Pietermaritzburg,
10th to 11th October 2007

The day started with a blast from the past - visiting my old boarding school Cordwalles Preparatory School where thre Principal, Simon Weaver, put me on the spot by asking me to talk to the school. My impromptu talk appeared to be well accepted and I then had the opportunity, like at Michaelhouse last year, to walk around and visit old haunts like the first dormitory I slept in at the age of seven, the beautiful chapel and the dining room.

I left at midday and it was great to catch up with Eddie Sherwood, my old bank colleague from Estcourt, and his wife Moira. That evening I launched my book at the Bookshop at Cascades - and in the darkness of another blackout briefly met with a very dear friend of mine, Delyse, who had been a childhood sweetheart when I worked at Barclays Bank in Estcourt. She had seen the article about my launch in The Sunday Tribune and came to offer support - which was lovely.

Traffic in Pietermaritzburg was chaos - offset only by the beautiful Jacarandas coming into flower making delays more acceptable.

Pietermaritzburg was a place to renew old friendships and after the launch I had dinner at the Spur with Rodney and Myra Hunter-Smith, Mike and Ann Curry-Hyde, Eddie and Myra Sherwood and a few other friends. Then back to Eddie's house and a good night's sleep.

The next day I drove out to Estcourt to see Mike and Ann Curry-Hyde of Eskort Printers who are looking after the distribution of the bulk of my books (some 125 boxes or 3,000 books). I worked at Barclays Bank in Estcourt in the early 80s and was surprised to hear that Mary Bulcock who had given over 30 years of dedicated service to the now First National Bank had been fired because she cashed a cheque for a few thousand rand in good faith. Even the cheque owner stated that the signature was a perfect forgery - but the new bank heirarchy fired her anyway. How stupid - she is now earning more money working less hours and guess who the loser is.

That second evening (11th) had dinner at Eddie's place before setting off for Kokstad. 

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Summary

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10th Traffic chaos in Pietermaritzburg

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11th The beautiful Jacaranda trees... in the wide streets built to allow an ox wagon to turn

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Return to Scott Balson's 2007 book tour