Learning a new skill is both fun, motivating & empowering!

My name is Sharon & I have been living & working in the village for 26 years. This is an experience that is one of the most satisfactory in my life! I teach Dressmaking at Fine Feathers Sewing School from my Studio locally.

I have been entrepreneurial all my life earning a living from designing, manufacturing & retailing creative clothing & accessories, which led to me having my own small factories & unique boutiques.
I married very young & when I got divorced & I spent a decade being trained then working as management for large companies & the most significant was Elna the Swiss sewing machine company in Cavendish Square.

I did a Small Business Development Course at night because I longed to be self-employed again, this enabled me to use all my talents again.

The first principal I learned was that successful businesses fill a need in the market place & this was obvious because the people I was selling sewing machines to during the day, kept asking me about sewing lessons. So I began teaching women & the occasional man to sew at night as a hobby
for two years. This experience gave me the confidence to being successfully self-employed again!

I teach a comprehensive Dressmaking Course & the first module consists of 13 weeks once a week for 2 hours.
I design shorter courses for individuals who want to sew practically for themselves & families putting up hems, making Soft Furnishings like cushions & curtains.

I teach as I would have liked to be taught as an individual, in a small friendly group of like-minded woman of different cultures with the occasional suitable man. I take you from wherever you are, to where you want to go with supportive structure of my own, but open to your needs & aspirations.

My youngest pupil was 8 years old & my oldest in her mid-seventies.
Some pupils have background knowledge, but increasingly this has not been the case as schools no longer offer classes in Domestic Science.

It is not necessary to know anything at all as I fill in all the gaps taking you from where you are to where your needs & aspirations take us! It often seems to me that it is easiest to teach those who know they nothing, rather than those that think they know!

But obviously our time, plus our work spent together would depending on our journey be predictive of our what we are able to achieve & make in a relatively short time. But if you do have knowledge we use it & build on that. I teach in such a way that you will never be bored because you know
what we are working on, or overwhelmed because you have to keep up with others. Each pupil is working at their own pace according to their own level, previous experience & their own choice of project.

I do regular intakes according to demand by appointment booked with a deposit. I teach both hand & machine work, but sewing successfully is far wider than being able to sew on the machine.
My speciality is that I work with Commercial Patterns & start the 1st lesson with a Talk on "How to go Shopping Successfully for your Project." I teach you how to read & use patterns adjusting them to your particular figure & tastes.

I give pupils extensive notes on this lesson which is the foundation of everything that follows, then encourage each pupil to take their own notes from then on, as there is far too much to remember in each lesson.

Everyone is different & starting from various backgrounds of experience as well as natural abilities. It is very hard to predict what you as individuals will actually achieve ultimately, but it will be success even in various degrees!

Homework is not compulsory but those who do it are at an advantage, as the easy work can be done at home & the more difficult tasks with me. We aim to finish one, two or three garments depending on the nature of the pupils & their previous experience.

My Beginners Dressmaking Course working with Commercial Patterns is 13 weeks for 2 hours & costs R2500. I can guarantee your garment will fit you perfectly & look professionally made from the first one!
I advise you to have a sewing machine of your own & I can help you buy one even if it is not from me, as I have experience dating from 1986 when I worked in Sales & Management for Elna in Cavendish Square. I am now a Dealer for Singer Sewing Machines & a Depot for servicing & repair at no extra cost
to the pupil.

Pupils will need pocket money for your projects for a pattern & fabric of your choice. You will need small purchases called notions like thread, zips, interfacing & elastic depending on the garment you have chosen to make.
Pupils also need basic tools ~ the terminology is Haberdashery. I sell good quality tools that you need & recommend where to shop if I am out of stock.

If anyone would like a shorter Course which we can design together like Soft Furnishings, I am open to this to do too. Clothing is the most popular subject but we also do curtains, cushions & bedding. We would discuss the price based on the project & time frame.

The classes are Wednesday & Saturday Morning & Wednesday night but I open extra classes according to demand. My favourite number is 6 & then I open another class.

I do private lessons at the cost of R250 an hour in the afternoon.
Alternatively, if you would like to join a quiet class to learn the basics of operating your sewing machine, I invite you to an existing class which costs R175 for 2 hours.

I do Intermediate Level after the Beginners Dressmaking Course which is where it begins to become very exciting for us both once you have the basics.

Most of my pupils start this skill as a hobby & may develop it into a Small Business with time & experience. I suggest a possible market for this depending on what the ideas generated.

