Monday, 21 May 2018

His Lordship

Its all quiet after the weekend flurry of Royal Wedding watching other than the aftermath of wedding watches gossip. Did you see all those ugly hats? Oh why is there an empty space in front of the queen? And pray why did Megan's mom sit alone? Okay I confess I must be one of the few who did not watch as I don't care about some wedding far away. And no I don't want to watch in case you missed it video.

Anyways, driving to the local Walmart to buy some pool chlorine, this car past me with a pooch in the rear seat being driven around like royalty. At first I thought that he looks like Harry, no wait what is his dad's name Charles or was that Mark. Uhmmm you can see the resemblance of his lordship?

Okay I am going get some haters, but I still don't see what all the fuss was about.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Deceiving Desert

In the early winter sun, I sat on the cold step outside Centre Church, and before me stretched an expanse of astroturf at my feet. With my head down soaking up the little warmth, I noticed movement. Yes there was this ant in this expanse of falseness battling to make his way. Was this little fella lost like me? Surely there is nothing of nutritional value in the plastic grass. (If you look carefully you can see the ant in this photo. No? Well how about I zoom in for you.)

Staring at this ant, my thoughts started wondering about the last few weeks. A week ago my thought at the time was that we should put earphones on Carol and play the old hymns that she grew up with, songs that she held dear to her heart. And now she is gone to be with the Lord, resting at His feet. She always grappled with the issue of her disability and now she can ask Him directly and she can find peace so that it can be well with her soul.

The ant has moved on. Then why do I feel lost? I know I have to be the brave one, and Matthew can see that I am struggling even as he tries to work through his own issues. Am I the ant, up against all this same old repeating plastic grass. Nothing of nourishment here that it actually is a deceiving desert. Why has God brought me through this desert? What am I to learn?

I long for the living waters, for the life. I don't want to be a sad christian walking around all mopping, head down. I want to be the flame that attracts others to God. I want to be the hand that pulls someone into the light. I used to be so scared of singing songs to God about asking for more faith, knowing deep down what it means to let go and trust God. So now I find myself in a place that I have no more choice but to let go. So let go my soul and trust in God.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

I am Fine

After yesterday, I just want to curl up and sleep like Paddy and Rosy were doing this morning when I had to get up and face the day. I left Matthew with his friends, it is where he feels most comfortable, the shock to me was when he walked out of his room after getting changed after bringing him down from Pretoria to Benoni was that I have an Emo Kid on my hands. He was dressed with a black bennie on his head, long hair hanging down over his eyes, black jeans, and a black long jacket. The saving grace was that he had a red t-shirt on. Oh thank God, a little hope with the splash of colour.

I had to leave him there with his friends, although my inner self was screaming no. But even though he answers all questions of how he is with a non committal "I am fine", I know that he is not but his heart is in the hands of God.

This morning, there was lots of excitement in the air as it was the day of the Royal Wedding. Oh so what was my response as I had to go do some work. To me standing still I start sinking. I have to keep moving, 1 foot in front of the other even though I feel like these 2 cats, wanting to just curl up into myself as I am emotionally exhausted.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Okay I see

I woke in the early hours of the morning with a pain in my chest, on the left but more left than where the heart is situated. Sitting up in bed, I pushed my hand into the side of my rib cage and the pain subsided. Since I was up, I might as well go to the toilet, but Paddy seeing me stumble into the on-suite bathroom, jumped up onto the basin cupboard and I had to turn the tap on for him to drink.

After my toilet, I sat on the edge of the bed looking at my cellphone waiting for Paddy to finish drinking. All of a sudden my phone started ringing. I saw the name of the caller, Simone, and I knew straight away that Carol, Matthew's mom has crossed over. In trepidation I answered "Hello Simone", and Simone then asked if I was Jerome, I answered "yes", and she asked again "Jerome West" and I said yes again. She then told me the sad news that Carol has past on and she asked if I can let Matthew know.

