a B&B life...
In March 2008 we had as guest the granddaughter of one of the Stander daughters. She sent me a poem written by her grand-mother. On weekends the daughters would stroll down to the Kat River and obviously, the young Maria met a young man from the other side of the river whom her parents did not approve of.
Twixt bracken banks and shady woods
The streamlet ripples gently west
Where oft in childhood’s happy days
I watched the wood-finch build it’s nest;
Where oft in happier days we wove
The golden threads of love’s young dream
To warbles sweet and twillering tones –
Sweet music from the rippling stream!But when in after days those banks
Recorded sorrow’s doleful theme,
I heeded not the linnet’s song,
Not heard the rippling of the stream!
When skies are blue and fields are green,
And all the world seems bright and fair,
All veiled to us the distant scene
With what it harbours over there!
Too soon we learned life’s sad refrain:
“Sunshine and sorrow ever meet!”
Had we but met to part again,
Our hopes be shattered by defeat!
For him his queen was never to wear
A bridal blossom in her hair,
For him, no bridal veil to hide
The crimson of his blushing bride!
How oft I dreamt that at his side,
In all the world the happiest bride,
Entranced I stood in ecstasy –
My dark-eyed prince, a king to me!
Alas that love is but a dream
And mournful we awake to find
As we retrace our steps again,
Our loved ones’ foot-prints left behind!
Those foot-prints on the sands of time
Are treasures thine, oh memory,
To cherish in the starless night
When sorrow bids us fly to thee!
Remembrance, aye, this God’s great gift
Which through this dismal vale of ours,
Recalls in accents soft and sweet,
Sweet memories of bygone years!
Of Studebakers and old cars ...
As the once proud owner of a 1958 Volkswagen and belonging to the local Old Car Club, I am forever encouraging guests to visit the local Railway Museum just up the road, where private vintage car owners can display/store their vehicles amongst the Railway exhibitions. I chanced upon the following passage in the delightful book by Victor Smith called 'Open Cockpit over Africa' in which he tells of his adventures flying more than 13 000 miles from George to London and back. Arriving back in George he was welcomed back as a hero by the locals. (Fairview is, of course, the Mayoral home mentioned...
Uncle Jack Smith (JK), who had once claimed expenses from the tax-man for 'lubrication of the best machine in the factory' (brandy for himself), arrived in great style in his new six-cylinder Studebaker. But, despite his weakness, never let it be said that uncle Jack was not a man of his word. I think the reader will agree when he or she reads the story which I will now have to tell.
Oom (Uncle) Koos Stander, Mayor of George, paid me the honor of a handshake with hands the size of boxing gloves. Oom Koos, with JK Smith, had been two of the most enthusiastic supporters of the bar in the old Victoria Hotel at the top of York Street - now the George Museum.
Said my uncle, after his fourth brandy, to the ex-mayor who was holding a cigar in his left hand and a brandy in his right: "Koos ou swaer (old brother-in-law) I think you are becoming a bit of an alcoholic!"
"Nonsense, I can give it up anytime I want to. I'll bet you five pounds I can go without a drink longer than you can."
"Taken", says JK. " I'll bet you the brand-new Studebaker I can abstain for longer than you can; we start from tomorrow."
Six weeks, or it may have been six days later, Uncle Jack decided that one small brandy would be very nice, and no one would notice. After looking around the bar he walked in and ordered a double. Great minds think alike, and before JK started to settle down to business, Oom Koos with the same idea in mind peeped around the door and walked in.
Uncle Jack paid up - but the ex-mayor never learned to drive. It was always to be next week. The brand new Studebaker could be seen for many years corroding away beside the ex-mayoral home."
About the blog
This is the story of our house, lovingly restored and shared with guests and family since 1995.