Monday, March 17, 2014

"It is finished"

Scene :

JHN19.28. After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
29.Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
30.When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Jesus did not say, "I am finished" This would have sounded like words of resignation. Rather he said "it is finished" which are words of proclamation. He has received in His mighty heart the sins of the whole world. Now was the moment to announce as loudly as His crucified state would allow the triumphant news that He had finished the work His Father had given Him to do.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Best Writing Tips....

These writing tips cover the basics and the most important aspects of writing.

  1. Do it. Write.
  2. Read as much and as often as you can. Remember, every writer is a reader first.
  3. Keep a journal or notebook handy at all times so you can jot down all of your brilliant ideas.
  4. Make sure you have a dictionary and thesaurus available whenever you are writing.
  5. Be observant. The people and activities that surround you will provide you with great inspiration for characters, plots, and themes.
  6. Invest in a few valuable resources starting with The Chicago Manual of Style, and The Elements of Style.
  7. Grammar: learn the rules and then learn how to break them effectively.
  8. Stop procrastinating. Turn off the TV, tune out the rest of the world, sit down, and write.
  9. Read works by highly successful authors to learn what pleases publishers and earns a pretty penny.
  10. Read works by the canonical authors so you can understand what constitutes a respectable literary achievement.
  11. Join a writers’ group so you can gain support from the writing community and enjoy comradery in your craft.
  12. Create a space in your home especially for writing.
  13. Proofread everything at least three times before submitting your work for publication.
  14. Write every single day.
  15. Start a blog. Use it to talk about your own writing process, to share your ideas and experiences, or to publish your work to a reading audience.
  16. Subscribe to the top writing blogs on the Internet. Read them, participate, and enjoy!
  17. Use writing exercises to improve your skills, increase your talent, and explore different genres, styles, and techniques.
  18. Let go of your inner editor. When you sit down to write a draft, refrain from proofreading until that draft is complete.
  19. Allow yourself to write poorly, to write a weak, uninteresting story or a boring, grammatically incorrect poem. You’ll never succeed if you don’t allow yourself a few failures along the way.
  20. Make it your business to understand grammar and language. Do you know a noun from a verb, a predicate from a preposition? Do you understand tense and verb agreement? You should.
  21. You are a writer so own up and say it out loud: “I am a writer.” Whether it’s a hobby or your profession, you have the right to this title.
  22. Write, write, write, and then write some more. Forget everything else and just write.

Friday, October 4, 2013

My thoughts on the Kruger Park.....

I recently spent one week in the Kruger Park. We were a family of 5 (2 adults and 3 children). I camped in Skukuza and although the amount of game we viewed during this time was impressive, there were other things that concerned me.

1.  Prior to arrival in the park, I paid for the campsite for 2 adults in full. I was told to produce my booking details on arrival and I would then have to pay the balance (for the 3 children) - no problem. Upon arrival at the Skukuza office I produced the paperwork and my credit card, in anticipation for paying the balance. The agent told me it was not necessary to pay for the three children. When I quizzed her, it seemed that it was too much trouble to put the payment through, and I was sent on my way. When I questioned the many other campers in the campsite, they experienced the same thing.
NOW DON'T GET ME WRONG HERE - this was obviously a bargain BUT I was happy to pay the balance. I have heard that the park is struggling to make ends meet and if this kind of inferior billing is taking place, it is no wonder they are struggling!

2. Upon arrival we were told that there are 200 campsites in Skukuza. There were 220 bookings made for that day. The result - no campsites available and people had to SQUEEZE in and share campsites resulting in a noisy, overpopulated campsite which was extremely unpleasant!

3. Skukuza advertise 2 swimming pools in the campers area. The one was locked up during the duration of our stay, while the second pool was operating. Needless to say, there is no grass or shade around the pool making the time spent around the pool most uninviting! Come on Parks board - get your act together and improve the pool facilities!

