Endurance training: understanding your slow twitch muscle fibres

What are muscle fibres? Muscles – like the rest of the body – are made up of cells, and in muscles these cells form muscle fibres. Muscle fibres contract to create movement after receiving electrical signals from the brain – a chemical reaction then occurs in the muscle to create muscular activity. Depending on the sport or fitness activity, this chemical reaction can create long- or short-lasting energy (as in the case of a marathon run or a tennis serve respectively).  The specifics of slow-twitch muscle fibre Slow-twitch muscle fibres are endurance fibres What makes a muscle slow or fast? This has a lot to do with the number of slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibres a muscle has, and the way these fibres are trained. The more slow-twitch fibres there are, the better the muscle will be at providing lasting energy – see table 1 for examples of the percentages of slow-twitch fibres in the shoulder of selected sports participants. Conversely, the more fast-twitch fibres, the better the muscle will be at generating speed and power. You can change the proportion of the fibres between fast and slow, with the prolonged right training (although research indicates that these changes are not permanent).

Twitch rate Muscles twitch – basically this reflects their speed of contraction when they are stimulated. Slow-twitch fibres do not have a very fast twitch rate compared to fast-twitch fibres, because they are not designed for speed.

Twitch rate per second Slow-twitch muscle fibres 10-30 Fast-twitch 30-70  Slow-twitch fibres have a good blood supply, which greatly assists their ability to generate aerobic energy (that is, energy that relies on oxygen to fuel the chemical reactions going on within the muscles that provide this lasting energy). This oxygen supply capability can be enhanced by the right training.

Slow-twitch fibres can also be called ‘red’ fibres because of their ample blood supply. Unlike fast-twitch fibre, slow-twitch fibre is less likely to increase muscle size when trained via endurance activities (or weight training). However, well-trained endurance athletes will have slow-twitch fibres that are slightly enlarged, in comparison to non- athletes and speed or power athletes, such as sprinters. But the most ‘noticeable’ endurance training effects occur inside the muscle and manifest themselves on the road, track or water in terms of enhanced endurance ability.

Table 1 displays how slow-twitch fibres can be developed through relevant endurance training. The more endurance training an athlete undertakes, the more slow-twitch muscle fibres they will develop. Compare the figures in the table with non-athletes, who would have around 45-55% slow-twitch fibres in their arms and across their body.

Slow-twitch muscle fibre’s response to endurance training: Improved aerobic capacity An increase in capillary density. Capillaries are oxygen-carrying highways, and the more capillaries there are in a muscle, the greater the potential for aerobic energy creation The more endurance-trained a muscle is, the greater its stock of enzymes relevant to other specific muscular energy creation processes – notably the Krebs cycle. The Krebs cycle is a chemical process that takes place in muscles. Using an analogy, it’s a bit like having your own oil refinery in your car, that keeps producing (cheap!) fuel. In the body’s case, this equally crucial fuel is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the key energy-producing chemical in the body. Table 1: Percentage of slow-twitch fibre in deltoid (shoulder) muscle in males and selected sports Endurance athlete Percentage of slow-twitch fibre in deltoid (shoulder) muscle – males

Canoeist 71%  Swimmer 67%  Triathlete 60%   Further characteristics of slow-twitch fibre Muscle fibres – whether slow or fast – are bundled together to form more powerful units (these are known as motor units). They can be equated to cogs in a machine that synchronise with each other to produce, in this case, muscular power. Depending on fibre type, these motor units do not mesh in the same way.  Slow-twitch muscle fibres are recruited synchronously This means that their motor units work together to produce movement – one ‘cog’ turns another – and all at the same time. This contrasts with fast-twitch fibre, whose motor unit cogs are recruited asynchronously.

Basically, the smallest cogs (ie, the slow-twitch fibres’ smaller motor units) turn first and then the larger ones (fast-twitch fibres) only once the athlete mentally stimulates them to do so. This can be achieved by psyching oneself up and becoming aggressive and explains why, for example, it is difficult to lift a heavy weight without being in the zone. With slow-twitch fibres, less mental effort is required to fire them, until the athlete is fatigued. If you don’t put a lot of mental effort in when jumping, for example, you won’t jump that high (and you’ll be using your slow-twitch and intermediate fast-twitch fibres). To jump high you have to engage the larger, fast-twitch motor units, and this needs greater mental effort.

