Monday, 10 March 2008

It's been awhile

I wish I had a fascinating excuse for why I haven't posted in two weeks, but I'm afraid it's the same old stuff - no time. In between working on a not-so-nice-in-fact-it's-really-awful project at work, hubby and I have been scrutinising our budget with a microscope to try and find a way to afford a trip to KwaZulu-Natal to visit my grandparents (well, grandfather and step-grandmother) for Easter.

I have this idea that I will spend the days taking down my grandfather's memoirs. As somebody who can honestly tell those "I used to walk miles to school barefoot" stories without lying, who came from absolute poverty, lived through a war or two and came out fit and fighting, I think his life story is fascinating. Especially seeing his first wife's (English) family disowned her for marrying him (an Afrikaner boxing champ). She, my grandmother, that is, did what the English do best - she colonised him completely. Yet, after she died a few years back, he met an Afrikaans lady, Lilly, and has gone back to his roots in a big way.

If you're bored by the storyline so far, consider that the two eloped when he was around 72, and that she's only 6 or 8 years (I can never remember) older than my dad, making him nearly the same age as his stepmother.

Yes, my family is a little bizarre. But I love them that way. And Lilly and Oupie (our name for my granddad) make a cute couple. He's nearly 82 now, and she's about 58, but you'd swear they were both 65. So I want to write Oupie's memoirs before he starts to show his age and forget things (other than what I do, which he forgets now anyway).

But rather than taking down notes, we're more likely to spend our time being fed by Lilly, who is an accomplished cook, taking a tour of their new home (Oupie has finally decided to retire and sell off his nursery) and trying to explain what it is that I do, seeing the only journalists they understand are those that work for a newspaper. They seem more interested in Josias's line of work (construction) than mine anyway. Not that I'm jealous. Well, not very.

I'm looking forward to escaping Gauteng for a few days and being back in the wonderfully verdant Natal province, where I spent most of my school years.

In the meanwhile, I need to get a grip on this nasty project, so let me leave the talk of holidays for the moment and return to the less-interesting reality.


sweets said...

Oupie what a sweetheart!! cute, catching himself a jong bokkie like that ;)

Anonymous said...

*chuckle* i also recently discovered about my great grandparents. Also, dirt poor and worked themselves into a better life.
Those old folks knewhow to get the most out.

phillygirl said...

I think the memoirs are a fabulous idea! I spent years trying to convince my grandfather to write or even tape his ... sadly, he didn't and now has Alzheimers.

I really hope you manage to get down there for Easter!