Monday, December 29, 2008

Bee sting

Riding a motorbike does not come without its dangers. A bee did a proper job on my throat while I was riding at high speed (this is relative) on my Vespa. I couldn't exactly flick it away, so I had to grin and bear it. The adrenaline in my body (from riding my bike) prevented me from swelling too badly.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm all alone with the boys

Natalie's sister, Michelle, is a pilot for South African Airways. One of the perks of being a pilot is having "family tickets". And so, Natalie boarded the Airbus A340 on Saturday, heading to Frankfurt. She will be there until either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Nats told be that she was bumped up to business class and that the flight was way too short in order to explore all the comforts that the rich enjoy. Yesterday she spent the whole day at a Christmas market in Mainz. Even though it is only 6 degrees celsius there, she is having a lot of fun.

So are we.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Trying to hear something new.

There are a couple of things that irritate me during Christmas. The first is BoneyM's Christmas album. Why do shopping centers insist on playing BoneyM? Wake up! That album is almost 20 years old! Just hearing the Jamaican rendering of "Mary's boychild, Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas day..." drives me dilly. It is forever ingrained in my mind, so much so that as soon as I see the Christmas decorations go up, I hear it booming through my head. Thank you Pavlov, but I do not need this negative re-enforcement!

The second is the Calypso carol (See Him lying in a bed of straw...). Sorry Anne. Something tells me that I am developing a biased against anything Caribbean.

The third is clich├ęd advent and Christmas sermons. "It is not about he gift...", "It is better to give than to receive..." You name it, I've heard it. It is almost as bad as the clich├ęd image of ministers in the movies: Rowan Atkinson in a dog collar. This is a time for me to be especially quiet and to discern what God is saying to the world. I wonder if what God has to say has anything to do with how we view Christmas. No, I won't become all "sermonny" now, but I just wonder if there is something new which will be revealed this Christmas - something that is truly going to speak into people's lives and not just about this festive time. In short, is there going to be something so real in people's encounter with God during this advent and Christmas season that it will keep the hoards of people in church after Christmas day? More than that, will Christmas spark something in these people which will see a social transformation?

Maybe I'm expecting too much, but isn't our Christmas just about that - great expectations?

Perhaps something needs to spark in me first.

Please pray for me and all other ministers who are preparing sermons, messages and liturgies during this very difficult time in the liturgical year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Insightful contemplation

My 5-year old son, Matthew, never ceases to astonish me with his insights.

Yesterday we were driving to the shops and I could see that he was deep in thought. Here follows the conversation:

W: Matt, are you thinking, my boy?

M: Yes.

W: Is something bothering you?

M: Yes.

W: Do you want to talk to me about it?

M: Yes.

W: What is it?

M: Pappa, does Batman poep?

Answer that one!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Very clever, Mr. President-elect.

Following on from the G.W. "shoe"-incident, (See Dion's blog), it was quite funny to see Barak Obama holding a press conference at "Dodge Renaissance Academy". Very clever.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pop goes the weasooooolll

In case you were wondering... Matt is visiting with my folks in Carletonville for a few days. He's enjoying it very much, and need I say, being spoilt rotten.

On holiday

I take leave twice a year, two weeks in July and then two weeks in December. This year we went to Manzi Monate, about 20 mins drive from our home. In the previous post you'll see the Roodeplaat dam. The dam itself is quite dirty, largely due to sewage pumped into it from a nearby town. It is good to see that authorities are trying to clean it up.

Unfortunately I could only spend some of the time there with my family. A day before we left our Labrador, Chrissie, had to have some teeth pulled. She is getting quite old and is allergic to grass. From the constant scratching she broke some of her teeth, resulting in this small, but very pricey operation. I spent aa couple of days at home looking after her while Nat, the boys and my in-laws went away. I then later replaced my in-laws. No, let me put the records straight; the day I arrived at Manzi, they left. No bad feelings, it was planned that way.

Anyway, we are back, full of mosquito bites and a little boy who learnt to jump on a trampoline, play hide-and-seek and count to 15.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Doctor Whom

I have just finished reading Andrew Feinstein's "After the party". It is an incredible book on the deception, corruption and self-enriching tactics used in politics, more specifically the ANC. While it concerns the ANC, I am pessimistic enough to think that this is a universal tendency wherever politics is practiced. I took my time reading this book, and when I read the newspaper (Mail and Guardian & Sunday Independent), it is much easier to see the story behind the story.

Now I am starting the book "Doctor Whom: ET shoots and leaves - The zero tolerance approach to Parodication" by A.R.R.R. Roberts (See my booklist to the right).

Here is the blurb from the cover page:

"Join Dr Whom, his reliably pedantic assistant Linnaeus Trout... and Prose Tailor. Don't worry, not even he knows why he's (possessive apostrophe or the other sort? Uhhh) in the story. Oh (should there be a comma there do you think? Or perhaps an exclamation mark) that's right he's the narrator.

Still there should be plenty of room for all three of them on the adventure what with the TARDY being bigger on the inside than the out. Mind you, have you ever wondered (you haven't, have you?) what that would mean for the smallest room on the TARDY? Yes that's right, the toilet is bigger than the size of an aircraft hangar. Where was I?

Oh yes. Join the Dr., (full stop then a comma - that can't be right - look there's a little squiggly green line under it) Linn and Prose as they fight to protect the galaxy from the perils of bad grammar, sloppy punctuation and careless sentence construction. Not to mention, the Cydermen, the remorseless andoid Garleks and the Celebrity Chefs du Monde."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tell me what you think of South Africa.

These questions about South Africa were posted on a South African Tourism Website and were answered by the website owner.

Q: Does it ever get rainy in South Africa? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see elephants in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Durban to Cape Town - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only two thousand kilometres. Take lots of water...

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in South Africa ? (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in South Africa? Can you send me a List of them in JHB, Cape Town , Knysna and Jeffrey's Bay? ( UK )
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about Koala Bear racing in South Africa? (USA)
A: Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the pacific. A-Fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe which does not.... Oh forget it. Sure, the Koala Bear racing is every Tuesday night in Hillbrow. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is north in South Africa? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into South Africa ? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Do you have perfume in South Africa? ( France )
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in South Africa where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in South Africa? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Are there killer bees in South Africa? (Germany)
A: Not yet, but for you, we'll import them.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Cape Town and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegetarian hunter- gatherers.. Milk Is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in South Africa who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All South African snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I was in South Africa in 1969, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Hillbrow. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Jupiter, the moon and Venus

Once every 100 years, Jupiter, the Moon and Venus find themselves in this aligned position. It is quite a sight, knowing that the next time this takes place our grandchildren will be watching. Perhaps they will even visit this blog.