A Slow Walk, My China

Way back in around 1962 Donald Coleman and I walked home from school. The Harrismith Kleinspan School. (see https://vrystaatconfessions.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/where-have-you-been/)

It was about a mile and we set off around 1pm. When we got home we got the “Where have you been!?” treatment. Apparently it was 5pm already and getting dark and cold. Well, we wouldn’t have known and anyway, we’d had a lot to talk about and Donald had a box of matches, so we had stopped and made a little fire of plane tree leaves in the sandstone gutters of Stuart Street (which apparently used to channel water from Platberg to town for the town’s supply – according to Blanche Hawkins). Come to think of it, it was a really chilly day. And we had the matches.

Fast forward to 2014 and 12yr old TomTom asked me if he could walk home from school today. It’s about 4km and school ends at 2pm. When I got home at 5pm he had just got in and Cecelia and Carla had been worried: Where had he BEEN?!

I knew. His journey was double mine and he’d taken one less hour. Why, he’d almost hurried home! And no matches, so how could I complain? You have fun, my boy? I asked him. He’d stopped en route to buy a pie, a packet of jelly tots and an energade.

New Schools ! (2).JPG Tom about then

Koos, Anne, Donald & Sheila in the Coleman's backyard

Me, Anne, Donald, Sheila in Platberg’s shadow

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