Saturday morning “kuiering” in Stanford

“What have you been up to?” facebook asks. Kuiering. Now I know there is no such word in either English or Afrikaans, but the Afrikaans word “kuier” does not translate easily. The dictionary says, “visit” or “stroll”. But it is so much more than either visiting or strolling… Let me explain. In the village I met Jake Heese who said to me, “I want to show you something. This is Stanford… I left my house more than 2 hours ago, and all I have bought so far is this… And I haven’t even had my breakfast yet!” With that he opened his shopping bag and took out a bag of fresh baby spinach. Jake lives in the village, two blocks from the shops. “When I left my driveway, I first had a half hour’s chat with my neighbour Jenny ‘Metal’, then another hour’s chat to my other neighbours, Cath and Simon, then I met… and then… and now you.” And as we were talking Glenn and Willa from Cape Town walked past and I introduced them to Jake. They own a house almost “in the river” as Glenn said, on the floodplain or what used to be the vleilande (wetlands). Their status will shortly be changed from weekend visitors to fulltime residents. We talked about the weather, the rain patterns and the floods and the otters in the river, and the fish people used to catch in the river. One of my most memorable meals was a fish braai at Eric and Marlene Swart’s house in 1997. Eric braaied springer (also known as skipjack or tenpounder elsewhere) caught upstream near the lagoon! Oh, man, never had fish tasted so good! My mouth still waters… But sadly springers have grown quite scarce these days.

I then quickly rushed to the market where Calli was waiting with our bread, and there I met Jan and Sue from Baardskeerdersbos, an even smaller village ± 45 km from Stanford, and Peter Thomas of Stanford.

Sue, Jan and Peter of Baardskeerdersbos at their stall on the Stanford Saturday market

Sue and Jan from Baardskeerdersbos with Peter Thomas of Stanford.

As I crossed the street to where my car was parked, I was stopped by Henriette Derby, another friend from Kleinmond, visiting friends in Stanford for the weekend. She introduced me to her friends, Charmaine Lacock’s mother, Nelly van de Poll, and Christine Schwarz also from Kleinmond. Charmaine and her mom, Nelly, recently moved to Stanford and from what I have heard they make the best coffee south of the “equator”. Christine bought one of my books and we had photos taken and what then transpired was so awesome we all ended up having to wipe away some tears! (I lifted these photos of them from their own facebook timelines!)

After big, warm hugs we each went our own way – I to have coffee with Lin Morris, Sarah and Matt at Graze Slow Food Café. More magic and awesomeness! An outing to the village sums up life in Stanford – it’s a life made up of “magic moments” which in the end makes the hard times so much more bearable. A place where you won’t survive by keeping up appearances and pretence. In the words of author Emma Kriel, “What I have come to know and appreciate about Stanford is that here you absolutely have to be yourself.” And as Matt said, just this morning, “That’s what I’m really good at – just being me.”

Tabby of Graze Slow Food Café chatting to customers/friends

Tabby of Graze Slow Food Café chatting to customers/friends

Alex of Graze Slow Food Café with a friend’s little one.

Alex of Graze Slow Food Café with a very tired Mr T.

Alex of Graze Slow Food Café with a friend’s little one.

Alex of Graze Slow Food Café with Mr T, a tired little angel.

I also had to stop to take a photo of Ivan May, Jessica Phillips and friends on their way to the shops with babies in strollers and Ivan carrying a rather large cool box.

Ivan May, Jessica Phillips and friends on their way to the shops.

Ivan May, Jessica Phillips and friends on their way to the shops.

Only on my way home, two and a half hours since I left it, did I realize what I had written in Nelly’s book. In and between all the hugs and emotion, I wrote: “May you be blessed out of your feet”, in stead of socks! But maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all. May we all live a “winged life” here soaring high on the wings of Love and Life, Forgiveness and Kindness! And may there be many more kuiers for all of us here in this little place under the sun!

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Tant Nellie did not hose down her feet!

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Years ago, between 1944 and 1968 the usual tranquility at Stanford was disturbed by a fight over water. The water from the Oog (the Eye) supplied one and a half thousand gallons of water per day but only a small percentage reached the village in a four inch (10 cm) pipe. The rest of the water flowed into the sea. For 24 years nothing was done to improve the situation, while the village population grew steadily and some residents liked to plant vegetables.

