29 November 2011

Hello Napier

The Soapbox
Walking into Checkers the other day, I was rudely reminded by Boney M’s tiresome rendition of “The little drummer boy” (the music in Checkers is way too loud!!) that ‘the time of giving’ is upon us once again…already! The sound of jingling bells and pictures of a smiling Santa Claus on the cream containers do nothing but steel my resolve to get out of there as soon as possible. Tinsel just doesn’t do it for me anymore. Do the powers that be at supermarkets really think being inundated with Christmas jingles and images make shopping a more enjoyable experience?
I received the following from Fleur du Toit recently and thought it would be very apt for this weeks soapbox (apologies to those who have already received it!)

Christmas 2011 – Birth of a New Tradition
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide South Africa with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods, merchandise that has often been produced at the expense of South African labour.

This year can be different. This year South Africans can give a gift of genuine concern for other South Africans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by South Africans.
Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local South African hair salon or barber? Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement. Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, South African owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates. Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Rands on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your hometown South Africans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open. How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the South African working guy? Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day. My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running. OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, pottery and beautiful wooden boxes. Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or show at your home-town theatre. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands. Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip. You see, Christmas is no longer about draining South Africans pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging South African small businesses to keep plugging away to Follow their dreams. And, when we care about other South Africans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. THIS is the new South African Christmas tradition.
This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?

A Christmas wish from afar…!
Dear Grandad and Granny Tompkins,
I hope that you have a lovely Christmas!
I wish I could be with you.
Lots of love,
Nicholas xxx
East Farleigh, Kent, UK

To Market, to Market…
Napier is gearing up for the influx of visitors and we have great local markets to look forward to over the festive season.

There’s the Napier Mega Market on Saturday 17th December on the Agri lawns with the morning market, from 9 - 12. This time anything goes. Sales from car-boots, stalls selling home produce, Christmas gifts, home made products, clothing, food etc The more the merrier! We'd also love to have a musician or two involved to make it really festive.
This market will be a fund raiser for Anel at R20 per stall or vehicle.
Interested parties can phone Jane Thompson on 082 4255474

Moerse Farmstall will also be having daily Christmas Markets from 16 until 24th December. Stall holders will be required to pay R50 per stand and to bring their own tables and chairs.
Those interested to please contact Annelene on 0828763518 for further enquiries
or to book your stall.

New gift shop for Napier!
On 9th December at 10.00 am the Pink Tree Studio will open it’s doors to the public. It is situated at No 52 B Sarel Cilliers Street (next to Oom Neels, the Barber of Napier).
Opening day special: 10% discount for first 20 clients that spend R100 or more and a lucky draw at 17:30 (winner will receive a lovely Gift Pack)

The owner, Martie Lochner-Daneel says she will be showcasing a wide variety of items, from re-vamped furniture to décor items, lampshades, candles, knitwear, wool as well as gifts, prints and paintings. She also intends having fresh flowers on sale. Make time to pop in and see what’s on offer and what other services she will be offering.
Holiday business hours: Tues – Fri 10.00 to-18.00. Sat & Sun 10.00 to 15.00
Enquiries: 082 785 0656 or martie@jdwines.co.za

Nuwerus Nasorg/Aftercare needs your help!
Nuwerus Aftercare Centre desperately needs volunteers to help during the December Christmas holidays. If you care enough to want to help, please contact Beverley on 028 423 3993.
Riana and Aletta also need donations of wrapping paper and sweets for the Nasorg. Should you be prepared to donate, please drop these off at Aletta’s Guest House.

Riek Creative Gallery would like to invite all local artists to participate in our Christmas Wish Auction.
Auction Date: Friday 16 December
Reason for Auction: The funds generated will be used to purchase Christmas gifts for the kids at Nuwerus Nasorg.
Media: Paintings should be on 230mm x 230mm block canvas (with wooden Frame if possible) that can be purchased at Art Attack. Oils paintings, acrylic and mixed media. Subject matter: Doors, Windows or gates
25% of the proceeds of each painting will go back to the artist for materials the remaining profit will be used for the gifts.
Closing Date: Monday 14 December 2011
For more info please contact: Rudi Riek - Riek Creative Gallery 072 461 4042

Stuck for idea’s for Christmas gifts?
End of the range candle clearance sale. These make awesome Christmas gifts.
Nobunto factory (1 Monsanto Way, off station road) or at Vindigo.
Until 6 December 2011.
Enquiries: Theunie 028 4233172 or 082 443 6310.

Gunners Update
Gunners will go back to their original opening hours as of the 16th December. They will also be hosting their usual New Years Eve party with live music.

