Forty years ago, old-age pensioners were perceived as stooped, white-haired and often quite grumpy old people killing time until they died, but times have changed, and the modern retiree has plenty of options.
Probably one of the most difficult issues facing estate managers is waste management. It’s a truly Sisyphean endeavour – just when you think you’ve cleared the pile, it grows back. But creative waste management is essential, not only to maintain the beauty and integrity of our estates, but of – yes – the whole world.
Every time we hear stories of veld fires, we are alerted to the very real danger to our homes of a runaway fire. The devastating Knysna fires of 2017 are a vivid reminder of just how quickly a fire can rage out of control and cause millions of rands of damages. Coupled with domestic risks such as faulty wiring or appliances, it’s essential that bodies corporate and trustees review their estate’s insurance to ensure that they are adequately covered against fire risk.
When Simbithi Eco Estate was conceptualised 15 years ago, it was all about ‘home’, and today, the 430-hectare estate has a thriving community of residents, each of whom believe ‘home’ is not a location – ‘home’ is a feeling.
Everybody knows that good business has to be sustainable,and that – really – we do not have to choose between a profitable economy on the onehand, and clean air and oceans on the other. So, cleverly, the Republic of Seychelles has put the two together and launched the world’s first sovereign blue bond — a pioneering financial instrument designed to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects. And, of course, to preserve the clean oceans and clear air of these beautiful islands.
Some small towns are naturally slow – stuck away in the middle of nowhere – but some have to work at it. The tiny town of Sedgefield, South Africa’s first certified Cittaslow town, is not in the middle of nowhere. It’s on the ever-popular, and only historically sleepy, Garden Route, so it’s had to work hard at slowing down.
Careful planning for future repairs and replacements is in the best physical and fiscal interests of the community association. Maintaining a reserve fund not only meets legal, fiduciary and professional requirements, it also minimises the need for special levies, and enhances resale values. How does an association properly determine and compile adequate reserves to fund necessary repair and replacement costs? By conducting reserve studies.
‘Pergola’ might be the one word more than any other in the language of gardening that gets us thinking of hot, quiet, lazy Mediterranean afternoons heavy with the scent of newly cut grass; afternoons filled with family and Chianti, fresh basil, and rich, ripe tomatoes anointed with the thickest, finest olive oil.
As we slither our sweltering way to the end of the hottest summer most of us can remember, we find hope in an awesomely innovative technology developed by scientists at Stanford University in the USA. Stanford scientists cooled water without electricity by sending excess heat where it won’t be noticed – space. The specialised optical surfaces they developed are a major step toward applying this technology to air conditioning and refrigeration.
Blur the lines between the great outdoors and your interior spaces by replicating nature’s colours on your walls. Here’s how. Marie Kondo’s Netflix fans can stop uncluttering for an instant. There’s a new way to ‘spark joy’ in your home. It’s called: ‘Bring the outside in.’ The idea is to replicate nature in our interior spaces by using paint colours that inspire a calming effect, or act as a mood-booster.
It warms, it cooks, it illuminates. Fire is central to our lives, and it’s not too far a stretch to say that it is our use, mastery and – dare I say it – worship of fire (and the high-tech advances on the same theme) that define us as human.
While many people choose to live in lifestyle estates for the serene surroundings and country feel, they still need to be close to the city – to work, shop, access professional services, or frequently travel to and from the airport. This is particularly true for young working professionals and parents of schoolgoing kids who have to add a soccer-mom-taxi element to an already hectic commute schedule.
Remember the fable of The Tortoise and the Hare? The one where the arrogant hare thought that he could so easily outrun the tortoise that he decided to have a nap? The slow and steady tortoise just kept going and ultimately won the race.
If you have schoolgoing children, you’re probably already thinking about where they will go to university, and how you will pay for it. And you don’t have to limit your choices to within our borders – there are some great investments in student developments in, for example, the UK.