Tag Archives: love

Roscoe 2 – restored

I’ve had a whole lot of 35 mm printed photos (452 to be exact) lying in a large shoe box in my cupboard for many years now.

On Saturday the 16th of February 2013 I hauled them out and decided to convert them into digital copies.

Many are out of focus, stained and faulted in other ways. However, all reveal great and special memories.

This post and others to follow will showcase some of these photos.

I used my Canon 550 D (flash-off) set on a tripod to take a photo of a photo. Magic Lantern “audio remote shot” was used to avoid any shake on taking each shot.

A number of speckles and stains were removed, but I did not want to spend too much time restoring each photo where and if required.

Here is a follow-on of a previous post Roscoe using the “old & restored” photos.

Tags “love caring family motherhood” have been employed as you will see Roscoe below being mothered by Charlie.

roscoe & charlie @ beach (3) (Large) roscoe & charlie @ beach (1) (Large) roscoe & charlie @ beach (2) (Large) roscoe & charlie @ beach (4) (Large)

A loving warrior lays to rest for a while

“Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.

All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!”

Photo365-001

Margaret Harvard 3 August 1949 – 6 February 2013

image

The Buddhist Retreat Centre & Pathways in Life

In or around 2005 I first encountered the teachings of Buddha and attended regular teachings for the next two years.

I left that particular path or tradition and it was during May 2007, over a certain weekend, that I “somehow” found myself  “involved” at another tradition: Buddhist Retreat Centre (BRC) in Ixopo, South Africa.

On the Saturday evening of that weekend, sitting alone next to a glowing fireplace, I read a short biography of Mother Theresa and it really touched my heart.

The photos below were taken that weekend using a Canon Ixus.

A few years later I sat in silence a few metres from Mother Teresa’s tomb in Kolkata, India and visited her home for the sick and dying.

There are no “some-hows” – only pathways; cause and effect (Karma) in action.

None of the happenings above were “random”. They all came about through paths I had taken and numerous causes that had arisen.

Buddha gave advice on the The Noble Eight-fold Path listed below:

1. Right view
2. Right intention
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration

There seem to be lots of paths in and around the BRC now that I study the photos nearly six years later

Below there are approximately Eight Paths and some other views of interest.

BRC Ixopo 047 (Large) BRC Ixopo 001 (Large) BRC Ixopo 002 (Large) BRC Ixopo 019 (Large) BRC Ixopo 021 (Large) BRC Ixopo 009 (Large) BRC Ixopo 006 (Large) BRC Ixopo 013 (Large) BRC Ixopo 015 (Large) (Medium) BRC Ixopo 022 (Large) BRC Ixopo 023 (Large) BRC Ixopo 024 (Large) BRC Ixopo 025 (Large) BRC Ixopo 033 (Large) BRC Ixopo 034 (Large) BRC Ixopo 037 (Large) BRC Ixopo 038 (Large) BRC Ixopo 040 (Large) BRC Ixopo 041 (Large) BRC Ixopo 044 (Large) BRC Ixopo 048 (Large) BRC Ixopo 049 (Large) BRC Ixopo 056 (Large) (Medium) BRC Ixopo 051 (Large)

Port St Johns & Other Legends

Wikipedia describes Port St Johns as follows: “Port St. Johns (or Port Saint Johns) is a town of about 5000 people on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It is situated at the mouth of the Umzimvubu River, 220 kilometres (140 mi) northeast of East London and 70 kilometres (40 mi) east of Mthatha.”

South Africa Info is way more descriptive: “Port St Johns is a swashbuckling village of legend on the Pondo side of the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape. It is also one of the highlights on any international backpacker’s world itinerary because of its natural setting, frontier atmosphere and appeal to more adventurous younger travellers.

The backpacker facilities in this African village are excellent. They cater for couples, solo travellers and small groups of young people. The backpacker lodges will help their guests set up activity itineraries every day, which include everything from jungle swings to unusual walking destinations.

