Friday, 2 December 2016

Mad Hatter's Curiosity


Oscar Wilde once said that a man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. Working at a company, one wears a mask to protect oneself, to be loyal despite what everyone else sees. Loyalty is strong in me but after what has happen, loyalty has gone out of the window. I believe in God and even though they intended to harm me, but God intended it for good. So take off that mask, as behind every mask there is a face, and behind that a story waiting to get out.


This morning, I joined the Joburg Vespa Riders’ Breakfast after, shoj, 4 years. This morning we met at Yiull’s studio which has being transformed in the Mad Hatter’s Curiosity Shoppe of strange and wonderful art and artefacts. We had breakfast from the Corner Café which was served out on the street sidewalk in front of this intriguing display from 13 different weird and wonderful artists.


Be your own hero and visit this mind twisting exhibit at 56 Buckingham Ave in Craighall Park.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

After the Storm


Yesterday evening we had a storm come through that uplifted trees in the neighbourhood. Even Minky our cat was caught unawares in our backyard somewhere and had to wait it out in the veld. She was one drenched and scared cat when returned after the storm.

Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me.

The howling wind reminded me of staying in Noordhoek, Cape Town, when that when used to channel down the mountainside, frightening me.

Calm, peaceful, this evening is. The storm clouds have moved along and it is quite pleasant sitting on my deck after the storm.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Status Red Light


This morning our gate did not want to open fully so I opened the motor up and found that a red light on next to the wording Status. Weird, what does status mean? Anyway I went and bought a new battery which seems to have done the trick as now we have a working gate.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Lamborghini at the Panel Beaters


Sometimes life just dishes you out all the despair you can handle at the same time. what did my mother tell me, don't drive when you are frustrated and look what I went and done, took the Lamborghini for a dice along the windy Wilegerood Road. Lynda is a tad upset that I had to take my Lambo into Metal Cross Vehicle Makeover Clinic, the approved panel beaters, to replace a cracked rear bumper.

Sigh, with fake news articles and click bait all the talk at the moment on social, no one knows what to believe anymore. YES the start of this blog post is all fake and NO the Lamborghini is not mine. Not only is 2016 the year when the best singers crossed over, it is also known as the Year of Fake News, disinformation masquerading as the truth.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Building Alterations


At first to find the right builder at the right price was a rigmarole but once they started our building alterations moved at a fast pace that was until we had to wait for the electrician and plumber.

Sigh, with the cottage on hold until the electrician moves the distribution box from the cottage bedroom to the main house and the plumber to fix the new water works for the new bathroom and kitchen. The electrician came the weekend to move the distribution box and then also came round today to separate the cottage lights and plugs from the main house with its own mini dB.

Now why are we still waiting for the plumber to finish what he started last week?

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Cat without a Name


Okay, I am looking for a name for this scrap of a kitten.

A month ago Matthew asked me if we would like another kitten and the answer was “NO”. On Friday when I was picking up his friend Moses to spend the weekend, Matthew asked again and again the answer was no. On the way home with Moses and Matthew, I heard the distinctive mew mew of a kitten from the back. I asked them what was going on and they answered that Moses has to look after his kitten because his mother was allergic to cats. But we were being played, they had no attention of taking the cat home and I don’t like to be played.

We don’t need any more cats, more Italian Greyhounds yes but no more cats. So with no choice in the matter, what shall we call this baby boy cat that looks way too young to be away from its mother.

Names so far are Tut (short for Tutankhamun since it was dumped by Moses and is sure to bring some deadly plagues); Teddy; and Garfield.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Koppie Foam Grasshopper


Uhmm, this toxic visitor to our garden looks kind of un-delicious. Yes the Koppie Foam Grasshopper or Dictyophorus spumans is highly poisonous because it produces toxic foam after feeding on the milkweed plant. Red means don’t even think about it. Let’s hope our dogs and cats don’t find this little fella as there are records of pets dying after eating these grasshoppers.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Chicken Crossing the Zebra


Why did the chicken cross the road? No one knows why but look what happened to the zebra?

Friday and yay it is weekend with my son Matthew. It has been over a month since I last saw him as he was busy with exams.

This photo was taken at Kevin’s place, of the puppet zebra that he bought in Hong Kong many years ago. It is hanging between 2 chickens, hence the zebra crossing.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Catshadow


Oh, I’m being followed by a catshadow, catshadow, catshadow,
Leaping and hopping on a catshadow, catshadow, catshadow.

Sitting in the family room, I looked down towards the front door and there was Minky and Bebe chasing each other, having fun, in and out of the light. The shapes of the entrance hall and light looked awesome. And then the fluffiest of cats, Princess, moonwalked into the light, and I was floored.

And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colours all run dry,
Yes if I ever lose my eyes, oh if I won’t have to cry no more.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Little Nutbrown Hare


“Guess how much I Love you?”

“Not you Kevin, but Little Nutbrown Hare that you are holding.” Having a grandchild you get a little too use to the adventures of Little Nutbrown Hare and now I found Little Nutbrown Hare.

“Guess how much I Love you?”

“I love you as high as I can reach,” said Little Nutbrown Hare. “I love you as high as I can reach,” said Big Nutbrown Hare. That is very high, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. I wish I had arms like that.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Super Fiona


As the poster behind Fiona states “No one expects you to save the world, otherwise would have been born wearing a cape and tights. Just do the best you can.” Well Fiona is doing just that, being super at Metal Cross, the best panel beaters in the Fourways and Randburg areas.

Monday, 21 November 2016

I Gotta Have Faith


I remember this song “Faith”, which was a hit during my first year of army many moons ago, it hasn’t got nothing to do what I need right now, the real faith, but the tune, well it is sticking in my mind.

This evening, while taking the washing off the line, my mind started playing tricks on me. Racing thoughts just nose dived like a wailing Stuka. Not so good anxious thoughts entered my mind and must have had a major panic attack.

I know that God, my God who is a good father will never leave me, nor forsake me. I know that He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I know I should trust Him, cast my cares upon Him, and rest in His presence. But when life is falling apart, and I can't see His plan, anxious thoughts just push me back under the water.

I gotta have faith!

My devotional this morning was all about “Where are You, God?” We never have to work hard to find God in the good times but in the hard times, I confess that I wonder where He is. In my quiet time with God, I had to ask, that very question, where are You? And then after some readings, I had to ask the Holy Spirit to speak to me.

At first nothing, no mighty wind, no whisper in the quiet place, nothing, nadda. Down and rejected I went to see an client and while working in this side room, I looked up and saw that someone had written in black marker onto the wall, Psalm 32:8 I never heard of this Psalm before, yet the verse hit me straight between the eyes, and as if God spoke directly to me, only me. The rhema word said “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Yes God just spoke to me, in the busyness of my day. Thank You, God, for being a good father to me.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Corné


Dust everywhere, and more dust, no wonder building alterations drive families dilly. Last night after the builders left, I went to lock up and with keys in my hand I slammed the security gate shut only to find I had the wrong keys in my hand. The correct keys were still in the cottage.

I was going to leave it until today for the builders but then I heard water running inside the cottage. A tap which was opened by the builders but produced no water was left on and now whatever was blocking the pipe was unblocked and water was gashing inside the locked cottage. I needed to get in. Panic Stations.

Much to the dismay of Lynda, I knocked open a small gap in a freshly bricked up doorway and shoved Lynda through. Obvious to me as she is a third of my size which meant a smaller hole but she was not impressed.

Well disaster averted last night, building continued today at a furious pace. In the afternoon Corné with his family came over for a swim. Corné being an electrician instructed the builders on the correct installation of our new DB box which had to be moved from inside the cottage to our side of the house.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Shadreck


Earlier this week I was given the name of Shadreck the Builder because the builder I was going to use has been delayed in a previous job due to the summer rains. I met Shadreck yesterday and after going receiving the quote, he got the go ahead so this morning at the crack of dawn, he arrived with Mind and Wisdom, his brother and another employee, to start on the alterations to turn my home office into an rentable cottage.

So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, let the building commence.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Death

Oh wow, to find a Greater Death’s Head Hawkmoth in our garden, well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming.


Remember the Silence of the Lambs movie poster with a Greater Death’s Head Hawkmoth over the mouth of the girl, yes you do as it still eats away at you, well this is one of those moths. I feel so blessed to find this big moth, over 10cm big with its sinister skull shape on its back, I am sure Hannibal Lecter would be proud of this moth but other than a harbinger of death how much does South African’s know about this beautiful caterpillar/moth that is found in their gardens.

The Acherontia atropos, as this species of Death’s Head Hawkmoth is known as, is named after a river in Greek mythology the Acheron or the River of Pain over which the ferryman takes you over. Atropos the unturnable, one of three Moirai goddesses of fate and destiny who cuts the thread of life. With a top speed of just under 50kph, I am sure you can’t outrun your fate as this moth can be seen feeding like a hummingbird on the nectar of flowers and raiding beehives at night, all for the sweet nectar of life.


So it is not surprising that we have used this moth, in literature and movies like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Silence of the Lambs. In the Netherlands, they call this the Doodshoofdvlinder and in French, le sphinx à tête de mort; in German, Totenkopfschwärmer; in Spanish, cabeza de muerto; and in Swedish, Dödskallesvärmare, whatever you call it, I find the Greater Death’s Head Hawkmoth beautiful and life inspiring.

I do wish I can chat longer, but I’m having an old friend over for dinner.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Found


Looked what walked back into our home, Minky, after 24 hours of somewhere out there in our front yard lost to the world. Poor little putty tat, she had us worried all night. After calling, searching, and fearing the worse, we had trouble sleeping.

It looks like Minky, the minks, also had little sleep as she is now pasted out on the couch next to my desk. She is following me everywhere, if I get up to the kitchen, she follows me making sure that she is never far from me. Poor thing it must have been a traumatic night out there in the gorge alone with all the creatures of the night.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Lost

Minky our cat left home this morning about 5am and has not returned. It is getting rather late and we have to just pray that she is not something’s lunch and finds her way home.

View to the left

It is not from lack of trying as search parties of one (me) was sent out into our front yard to call for her but it is like looking of a needle in a hay stack. You have already seen photos from our deck of straight in from of our home; these 2 photos are taken of the view to the left and right. Now where do I start? In the view right photo below, in the middle, just under 2kms away is the black eagle’s nest at the Botanical Gardens; and surely there are some eagle owls in the area. Oh no, more to worry about.

View to the right

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Not Crearis Africa


It was an early night for us last night with the power off. You can only do so much patio sitting watching the super moon try to break through the stormy weather. The lights came on just before midnight; let’s hope this is not a common occurrence with Johannesburg’s City Power.

Taking about bad things, Crearis Africa and its baobab logo left a bad taste in one’s mouth but even in my negativity God had a plan. This post is not about Crearis Africa but about a positive baobab, a good baobab. This evening was our home group’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and we had to share just one thing that we were thankful for. What could I be thankful for in this annus horribilis? Nothing came to mind as I dwelt on this thought throughout the day but then I remembered. After home group last week, the very next morning I started the Chris Tomlin’s Never Lose Sight devotional and I must say it has been a blessing therefore that is something to be thankful for in this dark year, a glimmer of hope to cling my faith onto.

The baobab has always been one of my favourite trees, but it got tainted by Crearis Africa. Seeing a sculpture of one with a candle inside at our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner brought the baobab back to a positive, especially when I had to share my one moment of thankfulness and I glanced at this gecko shaped light shining out. Never lose sight Jerome, on God’s promises and that He has a plan for you, Jerome, yes even you.


Next to the baobab, in the candle light was this sign which stated, in this house we do second chances; we do do grace; we do mistakes; we do real; we do I'm sorry; we do loud really well; we do hugs; we do love; and especially we do family. Love all.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Supper by Torch


Just the sun set low on the horizon while another storm rumbled overhead, the electricity once again went off. What is it this time City Power? As usual no information was forth coming.

So it was supper on the grill, and I had planned chicken à la king. No problem, I just had to fire up the trusty gas grill, and put supper on the go, using a touch to check on the progress.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Vacated Seat


Sitting on the patio has become a pleasant afternoon pastime but be wary, as soon as you get up for a refill, your seat will be taken over by the naughty minks. Yes, Minky feels no shame in finding a lovely warmed seat to enjoy.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

City Power Fail


We have electricity now, but Robynne who lives in Bloubosrand, still does not have electricity. Last night they came over, to freshen up and have supper. This morning we met up with Robynne and Rebekah for breakfast, then after some shopping therapy, they ended back at our place which had the convenience of the basic necessity called electricity. Come on City Power, is Johannesburg going back into the Dark Ages.

Friday, 11 November 2016

16 Hours


For the last few days people are crying out why God, why? We pray for rain but you send floods. Sigh, why doesn’t the people listen? After an El Niño, comes the La Niña. The ground is dry and parched, and the first rains just wash away the top soil. With all the litter, the blocked unused storm water drains just simply cannot handle the sudden deluge. No use shaking your fists at God.

Another stormy night in Johannesburg and boom, suddenly we didn’t have electricity since just after midnight last night. Now it is me shaking my fist at City Power, as they just shrug their shoulders and say that they are working on it and never give any other commitment. Sixteen hours later, yes 16 hours and then only then does our electricity finally get restored.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Fever Pitch


I had 2 meetings today, both in Douglasdale, both are seeking ways to re-invent myself as everyone knows that it is difficult to find work at this time of the year as the summer holidays draw near and that as a white male in South Africa, well lets just shake my head. I know God has a plan, but what is the plan, that I have still to find out. Somehow there has been a positive leaning towards forging my own way, of course with God at the helm, and me in fever pitched fear learning to trust God.

Talking about fever, I am discovering more and more things about my garden, as can be seen; we have a fever tree, awesome. The fever tree is up there among the leopard, dikdorning, wild African fig, and baobab trees, as my favourite trees and we now have one. Although I am not sure if a baobab or wild African fig trees can be grown in my garden, a plan needs to be put into place to get a leopard tree and a dikdoring tree.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Climb these Stairs


In an indiscreet building on St Georges, are these stairs which was the obstacle between me standing in the street next to my Vespa and my mentor a few floors up.

Actually it was a good 3 hour session, getting my head screwed back on correctly after that nastiness of what happened recently. My morning started with my Never Lose Sight devotional which I really needed after becoming lost. The bible is not discreet about my relationship with God. It is clear, I am a child of God and God is a good father.

God has taken me out of Bosasa to protect me, now I must climb these stairs to the place where God wants me to be.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Gert vs Cat


One of our cats, Shammy, loves to spray on electronic things such as the TV, the rooters, computer and hard drives. Yes it is a big problem and a solution that works still needs to be invented. It must be something about the electronic and plastic smell that compels him to spray.

Anyways, it was back to Gert with my portable hard drive to try safe it from an untimely death. The problem is that this drive is encrypted and the circuit board with the encryption key also got the attention of the cat. So here is Gert using some Linux software to force the encryption to a standard readable format without losing the information.

Monday, 7 November 2016

John


We have just started our second week in our new home, some sense of order is started to take shape around the still unpacked boxes.

John, shown above, was the previous owner’s gardener and since he already knows the garden and we've been told that he is a swimming pool wizard, we decided to give him a try. Just in time as the pool is in need of some attention after a week of neglect while we have been trying to sort our lives out.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

The Lion Princess


Okay at least today we can start enjoying our new home. The cats are now exploring the new garden, at first with trepidation but soon most of the cats where bouncing around investigating all the new smells, trees, and hideaways.

Here is our brave little lion princess trying to figure if this gecko can be caught by her.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Beast and 35 Sucks

The Beast Team: Ledise, Wian, Lené Anthony, Henk, and Hanro (Not sure where Belinda was)

Hanging on with Belinda and Anthony

It is our first weekend in our new home. We still have boxes everywhere and we don’t know when we are going to see the end of the move but today we conquer the Beast and later a 35th birthday braai together with a Daknatmaak.

We can do this: Henk and Anthony

Up and over: Anthony, Wian, Henk, and Lené

Bringing back memories: Anthony and Hanro

So first the Beast, They said it is fun for the whole family, a workout with a difference, but I just shook my head, haven’t I already do 2 years of army why must I pay to challenge myself basic army training style. The Beast is more than just an obstacle race. It’s about getting out, being active and making memories. Get dirty, have fun and have some great stories to tell. Well after this we did, so I will just let the images do the talking.

Mud, Glorious Mud: Anthony and Henk

Yeah a little mud won't stop Belinda and Anthony

Ledise, Henk, Wian, Anthony, Lené, Anthony, and Belinda all tangled up

Still not convinced that the Beast is only for adventure junkies and mad men, well at least my brother Anthony and his wife’s family did it not for the competition but for fun, to conquer the Beast.

Nearly over Anthony


After that the rest was all tame. It was time for the 35 Sucks birthday party, okay not sucks but a Gert’s 35th birthday braai and Daknatmaak or in English a Roof Wetting Party.

Lynda, Storm, Lisel, Buffie, Jan, Lizette, Gert where the first wave at the party, the others came later.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Childproofing


In the last few days we have been childproofing the steps and patio for the grandchildren and this evening the first of the grandchildren came to test the quality of workmanship of the child friendly zones that we have created.

Rebekah and her parents are tough customers and we received an 80%. Pass rate is 100%. We still have to secure the patio child fencing at the bottom and put an extra layer defence by the pool. Well 80% for first attempt is a good start at least they came bearing Krispy Kremes.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

House Arrest


The cats have been confined to the house until they get use to their sanctuary. Our new home is a safe place for them, no more Killer Jack Russell dog packs to threaten their lives. Only the nesting Black Eagle pair just down the valley to worry about. Just a few more days of house arrest, Minky, just a few more days.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Stormy Sunset


With all the unpacking, I am getting behind on my blog. In between all of the sorting, I have been waiting a sunset at our new home but it has been stormy every evening since we have been here. Tonight gave a hint of the elusive sunset as the ominous weather threatened.

It was kind of awe inspiring watching the evening storm unfold from my deck.

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