It was 03:31 and I just sat there on my bed. Emotions were raging through me. Matthew was my biggest concern. It was too early to get ready and drive to Pretoria to see Matthew, but I got up and made some coffee. It was dark in the lounge and I didn't want to put any lights on as my emotions remained hidden in the dark. I opened the blinds so that enough light came in from outside for me to make coffee and not stumble over any cat.

On my drive up to Pretoria, in between my tears, I had so much time to think of how I am going to break the news to Matthew that his mom has past away, one way was that I would knock on his res door, wake him up, and as he answers the door still half asleep, I would stand there, just shake my head, then give him a big hug. While in my thoughts, the phone rang again, it was Simone. She told me that news of Carol's passing was spreading fast and she feared that one of Matthew's friends might message him before I got to him to break the news, so I had to phone him. As suspected I woke him up with the call. Matthew said hello dad, and I could not say a word, I just choked up.

Nothing was said between us for what felt like ages...

Then I managed to say, "I am on my way to fetch you".

He answer, "okay, I see" and the call ended.

In those 3 words, okay I see I just knew that he knew, no other words were needed than okay I see.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

The Duff Intervention

We have been going to the Centre Church for some time now and we got our first dinner invite. It was a normal winter's evening and when we arrived Lance had just taken the burgers off the grill. Perfect timing. Vida and Jesse, Lance and Kerry's 2 little ones were warmly wrapped up ready for bed but they were excited as they were going to sit at the big people's table for some yummy burgers.

When we first got the nod from the Duffs, I wondered if it was an intervention but noooo it was an awesome evening with some kwel friends.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Blind with Fear

Music from Zach Williams is playing in the background. The sun is getting low through the blinds in the lounge. The words, ...Fear, he is a liar, he will take your breath. Stop you in your steps... comes out of the speakers. What fear is a liar? 

I stopped the video track, re-winded and played the song from the beginning. Oh I am not sure I can use the word re-wind any more, well any way you know what I mean. I watched the images of a girl coming home, her mom angry because she is late. A man reading his termination notice. A lady getting the results from her cancer tests. It these times when fear tells you that you are not beautiful. You are not worthy. You are not loved. The scenes of the music video become more sombre as the young girl starts to write her suicide note. The man sits in his car and starts the engine in a locked garage. And the woman is lost in fear of her future.

It is the sms from her mother, You are beautiful. It is the loving touch of his wife that stops him. It is the care basket anonymously dropped at her door that gives her hope that she is not alone. His Grace never changes as a tear runs down my cheek. Sorry very confusing post but watch the video Fear is a Liar by Zach Williams. And then this happened...
A poem is shared with me on social and I am blown away. I just have to share with you. It is writeen by Abdullah Shoaib.

ʎʇʇǝɹԀ Ugly

I'm very ugly
So don't try to convince me that
I am a very beautiful person
Because at the end of the day
I hate myself in every single way
And I'm not going to lie to myself by saying
There is beauty inside of me that matters
So rest assured I will remind myself
That I am a worthless, terrible person
And nothing you say will make me believe
I still deserve love
Because no matter what
I am not good enough to be loved
And I am in no position to believe that
Beauty does exist within me
Because whenever I look in the mirror I always think
Am I as ugly as people say?

(Now read bottom up)

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Wot No Kilroy?

Wot no Kilroy?

どうもありがとうミスターロボット  また会う日まで Above my desk in BankservAfrica is this white board with a Kilroy was here with a red marker. So who is Kilroy? He first appeared writing on toilet walls just after the 2nd World War. I haven't seen much of him as he must be old, but Kilroy was here.

