It began in July 2007. I landed a dream job as a reporter at Cape Community Newspapers.
The stable of freesheets publishes Constantiaberg Bulletin and its sister titles. And while I would have preferred a post on the Tatler – which covers the area in which I live and receive my freebie (most) Thursdays – I was happy to have my foot in the door.
The popular papers were packed with news, views and social happenings, everything local, and I wanted to work there.
I soon warmed up to working on the Bulletin instead of the Tatler, as I drove over Wynberg Hill into my other “office”. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a valley filled with vineyards, surrounded by mountains, mansions, a prison and Westlake Village, the oldest RDP development in the country.
Every morning I would wake, excited at what the day would bring, almost always something new, daring, challenging, a blank screen needing to be filled with a jigsaw of facts, details – and most importantly, a gripping intro.
And then there are the wonderful people I would meet. From a king (he was Prince Charles when I met him) to mayors, murderers, musicians, nurses, volunteers, homeless people, scientists, authors, professors and winemakers. And the wildlife – bees, baboons a racehorse but no shot hole beetles – yet. Everyone has a story to tell.
Highlights have been covering the big fire, a drought, a murder case and more recently a pandemic.
I could not have done it without you, dear readers. I humbly thank you wonderful people for your time, your input, for sharing with me your information, passions, dreams, fears and gripes. In return I have learned so much about planning issues, primates, E.coli, and health issues – including my own colon.
In the background I thank my colleagues at team CCN, our editor, Chantel Erfort, for her patience and persistence, the Bulletin’s ad rep Lauren Mushfieldt, and last but not least the “Covid family”, six of us who worked in the office throughout lockdown until we made working from home a permanent arrangement.
But now, like a good bottle of wine, I have reached my taste by date and it’s time to move on, to step into the unknown. It’s both scary and exciting. But I’m not gone forever.
I’ll continue reviewing books and because I’m no longer reporting – I’ll also have have the luxury of having even more time to read.
Bulletin readers can now send their community news and what’s on notices to Janice Matthews at firstname.lastname@example.org