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Click on images for a larger/clearer view.

These images were taken just after Christmas when I wanted to see “the largest shopping centre in Europe”. Westfield is in West London, just a stone-throw from where we live. I can now also say “I’ve been there”. I can also add and say this place is great, but it wasn’t more impressive than shopping centres in Pretoria, e.g Menlyn Shopping Centre and Kolonnade Shopping Centre and in Durbs the Pavillion Shopping Centre. I know there are more shopping centres to name and even new shopping centres that shoot up like mushrooms everywhere in SA.  What I liked about Westfield, are the indicators of how many parking bays are available so you don’t have to drive around hoping for a space. On image 3 you’ll see I couldn’t miss De Beers and if you don’t know this South African name, you should google it straight away and I might say you know “nothing”..hehe…The 4th image might look great but I’ve thought they could have done better with the artificial display as it looked a bit shabby- for such a “posh” shopping centre.  If you look closely, you can see a live model on the 3rd last image! She waved at us and first I thought  my eyes took me for a ride and I had to look again. We took this shot with the mobile phone as we didn’t want her to know we were taking the photo, but she actually saw us! haha..she was fun and laughed when she saw us taking the photo. My general feeling about this place…a lot of wasted space. They could have had smaller shops and a bigger variety or even more levels with more shops. Of course I couldn’t resist the chocolates and it was difficult not to want something from everything!

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What a winter-wonderland when we got up this morning!

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Click on the images for a larger view.

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Do you now how much exercise you get from building a snowman! haha…

 

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Please click on THIS LINK to create your very own snowflake – interactively! This is great fun for kids! The link will open in a new window.

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Yes, what a mix in this post! You can read about books, sunburn and read a newsarticle! A very strange combination!

The  three books are books 3 people living/working/travelling in London, are busy reading. How do I know that? Well, I like watching people and in particular what they read when they’re reading… whilst travelling on the tube today…three people near me were reading…books…many people read newspapers on the tube to be “busy”….as it is an “unwritten” rule that you don’t really look at other people on the tube, it’s kinda “rude”…   but it’s just “second nature” to look at people because what if….yes, what if they’ve got a huge rucksack with them with all sorts of “stuff” in the bag…that would be very suspicious and you have to know what people look like to give discriptions IF…..you know what “If…” i’m talking about.  Anyway… I always look at the books’ titles to see what people are interested in, and being a book-lover myself, I might just be interested in what they read! Well, here are the three books and reviews from Amazon…maybe you too are interested in these books? I think I will go for the “rainbow”-book, that sounds more like my taste…as the word “death” puts me off in the second book’s title and “blood” in the first book’s title…lol! although it sounds like they are good fun to read it too…

As you can see from this “mix” image, you will see that I’m really blogging a “rubbish”-mix here…there’s a newspaper report from thelondonpaper…and then…wow! my (yes mine!) sun-burnt shoulder!!  We had sports day on Monday and I was told 20 min before school started, that I was going to be a timer! and little did I know that I was going to be in the sun all day that morning before I left home!…although it was a bit cloudy too…but we all know about sunrays and thin ozone layers…anyway…despite of that, I also thought that I would be sitting under a sun shade umbrella…but looking at what my shoulder looks like, you definitely know that I wasn’t even near a sun shade umbrella…and I was at home yesterday…trying to “recover” from this “mini-heatwave”…see more of these athletic pics of Garsfontein Secondary School – in Pretoria – on the website link with this image…

Image: http://www.garsies.co.za/atletiek/atletiek.htm

ouch…again…ouch..don’t touch me!! …now that was my turn to say that! hehehe…I think only Londoners will understand what I mean by this….or at least teachers…


image: explodingdog.com…the “mix” pic!


