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Who am I?

Bekende woorde van Jean-Valjean uit Les Miserables in sy soeke na sy diepste identiteit. Krisis of groot verandering in ‘n mens se lewe roep dikwels hierdie vraag op! Aftrede is so ‘n groot verandering en kan jou tot in jou fondament skud. As dit nie, is jy of breindood of onder narkose.

As relatiewe jong pensioenaris wil ek aspekte van my reis met oud en jonk deel. Nie om enige indruk te maak nie, maar eerder as terapie vir myself en ander. Die idee is beslis nie om sosiale kommentaar, gewaande wyshede of filosofiese denke op pen te sit, of te ontlok nie! Die idee is om te vertel en te deel – van reisverhale, die mooi van die natuur, kosmaak en kuier, medemenslikheid en die hart van Verandering.

Maar hierdie pad gaan baie rustig geloop word……

“When you are getting on in years (but not ill, of course), you get very sleepy at times, and the hours seem to pass like lazy cattle moving across a landscape.” – GOOD-BYE, MR. CHIPS, James Hilton.

Of teen die tempo van ‘n plat see….

Pringlebaai

Die sestiende 23ste September.

Nella

Dit was nie altyd so nie – September was vir jou hele 25 jaar ons mooiste maand. Die een vol blomme en bloeisels, vol verwagting en nuwe lewe. Ons maand vol blydskap geprop.

23 September 2005 – Ons ysige en ongenaakbare winter na net nog ‘n Kaapse winter en die aftel van nuwe eerstes. Wie is ons om ooit te kan verstaan? Aanvaarding van dit wat jy nie kan verander nie maak ‘n nuwe dagbreek tog weer moontlik.

Tog – as die nuwe dag breek op elke 23 ste September kom lê die seer en verlang weer vlak. Wat gaan ons vandag doen om deur hierdie 23ste te kom, dit verby te kry – om weer met ‘n nuwe hoop en dankbaarheid te kan aanbeweeg vir nog ‘n nuwe jaar.

Die freesias blom uitbundig vir jou. Die jasmyn en clivias ook – ‘n nuwe seisoen.

Mis jou my kind….

I am my brother’s keeper – a duty of care observed.

It mulls in the mind, calls for attention, debate within self, resolution, peace and conclusion.

Cain and Abel – Am I my brother’s keeper? A story well known. I am my brother’s keeper, it cannot be otherwise I am sure. But – boundaries there must surely be? A duty of care is defined in morality, but also in Law. Jurisprudence has been much informed and directed by morality, but reality reigns as it logically must.

Earth is under pandemic attack – in many respects as in Alien onslaught, where man knows no more what is right and what is wrong. Confusion reigns. Conspiracies too. Families and friends divided on the frontline. To confront or not. To discuss and risk distance and regret. To not address and regret with unbearable weight.

The Law defines duty of care when it comes to factual circumstances demanding me to act – to do something to avoid a foreseeable consequence. Failure is met with sanction. This duty is founded in morality and legal principles of foreseeability – it is not absolute, it has boundaries and should.

To vaccinate against Covid 19 and ever evolving variants or not to – rationality seems no longer rational. I trust the science and my brother might not. Who is right and who is wrong? Man is free to choose, but is he really? Confusion reigns and opinion alienates. A messed up world indeed.

Man has been left with the freedom and ability to decide for himself, not to be manipulated and controlled by a puppeteer. Man must face and accept the consequences of his decision-making and choices.

My brother died on the 3rd of September 2021 following complications after Covid. I believe he had not been vaccinated and had he been subscribing to the school of Invermectin, it may have been the ultimate cause of his organ failure and his demise. I know not, but the possibility lies in head and heart. It is challenging, it is asking, it is real. Should I not have gone head to head with Science v Conspiracy, fact v fiction, brother v brother?

Still – had I made a good case, had I made effort to present such a good case, had I pleaded, had I persuaded……the 3 of September might just have been another beautiful Spring day to enjoy and to dream of still many post-retirement journeys.

