Thursday, 7 December 2017

Vacillating


Oh wow, Gary taught me a new word today, vacillating. Never heard of such a word, does it actually exist or is it another made up word? Gary had to use some of his little toys on his desk to help teach me this new word that felt strange to my tongue. I love languages but am useless in speaking them. Take English for example. England has been invaded by mainly 3 groups of people the Germanic speaking tribes such as the Vikings, the French, and the Romans, each bringing their flavour of languages to the existing mix. I like using the word kingly as an example, origin from the Germanic koniglich, then there is a similar word for the same thing from French royal, and then the Latin version brought in by the Romans regal.

Ahhh and there it is, vacillating /ˈvasɪleɪtɪŋ/ an adjective which means wavering between different opions or actions in other words irresolute. Blame the Romans as the origin is from the Latin word vacillate which means sway unsteadily. I have heard of oscillating between states but vacillating was like standing still yet unsteady.

So could I say it would be doubtful that the ship stay upright as it preciously vacillated on the oscillating waves blown by the foul tempest.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Speak to the Hand


Anni does not like photos taken of her but I did get permission to take her hand as long as her face is not showing, so now I have a speak to the hand photo of Anni, that is Anni with a "i" not a "e" as in one of my favourite TV series "Annie with an e". Oh dear I am digressing again.

The end of the year holidays can't come any sooner, and it can certainly be felt at BankservAfrica, as expectation of the summer break is starting to show through the cracks. The weather of set in rain doesn't help either as the words "let's get a hot chocolate", has become the rally call of Bankserv. For me, I am just so happy that I am working, even at this late time of year when everyone is tired and exhausted. Or should I say grateful, that I have not being forgotten and discarded on the wayside of life.

This time of year, as Christmas Day draws closer ever so faster, it is not about the summer break that my mind focuses on, but what Christmas actually means to me, especially in my current circumstances when presents and gifts are the lowest priority. I always wonder what if I was there nearly 2000 years ago, what I would be doing as I watched my Messiah come into the world as a tiny baby. As the anthem proclaimed by the Skitguys, who would better tell how I feel at this time of year like they do.

I have always wondered if I was at the stable that night, would I have seen a king or just a baby.

If I had stood there with the shepherds listening to the stories of choirs of angels would I have asked what child is this? Oh would I have known that he would someday be the shepherd of all.

If I had watched wise men bring valuable gifts and knee down under the guard of heavenly wonders. Would I have understood that he would be the one that I find all wisdom and that he was the greatest gift of all.

Just as that baby was held by its mother, he would hold me. He would hold me with his amazing grace and his adoption by his father Joseph would be a picture of my adoption in God's family. Who can comprehend that this baby who was defenceless, swaddled, and held would someday be the one holding me in his hands?

I did not witness a star moving across the sky or scores of angels proclaiming his birth but somehow in the middle of my ordinary world this extraordinary baby’s birth found a place in my worn down beat up heart.

So like all those people who saw him, he is the one I've been waiting for.
To repair me!
Redeem me!
To love me!
Forgive me!
To comfort me!
To help me!
To die for me!
Raise me to life!

So what child is this?
He is the one who comes to save me. To save me!

So at this time of year, especially this year, I hold out my hand to the one who comes to save me. As I stand at the edge of the precipice, you are the one who holds my right hand. I am not alone. Thank you, Messiah. You are the one who came to save me. To save me!

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Oh my Hat


Oh my hat, look what the cat just walked in at, Gary in his Singaporean hat. Now Gary did say no more posts about cats, how about a cat in a hat? Maybe that is why it raining cats and dogs today.

The sun did not shine
It was too wet to play
So we sat
And sat
At our desks
Gary in his hat
All that cold
Cold wet today

But not all is lost
The cat in the hat knows a lot about that!

Monday, 4 December 2017

Cutenessed Out


I am all cutenessed out. Is that a word, never mind it is now, cute ness ed, past tense of cuteness, in other words no more cuteness left in me. We all had a late night last night, the cats and I, Lynda slept through it all. Having a puppy waking up at 2 in the morning to get the cats all worked up aren’t cute any more. It is like having a new born baby in the home.

