I have travelled all over, including our neighbouring countries as well as a brief sojourn to the land of my birth, Kenya.

Going through the house I have many memories in the form of curios and knick-knacks purchased on my travels.

They bring back memories of each trip even if I am not able to remember exactly where each item was purchased.

My walking stick collection started after a trip to Kariba where we spent four days on a houseboat when docking to catch our plane to Lanseria I hastily purchased my first walking stick with the head of the water deity Nyaminyami as the handle. He is believed to live near the Kariba Gorge with his wife Kitapo. But they have never been seen, yet it is a nice piece of local folklore.

One of my all-time favourites is a wind-up tin racing car, I tested it once yet it now takes pride of place in my display cabinet alongside a small tractor that I found at the same shops. It is amazing what you can find off the beaten track.

En route to Durban, I stopped near Pietermaritzburg and found a small antique dealer, it is here that I bought a small wooden box. It is beautifully made and the top section has a delicate border with a carved butterfly on the top.

The front face is carved as well and bears the words “Fort Napier 1917”.The Fort stands on a hill to the west of Pietermaritzburg and affords views of the city and surrounds. The fort protected both Durban and Pietermaritzburg and for many years was occupied by British soldiers.

The military cemetery was established in 1840 and contains the grave of Lt. Col. Anthony Dunnford who died in the battle of lsandlwana.

During the First World War ( 1914-1918 ) it was used to inter German National from German South West Africa and South Africa. So my little box is an interesting piece of memorabilia and part of the history of our country.

I have a few wood pieces but they contribute largely to the deforestation of local hardwoods so I stay clear of buying carvings my latest walking stick is a simple aluminium trekking pole.

I have a good collection of old tools which fascinate me. I am often tempted to use them and have used the spirit levels for a variety of purposes. But they are better on display between my books in the lounge.

I was also lucky to purchase an old clock which was not in working condition.

A chance visit to a local dealer in Linden was initially disappointing as they were closing, sadly due to a lack of interest in smaller clocks. However, a customer in the shop made a deal with me and offered to repair the clock in exchange for another clock of mine which worked but needed expensive repairs.

It took about two months before he called and we drove through to Brakpan to collect the clock. He had even fitted a glass and brass cover for the clock face. I was thrilled and it takes pride of place in my lounge.

My last collection is that of beautiful African beadwork. As a child, I grew up in Northern KZN where my parents ran a trading store. One day while ferreting around I found a beaded ceremonial loin cloth. The local chief sat with my father and me and pointed out the intricacies of the piece. It is very old and is a beautiful part of my collection. 

Most of my other beadwork is wall-mounted and is Kenyan in origin. Kenya is the country of my birth.

If you start a collection buy wisely and have a vision as to what you are looking for and where you intend to locate it. Have a space in mind and ensure that the item fits in with your decor. Happy collecting, the sky is the limit. And never forget tin soldiers which are scarce but worth looking for.

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