Sunday Rambling | It’s been a while!

Working 7 days a week has become my norm for 2016. I have found that I have quite a resilience and enjoy a life that is full of busyness rather than nothing to do. Working in a scale up business in the fintech space has definitely been worth it to date. I have met awesome people and have had to learn and stretch myself in different areas. I am enjoying being out of the pharmaceutical world; being confined to the box of pharmacist.

I count myself very fortunate for the situation that I currently find myself in. Sure it is definitely not easy or simple but doing something important never is. I have worked hard in order to be in a situation where I can make a difference. So some of the negatives are: personal projects are on the back burner, my body is being neglected, I am not focusing on my social life.

Realising the negatives and ensuring that I do not forget about them and overcoming them is important. People go on about the journey of life and I do want to make sure that I am making the most of it.

Part of my current role has allowed me to look into different companies, researching and learning in order to ensure that we know where we stand in terms of our industry and what we need to do to push forward. Doing this has reminded me how full of information the internet is and how so much information is lost in the enormity of it, for example how this blog is a microscopic speck in the galaxy of the internet. One could look at this in two ways: I am insignificant and therefore should play no role on the internet or wow, there are billions of people who are a potential audience.

I will be sharing some of my internet finds moving forward and plan to take on a more consistent role of sharing online.

So this week I will share a find that was sent to me by our CEO, Scott Picken. If you are interested in start-ups, venture capital and entrepreneurship then check out CB Insights. You can sign up for free for 30 days and you can find out a whole lot of information regarding the funding of companies and more. The info is pulled from the internet and it not completely accurate, I say this as the info on our company is not completely correct.

That is it for today.

 

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Striated Skies No. 52 – Nothing to be scared of

52. Nothing to be scared of

The Banghoek (meaning “scary corner”) valley is located over the Hellshoogte pass and an area in which I will own an estate one day. The picture for this striated sky was taken on the Oldenburg wine estate (in the Banghoek Valley) looking up at the Drakenstein Mountain Range. Banghoek Valley, got its name due to the dense forest, leopards, steep ravines and other dangers encountered by settlers.

Hellshoogte is the oldest pass in South Africa. The original Pass was built in 1692, in order to make ones way to Franschoek (where the Huguenots settled after arriving in 1688).  It was the main road to Franschhoek and for many years was regarded as a dangerous route, especially in the dark. The origins of the name is likely from the steep gullies (“hells”) on the ridge. In 1854 the road was greatly improved and used until being replaced by the new/current road in 1972.

A left turn off the R310 onto Zevenrivieren road will put the Mountains in front of you, the road winds and becomes gravel. The road is well sign posted and finding Oldenburg estate is a cinch. On arrival you are greeted by the spectacular new Cellar Door. The building was designed by architect Simon Beerstecher, and the interior design is by Kelly Hoppen.

Oldenburg is owned and run by Adrian and Vanessa Vanderspuy. Adrian was born on the neighbouring farm but his family left South Africa in the 1960’s. He would return to visit Oldenburg yearly for Christmas. Dorothy Vanrenen, Adrians grandmother, lived at Oldenburg with Helmet Holmann. In fact it is Helmet who named the farm Oldenburg in memory of his German roots in the city of Oldenburg. Visit the Oldenburg Vineyards Website for more history.

It was in 2002 that Adrian decided to pursue the possibility of bringing Oldenburg Vineyards back to life given that the farm had fallen into a parlous state. The vineyards were replanted from 2004-2006 and the maiden vintages of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc were produced in 2007. In 2010 the first whites were produced, the reds were launched (all were included in the SA Top 100 wines)  and in 2011 the cellar door opened.   In 2014 Philip Costandius joined as General Manager and Winemaker, later that year The Homestead was opened.

Visit the Oldenburg Vineyards Website to find out more about this amazing place and the people who make it happen or go one step better and visit them in person, you will not regret it. The views are amazing, the wine terrific and the atmosphere spectacular.  As I said at the beginning, one day I will own a property in this valley.

oldenburg logoI have to end off this blog by saying Thanks to all the peole who have followed me and my 52 Striated Skies Project. My next big step is going to be figuring out how I can exhibit this in 2016. Here is to an awesome 2016!!!

Striated Skies

Striated Skies No. 47 – True Colours

Striated Skies

Taken on the corner of Chiapinni St and Helliger Ln, this striated sky depicts the sun shining in on the colourful homes of the Bo Kaap. Bo Kaap is situated on the slopes of Signal Hill in Cape Town between Buitengracht St, Strand St and Carisbrook Street. The area is home to the largest collection of pre-1850 architecture in South Africa as well as the oldest Mosques. Previously known as the Malay quarter, the area was where free slaves settled in the 18th Century. Most slaves were from South East Asia and the name Malay is not necessarily correct but is what history gives us.

