Sunday, 17 January 2010

Medibank 2010 Women's Final

One of the advantages of living here, is that you get to see international tennis which has been so rare in SA over the past 20 years. A warm up tournament for the Australian Open that takes place in Melbourne, is the Medibank International played here in the Olympic Park where we live so for Christmas Carmen bought me tickets to the men and women's final. Unfortunately Justin Henin pulled out before the tournament due to a light leg injury, but it was an experience nevertheless. I was able to walk onto one of the outside practice courts from where i took some shots. the main stadium is the Ken Rosewall arena which seats 10500 people. With regards to the actual match Elena Dementieva crushed a really off-form Serena Williams and returned 178km/h serves. While I was disappointed with Serena's form as we never got to see a really good match, I was glad Elena cleaned up the arrogant world number 1 who at the post match interview on court feigned confusion as to what to say as she 'is so seldom in this position' - losing she meant. Maybe she should try and remember the only reason she is number 1 in the world is because Henin retired (she was number 1 at the time). After that final I stayed for the women's doubles final which featured Cara Black (a Zimbabwean player, so I cheered for her and Liezel Huber, her partner - they won! I will upload all pics to my Facebook.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


(Kirstin Amy Mackrill 13-01-1990 to 5-07-2008 - pencil drawing by Kendal Kluge)

A few days ago, I heard something that reminded me of Dana Niehaus. He was a presenter on the morning show on what was then called Springbok Radio, many years ago. I googled his name but couldn't find any real info on him. Springbok Radio fell silent on 31 December 1985. There is a society that preserves the station archives and it is apparent that many people still look back on that popular station nostalgically. Even as a teenager, I remember listening to the station on my mom's old black radio that used to stand on the kitchen counter in Sprigg Road. My dad had given it to her on our first real family holiday in Oudtshoorn. When the station went off the air, Kirstin wasn't even born. And now she is gone. In the blink of an eye. She would have turned 20 today and been in the second year of her degree in Journalism at Stellenbosch University.

That we can only live life forwards is the obvious mercenary reality that is life. I do try not to look back too often and reminisce about the good old days because I am always conscious that as Benjamin Franklin prophetically put it: The golden age never was the present age. But. As much as our past is part of us in the sense it has shaped who we have become, so I would also submit to you that it contains many of the seeds for who we not only will be but even want to be. And all those we have lost are part of that. I had life before Kirstin and I still live. My memories of her are still vivid and stark. My love for her calls me to remember her and create future memories worthy of nostalgia. But she doesn't live in my memory. She lived as fiercely differently from me as any other person can and she lives now in the light of eternal life. My memories of her are part of the residue of her earthly life - no more accurate or important than the old photographs of her in an album or hard drive. I wish she will never be forgotten but she will. When I tried to tell her about Springbok radio, she could appreciate my affection, (ok, she rolled her eyes!) but could never share it. When I talk about her, people may sense by the way that I talk about her, how much I loved her, but again they cannot share that experience of her, anymore than I can share knowledge of their loved ones - even though I can see and sense their love. And so at the end of the day all that remains to be seen of our lives is love. And that, I like to think, is almost like a prism where we, after we are gone, are merely reflecting back to those we leave behind the light of Love of the One in whose presence we then live.

‘Soon we shall die and all memory of those (we have loved) will have left the earth. We ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough….. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead, and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.’ (T Wilder:'The Bridge of San Louis Rey')

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Avalon and Balgowla?

Ok, so my timing is a bit out - I published today's trip before yesterday's one. Anyway. Yesterday, we took a trip up to Avalon Beach and an adjoining beach as well - i think it is Balgowla or something - one of the Aussies who reads this can correct me. Anyway the first photo is across from Avalon beach and the second I just wanted to show you just 2 of the very many bays that surround Sydney- there are literally hundreds of them. You should see them at night - each bay its own little crescent of dancing lights - and as I say, hundreds of them!


Today we took a drive out to a place called Mulgoa and a shrine at a place called Schoenstatt, which means Beautiful Place. It is a retreat centre and place of pilgrimage set on about 50 acres of lush farmland and is really idyllic. Schoenstatt is a Marian movement originally founded in Germany that is dedicated to the nurturing of family life. They have shrines like this all over the world - in Cape Town where I am from, they have 3 if memory serves - one of which is in Constantia and in which I was baptised. It is quite freaky to see it over here in Aus, as inside and out, these little chapels of prayer are identical wherever they are in the world.