"Living on a Prayer"

“If he wanted to see his ass why didn’t he use a mirror”? Mark the Meat bomb Horton has really made a Impact” Is it a bird is it a plane? no its Horton’s Comet” Horton hears a SPLAT, Mark wanted to become a Branch Manager” Those are just a few comments that we bandied about on Saturday night at the Braai, and while we bent over with laughter it was more from relief and a gratitude that my mate Mark (AKA Wolverine) was still with us after a freak accident on Saturday morning. Mark had picked me up at 6.30am so we could go and try out the new zip line at the Willows before he officially opened the Clarens Grocer. After we argued who would go first Mark got hooked up and I was going to take the photos, what happened next was perhaps the worst event that that I have probably ever experienced.

Mark left the platform, I took 2 photos and heard a cracking noise, I looked around because I thought a willow branch had snapped as I turned back to take another photo, my eyes saw but my brain didn’t register ………….. the steel cable was doubling back like a fly fishing line cast. Then time stood still for a split second as Mark seemed to just hang in the air and then he dropped like a stone (between 6-8 meters) the guy on the platform and I looked at each other in disbelief and then I don’t even know how I got off the platform, but Ollie and I reached Mark at the same time, he was crumpled up on the ground and I really thought that he was going to die, I raced back up the embankment to go and fetch Kathy and Tania while Ollie and his guys made mark as comfortable as possible and called emergency services. When I got back to mark he was conscious and moaning that he was sore, the guys keeping him stable did a awesome job and helped to keep him for injuring himself more.

ER 24 came quickly, stabilised Mark and took him to hospital, after scans and x rays it was found that he had no internal injuries or had broken anything, in fact when we went to see him later in Hospital he had hardly a bruise. Now this is where I believe the power o prayer played a BIG part. When Tania came to him she put her hands on him and prayed that he would be safe and that he would not be seriously injured………..I think here I need to explain to people that while I believe in God i am not extremely religious person, however my wife is and she believes in the power of prayer and after yesterday I have to agree , it was a miracle that Mark survived, and in fact for the height he fell only suffered heavy bruising, people can scoff , laugh and say no ways…………….but I was there I saw how high he fell, I saw that he missed a rock and a large tree stump that if he had of hit, he would have been seriously injured perhaps even dead. Mark is at home and is obviously sore but alive, and that I am extremely grateful for. If I know mark i am sure that he will "as soon as he fit enough" hook himself back up and do the full 150 meters"

Well Time is few as they say in the Classics, Packing is almost done, the removal van is here on Tuesday and on Wednesday we make our way down to PE, with 3 x cats (now that’s going to be fun with a capital F and probably a whole Blog story in itself.)

Packing and moving home SUCKS, they say that it’s probably one of the most stressful things to do and ranks up there with Death and Divorce and since I have neither died nor been divorced I will have to bow to that person’s superior knowledge.

Gabby turned 13 on Thursday, so we now have a Teenager in the houseJ. On Wednesday night Gabby had Prize giving at school and she did very well, receiving certificates of achievement in a number of subjects but perhaps the best was that Gabby was the first recipient of the Oliver Family Fellowship Trophy; this will be a floating trophy and is given to the child that best served the school over the years. Gabby also gave a small speech to thank Margaret (the headmistress). Friday was Gabby’s last day of Std 5 and next year will be going to High School.

Good to see the Cricket team had been practising during the week, pity they can’t play like that all the time, the either play brilliant or Crap, there is no in between. Ok Sunday they played crap again???

Wolverine has been working hard setting up the Village Grocer shop this last week and opened on Saturday (without Wolverine of course as he had tried to fly). The shop is looking great and sure that it will do very well.

Oh yeah just in case you get a call from a mate and he says ‘hey come over to the pub and I will buy you a beer or two” be suspicious “Very Suspicious” why you say that I hear you ask? Well Wolverine did that to me on Monday, had a couple of beers and a chat and then sprung the “oh by the way Les (he is owner of Trading Post and The Village Grocer) wants a hand to offload a few boxes of cherries” well to cut a long story short the first load of the few boxes was 300 x 2kg and on Tuesday it was 200 x 2kg boxes, yep 1 Ton of cherries.

Wolverine has also come up with an alternative to the lying down game its called “The South African Indiginaai lying down game” its where you take photos of locals sleeping or passed out in public places. Think it may become popular and lead to its very own sight. Oh here is Marks entry to the lying down game “oh it’s him”

Saturday we had Rugby and say bye to the Dunkley’s at Friends Rugby was Crap, the Braai better

I see England is having big floods at the moment probably the Big Mans way of flushing out all the “KAK” on the island, then again I don’t think there is that much water, so most will stay behind.

