Having enjoyed a few days at the Barra de Kwanza, the last of the family who all descended on us for Alex's birthday party have finally departed. Family visits are notoriously awkward. Visitors are, after all, like fish. After a while they start to smell. Not in this case though and I was sorry to see them go. Especially Dominic who like me, acquires an odd spring in his step when surrounded by Marcia's nieces. Sod the loopy Kardashian's, they should be filming the Francelina da Graças.
With such pleasant diversion lost to me until their next visit, I was looking forward to going fishing today. I allow a few people park their boats on my property, it saves the owners having to trailer them to and from town, a 160km round trip a third of it through awful traffic. I refuse to accept payment. Decently, they all offered to cough rent for their spaces but as I am still too poor to buy my own boat, I prefer compensation in kind. I’ll supply the cold beers from the shop and they provide me the fishing. So far it has worked like a charm.Last night the owners of one particular boat turned up settling themselves into Rico’s bar and then invited me over to join them for a drink. As they sluiced suds down their necks they asked me if I fancied a trip offshore. Is the Pope Catholic? This would finally give me a chance to properly test the spinners and lures I was gifted from Fish Creek Spinners. They warned me that they would be setting out at six in the morning. No problems, Gabby the Goat makes an excellent alarm clock even though she has only one setting, 5am and bloody loud. I finished my drink and left them to it so I could stroll home, get the video camera on charge and the rest of my kit ready.
Marcia has found an excellent supplier of brine cured hams, ideal for boiling and then roasting with a honey and rosemary glaze. I tried one the night before last and enjoyed it so much, I made it again last night and invited Nice Paul to join us. As the restaurant opening is now nearly a year behind schedule, I want to keep my hand in and like any kitchen tart, I thrive on praise.
He looked a bit frazzled when he arrived.
One of the partners in the fishing lodge next door where Paul works is determined to suck the juice out of life and anything else he fancies. Every now and then but clearly still too often for Paul, he pitches up with a mini bus full of girls following his massive and blinged to shit Nissan Tundra and takes over the lodge, five rooms this weekend just for his doubled up bedwarmers (it is chilly this time of the year but, really! No wonder he looks like a dried dog turd in the mornings). I usually avoid going over there when this partner is in residence. I hate the noise and I bloody hate it when some tart buttonholes me for a cigarette exuding all of the partner’s second hand authority. ‘R says give me a cigarette’ ‘Tell R to go soak his head, I don’t work here love’.
You might think that being a fishing lodge, most of the clients would be young fit huntin’ an’ fishin’ types and a lot of them are but there are also a surprising number of what I would call adventurous retirees, usually Germans from Namibia and with all the prissiness of the Weimar Republic they try to replicate in an unforgiving desert that looks nothing like the Gruenewald amongst the trees of which I was apparently concieved. There is no room service to the cottages in which the lodge accommodates its guests so residents have to repair to the main dining room where a buffet is set up three times a day. On one, memorable occasion I happened by, Mr R had set up a disco inside the dining room and a trio of his fillies clad only in miniscule G strings were dancing provocatively on one of the dining tables. ‘Good Grief!’ I thought looking forward to a leisurely gin and tonic. ‘GOTT IN HIMMEL!!!’ exclaimed the elderly German couple trailing me into the dining room. Somehow, I don’t think there will be any repeat business there. I kip far enough away from the lodge to fall over about half a dozen times on my way home and I couldn't get a wink of sleep because of the noise of the disco, God knows what it must have been like for tired and hungry guests (the old couple had immediately lost their appetite) begging for enough Egyptian PT to have the strength to get the hell out of there the following morning berthed as they were, only yards away.It wasn’t Mr R who was straining Nice Paul’s world class patience, though, it was the two guys who had promised to take me fishing the next day.
‘You won’t be going fishing’, he told me with unusual gloominess, ‘they’re pissed as rats’.To be honest, I had never seen either of them sober so they must have really been pushing the boat out if there was such a marked difference in behavior. Apparently they kept dropping glasses out of nerveless fingers and had tried to feed each other, a revolting display of dribbling food over themselves, the tables and the floor. The last straw for Paul was when they tried to persuade a couple of Mr R’s girls back to their cabin. Paul warned them of the distinct possibility of Mr R having the two men in jackets and shades following him around everywhere tying something heavy around their ankles and them ending up on the bottom of the river sipping sewage but it made no difference. So Nice Paul joined us for dinner rather than be witness to a Mob hit.
At five this morning I was up, bright eyed and bushy tailed. By six I had done the shit, shave and shampoo bit, Gabby the Goat had a gutful of milk inside her and me a gutful of tea. Goosie had scoffed the left over rice, Charlie and Doggie were gnawing on pork bones still juicy with meat until about thirty seconds after I threw them down. At seven I made coffee and choked down another cigarette. At eight Marcia and Alex crawled out of bed so I made more tea and platter full of pancakes. Half an hour later Nice Paul pitched up so I made yet another pot of tea.
‘Where are these guys?’ I asked him.‘They crashed their boat off the jetty and instead of killing the throttles, they ran full tilt up the beach. They’re trying to dig it off now’
Ah well, that’s that then. I guess Fishcreek will have to wait a little longer for their review. Bollocks.As Paul and I sat there slurping gobfuls of English Breakfast Tea instead of the effluent I really hoped these tossers were drinking, they drove up towing their boat.
‘You fat fucking Boer bastard lightweights’ I called out to them, 'what's Wanker in Afrikaans?'‘Oh, THAT’s nice!’ one called back.
‘About as bloody nice as making a chap crawl out of bed at five to be ready to fish at six!’. I think I used the plural of the 'C' word as well just to round it off.‘Bugger, we forgot’, was all he said.
Now I thought they were going to join us for a restorative cuppa once they had finished parking their boat up but instead Paul and I saw them driving off down the road. Paul rang the lodge. ‘Did those two arseholes pay their bill?’ he demanded.Paul hung up and looked at me, ‘Do you have their telephone number?’
‘Nope, why?’‘They’ve just done a runner’
Now why didn’t we see that coming?I read recently in the Telegraph that the EU are funding to the tune of millions ‘Project Indect’ which aims to use CCTV surveillance and internet usage patterns to identify abnormal behavior, presumably to detect and prevent crime before it happens. Thought Police. That’s scary. I wonder if the Thought Police will offer a reduced sentence if one confesses to a crime before committing it? ‘I confess to this dream, M’Lud and I ask for twenty three other lurid dreams principally concerning my nieces to be taken into consideration…’
“I confess to you my brothers and sisters that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts but not my deeds, in what I have dreamt about but have so far managed to avoid, not out of any sense of decency or fear of God, but sheer terror of Marcia's unquenchable wrath.”Amen.