Sunday, 28 October 2012

Week-end of mixed feelings

Typical landscape in the winelands of the Western Cape

We were privileged to attend the celebration dinner of the operation of a 100-year old wine farm this week-end.  It was a very grand occasion, no expense spared, magnificently catered, decor - out of this world, even the cutlery was worth stealing. There were lengthy speeches about the development of the the family farm and others in the area since 1700, so it will not surprise you to hear that the dessert was only served after 12.30 pm. It was an awe-inspiring evening. Nevertheless, behind all the party-spirit and bonhomie, lay a tragedy which was not mentioned, I imagine because it was both a painful subject and the family did not wish to spoil the atmosphere of the evening. Five years ago, that latest young marrieds of this family suffered a tragedy:  the husband, aged 42, was out on the river on his jet-ski, with his young son riding behind him. He did not see a hidden cable in the river and he was decapitated by it, his son surviving. Four years later, his widow decided to remarry: her son, now aged 18, was killed in a car accident: he was buried on the very day his mother was to have remarried.  Today, she, a striking, tall woman, CEO of the company, wears a brave face and I could not but admire the way she conducted herself throughout the evening.  She has remarried and I hope she has found personal happiness: she has two other sons from her first marriage.  I thought to myself that one should ever envy those who appear to  have everything.  There is often a story to be told.


  1. It's true. You never know what kind of pain the other person carries behind a brave and personable front.

  2. My God, that is quite tragic. Indeed tragedy abides no rules of wealth. Sometimes the very wealthy seem to suffer more tragedies than the rest of us. Money does not buy happiness or an guarantees in life. It is best to invest in people, because one never knows what lies in the road ahead. Interesting and though provoking post.

  3. How very tragic, and yet a good reminder that life goes on and is, when all is said and done, what we make of it.