Ancestral home of us Tshwanepoels. We have land rights. We’re biding our time before launching a land claim. Meantime, I’m just visiting Chez Brauer in the Gramadoelas for Easter to keep death off the roads without driving on the pavements.

– early Tshwane – from the family album –

With Terry away that evening I thought I’d better buy food; you know how bachelors are, the fridge would be empty. So I took my Checkers deli ready-cooked booty and went to put it in the fridge. Dorothy had let me in – Brauer was still slaving over a hot autorefractor. Well, when I opened the heavy fridge door, two pounds of butter and three jars of anchovette fell on my toes. The fridge was filled to Terry-pacity. There was two kinds of every delicacy from 140 of the 200 countries of the world in that capacious fridge. I shoved my packet in and quickly slammed the door; only two pawpaws escaped.

Their beautiful kitchen was stocked with alles in wonderland – stuff for Pesach; stuff for Easter; stuff for Passover, Diwali and Lent; bunnies, brightly coloured eggs, marshmallow eggs, designer cubic eggs with dark chocolate (those were yum), and etc. Most of it was of course, thanks to us pagans, who contribute all the fun stuff to holidays and celebrations. Think about it: The grog! the naked dancing! bonfires! You know that, right? We have Bacchus on our team, I think, don’t we? Probly Venus as well.


Diwali wasn’t so good; the lights were dim; thanks to Eskom – they switched off. So Brauer kick-started his borrowed generator and hey presto! Except for a bit of bronchitis. The generator would roar, then sigh, then get a death rattle and vrek. Some investigating was needed. We switched off everything we thought would draw a lotta power, but still the sukkel‘ing. Then Terry Sherlock had a thought: She switched off Brauer’s bar fridge. Aha! THAT was the problem, of course. That amount of hooch draws kilowatts. Now we had Peace on Erf.

One tense moment

Terry stopped Sid when he arrived at the top of the stairs. ‘Wait There, I’ll Help You Down,’ she pressed pause. Sid waited obediently while she sorted out a few things in cornucopia. Sid had driven himself in his BMW, he’s fully licenced and experienced in driving since 1948. Having escorted him down the steps, Terry said, ‘Sit. I’ll Make You Tea.’ She reached for the exact spot in the kitchen where, among 467 other items, she knew Sid’s cake was waiting. Silence. Uh, Oh! Confession time! There wasn’t a rat in the house. Well, not a small furry one anyhow. I had scoffed it the day before! I say let them eat . . . whatever Sid got instead.


gramadoelas – dodgy area with a truck stop right outside the guest bedroom window; residents have corrupted the name to Maroelana to hide the dodgy

pavements – sidewalks

alles – Alice

vrek – go kaput

kaput – go vrek; dead

sukkel – battle; suffer; struggle; like bronchitis

erf – earth; plot; erven; yard; peace on erf = domestic bliss

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