Hi all!

Wow, what an amazing week it has been. Globally there have been some remarkable events; Dad and I observed some really interesting news events. Firstly, after 92 years of being a dormant brand, Fabergé have started to market their extraordinarily jewellery again. And just to be bold, after previously being appointed as the jewellers to the Russian Imperial family, they’ve decided to go online. I wonder what the Czar would have thought of CEO Mark Dunhill’s (son of Alfred Dunhill) choice to sell online. Admittedly, both Dad and I didn’t really take to their new jewellery range, starting at about 30 000 USD, and averaging out at around 200 000 USD.

Another noteworthy happening was that Leondardo da Vinci’s Atlantic Codex collection went on pubic display for the first time ever in history. Dad and I scanned across some of the Codex images and quickly began to realise the genius of da Vinci. As if we needed more convincing that da Vinci was a genius, the exhibition is so vast (1119 pages) that it will be done in a series of 24 individual exhibitions spanning six years!!!! That’s a lot of drawings.

The Samoans also made it into international news this past week for something obscure. They’ve opted to change the side on which one drives on the road from the right side, to the left side! That’s right, to the left! It will have been the first nation in the 21st century that will have done this switch. In fact, the last country to do a side-of-driving switch was Burma in the 1970’s. Incidentally, Samoa now joins the minority of 33% of countries in the world that drive on the left. Lastly, this past week saw the 8th anniversary of two very conspicuous towers in NYC tumbling down.

Now, back to my week. Monday started with OT. Lauren sent some instructions home to Dad to make some steps and tables for me to lean against and climb on. He did go so far as to buy all the necessary materials, but construction has not yet actually commenced. Apparently he is still in the ‘planning phase’. After OT Mom and I headed off to Kyle’s place to do some Baby Gym on him. It was really fun to see him again, and we both worked hard. The afternoon was pretty quiet, and I was bursting with excitement for Dad to get home. Once home, I sat at the French doors in the study and told myself jokes and then giggled. Mom and Dad found this quite entertaining too. I probably kept at this for an hour until I ran out of jokes to tell myself! I also showed Dad my new skill of snorting like a pig and making horse sounds, both on command. I was up pretty late in the evening, and I was still awake by the time Dad left to go to gym.

On Tuesday I went to Melissa’s birthday party. There were a lot of kids there, and although I always try and be friendly with everyone these kids just kept taking my toys away and bullying me. One of the kids actually pushed me over so hard that I fell back and hit my head. As a result I had a humungous headache for the rest of the day, making me a full-time job for Mom for the rest of the day.

Be Sharp Beetles was on the cards on Wednesday morning, and fortunately by now I’d slept off the day before’s headache; all that remained from that incident was a lump on my head. Back home in the afternoon Mom held a Baby Gym class. Josh was back and we all played really hard. The weather was wonderful so we all took advantage of that and went into the garden and splashed about in my little pool. I started to get tired however, so I excused myself from all the fun and retired for an afternoon nap. While I snoozed my friends played in the pool, the sandpit and threw my balls about. I’m really sad I missed the fun. During the course of the day my eye teeth made an entrance.

Most of Thursday was spent at home; I played and horsed around, and in the process I fell and bit my bottom lip. It bled profusely, and I cried and cried, but my wonderful Mommy made it all better again by soothing me and taking care of me. In the afternoon Mom took me to a new speech therapist, Joy Saffer. It seems I am on perfect track with my speech, and I was so proud of my Mom and Dad as it seems they’re also doing all the right things to support my development. On the down side, my eyes became very sore and swollen, so Mom took me off to Doctor Anthony; he diagnosed that I had conjunctivitis. To treat it, Mom was given some serum to rub into my eyes. I knew looking at the little tube of serum that this was not going to be fun to get into my eyes, but at the same time I understood the importance of treating my eyes, so I relented.

On the other side of the southern hemisphere, in New Zealand, little Bianca, who has been suffering with leukaemia, was scheduled to have her last chemotherapy on Thursday as well. We have been following her blog with great interest, and in celebration of her last treatment, I sent her a little gift. Sadly, although her last chemo session was supposed to be a celebration, she ended up spending it in hospital. We were all very sad to read about all the wonderful plans that Bianca’s Mommy had organised in anticipation of the celebration, but this had to be delayed. On the up-and-up, after 2-and-a-third years, she took her last chemo pill.

Mom and I collected Granny and then headed out to Fourways on Friday. After some shopping and browsing around, we went to Redhill High School, where we were waiting for Tammy there was a track and field event taking place. It was so awesome to see all the kids participating, and as the kids ran past us on the 200m sprint, I decided that this looked like fun so I headed out onto the track and tried to catch them, to no avail. Everyone obviously thought this was hilarious!

Saturday morning Dad took charge of my cares, and once I took my morning snooze, he went out to run some errands. While he was out, he bumped into Nadine and they had a nice little chat. To my excited, she still had my birthday present in the car, which she then gave to Dad to give to me. I was still asleep when Dad got back, but once I was awake, I opened my presented and was thrilled to discover that she had done a sketch of me from one of my pictures on the blog. It is truly precious to me! Afterward we all went out for a quick bite to eat, as the afternoon was a secret event that I had planned in lieu of his birthday that was coming up next week. Because of my conjunctivitis, I wasn’t going to my swimming lesson for the day. We rushed back home to get ready for the secret event. Mom was on kitchen duty arranging my snacks and drinks for the afternoon, while Dad changed me and did my cares; and that’s when it happened, I rolled over and fell off the compactum. I landed in a naked heap on the floor, the right side of my body burning with pain. Fortunately I cushioned my head with my arm; nevertheless I let out a shriek. Dad scooped me up and hugged and cuddled me, then Mom arrived and did the same. Once I’d calmed down Dad did a through check for any abrasions or broken bones, but I was actually fine. I think the sprung wooden floor absorbed much of the force.

