"You can call me Al"

The Blog this week is In memory of a long time friend and Clarens resident Mr Al Tiley. Al passed on to a better place on Saturday morning and as I write this I am not ashamed to say I have tears in my eyes. Al had bravely battled cancer the last while and had stood strong against its scourge. Al was a great character who achieved much in his life. I met him not long after I arrived in Clarens some 10 years ago and we just seemed to hit it off, my daughter Gabby also had a love for ‘Uncle” AL and he inspired/encouraged my daughter to take up art and for that I am thankful.

“Al, I am sad that you have left us, but happy that you are now in a better place, free of pain and I am sure that you will soon be teaching in that big art school in the sky. Gabby and I came to see you on Monday, I am not sure if you recognised us, but we came to tell you that we were thinking of you and to say goodbye. Clarens has lost yet another great person and while you may be gone you wont be forgotten”

Vee and family our condolences to you for the loss of a Husband, Dad and Granddad we trust that you will take comfort in the fact Al was well loved in the village and he will be sorely missed. Vee you have been a pillar of strength to Al over the last months and we just want you to know that we also love you lots and that if you need anything Please don’t hesitate to call”

Love from Stephen Tania and Gabby

On a happier note I want to wish my mom a happy Birthday, it was her &^$$ birthday on Saturday and I know she got a dog to replace those she recently lost, it was from the SPCA and my sister says it looks just like Peanut from the movie “Jury duty”, its been named “Tinkerbell” Mom may you have many more, “we love you lots”.

Some one scratched LOSER on a locals car last week, not nice I know, seems that here is a big “tadoo” about who did it, the person that is supposed to be the culprit, I personally don’t believe would do something like that. Whoever it was, it’s a crappy thing to do to someone, no matter how much you dislike them.

So the Lion roars no more, an exciting but closely contested 2nd test at Loftus saw to that. I am just glad that there is an economic downturn around the world otherwise the whole stadium would have been full of Lions supporters. Its no wonder “Sef Efricans” flock to the land of the rising damp as obviously they earn fortunes there or things don’t cost that much. I mean we don’t have 25-30 thousand, (“local, those who toil in the land they hail from”) supporters going to overseas matches (even the world Cup we did not have anywhere near that amount). The game itself showed why you need an established kicker and fly half in the team, Morne Steyn played really well after Ruan was substituted, Schalk, should not be allowed to play until he has studied and knows the chapter written by Sean Fitzpatrick, off by heart regards “how get away with foul play and look innocent” Brussow is miles better than he is and why Jacque Fourie does not start a game is beyond me. At least Helium (the coach) made some good substitutions this week. Ref was crap and the Lions got away with some dubious passes as well as tackles, but 28 to 25 was the score, we won and have taken the series. “Well done Bokke

So who would have believed that the USA would beat Spain to get into the Confederation cup finals and it was not lucky they outplayed them in all aspects. Bafana Bafana could have taken lessons, the Brazil game was always going to be a hill to climb but to their credit they fought and made Brazil win the game, well done boys you made me proud. Wow we nearly beat Spain in the 3rd and 4th place game, , shows that Bafana Bafana can play the best in the world and be competitive.

Mark and I have been coaching cricket at a local school and the headmistress has arranged a match against the Fourieseburg school for 25th July so that will be fun, have chosen the team and they were very excited, will let you know what happens after the game.

I was at the launch of the Kgubetswana business forum on Wednesday and hopefully the formal and informal sectors (read white and black) residents can actually start working together, there is plenty of talent in the informal sector of Clarens and I think enough people in the formal sector that will assist or mentor those who actually want to get off their backsides and make something out of themselves.

Here is part two of “Time upon a once”

TLM had come to the village together with Cuckold dwarf and using his money had opened a business, soon after it had become moderately successful she chased Cuckold dwarf away and gleefully told everyone that he had abandoned her. It was often rumoured that TLM had made her fortune buying and selling essentials at markets but many in the village felt this was not so, “while TLM may have been scheming and manipulative many felt that she was just not that bright”. TLM started to look at whom she could use next. First it was “Dude Dwarf” who not being to quick of the mark was quickly ensnared in to her web of intrigue and maliciousness, however only having physical attributes and no money or any hope of earning good money in the future she soon discarded him, soon after she enticed Contaminant Dwarf to her nest who attracted her because of his money and passion for fast modes of transport however Contaminant Dwarf was well known in the area for using single women of any species and then throwing them away.

TLM’s next plan was to lull Fender in to a sense of security and catch him of guard, this was done one day when overtures were made by TLM and with Fender being of a difficult age he was very flattered and taken in by this line of attack. Soon coffee became breakfast and then lunch and before you knew it Fender was spending more and more time with TLM, his friends and colleagues in the village pleaded with him and warned him of the dangers, but alas he would not listen and was drawn more and more in to her bosom of deceit……………………… To be continued

Had a little bit of snow on the mountain this week, the closest was on Horeb 2449 meters above sea level and on Friday morning approx 2am there was a slight flurry in the village, then it got COLD. Still waiting for the snowfall that will blanket the area and we can have snowball fights and snowmen building competitions on the square.

Player 24 became a dad on Thursday. Marchelle giving birth to a bouncing baby boy called Nathan, all is well with mom and baby and Nathan is also doing well J. Well done Gordon and Marchelle, we cannot wait to meet player 25.

Book is coming on, still looking for info and trying to ensure is as accurate as possible.

Believe yet another publication is coming to the village and surrounds that many people seem to be talking about,

Came up with an inexpensive solution to using the cell phone in the car while keeping both hands on the steering wheel and for Clarens in winter, its called the “Legend” see picture.

Spotted a UFO in Clarens the other day and as you can see I have photographic evidence, it just seemed to hover in one place for hours ‘I wonder if anyone else saw it “

Ever had a Strawpedo ? Its when you burn a straw and hook it in a brutal fruit or some other pink drink this then allows you to drink the beverage as fast as you can while not choking on the bubbles. I had my first one at Friends “My Favourite restaurant” in Clarens only there its called a Saartjie “don’t ask me why” Oh just in case I have not told you their Chicken strips are the best in South Africa.

Sunday we had an impromptu dinner and 30 seconds evening with Kathy and Mark , sadly to say that the ladies “opened up a can of Whoop Ass “ and beat Mark, Lawrence and I (2 games to 1) they now lead games evening at 3-1. Next I believe is pictionary.

Well that’s about it for this week, have a great week ahead and don’t forget to call your parents or loved ones at least once this week to tell them you love them.

The Village Idiot.

Brothers in arms

If someone mentions the word civil war, perhaps like me the first one that springs to mind would be the American Civil war of 1861- 1865 where nearly 850 000 Americans slaughtered each other on the battlefields of Gettysburg, Bull Run and Vicksburg. Many countries have had civil wars throughout their history with perhaps the longest running being that of Northern Ireland, to this day African countries in particular, seem to be very partial to having sections of the civilian population knock each other off on a regular basis

In 1914 South Africa had a brief civil war known as the 1914 Rebellion, apart from what I remember learning at school, “that being”, Botha and Smuts went from fighting the Khaki’s, to wanting to defend the very empire that had caused so much misery to the Afrikaner nation, I did not know much about the subject all.

A reference or two about the 1914 rebellion while researching the lives of De Wet, Botha, Smuts and other Boer generals piqued my interest and I decided to look for more information as to why, who, what and where.

It would probably be safe to say that most Afrikaners were against South Africa getting involved on the side of England in World War One, if anything most had an empathy towards Germany due to their support of their cause during the Boer war of 1899 – 1902, as well as many having family ties.

When the South African government under the leadership of Botha and Smuts were asked to invade South West Africa in August 1914 the newly formed NP (National Party) as well as some members of the South African Government voiced their concern at this development.

At the NP congress a resolution was taken to oppose the invasion of South West Africa and on the 15th of August 1914 a demonstration was held in Lichtenburg. The South African government viewed this invasion as a chance to incorporate SWA into South Africa and at a special session of parliament in September 1914 it was agreed, by large majorities in both houses that SWA should be invaded and that SA would enter the war on the side of England and her allies. Both Smuts and Botha did not realise the extent of the opposition against this decision.

On the 15th of September General C.F Beyers who was at the time Commander of the Citizen Force resigned his commission and that same evening he and JH de la Rey drove to Potchefstroom to raise the Vierkleur and spread the rebellion through the Western Transvaal, However fate was to play its part and at a roadblock set up by government troops to apprehend a criminal gang, Beyers and de la Rey failed to stop, the vehicle was shot at and it resulted in the death of de la Rey, while the government said it was an accident many believed it had been intentional and was the spark that lit the flame of Rebellion and turned many Afrikaners against the government.

The Rebel plan was that S.G Maritz, based in Upington and who was in charge of the military district that covered the SWA border, went over to the German side, with Beyers Naude and De Wet a short while later, after much consideration went into open rebellion and voiced their support for restoring independence to the Republics.