Barely keeping awake as I catch up on work, the cats have the same idea. Mid afternoon, I look to the couch in my office and see Rosy fast asleep. Nodding off at my desk, I decide that I too shall have a cat nap. Half an hour later, I woke up to find Minky curled up next to me, keeping watch while I sleep. Now where's my coffee?

Sunday, 3 December 2017

River Song


I arrived safely home last night and today is a day of rest and thanksgiving for journey mercies. One of my tasks today was to put a temporary fence up to stop our new addition from falling into the swimming pool until she is big enough to get out of pool by herself. Lynda’s job is to come up with a name for the little ewok.

After going through so many names, Lynda settled on River, and I added the timeless twist to it by adding a Song. Welcome River Song to our family. Her father Leo is a jet black Belgian Shepherd and her mommy Tasha is a regal German Shepherd who liked to bare her teeth at me as she feared I would take one of her 8 puppies, whatever gave her that idea?

Believe me it is not all happy family timelord reunions as River Song did not live up to her Dr Who name on the first day or does she? First of all last night was like having a big baby that needed to be let out to play at 2 in the ruddy morning. Then River Song has a knack of getting into tight situations that she can’t get out of without a sonic screwdriver. And since I don’t have a sonic screwdriver nor a light sable, I had to break the floorboards of the pool deck open as somehow River Song managed to get herself stuck under the deck. Note for tomorrow: make sure the temporary fence excludes the pool deck from puppy.

Let’s hope first time impressions don’t last and her cuteness shines brighter everyday as she grows from a wibby, wobbly ewok to a true timelord’s companion.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Sea Urchins


Saying goodbye to the beach, I don’t enjoy the humidity but I am fascinated by the small and wonderful creatures in the tidal pools. It was a massive storm last night and arriving at Rocky Bay to pick up the boys, I discovered that it was low tide, a perfect opportunity for me to scrounge on the rocks while Matthew wakes up and packs his stuff into the pickup. I was hoping to find a octopus or eel but came across a number of sea urchins instead.

From the coast, I had to pick up our latest addition to our family, one of Robbie’s puppies, a female cross Belgium Sheppard with a German Sheppard puppy called Pepper. Well we have until Monday to come up with its forever name as that is when it gets put into the official records.

With the sea behind us, the kilometres flew past and without any events, we arrived safely home, thank the Lord.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Bang the End is Nigh


My holiday is starting to come to an end with Matthew getting picked up tomorrow for the long haul back to Jozi. I just hope that it is smoother sailing than the trip down.

With temperatures hitting 35˚C and upwards, trust me to head down into the humid harbour basin of Durban. Luckily Wayne had an answer, a braai by the pool. It wasn’t long after the braai when a mother of thunderstorms hit us. Not so much rain but the electricity discharge was very unsettling to say the least. One strike, light up the sky in an orange flash, 2 seconds later the pressure wave hit us with a bang. My first thought, we are under attack, as that was surely not lightning. With windows rattling, I call it a night, as it is going to be a long day tomorrow.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Freckles and Rhoda


Now I have known Rhoda since she was a wee lass, and look at her now, all grown, married with 2 children. The youngest Emma is the same age as Matthew. Rhoda’s brother Robbie who is my best friend, and I were invited over for supper with Rhoda, her husband Kevin, and Joshua, as Emma was away getting her hair died blue.

As usual it was misty and miserable outside, they say Hilton is always like this in summer, but I am now not so sure, as the mist is so thick, you can hardly see your hand in front of you. Anyways Rhoda was all prepared for the mist with a blanket and her cat Freckles. Kevin didn’t want to be in the photo as he is in one taken earlier in the week.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Four Friends Forever


With their Matric year now over, 4 friends headed for the beach to celebrate. They booked a bungalow down in Rocky Bay south of Scottburgh, far away from adult supervision, that was until today, when they wanted to go to uShaka Waterworld in Durban. I got the call yesterday, asking for me to be taxi, and of course I said yes. I dropped them off at the entrance, took this photo in memory of their last days as children. Next year they are separating, going to different institutions to study further but these 4 will be friends forever.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Leo or Pepper


Since we have new kittens added to our pack, gave me the perfect excuse to get another dog. Now I always wanted a new Italian Greyhound or Whippet but was thinking that maybe we need a bigger dog. I once visited friends Elke and Tomas, who bred wolves, their top female just had a litter of cubs.

Elkie and I went into the make-shift den, and Elke picked up one of the cubs and handed it to me, I held the cub but made the mistake of looking up, and I found mommy wolf, still laying on the same spot feeding the cubs but was staring me down. Intimidated I quickly looked down and past the little cub back to Elke. I remember Tomas once telling me that wolves aren’t aggressive but use their size to intimidate, I got it quite clear that day holding that wolf cub with my throat about a metre away from mommy wolf.


I am in the firm belief that you should have a pack with both small and big dogs. The small to be alert and the big for I got your back. Now my Italian Greyhounds are not that alert as they like to be nice a snug at night. My best friend, Robbie, who I am staying with, his 2 dogs just had puppies, The father Leo is a Belgium Shepard and mommy a German Shepard. And now I have to choose between 2 of my favourites, Little Leo, a black puppy looking a lot like his daddy, and Pepper who looks more like her mommy.


Because of my pack makeup, I would prefer a girl but like Little Leo’s colours, so now a choice has to be made Leo or Pepper.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Office Away from Home

I have setup my office at the Mugg and Bean, Midlands Mall, that is if anyone wants to meet the infamous Jerome West. I have openings in my diary from 10 till 12am Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, if anyone wants to come say hello. I promise I don't bite. The reason I am working here is that the cellphone connection is awful from Robbie’s house in Hilton, plus where else can I drink bottenless fruitlattas while I work.


The chap in the office next to me has the same idea, he even brought along a printer. Well planned boet, well planned.

Since I am in town, there are a lot of people to catch up with, Sunday afternoon it was a braai with Kevin, Rhoda and family, this afternoon I popped into to see an old friend David who moved back to Pietermaritzburg to take over the family business over 5 years ago. Interesting David and Kate now go to the One Life Church from which the church that I now go to was instrumental to seeding. I am sure that will bring a smile to Jon’s face as he reads this post.


Tonight it was Tim, Fiona, and family’s turn. We had the can’t go wrong Mac and Cheese, plus their famous Hilton Sparkle Cakes made from ice-cream. But sadly I could not savour the dessert as I had to rush as Robbie needed to get going to get to the airport on time, as Mom Cameron was flying in from Cape Town.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Designer Beards and Spandex

I woke up this morning feeling much better, as my normal was catching up after such a stressful journey down. It was an early start as I had to get to Hayfields Bible Chapel in Pietermaritzburg by the 9:30am family service. I know I am a stickler for the old country Brethren upbringing.

Since the early start, I stopped at Gillitts for coffee. Just turning off the highway at the Hillcrest offramp was like driving into another dimension, white people everywhere. Yes, I hardly saw any white people in Durban. Even the night I arrived at Glenwood, where I was staying following my GPS I was taken into some dodgy areas with prostitutes on every corner and seedy looking potential drug suppliers lurking in the shadows. Arriving in Gillitts, there was joggers and cyclists doing their Sunday normal. It only dawned on me when standing in the queue between a skinny tall blonde haired lady with sparkling white teeth and a hipster sporting his designer beard and spandex cycling shorts. I carefully looked around, I was surrounded by only white people. Toto, I don’t think we are in South Africa any more.

 

This Assagay, Bothas Hill, Gillitts, and Hillcreast bubble is not normal yet they seem to be living normal. I mean even Assagay is spelt incorrectly, Ass-a-gay, what happened to Assegai the Zulu short spear. So I quickly continued inland towards Pietermaritzburg and while passing Camperdown, I had to pull over to the side of the highway to witness a flock of about 30 yellow billed kites gathering at a termite emergence. I was in awe watching these raptors swooping and catching the tiny flying ants by the wings and eating all in flight. The spectacular flying displays of what could be the bird's version of a sardine run bait ball was mesmerising. What is happening, nothing seems normal in this place. Please pinch me.


