How to Keep Chickens at Home

From Babylonstoren blog – If you have still not visited, why deny yourself?

Free-roaming chickens can often be spotted scratching in the garden and plucking pesky bugs off our farm produce. We have five different types of chicken here at Babylonstoren – Boschvelders and Potch Koekoeks in the garden, as well as the Leghorns, Araucanas and Lohmann Browns that are looked after by farmer Christo. We collect their eggs daily to be served at Babeland the Greenhouse, and there’s always a fresh supply available to purchase at the Farm Shop. They never fail to charm our guests and make up a hard-working part of our farming staff.

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Don’t Assume a False Alarm!

Has your household got a common understanding of what should actually happen when the alarm goes off?  This morning we had another false alarm, and yes most times they are!  Being a house where we have a few people at home most of the time, I considered this morning’s casual response as the alarm was switched off and how everyone just carried on about their business. Sooner or later we could pay a high price for that casual response of annoyance and irritation.

Do you have an agreed ALARM PROCEDURE that everyone in your household follows?  Well I decided we need one and I am sharing ours.  I have stuck it next to the alarm panel.

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The most expensive streets, suburbs and estates in Cape Town

Amid the tumultuous environment of the property market over the last several years in South Africa, Cape Town has not only remained stable in house price inflation but shown significant growth thanks to foreign investors and migration from other provinces.

Data a research group, Lightstone, recently analysed data of several million properties in the Western Cape and pinned the annual inflation rate at just under 4.0%, with a monthly rate of 0.27%.

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Latest Property Report – 1st quarter of 2018

IN AND AROUND THE CAPE PENINSULA THE CITY’S MOST EXPENSIVE MARKETS CONTINUED TO SHOW THE CLEAREST SIGNS OF SLOWING PRICE GROWTH IN THE 1ST QUARTER.  Atlantic Seaboard, has seen its price growth slow the fastest off the highest base, while in certain more affordable sub-regions of the City there has still been some growth acceleration.

In the 1st quarter of 2018, we saw further slowing in house price growth in the City Bowl and the other major 3 sub-regions closest to the City Bowl, i.e. in and around the Cape Peninsula.

These sub-regions near to the city and the mountain have shown some of the strongest house price inflation of all of the Cape Town sub-regions over the past 5 years, and this prior deterioration in home affordability appears to have led to slowing demand, and thus price growth, in recent quarters.

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Leisurely rambles to invigorating hikes, something for everyone!

Whether you’re after a windswept coastal wander, a mountainous hike with spectacular views, or a leisurely amble through one of the Cape’s lush nature reserves, here’s our pick of the best hiking trails in and around the city. So, lace up your hiking boots and get cracking… And, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Important note:
Although the Cape is rich in natural beauty, tourists and locals are urged to take necessary precautions when exploring secluded areas, as crimes and accidents do happen.
Those venturing into the Table Mountain National Park should have the following emergency numbers on hand: 086 110 6417/ 107 or 021 480 7700. Criminal incidents should be reported to the nearest police station as soon as able.
We also recommend @safetymountain as a useful resource for hikers. This free safety tracking service allows you to notify local trackers of your contact details, intended route and travel time via whatsapp. You are then able to provide hourly updates on your progress, and to notify trackers when you are safely off the mountain.

It helps to have a map, and for that, SANParks and The Inside Guide recommends Slingsby Maps as an essential resource for hiking enthusiasts. Detailed maps of some of the Cape’s best hiking trails are available, including the Pipe Track, Cape Point and the Cederberg. Contact Slingsby Maps at 021 788 4545 for more information.

Hiking trails in Cape Town
Hiking trails around the Cape

Source:  https://insideguide.co.za/cape-town/hiking-trails/

This post brought to you by Chas Everitt Cape Town South

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Computer Assisted Property Valuation

If you are moving home, getting a reliable property valuation is an essential step in the process.

A property valuation will give you an estimate of how much your house should be worth, based upon a number of different factors.

Even if you are not planning to move home straight away, house valuations remain an excellent tool to indicate a current market value and what improvements could be made should you want to potentially increase the value of your home without over capitalising.

By answering a few easy questions on the current condition of your home, our free property value calculator which uses the latest GIS (Geographic Information Systems) will give you an idea of how much money you could potentially make from the sale of your home.

Unique to Valuator we are also able to reference recent final property sales (selected Cape Town metropolitan areas) that have not yet been recorded in the Deeds Office which makes our report that much more current and reliable!

Get your free Valuator report today!
These reports are free until 1st June 2018

Valuator is a service operated in association with Chas Everitt by:

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New South African plug standard is mandatory for new installations

South Africa’s new plug and socket standard, SANS 164-2 or ZA Plug, has become mandatory for new installations, the SABS confirmed to MyBroadband.

This means that any new buildings erected must incorporate electrical sockets that conform to the new standard.

An amendment to the wiring code introduced in 2016 stated that the ZA Plug would become semi-mandatory for new installations in March 2018.

Each new plug point must have at least one socket that can accommodate a ZA Plug, it said.

The amendment came into effect two months early, said the SABS, and from January 2018 all new installations must incorporate the ZA Plug.

The ZA Plug has the same hexagonal profile as the Europlug seen on cell phone chargers but includes an earth pin. It is substantially more compact than South Africa’s three-prong plug standard and has much thinner pins.

Adoption of the standard has been slow, however.

Gianfranco Campetti, the chairman of the working group that looks after the standard, said the industry has been slow to respond and use the standard in essential products.

He said the appliance industry, in particular, has been slow to provide goods with the new plug.

