Just gave myself a DIY haircut with the buzzing razor, bending over and doing it by feel.

My last one was at Ngcolisi’s place Nwelezelanga (‘sunlight hair’) downstairs, sent there by order of the ladies at work who had been hinting for months.

A strapping young oke looked at me once I was in the chair (no namby pamby wash beforehand, what do the others think – I didn’t shower and shampoo that morning?) and said ‘Number One?’

He’d mistaken me for Msholozi!! Amazing.

Actually I realised what he meant when he approached me with those razor things that I use myself – for free – at home. I’m used to scissors when I’m paying.

You got a Number Four? I asked.

‘Sure’ he said and proceeded to spend AGES going over and over my head tearing at the roots slightly every now and then, but I’d left it so long that I was just happy it was being shortened. He fussed over it and trimmed here and there and then eventually let me go.

Fifty Ront. My kind of no-fuss, no wash haircut. And no yakking. He said a total of three words to me: “Number One?” and “Sure“.

But too long. I decided then that my next one would be just me and the machine, bending over, alone at home. Save fifty bucks and time.


I’ve seen expensive hairstylists before – in days gone by.


Later: Back when we wrote about haircuts I said:
My next one is going to be just me and the machine, bending over, alone at home. Fuck paying R50.

I’ve just finished (lo-ong overdue!) and I think I now know how the mullet was born. It’s quite hard to reach the middle at the back, so I have a suspicion (unconfirmed, can’t see) that my hair there is quite a bit longer than the rest of the 6mm setting of the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz razor.

But 50 Ront in the bank is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick . . . as my mate Doug Retief would say.


R.I.P Neil ::: 1925 – 2013 – Trish’s Daddy

Neil Humphrey 1925 - 2013 - Much loved Daddy of his twin girls Trish & Janet !!
Neil and his girls – Trish & Janet

On Sunday, July 14, 2013, pete wrote: Trish’s dear old Dad Neil shuffled off quietly yesterday. As always no fuss. Made sure the family knew “No funeral, no memorial service, no nothing,” before he went.

Broke his hip two weeks ago and although he got wonderful treatment at the Prince Mshiyeni state hospital and the pinning of the bone went well, with no infection and no pain, he was just shy of his 88th birthday and only managed to sit up twice, with much help from daughter Janet and the physio. He never got back onto his feet.

He was a wonderful fella, always helpful, obliging and useful. Whenever I was lax on the home-improvement front (um, that would be ‘always’) Aitch would very pointedly, with an evil grin say “MY Daddy would have fixed that LONG ago” or if I said “That’s vaktap, irreparable,” she’d retort “Don’t worry, I’ll take it to my Dad – HE’ll fix it. He can fix ANYTHING!” Teased the hell out of me, that woman.

And Neil accepted our kids unconditionally. Simply flung open his arms and got on with the job of being Gompa Neil to Jess and Tommy. His usual fine, unfussed, can-do approach to life.


Irrepressible sense of humour, when someone was “gaan’ing aan” too much Neil would show ironic “sympathy” by playing a mournful air violin! He always looked on the bright side, but was running out of joy the last two years, what with being completely blind, missing his one daughter and his other daughter being far away.

He would say to me “I really MISS Trishy so much!” Twin daughter Janet has been a star to him these last two years – and the last two weeks even more so. She’ll sure miss the hell out of him now, as will her Mom Iona, who Neil doted on, cooked for, looked after, pandered to.

Humphrey Toti