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Get away from it all – Retreats for the soul
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Get away from it all – Retreats for the soul

If I could, I would gladly escape the mad over-commercialisation of Christmas this year and opt for time-out in a retreat in the back of beyond. Whilst this isn't possible - I have family commitments - I can provide, for those lucky souls amongst you who can choose from the wonderful options below to head for the hills, a list of retreats that provide a real space for introspection. Whilst many accommodation options call themselves retreats, the word has come to mean a space away from it all with little to encourage individual exploration and meditation. A retreat in this article means a wi...
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3 very quick, perfect for summer, local meals (and a dessert)
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3 very quick, perfect for summer, local meals (and a dessert)

I'm not fond of cooking. No, let me rephrase that. I actually enjoy whipping up a meal, particularly if I can use ingredients from the garden. I don't like labouring over it. It must be fun to make, and it must taste good. And most importantly, I mustn't have to spend half the preparation time trying to translate things like deci litres into something more measurable. I've put together a list of three such recipes - they're quick, they produce a really tasty meal (usually) and they're from local cook books (well, most of them). If they're not local, then at least they include easily sourced...
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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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Dassiesfontein on the N2 – if you visit one farmstall…
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Dassiesfontein on the N2 – if you visit one farmstall…

Dassiesfontein is a smorgasbord of THINGS. We're talking room after room of this and that – from antique furniture through kitchen plates, clothing and shoes, to Victorian fireplaces. The venue is a veritable collector's dream of kitsch and paraphenalia, so set aside at least an hour for your stop at this farmstall. We piled out of the car, now desperate for a breather, to stretch legs and maybe pick up a quick munch while we were at it. Immediately I sense that this farmstall is not like any of the others we have visited on the N2 (and there are numerous between Cape Town and Caledon). ...
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Jou ma se goema
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Jou ma se goema

A friend of mine shared a video about goema recently on Facebook. Since I don't have a clue what goema is, my interest was more than a little piqued. Mostly because this particular friend of mine has introduced me to the sounds of Cape Town jazz in her own way. Her house, up until recently, was a one-stop-shop for Cape Town musicians who used her lounge for jamming sessions, and any occasion that warranted it (and a fair number of those that didn't) would find her home full to busting - singers with microphones, any number of guitars, the piano and even the odd double bass - I tried not to ...
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Fetching cotton rugs – at Barrydale hand weavers
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Fetching cotton rugs – at Barrydale hand weavers

It would be pouring with rain on the day we visit the hand weavers in Barrydale. We run into what appears to be an old school hall, which we later learn is the town's former 'bioscope' and are greeted by Tivane, whom I have already met over the weekend at the Montagu Village Market where he can usually be found manning a stand selling rugs on a Saturday morning. He steps down from the stage (it's one of those typical old halls – wooden floors, stage at one end, gallery on the other) onto a freezing cold floor where we stand shuddering at the combination of wet and wind, and welcomes us. Car...
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Harvest of Hope – Harvesting hope with my weekly box of vegetables
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Harvest of Hope – Harvesting hope with my weekly box of vegetables

Every school week a box of vegetables is dropped off at my son's school with my name on it. It sits, in amongst similar boxes, awaiting pick-up. It must be said that I often forget and my box finds its way into the school fridge until I remember the following day to collect it. My pack is always brimming over with a variety of fresh vegetables, picked on the morning of delivery. This might sound pretty obvious, but I have used other box delivery schemes in Cape Town where, because of logistics and through no fault of their own, you only receive your vegetables a couple of days after picking...
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Cape Town FIFA Fan Fest for the most fun you can have without a ticket
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Cape Town FIFA Fan Fest for the most fun you can have without a ticket

The Cape Town FIFA Fan Fest is a must as part of your Cape Town 2010 World Cup experience. With the ultimate soccer atmosphere it is definitely the most fun you can have without a ticket! Every match day the Cape Town FIFA Fan Fest will broadcast all the FIFA Soccer World Cup matches live on a 70m² screen - to ensure you don’t miss one goal. There is also a daily entertainment lineup between matches that will blow your mind. This lineup will include a variety of top local performers and bands, local DJ’s and new and emerging talent. The overall entertainment programme at the CTFFF will ...
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Perfect weekend fare – Breakfast at Caveau and picnics in Kommetjie
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Perfect weekend fare – Breakfast at Caveau and picnics in Kommetjie

