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The Gift of Giving: Leaving a Legacy for Future Generations

15 June 1956 was the day on which the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital first opened its doors.

60 years later to the day, the Children’s Hospital Trust invited supporters, patrons, donors, friends and staff members of the Hospital to a special High Tea at Kelvin Grove in Newlands in celebration of that important event.

The two main speakers were Emeritus Professor Jenny Thomas, recently retired head of Paediatric Anaesthesia, and Braam Malherbe – extreme adventurer, conservationist, youth developer and international motivational speaker.

Pipe Major Andrew Imrie playing the lament as the wreaths are being laid

Honoring the veterans who founded the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital: Remembrance Day 2015

On 11 November 2015, the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch held their special Remembrance Day service, in honour of the war veterans and servicemen who played such an instrumental part in the establishment of this wonderful hospital. The hospital’s name – containing the words “War Memorial” – already gives a clue that…

The gorgeous ballroom at Kelvin Grove

A delightful morning tea at Kelvin Grove with the Circle of Life legacy programme

On Tuesday, 12 May 2015, I joined my friends Glynnis and Max of the Pinelands Muse (our monthly community magazine) at another delightful event organised by the Children’s Hospital Trust: it was the annual morning tea for supporters, patrons, donors, and friends of the Circle of Life legacy programme.

"Welcome to the morning tea, arranged by the Children's Hospital Trust"

Tea, Talks and a Tour at Vergelegen with the Children’s Hospital Trust

At the start of October 2014, I spent a delightful morning at the historic wine estate of Vergelegen on the outskirts of Somerset West. The Children’s Hospital Trust, which is the fundraising arm of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch had invited supporters, donors and benefactors to a relaxing mid-morning tea at the estate. The Trust often holds such events, usually at beautiful venues and with interesting guest speakers; on this occasion, it was military historian and author Willem Steenkamp.

Afterwards, we were given a guided tour of some of the magnificent gardens at Vergelegen by Richard Arm, the very knowledgeable manager of the gardens. What an incredible place – I definitely want to return here!

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Toys and games for the young patients of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital

I attended a Youth Day event in June 2014 that reminded me again why I love to support the Cape Town Rifles (Dukes) and worthwhile causes like the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

That day, boxes of soft toys, pretty dolls, stimulating board games and card games, colourful puzzles and learning games, and helpful items of clothing, all donated by members and friends of the Regiment and the South African Legion, were handed over to the Hospital.

She presented one of the candles to Premier Helen Zille

An inspiring morning tea with Premier Helen Zille and the Children’s Hospital Trust

On 22 October 2013, I had a thoroughly inspiring tea with the Premier of the Western Cape Province, Helen Zille, at the elegant Southern Sun Cullinan Hotel on the Foreshore. Well, sort of. The tea with the Premier bit, I mean.

The function, which was organised by the Children’s Hospital Trust, was a delightful Morning Tea at which Premier Helen Zille was the keynote speaker. The topic of her talk was the valuable contribution of the ‘elders’ to the community.

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Charon the Ferryman – and his spooky friend – are floating on the Black River

Two or three weeks ago, a blue-green boat with a strange cloaked figure sitting inside it suddenly appeared on the Black River, just north of the bridge where Raapenberg Road goes underneath Kromboom Parkway (or the M5).

Initially, I thought it was a fisherman, which struck me as rather peculiar: our urban rivers have become so severely polluted and toxic with chemicals in recent decades, that I’m not sure it would be safe to eat any of the fish living in those waters! When the figure was still in the same spot a day or two later, I realised it wasn’t in fact a live fisherman but some strange sort of artwork.

Flat Kathy shares a plate of cookies with Gilbert the Gnome

Walking around with Flat Kathy: An introduction to a magical world?

It is not easy to walk around with Flat Kathy.

For all strangers, or rather, people whom Flat Kathy hasn’t yet demanded I introduce her to, she is simply a sheet of sunshine yellow paper on a stick. With a couple of buttons and some woolly hair sewn on. She is, I freely admit it, “a bit odd”.

The baking sun saps the last strength from us

Defeated by the sun-baked mountain slopes of the Swartboskloof and revived by lunch at Hillcrest Berry Farm

With Richard’s sister T, an avid hiker, visiting us last week, we thought we would treat her to a lovely hike in the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve outside Stellenbosch. We ourselves hadn’t done any hiking in a long time, and honestly felt a bit daunted by the prospect of a too-long trudge through the mountains and the veld. We decided to explore the Swartboskloof-Sosyskloof trail at Jonkershoek…

An unforgettable moment: meeting my penpal of 25 years

Looking back on an exciting year of being published!

Last year, I wrote and submitted a number of articles to the Pinelands Muse community magazine and the Reserve Force Volunteer magazine, as well as the Equestrian Express and the Sawubona in-flight magazine of South African Airways, our national carrier. In order to update my CV at the start of January, I compiled a list, which I thought I’d share with you, in case you are curious.

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The Pinelands Muse leaps into its third year of publication

Since October 2010, a glossy community magazine has popped into our postbox towards the end of each month (I wrote about their first anniversary here). Known as the Pinelands Muse, or just affectionately as ‘The Muse’, it focuses on the comings and goings in the neighbourhoods of Pinelands and Thornton, and it is a wonderful treasure chest of information about the fascinating people who live here and their unusual or exciting occupations, hobbies and travels to near and far.

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Flowering fynbos, veggie patches and quaint cottage gardens: The Rotary Anns’ annual Spring Garden Day in Pinelands

Once a year in springtime, five brave residents of Pinelands generously open their gardens to crowds of curious visitors, as part of a fund-raising event organised by the Rotary Anns of Pinelands. Since moving to Pinelands about eight years ago, we have attended several of these Spring Garden Days, and they have always been most enjoyable and inspirational