Where I go Visha & Maya follow
This Time………SOUTH AFRICA
It was getting close to Christmas. I picked up Visha and Maya from their English boarding school and the next day we were due to fly to Cape Town. Here I would pick up a car and drive to George on the Garden Route where my parents had retired. My father had died. My brother was living in Durban, Mummy close by and she was going to join us for Christmas.
Drama our last night in England, Maya had lice! Panic! Visha and I put caps over our heads and kept well away from her! Early the next morning I went to the chemist and anointed Maya with lice medication! Voila! That evening we were airborne.
How did Visha and Maya come to live with me? Their father, Didi Mahir, had brought Visha to the UK when she was very young, and later he asked me to look after her. Maya, her sister, came over next. I would look after her too. Both were VERY young. They only went back to the Maldives once a year, in the summer. They were with me until they both finished university in England.
I LOVED THEM TO BITS
Back in South Africa..... Mummy arrived a few days after us by air. She was then 92. (She died at 102!) I had booked a cottage at the Wilderness which is right on the beach. The Wilderness is not far from George. It is truly fantastic; its beach goes on and on forever. It is the very best beach for surfing and this is what I was going to teach Visha and Maya!
They took no time to learn, taking to it like ducks to water! I am pretty strict as the sea can be dangerous due to its underlying currents. Visha and Maya were only allowed to swim when the tide was coming in.
Mum loved being with them. We played cards and mum had so many stories about her life in South Africa. My granny, who died aged 99, travelled all over South Africa in an ox wagon! Later on in my story you will hear about the mountain she would have tackled in it, there was no pass in those days. Christmas in South Africa was lovely and I took Visha and Maya to the Christmas pantomime at the Little Theatre Club in George.
We had no TV in the cottage.
I had booked a lady to help with the cleaning; we would go and fetch her. She knew what she had to do. One day when we got back from visiting friends, we found her asleep in the bath! I fear drunk! We laughed ourselves silly. It was some time before I could take her home! Never to come again!
Mum and I decided to take the children to the Ostrich Farm at Oudtshoorn. This was some way from the Wilderness, up at the very top of the Outeniqua Pass. From the top of the pass, George and the Wilderness seemed a dot on the horizon. Next to this pass was another mountain with no road, this is what Grannie would have had to navigate with her ox wagon!
When we got to the Ostrich Farm some of the ostriches were running around loose, and one big very fluffy and handsome one came running towards us! Another one pretty well came up to kiss us! Three were tethered, and if anyone wanted to sit on one, they could! I sat in the shade on some of their eggs! These were very strong and could take my weight without cracking! Some others had hatched, one baby waiting for his brothers and sisters to appear.
When babies die a friend of mine can put them all together again, the only part he can't use is the eyes. I have watched him doing this, and have on my many visits when meeting up with him, brought back these babies as gifts. I have two in my flat in London at the moment!
Sadly all good things come to an end. Mummy flew back to Durban, I drove to Cape Town and we flew back to London. The kids back to school. The lice had flown!