I am involved with a Self-Help Project & all sorts of items could be donated to this. The most desirable objects would be sewing machines but fabric etc. would be most welcome too.

I also have a special interest in helping to develop small business & over 2 decades I have consistently helped individuals to develop their talents into direction with business ideas.
I am currently involved with assisting with training Zimbabwean women in work called African Women's Sewing Company. I find this most exciting as well as rewarding as a teacher & entrepreneur.

Sharon Barry-Taylor
Fine Feathers Sewing School
Established 1990

Phone 021 6711387 Best times to phone usually lunch
times 1pm - 2 pm
Cell 076 5628151

Locals Help with Water Saving Tools

We are all trying our best to save water. We have recently discovered Water Saver CT who supply a rolling out pipe that can be attached to gutters to funnel rain water into the pool or attached to bottles on the upstairs patio - funneling bath water into the garden below. Whatever you clever plan is - have a look at Water Saver CT and see how creative you can get.

Based in Claremont, Water Saver CT is selling PVC roll up pipes which attach to your gutters and down pipes to fill up your pool, save water or water your garden. The pipes can be rolled up and automatically unroll as the water runs down the gutters. 

The 200micron pvc roll up pipes sell for R25 per meter. It is a standard width and measures 15cm when flat, fitting all pipes up to 300mm. The pipes are attached to gutters or drains using duct tape and it's very easy to install yourself. 

You can order as much as you need (by meter) online. Orders can be collected in Claremont or delivered counter-to-counter for R99.
Email orders to watersaverct@gmail.com
Order online at: www.watersaverct.co.za
Visit their Facebook page: Water Saver CT    

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   |   andre@norgarb.co.za  |  www.norgarbproperties.co.za
Lucia Salters (Intern Agent): 082 806 4619  |   lucia@norgarb.co.za

Train With Some Intensity For A Change

By Dr Murray McDonald

Do you want to maximise the results of your exercise but also minimise the time it takes? That’s a dumb question, right?

*drum-roll please*

Enter: High Intensity Training! The not-new sensation that’s sweating the nation!

This old-school strategy has gotten a face-lift of late & it’s likely you’ve heard at least one person talk about it in the last year or two. But it’s just as likely that you don’t really know what that means, so let’s clear a few things up.

Tired of slogging on the elliptical? Then don't.

The tried and tested 40 minute internment on a cardio machine has become cliché. Don't get me wrong - it has shown benefits for health and fitness. But what if you could spend LESS time exercising AND get those same benefits if not BETTER? That’s where High Intensity Training comes in (also known as High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT). Essentially it involves short bursts of high intensity (10-60 seconds) alternating with relative rest (30s - 5min) for 5-10 "sets". HIT can improve your metabolic profile, your athletic performance (even if already trained), and health markers in those with chronic diseases. It is also both easier to stick to and superior in results to regular cardio. What’s not to love?

Any downsides?

This training can be tough. Physically, but also mentally. It requires bursts of hard effort that takes some getting used to - especially if you don't have any exercise experience. You need to be focused enough to push even when you’d rather stop. This can be difficult to get your head around in the beginning: the idea of being uncomfortable. But unfortunately:

But if you are very unfit, untrained, or have an existing disease (e.g. heart, diabetes), I'd recommended chatting to your doctor or a qualified trainer first and taking it easy to start. Slow increases are always the best strategy - trying to go from zero to hero overnight will get you hurt.
Also realise that it will place more strain on your muscles & joints than regular cardio so if you're already doing high-intensity resistance training (as you SHOULD be) then you'll need to take that into account.

Enough preamble, Doc - how do I do this?

Pick your favourite cardio exercise/machine e.g. stationary bike.
Start with 5-10 minutes of warm-up on an easy to moderate setting/resistance.
Now crank it up to a harder setting for 30 seconds.
Then turn it down to an easy setting for 60 seconds (or stop if necessary).
Repeat for 5-10 rounds depending on fitness levels/intensity/time.
Cool down with a few minutes on an easy setting.
Lay on the floor for a few minutes if necessary.
Go home, rest a few days, then come back for more.

How do I step it up?

As you get fitter, you can progress &/or mix it up by changing the resistance, the number of sets, the length or resistance of the high intensity sets, or the length of the rest periods. Go nuts. But not completely nuts. Go almonds.
And that’s about it. If it seems too simple, just ponder the immortal words of Bruce Lee: “Simplicity is the key to brilliance.”

