Palace Result

Palace finally played with some pride to win the last home game of a terrible season. The Eagles made it look quite easy in the end, making sure of Sunderland and Birmingham's promotion after beating Derby 2-0. Goals from Clinton Morrison and Mark Kennedy were enough to see off the Rams, who disappointed their large following with a lacklusture performance. Speroni and the Palace backline caught the eye, along with McAnuff who gave Derby all sorts of problems in the first half. If only Palace could have played like that more consistently this season, who knows what might have been?

A classic aside during EagleEye's commentary on the game:
"Championship Football Summed Up; Matt Oakley takes an attacking throw for Derby, but lobs it straight to Hudson in the Palace box. No other Derby players are even in the area! Hudson then lashes at the ball first time, even though no-one was around him, and the ball goes all of 20 yards to a waiting Derby player. Brilliant." Text stolen from EagleEye Live, edited by Me.

Click below for:
Match Report
Manager's Comments

Next fixture: Sat 6th May, away to Colchester

Life in perspective

It's so great to live with a 4 year old!! Not only are they the boss, they know it all and they live in a fantasy world - how brilliant. Whilst we run around worrying about life, the rent, what to eat, cars breaking down etc. Joel is fighting imaginary battles with Captain Hook and watching at every twist and turn for the crocodile. He will not go out without his sword and would in fact prefer to be in full Peter Pan costume no matter how hot it is. He will relent and wear school uniform only because he knows that his little Peter Pan and Captain Hook figures are in his school bag all morning just outside the classroom window! He is never happier than when he plays with his pirate ship whilst watching Peter Pan the movie. When playing outside he is always flying and changes his happy thought daily.

Meanwhile Eli (either aka 'Michael' or a lost boy depending on Joel's mood) is completely oblivious to this world and just wants to play with anything that Joel is playing with - oh the dramas!! We definitely qualify for some Oscars in our house! Eli, at 16 months is definitely the liveliest, funniest person I know. He was created to keep adults on their toes and gives new definition to the term "having eyes at the back of your head". Rarely will he cry when his impossible little physical schemes come crashing down around him... he just gets up, looks around, shakes himself down, laughs and carries on! We haven't yet found much (if anything) that he doesn't eat, apart from all the stuff of course that he can't eat because of his eczema and therefore desires to the point of rage at times. He really is a pleasure to cook for! He entertains everyone at his play group and is just so full of fun it is infectious.

So, the parents' (Wendy and Captain Hook!) lives are really very boring and insignificant in comparison... perhaps Joel will one day dictate something that we can type for you from his perspective. Now there's a thought.

CNP Stuff

A strange old week in Chris Nissen Park last week typified by the complete absence of members from my bible study and only two ladies from CNP at Paula's cell group. Part of the problem is the plethora of public holidays just now, as folk get into holiday mode and find it hard to get back into a normal routine. This coming weekend is another long weekend with public holidays on Friday and Tuesday, so Monday is also a write off for many. Whilst it's great to have some time off it can get a bit frustrating from a continuity point of view so this week and next will probably be no different.

I took Trevor, Basil and Tom to see Vicky at the D.P. Marais TB hospital in Cape Town this morning. Vicky has been there for a few months now and will be there for a few more before being discharged home. Vicky is looking great and has put on 7Kgs since his admission which is really good news. Our trips to see him are very enjoyable and we're trying to visit him on a fortnightly basis to help keep his spirits up. I'm really missing Vicky from my bible study as he is such a useful member and a willing contributor. Please pray for Vicky, pray for swift healing of his TB and for a full recovery by his body.

Palace Result

Palace went in 1-0 down at the break and looked like a team with nothing to play for. Barnsley had the hunger and the desire, and while they didn't have the skill level of Taylor's men, they worked with what they'd got and took the lead. One would hope that Palace might play for a bit of pride in the second half, but it was not to be... And so it ended, with Palace losing to relegation fodder Barnsley. Palace looked comfortable in the opening exchanges of the game, but soon crumbled when Barnsley took the lead. Palace didn't recover and went in second best at the break. In the 2nd half Palace played some better football, but a loose pass in midfield from Jobi McAnuff saw Barnsley win a penalty. It was converted, and from 2-0 down Palace were never, ever going to recover. The positives? Dave Martin and Lewis Grabban. Martin showed good legs and Grabban was denied a goal by the width of a post. As for Julian Speroni, it was an average performance highlighting why he's not our number 1 keeper. Text nicked from EagleEye Live, edited by me.