Slow-twitch muscle fibres provide a stabilising function within muscles

The percentage of slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscles fibres varies between muscles. The gastrocnemius – the larger of the calf muscles – has a greater percentage of fast-twitch fibres in comparison to the smaller soleus. Balance and stability work tends to target the muscles with the greater proportion of slow-twitch muscle fibres, whereas those with more fast-twitch fibres are more power- and movement-orientated. Thus a single leg balance, from a standing-on-tiptoes position, will emphasise the slow-twitch fibres of the soleus, while a straight leg jump will primarily recruit the fast-twitch muscle fibres of the gastrocnemius.



More protection for the victims of harassment

Mary was over the moon when she heard that she had received the position and could not wait to start her new job. Into her second week however, she became aware of her supervisor taking a special interest in her. She tried to ignore this, but the interest became more overt, unwelcome and threatening, despite her attempts to politely rebuff his advances and eventually directly informing him that she was not interested. After noticing the supervisor in the vicinity of her home, she reported the conduct to a senior manager, but no action was taken. The situation steadily deteriorated until Mary felt so afraid of her supervisor that she felt she had no choice but to resign.

Mary, like many others in a similar situation, often feel helpless and without protection or the means to defend themselves. However, in the Protection from Harassment Act 17 of 2011 (“the Act”) which came into operation on 27 April 2013, there is now very specific legislation aimed at providing legal remedies to people like Mary.

In terms of the Act, harassment includes both direct and indirect conduct that the offender knows or ought to know causes mental, psychological, physical or economic harm or inspires the reasonable belief that such harm may be caused to the complainant (i.e. the person who is being harassed) or a related person (i.e. any member of the family or household of a complainant, or any other person in a close relationship to the complainant). Harassment includes:

Following, watching, pursuing or accosting a complainant, or loitering outside or near the place where the complainant or a related person resides, works, carries on business, studies or happens to be;     Engaging in verbal, electronic or any other communication aimed at the complainant or a related person, by any means, whether or not conversation ensues;     Sending, delivering or causing the delivery of letters, telegrams, packages, facsimiles, electronic mail or other objects to the complainant or a related person or leaving them where they will be found, given to, or brought to the attention of, the complainant or a related person;  or     Any conduct that amounts to sexual harassment of the complainant or a related person.

The Act further specifically defines sexual harassment as any:

Unwelcome sexual attention from a person who knows or ought reasonably to know that such attention is unwelcome;     Unwelcome explicit or implicit behaviour, suggestions, messages or remarks of a sexual nature that have the effect of offending, intimidating or humiliating the complainant or a related person in circumstances, which a reasonable person having regard to all the circumstances would have anticipated that the complainant or related person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated;     Implied or expressed promises of reward for complying with sexually oriented requests;  or     Implied or expressed threats of reprisal or actual reprisals for refusal to comply with sexually oriented requests.

The Act affords protection by enabling the complainant to apply for a protection order against any form of harassment. The Act does not differentiate between different complainants and any person who believes that they are being harassed can apply for a protection order under the Act. If the court is satisfied that a case of harassment has been made, it will order that the offender be served with the application advising them of the date on which the matter will be heard. An interim order can also be made without the knowledge of the alleged offender wherein the court, if satisfied that the complainant is being harmed or will be harmed if the protection order is not granted immediately or the protection will not be achieved if notice is given to the offender, may grant an interim order in favour of the complainant.

The protection order will be forwarded to the relevant police station of the complainant’s choice together with a warrant of arrest. The protection order will remain in force for five years (or longer if the court so determines). In the protection order the court can prohibit the offender from –

engaging in or attempting to engage in harassment;     enlisting the help of another person to engage in harassment;  or     committing any other act as specified in the protection order.

The court can impose any additional conditions which it deems reasonably necessary to protect and provide for the safety or well-being of the complainant or related person and may even order the SAPS to seize any weapon in the possession or under the control of the offender or to accompany the complainant to assist with the collection of his/her personal property.

