Safari 2003

On our trip up north in 2003 Aitch and five year old Jessie kept a diary; when they got home they made this picture album as a memento of the trip. Enjoy the slideshow! (Slides change every four seconds. To pause a slide, click in the top right corner. To speed it up or toContinue reading “Safari 2003”

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”

Mtamvuna River

Tom went fishing with Ryan – his first trip out of the house for ages! Ryan’s Dad Andy took them to The Old Pont on the Mtamvuna River, two hours south of home. I joined them for a lovely braai – chuck, wors and garlic bread. Tom and Ryan braai’d the meat to perfection, butContinue reading “Mtamvuna River”

Jess Cooks a Curry

Petrea said to Jess, Cook a curry for your Dad. Jess said, ‘I’ve never done that before.’ Don’ worry, says Petrea and delivers a box. Leaves it at the gate. All you have to buy is chicken, Jess. On the day, Jess marches into my office, ‘Dad! There’s no recipe!’ Petrea says read the backContinue reading “Jess Cooks a Curry”

Storm in a Shopping Trolley

Just yesterday I was dispensing my best Calm The Fuck Down advice to a friend, and today TomTom and I have a big fat fight! He went shopping, wheeled the trolley home (knows he’s not meant to) down a steep footpath under the big fig tree and tipped the trolley. ’30 eggs broken and theContinue reading “Storm in a Shopping Trolley”

Tom at the German Club

You can tan me hide when I’ve died, Clyde, and hang it up in the shed. ‘Cos I have developed a quite – not a very, but a quite – thick skin. I meet Bruce for a beer at The German Club, which has become a bit more like an Old Rhodesians Club. This isContinue reading “Tom at the German Club”

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 farmhouse 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 our idea of paradise: no electricity, no cellphone reception, no wifi. Peace. Plenty of hot water, a gas stoveContinue reading “Simes’ Cottage in Lotheni”

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”

Umhlanga Lagoon

Tom went to visit Ziggy in Umhlanga so Jess and I had a late breakfast at Europa Cafe – poached eggs, haloumi, mushrooms, bacon, tsatsiki, all-sorts, yum! Followed by delicious hot bitter black coffee and some sitting back and sighing. And then, what the hell, a chocolate milkshake! Then off for a stroll at theContinue reading “Umhlanga Lagoon”

Nibela on Lake St Lucia

What luck! friends couldn’t make their timeshare for happy reasons (grandchild due) so we took over! With pleasure. Nibela is in prime Broadbill sand forest territory and I have dipped out on seeing a Broadbill, coming close a number of times, but no sighting. I was keen, so was Jess. Tom considered the fishing optionsContinue reading “Nibela on Lake St Lucia”

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”