Sorry to be absent without leave last week. Your faithful correspondent had to attend the funerals of seven cattle, all victims of vehicle accidents on the roads of Clarens. Just amazing that motorists don’t recognise the cows’ right of way while grazing contentedly around the village. Quite different in the Sub-Continent where vehicles, from richly decorated buses to scooters carrying families of nine and more, simply stop and wait while the Holy Cows go about their business. Ah well.
But talking of the village, much to report: Clarens businesses got together on Sunday last to have some fun and contribute to charity. That’s right; the community braai was a roaring success, notwithstanding the absence of much of Lower Clarens, who were dragooned into sharing a lamb with our municipal leaders. Interesting coincidence that, calling a meeting at 14h00 on a Sunday afternoon to discuss service delivery protests, ah, issues, and serving a deceased lamb on a spit. Surely no attempt to keep residents away from the community braai? Whatever.
Said Lower Clarens communities will still receive R15,000 from the festivities on the square and everyone went home tired but happy, as the actress said to the Bishop. The results of the braai competition are reported elsewhere in this august publication, but most noteworthy was the manifestation of pap into what were euphemistically called ‘papcakes’, stuffed with onion and spinach and fried in olive oil. Who said an old dog can’t learn new tricks?
Summer temperatures this week, notwithstanding chilly night breezes, and an award –winning piece of landscaping outside a well-known Clarens eatery. In an attempt to create a swan refuge and cultivate waterblommitjies (Aponogeton distachyos flowers, commonly known as Cape pondweed) local gourmand Shelly moved a tree, water main and three-phase electrical cable in a death-defying intervention. Fortunately, the mains shorted immediately the water hit the cable, so 47 municipal employees were spared anything worse than their gumboots melting. Sportingly, Shelly has buried the swans and is building a split-level soup kitchen as a memorial to fallen trees.
And what news from the Clarens Tourist Forum? An October Festival to put the rest of South Africa in second-place for this month, at least. The programme is to be found elsewhere in the Clarens News, but of particular interest is the Bibliophile Bookfest. A whirlwind of literary events between the 18th and 20th of October, with a Writer’s Dinner (19h30 @ the Phatt Chef) on the Friday evening. Writer Robin Binckes will be talking about his new book, The Great Trek, Uncut, and you can expect some fireworks here in Great Trek country – given that his earlier work, Canvas under the Sky – Drugs, Sex and Rock n’ Roll in the Great Trek, suggests we were not the first to make Girl Scout cookies out of Lesotho Mountain Cabbage. Whew, it’s all go in our little village!
Oh yes, birds. The editor has given me a flea in the ear for ignoring my remit thus far, so here goes: There are lots of them about, making a noise in the mornings and eating all the bloody seed expensively acquired from the seed hostelry. All shapes and sizes, so take your pick and consult your Roberts for further details. Me, I’m watching the rugby this weekend………….at least until the All Blacks score the winning try.