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Number 13 : August 2005


A village may be anywhere

The name of our publication is really just a title, although it does indicate we are not much interested in the glitz and glamour of city life. Our stories do not concern life in any particular village. They are rather about peoples’ relationship to their cultural and natural environment, including their ties to the past.

A “village” may exist even in a huge city (think Greenwich Village in New York, especially in the Hippy era, the Plaka in Athens, Mellville in Johannesburg, or a number of pockets in the greater Cape Town area). And conversely, we are all part of the “global village”. When Marshall McLuhan coined this famous description of the world in 1967, he was only referring to the effects of television; he could not foresee the invention of the Internet and how it would change the way people interact and access information thirty years later.

Our articles are spreading wider along with our distribution. Village Life is now available in Pick ’n Pay, Exclusive Books and CNA in the Western Cape, and at Spar and independent outlets as far as Langebaan and Graaff-Reinet, with many subscribers further afield. We trust that our stories will remain of interest to readers old and new!



4. Cape violet may help family tree

This tiny flower’s closest relatives seem to be in South America and Spain


6. Bobbie does his shopping

A dog who has an account at the local supermarket


8. Bats – our (mostly misunderstood) flying mammals

An introduction to the many fascinating facts about bats, a much maligned but benign creature


12. From Oranjezigt to Zoetendals Vallei

Few families had such a wide-ranging influence on South Africa as that of Michiel van Breda, first mayor of Cape Town and "father" of the Merino sheep-farming industry in the country.


18. A symphony for the eye

Artist Joan Clare was avant garde in her youth and at age eighty she is still creating vibrant images.


20. Colourful blooms made to last

Locals of Stormsvlei dry and colour flowers for the export market


Cover story:

22. Wupperthal then and now

We revisit the historic mission station in the Cedarberg.


30. The furtive flufftail

Nico Myburgh’s special bird, the species that he has taken more time to photograph than any other. Read full text


32. Tour guiding isn’t just a job

No easy task: Louis Willemse looks at the requirements for a good guide


34. He breathes new life into old wagons

Farmer Piet Serdyn of Moorreesburg applies a host of specialized skills to restore and build wagons and carriages


40. Magic blend of flavours

We test recipes for another traditional favourite, tomato bredie


42. The Village Gardener

Tracy Paton’s down-to-earth gardening column features:

42. Colouring winter

44. Voracious eaters, good and bad

45. A bit of confetti for winter


46. Delicious & easy vegie from the sea

Louie Lemmer continues her series on edible seaweeds


48. Tale piece

Thespian Jan Stoop has a West Coast story. View as PDF


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Viola decumbens flower

The tiny Viola decumbens photographed close-up by Annalize Mouton on the slope of the Kleinrivier Mountains at Hermanus

Schreiber’s Long-Fingered bats in the guano cave at De Hoop Nature Reserve. Photo: Prof Brock Fenton

Schreiber’s Long-Fingered bats in De Hoop Guano Cave, home to about

300 000 bats. Photo: Prof Brock Fenton

Small oil painting of Michiel van Breda, Zoetendals Vallei

This small oil painting of Michiel van Breda has pride of place in the dining room at Zoetendals Vallei

Arist Joan Clare

Arist Joan Clare (80) with a recent work

Cano-landau and black Flemish horses, owned by Piet Serdyn, Moorreesburg

Piet Serdyn out for a exercise run at his farm in the Swartland with the cano-landau and black Flemish horses regularly used as a wedding carriage

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