Four backpacking establishments that come highly recommended in Port St Johns are:

The Island Backpackers Lodge
First Beach, Port St Johns, 5120
Tel/Fax: (047) 564 1958
Cell: 082 813 1611
E-mail:theisland@wildcoast.co.za
Web:www.theislandbackpackers.co.za

Amapondo Backpacker – HIGHLY RECOMENDED!!!
Second Beach Road, PO Box 190,
Port St Johns, 5120
Tel/: 081 257 4504
Cell: 083 315 3103
E-mail:info@amapondo.co.za
Web:www.amapondo.co.za

Ikaya ‘Le Intlabati (House On The Beach)
Second Beach, PO Box 32, Port St Johns, 5120
Tel/Fax: (047) 564 1266
Cell: 083 715 1421
E-mail:ikaya@telkomsa.net

Jungle Monkey
340 Berea Road, PO Box 130, Port St Johns, 5120
Tel/Fax: (047) 564 1517
E-mail:junglemonkey@iafrica.com

I stumbled upon PSJ (Port St Johns) for the second time in 2004. It has a special place in my heart.

Whilst I am no expert of the goings-on in PSJ, I do know a few things that work well for me when there:

  1. Jungle Monkey and Amapondo backpackers are great for a party; Spotted Grunter best if you want to sleep. Cremorne is on the North bank and neat
  2. The fishing is relaxing / laid-back if you want it to be; sometimes successful and sometimes not
  3. The food at Delicious Monster is “eat your fingers off your hand” stuff
  4. Cow pooh lines the airfield runway and the view from up there is refreshing / magnificent
  5. You can stay on the “cultured” side of the river  (North bank) or cultured side (South bank) – horses for courses
  6. Don’t swim in the sea as there are a lot of Sharks and attacks
  7. The drive to Poenskop is full of sights and it’s nice to fish there and have a picnic
  8. Crime is everywhere so be careful
  9. There is a gap in the mountain, which I have seen from a distance for good reason
  10. The sea is rough at times and the area has a history of shipwrecks
  11. There is an abandoned hotel (Cape Hermes) overlooking the sea
  12. The Sardines swim past in July / August
  13. Buy your food and drinks in the town – there area ample stores
  14. Visit PSJ at least once in your life if you are able to leave fussiness at home, drop any airs and graces, and “get down on the ground” with some of the locals – you will then have a laid-back rejuvenating holiday
  15. Read some more “facts” below

Early morning view from airfield

“Don’t land now as we are busy grazing”

The Gap

The birds are far & few but laid back 😉

Pic taken from Spotted Grunter side of river; Cremorne is in the rear

Buy your nuts, bananas and avocado pears on the roadside

The view from a table at DM (Delicious Monster) Restaurant at 2nd Beach

DM entrance

DM undercover & open eating / chill areas

DM specials

My no 1 dish Crayfish Thermidor

Timol’s choice of a meal

The other / alternative “facts”:

  1. During 2004 I met a chap by the name of Daryl. He stayed in PSJ on the side of a small river
  2. Whilst he may not have been an Angel and I’m sure wronged some people (like we all have), he was a gentleman
  3. He taught me few a few important things about life
  4. I did not take Daryl seriously when I first met him: he was dressed shabbily and did not have a few cents to rub together. However, looks can be very deceiving
  5. He made many claims about his “former” life. I thought him to be a storyteller of lies until he showed me some photographs that stunned me (shut my trap)
  6. He indirectly gave me relationship advice which turned out to be so true. I wish I had listened to him more carefully
  7. One day when chatting about load shedding (electrical supply cuts) for a few hours every week and how this “seriously” affected our lives, Daryl said “hey bru, that’s nothing. I never had electricity for 3 years”. This stumped us yet again.
  8. I caught a Salmon at Poenskop and gave it to Daryl. He was very appreciative.
  9. The next visit to PSJ I was gobsmacked to hear how Daryl stretched and shared that one fish with lots of people / neighbours
  10. Daryl was free diving one day when an octopus “attacked him”. His recount of this story every visit / every evening would have all and sunder in stitches / laughing our heads off
  11. One afternoon, when I first met Daryl, I needed salad dressing. I never thought to ask Daryl of all people. He offered to make me some and I hesitantly accepted; not knowing what on earth he would bring back. Daryl turned out to be a super talented cook – he came back with a fresh herb / creamy salad dressing that was so tasty. Again, Daryl proved that we should not judge a book by its cover
  12. In early April 2012 we again met up with Daryl and went on a fishing expedition to Poenskop
  13. Daryl was clearly suffering from a grave illness but made no fuss of it
  14. He slowly walked to and climbed onto the vehicle, and accompanied us – he made the effort albeit huge beyond what most would manage
  15. Daryl so unwell that he was not able to cast his line into the water – we had to help him
  16. Daryl still hasn’t told me why some call him “Double Barrel Daryl”
  17. He was an authority on many subjects

I have never telephoned Daryl although he gave me his mobile number years ago.

