How To Look Better In 5 Seconds

You see your crush walking towards you - you have 5 seconds to look your best. What do you do?

WHAT DO YOU DO?! Aside from running your fingers through your hair and wiping that salad dressing off your chin, the answer is: optimise your posture!

And you’d be surprised at what a massive difference it can make. Let me explain.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But as a general concept, society dictates certain archetypes that stand as our current beauty standards. These do differ from culture to culture and have changed over time, but I imagine aesthetic ideals have been present since the origin of sexual reproduction. That's a long time ago.

[What these ideals are and/or whether they should exist at all is so far beyond the scope of this article. So very far.]
General examples are things like a 'nice smile', height and other body proportions (like breast/waist/thigh ratio). Some of these can be optimised with a controlled diet, exercise, or even surgery. But again - you only have 5 seconds. What do you do?
pop quiz
  1. Stand up straight! Imagine there’s a string tied to the crown of your head - now imagine it’s getting pulled up. BAM! You are now taller and appear leaner.
  2. Lift up your chest! Imagine you’re trying to touch your breast-bone (sternum) to the ceiling. WHAMMY! Your chest appears bigger and men’s shoulders will appear wider.
  3. Suck it in! Imagine you’re trying to touch your belly-button (navel) to your spine. BLAMMO! Your waist appears smaller.
So now - as you stand taller, leaner, with a larger chest and a smaller waist - time to razzle dazzle with that wonderful personality you have! But first - seriously, that salad dressing is still there...

And the nice thing is that all these tips also work for protecting your neck, back, and hips from postural injuries. Overuse of certain positions overload certain spots in the body e.g. sitting puts a lot of pressure on your glutes (*stage whisper* That’s your butt muscles). Over time, your nervous system makes those areas more sensitive (via increased receptor density, etc) which can build up for a long time. The result? An area just LOOKING for some sort of trigger to ignite a painful episode. Cue glute pain, back pain, hip pain, etc. So how can we prevent that from happening?

Stop the build-up! Vary your posture as often as you can - especially away from the typical slouched, round-shouldered, general Cro-Magnon look. You don’t have to look like you’re in the military at all times. Just often enough that your body gets a little variety. So, as often as you can:

Stand up straight! Lift up your chest! Suck in your stomach!

BOOM! Made you look good AND healthier.
By Dr Murray McDonald
Claremont Chiropractic Health Centre

Advice on financing an auction property

More and more consumers are finding it difficult to make ends meet in the current economy and property auctions are becoming more common again as a result.

However, while this might seem like a good thing for property investors hunting for ‘bargain’ buy-to-let opportunities, they should make sure that they have their finances in order before putting in the winning bid, says Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterLife Home Loans, SA’s biggest bond originator.

“In most cases,” he says, “you will need to be able to pay or provide guarantees for a 10% deposit on the fall of the hammer. You will then need to come up with the balance within a certain time period – usually 30 days – and if you are not paying cash, you will need a home loan.

“And in that case, it would really be advisable for you to arrange this well in advance, with the help of a reputable bond originator such as BetterLife Home Loans, who can guide you through the process and help you obtain pre-approval for a certain amount. An added advantage of doing things this way is that you will know what your spending ‘limit’ is and be less likely to get carried away in the excitement of the auction.”

Rademeyer says the alternative for those who go to auction without arranging a home loan is to make use of personal or bridging loans – but should remember that these usually come at a considerably higher rate of interest that home loans.

“And either way, there are certain documents that you will need to have prepared – including your identity document, proof of residence, proofs of income, bank statements, a list of your assets and liabilities, and a list of your monthly regular and discretionary expenditure.

“Bearing in mind that in most cases the property you purchase at auction will not be your primary home, lenders may well look for a bigger deposit and only be prepared to approve a home loan at a relatively high rate of interest.”

Meanwhile, he says, you should try to view the property before you bid for it, and also work out the maximum bid you are prepared to make – no matter what.

“Remember, if you overbid, you will be the one that has to deal with the gap between your lenders valuation of the property and the price you have agreed to pay – and will probably have to cover the shortfall yourself.”

Contact us today and let’s get you into that dream home.

Anne-Marie Bamber
Home Loans consultant
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 3568 | Fax: +27 (0)21 441 1494 | Cell: +27 (0)82 071 1665

AirBnB: A love-hate thing

‘AirBnB’, the internet platform that enables property owners to list rooms, apartments and houses for rental, has very fast become a familiar term although triggering mixed emotions. Understandably, where ownership in a residential estate involves living in close proximity to neighbours, the guests making use of the AirBnB facility are likely to impact to a lesser or greater degree on the usual activities in the estate and this can cause friction.  Our offices receive quite a number of queries regarding short term leasing of premises, particularly in sectional title and homeowners’ association schemes (HOA) via the AirBnB online platform.  The concerns range from irritation and queries regarding legality thereof, on the one hand, to questions regarding SARS’ interest in the activity on the other.

Is it allowed in my scheme?
The short answer is, yes, in principle, provided the scheme’s rules or governance documentation do not prohibit it.  One should differentiate between various types of community schemes in South Africa, the most common being sectional title schemes and homeowners’ association developments. 

Note the following pointers:
1.      Sectional Title Schemes are governed by both the Sectional Titles Act and the new Sectional Title Schemes Management Act and are required to have a set of rules in place when they are established. The rules are, by law, automatically binding on all owners and occupiers in the scheme.
Neither of the two pieces of legislation contain any out and out prohibition of short-term letting. So where it is not prohibited, it is in principle allowed, subject however to the notes in 3 and 4 below.
Note further that in terms of the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act, the body of owners in sectional title schemes are allowed to make their own rules or alter and amend existing rules (which, since October 2016, must be approved by the office of the Community Schemes Ombud before it is valid and binding on owners in the scheme). It is therefore possible for a scheme to decide that it wants to limit or prohibit the practice, by putting it to vote at a meeting of owners.
The Act provides that to pass amend or change a conduct rule, a special resolution is required, meaning that 75% in value and number of those at a validly constituted meeting, must vote in favour.
2.      If the community scheme is an HOA, then the position is slightly different due to the different underlying legal structure of such schemes. (For purposes of this article it is not appropriate to delve into the details of the differences between sectional title schemes and HOAs.)  In an HOA, the management and administration of the scheme is the hands of an association or non-profit company which will appoint a board of directors or trustees to attend to the scheme’s daily management.
These schemes will always have conduct and management rules which can address issues such as short term letting.  Whether or not such a rule is already in existence, owners as members of the association will be able to make or amend the rules by passing a resolution at an owners meeting. The voting procedure and percentage votes required will be prescribed in the development’s governance documents.

With or without a rule, remember:
3.      In both an HOA and sectional title scheme, should it happen that it is a tenant who is involved in the short term letting, it is necessary in addition to consider the provisions of the tenant’s lease agreement. Often such an agreement includes a provision prohibiting subletting. So even if it is not prohibited in terms of the rules or governance documentation of a sectional title scheme or HOA, if a lease agreement prohibits subletting, a tenant may not rent out the premises as he pleases.
4.      A further overriding consideration is the principles of neighbour law, which branch of law underscores the following balancing act: a property owner is entitled to enjoy, use, convert, alter, destroy or sell his property in any way that he pleases within the limits of state and local authority regulations, provided he does not interfere with the legal rights of a neighbours to the same enjoyment of their property.
A dispute between neighbours invariably involves, amongst other things, the question whether there has been an abuse of a right and the facts should be examined to determine whether the neighbour whose conduct is being complained of, acted reasonably or not. In the context of continuous short term letting  - which may go hand in hand with increased activity and use of shared facilities and amenities as well as noise -  the question that must be asked is whether the complaint is objectively reasonable. In other words, is it fair to require the complainant to tolerate the intrusion?  The answer will depend on scheme to scheme: what is reasonable in a block of flats where students reside may not be reasonable in a quiet golf estate.

