One of the first posts I put on this blog was about Ivy Bean, 103 years old (at the time) and the sweetest tweeter on Twitter.
I am so sad to tell you that I have learned that Mrs Bean – or @IvyBean104 as she was addressed on Twitter – died in England on Tuesday.
Mrs Bean was followed by many celebs on Twitter. Here, Peter Andre meets his Twitter idol.
A tweet sent from @IvyBean104 confirmed this, saying: “Ivy passed away peacefully at 12.08 this morning… Im sorry it took me so long to tell you but it was a very difficult thing to do.”
In my last post, I featured a charming video interview with Twitter’s oldest netizen. She was an absolute darling and will be greatly missed by her family and everybody at the nursing home, as well as by her 57,000 followers on Twitter. Mrs Bean tweeted with an abundant warmth of spirit and no little endearing cheekiness too. RIP, dear Ivy.
I’ve been asked to pay the hosting fees to renew the fredhatman.co.za blog with Hetzner, who have looked after me extremely well for the first year of my blogging life.
Wowness. A whole year! Now, usually at this point, people like to look back and review the past year, pinpointing their highs and lows and generally boring me to within an inch of my life with what has gone before.
I’m not a fan of looking back. Give me today. Carpe diem. And then let’s grab hold of the future. So, what does the future hold for your “diagnosed SA-positive” blog? You’ve got me there, Hatpeople. You don’t mind me calling you Hatpeople, do you? Good.
Just as I don’t analyse the past, so I don’t like to try to prescribe the future. That’s never worked for me. Visualise a best-case scenario, yes, make decisions around it, no. What will happen will happen. What’s the point of planning for the unknown? “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans,” said John Lennon. He was sharp, was John. So all I can say is, that for as long as I write this blog, its central theme will be one that is “SA-positive”.
It’s the way I’m wired. To be positive about my beloved country. South Africa. It’s purely instinctive, my great love affair and affinity with my country. And I instinctively write with passion about the things that make South Africa the best country in the world in which to live.
Wave the flag, wave the flag...
So, if it’s all the same to you, that is how we will continue on this blog. What I am doing, however, is bringing a bit of structure (did I hear cheering at the back?) to how I deliver to you my blogposts. Yes. I need to do that.
It’s been a bit all over the place, hasn’t it? Loyal followers of fredhatman.co.za (and I thank both of you for lasting a full year) have never know when to expect to find some freshly-laid waffle to read. There have been days I have kept you waiting. There have been days, especially during this post-World Cup cold turkey slump, when I gave you diddly-squat. I’m sorry. No, really. I am.
So, today’s previous post will give you a hint of what you can expect to find on any weekday. First up, in the morning, a fascinating fact about South Africa, delivered with a Hatmanesque twist. You’ve told me you like it. So I’m sticking with it. This start-your-day factoid is called “Know The Beloved Country”.
Then, later in the day, you’ll be getting something – it could be anything – which generally will show off our uniquely beautiful and intriguing country in an “SA-positive” light. You know where to go to read the bad news. And you know to come here for the good stuff.
Cool. You’ll get that before home-time. Unless, of course, you’re skiving off early for a bit of how’s-your-daddy. And that’s fine by me. You’re probably over 16. You have choices. Far be it for me to judge. Good golly, no.
OK. So you should, by now, know that not only am I lucky enough to live in South Africa, I’m seriously blessed to live in a particularly gorgeous part of it. Stanford. Third best-preserved Victorian village in the Western Cape. In the Overberg region. Twenty-three kilometres on the R43 beyond Hermanus going towards Gansbaai, to be precise.
Yes, we’re sandwiched between South Africa’s “whale-watching capital” and our “shark cage-diving hotspot”. Lucky fish. That’s us. It’s a largely undiscovered rural gem, is Stanford. And a village that has a vibe that is impossible to describe. “Hugely spiritual” will have to do.
Stanford: a spiritual experience
I’m going to be doing some writing about what it’s like to live here in Stanford. The amazing people it continues to attract. The strange goings-on. The headless horse which gallops through the roads of Die Skema by night. The seven leylines which run across our land. The annual far-too-hotly-contested giant pumpkin-growing competition. Weird stuff.