Suddenly water restrictions were introduced, but no one took any notice of them. As far as they were concerned, Stanford had plenty of water. Residents often opened empty taps in the home while gardens were irrigated. The municipality was inundated with complaints. A water-bailiff, (Sas Hoender) was appointed and he received R2 for each summons.

In the following two months Sas summoned eight people. Among them  Nellie de Villiers (83) and Bettie Swart (81). Residents were greatly indignant. It was the largest court case in Stanford’s early history. Long before the case started the court room was so packed with people that many stood outside.

Defending advocate Olivier and the public prosecutor agreed to try a test case. Tant Nellie was chosen. Wearing a long green apron and her green Voortrekker kappie, she smiled and indicated that she was ready. The first witness was town clerk Willie du Toit who described the water history of Stanford, giving reasons for the water restrictions.

Magistrate Gildenhuys enquired whether the water needs of the village had been investigated, and Du Toit replied they it was assumed the town had sufficient water. The water bailiff was the last witness. He told the court that he caught Tant Nellie with a hose pipe in front of her house but did not notice what she was watering.

Adv Olivier: “She could have washed her feet?”

Sas Hoender: “No, she was watering things growing there.”

Adv Olivier maintained that the municipality was responsible for the lack of village water. He requested the release of his clients.

In his sentence Magistrate Gildenhuys referred to a regulation he regarded with contempt and unwillingly passed a sentence of not guilty. The other seven accused were released. The tension relaxed. People smiled – some started clapping. The court constable called for order. Hands were shaken for victory.

(I found the translation here: http://www.overberg.co.za/content/view/348/28/)

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A dog in sheep’s clothing by Malcolm Bury

I had to deliver a dog to a neighbouring farm one day. As I was driving along the road leading up to the farmhouse, a sheep jumped out of the fynbos along the road and chased my bakkie right up to the house. As I’ve heard of this sheep behaving like the dogs with whom he was reared, I was amazed but not too surprised. He was already a familiar sight on the beaches along the Walker Bay coast. His owners loved to recount the disbelief on people’s faces when they saw this sheep running up and down the beach with their pack of five dogs. And when it was time to go home, Rambo with the same ease as the dogs, jumped onto the back of the bakkie. A real dog in sheep’s clothing.

Not for one moment did I think that he would one day be mine. But, when his owners moved away, Rambo moved onto our front deck where he would spend his days sleeping on a blanket in the shade. Whenever someone accidentally left the front door open, Rambo would tour the house and try out the beds, which got my wife in a state because he was not nearly house-trained and would sometimes leave a telling trail behind him. Oh boy, was he ingenious at finding access to the house!
One day we had a client bring in a Rott­weiler to the kennels for a couple of days. As he had warned us beforehand about the aggressiveness and size of this dog, we made sure all our dogs were safely locked away. But we had completely forgotten about Rambo on the front deck. As his ears picked up the sound of the approaching bakkie, he lazily got up and walked down the steps to greet the newcomers, as he was used to. Always the perfect gentleman, I mean sheep, when it comes to guests, our Rambo.
Halfway up the garden path, Rambo, the Rottweiler and Rottweiler’s owner came eye to eye. By the look of Rottweiler’s master’s bulging muscles he must have been spending many hours pumping iron in the gym. Rottweiler, on a very short leash, took one look at this sheep striding confidently up to them, turned heel and dashed back to the bakkie. By now the garden gate was already securely shut, but that did not deter him. With the grace of a highjumper he leapt over the gate, pulling his master behind him like a plaything, straight into the gate.
The ensuing tug-of-war, with Rottweiler on the one side of the gate and his boss hanging onto the leash on the other side trying to open the gate without any success, had my wife and kids in stitches in the house from where they were watching through a window. I had great difficulty keeping a straight face. In the end Mr Muscles let go of the leash and with one jump Rottweiler was back in the bakkie refusing to budge. Only after I had locked up Rambo, and with much coaxing, could we get him out of the bakkie and into the kennels. So much for this big aggressive dog!
Another time we had an old lady bring her little miniature Maltese to us. It was the same greeting procedure all over again. Only this time the little Maltese was the one better off. When this little fellah saw Rambo, he made a dash for him, jumped up and got hold of a patch of the long wool on Rambo’s forehead. He held on to it for dear life and there was Rambo running around the garden with this little white-haired growling “monster” dangling in front of his face! He must have thought himself very lucky to have found someone willing to play with him!
After much consideration we had to put Rambo in the pen with the other sheep. But often as I watch Rambo, nine years old now, grazing with them, I wonder if he ever longs for his cosy bed on the front deck. If only everyone and especially visiting dogs could accept that he was only another dog whose baa was worse than his bite, he might have held on to his position as receptionist.

