Clean away grime and mineral deposits with Vinegar and Water

Cutting out toxic cleaning products is one way to green your home, and you don't need expensive cleaning products - packed in plastic bottles or refill packs - to do this.

Sink and taps
After wiping down the sink, spray a generous amount of white spirit vinegar over the sink and taps. Pay special attention to small crevices around the tap and drain. Let this sit for about 10 minutes and then use an old toothbrush and sponge to wipe and rinse with clean water. Buff to a high shine with a microfibre cloth. For tough build up of grime, repeat the process.

GOOD TO KNOW: Do not use vinegar on granite or marble. These are naturally porous and the vinegar will damage them.

Remove scale from a showerhead
Add some white spirit vinegar to a plastic bag, place this over the showerhead and close off with an elastic band. Leave this on overnight.
In the morning, give the showerhead a light scrub with an old toothbrush or soft nail brush and then buff to a high shine with a microfibre cloth. 

Clean a steam iron
Where there are mineral deposits [hard water or lime scale] on the heating plate, combine 2 parts white spirit vinegar and 1 part salt in a pot and heat until dissolved. Do not boil, but remove from the heat as soon as the salt dissolves. Allow to cool and rub over the heating plate with a soft cloth.

GOOD TO KNOW: Use a cotton bud soaked in the vinegar and salt solution to clean steam holes in the heating plate.
For burn marks, soak a thick cloth in the solution and let the iron sit on this for an hour, before rubbing down. Any remaining burnt material can be removed with a soft cloth and a dab of toothpaste. The toothpaste acts as a rubbing compound without damaging the heating plate.

Clean stains from shower doors
Most shower doors suffer from a built up of hard water, lime scale or soap scum. This reveals itself as an opaque haze on glass that can be difficult to remove.
Fill a spray bottle with white spirit vinegar and spray this liberally onto the glass. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then use a soft cloth to wipe clean. Repeat this for glass that has stubborn stains or a build up of residue that has accumulated over time.    

Norgarb Properties Agent Andre Ter Moshuizen who specialises in the Claremont area, will be sharing some household tips and handy home hints with you every month.

Andre Ter Moshuizen: 082 602 1367   |  |

The real estate market is never static

The real estate market is never static, which means that there are always career opportunities for those willing to acquire the necessary skills and qualifications, says Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterLife Home Loans, SA’s biggest bond originator.

“At the moment, for example, home sales may be somewhat slow, but the rental market is growing exponentially and there is an increasing demand among both corporate and private landlords and well as buy-to-let investors for experienced and really competent managing agents.”

Consequently, he says, now might be a good time for agents to “re-invent” themselves or at least invest in their future job prospects and acquire the training to become a qualified and registered managing agent. This is also an excellent avenue for young people to pursue if they are looking for a career with good prospects and a wide variety of aspects in which to specialise, depending on their own aptitudes and preferences.

“Besides sound judgment and flexibility, managing agents need skills in accounting, administration, conflict resolution, leadership and technology, and a clear grasp of ethical business practices, all the relevant legislation and how what they do affects the value of investment real estate.

“In the residential context, they are also responsible to a large extent for the quality of life of the tenants in the properties they manage and of other residents and owners if the property is in a complex or estate. And the demand for their services will continue to rise, for several reasons.”

The first of these, Rademeyer says, is that an increasing percentage of young adults in SA’s growing population the net worth or the credit scores needed to become homeowners, and so must rent instead.

“The second is that a growing percentage of over-55s are now also choosing to rent rather than own property any more. Some are selling to unlock the equity in their homes and either pay off debt or add to their retirement funding. Some want to be free of home maintenance chores and some just don’t want to be tied down while they pursue a new career or long-delayed travel ambitions.
“And the third is that both these trends are set to boost the percentage of properties that will be owned by either commercial or private investors who will need expert help to manage them well and maximise their returns.”

Meanwhile, he says, recent changes to the legislation governing sectional title complexes and estates is already boosting the demand among bodies corporate and home owners’ associations for experienced managing agents who can ensure that they comply with all the provisions of the new laws.

For more information about the qualifications necessary to become a registered managing agent and boost their career prospects, agents can contact the National Association of Managing Agents (NAMA) on 012-543-0693 or visit

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 for BetterLife
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 3568 | Fax: +27 (0)21 441 1494 | Cell: +27 (0)82 071 1665

Eating better

My favourite quote about nutrition comes via Michael Pollan:
“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
This breaks down to buying food that isn’t overly processed, only eating as much as you need, and making plants a far greater part of your diet. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. So rather than provide you with a minor degree in biochemistry and nutritional physiology, I would like to break down a few simple guidelines to improve your diet.
1.    Stop buying rubbish: if you can’t find it out in a field, it’s processed. And processed foods often have reduced nutritional value (vitamins, etc – even if they try fortify it after processing) while being designed to make you overeat (added salt, sugar, flavourants, etc). BUT processing is not the devil - processing is a part of life. Cooking is processing. CHEWing is processing. It’s what we do to make calories and nutrients more available and that’s not in and of itself a bad thing. However, as explained in point 5, that can be a problem when it comes to overeating.

2.    Eat more vegetables: the rule we all know yet people do not take seriously enough. How much is enough? You should be eating AT LEAST 2-3 cups of vegetables daily. That’s 500-750ml’s as a MINIMUM. So those two florets of broccoli and some haphazard carrot sticks with dinner don’t really cut it. Just because you eat SOME vegetables doesn’t make it ENOUGH. Vegetarians have it right in this regard – making vegetables the main part of the meal is a great way to make sure you eat enough as well as force you to get better at preparing them. Make vegetables the star of the show sometimes. Give them a little pomp and circumstance to let their natural deliciousness stand out - roast those carrots with thyme, dress that broccoli in a little yoghurt with ground cumin, braise that cabbage in stock… For goodness sake - show just a LITTLE interest and effort.
3.            Eat more fish (especially the oily ones): it is the protein source on which the human race grew smarter. No matter how you slice it, seafood is an excellent source of protein and essential fats. Choosing fish as a primary source of protein has supported some of the longest-living cultures in the world e.g. Japanese, Inuit. In terms of food safety, as long as you TRY to choose wild-caught over farmed and TRY to stick to smaller, oilier fish, you shouldn’t have any problems with heavy metals (e.g. mercury) or parasites. But also take into account the impact on our planet - only buy fish that are sustainably caught or farmed. Leave something for your grandkids.

4.       Eat some natural fats: they are ESSENTIAL and very healthy. When it comes to nutrient groups, fats are very important as our bodies use them in every single process we have. A completely fat-free diet (if such a things exists) would probably kill you. But also realise that a very high fat diet can increase your chance of a number of diseases e.g. heart attacks, so, if you decide to eat more fat, make sure you are monitoring your health measures (cholesterol, weight, triglycerides, etc). That out the way, try to make your fat choices as natural as possible. Example: nuts, seeds, avocadoes are natural and groovy; very processed and oxidised like vegetable oils, margarine are not very natural (and gross – YouTube the process that is used to make these things).
5.            Don’t overdue the starches and limit the sugars: these foods aren’t really essential (unless you engage in vigorous exercise regularly) and they can be easy to overeat e.g. try to eat 1000kC worth of potato chips or carrots to see the difference. But if you are good at controlling your calorie intake, these foods are not to be feared – they can easily form part of a healthy diet. Just keep an eye on your health measures (blood glucose, triglycerides, weight, etc) to make sure that they’re not putting you at risk of disease.
So there you have it – 5 nutritional rules that will improve your health. So why aren’t you doing them? Go! Go now! But come back next time for our installment on exercise!
Thank you for reading.
Article by Dr Murray McDonald from


In sale agreements of immovable property, it is general practice that the property seller has the right to nominate the attorney that will attend to the registration of transfer of ownership of the property. 

Why is this so, taking into account that it is the purchaser who pays the costs of the conveyancing attorney?

Sellers often take little interest in who are appointed as conveyancers because the purchaser pays the conveyancer’s fees. However, even though the Purchaser finances the transaction costs, the election to nominate the conveyancer rests with the seller so that the process can be driven by the party who has the least interest in delaying transfer.