Recession is over according to the economists well not according to this photo J

Ok well that’s about it for this week, think of us as we move and travel down to PE with the cats.

Quote for the week: “Live life to the fullest because you never know when it will be cut short”


The Village Idiot

Symbol of Courage

Just finished a fascinating book called Symbol of Courage by Max Arthur, its about the men behind the Victoria Cross medal and while their stories are very interesting it’s the following information that I found to be worthy of note.

The origins of the VC

Queen Victoria was perhaps the first monarch to recognise the fact that the ordinary soldier or seaman where the backbone of her empire and that their acts of bravery had up until then gone mostly unnoticed. She therefore wanted a new medal struck for all ranks who conducted themselves with extraordinary bravery. The initial royal warrant of 1856 stated that the “cross shall only be rewarded for most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour, self sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy” and was made retrospective to June 1854 to cover the recent war against Russia.

The VC is in the shape of a Cross Patte, it measures 1.375 inches across and with the suspender bar and link weighs around 0.87 ounces, its dull in colour as its made from gunmetal – specifically at first from the cascabels of two cannon captured at Sebastopol in the Crimea. Its rumoured that from the 1st world war other metals where added (for those who don’t know a cascabel is the large knob at the rear of cannon which holds the rope for transporting it). The two cannon themselves stand outside the officer’s mess in Woolwich.

On the front of the cross is simply inscribed For Valour with all the other details of the recipient being on the reverse, the suspender bar is decorated with laurel wreaths and on the reverse is inscribed name, rank and regiment.

Here are some facts about the VC

1)First Presentation of the award was made in Hyde Park, London on the 26th of June 1857 when Queen Victoria decorated 62 officers and men for their actions in the Crimea.
2) Only in 1920 an amendment was made to award the VC Posthumously as the original warrant made no mention of posthumous awards.
3)298 VC’s have been awarded posthumously
4)No woman has ever won a VC , although they are eligible
5) Fourteen men not born in the UK have won the VC, 5 Americans, One Belgian, two Germans, three Danes, one Swiss, one Swede and one Ukrainian.
6)The most VC’s won in one day was 24 (second relief of Lucknow on 16th November 1857, during the Indian mutiny)
7)The highest tally for a single action was 11 , for the defence of Rorkes Drift during the Zulu war of 1879
8)In 2005 there where only 14 living VC holders
9)Army unit with the most VC’s is the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment with 56 recipients, Royal artillery with 51, Royal engineers with 41 and the Royal Army medical corps as well as the Rifle brigade with 27 each.
10) Only 3 men have won the VC and bar
11) Four pairs of brothers have won the VC and on two occasions the award has been made to a man saving the life of his brother
12) Three father and sons have been awarded the VC
13) One family of father son and uncle have received the VC
14) 5 civilians acting under military orders have been awarded the VC
15) Youngest winner is 15
16) Oldest winner is 61
17) Three men in one street (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – Pine street) have been awarded the VC (the street was later re-named Valour road)
18) First man to receive award was Henry Raby
19) First ever nomination however was to Charles Lucas
20) First gazetted VC was for Cecil Buckley
21) First airman to receive the VC was William Rhodes-Moorhouse
22) One VC winner William McBean held every rank in the army from Private to major in his career
23) Of the different services
A) Naval services hold 119
B) British army hold 838 (including 2 x bars)
C) Air services (except the Fleet air arm) hold 32
D) Indian army (including Honourable East India company) 137
24) Only ungazetted award was made to the American unknown soldier of the First World War, buries at Arlington National cemetery.
25) Since the end of World war Two on 12 VC’s have been awarded (Korea – 4, Malaysia – Indonesia - 1, Vietnam - 4, Falklands 2 with the last being awarded in 2005 to Johnson Gideon Beharry during the Iraq war.
26) All in all 1355 VC’s have been awarded from 1857 – today (some 152 years).

