The LMJ Nostalgia Pages


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The farmhouse at Hannahdale near Greytown, in the Natal-Kwazulu Midlands. Many happy memories of weekends there and at other local farms, thanks to tolerant uncles and aunts, in those boarding school days!

My Junior School days were on the frost-free sub-tropical coast, just south of Durban, and about five minutes’ walk from home. It was an English-speaking area and in many shops one would have struggled to find an assistant who spoke Afrikaans, the other national language. The move to Senior School was a huge change: it was a boarding school, a hundred miles inland, in an area with roughly equal proportions of English and Afrikaans speakers. The school was not only bilingual, it was officially parallel-medium, with assembly in English one week and Afrikaans the next. At an altitude of about 3,500 feet, winter nights could be chilly and heavy frost was common.

University days saw me back in Durban, and even in the boarding school days there were holidays back at home, with much fishing in Durban Bay and on the Natal South Coast. Between them, these years offered some unique experiences. What modern schoolboy even knows the difference between Sailors’ Grip and Monkey Grip, let alone its significance? How does one tie an invisible knot? Watch this space.

More South Africa pages:

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The Lynx

Our boat the Imvubu and a fishing trip on Durban Bay in the early 1960s. 31/12/20.

Bangs and Flashes

Boarding school larks in South Africa in the 1950s, with an explosive theme. 6/9/20.

The Detonator

If you have an unidentified device with electrical leads, surely the obvious thing is to connect it to a battery? 1/6/20.

Growing Diamonds

Can one grow diamonds without high-tech equipment? My father claimed it could be done. 17/4/20.

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