Penguins At Betty's Bay

As spring settles in and the weather improves we're able to get out and about a bit more which is great. So this morning we went to Betty's Bay to see the penguins. This is one of only three land based penguin colonies in Southern Africa and it's a beautiful place.

10000 Visitors

On 24th October 2005 we added a 'hit counter' to the blog to see how many people actually visit. We never really had high hopes but have been amazed to see that in slightly under two years we've had ten thousand hits on the blog which is quite amazing. Of those visits to our blog, 62% are 'unique hits' which means that the visitor has not been to the site before, whilst the other 38% are returning or regular visitors.

Ahmadinejad vs Borat

Who said that..?

"In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country "


Would the real Borat please stand-up?
On Friday I went with a crowd of friends to Groot Brak where we stayed over night before heading to Uniondale at 4.30am to get there in time to register for the Karoo To Coast 100K MTB Challenge. We had a lot of fun before and after the race but had agreed that during the race it was each man for himself. So at 7.30 the race kicked off and we had a fantastic ride through to Knysna, over the Prince Alfred Pass and through some truly stunning scenery.

The race itself was tough and at the 50K point I wanted to puke, but held on. I caught Pete at that point which helped motivate me through a rough patch before hitting the 65K mark at which point I got my second wind and really stepped it up.

Together We Can Do More

Paula had the extreme privilege of flying to Joburg to attend the NFI southern Africa forum on the churches' response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in our nations. She was one of 30 people in attendance. Many run reasonably well established, thriving projects, either as part of their church response to the pandemic or as projects attached to a body of local churches, and others were there (like Paula) representing small new beginnings of HIV/AIDS work.

Jose Mourinho maybe in talks with Palace Chairman Simon Jordan after leaving Chelsea by mutual consent.

Jose told the sun earlier in the year, 'London is perfect. My family is happy living here.

'So although you can never predict what will happen in football, I would like to be in London by 2012.

'If it is not working at Chelsea, then Crystal Palace or somebody else.

'London is a special city because it has won the right and the privilege to host the Olympic Games.

Today was the first truly Spring like day we've had despite officially being just over two weeks into the season. The temperature was up in the mid twenties which was great and we had a lot of fun in the garden soaking up those long missed rays. Winter has been very long, cold and wet so we won't miss it! Alarmingly, with the first warm day in months there were some large fires on the Helderberg mountain, thankfully there was no wind so they burnt straight up and were out fairly quickly.

Weekend

We managed to have two nights away in Pringle Bay 'sans enfants' on Saturday and Sunday which was a blissful way to celebrate our wedding anniversary as well as a great time just to chill out and spend time together. It's easy in the midst of the daily clamour to forget what it is you love about each other so taking time out to get reacquainted is essential. At least that's our excuse and we're sticking to it! We were thoroughly indulged and spoilt by our hosts which is always nice.

Celebration Of School Work

Joel was the bright star of the morning today as he proudly presented his term's work to us with his fellow classmates. He was completely stage struck until it got to his turn to be the 4th monkey in the song (see photo). He then gave an oscar winning performance, dying as the crocodile ate him!! After the songs and a lovely power point presentation of photos from the term we were escorted back to the classroom to be shown his work in a special file. He really has come on so well and is coping so well with his sensory integration syndrome that was diagnosed earlier in the year. We are so proud of him!

Wedding Anniversary

Today we celebrate 16 years of marriage!

Wow!

We've had a lot of fun, been to some great places, met some incredible people and been blessed with two amazing sons!

We'll let you decide how we've fared the passage of time.
Aunty Henna turned 60 today and Paula's cell group celebrated with cake, surprise presents, cards and flowers. Poor Henna was completely bowled over by all this love but we all had a lovely time celebrating with her. Later in the meeting we prayed and thanked God for his gift of life no matter what our circumstances. Henna has been one of the founding members of Paula's group and is now one of the home based carers.

Britain's Favourite View

"From lakes, hills, cliffs and mountains to cityscapes and panoramas of outstanding natural beauty, Britain's favourite view has finally been chosen.

A five-part television series Britain's Favourite View on ITV, spearheaded by Sir Trevor McDonald, included 16 celebrities who advocated scenic vistas from around Britain, trumpeting their beauty and explaining their geological significance and historical resonance"

The winner of the public vote was Wast Water and it's very easy to see why. If you've ever been there you'll know just how stunning the place is.

