January 13, 2011
It is just as well that we are flexible as plans for the past six months did not work out as expected. In January 2010 we booked a six week holiday to South Africa for June/July 2010. However, by that time Janet had accepted an offer to sell her problem apartment in Durban. So, on arrival for her, it was a hectic organizing of movers, etc. To crown it all, the entire living area had to be retiled as the tiles had lifted in this six year old apartment. Fortunately this could be done once the furniture was out, and Janet managed to carry on squatting in the apartment as the new owner had bought the kitchen appliances etc. Transfer of the unit to the new owner was then delayed by a strike in the Deeds Office….
Despite all this we were still lucky enough to have Ian’s son Nikki and girlfriend Bridget join us in Durban for a great two weeks. Then, as there was not much Ian could do about the unfolding minor dramas in Janet’s life, he went to Johannesburg to spend time with his daughter Claire before returning to Brisbane as originally planned.
Janet then went to Port Elizabeth to help her Mom sell up and pack for New Zealand, as her visa for this was finally granted and Mom is now happily settled in a retirement village in Auckland. It will be great having her closer to us.
Once Mom was safely on the plane to New Zealand late in September, Ian suggested Janet take a holiday for as long as she liked….. as he needed time to varnish Rebel inside and out. Janet made the most of this and from a base with the Wilsons in Johannesburg (friends of 30 years), she caught up with friends that in some instances were last seen decades ago. Trips around the country included southern Mozambique, where her not insubstantial bulk helped free the Landcruiser from the sand road, the Northern Transvaal with Veronique to a private game farm, the Drakensberg mountains where much bridge and Scrabble were played and even a few gentle walks undertaken. Come November Janet used airmiles for a three week trip to London to visit her brother Stephen and her good friend Jenny. When over in the UK she was spoilt by a visit from Barbie, her friend of 42 years. (Barbie now lives in Holland.) Luckily Janet flew back to SA four days before the big freeze and flight disruptions set in.
Ian meanwhile worked away on Rebel in Scarborough Marina in Moreton Bay (near Brisbane). The monotony of varnishing was interrupted when the police descended on the marina to arrest guys who had sailed in on a 54 ft’ Beneteau (with jet ski on foredeck) in with the third biggest ever haul of cocaine (worth $160m…). Ian manage his body fit by buying an old bicycle (also useful for all that shopping…) and his mind fit by playing Trivial Pursuits with other yotties on Monday nights.
As Ian still had the return leg of his airticket, and with the prospect of a hot steamy Christmas season with no airconditioning on Rebel in Brisbane, it made sense to spend Xmas and New Year in South Africa. So, once again we have been spoilt – spending time in Knysna with the Wilsons, then on to Cape Town for Christmas with Ian’s children, then to the Cape Agulhas nature reserve area for New Year. From there we drove back to Knysna for two weeks, taking every back road and mountain pass possible (could not see anything forbidding this in the car hire agreement!!) .Although misty, the scenery enroute was magnificent and varied.
We are now busy planning our route to Durban and will go via the Friedman’s farm outside Humansdorp, and then to the Drakensberg for a week before getting to Durban. We expect to return to Australia late in February and have started looking at possible flights back to Brisbane. Rebel should have been spared from the devastating floods that have affected Queensland as Scarborough Marina is in a bay and not on a river. (Our original intention had been to leave her at Midtown Marina in Bundaberg, which is 6nm up the Burnet River.) Our hearts go out to all those affected by the floods.