Freedom of Speech

I don’t know why, but when I am riding a motorbike through the back roads of South Africa, I really feel content with life, in fact the weight of the world seems to just disappear, its also during these rides that, I tend to reflect on life and the world around me.

On my latest trip to Gauteng the trip up there was not that great, I left early and forgot to put on winter gloves, so the only thing I was reflecting was what my hands would look like without fingers, as I seriously thought I was going to get frostbite. Villiers One-stop delivered scant relief as it was colder there than driving through the numerous dips that had caused my hands to lose feeling. I don’t know if you have ever had parts of your extremities get so cold that you cannot feel them, while that’s bad enough its even worse when the blood starts to flow back in the fingers or toes and feels like your skin is being pricked by a million needles.

Traffic in Gauteng is always a pleasure to ride in “yeah right” I learnt this trip if you see a vehicle with L on the back it does not stand for learner, but ‘Looking to cause an accident” Anyway I survived riding through 2 peak hours. Coming back home was a far more pleasant experience and really enjoyed the trip back “Once I had got passed the traffic of course” I took a detour off the N3 and took the Balfour turnoff, not bad at all and it afforded me some great photo stops.

While riding at a sedate 100kms per hour and listening to some great music on the MP3 I began “thunking” about a few things and in no particular order here is what I “thunk”

Family: There is a saying “you can choose your friends, but not your family” I am “as you have probably read” very fortunate to have great family and would not be able to chose a better one, so that leaves me with friends. My dad always told me that you will have many acquaintances, but you will be able to count your friends on one hand”, he also came up with the classic “I've told you a thousand times not to exaggerate”. In a way he has been correct I have been very lucky to have had many good acquaintances over the years and due to the nature of the business I was in, I met many people, as I have written in a previous Blog I have a number of good friends, some of them are more like family and I am grateful to those people for their friendship and support over the years. While I was riding back two names kept popping in to my head and I feel that I need to share with you who they are and what they have meant to Tania, Gabby and I. Dave and Barbara Green are just Awesome people and have done so much for us that its difficult to just say thanks. We will always be grateful for how they helped us and know that even when we leave Clarens that we will remain firm friends.

Writing a book on Clarens: I have decided that I need to publish a book on Clarens, I have so much information and have numerous friends who want to contribute with information and photos, so I cant see any reason for not doing it, I have spoken to Rob at Clarens Colour Copy and Print and he has given some great advice.

Using the road less travelled: am sure I have espoused in the past the joys of taking the back roads to see the county, even with potholes, for me its still better than driving on the highways. Having stopped to get a few photos of old stations and railway tracks, “some being removed as you can see from the one photo” I realised that it had been a very long time since I had last seen a train in the country, in the cities yes, but how many times have you crossed a train crossing and thought to yourself “when did a train last pass here” So why is there no usage on the railway lines that like a metal snake slither and cross the countryside. Why has this mode of transport “that will surely take pressure off our road systems” been allowed to go to rack and ruin, “it just does not make sense to me” Riding between Villiers and Reitz it would seem that Mr. Pothole Slagate is “still the minister of roads, even in Comrade Zuma’s cabinet and has much work to do. Although in his defence Sandton/ Hyde Park are also sporting some great looking potholes, in fact the one looked like it could easily swallow up a ministerial limo. Someone told me the other day that GP stands for “Groot potholes”, MP for “Moerse potholes” and the FS “F—ken Sloote

Strangers: Since I came back from the Mighty men weekend I have seemed to bump in to a number of strangers that have just cemented the fact that you cannot always judge a book by its cover and you should in fact try and take the time to get to know people you bump in to at restaurants, bars or shops.

The Perfect job: Recently a Pom won a competition for the best job in the world, that being to live on a island in a luxury home for 6 months and write a daily Blog on his experiences, while that must rank up there with jobs like mattress and beer tester, My perfect job would have to be riding the bike over the back roads of this fantastic country of ours “yes it’s a bloody marvellous country” meeting new people, writing stories and taking photographs, "what better way could you spend the day" ?

Mark and I have been helping at the local intermediate school with rugby and cricket coaching, and we are enjoying it, it also feels good to be able to give some of your time and effort to assist others.

Talking about cricket, have you been watching the IPL series, have to say at first thought it was going to be crap, but I was wrong. Its Awesome and I was gob smacked to learn that the whole event was set up in 3 week. One of the aspects that I believe has been great is the focus on education, with many children getting R15 000 bursaries and schools also benefiting from donations. Again this event is a middle finger in the face of those detractors who say the World cup in SA will be a shambles.

Must say I am Sooooooooooooooooo proud of Tania, she is really pushing Crafty stuff and I have a feeling that in the not to distant future Crafty Stuff is going to be a well known brand and that Tania will be supporting me in the luxury I deserve :-)

Perhaps the best news of the week, “Nay the year” has to be that the person, who was chosen over good mates and common sense has been given the boot or resigned, (depends on whose version you believe). But from a source very close to the action who always keeps us up to date with what’s happening says its definitely “fired” and I hear from the same source the work has not come out because “it’s the worst ever” and needs to be totally re-done. I know I am not supposed to gloat, “but will make an exception in this instance”, “I wonder what the people who wholeheartedly supported the drivel that had been put forward and fawned over the new improved effort as well as the person driving it must think now? “How the wheel has turned”, so just in case you did not get the gist of this piece and you happen to read it “Tata Hoor”, “The tribe has spoken”, “F-kof jys dof” and “Don’t let the door hit you on the ass as you leave the village” and if babes is reading this then you win this weeks "We told you so" award.

This week was also my Brother in Law, Doug’s birthday, so happy Birthday Bro, hope you had a great day, know you had some travelling to do this week, but know why, I also would not want to miss a moment with my new born.

Had a impromptu party at The Highlander on Friday night, was really a nice time and we met a few bikers from Natal, on Saturday was Rugby and Braai time at Mark and Kathleen's and while the Stormers/Cheetahs game was like watching paint dry, the Bulls/Sharks game lived up to expectations and while the Sharks came close it was just not enough to steal a semi-final berth. So now we shout for the Bulls, lets hope that can do it for SA. Monday is a braai at Laurence's place , its his birthday and its also a jacket party. we will all be buying new jackets from his private stash.
The bottle store will be opening again soon and this time with competent management, want to wish L and S all the best with this new venture. cant wait to get the banner back that was confiscated by L M because her lard ass was not kissed and she got soooooooo upset.

Going to be starting a competition in Clarens soon, somewhat like the OFM’s recognise the face. (See picture 1) for the first person we will be trying to identify. I can’t give you a clue, because it’s so easy.

Well that’s about enough drivel for this week, have a great week and remember that we cannot make this country better if we ourselves don’t make a difference, its easy to complain, but its harder to contribute, so no matter how small, make a difference this week to those around you and your community. “Yes Ryan I was listening when Angus was talking”

Ciao for now

The village idiot

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