Golfers and Dog Walkers in stand-off

dog-pooSeveral dog walkers have approached St Francis Today regarding use of the golf course.

At the start of the holiday season this publication posted a letter from the St Francis Bay Golf Club banning dog walkers from the golf course. (Read http://stfrancistoday.com/dogs-are-off-the-course/.) Many believed that this ban would be lifted once the holiday makers had left and life returned to normal. Sadly it appears that this is not the case and dog walkers are indeed still not allowed to take their pooches for their early morning or late afternoon exercise on the golf course.

One can understand it from the golfers point of view for with our late evening sunsets, golf rounds are played late into the evening and some dog walkers, primarily holiday makers, choose to ignore the golfers right of way. In addition they, and here we again stress, SOME, simply do not have the decency to pick up after their dogs leaving golfers to not only navigate their way round the course in as low a score as possible but to also avoid landing in or standing in dog pooh.

There is a nucleus of walkers who have used the course for years and who are very responsible and respectful of the privilege to walk on the course, picking up, not only after their own dogs but also after those who simply don’t have the decency to follow the rules. Thus the good guys are punished by being banned.

One of the most noticeable features of St Francis, both the Bay and the Cape, is how dog mad the locals are. The phrase “every man and his dog” could be changed in St Francis to “every man has a dog”. Those living in Cape St Francis are indeed more blessed with space to walk than their Bay counterparts and thus the golf course facility has proved a godsend.The concern and love of animals is quite overwhelming in the entire region for animal charities, SPCA, April Olive Blossom Fund and the Open your Eyes – Sterilize campaign are all enthuisatically supported.

So surely there is a solution to this standoff? As you read this, scores of dog owners will be descending on the St Francis Links for the January “Mutt Strut” and “no turd will be left (unturned)” as all walkers are required to carry pooh bags and all who participate appreciate the privilege afforded by The Links in allowing this fund raiser to use their facility.

Possibly a meeting could be arranged with the Golf Club management and the nucleus of dog walkers and only those who say, carry a permit to use the course, may use the facility and must pledge to police those who refuse to obey the rules. Possibly these walkers must provide signage and supply “pooh bag” points where walkers can replenish their pooh bags if the have forgotten to bring. Maybe they could also provide a disposal bin which must be disposed  of by them. Maybe also limit the use of the course to a small section, say the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th making the 15th where there are a pair of plovers resident and the rest of the course a no go area. And if there are dogs that do chase the birds, keep these on a leash.

There has to be a way of resolving this stand-off for we all need to work together in peace and harmony in our human and dog friendly little village.

On a lighter note – penalty for plaing a ball in motion – one stroke

Seafood market all a bustle

Balobi Seafood Market & Deli

The total refurbishment of the Balobi Seafood Market & Deli late last year certainly seems to have really paid off. Chatting with Seafood Market manager, Janet Harrison yesterday she told St Francis today how the market was a buzz every single day and most surprising was the support of locals. Many a local goes into ‘hibernation’ over the season to avoid the crowds with many opting for the “seven o’clock shopping” (ie. first thing in the morning as shops open or last thing in the evening just before closing). But Janet said this was not the case at the seafood market as locals joined the queues, even at peak hours around lunchtime to savour the now famous fish and chips (or salad for the health conscious) freshly cooked at the market.

Locals will remember that up until last year the Seafood market only opened on a Friday and if one missed the one o’clock closing deadline one had to wait a whole week to stock up with one’s fresh fish requirements. Well all that has changed and the seafood market is now open seven days a week to allow us daily access to their wide range of seafood and deli offerings.

During our chat was at pains to make sure we mention how the seafood market staff put “nose to the grindstone” and delivered, often under the most trying of cituations where the shop was literally bursting at the seams with visitors..

Below is a short newsletter that Janet sends out to her database.

The buzz created by the chattering and laughter in the Seafood Market & Deli, was definitely in tune with the whole holiday feeling that surrounded the Port this year.  Busier than it has been in the last few years it was a joy to see so many people enjoying all the Port has to offer.

Our slogan “Life should taste as good as Seafood  was proven time and again this last season, with people – both local and visitors –  streaming through the Seafood Market in the search of fresh Seafood for their Festive Season or just enjoying our fish/calamari and chips.

As we go forward into this New Year, taking the lessons learnt from last, we hope to keep you in constant supply of fresh fish, frozen seafood and of course, our famous, fish and chips. We have been so lucky this season with enough fresh fish such as Cape Salmon (Geelbek), Yellow Tail, Red Roman and even same Cob (Kabeljou) and hopefully our luck will hold.  Please feel free to phone our office 042 294 0162 at about 10:30am each day, to find out what delicious fish the boats have brought in.

We are still open until 6pm every evening except for Sunday and encourage you to put in phone orders before 5:30 for your evening take-away.

And lastly what an AWESOME team! I’d truly like to thank my team for the long, hard hours you’ve all put in.  Always smiling and going the extra mile.

Janet Harrison
Seafood Market and Deli.

Whilst at the Port yesterday we managed to a get few photograph of a couple of chokka boats offloading their catch.

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End of Season in St Francis

Those who didn’t attend the ‘end of season’ party at Legends last evening missed out on a great evening, those who did, well, need we say more other than a great time was had by all. The thousands of visitors who flock to St Francis for the annual Christmas holidays are indeed much needed to boost the St Francis economy, create employment and sustain many businesses for the year ahead for some would surely not exist were it not for the prosperity our visitors bring to the region. BUT! As happy we are to welcome the hordes and have as a community to have our them ‘kaaa-ching’ the cash registers, it is also wonderful to again be able to find parking, not be caught up in traffic jams albeit they only last about three or four minutes, and not have to queue way down past the fridges at SuperSpar when all you wanted was a loaf of bread and a litre of milk. Absent Irish at End of Season party in St Francis Bay So back to the ‘celebration ‘ or ‘END OF SEASON’ party hosted by Legends last night. With ever popular Absent Irish and their foot stomping, sing along Irish melodies, interspersed with other popular music from the earlier years, way prior to Justin Bieber, Rihana or Adelle, entertaining the crowd, the party was on.  And believe it or not most of those present were of an age to have witnessed man landing on the moon for the first time and taking that  ‘one grand step for mankind’. end-of-season-partyAnd to those few youngsters who read this newsletter who think the oldies are past it, we can still party with the best of them for we actually invented the term. And party the crowd did to Absent Irish.   The weather and humidity over the past few weeks has been somewhat reminiscence of Durban in February and last evening certainly was much like Durban in February so listening to Absent Irish was a Déjà vu moment  to the days when the Blarney Brothers used to play at ‘The Barn’ at the old Athlone Hotel  in Durban North. A note to Absent Irish… your very different rendition of that Irish classic “Danny Boy” was really brilliant. Never thought such a mournful ballad could be transformed into a rock song. Well done guys and thanks for entertaining us all. Dul go maith agus teacht ar ais go luath

Fine Dining at Pomme Frites

Fine dining at Pomme Frites

Pomme Frites, situated on the corner of the R330 to Humansdorp and the Oyster Bay road, opened its doors just prior to the start of the season in early December. Those driving on the R330 on their way through to Humansdorp will have noticed the large “FARM STALL” signboard is no longer and has been replaced by the “Pomme Frites” sign board. Next time you are driving by, turn into the Oyster Bay road and then take a left into Pomme Frites’ ample parking and go in and enjoy a great cup of coffee. The restaurant is owned and run by Belgium Chef Jean-Pierre Pauwels, his son Sebastian and long time ‘right-hand man’ Romando who moved from Johannesburg to St Francis with Jean-Pierre to set up and run a welcomed addition to the choices of places to eat in St Francis.

Jean-Pierre Pauwels at Pomme Frites

Jean-Pierre alongside the chalk board menu that changes daily to ensure diners only the freshest fare.

Chatting over a really good cup of Americano coffee (yes that is what they call black coffee these days) Jean-Pierre took St Francis Today through the menu, dish by dish, but was a pains to point out that the menu changes from day to day depending on what is available for Jean-Pierre insists on using only the freshest produce. To this end a chalk board displays the menu rather than a printed menu which Jean-Pierre points out would restrict him as well as disappoint customers if a particular dish was not available because he was unable to source it fresh. On the chalk board on the photo to the left one will notice the dish below Ostrich Fillet has been erased for as Jean-Pierre explained, he ran out of fresh Tuna, a very popular item on the menu and thus it was no longer on the menu until fresh tuna could again be sourced. As a replacement he pointed out that he had just sourced some fresh Dorado (this scribes favourite fish).

Talking through each dish on the menu, Jean-Pierre’s passion for preparing good food was apparent. No short cuts, no artificial sauces or ingredients and simply treating each dish and each customer served with the respect they each deserve.

One of the reasons for visiting Pomme Frites was due to comments made separately by three locals in normal conversation and without any prompting “the best meal I have ever had in St Francis“, “the best pepper steak I have had in years” and “not the cheapest meal in town but one of the best“.

Jean-Pierre had high praise for two local suppliers who without the quality produce they supply referring to Emmet at The Butcher Shop and Gillian Phillips of Canton Garden who those who frequent the St Francis Bay Morning Market will know for her excellent meat offers each month.

Pomme Frites can seat 50 diners indoors  with more seating outdoors in the garden an ideal spot for breakfast, lunnch or tea on a lovely St Francis day. And Jean-Pierre says he offers excellent cakes so why ont pop in for a cuppa and cake.The venue is also ideal for private birthday and anniversary dinners.

In Celebration of James Chandler

A memorial service celebrating of the life of James Chandler was held at Granny’s Pool on Saturday morning followed by the release of white balloons as friends paid tribute to James paddling all manner of surfboards, SOP’s, body boards,paddle skis hundred metres to form a circle as James’ ashes were scattered into the sea.

Video by Emlyn Horne

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