Review 1: Amazon.co.uk ….Margolan, so prosperous and peaceful under King Bricen’s rule, has been reduced to starvation in less than a year. Everyone knows of the usurpation of the crown of Margolan by “Jared the Tyrant”. He and his fire mage, Foor Arontala, have also broken the truce with the Blood Council and are hunting down all vayash moru (vampires). Things are going from bad to worse as the night of the Hawthorn Moon approaches. On that night, half a year from now, Jared and Arontala plan to feed all the souls captured in the Soulcatcher orb to the Obsidian King. Once accomplished, the Obsidian King will have the power needed to break free of the prison, which the Summoner named Bava K’aa had thrown him into, and evil will claim the entire Winter Kingdom.

He is Prince Martris “Tris” Drayke, son of Bricen of Margolan, Summoner and mage-heir of Bava K’aa. However, anyone looking at him would never imagine that he was more than a simple peasant enduring hard times, just like everyone else. The Sisterhood grudgingly agree to train Tris for his upcoming battles, but there is no guarantee that he will survive the training. Arontala is not only a strong fire mage, but is using blood magic (via sacrifices) to increase his power. Arontala will also draw power from the Obsidian King once he is freed.

Tris may very well be the strongest Summoner since Bava K’aa, but it is still going to be a royal battle indeed.
Review 2: Amazon…———–This story lacks the vigour, pace and imagination of the first book in the series. It feels as though the story has been padded out to achieve a deadline and had less enthusiasm from the author than the first book.
I have around 3 chapters to go to finish it and I will do so, however, it is proving necessary to force myself to complete the book. Perhaps the finale will change my view, if it does I’ll come back and amend this.
That all aside, it is readable if you have read the first one but I would have preferred to buy this second hand!


Review: Amazon.co.uk …This book was a fabulous read! It’s entertaining but also informative. It’s a great balance between fun & useful, and isn’t dumbed down to cater to the uninitiated – it’s just explained better than the average scientific text.

It’s funny, insightful and fascinating! Highly recommended for anyone with the slightest interest in discovering our universe.

Review: Amazon.co.uk…..If you’re looking for a PS I Love You part two, then you will be sadly disappointed. Instead you step in to the world of Rosie Dunne and her best friend Alex Stewart. Rosie is an ordinary woman trying to get on with her day to day life who quite simply misses her best friend. What starts out as an innocent childhood friendship turns to love, yet neither of them realise it.
This is a beautifully written tale of two people who share a deep rooted friendship who are seperated at a young age. It is a cleverly written story told in the form of emails, instant messages, letters and text messages which span 45 years. It contains a variety of emotions, one minute you are laughing and the next you are wiping away the tears, but throughout the book you carry the hope that this time they really will get it together. Quite simply, you’d be really stupid to pass up the chance to read this novel.

NEWS:

In today’s The London Paper on page 8, the headline of a newspaper article: Mandela off terror list
“Nelson Mandela has finally been removed from the US’s terror-watch list. The 90-year-old former South African President was in a national security immigration category which classified him as a terrorist …..”(ouch! ouch! ….<hehehe>…America!….<silence is golden!….but sometimes plain yellow!>…)

London-weather

Image: thelondonpaper


Thabo Mbeki…image: topnews.in

One of Africa’s (and the world’s) cowards …because of this newsarticle…

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Voila!! Test with blogdesk! Due to the picture-uploading-problem with WordPress, which is still not sorted, one of my friendly blogger-friends…suggested I use blogdesk and this is my first post with blogdesk! Thank you, Chris…from “kop-op-n-blok”…see the blogroll for his blog… he’s always willing to help me with anything “technical”…these pictures were taken yesterday! Beautiful snow! It snowed a bit more later the morning and the snow was a bit thicker than what you see on these pictures.
Enjoy this video! Dogs and Polar Bears play together!

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Snow…..

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These pictures were taken about 9:30-ish this morning… it didn’t snow that much…as you can tell from the pictures……this is our front garden…

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This is our back garden…with the “garage”… not a garage to our “standards”, I would rather call it  a storage room…we have two guinea-pigs in there too! They are somewhere on my blog! 

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This last picture was taken about 2 hours later than the others, just to show you how little it snowed actually…. we had snow here, quite thick, last year – I think it was  during  January…

This is a picture which “Squirrel” from the chess site has sent me … he lives north…about 2 hours from London….

