Kirkwood “Its not a one horse town”

“More like a one donkey town”………….Well just got back from the Easter camp in Kirkwood and here is how you spell it………… DUMP. We were welcomed into the village by the traffic department who are taking the MEC of transports memo to heart “stop 85 000 drivers per month in the Eastern Cape” I was stopped for speeding 83 in a 60 zone…………So welcome to Kirkwood enjoy your stay here is a R200 fine, “Frikken awesome”

The rural community of Kirkwood has a Main street, called “main street funnily enough” and has the usual Chinese (they are the small yellow people are taking over folks, believe they are now even in Clarens, Africa is being colonized again ladies and gents) as well as the designer cloths store P.E.P and a multitude of cafĂ©’s “Slash” grocers run by various nationalities. There is a very nice hotel in town , that is closed except for the 2 bars a) ladies and b) men’s…..both closed when I went to have a drink but this sign on the door of the men’s pub made me real glad that it was closed.

On Saturday night while Tania was at a church service I went to find “life” and watch the Sharks play the Highlanders, managed to find a nice up-market restaurant/pub that would not out of place in Clarens, but was really out of place on Main street in Kirkwood. The people (all 4 of them) were however nice enough and I watched the rugby with Willem, Hannes and wait for it “Festis”. While Kirkwood as a hamlet cannot match to Clarens, it would seem from speaking to my new mates that the politics stay the same no matter were you go, with them telling me about people that I know in Clarens.

Sunday I took a walk round the Village to take some photos and see if my first impressions were in fact a little harsh, “always trust your first impressions”. I did however get a few nice photos and this sign actually caught my eye straight away, seems there are openings if anyone is interested.

Ok well what about the camp, on a scale of 1-10 I would give it a 6, on Saturday night we had a local Shebeen playing music till about 2am and then the local orange pickers starting at 3am with their Easter service. Up at 6 am, good walk around the village, Volley ball and then a cricket game between the youngsters and the old farts (yep I was on the old farts team) and we got our asses handed to us. Accompanied Tania to the Sunday night service as it was an American talking and Tania had told me that she had seen him here in PE two weeks ago and that he was good…………”Well that’s 2 hours of my life I wont get back.”

Sunday up early again (no disco or orange picker service, but the cockerels had their annual crowing competition from about 4.30am……”Very inspiring” Broke camp and got home , early afternoon, Cant wait to sleep on my bed tonight. Met a few interesting people, took some half decent photos and met Festis… the weekend was not a total blowout, will I be going back to Kirkwood I hear you ask? Well probably to next years Easter camp (need revenge in the cricket) but not before.

The area we camped was at Kirkwood High School and have to say was well organized, with water and electricity, the school itself was established in 1932 and has produced 3 Springbok rugby players since 1965. Oh yeah Kirkwood is the place in SA that has the highest recorded temperature 50.4 degrees, although my 3 new friends say that they have experienced temperatures of 54 degrees………”Now that’s hot”

The Following info I took from Wikipedia……….”Enjoy”

The Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir John Francis Cradock, gave the first farms in the Sundays River Valley to the leaders of the successful burger commandos for their role in the victories in the border wars of 1811 and 1812. These farms were awarded to Magistrate Cuyler (originally from the United States) of Uitenhage, who received Geelhoutboom (Yellow Tree, later Dunbrody); Commandant Ignatius Muller, who received Klaaskraal (Klaas' Corral, situated just outside what is now Kirkwood) and Field Cornet J.S. van Niekerk, who received Gouwernements Belooning (Government's Reward). It is on the latter farm that Kirkwood would be established many decades later.

In 1877 James Somers Kirkwood, an auctioneer from Port Elizabeth, arrived to auction off Gouwernements Belooning. When a flooded Sundays River prevented Kirkwood from reaching this farm he climbed a nearby hill (known today as The Lookout) instead. From there he had a view of the entire valley and had a vision of the valley - which was overgrown by bushes at the time - being transformed into irrigated fields with fruit trees. He also envisioned this farm produce being delivered via river barges to Port Elizabeth. Shortly afterwards, James himself purchased Goewernements Belooning" as well as some other farms in the valley. He subsequently founded the Sundays River Land and Irrigation Company as well as the village of Bayville.

Later, Kirkwood started to prepare the land for irrigation, but despite of a very positive prospectus and very good publicity, nobody was interested in buying stock in his venture. One of the reasons may be that it coincided with the big diamond rush to Kimberley. In consequence, his company eventually failed and was declared bankrupt. Kirkwood died in 1889, a financially and spiritually broken man. However, Kirkwood can be considered to have been ahead of his time as his vision became true in the next century when the Sundays River Irrigation Project and eventually the Orange River Water Project were built. His name also lives on in the town of Kirkwood that was founded in 1912 on his first farm, Gouwernements Belooning.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Sundays River formed the eastern border of the then Cape Colony and was the area around Kirkwood consequently the scene of many armed conflicts - Khoi against Xhosa, Khoi and Xhosa together against the Boers and British together and finally the Boers against the British during the Second Anglo-Boer War. During this war, General Jan Smuts and his Commando of 250 men passed through the valley on their epic campaign to the northwest. Indeed, the three Boers who died the furthest south during the war were killed on Cecil John Rhodes's farm Brakkefontein. Shortly after these casualties were incurred a major battle took place on the Bedrogsfontein mountain pass.[2] Kirkwood's subtropical climate makes it ideal for the growing of citrus fruits and this has made it the citrus capital of the Eastern Cape. Indeed, Kirkwood is the center of one of the largest citrus-growing regions in South Africa with approximately 120 square kilometres (30,000 acres) of citrus orchards. Approximately 8 million cartons of oranges, lemons, grapefruit and other citrus fruit are exported from this region each year.

The Easter Bunny or the Talibunny

Seems that some of you more astute readers figured out that last Sunday I did not publish a Blog………..”Sowwwy”. I have an excuse I was sick. On Saturday I fell asleep at 4pm and woke up on Sunday 8am, sixteen hours of sleep. Sunday and Monday not feeling lekker, but feel much better now, “thanks for asking”

Reason Blog is out today is because I will be away this weekend, going to Kirkwood, which I about 75 kms from PE. Going to be camping at Tania’s church Easter camp. Hopefully will be fun………………..will let you know

Last Tuesday was our 25th Anniversary and thanks to my folks was able to take Tania and Gabby to Dinner (we had meat………… feel strong again), also got a very nice silver photo frame from the folks as well as one from Kirsten and Ryan.

Work is Ok, enjoy the job, but still not happy with the salary, Hopefully though by year end there will be some relief, hope so because not being able to cover expenses from a salary really SUCKS, but we shall see what happens. Sometimes to be honest think the focus is on those that already earn good salaries, but hey that’s just my opinion. Plans for the future definitely need to be made, but still need to do some hard work to get there…………………………………………………... “Watch this space”

I have already spoken about Municipal election posters in other Blogs, but the ACDP poster is really baffling. It says “Let’s fix it” my question is Fix what? “The lamppost that it’s attached to”? My vote will go to the DA as they have the best track record, after all its about Competence and not Colour. If you had of told me in the early 90’s that I would be voting for the left wing, commie sypathysing liberals I would have laughed at you……………..How the wheel turns

NOSA offices have the last month been collecting Easter Eggs for children’s homes, NOSA PE nominated MTR Smit children’s Haven and we dropped off the Eggs (1000 Marshmallow eggs, 6 big bags chocolates, so packets small eggs and about 7 other assorted eggs), as well as a big box of soft toys and some clothes.

NOSA also won Pizzas, this week as we had to send in photos from our NOSA 60th birthday office party and the PE office won, so yesterday (Thursday) we had Piza and beer just before we left for the Easter weekend and then a few of us went to play our regular Thursday pool games.

Have to say that if you need a sobering experience as well as a reality check go visit a children’s home. All your shit seems to pale in comparison to kids that don’t have the luxury of living in a normal home environment, the delight in the eyes of the group of children that we presented the eggs and toys to, was a reminder about how we take the small things for granted and that family is important.

