Thursday, 27 December 2007
In Canada some of the average numbers are :
Christmas season - $ 23 billion (that is 23,000 million !)
Valentine's Day - $ 2 billion
Mother's Day - $ 1 billion
Father's Day - $ 1 billion
Halloween - $ 1.2 billion (1,200 million dollars on candy, pumpkins and costumes !)
Friday, 21 December 2007
Not sure who the author of the article is or which publication it first appeared in.
Zimbabweans use eggs to calculate exchange rate
Monsters and Critics Dec 19, 2007, 9:39 GMT
Harare/Johannesburg - Fed up with myriad official and unofficial rates for hard currency, some Zimbabweans have started using eggs to calculate the rate of exchange. President Robert Mugabe's government has set the official rate of exchange at 30,000 Zimbabwe dollars to the US dollar. But hardly anyone uses that rate these days.
Despite threats from the feared National Incomes and Pricing Commission (NIPC), shops, private tutors, street vendors and cross- border traders all use parallel exchange rates to set their prices.
The problem is that as the annual inflation rate rises - currently it's running at more than 14,000 per cent - black market exchange rates change all the time. And everyone wants to get the best deal.
So some locals have adopted the Hard-Boiled Egg Index (HBEI) to determine what they are calling a fair value exchange rate. The HBEI, popularized by a local financial columnist, works on the premise that across Africa, 1 US dollar buys around eight eggs.
To work out a fair exchange rate for the US dollar on a particular day, Zimbabweans take the cost of buying just one egg - usually from a roadside vendor because shops are poorly stocked - and multiply by eight.
On Tuesday, for example, an egg cost 300,000 or 400,000 Zimbabwe dollars, depending on where you were shopping.Multiply by eight and you get totals of 2.4 million and 3.2 million.
Work out the median, and the fair value HBEI rate for the US dollar is 2.8 million Zimbabwe dollars.'Sometimes the parallel rate gets ahead of the HBEI and sometimes it lags behind,' a local financial news service said Wednesday.
'Generally the HBEI reflects exchange rate inflation, purchasing power parity and domestic inflation in a very effective way.'
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Thursday, 15 November 2007
The other day he got hold of a - fortunately washable - marker and decided to practise his own circle drawing on the wall in the kitchen !! He was so proud of himself and definitely impossible to get mad at him !!
He now has his own drawing stand and has learnt that that is the proper place to do his scribbling !
Saturday, 10 November 2007
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Here are some of the photos from the outing :
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
Monday, 22 October 2007
The photo below was the last time we were all together in one place. It was at the home of Gerald and Nan Brebner in Newton West, Bulawayo. There is still debate as to exactly when it was but the general consensus is that it was sometime in 1977 !
Below : From Left : Gordon, Jen, Rita, Bron and Dave October 2007
Monday, 17 September 2007
These photos show Gordon and Bronwen sporting their medallions after their run and the backs of their shirts showing the photo of Simon in whose memory they were running.
Johanna, Cai and Mark enjoy the great breakfast served after the run.
Sunday, 12 August 2007
"Home" - what he calls our minivan. Presumably because we always tell him that he is (mostly) going home when getting in the van to drive somewhere !
"Alright" - what he says when he either does not want something or has had enough of something, usually food or drink. (He started off saying "no" but then we would say "alright" - so that is what he has picked up on !)
He has an absolute fascination with the moon and is constantly looking for it in the sky - often finding it in the early morning or late afternoon sky when it is still showing. His first full sentence - over a month ago - was "I see de moon" - as he pointed up to it !
Monday, 6 August 2007
Sunday, 5 August 2007
Wednesday, 1 August 2007
The morning sunlight was - as always - a perfect time of day to take some memorable photos.
Sunday, 29 July 2007
"Drink wine, and you will sleep well. Sleep, and you will not sin. Avoid sin, and you will be saved. Ergo, drink wine and be saved." Medieval German saying
Sunday, 22 July 2007
Friday, 20 July 2007
Thursday, 19 July 2007
Photos of the ceremony itself will be published soon.
Above - Brennan and Bronwen just before they left for two days of honeymoon - camping at Brazeau - in the much decorated car - below !
Wednesday, 18 July 2007
Sunday, 15 July 2007
"If you really want to do something you will find a way. If you don't you will find an excuse."
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
It starts with my e-mail to the winery in Stellenbosch, South Africa
June 17 - Dear Le Bonheur
I thought that you might appreciate hearing about one of your wines from Alberta, Canada.
Last week-end we opened and drank a bottle of your Sauvignon Blanc 1985 vintage ! My brother likely bought it in Cape Town in 1986 when he was working for Pick n Pay and then took it with him to England when he moved there in 1988. Over the years it would have moved a few times - from home to home in England and into storage when he went to New Zealand for a couple of years and another time when he went to France for a year.
In 2003 he came to visit us in Canada and brought the bottle to us as he was clearing out some of his older stock. I had been keeping it in my 'cellar' for a special occasion. A few weeks ago we sold our house and decided that we should start enjoying some of the wines that we have collected over the years - to celebrate this change in our lives and to save us having to move them all too !!
I am not an absolute connoisseur of wine and was also suffering from a cold last week-end so I am not able to wax poetical about the characteristics of the wine. As you can see the colour was beautiful and the wine was very full bodied - it had excellent legs after been swirled in the glass - something I do know about ! The taste was rich and satisfying - an excellent medium. Not a trace of sediment in the bottle and the cork in great condition. It went very well with the Arctic Char fish which I had brought back from Northern Canada - right out of the Arctic ocean - quite an exotic paring.
Unfortunately, as you can see in the photos, the label had seen better days so I couldn't soak it off the bottle to keep. I have not seen any of your wine being sold in this part of the world but it may possibly be found in some speciality wine stores particularly in Eastern Canada where the market is much larger.
I have to wonder if you have any other stories along the same lines or if ours might be one of a kind !
On another note. We are all long time Africans. My ancestors were 1820 settlers and my parents moved to Rhodesia in 1950 after growing up and being married in South Africa. Some of my wife's ancestors were supposedly De Villiers of the Huguenots but we don't have the family tree traced back that far so can only wonder if there is any connection to Le Bonheur ! Perhaps in time we will find out.
Thanks for the great wine. Sincerely, Gordon
June 21 reply : Dear Gordon
What a treat to receive your mail and with photographs !!! Your story (and photos) are most unique.
Thank you for taking the time to let us know - I have sent this to the current wine maker as well as to our marketing team. Can't believe that the wine lasted that well - fantastic - and to see the old label ! Below find a picture of the new label... very different.
I hope you will enjoy lots of lovely Le Bonheur wines in the future.
Kind regards, Tanya
July 9 - a further follow-up : Dear Gordon,
Just a quick email from Stellenbosch to say thanks so much for your great email and photographs. Really is one great story and will be published to the website.
The Le Bonheur wines are made in a more Old World style where the focus is to produce wines true to the grape. Not interfering too much with nature, the LBH wines naturally do not see too much oak, have a good acidity, shows great minerality (given the weathered granite soils) and
have great fruit that all add to the longevity/long life of the wine. I am very happy you had joy drinking this wine. Great proof that the Cape wines can age... if made properly. The current releases you will appreciate with the character and style so typical Le Bonheur.
Imported into Alberta by Peter Mielzynski Available, various stores carry the products. I will get PMA to confirm some store names for you for possible purchase and enjoyment with your family, friends and food!
Best to you ! Cobus Joubert, Business Manager - North & South America