I arrived at Hayfields, a little early and there was already a lot of cars in the parking lot so I walk into the main chapel hall and no-one, I saw nobody. I looked outside at all the cars then back inside, what did I miss the rapture? Oh no I don’t want to be left behind as nothing is normal anymore. Then I heard a faint sound coming from the room in the back, after peering in, ahhh how can I forget, breaking of bread with the faithful.

It was good seeing all the old folks and also the young folks that I grew up with, now looking old too. Interesting was today’s sermon by Paul Greeve, oh yes he is looking much older than I remembered, but his wife Dorothy hasn’t aged at all. I must say Dorothy reads my blog, thank you for your kind words today. Anyway I digress, Paul’s message was about what is normal. He used the scripture from Mark 1 verses 1 to 20 about this man living up in the graveyard. He cut himself a lot and was troubled by some bad spirits. When he saw Jesus, he ran to him as begged for help. To cut the story short, Jesus cast out a lot of evil spirits from the man into about 2,000 pigs whom then ran into the sea and killed themselves. Paul was asking what is normal, the troubled man asking for help, or the Jewish pig herders and the Jewish pig owners who then asked Jesus to leave as he caused enough trouble to disturb the normal.

Rabbi be gone. Thy powers brings loss to us. Our ways are not thine. Thou lovest men, we swine.


So what is normal, men sporting designer beards and cycling spandex shorts? Next is I wear speedos, no don’t Google that. Okay now back to normal, here is my best friend Robbie and his brother in law Kevin braaing up in misty Hilton. Nou gaan ons braai as nothing is as normal as it seems.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Fine but Tender


I had a terrible night last night, but thank God I am still alive. After arriving safely at my cousin Eleasha and her husband Wayne’s place in Durban so late, I was stressed and extremely exhausted. I tried to eat something but just picked at my food. Fatigued, I took some headache tablets and crashed.

I woke up sometime in the night, feverish, headachy, and had the squirts. Okay overshare! The stress of yesterday must have hit me hard. I lay in bed sweating yet shivering with cold at the same time. My head was pounding that I could not even put it on the pillow. I started hyper ventilating and the thoughts flashed through my mind that I am not going to wake up here. Wayne would have to call the cops to remove my body while Eleasha would have to go through my phone to find my next of kin’s numbers. Oh dear!

I woke up with the birds chirping outside along with the soft sound of rain. I was alive, but barely. I must have fallen asleep with those dark thoughts. But in the morning I seemed fine but tender. Obviously I planned to take it easy today, but since I am only going to be a day here before heading to Hilton for the week, I went out to get my headlights sorted and like a good little boy I did my fiduciary duties by visiting family members.

Friday, 24 November 2017

An Eventful Journey

There is an old sailing saying that goes something like it is a bad omen if the weather is calm at the beginning of the voyage. Matthew and a few friends had booked a bungalow at Rocky Bay for their end of Matric getaway and when Matthew’s lift fell through, I offered to take him down instead of him going by public transport. Most of the friends flew down but 2 came with me along with all their food for the next 10 days.

I have this blessing that I give all my friends to fly out to Europe, Americas, or Asia, may you have an un-eventful flight, as events in a flight is not what anyone wants. So began my eventful journey as no-one blessed our journey.

I left home at 08H30, stopped at the nearest garage, filled up with fuel, checked my tyres. Thank God I did as my spare tyre was flat. I asked them to check water and oil too, but the serviceman must have forgotten, as I paid and drove off. A few kilometres down the road I realise that my bonnet was still open, and it was then that it dawned on me that the oil and water was not checked. So I stopped at the next service station to check water and oil. Oil was fine but engine coolant was below low. Then it was onto the highway to Benoni to pick up the 2 boys and all the food. We left Benoni at at 10:30 and it was not long into the journey, like 30mins when we hit this 5km backup. At the end of the backup was a police roadblock. Sigh!

