Pirates & Captains

We are learning that you really must never underestimate the power of a 5 year old to 'act out' what is going on around him! As anyone who knows him will vouch, Joel is absolutely potty about pirates - in fact, we're sure he believes he is one - and he is rarely to be found these days in 'civvies'. He must be dressed as a Captain and mum, dad and Eli are always being grabbed to look for Peter Pan, to fight Captain Hook or to debate with Captain Jack Aubrey (Master and Commander)/aka Captain Jack Strawberry after a little early days slip up by Cap'n Joel!! Today found Joel calling a doctor to his bedside to help him with his arm, which had been sawn off, and a bloody neck - all straight out of the film. When mum asked if he would like a book to read in bed (also straight out of the film - good one mum!), he said that that would be difficult with only one arm - good point!

Pyjamas doubling up as bandages and sling

Petzl Adventure Nights

I had a lot of fun on Saturday night riding in the Petzl Adventure Night bike ride in Jonkershoek. Visit my moutainbike blog Epic Adventures With God for more..

Palace Result

Palace ended their 11 game unbeaten run losing 2-1 to Hull in an entertaining game of football in which Hull just had the better of the play in the second half. Results elsewhere mean it is still in Palace's hands as to whether or not we finish in the play-offs as Watford and Bristol City lost, Wolves and Ipswich drew, whilst Sheffield United are now just two points behind after beating Bristol City. This result leaves Palace in the play-off zone in 6th place, so it's up to them to keep hold of that spot next Sunday in the last game of the season.

Click below for:
Match Report
Manager's Comments

Next fixture: Sunday 4th May home to Burnley.

HIV Training

Please pray for Paula and the HOPE home based care team who are attending a week's training course at Jubilee in Cape Town on HIV/AIDS. This is a great, practical course that will really help them in their day to day work in CNP. It has been sobering so far to learn the up to date stats relating to the pandemic, but so exciting to listen to a church leader preaching on the church's response to HIV/AIDS and to realise that we are at the cutting edge of this and are here to motivate the rest of the church now.

Following day 1 today, Nicky Welsh, an old friend and the main trainer, came to the house to do some one to one training for the team - what a privilege! Thank you Nicky and Ukuthasa for releasing Nicky to do the training. Well done to Dean for being 'stay at home dad' all week and for the excellent meal and coffee served to us - wow! Shame for Joel and Eli who don't understand where mummy is all day and why tonight she couldn't even play with them when she returned. This must be what it's like to work away full-time. We thank God for blessing us with the best of both worlds normally.


Back row (l to r) Lizbeth, Anne & Aunty Poppy
Front row (l to r) Aunty Henna, Nicky & Paula

A Different Kind Of Weekend

This weekend was far from a normal weekend (whatever one of those is) with Dean having a meeting after church followed by a big meeting between ourselves, Wesley one of our church elders and a church member from CNP who's not very happy with us at present. This particular meeting was quite tough and long but needs careful follow-up to ensure issues are addressed properly and our work in CNP can continue to grow. Please pray for our church members in CNP, we long to see them living lives which glorify God's name and build His kingdom in the community. A huge THANKYOU goes to Jo for looking after the boys whilst this was all going on. You're a star!

As ever the boys had a lot of fun and the trampoline continues to get a lot of use. Joel is getting very confident on it (as you can see) and Eli is determined not to be left behind.


Eli somehow managed to get himself up the rope ladder, now he need to learn to get down


Our winter fire wood came and we had a lot of fun putting it away. Joel & Eli were 'helping' Daddy


Focus!


Joel's pirates caught a barracuda so Joel felt it was important to photograph the moment. Here's one of his experiments with the camera..

Palace Result

Palace continue their play-off push with a valuable 2-0 win over Watford at Vicarage Road. Palace sub' Paul Ifill illuminated the dogged clash with a stunning strike to put the Eagles in pole position to stake their claim for the final place in the Championship play-offs. Teenage winger Victor Moses then added a second to leave the hosts in free-fall and all but end their automatic promotion hopes. The Hornets are now just a point ahead of Palace and will have to rely on their rivals slipping up to have any chance of sealing a place in the top two which had looked a certainty all season whilst Palace will need other results to go their way to ensure they remain in the play-off zone.

