Shadow of Time

Over past few years I have had the joy of reconnecting with people who left my life as I journeyed through it.  The joy has been unexpected.  I am reveling in our shared histories and memories; enjoying rekindling friendships and acquaintances.  Some of these are already part of Fiona’s Favourites as I celebrate milestones and share memories associated with things I cook.  Shadow of Time

This weekend, we went to the opening of Shadow of Time, an exhibition of three talented artists, all of whom have ties with Grahamstown, Estelle Marais, Diane McLean and Sharlé  Matthews.   The title speaks of the long and deep friendship between the three artists, which spans four or so decades.

There were four of us at the exhibition who had been at primary school together:  Diane and Sharlé, along with Wendy, who welcomed us to her home for the weekend.  Three of us, as well as Sharlé’s husband, Mike, were also subsequently at Rhodes.

A couple of years ago, Tom and I had popped in to see Diane in De Rust, where she lives, and a year or so before that, I had caught up with Wendy for the first time since 1975 – it was was just like we had seen each other the day before!  I can’t remember when I last saw Sharlé….other than on Facebook….


Funny the associations we have:  when Wendy mentioned to Sharlé that we would be at the exhibition opening, Sharlé had one instruction for Wendy:  “Tell Fiona not to forget her mother’s fudge recipe!”  I had forgotten that I had taken fudge to school cake sales (my mother was not a cake-baker), which reminded me that I had also sold it as part of bob-a-job when I had been a Brownie (I never became a Girl Guide…) 20140731_103537

The fudge recipe is in my mother’s recipe book , which she acquired in 1961 – before any of us were even thought of.  And as you see, it was often in use – it still is.

What made that fudge so good, was the walnuts that Mum added, and which are not in the list of ingredients!

My memory of both Sharlé and Diane is that they were both good at art.  I don’t remember Diane without a pencil in her hand, drawing something – mostly ballet dancers…. So, through the shadow of time, the four of us, all of whom had been at Victoria Girls’ Primary School in Grahamstown, came together, in Wellington, in the Swartland, some forty-odd years later.




The formal stuff


In March 2020 I successfully completed a certificate in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) to complement my a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in English and Geography) and Higher Diploma in Education from Rhodes University.  I have a Certificate in the Principles and Techniques of Fundraising, a joint initiative by the Fundraising School at Indiana University, in the USA, and Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising (SAIF). Because of my role in the development and implementation of the Certificate in Fundraising Management programme at the University of South Africa, I also hold this qualification.  I was accepted as a Ph D candidate (education) a few years ago, but did not pursue it.

Follow the links for more about what I do now, and what I did then.

TL;DNR:  I’m a word warrior and writer for hire.


Under the auspices of Fiona Cameron Consulting, a post school education and training consultancy, I co-founded the SkillZHub, a social enterprise that shared information and provided a discussion forum on skills development and occupational training.  I was co-developer of The Quality Management Framework for small training providers. This ISO 9001-based framework can be successfully applied to other small businesses.

Before starting Fiona Cameron Consulting, in 1993, I lived in Johannesburg where I worked in both the private and non-profit sectors, in various capacities.  This ranged from developing and writing educational materials while at SACHED, to administration and fundraising. I was an administrative officer in the Minerals Council South Africa (formerly the Chamber of Mines), and while in the parking industry, administered 29 car parks with revenues averaging R 1 million each, per month. During my time as a fundraiser, I exceeded income targets and conducted funding negotiations with senior people in both business and diplomatic sectors.

After leaving Johannesburg, I lived in Queenstown, Eastern Cape, where I was Regional Training Co-ordinator of the housing programme for the Independent Development Trust, and worked with a diverse number of community and development organisations.

Volunteer work

In my personal capacity, I was a member of the board of the Access Trust for nearly 10 years.  I chaired the board of trustees for six years.  We provided bursaries for disadvantaged young people to attend technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges. In that capacity, I twice contributed articles to the FET College Times.

For a period, I served as an elected member of the CHIETA‘s Western Cape Regional Consultative Committee, representing small business and skills development providers. I was a co-opted member and Chairman of Cape Town Child Welfare Society‘s Marketing and Funding Committee. As a member of the Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising (SAIF) from 1991 until 2000, I was both National Treasurer and Chairman of the Western Cape Branch. As a member and chair the National Council’s Education Committee, was instrumental in initiating the development of an education and training programme for the fundraising profession in South Africa.

As a volunteer in the street children movement, during the late 1980’s, I served on the Board of Management of (Girls and) Boys’ Towns South Africa; as Chairman of Project Street Children – Education and Social Support, I initiated the Johannesburg Street Children Coordinating Committee. In 1991, Fiona received the Hillbrow Rotary Club Achiever of the year award as “Top Individual”.

The fun stuffFiona Cameron-Brown

I am a writer, Instagram addict,  homemaker and cook, a kitchen gardener;  neither a designer nor a chef.

I love cooking and feeding people, so you will find my fare at the local pop-up market every Saturday. On Sundays, until the pandemic struck, The Husband and I hosted Sunday Suppers @ The Sandbag House (our home) – a service to the village when there was no other meal offering available for visitors or locals.

A recipe book has been suggested…we shall see how things unfold….


The urge (I hesitate to say inspiration) to write is one that I’d suppressed for years.  It has been allowed to emerge thanks to the friends and strangers who read this (and more latterly, look at, my happy snaps) – and who want more.

For some, the topics are trivial and fluffy, for others, less so.  Regardless, I have elected, in this space, to stay away (mostly) from politics, religion and bad wine…  So, Fiona’s Favourites is mostly a happy place, although, from time to time, sadnesses happen: all part of the fabulous fabric of life.

I live in an alternative technology house, in McGregor in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.  Now, alas, without The Husband, and now three two cats, Tiger Princess Pearli and Gandalf the Grey and Rambo the semi-feral ginger who’s now moved in.

If you want to get in touch….

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