Sunday, 31 December 2017

Last Breakfast

It is the last day of 2017 and I volunteered to help out at centre Church cooking up a breakfast. Well little did Matthew know I press ganged him to join me as we cook up some bacon and egg for the last breakfast of the year. Nou gaan ons braai.

May my readers have an awesome Hogmanay and a blessed 2018.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Alsophila Dregei

I have never seen 2 grown men so excited over 2 plants since well the Joel Stransky’s drop kick ending the 1995 Rugby World Cup. I too got into the spirit and danced a little gig.

Let me start from the beginning, since we have moved here after falling in love with the spectacular views from our deck, I have been sending Andrew, the chief Horticulturist at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens just downstream from us, photos of plants found in the gorge and along the rocky edges. He has also been quick to rattle off the biological species names back to me which have been very helpful especially since I am keen to discover the extremely endangered orchids here.

Some time I go I sent him a photo of a tree fern down in the gorge that I found but after looking at my photo he responded rather flatly that it was a Cyathea Australis from Australia. He explained to me that the indigenous Alsophila Dregei is locally extinct and has last been seen here on the Witwatersrand in the early 1900s. That was until today.

Last week a naturalist posted a photo of 2 tree ferns that was taken in our gorge onto an international website suggesting that they were Alsophila Dregei. The debut started if it really was the Dregei and not the Australis. So Andrew armed with the co-ordinates found that the sighting was only a few 100m from where I live. So started the expedition down into the gorge to confirm the sighting.

Andrew along with Tony an ecologist specialising in the Roodepoort and Krugersdorp Ridge system met me at my home and we hiked down into the gorge. Andreas, chairman of the Roodekrans Community Watch, and his wife Suzanne, joined us as they hiked in from a different direction. The first tree ferns we found was the Australis species but then we found the 2 tree ferns in question and like I said early, I never saw 2 men so excited as it was a positive identification of 2 Alsophila Dregei of about 10 years old each. Extensive photos were taken of nearly everything of the fern, even a sample frond was taken to be assessed in a lab.

Andrew gave us an in situ botany lesson on the differences of the Australis to the Dregei as we felt the differences with our hands. Now I can too tell the difference and will be now looking out for more Dregei in the area.

A plant thought to be locally extinct has been rediscovered.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Hello Sweetie

Hello Sweetie, oh you are such a pretty girl. River Song at 2 months old has nearly doubled in size since she came home and she can eat, boy can she eat this bundle of German shepherd crossed with a Belgium shepherd. She is not a clumsy puppy anymore and has found her place in our pack.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Red Chair

Christmas has come and gone for another year, and Santa’s seat is vacant while he goes and I suppose hibernates or heads for the beach. Perfect timing for me to try out the red chair in case I don’t lose any weight this coming year or my beard grows into a full Santa beard.

Uhmmm, oh well I think it is time to go on that diet that has been giving me the weebie jeebies.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The Last Jedi

Uhmmm Matthew and I finally went and saw the latest Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, and well we have mixed feelings. The movie was well done but to me it felt way too long and I was over it long before the end. Oh deary me. Beam me up Scotty before a wanna to be Jedi comes to finish me off. Anyways I am sure this new movie will inspire a whole new generation of kids to the galaxy far, far away as the latest Star Trek franchise, Discovery, is also not so good. But will the kids actually be as excited about Star Wars as we were as kids? Matthew was like sure dad. I'll go with you to watch that movie from the franchise that you adored as a kid as he rolls his eyes. He wanted to rather go watch the latest Jackie Chan movie The Foreigner. At least it has Pierce Brosnan.

It is sad to say that the best part for me was the little Oliver Twist character at the end with the broom. The Force is still alive. Goodbye Carrie Fisher. Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Day After

The weather had changed from a hot and sticky Christmas to a cool overcast day with the sun trying to break through but lost. We stayed in bed as long as we could but had to drag ourselves out as the house needed cleaning before the afternoon visitors arrived.

Yesterday we had so much food that today was decided to leave the puddings and desserts for today.

By 2 o’clock a storm broke over Johannesburg just as I was supposed to leave to drive across town to pick up Matthew after his Christmas with his mother. As I left I saw these 2 guineafowls huddled under a tree seeking shelter from the rain.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Mixed Christmas

Christmas Day we all gathered at Robynne and Marco’s home for a Christmas lunch of mixed traditions. The normal Christmas foods that we are used to plus traditional South African braai, Madeiran Espetadas, and Durban Indian curried prawns. Ahhh these mixed families gatherings like to spice things up.

