Thursday, 29 March 2012

Calendar Madams!

I thought that I'd better do this story before the end of March, which it nearly is. Because, when I turn over the calendar to April, the picture that you see below will be hidden until March 2013!

Thanks to Lizaan and Louw Nel and Elmarie Louw

Now, tell me, do you recognise the youthful, naked figure reclining in the wheelbarrow? You probably don't, even my close friends have to squint their eyes........but it is ME! I am featured in the Jacobsbaai Ladies Forum Birthday Calendar as Madam March. Remember the movie 'Calendar Girls'? Well, we did a 'Calendar Madams' for the same reason, to raise funds for Cancer research. It came about after a party one evening and we were sitting about with our wine and generally chatting, and someone suggested doing a calendar. Well, two ladies really took it to heart and the idea grew into reality. They found sponsors for each month, and cameramen, make-up and hair ladies who volunteered their time and expertise to make sure that the end production was sleek, sophisticated, and worth every cent that we were hoping to charge. We also changed the format from a normal calendar for the year, to a 'Birthday Calendar' that could be used year after year.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

World Whisky Day!

Today is World Whisky/Whiskey Day! Now, there's not a lot that I can say about today that you don't already know!!

So, cheers! Bottoms up!


Thursday, 22 March 2012

World Water Day 2012.

Today, March 22 2012, is World Water Day, with this year's theme 'Water and Food Security'. The United Nations General Assembly announced the very first World Water Day on March 22, 1993, and it has been held on this day since then, with a new theme for each year.
Currently there are 7 billion people jostling for water on our poor, overburdened earth, and another 2 billion by 2050! Assuming that each person consumes between 2 and 4 litres of water a day, that's a lot of water! Interestingly though, most of the water that we 'drink' is in the food that we eat, (yes, Irish I know!), for example, it takes a staggering 15 000 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of beef! And, 1 kilogram of wheat 'drinks' 1 500 litres!

So, I hear you say, what can we do about it? Well, I shall tell you!

Action at home! (Don't you just love that expression?)

* Limit Water use. (This means that I do not have to wash the car! That’s my bit for water saving!)

* Offer your coffee money or host a water talk. (Hmmm!)

* Send a letter or a mail to five friends telling them about World Water Day. (I am sure five of my friends will read this blog! Done!)

* Educate neighbours about global water crisis. (My neighbours are mostly educated!)

* Conduct a 'water-walk' at school or the office. (Too late, I am retired! We shall walk with Alfie!)

Adding on to the first point about limiting water use, we do that, we have shower heads that add a lot of air, so it sounds like a good shower but it uses very little water. We also have rain water tanks to catch most of the rain from the roof, so that gives us 7 500 litres of 'free' water. Rob is now making plans to have a smaller tank on the garage roof to catch water to flush the downstairs loo, it is such a waste to use clean water for that. We have already placed a full 500 ml water bottle in the cisterns to reduce the amount that flushes each time!

Anyway, after I had done the research on World Water Day, I meandered further on the 'net, and came up with some other fascinating World Day information. You will just love these, I am still chuckling!

*World Egg Day is held on 10 October (in 2002 it was estimated that each person eats 261 eggs each year!)
*World Handwashing Day is 15 October
*World Pasta Day is 25 October.
(I wonder why October has so many fascinating World Days?)
*World Violin Day is 13 December. (Honestly!)
*World Zoonosis Day is July 6. Now, I had to check that out, it turns out that Zoonosis is an ailment that can be transmitted from animals to humans, e.g. Mad Cow and Rabies.

And, finally, my all-time favourite.

19 June is.............................World Sauntering Day! I kid you not! It is to revive the Victorian art of sauntering, and I quote: ‘to de-motivate the style of lollygagging, sashaying, fast walking, jogging and trotting!’ And, believe it or not, there are rules to follow!

Wear loose clothing, do not hurry, and, have a dog with floppy ears and a waggy tail!

See, we have all the necessary items for Sauntering Day!

That sounds familiar; Rob and I have World Sauntering Day every day!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Bread (and Butter) Money!

We have a tiny shop here, it used to be part of the original farm, a separate room like a dormitory where the young men would sleep when they came visiting, and a few years ago it was turned into a little shop rightly called 'Die Winkeltjie', or The Little Shop! When we first arrived here, the shop was dark and a bit of a mess, tins of dog food stood side by side with tins of baked beans and condensed milk, and the fresh milk jostled for space with margarine and fishing bait in the 'fridge. Magazines, buckets and spades (for the holiday makers), bread, potato crisps, sweets and chocolates were haphazardly arranged on the shelves with tomatoes and apples, and the 'shopkeeper' had a television attached to the wall which blared out all day. Having said that, you could buy basically anything you needed, and it saved a trip to town for necessities like biltong or ice cream on a Saturday afternoon!

Die Winkeltjie.

It has recently been taken over by new owners and the difference is like night and day! They hauled everything out, removed the television, washed and painted the walls, had a sale of all the old bits and pieces that had been there for years, replaced the old shelves, and re-stocked the entire shop. Suddenly I noticed not only a fireplace and a chimney, but windows too! They now stock ready-made home-made meals, and serve coffee with home-made cakes and best of all, they have made a little wooden house tucked out of harm's way for the stray tabby that has made the shop her home! Our Dopey looks suspiciously like her, could there be a family thread there I wonder?

Friday, 9 March 2012

Mosquito Mayhem!

I have a serious question for all my dedicated readers, and it is this:

How come, when we live in the Western Cape, a winter rainfall area (hopefully more this year!), and we have not had rain for months and months now, how come we are plagued by mosquitoes? There is no water lying around at all, no puddles, no old paint tins filled with stagnant water waiting for mosquitoes to breed, no old sheep troughs lurking in gardens, nothing! I picture you nodding and thinking 'Ah yes, but they have bird baths, there's your answer!' No, we have to fill them at least four times a day, no time for a mosquito to land, let alone settle for a quick egg lay.

Now, when I say 'we' are plagued, I really mean Rob; he is plagued by them, and I am simply plagued by him trying to get rid of them from the bedroom in the middle of the night! He sprays that awful 'DOOM' in the bedroom during the evening when we are watching the T.V, and closes the door. That should do it. Just before we settle down for the night (in the dark so as not to have the light guiding them in), he sprays 'Peaceful Sleep' on him and I dab citronella oil on my head and arms and on the pillow. We even have a fan blowing on us to discourage landings!
That should do it! Right? Wrong!

Friday, 2 March 2012

By the Baai!

In my last rambling blog post, I mentioned that the coastline of our village follows 5 baais or bays, so I thought I would show you three of them. That's a bit Irish to begin with, especially as one of the baais isn't strictly speaking one of 'our' baais! And that's the only one that has sand instead of boulders! Still with me? The best way to see them is from the air, and I was lucky enough to find this 1993 photograph on Wikepedia. You can clearly see the baais, (I have written the names in for you), with the roads laid out ready for business!

I hope that you can read the names!

We live a stone's throw from Jacobsbaai, ( 'X' is where our house is, more or less!). Here is where the little boats tie up and from where others are launched. It is also the baai that gives our village it's name. In the middle of the baai is a small island that is home to many different varieties of bird life, so we call it.......guess what? Yes, Bird Island. It's also the main fishing baai, every evening we see the fishermen patiently sitting on the rocks or bobbing in their boats and waiting for a bite. A few evenings ago we watched one man haul his catch into the shallows, but instead of a stompneus (or whatever he was after), he had caught a sand shark, about 40 cms long. I was very pleased to see that he carefully removed the hook and sent it back into the water. So often we see dead ones that are caught and simply destroyed. Often along the edge of the water, we see blobs of dead jelly fish. Some are transparent and some are like strawberry jelly, but it seems to be a seasonal thing and then they wash up in their dozens. Occasionally we see a dead seal, usually after a storm, and then we have to disuade Alfie from rolling on it! Lovely!

Jacobsbaai with bobbing fishing boats.