Review of Accident and Trip to Cape Town - January 2014

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge)


(1) 6 hours after accident (2) 2 days after accident (3) 10 days after accident (4) 20 days after accident
(5) (6) (7) (8)
(9) (10) (11) (12)

(1) and (2) - Taken in London before departure for South Africa.

        The only fool bigger than an old fool is an old fool who never learns from experience.   Three years after breaking a finger during a fall in the street, hurrying to catch a London-bound coach from my holiday home in Cornwall, I "came a cropper" while running to catch a bus in Edgware, laden with two heavy bags of groceries.  The blood was copious - due to a large extent, I guess, by being on blood-thinning medication following my mini-stroke. 

        Anyway, apparently the massive haematoma I exhibited as a result of the fall did not cause any serious problems.  No concussion, no headaches, no breakages (not even the eggs in one of the carrier bags!).  I suppose there is a divinity that protects fools and drunkards . . . and I had not been drinking!  The bruising was so conspicuous that I feared I might have trouble at Heathrow because I no longer resembled my passport photograph.  Well I exaggerate.  But these two pictures show my appearance.

(3)    At Lynn's birthday party.  2 days after arrival in South Africa

        Just a week or so after my fall, and my face did provide a topic for conversation at Lynn's "surprise" birthday party, but no longer suggested a "life-threatening" condition.  The picture shows me with Lynn's son Simon and the charming lady who helped organise the party and introduced the "tribute" speakers.

(4)    With Dr Helena Verwey at Paarl.  2 days before departure from South Africa.

        When I suffered my mini-stroke several years ago I was living in Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire. At that time I had the good fortune to be treated by a South African doctor at the Edlesborough Medical Centre.  Her name is Helena Verwey and it is no exaggeration to say that, if confidence in one's medical practitioner is an important adjunct to one's treatment, my subsequent good health (stupidity excepted!) bears remarkable testimony to her effectiveness.  She was my doctor for a mere two years before she returned to South Africa's Western Cape.

        It was with scant hope that she would remember me that I contacted her via Google and suggested it would be my great pleasure to meet her during my forthcoming visit to Cape Town.  To my delight, she not only remembered me, but said she would love to meet up again.  As the (dairy and wine) farm that she ran with her husband in combination with part time general practitioner service at the Bonnievale Medical Centre was a considerable distance from Cape Town, we arranged to meet for tea at La Grande Roche hotel in Paarl (a famous wine-growing area).

        The picture was taken by Leo Rutherford, an old friend who was also visiting South Africa for Lynn's party, and who took the opportunity to see more of the country by accompanying me to Paarl.  See picture (7) for more about Leo.

(5)    This picture was also taken by Leo when we drove down to Cape Point.

(6)    With Ruth Carneson at Kirstenbosch botanical gardens.

(7)    Leo Rutherford at Cape Town's Waterfront. 

        It was a great delight to learn that my old friend Leo Rutherford was also a house guest at Lynn and Lionel's delightful Simonstown home and that we were to share a rented house near the beach for the three days that Lynn was unable to accommodate us.  We had not met for many years and the only regret was that we had not known in advance and so had failed to make joint travel arrangements.  We did, however, have a joint car rental and were able to do much travelling together around Western Cape, including several cultural activities, such as participation in a presentation at Cape Town University, a theatre visit in Muesenberg, and visits to Cape Town's Art Gallery and its Holocaust Museum.

(8)    Outside Cape Town's Holocaust Museum.

(9)    Sarah Carneson at Lynn's birthday party. 

        Sarah had asked for a copy of my book, and I was happy to give it to her.  Despite suggestions to the contrary, it was not a "publicity stunt". At the age of 97+, apart from a lack of physical mobility, she is as spritely and mentally alert as ever!

(10)   Lynn arrives at her "surprise" birthday party. 

        Lynn had arranged a family and close friends party in the gardens of her home in Simonstown, unaware that some of her friends and family had organised a much larger celebration at a public venue in Cape Town some days earlier. Inevitably many of the guests were associates of her mother and her late father, Fred Carneson, during their anti-apartheid, ANC days.

(11)   An alfresco luncheon with Lynn, Lionel, Simon, Catherine and Leo. 

        Lynn and Lionel, with their habitual impeccable good taste, arranged several outings for us, mainly at restaurants attached to vineyards.  This particular occasion was unique.  A "high-class" picnic of top-class food and drink, served in delightful surroundings.

(12)   Lunch with Sarah Carneson at the Mount Nelson hotel in Cape Town one day before departure.

        I insisted that, for "old-times' sake" we make a return visit to the Mount Nelson Hotel where I had entertained Lynn, Fred and Sarah 14 years earlier.

        I now look forward to returning to Cape Town in 2017 to celebrate Sarah's centenary.