Category Archives: People

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.

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 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.

I live in Suurbraak, and whenever it’s time to fill my jerrycans with drinking water from the Tradouw Pass I extend my journey, order two double espressos from Diesel & Crème, draw some money from the ABSA ATM and then visit Anton.

As I’m interested in unravelling the history of this area and South Africa in general – particularly with the view to trying to understand the early conflicts between Bushmen, Khoi Khoi, Bantu and European – I tend to gravitate to the room at the end of the passageway which houses Africana. More recently I’ve invested, because it is an investment, in four volumes of Theal’s History of South Africa before 1505 until 1872, Jan H. Hofmeyr’s South Africa, Spilhaus’s The first South Africans and the laws that governed them and Vulliamy’s Outlanders.

I’ve also purchased a number of excellent CDs to listen towhile doing the pass.

Anton’s a photographer and you’ll see his work on display throughout. Quirky, gritty, angled – almost every image spoke directly to me. See if you agree:

Image, copyrighted to Anton, House of Books, Barrydale
Image, copyrighted to Anton, House of Books, Barrydale
Image, copyrighted to Anton, House of Books, Barrydale
Image, copyrighted to Anton, House of Books, Barrydale

So if you value books, enjoy CDs and/or want to expose yourself to some stunning images then visit House of Books next time in Barrydale, and if you’re lucky Anton might be at hand to enrich your visit with suggestions and ruminations on his stock, Barrydale and the meaning of life.