Sunday, 22 January 2017

How do you make an Espetada?

John came up from Bethlehem; no not place where Jesus was born but a similar town in the Free State that you could ask if any good thing is able to come out of Bethlehem. But John, a Madeiran from Bethlehem is family and he makes awesome espetadas. So how do you make an espetada?


First you need the right kind of beef which is cut into large cubes.


Once the meat is all cut up into good sized chunks, garlic is chopped up.


Since John doesn’t have bay leaf sticks, but these large skewers, he crushes bay leaves with the garlic.


Course salt is poured onto the garlic bay leaves and is mixed together.


The meat is then skewered onto the large skewers that John carries around with him. I don't think John goes anywhere without his large skewers although I don't think he would have been allowed to take them when he visited Madeira last year.


Once the beef are all loaded, the salt mixture is then rubbed onto the meat.


The espetadas are then placed onto a hot grill and in no time juicy cubes of meat are ready to eat. The not too over done espetadas are scrumptious. A little on the salty side for me but I love putting the hot meat on a freshly buttered roll and uhmmm... mouth watering yummies.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Parrot on my Shoulder


Forget talking like a pirate which only happens in September, today being a pirate was the call of the day. Yesterday we were supposed to have a pizza evening at Robynne and Marco’s place but there was a shooting incident at the corners of Witkoppen and Douglas which caused a traffic snarl up so pizza evening was postponed to today. Pizza had somehow changed to a wors roll braai, not that we don’t mind wors rolls, but somehow it brought the pirate out in us.


Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrgh, is that a parrot on my shoulder or are you just happy to see me, meisiekind? Yes strange as it sounds, the parrot on my shoulder turned out to be a dog called Meisiekind. First mate Rebekah and matey, I think we should attack that scuttle that scallywag Lynda.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Long Day Long Week


Paddington is past out after a full day of wild play and more extreme play. I must say, this is just how I feel after a long day’s work during a long week. BUT weekend is here, dear Paddy, the day is finally over and it’s time to party wild. Shall I wake him up?

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Cut the Grass


With all the rains over the last month, the grass has grown rather long, so I think it is about time to cut the grass. No, our garden is beautifully manicured but the nature reserve next door has had an explosion of growth which needs to be cut back.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

How can I Work?


How can I work with Paddington all over my desk? First he his playing on a pile of papers, next he is peeping from behind my monitors. Now he is on my keyboard and I just can’t wor;l[23 pok3whnui2 3uj92j23r iejhqwe rhiad WSQWEfvgdsdrvd sdrfwv EF

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Plumber Anthony


To get the final pieces of the cottage together, the plumber and electrician still had to come to complete their work. Today Anthony, the plumber, arrived to connect up the wash basin to the water and waste. Tomorrow it is the electrician’s turn.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Light is Osram


I thought Osram was a German company until today I never thought that they would have a factory in Russia. I had to buy a few bits to finish up the cottage before tenants arrive, and one of the items, fluorescent tubes which, was made in Russia, basic energy saver cool white 36W fluorescent tubes. Light is from a Russian Osram factory.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

All Aboard


After church, we went to Papachinos for some lunch and family time before rushing off to Lanseria so that Hilton can catch his flight back to Cape Town. After saying goodbyes, Lynda and I watched from the viewing lounge, as dad was wheeled into the waiting aeroplane.


Saturday, 14 January 2017

Close Encounters


It is the last weekend that Lynda’s dad, Hilton, will be with us as he flies back to Cape Town tomorrow. To make the most of this sad weekend, we took dad on a picnic at his happy place here in Johannesburg, the Botanical Gardens just below our house.


We found a nice shady spot not too far from the waterfall and settled down for some serious picnicking and resting the eyes. But it wasn’t long before we were joined by a pair of guineafowls who wanted to share our picnic.


It turned out to be a lovely day, close encounters with guineafowls, a poisonous grasshopper circling us, a robin and a pair of other unknown birds who were jealous of the guineafowls, a tortoise and another.


Friday, 13 January 2017

Yay Friday


Yay it is Friday and I get to go out with mommy, granddad, and great granddad for lunch and the most awesomeness play area ever. I mean all play areas were made the same, not.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Past Out


After a hard week at work (and play) the younger two kittens are past out on the ottoman. Oh dear all this running around, challenging all the big cats have sure tired them both Paddington and Princess out.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Golden Slipper


Oh my why is this lady who I later found out was Marie, trying to see if a golden slipper could fit on Hilton’s foot? It is not such a long story, so here goes. Lynda arranged for her dad to get a manicure and pedicure before he heads back to Cape Town and the best appointment that she could get was at Dischem in Clearwater at midday. But somehow I heard Dischem at Princess Crossing, so I arrived at the wrong Dischem a little early only to be disappointed. After a phone call, I got the right address and had to rush over to Clearwater.

