A decade has passed. Happy Birthday Dad.


Hi Guys,
Just to let you know that my Dad died at 1am this morning.(06/10/2004 @ 01h04)
He had a massive stroke earlier in the evening and died in hospital without regaining consciousness.
From the way my Mom described it he did fight,just a little,towards the end…then he let go.
It is very strange for me to write this as it has not really sunk in yet.
Feeling that the call was all a dream,or a mistake,but I know deep down it was not.
Take care,
Love to all of you,


The turning of the bones in Madagascar
The Malagasy people of Madagascar have a famous ritual called
 “famadihana”, “the turning of the bones.”
Once every five or seven years, a family has a celebration at its ancestral crypt 
where the bodies, wrapped in cloth, are exhumed and sprayed with wine or perfume.
 As a band plays at the lively event, family members dance with the bodies.
 For some, it’s a chance to pass family news to the deceased and ask for their blessings
 for others, it’s a time to remember and tell stories of the dead.


I cannot do this for my Dad as he was cremated,

however, this is my “version” of that ritual…
My Dad would have been 89 today.
Happy Birthday Dad.
You certainly gave me a good grounding in a variety of life lessons.
Having spent 36 years with the same company,
 you could not understand my reasons for changing jobs every couple of years!
That aside you were always supportive of what ever I undertook…
You believed that I should have a “proper” job to fall back on,
just in case my chosen life path did not work out.
Hence my doing an electrical apprenticeship.
It has stood me in good stead when times have been tough.
I wonder what you might have said about my teaching “career”.
This extract is from an exam paper set by one of my colleagues at a local college.

This was one of my first year students who had to change courses in second year.
She certainly stretched me…

You also gave me my love of theatre…
and I was glad that you got to see me performing as a stand-up comedian
 even though you might not have liked all my material.
And you did get to see me perform in tights…
in a Shakespearean production at the Port Elizabeth Opera House…
I also have fond memories of  your laugh.
 I miss you every day
So, what have you missed in 2014 Dad?

You missed my second summit of Kilimanjaro.
It was dedicated to your memory
as I was on the mountain for the anniversary of your death

You missed Jayne’s 30th birthday.
I know that you would be so proud of her achievements to date
She gets her work ethic from you.

We climbed Lions Head singing songs that were your favourites.
A wonderful Dad/daughter day…shared with you in spirit
You missed this work by Jayne,
performed in your hometown of Oudtshoorn.
You CERTAINLY would have loved her work with Clowns without Borders,
and as a Care Clown.
I know that you always wanted to run away to join a circus!
Pruttel had three nominations for the prestigious Fiestas Toekennings:
-Jayne Batzofin & Christina Salvoldi vir Pruttel
Beste Opkomende Kunstenaar:
-Jayne Batzofin vir Pruttel
-Nieke Lombard vir Pruttel
The winners were announced at a Gala event on February, 13.2014
SA Blog Awards Badge
You missed the fact that I have won Runner Up,
two years in a row.
Be proud that I have actually stuck with this Blog.
I usually get bored after two years.

Two things changed in 2014.
This Hybrid succulent at our front door was planted in your honour.
It usually flowers every year on the anniversary of your death.
This year there have been no flowers…
perhaps you have moved on,
or maybe I have?
And secondly…
No sea urchins on my last beach holiday…
The last one I found in 2014, was discovered by accident in Cape Town.
On Jayne’s 30th birthday!
This was read at his memorial.
It made me cry then, and it still brings a tear to my eye now.
by Canon Henry Scott Holland
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room.
I am I, and you are you,
Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way you always used.
Put no difference into your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as you always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me…
Pray for me.
Let my name be the household name it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect,
Without a trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant,
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of your mind, because I am out of your sight?
I am but waiting for you for an interval,
Somewhere very near…
Just around the corner.
All is well!
“Travel & Things” was an entrant in this competition.
Not a winner, but one of 24 travel Blogs that entered
All images are the copyright property of  and may not be used without permission
Follow me on Twitter: @davidbatzofin
Visit my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/david.batzofin
Travel & Things has it’s own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/travelandthings