Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Cuddling a Red Head

Well tick that off my bucket list, 1 red head cuddled done and enjoyed. Yes Paddy just loves cuddling with his daddy. When he comes in from his daily travels, the first thing he does is come up to me with his twitching tail, as if to say where have you been all my life, then he promptly jumps into my arms for his cuddle.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Whale of a Time

We arrived just before our Connect group supposed to start to find that there was no room for us. The parking was jammed packed and we could not even squeeze Lynda's car in anywhere. We were contemplating just going home when George insisted that we park outside.

Outside! We wanted inside, not outside but George twisted my arm, so we parked outside with some reservations but it was our Connect group after all. And especially after a long day at work, all we wanted was to put our feet up and relax. And what a way to relax with our Connect family.

No where to put my feet up in the large lounge with the crowds and all, it felt like we were inside the belly of a whale. Oh you could guess it by know the topic was Jonah, Nineveh, the whale, the tree, and the worm. Yip there is a worm in the story, somewhere.

Brief story line, God tells Jonah to go to an enemy city called Nineveh and tell them that because of their sin, God will destroy them in 40 days. Now Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh as was afraid of them. Just let God deal with them and leave him be. So he went in the opposite direction and boarded a ship bound for Spain to get as far away from God as possible. While out at sea God then caused a great storm and fearing for their lives the sailors threw Jonah overboard when they found out that he was running away from God. Jonah was swallowed by a large sea creature, we don't know if it was a whale or even a big fish just leave it as a whale anyway 3 days later he was spewed out back on the beach. He finally relented and went to Ninevah and told them what God had said. The shock it must have been for Jonah to see the people of Ninevah repenting but Jonah wanted none of it so he climbed up a nearby hill overlooking Nivevah to watch God destroy the city. It was hot while he waited but God saw the people of Nivevah repent and He changed his mind. While Jonah waited, God made a tree or vine grow and give Jonah shade while he waited. Then God made a worm come along and destroy the tree, and Jonah was back in the relentless sun. Jonah was not a happy camper, and God rebuked him with these words, well close enough “Jonah, why is it that you are so concerned with this tree - a mere plant which is temporal, and for which you did not labour; and yet, you evidence utterly no concern for the hapless inhabitants of Nineveh?”

Oh that was longer than I wanted.

The story of Jonah was preached on Sunday at Centre Church, and this evening we unpacked it and discussed what it meant for us. Well somehow I managed to miss the Sunday sermon due to a leak that was discovered just as we were about to set out down the hill. Lynda and Bradley managed to go while I fixed the pipe. Anyways, the story of Jonah and the whale was drummed into us at Sunday School while the tree and the worm was preached a few occasions by the brethern that I knew enough to partake in the unpacking this evening. But I felt good just listening to others give their take on the story of Jonah and what it meant for them while Lance facilitated the conversation.

Monday, 29 January 2018


"Oh no, please no more cat posts, especially when you catch me waking up after a lovely warm afternoon nap", cried Rosy.

It has been raining now nearly every day, and my garden is getting a good soaking. In weather like today, the cats tend to stay indoors, sleeping the hours away. Here is Rosy, our youngest cat who is about 4 months old, shaking the sleep out of her eyes.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Señor Jose

Getting out of the house, is good for one, and today an emergency cropped up at home just as we were about to leave for church. So I had to stay at home to arrange for a plumber but the after hours call out is horrendous and since it wasn't such a big job, I got my hands wet and fixed the problem.

I joined Lynda afterwards at Señor Jose, a small Portuguese restaurant by the car wash place that we go to. So while Lynda's car was been pampered, I jot stuck into this Moçambique Peri-Peri Chicken, yummy.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Day Zero

Our most southerly city Cape Town, is sitting on the edge of disaster, by being the first major city to reach Day Zero for having no water, well not quite the first major city as I remember Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, a few times running out of water. With the City of Cape Town declaring Level 6B Water restrictions after consecutive years of drought in the region, another city Port Elizabeth is not far behind. Didn't someone predict that the next major war will be over water?