Hope you enjoyed the info as much as I did


The Village Idiot

"Sing for your supper"

So now that I have had the misfortune to see Bob Marley’s little brother and his two idiot friends on Bongo drums murder the national anthem, the question to ask is how did this happen, this ass is apparently in France to cut a CD, “for what” to bring people out of comas? I also see that the Frogs flew our flag upside down, I have never had a soft spot for the French and to be honest this has just made me dislike them even more. I hope we return the favour when they come and play here. We can scoop up some homeless dude give him a violin and get him sing the Marseilles and then hoist the German flag. If there is one thing that I admire the Poms for is that many of them cannot stand the French either, who have a tendency to give over to the enemy to easily. I believe that the army camp near Disney Paris has had to be moved due to the fact that every night the whole garrison came over to surrender during the fireworks show. As you can see the jokes and the photo shopped pictures are coming out.

So we lost against Saracens as well after leading 18-3 at halftime, I don’t understand how you can play so well in the 1st half and then play like under 12’s in te second half. So it’s 3 games and 3 losses for the Boks. Interesting to see that while we lost all points where scored by South Africans as the Saracens had 9 South Africans in the team as well as a South African coach/director of Rugby. Don’t be surprised in a few years time if the Poms national team has players such as De Wet, Potgieter, Hougard, Bekker etc playing or them. Not many good Pommie rugby players or any other sportsmen to think of that. Just look at the South African playing for the English Cricket team that are touring SA at present and they are the ones scoring all the runs and making the team what it is.

Boks vs. Italy on Saturday was a win, but not the World and Tri nation’s champs are not that impressive, I know that they are tired after a HARD season, but feel that we are not playing well. Ireland will be a hard end of tour game. I think that they should use end of year tour to find talent for future Bok teams and leave the tired Boks at home

Now I am no oil painting but I read with amusement the other day that Poms that tried to join a dating line did not do that well, in fact 0nly 3 out of every 10 men where acceptable and only 3 out of every 18 women, seems the rest of Europe found them UGLY and Dowdy, maybe that’s why they allow so many refugees and losers into the country to try and improve the gene pool?

1 week left before the Dunkley family move to PE and you cannot believe how many people have asked me what type of work I will be doing ad then look at me like an idiot when I say “don’t know. I was thinking perhaps I should go and work to that South African Utopia called England, I will only have to work for 2 months a year and then relax in the sun (SA sun that is) for 10 at least the average IQ of the island would rise and they would perhaps have another good looking dude on the island grow. I believe that England has become a magnet for the flotsam of other countries that at one stage or another belonged to the Empire and that anyone that was lazy, lame, dom, dik or difficult In their own country is seen as a genius in England, this probably due to the fact that most of the Hard working Poms have moved out and standards on the island in general are very lax. Perhaps France should donate a Statue to England of some sorts so when the flotsam arrive at either Dover or Heathrow they can see the words, “WE accept all rubbish, lazy and ugly foreigners”

As i watched the Boks against Saracens on Tuesday, lo and behold there they where the “lets pretend we are South Africans, by wearing the clothes, painting our faces, waving the flag, singing the National Anthem, shouting Bokke , but we don’t want to contribute to South Africa brigade” Many of my friends feel that same about this “False” outpouring of emotions and patriotism by the economic mercenaries, you just know that those with the surname Potgieter etc are there because they feel they cannot get a job here (no job reservations for the pale skins anymore) or because they don’t like the fact SA is run by blacks and would rather live in a gloomy little island with more rejects from other countries in it than anything else. “Yeah its lets lambaste the Island and all ex Sefricans that live there Blog”

The back of this tank on the local municipality truck means ‘drinking water” in Sotho, they use the tank for sucking out septic tanks “don’t drink the water”

Met up with two sunglass models in Trendy time on Sunday, thought that they looked hot and the glasses were also not too bad, seriously who buys and wears crap like that?

This you tube link is doing the rounds showing Obama is a Muslim, check I out and make up your own mind. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=tCAffMSWSzY#t=28

The electronic shop that opened up in the local mall is now starting to pump out Muslim hits, I presume next will be the call of the Azan. Not sure if clients at a coffee shop nearby are going to be chuffed listening to the Muslim top 40 while eating a scone. There is a rumour that a shoe shop will be opened by a Camel Jockey in the village as well, can you imagine the advertising ‘our prices are so good we will Blow away the competition” ………………………………………….. “Quite I Kill YOU”

This photo sent to me of the Grand opening of a Metro type shop in Zimbabwe, as you can see it was very well stocked J

Snow “yes Snow” fell on the back mountains on Wednesday night (18/11/09), that’s the latest I have experienced snow in Clarens, but believe that it did snow in December many moons ago. It’s been cold and winter like, grey skies and miserable. Now I know why people who live in the UK are so gloomy and pasty in colour. By Sunday the weather was glorious again with blue skies and 29 degrees

“There coming to take me away ha ha” is a tune my mom used to sing and this lie down photo reminds me of that all I am missing is a straight jacket.

