the Muse - Feb 2021

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HelenKeller S O C I E T Y E S T. 1 9 5 8 Retirement Estate and Low Vision Community Services OVER 60 YEARS IN AGED CARE A Happy Community Enjoy your retirement in a tranquil garden setting

A Caring Community Caring for retired and visually impaired persons

A Well-maintained Infrastructure With competent staff and management

Comprehensive Services Include: Independent living Assisted living Full nursing care OT and hard of hearing services for residents Low vision community services (by appointment) The Society offers a variety of accommodation, including beautiful cottages and en-suite rooms, some of which are available on a refundable life care contract with capital costs ranging from R530 000 to R1 000 000.

Call Matron Jackie on 021 531 5311 for any accommodation enquiries


The first month’s rent is free for new applicants for a limited period only. 2A Links Drive, Pinelands, Cape Town, 7405 Private Bag X25, Howard Place, 7450 Phone 021 531 5311 during office hours E-mail

WELCOME Happy days... when we were able to enjoy some time out of the house with friends in the time between lockdowns at the end of 2020.


Welcome to the first edition of the Muse for 2021. It feels like a real achievement to have simply made it out of 2020. While the start of a new year brought a welcome feeling of freshness and release, it is also tinged with sadness. Most of us now have some experience of the effects of this virus, some having experienced illness personally or by the sickness or loss of a friend or family member. We are realising that while we can look forward to a better year ahead, we are by no means over this thing. In countries such as Australia, where they all but eliminated the virus with hard fought discipline, we can see how easily and quickly a small outbreak can grow into a new wave. Unfortunately we need more patience and discipline to keep ourselves safe until we knock this thing back far enough and widely enough over the globe, before relaxing. At least the roll-outs of vaccines around the world bring a ray of hope. Although our own vaccination program in South Africa is still a bit hazy, it looks like it should happen during the course of this year. While vaccines will probably not eliminate the scourge immediately, they should at least help to turn the tide in our favour and allow a "normality" closer to what we remember. I am so looking forward to the day when we can produce an edition of the Muse which does not even mention "COVID" once. What a joy that will be. For much more information, please read the article about COVID vaccines written by our own Dr Jennifer Crombie in this edition. I did just want to note that October 2020 marked the 10th anniversary of the Muse magazine. At the time, we did not feel that the mood was right to celebrate. That issue though, did mark our return to a printed edition after the five months of digital only during the hard lockdown, so it felt like a birthday gift to us. I would like to offer a belated thank you for the support we have enjoyed from business and the community which enabled us to reach this milestone. We are grateful to you all. Enjoy the edition!

Max Schutte Editor and Advertising

Writer and Photographer

Max Schutte

Glynnis Schutte

CONTACT THE MUSE MAGAZINE t 021 531 3324 c 073 644 1288 e p The Muse, 12 Rhone, Pinelands, 7405 NEXT EDITION DEADLINES 115 • Mar 2021 Bookings: 8 Feb Published: 23 Feb 2021 Content: 12 Feb

View the Rate Card on our website:

for advertising details, deadlines, artwork requirements, circulation information and publication schedules. Your news, photographs and stories can be submitted to The Muse Magazine by email at The Muse reserves the right to select articles for inclusion and to make alterations to submitted contributions.

Š Copyright reserved. All editorial content and graphics are copyright and may not be copied, republished or re-used without the express permission of The Muse Magazine, which reserves all rights. Parts of this publication may also be subject to separate copyright by other parties.

February 2021 | the muse | 1

Cape Longclaw Formerly known as the Orange-Throated Longclaw, this lark-sized bird is found in a variety of regions from moist grasslands to montane uplands. Male and female are similar with the female being slightly duller. It is easily identified by its black breast band and bright orange throat and buff coloured belly. Often found on the Rondebosch Common it is more frequently heard than seen. The call in flight is a cheewit-cheewit and also a high-pitched far-carrying tsweet. The territorial call usually given from a vantage point is a single-note cat-like meew. Featured bird text by: John McFarlane, local Pinewood Village resident. John has been a keen birder for more than 30 years, and is a long time member of the Cape Bird Club. See

February 2021 | the muse | 2

February Special


Our Juicy

beef or chicken

Schwarma Only R59.00 was R64.90

Wed 24 February 2021


The next meeting scheduled for 24 February 2021 will depend on restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. For information contact: Martin at 021 689 5050.

There have been no meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions. For more information about the meetings which are usually held on the first Wednesday of the month contact Santa at 021 531 2600.