Pretty quickly that trauma was forgotten when I remember that we had to head off to Grand Central Airport for Dad’s secret birthday event. By then I was bursting with excitement, so I had to tell him that I had gotten him flying lessons for his birthday. He was overjoyed. We hastily made our way to the airport and there we met Eben, Dad’s instructor. After some paperwork was completed, Dad and Eben headed out onto the apron of the runway to where a Cesna 172, call sign Foxtrot Hotel November, was waiting for them. I was brimming over with pride as I watched Dad head to the plane. Eben took Dad through the pre-flight inspection, and pretty soon they were in the plane, Dad in the pilot’s seat. Some more checks, and the propeller sprang to life. They taxied past us in the terminal building and headed out to the runway. Before reaching the runway some final checks were done (engine revs, brakes, etc), and then their little plane stormed down the runway, into the oncoming window and pretty soon they were airborne. I watched in awe as the plane headed skyward and then started banking back over the terminal buildings. After ATC (air traffic control) had cleared them to do a low flyby, their little plane whizzed past the terminal building, only a 100 feet from the ground, with Dad waving frantically at us, grinning from ear to ear. Mom and I settled down to a hour’s long wait, as Dad, under the guidance of Eben, pointed the plane toward Hartebeespoort Dam. After what seemed like forever, their little plane came into sight again, and not long afterward they were landing and taxiing toward the terminal building. Some post flight checks were done, and the propeller was killed. Dad hopped out and helped secure the plane. As he headed back toward us he was beaming with excitement, but I could see he was also somewhat exhausted. He did confess afterward that the negative gravity simulation that was done over the dam, and the 60° banking circles in both directions, left him a little light-headed, but apparently one does get used to this.

Dad took charge of my cares on Sunday morning, and once I was ready to snooze, Aaron arrived, and the two of them headed to the garden to do some landscaping. Aaron worked with the chunk rocks in the front garden, while Dad attend to Dalmatian pebbles in the back garden. Once Dad was done, he confirmed that he was going to head to the Medi-Cross for a check-up, as his throat was extremely sore. Mom and I headed to the nursery for some plants for Aaron to plant. We met back with Dad later to discover that he can contracted pharyngitis and sinusitis. He was armed with a bang of antibiotics and other meds to address his illness. He’d barely gotten home when we were all in the car again, heading to Opa’s place.

Opa was treating us to a birthday lunch, in honour of Dad’s 19th anniversary of his 21st birthday (note the denial)! We picked up Opa and then headed out to Thaba Ya Batswana, which is an eco resort in the south of Johannesburg. It was a wonderful venue, set high in the ridge of the Klipriver Nature Reserve. Once we were seated in the restaurant, Opa and I got down to some serious playing and giggling. I also spent some time cruising around the restaurant, and then Opa took me for a walk. After a nice long lazy lunch it was time to leave again. We drove Opa home to Glenvista up the back of the hill, which felt like some of the steepest hills I’d ever experienced. As we climbed the hills, Dad told us how as a youngster he used to race his wooden go-cart down the steep hills, and as we drove, he pointed out bushes, sand traps and small up-hills that served as arrester beds to slow down the rickety go-cart. Apparently brakes were not a big design feature for these home made tomato box carts!

All too soon the weekend seemed to come to an end. I was really excited to bath this evening though, as Opa had given me a super-duper submarine toy to use in the bath. Dad helped me assemble it in the bath, and pretty soon I was submarining my way around the bath. Thank you Opa, its really an awesome bath toy, and once I’m spending more time in the pool, its definitely going with me there. As I’m writing my blog, Dad is grumping around the house as he’s got to go to Pretoria tomorrow and Tuesday for some training programme. He mentioned to Mom that he hoped his visa and passport weren’t accepted at the Pretoria border post and that he would be turned back home. Mom just said, “Wishful thinking”. As a result, Dad will have to leave before I’m up tomorrow, and I’ll probably miss his bunzy running me in the evening, as the traffic is sure to keep him from us for too long. So I’ll hardly see Dad for those two days, but I’ll report back next week on the exact outcomes.

Well, that’s it for another week.

Lots of love,


Figure 1 Getting ready to hop into the bath

Figure 2 Making a noise

Figure 3 Uh-oh

Figure 4 Munching at Melissa’s birthday party

Figure 5 Cutie-pie

Figure 6 Having a snooze while my friends were playing outside

Figure 7 Getting busy

Figure 8 On my activity mat

Figure 9 Munching on a Kit-Kat on the way home

Figure 10 Enjoying the evening with Sonic and Shatzi

Figure 11 Adjusting the blinds after my bath

Figure 12 Getting into some spag-bol

Figure 13 Post-bath spikiness

Figure 14 My birthday pressie to Dad – flying lessons!

Figure 15 A shot of the dam from the cockpit

Figure 16 The dam wall from a few hundred feet

Figure 17 Dad in the cockpit

Figure 18 Spot the . . .

Figure 19 similarity????

Figure 20 Pacing the terminal building waiting for Dad to land

Figure 21 My portrait by Nadine Lewis (2009) – if you’re keen on her artwork, mail me and I can get her in touch with you.

1 Comment on Top Gun

  1. Lea White says:

    Hello little Jarrod,

    Even though Bianca was in hospital, your special present really made her day. Do you know that the toy lamb that was in the parcel sleeps with Bianca at night? It was very special and thank you for sending this to Bianca!

    I love the photo of you getting ready for your bath and I bet your mommy and daddy will love showing that off at your 21st birthday :-).

    Ooh and I love the drawing that you received. It is gorgeous, just like you!

    Lea (Bianca’s mommy)

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