This song was written by Allee Willis who is quoted as saying: “….. the main lesson I learned from Earth, Wind and Fire, especially Maurice White, was never let a lyric get in the way of a groove”.
Hey hey hey
Ba de ya, say do you remember
Ba de ya, dancing in September
September has flashed by so fast that I completely forgot my brother’s birthday, the big six oh! All through the month I had a little niggle at the back of my mind that there was a date in September that I should be remembering, and it wasn’t the 21st. It was only when I was looking up some info on Jimi Hendrix and read that he died 43 years ago, on the 18th of September, that it dawned on me it was the same date as Mike’s birthday. Hope you celebrated the occasion in style, Mike.
I was really looking forward to getting my groove on at the Earthdance festival on the Southern Cross farm near Mooi River last weekend. A childhood friend of mine, Karl, was playing there with his group, Bomvu Tribal Rhythms from Coffee Bay in the Eastern Cape. But Milo (my 15 year old little mutt) had other plans. He started vomiting in the early hours of Saturday morning and continued retching until we got him to the animal hospital in Nottingham Road just as it opened. It is uncanny how children and dogs always seem to take ill at night and on weekends or public holidays when doctors and vets are not easily available. The vet was not on duty but he did come from Howick when the nurse called him. I was convinced that Milo was dying as he was totally listless by then; shivering and panting uncontrollably with his tail straight down between his legs. After several hours, the vet managed to stabilise him and for the rest of the day I had to force rehydrating fluid down his throat every half hour and encourage him to eat small amounts of soft food. Eventually that evening he roused himself from his cushion in front of the fire, staggered into the kitchen and peed on the floor. I knew then that he had turned a corner. Of course we couldn’t leave him at home on Sunday because he was still very weak, and I was fairly knackered by then anyway, so Earthdance didn’t happen for me this year.
Fortunately nothing stood in the way of us having a great time at the Hilton Arts Festival the previous weekend. Richard and Debbie came up from Southbroom with friends of theirs, Peter and Michelle, and we set about getting our yearly dose of culture and savouring lots of delicious wine, courtesy of Richard. On the Friday night, after a pleasant evening at our local, Linga Lapa, and plenty of said savouring, I led an expedition by torchlight up onto the koppie at the back of the house in search of the porcupine. But I think our resident rodent heard us coming (some of us were a bit raucous by then) and no sightings were had.
My highlights of the festival were:
- a talk on the Battle of Isandlwana given by Rob Caskie, an historian and brilliant storyteller. It was enthralling;
- a hilarious “finger puppet” sketch depicting the battle for supremacy in the Eastern Cape by Andrew Buckland and Ubom! (Eastern Cape Drama Company) in the play Hoss;
- the brilliant acting in the play Doubt;
- seeing Janet Suzman in Soloman and Marion. I laughed and cried and totally identified with this play;
- the ceramic tribute to Juliet Armstrong – I need bowls like a hole in the head, but I still landed up buying one; and
- the vibe – it was great to be part of such a multicultural and eclectic mix of people.
So what else to tell you? Well, we’ve had rain – not nearly enough but better than nowt, as me old mum would say, and life is stirring in the garden.
The garden shed has been moved closer to the house in an attempt to thwart the buggers who keep breaking into it. Oh, and on that score, our bicycle and quad bike have been retrieved, hallelujah, but no arrests. And now we are looking into changing our insurance company after their shabby response to our claim. FNB are our brokers and we have been with them, never missing a monthly payment, since 1975. But when we put in our claim for the quad bike we were told, telephonically, that they would not pay us out for it because we should have insured it separately as a licensed vehicle. About a month ago we sent them an email explaining that it was not a licensed vehicle and that it was used solely for farm work. To date we have had no reply. So it is just as well that we got it back, albeit with the ignition cut out and the battery missing.
And we very nearly didn’t get the quad bike back. We reported it stolen to Nottingham Road police station and it was them who recovered Alex’s bicycle. The policeman who returned the bicycle to us mentioned that he happened to be in the Howick police station the day before and saw a quad bike fitting our description. When he enquired about it he was told that it had been found abandoned in a pine plantation on the Curry’s Post road on the day that we reported it missing and that they had no idea how to find its owners. Don’t they have a data base of stolen goods? Is there no communication between police stations in the district? No wonder crime is rampant!
To get back to the garden shed – in its place we have built a really cute chicken coop and, as soon as we have put an enclosure around it to keep predators out we can get some hens from the Howick pet shop and I shall start researching 101 ways to cook an egg.
And by the way, even though I missed Earthdance I did still get to dance in September, after a long, sociable, lunchtime Heritage Day braai at Linga Lapa. Great fun was had by all. Ba de ya de ya de ya de ya!