Manfred’s Zimbali

Long before Zimbali became an over-priced gated estate for the rich to hide in, Manfred Bacher, augenoptikermeister from Austria aus, built a yacht in his Umhlanga backyard and called it Zimbali. Or SMS Zimbali, I’d say. He said Zimbali meant ‘forever young,’ which is what he wished for himself and might have been if itContinue reading “Manfred’s Zimbali”

Pulling a Fa(s)t One

Greg Bennett told me about his latest Yamaha outboard motor over coffee the other morning – a 425hp beast. “Stands taller than me with my hand stretched skywards” he said. This reminded me of the time we went out to Hazelmere to test his then-biggest outboard motor: I think it was 225hp. I was slalomContinue reading “Pulling a Fa(s)t One”

Smuggies. And Justice.

A visit to Tuffy, then stationed on the Bluff in Durban with Recce Battalion was a happy reunion. There he was in uniform and me with long hair, his student mate from Harrismith. He introduced me to his sergeant ‘Vingers’ Kruger and all his comrades and announced we’d be partying tonight. We started off atContinue reading “Smuggies. And Justice.”

Harrismith’s Gold Cup

Harrismith had a Gold Cup winner! First run in 1921 – or in 1926 ? – over 3200m for a stake of 2000 pounds sterling, the Gold Cup is Africa’s premier marathon for long-distance runners. It boasts a proud history and captures the public imagination. The race starts at the 400m mark in the shortContinue reading “Harrismith’s Gold Cup”

Scotland the Brave

Two delightful Scottish medical students arrived at Addington hospital. They were here to “do their elective” they said. We didn’t mind what they were doing, we were just happy they were in Darkest Africa and drank beer. Always a better chance if a lady will drink alcohol. One of them asked me if I surf,Continue reading “Scotland the Brave”

A Day At The Races

We were talking of our younger days when we occasionally, perhaps, got up to some light mischief which pedants might have regarded as slightly illegal. Such as hopping fences without having purchased tickets to see international sporting events at Ellis Park Joburg – rugby tests and tennis internationals. One of my fellow culprits named StephenContinue reading “A Day At The Races”

The Legal Has Landed!

I was working with Serge in the UBS building in Field Street. Bending over someone with my right eye one centimetre from their right eye, I was gazing deep through their pupil with my ophthalmoscope when the building trembled and I heard a loud, dull thud. WTF? I thought; ‘Hmm’ I said, ‘Sounds like theContinue reading “The Legal Has Landed!”

Eyewitness Account

Thanks to coincidence, luck and connections, I have an eyewitness account to the time my good friend Tuffy fell out of a helicopter! Chris Greeff is one of the most connected people I know. He mentioned that John Lee is a parabat. I said: My two schoolmates did parabats in 1971 (Pierre du Plessis) andContinue reading “Eyewitness Account”

Mom & Annie’s Durban Sanity Trips

Off they’d go in Mary’s pale blue VW Beetle OHS 155. Off to Durbs-by-the-Sea, the Lonsdale Hotel or the Four Seasons for a whole week! Might that be Mary’s VW outside the Lonsdale in this picture? Three cars behind the Borgward? The cost of their stay: R2.95 each per day including meals. Mom thinks Randolph StillerContinue reading “Mom & Annie’s Durban Sanity Trips”

Uh, Correction, Mrs Bedford!

In 1969 a bunch of us were taken to Durban to watch a rugby test match – Springboks against the Australian Wallabies. “Our” Tommy Bedford was captain of the ‘Boks. We didn’t know it, but it was to be his last game. Schoolboy “seats” were flat on your bum on the grass in front ofContinue reading “Uh, Correction, Mrs Bedford!”