Trader Horn and Me

Reading Tramp Royal again! So here’s a re-post from 2016: I lapped up the famous Trader Horn books ‘The Ivory Coast in the Earlies’ and ‘Harold the Webbed.’ I’m still looking for their third book ‘The Waters of Africa.’ ‘Their’ being his and the special and talented lady whose sudden insight made it happen whenContinue reading “Trader Horn and Me”

How To Cook

(I might write a book) Open your wine; make sure its enough; check the label; must be a good wine, not a great wine, but a good wine – 13% minimum; 14% is obviously better. Always cook with red wine, taking care not to get any on the food. Peel and cut a potato intoContinue reading “How To Cook”

Courage and Principle

I said the book was coming. Now it’s here! I’m on page 121 236 and I’ll report back soon. I finished and will have to write a summary. What a saga! Twenty years of telling people one simple fact: What these developers are proposing will completely ruin Vetch’s Pier and Vetch’s Beach! And very fewContinue reading “Courage and Principle”

One Day

I know I should work to earn money so I can one day sit on my arse and listen to the birds and photograph butterflies. And see two gory kills within minutes, with two animals dying before my very eyes to satisfy the hungry needs of their predators. So this morning: Flies don’t even haveContinue reading “One Day”

What a Collection!

Optometric colleagues and classmates from way back in 1977, Di Fotherby, Ray Schoeman, Terry Saks, Pete Brauer and I met at Zena Jacobson’s lovely home in Sandton a while back – 16 Feb – and how very fortuitous that turned out to be, as we have been a great support group for each other duringContinue reading “What a Collection!”

New Book Coming!

Johnny Vassilaros is a courageous mensch. And an author. And I can’t wait! If you love Durban, get your copy. Write to – littleboatsandbigfish@gmail.com – Foreward by Advocate Peter RowanI have known Johnny since 2003. I have spent many long hours with him, in meetings, in consultations, in Court proceedings, in open debate and inContinue reading “New Book Coming!”

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

Shit Birders Say

. . and that I wish I had said . . “To a person uninstructed in natural history, his countryside or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall” – THOMAS HUXLEY – English biologist “Bird-watchers are tense, competitive,Continue reading “Shit Birders Say”

Wikipedia – A Good Story of the 2010’s Decade

Every time I see a new bird I look it up and learn all about it, its scientific name and which other birds its related to. Just recently Steve in Aussie sent me his picture of a ‘Bush Stone Curlew’ nesting on an island in a parking lot. That immediately reminded me of our waterContinue reading “Wikipedia – A Good Story of the 2010’s Decade”

Explorers 15. Galton

Francis Galton, (1822–1911) was an English polymath, geographer, meteorologist and much else. We are mainly interested here in his 1850 expedition to Namibia. For the rest – and there is a lot of it! – refer to the sources at the bottom. Grandson of Erasmus Darwin and cousin and contemporary of Charles Darwin, Galton isContinue reading “Explorers 15. Galton”

Swinburne, the Lost Valley and Nesshurst

First we went to Swinburne, to Jenny (Mapp) and Steve Cleverley’s Hound and Hare on the far bank of the Wilge River, across the old 1884 sandstone toll bridge where we had launched a canoe journey many years before; There we watched a bunch of large blokes with odd-shaped balls shove each other around, playingContinue reading “Swinburne, the Lost Valley and Nesshurst”

We’re Famous!

Us Blands have published a book. One of us was the author and one was the photographer. OK, it was tenth-cousin Hugh that actually did both! Mind you, I do play my small part in keeping this particular trappist monastery afloat by testing eyes there mahala every second month! Who’da thunk I’d ever help theContinue reading “We’re Famous!”

Explorers 13. Chapman

James Chapman (1831-1872) – our first South African-born explorer, hunter, trader and photographer. Enough Swedes, Scots and Frogs, here’s a homeboy! Again, if you want really accurate history, you’ve stumbled on the wrong place – but check the sources! A son of James Chapman and Elizabeth Greeff of Malmesbury, he was educated in Cape TownContinue reading “Explorers 13. Chapman”

More Books Coming!

Janet spoils me! She got me a beautiful book written by legendary Botswana character Cronje Wilmot back in the fifties – reprinted recently. And now two more coming! One by legendary Botswana character Lloyd Wilmot – Cronje’s grandson: . . and yet another book by the amazing Veronica Roodt: . . and here’s Janet theContinue reading “More Books Coming!”

New Best Book Ever

I have not been this excited about a book since Tramp Royal, by Tim Couzens. Well, Trader Horn’s The Ivory Coast in the Earlies, and then Tramp Royal. My own The First Safari by Ian Glenn just arrived and it’s beautifully made; a real old-fashioned book, hard cover complete with elegant dust jacket, map, realContinue reading “New Best Book Ever”

Explorers 12. Baines

(John) Thomas Baines (1820–1875) – was an English artist and explorer of British colonial southern Africa and Australia. He was most famous for his beautiful paintings – especially of ‘Baines Baobabs’ and the mighty Falls, Mosi oa Tunya. Apprenticed to a coach painter at an early age, he left England aged 22 for South AfricaContinue reading “Explorers 12. Baines”