Thursday, 31 January 2008


Today wasn’t as stressful as yesterday. The problem I had with the database yesterday afternoon was solved early this morning. That made my last day more of a breeze. Morkel asked if I can come in tomorrow and a few other days in February. Anyway my Friday and Monday are filling up quite fast. Carol moved mom from Rynpark to this new place in Bryanston. It is own by a Pippa whom I am sure to meet soon. Mom's temporary room is very small so some of her stuff has arrived here to be stored in my already full garage.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Fun Matters

I had an extremely busy day at African Defence Systems today. With tomorrow being the last day of my contract, I had a lot of work to finish. While I slaved away, Matthew had fun with his pocket money. A large Lego designer set plus a new PSP game. So when I arrived home with a repaired lawnmower, Matthew wanted my undivided attention helping him build a large Lego lion. With Star Craft paused on his computer and with Lego blocks in little piles all over his floor, Matthew ended up on his bed with "Ratchet Clank - Size Matters".

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Home Cell

Another hot summer’s day. No load shedding. No rain. Potholes are slowly getting fixed after all that rain. Home cell started in earnest with the first episode of the Canvas. This must be rated as one of the best Christian DVD teachings ever, better than sliced bread. I still want my own copy, and Northpoint church in Atlanta does not ship to South Africa. More about tonight later in my other blog, This Is the BBC. In the photo is Sandy. She and her husband Andy lead our home cell in their home.

Monday, 28 January 2008

The cleaners

Today was a bright sunny day and ended with a typical Johannesburg thunderstorm with hail. Just a few days left of my contract at African Defence Systems. So today’s photo is of the lady who keeps my office nice and tidy. This morning I took the lawnmower in for repairs. It has been broken since 2 January. It is still under guarantee but I can’t seem to find the purchase slip. It took all this time to finally give up looking and take it in. I do believe the slip will turn up when we don’t need it.

Sunday, 27 January 2008


The sun fought a valiant fight and won. The clouds tried to come back but had to give up. Adelle treated us to the Spur restaurant in Broadaches for lunch. Both Brian and Matthew love the Spur.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Yellow crocs

Wow, the sun was so bright this morning that my eyes hurt, it was not use to the sun. Everyone around me seemed bouncy and renewed. I don't know who was brighter Mike or his yellow shoes. I started reading the book "Memoirs of the Boer War" by Jan Smuts.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Dave and Jackie

The rain has stopped and the sun tried to break through the clouds but to no avail. Along with no rain, there was no load shedding today. The reason I found out later was that three large mining concerns decided to shut down operations today because ESCOM could not guarantee continuous power supply. I popped to see Dave and Jackie in the afternoon to help Dave with some document formatting. He is looking into a UPS solution to help with the ongoing power cuts.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Points men and women

The sun made a wonderful but brief appearance today. I forgot what it looked like. Load shedding was over 6 hours in a number of places. The whole afternoon and early evening, Carol was not in the least impressed. I had to go to Sandton in the afternoon to pick up a disk from Sun International and was so concerned about the traffic but I had nothing to worry about. There were points men/woman everywhere and the traffic just flowed like a dream.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Nothing beats the traffic

The rain seems to be lifting in places although on the news heavy rain was reported in Limpopo. This does not bode well for Moçambique. With the rain and the load shedding traffic has worsened. We need solar powered traffic lights. The government is just pointing fingers and not taking responsibility for the mess. They were given a white paper stating that the electricity will run out in 2007 if nothing is done. And nothing was done. Thanks for nothing.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Home Circle start

While it has been raining outside, I add the meeting to finalize the African Defence Systems' Intranet. They had a few changes which I need to finish before the end of next week. Anyway I received my Cat in the Hat invite for Saskia's 40th and I am looking forward to it. Tonight we started home cell with a dinner. In the photo you can see Rob and me with Natalie and Leigh in the foreground. I have to start writing the Home Circles newsletter again after a two month break. Parts of the newsletter is repeated on This is the BBC.

Monday, 21 January 2008


Monday morning rain, yes it is still raining. The rain along with the rolling blackouts is still with us. I am finishing up at African Defence Systems with just over a week to go. Lawrence came run on Sunday and this evening to help me with some code. Lawrence is from Harare in Zimbabwe and he is a very good coder. He is the expert in arrays. Even when he says "array", it comes out "errays" and you think he is saying "errors".

Sunday, 20 January 2008

More Rain

Maybe the sun has been put under the load shedding programme. A friend of mine, who returned from London on Saturday, said that there was more blue sky in London than here in Joburg. Well I can believe him. My garden is water logged and we have to use the tumble dryer more often. That is only when we have electricity.

Saturday, 19 January 2008


Men's group started today on a misty Saturday morning. It was good to see some of my old friends again. When I got back I started working again on one of my client's CRM system which is giving errors. I am the third developer coding on it and as some of you might know how difficult that is, to take over someone else's work. Just as I got into it, another load shedding episode happened. Oh boy. So off to the farm I went to deliver an old wash machine to the Lesters. The trip to Zusterstroom (Sister Stream) was in the pouring rain but in the Olifant's Valley it was just humid and cloudy. The dirt road into the valley was washed away in two places and Carol was not please that I scrapped the bottom of the A-Class and tested the traction control a number of times. Anyway missionaries Clinton and Jill (pictured) were happy with our delivery. I could normally walk across the rocks at this spot in the Wilge River which is seen in the background in full flood. That is a lot of raging water. The stone work between the Lesters and the river is a sluice built by the Voortrekkers to power a mill. The river side of the sluice was partially washed away in a previous flood and had to be rebuilt. That is the end of today's history lesson.

Friday, 18 January 2008


Is it monsoon season? The rain pelted down so hard for so long that I was looking out for the Ark to come floating by. It rained all day. By evening the rain had stopped but Johannesburg was covered in this eerily mist. As a gnome once said "Arguing about the weather only gets you wetter". Matthew started K4J (Kids 4 Jesus) this evening at Liberty Church in Randburg. He goes there because BBC (Bryanston Bible Church) doesn't allow Matthew's age group to KFC (Kids for Christ). K4J is a vibrant children's ministry ranging from Grade 4 to 7 and is crowded every Friday evening. When we drop him off they mark on his hand a number and give us a card with a corresponding number. Tonight Matthew's number is 67. No child may leave without an adult bearing a card with that child's number. Our problem is that Matthew never wants to leave.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Blow out the candle

This post is a bit late. Why? Due to what we South Africans have come to endure, rolling load shedding or simply put blackouts. We have been lucky because most South Africans have been suffering for quite sometime, this is our first. They supposed to last two hours but ours was three and half hours long, from 8pm till 11:30pm. Some people have up to three of these a day. Maybe we all should have voted for the ANC because their slogan is "Amandla! Power to the People" then we would have had power. The rain is back. This seems to be a very wet month. This along with the power outages, which means no traffic lights, has a terrible affect on the rush hour traffic. Well would the last person to leave the country please blow out the candle.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008


Mid week and weekend is in sight. The year has just started and already it is getting busy. To be a kid again! When I got home I sat on the patio watching Matthew and Brian take turns on being goalie. And because it was too hot to cook, I settled for a KFC chicken burger. Adelle, Brian’s mom came over and chatted about her broken computer which can’t connect to the internet. And the kids just played on.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008


Too many sad days
Too many Tuesday mornings
I thought of you today
I wished it was yesterday morning
I thought of you today
And I dreamt you were dressed in mourning

Yes Tuesday, the rain has gone but the sky still looked sad. The words above are from The Pogues song "Tuesday Morning" which is sad but at the same time expectant. I had a meeting at The Zone in Rosebank today and as you can see the rain clouds are still about but it is hot and humid. It is how I feel today with all the so called load shedding. Making my trip to Rosebank like hell with all the traffic lights off. But I felt indifferent. I had three good appointments which made it all up. It was a good day but a sad day at the same time. Tuesday is now over. Wednesday is about to start.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Who wants to Play

Today is back to work for most people which means a lot of traffic on the roads. So to solve the problem, I leave at 5:30am and drive 20mins to African Defence Systems. Normally if I leave at 6:45am, I would arrive at 8am, just over an hour of traffic. By leaving this early, I have 2 hours of unsolicited time to do work. This also means I can leave at 2:30 in the afternoon and have a few peaceful hours relaxing with Matthew and Maxy our Italian Greyhound. And Maxy just wants to play.

Sunday, 13 January 2008


Sunday the clouds looked ominous but it remained humid. At church I found out from Angie that Saskia had turned 40 on the 2nd and because she was away we did not celebrate. I think Angie is busy organising something. Talking about Angie, she mentioned that Jan reads this blog often. So "Hello Jan! Has it snowed yet in London? I have seen your brother twice in church this year, no sorry only once, I counted Christmas day. Anyway, thanks for reading and I will try to get some photos of people that you might know". Lad, Crystal and their three children (Squire, Wyatt and Crusoe) where in church today. They are on their way from States to Swaziland for pastoral work. You can follow them on their blog …failing forward frequently… which has in the past not been kept up to date. They promised me that they will make more effort as they have quite a following in States. Senzo and Mduduze pop in this afternoon. Mduzuze who is 10 months old is such a blessing, as Senzo and Zanele lost their first born Simphiwe when he was about a week old. Anyway it is a miracle that Mduzuze, which means "Comfort", was born.