So, mid table mediocrity it is for Palace. We can't make the play-offs and we can't be relegated which makes a pleasant change! So our season is over even though we have two more games to play and based on this performance we're not even going to play for pride, hence the additional label of 'disgrace' on this post.
Click below for:
Match report
Manger's Comments

Next fixture: Sun 29th home to Derby

Due to our holiday I missed posting four Palace results. I know you missed them so here they are:
Sat 31st Mar Home to Sheffield Wed Lost 1-2
Sat 7th Apr Home to Preston Won 3-0
Mon 9th Apr Away to Stoke City Lost 1-2
Sat 14th Apr Home to Wolves Drew 2-2
Nothing to get excited about!


What a wonderful two week break we had on Rietvlei farm outside Montagu on ‘Route 62’ just off the Garden Route. The farm was a fully functioning wine and fruit farm with peppers on the side. The pepper harvest was well under way whilst we were there and each day we got to throw the spoilt harvest to the pigs and goats. Needless to say Joel & Eli thought this was great. In fact, Eli got so into it that he took to throwing all his food to the pigs which became a bit of a problem!

Time seemed to really slow down as we had no TV or access to the outside world other than trips into Montagu itself. Even then we never found out what was going on in the world which was welcome relief. Like most people we’re so used to 24hour access to news and views that we forget to switch off, thankfully on a remote farm you have to switch off. For entertainment on most days we had to make the tough choice between feeding the animals or watching the peppers being loaded onto the lorry with a fork lift truck. A tough choice but one that had to be made!

We enjoyed a few tractor rides around the farm, and Dean was given a quick lesson on how to drive a tractor, but sadly never got to do it as Joel wouldn’t ride the tractor with Daddy (driving in a car is scarey enough!).

Joel eating grapes fresh from the vine. When Dean asked Farmer Koos what variety the grapes were Joel responded very loudly "Green", they were in fact Chenin.

Eli looking a bit concerned about where this tractor ride may be going.

Superman came along and got very muddy whilst Eli took to this tractor lark like an old hand.

We had a few trips out and about to some local attractions including a game drive, bird sanctuary and a fairy museum.

Kudu cow and calf on our game drive, Eli couldn't handle the excitement and zonked out on Daddy.

Listen Daddy... I can hear the 'tick tock', Joel is in love with the crocodile from Peter Pan! This was at Birds Paradise in Robertson.

Joel at the fairy museum in Swellendam, we spent ages searching for Tinkerbell!

Having taken his mountain bike with us, Dean was initially excited about the riding potential (the farm website said there were 3 trails) but sadly the trails were poor and he spent most of his time battling through fynbos and having his legs ripped to pieces by the thorns and when not doing either of those he was mending punctures! See post below He did manage a 40Km ride in Montagu on Thursday which he really enjoyed as it was along proper tracks and puncture free. Dean also had quite a nasty fall down one hill and has a nice scar on his forearm now.

The only downer of the holiday was the bout of diahorrea we had during our last five days. Eli seemed to escape quite lightly but the rest of us were hit quite hard, especially Joel who spent one night vomiting (thankfully no photos of any of this). Despite this we still had lots of fun.

Here are some general photos of our holiday..
Enjoying the pool

The swing was one of the biggest you've ever seen with an arc of about 7 metres, Joel loved it and laughed himself silly as Daddy pushed him

Life on the farm was varied

The new slimline Daddy making a casserole on the braai, this was our only means of cooking for two weeks so we just had to eat out

Relaxing by the pool

Little else to do but watch the animals

Eli almost 16 months

This herd of ostrich were regular visitors to the farm

A muddy but happy Joel

Giving new meaning to a pig and a poke!

Cute or what!

Having spent two weeks on a farm we definitely have a new appreciation of the life farmers live and how tough it is for their families (we’re definitely praying for Richard & Sal in new ways). The farm came to life early and went to sleep late, with ‘Farmer Koos’ leading his workers by example.

