Remembering The Fire by Richard Arderne

Remembering The Fire by Richard Arderne

Just over ten years ago, 76 homes burnt down in the terrible fire of Sunday, 11 November 2012.

This sparked a building boom, with an amazing 38 rebuild starts within 12 months and 51 within three years.

And now, in 2023, 67 houses have been rebuilt…. unsurprisingly, but many would say sadly, only one with thatch.

Just nine left still to be rebuilt.

Five houses survived the fire, five houses that were amongst the houses that burned down …. unsurprisingly, of the five, only one had a thatched roof.

It was a terrifying evening, but as often happens with these tragedies, there was a feeling of togetherness in town for some weeks after.


Notes From The Editor –  Load-shedding and Laptop Meltdowns

Notes From The Editor – Load-shedding and Laptop Meltdowns

I thought I had everything under control. There is an inverter,  batteries, and a few solar panels. Enough to get us through a few hours of load-shedding.

Sometimes we didn’t make it through four and a half hours of load shedding, more batteries would be helpful, but we were making do.
Most evenings during load-shedding, I would unplug my laptop while working, just in case of a power surge.

On Monday evening, we had a long load-shedding bout and a bit of a storm out there, with lightning and rain.
I typed away merrily during the evening, fingers whizzing across the keyboard. Then I noticed my laptop battery was down to 5%. I was working on something important, no doubt, most likely the St Francis Today puzzle page or loading up another St Francis Today writing contest entry, but I wanted more power.

So with 5% on the battery, I walked briskly to the office and plugged my laptop into the power from my backup system, not realising that this system too, was almost depleted.  Little did I know that I was never going to see that laptop alive again.

The very act of plugging my laptop into power plunged the house into darkness. It was pitch-black. We have another somewhat rudimentary system of Magento lights and USB lamps, and headlamps. So I quickly found those with the light of my iPhone, lit up the house, and didn’t even think about the laptop.

‘It’s got a swollen battery,’ was the expert damage assessment on Tuesday. The battery had actually pushed against the casing and left a dent underneath the laptop. She was broken.

Load-shedding and Laptop Meltdowns So apologies if this week’s news has been a bit scrappy or seemingly irregular. It has been a week of trips to repair centres and drives to the iStore in Walmer Park, often during load-shedding, with no traffic lights operating. Frustration City – population: me.

Backup? Of course, I had a backup. Unfortunately, I did something wrong on the restore, and 103 Gigs of unsorted data poured into my new laptop, including over 5008 emails from somewhere, which I am going through this weekend.


There’s a lesson to learn here about backup power, surges, load-shedding, and hard drive backups. it’s simple. Time to upgrade the backup system and get better batteries. Otherwise, this winter is going to be grim.


Maidstone Furniture and Kitchens – Their Business Story

Maidstone Furniture and Kitchens – Their Business Story

Maidstone is a reputable, family-owned, family-run, and family-oriented business that has been operating since 2017. With a strong focus on delivering exceptional craftsmanship, we specialize in creating high-quality, handmade furniture and cabinetry. Our manufacturing facility is nestled in the picturesque countryside neighborhood of Theescombe, Port Elizabeth, allowing us to serve clients across the entire Eastern Cape region.

At Maidstone Furniture and Kitchens, we take pride in using a combination of top-notch materials to ensure durability and longevity. From solid woods to natural, high-quality melamine and MDF as well engineered and natural stone, we carefully select materials that not only enhance the beauty of our creations but also guarantee their resilience.

Every piece of furniture and cabinetry we produce is meticulously handcrafted. This attention to detail guarantees that our products meet the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship. Moreover, our furniture is hand painted or sprayed, making it incredibly easy to maintain. If your tastes change over time, rest assured that a color change is possible, allowing your furniture to adapt to your evolving preferences.

One of the distinguishing features of Maidstone is our commitment to functionality. We have designed some of our furniture pieces to be multi-functional, meaning they can be adjusted and used in different rooms to serve various purposes. This versatility not only maximizes the utility of our products but also provides flexibility for changing needs and living spaces.

For customers seeking a more convenient solution, we offer a modular kitchen cabinet range that can be purchased off the shelf and self-installed. However, we understand that some projects require a more tailored approach. To accommodate such needs, we provide a comprehensive turnkey service for bespoke projects. From conceptualization and design to installation and finishing touches, our team of experts ensures a seamless and personalized experience throughout the entire process.

As a family-oriented business, we prioritize building strong relationships with our clients. We strive to exceed their expectations by delivering exquisite craftsmanship, durable products, and exceptional service. With Maidstone, you can trust that your furniture and cabinetry needs are in capable hands, and we are dedicated to creating timeless pieces that bring beauty and functionality to your home.