Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Meeting old friends on the veranda

Last Friday while sitting with Charmaine from the next-door shop catching the sun on the center's steps, a car pulled -  as cars do - into the car park. I noted the registration and said to Charmaine I know those people. She looked at me in disbelief.

A young couple alighted from the vehicle and although I knew they weren't the friends I was expecting, I greeted them and told them I knew the number belonged to Bernhard Hageman, a sugar farmer from Monzi, Zululand. The young woman said, yes, she's his daughter, Karen (whom I'd last seen when she was three years old!) I told them my name and Karen said: Oh yes, you're John's mum!  She also said that she and her husband and her parents were staying over the road at Champagne Sports Resort. 

Later Bernhard and Ruth arrived at my shop. A whole lot of reminiscing went down on the veranda. Several of us young families, socialized with each other so our children grew up together (going back 40 years here) and some weekends a group of about ten men fished deep sea off Cape Vidal. Eventually when it was better to fish in Mozambique, once a year in May, the men trecked up to **Zavora   in Northern Mozambique. In the two years after we returned from Africa, Grant was part of this group who celebrated its 35th and last fishing trip this year. The fist thing Bernhard told me with tears welling up in his eyes.

Some time ago, I came across Grant's Canon camera. Because I always take the photos, he only used his once: on his last Zavora trip. I'd instructed him to take lots of photos which he had done.  I quickly downloaded the photos, hoping to see a few of him in happier times. However, he'd taken photos of everyone; of boats launching off snowy beaches into the Indian Ocean; of the men catching fish; then back at the chalet of the men filleting and packing the fish into freezers. Not one photo of him. So many reminders...

Ruth was instrumental - all of 33 years ago - in helping me lose weight. She'd started a Weigh-Less group in Monzi and my mum and I joined. I lost 30kg/66lbs in nine months; the rest is history. 

I called Frances, the security officer at the center to take a photo of us. I introduced Bernhard to him as Grant's friend. who immediately replied to him in Zulu telling him how far back he and Grant went. 

 Ruth, moi and Bernhard

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here 

NOTE: ** If you have time, please do click on the link above to read about this beautiful area on the Eastern Seaboard of Africa. 



  1. Oh how wonderful---catching up with old friends.... Glad you found Grant's camera... SO many great memories....

  2. What wonderful and poignant times catching up with old friends. I love the job you now have Jo because it gives you so many opportunities to mingle and it seems a number of people from your old neighbourhood love to take a vacation where you now live. Hugs.

  3. Hello, it was a nice surprise to see your old friends. Wonderful memories of Grant and his friends on the fishing trip. Great photo! Enjoy your day and week ahead!

  4. So many reminders indeed. Glad that you could catch up with friends from the past.

  5. over and over, we get proof that our giant world is such a small place. so glad you got to see old friends and this is a lovely photo the security guard took for you. amazing to me that your remembered the registration. I don't even know what ours is. and glad the visit pushed you to download the old photos. sorry there were none of Grant

  6. How wonderful! I'm so happy for you, Jo. And such a surprise! Just last month we visited two of my school friends and their husbands in British Columbia, because we never know if we'll see one another again. I loved seeing the picture of you looking so happy.
    Love, Kay


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