Thursday, January 31, 2008

Boys' new pet

I found a spider in a box in my craft room today, so carefully took the box downstairs with the spider hanging on to a corner. The spider, seeing no way of escape, let itself down by running a thread from its spinnerets (that’s a word we learned today in school, reading “Charlotte’s Web”). By now the boys had caught on to what I was doing, so were all for catching the spider for observation. This we did with great care, even enlisting Nick’s help. It is a wolf spider, or some sort of hunter spider, with great big fangs. Nick helped the boys find a few bugs to put in the bottle for the spider’s supper, but so far all it has done is run away from them. Our supper was fish fingers, chips and beans, which was slightly delayed due to the Great Capture!

Nick has been out this evening, doing recording at Tammy’s. He is going to be getting her vocals recorded for one or two songs. His hand is much improved and he has better mobility in it, but it’s looking slightly swollen.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fresh olive oil?

This morning Nick took a bit of a tumble, coming back from Jacob’s Ladder via the mountain path. He was gathering too much speed apparently, and tripped, falling onto his hands and rolling onto his side and back. His hand was quite badly skinned in one small spot, and a few more grazes on a finger, but his other hand is a problem, where he says it feels like the bones of his ring finger and pinkie squashed into each other and are pinching everything in between now. He can’t play guitar, and battled with the typing today for his bible study. I hope it heals up quickly. School was quite okay today, and Nick took over the Maths for a while so I could make coffee for him. I think I’d far rather have coffee duty! At least now he can see the frustration of sitting watching Aaron go off on a daydream instead of filling in a worksheet. Nothing else to report about the morning, except to say that it rained quite a lot today, and for most of the day. Bible study was very good tonight – we had a full house, including the Governor and his wife. People seemed a bit taken aback when they walked in the door and saw the Governor seated in our lounge, but I don’t think they were too inhibited on the whole. I had to play guitar all on my own which was quite daunting, especially as I usually play mandolin and am rusty on guitar, but seemed to have gone okay.

Yesterday Aaron and I wandered around town looking for olive oil and tomato sauce, neither of which is in any of the shops at the moment. I found a little bottle of olive oil at the shop under Wellingtons, but it was reduced as it was outdated – I asked how outdated it was, and when I saw it was February 2006 I thought better of it!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Not a Haven for Caleb!

At the moment of writing, 18h41, it’s pouring with rain. It started at about 5 pm, and has been pretty wet since then. The day has been very good – it was a combined service today, so Nick has been home with us all day! The morning was extremely relaxed and pleasant, since we weren’t doing a tea today, so there was no extensive setting up to be done – just the bulletins and getting the songs ready. I made a new dish for lunch today, as I had the right ingredients available for a Hawaiian chicken but couldn’t find any one recipe that suited me, so I concocted my own using a combination of recipes – the end result was delicious and very easy. Church itself was good, I think – lots of people, and a lot of visitors too. I went out for Sunday School so can’t comment on the message, except to say that it was Nick’s last one in his series in John. After church there was a brief interlude during which people stood in the street and chatted – actually a much more sociable event than having tea in the schoolroom – and then we were due at the Haven at 3.30 for a short service for the old people. During this time, Caleb, Aaron and Kieran were playing outside on their own, and Caleb ran into the sharp corner of a window frame, so his head opened up and blood issued forth. It was quite a small hole, actually, but we could only see the size of it once the nurses had cleaned him up. Caleb was not happy about being nursed – not that he was crying, but I think he didn’t like all the fuss, and also kept trying to dodge the nurse who had to apply the wet cotton wool quite firmly.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Odd Friday and unusual Saturday

