Monday, 6 March 2017

The Ness of Elsa and Leon

It was after a great deal of anticipation that Hennie and I climbed into our car and headed via the R74 in the direction of Nesshurst, home to Leon and Elsa – special people who always make you feel at home and part of the family.

Our communication and negotiations had begun earlier with a careful enquiry regarding the state of the road. An encouraging response was received from the Nes –people.

“The road is as beautiful and smooth as Minki’s calf ……and the host and hostess are sitting and eagerly waiting for a visit from the Lord and his Lady!”

Our reply was
“Thank you so much to the people of Nesshurst.
Would it be convenient if this side of the mountain were to arrive and rest their weary feet on the 18th February? This is the day the Lord of the Manor will take his dear wife out on an excursion in the hope of a new blog post. We do hope that this date will be agreeable to all?”
At the robot, turn right, under the subway, around the single bridge –
straight into the mother of all road-works.
This is a huge project accommodating the anticipated supply from the
planned inland harbor at Tshiame to the N1.
 Three new river bridges, a bridge over the railway line and a bridge
over the N5 from Harrismith’s closest suburb –Wilgepark
are being built. Approximately 150m after the bridge, the detour
will start and the newly tarred road will twist and jive for about 2km.
After this, follow the road to, “Phutaditjaba” also known as, “Putonyourpyjamas” and hit the R74 past Sterkfontein dam."” In Leon’s own words, “As soon as you are able to see the choppy waters of Sterkfontein dam, you will know the turn off is close by."
At the left turn you will head towards the imposing Kerkenberg Mountain. 
We follow the Piper as he leads us onwards. 
We turn off without batting an eyelid as this is the only thing to do – otherwise we will find ourselves on the bad road from Bezuidenhouts’ Pass which is impassable. We most certainly do not want to head to Durban in a wreck of a car!
We passed Beef Masters

We drive over the dam wall, up and over a small hill and are surrounded by beautiful mountains.

Nesshurst horses and the road to the homestead. 
The chairs under the trees are the first sign that a lot of enjoyable hours are spent here visiting with friends and family.

This is how we spent many happy hours from late morning till early evening and what a memorable experience it proved to be!
Leon and Elsa also share a passion for the beauty of the past and have established a farm museum.
Remnants of a transport ox-wagon which has survived the ravages of time.
A large door is opened and this is what we see.
A Cape carriage “slap bang” in front of our very eyes!
Leon told us that he bought the carriage in his youth as he has always had a love for horses and the Wild West.
Beautiful details inside of the carriage and the hide of a Caracal which Leon tanned himself.
We talked about the early days and the wagon making industry of Paarl
The wagons were designed and produced specially for South African conditions.
The transport industry grew and diamonds were discovered
Diamond diggers arrived by ship and bought wagons with which they headed on into the interior.
The wagons had to be able to move fast as time was of the essence in the rush for discovering diamonds.
The transport industry flourished and “Wagon-makers” Valley and its people blossomed.
A “Breiklip” used in the tanning and processing of raw hides,
hangs from a beam along with some “osrieme” or leather strips.
Interesting tools used by farmers of the time
An interesting drill. 
Cream separators and milk cans.
A yoke and harness against the wall. 
Leon’s childhood clay oxen – a typical toy played with by children in the past.
Household items
Butter boards, pans and forms, irons, coffee grinder, butter churn and sausage maker. 
Medicine chest belonging to “Kosie” Leon’s father. 


The day sped by far too fast…..

Once again thank you so much to the Writer and his wonderful Queen for such a wonderfully special time.

We look so forward to the next book from Leon’s pen!

Till next time 

Monday, 12 December 2016

The Old typewriters at De Oude Huize

I credit my love for typewriter to Mr. Meyer who was the typing teacher during my school days. 
In those days you have to be able to type 100 words per minute without mistakes. 
Today we call our little collection the Grandmothers of Computers. 
Similar models used by Ernest Hemingway,  John Steinbeck and Tennessee Williams
Typewriters are such a cool collectible and you'd be hard pressed to not to find an antique or vintage typewriter displayed in even a modest collection. 
 The collection started when we were given a Remington.  
In the early years of De Oude Huize Yard Bed and Breakfast we thought it would be wonderful to display the typewriters in the guests rooms. Needless to say they were taking a lot of abuse and we had to remove it. 
These American made machines were among the most popular and widely produced typewriters in history started production in 1878. 
The shift key is an example of an early feature in the typewriter business, created by Remington, that has stuck around even to this day on computer keyboards! The Remington Portable first appeared in the market in 1920. It was the first portable to use a 4-bank standard keyboard as well as other principal features of the office machines. 
The Remington Portable has a unique method of raising the type bars to a printing position by means of a lever on the right side of the typewriter.
We received our Remington from Hannes and Tina Jordaan. They knew that it look cool, but were not sure what to do with it.
 We then move over to the L.C. Smith & Corona Typewriter Inc. 

Manufactured in New York in 1924 by Corona Typewriter Company. 
In 1926, Corona merged with L.C. Smith to become or the familiar Smith Corona.
  Next in line is the Remington Rem-ette
It is the Travel Typewriter and manufactured round 1942.
This little lady was given to us by Annatjie Kuhn and is still complete in the travel case.
It is in an beautiful vintage case all complete.  

Hermes Baby of the 1950's 
What is there not to love about a typewriter called Baby? 
Never mind all the references you find to Hemingway/ Steinbeck/ insert-famous-author having used this typewriter, but the name alone, and the beautifully-rendered logo, is enough to get this machine a second look.

A look at this machine's profile shows how flat it is - truly an ultra-portable, traveling typewriter. In its case, it is barely 40cm high and 10cm wide - its narrow profile and compact body means that it is never too large to take home. There is gull-wing that covers the ribbons.
It has and industrial look. The Baby was reputed to be the typewriter of choice for Ernest Hemingway. 
Swiss made. Marked: HERMES MADE IN SWITZERLAND BY paillard s.a. YVERDON.
Olivetti Underwood Studio 44 (circa 1965)
This one has a sad story 
On a bright and sunny day a lady came into our establishment with a little red case. 
She asked us to hold the typewriter – you know like in a pawn shop 
She needs R400 and will return the next week with the money and collect the typewriter. 
Needless to say she never returned. 
After about six months we opened the case and find that the top lid was missing.
 Made by the Italian company Olivetti in their Barcelona, Spain plant. The Studio 44 was the favorite typewriter of American playwright Tennessee Williams. The architect Marcello Nizzoli designed it and was introduced in 1952
This one shows the following
 Made in Italy and assembled in South Africa
Thanks for visiting our collection of typewriters 
Till next time