Let's reminisce my friends.
Let's reminisce my friends.
I thank God that I had such a wonderful
childhood in such a beautiful country..
Close your eyes... and go back in
When milk and newspaper were delivered to your back door. The
used to deliver
your groceries to the house and in brown paper
Doctors would be too happy to visit you at home at 2 am, not only
they became personal friends.
Petrol cost 4/3d a gallon.
dog stall" near Bogies clock in Gwelo served the best burgers in town.
the Internet or the Apple Mac... Before semi-automatics, AK-47s
But pellet guns ......� BSA were OK
Before SEGA or Cartoon
Network... Before Playstation and MTV, and CD's
I'm talking about the time of Drive In cinema�s, Hide and Seek
park or the dark.
The garage down the road, the Gremlin, Palace
Mom dropped you for morning matinee for 1/3d of Tarzan, Batman
Robin and swapping comics too.
And Nicks Caf�, Mermaids Pool, Dandy
& Beano annuals,
French skipping, swimming till your feet went
Jumping the river, building a swing from a piece of rope tied to
tree, tennis on the street or picnics
in the backyard when Guy Fawks was
The smell of suntan lotion, hot tar and Mazoe Orange Juice.
bubble gum for a cent, an ice cream from the Dairy Den on the
Wait, can you still remember.���.
When around the corner
seemed far away and going into town seemed like
mother made you "dress up" for the trip.
A million mozzie bites and peeling
skin in Summer,
Sticky fingers and sand in and on everything. Wag �n
stingers & climbing trees.
Walking or riding your bike to
school & friend's houses - no matter
what the weather.
Playing in the
Makabuzi was such fun, but the 21 Bilharzia injections
which followed were no
Running till you were out of breath laughing so hard that your stomach
Jumping on the bed..... pillow fights, spinning around,
dizzy.. falling down.
Huga bugs and Hoola hoops. Being tired from
A piece of card in the spokes held by a
clothes peg transformed any
bike into a motorcycle.
I'm not finished
Can you still taste and smell.��.
Eating raw jelly or
Tree-Top from the packet, Ice lol lies made from
cold drink in plastic
holders in the freezer.
Eating Willard's Peanut Butter on the fattest slice
of fresh Lobel's bread?
Fresh cream Doughnuts from Bake 'n Take after church
on a Sunday.
Boiling tins of Condensed milk to make caramel - took
Roast Beef on Sundays and Ox Tail too.
There were two types of takkies - Tommies and North Stars,
and the only time
you wore them at school, was for "PT".
with the toe caps cut off was accepted by all.
Slip slops to wear were just a
How hard you tried to swop your hostel sandwich for a day Skie�s
scholars) lunch�no luck
The skin on the boiled milk at the
It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends;
owned a pedigree dog.
Sixpence could buy you a coke, Wilson toffee, nigger
ball, and wrights
25 pence was decent pocket money and your
house boy was also called Sixpence.
Sixpence, would fetch you from school on
his bike and you would ride
the bar or the carrier,
and hang on for dear
life through the bush paths home.
When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for 5
cents and feel lucky.
When nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids
It was magic when dad would "remove" his
thumb or make
10 cents appear from behind your ear?
When it was considered
a=2 0great privilege and very unusual to be
taken out to dinner at a
restaurant or in a proper hotel or even better,
Haddon & Sly, or
Any parent could discipline any kid, or
feed him or get him to
carry groceries and nobody, not even the kid, thought
a thing of it.
When being sent to the head mistress's office was nothing
the fate that awaited at home.
Basically, we were in fear for
our lives, but it wasn't because of
muggings, drugs, gangs, aids etc.
parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat... and some of
still afraid of them!!!
Didn't that feel good just to go back and
Yeah, I remember that?!!!!
were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo."
Mistakes were corrected by simply
Or revulsion was just �Siss Man�!