Yesterday was a bit of a strange day…we finished school at 1 pm! We also started off a little unusually, by watching a video of St Helena which Wilson has either lent or given us, I’m not sure which. It’s quite an old one, so some things have changed, but it was very interesting to watch. This happened straight after breakfast as Nick happened to put it on so we all watched. Then I helped Caleb build some Lego, and only then got to my bath. We still started school on time though. The first part of school was normal, with actually less work to get through as it was a Friday – there seems to be less stuff scheduled. I got the boys to finish off a Maths worksheet before tenzees, and Aaron actually beat Caleb!!! I was thrilled that he managed to work so quickly, and fairly neatly too. During our post-tenzees school session, we had three interruptions, although pleasant ones – firstly, we were blessed with a big amount of groceries from one of our generous and caring church ladies, then our salary was delivered, which meant making a cup of coffee for the bearer and having a social visit before I had to politely throw him out so we could continue with school, and finally a lady to collect some dishes left here from our arrival lunch. The boys were hanging around during this time waiting for school to continue so it could get finished – it felt so wrong to finish so late!

This morning Caleb wanted a ring made, as he found an old metal spring which he was wearing on his finger, but wanted it decorated. So out came the wooden beads again, and some invisible thread, and the thing was done. Then Aaron came in, and of course also wanted one, so I threaded up a little elasticated one for him. Good News Club was quite fine, with a teaching on Mary and Martha. After the club, Keisha, one of the girls, came home with me while Nick took the boys swimming again. Keisha usually has to wait for some time while Enid goes to town for a bit of shopping, and then she gives her a lift home, picking her up from the schoolroom on the way up. It was fun to have Keisha here as she’s a keen crafter, so enjoys spending time in my room.

During the late afternoon we had tea at Plantation House, as well as a tour of the rambling, old mansion. It was a super afternoon of good Christian fellowship.

Friday, January 25, 2008

There's a friendly Star?

Our first activity in school this morning was to go outside and write with chalk on the concrete, as a fun way of going over the week’s spelling words. Then we had another little activity of definitions, where they had to define objects properly – so for “cat”, instead of saying, “it’s something that is furry and says meow”, they should say “it’s an animal which is furry and says meow”. Then I described an object to them, which they had to write down – eg “for baseball you need a ball and ….”. All the answers were, of course, also our week’s spelling words. Then we had the phonics workbooks, handwriting workbooks, some essay dictation, and some retelling of a story told to them. After tenzees we did maths, which was still easy, then the reading, history and Charlotte’s Web. We finished at 11.40 today, a good 20 minutes earlier than any other day. I hurried out to town after lunch, as I needed to go to the police station to renew my drivers’ license, but got there while they were on lunch so couldn’t do it, and to the Archives department in the Castle, but they were also on lunch. Took a quick walk up to the Emporium for a few school goodies, and walked past “The Star” – Solomon’s grocery shop in Jamestown (otherwise known as “The Spar”) has been renamed, in keeping with the Jamestown heritage and something something. Yesterday the signage still said Spar, and today there is already a new sign up. Quick work, since it was only announced last night! I was home again by 1, and then had to get stuck in with the preparations for today’s craft class, which took me the better part of the hour – I had to score fold lines for their paper bags, to make them easier to fold. At 2 I went for the class, and it was really such a good one today. The kids are well behaved for the most part, and managed fine with the craft. We all did one together, as I showed them step by step what to do, and then they made another one, two, or three by themselves, depending on how quickly they worked. I was so pleased that they got on with them though, without needing too much help after that. They seemed to enjoy it! Home shortly after 3, then had to quickly get the prayer meeting notes ready for Nick to take, as he left early this evening – instead of leaving at 5 for bible study, he left at 4 to be able to do a visit beforehand. His supper was a snackwich.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Giving God the glory

School this morning was again better than yesterday. We’re opening each day with a bible reading and prayer, which really helps with my patience, as I’m reminded that God is present and I need to work on those bad attitudes! So, instead of freaking out when the boys forget things, I just explain them again. Also, I keep on reading the same thing in all my coursework reading, that repetition is the key – and if you child doesn’t get it until the 100th repetition, then so be it! I guess that’s helping me relax about things a little too. The good news of the day though, is that I have acquired a second desk for the boys. The original intent of another desk was so that they could each sit at their own, but this new one is quite a lot bigger, so they can still sit together with a lot more space around them. I will now be able to have my schedule in front of me as I’m teaching, instead of popping up and down to check it on the diningroom table.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Saving scheme

