Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Disneyland Park

We tried to get a early start but failed. I went to buy the interconnecting train tickets while Carol hired a wheelchair and got an Easypass because of her disability. We started at the Phantom Manor and then went on a lazy cruise on the Molly Brown paddle steamboat around Big Thunder Mountain. While passing La Cabane des Robinson we were waylaid by Jack Robin or was that Jack Sparrow and ended up on Adventure Isle. At the Chaparral Theatre we had a Tarzen Encounter and lived through a pirate attack at the Pirates of the Caribbean (one of Carol’s favourite rides). My favourite was next, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast. We were then shrunk down to size in Honey, I Shrunk the Audience in a 3D film (Gold Reef City’s 4D is much better). Time for the Parade, we got there just as it started which meant that we did not get the best position to view it. Matthew then tried his hand at driving a 1950’s car through Autopia. Afterward a bumpy ride we visited Les Mystères du Nautilus for that underwater tour of Captain Nemo’s submarine. We then slowed down with a walk through Sleeping Beauty Castle to Le Carrousel de Lancelot for a ride on the horses and then on Dumbo the Flying Elephant. The other favourite of Carols was next “it’s a small world”, she went twice and we finished up the day at Disneyland Park with another ride in Pirates of the Caribbean. It was McDonalds then bed for us.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Disney Studios

After a late start, we found ourselves in a wet Disney Studios with our first stop at Stitch Live! Stitch was a unique experience, as he interacted with his audience. The cold rain gently fell as we rushed from attraction to attraction. Les Trapis Volants, Crush’s Coaster, Cars race Rally, Studio Tram Tour (was the best, as it showed behind the scenes of how the movies are made with a visit to a live shoot of a scene in Catastrophe Canyon movie), Armageddon Special Effects and finally CinéMagique (which was also good, showing the history of film).

Monday, 28 April 2008


After a good breakfast we took a bus to Dordrecht to get the Inter City train to Rotterdam. At Rotterdam Centraal we found that most of the early high speed trains to Paris were already booked. After some reshuffling we took the Inter City train to Bruxelles Midi. There was only standing room left for the first part of the journey. Because of the two hour connection changeover, we had lunch at Bruxelles Midi and walked around the shops at the station. Finally we climb on board the TGV train direct to Marne la Vallée, which is the station right at Disneyworld. While stopped at Aéroport Charles de Gaulle, the police boarded the train with sniffer dogs, presumably searching for drugs on the train from Amsterdam. It started raining as we arrived at Marne la Vallée. A short shuttle hop later we were at Sequoia Lodge. After checking in 10 hours after leaving Papendrecht, we went to meet Goofy and friends plus a ride on the Orbitron.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

De Brandaris

Sunday, we went to De Brandaris or in English The Lighthouse in Rotterdam. It is the church that Jan den Ouden attends. Jan works for Operation Mobilisation and travels a lot to exotic places, like South Africa. We joined Jan and his wife, Martha for lunch in their garden, later we all took a walk in the local park just around the corner from them. There are many parks and walks along the waterways in Netherlands. When the weather is beautiful, like today many Dutch come out and soak up the sun wherever they can.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Bicycles and more

We went by bus to Dordrecht Centraal to check the availability of seats of the Thalys HSL train to France. Outside the stationshal we found many bicycles parked waiting for their owners to return by train. Later Carol and I walked into De Meent in Papendrecht. We browsed around the local shops and ended up stopping at a café for some ijs.

Friday, 25 April 2008

The flight

I had a terrible night on the plane. Well I had the leg room but not the width. The food on KLM was great and would recommend it anytime. The Boeing 747-400 “Rio de Janeiro”, I think was on the old side with one TV screen not working (the only one that Matthew could see from his seat), the seats were quite worn and Matthew’s night blanket had a hole in it. It was a long fight and I was very tired afterwards but the views over the Alps were striking. I was expecting that we were going to catch a train to Rotterdam and then onto Dordrecht but Graham met us at Schiphol International with his car. While unpacking we found someone else toiletries’ bag full of perfume and other stuff in one of our bags from the hold. After checking to see that there are no drugs in the bag, we are left to decide what to do with it. Matthew and I wasted no time riding around Papendrecht on bicycles. It was a wonderful evening looking at new and old buildings along the Merwede and Noord Rivers.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Summer Holiday

