2 July 2013

Hallo Napier

The Soapbox

Some of you may respond to this Natter soapbox with – “Enough of the Patatfees already, it’s over and done with”. I do, however, feel it’s necessary to do a little ‘introspection’ and look at what good came out of it and where we failed. After all -  Patatfees is as much part of the fabric of Napier as each one of us whom lives here is – or so it should be.

From a personal point of view, the thing most sadly missing in this last festival was the lack of pride in our town and the effect that had on visitors who come here at this time of year to enjoy what we have to offer. Why did so few of you bother – and I refer specifically to the businesses in town - to put up scarecrows that have become the hallmark of Patatfees? Shame on you! If local residents like Mia Landers, Mary-Anne at the retirement village – and other – who have no direct financial gain from the Patatfees could make the effort, why could you not do the same? People came from far and wide to see this annual spectacle – only to be sorely disappointed this year. And it’s often these very same businesses, who contribute neither financially or in terms of giving of their time, that afterwards are the most critical of the event. To you I say – “Make sure that next year you get off your butt and do something for this town! Only then will you have the right to criticize”

Then there were those whose self interest overshadowed their involvement in the festival – and that is always sad.

On the other hand, there were those – and there were many (again, I won’t be mentioning names in case I leave someone out) who gave selflessly of their time and resources to make this festival special. They did it without a big hoo-ha and purely for the benefit of the town. We salute you, we thank you and we are proud to have you as part of our town. To those businesses who donated prizes – thank you! Some of you were hugely generous, sponsoring free weekends, large meal and gift vouchers, etc (I wish I could list your names here, but that would surely get me into more trouble,) This will ensure that many of the folks will return to Napier and spend more time and money here. (A list of sponsors can be found on www.napierpatatfees.co.za)

Numbers wise – possibly the best Patatfees ever.

Herewith a few facts and figures as they currently stand:

96 Stalls at the school (last year we had just over 100)

299 entrants for the full marathon

293 entrants for the half marathon

251  for the 4 km race

137 entrants for the mountain bike race

Accommodation in Napier was at a premium with most establishments full – many agree they turned away far more enquiries than ever before.

So – what do we have to look forward to next year.

  • Hopefully a far more inclusive Patatfees with many more people participating in some way or another.
  • Many more beautiful scarecrows lining our streets.
  • An exciting new Tourism Office on the main road with (if rumours are to be believed) our very own little museum, interactive displays, free wi-fi, et al!
  •  

Tom and Engela Ambrose, who have for many years organized the half marathon, will no longer do so from 2014. We wish to thank them for all the hard work, dedication and love they put into Patatfees over many years. Thank you for your help in putting Napier on the map! You will be missed!

The Marah Project – Jenny MacDonald

A very big thank you to all the folk who donated knee blankets and knitted bed socks to the project. 48 blankets have been delivered to folk over the age of 75 years old in Napier and Nuwerus.

Many thanks to the volunteers who gave of their time to help distribute all these items.

It is a Women for Women Thing!!! by Delene McNulty
Lydia Needlework Club organised a breakfast. Few people know about the needlework club that meets every Thursday afternoon at club Emmanual in Nuwerus. Their very attainable goals are to learn from each other and to develop their skills in embroidery, needlework, knitting, socializing and have a good time together. When their budget makes it possible they intend making knee blankets for the elderly in the Nuwerus community. These energetic women are meeting regularly to sew, embroider, quilt, gossip and drink tea the way all women in the universe were meant to spend all Thursday afternoons. But this is a needlework group with a vision - They plan to spend a weekend in Namaqualand to see the wild flowers. And when needlework does not sell fast enough, these resourceful ladies organize other event to make money.

On this cold Saturday morning at 3 C in Napier, they hosted a scrumptious breakfast at Club Emmanual, which was much enjoyed by all the guests. And they made money!

Nuwerus Nasorg needs your help!
Do you have fruit on your fruit trees that are not being used? The Nasorg is desperate for fresh fruit for the kids who spend their afternoons here. They will send someone to come and pick the fruit you are not using - so no more fruit flies! Also needed is paper. Do you have paper which has printing on one side only? The Nasorg can help recycle by using the unused side. The kitchen at the Nasorg does not have ventilation - if someone can help solve this problem (eg - donating an extractor fan, helping to construct something, etc) please let the Nasorg know.

Please contact Elmae on 071 582 8171 if you can help

Lindy Warren says:

The Patatfees is just done, and the Fees visitors have left and more have arrived to enjoy our realm.

Those fortunate enough have stayed in the Napier accommodation establishments, of which Napier boasts 25 and counting.

The weather has been at times glorious; cool though sunny, clear and even wind free, and many of these our visitors take to the lanes and village paths to enjoy the stunning scenery. They have my sympathies as their every step was hounded – literally!

Napier is home to many hundreds of canine friends, not to mention the beloved feline, equine, bovine and poultry pets of various residential collections.

