ANYTHING OUTDOORS:The first time(and some of the rare happy moments,I can remember from my childhood)was going fishing..I was still vèry small,around 4 or 5.We never camped out,but on the rare occasions,mom and dad were feeling like “playing house”being a happy family,we’d go fishing with dad.Mom would pack a bulging picnic basket,that included enough to overindulge in(not that we could really afford it)…also something we rarely knew.I’d keep nagging and dad would(after a few brandies and tap)give me a piece of his prized gut and a hook.Both were very expensive items and for him to share it,espècially with me,made me feel warm,like little girls do for their loving daddies….He would help me,to look for a nice straight and strong reed,to cut and use as a fishing pole.Then he’ll make a slight notch in it,almost at the top and tie the gut(fish-line)into a tight knot.He’d add the hook and give me a worm,to put on.I wasn’t squeamish,because I’ve seen the adults do it,so many times before.I took my time and I could see how proud dad was,when he looked at his friends.Mom was playing mom,with the other aunts….I can remember of two or three times,this happened.But I’ll never forget that day,that everybody had it with me,nagging and dad fixed me,my own “rod”…It wasn’t a long piece of fish-line,but it was enough to land me a “massive”first fish!!!Well it was…for me,still a little girl,in any way…I don’t know what happened to it and I never really thought about it much,afterwards.The bad taste,that polluted these wonderful memories,was the intense fights,as the alcohol began to influence,all of the adult’s common sense.It was fierce,like animals fighting for dominance.It went on,during the scary and anxious trips home… a usually short distance,that suddenly went on forever..

It was years later,after my first marriage(a few more stories,on my life!!)that I started to go for a picnic, with my(then,still vèry small)children and started to enjoy the outdoors again.Alcohol still ruled the household and even though,I had sòme relief from a miserable childhood, it didn’t last long.See,I married a replica,of my dad.Three children(then only 5,4,1+)later,I left and got divorced.It was during this time,my eldest brother started to included me,in his family’s camping weekends.That feeling of success…something to show,for all your hard work…a look of envy,that satisfaction,to be able to “compete”and that recognition and the approval…nòthing compared to that.

As the years went by,lot changed in my life… people came and went and so did loves,in our life’s different situations.

My children grew up,learning how to catch fish… going through the same “Bothma Clan’s”tradition,of cleaning,cooking and eating your first catch.Those of us,who knew what it rèàlly was all about,gave advice,motivated and urged the “newby”to follow through…It was vèry important,to keep this tradition alive and strong,because àll my children,their partners,my sublings’s and their partners,our children,and thèir partners as well as àll our grandchildren are going through that “initiation”…To prepare them for getting lost,on earth ànd in life,or love.To be proud of their achievements and to assure each other,of our continuous support,for each other,no matter what.My dad died at a vèry young age,due to his indulgent lifestyle and my mother died nearly two decades ago…I have to give recognition and attribute to my eldest brother(17/10/58-06/01/2020)He started a tradition,that kept our “Clan” together,through a passion for nature and the great outdoors….It wasn’t just a personal best…it was “A FAMILY AFFAIR”


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