One reason I love Life in the Midlands, is enjoying four distinct seasons. Somewhat confusing however is the notion of mid-Winter Solstice on 21 June, yet the coldest weather generally comes thereafter? The first frosts have arrived and the country hereabouts assumes its gorgeous patchwork of browns and greens. The battlefield region by comparison is generally only shades of brown. Love this time of year, with long, cold nights and short, beautiful days.
Follow me to Africa Travel Academy was hosted at the masterfully renovated Brahman Hills at Mount West, and they kindly invited me to address the delegates familiarising themselves with KZN. It was wonderful to see many familiar faces, whilst entertaining an extremely diverse audience, including 6 Russian operators. Gill Bowmaker has woven her magic, and Brahman Hills really is excelling at eventing, weddings, etc. Basement storerooms have been converted into an intimate restaurant and lounge. What a distant cry from the old Three J’s Motel!
My old school, Howick High School, asked me to speak at a fundraiser for which I created an entirely new talk titled ‘The Power of Dreams’. Beginning with those formative years at Howick, including a trip to the Okavango Delta which fuelled a deep desire to travel more. The talk centered largely on the fulfilment of dreams with very little resource. Travelling across Africa with Kingsley Holgate, hiking in the high Himalayas, driving around Australia before tackling the Alaskan-Canadian Highway, and other travel experiences created much interest and at times, amusement. These experiences eventually leading me to working with David Rattray on the Anglo-Zulu War battlefields for 11 years, before starting our own business, specialising in professional speaking, battlefields tours and Antarctic cruises. Most importantly, dreams are the seeds of reality. Dreams make Life so much more meaningful and creative. I wanted the audience to know that dreams are achievable, almost always – they simply need to believe that and work sensibly towards their realisation. An audience of 370 guests plus raffle tickets raised R31 000 for Howick High School – an incredible effort. Hitherto never dreamed possible!
The iconic Comrades ultra-marathon took place on Sunday, 10 June. Amongst many friends, my sister and sister-in-law also ran from Pietermaritzburg to Durban – 91km for those unfamiliar with this incredible Human Race. This year 23 000 runners took part. My brother and I seconded on my motorcycle. Traffic and crowds make a motorbike the best means of getting about, and we had a fantastic day supporting our runners. Congratulations to everyone who qualified and entered – you are a very special breed indeed. For those dreaming of doing Comrades one day, go for it!
Just as winter precedes spring, for me an utterly appropriate time to consider the days ahead, dreams held and the means of finding the way through….