Carnivorous Salad Dodger

21 Dec 2014: Dad! The supper last night was the BEST! says my off-ritalin TomTom breathlessly. The Xmas ham was SO good, and the steak was great, and the roast chicken was tasty, Dad!! I had some of everything except salad, he says proudly. My salad-dodger hates it when his appetite is suppressed by the muti. The meal was Michelle & Craig’s slap-up pre-Xmas supper to which we’d been invited.

The next day Tom bought two hams, one roast chicken, bacon and a huge matured rump steak. I made sure only the bacon and steak were raw. Tomorrow is Xmas and we are going to be cavemen! Oh, he also got some Haagen Das ice cream . .

Xmas 2014 Jess selfie

Xmas day:

I picked Tobias’ cabbage and spinach fresh from the garden, boiled it with onions, then drained and added olive oil and simmered and braised with garlic, salt and barbecue spices. Served with big knobs of butter. They gobbled it up after the usual wrinkle-nosed high-pitched HMMMM!? Tom reserves for anything “dodge”. I had to add a green just in case Aitch does peek down from the clouds. Wouldn’t want to get into trouble . . .


Actually, we have one vegetarian meal a week. If I have my way its putu, mfino & speckled beans. Wonderful stuff. The kids love it, but feel obliged to rev me throughout: “WHAT!? No meat!!? Are we too poor, Dad? This is dodge, Dad! Kinda homeless, Dad! etc etc .” Little shits.


Dad, I can’t vacuum!

Vacuum clean your room, please Jess. 16yr-old Jess. 2014.
On goes the whine, to be switched off ten seconds later.
Stomp, stomp, a delegation to come and see me:
“Dad, I can’t vacuum!”
Why not, Jess?
“Cos I can’t hear my music!”

She watches my jaw drop, grins triumphantly and marches back to continue the vacuuming.
Mission accomplished: SERVED my Dad!!

Oh, wise counsellor . .

I try and teach the kids about waste, litter, environmental awareness etc. As I start talking they don’t look at me. They look at each other with THAT look, then swivel their eyes on me in unison, put on a polite “Yes, you were saying?” look on their dials, switch off their ears and nod and say “Mmm” “Mmm?” until they see my lips stop moving. Then they’ll ‘innocently’ ask something deliberately unkosher like “Can we get a cat?”. Lil bastids.

Kids at Mtunzini cottage

Urgent phone call at work

I’ve left the kids alone at home, so when an urgent call comes I take it.
It’s Tom.
Dad! We need to get a lamb roast and rosemary and garlic and small-cut vegetables to roast. It’s a slow roast and we don’t have any rice or lamb stock in the pantry!
OK Tom, we’ll do that.
He’s been watching a cooking show on the box.


Janet Humphrey wrote:
I Love it !
Question is – did he do it?

Oh, yes. The girls (Jess plus 2 visitors Sat night) had fish n chips take-away and Tom made a lamb shank each for the boys (me and him). Delish. I had the last of mine (and Jon & Dizzi had a piece) last night.

He did clean forget to roast the veges, mind you!


Back to School for Mars & Venus


Please drop me off and don’t get out the car, Dad.
Hugs, fist-bumps, “Love you Dad” all done and said safely BEFORE we get there.
Mouths a silent “Love you” again as he walks off into purgatory.


Please can you come in with me Dad?
Gives me a big hug in her classroom in front of her teacher; gets me to walk her onto the playground where her mates give her a big hello.


Reality Show

I did my five-yearly drivers’ licence renewal. Its a good thing when you think the last time I did it I was an irresponsible 52yr-old. In and out in just under an hour, and all the people pretty pleasant or neutral, so no sweat. The only problem arose when I looked at my form after I’d coughed the R250.

They gave me 6/9 vision (AELOHCT – there, I’m 6/6, dammit), and put a Check-Your-Mate photo of some old bald bastard with jowels and three chins on it! He looks like a bloody FreeState farmer caught in the headlights.

Still, I’m not going back. I’ll just keep it.

I Sold My Kombi Roofrack

Didn’t think I ever would, but I have the trailer now.

“Tell me a story and get a discount” I said in my ad on

“I’m going hunting in Namibia said the man in Cape Town – and it’s going to cost me courier fees”.

He got R1000 off! Paid only R4000 – Whattabargain!

Small pic for gumtree ad (184kb)

Especially as I was selling memories:

On the roofrack. Camping is FUN, Mum!

Cape Vidal

SibayaMabibi Apr 2003 (3)

Lake Sibaya

Midmar (2)

Midmar Dam

MalawiWithKids Kombi Baobab-001


Aitch always had diversions - here it's big chalk to decorate the spare wheels


Mfolosi Again

Friday, December 20, 2013, pete swanepoel wrote:

Went back to Mfolosi today. Kids were mad keen, especially Jess. Determined to see a lion.

