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Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

As a booklover – and in particular a lover of children’s books – those of you who have been following my blogentries, you will also remember my other book-entries – I couldn’t refuse this book from my shelf, after I have been asked at my school to teach Y1’s after half term. Phew! That will then put me in a category of…. teaching across five keystages! Well, I’ve actually done KS1 before [Y2], so I actually qualified for whatever category- Jack of all trades [keystages] but master of? …  two years ago. By just the thought of teaching the tiny tots in more than a week from now, put me in a mood of reading again some of my good-reads. This book, ‘Oi! Get off our Train’ by John Burningham is one of my big favourites. I  looo—oooove this book and its illustrations done by the author too. The boy in the story plays with his train – again. His mum sends him to bed with his payama case [a dog – also the dog in these pics] and then he dreams about the two of them on a train and all sorts of animals joining them with all sorts of excuses to get on their train,while having some great fun altogether as well. [See some the images which I took from the book for you to enjoy] Each time an animal gets on the train, they shout at the animal to get off and when the animal explains to them the why’s of getting on their train, their faces drop as they pity the animal and then they allow the animal on their train. On the last pic you can see the last animal explaining why it was getting on their train. The elephant was the first animal to get on. I guess you can work out the order of the other animals then. Don’t miss this book if you’re looking for a great book! The theme of the book ties in with cruelty to animals. Update: Nov- So, then the new teacher [senior position] has decided not to turn up and I’ve been asked to go back to my Y5-class, which was wonderful of course -sad- I could have spent my time during half term focusing on my Y5’s!

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Hello Wipneus!
This post is for you! ..and everybody else reading here! I told you a few weeks ago about these little piglets and you’ve asked me to blog them…well, here they are! picture was taken today! And… we all love little piglets, they are just sooooo cute. We had two pigs on the farm and their names were Janneman and Pieta. But, as a child I didn’t like them really, they were always in your face with their dirty stinky snouts, coz they were always hungry! hehehe…typical pigs…always ready to munch some more! I was about 17 when we as a group of friends…we were all girls…went to a farm to sleep under  the open sky! When you’re that age, you really do silly adventurous things like that…it was fun, the farmer and his sons in the house and us girls in the open near a river…far from the farm house…and then we got the news…piglets were born…well past midnight we all got up…sixteen  piglets!! The farmer told us that this was really unusual for pigs to have so many piglets…but they were soooo…oh so cute! all of them white …Landrace pigs…they are white with a longish snout…Sometimes we don’t like pigs…but they are so part of our life…like any other animal! Just think of the story of the three little pigs and the wolf… and what would we do without the character of Piglet in Winnie and the Pooh! I’ve also found you some audio files about Piglet! Enjoy!! Do enjoy what’s on this post…I think it’s quite self explainable. Do enjoy the poem too!

 

Piglet’s Song

Let’s find a Way today,
that can take us to tomorrow.
We’ll follow that Way,
A Way like flowing water.
Let’s leave behind,
the things that do not matter.
And we’ll turn our lives,
to a more important chapter.

Let’s take the time and try to find,
what real life has to offer.
And maybe then we’ll find again,
what we had long forgotten.
Like a friend, true ’til the end,
it will help us onward.

The sun is high, the road is wide,
and it starts where we are standing.
No one knows how far it goes,
for the road is never-ending.

It goes away,
beyond what we have thought of.
It flows away,
Away like flowing water.

~ Benjamin Hoff ~

(The Te of Piglet)
Source:http://www.panhala.net/Archive/Piglets_Song.html
Please click HERE to read about the author…Benjamin Hoff.

Please click HERE for more pig-poetry and pig-stories!

 The following text is from: “The Tao of Pooh” …from this site…http://www.just-pooh.com/tao.html

“A fish can’t whistle and neither can I.” There’s nothing wrong with not being able to whistle, especially if you’re a fish. But there can be lots of things wrong with blindly trying to do what you aren’t designed for. Unfortunately, some people aren’t so wise, and end up causing big trouble for themselves and others. The wise know their limitations; the foolish do not. To demonstrate what we mean, we can think of no one better than Tigger, who doesn’t know his limitations (‘Tiggers’ can do everything’), which brings him in lots of trouble. Piglet instead knows his limitations and that’s what makes him sometimes more brave than you would expect from such a small animal. So, the first thing we need to do is recognize and trust our own Inner Nature, and not lose sight of it. Inside the Bouncy Tigger is the Rescuer who knows the Way, and in each of us is something Special, and that we need to keep:

“Tigger is all right really,” said Piglet lazily.
“Of course he is,” said Christopher Robin.
“Everybody is really,” said Pooh. “That’s what I think,” said Pooh.
“But I don’t suppose I’m right,” he said.
“Of course you are,” said Christopher Robin.


Image: just-pooh.com

Some quotes of Piglet

 Piggy-books…these first two books are in my small library collection! And they are both hilariously funny! Maybe you’ve seen the movie…”Babe”…but it wasn’t as funny as the book! I’ve read the Afrikaans Babe-book which is “Skaap-vark” and that was so funny! of course I read it with the children I’d taught…but as I’ve said before, children’s books are the best books…and this is again prove of that….think I’m silly reading children’s books…well, that’s me! hehehe… if you teach them, you love them…both…child and book…

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Image: allposters.com

I think dogs are wonderful animals and really your closest friend. We’ve had several breeds of dogs as pets in South Africa and I can’t make up my mind about the best breed, but I think, if I really have to choose a favourite, which is of course very difficult as I loved them all so much, then it should be Jackie…our last doggie, she was a cross between a fox terrier and a Jack Russel. She had some more Jack Russel “blood”  and ways of doing things/manners. We used to have a few foxterriers on the farm, so that’s why I know she had some little more JR-manners…but do take  a look at her on this pic! She was sooooooo cute!! and sooooo clever! She loved raisins and when I discovered that…very early after we’d rescued her from a plot, I taught her to stay, sit and paw in one night! It tookme about 30 min…and that’s really no joke!… – of course with the help of the raisins!! This little basket she’s in, was her favourite to chew for those baby teeth! and you can see how much  she loved to be in it! In this pic you can see that she spotted something and was looking at it…I think it was the hoopoe …as there was always one near the house…she never chased any bird/cat, but could sit and watch them for hours…she reminded me about the Afrikaans Chidrens’ story I’ve read to children in school, the book’s title is “Koningskind” and it was translated into English with the title  “Prince”…if you can get hold of this book..about an English Bull dog…written by Anita du Plessis, you should do so, as it is written from the dog’s point of view and you will laugh yourself into stitches when reading it! If I ever have to get another dog, it will surely  be a Jack Russel. When we got her as a pup, many people warned us, because of their behaviour. Maybe because she was a cross, she was more “well-behaved”…but I always say — and I think I’m right! – that pets are like your children. If you discipline them, they are lovely…but if not…well, you have to suffer the consequences then… and I’ve seen people on TV with their pets and they way their pets behave and if you look at the people, the way they speak and behave, well, then you know why they have all  those troubles with their pets! I can truly say that none of our pets had ever caused us any trouble of any kind. Give your pet the love they need and they will be those “dream” pets!


