Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Twitcher 22 August 2013

Okay, okay.  So there was no snow last week and the Big Blue overhead suggests that it may be somewhere ahead.  Maybe next year.  Simple proof that your correspondent is far from fool-proof, albeit well-intentioned.

Nothing to report on the ornithological front either, unless you count the positively fecund activities of the doves which soil my gutters.  Cute in its own way, this reproductive activity coincides with the greening of the Willows and the proliferation of buds on every tree I seem to have.  Must mean spring is imminent, which makes a mockery of my predictions of snow.  Or does it?  15,000 shepherds in Lesotho can’t all be wrong.

So to the forthcoming Spring Art Festival in our sleepy village, an event that may over time grow to be a serious date on the national calendar.  For now, the village’s artists are wrestling with venues, programmes and openings, all calculated to fill Clarens with art buyers, critics and aspirant artists.  So, fingers crossed, we look forward to a surge in our weekend visitors, sustained through the week and into the following weekend.  May they buy freely and with thick wads of folding stuff (which used to be known as ‘stiff notes of corruption’ until our Government made this description somewhat ironic).

However, all this emphasis on visitors raises the question of local interest and participation: Notwithstanding the valiant efforts of our Clarens Art Guild, now showing in the Protea Hotel, when did you last see a local in any gallery in the village – unless they were buying wine, of course.  This is a serious question.  We have over 20 well-signposted galleries and studios in Clarens, but I’ll wager that few locals could name more than three, and probably haven’t crossed their thresholds since the old King died.

So come-on Clarens, you have filled the Phatt Chef and 278 on Main pretty much every Monday and Wednesday night since Simon and Sue initiated their contribution to social intercourse in the village.  What about taking a trip to see what your local artists have been doing?  You don’t even have to buy (although that’s a nice prospect) but give your creative juices a stir with a little ramble amongst the galleries.  There are probably about 3000 paintings, drawings and sculptures on show, together with artists plying their craft to the delicious background rumbling of old jazz, so there has got to be something of interest – even if it is only a glass of wine.
See you there.
The Twitcher

22nd August 2013: Painting with light

Contents”  Clarens Spring Fair, CVC Notice, SPF Appeal, Department of Agriculture Vegetable growing project; Blood donations; Plant of the week Felicia filifolia ; CVC Fun Day at Clarens Xtreme, Tourism Forum News; News from The Clarens Golf Estate, The Twitcher, This Weekend, Coming Events.

Painting with light

Clarens News Exotic vegetation in Clarens

The first Clarens Spring Art fair starts on the 28th August, and it seems that mother nature will be displaying her wide palette of ever-changing colours specially for the occasion. There is a promise of spring in the air: there are touches of green in the lawn and some the fruit trees growing in Clarens are already putting on a spring show of blossom.


 


Important Meeting

Notice from the CVC

All residents, business owners and ratepayers are encouraged to attend an important meeting to update and involve the community in some very important developments in the Clarens area.  These issues affect every resident in the Clarens area.

We will be sharing how we have utilised your taxes and contributions during the last year to contribute to improving our community.  We will also be discussing some future plans for the following year which will require your participation.  These initiatives require your involvement to be able to be sustained and we urge that your minimum contribution is to at least attend the meeting and provide your input.
Venue: Clarens Methodist Church Hall
When: Wednesday 11 September 2013 at 16:30

 


SPF Appeal

Keeping our town crime free is everyone’s responsibility and  all crime should be reported to the police station.

– Charge office  –  058 256 6001 and 058 256 6002
– Officer on duty –  082 466 8904
– Station Commander  –  Capt Mohale – 082 419 7094

In an effort to co-ordinate crime statistics  The Sector Police Forum  also ask that anyone who has not received a case number for crimes reported to the police to please contact the Sector Police Forum.

Johann Lehman on 083 447 9925

Click here to find out more about the SPF


Department of Agricuture: Project on Vegetable growing

The Mentor of the Agricultural Project of vegetables Mr Thabo Olivier is coming to Clarens on 28 August 2013 to meet the community,schools, business people and church leaders about the importance of growing your own vegetables in your own backyard garden. He will also demonstrate on how to grow vegetables using recyclable materials even in a small space.

Times are as follows:

Business: 10H30 am @ municipal Office
Schools: 08H00 am @ different schools/30 min each.
Community: 16H00 pm @ Kgubetswana Hall

Tsepiso Mosia
Department Of Agriculture FS
Phone:  0710791332   E-mail:mosiatsepiso@yahoo.com


 

Your blood saves lives

Plant of the week: Felicia filifolia


Damien1-100x100

Damien Coulson

 

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a semi-cryptic herbaceous species that may, with a sharp eye be observed on several of the Clarens hiking trails when out of season. In season however spotting is much, much easier.

