Category: Jennifer’s Blog

Jennifer in Henley on Klip


Biting weather and good home-made food


I met a mosquito in pyjamas the other night, but I think he was the last of his breed. Goodbye until spring and good riddance! Every morning now our so-called lawn is white with frost and even the weeds (some of them) have shrivelled. I’ve been warned by most of the Henleyites I’ve encountered that this is only the beginning. “Wait until July,” they say, “it’s going to get much, much colder.” Bring it on.Read More

Boom, bang and men with guns

Six months in Henley on Klip and we’re finding our feet. We recognise the far-off clacketies of the dolomite trains by night, the whoop of the mine siren, the boom of blasting and the constant surging of sound from the R59 highway. Twice now, we have heard the rumble of big trucks, meaning the R59 is closed and the traffic has been diverted through the village. The Man, a traffic warden at heart (he couldRead More

Flood time on the river

March 2018 March is flood month, I was told. As a newbie to life by the river I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I found out over the weekend. It’s water creeping up the paving even as you watch; water splashing high over huge spiky stumps trapped on the weir; water rushing under the bridges so close you could reach out and touch it; water spreading over the lowlands, turning pastures into lakes. It’sRead More

On patrol in Henley with the CPF green light brigade

There was a full moon over Henley that night, shadowed, streaked, blotched and, at one point, glowing like a bullseye in a halo of luminous cloud. It was very quiet. The dark was broken now and then by squares of golden light behind curtains, or bright white light from wall lanterns or the big round balls Henleyites seem to love so much. Our headlights picked up a hare crouched in the long grass, a bigRead More

Making Easter egg-citing

March 1 2018 I’m busy cutting out egg shapes. It is surprisingly difficult to find an egg template. Everything in my kitchen is round… Last year we arrived in Henley too late to take part in the annual Christmas décor drive and it took us completely by surprise. Suddenly the village bloomed into Christmas colours – red, green, gold and white – sprouting candy canes at every street corner. Amazed, delighted and amused we touredRead More

Gardening with weeds and ‘blomme’

The man wants to get a baby tractor. He mentioned a baby fire engine too, but that’s a want, not a need. When I look out over our backyard a baby tractor is entirely reasonable. I remember once – stuck in a flat in Joburg – longing to look out over green fields in the morning. Now I have my own, at least half a soccer field. I gather the green comes from a wonderfullyRead More

Touching the past at Henley’s museum

It’s a salutary sign of age when you visit a museum and spot items on display that could have come from your grandmother’s kitchen. In the little museum next to the Henley on Klip Library I saw one of those mincers that looks like a tuba with a handle. Once upon a time, my brother and I took turns to swing it and watch the mince twine out like a sausage. I took my firstRead More

A friendly wave and a helping hand

As you enter Henley on Klip, a sign welcomes you; further signs inform you that here we care for our residents, our children, our environment and our animals. It’s a nice touch, especially as it seems to be true. Well, in any community there are some who do not abide by the rules, but generally in our experience it’s true. Henley people wave! Such a little thing, but I am still astounded every time. CarsRead More

Taking around the tourists

January 2018 I’m beginning to feel like a tour guide! We have had parties of friends out from Joburg each weekend curious to see our new haunts. They tend to roll home replete after being introduced to some of the goodies and venues on offer. Naturally they have also marvelled at the quiet streets and beautiful gardens, even as they melted from the heat, but then it is even worse when the sun is trappedRead More

Christmas in Henley, exploring

Christmas in Henley 2017 – quiet and peaceful. Alas, we didn’t put out a candy cane. I would have if I had known, but I dumped all our tatty tinsel when we moved. How do you get to know? No idea. I’m obviously not yet tuned into the underground radio. Christmas church services were also a bit of a best-kept secret. I consulted the Internet which wasn’t helpful, but we took a chance and foundRead More