My first taste of Movies

My first taste of movies was on home cinema. Up to this day I do not like any slapstick comedy which involves pie throwing, slipping, face slapping, falling ladders, tipping paintbuckets, hair pulling, eye poking, “tit-for-tat” fights or trio’s named Moe, Larry and Curly!
I know that to pull off this style of comedy requires great timing, overly animated facial expressions and nifty acrobatics. Still slapstick comedy would not be my choice of movie including the ones with ‎Stan Laurel‎, ‎Oliver Hardy or Charlie Chaplin listed in the cast.

Being five years younger than my sister, made me wise to the world of a teenager before my time. I witnessed her go through puppy love stages and was allowed to go along to home parties (as chaperone and tattletale) and to proper cinemas.

Polyanna was an obvious favourite but “Tammy” with Debbie Reynolds left a huge impression. How modern teenagers would laugh at the innocent portrayal of Tammy falling in love. A series of four Tammy movies were made between 1957-1967. It’s the first one (Tammy and the Bachelor) that I remember very well. I sat in a huge Loquat tree and sang ” Tammy’s in Love” over and over again. I bet I would have fallen from the branch out of fright if love had really come knocking at that young age! The “old hootie owl, hootie-hoo’s to the dove” was most probably the only part in the lyrics that I actually understood.

I hear the cottonwoods whisperin’ above
Tammy, Tammy, Tammy’s in love
The old hootie owl hootie-hoo’s to the dove
Tammy, Tammy, Tammy’s in love
Does my lover feel what I feel when he comes near?
My heart beats so joyfully
You’d think that he could hear
Wish I knew if he knew what I’m dreaming of
Tammy, Tammy, Tammy’s in love
Lyrics by Ray Evans

Luckily Saturday afternoons spent at the Alhambra or Colloseum opened up a whole new experience. No more slapstick – an eight years old was on her way to becoming a serious moviegoer.



Born just before midnight

Neither VW Golf nor Lenny Kravitz were around when I was born, but what must be one of the best VW television commercials (For the love of the Drive) has taken me back to a day in 1952.

I was born in Vredendal, a town in the northern Olifants River Valley in the Western Cape province of South Africa. From then on the15th of December was circled on every year’s calender as an important date by familie and maybe a handful of friends. [note: we were three siblings – I was not born nr one but filled the insignificant middle position!]
What I know about my birth is that I was born just before midnight and one of my early childhood friends just after midnight in the same nursing home (as those establishments were called back then) Up to this day I have never forgotten this bit of (useless)information, although I bet astrologists would love to dig up all kinds of weird and wonderful personality traits. My friend and I had totally different personalities but I’m quite certain it had to do with genes rather than two, either side of midnight, events.
A memento that I have cherished and one that miraculously did not land on a dumpsite, is a little gift card signed “The Oettles, Lausanne. Vredendal”
From the looks of things, the chubby baby in old photos seemed to be happy and adjusting well to life in her world.

Maybe a Memoir

A few weeks have gone by and while staring  at a blank page, my mind just keeps wandering off to days and events long gone by. It will take tremendous effort to harness  a specific day’s thoughts and pin them to a specific date and time. Maybe I’m just to wild at heart, name it rebellious, to be bound between the leather covers of a journal.

I want to write – it is an exhilirating experience. Should people my age not perhaps rather be writing memoirs instead of  keeping diaries (as we used to call journals when I was a teenybopper)?

Maybe I should write a mémoire. Carol’s Memoir – now that sounds ridiculous.  I associate a memoir with famous people or people with extraordinary achievements or people who have lived through extraordinary circumstances. Oh horror! Now I’ve read that writing a memoir is narcissistic, like taking a selfie and posting it on every social media page.

Door slams, blank page – my mind is slipping into the past again: “Reflections of my Life” – now that’s a  title that sounds more like me.

The changing of sunlight to moonlight
Reflections of my life
Oh, how they fill my eyes
The Marmalade-



The Box

Each person has a story to tell. We should write our stories as most stories are never handed down and are lost forever. Who knows, one day someone might be interested in what I had to say. When I become forgetful, at least I’ll have these reminders…

the box(1914-1919) My grandfather, Peter Joseph Kamp was interned at Fort Napier, Petermaritzburg, an internment camp for German nationals.

So this wooden box, made by him for my British grandmother, Lilian Ann Kamp (Bird) is a hundred years old.

All kinds of everything Journal

Starting a journal is no easy task. Four whole days have gone by and still I’m unsure of what to write on the first page. Why am I so hesitant? Why not just start of all wobbly and let the plot unfold all by itself? I will definitely have to forget about trying to make everything look absolutely perfect. For starters, using a computer most of the time has played havoc with my handwriting skills. I’m hoping to see an improvement in this as I go along. Even sketching has become more difficult. Copy/paste has become the norm. Cameras have become our eyes. Photoshop does the rest. Continue reading

When we die

When I die, what will they find on my bookshelves, in my cupboards, in my drawers, in my filing cabinet, on my computer? Will all be shoved into black bags to be dumped or will someone actually go to some trouble, to get to really know me. Just in case, I’m not going to go beserk with a de-cluttering project. Going through my old stuff, I’m actually getting to know the real me better.

Once I stood by, while a very dear friend had to clear out her husband’s workshop/studio. Some of it was easier to let go of, other stuff more difficult but to determine the fate of some seemingly insignificant possessions became the hardest decisions.

Looking forlorn and holding folders, turning over the pages and wondering into which take-away box they should be placed, I realised that she was holding something quite precious – colour swatches but none like I had ever seen before. Fighting back tears she told me that one winter in the mid 70’s her husband-to-be had painstakingly painted the hundreds and hundreds of tiny individual tiles as a labour of love, each one was numbered in his own handwriting. He was fascinated by colour and compositions of hues and saturation and could talk about the subtle variations for hours. It amazed him that others could not see these variations to which he was almost instinctively attuned. Continue reading