Careful Where You Step!

Recording and reminiscing; with occasional bokdrols of wisdom. Possibly. Random, un-chronological memories after marriage, children and sundry other catastrophes. My pre-marriage blog is vrystaatconfessions.com. Bachelorhood! Beer! River trips! Beer! bokdrols – like pearls, but handle with care

St Aubyn Court

A new tenant just moved in – some renovations were asked for and some will get done. I thought now that we’re taking photos and tidying up I better prepare for when I’ll be letting the flat myself, without a letting agent. Here’s my sales pitch: Lovely old-time building; Well-maintained; Big rooms; High ceilings; TwoContinue reading “St Aubyn Court”

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”

Old Lilani Spa

On our first visit, with Bruce and Heather Soutar, the remains of the old hotel were still there. You walked into the foyer under a roof, the reception counter awaited you; But you soon walked out into the sunshine, as it was just a remnant of roof and a built-in counter with nothing behind it,Continue reading “Old Lilani Spa”

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”

I’m beginning to suspect . .

. . that Soutar was sold a story which he swallowed as he swallowed the fourth free sample they gave him in Ballito. I don’t think this whisky: . . is made in KwaZulu Natal. Reason being they also make Cape Gins and they talk of Cape florals n shit. But Soutar roared back: TheyContinue reading “I’m beginning to suspect . .”

Explorers 7. Wahlberg

Johan August Wahlberg (1810 – 1856) was another Swedish naturalist and explorer. He traveled in southern Africa between 1838 and 1856, especially in Natal and South West Africa, sending thousands of natural history specimens back to Sweden. The journals of his travels are generally brief and objective (and I haven’t been able to find themContinue reading “Explorers 7. Wahlberg”

Explorers 6. Delegorgue

Louis Adulphe Joseph Delegorgue (1814-1850) – French hunter, naturalist, collector and author, was orphaned at the age of four and brought up in the home of his grandfather at Douai, where he largely educated himself and was introduced to natural history. Though he had inherited enough to be well provided for, Delegorgue joined the merchantContinue reading “Explorers 6. Delegorgue”

Hella Botanising

Barry Porter and Aitch got on famously and spent many a happy hour ‘botanising’ on Game Valley Estates (GVE), Barry and Lyn’s game farm in the Umkomaas river valley. GVE encompassed a lovely tract of land on both banks of the river valley below the Hella Hella kop, and a beautiful, special, rare patch ofContinue reading “Hella Botanising”

Floods in KwaZulu Natal 1987

September 1987 floods Between 28 and 30 September 1987, the central and southern part of Natal were ravaged by floods that were amongst the most devastating to have occurred in South Africa. The main cause was an intense “cut-off” low pressure system off-shore which co-incided with a Spring high tide. Destruction of property was catastrophic,Continue reading “Floods in KwaZulu Natal 1987”

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 inContinue reading “McCord’s Zulu Hospital”

Photographing Giraffe

Photogiraffing? It’s hard to photograph giraffe in Ithala Game Reserve when you have a Jack-in-the-Box popping up in the jeep right in front of your lens every time you’re ready to depress the shutter. And then the laughter gives camera shake.