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Concert in the Park – A review
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Concert in the Park – A review

Established in the early 1870s for the purpose of conserving and propagating rare and endangered indigenous plants, the National Botanical Gardens in Pietermaritzburg is always a great venue for anyone looking to relax and unwind amongst the beauty of nature. Flowers of every description birth forth a kaleidoscope of colours and hues while tall trees shade visitors strolling along the neatly manicured lawns creating a sense of utopia seldom experienced in any city setting. The ever popular ‘Concert in the Park’ has been staged annually in the Botanical Gardens since 2005 and when my friend ...
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A day out with the cars in the park
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A day out with the cars in the park

Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal’s capital city, is home to many attractions, not least of which is the colourful Alexandra Park, considered for many decades to be the city’s main social activity centre. Established in 1860, the park boasts a dazzling array of flower and plant species while the Cricket Oval with its fascinating Victorian Pavilion (a national monument) regularly hosts cultural city events. The park itself is well known for showcasing annual events like ‘Art in the Park’ - the largest outdoor exhibition in South Africa; ‘Cars in the Park’ – all wheels vintage and future; and ‘...
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The Flamjangled Tea Party
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The Flamjangled Tea Party

Set on the Contermanskloof Wine Farm, only 30 minutes from Cape Town, the Flamjangled Tea Party in Durbanville is a unique, colourful weekend long party and celebration of music. With its ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ theme, festivalgoers need little encouragement to dress up in psychedelic costumes, embracing the opportunity to dust off their zaniest outfits. A magical array of props and festival décor set the scene for one of Cape Town’s most beloved festivals, which attracts a more folksy and artistic crowd than most. This year’s party promises to deliver, with a stellar line-up of great ...
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My Big Walk in Cape Town
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My Big Walk in Cape Town

A few weeks ago I got a mail from a friend suggesting we enter the Big Walk and before I fell over with the thought of walking 80km I read a bit further and realised she was talking about entering the 5km leg of the race. All in all a much better idea, so I agreed to join in and booked and paid for my entry online (only R33 per person) and within a few minutes I was signed up. I’d almost forgotten about the event but when an email reminder popped up on my computer last Thursday I thought I better find out where I needed to register and collect my race number - a first in my lifetime. But be...
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Fish Recipe for National Braai Day …
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Fish Recipe for National Braai Day …

Braai Day is an active celebration of South Africa's rich cultural heritage and its unique national pastime, the braai (our version of the Barbecue!). Ahead of National Braai Day coming up this Friday 24th September, we are delighted to have received this mouth-watering recipe for Angel Fish to prepare on the braai for those of us that prefer fish to meat! Celebrity Chef Sue-Ann Allen's creation suggested for fish-lovers, Angel Fish basted in an Apricot Jam and Chilli Dill Butter Sauce - served with Asparagus and flash grilled Vine Tomatos, sounds both healthy and delicious! What you will ...
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Kuier a while at the Kalahari Kuierfees
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Kuier a while at the Kalahari Kuierfees

September seems to be a bumper month for the Northern Cape with the Gariep Kunstefees , NWCA NDFT Daisy Marathon (already taken place at the beginning of the month), St. Augustine's Cultural Festival (24 September), Apollo Film Festival (25 September) and the Kalahari Kuierfees from 23-25 September 2010. I had no idea what the Kalahari Kuierfees was all about, so I thought I find out a bit more and let you all know so if you’re in the area you can go and take part in some of the fun.  This is a three day event that takes place in Upington and last year attracted more than 30 000 festival go...
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GREAT Walk and MORE Exhibition in Woodstock, Cape Town
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GREAT Walk and MORE Exhibition in Woodstock, Cape Town

Woodstock and more specifically Greatmore Street will be going art mad on 25 and 26 June 2010 in Woodstock, Cape Town The GREAT Walk and MORE Exhibition intends to create a positive image of the area while bringing contemporary art into the community’s space. Expect to see a variety of works which include art, art installations, sound installations, projections, live art performances and music and street performance. The community will be getting involved in this event by lending their stoeps and shop fronts as exhibition space and individual galleries. This will be an art gallery extravaga...
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Miles of Smiles, Robertson and the Wacky Wine Weekend
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Miles of Smiles, Robertson and the Wacky Wine Weekend

