Monthly Archives: September 2013

27th September, 2013: Let’s Braai

Clarens News; Exotic vegetation in Clarens

Exotic Vegetation

Our photograph this week shows a cluster of cosmos flowering blithely against the backdrop of a high ridge on the Rooiberg range.  In the late summer months these resilient flowers enrich our roadsides with their shades of pink, red, mauve and white, their distribution extending from the midlands, through the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal, the Drakensberg foothills, the Eastern Free State and many parts of the highveld.  The story of their introduction to South Africa is well documented.   Cosmos, closely related to the sunflower, is listed as an alien plant species in South Africa.  Once exotic plants become ‘naturalised’ and able to propagate and establish themselves in natural surroundings, their impact or potential impact should be assessed and, where necessary, management procedures put in place.  Read more

Calendars can be purchased at Clarens Gallery (House of Woven Art), Clementines Restaurant , the Village Grocer and the Old Stone Bottle Store.  Alternatively they can be ordered from Katherine on 0827886287, Jan on 0782462553, Helen on 0582230918 or by email to jansander22@gmail.com .  ….More on the Cluny Animal Trust

Let’s Braai
Community Braai Challenge – 29th September 2013

Please submit your entry forms as soon as possible. (Certainly no later than noon on Saturday)


 Appeal for Braai Challenge Prizes

WE APPEAL TO YOU ALL FOR A ‘DONATION/SPONSORSHIP’ OF A FUN PRIZE – COULD BE A ‘COFFEE + MUFFIN’ OR A ‘MAKE YOUR OWN PIZZA’ OR JUST A PIZZA OR A MEAL VOUCHER, SPA TREATMENT, PAINTING LESSON, COOKING/BAKING/CAKE DECORATING/MUSIC/SINGING LESSON, JAR OF PICKLES/PRESERVES, ANYTHING AT ALL, JUST USE YOUR IMAGINATION. IN THE MEANTIME, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD, ENTER YOUR TEAMS, CHALLENGE YOUR ‘COMPETITORS’ AND BUILD THE MOMENTUM TOWARDS A FANTASTIC COMMUNITY EVENT! PLEASE EMAIL VOUCHERS/DONATION DETAILS TO EITHER NATALIE MEYER Natalie@clarensbrewery.co.za or TAMMY HANCOCK ctf@clarenssa.co.za

Thank you to the following establishments for their generous support in Prize sponsorships for the event:
Clarens Brewery, Homing Instinct, Highland Roastery, Clarens Yoga Centre, Horeb Butchery, Clarens Destinations, Garment Gallery, Posthouse Restaurant, Brambleberry, ClarensXtreme


Plant of the week: Moraea stricta

Damien Coulson:

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Plant of the week”. We’ll be looking at a plant at the far end of the spectrum as opposed to last week’s plant of the week – this time around we’ll be looking at a small bulbous wildflower that has only been observed in 2 localities over the last month.

Moraea stricta (commonly known as Bloutulp in Afrikaans), is a small plant of between 15 & 25 cm in height and is widespread throughout Africa. Stricta refers to the straight or upright appearance of the flower. M. stricta grows in grasslands in close proximity to rocky outcrops and slopes at altitudes of up to 2400 m A.S.LM. stricta is interesting in that the leaves are usually absent during the flowering stage (Sept – Nov).   Read more


 

Illegal Activites in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Muti 3 Muti-e1395756328512 muti-2-e1395756550763

Over the past two weeks the C.V.C. rangers have noted an increase in the number of ripped-open bags being dumped along the Spruit. This week

Please submit your entry forms as soon as possible. (Certainly no later than noon on Saturday)alone, 6 full bags of household refuse have been cleaned-up and removed from the trail.

One instance of illegal muti-digging was observed in the Clarens Nature Reserve. An individual dragging 2 very heavy sacks behind him was asked to open them for an inspection – both were full of medicinal plants (bulbs, tubers, corms, roots, etc.), some of which were protected and vulnerable plant species. The rangers also asked the individual to produce a permit, which he did, however the permit seemed suspect. Some while later down at the station, the police found the permit to be fraudulent and on questioning, the statement of the culprit was as one of the rangers so eloquently put it, “kind-of like a Jackie Chan karate movie – completely fong-kong and full of loops!”.

All jokes aside, the rangers are working hard to keep the environment that we all love and enjoy in as pristine a condition as possible, but even they cannot be everywhere at once. This week the rangers got lucky and apprehended a culprit red-handed, however the eyes of the community need to be kept vigilant to similar activities. Thanks to those of you who have assisted the C.V.C. with information at times, and to the rest – stay sharp

In connection with illegal or suspect environmental activities the C.V.C. can be contacted at:
Head Ranger:Damien Coulson – 076 833 8910;
C.V.C. Chairman:  Rodney Wainwright  –   083 680 7770.


