30th May, 2013: Just ANOTHER beautiful day

Just ANOTHER beautiful day

Queen Victoria

“Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
I’ve been to London to see the queen.”  Well, if you live in Clarens you don’t need to go that far.  You can visit Queen Victoria a 20 minute drive away on the R711.  You’ll find her on Lesoba farm, about 10 kilometres on the Clarens side of Fouriesberg.

Night temperatures have dropped, but Clarens always has a warm heart.  Clarens locals celebrated another Ubuntu evening on Monday, with thanks to Mark and Shelley at Clementines. And Wednesday we enjoyed a Wednesday Winter Warmer at 278 On Main. Sue is planning to hold these events on a regular basis – so keep a look-out for them in the Clarens News.  Visitors to Clarens can however rest assured that even when we’re not holding events there’s always a cosy fire somewhere in Clarens where you are welcome to stay warm.

Being part of a Community is very special, and this was vividly illustrated last weekend when Anna, who works on the Golf Estate was hit by a car on her way home from work, at the junction of the Golden Gate and Fouriesberg roads. One of the sandstone vendors on that corner immediately phoned the police and they (together with one of the SPF reservists) were on the scene in no time.  We phoned Henriette of Paballos who examined and comforted Anna but suggested that she needed to go to Bethlehem for Xrays.  No problem – our pharmacist Benita Jonker kindly offered to take Anna to the Bethlehem Hospital where she ensured that Anna got VIP treatment.  Fortunately there were no broken bones and Anna is recovering well.  We really are very lucky to live in a town where people care about each other, and the ever-caring Benita has also sent me a list of flu symptoms, as well as some do’s and don’ts.  To read more Press HERE.

Ornithological Notes

A sharp-eyed reader has picked up a small arithmetical cum calendar inaccuracy in these columns!  Your faithful scribe noted last week that there were only 107 shopping days to Christmas, and the aforementioned reader blanched in horror and put fingers to keypad to point out that this is patently incorrect!  Well, yes.  As part-time book-keeper to the nation’s first family, I have been accused of some irregularities over time, and I concede that in my anxiety to buy the Pres a Christmas gift, I may have done some double counting.  It comes with the territory.
So here’s how it works: Using an outdated formula, I calculate a shopping week as 5.5 days.  With me so far?  That means, according to my broken abacus, there are 5.5 shopping days in each week of a calendar year, less the week after Christmas – so let’s call it 51 weeks x 5.5 shopping days, or a total of 281.  Subtract from that 11 public holidays, from New Year’s Day to the Day of Reconciliation (what?), and you are left with 270 shopping days – at least in the hinterland of our great nation, where malls and overtime are in short supply.
That means, as of June 1, we have used/lost/abandoned 110 shopping days, less 6 public holidays, for a sub-total of 104.  Subtract that from the available (if theoretical) 270 shopping days mentioned above, and in fact we are left with 166 shopping days until Christmas 2013.  So, thank you dear reader, we will revert to the comparative sanity of the Gregorian Calendar and you can calm down your frenetic shopping.  Whew!
But wait: It turns out that Clarens has not one, but two Christmases!!  The Clarens Tourist Forum has just finalised plans to celebrate Christmas in July, over the weekend of July 19 to 21, and cover our sainted square with snow.  This has real implications for the entire festive season, not least Sandy Claws, whose hibernation will be ruined.  Moreover, it means that the calculation above is in tatters: In fact, there are now 7 x 5.5 days to Christmas #1, less a deferred Youth Day on June 17, which means that we are back in high shopping gear for the next 37.5 days!  So, take your choice; Christmas shoppers; you have two to choose from.
Finally, after the mild panic of the last couple of weeks, the birds of the valley have settled to an autumnal calm.  The Black Eagles of the Golf Estate have had their fill of domestic pets and vanished; the Sacred Ibis family has gone north for the winter; the Southern Bald Ibis are still to be seen parading the golf course; and the pair of Hadedas on my back lawn (Arthur and Martha) are content.  The Guinea Fowl – at least those that have survived the predations of local hunters and jackals – are looking splendid and going through the country’s maize stocks at the speed of light.  For an ornithologist, this means that a drama of epic proportions must be imminent; watch this space…………..
The Twitcher

Editorial Comment:

No politics this week, local or national.  Much too stressful, even boringly repetitious, one might say.  Instead, matters parochial and aesthetic.
Almost certainly for reasons of fire protection, with winter imminent, our local fire service and the Clarens Golf Estate (yes, the trout is dead) have done a clearing job on the road verges of the village, the Golf Estate and the golf course.  And what a difference it makes!  For the first time in years, Clarens looks quite respectable from the road.  A bit like a tourist destination, one is tempted to suggest.  Road clearing on this scale turns out to be quite a revelation.


Tourism News
CNBC Africa’s tourism television series “Latitude” kicks-off on the 6th of June 2013. Themed “Discover, Uncover and Explore” this hour long series will delve into ‘Kleindorps’ and remote rural areas to uncover South Africa’s unique tourist destinations nestled in and around the country’s heritage sites. The Maloti Drakensberg Route is one of many prime routes that will be explored by the show in efforts to profile the business of Tourism in the Southern African Region. 



Weekend Weather

We can all look forward to a sunny weekend. (Oh no – just more beautiful days in Clarens!)  Lesotho however, has had some good snow.

snow in Lesotho

Dean from Maluti Tours sent Clarens News some photos. These were taken on recent pony trek trip, but since the weather wasn’t suitable for pony trekking our intrepid Lesotho tour guide decided to take his group to have some fun up on the mountain pass.
 Needless to say they had snow ball fights part way up the mountain and came back glowing. Maluti Tours strive to get snow reports from Afriski on a regular basis. The news is that  Afriski has enjoyed early snow but now needs fresh falls to cover the slopes. 

Clarens Country Market

Clarens Country Market
Be sure to visit the Clarens Country Market on Saturday.
The Clarens Country Market is for local people to exhibit and sell local produce, arts and handicrafts. It is held in the front garden of the Bibliophile Bookshop in Church Street, between Van Zyl and Market Streets, every Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm, weather-permitting.
For more information or to book a stall, contact Debra 083 765 8901 or Megan 082 469 2072.

Rugby, Rugby, Rugby 

Rugby, Rugby, Rugby!

As tensions mount, its New Zealand vs Australia, Australia vs Australia, New Zealand vs New Zealand, plus two South African derbies.  Don’t miss a minute of the action on a big screen near you at a choice of Clarens destinations……….

Vodacom Super Rugby Fixtures Super 15

Date Match Time Venue
May 2013
31 May Crusaders v Waratahs 09:35 AMI Stadium, Addington Christchurch
31 May Brumbies v Hurricanes 11:40 Canberra Stadium, Canberra
June 2013
01 June Highlanders v Blues 09:35 Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
01 June Reds v Rebels 11:40 Brisbane
01 June Stormers v Kings 17:05 DHL Newlands, Cape Town
01 June Cheetahs v Bulls 19:10 Bloemfontein


Bethlehem Kine

 SNITCH  PG:13  112min – Drama/Thriller
A father goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his son who was imprisoned after being set up in drug deal. DIRECTOR: Ric Roman Waugh Writers: Justin Haythe, Ric Roman Waugh STARS:  Dwayne Johnson, Jon Bernthal, Susan Sarandon
SHOW TIMES:  FRI:11:00, 20:00  WED:11:00,14:30, 20:00  SAT,TUE,THUR:11:00,14:30,20:00  SUN: 15:00

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS  PG:R  110min – Comedy/Crime
A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu. DIRECTOR: Martin McDonagh Writers: Martin McDonagh STARS: Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken
SHOW TIMES:  FRI,MON,TUE,WED,THUR:11:00,14:30,20:00
SUN: 15:00

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION  PG:13  110min – Action/Adventure/Sci-fi
The G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.
DIRECTOR: Jon M. Chu  WRITERS: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick  STARS:  Dwayne Johnson, Byung-hun Lee, Adrianne Palicki,Bruce Willis
SHOW TIMES:  FRI,MON,TUE,WED,THUR:11:00,14:30,20:00  SUN: 15:00


Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day 
May 31 at the Clarens Golf Club
We are looking for sponsors for the 18 holes. Sponsorship for each hole will be R1,000.00 per hole which allows you to advertise as you wish on the appropriate hole.We welcome any form of sponsorship either in cash or prizes.The competition will be a ‘four ball better ball’. The entrance is R1,200.00 for 4 players, which includes a light lunch at the half way and Prize giving dinner in the evening. If you would like to take part in our golf day or require any further information please contact the co-ordinators:JAN SANDER E MAIL ADDRESS; Jansander22@gmail.com  cell number 0782462553ROSE BAILEY EMAIL ADDRESS; jabailey@nashuaisp.co.za cell number 0828790161, fax No.0866747750
Sanlam Cancer Challenge
 5 June 2013  The Clarens Golf Estate
Support this worthy cause by taking part in the biggest amateur golf tournament in South Africa:  Sponsor a hole; Give a donation or register your four-ball and join the fun.  There are also big prizes up for grabs.
Contact Maryna Swart:  082-520 8909 or Fracois Schoeman 058 256 1270.
Incidentally, The Clarens Golf Estate now has recently added a new blog to their website. This blog is open to the public and updated as news and events become available.  The blog address is www.theclarens.co.za/news.

8th Clarens Quilt Festival
26-28 June 2013

Quilt in Clarens is the only annual quilt festival in the Free State, and over the last eight years has grown from 7 to 261 participants.  The festival offers small classes (7 per day) and personal attention, as well as courses (both novice and advanced) in quilting, creative knitting, crocheting and embroidery. The festival offers ann ideal opportunity for all those who want to quilt in a relaxed environment.  For more information contact the organiser Alae Grabe on 082 5772232 or email quiltinclarens@gmail.com

Fouriesburg Polar Bear Plunge
29th June  (2pm)
Meet at the Arpa Dam (at Arpa Adventure Farm S325 off the R711, 7km outside Fouriesburg
Swim 50m in the dam. Change   rooms available.  Bring your own blankets!
R100 perentrant (includes a T-shirt “first come first served”- and a boerewors roll.
Boerewors rolls, pancakes and cooldrinks for sale at the dam before, during and after the plunge!
Entra free to spectators!!!
In aid of Cluny Animal Trust.   

Chrismas in July
12 – 14 July right here in Clarens.
Those of you who can’t wait for Christmas will be happy to know that it’s only a few months away. We will soon be able to celebrate Chrismas right here in Clarens.
The Tourism Forum are working on a varied program:  music, huskies, and lots, lots more. The program has however not been finalised yet, but we will keep you posted.

Ski Slalom
July 11 – July 14  at Afriski

A ski slalom and giant slalom race 4 children , juniors, seniors and masters. For accomodation and details contact Stephan at Gone skiing 0861754669
Ski racing is a fun way to improve your skiing.

BUT WHY WAIT until then to visit Afriski, when you can have fun in the snow NOW.  Phone Dean: 072 133 9615/082 921 3894

Other news:


2005 Citröen Picasso 2.0 diesel in exceptional condition.  
One owner from new with full service history, available in Clarens.
Excellent value at R62,500.  Contact Peter on 0828510484 or 
Email peterbw@eastcoast.co.za

Video of the week

Only for those with a slightly warped sense of humour
A Scottish Marriage Proposal: