Diary of a Beachcomber, and Sundry Snippets, Silly and Sad.


New Year’s Day in Durban was sunny and windless.  Hordes thronged to local beaches, creating traffic jams of sticky consistency on the roads leading there, and human soup in the surf.

I breezed down the path with the dogs to our deserted stretch,  swam across a channel, and had a sandbank with glorious body-surfing waves all to myself, smirking now and again down the coastline at the mobs at the ‘official’ beaches.

A shell haul:

Shell collection

 Returning was less of a breeze.  The sand was blisteringly hot and I had gone down barefoot.  I had to soak my feet, make a dash, frantically make a hole to stand in, dash, make a hole, dash …  The collies and poodles ran fast enough not to be affected, but when I got home it was to see Annie-the-Africanis, who has got far too fat, still wandering miserably up and down at the water’s edge.  I had to go back down for her and dig places on the way across the sand and up the dune for her to cool her pads between sprints. 

I swam in the pool, and then we set off for a leisurely braai (barbeque) on the Berea with Sis&Bro-i-L,

Durban from Berea

featuring the following kebabs:


For dessert, we had bananas on the coals, split and with a fudge filling.  When the skin turned black, they were ready – and delicious!

Minky sideways on             Minky Bro Intent Look 

Yesterday, the monkeys came round and I missed another of those candid camera shots of a lifetime,  Much Better Half was sitting with her back to the door facing Minky Monkey on the patio table, and I collected a banana for him from inside.  As I got to the door, he took a jump towards me to take it – straight onto MBH’s shoulder, where he sat happily to receive his treat.  Her face was an absolute picture as she glanced sideways at the monkey, and then at the tail trailing down her front!  Some of our funniest moments seem to feature wild creatures on shoulders.

 Minky on chair

News to dampen our New Year a bit – the cousin who has been fighting serious cancer, and whose husband then unexpectedly contracted a brain tumour, phoned to say he had passed away on 29th.  So sad – they were in the process of moving from Jo’burg to retire on the North Coast, but as it turned out he only came here to die.  We will be going to the Memorial Service on Friday.

The friend who was mugged is going through an infuriating sequel.  She breezed into Domestic Fornications – er, Home Affairs – with photocopies of her stolen ID to apply for a duplicate, only to be informed that such ID doesn’t exist.  Apparently it was never captured at the time of issue.  This means that, until they sort it out, she cannot renew or get a copy of her Driver’s Licence.  Nor can she operate her bank accounts or even get replacement Library Cards – even though they know her by name at both places.  Talk about ineptitude and bungling bureaucracy!  Computers fed by idiots rule, and people who are somewhat less idiotic cannot override them.  Crooks do seem to manage, though. 

© Colonialist January 2014 (WordPress)


About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Beach, Dogs, Humour, Nature, Ocean, Personal Journal, Photography, Seashells and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Diary of a Beachcomber, and Sundry Snippets, Silly and Sad.

  1. Tokeloshe says:

    What a great haul for the day, I do so miss beach-combing.


  2. Gobetween says:

    Your friend is in deep S**t, a colleague of mine, was mugged recently and although she was able to get a temporary ID the same day she found that she could not get a Blackberry anywhere because she did not have a proper ID document.


  3. calmgrove says:

    A denser post than usual Col (and I mean that in the nicest way). First, commiserations regarding nearest and dearest — neither case news one likes to hear.

    Secondly, pets-who-have-adopted-you — I believe what you say, but you are teasing us until there is unphotoshopped pictorial evidence…

    Finally, love the shell collection: sometimes nature’s bounty has more instrinsic worth and beauty than any treasure in a chest one might casually dig out of the sand.

    Oh, and thanks for the reminder that our never-ending winter storms are not universal (and I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way).


  4. bluebee says:

    An sad start to the new year for your family, Col. Hope the changes 2014 brings from now are good ones. As for the SA Dept of Home Affairs, don’t get me started. We had a nightmare with them when my Dad died. A crystal ball vision of the constipated bureaucracy of SA is one of the reasons I left – made me beyond crazy with rage.