The switch

When the IEC first began development on IEC–906–1, which became IEC60906–1, it was trying to establish a universal plug and socket system.

Despite its efforts, commercial and political interests caused the standardisation initiative to fail in Europe – and Brazil and South Africa are the only countries to have adopted the 250V standard.

However, Brazil deviated from the standard by delivering either 127V or 220V mains using the same socket.

Japan and the US have plugs and sockets that are compatible with the IEC’s envisioned global standard for 125V sockets.

Talk of adopting the new standard began in South Africa in 1993, and a version of SANS 164–2 that dates back to 2006 is available online.

According to the SABS, the ZA Plug appeared in South Africa’s wiring code (SANS 10142–1) during 2012.

Old standard still legal

Although it is now required to integrate sockets which comply with the ZA Plug standard in new buildings, the old standard remains legal.

The wiring code amendment also does not affect existing buildings, including homes.

It is therefore not currently necessary for South Africans to switch the electrical sockets in their homes.

Article source

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Innovative local students launch online textbook resale platform

Bramble is an online platform aimed at connecting students wanting to sell or buy textbooks, as well as physical and electronic notes. This not only allows students to earn an extra income, but it also makes the learning process a whole lot easier.

As students ourselves, we understand the real life of a student and we hope to give you more room for the good life, more time for studying and, most importantly, more money at the end of the month.

The Bramble platform has one major beneficiary,

– the students.

We hope that the creation of a platform that allows students to set their own prices will allow shopping for textbooks to be more affordable and less stressful.


This post is sponsored by Chas Everitt International 

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Soil for Life

Fantastic auction items and great entertainment.
Soil for Life is a non-profit organisation (NPO) based in Cape Town, South Africa, that helps people learn to grow healthy, organic food using simple, low-cost, environmentally-friendly methods.
Date: 28 February 2018
Time: 18:00 to  22:00
Venue: Soil for life, Brounger Road, (behind Peddlars & Co), Off Spaanschemaat River Road, Constantia.

For more Information

This post is sponsored by Chas Everitt Cape Town South
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Newly-constructed Constantia school hall is a first for South Africa

The elegant creation of the Constantia Waldorf School’s dance and primary school hall perfectly displays the incredibly diverse nature of Corobrik’s clay face brick – where a simple solid building block can be artfully constructed into a seemingly flowing structure, cleverly mirroring form with function and mood.

For the development of this Western Cape hall – 60 000 of Corobrik’s Cape Blend Travertine were selected for a seamless transition with the surrounding buildings, as well to soften the overall feeling of the structure. This gentle appearance was further enhanced by the use of white cement in between each brick.

“The clever use of Corobrik’s clay face brick in this really intricately designed school hall is a great visual representation of the brick’s versatile nature,” said Christie van Niekerk, Corobrik’s Western Cape manager. “Aesthetically, it actually depicts the dance movement which the hall will be used for, but the choice of clay face brick goes even further than that. Acoustically, the noise insulation properties of clay will work with the building’s design to create a fantastic musical venue, while the insulated foundations and sub-walls with the thermal insulation properties of the bricks will keep these young performers warm in the Cape winters and cool during the summer months.”

The 250sqm building, which took nine months to construct, was designed by Cape Town-based firm, Natural Architecture, with a view to create a school hall that eloquently expresses the Waldorf School ethos of nurturing creativity, individuality and originality.

“It was important to me that the dynamic forms of dance hall embody the same sense of movement as that of the dancers, like a flowing sculptural garment,” explained architect Keith Struthers from Natural Architecture. “The undulating brick lines and meandering surfaces are ideal for expressing this sense of lively movement. The back wall, for example, changes from being a single curved surface into doubly curved surface while the brick coursing gradually moves from horizontal to arching as the wall becomes more sculptural.”

The bricks are used in a completely unique way to conventional practice and are a first, leading to sculptural brick work never before seen. The brick coursing consistently deviates from the horizontal, waving up and down and simultaneously off vertical in places to match the curving roof profiles and elsewhere to match the helix beam carrying the floating roof. Here each brick course is in the pattern of a helix, allowing for the warping of surfaces in certain places, with single and double curves in other areas. This particular design required unique templates and bricklaying techniques to achieve this elevated level of brick craftsmanship. The twisting wooden door is, itself, a warped surface built into this plane of undulating walls.

Every aspect of this intricate brickwork was generated from numerous 3D computer drawings with each inch of the hall carefully calculated. On-site workers had to meticulously cut hundreds of bricks individually – positioning the brick in place, marking it, cutting it and then building it in. This required accurate cutting of every brick, with some being feathered into wedge shapes to work around horizontal plinths or columns.

To complete the school hall, 16 000 of Corobrik’s Meadow pavers were used on the building’s exterior, breaking up the vertical proportion of the walls while adding a decorative line. This visually supports the eye, allowing identification of the flow of surfaces above and below the corbel. The pavers’ slightly deeper shade also added variation to the wall surfaces.

“The clay paving works really well against the face brick, enhancing the aesthetics while also bringing a number of associated benefits,” concluded Corobrik’s Van Niekerk. “The visual aspect will remain for years because of the colour fastness and there is improved safety for children walking along the pavement because of the skid-resistant quality, even in wet weather.”

Caption:  Corobrik’s Cape Blend Travertine face brick has been used to build the Constantia Waldorf School’s dance and primary school hall.  The attractive building has undulating brick lines and meandering surfaces.

For More Information

This post is sponsored by Chas Everitt Cape Town South

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