Felicia filifolia or the Fine-leaved Felicia (commonly known as Draaibos or Wilde Aster in Afrikaans, or sehhalahala-se-seholo in Sisotho), is a small shrublet of between 80 cm and 1 metre when fully grown. Felicia is reputedly named after Herr Felix, a German official who died in 1846 (the genus name could also be derived from the Latin word felix meaning cheerful). The species name filifolia means leaves like fern fronds (referring to the fineness of the foliage).  Read more

 


CVC Fun Day at ClarensXtreme

Thursday 15th August 2013 saw thirteen students (winners of the Environment Day poster competition at Clarens Primary)  enjoy a fun day at Clarens Xtreme, where they were to treated to quad biking, zip-lining and Put-put. Ollie Esplin was kind enough to sponsor the Put-put and zip-lining for all the students, whilst the Clarens Village Conservancy sponsored quad-biking.  Although all of the students seemed to enjoy the quad-biking, one young student could not help but smile broadly for the entire duration of her ride…  Read more


Tourism Forum News

As announced last week, the Clarens Tourism Forum will be representing Clarens at the upcoming N3 Gateway’s Gauteng Getaway Show at the Northgate Dome at the end of the month, and is looking for assistance from anyone who is willing to help. The show is expected to attract around 23 000 visitors, and it is a great marketing opportunity.

We are now calling for CTF members to bring your marketing material (pamphlets, business cards etc) to be distributed at the the stand.

Please drop off with Fran at Clarens Destinations next to the Post Office before Wednesday 28 August 2013.

Thanking you in anticipation,
Clarens Tourism Forum


Free Workshops for Hospitality Staff

The following FREE Funded Training is being offered to the Clarens Community Businesses
for the upliftment of their staff and for Interns and upskilling unemployed people around the area.
National Certificate:
Accommodation Services NQF2 – (Focussed on housekeepers in the hospitality sector)For more info on this qualification, please refer to the page on this site:http://www.africanglobalacademy.co.za/

National Certificate:
Food and Beverage Services NQF4 – (Focussed on waiters and barmen in the hospitality sector)
For more info on this qualification, please refer to the page on this site:http://www.africanglobalacademy.co.za/

For the duration of these programs your staff will be paid R2000 a month /
Pro rated dependant on working hours
For more information please email marketing@clarenssa.co.za


SA Tourism:  The Power of One

The Power of One

 

South African Tourism’s road show  The Power of One will be visiting the Free State on the 26th and 27th August, 2013.

No further details are available at present


 

News from The Clarens Golf Estate

Bethlehem Voortrekker High School made some history on Monday, all three their teams walked away as Eastern Free-State Champions. January 2013 Voortrekker and Clarens Golf Estate started a Golf Development Program to develop more junior golf being played at school level in specifically the Eastern Free-State. This relationship has started to bear fruit as Voortrekker is now crowned champions in all three divisions.

The teams competed against various schools in the region, culminating in the final being hosted at The Clarens Golf Estate on 19 August. The three divisions were played out between Witteberg and Voortrekker for third division. Between Ladybrand, Witteberg and Voortrekker for second division and the first devision was contested between Voortrekker, Ficksburg and Witteberg. After an entertaining round of golf, Voortrekker left the 18th green as champions in all three divisions.
With this new relationship between Voortrekker and The Clarens Golf Estate still in its early stages, much can be expected in the future from these young champions.

Forthcoming Golf days at The Clarens Golf Estate

 September 28-30             National Junior Club Championships

October 11                          Jordania Primary Golf Day
October 19th                       CTF Golf Day
October 24th                       BMW Golf Day
October 26th                       CFA Golf Day
December 7th                     Clarens Open


 

The Twitcher

Okay, okay.  So there was no snow last week and the Big Blue overhead suggests that it may be somewhere ahead.  Maybe next year.  Simple proof that your correspondent is far from fool-proof, albeit well-intentioned.

Nothing to report on the ornithological front either, unless you count the positively fecund activities of the doves which soil my gutters.  Cute in its own way, this reproductive activity coincides with the greening of the Willows and the proliferation of buds on every tree I seem to have.  Must mean spring is imminent, which makes a mockery of my predictions of snow.  Or does it?  15,000 shepherds in Lesotho can’t all be wrong.

So to the forthcoming Spring Art Festival in our sleepy village, an event that may over time grow to be a serious date on the national calendar.  For now, the village’s artists are wrestling with venues, programmes and openings, all calculated to fill Clarens with art buyers, critics and aspirant artists.  So, fingers crossed, we look forward to a surge in our weekend visitors, sustained through the week and into the following weekend.  May they buy freely and with thick wads of folding stuff (which used to be known as ‘stiff notes of corruption’ until our Government made this description somewhat ironic).

