Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas, the way it should be...

Firstly, hello, my name is Francois and I have been neglecting my blog. I know it`s been a while but life seems to have gotten in the way of blogging.

I have made a decision though to give a bit more attention to my blog. It used to be such a big part of my life, a part I really loved and enjoyed. So I promise to make more of an effort from now on.

The reason for this post is to send you to my gorgeous wife`s blog. It is looking amazing at the moment and this post should make you fall in love too.

So, until the next time (which will be in soon, promise).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Man Cold

For all you ladies who doubt the seriousness of this affliction, watch this video, then go apologize to your husband / boyfriend / brother / son... And then make him soup.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Anniversary


A quick one! I just wanted to say Happy Anniversary to my gorgeous Sweetie! It`s been 9 years since we tied the knot. NINE YEARS! I have truly been blessed with the most awesome wife anybody could wish for. She makes me happy every single day of my life (except maybe for a day or 2 sometime during the month) and she is without a doubt, the best thing that has ever happened to me.

So, happy anniversary Gorgeous! I love you with all my heart....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Update

This isn`t a proper post, just some random thoughts thrown together.

Firstly, here`s the pic of me finishing the Two Oceans. I know I`ve probably killed the subject already but who cares, I`m terribly proud of it!


I have actually done another 21km after the Two Oceans. It was the Slow Mag Half Marathon, hosted by Benoni Northerns. The start was literally 1km from our place and I walked there! Pretty convenient, no? The race wasn`t too bad and I ended up doing my Personal Best (or PB as we refer to it in the trade) of 2:06:15. Fantastic.


The other news on this side is that we have finally found season 1 of Dexter. I missed the first few episodes on tv and didn`t want to get into it halfway. So we haven`t watched ONE episode. That`s until yesterday. I found seasons 1-3 in a MR Video, not too far from us. So yesterday Hayley and I settled in and watched the first 3 episodes (it would`ve been 6 but some idiot got to Season 1 Disk 2 before I could). It is AWESOME! So excited that we can finally watch it. I reckon it`s gonna become our Sunday ritual. Oh that and Hayley`s world famous chicken curry. Oh and a good bottle of wine.


We are besotted by Gordon Ramsay and especially his show Kitchen Nightmares. We PVR every single episode and never miss one. A lot of people dislike Gordon but damnit the man is good at what he does and let`s be honest, not many people can drop the F-Bomb like Gordon can. The show makes for great tv and Gordon is most certainly no shrinking violet, fights galore! Seeing as Channel 180 screens an episode every weeknight at 20:30, we are very, very happy campers.


Otherwise things are ok here. Winter is closing in very quickly but we`re ok with that. Give me some red wine, a couch, a blanket and some good tv & this boytjie is happy.

Friday 30 April will be the 7th anniversary of my Mom`s passing. Even after all these years the 30th April still gets to me. When the calender turns to April, I already look towards the 30th with dread. I know it`s just a day but it`s THE day. THE day where I lost my Mom, my best friend for so long. The one person who made my childhood so much easier than it should have been. I suppose it also gives me time to reflect on my Mom and how fortunate I was to have her.

She really was an Angel even before she became one 7 years ago.


Here is a post I did for my Mom a while ago.

So, until next time, fare-the-well my friends.

This is RG, signing out (till next time that is).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The 2 Oceans - What a day



Wow! That`s all I can say. What an absolutely amazing day 3 April 2010 turned out to be.

It started early, pretty much at 21:30 on the 2nd of April. I went to bed at that time and then lay awake for most of the night. I just could not sleep. The excitement was way too much for me to be able to close an eye. All I could think of was the race. I had done 3 half marathons before this one. All of them went reasonably well, with the exception of the last one where my knee had me hobbling for the last 10 km`s. It was a toughie and I think was the main reason why I had almost 2 years before attempting another one. But this was the big one, the biggest race I had ever entered. More than 11, 000 runners.

So I lay awake, going through every part of the race in my head. The start, the tough climb along Southern Cross Drive, going past Kirstenbosch and finally entering the stadium. I had absolutely no idea how it would go. I knew I had trained well and that I was in good condition but race day is race day and you never know.

With all that running through my head, I got up before my alarm went off at 03:15. I took a quick shower and got dressed in my brand new Adidas running shorts, shirt and cap. Then I taped my toes and feet (and nipples but that`s another subject for another time), put on my shoes and was ready to go.

So at 03:50 the 3 runners Clive, (my Father-in-Law), Mark (my Brother-in-Law) and myself plus our 1 supporter Kyle (my nephew) hit the road and headed off to UCT. By the time we got there it was a hive of activity already. So many people up and about at 04:30! We walked past the finish on the way to the start and I remember not looking at it. I forced myself to look the other way. I`m not sure why I did it, I suppose I wanted to see the finish for the first time when I came around that corner on the field. It was like the promised land, that`s how special that little piece of earth was to me.

