This is about the time after my studies to be a teacher: my first real job, my first adult relationship and being a father




APPLICANT          : A.C. Elliot

EXCHANGE          : Mooiriver

REQUIREMENT  : Farm line requirement

CONSTRUCTION: 7.3 km overhead cable


Provide service to applicant.


This case was investigated on location on 2/12/1989. There is a road from the Escourt 21xx and 36xx party lines for approximately 2km in the direction of Mr. Elliot’s new homestead leading to an unoccupied farm. The gate off the main road was, however, locked and we could not travel on the road. From the unoccupied farm it is approximately 3.5km to Mr. Elliot’s new house. No road exists. He is prepared to make a road in order that the telephone could be provided from the Escourt exchange. I informed him that telephone services are provided from the nearest exchange for economical and technical reasons and that it will not be possible to accede to his request, as Mooi River is the nearest exchange. The distances are as follows:

Mooi River: 30km

Rosetta   : 37.15km

Escourt   : 39 km


Mr. Elliot is prepared to accept service from the Mooi River exchange. He would appreciate it if we could expedite the provision of the service as he is an officer in the Natal Commando and it is essential that he should be in contact with his unit at all times.





Kindly furnish this office with the following information-

  1. When construction can be undertaken.
  2. Cost involved







map showing location of Mooi River










Chapter 1:

There are stories that reflect the complexities of the African Continent. Africa has a history of subjugation and colonization. It has long been the whipping-boy of the rest of the world and so, like a beaten dog, will turn at a whim with unbridled ferocity, a heart palpably beating behind the frame of squatter camp ribs. First came the slave traders, then the European Colonists and finally the Cold War powers of the USA, Russia, Cuba and China. The Continent was raped and pillaged as were its inhabitants, and like any abused creature, is damaged, its soul twisted and maligned.

In November 2000 a sickening news story was broken by one of the television news stations. Six White policemen from the Dog Squad on a training exercise, picked up three illegal Black immigrants from Mozambique. One of them filmed the others as they set their dogs on the three men.

The country was in an uproar especially the Black population. Racism was the flag that flew. I was not able to look in the eyes of a Black person for weeks. I felt guilty and dirty yet it emerged that it was not the first acts of violence that had been perpetrated against them. This flag was xenophobia: Black on Black violence, locals rule. South Africa is for South African Blacks and no others. Bishop Tutu asked for restraint. He said that although he had retired it was sometimes good for an old man to say, “Slow down.”

Although we in South Africa have an industrialized and technologically advanced infrastructure capable of producing at First World standards and pace, we are burdened with an African legacy: Apartheid, Colonisation, Xenophobia. There is a vast, huddled uneducated and unemployed mass. They were deprived of the vote and of their land. They were given the most basic of educations and the lowest positions of employment. They have been condemned to the fate of the poor: high population and subsistence living. They can be found on the fringes of our cities and in the rural areas. It was here that I went to find my brothers.

In February 1989, after bombing at my supplementary exams and being told by the Prof (|the Dean of the Education Department at Natal University) to take a year or two to decide whether I still wanted to be a teacher, I did what any other White boy without money would do. I joined the government, Telkom (South Africa’s government owned telecommunications company) to be precise.


pupils heading home after school in Mooi River





Bruntville is a black township situated approximately 3kms from the town of Mooi River. In the past 2 years this township has been very badly affected by unrest and violence, which has left many houses and businesses destroyed by fire and looting.

During the visit, by Mr A Swanepoel and I, to the area with the intention of obtaining information for the demand forecasting purposes, we were told about an Eskom employee who was shot in the back while working in the township. The political situation prevailing in Bruntville has made any stranger a target for a politically motivated attack. Unemployment was very obvious as numerous men folk were seen sitting in front of the houses and the youth milling around in the streets giving the impression that the schools were not being attended.

In order to enter Bruntville, we obtained the assistance of the police to escort us. Warrant Officer Olivier of the Mooi River Police Station kindly arranged this for us. The older portion of the township did not seem to have changed too much although some of the houses had been attacked and evidently standing empty. The hostels were partially destroyed by the rampaging youth and have not been restored yet. The new section had a number of houses that have recently been built although these houses do not look like they were built according to any specifications.

Due to the limited time that we had to spend in the township, it was not easy to establish the nature and extent to which the remaining businesses were affected except to that a few shops along the main road were partially destroyed but still operational. The schools are barely operating as there is a high level of undisciplined behaviour evident.