Saturday, 12 January 2008


After a good night sleep, I set Matthew up on Starcraft and started to do some work. Carol disappeared off to Benoni for the day to spend some time with her mom. The feedback I got from her is that Carol’s mom did have a good day. Matthew disappeared into his room for the day to play Starcraft while Maxy, the Italian Greyhound, spent most of his time gnawing the bone from the T-bone steak that I kept from my meal on Tuesday night. Tonight I cooked up some mielies (corn) cobs, smeared butter on them and enjoyed. Maxy as you can see in the photo also enjoyed the husks.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Bunny Chow

Rain has not let up yet. I wonder if this will last all through the weekend. I managed to end the day with a splitting headache which I think was cause by the computer screen at work. The headache tablets and the bunny chow did help but I mustn’t stay too long here behind this screen. I loaded Star Craft onto Matthew’s computer tonight. That will be a good babysitter for a while. I have quite a bit of work which I need to take care of this weekend and if I am to do some tomorrow I must rest this head of mine.

Thursday, 10 January 2008


Malcolm, Joy (middle), Henry and Kayleigh flew up from sunny Cape Town and landed in rain drenched Gauteng. It was good to see them again and we all (that is Kenneth (right), Shannon, Simone (left), Darryl, Carol, Matthew, Connor, Amy and I joined them for dinner at Cappuccino’s Café & Pizzera in Midrand. When we arrived there load-shedding had started and spent a hour and a half in candlelight. Just as we where about to order (only Pizza or Lasagne), the lights came back on. So I ended up with my favourite 600g oven baked T-bone steak. Uhmmm. Henry and Kayleigh are spending the night here with Matthew. Malcolm and Joy will pick them up tomorrow morning on the way to the Pilanesberg National Park.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Moth rain

It continues to rain. The Afrikaners have a wonderful word for this type of rain, they call it "mot reën", translated it is moth rain, in other words drizzle. The rain is so soft it is like the wings of a moth. Afrikaans is so descriptive it's wonderful. The rain did hamper the 6 million kids going back to school today. I heard on the radio the enormous cost of school uniforms and stationary. At least Matthew is home schooled. Talking about home schooling Andy's kids are also home schooled. Remember I mentioned my friend Andy yesterday; well here is a photo of him. Today he was not a happy camper as his office is on the third floor and the only elevator is broken for the second time this week. This time there is someone in it, stuck between floors. You got to be tough to work in the defence industry.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008


Cookie, my boss’s secretary at African Defence Systems, is a lovely lady who always has a smile and is willing to help. Anyway Day 2 at ADS is now over and I am still in the dark about how long I am to be here. The ADS project is about over, just a few loose ends to tie up. In the meantime other smaller projects are also near completion. I saw my friend Andy for the first time this year and heard that he was bed-ridden for nearly 2 months because of a bad back. I thought he was on Christmas break. If only I had known, we would have visited him and his family in Centurion during the holidays. Coming home tonight, I found Matthew making these scrumptious cupcakes. Uhmmm, excuse me as I go get another one. (See Matthew’s Groove for a photo)

Monday, 7 January 2008


Today was just rain, rain and more rain. The rain didn’t affect me as I was back to African Defence Systems again but for how long I don’t know. It looks like I have to be here only for January. It was quiet at ADS as only half the company is back from holidays. It was good catching up on holiday news. A major coding stumbling block which hanged over my head when I left for the December break was solved quite early in the morning. A permissions problem on IIS. Just goes to show you that we need more leave to rest our brains.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Mamkie and Lu-Marie

After a very stormy night, the first Sunday of the year was bright but with a lot of storm clouds hanging ominously around all day. The grass was green, more like emerald green all around in Joburg. What a beautiful day. At church I met up with old friends from last year and spent a good time catching up on the holidays. I also met my first new person of the year, Timothy. Timothy is quite tall, no very tall. I am 1.82 metres and had to look up to him. I guess his height is about 2.1 metres. He is from the southern suburbs of Joburg and is studying at the Baptist Theological Collage. Anyway because today was our first meeting, I didn't ask for a size comparison photograph. So I managed to get a snap of Lu-Marie and Mamkie as they were leaving. Take a look at that grass to see the green that I was talking about. Today I also wrote my first post of the year on my "This is the BBC" blog.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Dishwasher Pre-check

This Saturday, Carol went once again to Benoni to be with her mom while Matthew, Maxy, our Italian Greyhound, and I babysat each other. It was another hot day. Maxy and I got stuck in the kitchen doing the dishes and laundry. Matthew mopped the floors. Once all the chores where done Matthew ended up on the internet playing online games for the rest of the day and evening while I started working on the International Property Solutions and the Moonstone Energy Healing projects.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Pajama Party

Today is just rain, rain and more rain. The first rains of the year have fallen. In spite of the rain Matthew, Maxy, the Italian Greyhound, and Brian had a pajama party and stayed up very late. The rains reminded me of the Toto's song "Africa" which brings back fond memories of my student days in Transki. The chorus went like this ...

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you,
It's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do.
I bless the rains down in Africa.
It's gonna take some time to do the things we never had.

There is another song which has sprung up from the depths of my memory. It is "Stuur groete aan Mannetjies Roux" by Laurika Rauch. François (Mannetjies) du Toit Roux is a legendary rugby hero who played center for the Springboks in the 1960s. Anyway after some digging way back in my my CD collection, I dusted off the CD and played the song loud ...

My oom se motor is 'n ou masjien
(My uncle’s motor is an old machine)
Hy maak dit vol met dieselien
(He fills it with dieseline)
En hy sing in die strate as hy ons kom sien
(And he sings in the streets when he sees us arriving)
My oom is oud en ek is skaars dertien
(My uncle is old and I am just gone thirteen)

My oom drink koffie en my tannie tee
(My uncle drinks coffee and my aunt tea)
Ek vra oor die reën en hy sê ja-nee
(I ask about the rain and he answers yes-no)
En hy drink soet koffie met sy een oog toe
(And he drinks sweet coffee with his one eye closed)
En hy praat weer oor die drie van Mannetjies Roux
(And he talks again about the try by Mannetjies Roux)

Chorus: O stuur ons net so 'n bietjie reën
(Oh send us just a little bit of rain)
My oom het 'n tenk vol dieselien
(My uncle has a tank full of dieseline)
En seën my pa en seën my ma
(And bless my dad and bless my mom)
En my oom op sy plaas in Afrika
(And my uncle on his farm in Africa)

Maar my oom het gesukkel op die plaas
(But my uncle struggled on the farm)
Want die son was te warm en die reën te skaars
(Because the sun is too hot and the rain scarce)
En die man van die bank het net sy kop geskud
(And the man from the bank just shook his head)
Want my oom ja my oom was te diep in die skuld
(Because my uncle yes my uncle was too deep in debt)

My oom se motor is 'n ou masjien
(My uncle’s motor is an old machine)
Hy maak dit vol met dieselien
(He fills it with dieseline)
En hy ry na die lande in die oggenddou
(And he rides towards the lands in the morning)
Die lande vaal en sy oë grou
(The lands are barren and his eyes gritty)

Repeat chorus

En as jy in die oggend in die lande stap
(And as you walk the lands in the morning)
Hoor jy nog sy motor met sy klak-klak-klak
(You can still hear his motor’s cluck-cluck-cluck)
Maar my oom ja my oom se oë's nou albei toe
(But my uncle, yes my uncle’s eyes are both now closed)
In sy brief stuur hy groete ann Mannetjies Roux
(In his letter he sends greetings to Mannetjies Roux)

Repeat chorus

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Rat in the Kitchen

What I thought would be another slow day ended well. Matthew and Carol went off to Benoni, while I stayed behind with Maxy, our Italian Greyhound, and his rat that he caught. Malcolm phoned and I had to rush off early to his office to open up for the staff and setup the computers. In the afternoon I had a one o clock which did not excite me but late in the afternoon a potential client phoned and after an early evening meeting with them I returned with high expectations.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Another lazy day

Wow, this year has certainly started slowly. I tried to mow the lawn but after mowing a third of it the lawnmower just stopped working. I don't know if I should take it back to Makro where I bought it or try see if I can get it working again. It must be a electric fault or over-heating. What happened to that golden screw-driver my late father-in-law gave me.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

The West Family

Hi all friends and family. We the West family would like wish all of you a glorious 2008. It has been a hard and busy 2007. I have 365 photos to prove it. This year I am going to write something about each day, starting today. Uhmm, today has been a lazy first day of the year with nothing much happening but ending with ice-cream then fried rice and seafood medley cooked by moi. Matthew has started walking in his dads footsteps by starting his own photoblog. See for more details... I suppose we will start seeing more photos of Maxy, Matthew's Italian Greyhound.

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