Friday, August 9, 2013

In a borrowed tent.

I am steadily becoming obsessed with history. Those quirky stories of everyday life that get lost in time. The long legged man's great grandfather was a commander in the Boer War. He remembers his grandfather telling the children stories that his father had told him. Nobody wrote them down. I wish I could go back in time and take notes.

Recently in Churchhaven, I found this old milk bottle buried in the sand. Perhaps from the 60's or even the 50's, it bears the instruction: This bottle costs more than ten cents. Please rinse and return promptly.
I could find no information about the Union Dairy Farm - according to the bottle, they were on the Ou Kaapse Weg in Tokai.

My generation all remembers having milk and juice delivered in the morning. The feeling of pressing down the foil cap with your thumb...

Over lunch at the Chapman's Peak Hotel, my friend the potter and haiku writer told me that he remembers this:
he grew up in East London and early mornings were heralded by a barefoot Zulu milkman, who would come along pushing his red and white painted wooden handcart, milk bottles clinking.
His name was Milky and he wore blue overalls with Model Dairy embroidered on the back, and copper bangles around his wrists and his ankles. In the winter, he had a lantern hanging from his cart.

My friend also told me that his daughter had given up her long years of Philosophy studies to devote her life to the baking of biscuits.
That sounds like a wonderful life to me. 

through a hole
in a borrowed tent
the Milky Way

- Steve Shapiro


Norma said...

I think your bottle is from the 60's. 'Milky'they were all called Milky, delivered milk each day to where I was born and grew up, just off Newlands Ave.only in the 50's it was tickeys and sixpences!
Long Live History

the sourcerer said...

Right you are! x

Marie said...

The foil cap! The cream at the top. The electric three-wheeled delivery 'car'. The up and down sing song vvvvvvv-vvvvv of its sewing machine engine.

I need to find out how to stay at Churchhaven. It's a special handshake, or something.

And, there was something else.

Oh. Yes. Writing down. My father's father (I never knew either of my grandfathers) - he was one of many Viljoen brothers. Several of his brothers were prisoners of (that) war. And one of his brother was supposed to have been the youngest deported prisoner: Ceylon, a young teenager, but riding commando.

Thank you for reminding me to ask questions.

the sourcerer said...

I never knew my grandfathers either... but I have my grandmother's autograph book, with beautiful Indian ink drawings by him. (given to me because I'm the "arty" one...)

LLM's great grandfather was also a grandson of Paul Kruger. At his house there is a sabre hanging on an archway in the passage - given to the great grandfather by Oom Paul. Also an ornate smoking pipe. Weirdish...

Anonymous said...

Just unearthed a Union Dairy bottle on our property, still intacted, want to repaint it to its origional condition, anyone got some pictures to help me with the restoration, regards Bruce

the sourcerer said...

Sorry Bruce - those are the only photos I have - but you're welcome to use them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, but my bottle is a bit later than yours because the value of the bottle was 15 cents, and the design differs