We called Daryl’s number last night; I’m not sure what made us do this. It might have been because we were sipping on a few beers, having fun, laughing and enjoying the company of family – the moment was good despite other heart-wrenching things going on in our lives at that time.

Alas, a feeling of sadness came over me when I heard that Daryl had passed away in April 2012 – no doubt shortly after that last fishing trip.

Below are some pics of the Legend.

Daryl in 2004 telling us the “octopus story”

The last fishing trip in early April 2012

Goodbye mate, until we meet again in person or spirit.

Cold Turkey (Everybody’s Free – To Wear Sunscreen)

It was all engines go and roaring for the UK and then Turkey in my last post. It was set in stone – tickets & accommodation were all booked. I explained in great detail to friends and colleagues how Timol and I would walk the markets and alleyways of Istanbul, and then sit down to rest with a Turkish coffee and hookah. Really now, what could go wrong?

We landed in the UK and had two days at New Barns farm outside Birmingham and exploring London CBD before I received the first SMS / text.

I am sure all of you know some of the Baz Luhrmann lyrics to “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”. The full lyrics appear at the end of this post, but for here & now I specifically highlight “Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good”. This was said for good reason.

The SMS suggested I return home immediately as my Mother was critically ill.

Within 5 hours of getting that message (only 48 hours after landing in the UK), Timol and I were boarding an Emirates flight to head back home. Turkey was out the door.

I didn’t know if Mother would make through the next 22 hours whilst we hurried back home. I sent messages asking that she just hold on a little while longer: that last smile, warm hand, touch, goodbye, word, bit of advice, smell seemed all so very important at that point but definitely not when I hurriedly left Mother about 3 days before, to look after things while I was away.

Long story short. I have been home 9 days, never saw Turkey but did see Mother tonight at the hospital. We watched a little television, shared some memories and how our days went today, got some fresh air outside, sampled the view over Durban CBD, held hands and made arrangements to see each other tomorrow.

Things are not at all well with Mother and the chances of improvement are ultra-slim to nil, but we have shared 9 glorious days that perhaps should not have been ours – I have told Mother that this is indeed our “bonus” time; like in pinball: we are scoring big and I for one love it!

Yes, our days together are surely numbered but I think that they have always been; from the moment I entered this world from her womb. It only now that we appreciate this a little or lot more.

A little advice from my Mother today “savour, enjoy and appreciate that simple cup of tea or plain apple, because you don’t know what it’s like (how terrible and torturing) when you can’t have them any longer”. Mother is no longer able to eat in the conventional manner and in all likelihood will not do so again in this lifetime.

I cannot even begin to describe Mother and the enormity of her heart, the unconditional love, care for all, warmth, courage of a Lion (she is a Leo) and many other talents.

Perhaps the pictures below of Mother and her son (me) taken about 40 years ago will provoke some thoughts.

It’s nearly bedtime for me so let me leave you with the promised lyrics:

“Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind sides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen”

Mother Teresa and Dr. Kent M. Keith

I stumbled upon The Paradoxical Commandments, or a variation thereof, yesterday on a poster at a medical practitioner’s office.

The words moved me and had a calming effect. I took a photograph of the poster and looked up the origins today.

The original version I read is reflected below:

The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith

“People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centred.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the
smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favour underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

A version of the commandments that has been circulating on the web under Mother Teresa’s name is a version sometimes called “The Final Analysis” because of its last two lines.

Here is one example of that version, being the same version on the poster I saw:

“People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centred;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true friends; succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world your best anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;

It was never between you and them anyway.”

Read Kent Keith’s comments here.

 

A Tail of Dogs

John Unger just wanted a friend to take a nice photo of him and his 19-year-old dog, Schoep, before it was too late.