The SAPS must immediately arrest an offender if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the complainant is suffering harm or may suffer imminent harm as a result of the alleged breach of the protection order by the offender. The complainant can also lodge a criminal complaint against the offender of crimen injuria, assault, trespass, extortion or any other offence which has a bearing on the person or property of the complainant or a related person.

The complainant may on any day and at any time, in the prescribed manner, apply for a protection order at the Magistrate’s Court where the complainant or the offender resides, or where the act of harassment occurred. A legal professional can also be consulted to assist in bringing the necessary applications on behalf of the complainant.•

Helpende Hand help met korrekte vak- en studiekeuses

’n Onlangse werknemersindeks het weer eens beklemtoon dat korrekte vak- en studiekeuses onmisbaar is om finansiële vryheid te verseker.

Volgens die Adcorp-werknemersindeks is daar tans ongeveer 344 000 Suid-Afrikaners met grade, diplomas en sertifikate wat werkloos is omdat hulle nie oor die vaardighede beskik waarna werkgewers soek nie.

Die verslag toon verder dat die getal afleggings in Januarie die hoogste was wat dit in tien jaar was, met 36 290 Suid-Afrikaners wat hul werk kwyt is. Boonop is daar verlede maand slegs poste geskep vir hoëvlak- gekwalifiseerde personeel en is daar tans ongeveer 470 000 vakante poste in die privaat sektor wat gevul kon word indien die vaardighede daar was.

“Nog nooit was dit meer noodsaaklik vir leerlinge om ’n ingeligte besluit te neem wanneer hulle hul vakkeuses op skool maak nie,” sê Riaan du Plooy, adjunk uitvoerende hoof: onderwys en opleiding van Solidariteit Helpende Hand. “Verkeerde vakkeuses kan beteken dat matrikulante nie na skool aanvaar word vir hoëvlakstudierigtings nie en dat hulle dan op die ou end sit met ’n tersiêre kwalifikasie wat nie in die huidige beroepsmark bruikbaar is nie.”

Solidariteit Helpende Hand se beroepsvoorligtingsprogram fokus op hierdie probleem deur aan Afrikaanse jongmense oor die land heen ’n bekostigbare beroepsleidingdiens ten opsigte van vakkeuses en beroepskeuses te bied. “Tersiêre opleiding is peperduur en daarom maak dit sin om in professionele loopbaanvoorligting deur psigometriese en aanlegtoetse te belê,” sê Du Plooy.

Verskeie pakkette is beskikbaar en Helpende Hand se voltydse, geregistreerde psigometris sal gratis na ’n dorp reis mits daar tien of meer jongmense is wat van die diens gebruik wil maak. Die beroepsleiding sluit ʼn informele gesprek met die ouers en leerling, die evaluering self en ʼn professionele verslag na afloop daarvan, in.

Skakel gerus vir Helpende Hand by 012 644 4390 of stuur ʼn e-pos na diens@helpendehand.co.za vir meer inligting. •


How Much Food Should I Give My Dog? (Part 2)

What about that People food thing? Okay? Or not so okay?

The answer is… not so okay. Truth be told, in moderation, some people food is harmless. However there are some foods that can be very harmful to your pet. For instance it isn’t a good idea to trim the fat off your meat and feed it to your dog. This kind of fat overload can give your dog pancreatitis which causes chronic abdominal pains.

Ham & bacon are too salty and contain too much fat. This can cause your pet to have pancreatitis and, in some breeds, could ultimately result in bloat. Bloat is a potentially life-threatening condition arising from your dog drinking too much water from the salty food.

Large amounts of liver can cause vitamin A toxicity. This is serious because it affects the muscles and can cause deformed bones. Because vitamin A also has an impact on the metabolism, severe weight loss and anorexia is also a concern.

Any dairy products like butter, cheese, and milk are harmful to your dog. They weren’t designed to eat these types of food so their bodies can’t digest them properly. The consumption of these products could cause bloating and diarrhea in your pet.

Bones, particularly small bones from chicken and fish can get lodged in your pets’ throat which can cause choking. Bones can also cause splinter and tear a dog’s internal organs.