NEW on our omelette menu



Thurs 25 February 2021

Restaurant | Sit Down or Takeaway

WCBS is taking extra precautions at clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic and urges donors to donate blood at the St Stephens Church Main Hall, Central Square, Pinelands from 1:30pm to 7:15pm. All blood donors are reminded that they are required to wear a face-mask when donating blood. N.B: Remember to eat a balanced meal four hours before you donate blood. Please confirm the donation times at 021 507 6300 or email

Mon-Fri: 7:45am-4:30pm FREE DELIVERY! Saturday: 8am-1pm R40 minimum order 021 531 6398 | 021 531 6386 | 082 926 1361 Millside Park, Morningside, Ndabeni


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2021/01/19 14:08


I will offer you cash for any of these items:

GOLD (even scrap gold) remember when you lost that

earring and buried the other in your jewellery box? SILVER from scrap jewellery to silver teasets MEDALS Boer War, WW1, WW2 inc badges & buttons. COINS remember the old tickey, sixpence, shilling, 5 shilling and R1 coin from the 60’s? POSTCARDS up to 1945 (1900-1920 are best) CUPS & SAUCERS duos & trios (plate, cup & saucer) OLD TOYS Schuco, Dinky, Meccano etc. FOUNTAIN PENS, PEN-KNIVES Yes, I buy AND EVEN BROKEN WATCHES them too!

Call me… my number is 083 775 00 55 … you stand to earn some cash for those old trinkets, bits & pieces that no longer serve you.





The Pinelands Library is now open with special COVID-19 regulations in place: Seven users may enter the library at a time to browse and select books for issue. Two users may use Smartscape for 45 minutes. Eight users may book a study slot for two hours. Library opening hours are as follows: 9am to 10am for elderly patrons only; 10am to 4pm for everyone. Call 021 530 7160.

Saturdays 2021

Tuesday 2 March 2021

Gloria will be running two charity tables every Saturday at the Pop-up Nursery at Pinelands Club from 9am to 1pm, weather permitting. There will be lovely items for sale such as children’s books, adult books, gardening books, CDs, DVDs, and bric-abrac for gifts. There will also be a box for donations of dog/cat animal food which will be sent to KAPS in Barrydale.

Visit the School in Rhone, Pinelands in the morning. See why the "Green School" is known as "The School with Joy". If regulations allow, we’d love to have you join an in-person tour of our facilities. To register for a tour, RSVP at or call 021 531 2783. See for updates regarding the Open Day.




Send content for the March 2021 edition by 12 February 2021. R140 ensures placement in the calendar.

February 2021 | the muse | 2

The Dance Co.


THANK YOU FROM "THE HOUSE OF LIGHTS" On behalf of us at the Pinelands “House of Lights” on the corner of Manatoka and Poplar Way Pinelands, we wish to thank all the staunch supporters who once again braved the sometimes strong “Cape Doctor” to come and see the display. In spite of the COVID pandemic we could still hand out some 150 lollies to children of all ages, some of them 70 years plus! Many of the visitors remarked that the display brought at least some normality to an otherwise unusual and depressing time. It was once again heartening to see folks of all colours, creeds and culture join together in the wonderful spirit of Christmas.

Unfortunately, due to the latest curfew announced by the President we had to discontinue the display as of the 29th of December 2020. We trust and hope that next Christmas will be free of the spectre of COVID-19 and that we will be able to put up a bigger and better display. Many thanks to those who donated cash to the amount of R700.00 which was forwarded to TEARS to help with the disastrous fire that left so many homeless abandoned animals. Also, thanks for all the gifts of sweets and cookies, not expected but nevertheless enjoyed! From the Botha family.


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083 273 2159 •

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Friday 12 March

Programme runs 08:45 - 10:30am

We are a thriving young independent school in Pinelands with small classes, a Christian ethos, offering a rich and stimulating curriculum, and striving to serve the child as a whole person.

PINELANDS LIBRARY Remember... You can visit our Facebook page for updates about the library, resources and entertainment.

Join us at our open day for an opportunity to see our school in action, meet our team and hear more about the ‘living education’ offered by Grace Primary School.

8 Protea Close Pinelands 021 532 1816

February 2021 | the muse | 3 PinelandsLibrary-108.indd 1

2020/06/30 17:53


CANNONS CREEK INDEPENDENT SCHOOL GRADE 6 CELEBRATION 2020 2020 was a different year for schools and the Grade 6 Celebration 2020 had to reflect this. Cannons Creek pupils learnt online at home for a term and the school is proud of them all for keeping up and completing the year’s curriculum.

Dru Samuels receiving the Old Mutual Trophy for the Principal’s Award from the Primary School Principal, Mrs Wahl. This award goes to an all-round pupil who excels in the classroom, on the sports field and in all cultural activities to a high degree. The pupil shows continued enthusiasm, has a very strong commitment to the school, is very responsible and an example to all pupils at Cannons Creek.

The Grade 6 Celebration 2020 Evening took place on 2 December 2020. The 30 Gr 6 pupils and their parents attended the function in the School Theatre, where they were seated socially distanced from each other. No hand-shaking took place, hands were sanitized on the way up and down from the stage and the pupils stood apart from each other when collecting their certificates. In line with our Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) subject, which focuses on various skills rather than merely content, many awards were given for the recognition of these, and other, life skills and attitudes, for example resilience, initiative, problemsolving, manners, collaboration and IT skills, to name but a few. The Art, Music and Drama Departments recognized pupils who had worked hard through the year, including over lockdown. As sport was not played at school for most of the year, the Sport’s Department ran a Cannons Challenge, where pupils could gain points by exercising in a number of ways at home. Those top pupils were awarded medals. By Sue Alston, HOD Intermediate Phase.

Salih Jaffar receiving the Service Award from Mrs Wahl. This award goes to a pupil who has been helpful in all aspects of the school, is one of the first pupils to offer assistance no matter what the job is, and is happy to go the extra mile.


Dr Louise Wigens MBChB , Dip in Child Health (UCT)

Phone for an appointment

021 531 4111 076 588 6603

West End Medical Suite, HOURS Mutualpark, Pinelands Mon - Fri 09:00 - 15:00

Juan Coetzee - Thonissen Trophy for First Position Grade 6 (The highest grade in the Cannons Creek Primary School).

Aidan Lang - Outreach Trophy - This is awarded to a pupil who shows a heart for outreach and is always willing to go the extra mile when it comes to helping to collate and organise items.

February 2021| the muse | 4


Creating and protecting your wealth

Things to do before the end of the tax year By Sue Torr Director Crue Invest As we head towards the end of the 2020/2021 tax year, it makes sense to ensure that you have taken all steps possible to reduce your overall tax liability. Use your Capital Gains Tax exemption: As an investor, you are granted a R40 000 Capital Gains Tax exemption per year in respect of events that trigger a disposal of assets, which includes the sale of unit trusts. Although it is never ideal to be disinvested if your intention is to invest for the long-term, investors may find merit in switching from an invested fund to cash, and then back into an invested fund without attracting CGT – provided that the gain is no greater than R40 000. In doing so, you will be able to re-base your investment at a higher base cost, effectively enabling you to earn this capital gain tax-free. Exiting and re-entering the markets is a risky strategy but can be highly tax-efficient if done consistently over the long-term. Use your Tax-Free Savings Account Allowance: Although your contributions to a Tax-Free Savings Account are not tax deductible, all interest income, capital gains and dividends earned from a TFSA are exempt from tax. Not being taxed on the growth in your TFSA is still a benefit not to be ignored, and now is the perfect time to determine whether a TFSA is appropriate for your personal circumstances. As a TFSA investor you are currently permitted to contribute up to R36 000 per year towards this investment, with a maximum of R500 000 per year lifetime contribution. However, before setting up a TFSA, chat with your financial adviser about how to use it optimally in your portfolio – bearing in mind that it is best viewed as a long-term investment. Get certification for your donations Tax legislation permits you to invest up to 10% of your taxable income towards charity on a tax-deductible basis, although it is important to know that this tax deduction is not automatic. In order to claim a tax deduction, SARS requires that

