Category Archives: developing characters

Mad Dogs & Bad Neighbours

One night we were both dead asleep and awakened by the sound of cattle bellowing and a dog’s frantic barking. Sheila’s cows were in trouble. She dragged on a pair of gumboots grabbed a torch and blundered into the night … Continue reading

Posted in developing characters, South Africa | Tagged | Leave a comment

Building Bridges

My next job for Basil Read was a ten kilometre tarred road with a pier and beam concrete bridge over the Komati River in the smallest of the Apartheid derived black Homelands, KaNgwane. It was ironical that I was once … Continue reading

Posted in developing characters, racial development, Shaping a writer, South Africa | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Goodbye, my friend…

In the mid-eighties, the economic bite was being felt in the construction industry. The Roberts Construction Grout laboratory for which Jed (Charles Howard) worked reduced staff, leaving Jed redundant after thirteen years with them. My company, SNA, consulting engineers, had … Continue reading

Posted in developing characters, Shaping a writer, South Africa | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Muslims, Milk, Karate & Tennis

From the farm, the road ran through Jinnah Park, the “Indian township” of Apartheid South Africa, just outside Warmbaths. They were mostly Muslims, and only a few Hindus. The Ravat family had a large general-dealer. There were at least three … Continue reading

Posted in developing characters, racial development, South Africa | Leave a comment

Lowveld Death

Submitting all my surveyor experience, I just managed to qualify for my Certificate of Registration (ST0120) Survey Technician, 11 Dec. 1986. With the Majuba Power Station road contract coming to an end, there were no other sites that warranted my … Continue reading

Posted in Backgrounds, developing characters, Shaping a writer, South Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Wobbling Coin

Having sent my The Barros Pawns manuscript to various publishers, I got a promising reply from WILLIAM COLLINS (AFRICA) PTY LTD. …local reader enjoyed your script very much, although he feels the ending could be tighter and more exciting, we … Continue reading

Posted in developing characters, Shaping a writer, Writing novels | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sitting in Judgement

Although there were gaps of a year or two, sometimes, between seeing each other, my friend, Jed (Charles Howard) the snake-man, and I kept in loose contact. He and Valery Gillespie got so quietly married in a magistrate’s court that … Continue reading

Posted in developing characters, Shaping a writer, Writing novels | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Across the SHIRĒ River.

It had been the first occasion that Charles Howard (Jed) went to the main office of Loxton, Hunting & Associates in Mutarara, Mozambique. Survey Team Leader, Frank Merryweather, had his home and family there as well as his office and … Continue reading

Posted in Backgrounds, developing characters, Shaping a writer, Writing novels | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

The Lala-palm Lions.

Would you believe that, of all the places that a vehicle driven by two thirsty men on their way to a meeting, would break down, it would be outside a pub? Never.       Frank Merryweather, the party-leader of the team … Continue reading

Posted in Backgrounds, developing characters, Shaping a writer, Writing novels | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

LONDON – 1969. Underground.

Shuttering jams up in those hydro dams, Or underneath the Thames in a hole –                                               (Irish ballad: McAlpine’s Fusiliers, Dominic Behan.) My 1969 diary was perhaps the most detailed and comprehensive one that I have ever kept, but it … Continue reading

Posted in Backgrounds, developing characters, Shaping a writer, Writing novels | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments