Writing and Stories

How it all started


When I was 12 years old my grandfather gave me a beautiful Remington typewriter. I first started using it when I began recording stories about my family which a distant cousin of my great-grandfather's told me.

After that I started writing down what my grandmother told me about the olden days. One night I began writing a murder mystery. And after that the words just chose themselves - and they never stopped.

My family were story tellers. My grandmother loved telling stories to us. She would trace imaginary scenes in the air with her knobbly finger so that we could actually see them. Her sister was the same. She had the wonderful talent of animating stories in the mind, so that to this day I can picture her tale of how a tiny bird called a "tinktinkie" once threatened to crush an elephant's ribs if it should dare step on her nest.

My mother was a wonderful story teller - and still is. When we were little she used to lie with us on the lawn outside and point out scenes in the clouds. A horse's head that slowly became a puppy, and there a shoe - and close to it something that looked like a face as seen from the side. And there were nights were number in which I listened to my father's hunting experiences.












It therefore follows that I became a story teller also. From an early age I used to share my stories with my friends. At the age of 8 or 9 I remember being asked repeatedly to tell my stories in class. In the school residence I was sometimes told by our teachers to shorten the compulsory study time by telling everyone some stories. I remember being made to stand on a chair in front of the entire study hall so they I could be seen from the back. As far as I can recall I made the stories up as I went along. The only one which I can still remember involved a colony of ants who decided to hunt and kill and elephant one day. The stories probably couldn't always have been very good. For instance, one day a senior boy (12 or 13 years old) came to me afterwards and very gravely informed me that, "your stories suck." That might have been true. But I did find it fascinating that he and even the teachers always sat listening with much attention until the last line was told.

Writing always remained a side interest, however. After I finished university I wrote a regular feature for an American outdoors magazine for a while, but eventually discovered that writing doesn't even pay the cost of film and travel if you had to go out to get material. Still it was valuable experience. After that there was always a need or an opportunity to write some contribution for something or other.

I plan to gradually share some bits and pieces of my writing over time.

Some fragments of writing:

Short Stories and Miscellaneous Musings

Eden Express articles
Short sketches from my weekly collumn in the Eden Express newspaper, one of the Media24 publications which services the Garden Route.

Wilderlands articles
A long time ago I wrote a collumn for Wilderlands, and outdoor publication in the USA. These are some of the articles from those years.

Patriotism and culture

Philisophy and world affairs