6. The end of a time

12th April

I’ve reached an understanding with life. Last night I felt free, I knew everything would be fine. I had a sort of uncanny coincidental message. Because I went to see “Timeline” the movie with Paul Walker & Billy Connelly. And you know, I think Walker looks like Neil a bit and his character’s name was John. Only I didn’t know it was with Walker, it was a complete surprise. I even felt sick because I was actually trying to get away from all this and the story line is what gave me the message: Another time, another place, we’ll meet again. So even if John and Neil are gone, well, we’ll meet them again. Wont we? You may not believe it and even if I didn’t, we can leave it at that. We are here, so we must carry on. Like we have a choice. I can’t seem to shake them off. Why can’t I put all this behind me? Even after this goodbye message, I can’t stop thinking of them. Not that I don’t think of you, you are my life. I almost lost you, I came close, but I didn’t, and that is also freaky. You came so close to leaving me all alone, but you didn’t. A lesson? A scare? A sign? Why am I so lucky? Why did Barbara, Keith, Sonia and the Reids get the bad luck ? What is the difference? The reason? To open my eyes, make me see life in all its fragility ?

“The moon is one, but on agitated water it produces many reflections. Similarly ultimate reality is one, yet it appears to be many in a mind agitated by thoughts”. Maharamayana (c. 11th century)


Why is it that one day I am overwhelmed with happiness, freedom and calm, knowing it will all be over, quiet and regular. And the following day, all I want is to be buried under a blanket of fog, not understanding, trying to figure it out. Cringing and dying when I see the pain on your face, helpless to making you feel better, unable to take you home and nurture you. One day I want to be with lots of people, take my mind away. The next I crave loneliness so that I swim in my despair. But at the same time I know I can’t change a thing. All I can do is wait and keep the roof of the world from swallowing us up into nothingness, keep Luca and Zoë happy and growing. Keep AAS a “going concern” not to let it disappear.



Tuesday 13th April 2004:        Great News !!
        Just in time for Easter, Ari has been awake and recognising his family and closest friends !! Don’t think that he is walking around and giving us orders yet, though, because the process is still gradual, so he has to relearn what all that is about. Time, time. (But I can see the sun shining on Ari’s face when he is told of his son’s Fly-casting Prowess !)

As promised, the Plan for African Angling Safaris.
        * Firstly, three brand new never-seen Episodes of Fantastic Footage taken very recently by Ari, John, Craig and Neil, to be broadcast from the 1st week of May. (Times to be announced)
        * Secondly, a Tribute Show to commemorate John and Neil, with Ari.
        * Thirdly, we are in the process of reviewing all previous footage to bring you a short but exciting Series of Episodes which will be presenting weekly thematic interest points, such as “Yellowfish of South Africa”, “The best Catfish Spots”, “All about Lure Fishing”, “Flyfishing vs Spinning” … the possibilities are endless, especially with the huge amount of work Ari and John have put into developing African Angling Safaris into the best Angling Show on our Continent !
        * Fourthly, Fresh Fishing Footage is busy being planned on those eagerly awaiting shores of the African Waters – to be brought to you very soon in the comfort of your own homes !

So until our next un-miss-able screening, Fish On !
Gaëlle Bert

Wednesday 21st April:
After having watched Ari fighting that mighty Black Tipped Shark on the Benguerra episode which flighted tonight, I feel confident in saying that “African Angling Safaris with Ari Bert” will make a come-back on your TV screen. Ari has been fighting a Great White Shark these past 7 weeks, and it is coming in slowly but surely. He is now moving much more than he was very recently, and will no doubt start regaining his strength as the days take him along.

Please all, keep on e-mailing him your thoughts, I read them to him every day, and I am sure that they help him to want to get well again.

And also, keep on fishing those waters !
Gaëlle Bert

Wednesday 28th April 2004

Ari is still progressing consistently, he is no longer receiving intravenous medication, as he can now eat properly. This seems quite a harsh reality to face, but that is Ari at the moment: he is a fighter and he is busy conquering his territory inch by inch.

I apologise for having led everyone to believe that we would be able to produce new episodes of African Angling Safaris, in fact I myself was convinced that we could – until I finally accepted that Ari’s show could not be without Ari to produce it. I must therefore with much regret discontinue the screening of African Angling Safaris for the time being.

But keep on fishing cause Ari will be back !

Gaëlle Bert


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