4. As you walk around the Skukuza camp and chalet areas, you often catch a smell of failing sewerage systems - most unpleasant! This is due to the overbooking of course, and the the general lack of maintenance.

5. People behaviour - the quality (or lack of quality) of people's driving in the park is pathetic. People have to be the first to get to the game view. Drivers break the speed limit, push in front of you while you are viewing an animal, and basically couldn't care a damn about park etiquette!

6. Litter - As you drive around you will notice South Africa's national flower - the plastic bag. These, with other items of litter are thrown out of car windows and are seen from time to time all around Skukuza. Very sad. Also - I spotted more cigerette stompies in Kruger than I did impala. Hundreds and hundreds of stompies at bird hides, in the campsite, at restuarants and viewing spots. Smoking should be banned in the park.

Otherwise - not a bad destination if you are ok to put up with points 1-6. I however, will not be camping in Skukuza again.

-The end-

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Driving in SA

Driving a vehicle in South Africa...............

 There seems to be more and more cars, taxis, busses and trucks on our roads, and the numbers are increasing! What is not improving is the quality of our roads. Due to the high traffic volumes aggravated by the plentiful rains this season, potholes seem to be popping up everywhere. Maybe the slight increase in 4X4 sales is the reason for this! Although the roadworks are necessary, it has impacted on the long queues of vehicles in traffic jams, many hours of wasted time on the road, an increase in driver frustration levels which often leads to road rage, and most importantly, INCONSIDERATION of drivers towards other road users!
I drive mostly in the Pretoria East suburban areas, and every day I see incidents of road rage, total inconsideration of drivers toward their fellow drivers, breaking the law, and clearly ignoring robots and roadsigns just so that they can get to the front of the queue and their destination first!
I would like to know whether the driver's and learners licence syllabus has changed. In my day of getting a learner's and drivers licence, the robot lights were described as follows :
AMBER : upon approaching an amber robot, slow down to a stop so that you are stationary by the time the robot is red.
GREEN : Go, pull away from the robot intersection.

Nowadays, some drivers interpret the robot colours as the following :
RED : Go like hell to make sure you don't get stuck in the intersection!
AMBER : Do not slow down, but speed up to see if you can quickly make it through the intersection before the robot turns red.
Green : Stop - because you have to now wait for the people who hopped the AMBER and RED robots who are stuck in the intersection.
Is it no wonder that people are becoming more aggressive and more incidents of road rage are occurring!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Driving and Cell Phones!

Eish! Still too many drivers driving around busy on cell phones! Talking and texting while they drive, often with kids in the car! MADNESS!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Announcement - New ebook published!

I have just completed an ebook called Peppermints under the Pillow.

Have a preview at
(BIDORBUY site in RSA)

Peppermints under the Pillow is a collection of life stories written by a South African male, Finlay Peterson, who grew up in suburban Cape Town, South Africa during the 1960’s. Life in South Africa fifty years ago was very different to modern day, because ones entertainment was determined by relationships and friendships, rather than the modern trend of escaping to laptop computers, cellular phones and television. Finlay was born in April 1960 into a middle class family. He lived with his parents (Terry and Ethel) and grandparents and his sister (Lyn), in the middle class Cape Town suburb of Claremont. The book describes events, funny anecdotes, adventures and milestones of the first thirty years of his life. Among these stories he mentions the people he has come into contact with, and pseudonyms have been used. These people and events are the story, and are the reason for Finlay becoming the person he is.
Finlay was privileged to be able to attend a middle class primary school, where marbles, tops and kennetjie were just some of the favourite games and pastimes amongst school friends. He seemed to be a victim of a bully or two, but survived that, together with an attempt to play rugby. He found he had neither the build nor personality for the tough contact sport, and settled for the baby version of tennis, namely tennisette. Here he acquired some of the hand, eye and feet co-ordination skills that would be required to achieve later on in his teenage years and later life, in the form of tennis and table tennis.
After primary school, he chose to attend an English boy’s high school, an adventurous boy-scout troop, and pursued a dream of playing his favourite sport (table tennis) at national level. During his late teen years he acquired a love for road running, and he joined the VOB running club and took part in numerous runs around the Cape Peninsula. In conjunction with his table tennis and running training, he joined the Wynberg Tennis club and became an avid member, player and club captain. In 1978, he joined a Telecommunications company in Cape Town, and his work and study there were the stepping stones into entering the world of Information Technology some years later. The book is an account of these aspects of his life.
Finlay Peterson is also a pseudonym.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The majestic beauty of Wuppertal

A part of my ebook, Peppermints under the pillow.

