Love me Tender

We live in a 3 cat household, Snowball, Black Cat and Pepper, the only thing they ever do together is to ambush Tania and bug her into giving them tinned food every morning, that was until Tania and Gabby bought from Kathleen’s shop (Which is called meadowlands by the way and the best organic shop on the street, tell her I sent you and you will pay doubleJ). Ever seen a cat with a catnip ball or mouse, if not then do yourself a favour buy your cat or a friends cat one for Christmas, its like the running of the bulls for felines. Take a catnip ball throw it on the floor amongst your cats and watch the fun. Snowball our “gets beaten up regularly” cat whose only exercise is to get of the couch to go to the food bowl even went berserk, playing like a kitten. Its’ really cool and better than watching Top Billing.

I don’t know if its just me but Top Billing and programmes like that really get up my nose. I mean I know I am poor but do they have to rub my nose in it? Every week they are in a Larney home with some socialite that was famous once or is now the trophy wife of some dude who has an American express Platinum card. I think some of the houses are hideous and they should ask for their money back from whoever the ponce was that flounced in and made it just SOOOOOOOOOOOOO Fung Shwey “hell I cant even spell it, never mind afford it” and then one of the top heavy presenters in a blouse that is 4 sizes to small for her tells us how much fun it is to be spending summer in Europe and how gorgeous Monaco is at this time of year. I doubt that I could afford the petrol to the airport never mind the flight and summer in Monaco. “Bet you did not pay for yourself so of course its fantastic cause it’s free”. Noveau Cuisine in the Dunkley household is Lasagne with real mince, not that boleroni crap, “but no” on these arty farty programmes they show us how to have a dinner party for 30 or so of your close friends, with a white truffle starter (only R2500 per ounce), “hand reared calf fillet with a Saffron sauce (Only R4000 per kg) and Crème Brule. Of course you also have to have the wines and champagnes to go with each course and a party organiser to set it all up for you. I am sure some shack dwelling South African will be watching and saying to his wife “ Agnes, we must look for a job on Monday so we can also do all those fun things”

I sometimes wonder if anyone other than the 6 followers actually read the Blog, well this week I had a few calls from people telling me that they do in fact read it and better yet they say they enjoy it. Must say that feels pretty good, so the Village Idiot will be here for a while longer. “Will need to look at doing another Fairy tale”.

I was taken aback recently when I overheard a local telling a friend about a very large Dyke that was full of water in Clarens. Now I know Clarens attracts both men and women who are of the alternate lifestyle orientation, but I could not see in my minds eye who it was, that was until I realised he was talking about sinking a borehole, “silly me”

With regards the undercover Drugs investigation, my now famous side kick “Wolverine” after many hours of undercover work not been able to procure a picture of the large Crack problem in Clarens, however he is determined to ensure he gets the photo and when he does we will publish it on the Blog. And remember, “Just say no”

I have been doing a lot of reading on the Boer war to look for information for my book and while I have read some very good books on the subject I would recommend to those who want to learn more about the Boer war to read the following

· The Great Boer war – Arthur Conan Doyle (British perspective)
· The Boer war – Thomas Pakenham (overall perspective)
· Commando (a Boer journal of the Boer war) – Deneys Reitz (Boer perspective)
· Scorched Earth - various authors/contributors

Commando is especially good and it has been on my bookshelf for years and for some reason I have not read it, it’s so good I cannot put it down.

Joined about 30 ladies at this months friendship club held at Cranford Inn reason I attended was to listen to 4 ladies talk about Clarens in the older days and it was really interesting. I also managed to ask those present to assist with old photos of the village, so hopefully I will get some assistance.

Next week is the Cricket match, so hold thumbs, Kelvin from Friends (that’s our favourite hangout) kindly sponsored a cricket kit for the school, always nice to see the community getting involved.

Learnt an awesome new word this week that describes a person in the village to the T and that word is “Homunculus” Google it.

Janelle who is the Ultimate Sharks fan (serious if you look in the dictionary at SHARKS FAN then her picture is there. Anyway I digress Janelle told me this on Thursday and I thought it was great. “With Mad Cow Disease, followed by Bird Flu and now Swine Flu there is only one conclusion to be made and that its FARMAGEDDON”

Seems some people in the village are under the impression that I have wrote about them, Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s not true, but if you do think it’s about you then come and ask me and I will tell you.

Kathleen’s car was driven into a couple of weeks back and much damage caused, while that’s not cool, what is rather funny is some retard has started the rumour that Mark actually kicked the door an caused all of the damage.

Who is more worthy of charity human beings or animals? I had an interesting conversation recently with a few people about this very subject. There was a split decision as to whether or not humans should be given priority over animals as some felt human life and the way they lived was more important that animals, while others felt that because animals could not speak for themselves and were prone to the whims of man they should be given preference. To be honest both arguments have merit and I believe that it’s a decision each individual has to take as to where their monies should be spent as well as how. What was agreed upon however is that Charity begins at home.

