Though I walk

So we are just 12 days away from the bash.
I came across this poster:

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Perhaps one of you may need to read (see) that encouragement.

I remember a while back hearing someone speak on Psalm 23 (the one we’ve come to know so well.)

That person commented on this verse:

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me”

We walk THROUGH the valley.
The psalmist doesn’t say “even though we walk half way into the valley and stay there”

Nope!
He says… whatever valley we are dealing with… we walk THROUGH it.
That’s good news!

See you in a few days.

Clarens – the jewel of the Free State

My “then” fiancé arrived in one of those fancy ‘Fortuners’… on our wedding day.  After a most incredible day of celebration and love with one another and our guests, we packed our things, conversation and desire for adventure in my humble little i10 and my beautiful wife and I headed off to Clarens.

Known as the jewel of the Freestate; and after a week there, we came to understand why:

Our first 2 nights were a few kilometres outside of Clarens at Garden Gate Hotel & Chalets.  Our self- catering chalet was magical.  The view from the veranda was beautiful.

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And of course we were feeling on top of the world (imagine the dragons…):

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The first day, we drove into Clarens to explore and get some food supplies.  As we approached it was as if this “hand” of the Cactus waved a greeting at us:

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We had heard about the famous Jacket Store and decided to see if we would find anything that we fancied.  We did.  These retro winter coats.

This mural is just outside the shop:

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Then my wife and I decided to be like the ‘million’ tourists before us and get a picture in this frame:

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(There is just something about South Africa, right?)

We ambled through the famous Clarens square and found this cute little spot called The Lazy Gecko:

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I love restaurants that have tables right on the sidewalks and people walk by.  (Kind of reminds me of places in Italy that I have visited.)

On our way back to Golden Gate, we found an abandoned house that we wanted explore.  I caught this image of the trees:

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And we drove past the Van Reenen’s family graveyard:

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That evening we were bid ‘good night’ by the orange glow of the setting sun:

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We dined on scrumptious chicken burgers and sipped on a gift of wine.

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(I love how a simple meal like this can be so enjoyable.  Catherine and I are like that.  We’re not “air and graces.” We appreciate the smallest beautiful moments.)

The following day we climbed the Brandwag Buttress that overlooks the Golden Gate Hotel.

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After two nights in the Golden Gate area; we headed into Clarens for the remainder of the week.  Eating pizza in the warm August sun was in order:

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Then we found our next accommodation.  Clarens Retreat:

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There is a lot to do in Clarens.  For those who like the outdoors.  There are hikes around the town on the nearby mountains.  From them you can get a panoramic view of the town.

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For those who are into art & crafts, there are numerous galleries and quirky shops.

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For those who like to dine out.  For dinner, we can recommend Gosto (a Portuguese restaurant) and Clementines.

We were told to have breakfast at The Post House (isn’t that such a cool name?)

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Soaking in the morning sun while eating breakfast.  Bliss!

The Clarens Brewery is a must see; and taste too:

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There are various flavours of ciders and beers.  (One of my favourite moments was sitting under the afternoon sun sipping on beer with my wife and watching the day draw to an end; as the sun hid behind the nearby hill and the remains of the visitors scattered back home.)

For accommodation, we definitely recommend Clarens Retreat, but also Mount Rouge.  We stayed in one of their cosy rooms called The Attic.  Loved it.  The view of the nearby mountain was a great addition.

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If you like coffee; one must visit Highland Coffee:

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Clarens will stay in your heart one you visit there.  We had such a surreal week there and felt like one of the residents by the end of it.  It is definitely a peace of heaven; that place.

I managed to capture these pics too throughout the week:

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And how odd is this sign?

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“Beware of the ducks!” ;)

Thank you Clarens for a wonderful and dreamy time.

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(Our travel companion; Paddington photobombed the photo too.)

whatsapp woes

(I have an odd sense of humour. Please don’t read too seriously into this blog. I am not being racist or emo or whatever. Just tongue in cheek!)

And I have to share… because I want to:

So in South Africa, the black folk are known for their community. Community comes natural. They’re good at welcoming others. It goes with the whole philosophy:

umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” – a person is a person because of others. I love that!

But the funniest thing is black folk on whatsapp groups. It’s like “double community” oh my word!

I joined a study group for one of my UNISA subjects; I had to leave it… there was just way too much chatting going on… lol.

Like an overdose of community! Yesterday I started this local group in my town for those interested in playing soccer. I leave my phone for awhile and then come back to a 45 unread messages in that group. Oh my!

so that’s my one random observation!
—-

then I must laugh at the “bizarre” loneliness one feels… when you’re the only one “left” in a whatsapp group. Recently, family and friends made little groups for recent events. (easier chatting in one group.)

But once the events have expired.. people leave the group. I keep forgetting to delete the groups. I then stumble upon them by accident and discover I’m the only one left. haha!
I feel a surge of “loneliness” over me… haha! Bizarre!

I know… #odd thoughts over and out…

It’s okay to come second.

I saw this poster online yesterday.
It said:

“You’ll never be second if you put God first.”

That’s statement is bugging me.
Logically, it doesn’t make sense.
There is only one winner in a race.
Or if there are two; they would say: ‘tie first place’ ;)

But moving on from logic to the statement of faith…

What is wrong with coming second???

Do we not put too much emphasis on our “performance”

Could you come second and still enjoy the race/journey?

I’m sure you could…

Dear uninvited guests

DEAR UNINVITED WEDDING GUESTS,

You see, I have this dilemma. But in fact this “dilemma” has been born from a well lived life and comes from being really blessed. In my mere 35 years of living I have had incredible opportunities and have met so many people.

I have either lived in your town, your city, your province, your country or been part of your church.

You and I have either chatted or partied over a few beers. Or we’ve had a DMC (deep meaningful conversation) over a cup of coffee or two.
We’ve either worked together. Snowboarded down slopes. Prayer together. Laughed together. Seen other countries together. We may have seen a band together. Or we’ve played together. Some of you are family.

Some of you, I have journeyed with for a very short time. And others, for most of my life. We may have exchanged only a few words. Or we may have filled libraries of conversations.

Some of us, we’re still in touch quite regularly. Other’s we drop in on each other’s lives every now and then.

Whoever you may be, If I had to hear (or see) your name, I could link a memory or moment with you. And for that, I say a massive THANK YOU.

Now our special day, has arrived. I get to marry my beautiful Catherine.
She has stolen my heart. She sees the man ‘behind’ the Hof and the ‘position’.
She sees me for me. 
Over the last few months our love has grown and grown.
And now we get to celebrate with an intimate and quaint ceremony.
To all of you in the UK, I could rack up a guest list in a few minutes that could fill an entire private jet. (Hmm, actually how many seats do those have?)
So, when the time comes, we’ll celebrate that side. Would love that! (So watch this space)

So we ask, wherever you may be as you read this. Celebrate with us, around your dinner table. (Perhaps, say a little prayer for us.)

And in the future, when we pass through or visit your town/city/country feel free to invite us over to celebrate our lives together with you.
That’d be cool!

There is still so many people I’d love Catherine to meet. So, hopefully, that will happen. 

From the extrovertly introvert 
Darrel

How does one with ADD survive a church service? Part I

Sometimes a church service can go on for sooo looong…
How does one with ADD survive?
Do we really need to sing the bridge of Oceans over and over and over and over?

If songs are too long…
If minister is not capturing your attention…

Here are two simple tips to get you started:

1) Count the amount of chairs in the church building. That may kill sometime.

2) Watch a roaming toddler in church. To see them climbing over and under things, stumbling around with utter fascination is rather entertaining. (And who knows you may just learn something from that?) – Child like wonder… I believe they call it…

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I’ve watched this video three times. I love it each time.

Check how much fun the people are having as they play and sing.
I am glad Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters have heard their requests and responded via twitter

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I love the conviction of this guy to organise this massive group of musicians.
There is something so powerful about music.
there is something so powerful about the unity of people.

“It’s time likes these we learn to fly!”