29 November 2011
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,
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nuwerus Nasorg/Aftercare needs
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.
CALL FOR ENTRY
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
Nobunto factory (1 Monsanto Way, off station road) or at Vindigo.
Until 6 December 2011.
Enquiries: Theunie 028 4233172 or 082 443 6310.
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...
SASOL STRETTON’S BIRDING WEEKEND 4 - 6 NOVEMBER 2011
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
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
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.
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