8 November 2013

Hallo Napier

A very “Spring in your step, summers here!” November Natter for all regular readers .

Rather than mount the usual soapbox to be-cry the sometimes seemingly insurmountable issues that surreptitiously invade our collective psyche, I’ll simply present a poem I came across and thought rather sweet. Sometimes all we need is to look at things a little differently, from an alternative perspective.

A Question of ANGELS - by Billy Collins

Of all the questions you might want to ask about
angels, the only one you ever hear is
how many can dance on the head of a pin?

No curiosity about how they pass the eternal time
besides circling the Throne chanting in Latin
or delivering a crust of bread to a hermit on earth
or guiding a boy and girl across a rickety wooden bridge.

Do they fly through God's body and come out singing?
Do they swing like children from the hinges of the
spirit world saying their names backwards and forwards?
 Do they sit alone in little gardens, changing colours?

What about their sleeping habits, the fabric of their robes,
their diet of unfiltered Divine light? What goes on
inside their luminous heads? Is there a wall
 these tall presences can look over and see hell?

If an angel fell off a cloud would he leave a hole
in a river and would the hole float along endlessly
filled with the silent letters of evey angelic word?

lf an angel delivered the mail would he arrive in a
blinding rush of wings or would he just assume the
appearance of the regular mailman and
whistle up the driveway reading the postcards?

No, the medieval theologians control the court.
The only question you ever hear is about
the little dance floor on the head of a pin
where halos are meant to converge and drift invisibly.

It is designed to make us think in millions,
billions, to make us run out of numbers and collapse
into infinity, but perhaps the answer is a simply one:
one female angel dancing alone in her stocking feet,
a small jazz combo working in the background.

She sways like a branch in the wind, her beautiful
eyes closed, and the tall thin bassist leans over
to glance at his watch, because she has been dancing forever
and now it is very late, even for musicians.

Well – it seems as if we are celebrating a big birthday this month and everybody’s invited to the party !! Lindy Warren and others have put together an exciting program to celebrate Napier’s 175th birthday. Lots of events, both sporting and cultural will be held during November. Click here to download the program.

Nuwerus Nasorg has finally got a website. Stephen from GetWeb / Pascal’s has put together a simple website so all and sundry can access information about the Nasorg, and most importantly, information on how you can help!
Please take the time to visit the website: http://www.nuwerusnasorg.co.za/

Building Blocks
Are you an architect, builder or owner-builder or are you just interested in how alternative building techniques have progressed over the past few years? Join us for a professional weekend course with natural builder and architect Andy Horn, who has 18 years of experience in building with earth and straw bale buildings as we embark on a journey of learning about natural building with a comprehensive lecture, as well as practical hands on demonstrations on how to build with straw bales.

This comprehensive course will equip you to build a structure with natural materials, whilst employing the most cutting-edge techniques. which will include soil testing, bale building, pre-plastering, fitting doors & windows, cob work,  lime dung plasters, natural paints etc.

16-17 Nov 2013 on a farm near Napier.

R1 500 (price includes vat) for the weekend (or R850 per day).
More information available on www.ecodesignarchitects.co.za or phone Andy on 082 676 2110

On a high Note
The Red Windmill is proud to be hosting “Classical Gems” – a selection of Opera Arias and Lieder – on 9 and 16 November 2013.

The programme, which will include Schubert, Brahms, Mozart and Puccini, will feature as its highlight “The Shepherd on the Rock (Der Hirt auf dem Felsen)”,  featuring Napier resident  soprano Joan Wilken,  accompanied by Darryl Walters on Clarinet and Deon Lamprecht on Piano. The ticket price of R95 per person includes a taste of Napier’s very own “Dabar” Champagne, after which Dabar Sauvignon Blanc will be served.  Both are products of Napier vineyards belonging to Kevin Snyman.  The Red Windmill will also be serving a selection of Canapes. Booking is essential and can be done at The Red Windmill, telephonically, or via e-mail. deeharris@absamail.co.za, 028 4233576, business hours only.

