” . . and over the hills lay long fields of barley and of rye
and through the fields a road runs by . . .“
Douglas Wright Esq would wax poetical after a few beers, quoting Alfred, Lord Tennyson out on the Vrystaat vlaktes. I spose that’s what happens if you get sent to a soutpiel school in the colonies.
I see now he was misquoting Tennyson – or maybe I misremember and he was spot on? Anyway, I prefer his version. It’s hardwired in my brain now.
In my mind’s eye dear ole Dougie is wandering across the veld with a shotgun in the crook of his arm, deerstalker on his head, waxing forth . . . .
The rest, L to R:
Tony Porrell, Koos Swanepoel, Nev Shave, Charlie Deane, Dirk Odendaal, Ian Fyvie, Rob Spilsbury, Nick Leslie, Doug Wright wearing the black beret, John Venning, Mike Curnow, Tabs Fyvie and Guy Kirk
Other Dougie things I remember:
- ‘Let’s play Bok Bok Staan Styf! Hoeveel fingers op jou lyf?’
- ‘We must play pennetjie!’ – urgently suggested after a few beers. We never did.
- His fox terrier — (name?)
- His cottage on Glen Khyber, their plot in the shadow of Platberg, away from the big house. It was right on the verdant banks of a little stream that flowed down from Khyber Pass into the beautiful Kak Spruit as it tumbled down from Platberg on its way to the Wilge River. Glen Khyber was below Platberg’s steep, narrow, stony Khyber Pass.
- Doug’s story about Tabs Fyvie when Tabs was little: Dougie asked him “Did you have any rain?” and Tabs answered “Not much but they were big drops”.
- How we used to walk to Glen Khyber from Birdhaven and wake Doug up in his cottage (him probably hung over) and Barbara would show him her whispy ponytail at eye level as he lay in bed and say “Look Doug, my ponytail!”.
1. Birdhaven – the ruins; 2. Glen Khyber – Doug’s cottage the green roof;
3. Jack Levick’s plot; 4. Kakspruit
soutpiel – English-speaking South African; said to have one foot in SA, the other foot in England, his penis hanging in the sea, so ‘salt penis’
Bok Bok Staan Styf! Hoeveel fingers op jou lyf? – weird game where you jump on each others’ backs! amiright?
pennetjie – game where you scratch a hole in the ground and use a stick to prevent your opponent from tossing his stick into the hole; amiright?
Kak Spruit – Shit Creek; Stream flowing down from the top of Platberg past Dougie’s plot Glen Khyber, then past our plot Birdhaven