This week Amber (my Niece) turned 2, she live in London so we where not able to celebrate with her, but she (from the photos) had an awesome day with her family that do live in the UK. Hopefully one day we will be able to celebrate with her as well, probably the only way that will happen though is for us to win the Lotto and fly to the island. I know that Doug and Nicole plan to return to SA one day, but I think that will be a long time coming (if ever). The reason I say that is not to be nasty or cause kak (as they say in the classics,) but from experience, my folks came out to SA for 3 years and decided to stay a couple more before we returned to the UK….guess what we are still here. I think that the longer you stay in a country the more settled and assimilated you become and probably feel like you belong, that’s not a bad thing . We all must make he decision where we feel at home, many Poms moved to SA and feel at home here and many Saffers have moved to England and feel at home there.

Doug and Nicole have worked hard to get where they are and have lots of family support in London as well as the rest of the UK , so after 4, 5 ,6 etc years it would probably be difficult to pack up and leave as you have a life… be honest I hope that I am wrong as I know Tania would love to have her sister and Niece closer, but that’s not our decision to make as long as they know whatever decision they make a) we will still love them b) I will still give them grief about living on an island (“only joking Doug……………well maybe a little”)

Today (Friday 22nd April 2011) is Tania’s dads birthday…..Happy Birthday dad have a great day and an awesome year. Dad is going to England in May/June to visit Nicole, Doug and Amber and also fly over to Canada to see his sister (who he has not seen for many years).

Today was also Clarens’s first frost (22/4/2011)

This week got my camera back so after about 2 months of taking photo’s with my Cell phone I am looking forward to bore you as well as my Facebook mates with my photos. I will take some in Kirkwood this weekend, so hopefully its got old houses, nice scenery or even weird looking people, etc that I can photograph.

Gabby is going to be competing in a Horse endurance race in July at Jeffery’s bay (surfers paradise…….about 70kms from PE), sure that she will do well.

Have to laugh the one magazine in Clarens (the stippled edible green pod), is going electronic, but don’t Clarens already have a good electronic magazine already ? yes its called Clarens Mag, owned and run by good friends and “awesome lekker, could not want to meet nicer people” Paul and Dianne. I suppose its flattering to be copied. When we left Clarens we entrusted Paul and Dianne to carry on with the Clarens Connection and we could not have chosen better people, not only have they kept the community concept (with no bitching and moaning as in the other online newsletter) but have grown it, so what used to be a 1947 Volkswagen is now a 2011 Lamborghini . “Thanks guys really appreciate all the hard work”.

This is a sign on the gents toilet at one of my clients that I do training for, just had to take the photo and share it with you all

Before I go I have to say this just in case you have missed the TV adverts, media adverts, giant billboards, flyers, radio slots, Blimps, posters, bumper stickers and change to company signage ………………………..“Vodacom is red”. “Ok I think I have it, can you leave it the F%$k alone now……..PLEASE”

Well got to go, so here is wishing all my family and friends (many to far away) as well as all your family and friends a Blessed Easter and those that are fortunate to be off (enjoy the rest) and those that are not (thanks for keeping the economy going).



Living a boring life

How boring a life do you have to lead when the excitement of the decade is the marriage of two rich and spoilt Muppets…….yes I am talking about the upcoming nuptials of Willy and Kate, seems the Island dwellers have got into the party spirit with 4000 streets (50 in London alone) In the UK asking permission form their local councils to have a party to celebrate this momentous occasion (ho hum) the fact that the UK is coming out of its annual ice age could also be a part of the population wanting to have a party. Doug was so happy that the mercury has hit 20 degrees in London a few days back and that summer is on the way......................Must be soul destroying to not see the sun for months on end and only see grey skies and in Summer while an improvement its not always much better. Sun recharges the soul and engergises the body.......................and now onto something completely different.

Both Julius Malema and Jacob Zuma where in PE this past week, with both obviously being on the election trail. Julius “ I am a twat” Malema told a large audience of ANC retarded youth that:

· The ANC had never lied (nice one Pinocchio)

· That if people voted for the ANC in the municipal elections that Nelson Mandela would get better

JZ did not fare much better as he had people throw stones and burn tires because he decided at the last minute to change the itinerary and people who had waited for hours for their free T shirts, caps , promises and chicken lunch did not in fact get to hear him talk shit. The sad thing is that many who are pissed off with the ANC will still vote for them.

