Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Awesome Aulds - Robin and Katrine a.k.a. The Footwear

The Awesome Aulds - Robin and Katrine a.k.a. The Footwear
19 September 2012

My sister and her husband are an absolutely awesome couple.  They have a twenty year and seven month age gap between them.  Not entirely sure how important those seven months are when you’ve already got twenty years between you, but there it is.  So given that age gap, they’d have to be pretty awesome.

We had all known Robin (that would be Robin Auld for those of you not in the know) for absolute ages.  He is simply the most talented, prolific, incredible musician, poet, writer, story teller, guitarist and entertainer.  He also happens to be an awesome person and one my favourite people in the whole world.  Just an all-round genuine nice guy.  My folks used to arrange music festivals, gigs and parties, so we always kind of knew Robin.  In fact Robin and his second wife hooked up for the first time at my parent’s home, and I still remember it clearly.  Us kids must have been quite young at the time.

We were all just the biggest, biggest fans.  And still are to this day.  His music and lyrics are soulful and beautiful – catchy tunes – sometimes wistful, sometimes joyful, always thought provoking and awesome.

For my 21st my folks arranged for a whole bunch of musicians to provide live music entertainment, and Robin was one of the artists – kind of a personal favour to the family and all that.  Katrine was 14 years old.  Robin was 34 years old.  She spent the night swooning and flirting as unsubtly as only a fourteen year old can.  My father bought a beautiful big sheet of arty paper, which we stuck up against a wall, and everyone wrote messages to me on that night.  I was besotted with one of Robin’s songs called “You’re all of woman to me”, so naturally given the fact that he knew that, that was his personal message to me.  Katrine was so miffed and wouldn’t speak to me for a week afterwards.  She sulked for ages – stomping around the house.

Fast forward a few years, and Katrine is 20, and Robin is 40.  Robin had done a fair bit of travelling by this stage, living in the UK for a bit, promoting his career.  Sadly things didn’t work out for him with Jo, his second wife.  But luckily they had two beautiful kids to show for their time together.  So low and behold, one night, Katrine goes to one of Robin’s gigs with a good friend of ours, called Bobby.  And quite literally the sparks just flew.  Nothing much happened just yet, but there was definitely a sense of romance in the air.  A short while later, my Mom was in Joburg for a visit and Katrine was staying with Grant and I.  I remember her sitting on our bed with us, absolutely glowing.  So in love, wondering what she should do.  Robin was coming out of a messy relationship, Cory was 6, Alex was 4 and then there was the 20 year (and those pesky seven months) age gap.  But the magic could not be denied.  She was concerned about what my Mom would say and if she would condone the relationship.  I assured her, that our Mom’s biggest wish would be for her to be happy.  And if Robin was the guy, that was fantastic.  We already knew he was an awesome person.  Had known him for yonks.  And Katrine knew that my Dad had liked him, which meant a lot.

Not long afterwards, it was Katrine’s 21st and this time she was swooning over Robin as his girlfriend.  I had never seen her so happy.  He truly gets her.  She’s quirky and funny and completely unique.  And from the get-go, Robin’s three kids have absolutely adored her.  And who can blame them.  What’s not to like?  Katrine has an exceptional sense of humour and is quite simply the most fun person to be around.  She’s loud and she’s funny and she squeals all of the time.  She’s joky and pally and makes one laugh out loud.  Robin’s eldest daughter, Kati, is just 10 years younger than Katrine – and they are actually more like sisters.  Kati is an amazing, beautiful young lady.  And we all love her much.  She adores Katrine, and the feeling is entirely mutual.  Cory and Alex live with Katrine and Robin full time in the UK, and they are also fabulous kids, or should I say young adults now.  They have got amazing personalities and as “wicked” stepmothers go, they sure hit the jackpot.  Katrine is cool, hip and totally with it.  And they think so most of the time, unless she’s smooching their father, in which case they’re totally grossed out.  Alex pretends to hurl and Cory turns blind.

From the beginning, Robin called Katrine “Baby Shoes” and not to be outdone, she calls him her “Old Sockie”.  Naturally, it didn’t take long for them to be dubbed “The Footwear”.  You know – sort of a spin on celebrity couple names, like Brangelina, Bennifer, TomKat, etc.  Katrine irreverently teases Robin mercilessly because he’s so “old”.  She’s forever threatening him that she’s going to park his wheelchair in the sun when he’s older and ensure that he has no sunblock on.  She’s going to choose his old aged home for him, so best he be nice to her, etc.  Theirs is a loving and fun relationship.  They made a conscious decision to make a grab for happiness, despite a huge age difference, numerous ex-wives and three kids from previous marriages.  And what an awesome choice they made.  Neither of them have ever been happier.  They’re like two peas in a pod.  Ridiculously in love and happy, even 13 years later.

Now “13” is a lucky number for “The Footwear” as they met again, when the sparks started flying, and they got romantically involved on the 13th of September.  They dated for a few years, and then on the 13th of May 2004 they got engaged.  Not feeling much like waiting any longer to be married, they set their wedding date for the 13th of June – one short month later.  And within record time we pulled together a marvellous wedding.  Obviously held at Cloetenberg – where else?  The Lombard clan got together and with a wee bit of planning, a magnificently glorious wedding took place.  Kati was Katrine’s matron of honour.  Alex, Amber, Katarina (my bonus sister) and Ashlin (a dear friend’s daughter) were flower girls.  Cory was the ring bearer and Luke also chugged along.  At the time, I was 21 months pregnant with Cole, and larger than a circus tent – all swollen ankles and water retention.  Face like a watermelon.  And I’m not kidding – just look at the photos.  Scary stuff!

The actual wedding day was glorious.  Not the best of weather, but it didn’t matter one little iota.  Nothing could dent the mood and the joy of the occasion.  The wedding colours were orange and purple and we draped the bottom sitting room and the bay window with every bit of orange and purple material we could find – scarves, sarongs, etc.  Due to the weather, everyone squeezed into the sitting room, to witness the ceremony – some even looking in through the bay window from outside.  It was absolutely beautiful.  Albert walked Katrine down the aisle (or actually the staircase) and she looked like a vision.  And Robin, didn’t look too bad either.  Robin wrote the most beautiful song for Katrine, which he sang to her at their wedding.  It is called “I got lucky”, and describes how he remembers meeting her for the first time at my parent’s home.  Some of the lyrics are “Saw you standing in the gold of the morning.  In the garden of your Momma and your Father’s house.  Saw you standing in the gold of the evening.  Oh Lord, with a smile upon your mouth.  All the birds in the sky that day.  They sang to tell me you were on your way.  Everybody has some bad luck, it’s true.  I got lucky when I met you.”  Too beautiful and I will include the audio clip at the bottom of the blog.

As mentioned, 13 years later, The Footwear are still idyllically happy.  Five years ago they had their very own little offspring, an addition to the family – a footnote if you please.  Honey Auld was born on the 11th of March 2007.  An what a beauty she is.  A delightful and charming little girl.  Who has a pommie accent mind you.  The Footwear and all of their kids, barring Kati, have been living in the UK now for over four years.  And quite frankly, I’m sick of it.  Enough already!!!  Get your asses back home.  Although Skype, the telephone, e-mail and sms’ are all perfectly fine, it simply is no substitute for personal contact and the real deal.  We get to see a lot more of Robin, as he comes out to SA about once or twice a year for a tour.  But despite numerous requests, not once has he opened his travelling bag to reveal either Katrine, Honey or Alex and Cory.

Now would you know, that when Katrine was in Grade 8, in other words when she was 14 years old, she made herself a little treasure box and put all of her favourite and most meaningful things in there.  And for years and years, this little treasure box had remained undisturbed in my mom’s attic.  And a few years ago, when it was unearthed again, one of Katrine’s most prized possessions was a tape recording of one of Robin’s Albums – autographed of course.  Little did any of us know that years later, they would be happily married, with a little child of their own.  So see, dreams do come true.  Amazing, hey?

The link for "I got lucky" is

So now, I present you THE FOOTWEAR – a few magnificent photos of their wedding, and a few thereafter as well.  Enjoy!

