Our Cul de Sac

What an interesting cul de sac is Elston Place. Sure there are five boring houses with abelungu in them, and one high-wall complex called Maroela or Marula something with faceless people living in it who don’t know that if you live in a ten-gate dead end you GREET everyone who lives there . . orContinue reading “Our Cul de Sac”

Sheffield Beach Tribal Gathering

When I found them they were huddled together like Vaalies on a beach. Oh, wait! They WERE Vaalies on a beach. I should have taken a picture of Brauer’s beach outfit: A double-padded fluffy anorak. Sort of a Tshwane Tshpeedo. And a hoed. We soon scurried off the dreaded sand in search of lunch. InContinue reading “Sheffield Beach Tribal Gathering”

Fecundity

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,Continue reading “Fecundity”

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 myContinue reading “Mkhuze Peach needs a Balaclava”

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)Continue reading “On Safari with a Bushman – 1. The Decision”

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 didn’t call it a courtesy suite; she called it her ‘champagne suite’. Jayne Janetsky could POUR, andContinue reading “I shoulda said Gosh! or Darn!”

Islamic Fundamentals

When Aitch died it was two Muslim Moms that stepped forward and calmly and without fuss saved my butt. They re-organised their lift club to include me and kept me informed of what was happening at school. I did the morning ‘deliver’ school run every third week, while they shared the afternoon ‘fetch’ school runContinue reading “Islamic Fundamentals”

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. ButContinue reading “Can’t Stand Prosperity”

Did You Got a Licence?

Dad, asks TomTom, When does this licence expire? We’re sitting outside a nightclub at 11pm and he’s asking while we’re waiting for the last of the boys so we take home all eleven that we brought (yes, ELEVEN). Dunno, let’s check, I say. I know he’s interested as we were once bust in Lesotho forContinue reading “Did You Got a Licence?”

(Adult eyes only) A Holiday Not to be Repeated

The recipe: 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 to go on one. They queue and they queue. Queue to get through customs; Queue to present yourContinue reading “(Adult eyes only) A Holiday Not to be Repeated”

Oh Dear, What Can The Matter Be?

Two Teenagers Got Locked In The Lavatory They Were There From Monday to Saturdee (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 hammeringContinue reading “Oh Dear, What Can The Matter Be?”

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 theContinue reading “Hluhluwe again”

Softie

I’m off on a four-day weekend to Ndumo, abandoning the kids. Charles and Barbara Mason have very kindly invited me on their regular annual trip. 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 getContinue reading “Softie”

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,Continue reading “The Urgent Impatience of Youth”