Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Janel's photos

Just a reminder that there are lots of new photos of Janel on her blog. Click on the link on the right.


Along the West Coast of South Africa, spring is always marked by the most incredible display of wildflowers. The veld is transformed from its usual drab khaki/ grey-brown to glorious technicolour. Whenever we can, we try to go and see it. This year we went to Langebaan (easiest to stay with family in a proper house than travel the 2 hours each way with a toddler!). Langebaan also has a lovely lagoon. I spent many a happy hour as a child on the beach there while on holiday with my family. Going back brought back lots of memories for me. I only hope that we can help to create as many wonderful memories for Nellie...

Photos galore!

At long last I have had the time to upload the photos of the past two months. Enjoy!

Cape Town has several rivers that run across it. Most have been turned into canals, which has cmopletely destroyed the rivers, but is necessary to protect the houses along the river from flooding. Even then, that sometimes doesn't help - here the river has completely burst its concrete banks and is already flooding the surrounding parking lots and blocks of flats.

Boulders Beach was a great haunt when I was a kid. I used to go swimming there regularly, because it was easy to get into deep water without having to first swim through the waves. A few years back it was discovered by the penguins, and now it's a protected reserve as a result. You can still go swimming from there, but you have to pay to gain entrance. Because of Nellie's recent obsession with all things penguin, we thought an afternoon at Boulders would be fun. We arrive fairly late (after 3pm), but were greeted by penguins and this amazing sky. Definitely worth it!

A fun day at work - staff got to dress up as a literary/ film character in aid of English Focus Week. So of course, Pippie Langkous and Princess Fiona had to make an appearance.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's here!

Yes - our stuff is finally here... and we have our computer back! YAY!

Of course, we're not going to unpack anything, because we move again in a week and a half. Sigh! But at least our computer is unpacked. What joy!

Speaking of which - I've downloaded all my photos off my phone that I've been storing for the past month or so. Now I just need to find the time to reduce them so that I can upload them onto the blog. WATCH THIS SPACE!

Other than that I am happy to report that I have been appointed as the Head of Life Sciences at Pinelands High. I'm pleased about that, because as long as it takes to get Lovely Laitjies up and running properly, I need an income. (Of course, having a job will slow down the process of getting LL up and running... which is a slight hitch in the plan....)

I've been having a few bad days recently, thinking about Zoe a lot. I guess that's an indicator that I'm starting to feel more settled, because it means that I'm not so stressed I can keep the grief at bay any more. So I guess that's a good thing. Of course, letting the grief out is a good thing anyway. But it does mean that I'm having a rough time. I broke down in church on Sunday, and I was on my own because Graeme was sick in bed. One lady stopped and offered to pray, and I found that so hard on so many levels: I was on my own; I knew just about no-one in the service; I didn't want to refuse prayer because I needed it, but I didn't want to tell this stranger why I was crying; I didn't want to go home in a state because Graeme was sick and didn't need that... it was just awful. Fortunately though, a friend came to the rescue, so I cried on her shoulder for a bit. But even that felt odd because we haven't really talked about Zoe and it felt like I needed to do that first. While it helped, it also made me miss my friends back in London even more... (Jobs - I miss you like crazy! I miss our teas like crazy! PLEEEEEEZE come and visit!)

OK - time to stop before I get even more upset.

I should just say that from the beginning of Sep I'm going to be offline again a bit for a while. Telkom can only install our phone line mid-Sep, and then it will take another few weeks to sort out broadband. Sigh! The joys of living in a 3rd world country. But hey - the view of the mountain every morning just about makes up for that!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bye bye birdie!

Okay, I think I need to accept that I'm only going to blog once a fortnight now. That way I can stop stressing about it.

We're settling in nicely, I guess. I'd forgotten how hectic Cape Town is, or maybe that's just because we have a toddler who is so busy, busy, busy and always wants you to do stuff with her. Not that I'm complaining! Far from it. Today, for the first time in months, Mommy was flavour of the month again. YAY!! All day long she has been hanging onto my jeans, asking me to pick her up, asking me to play with her - she even wanted MOMMY to push the swing this morning, not Daddy. And then, best of all, she crawled into my lap this afternoon while we were visiting her godparents to fall asleep. What a privilege and blessing! I lapped up every minute of her, kissed her till I was sure she would tell me to go away, cuddled her, absorbed her smell and her smile, and basically did whatever I could to to be near her. It was heaven! My Nellie tanks are full again and it feels wonderful.

G and I have been thinking hard about which church to join, and had defaulted to our old church. However, this weekend we decided that this really is the church for us over the next year or so because we've decided to give 'Jesus Ministry' another go. This was something that our church back in London started doing a while ago - shortly after I was turned down for ordination training. We both loved it, but have found it very difficult to work through and deal with, for various reasons. We'd also seen very little change in our own lives and had seen various people hurt by it. This has had the result that we'd become disillusioned by it.

Little did we know, but our church in Cape Town has been involved in it for longer than our church back in London has been, but is implementing it in a completely different way. Talking to the key players in it, we've both found our passion for it is being rekindled. The way it is talked about here, and implemented, seems to have avoided the mistakes we'd made before. The big difference is that it is implemented in community. Community seems to be the key. So - we've decided to give it another go, and to get stuck into a community that is keen to do it, so that we can avoid the mistakes we'd made before. That means committing wholeheartedly to this church. That, in turn, means we're less likely to follow through on some of our other plans for a few years.

Since coming back, we've been trying to reconnect with friends, and I've realised why we had so much time (by comparison) for our friends back in London - we didn't have a massive clan of family to see! I love my family, and I'm thrilled to be able to see them and spend time with them, but doing so means we have less time for friends. I guess the key is just to be more organised.

And I leave you with news that we have a rat. No, not a pet. And yes, it's living in the house. It's been stealing our bread every night, and we've finally tracked it down to coming into the house via the floorboards under the kitchen cupboards. Graeme got a glimpse of it last night (after everyone else said that it couldn't possibly be a rat but had to be something bigger - like a cat, but Nicole said, no - it definitely was a rat. I should have bet on it!). So tonight my dad has put the Ratex down, and put a trap in. I hate traps and poison, but with Nellie in the house I'm not going to risk anything. Yet another reason why we're getting a cat when we move into our own place!