I see that Xenophobia in the Western Cape has raised its ugly head again, with Zimbabweans getting chased out of homes and being accused of taking South African Jobs. I feel for them, but if one wants to fix this problem, you have to go to its roots and that is that “Lucking Funatic” Mugabe, get him out and those people will return to their homes. I also feel that the farmers should not be hiring Zimbabweans juts because they will work for less they are taking advantage of a situation. This is not an easy problem to solve I know and many arguments could be heard, but I do not think violence against these people is the answer

Well I passed my second test for the Health and safety course, better than the first one, so next is doing a practical (hopefully will be able to do in PE) and then an exam. I will be the most qualified shell collector or Grillers mate in the windy city when I am finished.

Gabby had a small horse jumping competition this Saturday and she did very well with 1 first and 2 places, Gabby is such a great horse woman and I am proud of her achievements. I see that the recession has affected even the horse set with the kids having to do the jumps sans horse.

Mom and dad here this weekend and as always it was great to see them, watched the Rugby with my dad and a few friends at Friends and had a few drinks together. Spent the morning at Schaaplaats to watch Gabby ride and had a great dinner at Mosaic Pizza in the evening, great to see my mom and dad and hopefully we will get to see more of them when we are in P.E

On Saturday received some sad news from Danie Crowther that his mom had suffered 2 stokes on the Friday and is in hospital, that is really sad news as Danie’s dad Rob Crowther passed a way only a month ago and now his mom is seriously ill. Elize is such a great lady and al out thoughts and prayers are with you and the family Danie.

Reading a god book at the moment called Symbol of Courage, its all about the Victoria Cross, its origins etc, will put a little info on the log sometime or other.

Well last full week for the Dunkley family coming up in Clarens, Wow it actually seems surreal, lots of packing to do.

Quote for the week: “The greatest quest in life is to reach ones potential”

Have a great week

Ciao The Village Idiot.

"Tread lightly and carry a machine gun"

Not sure what movie this line came from but the reason it came to mind was due to my mate Tino in America sending me a few photos of a machine gun shoot that he and his wife Lana attended in October, as you can see by the photos, they do not mess around and this is apparently a well attended pastime in the good old U S of A. Ok now I remember it was a line from Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good men” when he is being interviewed by Tom Cruise and Demi Moore , its been bugging me for ages and I just remembered “Aint I a clever Idiot” ??

So what’s been happening in the life of the Village idiot, Stress levels still high but have not had chance to go and test my friends rifle again this week .

Sad news this week is that friends Rob and Heloise are splitting up and leaving Clarens. Good hardworking people that have tried heir best to make a go of living here and surely a couple that this village will miss. Guys we are sorry to hear the news but know tat we love you both and wish you all the best.

Wrote exam this week, its for a health and safety course that I am doing, did not do that well in the first exam ‘lets just say I passed”, so hopefully pride will be restored and I will have done better this time. Hopefully when I get to PE I can find work in this line, but let’s see, as at the moment the way my luck is going it probably wont happen and I will end up working at Mc Donald’s as the Grillers mate he’s the dude that fries the onions and on special occasions slices the Gherkins

On way back from the Holy City on Tuesday (approx 5pm) the view across the valley towards Clarens was absolutely breathtaking the sun was shining just right and the mountains looked majestic with the peaks seeming to stand out, I don’t even think taking a photo would have captured its beauty, only those who have witnessed or experienced the same scene will understand what I am talking about.

Steelwings were here this weekend Wolverine and I are knackered with a capital K, it was a pretty good weekend. I missed the Bok / French game but believe I did not miss much, hear there is a fuss because of some doped up Rasta not singing the Anthem with respect or correctly.

Quote for the week: Remember when Sex was safe and Motorbikes where dangerous

Have a great week


The Village Idiot

"Joost did it"

Stress levels are at Defcon 6 this week and rising, so I decided that I would take up an offer from a friend to go hunting doves with his new rifle to relieve some of the pressure (see picture). He said it was very accurate but I don’t believe him as I had a number of birds lined up in the cross hairs but only ever found plenty of white feathers lying around, never a dove. Next week I will try my luck on ground squirrels

Surprise Surprise Joost did in fact sleep with a “Hoer” sorry for you English readers “lady of the night”, snorted a line of cocaine from an erogenous zone of her body and lied about the size of his “John Thomas” Now I see that his autobiography sold out on the first day, obviously by people wanting to read the intimate details of his sexual liaisons, find out how to snort a line from a Prostitute (I mean do you have to pay extra for that or is it part of the package ??) or wanting to gloat over the demise of a one time sports hero. What is it about famous people that makes lesser mortals want to read about who they sleep with, how hey perform and whether or not the person on the receiving end liked it or not. Two words ……………………..” Who Cares?”

