Monthly Archives: July 2013

1 August 2013

Having ignored the birds altogether last week, due to a fit of outrage at international tourists in Johannesburg, I thought I should make up for this indiscretion this week with due regard to the sensitivity of ornithologists everywhere and pick a really BIG bird.   Like an Ostrich.

The Ostrich (struthio camelus) is unfortunately subject to some discriminatory prejudice about its alleged failure to fly.   Flight is after all pretty much an acid test for birds, so I have decided to end the speculation.   A Dutch sculptor called Bart Jansen has coincidentally just released a YouTube video of an Ostrich flying quite impressively.   Doubtful?   Go to YouTube (“ostrichcopter”) and be thrilled by the aerobatics of this graceful bird.

The Ostrich is the largest of the 8,600 bird species which currently exist (excluding the Maluti Double-Breasted Pushover) and stands tall on long, bare legs (see, more discriminatory comments).  It has a long, curving, predominantly white neck and the humped body of the male is covered in black patches while its wings and tail are tipped with white – reminiscent of a Church of Scotland preacher.   These are seriously big birds, reaching a height of 2.6 metres and weighing in at around 135 kilograms, so would put a serious dent in your budgie feed bill.

My late brother-in-law used to breed these beasts and the first thing you need to know is that, come nightfall, they sound just like lions.   Absolutely true and certainly enough to make an unsuspecting tourist mess his pants, alone in his little pup-tent in the open plains of Africa.   Granted, they are too big to sit on your wrist and don’t talk much, but I’ll bet they could be taught to do tricks for the children.   Unlike house sparrows, they make good eating, assuming you can you can shoot one from the skies.   At 165 calories per 100 grams of raw, ground (?) Ostrich, you can glut yourself and have little fear of getting fat, given that these jolly creatures are only 13% fat and will buck up your system with tons of vitamin B6 and B12.   By the way, Ostrich neck in red wine is a Swiss favourite and beats the hell out of Oxtail.

And the feathers are a delight, either at the end of a feather-duster or in the hands of an attentive lover.  But don’t try to eat an Ostrich omelette unless you have a death wish; apart from its size, which is formidable, this little treat is rich beyond measure and will surely reduce you to a cholesterol seizure in minutes – although you will die with a contented burp.  One way or another, this bird is for serious enthusiasts and should be treated with care, given the size of its claws and its ability to unzip hapless adventurers from stem to stern.

So, depending on your inclination, you can either try to run one down on the open plains of the Eastern Free State and domesticate it in your living room, or you could visit Riempies the Butcher and begin the easy way – with lots of salt and pepper.   Enjoy.

The Twitcher – 31 July 2013

Having ignored the birds altogether last week, due to a fit of outrage at international tourists in Johannesburg, I thought I should make up for this indiscretion this week with due regard to the sensitivity of ornithologists everywhere and pick a really BIG bird.   Like an Ostrich.

The Ostrich (struthio camelus) is unfortunately subject to some discriminatory prejudice about its alleged failure to fly.   Flight is after all pretty much an acid test for birds, so I have decided to end the speculation.   A Dutch sculptor called Bart Jansen has coincidentally just released a YouTube video of an Ostrich flying quite impressively.   Doubtful?   Go to YouTube (“ostrichcopter”) and be thrilled by the aerobatics of this graceful bird.

The Ostrich is the largest of the 8,600 bird species which currently exist (excluding the Maluti Double-Breasted Pushover) and stands tall on long, bare legs (see, more discriminatory comments).  It has a long, curving, predominantly white neck and the humped body of the male is covered in black patches while its wings and tail are tipped with white – reminiscent of a Church of Scotland preacher.   These are seriously big birds, reaching a height of 2.6 metres and weighing in at around 135 kilograms, so would put a serious dent in your budgie feed bill.

