Refraction- WPC

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It was a happy day. We were on our way to Cape Town via my mother in law. As it is on the other side of the country, we departed real early that morning. And just outside the city of Welkom in the Free State, the sun rose. The lakes around Welkom are renowned for the multitude of pink flamingo’s, making it an awesome sight, and really beautiful if you can look past all the old gold mine dumps in this region. Nature sure is beautiful, but man can really mess it up!

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As I sit here behind my desk on a Monday Morning, I really wish I was on my way to Cape Town again. Or any other place where there is a beautiful beach and mountains… My soul yearns for some salt water…

Matric Farewell (Prom) South African Style…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy...

I am suffering from severe writers block at the moment. It is also extremely hot in our town at present, and extremely dry… so we are just barely surviving until the real rain starts.  So inspiration is at an all time low…. But dreamy…   There is one function in every school kid’s life that might be considered to be dreamy…

Every school kid in South Africa dreams about their matric farewell function, shortly before they write the last examns ever at school.

It is my eldest son’s turn this year…

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The last one, with his beautiful date, was unfortunately taken with my mobile phone in extreme bad light, without a flash- the battery was nearly flat. But you do get the idea…

I hope to find some inspiration soon, or some time to take a decent photo again…  a dreamy landscape perhaps…

Coffee in Franschhoek, South Africa

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Yes, it might be a bit touristy in Franschhoek. But there is a reason for that. Spectacular landscapes, in the heart of the South African winelands. Here you will also find some of our best restaurants in South Africa. Reuben Riffel is one of our South African Masterchef judges. His cuisine is excellent. But the coffee of Deluxe Coffeeworks… yes it is as advertised!

Harley Endurance…

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I am still way too young to even consider riding a Harley! But sometimes…

Yesterday was South Africa’s Heritage Day, a good public holiday to take to the road on a motorbike.

At one of the rural crossroads on the other side of the next town (Naboomspruit), I waited to meet a friend at the elephant…  (with my decent bike, not a Harley…)

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And then, at the crossroads, we saw an old biker, really an endurance example! With a bike suitable to claim the title with him- a 1942 Harley Davidson, war years bike complete with sidecar, and stock standard…

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Endurance

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/endurance/

There was nothing more demonstrative of “Endurance” as the Rhino in the African Bush. Until the humans came along, and needing it’s horn because they don’t have one… this magnificent creature was also killed in our region…

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Also enduring despite the riks of becoming soup, is the giant mountain turtles you see in the Karoo National Park outside Beaufort West, South Africa…

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Then of course- a 71 year old Harley still in working condition would also be worthy of this title…

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_MG_1290And an Antonov A1 old Biplane, still keeping on keeping on… 65 years later…

 

Strong- Weekly Travel Theme

http://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/09/19/travel-theme-strong/

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A Caterpillar is strong! Even this abandoned one, surviving in the wind and weather for so many years. Taken in the Drakensberg mountains of South Africa in 2007. And Cat has such lovely clothes as well, I have a pair of boots, and 2 pairs of black shoes made by Cat, and 3 pairs of blue jeans that endures for years and years… really strong clothing. So my thoughts of Strong is the CAT brand…

Ailsa has such beautiful quotes at this week’s travel theme challenge:

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. – Ernest Hemingway

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. – A.A. Milne

Saturday Night in the Parsonage…

A sad and lonely blog post, do not read any further. Rather go to a happy blog tonight… Go to the Photography or Travel Categories instead… 

What a week this has been…

We have to attend a certain amount of further educational training courses in a year, like a lot of other professions.

This week was it. My colleagues and I went to Pretoria, for a 3 Day Seminar, with different workshops. It usually is a very good time of the year, catching up with old friends, thinking new thoughts, buying new books. It is also Spring in South Africa, and the university campus life is full of new energy.

But in our home town it has not rained yet- the last rain we have seen must have been around March- Irish friends won’t understand this at all. The region is very dry, and very hot at the moment. It is also very windy.

We were just attending our first lecture on Tuesday, when the calls came through. One of my favorite people in the world, one of the elders in our church, has passed away. He was caught in a bush fire on his farm.  This was the one person in our church that has supported me maybe the most, through my 20 years in our town. He has been there for me in good times, and in some extremely bad times.  He was the one person, that came to my house just after my operation, who came and sat on my bed to ask how I am doing. He was the king of Watermelons in our region, and every summer he delivered some of the world’s finest watermelons at our house. A real father figure in my life. I also see all three his sons as friends in my life.

This morning I had to lead the memorial service for him. It was really difficult. I was dead tired afterwards, and barely made it to my bed for a nap this afternoon.

Now it is Saturday night. Party night in South Africa. The evening to watch the rugby games with friends. To barbecue together. Time for family and friends.

I have been away from home for three days. I came home on Thursday, and Friday my wife went on a Netball training course for her school, for the whole weekend. The kids are at a church youth camp. And now I have the first available time to prepare my sermon for tomorrow night’s church service.

One of our older pastors has written a poem about 20 years ago, about it being Saturday night in the Parsonage, and he is just dotting some ink marks on an empty paper. That is the feeling here tonight as well.

Maybe when one feels sad and lonely one should not post on your blog.

I would much rather sit around a fire tonight, in good friends’ company, with a glass of red wine.  Maybe that is why I blog tonight…

Meanwhile, my sermon for tomorrow evening looks like this:

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From Winter to Summer in 24 Hours…

In our part of the world, we don’t have a Spring season anymore. The one night it was still in the minus degrees below Centigrade, and the next week we started seeing days that is 31 degrees C. And we do have a long summer- going on up till about end of April…

I am using this new season wisely. I still have this dream to do my 20th Pick ‘n Pay Argus Cycle Race (109 km) around Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa in less than 4 hours. After my operation I did not start cycling yet. I started by swimming.

The first week was pure hell on earth, it felt like drowning every step of the way.

But now, after 4 weeks, I am swimming 30 laps a day (25 meter laps).  I am starting to wonder how one of our country’s one mile swimming races will feel, and if it is survivable for someone like me… Any advice and tips on training for a mile dam swim will be most welcome!

This is my view every morning after sunrise…

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30 Laps swimming, then a hot shower at the resort, and then I am good to go for a 10-12 hour day’s work…