Health & Fitness

Here's the first installment of holiday photos and stuff. One of the joys of the farm and the Montagu area is that there are lots of mountain bike trails so much fun waiting to be had. I did several small rides around the farm as sadly the website had oversold their '3 Mountain Bike Trails' which turned out to be almost non-existent. I was able to ride over a few hills and into the neighbouring farm in the next valley but apart from that most of my rides were spent trying to hack a way through the fynbos, which is only fun for a few minutes until your legs are gashed open. We had a bout of illness towards the end of the holiday and together with the fairly bad tumble I had down one hill my riding wasn't as good as I had hoped. However, I did manage a 40km ride over the Oubergpad Pass which involved a spectacular ride through the mountains and around the back of the town. This was a fun ride as the first 20km's were all uphill and the 2nd half was all downhill, superb!

The road stretching off uphill into the distance

Almost at the top of the old pass and the scenery is stunning

The old dam which burst causing Montagu to flood some years ago. This was on the way down

Remarkably I managed to lose some weight despite being on holiday and indulging in some very good cheese and wine and I'm now down to 88kg's! Three more to go to my target weight and I am really pleased with myself.

Match The Picture..

Here's an excellent post from Ben Witherington's Blog: You Look Tired-- Exegeting Proverbs. Match the Picture with the Scripture.

Ben's Blog is always worth reading but this post is very good. Enjoy..

(In case you don't know who Ben is here's an excerpt from a biography on him:
Dr. Ben Witherington III is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. The author of more than thirty books, including The Brother of Jesus, he has twice won the Christianity Today award for one of the best biblical studies books of the year, and he has presented seminars for churches, colleges, and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Witherington writes for many church and scholarly publications, is a regular contributor to Christianity Today and, and has been featured widely in the national media. Besides his Blog Ben also has a website: Dr. Ben Witherington III)

In Need Of A Laugh - Pt3

Following the success of the 'Flow Chart', here's a Pie Chart for you:

In Need Of A Laugh - Pt2

Not funny for me but might raise a laugh for you. There's this great website locally on which you can view your traffic indiscretions, cool! Not sure what the driver of our bakkie was doing here?

In Need Of A Laugh - Pt1

A brilliant recent local advertising campaign. Their TV ads are also quite funny.

Jacques Funeral

I attended Jacques' funeral this morning, or at least the first part of it! Chris Nissen funerals rarely run to time and this one was massive so there was no way it would stick to time. I've never seen so many Rastas in one place and they just kept coming long after the cortège should have moved from the house to the marquee. By the time the cortège did move I had a banging headache from the 'dagga' (pot) so started to excuse myself. I don't do drugs but smoked so much dagga vicariously that I had to drive carefully on my way home!

Rasta culture is very different to my own but I do enjoy certain aspects of it. I like the respectfulness of greetings (used to love that in Sukuma & Shona cultures too) and the fact one can't just say "Hi" and move on but rather you have to enter a whole ritual (the French have a similar thing which is great). I also like the way the Rastas look after their own, a lot of time effort and expense was put into this funeral but the Rastas would have it no other way. Don't get me wrong, I'm not an apologist for Rastafarianism and I know there is much wrong with it! However, it's good to celebrate the good bits of any culture.

The funeral gathering outside the house was almost party like with music, singing, flag waving, smoking dagga and friends meeting up for a big event. It was quite amazing to see such a gathering of people and such a diverse crowd with some music folk from Cape Town paying their respects.

I was asked to bring a camera and take some photos, but I felt very uncomfortable doing so. However, here are a few of the funeral.

The crowd gathering outside Jacques house

The cortège moves off (the haze is dagga smoke)

Chris Nissen with Dina and the minister due to conduct the funeral. You know it's a big occassion if Chris attends

Clowns - A Flow Chart

Ever wondered what is the point of clowns? Hopefully this flowchart will help to explain..

Rastafarian Death

We're safely back from holiday and we'll post about it tomorrow with some photos.

We arrived home to hear that Jacques one of the Rastas in Chris Nissen has been murdered whilst working away from the community. He had picked up some hitch hikers and whilst dropping two off he was carjacked and murdered. The funeral is on Saturday so Dean will attend.

Jacques was a really nice guy and it was quite typical of him to be giving lifts to strangers, being keen to help folk out. He was a gifted musician too, playing the flute in a Rasta band.

Please pray about this as it could be a great opportunity to witness to the Rasta community in Chris Nissen. This murder will also have knocked the community quite badly so please remember them in your prayers.