(Malcolm is the owner of Syringa Kennels just outside of Stanford)

http://www.villagelife.co.za/archive_12.html

Malcolm feeding Rambo the sheep

Malcolm feeding Rambo the sheep

Rambo, the sheep

Rambo, the sheep

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Photos of Stanford by Thomas Daniel Ravenscroft

Thomas Daniel Ravenscroft (1851-1948) had a studio at Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa. According to the Ravenscroft family website (www.ravenscroft.za.net) he started taking photographs in the late 1800s. During the first decade of the 20th century he was commissioned by the Cape Government to take photographs of all towns in Southern Africa, including Rhodesia. He used these pictures, amongst others, to produce postcards which today are very sought-after items all around the world.

Travelling by train and Cape cart he visited most of the towns in Southern Africa. His modus operandi was to take pictures of the town hall, magistrate’s office, police station, local schools, the main street, churches and prominent buildings and where possible a picture of the whole town from the nearest hilltop. He later opened a photographic studio in Riebeek Street, Malmesbury, producing postcards. In the 1930s he moved to Hermanuspietersfontein (now called Hermanus) where he opened a studio. He died there in 1948. Many of his scenic photos, mostly of the Boland and Western Cape, decorated train compartments of the time.

Hermanus was apparently his favourite place and he moved there early in 1920. Next to his home “Linquenda”, an old cottage in Main Road, where the post office now stands, was a small wooden building which served as his studio. A sign on the building read “T D Ravenscroft … photographer for the last 65 years.”

He was a lay preacher and published many religious pamphlets which he wrote. Throughout his life in Hermanus, he served the Coloured communities of Hawston, Mt Pleasant and Stanford, but at the age of 95 he had to stop driving his car which resulted in him not being able to do his Sunday visits.

Here is a photo of Ravenscroft, taken at Hermanus and some of the photos he took of Stanford.

T. D. Ravenscroft at Hermanus

T. D. Ravenscroft at Hermanus

Stanford from across the river – Ravenscroft

Stanford from across the river – Ravenscroft

The bridge across the Klein River – Ravenscroft

The bridge across the Klein River – Ravenscroft

The Klein River looking towards Tettekop – Ravenscroft

The Klein River looking towards Tettekop – Ravenscroft

The Klein River taken from Tettekop towards the vleiland – Ravenscroft

The Klein River taken from Tettekop towards the vleiland – Ravenscroft

Bridge across the Klein River – Ravenscroft

Bridge across the Klein River – Ravenscroft

Chruch street, Stanford – Ravenscroft

Church Street, Stanford – Ravenscroft

The Old draw Mill, Stanford – Ravenscroft

The Old draw Mill, Stanford – Ravenscroft

The Old draw Mill, Stanford – Ravenscroft

The Old draw Mill, Stanford – Ravenscroft

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Home is a place called Stanford…

Today I had a few things to do in the village – fetch our bread, take a photo of the Morris Minor pledged to the Hopeland auction, take a photo of Queen Victoria Street from what used to be Stanford House, as well as take a photo for someone showing the neglect in Hopland, Stanford’s low cost housing scheme.

As usual I parked my car at the local Spar and took my camera and started walking. After a short chat with the baker of our bread, John Williams, I crossed the street to where the Morris Minor was parked in front of our Tourism Info offices. A group of “Stanford girls” were hanging out around it: Caro Krüger, who owns Morris Minors herself, Karen McKee, artist Niki Miles and hairdresser Jeanne Retief and all her doggies! In the next couple of minutes we ladies decided to have a tea party sometime within the next two weeks on the village green that now looks like a scene from Namaqualand in flower-time! Caro has recently bought a house in Calvinia and will soon move there. I cannot imagine Stanford without Caro.

While Jeanne was cutting Niki’s hair, the rest of us had a long chat about God, seeing Him in others and treating them accordingly, and life in a small village. And how unimportant certain things that most people spend their whole lives pursuing, become here. Life tends to be much simpler here.

