Despatches from the Frontier

While I am still an idiot I no longer live in a village so the Diaries of a village idiot are going to have to give way to another ?? After much thought and consultation with many various people with diversified backgrounds, the two of us came up with “Despatches from the Frontier” as some of you may be aware a despatch is a message or a report and I thought that with the vibrant backwater of Despatch not to far from PE as well as the Eastern Cape being known as the Fronteir for many a year I would combine the two together in a witty title…..yea I know I am good and modest.

Soooo what the ex V.I been doing this week you may well ask……..well as per usual studying me ass off but with hard works come rewards as was signed off to be able to teach another course to students (the course was She Rep Funtions) and it’s a 3 day course. No She Rep functions is not about what a woman should be doing if she wants to sell things…………just in case you where wondering.

Getting excited (like a kid just before Xmas) for impending trip to Clarens, looks like a number of Clarenites also seem to be looking forward to me going, Book Launch, Rugby at Friends with cold beer and Chicken strips, (you listening Kelvin??), Spit Braai at Robs place, a Blonde or two at Clarens Brewery, seeing old mates and seeing Meatbomb,,,,,,,,,,,,,we doing the Zip line Bro ??

Here is a picture that sort of proves there is Global warming.

Spring is nearly here and cant wait for those summer afternoons that I finish work and then go to the beach to waveski or snorkel or just watch the world go by, sure beats having to travel two hours back and forth to work on a daily basis, even worse for those in Northern Climes when its dark most of the day and the weather is really crap. would have to think if i was overseas that would be the time that i would really get homesick and wish i was actually back home

Apart from studying and preparing for my facilitation this week, has been rather boring this side apart fro seeing this dude playing the lie down game outside a clients factory on Tuesday. Still doing work on the house and the garden, must say the house and garden is looking 100000000% better than when we first looked at it and decided to buy.

This weekends Tri nations game was the first that I have watched and I must say that the way the ref handles the game was nothing less than shocking, “We wus robbed” as they say in the classics. I am so upset at the way that The All Blacks seem to get away with murder and are allowed tries that are if South Africa scored would not be allowed.

Well that’s it for now. Have a great week


S.P.A.D. (Stephen Published Author Dunkley). Thanks for the new name Jeanelle.

PS; No despatches next Sunday as I will be in the village ………Yes the Idiot is doing an internal audit on Clarens to see that those he left behind have ……..sorry are still doing a great job on ensuring everything is as I left it. Also having my first ever book launch at the Bibliophile so hopefully will sell some books to pay for the trip. More about that next Blog.

"JA Well No FINE"

Two weeks ago I had to go to Mossel Bay to do an assessors course, the good news is that I was found competent the bad news is that I received a R400 fine in the post (not even in the post delivered to the house nogal) for doing 87 in a 60 zone. If you go over the provincial borders between Eastern and Western Cape the speed limit goes from 120 kms per hour to 100, 80, 60 80, 60, 120, 80, 60 ,100 you spend more time looking for speed limit signs than road conditions. So somewhere outside of Plettenberg bay I heinously broke the law and they have caught me, suppose its easier to police this than the people I passed talking on cell phones while eating a sandwich or vehicles that use pliers for steering systems and have no fixed abode. I will write a letter to whoever I have to and see if they can’t give me a reduction.

I know we are having water shortages in PE due to the drought but things have not got this bad just yet.

On the news last night (Saturday 14) they had a story of a son who buried his dad in the back lawn of his upmarket Houghton home in Gauteng 5 months ago. I am not sure how the Police found out that he was buried there, but the deceased persons son apparently did it, because in his own words he said he panicked and buried his dad because he did not want to tell the police………..Now the son is not 6 years old, he is about in his thirties so the dude is either a complete Moron or he had something to do with his dads death. Surely if your ad dies you tell family and friends and know that at the very least you should report that death to the authorities……Very strange, I am sure the truth will come out in the following weeks.