Thanks for reading - Like/Share if you found this useful.

Yawning is contagious! Why might you feel like yawning when you read this article?

By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.

About half of you who are reading this article right now will feel like yawning!  I hope it is not because you didn’t get enough sleep last night, or because you are already bored reading this article! Did you know that to pandiculate means to yawn and stretch at the same time?  See if you can use that word in a conversation this month without making the person you are talking to yawn!  Why is it that when we see, hear or even read about somebody yawning we often have an intense desire to yawn too? 

We are social beings, and so the clue as to why we have the urge to yawn when we see others yawning is in the way our brains are wired and how our brains relate to each other.  In fact, neuroscientists, with the use of brain scans over the last decade, have confirmed that humans and animals have a network of brain cells called mirror neurons that turn on at the sight or thought of somebody else doing something, which causes a similar feeling or action in us!  As adults, we can often suppress the desire to mimic the actions or emotions of others because the front part of our brains (the prefrontal cortex) is more developed in us than in children.  Remember the last time you saw a toddler start to cry and soon after all the other toddlers began crying too?  This is because in small children the prefrontal cortex has not yet fully developed and so they cannot efficiently tell the difference between another person’s feelings and their own feelings.

Where then, does the mirror neuron network develop in the brain, and what evolutionary advantage does it hold over us as adults (I hope you have stopped yawning now!)? The mirror neuron system is in the prefrontal and body sensation (somato-sensory) areas of the brain that help us to imagine the bodily sensations of others.  

Some scientists believe that this brain network, shared by humans and many animals, might be related to empathy - the ability to mirror and feel how somebody else feels.  So, if a loved one stubs their toe, your own toe might start to tingle and your eyes might start to water! In fact, the degree to which the mirror neuron network activates in baboons that yawn to the sight of other baboons yawning directly relates to the amount of time baboons spend grooming each other, and therefore how close they feel to each other. This might suggest that the closer you feel towards another person the more likely they are to make you yawn!
But the jury is still out among neuroscientists regarding the precise function of mirror neurons in the brain that make us yawn when we see somebody else yawning.  Mirror neurons may help us to understand the intentions of others, help us to learn, help us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, enable us to have greater self-awareness and allow us to acquire language skills.  But what about yawning in particular - why are our brains so interested in mimicking a yawn?  It might be that yawning indicates the lowest level of threat – animals that yawn are communicating a reduced feeling of aggression and reduced energy.  And contrary to popular belief often portrayed in modern media, it might be that humans are driven to feel a reduction in aggression and so the brain is wired to reciprocate that feeling.

Yawning, mirror neurons and feelings of empathy are interesting phenomena, because in most cases it is useful for us to feel the emotions of others.  But this is where our prefrontal cortex comes in.  In some cases, unlike children, it is good for us to suppress our natural tendency to mimic the feelings of others.  A medical doctor would not be able to do his or her job if the pain and suffering of the patients was acutely felt.  Can you imagine a paramedic arriving at the scene of a car accident, only to squirm at the sight of blood?  But sometimes, suppressing our emotions can also be harmful, as in the case of criminal psychopaths who can easily inflict pain on others.  The bottom line is, to yawn in the presence of others may be a good indication that the mirror neurons in your brain are functioning as they should!  Mirror neurons on the ball, which are the fairest of them 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 neuroscience at UCT and to contact Samantha, see www.drsamanthabrooks.com.


In an effort to protect the rights of tenants, the Rental Housing Act lists certain provisions that are deemed to be included in each and every rental agreement of residential accommodation. Whether you are a landlord or tenant, or your lease agreement is in writing or was concluded orally, the deemed provisions are applicable to the agreement.  It does not matter that the landlord and tenant did not specifically negotiate these terms.

The deemed provisions are found in section 5(3) of the Act.  In the below bullet points, we highlight the most important of these:

· The landlord is required to furnish the tenant with a written receipt for all payments received from the tenant. The receipt must show the date, address of the rented premises and what the payment was for, such as arrears, monthly rental, and so forth.
· If the agreement provides for the payment of a deposit, the landlord must invest it in an interest-bearing account with a financial institution. At the end of the lease period, the landlord must pay the interest (and deposit) to the Tenant, or the balance thereof, if repairs for damages were required. The interest rate applicable to the deposit must at least be equal to the rate offered by the relevant financial institution on a savings account. If the landlord uses the services of an estate or rental agent to manage the lease, then the deposit may be paid to the agent who will, in turn, invest it in an appropriate interest bearing account, as provided for in the Estate Agency Affairs Act.
·  In addition, if the tenant requests written proof of the interest that had accrued on the deposit during the lease, the landlord must oblige. 
· The deposit (plus interest) must be returned to the tenant within 7 days of the expiry of the lease. If all or part of the deposit was used to pay for repairs of damage caused by the tenant, the balance must be returned to the tenant within 14 days after the repairs were effected. In the latter case, the relevant receipts to indicate the costs incurred, must be available to the tenant for inspection.
· The tenant and landlord (or their agents) must jointly, before the tenant moves into the premises and also before he moves out, inspect the dwelling to ascertain the existence or not of any defects or damage.
·  If the landlord (or his agent) fails to inspect the dwelling in the presence of the tenant as required, he is deemed to acknowledge that the dwelling is in a good and proper state of repair. The landlord thus risks losing a claim against the tenant for damages.

The list we provided above is not exhaustive and section 5 of the Act catalogues further deemed provisions. Certain changes to these deemed provisions may soon become effective, as the Rental Housing Amendment Act was promulgated recently. Property practitioners are awaiting the publication in the Government Gazette of the date on which the amendment Act will become operational.

For assistance with lease matters, contact Martin Sheard at martins@stbb.co.za

The Time To Say Goodbye: Euthanasia is never an easy decision but it isn't one you have to make alone.

In 2014 we covered the when, why and how of euthanasia. This difficult subject is one we have to face on a  daily basis in practice and we feel it is time to look at this subject again. Please take note of the ‘what to expect’.

The Time To Say Goodbye: Euthanasia is never an easy decision but it isn’t one you have to make alone.

Euthanasia is a difficult subject particularly as it usually crops up when we are in a fragile emotional state. In this article I hope to show you that although it is possibly one of the toughest decisions you will ever make, it can also be the ultimate gift of friendship and compassion that you can bestow upon your pet.

Why Euthanasia?
There are many reasons why an owner may consider euthanasia the most common one being that your pet is no longer able to live a happy, healthy, pain free life. This may be because of:

Serious injury or illness.
Your pet may be suffering from an injury or illness that cannot be treated or that it will not recover from adequately in order to live a normal life.
The treatment of your pet’s condition may be beyond your reach financially.
Your pet may no longer be responding to medication your Veterinarian has prescribed and is in pain or has lost mobility.

Old Age
Old age is not a reason to put your pet to sleep.
However, certain conditions that accompany ageing may be .                  
When your pet can no longer enjoy the things it used to and appears to be experiencing more pain than pleasure  ie;  on walks, playing etc,            
When your pet is no longer responsive to you and/or is unable to maintain it hygiene
When your pet no longer has a decent quality of life.       

Behavioural Issues
Inappropriate behaviour can most often than not be sorted out either with the help of medication from your Vet or the assistance of a reputable animal behaviourist. However, there are some issues that can’t be solved such as severe aggression where an animal puts people or other animals at risk.

Think Twice! Emigrating or moving home is not a valid reason to euthanase your pets!

We  are increasing requested to euthanase young, healthy animals because owners are relocating. It is possible to rehome animals successfully and they will be happy! It is our personal practice policy to refuse euthanasia for this reason unless the circumstances are exceptional.

When do I know the time is right?
This is the most common question we are asked, particularly by owners who have pets with deteriorating conditions.  If you have started to think about euthanasia then your instincts are telling you things are not going to get better for your pet.

Try asking yourself the following:
how keen is your pet to eat?
how responsive is your pet to you when you call or stroke it?
how mobile is your pet? Is movement a source of pain and discomfort?
does your pet experience pain when being handled
does you pet pant constantly or drink large quantities of water?
is your pet losing body weight and condition?
Is your pet happy, does it have a good quality of life?

Remember this isn’t a decision you need to make alone; speak to your family members and don’t forget your Vet. Your Vet, apart from having experience, will probably have known your pet for some time and will be able to help and advise you. Try not to be selfish don’t let your pet suffer unnecessarily they deserve more from you.