Although we are having rain in Johannesburg where I live, we are sitting on Level 1 Water Restrictions and hopefully we won't get as bad as where Cape Town is today, there by the grace of God go I. Let it rain, let it rain.

Anyway why is my post about Day Zero? Well I had a board meeting this morning at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, and afterwards I took a stroll up to the waterfall and took a few photos of the Witpoortjie waterfall for ARMOUR, the group Action for Responsible Management of Our Rivers, as they requested some from me a few weeks back. It got me thinking, it is raining now and it seems that we have plenty of water but what are we doing to save water? For example not even 6 months back there was raw sewerage flowing down this very waterfall. How quickly can things change. We are living in this false bubble where we believe that it can't happen to us.

In all the toilets at the Bot Gardens, SANBI, the South African National Biodiversity Institute, has put up Water Savers' signs but I hear that at V&A Waterfront in the very heart of the Cape Town, they have not even one sign telling visitors to use water sparely, not one. Shame on the V&A Waterfront and its owners Growthpoint and the Public Investment Corporation, the South African government's pension fund company looked after by the ANC's appointed Finance Minister. Does that mean the national government of South Africa want to see Cape Town reach Day Zero?

So it seems that it is business as usual for the Western Cape's tourism industry while the Cape Townonians face a disaster of note. Surely the City of Cape Town can at least balance the big business interests with their own citizens who pay their taxes. This is something that only together we can beat.

Sigh, enough ranting about water, here in a wet Bot Gardens, the animal life enjoying the rain, such as this damselfly sunning itself during a break in the clouds.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Naughty Puppy

Just over 3 months old, River Song is becoming quite a rascal. No washing is safe on the wash line with this naughty puppy around. Stepping outside I found a war zone with all River Song's bedding dragged out of her home and ripped to shreds.

I hope this is just a puppy phase and hopefully it will soon be over. Sigh, oh River, what ever shall I do with you, other than love you even more.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Here's to a Mouse

Tonight is Burns Night, in honour of the 2nd greatest poet in my books, Rabbie Burns, or as some people know him as Robert Burns, the greatest Scottish poet to date. But before I can get to enjoying a whisky in honour of Rabbie, I had to get a sewerage blockage sorted out. Och the joys of living in a modern home without the niceties of having an outside long drop toilet.

Once as Rabbie was working his fields he accidentally overturned a mouse nest which lead to one of my favourite poems, Tae a Mouse. This poem ends off with Rabbie saying how blessed the mouse actually is.

But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane, 
In proving foresight may be vain: 
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men 
          Gang aft agley, 
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, 
          For promis’d joy! 

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me! 
The present only toucheth thee: 
But Och! I backward cast my e’e, 
          On prospects drear! 
An’ forward tho’ I canna see, 
          I guess an’ fear!

In summary, these last 2 verses says, well that's life. Whether you a mouse or a man, your plans, however well made, often get messed up. After all mice are blessed compared to us humans as mice live in the present moment while us humans look to the past with regret and to the future with fear. It is that last lines, But Och! I backward cast my e’e, on prospects drear! An’ forward tho’ I canna see, I guess an’ fear! Yes we keep looking to the past with regret and to the future with fear.

So I poured meself a wee whisky, to drink to Rabbie. So who holds the number 1 spot in my heart dare you ask? Well that my dear goes to Yeats, and my most favourite poem of all, The Stolen Child. And of course following up on Rabbie Burns is Pushkin but tonight it is all Rabbie. Have a blest Burns Night.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

PnP Bulk Fail

Once again Pick 'n Pay Hyper has dropped the ball in food prices which makes me want to do a monthly shopping basket comparison of all the supermarket stores in our area, Checkers, Checkers Hyper, Kwikspar, Pick 'n Pay, Pick 'n Pay Hyper, President Hyper, Spar, Super Spar, and Woolworths. So I need to make up a shopping list for a basket that I can use across stores.

