Monthly Archives: December 2013

Sagittarius

Sagitarius 4.jpg

Sagitarius 1

 

Nestled in the middle of our Milky Way lies the ‘Archer’, poised in the Sagittarius Constellation. The constellation is 27 000 light-years away from Earth, and therefore most of the constellation’s stars are easily concealed in the steam of starry lights. This is due to cosmic dust. The bow (with its teapot shape) of the Archer however, is fairly easy to see.

 

Sagitarius 2

About Sagittarius

Many a centaur in Greek Mythology was violent, untrustworthy and drank too much. The centaur Chiron however, was different. The Sun-god, Apollo and Goddess of the Moon and Wild Animals, Diana, thought it good to educate Chiron with kindness, wisdom and gentleness.

Kings from far and wide found Chiron’s skills invaluable, and so the kind and wise centaur became the teacher and friend of many many princes. Among the princes blessed to receive wisodm and guidance from such a great centaur, were Hercules and Aesculapius. The myth continues that Hercules had to travel very far and upon arrival at a friends house, requested a bottle of wine to quench his thirst. The bottle at hand though, belonged jointly to all the centaurs. As the scent of the wine drifted through the woods the centaurs became outraged and hurried to Hercules in a fury – little did they know that many would meet their end as the great Hercules slew all that lifted their hands to him and his friend.  Those that survived were exiled from the forest at Hercules’ demand, never to return again.

 

Sagitarius 3

The great Chiron was observing all from a distance and sadly lost his life.  Through all the chaos Hercules could not recognize his dear and revered friend and it was one of his poisoned arrows that brought the centaur down.  Zeus empathized with his son’s Hercules’ loss of a close friend and thought it good to give the centaur a resting place in the starry skies, easing the sadness of his son’s heart.

According to another myth, the Archer is thought to be pointing the arrow straight at Scorpius’ heart, in case he might try to do harm to another. Furthermore there are others that believe the Sumerians found the constellation and named it ‘Nergal’ – the supreme god of war.

 

How to find Sagittarius

The very bright constellation Sagittarius is the biggest constellation in the Southern Hemipshere and the 15th largest constellation overall, making it esily visible with the naked eye.

Sagittarius is the ninth sign of the zodiac, situated between Scorpius (the Scorpion) and Capricornus (the Sea Goat). The constellation is located in the fourth quadrant of the southern hemisphere (SQ4), and can one can observe it at latitudes between +55° and -90°.  Another attribute that distinguishes the constellation is it’s peculiar teapot shape. The star that represents the top of the bow of The Archer, is at the top of the teapot, with the bottom of the bow at the bottom right of the teapot. The star Kaus Media represents the middle of the bow. Finally, the three stars are a combination of Arabic and Latin meaning northern, middle and southern.  The steam above the spout includes two nebulae that are giving birth to new star clusters: M8 (the Lagoon Nebula) and M20 (the Trifid Nebula).

Sagitarius 5.jpg.gif

The Lagoon Nebula is a large interstellar cloud classified as an emission nebula sits approximately 4,100 light-years away. Discovered by the French Astronomer Guillaume Le Gentil in 1747, Messier 8 is one of only two nebulae that are star forming regions and can be seen by naked eye.

 

Sagittrius 6

The M20 also known as ‘The Trifid Nebula’, is a bright and colourful constellation that is the combination of an emission nebula (the lower part), a reflection nebula (the upper part) and an open cluster.

The Lagoon Nebula also includes the bright radio source called “Sagittarius A”, pronounced ‘Sagittarius A-star. What makes this a significant are is the fact that scientists believe that it houses a black hole.

 

Sagitarius 7
Pistol Star and nebula

 

Genevieve Article by Genevieve Blignaut

Clarens News: December 2013

20 December 2013: Season’s Greetings

rainbow

 

Table of Contents:

  • We wish you a Merry Christmas;
  • Thank you;
  • Clarens Skies –  Sagittarius;
  • New Rangers in town?;
  • Letter from Clarens Ratepayers Association;
  • Paballo’s Nursing Care @ Clarens;
  • Plant of the week: Rosa rubiginosa;
  • Clarens Village Conservancy Christmas Trees;
  • Golf News: Caddie Championships;
  • Golf News: Festive Season operating hours;
  • Festive Season – Weather;
  • Festive Season – Wining and Dining;
  • Festive Season – Music;
  • Church Services;
  • New Year’s Eve;
  • Other Events;
  • Note from the editor

 


 

We wish you a Merry Christmas

May you find your pot of gold under the Christmas tree.


 

Thank you

Kobus Rust phoned in yesterday to say what awesome people we have in Clarens. He arrived in Clarens yesterday morning, in his convertible, and since the morning was bright, hot and sunny, he decided to leave the top down whilst he went off to explore our town.  Then – once he was a fair distance from his car the heavens opened, and since he knew he would never make it back in time to his car, he accepted that his car would soon be turned into a water-bucket, and that its electronics would probably be severely damaged. Imagine his relief and surprise, when on returning to his car he found that some thoughtful Clarenite had covered the car completely in plastic.  Kobus has not been able to establish who this thoughtful person is, and has asked Clarens News to pass on his thanks.  In fact – he is so struck with Clarens that he has decided to buy property here.  (Now isn’t that a nice story.)


Clarens Skies –  Sagittarius


Genevieve Blignaut

Nestled in the middle of our Milky Way lies the ‘Archer’, poised in the Sagittarius Constellation. The constellation is 27 000 light-years away from Earth, and therefore most of the constellation’s stars are easily concealed in the steam of starry lights. This is due to cosmic dust. The bow (with its teapot shape) of the Archer however, is fairly easy to see.

About Sagittarius

Many a centaur in Greek Mythology was violent, untrustworthy and drank too much. The centaur Chiron however, was different. The Sun-god, Apollo and Goddess of the Moon and Wild Animals, Diana, thought it good to educate Chiron with kindness, wisdom and gentleness.

Read more

 

 

 


 

New Rangers in town?

No.  They’re just the same fabulous four Clarens Village Conservancy rangers dressed in their new uniforms. And wow – don’t they look great.  Look out for them as they do their rounds around town and in the Clarens Village Conservancy. The rangers provide a valuable service keeping our town crisp and clean, maintaining the trails as well as the environmental integrity of the Nature Reserve, providing environmental education and encouragement for recycling in our schools and always willing to help  out with numerous other projects whenever extra hands are needed. Show your support by becoming a member of the Clarens Village Conservancy (and if you already are a member, be sure to renew your membership.)
Click here for your membership form.   (See the letter below from the Ratepayers Association for a breakdown on how the membership money is spent.)


Letter from Clarens Ratepayers Association

Firstly, season’s greetings to all and if you are travelling over the holidays, drive carefully.

The Numbering of Clarens’ Properties in line with the South African Protocol is now complete, i.e., approved by Province and is being handed over to the Municipality for inclusion in their billing system; so you should see your new house number next year on your Municipal Account.  Thanks Ralph and Rodney for your had work on this.

It is time to call on you for your support by either renewing your membership or, if you are not already a member, joining these three associations.  The cost of subscriptions is as follows:

  • Village R300.00 per annum for each household, with a 50% reduction for pensioners
  • Housing Estates R120.00 per annum

As most of you are aware, the funds are shared as follows – 50% to the CVC, 25% to the CRA and 25% to the CVFA, with top-ups from the CRA to the CVC and/or the CVFA as required throughout the year.  We have to pay our Rangers and of course, we want to keep them, so please dig into your hard earned cash and join us.  Of course should you wish to donate more that the subscription amount, any sum will be most gratefully received.

Click here for Membership Form and Bank Details  (Please let me know if you require an invoice)

Many thanks.

Pat
Ph:  058 256 1123   email :raubenheimer@icon.co.za


Paballo’s Nursing Care @ Clarens

Paballo’s Nursing Care @ Clarens wish all their patients, friends and visitors to Clarens a Happy and Healthy Fetive Season and New Year.  Both our professional nurses will be in the village during this period for normal and emergency care.  The nurses provide a variety of services as well as relevant information and advice and are even prepared to do home visits.   For medical assistance visit the nurse’s rooms behind the pharmacy (opposite the Protea Hotel).  Sister Henriette Hohne (phone 082 327 1035) or Sister Antoinette Earle (083 236 1293) will attend to your needs. To see the list of services provided and their charges please click here. 

We really are very very lucky to have 24 hour professional nursing available in Clarens. A big thank you to Paballo’s Nursing, and our best wishes for the festive season and the New Year.  Let’s hope that the nurses are not kept too busy to enjoy this very special time.


 Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Plant of the week: Rosa rubiginosa

Damien Coulson
Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a non-indigenous species of the Rosaceae family that many of you may already be familiar with, but is of great interest nonetheless.
Rosa rubiginosa (known as the Eglantine Rose or Sweet Briar in English, Wilderoos in Afrikaans & mamarosa in sisotho), is a deciduous shrub of around 2-3 m high. The name eglantine is from Middle English eglentyn, from Old French aiglantin or from aiglent meaning ‘sweetbrier’. Sweet refers to the subtle fragrance of the leaves which are reminiscent of the scent of apples, while briar or brier refers to the plant being a thorny bush. R. rubigonosa may be found growing in dense groves in disturbed areas and near rivers or streams, and even on moist south facing slopes in the Eastern Free State. Widespread from the WC – Kwa-Zulu Natal. The leaves of R. rubigonosa are pinnate and vary between 50-90 mm in length with 5-9 oval leaflets with serrated margins and bearing small hairs. The stems are green-reddish brown, approx 1 cm in diameter and have numerous small hooked thorns. The flowers are 18-30 mm in diameter, with 5 petals – white in the centre grading to pink with multiple yellow to burned-orange stamens. The flowers are usually produced in clusters of 2-7. Flowering occurs from Oct – Dec. The fruit – called “hip” (hence the common rose-hip association) are globose to oblong, deep red and 10-20 mm in diameter.   Read more

 


Clarens Village Conservancy Christmas Trees

If you haven’t secured a Christmas tree yet, pop in at the Farmer’s Market at the Bibliophile on Saturday, and get one from The Clarens Village Conservancy.  Christmas trees (harvested from the Clarens Village Nature Reserve as part of their alien vegetation control program) will be on sale. A small tree (1 – 1,5m) will cost you only R50, medium (2 – 2,5m)  is R70, and a large one (3 – 3,5m) is R100.

