Houston........We have a problem

Winey Houston was buried this weekend after having been found dead in a bath last week. If you thought that was bad news then more bad news was to follow. On Monday Justin Bieber was found alive in his bathroom which means that  we are going to have to put up with more of his insipid pop muzak.................... 

News in this week is that the South African bank note as we now know it will be changing and all the 5 notes will have the face of Nelson Mandela on them. There has been much debate on social networks as to why we need to change the notes anyway and why it should be Madiba as many other people were involved in the struggle just as much or more than Madiba was.

Personally I don’t like the fact we are starting to put people’s faces on the money, too dictatorship like, for example Julius Neyrere is on the Tanzanian banknote (Shilling) and he was an asshole. So after Madiba who is next ?...................."The whoever it is possible  lifelong  President"? 

Another friend said why do we have to bring everything we do in SA back to the struggle, he has a point although when it comes to money just to make it is a struggle, not spending it all before the first week is a struggle and getting your boss to give you a pay increase is a struggle....So perhaps its pertinent to link the “struggle” to money. 
This must be a record??........... Johannesburg - A three-year-old boy was expelled from Crawford College in Sandton, Johannesburg, three days after being accepted at the school, according to a report on Friday. The boy's mother claimed she was told during a parent/teacher meeting at the college's pre-primary school that her son was disruptive, could not sit still during story-telling and was not suited to the school, The Star newspaper reported."The teacher said Joshua [not his real name] is extremely busy and disruptive... She [the teacher] said she thinks he has ADHD
Worst car ever found on the roads in Sa (F%$k  it must have been bad to be taken off the road)......................Northern Cape police have impounded a 1976 Toyota bakkie whose only roadworthy part was its windscreen...................Holy Shit. The driver of a 1976 Toyota Hilux bakkie was pulled over by Chief of Licensing, Moses Alfonse in Vergenoeg, Galeshewe, Kimberley after noticing the vehicle swaying side to side in his rear view mirror. The car didn't have a brake booster handbrake and had numerous neglected hazardous parts The bakkie had no lights, no wipers and only rudimentary car seats. It had only two gears, the tyres were completely smooth, the shock absorbers had been tied into position with wire. The petrol tank is a 5 litre container in the engine. The owner, a Zimbabwean, told police that he had bought the car for R5 000 from a South African in 2011. He was fined, and the car was permanently impounded

This article was printed yesterday Friday 17th in the Business day Travel section, sure it will have some of the locals fuming and others agreeing. I for one agree with the square as for years it has looked KAK, this after a group of concerned citizens “f%$ked up the square and took out the rose bushes etc etc.   

What is it about Clarens in the Free State that brings in the weekend hordes?

“IT was the village square that really shocked me. I had already been disappointed at the mostly (but thankfully not entirely) mediocre art, the so-so food and the unremarkable tourist tat sold in all but a very few of the shops, but it was that scrappy patch of grass that really got me. I stared down, incredulous. Surely a village of people who make their money from sentimental allure could get a group together to properly oversee the maintenance of the square that made Clarens so enormously charming that misty day I first visited it almost 20 years ago?

Apparently not. That uncaring attitude repeats itself across the town, with some exceptions, so that, all in all, our Christmas week in Clarens left us wholly underwhelmed. Sure, it’s nestled in a remarkably pretty landscape and its proximity to the Golden Gate National Park is part of its draw, but I am baffled about what it is that brings in the hordes.Innovation and uniqueness are in short supply. I did come away from The Purple Onion deli — one of one of the better shops — with "nastergal" jam, made from the plant of the same name (Solanum nigrum, black nightshade in English). Much of the rest I had seen in shops from Kakamas to Hazyview.

A shop worth a visit is Valerie Kneppert’s tiny Bon Appetit. I picked up beautifully wrapped Italian dessert delicacies and they stock unusual imported kitchenware. The preserves are good, the liquid nougat delightfully sinful. We had a good pub supper at The Highlander, and a pleasantly memorable dinner at the restaurant, Clementines. Housed in a former South African Railways bus-service maintenance shed, it has great ambience and a menu that has made a virtue of nostalgia in a way much of the rest of the town misses.

"I haven’t seen some of these dishes for years," said my mother-in-law. It was a compliment, not a complaint. Eating at Clementines is like dining at grandma’s, which is just what you want when on holiday in a town that pretends towards old-world charm. What (else) really surprised me, however, was that there was very little fresh produce, and none of it worth a trip to the village. Several times I considered driving the 30km back to Bethlehem. I am told the region is not good for vegetable farming. 

Perhaps the highlight was the white-water rafting we did with Clarens Xtreme, an outing that was well run, with a solid emphasis on safety as well as fun. As white-water rafting goes, it’s not the most hair-raising ride you will ever have, but there is enough to get the adrenaline going and it was definitely fun. I am not sure what the problem is, unless it’s complacency. 

Clarens has become a weekend destination of choice for some. Perhaps making a living there has become too easy. All over South Africa there are dorps that have been destroyed by the "good luck" of becoming the next big thing. This happens anywhere. I remember the last time I was in that Western Cape food and literary mecca, Franschhoek, I was disappointed at the sameness of what was to be found in its shops. Franschhoek, however, is saved by being home to some really fabulous restaurants. Franschhoek, however, is saved by being home to some really fabulous restaurants. (MY NOTE: perhaps she should have bought a copy of my Book about Clarens)

This week was spent training and enjoying a Lekker Dinner at The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium as a guest of honour...................Yes you heard right  “Guest of honour” ..............”Ok well esteemed judge” Vusi and I had spent the day  interviewing SHE Reps to chose the top 3 from all the harbours in SA so they could compete in a National SHE rep competition in March of this year. It was a long , but fruitful day. That evening we were invited to the dinner and to receive a gift for assisting in the process.................Vusi and I as well as the judges who assisted with the Fire fighters and the First aiders received a convection oven, so I was pretty chuffed.  

Seems that the Poms are downgrading the size of their army so much that many experts believe that they will become an internal home defence force only and should the Germans ever decide to attack again, the Island could be in trouble (thst part is my interpretation).

Went to the gym on Saturday to meet with a trainer who gave me some advice on how to get the best out of using the gym (he told me to stay home......just joking) spent an hour using treadmill, bicycle and the rowing machine. Tania and Gabby are using the gym regularly and seem to be enjoying it. 

On the way to Queenstown today and will be there for 3 days, only having past there when on way to or from Clarens the last few years I do not think I am going to enjoy it...............hope the guest house at least has TV.

Ok well have to go, have a great week

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