Jackie as a pup on the bed! her favourite spot to take a nap!

This pic is one I’ve found on the internet and this is what our foxie looked like when I was a child…Scotty…and we had one before him, Spotty! This is now a dog you can trust! Scotty used to spend hours with me in the mountains…on the farm…he used to LOVE it when we went for a jog during the evenings…he was going crazy and would run up and down the room when I was getting my trainers or “tekkies” like we use to say in Afrikaans.

greyfriars
Image: historic-scotland.gov.uk
Please click
HERE to read my post about Grey Friars Bobby and how he looked after his master, even after his death! There was also a movie about Bobby! Another book I couldn’t resist…but do read my post about this book…it’s worth reading about the history so many people – even in England – don’t know about!

Oor die boek: Koningskind…deur Anita du Plessis..
In hiedie verhaal wil Keiser, die naam van die hond, baie graag “goed bedoel” met als en hy probeer “help” waar hy kan, alhoewel hierdie “help” nie altyd positiewe gevolge het nie. Koos, die kat, het hom ‘n paar keer gekrap en Keiser ervaar dit as “steek met daardie drade”… wat dit skreeusnaaks laat klink…een hoofstuk wat ek baie amusant gevind het, was die hoofstuk oor “Kalkoene, katte en Kerk”.. Keiser het altyd vir die kalkoene gekyk en met die tyd het hulle groter geword, maar eendag het een uitgekom en hy het probeer “help” deur die kalkoen te vang… maar hy het ook geglo dis al sy “gekykery” wat hulle laat “groot” word het…dan die Kerk…daardie episode was ontsettend snaaks…die dominiee met sy “lappe” wat swaai as hy preek en Keiser wat die “gehuil” probeer stilmaak…wel, ek gaan niks meer sê, kry die boek en lees dit…kinderboek of te nie! Dit verryk jou siel! Ek het hierdie boek vir 9-11 jariges voorgelees met trane in my oë soos ek gelag het.. op party plekke kon ek nie eens lees nie, want soos ek vooruit sien wat ek moes lees, het ek myself ‘n papie gelag …natuurlik sit die kinders dan en giggel-giggel-lag-lag….maar weet nie waaroor nie…want ek het nog nie gelees wat so erg snaaks was nie…..hahaha…

“A book entitled “Koningskind” by Anita du Plessis won first prize in the “Daan Retief “children’s book competition. The book was also translated into English under the title Prince. It tells the story of how a bulldog pup joins a family as a gift to a little girl. Out of the 67 entries received the three judges agreed that his adventures, as told by himself, made for an unforgettable read.”..from… chakabulldog.co.za

 

red indian in the cupboard

The  Indian in the cupboard. – Afrikaans title: Die Rooihuid in die kassie

Synopsis
Three bestselling stories about Omri, and his friend Patrick, who turns his plastic Red Indian, Little Bull, into a real miniature person. The Indian in the Cupboard Who’d want a boring little plastic Red Indian as a birthday present? Omri doesn’t — until his brother gives him a very special cupboard which can make the Indian come alive…Return of the Indian Omri is unexpectedly reminded of his beloved Red Indian, and can’t resist making sure he’s still all right. But when he opens the cupboard door Little Bull is wounded, nearly dead, and Omri must find help. The Secret of the Indian Omri’s friend Patrick goes back in time to the Wild West, and keeping the secret safe becomes even more difficult for Omri…

Die verhaal van Omri is ook in Afrikaans verkrygbaar en as jy kinders het wat lief is vir lees, ouderdom 8-11/12…dan moet jy vir jou “Die Rooihuid in die kassie” kry…deur LR Banks. Daar het sowat ‘n paar jaar gelede ‘n film gedraai met die Engelse titel, ek weet nie wie van julle het die film gaan sien nie. Ek het NIE, want my ondervinding met die films is dat dit terleurstellend is, die boeke is gewoonlik baie snaakser. My kinders het dit gesien en dit was wat hulle bevestig het. Dieselfde het gebeur met “Skaapvark” – “Sheep pig”.. ek het die boek vir kinders voorgelees laaaa…nk voor die film en ek was vreeslik terleurgesteld toe ek die film sien. Daarna het ek weggebly van films as ek reeds die boek gelees het. “Skaapvark” is baie snaakser as die Engelse boek ook. In hierdie boek, “Die Rooihuid in die kassie”, kry Omri ‘n “charm” as ‘n geskenk by ‘n maat en ontdek ‘n kassie waarin hy dit kon sit. Sy broer kry ‘n sleuteltjie wat toevallig hierdie kassie oop-en-toe kon sluit…en dit is daar waar die pret begin! Kry die boek en lees homself! – as jy nog die film gesien het nie, moenie!! kry eerder die boek…

On THIS LINK – on my blog – you can read about other childrens’ books I’ve blogged before  and books written by Dalene Matthee…her books translated into English and her target group  is more the adult audience …

where-the-wild-things-are

Please click HERE to listen to the BBC program about “Where the wild things are”.

This book is really a MUST-have if you have little children…and I’ve bought it myself again…here in London…as I can’t resist a good book, even if it’s chidren’s books…which any teacher can’t go without…if you teach primary…

Who the Wild Things Are (30 min)
Broadcast on Radio 4 Tue 24 Jun – 11:30

Philip Glassborow explores the origins of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. Featuring readings by Henry Goodman and Jewish Klezmer music.
Click
HERE  for program the program information.

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This is just a mix. Books I found people like to read on the Underground whilst travelling into London and some other news.


Review 1: Amazon.co.uk ….Margolan, so prosperous and peaceful under King Bricen’s rule, has been reduced to starvation in less than a year. Everyone knows of the usurpation of the crown of Margolan by “Jared the Tyrant”. He and his fire mage, Foor Arontala, have also broken the truce with the Blood Council and are hunting down all vayash moru (vampires). Things are going from bad to worse as the night of the Hawthorn Moon approaches. On that night, half a year from now, Jared and Arontala plan to feed all the souls captured in the Soul-catcher orb to the Obsidian King. Once accomplished, the Obsidian King will have the power needed to break free of the prison, which the Summoner named Bava K’aa had thrown him into, and evil will claim the entire Winter Kingdom.

He is Prince Martris “Tris” Drayke, son of Bricen of Margolan, Summoner and mage-heir of Bava K’aa. However, anyone looking at him would never imagine that he was more than a simple peasant enduring hard times, just like everyone else. The Sisterhood grudgingly agree to train Tris for his upcoming battles, but there is no guarantee that he will survive the training. Arontala is not only a strong fire mage, but is using blood magic (via sacrifices) to increase his power. Arontala will also draw power from the Obsidian King once he is freed.

Tris may very well be the strongest Summoner since Bava K’aa, but it is still going to be a royal battle indeed.
Review 2: Amazon…———–This story lacks the vigour, pace and imagination of the first book in the series. It feels as though the story has been padded out to achieve a deadline and had less enthusiasm from the author than the first book.
I have around 3 chapters to go to finish it and I will do so, however, it is proving necessary to force myself to complete the book. Perhaps the finale will change my view, if it does I’ll come back and amend this.
That all aside, it is readable if you have read the first one but I would have preferred to buy this second hand!


Review: Amazon.co.uk …This book was a fabulous read! It’s entertaining but also informative. It’s a great balance between fun & useful, and isn’t dumbed down to cater to the uninitiated – it’s just explained better than the average scientific text.

It’s funny, insightful and fascinating! Highly recommended for anyone with the slightest interest in discovering our universe.

Review: Amazon.co.uk…..If you’re looking for a PS I Love You part two, then you will be sadly disappointed. Instead you step in to the world of Rosie Dunne and her best friend Alex Stewart. Rosie is an ordinary woman trying to get on with her day to day life who quite simply misses her best friend. What starts out as an innocent childhood friendship turns to love, yet neither of them realise it.
This is a beautifully written tale of two people who share a deep rooted friendship who are seperated at a young age. It is a cleverly written story told in the form of emails, instant messages, letters and text messages which span 45 years. It contains a variety of emotions, one minute you are laughing and the next you are wiping away the tears, but throughout the book you carry the hope that this time they really will get it together. Quite simply, you’d be really stupid to pass up the chance to read this novel.

NEWS:

In today’s The London Paper on page 8, the headline of a newspaper article: Mandela off terror list
“Nelson Mandela has finally been removed from the US’s terror-watch list. The 90-year-old former South African President was in a national security immigration category which classified him as a terrorist …..”

https://time.com/5338569/nelson-mandela-terror-list/

 

 

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I’ve started to read this book…believe it or not…it was the last time reprinted in 1952! outdated hey…yes, but very interesting… written by Edmund Curtis… hard cover in dark green…no pic on the front cover to scan…looks quite boring …but think it’s going to be my reading whilst travelling on the Underground for the next couple of weeks…the contents page…chapter one starts from the origins to AD 800 and chapter 20 ends with…”From Parnell to the treaty…1891-1922″… a bit more than 400 pages!…wish me luck! lol…my last book with so many pages was “The Kin” with about 600+ pages…
Click
HERE to read about “The Kin” by Dickinson, Peter.

Read HERE on Wikipedia more about Ireland….keep your eye on this post as it’s not finished yet…

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ISBN:0798139021
Herman Charles Bosman
Publisher:Human & Rousseau

 We read this book during secondary school and I loved these stories of “Oom Schalk Lourens”…”oom” means “uncle”… I think I should get myself this book again! I know I have one…packed away…very old copy…my dad used to go around at bookshops…when he was young…think I take after him in that way…lol! 

Herman Charles Bosman was one of South Africa’s best (yeah, I know I always call the story writers and poets the “best”…because I try to focus on the best if not the “very” best! lol)… classical story writers….read on Wiki about him… see you later…

Herman Charles Bosman (February 3, 1905 – October 14, 1951) is the South African writer widely regarded as South Africa’s greatest short story writer. He studied the works of Edgar Alan Poe and Mark Twain, and developed a style emphasizing the use of irony. His English-language works utilize primarily Afrikaner characters and point to the many contradictions of Afrikaner society in the first half of the twentieth century.

Bosman was born at Kuilsrivier, near Cape Town to an Afrikaner family, although he was raised with English as well as Afrikaans. While Bosman was still young, his family moved to Johannesburg where he went to school at Jeppe High School for Boys in Kensington. He was a contributor to the school magazine. When Bosman was sixteen, he started writing short stories for the national Sunday newspaper (the Sunday Times). He attended the University of the Witwatersrand submitting various pieces to student’s literary competitions.

Upon graduating, he accepted a teaching position in the Groot Marico district, in an Afrikaans language school. The area and the people inspired him and provided the background for all his best known short stories; the Oom Schalk Lourens series and the Voorkamer sketches. The Oom Schalk Lourens series features an older character with that name. the Voorkamer series are similarly all set in the Marico region.

During the school holidays in 1926, he returned to visit his family in Johannesburg. During an argument, he fired a rifle at his stepbrother and killed him.

Bosman was sentenced to death and moved to Death row at the Pretoria Central Prison. He was reprieved and sentenced to ten years with hard labour. In 1930, he was released on parole after serving half his sentence. His experiences formed the basis for his semi-autobiographical book, Cold Stone Jug.

He then started his own printing press company and was part of a literary set in Johannesburg, associating with poets, journalists and writers, including Aegidius Jean Blignaut. Needing a break, he then toured overseas for nine years, spending most of his time in London. The short stories that he wrote during this period formed the basis for another of his best-known books, Mafeking Road.

At the start of the Second World War, he returned to South Africa and worked as a journalist. He found the time to translate the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam into Afrikaans.
Read
HERE on Wikipedia…more about him…

Herman Charles Bosman’s best-loved stories about the Marico District are published here for the first time in the form intended by the author. This text of Mafeking Road – edited by Craig MacKenzie – is the first to appear from the original versions, with an introduction and notes on the texts.

Bosman’s storyteller figure Oom Schalk Lourens takes us into the world of the concertina-player who leaves the Marico for fame and glory; the girl who returns from finishing school to dazzle and dupe the Marico yokels; the Boer War soldier with a tragic story to tell about his son; the legendary leopard of Abjaterskop; the man who kills his wife and buries her under the dung floor of his voorkamer …

Jealousies, hatreds, loves and betrayals – the entire range of human emotions are laid bare in a manner at once humorous and satirical, romantic and ironic. Mafeking Road reveals to us a world quaint and distant … and yet powerfully familiar.

Herman Charles Bosman, who died of a heart attack in 1951, is one of South Africa’s most famous story-tellers. This is a classic collection of his short stories. As a person he had a unique way of seeing life, an intense excitement that he managed to convey in his stories. His books are pre-eminent in the field of South-African literature.
Read on THIS SITE more and you can view more books written by him in English as well as in Afrikaans.
You can order the book HERE from Kalahari.net….


Please click HERE to visit the Groot Marico on your next trip…this is HC Bosman-world…and read about Patrick Mynhardt…
Patrick Mynhardt was the Honory Life President of the HC Bosman Literary Society.

If you like this, you’d also like…

(for the witty teller of folk-tales:

-Mark Twain, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” (1867) and other sketches and stories.

-Sholom Aleichem, Tevye’s Daughters, and other stories (c.1905-1916).

-O.Henry, Heart of the West (1907).

Click on THIS LINK to read more….

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Image…Wikipedia
Click HERE on this post to read my translation of his poem “Dans van die reën” in English…The link will open in a new window. “The Dance of the rain”…and you can read about this book on the link too.

Dance_in_rain_peerflydotcom

EUGÈNE Marais was a South African poet, a story-teller, a journalist, a lawyer, a psychologist, a natural scientist, a drug-addict, and a great genius — an abused and forgotten genius, and the world is the worse off for that.”
Read “Soul of the Ant” HERE online.

 

Eugene Marais was one of  South Africa’s more talented writers/poets. I love his poems although I haven’t read his books. I borrowed “The Soul of the Ant” one day – when I was at Primary – but I guess I was too young to read such a book, so I didn’t finish it and read only the first few pages. Some of his poems is about nature like the ‘Winter’s Night’ (translated in English here) and the “Dans van die reën” which is -translated: ‘Dance of the rain.‘ In this poem, he describes the animals’ reaction when the rain is on its way and he describes the rain and her ‘dance.‘ Marais is just brilliant in the way he played with words/metaphors etc. Sadly, he committed suicide in 1936.
Read
HERE on Wiki  more about him. The link will open in a new window.
On the bottom of this post you will find a link to a post on my blog – in English – about Eugene Marais…he was a naturalist, scientist, writer and poet. He made a study of  ants and you can see the book he wrote “The soul of the Ant” on that link…and his other book…”The soul of the Ape”
 

Author: Julee Dickerson Thompson
ISBN: 865432597
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Africa World Press (March 1997)

The following translation of Marais’ “Winternag” is by J. W. Marchant:

“Winter’s Night”

O the small wind is frigid and spare
and bright in the dim light and bare
as wide as God’s merciful boon
the veld lies in starlight and gloom
and on the high lands
spread through burnt bands
the grass-seed, astir, is like beckoning hands.

O East-wind gives mournful measure to song
Like the lilt of a lovelorn lass who’s been wronged
In every grass fold
bright dewdrop takes hold
and promptly pales to frost in the cold!

Eguene N Marais
WINTERNAG
by Eugene Marais

O koud is die windjie
en skraal.
En blink in die dof-lig
en kaal,
so wyd as die Heer se genade,
le die velde in sterlig en skade
En hoog in die rande,
versprei in die brande,
is die grassaad aan roere
soos winkende hande.

O treurig die wysie
op die ooswind se maat,
soos die lied van ‘n meisie
in haar liefde verlaat.
In elk’ grashalm se vou
blink ‘n druppel van dou,
en vinnig verbleek dit
tot ryp in die kou!

DIE DANS VAN DIE REËN – Eugene Marais
Lied van die vioolspeler. Jan Konterdans.
Uit die Groot Woestyn
O die dans van ons Suster!
Eers oor die bergtop loer sy skelm,
en haar oge is skaam;
en sy lag saggies.
En van ver af wink sy met die een hand;
haar armbande blink en haar krale skitter;
saggies roep sy.
Sy vertel die winde van die dans
en sy nooi hulle uit, want die werf is wyd en die bruilof groot.
Die grootwild jaag uit die vlakte,
hulle dam op die bulttop,
wyd rek hulle die neusgate
en hulle sluk die wind;
en hulle buk, om haar fyn spore op die sand te sien.
Die kleinvolk diep onder die grond hoor die sleep van haar voete,
en hulle kruip nader en sing saggies:
“Ons Suster! Ons Suster! Jy het gekom! Jy het gekom!”
En haar krale skud,
en haar koperringe blink in die wegraak van die son.
Op haar voorkop is die vuurpluim van die berggier;
sy trap af van die hoogte;
sy sprei die vaalkaros met altwee arms uit;
die asem van die wind raak weg.
O, die dans van ons Suster!

[Uit: Versamelde gedigte – Eugene Marais]
Read on THIS LINK on my blog more about Eugene Marais…Article in English…The link will open in a new window.

dvdreen_laurinda

I don’t know Laurinda Hofmeyr’s music, but she’s got an album with the song…”Dans van die reen”. I hope one of my blogger-visitors from SA would be able to tell me more…

Snitte:
1. Lied van die bruidegom – Johan Myburg
2. 26 November 1975 – Breyten Breytenbach
3. Op reis na die Suide – Breyten breytenbach
4. Inbrand – Breyten Breytenbach
5. Die dans van die reën – Eugène N. Marais
6. Kind – Rabindranath Tagore
7. Ek sal sterf en na my vader gaan – Breyten Breytenbach
8. ‘n Halwe engel – Breyten Breytenbach
9. Last grave at Dimbaza – Fanie Olivier
10. Die reis – Breyten Breytenbach
11. Lied van die bruidegom (improvisasie)

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Read here about the book :”Circles in the Forest” and about “Big Foot”…

Afrikaans…scroll down….
Dalene Matthee was one of South Africa’s most talented authors, the best popular novelist that I know….. She wrote mainly in Afrikaans, but many of her books were translated into 14 other lanuages, such as Italian, Hebrew, Spanish, German, French, English, Icelandic, etc. Two of her books were filmed, “Fiela’s Child” and “Circles in the forest”…  Her first children’s novel…”Die Twaalfuur stokkie”… “The Twelve o’clock stick” was written in 1970. I LOVE this story and used to read the story to children in London-schools! They loved to listen to the Afrikaans Language and I explained the story via the pictures to them. It’s the best children’s story I’ve come across to explain to little children – age about 5-8 – the concept about time and the earth spinning around the sun… by using a stick in the sun. Read also about the memorial that was unveiled in Feb 2008 in honour of her!
Click
HERE to read about Fiela’s Child, the movie.

Please click HERE to read about Dalene Matthee.

SA writers mourn Dalene Matthee
20/02/2005 21:20 – (SA)

Dalene Matthee – 1938-2005

Dalene Matthee dies 

Laetitia Pople , Die Burger

Cape Town – “Maybe she just held out until her new book, Die Uitgespoeldes, and its translation was done,” Dalene Matthee’s daughter Amanda said on Sunday after the author died in her sleep. The 66-year-old Matthee died in the Bayview clinic, Mossel Bay, early on Sunday morning. She was admitted to the clinic for heart failure on Thursday.

The death of Matthee – who was especially well known for her forest trilogy, of which the first, Kringe in ‘n Bos (Circles in a Forest, first appeared in 1984 and was reprinted 22 times – is being described as a huge loss for the Afrikaans reading public. “She was one of the most well-loved popular novelists in Afrikaans. “With her books such as Kringe, Fiela se Kind (Fiela’s Child), Pieternella van die Kaap and, more recently, Toorbos, she got the general Afrikaans public reading again, and she successfully bridged the gap between quality and popular literature,” said Eloise Wessels, chief executive of NB Publishers, on Sunday.

Novelist Elsa Joubert agrees. “She succeeded in getting people who never read Afrikaans to read in the language, and that’s been a wonderful contribution,” she says. The literary expert Wium van Zyl believes she was like Langenhoven.

“Like him, she had something to offer the intellectual reader and for the everyday reader. “She exposed the reader to various challenges. She was an ecologist and a mild feminist who considered the poor with attention and respect.”

If there’s someone whom the entire South African writers’ community mourns today, it would be Matthee, said Abraham H de Vries. “The voice of one of the best storytellers has fallen silent.“Only she could have written those forest stories – no one else could.”

Film-maker Katinka Heyns, who directed the movie based on the book Fiela se Kind, remembers how she spent two hours with Matthee in the Knysna forest. “The forest would tell Dalene if I may make the movie. She did not say a word and only sat listening. “And then I had to wait an enitre night before she gave the answer.”

Matthee was famous for the rigorous research she did for her books. She researched only her forest trilogy (Kringe, Fiela and Moerbeibos) for seven years, and Pieternella took three years’ research.

Matthee’s books were translated into 14 languages, including French, German, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew and Icelandic. She won the ATKV prize for good popular fiction four times and was honoured with a Swiss literature prize for her “energetic literary work and her passionate interest in nature conservation” in Zurich in 1993. Die Uitgespoeldes is the story of Moses Swart, a foundling raised by an Afrikaans family after being found under a jacket on the beach. Matthee is survived by her three daughters, Amanda and Hilary Matthee and Toni van der Walt. Her husband, Larius, died two years ago.
Origninal news article HERE as it was reported in 2005.
The forest novels
Kringe in ‘n bos (Circles in a forest) (1984)
Fiela se Kind (Fiela’s Child) (1985)
Moerbeibos (The Mulberry Forest) (1987)
Toorbos (Dream Forest) (2003)

Other published works
Die twaalfuurstokkie (The twelve-o’-clock stick) (1970)
’n Huis vir Nadia (A House for Nadia) (1982)
Petronella van Aarde, burgemeester (Petronella van Aarde,Mayor) (1983)
Brug van die esels (The Day The Swallows Spoke) (1993)
Susters van Eva (Sisters of Eve) (1995)
Pieternella van die Kaap (Pieternella from the Cape) (2000)
Die Uitgespoeldes (Driftwood) (2005)

 Dalene Matthee Memorial

Wow! I was sent SANPARKS-link by a blogger-friend, Chris after he’s read my post about Dalene Matthee and I want to thank him as this is really fantastic!
Dalene Matthee Memorial Unveiled at Wilderness National Park
On Saturday, 23 February 2008, close family, a few selected SANParks officials and the press witnessed the unveiling of a memorial in honour of the late writer, Dalene Matthee. It was Matthee ’s fervent wish to have her ashes scattered in the Knysna Forest and her three daughters saw it as a fitting remembrance to their mom, to have a special memorial erected in the place Matthee so loved.


“After three years this project has fallen into place and the family will be eternally grateful to the Wilderness National Park staff for making it all happen”, says Hillary Matthee, the writer’s youngest daughter.

SANParks contribution included the building of a boardwalk around the memorial, the renaming the big tree to the Dalene Matthee Big Tree and the marking of a circular hiking trail to the “Circles in a Forest” trail. The memorial, tree and trail will now form part of the park’s cultural heritage programme.

Matthee based many of her books, especially Fiela’s Child, Circles in a Forest and Moerbeibos on the life and people of the forest. Her books have been translated into 14 languages.

Dignitaries at the unveiling ceremony included Mvusy Songelwa (Regional Manager of the Garden Route National Parks) who unveiled the memorial, Edgar Nevuvhalani (People and Conservation Cultural Heritage Manager) and Dr. Razeena Omar (Executive Director: People and Conservation), who befittingly mentioned what an honour it is for SANParks to house a memorial for a woman who has done so much to bring nature and the forests to the hearts of all people who read her books.

The memorial, Big Tree and the Circles in a Forest Trail is situated at the Krisjan se Nek picnic site in the Goudveld Forest (close to Knysna), which now forms part of the Wilderness National Park. Jill Gordon, Park Manager, encourages all and especially school groups to come and pay homage to Matthee and explore the beauty of the forests

(Circles in the forest)

(Pieternella from the Cape)

(The Mulberry forest)

Nou wil ek meer oor van haar boeke – en ander skrywers se boeke –  in Afrikaans se… omdat ek van dit self gelees het en self ook ‘n blibioteek-onderwyseres is – Ja, ek het vir 9 jaar uit 2 skole se mediasentrums klas gegee. Honderde boeke is aangekoop – wat ‘n voorreg om die skole se mediasentrum-begroting by Uitgewers te gaan spandeer! Dit was gewoonlik ‘n daguitstappie! 

So is die volgende  boeke dan van my  gunstelinge vir kinders ouderdom 11-15/16…dalk ouer ook! Die Sakmense – Deur Maretha Maartens.  Wat ‘n fantastiese boek. Miriam…ek onthou darem nog haar naam, was ‘n meisie met ‘n donker gelaatskleur wie se familie onder “sakke” gebly het en groente/vrugte verkoop het om aan die lewe te bly. Nou kan ek nie eers meer die hoofkarakter se naam onthou nie – in elk geval, sy was ‘n meisie met slegs een nier. Sy het ‘n sakkie gehad in die plek van die tweede nier! Daarom die titel met ‘n tweeledige betekenis.”Sak+mense”- dis ‘n hartseer verhaal, maar dit leer jou ontsettend baie van die lewe wat so ‘n persoon het om te lei. Miriam was nie veronderstel om te werk nie, wy was nog minderjarig en daarom het sy ook gejok oor haar ouderdom, net om die werk te kry om die gesin te onderhou. ‘n Wonderlike boek wat ‘n MOET is – al is jy ‘n volwasse persoon.

Die tweede boek is “Die Boemelaars” –  ek het nooit die boek gelees nie, maar kan onthou dat die kinders nogal erg was oor die boek! “Plek van die dolfyne“…was gewild…en selfs “‘n Pakkie mieliepitte” ook!  “Die Inkvoel” is weer vir jonger kinders…so 8 -9 jaar…’n goeie boek! “Geagte mej Snob“… het ook heelwat kinders gelees, ook ‘n boek wat ek nog wou lees…

Voordat ek vergeet – kry bietjie van Marilee McCallighan se boeke om te lees – Wedloop teen die wind!” – dit is ‘n boek vir kinders so 12-15 jaar. Die boek was ook voorgeskryf vir ‘n sekere graad in die Hoerskool. Arno is die seun-karakter in die storie  en sy pa was ‘n prokureur. Hy was ‘n puik atleet en toe skielik begin hy toe epileptiese aanvalle kry en moes hy na ‘n spesiale skool gaan, wat ‘n groot vernedering vir die pa en ma was…veral die ma! Hulle was gesiene mense in die omgewing en sy kon nie verwerk/aanvaar dat haar talentvolle seun dit moes oorkom en na so ‘n skool moes gaan nie. Dit is ‘n PUIK boek! 