Should you require any further information, please contact Damien on
076 833 8910.

 


Golf News: Caddie Championships

The Clarens Golf Estate caddies had a fun filled day of competitive Golf. The yearly Caddie Championships was held today on 19 December. Prizes were sponsored from by members of the golf club,  Clarens Golf Estate Home Owners, as well as The Posthouse, and Serendipity.  Four caddies: Piet Colin Mokoena, will be Mpho Motaung, Frank Nhlapo and Piet Miya  were selected to become part of the Clarens Golf Estate official Caddie team, and will represent the Clarens Golf Club at forthcoming events in Ladybrand and Bloemfontein. If you would like to contribute towards the costs of sending the caddies to these events please contact Ray Meyers:  082 4905617

 

 

 

 


Golf News: Festive Season operating hours

Course will be operating 7 days a week from 16 December until 6 January during School Holidays. On days before and after Public Holidays the operating hours have been adjusted to give staff well deserved time with Family and Friends.

December 24th: Course Open until 12h00 for tee off. Bar closes at 15h00.

December 25th: Course and Clubhouse closed. Christmas Day

December 26th: Course Opens at 10h00 until closing.

December 31st: Course Open until 12h00 for tee off. Bar closes at 15h00.

January 1st: Course Opens at 10h00 until closing. New years Day.


Festive Season – Weather




 

Festive Season – Wining and Dining

If you haven’t booked a special Christmas dinner yet you may still be able to get a table at the following venues, who are all offering special Christmas Delights.

Christmas Eve  24th December 2013
The Grouse and Claret: 058 256 1795
The Posthouse: 058 256 1534
The Phatt Chef: 058 356 1742
278 On Main: 082 5565208
Artichoke:  058 256 1283
Protea Hotel: 058 256 1212

Christmas Day: 25th December 2013
The Phatt Chef: 058 256 1534
Artichoke: 058 256 1283

New Year’s Eve
Artichoke: 058 256 1534
The Grouse and Claret: 058 256 1785  Music: Slipstream
278 On Main: 082 5565208
The Phatt Chef: 058 356 1742


Festive Season – Music

Friday 20 December 2013
The Grouse & Claret:  Slipstream

Saturday 21 December 2013
Friends: Slipstream
Artichoke: Gail (vocal & guitar)

24 December; 2013
278 On Main:  Gail

Friday 27 December 2013
Friends:  Slipstream
Artichoke:  Gail (guitar and vocals)

Saturday 28 December 2013
Friends:  Slipstream
The Grouse & Claret:  Denzl & Hensie
Artichoke:  Gail (guitar & vocals)

Monday 30 December 2013
Friends:  Van Smith

Tuesday 31 December 2013 
Friends:  Van Smith
The Grouse & Claret: Slipstream
Artichoke:  Denzl & Hensie.   Deon
278 On Main:  Gail


Church Services

Christmas Eve:  Carols by Candlelight
Garden at the Pastorie, Main Street, Clarens:  19h00
Bring your own chairs and warm clothing

Christmas Day
NG Kerk:  Main Street, Clarens:  08h00 and 10h00
Methodist Church:  134 Roos Street:  09h30  Christmas service
Anglican Church:  134 Roos Street:  06h00  Communion service

New Year’s Eve
NG Kerk:  Main Street, Clarens:  18h00


 

New Year’s Eve

Midnight in Paris:  Musical Tribute to Edith Piaf & Jacques Brel and music clips Les Miserables
Soloists:  JJ and Samantha Clark
Venue:  NG Kerk:  Churchhall:     19h30
Bring a picnic basket and your own refreshments.
Cost:  R60.   To book phone Lizette: 083 375 9900 or Karla: 082 302 5920


Other Events

Farmers Market: Be sure to visit the Farmer’s Market on Saturday. This is the place to buy fresh local produce, home baked goodies, and lots lots more. (Including Christmas trees.)Click here to find out what is showing at the Bethlehem Kine ClassifiedsDo you have a house you want to rent out?  Need a job? Want to buy a generator?  Remember to check out the classifeds section.  Advertising on the classifieds section of Clarens News is free.  All you need to do is to email  your advert to: editor@clarensnews.com


 

Note from the editor

This is our last edition of Clarens News this year, so we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas, and everything you wish for yourselves in 2014.

20th December 2013

Apologies!  Your faithful scribe had matters constructive to attend to last week, attempting to ensure at least the partial completion of Clarens’ newest commercial building, ‘On The Square’, and was otherwise occupied.

It is Advent Calendar time again, following the previous week’s introduction to this time-honoured tradition of communicating gay (?!) Christmas tidings in the 24 days leading up to the Big Day itself.  As will be obvious, these Advent greetings are entirely out of kilter and sequence as they arrive daily, and I write weekly at the behest of my dragon editor.  So, welcome to the 8th and 15th Days of Advent, respectively, on the 20th of December, the point of which will soon be revealed.

