The Kissing Facts

By |2020-03-05T06:07:49+00:00February 10th, 2011|Columns|

The Latin people are clever. They reserve kissing on the mouth for lovers while friends and family get kissed on the cheeks. Three reasons why they pioneered the cheek-kissing approach all those centuries ago are: 1)    Germ aversion (no spittle contact with the dubious element of relatives and friends) 2)    It created the split-second opportunity [...]

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The Original Burning Bush

By |2020-03-05T06:07:49+00:00January 21st, 2011|Columns|

Harpuis is a species close to my ‘hearth,’ for one of its many species grows on our farm in the Sneeuberg mountain range on the Great Escarpment of the Karoo. Should you happen to see me running across the veld here, brandishing a burning bush, please understand I am not performing some netherworld ritual, nor [...]

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Wild Garlic Is a Lovely Thing

By |2020-03-05T06:07:49+00:00January 21st, 2011|Columns|

An onion is a lovely thing,” he told me, freshly plucked onion in hand. He was a farm labourer and he was heading back to his cottage on the farm to make a stew for his evening meal. I have never forgotten what he said about the onion, and I now repeat it in the [...]

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The Hominid and The Therapsid

By |2020-03-05T06:07:50+00:00January 18th, 2011|Columns|

Would you rather be a hominid or a therapsid? That is what I asked 20-year-old Barend Minnies as we stood in the Gats riverbed in Nieu Bethesda where 253-million-year-old therapsid fossils are embedded in the rocks. Not any old fossils, they offer us the best record in the world of what life was like on [...]

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Find a Farmer

By |2020-03-05T06:07:50+00:00January 18th, 2011|Columns|

Man or woman, the time has come for you to find a farmer. The forum for finding a farmer is the legendary ‘Hitching Post’ in Farmer’s Weekly, that most excellent South African magazine. Simply place your advert and request all farmers to include a photo of their tractor in their reply. Many a request of [...]

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Crime, Culture and Cholesterol

By |2020-03-05T06:07:50+00:00January 18th, 2011|Columns|

With all eyes upon us a smorgasbord of horror was presented to the world as ‘a day in the life of South Africa’ directly before visitors from the far corners headed this side for the 2010 World Cup. Apart from our daily fare of crime and no punishment, the international visitors were treated to footage [...]

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