There are, of course, many distinctions to be drawn between people who somehow exist in the city and those who live the life of Reilly in the countryside.
I lived in inner-city London for 13 years. I loved it. Then. I have now lived in Stanford for the past six months. Stanford? It’s OK. Reasonable question. Twenty-three kilometres the other side of Hermanus, Hatpeople. If you’re coming from Cape Town. Which you will be. Unless you live in Vermaklikheid of iets. Which you don’t. So don’t argue with me. Because I’m irritable.
I’m touchy because I’ve been looking after a friend’s house in Cape Town (while she swans about the shifting sands of the Namib with her man) for the past week. It’s noisy. It’s over-populated. It’s discombobulated. It’s nincompoopulated. It’s smelly. Too many cars. Far too many people. Too many airs and disgraces. Not enough air and graciousness. Too many millions of refrigerators humming around my eardrum. It’s kak.
In this, the fourth of my occasional interviews with interesting people who live in my home village of Stanford in the Western Cape, I ask the “Big Five” questions of Jill Smith, who runs the local agency of Pam Golding Properties.
It is fitting that I publish this interview today, on Women’s Day, because Jill is indeed one of those women who are, at once, strong, feminine and inspiring! But why don’t you see for yourself?
FH: Please give us a little personal background, Jill. Where were you born, schooled, shaped as a person and when and how did you first discover our lovely village of Stanford? And when and how did you and Brian meet?
JS: I was educated in East London and did what was one of only a few career choices young ladies had then – nurse, teacher, airhostess, (very posh) hairdresser and secretary. My Mom loved courtroom dramas so I was to become a Stenographer – not a Shorthand Typist which is what it is – but a Courtroom Stenographer… it sounds so much better! You know the type, glasses perched on the edge of your nose and taking down verbatim all the sordid details.