My late brother-in-law used to breed these beasts and the first thing you need to know is that, come nightfall, they sound just like lions.   Absolutely true and certainly enough to make an unsuspecting tourist mess his pants, alone in his little pup-tent in the open plains of Africa.   Granted, they are too big to sit on your wrist and don’t talk much, but I’ll bet they could be taught to do tricks for the children.   Unlike house sparrows, they make good eating, assuming you can you can shoot one from the skies.   At 165 calories per 100 grams of raw, ground (?) Ostrich, you can glut yourself and have little fear of getting fat, given that these jolly creatures are only 13% fat and will buck up your system with tons of vitamin B6 and B12.   By the way, Ostrich neck in red wine is a Swiss favourite and beats the hell out of Oxtail.

And the feathers are a delight, either at the end of a feather-duster or in the hands of an attentive lover.  But don’t try to eat an Ostrich omelette unless you have a death wish; apart from its size, which is formidable, this little treat is rich beyond measure and will surely reduce you to a cholesterol seizure in minutes – although you will die with a contented burp.  One way or another, this bird is for serious enthusiasts and should be treated with care, given the size of its claws and its ability to unzip hapless adventurers from stem to stern.

So, depending on your inclination, you can either try to run one down on the open plains of the Eastern Free State and domesticate it in your living room, or you could visit Riempies the Butcher and begin the easy way – with lots of salt and pepper.   Enjoy.

The Twitcher

The Twitcher : 25th July 2013

I have decided, in the interests of personal sanity, to ignore the birds this week and turn my attention elsewhere entirely.  Specifically, to the limited pleasures of visiting that smoking ruin of a traffic jam resplendent under the towering neon signs of Sodom and Gomorrah, known colloquially as Jozzie.  For those of you born in the last century, that means the country’s largest mining camp, Johannesburg.I’m certain that its gated suburbs, some of them at least, are quite splendid; possibly even attractive and surely well-served by succeeding sets of malls, nightclubs, casinos and restaurants.

My destination was more central however, and a great deal less salubrious, in spite of its 5-star billing (in both senses of the word).  The hotel itself shall remain nameless, in the interests of good relations with their legal representatives, but suffice to say that it occupies the most expensive patch of Johannesburg turf known to man.  It plays smarmy host to legions of travellers from the world beyond our shores, accepting their currencies with ill-disguised disdain.

My arrival in its salacious reception area, apparently styled after the Great Disney Empires of the north, was unremarkable, particularly as they had never heard of me.  After a little unpleasant interchange the matter was resolved and I was granted entrance into the high life of the jet-set.  Happily, for the record (and SARS), I was not paying the bill.  So here’s the thing: Turns out that your faithful Twitcher was the only South African staying there, while the staff appeared to entirely sourced from Lagos and Harare.  A quick scope of the place confirmed that I was trapped in a United Nations exchange programme, with an encyclopaedia of language options to add to the confusion.

Every one of these international travelers had clearly studied voice projection from Grade 1, been taught to chew with their mouths fully open and had the dress sense of retired (striking?) miners.  By evening I had barricaded my doors to drown out the sound of manic conversation and marbled teeth grinding raw salmon into a paste.  Liberal quantities of liquor added a level of hysteria to the hubbub and I took the gap to a charming little place down the road.  This turned out to be a way-station for international development agencies and the diplomatic corps, and was so expensive that I settled for a starter and a glass of tap water.

So here’s my point, well, a couple actually: First, there are apparently only a handful of locals left in what is laughingly known as Gauteng.  Second, international jet setters are loud, generally unattractive and almost entirely lacking in manners.  And third (yes, I know I said a couple), the grass is not only greener in Clarens but our little village is also distinguished by a gentle charm and some measure of rural civility.

So, the message is simple: Take the greatest care of our weekend guests from the rubble of civilisation to the north; remember the roads (?) they have had to navigate to get to our fair playground; and try to ignore their primitive ways (of eating and drinking in particular).  Remember from whence they come and grant them a little peace on our earth.