How did this affect Clarens, well as can be imagined there were many families who had suffered at the hand of the British during the Boer war and who would have been adverse to sending their men folk to fight for the very nation that had caused them so much misery, and had devastated many of their homes or farms. Clarens School unwittingly became a pawn in the rebellion with the following information being found in the 75th Anniversary booklet.

“During November 1914 the rebellion was in full swing and on the 30th of November and 1st December the supporters of the government occupied the school, so that for two days the children had an unscheduled holiday.”

Another story that I was told was that, the headmaster at the time Mr. J.S de Leeuw was a government supporter and he had heard that villagers and farmers in the surrounding area who supported the rebellion wanted to occupy all government buildings, this included the sandstone building of Clarens School, afraid that the school would be damaged, he gathered government supporters in the village and surrounds to occupy the school, it is rumoured that Mr. De Leeuw hid his saddle and rifle in the rafters of the school until the rebellion passed. It would also seem that that the villagers who supported the rebellion also wanted to take over the school committee, and in fact had members on the committee making it difficult to run the school efficiently for a short time.

The rebellion itself did not last long, and after a series of skirmishes between government troops and the rebels, but not before old soldiers like De Wet who had strong Nationalist feelings got involved. These convictions led him and his six sons to join a commando with the object of protesting against the country’s involvement in the First World War. The Memel Commando was one of the first to take up arms, and seventy men accompanied General Christiaan De Wet (who had come to live on a farm just outside the town), to Vrede. Towns were occupied, property damaged, and families split apart, before the government forces of Louis Botha and Jan Smuts got the upper hand. Of the eleven thousand rebels who took up arms against the government, one hundred and ninety were killed, “eleven from Memel”.

For Boer leaders who had become folk hero’s, respected statesmen and even celebrities the rebellion was the end of the line, with De Wet being taken prisoner on the 2nd of December, Beyers drowning while trying to cross the Vaal River, Japie Fourie who had not resigned his commission in the defence force was captured on the 15th of December, court martialed and shot by firing squad a mere 5 days later. Kemp who had captured Lutzburg only 80kms from Upington on the 15th of December surrendered to government forces soon after reading in local papers that the Rebellion had collapsed.

The rebellion had lasted a mere four months, and the government’s 32 000 troops with access to motorised transport had ensured a quick end to what political observers at the time saw as a bid to overthrow the Botha government, and establish a Boer Republic. The rebellion for the National Party was timeous as it had turned people into Nationalists, who had not been so before, the Nationalists cause also gained martyrs who would be used for political gain and eventually bring them to power in 1948.

"Those two" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With the arrival of winter the local pubs and restaurants vie to tempt locals and visitors alike in to their establishments with the unmistakable aroma of Mulled wine or Gluhwein as many people know it. However I am getting ahead of myself so here is the news in the village for the week.

Good news is that the Bottle store is open again and nice to see Lawrence and Sherry actually making a business out of it. Lots of changes happening with building work on the go, but think the place is going to look great and will definitely be an asset to the village. Well-done guys.

Seems like some local vindictive swine has had the temerity, audacity or impudence to actually book the square for the 13th –15th November, Wow how dare he do that I mean surely this privilege is only for the one and only “I am the king of Clarens” and I will decide who I hand out the favours to regards that weekend, if one of his sources close to him are reading this tell him I say he does know who it is what it has been booked for and just because I will be leaving Clarens at year end does not mean that I should not be involved or assist in the event, “who died and left him in charge anyway” ? Really he should have the Cajon’s to ask me personally and to be honest if he does not like it “does he like sex and travel? “You figure it out”

Here breaking news just in from a source close to the band that a new CD of cover versions (is that cover your ears?) will be coming out soon from local band “Gollum and the Fender Benders”, here is a taste of what we can look forward to. What is great about this CD is that if you play it backwards you get Potjiekos recipes.

