Monthly Archives: June 2013

6th June 2013: Crisp, Clear, CLARENS

 Crisp, Clear, CLARENS



Crisp, Clear, Clarens


Star gazing is romantic. Star gazing is fun. And I can’t think of a better place to star gaze than Clarens. It’s worth putting on a few extra clothes to go out and look at the Southern Cross riding high above the horizon on these clear, crisp winter nights. Nearby are the very bright stars known as the Pointers.  To Sotho and Tswana cultures the Pointers and the two brightest stars of the Cross represent dithutlwa, the giraffesYou can also spot Venus (also known as the Morning or Evening Star and associated with all things romantic)  low in the west just after sunset, right alongside Mercury (the messenger of the Gods)  – another planet which features in many myths and legends.  




Mid-week wining and dining


No more blue Mondays, or mid-week woes.   Monday madness at the Phatt Chef and the Wednesday Winter Warmer at 278 On Main  are events not to be missed. Where else can you get a  three-course meal and glass of wine, beautifully presented in a wonderfully warm atmosphere for just R60?  On Monday this week (10th June) Simon is preparing Sweet and Sour Pork at The Phatt Chef. (To book phone Simon: 082 4593883)  and on Wednesday ((11th June) Sue is serving up Cottage Pie with Sweet Potato mash at 278 On Main.  (To book phone Sue 082 5565208)     
So that leaves Tuesday and Thursday?  No problem, we’re going to try Clarens Sushi – available on (you guessed) Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  And of course, we still have our Clarens Restaurants, and a wonderful selection of delis.  Just look at those listed on the CLARENS NEWS website.  I suspect that quite a few of  us are going to put on some weight this winter.




Local News 




Clarens news would like to extend a warm welcome to Enrica, Franlize and Bosjan who have taken over Clarens Destinations. Enrica and Franlize have lived in the area for over 6 years and between them have vast experience in the hospitaltiy industry.  Bosjan – whom I suspect relies mainly on charm and cuteness – is the third member of the team.



We would also like to extend our best wishes to Caroline Rossouw who now owns and manages Friends.  Caroline grew up in Clarens and has fond memories of Friends being the venue where locals of all ages would meet. It is not surprising therefore that Caroline intends to focus on attracting more local busniness.   Friends will also continue to host live music, and whilst there won’t be any live music this weekend, Van Smith will be back next weekend.

At last, Clarens  has a new unit manager:  Peter Reed.   Peter grew up in Bethlehem, and worked for 20 years in the Bethlehem Parks Department, before becoming the unit manger at Rosendal. He lives on a small holding between Clarens and Bethlehem where he breeds horses – his other passion being endurance riding. Welcome to Clarens, Peter.  

The Clarens Village Conservancy rangers have been hard at work upgrading the Nature Reserve trails, eliminating alien vegetation, and tackling erosion problems.   Head ranger Damien Coulsen has also started identifying and listing plants in the nature reserve. Everyone is encouraged to enjoy our Nature Reserve. (Afer all, hiking is a good way to loose weight.)  Cyclists must however get a permit (available from Clarens XTreme) and quad-bikes are not allowed.  Trail Maps are available at the Bibliophile, The Old Stone Bottle Store, and The Village Grocer. You can also phone Toni on 082 4492 082 to order maps for your guesthouse, restaurant or shop. 




Tourism News
 
 

FEDHASA Free State Hospitality Workshop Road Show 2013 

Venue: Protea Hotel Clarens
CnrMain & Van derMerwe Street, Clarens
Date: Tuesday, 11th June 2013
For further details on the subjects to be covered at this workshop as well as registration details PRESS HERE

 


 

THIS WEEKEND 

Weekend Weather




Cold – crisp and clear nights – and sunny days.   But when is it going to snow?  One of the first questions that people planning to visit Clarens seem to ask.  If anyone out there knows -please pass on the information. (My crystal ball is a bit foggy on this.)   Snow – or the possibility of snow – attracts a lot of visitors to Clarens, which is also a logical stopping point for visitors planning to go to  Lesotho.  I suppose it’s because Lesotho is on our doorstep that visitors often forget that Lesotho is not part of South Africa, and forget to bring a passport!  Remember – if you want to visit Afriski – you need to take your passport!


