Serious Optometric Research

We were in second year and had just moved out of downtown Joburg and Eloff Street to the salubrious semi-suburban delightful area of Doornfontein which was once Joburg’s premier suburb where all the gold mining magnates and Randlords lived and built their mansions. So some final year students asked us to help them in theirContinue reading “Serious Optometric Research”

Our Mountain Burns

Once again Platberg is burning. Old school friends Noeline Bester and Annatjie Labuschagne sent these images. Sure hope the Grey Rhebok and Mountain Reedbuck and Chacma Baboons that Koos Beukes and Pierre du Plessis tell me are still there, are OK.

Flower Fountain

We mocked Bloemfontein as Flower Fountain and always looked on Durban as the big city, seldom Joburg, as we would head 299km to the coast not 268km inland to JHB when going for any city business. Bloem never featured. It was 378km and more of a backwater. Once you got there, you’d ask yourself WHY?Continue reading “Flower Fountain”

Scotland the Brave 3

Miz Zobbs was scathing: Why can’t any of you whistle? Listen to Claudio! HE can whistle. Show them Claudio. It takes a boy from Italy to show you lot how to whistle! Poor old Claudio Bellato dutifully pursed his lips and tootled some Italian to show us how it was done while probably thinking .Continue reading “Scotland the Brave 3”

On Not Playing Rugby

Matric. Rugby season. I’m not playing. Old pipe-smoking, Andy Capp cap-wearing, grog-loving, moustachioed Stollie Beukes came up to me at school and asked straight-forwardly and politely, no weaseling, no guilt-suggesting. That’s him ‘playing goalie’ above. “Ons kort a paar manne in die derdespan. Sal jy vir ons speel?” “Ja, sekerlik,” I said, “Sal ek oefeningsContinue reading “On Not Playing Rugby”

Doories Daze

On 2018/12/18 Stephen Reed wrote: Had a late afternoon chat with Stanrey Kraarke this afternoon . . ( that would be a phone call across the Tasman Sea ) Pete replied: Ah, good to hear the ancient old bullet is still alive!! Hoezit Kev!!? ( I have cc’d him here) I can’t think of DooriesContinue reading “Doories Daze”

Quinquireme of Nineveh

I remember one poem from high school. One. Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine, With a cargo of ivory, And apes and peacocks, Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine. Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus, Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores, With a cargo ofContinue reading “Quinquireme of Nineveh”

Cycling the Free State Vlaktes

Sheila asked: Hi Koos. What make were our bikes? Something with an R. Ruttludge? Rudling? I answered, ‘Rudge’. The same Rudge ridden by the English King. ‘Strue! Sheila’s and Barbara’s were red, mine was blue. Given to us by Mom and Dad around 1960 to 1965, I’d guess. We were certainly in the Kleinspan SchoolContinue reading “Cycling the Free State Vlaktes”

Early Daze

My first recollections are of life on the plot outside Harrismith, playing with Enoch and Casaia, childhood companions, kids of Lena Mazibuko, who looked after us as Mom and Dad worked in town. The plot was was called Birdhaven – Dad kept big aviaries – and was in the shadow of Platberg. I remember LenaContinue reading “Early Daze”