Sunday, May 31, 2009

Serene Scene

During the summer months we visited our friends at their Guest House on the Mooi River. Of course, there was ample opportunity for me to photograph idyllic scenes such as this one of the Egyptian Goose family. The female is leading the procession, the three juveniles are in the middle with the male coming up in the rear. The male has a darker eye and breast patch (the latter is not visible in the photo) and has a thicker neck than the female. The juveniles lack the breast and eye patch.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

WooHoo! Faster, cheaper and more Internet

This was the indoor unit I used since July 2006, when I returned home from West Africa, with great success. The experts though, (read: my children) said it was slow
This nifty gadget is the new receptor for my Internet. It is erected on my roof and has an indicator light which is visible at night
Readers of my blog may recall that I’ve said I’ve been “off-line” for a time while I had my Internet server changed. Previously I had a very good server but it was very expensive and if my husband was home (which he was for 8 months this last year) then we risked running out of bandwidth before the end of the month.

I now have lots of bandwidth and pay half the price of the old system and am as happy as anything. I can visit other blogs to my heart’s content and surf whenever I want to.

Marx and his assistant, Petrus worked quickly and neatly when they installed my unit

Friday, May 29, 2009

God's Promise

And God said: I am giving you a sign as evidence of my eternal covenant with you and all living creatures. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is a sign of my permanent promise to you and all the earth. Genesis 9:12-13

These images were captured at the beginning of May from a hillside in the Drakensberg overlooking the Kwa Zulu Natal Midlands

Photo credit: John Hedges

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Rose

My younger sister Rose, successful administrator, in her office

Today is my sister, Rose's birthday. Even though we live in different countries (Rose lives in the UK and I live in South Africa) we have weekly contact by telephone and regular contact by e-mail. You can read my post about my sister here

My sister and I in 2002. We have always had the same taste in clothes.

Happy birthday Rose!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Announcement!

Angus and Amanda on their wedding day in September 2007

Announcement card I received from Angus and Amanda on Monday evening!

Even though my husband and I have three grandchildren, the announcement another precious baby from Angus and Amanda is very exciting all over again. On Monday night the proud, expectant parents shared the news with me. They then e-mailed my husband in the Sudan who rang me at daybreak on Tuesday to tell me the news!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Party to Remember

Simplicity and elegance with tea candles to create atmostphere in the evening

A few weeks ago Angus and Amanda asked if they could celebrate his 30th birthday at my home. Of course I agreed and on Friday 15th May, Amanda and her sister came to set up the venue in our pool room/recreation area. (This used to be the TV room but I do not have television anymore)
Details such as the red daisy in a bottle, picked up on the table setting colour theme
The room had an alluring atmosphere of warmth and expectancy while Amanda (photographed) and Angus waited for their guests to arrive

A blessing for Angus from a youth pastor in our church:
"May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you His favour
and give you His peace"
Numbers 6:24
Even though not everyone is a catlover such as I am, two of my cats ignored this fact and were present at the party! (Chip above and Clarice below)

Angus makes a 30-year- old face.
Angus barbequed the meat having been taught well by his father, who is a "braaimaster extraordinaire "
Steaks from our local butchers sizzle over the flames
People enjoyed the evening together; the children were also in the company and very well-behaved. You can see me bringing in pans for the cooked meat
Angus received many practical gifts to gladden a young man's heart: A GPS, a Parker pen and pencil set, clothing, cash... Here he's showing off a lovely pair of sheepskin slippers from John and Debbie
Angus asked for a birthday cake (just as he'd had as a little boy) so we had this speciality cake made by the new bakers in town
Happy Birthday, dear Angus...
Amanda found three birthday candles, leftover from my granddaughter's birthday in March, in my kitchen drawer and placed one for each decade on the cakesOnly, she didn't realise they were joke candles; as Angus blew one out the previous one flared up again. Much mirth ensued before the cake was cut and we all enjoyed a slice with demitasse of filter coffee.
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Monday, May 25, 2009

Canine Fashion

Ladies and gentlemen, note the sleek line of the tartan coat

The weather is steadily cooling down and the garden, although still primarily green, is slowing down to its winter dormancy.

My dogs sleep in blanket-lined-raised-on-pallets- baskets in the garage. The electric door is left open at the bottom so that especially Angie can make a quick exit. She likes to patrol the garden at night and I often hear her padding past my bedroom window. She is very serious about her job of guarding me and all on the premises.

Canine fashion at its best - note the casual stance of each model!

This morning I went into my winter storage cupboard and unearthed the dogs’ coats. Eddy and Megan are quite used to donning their winter pyjamas every year at this time. Angie, however, was another kettle of fish altogether. As I pulled the tartan coat over her head, she ducked and I ended up pushing her head through a sleeve! A major tussle ensued (have you ever tried to hold a dog who is moving backwards at high speed?) while I pulled the coat off again and quickly pushed the turtleneck collar over her head. When I smoothed the coat down over her back, she turned and began to pull at the edges. I’m praying she doesn’t chew her coat overnight.

Ladies and gentleman, here we have the perfect coat for the shiniest girl in Africa!
A professional model has to catch up on some much-needed sleep

Uh-oh! Looking out of my office window this minute, I see Angie lying fast asleep on the lawn beside the driveway. *sigh*

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. (Psalm 36:6)
In the winter of 2006, mere weeks before our second grandchild was born, my husband and I, Debbie's parents, John and our granddaughter went walking in the Drakensberg foothills. As we crossed the river to enter a beautiful forest, I stopped and took this photo.
The Scripture is an extension/reiteration of the post I did yesterday.
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Animal Welfare

The godly are concerned for the welfare of their animals, but even the kindness of the wicked is cruel. Proverbs 12:10

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sunrise over the Free State

At the beginning of the week I travelled up to Johannesburg with John, Debbie and the children.
Forty kilometres/ 25 miles into our journey the sun began to make its appearance.

I am never without my camera and even though I had to photograph the sunrise through the front windscreen of the vehicle, I was thrilled, when I downloaded the images, to see how beautifully the photos had turned out.
A post on the Free State landscape would not be complete without the inevitable grain silos, as indigenous to the area as the windmill. I like the effect of the rising sun behind the silhouette of this agricultural structure.
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Family Trip to Johannesburg Part 1

Our accommodation in Benoni, Johannesburg was situated on a small farm (in the middle of the city, believe it or not) and had all the facilities for us to wind down after the long road trip. The children especially, enjoyed the surrounds, the pets and the cool playgrounds

The log cabins, which were our sleeping abodes, were comfortable and warm and set among old trees and on rolling lawns

John's practical and comfortable vehicle transported three adults, three children (one, a tiny babe in arms) all our luggage as well as our large motorbike

On Monday morning John, Debbie, the children and I left home for Johannesburg. Our motorbike, loaded in the back of John’s practical and comfortable vehicle was being taken to an engineering shop on the outskirts of the city for a service.

We arrived at the workshop at 11.30am and once we’d off loaded the bike we drove off to our accommodation on the eastern side of Johannesburg. What a wonderful surprise when we arrived at the most beautiful farm; log cabins, which were our sleeping quarters,nestled under old plain trees with rolling lawns where the children immediately expended most of their pent-up energy from the long road trip.

The landlady was very concerned that Debbie would have no en suite facilities for our eight-week-old baby but I assured her that they had slept in township huts with no running water or electricity while they were on their discipleship course last year.

Once I had helped the children to shower and dress, while Debbie tended to the baby, we all enjoyed pasta, sauce and copious cups of tea in the communal kitchen.

By early evening we were all in bed and woke fresh and eager in the morning for our next adventure: We were on our way to meet a friend of mine for tea.

More about this exciting event later...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


As we enter the colder winter months here in South Africa, my husband is experiencing hot and windy weather in North Africa. Apart from daily temperatures soaring in the mid-fifties, he is living through the most incredible sandstorms. These sandstorms, known as Haboob, are prevalent at this time of the year and can number up to 24 in the season!

Hubby arrived home from work last Thursday and photographed the sandstorm from the rooftop of his apartment. In his e-mail to which he attached the images, he wryly added: “Khartoum at its best; certainly not for sissies!”

Above is a photograph of the setting sun taken that evening. The storm had not abated, but it seems a little softer in this light!

The sun setting over a dusty Khartoum

Monday, May 18, 2009

A trip to the City

As this post is aired, I will be on my way to Johannesburg. I'm travelling up with John, Debbie and the children. We're going to do business for my husband. We will stay over on a small farm which has log cabins. John and Debbie will occupy one cabin with the baby and the two older grandchildren and I will share the other one.
We return home on Tuesday evening.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Nose by any other Name?

The rock above / below is called Gladstone's Nose

Golden Gate National Highlands Park which is situated in the Eastern Free State, boasts natural rock formations which have been given intriguing names: Gladstone's Nose, the Titanic and Brandwag (the sentinel). The Titanic looks exactly like its namesake while the Brandwag stands like a sentinel on the road to the campsite. However, I’ve travelled through this park many times over the past fifteen years and always wondered where Gladstone’s Nose got its name. I decided to Google it and all I came up with is that it’s named after a Victorian Prime Minister named Gladstone. I’m not sure whether he frequented this part of South Africa, but the name suits the rock. See for yourself...

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Angus turns 30!

Our younger son, Angus (the baby of the family!) is 30 today

Today, our younger son, Angus turns 30.

Like our older son, John, Angus has always been a pleasure and never gave us as parents an anxious moment while he was growing up.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do." Proverbs 4:23

Happy Birthday Angus!