School was slightly better today than yesterday, although took three hours! We started promptly after the nine am news, then worked until about 10.15, and only took a break long enough to hang up the washing plus five minutes, so about 20 minutes, then started again and only finished at 12. Granted, we took a bit of extra time studying the calendar and sticking on little stickers to mark out our birthdays and so on – Caleb asked how much time that had wasted, but I said nothing was wasted when it came to learning! He’s much too clever. The first writing we did this morning was on huge pieces of paper, with coloured kokies. The curriculum suggests that we vary the writing, as the point of this section is to get the spellings into their heads – so instead of writing on the same boring paper every day with the same boring pencil, we do fun stuff as well. Tuesdays therefore is the day for writing it big. The maths was fairly straightforward – no new concepts yet, and they’re enjoying the novelty of each having their own books to write in. After lunch I went to town for a couple of things, with Aaron with me as usual. I was pleased to be able to buy cremora again, at long last! Aaron saw a plastic piggy bank at the Emporium which he wanted to buy for Caleb, as thinks that Caleb always has money which needs saving. Also, we had read a story about a girl who had emptied her piggy bank to buy bibles for the people in Africa, so it seemed appropriate! We bought the piggy bank for Aaron to give to him for his birthday, but I don’t know how long he’ll be able to keep the secret – although I think he’s already forgotten about it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Clevely Academy opens for 2008

First day of school today was not at all bad. We opened with a bible reading and prayer, and then launched into the language arts. It seemed a bit disjointed though, with a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and a lot of the boys sitting around waiting while I figured out what the next thing was to happen. But it was fine on the whole, and the boys said it was better than they thought it would be. After tenzees we continued with the history, reading, and read-alouds – we’ve kicked off with Charlotte’s Web which the boys are really pleased about. For memory work we’re learning Psalm 1 over the next six weeks, so just verse one for this week. The plan is to get some people together, like Steve and Maureen perhaps, and then get the boys to recite their portion in front of them – as a public speaking assignment. School finished shortly before 12, by which time I was fairly exhausted from the effort of being nice and patient, so I was glad to get out for a while to go to Lorna for beading! From Lorna I went directly to Tammy to collect the recording equipment which Nick is borrowing, and then briefly to town, before coming home at about 3.30.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Getting ready

Yesterday morning was back to normal with the Good News Club. Quite a few kids were missing, although hopefully they’ll start coming again over the next few weeks. I guess a staggered start isn’t altogether a bad thing! Nick W did the teaching, about reflecting God’s character and being like Him. The games were the usual variety of dodgeball, twister, or for the less active, drawing. I played a sort of game with some of the kids called “tell me something about yourself that I don’t know”. I’m going to keep it up with them – at first they were stumped, but as the facts started flowing I found out all manner of things about their siblings and parents and home life. After the club we headed to town for the afternoon’s DVD and some lunch – Spar had some fresh pies, which we bought and ate at home. After lunch and the DVD, which was an old Walt Disney movie about a boy who was shipwrecked and hunted by pirates, Nick left for his afternoon of music at Tammy. They made good progress, and since Tammy now has all her sound equipment, they can record each week. They’ve finished two songs now of the 13 for the next album. While he was out I spent the afternoon finishing the mini-album, which is now completely and absolutely done, including a little title page to go in the window on the cover and a schedule of all our arrangements on the back page. That took most of the afternoon, but I had a little time left over before Nick came home to start with sorting out school books, putting last year’s books onto the downstairs bookshelf.

This morning was time to sort out the diningroom in earnest. I unpacked, cleaned, and rearranged cupboards, dusted windowsills, vacuumed, and brought out the books we will be needing for tomorrow. The boys watched their DVD again after tenzees, and then I got some of the reading done for tomorrow, so I know more or less what to expect.

