Eli talks us through his planned daredevil act on the jungle gym. Thankfully mummy wasn't around to stop him!

Down To Earth With A Bump

By the time this blog entry is completed 15 people will become infected with HIV in South Africa. 1 out of every 5 people are believed to be HIV+ One thousand people die every day of AIDS. It is projected that there will be 18 million AIDS orphans in SA by 2010. Sobering statistics or what! This is one of the main reasons why we know God is calling us to be here in SA. Never mind swine flu! - we are living with a pandemic and it is true to say that if you aren't infected with HIV, then you will certainly be affected by it. Not only do we need to get real about our response as individuals, but also as a church. For this reason Paula and a couple of other women from the church are attending a Counselling in HIV/AIDS course all of this week. This is a big commitment in terms of work, time and finance, but we believe as a church that, like Jesus, we must care for the kind of people many would consider 'outcasts'.


Now it's official. 

The weather is freezing! 

Joel & Eli were delighted to see the snow, just a shame for them that it's right up in the mountains as there won't be any snowmen or snowball fights. Not that Mum & Dad are complaining.

Family Bits

The rain cleared this afternoon so we made the most of the opportunity and went to the Nature Reserve, amazingly the boys don't complain about how often we go there! We remembered to take their welly boots this time so they were delighted to be able to wade in the streams and dangle their feet in the duck pond.

We're all well and seem to be missing the worst of the inter illnesses. Apparently Somerset West is South Africa's hotspot for swine flu, no crackling on the line here yet. Joel & Eli are thriving, as are we. Church life is good and we're really excited about what God is doing and how we're being used.

This blog has taken a bit of a back seat to Facebook, so to those of you not on Facebook we can only apologise and suggest you get yourselves over there for shorter but more regular updates.


We're in the midst of winter here and yet our weather seems to be as good as the British summer. Our mornings and evenings are very cold but during the day we're enjoying temperatures up in the high 20's. It all makes for some fantastic cycling weather so Dean has been doing his best to make the most of it. Today he squeezed in a lunchtime ride with his friend Rod (see the pic).

Woodburning Bliss!

Winter has been a bit stop start so far this year but we're not complaining as it's not been as cold and wet as normal (although the dams are surprisingly full). Having said that the weather took a turn for the worse today and it's been raining quite a bit with a strong and cold northwesterly wind blowing.

It's times like this we're really grateful for our woodburning stove!
I had the pleasure of taking our Trail-a-bike into school today to talk to Eli's class as well as Nursery and Reception.

Eli was my very able assistant and helped to show how the trail-a-bike works. The kids particularly like the flag at the back and guessed correctly as to its purpose. After discussing a bit of bike safety we went to the car park where I gave rides to those who had a helmet with them (thankfully only a few did so my legs were saved).

Bottlebrush Tree

Our Bottlebrush tree is finally back in bloom again. Last year it was a major disappointment with hardly any blooms so it spent most of the year bare and looking scraggy.

This tree isn't actually native to South Africa so we shouldn't celebrate it but we do because we like it. There's a big drive in SA to remove all plants known as 'alien invaders' as they have a detrimental impact upon the indigenous vegetation and the water table. Thankfully however the Bottlebrush tree doesn't have a big thirst so there's no need to get rid of it.

Here's some info from a horticultural website: Bottlebrush is a small but spectacular evergreen tree or shrub. Of the family Myrtaceae it is well known as Callistemon or Bottlebrush Tree. It is easy to grow and loves warmth, moisture and sun. Bottlebrush is native to Australia mostly growing in moist soil in open or woodland sites.

Eli The Stuntman

Jackass The Movie has nothing on us!

Bike Races

Here's a sight that warms my heart!

It seems like my boys haven't ridden their bikes for a while, partly because the weather hasn't been great but also because Eli's bike was broken and I only just got around to fixing it.

The weather was perfect this afternoon at 24°C (it was freezing this morning) so with their fixed bikes both boys were off charging up and down the drive on their bikes. I pity the neighbours as the boys don't tend to do things quietly especially when they're competing in their own bike races.

Dancing Skeleton

Joel and his Dancing Skeleton, additional silliness provided by Eli