And I’ll also be updating you on the exciting campaign to position Stanford as the gateway to the fast-developing biosphere that is blossoming around the Agulhas National Park, right here on our doorstep. How we are growing towards becoming a hugely attractive nature-based tourism destination. But more, much more, on that later.
You might remember The Heart and Sole Tour, a crazy 2,000km unicycle jaunt from Durban to Cape Town earlier this year? Well, there is to be another unicycle marathon starting in November… and this time three unicyclist friends of mine will ride off-road (almost all the way) from Umhlanga lighthouse to Mouille Point lighthouse to raise awareness of a an excellent cause that is close to all of our hearts.
This mammoth undertaking is still in the planning stages but I will be writing a great deal about this as it unfolds. Prepare yourself. It’s going to be another rollercoaster adventure, babies.
What else? Oh, ja. You’ll want to read something after you’ve got home. Once you’ve put the TV to bed and before you slump on to the sofa to watch the children. Something like that. So I’ll be posting a wee taster about how it feels to me to spend another day in paradise. A rumination about life in a small country village in South Africa. Stanford. I might call it “By A Country Smile”. We’ll know by tonight.
And, if you’re really unlucky, I might start posting reports of my “Weekends with The Beast”, adventures down the dirt roads which lead in every direction out of Stanford and into the magnificent Overberg. But that’s only if you dare to visit me on a Monday…
How beautiful is The Beast?
* If you wish to receive updates of all of my blogposts, please join the Fred Hatman group on facebook or follow fredhatman on Twitter. Should you want to be updated only on Stanford-related posts, join the Stanford Alive! group on facebook. For updates on posts about the “mammoth off-road unicycle ride”, join The CounterBalance Project facebook group. Whatever you do, stay SA-positive!
I woke up this morning to the biting cold of a Stanford winter’s day. Alone. And suffering a deep depression.
I needed help. Group therapy sounded good. And I got it. From the vastly swollen ranks of the “SA-positive” people out there who are as hungover as me. On this day after the drunken month before.
So, how to describe how I feel? I can’t. I’m leaving it to you. These are the pick-me-up messages which came my way on facebook and Twitter today… I’ll throw in some pretty pictures just to – how do newspaper journalists say? – “break up the copy”…
Bravo Espana, bravo. the Grand Parade fanfest, filled to capacity with 25000 people was a SA experience i will NEVER forget as long as I live. People crying together, dancing, hugging, never before seen such unity amongst strangers and classes, creeds, colours and ages.
Trust a Ghanaian fan to succeed where Paris Hilton failed. Nobody bothered this bloke when he brought his pot into the stadium.
Dear SAFA – time to put your money where our youth developmental programme should be. How about PSL season to start with a youth league?
We did it South Africa. Thank you world for sharing our beautiful country.
Well done. Somehow, we must all soldier on. And we got our taste of rugby last night with the Dutch team. Sjoe!
The Netherlands' Nigel de Jong, who was later sent off, impresses upon Xabi Alonso of Spain that he didn't miss a single Bruce Lee movie as a kid
SA so in love with the vuvuzela that we name a newly discovered flower after it… iafrica.com
Spain has won the #worldcup of Football, but SA has won the World Cup of nation-building, social cohesion, national unity, pride & branding!
There’s always the Tri-Nations and Currie Cup to tide us over till the Premiership starts…
The football fans are taking lots of Vuvuzelas home #ORTambo #Joburg
Sorry, I'm not sure how this slipped in. The iPhone, I mean.
South Africa: On top of the world. Photo gallery… Times Live
South Africa proved it – the potential is high and the spirit of the people is strong. A metaphor for all of Africa?
South Africa #WorldCup stats ~ Attendance 3,178,856 (49,670 per match) Goals scored 145 ~ Wikipedia
Well done Spain – the best-looking team won the tournament. Well done South Africa – the best hosts won over the world.
The Spanish team seem quite happy to get their hands on the World Cup trophy... after some nutter had earlier run on the field to try to nick it. A Fifa heavy took him out with an almighty forearm smash to save the day. And he wasn't even Dutch.
I’m going to miss buying beers in the street and posing for photo’s with the police in front of Caspirs. Thank you South Africa, as if I needed a reason to love you more.