Click below for:
Match Report
Manager's Comments

Next fixture: Sat 26th home to Hull, a very tough test of Palace's play-off ambitions!

Weekend

We had another busy but lovely weekend as a family. On Saturday we attended the 1st birthday party and dedication of Jemma Joy, the daughter of some new friends of ours. It was a very special occasion and everyone had lots of fun. While Eli was out and about mingling and generally getting up to as much as he could, Joel really enjoyed playing with the toys in someone else's bedroom and watching the TV with all the other boys!

After church on Sunday we had promised Joel that he could choose something to do together. You wouldn't have to be a genius to guess what he wanted to do...!!! Again, the boys had a ball in the aquarium, particularly amongst some of the newer attractions. The walk-in Nemo tank was a real hit! They also love the puppet show and Joel wasted no time in 'directing', whilst Eli sat back and enjoyed the fun!

Phil, Nicky & Jemma Joy


The boys enjoying Tom & Jerry


Inside the Nemo tank


Fascinated by the giant crabs


Having fun


Loving the puppet show


Shark watching


Daddy is very proud as both boys are enjoying listening to David Gilmour in concert and Joel regularly request the CD at meal times. On Sunday as we were driving into Cape town Joel was singing along to Shine On You Crazy Diamond and was word perfect. What a star!

Oxymoron?








Is this an oxymoron?
On Saturday Mbeki made an idiot of himself (see post below) on his way to the emergency summit in Zambia in which a variety of African leaders convened to discuss the electoral impasse and subsequent crisis in Zimbabwe.

Tragically, the summit came out in favour of the Desperate Despot and virtually dismissed Morgan Tsvangarai and the MDC as a sideshow. Despite their clear victory in the parliamentary poll and seemingly obvious win in the presidential poll. If Desperate despot had won we'd know about it!!!

So here we see exactly what is wrong with Africa and why this beautiful continent full of amazing people will probably be mired in corruption and war for many years to come. Until African leaders will stand up to each other and speak plainly, corruption remains rampant. If African leaders would have the courage to speak out against their colleagues, especially out of date 'liberation heroes' (even if it means agreeing with a white man) things would change. That really is the key as far as I'm concerned and this has been Desperate Despot's trump card with the world media unwittingly colluding with him. Right from the start Desperate Despot portrayed the land issue in Zim as a race issue which meant that other African leaders would side with him against so called 'white interference' in issues of sovereignty. The world media colluded by ignoring the plight of the black majority in Zim instead highlighting the plight of a few white farmers. Yes the farmers had a bad time of things, but apart from a very small number of deaths they only lost land and possessions whilst thousands of black Zimbo's lost their lives as well as the property with many being raped and tortured.

The media need to wake up and smell the roses and realise that the underlying issues in Zim have nothing to do with race and everything to do with one man's desperation to cling onto power regardless of the cost. Desperate Despot may well have been a liberation hero once upon a time, but that sip sailed many years ago. Today he's nothing more than a war criminal who should be tried for crimes against humanity.

So what's wrong with the BBC? Maybe they're suffering a bit of 'Zim fatigue' but after a lot of build-up to the Zambia summit, not a word has been reported on the BBC News website since. I don't understand why?

But hey, I am a white man, so what would I know about Africa?

THE HANDSHAKE SAYS IT ALL
One should always be a bit wary of being too critical of the president of a country in which one is a guest, but equally, one can only take so much rubbish before one has to speak out.

Today Mbeki made a complete idiot of himself and a mockery of the democratic process as he ignorantly called for 'patience' in relation to the pending declaration of the long overdue Zim' election results and then went on to say that: "If nobody wins a clear majority the law provides for a second run. If that happens I would not describe it as a crisis. It's a normal electoral process,". The man is a Muppet!

Firstly, how can he possibly state that nobody has won a clear majority when the results have yet to be declared! Secondly, if the law allowed for anything in Zim' it would to force the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to release the election results in line with Zim' constitutional law (over a week ago). Thirdly, withholding election results is not part of normal electoral processes neither is talk of a 'run-off' before results have been declared!