I mean lets get serious what make the Behkams, Joosts, Spears, Winehouses and Hofmeyers of this world better than you or I? Nothing they also sweat , fart, , use the toilet, philander, have bulimia, only difference is that people with absolutely no lives of their own make these people into gods and role models . If any of us was to cheat on your partner, announce you’re gay, have bulimia or got caught sleeping with homing pigeons no one would give a Continental. But it seems to be a pattern a celebrity has an indiscretion, gets caught, denies it, then begs for forgiveness and writes a book. At least now we know why Joost wanted to play rugby and be the scrum half, its because he could be close to all those white lines and a Hooker J

Oh by the way a number of persons and “moi” were in the Vrystaat paper this week “again” , as we sent them a photo of the Clarens Rugby Supporters club at the Currie Cup Final, the one girl called Nicole is from Canada and she was so excited to be in the paper that she was SMSing friends in Canada at 5am Canadian time “ I would hate to think what she would do if on the front cover of Vogue”

Last Sunday had a Braai and did a little fishing at the property that Wolverine is house sitting, we also tried out a new shooter, take a beer glass, quarter fill with Guinness, then fill a shooter glass with Amarula cream, drop the shooter glass in the beer glass and drink, it foams and goes crazy , but actually tastes OK , think its called an “Irish Car bomb”

So as I expected the Boks against the Tigers did not go according to plan and it was a famous win for the Tigers, I must admit I am a tad surprised as I was under the impression that the team that did not play the tests would not get caps, if this is still the case them are they Boks or not. I was also gob smacked that Heindrich Brussouw (The Best loose forward in the world, according to the experts, myself included) had not been picked for the Test against France , now I don’t know what the coach and his support staff have been smoking but whatever its is I want some. The game in the UK also had the usual “look at us we are Sefricans and Love the Boks but we don’t want to contribute, or don’t like the fact that blacks run the country brigade” I wish they would not allow them in the stadiums as far as I am concerned they are an embarrassment, support England if you like it there so much. I also see that there was a South African (not sure of the name) giving the Tigers inside info on the Bok players (not that Tigers needed it), but that’s just wrong “Treason I say”

We had a buzz going around the village this week that Johnny Depp was in the village and Wolverine tracked him down to the Clarens Trading Post where he asked a local to take a photo of the two of them together. Wolverine is being sent for an eye test next week, because that’s Johannes du Plessis a local

Seems that the Golf course has been hit with a plague of dragon flies tat have been giving the golfers some uphill, from reports and this photo sent in it seems that they are also rather large, so any suggestions to get rid of them just give the golf course a call.

Kaiser Chiefs where in Clarens on the weekend and there was much excitement amongst the local supporters as they warmed up on the square and had a walk around the village, Protea Hotel hosts a number of PSL teams that play Free State Stars either Bethlehem or Qwa Qwa. About 3 weeks ago, my favourite team Pirates were here, but somehow I missed them.

I see that Clarens can now also boast it first Indian/Pakistani owned and run electrical appliance shop, “Oh well there goes the neighbourhood”, we are now able to get cell phones repaired, buy TV’s Microwaves, Hi Fi’s, DVD players, speakers etc and haggle about the price “N all” aren’t we Lucky. I can see it now busloads of International tourists flocking to Clarens to buy home appliances. Perhaps this new development will give us Bonus points for next years Village of the year competition. I just hope that the owner of the store doe not decide that his religious needs are being violated and that he needs a Mosque to ensure that he can meet those needs, now that would be just the cherry on the top of the cake. Instead of the NG Kerk bells we can wake up to the dulcet tones of Achmed singing Suicide bomber favourites such as that sixties favourite “Bits and Pieces” and that new sensational hit sung by Lady “I have to wear a Burka” Gaga “I want to blow up this place, blow blow up this place”

I don’t know if you saw a couple of Blogs back but Tania got a company vehicle for Crafty stuff, we want to upgrade so she can go shopping and carry more parcels to the Post office, so we looked for possible upgrades to the “Hummer” and this is what we came up with, pretty nifty I think.

