Posts Tagged With: village life

Tesselaarsdal: A bend in the road

Tesselaarsdal: A bend in the road, will be available at R200 per copy until 7 Dec 2019. After that the retail price goes up to R280 per copy. Postage to anywhere in South Africa by registered post, is another R50.
The book comprises 202 pages with 158 photographs. And I have unearthed a wealth of previously unknown historical information, but the real highlight is the interviews with locals, with people telling their own stories. Make sure you get your copy. Only 500 copies printed. Inbox me or email:

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Walks with Kerneels – 2 August 2018

What an interesting walk we had today! We took a different route through the bottom part of Die Skema, then around the Willem Appeldam, and through the village back home.
As we turned the corner, a few metres from our house, there was a lot of commotion. A burst water pipe which was being fixed.
There’s new life sprouting everywhere… bare branches are shooting new leaves, many trees and plants are flowering. The coral or flame trees, Erythrina, make a beautiful display with their flame red or bright orange flowers on bare branches against the blue skies. I am ever so thankful for every beautiful tree in the village and those that are newly planted. When the town was laid out in 1857, a hundred oak trees were planted, and some of them are still standing.
Kerneels and I are making new friends along the way. A day or so ago we met Charly and his human mom, Doris. They settled in the village almost two years ago and own a deli in Hermanus. Like Kerneels, Charly is also a rescue dog. He has a beautiful, and even bushier tail than our Kerneels.
In Die Skema, we today met little Gemia and her friend Sentino. Also Gemia’s father, Christiaan and some of his friends. It is Gemia’s birthday today and she turned four. We sang to her! What stunning little kids! (It’s also the birthday today of our own granddaughter Kara who turned fourteen! How time flies!)
I had to laugh at some of the dogs in the Skema… Many roam the streets freely, and would bark “fiercely” at passers-by, in this case, Kerneels and I, but the moment I pointed my camera at them, they made a beeline for their own homes!
On the village green the children’s soccer team were practising. After a cup of tea at Thys and Johette (my son and his wife), we headed home. As we passed one house in Church Street, I heard strange bird sounds, and tried to see where it was coming from. As I looked up into what looked like a completely bare tree, much to my surprise, there was a hadidah in her nest feeding her three little chicks!
Further down, in De Bruyn street, we walked past two joggers. One stopped and introduced himself, Richard Opperman, whom we had passed by earlier on. He has the most amazing story! A cancer survivor, he and his wife and children came to Stanford a year and a half ago, changed their whole lifestyle and after first starting to walk regularly, Richard is now running!

Again I say: how blessed are we!!!!!

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Walks with Kerneels – 31 July 2018

I’m so amazed at all there is to see and capture in an hour’s walk through only a small part of the village! Today’s walk was a longish one, as I decided to also run by the shop. It was a beautiful sunshiny day with blue skies, albeit still a bit cold. Birds were singing and out feeding almost the whole time & the villagers were out walking their dogs. Workers after the days labour were either waiting for their lifts home, or walking home… some like my friend Nolithemba Nosihle, has quite a long walk to her home at Die Kop, the informal settlement just outside the village.

My eldest son Thys and their Bella again walked half of the way with me, much to my relieve, as he sometimes held Kerneels so that I had both hands free to hold my camera!

I feel so blessed to be able to live in this beautiful village with its many amazing people. Enjoy!

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Walks with Kerneels – 26 July 2018

Kerneels and I were both somewhat tired today! But my intention of taking a shorter route fell by the wayside when I decided to go down the steep river bank to where there is a jetty that one could sit on and let your feet hang in the water. But alas, the jetty was partly under water and we couldn’t get on it. We then followed the path along the river bank towards the village and on our way we had to cross a wooden bridge which was a new experience for Kerneels. At first he was very reluctant. He didn’t trust the thing at all! Only when I called him did he come to me, very carefully! Then back home through a beautiful milkwood forest. Up the hill across the playground where two hadidahs were looking for something to eat and only one little boy, Tinus, the youngest son of our neighbours, Gys and Nonnie de Bondt, was on the swings. He so enjoyed being pushed on the swing that when his caretaker, Mitch (I think that’s what he said his name was) said it was time to go, young Tinus did not want to get off. He still wanted to swing! As Kerneels and I almost reached our house, I looked back and there were Tinus and Mitch also coming down the road on their way home.

