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A Domino piece I excavated from our garden.

A Domino piece I excavated from our garden.

 

The things I find in the ruins of The Broken Palace vary so much, from building material and tiles to bottles to coins

And then there are more personal items like kids toys that give an insight into the life the people at The Broken Palace lived.

 

Such as this Domino:

I like to think elderly men sat on the stoep playing a fierce game of Domino:

Slamming the Domino piece on the table with a loud slap as if it was in the face of the opponent.

Their laughter echoing far over the streets of Woodstock.

 

If you know more about the Broken Palace, please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de. 🙂

 

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Fire at 27 Greatmore Street! AGAIN!

Fire at 27 Greatmore Street! AGAIN!

 

Saturday night just before midnight I woke up to my nightmare:

 

Since the fire at 27 Greatmore Street I’m anxious every time I smell something burning.

 

The image that had imprinted itself in my memory danced in front of me again: Flames leaping up alongside our house, knocking on our second storey windows.

 

I just screamed: “It’s happening again!” and with that leaped out of bed to get ready to combat the fire, this time knowing exactly what to do:

1) Call fire brigade

2) Set up ladder to get up to the roof

3) Carry up water canisters

 

Luckily the police arrived quickly and shortly after the fire brigade. Fortunately the fire was already subsiding, thanks to a bit of rain and our neighbour hosing down the fire with his garden pipe – history repeating.

 

I cannot believe this happened a second time.

 

The irony is that we had warned the people living rough at 27 Greatmore Street and they had put out the fire just a couple of hours earlier.

 

The authorities know about this. The City of Cape Town’s Waste Management Department was meant to clean up the site.

 

The police even came through one night and chased away the vagabonds. But they just come back and build a new hokkie.

 

In the meantime the whole neighbourhood is at risk of burning down if one of those shacks goes up in flames.

 

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This piece of glass excavated from our garden can tell a story.

This piece of glass excavated from our garden can tell a story.

 

I love excavating things that have enough information on them to date them.

Amongst the endless amount of glass shards buried in our garden, I do find every now and then an intact bottle or a piece of glass with some inscription on it.

 

This small piece of the bottom of a bottle reads “Harveys Bristol”.

Turns out this is a sherry called Harveys Bristol Cream.

 

Furthermore, their bottles are blue now, and changed from green to blue in 1994.

So this bottle is definitely from before 1994, and probably vintage.

 

I can just picture how the residents at The Broken Palace sat on their stoep, sipping on a glass of sherry on a warm summer evening.

Does this ring true or is it just a romantic notion? If you know more kindly get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de

 

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I can start a coin collection:

South Africa, 1952, Threepence (1937 to 1952), King George VI Series – Silver Threepence (Tickey)

South African 1952 Silver Threepence (Tickey) (1937 to 1952), King George VI series. As per Professional Coin Grading Service: The obverse design: Head of King George VI. Inscription: “GEORGIVS VI REX”. Designed by Henry Paget (“HP”).

1952 George VI South African Silver Threepence

1952 George VI South African Silver Threepence. As per the PCGS: The reverse design: A Protea (National Flower), in full bloom, forms the center of the design. An inverted triangle surrounds it. The sides of the triangle consist of three bundles of four sticks each. The three bundles denote the coin’s value and the sticks represent the four provinces of the Union of South Africa (Transvaal, Cape, Orange Free State, and Natal). Inscription “SOUTH AFRICA” to the left, the date at top center, “SUID-AFRIKA” to the right and “3p”, flanked by two little flowers to the left and right, at the bottom center. Reverse design artist: Kruger Gray (“K” to the left and “G” to the right of the flower’s stem).

I found another 3 pence coin amidst the rubble of The Broken Palace in our garden.

It is part of the 1937 to 1952 King George VI series coins from South Africa and made from real silver.

But it’s so small and so light the value of the coin outweighs the value of the silver.

The 3 pence coin is also known as the “Tickey” in South Africa.

