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Saturday Morning Fever

29 Jul

Have you ever been to Pick’N Pay on a saturday morning?

Up until today, I thought I was spared having to do my weekly shopping with the other half a million people!

I’m a mum at home – most days – which means that I enjoy the priviledge of doing my shopping during the week, in the calm aisles of the shop, with most of the products in stock and the bread freshly out of the bakery. But today – Saturday – I had to go.

So I prepared myself psychologically to brave the crowd of tired and impatient parents-not-wanting-to-be-there (Myself being one of them) accompanied by their reluctant toddlers and teenagers. I arrived there at 12, lunch time, half starving. Never a good thing as I am more enclined to buy canned fish, smelly cheese and other food that do not enter my house under normal circumstances!

But what I found there – besides the other half of Cape Town population – was a degustation ( a careful, appreciative tasting of various foods). In every aisle, at every corner stood beautifully dressed agents, not only marketing, but also offering a bite of their products. From starter, to main meal, dessert and juice, I had a three course meal. Fair enough, the portions are typically haute-cuisine (read minuscule!).

But I’m a sucker for free stuff. Phillip likes to tease me about it, but it is true. If I am entitled to something free – even if it implies some inconveniences – I have to have it. Braving my self-consciousness, I tried food that I don’t even remember the name. I was even tempted to inconspicuously go back for seconds but my conscience was knocking hard. So I didn’t.

I went home with a half-full tummy and gladness in my heart for scoring so many freebies 🙂

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14th of July

15 Jul
File:Plaque Bastille rue Saint-Antoine.jpg

Here was the first court entry of La Bastille through which the assailants got into the fortress on the 14th of July 1789

Two hundred and twenty two years ago, there was a revolution.

“Is it a rebellion?” King Louis XVI asked.

“No, sire, it is not a rebellion. It is a revolution”, answered the duke of La Rochefoucauld.

While the people thought that the Bastille secured many wrongful  prisoners, it only held seven captives: 4 forgers, 2 madmen and 1 criminal that his own family had required to be locked up. After the fall, writers created false torture tools that prisoners supposedly had to endure, such as an old armour and a printing machine! The skeletons found were said to belong to the victims of the tyranny. The legend goes to say that the revolutionaries found the remains of “the man with the iron mask”. File:Prise de la Bastille.jpg

A prison almost empty, undoubtedly, but a prison overflowing with the symbolism of the monarchy and its tyranny over its people.

During the centuries of the absolute monarchy, the fortress was the state prison, where countless enemies – or thought to be – of the king had been imprisoned without trials or judgements. La Bastille was not only the symbolism of tyranny but also the domineering fortress over Paris whose shadow kept the people in their place.

The english ambassador wrote to the foreign office calling that day “the biggest revolution that History will remember, and considering the impact, it cost relatively little blood.

France was free.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité… ou la mort.

 

Revolutionary Road

19 Oct

Revolutionary-road.jpg I watched that movie a few weeks ago and thought it was a topic I would like to write about. Unfortunately I never got around writing that blog post but I do remember how disturbing this movie was. I absolutely loved the reality of it. The story displays a young couple in the 60s. She aspires to be a actress but we quickly see that she is not making it while he settles down into a boring conventional job. They are both displayed to live miserable lives. They also have two daughters. To see their lives being depicted on the screen where nothing seems to bring them joy is utterly depressing. The woman, played beautifully by Kate Winslet, comes up with a great idea that they can sell everything and leave for Paris where they can start all over.

This movie, I felt, was about much more than the miserable lives of two individuals. It’s about truth and the pain it brings people when they don’t want to hear. Well, that’s the very deep message that I was left with. In the movie, there is a character who is supposedly insane – the neighbour’s troubled son who resides in a psychiatric ward. He’s the character that speaks his mind without any filter. He in fact often speaks the truth! In one line, he summarised not only the message of the movie but the message of a life without God. As Di Caprio’s character explains why they want to leave America to go to Paris(to escape the misery they are in), the insane guy replies “it takes a wise man to see hopelessness but a brave man to admit this sense of helplessness”. Would Paris bring relief to the meaningless life that the Wheelers have?

What a brilliant line!!! I meet many people that go through life working quite hard at hiding that feeling of hopelessness and very few that are brave enough to admit that feeling of helplessness.

When the truth of the troubled son turns on them however, the Wheelers are not so friendly anymore towards him. It is very hard to hear the truth, isn’t it!

