11 August 2012

Hello Napier

The Soapbox
Alcohol abuse is a scourge upon the lower income groups within our community.
Many dissertations have been written on the historic origins and causes of this social problem, the so called 'dop' (where farmers were allowed to pay their workers a percentage of their wages in alcohol) to name but one, hence the Western Cape having one of the highest incidence of alcoholism in the world. Rampant unemployment, lack of decent education and the inability of mainly the men to financially sustain their families are some of the modern reasons often cited when discussing the issue. Alcohol and drug abuse, especially 'Tik' is also often directly responsible for criminal and violent acts perpetrated against both family members as well as against the community at large.

For the most part, we see little evidence of this 'problem' within the heart of Napier – the 'plague' is generally to be found in Nuwerus. However, take a drive up main road on any day past the bottle store and you will see people congregating in groups, hoping for a hand-out so as to buy a cheap bottle of wine, the fix they so desperately need. All-Pay Day and Fridays the group becomes a crowd. Inebriated mothers and fathers lie drunk on the pavement or up against fences - their often young children keeping a watchful eye. On occasion, the surrounding residents or business owners phone the police who then remove these people, but before long they are back to buy the next drink. The desperate ones go door to door begging for cash – often on the pretext of needing to feed their children. The biggest mistake we can make is to give money. The underprivileged children do have access to feeding scheme's so it would be better to donate food or cash to one of these institutions.

I don't profess to have all the answers but the problem does belong to all of us – whether we like it or not!

Barking up the right tree
With many of us glued to our televisions, what with Olympics spectacle at it's peak, the following article submitted by Frank De Villiers makes a lot of 'tongue-in-cheek' sense. Enjoy!

Barking Mad - Going for a walk around the village the other day, it occurred to me, strongly, again, that dogs are quite a prominent feature of Napier. One can only admire the range and quality of dogs we have. What with all the clubs and societies one can enjoy, including the dog club, there seems not to be one for dog barking, not a formal one, so to speak.

Now we all know that, as the Patatfees has become so popular, attracting people from far and wide, that all sorts of activities and competitions have to be thought of to keep people entertained. One feels that some of the efforts are rather desperate and I am sure that more novel ideas would be welcomed.
Especially an activity or culture which is peculiar and unique for Napier, like dog barking. The potential for this is enormous and has yet to be recognised and exploited.

A dog barking competition should be quite easy to get off the ground, as most of our dogs are already pretty good at barking and do not need much encouragement or formal training , and they practice all day, at the slightest excuse.
Unfortunately the shack-dweller dogs would need special bark training, as most of them run around loose all day and are thus thoroughly socialized, and only bark all night.

Of course, other villages and towns could be encouraged to also have dog barking clubs and inter club competitions could be arranged. Though, I don't think they would stand much chance against Napier. It could grow like the Super Rugby League, with proper organized rules and teams.

To level the playing fields, as it were, a system would have to be worked out so that, for instance, those municipalities which enforce the two dog per property regulation would not be disadvantaged. Also, in Napier, some people have only, say, five dogs while others have nine dogs. Obviously many dogs on a property egg each other on, and have much more barking practice than other dogs.

The dogs would have to be sorted into different categories, i.e., big dogs, long dogs, slobby dogs, drooley dogs, cunning dogs, anklebiters, throatgrabbers, sofa specials, etc.

Barking styles would have to be identified and categorised. For instance you get the anticipatory or two-blocks-away barkers who dont know what the hell they are barking at but go at it anyway. There are ones who try to bark/growl while breathing in and produce a sort of strangled gasp like a consumptive smoker taking his last breath, the overexcited ones whose bark degenerates into a continuous gabble like the gear change grind of a clumsy driver. Among others there are the frenzied ones who do a tail chasing twirl while frantically gargling. Howlers and whiners should be disqualified, as they evoke qualities of low self esteem, self pity and loneliness.

The special effects department should also be a factor. Fence running, gate rattling, yo yo jumping, tail-chase-twirling, teeth and drooly mouth foam displays would be important measurable attributes.

Tail wagging while barking is a doubtful factor. It sends an ambiguous message. Does it mean” I am looonely, please love me”? Or, Arnie Schwartzenegger-The-Invasion-Of-The-Aliens, style, “Make my day, I'm going to rip your throat out and disembowel you”?

Size may be a clue, but, who knows, one cannot be too careful. Some dogs have unique styles which would be hard to categorize. Some of these mannerisms indicate serious psychological problems, like a dog up our way who barks with a small cushion in its mouth....mmnf, mmnnf , mmmnnf it goes.

Another doggy competition which I consider has great potential is a dog / owner lookalike one. I have noticed, in Napier particularly, that a number of dog-owners are beginning to look like their dogs.

Just a thought, as Patrick would say.

(PS. Frank conceptualized and drew the cartoon himself. Napier has limitless talent!)

A New Look!
Exciting happenings at Reneesance. The Larder and WineTasting Room will be closed from 19 August until they re-open on Tuesday 18 September in the main building, housing the new look Reneesance. The tasty breads you have come to expect from Renee will, however, still be available during the Agri Mega week!

Happy Birthday Huis Klippedrift.
Huis Klippedrift is 25 years old this year and will be doing something new and exciting at their bazaar on 25 August.

Over and above our bazaar goodies, we will offer several competitions such as baby-, toddler-, glamorous granny-, modeling and talent competitions as well as a potjiekos competition, a "Klippe" breakfast and a fun walk.

We really need warm bodies here on the 25th August 2012 starting a 08h00.

For more information please contact Elzabe Weber on:

Thirty 8-month temporary jobs for Napier
Thirty (30) temporary jobs were create through the Extended Public Works Program (EPWP) for non profit organisations (NPOs) for 8 months, 14 days a month in Napier. The salaries are small, only R65.14 per day, but for the beneficiaries this is a major contribution to their household income. The people are working at the clinic, Child Welfare, Protea Primary School, Huis Klippedrift, on the leivoor (irrigation canal) and soon we will start clearing alien plants. The Napier Health and Welfare Committee is currently positioning herself to take on 100 EPWP jobs next year. This will not be jobs to sweep the street, but real empowering temporary jobs that we hope will change into something more sustainable. If you have creative ideas to put into practice, please contact Mathilda (0823019041), Elaine (0826382041) or Sylvia (0728181585).

Women's Health Season July to September 2012
The Department of Health's women's health season will focus on two issues this year:

  • Early management of breast systems: All women are encouraged to participate by being alert to any changes in their breasts. Breast cancer registers will be open at all clinics. The communication line between the Worcester hospital and the clinics will be fast tracked to ensure that all potential breast cancer patients are treated within 3 weeks.
  • Every child a wanted child: The pregnancy rate of under 18 year girls were 9.3% at the Otto du Plessis Hospital in Bredasdorp last year. This is based on the total number of under 18 girls in the sub district of Cape Agulhas. The clinics will roll out special programs to create awareness to prevent pregnancies but all employers are encouraged to make their staff aware of these programs. Please come to the annual general meeting of the Napier Health and Welfare Committee on Tuesday 21 August at 18:00 at Club Emmanuel to learn more about these programs or visit the Napier clinic immediately if you are concerned.

Research on the treatment of chronic diseases
The University of Cape Town did a baseline study on the treatment of certain chronic diseases in 2011, and the Napier clinic was one of the clinics selected to participate. Interviews were conducted with more than 110 patients. This year the second round of interviews will start on 4 September. There is an urgent need for a small private room near the clinic or even a caravan where the interviews could be conducted. The clinic has no space for the interviewer and the consulting rooms of Dr Laubscher are not available this year. If anybody close to the clinic could help, please contact Sr Kies.

Legal aspects of an urban irrigation canal (leivoor)
You are invited to a public meeting on Tuesday 14 August 2012 at the Napier Retirement Village at 17:00 with BOCMA (Breede Overberg Catchment Management Agency) to learn more about the legal framework governing an urban irrigation canal as well as the role of BOCMA in the catchment area. This is an open meeting to the whole village and anybody with questions about the leivoor in Napier is welcome to attend. If you have questions about water rights, schedules, payment, responsibilities, or any other legal issue, please attend.
Please feel free to distribute this invitation to all interested parties.
Mathilda Roos - Chairperson: Napier Leivoor Users' Association.

