Your doodle can say a lot about your noodle. Handwriting experts say there is much more to casual scribbling than simple boredom. What you doodle about shows hidden signs to your personality and moods.
Circles symbolise harmony and union; boats depending on size tell you if your emotions are tranquil or turbulent. Faces say you are a people person; hearts reflect love and romance; boxes may suggest a self-controlled and perhaps controlling nature, flowers, especially when drawn with round shapes, show warmth, sensitivity and vulnerability; and stick figures show intelligence and analytical minds. Continue reading “Your doodles could reveal your entrepreneurial qualities”
What an exciting feeling it is to stand on the quayside and watch the gigantic ships in the harbour. The thrill of hearing a ship blow it sworn as it leaves Cape Town docks. Tugs towing a huge container ship into harbour to its moorings.
The raw materials, dry bulk commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertilisers that are shipped on the sea routes around the world give a good indication of the level of global economic activity.
The main sea freight index, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), tracks freight costs on 23 shipping routes (not just the Baltic Sea countries), covering carriers including Handysize, Supramax, Panamax and Capesize dry bulk (for the ship classifications and sizes see Wikipedia (“Dry Baltic Index”). The index indirectly measures global supply and demand for commodities shipped aboard dry bulk carriers.
Lawrence Green, the gem of South African writers who loved the country so deeply, recalls meeting the old fishermen at Saldanha who talked of the days when one man could “haul in 200, even 300 snoek in a great day’s fishing.”
As Green says, “… the fishermen needed enormous catches when a snoek fetched only twopence on the wharf.”
I never caught much above 100 snoek in False Bay and the times that I did break through the hundred mark I could count on one hand.
Already in the mid-1970s commercial fishing was taking its toll on snoek fishing in False Bay. Even the professional fishermen from Kalk Bay did not often catch 100 each a day. Yet there was a legendary skipper nicknamed “Hondered Bedonderd” (Hundred Crazy”) who regularly reached his target. Continue reading “Fishy tales of snoek in False Bay”
My first fishing experience goes so far back into my early childhood that most of it is like a blurry dream. Flashes of memory place me at a fishing spot behind Clovelly station off the rocks. My father had handed me the rod but I can’t remember pulling in the fish. My next image is seeing a large white Steenbras on a rock next to the water’s edge with white surf rushing in. I did not see the Steenbras escape but I know I lost it and I have always remembered the bad feeling I experienced afterwards.
Charles Horne recounts how on Wednesday, January 9, 1957 fisherman at Rooikrantz, near Cape Point, landed about 200 tunny weighing from 9 kg (20 lb) to about 20 kg (60 lb). He says in “Big Game Fishing in South Africa” that “no estimate will ever be made of the number of big fish that threw the hooks or broke away” and how many were lost on light or weak tackle. Continue reading “Big game fishing off Cape Point – the ones that got away”
When you are young the places you experience and the people you meet seem so extraordinary that you promise yourself you’ll never forget those great days that seem to have come out of a dream.
Growing up we lived in Kalk Bay, which sits in the heart of False Bay, and did most of our fishing there in the summer and autumn months. But when the winter came with the cold and the rain and those strong North Easters we’d head out to Hout Bay, travelling across Chapman’s Peak towing the ski boat behind the Land Rover at four in the morning.
One morning when we got to the ski boat slipway at Hout Bay harbour the queue was long. It was so freezing cold that time of the morning that my friend Peter and me took an empty two-stroke oil can, filled it with sand and poured petrol into it. After a few attempts we lit the petrol and huddled around the lighted can to keep our hands warm. Continue reading “Winter snoek fishing from Hout Bay and mountain water”
I heard this story once about a shipbuilder who would wait for an economic recession to build new ships. He could get labour, steel and services far cheaper when times were bad. By the time the economy mended itself and was growing again, the shipbuilder would sell his ships. Demand for ships was stronger again. That’s how he made big money.
This economic downturn has been running for five years. In South Africa, although we experienced 0.9 percent GDP growth in the first quarter (not unlike Mexico, at 0.8 GDP growth, mind you) we still haven’t gotten into negative territory. Some sectors have but here we are talking overall.
Look what the sick economy has brought: high administered prices, shocking energy spikes (electricity and petrol), tightening of cash and weak demand. As costs have risen so has inflation and wage demands. Small business has experience increased theft, stock loss and armed robberies.
Yet while many things are going south in this rocky economy, smart-thinking small business owners have been fine-tuning their costs, negotiating harder and sweeping out the dead wood.
I was sitting outside with the proprietor of an Italian restaurant in an up-market suburb in Johannesburg. We were talking about the specials on the menu. These included rabbit and goats. Her son was telling us how he sources the goat meat from the Northern Cape and the rabbit meat from a special supplier in Botswana. I’m not quite sure why the proprietor mentioned it but in her thick Italian accent she said people ask her to start the same restaurant in Cape Town but she doesn’t want to go there and lose R1 million.
One Christmas morning not too long ago I was walking after church with my children in Kalk Bay when I came across an old friend who I had fished with on the wooden commercial fishing boats when I was growing up. He looked in a bad way. One leg of his denim jeans was ripped. He had a gash on his big toe. His face said it all: he had a dreadful night alone on Christmas Eve.
A young man hitch-hiked from Cape Town to the Eastern Free State to attend a funeral in a rural area. He can’t afford the taxi bus fare because the price has gone up. The rising fuel price is bringing the return of the hitch hiker.
A craft shop in Hanover, a pass-through town in the Karoo, displays crafted furniture, paintings and ornaments – all made with care and quality you’d previously only find in city stores. Even back water crafters have upped their game. Continue reading “From the road”