Blithe Spirits

Durban ca 1980 – I’ve been sent here by the army; I know very little about this Last Outpost of the British Empire, but my friend, fellow Free Stater Steve Reed, has been here almost a year so he knows everything. And he knows some girls. The papers announced that some comet was due toContinue reading “Blithe Spirits”

Conquered by the Boers, 2017

Harrismith is still a lekker dorp thanks to some hard-drinking maniacs that hang out there, bitter-einders clinging to life behind the boerewors curtain. Here’s a dispatch to Mev Queen on the result of a highly important, highly competitive Boer War re-enactment golf – or moer-en-soek – tournament in 2017. It did not go well. ~~~~oo0oo~~~~Continue reading “Conquered by the Boers, 2017”

Smuggies. And Justice.

A visit to Tuffy, then stationed on the Bluff in Durban with Recce Battalion was a happy reunion. There he was in uniform and me with long hair, his student mate from Harrismith. He introduced me to his sergeant ‘Vingers’ Kruger and all his comrades and announced we’d be partying tonight. We started off atContinue reading “Smuggies. And Justice.”

Scotland the Brave

Two delightful Scottish medical students arrived at Addington hospital. They were here to “do their elective” they said. We didn’t mind what they were doing, we were just happy they were in Darkest Africa and drank beer. Always a better chance if a lady will drink alcohol. One of them asked me if I surf,Continue reading “Scotland the Brave”

Memories Military

You give some old bullets the internets, and what happens” – A bunch of unlikely and involuntary ‘soldiers’ reminisce . . One fine day in October 2018 I walked into work and my practice manager Raksha said, ‘A lady wants you to phone her. She says she thinks you were in the army with herContinue reading “Memories Military”

Seeking to Dodge Salvation

Stephen Charles Reed sent a terrible picture of a recovering drunk back in the old days. Around 1980. He found this poor soul asleep on the covered veranda of his top floor flat in 10th Avenue off Clarence Road in Windermere, Durban and cruelly photographed him, him unknowing. Sleeping with his specs on so asContinue reading “Seeking to Dodge Salvation”

Eyewitness Account

Thanks to coincidence, luck and connections, I have an eyewitness account to the time my good friend Tuffy fell out of a helicopter! Chris Greeff is one of the most connected people I know. He mentioned that John Lee is a parabat. I said: My two schoolmates did parabats in 1971 (Pierre du Plessis) andContinue reading “Eyewitness Account”

My Famous Friends – #1

Tuffy has hit the bright lights. School friend and class mate Mariette van Wyk edits a lovely magazine Atlantic Gull down in the Dryest Fairest Cape. She got the fascinating life story (well actually, snippets of it!) of Irené John Joubert out of him recently. Fascinating thing is, Tuffy DID this stuff, Chuck Norris actsContinue reading “My Famous Friends – #1”

Reassuring Words – and Famous Patients

In 1980 the army relieved me of my post as adjutant for the Natal Medical Corps and sent me to work for the provincial ophthalmology department in Durban run by the Nelson R Mandela school of medicine based at King Edward Hospital. This meant I worked at the three racially-segregated hospitals. King Edward VIII inContinue reading “Reassuring Words – and Famous Patients”

What a Mess!

“Kom, kom, kom! Vyf Rand elk. Brings your money! Five Rands. I’m going to town. E’ gat do’p toe”. Town being Ellisras or Thabazimbi. The civilian staff sergeant from the Cape was shouting in that well-known accent – or eccent, ek sê. He was organising a whip-around to augment the army rations he had beenContinue reading “What a Mess!”