18th July 2013, Life in a Landscape

18th July, 2013: Life in a Landscape

Richard Rennie Landscape

Don’t you just love these beautiful winter days? And nature’s winter palette? Gold with undertones of red; every possible hue of grey, those touches of olive……no wonder so many artists are attracted to Clarens. This week we stopped for a chat with Richard Rennie. “Just look out of my studio window…. everywhere you look there’s a picture.”  Some of you may have noticed the changes at the Richard Rennie Gallery, which has been taken over by Johan and Anel Lehman – a move which has allowed Richard to get back to doing what he loves most.  The gallery remains an outlet for Richard’s work, and now also stocks not only originals but also a range limited edition Richard Rennie prints.  The interior has been revamped – and Richard had some fun painting the huge painting which hangs outside – where a window used to be.  Richard (who claims to be 196) now spends most of his day working in his sunny studio, but still has time to encourage aspiring artists.  Rather than teach, Richard prefers to invite other artists to “Paint with Me.”   Read more

 

The four ladies on the Verone Wyers fund-raising walk arrived in Clarens on 16th July.  Shelley, Marina, Liezel and Hettie are walking (Fouriesburg, Clarens, Bethlehem, Reitz and back to Bethlehem) in order to raise funds and awareness for Verone Wyers,
Verone  was diagnosed with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML) in March this year –  a rare type of childhood leukaemia which can only be treated with a bone marrow transplant. 

Happy Birthday

Community News

CTF Feedback on Christmas in July

Congratulations to everyone involved in the Christmas in July event last weekend. Not only was it fun, but many of our local charities have benefited. Chris Perfanis (Clarens Tourism Forum Communications) reports that The Thusanang Care Group for Orphaned and Vulnerable children received over R1000 in cash from visitors and businesses when they went busking on Saturday. The N3 Toll Concession donated R20 000 to the CTF for expenses and recipients………….read more

CPF Letter of Thanks

The Sector Police Forum would like thank the listed contributors to the appeal for donations to assist the family of Rampai.
A total of R5300 was raised.

THIS WEEKEND 

Weekend Weather

Supercars

LamborhiniI’m sure that there is going to be lots of drooling in Clarens this weekend. A group from Super Car Lifestyle are staying in Clarens from 18-21 July, and will be driving up to Afriski on 18th July. I’m told that Saturday afternoon will be particularly good for car spotting outside the Brewery. (The parking area outside is also a good look-out point.)  Look out for the Lamboughini muchiago 40th edition. Only 50 of these cars were ever released.  This limited edition car even has its own unique colour (Jade-Green). Considering that there are so few of these cars it’s not surprising that only one of them has made it to South Africa – and it’s going to be in Clarens, this weekend.

Ferrari

Amongst the other super cars (19 in all) you will also spot the latest Ferrari 458.

Live Music
Friday 19th July
Artichoke:  5.30 – 8.30 pm:  Deon the Soutie from Toti
Friends: 9.00 pm onwatds: Sweaty Betty

Satuday 20 July
Artichoke:  13.00 – 3.00 pm: Deon the Soutie from Toti
Friends: 9.00 pm onwatds: Slipstream

Sport 

Rugby, Rugby, Rugby!
Guess where everyone is going to be on Sunday morning?
Vodacom Fixtures:
20 July, 2013:  09h35:  Crusaders v Reds
21 July, 2013:  08h10:  Brumbies v CheetahsBethlehem Kine
To see what’s showing at the Bethlehem Kine this week  Press HereMid-week Wining and Dining
22 July, 2013 MANNIC Monday @ THE PHATT CHEF  Simon is serving Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Peanut Sauce and roast potatoes as the main course.  RSVP 082 4693832/058 2561742
24 July, 2013 WEDNESDAY WINTER WARMER at 278 ON MAIN. Beef pie, gravy and chips.  Phone Sue: 082 5565208
COMING EVENTSThe CTF/N3 Gateway: Workshop: 
31 July 2013 (Time and place to be advised)  How to use Twitter.  Learn how to use Twitter to build your business’s reach.
 