A late transfer will cost a Seller money in lost interest and opportunity cost and, if transfer of the property sold was intended to occur simultaneously with property that the Seller has purchased, delays can also cause much anxiety and embarrassment.

Therefore, exercise your right to appoint a conveyancing attorney by entrusting the realization of the proceeds of your sale to a trusted name. After all, it is not everyday that one gets to choose something of value that someone else will pay for, especially professional services!

All 11 nation-wide offices of STBB are well-known for their conveyancing expertise. 

Contact martin Sheard at STBB Claremont ( for assistance in your sale transaction, well before you sign your agreement.

HVCID - Update May 2017

Dear Harfield Residents

The Harfield Village Community Improvement District (“HVCID”) is a non-profit community association, managed by volunteers, to enhance the overall safety and security of Harfield Village.

The HVCID committee has formed a partnership with Fidelity ADT which has already resulted in 2 dedicated response vehicles to patrol the Village and funding towards our Manager. Additionally, Fidelity ADT household subscribers can access the Street Patrol, as well as the Meet and Greet, meaning that customers can call for help for an incident outside of their homes – in the street or park (as long as it is within the boundaries of Harfield Village). No other armed response company offers this facility in Harfield at present.

HVCID’s dedicated manager, Jenni Coleman, also acts as liaison between Fidelity ADT and their customers in the Village. Jenni is a member of a Crime Forum Group in Claremont sector, secretary for the Sector 1 & 4 Claremont Community Police Forum, and a Har-Lyn Neighbourhood Watch patroller. Her participation with these forums, together with her weekly meetings with SAPS, allow her to report back to the community on the criminal activity in the Village and to raise any concerns residents may have about security with various role players.

HVCID is also investigating an initiative to have LPR cameras (license plate recognition) and analytic overview cameras installed at all entrances into the Village. These cameras are used in many areas in the peninsula and have been proven to reduce crime and assist in the arrest of suspected criminals.

If you are an existing Fidelity ADT customer, you automatically become a member of the HVCID and can receive our e-mails on security updates and access to the resources our manager has to offer, however, we may not have your e-mail details and we ask that you contact Jenni at  and forward these to her.

Non Fidelity ADT residents can receive a copy of our weekly newsletter. Just e-mail your details to the aforementioned e-mail address.

If you would like to receive a competitive quote from Fidelity ADT with regards to an alarm installation and/or monitoring, please send Jenni your details and she will make the necessary arrangements.

Kind regards

Facing retrenchment?

Here’s what you need to know

Facing retrenchment can be a frightening experience.

Its unchartered territory for most people, who end up feeling vulnerable because they’re unfamiliar with the legal processes and options.

So what should you know, and do, when faced with this harrowing situation?

Keep a cool head
It’s important to remain cool, calm and collected, especially when you’re on the verge of panic. This is a time to listen carefully, take notes and reflect.
Becoming emotional or confrontational will only cloud your judgement.

Assess the situation
Understand the broader picture -
·         Are you the only person impacted, or is this part of a bigger exercise?
·         What are the reasons for the termination? 
·         What was the criterion used to make the selections?
·         Is there an option for an alternative role within the company or group?
·         Is there a possibility of re-employment at a later stage?
·         What assistance is being offered to the retrenched employees?

Gaining clarity will help you contextualise what’s happening and formulate helpful questions.

Don’t sign anything straight away
Don’t feel pressurized into signing documentation straight away. Retrenchment processes allow employees a reasonable period of time to review documentation first.

The documentation is also lengthy and complicated, so take a day or two to read and absorb the content. If there are points that confuse or concern you, consult with the relevant HR executive within your organisation, or seek guidance from an external professional to help clarify terminology and options.

Once signed, the document becomes a legally binding agreement, which sets out the full terms of the settlement between the employer and employee.
Not all offers are bad
Most companies go to great lengths to create decent retrenchment packages for their impacted employees. So don’t be quick to jump to negative assumptions.
If you do have doubts, consult an external professional for their opinion.

What are the minimum requirements?
Circumstances will vary from company to company regarding the discretionary content of retrenchment packages, which are hugely dependent on available funds and HR policies. But financial limitations aside, retrenchment calculations are underpinned by the employee’s length of service as well as the circumstances of the employee’s termination (fault or no fault).

In South Africa, the minimum severance pay-out is one week’s salary for each completed year of employment with the company. You will also be paid out for any accrued leave days and your formal notice period (as per your contract). As well as the balance of your Pension or Provident Fund.

Severance packages can be negotiated
Employees are legally entitled to negotiate a better package. They can do this by themselves, through their trade union or with a labour lawyer. This doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be successful, but employees are entitled to negotiate for a fair package, which minimises financial hardship.

Most people take the path of least resistance during this difficult time, wishing to put the episode behind them as quickly as possible. But don’t underestimate the value of a carefully thought-out and professionally handled final negotiation.

What could be included in the package?
As previously mentioned this varies from company to company, but here are a few examples of package inclusions -
·         1.5 to 2 week’s pay for every full year worked with the company
·         Immediate departure without having to work out the notice period (at no financial loss to the employee)
·         An extended notice period with full pay e.g. 3 months notice instead of 1 month
·         An extension of benefit coverage for a set period of time
·         An Outplacement contract, to assist the employee in securing a new job

Seek guidance from a professional
There are many other areas that can be negotiated, which may significantly ease the burden of a sudden lay off. So if in doubt, seek professional advice and let them guide you through the possibilities.

For the brave, as they say ‘nothing ventured nothing gained’. The initial offer, once made, cannot be withdrawn – so you can always fall back on that if negotiations fail. This is another reason to treat the whole process, and everyone involved, nicely.

Note: Retrenchments take place for a variety of reasons; the company could be in financial difficulty, or undergoing restructuring, for example. It’s impossible to cover all scenarios. These are general guidelines.

Madge Gibson is a local, Harfield Village resident. See more of her articles here.


1 onion
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 small cans tomato paste
Few tablespoons chopped parsley
1 clove crushed garlic
1 teas dried oregano or sweet basil
Half cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Blitz all ingredients except onion and olive oil in food processor.
Fry onion in olive oil then add blended ingredients. 
Simmer for about 30 minutes. 

Sauce freezes well.

For recipes in which to use this delicious tomato sauce please select an option from the list below:



Aubergine (as many as you need)
Tomatoes or Homemade tomato sauce (How much sauce you use, depends on the amount of aubergines.)
Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

Lightly pan fry slices of Aubergine
Place on greased baking try
Top with homemade tomato sauce (or sliced tomatoes if using as a vegetable side dish)
Top with sliced Mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese.

Bake at 190 for approximately 30 minutes.

From the Kitchen of Lyn Staples, the Norgarb Properties Agent with the winning recipe.

Calling all adrenalin junkies!

Dare you read what happens in your brain to encourage death-defying pursuits that are so popular in and around Cape Town?!

By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.

Living in Cape Town means that we are lucky to have a playground of mountains, beaches and oceans to explore whenever the mood takes us!  

Popular peninsular pursuits include hiking, climbing, paragliding and abseiling from the high exposure of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head or Devil’s Peak. But you can also stay lower to the ground or under the sea for other thrilling activities like deep-sea scuba divingsurfing, mountain-biking , rollerblading or skateboarding.    

What do these pursuits all have in common?  People who have a compulsion for adventure and excitement – the definition of an adrenalin junkie – often follow such pursuits!  While the term adrenalin junkie is known in the scientific community, it is not yet a formal psychiatric definition, although if you consider yourself to be one, chances are you could have a form of addiction.  
But do the brains of adrenalin junkies differ from more sedentary folk, who might rather prefer to sit at home with a cup of tea and a book?  Let’s find out!