Talking about burying someone in the back garden, the cat that killed Snowball is still causing kak and attempts to catch him have been futile, this cat is a combination of Rambo and the Terminator, he even beats the snot out of dogs in the neighbourhood. SPCA can’t help, I have to catch him and bring him in (they don’t have cages for catching animals, can you believe that?) Anyway he is now testing my patience and hopefully we can catch him prior to our trip to Clarens otherwise when we get back we may have no other cats.

Meatbomb sent me a parcel from Clarens, when Tania went to collect it the staff at the PO where laughing at the parcel itself, (see for yourself) they wanted to know who was the VI and who was MB and why called that. Nice one MB. Got a Vrystaat with info about my book and a lekker Old Stone Bottle store Cap and a Millers Camera bag…….Thanks Mark can’t wait to se you at month end.

I do not think that I have ever worked or studied so hard in my life than I have since I joined NOSA as a trainee at the end of April….Not that I am complaining as my two brain cells are really getting a workout and I am learning so much and better yet enjoying the challenge. I had a student on a course this week that at 25 is looking to change careers and is worried, I said to him don’t worry Bro I am 48 and this is a new career change for me as well, If I can do it then you can. Hopefully I will be offered a permanent post at end of October. Must say I really enjoy working with the people that I do, Theuns my boss is perhaps the best boss I have had and is an awesome leader, who knows how to get the best out of his staff, Michael my Office manager is also a fantastic guy and has so much experience, must say I am a tad worried about next week as he is “hopefully going to sign me off” o a 3 day course “She Rep function” so I am studying like crazy to prepare myself and ensure that I don’t let the team down. All the other staff from admin to facilitators are all so supportive and willing to help to ensure that you can be the best at what you do. “Thanks guys for all that you have done to make me feel part of the team”.

Spring Is on its way with Summer not far behind, have to say compared to Clarens winters P E has been very mild and apart from a couple of days of coldish weather it really has not been that bad, with days that you are able to wear shorts and t shirts. Rain is still scarce so that is still a problem. Can’t wait for the longer days as want to start snorkelling again and hopefully get the wave ski up and running so I can get some exercise with that as well. I don’t like getting up in the dark not lekker and here it’s only dark mid winter just after 5pm. I cant even imagine being in the dark like the UK over winter, must really take it out of you, I mean how can you be happy if you don’t see the sun, maybe that’s why when you see photos of friends and family who live in paradise always look so tired and haggard, look like they have aged rapidly

This who read last weeks Blog may have noticed I am a bit peed off with those other islanders the Kiwi’s and a reader in the UK who is so happy that I am leaving them alone for a while sent me this info about crime rate per capita (Thanks Alan, enjoy the Spain holiday)

New Zealand is seen as a safe place for tourists to visit. This is a bit of an illusion, most likely due to its relatively low population, as its Total crime rate per capita is actually the second highest in the world - second only to Dominica. Its actual crime rate is 105.881 crimes per 1,000 people. Some comparisons are listed below:
United Kingdom: 85.5517 per 1,000 people
USA: 80.0645 per 1,000 people
Switzerland: 36.1864 per 1,000 people
Russia: 20.5855 per 1,000 people
India: 1.63352 per 1,000 people

Seems that the BLOG I posted about TAPS is not the only story, Kirsten(my sister in law) did some research of her own and this is the e-mail that I received from her

Hi Steve,
I was interested after reading your BLOG and Googled “history tradition of TAPS” The first site was the above. The guy calls himself a History Buff and says the same version you found is actually a myth. I don’t know which is true, but perhaps for your own interest you might want to take a look at this site too.

The site is the site is very interesting and comes up with 4 theories on the history of taps, most leaning towards it being a better less formal bugle call for lights out. Anyway always great to read different versions of events in history. "Thanks Kirsten."

Gabby has again been very busy with friends and activities this weekend, hectic social life that she has, must say i am very proud of how she has fitted in here and she has some really nice friends as well. "Love you Gabby"

Well that’s about this week other than to say Well Done Bafana Bafana for your 1-0 win over Ghana (remember they played in the Q finals of the recent SWC) so it was a great achievement.

