Still kicking…

Hi Friends!

How did I go from being a daily posterin 2014 to a monthly one in 2015?

Well, there are a lot of reasons… one being: South Africa is in the dark. Our wonderful people at our electricity company fired all their maintenance engineers a few years ago, and paid out huge bonuses to the top management for all the cost savings… and nobody ever maintained a power station ever again. Everybody at the top drove brand new Mercs and Beemers, and had wonderful parties with the performance bonuses. And now our power system is collapsing. “Load shedding” is the new buzzword around here- why so many jobs are lost because factories can’t run, and businesses can’t sell…

A lot is going wrong in our beloved country, and I tried my best not to be negative on my blog. So I have been quite quiet…

I am also training hard- the Pick ‘n Pay Argus Cycle race around Table Mountain is in 3 1/2 weeks time. I have been training by bicycle or swimming 6 days a week now. I am slowly getting there- to almost be fit enough to survive my 20th Argus race…

Wonderful news- my daughter got her first job as graphic designer. It is at a leading cycling clothing manufacturer- Anatomic- my favorite riding gear for the past 20 years. They also are the company responsible for the Ride Magazine, for our country’s cycling community. So my daughter will be designing my sportsgear… cool!

And lastly- the weather. It is hot in South Africa at the moment. We clocked 42 degrees C today at the resort where I do my swimming training.

I also had a lot of weddings to officiate the past few weeks.

Saturday’s wedding was quite memorable. It was an outdoor wedding on top of a cliff. And while we were doing the ceremony, the thunderstorm was approaching very rapidly. And when I said the final Amen, the storm broke loose. I finished just in time. On my way back home I took this photo on my cellphone- it is just so good when it rains in our drought prone region… we almost always enjoy the rain, just not when you are the bride at an outdoor wedding…

20150207_164334

So: still surviving, still trying to keep my head above the water… Soon… there will be more to blog about. I am planning to take my motorcycle wrecking son with me on a road trip to Cape Town when I go down there for the Argus. That will most probably result in a blog entry or two.

PS- The blue BMW was lovingly restored to almost perfect ratbike specifications, will take some photos and post soon…

Keep well!

Rider!

2015 Started with two BANGS…

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here this morning to tell tales of great sorrow…

This year did not start good…

On the 3rd of January my eldest son decided to do some agricultural work with my beloved Roadster.

And then, three days later, on the way back from the farm where he is working, the Beetle died. Yes, that Beetle that we spent so much time on restoring last year.

Such a small thing can have such huge consequences…

The tappet covers are kept tight by a cork gasket on each side. And one of the cork gaskets just collapsed due to old age. All the oil blew out there, and then some bearings in the engine started breaking. The engine has this huge knocking noise.

After all the things we have done to restore the Beetle, this was just one step too far… Now you can imagine Adele singing the theme song of Skyfall… “This is the end…”

I posted all my misery on facebook, and a friend in a neighbouring town made me an offer I can’t refuse…

So- the Beetle is being sold, as is…

In the next day or two it will be collected, and so a memory will be gone… I have known this car all my life, and owned it since I was 18. It is now 47 years old. But the new owner does have the skill to restore it properly, and bring it back to life. I don’t.

So- yes- two dreams have died this year- the one of me going on tour with my son on the bikes before he goes to the USA to work there for a year. And the dream of the Beetle doing a road trip into the sunset.

But there are some nice bike trips for me and my wife in planning at the moment- so keep on watching this space. BAd times usually don’t last forever…

But this is the end…

2015-01-16 10.20.40

2015-01-16 10.20.49

2015-01-16 10.20.55

2015-01-16 10.21.22

2015-01-16 10.21.32

Thanks to all my friends for 1014!

