Monday, April 18, 2022


 Dear Readers,

I was born in Johannesburg, the only child of somewhat elderly parents. When I was three, my father, a Maths teacher, had to take early retirement because of ill heath.  He developed a thyroid condition which made him very ill, but the treatment was so successful that he made a complete recovery.

My aunt was the philosophy prof at Huguenot College in Wellington and owned property there. My parents chose to move to Wellington where they established a small Primary school. I attended this school where I and a motley group of children who for one reason or another, did not fit into the rigid Government School system, were taught by my parents, mostly by my mother, who with extraordinary skill managed to keep three or four classes occupied at the same time. Somehow she succeeded in imparting the three Rs to us, although I must admit that my Arithmetic remains shaky to this day. She also introduced us to Shakespeare and many other classics and instilled in us a love of literature.

In retirement my father discovered his true vocation, admin. He became a church warden, the chairman of the Bowls Club and the secretary or treasurer of almost every charitable organisation in Wellington. 

I grew up in a very academic atmosphere, surrounded by teachers and professors in a house filled with books on all sorts of subjects. After leaving school I went to Cape Town University. I didn't want to be a teacher like my Mom and Dad so I opted for Science courses which I struggled to master, but I did manage to acquire a BSc. Also at UCT I met my husband, Mike and we got married soon after we graduated. I worked for a short while in Cape Town as Food Bacteriologist, then Mike and I went to Zambia (which was then Northern Rhodesia) where he had a job as a Government Land Surveyor. 

In the first few years we spent a lot of our time camping in the bush, but when our four daughters got older they needed to go to school so I had to stay at home. We lived in several different towns including Livingstone and Lusaka. In Livingstone I was offered a teaching job.  I became a Science Teacher and to my surprise I found I quite enjoyed it. I later taught in schools in Choma and Lusaka too.

After Zambia got Independence, we left and settled in George. We lived in George for thirty years.  Happy years at first but I did go through a very bad time, having to cope with an alcoholic husband and a schizophrenic daughter. Then things improved. Mike joined AA. and was a changed person. Dot was put on medication which helped her though it didn't cure her.

Margaret's children Luke, Eleanor, Shirley & Patricia with 
granddaughter Danielle on the floor

Work was my salvation. In George I worked for Table Top as a bacteriologist, for SA breweries as a chemist on their Hop Farms, and for two years I taught in a township school, but the job I held down longest and enjoyed the most was as a soil chemist and researcher in the Dept of Forestry. Sadly, the Forestry Research station was closed down. But I was lucky and got a good teaching job. When I finally retired I was teaching a bridging course to post matrics at Mossgas.

After my husband died, I came to live in Cape Town sharing a house with my son, Luke.  Here I took courses in writing and just as my father found his true vocation after he retired, I discovered creative writing, re-invented myself and am now a published poet.



P.S. Here are the titles of my books of poetry: At least the Duck survived; The Last to Leave; Portrait in Thread; A Pious Pachyderm and Living Locked Down.






























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