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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
Warnings of any graphic or contentious content will be placed before the chapter concerned

Never walk alone- Walk on - 35. Chapter 35


The next morning before breakfast , Ryan and Jeremy pulled another eight crayfish from, what they now con-sidered, their rock pool, then took Rascal and Toby for a run on the beach and refresh their litter trays, before Darren raised the sails for the next leg up the coast to Elands Bay, as the elves in the galley prepared breakfast. The sea air seemed to have sharpened their appetites, so a hearty breakfast got the day off to a good start. The sky was a deep blue, with not a cloud in sight, so it looked like they were in for perfect sailing weather. The wind that was blowing, however, was quite cool, signalling that winter was on the way.

A fresh fruit salad, or a selection of preserved fruits, started breakfast with plain or flavoured yogurt. This was followed by bowls of oats, steamy and buttery, served with milk, and honey or brown sugar. Followed by croissants with bacon, egg and cheese.

After breakfast everyone tidied their own cabins, although Andrew, Kerry and Yvonne worked steadily in the galley to do some pre-prep for their meals and snacks. To this end, Andrew turned the leftover snoek into a patè by adding some chopped chives, cream cheese, Hellmans mayo and cream. It made a generous bowl that would be ideal on crackers later. Kerry baked banana bread for something tasty -Ryan's words- at tea time, and Yvonne was busy filling the galley with amazing spicy aromas as she prepared pickled fish using frozen hake from the freezer. Andrew also tea-smoked some chicken breasts that would be used for one of the lunches and was very grateful to David, Claude and François who went above and beyond to keep the children occupied. Then once all the prep a complete it was just a case of sit back and relax.

Andrew excused himself and broke away to the saloon table with his laptop to check messages and do a bit of planning. Shortly before lunch, Jamie and Nathan, who had grown as thick as thieves, sidled up next to him.

"Daddy". His son's small voice broke his reverie and he looked up.

" What's it JJ?"

"Daddy, what are we going to have for lunch. I'm hungry", the little boy replied. Andrew glanced at the clock on the bulkhead.

"Oh, I'm sorry baby boy. I didn't realise it was so late already. What do you feel like?"

"Well, ummm. Me and Nathan want some pizza", he replied biting his bottom lip and eyeing his dad from under his impossibly long eyelashes. Nathan was also looking at him with big eyes. Andrew grinned.

"Okay, you and Nathan go find out if everyone else would like pizza. Then I will decide. Deal?, he answered holding up his hand for a high five, which he got with some force before the two imps scampered away yelling "Who wants pizza? Who wants pizza?"
He saw Janice stand up and move towards the saloon.

"Can I help Andrew. It seems the rabble are hungry again", she said smiling.

"Yeah, thanks mom. There is a selection of frozen pizzas in the freezer. If you could get them out, I'll just finish off here and join you".

It took a bit of juggling with having only two small ovens, but eventually enough pizza was produced for everyone.

Tea time saw them, once again, safely riding at anchor off the white sand beach of the village of Elands Bay. Renowned worldwide as a superb surfing location, unfortunately Covid had also taken it's toll on the hamlet, that should have been brimming with visitors for the weekend. The only lucky surfers taking advantage of the generous waves that afternoon were locals, probably relishing having the waves all to themselves.

The arrival of the large catamaran off their beach caused a bit of a stir in the town - no one was really expecting any visitors. From their anchorage, it was evident that the townsfolk were having some sort of gathering which was slightly alarming considering what was happening all over the country and the world. Large gatherings were essentially prohibited due to the possibility of mass infection, and yet, they found out from locals who wandered down to the shoreline to chat, the town was having their weekly farmers market. And they were told, quite proudly, that only a handful of the residents had contracted the virus, and that right at the beginning of the pandemic. It seemed their isolation was keeping them safe. When Andrew enquired what was available at the market it was not long before their was a steady stream of vendors toiling across the beach with their wares. It was the fresh vegetables, in particular, that interested Andrew as there were a few things he had neglected to order from the Cape Town suppliers.
After some animated banter and barter, a large basket was eventually floated out on a skiff with red, green and yellow peppers, fresh corn on the cob, a packet of fresh peas, still in their pods, several bunches of bananas, punnets of strawberries, blueberries and golden Cape gooseberries, some crusty local seed bread, fresh farm butter and, due to the mouthwatering aroma that drifted across the beach, a dozen packs of cinnamon pancakes. They were now well provisioned for the remainder of the cruise and the vendors were happy campers too.