When I eventually left the girls to continue on my own mission, I was called back by Hansie, Caro’s “protegé”. “Mevrou, mevrou! Take a photo of me standing here with Caro’s car!”

A little further down the road I passed Lionel’s junk cum car cum flower shop. The green Morris he”s selling, once belonged to my elder son Thys, who in turn sold it to Caro who now gave it to Lionel.

Baker John Williams in front of their Mokoro Shop

Baker John Williams in front of their Mokoro Shop

Some Stanford Girls hanging out.

Some Stanford Girls hanging out.

Hansie

Hansie

Lionel's Shop

Lionel’s Shop

Lower down in Queen Vic street, opposite the stoep of the Stanford Hotel on which the Saturday morning market is held, is a building housing amongst others Stanford Trading Store and Graze Slow Food Café. Its long, wide stoep is the ideal spot for friends to meet for coffee, breakfast or lunch, chat to passersby or just to quietly sit and watch life goes by.

Stoep of Stanford Trading Store and Graze Slow Food Café

Stoep of Stanford Trading Store and Graze Slow Food Café

Brydon Havercroft at his stall at the Saturday Market

Brydon Havercroft at his stall at the Saturday Market

In front of Don Gelato’s, our local proper Italian Gelato and patisserie, Michelle Hoffmann and her Cocker Spaniel, Marcello (pronounced “mahr-CHEL-lo”), was waiting for a friend. “There’s no place like home,” says Michelle, who is “just back from Germany after what felt like 10 years, but was in fact only 10 months!” After a couple of minutes her friend arrived, our “one and only” Janet Marshall, Presenter and Co-Host of The Breakfast Show on Whale Coast FM 96.

Michelle Hoffmann in front of Don Gelato’s

Michelle Hoffmann and Marcello, the Cocker Spaniel, waiting for her friend in front of Don Gelato’s

Michelle Hoffman and friend, Janet Marshall

Michelle Hoffmann and friend, Janet Marshall

Michelle Hoffman and friend, Janet Marshall & more Cocker Spaniels

Michelle, Janet, Marcello & more Cocker Spaniels

My shopping done and after taking some more pictures of street scenes, I left the village proper for Hopland. Yes, there is rubbish lying around in the streets, in the yards, and yes, there are signs of extreme poverty, neglect of not only children, but cats and dogs, too. I also know that there is crime, gangsterism, alcohol and other substance abuse. But, there are so many houses and yards where one can see the pride they take in their homes and gardens. A visit to Hopland will either steal your heart or break it. Often there is a bit of both. Like what photographer Chris Bickford said about Haiti: “If it steals your heart, you may find yourself trying to figure out ways to get back to find it again.  You’ll keep remembering moments of magic among the madness, beauty amidst the squalor, and smiles in spite of great sadness; and it will haunt your thoughts and dreams.   If it breaks your heart, you will either return home and try to forget about the whole thing, hoping that eventually you can go about your life like everything is still the same; or you will find yourself trying to figure out ways to get back, and hope that you can do something to assist in the healing, thereby healing your own heart.  If your heart is already broken, you have nothing to fear.  No one wants to steal a broken heart anyway, and you will be right at home in a nation full of broken hearts, broken promises, broken buildings, a broken government, and a broken economic system… There is laughter and dancing amidst the painful memories and ubiquitous reminders…   There is dignity, there is faith, and there is a getting on with things.  …Haiti is a country of survivors, surviving.” And that in a nutshell is Hopland and so many townships in South Africa – communities of survivors surviving, getting on with life.

I love the crowded streets with its many colourful houses, children running around playing, mommas carrying their babies, women doing their washing, small groups of people congregating, all the friendly faces, the warm welcoming, “Hello Mama”, the jibes and witty remarks. I am always amazed that in the face of often abject poverty, most of these women still manage to dress themselves and their children well, and even if they have to wash and scrub the little ones in a zinc tub on the pavement, they somehow get them clean. From the washing drying on lines and over fences it is plain that today, especially with the sun shining, is a day for most of the women to get their own laundry done – and most of them are still doing it by hand.