Clarens Country Market   NOW RUNNING FROM 10AM TO 3PM

Clarens Country Market
Be sure to visit the Clarens Country Market on Saturday. Please note that the market is now starting at 10 am and going on until 3pm –  so there is no need to break ice in order to get there.  
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 
The Soutie from Toti  will be playing at Artichoke (5.30- 9.00pm)
Slipstream are playing at Street Cafe from 8.00 pm onwards

Saturday:
Slipstream are playing at Street Cafe from 9.00 pm onwards


Sport 

Rugby, Rugby, Rugby!

Springboks vs  Italy
The Springboks will host Italy at Kings Park, Durban, on Saturday, 8 June 2013.    Kick Off:  17h05
Springboks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Vodacom Cup
Friday 7th June, 11h30 – 14h00:  Brumbies vs Rebels
Sunday 9th June: 7h45 – 10h00: Western Force vs Waratahs

This weekend also sees the French Open Tennis Finals
Friday 7th June, 13h00  Men’singles semifinals

    v       v  

David Ferrer v Jo-wilfried Tsongo   and  Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal.   The final is on Sunday 9th June, at 15h00

Sat 8th June at 15h00  Women’s final:
   v  
Maria Sharapova v Serena Williams


Bethlehem Kine

Movies showing 6-13 June 2013

   
WON’T BACK DOWN   PG:  121min – Drama
Two determined mothers­, one a teacher, look to transform their children’s failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children   DIRECTOR: Daniel Barnz  Writers: Brin Hill, Daniel Barnz
STARS: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Oscar Isaac
SHOW TIMES:  FRI,WED: 14:30, 17:30
SAT, TUE, THUR:11:00,20:00
SUN: 12:00
 
STOKER   PG:R  99min – Drama/Mystery/Thriller
After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.   DIRECTOR: Chan-wook Park   Writers: Wentworth Miller, Erin Cressida Wilson (contributing writer)
STARS: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode
SHOW TIMES:  FRI,WED: 11:00,14:30, 20:00
SAT, TUE, THUR:11:00, 14:30, 17:30
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,WED:11:00, 17:30, 20:00
SAT, TUE, THUR:14:30,17:30,20:00
SUN: 12:00,15:00
 
 



 

COMING UP

In Clarens

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

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. To see the draft program PRESS HERE


Fouriesburg



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.   

Afriski – Lesotho
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.

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
Remember to bring your passport.

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



28th June 2013: Second Half

Golden-Gate-National-Park


The moon put on a special show for the winter solstice this year – big, full, and exceptionally beautiful.  Time marches on, the solstice has come and gone, and suddenly we’re in the second half of the year – the days have started lengthening and the sun is slowly climbing a little higher in the sky each day. It’s so easy to lose touch with nature’s cycles when we’re busy and one working day simply blends into the next. Celebrating nature’s annual cycle is a wonderful way to put us back in touch, and it has been suggested that we should hold an annual winter solstice celebration here in Clarens.  What a wonderful idea. Should you feel the same (or not) please leave your comments on
the Clarens News facebook page. 


FIRE SEASON


Unfortunately, “fire season” is part of the annual cycle throughout much of the Freesate. The Working on Fire team based here in Clarens is however well prepared.

Working-on-fire. Clarens-Conservancy

Rodney Wainwright writes: “The Clarens Fire Association have been busy with the Working on Fire team and municipality preparing strategic fire breaks to protect our village. The attached picture shows the preparation of fire breaks above Hill Street to lessen the chance of a wild fires getting into the trees and streams on our southern boundary. The veld is already very dry and the fire risk is increasing as humidity drops and winds increase. Please be on the lookout for veld fires and report them as soon as possible. Early reporting of a veld fire can mean the difference between timely containment or a runaway wildfire. Refer to the list of important telephone numbers for contact details.” Click here to see the list on the Clarens News website.



Editorial Comment: 


Last week’s editorial comment “Bumper weekend in Clarens” prompted some unhappy response, and not everyone is convinced that Clarens is on the up and up. There has been some discussion on the “type”of tourists that visit Clarens. Well, as far as we at Clarens News are concerned, we welcome all tourists: each and every one of them deserves a special thanks for continuing Clarens on the map even with the prevailing difficult times in our economy. It is however probably time that we did some research, looked at how Clarens is marketed, and came up with a strong strategy to take Clarens forward.


