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How nice it was at the weekend to see King’s Park again packed with spectators, in spite of the wild weather. How nice to see the cobbled-together Bok side come through. And how nice to watch such wonderful rugby, come rain, come wind, come cold.
Chills the body but not the soul!
And the after-party – this is what makes King’s Park unique in the world of rugby. No other venue has quite Durban’s combination of mild winter weather (okay, not so mild this last occasion) and space for the after-match braais and parties.
There was a time when the outer fields looked like an encamped army with all the fires. Then they got banned because the charcoal made such a mess. Gas skottels are just not the same, they don’t produce the spectacle or the atmosphere.
Isn’t it time the NRU had a rethink? Balance the cost and nuisance factor of braai fires against the value of promoting this unique feature of Durban? I bet Loftus, Ellis Park and Newlands wouldn’t think twice.
WILD weather again at the Mango Groove concert in the Botanic Gardens the following evening. Afropop music in the most marvellous setting.
An Egyptian goose wandered unconcernedly among the fans. A flock of egrets kept flashing overhead. A stately heron stooged about and then there was a squadron of four or five pelicans hovering about above the show. As they coped with the buffeting winds, they seemed almost to be bouncing in time to the music, the way the fans on the ground were.
Perhaps, like me, they hadn’t watched Mango Groove live before. Great stuff, not least the pennywhistle. As I say, freezing weather.
Chills the body but not the soul!
What’s she up to?
MALAWI’S new president, Joyce Banda, seems to be behaving in the most extraordinary way.
She’s sold the presidential jet and sold off a fleet of luxury state vehicles and replaced them with cheaper models. She used a commercial airline to attend Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee celebrations.
Now she says that if Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir sets foot in Malawi he will be arrested, because a warrant has been issued by the International Court of Justice. As a result, an AU summit has been shifted to Ethiopia.
What is this lady up to? Is she trying to ruin Africa’s reputation?
Twiggy’s on tow
YESTERDAY’S item on Twiggy’s Pie Cart, in Maritzburg, reminds reader Perry Webb of the time the late-night diner was towed up to the station.
“Twiggy’s was closing up one night when a group of farmers turned up from the First and Last pub in Victoria Road. They wouldn’t reopen for these boys, so they hitched the pie cart up to their jeep and towed it to the station – with a lot of screaming and smashing of dishes. They unhitched the cart at the railway station.”
Yes, that’s perfectly true. They were a bunch of farmers from Richmond. Apparently, as they towed the pie cart they tossed into it from the back of the jeep handfuls of burning hay. Twiggy and his assistant, Sam Naidoo, had to furiously fight the fires with coffee from the urn. Very amusing.
The ringleader was a fellow whose regular party trick was to ride his horse on to the dance floor. He and the horse had a great sense of rhythm. I think they specialised in Latin-American steps.
No television, no music downloads, no this, no that. Places like Maritzburg and Richmond were very dull in those days.
NEWSFLASH from Canada: A car parked in Toronto had a bumper sticker that read: “I miss South Africa.” The driver returned to find the window broken, the radio stolen and a note: “I hope this helps.”
A POM VISITOR is in a bar in the Australian outback. He asks the barman where he will find the loo.
“Just out there, out back, mate.”
He finds a commode out in the open, buzzing with flies. Somewhat astonished, he is availing himself of it when he spots a figure enthroned on a similar commode.
The figure calls a greeting: “G’day, mate. You a stranger?”
“Thought so. You’re in the ladies’!”
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious. – Oscar Wilde