Gerald works for us every 2nd Saturday, doing a bit of gardening, painting, that sort of thing. I asked him permission to publish what he has told me of his life.
In his own words:
I’m Prinsloo because I was adopted by my grandparents, my grandfather was Andries, something, something Prinsloo. I was with them from when I was 6 months when my parents were separated. My mother had a struggling life. She had 2 other daughters, my sisters, Patricia and Carol. I don’t see them too often, maybe I saw them a year and a half ago. Patricia is married and has 3 daughters and Carol has 3 sons but one died in a road accident after matric. He was coming back from Suldhana from the navy.
I went to Zwaanswyk Primary school and after that trade school, Batavia until three-quarters of Std 7, then I had to leave school for certain reasons. I worked on the railways in Salt River close to a year. When I was working there, I had to leave and they paid me off because of the eye incident which affected me both mentally and physically.
I was stabbed with a broken beer glass. First I was kicked, then stabbed in the wrist and then in the eye. I was 17. They stitched the eye up at Victoria Hospital but when I was 33 the doctor said it had to be removed. Until then I was on many tablets.
I never married, life has its odds and ends for certain people. I carry on, I can’t worry about things like that. I haven’t found anybody suitable. It’s not a killer, as long as you keep busy and look after yourself.
I stay in Kalk Bay. The owner, a lady, lives on top. I have a room below right on the main road. You can never get rid of all that noise from the traffic all night through and on the weekends.
I prefer to walk to the cafe in Fish Hoek, then I leave my bicycle at home in my room. It’s better exercise. When you walk you take your whole body with you. Most of the time I am by myself but I do greet people on the road here and there and keep myself busy.
I’m 60 now. Before when I was a youngster, I’d go swimming at St James either in the pool or behind it in the sea. I used to fish, rock angling, and I helped with trekking fish.
These days I don’t go to church. A person, how can I say, must still believe in God. You as a person, are not your own saviour, your own destiny. You need someone in case of different things to look up to, ja, definitely, you got to believe.You’ve got to look after yourself for God to look after you. For instance, I’ve stopped smoking for 4 months now and I don’t worry about drinking.
I won’t say I wasn’t a naughty boy. I took part in things that people take part in today, like I went to discos, had a drink myself, things like that. Elke mens moet sy eie kop stamp. When you are young, you have to learn yourself, the hard way, when you are using drink and smoke.
This is the story of a person. I’m telling the truth. I’m not full of crap like that, I wouldn’t put a finger in someone’s eye, never mind a beer glass.