If the ref had picked up the foul on Robben, I think we’d have a different World Cup winner today! Well done to Spain, though, and to everyone involved in making the World Cup such a great success. I think we can all be extremely proud of the way South Africa rose to the challenge and made those doubting thomases, myself included, eat humble pie! Thanks for a fantastic tournament!!
Just watched all the morning news shows say good bye to the WC. I shed a tear.
The ever-popular Diego Forlan didn't shed a tear when Uruguay didn't make the final. He got so pissed off that he came along anyway, bringing a World Cup trophy his mum made for him back in Montevideo.
M sure s0uth africa are the best h0sts eva yho! even when 0ur teamz wer d0wn nd 0ut ppl still went 2 the stadiumz i salute u SOUTH AFRICA!
Well done, my country! We hosted the biggest sporting event in the world and EVERYBODY thinks it has been the best so far! I can’t wait for the next challenge cos we proved to ourselves that Yes, We Can!
Wow, South Africa, aren’t you proud ? Gosh that was beautiful, I must say, new South African history is written, forget june 16, together we wrote june 11 and it left a smile on all our faces, long live south africa!
Not trusting Eskom, quite a few fans brought their torches along for the closing ceremony at Soccer City last night.
There cannot be a single aficionado (not even in the Netherlands) who will dispute the cosmic justness of Spain’s win. They were better on the day, and they have been better than any team in the world for the last year or two. More than that, they play irrefutable football, football that fathers can watch with their children, football that is cerebral, clean-limbed, dignified, balletic, and immensely loveable—that last because they are not a team of physical giants, but are instead (for the most part) dapper men of modest proportions who wouldn’t draw a second glance if they were alongside one in the subway.”
And this from a Spanish guy… SOUTH AFRICA!!!!!!! A BIG CONGRATULATION TO THE BEST HOST NATION IN HISTORY!!!!! YOU DID AN EXCELLENT JOB AND BRING THE WORLD TOGETHER!!!!! THIS IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE THE WORLD AND YOU DID IT !!!!! AWESOME JOB!!!!!! NOW THE OLYMPICS IS GOING TO 2020!!! AWESOME WC2010!
I think Miguel enjoyed himself. And didn’t we all? Never again will those foreign predictors of doom – and our own naysayers – disrespect us. Yes, we are South AfriCAN.
We hoped he would turn up for one last hurrah. And, as always, Mr Mandela didn't let us down. Madiba, have we told you recently how much we love you?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to bed. I’ve got to try to shift this hangover…
Note to neighbour: Would you mind terribly, old chap, not blowing the old vuvu just for the rest of today? Ta.
We South Africans are in no hurry to forgive the London tabloids for the trash they have spewed out about our beautiful country and equally sublime World Cup.
In fact, I have a good mind to approach those copies of the Daily Mirror (they have had the audacity to publish their tripe in South Africa during this World Cup) piled up at the Stanford Spar and do something unmentionable to their front page. But, since I have signed the Fifa pledge to be nice to all foreigners except Cristiano Ronaldo for the next month, I won’t.
Thank goodness, then, for the Great British Sense Of Humour. As displayed by these two wags (not WAGs) who produced a quite stunning poster during the Brazil vs North Korea game last night.
Please, Hatpeople, allow your mince pies (eyes) to feast on this thing of knee-whacking humour…
Nice one, lads! Pic: Tom Jenkins / The Guardian
I do like that. A lot. And there’s no way the DKR (Dictatorial Republic of Korea) fans were going to get away with waving that baby around, what with The Great Leader probably watching on his mammoth flat-screen in his palace back in Pyongyang.
* Thanks for use of this pic to The London Guardian which is providing extensive and very balanced coverage – unlike their tabloid brethren – of our World Cup. In fact, I have joined the London Guardian’s phenomenal World Cup Fans Network for the duration of the World Cup football finals. If you would like to read what I’m saying about Bafana Bafana and get tongue-in-cheek tweeted updates during the matches, follow my tweets by following me on Twitter! If Facebook is more your social media thang, go to my Facebook profile and request to be a friend or simply join the \”Fred Hatman\” group for updates on my latest blogposts.