In the first window (8th Day of Advent), we are advised that the ancient Germanic calendar was divided into six periods of 60 days each, known as tides. Yuletide, then, refers to the two month ‘tide’ corresponding to modern December and January.  Within this time period falls the Twelve Days of Christmas and the winter solstice.  Like Samhain (Samhain or Halloween had its beginnings in an ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of the dead and was the biggest and most significant holiday of the Celtic year.  The Celts believed that at the time of Samhain, more so than any other time of the year, the ghosts of the dead were able to mingle with the living, because at Samhain the souls of those who had died during the year traveled into the otherworld), the ancients felt that the spiritual veil was thinner during Yuletide, and ghosts and spirits walked the land.  It was also considered an ideal time for divination.  And drinking.  So why am I telling you this?

First, it reminds us that Clarens is a very spiritual place and that there are a number of houses unquestionably inhabited by, well, things that go bump in the night.  Given the season – and Yuletide specifically – we can expect even more bumps than usual, so brace yourselves, boys and girls.  A renowned authority on the subject, ‘Jenny’ (real name Jenny), cautions that you must not betray any fear but rather go with the flow, so to speak.  In other words, if your lights start going on and off without rhyme or reason, offer up a glass of good red wine and drink it immediately.  Similarly, if you happen upon an unknown visitor in bed with your loved one, close the door discreetly and havetwo glasses of red wine.  Or call your lawyer.

Second, given the note about the ghosts of the dead mingling with the living during this Samhain season, here is a tip on spotting the difference: If a stranger claims to be an accountant, Member of Parliament or banker, simply punch them hard on the nose.  If they vanish in a puff of noxious smoke, you hit a genuine ghost.  If however they reel backward screaming hysterically, they are quite possibly living and, again, I suggest you call your lawyer asap.

On the 15th Day of Advent, we are advised that, according to Swiss legend, Tante Arie (also known as Aunt Arie, you Anglophile), is a creature that’s a bit like a cross between a witch and a fairy.  She lives in a cave among gold-filled treasure chests (the Holkranz perhaps!?) and wears a diamond crown.  Supposedly having iron teeth and goose’s feet, she rides on a donkey during Christmas Eve, giving gifts to the good children but punishing the disobedient ones.  Well!  Clearly Clarens has its own Tante Arie but the question is, who is she?  Answers on this delicate subject to the Editor, Clarens News, but by way of a clue, it is not our own Kaalvoet, now resident on the Vaal Dam and sinking boats with a happy passion.

That’s all for the final lap into Christmas, so to all our feathered friends and their two-legged companions in Clarens, our felicitations and greetings.  More Advent windows in a year’s time, but for now, be well.

The Twitcher

13 December 2013: Oh dear, it’s a Friday

 War in the valley

Table of Contents:

Oh dear – it’s a Friday; Light a candle for Madiba; War in the Valley; Stella Hancock – 93 years of memories; Christmas is coming; Clarens Skies –  Taurus; News from Clarens Village Conservancy; Plant of the week: Papaver aculeatum; Golf News: Festive Season operating hours; This weekend – Weather; This weekend –  Music; This weekend –  Other Events; Coming Events; Calling all Restauranteurs


Oh dear – it’s a Friday

Considered by many to be an unlucky day.  We at Clarens News have however always found that friday 13 can also be an incredibly lucky day. With Monday being a public holiday, many South Africans are closing up shop early this year to go on their well-earned Christmas holiday break and just about everyone in Clarens has shaken out their welcome mats as we ready ourselves for the holiday influx. Monday is South Africa’s Day of Reconcilation,  The 16th December is associated with two momentous historical events in South African history: The Battle of Blood River which took place in 1836, and the formation of Umknoto we Siswe in 1961. From now on, however, I am sure that it will also be associated with Nelson Mandela whose great example laid the foundation for true reconciliation in this beautiful country of ours.


Light a candle for Madiba

27_mandela_r_lead1-e1372978055244-650x262


War in the Valley

In a game of chess it is a risky move to retreat to a corner of the board when your defences are compromised.  In a corner and thus ruling out further retreat, you must be sure that effective frontal attack, or even attack from the rear on your opponent, is still an option open to you.  Without adequate opportunity for this, the outcome is most likely not going to be in your favour. This is the hard lesson learned by the Boers in the Brandwater basin during the Anglo-Boer War. Our photograph this week is of the Sunnyside area, looking west towards Clarens and further on, towards Fouriesburg, with the RooibergRange straddling the northern side of the landscape, stretching all the way to the Witteberg beyond Fouriesburg.  This is the view that Olivier, one of the Boer leaders who refused to surrender to the British, would have seen, had he looked back while on his hurried march to Golden Gate, the last remaining escape route out of the valley. Read more


 

Stella Hancock – 93 years of memories

Stella Hancock – A Full Life Article by Mary Walker Imagine a turquoise sea so flat and clear you can see the shadow of a small boat gliding across the sand below it.  Imagine small outcrops of lushly vegetated islands rising like shaggy green pillars from the water.  Islands with frilled skirts of ivory sand, too numerous to count, untouched, unspoilt, languid in vast fields of sea and sky.  Imagine sea-gypsies, nomadic, living in their wooden boats, subsisting from the sea.  In this place, idyllic beyond conception, Stella Hancock spent most of her first few years of life.  Read more


Christmas is coming


Clarens Skies –  Taurus

Genevieve Blignaut     The Bull, embodied both Osiris and his sister Isis in the eyes of the Egyptians. The brother and sister were respectively represented as bull-god and cow-goddess. According to Greek myth, the passionate god Zeus was thought to have disguised himself as a bull in yet another of his love affairs.The exquisite Europa, daughter of King Agenor, was strolling along the sea shore with her companions at her side, when Zeus noticed her and instantly became completely infatuated. The clever god immediately disguised himself as a magnificent white bull and upon appearing amongst the group, none felt fear as his calm demeanour radiated brilliantly.  Read more


News from Clarens Village Conservancy

Damien Coulsen has sent us a report detailing the rangers activities in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve.   Below is just a short paragraph on work done on the trails. November proved to be a busy month for the rangers who have completed the revamping of the trail directional markers along the Spruit, Kloof Mountain Trail and Mallen Walk, and initiated work on the Porcupine Trail markers – 6 down and just 3 to go! The C.V.C. has also produced 100 new trail markers at no small expense, in order to provide all users with the easiest possible trail navigation system yet. The rangers were assisted by the workers of the TCG who helped remove a good deal of Brandbos from between Scilla Walk trail and the Ridge Estate. Further work on the Brandbos removal project will recommence early January after the workers return from the festive season. Click here to read the full report


Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Plant of the week: Papaver aculeatum

Damien Coulson: Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a small dicotyledonous plant from the Papaveraceae (poppy) family. Papaver aculeatum (known as the Orange Poppy in English, Doringpapaver in Afrikaans or sehlohlo in sisotho), is a small herb of around 0.1 – 1.5 tall depending on the surrounding geology. It may be found in rocky places, among scrub, in dry riverbeds and on cliffs, often proliferating in areas of disturbance. P. aculeatum grows at altitudes of 1600-2950 m A.S.L. and is generally widespread throughout S.A. Spp. Of the Papaver genus are all moderately frost tolerant. This small herb is interesting as it is the only poppy originating from the Southern hemisphere. This is not a herb that one would generally hand-pick without gloves as it is covered in stiff yellow spines and fine hairs and could result, if nothing else in itchy hands. The leaves are approx. 120-130 mm in length and are deeply lobed, with the toothed margins appearing almost tattered.  The flower, although simple in design is an attractive light-burnt orange, flowering from October through to March. The fruit are tiny (10-20 mm wide), ribbed and oval.  Read more

 


Golf News: Festive Season operating hours

Course will be operating 7 days a week from 16 December until 6 January during School Holidays. On days before and after Public Holidays the operating hours have been adjusted to give staff well deserved time with Family and Friends. December 24th: Course Open until 12h00 for tee off. Bar closes at 15h00. December 25th: Course and Clubhouse closed. Christmas Day December 26th: Course Opens at 10h00 until closing. December 31st: Course Open until 12h00 for tee off. Bar closes at 15h00. January 1st: Course Opens at 10h00 until closing. New years Day.


This weekend – Weather


This weekend –  Music

Backpackers Friends Annual Jamboree Friday 13 – Sunday 15 December 2013:  The backpackers Its the Backpackrs Friends 35th jamboree and musicians from all over Clarens will be stopping over at the backpackers to strut their stuff and have some fun.  The Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters, Slipstream, and Voetstoets will be there together with various other “surpiise” bands.  The jamboree is however not just about music.  It”s also a “family”affair, so everyone is invited.  On Saturday evening  there will be a sheep on a spit  (R120 pp) and braai packs will also be available.  Those wanting to imbibe are however asked to bring their own..  . Friday, 13th December 2013 Friends:  20h00:  Van Smith Saturday 14th December 2013 Street Cafe:   12h00:  Deon:  The Soutie from Toti Friends:  20h00: Van Smth Artichoke Stop in at the Artichoke to enjoy Double Barrel.  They will be playing all weekend on an ad hoc basis. Double Barrel hail from Pietermarizberg and play a variety of music with a “classical touch. Sunday 15th December 2013 Artichoke:  12h00:  Deon the Soutie from Toti Friends:  14h30:  Van Smith


This weekend –  Other Events

13- 16 December 2013:  Backpackers Friends Annual Jamboree Live Music and lots of fun all day. 14 December 2013: NG Kerk Flea  Market 14 December 2013   Bark for Life .  


Coming Events

Be sure to visit the website: www.clarensnews.com, to find out what else there is in store.