About 100km before Harrismith, I started hearing a noise from the front right hand side. It sounded like bearings, but it can’t be as I had the car serviced a month ago, they did my brakes, replaced my front wheel bearings and the front wheel hubs. So it simply can’t be but it was getting loader and loader. On top of that I started getting automated calls from my bank stating that there is a possibility of fraudulent activity on one of my bank cards. By the time I got to Harrismith, I was a wreck with worry.


We had a bite to eat at the fuelling stop at Harrismith because the boys were hungry. I tried to eat but couldn’t even eat with all the worries. I phoned my insurance about getting a hired car but they informed me that they can only give me a hired car if I was involved in a crash or hijacking. Bugger that, where is the nearest wall that I can drive into.

I slowly drove to the car hire place in Harrismith, booked a car, and asked directions to the nearest, reliable, and reasonable mechanic. Yes it is my wheel bearings which means that my wheel bearings have been replaced 3 times this year alone. Something is not right. The last service with the brakes, hubs, and bearings cost me a little over R2000, this mechanic saw me coming a mile off because he managed to replace the bearings but at a whopping cost of R1280. But good news 2 hours later we were back on the road and didn’t need the hired car.


By the time we got to Mooiriver, it was raining and cold. In the rain somewhere near Howick, my one globe popped. Now I had 1 light in dims, and brights only. Because of the 2 hour delay at Harrismith and the rain we started driving slower, by the time we got to Pietermaritzburg it was dark. And the rain got harder, and the driving conditions got progressively worse that I only got to Park Rynie at 21:50. With the boys dropped off at Rocky Bay, I was now traveling back to Durban to were I am staying for the weekend. I ended my eventful journey at 22:38, that is 14 hours later.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Vintage Amber


This morning, I wasn’t sure my meeting in Rustenburg with the largest supplier of stainless steel convoluted hoses in Southern Africa was still on as the owner, Henk, left the night before to contact training down in Richards Bay over 750km away which is about 8 and a half hours drive. But after assurances that he will be in for my meeting, we took a slow drive up to Rustenburg.

 After driving through the night, Henk, made it to our meeting high on energy drinks. I must admit, it was a long drive back and I would not be looking so chippy. Good news it was a successful meeting and on the drive back Anthony and I stopped at a small roadside café called Vintage Amber near Magaliesburg to celebrate. The food was good and tasty, just what the good doctor ordered.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Surprised Visit


It has been a busy 2 weeks with today being my rest day or a day of catch up with all my admin work. I was taking it easy, cruising through the day, and then just a little after 1pm my gate intercom rang.

Surprise, it was my brother Anthony. I was only expecting him late this evening or even tomorrow morning as he is going up with me to Rustenburg tomorrow. Never mind I like pleasant surprises, now I can now catch up on all the family skinner except I don’t like the politics.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

West Rand Salute


When I saw Morné at our west Rand Connect group, my first thought was that he was here to audit our family group. Well what was I to think as he was taking notes on his phone or was that just socialising on social, uhmmm. Anyways Morné is from the Cedar Connect group near Fourways, he is still a young Christian but from what came out of his mouth, and you could say that he is an inspiring Christian with good wise words for us. Duff, if you reading this, I think we should press gang him into our group, as he would fit nicely into our not perfect family, tattoos and all.

From what I heard this evening, Morné is from the West Rand, hence here is Morné introducing me to the West Rand salute, quite different from my Durban salute of a raised right hand with the thumb and pinky sticking out and the middle fingers folded along with the words “kiff”.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Mthunzi


My mother used to say that you need to make a good impression by always dressing neatly, making sure there were no holes in your socks, and that you always had a clean underpants on. It looks like the intern at BankservAfrica took it to heart, well not the socks and underpants part, as there is no way in earth am I going to check but Mtunzi is always dressed smartly at work.


