"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Thursday, 22 August 2013

this week...

this made me think....

this made me smile....

RIP Elmore Leonard.  No. 5 made me blush!! I love No. 10

this made me think "How amazingly clever Professor Kauffman":-

On her radio show, Dr. Laura said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Schlesinger, written by a US man, and posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as quite informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

James M. Kauffman,

Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,

Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia

P.S. (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a Canadian.)

this made me dream....

this is what I am listening to on repeat:-

and think (again) "What a good idea"

Sometimes we need to stop and say “Thank you for loving me.”
It is such a simple thing to say yet it carries so much weight, 
whether it is with a spouse while you both read your books or it’s with a friend who has been with you through thick and thin or it is to a family member who has loved you from the start.
Those words, that thought, the action of saying it to them with purpose and truth can mean the world to them. Because after all, they mean enough for you to say “Thank you for loving me.”

Actually the last one made me think even more than usual.  I do tell the people I love that I love them often but thanking them for loving me is not something I have done.  You know who loves you by their actions and deeds so it is not being presumptuous to thank them for loving you.  Is it?  It is not something that rolls off your tongue easily.  Why?  What do you think?  Do you thank people for loving you or like me just say I love you too back to them - which is not really the same thing. 

Sorry maybe I should have adhered to No. 10 and skipped the last bit!!!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

i went to a funeral this morning

It was awesome.  A funeral awesome? It was the funeral of a former teacher, who although I thoroughly enjoyed his history classes in Standard 9, I did not really know him more than that (although he did write a beautiful message in his wonderful handwriting on my valedictory programme).   I re-connected with him through the Kotze family who have a long Methodist history with his family.  In later years I saw him on a Sunday when we took Michael's mom to church.  He was always so pleased to see her and was always there to give her a kiss and a hug. He was also very good with visiting her from time to time and just generally making a fuss of her.  A gentle, compassionate man.

He gave a short speech at Helen's funeral in February and he was Amy's class teacher earlier this year before he took ill.  She just loved him and said that he was the "best ever teacher". Her class was the last class that he taught.

Coming out his funeral today, I was filled with a strange feeling of regret and inadequacy. Regret that I did not know this man better and total inadequacy as to how much this man fitted into his life and how small my life seemed in comparison.  There were many stories and it came through so strongly about how well he listened to people, helped people, soaked up knowledge on all subjects and shared this knowledge.  How he loved writing, loved words and poetry, teaching, literature and nature and shared himself with family, friends and pupils.

The minister who delivered the main sermon and eulogy was a close friend.  His love for the man, the stories he told and the spirituality they shared shone through this sermon.  His son spoke with love and admiration and his daughter was brave enough to sing.  He had said that he did not fear death but that he did not want to die because "life was beautiful and he still had so much to do".

There were lovely hymns which the congregation sang with gusto and the a cappella rendition of The Lords Prayer was so heartfelt.  It must be my most moving moment in a church, ever.

I left there alone, without stopping for tea.  There were people I knew and who I could have chatted to.  I could have been more friendly and spoken to them about the "old school days" but I did not want to even although I would loved to have taken a closer look at photographs and letters in the church hall and learned more about this teacher of "mine".  But, I still felt that I did not really deserve to be there and that he was not "my teacher".  If, at 16 years old, I had been a more responsive student, I too could have learned so much more from him. He was there to give, I was the loser.

"Love is the law of life.  We live that we may learn to love.  We love that
we may learn to live.  No other lesson is required of us."