Even though the tickey was only around until 1960, after which the British currency was replaced by the Rand, the word stuck in South African vocabulary.

Many South Africans will remember the “Tickey Box”, the old public telephone:

Excavating relics from our garden is like a history lesson in action.

If you know more about The Broken Palace, please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de 🙂

 

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I painted this bathroom door myself and love the result.

I painted this bathroom door myself and love the result.

 

When our builder’s workers started applying the primer on our interior doors while they were still hanging, I knew this would end badly.

So I decided to save some costs and paint the doors myself. It couldn’t get worse than how it had been done so far.

Of course I knew nothing about painting doors, so I first had to do my research which I’m happy to share:

 

Good Practices for Painting Interior Doors

 

1) Lay down the door flat on saw horses

Painting a new interior door is easiest on saw horses:

–  Only when the door is removed from the frame can you reach all the edges. Especially new doors need to be sealed everywhere to prevent moisture from entering – that includes the bottom edge.

–  Only when the door is lying flat down can you achieve a smooth streak-free paint finish. It is easy to miss drips and runs leaving unsightly paint marks on your door. Plus you’ll avoid any mess on the walls and floors.

If the door is already installed, take it off for painting. Interior doors are hollow and easy to remove from the hinges.

 

2) Clean the door

Make sure there is no residue or grime on the door that would spoil the paint.

Wipe the door clean with soapy lukewarm water.

 

3) Sand down the door

If new or old, before painting you need to roughen up the surface.

Use a sanding block for profiled moldings and sandpaper on flat boards to smoothen any irregularities.

Clean up the dust with a vacuum or brush and damp cloth.

 

4) Fix any holes

Should the door have any holes, cracks or scratches, fill them before applying any primer or paint.

 

5) Dampen the surface

This trick is meant to help you achieve a smooth paint finish:

Wet the door’s surface slightly with a sponge or cloth.

When applying paint on the damp surface, it’ll take longer to dry, giving you more time to smoothen out any unwanted streaks or tears.

 

6) Prime the door

New doors need to be primed to ensure good adhesion of the finish coats. Already painted doors need no primer if they’re in good condition.

Apply one coat of primer and let it dry.

Sand down any irregularities.

 

7) Paint the door

The best way to avoid brush marks is by avoiding using brushes. Only paint the tricky parts like edges and ornamental designs with brushes.

Use a foam roller on all straight surfaces for an even looking finish. You might need to apply an extra coat, if the foam roller spreads the coat too thin.

Apply as many layers of paint as needed for a great finish. If you can still spot some irregularities, give it one more coat. It actually goes quick and will leave you truly happy with the result.

 

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Look what I excavated from our garden: A vintage Mother of Pearl button

Look what I excavated from our garden: A vintage Mother of Pearl button

 

The excitement of excavating something shiny when cleaning up the garden soil from rubble and debris!

 

I gave this Mother of Pearl button a rinse and it’s gleaming in the sun.

 

According to Vintage Button Emporium this nacre button is even worth something, like a pound or two. It is the rim that makes it more valuable than just a plain version. Craftsmanship is always worth something.

 

Interestingly, this button seems to have been fastened with a metal noose, which is still attached to it. So was it part of some sort of uniform maybe?

 

If you know more about The Broken Palace or the people who lived there and what happened that we’re digging up so many artefacts. please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de 🙂

 

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These pieces of plaster have been around for a while: They all show different layers of paint.

These pieces of plaster have been around for a while: They all show different layers of paint.

 

This looks like we have many houses buried in our garden, with the colour palette ranging through the entire colour spectrum.

I love how each plaster piece has at least 2 different colour layers.

Do they all come from one house? That must’ve looked like Pippi Longstocking’s Villa Villekulla.

Or are these remains of the houses that stood on the now abandoned corner of Greatmore and York Street?

And why are they still in our garden, why did no-one ever clean up the rubble?

If you know more about The Broken Palace, please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de 🙂

 

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