Yesterday was my birthday. As you can see from the caption above, my 21st. My friend Trevor phoned me yesterday morning and invited me for breakfast. Not at his house as I thought but at a restaurant called Terbodore near the village of Nottingham Road. The village is actually named for a British regiment the Sherwood Rangers from Nottingham in England, (might have been kin of Robin Hood) also known as the 45th regiment. This regiment was stationed here during the 1870's.
This regiment left their name all over Natal, in Durban the suburb of Sherwood is where their original camp was when they landed in the then colony of Natal. On their way out of Durban they literally had to cut their way through the dense coastal bush to create a road. One of the main roads out of Durban still goes through the 45th cutting. The Sherwood Rangers were sent here to suppress the so called Langalebelile uprising, one of the less savoury chapters in South Africa's history.
As you can see on the photo Terbodore coffee roasters, and roasting coffee is their main line of business. You want coffee they've got it.
Photo I took, at the end of the table Nils, Trevor's son, just turned 38 and a consummate businessman. To the right of Nils his daughter Anna and youngest son Luke. On Nils' right his older sister Lisle and her daughter, also Anna, sitting on her dad Mikes lap. This was a sort of general birthday celebration, Lisle will be celebrating her 40th in a couple of days time and Mike's birthday a few days later.
Nils is the kind of man I wish I was at 38, but wasn't. When Nils turned 25 he said to he said to his dad, "Dad, you preach the Gospel, I'll make the money". And that is what he did, owns three supermarkets and a Wimpy fast food outlet. Not only that, he preaches the Gospel too, actively and in the way he lives his life, he also has an active prison ministry. (At 38 I was trying to set a beer drinking record in Africa, if not the world, (well Southern Hemisphere anyway)).
This photo Trevor took, yours truly at the end of the table, (with my mouth open, actually giving Trevor instructions on how to take the photo). To the left of Nils, Mike and Lisle's eldest daughter, for the life of me I can't remember her name and I've known her for several years now. (One of the problems of turning 21 so many times), one of those whizz kids who home schools herself, completing high school in 2012. Next to her, her grandmother and Trevor's wife Naomi. Just behind Mike, on the right, is his second daughter Emma. Mike and his family live in George in the Eastern Cape, only up for the Christmas holiday's
While we were sitting there Mike and Emma asked to be excused as they had to go and fetch Emma' best friend. "Oh", I said, "So nice that Emma's friend lives so close." Only then I heard that Emma's friends mother was flying her up in her own aircraft from George, in the Eastern Cape, and would be landing in a few minutes on a private airstrip nearby.(Oh!) We're talking of almost a 1000km's here.
Trevor delivering some bottled water to the table.
This big guy, a Great Dane, one of the resident dogs, wasn't feeling too well. Very sick actually but still had to be where the action was.
Accommodation to rent on the property. Nice place to stay for a couple of days if you wanted to explore the area.
The Midlands Meander concept, an idea that started in the 1970's when people in the area got together to market it as a tourist destination. The Meander straddles the R103 route, from Howick in the south to the town of Mooi River in the north, so called Midlands of KwaZuluNatal. The R103 really meanders through the Natal country side, going up, down and arround rolling hills and through small hamlets and villages, with names like Dargle, Rosetta, Tweedie and Fort Nottingham.
There are B&B's, hotels, lodges, trout fishing, artists studious, restaurants, and curio shops, with names like, Granny Mouse's, Hobbit's hut, and Trout Bagger Lodge, (5kg trout guaranteed). The tourist income runs into billions of Rands a year and provides work for thousands. The Meander area is so large that you never get the feeling of being swamped by tourists, even during the busiest seasons.