Potjiekos competition
10th August 2013  
It’s that time of the year again. Everyone is invited to this good natured cook-off in aid of the Cluny Animal Trust.  Contact Jan Sander: jansander22@gmail.com (before 2nd August.)

 

 

 

 

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
Until mid-September

This is the time of year to go skiing: 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.

Searsia erosa: Broom Curry, Besem Keree-rhus

 

 

Broom curry 2 Broom curry 3 Broom curry 1

 

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest” where we will be looking at a less well known shrubby plant species found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve.

Searsia erosa or Broom Curry-rhus (known as Besem Keree-rhus in Afrikaans), are large shrubs with multiple stems that are densely branched. The overall appearance is round, compact and with a soft outline. The leaves are a distinctive lime – olive/Khaki green that is noticeable from a distance. The bark is reddish-brown and wiry. The leaves themselves are trifoliate (compound with 3 leaflets), have jagged edges, sharp points and covered in a sticky resin. The flowers are a creamy white and occur in small stalked heads.
The Broom curry-rhus grows at altitudes of up to 1900 m A.S.L., and is endemic to the Besem Karee Koppies habitat type. It grows in Grassland plains; Rocky areas and on warm, stony and dry hill slopes. The plant was named after Paul B. Sears and the Latin word erosa means toothed or gnawed (referring to the shape of the leaves). It is also a hardy plant that is drought and frost resistant. Some of the uses of S. erosa include:
·       Historically used as a substitute for brooms (hence the common name)
·       Used as a soil erosion control mechanism
·       Used as a garden ornamental
·       Said to be used by the Sisotho people and burned in traditional ceremonies to chase away evil spirits and to encourage rain
·       Some parts of the plant were reportedly used to treat diarrhoea in humans as well as cattle.

Damien1-100x100Article and photography

Damien Coulson

 

4th July 2013: Celebration

angel big

4th July, 2013: Celebration

The Christmas tree on the square has been lit and everyone is looking forward to our Christmas in July celebrations next weekend.  In a break from tradition our Christmas tree is not the usual pine, but an agave inflorescence. Traditionally there should also be a fairy or an angel at the top of the tree, which got us thinking about the beautiful angel at the Van Reenen graveyard in the Golden Gate National park.  It would be a bit difficult to move her (and in any case I don’t think our Christmas tree could stand the weight) but I’m sure the Van Reenen family wouldn’t mind you going to see her. It is Christmas, after all.

Community News

Letter from The Police Sector Form: “TSAMAYA HANTLE” Rampai
Fellow Clarenites,
It is with regret that the Sector Police Forum has to inform the community of the sudden death, due to natural causes, of one of our fine Police Reservists, Rampai.
Rampai was well known to many by his impeccable turn out in uniform. Not only was he was very active in keeping the square free from vagrants and patrolling regularly throughout the village but took the time to regularly visit the shops to ensure that all was in order. Sadly his happy demeanour will be missed by those who knew him. The Sector Police Forum is appealing for donations of R100.00 from any business or private individuals who feel that they can assist towards his funeral and family. These, appreciated, donations can be handed to Ronel at the Village Grocer.
“TSAMAYA HANTLE” Rampai.
Should you wish to deposit into the Police Forum Trust Account please use the following details with your Surname/Rampai as reference.
Acc. Name: Police Forum Trust
Bank: ABSA, Bethlehem Branch
Acc. No: 9274490569
Branch Code:632005
Thanking you,
The Sector Police Forum.

