Explorers 17. Margaret Fountaine

Margaret Elizabeth Fountaine (1862–1940) traveled in Southern Africa in 1908 and 1909, collecting, studying, breeding and sketching butterflies. Between 1890 and 1940 she traveled to sixty countries on six continents. She died on a path on Mount St. Benedict in Trinidad; it is said she had a butterfly net in her hand. Whattaway to go!Continue reading “Explorers 17. Margaret Fountaine”

Corona Words of Wisdom

“Everything we do before a pandemic will seem alarmist. Everything we do after a pandemic will seem inadequate.” Don’t panic, but do prepare. Here’s why everyone should self-isolate: So if you’re wearing a mask at work right now; or telling your workers to stay home and work online; or insisting people wash their hands often;Continue reading “Corona Words of Wisdom”

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

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”

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”

Rugby Taifuu

Everyone has heard of Kamikaze, Karate and FuckuOkies, and they know you shouldn’t mess with these Japaneeziz ous; So when Sonny Bill bumped into one of the Japanese jockeys that verpletter’d the Oirish, he was thankful he was wearing dark-coloured trousers. The thing is these little okes – like this real live one with SonnyContinue reading “Rugby Taifuu”

Europeans ‘Discovered’ Africa? They did?

While I’m talking about explorers, I’ll try and be careful about calling them discoverers or claiming they ‘discovered’ anything. Usually wherever they went they were met by friendly local people who helped them amazingly generously. Often they would simply not have been able to explore without this help. They were guided to water and toldContinue reading “Europeans ‘Discovered’ Africa? They did?”

Explorers 2. Sparrman

I often think ‘I wonder what it was like here before we spoilt it’ as I travel around Southern Africa. I especially would love to have seen the open grasslands, one of the habitats we have changed the most. So whenever I can I read the early explorers’ accounts with great interest and a pinchContinue reading “Explorers 2. Sparrman”

Old Man’s SWA Memories

The ole man’s first visit to South West Africa was by train in 1939. The trip cost six pounds return. His father being a railway man, he probably got a good family-rate deal. He would have ‘entrained’ here. where Oupa worked: . . crossed all of South Africa to Upington, then passed through Keetmanshoop, RehobothContinue reading “Old Man’s SWA Memories”

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, great birder, who reached upContinue reading “A Bird Book in Brasil”

Brasil in 1988

Aitch took me to Brasil. She had done well as usual in her sales for Scherag and so off we went. First a flight to Manaus in Amazonas province, then a long drive eastward along the Amazon River towards a lake just off the river, then by ferry to a pousada on Silves Island. WeContinue reading “Brasil in 1988”

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,Continue reading “Labour of Love – Aitch”

Mkhuze Peach needs a Balaclava

Later we go on a night game drive in an open vehicle with Patrick, ‘our’ Mkhuze Ezemvelo Ranger. The three of us and a family of four from Durban. On the drive I realise that of the eight people on the vehicle I am the only one reflecting an excessive amount of moonlight from myContinue reading “Mkhuze Peach needs a Balaclava”

Take a Moment . .

. . . to actually stop and think WTF and HOW TF and holy guacomole! An oke from Pretoria who had the misfortune to be sent to Pretoria Boys Hah – and thereby dip out on a decent, co-ed, normal, non-pervy upbringing* – has just sent his car (which he happened to be involved inContinue reading “Take a Moment . .”