Ama-gent, the opposite to colour blocking, I am intrigued by what I think closely resembles a rose fob watch chain, interesting touch.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Doing Life


Sunday morning, and I am looking forward to going to church. What has happened? After I was retrenched a year ago, I felt down yet at the same time I felt God was doing something in my life but I wasn't in that happy place close to God. I was angry, for example it was 2 days apart when our house was registered and when I was told by the company I was with that they were making my position redundant. What was God doing? Deep down I knew that God had planned for us to have this house, the promises of God where deeply embedded into my heart but the deviousness of the company just rendered me into pieces. I was down and didn't feel like doing church but God was into doing life.

Look at me now, God has brought us here to Centre Church, a place where I am unknown, a place where I am doing life in a new way. I still not sure where God is taking me but I am here Lord.

I introduced myself as Jerome to Stewart after church, shown here with his wife Emma, and he answered, "Oh you are Jerome, I have heard about you". Oh dear that is always ominous, I hope my foot in my mouth reputation hasn't gone before me, but eh God has my back. Stewart and Emma are one of the elder couples leading Centre Church being good stewards so to speak. Emma preached today about Mary, a young teenage girl who fell pregnant by the Spirit of God, and had to face such a predicament of telling her parents, her husband to be. Against all odds before her, she said "here I am Lord, use me".

And now I find myself, in a similar place, no not pregnant although I look it, but I find myself at the edge of a steep precipice, and I cry out to God into the wind "here I am, Lord, take my hand, please, as I can't go on without you. I can’t do this life without you".

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Gecko Wind Chime


One of the touristy things we brought up from Clarens, was this wooden wind chime with geckos printed on them, okay I know that they are most likely made in China but we have been in the market for a wind chime for some time now. A lovely breeze was blowing down the gorge making the chimes make these marimba sounds as the sun set.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Wild Flowers


Somehow I managed to get home earlier this afternoon. It was a scorcher of a day and the sun was getting low, perfect time to take the dogs and any cat who wanted to join for a walk along the ridge.


The ridge next to my house that overlooks a deep gorge is very rocky and lined with Protea Trees but it was not the trees that I was looking out for but for any wild flowers. With all the rain that we have had in the last few days, I was hoping to find some interesting flowers, not the Red Listed Cites plants that I always hope to find one day but beautiful Highveld grassland flowers none the less.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

La Rosa

We pass the La Rosa, a Mexican Grille and Tequileria, quite often and since Jon asked how to get there as he had a meeting, I was intrigued. If it was good enough for Jon to meet and greet, well it should be good for us too.


Anyways with both Lynda and I coming home late today and carpooling since we were working in the same area, we decided to make it a date night. So we stopped on the way home at La Rosa for a tasty supper.


The restaurant’s décor was beautifully done in the colourful Día de Muertos theme and the burritos that we ordered very scrumptious. I mean even the toilets was worth a visit with the stunning murals all over. La Rosa is defiantly down for another visit.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Wagtail Poop

When I arrived at BankservAfrica this week, Wendy was so excited to show us her first tattoo that she got. I said first because once you start, you can’t stop with just 1 tattoo. Her first is the cross with a vine and a wagtail bird. All mean a lot to her, the cross and the Bible reference in John 15:5 about the vine, but what does the wagtail mean?


The wagtail sitting on the cross reminded me of Massimo Battura the famous Italian gastronomy chef, which I told Wendy of how Massimo was dragged to art galleries and museums by his wife, Lara, to help Massimo with creativity. Now the story goes, at this one gallery, he looked up and saw these stuffed pigeons which were positioned in such a way above the art pieces and art was created to look like the bird poop onto the art pieces below. Massimo was so inspired, with the bird pooping onto traditional art pieces as art itself.

You can see that I too am inspired by this bird poop, that it took the wagtail tattoo to remind me. Anyways it was this inspiration that stood Massimo in good stead when he opened the Osteria Francescana in Modena. He struggled at first as the locals trashed his ideas of turning traditional Italian food on its head. He was even thinking of throwing the towel in but Lara kept him at it. BUT then after a top food critic’s car broke down and was forced to overnight in Modena. This critic ate at Osteria Francescana and wrote about this extraordinary place, the news spread like wildfire of Massimo, and the rest is history as the Osteria Francescana is now ranked the 2nd best restaurant in the world.


