Monthly Archives: May 2013

30th May, 2013: Just ANOTHER beautiful day

Just ANOTHER beautiful day


Queen Victoria


“Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
I’ve been to London to see the queen.”  Well, if you live in Clarens you don’t need to go that far.  You can visit Queen Victoria a 20 minute drive away on the R711.  You’ll find her on Lesoba farm, about 10 kilometres on the Clarens side of Fouriesberg.




Night temperatures have dropped, but Clarens always has a warm heart.  Clarens locals celebrated another Ubuntu evening on Monday, with thanks to Mark and Shelley at Clementines. And Wednesday we enjoyed a Wednesday Winter Warmer at 278 On Main. Sue is planning to hold these events on a regular basis – so keep a look-out for them in the Clarens News.  Visitors to Clarens can however rest assured that even when we’re not holding events there’s always a cosy fire somewhere in Clarens where you are welcome to stay warm.

Being part of a Community is very special, and this was vividly illustrated last weekend when Anna, who works on the Golf Estate was hit by a car on her way home from work, at the junction of the Golden Gate and Fouriesberg roads. One of the sandstone vendors on that corner immediately phoned the police and they (together with one of the SPF reservists) were on the scene in no time.  We phoned Henriette of Paballos who examined and comforted Anna but suggested that she needed to go to Bethlehem for Xrays.  No problem – our pharmacist Benita Jonker kindly offered to take Anna to the Bethlehem Hospital where she ensured that Anna got VIP treatment.  Fortunately there were no broken bones and Anna is recovering well.  We really are very lucky to live in a town where people care about each other, and the ever-caring Benita has also sent me a list of flu symptoms, as well as some do’s and don’ts.  To read more Press HERE.


Ornithological Notes

A sharp-eyed reader has picked up a small arithmetical cum calendar inaccuracy in these columns!  Your faithful scribe noted last week that there were only 107 shopping days to Christmas, and the aforementioned reader blanched in horror and put fingers to keypad to point out that this is patently incorrect!  Well, yes.  As part-time book-keeper to the nation’s first family, I have been accused of some irregularities over time, and I concede that in my anxiety to buy the Pres a Christmas gift, I may have done some double counting.  It comes with the territory.
So here’s how it works: Using an outdated formula, I calculate a shopping week as 5.5 days.  With me so far?  That means, according to my broken abacus, there are 5.5 shopping days in each week of a calendar year, less the week after Christmas – so let’s call it 51 weeks x 5.5 shopping days, or a total of 281.  Subtract from that 11 public holidays, from New Year’s Day to the Day of Reconciliation (what?), and you are left with 270 shopping days – at least in the hinterland of our great nation, where malls and overtime are in short supply.
That means, as of June 1, we have used/lost/abandoned 110 shopping days, less 6 public holidays, for a sub-total of 104.  Subtract that from the available (if theoretical) 270 shopping days mentioned above, and in fact we are left with 166 shopping days until Christmas 2013.  So, thank you dear reader, we will revert to the comparative sanity of the Gregorian Calendar and you can calm down your frenetic shopping.  Whew!
But wait: It turns out that Clarens has not one, but two Christmases!!  The Clarens Tourist Forum has just finalised plans to celebrate Christmas in July, over the weekend of July 19 to 21, and cover our sainted square with snow.  This has real implications for the entire festive season, not least Sandy Claws, whose hibernation will be ruined.  Moreover, it means that the calculation above is in tatters: In fact, there are now 7 x 5.5 days to Christmas #1, less a deferred Youth Day on June 17, which means that we are back in high shopping gear for the next 37.5 days!  So, take your choice; Christmas shoppers; you have two to choose from.
Finally, after the mild panic of the last couple of weeks, the birds of the valley have settled to an autumnal calm.  The Black Eagles of the Golf Estate have had their fill of domestic pets and vanished; the Sacred Ibis family has gone north for the winter; the Southern Bald Ibis are still to be seen parading the golf course; and the pair of Hadedas on my back lawn (Arthur and Martha) are content.  The Guinea Fowl – at least those that have survived the predations of local hunters and jackals – are looking splendid and going through the country’s maize stocks at the speed of light.  For an ornithologist, this means that a drama of epic proportions must be imminent; watch this space…………..
The Twitcher


Editorial Comment:

No politics this week, local or national.  Much too stressful, even boringly repetitious, one might say.  Instead, matters parochial and aesthetic.
Almost certainly for reasons of fire protection, with winter imminent, our local fire service and the Clarens Golf Estate (yes, the trout is dead) have done a clearing job on the road verges of the village, the Golf Estate and the golf course.  And what a difference it makes!  For the first time in years, Clarens looks quite respectable from the road.  A bit like a tourist destination, one is tempted to suggest.  Road clearing on this scale turns out to be quite a revelation.

 



Tourism News
CNBC Africa’s tourism television series “Latitude” kicks-off on the 6th of June 2013. Themed “Discover, Uncover and Explore” this hour long series will delve into ‘Kleindorps’ and remote rural areas to uncover South Africa’s unique tourist destinations nestled in and around the country’s heritage sites. The Maloti Drakensberg Route is one of many prime routes that will be explored by the show in efforts to profile the business of Tourism in the Southern African Region. 


 

THIS WEEKEND 

Weekend Weather



We can all look forward to a sunny weekend. (Oh no – just more beautiful days in Clarens!)  Lesotho however, has had some good snow.

snow in Lesotho


Dean from Maluti Tours sent Clarens News some photos. These were taken on recent pony trek trip, but since the weather wasn’t suitable for pony trekking our intrepid Lesotho tour guide decided to take his group to have some fun up on the mountain pass.
 Needless to say they had snow ball fights part way up the mountain and came back glowing. Maluti Tours strive to get snow reports from Afriski on a regular basis. The news is that  Afriski has enjoyed early snow but now needs fresh falls to cover the slopes. 