A Black South Easter Blows into town


Black South Easter blew into town unexpectedly this week, and blew all of us who saw them away. Band members Nkoza Sitsholwana (vocals), Jim Curve (base), Dan Boshoff (guitar) and Jerry Mbowa perfromed for us at Street Cafe, Artichoke and Friends.  We loved it – and fortunately Black South Easter love us too.  They plan to re-vist Clarens again soon.  (Look out for their new album: Black South Easter In Waves)


Environmental Education: 88 students at St Fort

On Tuesday the 17th of September the C.V.C. rangers attended an environmental education event at St. Fort farm on invitation from Clarens Xtreme  with  a total of 88 grade 6 students from Jordania Primary – a local school based in Bethlehem. The students were out on a 4 day leadership camp where they would learn about teamwork and the basic problem solving skills necessary to become the next group of prefects. The experiences of those 4 days would help the students to develop these attributes and ultimately play a role in prefect selection in early 2014.   Read more


This weekend – Live Music

Friday 27 September 2013
Grouse & Claret:  7.30pm  onwards:  Ric and company
Street Cafe:  8.30 pm onwards:  Grumpie Old Men

Saturday 28 September 2013
Street Cafe:  12h00-15h00:  Deon, the Soutie from Toti
Artichoke:  after the rugby:  Jana and Mia


 This weekend – Rugby fixtures


This weekend – Other things to do

Saturday:
Farmer’s Market outside the Bibliophile. 10h00 – 14h00.

Dinner Dance at Courtyard Cafe.  R150pp  Includes 3 course meal. Phone 082 6501503 to book

Sunday:
Community Braai Challenge on the square.  14h00 – 18h00.

LET’S BRAAI


Coming Events : Classic Clarens Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Events : Bibliophile Bookfest 2013

Writers dinner, Film Premiere, authors, supper theatre – and lots more.

To see the program 


 

MORE Coming Events :

Visit the Clarens News website to find out about all the other events coming to Clarens.


Classifieds

Looking for a house to rent, a job, or wanting to sell something? You might find it in our Classifieds section.

Should you wish to place an advertisement in this section please email: editor@clarensnews.com
(Classified advertisements are free.)


 

Note from the editor

The best laid plans of mice and men.  We promised you an Adventure page on the website last week…..sorry.  We are still struggling with the web design aspect of the news.  (Probably because the editor would much rather be doing something else!)

ADVENTURES.  We have all been working hard at collecting information on all the adventures on offer in Clarens. Our aim is to build a website which reflects Clarens and everything it has to offer, but,  we need your help to achieve this. Please let us know what adventures you have to offer to our Clarens visitors:  email: editor@clarensnews.com

 

 

The Twitcher – 20th September 2013

All smiles this week.  The sun shines, spring is sprung, the grass is riz.  In short, all we need is a serious rainy season to make the year complete.  Starting tomorrow.

Little to report on the ornithological front, other than some reproductive antics from our resident Hadedas, Darby and Joan.  In a time-honoured tradition, Darby appears to feel a profound urge, jump on top of Joan and balance there for as long as it takes.  Joan meanwhile, keeps extracting worms from our greening lawn and appears oblivious to the invasion of her, um, space.  Of more immediate interest are matters bovine: Some of our readers may have noticed an invasion of apparently quite hungry cattle in and on our CBD.

In and of itself, this phenomenon is quite romantic from a tourist perspective and is even reminiscent of rural landscapes by Gainborough and his chums.  Certainly good for the odd picture postcard.  Or is it?Yesterday, your faithful scribe had to take desperately evasive action to avoid a collision with a young heifer on the Golden Gate Road outside the village and today left long skid marks up Main Street, narrowly missing a cow with some serious attitude.  On further inspection, I saw another milk-provider munching the pot plants outside a local carpet shop and heard the clattering of not-so-tiny hooves passing Highland Coffee’s shady surrounds.  And at the Golf Estate, the security guards were manically chasing another small herd off the entrance garden (?), where the beasts were cropping the emerging greenery.

This would be tremendously fulfilling if we were, say, Animal Action, but in fact we are not.  We don’t even own any of these flatulent creatures, which incidentally look splendid on the farms around us.  Just not in our gardens, roads, shops (unless they carry Visa cards) and parks.  Perhaps the SAP should take some action, given official regulations about livestock on roads, but of course they won’t.  So what now?

Well, we could wait for a fatal collision on the byways around us, the trampling of innocent tourists on the square or real damage to retail and domestic properties.  Or we could do what the locals have always done: Break out the chain-saws and have the biggest braai in the history of the square.  No doubt this would get the attention of our masters but the problem is that we would get charged for all sorts of misdemeanours, not including heartburn.  Perhaps it’s just me, but is there something wrong with this picture?