A number of the items were seen at dinner that evening with the crayfish. The peppers, corn and peas appeared with red onion and mushrooms in the savoury rice on which the crayfish was served, as well as in the fresh salad. The cinnamon pancakes were packed in a large baking dish, extra butter, cinnamon and sugar added with a hint of lemon to make a sauce, warmed up and served with ice cream. Everyone thought it was a quintessential South African supper that was enjoyed by all. An added bonus was the onshore entertainment that continued until late as the locals celebrated life and hope, no matter how dire the circumstances.

They loitered off the small town until after breakfast the following morning before Darren allowed 'Belle Catherine' to drift off the beach into deeper water before hoisting the sails to take her back out to sea . The wind had moved around during the night, coming from a more northwesterly direction, which meant that somewhere out in the Atlantic, a cold front was brewing. Not that there was any evidence of it in the sky which remained mostly clear and blue with just a few wispy very high level clouds.
The prevailing wind drove them south towards their overnight stop on the Langebaan lagoon where they spent the following morning cavorting on the inflatable tube being towed by the dinghy, and swimming in the warm water of the lagoon. The lagoon was absolutely deserted with no other vessels in sight. Even the houseboats that would normally all be occupied with weekenders were locked up tight. The only other movement on the body
of water were the seagulls wheeling and squawking overhead and flocks of flamingoes wading in the shallows.

'Belle Catherine' pointed her bows towards Cape Town just after lunch. Taking advantage of the freshening wind from the northwest, she scythed through the slightly unsettled seas, her sails taut and full and they tossed the lines ashore in the marina shortly after 8pm. Andrew had earlier served up burgers and fries for supper - a request from the children - and by the time 'Belle Catherine' was secure in her berth, the galley had been tidied up and a general clean up done. All that had to be done the following day was to strip the beds in the cabins for the linens to be laundered, which Darren and Kerry volunteered to handle. The beds would remain bare until needed again.

As the lockdown levels were lowered, the country slowly began returning to some sort of normality. Offices and factories reopened and general commerce started up again. But the tourism and hospitality industry remained in limbo, much to everyone's frustration. But eventually, in October, the first international flights began landing and the hotels and lodges were able to reopen. Yvonne and Jeremy returned to their own home with little Nathan.

While the Devlin-Major properties were still closed Andrew had every room, public area and service area thoroughly fumigated and the air conditioning compressors and ducts serviced. He was determined that no trace of the dreaded lurgy would remain when they reopened their doors to guests. At the same time all the carpets, upholstery and curtains were given a good clean, so when the day came to welcome the first guests, Blue Bay, The Cameron and Drakensberg Resort gleamed like new.
Andrew was at Blue Bay, and Ryan at The Cameron, to welcome the first batch of guests to the lodges. Due to its more remote location, Drakensberg Resort would only reopen just before the weekend and the Devlin-Majors were all flying up for the event.

Most were return guests, thrilled to be back again and Andrew found himself smiling more than he had in a long time. His happiness was dampened however, whenever he, out sheer force of habit, looked around for Thomas and realised that their beloved old doorman was no longer there. The sudden welling up of emotion was very unexpected and he had to go get himself a glass of water and move to a quiet corner to compose himself.

The new doorman, Obed, was far younger than his predecessor, but just as friendly andwelcoming, which is what sealed the position for him. Claude had whittled the candidates down to three, who then each had a very short interview with Andrew as well before he and Claude made the final appointment. But it still hurt like hell not to see Thomas at his familiar position at the man doors.