 

The Clarens Village Conservancy: 

Letter from Damien Coulsen:  Head ranger, Clarens Village Conservancy
Illegal harvesting of wood on Clarens hiking trails and reserve

The Village of Clarens is blessed with a wealth of natural assets – beautiful mountain scenery, quaint streams complete with trees and an abundance of birdlife, a spacious nature reserve for adventurous spirits as well as carefully maintained hiking trails. Whether enjoyed concurrently or individually they offer an escape from everyday issues and help to bring about a sense of peace that helps to generate both a love and deep respect for nature. Nature is a wonderful caretaker and given sufficient time is capable of healing itself.
Unfortunately many anthropogenic (manmade/man induced) activities transpire at a rate that often exceeds natures ability to repair itself. The natural assets that have been endowed on Clarens are simultaneously the same that make it prone to certain human activities – such as wood harvesting. Harvested wood is commonly used for fires, furniture making and house building by many of the township residents. Whilst it is accepted that this resource is complementary to the survival of these residents it is not sustainable in the long term (in its current form). Currently wood harvesting in and around Clarens is uncontrolled and uncoordinated. Wood is being chopped from indigenous and alien vegetation indiscriminately, resulting in a boom in vegetative regrowth in the more vigorous alien plants (think of Black Locust with its razor sharp needle like thorns), and a die-back of beneficial plants that provide shade, nesting places for birds, act as carbon sinks and are aesthetically pleasing. Wood harvesting occurs on a daily basis in both the reserve and several of the hiking trails. Woodcutters are particularly partial to harvesting throughout the length of the Spruit trail due to the obvious abundance of wood.   Read more

Damien Coulsen has found another interesting plant in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve….. and there are lots more.  (See the sidebar or go directly to the page on the Clarens News website.)
Everyone is invited to enjoy the Clarens Village Nature Reserve – and I think it’s really special that we can take our dogs with us when we go walking in this beautiful environment.  Cyclists must however get a permit (available from Clarens XTreme) and quad-bikes are not allowed.  Trail Maps are available at the Bibliophile, The Old Stone Bottle Store, and The Village Grocer. You can also phone Toni on 082 4492 082 to order maps for your guesthouse, restaurant or shop.
I know I wrote this last week (and the week before) but since illegal dumping of rubbish in the nature reserve is an on going problem, all residents and guest houses are once again asked to delay putting their refuse out until well after dark the evening before collection or just before leaving for work on the morning of collection.  (Not just this week, but every week.)  Read more.


Community news:

(via Eish)
A meeting has been called (for today at 10 am at the The Tshepong Centre) by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development regarding their Food Security Outreach Program. They aim to establish 50 food gardens in Marquard, Clarens and Excelsior, and are inviting attendees to assist the Department of Agriculture in identifying suitable beneficiaries of this program. Notice of the meeting was sent to Garth yesterday afternoon! Thank you for keeping us informed Garth, but I find it astonishing that powers at be at The Department of Agriculture think we can attend meetings at the drop of a hat. Unfortunately, no-one from Clarens News is in a position to attend the meeting at such late notice.


Plant of the week

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Although the days are still growing colder, the rangers have been hard at work and keeping their eyes peeled for any “Weekly Plants of Interest” that they may encounter on our trails or in the reserve.
This week we introduce Amanita muscaria commonly known as the Fly Agaric or Vlieëgifswam, in Afrikaans. Strictly speaking, the Fly Agaric is not a plant at all but it is classified as a form of fungus. This species is widespread throughout South Africa (the author has observed A. muscaria in the Garden Route of the Western Cape), and occurs in combination with certain plants in gardens and even plantations. The Fly Agaric “fruits” (think blooms) in summer up until late autumn/early winter. The cap is globose to flat, with small white “dots” and an overall orange to yellow colour. The stipe is white, firm and cylindrical. Some of the uses of the Fly Agaric include:…...Read more


Ornithological Notes

As promised, some notes about the bird life of Clarens.   Well, some of it anyway.   Perambulating on my back lawn has alerted me to a strange phenomenon known in the complex world of ornithology as Bachelor Season.
Whether or not this is specific to Clarens is neither known nor reported, in spite of the disproportionate number of resident experts in all things animal, vegetable or mineral.   In a nutshell, this occurrence signals the arrival of hundreds of male birds who then pace ceaselessly up and down our gardens, in a state of testosterone overload (judging from their erratic hopping), apparently awaiting the arrival of some matching partner.   This reminds me of those endless racks of left shoes outside shoe-shops the world over, awaiting either a buyer or theft by one-legged shoplifters…... Read more


 

THIS WEEKEND 

Weekend Weather

Just as well it’s going to be sunny (most of the time) as we have a busy weekend ahead of us. Make the most of the sunshine while we have it.  There are reports of snow on Sani Pass, Underberg, and the Southern Drakensberg this morning.


Clarens Country Market   

Remember – Christmas is coming – Get your Christmas “goodies”here.  To see some of what’s on offer  CLICK HERE to visit the Clarens Country Market facebook page.  Because The Clarens Country Market is where local people to exhibit and sell local produce, arts and handicrafts, here is your chance to show your support for all things Clarens. . 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.

Clarens-Country-Market

And while you’re at the Market this weekend, have a look at what’s on offer at the car boot sale. You can of course also load up your own car boot
and turn all those unwanted items into cash.   For further details please contact Megan: 082 469 2072



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  Clarens News would like to welcome all the quilters visiting Clarens for the festival.



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 per entrant (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!
Entrance free to spectators!!!
In aid of Cluny Animal Trust.


Live Music

Thursday 20 June
Street Cafe: Shamrock  8pm onwatrds
Friday 21 June
Street Cafe:  Slipstream (8pm onwards)
The Grouse and Claret:  Grumpy Old Men
Saturday: 22nd June
Friends:  Bendover  (8pm onwards)


Sport 

Rugby, Rugby, Rugby!

Vodacom Super Rugby is back on our screens and I’m sure everyone in Clarens will be out to watch the Cheetahs game as they take on the Stormers in Cape Town: a must-win game for the Cheetahs.
Stop in at one of the many pubs in Clarens to enjoy the atmosphere.  It’s almost like being at the game. Rugby fixtures for tomorrow:
29th June:2013.

British & Irish Lions 12:00 Australia v British and Irish Lions Docklands Stadium, Melbourne
Vodacom Super Rugby 09:35 Highlanders v Crusaders Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Vodacom Super Rugby 14:50 Sharks v Blues Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban
Vodacom Super Rugby 17:05 Bulls v Southern Kings Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Vodacom Super Rugby 19:15 Stormers v Cheetahs DHL Newlands, Cape Town

Bethlehem Kine

School holidays have started.   To see what’s showing at the Bethlehem Kine this week  Press Here


Mid-week wining and dining

Monday saw another very successful Clarens get together. Thanks to Warren and Amanda for hosting at Mosaic Pizzeria.
This week (1-5 July) we welcome back Manic Monday (at the Phatt Chef) and the Wednesday Winter Warmer (at 278 on Main.)


COMING UP

1st July: Clarens Square


Wine  Tasting:
6 July 2013 :  Mont D’Or
With Winemaker Wynand Grobler from Rickety Bridge Winery – Franschhoek
Limited seats available.  To see the menu and make a booking CLICK HERE


Chrismas in July Weekend
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 month away.  (I will have to ask the Twitcher exactly how many shopping days until then, and will let you know next week.  And of course, there are going to be Christmas Carols – and lots to eat and drink.  Warm fires, great company, and if you’re lucky there may even be a present or two under the Chirstmas trree.
The Tourism Forum are working on a varied program: caberet, music, huskies, tavern tours and lots, lots more. To see the draft program PRESS HERE


The Clarens MacNollie Challenge 
12 October 2013
Based on the famous Royal MacNab challenge the Clarens Macnollie is aimed to stay true to the spirit of the original – but with an interesting ‘green’ twist  Participants will compete against each other as corporate teams in three disciplines i.e. hunting a Reedbuck will be replaced by shooting an Impala target on a shooting range (best grouping), the Trout fish will be replaced by a Bass (catch and release) and the shooting of  Grey-wing Francolin will be replaced by shooting clay pigeons (electronic laser system). All three disciplines still to be completed in 12 hours. The event being a prestigious one, only corporate team winners and second place winners will be eligible for the Clarens Macnollie Trophy and Macnollie Shield respectively. Our main sponsor NISSAN Betlehem, NISSAN Welkom and UD Truck Division Welkom challenges you to the Macnollie. Click here for the NISSAN challenge invitation. For any inquiries contact Johann Lehman on 083 447 9925 or email spf@macnollie.co.za  or visit their website: www.macnollie.co.za.  All funds rasied will go to the SPF.(Sector Police Forum)


Afriski – Lesotho
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.
BUT WHY WAIT until then to visit Afriski, when you can have fun in the snow NOW.  Phone Dean of Maluti Footprints: 072 133 9615/082 921 3894 to arrange a trip in the Maluti Footprints bus (which is equipped with snow chains, a satellite phone and all the necessities (including back-up) to ensure you get there and back safely.   Should you wish to drive there yourself please be advised that the Lesotho Traffic Department requires that each vehicle has two triangles and one fire extinguisher. You are also advised to check the road conditions before you go:  ice covered roads can be hazardous.
Remember to bring your passport.

