Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas everybody! Thankyou for your support and positive comments over the past year. I have only been a blogger for one year and I have loved it!

Now to continue with our trip to the Concentration Camp Cemetry with "snippets" of the Anglo Boer War.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Klerksdorp Cemetry  & The Anglo Boer war  .... cont

On the same day that we visited our local Military and Boer War Concentration Camp Cemetry, I had the honour of meeting Mr. Roelf Marx who is an ex-teacher and retired curator of the Klerksdorp  Museum. He was curator for 28 yrs and after his retirement he continued with research on the history of the town, which led him to write a beautiful and informative book - "Klerksdorp 175. 1837-2012". It is written in Afrikaans and is filled with historical photographs and information. Makes for fascinating reading!

Since I am so passionate about history in general and our local history, I have summoned the help and knowledge of our local Historian Bert Gaffen and hope to give you some insight into the history of Klerksdorp and the Anglo Boer War, without boring those followers who are not too keen on history. So I trust that you will find this post insightful and interesting and hope that you will be so kind as to leave some comments.

"In war there is no such thing as innocence." (Quoted : Bert Gaffen)

Sadly we never studied or heard about the cruelty at the concentration camps - at school and while  growing up. I wish I knew why? .... and we also never heard about the blacks who were thrown into separate concentration camps by the British.

The villians of the Anglo Boer War were the Boers!
                                       The victors of the Anglo Boer War were the British!

The Anglo Boer War 1899 - 1902,  'proved to be the longest (2 & 3/4 yrs), the costliest (over 200 million pounds), the bloodiest (22 000 British, 25 000 Boers, 12 000 African lives) and the most humiliating war that Britian fought between 1815 & 1914! (excerpt from 'The Boer War' by Thomas Packenham). The Anglo Boer War almost bankrupted the British government.

The British soldiers' graves lie in a neat, well-kept part of our War Cemetry which is maintained by the British Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Approximately 50 British soldiers were killed at the Battle of Yzerspruit on 25 February 1902. They took 3 guns and 160 wagons full of provisions for the British Garrison.

There were about 1000 soldiers from both sides who were involved in this.

Koos de la Rey was the Boer Commanding General and this was a major victory for the Boers.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Visit to Klerksdorp Military & Concentration Camp Cemetry!

I recently discovered that our local Historian Bert Gaffen takes visitors to our  beautiful Military and Concentration Camp Cemetry! I have never met somebody like Bert! You don't need Google or an Encyclopedia when you are with Bert! His knowledge and passion for History and anything of geographical value, surpasses anything else I have heard!

Anyway, Mom, Bev and I met Bert on Monday morning at our local Museum and drove out to the old cemetry. I wasn't too sure what to expect, as the last time I drove past there, it looked like an overgrown scrapyard which may house the homeless or unexpected criminals! Should I have taken my double-barrel shotgun with for protection? What did we let ourselves in for?   Hmmmm.... Anyway too late to turn around now! There's safety in numbers as the saying goes.....  Much to our surprise we were met with a neatly kept garden filled with colourful shrubs, plants and well-maintained trees! I was shocked! We were all shocked! Another surprise caught us offguard!!.... and that's the......
........ caretaker! He is a wonderful kindly gentleman who goes by the name "oom Alfred Louw" who is assisted by Oupa - a keen gardener and gentleman himself. I later discovered that Oom Alfred's son Eugene is also involved with this mammoth project of maintaining the gardens at the cemetry.......all at their own expense! These two citizens / businessmen have donated a huge sum of money to the maintenance and support of this project! I am in awe of these people who take great pride in what they have started. All I can say is .....THANKYOU and I want the world to know about this!...
.....before I take you down memory lane and back to our Anglo Boer War!

Oom Alfred - seated in the vehicle & Eugene standing.

Oupa the gardener who admitted that he loves his job and working there.

Bert Gaffen - our local Historian

Mom taking a stroll through our beautiful gardens

Pride of India taking pride in the garden!

Thankyou Oom Alfred & Danlou Motors!

Thanks for stopping by. See you next time for our tour around the cemetry and some very interesting snippets of info regarding the War!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Good morning everybody! Hope your week has been good so far?

I would like to continue with my friendly weavers and share their work with you. I took these photographs over 2 days because I was slightly hesitant at first to drop off the whole suite in one go! What if it was stolen during the night because they have nowhere to store their furniture? We live in South Africa ....... you know and how could I expect them to replace the whole set?

Here James is softening the cane in a bucket of water before he starts the weaving process. This chair was completed the same day I dropped it off! No time to waste with these 2! So I felt more confident to take the rest of the set the following day - early morning! They assured me that I would have the whole set (repaired) by late afternoon!....hmmmmm.... whatever.. I thought, but to my surprise....

 The following day I caught him doing some 'accounting'. He likes to keep book of all the work he does on a daily basis. As I mentioned in my previous post, these men work under very undesirable conditions but don't allow that to deter them. Quite admirable.