"A race issue"
meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
Money was handled by whoever was the
banker in "Monopoly",
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex
Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a 'BIC' pen /
paw branch pea shooter
or an eraser catapulted by a 30cm ruler, or the
catapult made from
golf ball elastic twisted on your leg
to shoot bits of
Taking drugs meant chewing on 'Cafenol' chewable vitamins or
Colcom Ham, Flings, Willard's Chips, rock-hard
marshmallow Easter eggs and
best of all �..kudu biltong from Uncle Scotty�s
Coke were considered basic nutritional requirements (and don't
Tomango Tomato Sauce) and Hubbly Bubbly.
Coke top collections got
you plastic animals Elephants and sable
,baboons and hyenas.
times were always had at the following places - any evening of the
The Blue Gardenia / The Gremlin / The Yellow Orchid / Fritz in Byo
across the Border at Maria's, or Merna Brown's place, or Machipanda,
don't forget the Little Swallow.
Hiking in the Chimanimani�s the Vumba and
Troutbek or trips to Kariba,
Wankie, Lake Kyle or Vic falls,
to Zimbabwe ruins.
Game parks were the best Wankie, Chirundu, Gona
Rezoa,.Mataopos,Bumi and all.
And what about an afternoon at the
Matopas Hotel /Rhodes grave/ Mazoe Hotel / Mermaids Pool
/ Aloe Park /
Hot Springs / Lake Mac/
Rusape Dam, Pie and Gravy in Meikles
Umtali on a Sat morning with the mates.
Mixed grill at Helen's Umtali for
Window shopping at night without fear of being harmed;
and courage were discovered because of a "truth or dare"
Older siblings were
the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.
Jacaranda�s, Flame Lilies, Kaffir booms and Msasas�s
Afternoon tropical Thunder storms rained cat and dogs,
of first rains and the Flying ants that followed by the zillion.
can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!!!!
Anyone else remember the man with the horse-drawn
that came down Montague Avenue mornings
in the early part of the
My brother and I would hitch a ride round to the next street and
run home down the alley way. This was when Dad was in the
Air Force in the Desert for three years. (there's a photo of the
on the O.R.A.F.S. site ) We moved into quarters at Belvedere station
he got back, - went to Blakiston by bus; was on it when a kid jumped
screaming "The war is over". We were there for a year after the end of
when we moved back to Umtali and went to U.H.S.
remember the "Chisa Inja" stall in Umtali?
Or the afternoons spent at the
swimming pool? and the corrugated iron
Damn I feel so homesick now.....
other things I can remember, was the citrus from Hippo Valley Estates,
oranges by the 10 kilo bag, and SOOOO juicy it was heaven.
Raw and Fired sugar cane from the Triangle cane fields, the clouds of black
raining down even in Cheredzi if the wind was blowing right, and we knew
And oh wonder of wonders, if someone was going up to Bully's for the week
and Mum or Dad placing their orders for Downings meat pies.....
Riding your bike for hours in the bush, never mind the idea of
clambering over kopje's and into little caves never knowing what you might
and TRYING to ride my bike IN the irrigation canals..... :-)
Damn I had a wonderful childhood, and funny thing is,
looking back now makes me long for those days all over again, so I can do
those things all over again,
and yes even make the same mistakes. They helped make it a wonderful life
and now memories.
Bicycle Club, Mazoe
by Dennis Rawson
As children in Mazoe on the Citrus Estate we had no television, had to
listen to the family radio when allowed, and a great luxury was a
gramophone. We had to amuse ourselves. Books had their place, but being
in the country, the outdoors beckoned, and anyone who has lived in the
country will tell you, this is where the action really is. Bikes were a
necessity out there, as we children all lived anything from 300 yards to
four miles apart. Kids attract kids, it is a rule, and we would
congregate at the grey pebble dash type new Citrus Estate Sports Club
over the weekends. One day I suggested we form a bicycle club! This we
all did, and I came up with a logo, the front wheel, and forks of a
bicycle, with added wings. The logo was voted on, approved, and I set
about decorating each bike, quite a task. My! Did we look smart when my
handiwork was done!
We all met on given days, and went on tours, our imagination the only
inhibitor, the Islands on the Mazoe river, the workers housing along the
river which was linked by small paths through the long grass, and that
was always adventurous, all kinds of things were come across from snakes
(high adventure) to other young children (interesting conversation). The
odd adult was almost literally run into, as the grass was taller than
head height, and the path a little more than shoulder width at shoulder
height, and about a foot wide at ground level. If there had been a bush
fire, all sorts of interesting things lay around in the blackened earth,
broken clay pots, old cycle wheels, tin cans and whatnot.
Bird life was aplenty, and if lucky, a rabbit, small antelope or a
mongoose would be disturbed, and off they would go. Leopards were
around, but they were nocturnal, and were always on higher ground
anyway. Then there were the hills, we would ride as high as we could,
abandon our bikes, and climb up to the top. That was no mean feat, and
the hillsides were rocky and steep, more game up here, in particular
blue vervet monkeys and baboons, which we were wary of, and on reaching
the top, the vista of the Mazoe Valley in all its agricultural glory was
there to behold. We were there up amongst the raptors, looking down on
other birds, African huts, flelds of mielies, swathes of grassland, and
then the military-like rows of citrus trees. The main canal snaked its
way along the side of the hills, known as the Iron Mask Range. Beyond
that was the river, a line of deep green trees meandered through the
valley, the golden grasses between them and agricultural activity making
a sparkling contrast. Now and then one could see a little of the river
itself, maybe a bend, a stunted tree or a small beach showing one where
the water ran. In the rainy season it was a different scene. The river,
swollen and red with the African earth as it bled on its way to the sea.
Another adventure would be a bush fire in itself. There are many in
Africa, some caused by people smoking out bees, others setting a patch
of grassland alight in order to catch small animals fleeing for eating,
others for a variety of reasons, lightning being one of them. They were
not too intense, and one could ride a bike through them, and if on foot,
one could run through them. The heat was rather intense for a moment,
and singed hair and clothing were the order of the day, as was a
parental lecture as to what could happen if one misjudged a given
situation. Other occasions we would help beat out a fire if it was
considered necessary. It was not too much fun, as the heat burned one's
face, and in particular, one's hands, so one could only do so much, then
beat a retreat to recover.
The odd crash on a bike was inevitable, and now and then one had to be
attended to for one reason or another. We carried all the necessary
tools and repair kits. We never left home without generous amounts of
food packed by our Mothers, who always gave one enough to eat and share,
so the stops were veritable feasts, We had a nine foot tar road running
through the centre of the Estate, we would cycle down that, return on
the parallel dirt road through the orange trees, the perfume a delight
when the blooms were out, and a real treat was the cosmos in summer.
Their multi-coloured blooms filled the roadside verges. My Mom had a
dislike for them because they had no real perfume, as such, but had an
odor that was not too pleasant. She complained that they were "not real
flowers". I thought they were absolutely beautiful.
We had a variety of bikes, the fanciest was owned by Denise Osborne, a
Sunbeam, which boasted a chain oil bath. Her Dad owned Osborne Cycles,
which answers a lot of questions. They had the Sunbeam agency. We others
were lucky to have chain guards, and they, in turn, were lucky to remain
intact for too long! My bike was a Phillips roadster, which did me well
in spite of all the accidents. The handlebars were not too well formed
after a few falls, and the poor bell protruded a bit too far, and was a
bit battered as it hit the deck, or a wall that was ridden too close to.
The rain had the leather saddle misshapen before too long the hand grips
wore out, brake blocks and tyres were a constant worry as they needed to
be bought with limited pocket money, so one had to be resourceful and
get one's parents to include them in the family budget. I think Suellen
and Leone Crous had Raleigh products, Rudges, if I remember aright, and
the rest, a blur now.
In the end the club just went away as we all learned to drive and moved
on to greater things, but my love for a bicycle remains, and I have a
mountain bike in my garage as I write, it awaits it's next outing.
Our Rhodesian Childhood
Let's reminisce my friends, I thank God that I
had such a wonderful childhood in such a beautiful country... Close your eyes...
and go back in time... Before the Internet or the Apple Mac... Before
semi-automatics, AK-47s and crack cocaine... Before SEGA or Cartoon Network...
Before Playstation and MTV, and CD's and DVD's... Way back......
talking about the time of Hide and Seek in the park or the dark; The garage down
the road, Hopscotch, skipping and hand stands; Marco Polo in the pool, Dandy
& Beano annuals, French skipping; Swimming till your feet went wrinkly,
jumping the river; Building a swing from a piece of rope tied to a tree; Tennis
on the street or picnics in the backyard; The smell of suntan lotion, hot tar
and Mazoe Orange Juice; Dandy bubble gum for a cent; An ice cream from the
Dairymaid chap on the corner with his little cart;
(Eskimo Pies) Wait, can
you still remember... When around the corner seemed far away and going into town
seemed like going somewhere, and your mother made you "dress up" for the trip; A
million mozzie bites and peeling skin in Summer, Sticky fingers and sand in and
on everything; Catches, Stingers & climbing trees, Walking or riding your
bike to school & friend's houses - no matter what the weather; Running till
you were out of breath; Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt; Jumping on the
bed..... Pillow fights; Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down; Being
tired from playing... Remember that? A piece of card in the spokes held by a
clothes peg transformed any bike into a motorcycle; I'm not finished just yet...
Can you still taste and smell... Eating raw jelly or Tree-Top from the packet,
Ice lollies made from cold drink in plastic holders in the freezer; Eating
Willards Peanut Butter on the fattest slice of fresh Downing's bread; Fresh
cream Doughnuts from Bake'n Take after church on a Sunday; Boiling tins of
Condensed milk to make caramel - took hours! Remember when... There were two
types of takkies - Tommies and North Stars, and the only time you wore them at
school, was for "PT"; It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends; Nobody
owned a pedigree dog;
25 cents was decent pocket money; When you'd reach
into a muddy gutter for 5 cents and feel lucky; When nearly everyone's mom was
at home when the kids got there; Remember when it was magic when dad would
"remove" his thumb or make 10 cents appear from behind your ear? When it was
considered a great privilege and very unusual to be taken out to dinner at a
real restaurant or in a proper hotel or even better,Haddon & Sly... Or When
on the rare occasion Dad stopped at Eskimo Hut or "Milky Inn" Remember when any
parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or get him to carry groceries and
nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it; When being sent to the head
mistress's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving
student at home; Basically, we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because
of muggings, drugs, gangs, aids etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much
bigger threat... and some of us are still afraid of them!!! Didn't that feel
good..... just to go back and say, Yeah, I remember that! Remember when....
Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo." Mistakes were corrected by
simply exclaiming, "Ninger!" "A race issue" meant arguing about who ran the
fastest; Money was handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly"; The worst
thing you could catch from the opposite sex was germs; Having a weapon in
school, meant being caught with a 'BIC' pen pea shooter or an eraser catapulted
by a 30cm ruler; Taking drugs meant chewing on 'Cafenol' chewable vitamins or
Cod Liver Oil...(yuk); Eskies Ice Cream, Flings, Willards Chips, rock-hard
marshmallow Easter eggs and Coke were considered basic nutritional
requirements(and don't forget Tomango Tomato Sauce);
Skills and courage
were discovered because of a "truth or dare"; Older siblings were the worst
tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors;
If you can remember most
or all of these, then you have LIVED!!!! Pass this on to anyone (especially
those who grew up in Zimbabwe who may need a break from their "grown up"