Maybe I should introduce Anne Fisher of Rondebosch to Errol Bosman of Bellville. Both have been my informants, over several years, on the state of the ladies toilets in the Cape Town City Hall.
Mrs Fisher, now aged 91, was at first an unwitting informant – so much so that at a Remembrance Day meeting I addressed earlier this month, she accosted me by brandishing the cutting of a column I had written about her toilet complaint when she was still a sprightly 85.
The Cape Times features in a new novel that has been praised by the London Times.
The author, Paul Nel, who was in newspaper management in Cape Town before moving to Joburg and has now retired to Knysna, used so many familiar names in his story of love and law that I felt I knew half of them.
The four cabinet ministers who refused to tell Parliament how much they and their deputies had spent on hotel accommodation since 2009 have altruistic reasons for doing so.
Everyone assumes that the four – Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant and Co-operative Governance Minister Richard Baloyi – were afraid that spending taxpayers’ money on big hotel bills would earn them the same reputation as Sicelo Shiceka, if the details became public.
As an inveterate wanderer-into historic places of worship, I am saddened that should I ever enter St Paul’s Cathedral in London, again, I shall have to fork out 14 pounds 50 for the privilege (that’s about R175).
Many years ago while working in nearby Fleet Street, I regularly popped in for a while, and even climbed up into the Whispering Gallery, at no charge.