The Twitcher

20 September 2013: Heritage Day

Clarens Clouds and Rain

 Clouds and Rain

The photograph above  features in the 2014 calendar produced by and sold in aid of Cluny Animal Trust.
The cloud in the photograph is not a typical cloud type of the Free State; however, it is not uncommon in these highlands of the Eastern Free State.  Its formation, which is known as lenticular, shaped like a lens, is caused by the movement of the wind and is almost always associated with a mountainous region.  Read more   
Calendars can be purchased at Clementines Restaurant and the Old Stone Bottle Store, in Clarens.  Alternatively they can be ordered from Katherine on 0827886287, Jan on 0782462553, Helen on 0582230918 or by email to jansander22@gmail.com .  …….More on the Cluny Animal Trust


 

Heritage Day – 24th September 2013

24th September is Heritage day – also known as National Braai Day.  Originally celebrated as Shaka Day, it was decided that this day would not just commemorate King Shaka who was instrumental in uniting Zulu clans into a cohesive nation, but to celebrate  the rich cultural heritage and the diversity of  all those people who make up our rainbow nation.  Nelson Mandela:  “When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we know that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.”

BUT we live in Clarens, and being a holiday destination, just about everyone in Clarens will be too busy seeing to the needs of guests to worry about Heritage Day. It was therefore decided that we would not only celebrate Heritage Day, but in the true tradition of  this day, we would celebrate the whole Clarens Community by having a Community Braai-off on Sunday 29th September.  Everyone is invited to have some fun, dress up for the occasion, sample some local cooking, and at the same time help those in need in our local community.

To find out how YOU can get involved……Read more


 

Community braai: 29th September, 2013


Maloti Makiti

Fouriesburg is celebrating in style this weekend. The program includes a Farmers Market, Cheese and wine, Soccer, Musical concerts, Pet parade, Potjiekos, Tavern Tours, kids entertainment, and even a Gospel show. For the more athletically inclined there is also theMaloti Modder challenge (the ultimate cross-country challenge) the Maloti Makiti Mile. And if that isn’t enough – a soccer tournament.
To see the full program…..read more


 

Plant of the week: Cussonia paniculata

 

Cussonia 1Damien Coulson:

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at woody species whose unique growth form and bark make it a visually striking plant, thus enabling it to be easily recognisable all-year round.
Cussonia paniculata or the Mountain Cabbage Tree (commonly known as Suidelike Bergkiepersol in Afrikaans, or Motšhethše in Sisotho), is a medium sized tree of up to 8 meters. Cussonia is derived from the name of a French professor – Pierre Cusson (1727 – 1783), who studied botany at Montpellier, France. paniculata refers to the form of the branched flower head. Cussonia occurs singly in most instances, or in widely scattered colonies found at up to 2000 m A.S.L. It is found at higher altitudes on warm north and west facing slopes in Kloofs and at lower altitudes in Low-Altitude Grassland among Rocks.

Read more


 

A visit to the Thusanang Care Group

 

Genevieve Blignaut

Driving through Kgubetswana I couldn’t help but smile from my heart. The kindliness experienced in the beautifully kept township of our town made me feel truly grateful to be a part of our community.
One of the treasures that must be explored and supported is the Thusanang Care Group. This Non-Profit organization was established in 2004 running various programs free of charge to the Kgubetswana community.
Health and welfare is the main focus of Thusanang rendering services such as Home Based Care, HIV/ Aids awareness and Orphaned and Vulnerable children programs.      Read more


 

The Twitcher

All smiles this week.  The sun shines, spring is sprung, the grass is riz.  In short, all we need is a serious rainy season to make the year complete.  Starting tomorrow.

Little to report on the ornithological front, other than some reproductive antics from our resident Hadedas, Darby and Joan.  In a time-honoured tradition, Darby appears to feel a profound urge, jump on top of Joan and balance there for as long as it takes.  Joan meanwhile, keeps extracting worms from our greening lawn and appears oblivious to the invasion of her, um, space.  Of more immediate interest are matters bovine: Some of our readers may have noticed an invasion of apparently quite hungry cattle in and on our CBD.

In and of itself, this phenomenon is quite romantic from a tourist perspective and is even reminiscent of rural landscapes by Gainborough and his chums.  Certainly good for the odd picture postcard.  Or is it?  Read more


 

This weekend – Weather

It looks as though  there’s a good chance we may see some of the cumulonimbus clouds mentioned in Mayr Walker’s article this week:  Clouds and Rain


 

This weekend – Live Music


Friday: 20th September 2013
Artichoke: 18h00: Deon the Okie from Soutie
Street Cafe: 20h30:  Denzl & Hensie
Friends: 20h30:  Van Smith

Saturday: 21 September 2013
Artichoke: 13h00: Jana & Mia
Street Cafe: 20h30: Denzl & Hensie
Grouse & Claret:  20h30:  Slipstream
Friends: 20h30: Van Smith

Sunday 22nd September 2013
Grouse & Claret: 13h00 Jana & Mia


 

This weekend – Rugby fixtures

South African Currie Cup September 2013

20

Western Province

v

Griquas

Newlands, Cape Town

19:10

21

Sharks

v

Free State Cheetahs

Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban

15:00

21

Golden Lions

v

Blue Bulls

Ellis Park, Johannesburg

17:05


Coming Events

The planned program for the ClassicClarens Festival 2013. has been updated. ….Read more

The Bookfest program has not been published yet, but it looks as though this going to be tn event to remember. The sneak preview of the Winnie Mandela film is quite a coup, and it seems that Debra has also managed to entice some very well-known authors to the event.

We will keep you posted. (I can’t wait!)

To see what else is happening……visit the  Events page on our website


Note from the editor

The best laid plans of mice and men.  We promised you an Adventure page on the website last week…..sorry.  We are still struggling with the web design aspect of the news.  (Probably because the editor would much rather be doing something else!)

ADVENTURES.  We have all been working hard at collecting information on all the adventures on offer in Clarens. Our aim is to build a website which reflects Clarens and everything it has to offer, but,  we need your help to achieve this. Please let us know what adventures you have to offer to our Clarens visitors:  email: editor@clarensnews.com

Clarens News: 13 September 2013

clucal45

The photograph above  features in the 2014 calendar produced by and sold in aid of Cluny Animal Trust.

The photograph was taken from the access road to Sunnyside Guest Farm, between Clarens and Golden Gate, looking back towards the eastern flank of Mount Horeb,  and served as theinspiration for photographer Mary Walker’s article: Valley of Art.  Read more

Calendars can be purchased at The Gallery, Clementines Restaurant and the Old Stone Bottle Store, in Clarens.  Alternatively they can be ordered from Katherine on 0827886287, Jan on 0782462553, Helen on 0582230918 or by email to jansander22@gmail.com .  …

 

 Golden Gate National Highlands Park

50th birthday

There is to be a birthday celebration at the Meriting picnic site on Friday, 13th September 2013,starting at 10.00am.
For further information please contact:  Gloria Ngobeni on 058 255 0933

For those of you who missed last week’s Clarens News, take a look at Mary Walker’s article on the Golden Gate Highland National Park – in honour of the 50th anniversary.

THE FIRE SEASON RAGES ON

Last week saw several potentially dangerous fires in the surrounding area – and even one on the Golf Estate. Thank goodness for the Working on Fire team, who respond so quickly and efficiently to keep us safe and ensure minimal loss. Everyone however has their part to play:

Ensure that you have fire suppression equipment available for our staff (water hoses, fire beaters, knapsacks, etc.)

Ensure that your staff are aware that they may not light fires in the open.

Ensure that your guests are aware that there is a ban on all open fires.

Ensure that everyone knows who to contact in case of fire.

Why not print out Important Numbers from the Clarens News website and stick them up on your fridge door – or where everyone can see them.


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)
The SPF does a huge amount of work, keeping our town crime-free. The village is divided into blocks – each with a SAM (Sector Area Manager.)  Residents are more than welcome to contact their SAM to report potential suspicious behavior whereupon the SAM will follow it up with the SAPS.
To see the list of SAMs on duty this month  …

Department of Agricuture: Project on Vegetable Growing

Letter from Tsepiso Mosia

Dear Clarens/Kgubetswana Community

It is a pleasure to inform you that the Senior Agriculture Officials and Hlasela TV Crew are coming to our village tomorrow to inspect and film the households,schools,churches,creches,clinic and projects that have registered and prepared their gardens for planting.

Remember the aim of the project is to teach the people to grow and eat their own vegetables FRESH FROM THE GARDEN  and we will have healthy community.

The good news is that the Clarens Primary School learners have been provided with vegetables seeds packets on 28 August 2013.We ask their parents to help them to prepare the soil so that they can plant the seeds.It is so nice to see that there are people who have vegetables gardens like Mr Daan who lives at 302 Market Street South.

I would like to thank the Clarens Fire Association and WoF Team for the great job that they are doing in making fire breaks and responding quickly to veld fires that occur in our entire valley.This saves our Department and farmers millions of rands by saving Ha from burning.Keep up the good work.Lastly i would like to congradulate Golden Gate National Park on their coming Birthday.

Tsepiso MosiaDepartment of Agriculture & Rural Development
Ph: 710791332E-  email:mosiatsepiso@yahoo.com

 

Plant of the week: Rhamnus prinoides

Damien Coulson:
Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a shrubby “bling” species that is easily distinguishable from the majority of the surrounding grassland vegetation.

Rhamnus prinoides or Dogwood (commonly known as Blinkblaar in Afrikaans, or mofifi in Sisotho), is a scrambling shrub of up to 2-6 m in height. Prinoides is derived from the Latin for like the holm-oak (it is possible that both plants share similarities in bark morphology). R. prinoides is generally found growing on forest margins, stream banks and among scrub at altitudes of up to 2150 m A.S.L. This shrub is both widespread, growing from the Western Cape – Ethiopia, and is relatively abundant.  Read more

Golf Club News

The Freshly Pickled Country Gals (a group of 14 fun-loving, adventurous women from different golf clubs in Nottingham Road and other parts of the Natal Midlands were in Clarens this week to improve their golfing skills, and more importantly,  to have some fun. The group certainly brightened up the town with their fun T-shirts, and bright green caps. For most of the group this was their first trip to Clarens, but not their last.  The general consensus was that “ …everybody needs to know what a stunning little town Clarens is “  Apart from playing golf, these Freshly Pickled Country Gals (Sue Till, Paula Beddow, Colleen Anderson, Sandi Bryan, Wendy Slabbert, Alison Hind, Sarah Ellis, Jane Polkinghorne, Linda Smith, Zette Hardie, Missy Hughes, Rosie Symons, Erica Millican, Jane Mullins) did loads of shopping, lunched at the Clarens Brewery, and……generally just had loads of fun. We look forward to welcoming them back to Clarens.

(Information posted to the Golf Estate newsletter by Francois Schoeman)
Phone: 058 256 1385

 

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

Being back in Clarens is a serious reality check.  For starters, life moves so quickly here that it is almost impossible to distinguish one day from another.  I accept that Saturdays stand out by virtue of the thousands of tourists who gorge themselves at our tables, buy our quaint offerings and drink the Brewery dry, but apart from that, one day sort of blends into another.

I was reminded of this truism by my reading of George Bernard Shaw, the distinguished twentieth-century Irish dramatist and occasional economist.  He once remarked that ‘the secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not’.   Well.  Looking about me, I have to say that for a village at the centre of universe, there are a lot of quite depressed-looking people about.  No criticism of course; I have it on good authority that my own lips point southwards more often than seems reasonable.  But the question that arises is why we are not permanently wreathed in smiles?

Read more

 

This weekend – Weather

acuweather 13th September


 

This weekend – Live Music


Friday 13 September:

Grouse and Claret   The Slashdogs and Violet Somedays 20h30

Friends     Swetty Betty 20h00


 

Coming Events

Everyone is already hard at work preparing for the Classic Clarens Festival 2013.
This is of course still “work in progress” but we will keep you posted as events unfold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note from the editor

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Genevieve Blignaut to the Clarens News team. With Genevieve’s many talents we envisage that Clarens News will just keep on growing, and get better and better.

Our website is also taking shape, and from Monday next week the website will have an additional  new page:  ADVENTURES.  We have all been working hard at collecting information on all the adventures on offer in Clarens, and will keep on up-dating this page as we discover even more adventures.  Our aim is to build a website which reflects Clarens and everything it has to offer, but,  we need your help to achieve this. Please let us know if we’ve left anything out – or if you have any suggestions as to how we can make this page even better.   email: editor@clarensnews.com

The Twitcher 12th September 2013

Being back in Clarens is a serious reality check.  For starters, life moves so quickly here that it is almost impossible to distinguish one day from another.  I accept that Saturdays stand out by virtue of the thousands of tourists who gorge themselves at our tables, buy our quaint offerings and drink the Brewery dry, but apart from that, one day sort of blends into another.

I was reminded of this truism by my reading of George Bernard Shaw, the distinguished twentieth-century Irish dramatist and occasional economist.  He once remarked that ‘the secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not’.   Well.  Looking about me, I have to say that for a village at the centre of universe, there are a lot of quite depressed-looking people about.  No criticism of course; I have it on good authority that my own lips point southwards more often than seems reasonable.  But the question that arises is why we are not permanently wreathed in smiles?

The birds all look quite happy, indeed they are mating like rabbits as we speak.  Even Bigfoot, or Kaalvoet as he is locally known, appears content with his solitary ramblings in the Clarens mountains; if you doubt this, have another look at the Creature Wall in the Clarens Brewery and observe his bemused grin.  Okay, Clarenites might not have Biblical knowledge of one another quite as often as our feathered friends (or as they might like), and might not have the balls and bearing of Kaalvoet, but is it really necessary to go about looking as though we are in the grip of a locust-plague?

The short answer is no.  We are lucky enough to enjoy our leisure time in a very special spot, assuming you can afford the golf fees, and even the weather is comparatively benign.  If you doubt this, turn on your radio of a morning, lie back and peel an apple while listening to traffic reports of trucks pirouetting on the N3 and bumper-to-bumper cars from Brakpan to Pretoria.  Although our architecture will win few prizes, at least you can see the bloody houses without having to stand on a two-metre ladder.  And so on.  The point is that there is no good reason to be miserable, unless you forgot about Ubuntu Monday or missed your tee-off time at the Golf Club.

Perhaps the problem is the social strait-jacket we all seem to wear.  Considering the size of our village, I am constantly stunned to meet complete strangers who have apparently lived here for 20 years.  I vividly remember the late-lamented Ken Stewart of Bibliophile responding to my question about what had brought he and Debra to Clarens: ‘It is’ he said ‘a refugee centre for eccentrics’.  Well, to appropriate George Bernard Shaw yet again, ‘We want a few mad people now.  See where the sane ones have landed us!’  Put differently, what we need is a friendly smile from everyone, a wave and even – dare I say it – an exchange of greetings; perhaps even a booking with someone you don’t really know at one of our many great restaurants in Clarens next week.

I have it on good authority that this is not a dress-rehearsal.  We are on a finite leash and owe it to ourselves and those we share this space with to enjoy every waking moment.  So, go on and invite someone you suspect might be half-way human to dinner, or even a mountain hike, if they don’t look too much like an axe-killer.  Whatever else you do, smile at someone new today, and hope that you are not locked up for impropriety.

The Twitcher: 5 September 2013

Oh, the joys of travel: A week free of twitching and wrestling with an intransigent keyboard, a change of altitude and diet, and new faces untaxed by the stresses of life in Clarens.  Miles of open highway, strangely unblemished by potholes; thousands upon thousands of Rands-worth of petrol stops; villages after towns, mostly unremarkable but some delightful and quite instructive in terms of competitive tourism.

But the greatest delight, believe it or not, is returning to this quaint settlement on the Maloti Route.  Yes, it’s true.  The grass is definitely greener in Cape Town, but the cars were floating in floodwater, so perhaps that’s a self-solving equation.  Hermanus was gorgeous and testimony to effective Provincial administration and the value of foreign investment.  Plettenburg Bay was, well, short of water, but the floods were close behind me and closing fast.  Heading north, the Karoo was simply grand once Prince Alfred’s challenging Pass was conquered, as was Graaf Reinet, fourth-oldest of South Africa’s towns and looking every inch (millimetre?) the stylish centre of early exploration.  A voyage of discovery, one way or another, and an expanded sense of what the country has to offer.

Which makes homecoming immensely pleasurable.  To see Clarens in the context of at least parts of the Western and Eastern Cape is both edifying and stimulating: We have a particular charm that is somewhat unique and benefits from its proximity to Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and the Natal Midlands – notwithstanding the impediment of the dysfunctional Oliviershoek Pass (does anyone else remember the legal requirement for a functional alternative route to toll-roads?).  We also have an awful lot to offer.  A new Clarens website, now under construction, is inundated with things to do, see, eat and sleep in, to the extent that it keeps being delayed by fresh information.

So, if you are feeling stale or even faintly jaded, pack a bag, top up your petrol card and head on out (but stay on the highways).  I can’t guarantee that you won’t fall in love with another little town somewhere, but the odds are that you will return home feeling very grateful for this little refuge from the twenty-first century.

Finally, turning to matters ornithological, as required by my contract with this august publication, I observed quite a few birds along the way.  I have to tell you, regrettably, that the ubiquitous Indian Mynah has settled in the Western Cape and all points in between, bringing a flavour of New Delhi and the Punjab to our pristine shores.   Raptors were in short supply, perhaps hiding in the low cloud base along the way, but generally speaking, I had the sense that aliens were overwhelming the indigenous birds we may remember from Roberts guide to our home-grown species.  Perhaps a metaphor for our two-legged population, now around 96 million and apparently rising by half-a-million a day, judging by the shops I passed along the way.  Oh, must go, there are some Canadian Snow Geese to be fed and an Ethiopian Snipe has just landed………………

The Twitcher

September 5th, 2013: Spring is in the Air

Golden gate cluny - Mary Walker

Spring is in the Air

This photograph was taken by Mary Walker from the Glen Reenen side of Golden Gate and features as the cover picture of the 2014 calendar produced by and sold in aid of Cluny Animal Trust.  Calendars can be purchased at The Gallery, Clemintines Restaurant and the Old Stone Bottle Store, in Clarens.  Alternatively they can be ordered from Katherine on 0827886287, Jan on 0782462553, Helen on 0582230918 or by email to jansander22@gmail.com .