After falling out of bed at Hatman Mansions at 5.45am in our sleepy village of Stanford this morning I stood – as is my habit – on The Blogorandah (my verandah), sipping last night’s cold tea, took a lungful of Marlboro and called for that bloody cat which does little else than stare at me.
But, even before Teapot had had a chance to issue forth its first miaow of the day, the haunting sound of a far-off vuvuzela caressed my ears. Yes, I said “caressed”, not “assailed”. For I am truly “SA-positive”, remember?
This lone vuvu wailed from the direction of Die Skema, the place on a hill above Stanford where the coloured Stanfordians mostly live. This vuvu-parper was getting his lungs warmed up for the midday call for South Africans to parp their support for our beautiful World Cup, now merely a matter of a couple of thousand minutes away. Can you feel it? Can your hear it? I could… from one of the creases inside the very distant Overberg!
But nothing prepared me for the outbreak of vuvu fever which resounded around our country today. This was reflected on the social media networks, where the hashtag word “vuvuzela” became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter and Facebook was awash with updates expressing joyous surprise at the level to which World Cup ecstasy was taken.
Let’s take a gander at what that looked like… and then I’ll throw in a video of Cape Town’s Long Street in vuvuzelic eruption for you to enjoy!
Twitter went vuvulistic, sending the word "vuvuzela" into the Top 10 trending topics worldwide! Paaaarp!
Facebook had a "feel-it" day with my fb friends spilling out of their skin to tell the world that South Africa was officially the noisiest country on the planet today!
How was that? Er, no, sorry, there is no known cure for “yellowshirt fever”… so let’s all just die happy! Even Julius Malema, the chastised and somewhat chastened leader of the ANC Youth League, tweeted out his support for Bafana Bafana and urged the country to unite in blowing their vuvuzelas for this World Cup. How do I know this? Well, JuJu and I, er, follow each other on Twitter, don’t we?
There you go... JuJu sings his "Kiss the Vuvuzela" song to the nation. And who, might I ask, would argue with such sound logic?
How cool is that? Amazing how Julius has calmed down since Sepp Blatter, Godfather of the Fifafia, became South Africa’s Public Enemy No 1, hey? Still, Jules, if you’re reading this – and I know you do – give me a shout anytime you want to send out another of your press releases to the good people of South Africa.
But I digress. Here’s that video I promised you. Sent over by my totally rad mates at CapeTownAlive! and filmed with the help of supercool video-sharing website Zoopy…
Nice. Now that’s what I call a country on the verge of giving the planet its craziest, most beautiful, friendliest, most human-spirited World Cup yet. How does that make you feel in your tummy? Warm and fuzzy, hey? Yes. I’m happy. Because, as your only “medically diagnosed SA-positive” blogger, that’s what I am on this earth to do… rub your tummies until they feel so warm and fuzzy. Ayoba!
* I have joined the London Guardian’s World Cup Fans Network for the duration of the World Cup football finals. It is a phenomenal concept, one which uses Twitter to bring the voices (or tweets) of fans of all 32 competing countries together on one forum for the tournament. If you would like to see what I’m saying about Bafana Bafana and the impact on South Africa of the biggest sporting event to ever be staged in our beloved country, follow my tweets by following me on Twitter! If Facebook is more your social media thang, go to my Facebook profile and request to be a friend or simply join the \”Fred Hatman\” group for updates on my latest blogposts… which are not only about the World Cup!
There has been such a noise made by those who won’t hear of the vuvuzela that the debate over whether the host country should be allowed to blow its own trumpet threatens to drown out news of what’s happening on the pitch during this World Cup.
As a proudly diagnosed “SA-positive” South African blogger – and one which, please see above, is not shy to use my country’s choice of “cultural weapon” – It behoves me to educate foreign sceptics about the “vuvu”.
In order for you to get your head – and lips – around the use of our cheap, plastic trumpet, I need you to understand why South African soccer fans just love to create a wall of noise at football matches.
I want you to think more Rio Carnival and less Trooping the Colour.
We are African. We don’t stand on ceremony. We like to express ourselves. And, if that means deafening the opposition on the field into submission, so much the better.
That’s just not football, you cry! How uncivilised, grumble purists of the Beautiful Game.