We had an early start to Saturday morning; 4.30 to be precise.  After the confusion of finding the correct road for our trip to Darling two weeks ago, a bit more forethought had been given to this journey and although we left ten minutes later than planned at 5.10am we made up good time and hit the highway with ease! We were off to Robertson for Miles of Smiles 10km and half marathon races.  We arrived in the Route 62 town with plenty of time to spare and made our way to the registration area; I’m very pleased I was a spectator because even at 8am the air was very fresh and I did not envy t...
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The Ultimate Human Race; the Comrades Marathon
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The Ultimate Human Race; the Comrades Marathon

Arguably the world’s greatest ultra marathon, Comrades was started by Vic Clapham to honour and remember those who fell during the Great War of 1914 – 1918.  Run between the KwaZulu Natal cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg, the first race started outside the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on 24 May 1921 with 34 runners and has been run every year since then with the exceptions of the 2nd World War years of 1941 – 1945.  The direction alternates each year – giving us the ‘up run’ or the ‘down run’. This year the race starts in Pietermaritzburg and will end in Durban.  Athletes are given 12 ho...
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Franschhoek Literary Festival – Books, words, literature and Franschhoek – a heady mix
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Franschhoek Literary Festival – Books, words, literature and Franschhoek – a heady mix

I don't need an excuse to head out to Franschhoek. The simply gorgeous little winelands' village easily adapts its streets into the site of a party for writers and book lovers from around the world, and 2010, the Franschhoek literary festival's fourth year, looks like it's set to be even more of a words and wine treat than ever before! If you're anything like me, the chance to rub shoulders with authors, editors, and poets while enjoying debates, fascinating conversations, talks by authors that range from discussions about writing techniques to more politically charged debates, leaves you s...
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The Franschhoek Oesfees review of a great festival
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The Franschhoek Oesfees review of a great festival

On Saturday I attended the 3rd annual Franschhoek Oesfees and oh my goodness what a great day it was.  I was lucky enough to be offered two complimentary tickets, including meal and drink vouchers.  My husband is away on business so my brother was the recipient of the 2nd ticket and we headed off to Solms Delta wine farm in the Franschhoek Valley, arriving at midday. One of the main purposes of this festival is to celebrate and acknowledge the hard work of the Valleys farm workers – I mean let’s face it, those grapes don’t pick themselves from the vine!  It was wonderful to see the owner of...
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The Franschhoek Literary Fair – a celebration of books and writers
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The Franschhoek Literary Fair – a celebration of books and writers

I have recently joined a book club and while it has confirmed my suspicions that book clubs are there for a good gossip, tasty wine and snacks, there is a considerable amount of time set out to discuss books. Something that in my opinion does not happen enough. While we have a large selection of personalities and book tastes in our group we do all share one common passion. The love of the written word. I am relatively new to the group and have joined a very well read group of individuals and I often find myself slightly intimidated by the sheer volume of books that have been devoured by the...
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Argus Cycle Tour – A novice cyclists impression of the second windiest ever …
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Argus Cycle Tour – A novice cyclists impression of the second windiest ever …

Today I’m sunburnt, sand blown, still a little bit wind swept and possibly still have a saddle imprint on my rear end because yesterday I took part in my first ever Pick n Pay Argus Cycle Tour! The 33rd event in Cape Town got off to a faultless start, with cycling great Lance Armstrong among the elite riders who started on their 110km journey just after 6am.  Not being quite as elite, my family started at 09.21, in batch OA.  As this was my first ‘tour’ I was very impressed with the incredibly efficient starting operation – it can’t be easy manoeuvring 35,000 odd riders but the organising s...
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Hout Bay’s Green Faire
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Hout Bay’s Green Faire

Twice a year Hout Bay hosts a Green Faire - a showcase of sustainable living options in an outdoor setting. It's an occasion worth diarising as we've visited the first and the third, the latter having taken place last weekend, and been more than a little impressed. The Green Faire is run by Envirochild Projects, a not for profit organisation facilitating sustainability, self sufficiency, waste reduction, energy efficiency and any other green projects that encourage conscious living. Envirochild also has quite a vision for Hout Bay and is dedicated to uniting the community to form a Transiti...
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It’s the Ficksburg Cherry Festival, my cherry!
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It’s the Ficksburg Cherry Festival, my cherry!

Ficksburg didn't mean that much to me until I visited the pretty little town set on the banks of the Caledon River. It lies at the foot of the beautiful Imperani Mountain in the Free State, for those of you who didn't know, and I had only heard of it before the festival because a school friend of mine hailed from there (and since we were at school in Durban at the time, you can understand how she was regarded with a fair amount of  incredulity). First off let me say that if you're a fan of cherries, then this is the festival to attend. For the last couple of years at least, cherries seem to...
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