… Unfortunately the movie doesn’t give the answer to that kind of existence. The Wheelers are actually shown as the couple who couldn’t live that way anymore, but they are also shown as ‘the norm’. The neighbours are not happier, the colleagues are not, the woman that felt justifiably used by Di Caprio’s character is certainly not. Only something – or someone – that will bring a real sense of purpose, a solid reason for why we exist would give meaning to a life here on earth. That person can only be an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God, because only God can fill our need of self-worth, of significance and of security. Only Jesus, the incarnation of God, came to earth to reveal His full plan of salvation, salvation from a life devoid of meaning and purpose.

Revolutionary Road is a great movie that presents a problem, but doesn’t offer solution. How thankful am I that our God doesn’t leave us alone in the dark with the problem of our sin. How thankful am I that He also gave us a solution in His son Jesus for all those who are willing to accept Him!






Gig in the garden…

20 Mar

This is an advertisement for anyone interested in:

a/ going to gigs

b/ listening to Matt Allison

c/ supporting evangelistic missions to (particularly) Lesotho.

gig in the garden

Go and enjoy the evening!

Not a post on password!

20 Jan

The previous post was initially password protected. I wanted to check first with the ladies mentioned – not my name though – that it was ok with them.

Password is now removed!

🙂

Christian Christmas, or not…

28 Dec

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Today was Christmas… and like everybody says, don’t forget the real reason for the season, C-H-R-I-S-T…

We celebrated today the wonderful gift of God  in Jesus and the salvation that is here for everyone who believes in Him. We try to celebrate Christmas in such a way that it reflects the true meaning of Noel, especially for our children.

For this year, we had my mum and Claude with us, Phil’s mum and Nico as usual. It was nice to have a ‘french tradition’ spin put on the meal affair. We had a proper french aperitif and starter directly from France with special toasts accompanied with champagne and excellent foie gras (some goose liver paté for the untrained, made in a quite barbaric way but with an irresistible taste, really…) My mum and Claude prepared that with great care and it was worth it.

Although we want to bring across the real meaning of Christmas to our kids, it was difficult this year with a double set of grandmas! It looked like orgies of gifts and food and I actually feel a bit embarrassed about the whole deal. I guess we hadn’t put enough thought into it before-hand. I did manage to read the Christmas story to the children and in spite of the numerous gifts calling their names at the foot of the tree, they didn’t want me to stop reading ( I did stop before the crucifixion story though 😉 ).

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They even had to have the photo session before opening their gift and it was close to torture for some…

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I was having this discussion with Phil, about me wanting to make sure that Christmas is undoubtedly and unmistakably Christian. Phil is much more ‘grounded’ than me on that type of things. We don’t ‘need’ to make it obviously Christian.

*The one reason is that if I want a Christmas that will be radically different from the non-Christian people, I will have to make some serious changes. I will have to can the Christmas tree, the food and the gifts altogether… We are willingly or unwillingly taking from our culture, especially the culture of Christmas that has infiltrated most western households. Being influenced by our culture is not wrong, as long as it doesn’t go against God’s word. So I enjoyed having some french food tradition tagged onto my dinner ( we had oysters the next day 🙂 and it tastes like snot! )

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*The second reason is that no matter what I do (or rather don’t do), that will never stop us from being Christian. We ARE Christians all throughout the year. My house looks different on the 12th of December, on the 24th of December and on the 4th of January. By God’s grace (and God’s grace only) my behaviour is different, my motives are different, my relationships are different. To celebrate Christmas the Christian way, I don’t need to do special things, or abstain from certain things to show,or witness of my love for Christ.

So after sorting out these thoughts for myself, I got over my fear and disappointment that my Christmas was not Christian enough. I am eternally grateful to God for showing me who Jesus really is. I’m thankful that with his help I can live a life that is honouring to him, in spite of my sinfulness, through His forgiveness. I am thankful that my children can witness our life, drowned in God’s Grace, in (Christmas) season and out of season.

Next year, I might want to go the whole nine yards and do nothing but go to church on Christmas eve, and I will be as Christian as I was this year. For 2008, we had  a lovely evening and it was very special to have my mum and Claude, as well as Mamma and Nico! We did have quite a lot of gifts, for little people and big people too!

Book for the bookworm,

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Elegant Tinker-Bell-Princess-Fairy,

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And some less elegant divers,

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Pour tous les amis et la famille en France, si vous avez lu jusqu’ici, félicitations et Joyeux Noel a tous!!!!

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29 Oct

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