In a local paper a 75 year old woman was complaining that she lived in a shack, had no electricity or water, had no job, sewage was pouring down her street and that she had no hope but she was still going to vote for the ANC……..You deserve to live In squalor then lady because you are an idiot and should not complain again that you have nothing after so many years of voting for the same party.

Its funny though when its election time we see that politicians beaming down from lampposts that we thought had died, but no they are still alive, when its election time we see Connie Mulder of the FF+ telling us how bad we have it as whitie’s and how he will ensure that we get a better deal. We have the ANC telling us that they have built better communities (tell that to the millions that still live in abject poverty) and JM says that the ANC have never lied…..”What a Muppet”

Port Elizabeth may be friendly may be windy, but it is not the place for late-night assignations or an illicit rendezvous. Politically, it’s usually just ignored. “Eastern Cape is ANC turf and don’t you forget it” is pretty much the message. But suddenly it’s being thrust into the political limelight. In the last week Helen Zille, Julius Malema and senior ANC people have visited the region. Cosatu’s Zwelinzima Vavi warned on Tuesday the city could fall from the ANC’s grasp come 18 May”. (Taken from the Daily maverick)

Last Sunday I rode the Triumph to East London, I have to say that there is probably no better feeling (Ok there is a better feeling) than riding a large Motorcycle at 100 and plenty along a coastal road. It was really a nice ride and always a good way to de-stress. East London however compared to PE is a dump, I am sooooooooooooo glad that I don’t live their and actually feel sorry for those that do.

I got back to PE on Tuesday and was in EL again on Thursday, this time with Xavier “a colleague of mine” who was doing a Construction workshop for Eskom, it rained all the way from PE to EL and we saw a lady that had been knocked over and killed near to EL, not a great way to start a day. I Enjoyed the trip with Xavier who is very good at training so I learnt a lot

While in East London this week I was watching the latest American Idol…………. We don’t have M-Net at home, but I digress. Steve Tyler (Aerosmith and Liv Tyler’s dad) is one of the judges and if that dude is not gay then I am Muammar Gaddafi.

Talking about musicians Neil Diamond graced South African and in particular Port Elizabeth shores, on Saturday night, the Posters said "Neil Diamond Live" they should have added "could be for the last time". The show was according to those that were there was awesome. amazing how all these old singers or bands who have never toured SA before are starting to come here for the "last big pay day" perhaps?

Gabby has been on a short school holiday and has been very very busy staying with friends, learning to surf and being a 14 year old who if she is lucky will turn 15 this year. Gabby gets her report on Monday and hopefully it will be a good one.

It’s nice though to see Gabby horse riding and doing outdoors stuff, because so many kids today are slaves to the TV and just sit transfixed watching the idiot box or playing games like X box or Nintendo WI for hours on end. Not that I am saying they should not do those things, because everything in small doses is good, but when you have the space (especially in SA) to play outside surely you don’t want your kids sitting in the house all day. With Mixit, MMSing, BBMing etc 3 people can sit in the back of a car and two of them can be talking kak about the other person. a new language is popping up and kids actually Mixit each other while standing next to each other, who knows in another 100 years children may be born with no vocal cords as they don’t need them anymore…..don’t laugh many things that are taken fro granted today 25 years ago were thought to be science fiction or not possible.

Other news in the world:

For Japan as Tom cruise said in a few good men “And the hits just keep on coming” Emergency services in Japan said three people had died as a result of yesterday's powerful earthquake there, with around a hundred more injured. New water leaks were discovered at the Onagawa nuclear power plant in the Miyagi Prefecture after the quake, which has been shut down since the March earthquake, but radiation levels outside the plant have so far measured well within the normal range. Besides a temporary evacuation, ongoing attempts to stabilise the Fukushima nuclear power station were not affected by the latest quake.

United Nations climate talks end in Thailand on Friday, with the very real possibility that no agreement will be reached on what had seemed a simple matter: laying out an agenda for future meetings, including the big summit in Durban towards the end of the year. That could make this year interesting, if not very productive, when it comes to emission cuts.

