Pain and Joy…

The wise man once said that people might think you are a fool when you remain silent, their opinion is confirmed when you speak… So I have been silent for a few weeks.

I do not wish to talk about Jacob Zuma and the ANC anymore. I am just so tired of being blamed as a white person for all the wrongs in this country when our “leadership” has wasted such a lot of money on corruption, silly weapons deals, bribing Fifa for the 2010 world cup, Nkhandla… I have thought too much about all these things the last few months. It has really stolen my joy in life and made me negative. So I remained silent. And used the time to rethink my priorities. Or as our fearless leader so love to say: “Apply my mind to it…”

I have decided that it is not my job to expose all these negative things through facebook and twitter and other social media. It causes too much pain.

So I am rethinking and applying my mind to focus on the things that I do have control over, that give meaning to my life and bring back the joy. Things like family. And faith. And relationship. And motorbikes.

Family: My son is somewhere in Texas on a John Deere 670 Combined Harvester, been away from home since the 20th of April, I really miss him a lot. I really wish that I can also see some of the USA one day. My son really loves it!

Bernard in VSA

Faith: Like the rest of humankind I am also struggling to understand why there is so much pain in the world. I really believe that the church should be a channel of love and hope to this world. But I really am having a hard time to understand why 80% of church people also seem to don’t care to try and make a difference anymore… That is also why I am so quiet these days… I am really questioning myself if I  make a positive difference in our community…

Motorbikes: I had a wonderful motorbike trip in March with my wife and the SA Bible Society to Lesotho and the Eastern Free State and Cape.

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April and May was hard work, and June will be as well till the 27th. Then…

Everything is coming together for a 5000 km Motorbike tour through Botswana and Namibia, with my wife and 3 other couples… BMW GS all the way…  There are still some hick-ups in getting my bike ready to take all the equipment needed, we are going wild- with tents and sleeping bags between the elephants and lions near Kasane in Botswana. (So sad about the American lady connected with Game of Thrones, being killed by a lion just outside Pretoria this week… People of the world, if you ever come to Africa on safari, don’t accept all lions are cuddly like Simba in Lion King. Nobody just walks with lions!  And please stay in your cars and close the windows when near a lion. Please! )

I still need to find the time to take my bike to Pretoria for a service and a new front tyre. But then all should be well. I still need to find a lion and elephant repellent spray… 🙂

In the meanwhile, to fund this next road trip, I had to sell my beloved BMW R850R…

BMW R850R

I hope the new owner gets a lot of joy from this Mädchen, and takes good care of her…

So thanks, still alive and kicking! Thanks for all those who asked if we’re OK, I really appreciate it.

Thanks, and if you see my son doing his laundry in Abilene, Texas, give him a hug from his dad, and buy him a beer?

SILVER anniversary today!

I am still a young man. I still ride my bicycles, and motorbikes. I still enjoy Katy Perry’s music.

So how can it be that today is already my silver anniversary?

This morning, at 09h00, at the old Klipkerk in Bloemfontein 25 years ago, my bride walked down the aisle with her dad.

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I was very young when I took the leap- just past my 23rd birthday. In the beginning, I was very insecure and it must have been difficult at times for my lovely bride. But we grew together, and as the Afrikaans saying goes, started eating our seven sacks of salt together.

There have been wonderful times, and we also went through extremely difficult times together. I still can’t go away from home for a long time, without actually having an aching heart when she is not near. Her smile still lights up my day.

In my work I see how few couples are really happily married, and stay together even this long. So I know I am truly blessed, being married to my best friend.

We are growing older- we are not as young and as beautiful as 25 years ago- that would be the world’s opinion, not mine! But the journey of life just keeps on getting better and better together…

Who would not love a wife who goes on a 3000 km Bike trip with you?

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It was so good last week, on the Word Rider Tour, being so near Golden Gate, (Free State, South Africa) where we started our honeymoon 25 years ago…

Who would not love the mother of our 4 beautiful kids, and the calming factor when the storms of life hit us?
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I don't know who posted this in the first place- but all respect and honor to you!

I don’t know who posted this in the first place- but all respect and honor to you!

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…
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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…

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…

Action- Weekly Photo Challenge

I saw this Challenge at Nowathome’s blog, and it reminded me of a huge holiday we had in December 2006. This photos was taken at the rocks in front of the Blue Peter Hotel in Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa.

The Point of No Return was reached…

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First my eldest, my daughter jumped into the rock pool.

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Do you have any idea how cold the Atlantic is here at Bloubergstrand, coming up from the South Pole…?

 

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My Eldest son… Going

 

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Going

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nearly gone, gone has disappeared somehow…

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My second son

 

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My Friend’s son

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So how could my youngest also not try?

This was one of the best days of my entire life! And my kids’ lives too!

Water- Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge

I am totally stuck in a writers block of epic proportions.  But this is a good challenge!

My Photo will not win any photographic prizes. It just shows some family fun on water, back in 2008…

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But maybe those are the best times in my life, when I just enjoy the moment, without worrying about taking a perfect photo. And just enjoying my children.

Working, suffering,..

It is difficult when you know nothing, and try to do a professional job! I now have great respect for all the good panelbeaters and car restorers in the world! How on earth do you get all the surfaces as smooth as a baby’s bottom?

PS- I learned A HUGE lesson in life: You have to keep the spray gun’s nozzle clean, otherwise it will block…  I can’t wait to share it with my wife!

Prepping the Beetle for a Paint Job

The past few days were quite hectic. Every little bit of time that I could, I was busy putting on body filler to small holes, sanding, trying to get a good foundation for the paint job that follows… I worked late at night, and started again early in the mornings.

I must confess. it is quite scary to attempt this restoration project, when I have no skills whatsoever. Between Youtube clips and Jim Tylers book on restoration, I try my best.  But I still don’t think Chip Foose or those guys at Gasmonkeys (Fast & Loud) will begin to offer me a job…

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I have bought the primer. I have bought some Arctic White paint. And a lot of water sanding paper for finishing first the primer layer, and then the paint. It took a while to cover the windows…  After everything was sanded as smooth as I can, I washed the car with car shampoo. But it sure looks in a sorry state…

Now… tomorrow I have to conduct a funeral service.  A man I have great respect for died on Monday. I have to see his widow and son in an hour’s time to make the last arrangements for tomorrow morning.

And then- the moment of truth arrives. I have to use a spray gun for the first time in my life… I really really hope I get it right! I don’t have the money to get professional help, and I really want to give my son this car as his 18 th birthday present.  Looking as good as I can get it.

Just a last thing- my father died in 1993. While I was busy fixing this car, I saw some of the things he have done for me, on this Beetle. I got a secondhand petrol pedal, and when I wanted to fit it to the floor vracket, I remembered why the petrol pedal was missing. The bracket was broken. My father has made another bracket, but it did not last. So I had to take it out, and weld a new bracket. I hope my bracket will last another generation…

When my grandmother bought this car new in 1968, she would not in her wildest dreams imagine that her great grandson would drive it one day. And this makes me wonder- how many more years of service will Jeremiah provide? My son wants to call her Betsie, after my grandmother…