Thursday, September 28, 2006

Start Spreading the News...

(posted by Elizma)

New York! New York!

Jip, I'm bursting with excitement. I've not been this excited about a trip for a very long time. Probably because this will be our first experience of America and it will be very different from everything we've seen in Europe so far. It feels like coming to London for the first time - only MORE EXCITING! ;-)

We're off tomorrow morning and will be back on Tuesday. For my birthday on Sunday, Leon's taking me on a heli-ride over Manhattan. Am I a lucky girl or what?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Still summer in September...

(posted by Elizma)

Today was again such a beautiful day we had an impromtu braai with some good friends of ours. Johan joined us for the last time before he's off to South Africa to collect his wife (who's been there with her family for a while) and their new work permit. We're really glad their permit was approved as we would have been heartbroken if they had to go back to South Africa. We love having them here.

We were also joined by Louis, Liani and their 8-week old princess, Alika. It was really great to see them and we hope to do so again soon.

(Above: You wish boys!)

(Above: Johan with little Alika. Broody?)

(With Louis and Liani)

Christian turns 1

(posted by Elizma)

On Saturday we hosted Jenine and Andre's son's first birthday party. After our news on Friday, I was really worried that it would rain as we would not have had enough space to host everyone inside - since we can't access the dining room. But the invites went out quite some time ago and we did not want to change anything at that late stage.

Thankfully our prayers were answered with a beautifully sunny day and we could spend the whole afternoon outside. Jenine asked me to bake a lion cake, which I did, but not without my share of stress. I've never had to bake a children's birthday cake - nevermind a cake that had to look like something else. It didn't come out too bad and what it lacked in appearance - it made up for in taste. So I was told both by the guests and the fact that there were only crumbs left.

House Woes

(posted by Elizma)

Treating a damp problem in the dining room wall has now mushroomed into a small nightmare. When they pulled up the skirting boards, they saw that the floor joists were rotten and full of woodworms. At first we thought it is only a few of the planks, but it soon became clear that the whole floor needs to be replaced.

Not much later, and we now know that the entrance hall's floor will also have to be replaced and there's a 95% chance that we would have to rip up the living room floor as well.

I was also called home at about 15:30 on Friday as the builders noticed a river running underneath our house after it rained for an hour. So we now have to urgently solve the drainage problem to ensure that the floors don't rot again.

Not a nice Friday then, but we still have a roof over our heads and a warm bed to sleep in. There's always something to be thankful for...

Visitors from the States

(posted by Elizma)

We met up with Leon's uncle and aunt, Frankie and Charnelle last weekend for a lovely meal in Wimbledon. We were joined by Sean, Leon's cousin whom he has not seen in more than 12 years. Frankie and Charnelle recently moved to Texas from Wisconsin.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Finally! :-)

(posted by Leon)

The old...
And the new...
We're happy! And to celebrate visa-less travel, we're off to New York next weekend!! Can't wait!

Monday, September 18, 2006


(posted by Leon)


Endless visions fill my head - this man - as large as life
And instantly my heart mourns for his angels and his wife
Because the way I see Steve Irwin - just put everything aside
It comes back to his family - it comes back to his pride

His animals inclusive - Crikey - light the place with love!
Shine his star with everything he fought to rise above
The crazy-man of Khaki from the day he left the pouch
Living out his dream and in that classic 'Stevo' crouch

Exploding forth with character and redefining cheek
It's one thing to be honoured as a champion unique
It's one thing to have microphones and spotlight cameras shoved
It's another to be taken in and genuinely loved

But that was where he had it right - I guess he always knew
From his fathers' modest reptile park and then Australia Zoo
We cringed at times and shook our heads - but true to natures call
There was something very Irwin in the make up of us all

Yes the more I care to think of it - the more he had it right
If you're going to make a difference - make it big and make it bright!
Yes - he was a lunatic! Yes - he went head first!
But he made the world feel happy with his energetic burst

A world so large and loyal that it's hard to comprehend
I doubt we truly count the warmth until life meets an end
To count it now I say a prayer with words of inspiration
May the spotlight shine forever on his dream for conservation

...My daughter broke the news to me - my six year old in tears
It was like she'd just turned old enough to show her honest fears
I tried to make some sense of it but whilst her Dad was trying
His little girl explained it best...she said "The crocodiles are crying"

Their best mate's up in heaven now - the crocs up there are smiling!
And as sure as flowers, poems and cards and memories are piling
As sure as we'll continue with the trademarks of his spiel
Of all the tributes worthy - he was rough...but he was real

As sure as 'Crikey!' fills the sky
I think we'll miss ya Steve...goodbye


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Home Sweet New Home

(posted by Elizma)

We moved into our new house last weekend. And despite not looking forward to the move (we did it ourselves) - it went really quickly. We actually had some fun. One of our friends, Johan, came to help and having the extra pair of hands made it a doddle.

It also helped that the 'man and a van' we hired for the morning was in a hurry and brought an extra 'man'. This freed Leon up to do a few other things while they moved the heavy stuff over to the new house.

We were all moved by late Saturday afternoon and the main rooms in the house are already sorted. I'm looking forward to doing the final bits this weekend.

We celebrated in the same style we did in our first house by having a take-away curry.

The sale of our old house is not completed yet, but we hope it will be in the next few weeks.

Now it's only a matter of time...

(posted by Elizma)

This was both funny and shocking. Bush vows to Google Bin Laden.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Done and Dusted

(posted by Elizma)

We had our citizenship ceremony on Wednesday. It was really funny how serious the organisers took it all. We had to rehearse to say our names (!) and to get our certificate from the High Sheriff of Surrey. (Surrey is the county we live in.)

The strangest music played in the background during the ceremony. It was some of the heaviest classical music I've ever heard. Also, the ceremony concluded with us all singing 'God save the Queen'. Taking into consideration that English was probably the second language of almost all the attendees and that we had to sing along to a symphonic rendition it was a bit of a cacophony.

I think Leon found the whole thing quite painful ;-) Hopefully no one of the Office of Home Affairs ever read this blog or we could be in big trouble...

What a lovely time we had

(posted by Elizma)

We've just returned from a flash visit to South Africa for my Dad's 60th. We were only out there for 10 days - of which we spent 3 days down in the Cape with my sister and her family. We do apologise to all the family and friends we did not manage to see, but I'm sure you can appreciate that we did not have a lot of time.

What we had however was quality. It was great to see most of my family at the celebrations. Our time in the Cape was very relaxing - not least of all because of all the wine excursions David and Annalize took us on including a chocolate and wine tasting ;-)

But possibly the biggest highlight of the trip was something Leon's father arranged. We went riding on African elephants! It was an amazing experience. It was arranged as a surprise and I could not believe my eyes when I realised what the surprise was. They are such magnificent animals and I must admit, I never quite relaxed. You know what they say about wild animals always staying wild...

We'll post our photos later as we're very busy at the moment with our house move that's happening this weekend. We're doing it ourselves so it's not going to be a relaxing weekend. We look forward to be in our new house though...