Fogg's Folly

or Destiny Castle Driving through the beautiful Eastern Free State you see many flat-topped sandstone kopjes like these. But suddenly you say, ‘What’s on top of that one? It’s a CASTLE! Can’t be. But it is!’ Truth is, you knew it would be there – as you’ve been invited to visit it – to beContinue reading “Fogg's Folly”

Careful Where You Step!

Recording and reminiscing; with occasional bokdrols of wisdom. Possibly. Random, un-chronological memories after marriage, children and sundry other catastrophes. My pre-marriage blog is vrystaatconfessions.com. Bachelorhood! Beer! River trips! Beer! bokdrols – like pearls, but handle with care

Simes' Cottage in Lotheni

There’s a lovely old sandstone cottage in the Lotheni Valley, one of the Drakensberg / uKhahlamba’s beautiful valleys. We had some great adventures with good friends and our kids up there. As an adult retreat it’s my idea of paradise: no electricity, no cellphone reception, no wifi. Peace. Plenty of hot water, a gas stoveContinue reading “Simes' Cottage in Lotheni”

Florida Honeymoon

The first part of our 1988 honeymoon was highly organised and efficient. We flew into Orlando Florida, were taken to a hotel and from there ferried to DisneyWorld while there, by bus or steamboat. Seamless. Aitch had organised it. I was a bit ho hum, but guess what? Aitch was right to insist: these picsContinue reading “Florida Honeymoon”

Washington Honeymoon

Fresh out of that Hole in Wyoming we landed in Seattle and immediately headed for the hills. Or the sound. Puget Sound. I’m a bit allergic to cities, so we picked up a little rental car – would you believe a Toyota Tercel, with all-wheel drive and six forward gears . . what? I’ve saidContinue reading “Washington Honeymoon”

Wyoming Honeymoon

We flew into Jackson Hole from San Francisco. Change in temperature. I was still in short pants – had to change pretty quick! This was week three of our honeymoon, so we were into the groove: Fly in, find a car, then look around for the best places to visit and find cheap lodgings nearContinue reading “Wyoming Honeymoon”

Lochinvar Park in Zambia

In 1297 the Gordon family arrived at Lochinvar from Berwickshire. They established a castle on an island in the lake – or loch, as this was in Scotland. Lochinvar. In 1908 another Scot, Mr Horne, a cattle farmer from Botswana, arrived on the banks of the Kafue river in Northern Rhodesia long before it becameContinue reading “Lochinvar Park in Zambia”

Emergency Room: Hello, Don’t Worry . .

So this is what mother Mary probably felt like! It’s 3am and still no sign or word of the little blighter. Then ***pring pring*** . . Hello, is that Mr Swanepoel? This is Andrew of Medical Rescue Emergency Services Shit! Worst fears and all that Don’t worry Thomas is fine Phew! I have him hereContinue reading “Emergency Room: Hello, Don’t Worry . .”

Lion Kills and Weddings – Live Footage!

Jessie discovered and avidly watched live-streamed game drives on the internet. Most were from the Maasai Mara in Kenya, and the Sabi Sands in our South African lowveld. Then she found out ‘her connection’ to it: The producer was a big supporter of hers when she first arrived in our home as a little girl!Continue reading “Lion Kills and Weddings – Live Footage!”

Mfolosi in March

Just a day trip. Late start, so it was already warm and quiet by the time we got there. Bird list: Barbets, Crested and Acacia Pied; Bulbul, Dark-capped; Greenbul, Sombre; Eagles, Long-crested and Brown Snake-; Shrike, Red-backed and Fiscal; Bush-shrikes, Gorgeous and Orange-breasted; Starlings, Cape Glossy and Violet-backed; Swallows, Wire-tailed and Lesser Striped; Kite, Yellow-billed;Continue reading “Mfolosi in March”

Botswana Safari with Larry

(this blog is about happenings, disasters, surprises and chaos since I caught marriage and kids. But every now and then I re-post a story from my blissful, trouble-free, beer-fuelled bachelor days blog. Here’s one): Hey, let’s go on a safari! Great friend Larry Wingert is out from the USA and we hop on a flightContinue reading “Botswana Safari with Larry”

Annie’s Kings and Queens

(this blog is about happenings, disasters, surprises and chaos since I caught marriage and kids. But every now and then I re-post a story from my blissful, trouble-free, beer-fuelled bachelor days blog. Here’s one): I joked that my gran Annie thought ‘the queen’ was also the queen of South Africa. Elizabeth Two, not Pieter-Dirk. AndContinue reading “Annie’s Kings and Queens”

Bang! Another Hole In The Head!

Straight into the same trap – from being dozy! ‘Dad, I need an eyebrow piercing.’ Sure Jess, get it one day when you have the money and you’re living on your own, love. Strategically she drops the subject till the old man has forgotten all about it. So ten minutes later she comes from aContinue reading “Bang! Another Hole In The Head!”

Our Cul de Sac

What an interesting cul de sac is Elston Place. Sure there are five boring houses with abelungu in them, and one high-wall complex called Maroela or Marula something with faceless people living in it who don’t know that if you live in a ten-gate dead end you GREET everyone who lives there . . orContinue reading “Our Cul de Sac”

On Having Dof Friends

It’s a real challenge. This having to navigate the world surrounded by dof friends. I wrote to my ‘friends’ – it might have been early one morning; they might not have been fully awake: -original message-Subject: Where’s that?From: Pete <pete@sheila.co.za>Date: 06/06/2011 I was embarrassed that I had never heard of Sanya, a city that lookedContinue reading “On Having Dof Friends”

Speaking of Bullshit . .

This is American football. At Super Bowl time. And Keith Knight of The K Chronicles gets it. It could just as well be soccer, rugby, olympics or any of the scams that ‘professional sport’ is these days . . and has been for a long time. My additional South African punchline would be “The factContinue reading “Speaking of Bullshit . .”