Memory Lane is not always the sweet, flower-strewn path we would wish it to be.  Sometimes it is filled with potholes and dead-ends. Our family visit to Zimbabwe in mid-August provided memories that were sweet, some sights that were bitter, but it was worth the effort. We had a wonderful holiday in Zimbabwe.

My sister and I had not been back to Zimbabwe for over 30 years. Eldest daughter Helen (ultra efficient trip organizer) and husband John visit Zim regularly,  at least once a year. Younger daughter Laura and son Tony had also not returned  for many many years. My three children were all born in Bulawayo, then  Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. John is also a born & bred Bulawegian.  I spent 31 years in Bulawayo, almost half my life span.  Here is a picture of our party, taken at Bon Accord Farm, in the Shangani District, on a bitterly cold day – 7˚C, the coldest I have been all winter – but as you can see, we were all
cheerful, and smiled for the camera.

Back: John, Helen, Laura, Tony

Back row = John, Helen, Laura, Tony; Front row = Julius, Alison, Eugene & Jennifer

I’m wearing Laura’s winter hat which the family decided made me look like a goblin; I hate to admit it, but I think they were right ….

But I have consoled myself that when you reach the age of 70, you can discard all  illusions or aspirations of glamour and simply be yourself. So it’s official: I  have been reclassified as a goblin. The hat proves it.

Watch this space – next instalment to follow …….


Filed under TRAVEL


  1. Eileen Turner

    Lovely, Alison. I am looking forward to the next installment. Love the ‘goblin’ photos! Eileen


  2. I’m sure you had a wonderful trip back ‘home’, but I can’t believe it gets that freezing cold there – brrrr! Love the photos, to ‘see’ you all!
    Happy belated birthday!


  3. Alison Smith

    Thanks for the B.D. wishes!
    Yup, it can get cold on mainland Africa. People are often surprised at our low temps. This winter there has been heavy snow (very unusual) in a couple of places in South Africa.


  4. Giggling…. I love the goblin hat!

    Tell us more about your trip to Zim! Did you take any more photos?


  5. Alison Smith

    Plenty more on the way. I didn’t take pics, but everybody else did. Will be including some shortly.


  6. Mule Springs

    Hi Alison– I guess I would be interested to know why you stayed away so long, and also some of your insights and feelings while visiting.

    I return to Alaska tomorrow– first time since we moved last January, so I will be away from email for a week and walking down my own memory lane. Sher


    • Alison Smith

      Reason I stayed away for so long was that once all my family & friends had emigrated – mostly to South Africa – there was no reason to return. You’ll hear plenty about feelings & insights in posts coming shortly.
      Enjoy Alaska!


  7. Pauline

    Great photo of the pixie cap! I can remember how bitter the cold was up there in Bulawayo. Great for you all to be together.well done.


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