What Happens Next?
When you have come to your decision the next step is to organise things. Some Veterinarian’s will do a house visit to euthanase a pet but this can sometimes be more traumatic for everyone including your pet. So think carefully before choosing this option. Here is a list of things to consider:

Find out when your Vet practice is quiet. Choose either the first or last appointment of a consulting session. You wont have to wait and you wont have to face crowds of people in the waiting room.
book a double appointment so you have time to spend with your pet.
Don’t go alone. Try to take someone with you who can be supportive and drive you home if necessary.
Decide if you want your pet to be buried or cremated, whether you want ashes returned or not and how much each option costs. Do beforehand so that you can tell the receptionist this when you book your appointment.
Most decent practises will not ask you to pay at the time of the appointment but you will have to settle your account at some point and returning to the practice can be upsetting.
Organise an EFT or pay in advance to avoid the any further stress.

How is it done?
Euthanasia is carried out when an animal is given an intravenous injection containing an overdose of a drug that is similar to those used to induce general anaesthesia. The chemical stops heart and brain activity causing instant loss of consciousness the animal passes from this deep sleep into death without any experience of pain. This happens in seconds.

What to expect...
Death is something that is hard to come to terms with but sometimes we are forced to consider not only our own mortality but that of our pets. Certain things may happen after your pet is put to sleep that can be distressing. It is important to remember your pet is no longer able to experience pain; these are normal processes that the body undergoes after death.

Agonal gasps - your pet may appear to ‘carry on breathing’. This is caused by a reflex of the diaphragm and is not a conscious act.

Shakes and shivers are common and are also reflexes as the muscles are deprived of oxygen your pet may whimper or cry as the injection is administered. (This is a rare side effect of the drug and is not a conscious act, your pet is not in pain.)

After they have gone….
Give yourself time to grieve.  I am sure you felt it was a privilege to have your pet in your life. Whether your pet was with you through thick and thin or was just a brief but important feature in your life.  They were always there for you; they never answered back, gave so much and asked for so little. Our pets are a huge comfort to us and losing them can be devastating.  Those around you may not understand how you feel, it is important to find a family member or friend who is supportive. Remember that staff members at your Veterinary practice are always there to listen with a compassionate ear. 

Should I Get Another Pet?
There are so many reasons why each of us are pet owners. The decision to get another pet after the loss of a loved one can be difficult. You will never replace the pet you have lost. No two animals are ever  same, they each have their own funny behaviours and traits. Getting another companion animal is not a betrayal of the pet you have lost. It merely shows that you have enough compassion and love to climb on the roller coaster and ride it again.

Kenilworth Vetrenary Clinic

Healthy Take-Away Ideas

Take-away foods are never an ideal choice, but what do you when life is chaotic and your family has made the call of takeaways?  Fast-food restaurants have bad reputations, with the foods being high in empty calories (there is only energy and no healthy nutrients), fat (particularly trans- and saturated fat), refined carbohydrates and salt.  However, many fast-food chains have tried to incorporate ‘healthier’ options of their favourite items on their menus.  So if you limit your takeaways to the absolute minimum and are clever about your choices, you won’t completely spoil your health or weight loss efforts. 

Learn how to stay on your healthy eating plan when you are faced with takeaways using these tips:

1. Portion portion portion.  This is the most important part when ordering takeaways.  The regular sizes (and kiddies portion for that matter) are generally more than enough – if you super-size your meal you will get about three times the calories of the regular size.  Try to match the portions that you would generally eat at home.

       The changing portion size of chips

2. Don’t add any extras. By extras I mean chips, potato wedges and sugary cool drinks as well as additions of cheese or bacon on a burger.  These are unnecessary and just add extra calories.  If you have a burger or sandwich, your carbohydrate intake will be adequate.  If you feel you do need something extra with the meal rather opt for a salad (add your own olive oil and balsamic vinegar), baked potato or corn on the cob.  If you feel you really must have the chips, then rather share a portion.
3. Stay away from fried foods. Always order the grilled or baked options rather than fried ones.
4. Don’t be afraid to change up the order.  Ask if there is a whole-wheat option available; ask for the butter or mayonnaise to be left off (you can add the lower fat tomato, barbeque or chilli sauce); ask for the skin to be taken off the chicken (this option is available at certain fast-food restaurants).
5. What to drink? Water is always best (you can choose sparkling if you want to change it up), but if you want some flavour with the water rather choose diet cool drinks to avoid unnecessary sugar.  And dilute with water wherever possible.   
6. Get nutrition smart. Most fast-food chains have got the nutrition details of their meals available on their webpages.  It is always a good idea to read through the menu and nutrition information before you go so that you know what your choice is and you don’t get unnecessarily tempted once you are at the store. 

Let’s look at some meal ideas at some of the popular fast-food restaurants:

Sushi is a fantastic choice for a healthy take-away because fatty fish contains good omega-3 fats and there’s no frying involved in the preparation.  Spice the meal up with wasabi and ginger, and make sure you ask for low-sodium soy sauce.   You do need to watch the amount of sushi pieces that you eat – ideally no more than 8-12 pieces with rice.

Nando's chicken is flame-grilled and not fried.  It is therefore lower in fat than deep-fried chicken.  At Nando’s you also have the option to order your chicken without skin.  The chicken and pine burgers are both under 400kcal and a good choice if you are in the mood for a burger.  If you are not too hungry you can always give up half of the bun!  Other good options are the chicken strips and rice option, or you can order the chicken steak or ¼ chicken (leg and thigh) together with a salad or the coleslaw, the spicy rice (half may be enough) or the flame grilled mealie.

Steers is known for its burgers.  The best options include the basic chicken burger or the get real chicken or beef burger.  Steers also has a ¼ peri-peri chicken option which would be perfect with their green salad.  The chicken salad is also an ideal choice.

The grilled burger or the KaChing snack burger are your best burger options.  The KFC grilled twister can also be a suitable choice, but preferably order it with no sauce.  If you need some extras choose the green salad or the regular coleslaw as an add-on.  The KFC salad is a good option for a lighter meal.

Burger King
The only burgers that could be used in a healthy eating plan are the hamburger and the tendergrill chicken burger.  Add any of their two salads to complete the meal.

The hamburger or 4 piece chicken McNuggets are the best choice at McDonalds.  Have them with the green salad or corn cup, or choose the crispy chicken salad as your meal.

From a portion perspective, the only pizza that I found that was of acceptable portion (where you could eat the whole pizza) is the Debonairs read deal pizza option.  Most of these pizzas are under 400kcal.  To improve the meal even more ask for half the cheese and have more vegetable toppings.  Butlers also has the pumpkin or zucchini bases where the calorie intake will be lower.  ColCacchios has the ‘foro’ pizza with the salad in the middle which would also be a better choice.

Simply Asia is the common choice for Asian food.  Try to choose steamed dishes – stir-fries are healthier as they tend to be low fat and are made with many vegetables. Choose extra veggies or steamed rice as your side.  You could also order the soups or dim sum.  The portions are on the bigger side at Simply Asia (there are no meals under 400kcal), so as a general rule, try to eat only half of the take-away in one sitting.  

You can choose most of the items on the menu, although the general calorie intake is quite high.  Half portions are a good idea!  The best option is the citrus sriracha trout or chicken salad.  Also very important is that you don’t have a meal and a smoothie – it’s either or! 

Choose grilled fish, or throw the batter away.  Grilled calamari and rice is also a good option.  Some places offer a salad, or rather have a roll instead of the oily slap chips.

Phone: 021 674 4666
Cell: 084 206 2715

HVCID - Security Update March 2017

In the last week or 2, there have been certain reported criminal incidents in the Village and surrounds which modus operandi is not new but it would appear that we need to remind people on how to prevent them.


Residents should always remember that the first part of their home-security to be forced in a burglary or robbery is often their rolling gate. Criminals do this so they can carry away the larger valuables in your home by car without raising attention to themselves. The security of your rolling gate can easily be protected with some very steps:

  • Fit anti-lift stoppers to the top of your gate to stop it being lifted off the rails when the gate is closed. Both the open-side and the motor-side should be protected!

  • Reinforce the last metre of rack-gear adjacent to the gate-motor. This stops the gear being broken off by crooks using a crow-bar. They can then “roll” the gate open enough to slip inside.

  • Ensure your gate motor is “locked down”, and the clutch can’t be released by someone who jumps your fence. This also prevents the motor being stolen through the fence.

  • Some people additionally/alternatively fit an anti-lift alarm/beeper to their gate, to warn them when the gate motor has been tampered, or the gate has been lifted.

We have been made aware of persons claiming to be City of Cape Town officials and requesting access to resident's properties to inspect issues relating to water or electricity. Whether the person is an official from the City, a Telkom technician, private security company representative or even a member of SAPS, you must request identification. If you are unsure about their credentials, phone the company or organisation they are claiming to act on behalf of to verify their identity. If you are still concerned, listen to your instincts and do not let them onto your property. It should be noted that there is no reason why anyone should need access to your house unless you have specifically made an appointment with them.

