Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Diary of a Settler in South Africa

April   2nd-5th: - Sow wheat.
April 6th-10th: - Sow oats.
April 30th:         - Locusts eat wheat and oats.

May   1st: - Nice rain; think wheat and oats will shoot up again.
May 15th: - Crops growing nicely.
May 16th: - Locusts eat off crops.
May 17th: - Raining.
May 18th: - Sowing wheat and oats. Lambing begins. Total lambs: 1.
May 26th: - Engage boy to look after lambs.
May 29th: - Make small kraal for lambing sheep, though they don't seem to make much progress. Total lambs so far, 1.
May 31st: - Lamb dies. Disengage boy.

June    1st: - Recollect no rams were put to ewes in January-cannot account for lambs.
June   2nd: - Let cattle feed in mealie stalks.
June   3rd: - One cow dead; choked with mealie cob.
June   4th: - Find ox with mealie cob stuck in its throat; have to put my arm in its mouth to pull cob out.
June   5th: - Send boy for ointment and bandages for arm.
June   9th: - Let Hendriks ride young colt.
June   9th: - Hendriks still unconscious. Colt returns without saddle and bridle.
June 10th: - Sell colt.

July    1st: - Letter requesting rent; balance at bank 9s. 8d.
July   6th: - Sale in town; sell 50 sheep, cow and calf, 1 plough, and 8 bags of mealies.
July   7th: - Pay rent. Bank balance, 9s. 8d.
July   8th: - Go for a day's shooting; shoot a partridge.
July 11th: - Hand-dress sheep with "Bunkum's Arsenical Dip." Towzer, the dog, very sick at night.
July 12th: - Towzer dead; cannot account for it at all: must have been bitten by a snake, though see no swelling except stomach.
July 15th: - Van Krugermann sends me some venison.
July 16th: - Van Krugermann wants to borrow a little fat, two paint brushes, and wagon.
July 29th: - Remember partridge shot on the 8th; throw it away.

August 7th: - Sheep bad with scab.

September   1st: - Two cows die of lung sickness. Crops sown in May dead with drought.
September   5th: - Slight rain. Sow a few mealies.
September 10th: - Bank requires 4d. to make up 10s. for ledger fees.
September 11th: - Send bank four stamps.

October   3rd: - Fountain dries up; no water.
October 15th: - The few mealies sown looking well, notwithstanding the drought.

November 1st: - Terrific thunderstorm with hail, washes dam away, and cuts mealies to the ground. Letter reminding me of half-year's rent falling due.

December 2nd: - Sale in town; sell 1 horse, 1 cart, 15 sheep, 1 shot gun, 32 cartridges, 2 ploughs, 4 oxen, 1 mackintosh, and a fishing rod.
December 3rd: - Pay rent.
December 4th: - Farming be d-d. Borrow £30.
December 5th: - Start for home.

From: A Settler's Scribblings in South Africa.,
Leonard Flemming., 5th ed.,
P. Davis & Sons., Pietermaritzburg., 1919., p. 90-93 

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