Clarens Country Market

Clarens Country Market
Be sure to visit the Clarens Country Market on Saturday.
The Clarens Country Market is for local people to exhibit and sell local produce, arts and handicrafts. It is held in the front garden of the Bibliophile Bookshop in Church Street, between Van Zyl and Market Streets, every Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm, weather-permitting.
For more information or to book a stall, contact Debra 083 765 8901 or Megan 082 469 2072.


Rugby, Rugby, Rugby 

Rugby, Rugby, Rugby!

As tensions mount, its New Zealand vs Australia, Australia vs Australia, New Zealand vs New Zealand, plus two South African derbies.  Don’t miss a minute of the action on a big screen near you at a choice of Clarens destinations……….

Vodacom Super Rugby Fixtures Super 15

Date Match Time Venue
May 2013
31 May Crusaders v Waratahs 09:35 AMI Stadium, Addington Christchurch
31 May Brumbies v Hurricanes 11:40 Canberra Stadium, Canberra
June 2013
01 June Highlanders v Blues 09:35 Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
01 June Reds v Rebels 11:40 Brisbane
01 June Stormers v Kings 17:05 DHL Newlands, Cape Town
01 June Cheetahs v Bulls 19:10 Bloemfontein

 


Bethlehem Kine


 SNITCH  PG:13  112min – Drama/Thriller
A father goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his son who was imprisoned after being set up in drug deal. DIRECTOR: Ric Roman Waugh Writers: Justin Haythe, Ric Roman Waugh STARS:  Dwayne Johnson, Jon Bernthal, Susan Sarandon
SHOW TIMES:  FRI:11:00, 20:00  WED:11:00,14:30, 20:00  SAT,TUE,THUR:11:00,14:30,20:00  SUN: 15:00





SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS  PG:R  110min – Comedy/Crime
A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu. DIRECTOR: Martin McDonagh Writers: Martin McDonagh STARS: Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken
SHOW TIMES:  FRI,MON,TUE,WED,THUR:11:00,14:30,20:00
SUN: 15:00
 

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION  PG:13  110min – Action/Adventure/Sci-fi
The G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.
DIRECTOR: Jon M. Chu  WRITERS: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick  STARS:  Dwayne Johnson, Byung-hun Lee, Adrianne Palicki,Bruce Willis
SHOW TIMES:  FRI,MON,TUE,WED,THUR:11:00,14:30,20:00  SUN: 15:00
 






COMING UP

Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day 
May 31 at the Clarens Golf Club
We are looking for sponsors for the 18 holes. Sponsorship for each hole will be R1,000.00 per hole which allows you to advertise as you wish on the appropriate hole.We welcome any form of sponsorship either in cash or prizes.The competition will be a ‘four ball better ball’. The entrance is R1,200.00 for 4 players, which includes a light lunch at the half way and Prize giving dinner in the evening. If you would like to take part in our golf day or require any further information please contact the co-ordinators:JAN SANDER E MAIL ADDRESS; Jansander22@gmail.com  cell number 0782462553ROSE BAILEY EMAIL ADDRESS; jabailey@nashuaisp.co.za cell number 0828790161, fax No.0866747750
.
Sanlam Cancer Challenge
 5 June 2013  The Clarens Golf Estate
Support this worthy cause by taking part in the biggest amateur golf tournament in South Africa:  Sponsor a hole; Give a donation or register your four-ball and join the fun.  There are also big prizes up for grabs.
Contact Maryna Swart:  082-520 8909 or Fracois Schoeman 058 256 1270.
Incidentally, The Clarens Golf Estate now has recently added a new blog to their website. This blog is open to the public and updated as news and events become available.  The blog address is www.theclarens.co.za/news.


8th Clarens Quilt Festival
26-28 June 2013

Quilt in Clarens is the only annual quilt festival in the Free State, and over the last eight years has grown from 7 to 261 participants.  The festival offers small classes (7 per day) and personal attention, as well as courses (both novice and advanced) in quilting, creative knitting, crocheting and embroidery. The festival offers ann ideal opportunity for all those who want to quilt in a relaxed environment.  For more information contact the organiser Alae Grabe on 082 5772232 or email quiltinclarens@gmail.com



Fouriesburg Polar Bear Plunge
29th June  (2pm)
Meet at the Arpa Dam (at Arpa Adventure Farm S325 off the R711, 7km outside Fouriesburg
Swim 50m in the dam. Change   rooms available.  Bring your own blankets!
R100 perentrant (includes a T-shirt “first come first served”- and a boerewors roll.
Boerewors rolls, pancakes and cooldrinks for sale at the dam before, during and after the plunge!
Entra free to spectators!!!
In aid of Cluny Animal Trust.   

Chrismas in July
12 – 14 July right here in Clarens.
Those of you who can’t wait for Christmas will be happy to know that it’s only a few months away. We will soon be able to celebrate Chrismas right here in Clarens.
The Tourism Forum are working on a varied program:  music, huskies, and lots, lots more. The program has however not been finalised yet, but we will keep you posted.

Ski Slalom
July 11 – July 14  at Afriski

A ski slalom and giant slalom race 4 children , juniors, seniors and masters. For accomodation and details contact Stephan at Gone skiing 0861754669
Ski racing is a fun way to improve your skiing.