Cat food is much higher in fats and protein than dog food. Just like baby food, dog and cat food is designed with the specific needs of each animal in mind. The extra fat is not healthy for your dog and eating cat food instead of dog food means that your pet is missing essential nutrients for his/her health. That’s why it’s called Dog Food and Cat Food, not Pet Food.

Chocolate and caffeine are toxic to dogs and negatively affects their heart and nervous system. Chocolate can cause seizures, coma and ultimately death. One 1 ounce of baking chocolate can poison a 10-pound dog. There are different kinds of chocolate some not as toxic as others. But let’s face it… does it matter? None of them are good for your pooch, so a BIG no on this treat.

Of course there’s the obvious… drugs and alcohol are absolute no no’s. You might find it comical to watch a tipsy dog, but I’m sure that you will not see the humour in knowing that the alcohol you gave him put your precious pet into a coma and possibly resulted in his death.

There are many other people foods that can cause serious health issues for your dog. There is enough evidence that many foods are harmful for your pooch that the simplest solution is to just NOT feed your dog people food at all. Another bonus to this solution is that you will not have a dog that begs for food while you eat at the table. There are so many treats that have been designed especially for your pet that it really just makes sense to stick to those. What should you feed your dog?

Which is the best for your dog, dry food or canned food? That’s the great debate. There are pros and cons to both, so… let’s make a list:

Dry Dog Food Pros

Helps keep dogs teeth clean from tartar

More nutritious

Dogs have better breath

Easier to store

Easier to handle

More cost effective

Less likely to spoil

Wet Dog Food Pros

More proteins included

Contains fewer preservatives

Contains less grain and more moisture keeps a dog hydrated and benefits the urinary tract

Is very flavourful, often the preferred taste for dogs

May be better if your dog has certain health issues

Dry Dog Food Cons

Not all dry foods are quality foods

Usually has more preservatives

Wet Dog Food Cons

Sticks on dogs teeth causing tooth problems

Requires more dental treatments

Gives dogs bad breath

More expensive

Less healthy because it contains a higher fat content and more water

Once opened canned food can spoil quickly

Now that we’ve gone over the list of pros and cons, let me say that absolutely nothing is carved in stone. Your dog may have a health issue that requires him to eat canned instead of dry. For example, dogs that have lost their chewing teeth or have dental disease may not be able to chew dry dog food, and may only be able to eat canned food. I fostered a dog once that would only eat her dry dog food with 2 tablespoons of canned food mixed in.

You will find that some experts promote canned food for puppies and switch to dry food for adult dogs. The obstacle with this is that it’s difficult to make the switch.

You may have a dog that is a really picky eater or one that gulps his food with the speed of light and then throws up. These dogs need your help. Work out a plan with your Vet. This article was not meant to have all the answers. It was intended to give you some things to think about. It’s not as simple as “grab a bag of dog food from the store” and we’re good to go. As a responsible pet parent, you’ve got some things to think about. Now, talk to your Vet, ask your questions (be sure to ask for the rationale behind the thought), and together build your strategy.

Above all else, remember to hug your pet today. •

Can yoga wreck your body? Have you read this NY Times article?

On a cold Saturday in early 2009, Glenn Black, a yoga teacher of nearly four decades, whose devoted clientele includes a number of celebrities and prominent gurus, was giving a master class at Sankalpah Yoga in Manhattan. Black is, in many ways, a classic yogi: he studied in Pune, India, at the institute founded by the legendary B. K. S. Iyengar, and spent years in solitude and meditation. He now lives in Rhinebeck, N.Y., and often teaches at the nearby Omega Institute, a New Age emporium spread over nearly 200 acres of woods and gardens. He is known for his rigor and his down-to-earth style. But this was not why I sought him out: Black, I’d been told, was the person to speak with if you wanted to know not about the virtues of yoga but rather about the damage it could do. Many of his regular clients came to him for bodywork or rehabilitation following yoga injuries. This was the situation I found myself in. In my 30s, I had somehow managed to rupture a disk in my lower back and found I could prevent bouts of pain with a selection of yoga postures and abdominal exercises. Then, in 2007, while doing the extended-side-angle pose, a posture hailed as a cure for many diseases, my back gave way. With it went my belief, naïve in retrospect, that yoga was a source only of healing and never harm. At Sankalpah Yoga, the room was packed; roughly half the students were said to be teachers themselves. Black walked around the room, joking and talking. “Is this yoga?” he asked as we sweated through a pose that seemed to demand superhuman endurance. “It is if you’re paying attention.” His approach was almost free-form: he made us hold poses for a long time but taught no inversions and few classical postures. Throughout the class, he urged us to pay attention to the thresholds of pain. “I make it as hard as possible,” he told the group. “It’s up to you to make it easy on yourself.” He drove his point home with a cautionary tale. In India, he recalled, a yogi came to study at Iyengar’s school and threw himself into a spinal twist. Black said he watched in disbelief as three of the man’s ribs gave way — pop, pop, pop.