The Clarens Village Conservancy: 
Damien Coulsen has found some interesting facts about a plant we often see in these parts:  “‘I was surprised by some of the information I pulled up on this particular plant. Mostly it’s regarded as a nuisance species by farmers, but it looks like nature knows better..” (See the sidebar or go directly to the page on the Clarens News website.)
Visitors (and residents) continue to enjoy our nature reserve, and I can’t think of a better place for photographers in search of the ultimate Freestate photograph: the view of the Malutis from the Maluti View walk is particularly spectacular in the late afternoon.  Cyclists are also welcome, but they must get a permit – available (along with lots of advice)  from Clarens XTreme in Sias Oosthuizen street.  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 – and particularly bad over busy weekends – 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.

Food Security Outreach Program for Clarens.
Following on the meeting held at Tshepong Centre last friday  Tsepiso Mosia (our Clarens connection to the Department of Agriculture  & Rural Development: Phone 071 079 1332) sent the following report:

The MEC of Agriculture  & Rural Development Me Mamiki Qabathe have a special programme of food security in the Province.  In Thabo Mofutsanyana District Clarens, Marquard and Excelsior were identified to be on the programme.
The main purpose of this programme is to encourage people to grow their own vegetables in their backyards.Different stakeholders were tasked to identify poor families, child-headed households, vulnerable children and families and any person who is willing to grow vegetables on his/her backyard. This is for all races that we have in Clarens. They are going to use any recyclable material to grow the vegetables.
This will run as the competition between different institutions: Churches will compete with churches, schools with schools, clinics with clinics etc. The winners of the categories will compete with others from different towns and eventually the Province.
Judging Criteria:
1.    Innovation
2.    Most beautiful garden
3.    Compose a song about your garden or drama
4.    Prepare best dish with your vegetables.
Please help us with and tyres or anything we can plant in.  Let us work together for the Clarens community and for Clarens to win this one.  Read more

Fouriesburg Polar Bear Plunge

Polar bear plunge 936441_148290038699614_1479982358_n
Congratulations to all those polar bears that took part in the Fouriesburg Polar Bear Plunge on the 29th June.
For more photographs visit the Cluny Animal Trust facebook page.

Editorial Comment: What a Difference a Dinner Makes
When Sue Campbell of 278 on Main decided to tickle the local fancy with a cut-price 3-course dinner for locals, there were a few sceptics who predicted that it would be a one-night wonder.   Simon Kerr (aka The Phatt Chef) joined the fray and added Monday nights to Sue’s Wednesday night special.  Since those early beginnings, locals have multiplied and lapped up the meals on offer with relish.  Indeed, last night’s offering at 278 on Main was full to overflowing and the sense of bon hommie was profound.
Certainly not every course is to everyone’s taste, but the fact is that a 3-course meal in convivial surroundings for R60 is a panacea in these stressed economic times.  Perhaps the best thing about it is that the selection of local diners is expanding and changing; the concept of bringing a friend (or two) is fast catching on and last night’s gathering was significantly different to that of previous weeks.  Add to this the introduction of a take-away Shushi menu on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the concept of budget dining for locals in Clarens is firmly on the map.
Monday Madness: 8th July.  Simon is preparing roast pork belly.  (Phone  082 469 3832 to book)
Wednesday Winter Warmer: 10th July.  Sue is preparing a Christmas dinner with a roast gammon as the mains. Phone 082 5565208 to book.
By the way:  Visitors to Clarens need not feel left out.  Everyone is welcome. (And after all, it only takes about ten minutes in Clarens before you start feeling like a local.)

Clarens Switzerland

CLARENS SWITZSome of you may remember Rolf Schlub’s letter published in Clarens News in November last year:

I started a drive about 3 Years ago to have a twinning relationship with Clarens Switzerland.
I went to Switzerland, spoke to the relevant people there and they thought it was a rather good idea.
Back in Clarens I started an interest group to persue this idea.
I also designed a flag to indicate the relationship and to show the 2 Countrys and from there the name
CLARENS² was born.

