Keep in mind that I had smashed up my poor Land Rover and panel beaten it with a four pound hammer, sticking the lights in with masking tape. I packed it with my belongings and set off from the Zambezi, heading for Johannesburg, South Africa. Not an ounce of a problem all the way there, until I was in sight of the Loxton, Venn & Associates head office in Sandton, where I was pulled over by a vehicle-check road block.
The two traffic cops could not find a thing wrong, despite that the vehicle looked like a mobile scrap-heap, except for one thing. The licence had expired! Well, not really, but head office had not sent me the replacement, so I was fined R30 for not displaying it!
Greet, Nicci and I headed across the country to Durban to attend the wedding of Bruce Barichievy to Joey Bowbrick (nee Bond) where I had the honour of being Bruce’s best man. I met Joey’s family which included amongst others, her brother William Bond, and three sisters.
Her eldest sister, Creina, was there with her husband, Neil Alcock, whose tragic story was to be told both in newspapers and in Rian Malan‘s passionate book, and window into Apartheid South Africa, My Traitor’s Heart.
Her sister Elsa (later to be well-known as a botany artist and illustrator) and her husband, Tony Pooley, (game ranger, naturalist, author, conservationist and nile crocodile specialist.) were there.
Still hilarious to my twisted sense of humour, and naturally not to Joey’s amusement, Greet, Nicci and I joined them on their honeymoon, all in the same room on their first night as a married couple. Nobody had booked ahead, and there had only been a family room available.
Bruce, to whom heaven was a full-house English breakfast, deserted the table without touching it when two month old Nicci’s nether produce appeared from the side of her nappy. Now we had two of them, not best pleased.
We skin-dived on the Wild Coast of Transkei. I speared two galjoen, or highwater, in the waves crashing into the rocks at Hole-in-the-Wall, which we pan-fried over driftwood fire, the most delicious fish I’ve ever had.
Bruce and Joey were keen to buy a farm together. They were especially taken with a property near Haga-Haga, which they eventually were to buy. This area was later to feature in my novel, Purgatory Road, a tale of murder, a man on the run, and the Rhodesian bush-war.