Since October last year, a wonderful magazine has magically appeared in my postbox at home towards the end of each month. It’s like getting a surprise present every time!
The Pinelands Muse is a colourful, A4-size magazine, full of interesting articles and information about the community and neighbourhood of Pinelands (and beyond). As the end of each month approaches, I check my postbox more and more frequently, eagerly anticipating the moment when it arrives.
Today was the day that Issue No. 12, the first anniversary edition, was waiting for me!
I celebrated this historic occasion by making myself a cup of tea, buttering a couple of slices of delicious health bread, and sitting myself down in our lovely garden to read through it.
The magazine is produced by a some very talented Pinelanders, Max Schutte (editor-in-chief), his wife Glynnis (writer and photographer) and Christelle Botha (design and layout), with the assistance of some regular contributors.
Regular sections of the Pinelands Muse include a Community Calendar and Community News; Travels and Getaways, Out and About in and around Cape Town (my two favourite sections); Interviews with Local Residents (fascinating!); Children and the Family; Health and Wellness; Green Living; and Seasonal Cooking (yummmm).
It is a tribute to their passion and dedication, and downright hard work and commitment, that the Pinelands Muse has not only survived 12 months, but that it has become so popular that it is now delivered – free of charge! – to businesses and households all around Pinelands as well as in surrounding suburbs, such as Thornton, Mowbray and Observatory.
I think that’s pretty impressive!
By the way, you can read all the back issues of the magazine here.
In addition to publishing this monthly magazine, the indefatigable Max and Glynnis also run the local community website, the Pinelands Directory, which has developed into a veritable treasure trove. You can find local businesses in pretty much any field, covering the family, the home, the community, travel, restaurants, medical services, etc. There are also links to the local Ratepayers’ Association and our local Councillor, Brian Watkyns, and you can leave comments on issues relating to your neighbourhood. And the calendar of upcoming events is kept up to date, reminding you that there is always something exciting happening in this area.
I wanted to use this opportunity to leaf back through my old copies of the Pinelands Muse (which I have hoarded diligently), and to identify some of the highlights, which will give you an indication of the wide range of unusual and interesting topics they have covered over the last 12 months. (I have hyperlinked to the issues in case you’d like to leaf through them online.)
- Issue 1 (October 2010) – The demolition of the iconic cooling towers of the Athlone Coal-Fired Power Station; Interviews with Günther Komnick, award-winning photographer, and Arnold Erasmus, Tai Chi teacher; An exploration of Theewaterskloof Dam outside Cape Town, and of the Two Rivers Urban Park on the banks of the river at Oude Molen Eco Village; Seasonal cooking with courgettes
- Issue 2 (November 2010) – Interviews with Sivan Naidoo who breeds ducks, which you can rent to clear your garden of snails (! yes, it’s true!), and with Monique Huppertz, a flamboyant Pinelands goldsmith who offers classes and workshops; An exploration of Oude Molen Eco Village around the corner, and a trip to the stunning Tuscany region in Central Italy; Seasonal cooking with tomatoes
- Issue 3 (December 2010/January 2011) – An introduction to the Liesbeek, a local river, and a report on the Peregrine falcon chicks that were hatched at the now-demolished Athlone Power Station; Interviews with eight-year-old Sara Falcon, who wrote and illustrated a wonderful book about a T-Rex dinosaur, and with Graham Page, model steam train locomotive enthusiast; Visits to the bird sanctuary of Intaka Island at Century City, and to the well-known Klondyke Cherry Farm in the mountains of Ceres, where you can pick youro wn cherries; A Green Living section on how to create your own worm farm; Seasonal cooking with strawberries
- Issue 4 (February 2011) – An introduction to scout groups and athletics clubs in Pinelands; Interviews with Sonny Goldberg, at 86 years old the longest serving member of the Howard Bowling Club, and with Viv Pullin and Jenny Stretch, well-known local dance teachers (can you imagine more appropriate names than theirs for two dance teachers?); Going for a toboggan ride at Cool Runnings in Tygervalley, and travelling up the West Coast for sjoesie (sushi) and bokkoms (dried and salted Harder fish); Seasonal cooking with pears
