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”

“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””

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”

My Wild Days – Stepping Out, Clubbing

Found this picture on the ‘net. It says “The Doors Nightclub Johannesburg”. It reminds me very strongly of my impression of an unusual night on the town with young Fotherby, back in the Jurassic. I was just as boring then as I am now. My idea of a good night out was find a pub,Continue reading “My Wild Days – Stepping Out, Clubbing”

Doories Daze

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

Twaalf Eiers

Alf Beyers, son of the Hoof of the Hoerskool in Petrus Steyn OFS, struck enormous good fortune on leaving the village and striking out for the big smoke of lower Doornfontein, Johannesburg, city of sin and laughter. It was akin to winning the lottery. He was allocated me as his room-mate. Dropping our suitcases onContinue reading “Twaalf Eiers”

My Best Man (confessions about . . )

My Best Man, I have always said, is one of the most honest upright people I’ve known. I’ve said this for many years. It isn’t strictly true. One dark night in Deepest Darkest Doornfontein, shortly after having been crowned The Official Inebriated World Dartsh Championsh of The World, the story of which famous victory hasContinue reading “My Best Man (confessions about . . )”

Fire! Fire!

We had asbestos heaters on the walls in our Louisa Street residence in Doornfontein, Johannesburg. The res was in the shadow of the not-yet-completed Ponte tower – the 50-story residential cylinder up on the hill that became famous and notorious for varying reasons over the years. Late one night we woke up to yelling andContinue reading “Fire! Fire!”

International Darts Champs

One dark night in Deepest Darkest Doornfontein we were playing darts. In the New Doornfontein Hotel pub. Actually to be more exact, we were engaged in a very important international darts championship tournament, and we were in the final. We had made it through to the final by skill and courage. And imbibing. See, itContinue reading “International Darts Champs”

The Louisa Street Massacre

I once got mugged in Louisa Street. By Louisa Street. Lightly inebriated, I was walking back to res from a trip to Hillbrow to spend invest some of my Barclays Bank student loan. The normally dark and deserted Louisa Street in Doornfontein was dark and crowded, with parked cars lining both sides of the road.Continue reading “The Louisa Street Massacre”