The majestic beauty of Wuppertal

Wupperthal (sometimes also spelt Wuppertal) is a small town in the Cederberg mountains in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It was founded in 1830 by two German missionaries of the Rhenish Missionary Society (Rheinische Mission), Theobald von Wurmb and Johann Gottlieb Leipoldt, grandfather of C. Louis Leipoldt, some 100 years before the city of Wuppertal was formally established in Germany. In 1965, after the Rhenish Mission had gradually scaled down their activities in Southern Africa over a period of 40 years, a decision was taken that Wupperthal in future should become part of the Moravian Church, which by that stage had already made the transition from a mission to an autonomous church in South Africa. The town remains a Moravian mission station to this day. The village remains isolated, and is accessible by a gravel road from Clanwilliam over the Pakhuis Pass. Community facilities include the Moravian Church, a shop, a tea room, a post office, a school with two hostels and a community hall. Most families in the community are dependent on small-scale agriculture or livestock farming for their livelihood. The most important cash crop is rooibos tea. The mountainous areas surrounding the village provide reasonable grazing for goats. In its heyday the shoe factory, founded by Johann Leipoldt himself, provided work for many skilled craftsmen. The Wupperthal handsewn veldskoen (traditional soft suede shoes) were for nearly a century famous across South Africa for their comfort and good craftsmanship. A tannery and a glove factory were also in operation for many years. The shoe factory is still in existence today, but operates on a much smaller scale. Tourism is a growing industry for Wupperthal, particularly during the Namaqualand flower season in August and September, when the seemingly barren mountain slopes become covered in flowers for a few weeks. Back in December 1977, after my last matriculation exam was written, I bundled some hiking kit into a friend’s car, and we motored off in the direction of the Cedarberg mountain range, in pursuit of peace and tranquillity, after a hectic series on studying and examination writing. I could think of no better way of relaxing than getting out of the city and into a mountainous environment with a friend. There were no time boundaries, and after a few days of hiking we found ourselves in a time warp. We ate when we were hungry, we stopped hiking when we were tired and we ambled around enjoying the scenic beauty of the Wolfberg Arch and Cracks, while also traversing the Tafelberg, Sneeuberg, Sneeukop and Krakadouw peaks which were an absolute highlight, whilst also getting a lot of pleasure from Maalgat pool and Stadsaal Caves. We also visited the San rock art sites in caves and overhangs throughout the area. My hiking partner Paul knew the Cedarberg mountain range very well, having grown up in the Clanwilliam area, and he suggested we visit the small town of Wuppertal. After 3 hours of early morning hiking, we reached our destination. We were welcomed by an elderly man who was seated next to a tree, on the outskirts of the town. “Hoosit, my name is Koos,” he greeted us with a toothy grin. His thin wavy hair was uncombed and the deep wrinkles on this coloured man’s face indicated that he was rather elderly, and had spent the best part of his life outdoors. He was puffing away at a long pipe, and as we moved closer we realised that he was not smoking “normal” tobacco, but something a lot stronger! “What can I do for you?” he asked, aiming to please. “Hi,” we said. “We were just hiking in the area and wanted to take a look at your beautiful town,” I added. “Ja, brother. You are most welcome. You can stay as long as you like.” Koos replied. Before we could answer, Koos got off his chair and said, “Come and meet my family. You must stay with us tonight. I will tell you about our dorpie (small town).” Paul and I looked at each other and nodded in agreement. It would be very interesting listening to Koos’s stories and spending time in this quaint town. “I would be a pleasure to spend some time with you. We have lots of time,” we said in acceptance. We followed Koos down the road and soon arrived at his humble abode. Koos whistled loudly and within seconds, his family was standing outside their front door, waiting to greet and be greeted. Koos