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With just a few weeks to go before the end of the 2020/2021 tax year, now is the perfect time to get your financial affairs in order. It’s also a good time to determine whether you’ve maximised your tax benefits in respect of: a number of strict requirements are met – which includes that the taxpayer is in possession of a Section 18A certificate. Only organisations that have been approved by SARS as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) are able to issue Section 18A certificates to donors in respect of bona fide donations made to the organisation. SARS has published an up-to-date list of all Section 18A approved PBOs on their website at Top up your Retirement fund: As an investor in a retirement fund, which includes pension funds, provident funds and retirement annuities, you are permitted to invest up to 27.5% of your taxable income per year (subject to a maximum of R350 000 per year) on a tax-deductible basis. This is a significant benefit because it effectively allows you to invest with pre-tax money and reduce the amount of tax payable to SARS. If you are currently contributing towards a registered retirement fund but are not making full use of your 27.5% per year tax-deductible allowance, now is the time to consider topping up your retirement funds so as to reduce your overall tax burden. Ask your accountant or financial adviser to assist with the calculation – bearing in mind that rental income, dividends from REITs, gains derived from realising assets, and interest earned on investments are included in calculating your taxable income. Bear in mind, however, that SARS requires the application forms to be processed and for the money to reflect in your investment before 29 February 2020. Claim for your Section 12 J investments: SARS provides a tax incentive for individuals to invest in approved Venture Capital Companies (VCC) under Section 12J of the Income Tax Act. Current legislation permits you to invest up to R2.5 million towards a Section 12J investment scheme and receive a 100% tax-deduction on the contribution, bearing in mind that the investment must be held for a minimum period of 5 years in order to retain the tax deduction. It is best to approach a Section 12J investment scheme cautiously and not merely to obtain a tax deduction. To see the unabridged version of this article go to 

Retirement Annuities

An RA is a very tax efficient way to save for retirement either as a standalone investment or to supplement your existing pension/provident fund. Legislation permits investors to contribute up to 27.5% of taxable income as a tax deduction (up to a maximum of R350 000 per year).

Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA)

A TFSA is a great way to save towards a long term goal. The main benefit of a TFSA is that the growth within the underlying fund is free from interest, dividend and capital gains tax. Individuals are permitted to invest up to R36 000 per year into a TFSA, with a lifetime maximum contribution of R500 000.


As one of only 14 financial planning practices countrywide who hold the FPI Approved Professional Practice™ status, Crue Invest remains committed to upholding the highest industry standards of independence and ethics.

CRUE HOUSE 5 Long Place, Pinelands phone • 021 530 8500 email • web • Crue Invest (Pty) Ltd is an authorised financial services provider regulated by the Financial Services Board, FSP No. 19025


February 2021 | the muse | 6 As the lockdown restrictions allowed it at the end of October, we jumped at the opportunity to visit the Rustenberg Manor House Open Garden. Just once a year the owners open the garden as a fund raiser for three days and serve tea and scones under the Oak trees. As we explored the various themed gardens and admired the unusual plants it was easy to understand why it is considered a "not to be missed" spectacular garden. Actually there are two lovely gardens at Rustenberg Wine Estate. The beautiful Schoongezicht Gardens are closer to the winery and are open all year round. The Manor House Gardens surround the large Cape Dutch homestead and if you have the chance to visit when they open again this year (COVID allowing) then be sure to take it. The open day in 2020 was at the end of October, and one place to find the up coming event calendar is on the Gardens of Rustenberg Estate Facebook page. PS: The tea and scones were delicious - wish we could have taken some home! Address: Rustenberg Wine Estate Rustenburg Road, Off Lelie Street, Ida’s Valley, Stellenbosch, 7600.

Rustenberg Manor House Open Garden

February 2021 | the muse | 7


CANNONS CREEK WELCOMES THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR! Cannons Independent School recently held its Orientation programme for the new pupils at Cannons Creek, and some of the other students enjoyed their first day back at school. There was much chatter and laughter to be heard on the campus.

Melle (Grade 4) and Jente (Grade 6) Zuidegeest, with their mom.

Isabel Loock (Grade 1), with her mom.

The new High School pupils were given a crash-course on using their Chromebooks, and an introduction to the Google suite. All pupils were reminded of COVID-19 protocols. The school embarks upon Online

Teaching from 25 January, supporting the Department of Education's directive, as a means to protect the country from further COVID-19 spreading. Cannons Creek hopes to return to face-to-face teaching by 15 February.

Alaya (Grade 6) and Atiya (Grade 1) Kaplen, with their mom.

Eden (Grade R) and Eva (Grade 1) Meiring, with their mom.

Jazmin Uren (Grade RR), with her dad.

Isabella Hendricks (Grade 2) hard at work in the classroom.


PINEHURST GRADE 7 CLASS OF 2020 AWARDS In a time when many celebrations were cancelled at the end of last year, the Pinehurst Grade 7s of 2020 were celebrated for finishing the year strong, ready for high school!

The format of the Pinehurst awards ceremony was unlike any before, but they were glad to have a moment to recognise the Grade 7's hard work, to say goodbye and to wish them well.

Rebecca Loggenberg and Zachary Redfern receiving the Principal’s award from Mr Brendan Carroll.

Tamiriraishe Kahonde received the Founders Award, by demonstrating a life which is built on a good foundation and he also shared the Cricketer of the Year with Zachary Redfern.

