Saturday, 31 December 2016

10 Years Blogging

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

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

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

Friday, 30 December 2016

After Christmas Eve

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

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Putty Tat Selfie

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

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Happy Feet

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

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Bosasa Crearis Lemons

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

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

Monday, 26 December 2016

Bradley 21

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

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

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Iconic Christmas

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

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

Hey Granddad, why did you leave me out?

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

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Rain Expected

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

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

Friday, 23 December 2016

Noel Noel

Come and see what God has done.

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

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

Noel Noel

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Settling In

For an octogenarian, Hilton, Lynda’s dad, is settling in nicely after his long flight yesterday. He arrived onto the patio ready for breakfast at the crack of ten after a good night sleep on the hospitality rated bed that we put into the guest room. Minky with no skaams just hoped onto his lap to welcome him home.

Later we were off shopping to the malls as Christmas is just a few days away.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Hilton Arrives

Lynda's dad, Hilton arrived today from Cape Town to stay a few weeks up here with us. The guest bedroom is all prepared and ready. We are just about ready for the Christmas holidays, well nearly ready with some late Christmas shopping still to be done.

Thanks to Custom Couches our new couches arrived on Monday, a surprise to us as we were only expecting them next year. Okay the large cushions are still to come, but still it was way before the due date. Now instead of an empty family room, Lynda's dad has something to sit on.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Decorating the Christmas Tree

This year I left the Christmas tree for last, when Matthew and his cousins where visiting. So here is Matthew with Danielle and Jean-Jurie decorating the Christmas tree, fa la la la, la la la la.

Now we are ready, well just about.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Pitstop Braai

My cellphone does not do low light photos but I needed to take a photo of Hans and Theresa who stopped for a pitstop and refuel their batteries on their way back home from Bloemfontein to Nelspruit.

And what better way to enjoy an evening than with a braai on our patio. Marko and Robynne joined us because what is a braai without friends and family.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Joy to All

Joy to all those who enter here, reads a small porcelain sign at our front door, a final touch ready for all the Christmas visitors. On Thursday our first 3 visitors, Hans, Theresa, and Juan, came through from Nelspruit to spend the night. This evening Marco, Robynne, and Rebekah came to visit and we through a few burgers on the braai for a tasty hamburger evening.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Visit Brother

Well it is time to head east and pick up Matthew for the holidays but on the trip back we did a visit to see my brother and his wife, Anthony and Helene. Well I had to pick up a wood planner and some chisels to hang a door. Anthony has the tools I need even though he is wearing a t-shirt stating that "my wife says I don't listen... or something like that".

Friday, 16 December 2016

Spoilt Rotten

Yes, as the first lot of visitors leave for Bloemfontein, peace and quiet descends on our home, NOT. Yes spoilt rotten cats live here so there is no rest for the wicked on this Day of Reconciliation.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Jason-Dean and Nadia

As the lone piper’s pipes wailed the Heroes of Kohima, I looked up through the trees as we walked out to the Garden or Remembrance to release the butterflies on this sad Thursday.

A week ago my second cousin Jason-Dean and a friend Nadia, lost their lives in a fatal car accident and today we gathered family and friends in memory of these 2 young people. This year, the annus horribilis of most must surely come to an end soon as we cannot keep going on like this.

What makes it more tragic was that this coming Saturday was surpassed to be Jason-Dean’s wedding to Merchia, and now she was handing out live butterflies while a lone piper played his sad tune. These butterflies were meant for their wedding on Saturday and now they are released at Jason-Dean’s memorial service. They say that a butterfly counts not the months but the moments.

I will be glad once this year is over and I have already decided that 2017 is going to be a ridiculously and blessed year.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Holiday Guests

I remember a time, living on the Natal South Coast, during this time we started getting an influx of visitors from the Transvaal which we called Vaalies. Now I stay in Gauteng which is the heart of what once was the Transvaal. Does that make me a Vaalie now?

Anyway we have prepared our guest room for the influx of visitors in the opposite direction, those trying to escape the holiday makers. Today the beds have arrived and Lynda and I had to get ready the guest room as our first visitors are arriving tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Evening on the Deck

Sitting on our deck on a balmy Joburg evening, hoping for a summer thunderstorm. This is life! It has been storming most days now for nearly the entire month of December. The storms cool the summers down quite nicely thank you. So here I am sitting on the deck, feet up, drinking sundowners even though we can’t see the sun due to ominous black clouds to the west which looks promising.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Teensy Weensy

Teensy weensy spider, yip Sánchezis back. Now imagine this Chaco Golden Knee tarantula was actually on the loose. First of all the cats would have had her for breakfast, secondly imagine sleeping and itsy bitsy comes crawling onto your pillow.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Doom to keep your Virginity

Well who can’t argue that this is the sign of the times here in South Africa. The silly season is well in progress and the year well must simply end now. On Friday, my second cousin was tragically killed in a motor accident at the young age of 25. The scary thought is that it is the same age that his dad died, also tragically at the age of 25. This annus horribilis must end already.

The first well the little town of Krugersdorp out here on the West Rand of Johannesburg has only one large gym and that gym in Virgin Active. Yeah I know an oxymoron as if a virgin were active; he or she wouldn’t be a virgin no more. Anyways now Krugersdorp is getting competition in form of Planet Fitness, hence the sign that Krugersdorp is soon to lose its virginity, BOOM!

As for the next sign, well a few weeks back a story broke out here in South Africa, of a pastor from the sticks of Limpopo who used a brand of insect spray called Doom to cast out evil spirits when he sprayed it into congregants' faces. And now this church in Krugersdorp, the Valley Family Church, states that they don’t use the Doom spray, they just prevent men going to their doom.

Maybe a spray of Doom will keep Krugersdorp from losing their virginity.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Dee dee na na na

Okay Minky has been out all night last night and now she is partied out and fast asleep on my bed this morning all dirty. So I wonder who remembers this song which suits a party animal like our cat Minky.

Dee Dee na na na. Saturday night, I feel the air is getting hot. Like you baby.

I'll make you mine you know. I'll take you to the top. I'll drive you crazy. Saturday night, dance, I like.

The way you move, pretty baby. It's party time and not one minute we can lose.

Be my baby. Da ba da dan dee dee dee da. Nee na na na, be my baby. Da ba da dan dee dee dee da.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Jukebox Hero

In the early eighties, Foreigner released a song called Jukebox Hero, standing in the rain with his head hung low.

I sat in at small agency this morning, one that I did work for many moons ago, David and I, caught up on where we are now and a very laying out a potential exciting future for both of us. Looking at the Wurlitzer Jukebox behind David, my mind went racing to that one jukebox song, and all I wanted was to pick up that one guitar, hang it way down low, and rock on.

It is the weekend,gotta keep on rocking, and be a jukebox hero.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

I have a Name

Yes it has been weeks since this little kitten was unceremoniously left at our home and finally we have come up with a name to call this little bundle of squeaks.

Paddington or Paddy for short after Paddington Bear who was a wise bear that always kept a marmalade sandwich in his hat in case of an emergency and what an emergency did little Paddington bring by showing up unannounced a few weeks back. Prudent of him to now have a name but he won’t keep still for a photogragh.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Universal Paints Fail

Oh dear, see what happens when you try save a few rands in the building renovations. We are nearing the end of converting our home office into a rentable cottage, thank goodness. Yes taking on a project like this has its ups and downs, 1 of the downs is the outside paint.

I went into the closest Universal Paints shops here on the West Rand and asked for the closest match to the existing colour instead of a deep tint to match exactly which would have cost a couple of hundred rand more but my thinking is if you paint corner to corner you would not see a slight colour difference. Well as you can see, with Universal Paint’s standard colours nothing comes close to the outside of my house. My bad, as this is the colour blind test result.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Do you have one in Red?

With Michael Schumacher slowly recovering from his skiing accident, my thoughts and prayers went out to him and his family, as I parked my red Vespa next to a red Ferrari at the Metal Cross panel beaters. Yes I must admit that both the prancing Wasp and the Horse look good in red. I remember Michael doing a commercial for another make of car and at the end he asks if it comes out in red.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Sleepy Mondays

Mondays need to become duvet days. Days you can simply sleep in and start work... well much later. Minky our adventurous cat has the right idea, just roll over and go back to sleep.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Warrior Rebekah

Forget training for the upcoming Beast and Warrior Challenges as Rebekah’s training regime is on track that she will be crowned Warrior Queen. After swimming the crocodile invested green water holes, okay, okay, I twisted the truth a bit, as there were crocodiles in the form of 2 crocodile bath thermometers floating in the swimming pool which was green as the Zambizi River. Okay not that green. Anyways after the laps in the pool with mommy and daddy, Rebekah was off to the jungle gym with granny. A couple of rounds on the swing then up the cargo net and down the slide into granddads arms. Wheeeeeeeeee!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Rebekah don’t Recognise

Marco from Custom Couches went away for a few days to deliver couches in Vryburg and Durban and when he returned today he was sporting a new look. Gone was the long hair and beard. The fresh new look took his daughter, our grand daughter, Rebekah but surprise that she refused to go near him as she did not recognised her own daddy.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Mad Hatter's Curiosity

Oscar Wilde once said that a man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. Working at a company, one wears a mask to protect oneself, to be loyal despite what everyone else sees. Loyalty is strong in me but after what has happen, loyalty has gone out of the window. I believe in God and even though they intended to harm me, but God intended it for good. So take off that mask, as behind every mask there is a face, and behind that a story waiting to get out.

This morning, I joined the Joburg Vespa Riders’ Breakfast after, shoj, 4 years. This morning we met at Yiull’s studio which has being transformed in the Mad Hatter’s Curiosity Shoppe of strange and wonderful art and artefacts. We had breakfast from the Corner Café which was served out on the street sidewalk in front of this intriguing display from 13 different weird and wonderful artists.

Be your own hero and visit this mind twisting exhibit at 56 Buckingham Ave in Craighall Park.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

After the Storm

Yesterday evening we had a storm come through that uplifted trees in the neighbourhood. Even Minky our cat was caught unawares in our backyard somewhere and had to wait it out in the veld. She was one drenched and scared cat when returned after the storm.

Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me.

The howling wind reminded me of staying in Noordhoek, Cape Town, when that when used to channel down the mountainside, frightening me.

Calm, peaceful, this evening is. The storm clouds have moved along and it is quite pleasant sitting on my deck after the storm.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Status Red Light

This morning our gate did not want to open fully so I opened the motor up and found that a red light on next to the wording Status. Weird, what does status mean? Anyway I went and bought a new battery which seems to have done the trick as now we have a working gate.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Lamborghini at the Panel Beaters

Sometimes life just dishes you out all the despair you can handle at the same time. what did my mother tell me, don't drive when you are frustrated and look what I went and done, took the Lamborghini for a dice along the windy Wilegerood Road. Lynda is a tad upset that I had to take my Lambo into Metal Cross Vehicle Makeover Clinic, the approved panel beaters, to replace a cracked rear bumper.

Sigh, with fake news articles and click bait all the talk at the moment on social, no one knows what to believe anymore. YES the start of this blog post is all fake and NO the Lamborghini is not mine. Not only is 2016 the year when the best singers crossed over, it is also known as the Year of Fake News, disinformation masquerading as the truth.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Building Alterations

At first to find the right builder at the right price was a rigmarole but once they started our building alterations moved at a fast pace that was until we had to wait for the electrician and plumber.

Sigh, with the cottage on hold until the electrician moves the distribution box from the cottage bedroom to the main house and the plumber to fix the new water works for the new bathroom and kitchen. The electrician came the weekend to move the distribution box and then also came round today to separate the cottage lights and plugs from the main house with its own mini dB.

Now why are we still waiting for the plumber to finish what he started last week?

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Cat without a Name

Okay, I am looking for a name for this scrap of a kitten.

A month ago Matthew asked me if we would like another kitten and the answer was “NO”. On Friday when I was picking up his friend Moses to spend the weekend, Matthew asked again and again the answer was no. On the way home with Moses and Matthew, I heard the distinctive mew mew of a kitten from the back. I asked them what was going on and they answered that Moses has to look after his kitten because his mother was allergic to cats. But we were being played, they had no attention of taking the cat home and I don’t like to be played.

We don’t need any more cats, more Italian Greyhounds yes but no more cats. So with no choice in the matter, what shall we call this baby boy cat that looks way too young to be away from its mother.

Names so far are Tut (short for Tutankhamun since it was dumped by Moses and is sure to bring some deadly plagues); Teddy; and Garfield.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Koppie Foam Grasshopper

Uhmm, this toxic visitor to our garden looks kind of un-delicious. Yes the Koppie Foam Grasshopper or Dictyophorus spumans is highly poisonous because it produces toxic foam after feeding on the milkweed plant. Red means don’t even think about it. Let’s hope our dogs and cats don’t find this little fella as there are records of pets dying after eating these grasshoppers.

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