For Jenny’s Alphabe Thursday, I am going to write my thoughts on bits and bobs that I remember and how it was for me, during my almost fifty years spent in South Africa.
These are my ‘C’ memories, opinions and views on a time during a much loved childhood and beyond!
Come and join me on a colourful tour of: cats, camping, copper, cheetahs, citrus, cycles, cattle,chameleons and song: Crazy Life!
Oh yes, I’ve been there, we went to Cape Town, I hear this said often. And so did every sailor who passed by the tip of Africa on his way to the far east so many hundreds of years ago, often dying of scurvy. Until Jan van Riebeeck on the Drommedaris, was sent by the Dutch East India Company to grow a vegetable garden in 1652. He began the building of the fort too, which still stands.
But Cape Town, known as the mother city, isn’t South Africa !! South Africa stretches, 814 miles north, to Pretoria, the capital and another 400 more to the northern border; 792 miles NE, to Durban, with Port Elizabeth, a little way along the coast, 412 miles to the east on the garden route. Each corner has beauty of it’s own.
As have the many cats to be found across the length and breadth of the country. Not least of all the cheetah.
I remember the years of hand crafted copper ornaments? My collection took pride of place on large window ledges or near the fire place. Copper has been mined in SA for yonks!
This was an era of yellows, browns and oranges. Today copper fetches a great price as a metal to recycle, which leads to the theft of pipes and wires; a long way from the pretty ornaments in the picture.
Talking yellows and oranges brings me to the wonderful citrus farming in SA.
During our July school holidays, which was mid -winter; sucking an orange a day was a great comfort when there were no sweets in the house, and the closest shop a half hour walk away. We would make a hole through the skin and suck the juice all afternoon, that way it lasted longer.
There was a shop closer to us, an African trading store along the great north road to Rhodesia, but we, as children were warned by my parents not to go into it. This is something similar to what I remember that old trading store to look like.
A quote from a previous blog: “York Store was banned.We would have walked past York Store, an African Trading store, where the little black picaninies danced on the verandah to the sound of Quela music. If Charlotte could be sworn to secrecy, I would have gone in and bought us a penny’s worth of Wilson’s toffees to chew along the way.
Yes it was a crazy old life!
Now that we are talking music, I loved the music that Paul Simon put together with our South African band, Ladysmith Black Mombasa with Joseph Shabalala in 1985.
Crazy Life from the album Gracelands click link below.
If you would like to catch up on the other letters A and B, here are the links below.