Welcome to our world Kate….

Posted: February 22, 2020 in Family

I havent posted in a while, and whilst I keep telling myself to do so, and being encouraged by those close to me, and even my psychologist, I havent been in a good space to do so.. more of that to come...

…however…

On a brighter side, my new little niece arrived into the world on the 20th, a mere few hours before my own birthday.

Can’t believe my “baby” sister is a mommy again. Lainy (as I fondly refer to her as) has always been a very special person in my life. 11 years my junior, Lainy has grown to be an incredible woman and mother to Emma, and can only imagine how much Kate will thrive and grow with the immense love her and Bryan provide. I’m so proud of you Lainy.

..Pic courtesy of Jeanette Verster..(my other sister) 

As I’ve preluded to, mentally I’ve not been a good space, and meeting little Kate yesterday made my day.. nay, my year!!

Holding Kate in my arms, looking at her beautiful innocent face, she reminded me how precious life is, something I’ve forgotten recently. How we should treasure those moments with our loved ones, both new and old, and the responsibility we have to ensure our children grow into amazing, thriving individuals, strong to take on this cruel world, and at the same time, having an open big heart to love.

 

… such a sweet precious little girl..

So, Kate, welcome to the world, to very loving and incredible parents and a doting older sister.

… pic courtesy of Jeanette…

King Solomons Chair..Chapt 2

Posted: October 27, 2019 in Masonic, Poem, poetry

As many of my family and friends know, Freemasonry is a very important aspect of my life. In addition to my District duties, I also belong to multiple Masonic Lodges and Chapters.

My mother Lodge, Orphic Lodge, District Grand Stewards Lodge, Vrede Lodge, Orphic Royal Arch Chapter and Composite Rose Croix Chapter. A specialist lodge dedicated to Police and Emergency Services, Vrede Lodge welcomed me with open arms, and I found fraternising with like minded serviceman fulfilling. In addition to the usual Masonic requirements, there is one additional pre-requisite to join Vrede…. you must be either a current, or ex-police officer and to boost the membership, we have now opened the doors for membership by current and ex-emergency services.

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I was honoured to the elected by the Brethren of Vrede Lodge to lead the lodge into the new year, and this week, was installed as the Worshipful Master.

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…Jubilee memorial jewel and collarette worn by the Worshipful Master…

I was last in the Chair in 2011 in Orphic Lodge (https://carlsstuff.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/a-surreal-experience/) and surprisingly, even though it has been 8 years post that surreal experience, and having attended over 120 Installations as a District officer, I found being installed again felt the same.The poem I wrote in February 2011 remains apt to this day. ( https://carlsstuff.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/king-solomons-chair/

Thank you to my fellow Brethren who have placed their trust in me to lead the Lodge into 2020. It’s going to be a great year !!

End of a Masonic Year

Posted: October 6, 2019 in Masonic

Yesterday marked the end of yet another year in the calendar of the District of SA North, under the United Grand Lodge of England. On the 1st Saturday of October each year, the District Grand Master invests his new officers for the year, some being first appointments, and others being promotions.

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This year was no different. Always the highlight of the year, where all the Lodges in the District come together, whether to be Johannesburg or Carltonville, Louis Trichardt or Nelspruit, Botswana and Swaziland, and even a contingent as far as Mauritius.

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The annual meeting gives us an opportunity to meet up with Brethren from far and wide, laugh and joke and have some serious interactions.. but, defininately a main attraction before the meeting starts….shopping!!

…yes, even us men love shopping….

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And then the seriousness began, and the investiture of Active District Officers were invested.

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I was honoured to be retain my position in the Royal Arch as District Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and receive a promotion to District Junior Grand Deacon in the Craft. 

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A very busy year ahead, of which I’m looking forward to.

Time to get back into things

Posted: September 18, 2019 in accident, Family, Masonic

Someone very close to me commented the other day that I haven’t blogged recently. Why haven’t I? Well, my excuse is that I just haven’t got to it, or had nothing to post about, or life has been too busy to take the time to blog.

Blogging has always been my release mechanism, and making excuses merely exasperates my mental well being, which to be honest, is not in the best place. So I have been working more and more during my off time (well, don’t really have off time due to my responsibility at work, and the fact I’m on 24 hr call, and masonic lodge commitments have been taking a lot of my time in the evenings.

Personally, I feel like in an emotional roller coaster, and my masonic commitments and a supportive shoulder are keeping this time bomb from exploding, but a short fuse it is.

 

Work? well, many an hour have been spent on this incredible machine with a great team of fellow dedicated Emergency Care Practitioners and Advanced Life Supports paramedics, going out day in and day out, saving lives.

A cliche some might think or say,  but truly saving lives. Flying out to and airlifting the most critical patients and transporting to Centers of Excellence, one feels an amazing feeling of accomplishment and pride, making a positive difference in someone’s life.

                      

And so, I’ve committed myself to get my mind and body right. Back to gym, supplements, eating right, blogging frequently and getting my personal life and mind back on track.

 

Chip off the ol’ block

Posted: March 24, 2019 in Erin, Family, Photography

Erin has shown an interest in photography for a while, and before we left for holiday, asked if i could teach her on my camera. So, instead of just using mine, I gave her my old one, and we had an amazing time bonding and there is no better location than in the tranquil setting of the Drakensburg mountain range.

Her interest in photography really pleased me, and her keen eye certainly picked up great opportunities and captured them artistically.

Erin joined me at golf, and brought the camera along…

 

She really had such a great time, and something we will definitely continue doing together as a father/daughter thing.

 

 

 

Drakensburg break

Posted: March 23, 2019 in Family, holiday

After over a year, we finally managed to get away on our annual vacation. This year, we chose the mountains, and budget prevailing, we found an amazing self-catering resort in the Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve, Didima.

…our chalet, uninterrupted view overlooking the Cathedral Peak...

With my ankle still recovering from injury, major hiking was crossed off our list, however, we were able to go on one decently fairly long trek into the range. Despite being listed as a “gentle walk”, the ups and downs on rocks and narrow paths proved to be testing, and by the time we returned, my achilles and ligaments were swearing at me in every language an extremity could muster.

The outdoors offering us a host of experiences and opportunities to relax

...not forgetting gymnastics practice on the drive down…

…renewing my forgotten love for photography…

… with wild hare crossing our path…

…locusts…

 

…a few crabs challenging us…

tracking spoor…

…friendly locals waving us by…

..and of course, some golfing at the nearby Cathedral Peak golf course…

An opportunity for us as a family to reconnect and enjoy some time away from the world

all in all, a very relaxing holiday so far

 

Weekend in Dullstroom

Posted: December 2, 2018 in Family, golf, holiday, Whisky

Many friends and family head to Dullstroom in Mpumalanga Highlands, mostly for trout fishing and whisky tasting. So when Nicole mentioned her and good friends of ours were arranging a getaway there I was in two minds.. One, I’m not a fisherman so what the hell am I going to do all weekend, and two.. Hmmm, Whisky tasting..?!

Fortunately, I found a championship golf course in the area, Highland Gate rated number 15 in the Golf Digest Top 100 Golf Courses in SA.

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Each hole representing different trout fishing flies

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Beautiful 340m par 4 hole, teeing off down a 50 m drop, which I smashed a drive onto the green..

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Designed by the golfing legend Ernie Els, this was certainly a challenging round, filled with brilliant shots and disastrous ones alike.. and the odd curse or two and of course a few balls lost (and found).

We stayed in a quaint wooden cabin at elandskloof trout farm with friends and their daughter. A friendship which has strengthened with “R” becoming a Brother.

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A relaxing weekend away, braaing under the African sky, free from artificial lights, bright stars and milky way providing a beautiful canopy above our heads.

Of course, a trip to Dullstroom wouldn’t be complete without Whisky and Gin (for the ladies) tasting.

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…An incredible array of fine whisky’s from a menu to choose from…

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…in the “porn” section, as our connoisseur host described the top collectables… 

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I went for the Glenmorangie tasting, sampling 6 of their best single malts

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… umm….yea, I always knew gin was dodgy…

In the end, a great weekend away

and lets not forget the willy warmers

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