by Javier Kirigin
Saturday 5 December, started off as a rainy day, but that did not deter the intention of participating in an outing which included a 2,5 km walk at the David and Chandré Wertheim Aymes property in North Riding, who had graciously opened their home to the community for a fund-raising event.
This was a special family event for the Kirigin family, who were joined by a young couple who would soon be emigrating to Holland: Lola’s nephew/godson and his wife, as well as Lola’s sister, Maria.
The weather cleared as we walked, with slight intermittent drizzle. David led us on the promenade which was very captivating in the sense that one walks through at least two types of terrain one of which is a rain forest type vegetation which makes one realise that very close to the city there are still golden pockets of nature which transport one into the countryside. This route was especially delineated on the property, to allow for a 2,5km cycle during the strict lockdown. The fresh air, after the overnight rain, was very invigorating for the walkers and for the Wertheim Aymes dogs. These creatures were so invigorated that they chased a Guinea fowl (tarentaal voëls) to the top of a (almost 10m) high tree. I’ve never seen tarentaal flying in all my time in South Africa, which spans several decades. I’ve seen them running fast but never flying to such a height. One of the dogs was so energetic that it knocked Chandré as she was greeting us at the entrance. She twisted her ankle, but I believe she has now fully recovered …… the joys & risks of being owners of sturdy strong (ridgeback/“lion”) dogs.
Once the walk was completed, we had excellent arabica coffee to complement our picnic. The conversation was also very stimulating with snippets of Mihail and Natalia’s chess achievements and Natalia’s life in Russia from where she hails. They were both junior chess champions in South Africa and Russia respectively. We engaged with David, or rather he engaged us, in the Three-Fold Social Order from the works of Rudolf Steiner where we once again attempted to comprehend that societies are healthier when the three spheres of society: Economy, Cultural and Politics function independently of one another. These are related to the famous cry of the French Revolution: fraternité, liberté, egalité.
All in all, an enjoyable albeit a little wet Saturday. Thanks to Chandré and David for the hospitality and making their home available for this fund raiser.
The pleasure of being in the company of this combination of people brought out some very interesting conversations, including David’s adventurous journeys from his sailing days and some hair-raising accounts of his experiences through Africa, particularly Mozambique as a young man with his father, Guy. I realised that both David & Javier have an incredible spirit for adventure which is well worth remembering and sharing with others, perhaps as future novel community event/s …? (Lola Kirigin)
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