Rolf’s latest update reads as follows:  I would like to follow up on those informations with the publishing of the Memorandum of
Understanding ( MOU) which was signed by the Mayor’s of Switzerland and Dihlabeng at the
Centenary celebrations. I feel that the residents of Clarens deserve to be informed and kept in the “loop” of what has
happened at the Centenary celebrations. Of course, we are now anxiously waiting of the next steps taken by the honorable Mayor of
Dihlabeng, Mr. Tjhetane Mofokeng to the follow-up on this agreement
. To see the MOU press here

THIS WEEKEND 

Weekend Weather

What has happened to winter? And where is the snow?  I had a look at the forecast for the rest of July, and it looks as though we can forget about a “White Christmas.”  But, snow or no snow, we’re still in for some fun.

Clarens Country Market   

MARKET 2
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.

Live Music
Thursday 4th July
Street Cafe: Shamrock  8pm onwatrds
Friday 5th July
Street Cafe:  Slipstream (9pm onwards)
The Grouse and Claret:  Grumpy Old Men
Saturday: 6th July
Street Cafe:  11am – 2pm: The Souti from Toit
Friends:  Slipstream  (8pm onwards)

Sport 

Rugby, Rugby, Rugby!
Vodacom Super Rugby Fixtures.  Stop in at any of the many pubs and restaurants in Clarens – there’s always a great atmosphere.  (Almost like being at the game.)
Super 15

Date Match Time Venue
July 2013
05 July Crusaders v Chiefs 09:35 AMI Stadium, Addington Christchurch
06 July Hurricanes v Highlanders 09:35 Wellington
06 July Cheetahs v Blues 14:50 Bloemfontein
06 July Kings v Stormers 17:05 Port Elizabeth
06 July Bulls v Sharks 19:15 Pretoria

 

Overall Super Rugby Table and Standings
Conference leaders.
Team Nation P W L D B PF PA PD Bp Ttl
1. Chiefs () 14 11 3 0 2 417 305 112 9 61
2. Bulls () 14 11 3 0 2 415 281 134 7 59
3. Brumbies () 15 10 3 2 2 415 274 141 7 59
Wild card teams
4. Reds () 15 9 4 2 2 307 284 23 6 54
5. Crusaders () 14 9 5 0 2 378 275 103 7 51
6. Cheetahs () 15 9 6 0 1 348 345 3 6 46
7. Waratahs () 15 8 7 0 2 399 357 42 4 44
8. Blues () 14 6 8 0 2 318 304 14 12 44
9. Sharks () 14 7 7 0 2 307 272 35 6 42
10. Stormers () 14 7 7 0 2 292 267 25 6 42
11. Hurricanes () 14 6 8 0 2 325 383 -58 7 39
12. Rebels () 15 4 11 0 2 344 478 -134 8 32
13. W.Force () 15 3 11 1 2 246 351 -105 5 27
14. S.Kings () 14 3 10 1 2 273 482 -209 2 24
15. Highlanders () 14 2 12 0 2 288 414 -126 6 22

Last update after Match #108/125

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

COMING UP

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 week away.  (Four more shopping days, I think.)
The Tourism Forum are working on a varied program: caberet, music, huskies, tavern tours and lots, lots more. To see the program PRESS HERE

Bibliophile – official opening of the new premises.
book luanch:  Primal Night by Maja Kriel
14th July at noon

PRIMAL NIGHT 2Primal Night is a collection of loosely connected tales all based in an African setting. The framework of the stories is a journey or travel of sdome kind in which a character’s primal assumtions of life are overturned or reinforced by the particular contex and circumstances of each story: a journey to the Okavango Swamps, a literary holiday and a romance in the hills of the Western Cape, a mysterious death of a toruist, and the obsessions of a gambler fixated on his lucky number, to name a few.And – there’s even a story about Clarens.  Come and meet Maja at the Bibliophile on Sunday  14th July – she will be there to chat and to sign books.