Quite. But whoever ruled that 70,000 bagpipers couldn’t blow the Scots to an unlikely victory at Hampden Park? Nobody. It’s just that the canny clan have been so busy thinking up rude chants about the English that it never dawned on them to use their most potent “twelfth man”!
So, now that I’ve converted you to thinking that the vuvuzela should be given a fair hearing, let’s listen to how it can used in the right hands…
There. I bet that’s won you over, eh? Right. So, now that you’re rushing off to buy one in your national team’s colours, you have no excuse for producing a one-note drone. I exhort you to get practising on your national anthem. And, if you can’t master that, then simply fall back on playing the South African one. Any way you like. Improvise. Express yourself. Blow it like be-bop, baby!
As I’ve been trying to tell you all along, Bafana Bafana (our South African team) needs all the help it can get. That’s why we’ll do our damndest to blow them to victory. Paaaarp!
* I have joined the London Guardian’s World Cup Fans Network for the duration of the World Cup finals. It is a phenomenal concept, one which uses Twitter to bring the voices (or tweets) of fans of all 32 competing countries together on one forum for the tournament. Visit The World Cup Fans\' Network and follow how fans around the world are viewing the fortunes of their nations at our beautiful World Cup. And, if you would like to see what I’m saying about Bafana Bafana and the impact on South Africa of the biggest sporting event to ever be staged in our beloved country, follow my tweets by following me on Twitter! If Facebook is more your social media thang, go to my Facebook profile and request to be a friend or simply join the \"Fred Hatman\" group for updates on my latest blogposts… which are not only about the World Cup!
I mean, when a dog looks at me, I know exactly what it’s on about. “I want to go outside.” “I want to go inside.” “I want to go to the beach.” “I want you to throw the ball for me.” I want you to feed me.” “I want the rest of that lamb chop you are guzzling with relish while I’m just left to sit here and salivate.”
Nice and simple. I know where I stand with dogs. And they know where they stand with me. I eat the lamb chop. They get the bone. And then we get on with life.
Not so cats. Take this one that’s sitting on this verandah, looking at me. I have totally no idea of what’s it trying to tell me. Probably something like “I know you’re writing some rubbish about cats, using the way I’m looking at you right now as some feeble excuse to cat-bash and I want you to know that you’re getting it completely wrong. Just so you know.”
Pure evil: The house cat glares at me in disgust after pulling its bum-in-face manoeuvre Pic: Hatman
But I don’t know. Cats are like, um, women. Men like to think that they know about women. But they, er, we don’t. Perhaps that’s why most women love cats. Because they have some secret language to which men and dogs aren’t privy. Wait. I think I can develop this thread of thought. Yes. That’s it. Women are like cats. Men are like dogs. I could be politically correct – or gender-sensitive or whatever it’s called – and put the word “most” before “women” and “men”. Or even before “cats” and “dogs”. But I won’t. Because you know what I’m trying to get at here. Men because they will agree with me. Women because they are thinking “They (men) just don’t get it. And they just don’t get us (women and cats).”
No, we don’t. I mean, take this cat right here on the verandah. I want to say “my verandah” – because I’m paying the rent here. But I can’t. Because I’ve just moved in and the cat, well the cat has been around forever. It comes with the house. Hah. There’s a difference between cats and women. Women seldom come with a house. They usually leave with it. But I’m not going there.
Back to the cat. After realising that it was dealing with quite a stubborn sort of male blogger writing absolute dross about not understanding – or taking the trouble to stop to really understand – her (yup, this cat is both female and a cat), it slinked towards me, blinked alluringly, purred loudly and, as I started to smile, jumped on to the table and swung it’s ass around and into my face.
Nice. Are you getting my drift? No? Well, bear with me, ladies.
Aah, sweet: Dogs truly are a man's best friend and super-willing to plug into some fun and games Pic courtesy of McGugan & Walne
While in the early stages of recovering from having my line of vision sullied by a furry black bum, I sought solace in putting on the kettle and then checking my Twitter account. In no time at all, two tweets about cats minced through cyberspace. Both from women. Of course. Let us analyse these two tweets, which are surprisingly different in tone.
Tweet One (from “laurasomethingorother”): “Oh, sorry. And kitten. PsychoKitty reminded me that I also need to extend my greeting to all feline inhabitants of Earth. So…meow meow.”