Friday, January 18, 2008


This morning I found a curious thing in the kitchen, as I was putting the dishes away – for Bible Study on Tuesday, Jean had brought a selection of Roses’ chocolates, and of course there were several left over, which we put into a little container and then forgot to put away in the cupboard last night. So, this morning, there was a still-wrapped chocolate in the draining rack. I puzzled over this a while, until I took a closer look and saw the tell-tale nibbled corners, and shredded foil wrapper also lying about. Evidently during the night, a sneaky little mouse had chosen one out the open tub, then run with it all along two lengths of the kitchen counter, before settling comfortably in the draining rack behind a dinner plate, where it had most probably delighted in its unexpected find. Sadly, it was one of our favourites!!

My priority for the morning was to get my craft prepared, as today I was back at the school. Fortunately I still had the necessary supplies left over from the first group’s card making session, so I just had to cut the cardboard in half, score fold lines, cut out some other bits of paper, and punch out various shapes in a variety of colours. The boys were hovering while I was busy, and then asked if they could also make cards, so I gave them some board and whatever other supplies they needed, and let them loose. They had a marvellous time cutting up miniscule bits of paper and gluing and stapling them together in a most unusual arrangement! We were due at the coffee shop at 10.45 to meet with Maureen and Elza. Although the boys were bored mostly, I enjoyed chatting with the ladies. In sympathy for the boys we didn’t stay too long, but left again at about 12ish. I dropped both of them off at home on my way to Half Tree Hollow for bread and a few goodies – at last got hold of some onions, as well as more chicken breast fillets, and some rolls and 35p (reduced) caramel aeros. Then it was home and lunch, after which the boys wanted to make new necklaces, so that kept us busy until I had to go to the school. We finished both necklaces – a masculine combination of antique gold findings, and bone beads, on brown cord. The craft class was really not too bad today. I have a new group of children for the next 10 weeks, so of course I can just repeat the crafts I did with the last lot, saving in planning if not preparation. The boys went to play outside while supper was in the oven, amusing themselves by throwing sand at the tree where all the bees live. Why on earth they decided to do that is beyond me, but they came in for their bath absolutely filthy, but thankfully unharmed, and in very high spirits.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Appliances make nice homes

I started the morning, after what I would call my usual walk except that it hasn’t been very regular since being back, and a bath, by cleaning the kettles. I thought this was a necessary and urgent action because I found a cockroach, belly-up, in the less-used kettle, the one that has been standing in the cupboard for the last 8 weeks while we haven’t been having bible study. Unfortunately I found the cockroach after we had served tea, which means that I gave our guests cockroach soup. I noticed an off smell, but wouldn’t have thought it was coming from the kettle! So, post-haste I vinegared it and cleaned it all out. After lunch, which was sandwiches for Caleb and me, leftover pies for Nick, and the remains of a package of 2-minute noodles for Aaron (the rest of the packet was sprinkled liberally on the lounge carpet by Aaron, who had been carrying the closed packet around with him since we bought them yesterday, and had finally managed to accidentally open them, spewing out much of the very crushed contents), I played a few rounds of hide-and-seek with Caleb, as he is complaining that he never sees me – all this because they spent three days at the holiday bible club last week, so now need to make up for lost time. Then I thought that it would be a good time to see if we could get Caleb’s laptop working using a South African adapter rather than the American one we have, which restricts him to using it in Nick’s office where he can plug it into the transformer. Very cautiously, Nick and I plugged it in and switched it on, ready to turn it off at the first sound of any crackling or evidence of fired, and it actually works. This is really great, because now both boys can use their laptops anywhere in the house. I bought a two-point multi-plug in SA, so they both plug their adapter into that, then that goes into a British/SA adapter, and finally into the wall. While I was busy with the final supper preparations which involved frying parboiled potatoes on the stove and supervising the boiling of vegetables, Scilla came by. She arrived back here with the ship this morning, for her three-month optometrical stint. She will be here until 11 April. It’s great to have her back – this is the third time she has been since we’ve been here. She stayed and chatted in the kitchen right up until supper was ready, although declined an invitation to stay to dinner as she had a lot of unpacking to do, to get her equipment sorted out and set up.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

