Rugby

On Friday evening there was a knock on the door, Freddy opened and there was our neighbour asking if we had any plans for Saturday. The answer was no, whereupon he presented two tickets for the game between The Blue Bulls from Pretoria and The Cheetahs from Bloemfontein. Not only that, it was tickets to a Platinum Suite 🙂

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So on Saturday we headed off to Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria and found our suite. Free food and free drinks and a lot of big – no, huge – men who brutally dives into the fight for the ball.

It wasn’t an important game, so the number of spectators was unfortunately quite low, but believe me – the noise levels can become high anyway. South Africans are very passionate about rugby!

I have said for probably 15 years that I want to go to a rugby game and this sure was a nice way to do it. But next time it will have to be when The Lions from Johannesburg play. But we had a great time!

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Sea of purple!

jakarandaIt’s October and summer is fast approaching in South Africa. It feels absolutely wonderful! Even in South Africa it gets really cold in the winter and without any form of insulation in the houses, you never truly escape the cold. Wrapped in the blanket becomes a normal state…

But now winter seems far away, we’re back to skirt and tank top and right now Johannesburg is also graced with flowering Jacaranda trees. These are quite large trees with dark trunk and the flowers are beautifully purple. Along with many cerise bougainvillea bushes they transform Johannesburg into a beautiful sea of colour. Pretoria has even more Jacaranda trees than Johannesburg, between 40 000 and 70 000 trees, hence its nickname, The Jacaranda City.

Interestingly, the Jacaranda trees are not indigenous to South Africa. They were imported from South America in the 1880s, but due to the large number of trees they have become something of a South African icon.

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The South African government has quite recently passed new laws to try to bring down the number of invasive species and to ensure the survival of native species. Jacaranda trees fall into this category, but fortunately they are not in the group of plants that need to be removed. However, no new trees are allowed to be planted, so if existing trees die they can’t be replaced. So let’s hope all the Jacaranda trees here in the area will survive for many generations!