Commissio per omissionem…..

Totsiens my Ouboeta …..tot weersiens.

Lewe en sterwe – die twee kante van dieselfde munt. Ons word gebore om die wonder van die lewe voluit en volledig te ervaar en te geniet en uiteindelik ook te sterwe. Inteendeel, lewe is ‘n voorreg en die definitiewe vooruitsig van sterwe moet nie lewe enigsins demp nie.  Carpe diem – gryp die dag en die lewe aan en leef, al weet jy jy gaan sterf!

My boeta, Frikkie (Friederich Martin Riedemann), is om 2:40 Vrydagoggend 3 September 2021 oorlede. Hoe seer en onwerklik, maar wie is ons om te weet, te ontleed en te probeer verstaan? Hoe arrogant is hy wat dink hy weet!

Kosbare kleintyd herinneringe kan duisende boeke vul – blikskuit speel by die Mond in Lambertsbaai, plase bou op die oop erf langs die huis en met ons Dinky Toys boer, bergpasse ontwerp en uitkerf in die grondwal agter Ant Rose se huis op JanFourieskraal – die toekomstige strukturele ingenieur het reeds sy vaardighede gewys!

Boerdery
Vissermanne

My ouboeta het die leefkant van die munt volbring en met grasie die teenkant van hierdie munt betree na ‘n paralelle lewe van rus en ewige vrede. Hier gaan ons nuwe sonskyn safari’s en avonture beleef – saam, soos ons helende, heilsame, post-aftrede Karoo nostalgietoertjie in Oktober 2017.

Safari nostalgie#1 – Klein Karoo – Die Hel

Wie weet wanneer die uurglas vir hom uitloop? Ons is wat ons van hierdie periode tussen die eerste lig sien en die kers-uitblaas maak. My boeta het hierdie tyd gevul met uitnemendheid – akademies, professioneel, as eggenoot, pappa, oupa, vriend en boeta. ‘n Lewe volbring en ‘n wedloop met nederigheid voltooi. Ja, vir ons veels te vroeg, maar wie is ons om te weet.

Aan hierdie kant is ons harte bitter seer, maar daar aan die anderkant waar ‘n nuwe son op die horison lê, is soveel vreugde daar waar ‘n pa, ma, neefs, niggies, vele kosbare vriende en ons eie Nella opgewonde en jubelend vir hom wag!

Totdat ons boot dan ook vertrek, koester ons die sovele mooi momente en dra ons dit in ons harte. Tot weersiens, my liewe Ouboeta.

Have a heart – When your time is up, all of your stuff stay.

Winter Betrayal

Rain pounding down, down, down,  

washing through shack after shack  

ripping tent after tent on the ribbon

of the highway as shiny wheels fly by.

  black bag makeshift shelters shudder

  against reeling raging wrecking wind,

  cutting through every skeletal  bone.

soaking blanket home at Pep’s display

shivering betrayal of the body it holds,

a heart,  human, soul so hungry so cold

on muddy cold land outside His Home.

empty promises of feast and warmth,

 communion, heart,  healing wholeness

by  followers purely devoted to self –

full bellies, warm bodies, empty souls

Indemnified against sorrow and grief.

 highway to damnation – fake love

 brutal betrayal in winter so cold.

Namibia Nostalgia #2 – The South – with a magic mix of Kgalaghadi and Richtersveld

There will be no date sequence in respect of our travels through this vast and beautiful land.

It is the year 2018. August I think. We got our off-road caravan a year before and embarked on our first real safari with the BushLapa! Did a few shorter camping trips in the meantime.

Off to one of our favored South African national parks – the Kgalaghadi Transfrontier Park.

In the old days one could enter Namibia via Mata Mata rest camp, but this borderpost was closed for a number of years. It has however been opened again, hence our decision to start our southern Namibia tour through the Kgalaghadi. First sleep-over at Twee Rivieren and then first time premier camping at Nossob.

Nossob

And what’s the chance you do not see a lion here?

