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Before the advent of telephones and other modern means of personal communication, picture postcards played a central role in social networking. They also offer a record of the scenes and people of their time. Carol Hardijzer, who does research on the history of photography in South Africa, looks at some postcards from a hundred years ago – page 8

Number 29 : April 2008


No advertorials

We are still surprised when advertisers ask us to write an article on their businesses. In some cases they are prepared to pay for such an “advertorial”, in others they offer a barter deal involving free accommodation or suchlike.

Although advertorials are common practice with most South African magazines and newspapers these days, we believe our readers and advertisers are best served by keeping advertising separate from articles. By publishing factually correct and interesting editorial matter – with the help of our growing panel of contributors – an environment is created in which a proper advertisement shares in this credibility. The uncluttered, structured layout of our pages is also aimed at making information accessible, and advertisements more visible.

Our position on this has often been validated by comments from readers, who generally say they hate to start reading an article, only to discover that it is in fact an advertisement in disguise.

So, Village Life is not going to change – there are more than enough stories waiting to be told to fill its pages for a long time to come. We trust you will keep on enjoying our efforts!



3: At the office

Letters and other important matters: More than 700 people attend the launch of Annalize Mouton's book Portrait of a Village


4: Well over 100 years old... and still counting

There is uncertainty about Mrs Rachel Lamini’s exact age, but sprightly she certainly is. By Annalize Mouton


6: The face of South Africa

A display of pumpkins is a reminder of the old way of life in Gamkaskloof, the once-secluded valley in the Swartberg. By Maré Mouton. View as PDF


8: Old postcards tell their stories

Carol Hardijzer looks at the role of picture postcards a century ago


12: Kniphofia is a red-hot number

Gardening for wildlife: Charles and Julia Botha introduce Red-hot Pokers in the garden


18: The Diary of Iris Vaughan

Our fifth excerpt from this charming diary written by a young girl a century ago: Life in Adelaide in the Eastern Cape, with gas lamps and Guy Fox Guy


22: Chrissiesmeer: wetlands under threat

This pristine nature area in Mpumalanga Province will disappear if proposed mining goes ahead, writes Lindsey Sanderson


28: Lend a hand with the Butterfly Atlas Project

Steve Woodhall explains how anyboy can help to identify and map the butterflies in South Africa


32: Doornboom rises from the mud

Herman Fourie recounts how he and other volunteers set about saving this farm house in Heidelberg, Cape Province, dating from c.1728


38: The demise of the ‘trekbokken’

Herds of millions of springbok and other game once thundered across the Karoo. The last such migration took place in 1896, writes Steve Moseley


42: Drawn on stone

Dr Duncan Miller discusses the rock paintings of the Cederberg


48: The Heron and the eel

Nico Myburgh tells the story of an eel that got away from an over-ambitious Grey Heron – and has the pictures of the event to verify his tale. Read full text


52: Call it paella or potjie

We share some more recipes from our Country Table, this time a delicious pot of mixed seafood


54: Camera work

J L du Plessis explains how he managed to get the flower inside the drop of water


56: Tail piece

A young baboon meets some friends. View as PDF

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Red-hot Pokers (Kniphofia uvaria). © Godfrey Coetzee

A stand of Kniphofia uvaria in swampy mountain land. Photo: Godfrey Coetzee

Adelaide, Eastern Cape. © Maré Mouton

A street scene in Adelaide, showing buildings adjoining Midgley's Hotel. The one in the centre bears the date 1902, the last year of the war. Photo: Maré Mouton

Frogging festival, Chrissiesmeer. © Diana Sanderson

The annual frogging festival is a popular tourist event in the Chrissiesmeer wetlands. Photo: Diana Sanderson

Blue butterfly: A male Western Forest-king Emperor. © Steve Woodhall

A male Western Forest-king Emperor. Photo: Steve Woodhall

Doornboom, also known as the Fourie House, partially restored. Heidelberg, Western Cape. © Martin Smith

Doornboom, also known as the Fourie House, partially restored. Photo: Martin Smith

Rock painting of people and elephants, Cederberg, South Africa. © Duncan Miller

Elephants are the second most common animal after eland in the Cederberg paintings. Photo: Duncan Miller

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