To even the casual passerby it is obvious that life in Hopland and even Stanford, is not always easy. It is sometimes extremely hard. There are many social problems and equally many challenges facing every person and the community as a whole. Yet, it is still home. When I asked Liesbet Booysens about life in Hopland, she said, “I am satisfied. I love my people and living here.” She interrupted our conversation to pick up a toddler who just then fell in the street and was lying there crying his little heart out. I have known Liesbet and her family for many years. I know the hardships she had to endure in her own life, the abuse, problems with some of her children who sometimes struggle to find work, while her other children have good positions and live respected lives. I know her concern and prayers for the one girl who still at times drinks far too much. But, Liesbet is always positive and full of smiles. “We can only pray for our children, Mevrou. The Lord is good.” And despite the little she and her family have, there is somehow always something to share with another hungry friend or child, and even a place to sleep in her already filled-to-the-max small and much neglected RDP house…

This is Stanford. Home. A home with a very big heart. Also a place where many are reaching out to the less fortunate and really trying to make a difference, “assisting in the healing”, giving not only money, but food, clothes, furniture, their time and skills.

Man and dog basking in the sun before his house

Man and dog basking in the sun in front of his house

 

Liesbet Booysens in front of her house

Liesbet Booysens in front of her house

Joe in front of his and his son's “long” house in Hopland

Joe October in front of his and his son’s “long” house in Hopland

Clive and a friend at their house

Clive and a friend at their house

Hopland

Hopland

Hopland

Hopland

Hopland street scene

Hopland street scene

Children playing

Children playing

Hopland street scene

Hopland street scene

Children playing

Children playing

Nole cooking lunch

Nole cooking lunch

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Stanford author Chanette Paul on her way to the Netherlands and Belgium!

Next week Stanford author Chanette Paul, will be on her way to the Low Countries to take part in “Week van de Afrikaanse Roman” – a week dedicated to Afrikaans authors and writing in the Netherlands and Belgium.  Her main objective though is to do research for her next book over there.

Chanette, in her own words, “was born in Johannesburg in an era when women still wore aprons”.  She grew up all over the country, attended nine different schools, studied at five universities and had lived in seven of the nine SA provinces.

Her first literary success was a fairy tale written at the age of sixteen, which was broadcasted on a children’s radio program.  Her second success was the publication of a short story written in her final school year but only sent off to a family magazine two years later.

In 1988 she obtained a Masters degree in Afrikaans and Netherlandic Literature at the University of Johannesburg and received the Simon Wainstein prize for her dissertation.  At the time she followed a career in the clothing trade.

In 1995, she left the rag trade behind and started writing again for the first time in twenty years.  Since then she has written numerous short, serial and other stories, as well as humorous sketches, for a variety of magazines.  Forty books in different genres also saw the light.

Chanette, who has been living in Stanford for many years now, tells how she came to live here, “I did not want to live in a dorp with a wide, straight main street. And I wanted to be near water where water nymphs and fairies play.” So she went searching for a dorp – Ladismith, Oudtshoorn, Calitzdorp, Swellendam. Not one of these spoke to her. Until she met an old man in Napier, “with long hair and looks straight from a fairy tale himself”, who told her of Stanford, a short distance from Hermanus.

She was not in the mood for more dorp-hunting, but somehow, through a string of events, she ended up in Stanford the following day.

“As I drove into Stanford, I knew, this was my village!” And she still feels as excited about living here as she did the very first time she met Stanford. After a while she built her own cottage on the banks of the Klein River in Stanford. Here she lives with her very patient partner Ernie Blommaert, better known as Blom, her cats and the neighbours’ dogs. Chanette calls herself “an ignorant but eager gardener, a ferocious reader and a music lover”.  She adores the kind of life the river on her doorstep offers.

In her 19-year writing career, Chanette has experimented with a number of genres whilst writing romances to keep the pot boiling.  In 2007 she found a new niche, romantic suspense – albeit a quirky interpretation of the genre.  She entered this new phase with her 30th book, Springgety which unintendedly became the first in a series of five books with Gys Niemand as the detective. Springgety was  followed  by FortuinBoheem, Meetsnoer and Dryfhout.

After completing the pentad she decided to take a break from blood and gore and wrote a family drama in two parts, namely Maanschijnbaai: Jo & Sue followed by Maanschijnbaai: Nan & Jeannie. Jo & Sue was voted Lekkerlit Boek van die Jaar 2012.