There are too many achievements to mention them all here, but Pinehurst is proud of all the learners for completing the unusual year with determination and in good spirits. We will miss you.

The Service Award was shared by Noah Job, Luke Daniels and I’zaaz Shaikjee. Noah (above far left ) also received the Courtesy Award.

The Swan Fellowship Award was given to Mtombo Gwadiso as voted for by her fellow Grade 7 class mates.

More accolades:

PINEHURST Primary School

OPEN Tuesday DAY 2 March We’d like to give you the opportunity to visit our school to see why the “Green School” is known as The School with Joy. Listen to a short address by the Principal and enjoy a tour around our facilities and Foundation Phase classes. Depending on the regulations at the time, a virtual tour might be available. Please check our website for updates.

To register for an in-person tour, please email Rhone, Pinelands • Tel: 021 531 2783 Achieving excellence in a values-based community

Sebastian Chiat, above, received not only the Hooley Music Award, but achieved the highest Natural Science mark and also shared the highest Maths mark in the grade with Zachary Redfern.

Ella Binos achieved academic first place, receiving the Anderson Award. The multi-talented Maggie Krieg was the Girl’s Tennis Player of the Year and also received the Pinehurst Drama Cup. The boy tennis player of the year was Joe Phillipson. Athletes of the year were Kaitlyn Buck (girl) and Yaaseen Hajwani (boy). Swimmers of the year were Luca Goodall (girl) and Aidan Magiera (boy). Micah Miller received the Gleeson-Baird Art Throphy from Mrs Gleeson-Baird, who said farewell to Pinehurst at the end of last year. She will leave a legacy and we will miss her very much.

February 2021 | the muse | 8

February 2021 | the muse | 9


A HEARTBREAKING FAREWELL TO DIMMITRIOS GIANNAKIS The friends and family of Dimmitrios Giannakis are grieving for the passing of this talented, dedicated and much loved musician. Little did we know when we met him last year at the Grace Primary School sunset outdoor concert fundraiser that a mere 12 weeks later we would hear the sad news that he had succumbed to COVID-19. Messages have poured in for Dimmitrios - one of the country's top classical guitarists. A theme runs through all of the tributes describing a man, not only of great musical talent, but one of humility, gentleness, kindness and most of all a man with a deep love for God. Dimmitrios was a music teacher at Grace Primary, St George's Grammar School and also at PNPS where his son goes to school. Grace Primary School remember him as a great music

teacher, a ray of sunshine with an infectious joy in the Lord and a bearer of calm godly wisdom and encouragement which he radiated through the premises when he was around. Dimmitrios was twice chosen to perform and adjudicate at the prestigious Sanremo International Guitar Festival and Competition. Fondly known as ‘Mr G’ he was a true virtuoso! He performed at the Artscape, Baxter Theatre and on Fine Music Radio many times. He once opened a guitar festival featuring Tali Roth, the Head of Guitar at Julliard in the US and had many masterclasses with Goran Krivokapic, the world’s top nylon string guitarist. Sincere condolences to his wife Jana, son Josh and all those who were touched by his fine music and his gentle personality.


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MEERENDAL’S “HOPFUL” END TO 2020 Early one Monday morning in November, we arrived in the Meerendal gardens to find two cute rabbits hopping about without a care in the world. The unexpected and surprising start to the morning saw staff members nimbly dashing about the garden to catch our furry guests. Certain that a sad family nearby must be missing their pets, we immediately posted news of their safe capture and began creating a makeshift hutch in one of our little playhouses. An emergency errand was run to secure rabbit food and essentials to tide us over while we waited for their owners to step forward. Needless to say, the arrival of the rabbits created much excitement and joy amongst the children (and adults) and offered such happiness in a year that somehow had been robbed of so much joy that we couldn’t wait to get to school the next morning armed with rabbit treats and hutch making reinforcements. We could, however, not have been more amazed when, on entering the school grounds we were greeted by yet two more fluffy friends. This brought about another morning of rabbit catching which left us feeling rather breathless…catching a rabbit is harder than it looks! We now had four rabbits! Although we were still no closer to tracking down the rabbits’ owners, our Facebook message yielded fruit in the form of a local young rabbit enthusiast who arrived with a cage, oat hay (apparently an essential ingredient in a rabbit’s diet) and advice. We are so grateful to Leah for her guidance and practical help. The rabbits yet again consumed our day and for the first time in many months, our plans and conversations revolved around something other than Covid. What a welcome relief. By the end of the week, we had a total of six rabbits and no sign of any grief stricken owners. It was so wonderful to watch the children and adults at Meerendal fall in love with the rabbit family that we began

to wonder whether they might make a welcome addition to our school. A message from the gods perhaps? Our rabbit collection now totalling six, consisted of three adults and three babies who were estimated to be about five weeks old. As the dust settled and still nobody stepped forward to claim their pets, the reality of the intricacies of housing, caring for and feeding 6 rabbits slowly began to dawn on us. We toyed with the idea of taking them to the bunny sanctuary and, of course, there were lots of jokes about rabbit stew, but by then the rabbits had names and personalities and we were invested in keeping them.