BUT WHY WAIT until then to visit Afriski, when you can have fun in the snow NOW.  Phone Dean: 072 133 9615/082 921 3894



Other news:

FOR SALE: CITRöEN PICASSO 2.0 HDI

2005 Citröen Picasso 2.0 diesel in exceptional condition.  
One owner from new with full service history, available in Clarens.
Excellent value at R62,500.  Contact Peter on 0828510484 or 
Email peterbw@eastcoast.co.za



Video of the week

Only for those with a slightly warped sense of humour
A Scottish Marriage Proposal:   
http://www.youtube.com/embed/dYslhL71k1M?rel=0

 

23rd May, 2013: Fabulous Freestate

Fabulous Freestate


Clarens and the surrounding area is well-known for it’s sandstone formations:  mushroom rock, Queen Victoria, and Titanic to name just a few. One of my favourites however has to be the “freestate taxi”.  
Have you spotted it yet?  When driving to Bethlehem turn right on the first road out of Clarens.  Look out for the “taxi” further down the road, on your right




MTB Trails
Apart from the fabulous scenery in and around Clarens it seems that our MTB trails are fast becoming a major tourism attraction.  The recent MTN Cycle race not only highlighted Clarens as a fantastic destination for MTB enthusiasts but also gave the Clarens Village Conservancy a unique opportunity to study the impact that mountain bikes have on the environment and on the CVC hiking trails in particular.  Conservancy ranger, Damien Coulsen,  has already done a comprehensive study on the  impact of the MTN Cycle race on the CVC hiking trails. To read his report PRESS HERE




There are a number of MTB trails in and around Clarens, and if the photograph above is anything to go by, mountain biking can provide some wonderful opportunities for sightseeing. Ollie from Clarens Xtreme sent Clarens News descriptions of some of these trails.   CLICK HERE to find out more.




And whilst we’re on the subject of tourism:

Indaba Feedback:  Clarens were hosted by Free State Tourism at this year’s International Travel & Tourism Indaba in Durban on their new state-of-the-art exhibition stand. New energy and commitment from the FSTA placing Clarens in the No 1 Tourism spot for the Province. The Clarens delegates, Michael Scheepers, Ollie Esplin and John Martiens all delivered favourable reports. There’s been a re-shuffle at Government level with a Tourism consultant in place. Clarens is now ‘noticed and respected’. The challenge now is for all to keep the momentum going and to feed FSTA with marketing materials and information, use of their resources and facilities, i.e. website, printed media, etc. It is also extremely important to attend information sharing meetings hosted by the FSTA since Clarens will be used as a model to promote tourism throughout the Province. FSTA has also promised that an Info Centre will be in place in Clarens within the next 6 – 12 months!

Eco-Outdoor Show Gauteng:  This weekend Clarens will be hosted by N3Gateway and will be represented by Gavin & Sarah-Jane Schoeman, Chris Green and Andrew Flitton. The show organisers are anticipating 12000 people to visit!!


 

CTF Committee Portfolios:
To see the full list of CTF committee members, their names, telephone numbers, email addresses and portfolio please CLICK HERE


 

Ornithological Notes

107 shopping days to Christmas and Sandy Claws is sharpening his chisels in preparation for the sculpting of Presidential figurines; he is having difficulty, apparently, with miniature shower heads, so any contributions would be welcome.  Letters to Box 3, Greenland, to avoid disappointment for your nearest and dearest.

Much anxiety in the village about the Ibis convention of last week.  Several readers insist that the African Sacred Ibis, your faithful scribe reported, were in fact albino Flamingos, which had overshot the Welkom acid ponds (hardly surprising, really).  One reader speculated that they were a brand of heron, while another thought some inter-species mixing with Ostriches lay at the root of the confusion.  But your scribe is unrepentant: Careful study of the labels fixed to their undersides revealed the legend, Threskiornis aethiopicus, immediately under the statement of origin, ‘Made in China’.  Of greater interest is the fact that the rare Southern Bald Ibis (Geronticus calvus), reported last week, actually breeds in the Golden Gate’s Cathedral Cave; so if you are into Ibis orgies, that’s the place to be. To read more CLICK HERE


Editorial Comment:

Consensus, Unrest and Stability? 

Early days perhaps, but in the course of the last week, we have heard nothing but supporting comments about the establishment of the Clarens Chamber of Commerce.  Quite right too, but surprising in a village renowned for differences of opinion.   So perhaps it is an idea whose time has come after all.  We shall see.
Of more immediate import is the unrest besetting Lower Clarens, or Kubetswana, as it is also known.  The Clarens Sector Police Forum (SPF) issued a statement yesterday attempting to clarify events, not least the pops and bangs of Tuesday night.  This statement was drawn from information provided by Colonel Korff of the Public Order Policing Division, since our own Police Captain was unavailable for comment.  Latest information is that there is an uneasy truce in the area, pending a promised meeting with the Dihlabeng Council next week, to discuss service delivery.  The Clarens News will follow events and report these, since our role is to serve the wider community of this fair village, without fear or favour.   
On a positive note, the spat over the future of the village’s Police Reservists – largely responsible for the crime-free square around which our businesses operate – appears to have been resolved, or at least put on hold.  A written reply from the Clarens Police Captain has confirmed that these members are not suspended for any reason and that they may continue to operate.  We trust that this reply may signal a thawing of relations between the parties involved and that Clarens will continue to be free of any threat to our commercial life.  Business is tough in recessionary times, particularly in a tourist environment.  We need to be able to protect the commercial, social and cultural life of this rather unique village, and that means keeping our primary asset – the Clarens Square – free of strife and trouble.  Long may that continue. 




Parking in Clarens
The “parking problem” in Clarens which we raised in last week’s issue (Clarens News: 16th May: Going Forward) has generated some very positive response.  
Do we have a “‘parking problem’ in Clarens? And if so, what should be done about it. Louw van Biljon has been studying this “problem”and come to some very interesting conclusions.
If you missed last week’s Clarens News (don’t worry – we all make mistakes) PRESS HERE 

 


 

Clarens Sector Police:

Another bouquet:

Dear hard working team,Just want to inform you of the excellent service the Sector Police gave me and my guests.
On the week-end of the 2 – 5 April ten ladies were booked into my guesthouse (Avante) Saturday the 4th April I got a call from one of them, informing me that they were broken into.I phoned the police, needless to say, there was no answer and out of despiration, I phoned Rampaai, he immediately told me he was on his way and informed me to try the police on another line. I must admit, when I got to the house, Rampaai and the police were already busy with the whole case.Well, a week later I got info on the case, phoned the police, again no reply!!! Well I phoned Rampaai again, he was on leave and Oupa was off for the week-end, but said that Ghate will contact me as soon as possible. Ten minutes later Ghate and another guy from the Sector Police arrived at Mountain Odyssey’s office. I gave them all the info and off they went.It was not long after they left, Ghate phoned me from his private phone, to inform me that the wife is in jail, with the one stolen phone and the one pair of stolen “tekkies” and that they were waiting for the husband to come from Bethlehem and half an hour later he phoned to inform me that they had the husband as well. He phoned me again to inform me on all the things that they got back.As we all know Ghate is cripple at this stage, but thank God there is nothing wrong with his brain or the way he is doing his work. He really went out of his way to inform me on everything and even helped to get the couples disabled child sorted.I want to thank the sector police for outstanding work. While I am at this, I just want to inform you that whenever we have a problem in the streets or see someone that we do not know, we contact them and they always there to help and assist everybody.   Well done, you doing an excellent job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Regards
Meleanor Heymans


THIS WEEKEND 

Weekend Weather






Clarens Country Market
Be sure to visit the Clarens Country Market on Saturday.
The Clarens Country Market is for local people to exhibit and sell local produce, arts and handicrafts. It is held in the front garden of the Bibliophile Bookshop in Church Street, between Van Zyl and Market Streets, every Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm, weather-permitting.
For more information or to book a stall, contact Debra 083 765 8901 or Megan 082 469 2072.

Live Music  

Friday 24th May:
Deon the Soutie from Toti will be playing at Artichoke from 18h00 onwards

Saturday 25th
Bendover will be playing at Street Cafe from 21h00 till midnight

Sunday 26th May
Shamrock (Denzel & Obie) will be playing at Street Cafe from 12h00 – 14h00


Rugby, Rugby, Rugby 

It’s that time of the week again: 30 men in coloured shirts meet on a piece of grass to kick the living tripe out of one another, for no better reason than money, patriotism and, well, money.  See it live at a big screen near you at one of several Clarens destinations……….
This weekend:

All times CAT (SA, GMT+2)

24/05/13
Vodacom Super Rugby 09:35 Chiefs v Crusaders Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Vodacom Super Rugby 11:40 Rebels v Waratahs AAMI Park, Melbourne
25/05/13

Vodacom Super Rugby

09:35 Blues v Brumbies Eden Park, Auckland
Vodacom Super Rugby 11:40 Force v Highlanders NIB Stadium, Perth
Vodacom Super Rugby 15:00 Southern Kings v Cheetahs Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Vodacom Super Rugby 17:05 Stormers v Reds DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Vodacom Super Rugby 19:10 Sharks v Bulls Kings Park, Durban

 


 

Other news

Katherine, our vet, has had surgery and will not be back at her consulting room until 24 June.  Please note though that the consulting room will be open during her absence, from Mondays to Fridays from 9-11am for over-the-counter and chronic medication sales, and also for the payment of accounts.  
Should you have an emergency with your animals please contact Dr Piet Louw on 058-303-4612 or the Bethlehem Animal Hospital on 058-303-2274.




COMING UP

 

Ubuntu Monday
27th May, 6.00pm at Clementines
Time again for Clarens locals to get together, drink wine and solve all problems big and small – until the next day, that is. Shelley and Mark Horton. NB Bring a bottle and a plate of food/snacks.

Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day 
May 31 at the Clarens Golf Club
We are looking for sponsors for the 18 holes. Sponsorship for each hole will be R1,000.00 per hole which allows you to advertise as you wish on the appropriate hole.We welcome any form of sponsorship either in cash or prizes.The competition will be a ‘four ball better ball’. The entrance is R1,200.00 for 4 players, which includes a light lunch at the half way and Prize giving dinner in the evening. If you would like to take part in our golf day or require any further information please contact the co-ordinators:JAN SANDER E MAIL ADDRESS; Jansander22@gmail.com  cell number 0782462553ROSE BAILEY EMAIL ADDRESS; jabailey@nashuaisp.co.za cell number 0828790161, fax No.0866747750

Classical Soiree
The Classical soiree initially planned for 31 May has been postponed and will now be part of the Clarens Christmas in July event. Clarens News will bring you the program as soon as it has been finalised.

Sanlam Cancer Challenge
 5 June 2013  The Clarens Golf Estate
Support this worthy cause by taking part in the biggest amateur golf tournament in South Africa:  Sponsor a hole; Give a donation or register your four-ball and join the fun.  There are also big prizes up for grabs.
Contact Maryna Swart:  082-520 8909 or Fracois Schoeman 058 256 1270.
Incidentally, The Clarens Golf Estate now has recently added a new blog to their website. This blog is open to the public and updated as news and events become available.  The blog address is www.theclarens.co.za/news.



8th Clarens Quilt Festival
26-28 June 2013

Quilt in Clarens is the only annual quilt festival in the Free State, and over the last eight years has grown from 7 to 261 participants.  The festival offers small classes (7 per day) and personal attention, as well as courses (both novice and advanced) in quilting, creative knitting, crocheting and embroidery. The festival offers ann ideal opportunity for all those who want to quilt in a relaxed environment.  For more information contact the organiser Alae Grabe on 082 5772232 or email quiltinclarens@gmail.com



Fouriesburg Polar Bear Plunge
29th June  (2pm)
Meet at the Arpa Dam (at Arpa Adventure Farm S325 off the R711, 7km outside Fouriesburg
Swim 50m in the dam. Change – rooms available.  Bring your own blankets!
R100 perentrant (includes a T-shirt “first come first served”- and a boerewors roll.
Boerewors rolls, pancakes and cooldrinks for sale at the dam before, during and after the plunge!
Entra free to spectators!!!
In aid of Cluny Animal Trust.

Ski Slalom

July 11 – July 14  at Afriski
A ski slalom and giant slalom race 4 children , juniors, seniors and masters. For accomodation and details contact Stephan at Gone skiing 0861754669
Ski racing is a fun way to improve your skiing.