started by introducing us to his family first. “This is Paul and Finlay. They are visitors to our town and will be spending the night,” he told his family. He then introduced us to his wife Marie, his young son Frik and teenage daughter named Isobel. Marie went into the kitchen and brewed up a really strong pot of coffee. Koos told us to make ourselves comfortable, and we did so in front of his house in some chairs, while Marie and Isobel served us coffee and rusks. We chatted for hours and Koos explained that he was a shoemaker by trade, and was taught this craft by his father and grandfather. Marie worked at the local church and she soon left us to go off to work. “Tomorrow I will show you the art of shoe making,” said Koos. Now, I will take you for a walk around the town. He told Isobel and Frik that it was time for them to go to school, and they reluctantly left us to our coffee and rusks while their father continued to entertain us. Our walk around the town took us a few hours, and it became clear that Koos was a legend in his own right. He introduced us to people who lived life to the fullest, and were honest and hard-working. Tant (Aunt) Grieta who worked at the post office was a merry old lady, who giggled at Koos every time they spoke to each other. It was evident that she had an eye for Koos, but Koos just laughed it off when we asked him about it later. “That woman’s just crazy,” he said, and changed the subject quickly. The shop was an interesting place. The old man behind the counter was almost asleep when we entered the shop, and the doorbell rang as the door opened, causing oom (uncle) Piet to almost fall off his chair. We spent an hour here, listening to the two elderly gentlemen exchanging stories about the old days, while we sipped away at some Hanepoot wine. This wine is grown in the Stellenbosch and Swartland regions of the Western Cape, and is a rich sweet wine which is nice to sip away at while engaging in conversation. After two bottles were finished, and two hours later, we left Oom Piet and his shop, richer for the stories which we had heard, and for the Hanepoot we had just consumed! Koos then took us to see the community hall, the school and we finally ended back at his house. “Thanks Koos, that was very informative!” I said. We sat outside this kind man’s house and consumed another bottle of Hanepoot, while we told him something of our lives and where we came from. We learnt a great deal about Wuppertal, thanks to our new friend. The next day we mixed our leftover rations with Koos’s food, and had a breakfast of cereal, eggs and bread. We ate with the family around a large dining table and washed it all down with Marie’s strong coffee. Koos related a story to us about the shoe making business that he and his family were involved in. “When I was a lightie (little boy), I used to sit on the workbench watching my pa (father) hammering away at a pair of leather boots. Nobody could make boots like my pa,” he said. Koos asked his pa why there were so many single shoes in the window sill, without their partner. “Those are rejects,” Koos’s pa answered. “I also use them to keep away unwanted dogs who scavenge around outside.” It was only a few days later that Koos was in his father’s workshop, and he heard his father shout and throw a boot taken from the window sill, straight at a stray dog who was sniffing around outside. “My pa had some funny ways,” remarked Koos, “especially after a few glasses of witblits. Witblits is a famous alcoholic beverage which is colourless and made using grapes. The English name, White Lightning has a kick of note, and should be drunk in small quantities. However, Koos’s pa was a man of quantity, in all respects, and he drank Witblits daily, which did eventually take its toll in the man’s old age. Drinking witblits during those times in the early 1900’s, was an accepted form of entertainment and a great leveller on a social level. “Come, I will take you to the shoe shop now,” said Koos. He rose, put on his leather hat and we followed him out of the kitchen. We arrived at the shop minutes later, and Koos spent the rest of the morning showing us the art of shoe making, hand-made style. It was a sad moment when we bade Koos farewell. He gave us a half grin, shook our hands and waved us off. We thanked him for the very kind Wuppertal hospitality and made our way out of town.