Showing posts from July, 2013

The Stop-Go culture of Kalk Bay road works also added spice to my life

The Kalk Bay road maintenance that has dragged on since sometime in 2008 has become part of my psyche and my morning routine to work in Fish Hoek. Usually my journey over Boyes Drive was predictable - that is, just before you make your way round  the last bend on your way to connect with the main road.

Multitasking on the broken journey
These roadworks turned normal reading of traffic flow on its head. Here on the last stretch of Boyes Drive, a long tailback is good news; no tailback is dicey. When you have free flow coming down the last bend of Boyes Drive to the main road, your brain is already trying to make calculations. If there is an eerie absence of cars in sight down the hill, you have missed the joy of continuing your uninterrupted driving.

I think there were elves at play whenever I came round that bend. I was always a few cars away from taking that elusive, funny circle to connect with the main road and whoosh past the railway traffic lights. As the nose of the car became vi…

Mandela Day 2013 Outreach by Hillwood Primary School (contribution by Lionel Slinger)

As part of our celebration of Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday, we decided to reach out to our elders.

Learners were asked to donate toiletries and educators were asked to donate socks. We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of goodwill from our parents and members of staff.We collected an enormous amount of toiletries, socks, scarfs, gift bags etc.

From these we made up gift packets for the elderly who reside at Village Aged Centre in St. Montague Village in Lavender Hill. Each class had a representative who assisted with putting together the gift packets, under the supervision of our general assistant (Mrs. Ockhuis).
After school a group of seven learners, Mrs. Ockhuis, Mrs. E. Williams and I went to the the Village Aged Centre.
There we met with Valencia, the centre's head. She directed us to the dining room where we met the residents of the centre, who were quite overwhelmed that they were receiving gifts from especially children from their own community.

 After we w…

Breakfast with School Principals of Metro South, Circuit 1, on a Saturday morning

Calling all Heads on a Saturday morning... Why would we invite our school principals to a breakfast to hand over certificates of appreciation? Why not just have those ‘forever’ meetings with a ‘draft’ agenda entitled “Affirming our Heads” as per normal and then crack your brain thinking up ways to create ambience to keep everyone awake, long enough to walk the aisle to collect the certificate? Finding creative ways to honour School Heads

Don’t get me wrong – there is a dire need for such meetings or occasions to engage our Heads of school and we MUST have them. Even run the risk of seeing those droopy heads and getting those stolid looks sending telepathic messages of: ‘would an e-mail not have served the same purpose?’  However, there are those opportunities to do something differently. We can find spaces and time to show our Heads that we appreciate them and their uneviable mission. In fact, we are humbled by their oft superhuman strength of endurance and deep sense of moral purpose to …

Metrorail gets a plus because of a Wallet

Metrorail became my focus this morning, by no fault of their own. At 7h51 I received this bbm from my drummer boy, Christo, who is a Metrorail commuter to UWC in Bellville. Lost wallet “Mommy, my wallet fell out of my pocket in the train!!!!!” With crying face to boot. Now, I can be forgiven for being practical. My first question was with an appropriate “Oh no, first. Then, “Did you lose your ticket?” ( This ticket cost a solid R40 extra since UWC went on recess a month ago). And your ID?(didn’t even want to think of strange-looking clones of my son drifting around in Cape Town).

Metroril under the microscope

And, Metrorail’s PR department, hanging on for dear life to improve the track record of the rail service, is in steep competition with my facebook traffic reporters who commute across the peninsula as Metro clients. Typical unflattering statuses would be along the lines of: “ GM Peeps. 19⁰ in cpt. No rain thru broken windows today. Take care.” OR " WTF… no trains…no warning…sho…

Crestway High School's Outdoor stage gets a facelift as part of the School Holiday Programme

New World Foundation hosts a School holiday programme at Crestway Let’s face it: the June 3-week school holidays can be a nightmare for parents and school children on the Cape Flats. Once the euphoria is over that there is finally a break from the classrooms, reality sets in. There is far too much free time and way too few wholesome recreational facilities and activities to keep our children occupied. This is what makes bridge builders like Zain and his volunteer Youth leader team from the Lavender Hill-based NGO, New World Foundation, such a critical social lever. Zain, a youth worker is dynamite. I met Zain when he organized the first art exhibition in Lavender Hill last year.Here at Crestway High school, Zain and his 25-strong youth leaders from Crestway, Sibelius and Lavender Hill High school and German Student volunteers, hosted a 2-week holiday programme for learners in the Steenberg area. Day 1, 01 July: the programme kicks off… My first visit was on 1 July, 2013, when the holiday …

Birthday Celebrations are special, even for adults

Birthdays remind us we are alive and special
Birthdays are super special events, even for adults who somehow dread celebrating their big day. Thanks to the various social media platforms we subscribe to and the personalized approach that our cellphone service providers, our medical aid schemes and even the retail stores have adopted, our birthdays have gone viral!. A few of the stores even throw in a gift voucher or points for you to use. I can almost hear those naggers complaining that their birthdays are private affairs; that most of the messages are automated and that they don’t make much of their own birthdays now that they are grownups. He..llo… why would you want to privatise your birth day when the entire universe celebrated your birth at the time, sending spectacular energies to all and sundry to announce your arrival? Did you not too, come screaming into the world when you sucked in your first breath of air into your lungs, bellowing your arrival?
 Birthday wishes…

Kalk Bay Beach Outing during the 1970s

While I was travelling to work along Boyes Drive the other morning, I stopped along the roadside to take a picture of Kalk Bay Harbour. There were a few clouds streaking the sky and the sea was an inky blue – an amazing vista.
Kalk Bay beach and the tunnels
There in the distance where the railway line snakes past the harbour, I could see about three of the ‘camper tunnels’ peeping out. Kalk Bay beach with its tunnels was the place to be during the festive season when we were children. That was the closest beach we could travel to because Muizenberg and St James beaches were reserved for whites under the Apartheid laws. Kalk Bay was thus the beach where the whole of Cape Town would descend to wash down all the farm loads of meat and other Christmas Lunch fare on Boxing Day. However, we wouldn’t go on Boxing Day. Our parents would choose one of the days between Christmas and New Year's Day  – that way we could get ourselves ready for the BIG trip. Preparation for the beach trip It was …