Mary Poppins

‘They gave us supper early. We were saying, Soon They’ll Feed Us At Three.’ I said, In this cold weather if it was me I’d say to you all at lunch: Eat Up! Your Supper’s Ready! so I could get home early. She had a good laugh at that.

‘I played the piano at supper.’ Oh, good. What did you play? ‘The piano’ she says mischievously and laughs. The she sings, ‘Lady of Spain I adore you – right from the night I first saw you … ‘

We would dance to this in the Masonic Hall. Folk dancing. Also to When Irish Eyes Are Smiling. And a Welsh dance and a Scottish reel.’

For Girl Guides I had to play a March for my piano badge. Mrs Steytler said I was playing too fast, the girls marching couldn’t keep up. Then I had to play God Save The King, we were still under the monarchy then, in the Commonwealth. And Elizabeth has gone to hospital for the first time.’

Well, she’s 93, I said, same age as you. ‘Oh, I thought she was Pat’s age, older than me, and Margaret was my age.’ I think she’s 1928, same as you, I said. While we were talking I checked. True’s Bob, Mary was right, Mrs Queen is two and half years older than her. Pat’s age. I was foolish to contradict her. What do I know about poms?

I saw her in Boksburg, you know. She was keen to get back home to the only boyfriend she ever had. Philip.’


Jessie’s Matric Dance

Ever-optimistic Aitch had asked to be kept alive till this day arrived, but it wasn’t to be. I’d been secretly dreading it as I just knew there was no way I’d be able to do all that would have been done – as in everything and OTT and more! – had the Aitch been the Field Marshal of Matric Dance Operations – as she would have been.

Then in stepped Dizzi, Heather and Gayle, GodMoms extraordinaire! A dress was hired, fittings were done, shoes were bought, jewellery and a handbag were loaned, hair extensions were commissioned,  a make-up artist came to our home, nails were painted on all four limbs. There was more, I’m sure. In fact I can’t think what else Aitch might have done – tho’ I do suspect she might just have done more!


The good ladies at school stepped in too: “Who is Jess taking to the dance?” they asked. Haven’t a clue, I replied. Well, they thought so and they have decided she is going to ask TK to accompany her, they announced, extolling his virtues and suitability. Saved by the sisterhood – again!

One male also stepped up – Bruce loaned us his silver BMW Z4 convertible. Ideal. Other than it being strictly a two-seater, so no room for the chauffeur – yours truly. That problem was solved when Surprise Shabalala put her gaggle of girls into her car and drove son TK to the dance while I drove Jess in the BM. What a lovely, bubbly family the Shabalalas are. All girls, TK is a lucky man! Now for a bit of name-dropping: TK’s late grandfather was Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo fame! Their fame in SA was always legendary, then they cut an album with Paul Simon and became world-famous! Jess did not have Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes, though. Now if Aitch had been here . . .

Jess Matric Dance (small)

At the school I started lowering the BMW Z4’s roof so we could take pictures but a loud “Dad! It’s raining! My hair!” put a stop to that.

I await the pictures from the dance. To be continued . . .

Jessie’s story:

My matric Dance was a night I will never forget!! Trent Saunders who was the photographer took all the photo’s of us and our couples.

When we arrived at the school Trent took a pic of TK and I, and the parents took pics with their child and their partners. Then the parents left and OUR MAGICAL NIGHT started YAY!!

Before we started dancing some of the grade 12s said speeches to thank the teachers for all their hard work that they did to make our night so magical and special, After their speeches our grade teacher Mrs Freeman told us what was on the menu.

The food was so delicious! Thanks to Mrs Hicks, for starters we had stuffed mushrooms, our main course was rice and chicken curry and salad ( which was so yummy! ) and for dessert we had malva pudding, ice-cream and custard, and for our drinks we had appletizers and coke. Each Grade 12 got a piece of fudge and a special glass that we could keep.

The hall was absolutely beautiful. We had two good DJ’s who played really good music they played old songs in the beginning but then they started playing music from the Now CDs.

Tokoza, Minnie and TK were the first ones on the dance floor! And then everyone started going onto the dance floor, even the teachers. Themba was a dancing machine he was hitting the floor ( literally ) and Cameron was Michael Jackson. The one song where everyone joined in was the Cha Cha slide which is a really fun dance.

The night was great fun and also a night us Grade 12s will never forget! The highlight of my night was having fun dancing with all my friends and Mrs Saunders. TK and I even had a slow dance together.

I wish we could go back to that magical night. I really loved my dress, my makeup and my beautiful hair which was all done by a very beautiful lady herself Vanessa, she also helped me pick the dress out at Cinderella’s.

And I also want to say a huge Thank you to Dizzy and Heather who helped me with everything this night would have never happened without their help!



Hip Hop Life Lessons

Entrepreneurs’ Day at school. Kids are selling samoosas, boerie rolls, sweets, cupcakes, biryani. What are you going to do, Jess?

“Me and Aik are going to give dance lessons, Dad. Hip Hop”.

OK. She made a poster, cut a CD, cleared a classroom.

And nobody showed up. I hung around, thinking Oh well, every outcome is a lesson. We learn something from everything.

Wendon Entrepreneurs (1)

Then her teacher said “Jess, you need loud music!” Jess had been waiting for her first customer before starting the music (she’s so polite, this one!).

“Dad, I need the car keys”, she shouts. Out the gate to the car and back with a CD.

Loud music and the customers rolled in. Well played, Mrs Gooding!

They made R440 profit!

Dads Know – not much

I encouraged Jess to shoot some videos with her 2011 xmas-prezzie Canon camcorder. Set it up on the tripod, showed her how and said “Go for it, girl. Get footage of Black Sambucca the lazy labrador, or birds in the birdbath. Experiment!”

Over lunch I press her: “Let’s see what you‘ve done”. Much giggling and No Dad!, but I insist on looking.

Loud sounds of International Love by girlfriend-beater Chris Brown and Pitbull, with Jess dancing joyously to the beat dressed in her hiphop best.

Dogs and birds indeed!!

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:

– setting up – 12yr-old TomTom helps –

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

– they all wore glitter or reflecting stuff – and lumo make-up –

The guys went home, and all I got left now after midnight is six girls snoring in the cottage.

Next day they were back to being kids:

– Aitch’s underwater Olympus was put to lotsa use – much posing –


. . Later, Jessie started getting to grips with her sweet sixteen gift: A scooter and scooter lessons.


Cosmoore Jenny Fyvie 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 – 🙂