In a little over 2 hours time it is South Africa’s time, together with Jerusalem and Moscow, to go into the new year. Yes, I know, it is a man made time line, and it is just another rotation of the earth around it’s axle, and another rotation of the pale blue dot finished on it’s journey around Helios…

BUT… like the service intervals on a car, some measurement of the passage of time is still needed sometimes. We need to close one chapter of our lives, and move forward to a new chapter. I need new beginnings, new challenges, new opportunities… and maybe so do you…

In 45 minutes I have to go to our church to prepare the music and the lighting and sound for our midnight sermon. We start at 23:15 and end at 00h00. I am finishing a sermon series based on Psalm 23, which started the first weekend of December. Tonight I talk about the last verse- “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me…”

So, my dear friends- Christians or Muslims, atheists or Spaghetti Monster worshipers- thank you all for being a part of my journey in 2014! Thanks for all your visits, your comments and the good wishes and prayers when 2014 was sometimes a dark year…

So when the sun turns around it’s axle, and a new piece of time is delivered to live fully, my prayer for every one of you is that you may be blessed, be happy, and have peace, wherever you are! And whatever that may mean to you…

May the best times yet be in our future!

Peace!

Ewald

Rest in peace Lodie

Originally posted on Africa, Europe, Russia / Siberia! Well done KLR!:

Dear friends,

It is with sadness that we had to say farewell to Lodie on 25 December 2014.

From Lodie’s iPad, the following quote:

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

“Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown!”

And he replied:

“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.

That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

Carpe diem!

We will celebrate his life on Saturday 10 January 2015, the venue (most probably in or near Pretoria) and time will be confirmed as soon as possible.

With sadness,
His sisters Ina, Dorette and Ronelle

View original

The joy of rain in the summer heat…

Some people live in places where it rain every day. They are so used to it, that the joy of rain might be lost…

On the other hand, we who live in dry places have the utmost experience of joy when the rain comes. Christmas Day was extremely hot and dry, and yesterday the rain came again.

10858529_10152725024153071_2429244413937819082_n

So I grabbed my trusty old Canon Powershot SX 150 iS and went to play in the rain…

Rain to us is a symbol of new life. And my vegetable garden really enjoyed the cooling down…

IMG_2764

IMG_2766

IMG_2770

Yes, I know, my tomatoes do not look like supermarket quality. But they are organically grown, with NO insecticides used at all… and they taste delicious!

Another new experience… Sweet chili sauce…

I am trying to grow some vegetables organically in my huge backyard. In some black planting bags I have a few chili plants. They are giving their fruit in abundance this year.

So I decided to try something new. I looked up a few recipes on Youtube, and found some that is not too difficult. That was last night at just before midnight. This morning, after swimming my 50 laps (1.25 km) I jumped in to start cooking my very own sweet chili sauce. Following this Aussie bloke’s advice- thanks mate!

2014-12-23 10.49.58

So here is the recipe- I don’t have any idea how to translate it into that other ounces and pounds and yards and inches business…

You need about 250 grams of chili. 2 Cloves of Garlic. And 1 2/3 cups of white vinegar.

You blend at first about 150 grams of chilis with 1 cup of vinegar and the garlic in your blender. Then after it is blended smoothly, add the rest of the chilis.

Now get a pot on high heat on your stove. Add the blended mixture, with another 2/3 cup of vinegar, and get it to boiling point. Add 1 1/3 cup of castor sugar, boil it all together nicely while stirring, till it is reduced by about a 1/3.

2014-12-23 11.08.39

Let it cool down, and pour it into some sterilized bottles. How do you sterilize bottles? You take it to the vet, and they will spay it…

2014-12-23 11.35.47b

It is really a great feeling doing this for the very first time, and to know that the fruit comes out of your own garden, and is organically produced without any insecticides used…

2014-12-23 11.38.58

That doesn’t seem like much sweet chili sauce, but hey, one small step for man…

There is just one small niggling thought in the back of my mind, and if Jamie Oliver, or Nigella Lawson, or Marco Pierre White happens to pass by, please help with this question- exactly which brand of peppers/ chilis should be used in sweet chili sauce? Sweet bell peppers? (That is why I am not asking Gordon Ramsey- he might be 6 weeks older than me, but he will call me an idiot in the kitchen…)

Because I only have jalapeno’s at the moment… and my sweet chili sauce is burning like hell. I am going to market this sauce, let all my church members have a spoonful before church on Sunday, and then deliver a sermon on the fires of hell…

The Longest Day…

While some of you have enjoyed the longest night in the history of Planet Earth yesterday, it was the longest day here in the Southern Hemisphere.

We are finally having a little bit of rain here in the Limpopo province of South Africa. It is also hot summer days- and when the sun shines, it is ideal riding time.

So, dear Biker for Live… (sic)

Yesterday I had a lot of fun. This old Biker took his daughter and a friend to visit another dear friends in the neighbouring town at sunset.

10394093_10152712289788071_4749497068406361414_n

What a Ride it was! The clouds were building up over the northern horison, beautiful high cumulonimbus, promising another spectacular thunderstorm soon. The western horizon was clear of cloud, with the most beautiful golden shower of light. The wind was like Baby Bear likes it, not too hot, not too cold. Just right. And spending some quality riding time with friends and having good coffee with them- what could be more perfect on the Longest Day?

I had fun…

The art of making a fool out of yourself…

Yes indeed,dear readers, The Rider has been awfully quiet these past few weeks. There are a lot of reasons for that. The most important one being that this is the silly season in South Africa, I am running around doing two to three weddings a week at the moment. I also have just returned from our capital, Pretoria, where I had to bury a very nice lady, who died of cancer. The third is- my ISP gave me a really hard time. My internet speed slowed down to .001 MB/s in daytime, and after careful examination I found out that although my Internet was uncapped, it was shaped. They choked the life out of me… And then the lightning provided a way out. It struck the telephone line, killing my ADSL router instantly. And in stead of buying yet another ADSL router, I talked to a young man in our church, who provided me with much faster wireless internet technology. So I am back on the air…

I also just became a bit tired of posting some mediocre photos on my blog. Maybe I am searching for a bit more meaning and quality in life…

But then a little a**hole jerked me out of my slumber today. I saw his comments on my mobile phone, which still needed approval.
And then I became very, very angry, and decided to answer him. And then I wanted to start talking to my friends on the blogging world again… I have missed you guys.

The post is this one: https://vosperdruiter.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/noise-weekly-travel-theme/

It was one of Ailsa’s Travel Theme posts, about “Noise” and I posted some old photos of the last Poison Rally I have been to.

This youngster saw just my one post and decided that A- I must be an old fart who doesn’t know how to have fun, B- I am against motorbikes and rallies, and C- my readers also must be old farts who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “fun”…

So I published just his one comment, and will translate it for you…
“hou net op moun Weet julle hoeveel geld bring ons bikers in vir die dorp Dit is net een naweek .In plaas van moun kom join ons.Ander shut up and live with it You say single minded i say people having fun You are to old to know fun “

He says I must stop moaning- if only I knew how much money bikers bring into their town… and it is only one weekend. He invites me, in stead of moaning, to come and join them. He complains about my use of the word “single minded” and says they are just people having fun. I am too old to know fun…”

Well- after just returning from a funeral, I was not in the best of moods. To be judged and compartmentalized by someone reading just one post, and thinking they know me then to brand me too old for fun… it first made me mad. And then it became funny…

I live 400 km away from Kroonstad, where the Poison Rally is held annually on the first weekend of December. I usually work over weekends, and this is the one weekend in the year that I can attend a rally. Whenever I can, I do join for the fun. And I do spend a lot of money in the sleepy town of Kroonstad (where I did my military service…) But then a young couple asked me to marry them on the 5th. So, dear Biker for Live (sic) I would dearly have loved to join you. I just could not.

The theme I published about was “Noise” and bikes indeed makes the most beautiful noise I know. My BMW with the Remus Titanium Pipe contributes to the decibel pollution whenever I can.
If I had any other job, when someone would accuse me of being too old to know what fun is, I would have replied… “That is not what your mama said last night…” But me being a very prim and propper oldish guy (in some youngsters eyes maybe, but then they only have a license to ride a 125cc anyway…) I would never say such things about lovely mothers…

Do I know what fun is? Well, I do have 4 kids… :-) And they all know me…
I have been to Cape Agulhus THIS YEAR on one of my bikes, remember I live on the other side of the country. I have been through the wind and the rain on bikes since 1983. So yes, in some eyes I might be old…
In my eyes- I will always be forever young, forever noisy, never too late to have a happy childhood…

So dear Biker for Live (sic) if ever I do meet you, you owe me a beer. And then I could tell you about some fun stories…

And that comment you tried to publish about my dear friend M-R being too old to know what fun is… she and her husband worked on the film set when Mad Max was filmed… What could be cooler than that? There might have been a time when I thought like you- “what does anyone older than me know about fun, anyway?”
But never, ever judge people on one impression. You might be totally wrong. And that person might actually have a much more fun filled life than you could ever imagine.
So dear Biker for Live… Live and let live…

Your very old, very silent friend The Rider…

Seen on facebook, don’t know who to credit…
Too old

Still Kicking…

I am still alive, dear friends…

First of all- so sad to hear about the untimely death of Phil Hughes, Aussie cricketer… As our favorite cricket enemies, we love to hate the Aussies. But we don’t really hate them- they provide for good sport- they are a great nation… So my real heartfelt condolences and prayers to his family, friends and fans.

Secondly: today my eldest son is finishing his 12 year sentence of hard labor at the school benches. It seems like just the other day that we went to enroll him in the primary school. And now… just one last examn paper to write, and it is all over…
F1000008

Thirdly- My daughter is also on final approach for her degree in Graphic Design. They are working under immense pressure to finish their last assignments. Yesterday she was the passenger in a huge accident, involving two trucks on the highway. She is ok, but badly shaken. And she says this is the second accident in 5 days that she has been through… it really gets to a dad’s heart- so glad she is alive, but worried about all this life threatening experiences- could she not rather go bungy jumping or parachuting?

Fourthly- it is very busy times around here- in two hours time I have to conduct yet another funeral. We deal with such extreme variety in life experiences. Like yesterday afternoon I married a beautiful young couple beneath a huge Marula tree in the bush. From weddings to funerals in 16 hours’ time…

And lastly, in no particular order- I am having serious connectivity issues on the Net. Uncapped but shaped internet does have it’s drawbacks, the ISP says our family has used 100 Gig of data in November, and now we are being choked during office hours- I can walk faster and deliver an old time letter, than sending an email during office hours… That really is ruining my blogging as well. Together with the stressed out to the max times in our family with all the life changes.

I forgot- the youngest is finishing Primary School tomorrow, it is also a huge milestone in his life. So three of my four children are finishing their current life phases… and I am getting old…
Or not- just have to find more time and money for petrol for my motorbike, then I will be Born to be Wild…

(where did all the data go? My third child showed me how to get old movies on the internet. And now I am enjoying Easy Rider, and Mad Max, and Cannonball Run again… It is never too late to have a happy childhood…

A dream comes true

image

I Love motorbikes. And I love my children. For many years I have dreamed for this day to arrive.

Today, two of my sons successfully completed their motorcycle learners license tests. My eldest son for the big motorbikes, and the younger one for a 125cc bike. The younger one promptly disappeared over the horizon on the scooter with his friends. While the eldest and me rode some blocks around the house. I have to coach him gently, because it is a huge step up from the automatic scooter to a 850 Roadster BMW.  But it went well so we headed of to our local steak house for a beer (just for me- for the nerves!);and some nachos. 

I have really looked forward to this day a long long time! The danger of bigger bikes and young men is the testosterone factor. It is so easy to be overconfident. When you are 18, Marc Marques makes motorbike riding look so easy. But is also real easy to get killed by overconfidence.

So I am really trying to instill a healthy fear and respect in the young men…

And looking forward to great journeys with my sons on two wheels..