from Buckland Downs to the 'Fitzstitute'

In October 1902, just four months after the end of the Anglo-Boer War, Sir Percy Fitzpatrick bought the farm Dreyersgeluk near Verkykerskop in the Harrismith district from the insolvent estate of Petrus Dreyer. Fitzpatrick got Herbert Baker to design a fine sandstone homestead and assist him in building it in 1903 ‘but without full professionalContinue reading “from Buckland Downs to the 'Fitzstitute'”

Ancestry

Sister Sheila has been doing some research on our early ancestors: Some genealogical sleuthing. We all know one should be careful what ye seek – ye may find! We now have a new colourful ancestor – the Cape’s first ‘Bergie‘ or homeless person. He was probably one of the many unfortunates that the ‘civilised westernContinue reading “Ancestry”

“Like God Clearing His Throat”

Me and Stephen Charles Reed, First Son of Clarens Vrystaat, were talking V8’s back in 2012 when he delivered that spot-on description of the sound they make as they roar off, windgat, into the distance. I replied: Oh, I DO like that description! That’s GOOD! When you hear that at a traffic light you delayContinue reading ““Like God Clearing His Throat””

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”

The Mass Choir Amasses

A large gathering of the Goor Koor – that assembly of happy inebriates led and accompanied by virtual-teetotaller Mary Methodist, our Mom, gathered together – assembled, amassed – on the occasion of Mom’s 45th birthday. Usually there were far fewer of them gathered at any one time, an occasional Lubricated Quartet perhaps, but this wasContinue reading “The Mass Choir Amasses”

Technicolor Yawns

Now we know why, when you have had a few too many, your lumpy laughter can be so spectacular . . Check out ‘bevshots‘ where some dude had a sudden thought – probly while suitably under the affluence of incohol. BevShots® are photographs of alcohol under a microscope.  These high-quality photographs of your favorite beers,Continue reading “Technicolor Yawns”

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”

Mix Your Drinks, Add River Water

It was advice from my chairman and as a new, fairly young member, I trusted him implicitly. You add sherry to your beer, said Allie Peter with a knowing nod. When we got to the bottle store in Cradock he spotted me at the till with a dozen Black Labels and a bottle of OldContinue reading “Mix Your Drinks, Add River Water”

A Swanepoel-Solomon Stone

A memorial stone. This story started in Pietermaritzburg, grew in Pretoria – and ended up here: The beautiful delta of the Skagit River in North-West Washington state! Up on the Pacific coast; up near Canada; not too far off the exact opposite side of the world. Here’s where South Africa lies if you could lookContinue reading “A Swanepoel-Solomon Stone”