Deja Bloody Vu

Can you believe it? The irresponsibility! Tom is writing exams, writes five and decides he wants to write the last three when I can invigilate. The others have been invigilated by his tutor Langelihle and another third-year student Rebecca. So we settle on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Except he arranges for Ryan to come aroundContinue reading “Deja Bloody Vu”

I Was Young and Foolish Then

Today twelve year old Tom comes home with a long face. He took his cellphone to school and was busted. School rule: The phone is confiscated for the rest of the term! I laughed like a drain – even harder when he manfully tried to smile ruefully. Tonight was Jessie’s school art exhibition and musicContinue reading “I Was Young and Foolish Then”

Hip Hop Life Lessons

Entrepreneurs’ Day at school. Kids are selling samoosas, boerie rolls, sweets, cupcakes, biryani. What are you going to do, Jess? “Me and Aik are going to give dance lessons, Dad. Hip Hop”. OK. She made a poster, cut a CD, cleared a classroom. And nobody showed up. I hung around, thinking Oh well, every outcomeContinue reading “Hip Hop Life Lessons”

Wheels and Status

Car spotting and car bragging is a (very) competitive sport at Tom’s school. Every day I hear tales of Ferraris and Range Rovers taking kids to school and the sad lament of what the isikoroskoro we drive means to his standing. We usually park far from the school (I let him walk the last fewContinue reading “Wheels and Status”


Tom’s headmaster committed suicide. At the school. He was found by a caretaker. It has rattled my two profoundly. Aitch had befriended Eugene when his wife was also suffering from cancer, and then more so when she died, about two years before Aitch died. They were in a home bible study class with the MethodistContinue reading “DamnDamnDamn”

Football Turnaround – So Glad You Could Leave!

Played football in Apache Oklahoma in ’73 for the Apache Warriors. The coaches did their best to bring this African up to speed on the rules and objectives of gridiron. We played two pre-season warm-up games followed by five league games. And lost all seven encounters! Myself I was kinda lost on the field, whatContinue reading “Football Turnaround – So Glad You Could Leave!”

A Slow Walk, My China

Way back in around 1962 Donald Coleman and I walked home from school. The Harrismith Kleinspan School. It was about a mile and we set off around 1pm. When we got home we got the “Where have you been!?” treatment. Apparently it was 5pm already and getting dark and cold. Well, we wouldn’t have knownContinue reading “A Slow Walk, My China”

Jessie “in the wars”

Just in the last couple weeks Jessie has had three trips to the dentist, a flap of loose skin in her cheek, (I have to peer inside and tut-tut) – . . slammed her finger in a drawer, needed lower back massaging and stubbed her toe. Badly. She’s loving it. Demands lots of attention fromContinue reading “Jessie “in the wars””

The Prison Lady

I went to hand over the cash we had raised after the first school swimming gala to the bursar. Livingstone school, around 2011. TomTom accompanied me. Much counting and signing and Tom showing off his swimming “medals” with Rick making all the right noises from behind the hatch at the bursar’s office. As we left,Continue reading “The Prison Lady”

Yay! Study leave! Freedom!

“Dad, I’ve got tomorrow off for study leave!  “Can we go to the Pavilion?”, says Jess, pulling my leg, rattling my cage and testing my alertness. Luckily I twig she’s revving me and I say, “SURE, dear! Let’s spend the whole day there and spend LOTS of money!’ Tom pipes up in the background: “He’sContinue reading “Yay! Study leave! Freedom!”

It’s A Dog’s (married) Life

This poster reminded me of a school lift a few years back where the kids were talking about their dogs. “Did you guys know Sambucca’s Dad is ZinZan, Luke’s dog, and her Mom is Daisy, Emily’s bitch?” I asked them about our labrador – both those kids were in the kombi. “Yes” said Luke, soundingContinue reading “It’s A Dog’s (married) Life”