While not all men of the soil (men of the law court and the billable hour, mostly), the men of my African tribe are an earthy and courageous lot. I’ve posted about The Uncle Who Roars At Lions, but I also have a father who is not scared of spending an entire coastal fishing trip in the SAME PAIR OF SHORTS, and a brother who grew a whole nursery of indigenous trees from seeds he plucked with his bare hands off the forest floor (possibly illegally, we’re not sure) and raised each one lovingly to maturity (actually, he’s rather gorgeous and if you know any 30-ish single women who’d fancy a gentle hairy-legged South African to father some children, he’s available right now … but that’s another post). However, I’ve just heard through the thriving family grapevine of another uncle whose courage, determination and commitment to meeting his goals quite outdoes all others.
This uncle was driving with a friend along the motorway towards a golf course where he, my father and a fourth friend had a golf game. To their surprise, they saw one large truck wheel crash through the barrier from the other side of the motorway and come bouncing towards them. They were extremely lucky that the wheel hit the side of his car and not the front or the top. However, all the windows on the driver’s side were shattered and much of that side of the car was buckled in. They stopped the car, wiped their faces of blood, established that both were more or less okay and that the car was still in working order, and then, and this is where my tribal blood starts to ring with pride, PROCEEDED TO THEIR GOLF GAME. My father and the fourth friend were waiting somewhat irritably for their almost-late golf partners, who arrived just in time to tee off, and then, with the gods still on their side, win the round of golf. I am filled with admiration for the men of my family – imagine being side-swiped by an enormous bouncing wheel, to survive with mere facial lacerations, to keep driving in your now-damaged car in order to make your tee-off time and have the audacity also to win the round. He is a hero and shall henceforth be known as The Uncle Who Was Never Too Tired To Play Golf.
So how does my British-born husband keep up with these hoary roarin’, fishin’, tree-growin’ tyre-defyin’ Africans? He takes up cycling, that’s what he does. It’s got to be a lot safer than going to golf.