Running on Women Power

A lovely post on Women in Ornithology by ornithology historian Bob Montgomerie led me to thinking about Women in – well, My Working Life. First there was Mom. Mary Methodist. In the Platberg Bottle Store. And Annemarie Maeder, also in the bottle store with Mom. Always in the background, too, was your ‘panel of Moms’Continue reading “Running on Women Power”

His Uncle Hec’s Funeral

Des is a mensch. He’s a gentleman and he has good intentions. He’s in a serious marriage and under strict starter’s orders. The thing is Des has a bit of a dodgy handbrake. Even when pulled up tight it can occasionally slip and he can lurch forward a few steps and then all hell canContinue reading “His Uncle Hec’s Funeral”

Loopspruit Army Basics

– – – draft – work in progress – So there we were ensconced on a farm outside Potchefstroom among raw rockspider seventeen year-olds, fresh out of high school from all over South Africa. We heard it had been a reform school for delinquents before we got there and turned it into a military camp.Continue reading “Loopspruit Army Basics”

Harrismith Author Leon Strachan

Harrismith History – Free State Fables – Rural Legends . . well told. Harrismith has had a few published authors over the 171 years of the town’s existence. One day I’ll make a list. The best by far is Leon Strachan – imho of course! I have four of his books and am searching locallyContinue reading “Harrismith Author Leon Strachan”

A Slice of Vrystaat

I was born in Harrismith in 1955, as was Mom Mary in 1928, and her Mom Annie in 1893. Annie thought “the queen” of that little island left of France was also the queen of South Africa (and for much of her life she was right!). To balance that, there’s this side of the family.Continue reading “A Slice of Vrystaat”

Presbyopes Gather

The Class of ’77 had a wee gathering at Zena’s place. The lies we told!! ‘You’re looking younger’n evah DAHling!’ Yeah, right! Actually, none of that. A lot of truth was spoken. Which led to a lot of laughter. Zena laid on a wonderful spread and we sat around a colourful table on her SandtonContinue reading “Presbyopes Gather”

Cocky and the Cockatoo

In tiny cages. Cocky the African Grey Parrot and Jacko the Australian Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. We grew up with them and didn’t think anything of parrots in cages. But when you see a free-flying one and realise Jacko never flew five metres, never mind five kilometres, it makes ya think. Friend Steve Reed ‘shot’ this oneContinue reading “Cocky and the Cockatoo”

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”

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”

Another Successful Campaign

A well-drilled, orderly troop of Queen and Empire Poms marched up Platberg. And when they were up they were up **. They reconnoitered the surrounding area looking for Boer commandos, ready to report any sightings to some grand old Duke, or Lord, or someone. Ridiculously dressed in anti-camouflage they stuck out like sore thumbs, butContinue reading “Another Successful Campaign”