On the beach

My mother used to sew us new dresses and matching beach wear.

I was about 6 years old when I saw the sea the first time. I can’t remember much about it, except that it was in Durban.

We lived in the Transvaal and it took a whole day to drive to the sea. From Pietermaritzburg we had a competition to see who would see the sea first.


My Mother, sister and I in matching beach wear,
I think they were pink. Uvongo, Circa 1967
My mother used to point somewhere and make us look away
when my dad took photographs, so that we looked more natural.

We went mostly to Durban, Margate, St. Michael’s on sea and Uvongo, one year we went to East London and one year we went to Cape Town. We stayed mostly in hotels, but sometimes we went in a friend’s caravan. We didn’t wear hats, sunscreen or sit in the shade, my mom used sun tan oil, fortunately we went to the hotel for lunch so we weren’t on the beach at the hottest time of the day. On cloudy or rainy days and in the evenings we went to the amusement park, aquarium, snake park, Mini Town”, for walks long the beach front or for drives.
My dad taught me to make baby footprints in the wet sand.

My sister and I

I was happy to swim with my Lilo or tube and
play in the sand with my baby sister all day.

My mom, sister and I

Me in a two piece.

Sometimes we forgot our Flip-flops and boy did that sand burn. Our bathings suits got full of sand and when I started wearing bikinis, I had some embarrassing moments. Sometimes there were Blue Bottles and they stung. One year there was a heat wave in Durban. Every year we went home peeling, with blisters and new freckles.

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