Featuring stories and writings from our communities of Fish Hoek, Muizenberg, Simon’s Town, Kalk Bay, St James, Kommetjie, Noordhoek, Ocean View, Masiphumelele, Glencairn and Clovelly
Granny remembers: a visit to Fish Hoek in about 1928
The drive from “Treama” Belvedere Rd, Oranjezicht to Fish Hoek was like an expedition into the country, but to my sister Stella and me it was so exciting, as we bounced up and down on the back seat of the erect Buik- our Father’s precious possession. There were no seat belts and the backseat was our playpen. The baby Hazel was safe in my mother’s arms.
We sped past horse- and donkey-drawn carts and a growing number of cars, all driving at what seemed to be a maximum speed of 30miles an hour and indicating the direction they wanted to go by handsignals from the driver’s seat.
The road had a gravel surface and from Muizenberg to Kalk Bay ran between dwellings and the railway line in the same position as it is today.
After a turn in the road we saw Fish Hoek spread before us- a long curved white beach crossed by the Silvermine River, and masses of sand dunes cut by the railway line and the main road. Keeping these accesses free of sand in the south easter provided jobs for a number of people. The main road was flanked by a few shops and, in the valley behind them, by a number of rows of houses- built of brick or wood and iron. It was not unusual to see people in “office gear” kick off their shoes, trail through the sand and slog up a dune to arrive at home.
Dad had made a purchase of a little beach house in Fish Hoek and was eager to show us but first we had to visit the beach and swim or splash in the beautiful clear green water. The beach was wide and flat and even at high tide there was always lots of dry powdery white sand in which to play. I can’t remember any black kelp lying on the beach. Perhaps at that stage it only grew on the Atlantic side of the peninsula.
The friendly trek fishermen threw out their nets and pulled in shoals of yellowtail, harders and other fish. There were no buildings on the town side of the beach and dunes stretched up to the very near “The Homestead”. Sand blew freely and the dunes moved at will. Amongst the rocks there were many pools at low tide and I remember gazing in fascination at a rich variety of sea life – at darting little fish, brightly coloured sea anemones, crabs, mussels ….Today our cleaned up “plastic” beach has lost much of the variety of sea creatures.
A stream from the hillside ran on to the beach where we now have a dirty cement subway. Then the sea washed freely in and out under the railway line and everything was clean.
Instead of the “Jager Walk” there was a rough and precarious path along the rocks used by the fishermen and others – no-one was overly concerned about safety. It was known as “the Catwalk” – you had to pick your way along it like a cat on hot bricks.
We followed my father up more and more steps until we arrived at the “semi” he had bought. It had a lovely deep stoep, sitting room, tiny kitchen, four small bedrooms and an outside bucket privy, a wood and iron stove and a large water tank. The next door ‘semi” was called “Clairvoux” and was identical- both built by Charles Andrew Murray for his family: one side for his three unmarried daughters and the other for his son and family.
Dad asked us all “What shall we call the place?” and I, the chatterbox, made some childish sound which he wrote down as “Bekowe”. It had no meaning, but later someone suggested it meant “a little girl’s dream”.
Perhaps they were right because it was our first home after my husband and I married in 1952. We returned here in 1991 and 83 I am still living in “Bekowe” in spite of the steps!
What to do after school? Take a Gap year!
Well, that was the same question I asked myself when I was still at school. I decided to take a GAP year.
For me, a gap year is about experiencing life, learning independence, travelling through foreign countries, learning about different cultures and taking time out to find out what I would like to study.
I was given the opportunity to take my GAP year in Stamford, a small town in England. England is a really old and beautiful county but the weather may drive you a bit crazy…it’s very cold, rainy and there is lots of snowfall!!.
I am working at a school, coaching PE and sport. I receive free accommodation and food (3 course meals!) and get paid “pocket money”. You just have to manage your finances properly here as everything is really expensive, but basically you will have enough money to experience the famous pub life of England and still save up enough money to travel through Europe.
So taking a Gap year is something you can think about and look into if you are unsure about what to do after school or simply if you just want to take a short break between school and studying or working. It’s a great experience!