Billy Idol – Nice day for a Back stabbing
Chris de Burgh – Patricia the Stripper
Paul Simon – 50 ways to leave your lover
The Clash – London calling
Marvin Gaye - I heard it thru the Grape vine
Queen – Fat bottomed girls
Meatloaf – BUTT out of hell
ABBA – Money Money Money
Police – Message in a Bottle (store)
Foreigner - Juke Box Zero
Eric Clapton – I saw the sheriff (of the court) “cause I didn’t pay my bills you see”
Journey – Separate ways
Monty Python – Always look on the bright side of life
Super tramp – Breakfast in America
Black Sabbath - Paraniod
The Divines - I touch myself
Bob Marley – Redemption song
Maurice chevalier – Thank heavens for little girls
Rolling stones – I can’t get no satisfaction
Guns and Roses – WELKOM to the Jungle
UB 40 – Theirs a rat in mi kitchen
Carly Simon – your so vain
Tom Jones – Sex Bomb
Status Quo – You’re in the army now
Billy Idol – Moaney Maoney
Eric Clapton - Knocking on Heavens door
Allanis Morrisett – Ironic
Boomtown Rats – Video killed the radio star
Pink Floyd – Comfortably Dumb
Joan Armitrade - Me, Myself, I
Bob Dylan – The times they are a changing
Bare naked ladies – if I had a million
Mike and the Mechanics – Word of Mouth
Pink – U and your hand

Here’s a few more they should record, “Never ending story”, “Big in Japan”, “I talk to the trees” “ no body like me everybody hates me im’e going to the garden to eat worms” and “Cry me a river”.

Have decided to write a fairy tale and will publish over the next few Blogs, here is the first instalment of

Time upon a once

Time upon a once in a distant parish so far behind the Boerewors curtain that only the demented wanted to live there was a village called Gollumnia. The village was situated high on the slopes of the Moosti mountains and in this village came to live a foul and calculating Scrow sometimes known as Fuglyuck or TLM “but not to her face” otherwise she would throw a tantrum going out of her way to discredit you with the other towns folk and take things back that she may have either given you or arranged from someone else. TLM as we will call her had an appetite for the village dwarfs and some say even dwarfette’s, there were even rumours of TLM having posed for not to kosher wildlife magazines, but no one had been able to find a copy of “Slutty Swamp Rats” or “Home Grown Tannies”, so this could not be proven. It was however well known amongst the creatures of the village that after her very own dwarf “Cuckold” was thrown out the nest she was on the lookout for a new conquest “and no “dear readers” I don’t mean a car”

At about the same time as “Cuckold dwarf” being thrown off the nest another dwarf called Fender, was telling anyone who would listen in the parish to keep away from this evil bitch as she and her newest friend Contaminant Dwarf were bad news and hatching a plot to take his business away so that they could have it all for themselves. At first his friends thought that Fender was being a tad paranoid, but little did they know how prophetic Fenders words would turn out to be. …………………… To be continued

Mark made a suggestion during the week that on Friday we should visit the local pubs and see who is making Gluhwein, test it and put it on the Blog who actually has the best Gluhwein. “Mark comes up with some great ideas” So Mark and I “sometimes known as Those Two by some Retard in the village” managed to find 5 venues that had Gluhwein in stock, before I advise the results I thought I would enlighten you on the history of this pleasant beverage. Mulled wine has many varieties and is popular around the world, for those who have not tasted it or do not know what it is, its wine “usually red” that is combined with spices and served warm.

In olden times (around 1420, “two years before my mother in law was born”) Wine often went bad, by adding spices and honey it could be made drinkable again. These days it’s traditional to drink during winter months. The drink has a variety of names

· Norway – Glogg
· Romania – Vin Fiert
· Italy – Vin Brule
· France – Vin Chard
· Poland – Grzane Wino
· Serbia – Kuvano Vino
· Estoria – Hoogvein
· Chile – Navegado
· Clarens – Lokkenfekker

We tasted at the following pubs (Grouse and Claret had sold out by Saturday Afternoon and according to those have tasted it is very good, so what we will have to do is have a shoot out between this winner and the Grouses Gluhwein, “we will keep you informed”)

· Clarens Brewery
· Highlander
· Vito’s
· Mosaic Pizza
· Friends

Mark and I need to say that Clarens has a high standard of Gluhwein, we marked the drink on following criteria

· Aroma (30%)
· Taste (40%)
· Presentation (10%)
· Size of test portion J (10%)
· Price per glass (10%)

After much deliberation and discussing pros and cons we eventually decided that the winner by a very very small margin was “The envelope please” “The Highlander”

So the Boks won the first test, but I am not convinced that we will win the next two, the Lions to me did not have a great team on the field with a couple of players missing that will definitely be in the starting line up next week, The Beast was Awesome, the rest of the Boks looked rusty to me and while I am no coaching expert I do not understand the reasoning behind taking off your best players to allow the other team back in to the game. The Lions had more scoring opportunities and if not for some good tackles and bad luck the Lions could have won comfortably, as it is they outscored us 3 tries to 2. Their back line looks dangerous and the interplay between the front row and the back line is very good, The forwards also know how to hold on to a ball, “this probably because of UK conditions that they are used to”. Lets hope next week we come out a more complete team and take the series.

Bafana lost 2 - 0 to Spain but put on a good show and have done enough to get through to the Semi-Finals of the Confederation cup. I believe that we need a better strike force; we just don’t seem to have the Oomph up front. So “go Bafana” do your best and make us proud.

Book is coming on and getting closer to completion (the writing part that is) need to confirm or get some more info on certain chapters. I have enjoyed writing it. And look forward to getting photos to go with the stories. I reckon that it will be between 100 – 120 pages.

What’s so Lekker about living here is that you go to the village to collect a ink cartridge that has been dropped of for at one of the shops and as you get to the square there is a hot air balloon being set up, ended up with 4, but only two managed to get up, the none nearly took out the Red Mountain House chimneys. Was nice to see how they set up the basket and the balloon.

Every now and again I take a drive through Kgubestwana/Kannana and take photos, here are a couple that I liked from the latest trip. Must be a hassle having band members hassle you that you have to Bugler proof your shack and in the second one I am not sure if the dog got so old it died or they cant afford a pet so they created their own.

If you want a good laugh, go to you tube and type in Jaco Schalkwyk, its hilarious, but not for the kids. Also check Darth Vader - Lego probably even funnier.

This week’s “We told you so” award goes to The Proteas for Choking once again at the crucial stage of a vital must win situation. I cannot believe that we could not score the required runs, we still had wickets in hand and there just seemed no urgency. "Go Sri Lanka".

Latest edition of the local paper that is not the Mountain post is out and what a refreshing turnabout, great to see no half naked Frump with a straw in her mouth “well we hope it was a straw” on the front page for all the tourists to see and with editorial that would have made the editor of Hustler blush and there is not even a reference to “slapping sluts” or how women should lie ion their backs to get a flat screen TV. So new Editor, “well done”. Must say that since a new electronic newsletter with only positive news and the Mountain post came out the contents of both the other electronic newsletter and paper have changed dramatically, which is good for Clarens as the tourist to the village do not need to see Crap.

Is it just me or over the last few months has your grocery bill gone through the roof, it just seems to have gone crazy and we as consumers just seem to accept it, I do not know how the less fortunate can afford to eat, I believe we are being ripped off by the food companies as well as the petroleum companies and banks and we just sit back and say “oh ok collude on prices and squeeze every cent you can out of us” I am getting sick about it and will no longer keep quiet, neither should you.

Saturday night after the rugby we had a trivial night at marks and Kathleen’s, it was Kathleen, Tania and Liza against Mark and I and we got an ass whipping with a capital A, I personally believe it was because my two brain cells had to much Sarsaparilla juice at the rugby, however I am confident that Mark and I can bounce back from this humiliation and take revenge next week at 30 seconds. What we did however find out that Igor Rotyourcrotchoff is not the name of the Kazakhstani Olympic shot putt champion.

Father’s day today (21/6/09) and hope you have told your old man how much you love him and that he is a great dad. Just like Nicole had her first Mothers day this year, Douglas is having his first Fathers day today and I am sure he has been spoilt by his daughter Amber, who by the way is a cute little lady, Bro enjoy it, “the first of many”. Like the moms of the family I believe that the dads are also not that bad. So Dad thanks for all that you have done for me for the life’s lessons that have stood me in good stead to get on in a sometimes harsh world, but most of all for the love that you have always shown me , “I love you very much”

Wow been a long Blog, sure most of you were asleep by the second page, sorry just seem to have had a lot to say

Have a great week

The Village Idiot

Winter has arrived

Monday (8th June 2009) first snows fell on the Maluti’s and at Golden gate, on the way back from Bethlehem that afternoon with intermittent rain and heavily laden clouds on the horizon, I realised for the first time that the Eastern Free State winter landscape can in fact take your breath away. As I drove past a grove of trees I was amazed at the different shades of brown, with the veld grass verging on a reddish colour the effect was dramatic to say the least. Of course I forgot my camera at home and could not even get a snap, but even so, you had to be there to experience it and a photo would not have done it justice.

My moms dogs were poisoned on Monday morning on their plot in Benoni, the bastards that did it threw poisoned food in to the kitchen, luckily for my folks something scared them off with Tess and Purdy, both 16 years old and sisters dying. My mom is beside herself with grief, as she said if they had of died of natural causes then she could accept that but at that age to die like that she cannot accept. Well I hope the bastards die a horrible and slow death, no matter when or where it is.