We headed to the start, which is roughly 2km from the finish. There were thousands of people already. They were singing and dancing, laughing and talking. It was an incredible atmosphere. Black, white, coloured, indian, none of that mattered. We were all South Africans. I was so nervous. I went for a bathroom break but had such bad stage fright that I gave up (after what felt like 10 minutes mind you!). My Father-in-Law was with me at the start. He`s always so good at calming things down and he certainly did this for me. The time went by so slowly, it was crazy. Then with a few minutes to go, we sang the anthem. A true goose bump moment. With about a minute to go, they played 'I gotta feeling' by The Blackeyed Peas. Everybody just went bananas! It was so cool. Not my favourite song but there, in that moment, it was awesome!



Then the gun went and the race started. Well, race is a bit of an exaggeration cos it probably took 2 minutes to get to the start. It was so slow. All I wanted to do was run but it was a very congested walk in the beginning. Slowly but surely the runners started spreading out and finally I could get into the race.

The race itself went really well. I ran all the way, not stopping once. Even ran all the way up Southern Cross Drive, which is one helluva climb. I felt strong all the way and just kept going. What a great feeling to know that all the hard work paid off big time. I was so chuffed. The crowds were amazing and cheered us all the way.



The most memorable moment came towards the end just before Kirstenbosch. I came around a bend and looked to my left and there, in the early morning sun was Table Mountain, looking absolutely magnificent. I had a moment there. I felt so blessed. Life was good.



The finish was awesome. Coming into the stadium and seeing all the people was such a rush. Everybody cheering and clapping and creating such a buzz. I came around the last bend and saw the finish. This time I took it in and ran the last 100 or so meters just staring at it. When I took up running 2 years ago, on the 1st of April, it was because of the 2 Oceans. I had been to the Expo with my Father-in-Law and Brother-in-Law and so wanted to be part of it. That next week I started running. Now, I had finished and was holding my very own 2 Oceans Half Marathon Medal. The clock read 2:15:30. I had done it.



That was not the end of it though! After the race I got to meet Old Friends. I had met Michelle and Charlene on Twitter and they had become really good friends. Hayley and I had grown very fond of them and we had shared many, many laughs during the last few months. They had become a really big part of our lives. Well, they also did the half marathon and we met up afterwards at Forries for well deserved beers! It was awesome. They were just as I had expected them to be and truth be told, even better! We also met up with Ann, another good Twitter friend and her sister Chantelle. It was so cool meeting these friends in real life.



So, as you can see, it was an amazing day all round. A day I want to re-live over and over again just this time I would love Hayley to be there too. That would have been the perfect day.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The 2 Oceans


I know, I`m spoiling you (both my readers) by posting twice in a week but hey, I aim to please. Time has really been in short supply and the motivation to post has seriously been lacking too. I started a Posterous blog, which is basically blogging for lazy people, of which I apparently am one.
That site can be found at Running Golfers Posterous and is just a silly little sideline if I`m honest.

In any case, the reason for this post is to give you some feedback on my running. Yes, I am still running although I must say I haven`t taken it too seriously for the last year or so. In fact, I only got serious again in December, when I entered the 2 Oceans half marathon. The biggest race I have ever entered and I am beyond excited.

So it was the usual thing. I had to get fit and lose weight. Sounds like a replica of 2 years ago. Well, truth be told it has gone reasonably well. I lost the weight I needed too (9 kg`s AGAIN!!!) and have upped my fitness considerably. I have put in more miles during the last 7 weeks than I did during the 10 weeks leading up to my 1st half marathon. I am reasonably comfortable in the knowledge that I should be able to finish in a fairly decent time. I`d be happy with anything between 2:10:00 and 2:30:00.

I`m flying out to Cape Town tomorrow morning and then flying back on Sunday morning. The only sad thing is that Hayley can`t join me. That would really have been the icing on the cake. She has to work unfortunately. Her whole family is there and my Father-in-Law will pick me up at the airport tomorrow morning and we`ll head straight to the 2 Oceans Expo to register and collect our numbers etc. I cannot wait! I intend to spend some money there, that`s for sure!



So, that`s my story. I am really, really excited about the opportunity to run such an awesome race in the most beautiful place on earth. Such a blessing.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

South Africa - A dream unfulfilled

It`s been a tough few weeks in South Africa. We've had the usual Julius Malema tirades about nothing and everything, Jacob Zuma and his wives, Jacob Zuma and his kids, Premiers and their unpaid traffic fines, calls for lifestyle audits on Government Officials, Julius Malema singing "kill the boer, kill the farmer", some of the worst hate speech on his Facebook fan page, Government tenders being awarded to government ministers, the tax bill footed by the tax payers to sustain Jacob Zuma`s wives and 20 kids, protests due to non-delivery of vital services to poor communities, protests by school children outside a courthouse, etc etc etc. Sadly, it`s a very, very long list.

If we are honest with ourselves, it`s probably the worst it`s been since 1994, when the dream of the New South Africa was signed and sealed by all it`s citizens. Back then the nation was so excited for the dream to finally become a reality, it had been way too long in the making. The buzz of the New South Africa was tangible. 1995 followed and the Rugby World Cup was hosted here. A nation building exercise of the highest quality. Springbok supporters followed the progress of the team but a nation celebrated the winning of the cup. A cup that was presented by a true icon, wearing Francois Pienaar`s number 6 jersey. Nelson Mandela stood on the podium and heard a full Ellispark chant "Nelson, Nelson, Nelson". I still get goosebumps just thinking about it. Afterwards, we saw black and white dancing in the streets together, celebrating the victory by the Springboks.

The African Cup of Nations victory followed the next year. This time, white supporters embraced Bafana Bafana as their own and a nation celebrated as one once again. Neil Tovey was the Francois Pienaar this time but Nelson Mandela was once again there. The catalyst for all that was good. South Africans united and it felt right, it felt like the dream was real.

Fast forward now to current day South Africa. It`s been 14 years since the day that we won the Africa Cup of Nations. A lot has happened in that time but having said that, nothing has also happened in that time. I always think of the way people drive as an indicator of the bigger picture within a country. Next time you drive somewhere, see how many drivers use indicators or come to a complete stop at a Stop sign. See how many drivers cross solid white lines, drive in the emergency lanes, cut people off, disregard the speed limits etc. Once again, the list if very, very long. One could almost say that it`s a free for all. No rules or laws and it`s survival of the fittest (or fastest).

Now look at government. We have ministers enriching themselves, cheating, stealing and lying. Our president was in the news recently for not submitting his financial affairs, once he became head of state. This is required by law. Thabo Mbeki did it, as did Nelson Mandela. Mr Zuma then went and got legal opinion on how to circumvent this little conundrum. Something to hide maybe?
I listened to John Robbie on 702 this morning. He was interviewing the Premier of Gauteng, Mrs Nomvula Mokonyane. She has R 17, 000 in outstanding fines and 2 outstanding warrants of arrest. Surely she would see the errors of her ways? Nope, she took issue with the reporter who broke the case. That was her defence. John then asked her if she would be willing to have a lifestyle audit done on her. She was furious and could not believe that John could even fathom asking her such a thing. "Why must I have such a thing done? Why don`t you have one done?". Ummm, one small difference, John Robbie isn`t paid by the citizens of the province to make sure that they are being looked after.
We hear Julius Malema ranting and raving his little head off every single day. He spends more time in the Equality Court than at home I`m sure. Yet, we have not heard Mr Zuma tell Julius to watch his mouth. Isn`t that what a leader is supposed to do?

Before you say I`m just a normal conservative white guy, keep this in mind. Jenny Crwys Williams had a show towards the end of last year, where she invited people to call in and say what their biggest positive was of 2009. I phoned in and said that Jacob Zuma was the biggest positive for me. My point was that he had taken over amidst doom and gloom from a big portion of the population and had made work of crime and a lot of other issues. Unfortunately it looks like I might have been wrong in my assumptions.

So looking at the way people are ignoring the laws of the road and the way government and the ministers therein are ignoring the laws of the land, it is quite obvious why a comparison can be drawn between bad driving and a bad country.

Where does that leave us as a country? Does the Rainbow Nation have a future or is the dream gonna remain just that, a dream.

Look, I`m just a normal guy living his life and trying to make ends meet. All I can do is influence the people I come in contact with be it by my behaviour or my attitude. I cannot change the minds of guys like Julius Malema or Jacob Zuma but I can try to change the people around me, even if it`s just by driving properly. So, this is what I pledge to do:
  • I will always use my indicators.
  • I will always obey the speed limit.
  • I will always yield when it is my duty to.
  • I will always obey solid white lines and emergency lanes.
  • I will always say thank you if somebody lets my into the flow of traffic.
  • I will be kind to everybody around me, even if they don`t deserve it.
  • I will not read another story on Julius Malema or listen to him on the news.
  • I will be positive about my country, even when it is almost impossible to do so.
Silly and mostly mundane things you might say and they probably are but it`s a start.

Will I be able to do all this? I hope so. Most of it I do as a matter of course, like indicating and obeying the speed limit. I am however gonna try to change MY little world which surrounds me and the things I do have control over. I`ll leave the bad news for other people.

I have faith in this country and I know we can make it work. All I want to see is the dream of the Rainbow Nation, realised. A tough task no doubt but definitely possible.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Need you now - Lady Antebellum

I know it`s been a while so I thought I`d pop in and share my favourite song of the moment. I adore this band. I`m not the biggest country fan but these guys are AWESOME.

Enjoy everybody!