'Belle Catherine' had eventually been hauled out, albeit slightly later than planned, and given a complete going over. As a precaution, she was also fumigated and all her soft furnishings cleaned and refreshed. Any scuff marks on her hull and decks were removed and either repainted or revarnished. She now rode proudly at anchor at her berth awaiting her first guests who would be arriving on the Thursday for a four day cruise. Although the weather forecast looked promising, it was still autumn, and with that came the potential of changeable weather. It was the time of the year when Cape Town could go through all four seasons in a single day!

In Mauritius, 'Lady Janice' was already plying her cruise routes after the tropical island had reopened to tourism on 01 July 2022. Andrew was thrilled to see that many of the charters were those who had had cancelled while the epidemic raged and had re booked almost immediately after it became public knowledge that the island was opening up to tourists.

As expected, there were indeed four lodges in the portfolio that did not reopen and Andrew was headed north immediately after the weekend at Drakensberg Resort. Instead of flying back to Cape Town on the chartered Beechcraft King Air they we using to get to the resort, the King Air would drop Andrew at Pietermaritzburg Airport and he would fly to Johannesburg from there for a week, although he was hoping that it would not be that long. The King Air would then continue on to Cape Town International with the remainder of the family.

He had already forwarded proposals to the owners of the properties, but had not had any news from two of them despite him requesting feedback on the proposals. Which to put it quite bluntly, pissed Andrew off immensely, and he had resolved to be as hardball with them as possible. The two who had replied seemed very open to discussion regarding their properties.

Immediately after welcoming the charter passengers on board and sharing a glass of champagne with them, Andrew and Ryan returned to the house, gathered up their offspring, Rascal, David and Janice, and headed for the Signature FBO at Cape Town International. Even though the CRO was aware that they were not aircraft owners, at least not yet - that decision still had to be taken, they were treated with the same efficiency and courtesy. They were by now familiar faces to the CRO and they were greeted by name and ushered through all the formalities, offered refreshments and then escorted to the waiting turboprop. It was the same company and aircraft they had made use of previously and they were welcomed on board by the friendly crew. As soon as they were comfortable in their seats, the door was closed, the safety briefing was done, and with a whine the propellers began turning before settling down into a healthy growl.
They trundled down to the northern end of the runway, passing all the main terminal buildings and made a powerful takeoff soaring up and out over False Bay before turning to port and setting course for the Drakensberg Resort airstrip which, Andrew was pleased to inform the pilots, had been lengthened by 800 meters while the resort had been in Covid lockdown.

Larry had decided it would be a good project to keep the ground staff occupied while the resort was not operating, an added bonus being that the other hospitality properties on the road into the resort, and the farmers in the valley, had contributed to the cost in the knowledge that it would increase accessibility to the valley. The incentive for the improvement had come about due to a medical emergency in the valley that required an air
evacuation. The medic flight had had some difficulty landing on the airstrip and once the valley became aware of the proposed improvements to the airstrip, the additional funds came rolling in to cover the costs. One farmer had even donated some land at the far end to allow for the lengthening of the runway and basic runway lights to be installed. Everyone with suitable machinery had got involved and the runway was extended and paved within
a few weeks.
A small permanent terminal building had also been erected which also housed a standby generator to power the runway lights in the event of a power failure to which the areawas prone.

Although there was no service as such on board, there was plenty of snacks and cold beverages to keep everyone satisfied and the time passed quite quickly. As it was the first time the pilots were flying into the new runway, they made a low pass down the full length before gaining height to make the approach and they touched down softly shortly after, using a good deal of the new runway to come to a stop. But this time the heavy braking that was the hallmark of their previous visits was absent, rolling to a gentle stop before turning around and taxiing back to the new terminal building that had been built further back to allow at least two aircraft the size of the Beechcraft they were in, to park comfortably.