BUT WHY WAIT until then to visit Afriski, when you can have fun in the snow NOW.  Phone Dean: 072 133 9615/082 921 3894




Bethlehem Kine

Find out what’s happening this week at http://www.facebook.com/BethlehemKines?

Movies showing 24-30 May 2013

PARKER PG:R 118min – Action/Crime/Thriller
A thief with a unique code of professional ethics is double-crossed by his crew and left for dead. Assuming a  new disguise and forming an unlikely alliance with a woman on the inside, he looks to hijack the score of the crew’s latest heist.  DIRECTOR: Taylor Hackford  Writers: John McLaughlin (screenplay) STARS: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis   SHOW TIMES:    FRI, MON, WED:  11:00, 14:30, 20:00   SAT, TUE, THUR: 14:30, 17:30, 20:00  SUN: 15:00

CHIMPANZEE G: 78min – Dcoumentary
A 3-months old chimpanzee is separated from his tropp and is then adopted by a fully-grown male. DIRECTOR: Alistair Fothergill, Mark Linfield.  Writers: Alastair Fothergill (original concept), Mark Linfield (original concept). Stars: Tim Allen

Show Times: FRI, MON, WED: 14:30, 17:30.  SAT,TUE,THUR: 11:00, 14:30.  SUN: 12.00, 15:00
HITCHCOCK PG:13 98min – Biography/Drama
A love story between influential filmmaker Alfred Hitchcok and wife Alma Reville during the filming of Psycho in 1959. DIRECTOR; Sacha Gervasi. Writers: John McLaughlin (screenplay), Stephen Rebellow (book).  Stars:  Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson
Show Times:  Fri, Mon, Wed: 11:00, 17:30, 20:00.  Sat, Tue, Thur:  11:00, 17:30, 20:00  Sun: 11:00

Quotes of the Week
Just in case you think you’re confused……….Press here


 

Video of the week

Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight……….You simply must watch how Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke led her to an idea worth spreading. A stroke of insight !!!!  (With thanks to Ted)
http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

9th May 2013: Going Forward

First snow on Horeb

 

WEEKEND WEATHER







COMMITTEE SEASON CONTINUED
The debate around the creation of a Clarens Chamber of Commerce continues apace: Wednesday 15 saw a meeting of about 25 citizens from ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ Clarens, at the Posthouse Restaurant, to take forward the concept of establishing a village Chamber.  Three advocates for action presented an outline of the proposed process and this sparked considerable discussion and input.   In summary, there was consensus that the village must confront the realities of an uncertain future, and be cognisant of the way other apparently successful towns have regressed, through complacency or civic disinterest. 
While there was no agreement on the subject of external links at this stage, there was overwhelming support for the concept that this initiative is about business, and therefore should involve all the village’s business interests.  It was agreed that the initiative must be inclusive and integrate all the commercial and business interests of upper and lower Clarens, as well as surrounding farming associations and tourist businesses.   A draft Statement of Intent will be developed and shared with everyone involved, to help identify issues of concern and priorities for action.
A key aspect of this process will be the identification of all the sectors involved, to ensure that every interest group is able to participate in shared decision-making.  By definition, this should facilitate improved communication and ensure that every business interest has access to information about major decisions effecting Clarens.  One example offered was the future of the village square and related parking issues.  It was also agreed that the primary objective should be to build a critical mass of membership and look forward to an elective process, leading to a small but effective Chamber Committee.  The Chamber, once established, will be judged on its achievements and so it is critical that these are seen to be objective and fair.  Most importantly, everyone attending the meeting agreed that this initiative is about putting Clarens first and protecting its long-term growth and prosperity.




PARKING IN CLARENS

Do we have a “‘parking problem’ in Clarens? And if so, what should be done about it. Louw van Biljon has been studying this “problem”and come to some very interesting conclusions.
To read more………...PRESS HERE.







FIRE !!!!!!! 




First snow and then fire on Mount Horeb.

Every few years the area around Clarens is threatened by serious wild fires. These fires are
extremely difficult to suppress due to factors such as the extremely poor road access to
many areas, and the mountainous terrain. To improve the chances of minimising the
damage and risk to life and property, the Clarens Fire Association have been making
strategic fire breaks in the area……..Read more 

Ornithological Notes

Well.  The two Black Eagles circling my house last week would like to express their thanks for the burning of firebreaks around the village.  In a smudged note dropped onto my porch, they confirm that the fires encouraged quite a lot of prey to disengage from the upper reaches and make a break for the valleys.  Fortunately (or unfortunately) they were intercepted by the warm attentions of the eagles and, not to put too fine a point on it, eaten.  Apparently, 49 rats, 153 field mice, 7 snakes, 9 Guinea fowl and 1 elderly baboon were devoured and the pair is now busily digesting in a dead gum tree.

Of more domestic interest, some of you may have noticed an Ibis convention in the village this last week.  Striding around the square, with some attitude, I might add, was a group of Southern Bald Ibis.  TheGeronticus calvus is a large, glossy blue-black bird found in open grassland or semi-desert in the mountains of southern  Africa.  It has an unfeathered red face and head (reminiscent of my old headmaster) and a long, decurved red bill (reminiscent of my old French teacher). …..  read more