Let us pause for a deep breath here. Right. Now, I don’t know about you – and I really don’t want to read too much into this, probably because it scares the hell out of me – but I would say that somebody has woken up somewhere in the world and feels bad because she said good morning to all of her cyber-friends (known to her or otherwise) without extending the same greeting to all of the cats (known to her or otherwise) of the world. That are united only in their penchant to sit around and stare at us. And, once they have concluded that what they are staring at is male and not taking the trouble to understand what it is trying to communicate, stick their asses in our faces. Before sliding off to try to kill a bird.
What is that all about? Why did “laurasomethingorother” feel moved to purr out a “have a good day” tweet to the planet’s cat population? You tell me. Somebody who knows a lot more about these things (undoubtedly a woman, or perhaps a psychotherapist in San Francisco or Green Point) might place this firmly in the category of phenomena which encompasses why females feel the need to own 96 pairs of shoes or why, at age 47, a woman neatly props up a small army of cuddly toys on her pillows before heading off to her high-powered office.
I don’t know. Because, I am all too slowly realising, I am not meant to know. It’s like why one never sees baby pigeons. Or why Julius Malema hasn’t spent some of his hard-earned dosh on hiring a PR spinperson. Or why mosquitoes exist. Simply inexplicable. Like this frigging cat that, after licking the same bum that it just shoved into my face, has resumed the “Sitting In The Same Place On My Verandah While Staring At The Silly Old Blogger Who Just Moved In And Thinks That This Is His House” position.
Tweet Two (from “amandasomeoneorother”): “Why do cats wash themselves, loudly and right next to your head at 3am?” Ah, I’m more confident about this one. Because you didn’t kick it out of the front door, close all of the windows, block up the chimney and fortify your bed with steel mesh before going to bed? Duh.
Right. I’m now feeling better about everything. Well, almost everything. And you’ll know why I added that caveat. Yes. This bloody cat.
I am suddenly reminded of a hilarious skit produced by Eddie Izzard live at the Palace Theatre in London back in the day. Yes, the one to which the now-very-famous cross-dressing funnyman turned up dressed as neither a woman or a man. Or as both. Well, he had put on full make-up but clearly hadn’t had the time to choose a frock so he was wearing guy’s clobber. This wasn’t nearly as confusing to me as cats. Or women. Anyway, Eddie did this really funny number where he compared the reactions of both a cat and a dog to a new model of car which had whizzed by.
You might know it? The cat sits back, paw on chin, and ponders over the torque capability of the new Renault Clio 1.6l SRX while the dog, tongue lolling out of one side of its slobbery gob, runs wildly after the car, shouting “Wait. Wait! Take me to the park!”
Hang on. I’ve just had an epiphany. A revelation of sorts. Which is quite unnerving. Especially as this infernal cat is now sitting on the table, its back to me, flicking its bushy tail around the screen of my laptop.
Doesn’t Eddie’s gag precisely illustrate the difference between women and men?
“Geoff, I wish you the best of luck. I know how painful riding a unicycle can be! I hear you are regarded as ‘slightly mad’. Well, join the club! And ride safely.” Richard
This is the message I received in an e-mail from Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin group of companies and one of the patrons of the Mineseeker Foundation.
To say that Heart & Sole Tour unicyclist Geoff “Heartman: Brink and I are chuffed about this is an understatement on a stratospheric scale. Inspirationalness overload, dear Hatpeople!
If we weren’t hitherto inspired enough to finish this 1,700 mad adventure from Durban to Cape Town, we are now.
We leave from Wilson’s Wharf in Durban at 8.30am tomorrow. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You can follow us almost every kilometre of the way by checking our progress on this blog… and help our cause of raising awareness of the evil of landmines by sharing this with your friends.
* You may also be updated by following “fredhatman” on Twitter (simply click on that chubby blue bird perched at the top of this page) or join the Facebook group “Heart & Sole Unicycle Tour – Durban to Cape Town”. There will be regular updates posted on there each and every day of our unicycle ride, expected to last about seven weeks…
Friends are clambering over each other (well, kind of) to help us achieve our Heart & Sole dream of getting Geoff “Heartman” Brink from Durbs to Cape Town on his unicycle.
