No one can tame a fence like Japie Presence

If you live in Suurbraak or its environs and need a fence constructed or repaired, a chicken hok rooikat or otter-proofed, bollards constructed or your lawn mowed, then Japie Presence is your man.

Jakob Present repairing a chicken hok
A rooikat (caracel or African lynx) took out my two ducks one night after the other. Jakob knew what I was up against, fortified the gate using a bent dropper I had on hand and ensured the base around the cage was impregnable and end of problem
Jacob goat-proofing a fence
Freyja the goat was a real pest as she insisted on jumping the perimeter fence in order to feast inside. Jakob improvised and end of problem
Otter that killed ducks and chickens on a neighbouring farm
This otter terrorized neighbours Mark and Dori wiping out almost their entire poultry operation. I recommended Jakob who then ensured that the chicken coop was otter-proof

Japie, whose real name is Jacob (or Jakob in Afrikaans) is a man of many talents. Consequently he has been a boon to me. For instance it was he who noticed that the metal chimney to my Dover stove was rusted and needing replacing. He did a MacGyver and it not only no longer leaks but pulls far better than it did.

On request Jakob also arrives with his weed eater and will do an excellent job mowing your lawn.

He’ll also tends to the garden, rakes leaves and will prune your fruit trees.

For big jobs he’ll quote, but also has a daily rate. If his quotation isn’t to your liking please engage with him as he is open to discussing his and your needs to ensure that neither is short-changed.

If you need to contact him leave a note below and I’ll get back to you with his mobile number.

Quid pro quo. I’m voting Cope

This time round I’ll be voting Cope for national, and DA for the Western Province. Here are my reasons.

Why I won’t be voting ANC

What brought my world crashing was our President (no less) Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa announcing to the nation that the Constitution must be changed in order to reflect the prevailing racist trope that white people constitute ‘the original sin’ (see below), and are therefore to blame for a quarter of a century of failed land reform – and not the ANC.

His was my Piet Retief moment; treachery.

Continue reading Quid pro quo. I’m voting Cope

LinkedIn Learning is a life-changer – or was, for me

This unsolicited post will argue that you should take out a trial subscription to LinkedIn Learning to rivet those joints: yours and/or your employees

Photography has featured strongly in much of my working career in education (photographic clubs, school magazines, newspapers, newsletters, websites, press releases and social media), so I reckon I knew something about how to shoot a reasonable image.

However, mine was always just-in-time learning based on a lifetime of hands-on, manuals, physical courses, YouTube and Adobe Support videos.

In short: Heath Robinson.

Continue reading LinkedIn Learning is a life-changer – or was, for me

Barrydale and books go together

When you conjure Barrydale do you think of literature? If you do then you’ve discovered The House of Books.

Anton de Villiers Fourie in the atrium to his House of Books, Barrydale

Situated in Van Riebeeck Street near to ABSA and the OK, one enters through a garden into an atrium of books. On entry turn to the room on your left: books, the passageway: books, in every nook except the bathroom: books. Additionally you’ll find thousands of CDs and DVDs in the hallway and elsewhere.

Continue reading Barrydale and books go together

The Buffeljags is running dry

“This is the first time in 30 years the river has been this low,” reports Bertrim Oliver, who lives in Suurbraak, a small village that straddles the Buffelags Rivers on the way to or from Barrydale in the Western Cape.

Where I live, in line with the confluence of the Caledon and Buffelags, neither river seems to flow anymore, and the Buffeljags is fast drying up.

Where the Caledon River meets the Buffeljags in Suurbraak

“Never seen it this bad,” comments Matthew Mentz, “but we have had worse droughts, which makes me think water tables are disappearing.”

Continue reading The Buffeljags is running dry

A hidden geography

The longer I live alone here, off-grid in Suurbraak, managing my son (Matt) and daughter-in-law’s (Sasha) small Niche Unity farming operation, the more absorbed I become in what I call a hidden geography, captured also in a short film by Green Renaissance:

Ostensibly, the film is a creation of Justine du Toit (producer), Michael Raimondo (director), Warren Smart (cinematographer), and Jackie Viviers (editor) all of Green Renaissance. Continue reading A hidden geography

Suurbraak rolling mass action: a commentary

Commentary on the march held in Suurbraak Sunday 14 May, 2017.

This report provides:

  1. commentary on the march
  2. commentary on the period shortly after the march ended
  3. commentary on the handover of the list of demands
  4. update on the racial incident
  5. ruminations about  where this is all heading

Continue reading Suurbraak rolling mass action: a commentary

‘Ons soek huise’: Suurbraak march for housing

This report gives you a taste of the day as it happened and is divided into three sections:

  1. The march itself
  2. Shortly after the march ended
  3. Handover of the letter of demand

For commentary on the day please go to: Suurbraak rolling mass action: a commentary

1. The march itself

Continue reading ‘Ons soek huise’: Suurbraak march for housing

Reasons for, report on, and thoughts about the Suurbraak protest

I reported earlier how I came away troubled from a meeting I had attended two weeks back called by the Swellendam executive mayor, Councillor Nicholas Myburgh, to address a host of community-related issues.

Flowing from that meeting was a protest action this past Sunday 7 May 2017, which ended in the symbolic burning of a banner depicting Swellendam Municipality. Continue reading Reasons for, report on, and thoughts about the Suurbraak protest

Housing protest in Suurbraak

A demonstration is planned (at 14:00 on Sunday 7 May 2017) on the Suurbraak braak (village green) to which the press has been invited in order to protest the non-delivery of housing because (as I understand the talk) of alleged routing of sums of money meant to be utilised for Suurbraak (an ANC-controlled ward) for use in Swellendam (run by the DA), to the detriment of the people of Suurbraak, and of housing. Continue reading Housing protest in Suurbraak

I try to see things as they are