Wednesday, July 30, 2008


It's too late to take a pic now, but I took Bertie my Vespa PX150 out for his first trip - to my mother-in-law's house. I had coffee, he had a rest.

Wow, words cannot describe the feeling. I waited the whole day to go fetch Bertie in Joburg. As soon as we got back, I fixed the mirrors, put my helmet on for the first time and rode off. What a feeling!!!

It is quite strange to ride a bike in rush-hour traffic, but if I have to get used to Bertie, why not there. He went like a dream! Everything works! Even the hooter, which sounds a bit like a wounded duck, but at least it can make the kiddies laugh.

On my way back home I was greeted with the most beautiful sunset. Bertie and I pulled off the road, enjoyed the moment and hit the road again.

I'm hooked!!!!

Dion, we must do the Vicars on Vespa's trip. I'll buy your boss a chocolate. I'll get one for Mr Power too.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Eish, Professor!

On Friday morning I took my doctoral supervisor, Professor Wethmar, for coffee.

What an incredible man! He is one of those people whom you can listen to for hours, because he knows everything... a real library on legs!

We haven't seen each other for a couple of months now. We haven't had a good conversation for just over a year. But I decided to phone him and spend some quality time with this giant in theological circles.

As we were sipping away, talking about Barth, Calvin, the relationship between Fundamentalism and social conditioning (...the hours whizzing past unnoticed) and all kinds of other things, he looked down, and just before taking another sip of coffee said something that knocked me right in the gut: "Wessel, I'm retiring."

I know how to deal with news that shocks, but this was different. I just cannot imagine Tukkies without Prof. Wethmar! Hell, I'm selfish!

I wish Professor Wethmar well with his retirement. Knowing him, he will not use this time to sit idly doing nothing. Perhaps this will give him the opportunity to write the equivalent of Church Dogmatics for our time. Thank you Professor, you have shaped the lives and ministries of many people by expressing your gift of teaching, sharing your deep spirituality and always saying "You're welcome".

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Visions, an angel and coffee.

I was sitting in my office, doing paperwork as usual. The ladies had left already. All was quiet and peaceful.

My car went in for a service and I couldn't go anywhere, even if I wanted to.

Then the gate-bell rang.

I got up thinking it was another person wanting assistance. "I'm on my way!" I shouted from my office and started the long trek to the security gate. Turning the corner, I saw her. An angel. Not the kind of angel Jesus spoke about that would test our hospitality. No, an angel that looks like an angel.

Words refused to cross my lips. My mouth hung open. I didn't expect such a vision.

Then glorious tones, a voice as sweet as honey.

"Stop whatever you're doing. I'm taking you for coffee and pancakes". Before I could respond she continued "Don't worry about the boys, they're with my mom."

And so we spent a few hours catching up, talking about things that we haven't had the chance to discuss in a long time.

Thanks Love.

Everybody has been so nice to me they know something I don't...Am I dying?...If I am, please don't tell me. Then again, I know my angel will always watch over me.

With much appreciation

I know I rant now and then about the state of God's people. My frustration is often with the pettiness people spend their time and energies on when there are so many opportunities for witness and service around them... complaining about the speed of the ceiling fans...why we didn't mention so-and-so when we mentioned know what I'm talking about. I also get frustrated with the institution which seems to have become a haven for power-grabbing, ego-boosting, and pious judgmentalism.

I, however value the hard work and commitment of many people. These people put in a lot of hours without reward, and sometimes without recognition. I'm quite honest in saying that I don't know if I would show the same level of commitment if I were in their shoes. But they do. And they do it week in and week out. They care for people, they love God.

Today we have been the recipients of care, and I feel valued, appreciated, but most of all, loved. I want to say a special thanks to our congregation, the society stewards and in particular, Alec and Renny for taking care of us. I know the time will come when I will no longer be at the Glen. But I know now that this is a time that I will think back on and remember as a very special period in our lives.