The World cup 20/20 tournament is being held in England at the moment, so far SA are doing pretty well. “Am I correct in saying its summer in the UK”? well if it is someone should tell the weather as the spectators are wearing more clothes and jackets that we are in Clarens and we have just had Snow. I must say I get all worked up at the “patriotic” Sef Afrekens” who are all shouting for team, waving the flag, one dude even had a watermelon on his head “where do you get a watermelon in London, Brixton”? and we love “Sef Afreka” on badly made posters, Is it just me that this upsets ? Am I just being extremely jealous that these people live in a semi-Muslim state, with real crappy weather, even crappier people that live there and earn pounds ? After 4 days of hardly seeing the sun I now realise why the Poms are so dour and boring, its because they never see the sun, after only 4 days of no sun here the last week I was feeling real NAAFI, so how must they feel in the land of the rising damp when they only see 4 days of sun a year ? “Ok I am exaggerating, its actually 6 days”

Also after the IPL this world cup is like watching paint dry, the crowds are dull, the music crap and the dancing crews about as enthusiastic as British troops being told they have to go over the top in the 1st world war.

Ever seen a Durban car with surfboards or wave skis on the roof, so what’s wrong with that I hear you ask, well nothing if you are at the sea, but when you are up North or in Central SA then it’s a bit odd. I mean if you are going up North why have those on our roof, does not make sense to me. Sorry don’t know why I put this in, probably because I saw 2 ND cars this week with surfboards on the roof.

South Africa on cusp of greatness? Maybe I am being over optimistic, but I believe that South Africa is standing on the threshold of something great. I am usually the biggest pessimist but I have this feeling in my gut that Jacob Zuma is going to turn things around and with the help of us winging whites and other naysayers we can do it, so lets give old President Zuma a chance.

The Confederations cup Starts today and while I do not think the national team will win, I do believe that we all need to get behind Bafana Bafana and show them that we appreciate their efforts, so get behind them, you may not like the sport and think they are crap, but they are South African and we should be shouting for them as loud as we do for the Boks and the Proteas.

Rugby – how are the Boks going to play against the Lions, well that’s the million dollar question, some say not well and others we are going to kill them, I am somewhere in between as do believe the Lions will have the edge over us in the First and perhaps even the Second test, the reason I say this is because of lack of match practice from the Boks, being fit and being match fit are two different things and I just hope that we can pull it off. Also the stadiums are empty, why is this, well perhaps the R500 price for a ticket and lets be honest if I had paid R500 to watch the golden lions play the way they did I would have asked for my money back. The tests will be full but at R1100 - R1500 per ticket I don’t know how. I cannot afford it.

Seen in a local Pub in Clarens, winter wear this season is Cammo Crocs and Socks, the socks due to the cold weather (see picture) if you can work out who the legs and the hand belong to then you win a copy (the only one) of Gollum and the fender benders unplugged CD.

I was sitting and watching the rugby at Friends and as I was looking around I saw a number of young and “have to much money” for there own good brigade, again I don’t know if its just me or if other people my age feel the same. I have worked hard all of my life and while I have been fortunate to lead a reasonably comfortable life, I see these 20 some things rock into the village with brand new cars and with the obligatory thin, stunning looking girlfriend that you know is with him because of his looks and sparkling personality “Yeah right” or better yet the smug older guy with the “old enough to be your daughter” girlfriend or wife who is holding on to him tighter than a Trophy wife to her credit card”. Oh by the way if you ever want to taste the best chicken strips in South Africa -“Nay the Universe” then you have to eat them at Friends, great portion for a great price and they taste terrific.

The dreaded and unnecessary car guards have been re-activated in the village and as before its caused a stir, many of us believe that we don’t need car guards as this upsets the visitor who feels they are still in the city and don’t want to get hassled like they do in Gauteng and other large centres also makes a bad impression, I mean I would ask myself “if we they have car guards, then they must have cars being stolen and broken into” what makes it worse is that if anyone was to steal a car or break into one , the so called car guards would probably run a mile. Now I understand the CPF (Clarens Police forum) are trying to create work for the unemployed, however this is a short sighted initiative that was set up a few months back and due to pressure from Clarenites and business people it was scrapped. So why set it up again? it does not make sense. As Mark commented they are “Beggars with Bibs” We have decided that they as well as a number of other people (actually one has left already) should go and live on this street, (see photo)