After class, I asked Black about his approach to teaching yoga — the emphasis on holding only a few simple poses, the absence of common inversions like headstands and shoulder stands. He gave me the kind of answer you’d expect from any yoga teacher: that awareness is more important than rushing through a series of postures just to say you’d done them. But then he said something more radical. Black has come to believe that “the vast majority of people” should give up yoga altogether. It’s simply too likely to cause harm.

Not just students but celebrated teachers too, Black said, injure themselves in droves because most have underlying physical weaknesses or problems that make serious injury all but inevitable. Instead of doing yoga, “they need to be doing a specific range of motions for articulation, for organ condition,” he said, to strengthen weak parts of the body. “Yoga is for people in good physical condition. Or it can be used therapeutically. It’s controversial to say, but it really shouldn’t be used for a general class.”

Black seemingly reconciles the dangers of yoga with his own teaching of it by working hard at knowing when a student “shouldn’t do something — the shoulder stand, the headstand or putting any weight on the cervical vertebrae.” Though he studied with Samuel Tatz, a legendary Manhattan-based physical therapist who devised a method of massage and alignment for actors and dancers, he acknowledges that he has no formal training for determining which poses are good for a student and which may be problematic. What he does have, he says, is “a ton of experience.” “To come to New York and do a class with people who have many problems and say, ‘O.K., we’re going to do this sequence of poses today’ — it just doesn’t work.” According to Black, a number of factors have converged to heighten the risk of practicing yoga. The biggest is the demographic shift in those who study it. Indian practitioners of yoga typically squatted and sat cross-legged in daily life, and yoga poses, or asanas, were an outgrowth of these postures. Now urbanites who sit in chairs all day walk into a studio a couple of times a week and strain to twist themselves into ever-more-difficult postures despite their lack of flexibility and other physical problems. Many come to yoga as a gentle alternative to vigorous sports or for rehabilitation for injuries. But yoga’s exploding popularity — the number of Americans doing yoga has risen from about 4 million in 2001 to what some estimate to be as many as 20 million in 2011 — means that there is now an abundance of studios where many teachers lack the deeper training necessary to recognize when students are headed toward injury. “Today many schools of yoga are just about pushing people,” Black said. “You can’t believe what’s going on — teachers jumping on people, pushing and pulling and saying, ‘You should be able to do this by now.’ It has to do with their egos.”

When yoga teachers come to him for bodywork after suffering major traumas, Black tells them, “Don’t do yoga.”

This article is adapted from “The Science of Yoga: The Risks and Rewards,” by William J. Broad. Broad is a senior science writer at The Times.



Can you recover losses from a dismissed employee?

The dismissed employee however benefits from this pragmatic view and if there are criminal proceedings instituted against the employee the attitude adopted by the employer is normally lax, often because criminal proceedings take time to be finalized without any guarantee as to whether the dismissed employee will be found guilty or not.

The Labour Court recently ruled on the situation when it confirmed an employer’s counterclaim for breach of contract against two former senior employees and ordered the employees to pay their erstwhile employer R8 million in damages for losses suffered as a result of their misconduct.

In the case, two employees were charged with and found guilty of misconduct by an independent chairperson of an internal disciplinary hearing and dismissed after the chairperson found that their misconduct caused R7.8 million losses to their employer. Both dismissed employees challenged their dismissals at the CCMA and the Director of the CCMA transferred their referrals to the Labour Court.