Remember SARS
Many people in South Africa are making an extra income via the AirBnB and other online platforms.
It is, however, important to remember that SARS regards income earned in this way as taxable income and it must therefore be included as trading income in the host’s annual tax return (after making provision for allowable deductions). 
It is becoming harder to avoid declaring this income, as many appear to wish to do, as the AirBnB umbrella organisation is also legally obliged to provide details to local tax authorities of the earnings of all AirBnB hosts. So if you are an AirBnB host, ensure that you keep sufficient records to prove that you have declared all income received, and to substantiate all claims in respect of expenditure.

For assistance in management or administration of your residential scheme, contact Martin Sheard for assistance at or on

DIY Ant Deterrent Spray

Do you have invading ants?
Are they showing up in a thin little line from the back door into your kitchen? 

Instead of using chemicals in your homes, start making your own Ant Deterrent Spray that works like a charm and smells good too! No nasty chemicals or ants!


  •  A spray bottle
  • Distilled water
  • Witch Hazel 
  • Peppermint essential oil


  • Fill your spray bottle two-thirds with distilled water
  • Add some Witch Hazel
  • Next, add some Peppermint essential oil
  • Shake well to combine your mixture

Spray around your home wherever ants are coming in.

They won't come near it...for some reason, most insects (and spiders) detest the smell of peppermint. The witch hazel will kill them if they do try to pass through, making this mixture perfect for keeping the creepy crawlies at bay!

Thanks goes out to Jessica at Moms4Real for this great tip,

Norgarb Properties Agents Andre and Lucia (Intern Agent), who specialise in the Claremont area, will be sharing some household tips and handy home hints with you every month.

Andre Ter Moshuizen: 082 602 1367   |  |
Lucia Salters (Intern Agent): 082 806 4619  |


This is probably one of the most revolting behaviours a dog owner will have to deal with and we are often asked why some dogs, particularly young dogs do this. So here are some explanations.


It could just be inquisitive behaviour!
All dogs discover the world around them with their noses and territory mark along the way. Smells are important, as they give your dog a lot of information. Faeces is strong smelling (something that is not at all off-putting to your dog) and may even give off the odour of previously digested food. This may be enough for your dog to investigate further!

• Small puppies may be influenced by their mother, who constantly licks and cleans her pups. But this behaviour is soon forgotten.

Most dogs, if given the opportunity, will steal food, dig up and eat the cats poop, roll and ingest the Hadada droppings and basically roll  in, chew and eat things that we would find disgusting! This is normal dog behaviour.

If a dog is punished repeatedly for soiling in the house or in an area that isconsidered inappropriate, it may resort to faeces eating to avoid getting into trouble.

Medical conditions
There are some medical conditions that can lead to coprophagia, so if  poop  eating is a relatively new behaviour for your dog , it is a good idea to get him/her checked out by your veterinarian who can,  if necessary , run tests to  rule out any underlying cause.

• Malabsorption, malnutrition and certain gastro intestinal problems are just some conditions that could contribute towards this behaviour.

What can you do?
“Coprophagia can best be corrected by preventing access to stools, by thorough cleaning of the pet's property, and by constant supervision when the pet is outdoors.”

Start with the basics.
• Make sure that your dog is eating a well balance diet
• Get him checked by the vet and keep your vet informed as to how he is getting on
• Wait with your dog while he poops and clean up straight away
• Discourage your dog from investigating other dogs poop by distracting him with a treat or a pull on the lead.
• Never punish your dog for this behaviour, he will not understand. Rather use commands such as ‘leave it’ or call him to you and give a treat.

Some dogs never learn and will always have their noses (and mouths)  in the wrong place! If you don’t want to keep your dog on the lead during those forest walks and are at your wits end, consider the use of  a box or cage muzzle. A box muzzle enables a dog to drink and pant but not to pick up and chew any undesirable items!