BOOKS

Other books which feature Clarens include:  African Brew – Exploring the craft of South African Beer.  (which includes several pages on our own Clarens Brewery) by Lucy Corne and Ryno Reyneke,
All our Yesterdays – An anecdotal history of the Clarens Valley (published by Bibliophile)
Christine’s Story – by Jennifer Jane
The Clarens Chronicles – Stories from the Jewel of the Free State – by Stephen Dunkley

Verone Wyers fund-raising walk
16th July –  arrive in Clarens.  (See them at The Brewery.  Time to be advised.)

There are four girls:  Shelley, Marina, Liezel and Hettie doing a 230k  walk (Fouriesburg, Clarens, Bethlehem, Reitz and back to Bethlehem) in order to raise funds and awareness for Verone Wyers,
Verone  was diagnosed with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML) in March this year –  a rare type of childhood leukaemia which can only be treated with a bone marrow transplant.

 Read more
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.

Plant of the week

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. The rangers recently photographed a plant species that many of you will recognise from within the Clarens Nature Reserve and it may occasionally be observed on farmlands. This plant has become of interest in scientific literature, for reasons you will discover below.
This week we introduce Gnidia anthylloides, commonly known as Brandbossie (a close relative of Gifbosssie for which it is often mistaken) in Afrikaans. Many of the species from the Gnidia genus have historically been used in traditional medicines to treat multiple ailments (headache, sores, nightmares, snake bites, tonsillitis, etc.). Unfortunately ingestion of parts of the plants of this genus without proper preparation may result in severe irritant effects as well as death in humans and animals due to several types of toxins (hence the common name). Scientists are now rediscovering some truth in the use of plants of the Gnidia genus ...Read more

Ornithological Notes

How about that?   It’s July 4th and Americans everywhere are celebrating their Independence Day with whoops, squeals of delight and the echoing sounds of “The Star Spangled Banner”, “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful”.   You may note some degree of patriotic fervour in this selection of tunes but what else would you expect from a nation that celebrates its birthday with, for example, concerts, parades and a hot dog eating contest?

For the record, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies  from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress  voted to approve a resolution of independence  that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of  Virginia, declaring the United States independent from Great Britain.   After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson  as its principal author.  Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4, 1776.   And Great Britain heaved a cataclysmic sigh of relief.

Being American, Independence Day is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays which often take place outdoors, which is as well considering that these involve a cast of millions.  All non-essential federal institutions (like the postal service and federal courts) are closed and politicians make it a point to appear at public events to flaunt themselves by praising the nation’s heritage, laws, history, society and people.  Families celebrate by taking the day off to gather with relatives and festoon their houses with streamers and balloons, generally colored (would you believe) red, white, and blue.  All in all, a messy and vexatious event.

So what has this to do with ornithological notes and the bird life of the Clarens valley?.….. Read more

Things to do:

SHOPS

The village is filled with an abundance of shopping, to see some of the local stores
(no franchises) click HERE

BAKERY/DELI/COFFEE

Tasty treats, snacks and picnic basket fillers available HERE

RESTAURANTS/PUBS

Once you’re done shopping go and have a bite to eat and glass of whatever you like,
to see them click HERE

ACCOMMODATION

Treat yourself to a good night’s rest and delightful hopitality at any of these
establishments, click HERE

ADVENTURES

Celebrate life with an amazing adventure by clicking HERE

TOURS
Venture out on a tour, click HERE

SPA
Or pamper yourself at a spa, Click HERE

CLASSIFIEDS/VACANCIES
What have you and opportunities, to see what’s on offer click HERE

SERVICES

For those of you who have already made the best decision,  HERE are the people
who can make things even better

IMPORTANT NUMBERS

The numbers everyone should have are all available rightHERE.

Video of the week:

This weeks’video is about the power of words.  “Change your words and change your world”. The clip is less than two minutes long – but nonetheless still very powerful.

Ever wondered how thingsreally work?
The next time you step up to the ATM to draw some money, spare a
thought for the poor guy who really makes the machine work……….