Saturday 7 January 2012
WT - Bushwillow Christmas
The ‘Bushwillow Bunch’ (Ronnie’s family abbreviated due to their number – sounds like the name of a gang of outlaws whereas they are actually a wonderful bunch of in-laws living on Bushwillow Farm) took us out to the ‘Berg’ (Drakensberg Mountains) for Lunch just prior to Christmas.
We made a few stops along the way, firstly at ‘The Pig & Plough’ for coffee. Lee and Clint were on their bike’s and the driveway was a bit of a challenge, all that loose gravel would have made parking there impossible for ‘BBB’ (Big Blue Bertha) my N1600 Kwaka but the boys managed okay. From here we made our way to ‘The Waffle Hut’ another favourite stop for their waffles of course but also rugs, candles, plant nursery and putt-putt course. There was a putt-putt challenge between Lee, Clint and little Robert while the ladies inspected the plants at the nursery. Little Robert won! but there was some evidence that he had incorrectly stated his handicap and whilst I would never accuse him of anything underhanded I’m pretty sure it was an overhanded drop of the ball into the last hole that secured the win.
Clint and Lee returned to the putt-putt course for a more serious challenge whilst we went on to ‘Thokosizwe’ for a little light shopping before lunch. The girls went a little nuts with some last minute Christmas shopping for clothing. Ronnie and I found this little leather shop that had some crocodile skin goods and we bought ourselves wide brimmed crocodile skin hats with a certificate for Australia’s customs. The sales lady had absolutely no time for Australia’s quarantine laws and over regulation stating that despite never having been there, she would not visit the country even when the opportunity of a fully paid holiday had been offered by her employer. I must say our hosts the ‘Bushwillow Bunch’ were rather appalled at the sales lady’s tirade, which I must confess I found rather comical – After all… how often does one come across such a passionate expert of no experience. Pity, such a broad horizon….such a narrow mind!
Christmas Eve, everyone scrambling with last minute preparations and tasks just prior to sunset when ‘click’….. power failure! Could happen anywhere in the world but you have to love the irony – there we were in deepest darkest Africa……, certainly was dark! till Christmas morning. Nothing could dampen Nicky’s enthusiasm though; it was an absolute joy for everyone to behold Nicky’s bubbling delight while placing gifts under the bush Christmas tree in the torch and candle light, a memory that I shall always treasure.
It was agreed that the ‘Bushwillow Bunch’ would congregate at the bush Christmas tree at 06:00hrs on Christmas morning for distribution of Santa’s gifts by Santa’s helpers, Lee and little Robert. Little Robert had difficulty keeping up with the distribution of gifts while trying to open some of his but did a Stirling job in the end with dad’s help.
The highlight of the day was a little different for everyone but for me it was the expression on Bonnie Ronnie’s face when she opened her special gift from all the Estran’s – a small stuffed grey rabbit with a card of poetry by Ed attached. I am sure that Ed won’t mind too much if I share this card with family and friends who read this blog for it has a truly significant meaning to Ronnie;
My coat which once was yellow,
the years have turned to grey,
But both of us remember
that lovely summers day,
When first we met,
those years ago,
and you were filled with joy,
A gift from Rose,
that filled a child with gratitude and joy.
And though our ways were parted,
by circumstance unkind,
I always was there with you,
If only in your mind.
The years have passed,
we both have changed,
perhaps to old to “Play”,
But hopefully I’ll bring you joy
this happy Christmas Day.
At about 10:00hrs Shane, Meg, Bron and Lexi took off to spend some time with Meg and Bron’s family. The following day Clint and Nicky left for their Namibian Holiday (surprisingly – with little Roberts blessing, as it seems he is not too fond of saying goodbye to his favourite uncle).
We also met some special long time friends of the ‘Bushwillow Bunch’, ‘Shorty’ and his family who told us of a home that had been set-up for sexually abused children and of their involvement to provide a happy Christmas to the 19 children under 15 years of age who were being protected from immediate family members. The ‘Bushwillow Bunch’ are well known for their support of the under privileged and abused so it was no surprise to see them unanimously offer their support.
What a fantastic end to a truly special Christmas where the tears of sadness mingled with tears of joy. Just goes to show that each person can make a change, to the lives of many – hopefully for the better.