I made it in time and that is where we met Marie and her friend admiring some art slippers, after some prompting, Marie agreed to get on her knees and try on Hilton’s foot the golden slipper. Good laughs were had by all. Hilton’s appointment with Linda, the beauty technician, was about to start. I tried to stay but I had to wonder off and leave Hilton in the capable hands of Linda. I came back just over an hour later to find Hilton walking on air after all the pampering he had received.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Polka Dot Play


After a long day at work selling couches, Dael is relieved to be back home, shoes kicked off, shirt unbuttoned, and relaxed on the polka dot couch playing on his Playstation.

Tuesday, what more can I say?

Monday, 9 January 2017

Guineafowl Nursery


On the way taking Matthew back to Benoni, 4 mother guineafowls ran across the road shepherding about 10 baby guinea chicks safely across to the other side. I had to stop to make sure they all crossed the road. By the time I took my camera out they were in the grass along the verge. You can see the mothers but as for the chicks, well they are so well camouflaged.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Can’t handle the Rain


We have been blessed this Christmas with rain in abundance as the drought stricken ground has soaked up. The rain falling here flows north to the Hartebeespoort Dam before flowing through the Kruger National Park into the Indian Ocean. It is a pity as we rather need this rain water to flow into the Vaal Dam where it is needed the most.

Driving to church this morning, our way was blocked by a tree which couldn’t handle the rain. So we had to find an alternative route out of our suburb.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Pikhristos Avmacf


Christ has been born! Yes Happy Christmas to all my Coptic friends out there as I drink Egyptian coffee while Omar cuts Matthew’s hair so that he is ready for school, his final year of High School is about to start. It is still pouring down with rain while I sit in this Egyptian Gentlemen’s Barber with Matthew. It is been a blessing for the last 3 days of relentless rain and mist.

The heading, Pikhristos Avmacf, is as closest to the Christ is born greeting as I don’t have the Copt script on my computer. In truth He is born, the saviour of the world has come, not to remain as a baby in a crypt, ahhh so cute but to come save the world by being put to death for our sins. Yes the Messiah has come.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Sundowner Moth


So a moth flutters in, a Sundowner moth also known as a Sphingomorpha chlorea, and landed onto Hilton’s chequered shirt. No fruit trees here little one so you can flutter off before the cats find you.
 

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Repurposed Kitchen


All that is left to get our cottage ready for leasing is to repurpose the old kitchen into a smaller more functional kitchen and to do the BICs. Well today we started with the kitchen, removing all the old units and putting in the carcasses.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Frank


I joined my good friend Frank for lunch today at Cedar in Fourways. It is the first time this year that I have seen Frank, oh did I mention that the year has just started and that I saw Frank about a month ago in the previous year. This new year is going to be an awesome year.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Witpoortjie Falls


The weather looked good with afternoon thundershowers to cool the day down later so we decided to take Lynda’s dad, Hilton, to the Botanical Gardens just below our home.


Matthew was a blessing as he became very useful as a wheelchair pusher as it became hot in the narrow valley leading up to the 70m Witpoortjie falls. Both the grand old Black Eagle Emoyeni and her young mate Thulane were nowhere to be seen but just the peacefulness of the place was more than enough.


Monday, 2 January 2017

Wooden Spoon


Ahhh the wooden spoon, or in this case 2 bamboo spoons from the Nataniël Collection, is normally just a wooden spoon used for cooking but in my case it stirs a little further. In my high school years a wooden spoon was usually given to someone who continually stirs throughout the year, in other words a stirrer of sorts. Most cases it was a award given to the runner up or a losing team or individual, the losers.

But for me it goes even further back to the last year of my primary schooling in Kokstad, yes that far back. I remember the traumatic incident very clearly. It was one evening after supper and I as usual was washing dishing and my two siblings were drying. Theresa complained that I wasn’t rinsing the dishes and they were full of soap spuds. My stepdad who must have had a hard day at work and had just about enough of us squabbling kids, jumped up and grabbed a wooden spoon and proceeded to give me a hiding. The poor wooden spoon couldn’t handle the abuse and broke in protest which didn’t help the cause as I burst out laughing.

Now you must know that laughing while getting a hiding only makes it worse. My trick was to scream my lungs out before even a hand was laid on me. The screaming helps to shorten the punishment as I hoped the neighbours would hear but it was usually my mom who pleaded for my dad to stop. But laughing well it didn’t help at all, hence the wooden spoon incident is still engraved in my mind to this day nearly 37 years later.

