Fidler in the Hood: Loneliness of the long-distance runner

Barbara and Brian Gifford (middle) with old friends Vi and Colin Eltis of St Michael's-on-Sea enjoying a 'last supper' at C-Bali before the couple returns to Gaborone.

GREETINGS. Winter is here and we’re all feeling the cold. Mind you, when I hear locals say they are freezing, I laugh. Unless you’ve stood for ages waiting at a bus stop on a dark, dank winter’s morning in northern England, then you don’t know what real cold is! Count your blessings.

Marathon Man

I ran my second Uvongo parkrun last weekend and was subsequently informed that I finished four seconds later (49.56) than the previous week but came in 192nd out of 243 runners, which was better than before. Doesn’t guarantee the aches and pains will go away, but it’s a lovely way to ‘keep going’. It really is a ‘fun run’, meeting ‘out-of-towners’ from Roodepoort, Boksburg, Port Elizabeth and even from Australia. As one of the organisers put it “Welcome to the most beautiful parkrun of all.”

Couldn’t argue with that, though I could argue when I read that ‘National Parkrunner of the Month’ ex-pilot, Andrew Spence (71) has completed over 180 runs and his best time is 20.38 minutes. Only 48 more runs to getting my 50th parkrun T-shirt!

Andrew Spence.

Old Devil Moon

What a treat the monthly Moondeckers meeting was. The full moon appeared in all its glory. Past gatherings have been disappointing overall – cloudy, misty, with rare, brief glimpses of the ‘Old Devil Moon’. This time it shone brightly, everyone was on top form and a good time was had. Readers should come along. The gathering of ‘Lunatics’ is full of friendly faces who ally their love of ‘la Luna” with a tipple or two.

Delightful trio

Last week’s event was a delight with David Hallé talking about the wonderful vegetation abounding on the South Coast and what is not good for your health – if you’re into weeds! He introduced three remarkable young Blue Flag bearers, guardians and official beach stewards at Ramsgate Beach, Nhlanhla Mkhize, Simphiwe Cele and Nosipho Kusi, whose duties entail promoting conservation, beach preservation and protection.

David explained that Nhlanhla, Simphiwe and Nosipho were successful applicants out of ‘thousands of candidates’ and have truly proven themselves. In an attempt to further beach awareness, the trio built a ‘World Oceans Day photo-booth’ where, for a donation, people could have photos taken. It was well worth it and the response was positive and it is so encouraging that our young people take an interest in the beautiful area we live in.

Blue Flag crusaders (from left) Nhlanhla Mkhize, Simphiwe Cele and Nosipho Kusi made a welcome appearance at the last Moondeckers get-together.

Aches and pains anyone?

Mind you, if you do have any ailments, then maybe there’s a solution for you. Over the next few weeks, David Glass will be organising a series of health-related seminars at the Uvongo Lifestyle Centre (corner of Rorke Street and Henry Avenue) just off Edward Road. Ischaemic heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers and obesity affects more and more people at younger ages. These lifestyle-related diseases can be addressed through simple solutions that significantly improve the general quality of life. Sms 082 5542386 for more information. Good news is that the seminars are free of charge as a community service and will be presented by doctors.

Wales to Gaborone

Last week we popped in to C-Bali at St Mike’s beach. Business was brisk and locals Colin and Vi Eltis were entertaining long-time friends Brian and Barbara Gifford from Gaborone, Botswana. Originally from Welsh Wales, they came out to Kitwe, Zambia, in 1976. After nine years on the Copperbelt, they moved to Botswana in 1985 and have been there ever since. Their first home was some 350 kms from the nearest ‘big’ town and Brian and Barbara just loved the peace and quiet. Very much at home in Gaborone, it’s never entered their minds to return to Wales. What is it about this place, Africa, which we call home? Many moons ago someone said to me ‘Africa is no place for sissies!’ Was it tongue-in-cheek? The Springboks beat France at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, so all is well.

See you, Rob.

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  AUTHOR
Rob Fidler

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