Slowly, slowly, the mystiqueness that surrounds The Bushguy is unravelling.
I’ve told you in previous instalments of The Bush Palace Chronicles about our bush-dwelling recluse who shies away from people and their cluttered, noisy lives and chooses to live quietly in a three-walled cabin deep in the coastal vegetation behind the Bush Palace.
To refresh your memories, I could add that he only ever wears a pair of navy blue shorts and shuns a shirt and shoes, even in the most adverse weather conditions. Well, as adverse as the weather gets in our sub-tropical paradise of Umdloti.
I bumped into The Film Director, the cool guy who lives in a cottage immediately behind the Bush Palace, at the foot of the steps leading up to our jungle hideaway. He had been surfing and was chilling on the steps with a Castle Milk Stout, apparently still mesmerised by the waves he had caught. Ever the nosey journo-blogger, I probed for info about our Bushguy.
TFD (the Film Director) confided that the only time he had seen Bushguy’s rustic lodgings was when he heard a loud crash one afternoon and went to investigate. “I called out into the dense bush to ask if he was OK and he said he was. Apparently, he had a fourth wall on his log cabin which operated on a pulley system so that it could be lowered on very hot days and then raised when it rained and got chilly.
“What had happened was the pulley system had rusted and that afternoon the whole contraption broke and the fourth wall collapsed,” said TFD. “He’s never bothered to have it fixed so he lives and sleeps with one side of his cabin totally open to the elements, not to mention snakes, vervet monkeys and all the creepy-crawlies that lives in our bush.”
I love this. I don’t know about you, dear Hatpeople, but Bushguy deeply fascinates me. Not least because I can see the appeal in the lifestyle he has chosen. It’s natural. It’s wild. It’s, yes, deeply spiritual.
But it got better at the weekend. On Sunday, the hottest day we’ve had in a while, I strolled along North Beach – still unfamiliar to me – looking for a gap in the rocks where I could swim. Bushguy’s coming towards me with two of his dogs and a piece of wooden panel under his arm. He recognised me and gave me that haute enigmatique smile. After he had shown me a spot in the ocean, clear of reef, where I could swim, I pointed to his piece of wood and asked him if he had been bodyboarding.
“No, skimboarding,” our man of few words murmured. “I made this out of something I found. It works really well. Want to see?” He ran off towards the waves and I got my camera out just in time to record this…
Bushguy's wooden panel from somebody's former wardrobe works a treat as he skims impressively into the ocean...
... and he's engulfed by the foamy stuff as his skimboard ride comes to an end...
... and, without so much as a 'how's your father', Bushguy lopes off along the beach back to his safe haven in the bush Pix: Hatman
Got to love Bushguy! Enigmatique or what? More on him and his life in the wild as it all unfolds…
Here at The Bush Palace, every hour of the day throws a different light on our 155 deg slice of the Indian Ocean.
And, yesterday morning, while most of you, dear Hatpeople, were recovering from Christmas parties or other gatherings of humungous bonhomie, your faithful “SA-positive blogger” was up with the Natal Robins, snapping a sunrise of increasing phenomenalness.
Just for you. Because I love you. Because I feel you. Because I feel your love for all things beautiful. And I try not to disappoint you. So let’s have a squiz at yesterday morning’s lights display from our majestic mansion nestling in the Umdloti bush…
It's still dark, the ships have their lights on... and this is what happens when I fiddle ignorantly with the settings on my Kodak Instamatic and my hands are as steady as yours were the morning after thaaat Christmas party...
The sky's coming over all deep purple... and my camerashake shows no sign of improving...
Wait. Perhaps if I twist the camera and give my right hand a bit of a rest?
Ah, that's better! Amazing what that first cup of strong black tea (more like Five Roses soup) can do to tighten one's grip on a Sunday morning! All pix: Hatman
There you go. I hope you enjoyed that little show as much as I enjoyed capturing it for you. All in a day’s work on your only “medically diagnosed SA-positive” blog. I’ll be back later with major Bushguy breakthroughnesss. I bumped into our bush-dwelling man of local mystique on the beach yesterday. A short conversation ensued. And a couple of new pix of him playing the incredible Bush Palace Character that he is! All of this coming up later today!
After days of painstakingly assessing the final mo’s in our “Great Camps Bay vs Umdloti Mo-off” contest, Judge Lucy eventually adjudged the “Trucker” ‘tache sprouted by The Heartman of Umdloti as the winner.
Lucy Balona, head of Marketing and Communications at Cansa, the organisers of the “Mo-vember” campaign to raise awareness of cancers afflicting men, sportingly agreed to be the judge in the competition between Seth Rotherham, superstar blogger and sex symbol of Camps Bay, and Geoff “Heartman” Brink, Heart & Sole tour unicyclist and generally hailed as the most macho of he-men in Umdloti.
