Rhodesia gone forever - Books by Ben Bezuidenhout
Excerpts from the book

A Tickey? This was a tiny coin valued at 3d.


Gert's biggest headache was checking the cook from stirring the morning porridge with the stick kept purposely for scratching his head. That and the fact that it was easier to wipe the plates clean with whatever apparel he was wearing that day. Then he had to prevent the man from polishing the knives and forks on the sole of his foot.

“Swarms of black ants improve a plate of soup and the cook's contention that they had been on the meat and were well boiled and therefore harmless leave me cold. I object to the corpses floating like seaweed on the surface.”

Take that model of industry, the ant. My days in camp have on many occasion been an eternal battle against this species. I have placed an open tin of condensed milk on bare ground, remembering it a moment later to find it covered with a furry and pulsating black rug that has appeared from nowhere.

“Take good care of you rifle as the mother does of the baby. Clean it and rub it over with an oil rag everyday,” was the excellent advice handed down to me. I'm glad, though, I wasn't cleaned with an oil rag when I was a baby.

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A Brick and a Tickey High
(More Stories of a Rhodesian Family)

The overwhelming success of My Mother's Kitchen was a Baobab, now in its third printing, was the reason for writing A Brick and a Tickey High. The stories centre around the author's grandfather in the land across the Limpopo River. This is another autobiographical romance. The book goes back in time to a wilder and freer age. Again the stories are all factual. The campfire was the traditional meeting place in the evenings after a day's work. Many were the occasions the author, then a lad “a brick and a tickey high,” would sit with the old man round the fire and listen to these stories. Through the ensuing years there was this desire by the author to record these events of a time and an age that now no longer exists. He remarks in his Introduction to the book. “Walter de la Mare worried in his Epitaph about the most beautiful lady that ever was and who would remember her when he crumbled. In a similar way who will remember the way of life that existed north of the Limpopo River when we crumble, unless we put pen to paper.” These stories have to be written down, stories of trials and tribulation, hilarity and sadness. It was a time when a person was measured by the strength of his body, his fitness, his ability to withstand extreme hardship and a thousand other related conditions. It was a simple, wholesome and satisfying life; a group of people with a great sense of dignity, honour and justice and with tremendous bonds of friendship. As the author remarks, “These simple stories are treasured memories for me and should someone else acquire something out of them that would have made the effort all worthwhile.” A Brick and a Tickey High is an enjoyable read.

Sylvia Wright

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Price: R70.00

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