TEARS tees off with a golf fund-raising day

Pippa Middleton.

Eavesdropping can be extremely rewarding. Engrossed in the hairdresser’s copy of Hello. I overheard the client next to me say that something “big” had to be done to save TEARS.

That’s why she, together with her father and TEARS founder and director Marilyn Hoole, have arranged a golf day on Thursday November 30 at the Clovelly Country Club to raise desperately needed funds to keep it going.

As this conversation was more relevant than Pippa Middleton’s wedding, I said “Goodbye” to my Hello and asked Michelle Richards what was needed to make this day a success.

“Donations,” came the quick response. “Donations of items for our auction and raffle prizes as well as the 150 goodie bags to be handed to the golfers taking part in our fun and friendly four-ball alliance at R625 per player. Most importantly, we need a major sponsor in return for which their name would appear on all our printed material, posters and banners.”

TEARS, the acronym for The Emma Animal Rescue Society, came about after Emma Geary-Cooke, Marilyn Hoole and Joan Bown visited Masiphumele with a bucket of tick dip and a packet of deworming tablets. Seeing the suffering of the animals, Emma dreamed of starting an organisation to relieve them. Tragically she was killed in a car accident two weeks before her wish came true. However, Marilyn and Joan ensured that in January 1999 TEARS opened in Emma’s memory.

Initially efforts were concentrated in Masi, but the demands for their services were so great that they extended their help, facilities and expertise to other communities in the Cape Peninsula. Their core aim is to rescue, rehabilitate, reunite and re-home lost, abandoned, abused and neglected animals and to educate the communities in Masi, Ocean View, Mountain View, Red Hill and Vrygrond.

Due to the current lack of finances, the reduced staff at Lekkerwater Road in Fish Hoek isare battling to maintain their massive responsibilities – daily caring for about 300 animals and keeping up their sterilisation of dogs, cats (including the feral sort) and rabbits. Their annual total is usually about 4 000.

To know more about the golf day, or how you can help with prizes and so on, call Michelle Richards at 079 261 4867.

Movie mention

It’s funny how you can watch four consecutive movie trailers full of explosions, gunfire, bombs and people killing and being killed and it makes little impact, while the sight of a long line of soldiers standing stoically staring at the sea and expecting death from the sky at any minute, is almost unbearable.

I probably spent a quarter of the running time of Christopher Nolan’s brilliant movie Dunkirk with my eyes closed and ears blocked. Not only was the sound even louder than the real thing – so say the vets – but the tension of watching two British Army privates Tommy and Alex and hundreds of their comrades trying to get off the unprotected beach, really got to me.

This visual agony, made worse by the tense, atmospheric music, was on three fronts: the attack from German bombers on waiting ships and defenceless men; a father and son recruited to use their small boat to ferry soldiers; and a RAF pilot fearlessly attacking enemy aircraft while aware he is running out of fuel.

We are familiar with the Dunkirk story through history or Paul Gallico’s wartime classic The Snow Goose. We know Churchill needed 
30 000 soldiers to survive so the army could fight on. In fact 
300 000 out of the 400 000 stranded soldiers came home, thanks to the flotilla of small boats manned by brave men and women who came to fetch them. But they took a long time to arrive. According to my watch it was 90 minutes of screen time before Kenneth Branagh as Commander Bolton, the pier-master in charge of the evacuation, finally had a smile on his face when he saw in his binos the flotilla of small boats approaching en masse.

I had a smile on my face at the sight of Branagh looking like a tailor’s dummy in his immaculate and well-cut naval jacket and cap although he had been in the thick of the battle for hours. He didn’t even have a hint of a five o’clock shadow!

A password blur

So now he tells us. Bill Burr, the American who 14 years ago turned passwords into memory nightmares, has admitted that mixing capital letters, numbers and non-alphabetic symbols was not such a great idea after all. At the time, he was working for the USAmerican government and his advice that these extras would make passwords more secure was widely adopted by internet security companies, IT departments and of course our banks.

He could not have foreseen how many tortuous passwords which ordinary folks with phones and digital equipment would be required to dream up and remember. Or how often they would have to change that password through loss or theft of a card, computer or cellphone.

Burr now says that one long easy-to-remember phrase such as “horsecarrotsaddlestable” would take one trillion years for a cyber-attack to crack, in contrast to one minute for “P@55wOrd”.


Waiting to bloom

Usually by mid-August the early wild flowers at Langebaan are looking good. Not so this year. Last weekend I saw one orange daisy open on a vacant plot. However, I think there will be a modest show towards the end of the month and into September.

The rains were late, but there were a couple of good falls to encourage germination. Moreover the regular soaking morning mists have turned everything green and even the cussed weeds are growing madly.

Not out

Cricket fans are saying President Jacob Zuma would make an ideal opening batsman for the Proteas. He will never get out.