He (John) said: “I decided to use my energy not to focus so much on what I was feeling but to give my dog the best life I could. In the process, I helped myself, too.

We give animals as much as we can; in return, they give us their all, no matter how little or how much we give them. I have given Schoep as much as I can, although it was very little at that time. He has always given me his all.”

Read the full article here where John explains how his dog Schoep (both pictured below) helped him through a difficult patch.

Like John and many other people through the ages, I have also been blessed with some really close forgiving companions who love (loved) me unconditionally.

Whether I came home at 03h00 in the morning or even a few weeks later, I was always greeted by a broad grin and wagging tail.

The unconditional love given by a dog is not fazed by bad moods, absence, shouting or any “bad” behavior that a fellow human being would crucify one for.

Charlie, a little lady, joined me in 1999.

Photogenic from day 1.

A good swimmer in the pool.

Trips to the beach in the utility van were always appreciated.

Charlie enjoyed relaxing on the veranda chair.

When inside, she shared the couch with Tiga the cat.

Charlie was the only dog that did not annoy Tiga, who was a fussy boy that “moved out” of home after staying with me for 5 years!

Charlie enjoyed playing with plastic toys that squeaked. She loved tossing them in the air.

Brighton Beach January 2011: a few months before she passed away.

During early April 2011 Charlie was diagnosed with severe / advanced Cancer and passed away a few days later without whimper or complaint. She made her way to a corner at the bottom of the garden and lay down for her final rest.

An Angel left earth that day.

Like John, I also have my own story about how Charlie helped me through a difficult patch. That’s all for another post at another time.

Love your Angels (dogs) back while you have a chance.

The tribute to Charlie video can be viewed here.

“Our animals shepherd us through certain eras of our lives. When we are ready to turn the corner and make it our own…they let us go.” Author Unknown

The ultimate personal growth guide

For a change, this post is not about food photography or travel.

However, the topic is a tool or medicine definitely needed by all three for there to be any measure of success.

Rewind: Timol, Roscoe and I are just back home from a weekend away. It was planned the day before we left.

The destination was an hour away on the Natal North Coast; a little cottage about 50 metres from the sea.

All cellular telephones, radios and televisions were turned off.

It was a weekend of beach walks, seashell collecting, fishing, reading, talking, sleeping and exploring the Old North Coast Road on the way home (with a stop-off at La Lucia to do some more fishing).

It was a good time to finish Who Will Cry When You Die? (Robin Sharma) and think about making one’s life far more meaningful.

I love a good old dose of motivation, a huge big dose on a regular basis to be more precise.

My favourite quote, or at least one of them I should say, is by Mary Anne Radmacher:

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”

Those words are so powerful and encouraging.

And when your little voice has spoken; and you are prepared to try again tomorrow, then grow your confidence with this from source unknown:

“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle… when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

Before I move out the spotlight, let me also share my top-two power tunes.

Some of the lyrics just get me buzzing with juiced-up powerful motivation.

I won’t reveal their identities in the hope that you will click, listen and also feel the positive energy:

  1. Road to recovery
  2. On the summit 

Well now that I have hopefully set the mood, please take a good look at something I can only describe as a treasure chest of personal growth ammunition.

The ultimate personal growth guide by Goodlife Zen offers, among others, the following titles:

10 Answers You Should Know Before Your Job Interview
20 Tips that Got Me an IT Promotion
How to Start Freelancing Without Quitting Your Job
How to Lose Your Fear of Being Fired
How to Motivate Others
How to Make Lots of Money During a Recession
Man’s (Career) Search for Meaning
3 Areas You Must Invest in During a Recession
Fear of Flying: Facing the Fear of Success
10 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Job
Dead Man Working
Scaling Simplicity-Driven Entrepreneurship
Why I hope the Free Brigade is Wrong
The Business of Forgiveness
The Best Decline Letter of All-Time: Edmund Wilson
A 12 Step Strategy to Refit Your Blog to the Social Web in 2010

Click right here to see and read all 100 best posts!

I have saved the link for future use; for one day when I need that one article / idea that’s going to make all the difference.

Was it a trip an hour out of Durban or a travel adventure on the road of life?