War in the valley

Table of Contents:

Oh dear – it’s a Friday; Light a candle for Madiba; War in the Valley; Stella Hancock – 93 years of memories; Christmas is coming; Clarens Skies –  Taurus; News from Clarens Village Conservancy; Plant of the week: Papaver aculeatum; Golf News: Festive Season operating hours; This weekend – Weather; This weekend –  Music; This weekend –  Other Events; Coming Events; Calling all Restauranteurs

Oh dear – it’s a Friday

Considered by many to be an unlucky day.  We at Clarens News have however always found that friday 13 can also be an incredibly lucky day. With Monday being a public holiday, many South Africans are closing up shop early this year to go on their well-earned Christmas holiday break and just about everyone in Clarens has shaken out their welcome mats as we ready ourselves for the holiday influx. Monday is South Africa’s Day of Reconcilation,  The 16th December is associated with two momentous historical events in South African history: The Battle of Blood River which took place in 1836, and the formation of Umknoto we Siswe in 1961. From now on, however, I am sure that it will also be associated with Nelson Mandela whose great example laid the foundation for true reconciliation in this beautiful country of ours.

Light a candle for Madiba


War in the Valley

In a game of chess it is a risky move to retreat to a corner of the board when your defences are compromised.  In a corner and thus ruling out further retreat, you must be sure that effective frontal attack, or even attack from the rear on your opponent, is still an option open to you.  Without adequate opportunity for this, the outcome is most likely not going to be in your favour. This is the hard lesson learned by the Boers in the Brandwater basin during the Anglo-Boer War. Our photograph this week is of the Sunnyside area, looking west towards Clarens and further on, towards Fouriesburg, with the RooibergRange straddling the northern side of the landscape, stretching all the way to the Witteberg beyond Fouriesburg.  This is the view that Olivier, one of the Boer leaders who refused to surrender to the British, would have seen, had he looked back while on his hurried march to Golden Gate, the last remaining escape route out of the valley. Read more


Stella Hancock – 93 years of memories

Stella Hancock – A Full Life Article by Mary Walker Imagine a turquoise sea so flat and clear you can see the shadow of a small boat gliding across the sand below it.  Imagine small outcrops of lushly vegetated islands rising like shaggy green pillars from the water.  Islands with frilled skirts of ivory sand, too numerous to count, untouched, unspoilt, languid in vast fields of sea and sky.  Imagine sea-gypsies, nomadic, living in their wooden boats, subsisting from the sea.  In this place, idyllic beyond conception, Stella Hancock spent most of her first few years of life.  Read more

Christmas is coming

Clarens Skies –  Taurus

Genevieve Blignaut     The Bull, embodied both Osiris and his sister Isis in the eyes of the Egyptians. The brother and sister were respectively represented as bull-god and cow-goddess. According to Greek myth, the passionate god Zeus was thought to have disguised himself as a bull in yet another of his love affairs.The exquisite Europa, daughter of King Agenor, was strolling along the sea shore with her companions at her side, when Zeus noticed her and instantly became completely infatuated. The clever god immediately disguised himself as a magnificent white bull and upon appearing amongst the group, none felt fear as his calm demeanour radiated brilliantly.  Read more

News from Clarens Village Conservancy

Damien Coulsen has sent us a report detailing the rangers activities in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve.   Below is just a short paragraph on work done on the trails. November proved to be a busy month for the rangers who have completed the revamping of the trail directional markers along the Spruit, Kloof Mountain Trail and Mallen Walk, and initiated work on the Porcupine Trail markers – 6 down and just 3 to go! The C.V.C. has also produced 100 new trail markers at no small expense, in order to provide all users with the easiest possible trail navigation system yet. The rangers were assisted by the workers of the TCG who helped remove a good deal of Brandbos from between Scilla Walk trail and the Ridge Estate. Further work on the Brandbos removal project will recommence early January after the workers return from the festive season. Click here to read the full report

Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Plant of the week: Papaver aculeatum

Damien Coulson: Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a small dicotyledonous plant from the Papaveraceae (poppy) family. Papaver aculeatum (known as the Orange Poppy in English, Doringpapaver in Afrikaans or sehlohlo in sisotho), is a small herb of around 0.1 – 1.5 tall depending on the surrounding geology. It may be found in rocky places, among scrub, in dry riverbeds and on cliffs, often proliferating in areas of disturbance. P. aculeatum grows at altitudes of 1600-2950 m A.S.L. and is generally widespread throughout S.A. Spp. Of the Papaver genus are all moderately frost tolerant. This small herb is interesting as it is the only poppy originating from the Southern hemisphere. This is not a herb that one would generally hand-pick without gloves as it is covered in stiff yellow spines and fine hairs and could result, if nothing else in itchy hands. The leaves are approx. 120-130 mm in length and are deeply lobed, with the toothed margins appearing almost tattered.  The flower, although simple in design is an attractive light-burnt orange, flowering from October through to March. The fruit are tiny (10-20 mm wide), ribbed and oval.  Read more


Golf News: Festive Season operating hours

Course will be operating 7 days a week from 16 December until 6 January during School Holidays. On days before and after Public Holidays the operating hours have been adjusted to give staff well deserved time with Family and Friends. December 24th: Course Open until 12h00 for tee off. Bar closes at 15h00. December 25th: Course and Clubhouse closed. Christmas Day December 26th: Course Opens at 10h00 until closing. December 31st: Course Open until 12h00 for tee off. Bar closes at 15h00. January 1st: Course Opens at 10h00 until closing. New years Day.

This weekend – Weather

This weekend –  Music

Backpackers Friends Annual Jamboree Friday 13 – Sunday 15 December 2013:  The backpackers Its the Backpackrs Friends 35th jamboree and musicians from all over Clarens will be stopping over at the backpackers to strut their stuff and have some fun.  The Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters, Slipstream, and Voetstoets will be there together with various other “surpiise” bands.  The jamboree is however not just about music.  It”s also a “family”affair, so everyone is invited.  On Saturday evening  there will be a sheep on a spit  (R120 pp) and braai packs will also be available.  Those wanting to imbibe are however asked to bring their own..  . Friday, 13th December 2013 Friends:  20h00:  Van Smith Saturday 14th December 2013 Street Cafe:   12h00:  Deon:  The Soutie from Toti Friends:  20h00: Van Smth Artichoke Stop in at the Artichoke to enjoy Double Barrel.  They will be playing all weekend on an ad hoc basis. Double Barrel hail from Pietermarizberg and play a variety of music with a “classical touch. Sunday 15th December 2013 Artichoke:  12h00:  Deon the Soutie from Toti Friends:  14h30:  Van Smith

This weekend –  Other Events

13- 16 December 2013:  Backpackers Friends Annual Jamboree Live Music and lots of fun all day. 14 December 2013: NG Kerk Flea  Market 14 December 2013   Bark for Life .  

Coming Events

Be sure to visit the website: www.clarensnews.com, to find out what else there is in store.



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Calling all Restauranteurs

You are all welcome to send us your Chrismas menus for publication in the December 20 Clarens News. This is a free service from Clarens News. All you need to do is to email  your menu toeditor@clarensnews.com