It's a really sad day when the only African leader to have spoken out against Mugabe is a man who has been accused of rape and has corruption charges hanging over his head. However, the ANC president Jacob Zuma is a lone voice amongst African leaders and appears to have a bit more backbone than the rest of them in speaking out against the Desperate Despot. Despite serious misgivings about Zuma, right now he's got to be a better bet than the hapless Mbeki!

I also wish that the UK govt' would get a life and stop playing into Mugabe's hands by speaking out against him. Rather, if they got alongside other African nations and encouraged them to do the criticising things might be a bit different. Gordon Brown is as big a muppet as Mbeki.

Take a look at This is Zimbabwe to see what's really happening there.

Palace Result

Palace continue their march towards the play-offs avoiding a potential banana skin against Scunthorpe who were supposed to be playing for their Championship survival and yet somehow played a half-hearted game. Normally it's Palace that get relegated by other teams so late in the season, so to put the boot into another team feels a bit strange.

Palace's first-half display which was pretty much controlled by youngster Victor Moses was enough for all three points as he set up both Tom Soares and Clinton Morrison for their goals.

With just three games left till the end of the season it's going to be a very tense time but if Palace keep doing their part and other results keep going our way it will be an exciting few weeks.

Click below for:
Match Report
Manager's Comments

Next fixture: Sat 19th April away to Watford, a potentially very tough game.

Another Perspective

Recently we had the pleasure of hosting the Mabbett family from Hertford Baptist Church, one of our supporting churches. It's always a pleasure to see folks from back home and it's always a pleasure to introduce people to Chris Nissen Park and some of our friends in the community.

One of the things I always enjoy is seeing and hearing about other people's perspective on the community so I'm always delighted when visitors send us some of their photos. Arnold took some good photos of Chris Nissen Park rather than just the people, such as this one of a typical CNP house set against the stunning backdrop of the Hottentots Holland mountains.


One of CNP's larger shebeens. Security's real name is Richard and he sells an amazing array of stuff but the main business is alcohol!


Some kids outside Peter's house

Palace Result

Palace moved into sixth with an amazing victory over Stoke which the pundits believed Stoke would win easily. Palace were under the cosh for the whole of the second half but the back five did superbly. Palace were 2-0 up at half-time but the Potters pulled one back just six minutes from time to rattle the nerves of the traveling Palace fans. Stoke dominated early on but Palace got more assured as time went by but were probably a bit surprised to be 2-0 up. Good news for Palace was the fact that Jose Fonte scored his first English goal and was lively most of the game which is hopefully a sign of things to come from him. Neil Warnock hailed the result as Palace's "..best away performance of the season."

Palace are now in the play-off zone but the two teams immediately below us have three games in hand between them which could be really bad news for Palace if they win those games.

Click below for:
Match Report
Manager's Comments

Next fixture: Sat 12th April home to Scunthorpe.

Recent MTB Race Photos

On Saturday I rode in the Vigne à Vigne and had a great time and finished in a very respectable time. For more info take a look at my Mountain Bike Blog.

Here are two recent photos of me mountain biking. The first is from the Vigne à Vigne and the second is from the Boschendal MTB Challenge which is part of the Cape Argus.








Desperate Despot!

How can anyone call for a recount in an election before the results have been declared?

Well believe it or not that is exactly what Mugabe and his Zanu PF lackies are doing. Quite unbelievable. Next they'll be claiming that the elections weren't free and fair!

So here we are, nine days after the poll and still the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has failed to declare the results of the presidential election. The ZEC is now in breach of Zim' constitutional law and yet their response to the MDC's court application is that the court has no jurisdiction over ZEC. If the situation wasn't as tragic as it is it would all be very amusing. Sadly, there is nothing funny about this as it's all about one old man desperate to cling onto power and prepared to use ANY means necessary to achieve his ends.

Sadly Zim's southern neighbour is also less than useless with Mbeki still pursuing his so called 'quiet diplomacy'. What that really means is sitting on your ar*e doing nothing whilst a so called 'liberation hero' trashes his country.

"Mugabe’s effort to subvert the electoral process must be seen for what it is: an attempt for him to avoid the humiliation of being publicly declared the loser." - This is Zimbabwe.

Mugabe really is a desperate despot!

Hypocrite!

