Hair Pulling!

I'm no techno geek when it comes to computers but equally I'm not afraid of stripping one down and having a tinker. After all, if I do mess it up I'll only be saving the computer the time and trouble of messing itself up.

Anyway, I've successfully wasted an entire morning tinkering with one of our computers trying to get it working again. My first diagnosis lead me to believe that the graphics card wasn't working properly. This seemed logical as the LED on the screen keeps flashing amber to green. However upon stripping it down, cleaning it and testing the fan on it, all seems to be OK.

Next I checked the hard drive was still OK by hooking it up to my laptop and guess what the lights all come on and everything on the HDD is perfectly accessible.

So now I'm stumped!

Miles For Smiles

Eli and Joel had such a blast this morning at what has become their school's annual charity event.  They were so proud to ride for Operation Smile in their Miles for Smiles cycle ride.  They were particularly thrilled because the school is hoping to crack their target of raising R50,000 for much needed cleft palate operations for children this year and between them they have raised just under R2,000.  Thank you so much to all you who so generously sponsored the boys, it really made a difference.

Amazingly though torrential rain had been predicted the sky cleared and we even had sun for, guess what, two hours while the event took place.  Thank you Lord!


I was really saddened to hear of the death of Vicky last night.  I knew he had been sick for a while now but it's such a shame to see yet another young man die of HIV related illnesses when he could and should have been on ARV's over two years ago.

I have some very fond memories of Vicky, he was a great member of my Chris Nissen bible study group and for a while a few years ago I would take a few of the guys through to Cape Town to see him in the TB hospital.After his stay there Vicky was very strong for a while and returned to work. Things were looking up but then a year or so ago he fell sick and wouldn't seek help.

I understand all the reasons as to why folk here don't seek medical help early if at all but it's all such a senseless waste!

A Rant

In 2001 during some of Zimbabwe’s darkest days we drove from Harare to Cape Town, it was mainly for holiday purposes and a bloomin' good one it was too, but we also had to leave Zim' for a while due to the mess there. It’s a long story!

While we were in South Africa we had a great time and met some fab people, some of whom we went on to work with when we moved to SA three years later. I remember at the time having a number of conversations with folk about the Zim' situation and was asked the same question a few times.

“Do you think SA could go the same way as Zim'?”

My answer remains the same 11 years later but so too does the caveat I put on my answer.

Mr Bounce

I could leave this as a wordless post with just the photos and most of you would guess who I would be talking about.

My boy doesn't stay still for long, though the telly is teaching him to pay attention for increasing amounts of time. Not sure if that's a good thing or not?! Anyway, beyond the world of the electronic babysitter, Eli is one incredibly active young man and constantly looking for mischief things to do. One of the things I love about him is how he'll take something he learnt and apply it to an area or something for which it wasn't really intended.

The trampoline is just one such example. Eli has been doing gymnastics at school (sadly it's on hold now until we can find a decent gym teacher) and he's been applying the moves he's been taught to the trampoline and as some of you may have seen on Facebook, the swimming pool, or rather any swimming pool he chances upon in the absence of one in our garden.


Percy Thrower I am not so where Eli gets his desire for a bit of gardening is a mystery but one that shall be capitalised upon.

A while back he asked if he could grow some tomatoes and somehow he managed to sweet-talk mummy into taking him shopping for seeds etc.

That was a couple of months ago and today Eli has eleven very healthy looking tomato plants which he actually grew from seed.

So this afternoon he was ├╝ber excited to see that one of his plants has two small green tomatoes on it. Bless him, he had no idea what they were because they were so small and green, apparently "they don't look like the ones in the packets".

We're not too sure what sparked his interest in growing tomatoes, I suspect that Charlie and Lola might have had a part to play in all of this, but it can only be good, especially if he actually starts eating the things.

Mother's Day

Yesterday was a particularly special day as Tree of Life honoured all the mums amongst our family on Mother's Day.  We had a brilliant time together in church during which each mum was given a little, beautifully created posy of flowers with an attached t-light. We then got the men praying for their women, which was very special.

Before going to spend the afternoon out with friends chilling and having a braai we had to make some special stop offs on the way giving flowers to the wonderful HOPE team ladies as well as one of our patients who has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  Many of you may remember Betty whom we have spoken about in the past, she used to be full time carer to Ernest who was blind and not even a family member.  Sadly Ernest died over a year ago and now Betty has terminal cancer combined with TB. She is a lovely lady and would very much value your prayers.  Almost without fail the flowers were greeted with tears and comments such as, no-one has ever given me flowers or, I'm going to freeze them so I can bring them out again next year on Mother's Day!!!  Such a small gesture brought so much love and warmth to some very special women. 

Garden Centre

After a good morning in Macassar I decided to call in on Michael in Chris Nissen on my way home to see how his gate is holding up and just to enjoy being with my mate.

One of the things that never fails to amaze me about our friends there is just how generous they are and this morning I left Michael's feeling like I'd been to a garden centre.

My garden is going to be looking great by next summer!

Whilst there I also saw Aunty Poppy who showed me around her recently planted veggie garden. I have to say it was looking really good. Apparently Aunty Poppy and a few others have been equipped by an NGO to grow the veggies for four families each. What a great project!

60 Years!

Sunday was an important day for Tree Of Life as we celebrated the 60th wedding anniversary of Oom Paul and Aunty Molly.

They are an amazing couple and I have had the privilege of sitting with Oom Paul a few times listening to his life stories. Forget about Kindle or any other form of interactive e-book, spending time with someone like Oom Paul is spending time with a truly interactive living, talking history book!

It was such a privilege to pray for this amazing couple and to honour them publicly. After our meeting we had a big family braai to continue the celebrations.

We might be a young church and small in number but we have couples amongst us who have been married up to 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, 50 years and 60 years. In today's throwaway culture that's quite amazing.
The Blogging From A To Z Challenge was a lot of fun!

I've enjoyed the discipline of blogging every day and giving the blog some long overdue attention. I think the best bit though has to have been meeting loads of other bloggers from around the world, sharing posts and comments and reading blogs that I might otherwise not have got to see. It was also interesting joining up with almost 1500 other bloggers all with wildly differing views on life, love and the universe but with a common goal of completing the challenge.  At times it made for interesting reading and commenting, taking me to blogs I now follow and to a number that I would normally avoid like the plague, but it's good to be challenged and stretched. You can also see what other bloggers thought here.

I feel like I owe an apology to the schedule facility in Blogger as I used and abused it a huge amount. In fact by the time of my O post I had written and scheduled all but three posts. However, had I attempted to post fresh each day I would have sunk without trace and failed to finish the challenge.

I also ought to apologise to you my readers too, thanks for being patient and for not giving up on the blog, I/we really appreciate it! Somewhere along the line one of our Facebook followers abandoned ship but a few more got on board so that's all good.

At the bottom of this post are a few thoughts for the A To Z Challenge team.

Finally, in case you've not seen the blog at all in April here's a quick review of all 26 posts from A to Z, click on any image to go straight to that post. Enjoy!

Blogging From A To Z Challenge, April 2012 Blogging From A To Z Challenge, April 2012

Blogging From A To Z Challenge, April 2012 Blogging From A To Z Challenge, April 2012
E to Z below...
The moon is currently 28000km's closer to earth than normal leading to this amazing phenomenon know as the Perigee full moon which means it appears up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than when it is furthest from the planet.

It's quite a spectacular phenomenon and I was quite pleased with these photos of the moon this evening.

Read more about it here on the BBC News.


We just received this from our 'friendly' neighbourhood watch. sometimes I'm just so embarrassed to live where we do amongst the people we do. It's the last line that makes me hang my head in shame. Get a life folks!

"This week was a quieter week in our area although we did discover vagrants bedding down with their household goods on the field opposite Cherrywood Gardens in Bizweni Road. Last Friday I drove past and saw someone bathing in the river and on further investigation, he advised that he was living in the drain pipe / under the bushes further down the field. Residents from Oakbridge that boarder the field, should you see or hear anything untoward on the opposite side of your fence, please do not hesitate to contact our Police or your Security Company for them to come and investigate. If we allow any vagrants to infiltrate our area, it will be extremely difficult to get rid of them again."

I knew there was a reason why I don't like my neighbours much. Personally, if I see someone bathing in the stream and living in the storm drain I'd be more inclined to take him some food than get the police to chase him away.

May The Fourth

Sorry, couldn't resist!

Gateway To..

I don't get to spend as much time as I used to getting involved in practical projects and just generally helping to bodge fix things together again. So I was chuffed when Michael rang for a bit of urgent help yesterday.

A few moons ago Michael and I put a gate on the front of his property but at the time he was short of hinges (some might say he was unhinged asking me to help!) so he bodged fixed the gate to the post using the upright as the hinge. Not a great plan if we're honest and here we are a few years later with the gate having fallen apart. The gate frame used to be for the Tiny bubbles Creche sign but we took it off and riveted it directly onto the container classroom wall and Michael recycled the frame into a gate.

This morning I was able to go and get a few brackets and pop rivets ready to bodge fix the gate again. Ideally the gate frame should have been welded but we don't live in an ideal world, so we managed to rivet the brackets at the points where the upright had separated from the rest of the frame. We then riveted some old hinges I had lying around to the frame and then nailed them to the post. Voila! Gate bodged fixed!

Meanwhile, back in April...

In the midst of playing about with the A To Z Blogging Challenge we've neglected the regular side of the blog, but it's May now so here we go with normal service being resumed.

With the five day weekend over I have to admit to enjoying the blissful peace and quiet in the office, no kids running around, making a ton of noise and being exuberant. Thankfully it's only short lived as they'll be back after lunch but the brief respite is very very welcome!

So here's a bit of an update on what has been going on in April besides abusing the alphabet.


Today is the last day of a marathon five day weekend which has been a lot of fun.

Friday was Freedom Day, a very important day in South Africa's history and today is Workers' Day so most folk also took Monday off to make the most of it all and we've certainly made the most of it though if truth be told it will be nice to get back to some semblance of normality (whatever that is).

SA has twelve public holidays throughout the year and even one of the local businesses has been making fun of this lately suggesting that World Cup Remembrance Day will soon be added to the list.

We've had some great days out including a trip to the aquarium and a trip to the cinema, but mostly we've been enjoying some long overdue family time at home and the weather hasn't spoilt things too much.

Getting back into the rhythm of school and work won't be easy!