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Fire Feedback Meeting – Crassula Hall 10H00 Saturday 16 November 2019

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“YOUR PLACE IN THE KOGELBERG: A guide to living and gardening in harmony with the Kogelberg Biosphere”, by Tim Attwell

Tim Attwell’s book, Your place in the Kogelberg, was aptly launched at the Nivenia Hall of the Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens in Betty's Bay on 23 May 2015.

The Equestrian Centre, Overstrand, “where happy horses live!”

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Have you ever entertained fantasies of cantering along a pristine beach, with the wind in your hair and the surf thundering at your feet? This need no longer be a fantasy! The EQUESTRIAN CENTRE, OVERSTRAND offers just such possibilities.

If you have never sat on a horse in your life, or if you have done so only occasionally, the dream can still become a reality.

However pristine the Rooisand Reserve might be, the vegetation to the right and left of the dirt road that takes you there can only fill one with sadness.

For years, the natural vegetation there had been strangled by invasive, non-indigenous trees – eucalypts, myrtle, cluster pines and Port Jackson willows. The extent of the invasion was, quite simply, horrifying. Then, a few years ago, a huge runaway fire swept through the area and most of the invasive plants were destroyed. To my, probably uninformed, mind, this presented a golden opportunity to the owners of the land and other interested members of the public to attempt to restore the vegetation to its natural state. Surely, it is far easier pulling out seedlings and very young plants as they emerge after a fire than it is dealing with plantations of fully-grown trees? It is good to see that this has happened in some affected areas closer to Bot River. Sadly, nothing was done in the land adjacent to the Rooisand Road and, in no time at all, it will be as bad as it was before the fire.

The Rooisand Reserve is a Cape Nature initiative. Can they not bring some pressure to bear, if not some assistance? And what about the Overstrand Municipality? Are there not regulations about controlling the growth of invasive aliens on private property?

Maybe I am wrong. I shall put these questions to Ed Silberbauer, fondly referred to in these parts as “Mr Hack”. He is appearing in next month’s “May I Introduce . . .” column.

Still out of hardship bred,
Spirits of power and beauty and delight
Have ever on such frugal pasture fed
And loved to course with tempests through the night.
From: The Horses on the Camargue [Roy Campbell]

These famous lines could quite easily refer to the herd of “wild” horses on our very own doorstep, the only such herd in South Africa. At present, about 25 horses roam the marshy edges of the estuary at the Rooisand Reserve just outside Kleinmond.

When you have been stuck inside for days on end with the winter rain pounding the tin roof and the North-westerly howling outside, cabin fever is an inevitability. What better time to don your raincoat and head off for a meal at a destination that can guarantee warmth and good, hearty food, as well as an opportunity for some retail therapy?

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Someone asked Einstein what she could do to make her child more intelligent. His response: “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

The reading of fiction stimulates the imagination and develops creative thinking skills. For this reason it is terribly important that children are exposed to imaginative writing from a very young age. Not only does this make them smarter, it can also set them on a path of lifelong reading. The result: an adult with greater knowledge, understanding and sensitivity.

Most of the kids at Mooiuitsig are seldom read to. Wouldn’t it be great if members of the Betty’s Bay community could fill this gap? My idea is that, a couple of times a week, a group of volunteers, armed with story books suitable for different age groups, could hold reading circles in the hall at Mooiuitsig. The ideal time of day would be between 4 and 5.30 p.m. and it wouldn’t take up more than a half-hour of one’s time. The kids would have been playing outside and be in the right frame of mind for a bit of quiet time before supper and bed.

The only snag is that the readers would have to be able to communicate in Afrikaans. This counts me out, but I would be happy to be the organiser. The local library has lots of books that would be suitable.


Anyone interested in setting something up? Please mail me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Hundreds of red hot pokers have burst into flower in the recovering green belt. They thrive in marshy conditions and now have the space to flourish, creating a marvellous spectacle.
We await with anticipation the spring flowering of Watsonia. Huge numbers of plants have sprung up.

Penny Davidson, who plays for the Betty’s Bay Jukskei Club, was selected to represent Western Cape at the recent SA National Senior Championships held in Kroonstad from the 4 – 10 April 2015, where the team acquitted themselves reasonably well.

Penny, who moved to Betty’s Bay some three years ago, took up jukskei about 2 1⁄2 years ago. Previously Penny had played hockey for Eastern Gauteng and she has represented Eastern Gauteng Masters for 22 years. She has also played hockey in two World Master’s Games. In 2013 in Torino, Italy, the team won a silver medal.

Since there are no hockey facilities close by, Penny decided to learn how to play jukskei, a sport which she enjoys immensely. In the 2013/2014 season Penny and her team won the Boland League in the C division.

Last year Jukskei was split into 5 districts, which together form the Western Cape. We became the Overberg District. Penny is currently the secretary of the Overberg Jukskei  Federation.

A letter to the Editor

Thanks to a very good article in the Betty's Bay rag, "The Buzz", I was made aware of this workshop and was able to join the group. It took place over three days and was taught by Vicki Thomas, ably assisted by Ebraime Hull. Vicki is a very famous artist. She has even painted for Prince Charles! She also teaches the Fine Art honours student at Stellenbosch University.

Twelve people of different abilities, from a couple of total beginners to some accomplished artists, were taught how to create beautiful paintings.

Thank you, Vicki, for three days of inspiration. I hadn’t thought it was possible to produce a painting that I would actually be proud of in such a short time. Apart from the fact that it was fun, there is a good chance we can continue our education over two years on a once-a-month basis.


Jane Orpen [Helderberg]

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I’d heard about him, I’d read about him and, yesterday, I finally got to meet him. What an inspirational human being is Ebie Hull — baker, teacher, plant propagator, botanical explorer and botanical artist! He is also a man with a profound social conscience: he is  forever trying to find ways to uplift the less fortunate.

The Editor Rants (Again)

If you live and work in a city, a postman delivers your post to your home or workplace. And it matters not a jot how much mail you receive or to whom it is addressed.

If you live in a small town, without the services of a postman, you have a post box, for which you pay R40 a year. No problem!

But if you have any mail that is addressed to a trust or a company, with your box number, it gets RETURNED TO SENDER, that is if you haven’t upped your payment to a whopping R363. This applies to everyone, even those who are no longer involved in business.


Is this fair? Is this right? I THINK NOT!

The chosen font for this month’s title, methinks, aptly portrays the appearance of some of the plants in our fynbos at present: partly caterpillar-chewed, partly dehydrated, with grey tips curled in interesting directions. Despite their appearance, however, isn’t it wonderful to know that such damage is only temporary and they will recover? For the present we can simply move on to the protea bushes, either resplendent in flowers or full of buds, with the promise of a colourful winter. The recent few days of mist covering our mountain has also ensured the continuing carpet of fascinating ericas, especially, totally different in colour and texture from those in our garden.