Tag Archives: The Karoo

Post 56. Love and an empty tank.


After our time in Durban, Wilf and Val drove us back to Johannesburg.  We drove into Rig and Sue’s drive way, happy to be back.  As Val got out of the car, Nelson, their huge Newfoundland, walked up to her, cocked his leg, and wee’d all over her, from her waist down.  She felt so welcomed.

A week later, Cathie, Barry Poppleton, Tony and I decided to drive down to Cape Town for Christmas.   It was a long 16 hour drive and the guys took turns at the wheel.  There was plenty of time to talk and we had fun trying to keep the drivers awake along the dead straight, nothing-in-sight roads.

We stayed in some student’s accomodation having braais and lots of people around.  When Christmas came, Tony’s chef hat went on.  He decided to do a roast leg of pork.  We didn’t know Cape Town at all, so we drove around for ages trying to find a butcher.  We found ourselves in what felt like an unsafe area.  Tony went into a small butchery and asked for a leg of pork.  He came out, without a leg, looking a bit shaken.  It was a Muslim butcher.  We laughed and drove off quite quickly.  We managed to find our leg somewhere else. He did the whole thing; tooth-picked bits of pineapple and cherries all over it, crackling and apple sauce.  It was delicious.  I was impressed and told him I was marrying him because he could cook.

Gill Coetzee and Shena were also there.  Gill was funny.  If there was anyone I could imagine having tea with the queen, it was Gill.  She reminded me so much of Julie Andrews in the Sound Of Music.  During one of Rigby’s preaches, he had thrown out the question, “What would you do if you had a million rand?”  Gill, who was single at the time, stood up and replied, “I would get someone to marry me for my money.”  We nearly died.

I first met Shena and her identical twin sister Alanna at Mitchell Girls High School.  They were the hippy art teachers who turned the school upside down with their radical faith.  So many girls had came to Jesus through their lives.

Our drive back to Johannesburg was interesting.  We ran out of petrol about 3/4s of the way out of the Karoo Desert.  Tony was driving and I was supposed to be sitting in the passenger seat.  It was too far away so I sat on the little seat right next to him.  It was the middle of the night and there was nowhere to get fuel.   There was no way we wanted to breakdown in the pitch dark. We prayed we would make it.

We talked for hours.  Tony told me his whole story again with other things he felt he needed to tell me.  I listened and asked questions all through the night.  He wanted to tell all and then give me the option to change my mind.  I felt the need to tell him that there was longevity in my family and that I might be around for a very long time.  Did he want to change his mind?  Neither of us did.

Before we knew it we were out of the Karoo and at a petrol station.  We had driven on an empty tank and love and fresh air,  for hours.