2013- Thank you India…

It is the last day of 2013… so you better start working on all the new years resolutions that you planned this time last year… time is running out to make a success of this year!

I have this bad habit of thinking too much on days like this… leads to nights like this, leads to love like this… Get out of my head, David Blunt! You too, Alanis Morrisette, for the title of this blog post!

  • In any case- I am really grateful to the great nation of India. Why? Except for their wonderful food and beautiful girls, they have an AWESOME cricket team… It was so sad to see the Indian team without Sachin Tendulkar!  And then our great hero also decided to step down from test cricket.  What is really, really special, is that the Indian team stood a guard of honor for Jacques Kallis when he stepped onto the pitch for his last test match ever…

Well, MS Dhoni and the team- THAT was AWESOME! Sportsmanship at it’s very best. Thank you for that!  It is also so good to see India versus South Africa on the cricket field. It is so good to see power against power, and it provides 30 hours of great fun! The Americans would not get it… sorry about that. But the Aussies would!  Another great nation!

So, on this last day of 2013- Thank you India!

  •  Thank you Australia! My wife and I have only 1 television program that we do not miss. It is Australian Masterchef. We are a year behind on the schedule, tonight we will see the finals of your 2012 season. We love the way the Aussies do cooking competitions! We got to love the competitors, and me and the boys really hoped for the two physiotherapists to be at the top, but then Kylie and Mindy made it to the top 6. We could not help ourselves, we sneaked a peak on the internet who won, and we like the winner a lot. But the positive, uplifting style of competition we love a lot. Not like the Americans in Chopped…  Now the Aussies need to get that positive competition spirit going in the Rugby!  (Just joking, you are worthy advisaries!)
  • Thank you New Zealand!  What would world Rugby be without the All Blacks!  They always set the benchmark in Rugby, and it is always a great battle when Springbok and All Black meet…
  • Up till now the Americans don’t have a clue what I am rambling on about. Only the British Commonwealth took notice. So: Thank you USA! For giving Charlize Theron a job! Thank you for Barack Obama’s great speech at Nelson Mandela‘s Memorial Service. I know a lot of Americans don’t like the guy, but we would love a president like that… the one we got- maybe you heard the crowd boo-ing our beloved president Zuma.
  • Thank you Germany for my lovely BMW R 850 R!  What a bike!
  •  Thank you to the heaven’s agricultural department for the sun and the rain, which makes my vegetables grow so lovely this year. What inspired this post was when I went to my garden to harvest today’s crop. The first tomatoes of the season is now ripe- only two today, but hundreds nearing the goalpost!
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Today’s crop…

  •  My daughter left her scanner here for a few days, so I misused it to scan hundreds of old photos from my past. I also scanned our wedding photos. And one  of the biggest thank yous go to my wife- I really got to marry the girl of my dreams! And we are nearing our 24th anniversary…
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  • Thank you for 4 beautiful kids, even if they are teenagers and don’t like me…
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    This IS the happy face!

    Thank you to my church, where I spent nearly half my life already- next year on the 10th of May I will have been in town for 20 years

  • Nylstroom-Oos 1
  • Thank you Daniel Silva, I discovered your books this past few weeks and can’t put them down.  George R.R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame can really learn a lot from this guy about a story having an end…
  • Thank you to the New College  Oxford’s Choir, for Agnus Dei- the soundtrack to the excellent Stephen Ambrose series Band of Brothers (thanks for that one Steven Spielburg and Tom Hanks!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRwhkBAeheM
    Thanks to the Babel Sosaties for Word Riders… it was a highlight of my year with you guys!
  •  Thanks to all my friends- I really do have some excellent people in my life!
  •  And thanks to you all, reading my blog. The Rider was born this year, and I am amazed by the 1200 followers and   39 244 hits on my blog since February. Thanks so much!
  •  I had a very good year in 2013!  Of all the tears and the bad times- there were a lot, but I am going to flush those memories down the toilet today…

May 2014 be the best year ever so far in all our lives…

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Christmas Day South African Style…

Unlike our friends in the northern hemisphere, we don’t have White Christmases…  We don’t even EVER have snow around here…

Christmas Day was extremely hot- around 37 degrees C. And we have a home full of family, both grandmothers, and my wife’s one brother and some of his family- we were 12 people in all.

After our early morning church session, it was time to light the barbeque, and we had some beef- and pork rolls on it, with a huge amount of other food.  On Christmas Day South Africans eat. A lot! Then we need to take a siesta to recover again.