Larry was on hand to meet them, driving the guest courtesy vehicle himself. A second vehicle was ready to take all the luggage to the hotel once it had been offloaded.
The drive to the resort was very short and both Andrew and Ryan were both appreciative of the obvious care that was being lavished on the property. In fact, Andrew was amazed that it looked as good as it did given what the monthly accounts told him was being spent.
Even though they were still theoretically at the end of Autumn, swathes of green grass stretched to all points of the compass, dotted with beds of brightly coloured flowers and shrubs, all against the backdrop of the low, tree covered hills on either side and the dark, brooding mountains at the head of the valley still showing a light dusting of snow on the higher peaks, and a clear blue sky. Put simply, the resort looked stunning! Andrew could hardly believe they owned this piece of heaven.

Reception had already checked them all in, all they had to do was add their signatures to the document and get their key cards for the rooms. The two pilots were allocated rooms closer to the airstrip, making it an easy stroll to get there to check the plane over and prepare it for the flight on Sunday morning.
Andrew turned to Larry as he was preparing to take them to their rooms.

"Don't worry about driving us, Larry. We'll just take a stroll there. It's not far and it's such a gorgeous morning. And thank you for everything! The resort looks magnificent. You and your staff have really done a superb job", he told his general manager earnestly.
Larry beamed.

'Thanks Andrew. We get a lot of help from Mother Nature as well. If she doesn't co-operate then things get difficult. Too little rain or snow and everything dries up, the river included. So no pumping for the gardens. Every little bit must be conserved for the guests. Too much and we run the risk of the river bursting its banks and then the pumping stations are in danger. And of course having a good snow season helps as well as the soil get well saturated"

"I must admit I would love to see this place when it snows", Ryan added. "I think next winter we'll have to keep an eagle eye on the weather and come up if it looks like snow. I would think it would be magical".

"Oh it is! Absolutely!", Larry replied. "Just be prepared to possibly be stuck for a day or two. Although with the new runway it will be easier to get in and out. The biggest problem though will be the low cloud ceiling to land and take off". Andrew laughed.

"Well that will certainly be no hardship. I could live with that"

They strolled to their usual rooms on the slight rise close to the main building with the views across the gardens and the bowling green to the river. They all got settled, freshened up and strolled back to the main building, finding a table on the patio for lunch, the children all tucking into burgers and fries,while the adults all had salads in various forms, followed by a long walk to really take in the tranquility of the property. David and Janice took the children and Rascal to the heated spa pool while the two owners welcomed the first, post covid weekend guests in reception with mimosas and canapés.
Larry shooed them back to their suite at about 5.30pm to chill and change for dinner, which, on that particular Friday, was just the normal buffet as some guests had not yet arrived. Larry had told them that the buffet dinner on the Saturday night would have a more gala feel with more upmarket options available, not that the normal buffet was in anyway inferior with its full selection of salads and hors d'oeuvres, roast chicken, topside of beef and leg of lamb, a fish offering, four vegetables, rice and potatoes in one form or another. And , of course the dessert buffet. Vegetarians were well catered for as well, and the chef would have at least two options for main course available.

At 6.30 Cameron and Jamie were complaining that they were hungry, so the family strolled down to the main building where the buffet restaurant was located on the upper level off the patio. Rascal trotted along happily on his leash, his tongue lolling and tail wagging madly, with a jaunty bow tied round his neck. The sky was clear and myriads of stars glittered against the inky blackness, with only the dim garden lights slightly diminishing the spectacular splendour arching overhead. Once the sun set, there was still a wintery chill in the air, so they all carried something warm to wear after dinner for the return to the rooms. The pilots joined them on arrival at the main building and they walked up the stone staircase onto the patio before entering the restaurant.