My Saturday was, as per usual a day of eating.  I didn’t feel too guilty about it though because Knysna Half Marathon training has commenced so I did my scheduled 3kms on Friday night and wrapped up a quick 5kms on Saturday morning (the views from Boyes Drive make it all worth while)! Breakfast had been organised for 10am and I met my girlfriends at Caveau in Newlands.  Housed next door to the well known Josephine Mill, Caveau serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and a delicious range of tapas (try the lamb samoosas or beef cubes with béarnaise sauce - to die for!). We were there for breakfas...
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South Africa still a Favourite with Travelers according to TripAdvisor
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South Africa still a Favourite with Travelers according to TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor has just released its Travelers’ Choice lists for 2010 and Cape Town is still a favourite with travelers. Ranked #25 in the Top 25 Destinations in the WORLD, though Europeans ranked our fair city #6. The “Mother City” also featured on a number of other lists: #1 in the Top 25 Destinations in Africa #2 in the Top 10 Culture & Sightseeing Destinations in Africa #4 in the Top 10 Outdoor & Adventure Destinations in Africa #6 in the Top 10 Beach & Sun Destinations in Africa The Western Cape (the South African province which is home to Cape Town as well as...
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Africa Umoja, the Spirit of Togetherness – a South African song and dance sensation
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Africa Umoja, the Spirit of Togetherness – a South African song and dance sensation

Be a part of the reopening of one of Johannesburg’s oldest theatres - The Victory Theatre in Houghton Estates as it has become the permanent home to Africa Umoja. This is a proudly South African production that has wowed audiences around the world. London’s Daily Telegraph described it as having "enough energy to light up London. I defy anyone to leave this hit dance musical feeling anything less than elated." This is a production worth making time for so if you are in Johannesburg make sure you watch this masterpiece. The Victory Theatre has been revamped as it was initially built a...
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Grease the Musical at Artscape in Cape Town – a review
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Grease the Musical at Artscape in Cape Town – a review

Grease the Musical is currently playing at The Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town before moving on to The Teatro at Montecasino in Johannesburg.  The West End production was brought to our shores by Pieter Toerien, Paul Nicholas and David Ian and this production, with its entirely local cast will be the first full stage production of the musical to be staged in South Africa for a decade. I went to the show a few nights ago and judging by the amount of fun the cast of Grease was having, Rydell High in 1955 was the school to be at!  I enjoyed it tremendously - we had excellent seats and not...
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From Corporate Strife to an African Life
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From Corporate Strife to an African Life

“Life should not be measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of times you are left breathless” - Anon. When I came across this quotation nearly four years ago, it helped me to realise that I needed to make some changes to my hectic and stressful world. Little did I know then the huge impact that this inspirational maxim would have on my life ... At the time, I was burned out after 20 years of ‘hard labour’ in the UK corporate IT market. Having reached my dream job of Sales and Marketing Director I realised that whilst I was rich financially, I was poor in love, laughte...
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4 Oscar Nominations for District 9, 2 for Invictus
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4 Oscar Nominations for District 9, 2 for Invictus

The Sci-Fi box office hit "District 9" scores 4 Oscar Nominations for Best Film; Visual Effects; Film Editing and Writing (Adapted Screenplay) and "Invictus" scores 2 Oscar nominations including the coveted Actor in a Leading Role for Morgan Freeman and Actor in a Supporting Role for Matt Damon ... District 9 Nominations: Best Achievement in Editing - Julian Clarke Best Achievement in Visual Effects - Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros, Matt Aitken Best Motion Picture of the Year - Peter Jackson, Carolynne Cunningham Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produce...
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Book review Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation
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Book review Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation

In 1988, 31 years after I first arrived in the Cape, I left the country in order to join my partner in the active management of a small business I had acquired in the American Mid-West. For years  thereafter I was unable to follow events in South Africa, partly because my new enterprise encountered more than the expected share of start-up problems and thus absorbed all my energy and then some and more importantly because the American media pay scant or no attention to events outside the country that lack head-line grabbing drama or scandal. Thus many of the decisive events preceding and ...
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