Editorial Comment:
 Development 101

Two articles in this week’s Clarens News remind us that, as a community, we are on the cusp of making decisions that will affect the long-term growth and prosperity of our village.  At risk of offending fellow citizens who are wise in these matters, it is necessary to spell out a few basic facts about the choices facing us: development 101 as it were.
First, as any economist will tell you, staying as you are means going backwards.  For some, this is an attractive option.  But as residents of many small other Free State towns will tell you, going backwards spells disaster.  Try buying a cappuccino in Hobhouse[i], for example.
Second, whether we like it or not, we are primarily a tourist destination.  Most of the village’s business life is built around a two-day tourist week, and is more or less successful depending on feet through the door or bums in beds.  What we all have to come to terms with is the fact that everyone is going to be inconvenienced at some point for this greater good.  We have heard some criticism of the recent MTN Cycling weekend for example.  In fact, business boomed: beds were full, restaurants did a roaring trade and the shops have seldom been busier.  Yet some citizens were clearly put out because they couldn’t park in front of the bottle store or go to their favourite eatery.  The reality is that that weekend, and others like it, was a major injection into the economic life of the town – a step forward in the development cycle of this community.  Every Rand spent in Clarens, wherever it is spent, has a knock-on effect on every other citizen and business, however distant.  Pause for a moment and consider life without the events that enliven our collective village life; and picture life in Hobhouse.
The article on parking in Clarens and the fate of the village square pertains.  There have been suggestions about reducing the size of the square to accommodate increased parking and as a consequence local town-planner Louw van Biljon has undertaken a study to ascertain the viability of this option.  The short answer is that this is not a solution.  Instead, the village needs to establish parking off the square and accept the fact that crowding is a two-day phenomenon – linked to the two-day business peak of the village.  Actually, tourists don’t mind a short walk, a concept we would do well to accept and replicate.  The Clarens square is our unique selling point and enables us to host events and add to the economic growth of the village; we mess with it at our peril.
The second article on the possible establishment of a Clarens Chamber of Commerce also has relevance.  As a village we have reached a crossroads, to mix metaphors, and have to decide whether we want a prosperous future – and concurrent growth – or go the Hobhouse (or Dullstroom) route.  We must appreciate that the proposed Chamber is not a magic bullet but may be as close to a democratic guiding instrument as this village is ever going to get.  To put this in perspective, we need to understand what it is notintended to be It cannot, for example, be the creature of a few citizens who fervently believe they know best; it cannot be the granter of permissions or favours; and it cannot fly in the face of wider public opinion.  That’s how a democracy works.  Give it a chance; it may be the key to our progress and, indeed, survival.

 


[i] With apologies to the village fathers of Hobhouse

 


This weekend 

Clarens Country Market
Be sure to visit the Clarens Country Market on Saturday.
The Clarens Country Market is for local people to exhibit and sell local produce, arts and handicrafts. It is held in the front garden of the Bibliophile Bookshop in Church Street, between Van Zyl and Market Streets, every Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm, weather-permitting.
For more information or to book a stall, contact Debra 083 765 8901 or Megan 082 469 2072.


 

Live Music  

Its all happening at STREET CAFE:
Saturday evening (from 7.00 pm onwards) –  Slipstream
Sunday lunch (12h00 to 14h00) Denzel and Obie will be playing their usual entertaining blend of music.


Weekend Rugby Fixtures

Choose your venue to watch the festival of hard knocks, find yourself a drink and kick-back for the weekend.  If your romantic partner finds you, pretend it was all a mistake and plead alcoholic amnesia.  The schedule is as follows:
17/05:

Hurricanes vs Chiefs Westpac Stadium, Wellington 09:35
Rebels vs Stormers AAMI Park, Melbourne 11:40
Force vs Sharks NIB Stadium, Perth 13:45
18/05: Crusaders vs Blues AMI Stadium, Addington Christchurch 09:35
Waratahs vs Brumbies ANZ Stadium, Sydney 11:40
Bulls vs Highlanders Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria 17:05
Cheetahs vs Reds Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 19:10

 


Other news

The Clarens community may or may not be aware that Katherine, our vet, has had surgery and will not be back at her consulting room until 24 June.  Please note though that he consulting room will be open during her absence, from Mondays to Fridays from 9-11am for over-the-counter and chronic medication sales, and also for the payment of accounts.
Should you have an emergency with your animals please contact Dr Piet Louw on 058-303-4612 or the Bethlehem Animal Hospital on 058-303-2274.




Business Opportunity

The Highlands Centre has 2 shops recently refurbished and available to rent. The old pharmacy and the the upstairs gallery are both situated in a prime area which sees a large number of feet passing on a constant basis.

The shop downstairs is double story, 62 square meters, this shop is also prime location being on the bottom floor. All operation costs are included, electricity is excluded but the shop comes with roughly 3 months free electricity that has already been loaded.
To find out more or arrange viewing, contact Candice on 0824909332 or Natascha on 0823337552


Coming Up

Cluny Animal Trust Golf day on May 31 at the Clarens Golf Club
We are looking for sponsors for the 18 holes. Sponsorship for each hole will be R1,000.00 per hole which allows you to advertise as you wish on the appropriate hole.We welcome any form of sponsorship either in cash or prizes.The competition will be a ‘four ball better ball’. The entrance is R1,200.00 for 4 players, which includes a light lunch at the half way and Prize giving dinner in the evening. If you would like to take part in our golf day or require any further information please contact the co-ordinators:JAN SANDER E MAIL ADDRESS; Jansander22@gmail.com  cell number 0782462553ROSE BAILEY EMAIL ADDRESS; jabailey@nashuaisp.co.za cell number 0828790161, fax No.0866747750

Fouriesburg Polar Bear Plunge  on 29th June  (2pm)
Meet at the Arpa Dam (at Arpa Adventure Farm S325 off the R711, 7km outside Fouriesburg
Swim 50m in the dam. Change – rooms available.  Bring your own blankets!
R100 perentrant (includes a T-shirt “first come first served”- and a boerewors roll.
Boerewors rolls, pancakes and cooldrinks for sale at the dam before, during and after the plunge!
Entra free to spectators!!!
In aid of Cluny Animal Trust.

I

AFRI SKI 
July 11 – July 14
A ski slalom and giant slalom race 4 children , juniors, seniors and masters. For accomodation and details contact Stephan at Gone skiing 0861754669
Ski racing is a fun way to improve your skiing.

