Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Weather Clearing

After a raining month, the weather looks like it is starting to clear as this beautiful sunset shows compared to yesterday morning’s photograph of mist and rain. At least there will be a break so that we can get some washing done and hung out to dry in the coming sunny days.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Misty Monday Rainy Monday

Monday, Monday, Monday! Sigh!

This morning we woke to soft rain with our home up in the clouds. The gardener arrived but what can one do with rain coming in waves. So not to disappoint him and send him home, I decided that he could do maintenance chores around the home and I had two tasks that I have been putting off for quite some time now, one was to put up the extra fencing to keep the dogs from going into the nature reserve, and the other was dismantle the dog house and rebuild it at the back.

The rain held out while the fencing went up much to the disappointment of the dogs. It was while I was helping the gardener with the fencing, that I noticed a rather large snake skin just outside our wall. It looks like it could be a puff adder or night adder skin but more the reason keep our dogs out.

Halfway through the dismantling of the dog house, the rain said bugger that, and started bucketing down. My well laid out plans had to change; it is now a dismantled dog’s house under the car port and a soaked me in the shower.

Monday, Monday, Monday! Sigh!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Peace and Serenity

After all those big bangs last night, I am slightly deaf, but Sunday marks the beginning of a new week and last night the beginning of the New Year. And what better way to celebrate new things than being in the quiet and peaceful garden of our home.

While Lynda pottered around in the vegetable and herb garden, while I rested myself on the lawn while our cats and dogs looked on in amusement all the while birds sang softly and brought back serenity to my traumatised ears.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Cock a doodle doo

As most people know last year, the Year of the Monkey was simple a bad year but now, cock a doodle doo, a New Year starts and a new dawn as we celebrate the Year of the Rooster in Old Chinatown.

Now before you get on your high horse, we also don’t enjoy fireworks for our animals’ sake but in a controlled environment like down town Johannesburg with the only animals close enough other than the humans are the rats and pigeons, (no one knows what happens to the cats and dogs in Chinatown). Anyways Lynda, Matthew, and I went down to Chinatown this evening, with the old year behind us for good, we let the rooster herald a new beginning.


Friday, 27 January 2017

Matthew’s Weekend

It feels like ages since Matthew was last home for the weekend but in reality it has only been 3 weeks. I had to fetch him from school and I was proud to see him walk tall out to my pickup lugging all his school books. Those colours on his blazer under the school badge are for chess and drama. It is his last year at High School, then next year it is University although we are not sure what he is going to study. Something in the medical field or maybe something in computer science, we will have to wait and see won’t we.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Cat Stripes

Wow, this cat Paddington sure finds the strangest places to sleep. It is like he is on the go one minute and the next he has crashed right where he was. It looks like he needs his beauty sleep on top of the striped couch.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Is FNB Safe?

The saying as safe as houses, has got a new meaning as First National Bank or FNB was hit by a spate of Safety Deposit Boxes robberies. FNB’s house of cards is starting to tumble as you can imagine most of these boxes are not insured and who really knows what were in them. Of course FNB neglectently forgot to inform the users to get insurance and there is reported that one of the safes was left open.

The question arises is FNB safe? From what is being reported, it doesn’t look like they are safe at all. Anyways, taking about keeping ones belongings safe, I had to go to the locksmith to get some duplicate keys cut for the new tenant who is arriving this weekend. And at the locksmith were these safes which look like they have been rather misuses and like FNB could not keep anything safe.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Chilli Veg

Wow the vegetable garden outside our kitchen is alive with beautiful vegetables, herbs, and chillies. This evening when Lynda came home, she went out into the garden to get some fresh produce to add to her supper of bangers and mash which I had prepared.

A few weeks back I picked some chillies to add into the dish I was preparing. Now not one for chillies, my knowledge is rather slim so I phoned a friend. I described the chillies to Craig over the phone and he said from what I described that they don’t sound that hot but that I should bite one and taste, mind you just the tip he said, so that is what I did. Yummy the big one that I bit into, similar to the big one in the above photo tasted nice and sweet, must be a pepper so I went with that one for the dish. I cut up the pepper nice and finely. Just as I was going to add it to the dish, I thought that I better do one more taste test, so I took a small slither and popped it into my mouth expecting a sweet tasting pepper and not hot chilli. WOW HOT! my tongue instantly swelled up from the heat of the capsaicin. HOT! I phoned Craig back and said a barely audible thanks over the phone, just what friends are for.

Lynda came back from the vegetable garden with these freshly picked lettuces, herbs, beans, and of course some chillies. Having already burnt myself with these chillies I took a wide berth around them when adding the fresh greens to my supper. I know I must somehow add these red devils to my cooking but for now I’ll take a chill pill.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Training Tree

Okay shoot me, I know I should have taking down the Christmas tree by now but somehow it is still up in the gaming room sans my office. So today while I was busy on some digital work, I saw in the corner of my eye the Christmas tree shaking as if it was coming alive.

On investigation, I found Paddington high up in the Christmas tree. Oh the kitten must be using it as a training tree, to hone his tree climbing skills.

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


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.

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