The Sad Case of Twak

J. Francois Barnard – 1 April 2010

In 1993 I built my first house. I could not afford anything fancy, and when the architect told me about timber construction below R500 for a square meter, I fell for it. My grandfather once lived in a timber house in Stanfieldhill, Standerton, so why not me?

Our house was erected on the last stand in our street, and adjacent to a smallholding with mice, rabbits, lizards all sorts of wildlife visiting us from the veld.

Other visitors included the common garden variety of South African criminals.

My Peculiar Master

J. Francois Barnard – 7 July 2011

It was quite cold this morning, and being overcast the weather slowed all of us down. I have already served the Master his breakfast and was in the kitchen preparing my own when I noticed him heading for the door. I dropped everything immediately and rushed there to open it for him. He just brushed past me without a word.

But having served him for so long now, I already know this daily routine. Come rain or shine, the Master will go out. Maybe hesitantly sometimes, but out he will go.

Ben and the Bomb

A Tale about Pious People

J. Francois Barnard – 15 July 2014

It is with reluctance that I am telling this tale. It is both comic and tragic. Comic in the sheer audacity of it all, and tragic as it ruined a family. I do not tell this from mere hearsay. It was a personal experience for me. Quite unbelievable, you might think, and I would agree. Yet I was there and felt the shockwaves and the pain. But let me not get ahead of myself.

The highlights of this tale played off between 2000 and 2008, but actually, it all started much earlier. Perhaps in the 1970s, when Ben was still a young man.

My Weekend Child

J. Francois Barnard – 6 June 1994

You were about three years old when I remarried. It was such an intense time for both of us. We both had to make adjustments. But we were young and handled it well.

It was sad that the marriage between Mom and I did not work out. I later told Mom that it would be even worse if the divorce did not work out. She and I had to keep on communicating to make it a success. And that was for one reason only: You.