Most expensive art

    A vibrant, multi-hued painting from Pablo Picasso set a world record for artwork at auction, selling for $179 million in New York on 11 May 2015, after being expected by Christie's, the auction house that handled the sale, to fetch $140 million (included the auction house's premium).

The 1955 canvas, "Les femmes d'Alger" or "The Women of Algiers" (Version O), sets a new bar for the contemporary art market. Depicting a group of courtesans striking provocative poses in the artist's signature Cubist style, the Picasso painting is based on Eugene Delacroix's work of a similar title. Picasso explored the theme through a group of 15 paintings, designating the versions from A to O.

The Women of Algiers was one of two dozen masterpieces from the 20th century Christie's offered in a curated sale titled "Looking Forward to the Past."

This auction also featured Alberto Giacometti's life-size bronze sculpture "L'homme au doigt" or "Pointing Man," which set a record for most expensive sculpture, at $141.3 million. The bronze piece, which stands 178cm tall, was created in the spindly, emaciated style that is the artist's creative signature. It is one of six casts of the work, and this sale marks the first time the bronze has been put up at auction.

Previously, the most expensive art work sold at auction was Francis Bacon's "Three Studies of Lucian Freud," which went for $142 million in 2013, while the most expensive sculpture sold at auction was another Giacometti sculpture sold for more than $100 million in 2010.

The seller, who bought the painting privately for an undisclosed amount, remains anonymous. The buyers elected to remain anonymous too. The painting was previously sold at auction for $31.9 million in 1997.

Other noteworthy works at the auction included Claude Monet's The Houses of Parliament, At Sunset, which fetched $40.5 million; and Mark Rothko's No. 36 (Black Stripe), which also sold for $40.5 million. Claude Monet's The Houses of Parliament, At Sunset was part of Monet's series of at least 19 paintings that he began during stays in London in 1899 and 1900, all from the same perspective, but in different weather and at different times of day.

Sources: LA Times

Pablo Picasso

Counting the rings of age

Dendrochronology is the scientific method of dating based on the analysis of patterns of tree rings, also known as growth rings. Dendrochronology can date the time at which tree rings were formed, in many types of wood, to the exact calendar year.

The word comes from these roots:

    dendros = using trees; more specifically, the growth rings of trees
    chronos = time; more specifically, events and processes in the past
    ology = the study of

This has three main areas of application:

  • Paleoecology, where it is used to determine certain aspects of past ecologies (most prominently climate);
  • Archaeology and the history of art and architecture, where it is used to date old panel paintings on wood, buildings, etc.;
  • Radiocarbon dating, where it is used to calibrate radiocarbon ages.

    Growth rings are the result of new growth in the vascular cambium, a layer of cells near the bark that is classified as a lateral meristem; this growth in diameter is known as secondary growth. Visible rings (as seen in a horizontal cross section cut through the trunk of a tree) result from the change in growth speed through the seasons of the year; thus, critical for the title method, one ring generally marks the passage of one year in the life of the tree.

    The rings are more visible in temperate zones, where the seasons differ more markedly. The inner portion of a growth ring is formed early in the growing season, when growth is comparatively rapid (hence the wood is less dense) and is known as "early wood" (or "spring wood", or "late-spring wood"); the outer portion is the "late wood" (and has sometimes been termed "summer wood", often being produced in the summer, though sometimes in the autumn) and is denser.

    Given a sample of wood, the variation of the tree-ring growths provides not only a match by year, it can also match location because the climate across a continent is not consistent. This makes it possible to determine the source of ships as well as smaller artifacts made from wood but which were transported long distances, such as panels for paintings and ship timbers.

    In some areas of the world, it is possible to date wood back a few thousand years, or even many thousands. As of 2013, fully anchored chronologies in the northern hemisphere extend back 13,900 years.

    Source: Wikipedia


    How to pot a herb

    You needn't have a huge herb garden to yield a variety of interesting flavours from your plants. A simple herb pot can provide you with lots of exciting plants to spice up your cooking and create a very manageable green space for a kitchen, patio or small garden area.

