In the beginning the boys would spend their time with us mostly on the beach, digging, playing beach bats, swimming (Monkeyland was a favourite). When they were slightly older the Beacon Isle became the main attraction because of the arcade games, then golf became the order of the day and each boy wanted to bring a friend and suddenly you have 8 little boys, 2 teenage boys (Kris and a friend), throw in a niece or two and no wonder we needed the biggest budget house on the books.
Then the teenage years arrived with very late nights and picking them up from the Cave – girls were now a part of their holiday fun. This made a change from the old days when we would leave them with videos, popcorn, fizzers and Julia for the night when we went through to The Tapas Bar in Knysna to party until all hours. What goes around, comes around.
The early days also revolved around the Knysna marathon and for that weekend the crowds would arrive and our house that was supposed to sleep 12 was littered with mattresses and extra bodies. It was party weekend. We would leave
Up bright and early for the run (or fun run for some). You would have to book your spot on the lawns of the stadium from early and there you would watch the runners come in, drink Forrester's beer and usually party in the stadium until late in the afternoon. The children would organize touch rugby on the fields and have a ball.
This is only the second year that we have missed being in Plettenberg Bay. The last couple of years there have been just as busy but with different dynamics. Dalene now has the young children, my brother and his friends are there to run the race, the boys arrive with their girlfriends and/or friends, my mother loves being involved in the activities and Michael has passed his initiation. Two years ago at the end of our two week holiday there, he proposed. Brave man.
Time moves on and things change. This year Gareth and Nic are there with their friends and/or girlfriends, eating oysters, drinking Forrester's, running and supporting their friends who are running. But they have their pizzas at
and no longer party on the lawn but head for the closest pub to watch the rugby (there always seems to be some big match on race day). I know they will always pay a visit to Crabs Creek where they will relate stories of Fred Dieterle who entertained them for hours one holiday many years ago. Naughty boys that they were they dredged slimy water out of the lagoon into a beer tankard, added salt and pepper and Tabasco from the tables and came around offering it to the adults to drink. Some refused, some pretended to drink it and good old Fred downed the entire 500ml tankard. To see the eyes of those little boys grow bigger and bigger is something I will always remember (they of course never ever will forget it) and Fred will always be their hero for that brief act of madness (no wonder his race time was his worst ever). I am sure that they will also visit the Heads where it became their family ritual to jump into the water off the wooden deck at the change rooms (next to the NSRI) and swim to the buoy no matter what the weather was like or temperature of the water was.
I have had a lovely weekend in
It won’t be long before the boys will be packing their own cars to the roof, adding a few children and a wife (they won’t need to stock up on groceries and wine) and heading up the garden route to spend holidays in
But then again, maybe I won’t. I will bring Julia along to look after the children while they take me to Crabs Creek to listen of stories of Fred Dieterle and to eat oysters and drink chilled white wine. We will also take a trip to the Heads to see whose little boy (or girl ;)) will be able to withstand the freezing water. Some things will never change and probably weren't meant to.