A little bit of Christmas spirit required please!!
Antoinette Goodman, an ex-Napier resident (16 years), now living in Bredasdorp, has to go to Pinelands in Cape Town for an important doctor’s appointment and needs a lift. The appointment is on the 6th December, however she will more than gladly accept a lift 2-3 days prior to the 6th as she can stay with friends and they will bring her back to Bredasdorp.
Please contact her to make arrangements.
Name: Mrs Antionette Goodman
Tel: 028 424 2860

For the Birds...
The 4th Sasol Stretton’s Birding Weekend was held in the Agulhas National Park (ANP) from 4 to 6 November 2011. This annual event offered a unique and fun filled opportunity to experience the vast wealth of birdlife as well as the opportunity to see some of the rare birds of the Agulhas National Park and was organized by the South African National Parks’ Honorary Rangers of the Agulhas Region. The bird guides for the weekend were; Dave de Beer a qualified bird and whale guide from Onrusrivier, Mel Tripp who is the Vice-Chairperson of the Cape Bird Club and Koos Swart and Chris van Gass, both SANParks Honorary Rangers of the Agulhas region.
Don Pinnock (PhD) was the guest speaker at the Birding Weekend. He is an associate of Southern Write, an association of top travel writers and photographers in Africa. At the Saturday evening function he spoke on the theme of “Blue Ice” describing his experiences on a trip to the Antarctic on the SAS Agulhas. He used this theme to create awareness of ‘the state of the planet’ by demonstrating the natural beauty that needs to be protected from man’s folly. See full CV at Appendix B He was joined for part of his talk by his wife, Patricia Schonstein who is an award winning, internationally published novelist and poet.

On Friday evening the Honorary Rangers hosted the participants at the Suiderlig Dienssentrum during a casual dinner. Eddie Cassani was the Master of Ceremonies and welcomed all and wished them a pleasant and fun filled weekend. He thanked the sponsors for their support and handed them tokens of appreciation. After dinner Dave de Beer gave a moving power point presentation on “Birds and Music” to much joy and appreciation of the guests.
On Saturday morning, 5 November, all gathered at Bosheuwel at 6:30 am for the day’s birding activities The groups went to De Mond nature reserve, Melkbospan and Voëlvlei respectively for the morning birding. Lunch in the form of boerewors rolls was served at Bosheuwel from 12:30pm and in the afternoon groups again went to De Mond nature reserve and Voëlvlei. Throughout Saturday a display of “Birds in Trouble” was held at Soutbosch, a historic house in the ANP newly restored by the SANParks Honorary Rangers Agulhas. This was organised by Emmerentia de Kock of the ANP.
On Saturday evening all participants joined the Honorary Rangers, ANP Staff and other guests at the Suiderlig Dienssentrum for a dinner and a talk by Don Pinnock. Don spoke on the theme of “Blue Ice” describing his experiences on a trip to the Antarctic on the SAS Agulhas. He used this theme to create awareness of ‘the state of the planet’ by demonstrating the natural beauty that needs to be protected from man’s folly. All participants greatly enjoyed the presentation and Don was warmly applauded for this.

On Sunday morning 6 November some of the participants went off early for birding on their own. Thereafter all came together for the closing of the weekend with a ‘brunch’ and prize giving at the Suiderlig Dienssentrum. The prize for sighting the most bird species (118) went to the group guided by Dave de Beer and the prize for the “most spectacular” sighting went to the group guided by Mel Tripp for sighting a Roseate Tern (Rooiborssterretjie), a rare bird in the Agulhas region

Participants expressed their satisfaction with the weekend and their hope that the ANP Honorary Rangers would continue with the event in the future.

Eddie Cassani ended the occasion by thanking the participants for their participation and the ANP staff and Honorary Rangers for their support. He also called for a round of applause for the Ladies of the Suiderlig Dienssentrum for the excellent catering throughout the weekend.

Quotable quotes

Every man dies. Not every man really lives. - William Wallace

Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't. - Richard Bach

What is a committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary. - Richard Harkness

A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This day in history - 29th November 2011
526 - Antioch in modern day Syria struck by Earthquake, about 250,000 die
1781 - The crew of the slave ship Zong murders 133 Africans by dumping them into the sea in order to claim insurance.
1870 - Compulsory education proclaimed in England
1877 - Thomas Edison demonstrates hand-cranked phonograph
1900 - Lord Kitchener succeeds lord Roberts up as supreme commander in S Africa
1944 - John Hopkins hospital performs 1st open heart surgery
1947 - UN Gen Assembly partitions Palestine between Arabs & Jews
1963 - Beatles release "I Want to Hold Your Hand"
1964 - Roman Catholic Church in US replaces Latin with English
1990 - UN Security Council sets Jan 15th military deadline against Iraq

The Last Laugh
A man and woman were having marriage problems, and decided to end their union after a very short time together. After a most brief attempt to reconcile, the couple went to court to finalize their break-up. The judge asked the husband, "What has brought you to this point, where you are not able to keep this marriage together?"
The husband said, "In the six weeks we've been together, we haven't been able to agree on one thing."
The wife said, "Seven weeks."

Please ensure that if you want anything included in the next Napier Natter, which will be the last one of the year, please send your info to info@napier.co.za by no later than the 10th of December.

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