Saturday, 9 February 2013

Flamingos Over Namibe



Most of you will know that my neighbor and I have had a pretty rocky relationship.  Both of us are exactly the same age but Rico seems to have played the cards he was dealt better. To be fair, business is a Dog Eat Dog environment and we all strive to do the best for ourselves so we can look after our families and any altruism thereafter is the balance of the excess.

Rico has other fishing lodges apart from the one bordering my property at the Barro de Kwanza and he put his eldest son in charge of the Flamingo Lodge down south in Namibe.  I can think of nothing nicer for a father than setting up a business and then slowly handing the reins over to his son, after all, that's what keeps me motivated.  Fat Hippo's isn't for me, it's for my boys.

I met Raimundo a couple of months ago along with his very charming German speaking wife (I guessed she was from Namibia).  They were discussing menus (the food in Rico's place here is, well, basic) and I looked at this young, strapping lad and his attractive wife and thought, 'I'm in for some real competition here',  Still, food is food.  I love eating it and I love cooking it even more so, like a moth drawn to flame, I had to sit down with them, listen to their menu ideas and venture a few of my own.  Naturally I knew the best places around here to get supplies.  So I shared those with them.  Yes I have a truck and would happily let them use it to do a joint supply run.  I had the temerity to point out that some of the ingredients necessary to perfect that particular dish on their menu might be hard to come by so suggested alternatives.  Yes they were competition, serious competition but I liked them.

A couple of days ago Nice Paul left here to take over at Flamingo so that Raimundo could come up here and sort out Rico's Kwanza Lodge.  Marcia, who is so disconcertingly fond of Nice Paul I might get round to mentioning it to them one day, merely as a matter of form, extracted a promise from him before departure that he should call or send a message confirming his safe arrival. 

Paul's message this morning was brief and to the point informing us that Raimundo had just died of a heart attack.

Bloody hell.  Everything that Rico had fought for, all his success.  Like me, Rico doesn't waste his mony on designer suits, watches or trinkets, it was all for his son. 

God preserve any parent from the agony of having to bury their own child.  And God give Rico the strength not to bury his ambition and raison d'etre alongside his boy.

15 comments:

  1. Life's a crock sometimes; the challenge is not let it take you with it!

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    1. Very true IG. I am sure Rico will deal with it but I bet you the next time he rides out on his sportfisher the sea will look just that little bit more infinite and lonely.

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  2. Good gravy, you never know what's around the ruddy corner.

    If there's one thing we can all be certain of it's that nowt is certain.

    Sometimes you get the feeling that there IS a god or gods, and that they are absolute bastards (excuse my French).

    Reminds me of a lovely lady who worked for the same employer I did in my very first job. She was sixty, single, nice to everyone, had a cat she adored, a magnificent original classic '59 Mini, bought a retirement cottage, had a forty-year pension and lump sum coming to her - and promptly died three weeks later. That taught me a lot about life - it's not cruel, just not in any way fair or just.

    My (useless, meaningless, but heartfelt) condolences to your neighbour Rico.

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    1. My father died six months before his retirement and two weeks after he and I had travelled to Bratislava to buy stock for the antique shop he was going to run. Since we bought half a dozen of them, among many other things, I can never look at a Viennese wall clock without feeling sad.

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  3. I know you will get a truck load of condolences to pass on to Rico. Please add mine.

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  4. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
    Old Time is still a-flying:
    And this same flower that smiles today
    Tomorrow will be dying.

    The glorious lamp of Heaven, the sun,
    The higher he's a-getting,
    The sooner will his race be run.
    And nearer he's to setting.

    That age is best which is the first,
    When youth and blood are warmer;
    But being spent, the worse, and worst
    Times still succeed the former.

    Then be not coy, but use your time,
    And while ye may, go marry:
    For having lost but once your prime,
    You may for ever tarry.

    By Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

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    1. “Have you news of my boy Jack?”
      Not this tide.
      “When d’you think that he’ll come back?”
      Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

      “Has any one else had word of him?”
      Not this tide.
      For what is sunk will hardly swim,
      Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

      “Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?”
      None this tide,
      Nor any tide,
      Except he did not shame his kind —
      Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

      Then hold your head up all the more,
      This tide,
      And every tide;
      Because he was the son you bore,
      And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!

      Rudyard Kipling

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  5. Occasionally life gives you a good smack in the mouth. When you next speak with Rico, do tell him that strangers from the world over share in his sadness.

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  6. Please, pass on my condolences to Rico and his family.

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  7. Glad to have found your blog via The Corynthian column.Read that you ended up in Mozambique...I will be going there in April, my first visit to this country.

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  8. What a shock that must have been! We had an American president once who famously said, "I feel your pain..." but no one can really feel another person's pain. All any of us can do is imagine how we would act in similar circumstances.

    Please let Rico know that he and Raimundo are both being remembered today all over the globe..

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  9. What a shock that must have been! We had an American president once who famously said, "I feel your pain..." but no one can really feel another person's pain. All any of us can do is imagine how we would act in similar circumstances.

    Please let Rico know that he and Raimundo are both being remembered today all over the globe..

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  10. Greatly anticipate a better place to spend time than on the globe.

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  11. How sad... especially as he was so young. Whenever I hear a story like this it makes me want to drop everything and rush out and buy air tickets to one of the far away places on my "Bucket List". "Seize the day" is fast becoming my motto.

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  12. Tragic, I think your right and no parent should ever have to bury their child.

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