FLETCHER FAMILY ARCHIVE. The Jura, Scotland - Southern African branch.
Data capture and research notes. A work in progress.
THE HAMBONE, Matopos.
Peter often told a story of climbing a rock in the Matopos
with Alistair, his cousin. The rock was the well known one called
It was quite dangerous, but they managed to climb up and
reach a ledge typical of granite. Somebody below even took some
But getting down was a completely different matter. The gist
of the story was that, to balance themselves, they needed to make use
of a branch of a tree growing in the rocks. At some stage of things the
flexible branch started to bend away from the rock, leaving one of them
in a situation similar to that which often happens to the inexperienced
when stepping between two boats.
That night at Umvutcha Peter lay in bed, kept awake by the
thought of their narrow escape. He sensed Alistair was also awake.
.Alistair, you awake?. .Yes.. .What you thinking about?. .Same thing
you.re thinking about..
Mickey, Alistair's son, was decades later bothered by similar
thoughts. He and I, at school in the Cape Town, one day thought to
swim across Fish Hoek bay. Being from the interior, the matter of tidal
flow did not occur to us.
By the time we had reached the middle of the bay we were
exhausted and resigned to drowning, more or less. Stopping to tread
water we discovered that on tip toe and bobbing up and down we could
just touch sand.
Mickey told me afterwards that he hadn.t been worried about
drowning, - only about how Lorraine would feel when she got the
telegram from the housemaster.
[Neil Fletcher. Nannup, Western Australia. 28.02.2007.]
The Hambone, Matopos
New format: 2016.