Late afternoon it was time for a cold watermelon. And this is my memory of Christmas Day 2013- my wife and her brother in the swimming pool, trying to cool down…

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One Lighthouse… Weekly Photo Challenge

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/photo-challenge-one/

005There are thousands of Lighthouses in the world. What makes this one special- it is the most Southern one in Africa, at Cape Agulhas, South Africa.  It is overlooking the junction where two oceans meet:

008This is one of THE destinations for motorbikers in Africa- as Ewan MacGregor and Charlie Boorman will tell you- where Long Way Down ended…  One of my blog  headers is my Aprilia standing here in stormy weather…

I am busy scanning my old film photos, these were still taken with my old Canon A1 in 2004, and was scanned from the prints yesterday.

One old steam locomotive… Weekly Photo Challenge

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/photo-challenge-one/125In 1997, this old steam locomotive still pulled a train on a very scenic route between Knysna and George on the South African Garden Route.  Unfortunately that railway washed away during some mudslides in stormy weather, and the number of working steam locomotives are fast dwindling…  Even the stationary ones are fast disappearing, the greed of politicians to make a few bucks selling them as scrap metal is just too big…  I scanned this photo yesterday, it was taken with my old Canon A1 film camera on a trip in 1997, and not edited in any way.

The joy of my vegetable garden…

My work as a pastor in a large church is not always plain sailing… We deal with a lot of sadness and hurt in people’s lives. This morning I have to conduct the memorial service of a friend. It is going to be very difficult… When we are dealing with so much sadness and hurt of people, we also have to have something that reminds of joy and hope… Yes, pastors are supposed to find that in our faith. But sometimes it is just so good to see something physical growing.

This season I have taken on the challenge to grow a vegetable garden again. Just now I have walked in my garden, to see what nature is doing there.  And it really is uplifting to see growth, and life. (Sometimes it is really difficult to see that in people’s lives…)

Here is what I enjoyed this morning…

A few years ago I tried to breed birds. That did not work out so good, and I sold all my cages but one. This large bird cage I now use as a tunnel to plant my tomatoes in- that the wild birds don’t get to eat all my crop! I am also trying cucumbers for the very first time ever… The first ones are now about an inch (2 1/2 cm) long, I still have no idea how fast they grow…

2013-12-19 07.44.38 2013-12-19 07.44.33Because I do have a big garden, I am also trying to get some pumpkins from my own garden. We only have a lot of pumpkin fly around here, that attacks the pumpkins when they are just forming…

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I am delighted with the growth of my zucchinis (baby marrows in South Africa) – this one got overlooked and is growing quite large, so I am thinking of letting him grow to see how big he will go, and maybe try and use his seed for the next season…

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One thing we South Africans love, is corn on the cob. We call them mealies…  What the Americans call wheat we call corn. And our “corn” is maize, or “mielies” in Afrikaans…

2013-12-19 07.45.58I also have my first apparently successful potato crop in, there are some beans, carrots, green peppers and aubergines growing…

I am not fully organic yet, the soil around here is very poor, and there are a lot of pests attacking the vegetables. For the poor soil I also am making a big compost heap- nothing organic goes to a landfill at my home.  I use no poisons, but still use a little bit of chemical fertilizer. That is until my earthworm farm picks up, and produces enough vermitea to go fully organic. I just have to find organic ways and means to combat the pests, something is eating my tomatoes… and it is not me…

And so, by telling you all these, I have relaxed a little and am in a little bit better state of mind to go to that funeral in 2 1/2 hours time…

Cee’s Share your World week 45

http://ceenphotography.com/2013/12/16/1391/

What was the most important event in your life last week?

Who was your favorite singer or music group in high school?

Name the foreign countries you’ve been to.

Does your first or middle name have any significance (or were you named after another family member)?

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1. I ate crayfish for the first time in my life, a Bucket List Item crossed off the list! And my family and I visited uShaka Marine World in Durban for the first time- we enjoyed the aquarium in the shape of sunken shipwrecks a lot!

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2. Dire Straits! Queen, and Chris de Burgh

3. Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Egypt, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Holland, Belgium, Ireland, England, Scotland, Austria…

4. No significance, my parents just liked the name. I don’t have a middle name…

Escape- Daily Prompt

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/prompt-skin/

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If I were a better writer I would have attempted to write this story from the point of view of a shrimp in Durban Harbour at low tide…  How I have escaped the fisherman looking for bait. How I evaded the hungry flock of seagulls just waiting for me to show the tiniest part of my crustacian anatomy.  But I dont think the shrimp has evaded all that danger. Me thinks he got caught, put on a hook as bait, and landed in the mouth of a huge sea fish. I think the fish has fed a Zulu family of nine people in a little rondavel overlooking the Indian Ocean…