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On this short video…you can see London Underground…the station is Green Park..you can hear the announcement… “This is Green Park, change here for the Piccadilly and Victoria lines” … Green Park is where I change every day from the Piccadilly line….to go on the Jubilee line…this train on the video is a Jubilee-line train. There are certain “rules” when you travel by tube… important… don’t try to make eye-contact with anybody… ok, they won’t yell at you, but some might.. depends on their manners and how they were brought up! then, best is, get yourself a free newspaper  like  the Metro - in the mornings,  London Lite  or The London Paper  (in the afternoons) or any other free newspaper – if you don’t want to buy one… to keep you “busy” or do some reading from your latest book you’ve bought at  your favourite bookstore.. actually, I want to say from Borders – my favourite of course…. and I wish that some passengers  would want to turn their music down! You still get passengers that wouldn’t turn their music down, they think everybody loves their  taste (bad) of music! And, it doesn’t help if you give them the “look”… they keep their eyes shut and all what matters…is their rubbish music…not even the posters, put up by London Underground, make a difference… – perhaps their reading skills are a bit like their music…and perhaps  their “listening” skills too….  

I do like Abba’s music… hope you enjoy their song..  “Just another train…”

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SkyNews -

Firefighters appear to have contained a fire which has ripped through the top floor of a world famous London hospital leaving patients and staff desperately trying to flee the flames.

It is believed some patients, who were undergoing surgery, had to remain in operating theatres and others who were gravely ill had their rooms filled with smoke.

All of the patients and staff have now been taken to safety.

The roof of the Royal Marsden hospital was engulfed in flames with smoke visible for miles around.

Police have closed off all roads leading to the hospital building.

Some patients were laid on mattresses in an ambulance area on a nearby street, with nursing staff in attendance.
Read the rest of the article HERE on Yahoo.

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Cancer hospital evacuated after fire
Read the news article HERE

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HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!!
 

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Click on this Christmas-link to download a big pdf document with about 10 Christmas images. It will open in a new window and it does take a few secs to downlaod as it’s a big file.

Read about people being stranded at Heathrow due to bad weather! Hope you all are soon where you want to be! The link will open in a new window.

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London relief

toilet.jpgLONDON (Reuters) – First came SatNav for lost drivers. Now there’s “SatLav”, a toilet-finding service to help people caught short in central London.
On Thursday, Westminster City Council launched a new text message service that will guide Londoners and tourists to their nearest public lavatory.

Anyone who sends the word “Toilet” to 80097 will receive a reply giving details of their nearest public convenience.

Student Gail Knight, 26, came up with the idea for an innovation competition run by the council.

“When I’m out with friends we’re always ducking into McDonalds or department stores to use their loos but we feel a bit bad about it,” she said. “I thought a text service would be really useful for people on the move.”

The service is available across the Westminster, an area that includes many of the capital’s most popular sights, such as Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace.
Read here more..
on yahoo .

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My topic is “green”. Green is the colour that changes into different colours! During Autumn, it is amazing to see all the changes….if you look closely, you will see the seed of the Horse Chestnut on this tree…
Here it is, but it has changed! And it has dropped down….ready for another cycle?
The English call this a “concker” and earlier, they played games with the conkers and children knew how to keep themself busy with it!


In the corner of the garden, green, but with an invader….
Once again, beautiful green! Some children in London say that they hate green as a colour, because there is so much green in the country! …..never thought someone will say that…
…..more green……
And…..there’s the invader…he thought I would never see him, I think he was ready to jump….wonder how fast that would be…Another Osterley-link with images I took in the park.

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WOW! I think this is my best picture of today!!




