Mid-September finds much of our country still pitifully dry and desperate for rain. Whilst Bell-Pottinger dominates local news, thoughts are with those in the Caribbean and America whose homes are flooded, and those in war-torn regions in the Middle East.
A recent talk presented by Rosanne Symons at Midlands Forum was shocking in the extreme regarding the Syrian situation, where Rosanne worked as a trauma doctor recently with Gift of the Givers. The following month Tristan Dickerson gave a talk on his contribution to local leopard conservation with fake leopard fur for Shembe followers and politicians who wish to wear such adornment. It was the most wonderful, positive, unconventional story. I strongly recommend viewing the documentary “To skin a cat” for anyone interested in what a dedicated, young man is capable of.
I have not been able to fly-fish in months, and my trip to Nottingham Road was thwarted by winds. Managed to hook one trout which promptly broke my leader where it meets the fly line. Thankfully our local dam has been re-stocked with promising results. Nothing quite like a fresh trout for dinner.
Unique Speaker Bureau hosted a showcase breakfast in Johannesburg, where I presented part of my new talk ‘Engaging Intuition’. The story of Harry Wolhuter killing a lion with a sheath knife in 1903, and the part intuition played in his ultimate survival proved most engaging for the audience.
CFO South Africa graciously invited me to address three functions at marvellous venues – The Saxon, The Inanda Club and The Westcliffe. I spoke around themes of ‘How History judges great men and women’, ‘Knowing your Core’, and ‘Endurance’. Graham Fehrsen was very clear in what he wanted, making my life as speaker/storyteller so much easier and we enjoyed wonderful engagement from all attendees. As anticipated, the food, drink and service at all three venues was magnificent.
Seeing family and friends in Johannesburg was of course the added bonus.
Jaguar Land Rover in Durban engage me to share stories with their clients at various historical sites across the province. This past weekend we visited the site where the Prince Imperial of France was killed by Zulus on 1 June 1879, before moving on to little-known St Augustine’s Cathedral near Rorke’s Drift. The drought renders the roads particularly dusty, and resurfacing with hard, sharp gravel created a few punctures, including one on my vehicle. Never have I been so grateful for tyre insurance, since the tyres are brand-new. Our stay at Fugitives’ Drift was fantastic, including tours to Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, and a picnic on the Buffalo River at Rorke’s old drift. Highlight of the weekend may well have been the 4×4 track down to Shishane in a remote area of Zululand, for a wonderful braai on the banks of the Buffalo River. The All New Discovery is a magnificent vehicle and idled down to Shishane with 7 adults on board without a murmur. We posted some photos and video’s on my Facebook page. Hopefully there will be similar outings in the future. JLR Durban are a delight to deal with.
This weekend finds me speaking at the Hilton Arts Festival at Hilton College, always a great family outing amidst glorious surroundings. We leave shortly on our annual UK lecture tour, feeling immeasurably grateful to be busy in challenging present economic times. Carpe’ diem.