Chanette decided to get back into murderous intent with her next book Labirint and also found that her writing style has changed. Less romance, more nitty gritty. After Labirint followed Siende Blind  (Lekkerlit Book of the Year 2013), Raaiselspieël which came out in March and in November this year her latest, titled Ewebeeld, will be on the shelf.

For her debut romance, Chanette was awarded the Perskor Prize for romantic fiction in 1996.  In 1999 Wip van die droomvanger was a runner up in the ATKV Book Awards and in 2005 Chanette was again a finalist with her novel Leila word lig.  The latter was the result of a Masters degree in Creative Writing under the tutelage of renowned South African writer, Professor Etienne van Heerden, at the University of Cape Town.

Boheem, the third book in the Gys Niemand-series was a finalist for the ATKV Woordveertjie (2010) in the thriller category and the Maanschijnbaai diptych was finalist in the romantic novel category (2013).

Since 2002, she works as a part time evaluator, editor and manuscript developer for Lapa Publishers.  She also runs workshops on writing for them. And that was where I first met Chanette in 2003 – on a boat on the Kleinrivier in Stanford with four ladies, amongst them my husband’s niece, who were attending one of her workshops. Interesting two of them are now among the most popular Afrikaans writers, Wilna Adriaanse and Kristel Loots.

(Information taken from Chanette’s blog and website and confirmed by herself.)

http://www.chanettepaul.co.za/english/index.php

Blog: http://chanettepaul.wordpress.com

Chanette Paul

Chanette Paul

Chanette Paul

Chanette Paul

Chanette Paul & Vasti

Chanette Paul & Vasti

Chanette Paul

Chanette Paul

Chanette Paul in her work place

Chanette Paul in her work place

Chanette Paul

Chanette Paul

Chanette Paul

Chanette Paul

Chanette at the Klein River she loves so much

Chanette at the Klein River she loves so much

Chanette the earth-child

Chanette the earth-child

Chanette the earth-child

Chanette the earth-child

Chanette in front of her yellow cottage on the river

Chanette in front of her yellow cottage on the river

Chanette Paul's latest book, Ewebeeld, will be released on 5 November 2014

Chanette Paul’s latest book, Ewebeeld, will be released on 5 November 2014

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Stanford’s village green

Stanford is one of the few towns in South Africa that retained its village green which forms the heart ot the village. It’s where children play, markets, festivals, pony- and dog shows are held, cricket is played… neutral meeting place for all its people.

Village Green, Stanford

Village Green, Stanford

Village Green, Stanford

Village Green, Stanford

Village Green, Stanford

Village Green, Stanford

Village Green, Stanford

Village Green, Stanford

Village Green, Stanford

Village Green, Stanford

Village Green, Stanford

Village Green, Stanford

Village Green, Stanford

Village Green, Stanford

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A Saturday-morning outing to the market & shops in Stanford

We buy our bread, freshly baked rye bread, every week from Calli Williams at the Saturday Market in Stanford. Her husband John is the baker. And if I am not in time for the market, Calli keeps my bread and I fetch it at the shop, as happened today. I had been having long discussions and friendly chats with quite a few people and missed the market. This is nothing new – as always, an outing to the shops in Stanford can take quite a while! Here one needs time and somehow always have time to stop and chat and catch up on all the local news and happenings, time to share, to encourage and be encouraged, and time for hug or a cup of coffee or tea, too.

John Williams in their "Makoro" Shop

John Williams in their “Mokoro” Shop

I remember one day as I passed the Mokoro shop, Calli and a friend were sitting at the table in front of the shop, having tea and chocolate cake. I stopped to say hello, and was invited to join their party. Soon another friend walked by, stopped to greet and chat a little, and were invited to tea and cake, and so the party grew! We had such an awesome time.

Today Joe October came by to chat to John.

Joe October

Joe October

A couple of weeks ago I took this pic with my cellphone of a very stylish Jane Dowie Dunn who was at the Saturday market with her new puppy.

Jane D1

I also had to fetch cat food for our Missy from the local vet’s practice. The practice is situated just outside of the village on the property of Malcolm who owns the local kennels.  As I got out of my car, I was greeted with warm purrs, miaows and rubbings against my legs by two of the cats Olga, the vet, had adopted. I tried to take decent photos of them, but they were too “up close and personal” for that! Malcolm’s sheep grazing in the enclosure right in front of the practice lends such a sense of serenity and peacefulness to the picture!

