When Will I be Load Shed with EskomSePush Software & Sites 13 FEB 2019

The slickest, easiest way to currently get the answer to when will you be load shed on a particular day is by downloading the quite frankly well written local load shedding schedule app, EskomSePush. (We will all agree to look past the juvenile joke name, okay?)

Written by Dan Wells and Herman Maritz a handful of years ago, EskomSePush is an extremely user friendly tool that does little more than ask you to download and install the app on your phone, click on the plus button to bring up the location search, and then select the location that you are interested in. The resulting screen then gives you a nice concise view of what your load shedding schedule looks like (across any of Eskom’s seemingly limitless stages) for any particular upcoming day.


The app is easy to read, sends warning push notifications when needed, and is simple enough that most people should get the hang of it. For my part, it works like a charm and its load shedding reporting has yet to fail me, meaning that our rolling blackouts by another name still hasn’t caught me with my pants around my ankles and no torch in sight.

Given the big amount of electricity generation worries on the Eskom horizon, it is probably a good idea to hang on to the app for some time to come.

Related Link: EskomSePush | Google Play

Shopping at the Lindt Chocolate Studio in Cape Town (2019-01-09) Photo Gallery | Shopping 12 FEB 2019

Did you know that the Lindt chocolate classes hosted in Cape Town and Johannesburg were a first for Lindt worldwide? It is something that Chantelle has always been keen to do at some point in time, and now that we’ve actually stumbled upon the Lindt Chocolate Studio in the reinvigorated Silo District of the V&A Waterfront, I reckon that the ‘maybe’ has now moved much more firmly into the realm of ‘definitely’.

We were in fact wandering about that area thanks to our first ever visit to the gorgeous Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) gallery, and of course once we spied the gleaming gold logo of Lindt, Chantelle was reeled in and immediately bought a handful of exotic flavours for us to try and compare.

Secretly, this made me super happy.

Decadent.

Related Link: Lindt Chocolate Studio | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town

A December Holiday in Pinnacle Point Mossel Bay (2017-12-26) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 11 FEB 2019

Last year we spent some holiday time up with the family at Pinnacle Point Estate in Mossel Bay. Two years ago we did the same (though on a slightly shorter scale because we also spent some time in Gouritsmond).

Two years ago the holiday was filled with swimming, walks on the beach, rides on the golf cart, playing Jenga, and doing our best to avoid the massive crowds that descend upon the area for the Christmas break. (We were not successful).

Oh, and gingerbread houses. Lots of gingerbread houses.

Delightful.

Related Link: Pinnacle Point Estate | Mossel Bay

The De Wet’s Huis Photo Museum in Hermanus (2018-08-25) Historic Attractions | Photo Gallery 10 FEB 2019

Hermanus, or Hermanuspietersfontein as it was known before the postmaster shortened the name to make it more practical, is of course an exceptionally popular South African coastal town that is a must for whale watchers, beach lovers, and people who want to escape to the sea. It used to also be quite the fishing town, and if you head over to the Fisherman’s Village complex belonging to the Old Harbour Museum, you’ll come across a small house marked as the De Wet’s Huis Photo Museum.

(Incidentally, this house, which is right next to the Whale Museum, is actually the old Dutch Reform Sunday School house, which was broken up into numbered stones, moved across to the current site, and then rebuilt by the museum curator and his team.)

The small museum houses a nice collection of photographs detailing old Hermanus, with some of the pictures dating as far back as the beginning of the last century. A number of photos in the exhibit are printed from the glass negatives taken by famed photographer T.D. Ravenscroft. The antique furniture displayed in the cottage belong to Will Paterson, son of Scotty Paterson (one of the founders of Hermanus), and a leading figure in Hermanus at the turn of the last century.

Now granted there are hardly enough photos here to label this post as one of my normal photo gallery outings, but that is only because the museum made if very clear that the taking of photos was not particularly welcome.

Still, a quick and interesting historic distraction then.

Related Link: Old Harbour Museum | Hermanus

Memorials, Trees and a Chapel at The Old Fort in Durban (2018-02-07) Historic Attractions | Photo Gallery 09 FEB 2019

Durban’s Old Fort (just next to Kingsmead Stadium) has had a long history tied to military action – the site having been first established as a military camp by the British back in May 1842, when 237 men of the 27th Regiment and Royal Artillery under Captain Thomas Charlton Smith were sent in to respond to an imminent Boer threat.

Following the ensuing retaliatory siege by the Boers after the failed British attack on Congella (lifted only be the arrival of the schooner Conch and the frigate HMS Southampton), a permanent fort was built on the site and a permanent British garrison was based there with a larger force being stationed outside Pietermaritzburg at Fort Napier.

