Victor Simmonds, Artist

Dad: “Victor Simmonds was a lovely chap and a very good artist. He was a little man, grey, a lot older than me. What? How old? Well, I was probably 35 then and he was grey. He was probably 50. He lodged with Ruth Wright on the plot next door to ours, Glen Khyber. I […]

Workshop Swansong. Wait, a Curtain Call

Its ongoing. There’s even less stuff there, but some stuff is going to have to be pried from his tight reluctant fingers, maybe? The awl and the hand drill brace were Oupa’s in Boom street in PMB. The screwdriver and needle-nose pliers on the right were issued to Dad by the General Post Office when […]

Old Man’s SWA Memories

The ole man’s first visit to South West Africa was by train in 1939. The trip cost six pounds return. His father being a railway man, he probably got a good family-rate deal. He would have ‘entrained’ here. where Oupa worked: . . crossed all of South Africa to Upington, then passed through Keetmanshoop, Rehoboth […]

Duelling Banjous

As we left Mother Mary today – at the Retirement Village, not the old-aged home, says Dad; He used to call them old aged homes and be very anti but now suddenly they’re OK and they’re retirement villages cos he has just made an offer on a cottage there, deciding at age 96 that it […]

16 Ivy Road

Mom was on furlough from the home – Azalea Gardens. Sheila fetched her and Barbara, Linda, Tholo and the two terrors Mary-Kate and Dawie and I joined them at 16 Ivy Road in Lincoln Meade, Pietermaritzburg. What a lovely day – a great lunch, fun with the kids and ending with a surprise: ancient movies […]

Is This A Chisel?

So the old man buys 24 pfeil carving chisels from a fellow woodworker for R500. He already has carving chisels, but this is a bargain he can’t resist. He’s fully aware of the value of pfeils – “the best in the business”. His mate probably wasn’t!? He makes a box for them, adding value: They […]

Umvoti Villa Xmas

Went to the farm for boxing day as ninety-year-old Mom had suffered three or four TIA’s starting early xmas morning. Very distressing. Couldn’t remember if she’d had xmas or not and could not at all remember opening pressies with the great grandkids. She recovered well and was fine later, but weak – and often worried […]

The Forgotten War in Italy – 1944

Dad talking about the Second World War. He was with the Eighth Army who landed in Italy in 1943 and worked their way up the East coast, the Adriatic Coast. The more famous battle was up the West Coast, the Mediterranean coast, so the advance upĀ  the East coast was called “The Forgotten War”. Here […]