You break it, you buy it

After a morning of tidying, sorting and scrapping, and then beading at Lorna, I scooted off to town in the afternoon to look for some drinking glasses as we only have about four decent ones. After some walking about from shop to shop, I found nice ones at Queen Mary’s, but they didn’t have any price. I waited a long time while they ambled about looking for a price and eventually forgetting about me, so took the glasses to the till to try pay anyway, and hopefully speed up the process – but while I was holding the box, one of the glasses fell out and shattered on the floor. Oops! I took the rest of them to the till and explained that I would buy the set of five anyway, but they still couldn’t find a price so I said I would return tomorrow.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sunday Blues are Back

Today has been back to the usual blah Sundays – all the worse after the holiday and happy memories of braais and lunches! I made a cheesy mince and potato dish for lunch, along with fresh green beans in my new steamer. I also boiled (steamed) some eggs while the beans were going. My non-vegetable-eating boys were dreadfully unhappy about having to down the beans, but Nick stood by me in insisting that they eat all of them. I told them a funny story about an old friend who once stuffed his mouth full of beans, not wanting to first bother with cutting them up, after first making sure that his mom and I were looking in the other direction! They thought that was quite funny. Anyway, all the beans were eaten and no smacks were administered. In the afternoon we did our own thing – Nick rested, the boys played, I crafted, and then Nick took the boys for a swim later on.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Back to Wrangham's

It’s been a hot day again today, with mostly clear skies. To take advantage of the weather and the fact that Good News Club hasn’t started yet, we went out to Wrangham’s Forest again today, this time armed with a camera. We needed to stop in town first for a few things, and then we had to pay a quick visit to one of our elderly Baptist ladies, whose son died yesterday or today – he is unknown to us, but was 58. We didn’t stay too long, just chatted a little and then Nick prayed. From there it was onto Wrangham’s. We walked through to the backyard, and then on into the forest part, which was quite extensive. After walking a downhill path for a while, we stopped and had chips and juice, and took a family photo, and then decided to head back since the path seemed to just go on pretty much the way it was – we had seen enough! I like circular routes, not ones that keep going in one direction.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Still getting sorted

While the boys were out at HBC this morning, I met up with Maureen and Elza (and Steve) at the coffee shop, where I had an iced coffee and chocolate cake. They still have their Thursday morning coffee every week, so when I’m on school holiday I like to go as well. It was great to catch up and chat. During the afternoon the boys rode bikes for a while, and then came home and played, while I did some more tidying and sorting, and then together we tackled their room and their toys. I asked for their input as to how to arrange things, so together we sorted things into different categories and got them all packed away neatly. That’s a fairly big job off the list. Wilson came by during the morning, to say hello and deliver two items we had ordered from the States last year, which he brought with him when he left Ascension – one of them being “The Last Sin Eater” DVD, based on the novel by Francine Rivers. A very moving and powerful story!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