Lovely new facility at Nossob, but the mission this time is the South of Namibia. We left the Kgalaghadi via Mata Mata heading off to Dunesong near Koes, Namibia. Here Pieter and Mariaan Nel welcomed us with traditional Südwest hospitality! But – then the unexpected challenge! We were the only campers and the campsite was right up the highest dune! Pieter led the way in his traditional Nam buggy, an Uri :

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/URI_Purposely_Built_Vehicles

Lessons are hard learned by stubborn old men! Never thought it necessary to deflate the tyres. What a challenge for Fortuner and caravan!

Dunesong

There is a story about this campsite on top of a Nam/ Kgalaghadi dune: getting to the top was actually easy, only to realize the caravan should preferably face the other side to have the kitchen facing the tented lapa. No sweat, Roos – I will simply run down the other side of the dune, turn around and challenge the dune from that side! Three attempts. No luck. Went around again and came up as we did the first time, ending in the original position again! Some consolation the next day when Pieter told me an approach from the other side is near impossible.

Lovely campsite in absolute solitude.

Dunesong

And then the amazing surprise! We were invited by the hosts to a once-in-a-life-time sundowner on another dune during a full moon eclipse! What an experience in the company of incredibly warm people!

Solitude is often balm for the soul.

Time to move on. Pity we both left our favorite caps at Dunesong, hanging in the shower.

Hitting the road to Kuboes and aiming for Keetmanshoop via the Mesosaurous fossil forest and Giant’s playground. Absolutely worth visiting.

https://www.mesosaurus.com/

https://www.roxannereid.co.za/blog/quivertree-forest-and-giants-playground-namibia

Klein Aus-Vista Desert horse campsite on the road to Lüderitz was yet another fresh experience and our base for exploring the South of Namibia, and in particular Lüderitz and Kolmanskop.

Roosterkoek for visitors from Germany

Our German neighbours were curious about me prepping dough with only a fire around! I explained that we can ‘bake a kind of bread’ on the grid! Took them roosterkoek and they loved it! They came over bringing their camp chairs along and of course their glasses and a box of wine. We had a seriously good evening. PS. We politely refrained from telling them that wine in a box goes against our Boland wine culture grain!

A day trip to Lüderitz – what an experience. The main attraction here is no doubt the ghost town of Kolmanskop.

In 1908, in what was then German South-West Africa, a worker, one Zacharias Lewala, found a diamond and showed it to his supervisor, the German railway inspector, August Stauch. This led to German miners settling there. Soon thereafter the German Empire declared a large area as a “Sperrgebiet” and exploitation of the diamond field started.

A village in the architectural style of a German town came to being, with fully fletched amenities including a hospital, ballroom, school, sport-hall, theater, casino and ice factory. Also the first x-ray-station in the southern hemisphere. There was also a railway line to Lüderitz.

The town however started to decline during World War II. Following the discovery of far richer diamond- bearing deposits near the Orange River some 270 km south, the town went into severe decline. The town became abandoned around 1956. Today it remains a huge tourist attraction.

Then
Now.

It was indeed an eerie experience, but at the same time testimony of courage and innovation. Lüderitz is a beautiful coastal town with still a strong imprint of German influence.

The next day we were off to the border crossing at Sendelingsdrift where we had another first: crossing the border across the Orange river via the pontoon. What an experience!

Pontoon at Sendelingsdrift

The rather short tour of part of Southern Namibia was over, but definitely beckoning for return.

Now the concluding magic taste of the Richtersveld, a first for Rosemarie. The few days spent at the De Hoop campsite was an indescribable, almost surreal period of inner peace – with nature and oneself.

De Hoop

This park is deserving of its own story. Another time.

As for Namibia – back and back we shall go to this vast and beautiful land that captures your soul for life – the Namibia Syndrome.

Namibia nostalgie #1- Die pan wat nie wou bly lê nie, die bitter dors Kombi en die wonder van ‘n Coke blikkie.

