13 October 2012

Hallo Napier

The Soapbox
At least two people have spoken to me in the last two days and asked whether the next edition of the Natter is going to be all about the spate of restaurant renovations and openings taking place in our town. When I asked why, I was told some locals are a little tired of nothing else but, yes you guessed it, the spate of restaurant renovations and openings … blah blah blah! (…and don’t forget I own one of them!!)

Well, I had considering highlighting a few of the changes, but in light of the above comments decided the issue of the Crime Watch was perhaps a little more pertinent. So… no more about restaurant renovations and openings in the Natter – plenty to read about in the ‘Dorp Life!’ (including MINE!)

Remember the march on the Police Station last year? The subsequent meeting(s) at the Grobbelaar Hall? It seems that, after a lot of hard work by a few local residents like Peter Borgstrom, Eddie Cassani, Carol Cooper and others, the Neighbourhood Watch is finally coming to fruition. A plan of action is now in place and final implementation is imminent.

It’s really all about a multi tiered ‘pyramid’ system. Groups of home owners/occupants will have a street representative (who will in turn report to an area representative (the town will be divided up into seven area’s). He or she will then report to a co-coordinator. Simplistically put – everyone will have a list of tel no’s and emergency info of the people around them and the street representatives will be responsible for collecting the data.

The idea, simply put, is to make ourselves aware of not only our own homes, but also those around us. Should we see or hear anything out of the ordinary, we will all have access to details of the home or person involved. Expect a visit from your street representative soon – he or she will be compiling the data list as above. We ask that you please take this initiative seriously as this could help to reduce crime and ensure that each of us can sleep a little safer at night.

…and on the subject of safety and security, there are now 3 types of re-chargeable, hand held, Tazser’s/Led Torch units, with pouch, available at Cow an’ Bell Gift shop (Cowan’s Properties). Ideal as a protection deterrent, for any form of self defensive.

Stormsvlei, The Crossing by Frank de Villiers

Stormsvlei is just one of those places you pass on a journey to and from your destination, just another bunch of nondescript old buildings under some trees. You may have even stopped there once, for a cup of coffee at the restaurant.

Stormsvlei actually has a unique past in that it owes its existence to being a place where wagons could safely get across the Sonderend river, hence developing naturally into a gathering place where that bunch of old buildings was a shop, church, post office, a repair facility for fixing wagons, the forge, and a school.

Jean and I, friends and children, and what seemed like half of Napier and a sizeable portion of Cape Town, attended the previous country arts fair at Stormsvlei. We were amazed at the buzz we witnessed when we arrived there...greeted by a sculptured field as a sort of performance art/ installation. we had trouble finding a parking place. In fact it was difficult to get into some of the crowded exhibitions. Outside was crowded with all sorts of people strutting their stuff. There were food stalls, artists exhibitions, serious, whimsical, strange happenings and strange looking people, all sorts of crafts, children’s playground, a wondrous unexpected garden attached to the restaurant (lots of water from the river).

What with the odd happenings of the day, the climax was the firing of the anvil, an ancient custom among blacksmiths, to bring good luck to the forge. This entails placing the anvil in a clearing outside of the forge, putting a charge of dynamite under it and detonating it, making the anvil fly up into the air. After some false starts, the firing was accomplished with much caution, trepidation and hilarity and cheering.

The old shop is still in its original condition with its old wooden counter, shelving and large wooden bins for holding flour, etc. The old forge is still functional, with its huge hand operated pair of bellows, furnace and original workbenches. Conrad Hicks, a well known blacksmith /artist will be firing the anvil and working the forge on the day. People may be invited to don the leather apron and work the bellows and have a thump at molten metal.