Speak to your vet for more information.

“You wouldn't think training your dog would include teachings to stop eating poop, but this relationship is full of all sorts of adventure.”

Kenilworth Veterinary Hospital

Making a Love Themed Dish

Do you want to skip the crowded restaurants this year and make your own cosy Valentine's Day dinner at home? Here is a delicious Valentine’s menu to show your loved one just how special he/she is to you!

Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Dill Dip & Beetroot

Serves 2 


· 8 tbsp. low fat plain cottage cheese
· ½ tbsp. horseradish (can use the hot one)
· Pinch dried dill
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 2 tsp. white wine vinegar or lemon juice
· 2 tbsp. olive oil
·  2 tsp. honey
·  60g cooked beetroot (not in vinegar), finely diced
·  2 large slices smoked salmon
·  6 red-leafed lettuce
·  15g baby rocket leaves
·  Few snipped dill sprigs 


1.  Mix the cottage cheese, horseradish, dill, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Chill.
2.  In a bowl, mix together the vinegar or lemon juice, olive oil and honey. Toss half the dressing through the beetroot and chill until ready to serve.
3.  Before serving, divide the slices of salmon between 2 plates, then top with a spoonful of the dip and bring up the sides of the salmon to make a ‘flower’.
4.  Arrange the salad and beetroot round the salmon, scatter with the dill. Grind over some black pepper and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Spiced Lamb with Lemon & Herb Quinoa

Serves 2 


·   ½ tbsp. cumin seed
·  ½ garlic clove
·  ¼ tsp. red chilli or pinch of chilli flakes
·  Juice ½ lemon
·  2 tbsp. olive oil
·  4 lamb chops
·    ½ cup dry quinoa
·  3 spring onion, sliced
·   small handful coriander
·  steamed stem broccoli to serve


1.       In a pestle with a mortar crush the cumin seeds then add the garlic clove, chilli and some salt and pepper. Mash to a paste. Stir in the lemon juice and olive oil and pour half the mix over the lamb chops and leave to marinate. Set the other half aside.
2.       Rinse the quinoa in cold water then place in a saucepan with twice the volume of water. Place on the heat and bring to the boil then turn down the heat slightly and boil gently for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and stir through the reserved dressing. Cover and leave for another 10 minutes.
3.       Meanwhile heat a pan to high and cook the lamb for about 3-5 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking.
4.       When ready to serve stir the spring onions and coriander through the quinoa and serve with the lamb and steamed stem broccoli.

Chocolate Pear Pudding

Serves 2 


·  50g butter
· 75g caster sugar
·  1 large egg
·  20g plain flour
·  12.5g cocoa powder
·   ¼ can pear halves in juice, drained
·  25g plain dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
·  10g flaked almonds (optional) 


1.  Heat the oven to 190°C. Lightly grease a roughly 10 x 15cm shallow ovenproof dish.
2.  Put the butter in a large saucepan and place over a low heat until just melted. Remove the butter from the heat and stir in the sugar until well combined.
3.  Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl. Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar, beating well with a wooden spoon in between each addition.
4.   Sift the flour and cocoa powder on top of the egg mixture, then beat hard with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
5.  Pour into the prepared dish and nestle the pears into the chocolate batter.
6.  Cut the chocolate into chunky pieces roughly 1.5cm with a large knife. Scatter the chocolate pieces over the batter and sprinkle with almonds.
7.  Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes or until the mixture is crusty on the surface and lightly cooked inside. Do not allow to overcook, as the cake will become spongy rather than gooey in the centre.
8.   Serve warm with cream or ice cream if desired

Phone: 021 674 4666
Cell: 084 206 2715

False Alarms - The HVCID

There has unfortunately again been a steady increase of false alarms in the Village. This is when an alarm system is triggered and activated by causes OTHER than a burglary, or an attempted burglary, or a panic button, or duress code activated with genuine intent.