20th June 2013: Christmas is Coming

 Christmas is Coming

No – it hasn’t snowed  properly yet.  But we’re all dreaming of a white Christmas next month when we celebrate Christmas in July.  (12-14 July) The Clarens Tourism Forum hasn’t quite finalised the program yet, but quite a few events have already been confirmed.   The dry-land mushers and their huskies are coming, and wouldn’t it be fun to some them sledding through the snow?  There’s also to be a Christmas Dinner Dance on Friday the 12th of July at The Courtyard Restaurant, a Caberet: Die nuwe FAK, at Brambleberry, Christmas carols, Township tours, Classical concerts, Art Route tours, and lots more.  To see the draft program CLICK HERE .  Clarens News will update the program as more events are confirmed. 


 



Editorial Comment: Bumper Weekend in Clarens! 


Well.   The long weekend just gone (remember?) was extraordinary.   The Clarens Brewery broke its Easter record and most of the shops and restaurants in the village reported a bumper weekend.   Quite why remains a mystery, but this surge in business confirms that Clarens is still on the rise.   Perhaps the most important feature of the weekend was the good-natured atmosphere in what might be laughingly referred to as the CBD.   Usually taciturn retailers were wreathed in smiles and there were no serious problems in evidence.
The village grey-beards often remark that the business year really only begins in June, although there are some flutterings of business excitement between New Year and that date.   If so, we can look forward to a good second-half year and a satisfactory 2013.   Oh, and the display of XK120, XK140 and XK150 Jaguars contributed in no small measure to the festivities; it is quite remarkable how some vintage hardware brings a glint to the eye and facilitates the shovelling action of the right arm – particularly opposite the Brewery!
Even better news was the fact that there was no uncontrolled rioting at the sight of this cavalcade of British motoring elegance, as anticipated by our masters (and mistresses) in Bethlehem.   The concept that sufficient physical space for 2000 people equals rampaging mobs and a solid dose of arson (based on outdated Football World Cup legislation) is simply silly and does not warrant the attention of mature adults in municipal office.  Perhaps it is time they returned the village square to the village and leave us to decide what works and doesn’t work in our own space.   While the idea of Sodom and Gomorrah long-arm dancing on the square obviously excites Bethlehem and Pretoria, we are actually quite moderate in our collective behaviour.   Well, most of the time, anyway.  Perhaps a declaration of sovereign independence is the only solution?  


 


 
As the Actress said to the Bishop……..


Clarens citizens as yet unaffected by Alzheimer’s disease may recall the last town manager of Clarens.   Smiling, facilitative and genteel to a fault, he left our collective employ under something of a cloud, as a number of village ladies will confirm.   Well (as the actress said to the Bishop), you can’t keep a good man down.   Having been removed to face several complaints of a, ummm, personal nature, he has simply resurfaced as town manager of Rosendal.   This shuffling of personnel makes a mockery of the judicial process and confirms the supremacy of political pull in Dihlabeng.   That said, we confidently predict a short stay on the other side of the hill.   Leopards do not change their spots, wherever they may be (the spots, that is).
Gladys  


 

The Clarens Village Conservancy:

Damien Coulsen has found another interesting plant in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve….. and there are lots more.  (See the sidebar or go directly to the page on the Clarens News website.)
Everyone is invited to enjoy the Clarens Village Nature Reserve – and I think it’s really special that we can take our dogs with us when we go walking in this beautiful environment.  Cyclists must however get a permit (available from Clarens XTreme) and quad-bikes are not allowed.  Trail Maps are available at the Bibliophile, The Old Stone Bottle Store, and The Village Grocer. You can also phone Toni on 082 4492 082 to order maps for your guesthouse, restaurant or shop.
I know I wrote this last week, but since illegal dumping of rubbish in the nature reserve is an on going problem, all residents and guest houses are once again asked to delay putting their refuse out until well after dark the evening before collection or just before leaving for work on the morning of collection.  (Not just this week, but every week.)  Read more.

