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Here is a welcome contribution by our old friend Pat Sills

"T'ZAMENKOMST" - the farm of very special family friends which is situated outside Colesburg in the Karoo. Driving to the farm we would pass Coleskop, a barrel shaped mountain, guarding the entrance to Colesberg.

Colesop - P Sills

Then on along the farm road we passed through countryside dotted with koppies of all shapes and sizes. We were always excited by the sight of 'Hop, Skip and Jump' - three koppies along the way. Most of my childhood Christmases were spent at T'zamenkomst. Although brought up in a small Karoo town, it was here at "T'zamenkomst", where the Karoo influenced my psyche and grounded me.

Climbing 'Sjinuusshoed' , a beautiful mountain, rising out of the plains on the far side of the farm was an exciting challenge.

Sjineeshoed - P Sils

Learning to horse ride; helping Uncle John and his farm workers round up sheep in the open veld; watching the sheep being shared; the pungent smell of the cattle kraal; dodging the geese as we made our way across the bridge, crossing the stream feeding the dam, to reach the long-drop toilet; swimming in the reservoir and playing tennis. The orchard produced a variety of fruit and the mulberry tree was our favourite because it was so big and old. I still have a branch of that mulberry tree decorating in my garden. Visiting the neighbouring farm in the mule-drawn carriage was a special treat. Then, sleeping in the Picture Room, my mother down below, and we, Gillian and I, up the wooden ladder, in the 'Swallows Nest'. Those days would now be regarded as 'old world' - out of date, with the only technology of great importance being the interconnected farm telephone line. Each farm had it's own ring - two longs and a short for T'zamenkomst! Yes, life was so simple but so enriching, so earthy, so real! The Karoo - a Khoison word meaning the 'land of thirst' - indeed it is a land of drought depicting my many desert-like spiritual experiences that have been such a challenge to my soul.

Tzamenkomst House - P Sills 

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