Sports this week saw the Cheetahs take the Highlanders to the wire with a 21-24 loss, the Bulls got a 27-0 hiding from the Crusaders, the Sharks clubbed the Lions 27-3 and the Stormers had no answer against the Reds and lost 19-6….Not a great week for SA rugby sides. At least the EP kings beat the Griquas 26-16 in a Vodacom cup game on Saturday.

In PE its Iron man weekend, for me it means watching the actual movie, but for thousands of others it means a 4km swim, 180 km bike ride (pedal power) and a 42 km run and all in 12 hours, my question is why do people put themselves through that as it takes months of hard work and preparation to get to any sort of fitness levels that wont see you dying on the actual route. Weather is hot so don’t envy those competing today. yesterday put in an hours practice on the couch J

To end for this week, I just want to say to my wife Tania who on Tuesday the 12th will have endured 25 years of marriage to yours truly. I know that I always joke about being married, but I have to say that Tania has made my life complete and that she is definitely the reason I have what I have today. “I love you Tania ,always have and always will". xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

Well that’s it for this week



The Circus has hit town

Nope it’s ain’t Boswell Wilkies it’s not Brian Boswells and it’s definitely not Circus de Soliel………..Its the Municipal elections soon so the Political circus has hit town and they want your vote and will do anything it can to get it. Posters are popping up like mushrooms on lamppost all over PE with the faces of the party hopeful beaming down. The normal empty promises and the handing out of T shirts and caps will placate the povo, its no wonder the government don’t place their attention on sorting out schools and education (much easier to control idiots than those of us that can actually think for ourselves). I have to laugh in a number of places in SA (including PE) at the moment residents of areas that have been promised everything under the sun since 1994 are throwing their toys out the cot, as well as tyres, bricks, street poles, barriers etc etc…….why well they don’t want the ward councillors there that they have at present. Which is good, but alas give them a T shirt a free chicken lunch add in another bunch of empty promises and the X gets marked for the very idiots the have just destroyed half of their community complaining about.

In fact a local survey shows the following - Only one in 10 South Africans has expressed satisfaction with the performance of local government, according to a recent survey Idasa has released its latest service delivery survey, barely three weeks ahead of the important local elections due to be held on May 18 across the country. A similar poll conducted by the institute in 2006 showed that at least 39.5% of South Africans were satisfied with service delivery by municipalities, while the latest finding shows that this level of satisfaction has declined rapidly. In terms of the constitution, service delivery is the prime responsibility of local authorities, while the provincial and central governments act as the channel for funding. IDASA survey interviewed 2 375 adult South African citizens in 21 municipalities in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and North West, and offers three reasons to explain this decline in support.
It also asked whether declining citizen satisfaction with local government performance might impact on the outcome of the poll.


According to the survey results, the first reason for dissatisfaction is that the service delivery gap (the gap between what people expect and what government is realistically able to deliver) is increasing as citizens expect government to do more on the promises made by campaigning politicians. The second reason is the lack of responsiveness of the council to the issues identified by its citizens as most important to them, like inadequate water provision and lack of g
ood local roads. "This suggests many priorities are decided at national level, leaving councils with limited power to address their constituents' priorities and weak consultation and participation processes," the IDASA survey said. The final reason is that citizens assess their local governments not only on the basis of poor service delivery, but also take into account weak communication, lack of transparency, increased corruption and nepotism.

"It will be very interesting to see how these perceptions inform the voting behaviour of citizens during the upcoming local government elections," the survey said.

In contrast to that In Belgium they have not had a government for 1 year……1 year and no one has really noticed, things carry on like clockwork, can you imagine many other countries (and not just African) if that happened …………..Frikken chaos.

On Wednesday I was in Uitenhage (about 40kms) from PE to do a audit at a building site, they are renovating a building built in 1898 and was great to be able to see this old lady getting a facelift, when its finished I am sure she will look awesome. Managed to get a few nice photos on the cell phone while I was there.