Growing up in the 80s there was 1 song that my best friend Robbie introduced me to, and that was Mr. Roboto by Styx. 秘密を知りたい And at the end of the song, the robot unmasks himself and proclaims "I'm Kilroy! Kilroy!"  See offical video below which has become one of my most favourite songs of all time.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Breakfast Meeting

We have this solar geyser on the roof above our bedroom. Now this model has this temperature release valve that allowed water to drip out when the temperature got close to freezing and last night it did. In the morning the dripping got a little too fast and we were very concerned that water was wasting so in first light I went out to check and came straight back in.

"There is water everywhere", I said to Lynda, "what, where is it coming from", queried Lynda in a shocked tone with her mind rushing on possibilities of how to claim from insurance. "From the sky", answered I. It was raining and we weren't even the wiser.

The rain was making me just wanting to stay in bed. Ahhhh a duvet day is all I need now but I was needed at BankservAfrica. Due the cold rain, I couldn't use the Vespa to beat the traffic into downtown Jozi, I had to use the pickup to fight the rush hour traffic.

I arrived at Bankserv Africa, a little late, with Gary and Madelyn eagerly waiting me and what way to start the week with a breakfast meeting with these 2. 

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Morning Gorgeous

Morning gorgeous, is how I woke Lynda up this morning. Ahhh a cup of coffee to start the day, before rushing out of the door. 

It looks like the world owes you a hug, and here I am. It was only mid afternoon when I arrived back home to a sad Lynda. Mother's day has not being good to her this morning but nothing that a hug and a bit of quick organising, we were out for afternoon tea... not. Well I wanted high tea, and well it was Lynda's choice and so we ended up at the Berlin.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Surrounded by Friends

As a chapter in my life,  slowly draws to its end, grasping for breath, I sit in confusion watching the sun go down. With all that has being happening around me, I worry for Matthew, yet listening to him and his dreams of going to Mars, I see myself in him, my dreams of being someone.

So here I sit and thinks. Although waking up in an empty house, thankfully today Matthew is surrounded by his friends, keeping his mind off the realities that surround him, just for a while until he can find his feet in all this.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Soul Food

This is not an easy post to write. News on Carol is not good. I picked up Matthew from his Uni in Pretoria and took him down to see his mom. From the reports I received, she has had a stroke and was not doing well so now here we are, Matthew and I, standing next to her bed at the hospital. Carol is unresponsive, she is wearing and oxygen mask and is staring into nothing.

Staring into nothing, I have seen this before, the abyss is a dark place to be in and I once found Carol in this exact place, staring into nothing. Oh how I hate bi-polar. It is a condition that has stricken Carol a long time ago and researching up on bi-polar, I was determined that it would not break up our family against what the stats were saying. I hopelessly failed. I failed Carol. I failed Matthew. I failed God. I failed myself. I failed. I failed period. I hate bi-polar. And now I find myself standing next to her hospital bed with Matthew by my side.

Once I woke up sometime during the night and Carol was gone, I found her sitting in the passage on the floor staring into the nothingness. That time I managed to get her back from the edge and she said that she was on her way to the kitchen for something, got halfway and released that she forgot why she was going to the kitchen, so sat right down to think. Hours later, I found her in that same place, just staring into nothing. Just like she is now but I am not sure with the stroke that we can get her back. Did I say how much I hate bi-polar.

A phone rang somewhere in the ward. "Look Matthew, her eyes blinked", yes Carol reacted and moved trying to see where the sound was coming from. Her eyes found Matthew and fixed onto him, but when he moved, she continued staring into that nothing. Both Matthew and I, finally left her bedside as empty vessels. Nothing to say to each other but I put my arm around him. I worry about him as he is emotionless. Maybe all these years of looking after his mom has taken its toil on him. Maybe he is just bottling it all up. Oh my Matthew, I am so sorry.

We ended up at the only place that serves Matthew and my soul food, sushi. At first we just sat there, the sushi conveyor was not really fill of our favourite so we just sat as it went round and round. The waiter was somehow slow or maybe we weren't altogether there but finally we had to get our lives back on track so we ordered salmon handrolls to start followed by californian fashion sandwiches. After filling up our rice stomachs, I drove Matthew back to his mom's place. He stared out to the few stars that were strong enough to break through the evening's gloom and he mumbled that he wishes that he was out there among the stars away from all these earthly troubles. After dropping Matthew off at his mom's empty townhouse, I drove home late in the evening with this nothingness hanging over me. I hate bi-polar along with the likes of the mosquito. I wrestled with God on my lonely drive back home. Why would he make such things, things like bi-polar and mosquitoes. Why?  

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Orange Flower

I am in a state of flux at the moment. I am either here or there, not sure. News from Matthew is that his mom has had a stroke and it is being complicated with infections. In the meanwhile it looks like I will be in Pietermarizburg towards the end of the month and here I am either here or there.

Arriving home on Sunday afternoon, Lynda pointed out some flowers that were about to blossom, so here I am in the front garden taking a photo of that very flower that is now in full bloom. Since the 2 big trees have been removed, the front is really putting on a show of colours. 

I seem lost, but somehow God is still there showing me that He still cares. Look how he has taken care of my front garden without much intervention from me. If there was it would have been a mess.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

My Favourite Things

This is Minks writing. My human is getting a bit slack with his daily postings so I thought as any respectable cat does, well to guide him on how to post. I know his one friend Gary is rather tired of my human's cat posts but come on Gary, cats are everything. 

Ahhh now where was I, oh yes I follow the Melville Cat and her posts on 2 Summers. Well I don't know what all the the fuss is about blogging cats, I didn't get a mention but do you see the worry in my eye? There are plenty of us felines who have secretly taken over the world. Take my human for example, he by the way gives the best cat massages and neck rubs in the cat universe, now he blogs daily and includes me time to time in his posts, but his heart is in it only for me and now he is at my bidding.

Oooooh just there, you got the spot.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Headmaster Duff

Ahhh Headmaster Duff, demonstrating his normal during a day at the office, drinking coffee on the go. It is strange having a friend who is also a headmaster of a school, I mean he is normal in a weird kind of way. Being a friend to a headmaster goes to show my age.

I remember my headmaster, the late Mr Rowe at Port Shepstone High. I mean he cut a intimidating character to us teenagers but I am sure he too was a down to earth person just as my friend Lance who is clearly setting the example of what headmasters are actually. Human. 

I remember in my Standard 9 year (Grade 11 for the young at heart) at Sheppie, when we History students set up a protest for "Less Homework" as an experiment of crowd behaviour. Other than our class, our History teacher Ms Naude, and our headmaster Mr Rowe knew about it. It was an unforgettable protest as the teachers locked themselves in the staffroom. Thank goodness there were no cell-phones at the time and just commandeering the switchboard was all that was required in stopping the news of our protest getting out to the police. Ahh headmasters.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Not a Good Place

I left early this morning, headed to Pretoria to pick up Matthew at his university res and I took him down to Boksburg to see Carol, his mother. Carol is not well and we got a message yesterday that she became critical condition and was hospitalised. 

We arrived at the hospital expecting the worse but thank God, Carol has stabilised. Although she can not talk nor has any ability to move much, Matthew spent the morning with his mom, just talking to her and playing with her hair. I feel she heard Matthew and turned her head towards him. She must have recognised Matthew and tried to speak. 

The doctors are not sure what happened to Carol as the CT scans show nothing abnormal. Currently the doctors are re-hydrating her in hope that she comes right by her self.

Matthew is trying to stay brave but deep down I can sense he is devastated. 

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Its a Wrap

After a late Sunday sleep in, and Lynda and I decided just to have a slow day in the countryside. So we headed out to Magaliesburg for a lazy Sunday afternoon. We stopped at the Vintage Amber padstal for a awesome light lunch of wraps. The owner Adri was attentive and made sure that we had a lovely experience. Oh and the carrot cake, uhmmm yummy. 

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Enough is Enough

After 10 days in the platteland, is was just good to get into the car and head for home. Visiting new places can be exciting but there comes a point where you just can't wait to sleep in your own bed and eat a home cooked meal even if it means leaving at 8pm and driving through the night but enough is enough. Ons gaan huis toe. Eish I am starting to talk only Afrikaans now. See ya all in the morning.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Mighty Small Demo

With very little budget allocated, it was amazing that the South African Airforce could get a Saab JAS 39C Gripen into the air for a flypast in Bloemfontein in today's Mighty Small Demo. Don't get me wrong, all we need is budget and we can go places. 

This city has 4 major groups of people, the university students, the surrounding farmers, government officials, and the military. 

The military here play a major part as it is home to the 1st SA Infantry and the Parachute regiment, the School of Armour along with the Tank regiment. Not to forget it is also home to the Helicopter Flying School. So along with the students, the farmers, bureaucrat workers, there were the soldiers and their toys. South Africa produced some awesome Mine Resistance vehicles do to the necessity of the Bush War and the Arms Embargo. Some of them are in the US Marines. 

Above is the Ratel ZT3. it is an infantry fighting vehicle that has been converted as a anti-tank missile carrier. Below is the Atlas Oryx helicopter flying in UN colours demonstrating delivering troops. 

Thursday, 3 May 2018


The other day I met a lovely lady called Zenobia. She has a stall called Farmgirl Ribbons and her husband Herman is a local boer (farmer) towards Brandford, if my memory serves me correctly. Now Zenobia was so keen on hearing my experiences in Bloemfontein and wanted to know if I tried any of the local cuisines. At the time of asking, sadly I wasn't brave enough to try anything strange but the challenge was set.

Okay this eina looking thing is Zenobia's favourite at the show, a Piesang Karamel. It is a banana on a stick that has been dipped in caramel. Very sweet, I can taste why many are queuing up for this delicacy.

Another local treat is a Do-Fill. It is a crispy pastry stuffed with caramel. What is with all this caramel? Where is the biltong en vleis? 

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Siwelele sa Masele

So this morning I was dragging my feet on my way to my job for the day as it was going to be a quiet next 2 days between the busy weekends. Along my route I saw this green toy bus that was parked next to the walkway.

It was a Bloemfontein Celtic Football Club bus with the name Siwelele sa Masele. It reminded me of those wire cars that we had as kids but this was a more fancier version. I asked the chap selling them, and yes he made the bus and the assortment of other models on display. He said his name was Seun but I am sure his name must be Siwelele as it was proudly displayed on the side of the bus.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Red Cappuccino

As I write this blog post, my heart is heavy. Work is chugging along, as there is still a mountain in front. The episode of the snake in the shower is behind, and yet here I sit, with a red cappuccino while the bustle of the day is about to begin.

Carol's health has taken a turn for the worse, and Matthew is really struggling with life decisions under the heavy weight that has been put on him. I am too far away to help him. So I now sits with a heavy heart.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Shower with a Snake

I woke up after a strange night, having over indulged in whiskey around the braai, no I was not drunk but we finished a bottle of some awesomely smooth whiskey. I was just dehydrated. This morning while everyone else was still asleep, I decided a lovely shower outside will do me the world of good.

The sun had just peeped over the flat fields when I stepped into the outside shower. So there I was in all my nakedness standing in the shower trying to get the water to the right temperature when I glanced at my feet an saw what seemed to be a rolled up rag right next to my feet. Strange I never saw that before and in the fogginess of my eyes, not wearing glasses as one does when one showers I saw that it could be a snake as it had patterns. So I bent over to get a better look.

Yes it was a snake but what type. Without my glasses on it could be a baby python or horror a large puffadder. Grabbing my towel I quickly stepped outside into the garden and went straight for my glasses and cellphone back in the house. Carefully I crept back into the shower and sure enough, it was a large, a very large puffadder.

Okay, that was close, I mean thank God that it was cold and the puffadder which was about 10cm from my naked foot was very lethargic. The whole situation this morning could have turned out for the worse but God must have been looking out for me.

Off I went to wake up the farmer's son to kindly remove the snake as I needed my shower and a strong cup of coffee. Martinus arrived with a golf club, and his first words after seeing the puffadder, was on how big it was. Oh well after finally coaxing the beautiful puffadder into a basket, it was relocated far on the other side of the farm and I could continue my shower.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Nazi Sunrise

I woke up early after a good night's sleep at the Leeuberg farmhouse. I decided to take a walk to the War Museum right next door with all the tanks that protect us at night. No one was around as I strolled through the displays. The sun was starting to rise as the armoured vehicles that surrounded us started to come to light. I was told that these tanks were mobile and used in war games.

This T-34/85 tank was one of the tanks captured in Angola from the Cubans in the Bush War that we were involved in.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Spook van Leeuberg

Last night when we got near to the farmhouse, Leeuberg, where we would be staying for the next few nights, I saw that it was way out in the platteland but with no visible farm security. I was very concerned with all the farm murders that are currently taking place but when I woke up this morning I found that we were surrounded by armoured vehicles. Included was an American Sherman Tank, a Russian T-34, and a guard tower from South West Africa border war. Oh dear where did I wake up.

The Leeuberg or Lion Mountain farmhouse built in 1849, it was creepy at first, it was like a museum of sorts but it grew on me although having to stand on the bed just to try get cellular signal wasn't so cool, nor was the talk of ghosts but that I am to blame for starting that conversation. I mean I couldn't help myself with all the photos of dead people hanging around. If you look carefully in the picture above, you will see the ghost in the mirror. The story goes that this farmstead was the home of a retired Prussian general who was killed in the Basotho Wars and his widow held off the English from burning it down during the Boer War. Lots of history here. 

Okay enough of the Spook van Leeuberg, this 8 sleeper farmhouse is actually very nice and peaceful. The walls are nearly half a metre thick, due to it been built out of mud hence no cell phone reception. At night all I hear is an owl hoot somewhere outside. 

Friday, 27 April 2018

Angry Birds

Oh look what Marco found, Chuck, the Angry Bird cap. Now I tell him not to smile but give me his angry bird face, perfect. Tonight we checked into this platteland farmhouse built in 1849 and has been in this boer family since. And now we are telling ghost stories. There is zero cell phone reception unless I stand on my bed with my phone held high but I need to stay awake because I know as soon as I close my eyes there would be a creak somewhere down the passage.

It is nearly midnight, the witching hour. What was that sound, oh just an owl.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Ho Ho Ho

Ho Ho Ho, really Bloemfontein, the place where we are staying still have a Christmas tree standing proudly in the lounge. Using AirBnB, we have booked ourselves into a private townhouse that is quite neat except for a few quirkiness that I can only attribute to Bloemfontein, one is the Christmas tree, others is that the shower door is missing not to mention that the toilet door does not close. And downstairs, is yapping dog, a crying toddler, and a clapped out VW Golf that has to be jump started in the mornings with the usual dropping close of the bonnet (hood). 

Happy Christmas! No wait it must be Ground Hog Day as I feel that this town is trapped in a time loop.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Paint Dry

Ancient mariners used to say that fair weather when setting out from port was always a bad omen compared to getting the bad weather over and done with at the beginning of the voyage. Setting out for Bloemfontein didn't get to a good start.

The plan was for me to get picked up between 6 and 7, well I finally got picked up just before 12. This at work just got away with very one that the departure time just got pushed out to 9am and again to 12. I was by this time even considering taking my Vespa down. I have done long trips on my Vespa before but with my back as it is, I was concerned.

