Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Tubing

Way back before Nintendo, all I had at 13 was a car tyre inner tube and a river. There was a pile of well-thumbed Hustler magazines from the early ‘70s, but that’s another story.

The Umgeni wound its way through our town, tracing farm paddocks, and on past manicured lawns of riverside houses. We'd start off near the Midmar dam wall, then scoot in one by one, then float for miles down the river, toward the Howick falls. Lying on our stomachs on our tubes, faces just inches from the surface of the water, we'd plunge head-first through rapids with bruising rocks, over gushing weirs six feet tall. There were calm flowing bits in between, where we'd link up tubes, compare bruises and cuts, soak up the sun, and talk about girls, monty python, and whatever young teenagers chortle about.

I dreamed about those river days last night, and woke up on the right side of bed.

9 comments:

Colin said...

I reckon a tube reunion's in order before we get too old. I'm sure we could round up all the boys and relive those glory days - gonna need some bigger tubes though, and a ambulance or two at the end.

fushandchips said...

I think that's a fine plan, Colin. Sadly the Umgeni's now to dirty to swim in. Any suggestions?

Sam said...

Fush. Even I long for your childhood. Please write a book.

Whitefang said...

Childhood is an escape for some. Actually.. maybe for most. I remember my tube.. not in the water but on the ski slopes around my hometown. Same degree of cuts and bruises. Did you ever think you'd get to hate aubergines when you'll grow up? I dare you.. name now one thing you'll hate when you grow old.

fushandchips said...

Whitefang,
Snow-tubing always looked so cool.

Besides aubergine (out Satan!), the thing I'd hate about getting old is losing my knees.

K said...

Dirty schmirty - I think Colin's idea is wonderful, except swap-out one of the ambulances for a decontamination unit and get sprayed-down and injected at the falls.

Janet said...

As Annie sang "sweet dreams are made of this..." so who are we to disagree?!

angela said...

saw kids tubing on our river - straight back to my childhood on the farm. less bilharzia, fewer crocs, but needs must. as soon as M can float she's coming swiming in the river with me.

deeblue said...

I remember doing that one afternoon after a boozy 21st birthday lunch and floating down the Umgeni in a haze of bliss. Your post reminded me of a good memory.