9 Aug 2013

Hallo Napier

The Soapbox

Two years and 40 Napier Natters later.
Is it time to put the Napier Natter to rest? The original ‘raison d'être’ for such a newsletter was to have a means of disseminating information regarding issue’s that touch us all in our village. To give all who receive it, a mouthpiece, to have their say. To foster a free flow of idea’s. It all hinged on the concept of folks submitting contributions, letters and opinions.
In the earlier days of the Natters, I did receive a lot of contributions, but over time they have become fewer and fewer. I always stated that the Natter would only continue as long as the contributions did. At this point in time I’m not even sure if anybody bothers to read the Natter anymore.
Your responses/thoughts on the above will be most appreciated – and to all of you who regularly (or occasionally) contributed – thank you.

Who let the dogs out – woof woof!
An issue that did elicit quite a number of responses – some quite vitriolic and others unprintable – was Lindy’s Warren’s contribution regarding the barking of dogs in Napier  (2 July 2013).

From a personal point of view, one of the many reasons I moved to Napier from the city was due to my love of animals and birds and my desire to be surrounded by as many of them as I possibly could. A small, country village seemed the perfect place to do this. Although I am not on a farm as such, I am partly surrounded by smallholdings and live a stone throw away (well almost) from the nearest farm. One expects small towns and farming areas to have an abundance of animals and birds.  Cities have noisy taxi’s and emergency vehicles – villages have animals. Take your pick. I myself had a little ‘run in’ with my neighbours about my chickens crowing too early in the morning – compromise seemed the easiest way out and I got rid of the noisiest culprits. My remaining chickens still crow in the early morning - neighbours or no neighbours. For me, there is little more beautiful than sitting on my balcony, watching the sun set over the Riviersonderend and listening to the sounds of the country – sheep, cows, chickens and dogs. But then again, my neighbours do not have yelping dogs that bark all day (or all night). I am not really in close proximity to the constant howling of dogs emanating out of Nuwerus. Rarely is my sleep interrupted by noisy animals. More likely to be a large truck or speeding vehicle. Perhaps if you are one of the unlucky one’s who does have a problem with your neighbours animals, you may want to try opening a dialogue that is honest and free from aggression. One where you can find compromise and mutual respect.

If all fails – there is always the city to move back to!

Info at hand
The new tourist info office next to P&B bottle store is looking so good!
Can’t wait to have a little local museum in our village again..
Well done to Agulhas Tourism, Rene, Michelle, Magda and everyone else involved!

Cape Agulhas Tourism resurrecting Napier history
Cape Agulhas Tourism has moved to their new office at No 37 Sarel Cilliers Street ( Main Road). 
As part of the new office, CAT would like to incorporate items from the past to make it part of our present and future. We ask that Naperians become involved in this project. All are invited to attend an informal get together in the new tourism office on Wednesday 21 August at 3.00pm

Ons vra Napier dorpers om betrokke te raak by hierdie projek.  Almal is welkom by ‘n informele vergadering in the nuwe toerisme kantoor, Woensdag, 21 Augustus om 15H00.  Odette Weir, museum hoof van Bredasdorp Skeepswrak museum sal ook die vergadering bywoon vir leiding t.o.v. hierdie nuwe projek vir Napier.

Please rsvp with Michelle at tel: 028 423 3325

Joan Brown has the following to say about the barking dogs in Napier:
Having read the strongly worded article on unnecessary dog barking, several times, in fact, in order to digest and understand, I wish to offer my point of view.

Digressing slightly:  In recent years many people have moved out to Napier because this is where you can have your horses and dogs – it’s ‘country’, after all (at least, it was when I moved here in 2006).  Sadly, since then, the situation has changed drastically, most notably, the erection of unsightly wire fencing around areas where we dog owners used to happily walk without interfering with anybody - we now have very little choice.  This could be one of the reasons why some dogs are not walked as frequently as before (not guilty.)  Also, I personally have been the recipient of aggressive attitudes which weren’t here before – Napier used to be a gentle place to live. 