Plant of the week

Greetings again to all our Village plant enthusiasts.
This week we introduce Selago galpinii, the Sesotho common name (this species has no English common names) is Tsitoanenyana. It is a perennial herb that grows to between 150 and 300 mm in height. The leaves are small and semi-needle shaped, occurring in clusters. The inflorescence is slender with small rounded heads of approximately 10 mm in diameter. The flowers, although small are a blue – violet colour which contrasts pleasantly with the hues of the surrounding winter vegetation, making it especially visible during the cooler autumn/early winter period.     Read more


Ornithological Notes

Alert theatre fundis will know that well-known impresario Pieter Toerien (who must be 104 by now) is running a show in the Big Apple called, appropriately, Twitchers.   Apparently the script (?) has two couples sparring in a hide, much to the amusement of the audience – we assume.   Which got me thinking.
Internal theatrics notwithstanding, what if Clarens built a hide on the square and opened it to keen observers of the human condition?    It would make a cool alternative to hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting, shopping and even, yes, drinking.   Just think.   Under cover of darkness, a dozen or so keen twitchers could sneak into a camouflaged hide on the square and await the arrival of our weekend visitors………To read more (and find out how many shopping days there are until Chirstmas)  Click here


 

THIS WEEKEND 

Weekend Weather

Sorry –  no snow this weekend.  Just more beautiful, clear sunny days in Clarens.


 

Clarens Country Market   NOW RUNNING FROM 10AM TO 3PM
Get your Christmas “goodies”here.  To see some of what’s on offer  CLICK HERE to visit the Clarens Country Market facebook page.  Because The Clarens Country Market is where local people to exhibit and sell local produce, arts and handicrafts, here is your chance to show your support for all things Clarens. . 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.

Clarens-Country-Market


 

Live Music

Thursday 20 June
Street Cafe: Shamrock  8pm onwatrds
Friday 21 June
Street Cafe:  Slipstream (8pm onwards)
The Grouse and Claret:  Grumpy Old Men
Saturday: 22nd June
Friends:  Bendover  (8pm onwards)

Sport 

Rugby, Rugby, Rugby!
Stop in at one of the many pubs in Clarens to enjoy the atmosphere.  It’s almost like being at the game. (And if you want to see it on a very big screen stop in  it at Artichoke.)
Everyone is holding their breath to see whether or not Jean de Villiers will be fit enough to play tomorrow, following an injury to his sternum last week.
22nd June 2013.  (Kick off 17.15)
South Africa v SamoaCricket ICC Champions Trophy
Oh what a shame.  England beat South Africa by 7 wickets on Wednesday.  But, just in case you’re still interested the semi finals are as follows:
20 June 2013:  Sri Lanka v India, Cardiff
25 June 2013: England v New Zeland, London.


 

Mid-week wining and dining


Ubuntu Monday:

Time once again for Clarens locals to get together, drink wine and solve all problems big and small – until the next day, that is! Warren and Amanda are kindly hosting at Mosaic Pizzeria. NB: Bring a Bottle and a plate of food / snacks.
Tuesday and Thursday:   Clarens sushi.  To see whats on offer go to:  Clarens sushi

Locals breakfast: Clarens locals (Clarenites ?) can also visit The Posthouse for breakfast, where being a local means that you can enjoy a good breakfast for as little as R16 – R20. (Being a local really is lekker!)
And ofcourse – we still have all the other fabulous Clarens Restuarants, as well as a wonderful selection of delis – so we really are spoilt for choice.  Visit our website – there’s quite a selection.


COMING UP

In Clarens


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

Clarens Country Market:  Car boot sale.
29th June 2013
Everyone is invited to clear out the garage – and turn all those unwated items into cash.   For further details please contact Megan  Megan 082 469 2072


Wine  Tasting:
6 July 2013 :  Mont D’Or
With Winemaker Wynand Grobler from Rickety Bridge Winery – Franschhoek
Limited seats available.  To see the menu and make a booking CLICK HERE

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 month away.  (I will have to ask the Twitcher exactly how many shopping days until then, and will let you know next week.  And of course, there are going to be Christmas Carols – and lots to eat and drink.  Warm fires, great company, and if you’re lucky there may even be a present or two under the Chirstmas trree.
The Tourism Forum are working on a varied program: caberet, music, huskies, tavern tours and lots, lots more. To see the draft program PRESS HERE

The Clarens MacNollie Challenge 
12 October 2013
Based on the famous Royal MacNab challenge the Clarens Macnollie is aimed to stay true to the spirit of the original – but with an interesting ‘green’ twist  Participants will compete against each other as corporate teams in three disciplines i.e. hunting a Reedbuck will be replaced by shooting an Impala target on a shooting range (best grouping), the Trout fish will be replaced by a Bass (catch and release) and the shooting of  Grey-wing Francolin will be replaced by shooting clay pigeons (electronic laser system). All three disciplines still to be completed in 12 hours. The event being a prestigious one, only corporate team winners and second place winners will be eligible for the Clarens Macnollie Trophy and Macnollie Shield respectively. Our main sponsor NISSAN Betlehem, NISSAN Welkom and UD Truck Division Welkom challenges you to the Macnollie. Click here for the NISSAN challenge invitation. For any inquiries contact Johann Lehman on 083 447 9925 or email spf@macnollie.co.za  or visit their website: www.macnollie.co.za.  All funds rasied will go to the SPF.(Sector Police Forum)

Fouriesburg


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 per entrant (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!
Entrance free to spectators!!!
In aid of Cluny Animal Trust.

