An idiots’ guide to the origins of humankind: part 1

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Human ancestory: fraught with complexity Africa and South Africa in particular, have been the site and source of many ground-breaking finds of our human ancestory.  The world of paleontology is fiercely competitive with specialists arguing about classifications – where are humankind’s roots? Hominin or hominid? the transition from ape to man; dating; new species, etc. […]

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South Africa’s “little Big Bang”

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Before its demise the Orbit Jazz club in Braamfontein used to hold wonderful monthly talks on fascinating scientific topics from expertst in their field. One such expert was Roger Gibson (Head of GeoSciences at Wits) who is the author of 3 books and more than 30 papers on the Vredefort Dome, and spoke about the […]

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2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice award winners: Managing Expectations

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Evaluating standards: From benchmarking  to crowdsourcing Back in the 1994 when Liz at Lancaster first started, the only benchmarking publication (ie requiring certain set standards) – for B&Bs and guesthouses in South Africa was the Portfolio Collection. To be included was a great honour and it certainly kick-started Liz at Lancaster.  Soon various benchmarking bodies […]

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Where can we buy Shweshwe?

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This was the first question I was faced with recently at the breakfast table. Guests wanted to buy Sheshwe cloth to take home to Germany. With its German origins they felt a particular connection to this indigo blue cloth which has become so synonymous with South African traditional fabric.

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2016: The Year of the Fossil

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MUST- SEE JOZI SITE – CRADLE OF HUMANKIND Guests who stayed at Liz at Lancaster recently visited Origins Museum and Sterkfontein (SADLY CLOSED CURRENTLY -2024) out in the Cradle and came back full of excitement about our rich hominid history. I told them how I am constantly amazed at the opportunities we have in South […]

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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The rotten job of the informal recyclers Walking the local neighbourhood on a Monday morning is one of the many times my middle class suburban life is put into perspective. I’m not walking long distances to work I’m not searching smelly dustbins with rotting food and I’m not pulling a hugely heavy trolley (often for […]

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Whatever you are, be a good one

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Bring back artisan skills & stimulate entrepreneurship Higher education and critical thinking The recent ‘#FeesMustFall’ campaign got me thinking yet again about the role of University education, entrepreneurial career paths, the importance of artisanal skills and trades, and practical preparation for the world of work.  I have a post-graduate degree myself and taught at tertiary […]

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