Written by Karl von der Heyden, Jan 2010
10 short pieces from Bay Primary School
MY TRIP TO THE KGALAGADI
I am a Junior Ranger. My mom and dad are Honorary Rangers. We all went to the Kgalagadi for a conference. It takes 12 hours to get there. We help the environment to grow. We plant trees, pick up litter and learn about plants and animals in a National Park.
Gardens grow out of loving and caring,
Seedlings sprout out of joy and sharing,
And primroses jump out of the ground,
When all the family gather around!
Tree, oh tree
I knew you when you were a seed
I watch you grow
Up and up and up you go !
IF I WERE THE PRESIDENT…
I would let the sick people come to the hospital for free at any age. I would build everyone a nice house and no more SHACKS !! The houses are free and I will build nice schools too. Everyone must have an education. Everyone must live in peace.
Love is bright pink and red
It tastes like a nice cool ice scream on a hot day
And smells like freshly baked sugar pie
Loves looks like one million hearts in the sky
It sounds like the whispering of a lullaby
Love feels like a gentle massage
The early bird gets the worm sometimes – Kiodah Pienaar
Give someone an inch and they will give you a pinch – Tanzi Newman
All work and no play makes a very bad day – Hannah Smith
Dead men stay dead – Kyra Seiler
The proof of the pudding is dessert – Finn Janson
Birds of a feather are fluffy – Cailin O’Brien
Too many cooks make a good game of ping pong – Andrew Goodhew
A fool and his money bought a cow – Luke Durr
A new broom makes hard work – Thumi Cokile
Every cloud brings rain – Tekara Jaques
Don’t judge a book with monsters on it – Madeline McClellan
Blood is thicker than love – Jared Judd
It’s no use crying over a broken heart – Ayabonga Saliwa
An apple a day keeps the dentist away – Jesse Owuor
In the land of the blind nothing is seen – Xavier Dangereux
A bird in the hand sings a sweet little song – Nicole Deacon
“Mom,” I said, “What’s for dinner?” “Roast chicken,” she replied. “Can I help with anything?” “No, you play computers until dinner is ready.” I went to go play computers. After a while a smell came to my nostrils, a delicious smell. The smell of…Roast chicken! Mom called, “Dinner’s served.” I sprinted to the kitchen, grabbed my plate and went to the chicken. Mom gave me a drumstick and lots of skin. She also dished up salad. I went to my seat. Ignored the salad. I sunk my teeth into that chicken and what flavour! It was crisp, soft, tender, juicy. I finished quickly. I went to get more but all that was left was a piece by the breast bone. I took it. When I was done I looked at what was left. It was this weird shaped bone. I went to mom and asked her what it was. “It’s a wishbone,” she said, “If you pull it with somebody and get the knobby part, you get a wish! Only if it is dry though.” I put the bone into the microwave. I waited for two minutes and when it was done I took it out. It was dry. I rushed to my brother and asked him if he wanted to pull it with me. “Sure, why not.” We both pulled. We heard a crack. We looked at our piece. I had the knobby part. I had the wish. I went to my room with the piece of bone. I thought about what to wish for. I looked around the room my eyes fell on my saxophone. I’d always wanted to become famous. Now was my chance. “I wish I could become a famous saxophonist!” Suddenly, everything went hazy. I found myself in a small room with nothing but a stool, music sheets, a music stand and a saxophone. I picked it up and started to play, and such a wonderful noise came out of it. It was the best thing I had ever heard. Then a man and said, “Time to play.” I followed him through a hall and he led me onto a stage. I went to the stool, picked up my saxophone and started to play. When I was finished the audience had stood up and were clapping. They were shouting, “Encore, encore!” I started playing again. I grinned to myself. My career in music had begun!
It was Friday morning
The weekend was calling
I was excited, jumping around,
Then I heard a sound.
It was the bell ringing loud,
I went inside my class room,
I heard a loud boom.
My teacher yelled “Maths Test”
That’s what my teacher loved best.
In the test we had to do long division,
It was a big mission.
We had to count in our tables,
The tables we counted in were 6, 7, 9, 11
Adding was easy-peasy.
Subtraction was lemon squisey.
All of a sudden I saw a grin,
“Times up” she shouted with a smile,
You could hear me shouting for a mile
I thought to myself
“I should have studied”
Sylvanna de Abreu and Hannah Phillips
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