2010 Soccer World Cup

We went to fan parks on the beachfront to watch on big screens. It happened during that outbreak of The Dreaded Plague of the Vuvuzelas – you may remember? After the tourney we went to a game at the big fat expensive white elephant Moses MaFIFA stadium – ticket prices were way down compared to […]

Sanity Break

Kids – six of them! – driving me crazy so I pack a flask of coffee, some buttermilk rusks, grab my binocs and waai. Three minutes away to the Palmiet Nature Reserve on my doorstep. Two hours later off to Pigeon Valley in town for another two hours. Palmiet is only 90ha in size and […]

Ocean Cruise 1934

I told Dad I’d taken the kids on a boat trip to Maputo and he remembered his two older Swanepoel sisters Janie and Lizzie going on a trip from Maritzburg to Durban by train then to the same city in Moçambique by ship back in 1934. The city was called Lourenco Marques back then and […]

Durban Nightlife

Nightjars are fascinating birds. One night in my first own home, Whittington Court in Marriott Road on Durban’s Berea, I heard a strange sound. It was like a small dog barking, but not quite that and I remembered from all my reading and re-reading of Roberts and Newmans bird books: Nightjar! Aitch! I shouted, a […]

McCord’s Zulu Hospital

McCord’s Zulu Hospital is a well-known institution in Durban. It was started in 1909 by Dr James B. McCord, who had studied medicine at Northwestern University in Illinois, qualifying in 1891. McCord joined the Student Volunteer Missionary Movement at Oberlin College in Ohio and there met his future wife, Margaret Mellen, who was born in […]

Ocean Cruisin’

Should’n have asked, should’n have asked, should have gone to a game reserve . . . Jess decided she wanted an ocean cruise for her eighteenth birthday. Tom was cool with that for his fourteenth birthday, so off we went. I checked with veteran cruiser Craig and booked the four night cruise to Portuguese Island […]

Bufftail Bogey Bird . .

. . nailed at last! On 2014/06/23 Crispin Hemson – Pigeon Valley Patriarch – wrote: Conditions in Pigeon Valley are very dry, giving great visibility into the undergrowth. We are suddenly seeing Buff-spotted Flufftails on the main track, or just next to it. Yesterday I saw two adults and a sub-adult. These are very unobtrusive […]

The Photographic Record

Every year Trish got a professional photographer to the kids’ parties. Me, I’m scrooge. I’ll take the pictures. I can do this! So at the kids’ uShaka Waterworld party I tried to photograph everyone. But I didn’t get one of lovely young Hannah, and she left early. I told Tom. “Doesn’t matter”, he says, “She’s […]