Afriski – Lesotho
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.
BUT WHY WAIT until then to visit Afriski, when you can have fun in the snow NOW.  Phone Dean of Maluti Footprints: 072 133 9615/082 921 3894 to arrange a trip in the Maluti Footprints bus (which is equipped with snow chains, a satellite phone and all the necessities (including back-up) to ensure you get there and back safely.   Should you wish to drive there yourself please be advised that the Lesotho Traffic Department requires that each vehicle has two triangles and one fire extinguisher. You are also advised to check the road conditions before you go:  ice covered roads can be hazardous.
Remember to bring your passport.


 

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

13th June 2013: Ease and grace (with a dash of speed)

Ease and grace (with a dash of speed)


 

Some things just stay beautiful – no matter what their age. 
It’s the 65th Anniversary of the Jaguar XK mark and members of JCNR (Jaguar Club Northern Region) have hauled their beauties out to purrrrr,,,,, them down to Clarens.
30 members are coming through from all over SA. They expect 15 – 18 cars to be on display on Saturday. (Look out for the Jaguar XK 150 3.8S. pictured above.)  Most of the cars  were manufactured between 1950 – 1961.
The highlight of the display: Jaguar XK  C-type racing car which actually won at Le Mans for several years in the 1950s
 


 

The Clarens Village Conservancy:

Thanks to head ranger Damien Coulsen, Clarens News will be running a weekly column on plants of interest found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve. (See the sidebar or go directly to the page on theClarens News website.)
Everyone is invited to enjoy the Clarens Village Nature Reserve – and I think it’s really special that we can take our dogs with us when we go walking in this beautiful environment.  Cyclists must however get a permit (available from Clarens XTreme) and quad-bikes are not allowed.  Trail Maps are available at the Bibliophile, The Old Stone Bottle Store, and The Village Grocer. You can also phone Toni on 082 4492 082 to order maps for your guesthouse, restaurant or shop.
Sadly, however, we still have illegal dumping of rubbish in nature reserve, and this necessitates a huge amount of work being done by the rangers, cleaning up and removing the rubbish.  We can however alleviate the problem if all residents and guest houses  delay putting their refuse out until well after dark the evening before collection or just before leaving for work on the morning of collection……..Read more.


THIS WEEKEND 

Weekend Weather

Weather this weekend

This week saw night temperatures dropping as low as -8 !   So – looking at the weekend minimum temperatures you could say that it’s warming up.  But, whose complaining – we still have beautiful sunny days.  And to quote Billy Connolly:  “There’s no such thing as bad weather – only inappropriate clothing.

Clarens Country Market   NOW RUNNING FROM 10AM TO 3PM

Clarens-Country-Market

Temperatures may have dropped but our local farmers Jessie and Helen still have wonderful fresh produce on offer – and winter vegetables are just perfect for soups, stews, and other warming dishes on a cold winter’s night.  Anyone who has read Barabara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, will appreciate just how lucky we are to have access to locally grown vegetables.  The taste is just so much superior to those supermarket offerings which have travelled miles (sometimes even from another continent) and then sat on the shelf for who knows how long before they finally make it into your supermarket trolley.
But the Clarens Country Market is not just about vegetables.  This is where you can find jams, preserves, koeksisters, plants, baked goods, meat,  as well as beautiful wool and knitwear.
Be sure to visit the Clarens Country Market on Saturday. Please note that the market is now starting at 10 am and going on until 3pm –  so there is no need to break ice in order to get there.
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

Thursday 13th June:
Street Cafe:  Shamrock –  9pm onwards.

Friday 14th June
Street Cafe:  Bendover –  9pm onwards
The Grouse and Claret:  Ric Schwim and Victor –  8 pm.
Friends: Van Smith from 7.30pm onwards

Saturday: 15th June
Street Cafe:  Slipstream playing from 9 pm onwards
The Grouse and Claret:  Ric and Andre (8pm onwards.)
Artichoke: The Soutie from Toti  (after the rugby)
Friends:  Van Smith from 7.30pm onwards.