Cats_0814 Malcolm sheep_0810

 

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A river runs through Stanford…

A river runs through Stanford – the Kleinrivier. And although not literally through the village proper, it does course along the outskirt of the town to the mountainside. Along the footpaths on the river banks arum lilies and nasturtiums are in bloom almost right through the year. I love the various scenes and moods of the river – the mist in the early morning, the golden glow at sunset, the sound of birds in the trees and the reeds, the ripples made by the water fowl in the water, the occasional otter swimming in the river, children and people swimming, boats… The late Johan de Villiers once shared that they were standing with friends Sakkie and Susan Swart on the banks of the “mighty Rhein” (according to the tour guide) in Germany, when someone asked Sakkie where he was from. His response was immediate, “From Stanford, on the banks of the mighty Kleinrivier.” And yes, our river might be called “klein” (small), but is indeed mighty when in flood…

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Stanford through the eyes of two of its many photographers.

We did it, and yes, I made it! After going to bed at 2:30am the previous night, I was up at 5:50am – even before the alarm went off! It was still almost dark when I left and drove through the quiet, sleeping village to pick Herman van Bon up for our photography-stroll through the village.  We were both armed with our digital cameras, herman with his Sony A77VQ with a Sony DT 2.8/16-55 mm lens, mine is a Canon EOS 400 D with Canon 18-55 mm lens. No tripods. (You can read more about how this two-some came about, here:  Two photographers on the prowl)

From seven until ten we were out “shooting early birds”! We had so much fun and laughed so much. We first went to Stanford South and what struck us both were how lively and full of people the streets were with men and women going to work, children off to school and dogs doing what dogs do (barking somewhat furiously at us at times). There were chickens scratching here and there on the street verges, cocks crowing, some fought. At the spaza-shop a cat was sitting on the corner of the street, while another one went inside the shop inspecting the goods.

Our next stop was the Willem Appel Dam, halfway back to the village. There we photographed reeds, trees and a reflection. There were some water fowl – cormorants, moorhens, ibises – and weavers and warblers in the reeds.

After a while we headed back into the centre of the village which by then had also “woken up”. People were out walking their dogs, riding their bicycles, doing their business. Our local green team were busy sweeping along the streets, and the normal gang of loiterers were outside the shops trying their luck with the shopppers. Our friend, Beatrice Pook, was up and offered us coffee.

This was NOT a competition. Both Herman and I did it for the joy of photography. It’s interesting to see the differences between the two of us in the way look at and interpret things. We hope that you would enjoy these photos as much as we enjoyed taking/making them.

Herman van Bon’s photos:

Beatrice Pook

Beatrice Pook

Reeds

Reeds

St Thomas Church

St Thomas Church

Reflections

Reflections

Chicken

Chicken

She's not my Bokkie

She’s not my Bokkie

Don't come nearer…

Don’t come nearer…

Inside the spaza shop

Inside the spaza shop

Rooftop view of Kleinrivier Mountains

Rooftop view of Kleinrivier Mountains

Annalize through a soft lens

Annalize through a soft lens

Window reflection

Window reflection

Linden off to the shops

Linden off to the shops

Trees

Trees

Off to work

Off to work

Rocket-Science-in-Stanford

Rocket-Science in Stanford

Annalize Mouton’s photos with some extras of Herman and “some early birds” thrown in:

_MG_1774

Mothers

Mothers

Little Girl

Little Girl

Herman @ Spaza Shop

Herman @ Spaza Shop

Herman @ Willem Appel Dam

Herman @ Willem Appel Dam

Off to work

Trees

Trees

Simba brushing teeth

Simba brushing teeth

Reflection in water

Reflection in water

Queen Vic Street

Queen Vic Street

Beatrice Pook

Beatrice Pook

Not my Bokkie

Not my Bokkie

Coral tree (flamboyant)

Coral tree (flamboyant)

Herman van Bon

Herman van Bon

DRCurch Steeple

DRCurch Steeple

Cat on the corner

Cat on the corner

Early morning ride

Early morning ride

Spaza Shop

Spaza Shop

Chickens

Chickens

Rooftop view to Kleinriviers Mountains

Rooftop view to Kleinriviers Mountains

 

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