grateful for their care and generosity. In the meantime the baby bunnies were being cared for in a collection of staff homes and gardens. This required a collection of make shift enclosures which ranged from an adapted playpen, washing baskets to the freedom of a colleague’s kitchen… yup… only one small hop into the stew! One of the adult male rabbits, now called Peter, resisted captivity and defied our efforts to contain him safely. He now happily roams freely in our Meerendal garden and surrounds. We deliver fresh greens, water and hay which he gladly accepts. We are hoping that once it is safe to reunite all the rabbits in their "furever" home at Meerendal, he might be drawn back to join the rest of his family. Until then… if you are lucky, you could catch a glimpse of Peter Rabbit in Nursery Avenue. Please remember to drive slowly and check underneath your car if you have parked in the vicinity as he often seeks out the shade underneath vehicles. As an animal-lover and believer in the benefits to the well-being of children, I took the information I found below when researching the topic as confirmation that the rabbits were a surprise gift in the toughest year yet that will benefit the children of Meerendal in the years to come:

By Vanessa Graham Principal Meerendal Pre Primary School Pinelands Kurt Swile, a generous and incredibly involved Meerendal parent sprang into action, as he had many times before, to solve the problem. He immediately set to work to create a designer enclosure for our little orphans using predominantly donated materials. Sadly, this was the last Meerendal project that Kurt was involved in as he passed away shortly afterwards from Covid complications. Rabbits really do breed like rabbits and we quickly realized that we would need to create separate living quarters for the rabbits until we could arrange sterilization for them. Young rabbits reach maturity at about 11-12 weeks and we did not want any more rabbits or in-breeding to occur. Mommy bunny was sterilised by Noordhoek Bunny Rescue who provide an incredible service at a greatly reduced cost. We are so

• The bond a child forms with a pet provides enormous benefits for the child's social, emotional and cognitive development. • Interaction with animals provides children with unconditional love and reduces loneliness. • It assists in fostering empathy (understanding without words) and respect. • It can be useful in reducing anxiety and depression and has been known to improve feelings of self-worth. • Relationships with animals can help children to forge relationships and bonds with others. • Meaningful relationships with animals can even help to increase motivation for learning and promote communication in the early years. • The non-judgemental listening ear of a pet can help children to understand and process their emotions, deal with sadness, grief and anger. I call it therapy in fur. It can also be useful to have a nonjudgemental listening ear in the early years of learning to read and has been known to improve reading competency. w w w. n o o r d h o e k b u n n y r e s c u e . co . z a / contact/ 

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February 2021 | the muse | 11



Dr Jennifer Crombie Pinelands Doctors Family Practice Pinecare Centre

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL! As we face another year with COVID, we look forward with hope to the roll out of COVID vaccinations across the country. HOW DOES A VACCINE WORK?

Vaccines work by priming our body’s immune system to produce neutralising antibodies without us having to suffer the disease. With viral infections, this is done by using important proteins that make up the viral structure or by using an inactivated form of the whole virus. Once your immune system has been exposed to the vaccine, you are much more likely to be able to fight off the infection and not get sick. For more information: news- ro om/q - a - de tail/vaccines- and immunization-what-is-vaccination?


There are now more than 20 different COVID-19 vaccines that have reached the final stages of testing, many of which have already had their safety and efficacy approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Although COVID-19 is a novel virus, this approval process, and the methods of producing safe vaccinations, have been well established for decades. Bear in mind that safe does not mean zero side effects. The mild side effects such as short-lived headache, fatigue or arm pain are a small price to pay to avoid the more serious and potentially deadly effects of COVID-19. Those who have had severe allergic reactions in the past should consult their doctor to find out more information as some vaccines may be safer than others. Although specific trials on safety in pregnant/ breast feeding mothers have not been carried out, there are no known

risks to mother or baby associated with current influenza vaccines.