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 8.01.01 AMBo Kaap

I sat for many hours reading up on the internet and watching videos about the Bo Kaap to decide what I should write about and what to name this piece. All the information reminded me how in society we are so often polarised, black or white. Bo Kaap was once a microcosm of different cultures but Apartheid took that away with the group areas act making the Bo Kaap a “Cape Malay” area.

One topic that is hot right now is the gentrification of the Bo Kaap. Given its close proximity to the city, makes the Bo Kaap a great place for outsiders to buy up homes that are in disrepair and to restore them. Many people see this as a great opportunity as house prices increase and the area develops. The down side of this is that original dwellers can no longer afford to live in the area and are “forced” to sell their homes thus resulting in a loss of the cultural heritage of the area.

The question we have to ask is: are the Bo Kaap’s true colours not in the culture of the residents as opposed to the brightly coloured buildings. What attracts tourists to the area? I believe that we need to make sure that the areas cultural heritage is kept in tact and that while the upliftment and development of the area is required it should not come at the expense of local’s heritage and history.

The beauty of the Architecture in the Bo Kaap is one aspect of the area, I would suggest a visit to see the amazing beauty but look at learning a little about the people of the area, this is some advice that I need to take up myself.

 

Some of the Sources of my information:

In 2012 Helen Gibb released a series of documentaries on YouTube which give a personal account of history and the current state of Bo Kaap (unfortunately part 5 of the series is muted to apparent copyright infringement).

Siteseer.tv encourage tourists to visit the Bo Kaap as well as many other Cape Town destinations.

Anouk Zijlma writes a great article o the Bo Kaap here

Bo Kaap Mapping 

Cape Chameleon Cover Story

Bo Kaap Museum website 

Cape Town Hoods Bo Kaap Page

Striated Skies No. 45 – St James the Great

45. St James the Great

This weeks Striated sky depicts the St James the Great,  Anglican Church. The church is situated on St James Road in Sea Point right next to the High School. As I am sure you know, I usually take time to research online about my picture. I tried with this picture and found out that you cannot find everything on the internet. The church has a Facebook page but nothing about their history.

So the story will have to be about how we ended up in Sea Point and taking this awesome photograph…

Do you enjoy walking and discovering new places? Do you wish you knew more about the places that you visit? If these questions are yes then go to the app/play store on your phone and download VoiceMap. We joined a Meetup to walk the Sea Point Promenade, the walk was fantastic and we went for a drink afterward before walking to our car to go home. On the walk back to the car we stumbled on St James the Great.

Voicemap was Co-Founded by Lauren Edwards and Ian Manley, two internationally travelled Cape Townians, this app allows you to go on guided tours without having to be in a big group. The app uses the GPS on your phone to tell you the story as you go. As of today there are 122 tours, spread across 21 countries, with new tours added weekly. (see the list below).

When you go to the website you will see that you can become a tour guide by creating your own tour. All the stories are by locals and narrated by them, ensuring that you get a personal tour. What a great idea and it is simple and easy to use.

Download Voicemap and use it to discover our beautiful Country and many others abroad. Summer is on its way and the days are starting to stretch out, so make the most them now before the Christmas influx.


List of destinations you can go on a tour with VoiceMap.

 

Striated Skies No. 44 – Butter Heart

44.Butter Heart

Bot River is a small hamlet approximately 100km outside of Cape Town, on the N2, between Grabouw and Caledon. It is home to approximately 4000 people and 14 wineries on the Bot River Wine Route.

Khoi herders called the area home, with the “Couga River” providing pastures that were lush.  Settlers came to the area to Barter for “Botter” (Butter) from the Khoi in the area and this is where the name Bot River comes from.  The hamlet formed in the 18th century as an outpost for the Dutch East India Company and after the battle of Blouberg Daniel de Kock was given ownership of Compagnes Drift the farm which he had rented. In 1912 the first train ran through the hamlet although the hamlet did not grow from its small size.

The picture for this striated sky is taken on the pass towards Villiersdorp. The dirt road winds from the main road of Bot River past farmlands including vineyards, canola and wheat. We had taken a drive out to do some wine tasting and saw this beautiful scene about 1km down the road. After some photography, we stopped at Luddite (5 stars – definitely recommend a trip) and then continued to Goedvertrouw Wine Estate.

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 11.53.50 AMThe story of Luddite is one of a couple that love wine and making it in a way that has little intervention. The winery situated a rocky outcrop, on which Niels and Penny planted vines in 2001, is home to ±6Ha of vines.

The story of Goedvertrouw Wine Estate is a story that is both heart warming and sad. The winemaker Elrieda Pillmann continues to live out the dream she shared with her husband to create wine even though she does not drink it.

Bot River is part of the Cape country meander and falls within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. The town itself does not have much going for it but it is definitely worth a visit to have some wine and take in the beauty of the surrounding area.