Monday, September 10, 2012

Lebombo border post

Approaching the SA / Mozambique Lebombo border post: It's a dead-heavy heat that's lacquered across a mostly colourless, tinderbox-dry pan-flat landscape. It's a parched landscape desperate, and begging, for summer's rain.
As my eyes get bored with staring, they unfocus into a non-present moment. That's the direction of where Samora Machel's plane hit the ground in 1986.
Then, suddenly, the bleakness left over from winter is destroyed, and interspersed, by vast, wonderfully lumo-green banana plantations: for contrast's sake the luscious, flailing palms stand, ironically, soldier-stiff in rich-red loamy soil.
Komatipoort passes in a flash.
Then the wide-flat blue beauty of the Komati River, in less-of-a-flash, flowing fast and hard from last week's first, but faraway rains.
Passport's out.
"No smoking & alcohol allowed", and "no blasphemy", is inscribed on the inside of the luxury bus we're traveling in.
A fresh, strong wind's blowing aggressively from Maputo's direction; amidst this bleakness of the landscape - and the litter-strewn devastation of the no-man's land between borders - it's surreal to smell, and sense, the exotic Indian Ocean so close-by.
I'm also well aware, because it was during my life time, of the ghosts of the war that shredded Mozambique. Also an awareness of the loss of life, mostly always of the poor and downtrodden, and of the ghosts of land-mines (and body parts) this now fine road is built upon.
Nor should we ever forget the sublime 'wars' that the former SA apartheid regime inflicted upon its neighbours.

Thursday, September 06, 2012


It's stopped, in the early hours of the morning, the rain that's lashed the house for two days.
Croaking frogs, more deep throated than those I'm used to at home, are interspersed by silence, then crickets, and then by the first large aircraft that I've noticed in days despite the nearby international airport.
But no dripping, sodden leaves, and sheets of rain; although 100 mm is expected through today. Then summer sun for the weekend.
As I arrived on the N2, 22 km north of Zinkwazi, on Friday, a stray dog ran in front of my car. At 16h00 on a Friday afternoon I was stuck on the side of road and with what should have been the insides of my car, then hanging out.
After a good and snotty sobbing session I came to my senses: I was unscathed, I was alive, I had been doing less than the speed limit, if not I could have rolled the car.
Without transport I've been able to explore the coastline on foot, both by running and walking, and I've had - at least twice - the opportunity to be wonderfully soaked through to my skin, and to jump in puddles; all of this with a broad, toothy grin on my gaunt dial!
To be oozing energy, fitness, leanness, mental health and wellness is a gift from the most high.
Now back to bed and deliciously deep sleep - I'm still needing tablets - and to think this nighttime rambling all started with an early morning pee.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

This mortal coil

The rain's pouring-drip-ping against the wooden house, then - unexpectedly - ratchets up a double notch: now it's a sodden downpour.
I'm in bed, listening
There's a beautiful but tumoured dog with gentle eyes and soft fur lying at the foot of my bed, it's the first time she's sleeping here.
She is dying.