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

Walking the Umgeni

It was a sad fact. The Umgeni was going to be dammed. Again. The fourth big dam on its course from the Dargle to the sea. Many people love dams. I hate them. They ruin the valleys and change nature for ever. Dams wipe out species – many before we even discover them; they floodContinue reading “Walking the Umgeni”

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”

Time Shuffles On – Cataracts Tumble On

Looking at the 2016 Dusi results I see the first finisher who, if I bumped into him, would say ‘Howzit Swanie’ or ‘Howzit Pete’ came in 93rd !! Getting old! Gone are the days when I knew most of the top ten! Another observation – 13 of the top 20 had African surnames. Wonder howContinue reading “Time Shuffles On – Cataracts Tumble On”

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 fifies – 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!”

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”

Not-so-Sharp Jesse

Jesse W. Sharp, a 28 year old bachelor from Ocoee, Tennessee attempted to ride over the brink of the Horseshoe Falls in a 3.6m long plastic kayak on June 5, 1990. Sharp, unemployed at the time, was an experienced white water kayaker. Three people who accompanied Sharp to Niagara Falls to video-tape his trip toldContinue reading “Not-so-Sharp Jesse”

Ohio Honeymoon

The sixth week of our honeymoon in 1988 was an eagerly awaited visit to good friend Larry Wingert. He’d been a Rotary exchange student to Harrismith in South Africa back in 1969-1970. We flew out of Lawton Oklahoma to Dallas/Fort Worth, on to Little Rock, to Cincinatti and on to our destination: Akron, Ohio. FridayContinue reading “Ohio Honeymoon”

Oddballs, Then and Now

It has 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, ‘TheContinue reading “Oddballs, Then and Now”

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 underContinue reading “The Flat Paddle Society”

R.I.P Herve de Rauville

Dammit, Hervie died! Me, Herve in red, Dave Jones, Jurie the cameraman and Steve Fourie, Chris Greeff’s buddy. Greeff took the pic, cutting off the nose of the Lincoln to make sure he got my elbow in. The Lincoln is loaded and ready to take us to paddle the Ocoee River in Tennessee after aContinue reading “R.I.P Herve de Rauville”

R.I.P Linda Grewar

Linda Grewar was a Kingfisher paddler from back around 1990. She and Bernie Garcin paddled really well – a number of mixed doubles podium finishes on the Dusi, Fish and Umzimkulu. Then she buzzed off ‘overseas’. In May 2016 Bernie gave me Linda’s address, so I wrote  to her: Hey Linda! – LONG time noContinue reading “R.I.P Linda Grewar”

Floods in KwaZulu Natal 1987

September 1987 floods Between 28 and 30 September 1987, the central and southern part of Natal were ravaged by floods that were amongst the most devastating to have occurred in South Africa. The main cause was an intense “cut-off” low pressure system off-shore which co-incided with a Spring high tide. Destruction of property was catastrophic,Continue reading “Floods in KwaZulu Natal 1987”

DIY Bush Wedding

I don’t do DIY. I was going to say except for our wedding, but on reflection, I also did that the way I do everything: Stand back and watch as others do it all, encouraging and applauding while trying to save money. What I did do was buy the booze and fill Mike Lello’s IsuzuContinue reading “DIY Bush Wedding”