This is how “Judge Lucy” reported back her findings to fredhatman.co.za:
I am going to have to go with the Heartie’s final Mo. Our Seth’s Mo looks rather frightened, like he’s being caught with his pants down…. oops… and you didn’t send a big enough bribe! So First Prize to supercool Heartie who seems very comfortable with his Mo.
I reserve the right to have my mind changed, depending on the amount of donations that come rolling in ….
Head: Marketing and Communications
The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)
Toll-free 0800 22 66 22
Leading the fight against cancer in South Africa
Right. Thanks, Lucy, for being such a sport of great jolliness and a judge as astute and diligent in your inspection of the evidence presented before you as any in our esteemed Supreme Court. OK, so let’s have a good butchers at the evidence upon which Judge Lucy was asked to make her decision…
Exhibit A: Seth Rotherham's porn star mo, snapped while out and asprout at Frankie Fleck's clothing range launch in Cape Town
Exhibit B: The Heartman's supamuthatrucker mo, captured post-not-so-close-shave in his bathroom at the Bush Palace
Mmmm. Perhaps you’ll join me in agreeing that this was more of a “No Contest” than a “Mo Contest”? But a massively hairy doff of my red hat to 2oceansvibe\’s Seth for taking part and for so strongly and persuasively promoting “Movember” on his hugely popular blog. And to The Heartman for stopping his endless stalking of wildlife in the Umdloti bush in search of a decent breakfast and postponing his early morning unicycle ride to shave and pose for the above pic.
And, to all those womenfolk who endured the tickling action of hairy upper lips on Tom Selleck look-a-likes for one whole month, a thank-you for understanding why a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do to highlight the cancers that continue to nibble away at our nuts and prostate glands. Nice one, angels!
And all those guys who were man enough to adjust the flightpath of their Gillettes so as to allow for a top-lip turnout… bristling good work, Mo Bros! You have to say it: South Africa’s Got ‘Tache!
And now, for no reason at all other than to pay homage to the sumptuous weather which we on KwaZulu-Natal’s sub-tropical coastline enjoy all-year-round and thus seriously piss off our friends in Cape Town who continue to be deservedly punished by winter’s woes, I bring you some jolly japery from the weekend.
The Heartman, my boy who will be trundling down to Cape Town on AmaOneTyre soon enough to raise awareness of landmines and timed to arrive in Slaapstad in time for their statutory three weeks of sunshine, and I did our training rides in scorching 34deg heat before falling into the local lagoon to retrieve our legendary coolness.
La Mercy Lagoon, a short beachwalk from our residential arrangements at the Bush Palace, presented a scene of quite stunning kiffness and, after parking the 36-incher unicycle on the golden sands, we plunged into the cool waters of our lekker laguna. A Fish Eagle swooped and crooned overhead and soon we had the Canon 50D out… to capture some aquatic moves we’ve been working on.
You are now invited to assess our progress…
All is sereneness as Goose the Bull Mastiff detects a hat and hand emerging from the azure waters of La Mercy Lagoon...
No, it's not some aquatic Guy Fawkes display but The Heartman in the second phase of something I think he calls "The Bionic Goat", for reasons which initially eluded me...
Aah, now it's all making perfect sense! Heartman introduces "The Bionic Goat" manoeuvre into your lives... Pics: Hatman
There. Aren’t you relieved that you didn’t miss this? I understand. So, be sure to tell all of your friends about this. They will thank you for it. And, of course, you will all sink into a blissful state of epic gratefulness to me for bringing this into your lives. But, wait. There’s more. I was then coerced into coming up with something for Heartman to snap in “continuous shooting mode”.
Stop whatever you’re thinking about being distracted by because the following frames depict such grace, such raw athleticism and power that you will likely be rendered agog by the witnessing of it. Breathe, relax and simply embrace the beautifulnesses of my body in aquatic motion…
My babies, you are now enraptured by the first phase of my "Human Whale in Backward Breech Mode" display. Wait, it gets even better...
Yes, you have now slipped into a state of extreme swoonfulness. Perfectly normal. You will come out of it once this gem of balleticness is over. Hang in there...
Hyperventilation can be assuaged by breathing into a small paper bag. Try it! Good. It's OK. What you are feeling is what many go through when exposed to athletic prowess on an epic scale. Tear your eyes away, breathe smoothly into that bag and your heart rate should normalise... Pics: Heartman
You see? There was no need to panic, was there? No call for Netcare 911, hey? There are some things in life that just need to be embraced. Let yourself go, as David Bowie says. Right. You can now go back to doing whatever it was you were tackling before I enhanced your Monday with this sumptuous piece of aquatic art which, if I may, I shall entitle “Goat Lagoon”. Like that other nifty knees-up I penned and choreographed which I called “Swan Lake”, but only far better, n’cest pas?