I see that The Little Man has been quiet after she got carrots from locals about her comments on facebook, I do believe that the photo we took and posted on the site also had a part to play, or perhaps she is to busy polishing the silver poles at that new “Welkomonner” club called “Wys jou Muis”

Heard a good chirp the other day, what do you call a 5 litre papsak? “ A Benoni suitcase”

Well that’s about for now have a great week


The village idiot

Manners maketh the man

I was brought up by parents that told me good manners were the mark of a well brought up man or woman and guess what “they were right”. It amazes me that the kids of today do not have the manners that you and I are accustomed to, this probably due to the fact that parents no longer have the time, patience or inclination to teach their children manners or society no longer dictates that men should open a door for a woman or people should say please and thank you.

Talking about manners read this and see if you make the grade.

Good table manners are taught to us from an early age by ones parents, the top two that spring to mind would be, do not talk when you have your mouth full, keep your elbows off the table while eating. There are however a myriad of rules that should you find yourself at a high society dinner party the rules become slightly more complex but less apparent. For example are you aware that bread should be broken with your hands rather than cut with a knife and a tip especially for those living in the boondocks “eat a mielie across and not around.” Or as my good friend Dave Green would say “Eet hom soos n Mielie”

It has been said that nowhere is a mans breeding and class more obvious than at a dinner table, especially in his display of table manners – or lack thereof and while I am pretty confident that you the reader are in no danger whatsoever of entering such ill-mannered terrain, it wont hurt to brush up on a few of your table P’s and Q’S

· Wait before everyone is seated before you start eating
· Do not blow on food that is hot, wait until it cools
· Use a napkin only for your mouth. Never use it for your nose, face or forehead
· Never pick your teeth at the table
· The salt and pepper are always passed together, even if only one is asked for
· If a course is set before you that you do not want to eat, simply do not touch it
· Never leave the table without asking to be excused
· Do not break your bread into the soup, or mash everything into your gravy. It is bad taste to mix food on your plate

· When finished eating do not push your plate away from you
· When dining with others, everyone should start and finish at the same time, if you are a fast eater try to pace yourself

Now be honest how many of those points did you actually

A) Know
B) Practice when at the dinner table

Well hopefully the above is food for thought and should be fun next time you are invited to a local soirĂ©e to see who has actually read this article and who has not, as for myself I have a yearning for that most disparaged of meals - “Beans on toast”.

Well my mate Mark who took over from me at Clarens Properties has an offer in on his first sale on wednesday, “that’s great boet” May you have many more. Hell it took me a couple of months to do my first sale.

I was actually saying to Dave Green the other day that now there is only three estate agents in the village, Pam Golding, Engel Voelkers and Clarens Properties. Seeff properties closed and Clarens County Estates is closing with Jan joining Clarens Properties. So Clarens Properties is the only private agency left in the village and has held its own against the big guns, I am proud to say that I was part of that happening and played a big part in ensuring that Clarens Properties kept its head high. It may sound like I am blowing my own horn, but I think I did well for Dave and Barbara.

I was reading the other day that the town of Galen in Switzerland, “that’s were Oom Paul died in 1904 after leaving South African shores to try and drum up support for the Boer war” have decided that they are removing has street name because in this day and age his association to racism can no longer be tolerated, took a while to come to that decision, I mean 105 years later you decide that the name is no longer acceptable. I cannot remember whom they replaced his name with but I think it was some philosopher. “Sorry Oom Paul at least you still have a couple of statues and street names left in the Good old S.A, for how long however remains to be seen”

If there is such a thing as reincarnation I want to come back as a cat in the Dunkley household, we have 3 cats Snowball, Black cat and Pepper, each with their very own and distinct characters.

·Snowball is the boytjie, even though the means for him to procreate have been taken away he swaggers around like Rocky Balboa, it’s a pity that demeanour does not translate to actions because the only thing he has in common with Rocky is that he gets used as the neighbourhood punching bag. Snowballs day consists of sauntering through the cat flap at breakfast time, giving attitude eating and passing out on some warm and comfortable piece of furniture. He then wakes up to go and Jol, you see him again the next day, unless of course he is licking his wounds from a godd ass kicking the night before or it’s to cold.

· Black cat A.K.A “the bitch” She has not grown, if she were human she would be a dwarf “sorry vertically challenged individual” what she lacks in size she more than makes up for with attitude and rules the roost with an iron paw. She is always up to mischief and climbing in to or onto things she should not be. From the moment she met Pepper, she decided to make her life hell and while over the last 2 years Pepper has learnt to fight back, black cat still gives her grief. Black cat adores her brother Snowball and loves to try and play with him, sometimes he will tolerate it for a few moments before giving a low growl and giving her a swat.