However, all this emphasis on visitors raises the question of local interest and participation: Notwithstanding the valiant efforts of our Clarens Art Guild, now showing in the Protea Hotel, when did you last see a local in any gallery in the village – unless they were buying wine, of course.  This is a serious question.  We have over 20 well-signposted galleries and studios in Clarens, but I’ll wager that few locals could name more than three, and probably haven’t crossed their thresholds since the old King died.

So come-on Clarens, you have filled the Phatt Chef and 278 on Main pretty much every Monday and Wednesday night since Simon and Sue initiated their contribution to social intercourse in the village.  What about taking a trip to see what your local artists have been doing?  You don’t even have to buy (although that’s a nice prospect) but give your creative juices a stir with a little ramble amongst the galleries.  There are probably about 3000 paintings, drawings and sculptures on show, together with artists plying their craft to the delicious background rumbling of old jazz, so there has got to be something of interest – even if it is only a glass of wine.  Read more
See you there.
The Twitcher


 

This weekend

Smile! You could be on TV

Mooiloop!  The team from this South Africa lifestyle travel series produced by Blue Marble Entertainment are in Clarens this weekend.  Presenters Valiant Swart and Denvor Phokaners are visit ing lesser known (?) towns and villages across South Africa,  introducing Mooiloop viewers to the stories and the people who call these places home.  The Mooiloop series is broadcast weekly on SABC on Wednesdays at 19h30.

Live Music

Friday 23 August 2013
Friends:  8.30 pm onwards:  Slipstream
Grouse & Claret: Denzel & Hensie

Saturday 24 August 2013
Artichoke: 11.30am – 3.00pm: Denzel & Hensie
Artichoke: 6.00pm onwards:  Denzel & Hensie
Friends: 8.30pm onwards:  Slipstream

Rugby

Springboks vs Argentina 24 August 2013

Springbok Squad, Replacements and Team

Team

1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks); 2 Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs);3 Jannie du Plessis (Sharks); 4 Eben Etzebeth (Western Province); 5 Juandre Kruger (Racing Metro); 6 Francois Louw (Bath);7 Willem Alberts (Sharks);8 Duane Vermeulen(Western Province); 9 Ruan Pienaar (Ulster); 10 Morne Steyn (Blue Bulls); 11 Bjorn Basson (Blue Bulls); 12 Jean de Villiers (Western Province); 13 JJ Engelbrecht (Blue Bulls); 14 Bryan Habana (Western Province);15 Willie le Roux (Griquas)

Replacements /PosPlayerTeam

16 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks); 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp (Toulouse); 18 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs);19 Flip van der Merwe (Blue Bulls); 20 Siya Kolisi (Western Province); 21 Jano Vermaak (Toulouse);22 Pat Lambie (Sharks);23 Jan SerfonteinBlue  Bulls)


 

Currie Cup Rugby 2013 Fixtures 

23 Aug Free State Cheetahs vs Sharks Bloemfontein 19:10
24 Aug Griquas vs Western Province Kimberley 15:00
24 Aug Blue Bulls vs Golden Lions Pretoria 17:05
30 Aug Golden Lions vs Western Province Johannesburg 19:10
31 Aug Free State Cheetahs vs Griquas Bloemfontein 15:00
31 Aug Sharks vs Blue Bulls Durban 17:05
7 Sep Griquas vs Golden Lions Kimberley 15:00
7 Sep Blue Bulls vs Free State Cheetahs Pretoria 17:05
7 Sep Western Province vs Sharks Cape Town 19:10
13 Sep Free State Cheetahs vs Golden Lions Bloemfontein 19:10
14 Sep Griquas vs Sharks Kimberley 15:00
14 Sep Blue Bulls vs Western Province Pretoria 17:05
20 Sep Western Province vs Griquas Cape Town 19:10
21 Sep Sharks vs Free State Cheetahs Durban 15:00
21 Sep Golden Lions vs Blue Bulls Johannesburg 17:05
27 Sep Free State Cheetahs vs Western Province Bloemfontein 17:05
27 Sep Golden Lions vs Sharks Johannesburg 19:10
28 Sep Griquas vs Blue Bulls Kimberley 14:00
4 Oct Blue Bulls vs Sharks Pretoria 19:10
5 Oct Griquas vs Free State Cheetahs Kimberley 14:00
5 Oct Western Province vs Golden Lions Cape Town 14:00
12 Oct Golden Lions vs Griquas Johannesburg 15:00
12 Oct Free State Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls Bloemfontein 17:05
12 Oct Sharks vs Western Province Durban 19:10
19 Oct Team 1 vs Team 4 TBC 14:30
19 Oct Team 2 vs Team 3 TBC 17:00
26 Oct TBC vs TBC TBC 17:00

Coming Events

Always something happening in Clarens.  It’s sometmes difficult to keep track.  Check the Events page on this website.