Dinner was, as they had come to expect, absolutely delicious and filling. Simple country fare, well cooked and presented and completely suitable for the operation. A numberof guests stopped at the table to compliment the owners on the warm welcome, excellent catering and to tell them how good it was to be back at the resort. Andrew and Ryan returned to their suite that night two very happy men who made one another even happier. They were both very sweaty when it was all over so they padded to the bathroom to clean up and have a cooling wipe down. Two very satisfied and happy men returned to the rumpled bed and fell asleep almost immediately in their usual spooned sleeping position

They weren't entirely happy however when they were woken up just after 7am by four exuberant children and an excitedly yapping hound, mainly in light of the fact that they were both still naked after their nocturnal antics. To make matters even more awkward, Jamie was too quick for either of them and dived under the covers, only to emerge seconds later with a look of utter disgust on his face and yell so loud, they were convinced the entire resort heard him.

"Ew, daddy! You and dad have got no clothes on. And what is that funny smell?"

Andrew was facing Ryan, and he only had time to see Ryan's blue eyes widening before, before burying his face in the pillows in embarrassment. He could hear Ryan sniggering. He opened one eye to peer at Ryan who was grinning like a Cheshire cat. The room was sudden very quiet as the remaining three brats waited expectantly for an answer to Jamie's question.
Ryan pulled Jamie up and sat him on his stomach, making it a bit of a game in the process.

"JJ, daddy and I got a bit hot and sweaty last light", getting interrupted by a snort from the dark head buried in the pillows next to him. "And we haven't had a shower yet. so that's why we are a bit smelly".

Jamie's serious little face regarded his dad for a few moments, then nodded and grinned
.
"Okay", was all he said then slid off Ryan to join his siblings.

"Nice save", Andrew muttered, looking at his husband before dissolving into hysterical giggles. He eventually sat up, composed himself and asked

"Whose ready for hot chocolate?", and the reply was four young voices all yelling in unison.

Andrew then sent them all to the small pantry that the suite had to fill the kettle with water and turn it on while he and Ryan hurriedly pulled on some shorts then went to see what their offspring were up to. They grinned at one another when they saw that, not only was the kettle on the boil, but mugs had been arranged on a tray with the complimentary rusks that were provided with each room and were replaced daily by housekeeping. Four pairs of bright expectant eyes watched as their dads took in all their preparations.

"Come here you lot", Ryan said as he and Andrew bent down and held their arms open. They were both almost bowled over as the children ran into their waiting arms for hugs and there was a bit of a melee as the children made sure they got a hug from each of their dads. Of course, there was Rascal to deal with as well who insisted on getting intothe act as well.
The kettle boiled, tea, coffee and hot chocolate was made and Ryan carried the tray out to the seating area on the front veranda, where they all sat and enjoyed the hot beverages and the early morning peacefulness.

"This place and the game game lodge are so different, and yet so similar", Andrew mused, sipping at his steaming tea. "Here everything is so organised, for want of a better word. The grass is mowed, edges cut, flower beds filled with colourful flowers. But the game lodge is so obviously wild. But when it comes to tranquility, they are both exactly the same".

"And that's exactly why we get folks coming back again and again.To get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities for some peace and quite. It's just the guest demographic that is different. And, let's be honest, the amount of disposal income they have", Ryanreplied.

Then they just sat back and enjoyed the cool mountain air, the birds twittering in the trees and high above, two eagles soaring along the crest of the hill opposite. David and Janice joined them shortly after, also with their early morning beverages and they sat chatting for a while before observing three four seater golf carts trundling along the road from the golf course, turn off onto the narrow lane to their block of rooms and come to a stop below them. One of the carts was being driven by Clive, the green keeper, the other two by two of his groundsman. Clive grinned widely as the stepped off the cart.

"Morning all! Glad to see you are up and about. I was concerned you might still be sleeping", Clive said in greeting.

"Morning Clive. Not much chance of that with these five around", Ryan replied, indicating the children and Rascal.

"Yeah, I can imagine", Clive said, grinning again. "With Tanya, my wife expecting ourfirst one in a couple of months, I guess things will change in our household too".

