Our house, 'Min-for', the Welsh for 'end of the road' was at one time the last house in Hove Road, no 30. My parents lived there for over forty years. The view of the house in the pic below faced the sea; the other side, the mountains. From my bedroom window (top right) I could look into the neighbour's yards, watch the steamers and oil tankers moving around the coast to Table Bay Harbour or follow the twinkling lights of cars on the coastal road to Llandudno or Hout Bay. Studying on summer afternoons I could hear the sound of the crashing on the rocks and the tempting noise of beachgoers on the beach..
Not only was 3o Hove Road a beloved home to my brother and I but it was loved by our children. In the picture below, Ruth and Cath (aged about 12 and 10 years) pose grinning at the front gate. They spent every Christmas holiday for over fifteen years at 30 Hove Road. Its rooms and its rituals - early morning tea served in bed by Grandpa, the table laid with linen napkins where good manners counted, Christmas feasts of ham and salads, pillow cases left at the fireplace as receptacles for the midnight bounty of Father Christmas - are indelible childhood memories.
Which bus to catch? In my childhood we caught the Bakoven bus which departed at the top of Adderley Street, Cape Town. The swaying doubledecker wound through the city before taking the main road through Green Point, Sea Point, Bantry Bay and Clifton to Camps Bay. Up the hill to Houghton road where we rang the bell and hopped off to walk along Hove Road to No 30. As a homesick exchange student in the US, I would sometimes squeeze my eyes shut until I could see the stone wall, the little wooden gate and the plain staid solidity of my childhood home.