+27 (0)81 412 6109

Patchwork | March in the Garden

Our garden is starting to see great growth! All watered from our shower and kitchen sink water. We literally haven't turned the hose on to water the grass, veggies or plants even once since November 1st 2016. It's so sad that it took a near-drought to get us to realise what we should have known and been doing all along.

But we live and learn, yes? I have found that most things we need to learn about life can be learned in the garden. 

Autumn is officially here, and the signs are presenting themselves slowly - the Autumn equinox, when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length, is on the 20th of March.
I saw a few leaves had turned red in Newlands forest a few weeks ago, and there's a slight nip in the air in the evenings. We still have lots of sun, but it's becoming less harsh - this is great for veggies! No doubt we're all hoping, holding thumbs, dancing and praying or doing whatever each of us does, for rain. 'It's a matter of time sounds' like an appropriate mantra. Maybe take a few minutes out to notice what's happening as this season changes, to the garden, to the climate, and to ourselves. 

In the meantime, while we trust nature to take care of herself but don't shirk our responsibility to do our part, here's our March 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, Peas, Radish, Rhubarb

Gabriella Garnett for Patchwork Group

How to be an ace negotiator - with your seller

Estate agents are all selling convenience, time management and transaction knowledge, but what sets the best of them apart is great market intelligence and, above all, superior negotiating skills, says Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterLife Home Loans, SA’s biggest bond originator.
“The latter are often not fully appreciated by home sellers until they come into play to save a deal that is about to fall through – but top agents know that they are invaluable all the way through, starting with the listing presentation.”

He notes that there are many agents who believe that their job is to get the seller’s mandate, come what may, and so will agree to whatever asking price the seller has in mind, irrespective of market realities. “After all, they think, once the home has been on the market for a while and failed to attract offers, they will then easily be able to persuade the seller to drop the price.
“However, the most successful agents understand that their real job is actually to get the home sold – and that giving in to the seller on the matter of price before the home is even listed will only cause problems down the road and get in the way of achieving a good result.

“A true market evaluation and carefully considered pricing, on the other hand, will quickly attract a buyer and enable them to finalise a sale at the best possible price. There will be no waste of marketing time and money – and a much better chance of having a satisfied client who will recommend them to others.”
But this does not mean, says Rademeyer, that agents should just “walk away” from a potential client who thinks his home is worth much more than it is. “In fact, this is a perfect opportunity to hone a different sort of negotiating skills than those you will need when dealing with potential buyers.

“Trying to reach a mutually satisfying result (a price you can both agree on) is known as an integrative negotiation, and the latest research shows that the personality traits that will serve you best in such situations are intellect and empathy – or being able to make your case well while also being able to assess your client’s real needs and explaining how what you are suggesting will help to meet those.”
To start with, he suggests, you should ask why your sellers want such a high price. Do they want to move to a larger, more expensive home? Are they trying to pay off debt? Do they owe too much on their current bond? Are they trying to scale down and boost their retirement fund at the same time?

Next you need to explain what it is going to take for them to get that price. They could be facing a very long wait for a sale, for example, and mounting holding costs as well as frustrating delays in their own purchasing plans. Or they might have to update / renovate their home at considerable cost in order to bring it in line with homes selling for comparable prices.
“Obviously facts are your best allies in such negotiations,” Rademeyer notes, “so you should make a point of viewing the “competition” – other homes for sale in the same area - before you arrive for the listing appointment.

You will not only demonstrate your in-depth knowledge of the area but be much better prepared to field any reference by your sellers to prices recently achieved for other properties.
“You will be able to point out, for example, that the house down the road that was just sold for the price your seller wants had a completely remodelled kitchen, updated bathrooms and new plumbing and electrical wiring - and to ask your sellers if they would be prepared to spend that kind of money to achieve their price.”

Addressing all these issues, he says, will quickly help sellers to modify their position and make them much more likely to follow your suggestions and depend on your expertise, especially if you then have a very well-motivated evaluation at your fingertips.

Anne-Marie Bamber is Norgarb Properties dedicated Home Loans Consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience in assisting clients with their Home Loan needs and has placed many happy families in their dream homes.

Contact her today for no cost stress-free home-buying.

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

BUTTER BEAN STROGONOFF - Lyn Staples (Agent with the winning recipe)

150gms white butter beans (tinned also fine)
250mls sour cream
Oil and butter for frying
2 large onions – sliced
300gms mushrooms

Soak beans in boiling water for one hour.  Boil with bay leaves, mixed herbs and salt, until soft.
Fry onions slowly in oil and butter and when soft, add mushrooms for a short while.
Add beans, sour cream, seasoning and lots of chopped parsley.

Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles as a main course, alternatively as is as a salad.

FOHP - March 2017 Update


Friends of Harfield Parks – March 2017

Work Parties
Our work parties start at 9am – you can stay for as long as you like, or just pop in for a chat!   Alternatively, you can help sponsor a gardener for the morning!
  Saturday 25 March – Purley Park
Tidying and mulching beds, planting left-over plants from the Community Day, cleaning up the Nursery.
  Saturday 22 April – Hampstead Park
  Sunday 7 MayAnnual Railway Line Clean-up
(start at 8am from Kenilworth station and finish at Harfield station)

Report-back – Surrey Park Work Party (18 Feb)
Labour for our work parties is sponsored by Urban Village.

We cleaned and picked up glass and our well-known local potter, John Bauer, joined in with his family and very kindly gave all participants a gorgeous, bespoke necklace.

Report-back – FOHP Community Day – Hampstead Park (4 March)
We had a very successful day!  Our heartfelt thanks to Harfield residents for the fabulous attendance and support and helping FOHP raise R7,629 (profit) towards our list of projects for the parks!  (See our list below.)

On the day we were joined by Cat Trapping & Sterilisation, Sisters, HVCID, Princeton and HVA.



Congratulations to Sabina for winning the Raffle!!

Hampstead Park Notice Board
 We're looking for a welder to fix/make a new frame and Perspex – can anyone help us with this?

The Entrance to Hampstead Park
Have you seen how welcoming the entrance to Hampstead Park is (opposite Cafeen)?

FOHP put in the arch last year and last week Robin Williams put down pavers at the entrance, which takes it to a whole new level!  We also have two lovely pots that we'll be planting up. 

Slowly, as we raise funds, we'll extend the path right through to the other end of the park.  Watch this space!!

Broken Tables and Benches in Surrey and Hampstead Parks
We've advised Council and are waiting on them to address this issue.  We have to get permission to remove the dangerous bits of rotten wood and protruding nails, so in the meantime, please ensure children don't hurt themselves.

Appeal to Adopt a Baby Tree!
Our young trees and shrubs in the parks are dying.  Please adopt and nurture a baby tree/shrub in the parks by giving them a bucket of grey water twice a week.

Email me at caroamber@mweb.co.za with your name and which tree you're caring for and I'll add you to our database.  We'd like to ensure no babies remain neglected!

Water for the Birds and Bees
Birds and bees are suffering from the drought too.  Remember to 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.

Keep your flowering plants alive with grey water – bees in particular rely on flower nectar for their hives, so if all the plants die, so will the bees…  Many birds, including Sugar and Sun birds rely on nectar for survival.

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 bits of glass 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!  ;-)

Cutting or Pruning Mature Trees
Cutting down mature trees (even aliens) is illegal!!!  Ring-barking is also illegal.

You are NOT allowed to cut down or prune any mature trees on Council property.

Harfield Village is a Heritage Areas, so if you want to cut or prune a mature tree in your property, you have to ask Council for permission!

Incidents of this sort of vandalism are on the rise in the Village. 
Be vigilant and SMS any breaches (preferably with photos) to 084 8172 405.

Become a FOHP Member / R25 Donation
Click here for our FOHP Membership Form – although membership is free, we would deeply appreciate a once-off or a R25 monthly debit-order donation to help us in the four Village parks (Surrey, Hampstead, Princes, Purley) to:
v  Fund labour (weeding & cleaning);
v  Make improvements (irrigation, grey-water systems, gym equipment, flower & vegetable beds, etc.).

Friends of Harfield Parks, Standard Bank, Claremont, Acc No:  076293874


Important Numbers
C3 SERVICE DELIVERY –  0860 103 089 (send with pix), email contactUs@capetown.gov.za
ADT – 086 121 2301
Princeton – 0860 222 820 / 021 448 2605
Police (Claremont) – 021
Police (van) – 082 378 7986
Fire (Wynberg Fire Station) – 021 797 6197
Ambulance – Netcare (closest) 082 911
Ambulance – ER24 084 124
Ambulance (Metro) – 10177
Traffic & Metro Police – 0860 765 423
Metro Police – 021 596 1999

Kind regards
Gail, Ingrid, Tina, Christine, Caroline, Francine

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