Should this occur, residents are urged to:

CANCEL the false alarm activation immediately by entering your user code,

CONTACT the ADT Control Room (086 12 12 300) immediately to avoid them deploying an Armed Response vehicle to your property unnecessarily, as it takes an Armed Response Officer a minimum of 15 minutes to attend to each call out.

Why it is important to prevent false alarms?
  • Repeated false alarm triggering could lead to longer reaction times on positive incidents
  • Armed Response vehicles are obliged to attend to ALL false alarm signals, sometimes to the detriment of people with real life threatening situations.
  • Repeated false alarms can make you reluctant to use your system, leaving your home and family unprotected.
  • Excessive false alarm reactions can lead to a situation where you are charged per false alarm.
What causes a false alarm?
·         Open windows
·         Pets
·         Insects
·         Air conditioners
·         Shrubs & trees
·         User error and abuse – familiarise yourself and your staff with your system
·         Technical faults

THE HVCID TEAM            +27 (0)81 412 6109



These biscuits are easy and divine!

1 cup maizena
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup flour
4 Tablespoons castor sugar
250gms soft butter
Pinch salt
Icing sugar to dust

Mix all ingredients together except icing sugar.  Roll into small balls (size of walnuts) and place on greased baking tray.

Bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Roll in icing sugar whilst hot.

Friends of Harfield Parks - February Newsletter

Dear Harfield Residents, Neighbours and Friends

Princes Park work party
Last Saturday we had a most successful work party with a great turn out of neighbours – they brought their children and tons of food for all the weary helpers!  We also had help from 6 teenagers sent by Abbotts College as detention for smoking – they did a great job!  (Now you know what to do with your errant teens! J)  We cut back the thorn trees and laid the branches down on the beds; put down a deep mulch around the plants to help retain moisture; cleaned up leaves (and poo); and trimmed back hedges and overhangs.

A special thanks to Al of Urban Village Properties for generous and continued support in providing funding and overalls for our gardening staff.  We wouldn’t make much headway without these hard-working men!

The drought – and not being able to use our sprinklers – has hit the parks hard.  Please bring a bucket of grey water to all work parties, and in the meantime take a bucket or two of grey water to your nearest park to sustain small trees and shrubs in particular.  This is the future – if we’re to have any greenery at all, we’ll be relying on kind people to donate grey water more and more. 

The best news though, is that a CHAMAELEON was spotted in the park!!!!!  Isn’t that absolutely wonderful?  We think the spiny thorns on the tree branches and in the beds deter cats and dogs from disturbing them.  Let’s hope they make lots of babies!!  J

A point here is that we follow Permaculture organic practises in composting and mulching and use natural fertilizers.  Our aim is to increase the biodiversity in our parks, so poisons/chemicals are only used judiciously when absolutely necessary to save a tree or plant.

Cuttings and leaves waiting for collection by City Parks

Spot the chameleon (Prince’s Park)

Work Parties
Our work parties start at 9am – you can stay for as long as you want, or just pop in for a while, we don’t mind – every helping hand is gratefully appreciated.  Alternatively, if you prefer, you can sponsor labour for a gardener!

Saturday 18 February – Surrey Park
Saturday 25 March – Purley Park
Saturday 22 April – Hampstead Park
Sunday 7 May – Annual Railway Line Clean-up (start at Kenilworth station and finish at Harfield station)

Adopt a Baby Tree
We would love people to adopt and nurture a baby tree or shrub in the parks!  Please email me your name and which tree you’d like to pamper with grey water once a week –  We’d like to maintain a data-base so that we don’t all choose one tree and others remain neglected!

Water for the Birds
Birds are desperately thirsty too – so put out a shallow bowl of water with some stones in it (you don’t want them to drown!) in a quiet spot in your garden.  Remember to change the water frequently.

