My father’s writing desk stood in the corner of the sitting room in 10 Homestead Way Pinelands. Our lives depended on that top drawer which was full of all the important documents, insurances and mementoes. As he would constantly remind us: “If something terrible happens, grab the top drawer and run to the neighbours.” There were moments when we nearly did that. On the desk in an elegant frame was this photograph of my mother. I could never understand why our English friends gasped when they saw it. Or why our Afrikaans family huffed and puffed and muttered: “Sies! Dis ‘n skande!” It’s because they all thought we had a picture in our house of Queen Elizabeth 11. Now that the British monarch is 90 years old, the documentaries on her life are filling the screens. When they show the young Queen on horseback, laughing with her family, walking her Corgis – even opening Parliament wearing her state crown – I also see someone else.

Don’t miss Pieter-Dirk Uys’ one-man memoir ‘The Echo of a Noise’ @ TOTB 31 May – 18 June.


#theechoofanoise #pieterdirkuys #onemanmemoir#ptp