I was born in Bloemfontein, my parents had a farm in the Eastern Free State. The farm is still run by my cousin Donny Holmes and it is called Sheen’s Post. During the Anglo Boer War, Captain Sheen was posted there and that is how the farm got its name. In fact for many years my dad, Don and his brothers, would find old weapons and ammunition on the farm and it was sent to the museum in Bloemfontein.
I went to Convent High School in Durban (my parents divorced when I was young) and I lived with my mom in Francois Road, which was near to school.
When I was 17 I met a guy who had just come back from the army and we started dating. I still remember my Biology teacher complained that I wrote Paul all over my Biology book!! His name was Paul Hawkins.
I studied to be a teacher and taught at Durban Central technical college during which time I married Paul. I stopped teaching when my first daughter Merridy was born. 3 years later my second daughter Kerry was born. I worked on and off at Paul’s shop which is called Lock and Key Cabin. It was his father’s business that he took over once his dad retired.
I was never very sporty although before the girls were born we played squash, and did water skiing with a friend who had a boat. We travelled to his house in Greece and had a super holiday there in 1981.
I love to read and to do ceramic painting. I also like to swim although not as well or as far as the girls who have each done 10 Midmar Mile swims. For the first time in my life I went snorkelling, and that was last year in the Red Sea here in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). I am teaching English at an International School. Last year I taught in Doha, Qatar, which was also very interesting.
Merridy is a qualified Radiotherapist and is studying a further two years. She is currently overseas at the Isle of Man. She works at Durban Oncology Centre and treats cancer patients with radiotherapy . She has saved very hard and this is her second trip overseas, last year she went on a Kontiki tour and really had a super time.
Kerry is currently studying at UKZN, she was at UCT last year but that was very expensive so she moved back home. She is doing a double science course with Maths, Stats and Computer Programming. She is also on the Varsity volley ball team. She was a Rotary exchange student after she left school, she obtained 7 A’s in Matric, and that was fantastic. She spent a year in Oshkosh and during that time I acquired another daughter, Anabelle, who I called Bijou (that means jewel). She was a Rotary Exchange student from France and we really became very close. It was hard to see her go. Merridy was lucky to stay with her in Spain when she was on her Kontiki trip so that was great for the two of them to meet up again.
I will be going home soon and will be glad to get out of the desert; it is 53 degrees here at the moment and quite exhausting. Looking forward to seeing many of you when I am back in Durban!!
7th June 2013
Camel ride in Petra
Rotary Circle in Eilat Israel
Tobi and I in Eilat
Rotary at Aqaba (Movenpick Hotel)
Sand art in Aqaba [you can have your name put in the sand]
Berenice Beach resort with Israel and Egypt in the distance