Good news coming out of Equatorial Guinea is that Nick du Toit along with 3 other South Africans and that winging Pom and friend of Mark Thatcher Simon Mann, have been released on Presidential pardon, I am not concerned about Mr Mann but know that many people I have had the privilege of coming into contact with due to book on Daniel Roxo are very happy that Nick and the other men are being released early from a 34 year prison sentence , there was rumour that when they landed they would be charged by SA authorities for being Mercs but thankfully that is not going to happen.

Zuma freed us, says mercenary
2009-11-04 09:09

Johannesburg - South African mercenary Nick du Toit, who has been freed from a notorious Equatorial Guinea jail, has given President Jacob Zuma the credit for his and his accomplices' pardon.

"We were told... that we were going to be freed. We were told that Zuma and his government were involved in the negotiations for our release and now today, we are free men," said Du Toit.

The Star newspaper reported on Wednesday that he and his accomplices, Briton Simon Mann and South Africans Sergio Cardoso, Jose Sundays and George Alerson were in the dark about how their release was negotiated.

"We do not know what went on behind the closed doors or for how long they have been negotiating.

"We are just glad that we are going home. This has been a dream of mine for years and I cannot wait to hold and see my family again.

"While we have been preparing ourselves for this, it is still hard to believe that we are actually coming home," said Du Toit, who was jailed in Black Beach for his involvement in a 2004 plot to topple President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

Zuma to visit to Equatorial Guinea

Zuma visited Equatorial Guinea last year and was due to arrive in the country for another visit on Tuesday.

His spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, said he was not privy to any discussions that were held between the two statesmen.

"It's possible that the government of Equatorial Guinea had believed it needed to release them on the eve of President Zuma's visit.

"But that was not a condition from our side to say they must do that on the eve of the visit. We do believe it satisfies the legal provisions of Equatorial Guinea," said Magwenya.

Several reports suggested the men would return to South Africa within 24 hours of their release on Tuesday but it was not clear yet exactly when they were expected to arrive.

What the report does not say is that each man is to pay R28 000 for a ticket back to SA, ex members of the defense force and family members are trying to raise R112 000 so they can fly back to SA while that Pratt Mann flew back to the land of the rising damp in a private Jet.

Steelwings is next weekend, so busy trying to get that all in place

I hear via the grapevine that one of the judges that probably gave their vote to Marquard (with two R’s) spent time in Clarens with his family last weekend - very nice of him, would have thought that we where not good enough and Marquard (with two R’s) would have been his/her destination of choice

Saying for the week and I know Wolverine likes this one: Wine does not make you fat, it makes you lean, Lean against tables, Lean against chairs and Lean against real ugly looking people

Here is a good website to go and look at its: www.thereifixedit.com

Whats in a name ?

I have always thought that the best part of Clarens, the part that makes it different and special from other villages or dorps in the Eastern Free State is its green heart. Not many villages in South Africa have this focal point .Many people visitors as well as Clarenites are not aware that this hub is in fact called “The Wilson Mosia park”…………however I am getting ahead of myself.

With the establishment of the village in 1912 the original layout included a square at the top of the main street, on the map its called Market square, so one can only assume that the forefathers of the village had envisaged this area as the economic centre, unlike today however the road travelled straight through it and the park on either side was either used or supposed to be used for markets, I have found no evidence in researching the history of Clarens that confirms or debunks this theory. What we do know is that for many years the square was used to play tennis on with a very active tennis club being established, a club that is still active to this day. Market square was given a makeover in 1961 to what you see today and was to change names on the 9th of November 1962 when the then town council decided that they would invite the then State President CR Swart to re-unveil the Naauwpoort monument in the middle of the newly re-furbished square.

The monument had been originally unveiled on Ararat in 1895 near to the actual site were 5 Transvaal Burghers under the command of Paul Kruger had been attacked and killed by Sotho soldiers. Market square was then re-named Presidents square in honour of CR Swart’s visit and many residents still believe that its called that, not so In 1996 a council meeting was held and a unanimous decision was taken by that council that the square should be re-named to reflect the new South Africa and the name Wilson Mosia Park was accepted and therefore the square (as many of us still call it) changed name.

