Cape Town in winter…

At the moment my wife and I are in a cold and wet and windy Cape Town. But we love this place in any of its moods…


The Fishing harbour at Hout  Bay- one of my favorite spots of the Cape, except when I am on my bicycle the 2nd Sunday of March each year…


A Beautiful view of Table Mountain today… er… the Mountain has been stolen!

Why did we fly to Cape Town in winter? Last night one of my best friends in life got married. So me and Mrs Rider dressed up a bit…


I looked forward so much to this evening… then I had another gall sludge attack. I only had 2 cups of soup and water last night… But the party was really good! We really enjoyed last night in the Protea hotel Fire & Ice… tonight we are staying at other good friends and tomorrow morning we are flying back home…

Taking a Time Out


I am thoroughly, to the depths of my soul- tired. So I am taking a few days leave from work, up till Sunday.

But it is also a good leave- Mrs Rider and me are flying tomorrow… a friend has a very special day on Friday, and we are not going to miss that one!

So you will probably not see me around here until next week… Enjoy your weekend…

As you can see, I started my leave with a barbeque in the Weber, some beef shortribs and a small piece of C Grade fillet steak… With a bottle of Robertson Chapel Red wine…


Riana Nel Rocks the Beetle

After a lot of suffering I finally fitted the bracket for the Sony Sound system into the Beetle today. The bracket really does not look good. I had to alter it to close the cubby hole door ( glove box for my English friends- we only use gloves on motorbikes in South Africa!)

The bracket may be fugly, but the Sony sits tight and hidden, a good thing because you just dont display good sound systems openly here. We do have a lot of criminals in our country.

After connecting all the wires, and then looking if the car blows up or not, it was time to test the sound. I am still waiting for the door inner panels, which also has a Pioneer speaker in each. But in the rear behind the back seat I have two Alpine 6×9″ speakers.

So today I deviated from my usual Dire Straits Brothers in Arms CD to test the sound. No, I inserted my newest CD.  Riana Nel is a Namibian musician, she is beautiful and has the voice of an angel. She is the sister of equally gifted Nianel.  Riana sometimes sings in my mother tongue- Afrikaans.  And this CD of hers is good. Beautiful words and beautiful music. One of the very best artists in Southern Africa in my view!

And what an experience we had tonight. The Beetle really has great accoustics, it felt as if we were sitting in the front seats of a Riana Nel concert… and Riana really gives excellent performances!

So what a way to initiate the sound system. Riana Nel rocks! And now I have seen on Twitter that she has a new CD out, will definitely buy one at the airport on Thursday!


Man, I just wish I could build better brackets!

Listen to the song and then buy the CD…

Wired for Sound…

This week is extremely busy and hectic. The financial guys in church decided we must raise more funds with another mini fete next Saturday. So I am back to being a butcher- we have 3 large Bovines and 8 Porkers to get from the hoof into consumable sellable portions.. And it is my responsibility to get it done with a team. We are 2/3 rds through’ but it is really hard work.

Meanwhile, back at the Parsonage my eldest son passed his Driving License Test with flying colours on Monday. But the Beetle is not ready yet! I am still waiting for the upholsterer to finish the inner door panels.

Last night I began with the most important part of the project. According to 18 year olds. I would have said the engine, mothers would have guessed the brakes. But of course teenagers would start at the Sound system!

Yesterday evening I jumped into the Beetle with an angle grinder and a file. The hole for the stereo is much too small for the modern players. So I enlarged it. And the Beetle experts guessed it right. Smack Bang into the wiper motor.

So now the stereo has to go into the glove box.
I am using my minimal handyman skills to build a bracket to keep it in place. Here is another few hours’ worth of sweat and tears and arc eyes and burn wounds…


Yes, the Sony does fit into my bracket…


Will everything fit into the Beetle? That is a good question! For another day… off to bed…

My artwork- a Lazarus Beetle…

I am not an artist. I do not have the ability to take up a brush, and paint a beautiful painting.  I do not have the ability to weave words into a beautiful poem.