Merry Christmas everyone

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Day before Christmas

Tis was the day before Christmas, last minute shopping was franticly done and the first of the Christmas visitors arrived. No room in the inn could be cried as my brother and his wife Helene were bearing lovely gifts and who doesn’t like gifts.

It was a hot sticky type of day, thankfully Anthony and Helene brought their swimming costumes as we just had to jump into the pool, along with all the dogs. It was a good visit and we all enjoyed the day before Christmas except the shopping part.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Where’s Granny

Robynne was very busy at work as it was the last day, so Lynda and I picked up granddaughter Rebekah so that Robynne can have a chance to finish up at the office.

First we went shopping as final presents needed to be purchased, and then it was home. Thankfully as the shops were getting way too crowded for my liking. Once home I had to get Matthew back to Benoni so that he can spend Christmas with his mother, brother, sister, nieces and nephews.

And finally I got back home, Rebekah was sleeping and Lynda was busy cleaning the home of which the state had gone past the tolerable state. Then Bradley phone, he needed to be picked up. Ahhh like ships in the night, Lynda left and I well I was left with sleeping Rebekah.

Now trust Rebekah to wake up and started looking for granny. To solve the problem of no granny I picked her up and we both started looking for granny, going from room to room and finally into the garden, no granny but by this time Rebekah was having fun with granddad. Around the pool and no granny behind the tree, oh look there is a cat up the tree.

And finally back on the deck, sitting each in our own chairs, Rebekah with her juice and biscuit, and me with mine. Listening to the birds and of course the cats came closer to investigate too.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Canadian Surprise

Friends of ours, Nic, Suzanne, Nika, and Aidon, from Canada are in town for the Christmas holidays, and they came round for breakfast much to the surprise of Matthew. Oh course I kept it a secret and he was sure surprised to see his friend Aidon who he last saw way in 2008 when Matthew visited Toronto. And my Aidon has grown, he is a head taller than Matthew and Matthew is tall himself. What are they feeding him in Canada?

After breakfast we took a walk into the Protea Forest to the edge of the gorge, it was River Song’s first walk into the veldt and she enjoyed it although she did get stuck at some of the rocky bits and Aidon helped her.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Finish Now

The year must finish now. We all shopped out from too many visits to the busy malls, although Matthew and I still have to go together to get his Christmas gifts. The reason that he hasn’t gone yet is that he has been doing a holiday job at Custom Couches. Manual labour can be quite tiring but thankfully tomorrow is his last day till next year.

Rosy shown above is too pooped, as the days are getting hotter and outside Matthew is playing with the doggies which get a little ruff for little kittens.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Visiting Granny and Granddad

Robynne and Marco had to do some late night shopping as you would know Christmas is looming. What better way to shop for little one’s presents than leave Rebekah with Granny and granddad.

Rebekah just wanted to be outside this evening visiting all the animals, and many animals we have.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Gift of Giving

Okay, Matthew pointed out this Durex advert especially the next board with 2 boxes of condoms with Christmas hats. So what do condoms have to do with giving of gifts? Maybe stopping a person getting an unwanted gift? Matthew even chirped that they might be Christmas flavoured condoms. Eeuw! The gift of giving.

These sex billboards are getting out of hand, for example on the N14 near Cradlestone, there is one by the Department of health that states, "I rather give my clients pleasure than HIV". What is it we trying tell our youth? There are vibrator and condom ads on nearly every street corner and lately a new trailer trash one from Prodate that has this sexy lady in lingerie lying on a pile of cash with the tag line "Get Paid to Date". So now we have ads for escorts. Where is this going to end?

Monday, 18 December 2017

Bosasa African Global

It has been a year now; I think it is best to get rid of all my old Bosasa clothes which are just lying in my cupboard getting dust and cat hair. It was a traumatic end to the season of Bosasa or as they now call themselves African Global but God has put me onto a new course in my life.

African Global, is it only me who sees the irony of this oxymoron, African yet Global in the same breath. Well anyways, I had to do something with this pile of unwanted clothing that is branded Bosasa and what better way than to give it away to those who need it the most, especially over Christmas since they are not called Bosasa anymore. Double irony, I think the clothes should go to those who are looked after by Bosasa at the infamous Lindela Repatriation Centre.