As a result of unreliable civic information received from the Township Secretary, Mr. Mabaso, the demand for communication was based on the highest recorded demand (1992/07/01) on which an average growth of 1% per pa was applied.

There are no postal deliveries with the result that telephone services are discontinued due to non-payment. It is anticipated that once the situation normalizes in the township, the demand for telecommunication services will increase.




TEL: 3631421





The study was undertaken on 16 April 1995 by S. Sithole and A. Swanepoel.


It was necessary to see Mr. Mc Allister, the Town Clerk of Mooi River, who gave us information regarding the future development likely on property bordering the existing township. These areas are indicated on the plan: A and B – 100 units, C and D – 180 units and E – 440 units.


Mr. Mabaso, the superintendent of Bruntville was able to advise us of the possible development on the large vacant stands throughout the township. There is a site for a junior primary school and another for commercial development. However it was not possible to establish when this development is likely to take place. The properties have been vacant for many years and the previous Demand Forecasters provided for the eventuality but nothing has actually taken place. The condition of the township leaves much to be desired. There are many homes, shops and other buildings that have been gutted by fire or/and vandalized. The cleaning of the streets and verges of the old part of the township (that which is visible up on the hill on entering, up Zondi Street) are being attended to by the Mooi River municipal staff. However there is an enormous amount of litter everywhere and streets and pavements are badly in need of repair.

The new portion of Bruntville beyond Zondi Street (over the hill) needs plenty of attention, many of the streets are overgrown and not able to be driven. The streets where brick paving was laid is systematically been destroyed as the residents steel the bricks to build on their properties. The roads are being eroded by rain and by the overflow of sewerage and the continuous running of water from taps at the side of the road where the washing of clothes is done.

The residents of Bruntville are largely employed in Mooi River, at the textile mill a kilometer from the town and in Escourt.


Sandile Sithole

Demand Forecasting (SDF4A)




Chapter 2:

 On the hill above Zondi Street was the cemetery. It overlooked a river in the North, which dribbled its way over the ochre of rusty rocks and shale, Winter weighing heavy upon it. In the South lay the townships of Bruntville and Townview, a miasma of mud, sewage, litter and scarred earth. Yet in amongst the ramshackle, the dilapidation, the rust can of a suburb were little Edens of caring, pride and beauty. West was the highway and beyond it the town of Mooi River. It was the farming and trout-fishing center of Natal: the beautiful river – Mooi River. Around me lay the corpses of the old townsfolk beneath a blanket of grass, weed and dandelions. Pre-election: White and recent Black, all brothers of the worm. Some of the stones and markers, to my horror, had cages over them to prevent theft. I headed over to the older part of the cemetery, passing through icy pools of shade like a trout in the nearby river. I lifted my shades, a trout flicking its tail in the Sun before diving down into the depths, and stepped carefully through the graves of the Boer War 1898-1904. Beneath the cloud of a huge tree I lit a cigarette, sucking in the comforting heated smoke.

Graves of English soldiers











I looked back to see where Sandile was. Rake-thin and immaculately dressed, he sat on top our mud streaked Suzy eating his lunch. I caught myself smiling fondly, surprised at the depth of my feelings for my colleague, my friend. You certainly got to know a man or woman when you spend week after week sharing the cab of a bakkie, driving eight hundred to a thousand k’s over untamed territory as only Africa owns. Then returning to the most rudimentary of sleeping quarters to share a meal, quiet conversation, the aches and pains and blessed sleep. The following morning you shared ablutions like a married couple and then out into the unsettling vast sparseness of space. You got to know them. Sandile Sithole, Andrew Swanepoel and Suzy, the Isuzu bakkie.

I shared stories of White and he of Black. He told me why chickens scratch in the dirt. It seems that once the chicken and the hawk were friends and being friends the hawk asked the chicken to look after the key to his house while he was away. The chicken lost the key and the hawk returning hungry could not get into his home and thus ate a chick and would continue to do so until the key was found. That was why, Sandile claimed, the chicken was always scratching looking for the hawk’s key.


Detail of English soldier’s grave marker




And although we did not always agree, we were confident enough in our relationship to disagree. In the oppressive heat and dryness of a dusty wind we interviewed the headmaster of Hlumbe C.P. School surrounded by his slogans on the walls. There’s nothing better than a braai. His pride of his school was evident, his request, a callbox for his staff room where it could be protected rather than outside the school where it was an easy target for vandalism. Telkom’s position: outside because when the school was locked it did not collect revenue. I agreed but then questioned why White schools had them in their staff rooms. A haunting from Apartheid.

I stubbed out my cigarette against an obelisk-of-a-headstone. As I did so it caught my eye and I knelt beside it, the mossy soil was cool against my knee.  A driver killed in a wagon accident late in 1904: after the war. Preparing to go back to England, having survived the war dies in some ridiculous accident. Life can be a real bitch! An ornate headstone was all that remained of a young man, his dreams, ambitions and loves on a foreign shore. Fodder to man’s avarice and humanity’s innate weaknesses. Suddenly I felt afraid.

“Sandile, let’s hamba lala, sparie! Let’s get out of here, my friend. The Spar shop and my bed are calling.”

His white teeth flashed at me from his dark face, surrounded by his even darker sparse beard. So we left the hill above Zondi Street.







Statement: Regarding Grant Hooper’s Subpoena For Visitation Rights In The United Kingdom.


I, Andrew Peter Swanepoel, have known Sandy Hooper for five years, more than half her life. In every way, bar blood, I am her father and am her male role-figure.

I have spent every moment with her that her mother will allow me to, and in that time I have come to know her intimately (the only other person who would know her better is her mother). I have studied education including child psychology so my insights into Sandy and her behaviour do have some academic grounding. To add to this is the fact that I have shared all the experiences of a parent with her. I was there with her when she lost her first tooth. I was there when she went in for her ear operation. I was there when she lost her first pet. I taught her how to read, to swim and to ride a bicycle.

When I met Sandy she had just recently been sexually abused while in her father’s care and was an emotional wreck. She displayed the characteristic traits of an abused child: she would try and kiss me with her tongue, show me her vagina etc. Her behaviour would be even worse just before and just after visits with her father. She loved her father (as every child should), however was afraid to be with him as he had neither protected nor supported her after the abuse. He, in fact, had told her that she had made the whole thing up with the help of her mother. This was obviously tearing the child apart and still colours her relationship with her father.

Without attempting to assassinate Grant Hooper’s character I feel there are certain other things that should be considered before even thinking of forcing Sandy to go away for such a lengthy visit. Firstly, until recently Grant was not even interested in spending much time with Sandy. I feel this request is more to appease his wife than anything else. Secondly, he does not pay his maintenance timeously or in full. Finally, Grant took her to the Berg for a couple of days and she returned with a terrible vaginal infection. He had not bathed her the entire time she had been with him.

In conclusion, it should be noted that Lorraine has never refused to allow Grant to see Sandy. I pose these questions – if Grant truly cared about his daughter would he have emigrated, considering the rand-pound exchange rate why does he not want to provide the best for his daughter, why has he not bothered to come and see his daughter here?

I think that the final, most important fact to be considered is that the two people who know Sandy the best, know that she is not emotionally ready to be separated from her mother for such a long period. Nor is she mature enough to undertake such a trip. Finally, Sandy herself does not wish to go and surely that should be the end of it.


“Hey, Mr. Postman, do your duty. Here comes the monster, matey. She can do the pom-pom, she can do the twist. But most of all she can kiss, kiss, kiss!”

The little girl, angel incarnate, giggled like heavenly bells and dived onto me, placing wet kisses all over my face.

“Eyew! Get off me! I don’t kiss girls.”

“Liar! You used to kiss Mom!”

Sandy laid her head on my chest, placing her chin on the pillow of her tender hands and looked up at me with eyes the colour of bluebells, innocent and filled with boundless adoration. I lost myself in their blue and the trill of her voice. She told me all about her day: how she had been the leader walking her class to the library or how Molly had broken her pinky promise twice, and therefore they had not played together.

“I ate all my lunch,” she said earnestly. “Well, I just left the crusts. Can we put them out for the birds otherwise Mom will moan?”

I delighted in her. My love, my world, my everything.  Whenever I doubted a reason or purpose for my existence I thought of her and knew that if I never ever did anything worthwhile in my life I had, I had, made a difference in that child’s life. Sandy would not be Sandy without me, would not have become the person that she had become. She was my little avalanche lily. An avalanche pulverizes, shreds and tears down a mountainside leaving scaring lacerations and lesions in its wake and … flowers. These flowers are born in the destruction left by the juggernaut. My avalanche lily.

Her speech slowed and her breathing deepened as she slowly drifted toward sleep taking me with her.

Pretty little pussy cat

Lying upon the mat

Show me how you arch your back.

In my dreams I felt her on my shoulders as light as sleep on Christmas Eve, at the age of three, as we walked around the Stables Moonlight Flea Market. I could feel her chin tap-tapping on the crown of my head and then finally the constant pressure of her cheek as she fell asleep, my moonlight shadow. Together we were a single organism. She reminded me how good it was to be alive, that it was the simple things that made it worthwhile. I imprinted on her and she on me. We loved.

Lorraine woke me when she pulled into the driveway and I instinctively closed my arms about the sleeping child on my chest. As her key rattled in the lock I carefully sat up and stood, holding tight to me. She stirred, twitched and instinctively wrapped her arms and legs about me, tucking her head beneath my chin. Murmuring words of comfort to her I walked through to her bedroom and placed on her bed, tucking her in.

“Goodnight, punkin,” I whispered to her as I kissed her gossamer cheek.

She smiled and snuggled into her pillow. I grinned, looking down at her. She slept at peace, so unlike that tortured little soul who would twist, turn and ache in the fever of her nightmares that I had first met five years previously.


I started from my reverie, “Shh,” I left the room, switching on the nightlight. “I’ve put her to bed.”

She smiles that crooked smile at me and said, “You have a serious case of bedhead. Was she good?”

“She always is. Thanks for letting me look after her.”

“It’s a pleasure.” She walked through to the kitchen. “You want some coffee or tea?”

Silently I lifted her schoolbag and took out her lunchbox. Opening it, I took out her jiffy bag of crusts and slipped them into my pocket.


“Uh, no thanks. Here’s her lunchbox. I have to go. May I take her to the movies on Saturday? She wants to see The Grinch.”

“Yeah, sure. Give me a call.”

“Okay, thanks, hey. Night.”

“You too. Bye.”

She closed the door behind me. I could still feel Sandy’s warmth upon me, an enduring scent; feel her in my arms and her hair on my face and neck.

That night I turned and twisted in my bed like some nocturnal shark launching out at my pillow, turning my sweating belly to the ceiling and gripping at my prey. I mirrored the chimera, that wild incongruous thing that haunted my subconscious on nights.




So I loved Sandy and she me, and we became an entity, in a world of our own creation.

This was one of the happiest times of my life. I loved my work: the traveling and seeing my world and the feeling that I was helping people. I loved my Sandy: the worlds she showed me and that we helped each other. Concord – the coming together of hearts.

But it was like Christmas. You know it does not, cannot, will not, last.

Softly, softly they skirted the fringes of our world and then skittered across its surface like shadows. Little things in her behaviour and her mother’s. Then one day, a year and a half into our relationship, Sandy tried to kiss me on the lips and using her tongue: a little five-year-old angel who named me after her favourite fantasy character, Pooh Bear. Lorraine went insane and when Sandy had calmed and slipped into a troubled and fretful sleep, she finally told me something of the truth, and my world slipped from its orbit into emotional chaos.

Here’s what happened: Grant had visitation rights so he takes her for a sleepover. But the girlfriend wants to go out so they leave Sandy at her parents’ house. The sixteen-year old brother, Rod Smythe, molests her. That’s all I needed to know.




Did I mention Lorraine was lyingmanipulativecold-heartedbitchdotcom?

Lorraine, as she always seemed to be able to do, had set voices off within my head. They skittered and clattered about like the branches of a tree against a zinc roof on a windy night.

A wind howled, buffeting our convoy of vehicles all the way down to the Transkei: a region of the Eastern Cape between the River Kei and Natal border and once the first of the Separate Development Self-Governing Areas under the National Party’s policy with regard to the Black majority. The Homelands. The rendezvous point had been at the Engen petrol station outside Scottburgh on the South Coast on Sunday afternoon. There we had loaded the Trimble GPS units that we used for mapping and shared out the charts of the respective areas we had been allocated for the week. Then we had had a meal at the Bimbos there. By three we were out on the road headed for Cedarville, a small farming community near the town of Matatiele, which in Xhosa meant the ducks have flown, referring to a dried-out vlei nearby. We each drove our own vehicle, as we would be working with local interpreters, Xhosa speakers, who knew the area. This suited me as I withdrew into the deep recesses of my mind, driving on autopilot. I had dark and disturbing monologues, dialogues and tirades on my mind’s stage as the vast, craggy wilderness flashed by. Then as the night fell from the cobalt sky, pooling in hollows and ravines and finally spilling over the ragged horizon, I trailed the cherry of the rear lights of Sandile’s Suzy, and the wind followed.

It was sable, and iridescent with the jewels of heaven when we approached and passed through the chandelier of light that was Matatiele. Then onto Cedarville where we were lodging for the next five weeks while we conducted our field study of the towns of Mount Fletcher and Mount Ayliff and the surrounding villages. It lay at the center of an amphitheatre made up of high ridges: smallholdings, stores, churches with the main road passing by on the West. When we arrived at the hamlet the folk of Cedarville had already rolled up the streets and we traveled on a gravel road up to the guesthouse on Nine-gate Farm. It nestled on the slopes of the Eastern escarpment like the sheen of sweat on the body of a dark, dusky Nigerian woman. The convoy slowed and I started from my trance. We halted and seconds later were enveloped in a milky dust cloud that we had dragged behind us. For a couple of minutes we were sightless and then ahead of us I saw this White youth astride a behemoth of horseflesh waving a flashlight. The lead vehicle driven by Zane Olifant started up and like dogs in a street we all began to bark in unison. We then moved forward and turned left, following Zane’s amber indicator, passing through what I assumed was one of the nine gates. The youth grinned from below the brim of his bush-hat at us with the confidence of one far beyond his years.

We followed the tree-lined path until it opened up into an expanse of grass before a quaint, slightly disheveled stone house draped in creepers and almost engulfed by flowering creepers. About 500 meters away, beyond a dilapidated tennis court, was the sprawling main house, surrounded by wide verandahs and lit up like a star. Michelle, her pale blonde hair a halo about her head, stood silhouetted by the light from the magnificent snowy house. Roses and dogs enveloped her and I’m certain by the stares of every male in the vicinity. She had the vulnerability and beauty of a Marilyn Monroe and we all started when her son rode up. She handed the keys to Zane, smiled at each and everyone of us and, trailing dogs, a bewitching scent and our hearts, headed back to her palace. For a blessed moment my mind had left that dank cellar that Winnie had placed me in.



“They call this place Ingozi,” Fekizle was saying.

“Danger?” I asked.

His face showed pleasant surprise that I had recognized a word in his language. It was late afternoon and night was descending as it does in these wild and craggy places.

“Yes. You must never be around here after the sun goes down.”

“I don’t intend to. Why though?”

“They take for muti here. You know?” He grabbed his crotch, touched his ears and grasped his pink tongue, which he had protruded from his dark, fleshy lips. “White parts are especially good for strong muti.”

“Why here? Doesn’t anybody do anything about it?”

“You see the Elders of the village once took care of a skabanga. You know, a wild young guy. He wouldn’t show respect or listen to the Elders so they waited until there was a party, a celebration. Then late in the party when most were dugewe they told him they where going to fetch beer up there,” he indicated to the forbidding mountain looming over the village. “Once there they beat him to death with their knobkerries, their sticks. Then they buried him standing up so he could not rest. They covered him up to here,” he pointed to his forehead. “And then built a fire on his head until it exploded so he would not be able to find his way home. Then they went back and nobody spoke of him.”

“Good grief, do they really do that?”

“Yebo, the law out here is the Old Ways. But let me tell you what happened. These people did not know that his gogo was a witch. Soon children disappeared and one was found with his parts missing. Muti. That still happens here.”

“Well, lets get the hell out of here,” I said only half-joking, as I felt the icy water of trepidation trickle down my spine.




My colleagues had found me to be morose of late and my troubled silences uncomfortable to be around. So it was something of a surprise when I agreed to join them and Michelle and her husband, Roland, for an evening at the local pub: The Troubled Toad. I had escaped the cellar within my head for the moment and was in a vibrant, engaging mood, and much like a peacock suddenly flashing its coloured tail feathers in awesome display I drew people to me because of my stark contrasts. Drinks were drunk, stories were spoken of, laughs were laughed and games were gambled. Mike, Michelle’s husband, knew just about every thing about bar etiquette and games and we played all of them. The evening was such a success that sometime after midnight Mike and Michelle invited us to stay for the weekend. We were to leave for home on Friday at one pm, this being our final week here but for Frans Moolman and myself this offer was just too tempting to refuse so we accepted.