"Ha!", Andrew snorted. "You have no idea mister. No idea at all. But, in all honesty, I would not change a thing. Children bring nothing but joy into a family. So what brings your little convoy here so early?"

"The boss arranged two carts for you to use during your stay, so we're just dropping them off. We keep them available for VIP'S. They are battery operated and good for an entire round of golf plus a bit more and the batteries are fully charged so you shouldn't have any problems", he explained. "They'll be safe enough parked here and there are two covers to pull over tonight to keep moisture off the seats"

"Thanks Clive. They'll come in useful", Andrew replied, leaning on the veranda railing to take the keys from Clive. We'll thank Larry when we see him. You'll probably see us a bit later then. I think we'll go down to the clubhouse for lunch and have a bit of fun on the lake. Can you keep us a couple of pedalos?

"Yeah, sure! No problem. I'll tell the attendant to expect you", he said as he moved to take the wheel of the third cart. "See you later then". The cart clicked and hummed before his foot depressed the accelerator and they drove away

"Okay family, time to get this show on the road", Ryan stated. "Let's get bathed and showered, dressed and then go get some breakfast. We can decide what else we are going to do at breakfast".

By 9am everyone was ready and with Cameron already complaining about being hungry, they boarded the golf carts, Ryan and David behind the steering wheels, and drove the very short distance to the main building where six parking bays were specifically built for golf carts. One bay was already occupied by a two seater with 'General Manager' on the front, indicating that Larry was around.

Tables, set for breakfast, stood ready on the patio but were presently unoccupied. The restaurant, however, was quite busy so they had a waiter join three of the square tables on the patio for them. And the view to the moun-tains at the head of the valley was amazing. The huge picture windows in the restaurant faced the hills to the west, while the patio had views to the north as well. Rascal quietly lay on Cameron's lap and nudged his little master with a wet nose whenever he thought the titbits were not being delivered fast enough, despite having had a big bowl of kibble with tinned dog food before leaving the room.

The mountain air definitely does something to ones appetite, and they all ate a big breakfast - fruit juice, yogurt, fruit - preserved and fresh - and between everyone at the table, every hot dish on the buffet was tasted. While Ryan, David and Janice stayed with the more traditional offerings, Andrew particularly enjoyed the sautéed ox kidney and onions with his bacon, scrambled egg, hash browns and mushrooms. Tea and coffee finished off the meal with a selection of pastries. While they were eating, the patio gradually filled up as the late risers arrived for breakfast before the service ended at 10.30am.
There was no lunch served in the restaurant except on special days like Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day, but the patio bistro was open as well as the restaurant at the golf course.

After breakfast, they clambered onto the golf carts and trundled around the resort, just visually inspecting everything and finding very little to even consider a complaint. Everything was pristine and it was obvious that Larry was using his budget wisely.

While on the road to the golf club, Andrew became concerned when they noticed some of the groundsman chasing two massive kudu bulls sporting impressive sets of horns, down the fairway closest to the main building. A bit further on they saw Clive with another group on the green of that hole, close to the road. They pulled over and Clive walked to the timber railing that lined the road.

"Hi guys. Wildlife problems. Those two kudu have just practically destroyed the green. The entire surface is covered with deep hoof imprints".

David, ever the golfer, stepped out of the cart, over the railing, and strolled to the green. The others all joined him seeing the perfect, smooth green surface pockmarked by the kudus hooves. David looked absolutely stricken, just shaking his head at the carnage hewas witnessing.

"It's unfortunately something we have to live with seeing as we are part of a conservation area, but it's annoying nevertheless. It happens at least once or twice a month somewhere on the course", Clive explained.

"And there's no way to prevent it?", David queried.

"Nope", Clive replied. "Not that we know of anyway, apart from fencing the resort off to keep them out. But, as I said, because we are part of a conservation area we cannot do that. We have about half a dozen antelope of various sizes that graze and water on the course. The kudu are the largest and as such cause the most damage, as you can see".

