5 Family-Friendly Adventure Sports Near Cape Town

Family-Friendly

Cape Town is an ideal destination for any family interested in outdoor sports and adventure.

There’s so much for families to do in and around Cape Town that you’ll be spoilt for choice

The activities on offer in this most beautiful area of South Africa include everything from diving, golf and water sports to climbing, hiking and abseiling.

Just don’t forget to take out the right level of travel insurance before heading out for the family adventure of a lifetime.
Continue reading

Sunset on The Bot River Estuary #6

sunset on the Bot River Estuary
The sun dips behind the Kogelberg mountains at sunset on the Bot River Estuary – click to enlarge

It’s 17:53pm as the sun dips behind the Kogelberg mountain range.

The windless and warm conditions and the absolute silence magnify the beauty of the Bot River Estuary.

This estuarine system lies on the eastern border of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve on the Southern tip of Africa.

Choose The Right Estate Agent to Sell Your Property With These 5 Tests

Choose Your Agent
5 Tests to help choose the right real estate agent

Most sellers will end up choosing an estate agent that charges the lowest fee or one that offers the highest valuation. However, as some of you may know, neither of these criteria should ever be used to select an estate agent.

“You need to use a little truth serum to get prospective real estate agents to come clean.”
Becki Saltzman

Aside from the obvious requirements, like a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC), without which an agent may not legally operate, there are a several essential traits to look for in an real estate agent.

Before you put your home on the market, or sign a mandate and agree to a marketing plan, here are 5 tests you can apply to your shortlist of candidates to help you sort the wheat from the chaff:
Continue reading

Alexis Bester Local Artist Based In Tulbach South Africa

Piekniek-vlieers
Piekniek-vlieers — oil on canvas 50 x 40cm – click to enlarge

I recently came accross the work of Alexis Bester, a full-time local artist, who lives and works on a farm near Tulbagh at the foot of the Witzenberg Mountains.

From the website kunste huijs:

His medium is mainly oil paint on either board or canvas. He draws his composition in charcoal and adds preliminary shades and colour by mixing paint and turpentine. The painting is then allowed to dry before he starts to work through the painting, applying paint only and mixing colours as needed. Alexis primarily uses flat brushes, but also uses round brushes, pallet knives and his fingers.

His work portrays a vivid imagination, the skillful use of bright colour and shadow, and an interesting combination of perspective with geometric forms. There is a gilded thread of vitality and energy and a playful, uplifting and child-like vision that sees mystery and wonder in the everyday experience (See 15 Images, or click here for Flickr slideshow).
Continue reading

Martha Graham Dancing The Hidden Language of the Soul

Dance icon Martha Graham (May 11, 1894 — April 1, 1991) was an influential American dancer and choreographer whose career spanned over seventy years.

During her distinguished career she was the first dancer to perform at the White House and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Ryan produced this real masterpiece (3:05 min), over 4.5 million views on YouTube, and counting. It’s an elegant and exciting animation and sound track, in the spirit of Martha Graham, that is the romantic and bitter-sweet Thought of You by Ryan Woodward on YouTube.
Continue reading

5 Good Reasons to Learn to Speak a Second Language

Image Tobias Mikkelsen
Whether for employment or enjoyment, a second language can be useful and enlightening – Image: Tobias Mikkelsen

From the moment we’re born, we are taught in the primary language of our parents.

During our formative years, we develop a certain mastery of the spoken word in order to communicate our needs and wants with others.

This fluent mastery can suit our purposes well in the world we were raised in, but what if we needed to communicate with someone outside of this world of ours?

There are a variety of reasons why one would want to learn a secondary language:

1. Bi-lingual Employment – Many organizations hire translators in order to communicate with individuals of a specific ethnic background. Continue reading

Dramatic Changes On The Banks Of The Bot River Estuary

Bot River Estuary
Looking North over the Bot River Estuary, the renowned Arabella Estate is visible at centre on the opposite bank. In the middle distance, just left of centre, a group of four pelicans is feeding in the shallows – click to enlarge.

It’s amazing to see the changes that have taken place in the last six months, on the the Bot River Estuary.

Everywhere the banks of the estuary are taking on a more beach-like appearance. On clean white sand, sea shells, sea weed, red-bait and cuttlefish are in evidence.

The water tastes salty and it’s not unusual to see large shoals of tiny fish being preyed upon by diving sea birds, kestrels and duikers.

In the middle of August 2012, the mouth of the Bot River Estuary was artificially breached. This was done after consulting with the Bot River Estuary Forum (BREF), and estuarine specialists (9 Images, click here for Flickr slideshow).

Continue reading

Hebrew of the Torah and the Christian Bible

Torah
The Torah (Hebrew: instruction, teaching) is a central concept in the Jewish tradition – click to enlarge.

Students of the Bible who lack experience of the Hebrew language and culture, may struggle to reach a proper understanding of the Holy Scriptures.

It follows that a knowledge of Hebrew is fundamental to a proper understanding, considering that the contemporary Christian Bible is a product of many translations and modifications.

The Christian Bible is founded on the Torah, the body of scripture known to non-Jews as the Old Testament, the Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses.

By Contrast, over a period of thousands of years, the original ancient Hebrew texts have been meticulously preserved to the present day.

Modern versions of the Christian Bible are the end product of a series of translations. The first texts were translated from the original Hebrew to Aramaic, then from Aramaic to Greek, Greek to Latin and finally Latin to English. The full Bible has been translated into over 450 languages, parts of it into more than 2,000 languages. Continue reading

Local Hermanus Artist Alyson Guy

Cottages with ducks
Cottages with ducks — oil on board — 37x28cm (click to enlarge)

Among the foremost attractions of Hermanus, on the Southern tip of Africa, is the industrious and talented community of artists and writers that live and work in this beautiful coastal town.

“I appreciate all facets of life, beauty of creation in all its diversity” – Alyson Guy

After matriculating, with a Senior Certificate in Art History and Practical, Alyson trained as a Medical Laboratory Technologist. She specialised in histopathology, working in South Africa and London until her semi-retirement in 1994.

Her artworks are on display at her studio and around Volmoed, a Retreat and Conference Centre, where she lives and works. Alyson’s artwork can also be viewed at The Little Gallery, in the Eastcliff shopping centre in Hermanus, an intimate space used by members of the Vermont Art Circle (15 Images, click for Flickr slideshow). Continue reading

And the Long, Short 'n Tall of it