So folks, all this excitement is going to happen again. Here's an opportunity to help celebrate the revival and commemoration of the coming-togetherness of a place unique in the Western Cape


Stormsvlei Country Art Fair & Happening - 28th of October 2012
Where once again the historical hamlet of Stormsvlei opens its doors for visitors with a country fair offering art, design, craft and food stalls and a host of fun activities in the town and on the banks of the Sonderend River.
Local artists will set up Temporary Galleries in and around the various empty buildings of the ghost town. Craft and Food stalls will be scattered along the winding village streets. A stage will be set up by radio Overberg for musical entertainment and there are fun competitions planned for the day (like the moustache competition and a tug of war challenge of neighbouring towns).
The blacksmith forge will be fired up with local and visiting blacksmiths showing their skills. Country cuisine and fine wines are available at Stormsvlei Restaurant.

There is still space available for Galleries, Artists & Performers to participate. If you are interested please contact us! Invite your friends and neighbours...
Hope to see you there - Jannie Uitlander & Ellie D.

A wolf NOT in sheep’s clothing by Sue Morley
Yesterday a white bakkie drove very slowly up my driveway, then stopped in the middle and a gentleman got out. At first I thought it was my farrier, but no, this is someone I had never seen before.

He introduces himself as Carl Momberg and told me he had seen the sign au naturel remedies at my front gate, and wanted to know if I could make up a herbal blend for his wolf! Hello ... at first I thought he meant a wolfhound (dog) but no, this is a real grey wolf in his bakkie. My two dogs went bananas so I got them back in the house, then walked down the driveway again to take a second look. Poor wolf had cut his tongue badly and had blood all over his teeth. I could not handle getting into the bakkie to open his mouth and take a proper look - would you have done that?

Anyway - I invited this guy inside and suggested a few healing herbs mixed with some garlic flakes that might help to reduce the swelling, the infection and stop the bleeding. I also gave him a pack of Devil's Claw tablets for rheumatism, pain and as an anti-inflammatory because the wolf's back leg was also damaged and weak. Unfortunately the owner did not have a card or phone number on him, and I would like to hear if there has been any progress in the healing.

So that's my story of the week, and the first time ever that I have been asked to help a wolf in pain.

Shopping Local - the debate continues. Lindy Warren says:
In the last Napier Natter the Shop local matter was raised.
I do find that many of the Overberg businesses and residents “buy” outside of the region and this seems unfair when we support them with our buying rands. This not only has an effect on our micro economy but has significant consequences on matters environmental!

Of those guilty of such practices are our own local authority and larger businesses. Recent experiences have proven that almost anything and everything is available “locally” and at very little more than in the city. Local small and home-based businesses bring in quality products at the cost of courier or collection agency fees, yet Overberg residents choose not to buy locally. The products include printed goods, IT products, stationery, hardware and appliances.

Buying such items at “Special” prices means that:
a. you have to travel to the city to purchase them
b. when you have a problem you have to take a trip back to return/replace/repair (3 R’s but not the ones that matter)
c. you directly impact the local economy by taking your rands out of the region
d. you may end up with something that may never do the job.. Check out that store room for items that just did not work, fit or were missing that very necessary spring or nut.

Retailers do not have on site support – the item gets sent away to the manufacturer or agent. Local businesses cannot support you as it will compromise the warrantee and hence the great service and repair skills pool we have, are not able to flourish.

As part of our building project we have gone the extra mile to source locally for products, services and contractors thereby keeping the money in the area. However, we too were taken in recently by “specials” advertised and took a trip to Somerset West to buy certain items. Oops… now we have things that need to be returned or will just be stored or given away! Not to mention that the trip took the best part of a day and half a tank of petrol.

If we buy what is available locally and seasonal, take our own containers and reduce our use of packaging as an example; recycle as widely as possible (bring your own and return egg boxes and jam bottles comes to mind), we are more likely to achieve the really important 3 R’s that make a difference especially to the environment - RECYCLE, REUSE, REFURBISH.

I recently participated in a survey titled Green Supply Management Practises and this alluded to how “green” the supply chain is in our region and in my business. A supply chain is the process we all use in sourcing, buying, making/consuming and then disposing of - in our daily lives.

Next time we take you on your own Green Supply chain audit.