 

Classifieds

Do you have a house you want to rent out?  Need a job? Want to buy a generator?  Remember to check out the classifeds section. Advertising on the classifieds section of Clarens News is free.  All you need to do is to email  your advert to editor@clarensnews.com


 

Calling all Restauranteurs

You are all welcome to send us your Chrismas menus for publication in the December 20 Clarens News. This is a free service from Clarens News. All you need to do is to email  your menu toeditor@clarensnews.com

6th December 2013: Advent

Table of Contents:

Nelson Mandela –  Rest in Peace Madiba; On Flowers; Clarens Community Gardens Prizegiving; Christmas is coming; Clarens Skies – Venus in December; Clarens Skies – ISON comes to an end; World Soil Day : 5 December 2013; Top Award for Clarens Restaurant .. Again; Plant of the week: Coprinellus disseminatus; The Twitcher; Golf News: Festive Season operating hours; Start baking those Mince Pies; This weekend – Weather; This weekend –  Music; Dan Patlanski guitar workshop; This weekend –  Sport; This Weekend: Clarens Open;

 

Nelson Mandela –  Rest in Peace Madiba

Clarens – along with the rest of the world  – mourns the death of a great, great man.


 

On Flowers

In the East End of London it appeared to me that there were standard yet somewhat obscure answers to some things.  On one occasion I was waiting in a reception area to see someone, and I asked the lady at the desk when the person would be able to see me.  “When he’s ready”, she said.

The photograph this week is taken on a roadside in Clarens.  About a year ago I had returned from a very hot walk around the back of Clarens in the vicinity of the dam.  Coming back through town I came upon this wilful migration of flowers that had expanded beyond the garden fence, out into the public domain of the pavement.  I set my daypack down and got busy photographing.
This morning, on opening my front door, I noticed for the first time a bank of green wispy-leafed stems taking over the flowerbed.  For a moment I wasn’t sure, then it struck me.  Of course, it’s December.  Cosmos!   Read more

The picture insert features in the 2014 calendar produced by and sold in aid of Cluny Animal Trust.  Calendars can be purchased at Clarens 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 .


 

Clarens Community Gardens Prizegiving

This past Monday 02 Dec 2013 we hosted Thabo Mofutsanyana district prize giving function of this vegetables gardening here in our beautiful town Clarens.The event was successful and well attended.Participants from Marquard,Excelsior and Clarens competed against each other.We as Clarens will be represented by the following individuals and institutions:Best new gardens:Rupa Kaladeen,Jessica Roy and Maletsatsi Mokebe, 2. Best existing garden: Nora Molaba. Best innovation:weeds & pest control: Rupa Kaladeen,Best existing school garden:Clarens Primary School,Best Innovation compost::Clarens Primary School.Best existing community garden: Itumeleng Clinic,Over all winner:Itumeleng Clinic.

Congratulations to all the winners who will be representing Thabo Mofutsanyana at Pronvicial Competition.Thank you the sponsors and all the stakeholders.

Tsipiso

Tsepiso Mosia
Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
0710791332
E-mail: mosiatsepiso@yahoo.com


Christmas is coming


Clarens Skies – Venus in December

Constellation of the Week
Venus, named after the goddess of Love and Harmony, can be enjoyed in all its glory during dusk or dawn on December 6 2013, as it will be at its brightest for all of 2013 and 2014. The beautiful planet will be extraordinary to observe upon reaching its greatest illuminated extent on Friday. This means that the Earth’s daytime side will cover more square area of the sky than at any other time during Venus’ present apparition as the evening “star”. It’s at this illuminated extent that Venus will be at its brightest, best seen from the Earth.   Read more

 

 

ISON Comes to an End

The comet of the century has brought about mixed feelings in many that have religiously followed its path – there are those who would’ve loved the comet to produce a spectacular show in our skies during December, and those who have always predicted its imminent death upon perihelion.   Read more

 


 

World Soil Day : 5 December 2013

Yesterday was World Soil Day. A day when thousands of soil scientists (and gardeners in the know) celebrate the importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to the human commonwealth through its contribution to food, water and energy security and as a mitigator of biodiversity loss and climate change. But when you think about it even those of us who are not soil scientists should stop to think about the soil – it is after all an important foundation for all life on this earth. We in Clarens often complain about our soil, and though it may be difficult to work with there are many ways that one can improve it. An easy way to improve your soil is to encourage the earthworm population. (Darwin wasn’t wrong!) and one of the most important ways to do this is to stop killing them off by using poisonous chemicals in your garden. There is an excellent course on how to improve your soil on the net.  Click here for the link.   And if you are interested in starting a worm farm in your garden, please contact me: I would be happy to help get you started.   Phone:  Toni 082 4492 082  (Toni B Walters)


 

Top Award for Clarens Restaurant .. Again

PHATT CHEF IN TOP 100 LIST & FINALIST IN BEST COUNTRY VENUE 2013 CATEGORY 
For the third year in row The Phatt Chef Restaurant in Clarens was chosen as one of South Africa’s Top 100 Restaurants and was once again a finalist in the category “Best Country Venue 2013”. At a glittering awards ceremony on Monday, hosted at the trendy Kitchen Bar in Fourways, Johannesburg, the owners, Simon & Megan Kerr, were recognised by the Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA) for their contribution to the hospitality industry with the presentation of a prestigious Rosetta Award, given to restaurants that strive for service excellence in the Food & Fast Food industry. It is recognition of the highest order for service excellence & overall contribution to the upliftment of the restaurant industry. Presenting the award, Wendy Alberts CEO of RASA, said that The Phatt Chef Restaurant was a credit not only to the Free State, but to all the country areas of South Africa. This was the third year in a row that this Clarens landmark was being recognised by the industry not only for their outstanding service and food, but also for their contribution to training and mentoring staff.


Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Plant of the week: Coprinellus disseminatus

Damien Coulson:

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. Interestingly enough these little fellows don’t actually belong to the Plantae kingdom at all…

Coprinellus disseminatus (known as Fairies’ Bonnets in English or Bondelinkmus in Afrikaans) belong to their own unique kingdom – Fungi. Fungi can be classed into 2 major groups – micro (scopic) or macrofungi. Fungi are either saprobic (deriving nourishment from decaying organisms) or pathogenic (disease causing) and in essence facilitate the cycle of life to death to life again. Fungi have been associated with plants, wild animals and humans since time immemorial.

C. disseminatus may be found growing on woody material, such as fallen logs and the likes and even grows on ground in close proximity to decaying wood. The fruit bodies are clustered in groups and are attached to the substrate by a stipe.
Read more

 


 

The Twitcher

Well, it had to happen.  I have just glanced at my well-thumbed diary and realised that Christmas is just around the corner.  Quelle surprise!?  So as we grind our weary way to the end of another year, mistletoe clamped between our teeth in the hope of getting lucky, it occurs to me that we are knee-deep in the Advent Calendar.  Never heard of it?
It turns out that the Advent Calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas, and overlaps with the Christian season of Advent.  I don’t know whether the Hindus, Muslims and Jews have anything similar, but apologise just in case, as I am seriously allergic to religious persecution.  Most commercially available Advent Calendars start on December 1 and have 24 windows, one for each of the days leading up to Christmas Day.  Some anonymous person (probably a Chinese Buddhist) has endless joy putting little poems, pictures of puppies and portions of religious stories in these, each of which is ripped open in the mindless spree leading to the big day itself.  Apparently these are very popular in communities where television and conversation have yet to penetrate.
Why am I telling you this?  Well, it turns out that a dear friend believes my life will be enriched by a daily dose from the Advent Calendar and, being a generous sort of fellow, I felt compelled to share these riches with you, given that our bird life seems to be on holiday in Margate.  Read more


Golf News: Festive Season operating hours

Course will be operating 7 days a week from 16 December until 6 January during School Holidays. On days before and after Public Holidays the operating hours have been adjusted to give staff well deserved time with Family and Friends.

December 24th: Course Open until 12h00 for tee off. Bar closes at 15h00.

December 25th: Course and Clubhouse closed. Christmas Day

December 26th: Course Opens at 10h00 until closing.

December 31st: Course Open until 12h00 for tee off. Bar closes at 15h00.

January 1st: Course Opens at 10h00 until closing. New years Day.


 Start baking those Mince Pies

Why?  Because Christmas is coming and there’s nothing to beat a mince pie on Christmas morning. And whilst you’re enjoying you second or third mince pie, you can count your lucky stars that you don’t live in Britain.    Read The Twitcher (If you havn’t already read the full article) to find out why.

 

 

 

 

 


 

This weekend – Weather

acuweather


This weekend –  Music

Friday 6th December 2013
The Grouse and Claret: 20h00:  Slipstream

Saturday 7th December 2013
Street Cafe:   12h00:  Rudo and OB
Street CafeL 20h00 : Slipstream

Sunday 8th December 2013
Backpackers:  18h00  The Dan Patlansky Show
The cultimination of the Dan Patlansky Guitar workshop weekend
Click here to find out about what the weekend is all about
Dan Patlansky’s facebook page.


This weekend –  Sport

Cricket


 

This Weekend: Other events

Clarens Open


 

Coming Events

As always there is lots to look forward to

13- 16 December 2013:  Backpackers Friends Annual Jamboree
Live Music and lots of fun all day.

14 December 2013: NG Kerk Flea  Market
14 December 2013   Bark for Life


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Classifieds

Do you have a house you want to rent out?  Need a job? Want to buy a generator?  Remember to check out the classifieds section.
Advertising on the classifieds section of Clarens News is free.  All you need to do is to email  your advert to
editor@clarensnews.com


 

Calling all Restauranteurs

You are all welcome to send us your Chrismas menus for publication in the December 20 Clarens News. This is a free service from Clarens News.
All you need to do is to email  your menu toeditor@clarensnews.com

6 December 2013

Ornithological Notes

Well, it had to happen.  I have just glanced at my well-thumbed diary and realised that Christmas is just around the corner.  Quelle surprise!?  So as we grind our weary way to the end of another year, mistletoe clamped between our teeth in the hope of getting lucky, it occurs to me that we are knee-deep in the Advent Calendar.  Never heard of it?

