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”

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”

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”

Tool Chests

The Studley Tool Chest: Made out of mahogany, rosewood, walnut, ebony, and mother of pearl. Henry O. Studley (1838–1925) was a carpenter, organ and piano maker, who worked for the Smith Organ Co. and later for the Poole Piano Company of Quincy, Massachusetts. He is best known for creating the famous Studley Tool Chest, aContinue reading “Tool Chests”

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”

Caltex Calenders

Annie had a Caltex garage; Dad worked for Annie; Louis Schoeman traveled for Caltex. Between 1962 and 1971 Caltex gave cloth wildlife calenders as their gift to their filling station owners. Dad (now 96) says Louis would ‘forget’ to hand them out and he would insist on seeing what was in his boot. And there,Continue reading “Caltex Calenders”

New Country, New Identity

I was reading about Andrew Geddes Bain, geologist, road engineer, palaeontologist and explorer in the Cape up to 1864, and his son Thomas Charles Bain, road engineer in the Cape up to 1888, when it suddenly struck me! First, let’s see what these two very capable men achieved: Andrew Geddes Bain built eight mountain passes,Continue reading “New Country, New Identity”

Annie’s Abodes

Annie was one of the seven Royal Bains in Harrismith. She was born in the cottage behind the hotel where her parents Stewart and Janet raised all the kids. Her daughter Mary says they were Ginger, Stewart, Carrie, Jessie, Annie, Hector and Bennett. Only Hector got off his bum and got a job – heContinue reading “Annie’s Abodes”

Granny Bland

Part of the stone wall which surrounded Granny Bland’s home in Stuart Street, Harrismith; and the oak tree her grand-daughter Pat Bland planted. Our great-grandmother ‘Granny Bland’ was a Caskie who married a Bland who begat Frank (JFA) Bland who married Annie Watson Bain. Bain Sisters Annie Bland and Jessie Bell lived there with GrannyContinue reading “Granny Bland”

Post Office Linesman

Dad was a Post Office technician. He applied for ___ which was more technical, but was given electrician. He did his apprenticeship ca.1938 and was soon put on telephones for some reason, given a truck and sent off to Ixopo where he was assigned a “line boy.” Actually an adult to do lots of theContinue reading “Post Office Linesman”