Wednesday 25 April 2018

Treasure Paddle on 26 May 2018 in Parys

OK, so I can't stay away from organising for too long...

For the past few years World Orienteering Day ( has been at the end of May on a Wednesday. This works in Europe where they have lovely long days but as we're heading into the middle of winter we never had much time for activities. This year World Orienteering Day runs over a week, giving us the opportunity to use the weekend.

I'm organising a Paddle-O event on our section of the Vaal River (flatwater) starting and finishing at the Likkewaan Canoe Club Parys on SATURDAY, 26 MAY 2018. Paddle one of the three course distances and then hang around to enjoy a picnic on the lawns afterwards.

If you have something that floats and can be paddled, bring it. We do have some stable sit-on-tops, paddles and PFDs that newcomers can use.

This is a paddle orienteering event that has been 're-branded' 'Treasure Paddle' to make it more friendly and less intimidating for the uninitiated.

Make like a pirate and search for treasure on a flatwater section of the Vaal River. Enjoy riverine scenery and islands as you locate each of the checkpoints marked on your map. Return to the finish after completing your course.

Starts are staggered at intervals with the first paddlers setting off at 11h00. All participants must be off the water by 16h00.

The three course distances are 4km, 10km and 15km (max. distances). All human-powered boats are welcome including sit-on-tops, K1, K2, ww kayaks, SUPs, surfskis, crocs, touring kayaks and fishing kayaks.

No PFD, no paddle.

This event is organised by me and hosted by the Likkewaan Canoe Club in Parys for World Orienteering Day.

Monday 16 April 2018

I rode my bike (on the Not-Forest-Run Run route)

I haven't been on my bike for ages! On Saturday afternoon Celliers and I hit the Vaal Eden Road for a zippy ride. Even though the seasons are changing, it is still stunning and green out there with wild grasses and flowers that make the fields and roadside look pretty. It was super to be out there on my bike with Celliers. Been too long!

The route we did is the one that I'll be using for this year's Not-Forest-Run Run. As I'm not hosting the actual Forest Run this year, I settled on a social and casual alternative that allows me to run too. It's a rock-up-and-run setup.

Starting and finishing from the Parys airfield, the route is 27km in distance. It is all on dirt road so the going is easy - except for the distance. You can zone out and enjoy the scenery without having to watch your footing.

Running out Parys parkrun at 08h00 is options.
Run starts from the Parys airfield at 09h00 for 09h30 start.

I'm really looking forward to it.

Here's the route map on Google Maps.

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Blood donation - working my way to 50

Today was my 47th blood donation; by the end of the year I'll be on 50.

As always, my reminder to you that if you donate blood, please do so regularly. By this I mean that in order to maintain your 'regular donor' status, you need to donate at least three times a year (max 6 times).

The whole point of being a regular donor is so that your whole donation is used because you are a trusted donor whose blood has been tested each time and has been clear of HIV and hepatitis (and other infectious agents) each time. As a recipient, your mind would be at rest knowing that the blood you receive is from a trusted source.

Here's how the blood donation process works:

  • You donate blood for the first time (first time ever or first time in a long time - same thing) .
  • Your blood goes through the tests and then sits on ice.
  • You go in a second time a few months later. 
  • Your second donation goes through the tests and if it is clear, this donation goes on ice and the plasma from your first donation is used. 
  • You go in a third time WITHIN A YEAR. 
  • This donation goes through the tests and if it is clear, then it will be used, together with the plasma from the second donation. 
  • Thereafter you need to maintain your regular donor status - your whole blood from every donation will be used.
If SANBS defers you from donating, do not see this as a form of rejection. Their objective is to ensure that blood donation is safe for BOTH donor and recipient. This is why they will not let you donate if you have conditions like diabetes or blood pressure and heart issues, if you take certain medications, if you have recently been in a malaria area or if you have low iron levels (and various others). 

If you cannot donate for any reason, you can still be supportive of blood donation by encouraging able friends and relations to donate and by educating anyone and everyone about the importance of becoming a regular donor and maintaining your status by donating at least three times a year, every year. 

Monday 2 April 2018

ARTdog Walk at Parys Arts Festival

The new Parys Arts Festival is underway. It started on Friday and runs for the next two weeks with a focus on activities over the weekends. On Saturday I toured a bunch of the galleries with my mom; we've got a number more to tick off in the remaining time. A number of the artists exhibited are local - there is a good dose of talent out here.

An event that we were really looking forward to was the ARTdog Walk, which we attended this morning with our dogs Rusty and Tansy.

I've never done a dog walk before. Rusty isn't always the most sociable as she is more a people dog and than a dog dog. Dogs like to run up to her to entice her to play - she doesn't really play and finds them intimidating. She'll usually tolerate them but is more likely to back away and ignore them.

Some of the many dogs and humans waiting for the start. Everyone kept a respectful distance from each other.
Before the start people were milling around with their dogs. Rusty was definitely wary but got into a bit of sniffing.

We were set off in small groups with an interval between groups. Along the way, dog treats were handed out (really nice dried-wors type dog treats), which Rusty loved. I had given her half of her breakfast. Many treats later she definitely did not need to get the rest of her breakfast at home!

My mom and Tansy.
The 'art' component of the dog walk consisted of three station with coloured paint in trays through which the dogs were to walk to paint the sidewalks and canvas sheets in paw prints. Most of the dogs were not very keen to go through the trays. I got Rusty to add her prints in different colours - and we added some warrior stripes to her face.

Tansy behind Rusty - wearing her rainbow ears 'wings'
The loop of the route was little more than 1km and was a lovely walk with a friendly vibe and happy people with their dogs.

At the finish the dogs were all chilled, sitting around and next to each other. No barking, no issues. It was really lovely to see.

There were prizes for the best dressed dogs and also a lucky draw. We won a dog blankie in the lucky draw. Rusty will enjoy snuggling up in it during winter.

A lovely event and one that we'll attend again next year.

This event was held to benefit our Parys SPCA. Like most SPCAs, they are often in dire need just to buy food for the animals in their care.

Lovely atmosphere at the ARTdog Walk.

Photos from the morning

My Rusty girl

My mom with Tansy

Photo by Deon Terblanche - beautifully captioned as "I love you mum..."

Rusty with a bit of colour - Photo by Deon Terblanche