Come With Me To The Station

The old man inviting me to go someplace! How’s that!? I hopped into the old faded-blue VW Kombi OHS 153. This sounded interesting. We never went to the railway station. We’d go near there to the old MOTH hall and occasionally to the circus field when the Big Top was pitched there! But never toContinue reading “Come With Me To The Station”

Early Bird Books

We grew up with Roberts Bird Book in the house. First edition, but about the sixth impression. It still had its dust jacket with the kingfishers and bee-eaters beautifully depicted on it. Mom and Dad still have it – I took this pic at their home in Pietermaritzburg. We also had a newer McLachlan &Continue reading “Early Bird Books”

An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles

Asked what could be inferred about the Creator from a study of His works, British scientist and naturalist JBS Haldane replied: “The Creator, if he existed, had an inordinate fondness for beetles” Now it’s true he meant the one on the left, not the one on the right, but still . . My gran Annie’sContinue reading “An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles”

Frank's Death at 9 Stuart Street

‘Mom! Dad’s in pain,’ said Mary, out of breath. She’d run up to the Caltex garage in Warden Street. Annie drove her back and took her husband Frank Bland to Frank Reitz, his friend, rugby team-mate and physician/surgeon. Gallstones, a gallbladder op needed, was the verdict. Mom was fifteen, ‘about to write my JC‘ –Continue reading “Frank's Death at 9 Stuart Street”

Boy Scouts – 1st Harrismith

Let’s paint the ’42nd’ up on 42nd Hill! Yeah! We’ll shoot up there with some whitewash and paint it quickly. We Boy Scouts needed a PROJECT – a ‘good deed’ – and this seemed a good one. Everyone would notice and be impressed by the shiny white freshly-whitewashed stones spelling out ’42nd’ compared to theContinue reading “Boy Scouts – 1st Harrismith”

Volkskool – Primary School

Mom went to this school, as did all three of us kids. Annie (Mom’s Mom) may have, too? Before us, Etienne Joubert went, and he remembers: Playing ‘Hasie’ under the Bluegums near the old Golf club house; Playing ‘Bok-bok’ behind the bottom class rooms; Eating ‘Manna’ under the Bluegums; Playing marbles in the main playground.Continue reading “Volkskool – Primary School”

Scottish Pith & Our Annie, Linguist

Steve Reed wrote: Gotta love the Scots . . … and their humour. Met up with Sam, an excellent Scotsman who came in for some glasses today. We were chatting about some of the female news anchors you see on TV. One of them, Virginia Trioli, we agreed is opinionated, superior, demanding and – fromContinue reading “Scottish Pith & Our Annie, Linguist”

A Harem in Harrismith?

You know that mansion Mal Jurie is building on his farm? It’s a harem! A what? A HAREM! A place where you keep lots of ladies in rooms and they lie around swimming and eating grapes and looking beautiful. When they do have clothes on its not clothes like your mother wears. He says he’sContinue reading “A Harem in Harrismith?”