So who was this Wilson Mosia and how was it that the heart of Clarens was named after him, was he an intellectual, politician, freedom fighter ? No Mr Mosia was an ordinary man who was born in the area and who had been a dedicated employee of the municipality for 35 years. Wilson according to a number of older residents as well as people that worked with him was a real gentleman who knew the village better than most and who could be relied upon to get the job done. The square was again given a makeover by concerned individuals who felt that it was falling into disrepair (not that they made a vast improvement) in 2004 and the sign indicating that the square was called Wilson Mosia park as well as a white stinkwood tree that had been planted by the Chinese Consol General in 1999 “got lost”

I would love to see a combined initiative by locals and the Dihlabeng municipality to erect a plinth with a plaque on the square giving its correct name as well as its history. Even a little TLC from the local municipality to keep it clean and tidy would be a step in the right direction.

Wake up and smell the coffee

Well this week has been a roller coaster of emotions and culminating on Saturday as if someone had hit me in the stomach “was going to say nuts, but thought that may be rude”. The lady buying our house did not get her bond, so now with less than a month to go before the Dunkley family depart for the Eastern Cape we find ourselves with no house sold, removal company booked and if the gent in PE decided not to rent us the house with option to buy then also Homeless. So you can see how we are feeling at present. This of course courtesy of the banks “especially Nedbank” who initially approved the bond but decided due to some arbitrary condition that some Wanker at Head office felt was not ok cancelled the approval. “So thank you very much Nedbank, you can be sure that if you were the last bank in the world I would hide my money under the mattress”.

I am not sure how I feel to be honest, seriously pissed of springs to mind as does apprehensive, scared, anxious, suicidal ??? ……. Perhaps all of that and more, what I am however sick of hearing is “Its been done for a reason” well the only reason I can see at the moment is to screw the Dunkley family over. Thank goodness that I have such a great wife who is level headed, strong and has faith for both of us, otherwise I probably would go “Mashuga” So apart from this ecstatic news what else has been happening In the life of the village

First I need to apologise to Chris and his wife Sigal (new owners of the Millery bakery) as the Braai we had at Werner’s house on Saturday is also at their house and I did not say that, So Chris my apologies we had an AWESOME time at the Braai at Yours and Werner’s place. Werner and Chris have started the roastery at the willows lifestyle centre (the first I believe in Clarens) and on Saturday the first beans were roasted and coffee brewed “and nice coffee it is indeed”. I believe that this will be a great asset to the village and the smell of freshly ground coffee will have hordes of customers coming to the centre for Coffee, art, Freshly baked pastries, a drink (a bar with a huge deck is being built) this is going to become the place to stop when in Clarens. So well done guys good luck and sell lots of beans”

On Friday I had to go and collect the car from Bethlehem and decided to take a taxi from Clarens, now I have been in taxis on a number of occasions (due to conferences wanting to use for transport in the village, Shebeen tours etc) but never as a paying customer who was taking a specific journey. I was pleasantly surprised, the taxi was comfortable, had a steering wheel “I checked” played some really nice background music and was driven by a lady. The trip to Bethlehem cost me all of R10 00 and it was actually nice to sit back and watch the scenery go by without the hassle of driving. I will definitely do it again

Well I did not win the R33 000000 Power ball jackpot, which is a pity due to house selling fiasco but some lucky sod did, hopefully not some rich plonker that does not need the R but someone that the money will make a difference to and that they themselves will use some of the R to improve the lives of less fortunate people. I was day dreaming the other day as to what I would do with R33 000 000 and wow one thing is for sure I sure as hell wouldn’t work again. Just take the time, sit back and think about what you would do with R33 000 000.

Started a “you’re the chop” award and the first recipient of this prestigious award is none other than “drum roll please, The Village Idiot”…………. Yes myself and why I hear you ask ?

1) Dave Green who is on Holiday in Thailand and probably having his whole body massaged by some Thai lovely as I write this bought a weed eater before he left the garden technician decided to put in the gut that cuts the grass , but could not put it back together, he asked me and I also thought there was a part missing and basically Kakked him out for losing the part. I took the manuel and part to a dealer in Bethlehem a mere 35 kms away and asked for the part, the two ladies looked at me strangley and showed me how to screw the part on, Of course Wolverine was there and he called me a Prize Chop, hence the awards name.

This week I also had to tow a trailer backwards for 2 .5 kms to my house , as I could not get the trailer on the back tow hitch due to the water bowser frame covering the tow bar. I got a few strange looks I can tell you.