However, getting back to the original complaint.   Dogs bark for many different reasons – communicating with other dogs is one (remember ‘Lady and the Tramp’?)   We are told by the Police that having a dog is essential for home security.  So, I would suggest that if a dog barks at strange people walking past your property, it’s just doing its job.  I’m not advocating that owners should allow their dogs to bark incessantly, but often owners are out.   Many times children run past my place screaming and yelling, so of course my dogs instantly react – that’s what dogs do.  Referring to the ‘scholars’ – at 7.30 each morning they start walking up to the school, conversing at full volume (and I mean ‘FULL volume’) and, not surprisingly, my dogs react (and so do I!)  The whole thing is repeated in the afternoon.  With respect, I would suggest that instead of blaming the dogs, perhaps the scholars could be ‘persuaded’ to lower their volume as they are in a residential area. 

Dogs are our friends and companions and of course they should be disciplined wherever possible, but I suggest that they should not be blamed for just being ‘dogs’ who react to what they consider a possible security threat.  
Joan Brown


Alexandra Tee has the following opinion:
Noordhoek was a beautiful village until suburbia moved in. Is Napier going the same way?  Just a thought but is it really necessary for the scholars to spread over the entire road shouting at the tops of their voices,singing,chanting and shrieking over the general raucous behaviour and blaring radios?
Thanks guys! See you next visit.

Judith Whitlock from the Welfare Shop has the following appeal:
I wonder if I could make an appeal on behalf of Child Welfare for winter clothing  to be sold in the ‘Klerekas’ (the Charity Shop's clothing outlet situated opposite the Church and open at the same time on Friday afternoons  1-4pm.) We try to serve a dual purpose by selling clothes at very low prices  to those who cannot afford to pay more,  all proceeds going  to Child Welfare to be used in these  hard times to assist the many very needy people in Napier with basic food.

Last week for the first time ever our stock ran out;  So could we ask the Napier community to look in their cupboards for those items that perhaps they will never wear again, the jacket that is too small the jerseys that are rather worn but would still keep somebody warm, T-shirts bit shabby but fine as a vest, clothes the children have outgrown warm clothing for men women and children. If you find only one suitable item, it will be gratefully received.  Donations can be dropped off at the either of the shops on Friday afternoon 1-4pm, or  we can arrange collection  telephone Glen Goosens on 028 423 3819 or John Cook  084 588 5747

Regarding the scarecrows at the last Patat-festival, Rosalind Stone had the following comment:
I was not in Napier for the Patat Festival as I was enjoying a few blissful days in the African bush with my siblings and their significant others, so I am not really in a position to comment. However with regards to the lack of scarecrows may I offer this snippet - last year certain parties took it upon themselves to regulate when they were to be put on display, and by which date they had to be removed, we were even instructed to call them "patatmense" not scarecrows! Many received criticism about the way they were made, or the creatures they depicted; all in all it spoiled the fun of spontaneity on many levels, and since it has now become a competition with exhibits marked with an official entry number  ........ well, it just ain't what it used to be!

…and Dinkie Yule says:
Hello to Napier Natter
I understand your complaint about the lack of scarecrows, but at the same time, scarecrows are hardly a tradition in Napier. They were introduced 4 or 5 years ago and I believe the novelty has worn off. Perhaps someone should come up with a new idea, something more typically ‘Napier’. Stellenbosch is alive with scarecrows, protecting the strawberry fields. What do we have to advertise or protect? Perhaps something to do with ‘patats?’
Dinky Yule

This letter was submitted by Paul, a recent addition to our village.
All well here, but I would just like to inform you of the following:
We are both now tired of being harassed by the "street kids" both outside the liquor store, but mostly outside the OK MINI Mart!. So much so that we have been in contact with the local police station, now on 2 occasions. And I will not tolerate anymore!
We have been quiet, law abiding citizens, and then you have these kids and youngsters confronting you when you say NO!., they get aggressive! So much so that I called the cops to go and remove / and / or go see what is going on there!
This is not what we signed on for! We sold in CT to get away from all of this c**p, but seems now we cannot even drive down the road to go buy basic things! BIG problem is developing here! Either I get Mace, or I get a gun! (That is my feelings right now!)
So, I think as a community, have to stand together with whatever welfare societies are out there! When moving here, we decided no more Burglar Alarms / Security Doors etc, but seems I was wrong! We were stolen from this past week-end, perpetrator was caught, apparently was in court today, and the whole attitude of the work people at the house was just different, after we s**t all over our builder (who was innocent after all this crap, but who is after all responsible)
So yes, all the whitey sub-contractors are no better, they all take a chance! be nice to them.. they rip you off. Be strict with them....they still try! S**t..! Wish I was younger, but I will still give all of them a run for their money!
Bottom line is..... make sure you tell the builder who's paying their salaries! (They tend to forget that!)
Be involved, but don't interfere! My motto.
Regards all! (Renovating is not for sissy's!)

