Do you ever wonder…?


If people who cuss when driving on the highway, all alone in the car, know how stupid they look?

Recently, when visiting South Africa I invited my kids to see the Lipizzaner horses – Yup that is what happens in old age, when your kids grow up and leave home – you invite them to the Lipizzaner show, and worse, they say, “OK mum…”

We were staying in Vereeniging which is about 100km from Johannesburg and to get to where the kids live, I skirt Soweto,  pass Baragwanath Hospital and Southgate Mall!

Hey, it makes me feel at home, among the mini buses and litter.

Now, since Jeremy Clarkson has been booted, I have to tell you about my car myself! To start with, it’s big. Four wheel drive, with a three litre, inter-cooled, turbo diesel engine, it guzzles juice. It has wheels like, nine inches wide and it can go for 1600km without the need for a stop at the filling station. It’s called a Vigo and you don’t get them in SA, so every hairy Boer who ever claps eyes on it HAS to ask if they can play with the little back door that opens the wrong way. We buy them here in Zim instead of a double cab, so that every policeman along the road doesn’t ask for a lift – rather than squash into the jump seat, they rather wait for a double cab to come along!

Toyota Hilux Vigo

(See the little door? Its that half size one, behind the passenger door – and it opens backwards!)

These Toyota Vigo’s are imported by my brother in law from Thailand…

ADVERT ALERT – if any of you rich aid organisations out there are reading this blog and looking for a brilliant vehicle, that has the right mix of luxury and off road capability, you can get one from my brother in law in Bulawayo at the “Toy Shop!” Not only does he provide excellent ‘after purchase service’ he is SO cute – so even if you are not an aid organisation and just want a hunky mechanic to discuss anything at all about your car…visit the Toy Shop.

Sorry about that – where was I? Oh yes…my brother in law…

no, my car…

NO – people swearing when they are totally and completely alone, driving along the highway.

Leaving Soweto behind me, I hit the Western Bypass on the N1 and let me tell you, on a Sunday morning before nine, it’s a magic road. Widened and completely re-surfaced  to handle the vast traffic expected for the World Cup Soccer 2010, it is four lanes of driving bliss and yes, it’s not hard for my speed to creep. I wasn’t late, I don’t have that excuse, I just can’t resist that open road, gently rolling hills and awesome curves. A concrete wall about a meter and a half high, separates the incoming and outgoing lanes, ensuring that when there is an accident, you have to wait the obligatory four hours for the traffic to clear.

I got into the outside lane, and putting foot flat, admired the Florida Hills on my left, stared down my nose at the tiny pink match-box houses and….all in a heart stopping second, my hands vibrated on the steering wheel and an indescribable noise assaulted my ears. For a gut wrenching moment, I thought I was back in the Rhodesian Bush War, the sound of incoming AK-47 bullets, and the return fire from the MAG on the gun turret of the convoy vehicle. Or perhaps my gear box had come undone from its mountings and was whizzing around and around on the prop shaft, or maybe a guy on a jackhammer in the back seat?

No. It was simply those nine inch wide tyres I was boasting about earlier. They had crossed over a rumble strip cunningly disguised/included in the white line demarcating the extreme right of the road. Its put there to give sleepy drivers – about to crash into the wall – that last minute wake up call. Well, it works. It woke me up.

And I know, that somewhere up there in the bright blue afterlife is a Dominie chuckling and chalking another one up to the South African Roads Department. Another foreigner – yelling praises to the Lord on a bright sunny Sunday morning!

OK – so I cussed. All alone in the car and without thought to how stupid I looked, I cussed out loud. And no, I’m not going to repeat my  cuss words, or I will have to move this post to my bad language page!

But I can tell you WHO I cussed:


After all, when in Rome, do as the Romans do!

I made it to the Lipizzaner show:

LipizzanerLipizzaner Lipizzaner Lipizzaner


Of course, the part I really enjoyed was meeting the horses later at the stables behind the arena….

Lipizzaner Lipizzaner


Please have a look at my books.

Click here, to download Silk Threads from Amazon

Silk Threads

Click here to download A Pale

A Pale

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Silk Threads

Reckless Gambol, a Silk Threads vignette can be downloaded here:


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Jack and Jill a short story

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17 responses »

  1. Love your vehicle, seems an insult to call it a bakkie! And yes, I cuss myself if I do something stoopid, other drivers too. Using words I didn’t know I knew! Fun!! Good one Frankie.

    • Thanks – Im not sure why it was looking all shiny bright in that photo – it had driven for a couple of hours on a really dusty road!
      Its probably better to cuss when you are alone, its better than when kids are around!
      I thought of using the the word bakkie – but decided not to. I don’t think that word is used anywhere else in the world and actually, I call it a ‘truck’ after all – its huge and as a child we had a ford F250 – definitely a truck! I think being English, I should call ours a pick up!
      But yes, it’s a magic car and as much as I hated having to shell out a HUGE amount of money for it when the old one broke (in the middle of a herd of Elephants!) I’m glad we did

  2. Just downloaded and read the Reckless Gambol. Couldn’t have thought of a better title! Love a play on words. Although I knew what was in it, it polished up beautifully and I did enjoy another read. Thanks. D

    • Thanks for that review! Actually, I have another chapter to add – it won’t change the content, just round it out better – but I haven’t been able to get it exactly as I want. No hurry though, I got in what I wanted to get across! Especially Lisa’s “Apie’ness”

  3. Good chuckle. LOVE the bakkie – so miss them over here. Gazed at them longingly when in SA. Fell off the road too in SA 🙂 Those L horses are so clever. Same show where the cat pooped in the arena?

    • Yup – same one! We kakked ourselves when it came on, and the way it bulleted off was even funnier. I mean, what was it thinking? “Hey, here is a big sand box – ah – how nice is it to have a relaxing time on the loo…” and then when its finished its business – “ooooh I may get squashed by a big horse – better dash!!” Yes, don’t know what we would do without our bakkie – I had a car while the kids were little, but its totally useless for anything other than going to have your nails done or maybe a facial!

      • Actually there were lots all over the place- it was very nice to get up close and personal with such lovely animals after the event – it doesn’t happen in the UK or Vienna Im told

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