Sunday: 16th June
Artichoke:  Denzel & Hensie (lunchtime onwards)

Sport 

Rugby, Rugby, Rugby!
Stop in at one of the many pubs in Clarens to enjoy the atmosphere.  It’s almost like being at the game. (And if you want to see it on a a big screen stop in  it at Artichoke.)
15th June
Sprkingboks vs Scotland  Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit   kick-off 17.15The Springbok team to face Scotland in Nelspruit (with province and caps) is15. Willie le Roux (GWK Griquas, 1); 14. Bryan Habana (DHL Western Province, 84); 13. JJ Engelbrecht (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 2); 12. Jean de Villiers (captain, DHL Western Province, 85);  11. Bjorn Basson (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 7); 10. Morné Steyn (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 43);  9. Ruan Pienaar (Ulster, N-Ireland, 64);  8. Pierre Spies (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 51); 7. Arno Botha (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 1);  6. Marcell Coetzee (The Sharks, 13); 5. Juandré Kruger (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 9);  4. Eben Etzebeth (DHL Western Province, 12); 3. Jannie du Plessis (The Sharks, 43); 2. Adriaan Strauss (vice-captain, Toyota FS Cheetahs, 22); 1. Tendai Mtawarira (The Sharks, 42) 
Replacements:  16. Bismarck du Plessis (The Sharks, 46); 17. Trevor Nyakane (Toyota FS Cheetahs, 1);  18. Coenie Oosthuizen (Toyota FS Cheetahs,3);  19. Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 24);  20. Siya Kolisi (DHL Western Province, 0);  21. Piet van Zyl (Toyota FS Cheetahs, 0); 22. Pat Lambie (The Sharks, 21);  23. Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 1)
The Scotland Team took some time off during the week to do a little sight seeing.  To see what they’ve been up toPRESS HERECricket
14th June

South Africa v West Indieas:  Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.    11.30amJune 16th  –   Fathers Day.
Clarens News would like to wish all dads everywhere a very happy father’s day.
We will also be thinking of South Africa’s own special “dad”.  Happy fathers day, Madiba.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

June 16th – Youth Day
And June 16 is also Youth Day – which is why June 17th is a public holiday.  (Just in case you didn’t know.) Youth day (previously known as Sowetho Day) commemmorates the events of June 16, 1976.

Mid-week wining and dining
The feasting continues:   Monday madness at the Phatt Chef and the Wednesday Winter Warmer at 278 On Main  are events not to be missed. Where else can you get a  three-course meal and glass of wine, beautifully presented in a wonderfully warm atmosphere for just R60?
Monday:  I think Simon has some surprises in store for us: “Kick back from a busy long weekend and lets de-brief each other on best / worst customer, fun event of the weekend etc!!
The Phatt Chef will be serving Amuse Bouche to start the evening off followed by Pepper Steak Pie & Lumpy Mash & Gravy followed by Espresso Chocolate Cake
RSVP like non-children on phattchef@gmail.com, FB or SMS 082 469 3832

Wednesday: Sue at 278 On Main is also working on something special (we don’t know yet, but I’m sure it will be scrumptious).   She has however, told us that the mains will be chicken and chips.
Tuesday and Thursday:   Clarens sushi.  To see whats on offer go to:  Clarens sushi
Locals breakfast: Clarens locals (Clarenites ?) can also visit The Posthouse for breakfast, where being a local means that you can enjoy a good breakfast for as little as R16 – R20. (Being a local really is lekker!)
And ofcourse – we still have all the other fabulous Clarens Restuarants, as well as a wonderful selection of delis – so we really are spoilt for choice.  Visit our website – there’s quite a selection.


Plant of the week

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to the first of many “Plant of the week” snippets.
This week we introduce  Euphorbia clavaroidescommonly known as Lions Spoor, Melkpol or Fingerpol – a cryptic succulent species that appears from a distance to resemble the smoothed sandstone rocks that are typical to the eastern Free-State area. This plant is only revealed from afar when it is in flower with many small yet spectacular bright yellow flowers. This plant although small, is important in the ecosystem and to humans due to its many uses.     Read more


COMING UP   
In Clarens


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

Clarens Country Market:  Car boot sale.
29th June 2013
Everyone is invited to clear out the garage – and turn all those unwated items into cash.   For further details please contact Megan  Megan 082 469 2072

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. To see the draft program PRESS HERE

Fouriesburg

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.

Afriski – Lesotho
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.


 

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
Remember to bring your passport.

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