As jy nou regtig wil lag dat die trane loop…kry vir jou “Koningskind” deur Anita du Plessis…H&R was die uitgewers… en dit gaan oor ‘n Engelse bulhond, Keiser. Jy sal beslis nie spyt wees om die boek in die hande te kry nie! Lekker lees!

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If you were brought here via a google search of Pete Mondrian art…put his name in the search box on my blog to find the art faster than to go through the posts here…
Richard Bach has been one of my favourite writers for a couple of years….my first book I’ve read written by him, was “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”…That was a fantastic book….. I’ve read it about 3-4 times since the first time. I’ve also bought it a second time! This book….”The adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”….was my latest book I’ve finished reading. One chess player knew I was a fan of Bach and he recommended this book. It was a bit “different” than the other books I read by him…books like “One”….”A Bridge across forever”….”The gift of wings”…”There is no such place as faraway”…all books I’ve read…but I really enjoyed it too.
Follow this link to read more about Richard Bach.

Here is more reading about Richard Bach in Wikipedia…

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I’ve started reading this book quite recently….-while reading “In Search of South Africa”, the book which Dennis from the chess site sent me….I posted an extract of it somewhere on my blog…- anyway…this book about Janine di Giovanni’s memoir of the war, is about the Kosovo-War….only now on page 13, and do agree with her…it is about “madness”….

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I have the book about Greyfriars Bobby, exactly the one in the pic here. I bought it in Edinburg and isn’t Edinburgh the most wonderful place in this whole of England! Easy to drive, a clean city! Beautiful scenery….historical buildings that speak their stories by just looking at them! Wow….Edinburgh! I fell in love with you and it won’t be long before you see me, permanently! Hopefully! To come back to the book….this statue is in Edinburgh and two people living there couldn’t tell us about it and incidently, I saw the book in a shop…just an ordinary shop selling all kinds of furniture, with a few toys/books and…my book was on sale for just about £1!! And it is a RED FOX book!! I love my Bobby book and he reminds me of South Africa’s Jock of the Bushveld… our own true story about a Staffie…
I’ve got two links here, one with the story about Bobby….and the other with pictures. Oh, of course, the grave in this one pic, is Bobby’s master’s grave, but read the story, I don’t want to tell more…it is a bit of a sad story, if you haven’t seen the movie…you better read the story!
Follow THIS link for Bobby’s story ………..and THIS LINK for the photos. Enjoy!

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Read HERE about Pol Pot…
I’ve read the book…”First they killed my father…” A VERY upsetting book, but fantastic narration…follow my links to read more about the book. I’m now busy with “Lucky child…”
Last night there was on CNN a very interesting program on TV and that inspired me to post this on my blog…
 
Lung Ung
Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung’s family was forced to flee their home and hide their previous life of privilege. Eventually, they dispersed in order to survive. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans while her other siblings were sent to labor camps. Only after the Vietnamese destroyed the Khmer Rouge were Loung and her surviving siblings slowly reunited.

Loung Ung is a national spokesperson for the Campaign for a Landmine Free World, a program of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. She is the author of Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind, and she lives with her husband in Ohio.
Khmer Rouge on trial, CNN.
Read HERE about the author.

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His book translated into Flemish here.

 

Read ON THIS LINK about Marais.Have you read….”The soul of the white Ant”…or…”Die siel van die Mier!” by Eugene Marais… if not….you have a gap in your culture…:))….get “The soul of the white ant..” and read it…

And……on THIS LINK you can read his poem…”Dans van die reen”…which I translated into English for my blogreaders….”Dance of the rain”…enjoy!

Where is the soul of a termite, or the soul of man?
“Someone once said that all behaviourism in nature could be referred to as hunger. This saying has been repeated thousands of times yet is false. Hunger itself is pain – the most severe pain in its later stages that the body knows except thirst, which is even worse. Love may be regarded as a hunger, but it is not pain.
“What protects animals, what enables them to continue living, what assures the propagation of race? A certain attribute of organic matter. As soon as one finds life, one finds this attribute. It is inherent in life; like most natural phenomena it is polarised, there is a negative and a positive pole. The negative pole is pain; the positive pole is sex. This attribute may be called the saving attribute of life; and it is here where one comes closest to what appears like a common purpose beyond nature.” (Eugène Marais, The Soul of the White Ant, 1989:261)

Eugène Nielen Marais[1] (1871-1936) was a South African lawyer, naturalist, poet, and writer. Although Marais is remembered by South Africans more for his contribution to Afrikaans literature than for science, he has been described as being a scientist far ahead of his time.

He began life after leaving college as a journalist, then studied medicine for four years, but eventually took up law and was called to the bar by the Inner Temple. He was a scholar and a man of culture.

However, it was not only as jurist that Marais distinguished himself as a brilliant (yet eccentric) character in South African history. He has been described as “… a human community in one man. He was a poet, an advocate, a journalist, a story-teller, a drug-addict, a psychologist, a natural scientist.”

In 1910, he abandoned his law practice and retreated to the remote Waterberg (‘Water Mountain) – the mountain area north-west of Pretoria. Here he studied two creatures – termites and baboons that, on the face of it, had nothing in common. Both fascinated him, as did all wild creatures.

Settling near a large group of chacma baboons, he became the first man to conduct a prolonged study of primates in the wild. It was in this period that he produced My Friends the Baboons and provided the major inspiration for The Soul of the Ape.

His studies of termites led him to the conclusion that the colony should be considered as a single organism. Although Marais could not have known it, he was anticipating some of the ideas of Richard Dawkins (1941— ). He also observed chacma baboons at length and he was the father of the scientific study of the behaviour of primates. Because Marais refused to translate his works into English, they remained almost unknown outside of southern Africa, which is the only place in the world where Afrikaans is spoken to any degree.

Termites are social insects and are most closely related to the cockroaches with which they share a close common ancestor (?). They are among the most important groups of animals on land because they play a vital role in breaking down dead plant material. They have symbiotic flagellates or bacteria in their hindguts that are able to break down plant cellulose to a digestible form and in the subfamily Macrotermitinae the termites culture and eat fungi in their nests using dead plant material.