The employer then instituted a counterclaim for damages against the employees in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. The employer claimed damages against both dismissed employees on the basis that the fraud committed by them resulted in damages suffered as a result of the failure of the employees to honestly and faithfully serve the employer and their failure to exercise due and reasonable diligence as was required by their contracts of service.

In the evidence presented, it was clear that the employees had actively participated in fraud against the employer in return for bribes which resulted in a loss to the employer in the amount of R8 million.

The court further held that both dismissed employees not only had the express duty to maintain the highest level of ethics and transparency but, as senior employees, they had a fiduciary duty to ensure total honesty and integrity when goods and services were procured.

In the end the Labour Court accepted that the employer had established that both former employees caused the losses and that there was a causal link between the breach and the damages suffered by the employer. The employee’s dismissal was held to be fair and the dismissed employees were held liable for the amount of R8 million and criminal charges were also laid against both employees by the employer.     Mosdel Parma & Cox ppam@mpc.law.za 044 533 1101•

Vinnige inheemse bome

Mense vra my dikwels watter inheemse bome hulle kan aanplant om dorstige uitheemse bome te vervang  –  maar hulle moet vinnig groei!”

Hierdie week wil ek graag vier bome aanbeveel wat goed in ons omgewing aard en wat boonop voëls na jou tuin sal lok.

Waterbessie / Waterhout / Water berry / Umdoni / Waterwood  –  Syzygium cordatum  (SA boomnr. 555)

Hoewel hierdie boom inheems is vanaf die Oos-Kaap noordwaarts, groei dit baie goed in die Suid-Kaap en bereik ‘n hoogte van tot 15 meter.  Die blomme van die Waterbessie is romerigwit, soetgeurig met baie nektar.  Die vrugte word ‘n pragtige pers en donkerrooi as dit ryp word, is eetbaar en smaak na bloekomlekkers.  Lekker jellie kan van die ryp vrugte gemaak word.  Alle vrugtevretende voëls hou van die vrugte.  Die boom moet nie naby ‘n gebou geplant word nie aangesien dit ‘n aggressiewe wortelstelsel het (5 m en verder is heeltemal voldoende).  Hierdie boom is bestand teen koue en hou van genoeg water.

Wildeperske/ Speekhout / Spekhout / Vaderlandsrooihout / Wild peach –  Porkwood / Spokewood  –  Kiggelaria africana   (SA boomnr. 494)

Die Wildeperske is ‘n baie mooi sierboom wat vinnig groei.  Dit bereik ‘n hoogte van tot 25 meter met ‘n mooi regop en skoon stam.  Hierdie boom is eenslagtig en manlike en vroulike blomme is op verskillende bome.  Voorheen is die hout in wamakery gebruik vir speke.  Die sade word deur voëls wat van sade hou bv glas-ogies gevreet.

Maar moet dit nie aanplant as jy bygelowig is nie.  Daar is geglo as jy die boom aanraak trek dit weerlig aan!

Kaapse essenhout / Vaal-essenhout / Cape ash / Dog plum / Mountain ash –  Ekebergia capensis  (SA boomnr. 298)

Hierdie pragtige immergroen boom kan ‘n hoogte van tot 30 meter bereik.  Manlike en vroulike blomme kom op aparte bome voor.  Dit is ‘n goeie boom om vrugtevretende voëls soos loeries, houtkappers, tiptolle en muisvoëls en nog baie meer, te lok.  Die Essenhout se wortels is nie aggressief nie en kan dus naby geboue geplant word.  Dit word dikwels as ‘n straat- of skaduboom geplant.  Essenhout kan van saad of steggies gekweek word.  Die boom groei vinnig (tot 1 meter per jaar) en is droogte- maar nie rypbestand nie.  Dit groei die beste as dit genoeg water kry.

