Wednesday 24 July 2013

Willie Buchling

I have a mate.  He is called Willie Buchling.  Yes, you try and keep a straight face.  Actually, it is quite easy if you ever square up to the guy, the last thing you want to do is smirk.  He is big.  Most people just dodge the issue by calling him 'Sir' or 'Mynheer'.

I let some people park and launch their boats off my land.  Most of them commit bugger all effort to maintaining their boats and then I hear them cursing when the damn things don’t start.

Willie, on the other hand, comes here and spends a whole day not on the water, but servicing his boat.  This weekend was no exception so after he had finished tinkering, I wasn’t in the least bit surprised when his two Mariner 50’s started first touch of the button.  This was the sign for me to put the kettle on while he scrubbed up.  I set the tea makings out in the Lappa and we sat down together to enjoy it.

‘You’ve made some progress’, he informed me looking around.

I know it was a genuine compliment but it still hurt, this place should have been finished ages ago.  As if reading my mind, he said,

‘Henry tells me you’ve been screwed by your contractor?’

Again, I know he was only trying to be sympathetic but that knife dug deep.

‘Have you been out hunting recently?’ he asked now unconsciously twisting the serrated edge of his blade through nerves and sinew.

‘Not since I dropped that bush buck last year,’ I replied with so much spit running backwards down my throat there was no room left for a sip of tea.

Willie has a spread back in South Africa where he breeds Golden Wildebeest.  Bulls go for around US$40-50,000 and cows with calves about a tenth of that.  The record for a bull was over US$100k.  I’d need to flip a hell of a lot of burgers to get that much into the till.

Every time Willie comes to see me, he always brings a bloody great container filled with Boerwors, biltong and other delicacies.  Alex loves him.  All this stuff is home cured from game he has shot.  It is delicious.  This time he apologized for there being so little.  He did not have time to sit around back home waiting for this latest batch of animals to be processed and cured before coming back to Angola as he had only a couple of days in SA, one of which he spent hunting.

In Angola, most of the game has been poached out so, at best, it takes about a week’s worth of stalking to drop one animal.

‘So how many did you bag on your day trip?’ I heard myself ask.

‘Five.  Couple of Kudu, an Eland, gemsbok, warthog, that sort of thing’

Five? In ONE day!  Bloody hell, if I shoot one a year I have an involuntary emmission.

Any doubt that I am a closet masochist will have been dispelled with my last request.

‘Email me some photos of your place and some of the kills, will you?’

Looking at the photos below, I would say that young Willie has his life well sorted.

For all the single girls out there, yes, he is financially responsible, he is good looking, he is fit and hard, he does not drink alcohol and doesn’t smoke.  He is polite and very considerate.  He is an all-round success and very, very (and this is the bad news for all you young ladies) faithful to his wife.
I am pleased about that last quality because every time Marcia gets within ten feet of him, her knickers spontaneously combust.

The animal Marcia rather fancies is the one holding the rifle.

Very, very little of this Kudu will be wasted
I really would like to call him a wussie for wearing a riding hat but everyone knows it makes sense.

Now you see?  I'd be grinning like an idiot.  Not him, he's too cool.
The young lady is smiling because she knows after an unbearable absence,
he has brought the meat home.
He has invited me.  I can't wait to go shooting with him.  I'll need to get fit first though if I am ever going to stand a chance of keeping up with Willie.
Actually, now that I think about it, I need to renew my bloody visa or I am going nowhere except jail.



  1. A friend from Jo'burg was bringing over some biltong for me, then left the bloody package in a bloody London hotel room. Oh, how I'd been looking forward to it!

    1. I'm amazed you don't make beef biltong yourself, it is so easy! I am also amazed that in France, the only Euro nation that says they will adhere to the Euro rules and then don't, you can't get a decent bit of venison.

      That aside, I know exactly how you felt. Imagine the difficulty of getting any luxury here, the effort you put in to organising its transport, the anticipation and then the guy says, sorry, I forgot.

  2. The only bit of the story I couldn't believe, was the image of you making tea.


    1. I make tea every morning, It's a ritual.

  3. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, biltong. Love it. Good man food. There are times I positively envy you, when surrounded with good mates, family and cold beer. (Tea and coffee good as well)

    1. Don't forget, I try not to write about the bad stuff...

    2. It might be worth it to write one about the bad stuff just to put the good stuff into perspective......

    3. And there was you complaining that I lied about the number of coffees you would need to read my last post. If I wrote about the shitty stuff you would have time to build the kitchen in which to boil the kettle!

  4. Everyone should have their very own Willie Buchling
    Me thinks

  5. When you use the term "drop" I think you really mean "kill", "murder", "slaughter" or "annihilate". Call a spade a spade Cap'n G! "Dropping" suggests you have just mishandled a packet of biscuits in the supermarket or a bar of soap in the shower.

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