So here was this small insignificant wagtail, sitting on the cross, that means so much to Wendy, that it became part of her first tattoo.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Washing of Feet


Last week, I uploaded a photo of Duff's feet half in his shoes during Connect Group meeting, and as my punishment, I offered to wash his feet. Well I am not sure he expected me to carry out my offer until he saw me walk in this evening with my bowl, soap, and towels.

I am all for the servant heart, as it pleases me to serve others and I believe that as a Christian we are called to have a servant heart as opposite to what the world dictates, which is all about me me me. Not an easy thing to accomplish, noooo not the washing of Duff's feet, that was the easy part, but to strive to serve others even in times when we feel down on the inside. Well it is nice to know that his feet now smells of wild rooibos, not that I have a foot fetish, just to clear up that matter.


It is that St Francis of Assisi song that I used to sing when I was a young boy growing up in that convent in Vryheid that makes me yearn for the servant heart, oh yes for the record I did spent some time in a convent called Nardini Convent, "...grant that I may not so much seek to be console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving the we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life".

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Monday, 13 November 2017

While 3 Watch


The Pool Buoys came round today to fix the swimming pool’s solar heaters. The day after they installed the new solar heaters, Matthew from Pool Buoys phoned, after debriefing the installation team, he realised that they had installed the solar heaters incorrectly which would cause it not to run to its optimal performance. So proactively he phoned to book another date so that he himself can come out and rectify.

And that day was today, I am not sure if the 3 assistants are trainees; as they mostly watched, pass the tools, and helped carry, while Matthew did the rectifying.

I am now looking forward to a lovely warm pool, okay I know we are heading into summer, I am just not a cold water person even with all this blubber.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Wind in my Beard

After another comfortable sleep at the Protea Hotel in Clarens, we had a late start to the day, but we are on holiday so it is worth it. After brunch we headed to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park for a round trip back home.


It was stunning driving the rolling hills through the majestic sandstone cliffs of the Free State. Yes not all of the Free State is flat; some of it is very beautiful. It was so peaceful to be away from the madding crowds of the city and be so high up, close to God with the wind in my beard.


As I stood there with on this high mountain hill with this Watsonia Confusia iris at my feet and a breezy wind blowing, I thought of Elijah, who had just ran away from King Ahab and Queen Jezebel in fear for his life, how he too stood on top of the mountain seeking the Lord God. A mighty wind tore down the mountainside, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind came an earthquake, then a fire, but the Lord was not found in either of them too. After all these mighty things, Elijah heard the Lord in a gentle whisper.


So as I stand on this high place, not knowing what is before me, but knowing that God is all around me. I push in towards God, and hear His gentle voice, “I Love you, I will not let you fall”.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Protea Hotel Clarens

Waking up in Clarens to the noisy construction of a new service station right next door to the Protea Hotel where we were staying after an upset tummy all evening, was not nice, not nice at all.


We arrived in Clarens late yesterday afternoon, and checked into the 4 star Protea Hotel by Marriot Clarens. After freshening up we took a lovely stroll around the square. The shops were closing but the restaurants and pubs were preparing for the weekend rush. We decided to have supper at the hotel as it looked agreeable after a long drive down.

Lynda ordered a beef lasagne and I, a chicken florentine served on a bed of cauliflower mash, oh how very Banting of me. Anyways how were we to know that this was to be the downfall of the day. The service was polished as to be expected of a 4 star establishment.


The food itself well, what can I say about the very overdone lasagne that was so dry that Lynda could not even get some of it down without copious amounts of grapetiser. The chicken looked good and tasted very good but once I got to the middle it felt like my knife was cutting through raw chicken. I stopped eating and had to fish for my cellphone to use the torch app to have an inspection of the chicken in the dimmed lights of the dining room.

It looked okay, but I was very unsure as I continued to cut into it. During the night my tummy had lots of things to say about the chicken. Luckily by the morning I was fine. Anyways we are not eating at the Protea Hotel again that is for sure. Now the unpleasantness cannot be said about the friendliness of the front of house staff nor the comfortable bed in the room except for me taking numinous trips to the toilet, we were well rested to enjoy this day in Clarens and surrounding areas.