14 year old Katrine and her friends at my 21st - much batting of eyes at Robin

 Isn't she just too gorgeous! Beautiful girl - inside and out
The Blushing Bride
As mentioned before - I was 21 months pregnant. Just look at the size of my watermelon, I mean my face, not to mention the feet and the belly!
The three gals
Katrine and the lovely Kati
The bride's and groom's little helpers - Katarina, Cory, Alex, Amber, Luke and Ashlin
Aren't they lovely!
Such a lovely pic!
Seriously cute kids!
The downward descent
Walking down the "aisle"
Beautiful, beautiful bride

 At the makeshift altar in the bay window

The Bride and Groom

Having a giggle

The beautiful Kati

The lovely couple

Some guests looking in through the bay window from the outside

Sealing the deal

Sooo cute!


Guests on the stoep

Beautiful Katrine

Aaahhh! The cuteness!

Guests milling on the stoep

Mingling guests

My gorgeous sister
Mother of the bride


The lucky groom

Albert looking on

Kati made a heart wrenchingly beautiful speech that brought us all to tears

Master of ceremonies - the inimitable Mark Sampson

Kids in the garden

Robin looking uber chuffed

Mr and Mrs Auld

Happiness is.....

So special

Having a moment

Loubser family photo

Some of the gorgeous little flower gals

Oupa Willem lighting his pipe with a match? A lighter? No - a Bunsen burner?

Lombard family photo. Sadly some of the Joburg family members weren't there. And no one even noticed little Ashlin Fenton in the front.

A happy moment

Mandy made all of us laugh like crazy, resulting in the following photo.....

Best wedding family photo ever. Lots of open mouthed laughs from everyone!

Just us horses

The Auld family

And now Robin is one of us

Mom and three kids

Decorating the car

Joviality outside while we're wrecking the car

Having lots of fun

Cousins causing chaos

Very "creative" artwork

Mischievous cousins with gleeful looks
The last clanging touch

The Footwear with their little Footnote

Fun in the snow

Baby Shoes and old Sockie

Out and about in the countryside in England

Such an awesome couple!

All 6 Awesome Aulds all together in Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire

Just too beautiful!

I love it! Fabulous piccie!


  1. Helene you know I LOVE your blog and all of them are so amazing but this has to be my fave and I can never forget when I met your sis and she was still training as a beauty therapist and she said to me that she is going to marry a rock star lol well not so sure about the rock part but she got her muso :) xxx

  2. Helene, this is such a beautiful story so specially told! You put time and energy into keeping our stories alive - a continuation of Ouma Helene's writing of the history of our unusual and unconventional family.
    You are one of our family's strong women, as well as a great storyteller and archivist.
    Thank you, my precious gal!

  3. Have been enjoying your blogs very much but this one is just the best. Makes me miss Katrine ever so much. And funnily enough we got romantically involved on a Sept 13th as well, must be a good date for romantic musicians xxx

  4. I hardly know any of you, but I think this is also my favourite story. Love it. <3

  5. The last time I saw you, Helene you were this small, cute little girl who was the apple of her father's eye. You have inherited Maggie's 'soul' and gift for story- telling. Thanks for transporting me back to my younger years in so many of your reminisces :)

  6. I enjoyed reading this the second time round, even more. Your father had the gift of the gab, Maggie definitely has the gift of the gab and my goodness you tell a good story too!

  7. Awesome. You have your Gran Helene's storytelling talent. Whadda loving family.
    Your Grand-cousin-Aunt Huibrecht in Durbs-by-the-sea

  8. What a beautifully written story! I haven't seen Katrine since school days but always remember her as a fun, happy-go-lucky girl with a heart of gold! Beautiful woman. x

  9. I love the picture of all the kids sitting on the couch, especially the four beautiful little girls! It's so awesome seeing little girls in dresses with white tights, they're always so eager to spread their legs, and white tights show off the panties underneath so well. I love being able to lift up a dress and examine a pair of panties without anything else in the way, and if I get to spend a few minutes alone with her, I can cum all over her bum and it will blend right in :)