So here we go with a couple of photos from our trip to the UK last year when we took Joel & Eli to Wast Water

Health Blues

We have had a really poor couple of weeks healthwise as a family. It started with Eli's ears pouring fluid, which quickly turned into thick gunk and more recently is stained with blood. In many ways this is a good sign that his grommets are working but it is messy and makes him feel quite under the weather. Joel went down with a nasty strain of flu last weekend which took a week to clear and he is still coughing a bit now. Paula started with a sore throat in the week and now has stuffed up sinuses! On Sunday Dean woke up unable to speak (yeehah!) and with a killer sore throat. He quickly started barking like a dog and has spent most of the past 48 hours in bed exhausted. He is now on major antibiotics and cortisone as well.

Citizenship

Although there is no such thing as a British Citizen (don't get me started on that!) Eli has been granted British Citizenship. We received his certificate of registration today from the British High Commission. This is a real answer to prayer and a massive blessing for us as a family, especially for Eli (he now has dual nationality). As far as we can tell he also has full rights of descendency for his future children which is great. Next step is to get him a UK passport, there always seems to be one more form to fill in.

Hanskop

On Saturday morning I rode with Paul & Pete to the top of Hanskop from our house. This was a big ride measuring 60ks with just over 1450m of climbing. Hanskop forms part of the Hottentots Holland range of mountains which enclose the Helderberg Basin. This particular mountain is a communications relay base hence the access road to the top. I was particularly pleased with this ride as I kept my heart rate to an average of 136bpm and burnt 3450Kcal of which 45%were fat burning. Brilliant! This was a great ride and excellent prep for the upcoming Karoo to Coast 100k race on the 23rd.

After a few false starts and teething problems, Paula today officially launched her faithful home based care team in Chris Nissen. It was a special morning. Thanks to a financial commitment from our church she had been busily buying basic items for each carer and putting them in special bags for them to take around with them to house visits and was able to officially hand them over today to her 4 delighted carers. If it wasn't enough to see their beaming faces at being presented with a few essentials, the next couple of hours in the community more than gave hope, if ever we were doubting, that God is at work both in their lives and in CNP.

Place Of Safety

It warms my heart to think of Michael & Joyce as a 'place of safety'. As a couple they have grown and matured so much in the 3 years we've known them and Michael has become a trusted friend whom we love dearly.

The sheer joy on their faces when they received Hayden would have melted the hardest heart. We really are incredibly proud of Michael & Joyce and the example they are being in the community.

Praise God for their faithfulness!

"Tonight I am drinking the last of the cool drink we have, tomorrow there is no cokes or fizzy drinks in the house and no water mixers, if you want a drink you have a choice between tea with no sugar or water, that is it. I have nothing to offer my kids. I have used all my contacts , been everywhere and never been in this position before. I have not had beef for probably 3 months now and if you know me that's tough.

What will I be writing to you next that has run out, will it be no food in the house from tomorrow, who knows , someone please nuke this place and put us out of our misery, I am tired...............
"

That was a quote form an email we received recently from our best friends in Zimbabwe. Somehow it conveys the truth in a very simple way that is so often missed by the mainstream media. Life in Zim is desperate and there are no immediate solutions waiting just around the corner.

Please pray for Zim and her people. Pray for the church, that she would be "..the light of the world" in a very dark place. Pray too for a Godly solution to the crisis in the nation. Man has no answers to this mess!

The results of the Stellenbosch Wes 55k MTB race are available on the RaceTec site.

My official time was: 4:04:13, with an average speed of 13.51kph which was due to the numerous portage sections.

Stellenbosch Wes MTB Race

This morning a few of the guys I ride with went to the Stellenbosch Wes MTB race to ride the 55k race starting from the Oude Libertas theatre.

This was a tough race as the mud was far worse than at the last Stellenbosch race. Despite the race being 5km's shorter and with only 1200M of climbing as opposed to 1400M in the previous race this one felt tougher, probably because of the mud. Also, my maximum heart rate was 1bpm less on this race and my average heart rate was 2bpm less. I also burnt 4435Kcal on this ride! Think I've earnt a beer or two tonight.

Our best friends in Zimbabwe sent us this photo of some friends of theirs paying the bill for a meal out. The party of 8 had two courses and a few beers which came to Z$6million which they paid using Z$1000 notes. If it wasn't so tragic it might be funny but it really isn't anything to laugh about.

Our friends in Zim really need your prayers, life is really tough with even the most basic of food items being scarce and very expensive.

How we long for change in that amazing nation!