COLIN, MARY, IAN, JEAN AND FAMILIES.

Bulletins and E-mails
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 
To: smithk@zol.co.zw

Dear Carol

I have not had much news from your side of the family for some time - could you 
please let us know how things are. How is Mary?

Re the Fletcher website: have managed after a year to track down Alison and 
Gavin Cooper. It seems though that they have always been in contact with you at 
Umtali.

I am sure that there is quite a lot of family papers, letters, documents, and 
photos at Umtali. We need to have them copied/scanned and submitted for the 
general benefit of the family and to have a copy against loss. I think I am 
going to have to rely upon you to do this task.
How does this sound to you?
Send us your news.
Love
Neil Fletcher

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Hi. 
........Life has been pretty hectic with no electricity cutting 
down the communications quite considerably, when ZESA is off, it often also 
means that the cellphone networks are down, which in turn means that we have no 
out of town contact?. Despite the newly installed broadband which I have got at 
the house. Haven't managed to get it to the farm yet? still working on that. 
Other than today, we have had power at home from about midnight to 6am hence 
minimal emails, when we have stayed up that late it has been in order to put on 
the washing machine, tumble drier (no power to do ironing, so we try to do some 
stuff in the drier? just look at bit wrinkled at times!!!), bread machine 
(haven't seen a loaf of bread in a shop for over a month now) and usually the 
slow cooker or something that has a meal going. We have recently installed 12 
volt lights (which we removed when we took the stuff from Wessels Block 
actually!!!) in the house. They are a whole lot better than the paraffin lamps 
we have used for the last few months. These run off my car battery, since I have 
to use the car daily to get Zack to preschool it charges it up enough so far. 
We have dug out all the gas camping stuff braai, stove etc) Next to go in the 
is the gas geyser. So far we have managed to get gas, at a considerable price of 
course, and as a last resort we can flit over to Mozambique and leave cylinders 
there for filling. Camping is all very well, but to be honest I would rather not 
have to do it in my own home!!! Amazingly today, we have had power all day, I 
think they just forgot to switch us off or something, and I'm sure we will pay 
for it in the next day or so!! The freezers are taking strain most days, and the 
fridges are pretty much useless when the power is off 18 hours a day. We had an 
inverter to run the computer, which gave me about 3 hours work time to start 
with, but the power is now not on long enough to charge the battery for it!

Granny is doing amazingly well, still getting around, taking dogs for walks most 
afternoons, comes into town shopping with mum almost every week (not that there 
is a lot to shop for). She is quite frail, which is not surprising, so does 
spend quite a lot of time resting. She still keeps herself busy with knitting or 
something else always has something on the go, and gets through several 
library books a week. She and mum have just made the Christmas Cake managed to 
find all the relevant dried fruit, some in Harare some the last time we went to 
Moz, thought we had better have at least one real Christmas item this year!!

With regard to papers etc, Granny actually has very little left, most of the 
stuff she had disappeared (including at least one whole suitcase of photos) when 
Gavin and family and Granny were kicked off the farm. Since they had 10 minutes 
to pack at 9pm?. Family documents didn't get packed! By the time people we got 
people back there in the morning both houses had been completely ransacked. We 
did get some stuff from Ian when he was here at the beginning of the year, which 
I will type out for you. Sorry, just haven't had a chance recently. [ the notes 
re Dugald N.F.]

Not sure what news you have had from this part of the family of late? so here is 
what I can think of quickly?

The farm is still going?. For the moment at least. Milk prices are disastrous, 
not quite sure what is happening in the upper circles, but someone is upset with 
dairy farmers or something. This month, 6 beef steers would bring us about the 
same income as milk from 300 or so dairy cows?.. the logic is just?.. not 
there!!!!

Zack is now 3 and a half, he has been diagnosed as having autistic tendancies, 
and to date has not started talking. We are having allsorts of fun trying to 
convince the nursery school that despite the fact he does not talk, he can 
understand and follow instructions etc?.. hopefully by January they will see our 
way of thinking.

Alan got married in UK in June, He and his wife, Lorraine are still in UK at 
this stage, and would like to move out here next year. 

Gavin and family are still in France , getting settled and organized has taken a 
while, as I suppose it does moving anywhere. They have 3 children now, Alice 
turned 2 last month. Gavin is due here for a short visit at the end of the 
month.

I have got an email address for Alison Mortimer can't remember quite what the 
family connection is, but I can send it to you if you like, as well as one for 
Belinda Schmolke. 

Have you had a look on Facebook at all for family members? I know Alison and 
Belinda are both on there, as are we (under the name Ken Smith) and I think Alan 
has pictures on there as well.

Must get to bed now

Love to all 

Ken, Carol & Zack

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From Carol 20 Nov. '07
Found these today..... Thought they 
may be if interest.
The photo with Alan 
in it must have been about 1982 or thereabouts, and I think was taken at
Dryford.
. Not very good photo's I'm afraid... 

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Hi, these are the first two pages of the article I mentioned in "Experiences of 
Rhodesia's Pioneer Women" by Jeannie M Boggie. The book is one of the
few historical books we have, and came originally from granny's father I think - 
W Thomlinson Walker

Let me know if they are readable or if I have to send the bigger version. There 
are another 5 pages in this article, and there is another article of 5 pages 
about when Annie Fletcher took refuge in the Bulawayo Club which I could scan 
and send if you want them.

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