Sunday, December 16, 2012

Making a plan

I just realised I haven’t posted in a while. This is not good for maintaining a fan base. Sorry about that but I have been very busy. Some people may find that hard to believe but it is true.

Firstly I moved house. Well, flat actually. After six years of crawling up that sodding hill in North Wales everyday with some shopping; it was time to go. I would miss the view but that was about it.

So I sold just about all my possessions, even most of my beloved Rhodesia memorabilia, but I needed the dosh and I couldn’t be arsed dragging the stuff around anymore. I thought I would miss them but not really. I think completing The Gokwe Kid made me decide that I can keep it all in my head. I kept some important bits, my three wall plaques and my police diaries and a few other small bits and bobs.

I have them here in my new flat in….Germany! Yup, I have come full circle and I am back to where it all began three decades ago. It is a cute, brand new pad and unlike that damp, rotting hole in Wales, this one is toasting warm with buckets of steaming hot water as much as I like and not once a week when I would reluctantly turn on the boiler and watch with horror as it chewed a £1 a second in juice. Nah - none of that crap anymore.

You see, when problems arise us Rhodies are world famous for what is called ‘make a plan’. Maybe sanctions did that to us. We couldn’t simply wander into a shop or pick up the phone and someone on the other end could solve your problem. Nope, no chance. That was because I was always skint (still am) and we had a lock on our phone at home.

My parents were very tight. I wasn’t as crafty as my late brother Michael. I found out the cheeky bugger worked out that you flicked the bit out of the middle of  the dial and there was the screw that held it in place. Somehow he had ‘managed’ to procure an extra dial and simply swopped them over. I gather that the phone was then locked away in the parent’s bedroom because mysteriously the phone bill was still rather extravagant.

Michael wasn’t to be bypassed with that one so he simply bypassed the problem and the phone bills still climbed every month. It was his best friend who was responsible for his undoing. Garth, rocks up one Saturday and asks John (Michael’s step-dad), if Michael was around. Now, John says ‘Yeah, hold on I get him,’ because he had seen Michael cruise in only a few minutes before. So he wanders into Michael’s room, goes in and he isn’t there. Fair enough, maybe he is having a wazz, but a quick look-see around the small house and still no Michael.

Confused he tells Garth and the two wander about calling his name. Then, going back into Michael’s bedroom, they hear ghostly talking. It is coming from the built in clothes cupboard. John opens it and there is Michael – on the phone! The crafty sod had got himself an extra phone and some cable, gone up into the loft and spliced into the line and ran a new one into the clothes cupboard. I don’t know what the punishment was – but now that is what I call making a plan.

So, I also made a plan and here I am. A tiny town called Töging am Inn, west of Munich. It actually has ‘city’ status but I would question that because they don’t even have a post office. This place makes Gokwe look like a thriving, bustling metropolis. Still, beggars can’t be choosers and when the piper plays - ‘I come a’running bwana.’ I don’t have to do that too often which is great because that gives me plenty of time to get on with the next book. More about all this in the next posting – I don’t want to overload attention span, plus I need to get a beer.

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