The curse of good health

13 08 2015

My uncle turns 93 or maybe it’s 92 this year. Mentally he’s very sharp but physically he’s frail. Last year he decided he’d had enough of life and decided to end it on his terms. He failed and now he’s condemned to a old age home in rural England, waiting to serve his time amongst the old, frail and demented.

I went to visit him the week before last whilst on an infrequent trip to a family gathering and the wedding of a young friend. We don’t get together much; my brother lives in the UK, my sister in north-western USA and I’m in Zimbabwe. It was my brother’s 60th birthday last weekend and I’d said to my sister-in-law that I’d come over for it if he promised to have a party.

wedding cake

Lucy and Will’s big day

It was pure luck that Lucy was getting married the weekend before and well, I probably won’t see Ant again.

The UK is unlike Zimbabwe in many ways;
Clean
Organised
Good roads
Horrendously heavy traffic but a noticeable absence of bad drivers (ok so it wasn’t a dangerous breach but it’s still a red light!)
Crowded
Green (Zim is very dry right now
In short – First World!

So whilst in London we did the tourist thing, the Science Museum to get my dose of science.

tower bridge

Tower Bridge on the Thames

Dining hall 2

Dining hall at the old Naval Academy.

Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark

A Thames river cruise to the Cutty Sark and checked out the amazing dining hall at the old Naval Academy. Zimbabwe does not have recorded history going  back that far and we don’t have a navy either. We do however have better weather than the UK though on this trip it wasn’t bad, choosing to rain just when I chose to do some serious photography.

Getting back to Harare we encountered some decidedly Third World air service with all the luggage being left in Johannesburg because there was no Jet A1 fuel in Harare. Well, that was the official story. It is certainly symptomatic of the state of the economy here and meant that we had to go back to the airport the next day to collect our luggage (don’t they deliver it elsewhere?). So my Saturday visit to the Gallery Delta had to wait a week.

The current exhibition there is From Line to Form where Wallen Mapondera’s string picture Everyone is a Vendor neatly caught the dire state of the economy; we just don’t produce much anymore.

Everyone is a vendor

Everyone is a vendor

Not at all like the market we visited in the curiously named Bury St Edmond where it was very hip to buy local produce. Not sure if these tomatoes were local but they are certainly better quality than the ones we get here!

Good quality produce

Good quality produce

When I left Ant I shook his hand. His grip was firm by any standard. He just laughed when I mentioned it. Handshake strength is one of the criteria used to asses old people’s health. I winced inwardly at the irony of it.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

4 responses

14 08 2015
nhamodzenyika1freedom

Reblogged this on Tribulations and Freedom.

14 08 2015
Mr Bunny Chow

my luggage was left in the UK when we came home earlier in the year and I caused a minor diplomatic incident when coming to collect it as I naively arrived with my shoeless five year old in tow, the five year old of course had no ID and I had a penknife in my pocket. Why I was expected to clear security through departures before collecting my bag I’ll never know. Bury St Edmunds is so named after King Edmund who was killed by the vikings 1200 odd years ago and buried in the town although Bury its self means town much like the term Burgh and is derived from German

16 08 2015
gonexc

We all had to go through the security checks too. I had a penknifte in my pocket and just held it up for them to see. They said OK and we carried on!

16 08 2015
Mr Bunny Chow

They eventually agreed to hold on to mine until I had my bag and also decided that my pasportless 5 year old wasn’t much of a risk especially without his shoes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: