Saturday, October 3, 2009






There's an old saying: "The grass is always greener on the other side." At some point in life, everyone looks at their circumstances and thinks, "If only... If only I had a better job. If only my spouse were like so-and-so. If only I had gone to college. If only I had the opportunities so-and-so had." We look around and think everyone else has it better than we do. But I believe comparison is just a trick of the enemy to get us off course and keep us from God's best. Comparison is the thief of joy, and if the enemy can steal our joy, he has stolen our source of strength.

See, I don't believe the grass is greener on the other side; I believe the grass is greener where you water it. In other words, we have to tend to the things that are important to us if we want to see those areas of our lives blossom and grow. If you want better relationships, you have to invest in the people around you. If you want a better job, you have to invest in your skill set to qualify for that job and then go after it.

We all have the capacity to come up higher. God has given us all tremendous opportunities, but if we are focused on what everyone else has, we'll miss out on what God has especially for us!

Today, instead of comparing, decide to cultivate the dry, fallow areas of your life. Begin to water and invest in the areas in which you want to see change. Get a vision and dedicate it to the Lord. As you take responsibility and tend to what the Lord has given you, I believe He'll pour out His blessing and favor, and you'll see your life flourish beyond anything you could have ever hoped or dreamed.

This is one of those emails that are forwarded. I hardly ever forward this kind of thing but today felt that this was meaningful in so many of our lives. This is worth saving to re-read.

October has now begun. Just three months in this year are still to be played out.
We have had so many things happen this year. Both great and some not so wonderful. Ian died, since then Barbara's cousin Sue died, then Michael De Koning (a man who was injured in a rugby accident and who was confined to a wheelchair but who became a good friend to Michael and Jacqui Zivor) died and now Roger Gush has died. These four deaths all seem to be premature.

I am not really sure what a premature death is: perhaps death is premature when it is not due to old age. But to some old age is 75. Barbara's parents died in this age bracket as did my father, Allan. But then a young person may consider 60 to be old age.

While I, in my late fifty's now, think that my Mother, who is 93, has reached old age. However we describe death, it is sad for those left behind and a big gap is created and we wonder how we will carry on without those who are no longer with us. I know time will heal but right now I am feeling a great sense of loss as a result of these four great people who have left us.

But enought of morbid thoughts. We have a wonderful and fulfilled life and should, as the writing above says, be celebrating every moment.

Sunday 4th October 2009.
This week: After a lay off and a bit of leave I went back to work on Thursday 1st. I also went for a run this morning for the first time in over a week. I am not really sure if I should be calling it running as I am barely able to walk jog the route out. We did the Town Run where I have been cutting short but this morning headed all the way down Bird street and past the Edward hotel. It had begun raining so we ended the run sopping wet but I felt good to be back on the road and doing a little longer than I had anticipated.

Back to work I had to appoint a FSAM to the position of RIana Nel who had left JDG last week. I discussed the applications with Corrie and we decided to appoint Rowena van Eck who was a regional Credit manager for Russells, then moved to the George area with JDG FS and who will now move back to PE where she has a daughter and grandaughter.

Other than this it was a time to catch up with work and to deal with all of the problems of staff with no Riana and Nicky (on leave) to field the questions. Friday evening on my way home, I wondered what to have for supper. I was not in the mood for cooking so stopped off at the Spar and went to the Deli bar. As I browsed I saw a Sushi tray for R30 and decided that we would have a fish supper. I bought the Sushi, some pickled fish and some calamari. It turned out to be an excellent supper that everyone enjoyed.

Saturday morning I was up early and Gerald, Ronel and I ran to Hobie beach where we met up with the rest of the group for a run. This morning it was: Adrienne and son Matthew, Maryna, Adrienne Smith and Anne duRandt were surprise visitors who joined us for the first time; Margie Saunders was there to show us how to really train for an event; Peter Mc Ewan was also a first timer in this group; Pat Scheepers & Suzanne Gendall also met us at Hobie for the run. So we had a merry band of about 12 runners stretched out along the route for a run.

It started off misty with an East wind but the sun soon burned the mist away and we had an excellent morning of jogging. I was in my normal place at the back but when we reached 2nd ave for water at the garage it was only Gerald, Peter, Maryna and I who continued on to Admiralty Way. Tony Button (shirtless) had passed us going the other direction and was oohed and aaahed at by the girls with his magnificent physique. So I decided to run shirtless for the last section but receieved no swooning from anyone. Ce La Vie!

Maryna and Peter decided to include the University in their run and turned right while Gerald I continued down to Beach Road and headed back to Hobie. We met Charmaine as she was coming from her home to start her run. And Judy Blumberg who is looking a little older but still running well. As we finished we were treated to a dolphin swimpast. It had been a good run and despite that fact that my legs were starting to cramp and I was really tired, this is a highlite of my week. Pat and Ronel were waiting for us and they gave me a lift home.

I arrived at home exhausted. Barbara was still in bed and I lay down still wet and sweaty and promptly fell asleep. I think that this was a first for me. I would never normally lie down after a run nor would I do anything before I have had a shower. But I was so weary that I "passed out" there and then.

Barbara had to buy some clothes for Ally for the new term starting Monday and headed off to Clarendon school shop. It was Daniel's Birthday and they went to visit there. Michael had not been feeling well and was also home. I went to work to do some catching up as I knew we would be in meetings on Monday and Tuesday next week.

I collected Barbara and the two of us went to Flight Center where we did some enquiries about the flights to Calgary as Barbara and Gail plan to be there in June 2010.

Later this afternoon I again did "something completely different". Ron and I went to watch Ladies Rugby in Uitenhage. Eastern Province Ladies rugby was, according to the news paper report on the up and they would be playing the Blue Bulls ladies team in a provincial final.

We paid R30 to drive into the stadium at the bottom end of Uitenhage. There were mainly black and coloured people there with a lot of drinking going on. Casks of wine, glass bottles of beer were surprising to see as at all the stadiums that we normally go to all forms of alcohol are controlled and only plastic mugs are allowed. But that having been said there were no problems today.

I had visions of a game that Barbara and I had been to many years ago where there were two local teams playing. The popular coloured team was losing and this was, in the opinion of the spectators, due to bad refereeing. The result was that glass bottles were flung at people on the field and Barbara and I had to flee for our lives as the crowd became totally uncontrolled and we had some near misses with big bottles smashing around us.

Today's game was a treat. The Eastern Province girls (all black and coloured) at first seemed to be out weighed by a big Blue Bulls (many white girls) pack. But the skill of the EP girls was soon evident as they totally dominated the game both in line outs and the back line where there were some unlikely looking girls with speed and agility that could be a lesson to many male teams.

We were delighted to see a half time score of three tries (one converted) to nil. The first two tries were scored by a very agile and capable scrumhalf and the third was scored by a center after a long breakaway run. In the second half the EP side had most of the territory and possession but stuggled to score but then in two excellent moves moved the score up by scoring two more tries (one converted) and preventing the Blue Bulls from scoring with some excellent tacking and defence that did our local team proud.

Niether side had a girl who was a really good kicker. This kept the ball in hand as the only kicks were short stabs and grubber kicks. Even penalties were often taken as though they were "short arm" penalties. Passing out to the centers and wings was the norm and not something to be rarely seen as it is in the mens version. Running with ball in hand, dodging and darting through traffic was often a tactic that proved successful.

The heavy charges of the Blue Bulls big girls was totally unsuccessful as the ball was often lost forward. The final score was 29-0 with the Mighty Elephants scoring 5 tries (two converted). Ron and I had been treated to some excellent rugby despite some really poor refereeing. Interestingly the referee, the linesmen and teams were all female. But the coaches and organisers seemed to be all men. EP had deservedly won the provincial trophy.

Sunday morning
Ally had spent the night at Michael's house. It was Daniels birthday. M & L have gone out to a batchelor party for a family member of Lene's. I collected her and we just had time to get to church. Mike Perks spoke and had an excellent sermon on the chorus: God is so good; He took my Sin; Now I am free.

After church it was down to Nippers where we had a great time with all age groups on a slightly cooler morning doing swimming and boarding. After Nippers we went to Michaels house where we spent the afternoon having lunch and playing bridge.

Sunday 11.10.2009.
Charles is battling with Jamie right now. Jamie appears to be a bit out of control and needs constant attention. We were due to meet Charles and Ingrid for supper but they had to cancel. I am sure that this is a phase and that Jamie will come through it but meanwhile it is tough for this family.

Ally had her Market day on Friday. She and her friend Hanna OBrie have been hard at work making necklaces, braclets, door signs, popcorn, crunchies, brownies and set up a table in the Clarendon Hall. When I collected Ally from her firend's party at the Ten Pin Bowling on Friday evening, Ally was not looking as bright as normal and I established that the Market Day had not gone as they had hoped. There are a number of lessons that they learned from this experience. It was a really good learning tool.

Saturday Morning. I was up early and met Gerald and Ronel and we ran down to Hobie beach where we met: Colin Mc Call, Suzanne, Susan, Anne DuRand, Adrienne Smith, Adrienne Wilson, Maryna Baard. We did the Strandfontein circuit. Passed Bob Stedman en route. Deryck LeRoux passed us as he drove to golf.

As we were finishing along the beach walk we met a young mother and child in a pram: Anja and daughter Johanna. They are a German family who are moving to PE as the Dad has a job here. After this run of around 20kays I am now feeling good for the Meiringspoort 21kay that we plan to run next week.

Ally had a Gala in Uitenhage. It was cold and I think that everyone: Parents and swimmers were freezing cold. I went to a Coaching session run by Anthony Skinner (brian Saunders and Harry) at Summies. We had an excellent turnout: Dianne, John, Varrin, Andrew, Clint, Bruce, Thomas, Roger, Hannes, Alex, Shareen, Lynne, Marius and Peter.

I planned to cycle with John on Sunday morning but the cold and wet put us off. It was still cold, misty and wet when we got down to Nippers on Sunday morning. But there was a good turnout of Nippers and Coaches there. We had some time to start Sprint Coaching as well as doing some In's and Out's of the water. The wind was Easterly and the waves were a mess.

This week at work we had to do a lot of training of a new system that is being introduced. I ran most mornings except Tuesday as it was raining. Gerald and I have been running extremely slowly with lots of walking interspersed. This does not bother me as I am now feeling good for Meiringspoort.

Silver Oak Trees
The silver Oak Trees in Walmer are now at their best with the golden blossoms flowering. I looked up this tree and found out that the tree is known as the Australian Silver-Oak or the Southern Silky Oak tree. Grevillea robusta: It is native to Eastern Australia but does well in South Africa. It is an evergreen, grows fast and suits the South African climate. I saw one of these trees in Jacqui Zeelie's house when I visited Joshua on Grandparents Day. She complains that it makes a big mess with the golden blossoms falling on the playground.

The South African Silver Oak Tree is more like a shrub or bush. It is a dense bush with leathery leaves which are green on the top but have silver coloured hairs on the bottom of the leave which give it a shiny appearance. The South African Silver Oak is also evergreen and fast growing. Brachylaena discolor: It is found in the Coastal Woodlands of the Eastern Cape. The name Discolour refers to the two colours of the leaf.

Saturday 17th October 2009.
This weekend we ran the Meiringspoort half marathon. I have written a separate blog on Meiringspoort.

Sunday 18.10.2009.
Sunday morning: Michael had not been feeling well and we stopped off to see him before going off to Nippers.

At Summerstrand the wind had flattened the waves and we had a wonderful session of which most was in the water. We had the U14's do about 5 times on their Malibu boards out and back. Tough but necessary training. There were a group of about 22 U14's and similar numbers of the other age groups.

All the coaches were able to spend quality time with the Nippers in the water as well as doing Flags.

Jacqui had finally got the clothing back from being branded with ADT who are now our new sponsors. She handed clothing out to parents who have paid subs. Dianne has a wonderful tuck shop going and was selling potjie rolls at R5 and hamburgers at R10. They do a roaring trade and this is a big success at Summerstrand now.

The ADT sponsorship was finalised late on Friday afternoon. Hannes had been working hard to reach an understanding with the management of ADT as to what they would require from us. There is a certain amount of clothing stock that has now been branded with the ADT logo and this will be the new uniform of Summerstrand.

Now that we have this very generous sponsorship finalised we will order and print clothing for our Nippers. Please be a little patient. We will let you know as soon as the clothing is available. Meanwhile; if you have paid your annual subs please talk to Jacqui on Sunday. Jacqui will be at the Nippers cage.

Once a Nipper's annual Subscription has been paid the Nipper will receive a Scull Cap, a chafe vest and a bathing costume. Other clothing will be sold to cover the costs. The Nippers committee has not put any “mark up” on clothing in the past but merely tried to recover the cost price of the uniform. This year will be the first that Nippers will have the uniform included in the Subscription.

It is important to note that we should make an effort to honour the substantial sponsorship that ADT has given to Summerstrand. Please make every effort to wear the ADT branded clothing as soon as you have received it. We would like to phase out the Equisweet branded clothing. The committee has found a suitable and needy outlet for clothing and beach wear that has the Equisweet label.

Micro Nippers: The Annual Subscription for a Micro Nipper is R100. The Micro Nipper will receive an ADT branded scull cap which they should wear on Sundays at practice.

Level Tests: we are now trying to arrange a level test for all Nippers who have moved up an age group or who are first timer's. Rob Mitchley is working tirelessly to set up level tests for Saturday 31st October at Hobie beach: time to be confirmed. YOU HAVE TO PROVIDE ROB WITH A SWIM LETTER. This letter can be signed by you, a swim coach or any other suitable adult. Please make his life easy: don't make him phone you: fax a copy of the letter on Monday.

Robert Mitchley Attorney
Tel: 041 373 1956
Fax: 086 623 0290
Mobile: 082 929 1648

Nippers Practice for Sunday 25th: we had thought to arrange a practice at Redhouse but for a number of reasons we will meet at Summerstrand as usual.

Monday morning I was quite stiff and Mike Dean & I decided to do a very short walk run. We chatted about all kinds of stuff: His daughter, Catherine is also not well. She is at University in Cape Town and struggling with health. Debra has completed a degree in property management and is now studying a Post Grad Law degree.

His Medical Technologist is going off on Maternity leave and he is concerned that he will not cope without her specialist knowledge. Mike had done the Ocean Swim on Sunday in a wet suite for the first time. He described what it was to wear a wet suite and how this had changed the dynamics of the swim.

Tuesday and Wednesday we did our slow runs in the morning. Tuesday, Barbara, Ally and I went to Cyclo Pro Rob Rudman and bought ourselves three mountain bikes for R20 750 in total including all the stuff such as slick tyres etc.

Thursday and Friday I was in East London and then Friday evening we had an evening with Charles and Ingrid. They made these Borrito's (chicken and beef wraps) with lettuce, tomato, spring onion, mushroom etc chopped and wrapped in pancakes. A very nice and easy supper. We played a bit of bridge and then collected Ally who had been at Lara O's party at the boardwalk. They had a Survivor party doing all kinds of activities.

Michael and Lene had decided that it would ease some of their tensions and stress if they moved back home with us. So this week they packed up all of their furniture, moved some to our house and then rest to my office basement.

Saturday morning I walked to Adrienne where Pat collected us. We drove down to the beach where we met the gang: Susan, Suzanne, Maryna (piepie Lang Kous), Gerald, Pat, Ronel, Anne Du Rand, Adrienne and myself. We ran along the beach and up Admiralty to Strandfontien. Back to the beach after an hour of running. Then Ronel had wanted to do a Triathlon so we went for a short swim around the buoys. I think that Maryna was a little disappointed as she had wanted a longer run.

Cathy had been to Kenya at the invitation of her work. Saul and her had a luxury holiday of about two weeks in the most wonderful settings in the Serengetti, in craters of old volcano's. They watched the migration of the Wilderbees and Zebra. They saw the RIver Crossing that we see on Nationial Geographic. They witnessed a Zebra being taken out by a crocodile. They did game viewing from Horse back and were able to go right up to the animals. And during all of this they stayed in Luxury accommodation.

When Cathy heard that Michael was struggling with his situation and health she decided that she had to see for herself and give him support. So she flew into PE on Friday immediately on her return from holiday. All of this travel made her system a little weak and she was not feeling her best.

After our run on Saturday morning we drove to Cyclo Pro to collect the Bikes but unfortunately they were not yet ready. The day was cold, windy and overcast so after work that was the end of activity for me. Kevin the gardener and I cleared out some stuff and took it to the tip. But apart from that I did not do anything that Saturday afternoon.

Sunday morning with Cathy and the rest of the family at our home, we took the morning off and started a leisurely day. Barbara dropped Cathy off at the airport and Ally & I went to Nippers:

To all the new Nippers and Parents: Welcome to Nippers. Thank you for choosing Summerstrand.

Please understand that we are all parents just like you who have become involved with our children's activities.
This is not an exclusive bunch of coaches and administrators. We invite you to put on your shorts or bathing costumes and to join us. Either on the beach or assisting at the club house.

I am sure that many Nippers or Parents would have asked the question: "Is there Nippers today?" on Sunday morning.

The answer is that, unless we have told you prior to Sunday, there will be Nippers every Sunday 11am to 13.00. Your coaches will be there.

This Sunday we had an amazing turnout despite the seemingly chilly, windy, wet weather.
The conditions for training have never been better than we have had this season so far.

We have never (in the past few years) had so much time to train Malibu, body board and swimming as we have had this season.
I am pretty sure that we are not the only family who is arriving home on Sunday afternoon completely exhausted.

And, while we have had a few hiccups with Clothing, we have had an amazing group of people doing the admin and tuckshop.
There have been Hot Dogs and Hamburgers for sale each weekend. And everything has been sold out.

The coaches are busy sorting out teams for Plett Carnival. We will send out the program for Plett as soon as we receive it.

U12 and U14's: Please remember that you have to have competed in Carnivals as well as East Cape (Plett next year) to be able to qualify for selection to represent EC as a province.

Energade Triathlon:
The very popular Energade Triathlon is held on Sunday 29th November, at Pollock Beach.
Ally & I have entered for this event. Will you please think about joining us?
It is an event that can be completed by everyone either as a team or as individuals.

082 550 3174

Once we were home, Barbara & I went to the Indigenous Nursery off Kragga Kamma Road. I had done a little research on the Australian and the South African Silver Oak. So we decided to purchase a SA Silver Oak to plant in the garden. We will plant it on the East Wall next to Mill Park Road.

I also purchased a Real Yellowood Tree. I had bought one of these trees about 2 years ago and after digging a hole for this tree for about a week or two I planted it (with lots of ceremony) and it promptly died. So I will pull the old stump out and plant my second attempt this week.

This evening I tried out the Tortilla type wrap (taco, burrito, enchiladas) with chicken and salad. Healthy and filling. Easy to make. Ally loves it and I had to make her one for her lunch the next day.

Monday morning I tried to run but had to stop as my leg was in agony.
Tuesday afternoon: It had been blowing a gale and a number of trees and roofs were blown off. Some people even lost boats in the PE harbour.

It had rained on Monday to Barbara & I went to collect the Bikes from Rob Rudman this afternoon. We phoned first to ensure that they were ready only to be disappointed when we arrived there and they were still not ready. I told Rob how I felt and cleared the air. On our way home we stopped off at Cell C to renew Barbara's cell phone contract. We received excellent service from the young man who was there and Barbara will now have a really snazzy phone.

Wednesday afternoon we finally collected the bikes after having them set up and made ready to cycle. Rob gave us some instructions as to maintenance and the use of the bikes. I really cannot wait to have us cycyle as a family.

This week Lene and Michael went to see how the baby was doing. Lene was able to perform the ultra sound herself but found no heart beat. They then discovered that the baby was going to be stillborn. Very sad for them. Lene had the operation performed during the week and took the rest of the week off to recover.

Hannes and I met up with ADT on Monday morning. We had a really good discussion regarding their sponsorship and what they hope to achieve and how we could benefit from the relationship.

This week I have been battling with a calf muscle injury. I have a prescription for anti inflamatory pills and these work if I take them for about three days in a row. But I am reluctant to take it too regularly. But on Thursday & Friday I took the pills and then on Saturday morning we had a stunning run from Hobie with a swim afterwards. It was Adrienne, Susan, Anne Du Rand and myself. Gerald was running a 27kay race. We swam afterwards. Maryna was not well and brought us a coffee and rusk to the finish.

I went home and after a shower went back to the beach where we had our first round of Level Tests for the season. THe water was cold but the Nippers all passed. Today I had the Gardener plant the Yellow Wood tree that I had bought. I also started a second attempt at a vegetable garden with some tyres that I filled with compost and planted some SPinach, Lettuce, Beans and Cabbage. So we will see what happens.

This afternoon was the Currie Cup final between Blue Bulls and Cheetahs. A good game but was not of that much interest to me. A number of springboks in both teams but the Blie Bulls were favourites and ultimate winners. Ally and friend Lara Swanepoel went to watch a Hip Hop dance competition at Clarendon. It was too long and lasted from around 6.30pm to after ten pm.

And so ended the tenth month of 2009. Busy as always, fulfilling, sad, family drama, work activity, Barbara's school takes a beating, I battle with running injury but also have one of the best runs that I have had in ages, Nippers is in full swing with our first level test of the season completed and Rugby is over for this season. We buy some Mountain bikes but I have trouble on the first day that I use mine as the rear wheel falls off and the brakes jam up.

Peter Giddy

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