·Pepper is a lady, very polite, never makes a noise and is always grooming herself. Pepper came to us from Nicole who moved to the UK and she is an absolute pleasure, Pepper lived by herself and was scared of birds, bees, leaves, even brooms before she came to the Platteland. Its taken a while but she is at home now, even though black cat gives her a hard time, I think she likes it here, Pepper is smarter than the other two as she knows what a gas heater is and will sit in front of it toasting herself while the other two curl up in a tight ball somewhere.

One thing they all have in common is Food, they will forget that they want to swat each other when it comes to sachet time, then they work together as a well oiled machine to nag, beg, plead, cajole and basically make a nuisance of themselves until Tania relents and feeds them their favourite treat.

Bottle store is open again “Yippee”, its going to be renamed I believe, “good idea”, would not want a business of mine linked to the previous owner. “You must think that we are Alcofrolics here” well let me tell you that’s not completely true, some of us are only half Alcofrolics. We are happy because its friends of ours that are going to be running it “yes we are hoping for a rebate when we buy, but Lawrence is a non gentile and will ensure that his wife Sherri has been given lessons on how best to get a tune out of the Jewish Piano” (that’s a till for those who may be confused). Jokes aside Lawrence and Sherri are great people and we wish them well in their new venture.

Book is coming on and about 60% finished with the stories, looking forward to seeing it in print, hope my mom buys a few copies. Just need to confirm some facts and ensure that all te interesting things are in the book. Photos are next. What I want to do is give the people I would like to photograph for me one or two of the chapters and they can then go off and source photos from their libraries or take new ones.

Tania was spitting mad on Thursday as she had her first parcel get stolen by the post Office “Booysens Post office YOU SUCK” “Hold the Press, was not stolen, it was in fact sent to another Post Office, so Sorry Booysens”

I am not on Facebook but Tania and Gabby as well as most or our family or friends are, does not interest me to be honest, but on Friday I made an exception this due to people that once worshipped the ground that she walked on but a month ago, now giving “The Little Man” stick, so guys you win this weeks “We told you so award”

If I may have my 5 cents worth, first I thought TLM was going to Durban, seems she is in Gauteng “one more reason to stay away from there”. Second “WE TOLD YOU SO” so why are you getting upset that she is bad mouthing the village and people, hell what do you expect from a “Wel Kommon er” “she is a legend in her own lunch box” and the village is just SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better of without her. “Tata Hoer”.

I must say however I did get a kick of the comments from TLM about if only the advertisers knew what was being said about them as well as a comment regards new editor. Guess TLM is not the “Babe’s” anymore? “To think you gave up mates for that, good call, NOT” Wonder if an apology will ever be forthcoming, I ain’t going to hold my breath and to be honest even if it was it would not change how I personally feel.

Local Magazine has another new editor and bets are already on in the village as to how long that person will last. I personally think may just be the person to turn it around and get it back to what it once was when Karen was the editor, however consensus seems to be that another friendship will be lost. Lets see what happens.

Rugby on Wednesday was “Bad” the Xerox Golden Lions did not even put up a fight, I said to Mark that if they are the Xerox lions surely to play better they should just “copy” the British Lions. The game on Saturday was a much better match with the Cheetahs narrowly losing, a game that they should have won.

This week’s look like your boss award has to go to Dylan, well done Bro. Your prize is a week in Clarens.

Reading a great book at the moment called Battles of South Africa by Tim Couzens and has reminded me why I love history so much. It’s a great book, well written and I a style that I really enjoy.

Today (Sunday) was Turkish GP, a bit boring, like watching paint dry. we also had tea and scones at Kerry-Anne and Randal’s house, these are two fantastic people and an asset to the village, if only we could have more people like them moving here.

My mate Paul Els has re-published his book “We fear naught but god” its about the Recce’s its been updated extensively and is well worth buying. If you would like to order a copy from him you can contact him at paul@who-els.co.za.

Clarens connection is going from strength to strength with a number of Clarenites assisting in keeping it going. So thanks to you all for that. Think its popular because we don’t have a hidden agenda, treat everyone the same and you don’t have to advertise to use this media to inform now close to 900 people what you or what we as Clarens offer.

Well that’s about it, have a great week and remember this Vegetarian is an ancient old world word for “Lousy hunter”


The Village idiot

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