Herd or community immunity is when sufficient people in a certain geographical area have immunity to a virus or bacteria. Immunity can be due to vaccination or having contracted the virus already. There are then too few people left to infect and too few people to pass it on to cause outbreaks. For the COVID virus roughly 67% of the population needs to have immunity (not necessarily been vaccinated) to curb the pandemic.


Although the studies showed varied protective effects, all the major vaccines would produce sufficient “herd-immunity”. The vaccines have been shown to provide an extremely high degree of protection from severe illness and 70- 95% efficacy in preventing symptomatic disease.


Although having had COVID-19 does provide some immunity to re-infection, this immunity is variable and may not last. The vaccine would serve as an added boost to ensure sufficient protective antibodies are present. Cases of recurrent COVID-19 infection are now well documented, although this remains a rare occurrence.


The National Department of Health will

publish recommendations for the COVID-19 immunisation programme which will prioritize frontline healthcare practitioners and essential workers and then individuals based on a person’s vulnerability to severe infection or complications related to the disease (ie: the elderly or those with comorbidities). Children are unlikely to receive the vaccine early as this group is the least likely to develop severe disease and are less likely to transmit the virus.


The NICD website states that South Africa will receive 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in January and 500 000 doses in February of the Oxford University AstraZeneca vaccine from the serum Institute of India (SII). There is also an agreement with the COVAX Facility to secure vaccines to immunise 10% of the population. These doses are expected at the beginning of the second quarter of the year. Every effort is being made by working with various pharmaceutical companies to ensure that 67% of the population is vaccinated by the end of 2021. Resources: • 01- 05when- can-south-africans- expect-acovid-19-vaccine-and-how-will-it-bedelivered/ • • General public information: 


Frontline Healthcare workers..........................................1 250 000

Phase 2

Essential workers.............................................................2 500 000 People living or working in groups.................................5 000 000 People over 18 with co-morbidities................................8 000 000

Phase 3

Other persons over 18 years old....................................22 500 000


The children adjusting to their new work space


2021 is the start of a new year and for many, it is a fresh start! However, this new school year is unlike any other as we are currently experiencing a carry over of the pandemic from the year before. PNPS is a school that can pride itself on its forwardthinking and putting plans in place. Having already considered that 2021 will be a different kind of year, we took the lessons learned from 2020 and implemented new strategies for 2021. Let’s have a look at 2020 and the lessons we learned, through the challenges and triumphs.


2020 was a year unlike any other and one we hope will not be repeated. Despite all the negatives we could focus on, PNPS chose to stay focused on the positives and continued to work together as a team to bring our pupils the best possible educational experience.


At PNPS we focus on holistic education while addressing multiple intelligences as well as various learning barriers. With this in mind, teachers adapted to the challenges of teaching a new way. The initial 21 day lockdown lined up with the school holidays at the end of term one. Teachers went into prep mode and

immediately put together work packs for the pupils for the lockdown period and the two weeks after the school holiday. The work pack was sent home with the reports at the end of the first term. However, as time passed the lockdown was extended, so PNPS teachers became accustomed to various platforms to communicate including Google classroom, Class Dojo, and Zoom for online teaching as well as check-ins with the pupils. It was important to maintain relationships by checking in with the pupils regarding their mental and emotional well-being and not focus solely on academics.


As lockdown continued families identified that in some homes it was difficult trying to assist pupils across all the grades in the family. As a result the school management team made the call for family-style learning. Teachers looked at the topics considered most important and how to design activities that could teach grade 1 through to grade 7. Families enjoyed this interactive learning. Integrated learning continued by having activities that covered two or more subjects’ content at a time.


When school eventually re-opened, we needed to get into the groove of a new "norm". The school was split into zones and each zone had a hub that housed a few teachers. This became the new workspace as teachers were unable to gather in the staffroom as per usual. Each zone had a theme that was used to decorate the corridors, in an effort to create a relaxed environment for the return of the pupils. With a year that brought many challenges it was important that the school atmosphere be unchanged for pupils and staff alike. Teachers took to being outside to welcome

the pupils to school in the mornings. Some staff also did TikTok dances which meant that the pupils could also take on the challenge and post their own. Parents in turn latched onto this idea and would put up motivational messages for the staff in their windows for staff to see when pupils were dropped off or collected.


Teaching itself took on a new form, with teachers being creative in their thinking and adaptable to the methods of teaching. Due to the fact that we worked throughout the lockdown period, we were able to cover all of the content for the year. We worked according to the guidelines of the trimmed curriculum sent by the WCED, however found that we were able to go beyond because of our resources as well as the communication between teachers, pupils, and parents. Our day was split into 4 sessions, with each session focusing on a subject. We found that the pupils enjoyed having only 4 subjects a day as it created more time to focus on the content as well as to consolidate the lesson. PNPS worked on a rotational system of one day at school and one day at home. The day at home would be used to consolidate the work taught in class the day before as well as to do any research that might be required for future lessons.


The families of PNPS were happy with the overall approach taken to handle the curveball 2020 had thrown our way. From the curriculum to the drop and go system to the energy and effort that the teachers made to be able to still give their children a year of growth. The school proved that as a family we could overcome the hurdles and as a family, we continue to do our best to stay safe and wish everyone good health and prosperity for the year ahead. 

February 2021 | the muse | 12

On your 4th donation of the year you will receive a limited-edition collapsible cooler box that also doubles up as a seat. Download the WCBS App or visit our website to find your closest blood donation clinic. 021 507 6300

THE GREAT 2020 JUPITER AND SATURN CONJUNCTION On December 21 in 2020 we set up our cameras on the Mouille Point promenade and scanned the horizon - following the sunset to spot the "great conjunction" of Jupiter and Saturn (sometimes referred to as the Bethlehem Star). Editor Max Schutte managed to get an image of Jupiter and some of its moons and Saturn appearing very close together and shining brightly in the sky - even to the naked eye.

Above left: Stunning sunset at Mouille Point promenade on 21 December 2020. Above right: Max Schutte setting up camera and tripod for the best shot. Above middle: Jupiter with her moons Europa, Ganymede, Io and Callisto. Saturn is the smaller planet and appears elliptical because of her rings. Jupiter takes 11.86 years to orbit the sun and Saturn takes 29.4 years. Every 19.85 years these planets appear to pass each other in our night sky. When this happens it is Jupiter catching up to and overtaking Saturn. The time when the planets appear the brightest to us is when this conjunction is at its closest, which is every 800 years or so. The last time it happened before December

21st last year was 796 years ago and so you will only have an opportunity once in your lifetime to see it. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset that evening. People were considerate and careful with social distancing and masks. We bumped into a couple of people from Pinelands, also there for the spectacle and an Irish couple enjoying Cape Town. It was good to be outside with people to share the sight.


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EASY COOKING By Nina Timm Cook, teacher, blogger and author of Easy Cooking from Nina's Kitchen and Maklike Etes uit Nina se Kombuis!

Portrait: The Photographic Journey Food shot: Nina Timm

Berry Panna Cotta

Serves 8

For the Panna Cotta

Ingredients 1 litre cream 150 g sugar 6 – 7 sheets gelatine – softened in 125 ml water (if you make individual servings, 6 sheets should be fine, with the “loaf”, 7 sheets are needed to make it firmer) seeds from 1 vanilla pod pinch of salt fresh berries of your choice store-bought lemon curd – optional Method 1. Soak or bloom the gelatine leaves in tap water for about 10 – 15 minutes or until they are soft. 2. In the meantime, pour the cream into a pot. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla and bring the cream to the boil. 3. Just before it reaches boiling point, add the softened gelatine and stir until completely dissolved. 4. Pour the cream mixture into individual moulds that have been sprayed with Spray ‘n Cook or in a bread tin as I have done. 5. Chill for at least 3 – 4 hours or overnight and serve with the fresh berries and curd.

Working with gelatine Gelatine granules

The formula for using the little envelopes of gelatine is normally 500 ml liquid for 1 envelope gelatine. Through trial and error, I now use 450 ml liquid to 1 envelope gelatine. It results in a firmer jelly which is easier to handle. • With panna cotta it is different because of the heavy cream, so most recipes ask for 1 envelope (15 ml) per 1 litre of creamy liquid. Recipes might vary so find the norm. I hope to help you today. • You must soak or “bloom” the gelatine. Sprinkle gelatine on top of cold water, before you add it to your liquid, especially if it is hot liquid. • Add the soaked gelatine to warm or hot liquid. The heat will dissolve the gelatine,

so stir and take care until you are sure all gelatine has dissolved. • Never add gelatine to boiling water – it deactivates gelling abilities.

Gelatine sheets or leaf gelatine

• Always soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 – 10 minutes. • Wring gently to remove excess water. • Add sheets to room temperature liquid called for in the recipe. I usually add a little boiling water to dissolve the gelatin, but if you are making a cold dessert, make sure the hot liquid cools off first. • 3 Leaves Gelatine to 2 cups/500ml liquid his gives you a steady wobble and in Panna Cotta it is referred to as “the dance of the Panna Cotta”.

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