So have a great day, have a great week and be good


The Village Idiot (without a village)


If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which TAPS was played; this haunting tune invariably brings a tear to ones eye or a lump to the throat. here is a little history about the humble beginnings of that song, something I believe everyone should know.

Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the American Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment.

When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead. The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.

The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.
The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician.

The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform. This wish was granted. The haunting melody, we now know as 'Taps' used at military funerals was born.

The words are:

Day is done. Fading light. Thanks and praise.
Gone the sun. Dims the sight. For our days.
From the lakes And a star. Neath the sun

From the hills. Gems the sky. Neath the stars.
From the sky. Gleaming bright Neath the sky
All is well. From afar. As we go.

Safely rest.. Drawing nigh. This we know.
God is nigh. Falls the night. God is nigh

I have felt the chills while listening to 'Taps' but I never knew there where words never mind 3 verses. I was also unaware of the story behind the playing of the tune or the significance of the lone trumpet. I thought that this may just interest some of you as it has me so I have decided to post on the

I now have a deeper respect for the song than I did in the past and it makes me think of all those brave men and women, no matter what armies they may have served for that paid the ultimate sacrifice or what they believed in.

This Blog is dedicated to the memory of MR. Mike Bell who passed away recently but will always be in the hearts of his family and friends.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.


Using the sun

The Dunkley’s have joined those South African who are using the sun to generate electricity by installing a solar geyser in the house, after a couple of initial hiccups its working great and hopefully will safe us money. Tania is now concentrating on setting up her Organic veg garden so that should also be a nice addition to the house and bring in Yummy veg as well.

Took a bike ride on Sunday to Hartenbos just outside Mossel Bay on Sunday and got back to PE on Wednesday evening, “why” you may ask………..well if you must know I had to attend an assessors course that I needed to do to be able to do formative assessments in training as well as mark the summative assessments that learners write after attending a course presented by NOSA. I must say I learnt a lot about Outcome based education as well as organizations that run education in the country.

Back to the ride, I left late on Sunday so the last 150kms was in the dark, and having nearly run out of Petrol in the middle of nowhere, my focus was more on getting there than taking in the scenes. Was frustrating though that after having crossed the border between Eastern and Western cape the speed levels dropped to 100 and 80 kms (on lekker roads)

Last time I was in Mossel Bay area was in 1986 on honeymoon, my how the area has grown, I stayed a lovely place called Dibiki just outside of Hartenbos (old fashioned hospitatlity) that has also seen a huge demand in properties and stands that once sold for R50 000 are now R750 000 - R1000 000 with some really crappy houses being on the market for mad prices (yes similar to Clarens) The course was intense so I studied harder that I did for Matric as I was up at 5.30 the one morning and 5 am the other to get in some learning, I did on a walk to the beach nearly stand on a Puff adder and saw a Whale just of the Beach near the holiday resort. hartenbos is very Afrikaans and i cant remember when i last saw Jukskei baans, never mind saw them being used. The town also has a washing and ironing museum, a must I feel for evry town in the world!!

I always miss family when I am away, its funny most guys will say heck I cant wait to get away from the ball and chain for a few days and just be by myself, but hopefully many like myself feel there is a part of me missing, so it was great to get back to see Tania and Gabby

The ride back, initially in the mist from Harties to George was better giving me a chance to see all the development that has gone on in the area over the last 24 years. What really struck me was how people have built big holiday homes in some of the crappiest areas, I mean along the highway in Wilderness there are so many homes overlooking a well lit highway that must be bumper to bumper over the festive period, does not make sense to me, if you have the R then build someplace you have a view, not just to say I live in Wilderness (but forget to tell people that you overlook the highway)

Tania’s mom has been sick this week and has been in hospital for a few days, Tania has been visiting her and checking that she is ok as has Kirsten, Mom must be glad to have her family near to go and see her and worry if she is ok. Tania’s dads car broke down on Saturday so we helped him to collect the jumping castles and Ryan towed him home on Sunday morning after the tow rope had snapped 3 times on Saturday night. Benefits of having family live close by, that you can help if needed.