Take Note
Join us for tea and “An afternoon of Nostalgic Songs of Yesteryear
Sat 23rd November at the Napier Retirement Village Club House Dining Room 14H30
Tenor: Richard Mills
Soprano: Michelle Du Toit
Accompaniment: Anna Chadwick
Love songs, nonsense songs and songs from the shows,
Only R10 per person

Marah project......Christmas gift boxes for older people
The Marah project is a community project which supplies gift boxes at Christmas time to folk over the age of 75 years in the Napier area. Christmas is not so far off so we are now collecting small gifts with which to fill these boxes. Please donate towards a happier Christmas for our older generation!
Donations can be delivered to Pascals for collection or contact me on 028 423 3439

The Botanical Society of SA - 2013
June 2013 was the centenary of the Botanical Society of South Africa and the establishment of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Membership of the Southern Overberg Branch of this Society is small in numbers but big in energy and enthusiasm, and we decided that we would make this anniversary year one to remember.
This special year was kick-started with a party – a walk on the Napier Mountain followed by a braai hosted by our Chairman, Stephen Smuts and his wife, Olwyn.   Over the following months there were many events enjoyed by our members and friends.

The one activity of which we are most proud, and possibly our greatest legacy, was the upgrading of the lay-by lying south of Napier village.   A suggestion from a committee member and a thought to plant a commemorative tree sparked a hive of activity.   The Roads Department, Jan Wessels and George from the Agri, spurred on by the energy of Eddie Cassani and some hard work from Julian Reed and others, promoted a level of interest that was as welcome as it was unexpected.   Now we have a cleared river bank, painted seats and tables shaded by thatch courtesy of Elim Thatchers, and more than a dozen trees planted, as well as many waterwise plants.   Soon there will be a notice board and names on the trees.   A worthy, and more importantly, communal achievement to recognise a hundred years of the Botanical Society.

In March, there was a guided walk led by Pieter Albertyn to Pietie se Punt followed by a swim in the beautiful lagoon.

April was time for the AGM and a fascinating talk given by Keir Lynch of Cape Nature on his career in nature conservation and the Stewardship programme.

In May, some members took part in the Agulhas National Parks Open Day and completed a 14km. walk.   A couple of weeks later, there was a showing of the BBC programme “How to Grow a Planet” at Pascals followed by lunch.
The Branch had a stand at the annual Patatfest in June, followed later in the month by a really memorable day, our Centenary lunch at the Black Oystercatcher with speakers, Don Pinnock and his wife, Patricia Schonstein Pinnock.   Among our illustrious guests were the President of the Society, Ted Oliver, and the Executive Director, Zaitoon Rabaney, as well as founder members of the Branch, Janice Albertyn and Zabeth Human. 

July saw us hacking on the mountain in recognition of Mandela Day,
and in August Angela Altendorfer and Emmerentia de Kock led us on an interesting tour of the area around Rietfontain in the Agulhas National Park.

For 4 days at the end of August our Branch was represented by Stephen Smuts at our stand at the newly established Cape Floral Kingdom Expo, and Christine Wallace led us through De Hoop to Koppie Alleen for whale, wildflower and bird sightings in September.

We ended the year in October on a high note with a bus trip to Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden which included a guided tour by Andrew Jacobs who was entertaining as well as knowledgeable, a glimpse of the new Snake Walk and lunch at the tearooms.

We are one of the few, if not only, branch that is growing in members.   We have many plans for the coming year.   Come along on an outing or to a meeting and maybe you will find you would like to join us.
Sarah Foyle     028 423 3358  Lyn Hawkins    028 423 3672
Louise Hislop   028 423 3512  Kathy Hardy    028 423 3761

Santa Shoebox Project
Hi Mark
I am in Napier every 2nd weekend and purchased the house at no 117 Sarel Cilliers st. I am getting to know the locals and I am forwarding this email to you in the hope that you can get some of them to participate. The Napier Natter may be the most effective way if you are comfortable with the suggestion.  My office in Cape Town is involved in this and we are dropping off shoeboxes here. The email below today highlighted the fact that Bredasdorp is in serious need of help. I called the woman concerned and they have over 400 kids and only 80 pledges. That means that 320 kids do not receive a Christmas present!  When I think of the childhood that I was privileged to have this does not sit well with me.
Please consider spreading the word. To help – tel Lindsay Wright 076 7212449

Or check out www.santashoebox.co.za

Quotable quotes
…And sticking with the angelic theme (afterall Christmas is just around the corner… again!)

"Sometimes what we believe as coincidence is really just getting ourselves caught in an angel booby trap." - Grey Livingston

"In heaven an angel is nobody in particular." - George Bernard Shaw

"We're all kissed by angels but some of us never think to pucker." - Terri Guillemets

"Man was created a little lower than the angels, and has been getting lower ever since." - Josh Billings

Happy Birthday Napier!!!!


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