Annual Schlep and A Christmas of Usual Tradition


The December holiday arrived and Hubby joined the annual trek again, Dawnie was sent with John to the house in Soweto where she was looked after by Hubby’s two elder daughters from a previous marriage, Sannah and Angelina.

Those that have been following this tale will know of the annual ritual and the only variation to the normal holiday was that I met my first love, Belinda. She was one of the other children spending her holiday at Hilton Heights that year. It was her first and only year. 

Belinda’s parents were Afrikaans speaking, but she could also speak passable English. We used to meet in the stairwell every afternoon while our parents prepared to go out. 

We used to sit on the stairs and hold hands. Our conversations consisted of telling each other all about our siblings and how often they got us in trouble. I think she was a year older than me and had three younger brothers. As was the tradition back in the 60’s, she, as a girl, had to look after them and keep them out of trouble, I did not envy her, her position. On our last day there she leaned forward and gave me my first kiss. It was so sweet her warm lips against mine. 

I was in Love. 

There was a popular song at that time called “Pretty Belinda”, and the lines went something like:-


“Down on a boat house, down by the river

Lived a young beauty, Pretty Belinda

Her eyes were exciting, her lips were inviting…”


I do not remember any more of the words, but whenever I have heard the song I always remember that first kiss. 

Christmas arrived on schedule and I received the bicycle that I had worked all year for. Nothing changed in the Christmas ritual and a merry Christmas was had by all. 

That was my last year of innocence. The following year was to rip the fabric of Karen and my lives to shreds, and whether we overcame the following few years, I will leave it to you to decide. 

As the curtain falls down on the Nativity scene and the world is wrapped in feelings of goodwill, I take this opportunity to remind you that your children are precious and that there are monsters disguised as friends and family that are out there, who if given the chance will feed on your children’s naivety, very similar to the tales of vampires, needing the essence of youth to live their lives, while destroying those of their victims.

Lots of Hugs and more,



6 thoughts on “Annual Schlep and A Christmas of Usual Tradition

  1. Fillipe De Freitas says:

    Hi Sven, I am enjoying your blog and I look forward to the next one, Regards your old friend Fillipe

  2. svenwg says:

    Hi Fillipe, it is nice to hear from you again, what are you doing these days?

    • Fillipe De Freitas says:

      Hi Sven, I worked for a few years in Angola but now I’m back in SA was unemployed for about 6 months, working now in a franchise butchery store long hours and crappy pay but at least I can make ends meet. Was thinking of going to London to work there as I have two brothers there. We will see about that in the future.
      So tell me what are you doing now besides writing? Oh yes congratulations Granddad!

  3. svenwg says:

    I have not worked since my accident and lost my company. I am now living in London because here was the only place I could go to so that I did not die from MRSA caused by a South African hospital when the nurses walked out on strike and left their patients to die in 2007, lol.

    • Fillipe De Freitas says:

      I’m sorry to hear that, that is the reality of the new South Africa, I think you should write maybe publish “The White Africans Tale” I am enjoying it and feel it has potential! I wish I could write as well, I have so much in my head but whenever I attempt to put it down on paper I go blank

      • svenwg says:

        Don’t worry Fillip, my mind goes blank every time I have to write my Blog, never know how to make it sound interesting, the foibles of a six year old, 😉

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