Monday, August 30, 2010

This and that

In the early 1980s, when I was either doing enforced national service, or camps, or working for the PFP, or experiencing my first real romantic involvement, I did drawings in a number of places, some of which I found together in a plastic sleeve. Let's see where they take us.

I've always liked the look on the young girl's face, seated next to her grandfather, possibly, in this drawing I did in a restaurant in East London - possibly Dave's Kitchen, a superb pizza place upstairs in the old Vincent Park shopping centre.

I spent quite a lot of time with my younger brother, Donald, pictured here giving me the inverted finger, alongside his then girlfriend, Gillian.

Old age. Who ever thinks about it when they are in their twenties or thirties? I can't say where I did this quickie of an elderly woman with a walking stick.

Domestic bliss. This cat must have been around someone's house, possibly our own, at the time.

The Bonza Bay River - Qhinerha in Xhosa - is usually a lagoon, but it does open to the sea after heavy rains. You'll usually spot a couple of people pumping for mud prawns in the shallows.

This was my mother's dog, a little cross-bred fellow who would sleep in the most unusual positions.

This drawing of a cat, captured in a few feline lines, could have been done anywhere, as I have no recollection at all of doing it.

There was a family, a couple of guys and I think a sister, with the surname Coates. Glen, I recall was the eldest, and this is the younger brother, whose name escapes me. They were at school with us, and their dad was a scout master, whom we nicknamed "Camp gadget" after one scout camp - our first and last - at, if I recall correctly - Horseshoe Valley.

Both this drawing and the one above would have been done at the Hobnob "ladies' bar" at the Bonza Bay Hotel. I like the suggested cigarette in those days when smoking was legal everywhere.

This is a drawing of my eldest brother, Ian, with whom I worked in the PFP in the early 1980s.

And this looks like youngest brother Don, again, this time with beard.

My second eldest brother, Alistair, or AB, died of a heart attack while playing indoor cricket in 1996. A delightful character with a lovely sense of humour, he is much missed, but something of his personality has happily found itself in his son, Stuart, who was an infant when his dad died.

Another sketch of AB. I can place this at our Bonza Bay family home by the little ornament on the mantelpiece behind him. It is a wooden lidded bowl-type-thing I turned in woodwork class at school.

She looks like a Native American squaw, but this was a girlfriend of Alistair's at the time, whose first name was Desiree, but she was known as Desire.

Donald's girlfriend at the time, Gillian. The lined paper was probably army-issue card.

A soft pencil sketch of a group of people seated for dinner, probably at the Family Tree restaurant, which was downstairs from the Hobnob.

I can almost recall this barman's name, just from seeing this rear view of him at work behind the bar in the Hobnob. I like the suggested face in the background.

I think this is the same barman in profile.

My mom's dog crops up again. The family home in Lotus Avenue, Beacon Bay, was characterised by the wall of glass along the front, with a wonderful view of the sea, through one of the panes of which the dog is looking, desperate to come inside. Sadly, over the years that view was lost behind a curtain of towering trees and shrubs.

One of numerous sketches I have done of the Bonza Bay beach. Note how stylised the fat woman and dog have become.

At some point I climbed the massive sand dune dividing Bonza Bay from the sea and did this sketch of some of the early houses in the village. It has lost a lot of its character in the past 20 years, as lavish homes have been built, but especially with the demolition of the historic hotel and the construction of a bland high-density cluster housing development in its place.

This watercolour of a thatched house I did on the Hogsback.

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