Now today, Day 2 of the year being a public holiday, most shops closed early and we ended up in a store which we don’t normally frequent. It was here walking up one of the aisles that these bamboo spoons caught my eye as memories flooding back of that incident of washing dishes. Now I enjoy Nataniël as an artist but how low have you gone with these product endorsements.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Start Eleven

Awesome, 2017 started with a Sunday, and it was great to start the day with God so as we go into my 11 year of this blog, I want to wish all my readers a happy New Year, may this year be the your year to be blessed.

To me it is God first, then family and then only then work. So after church this morning, we had family over for a late lunch and time around the pool. Here is Matthew sitting with his niece Rebekah on the grass next to the pool.


Being up till midnight and helping prepare the New Year’s dinner is taking its toll on me and I am soon to head to bed early.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

10 Years Blogging

Yes finally the end of 2016 and 10 years of blogging a picture a day with 3653 posts. This year has been a tough one on me with 4 family funerals, a few pets who died violently, a move, and a retrenchment under the bridge.


So as we celebrate the end of this season in our pool with the sun setting on a tough year, I feel confident that God has an awesome plan for me in 2017 because towards the end God spoke to me through a verse Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” It is clear, I am a child of God and God is a good father.


3, 2, 1… Thank you Lord. Here is to a new season, a new beginning, a new future, and another 10 years of blogging.

Friday, 30 December 2016

After Christmas Eve


After all the hard work on Christmas eve, getting all the presents out to those who were naughty and nice, I saw Father Christmas at the local shops preparing for his summer vacation here in South Africa. South Africa has lots to offer in terms of a get away from the colder regions of the North Pole, so I wasn’t surprised to see him and Mrs Claus around.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Putty Tat Selfie


I taut I taw a puddy tat take a telfy. Yes Minky our cat took a selfie with me using my cellphone. Ahhh isn’t she a beautiful cat?

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Happy Feet


I bought an Elba gas cooker to replace large gourmet Defy electric cooker. The aim is to slowly convert to be less reliant on government parastatals. We have 2 solar geysers, a heat pump for the swimming pool, and now a gas cooker. A long way to go as I still need solar panels and batteries for electricity, solar swimming pool pump, rain water collectors, and to re-commission the borehole. But for the moment I am all happy feet.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Bosasa Crearis Lemons


They say when life gives you lemons, take them and make some lemonade. Yes with what the Bosasa support unit I worked for, Crearis Africa, did a few months before the summer holidays, sure got me angry. But after 2 months of thought, planning, and lots of prayer I am starting turn the lemons they gave me into sweet lemonade.

Today we took Lynda’s dad out to the Cradle and ended up in some tea garden for a cuppa tea, and for me a lemon meringue pie. For my American readers this dessert is similar to your key lime pie with the main difference being lemon and custard versus lime and condensed milk.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Bradley 21


Yesterday, Lynda’s youngest, Bradley turned 21 but because we were all doing big family things, we decided to rather have something this evening for Bradley. The rain cancelled the pool party but thankfully having a gas braai and half covered patio helped not dampen celebrations.

You should have seen Robynne and Lynda’s dance moves during Dance Central’s dance sequences.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Iconic Christmas


Family means a lot to me even though I am not one who enjoys too much family company but on Christmas Day family means the most to me especially big family gatherings. During today’s Christmas lunch at Marco and Robynne’s home, Robynne handed me her phone to take a photo of the family and this is the iconic photo taken.

From left to right are Marco, Shekinah, Kojak, John, Joshua, Bradley, Dael, Lynda, and Robynne all in different poses. Sadly Hilton, Matthew, Rebekah and I were out of the photo. Hopefully next year I will rectify that.

Hey Granddad, why did you leave me out?

So as for my family pictured above and those who are not, we wish you all a meaningful Christmas with much peace, joy and most of all, LOVE in abundance.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Rain Expected


It looks like it is going to be a rainy Christmas weekend with all these clouds building up. In a drought torn and thirsty land, these clouds are most welcome as we lift up our hands to the sky and say thank you, Lord.


But as for the cats and dogs, cold rain means bah humbug to them as now they have to stay inside in the manger where it is all warm and cosy and dream of expected tasty treats which will come on Christmas Day.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Noel Noel


Come and see what God has done.

With still a few items to buy on our Christmas list, we took a break from the Christmas rush to bring it back to what Christmas is all about, the amazing story of love and grace that brought hope back into the world. This hope was reminded to us as the Soweto Gospel Choir led us at BBC in a time of reflection and hope.


Afterwards we went to Montecasino for a small family supper in the courtyard while children played in the fountains. Although there was the busyness of all the traditional Christmas decorations everywhere we looked, God was far from many here at Monte as we huddled in our little family group. Matthew and I witnessed a couple in full drunken altercation in the parking lot with security guards tearing them apart. Where was the hope that God promised, the peace that we sang about a few hours earlier.

Noel Noel

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