Currie Cup final at Friends was probably my last Big rugby game with the crew and even though the Cheetahs lost, it was Brilliant, what a fantastic atmosphere and well worth giving up Box tickets to watch it at FRIENDS “THE BEST RESTAURANT IN CLARENS” what was perhaps better than anything was the fact that old mates got together and had fun. We had tickets printed and took a number of photos as well as making a video. Perhaps the best chirp of the day was from that ever quick witted Danie Crowther who after the game came up with this gem “All Blue Bulls Supporters will soon be converting to Juadism, because Jonothan Kaplan had a great game for the Bulls” So from the Village Idiot, ‘Thanks to all that attended this and all the other games we have watched together, I am going to miss Friends and the Clarens Rugby supporters club, but know that Mark will carry on without me and keep this unique club going in the years to come” As you can see Wolverine and I managed to get a lying down photo in as well.

Saturday was also Halloween or as they say in Sef Africa “Hello Ian” day, it’s were you get dressed up to look really ugly go around and greet everyone by saying Hello Ian.

Someone sent me a photo of this small specimen caught at Mossel bay, now you can be assured that should I ever find myself in Mossel bay and I want to swim, I will be looking for a pool that is a few kms inland, as that has to be the biggest Guppy that I have ever seen.

Reading a article printed a few weeks back about Clarens one of the long time residents (born here) interviewed made mention that “I know fewer people here now than I ever have in my life” and he is right there are people mentioned in the article that I don’t know and many who seem to have moved into the village that you do not recognise when told that they are residents.

Took a book out from the library called Challenging history Europe 1890 – 1990 by John Traynor and its fantastic, the book is about challenging what is perceived to be the truth about history regards certain events of that time and highly recommend it to anyone even the slightest bit interested in history, I have not been able to put it down. Well worth a read.

Is it me or are there others out there that hate this new program Top Travel with Jeanie D and some other dude that looks he should be on the cover of GQ. I mean why don’t they use ordinary men and women to do the shows, average South Africans not some chick with huge breasts the voice of a man and a male model, why cant Tant Sannie from Brakpan and Stoffel from Waterval Boven be the hosts, and visit places that the average South African can afford such as Brakpan raceway, Gold Reef City, Ushaka marine world (for the more affluent Boksburgers) and Crochet doily world. My wife tells me that they show these exotic destinations so those of us that the average baked bean eating just managing to survive South African can see what life would be like if we had of been successful or been given free shares to become the BEE partner of some large corporation, to me its not real and I hate the fact that some twat is getting paid a fortune and having the holiday of their lives and then rubbing it in my face on national TV.

I see that they premiered the “This is it” Michael Jackson rehearsal movie all over the world early Wednesday morning SA time. As my wife commented “how to revive a flagging career, die young” James, Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson are perfect examples.

The Clarens Police have advised residents that there is now a ZERO Tolerance crime policy in force in the village, I witnessed this incident only 3 days ago (see photo taken at great risk to myself) 3 residents were cooling themselves of in a pond that just happened to have a no parking sign next to it, seems the police were called and they arrived to tell the residents to “Duck Off” the exchange got heated and the 3 residents then told the police to go and get Ducked and hot tiled it out of there, the police have ???

Had to have car serviced this week and was told by the KIA agents that the car needed brake pads, ok I said I need them so lets fix them, well a few hours later I get a call to say the brake pads have to bee flown in from the Kia factory overseas and will only cost R1400, as you can imagine my first word where “WHAT” followed by are they flying first class and been given massages……….to which the reply was a giggle from the other side of the phone. I have made other arrangements.

For those who are interested in military matters Remembrance day will be on the 11th of November, here is a little about the reason as to why its celebrated Remembrance Day – also known as Poppy Day, Armistice Day (the event it commemorates) or Veterans Day – is a day to commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians in times of war, specifically since the First World War. It is observed on 11 November to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.) The day was specifically dedicated by King George V, on 7 November 1919, to the observance of members of the armed forces who were killed during war; this was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George

Corruption and greed is not just a SA phenomenon, see this e-mail I received this week

Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation's history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri. His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year..After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, "You don't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale."Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honour on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, "I don't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise."As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale. (sic. Illinois )Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!I say dig him up and clone him!!

Piece of advice for the week is from Wolverine: “‘Don’t eat the Yellow snow”

Quote for the week comes from Player 24: “If God had wanted man to play soccer, he wouldn't have given us arms."

Here are also a few puns that I thought you may enjoy

A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Have a great week

Ciao The Village Idiot
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