One of my father's closest associates lived in Limpsfield. He was a man called Eric Frost and they had built up a successful arbitrage business between Johannesburg and London. They seemed to have a lot in common apart from their initials; coincidences in the names of their homes and addresses and my father had visited their home before the war. While there on one occasion their daughter asked him for a surname for her doll, which she said was called Jean. After searching for something that might appeal to her, he came up with an Afrikaans phrase "Geen Stamplek" which translates to "No Parking", these signs being ever present around South Africa, of course. So, throughout the war years, parcels were sent to the parents, the daughter and also to the doll, Jean Stamplek! When I visited in 1947, I was astounded to see that as they did not want or use all the dripping and caramels we had sent, these were still on the pantry shelf. It seemed strange that they had not passed these items on to friends or at least to the hardworking postman, who had to trudge up the hill each month with three parcels for delivery to them. I believe that all the parcels reached the addressees safely with one exception, although two parcels containing shirts were despatched and one got through, the second one arrived but without the contents, just an empty box wrapped in brown paper!
One occasion that the family found rather amusing occurred when Eric Frost visited 'Graystones' a year or two after the war. My father had arranged for one of the gardeners to paint the wood across the stone pillars, which formed the pergola, with creosote to preserve the timber. He had demonstrated what was needed. As the family gathered to have tea on the veranda overlooking the garden, we were watching the progress made on this task. When he arrived in South Africa, Eric Frost had been full of suggestions concerning how we should change the treatment of the Africans but, as he watched this workman paint the creosote on the wood in front of him while sitting astride it, and then shuffle along each time so that he then sat on the newly painted area, not a word was said by the family, until Eric Frost burst forth saying, 'Now I think I understand that improving things is not always as simply as one would imagine!'