Thank you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why men don't write advice columns:

Dear Don:
I hope you can help me here. The other day I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn't gone more than a mile down the road when my engine conked out and the car shuddered to a halt. I walked back home to get my husband's help. When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbour lady. I am 32, my husband is 34 , and we have been married for twelve years.
When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that they had been having an affair for the past six months. I told him to stop or I would leave him. He was let go from his job six months ago, and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. He won't go to counselling and I'm afraid I can't get through to him anymore. Can you please help?
Sincerely, Anne
Dear Anne:
A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the intake manifold and also check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty,causing low delivery pressure to the carburettor float chamber.
I hope this helps.

Friday, July 18, 2008

His story retold

Me: You know what Matt? It's Nelson Mandela's birthday.
Matt (4yrs): Who?
Me: Nelson Mandela.
Matt: Nelsow Madela? Who's he? Is he a man?
Me: Yes, a very special man.
Matt: Does he turn into incredible Hulk?
Me: No Matt.
Matt: Oh. (A bit disappointed)
Me: A long time ago some naughty people put him in prison.
Matt: Was he in an accident?
Me: No. They didn't like him so they put him in prison for 27 years.
Matt: Ag shame.
Me: He came out of prison and became the most important man in South Africa.
Matt: Oh.
Matt: How old is he?
Me: 90 years old.
Matt: Can he now watch Harry Potter?
Me: Yes Matt.
Matt: What's his name again?
Me: Nelson Mandela.
Matt: Oh, ja, Nelsow Madela.
Happy birthday Tata Madiba. On this day every year I'll tell my children your story.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Welcome back

Post 250 today.

Well, this post is written at almost midnight. It is very honest and a bit of a rant.

Today was my first day back at the office.

I spent two weeks on leave. During this time I worked on my Vespa for 5 hours per day. I know, because I made it part of my daily routine (12:00-17:00 - Vespa time). In all that time, more than 80 hours of putting together small and fragile parts, constructed by Italians who thought they were being bloody clever, my Vespa did not give me half the amount of sh1t than that which I had to endure from God's beloved people in one working day.

Ok, it was a long day (8:30-21:45). It was a bad day, but let's take a moment to remember the good...

I enjoyed seeing my colleagues. I enjoyed the coffee. I loved my Bible study. The rest I must say, if I didn't do it for Jesus, I would kindly take whatever was dished out to me, return it and ask people to grow up, be thankful and not take me for granted. Or else, in the words of Rowan Atkinson, they can simply...

Let me rather go to bed. Good night.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bertie lost his spark

Bad news. Bertie doesn't want to go. Last night he went fine, but all of a sudden there is no spark at the sparkplug.
I'll take him to the professionals early next week.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fun at Zita park and update on Bertie

Today we had a picnic at Zita park. One blessing of living in the city is that the parks are still well looked after. Here is Matt and his friend, Kim sliding down a small hill. To those living in Cape Town and surrounds: Note the blue sky. We didn't have a cloud in the sky, nor any wind. What a beautiful day!

Here is Bertie. He started today for the first time and idled beautifully. I then noticed that the petrol pipe has a leak, so I'll have to fix that tomorrow. Ah, what bliss! Tomorrow I'll add all the little bits and pieces and pray that I did the wiring correct.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Some good reading

I make a point not to read theology while I am on leave (except editing our book, Dion, with which I am almost done). For my birthday, my friends and family gave me a whole lot of Exclusive Books gift-vouchers - they know me well. So I bought Stiglitz's "Fair trade for all" (Good book on economic justice), a biography of Einstein, Feinstein's "After the party" and John van der Ruit's "Spud" and "Spud: The madness continues".

I am busy reading "Spud", and I must say, that if you are looking for a book that is easy to read, but will make you roll on the ground with laughter, then this is it!

Still giggling. And Natalie said I keep waking her up with my laughing-in-my-sleep. (I'm only getting her back for snoring.)

Today's news

Sorry, the picture is still the same. Good news though. I sorted out the speedo cable. I don't have a Ph.D. for nothing.

I realized that I have to order a few small cable-stops, which believe it or not, I cannot find anywhere here in SA.

So, I'll go on with what I can and then wait patiently for the cable-stops.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Hit a bit of a snag today. I pulled out the speedometer cable and its casing. Does anybody know how to feed it back through the front fork?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Bertie is coming back to life

These are yesterday's pictures. I have done quite a bit of work today, which I will post tomorrow.

The dry bones in the valley...

The bones are starting to rattle...