob landed safely at O.R. Tambo on Monday evening – Queen of Hearts
  • a calm, contented, autumn afternoon this mild Sunday at the Ale House in the Magaliesberg, in the highveld sunlight – Ace of Hearts
  • things coming to a head, for me at work, after five frankly unpleasant and frustrating months – when the chips are down, play The Joker. Or the Ace of Clubs

There will be news, when the news is clearer, and there is time to write and update you. For now – Rob is well, so I am as well.

Enjoy the picture.

Man meets man, Nirox