Nice to receive positive comments from our readership!

  • Once again, an excellent Natter! Thank you Mark! Regards Linda & Derek
  • Hi Mark Well done on the Gymnogene article. Regards Louis Willemse
  • Apology to Eddie Cassani for spelling his name incorrectly in the last Natter - Mark

CPF Update
Stephen Smuts from the Police Community Forum (CPF) invites you to the next CPF Imbizo and says:
There was a very poor response to the last Imbizo held on 19th June, particularly from the town side. This is a good opportunity to discuss crime and policing issues you may have.

Agenda for the feedback meeting of the Community Police Forum from the Imbizo held on 19th June 2012

Where : Community Hall, Volhou Street, Nuwerus
Date: Monday, 13 August 2012
Time : 19h00

  1. Opening and Welcome
  2. Attendance Register and Apologies
  3. Report back : Ona Davids (Chairlady)
  4. Answers to issues raised on 19 June 2012
  5. More questions
  6. Date of next meeting
  7. Conclusion

Trivial Q & A
(Answers at bottom of page)

  1. Whose last words are said to have been "It's awfully hot today."?
  2. The nickname, "The Great Emancipator" refers to which President of the USA?
  3. According to the table of elements, which element is the lightest?
  4. Where would you find Mount Etna?
  5. Where is Checkpoint Charlie?
  6. Which famous author wrote the Sun Also Rises?
  7. What is the name of a word or sentence that reads the same backwards?
  8. How many victims of Jack the Ripper?
  9. A switch of two sounds in two different words is referred to as?
  10. What is the word that means "to exaggerate or emphasizes a point"?

Quotable quotes - in celebration of Woman's Day

If women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn't it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long? - Gloria Steinem

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat. - Rebecca West

Whatever women must do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult. - Charlotte Whitton

The trouble with some women is they get all excited about nothing, and then they marry him. - Cher

Good for a laugh
The truth about crokodils (crocodiles).
This is a real life exam of a Grade 5 (Std. 3) pupil. Primary School Exam 1 of the second term. Write an essay on the following question: "What is a crocodile?" Use block letters and write legibly.
Name: Gerhard Janse van Vuuren Date: Monday 22/05/2003
Answer: The crokodil is a specially built so long because the flatter the Better swimmer. At the front of the crokodil is the head. The head exists almost only of teeth. Behind the crokodil the tail grows. Between the head and the tail is the crokodil. A crokodil without a tail is called a rotwieler. A crokodil's body is covered with handbag material. He can throw his tail off if he gets a fright but it doesn't happen much because a crokodil is scared of nothing. A crokodil stays under the water because if you were so ugly, you would also stay under the water. It is good that a crokodil stays under the water, because a person gets such a big fright if a crokodil catches you that he first has to rinse you off before he can eat you. A crokodil isn't hardly as dangerous as people say he is, except if he catches you. The longer he bites you, the more it hurts. Very old crokodils suck their people and buck that they catch dead. If you eat him, he is a crokosatie. A crokodil did not learn to swim with his arms so he uses his tail. The little brother of the crokodil is a lizard. The slow sister of the crokodil is a chameleon. The gay brother of the crokodil is a daffodil. And the crokodil also has a dead brother the frikkidel.

Trivial Q & A - Answers

  1. Jesse James, shot in the back of his head by Bob Ford
  2. Abraham Lincoln - 16th President of the USA
  3. Hydrogen, Atomic No 1.
  4. Sicily, Italy
  5. Berlin, the most famous crossing point between east and west during the cold war.
  6. Ernest Hemingway
  7. Palindrome (Eg: Ten animals I slam in a net)
  8. Five (Between Aug and Nov 1888)
  9. Spoonerism (A scoop of Boy Trouts)
  10. Hyperbole (If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times.)

Again, thanks for all the contributions - all are most welcome!
Until next time


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