BY HERMIEN ZWIERS
THE BEDFORD-GRAHAMSTOWN YEARS 1950’s – 1970’s. (originally written by me as a child and translated and edited as an adult)
Seven has meaning and is important; it is THE number for me. I was born at
7pm. on the 7th of July in the 1950’s in the hospital of the little town called Bedford in the southeast of the Republic of South Africa. I officially became an adult on the 7th of the 7th in the 70’s.
Bedford had a tarred main-street, a cinema where I saw a movie most Saturdays, a library, a shop across from our house where I could buy candy for 1 cent, put in newspaper that was rolled up like a funnel, a church, an Afrikaans school and a convent.
My birth went really well, my mother told me and she breastfed me for three months. All this was very much because of the support from midwife Anna. I slept in my mother’s room for the first few months and then she fell pregnant again. When the new baby brother was there I turned to my new mummy at night, my sister Hettie. She changed my nappy, took me into her bed when I cried, washed my hair and generally looked after me. Being only 13, some of those days were times of resentment for her.
Memories of the past flash through my mind:
When I was little, I dreamt that I could fly and also that I was rolled up in a carpet filled with spiders, one dream of exhilaration, the other of sheer panic. I ate sand. I walked in my sleep.
To be continued …