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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday, 23 September: Catch the bus to Camps Bay

Unlike David Copperfield or Frank McCourt, I did not have an unhappy childhood. I grew up in one of the world's most scenic spots - Camps Bay, a suburb of Cape Town, which sprawls at the feet of the mountain range called the Twelve Apostles. Camps Bay beach is long and white with fine sand fringed by palm trees. Most of the year the cold Atlantic waters are deep blue and the surf continuous. Summers were spent on that beach: all I needed was a transitor radio to listen to the Top Twenty, a large beach towel, a library book and small change for an ice cream. How could life be better?

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.

10 comments:

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

What a good memory, sounds like heaven to me !
Have a blessed day Eleanor .

Smilingsal said...

Nice memories of a beautiful childhood.

willow said...

I am so envious of your happy childhood, Eleanor. And my heart aches to think that there are actually places this beautiful in the world.

claudie said...

Dear Eleanor
Loved visiting your beautiful blog. Childhood memories are wonderful aren't they?
Just wanted to say hello from Canada
Claudie

A Brush with Color said...

Oh, I love hearing about peoples' childhoods! Especially one like yours! thanks for sharing these memories. Beautiful!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Sweet childhood memories are such a wonderful basis for a happy life! You certainly had a beautiful place in which to grow up as well!

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Oh what wonderful memories you've shared with us all. Thank you. Your childhood sounds "perfect!"

Blessings,

Sher

Ms.Daisy said...

Eleanor, What great memories you have of lovely home and childhood. I could almost picture myself studying and hearing the sounds of the surf and the people below on the beach!
Also,thank you so much for your sweet comments on my post and my new "look!"

Jean
P.S. I became a Grandma for the third time on Tuesday, Sept. 23rd. A little girl named Ava.

KarenHarveyCox said...

Eleanor, this beautiful post sounds like the beginning of a gorgeous memoir. I love your photos. I feel as if I could almost hear your voice as you wrote about your childhood. Karen

Carrie said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely memory from childhood.
Dear Eleanor,
Please go here for an award to you:
http://oakrisecottage.blogspot.com/2008/09/three-awards.html
Carrie – Oak Rise Cottage