And I think I’m slowly getting the hang of my camera…








Osterley Park is so tien minute se vinnig stap van ons af waar ons bly. Dis ‘n lieflik groot park. Dis baie besig gedurende naweke, mense kom hou graag piekniek in die park, stap sommer net rond of ry fiets…daar is verskillende paadjies, maar ongelukkig is van hulle nou toegemaak en moet jy betaal om daar te ry met jou fiets of om te stap. Wat ‘n jammerte! Dis so pragtig om daar rond te ry, nou is ons baie beperk met die beweging van ons fietse. Ek dink hulle wil op ‘n manier fondse insamel. Die “huis” wat op die foto gesien word, is ‘n historiese gebou en soms word daar kuns uitgestal. Ons was self nog nie daar binne nie. Een Sondag was daar ‘n troue op die grasperk voor die gebou. Asiese troue en dit het baie indrukwekkend gelyk, ek dink net dis baie onpersoonlik met al die ander mense wat oral op die gras rondsit of rondloop. Die ander gebou is ‘n winkeltjie – die een met die klok – en daar kan jy sit en iets bestel, lekker skons met room, ens. en hulle verkoop ook allerhande tradisionele goed, soos konfyt wat self gemaak is…..ens. ‘n Ander pragtige park, omtrent 15 min per motor, is Richmond Park. ‘n Verskriklike groot park, pragtig bokke en uitgestrekte dele vir stap/ry/fietsry/piekniek en selfs perdry! Ek eksperimenteer bietjie met die kamera wat ek het – hy is iewers op my blog – en daarom sit ek van tyd tot tyd foto’s, ek wil graag beter “close-ups” neem, maar met die kamera van my, is dit ‘n kuns…af ek is maar bietjie dom met die ding! “Practise makes perfect”, soos hulle se, so dit sal seker nog tyd neem voordat alles perfek is!

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Source here.

LONDON (Reuters) – Tangerine peel could help in the fight against certain cancers, researchers said on Wednesday.

Human cancer cells, which contain an enzyme called P450 CYP1B1, were destroyed by a compound contained in tangerine peel, Salvestrol Q40, scientists at Leicester School of Pharmacy found.

The findings may offer a new approach to uncovering a treatment for cancers such as breast, lung, prostate and ovarian cancer, the scientists said.
Medicinal chemist Dr. Hoon L. Tan said: “It is very exciting to find a compound in food that can target cancers specifically.

“Salvestrols may offer a new mechanism of dietary anti-cancer action.
“Indeed, the depletion of salvestrols in the modern diet is due to the fact that many people no longer eat the skin of fruits and this may be a major contributory factor to the increasing incidence of some cancers in the human population.”

The breakthrough was being presented at the British Pharmaceutical Conference held in Manchester.But he warned that the research was still in its early days and many tests will be needed before reaching the clinical trial stage, which could take between five and seven years.
The researchers have formed a private company, Nature’s Defence Investments, to protect and promote their research, with the potential of designing a natural anti-cancer alternative based on the new technology
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Scroll down for a bit of English… Y5 taster trip…for the Y6 trip in the new year.

Hierdie was ‘n uitstappie met die twee Jaar 5-klasse – my klas was ‘n gemengde klas, dus was dit 1 1/2 klas en nie twee volledige klasse nie – om vir hulle ‘n voorsmakie te gee van die Jaar6-uitstappie. In Jaar6 gaan hulle vir so ‘n uitstappie waar hulle vir so 3 nagte oornag en allerhande “pret” het. Dis nou amper soos ‘n miniatuur “veldskool”. Die kinders leer baie om saam te werk in ‘n groep en om mekaar aan te moedig in die aktiwiteite. Hulle kry ook probleme waar hulle ‘n oplossing in die groep moet vind. Alle probleme moet self probeer opgelos word sonder enige hulp vanaf die kant van die volwassenes, ons kon bietjie leiding/voorstelle hier en daar gee, maar nie die oplossing nie. Ons het so bietjie uit London gery…suidwaarts deur Greenwich en Bexley na die plekkie.

