Short- Ailsa’s WTT

http://wheresmybackpack.com/2013/11/15/travel-theme-short/

xxx Ailsa

“Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?” – Friedrich Nietzche

“I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.” – John Burroughs

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When time ran short- the end of the world last year according to the Mayan Calender...

When time ran short- the end of the world last year according to the Mayan Calender…

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When short is good…

When the mercury line is short in the thermometer...

When the mercury line is short in the thermometer…

When the desire to walk is short, and the short game shorts...

When the desire to walk is short, and the short game shorts…

Shoty may have short horns, don't mess with his mom's short temper...

Shorty may have short horns, don’t mess with his mom’s short temper…

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Still Cycling…

This morning my younger colleague drag me kicking and screaming out of my bed, to go training with him. He has already done a leisurely 29 km with his fiancee before that. And then he pushed me to do my first 30 km training ride in a while- definitely the furthest I have ridden since this year’s Argus Cycle tour in March. You don’t believe me? Endomondo tells no lies…

15 NovemberOn our way back we were seduced by our favorite coffee shop, to have a breakfast there. And the Endomondo for some reason did not stop, so the time given is much more- we actually did the 31 km in about 90 minutes.  Very, very slow for my young colleague, and quite taxing for me…

In any case- I have now done 148.63 km so far for November on my bicycles. I forgot to mention, this morning I have taken out my Schwinn Fastback- much lighter than the Trek 800 Trail (which weighs 20 kg with a full water bottle… and has knobblies on…)

Slowly it feels as if my body remembers that it was fit, some time, a long time ago. Just hints of joy crept into the training, and the burning desire arises to be fit again, and feel the miles fly by without feeling like the angel of death is hovering right behind me…

We talked on our training ride about all the lovely things we have seen on this route. It is wonderful to be outside the city, and riding on a quiet country road. We have, between us, seen snakes, I had a close encounter with a Green Mamba once, another with an Egyptian Spitting Cobra,  he has seen a serval- very rare, they thought it was a baby leopard… a beautiful member of the wild cat species.  We have had our funny encounters with warthogs, who did not hear us approaching, and they are very funny when they get frightened, spin on one place in their pull away, before they find the right gear and head off to safety.

There is a world famous wetlands nearby, the Nylsvley Wetlands Reserve, and the small river Nile that feeds it (no relation to the one in Egypt…) is passing underneath our training route. There are the most beautiful bird life around there, with a lot of different coloured finches, swallows, sparrows, hornbills, and other beautiful birds. The fresh air around our town is so good for exercise.  So it was a good start to my day.

Unfortunately, when I reached home, I have received word of another of the elderly ladies of our church that has passed away peacefully in her sleep last night. I will be conducting another funeral next week…

Now it is time to start work on Sunday’s sermon. I am thinking of John 13:34 as the text… let’s get back to work…

Camino Way- Cee’s Which Way Challenge

http://ceenphotography.com/2013/11/13/cees-which-way-challenge-no-13/

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Maybe this is not a good photo, I don’t know…

So let me just tell the story. I went to Léon in Spain to walk a part of the Camino de Santiago, the French Route, in 2011.  I started with my first stamp in my pilgrim’s passport at the Léon Cathedral. And then, when I was was looking for my accommodation I just saw this man walking in an alley. For a few meters he and I were walking on the same road, in the same direction. He was a local, I a tourist from the other side of the globe.

It started me thinking about all the paths we walk in life (as the Camino tends to do…) I just wondered what this man’s life story has been so far. Where did he come from? What did he do with his life? Where was he going when our paths crossed in an ancient alley in Spain.  Also the other people in the photo- who are the man with the pink T Shirt waiting for? The elderly couple walking in the distance- are they still in love? Do they still dream about each other?

Maybe a lot of these questions were triggered by last night’s Church Board meeting. Maybe I am also at a place in my life journey where I am wondering: Where to now?  Am I really living my life to the best of my ability? Do I really make a difference where I am now?

Do I just do the Johnny Walker?  Time will tell.

Which Way Banner

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Two- Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Two Items or the Number Two

The Current Series

This is our second week in a number grouping.  I’m hoping to see a lot of variety in the next few weeks from everyone.  I hope you have had some fun with it.  This week’s topic is two items or the number two.

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Wordless Wednesday- Who is in the Driving Seat now?

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PS- (this is not words… 🙂  ) I went to our local Photography club for the first time last night… There are so many excellent, talented photographers in our town- a lot of 5* ‘s! And when they posted their photos for critique, I felt quite ashamed that I dare to put any photos on my blog under “Photography…”  So all Photographers- so sorry!  But I am trying to learn to do it better. So now I’ll join the Club and try to learn a lot… Thanks for your patience with me!  And yes, on this WordPress platform there are a lot of worldclass photographers- respect to you!

Blue- Sunday Stills

Sunday Stills, the next challenge: Blue

Posted on November 10, 2013 by 

So, for this challenge something simple and easy, the colour blue. Try for something different than the obvious like sea and sky. Lets see what ya;ll caan come up with for this week..:-)

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No sky and sea? Then it must be bikes and planes! And I’ll spare you a photo of my beautiful blue BMW this time…

Well, the banner IS blue...

Well, the banner IS blue…

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At Modimolle’s Fly Inn in 2013

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At the Poison Rally- was it last year?

One of my favorites- my daughter in blue at her prom night …

Maybe all dads say so, but I DO have a beautiful daughter...

Maybe all dads say so, but I DO have a beautiful daughter…

The Blue Waxbill comes to feed at my bird restaurant...

The Blue Waxbill comes to feed at my bird restaurant…

 

And a beautiful song in Afrikaans about the colour Blue- by Laurika Rauch- Dutch and Flemish people will understand as well…

How to make an omelette, for Dummies- Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt: Food for the Soul (and the Stomach)

by michelle w. on November 11, 2013

Tell us about your favorite meal, either to eat or to prepare. Does it just taste great, or does it have other associations?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us FOOD.

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I always loved omelettes, but never knew how to make them. The recipes always looked so difficult, separating the egg yolk and the whites… whisking them separately and then folding one into the other. Just too much trouble… stay with baked eggs.

But then one day we had a huge church meeting- a Synod. We stayed in a rather nice hotel in Pretoria. And they did this wow spread for breakfast. You could ask a chef how you would like your bacon and eggs done. And for the 4 mornings I stayed there, I asked for omelettes, and watched carefully. And I still do an omelette on this easy way…

I bought this little pan at an Indian supermarket, and it works beautifully for omelettes. First I fry some mushrooms and green peppers in a little olive oil: (ok, this day there weren’t any peppers left…)

20131028_074808Then when it is ready, I take it out. Two or three eggs have just been whisked with a fork in a porridge bowl till a few bubbles shows. That mix is poured onto the pan, just like you would do with a crepe.

20131028_075109The mushrooms is added on top of the egg mixture, and some cheese is grated on top of it. I like to use a little Himalayan salt or rock salt in a grinder, a little bit of black pepper, and a small amount of rosemary and mixed Italian herbs on top of that. When it is lifting up easily, I fold it, and voila…

20131028_075331An easy omelette to get started for the day… and that is all I have time for now, as I have to run to a practice session for our Christmas carols service coming up soon… Happy cooking-

Not the naked Chef…

Remembering…

Today, in 1918, the guns fell silent on the Western Front. We shall Remember them…

This morning I opened the blog entry of Ouch my back hurts– about his visit to the war cemetery at Delville Woods, where a lot of South African soldiers lies buried.  We also had the goosebumps on Saturday when a soldier played the Last Tattoo on the trumpet before the rugby game between South Africa and Wales… (damn, that Alain Rolland is an irritating referee!)

Since a very young age I have been interested in history, and war stories. It always sounded so glamorous. But then, our country’s young men also had to do compulsory military service. We were soldiers. And we also experienced the horror of basic training, of being shout at by a pimply two striper with an IQ barely above that of a pea plant.  There was the camaraderie of soldiers- people suffering through the same adversity.   But there was also the bad experiences of body bags, and military funerals.  As an Army Chaplain I had to take the messages of deaths to families and loved ones.

Military cemeteries and monuments are good things. They remind us of the senselessness of war. I love the point of view that Chris de Burgh sings about in Borderline- take the politicians, stick them in a room together, and make them fight it out…  Why should young men keep dying in old men’s wars?   Agreed, sometimes we have to fight injustice. Some dictators in history really needed a bullet in the head to improve their thinking.  But the price young men and these days also women pay, is horrific.

Our country fought as an Allied partner in both World Wars. Our Boer Commandos of the Anglo Boer War inspired the Special Forces- which is still referred to as Commando Forces in some countries.  Our General Jan Smuts was a founding member of the United Nations.  We can do war. But it is a bad idea! This is why:

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My ancestors were responsible for these names on the memorial to the Black Watch regiment in Edinburgh. But they started it! Anyway, they are remembered as brave soldiers, who marched to the tune of the bagpipes into a killing field, and a lot of them died at Magersfontein near Kimberley.

Twelve years later the old enemies fought together as Allies in Europe. And died together on Flanders’ fields…

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The names of the Allied MIA on the Menin Gate at Ieper, it seems like millions…

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Just a small part of Tyne Cott cemetery near Passchendaele in Belgium, a very unhealthy place to be in the first World War- lead poisoning…

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One of ours… Known unto God…

And Uncle Spike shared this monument on Saturday– the Special Forces (Commandos)  memorial in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain in Scotland…  my photo of it:

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Politicians- war is a BAD idea. Stop your nonsense…

In conclusion- one of the best songs of war- the end title song of the movie Passchendaele- Sarah Slean singing: After the War-

PS- Now I have to start preparing for a funeral of a young father who died by gunshot wound on Thursday… Tomorrow we must remember him too… when will it stop?

A good Blind Date…

The ladies of our church had this wonderful idea: let us have a blind date, to make us more sensitive for the needs of the blind. And in the process collect a little money for a school for blind pupils. This afternoon we had our Blind Date… A Sunday lunch where everybody eats blindfolded.

In our church there is an amazing lady. She lost her sight due to illness a few years ago. But she still competes in sport, she is a very good runner (unlike her pastor…) She still goes on hiking trails. She still bakes. She start the reading at our Bible study group every week by reading from her Braille bible. We invited her to just give us an insight into being blind. And her message is: she is still a normal person, she just can’t see…

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Magda is an inspiration to our church!

After she has spoken, we made sure everybody’s plates was filled- the ladies chose to prepare spaghetti bolognaise, with a Greek salad. Everybody poured their chosen drink in the glasses. Then we made sure everybody was blindfolded, before we gave thanks, and then the fun started- everybody had to eat and drink blindfolded. Young and old… and here is some of the moments we enjoyed…

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I had some fun taking the photos, and laughing at everybody else. But then I had to eat too, and one of the clowns of my children grabbed my camera and took a picture of me…

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By this time everybody else has finished eating… so I won the prize for the person making the biggest mess of lunch…

It was all in good fun, and we raised a little money to send to the Prinshof School for the Blind.  I was just so gratefull to take of the blindfold afterwards, and be able to see… But I do have huge respect for blind people like Magda, that still see the beauty in life much better than most sighted persons! There are amazing people in this world, who rises up above adversity, and live extraordinary lives to inspire the rest of us. And they have my deepest respect!