Over the years a number of British Regiments did garrison duty in Durban and eventually the fort was later leased by the War Office to the Durban Light Infantry where it was at last converted into cottages for veterans. (Incidentally, the magazine was converted into a chapel and given the tranquil, lush nature of the grounds, the chapel has proven to be one of the city’s most popular wedding venues over the years!)

These days the grounds are open to the public, providing a quiet green space within the bustling city. There are old military relics scattered about to discover, and if you are somewhat of a military nerd, then the hugely informative Warrors Gate M.O.T.H. (Memorable Order of Tin Hats) Museum and Shrine (situated on the grounds) is an absolute must.

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Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in South African military history then.

Related Link: The Old Fort | Durban

All Aboard The Blue Train Park in Mouille Point (2017-11-18) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 08 FEB 2019

December 1956 saw the opening of the Blue Train in Mouille Point, and 60+ years later, the old girl is still running strong, now the last surviving South African beachfront miniature railway attraction still in action.

With the gorgeous Cape Town backdrop of Lion’s Head, Signal Hill and Table Mountain to the one side, and the splashing ocean waves of the promenade on the other, The Blue Train Park is home to the famous “Old Lady” mini blue train, a mini-skate park, cement push bike track, zip line, climbing rock, multiple jungle gyms, obstacle courses and even a small astro turf soccer pitch – basically more than enough to keep any visiting kids super entertained for quite a while!

To be honest, I don’t know if we ourselves visited this spot as kids, but I do know that my girls had an absolute blast being introduced to this iconic Cape Town kiddies attraction. Even more so after the train conductor let them sit up front and ‘drive’ the train around its track!

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Oh, and we were rather chuffed to bump into Jack Parow of all people during our visit. Turns out the Blue Train Park is super popular to host children’s birthday parties at!

Related Link: The Blue Train Park | Mouille Point | Cape Town

Making Our Way up Tygerberg Hill in the Tygerberg Nature Reserve, Bellville (2018-05-06) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 07 FEB 2019

If you feel like a good walk but don’t necessarily feel like tackling a proper mountain, you could always opt for the Tygerberg Nature Reserve, i.e. head out for a walk up Tygerberg Hills.

The nature reserve itself is 300 hectare in size and is situated in Bellville, i.e. the northern suburbs of Cape Town. The reserve is home to the highly threatened Swartland Shale Renosterveld vegetation type, which in turn houses nearly five hundred different plant species. There are also a large number of bird species and small animals to seen, as well as the Kristo Pienaar Environmental Education Centre with its library and resource centre. (The nature reserve is popular venue for school excursions and education programmes).

And then of course there is the additional perk of having an excellent view no matter which direction you look!

As for Chantelle, Ryan and myself though? We were just there for the long, sweaty hot walk.

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Bonus Fact: Swartland Shale Renosterveld is usually punctuated with a lot of large termite mounds, which all work together to create light ‘spots’ in the vegetation when looked at from afar. These ‘spots’ are in fact behind the name of Tygerberg – tiger mountain – because at that point in time, people in the Cape assumed tigers had spots.

Related Link: Tygerberg Nature Reserve | Tygerberg Hills | Bellville

A City within a City at MiniTown in Durban (2018-02-07) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 06 FEB 2019

Small buildings, check. Small boats, check. Small cars, check. Small planes, check. Small trains, check. Big smiles, check. Yup, we’re definitely in MiniTown, the smallest city within the city.

Amazingly, this miniature marvel (situated right on the beachfront) has been operating in the city of Durban since 1969. The structures are all built to a scale of 1:24, and the mini town boasts a large network of road, rail and water ways, complete with moving models and a large number of iconic Durban buildings.

With all the bright colors, moving boats, planes and trains, you’re pretty much guaranteed to walk out of there with a big grin on both your and your kids’ faces.

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Also, they do host kids birthday parties in case you were wondering.

Related Link: Mini Town | Durban

Succulents and Cake at Fiore Garden Centre and Coffee Shop in Somerset West (2018-04-21) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 05 FEB 2019

Originally setup in Bot River, the family owned business of Fiore Garden Centre (and coffee shop) has since opened up branches in both Somerset West and Greyton. Situated in the leafy suburb of Audas Estate, the Somerset West branch is a wonderfully tranquil space, with the grounds filled to capacity with  a rich assortment of plants, shrubs, trees, Bonsai and a host of interesting garden art pieces.

The main building itself is home to a wonderful little restaurant area, while the big shade covered patio out back offers loads of outdoor seating – the perfect spot to be considering the garden paradise all around you. The menu has a couple of breakfast and light lunch options available, and there is also a pizza oven for when you are in the mood for something a little more substantial.

And yes, they have cake.

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A wonderful little Somerset West hidden gem.

Related Link: Fiore Garden Centre | Somerset West