Die foto’s onderaan die blog is dan ook wat ek geneem het soos die bus gery het, sommer in die ry geneem! Oppad terug was die kinders taamlik moeg na die dag se pret, soos van die foto’s vir julle wys. Dis nie aldag dat hulle so ‘n geleentheid kry nie, sommige van hulle kom net NOOIT weg van die huis nie….ongelooflik…maar waar. Een outjie….Steven…het my kop van my ore af gepraat van opgewondenheid soos hy dinge op die pad gesien het…ook van ‘n land van Afrika af…..as ek hom nie pertinent gevra het om stil te bly, sodat ek met die ander Onderwyseres ‘n woord kan inkry nie, sou hy eenstryk aanmekaar gepraat het….en ek het letterlik ‘n paar keer vir hom gevra om stil te bly omdat ek ‘n praatbeurt wil he!

Die Onnies by die plek is almal gekwalifiseerde Onnies, maar hulle was meestal van verskillende lande. Die enetjie in my groep, Cindy, was van Amerika en dan was daar een van die manne van Australie. (deelteken daar, dankie, my Alt-funksies wil nie ‘n deelteken en kappie gee nie, jammer!) Hulle kom van ander lande en werk by die Avontuurkampe om bietjie die wereld te leer ken. Sy het gese sy wil eintlik na Australie gaan en haar daar gaan vestig.


Onnies wat die dag se aktiwiteite aangebied het…..Teachers at the camp…organised the day’s activities. Cindy is at the back, from America. One male teacher was from Australia.
Walk to the woods…to build a shelter! Sounds like our schools in SA in the “good old days”….Ons stap na die woud om ‘n skuiling te gaan bou…klink dit bietjie bekend? Veldskool in SA!
‘n Heerlike swembad om in rond te plas en te speel….ook om bietjie te leer swem. Swimming pool to play and splash around…and to learn to swim too.

Hier moes hulle hul verbeel die gras is ‘n rivier! Daar is woeste krokodille in die rivier en hulle moet almal oorkom sonder dat EEN aan die gras raak…anders vat Cindy die band weg…sy is dus die “krokodil”…Cindy played the crocodile…they had to cross the “river” and the moment someone gets on the grass…the croc has a meal! So, then Cindy takes away the tyre…and nobody was allowed on the grass!
Diep dink hier, die hout vierkante moet almal in orde gepak word, maar mag nie een van hulle los rondle nie…hulle moet almal “iewers” wees…en dis ‘n storie om dit uitgesorteer kry sodat hulle van groot na klein gepak word…hulle mag nie die blokke op die gras neergesit het nie, hy moes in ‘n ander paal gaan totdat hy gebruik word….sorting wooden squares from largest to smallest…and you are not allowed to put them on the grass….it must go into a pole until you use it…

Skuiling amper klaar, maar dis ‘n gesukkel! Geen hulp mag verleen word..hulle moet self dink…maar kan hulle! Die arme goed…! Met bietjie “raad” en idees het hulle dit darem reggekry…die drie is almal van Afrika en die enetjie heel regs was in my klas, baie oulik en ‘n “prinses” in haar stam waar sy vandaan gekom het…moes vlug…as gevolg van situasie in die land. Sy is nou so 5 jaar in Engeland…Building shelters! What a nightmare…no idea how!! With a bit of thinking….they got there…we were not suppose to help them…poor thingies!
These two girls were not in my class…but very creative. I got them to start a story to pass the time…One started a sentence and the other continued and so on…the girl on the right was a new girl, very bright and cute…Die twee dogters was nie in my klas nie, die enetjie regs was in my literacy-groep…sy is baie slim en was op daardie stadium slegs 2 weke in die skool. Altwee oulike kinders, maar die enetjie regs het darem my hart gesteel! ‘n Regte “lady”.