"So how do you go about repairing the damage", Andrew asked.

"Well, in the short term until the weekend is over, we'll just try to lift as much of the depressed grass as possible and cover the area with some soil to make it as flat as possible. Then on Monday, Larry and I will have a look and decide on the best course of action.
In really bad cases, and this one is up there with the number of divots they made, we might need to close the green and re-lay it. But we might get lucky. These are not as deep as some we have had and the summer rains will come soon, which will assist in the recovery of the green surface".

"Well, looks like you got your work cut out for you", Ryan added. "We'll get out of your hair". He turned and looked around."Come on guys, let's get going".

Copyright © 2021 Andre Delport; All Rights Reserved.
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A huge thank you to all go you who read, reacted and commented on 'Never walk alone'. I still cannot believe the reaction it got. I hope 'Walk On' gives similar enjoyment.
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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A great chapter of contrasts. Starting with a delightful cruise on the sea before returning to an urban setting and the re opening of their two hotels, followed by a trip into the mountains to visit the guest lodge. Oh to have the problem of kudu on the lawn.   Beautifully written as always drawing us in to live the adventure with you.

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12 hours ago, chris191070 said:

Awesome chapter. Great food as always and nice places to visit 😀 

Thanks as always Chris

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10 hours ago, pvtguy said:

I want to live that lifestyle!  They are so down to earth, humble, generous and caring - models for how we are all to be.  And such devoted parents!

I had to laugh out loud at the bedroom scene with Jamie's question and Ryan's very quick, but truthful, answer.  It may not have been totally filled with all the details, but it satisfied the curiosity for the moment and very age appropriate!

It one of those scenarios that I think most parents have to experience, whether gay or hetro. And its good to have a laugh about it afterwards

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8 hours ago, drsawzall said:

Thank goodness I have learned to eat my supper before reading one of your chapters!!! I have to add coming to Cape Town to my bucket list!!!

And from the mouth of babes...

They weren't entirely happy however when they were woken up just after 7am by four exuberant children and an excitedly yapping hound, mainly in light of the fact that they were both still naked after their nocturnal antics. To make matters even more awkward, Jamie was too quick for either of them and dived under the covers, only to emerge seconds later with a look of utter disgust on his face and yell so loud, they were convinced the entire resort heard him.

"Ew, daddy! You and dad have got no clothes on. And what is that funny smell?"

As I replied to @pvtguy, all parents have had an embarrassing experience with their children  as result of sex. Whether it them walking in at an inopportune time or finding them naked like Jamie did. I think its a rite of passage to being a parent. For Jamie it was the fact that they were naked in bed, which for him was a totally new concept. He had seen them both naked many times having often showered with his dads.

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2 hours ago, mansexlover said:

A great chapter of contrasts. Starting with a delightful cruise on the sea before returning to an urban setting and the re opening of their two hotels, followed by a trip into the mountains to visit the guest lodge. Oh to have the problem of kudu on the lawn.   Beautifully written as always drawing us in to live the adventure with you.

Living and working on a resort that Drakensberg Resort is based on was another one of the joys in my life. The management were a fairly close knit group, and we worked and played hard in equal measure. Although we did not live in one anthers pockets.  i also cannot forget the number of wildlife encounters I had, not only out and about on the resort, but in the garden of my cottage that I lived in on the resort. It ranged from antelope grazing on grass, to a daily visit right to my door by a family of peacocks who decided that my home was theirs as well, to  being late for an early shift due to a leopard prowling in the garden - and monkeys causing havoc with the rubbish bin. It made for exciting times

Edited by Andre Delport
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OMG @Andre Delport with the amount consumed and the frequency of the meals Andrew and Ryan partake in it is a wonder they are not the size of the kudu bulls. Just as well they are also "horny" like the bulls and did all that hot sweaty smelly work to shed those excess pounds.

