TUESDAY 26 APRIL 2011
If we thought, yesterday was cold and windy, we didn’t know what a nasty surprise we were in for today. Early this morning I heard the howling wind and then the rain pelting against the windowpanes. Uh oh – and we thought a trip to Agulhas Light House would be on the cards today. With the wind and the rain, this would not be a pleasant option. Instead, we lay in till 9 and then had an enjoyable “Early Breakfast”.
Inactivity is not a good thing for six lively boys and they became restless, disobeying the golden rules of no running, no shouting, no wrestling, no ball games in the house! Earl tried to instil a bit of discipline, which resulted in a wrestling match with his oldest grandson. The other boys egged them on shouting instructions and not one paid the slightest attention to my pleas of “take this outside, you guys!” There were grunts, yells and plenty of laughter but I feared my ‘old man’ would have a heart attack and was relieved when he finally said – Okay – I give up. Jay reigned triumphant.
This of course led to more challenges and so I gave in on condition that the fights were refereed. Josh and Jaryd challenged each other and we had to remind of them of the rules more than once as the older boys separated them – not kicking, no biting, no punching! The intensity of the competition was frightening and neither would give up – so we called a draw before someone got hurt! They were truly a perfect match!
Jordan then challenge Jay and again there was intense competition as they got each other into locks and grappled away their pent up energy. Finally, Jordan conceded that Jay was the champion – for now anyway! Of course he has the advantage of having done three years of mixed martial arts with Steve Bazzea and has just recently returned to it after a years’ break.
I don’t quite understand why boys find it necessary to indulge in these contact sports but it seems to bond them and there are no hard feelings after the grappling. But I made it clear that such games would not be tolerated without adult supervision and refereeing, and weather permitting, it would be outdoors!
After the pent up energy was released we set off for the Maritime Museum in Bredasdorp. I took the boys in while Earl went shopping for a new bed – we were both suffering from backache and thought the time had come to get a decent bed for Struisbaai if we were to be spending more time there in the future! Old age is definitely setting in.
Wondering around a stuffy museum can be a boring pastime so (being the eternal teacher that I am) I set them tasks. They had to find the answers to certain questions and come and whisper the answers to me when they discovered the answers. This element of competition (although there were no prizes) kept them seeking and I hope they learnt more than they might have. Of course, I had to speed read and my dull brain had to retain the information. I sent them off looking for an answer while I quickly gleaned more facts before they could see where I’d found them myself. It was really quite amusing seeing them dart around the exhibits reading like fury to find the relevant facts.
The museum is full of artefacts about sailing ships, early diving gear, lighthouses, figure-heads and ships that have wrecked along the Agulhas Coast and the tit-bits of information we gained were quite interesting. For example, one ship had on board a group of Mandarin noblemen who when they were wrecked near Struisbaai suffered such hunger and thirst that they had to resort to eating their shoes!
After our exploration of the museum, we took the boys to the Wimpy and got them settled at a table while Earl and I popped in to sheet street to get some bed linen. When the owner saw us coming, she said, “I’ll have to charge you extra for this lot!” We laughed but not for long. When we came back the kids’ order still hadn’t been taken. We waited another 20 minutes and still no service – so we left. We couldn’t find a suitable place in either Struisbaai or Agulhas so we got take away pizzas from Pizza World at Struisbaai Mall, and enjoyed these at home instead.
It is now 4 o’clock. The rail held off for a while but it has now started again and it is bitterly cold so the boys are playing Clue while Earl is doing some home maintenance, Jordan is drawing and I am blogging and will soon be reading my book! What am I reading? Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – as if I can’t get enough of this sport!
The weather continued its chilly path but the boys seemed not to notice. After playing Clue they headed outdoors again and only returned to eat supper after which they decided to play a raucous game of what I call “scare, shoot and kill” in the dark. Fortunately our grumpy elderly neighbours have become so frail that they’ve left Struisbaai to be closer to medical attention otherwise we might have had some complaints!
I must add that it was freezing and wet out there – but that made it all the more exciting!
It was a relief when they finally came in for hot chocolate and to quietly do the journals before bed!