On Tuesday took a hike up to a large cave that Boer women and children are reputed to have hidden in during the Bore war, wont bore you with full details in this Blog, but you can read that on the Blog I published on Friday.

One of the managers of a local restaurant was telling me that a staff member had just up and left without even a “bye your leave” and on doing so had left behind a string of bar tabs that amount to a few thousand rand. This got me to thinking that the village attracts many youngsters and out of the many only a few actually make something of themselves, the others seem to arrive in town and expect to find cheap digs and a well paying job. This is not the case in fact many of the youngsters in the village I would think barely scratch a living together. Please don’t get me wrong I am not saying they should not come, because Clarens is a great place, but if you are paying three quarters of your salary for accommodation and the rest on food then why stay especially if there are no long-term future prospects. How does this problem get solved? “I have no idea”

The other day I was asked by a business owner about how they should best advertise their business. Over the years I have learnt that you need to question the people selling you advertising what the print run will be and where the publication/paper/brochure/book etc will be distributed because as the advertiser you have to see were your R will be best spent (in today’s economy you should be able to negotiate with the business concerned) and where it will get you the most exposure, some publications have a website that your advert goes on to as well as no extra cost, this is a good way of advertising, however I have found that you need to check that the site is a) actually running and b) if it is running then it is updated on a regular basis. Another way of checking is to call people advertising in the publication and ask them how the advertising is benefiting their business Its should also be pointed out that a publication with a small print run and sold within a certain locale may not give you the same exposure as the one that prints larger numbers and distributes further a field. There are no hard and fast rules as to who can give you the best exposure for your advertising rand, it comes down many times to a personal preference and a gut feel

Clarens has had its fair share of “Ministers of Tourism” over the years with each eventually being sidelined, when someone else decides they should become the Minster or they lose interest. Most tend to feel they “are in fact Clarens” and as an individual are perhaps more important than the whole. Not that theses people have not done good things for the Village, in fact if it had not been for certain individuals the village may not be on the map the way it is today. Some people that moved to Clarens in the last 5-10 years may feel there was no “Tourism” in Clarens prior to that date and they are in fact responsible for Tourism in Clarens “Crap” while no one can deny they have been instrumental, (as have many others) in growing Tourism to and in Clarens they cannot take credit alone for this, it also needs to be remembered the majority (and there are exceptions) of those that pushed tourism to and in the village did in fact benefit out of the industry and therefore did not just do it just for charity sake, money was also made whether it was a shop, restaurant, tourism publication or accommodation establishment. Lets be honest most people get involved with tourism forums because they have a business that would be able to benefit from increased tourism to an area. Clarens has a number of very clever marketers and ex tourism industry staff and with their knowledge and contacts Clarens could become the tourism destination of choice, not just in the OFS, but in South Africa, the problem is that you will never get those people in the same room together because of personality or business clashes, this as far as I am concerned is a huge loss for Clarens.

Listening to the ladies speak at the Friendship club made me realise that long before “Tourism in Clarens” became a buzz word there were in fact people who promoted Clarens and worked together and were even able to organize and promoted art as well as music festivals. From what I can gather they may have not been sophisticated and all Larney with promised government sponsorship but they apparently worked. KISS was the method the events were run on that basis and its sad that many pioneers that came to Clarens and had the courage to start up shops or guest accommodation have never really received the recognition for that. Most are not here anymore, but a few are and I think that we as Clarenites need to salute you for taking the step to move to Clarens and help start putting Clarens on the Map. Perhaps we should go back to our roots and host events that are more simplistic yet genuine in their execution.

Tania’s new web store Crafty Stuff is now up and running and she has put many hours of hard work in to it, I have not been as supportive of her efforts that I should have been, but I am proud of her and hope that all her hard work and efforts actually pay off.

I don’t know if other guys my age feel the same, but when I see adverts on TV promoting moisturiser and creams for men I seem to think “Moffie” I mean you have Pierce Brosnan, a former James Bond, ladies man and action hero spouting of about rejuvenation cream, “its just not right” I shave, wash my hair and use soap, that’s about as far as my ‘meterosexual tendencies go” My hands in winter have more scales than a Coelacanth and I have more wrinkles than a Sharpay, with my hair disappearing faster than the polar icecaps, but hey I am getting old and while we would all like to stay young and stop certain parts of the anatomy from drooping, we also have to realise that unless you can afford to be cut and stretched so often that your face looks like it has been stretched tight and clipped at the back of your head no amount of rejuvenation cream, after beer moisturiser or vita-lift will reverse the damage already caused.

Everyone seems to complain about the service we get from companies like Eskom, Telkom etc, well let me tell you my little story. On Friday Morning we seemed to have dropped voltage with the electricity in the house being like the Soccer Stadium construction workers “either working at half strength or not at all”, with some trepidation I called the toll free number and after pushing in plenty of numbers into the phone, I eventually came in touch with a human that spoke Sef African English and not some made up human voice, the lady was courteous and efficient and within an hour Eskom were attending to the problem, so not all is gloom and doom in SA.

Well that’s about it for this week, have a great week ahead

The Village Idiot

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