The “J” of South Africa
For Jenny’s Alphabe Thursday, I am going to write my thoughts, the bits and bobs that I remember of how it was for me, during my almost fifty years spent in South Africa.
These are my ‘J’ memories, opinions and views on a time during a much loved childhood and beyond!
Joy, Johannesburg, Juluka, Jacaranda, Jeripico, Juniper, Jackass penguin, Jellyfish, Jasmine, Jelly, Jackal, Jamestown
I was just jinxed on this one! But then, ofcourse, there is always Johannesburg, although, that was covered on E, under, Egoli, city of gold. Covered!
Could Johannesburg ever be covered, all urbanised 635 sq hectares of it. We went to watch “My Fair Lady” there , a stage show in Jo’burg, my big sister and I. Back in our youth. That was a treat which lasted us for years, the thrill of it! Your knowledge and interest in a musical, once you have seen it live, seems to grow, we are still hooked on, “I could have danced all Night.”!
Later around 1964 we did see the stunning Audrey Hepburn play Eliza in the movie, My Fair Lady, in Pretoria.
July school holidays were our winter holidays and we had almost a month away from school. Remembering that I loved my schooldays, this was a long time to be cooped up at home. Especially when we lived way out of town and had to make our own entertainment.
But I have the fondest memories of rainy days, when the lounge was turned into something that resembled a bedouin camp, in the desert. Blankets were draped between the couch and the armchairs, and we ‘lived’ there till lunchtime. Our game was invented as the minutes ticked by, the morning just flew. Lunch in the July holidays was always a hot cooked dinner.
In the province of the Transvaal it is cold in winter, only warm if you can get a spot in the sunshine. It is July now in 2012, temperature reads: 8 degrees the low and 20 degrees the high, which was only mid day and then it was all down hill! When the mornings warmed up, we would spend time playing on the verandah, games like Pick up Sticks, Snakes and Ladders and Ludo. Days back then children were no bother; well I don’t think I was?
Then spring came and we headed towards summer, the Jacaranda trees would come out in full bloom. They lined the streets in Pretoria, more so than in Johannesburg. These streets are something to be a part of, as the long summer days settle in; Pretoria, with it’s ‘civil servant’ flash rain showers brought on by the heat, at 4.30 each afternoon. (called that because at exactly 4.30, the predomanently civil service offices empty their contents of employees)
Jacaranda means tree in Portuguese and was originally named in South America in 1753. It is a South American plant. And we thought they were all ours!!
It was also in Pretoria that I saw my first Jasmine flowers; a creeper cascading down the walls of a friends home. The perfume is so strong, sweet and heady on a summer day it is hard to imagine that such tiny blossoms can emit such a powerful fragrance.
And now a little cheating, I forgot to include this one in “I”, but will never forget the excitement and buzz it caused: so the Jolly Ice cream Boy! A bit of a cheat really! And ours who came regularly, certainly was jolly, and maybe lived long before this picture was taken.
Now lets go 800 miles down the country to Boulders Beach, in the Cape, near to Simonstown and Fish Hoek and visit the Jackass Penguins.
If you get to Boulders Beach early on a summer day you will be able to get yourself a spot on the beach where the public can picnic, build sandcastles and possibly even catch a wave with one of the Boulders’ most famous residents because the beach belongs to the penguins.
While we are in the Cape province and near to the vineyards of South Africa, where many award winning wines come from, why not embibe!
So lets end today with a crisp long cool glass of white wine.
To follow other alphabet letters on SA you may have missed, follow this link: