Wednesday, November 11, 2009

UDI - 11th November 1965

Still in the UK, and life still goes on. Amazing ! I'm thinking of the wonderful life we all used to have in Rhodesia - and I'm also thinking of the wonderful life I have here, today. A life surrounded by family & friends. That's all any of us really want, isn't it ? (Of course, sunshine would help).

To those who are celebrating anything at all today - have a great day.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Please disregard my last post. LOL ! I've scrapped the other blog I started. I just couldn't seem to get into it. So I guess I'll just have to start posting here again (where I should have been posting all along !) Back with something interesting, clever & witty soon. Yeah...right.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Blog

Ho...hum. I've started a new blog - Zimbo Abroad. If you're interested, click on the link.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Zimbabwe Elections

Photo from - some great election photos - take a look.

I am, of course, following the results of the Zimbabwe elections with great interest. These results affect all Zimbabweans, whether we are are living there or not.

Rob, at The Bearded Man, is providing quite an extensive coverage.

Will Bob go quietly ? As usual, in time, we will see - Zimbabwe time.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Moving On

When I heard of the death of Ian Smith, I felt that we had, indeed, come to the end of an era. Rhodesia is no more. Of course, I have known that for many years in my heart - after all, I had been living in Zimbabwe until the end of 2001. I saw the change, and the disintegration of our society and of all that we, as Rhodesians, held dear. But, with Smithy's death, it seems so final. I found myself thinking "that's it. The end. Kaput. We have no more ties."

These thoughts have been very upsetting to me over the last couple of weeks. And then, it seemed, the more I thought about it, the more liberating it became. It is the end...yes...finally. I can lay Rhodesia (and Zimbabwe) to rest and move on. You know that great song by Stevie Wonder ?
Like a long lonely stream
I keep running towards a dream
Moving on, moving on
Like a branch on a tree I keep reaching to be free,
Moving on, moving on.
There's a place in the sun
Where there's hope for everyone
Where my poor restless heart's, gotta run
There's a place in the sun
And before my life is done
Got to find me a place in the sun.
This song has never meant as much to me as it does at this moment. For the last 6 years, I have been living here in the UK. I am becoming very happy here. I should be completely settled here. But that is impossible when I have one foot here, and the other in Rhodesia. Straddling two continents can prove to be very uncomfortable ! It restricts movement entirely. One can either step back to the place where one started out, or lift the back foot and move forward to the future. Ian Smith's death is allowing me to do just that. Move forward. Just as he has been relieved of all the pain and anguish he suffered over our beautiful country, so have I. It is, finally, over.
I will not be updating this blog with any regularity in the future. To all my readers, and those who have been in contact with me since I first started my writing in 2000 (on my Zimbabwe - the Countdown Begins website), thanks for following along. I was offered great comfort, and encouragement as we went through some difficult times in Zim.
To all my fellow Rhodesians, God Bless you. I salute you. I hope you all join me in thanking God for the wonderful world we once knew.
It's time to move on.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ian Douglas Smith 1919 - 2007

Ian Smith passed away yesterday as a result of a stroke suffered at a nursing home in Cape Town.

Godspeed Smithy. Deepest sympathy to his family.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Zimbabwe Situation

I have just read this, and I am not at all surprised *sigh*. It's from Reuters.

Analysts say Mugabe, under international pressure to adopt democratic reforms or step down after 27 years in power, may use the law to handpick a loyalist as his successor and rule from the sidelines. The 83-year-old Zimbabwean leader, however, has said he will seek another term as president next year.

The constitutional changes stemmed from talks between the MDC and the government, which are being brokered by South African President Thabo Mbeki as part of a regional drive to resolve Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis. The compromise between the ruling ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition cleared the way for parliament, currently controlled by Mugabe, to elect a new president should the incumbent fail to serve a full term. The 83-year-old Zimbabwean leader, however, has said he will seek another term as president next year.

The MDC has been pushing for an entirely new constitution that would guarantee basic freedoms and free elections.

Changes that watered down the bill included abolishing the president's power to appoint members to the lower house of parliament, which will have 210 members compared with the current 150, and a further expansion of the upper house to 93 members from 84, with five appointees.

© Reuters 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

What are we doing tonight ?

Any guesses ? The curry is bubbling away on the stove (no braai unfortunately - it's too cold). The house has been cleaned. The fridge is loaded with cold, cold drinks. From about 5pm we will await the arrival of the family. Nerves are shot !!!

Go, South Africa go.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Click on the logo to visit the New RBC.

Yes...TGIF - as Leslie Sullivan used to say on the RBC every Friday morning. It's been a rough week with sick grandkids (grandkids that I look after).

TGIF was my first thought as I got up this morning. Then I thought of Leslie - and you know how one thought leads to another - then I thought of Peanuts, his daughter, and wondered where and how she was. Then I thought of all the girls and guys (people I thought were really cool) who I used to hang out with - and then I thought about the "super cool" crowd. You know - the crowd we all longed to hang out with - and wondered where they are and what they're up to. was funny to think me...they are all pushing 60 (or are over 60), and probably all have wrinkles (like me) and grey hair under all that colour (like me).

How the time has gone. Youth has disappeared, and been replaced by "middle age" (there's no way I'm describing myself as "old"). But...with middle age...comes an incredible feeling of acceptance of self. We no longer have to strive to become one of the cool crowd, or act in a way that makes us attractive to others. We say what we like without worrying about what others think. I mean, who gives a monkey's anyway ? We can wear what we like, eat what we like - be whatever we want to be.

This is a really comfortable place to be. I like it !

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Wondering in the Morning

Some mornings, when it's grey, wet and miserable, and I'm out walking the dog on wet, grey pavements because there isn't enough room in the garden for him, and I look ahead and know that winter is on it's way, and it will be cold, wet and miserable...then I wonder what on earth I'm doing here, and how it got to this. Only some mornings...not every morning.

Today, though, is one of those mornings.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Look Back over the Summer

Never mind Five years's almost 5 months on since I last posted.

(The photo above is our new puppy, a Jack Russell named....wait for it...Jack ! How's that for an original name. What's a Zimbo/Rhodie without a dog, hey ? We love him to pieces).

Summer is over, and we enjoyed as much of it as we could. It wasn't the best of the summers we've had since we've been here, but it certainly beats winter. I really suffer in the cold, and I never look forward to winter (a real wimp !)

We celebrated the birth of a new grandaughter in June. She is the cutest little thing, and we have enjoyed spending a lot of time with her. We also celebrated a wedding - our youngest son got married a few weeks ago - to a wonderful English rose, and we are so happy for them. He is really well settled here, and has no intention of leaving.

My other two children and their families are also very well settled and happy. They all think we did the right thing by leaving Zimbabwe and settling here. They have no regrets. And neither do I.

As the months, and then the years roll on, I seem to have distanced myself from Zimbabwe - not only physically...but emotionally too. It hasn't been intentional - it's just happened over time. It's just goes on...and it goes on here. I can't live in the past (as I did the first couple of years here). I made myself quite miserable then, and it wasn't fair on my hubby and the family. He began to think he had done the wrong thing by bringing us here. didn't do the wrong thing. It was the right thing, in all ways possible. I look forward to our future and retirement here.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mugabe, Mbeki & Tsvangirai were lost in the forest and were captured by Cannibals. The cannibal king told the prisoners that they could live if they passed a trial. The first step of the trial was to go to the forest and get ten pieces of the same kind of fruit.

So all three men went separate ways to gather fruits. Mbeki came back and said to the king, "I brought ten apples." The king then explained the trial to him. "You have to shove the fruits up your butt without any expression on your face or you will be eaten.'' The first apple went in.... but on the second one he winced out in pain, so he was killed.

Tsvangirai arrived and showed the king ten berries. When the king explained the trial to him, he thought to himself that this should be easy. 1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8... and on the ninth berry he burst out in laughter and was killed.

Mbeki & Tsvangirai met in heaven and Mbeki asked Tsvangirai, "Why did you laugh, you almost got away with it?" Tsvangirai replied, "I couldn't help it, I saw Mugabe coming with pineapples.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Without Honour promo

This is Rob Ellis's Video Promo for his new book, Without Honour.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Without Honour

I've added a link down on the right hand side (under Zimbabwe books) to Robb Ellis's (The Bearded Man) new book, Without Honour. It's well worth the read (and the price).

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Rhodesian Story - The night Johnny went Missing

I have published this story on another website a couple of years ago - but since it's mine I thought I'd reproduce it for you here. It's all true - I promise !

This little incident happened during the sixties.

My father, and a group of his drinking buddies, were on their way home from a bash at one of the hotels in Salisbury. There were 5 of them, in one old car, making their way along Widdicombe Road. It was an extremely hot night during October, and they were all complaining about the heat when one of them had a brilliant idea - Cranborne Swimming Pool was not too far away, and a swim would refresh them all. They thought it would sober them up a bit as well !

They made the detour to the pool, and switched off the car lights well before they got there. It was now about 2am. They parked quietly under the trees in the bush area across the road from the pool, and sneaked over to the six-foot wall surrounding it. They managed to help each other, by pushing and pulling, to get up and over the wall. It was a very dark night, but it wasn't long before they were all naked, and enjoying a quiet swim. They stayed in the pool for about half an hour, and then decided it was time to get dressed and sneak back over the wall. It was pitch dark - the sky was black with clouds, and it began to rain quite heavily. There was much quiet laughter as they were getting dressed. Suddenly, they noticed that Johnny wasn't out of the pool. They began to call to him, very quietly. There was no answer. At first they thought he was playing the fool, but after a few minutes, they were worried. Johnny had been REALLY well oiled, and they realised he could have drowned. They stripped off their clothes, dived in, and began swimming up and down, diving to the bottom and up again. After fifteen minutes of this, they began to panic, and were all completely sober.

They stood at the edge of the pool and stared down at the little pile of Johnny's clothing, and knew they needed help. There was nothing else for it - they had to go and fetch the Police. After telling their story at Cranborne Police Station, all hell broke loose. Someone drove off to get the Superintendent of the Pool to come and open up and get the lights on. The Sergeant on duty was livid, screaming and swearing at the, by this time, tearful men, who had lost their friend. Within ten minutes they were all back at the Pool, accompanied by a couple of policemen, the main lights were turned on, and the search began. It soon became clear that there was no sign of Johnny in the Pool. They searched the Baby Pool, and also the grounds, changing rooms etc. but Johnny was nowhere to be found !

The Pool was locked up again, and the group set off for Johnny's home, which wasn't very far away in Braeside. He was a bachelor, who worked for the Roads Department, and shared a house with a group of men. There they found Johnny, stark naked, sleeping in the large dog basket on the veranda. He was still very drunk. He had, in his drunken state, decided that he didn't want to swim after all, had climbed back over the wall and walked home (all completely naked). He couldn't get in the house - his keys were in his trouser pocket !

Of course they were all delighted that Johnny was safe and well, but the Police were not amused. The men got a fine, for entering the Pool - and Johnny was never allowed to forget it !

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sunny Day in Oxfordshire

Today it was beautiful and warm - but so windy ! And the wind seemed to be coming from the north - cold...very cold in the shade. But...I made the most of it, and played in the garden all afternoon. My little English garden is coming along. Of course, it's not a patch on my Zim garden - yet !! I'm getting there. Gardening is so different here, and I have a lot to learn about the english plants. I keep thinking I'll just plant this or that, and then realise it's just too cold for them ! I'll have to do some reading. Some pics of what I've been up to.

The flowers and veg I've planted are doing well so far. But I'm watching temperatures all the time. If I see the night temps are going to plummet, I'll be out there with a blanket to keep the plants warm LOL ! Well....maybe not ! but I hope we don't get any cold nights. I think I may have been a bit premature in some of my planting.
I'm really enjoying getting my hands dirty - and I really look forward to the day we buy our own house here, and everything I do in the garden will be mine.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Combined Operations Headquarters regrets to announce.......

I have been catching up on Zim/Rhodie blogs. Mark Taylor's (Just Visiting This Planet) post here really gave me food for thought. He mentions the fact that our boys (our troopies) who fought in the bush war were not offered any kind of counselling, therapy or support after the conflict was over, or in later years. Very sad but so very true. And, like Mark, I knew many ex-troopies whose lives were ruined by what they went through.

Over the years, I've often wondered if the women (wives/mothers etc.) could have done with counselling too. I'm sure we could have. We lived through years of stress, without having our husbands/fathers at home. As wives, we brought up children without fathers. We managed households and finances, and many of us held down jobs as well. None of that is easy to do under normal circumstances - but our circumstances were far from normal. We functioned and persevered - all the while waiting for that knock on the door -waiting to be told our loved ones had been killed or injured in the conflict.

I had that knock on the door. But thank the Lord, Baz was not dead. He was injured, and was casevacced to hospital. The vehicle he was driving hit a landmine as he was driving from Villa Salazar to fetch rations. The right front wheel (the wheel he was sitting over) detonated the landmine, and he bore the brunt of the explosion. The stress we went through (as a family) at that time was horrendous. I still go cold when I think of this incident.

How many other wives, mothers, sisters, daughters faced much worse than this ? Reading the Roll of Honour will give you an idea. Each one of those names on that list had a mother, a wife, a fiancee, a sister, a daughter. Most who lost loved ones were paid small sums of compensation - but counselling ? No. Never. None at all. We did what we had always done -we carried on and kept the grief and stress firmly locked inside. Not a good thing we now know - but there was no other option.

So...tonight....I am just sparing a thought for all the women left at home. The women then, and the women today - regardless of race, colour or creed. I'm thinking of their strength, their tenacity, their perseverance, and their compassion....and feeling very proud to be part of such a strong sisterhood.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Nyanga Scenery Dec 2000

I have been playing with all afternoon, and uploading some of my photos. I am even posting this blog in Flickr !!! I'll be uploading more photos as time goes on, but so far I've uploaded my last trip to Kariba and the Ume River in December 2001, and part of an Nyanga trip. Great fun !!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Zim Dinner

Would you like to come for dinner ? This is what we had this evening - steak, sadza and tomato/onion gravy.

We have this every couple of weeks - delicious !! We buy the mealie meal from a shop in Farmoor that sells a lot of African foodstuffs.
So we are sitting here...stuffed. Nothing like a plate of sadza to fill you up !

Do You Watch TV ?

Me ?? Watch TV ?? No..not at the moment.
There is such great sports coverage that I don't get a look in ! And some people will sit and watch cricket and rugby all weekend !
I just thought I'd mention this in case you were wondering what I would like to watch !