The Golden Gate National park celebrates its 50th anniversary as a National Park on 13th September. It’s history does however go back much, much further. Our photographer Mary Walker, inspired by the beauty of the area, has written a fascinating article on how the Golden Gate landscape was formed.  Click here

Spring Art Festival

Readers will remember the call by the Clarens News to visit their local galleries and celebrate the first of many Spring Art Fairs to come.  This year’s inaugural Fair is of course still on and runs through Sunday 8 September.  Posters are up everywhere and brochures are available by the hundred, so there is no good reason for locals (and visitors) not to invest their children’s inheritance in fine artwork.  A reference map is also available to guide buyers and art aficionados around the town’s Art Route.

Johan Smith

Ten members of the Clarens Galleries Association are participating in this first Spring Art Fair and have opened their galleries to admiring crowds.  Johan Smith’s gallery (No.9 on the Art Route) features his own oil paintings, as well as hand-made glass by David Reade and paintings by guest-artist Este Mostert, who will be painting in the gallery for the duration of the Fair.

The Enslin Vorster Gallery (No.2 on the Art Route) will feature an exhibition of Enslin’s miniature paintings and sketches; Merle Vorster will exhibit smoke-fired ceramics and the guest artist in residence will be Raymond Andrews.

Peter Bonney 1

Peter Bonney (No.10 on the Art Route) presents an exhibition of recent paintings and guest artist Sarah Northcote will be working in the gallery, together with flamework artistPeter Lampshed, who will demonstrate his flamework sculpture.

The Helen Claassen Gallery (No.8 on the Art Route) exhibits her acrylic work and Helen will be available to share ideas and do demonstrations.

The Blou Donki Gallery (No.5 on the Art Route) will exhibit the work of many well-known artists, and paintings, photography, glass and bronze works will be on show; Anton Gericke will be the guest artist in residence.

rhino web (2)

Peter Badcock-Walters is exhibiting nearly 100 illustrations from the Illustrated Bosman, as well as his southern Africa militaria drawings (Faces of War and Images of War) and wild life paintings, in the Sheepshed Gallery (No.7 on the Art Route); he will be available to talk about his work over a glass of sherry.

 

ALL EARS IMG_4579

 

Tina de Beer (No.14 on the Art Route) is presenting an exhibition entitled ‘Visions and Reality’ in her Gallery, where visitors will be welcome to watch Tina paint and discuss her work in pen and ink and acrylics.

 

Artist Loezytha will present ‘Pege’s Art’ (No.12 on the Art Route) and give demonstrations over the period of the Fair; she will do portraits live in her studio from photographs and the theme of exhibition will be ‘Hope’.

Carla van den Berg will be hosted at The Gallery (No.13 on the Art Route) and she will exhibit her popular and whimsical work in pen and ink and acrylics.

The Clarens Art Guild will be exhibiting group work in the Protea Hotel (No.6 on the Art Route) and paintings by 16 local artists will be on display, in various media and styles, catering for a wide range of tastes.

Apart from this, several more artists and galleries in Clarens will support the Art Fair with exhibitions, demonstrations and talks.  Amongst these are Richard Rennie (No.15 on the Art Route), Simon Addy and Lyn Hoyle (No.1 on the Art Route), Artefunto (No.4 on the Art Route), Robert Badenhorst (No.11 on the Art Route) and the Wine & Art Gallery.  So whether you are an admirer of the creative process, an aspirant art buyer or simply someone in need of a glass of wine and conversation, Clarens is the place for you this week.

In fact, it’s the place for you, every week!


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   Wednesday 11 September 2013 at 16:30

Golden Gate National Highlands Park

50th birthday

There is to be a birthday celebration at the Meriting picnic site on Friday, 13th September, 2013.
Starting at 10.00am.
For further information please contact:  Gloria Ngobeni on 058 255 0933


 

 Arbor Week in Clarens

Arbor Week was celebrated in true Clarens style on Wednesday, 4th September, 2013.  Children from Clarens Primary, Clarens Combine, and Dihlabeng Christian School, the Working on Fire team, the Clarens Village Conservancy rangers, and Clarens municipal workers as well as your news hound from Clarens News (and even a few of the local cows) amongst many others, all turned up to celebrate and plant 37 liquidambers on the verges of the Dihlabeng entrance into Clarens. These trees will certainly brighten up that entrance into Clarens in the years to come. (Only hope I live long enough to see it.)  And isn’t planting for a better, brighter future what Arbor week is all about? Read more

Clarens Fire Association – Working on Fire

THIS IS FIRE SEASON

and everyone needs to be on the alert and well prepared.

  • Ensure that you have fire suppression equipment available for our staff (water hoses, fire beaters, knapsacks, etc.)
  • Ensure that your staff are aware that they may not light fires in the open.
  • Ensure that your guests are aware that there is a ban on all open fires.
  • Ensure that everyone knows who to contact in case of fire.