    1. Select your herbs - When making an herb garden, it is essential to have a good variety of herbs and companion plants that will assist your culinary pursuits.
    2. Prepare the pot - Make sure that your pot has holes in the bottom for good drainage. Insert a piece of fibrous cloth to prevent soil from draining out of the holes, and then place your drainage stones into the container to about a fifth of the pot's depth. This will help water drain out from the bottom of the soil.
    3. Fill the pot - Once the drainage is in place, start to fill the pot with a multi-purpose, or soil-based compost. This should fill approximately three quarters of the pot's remaining depth.
    4. Start planting - Place the herb plant into the pots. Squeeze each herb gently from its temporary pot, and tease the roots from the root ball; this will encourage them to spread out.
    5. Fill in around the planted herbs - Once you are happy with the positions, start to fill the gaps between the plants with more soil. Firmly push the soil into the gaps by pushing your fingers deep into the soil that you have just added, being careful not to damage any roots. Add more if necessary. Leave a couple of centimeters between the pot's rim and the soil, so that the pot does not overflow when watered.
    6. Finish it off - Neaten up the look of the pot by adding decorative pebbles on top of the soil and around the herb.
    7. Top the herbs - Cut the tops off the taller plants, roughly halving them in height. This will encourage each herb plant to bush out and provide more leaves to pick at harvest time.
    8. Water - Water thoroughly, until the water starts to drain out of the bottom of the pot (the soil needs to absorb a lot on first watering). Continue to water over the coming months, at least every few days, or when the soil seems dry. Herbs like to dry out between water, and some herbs such as Rosemary can easily be over-watered.

    Herb potting Images : courtesy SABC 3 Afternoon Express Show

    Blue waters and colourful fish galore

    Ponta do Ouro is Mozambique's most southerly town and is easily accessible from South Africa through the Kosi Bay border post.

    Translated into english Ponta do Ouro means "Point of Gold". There are many different stories as to the origin of the name, from a sunken ship carrying gold bars, to a beautiful golden sunrise. The historical truth might never be known, but the modern day value of what is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled bays in the world, can certainly lay claim to golden treasures.

    Ponta Do Ouro's remarkable diversity and unique combination of traditional African bush, sub-tropical coastline, sweeping coastal plains, savannah, dense forests, majestic inland lakes and pristine beaches, make it one of the richest natural treasure chest in the world.

    The small town of Ponta do Ouro consists of a motel, a petrol station (petrol/diesel), a local market, butchery, curio centre, local pubs/restaurants.

    It is recommended to have a drink of the local beer, 2M and Laurentina, which arguably (very arguably) rivals world famous beers. Also indulge in the famous Tipo Tinto Rum which is locally produced and tastes slightly of Vanilla (it goes best with Pineapple or Raspberry juice which is available from the local market).

    The diversified accommodation offers the visitor a wide range of accommodation, ranging from Luxury Lodges to self-catering Houses, chalets, a Motel, Camping, Spa's, Dive camps, Dive Charters, camping, Bed & Breakfast's and a host of alternate venues to suit any taste and budget.

    With the view of the bay and such beautiful surroundings, it can be said that this is an idyllic island lifestyle, with a short walk onto beach being all you need to get to the heart of it.

    Swimming, surfing, diving, fishing and all sorts of other activities are available in the bay area that are sure to provide you with enough excitement to keep you busy for quite a while. If you want a more relaxing holiday, then walks on the beach, or up to the lighthouse, will give you a chance of seeing turtles laying eggs (October to December), or some of Ponta's dolphins surfing in the waves.

    For more information visit Ponta do Oura accommodation

    Ponta do Oura

  • Hot News

    Afternoon Express show

    In May SABC 3 launched a new show for the afternoon viewing slot, called the Afternoon Express Show.

    SABC 3 - Afternoon Express

    On the 19 May 2015, Cheral Kennedy, owner of Living Matter, was featured as a guest of Jeannie D, to demonstrate to her, Verne and the afternoon viewers how to pot a herb.

    SABC 3 - Afternoon Express

    Featured Plant

    Erica Mammosa

    Erica Mammosa
    (Ninepin Heath)

    Family :


    Description :

    Shrub to 1.5m with tubular pink flowers.

    Flowering time :

    Autumn - Spring

    Conditions :

    • Full Sun
    • Little water
    • Evergreen
    • Frost tender
    • Wind resistant
    • Well drained sandy soil

    View more detailed information on this plant in our plant directory.

    Design idea feature

    Design idea feature

    If your home has a Mediterranean feel, then the use of terracotta pots for herbs or architectural plants is a must.

    Design idea feature

    To fit the natural feel of the clay pots into a more modern environment, epoxy powder coated metal rings into a wall in a straight line. Place the terracotta pots with your chosen plants into these rings for a neat feature.

    Planting Guide

    Herb or Veggie
    White beetroot

    Seeds can be sown or plants can be planted for the following herbs and veggies this month:


  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Mielies
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweetcorn
  • Swisschard
  • Turnips
  • Herbs

  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Chives
  • Chamomile
  • Dill
  • Mustard
  • Oreganum
  • Parsley
  • Rocket
  • Thyme
  • Watercress
  • View our full planting plan in our resources section of our website.

    Brain Teaser

    We all love a chance to test our own brain capacity with brain teasers. Try see if you can figure out this one...

    Brain Teaser

    April's Teaser Answer :
    "Hit below the belt"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82