Neuroscientific research suggests that the brains of adrenalin junkies, who deliberately put themselves in danger, differ significantly, in terms of structure, function and in the levels of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) serotonin and dopamine circulating around the brain.  In a recent study of over 1000 people conducted by American neuroscientists, it was found that parts of the brain associated with risk evaluation and decision-making – the anterior cingulate cortex (in yellow in the picture) and the middle frontal gyrus (at the very front of the brain), were smaller in those who regularly seek adventure and excitement compared to those who do not. It must be noted however, that smaller does not necessarily hold a negative connotation. Nevertheless, some people we might regard as adrenalin junkies have a higher risk of substance use disorder (alcohol, drugs), especially in those who are younger (because the brain rewires to a greater extent in the young).  Differences in brain structure in these regions are also linked to changes in brain function, which might mean that adrenalin junkies feel the need to place themselves in greater perceived danger (often these activities are quite safe if followed correctly) in order to activate their decision-making and risk-evaluation functions – a bit like a person addicted to substances who cannot easily experience a natural high but needs more and more stimulation from a drug in order to function properly.  Adrenalin junkies also force themselves to exercise greater attentional control – which means that through repetition, one learns to control basic bodily responses linked to fight or flight (activated by adrenalin).  This can include feelings of fear, panic, aggression, and the accompanying bodily responses such as sweating, increased heart rate and muscle tension.  It might be that a heightened sense of control over these feelings and bodily responses, in the presence of danger, becomes addictive in itself!  It is much like a person with an eating disorder who becomes addicted to the attempts to control the body’s natural hunger states.

The addiction aspect of extreme activities likely also relates to the release of endorphins (the brain’s natural opioids, like heroin) that balance the thrill with feelings of relief after getting through a difficult climbing move, surfing a wave to the shore or landing safely on the ground after a paragliding trip.  But during the thrill itself, the brain’s mood, motivation and reward chemicals – serotonin and dopamine – are excessively released.  There is a theory that in everyday life (away from the mountain or ocean), thrill-seekers have lower levels of these chemicals circulating around the brain.  The seductive pull of getting back out to engage in these dangerous activities prompts a quick, surging release of serotonin that elevates the mood and attention; and increases the levels of dopamine that improves motivation, energy levels, which also feels so rewarding!  But like anything we do repetitively, the brain gets used to it, which in neuroscientific terms is called habituation.  This means that more receptors are rapidly created in the brain’s serotonin and dopamine circuits – or up-regulated - and much like hungry baby birds in a nest - the brain needs higher levels of these neurotransmitters to fill these up-regulated receptors to experience a high.

But as with all extreme pursuits, there is a real and present danger that things could go terribly wrong.  On 16th May 2015, 43-year-old Dean Potter - who was a World Champion extreme rock-climber, high-liner (tight-rope walking in high-up places) and B.A.S.E. jumper (jumping with a wing-suit from high places, often illegal) - died while B.A.S.E. jumping in Yosemite National Park in the USA.  While alive, he admitted that he was compelled to push the boundaries of his physical and mental capabilities, which also became his obsession.  And while it is great to push the boundaries of our capabilities so that we can grow and learn more about ourselves, adrenalin junkies are something different.  The changes in the brain that correspond to obsessive-compulsive and addictive behaviour can get dangerously out of control, like any compulsive disorder.  What is the take-home message from all of this?  With anything that can become addictive – try to build self-awareness - and try to be moderate in your enjoyment of thrill seeking, lest your brain craves nothing more than the next extreme high, at the expense of everything else, perhaps even your life!

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


Does your old cat pace around the house aimlessly, yowl at night or has he started missing the litter tray?  He may be suffering from a form of dementia called Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS)

As our pets age they too, like humans, may experience psychological degeneration that can cause behavioural and personality changes. Listed
below are some of the common symptoms you may observe that could indicate your cat has a problem.

Many old cats with CDS appear confused as to
where they are or seem to forget what they were about to do.  They may no longer greet you when you come home or be as affectionate as the used to be.

CDS cats often stop in their tracks and yowl loudly or get 'stuck' in corners, appearing lost in what should be a familiar environment. These cats can be shaky when jumping onto furniture etc. or even lose their balance and fall.

You may find that your old cat sleeps more during the day but then prowls around restlessly at night. These cats are often vocal at night and keep the whole household awake! 

Your cat may suddenly start soiling in the house.  They may simply be 'missing' the litter tray or completely 'forget' where the litter is and relieve themselves in an inappropriate place.