My niece Amber who not yet 3 and lives in the UK is going to be going to swimming lessons from end of April (just waiting for the pool to thaw out) while I am sure she will really enjoy it cant say I understand why you want such a youngster to learn to swim in the UK (SA I can understand) its not like UK kids have access to pools like in SA and if you live at the sea in the UK or SA you do not want a toddler swimming in it.

Japan I still battling with is Nuclear problems and will take up to 5 years to overcome the earthquake/Tsunami that hit them a mere 3 weeks ago, I was sent this via e-mail and it’s a tribute to those that survived this disaster and how as a nation they will overcome.

10 things to learn from Japan:

1. THE CALM - Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.

2. THE DIGNITY - Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.

3. THE ABILITY - The incredible architects, for instance. Buildings swayed but didn't fall.

4. THE GRACE - People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.

5. THE ORDER - No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just

6. THE SACRIFICE - Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?

7. THE TENDERNESS - Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.

8. THE TRAINING - The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.

9. THE MEDIA - They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. Only calm reportage.

10. THE CONSCIENCE - When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly.

Talking about Japan I was sent a photo of a highway that was all but destroyed in Japan from the earthquake that hit on 17 March, by the 23rd march (6 days later) that highway was ready to be used……….”Wow” here we are finding it difficult to fill in pot holes.

I am off to London today …..Sorry forgot East I will be training in that coastal metropolis on Monday and Tuesday. And then back home. So far East London is the furthest I have done training for the company. Hopefully all will go well.

I have booked my Nebosh Health and Safety exam for August, I have to write in JHB so will stay with the folks. Must say I am both confident and nervous that I will pass this UK aligned course, but will still need to put in hard work to ensure that I do well. strange that this is the course that got me started in the industry and the suggestion was from Doug in the UK who was considering doing the same, i took up the cudgel and Doug decided to stay in parking management (sorry boet not trying to be funny, but don’t know what to call it).

Last Sunday thanks to Steve Walsh and the 2 blind linesmen the Crusaders beat the sharks at Twikenham. To be fair the Crusaders probably were the better team on the day, but the 44-28 score line did flatter them. Doug my “Pommie wanna be, still loves everything South African” had a great time, he did not however enjoy the 2 and a half hour………….supposed to be 45 minute journey to get to Twikenham and missed the first few minutes of the game but got to see his beloved Sharks. Glad you had a Jol boet.

In the Super 15 this weekend the Cheetahs nearly beat the Blues and only lost by 7 (so they get a bonus point, the Bulls started their overseas leg with a good win 26/14 against the Hurricanes, the Lions lost 20/25 against the Reds and the Sharks lost 6/16 to the Stormers

The CWC final saw Sri lanka taking on India in the final, a dream final except of course if you a long suffering Protea supporter as we were certain this year we had the team to at the very least watch the final. Alas this was not to happen and I see that Smith is in trouble again for going to shag his girlfriend in Ireland rather than take the heat a home for the teams dismal performance in the CWC. He really is a Muppet and I would not be surprised if this petulant prick does not pack his bags and head for greener pastures, citing that the SA public forced him to go.I beleive like this T shirt we need to get behind the boys.

The final was not without controversy after India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni spun the coin, it looked as if he thought he had won the toss but umpire Crowe did not hear a call from Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara who, as the visiting skipper was supposed to nominate 'heads' or 'tails' while the coin was in the air. There was a brief discussion between the two captains before former New Zealand skipper Crowe ordered a re-toss - an almost unheard of event in any cricket match and certainly one of this importance. Sri lanka won the toss and decided to bat scoring 274 of their 50 overs. India started badly being 1 for o after .1 of an over, not exactly the start you want in a CWC final. Tendulkar did not last long but India won and with Gary Kirsten as their coach it was nice to see a South African also win the CWC.

With BP polluting the Gulf of Mexico and Shell wanting to F&^k up he Karoo for gas that we will have to buy at double the price I now have 2 reasons not to buy petrol from those two petroleum giants. May just be a small gesture on my part but the more of us that do it the more they may take notice when it hits their bottom line.

Well that’s about it, Have a great week, be good, and Jeanelle I am sure the Sharks will win again, so don’t get despondent.

A question a friend sent me: If a midget tells you that your hair smells nice………is that sexual harassment ??



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