Ants (order: Hymenoptera; family: Formicidae) are often confused with termites because they are also social, and termites are sometimes called ‘white ants’ (a confusing term). Ants, like wasps (from which they evolved (?)), have a constriction half way down their body whereas in termites the body is uniformly broad. The prominent mounds you see in the South African countryside are made by termites not ants. Whereas ant workers are all females, in termites, workers can be both male and female. In ants, mating occurs before the nest is founded and the male dies after mating – he does not become a king, and live and mate with the queen in the new colony, as in termites.

Marais published his conclusions about termites as a series of speculative articles, written entirely in Afrikaans and appearing only in local newspapers, as The Soul of the White Ant. While observing the natural behaviour of these creatures, he noticed that firstly, the whole termitary (a termite nest) had to be considered as a single organism whose organs work like those of a human being.

Termitaries, as one sees them so frequently in Central and Southern Africa, are tall, compacted columns of earth sometimes four to five metres high. Within the terminary lives the society, with its castes and its ranks, in countless numbers.

Marais concluded that all members of the colony and the terminary itself form what is essentially a single living organism. The terminary itself is the body. The various castes in the society have the functions of the body’s organs, with fungus gardens contributing the digestive tract, soldiers and workers the cells of the blood stream, the queen the brain as well as the reproductive organs, and even the sexual flight executing the function of sperm and eggs. How all communicate (pheromones, telepathy?) we do not know, but the ‘soul’ of the termite – the psyche, we should say – is the property of the entire society. He concluded secondly that the actions within the termitary were completely, instinctive.

His work on termites led him to a series of stunning discoveries. He developed a fresh and radically different view of how a termite colony works, and indeed, of what a termite colony is. This was far in advance of any contemporary work. In 1923, he began writing a series of popular articles on termites for the Afrikaans press and in 1925; he published a major article summing up his work in the Afrikaans magazine Die Huisgenoot.

He published The Soul of the White Ant (1937) and then My Friends the Baboons (1939) which was posthumously published after he had taken his life.

His book Die Siel van die Mier (The Soul of the Ant, but usually given in English as The Soul of the White Ant) was plagiarised by Nobel Laureate Maurice Maeterlinck, who published The Life of the White Ant in 1926, falsely claiming many of Marais’ revolutionary ideas as his own. Maeterlinck was able to do this because he was Flemish and therefore understood Dutch, from which Afrikaans was derived. Maeterlinck was as a consequence one of the few people in Europe who had read Marais’ original texts.

Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949) was a leading literary figure of the time. In 1911, he won the Nobel Prize for literature following the success of his play The Bluebird. In 1901, he had written The Life of the Bee, a mixture of natural history and philosophy, but he was a dramatist and a poet, not a scientist.

In 1926, one year after Die Huisgenoot published Marais’ article, Maeterlinck stole Marais’ work and published it under his own name, without acknowledgement, in a book titled The Life of the White Ant, first published in French and soon afterwards in English and several other languages.

Maeterlinck’s book was met with outrage in South Africa. Later, in 1935, Marais wrote to Dr Winifred de Kok in London. She was beginning her English translation of The Soul of the White Ant, “You must understand that it was a theory which was not only new to science but which no man born of woman could have arrived at without a knowledge of all the facts on which it was based; and these Maeterlinck quite obviously did not possess. He even committed the faux pas of taking certain Latin scientific words invented by me to be current and generally accepted Latin terms.

“The publishers in South Africa started crying to high heaven and endeavoured to induce me to take legal action in Europe, a step for which I possessed neither the means nor inclination. The press in South Africa, however, quite valorously waved the cudgels in my behalf. The Johannesburg Star [South Africa’s biggest English-speaking daily newspaper] published plagiarised portions that left nothing to the imagination of readers.

“The Afrikaans publishers of the original articles communicated the facts to one of our ambassadorial representatives in Europe and suggested that Maeterlinck be approached. Whether or not this was done, I never ascertained. In any case, Maeterlinck, like other great ones on Olympus, maintained a mighty and dignified silence.”

Marais took legal action against Maeterlinck but gained little satisfaction.

Marais began writing Soul of the Ape in 1916, but never finished it. It was published posthumously years later. His theory was that, unlike termites, baboons – and by extension all primates – had the ability to memorise the relationship between cause and effect. They could therefore vary their behaviour voluntarily. While termites were instinctive, the mind of baboons was based on ‘causal memory’.

The reason for this difference, according to Marais, was natural selection. According to him, natural selection was not, as Darwin had insisted, ‘the survival of the fittest’, but rather ‘the line of least resistance’. Those species best able to adapt to their specific environment survived, while those not able to, would become extinct. Natural selection, therefore, had the tendency to both localise and specialise species.

The conclusions to which he came were new and radical and might well have had an influence in Europe. However, Marais was half a hemisphere away, half a century too soon and writing in a language no one could understand.

The Soul of the White Ant was brought under the attention of the world only by being seemingly plagiarised by a Belgian Nobel prize laureate, Maurice Maeterlinck. The Soul of the Ape was incomplete and originally only published in South Africa.

Maeterlinck’s The Life of the White Ant, in which he describes the organic unity of the termitary and compares it with the human body. This theory aroused great interest at the time and was generally accepted as an original one formulated by Maeterlinck. The fact that an unknown South African observer had developed the theory after many years of indefatigable labour was not generally known in Europe.

The 1927 files at The Star to which Marais referred were checked and confirmed by American author and social anthropologist Robert Ardrey (1908-1980) forty years later. “Maeterlinck’s guilt is clear”, Ardrey wrote. It is easily confirmed by a comparison of the two books. Marais’ point is indisputable: his picture of the termitary is startlingly original, it could not possibly have been hypothesised or inferred without a great deal of original research, at the very least – and yet there it is in Maeterlinck’s book.

Yet it is impossible to ignore the fact that Marais’ work is revolutionary, especially if one takes into account the time and place in which it was written. Robert Ardrey says in his introduction to Marais’ work on ants and baboons published in 1973, “As a scientist he was unique, supreme in his time, yet a worker in a science unborn.”

He was master of a science that was only invented fifty years later (ethology). It was sixty years before anyone else attempted to study what he had studied (ape societies in the wild). He described natural mechanisms and systems that were not identified by mainstream science until forty years later (pheromones), and neither science nor society has yet caught up with many of his findings and conclusions. Marais made no direct contribution to entomology, but his ghost continues to haunt the discipline.

His fourth book, The Soul of the Ape, completed in 1919, might just have made him world famous if it had been published then, but in fact half a century was to pass before it appeared in book form in 1969, thirty-three years after his death.

Their observations and the insights Marais gained from them formed the basis of a serious work later to be called The Soul of the Ape.

They also led to a more popular work, Burgers van die Berge (Citizens of the Mountains, translated as My Friends the Baboons), first published in book form in 1938, two years after Marais’ death.

