van Zijl Family News - 2004

September 2004

Christopher and Birgit visited us. Birgit's parents and daughter-in-law Saskia came with them. They landed in Johannesburg, and went on to the Kruger National Park in a hired Chrysler Grand Voyage with Bruce Scott - Jean's husband. Birgits parents stayed at Skukuza while the rest of them went on a three day walk at Metsi-Metsi. From there they travelled via Graskop, Pilgrims Rest, Sabie and Clarens to the farm. They spent three days with us, and are travelling via the Garden Route, and Cape Agulhas to Cape Town. They will fly home from there on the 8th October.

Rotary made the local arrangements for the Harley-Davidson National Rally -the fourth to be held in Colesberg. It was a great success - it was attended by nearly 1000 bikers and 650 bikes. This despite the fact that it was a very wet weekend. The organisers are already planning next years rally, assisted againby our Rotary Club.

We have had 52mm of very welcome rain, bringing the total for the year to 369mm - well above our annual average of 322mm already.


The day time average temperature was 27.7. The highest temperature recordedwas 32.8, and the lowest -3.3.

August 2004

This has been a quiet month as I have been recovering from my operation. We have got another bakkie as the old one was getting to the point where it is only useable for local trips. It is a 1995 Toyota Hi-lux 2.4D like the old one,but in far better condition.

We had a fall of rain measuring 9mm.

The year to date rain is 317mm. The day time average temperature was 24.3.The highest temperature recorded was 41.0, and the lowest -4.1.

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July 2004

On the 27th July I (Roben) had a hiatus hernia repair operation. It wentwell, and I am recovering rapidly. I was in hospital for two nights. Margaret came too, and spent the nights at Vels Place in a self catering flat. She had to drive home as I am not allowed to drive for two to three weeks.

We attended the Rotary District 9320 Conference on the 24th, 25th and 26th.This was very interesting, and we met a lot of old friends and made some new ones.

Rosemary Perkins visited us for three days on her way from Ladybrand toGrahamstown. She is going to join Diana and Riaan where they are going to the Grahamstown Festival.

David is planning to attend Bible School for the first six months of nextyear, so Dad will be back in harness for a while.

We had a fall of rain measuring 9mm.

The year to date rain is 317mm. The day time average temperature was18.6. The highest temperature recorded was 22.4, and the lowest -3.6.

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June 2004

David spent his annual leave in Swaziland with church colleagues visiting schools in an AIDS awareness campaign. They talked about the dangers of AIDS and how to avoid it. AIDS is a scourge in Africa in general, and in Southern Africa in particular, so that David felt that he had spent his leave in a very worthwhile way.

We have had a visit from Diana Perkins and her friend Riaan. Diana is studying teaching and is doing an assignment on the genealogy of the van Zijl Family. We showed her the information we have, and were able to get further information from our Cousin Maeder Osler at Hangklip. I hope to put the available information on this web site later.

We had a nice fall of rain measuring 19mm, which will give a welcome boostto the veld.

The year to date rain is 308mm. The Psion computer still has amnesia so someof the weather data has been lost. I am now recording the data manually. The day time average temperature was 20.0. The highest temperature recorded was 22.0, and the lowest -3.1.

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May 2004

We had no rain. The year to date rain is 289mm. Unfortunately the Psion computer I have been using developed amnesia so some of the weather data has been lost. The day time average temperature was 25.7. The highest temperature recorded was 27.8, and the lowest 0.0.

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April 2004

We have had very good rains this month. We have had 99mm of rain. Both theSeacow and the Elands River ran strongly. although the Elands River only ran briefly the Seacow is still running strongly. At one stage it was so high that the causeway was impassable, and David had to remove his pumps from the pumphouse for fear of flood damage. Margie has a bad cold at the moment.

The year to date rain is 289mm The day time averagetemperature was 25.9. The highest temperature recorded was 32.1, and the lowest 3.9.

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March 2004

Dorothy had a bad fall on the 10th. Because the local doctor who attended her on Thursday thought she had broken her hip from the X-Rays taken locally she was sent to by ambulance to Bloemfontein, accompanied by Margie. The specialist in Bloemfontein had more X-Rays taken and found that the hip was not broken, although Dorothy was bruised and shaken. Roben was delayed by car problems, and joined Margie on Friday evening. Margie had an appointment with her oncologist on the Monday, and Roben had a gastroscopy the same day. The oncologist found no problems with Margie, but the surgeon who examined Robenhas suggested an operation to repair his hiatus hernia.

We have had a short, but very welcome visit from Cathy and her friend Thomas, who were with us from the 14th to the 17th.

We had 42mm of rain. The year to date rain is 190mm The day time averagetemperature was 31.4. The highest temperature recorded was 34.8, and the lowest9.4.

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February 2004

This has been a quiet month as Margie and I have been recovering from our trip.

We had good rains in February - 84 mm altogether. The year to date rain is148 mm, and the veld is looking good. The Elands River ran briefly. The fact that on many days there was quite a lot of cloud helped to keep the temperatures down most of the time The day time average temperature was 34.2.The highest temperature recorded was 40.5, and the lowest 13.4.

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January 2004

Margie and I visited Christopher and Birgit in Germany. We arrived in Frankfurt on the 30th December, where we were met by Christopher and Birgit. We spent the next two nights in Caroline's flat in nearby Mainz, and on New Years Eve watched the fireworks welcome the new year on the banks of the Rhine in Frankfurt.

Christopher and Birgit took us to Munich, stopping one night on the way at Uberkingen where we visited Dassies mother Trudl. In Munich we stayed in Cathy & Thomas' flat (they were away on holiday). Christopher and Birgit had to leave for Dresden the next day but we spent most of the week in Munich where we had a wonderful time visiting museums, art galleries, shops etc.

We took an ICE (Inter City Express) train to Dresden on the Thursday. This took most of the day, and we were able to enjoy seeing the German countryside. During the weekend we went sightseeing with Christopher & Birgit, and during the week we visited more of the sights.

The next weekend Christopher and Birgit took us to Berlin. Birgit's son Ivo took us on a comprehensive sightseeing tour of Berlin. Birgit's son Roman was away for the week, so we were able to use his flat. One of the highlights ofour trip was lunch in the revolving restaurant in the TV tower, where we enjoyed a very good lunch and an African Dream (Amarula Cream) dessert whilst watching Berlin pass by. Christopher and Birgit left on Sunday, and we saw more museums and churches etc. on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday we took an ICE train to Dresden.

We spent the rest of our time in Dresden. Some of the highlights were watching "a Midsummer Nights Dream" ballet at the Semper Oper, a sleigh ride in the snow, and a visit to VW's "glass factory" where they make VW's most upmarket car - the Phaeton.

We traveled to Frankfurt on an ICE train, where Caroline met us and took usfor a walk through the center of Frankfurt before we had to go to the Airport to catch our flight home.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip, and our grateful thanks go to Christopher,Birgit, Cathy, Thomas, Caroline, Saskia, Ivo and Roman for their kindness andgenerosity.

Dorothy spent the time at the Kiepersol old age home, and our thanks go toMatron and staff for looking after her so well.

David had to keep the home fires burning, but I suspect he enjoyed beingable to do his own thing without any wrinklies around.

We had good rains in January - 64 mm altogether. The day time averagetemperature was 36.4. The highest temperature recorded was 41.0, and the lowest9.5.

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