Wildepruim / Suurpruim / Wild plum / Sour plum  –  Harperphyllum caffrum   (SA boomnr. )

Die boom word ongeveer 10 m hoog en dra baie eetbare vrugte en waarvan rose wyn en jellie gemaak kan word.  Wildepruim is ‘n gewilde tuinboom in ons omgewing en is aantreklik vir vrugtevretende voëls soos loeries, tiptolle, spreeus ens.  Slegs die vroulike bome dra vrugte en daarom moet meer as een boom in ‘n tuin aangeplant word.  Die wortelstelsel is nie aggressief nie.  Die Wildepruim kweek maklik as ‘n bonsai en vorm gou ‘n baie dik stam.

Soms is dit moeilik om Wildepruim en Essenhout van mekaar te onderskei.  ‘n Maklike metode om die twee bome uit te ken, is om die blare te vergelyk.  Op die foto (links) hieronder sien jy die Essenhout se blare se groeiwyse – teenoorstaande en op ‘n reguit takkie.  Kyk nou na die Wildepruim s’n regs.

Die Wildepruim se takkie waaraan die blare groei is op die voorpunt feitlik altyd gebuig.  In die botaniese literatuur word hierdie verskynsel beskryf as: “die hoofaar is nie presies in die middel van die blaar nie en die basis is merkbaar asimmetries”.

Jy kan enige van hierdie bome in die koeler maande plant.  Omdat Mosselbaai n droër klimaat as die res van die Tuinroete het, moet veral jonger boompies gereeld nat gehou word.

Inheemse groete.

Danie Muller • 082 320 1833 of 044 531 6790.


SOUTH AFRICA (February 2014) – It is a new year which of course means challenges…challenges we can overcome together and later stand back and admire the miracles we lived as one.  Pink Trees for Pauline will, like in 2013, strive to promote quality of life for cancer patients and their families during and after cancer.  Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Reduce stigma and dispel myths about cancer will be the focus of World Cancer Day 2014 (4 February 2014) under the tagline “Debunk the myths”.  These myths will only be dispelled if we work vehemently towards unveiling them as just myths and if we advocate the truth. Probably the most obvious myth in our cancer communities is “I don’t have the right to cancer care”.  John F Kennedy said “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.”  The challenge will be to reach as many as possible communities, especially in the rural areas to communicate the facts about cancer.  That will only be the first step, and the simple one.  The most important message about cancer is communicated through our actions.  By creating awareness about cancer and raising funds to support cancer communities we commit to being there where we are needed most.  We must get the message across that all people have the right to access to cancer care. During the Pink Trees for Pauline drive in 2013 we witnessed miracles every day…miracles of volunteers working fervently to create awareness wrapping thousands of trees in pink along kilometres of roads all across South Africa and Namibia.  People from all walks of life worked together with one objective in mind – to help people in need in their cancer communities in their own towns.  Pink Trees for Pauline also played a substantial role in empowering communities to take care of their own.  And with what people came to learn about themselves and each other during the 2013 drive they will be able to impart knowledge about cancer in order to dispel myths.  The message Pink Trees for Pauline will carry forward into 2014 is still one of Love, Care, Acceptance, Calm and Hope.

In 2013 some 55 towns across South Africa and Namibia embraced the initiative and stunned cancer communities with their enormous hearts.  In 2014 more than 100 towns have already committed to help cover South Africa and Namibia in pink!  This means double the number of feet, hands and hearts working as one to create awareness and raise funds to support cancer communities and their families.  This means that maybe the next time when a scared seven year old boy has to go for chemotherapy 500km away from home his mother will be able to travel with him.  This means that in future ‘the right to access to cancer treatment” will mean that ‘treatment’ will include a loved one…not going on this journey alone.

Charlotte Lunsford said “We don’t always know whose lives we touched and made better for our having cared, because actions can sometimes have unforeseen ramifications.  What’s important is that you do care and you act.”  May 2014 be the year in which we care more and act with greater impact!

If you need more information regarding Pink Trees for Pauline contact Managing Director Adri van Nieuwenhuizen on +27 82 460 6386 or email adri@pt4pauline.co.za. Visit facebook.com/PinkTreesForPauline and www.pinktrees.co.za for the newest information.