Book of Mirdad - Naimy

via Pinterest

Friday, 16 August 2013

what a week of contrasts

Warm hellos and sad goodbyes
  I cannot remember so many family members and friends coming and going 
as they have over the last couple of weeks and months

A couple of lovely warm days last week to a really wild and wet
week this week
the Cape of Storms has lived up to its name

Who would have said this was 6 days ago
Saturday and lovely lunch at Steenberg 
 bright sunshine, perfectly chilled wine
and lots of laughs and even a sunburned nose and chest
 A first lunch since Kathy got back from America.
Followed by a wine tasting at Constantia Glen at the top of Constantia Nek.  
More glorious sunshine and the view of ice capped mountains in the distance 
You really don't need to travel far to enjoy the wine route
Sunday was cold and damp
A chilly walk in the forest had been planned
My mom and her sister tried to round up as many of their children 
and grandchildren 
and dogs 
for a get together
A lovely morning with cousins I do not see that often anymore,
a picnic on some logs
muddy dogs
and lots of laughs
and the bonus of a brother who had just arrived back in town 
after 2 months in the UK
a fun evening at his home on Sunday night
with fillet rolls
red wine
and funnels (therein lies another story)

Caroline got back on Tuesday after her travels in the USA 
full of excitement and with lots of stories to tell
(and still more to come)
Doesn't this picture remind you of this.

A quiet breakfast for two with Matthew before he left, 
a raucous dinner at home for twenty two on Tuesday night 
"Bubbledogs" were the order of the day
(basically hot dogs with chili con-carne and champagne)
and a lovely sushi lunch with all three boys (and Dalene and Lucie (who got back from the UK on Wednesday)) made this a very busy week.

Matthew and Kim left for Hong Kong last night
Kim for a month and Matt for about 8 months
(do goodbyes ever get easier?)
and my Mom and Rob leave for the northern lights and Europe this afternoon for six weeks
(another trip to the airport)

I also want to fly off somewhere
it does not even have to be too far away
but maybe it does because
I want to eat airline food and open the little packets
and watch the movies
and drink the drinks that come in little bottles
and walk up and down the aisles and watch people sleep
and pretend I am an air hostess
and flush the toilet and try and see the ground down below

I am such a child

Best I get back to reality
Anyone for wine?
(lunchtime at Barristers?)

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

there is nothing nicer...

the smell of your kitchen even hours after the french toast has been made
I am going to miss Matt so much and his culinary skills and help in the kitchen.  

a cold and wet day spent flicking channels and watching the cookery channels
Have you seen Tyler Florence?  I watched for the first time on the weekend and am off shopping later today because I have to make his Swedish Meatballs with a lingonberry gravy. Not too sure where I will find lingoberry's (or what they are) but he said blueberry jam will work as well.  Like me, he does not have much concern for measuring ingredients.

that first cup of tea in the morning
Nice cup too.

a perfect soft boiled egg (and toast soldiers with butter)
Never get them right?  Here

starting a book and finishing it in three sittings, a well written memoir which shocked me to the core, which I am not sure whether I enjoyed or not or whether I would recommend it, it has confused me but has stayed with me since finishing it on Sunday

noticing new shoots on a shrub that you cut back so severely you were worried it would never survive
It is cold and wet in Cape Town today.  I ventured out for a short walk this morning and got soaked.  I have had a shower and am now snug and warm...which got me writing this post and thinking of food.  I must start thinking of work and wine too, which got me on to the last "than"

being your own boss, walking in the rain (or better still the sun), meeting new people,  having a full wine warehouse, finally having some money in the business account (and my wallet), eating soft boiled eggs at 11 in the morning...

nothing nicer

Thursday, 1 August 2013

a bit of nostalgia for a thursday...

I am not a terribly nostalgic person
and I don't hanker over things that happened in the past
or talk about how things used to be in the past
but lately listening to what is going on in our city, what conditions
people are living under in Mannenberg and Grassy Park, children
getting killed, children not being able to stand near a window in their own homes,
drugs, policemen getting killed, the stories of what happens in the schools
It is all so very sad and depressing

I saw this snippet on Facebook yesterday
It is such a wonderful anthem
for life
and made me a bit nostalgic
and left me wondering why it is impossible for this world 
to be filled with love 

Did you spot a boy in the choir who looked like Mr Bean?