Friday, 10 November 2017

OJs


Lynda has been wanting a holiday for such a long that we finally managed to get a mini break away down to Clarens. It is not easy, co-ordinating each other’s diaries, arranging house, dog, and cat sitters.

On the way down to Clarens we decided to take the slow long route visiting all the small Vrystaat dorpies along the way. This drive reminded me of another lifetime, when a group of friends rode down on this same route on our Vespas on route to conquer the Sani Pass way back in 2011. Ahhhh the Posers Scooter Club.

Lynda and I stopped at Heilbrom, a small town in the middle of nowhere, and had lunch at the same restaurant as the Posers did, OJs. I couldn’t get the same table as a group of 3 Harley Davidson biker couples had it so we sat at the table next to it.

At first I was quite pleased with the Hogs conversation as it was all Christian, but during their meal, their conversation went south, quite literary, with the colourful topics starting at swingers, then moving swiftly along to lesbians, before on to sex dolls, but when topic reached floppy dildos, I ordered my bill and bid a hasty retreated.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Decontamination

I didn’t get much sleep last night as there was a pair of Staffordshire Bull Terriers or Staffies running outside our yard in the veldt much to the excitement of all the dogs. We asked on the chat forums if anyone are missing any staffies but not a peep. My neighbour Pieter let them into his yard for safekeeping till the morning and that is when our sleepless night started for us and our neighbour. The strange staffies caused all the dogs in the neighbourhood in a barking mood right into the wee hours of this morning.


Good news is that we found the owners first thing in the morning bad news that was not the end of my troubles today.

So here I was trying to keep my open when I got a phone call from Lynda. Ella, her son Dale’s house mate’s Boerboel puppy was very sick with vomiting and loss of appetite. Since their car was still off the road due to being repaired from an accident they had no way to take Ella to the vet. A boerboel is a South African Mastiff a large dog but Ella is still a 6 month old puppy.


I picked up Dael and Ella and took them to the vet. Bad news is that Ella has been diagnosed with a deadly virus called Parvo. She has been hospitalised and treatment will take up to 5 days with 1 out 4 dogs not surviving the treatment.

Since the virus is highly contagious especially to puppies, I had to decontaminate my pickup and as soon as I got home I took a nice long shower. Our dogs are older and although this virus comes from cats it doesn’t affect them but I was taking no chances.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

True Blue


It has being just about a month since the big storm that struck the west rand and I can say finally my swimming pool is ready to be swum in. About time as today has been a scorcher of a day with temperatures in the mid 30s. Okay the Solar pool heaters are not running efficiently due to an installation issue which is be rectified next week, it is great to see my pool blue again. Hey true blue, fair dinkum, you’re back.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The Bald and the Beautiful

Okay bald you would know by now, but beautiful? Well yes beautiful.


Lynda and I have been welcomed into a beautiful family, no strings attached, the Connect Family headed by Lance and Kerry-Anne. Kerry as her friends' call her is shown above and Lance better known as Duff has his half in half out foot shown below. Okay before you ask about my foot and latex fetish, the foot photo was taken by Kyle who hosts the family get togethers with his wife Nicolene. If you are wondering why Duff's foot is being featured, well mainly because he is defiantly not like me with my foot always in my mouth; his feet are firmly planted on the ground; and because I can.

The Centre Church is the hub of a number of Connect groups and since we have started meeting on a Sunday morning, we have noticed a friendly rivalry of which is the best Connect group. Now I haven't been to any of the others but I must say that this Connect group may not be the best but it is sure the most beautiful family filled with beautiful peoples.


Now you might ask what about the not so beautiful, so let me clarify. Beauty is not an external superficial visual thing as the world sees it but rather an inside thing. As you can see by Duff's feet, we are ordinary people, not perfect but touched by God and changed to be beautiful in God's eyes.

Therefore I know I am bald and I am beautiful, not perfect but loved by God.

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