Since I do a lot of the grocery shopping I tend to notice the specials and am starting to be picky. Since it is nearing month end, I had to slip into a supermarket to buy some lean mince and we tend to buy in bulk because when buying in bulk the prices are slightly lower well that is not the case at the Princess Crossing Pick 'n Pay Hyper. For them bulk means charge more at R84.99 per kg as compared to the smaller packs at R79.99 per kg. What were they thinking? Anyways I bought a few packs of the smaller the lean mince even though it doesn't look that lean to me.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

New Chapter

Today Matthew sets off on a new chapter in his life. With things seemingly falling apart a few weeks before, somehow God just comes through. Matthew got 93% in his bridging maths exam and the student loan for the year was granted although I don't know how I am going to pay for even the interest but that I am going to have to rely on God's plan.

We arrived at the Belgium Campus, a small IT University in Pretoria, something in-line with Caltech or MIT, for registration and to move into the residence on campus. Yes Matthew is all excited as tomorrow is his first day studying for his Degree in Computers at the Belgium Campus as a whole new chapter in his life begins.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Sweet Thorn Yellow

The world seems to be falling apart on the other side of the gorge. Riots and protests are the name of the game in Krugersdorp as residents take to the streets in protests to the drug kingpins in the area, namely the Nigerians. houses are burning including a police station. Well I think I will stay this side thank you very much.

Sitting on my patio I look out over towards Krugersdorp or Mogale City as they like to call it now, and wonder why? In my view is this large yellow tree with another in the corner of our garden. Somehow it just does not quite fit into the Protea forested veldt. It these trees that have burst into bright yellow pom-poms attracting bees, butterflies and many other strange insects, during the first light of the mornings the trees buzz from the sound of all the visiting bees. It was this buzzing that made me start thinking about getting my own bee hive.

The Acacia Karroo tree is also known as the Soetdoring or Sweet Thorn tree. I know that bushbabies or galagos have been recorded in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg moving into the urban forests, now they love these acacia trees, so here's hoping that they too move into this area.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Happy Birthday Centre Church

After yesterday's dirty work, it was nice just to let your guard down and join family to celebrate Centre Church's 2 years in existence. Happy Birthday!

A broken group of people getting together to live life together with the Messiah Jesus. Broken as I am, free falling not knowing if I am going to get caught, and all I want is to be able to say that it is well with my soul.

Jon used a story of his wife asking him to take out the dustbin but God asks us to help Him, take out the dustbin. How come we tend to ask what can God do for us.  BUT God calls us not to help us with our plan, but to be part of His almighty plan. It is not about us anymore, we not the centre, Mr Venter. It is like the analogy that I use, imagine a big spotlight, shinning down from above and God calls us into the light from the darkness outside the light. Now once we are inside, the centre, it is easy for us to relax, enjoy the light. we are saved, right? We can just stay put, BUT God called us to reach out into the dark, grab a hand and pull it into the light.

It is well, it is well with my soul.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

A Re Sebetseng

Our mayor Herman Mashaba started a cleanup campaign in Johannesburg, A re sebetseng, a monthly cleaning initiative one Saturday a month. A re sebetseng means "let's work", yes let's build a cleaner and better Johannesburg together.

About 15 Roodekrans Neighbourhood Watch members, along with some community members joined together this morning to clean up the Roodekrans Lapa Park, just downstream from me. Of course I had to don some garden gloves and start picking up the trash. It seems that this park is the local drug pickup point. The 3 most items that I picked up were in this order...

  1. Beer bottles
  2. Small drug baggies
  3. Empty condom wrappers (well thank goodness I didn't come across any used ones)
Anyway we barely scratched the surface. Who would have thought that this the local drinking spot, with prostitution and casual sex. Shivers run up my spine as I think how dirty this place is. The worse part is that our children are using this park as their drug pick up point and the dealer lives in our community.  

We need to clean up not only the rubbish but the drugs and the sex trade that goes with it.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Operation Mom

Today Matthew wrote his Maths bridging exam and I had to pick him at 10am in Pretoria. From there we popped into the hospital where my mom is for a visit. She was supposed to have an operation on Tuesday but that was postponed until today because of life critical complications that cropped up.

Now that my mom is stable she can have the operation today at 1pm. Reports that I received from my sister that it all went well and the surgeons are satisfied with the out come. After the hospital visit while mom was in theatre, Matthew and I met up with my brother, Anthony, and his wife, Helene, to sign papers for Matthew's student loan.

There was 3 things that I prayed for this morning, mom's operation, Matthew's exam, and his student loan, all by end of the day was successful, thank you God.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Welsh Rarebit

Okay the top photo is not Welsh Rarebit but Beef Olives, below is the Welsh Rarebit photo for those who don't know what it is then hold onto your breechers, I'm going to get there.

Tonight I decided to make some Beef Olives for dinner, and I was wondering what sauce I should make to go with the meal, and it was then that I decided to make a cheese sauce but surprising the cheese sauce turned out to be Welsh Rarebit.

So what is this Welsh Rarebit?

When I was in hostel during my high school years, the matrons used to make Welsh Rarebit on toast quite often on a Sunday evening. Along with the soup, it was my favourite hostel meals. We used to call it Welsh Rabbit, but there is no rabbit in it only cheese, and more cheese as it is a savoury sauce of melted cheese.

Longing for the taste, I tried to make some last year and that is when I found out that I was no Jamie Oliver but a poor reproduction of gastronomy chef Heston Blumenthal. And now this...

This accidental Welsh Rarebit was awesome, now if only I can remember what I put into it.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Hug a Cat

Have you hugged your cat today, or as in my case your cat hugs you. Yes, today was the first productive day this week and there I was on my computer and Paddy decided to comfort me by giving me a hug. Yes I really need this hug as I am not on the edge of the abyss anymore Toto, I am free falling.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Fairies and Woodpeckers

Yesterday and today have been rather hard on me and this stress is taking its toll. I arrived back from Pretoria yesterday late morning, tired, hot and bothered only to find the fibre is down since this morning and no one has an answer to when it will be back. Mid afternoon, an SMS arrives from Vumatel to inform us that it would take 10 to 14 hours to rectify as they have to wait for City Power to make the area safe. So what happened to their SLA of 7 hours to repair any damage to the line, uhmmm, Vumatel is like all the others.

Anyway 14 hours came and went, and this morning still no firbe. No fibre means no internet, no work. So I started preparing to go out and work at a place with internet when I got the message that my mom took a turn for the worse. From the sounds of the messages I got, her heart faded, and with hardly any blood pressure, the medical team injected adrenaline and her heart went in the opposite. It is not well.

The fibre finally came back and I started working to get my mind off all my stress but after an hour the power tripped. A whole section of our suburb was out, expecting it to be restored quickly, we were mistaken as we were kept in the dark on what was going on, excuse my pun but it was only about 3ish in the afternoon that we found out that they found the fault and power will be restored between 20h00 to 21h00 as they have to repair a faulty cable. Shortly after 21h00, we received another message that they still working frantically to restore power and it should be back up at 23h00.

In the meanwhile I received a message from my sister that mom is stable. A second vascular operation was scheduled for tomorrow but that has now been postponed until further tests on my mom’s heart can be run. I went to bed.

At about 22h22 I woke to find the lights back on. Yay, so now I can post a photo that I took earlier of the Fairy Iris or Dietes grandiforia, which is flowering in my garden at the moment. I enjoy my garden which calms me a bit, although wine did help this evening. Anyways my garden is a beautiful attraction to butterflies and bees, with plenty of sunbirds and as of this evening a Cardinal Woodpecker came a knocking.

Monday, 15 January 2018

New Wheels

It is another sweltering day and I had to take Matthew to Pretoria as he starts his Maths course at the Belgium Campus today. He had to be there before 8am and although schools haven’t started, we didn’t take any chances with the traffic so we left just after 5am.

It was an early start and after dropping off Matthew, I went to the hospital to check up on my mom who is having a vascular operation today, and of course to check out her new wheels.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Bestie Braai

It is stinking hot. We were supposed to go to the Botanical Gardens this afternoon but I am afraid the heat just kept us in the shade. Nou gaan ons braai, now what other way is there than to have a braai to finish off the weekend with your best friend.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Tritonoa Nelsonii

Late afternoon, after Robbie got back from Pretoria, we took the dogs for a walk along the ridge line so he could take in the beautiful views. Leaving the Protea trees we came across a small dainty orange flower, the Tritonoa Nelsonii amongst the rocky outcrops but due to the breezy conditions I struggled to get the flower in focus but everything else is, you get the idea. Nearby there was this thorny leaf plant snuggled in between the rocks.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Robbie’s Visit

My best friend since High School, Robbie, phoned me a few weeks back letting me know that he is coming up to Johannesburg, well the main reason is that he met someone online and they are meeting up for the first time in Pretoria tomorrow. Yay, it is about time you find someone special Robbie.

Mixing business with pleasure, Robbie took the opportunity to see a few suppliers while he is up here and arrived at my home after getting a little lost just before the sun set. Anyways it is good to have him over the weekend as we have a lot of catching up to do, well since last year December when I was down in Natal.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Lemon Meringue Pie or Key Lime Pie

It is the last full day mom is with us and we ended up at some Turkish restaurant which happened to serve a South African favourite, Lemon Meringue Pie. This bought up a time long question I have wanted to answer, which is the best Lemon Meringue Pie or Key Lime Pie, but never got round to tasting a Key Lime Pie so I am starting to wonder if this question would ever be answered in an unbiased way.

So these are my questions...

  1. Who makes the best Lemon Meringue Pie?
  2. Where can I get a good Key Lime Pie so that I can use for a taste experiment? 
I am based in Johannesburg, so I can't get to any exotic places where some of you live unless you can courier a pie to me. Anyways I love a good lemon meringue pie but can't wait to experience why some make a big fuss over key lime pie.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Relaxing by the Pool

Yesterday afternoon a storm was blown in due to the tropical storm off the Indian Ocean and colder air was sucked in from the south. It is a relief that that colder air sweeped away the heat wave. This morning we woke up to an overcast misty day but thankfully the sun broke through late in the afternoon, just enough for my mom to warm herself on the deck by the pool.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Backyard Tourists

With my mom staying with us for the week, it is have been left up to me to look entertain as Lynda is back at work. Oh well our first stop is the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens just below us. We took an easy stroll up to the waterfall and on the way back we stopped for a nice light lunch at the tea garden halfway. Ahhh being tourists in my own backyard.

Monday, 8 January 2018

My Heavy

Matthew had to go to Pretoria for a 2 week Maths course to prepare him for what lies ahead. The problem is this was not planned nor budgeted for so I had to arrange with my sister for Matthew to stay there for the 2 weeks. So off to Pretoria we drove, and the worst part is that Pretoria is at least 5° warmer than here and it is getting hotter.

It was early when we arrived, Theresa was not home yet from work but her husband Hans just arrived back from work. In Afrikaans they call my brother-in-law a swaar which directly translated means heavy. Don't know why heavy but that how it goes.

My mom is staying at my sister's place as she is up for a surgical operation but it is only scheduled for next week Monday, so Hans and I did a prisoner exchange. My mom came home with me while Matthew went straight with Jaen-Jurie to play games on the computer while we said bye to my heavy.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Sweet Nectar

It is the first Sunday of the year, and I feel excited meeting up at Centre Church in Northriding. Matthew is a little down as his old school friends have let him down, they were supposed to go to Gold Reef City but the dates had changed and were finally settled on this Sunday but at the last minute it was called off as they had no transport to meet Matthew at Gold reef City and now had planned to go out locally in Benoni too far for Matthew to join them.

Matthew keeps pestering me to take more walks into the wild outside our house. And why not, the Protea Trees are in full bloom. It is just an awesome sight, a forest of Proteas all flowering at the same time, just a few metres from your front garden with the sunbirds are taking full advantage the the sweet nectar.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Relaxing Saturday

Somebody left the oven door open and the temperatures are just climbing and climbing, surely it will break through the 40°s today. There is not much we want to do in this heat, thankfully there is a gentle breeze coming down through the valley which does help a bit.

In the insipid heat, Matthew at least finds time to catch up on some strategic videos of some of the games that he plays.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Minky asks Why

At least before we forget, Minky still needed to go the vet for her annual check-up and injections. Now Minky has never been to the Silverfields vet up the road from us and was not a happy camper arriving at a veterinary clinic that she knew no-one. We took both River Song and Minky and as expected Minky was the best behaved of the two but she did pleaded "why" when she did not recognised the faces around her.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Granny in Sunglasses

Matthew and I had to go up to Pretoria to see about a Student Loan for Matthew. And today the temperatures soared to the high 30°Cs. I think we are in for a scorching hot few days as we sweated in the heavy Pretoria heat.

When we were finally finished, I thought that we would take a turn to see my mom who is up from Sabie to see the vascular specialist. So perfect opportunity to get a photo of granny with her grandchildren minus 1. From left to right is Matthew, granny in sunglasses, Danielle, and Jaen-Jurie.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Hang Ten

With all the parties behind us, it is now to start the year off in earnest as I hang ten my toes over the abyss that I find myself at. Rosy knows just what to do in times like this, why it is a perfect time for a cat nap, don’t you think?

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Medicross Wait

What is with these doctors who don’t know how to manage time and expect their clients to wait for them when time costs money? No other profession is less caring now days as the medical. About 2 months back the staff at Health Worx in Randpark Ridge treated Lynda with such distain that I vowed that we will never go back there. And today I took Matthew to Medicross Rangeview as he needed a doctor. Let the waiting begin...

Wait, wait for just 1 doctor that is one duty. We booked an appointment for 3pm and arrived half an hour early to a nearly empty waiting room but yet we had to wait until 20 to 4 to finally see the doctor.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Blessed 2018

So the New Year has finally started, thankfully as last night was a terrible ordeal. Sometime back the City of Joburg in all their wisdom changed an all out ban of fireworks to be limited to certain days which means last night and tonight, fireworks are allowed but only between certain times and if no animals are present. The problem is that the by-laws are so vague and nearly impossible to enforce that they are a joke.

Last night, a neighbour decided to start letting off fireworks at 8pm, 2 hours before he was allowed. I sent a message to the neighbourhood WhatsApp group reminding them the by-laws and thankfully he stopped. But I had this gut feeling this wouldn’t be the end of it. And sure enough 10 minutes before the allowed time, he sent a high powered rocket across my bows.

Thankfully we had managed to coral our cats inside and locked the dogs inside their dog-house but that was enough as rocket after rocket exploded directly over our house in what seems to be a vindictive way. The cats were bouncing off the walls, they didn’t know which way to turn. I had to go outside and join the dogs inside their house to calm them down. The 2 Italian Greyhounds, Maxy and Jade, slept through the entire fireworks but it was the Podge, the Jack Russell and the pavement special Mr Wiggles who were terrified as the remains of the exploded fireworks fell onto the roof. Our new German/Belgium Shepherd puppy River Song was okay and Matthew took her out into the garden as the bangs exploded just over our heads.

A neighbour’s dog died from result of the fireworks but with no legal avenue to pursue, a lot of neighbours are angry and disgusted with the inconsiderate fool. As a result the local councillors have started a petition to force the City of Joburg to re-introduce the blanket ban, have a more stringent penalties and a better means of prosecuting.

But that was last night and a new blessed year has started and what way to start the new year off on the right foot, is for the family came over for a 3 roast lunch and a relaxing first day around the pool.

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