Finally the double cap pick up arrived, and with a bit of rearranging the load, we were on our way and finally arrived at 4pm in Bloemfontein. Now to get our stand sorted out before the main load arrives.

I was tasked to manage 2 labourers paint the feature wall red, while the others set out to sort our accommodation. So here I am watching the paint dry. 

This has been a long day. Hopefully with a bumpy start, things will smooth out from here on and it will a blessing to be here.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

El Comandante

I don't know why Kyle aka Ginger Beard reminds me so much of the late Fidel Castro, El Comandante. May it is his beard, uhmmm the ginger beard.

We had Connect Group at Kyle and Nicolene's home last night and it is awesome to see the little Rust on the Crust, Kamden. He is holding his head up proudly and is so inquisitive of all the faces around him. He is going to grow up and change the world.

Monday, 23 April 2018

How Many Times?

At the end of yet another day, supper is on the go, a Bob Dylan documentary is playing on the telly, the cat Princess is snuggled up at my feet, and I am feeling batted, just blowing in the wind. 

I start to wonder how many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man. I first heard this song sung by a fellow school boy actually called Bob, can't remember his surname, but he was in hostel with me. I didn't now the meaning at the time, but it sounded kindof cool for a snotty nosed school kid like me. In an interview Dylan answered the following about this song "There ain’t too much I can say about this song except that the answer is blowing in the wind. It ain’t in no book or movie or TV show or discussion group. Man, it’s in the wind - and it’s blowing in the wind. Too many of these hip people are telling me where the answer is but oh I won’t believe that. I still say it’s in the wind and just like a restless piece of paper it’s got to come down some. But the only trouble is that no one picks up the answer when it comes down so not too many people get to see and know and then it flies away. I still say that some of the biggest criminals are those that turn their heads away when they see wrong and know it’s wrong. I’m only 21 years old and I know that there’s been too many. You people over 21, you’re older and smarter."

Yes we are older and smarter but are we wiser? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.

I may not have all the answers, but I know that God is in control.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Pressing In

Sitting on the left middle of the small hall that Centre Church meets every Sunday, the thought crossed my mind of how God protected me on Friday night when I walked into the shadow of death looking for a lost dog.

What I didn't mentioned in the post the next morning was that when walking into the gorge in the fading light knowing too well that part of the path had been washed away, we met who I took to be a pilgrim wearing a camo shirt, not thinking anything untoward about it, we asked him if he had seen a dog which we described to him, he said "no", so we walked deeper into the abyss to continue our search.

On our way out it got so dark quite quickly and only by the gaps in the foliage could I make out the path. Thankfully I have been down here so often now that I knew the way but at night things look different, very different. Anyways the memory of that evening which somehow escaped me when I first accounted it in my blog and now sitting in church pressing in at thin place towards God, it came flooding back.

That pilgrim wearing the camo, we met again on the way out, in the low light I saw that his camo shirt was open and that he was holding a machete that was resting on his shoulder. He asked us if we found the missing dog, which we answered "no". I then asked him if he was staying the night to find God, as that is why most pilgrims come down into this abyss or now I think about it to communicate with their long dead ancestors. The camo pilgrim answered "yes" and added that he did not have a job and was there to seek guidance. As we parted, I said "good luck", and patted him on the shoulder blade. I remember seeing him flinch at me touching him and only now see how dangerous the situation was but God was present even in the moment. I must have been surrounded by angels that evening because excuse the pun not a hair on my head was harmed.