We sighted the island around 10 am yesterday morning, as a landmass through the fog. It was already quite high and wide by the time it came into view – surprising, as one would think it might start off as a dot on the horizon. Took another two hours to actually navigate around the island and then finally into James’ Bay. We anchored officially at 12.15 pm, four hours later than originally scheduled. We were anticipating that families with young children would be given priority in disembarkation, so we didn’t bother trying to get to the front of the queue to see the customs officials, but unfortunately this was not the case, so we ended up being on the last boat off. The boys were dreadfully bored, as were we all, so it wasn’t really a fun wait. Finally we donned lifejackets, walked carefully down the gangplank onto the pontoon (there was a bit of a swell, so we had to wait until the platform rose to meet the stairs again before hopping on), and then into the Gannett Three. The run from the ship to the wharf steps was actually surprisingly long – the RMS really anchors far out! Stripped of our lifejackets, we found space on a mini-bus and were driven the short distance to the customs hall. We were surprised to see a major project on the go at the docks, such that the place where people congregate to welcome passengers has been moved quite far back, even beyond the swimming pool, and there were containers lined up as far as that. Apparently this is the rock-stabilisation project, so instead of the containers being offloaded further down towards the wharf steps, they are now coming right up into the parking area, thus making it unsafe for the general public. Anyway, once we had been through customs and put our hand-luggage through the x-ray machine, we walked along to where people were waiting, to see if anyone had come to welcome us. Steve and Maureen were waiting, along with Elza and her son who is visiting, and Vincent, Joyce and Enid. It was lovely to see them again, of course. We didn’t tarry long, as Maureen asked whether we had had lunch (which we had, an hour previously), and informed us that lunch had been prepared at the manse. They had brought our car down to the docks, so we drove home in our beloved 942, where a large number of our congregation were waiting for us – not just town folk, but some from Sandy Bay as well. They had gone full out with a lunch, the usual way – lots of food and lots of variety. We didn’t eat much, but hopefully looked very grateful anyway! Thankfully the leftovers were plenty, and will serve as our lunches and suppers for the next few days. A great effort had been done with cleaning the manse, so everything had been dusted and vacuumed, and even all the windows had been washed!

Today has just been a lot of unpacking and sorting. The boys are at a Holiday Bible Club being run by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which they will attend tomorrow and Friday too. It’s probably the only time of the year that I am at home without the boys for any length of time! I had to go to town for a few goodies, and it was a pleasure to walk down the road and be greeted and welcomed home by so many Saints. I can honestly say that we are pleased to be back! The old familiar sights and sounds of the island are much beloved – silly, everyday things like watching the Fairy Terns swoop and glide in their pairs; having a sea view all day; the traffic on the main road outside our window and people talking as they walk by – and even the DJs on Saint FM!

Monday, January 07, 2008

More from the ship

Last night the ship started rocking, and the weather changed to grey skies. The rocking was worse during the night, and this morning I was feeling a bit green. Nick and the boys were fine, mostly, although Caleb also said he thought he might vomit. We decided to bypass breakfast in the diningroom, and headed instead to the sun lounge, so that if need be we could dash outside with our puke bags. Fortunately we were fine, and managed to get some cheese scones, yoghurt, and juice into us. I did a load of washing and tumbledrying during the day, but for the most part I was on my bed. The boys are having a marvellous time playing with the kids onboard, mostly in the playroom. Caleb told me the other day that the best moisturiser is Dove. He says he can tell me lots of things because he watched a lot of TV ads in SA. During the morning, we discovered the reason for the ship’s sudden instability – the stabilisers had been lifted out the water yesterday! Apparently this helps with the speed, as they are trying to make up a bit of time. Presently we are scheduled to arrive in James’ Bay on Tuesday noon. However, the stabilisers were put down again during the morning, and so it was a lot smoother again. During the afternoon we actually sat outside on the sundeck – there was hardly a breath of wind other than a mild occasional breeze, and it was warm and delicious. We took our tea outside and read. I’m reading an excellent book by Ginger Plowman, “Don’t make me count to three” – which deals with discipline, and training the hearts of our children. I was wondering what had happened to my two lovely, compliant boys over the course of the holiday, but realized that Nick and I were the actual culprits – we have let our hands-on parenting slide! Apart from neglecting devotions, we have also not been exercising proper biblical reproof and correction, so it’s no wonder that they were getting more and more out of hand. This is currently being remedied.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

On we go!

So far we’ve been faring very well on the ship. It’s been an extremely smooth sail, with a very steady horizon and very little pitching. We haven’t felt in the least bit seasick, although Caleb claims to have a headache and a bit of nausea. Our cabin is roomy and comfortable, and has an en-suite bathroom – definitely more luxurious than the c-deck accommodations we had on our outbound voyage. The ship’s water, because it goes through a desalination process, is inclined to draw the iron from the pipes as it goes along, simply to try getting some minerals back into itself, so it comes out the taps looking orange. After a shower the towels are orange. The food is as good as always, although last night we had the Captain’s Cocktail party beforehand, so weren’t much inclined to a large meal afterward. Nick only had soup and dessert, while I still did my best to finish a grouper fillet. We have two ladies with us at our table, who certainly make very interesting dinner companions.

