More than 30 years ago, Francois Vosloo, the then principal of the Shawpark School offered to do an ox braai as a fundraiser for the Shawpark Country Club, to say ‘thank you’ to the club, who allowed the school to use the sports fields at the club. Sauce

bathurst oxbraai

This weekend, after an eventful last few weeks, I will be working at the annual Bathurst Ox Braai. The last one I went to was in 1996, was hardly something I could remember. This year I will be working voluntarily behind the bar for the local Shaw Park Tennis Club, grave yard shift. I have been told it is loud, almost out of control and a massive huge party with over 10000 people attending, mainly students from around the country doing their matric rave.

Worth checking it out this year (Dec) if you’re up for a wild party- it gets pretty debauched. Sauce

This link is to the official details of the Bathurst Ox Braai: Bathurst Show
See you on Friday the 28th December 2012

. Copy of oxbraai-218

After a bit of research on refurbishing Oregon pine wood it, not knowing much about, i have come to another interesting story with possibly alot of truth. The Anglo-Boer war was manifested by the taxes of transport on Oregon pine being shipped from the United States to South Africa during the late 1800′s and early 1900′s.

Flooring with one coat of varnish and sealer. 

Ramblers rest farmhouse has Oregon flooring, skirting, doors and kitchen counters. It took about 5 days to sand it all down to the raw pinewood. Alot of the original pine has been replaced due to wood borer and rotting due to neglect. The wood has been fumigated, washed, and dried many times. I have hand painted the first coat on the floors and kitchen counters. This is quite a time consuming process as it needs to be done a further 3 times, with light sanding inbetween to get the best sealed finish.

The Douglas-Fir tree is often referred to as Oregon Pine, and possibly gets its name Oregon from the slang name used by older shippies in Canada as Irish Pine :”O’Regan”. It was used quite extensively by the settlers and still used today to make furniture. This is possibly a reason for the name Oregon Pine instead of calling it Douglas Fir ( DF ) wood.

Oregon Pine comes from the floorboards and roofing trusses recovered from houses and buildings constructed in South Africa in the early 1900′s. Oregon imported from Canada and North America was used in this era because a suitable structural timber was required for floors and roofing, and there were insufficient South African indigenous hardwoods, like yellowwood, to meet the demand without destroying our natural forests. Recovered Oregon is hard, durable, seasoned for the decades it was in use and has a lustre and grain that suits the cottage style of furnishing – warm, homely, cozy and with a sense of timelessness.


Kitchen counters and doors


Here is my little garden,
Some seeds I’m going to sow.
Here is my rake to rake the ground,
Here is my handy hoe.

Here is the big, round yellow sun;
The sun warms everything.
Here are the rain clouds in the sky;
The birds will start to sing.

Little plants will wake up soon,
And lift their sleepy heads;
Little plants will grow and grow
In their little, warm earth beds. Anon


“In 1820 the British government sent out about five thousand emigrants from England and Scotland, who settled in the thinly occupied country round Algoa Bay on the eastern border of the Colony; and from that time on there was a steady, though never copious, influx of British settlers, through whose presence the use of the English language increased, together with a smaller influx of Germans, who soon lost their national individuality and came to speak either English or the local Dutch.”




Ramblers Rest is part of an old farm that has been subdivided since 1828. The current farmhouse was built from an estimated guess around 1920′s, looking at the design and materials used.

Previously to me moving here it was a drug rehabilitation centre ( Perseverance House )  for a couple of years. It housed people trying to sort out their lives aswell as a couple ex-convicts, so I have heard. The farm was abandoned for about 6-8 months. This has all taken its toll on the property from neglect and the tough environment. So i am rehabilitating this beautiful piece of land and structures to what it potentially can be. Since working the property I have found many pieces of “art”, poems, and scribbles , signs of once being a drug rehab.

I am not to sure why I am posting this, but just to remember, never forgetting the tough times people went through and how they struggled, before I paint over to create a new canvas.You can feel the pain by looking at the art and reading the words. I have not met anyone who has lived here, and not to sure what happened with the people who last lived here once upon a time, but wish them well on new journeys they have taken.

To new beginnings and hope. May the rambling settler be put to a peaceful rest. Ramblers Rest.

Only 7 kilometres down the R67 and through the four-way stop in Bathurst Town, with the Pig and Whistle on your left, go across the stop street, along a dirt road, you will get The Waters Meet  Reserve after a  few kilometres. A small fee per person is requested at the gate. About 200 metres to the left there is a viewing deck of the Horseshoe Bend on the Kowie River.

Directly below is a nest of an African Crowned eagle. Many different species of birds can be spotted in the Waters Meeting Reserve from kingfishers to buzzards, woodpeckers and more. 3km down a steep rough road, there is a picnicing and braaing spot next to the river. Hiking and mountain bike trails go around the reserve and reasonably well maintained. You can also organise canoeing adventures up the Kowie river from Port Alfred with stopping points along the way. The total distance from Port Alfred is 30km.


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