Classifieds

Looking for a house to rent, a job, or wanting to sell something? You might find it in our Classifieds section.
The new Clarens News website is beginning to come together. We don’t have all the bells and whistles yet, but you are welcome to place an ad in the classifieds section.
Should you wish to place an advertisement in this section please email: editor@clarensnews.com

Note from the editor

We regret that there will be no Clarens News next week.  The staff will be on holiday.
Oh HAPPY DAYS !!!

15th August, 2013: Going fishing

Fishing in Clarens

For those who think there’s no fishing to be had in Clarens, take a look a this photo sent to us by Scott Hunter.  Scott writes:

“Here is the picture of the trout my son (Oliver) and I caught in the town dam. The fish defiantly have a preference towards bigger fly’s fished on Intermediate lines close the the bottom. We got two on Friday afternoon and I got a another nice cockfish on Saturday morning. The fish in this photo was close on 3kg, even though the picture doesn’t quite do it justice. It was a great fight with lots of big jumps and strong fast runs, putting me skills to the test with the light 4lb tippet I was using. The good news is that this fish is still swimming in the dam in a perfect condition.”   Should you want to recatch this beauty you will need to cast a fly in the Townland’s Dam which is managed by the Clarens Fly fishing Club.  Get your fishing permit from ClarensXtreme.

The rivers are closed to fishing at the moment, but  will re open on the 1st September, 2013.

Clarens and the surrounding area has some of the best fly fishing spots in South Africa – but you need to know where to find them.  Contact Greg: 073 428 2478

You’ll also find fishing news on www.facebook.com/ClarensFishing


Letter to the whole Clarens community

Date: 12 August 2013
To the whole Clarens community:
As I’m sure you are all aware by now, there was a break-in this weekend on the Golf course…
Thus:
I would like to compliment and thank every single person that was involved with the arresting of a house robber this weekend. I cannot remember everyone by name because there are so many.
We have never in our lives seen a community work together like we saw this weekend.  Every single person from caddies, security guards and managers of the golf course to residents, SAPS, Police forum and bystanders were involved.
If it wasn’t for your rapid response and communication with each other the suspect would still be at large and we would be without our belongings.
We feel that the rest of the country can learn from you on how a community should work together to help prevent, fight and abolish crime.We take our hats off to you and salute you in a job well done and for being an example of how our country can be operating.
Thank you for putting my faith back into our country.
Kind Regards
Raoul vd Walt


SPF Appeal

Keeping our town crime free is everyone’s responsibility and  all crime should be reported to the police station.

  • Charge office  –  058 256 6001 and 058 256 6002
  • Officer on duty –  082 466 8904
  • Station Commander  –  Capt Mohale – 082 419 7094

In an effort to co-ordinate crime statistics  The Sector Police Forum  also ask that anyone who has not received a case number for crimes reported to the police to please contact the Sector Police Forum.

  •  Johann Lehman on 083 447 9925

Clarens Fire Association – Working on Fire

From a letter addressed to Rodney Wainwright from Dick Lemmer:

What an amazing experience to see the team of working=on=fire in action during a run-away fire on the farm Kuriake.
With the help of Duncan, local farmers and your team, the fire was put out within a few hours……
The work you and your team are involved with can only be seen as a great asset to the community within the district of Clarens.

As you can see fires are a huge problem in our area, and we are really lucky to have the WoF team based in Clarens.  We do however, all need to play our part. Remember that the ban on open fires is still effective.

The Clarens Working on Fire team continue to be on stand by to protect our village and the surrounding area.
They do however, need your help…Read more

 

Plant of the week:  Buddleja salvifolia


Damien1-100x100

Damien Coulson

 

 

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a woody species that most of you will have already seen in the reserve and on several of the C.V.C. hiking trails.Buddleja salviifolia or Quilted Sagewood (known as Saliehoud in Afrikaans or Lelothoane in Sisotho), is a small tree of 3 – 8 m tall. It is usually found on forest margins, along rocky stream-banks and near cave sandstone overhangs. ….Read more


 C.V.C. Fun Day at Clarens Primary School

Damien Coulson (Head ranger CVC) sent a full report on the recent fun day at Clarens Primary School.
Two weeks back the C.V.C. introduced 300 students to the concept of recycling through a brief PowerPoint presentation and recycling game. The second (and main) event: the C.V.C. Fun-Day, was held on Thursday August the 8th after a great deal of preparation.
Early on the morning of August 8th Sherri, Damien and the rangers set up a score of games on the playgrounds of Clarens Primary. The games had been developed with care over the past few weeks using mostly recycled materials. Students from both the Foundation (grades 1-3) and Intermediate (grades 4-7) Phases were given an opportunity to try each of the 7 recycling orientated games that had been developed for the day.The students really had a good time and even some of the educators joined in on the fun. The WoF team impressed the rangers with their ability to work with children and Sherri helped ensure that the day ran smoothly.
Later that day the rangers and Sherri (and one interested Working on Fire teammate) took the time to visit each class from grades 1 – 7, to score and judge the recycling posters produced by each of the groups per grade. In the end a winning team from both the Foundation & Intermediate Phase was selected (after some healthy debate) and the winning teams were  announced on Monday the 12th of August during (an early morning) assembly. The winning group from Grade 2 went positively ballistic when their team was announced and the winning group from grade 6, although only slightly more collected were also thrilled when their group was announced. Both groups displayed their winning posters for the entire school to see.