So Friday, when the others left for Durban, we went as far Matatiele to stock up on alcohol and food. Now let me tell you about Frans: he was a loud, hairball-of-a-man and looked like something of a Latino drug dealer with his ponytail and thought of himself as something of a Camel-man despite the fact that he smoked Chesterfield, as decent guy on his own he could be a bit of an idiot in a crowd. Saturday morning after brunch we left for Dukuza Tent Town, named after King Shaka’s principal kraal. It was accessible only by 4×4 and lay at the foot of Cedarville Falls. The group consisted of a couple of local farmers, a policeman, Mike, Frans and myself and by the time we arrived there we were drunk as skunks mostly as a result of having to consume Old Brown Sherry every time we saw water. The sticky, viscous liquid coated the lenses to my reality. I remember it clouding over that day and that it was bitingly cold with snow on the Lesotho Mountains in the distance. There was a huge bonfire going when we got there and as we huddled around sipping brandy-and-cokes we were informed of the initiation rite we were expected to perform: ride the Falls butt-naked. Frans the Camel-man, to my surprise, immediately refused and no amount of cajoling and jeering could make him change his mind. So it was Pieter the policeman and Pine the demand forecaster who headed up the path while the others sang to us.

“’n Boude is nee ‘n boude nie sonder ‘n puisie.” A bum isn’t a bum without a pimple.

I remember being cold but warmed by my exhilaration and inebriation. That all evaporated the instant I stood at the top of the falls, some fifty meters above the, I was hoping, deep pool. Pieter, throwing caution to the wind and his buttocks onto the slimy bedrock and shrinking penis into the icy water, whooped and slide like a huge pink salmon over the edge in a froth. I placed a tentative foot into the water and all the uncertainty and indecision was wrenched away from me as the slippery surface and strong flowing water sucked me down. Screaming like a young girl in a slasher movie, I bounced down the falls and then was catapulted into the depths of the numbing water. I surfaced and was at the shore and out of the river and before the fire in an instant as though Jack Frost himself were flicking at my pink extremities with his frosty fingers.

Somewhere during that night, after we had returned to the farm and to Mike and Michelle’s home pub, the mood shifted, largely taking Frans’ lead. Mike and he began to force me to consume horrible concoctions every time I did not follow bar protocol, which was often because of how drunk I was. Michelle came to my rescue, placing herself next to me and deflecting all further attempts to punish and bully me while listening to my befuddled tales and philosophies on life. Mike and Frans retreated to a corner glaring balefully every now and then in our direction. Eventually Mike, sulking, skulked off to bed in a huff and freed, Michelle and I flitted about each other like mating butterflies above sun-drenched flowers. We brushed heated thighs and fingers, looked deep within each other’s eyes and longingly at wet lips and yearned. She reminded me of my love, Charlotte, and I to her of a world she had once known out there beyond this farm and hamlet.

Eventually when Michelle got up to go to the toilet I followed her and behind the closed bathroom door she and I kissed deeply, murmuring to each other between our interlocked fruity tongues. A knock at the door broke our insane, primal mutual bewitchment and with our hearts in our mouths instead of each other’s tongues Michelle opened the door.

I heard her say with some relief, “Hi, Pieter. Excuse us,” and gesturing to me we breezed past him, leaving him with his zip and his mouth wide open staring after us. The spell was broken but the attraction remained and it was with real regret that we said our goodnights.

When I was back in Durban Michelle called a couple of times even inviting me to come and visit one Saturday when Mike and her son had gone on a fishing trip. But the sanctity of marriage and the Catholic priest within me dampened my ardour and I chose to stay away. The last call I received from her was to tell me that Mike had been told by Pieter the policeman what had happened and that he had seen the telephone calls made to me. Frans, as my immediate senior at Demand Forecasting, had received a call from him threatening to take his shotgun to me should he ever see me and that I should stay away from his wife. Frans thought it hilarious and my reputation as one of the men among Camel-men.



My sojourn out into those vast and wild isolated places with Demand Forecasting, my return to playing rugby for the Durban Wanderers’ First Team and the introduction of my “daughter”, Sandy,  into my life had returned some semblance of security and a future to it: something to live for. That dark and dank cellar door however, creaked within my mind, unsettling me as the wind does small children and animals. The study in Mount Fletcher, my stay at Nine Gates, my plunge down Cedarville Falls, as well as my encounter/flirtation with Michelle had fired within me the will to be an active participant within my life again: to act rather than to be acted upon.