In 1948, twelve years after Marais’ death, Nikolaas Tinbergen[2] (1907-1988) reformulated Marais’ extremely important concept of the phyletic (inborn) and causal (acquired) memory.

Thirteen years later, in 1961, Washburn and De Vore[3] published a lengthy article, ‘The Social Life of Baboons’, in the Scientific American. Though some of their observations were contested, they were seen as the first serious observers of baboons in the wild (meaning not in captivity), a title which surely Marais had earned fifty years before. His notes on baboon behaviour in The Soul of the Ape are regarded as honest and reliable by modern ethologists.

When The Soul of the Ape was finally published in 1969, it was too late.

Read the rest of the article….HERE on Authorsden. The link will open in a new window.

Winter’s Night

Oh the small wind is frigid and spare
and bright in the dim-light and bare
as wide as God’s merciful boon
the veld lies in starlight and gloom
and on the high lands
spread through burnt bands
the grass-seed, astir, like beckoning hands.

Oh East-wind gives mournful measure to song
Like the lilt of a lovelorn lass who’s been wronged
In every grass fold
bright dewdrop takes hold
and promptly pales to frost in the cold!

Translated by J.W. Marchant

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This is the first entry from this book, as I promised. I will just post very short bits from the book. I hope it inspires more people to get hold of the book and to read it, especially South Africans. It is really a book I treasure and I can’t thank Denis enough (from the chess site) for sending me this book! The way he describes places and the people/events that happened at that time and earlier is very informative….the country was still the “Union of South Africa”….we became a Republic in 1961. This book was published the first time in 1948!

In Search of South Africa….by HV Morton–First Published in 1948.

from the “Introduction”

While I was in the Union of South Africa I was constantly reminded of the classical world, in which illusion I was assisted of the air and the architecture of Sir Herbert Baker. It seemed strange to me, as indeed it still does, that a part of the earth which the Greeks and the people of the Hellenistic world would have adored, and the Romans have found so profitable, should have remained concealed from them.

….Flying to South Africa, which sophisticated friends told me would be boring, turned out to be a sheer delight from beginning to end. ……..I alighted in a country of haunting beauty and found myself among a people whose kindness and warmth of heart are not anywhere exceeded. As I travelled about the country, I learnt a page of history new to me, and one, I might add, which is not too well known in Europe or America. …..My thanks are due to Mr Winston Churchill for permission to print for the first time the text of the letter he left on his bed the night he escaped from prison in Pretoria in December, 1899. This interesting document has been cherished ever since as a family heirloom, and I am grateful to Mrs O E de Souza of Baberton for showing it to me. In a letter authorising its publication, Mr Churchill says, “You are at liberty to contradict the story of my having swum the Apies River.”

Chapter 1

……..I knew, of course, that South Africa had grown up in the course of the last fifty years, but the full extend of this growth, whose most spectacular proof is perhaps Johannesburg, was striking and unexpected. Johannesburg, like the word Klondyke, builds up in the mind a picture of gold rush, bars and tin shacks, a picture that was perfectly true fifty years ago. But I stepped out the next morning into a city which seemed to me to bear some resemblance to a small New York, while at the same time retaining something which reminded me of Kingston, Jamaica.
……….When for the first time you found yourself in a crowd of South Africans, your first impression is that these people look, speak, and dress more as we do in Great Brittain than any other folk. And this is true also of those South Africans of Dutch, French, and German descent who have no wish to be like us in any way, for they belong to the same racial stock and cannot help it. Even their language – Afrikaans – has the same roots as English, and gives one the impression that any student of Chaucer should be able to learn to speak it, or at any rate to read it, in a few weeks.
…….to begin a tour of South Africa in Cape Town, and I went there in the Blue Train…….It was a train of great splendour and finer than any train at present running in Europe, and as fine as the best the United States can boast. It was a train of blue sleeping-coaches and restaurant cars, even each compartment, air-conditioned, as I discovered when I found it possible to raise or lower the temperature by moving a little chromium switch above the bed. ……………….There came a time when, traversing the Hex River Pass, the train became a snake which twisted back upon itself, so that the locomotive was seen puffing valiantly now wat the left-hand window and now at the right. All round were mighty mountains, each cleft and corrie filled with pale blue shadow, the shadows we know on the west coast of Ireland as “Atlantic blue”; and so we came down into a happy land of peach-blossom and grape-vines, where a stream of ice-clear water ran beside the train for a long time. ………Such was my first impression of Cape Town: a city of dignity and beauty seated at the foot of a blue mountain where two oceans meet, and washed by a magic light that should make of men poets, artists, and philosophers.
———–to be continued…………

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This book “First they killed my father” is a must-read if you like to read books about wars. This is a sad story, but it gives you a true insight in what really happened during the Vietnam War. Read the reviews on Amazon, follow the link below. I totally agree with what everybody says about this book. 
and……….read the sequel too….”Lucky Child…” It’s brilliant, though very upsetting what Loung Ung and her family – and others in Vietnam – had to experience.


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First they killed my Father, by Loung Ung

Loung was born into a wealthy family of nine in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Pen. As her father is employed in the city as a military police captain and is a supporter of the former Lon Nol government both he and his family risk being captured and killed by the Extreme communist Khmer Rouge if his identity is found out. The Khmer Rouge wants to turn Cambodia into an agrarian nation free of the ‘western poison’ of capitalism. To make this dream a reality they begin to kill anyone who isn’t ‘pure’ Khmer and all those who indulge in western culture and learning. Luong’s father moves his family to the countryside where the Khmer Rouge places them into a work camp. The father attempts to keep his origins a secret so his family can survive. Every member of the family works hard and speaks to no-one so that they will become worthy citizens in the eyes of the angkar. The Book moves at a steady pace and the reader is kept interested throughout because of the author’s uncomplicated writing style. Loung’s changing emotions are vividly articulated drawing the reader in and allowing them to understand her plight and also her great triumph at the end when she beats all the odds and finally achieves her freedom.

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Huberta: the wandering star of the Eastern Cape
One of King William’s Town’s most famous residents is Huberta the hippo. In November 1928, for reasons known only to herself, Huberta began a long trek from St Lucia in Zululand to the Eastern Cape. For three years, she took a 1 600km wandering path southwards and her adventures captured the imagination of the nation and the world.
Huberta was not shy of strangers – she crossed roads and railroads and visited towns and cities. She ate her way through parks, gardens and farms and trampled over golf courses. Wherever she went, there followed journalists, photographers, hunters – and the interest of thousands of people. She became quite famous and her story appeared in South Africa’s newspapers, as well as international publications such as Punch and the Chicago Tribune.

Read HERE on my blog more about Huberta and her journey! with more links too.

Read further here………:


http://www.buffalocity.gov.za/visitors/huberta.stm

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