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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Doug Batteson: Artist, Musician, Poet, Hillbrow, Johannesburg, Bohemia; Batteson history

Doug Batteson:  Artist, Musician, Poet and Brother

My brother Doug Batteson, aka
Dougie Batterson or Douggie McAlpine, grew up drawing and painting.

I remember him sitting under the kitchen table in our home in the town of Randfontein, South Africa, drawing airplanes.
He was around 5 yrs young and I around 7.

Sadly he and I did not get along too well as the case often is between siblings.
I was the bossy elder sister and he was, in my eyes, Mommy's little pet.
(The fact that he suffered from severe eczema and had frequent asthma attacks didn't improve matters either.)
Needless to say I went out of my way to get him back for this 'injustice' and he, being a bro with a hot temper, fought back valiantly.

Not only could the laddie draw, he could sing and taught himself to play guitar.
Another reason for 'older sis' to be annoyed and jealous!

Because of his artistic talents, ( taking after our maternal grandma who apparently painted beautiful pics ) Mom tried to get him enrolled in art school in Johannesburg.

Bro, however, joined a Bohemian crowd and decided to try for fame his own way.
It was music or nothing.

- The Market Theatre and Café Tribute - Part 2

He rented a pad in Hillbrow, which is a suburb of Johannesburg and was, in those days, a very cosmopolitan and 'hippy-type' place.

I was a nurse trainee at the time and lived in Pretoria.

On my off days I often travelled to Jo'burg to spend the night at bro's place.

To be continued...

Part 2

Besides being a musician and artist, Doug Batteson is also a poet and script writer.

One of his poems called 'Leonardo Stravinski' was included in the  collection "A Season Of Flowers" that was published in America a few years ago.
He has also played bit parts in movies.

Besides all these accomplishments he is a mean motor mechanic and is still driving and repairing our Dad's old 1974 Ford Cortina.
He has also built fiber glass boats in his time.

- Doug Batteson Art

- Safari Rock Twins

- Animals 'In' Africa

Part 3

October 2011

These past few months have been dedicated to clearing out closets and cupboards because both offspring have moved out and I need space.

Imagine my great surprise on discovering 4 reels of 8mm film ( 3 small reels and 1 large reel ) shot by both parents and ranging from around 1958 and into the 1970s.



I had brought the films with me to Sweden in 1989 with the intention of having them redone on video tape but had put them away and forgotten about them until the moment I found them in a laundry cupboard a few weeks ago. 


Well seeing as video tapes are 'no more' so to speak, I sent a small reel away to be put on a DVD.
The result was awesome to put it mildly!
I saw part of my history 'live' and it was exciting and weird at the same time!
Here I was at the ripe old age of 67yrs looking at myself..and a good-looking woman I was..running around and playing with my 2 little dogs, Hamlet and Twinkle, 40 yrs earlier in Walvis Bay, Namibia where I lived for 2 yrs after I was married the first time around.

The next chapter of this amazing story took place at the local 2nd Hand Shop where I work a few hours every week.
Someone handed in an 8mm film projector which I happened to notice.
I took it home to test before buying it but sadly it was not in working condition.
I received another projector to test and it was the very same make my Dad used to show us the films so long ago.
Eumig it's called.

Well this projector worked after a few minor repairs and I got to see 2 more reels of film with more history on them.
It was like going back in time and some of the things I saw revived rather bad memories!
In general though it was a great experience and I was grateful to my folks for leaving behind this legacy for bro and me and our children should they be interested.

One big reel was left and I had no smaller reel to rewind part of it on to.
The big wheel was too large to fit on to the front pin on the projector.
So I asked for help and lo and behold my friend at the 2nd Hand Shop produced an even more modern and automatic version of the Eumig projector plus a smaller reel which was actually able to hold all of the film.
In that film I was transported back to the time when I was about 16yrs of age and my bro was 14.
It was amazing to see relatives long dead and a cousin, who is now about 45 yrs old, as a babe in arms.
I saw snippets of holidays spent in Margate, Natal ( now called KwaZulu-Natal ) and my entrance into the nurses' home at the Andrew McColm hospital in Pretoria where I trained as a general nurse.

I am now going to put all that film on a DVD because it's easier to cart about but I'll keep the projector in case I want to use it again.

Thanks Mom and Dad 8)
After seeing all that film footage I understand that we were loved!

¤¤¤


Bro n me around 5 n 7 yrs



Bro n Me around 8yrs n 10yrs




Hamlet and Twinkel 1970/Walvis Bay


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Part 4

January 2014

Since I last wrote anything on this page I see that 2 years have gone by! :o

Quite a lot has happened since I last put pen to paper, so to speak, and so in this new year of 2014 I have decided to continue to write about the past and present. The future will, no doubt, take care of itself as it usually does!

Since the last entry I have become a Grandmother at last! 
On 12th May 2013 little Alice Mary Elizabeth came into the world in quite a hurry and is now 8 months old and thriving.

Becoming a Mom twice was an experience never to be forgotten, but becoming a Grandma is the absolute icing on the cake of life. This year, 2014, I will turn 70 on July 21st if the Good Lord spares me and ♥ Alice will have turned a whole year old! 

The world as it is today is in a dreadful mess so I do wonder and 
 worry as to how it will treat her into the future and after I've moved on.
It would be comforting to think that I could watch over her from wherever I go but, even though I strongly believe in an afterlife, I doubt that this will be possible. All I can do is trust that our Creator will be merciful and give her the courage to face and deal with whatever is sent her way.


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A while back my bro sent me pictures of our maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather. Sadly we never knew either of them or our paternal grandmother. 
We never did much research into their backgrounds either so what we know is, to say the least, very sketchy :(

It seems that our paternal grandfather was called Herbert Batteson and he married Mary Ann/e Trollip and they had, as far as I know, three children named Hazel, Malvina and Douglas. I don't know in which order they came but my dad could have been the youngest child. 

My maternal grandma was, as far as I know, Johanna Greeff and she married a Botha who may have died seeing as she later remarried my maternal grandfather, John/Jack Hartman.
Her family apparently owned a farm in Taba N'chu in the Free State which was sold after her death in probably 1920 in the flu epidemic. 
She had three children...May Botha and Joyce and Helene Hartman.

She was apparently an artist and many of her paintings were lost when the farm was sold on auction.




Our Maternal Grandmother



1st Nov 2014

After my offspring and granddaughter, my next 'soft spot' is my nephew Kyle who lives in South Africa.
Last time I saw him he was 7 yrs old so it's high time we meet up again before I move on!

Kyle is also musical and plays the guitar. He is also into developing games and has sent me a link to his first effort which one can download and try out.

Download Game

More art by Dougie Batteson..
To see his mural of the Odin Bioscope Music Hall Of Fame scroll down the page at the following link..

Odin Bioscope Music Hall Of Fame



An owl painted by bro for me many years ago! ♡

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