So we did. A lovely big male. I thought that’ll keep her quiet for a while. Only to find out later that dear old silent-one Jess couldn’t see it from back in the canopy where she and her friend Sindi were snugly seated – at their request. But – being Jess – she didn’t say anything at the time!! There was a car blocking her view and she didn’t say a word! Had a quiet drizz in my arms at the picnic spot afterwards! Ai! Die Kinders! (Tom would have raised hell if HE couldn’t see it). I’m amazed Sindi didn’t say something. She’s not usually shy.

To my embarrassment I notice I took 44 pics – and not one of the kids.

Mfolozi Thurs-004

Steve wrote: Haai. Next trip make sure Jess is in the front seat and has charge of the binoculars!

Me: My Jessie had choice of seat, being the oldest, and has her own binoculars. All she needed to do was squawk and we could have edged forward by a metre or so but she froze. As she does. The good thing is now we’ll have to go back!

It gets hot but nothing Sahara. I don’t use aircon in the bush. We drove north in October, which the Zims call suicide month, without once switching the aircon on. All windows down is all. When it gets too stinking hot wet towels work amazingly well.

My godson Gary Hill worked as a ranger at Mala Mala for a couple years. Also had a ball, took lots of pics and ran their blog. Loved it, but has moved on. They pay shit and prospects are few, so after a while its comes time to move on.
Find his swansong here:

Brauer wrote: Lyin’ and dandelion??

Surely they don’t qualify as communities. (The kids had said ‘Dad! Don’t stop here!’ I asked why not. ‘Too many “communities” Dad!’ What?! Look at the “communities,” Dad!’ they said, pointing at the local people. I shook my head and asked them when they last looked in a mirror!!! Pests!).

“WE sang rap”?? Must have been THEY and then the old toppie serenading them with a bit of Mama Mia accompanied by eyerolling.

Me: Hey, WE sing: 

I woke up in a noo Bughatti

I woke up in a noo Bughatti

I woke up in a noo Bughatti

I woke up in a noo Bughatti

I woke up in a noo Bughatti

I woke up in a noo Bughatti


My nigger, bad nigger , my nig nig nigger
My nigger, bad nigger , my nig nig nigger
My nigger, bad nigger , my nig nig nigger
My nigger, bad nigger , my nig nig nigger
My nigger, bad nigger , my nig nig nigger

I gonna PICK the world up and gonna drop it on yo fuckin head

What? You don’t know the classics?

Mfolozi Thurs


PS: Later Jess told me she HAD seen the lion but just not as well as she’d have liked to!

PPS: My favourite sighting was the meadows full of flowers. They were amazing!

– Mfolosi Meadow – the grass was teeming with flowers! –


Pics of my self-styled “NOT communities” on other trips:

Hlu Feb'14 (52)
Hlu Feb'14 (68)


Lion spark

Let’s go to the lion park, Dad, I’ve never seen lions!
This is Jess. I remind her that she has, actually, in Zambia – but she was little – five years old, 2003. I must show her the pics in South Luangwa Park.

They’re in hard bargaining mode, as we’re on our way to my folks’ place in PMB. It’s my ole man’s 91st birthday lunch, which is why I’m dragging them to Sleepy Hollow. It’s not their best place to visit, so I agree: Behave sociably and we can go to the lion park after lunch. OK?

By the time we get to the “Lion Park” it’s closed, but we can “see the lions only”. Same price, one hundred Saffrican Ront. I decide stuffit, let’s rather do this properly. “Stuff these lions” I announce, “We’re going to Mfolosi game reserve for the day tomorrow”. “Let’s go and see if we can spot some real lions”.

We left at 6:00am sharp and were in the park at 8:40am, already paid and entered, R240 for the five of us and the car for the day.

We had a ball. The kids were expert spotters, we saw lots & lots of eles, rhino, buff, giraffe, nyala, impala, bushbuck, wilderbeasts, wartpigs ensovoorts. – And a clear sighting of a gorgeous bush shrike!!

Mfolosi (45)


Mfolosi 2013 Dec Sunday

We sang rap and Mama Mia all the way there and back. And we laughed! These brats have decided they don’t like mixing with too many communities. Especially in crowds. Used to be bantu, then plurals, anderskleuriges, euphemisms, etc. Now its communities.

“Don’t stop here, Dad” as we drive through a village, “there are too many communities here”. I threaten to buy them each a mirror so they can check their mahogany brown selves whenever they think of such nonsense, but they just hose themselves at me.

They must have introspected a bit, though, because at lunch at the picnic spot they announce: “Hey we’re the only communities here!” To shine them up I made them do a spot of community tribal dancing in a tree.

