When we got to River Drive in 1989 we were warned it was a fertile zone and if you weren’t careful babies would start popping out all over. This was from the Lellos who had produced three offspring there; the Greenbergs, two; The Hockeys, a few, Donna was the only one around then; the Howard-and-Dofs, […]

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 my […]

On Safari with a Bushman – 1. The Decision

We’d been meaning to go for ages but, you know – procrastination. The idea of a long road trip up north is a common dream and – like many Saffers – we planned to do it ‘one day’: A “safari!” – a Swahili word meaning just plain journey. Probably originally from the Arabic سفر (safar) […]

I shoulda said Gosh! or Darn!

Jaynee J had a luxury courtesy suite at Centurion Park cricket ground and she invited us to watch a game. The Springboks / Proteas were playing someone in an international test match. 2001, so Sri Lanka, maybe. Jayne called it her ‘champagne suite’. Jayne Janetsky could POUR, and – as always – she had laid […]

Can’t Stand Prosperity

Trader Horn spoke of a fellow down-and-out in the Joburg doss house – a traveller who “made good money but couldn’t stand prosperity”. Whenever he made a commission, he’d go and get foolishly inebriated. My TomTom has a problem with prosperity. Jess will hoard her pocket money but Tom must spend his with urgency. But […]

(Adult eyes only) A Holiday Not to be Repeated

Take a 5-star hotel. Fill it to the brim: Every bed occupied – 2700 people. Add 760 staff. Then lock the doors. Lock all the exits. They call it a luxury cruise, and people queue up to go on one. They queue and they queue. Queue to get through customs; Queue to present your ticket […]

Oh Dear, What can the matter be?

Two teenagers got locked in the lavatory They were there from Monday to Saturday (well, Monday 8pm to 9pm anyway). Jess and Jordie went to the bathroom together (don’t ask – teenagers) and that was it. With Aitch-like burglar guards the window was out of the question. I tried all sorts of levering and hammering […]

Hluhluwe again

Flying ants, black rhino, wild dogs and a magic unidentified raptor. Plus impressive thunderstorms, pelting rain, dry stream beds that ended up running merrily. The Hluhluwe river changed from dry sandy bed to quite a brown torrent between Friday night and Sunday morning. I thought ‘Augur Buzzard’ as I stopped the car just outside the […]


I’m off on a four-day weekend to Ndumo, abandoning the kids. Leaving for school today Tom spots we’re alone, no-one in earshot. Gives me a big hug, leans his head against my chest, “I’m going to miss you Daddy. Don’t get hurt.” Then he looks me in the eye with a grin, “Don’t get drunk, […]

The Urgent Impatience of Youth

. . and the Wilful Slackness of Old Toppies. Soon after 16:44 yesterday Tom found me in Sportsman’s Warehouse. “Dad! Why do you wait so long before you answer me? I whatsapp you and then you take AGES before you respond!” Oh! How long about, TomTom? “Hours! Or maybe ten minutes or more.” Let’s check, […]


Grade 7 classmates Thomas Swanepoel (whose Dad’s name is Peter Swanepoel) and Francois Swanepoel (whose Dad’s name is Peter Swanepoel) have become big mates. They slander each other thick n fast and play soccer & badminton  together and braai together. Their biggest shared passion is gaming on xBox and PS3. Today there was much noise […]