Revisiting lovely kid stuff of yesteryear

HER well-deserved summer break starts today but it will really be a winter trip, as she and her boyfriend leave for the US today on a month-long holiday.

“We’ll be spending Christmas in New York, New Year in Texas and after that will head to Florida to visit Disneyworld. It’s my first Christmas away so I’m really excited.”

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Durban and moved to PE when I was about 10. We moved quite a bit, but most of my childhood was spent on a farm in Butterfield Road, near Greenbushes.

What do you remember most about your childhood holidays?

Being one of four children, we always had a lot of fun together. My sister and I played Barbies, or I’d play Nintendo with my brothers, make huts or herd cattle! We’d also put on plays, make programmes and then charge our parents to watch.

Did you go away or stay home?

We tended to stay in PE as we had a lot of responsibilities on the farm: cattle, chickens, 13 cats, two Pyrenees mountain dogs, some geese and a pig called Peter.

Did your family have a favourite Eastern Cape destination where you all went year after year?

We always loved going to Maitlands to climb the dune, and swimming afterwards in the rock pools at Seaview. We also loved Van Stadens and renting the paddleboats.

Have you been back there since, as an adult?

Yes, I love going for a drive out to Seaview and Maitlands, breathing in the fresh air and admiring the sea.

What’s the first thing you do when you get there?

Take off my shoes and put my feet in the sand.

What was your best holiday ever while growing up?

My best holiday was when we went to Cape Town. We went up Table Mountain, got up close and personal with the dassies and played in the semi-precious stones scratch patch at the Waterfront.

What was your worst holiday?

I loved playing with my hamsters and every time one died I was depressed for days. The worst was when my favourite, Hamlet, died. We had a little funeral for him and buried him under a flowering tree with a little cross. I sang at his funeral.

How would you best remember the Christmases of your childhood?

The magic of Christmas morning, waking up and knowing there are shiny presents waiting for you under the tree. Waiting for mom and dad to wake up so you can open them and trying to guess what’s inside. We used to leave out a glass of milk and shortbread for Santa and in the morning there would just be crumbs!

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