Late 2010: I heard that one of our “fellow” white residents, a cantankerous bachelor who lived 2 blocks from Sheila, had been going around swearing at random locals because of the break-in he suffered recently. This included even the folk who reported it to the police! Sheila was angry as it affects our (as whites) position here in this brown village as to how we would be treated in future if the locals assumed we whites were all the same.
It is a natural tendency for humans to generalize and this is no less true for the New South Africa where the legacy of Apartheid’s racial focus will still be a bone of contention for the foreseeable future.
So it was not surprising when the reciprocal racism is still very evident in that whites were heard to mutter “typical” when the local branch of the supermarket, Saver’s Lane, was being closed recently for a few days of stock-taking as the manager had been arrested for pocketing R7000-00 and burying it in her back yard. She claimed she had been hi-jacked on Potjiesberg Pass!
It was typical of school holidays, with bored kids getting up to nonsense. We had to fetch my horse, Charlie, from a neighboring farm. Being such a tame old mare, children living on the farm would “borrow” her from the commonage to ride home on. They would abandon her wherever they felt like. It would be fortunate if she was reported to me as to where she was before she caused any damage in their orchards, or worse, allowed her to get onto the main road to be hit by a vehicle.
In mid-October 2010 my brother-in-law, Neil Maling, and I went to a farm sale some 40 km from Oudtshoorn on the Calitzdorp side. We both love farm sales; not for the sale of the farm itself but for all the myriad items available, collected over a lifetime, sometimes several generations. There were probably nearly three hundred people there. A lot of farmers, of course, but also speculators, antique dealers and people like us who simply love sales. Some will remember those bins in farm kitchens and storerooms made of bent galvanized iron sheets for keeping grain or sugar or mieliemeal in? Neil was delighted when he managed to close the bid on a 3 compartment meal bin for R50-00.
I had my eye on a pile of harnesses. There was a bit of competition from a man from Dysselsdorp, a place not far from Oudtshoorn, where, like Haarlem they use draft horses and donkeys. I managed to close the sale for R1600-00. When we loaded it all, the leather works filled the bed of Neil’s one-ton bakkie! We left early as there were a lot of implements on sale in which we were not interested, after a set of 4 harrows that Neil hoped to get for about R800-00 went for R2350-00.
The next few days were spent sorting and repairing the harnesses. Mostly they were broken but roughly there were about 12 bridles, 10 breast sets, 2 full cart sets, 20 harness-saddles, 12 riems, bundles of reins, loose bits, straps and a tin of horseshoe nails. An absolute bargain for the price I paid, because the full sets alone were worth roughly R2000-00 each.