Alex Ferguson has claimed the FA Cup has been devalued by the semi-finals being held at Wembley.

The days of semi-finals being played at neutral venues like Villa Park or Hillsborough appear numbered for the foreseeable future as the Football Association have signed a 30-year staging agreement to host the games at Wembley.

It is a decision which drew criticism from the Manchester United manager, who argued it took "a wee bit of the real lustre" off the final.

Well that's a bit rich coming from the man who is almost singlehandedly responsible for the devaluing of both English cup finals. He introduced the concept of weaker or under-strength teams in the League Cup (and then was applauded by two faced football pundits who thought it was great that he gave his youngsters a run-out). But his biggest and unforgivable sin was competing in the Intercontinental Cup or World Club Championship in 1999 at the expense of participating in the FA Cup. That took a wee bit of the real lustre off it!

The man is a hypocrite!

The Waiting Goes On

It looks like the Mugabe circus has picked itself up, dusted itself off and got back to business. The MDC are once again being harassed and intimidated with arrests being threatened and the Meikles Hotel was raided apparently for this very purpose. The MDC have been quoted on the BBC website as saying: "Mugabe had unleashed a war after security agents ransacked its offices in Harare on Thursday." also, at least two foreign journalists have been arrested by Mugabe's circus. The inevitable state crackdown has begun.

So it looks like business as usual with Mugabe rolling up his sleeves for a fight. The tragedy in this is that the needs of the people are completely neglected and trampled upon as politicians seek to preserve their own situations, no change there then!

Zimbabwe Today has a good posting about why today (Friday) is the 'Day of Days'. According to Zim' law all election results have to be made known today, so hopefully they'll stop prevaricating, lying and stealing and get on and announce the genuine results of last Saturday's poll.

Amazingly, the results for the Senate are only just beginning to trickle out from ZEC and yet David Coltart knew he'd been re-elected on Sunday and was duly reappointed to the Senate at that time. If a senator knew the result why wasn't it published by the authorities?

Zimbabwe needs our prayers more now than ever. Please pray for this beautiful nation!

Pirates

Joel was given some money for his birthday so yesterday we managed to sneak out to the toyshop without Eli so Joel could choose whatever he wanted (as long as he had enough money).

We don't think Joel could have been more overawed than he was and he certainly spent plenty of time taking everything in. Inevitably the pirate section was given the most thorough scrutiny and eventually Joel chose a Captain Jack Sparrow accessory pack for exactly the amount he had. Paula wasn't too pleased thinking it was overpriced but the sheer enjoyment Joel has had from it is priceless. He even slept with the headdress on last night!

Pirates remain a firm favourite in the Finnie household!


Pleased as punch!

Zanu-PF Lose Majority

Breaking news From the BBC confirms what the Independent Result Centre have known for a while, that Mugabe & Gang have lost their parliamentary majority.

Seats Won:
Zanu-PF - 93 seats
MDC (Tsvangirai) 96
MDC (Mutambara) 9
Independents 1

The MDC are also claiming victory in the presidential poll and it's looking like they're on the right lines.

Still no sign of Bob though! Surely if he knew he'd won he'd be crowing from the roof tops.

Meanwhile the state media managed to come up with this amazing headline: Dog bites ZEC official. You have to laugh at Bob's lackies!

It would appear that I'm due a large serving of humble pie as the election results from Zim' indicate that Mugabe is losing and has little hope of making up ground on Tsvangarai. However, the results are pending official "verification" so the MDC could well snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with a little help from uncle Bob.

According to the Independent Results Centre the MDC are ahead in the Presidential poll and the Parliamentary poll.

Their results so far are:
PRESIDENTIAL RESULTS
Morgan Tsvangirai 1, 000, 000
51%
Robert Mugabe 844, 000
42%
Simba Makoni 148, 000
7%

Seats - Parliamentary

MDC



58%
ZANU-PF



36%
MUT/IND



6%

This is really encouraging, but obviously we hae to wait for the 'official' results before we get too excited.

Please let me be eating a HUGE serving of humble pie in the morning!


For more info on the elections, visit the following blogs:
This Is Zimbabwe
Comrade Fatso's Blog
Zimbabwe Today
Zimbabwe Review
These are all excellent and well worth a visit.