CVC Fun Day 7.jpg.pngThe educators expressed their gratitude to Damien & Sherri and explained that this wasthe first such event that the students had been provided the entire year. The winning teams will be transported to Clarens Xtreme on Thursday the 15th of August using the Working on Fire truck and accompanied by Sherri, the rangers & several WoF teammates. (Mostly) everyone involved in the Fun-Day thoroughly enjoyed the event and it was clear that all the planning had been well worth the joy it invoked. It seems that more such Fun-Days just might be on their way!
To read the full report  and see all the photographs Press here


Tourism Forum News :

Call for assistance at the upcoming Gauteng Getaway Show
==================================The Clarens Tourism Forum will be representing Clarens at the upcoming N3 Gateway’s Gauteng Getaway Show at the Northgate Dome at the end of the month, and is looking for assistance from anyone who is willing to help. The show is expected to attract around 23 000 visitors, and it is a great marketing opportunity.We would like to have 4 people to man the stand, and have 2 so far. You need to stand at the stall and hand out pamphlets and promote Clarens verbally, generally just be friendly and promote the Town as “Clarens The Destination”.Traveling and accommodation costs will be covered by the CTF.The dates and times are:**· **Friday 30 August – 11h00 ? 19h00****

**· **Saturday 31 August – 09h00 ? 19h00****

**· **Sunday 1 September – 09h00 ? 17h00****

Representatives will also be required to check in at the Northgate Dome on Thurs 29 August for a briefing session and to collect badges etc.

Please will anyone that is interested in helping contact any of the following people:

Tammy Hancock – ctf@clarenssa.co.za
Chris Green – marketing@clarenssa.co.za
Chris Pefanis – comms@clarenssa.co.za

Thanking you in anticipation,

Clarens Tourism Forum


Free Workshops for Hospitality Staff

The following Funded Training is being offered to the Clarens Community Businesses for the upliftment of their staff  and for Interns and upskilling unemployed people around the area.

National Certificate: Accommodation Services NQF2 – (Focussed on housekeepers in the hospitality sector)

National Certificate: Food and Beverage Services NQF4 – (Focussed on waiters and barmen in the hospitality sector)

For the duration of these programs your staff will be paid R2000 a month / Pro rated dependant on  working hours

For more information please e mail marketing@clarenssa.co.za


The Twitcher

Last week I suggested that Clarens was on something of a roll.  Well, in terms of building anyway.  Imagine my surprise when the long weekend (yes, OK, happy Woman’s Month yet again) inundated the village with more visitors than Easter, apparently confirming the level of interest in the Clarens experience?  Sure, there were well-founded rumours of snow in the high mountains of Lesotho but breaking every sales record in the history of the Clarens Brewery??  Now that’s a measure of success.
Being an exploratory sort of fellow, I ventured out of my darkened study into the Clarens CBD on Saturday night and into a maelstrom of sound and light.  Mrs Twitcher and I shimmied into a well-known hostelry and found ourselves nose to speaker with Rooibard, the band.  No birds to speak of, other than a thicket of young things moving myopically to the beat, but an experience of serious note.  Through a haze of cigarette, smoke the band sashayed their way through three-hours of amazement without doing a single cover.  And were they good!!

Okay, audio-anarchy pretty much sums it up, but what can you say about a group which plays (?), in addition to three guitars and clump of drums, a whistle, a violin, a squash-box, a scratchy thingie and a didgeridoo.  The latter did serious damage to my sternum and moved my gonads to a different plane of, dare I say it, enlightenment.  All in all an experience that our visitors will not forget in a hurry – and the whole thing fired by Tequila!

Which brings me neatly to the drop in temperature and the onset of winter.  Rumour has it that the Clarens Coat Shop has bribed Mother Nature to revert to type and bring in the clouds.  Whatever, the plunge in degrees Celsius has knackered the local bird population, who are now sheltering in the Old Stone Bottle Store’s technicolour dustbins.  So, if you are in need of a Yellow-Billed Hawk or two, a few Drongoes or a brace of Pigeons, you know where to look.  Don’t dip your hand in however; there are baboon droppings in the vicinity and signs of a Merecat, so do your bird-shopping with care.

Speaking personally, I have started waxing my skis, filling the brandy barrel on my St Bernard’s collar and checking the candles.  Don’t know about you, but I have no intention of being snowed-in, much as I love this idyllic little village.  Happy snow.