As with an aging parent, your cat deserves and needs your care and attention. Before you assume your cat is a geriatric mental case take your cat to the vet. If you recognise any of the above symptoms, a general check-up is essential as there are various other conditions that can cause similar changes to your cats behaviour and these should be ruled out first.

Just because your cat is old doesn't mean it
can't play! Mental stimulation can help keep
your cat's brain active so perhaps a new toy
or even a cardboard box or a crumpled paper bag will help maintain cognitive function or slow its decline. If food is always available try creating a new feeding routine so your cat has something to look forward to during the day.  

Emotional and physical security are equally important to your old cat. If you find your kitty is having difficulty getting to certain parts of the house safely (i.e.; going upstairs, or jumping out of windows), try to block access to that area when you are not around. Many of these cats find great comfort just being around their owner and may become distressed and yowl if you simply go into another room. Loss of hearing is also common in old cats which may well account for loud vocalization, so pick him up and take him with you! That way he gets attention and knows exactly where you are!

If your cat is keeping you awake at night, try limiting his daytime naps by interacting with him or waking him gently. At night put your cat to bed and stroke or massage him to help relax him. The use of pheromone collars or sprays may also help. If things are bad speak to your vet. He can rule out the possibility of your cat being restless because of pain and may be able to prescribe medication to help your cat sleep

If your cat is used to a litter tray and things have gone pear shaped, try putting down a tray (or multiple trays) where the accident/s have happened. You may find that your cat is just having difficulty climbing into the tray and you simply need to purchase one with low sides for easy access.

As pet owners, we understand that the nutritional requirements of our animals change at various stages of their life. That is why it is important to feed your aging cat a superior quality senior food or prescription diet that incorporates the use of antioxidants, usually in the form of   Omega-3 fatty acids, as these can make a noticeable difference.

In conclusion…                                                                    
Remember we will all get old. Some of us will be lucky and stay mentally alert and others will suffer from some form of dementia. It is in our autumn years that we need the support and understanding of those who care for us - your cat is no different. 
So, if you think your 'kitty' has gone 'batty' get him checked out with your vet and help him enjoy his retirement!

Is the Timing of your Meals Important?

Kim Hofmann - Dietician
Generally when I see clients I can see that they know what healthy eating is in terms of the ‘what foods to eat’.  Yes, there may be slight confusion about some foods, but generally we all know that the carbs we choose should be the less processed, higher fibre ones; proteins should be the lean sources and fish and chicken should be consumed mostly; and fats are good, but we should choose the plant fats.

However, too often I find that clients slip up, not because they have any food addictions, but because they are setting themselves up for failure (without even knowing it).  The timing of meals is important as we need to eat according to how our body can handle the energy and nutrients best. 

Let’s take a look at a study done in 2013 by Jakubowicz D, et al.  Overweight and obese women with metabolic syndrome were put into one of two groups: a breakfast group (700kcal breakfast, 500kcal lunch and 200kcal dinner); and a dinner group (200kcal breakfast, 500kcal lunch and 700kcal dinner).  The breakfast group had greater, weight loss, waist circumference loss, better glucose control, insulin functioning as well as lower triglyceride levels.  

The average satiety scores were also better in the breakfast group.

What does this all mean?  

Our bodies function best during the early part of the day as opposed to the later part of the day.  

So when you are setting up your meal plans, remember the following guidelines:
ü  Have a good breakfast early in the day (ideally within an hour of getting up).
ü  Have a morning snack (especially if breakfast was very early and there are more than 4-5 hours between breakfast and lunch).
ü  Make lunch a decent meal.
ü  Carbohydrates should be incorporated into the first half of the day, but slow down with them as you get to the later part of the day.  This doesn’t mean you cannot have carbs at dinner but the portion must be small.
ü  Have a small afternoon snack if dinner is quite late or if the time between lunch and dinner is more than 4-5 hours.
ü  Have a small supper.

When you eat more in the morning, eating less in the later part of the day will become easy.  Give it a try!

Phone: 021 674 4666
Cell: 084 206 2715