Travel and Leisure

Sam Basch
Sam Basch

All that glitters

Humankind has always had a penchant for gold. It’s actually a fever, gold fever, striking down all those with the indescribable urge for quick riches. Up north in the Limpopo province are the remains of South Africa’s first gold-mining company.

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Travel and Leisure
Andrea Abbott

Literary ramblings

Literary connections add a cultural touch during a short rambling tour on the Isle of Wight and in parts of South Devon in England

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Sam Basch
Sam Basch

Pillars of Tower Hamlets

Four black metal pillars in a half circle, about three or four metres high, standing between two blocks of flats in London’s East End. To what purpose? Play things for kids? A work of art?

Actually the London Borough of Tower Hamlets was where the Stepney Gas Works produced coal gas for more than a century. Coal was conveyed by barge on the Regent’s Canal and converted here to gas for households, industry and the city’s streetlights. It made it a target for aerial bombardment in World War II. This now becomes an interesting story…

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Sam Basch
Sam Basch

Take a long view

Britain has the allure of timelessness and tradition, and a language that is spoken widely. The age-old traditions the Brits so jealously guard have their roots elsewhere. Even their English language was a Germanic import, brought there by Angles, Saxons and Jutes.

As the Danes invaded in the 9th century, and even settled in places, the Wessex king Alfred kept them at bay. He is credited with saving the English language. But William the Conqueror’s invasion from Normandy in 1066 almost killed English. Fortunately three centuries of French at court introduced a lexicon that massively enriched modern English.

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Sam Basch

Wild, weird and wonderful

Words cannot describe the spectacle of wildflowers that flourish every year on the West Coast and Namaqualand. Photographs give an idea, but you have to visit there to be caressed by soft air, to smell the earth and sea, feel the sun’s warmth, the silkiness of the petals, the lustre of the blooms.

This is a wish-list item that reminds us how magnificent nature can be…

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