After entertaining the readers of his much-loved iconic weekly column David Biggs is calling it a day, and in his last column for the Cape Argus, he reflects on his journey and the experiences he will fondly remember. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
After entertaining the readers of his much-loved iconic weekly column David Biggs is calling it a day, and in his last column for the Cape Argus, he reflects on his journey and the experiences he will fondly remember. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

Thank you for the ride Cape Argus readers. It’s been fun

By David Biggs Time of article published Nov 29, 2021

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I have very mixed feelings as I write what I think will be my last Tavern of the Seas column. Ever.

My memory is rather rusty now, so I looked up my history on Google and learnt that I’d been a journalist since joining the staff of The Friend newspaper in Bloemfontein back in 1962. That’s close to 60 years of writing.

I moved to the Cape Argus in 1975 and have been bothering Cape Town readers ever since then. In my time as a journalist, I have worn several hats, specialising at various stages in agriculture, home improvement, motoring, sailing, theatre, art and dining out.

Eventually, I landed up as a general columnist and that suited me fine. It allowed me to chat in a light-hearted way about anything that caught my attention and share my views with anybody willing to listen.

Writing a column is rather like being in a pub and chatting to all the patrons about any subject under the sun. Without the expense of buying the drinks.

Once I’d settled in Cape Town, I developed a passion for a subject not usually widely discussed in the Free State – wine. I studied wine seriously and eventually qualified as a wine judge. I’ve written several books on wine and served on several wine judging panels, always with great enjoyment.

Think about it, you get to taste the finest wines available and people actually listen to your opinions without regarding you as a boring old fart.

Newspaper columns are all about people and the peculiar things they do. People are the strangest creatures ever to inhabit a planet. Column writing has allowed me to share in some of that strangeness.

I’ve earned a skipper’s licence and sailed across the Atlantic to Uruguay. I travelled across Europe on a Vespa scooter, and the Vespa became my writer’s trade mark.

I qualified as a light aircraft pilot and have the rare distinction of having personally crashed a light aircraft: not a proud moment, but excellent column material.

I’ve been privileged to meet and interview several famous and interesting people; and some politicians.

I have a confession to make. In all those years as a journalist, I never learnt to type. I have watched with envy as colleagues have written with nimble fingers dancing across keyboards, pouring out words by the ream.

Try as I might, I still use only my right index finger to hunt and peck out words, laborious letter by letter.

I did attend a typing class once, but was expelled for complete incompetence. And now I think I’ve done enough. I shall close my keyboard and look for new things to explore.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey as much as I have and I wish my readers a happy and peaceful festive season and a bright New Year. It’s been fun.

* Biggs can be contacted at [email protected], and readers can also send their letters to [email protected]

Cape Argus

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