Many years, five children and a new continent later – staring out into the garden of my North London rental and wondering about the friends of my youth – I thought…chocolate Marie Biscuit fudge, and attacked aunty Google with shameless desperation.Read more
"I can only tell you things that happened as I saw them, and what the rest was about only Africa knows." – Oom Schalk Lourens
By the time the shenanigans of our tale began to spiral, the night was in fact still young. It was about 1am and after a few other stops we ended up at Eastgate shopping mall. The boys had just finished a couple of trolley races and now a few of us were just sitting on the roof parking lot, shooting the breeze while listening to some of our favourite tunes (probably Linkin Park).
Time did its thing and High School sprung upon us. We exchanged the palm tree sentinels and long walk up the Derby Road driveway at Leicester Road Primary for the dark corridors and tradition-soaked bricks of Jeppe High School for Girls.
She arrived with a smile on her face, hips for Africa and the biggest, most extraordinary, summer hat on her head. My mom knew straight away. This was the lady.
We bundled in the car; excited to see some wildlife at the sanctuary down the road. No time was wasted upon our arrival—out the car and in with the animals…
It was our first trip to the Pilanesberg with our 2-year-old daughter Chloë and we were excited to introduce her to African wildlife. On our drive down, we imagined her little face… seeing a giraffe or a zebra from her story books for the first time.Read more
Mom grips my arm and looks up at me, saying in a quiet shriek (it’s possible—trust me), “Love, I can’t see out of my right lens. My eye! I must be going blind!”
We drove for a bit and I ended up taking a couple of wrong turns, taking us into that part of Hillbrow—gangsters, street vendors, addicts, prostitutes, dilapidated buildings, abandoned vehicles, trash, crime, murder, rape, pillage…that sort of stuff. We were lost.
He approached the barman and speaking in a voice laden with Welsh said, “Excuse me, where’s the toilet?” And the guy just looked at him. So, he repeated, “Excuse me, the toilet?” Nothing.
The days when seatbelts were mostly optional and families flattened the chairs in the back of the station wagon to drive from Joburg to the seaside for a holiday; luggage skilfully crammed into any nook and cranny. Now it’s all seatbelts and car seats until you’re 12. To keep us alive, of course.