Wow what a long trek. The song on my lips “I’m leaving on a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again” soon died on my lips when I saw the long walk from customs to gate A18. My walk meter says that I have walked 10.6 km today. I average about 3km per day. Soon we will board the KLM flight to Amsterdam and it is a half an hour behind schedule. Here is mom, myself, Carol and Matthew being dropped off at OR Tambo.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Train to Soweto

Three of us, representing marketing, went to Naledi, Soweto by train. Not just a train but the Soweto Business Express. Off we went to Soweto in reasonable luxury. Climbing onto the train we were handed a newspaper to read. There were laptop stations and plans of putting internet hotspots on the train. The express stopped at only two other stations before reaching Naledi. It passed a couple of other Soweto bound trains which cost only R3 a trip but were wedged full. We sat in comfortable seats, coffee was brought by good looking hostesses and shoes polished by shoe shiners. I noticed that mostly woman and a few business men traveled the train. While we passed over a highway which was just about standstill with people trying to get home, I thought to myself this is the way to commute everyday to the city that is if I lived in Soweto. For only R310 per month it makes sense.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

The cell

Another rushed day. It seems that I am wanted everywhere. The last visa was picked up today and just 2 more sleeps until we leave for our holiday. In the evening I went to home cell and we took photos to send to Maia in Bulgaria. So here is from the front left to right Denise, Petra, Rob, Leigh, Sandy, Sarah and Francis. In the back you can find Mike, Andy, Karin, Emme and Joanne.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Back to the rush

Back in busy Johannesburg with all its hustle and bustle. Well that is city life for you. I have a lot to do before we fly out to Europe. Visa’s still are outstanding for Carol and Matthew. Here is Thoko from Metrorail looking busy.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

The fishermen

Matthew and I got up early this morning to join Darrel and Conner, our trout fishing experts, for some fishing. I was great to be in the fresh air trying to fish. We did not catch anything although Darrel (shown) tried hard to teach us. Jess and Charlene, old friends of ours, later joined us for some brunch. On the way back from Dullstroom, I saw a newspaper front page that reported that 60,000 men turned up at Angus Buchan’s farm in Greytown for the Mighty Men’s Conference. Wow, they were only expecting 30,000 men.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Crash test climbers

After waking up slowly with no sounds of traffic or any other city noise, Kenneth, Darrel, Matthew, Conner and myself went down to Waterval Boven to do a spot of rock climbing. We had a wonderful day hiking and climbing as well as putting some grey hairs on Kenneth as he was our climb leader. Matthew did very well and like most male climbers, needs to learn to use his feet more. As for Darrel and I, well that is another story.

Friday, 18 April 2008


As I started my trip to Dullstroom for a tranquil weekend away on a trout fishing estate, I had to pass Hillbrow. Now this area of Johannesburg used to be posh but it has turned to ruin and is not a safe area. When I arrived at our chalet, Matthew and I spent some time lying outside looking at the huge African sky full of stars while buck walked coolly passed us. While lying there my thoughts wondered to how great our God is and later to the Mighty Men’s Conference that started this very weekend in Greytown. Some of my friends and brother-in-law are there.

Thursday, 17 April 2008


Ivan from Direct Distribution Services came up to Johannesburg from Cape Town for business. We went to see one of my clients in Pretoria together in his hired car, a Yaris. What an ugly name. Toyota states that the Yaris name stems from the Greek goddess named Charis who was a symbol of beauty and elegance, and the word “ya” which comes from the German expression of agreement. Firstly the car’s name sounds repulsive on the lips and secondly the German word is “ja” for yes. Here is Ivan showing me how small the boot space is. It can only fit his bag. Where does he put his laptop?

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Early waste of time

I got to Metrorail early to get ahead of the game only to find that the lady who supposed to hand the keys of the ICT office in last night didn’t. So I wasted 2 hours waiting for someone to open. They have installed a biometric system in but it is not activated yet. I can’t wait when it is so fetching the keys from Protection Services becomes a thing of the pass.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Railway Police

So much to do and so little time left to do it. I just have to put one foot in front of the other and try to reach the finish before I fly out. One of my jobs at Metrorail was to design new ID cards for the resurrected Railway Police. Just over 100 have been done so far.

Monday, 14 April 2008


Darleen bought herself a new Canon D400 camera together with a number of lenses. She got to use it when a number of police came in to get their photos taken for their temporary Railway Police ID cards.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Carol's birthday

Today as you would have read in yesterday’s post is Carol’s birthday. I won’t mention her age because a lady never revels her true age. Let’s just say she is as old as the man she feels which is 40. Doesn’t she look radiant today? Anyway we just had a quiet Sushi lunch at home and the family came round later for tea.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Back East

Today we off to Benoni to celebrate Ruth’s 50th birthday which is actually is tomorrow. It is on the same day as Carol’s birthday. Ruth and Carol went to youth together in Brakpan and she knows Carol’s brother Graham. Before we went to the party we stopped at Uncle Walter’s place. Uncle Walter (shown) is Carol’s late dad’s eldest brother. It was good catching up on the Jardine family news.

Friday, 11 April 2008


Thank goodness it is Friday. The weather has got a bit chilly. Maybe winter is arriving early. In today’s photo you can see the Loveday Taxi Rank in downtown Johannesburg.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Street hawkers

Today I had to go to the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria for my visa. But before went I had to get photos, so I went to the local Home Affairs Department in Randburg and found this hawker. He had a wide range of wares on display from cigarettes to mangoes. The also did passport photos so I was in luck. Actually he was running quite a good business. You can even use him as a office as you cane make phone calls, print documents and even fax. I suppose the caravan is where he keeps his stock and sleeps. Anyway I could not stay long as I had to rush to Pretoria. One traffic fine later I was at the embassy and walking out with my visa. Just under two weeks to go. Can’t wait.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

3 Distinctions in a batman gown

Today was a long day which started at 5am with me heading out to Metrorail and finishing up at Simone’s graduation. Simone got 3 distinctions from the University of Witwatersrand Business School. I am too tired to write much else and I know there is working waiting for me to do. Maybe I will get up early and start.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Black Steer

I am getting behind with one of my clients and another who always thinks they are my only client. Well I suppose that is how the cookie crumbles. José (shown) and I went with Willie in his new car to get lunch at the Black Steer. And oh boy, did Willie drive like a bat out of hell. Both José and I felt shaken not stirred.

Monday, 7 April 2008

A change in work

I spent the morning at Toyota Lexus updating the prices of their vehicles on the Lexus website. The afternoon was devoted to Sun International. Although it was mostly web work, I did manage to squeeze in my home circle news-letter.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

The accident

A quiet day to recover did not turn out all that quiet. Mom came over but as usual did not to eat lunch. Later in the afternoon she fell while walking from the lounge to the kitchen. She does not remember the fall or how she got on the floor. She now has a large gash on her forearm. Carol is quite troubled by the event.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

The Dinner Party

I worked in the morning on the International Property Solutions’ website. In the evening we went to a dinner party at David and Di’s house. They are the ones in the picture. The most exciting part of the evening was when the espresso pot exploded and sprayed coffee all over the kitchen. Well not quite exploded. David left out a filter which goes between the coffee and the pipe that connects the top part. This must have got blocked with the coffee and the pressure built up. This pressure then blew the lid open and coffee sprayed everywhere. Well to cut a long story short we had a great evening.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Weekend is here

I could not wait for the weekend to start. The day at Metrorail dragged on and on and on. I was glad to just get home and pup my feet up. Brian came over and spent the night. Carol was not too happy because Matthew and Brian did not want to go to sleep and talked most way into the night until I had to come get them to snooze.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Willie's New Chariot

It looks like it is new car season. This time it is Willie’s turn. He bought a Dodge Calibre which to me is an acquired taste but he loves it. Here is Leon, Willie and José admiring the new car. The photo is from the car’s best side as I am not sure about the rear end and the all round visibility from inside. It reminds me of the Hummer which also has small windows. I must say the front is growing on me so I finish by saying to Willie “Keep looking forward”.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

A new sun

It was a lovely start this morning. As I was driving to Metrorail, suburbs around me was getting load shedded. At home Carol says that there also was no power for the whole day even though our area is not scheduled to be load shedded today. Eskom can’t even keep to their own schedule anymore. And it was supposed to be only for four hours, not the whole day. A bunch of incompetent fools, these Eskom clowns are. The only good thing today is that the MDC won Zimbabwe’s parliamentary elections. We just have to wait to see who will be the next President. A new sun is rising over the land. Or maybe Eskom will find a way to load shed the sun.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Fuel up and lights off

A late start at Metrorail meant a late finish. I got out of the Wits building just after 6pm to find it raining and the traffic lights out because of load shedding. I arrived home to have a quick snack for supper then off to home cell. Fuel is going up tonight by R1 per litre. Not good for the future economy and quite a few people rushing at the last minute to fill up including me. On the way back from home cell, I found two petrol stations had run dry but luckily I found fuel at the third and I did not have to wait too long. Before I go, that is Kevin, my manager while at Metrorail.

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