Rich McLennan, the Durban 2010 website supremo, can’t do enough to support us. He hurtles around on his mountain bike of a weekend and came up with the tasty challenge of pitting our intrepid unicyclist against the vagaries of the 10km Blue route at The Holla mountain biking trails spot near Ballito on Sunday.
The idea was to get his riding mates to sponsor The Heartman for every kilometre of the track that our man managed to cover. Coolness. And it was cool. Not only cool but rainy, windy and the track was radically wet. Stop. Wait a sec while I push my chest out to Schwarzenegger proportions. Our Heartie unicycled down steep hills on a rutted dirt track, he one-wheeled it up similar inclines. He sploshed his way through small lakes which other people like to call call puddles. He outdid himself. And he finished the course. Ten kilometres of two-wheeled recreational stuff was chewed up his AmaOneTyre. What a boykie!
Check this out…
OK. So some of the hills were seriously tough for a man on one wheel...
... but not tough enough to knock our Heartie off his AmaOneTyre for very long! Above pix: Rich McLennan
Nice work, me Heartie. Tarmac will be a right treat after that muddy little lark! So we will leave from the main car park at Wilson’s Wharf at 9am on Monday (that’s this Monday, be still my palpitative heart!) and we are expecting to be serenaded out by the thumping engines of a good few Harley Davidsons. After that, who knows? We aim to arrive in Cape Town on Valentine’s Day so that Heartman and his “Unveiled Sweetheart” can exchange vows and other romantic gestures on Camps Bay Beach before they get married in May.
Before that, more than 1,700km of unknown adrenaline-fuelled adventure and assorted wildnesses. We are so amped to go, it’s indescribable. Spiritual, babies!
And you will be able to follow the progress of our Heart & Sole Tour at least twice a day on this blog and also on Twitter and facebook, not to mention YouTube and other websites you and me haven’t yet heard about. But more about that later. One more pic, just by way of a big thank-you to our mate Rich for organising 10km of blood, sweat and and a couple of Mickey Mouse plasters for our boy at the weekend…
Bikers in arms... The Heartman and Rich McLennan look grubby but happy at the end of the 10km light training ride at The Holla. Nice one, Rich! And big thanks to Wayne of The Holla for allowing this madness to take place on his property! Pic: Hatman
Look. I thought that kicking off with a picture of 90s supermodel Helena Christensen wearing only a few watches in my first post on this blog yesterday worked a right treat.
So I’m doing it again…
No, this isn't Helena. And she's not even wearing only watches. This a more beautiful woman. Wearing her heart in the right place. And don't you dig the flowers too? Beautifulnesses.
OK. Let me introduce you to our angel. Annette Oberholster. Netty to her friends. That’s her sitting smiling angelically among those gorgeous flowers above.
So what about her? I’ll tell you what about her. Netty, who gets around our world quite a lot, is currently living in the desert of Qatar while her boyfriend finishes a contract working with a petrochemicals company.
She, being a long-time friend of our Heart & Sole Tour unicyclist Geoff “Heartman” Brink, heard about our little 1,700km jaunt from Durban to Cape Town to raise awareness of the scourge of landmines. And got thinking. About how she could help.
I hope that she won’t mind me doing this but I’m publishing an extract from the e-mail I received from her yesterday:
“hello dear friends,
i have come up with an idea to try and help raise some money for the heart and sole tour, so i am going to run it by you to see if you think it will ‘fly’. i will definitely need your help to pull it off.
in my idleness here in the desert of qatar, i have taught myself how to fold an origami crane. : )
bear with me.
in japanese folklore, if you fold 1000 cranes you get to make a wish. so, i could fold 1000 cranes and my wish would be to enhance the lives of landmine victims … that i would do by selling the cranes and donating the money to the heart and sole tour. the tag line could be this quote: ‘I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world.’ - Sadako Sasaki (1943-55).
folding 1000 cranes is a BEEEG job! weeks and weeks and blistered fingers. so, before i begin, i need to know that it is going to work.
the math is simple, sell each crane for R1 each and we make R1000. or better still, sell each crane for R10 each and we make R10 000. but there is a problem, i am going to need your help to sell these guys in south africa.