Why not print out Important Numbers from the Clarens News website and stick them up on your fridge door – or where everyone can see them.


 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)
The SPF does a huge amount of work, keeping our town crime-free. The village is divided into blocks – each with a SAM (Sector Area Manager.)  Residents are more than welcome to contact their SAM to report potential suspicious behavior whereupon the SAM will follow it up with the SAPS.   Click here to find out more about the SPF

Department of Agricuture: Project on Vegetable growing

Letter from Tsepiso Mosia

I would to thank everyone who participated in our meetings on 28 August 2013.It was such a success even our guest Thabo Olivier was impressed by the community,different stakeholders and Clarens Primary School learners and teachers.

Please encourage your servants to come and register and grow their own vegetables.This project is for the entire Clarens community rich or poor, black or white.

Lets work together as a community and destroy this poverty.Remember to prepare your soil now and keep it suitable for planting.Seedlings and seeds will be provided at end of September – beginning of  October 2013.

Kind Regards,
Tsepiso Mosia
Department Of Agriculture & Rural Development FS
Phone:  0710791332   E-mail:mosiatsepiso@yahoo.com


 Plant of the week: Chrysanthemoides monilifera

DamienDamienDamien1-100x100

Damien Coulson

 

 

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a shrubby species that many of you who have ventured out onto our trails will no doubt have noticed, and whose importance will soon become apparent.

Chrysanthemoides monolifera subs. canescens 
or the Bush-Tick Berry (commonly known as Bietou or Boetabessie in Afrikaans, or ntlou-ea-lekhoaba in Sisotho), is a succulent bushy shrub of up to 2 m in hight. Monilifera is derived from the Latin for necklace (it refers to the arrangement of the fruits on the plant). The word canescent is the Latin for grey. Read more

 

 

 

Golf Club News

(Information posted to the Golf Estate newsletter by Francois Schoeman)

Phone: 058 256 1385

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 Clarens Garden Club News

The Clarens Garden Club had a chance to see where some of those gorgeous veggies on offer at the Clarens Farmers Market every saturday are grown. On the 28th August Jessie van der Berg hosted the garden club at Davelsrust Farm. A most interesting morning where Jessie showed members around the garden, explained some of the permaculture principles behind the garden’s layout and talked about how everyone on the farm strives to live a sustainable lifestyle. We all finished off sipping tea and tucking into the scrumptious eats  (all made on the farm using farm produce) on the sandstone house verandah. A very enjoyable – and inspiring – morning…  Click here to find out more about Clarens Garden Club

 

 

 The Twitcher

Oh, the joys of travel: A week free of twitching and wrestling with an intransigent keyboard, a change of altitude and diet, and new faces untaxed by the stresses of life in Clarens.  Miles of open highway, strangely unblemished by potholes; thousands upon thousands of Rands-worth of petrol stops; villages after towns, mostly unremarkable but some delightful and quite instructive in terms of competitive tourism.

But the greatest delight, believe it or not, is returning to this quaint settlement on the Maloti Route.  Yes, it’s true.  The grass is definitely greener in Cape Town, but the cars were floating in floodwater, so perhaps that’s a self-solving equation.  Hermanus was gorgeous and testimony to effective Provincial administration and the value of foreign investment.  Plettenburg Bay was, well, short of water, but the floods were close behind me and closing fast.  Heading north, the Karoo was simply grand once Prince Alfred’s challenging Pass was conquered, as was Graaf Reinet, fourth-oldest of South Africa’s towns and looking every inch (millimetre?) the stylish centre of early exploration.  A voyage of discovery, one way or another, and an expanded sense of what the country has to offer.  Read more

 

This weekend

 

 


LIVE MUSIC

Denzel and Hensie  – provide the musical entertainment in Clarens this weekend. Playing at the following venues:

Grouse & Claret:  Friday 6th September. 8.00 pm onwards

Street Cafe:  Saturday  7th September 12.00 – 3.00pm

Artichoke:  Saturday  7th September  (after the rugby)

Rugby Fixtures: 7 September 2013

09:35 New Zealand vs Argentina Waikato Stadium, Hamilton The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
12:05 Australia vs South Africa Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
15:00 GWK Griquas vs MTN Golden Lions GWK Park, Kimberley Absa Currie Cup Premier Division
17:05 Vodacom Blue Bulls vs Toyota Free State Cheetahs Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria Absa Currie Cup Premier Division
19:10 DHL Western Province vs The Sharks DHL Newlands, Cape Town Absa Currie Cup Premier Division

Coming Events

Always something happening in Clarens.  It’s sometimes difficult to keep track…

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

The new Clarens News website is coming along very nicely and should soon reflect our dynamic town. And being that Clarens is such a dynamiic town, the website will keep on growing and changing. We do however welcome all comments and suggestions. email us: editor@clarensnews.com