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 soirée 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

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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