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Walks with Kerneels

Over the weekend of 16/17 June our beloved Great Dane, Anna, fell ill and died on Monday, the 18th. After Anna’s death, Kerneels, her canine mate, refused to lift his leg in our own garden, so I had to take him out on walks three, four times per day. And he’s a fast walker that one! So, each day now I have to fit in a few kilometres of “walking the dog” and decided to take my camera with on our walks and capture some of the scenes and people of our beautiful village. And just so you know… Kerneels, normally a handsome dog, with ears alert and tail curled and bushy, hates having his photo taken! Then he gets this dejected, feeling sorry for himself, look!

19 July 2018: Today, Kerneels and I, again took a different route for our daily walk. Down the dirt road at the end of our street and up the hill to the village and down Caledon Street to the river and then with Vlei Street back up the hill to our street and back home. Caledon Street was once called Piet Street, because of all the people called Piet living there… there were Piet Maree the policeman, Piet Barends, Pietie Skoenmakertjie (the shoemaker), Pietie Appel, Piet Dempers, Piet Sheriff, Piet du Toit, Piet Bek, Piet Titus and his son Piet…
Although a grey cloudy kind of day, all along the streets there are definite signs and smells of spring advancing rapidly now – jasmine, arum lilies, moon flowers, blue felicia’s… Birds are changing into their breeding feathers and colours… the pin-tailed whydah’s tail feathers are growing and he’s already fighting his own reflection in the side mirrors of cars! 🙂
Villagers are out walking their dogs and children on skateboards are doing amazing stunts in the streets.
It was a long walk… and we were both quite exhausted when we finally arrived home.

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Never despise the day you meet a chicken

Yes, you have read correctly. Never despise the day you meet a chicken. And more so when the chicken you meet is an avid tourist. This one actually lived in Carnarvon in the Karoo, but I photographed him waiting for his human mom in his favourite vehicle outside Overberg Agri at Stanford on his way to his human parents’ holiday home at Uilenkraalsmond. Pikkeling (loosely translated as “Pecking thing”) was hatched by a pigeon and brought into the house by Stephen Hoffman. Initially, in winter, Stephen had to get up at three to replace the fledgling’s hotwater bottle.

“He brought him into the house, so he had to get up,” said Stephen’s wife Lizette, who clearly adored the feathery cockerel. Pikkeling had even visited Cape Town, and had no problem travelling 220 kilometres in his little box at the feet of his “parents”. At night he slept on the couple’s bedside table, after a snack of crisps.

Then, wait for it, this little rooster from Carnarvon made it into a book! When children’s author Marianna Brandt started working on a book about Veronica, a real-life performing chicken, she happened upon our story about Pikkeling in Village Life magazine and promptly made him a character in her tale. Diva Veronica (161 pages) was published by Human & Rousseau.

This is the story of Veronica, a little white hen that was bought at the roadside by well-known director and producer, Brett Bailey, to appear in his production of iMumbo Jumbo. Most of the friends Veronica made on her road (literally) to stardom, were real chickens: Parsons, Vernon, Herman, Pikkeling and Cornelia – the latter who also starred in the Bailey productions. Being a mixture of fact and fiction, this story is entertaining, but also quite informative.
Not bad at all for a little rooster from the Karoo, I’d say!
Pikkeling in his parents’ car

Pikkeling in his parents’ car


Pikkeling and “mom” Lizette Hoffman

Pikkeling and “mom” Lizette Hoffman

Pikkeling and “mom” Lizette Hoffman

Pikkeling and “mom” Lizette Hoffman

_MG_3537Pikkeling the baby in mom’s arms!

Pikkeling the baby in mom’s arms!

Pikkeling in his travelling basket

Pikkeling in his travelling basket

The Book: Diva Veronica

The Book: Diva Veronica


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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)

Malcolm feeding Rambo the sheep

Malcolm feeding Rambo the sheep

Rambo, the sheep

Rambo, the sheep

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