More information: Media Release for Pink Trees for Pauline Adri van Nieuwenhuizen  adri@pt4pauline.co.za  +27 82 460 6386 Media Release by interface by goji

Mimi Finestone mimi@gojipr.net +27 84 583 3144 •


Monday  10th February 2014
–  Downton Abbey  :  Series 4  ( Part 2 of 8 )
March 1922 : Rebuilding a shattered life
Lady Mary is recognised as Matthew’s sole heir.
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator:  Brenda Hardy  044-533-5489

Tuesday  11th February 2014
–  Italian Conversation
09H45  at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator:  Brenda Hardy  044-533-5489

Wednesday  12th February 2014
–  Annual  General  Meeting:
Following the AGM meeting, Jack Mudd will talk about
“all the crazy things that have been part of my life”.
NB: 09H00 for 09H30  at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator:  Michael Lond  044-533-0018

Wednesday  12th February 2014
–  U3A Plett  Social Bridge Club
General lessons for improving players, help
and supervised Bridge in a friendly atmosphere
13H45  at the Angling Club
Co-ordinator:  Michael Webb  082-226-7280

Friday  14th February 2014
–  French Conversation
10H00 at  7 Glennifer Street
Co-ordinator:  Merle Decot  044-533-5879

Friday  14th February 2014
–  Mah Jong
( Please note: No meeting on Friday 7th February)
Learn and play this ancient and fascinating game
14H00 at Formosa Garden Village Small Dining Room
Co-ordinator:  Amelia White  044-533-0113


Many local music lovers will recall the brilliant performance by the award-winning, internationally acclaimed Cape Town Youth Choir at the Community Church last August. Annabelle Conyngham was so inspired that she immediately resolved to organise a return visit to Plett during 2014 as a fundraiser for Hospice Plett.  She said: “ I have seldom heard such sublime singing and I wanted to share the beauty of the choir’s music with the people of Plett, while benefiting Hospice at the same time”.

Plett and Knysna residents will soon have the opportunity to enjoy two very different fundraising  concerts, featuring the choir’s repertoire for the 2014 World Choir Games to be held in Riga, Latvia, later this year.  They will be led by their animated and engaging conductor, Leon Starker.

Saturday 22 February 2014 at 18:30: The James Thomas Memorial Concert at the St Thomas Methodist Church, off Marine Way in Plett.  This concert is dedicated to the memory of a most remarkable man, James Thomas, the chairman of the choir. He was the only South African victim to perish in the Al Shabaah Somali attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, less than two months after his visit to Plett with the choir. Under his visionary leadership the choir had flourished and achieved great heights. Tickets R100 available from Barney at the Info Kiosk at Market Square.  Contact: E-mail: plettinfo@telkomsa.net. Phone : 044 533 3219  Cell : 082 744 1884.

Sunday 23 February 2014  at 11:30: Bosky Dell Rose Garden  (off N2, entrance opposite The Heath).   Rae and Greg Gilbert are generously hosting the concert  in their beautiful  new conservatory, to be followed by a delicious brunch  in the garden pavilion. Tickets R180 available from Lady Conyngham, E-mail:  aconyngham@telkomsa.net Tel: 044 533 5178. Ticket payment: The Plettaid Foundation, FNB, Code 210514, Account no 62048095063. Reference Bosky Dell.  All ticket enquiries to Lady Conyngham – please leave contact number if a message is left.

Please see poster below.  Both concerts will start promptly and everyone is encouraged to arrive in good time.

The Cape Town Youth Choir brings together exceptionally talented young South Africans, giving them an opportunity to excel both artistically and scholastically.  Extremely high international standards mean that only the truly gifted are admitted.  Several successful candidates come from disadvantaged areas and some are orphans.  Their multi-lingual repertoire ranges  from Renaissance compositions, African folk songs to contemporary choral music.  Conductor Leon Starker has an advanced diploma in choral conducting (cum laude).

They have sung in St Paul’s Cathedral, the Carnegie Hall, Salisbury Cathedral and many other international musical venues.  They have won several prestigious international competitions and Grand Prix, including winning the Choir of the World title at the Llangollen International Eisteddford in Wales and, most recently, winning  two gold medals at the Second Grand Prix of Choral Music in Graz, Austria.

A proportion of the funds raised by the two concerts will go towards the choirs forthcoming participation in the World Choir Games in Latvia. •