Rhoda submitted the following info that is pertinent to most of us. Know your labour law!
My domestic worker asked me today what are her leave and sick leave benefits as a char.
Because I wasn’t sure, I looked on the Gov. Website to get the info.
I thought I should share this info with other Napier residents who employ domestics.

If you employ a domestic worker for “27 hours per week or less” (if you employ someone for more than 27 hours per week, look at the Government website – google ‘domestic workers pay’), the following applies:
Registration of the employee is compulsory if she/he works more than 24 hours per month – excludes those who employ a person for one half-day per week.
Every year on 1 December, the pay has to be increased by inflation plus 1%, i.e. approx. 7½ % this December 2013 (and about the same last December).
Public holidays: she gets full pay if she doesn’t come to work. If she does come to work on a public holiday, she earns double pay.
If for any reason the employer is unable to let her work on the  agreed weekly day, she has to be paid anyway, seeing that it is her workday, and not her fault that the employer is away or whatever. It is possible to negotiate a substitute day if that suits both parties.

Holidays/leave days:
The employee is entitled to one paid day’s holiday for every 17 days worked, i.e.  3 paid leave days per year, paid in advance. This excludes public holidays. Days to be negotiated preferably to suit both parties, but the employer has the final say as to the dates.
Sick leave:

One paid sick leave day for every 26 working days, i.e.  2 paid sick leave days per year. This can accumulate to 6 days in a 3-year period, i.e. if she works for 2½ years and hasn’t had sick leave, she can be sick for six days on full pay. The employer is entitled to ask for proof of illness.

Showtime at Pascals of Napier - Friday 30 August
Godfrey Johnson and Emile Minnie, the two funniest men in cabaret, return to Pascals with their new show, Back to School.

The duo will cavort, sing, play a million instruments, laugh, cry, entertain and have you in stitches before you can say: “Boy George”. The show will include new material inspired by songs that were popular when Minnie and Johnson were at school. They will also perform their usual hits such as "Holding out for a Hero" and "Putting on the Ritz", and some new original comedy songs.

Kick the winter blues, put some potpourri in your afro and come and frolic down memory lane with Minnie and Johnson in “Back To School”.

Legwarmers, as usual, optional.

Tickets, which include a two course meal, cost R190 per person.
Limited seats so pre-booking and payment only.

Christmas Appeal – Marah project
At Christmas time the Marah project hopes once again to deliver gift boxes to folk over the age of 75 years in our community. We are now starting to collect small useful items with which to fill these boxes. We are also in need of shoe boxes [ the ones with separate lids], gift wrapping paper and sellotape.  Your donations to this community project will be very much appreciated. All items can be dropped off at Pascals or I will be happy to collect them. I can be contacted on 028 423 3439
Many thanks

SAARP Update

  • 26 August SAARP Social at the  Retirement Village, Napier Time: 09.30
    South Africa's Natural Heritage by Peter Chadwick,
    Conservationist and Wildlife & Conservation Photographer.
    Formerly the manager of the Honda Marine Parks Programme
    of the WWF. All are welcome
  • 30 August SAARP Outing – The Cape Floral Kingdom at Mega Agri.
    Cost R85 per member including entrance and lunch.
Book and pay at Media House by 23 August. Please note it’s a Friday.

Wise and Witty

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead. - Louisa May Alcott

Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got. - Janis Joplin

My second favourite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint. - Erma Bombeck

I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity. - Nadezhda Mandelstam

Do you have an opinion or something to say about the above or anything in general that may be of interest to the village – please forward to the Napier Natter for inclusion in the next edition.

Till next time………!

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