The communities doing a tribal dance
– the communities climb a tree – Jess & Minenhle –

Mfolosi (16)

And of course the two 12yr olds Tom & Lungelo couldn’t miss the opportunity to disgust the teenage girls by letting rip on the way back, causing a hasty winding down of windows and heads hanging out for fresh air till the green fumes could waft away.

So the lion park sparked a search for ‘real’ lions.

We didn’t see a lion this visit, but I heard a whole lotta lyin’.


Saffrican Ront – South African Rand; worth anywhere from 70 US cents (1973) to 15 US dollars (2015)! Depends when you ask;

ensovoorts – etc.


Jess Sweet Sixteen

So we’ve survived Jessie’s Sweet Sixteen party. The wild breakout and breakaway is yet to come. They had an innocent ball. Tom helped get the place ready:

No sex, no drugs, not even any rock’nroll. I didn’t even smell cigarettes!
Swimming, sweets and hiphop & rap instead. Mainly hip hop. With lumo lights:

All I got left now after midnight is six girls snoring in the cottage.

Next day they were back to being kids:


. . with Jess getting to grips with her gift:


Cosmoore wrote:

So divine; looks like they had a lot of fun. The way it should be! Enjoy the sweet sixteen while it lasts. Was Tommy banished?


Yep, Tom went off to a friend’s place – better! Twelve and sixteen don’t really mix well on occasions like this.


Die Donkie is n Wonderlike Ding

I was going too fast, but we were late and I could see miles ahead along the sweeping roads on the hillsides of Lesotho. A speck of dust would show up then disappear as we rounded a hill, then reappear later a bit nearer, but still far away. Eventually a car would materialise, turn into a white bakkie and sweep past in a cloud of dust.

We were hastening to get to Sani Top after entering Lesotho near Ficksburg, and zooming over Khatse Dam after waiting a while for the brakes to cool so they’d work again after too much sight-seeing braking down the steep decline to the dam. Little Jessie and Tom strapped in the back and me and Aitch in front. The Dizzis were waiting for us and Aitch hates keeping anyone waiting and especially the Dizzis, so I was putting foot, it’s true.

As I rounded one more bend at dusk my eyes widened and the donkey’s eyes widened much more. Huge, in fact as he stared at his impending doom. The look in his eyes was quite fatalistic, and he was rooted to the spot, massive bundle of sticks and bushes loaded on his back and sticking out more than his body width on both sides. On the left a high bank, on the right a cliff plummeting down to the river valley far below. Swerving was out of the question, as was hard braking, so I manual-ABS’d, slowing down as much as I could without endangering us.

As we hit the poor ass I probably closed my eyes. WHACK! A sickening bang. Dead, I’m sure. Kombi messed up. I stopped and hopped out thinking: You don’t stop and get out. For safety you keep moving. Like hell.


I walked into a wall of cussing and swearing and remonstrating in high seSotho. What the hell did I think I was doing and Who the hell was going to pay and Where the hell was I headed in such a hurry and How the hell was he going to . . . I hardly heard him. I was staring past him at the donkey walking away minus its load, seemingly none the worse for wear! I was so relieved I actually giggled and had to bite my lip.

I immediately launched into a sincere and abject apology oft-repeated and completely ignored. I apologised for speeding, endangering, carelessness, being younger than him, and for breathing. I was sorry that he’d have to catch his donkey and I regretted that he’d have to do all the loading all over again. I was getting nowhere and the tirade was warming up and getting more creative. I saw I wasn’t getting through, so I returned to the kombi and fetched R200 and pressed it into my fully-justified tormentor’s hand.

It was like switching off a radio. He was COMPLETELY satisfied and what were we talking about a minute ago again? A last apology and off we went. We still had a long way to go. Phew!

– near Sani Top in earlier days –

There was a sequel the next morning as we headed back into Lesotho on the same road. There was my man again, so I gave him a cheery wave. He was with a mate and he pointed at us jabbering away, grinning excitedly. We had fun imagining what he was saying. All complimentary, we agreed.


Mini-Shova 2013

This time Minenhle joined us, using Gayle Adlam’s mountain bike.

Sheils took us to the start again, in our bakkie, then drove it to her home, which is near the finish line.  The night before we had been to the rugby Sharks vs WP and got soaked – Cold and rainy, but the cycling day dawned warm and dry.

Minnie and Jess trundled along, chatting away and eye-ing out the male talent en route.
For the first time, Tom put his head down and pedaled off with intent. I caught him twice, then waited for Jess near Cowies Hill. Never saw him again. Rode the rest alone. At the finish he came up proudly boasting “Blew your doors off, Dad. Beat Jess by MILES!”

Jess & Min took quite a while longer.

Subway sarmies afterwards; then we rode and pushed steep uphills to Sheila’s flat.

Drove home in the bakkie for a hot bath.