Sunday, September 4, 2011

Two reunions and two surgeries…followed by my 100th blog post

Written to Mumford & Sons - iTunes Festival: London 2009

An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship.
- Spanish Proverb

Well, since I last posted, I have attended/hosted two reunions, the first my 30th San Marcos High School Reunion in Santa Barbara, California, on July 30th, the second the much-written-about Hesketh family reunion, at which three generations and 14 members of the Hesketh clan from Brazil, Canada, UK and US joined forces for three weeks of pancake making (with 100% Canadian maple syrup), consuming roasted marshmallows, cigar smoking, volleyball, good food and better conversation and the obligatory family portraits (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Unsurprisingly, the next generation of Heskeths could not resist hamming it up (1, 2, 3).

Both reunions were awesome!

In between reunion 1 and reunion 2, on August 12th to be precise, I had surgery to repair my clavicle, which my ungrateful, malicious middle son, Esben, broke when he attacked me without provocation (or at least that's my story…and I'm sticking with it) back in September 2010. The bone never consolidated, and while it did not prevent me from practicing yoga, it was a constant discomfort, so I decided to get it sorted. My orthopedic surgeon, Dra. Andrea Arruda, inserted a titanium plate and six screws, so hopefully that will do the trick. While I was being cut up, we decided to clean up my right knee, specifically the meniscus.

Three weeks later, my knee is feeling much better. Can't wait to start running again.

My clavicle, on the other hand, will take a while longer to heal…45 days to six months. So there is plenty of time for me to plan my revenge on Esben. When he is least expecting it…

And speaking of Esben, he has returned to UK to take on a job as Trainee Certification Coordinator and Auditor (UK and Ireland) at NEPCon. NEPCon’s mission is to promote sustainable forest and nature management and use, in cooperation with local stakeholders such as individuals, business enterprises, NGOs and government institutions. Naturally, we are sorry to lose a most excellent Farm Manager, not to mention an all-around great guy, but our loss is tempered by our excitement at his embarking on this next, exciting chapter in his life.

Johannes and Pelle, too, are thrilled to have Esben back in UK, and the three knuckleheads are already planning a manly, multi-week, bro outing in 2012.

In farm-related news, Lone has sold off all but two of our F1s, so we are down to our Sorocaba/Monteiro breed…but there is no shortage of piggies at Fazenda Alfheim.

We finally got our shredder/grinder working, much to the delight of the workers…no more manual chopping of sugar cane and elephant grass.

Lone also recently purchased a sugar cane grinder, which allows us to produce sugar syrup…yummy! We can now produce our own sugar and honey. This will facilitate bottling all of our various fruits…and not a moment to soon, what with Jabuticaba season just around the corner.

Also, imagine the ice cream we will be able to produce with our Jersey milk, organic, raw honey and Jabuticaba once my sister delivers our new ice cream maker.

Ronja Rövardotter, our house cat, has now been taken off house arrest, or rather, it is impossible to keep her in, so she comes and goes pretty much as she pleases, though this was not always a simple task for her.

Finally, after so much fun and games, I will end my 100th blog post with an interesting comment on the West and its work ethic:
Has the West lost its work ethic? Economic historian and Harvard professor Niall Ferguson counts the work ethic as one of "six killer apps" responsible for the "great divergence," the centuries-long dominance of the West over the East in economic, political and military power. (The other five "apps" are competition, the scientific revolution, property rights, modern medicine, and the consumer society.) Today the average Korean works 1,000 hours more per year than the average German, he said. Although he said the decline of the West isn't inevitable, the rise of the East is incontrovertible: "The great divergence is over, folks."


Esben said...

Great blog as always dad. The family reunion was imense! When are we planning ton get all the photos on one website?

Pelle said...

Sweet blog :). I cant wait for the next family reunion. Nice finalizing quote though kinda scary.

mariovsky said...

Welcome back Rance!
Hope your knee heals just fine.

LeAnne said...

Nice to get this link on facebook. What a unique life you live. But the wierdest thing is yiu have the same background as my blog. sansarian nit sure if thats exactly write adress cause ive never written out on my phone. Do love blogging and great to to see you at much fun was that!

Suzanna said...

Jabuticaba season . . . YUM!!! I hope we're coming just in time for that :). That only slightly makes up for our sadness that Esben is gone from Brazil though. Sad. But we obviously wish him the best of luck. Can't wait to visit the farm soon!

Patricia Iudice said...

It has been a long time since I am trying to get in touch with someone who can give me some clue on how to book a visit to Fazenda Alfheim. My email address is
Thanks a lot,