2018 is going to be a new leaf, exciting times ahead. So out with the old and in with the new.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Same Old #@#

Every month, my friends hold a boardgame afternoon, and since I missed the last Timeless Board Games Day of the year when I went down to Durban recently, I wasn’t about to give this one hosted by Gary and Anika even if Craig decided to wear the same old kak t-shirt.

Gary made some, stinging chilli, Mexican style as he called it plus some beer bread made on a solar oven. Thankfully Anika in her wisdom made a milder version for the likes of Matthew and I. Then it was down to some serious board games and of course killer dessert.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Doing Life

Since the Centre Church’s Connect Groups have ended for the year, I decided that it would be a good idea that during these summer holidays that we should have a Connect Group pool Party and Braai. I put the proposal forward about a month back to our group and the response was favourable so this afternoon, our West Rand Connect Group descended to our home for an afternoon around the pool and a hike to the edge of the gorge.

I started the braai late in the afternoon to time dinner with the setting sun. Perfect!

It was wonderful having our Connect family at our home enjoying summer, and doing life, the South African way.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Hidden Drummer

Come, they told me
Pa rum pum pum pum
To sing Carols
Pa rum pum pum pum
To the newborn King
Pa rum pum pum pum
Ra pum pum pum
Ra pum pum pum

But no one told me they going to hide the little drummer boy on top of the jungle gym.

Welcome to the jungle, as we sang Christmas carols under the stars at the cross roads of Malibongwe and Bellairs to celebrate our Messiah, who came as a baby into this world and to whom all knees will bend before Him. While many rushed about doing late night shopping in a world of gifts of debt, a few from Centre Church worshiped the Messiah for which this season is really all about.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Putty Tat Paddy

So who is the ultra dog now Paddy poopkins. On Tuesday I was supposed to take Minky, Paddy, and Rosy, to the vet for their annual injections but both Minky and Paddy somehow got whiff of my intentions and did a duck. Although Paddy is only a year old, he is our biggest cat and yet he is the most afraid of travelling in the car to the vet for some unknown reason.

It took me 2 days to finally get Paddington to go to the vet, and like Rosy he didn’t go quietly. Shame Paddy was so stressed but Andrea was gentle with the big putty tat.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017


First of all this is my 4000 blog post, wow and what a way to celebrate by this post. Coming home after dropping Matthew off at his holiday job, I saw this little falla. The Chrysopoloma isabellina Aurivillius, not much is found about this beautiful moth online other than it’s name, family, genus, species, and location where it is found, that’s all. Oh and when it was first identified 1895.

Nothing as exciting as this big moth that visited my garden way back November last year, the Greater Death's Head Hawkmoth but Isabellina is beautiful none the less.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Ultra Dog

Ultra Dog? Is this a way to get past Gary’s anti cat posts? I suppose so as this post should have been called Ultra Cat not Dog, where is the dog? Anyways it was time to take Minky, Paddy, and Rosy to the vet for their routine checkups, vaccinations, rabies, and de-worming but somehow both Minky and Paddy got to hear about the planned trip to the vet and did a disappearing act. Fortunately kitten Rosy hasn’t been that often, this being her 2nd visit, and did not know what was in stall.

The vet Andrea is not as scary as the drive in the car. Wow what a sing song Rosy gave the whole 2km drive. Once there Rosy was back to her inquisitive self but moaning as soon as the car started for the drive back home.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Off Cuts

Matthew has his first summer job at the furniture factory, Custom Couches. Matric is finally over, and after a short holiday to the seaside, it is work until varsity starts next year to study an IT degree. To jump into the deep end, Custom Couches has him sorting all the off cuts from one big mess to neat piles sorted by fabrics and colour.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Here Comes the Summer Rain

Ahh thanks to Lynda, I can finally see Sharleen Spiteri and her band Texas live in the rain, typical Glasgow weather so far south in Johannesburg. Wow she just turned 50 last month, my age, and there she is rocking the stage in the rain like she owns it. Come rain or hail this Scottish lass is still rocking.

Maybe she should change the words from "here comes the summer sun" to "here comes the summer rain", as the heavens opened up and soaked us all and I was forced to stop recording as my cellphone was getting wet. Watch the video here. Nou gaan ons braai!

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Oh Christmas Tree

"Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, your ornaments are history" meowed the cats in unison, as Rebekah, Matthew, and Lynda decorated the Christmas tree. Now I am not sure what the traditions are of when to put up the Christmas tree but today felt just right.

With Rebekah putting most of the decorations within her reach, I am sure the cats are going to have a whale of a time swotting those Christmas balls. I remember last year Minky even climbed the tree as what else is a tree climbing cat supposed to do when you put a challenge in front of her.

Friday, 8 December 2017


Yay happy days, Madelyn and I met our goal deadline today at 1pm. Now she can go on leave and I can sommer go home.

Last month I spent 3 days with Madelyn planning the new look and feel for the interim intranet that is until the new platform is decided. These last 4 days it was all systems go, to change over from the old to the interim with a whole new easy to navigate structure and of course a whole new fresh look to the site.

The feedback was very positive for example as I was leaving the underground parking, a chap on a motorcycle stopped next to me and congratulated me on a job well done, nice.

Thursday, 7 December 2017


Oh wow, Gary taught me a new word today, vacillating. Never heard of such a word, does it actually exist or is it another made up word? Gary had to use some of his little toys on his desk to help teach me this new word that felt strange to my tongue. I love languages but am useless in speaking them. Take English for example. England has been invaded by mainly 3 groups of people the Germanic speaking tribes such as the Vikings, the French, and the Romans, each bringing their flavour of languages to the existing mix. I like using the word kingly as an example, origin from the Germanic koniglich, then there is a similar word for the same thing from French royal, and then the Latin version brought in by the Romans regal.

Ahhh and there it is, vacillating /ˈvasɪleɪtɪŋ/ an adjective which means wavering between different opions or actions in other words irresolute. Blame the Romans as the origin is from the Latin word vacillate which means sway unsteadily. I have heard of oscillating between states but vacillating was like standing still yet unsteady.

So could I say it would be doubtful that the ship stay upright as it preciously vacillated on the oscillating waves blown by the foul tempest.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Speak to the Hand

Anni does not like photos taken of her but I did get permission to take her hand as long as her face is not showing, so now I have a speak to the hand photo of Anni, that is Anni with a "i" not a "e" as in one of my favourite TV series "Annie with an e". Oh dear I am digressing again.

The end of the year holidays can't come any sooner, and it can certainly be felt at BankservAfrica, as expectation of the summer break is starting to show through the cracks. The weather of set in rain doesn't help either as the words "let's get a hot chocolate", has become the rally call of Bankserv. For me, I am just so happy that I am working, even at this late time of year when everyone is tired and exhausted. Or should I say grateful, that I have not being forgotten and discarded on the wayside of life.

This time of year, as Christmas Day draws closer ever so faster, it is not about the summer break that my mind focuses on, but what Christmas actually means to me, especially in my current circumstances when presents and gifts are the lowest priority. I always wonder what if I was there nearly 2000 years ago, what I would be doing as I watched my Messiah come into the world as a tiny baby. As the anthem proclaimed by the Skitguys, who would better tell how I feel at this time of year like they do.

I have always wondered if I was at the stable that night, would I have seen a king or just a baby.

If I had stood there with the shepherds listening to the stories of choirs of angels would I have asked what child is this? Oh would I have known that he would someday be the shepherd of all.

If I had watched wise men bring valuable gifts and knee down under the guard of heavenly wonders. Would I have understood that he would be the one that I find all wisdom and that he was the greatest gift of all.

Just as that baby was held by its mother, he would hold me. He would hold me with his amazing grace and his adoption by his father Joseph would be a picture of my adoption in God's family. Who can comprehend that this baby who was defenceless, swaddled, and held would someday be the one holding me in his hands?

I did not witness a star moving across the sky or scores of angels proclaiming his birth but somehow in the middle of my ordinary world this extraordinary baby’s birth found a place in my worn down beat up heart.

So like all those people who saw him, he is the one I've been waiting for.
To repair me!
Redeem me!
To love me!
Forgive me!
To comfort me!
To help me!
To die for me!
Raise me to life!

So what child is this?
He is the one who comes to save me. To save me!

So at this time of year, especially this year, I hold out my hand to the one who comes to save me. As I stand at the edge of the precipice, you are the one who holds my right hand. I am not alone. Thank you, Messiah. You are the one who came to save me. To save me!

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Oh my Hat

Oh my hat, look what the cat just walked in at, Gary in his Singaporean hat. Now Gary did say no more posts about cats, how about a cat in a hat? Maybe that is why it raining cats and dogs today.

The sun did not shine
It was too wet to play
So we sat
And sat
At our desks
Gary in his hat
All that cold
Cold wet today

But not all is lost
The cat in the hat knows a lot about that!

Monday, 4 December 2017

Cutenessed Out

I am all cutenessed out. Is that a word, never mind it is now, cute ness ed, past tense of cuteness, in other words no more cuteness left in me. We all had a late night last night, the cats and I, Lynda slept through it all. Having a puppy waking up at 2 in the morning to get the cats all worked up aren’t cute any more. It is like having a new born baby in the home.

Barely keeping awake as I catch up on work, the cats have the same idea. Mid afternoon, I look to the couch in my office and see Rosy fast asleep. Nodding off at my desk, I decide that I too shall have a cat nap. Half an hour later, I woke up to find Minky curled up next to me, keeping watch while I sleep. Now where's my coffee?

Sunday, 3 December 2017

River Song

I arrived safely home last night and today is a day of rest and thanksgiving for journey mercies. One of my tasks today was to put a temporary fence up to stop our new addition from falling into the swimming pool until she is big enough to get out of pool by herself. Lynda’s job is to come up with a name for the little ewok.

After going through so many names, Lynda settled on River, and I added the timeless twist to it by adding a Song. Welcome River Song to our family. Her father Leo is a jet black Belgian Shepherd and her mommy Tasha is a regal German Shepherd who liked to bare her teeth at me as she feared I would take one of her 8 puppies, whatever gave her that idea?

Believe me it is not all happy family timelord reunions as River Song did not live up to her Dr Who name on the first day or does she? First of all last night was like having a big baby that needed to be let out to play at 2 in the ruddy morning. Then River Song has a knack of getting into tight situations that she can’t get out of without a sonic screwdriver. And since I don’t have a sonic screwdriver nor a light sable, I had to break the floorboards of the pool deck open as somehow River Song managed to get herself stuck under the deck. Note for tomorrow: make sure the temporary fence excludes the pool deck from puppy.

Let’s hope first time impressions don’t last and her cuteness shines brighter everyday as she grows from a wibby, wobbly ewok to a true timelord’s companion.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Sea Urchins

Saying goodbye to the beach, I don’t enjoy the humidity but I am fascinated by the small and wonderful creatures in the tidal pools. It was a massive storm last night and arriving at Rocky Bay to pick up the boys, I discovered that it was low tide, a perfect opportunity for me to scrounge on the rocks while Matthew wakes up and packs his stuff into the pickup. I was hoping to find a octopus or eel but came across a number of sea urchins instead.

From the coast, I had to pick up our latest addition to our family, one of Robbie’s puppies, a female cross Belgium Sheppard with a German Sheppard puppy called Pepper. Well we have until Monday to come up with its forever name as that is when it gets put into the official records.

With the sea behind us, the kilometres flew past and without any events, we arrived safely home, thank the Lord.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Bang the End is Nigh

My holiday is starting to come to an end with Matthew getting picked up tomorrow for the long haul back to Jozi. I just hope that it is smoother sailing than the trip down.

With temperatures hitting 35˚C and upwards, trust me to head down into the humid harbour basin of Durban. Luckily Wayne had an answer, a braai by the pool. It wasn’t long after the braai when a mother of thunderstorms hit us. Not so much rain but the electricity discharge was very unsettling to say the least. One strike, light up the sky in an orange flash, 2 seconds later the pressure wave hit us with a bang. My first thought, we are under attack, as that was surely not lightning. With windows rattling, I call it a night, as it is going to be a long day tomorrow.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Freckles and Rhoda

Now I have known Rhoda since she was a wee lass, and look at her now, all grown, married with 2 children. The youngest Emma is the same age as Matthew. Rhoda’s brother Robbie who is my best friend, and I were invited over for supper with Rhoda, her husband Kevin, and Joshua, as Emma was away getting her hair died blue.

As usual it was misty and miserable outside, they say Hilton is always like this in summer, but I am now not so sure, as the mist is so thick, you can hardly see your hand in front of you. Anyways Rhoda was all prepared for the mist with a blanket and her cat Freckles. Kevin didn’t want to be in the photo as he is in one taken earlier in the week.

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