Editorial Comment: Bouquets for Clarens Town Management

The Clarens News recently reported the apparent ‘boom’ in house construction and business site development, and this week – quite unrelated – the Twitcher reports the delicious musical anarchy of Rooibart at the Street Café.  All rather good news, but given the proclivity of this publication (in the broadest sense) to focus on positive developments in our cosy village, we thought it appropriate to dish out an armful of bouquets to our new Town Manager and horticulturist, Peter Reed.

Anyone who drives our streets will have noticed a revolution in the cleaning, pruning, fertilising, clearing, planting and general maintenance of what ranks as the Free State’s premier tourist attraction.  Months and years of neglect have been turned-around in the last couple of months and the planting of trees at the twin entrances of Clarens signal a welcome change.  The square – arguably the village’s greatest asset – has been tidied and fertilised, trees have been pruned and, perhaps most notably, the Municipal Offices are having a horticultural makeover and general rejuvenation.  Even our road frontage is losing the infestation of invasive trees and the ‘rubbish tip’ below the road bridge into the village is looking positively delightful.  What’s more, his enthusiasm has ignited the spirit of community in all sorts of locals.

At risk of stating the obvious, Rosendal’s loss is a big win for Clarens.  Well done Peter.  From all of us.


Coming Events

Always something happening in Clarens.  It’s sometmes difficult to keep track.  Have a look at the Events page on our website.


Classifieds

Looking for a house to rent, a job, or wanting to sell something? You might find it in our Classifieds section.
The new Clarens News website is beginning to come together. We don’t have all the bells and whistles yet, but you are welcome to place an ad in the classifieds section.

 

The Twitcher : 15th August 2013

Last week I suggested that Clarens was on something of a roll.  Well, in terms of building anyway.  Imagine my surprise when the long weekend (yes, OK, happy Woman’s Month yet again) inundated the village with more visitors than Easter, apparently confirming the level of interest in the Clarens experience?  Sure, there were well-founded rumours of snow in the high mountains of Lesotho but breaking every sales record in the history of the Clarens Brewery??  Now that’s a measure of success.

Being an exploratory sort of fellow, I ventured out of my darkened study into the Clarens CBD on Saturday night and into a maelstrom of sound and light.  Mrs Twitcher and I shimmied into a well-known hostelry and found ourselves nose to speaker with Rooibard, the band.  No birds to speak of, other than a thicket of young things moving myopically to the beat, but an experience of serious note.  Through a haze of cigarette, smoke the band sashayed their way through three-hours of amazement without doing a single cover.  And were they good!!

Okay, audio-anarchy pretty much sums it up, but what can you say about a group which plays (?), in addition to three guitars and clump of drums, a whistle, a violin, a squash-box, a scratchy thingie and a didgeridoo.  The latter did serious damage to my sternum and moved my gonads to a different plane of, dare I say it, enlightenment.  All in all an experience that our visitors will not forget in a hurry – and the whole thing fired by Tequila!

Which brings me neatly to the drop in temperature and the onset of winter.  Rumour has it that the Clarens Coat Shop has bribed Mother Nature to revert to type and bring in the clouds.  Whatever, the plunge in degrees Celsius has knackered the local bird population, who are now sheltering in the Old Stone Bottle Store’s technicolour dustbins.  So, if you are in need of a Yellow-Billed Hawk or two, a few Drongoes or a brace of Pigeons, you know where to look.  Don’t dip your hand in however; there are baboon droppings in the vicinity and signs of a Merecat, so do your bird-shopping with care.

Speaking personally, I have started waxing my skis, filling the brandy barrel on my St Bernard’s collar and checking the candles.  Don’t know about you, but I have no intention of being snowed-in, much as I love this idyllic little village.  Happy snow.    The Twitcher

CLARENS NEWS: 8th August 2013. HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY

 

sunset MG_0069

With the overnight drop in temperature we’ve all begun dreaming of snow again. Perhaps the shepherd’s in Lesotho are right and we are going to get some heavy snow within the next week or two. We had a look at the acuweather report, and whilst they are predicting daytime temperatures between 12 and 15 (and night time lows between 1 and -2C), as well as the occasional shower over the weekend, there is no prediction of snow in Clarens. There was however a good snowfall at Afriski at lunchtime today, and they are expecting a further 20cm of snow tonight.  Both Afriski and the Lesotho Border officials are strongly advising that no sedan cars attempt the road to Afriski until further notice.