In our block alone, there must be in excess of 15 dogs that bay at all and sundry – all the while in sight and very obviously in ear shot of their owners… and not a peep is uttered! The locals too are subjected to these hounds and their noisy and peace/sleep shattering utterances. Most notable of the recipients are the scholars that walk a mere 400 metres from the hostel to their school each day. Surely these times are easy to identify not to mention the barking “hey that’s my Fido…”.  Why are pet owners not able to hear the noise of their barking animals and hush them into silence?

If I were to blow a whistle or sound a horn, when the folks walk by, I would be classed as a public nuisance and have a noise disturbance writ served in the blink of an eye! I once took a walk at 9 pm to a distant neighbour whose hound had been sounding off relentlessly for close to 90 minutes, only to be told: ..”my hond is nie ’n blaffer nie”.  All this conveyed at volume while the mutt made any normal conversation near impossible!

In most instances these dogs are not your typical watch dogs; fences, if any, are knee high and gates often ram shackled and a bit limp in security terms. Of note the mutts guilty of such behaviour are seldom walked. Might it be that their owners were too wary of doing just that and come under the same “attack” as the scholars, visitors and those that do walk?

Should I have to walk armed with a whistle and recording device?

The whistle I will blow at the dogs that bark madly (it may be helpful in alerting the dog’s owners as to the NOISE it is making).

The recording will shock even you, the dog owner, as to just how your mutt sounds to all but you!

Come on folks. Please manage your animals and their noise

This year, Nelson Mandela’s birthday is indeed something to both celebrate, and be sombre about – it may well be his last with us and he is in our thoughts. What better way to remember how truly great a man he is than by participating in one of the projects being undertaking to celebrate another milestone in his life.

The Botanical Society project:
To celebrate Madiba's birthday the Botanical Society in our area is organizing a work party to clear alien vegetation on the mountain conservancy above Napier. As most of us have had the pleasure of walking or driving in the beautiful fynbos above our village it is a good time to give something back and at the same time have some fun. There is no better way of releasing any pent up frustrations than hacking away at some nasty alien plant.

Thursday 18 July is Mandela’s birthday and we would like to encourage all Napierians to join us for a minimum of 67 minutes alien clearing. We will be meeting on the road to the tower at the turnoff to Sunbird Lodge at 9 'o clock.

Please bring gloves, good walking shoes, long trousers, something to slake the thirst and a handsaw or secateurs. For bigger trees, those with chainsaws are welcome to bring them but ensure the chain is sharp and you have the right fuel and cutterbar oil.

For any queries, please contact Stephen Smuts at 028 42 33 049 or 076 972 0450.

The Agri Mega Group Project
Mr Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. Mandela Day is a national and international call to action for individuals – for people everywhere – to take responsibility for changing the world into a better place, one small step at a time, just as Mr Mandela did.

The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere. “Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.” Everybody is called upon to donate 67mins of their time on deeds to improve their community and change the world.

The Agri Mega Group would like to use their 67 minutes to clean up the Klipdrift River in Napier.

The aim of this project is through cleaning the river in Napier promote our floral heritage in the community as well as educate local learners about the Cape Floral Kingdom. In recent years this river has been prone to floods causing major damage to infrastructure and property. Cleaning the river will ensure an uninterrupted flow of water during heavy rains.

We have invited the Minister of Tourism (Mr Mathinus van Schalkwyk) to join us in the clean-up operation.  We have also engaged with the two schools in Napier (Protea Primary as well as L’Agulhas School of Skills) to help with this clean up.

We wish to invite local  businesses in Napier and Bredasdorp to assist in the clean up as well as sponsorship with regards to refreshments for the children for the day.

We would most gratefully appreciate your assistance  in providing the learners with a juice, a hotdog or a packet of chips and a sweet after the clean-up.

We look forward to working with the community in Napier.
Date:  16 July 2013
Time:  9am
Where: The bridge at the Bredasdorp side of the village.
For more info, please contact Marelle Fortuin on info@agripromo.co.za

Quips and Quotes

A girl was visiting her blonde friend, who had acquired two new dogs, and asked her what their names were.
The blonde responded by saying that one was named Rolex and one was named Timex.
Her friend said, "Whoever heard of someone naming dogs like that?"
"HellOOOooo," answered the blonde. "They're watch dogs."

We are all born mad. Some remain so. - Samuel Beckett  

Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these. - Susan B. Anthony

Things we can learn from a dog...
- Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
- When a loved one comes home, always run to greet them.
- Take naps, and stretch before rising.
- Be loyal.
- Never pretend you're something you're not.
- When somebody is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.
- Avoid biting when a growl will do.
- When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
- Bond with your pack.
- Allow the experiences of fresh air and wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
- Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.!

Soon we will be surrounded by green fields and yellow Canola blossoms. Always something to look forward to.

Till next time………!
Mark

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