It turns out that the Advent Calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas, and overlaps with the Christian season of Advent.  I don’t know whether the Hindus, Muslims and Jews have anything similar, but apologise just in case, as I am seriously allergic to religious persecution.  Most commercially available Advent Calendars start on December 1 and have 24 windows, one for each of the days leading up to Christmas Day.  Some anonymous person (probably a Chinese Buddhist) has endless joy putting little poems, pictures of puppies and portions of religious stories in these, each of which is ripped open in the mindless spree leading to the big day itself.  Apparently these are very popular in communities where television and conversation have yet to penetrate.

Why am I telling you this?  Well, it turns out that a dear friend believes my life will be enriched by a daily dose from the Advent Calendar and, being a generous sort of fellow, I felt compelled to share these riches with you, given that our bird life seems to be on holiday in Margate.

Given the limited frequency of this esteemed publication, you get to share Day 5 on the aforementioned calendar today, and next week Day 12, and so forth.  It turns out that the riveting information contained in this window tells us that, and I quote, it is illegal in Britain to eat a mince pie on Christmas Day.  Perhaps not surprisingly, this is the liberating work of one Oliver Cromwell and has never been removed from the Union’s statute books.  But wait, there’s more!  Window 5 tells us that the British Legal system only began to update its laws in 1965, before which there were many laws still in place that, while perfectly reasonable at the time, sound utterly ridiculous now! Here are 19 pearlers to enrich your day:

– It was illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament – simply because if you did you would fall under the jurisdiction of the royal coroner and could have been entitled a state funeral.

– It was also illegal to enter Parliament wearing a suit of armour.

– In the Cathedral Close of Hereford and within the city walls of Chester it is legal to shoot a Welshman with a long bow (not surprising really).  It is also legal to shoot a Scotsman within the city walls of York, providing he is carrying a bow and arrow, except on Sundays of course!  These laws were made to keep out Welsh and Scottish invasions before Britain became united as one.

– It is still legal for a pregnant woman to relieve herself wherever she wants – including in a policeman’s helmet should she have the urge!

– You cannot enter the hull of the Titanic under the Protection of Wrecks order 2003 without permission of the Secretary for State.

– In Scotland, it is an offence to be drunk whilst in charge of a cow. This law also applies to horses and steam engines across the rest of the country under the Licencing Act 1872.

– You must carry a bale of hay in your vehicle at all times, why? To feed the horse of course!

– In London it is illegal for cab drivers to transport rabid dogs and corpses.

– Polish potatoes are illegal in England… no seriously, under the Polish Potatoes (Notification) in England Order 2004, “No person shall, in the course of business, import into England potatoes which he knows to be or has reasonable cause to suspect to be Polish potatoes”.

– It is illegal to gamble in a library as of 1898 – internet gambling is off the cards then! The same law prohibits “abusive or obscene language” in there too.

– You could be breaking the law if you have a pigsty in front of your house, unless it is duly hidden. As good of an excuse as any to keep your front garden nice and tidy!

– It is illegal to beat or shake your carpet, mat or rug. You may beat your doormat (ooooooh!) but only before 8 in the morning!

– Any washing line that is put up across a street is an illegal erection.

– It was illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas day – we found this hard to believe too, but Oliver Cromwell actually banned these yummy treats when he was attempting to tackle rising gluttony.

– All dead beached whales must be offered to the monarch before you can do anything else with them. Realistically, the royal family have no interest in beached whales, your best bet should you ever come across such a sad sight would be to contact the Natural History Museum or the police.

– The death sentence still applies if you poach a royal deer or allow your pet to mate with a pet from the royal household without due permission. Note to self – don’t take the dog for a walk around St. James’ Park any time soon!

– It is still illegal to eat Mute Swan as they belong to the Queen and only she is legally allowed to eat them, weirdly you are an exception if you are a guest of St. John’s College in Cambridge though.

– The royal family are forbidden from marrying Catholics – clearly created when Henry VIII disowned the Catholic Church and created the Church of England, although it’s hard to imagine this being enforced today.

– It is illegal to sew the royal coat of arms onto a bed quilt!

Can you but imagine what our own fair Legal System has lurking in the archives, although I am reliably informed – for example – that it is still illegal to wear short pants in Durban’s West Street.  Think on these things as Christmas unerringly approaches.

The Twitcher

Venus in December 2013

Venus 1

 

 

Venus, named after the goddess of Love and Harmony, can be enjoyed in all its glory during dusk or dawn on December 6 2013, as it will be at its brightest for all of 2013 and 2014. The beautiful planet will be extraordinary to observe upon reaching its greatest illuminated extent on Friday. This means that the Earth’s daytime side will cover more square area of the sky than at any other time during Venus’ present apparition as the evening “star”. It’s at this illuminated extent that Venus will be at its brightest, best seen from the Earth.

Venus will be in an inferior conjunction with the Earth and the Sun on 11 January 2014. Thus, after the first few days of January, Venus will be too close to the Sun to observe.

This month Venus will shine at a negative 4.9 magnitude and none will be able to miss this splendid planet.

Venus 2

 

Genevieve Article by Genevieve Blignaut

Clarens News: December 2013