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SOS – Steve On Sunday

SOS

Steve on Sunday

27 December 2020

Greetings my fellow prisoners,

We are just that, are we not? Captives of the plague but more honestly perhaps, we are captives of the rules, regulations and personal dislikes of politicians.

Has panic hit our land? Maybe after the RSA President speaks tonight there may well be. There are rumours and rumours of rumours floating around about what is going to happen but be assured my 13 readers, I am not going to add to them.

All I wish to say at this stage is that I have my first tour of overseas visitors for tomorrow (Monday) and am wondering if it shall actually take place. Based on these rumours doing the rounds, naturally. Not the Monday, rather the tour taking place that is.

Anyway, time shall tell. We’re in the dwang anyway so whatever happens it’s merely the dwang depth that differs.

I must mention this very important piece of news, and do remember, you read it here first. It may become the norm…

This last Tuesday it rained throughout the night and day in Kimberley – not a regular occurrence I can assure you. Our municipality then made an official announcement shortly after 8 am that there would be no refuse pick up that day so residents must please keep their bags etc in their own properties. Why no pick up?

Because of the rain!!

Can you believe it?

Can you imagine places, not just around the world, but in South Africa, where refuse is not picked up because of rain?

The mind seriously boggles.

It may become the norm…you have been warned.

The new year 2021 is around the corner. Allow me to delve into my memory bank, what’s left of it, and write a little about New Year in my youth, and the parties or lack of.

The first New Year’s Eve that I can recall is at Longden House, probably in either 1961 or 1962, and a slight remembrance of some excitement is there too! (Longden House was in Umtali Rhodesia (Mutare Zimbabwe), the Longden property being the area around which the front nine holes of Hillside Golf Club were designed.)

This excitement is probably because of my cousins (Barry Lunderstedt and his friends) going “out on the town” that evening and they were travelling in at least two or perhaps three 1950 ‘vintage’ motor cars, all with the running ledges along the side. We littlies all watched from afar, and possibly with some awe, as we knew they were heading into something really great – the advancing new year.

We – the kids – were allowed to stay up but I fell asleep well before midnight and the new year, but woke up to hear all the motor car horns and hooters sounding merrily on Rhodes Drive in Murambi Gardens and surrounds, so it must have been midnight or shortly thereafter. We looked in vain for fireworks as we could hear the big bangs, and the dogs all let loose with either howling or barking. It did seem rather exciting at the time and we could not wait to grow up so we too could go out and have fun.

Only another four Old/New Year evenings spring readily to mind before I left home. My Mum and Dad actually went out to a ball at the Cecil Hotel, and they were dressed to the T’s. There must have been a baby sitter – perhaps cousin Norma, but we did not stay up until the magic hour and I do not remember them coming home at all. They must have, because they were in bed the next day.

Brother David too, was allowed to go out to one New Year’s Ball in Umtali when he was seventeen or so, and when in Durban was allowed to go with cousin John Spencer onto the Marine Parade the one last night of the year. Durban probably hosted the most amazing parties that I can recall and there was noise, singing and general jolliment the entire night. The swim in the sea at sunrise on 1 January was quite magical too.

How disappointing New Year’s Eve is when you are an adult. I suppose the Rhodesian bush war years did not help as fireworks were banned, but it seemed to be a glorified drunken debauchery of an evening. Not that the evenings spent at home in Kimberley and at the historic Dronfield farm were not great evenings in the 1980s and 1990s, it just seemed that they were all the same. Boredom and alcohol waiting for the clock to count down and then off to sleep. Seemed a waste of a good evening. TV programme ‘Dinner for Two’ and a mandatory bottle of red wine each and every year from 1982 to date became the norm. The countdown still happens but like the last few old year/new year nights I nod off well before midnight and awaken with a loud snort to hear the hooters and big bangs.

There may, of course, be no noise tonight depending on what the circus ringmaster has to say.

It could be an entertaining year.

But try and have a good one no matter what.

I thank you.

 

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