Gratitude/Attitude Project.
Rosalind Stone sent me this link to the Gratitude/Attitude Project
Rosalind says: “If you have any queries please post them there as it will be easier for me to manage it from a single platform. Please feel free to share this as we need to grow our community in order to be effective”.
Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/TheGratitudeAttitudeProject

House to rent
Available 1 November 2012. Small holding close to Napier
3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms Large open plan.
Shed for storage/work area
R3750.00 plus services
Contact Lindy 028 423 3834

SAARP Update
SAARP Napier Club Social: Movie morning 30 October 10h00
@Napier Retirement Village
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”

SAARP Napier Christmas Lunch @ Pascal’s
27 November 2012- Bookings at Media House. Cost: R60.

Trivial Q & A
(Answers at bottom of page)

  1. A translation of Roman poet Juvenal's quote "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" inspired the title of what book, the only one of its kind in Time's 2005 list of all-time greatest novels?
  2. A rock called Heel Stone that measures 16 feet above the ground and whose previous names include Friar's Heel and Sun-stone lies outside the main entrance to what monument?
  3. What is the better known name of the annual celebration called by the locals as 'Wiesn' referring to the grounds where it is held?
  4. Velupillai Prabhakaran, whose death in 2009 ended a bloody civil war in Sri Lanka sought to create an independent state for the people of what ethnicity?
  5. After a premiere in 1952, the creator of a certain work said the following words. Name him.
    “They missed the point. There’s no such thing as ... What they thought was ..., because they didn’t know how to listen, was full of accidental ... You could hear the wind stirring outside during the first ... During the second, raindrops began pattering the roof, and during the third the people themselves made all kinds of interesting ... as they talked or walked out”
  6. The 1985 Japanese comedy Tampopo was publicized as not sphagetti, but what type of western?
  7. During the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, whose secret meeting with the Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin on Oct 27 at the Justice Department in Washington DC was key in resolving the stand-off?

Marah Project Update
      .....supplying gift boxes to older people at Christmas time.

To help funding for the project a beautiful hand made quilt is being raffled. At present the quilt is on display at Pascal's Restaurant in Sarel Cilliers Street and tickets cost R10 each. The lucky ticket number will be drawn at the end of October. Your support will be greatly appreciated.
Please note that the Marah Project is not a registered charity but a community based project.

Have you met Ina?
Introducing one of the newer residents of Napier, Dr Ina le Roux, the founder of the Tambani Project. While lecturing at the University of Venda, Dr le Roux researched traditional oral story telling amongst the Venda people. She is the author of several books on Venda stories and started the Tambani Project, teaching Venda women embroidery to help alleviate poverty in the region. Another great addition to our town!!

Thought for the day
Peace hath higher tests of manhood, than battle ever knew.
- John Greenleaf Whittier

Trivial Q & A - Answers

  1. The graphic novel Watchmen by Alan Moore (artist Dave Gibbons and colorist John Higgins) The novel depicts an alternate history where superheroes emerged in the 1940s and 1960s, helping the United States to win the Vietnam War. The literal translation of Juvenal's quote is "Who will guard the guards themselves?" but it is popularly rendered as "Who watches the watchmen?"
  2. Stonehenge
  3. Oktoberfest
  4. Tamil He was the founder and leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a militant organization that sought to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka. For over 25 years, the LTTE waged a violent secessionist campaign in Sri Lanka that led to it being designated a terrorist organization by 32 countries
  5. John Cage after the premiere of 4'33" It was composed in 1952 for any instrument (or combination of instruments), and the score instructs the performer not to play the instrument during the entire duration of the piece throughout the three movements (which, for the first performance, were divided into thirty seconds for the first, two minutes and twenty-three seconds for the second, and one minute and forty seconds for the third).
  6. Ramen!
  7. Robert Kennedy, who was the US Attorney General at that time
    In his negotiations with the Soviet Ambassador, Robert Kennedy informally proposed that the Jupiter missiles in Turkey would be removed after the crisis subsides.


Have a good weekend

Mark

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