Die terugskouings op die menige safari’s na die land wat ons harte gesteel het, is soos salf vir ‘n moeë covid-siel. Dit is moeilik om te besluit watter toer eerste verhaal moet word. Trouens, by nabetragting, besef ek dat ons meer kere deur ons buurland gereis het as deur ons eie. Nie dat ons land nie sy eie bekoring het nie, net dat die #Namibiasindroom ‘n erge verslawing van ‘n vreemde aard meebring –

1998 – Ek besluit ek kan ook ‘n soort toerleier wees. Ek was mos darem al in hierdie land vantevore. Ons besluit dis weer tyd en nooi Luigi, Christelle, Lucia en Nadia van die Paarl saam. Almal het beskeie kamp- toerusting, maar ek het die mees gewilde toervoertuig van die tyd: ‘n Volkswagen Kombi. Soort van die “Jones’s”. Luigi en familie ry ‘n ‘beskeie’ Volkswagen Polo, wat op die lang duur gewys het waar sy meriete lê. Vriende leen hul sleepwaentjie en dit maak ons spanlede van die eerste liga in daardie tyd. Om als te kroon het ek sopas my ou grys en silwer Kombi verruil vir ‘n magtige en kragtige maroen 2.5! Wat ‘n plesier!

Namibië, hier kom ons!

Van Rhynsdorp afgetrek vir ‘n vinnige stop en bene rek. Ons mik vir die Withuis buitekant Grünau in Namibia. Luigi maak die Polo se bagasiebak oop en kletterend dans ‘n braaipan na buite! My ou vriend moet verseker van gebakte eiers hou! Hoe op aarde die pan ook nog ‘n plekkie in die Polo gekry het, weet nugter!

Kammieskroon – Sjoe, maar die Kombi suip – seker maar die wind van voor! Kom ons speel veilig en maak vol. Kammieskroon is droog, kurkdroog ook aan enige brandstof, so ons druk maar deur Springbok toe. Die Kombi het per slot van rekening ‘n massiewe tenk van 85 liter en ons het dan nou maar eers so ongeveer 480 kilos gery. Daai gevoel van al-hoe- ligter-sit-in-jou-sitplek skop in, ook die fyn balans van voet lig van die petrolpedaal en wel darem nog vorentoe beweeg ook. Ons kom met 30 kilometer kort! Helaas, die Kombi se dors is net eenvoudig te groot!

Lang storie kort: Luigi moes met die Polo brandstof op Springbok gaan haal en so maak die dors Kombi dit darem tot daar. Daar slurp dit ‘n hele 85 liter op terwyl Luigi met ‘n glimlag vertel die Polo het net 30 liter gevat!

Deur die grens en eerste oorslaap by die bekende Withuis van Dolf en Kinna De Wet. ( Dolf is onlangs oorlede. Kort na die skiet van Elders – Namibië. Baie hartseer.)

Polo-bagasiebak oop – en daar val die pan weer uit.

Vroegoggend staan die maroen Kombi reg vir pad vat – oeps, die geleende sleepwaentjie se een naafdop is weg. Iewers afgeval. En nou? Die ‘mechanic’ op Grünau word aanbeveel. In die werkswinkel vol ou kar-onderdele en gewese grassnyers vind ‘n leë Coke- blikkie in die hande van ‘n genie nuwe betekenis. Ons is nie verniet in Namibië nie: hierdie man is ‘n ware German Genius!

Weg is ons! Op Mariëntal maak ons maar veiligheidshalwe vol. Die Kombi suip. Luigi sê die Polo is ok! Deurdruk Windhoek toe. Volmaak. Die Kombi slurp elke liter in die pomp gulsig op. Die Polo vat ‘n slukkie.

Waterberg is pragtig – lekker kamp en bergklim. Ou begraafplaas van die Duitse soldate.

Gavas en Riedemanns

Na heerlike kuier vat ons die pad Etosha toe. Intussen het die pan menige keer ontsnap uit die Polo se bagasiebak!

In Otjiwarongo koop ons ‘n monster van ‘n varknek. Luigi sê hy het ‘n spitbraaimasjien ingepak – battery-aangedrewe. Ons gaan dit op die proef stel. Outjo, hier kom ons! Net eers die Kombi volmaak! Dankie tog vir ‘n oortrokke fasiliteit!

Outjo, waar ‘n Amerikaanse jeugroep lawaai en badkamers bemors! Christelle gaan raas. Luigi en ek laat die spitbraai rol – heerlik!

Etosha is magies. Ons sit by die watergat van Oekukujoe, die dekselse pan en die dors Kombi totaal vergete en onbenullig. Renosters en olifante sorg vir teaterspel en misterie. Wat is die mens? Wie dink hy is hy? Ons is so bitter klein. Hoe verlang ek nie nou hier tydens die Covid- inperking nie.

Halali binne in ons harte gebêre, trek ons af Swakopmund toe. Heerlike Duitse snuisterye en koffie. Kuier in Walvisbaai en ek en Luigi val vir dieselfde meisie –

Wel, sy was maar koud en staties, so ‘n man moet maar aanbeweeg

Heerlike kuier in Swakop, maar tyd om die pad terug te vat! Die Kombi is steeds baie dors en die pan steeds rusteloos. Dink nou net – het ons ooit eiers gebak?

Ons engelkind en Nadia het “gebond”!

Baie spesiale tye met goeie vriende, kosbare herinneringe ten spyte van ‘n pan wat nie wou rus nie, ‘n bitter dors Kombi en helaas, ‘n af hoendertoebroodtjie wat Rox super siek gemaak het.

En, ‘n Cokeblikkie, wat die naafdoppieding moes doen!

As jy jou hart op Namibië verloor het, maak ‘n lastige pan en dors Kombi nie saak nie!

ABOUT DEATH

It is her birthday today, but she is not here.

No – that is not true – she is here all the time – just a heart beat away….

Life is hard when you are grieving, but still worth living, for the indescribable joy of precious memories. Grief has no rules, save that it remains with you, in you, for the remainder of your own life. But that does not mean you must stop living. You must honor them by living despite the void.

And when the sun sets for you, you will be thankful for the privilege of having been blessed with her immense presence and love.

And who knows – may be there is a parallel world where there will no longer be distance…

Ons voshaar meisiekind

Cornél 29-07-1980 /23-09-2005

Ons voshaar-kuiltjie-meisiekind sou vandag 41 gewees het, maar bly vir altyd 25 in ons harte en herinnering.

Ons uurglas van verlange en onthou loop nooit leeg nie. Ook nie ons uurglas van seer nie. Aanvaarding van dit wat ons nie kan verander nie bring tog vrede. Vrede wat alle verstand te bowe gaan.

Sy het gelewe sonder terughou- vol passie, verkenning en prestasie – amper asof sy geweet het haar eie uurglas loop uit.

Where are you this moment?
Only in my dreams.
You’re missing, but you’re always
A heartbeat from me.
I’m lost now without you,
I don’t know where you are.
I keep watching, I keep hoping,
But time keeps us apart.Is there a way I can find you,
Is there a sign I should know,
Is there a road I could follow
To bring you back home?Winter lies before me
Now you’re so far away.
In the darkness of my dreaming
The light of you will stay.If I could be close beside you
If I could be where you are
If I could reach out and touch you
And bring you back home
Is there a way I can find you
Is there a sign I should know
Is there a road I can follow
To bring you back home to me?

– Enya

Waar Hoop is…

De Hoop

Beskaam nie –

waar  rivier nooit op hou vloei,

net kronkel kronkel

na eindlose oseaan-

beelde, vrae,

versugting, verlange

in mense hart-

een toon sagte  afvloei

Crescendo waar  stroom versnel

oor perkussie klip

soprano mikstertkwik,

astrante vinke knetter

trommende perdeby

sagte vlerksleep duif-

Simfonie van Hoop

terapiemusiek

sag, strelend  salwing

vir die hart

Junie 2021