Following firmly in family footsteps

Former prima ballerina Janet Lindup and her up-and-coming dancing niece Juliette Lindup will appear together for the first time on Artscape's Theatre stage.

Like father and son, like mother and daughter are often the case, but there are variations of the affinity of one family member to follow in another’s footsteps.

Take former prima ballerina Janet Lindup and her 15-year-old niece, Juliette Lindup. The two will be appearing together on Artscape’s stage from Friday December 15 to Sunday December 24, in Cape Town City Ballet’s Christmas production of The Nutcracker.

In Act I Janet is the Mother of Clara, the little girl taken on a journey by the Nutcracker Prince to the Kingdom of Sweets. It was a role Janet danced at the age of 12 and in her prime she was the Sugar Plum Fairy in Capab Ballet’s staging when her Prince was Johnny Bovang, her future longstanding dancing partner.

Juliette has two roles – as a Party Child in Act I and in Act II she is a Mirliton – a colourful sweetie. In Act III Juliette will appear en pointe in a tutu, just as her Aunt Janet did at the age of 18 when she made her debut dancing the leading role in Swan Lake.

“I am extremely proud to be sharing the stage with my talented niece,” said Janet, who with her sister, Debbie Lindup, trained Juliette from the age of five5.“She clearly shows a natural talent and has already won numerous Eisteddfod and other competitions.

“Long may the Lindup genes (or Pointe shoes) continue.”

It is good to know that at the opening of the Nutcracker season, the smiling face of Professor Elizabeth Triegaardt, honorary executive director of Cape Town City Ballet, will, as usual, 
be welcoming her guests and giving them their complimentary tickets for the performance.

The recent changing of the guard in the company, to which she 
has remained fiercely loyall to since graduating from UCT, will not come into effect until next year.

I hope Professor Triegaardt 
knows how much her guests have appreciated those tickets down the years.


When Kenneth Branagh, as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, solves the mystery of who killed the unpleasant Mr Rachett (Johnny Depp) in the new Agatha Christie movie, Murder on the Orient Express, his summing up is almost as over-the-top as Poirot’s moustache.

In fact the plot of a kidnapping case involving a fictitious Armstrong family is based on a true and shocking crime – the kidnapping and murder of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh’s son in 1932, two years before Christie’s book appeared.
An innocent, but loose-lipped maid employed by Lindbergh’s parents was suspected of involvement in the crime. After being harshly interrogated by police, she committed suicide.

Another, less-remembered, real-life event also inspired the novel. Agatha Christie first travelled on the Orient Express in late 1928. Just a few months later, in February 1929, an Orient Express train was trapped by a blizzard near Cherkeskoy, in Turkey, remaining marooned for six days.

Christie herself was involved in a similar incident in December 1931 while returning on the Orient Express from a visit to her husband’s archaeological dig at Nineveh. The train was stuck for 24 hours due to rainfall, flooding, and sections of the track being washed away.

Her biography quotes in full a letter to her husband detailing the event, including descriptions of some passengers on the train, who influenced the plot and characters of the book.

Of particular importance was that of a glamorous American, Mrs Hilton, who was the inspiration for the mixed-up character played in the movie by Michelle Pfeiffer as Mrs Hubbard.

Be water wise

It’s bad enough to think of being reduced to 25 litres of water a day, but only two, that’s a nightmare. Well done to all those in various businesses who, on November 29, “Watershed Wednesday”, took two litres of water to their workplace to experience the drastic situation should the taps run dry.

Those two precious litres were supposed to cover all needs, with staff wearing the same clothes as the day before to reduce their laundry and in extreme cases, the switch-off of toilets and urinals for the day.

The latter restriction is the big long-term problem. When you carry a heavy bucket of precious borehole or grey water into the bathroom, you realise how much water is wasted flushing the loo.

Hats off to John Harington, who in 1596 invented the flush toilet, and Thomas Crapper, for supplying the future King Edward VII with 30 loos with cedarwood seats and enclosures for Sandringham House in Norfolk .

Right now we need an inventor of an affordable, mass-produced waterless, odourless, accessible (ie not at the bottom of the garden) loo for the years ahead of drought and water restrictions.

Bigger, better bananas

What’s happening to our bananas? Some look as though they are on steroids.These are the bananas imported from places like Ecuador and the Ivory Coast to supplement local supply because of the drought in Mpumalanga and Mozambique. Before 2012 bananas were never imported but in three years imports have risen by 867%.

For those on a weight-loss programme, a banana has always been a convenient easy-to-eat fruit. Now dieters must watch out. A large banana clocks in at 120 calories and a small one at 90, so it’s advisable to eat only half a large banana and save the 30 calories for something else tasty.

Losing the fight

What does it mean when a man is in your bed gasping for breath and calling your name?
Clearly you didn’t hold the pillow down long enough.

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