Moeg! Tired!
Bexley…….Greenwich……..London………
Sommige motorhandelaars se besigheid is sommer so sonder ‘n afdak…nie soos ons dit gewoond is in SA nie….en lyk maar bietjie klein…die spasie…terwyl ander handelaars ordentlike spasie het met ‘n ordentlike gebou soos ons dit ken…




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1666 : Great Fire of London begins
In the early morning hours, the Great Fire of London breaks out in the house of King Charles II’s baker on Pudding Lane near London Bridge. It soon spread to Thames Street, where warehouses filled with combustibles and a strong easterly wind transformed the blaze into an inferno. When the Great Fire finally was extinguished on September 6, more than four-fifths of London was destroyed. Miraculously, only 16 people were known to have died.
The Great Fire of London was a disaster waiting to happen. London of 1666 was a city of medieval houses made mostly of oak timber. Some of the poorer houses had walls covered with tar, which kept out the rain but made the structures more vulnerable to fire. Streets were narrow, houses were crowded together, and the firefighting methods of the day consisted of neighborhood bucket brigades armed with pails of water and primitive hand pumps. Citizens were instructed to check their homes for possible dangers, but there were many instances of carelessness.
So it was on the evening of September 1, 1666, when Thomas Farrinor, the king’s baker, failed to properly extinguish his oven. He went to bed, and sometime around midnight sparks from the smoldering embers ignited firewood lying beside the oven. Before long, his house was in flames. Farrinor managed to escape with his family and a servant out an upstairs window, but a bakery assistant died in the flames–the first victim.
Sparks from Farrinor’s bakery leapt across the street and set fire to straw and fodder in the stables of the Star Inn. From the Inn, the fire spread to Thames Street, where riverfront warehouses were packed full with flammable materials such as tallow for candles, lamp oil, spirits, and coal. These stores lit aflame or exploded, transforming the fire into an uncontrollable blaze. Bucket-bearing locals abandoned their futile efforts at firefighting and rushed home to evacuate their families and save their valuables. Read more about the
Fire of London ….here.

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This was the second time we went on a trip on the River. From Westminster to Greenwich. This time we spent the time at Greenwich to have a snack and to shop around the Street Markets. We were surprised to find a stall that sells some nice Boerewors It is an English guy who sells sausages and meat from different countries and he’s got a South African guy who supplies him with the South African “sausages”…which is called wors. He also sells biltongwhich, of course, we couldn’t resist!

With our previous visit we visited the
Royal Observatory, but we were a bit late, but just in time to stand on the O-line (Greenwich Time-line) to take pictures! Before we visited the Observatory, we spent time at theCutty Sark





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My first time to see white cattle!! It looks almost like the South African Drakensberger we used to have on the farm.
And these pictures are all some of my best of reflections…all in Osterley Park…before my fall!



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This is Earl’s Court Station…Earl!

Barons Court Station….think the Baron will like to stop here next year when coming to London, to have a drink at a pub! ….should tell him about this station…! This station is just before Earl’s Court! Think the Earl would like the name of that station! He and the Baron might like to travel together on the Piccadilly line from Heathrow! :))

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See my other pictures of the Thames here and enjoy the beautiful sunset pics on the river!







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Bexley

On our way back from Arethusa, these pics were taken. That’s Bexley….


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Kent





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You want to know more about the dance? …go to…

http://www.volkspele.co.za
On THIS LINK you can read more about Folk Dance and there are links to photos too. If you go down with the slider, once on that link, you will find an English part too.
Please click on THIS LINK for South African traditional songs…only the piano-midi-files…and number 209 (Afrikaners is plesierig) was the one we used. If you click on the musical note, you can download it and on the song name, you can see the words/lyrics.

 
Year 1′s doing a South African folk dance….(“The Afrikaner are joyful people”)…still practising though…but they were so cute…I taught them 3/4 of the steps, as they are little, they can’t remember all of the steps, but they are doing great!!
 




Jan Pierewiet in Korea!

 Volkspele on youtube! See more videos there…


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Stratford station is in the East of London. It has a British overland station, as well as a tube station. (Underground station)

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This is Bermondsey Road in Bermondsey…London….On the first picture, the building painted in orange/pink, is the Textile museum….and on the 4th picture, you can see the Bermondsey Bridge.

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River Thames

What you see here…is just a few photos

Tower Bridge….

Blackfriars Bridge……..

Westminster…..and do I have to say anything more….!

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London

This photo was taken the day when we went to see our art display at Pottersfield Park…about 3 min walk from Tower Bridge…and that is where “More London” …is…and…who doesn’t know THIS building?!

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