But the past few months I tried to bring some beauty out of death… My old VW Beetle was dying a slow death- Rusting in Peace.  It did not move anymore.

This was it then:


Before we started to raise it from the dead…

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But my son’s 18th birthday was nearing, so we tried to bring it back to life…


And after a few weeks it is better. I know, not really art… but we used paint in the hope to make it better than it was…

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Yes, it is not art… yet… but it is slowly getting there- the 4th generation of our family behind this car’s steering wheel, that is art in my eyes!

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So maybe this could be art?


It is nearing the finish line, but it is not there yet- watch this space soon…



Morphine inspired Funny days…

Last night I had another attack. The same kind that kept me from my favorite Argus Cycle Tour in February.

The attack of the little Gall bladder stones… they might be small, but they beat me 6-0 6-0 6-0.

On Wednesday my son turned 18.  I even asked permission to leave our Church Board Meeting (a very solemn occasion!) to take my son out for his first beer.  Then his mom and his brother also decided to come with. And son decided to only drink Cream Soda… did I really raise him right?

In any case, in South Africa the Spur is a countrywide steakhouse franchise, you would even find some examples in Europe, I saw one in the Liffey Mall in Dublin in 2006. Well, they have this special on Eisbein at the moment. You get a large Eisbein with Chips (sorry German friends, I know it should have been Sauerkraut and Mash- but not at the Spur).

It also comes with a 500 ml Castle Draught- any visitor to South Africa will get to know both the Spur and Castle Draught.  I was extremely thirsty after attending the first 1 3/4 hours of the Church Board Meeting. So the first Draught went down so smoothly. I just had to have another, and then hand over the keys of the car to Mrs Rider or son.  So- large amounts of Pork- sorry Spike!  And beer! Sorry all my abstaining friends.  I also enjoyed birthday cake with my son earlier that day.

On Thursday I went to visit some of our elderly church people, that can’t come to church anymore. I also shared bread and wine with them- a very informal Eucharist. I bought this fantastic loaf of bread at our supermarket for this purpose. Designer bread. Ciabata or something. And then, when I finished all the visits, I also finished the bread on the way home.  You see, for 3 months I did not have any gallstone attacks. I forgot… pork/ beer/ bread… Big problems… 

LAst night my wife made us a mutton stew. Just small pieces of mutton mind you, not our typical over the top South African indulgence into red meat.

At half pas ten the fun and games started. First it felt like slight indigestion. I took some anti-acid powder (Eno’s). Then it started hurting more- I took some pain pills. And then- just underneath the ribcage- that dreadful feeling like someone sticking a red hot knife into your gut… And all the time the pain escalates. The gallstones have a way of also hurting my back. I tried being strong and manly for an hour.

Then I pleaded with Mrs Rider to just shoot me. Or phone our doctor. Whichever could take me out of my misery first. For some reason my wife chose the doctor instead. It was our doctor’s night off, and he went to bed early. He is really a hardworking and compassionate man. He is also in our church. So he asked my wife to drag me to his house. And there he proceeded with another nightmare of mine. Not one, but three injections…  They say gallbladder stone attacks are at least as painful as childbirth… respect to all moms! Well, I would have accepted a 9 millimeter parabellum round last night to end the pain. So I did not mind the injections at all.

So today, I started eating the right stuff again, mostly green. I mostly avoided meat, and beer, and birthday cake.  I am terrified that that pain will return.

Today, two of my sons played excellent rugby. Both their teams won our hated neighbouring town’s teams.

This afternoon I had to marry a young couple. I only found out WHERE last night! I thought I knew the WHEN- 4 pm this afternoon. But then my phone rang at 3:15 pm and it is the bridegroom, politely asking where I was. Fortunately they married in a picture perfect small little church 400 meters from my house.  I got dressed and there in 5 minutes, and was still there before the bride!

So since half past 11 last night, with the soft kiss of morphine, the world feels like a little fluffy cloud.  I am tired, I sleep a lot.

And yes- today I also successfully put new windows channel rubber on a door of my son’s Beetle.

Morphine, used in the right way, for pain as given by a doctor, is such a wonderful thing! Maybe it is even better to say: It sure is fun when you have a day without pain!

What inspired all this nonsense? My new friend over at is preparing Eisbein in her flat in Cape Town tonight… I LOVE Eisbein! But Eisbein apparently does not love me anymore…



History Channel- WTFF!!!

I love history. So, I really was excited when History Channel was added to our satellite (Cable for you US folks) television.

But the last year History Channel has little actual history programs. I mean- how would Storage Wars really be history? Garbage Archaeology is interesting, but is it history?

There is a LOT of restoration programs as well. I love Restoration projects. but would usually expect to find it at  Discovery.

History Channel- I would love to see Spitfires versus Messerschmitts. Atilla the Hun. Stonehedge- how did they do it? Or the aliens that built the pyramids in Egypt and South America- how their space ships worked…

But I can live with Storage Wars and American Restoration.

What really, really is driving me over the edge: History Channel advertises itself over and over and over and over at every ad break in South Africa.

But the worse is: they use the same ad over and over and over and over again. This must be the stuff used by the CIA at Guantanamo Bay to torture people.  (oops- there I said it, now I will never get a visum to visit the USA, and I must look out for the silent black helicopters or drones firing Hellfire missiles up my *ss…)

I am not joking- they are using the Mutoscope episode of American Restoration since November last year. Or the year before that A thousand times a day. And it is cracking me up- which in South Africa do not mean making me laugh… It is driving me around the bend, taking me to cloud cuckooland. Making me mentally unfit to stand trail- oh no, that was the Oscar Pistorius trail… been watching too much telly when I should have been working on the Beetle…

This episode: Even WordPress will not show the link anymore: it is at

My wife has to wipe the spittle of my mouth at night, when I start mumbling in a nasal twang: “Well, it looks just like new, Rick…”

The customer must be a very kind gentleman. It is not his fault. But really, really- to show him saying that sentence 1000 times a DAY is really getting me down.

If anybody at History Channel ever see this: PLEASE, PLEASE GET A NEW AD!!! You are being cruel!



Fiberglass floor for the Beetle

I am very scarce on my blog at the moment. Sorry about that!

I am working quite hard at the moment in our church, we had the funeral today of the well respected man who died last week.

Tomorrow was my mental D Day for the Beetle project, as tomorrow is my son’s 18th birthday. But as all these projects go, it takes double the time and tripple the money to complete… at least the young man still has to produce a valid driving license before the gift can be taken into possession…

I am now building a fiberglass floor for the Beetle. I know that some internet sites says that it is not a good thing, and that only original VW Floor Pans should be used. I am in no way able to afford that at the moment.

So- I got some expanded metal from an engineering firm in our town. I cleaned it with hydrochloric acid, then rinsed it and bolted it to the floor pan. Every now and then I snuck off for an hour to work on this. Last night I put on the first Fiberglass layer on the floor, and just now the second layer.  When it is completely dry, (cured?) I will put a layer of stone chip rubberizing on as a floor. I really hope it will not look too shabby!

Here is just an update on the state of the floor today before the second layer.

I hope the Beetle will soon be going like this one:

On the Move- Weekly Photo Challenge

I am sorry. The quality of this photo is not nearly up to scratch. But it brought back such good memories of my university days.

We had this huge sport on Campus- the Pedal Prix. With ultralight pedal driven cars we drove a relay route on campus for about 6 hours if I remember correctly. We had to be really fit, and it was still very exhausting. But then- between your laps you had the attention of the ladies from the wonderful Physiotherapy Department getting that aching muscles repaired again…

Pedal Prix 1987


This was a lovely way to MOVE!