The origins of my name can, because prompted, perhaps do with yet another airing. Having been brought up to be more British than the British, although thoroughly rooted in South Africa, I was proud of what my forebears had achieved in this country. I was also furious when the ignorant louts in the African National Congress exercised their feelings of inferiority by labelling everything Colonial as being equated with the Apartheid era, and thus as being negative.
My blood boiled in particular when they started renaming streets and places by removing those of people who had been prominent in the development for the benefit of all races, in favour of ‘heroes of the struggle’. Some of the latter were simply misguided terrorists and mass murderers, whose efforts set their cause back at the time rather than making any progress.
Anyway, I started my ‘Settler’s Perspective’ blog as (proudly) Colonialist, to register protest and set the record straight. My first post in February 2007 was a bogus news report to the effect that S.A. was giving advice to other former colonies like London (Londinium) on how to rename their own streets or towns. It ended:
From the experience of the renaming that has already taken place or been considered in South Africa, it will no doubt be recommended that names chosen be in a local dialect and as incomprehensible and unpronouncable as possible, ‘to reflect the local culture and heritage’. Also, definite preference would be given to names of people involved in a struggle against oppression. ’A strong contender for the new name of New York is Geronimoville,’ the spokesman is said to have confided.
I then moved on to use the blog, and its successor, as a platform for my whims, recollections, photos, music, novels, and of course Really Awful Rhymes. The avatar, however, was established by that time.
The meerkat? We had a pet one visiting, and the picture appealed to me as it still does.