"His happiness was dampened however, whenever he, out sheer force of habit, looked around for Thomas and realised that their beloved old doorman was no longer there. The sudden welling up of emotion was very unexpected and he had to go get himself a glass of water and move to a quiet corner to compose himself." For all his wealth and lavish living, Andrew is at heart still an unpretentious, kind, caring and generous man. Wealth has not spoilt him and the "power" it has brought to him has not made him immune to the plight of those less fortunate than himself. If I may be so bold as to suggest this @Andre Delport, with the likely expansion of the Devlin-Major portfolio, perhaps they may be in a position to establish the Devlin-Major philanthropic foundation, which in a country like South Africa would certainly be of benefit to many.

 

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1 hour ago, Summerabbacat said:

OMG @Andre Delport with the amount consumed and the frequency of the meals Andrew and Ryan partake in it is a wonder they are not the size of the kudu bulls. Just as well they are also "horny" like the bulls and did all that hot sweaty smelly work to shed those excess pounds.

"His happiness was dampened however, whenever he, out sheer force of habit, looked around for Thomas and realised that their beloved old doorman was no longer there. The sudden welling up of emotion was very unexpected and he had to go get himself a glass of water and move to a quiet corner to compose himself." For all his wealth and lavish living, Andrew is at heart still an unpretentious, kind, caring and generous man. Wealth has not spoilt him and the "power" it has brought to him has not made him immune to the plight of those less fortunate than himself. If I may be so bold as to suggest this @Andre Delport, with the likely expansion of the Devlin-Major portfolio, perhaps they may be in a position to establish the Devlin-Major philanthropic foundation, which in a country like South Africa would certainly be of benefit to many.

 

Hi @Summerabbacat, thanks for the comment. The lavish meals are only when they are at the hotels or on the yachts, and even on the yachts they might dine well, but they dine very simply in the normal course of events. they do NOT dine like that at home, where meals are generally centred around the children. and are usual reasonably well balanced meals. - if spaghetti bolognaise et al can be considered balanced.

To a certain extent, Devlin Major already had a philanthropic arm, so to speak, in the profit sharing scheme that they have in place for their staff. Its just not really formalised as such. But a charitable foundation of some sort is not entirely out of the question!

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@Andre Delport my reference to the lavish lifestyle was not a criticism nor a comment on the meals, it was more a comment on the frequent travels and the manner in which the Devlin-Major family travels, although I must admit at least some of this travel is a mix of work and pleasure.

I must confess I had forgotten the employee profit-sharing scheme which I agree is philanthropic, even though it benefits the Devlin-Major family too. I only mentioned the charitable foundation because of Andrew's emotional reaction to the death of some employees, particularly Thomas, and his upset at the loss of jobs at other hotels/resorts which failed during COVID leaving these employees with nothing. He appears the ideal "candidate" for establishing such a foundation, perhaps in honour of his parents or in honour of Beth and Nicky. I daresay Ryan shares his ideals, he is just not as demonstrative as Andrew.

Although they may be insensitive in the current South Africa, I just love the names of some of the towns/cities/locations because of the absurd length of the names. Pietermaritzburg is a classic example. 

 

Edited by Summerabbacat
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@Andre Delport:  you said, they do NOT dine like that at home, where meals are generally centred around the children. and are usual reasonably well balanced meals. - if spaghetti bolognaise et al can be considered balanced.

What's not balanced?  You have protein (meat), starch (spaghetti), vegetables (onions, celery, carrots), fruit (tomatoes)....a perfect food as far as I am concerned, lol!

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@Andre Delport Yesterday after reading, I went back to the the first story trying to figure the ages of Andrew and

Ryan now? My best guess is that they are somewhere in their later 30's'

Spoiler

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Flip-Flop said:

@Andre Delport Yesterday after reading, I went back to the the first story trying to figure the ages of Andrew and

Ryan now? My best guess is that they are somewhere in their later 30's'

  Hide contents

 

 

Correct. According to my planning charts (which to be honest are not infallible), Andrew is will be 37  and Ryan 38.

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