Bethlehem Kine


Find out what’s happening this week at http://www.facebook.com/BethlehemKines?fref=ts
RED DAWN   PG:13  93min – Action
A group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers. DIRECTOR: Dan Bradley  Writers: Carl Ellsworth (screenplay), Jeremy Passmore (screenplay)STARS:  Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson 
SHOW TIMES: FRI,MON,WED: 11:00,17:30,20:00 SAT,TUE,THUR:14:30,17:30  SUN: 12:00,15:00
 
JACK THE GIANT SLAYER     PG:13  114min – Adventure/Fantasy
The ancient war between humans and a race of giants is reignited when Jack, a young farmhand fighting for a kingdom and the love of a princess, opens a gateway between the two worlds.DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer  Writers: Darren Lemke (screenplay), Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay)  STARS: Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci     
SHOW TIMES:   FRI,MON,WED: 14:30,17:30,     SAT,TUE,THUR:11:00,17:30,20:00  SUN: 12:00
 
ZERO DARK THIRTY PG:R  157min – Drama/History/Thriller 
A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011. DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow   Writers: Mark Boal  STARS: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Joel Edgerton         
SHOW TIMES:  FRI,MON,TUE,WED,THUR: 11:00,14:30,20:00   SUN: 15:00
And don’t forget their discount days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
To find out times, make bookings etc call the Kine on 0583034333


Quotes of the Week
Just in case you think you’re confused……….Press here



 

Video of the week

The incredible power of concentration.   
http://www.flixxy.com/the-incredible-power-of-concentration-miyoko-shida.htm#.UYvJi5WxZEC

and because we loved the video last week so much ………………here it is again

9th May, 2013: Committee Season

Golden sunset



“Jack Frost comes in the month of May – all your greens to steal away….”  And in keeping with this old verse the frost has arrived – and stolen not only the greens but the beautiful orange poplar leaves as well.
But – as another saying goes: “There’s gold in them there hills…..”  and right now our golden sunsets are an absolute joy.



COMMITTEE SEASON
The season of Annual General Meetings and related elective processes is upon us!

Clarens Chamber of Commerce
The fledgling meeting of those interested in establishing a Clarens Chamber of Commerce (CCC?) met on Monday night and will meet again at 17h00 on Wednesday, May 15, at the Posthouse Restaurant.   Your faithful scribe was not in attendance but is reliably informed that the foundations are in place for democratic village governance.  It is our view that this approach to the future of the village and its business, social and cultural interests is the only viable option.  If every substantive sector of the village is represented on an overarching committee, with a simple but comprehensive mandate, we can move beyond the narrower interests of each of the sectoral committees and build for a shared future.  Read more
The Gallery Association
The Gallery Association, now with 15 fully paid members, also met on Monday to review plans for the Spring Art Fair, scheduled for 30 August to 8 September.  Sponsorship is being sought and the good news is that this will be a seriously professional event, designed to underscore the reputation of Clarens as a premier art destination.
Clarens Tourism Forum
Tuesday evening saw the Clarens Tourism Forum’s AGM and about 30 honest citizens met to listen to the Chairman’s report, the financial report and sundry discussions about matters relevant to Clarens and its future.  The Chairman’s Report claimed that business in Clarens was still on the rise, between12% and 15%, measured by bed occupancy.   Read more

This weekend Clarens will be hosted by Free State Tourism on their ‘state of the art’ exhibition stand at the International Travel & Tourism Indaba in Durban. A delegation of 3, Tsepiso Mosia, Ollie Esplin and John Martiens will be ‘doing it’ for Clarens. Thank you guys for giving up your time, and wishing you a successful Indaba experience!


MTN Mountain Bike Challenge

More than 2000 mountain bikers, most with their families, left Clarens on Sunday tired but happy, as the actress said to the Bishop.  The cyclists were, almost without exception, a delightful bunch and will serve as ambassadors for the village wherever they go.  Certainly, most will be back to ride in 2014, and many indicated their enchantment with the village and its unique setting in the mountains of the Eastern Free State.  The age-band of this group was significantly lower than usual (the 20km race was won by a 10 year-old!) and augurs well for future visits.  With (very) rare exceptions, village businesses had a bumper weekend and were delighted with the event.   This serves as an excellent example of a shared enterprise benefiting the entire village and surrounds, and links the district farmers with the success of the village.  Thanks and congratulations to everyone associated with this signal event, not least MTN, organiser Paul, the Fire Association, the Conservancy, our farming neighbours, the nursing sisters, village businesses and a patient citizenry!  Oh, andall the riders who cycled, stayed over, drank, dined and generally had the time of their lives.  And while we’re handing out bouquets, a brickbat to the head of Dihlabeng Traffic for doing her best to stop the event in its tracks; pity we’re not on the same team.
Watch our video of the week for some awesome footage of this event.


Matters Literary

Congratulations to local resident Peter Millin on the publication of his book, Stories My Father Told Me, available at the one and only relocated Bibliophile Bookshop.  Peter’s collection of stories, sourced primarily from his late father, will appeal to those with an interest in local and Swazi history and includes unique insights into the events that have shaped our lives in southern Africa.
The Bibliophile, in its new incarnation of red and grey corrugated iron, next door to its old location, celebrates a return to the traditional architecture of the district.  The exterior of this splendid building is clad with steel recovered from a farm on the Lesotho border and a century-old Sheepshed on the Golf Estate, making it instant history.  Book-buyer or no, consider yourself invited to this village treasure-house to celebrate with Debra Stewart.  We guarantee you will find something to amuse and entertain you.  Oh, and Saturday mornings see the Farmer’s Market on Debra’s doorstep.  Don’t miss it.


FESTIVAL OF STEAM

Steam Engine - Sandstone Estates

The Twitcher reports on matters less ornithological, your faithful scribe forsook his warm place by the fire this week to go to the Festival of Steam at Sandstone Estates, outside the Eastern Free State’s cherry capital.  And is he glad he did!  When it comes to scale and pure professionalism, there cannot be much in this Province or indeed country to rival the show that Wilfred Mole has put together on his farm. Trains, steam engines, tractors, trucks, buses, militaria and all things mechanical and steam-driven are there in their hundreds.  The fact that so little is known about it in the immediate vicinity of this extraordinary Estate is a very great pity, but Wilfred notes that theft by members of the public had discouraged him from opening the event to a wider audience.  Speaking personally, I cannot recall seeing anything to rival this week-long festival of male indulgence, but have to say that as an exercise in the preservation of history – against all the odds – this ranks as a major international event.  Certainly, the English, Dutch, German and other nationals decked out in their train drivers outfits would agree, and these contingents are growing every year.  This indulgence ends on Saturday and if you have the time and means to contact Wilfred, an invitation will make for life-long memories.   You can read more from The Twitcher in this week’s Ornithological notes.


