Today Fifty Years Ago

Today fifty years ago was also a Sunday. I know cos sister Sheila kept a diary in high school and every now and then she pops out with an entry that brings back a flood of memories. Even everyday entries like ‘had lunch at (place) with (people)’ can trigger memories and start some lovely reminiscing.Continue reading “Today Fifty Years Ago”

My Umko Marathon

There he goes, no lifejacket as was the way those days. . . another guy might be wearing full lifejacket and helmet but he’d be disqualified: wasn’t wearing his club colours! Such was ‘safety’ back when ships were made of wood and men were made of iron! I roared in 140th – looks like 152Continue reading “My Umko Marathon”

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”

Early Bird Book

Way back around 1968 a new book appeared at 95 Stuart Street Harrismith. I was fascinated. Nearly as fascinated as I’d been when cousin Jack read Valley Of The Dolls from the big wooden bookshelf in our long, dark, carpeted passage. That novel must have been good, as Mom actually physically took it from me,Continue reading “Early Bird Book”

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”

Early Bird Books

We grew up with Roberts Bird Book in the house. First edition, but about the sixth impression. It still had its dust jacket with the kingfishers and bee-eaters beautifully depicted on it. Mom and Dad still have it – I took this pic at their home in Pietermaritzburg. We also had a newer McLachlan &Continue reading “Early Bird Books”

What’s a Hartebeest?

I’ve always been a bit confused about the hartebeest and the tsessebe, which I thought must be closely related. This weekend we saw a nice herd of hartebeest on the slopes of Platberg in the pine forest, so I thought I must look into this. And its quite complicated! As always with classification you getContinue reading “What’s a Hartebeest?”

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”

Ode to a Commode

I wrote poetry in high school once. We were doing Engels and had to read ‘ode to a something’ and so I wrote my Ode to a Commode, which was way better than John Keats’ effort. Hey, I was an immature, scatological teenager easily amused. In some ways . . . . I searched forContinue reading “Ode to a Commode”