- Issue 5 (March 2011) – This is my favourite issue because it contains interviews with fellow Pinelands bloggers Nina Timm (she writes about cooking on her blog) and me (!!!) (Remember that I wrote about this exciting news on my blog); Exploring the False Bay coastline, and sailing around the world; Seasonal cooking with avocados
- Issue 6 (April 2011) – An introduction to the Pinelands Rotary Club; Interviews with Margo Wilke, a local Pinelands resident who rescues and rehabilitates animals, and with author Ian Sinclair, who has extensive knowledge of birds and bird-watching throughout South Africa; and with Julie Tobiansky of the Cape Province Dog Club, who offers puppy socialisation and dog training classes in the area; A visit to Imhoff Farm in the Noordhoek area, and a visit to the Kruger National Park; Health and Wellness – animal assisted therapy and ensuring happy healthy pets; Green Living – tips for creating a garden that attracts wildlife; Seasonal cooking – preparing a quick Monday night supper
- Issue 7 (May 2011) – A history of past magazines and newspapers in Pinelands; Interviews with the Pinelands Players, an amateur drama society run by June Wells and Tina Gough, and an interview with Douglas Wells, 91 years old, who first lived in Pinelands in 1922, when the area was being developed as a garden city; A visit to Darling to attend a performance at Evita se Perron by Pieter-Dirk Uys whose most famous stage character is Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout; A visit to the SANAE IV (South African National Antarctic Expedition Base IV) with the SAS Agulhas; Seasonal cooking – a recipe for traditional bobotie
- Issue 8 (June 2011) – Interviews with Professor Njabulo Ndebele – former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, and with astronomer Cliff Turk; A visit to the South African National Circus, located on Liesbeek Parkway next to the Hartleyvale Stadium; A breakfast cruise down the Breede River near the Western Cape town of Robertson; Green Living – tips for a greener home office; Seasonal cooking – comfort food for winter;
- Issue 9 (July 2011) – A food garden for children was established at Oude Molen Eco-Village; A visit to Namibia’s amazing Namib Naukluft Park; An interview with Brian Watkyns, long-time local councillor of the area; Learners from Pinelands North Primary School addressing the provincial parliament about environmental issues; Health and Beauty – winter skin care advice; Green Living – you can learn about the spekboom, which is known as a carbon muncher; Seasonal cooking – a recipe for a tomato-and-veggie soup
- Issue 10 (August 2011) – In acknowledgement of Mandela’s birthday in July, everyone is urged to devote 67 minutes for Mandela Day; Interviews with residents of the neighbouring suburb of Thornton, John Ecclestone (light aircraft pilot, keen big game fisherman, and movie star), and Danie van der Merwe (a passionate photographer and computer technology whiz who promotes free open source software); An introduction to Clubs and Societies in the Pinelands area; Discovering Lower Main Road in Observatory, and a visit to Ethiophia; Seasonal cooking – a home-baked cheesecake!
- Issue 11 (September 2011) – An interview with creative artist Annelise Luckhoff who offers classes and workshops in creating mosaics; A Green Living feature that focuses on recycling and the collection of E-Waste; Interviews with passionate rugby supporters and long-time residents of Pinelands, Tubby Teubes and Mike Meintjes; An introduction to Pinelands Cricket Club; A visit to the amazing Green Point Urban Park, and to the Fish River Canyon in Namibia; A group of scouts hike from Cape Point to Signal Hill; Seasonal cooking – chunky potato salad with dill
- Issue 12 (October 2011) – A community news article about the Golden Anniversary of Cynthia and Selwyn Cowley, who will have been married for 60 years at the end of September 2011; A reminder of the Rotary Anns Annual Spring Garden Show that is planned for 15 October, and the 10th annual Duck Race to be held by La Gratitude Primary School on 29 October; The story of four bikers who are traveling overland from Cape Town to Singapore on a fundraising journey; Interviews with Paula Pursch (drama teacher at Pinelands High and Pinehurst Primary School) and Sheila Chisholm (who teaches ballet and Spanish dance, and is currently a producer and presenter on Fine Music Radio); A visit to Hout Bay harbour, and a trip to the famous Victoria Falls; Seasonal cooking – mieliepap in the oven
These are just a couple of the articles that caught my eye. Each issue is chockablock full of of interesting information about our neighbourhood, its history and its residents. It is such a pleasure to read – and to re-read.
May there be many, many more issues of the Pinelands Muse!