Bag it

We are now the owners of a cheerful shopping bag to use instead of carting plastic bags around. It was a surprise gift from our local supermarket when our card set off an embarrassing wailing when inserted in the card machine but instead of a problem we were handed this bag.

While not a high-fashion handbag it is something of a miracle as it was made from discarded plastic bottles. This recycling process has been around for a while but it is still interesting to be reminded of the steps involved.

It starts with cleaning the bottles, grinding them up and shredding into flakes which are melted down into pellets about size of a rice grain. These are sold to companies that can melt them and make into many different products – such as plastic toys, tools, electronic gadgets as well as materials to make T-shirts, sweaters, fleece
jackets, insulation for jackets and sleeping bags, carpeting and even more bottles.

It takes about 10 bottles to make enough plastic fibre for a cool new T-shirt and 63 bottles to make a sweater.

So don’t throw your plastic into the rubbish bin. Take them to be recycled and proudly wear them later.


There’s always something new to see when we run through the vineyards of Groot Constantia.

On Wednesday I counted 26 Egyptian geese having breakfast on a large piece of newly-ploughed land which had brought to the surface a host of good things to eat. For once there was no squabbling among these usually noisy birds.

Another interesting sight was a row of large bunches of black grapes deliberately left on the vine till some were shrivelled. I tasted one which was beautifully sweet and wondered what wine they were destined to make. Some late harvest surely.


In the end it’s not the years in your life that counts. It’s the life in your years – Abraham Lincoln.