What a Lady

We were so lucky when we started fostering kids that Anna Kiza Cele was with us. She taught us which end to wipe and which end to feed. I’m sure she must have done some private eye-rolls at what we didn’t know! Here she is with her big mate Aitch, plotting against poor me: ThisContinue reading “What a Lady”

TIMBER!! and a Funeral Pyre

For fifteen years I’ve been warning those Aussies that their time will come. Well, it came. Don’s Tree Felling moved in (onto my neighbour’s property, conveniently for me) and did away with six big Bauhinia trees, the Australian camelfoot – Bauhinia variegata, I think. Don had dropped the biggest, oldest, leaning-est one a few yearsContinue reading “TIMBER!! and a Funeral Pyre”

How To Cook

(I might write a book) Open your wine; make sure its enough; check the label; must be a good wine, not a great wine, but a good wine – 13% minimum; 14% is obviously better. Always cook with red wine, taking care not to get any on the food. Peel and cut a potato intoContinue reading “How To Cook”

But – What’s Wrong . . ?

We had to revamp our kitchen in our first home in River Drive – a mere eleven years after buying the joint! I protested, But What’s Wrong With The Kitchen As It Is? I got batted aside with an eye roll. She rolled her eyes so hard she saw the back part of her cranium:Continue reading “But – What’s Wrong . . ?”

Roof Inspection Makeover

What started out as a routine roof inspection has morphed into a general sprucing up at 10 Elston Place. Geoffrey Caruth esq. came over and made some suggestions and we ended up deciding to fix the roof, bargeboards and fascia boards and paint them; fix the windows and paint; replace the old gutters with aluminiumContinue reading “Roof Inspection Makeover”

Fab Five Reunion

Larry visited from Ohio back in 1996, so we arranged to meet up as the Old Fab Five musketeers down in Cape Town, where Steph and Tuffy were living. He had been Harrismith’s Rotary exchange student back in 1969 and had returned to South Africa twice before – once in 1976, down through Africa fromContinue reading “Fab Five Reunion”

Storm in a Shopping Trolley

Just yesterday I was dispensing my best Calm The Fuck Down advice to a friend, and today TomTom and I have a big fat fight! He went shopping, wheeled the trolley home (knows he’s not meant to) down a steep footpath under the big fig tree and tipped the trolley. ’30 eggs broken and theContinue reading “Storm in a Shopping Trolley”

California Honeymoon

First job in California is to get into the nearest cheap motel and start the search for a Ford Econoline Camper! We’re going to drive our own home for a week! Of course, I’ll do the sums. I’m not irresponsible. It’ll have to be reasonable . . . Those days you still used telephone directories,Continue reading “California Honeymoon”

Childless Cathedral

Aitch needed a break and Barbara Jeff, LindiLou and Robbie agreed to have the kids on their Umvoti Villa farm. So off we went to a luxury stay in the Cathedral Peak Hotel. The breast cancer had spread to liver and bones and the treatments she opted for were severe. Here was a break fromContinue reading “Childless Cathedral”

Cousin Liz

We are ten cousins from the four children of Ouma Elizabeth and Oupa Paul Fouche Swanepoel of Pietermaritzburg. Our cousin Liz Grundling-Fortmann in Camperdown passed away in 2018 and a gathering of family and friends took place in Camperdown where Liz lived most of her life, to salute a special lady. Afterwards, I wrote toContinue reading “Cousin Liz”

Mow a Meadow

One Man Went to Mow Went to Mow a Meadow . . . Usually Tobias Gumede mows, but he’s in lockdown in Jozini, so the amateur had to do it. And there were repercussions . . . . . The next week TomTom voluteered to mow! Yes! I shouted! ‘For money, of course’ he added.Continue reading “Mow a Meadow”

A Vrystaat Shepherd’s Cottage

Shepherds’ cottages in Lesotho are often quite primitive affairs, used itinerantly as their flocks graze in that area; then moving on to pastures new, where – especially in winter – a new shelter may be built, or an old one re-roofed with available grass or shrubs. We enjoyed their hospitality there when we went upContinue reading “A Vrystaat Shepherd’s Cottage”

Phinda

Aitch thought she’d do nursing after school; very soon found out that wasn’t her, so she tried blood confusion. Well, that’s what I would say and she’d correct me: ‘Transfusion, Koos!’ Bit better, but then she discovered cardiovascular perfusion. Now that she regarded as a career! She loved it. About ten years later she leftContinue reading “Phinda”

The Red-Faced Barbet

Aitch used to look at these Two-Puddly birds and say ‘Why Black-collared Barbet? they should be called Red-faced Barbet!’ There’s probably already a red-faced, I said; and I don’t know why I didn’t go looking then. I suppose life happened. Listen: Here’s why we called ours ‘Two-Puddly’ (old man Geoff Leslie used to call themContinue reading “The Red-Faced Barbet”

Glorious Self Isolation

So I’m at home in self isolation. It’s like I’m underwater in a diving suit, ‘cept this suit is full of holes. The holes being my kids and their friends and their gregarious, roving ways. Yes, Dad, they say earnestly after getting my full explanation of what gives, having gazed deep into my eyes, noddingContinue reading “Glorious Self Isolation”