I started to think about the story, an old friend of mine told me, Gavin and Geradine along with their family have long immigrated to Brisbane, and I am not sure I will every see them again, but who knows what God has planned. Many years ago during the Rhodesian War, some terrorists had attacked a mission station outside Umtali, now known as the Elim Mission Massacre. After the massacre Gavin and someone else I am not sure if it was Dine as my memory is starting fade, anyways they decided to drive up to the mission station from Umtali in his Datsun Y120. They left the car on the sports field still running, as they never knew if the terrorists were still around and walked up to the mission. Before they got there, the hooter on the car started blowing, fearing that maybe baboons had got to the car and started messing around, they rushed back. There was no baboons at the car but now the entire area would be alerted to their presence so they quickly left. The story goes that as they drove back down towards Umtali, they noticed that the grass on either side of there car was being flattened as if someone was walking in the tall grass either side of them. To this day they believe that angels were walking alone side of them, protecting them. Just as I now believe that there must have been angels right next to me, when I boldly walked into that abyss last Friday night.

Anyways back to today, here I am at that thin place, pressing in, thanking God for his faithfulness, and then Jon starts handing out chocolate to the congregation. Yip you should have been there, no Turkish Delight, but large bars of Kitkat. And to add to it, the small print on his t-shirt read "Don't believe everything you think". Yes God works in strange ways, but He faithful, as my quiet time reading this morning which is from Joel stated "I am sending you grain, new wine, and olive oil, enough to satisfy you fully" and let me add here chocolate too.

The thin place is from my ancestors, the Celts, where heaven and earth are so close that the veil that separates the 2 is nearly transparent, and here I am pressing into the thin place as I try to get even closer to my God because just being in His presence in this stormy time is reassuring, oh so reassuring. Oh it is more about just being a Christian, it is the tasting and living every day knowing that God as Jon was illustrating with the chocolate. Yes my God is faithful. He is holding me in the palm of His hand, protecting me as I drink my fill from the living waters.

If you got this far, thank you for reading. I know that sometimes I must sound crazy, but that is me, love me or leave. Anyways you are most welcome to comment below.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Bruno Found

I am tired, no exhausted as I sit here and write this post. Yesterday afternoon I arrived back from a quiet morning at the showroom, to join Andreas once again on a quest to find the source of the sewerage leak. It was a hike down into the veld with grasses that were taller than me, and I am not slouch when it comes to height.

I was tired when I got home. I had just taken my shoes off when I heard the dogs getting all excited with someone or something in the veld outside our home. On investigation I saw a brown looking Labrador type dog disappearing into the distance all alone. I whistled and it stopped, turned and looked at me for a while before turning back around and disappearing over a small ridge.

Going back into my home, I remembered seeing a post on our Roodekrans Neighbourhood Watch WhatsApp group about a missing dog. Sure enough after checking my phone, a Labrador named Bruno went missing during that awful weather the night before. I informed the Ops Room that I saw a dog in the veld that matches the description of Bruno. The owner Cindy was in no ticks at my home and in the veld calling, and calling. It seems that the dog went towards the high cliffs that over shadowed the gorge.

Cindy not knowing our area was not sure where to go next. So I took her to the abandoned house that over looked the cliffs. We called and whistled for Bruno and in the wind we heard what sounded like a dog in distress. Now I was not sure what to do as light was starting to fade but I could see the panic in Cindy's eyes so I made a discussion to take her into the gorge knowing full well that it would be a race against time as darkness was closing in. I let the Roodekrans Neighbourhood Watch know that I was going in with Cindy and dived straight into the abyss.

Along the way we met pilgrims, which we diligently asked about Bruno, and nothing. Light was about gone when we turned around empty handed with Cindy nearly in tears of not finding Bruno but we had to get ourselves safely out of the gorge before search parties are sent in to find us. It was pitch back when we emerged from the mouth of the gorge, to find a CPF Sector 8 forming a search party to go in after us. Sadly we went back to our homes empty handed with a promise to continue the search tomorrow.

About half past 10 last night, my dogs started to get excited again, someone or Bruno was in the veld outside my home. Everytime I went to investigate, who ever it was moved away only to come back later. Just before midnight Cindy came round to check if it wasn't Bruno that was getting my dogs all worked up and sure enough we had a happy reunion.

Now I find myself tired after all that commotion last night. I need a good nights rest.

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