 

Happy Women’s Day

We would like to wish all our readers a happy Women’s Day.  (Even those of you  who are not women – have a happy day!)
Golden Gate sent the following Happy Women’s Day notice:
Celebrate Golden Gate’s 50th Birthday and get 50% off during July to September 2013!  The great outdoors is waiting to be experienced with activities such as walking trails, canoeing, abseiling, horse riding, 4×4 trails as well as the Basotho Cultural Village tour. Relax in complete comfort in popular stop-overs such as the Golden Gate Hotel and Chalets as well as Glen Reenen Rest Camp and the Highlands Mountain Retreat. To extend the cultural experience of this great area the Basotho Cultural Village will provide a perspective and experiences unlike anywhere else and should not be missed.


This weekend :  So much happening

Saturday  –  10th August 2013 On the square  

NG Kerk Flea Market  & the Cluny Potjiekos competition.  The NG Kerk organizers assure us that there are going to be pancakes, boerewors, skilpagjies, as well as interesting stalls. (Should you require further information please contact Lizette: 083 375 9900) The Potjiekos competition will also be taking place, so I don’t think anyone will need supper on Saturday.
And don’t forget The Clarens Craft Market outside the Bibliophile.

 

 

 


Live Music

Thursday:
Street Cafe:  (8 pm onwards):  Denzel & Hensie (Rooibaard Lite)
Friends: (8.30pm onwards): Sweaty Betty
Friday:
Artichoke (11.30am – 3pm) Denzel & Hensie
Street Cafe (8 pm onwards): Sweaty Betty
Friends: (8.30pm onwards): Van Smith
Grouse & Claret: (8 pm onwards): Denzel & Hensie (Rooibard Lite)
Saturday:
Artichoke (11.30am – 3pm ) Denzel & Hensie
Street Cafe: (8 pm onwards): Rooibaard
Friends: (8.30pm onwards): Van Smith
Grouse & Claret: (8pm onwards): Violet Somedays

Rugby 
Stop in at one of the pubs in Clarens to enjoy the atmosphere. It’s almost like being at the game.

ABSA Currie Cup Rugby!!!!

Friday, 9 August 2013
Sharks v Griquas  Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban

Saturday, 10 August 2013

15:00Golden LionsvFree State Cheetahs Ellis Park, Johannesburg

17:05Western ProvincevBlue Bulls Newlands, Cape Town


 

Local News: Clarens Fire Association

Remember that the ban on open fires is still effective.

The Clarens Working on Fire team continue to be on stand by to protect our village and the surrounding area.
They do however, need your help. Click here For more on the Clarens Fire Association


 

Local News: Free Workshops for Hospitality Staff

The following Funded Training is being offered to the Clarens Community Businesses for the upliftment of their staff  and for Interns and upskilling unemployed people around the area.

National Certificate: Accommodation Services NQF2 – (Focussed on housekeepers in the hospitality sector)

National Certificate: Food and Beverage Services NQF4 – (Focussed on waiters and barmen in the hospitality sector)

For the duration of these programs your staff will be paid R2000 a month / Pro rated dependant on  working hours

For more information please e mail marketing@clarenssa.co.za


 

Plant of the week: Aloe Maculata

Common Soap aloe, Bontalwyne

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Damien Coulson

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. This week we are looking at a succulent from a well known genus with a few cool medicinal uses.
Aloe maculata or the Common Soap Aloe (known as Bontalwyne in Afrikaans or lekhala in Sisotho) is a small aloe of up to 1 m in height. A. maculata is commonly found growing on north-facing rocky slopes in grasslands & open savannah, at altitudes of up to 2000 m A.S.L. This succulent is widespread throughout S.A. and has even been observed along the coast in the Western Cape’s Garden Route (Pers. Obs.). Its wide distribution range indicates that it can tolerate a variety of soil types and moisture regimes……..Read more


The Twitcher

As might be expected, your faithful correspondent was resplendent in a deer-stalker hat and heavily camouflaged track suit, pursuing several species of rare and exotic birds this week.  In the interests of detailed reporting, I clutched an enormous pair of ex-naval binoculars (Battle of Jutland, 1916) and had a notebook in my sweating left hand.  But as I loped from shrub to dead fruit tree in pursuit of my feathered quarry, it became increasingly obvious that I was also moving from building site to building site.
Could this be Clarens, I asked myself, or had I wandered over a provincial border into another century?  Having checked my bearings and consulted several passers-by, it became clear that I was in Clarens, now liberally dotted with houses rising from the virgin veld. What?
I doubled back and began counting these new dwellings and stopped at 10, since primary school math had not prepared me for life in the fast lane.  Sure enough, there are at least 10 new homes in construction in our fair village, and I suspect many more on the drawing boards or locked in municipal process.  Somewhat disbelieving, given the odds against persuading ESKOM to part with any of their electricity, I stumbled into the nearest estate agency and learnt that they had been doing about two deals a month since January…….Read more

 


 

 Coming Events

Always something happening in Clarens.  See the Events page on our website.

The Twitcher- 8th August 2013

As might be expected, your faithful correspondent was resplendent in a deer-stalker hat and heavily camouflaged track suit, pursuing several species of rare and exotic birds this week.  In the interests of detailed reporting, I clutched an enormous pair of ex-naval binoculars (Battle of Jutland, 1916) and had a notebook in my sweating left hand.  But as I loped from shrub to dead fruit tree in pursuit of my feathered quarry, it became increasingly obvious that I was also moving from building site to building site.

Could this be Clarens, I asked myself, or had I wandered over a provincial border into another century?  Having checked my bearings and consulted several passers-by, it became clear that I was in Clarens, now liberally dotted with houses rising from the virgin veld. What?

I doubled back and began counting these new dwellings and stopped at 10, since primary school math had not prepared me for life in the fast lane.  Sure enough, there are at least 10 new homes in construction in our fair village, and I suspect many more on the drawing boards or locked in municipal process.  Somewhat disbelieving, given the odds against persuading ESKOM to part with any of their electricity, I stumbled into the nearest estate agency and learnt that they had been doing about two deals a month since January.

They also told me that the flow of enquiries was better than it has been for the last many years and that interested ‘buyers’ were coming back again and again!  Could this be the sleepy hollow that fell out of the property market four or five years ago?

Still discombobulated (don’t you love the English language?) by this information, I lost my binoculars and stumbled onto the village square.  As I drew in great draughts of fresh mountain air, I swung around to confront the sight of a large erection on the corner (no, silly, a building!).  What had once been a refreshingly grubby spot, with a quota of unwashed sandstone carvers hawking their wares, was now pockmarked by foundation holes and the apparent makings of a 10-Pin Bowling Alley rising from the proverbial.  On enquiry, the builder told me (confidentially, of course) that this was stage one of a Teasers franchise, with a KFC and undertakers on the ninth-floor.

Shocked, I moved down the street looking for a bar to straighten out my thoughts, only to trip over the new owner of what was once Valley Cats, opposite the 423-room Protea Hotel.  On his knees, he was attempting to find True North with an antique ‘dumpie’-level, in preparation for the conversion of his newly-purchased property into a shopping emporium.  Up the road, the equally new owners of an empty stand were ruminating on the merits of a glass elevator on the north side of their proposed building.  Down the road (thankfully, with a bar) the Artichoke’s proprietors were celebrating the first phase construction of an opera sound stage, overlooking the Lake!

Development on this scale would hardly signify in a halfway-decent gated estate in Johannesburg, but in Clarens this almost qualifies as boom times!  So, what can this mean, your shaken scribe asks himself?  First, people with sufficient intelligence and breeding to want out of the urban sprawl will eventually find their way to the village life.  Second, people are fed up to the back-dentures with banks withholding the means to procure new and exciting places to live, and will make a plan – and therefore make banks less meaningful.  And third, the cost of a little piece of God’s green acre (well, actually fairly brown at this stage) has descended to levels too good to miss.

This information is of course strictly private and confidential, and anyone acting on it to secure the last 23 stands in the village will have to buy me a drink.  Now where did I put my binoculars?

1 August 2013: Life

FIRE

FIRE !!!! It’s that time of the year again, when fires can wreak havoc in our beautiful environment.  This week much of The Golden Gate Highlands National Park  was devastated by fire, and Maliba Lodge in Lesotho also suffered major damage to their reception area.  The Golden Gate Nature Reserve   Continue Reading →

FIRE ….what you need to know

In view of the damage that fires can do it is not surprising that there is a ban on the lighting of open fires at the moment.  This ban will continue until such time as 25mm of rain have fallen within one week.  Continue Reading →

 


FIRE…..what you need to do

Make a note somewhere of what you need to do in case of a fire.

This weekend

We’re in for another sunny weekend….. just more beautiful sunny days and chilly winter nights.  We also have some live music and the rugby (?) to look forward to.

Continue Reading →


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.

Continue Reading →


 


Clarens Village Conservancy

 The Clarens Village Conservancy & Environmental Education The CVC has been putting a good deal of time and effort into Environmental Education (EE) plans for several of the stakeholders from within and around Clarens. This includes but is not limited to: Members of the Clarens Community; the Thusenond Care Group (TCG) and its employees; Clarens Primary School (and other schools); the Working on Fire Team and its very own CVC rangers!

Continue Reading →


Plant of the Week: Erica alopecurus (Foxtail Erica)

 Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest” where we will be looking at a dwarf-shrub species that is most prominent from summer – mid-winter. Erica alopecurus or Foxtail Erica

Continue Reading →


Local News:

Keeping our town crime free is everyone’s responsibility and  all crime should be reported to the police station. Charge office  –  058 256 6001

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Coming Events

Workshops, Potjiekos, the Spring Art Fair. These are just some of the events happening in Clarens.    NG Kerk Flea Market 9th August 2013:  Clarens square     Potjiekos competition10th August 2013
Continue Reading →