Let me get back to Thursday, our departure day. It wasn’t nearly as traumatic as I thought it would be, although I think the rush at the airport which cut short the goodbyes helped with that – we were severely overweight with our extra luggage, so had to request an extra allowance at the airport, which was awarded us with not too much trouble. After retrieving all our luggage in Cape Town, we had to wait a few minutes for Nick’s friend Greg to arrive. Then we went to hire a car, a Getz – very nice to drive. I got landed with the driving, as the credit card is mine and so I had to present my own drivers’ licence. Greg had all three boys (ours plus his own, Caleb’s age), and we had all the luggage. Amazingly it fitted in the Getz with the back seats down. We went straight to Greg’s house in Observatory, offloaded all the luggage, had a cup of tea, and by about 10.15 we were ready to go to the Waterfront for some final shopping. We decided to reload all the luggage and take it with us, as Greg said it would be safe in the covered parking at the Waterfront. We had to just take his word on this – not something we would have done in Joburg! I did the shopping while Nick and Greg supervised the boys in a play area. It was a lot of walking to find a vacuum cleaner, pillows, and some shoes for the boys. Back in the parking lot, we quickly boxed up the bulk of our purchases, then found our way to the Mission to Seafarers, our meeting point for embarkation. It was now 1 pm, and our hire car was due for return at 1 pm. However, all the luggage was in the car, and the Andrew Weir people weren’t on hand for luggage receiving – what to do! The trailers and kombis were waiting for the hold baggage, but it hadn’t been tagged yet. No problem, we just amended details on our original cabin tickets, crossing out “Cabin” and writing “hold”, and changing the cabin number. That apparently was fine. Then offloaded the rest of the luggage to a spot in the shade, where Nick was left in charge, and Greg and I sorted out getting the car back. Once that was done, we waited for about half an hour before getting on a kombi that took us right to the gangplank of the RMS St Helena. Finally we were on the ship! All the stresses over, we could relax at last. We sailed at about 18h10. Our usual supper arrangements hold, with the boys eating at 17h30 and us at 18h45. This works so well. By the time we get back to the cabin after our dinner, the boys are soundly asleep, even though the sun hasn’t yet set. Last night we watched the sunset, which was at about 20h10. Will be getting earlier as we head further north.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

2008 greetings!

A very happy new year to you all! For those of you who know God as your Father, may His blessings rest on you this year. For those who don’t yet call him Father, perhaps this will be the year that He calls you into a relationship with Him!

Our holiday has drawn to an end now, as we leave early tomorrow morning for Cape Town, and then board the ship later in the day. Lord willing, we arrive back on our beautiful island next Tuesday, the 8th. This is assuming that the engines don’t fail us, or bad weather delay us. We have had an awesome holiday here, with so many occasions to see friends and family, and a healthy dose of laughter. Our new years’ eve was a memorable evening, with the same crowd of friends that gathered three years ago at the Martins’ home. Those three years have seen three of the six couples move to different parts of the world, and three children born. It was wonderful to be together again, perhaps for the last time as more emigrations are pending!

The obvious question now is, how are we feeling about leaving here and returning to the island? Well, we’re actually quite excited about getting back. The holiday has come to the yucky part of packing up and getting a million little things into suitcases – on the ship we have a large luggage allocation, but we are restricted by the kulula flight. Therefore, we are keen to get back home and get settled in our own home with our own routines again. I know that my parents especially are relieved that we are feeling upbeat about our return – it would have been a pathetic little figure saying goodbye to her parents tomorrow morning if she were unhappy at the thought of another stint on St Helena! Until next Tuesday then, I bid you all goodnight – I’ll be back blogging regularly soon...