Friday, 20 January 2012

WT - Family Farewell

An emotional roller coaster week. Started with collecting collecting Guy from the hospital after his heart and vascular surgery. I am so pleased that this was a success, he was in a very bad way when we arrived and I was concerned that this visit would be memorable for all the wrong reasons but within weeks he will be like a new man thankfully.

On Monday Ronnie visited the dentist who was going to have a new plate made for her but this would take 2-4 weeks so instead he made arrangements to have the existing plate modified. This meant another 2 visits on Tuesday which was handy as we were leaving the day after that. Monday and Tuesday were spent running about a bit with last minute preparations and dental appointments. Ronnie couldn't be happier with her modified set of chompers, which allowed her to devour a decent steak a few hours later

Tuesday we decided to go to Pistols Saloon at Ramsgate for lunch as Dan had not been with us on our previous visit. Dan and Dad enjoyed the atmosphere and feeding the donkeys. In the evening Dad, Guy, Joey, Dan, Ronnie and I went to dinner at Steers at Shelly Beach, a sort of farewell affair since this would possible be the last time we could get together like this. After dinner we went to Margate Beach for a while. Dan and I took the others home before going for a last swim and walk along the beach. I really enjoyed the camaraderie and frank discussions during these times and wondered what life would have been like if we had never left (glad we did though). Would all four brothers and families ever taken walks along a beach together? We have one common memory of our best years and that was of Spreckley Road in North End... those certainly were the days. Now we have a new common memory, a really good one for me and hopefully for all those we spent time with.

Wednesday morning we arose fairly early and started packing - this was a real test, we had way too much and yet sadly, not enough stuff. It was decided to get everything into the car and spend a couple of hours at Jeannie's place sorting it all out after dropping Dad off at his home for a while. It took more than a few hours to sort the mess out and we wound up asking Jeannie if she would mind sending a package of all our winter clothes to Australia for us, Jeannie agreed.

While Ronnie sorted the last of the clothing I went off to spend a little quality time with Dad on my own. We went out for an ice-cream of course and had a great chat. Jeannie had invited us all for a wonderful roast pork dinner so Dad and I made our way back to her home, collecting desert along the way. We had a marvellous evening before taking Dad back to his home and saying our goodbye's. The next morning we were up just after 4.0am so that we wouldn't be late for our flight from Durban's King Shaka to Port Elizabeth. I don't know why I didn't book from Pietermaritzburg - must be old-timers setting in:-)

After thanking Tony and Jeannie for their wonderful hospitality we said our emotional goodbye's before taking to the road.


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