Aitch’s Unused Ceramics

. . raised a whole lot of money for Udobo School. Udobo is a pre-school in Montclair for the special kids of Montclair. Udobo – the name is isiZulu for fishhook – needs to raise funds to keep going and Aitch’s unused ceramics helped. Anne Snyders of Udobo set her kids to painting them, varnished […]

First Cuckoo in 1913

I was thinking about the seasons and how we look out for our first Yellow-billed Kite every year around Spring. We also love hearing the first Piet-My-Vrou and other cuckoo calls. Richard Lydekker (1849 – 1915) was an English naturalist, geologist and writer of numerous books on natural history. In fact, about thirty books in […]

A Bird Book in Brasil

When Aitch said ‘Come with me to Brasil’ in 1988 I shouted ‘Hell, yes!’ over my shoulder as I rushed off to a bookstore to buy a book on the birds of Brasil. There wasn’t one. I asked everywhere and searched everywhere, but no luck. Then I asked Hardy Wilson, who reached up to one […]

Labour of Love – Aitch

My bird list book made by Aitch back in 1985, soon after we met. Every bird from Roberts handwritten – and done on the quiet so I only got to see the end result for my first xmas present from her! After that we birded in other countries in Africa. Also in the USA, Brasil, […]

Hover

There are about 6000 species of hoverfly. They disguise themselves as wasps but they’re harmless little buggers and they do a great deal of good pollinating and eating pests like aphids. They love flowers and nectar so they hang around lovely perfume-smelling things: My cellphone pics and videos of the Khwai River hoverfly weren’t great […]

Oddballs, Then and Now

Its gone wimpish! Actually Oddballs Palm Island Luxury Lodge is still a wonderful, more affordable way to see the Okavango Delta and this post must be taken with a pinch of salt; My tongue is in my cheek; This is classic “The Good Old Days Was Better” bulldust. As my friend Greg says, ‘The older […]

The Flat Paddle Society

I am a paid-up member of the Flat Paddle Society. Owner and boat-maker at Pope’s Canoe Centre, Owen Hemingway was alarmed that I even existed in the year 2016 and earnestly (more of ‘earnest’ later) explained to me how much more efficient a wing paddle is than a flat blade, demonstrating with a teaspoon under […]

An Inordinate Fondness For Beetles

Asked what could be inferred about the Creator from a study of His works, British scientist and naturalist JBS Haldane replied: “The Creator, if he existed, had an inordinate fondness for beetles”. I have just re-read the delightful book Jayne Janetsky gave me in 1999 and learned again: – Every fifth species of known animal […]

Aitch Art Connoisseur – Again

I wrote about Aitch’s eye for and taste in art here when she spotted a Willie Bester in Cape Town in 1993 and bought it over my “are you sure?” ignorance. Around about the same time we met Ingrid Weiersbye on Barry & Lyn Porter’s game farm at Hella Hella and Aitch loved her work […]

McCord’s Zulu Hospital

McCord’s Zulu Hospital is a well-known institution in Durban. It was started in 1909 by Dr James B. McCord, who had studied medicine at Northwestern University in Illinois, qualifying in 1891. McCord joined the Student Volunteer Missionary Movement at Oberlin College in Ohio and there met his future wife, Margaret Mellen, who was born in […]

Trader Horn and Me

I lapped up the famous Trader Horn books “The Ivory Coast in the Earlies” and “Harold the Webbed”. I was then even more enamoured of Tim Couzens’ book “Tramp Royal – The true story of Trader Horn”, as it validated the Trader Horn legend – Alfred Aloysius ‘Wish’ Smith was real and he had got […]

Careful Where You Step!

Recording and reminiscing; with occasional bokdrols of wisdom. 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