OLD ROY

1 February 2010

With Original Bunn away at a sleepover Sunday loomed ahead with freedom of choice to do exactly what we wanted. We decided on a movie and a lazy seafood lunch.

The film we saw was An Education, a really fabulous story and exquisitely styled. Lunch plans were scuppered though, when Old Spouse switched his cell phone on at the exit from the cinema and received very sad news; Old Roy was dead.

The only permanent resident at Smitswinkelbaai; Roy was a legend, his past shrouded in mystery. A fisherman back in the days when Smits could only be reached by boat, he and friends built a ramshackle lean-to to protect their gear. This grew, as rooms were added, to a higgledy-piggledy little house. Speculation has it that Old Roy suffered a heartbreak in his youth, which made him resolve to live the hermit life and so he decamped permanently to Smits.

Old Spouse doesn’t know how old Roy actually was, he remembers him as already being old the first time he met him, way back in his teens. Old Spouse and his friends spent many hours scouring the beach for the barrels of whiskey which are said to have washed ashore and been buried by Old Roy.

When we saw Old Roy in January this year, he was clearly prepared for what was coming. He’d suffered a bad fall and had been taken to Fish Hoek for medical care, but really just wanted to be back in his little house at the foot of the mountain, with his little dog. He didn’t want to die anywhere but there, in his bed.

Anyway, we skipped the seafood lunch yesterday. I put a silverside roast in the oven, it would take a good few hours to cook, but I knew Old Spouse wouldn’t be hungry for a while.

He took himself off for a long walk.
And, I expect, a bit of a cry.

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