Cutting Down Mature Trees
Ring-barking and cutting down mature trees (yes, even alien trees!) is illegal!!!  There are more and more incidents of vandalism of this sort in the Village.  You are NOT allowed to cut down or prune any mature trees on Council property – that includes your pavement.  If you have a problem with a tree on Council land, you can call City Parks on 021-689 8938.

On your own land you may not cut down any protected tree like our beautiful Yellowoods and Milkwoods. Should you wish to trim or remove one, you have to get a permit. Failure to do so can lead to a substantial fine and up to 5 years imprisonment. 

If you fall into the Heritage zone of Harfield Village (Imam Haron Rd to Bell St, Worcester St to Rosmead Ave) then you even need to get permission to prune or remove any mature tree.

Please be vigilant and SMS any incidents (preferably with photos) to 084 8172 405.

Pick Up Glass
On your walks through the parks alone, with your children and/or dogs, please take along a plastic bag and pick up glass and random rubbish lying around.

Our parks were once rubbish dumps so there are bits of glass that push up to the surface from time to time.  These shards pose a danger to children and dogs and we’d obviously like our play areas in our Village to be safe.

Ward Councillor Cottle
Ward Cllr Cottle met with Gail and Francine to inspect Hampstead Park (she’s also visited the other parks) and commends the community on the work they do at work parties.  She indicated that she’ll assist with Ward budget for at least one capital expenditure improvement in the parks!  More about this next time…

R25 Donation
A monthly donation of R25 helps us fund labour (weeding & cleaning) and make improvements (irrigation, gym equipment, flower & vegetable beds, etc.) in all four Village parks (Surrey, Hampstead, Princes, Purley).

DONATIONS TO:  Friends of Harfield Parks, Standard Bank, Claremont, Acc No:  076293874, or Snapscan

Join our facebook page and keep up to date with our activities!

Are you paying attention?

Tips from a local UCT neuroscientist on how to boost your brain’s attention, will power and self-control.

By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.

It's that time of year when most of us have long forgotten those hard earned New Year's resolutions that we set ourselves with every intention of seeing through to the end of the year.  We told ourselves at the start of January that we would give up smoking, eat more healthily, join a gym (and actually set foot on the treadmill!) and be a better person toward our loved-ones.  With such a strong sense of will power at the beginning of the year, how do we manage to fool ourselves, year in, year out, that this year will be different? Why have most of us given up on our resolutions by Valentine's Day?   Some of the answers to these questions can be found in the way our brains work.  Neuroscientists have been gathering data over the last decade on how will power and self-control work and how will power often fails.  It has a lot to do with the way we use our brains.  The good news is it seems possible for our brains to be trained over time so that we can improve our attention, and stick to our life goals.

How do we train our brains to improve our attention, will power and self-control? 
First of all you can help to train your brain yourself, and practice makes perfect, as the saying goes!  Repeat, repeat, repeat a simple daily mantra silently in your mind (e.g. "I will only smoke 1 cigarette a day", or "healthy eating every day") while sitting in traffic on the way to work, or while cooking supper, and eventually you will be able to recite your resolution or life goal without too much effort.  After a while of repeating your mantra, your goals will switch to become automatic, and unconscious.  This switch is important and relates to a brain change that helps to develop what neuroscientists call a cognitive bias.  This means that your attention will change and you will begin to make decisions in your everyday life that automatically support your life goals.  But repeating your mantra every day, quietly to yourself, as often as possible is really important.  

Doing this strengthens a part of your brain called the prefrontal cortex – that's the lump of grey matter where your forehead is.  By regularly repeating your mantra (a 'cold cognition') your prefrontal cortex will be kept active so that desire ('hot cognition') arising from the evolutionary older parts of your brain (e.g. the reward centre) has less chance to influence your will power.

Second of all we must pay attention to our ego! There is a strong body of evidence that says ego depletion has a lot to do with why we give up on our long-term goals.  If you have a hectic job, a busy family to help organise, debts to think about often, or other worries that take over your prefrontal cortex, after a while your ego will become exhausted.  Your ego is the part of the brain that gives you a sense of self – the same self that wants to repeat that mantra, or stick to New Year's resolutions.  If your ego is depleted then you will give up easily on your life goals, and revert back to smoking, or eating unhealthily for example.  This is not a good way forward because giving up on our positive life goals may lead us to develop hypertension, type 2 diabetes or other chronic medical conditions.  So being aware of ego depletion helps – and that is why repeating a simple, general, every day mantra works better than overloading the prefrontal cortex with more specific promises ("tonight I will go to the gym", or "today I will stop smoking").  After a long, busy day, the last thing we can do is think about specific promises to ourselves, and often we end up beating ourselves up because we have broken those promises. 

Finally, we can use specific brain training games that help to strengthen the brain's pathways between the prefrontal cortex and the older, evolutionary reward centres in the brain.  Think of this pathway like a large brake pedal in your brain that helps you to inhibit urges to smoke, to eat fast food or to be aggressive. There are many brain training games on the market, and right now the University of Cape Town, where I conduct my brain imaging research, is developing a Smart Phone App called Curb Your Addiction or C-Ya, which can help you to say C-Ya to some habits you might want to break.  My team and I are in the early stages of developing the App, which is currently available on the Apple Store.  But whether you want to use a brain training App, or whether you simply want to repeat a daily mantra quietly to yourself, the good news is that neuroscience suggests we can strengthen our brains and improve our will power.  Maybe this will be the year that we stick to those New Year's Resolutions after all!

Dr Samantha Brooks is a neuroscientist at the UCT Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, specialising in the neural correlates of impulse control from eating disorders to addiction. For more information on this research, and to contact Samantha, see

Dr Samantha Brooks, Ph.D (Website) 
Dept. of Psychiatry,
J2 Building, Groote Schuur Hospital
Anzio Road
Cape Town

Patchwork | February In the Garden

Happy February, Harfield!

The weather is toasty and warm. I feel like there should be a disclaimer here – if you aren't using water from your dishes, baths, showers and basins to water your gardens, and are still using hoses, please stop reading and go buy a bucket immediately. 

We cannot, as members of a community in a desperate state about water, speak about growing vegetables that require significant amounts of water, unless we're recycling our water.

It's also quite amazing how much of a garden shower, bath and dishes water can actually quench! Pretty sad that it's taken an almost-drought for us to be doing this.

For those who are using water recycling for your plants, here's the February plant list:
Bush and climber beans, Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Calendula, Carrot, Chard/Spinach, Celery, Chinese cabbage, Chives, Chilli's, Kale, Kohlrabi, Globe artichokes, Leeks, Leaf mustard, Lettuce, Onion, Parsnip, Parsley, Potato, Radish, Rhubarb, Tomato 

Animal Rescue Organisation (ARO) joins Karoo Donkey Sanctuary in the fight against the Donkey Skin Trade

Did you know that while Rhino horn is still considered gold in China, the latest prize being sought in China is EJIAO which is a byproduct of boiled and soaked donkey skins.  

This demand has led to the horrific slaughter of thousands of donkeys in South Africa over the past months. Sadly, the South African Government has seen fit to investigate how they can commercially farm donkeys for skins for Chinese export. 

This is a horrific welfare crisis in SA which is vehemently condemned by all welfare groups. 

Animal Rescue Organisation (ARO) recently raised over R260 000 for the rescue of 230 donkeys by the Karoo Donkey Sanctuary in Prince Albert and this rescue collaboration is critical to ensuring that animals are spoken for in South Africa. 

The Karoo Donkey Sanctuary continue to be one of the biggest role players in the welfare of donkeys in SA.  

There will be continued joint work done between ARO and other stake holders in the welfare sector going forward and your support is greatly appreciated. 

All support of ARO’s continued donkey relief fund is welcome and banking information is: