I have just received a text from Donald Much-Humper. He and his wife, Sherry, have said goodbye to a Russian boy and his Mama after 3 weeks. It has gone well. Donald did the activities and Sherry did the teaching. All seemed very satisfied with this solution.

At Heathrow, Donald noticed that he could hardly lift the suitcases. He wondered what the Russian Mama had bought that would weigh the case down so much. He knows better than to question a Russian Mama whose husband had links to the ex KGB. Keep walking! No talking!

Sergei is 13 but going on 65 with regards to interests. He accompanied Donald most afternoons to the Allotment and helped him paint the shed and cultivate the potatoes and tomatoes. The strawberries it would appear, were not ripe yet. He had been studying with Donald on a Hometuition Course where he lives with his Tutor in a full Immersion Course with Lessons. Previously, he had done this in New Zealand, but the Russian Mama had declared Auckland to be devoid of culture and fashion!

“There is a huge Black Market for Marmite right in the centre of Moscow! “

Mama meanwhile went out with Sherry and trolled around the shops in Brighton; Chichester and Guildford. Sherry declared one night over dinner, “there appears to be a lot of flexing of American Express” . Platinum, of course!

Brighton seafront

Guildford Highstreet

Chichester Highstreet

Anyway back to Check in.    Donald couldn’t lift the suitcase, without the assistance of a rather nice boy from the Aeroflot Counter!  The pair of them lifted it and both grew rather red in the face.  It was, as you can imagine, well over the limit and then some!    Did she want to empty some of the content out or pay the extra.  The Platinum card was produced with a flourish.   They paid the extra!

Back home over Horlicks and Rich tea biscuits, Donald and Sherry wondered what was in the case to make it so heavy.  “ Did they ask her to open it?” asked Sherry.

“ Not a bit of it, “ said Donald, as he purposefully dunked his Rich tea into the Horlicks

“ I shall write to her then” declared Sherry “ its all rather odd and added to that she has left all of her clothes behind in the spare bedroom!”

Fast forward to a week later

“ I have a reply from Olga” ( Russian mama of Sergei) ) and you wont believe it “

Sherry was almost beside herself with excitement

“ Well come on, Old Girl, spill the beans!” ( this is English slang for tell me all your news, at once!)

Well, the reason why the suitcase was so heavy is because she filled it with jars of Marmite

Marmite?” repeated Donald. “Did you said, Marmite?”

“Indeed, I did, Donald. Apparently she can go home and sell it there. There is a huge Black Market for Marmite right in the centre of Moscow! So that explains why she left all of her clothes behind. She completely filled her suitcase with Marmite. All sizes as well”

Donald and Sherry looked at each other. “ There is now so queer as folk” and Donald scratched his head. “ Fancy a cuppa, Old Girl?”

“ Indeed I do, “ said Sherry. “… and don’t worry, our next student is from China, so it will be a walk in the park” and with that she went and put the kettle on, as all British do in times of worry

Eight o’ clock and my phone reminds me loudly that today is the day – we are heading out to Cape Town City.

The busiest and favourite day of my trip to South Africa so far was last Friday. We woke up at 9.00 and left the house at 10.30, after breakfast.

I took a call recently on the Bat Phone. This is slang for the emergency number, and no, I don’t know how it got its name

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