National Braai Day

Yesterday was Heritage Day (alternatively known as National Braai Day) so was a public holiday. We joined our new church family in Macassar for a braai and an afternoon of fun. The gathering was fairly impromptu and very informal and must be one of the most relaxed church events we've ever been to.

It was such a pleasure to be with our new friends and to be so warmly welcomed. Our kids loved every minute of it and they get on really well with the other children. Joel enjoyed watching High School Musical on the big screen whilst Eli held his own on the cargo net hanging in the garden.

This Week

We've had a busy few days with trips into Chris Nissen, going to Joel's school and meeting with the lead elder of Grace church in Macassar.

Paula met up with Jenny today from the UK and spent the morning with her in Chris Nissen. Jenny has extensive medical experience from years as a nurse so she was a real blessing. It was great to have someone who could relate to the likes of Aunty Henna who regularly complains of her arthritis. Jenny could fully empathise and relate to Henna's daily struggle.

Spike

I got to take Joel to Shonny (our hairdresser) yesterday as Mummy was out. Whilst on our way Joel said he wanted a spikey haircut so I agreed as long as he told Shonny what he wanted.

Joel was a bit coy at first but warmed up and told Shonny exactly what he wanted. The result is a cool looking boy. Thankfully Mummy also thought he looked great, so we got away with it! Eli came along too and said he also wanted a spikey hairdo. Sadly for him that's never likely to happen.

This morning we had a lot of fun spiking up Joel's hair with some gel (neither of us have used the stuff in years) and he was delighted to be going to school with his new hairdo.

Wedding Anniversary

At seventeen years of marriage there is no traditional nomenclature for the anniversary, you have to wait for the 'china' of twenty years before you get into that again.

We've had a great day albeit a very different one to how we've celebrated previous anniversaries - no sloping off for a quiet weekend sans enfants!

We went to church as usual (for a Sunday) and then onto Cape Town with the boys where we visited the aquarium and then had fish & chips for lunch at Ocean Basket - the boys choice. Joel loved playing with the bones from Mummy's sardines and then scoffed a lot of Daddy's prawns. Joel even enjoys shelling them himself. Eli amazed us with his choice of dips for his chips, he chose raw garlic!!

Previous anniversaries can be seen here: 16th, 14th & 13th we seem to have neglected our 15th.

Family Stuff

As you're reading this I'll be out with a few friends enjoying an 80k road ride and hopefully Paula will just be having breakfast after a decent lay-in.

We're so proud of our boys at present as they're coping incredibly well in trying circumstances. Despite the difficulties they're both thriving in school & play-group which is great relief for us and they're really enjoying church which is a first in a long time for Joel. Sadly, they've both had quite nasty ear infections and it's looking like Joel may well have to have his grommets re-done. We'd appreciate your prayers for him as he can hardly hear a thing.

Thankfully the rain has abated for a few days although it is due back on Sunday/Monday for a few more days. We had hoped to miss the worst of the winter by being in the UK for June & July but this August has been so bad that we missed very little.

Sports Day

Joel had his Sports Day at school today and it looks like the kids had a lot of fun. The idea came about because SA only came home with 1 medal from the Olympics and the school thought it had better do its bit to train the future 2016 athletes!! Somehow, we don't think Joel will be in the squad, but he certainly had a lot of fun trying.

The little ones had their own half hour of fun and it was amazing to see how competitive the 5 and 6 year olds could become!

Back Online

After a very frustrating week with no phone line and 10 days without internet access we're finally back online. Telkom sent an engineer out on Sunday morning to sort it all out, which we thought was quite impressive, although it meant I was an hour late to church. But we've got our phone back so must not complain!

In some ways it's quite liberating being unable to access emails and the web as it gives you so much more time to do proper stuff. I hadn't realised what a waste of time the web and email can be until it was taken away!

We're all OK but we're fighting the dog-ends of various colds, ear infections etc. with Eli suffering the most. The weather has been truly appalling over the last week with torrential rains leaving the garden flooded and the boys unable to play out - frustrating for them and us.

The plot thickens with our phone provider. Telkom are the local phone monopoly and generally their service is good although very expensive. Apparently, on the 26th of August someone -it now transpires that it was our ISP- requested that our DSL line be cancelled. Very helpful!

Then on Monday out landline went dead, yes the bill was paid on time. Following a few trips into the local Telkom office, several frustrating calls to our useless ISP we remain without phone line or internet connection. The explanations given for this debacle are complex, varied (in that they constantly change) and very very frustrating as no-one seems to want to take responsibility for it.

Curry Night In

On Friday night we enjoyed our long anticipated 'Curry Night In' as part of Paula's ongoing birthday celebrations. we had 22 of our good friends around for a sit down meal in the lounge and were catered for by a mum of one of Joel's school friends who happens to be Indian and a very fine cook!

The evening was a lot of fun with everyone mixing well and having a relaxed but superb meal.

Internet Down

If you've emailed us recently or tried to make contact then we must apologise as we currently have no internet. I'm sat in a local coffee shop (hard life) using their wireless network to post here.

Unfortunately on Wednesday last week Telkom (like BT) cut off our DSL line as apparently we requested the service be cancelled. Then on Monday they very helpfully cut off our landline. Brilliant! Yes the phone bill had been paid.

We're now trying to get it all back but things are rarely simple so all we can do is sit and wait.

Ho hum.