    • colonialist says:

      The final straw is always the pleasure these petty Gestapo seem to take in giving bad news and being obstructive. Even, ‘We have a problem’ would go down better than, ‘There ees a praw-blem!’ with no attempt made to suggest how to ‘feex’ it.


  5. adeeyoyo says:

    Your first para reminds me that things weren’t always great in summer – with the humidity.

    So sorry to hear about your cousin and her husband…

    As for Home Affairs, I have been trying for MONTHS to get a reply from the TV Licencing Dept. Left message on their website, but also a waste of time. Collect their salaries, for WHAT?


  6. Grannymar says:

    The goo, the bad and the stupid, all in a few days. Glad you can see the good side and may the new year rain more good than bad upon you and yours.


  7. Sounds like you welcomed the New Year in true South African style. I can just imagine how elite you felt as you thumbed your nose at the mobs on the crowded beaches. So sorry about your cousin and the loss of her husband. How very sad.
    Your poor friend must be tearing her hair out at the incompetence of Home Affairs. What a bummer! Hope she gets sorted out soon.


  8. The Asian says:

    Condolences to your cousin really seems to have gotten the short end of the stick. You can’t really expect much from any government department nowadays.


  9. Your beach excursion sounds great except for the burning feet. So sorry to hear about the cousin and also about your friend and home affairs.


  10. misswhiplash says:

    So sorry to hear the bad news, but God gives and God takes away..sometimes it is difficult to understand why, but I feel sure that He has good reason and one day we might all be able to understand it.
    As for all the red tape and stupidity…that is what government depts. are made up of..idiots. I do hope that you friend will soon get it sorted out. It must be very difficult for her to even exist without necessary documents…..
    A bad start to the new year but it will improve love P


  11. bulldog says:

    Some good news from your day and some not so good… as for the Dept… what more can we expect..??


  12. It sounds like an idyllic way to spend a day, apart from your cousin’s terrible news and the hot feet. Oh the memories you conjured up with that braai! I remember, drooling at the thought, a wonderful Christmas lunch with friends, of a big juicy bourgeouis (red snapper) cooked on our metal foot scraper over a hole dug in the beach and a fire of coconut husks.

    Imagine an entrancing Indian Ocean dive in tepid turquoise sea, exploring the corals and observing a rainbow of tropical fish. Comes the time to get out and go home to make supper and a shocking discovery: the car keys, clipped to a loop of Jock’s shorts, seem to have slipped their leash.

    A frantic fruitless search ensued. Like you, we had no shoes, and the walk a) up the hot beach to where the useless car was sitting under a casuarina tree and b) along a mile of burning concrete road when we ran out of beach, was daunting. Our neighbour had a key to our flat, so that was OK, and then we were obliged to summon a slightly shady acquaintance, who hot-wired the car to get it home. Obtaining replacement keys was almost as long drawn out a beaurocratic process as your friend’s attempt to obtain replacement ID.


  13. Sonel says:

    Looks like you had a lovely and relaxing day indeed Col. Love those shells and the kebabs looks delicious! The monkeys are so adorable and it’s great to see others are having fun with them as well.
    My condolences on the loss of your cousin’s husband and the mugging is a sad story as well. It always amazes me how those idiots know how to switch on a computer in the first place. I do hope she gets everything sorted out very soon.

    Wishes for a lovely and happy 2014. 😀


  14. Your friend’s ordeal convinces me that the gods must be crazy…


  15. Ruth2Day says:

    Both good and bad news for you. Hoping 2014 will be bright and keep you smiling 🙂


  16. granny1947 says:

    Good Morning Col…so sad about your cousin…makes one think..don’t put stuff off.
    Have such a clear mental picture of you on the hot beach. 🙂


  17. nrhatch says:

    Life is a mixed bag, eh? The good, the bad, the happy, the sad, and the stuff that is inane and makes us mad.


  18. Colline says:

    I am amazed that you were able to find such beautiful shells on your walk. Do you go where not many venture?


  19. disperser says:

    I liked the post, but actually I “like” parts of it, and “not like” other parts.


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