Lockdown Lookback -1

An old post from my pre-marriage blog vrystaatconfessions.com My first recollections are of life on the plot outside Harrismith, playing with Enoch and Casaia, childhood companions, kids of Lena Mazibuko, who looked after us as Mom and Dad worked in town. I remember Lena as kind and loving – and strict! The plot was wasContinue reading “Lockdown Lookback -1”

Bain of Harrismith

My granny Annie had an older brother Ginger. He was the oldest of the seven Royal Bains and a great sportsman. They owned the Royal Hotel and were not to be confused with the Central Bains, who owned the Central Hotel! This old report was reprinted in the 1997 Hilton vs Michaelhouse sports day brochure: Continue reading “Bain of Harrismith”

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”

Holy Harrismith 2

Harrismith had the biggest influx of people in its history recently. Well, that would be my guess. I don’t think even the Rhino Rally ever brought in THIS amount of people! I mean those rowwe hard-drinking okes fit a maximum of two people on their vehicles . . . . . whereas I would guessContinue reading “Holy Harrismith 2”

Holy Harrismith 1

An Israeli city tired of being confused with Nazareth, the iconic city next door where Christians believe Jesus was raised, is hoping to change its name, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. Just three kilometres and a ten minute drive separate Nazareth Illit from its famous neighbour. “Oy Vey! Residents kvetsch they’ve had enough of people, includingContinue reading “Holy Harrismith 1”

A Royal Stir (rup)

During the Royal visit to South Africa in 1947 – this was the royal family from that small country called England, not the Zulu Royal Family or anything – there was great excitement! A special train was built, medals were struck and prime ministerships were lost – although Onse Jannie Smuts didn’t know yet thatContinue reading “A Royal Stir (rup)”

Build-A-Boat

When we grew up outside Harrismith ca 1959 we couldn’t use the lounge. The lounge was filled edge-to-edge by an upside-down speedboat. The old man built his first speedboat in this lounge, shown below many decades later: Younger sis Sheila, in the picture with Mom & Dad, says he also built that fireplace. Then, afterContinue reading “Build-A-Boat”

Possible Lost Opportunity

In the shadow of old Platberg this weekend I sat down to lunch with an array of superb swimmers at my table. On my right was Sonja du Plessis, Top Ten swimmer; and on my right was Lyn du Plessis, Top Ten swimmer; and on my right was Pierre du Plessis, Top Ten swimmer. AndContinue reading “Possible Lost Opportunity”

Mom Mary & Jo Onderstall

When her great friend Joey de Beer – later Jo Onderstall, author and talented botanist in Nelspruit – the Lowveld Botanic Gardens – heard Mom had decided to go nursing after matric back in the late 1940’s she said in her forthright way: “What a waste of a good brain!” She was so right! MomContinue reading “Mom Mary & Jo Onderstall”

Long Lost Letter

Donald Coleman was my good mate and older side-kick in Harrismith up to around 1964. He died in a car crash (alone in the car) around 1975 (I have no detail of what exactly happened). In around 2011 or 2012 I found a letter on the floor of my garage at 10 Elston Place. ItContinue reading “Long Lost Letter”

High as a Kite (if you want to . . )

Faster than light (if you want to . . ) – Moody Blues “Best Way To Travel” I’ve always wanted to fly. Who hasn’t? But I dislike noise, so while my first flight in a light aeroplane (I think with an Odendaal or a Wessels piloting it?) was great, and my first flight across theContinue reading “High as a Kite (if you want to . . )”