 

Ornithological Notes

Black Eagle

Don’t ask me why, but there have been two Black Eagles circling my house for days.  I have hidden my elderly cat in the wash basket and put flak jackets on my Whippets, but so far so good.  With only 121 shopping days to Christmas, who needs a pet going to the big kennel in the sky?  I doubt my hearth and home has any particular significance in the life-cycle of the Ictinaetus malayensis, other than the prospect of a full tummy and a warm, fuzzy feeling, but felt in necessary to warn other owners of small, cuddly pets given to ambling on the front lawn.  Of course, a scrap between a pit bull and male Black eagle would be entertaining, but I have it on good authority that these dogs are comparatively ineffective at 3000 metres, so it might be somewhat one-sided once the eagle has got the collar between its claws, so to speak.
I have also noticed that my Guinea Fowl flock has suddenly vanished, so perhaps the Black Eagles are more traditionally inclined after all.

The Twitcher

read more


Editorial Comment:
Working Together
On the face of it, just about every villager belongs to one or other committee in Clarens.  Well, perhaps not, as the rather dreary record of subscription payments and repeat-faces on committee after committee suggest.  The point is that while this sectoral representation is great, it adds up to fractured governance rather than a collective voice for the village.  Clarens faces some major challenges in the years ahead, not least ensuring that it remains an attraction – and destination – for growing numbers of visitors and new residents.  This means that the village must present a consolidated picture of representative local governance.  That doesn’t mean declaring UDI (however tempting that may sometimes sound) but working within a municipal and provincial context to realise our potential as a premier highland resort.
We are a remarkable package of goods one way and another, but remarkably divided on issue after issue.  What we need is an overarching mechanism to bring the community together to take decisions for the greater good.  In the absence of a perfect democracy, that implies representation from each of the major sectoral groups in the village to form a mechanism to guide the way forward and combat threats to our welfare and growth.  No-one will be happy with everydecision, but an objective balance needs to be struck and that requires a decision-making body to be formed to represent Clarens.  And the proposed Chamber of Commerce – if that is indeed the right title for it – is the way to go.

 


 

Rugby and other Bored Games
There are screens big and small all over the village, mostly accompanied by flowing drinks and snacks.  While away the weekend watching your favourite teams make fools of themselves, or not, but enjoy the action!   The schedule is as follows:
Friday, 10 May:
09h35 Chiefs vs Western Force in Pukekohe, NZ
11h40 Reds vs Sharks in Brisbane, Australia
19h10 Cheetahs vs Hurricanes in Bloemfontein, SA
Saturday, 11 May:
09h35 Blues vs Rebels in Auckland, NZ
11h40 Waratahs vs Stormers in Sydney, Australia
17h05 Southern Kings vs Highlanders in Port Elizabeth, SA


This weekend 

After the last few hectic weekends, we recommend you relax, eat, drink, take long walks in the Conservancy, and SHOP. You can, ofcourse, also play golf or watch rugby. Those of you in a more energetic mood should also check out the Adventures and Tours pages on the website.


Business Opportunity

The Highlands Centre has 2 shops recently refurbished and available to rent. The old pharmacy and the the upstairs gallery are both situated in a prime area which sees a large number of feet passing on a constant basis.

The shop downstairs is double story, 62 square meters, this shop is also prime location being on the bottom floor. All operation costs are included, electricity is excluded but the shop comes with roughly 3 months free electricity that has already been loaded.
To find out more or arrange viewing, contact Candice on 0824909332 or Natascha on 0823337552


Bethlehem Kine

Moerdersdag ete word die 12 Mei 2013 in samewerking met die Piano Lounge aangebied.
Die menu van die ete is soos onderaan in advertensie. Die koste is R130 per persoon en R70 vir kinders onder 12.
Die prys sluit die kaartjie in vir die 15:00 fliek Sondag.

Die flims wat wys Sondag is LES MISRABLES en FANIE FOURIE’S LABOLA vir 15:00. OZ: THE GREAT & POWERFUL wys 12:00 ook.

Dis belangrik om voor die tyd te bespreek aangesien slegs beperkte plekke beskikbaar is vir die ete.

Sien julle daar


Find out what’s happening this week at http://www.facebook.com/BethlehemKines?fref=ts
And don’t forget their discount days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
To find out times, make bookings etc call the Kine on 0583034333


Coming Up

Cluny Animal Trust Golf day on May 31 at the Clarens Golf Club
We are looking for sponsors for the 18 holes. Sponsorship for each hole will be R1,000.00 per hole which allows you to advertise as you wish on the appropriate hole.We welcome any form of sponsorship either in cash or prizes.The competition will be a ‘four ball better ball’. The entrance is R1,200.00 for 4 players, which includes a light lunch at the half way and Prize giving dinner in the evening. If you would like to take part in our golf day or require any further information please contact the co-ordinators:JAN SANDER E MAIL ADDRESS; Jansander22@gmail.com  cell number 0782462553ROSE BAILEY EMAIL ADDRESS; jabailey@nashuaisp.co.za cell number 0828790161, fax No.0866747750

AFRI SKI 
July 11 – July 14
A ski slalom and giant slalom race 4 children , juniors, seniors and masters. For accomodation and details contact Stephan at Gone skiing 0861754669
Ski racing is a fun way to improve your skiing.


Video of the week

Fabulous video of the Mountain Bike Race……….great for Clarens.  
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151451772292659&set=vb.120222044656523&type=2&theater