Spent most of September 2012 in the United Kingdom, visiting family and parts previously unknown to us – Scotland and the Western Isles, northern Wales, the Northumberland coast ... a fabulous trip when Mrs Kaartman and I spent only one night of thirty out of the company of excellent friends or family.
|The Cutty Sark [London]; |
the 1400-year old Chapel of St Columba [Mull of Kintyre]
|A gloomy Scottish B&B: no toilets;|
A pale and gloomy Scottish knight
|Good thing Poms can’t read Afrikaans;|
Was that really Mrs Gripper’s first name?
Down the ages people have uprooted themselves and moved, given the chance. Down the ages people have rejected the “take root or die” option, and sought greener pastures. It’s why human beings occupy our entire planet, after all! Without that urge humanity might, for better or worse, have remained squatting around the fading firelight in Klasies River Cave, gnawing at an endless diet of blue mussels and half-done porcupine. I have no problems at all with your re-location.
Kaartman inspects Hadrian’s defences; apartheid failed there too!
Kaartman being sacrilegious in the Sacrum
Why were you, our guest, so desperate to get home to the UK? Because, as you also wrote, most B and B’s you stayed in in SA were like ‘toilets’? The Kaartman’s mapping takes us all over our country; we’ve stayed in a huge variety of lodgings, but hell man, you had bad luck – none of ours were like toilets. In fact, every single one of them was as good as anywhere we stayed in in the UK – and I include the Welsh Georgian hotel at £250 per night (for the same price, in Wales you could go ‘glamping’ in a luxury tent sourced from Cristy Sports, in Diep River, Cape Town, or bathe in a Sundance pool imported from Somerset West ... but I digress ...)
While in the UK we stumbled upon a Scottish Nationalist rally in Edinburgh; elsewhere, in Bristol, it was Party Congress time; and somewhere in London a cabinet minister told a policeman that he was a ‘peasant’. A man called Miliband made a speech on TV that had the media in raptures; another man, a Prime Minister perhaps, made a speech about the stumbling economy; the Scottish Nats made speeches about Perfidious Albion. The level of fatuous inanity in every one of these politicians’ sundry utterances made George Bush II seem like an admirable orator. Later, we passed through Campbeltown in Kintyre, a filthy, shabby place that was made the worse by the realisation that all its dirty, indigent inhabitants have enjoyed the benefit of a century and a half of free education and full democracy. And while they were enjoying that, their compatriots, masters, apparatchiks and idols were busy denying the same benefits to the majority of South Africans ...
|Windsor Castle: Kaartman inspects this early British Nkandla;|
Rannoch Moor: no toilets there either
So I’m sorry we missed you in Cape Town, Johnno, old friend. You clearly needed a bit of cheering up, and if WP winning the Currie Cup didn’t do it for you, mebbe we could have – in our home, of course, not in a ‘toilet’. Next time maybe we won’t be away basking in the desert sunshine, relishing its empty spaces ... ?
|London: They must have imported this vaatjie from the Western Cape;|
London: a typically warm, sunny day
Kaartman, November 2012