Long weekend this weekend and its sooooooooooooo nice not to have to work on a public holiday for a change and I don’t feel guilty about it..

Got my EC number plate a few weeks back (sorry forgot to tell you all this riveting news)and I must say I like it I suppose now I can say I am a Baaier, that’s what they cal people living in PE due to the bay and for those overseas readers a bay in Afrikaans is a baai, so in essence I am a “bayer”

Gabby bunked sports on Thursday and weather was so nice that she could sunbathe near the pool, if yiur going to bunk you may as well do it properly, you got style Gabby.I love ya XXXx

The kitten mischief is living up to his name and is getting on well with black cat and can often be seen tearing through the house WWE’ing each other, Pepper however wants nothing to do with him. While he is sooooooooooo cute when it comes to food he goes from cute kitten to the Alien/Predator in 0.00046 seconds and will bite of appendages if you go anywhere near the food (something we will have to get him out of)

Pommie friend living on the island surprised have not slagged off the Poms and South African ex-pats for a few weeks…………Guess what I have changed my focus on the land of the long cloud, some poxy country called New Zealand and the whingers that live there especially Rob the Kiwi who thinks all white South Africans are either retards or to poor to emigrate from this crime ridden racial intolerant backwater. Well first let me say if I was to emigrate if definitely would not be to either the island of England or the two islands of New Zealand (twice the crap as Britannia) I mean what is it with people that live on small wet and windy overcast islands, does the dampness seep through the feet and find its way to the brain and waterlog it? Or is it because they are deprived of the sun for long periods at a time that their happy enzymes don’t get recharged? Anyway whatever there problem is here is what I have to say to Rob the kiwi from the land of the Big Clown.

This is what Rob had to say on a sports website
Is it true that the only white South Africans left in South Africa are the Boers to thick to get out, and the English South Africans that are to poor to get out. You talk about NZ being a cesspit. Whilst your country sinks in a Cesspit of corruption and reverse racism at every Level. People like me Theo laugh at you and your tiny little mind with a dehydrated pea as a brain. Please tell me what Islander players that have played for the All Blacks they have ever poached. You couldn't as there aren't any. There are over 400,000 of them living in New Zealand now and probably similar numbers in Australia. Interesting they didn't chose South Africa to live which is full of Afrikaans Morons like you. Most of your South Africans that have left your shores love it here or in Australia. Tell me Theo when was the last time you left your doors or windows unlocked. Tell Theo when was the last time you would let your child walk down the road alone to school or walk into town. I laugh at you crime isn't even being reported properly in South Africa as its so appallingly bad. Homes are being invaded every day, and people killed. You live in a beautiful country so corrupt, and full of sad sad sad people like you that caused the problem in the first place. Oh and for the record check this out you intellectual midget. I note that the Forbes list for the Worlds Happiest countries are out. You will be pleased to note NZ 6TH Australia 8th. South Africa came in at 73rd place and heading down. We can all tell how unhappy you lot are from the way you write on these boards. So much hatred and Venom, cant take a loss don't know how to lose gracefully. My thoughts are with you.

Well thanks for those kind words Rob, but here are a few home truths about the differences between South Africa and New Zealand, probably the biggest is that while we are a democratic independent country you are still attached to Britain’s apron strings (nothing to be proud of there). South Africa has hosted the Rugby world cup the Cricket world cup and The Soccer world cup that just in case Rob does not know is the second biggest sporting event in the world bar 1 and that is the Olympics, an event I venture to say would be given to South Africa long before they would even consider New Zealand. We also have World class stadiums (even before we built more for the SWC) In fact we have private schools in South Africa with better sports amenities and rugby fields than you have got.

I would hazard a guess (having never been to New Zealand) that we have a lot more to offer in regards natural beauty, lets see we have the big 5 (actually 6 if you include the Great white shark) we have the Kruger national park that is probably larger than your 2 islands put together , awesome beaches, majestic mountains and wide open spaces that take the breath away, talking about beaches we just recently hosted the J bay Billabong pro with surfers from all over the world competing (its an annual event oh, just in case you where wondering).

Let’s talk about famous politicians, cant think of any New Zealanders that pop into mind as I type this but we have Nelson Mandela, world Icon and Statesman of note. We also had Oliver Tambo and we had Jan Smuts who was also a revered statesman and politician in his time. South African served for 5 years on the UN Security Council, which it chaired (this is done on a rotational basis). South Africa is also a member of the G10 (don’t know what that is - It used to be called the G8 - the eight most influential nations in the world, I don’t recall the UN falling over themselves asking NZ to contribute so Rob it would seem South Africa is not irreleveant or backwards. By the way what is your biggest export?

The Boks are two times Rugby World champs (1995 and 2007) yes we know you won in ?? but that should not count as South Africa was not playing at the time, so you cannot say you played and beat the best in the world, when was the NZ cricket ream top of the world rankings in the 5 day and 1 day format ?? we have many world records and champions in various sports so I do believe that we can stand up proud in the eyes of the world

Lets chat about crime and racism…………you can honestly not tell me that there is no crime on your islands and that everywhere is safe for citizens to walk without fera of being mugged murdered or raped, and yes we do have areas of concern in SA but we are honest about it and know we have to work on those areas, why do so many New Zealanders work in Australia ?? (because of the booming NZ economy??) South Africa is the 3rd largest emerging market in the world and most ex-pats who live overseas do so because they are not happy that a black government is in control of this country, they will tell you otherwise (crime, schooling, job reservation, etc etc will be used, but they will eventually come out with the K word). To be honest mots that have left our shores to go to England, NZ, Australia etc are not that brilliant, but obviously cleverer than your guys as they easily get jobs. Is the New Zealand government not considering curbing the flow immigrants into the country, as they feel its getting out of hand?

You mention that New Zealand is rated the 6th in the happiest countries survey (was it rigged ??) if I remember correctly NZ has the highest teenage suicide rate in the world ……….(oops they where not told about the survey then or perhaps they were not canvassed for the survey?) What about the overindulgence of alcohol and recreational drugs Rob…did we forget that NZ also pretty high up in that survey and don’t get me started about domestic violence (yeah I think you had a movie about it, but it was all about the Maori’s and no white New Zealanders (a bit racist I thought)

I am South African and have many friends both black and white, Afrikaans and English and would hazard a guess that I general we get along with each other better than you and your indigenous population does. I find it ?? that you refer to Afrikaans people as Morons and black people as criminals. Perhaps you need to come to SA (unless of course your not a ex racist South African yourself) and we can show you what a great country this is.

Oh I forgot we don’t have a captain of a national tam that admits he cheats on the field and this is somebody you all adnire and think is great.

To end I would like to say ROB I live in SA because I choose to, not because I am stupid or don’t have the money to emigrate, I have a wide circle of friends, enjoy a good lifestyle and love this country. We showed the world and assholes like you that we are capable of anything we set our minds to as a country and as South Africans, I am sure you where disappointed that we succeeded. Sorry to have let you down

As for 2011 World Cup it will be the same old NZ not featuring again and the Finals will be between SA and Australia as France will have beaten you in the Semi finals again, so have fun winning everything in 2010, it’s the World Cup that matter. And lest we not forget the whinging that went on in 95 about Suzy and the food poisoning

Happy Woman’s day for all those women out there and Caster make use of it while you can. When is there going to be a full blown Mans day public holiday?? I mean why are we not that special.

Well that’s about it for this week, have a great week ahead and enjoy the pubic holiday tomorrow, I know I will.


The Village Idiot

And remember - Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
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