Hunteen, Shooteen & Fisheen

Personal note: My word count has been creeping up over the weeks! I don’t want to presume on too much of your time, so this week I’m just giving you Part 1 entitled Hunteen, Shooteen and Fisheen of When the Lions Roar at Night. Stay in touch. Diana

No story about Africa is complete without a yarn or two about its dangerous wildlife, especially the king of the bushveld. In QQ in 1916, the last of a pride of lions was finally dispatched in a mine shaft on the Globe and Phoenix Mine.

For our family the roar of lions at night conjured up a story from the center of Johannesburg from my mother’s memories of the fear of death.

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The Jubilee Bicycle Parade 1950


Last week I wrote about the float winners at the Que Que Jubilee Celebration of Rhodesia in 1950. This week I am continuing with the bicycle parade that accompanied it. There were all kinds of entries: clowns, and fairies, goblins and witches, Noddy in his little red toy car and Mr. Plod the Policeman on his bicycle, Mary with her little lamb and Doctor Foster in top hat and tails. However, this is how decision making on what to be went at our house

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The Jubilee Float Parade 1950


Southern Rhodesia was a slow starter by anyone’s standards. Since its founding by Cecil John Rhodes in 1890 its development had been stalled for a host of reasons. Ever present were the host of pestilences which thwarted even the sturdiest of souls. Rindepest, rebellions, Boer War, WWI, and the Great Depression foiled progress in one way or another. Following WWII Great Britain was in ruin. Were the wide-open spaces of Rhodesian a Shangri-La in the making? The nucleus of die-hards and swelling numbers of newcomers alike approached the jubilee celebration with great anticipation.

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The Mayoress’ Tea Party


As we saw in my very first blog, The Goings On at the bottom of the Garden, my mother was confident that the colonies offered a lot more freedom of expression than was permissible in the strict conventions of England. To her, this openness, mixing of classes and cultures and modifying traditions offered huge advantages. She thrived. Before I leave the subject of tea and its importance in our society from everyday early morning tea to formal functions, I’d like to share with you some snaps and memories of the first Mayoress’ Tea Party my mother hosted in our garden at 1 Silver Oaks Road.
Do you remember, or recognize anyone from the pictures? Let me know. I so look forward to your own reminiscences and reactions.

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Early Morning Tea


Early Morning Tea Tea was more than just a drink.  It was a ritual, appropriate for almost any official function as we saw in the last piece from my novel, The Hospital Christmas Tea.  There were teas to celebrate a dignitary’s arrival, the opening of a new facility or a business, served at the annual…

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A Present at the Hospital Christmas Day Tea (an excerpt from the novel)

A Present to Remember at the Hospital Christmas Day Tea

The Hospital Christmas Day Tea was a must. Anyone who was anyone came to join the jollification: the long term mayor accompanied by the mayoress, the chief of police, the old Government Medical Officer of Health (GMO), the two private doctors in town, chubby Dr. Eckhart and his wife, Dr and Mrs. Rubenstein and their young family along with the mine officials. Included too, were the staff’s husbands, and of course the patients families.

The hospital was decorated for the season by the sisters, Sunshine girls come out to Africa from England ostensibly to nurse, but also to look for a husband. The Fracture Room was raided as they tackled the decorating task with gusto. Rolls of plaster of Paris were formed into snow-covered hillsides with figurines of snowmen and children sledding. These tableaus stood on tables along the hallway beneath loops of woven crepe streamers in red and green.

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