 He wets the area that has to be covered.......

....pat pat pat.....

Always time for a smile .....  life is good...

They work with such ease that one is caught up in the moment

He also spotted a missing supporting bar underneath the 2 - seater and replaced it for me, which I had actually forgotten about! It feels strong and well-placed now so the 'heavy weights' can sit with ease, knowing that my couch will not collapse on them!

 This takes a certain amount of concentration....

I hope that you have discovered something new? I have an added appreciation for these people and it's very pleasing to drive past them every day and wave at my new friends.

You will get a glimpse of my new cane suite once I have given it a touch of paint! I was told to paint it with an enamel-based paint! Works best according to Daniel and James! I already have recovered the cushions in a vintage fabric, so can't wait to share those pics with you!

Have a happy day and God bless!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The wonderful world of weaving...

I recently met two very nice young Malawians who take great pride in their craft. They sit along the side of the road quite near our house and create beautiful inexpensive pieces of furniture! I got talking to them one day on one of my routine exercise walks with my friend Bev, and they told me that the cane they use comes all the way from the lakes of Malawi! It's not plastic, but the genuine 'thing'.
Daniel and James are two very humble, well-mannered and friendly young men! They completed their training in Malawi and came to South Africa for a better life! James mentioned to me that he would love to live in the UK one day and make his furniture there. One cannot help admiring these two youngsters as they also have dreams and actually live a very sparse life under difficult circumstances, but are always friendly, humble and appreciative of the little they have.

I happened to mention that my young wolf had torn and shredded some of my cane furniture that stands on the patio and I was devastated about it! Thought I would be forced to dump or sell it for a 'song', but they reassured me that they were able to repair every piece and insisted that I take the chairs to them immediately!! Hmmmm!!!...... I'm not too sure about this, but it's worth a try.

Daniel (left) and James working their wonders!

The cane strips are soaked in water for a few hours to make them pliable and easy to handle.

See how badly this chair has been torn?

This one at the bottom and around the back!

Close up

The two-seater couch was torn on the seat part

Daniel started immediately

 They only use two tools....a knife and a metal hook that looks something like a tent peg!

Thanks for stopping by! See you tomorrow with more of our weaving wonders!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Good morning everybody!!

I have decided to place a few random photographs for you today because I am busy planning some amazing pieces of historical info and pics that will be posted later this week!
So for now....enjoy and hold your breath....

A vignette of some of my cherished old singer sewing machine, gifts from a dear friend and my quilts. These are almost complete and ready to be sold and enjoyed by my family.

The 2 quilts on top of the pile are now complete and the one at the bottom of the pile is in 'the making'.

My Belle Quilt, using blanket stitch technique - planning and layout. This is a Tiki Brophy design which we started at the beginning of last year!! This was a mystery quilt where we received a new block every month which had to be completed

Belle complete, washed and dry, ready to be sold!!

Mom and I just loving it! She helped me a lot with this quilt, doing the blanket stitching around the blocks!

My friend Adrie also having her chance to feel the warmth and love of a homemade quilt!

Thanks for stopping by! I will be showing my second Belle quilt which I will be keeping for myself!

Please look out for my new posts of history, cemetries and........ I just can't wait to share with you all!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Good morning everybody!
This is the last of my photographs of enStyle at Parys. I plan on going there again very soon, so do not despair!

Don't you just love these shoe moulds? We bought some on our last trip to Mossel Bay. I had also planned on painting mine.

Another reminder of the Karoo

Such a stunning dresser! I love the colour!
Everything you see (in the pics) is for sale.

......except these handmade tiles! These were the last 4 and we bought them for our house in the Karoo!

I just have to thank Letitia for her trust and allowing me to take photographs of her beautiful shop!

Have a wonderful day! See you all soon!

Sunday, November 17, 2013


..come walk with me... and browse through the rest of the shop..

I just love these frames made from old floor boards and ceilings

Thanks for stopping by. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Hello friends! As promised, we continue our walk through "enStyle"and now enter "Merci"! A French decor shop filled with exquisite lace, linen and furniture!

So, put your feet up and relax!

I must add that the quality of all the goods (in their respective shops at "enStyle") is of the best. You get value for money. The huge and varied selection is just too much to comprehend! I have decided that I will do all my shopping - for our Karoo house - here! I don't need to go elsewhere! It makes a big difference if hubby also loves shopping at the same place!

Lace for Africa! .... aagggg!! France!!

I don't think diamonds are a girl's best friend anymore!! We all have one or two anyway, ... but lace is......oh dear!! ....  a weakness!!

Well, it's time for bed now, so I bid you a beautiful and good night. Sweet dreams and join me in dreaming of ......"fraai" and  "merci"!

I will have more in stall for you tomorrow! Take care and God bless! Thankyou for stopping by!