Short path from roadside to trash heap

Mandela Day every day
Blog 020 - 17 July 2012

Trash at the emd of the short path

I do not think I could claim to have started my adult life being overly public spirited. I could argue that all that changed once I had children of my own, as I certainly involved myself in the various pre-schools that they attended. This included serving on committees and helping to maintain premises and extend/upgrade facilities. I certainly have also always been willing to help with projects at work, but then that is hardly in the public domain.

Ten years ago while I was living in Warwick Road, I did venture out into the public domain, and started to clean up the roadside verge between Otter Park, and the bottom of the hill. I usually did this on Sunday mornings, and if the truth be told, it was in part because I wanted to get out of the house. That said, I should add that I walked down that hill almost every evening with my dogs. So I also wanted the verge cleaned up, so that my dogs and I could escape the SUV's roaring up the hill.

Then around about the time the concept of "67 minutes for Mandela" was launched, I started to clean up the piece of vacant land that is bounded by Town Bush Road, and the road that leads of to the left, past three of four homes there, and on to what is now an entrance to the Victoria Country Club Estate. It may well be that my son beat me to it. Either way, what did happen then, was that my wife, son and myself spent a couple of hours working there on the first Mandela Day.

When I retired two and a half years ago, I acquired a Stihl FS85 petrol trimmer in order to cut the grass in that area. Initially there was not that much grass to cut, as the place was still grossly overgrown with invasive and alien weeds, runners and bushes. The worst was "Cats Claw", as it not only sent strong runners all over the place, but it also climbed the trees. We were mostly able to pull the climbers from the trees. However, removing all the "Cats Claw" runners, was a battle we will probably not win without resorting to poison. Leaving stubs of "Cats Claw" in the ground continues plays havoc with a trimmer that uses a nylon chord for cutting.

Initially we also had to work steadily in order to remove the rubbish that had been dumped and secreted away in the area. There was plenty of it, and I hate to think what all we picked up there. Suffice it to say, it include super market packets stuffed full of soiled disposable nappies, and lots of broken glass and all manner of bottles. It was immensely ironic that locals continued to dump stuff there, despite our efforts to actually clean the place. It was also somewhat annoying, as we were also paying to have stuff carted away, in order to keep the piles of removed material down to a minimum.

Ultimately the dumping stopped and someone else, or more accurately, their gardener, has also started to work there. Their contribution has been significant, and the place is finally looking presentable. Hopefully it will be kept like that and serve as a reminder that Mandela encouraged each one of us to a make a difference.

The Waltdorf complex further up Town Bush Road is also to be commended, as besides always keeping the precinct of the retention pond tidy, they have also steadily extended the area they maintain there. They have also cleared a significant section of the bush that adjoins Non Such Road, and planted indigenous trees there. If these are allowed to survive, it will leave a rich legacy.

Now that one can access the river from this cleared area, I am keen to enter the stream there. While that may sound strange, it would be in order to see if I can manage to walk in the stream, up to the point where it intersects Non Such Road. I say, "walk in the stream", as I am quite sure that it would be impossible to try and walk on the bank of the stream. The extent of the invasion of aliens in this area has to be seen, to be believed. I often wonder why the various levels of government, are not able to do more about this, and at the same time provide employment to thousands of te currently unemployed people, across the length and breadth of South Africa,

I have been wanting to write this particular blog for some time. I was finally prodded into doing so, by two things that I saw whilst out walking the dogs on Sunday afternoon. The first was the rubbish that is being dumped further up Town Bush Road. The photograph on the left of the banner for this blog, suggests that a path is already being worn to the dump site. The dump site is shown on the right.

Two video clips have also been included in this blog. The one video shows a source of free potable water. It has been available for some time. If you look closely you at the road that the water is running down, you will also notice what is left of the Telkom telephone cable that until recently, used to run up the road. The other video shows the views that can be had, from further down the dirt road, beyond the water and the Telkom cable. The walks that are to be had in these hills should be a shared treasure. Unfortunately right now, you are more likely to be offered the kingdom that you can see, by a strange looking individual carrying an equally strangely forked stick. If you are uncertain as to who it could be, check for pointy years and a tail.

Short toposcopic view of PMB from upper Oak Park

Leaking water main at the top end of Town Bush Road

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