Thursday, January 14, 2016

Life is good, even when it seems bleak.

Funny things happen when one has something to hope for, that time in life when you just love being alive. I'm sitting here listening to Lois Armstrong while I write this and life is good right now. I know that things have been a bit iffy lately and writing posts has been sporadic but I think that's about to change. I went for that interview this morning and it went pretty well, well I thought so but that's not what has put me in a good mood, what shall be shall be. Maybe it's something to do with the fact that I'm no longer feeling incompetent and unwanted or maybe it's realizing that when God says in his word that he loves me he wasn't kidding, he really does. Yes I'm still broke and yes I'm still having to provide for myself with limited resources but knowing that God has forgiven me for a promise unfulfilled leaves me feeling love and gratitude towards him that I can't really explain. I just have a feeling that 2016 is going to be a fantastic year but if it isn't that's alright too.
Listening to the news about economic meltdown and watching the Rand plummet, the threat of war on so many fronts, drought and floods just makes me despondent so I'v sort of stopped listening and now have the strength to laugh, the strength to take my camera out and start snapping away and the strength to start writing blog posts again. Yes I miss my friends in Cape Town and no, I haven't made any new friends up here in Johannesburg yet but I think that is about to change, we'll see.
With regards to the interview I've come to realize that this industry I've been involved in for so long is a very specialized industry. It's not the same as set building nor is it the same as Shop fitting. Film sets are only seen from the front and what has been used to make it appear isn't really a problem, Shop fitting has to last for 20 odd years and involves more of a cabinet making mindset but exhibitions are indeed seen from all angles and the finishes have to be top notch but it's coming down in three days. I've also come to realize that there aren't all that many people around who are looking for jobs that have the experience and knowledge to do this type of work. I'm one such person and managing a workshop of carpenters and artisans doing this kind of work is what I've been doing for years now and I'm good at it. I feel confident about getting the position and have absolute confidence in my abilities and skills. It's going to be a great year.
Chin up chaps, things are much better that all the media nonsense thrown at us, God will make sure of that.
Blessings from Geoff in South Africa.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Marriage proposal

Shelley and Jason

Well I'm finally allowed to publish that post I mentioned in one of my earlier posts about good news. Shelly, my daughter and Jason are getting married. Jason approached me on Christmas day and asked me for permission to marry my daughter. After a brief discussion I agreed. I didn't say anything to Shelley but waited for her to tell me about it. On New years eve apparently, while they were away at a nature reserve somewhere in the north west, Jason went down on one knee and Shelley burst out crying, he didn't even get a chance to ask. Once the tears had subsided he asked and Shelley said yes. I got a call the next morning, the first person they called and Shelley then told me, once again crying. One of the conditions Shelley had stipulated before he could ask for her hand in marriage was that he first ask for my permission, the right thing to do. Her mom wasn't too happy about him asking me and not her but hey, that's the way things are done. The reason I had to wait was to give Jason time to tell his little girls, his ex-wife and his mom, fair enough.
More good news has since manifested. That application for work I mentioned earlier has resulted in an interview which I'll be attending tomorrow morning. Say another little prayer for me please, it really works. There are other things that have happened too but they are not as exciting as what has already happened. I'll be moving home at the end of March, somewhere closer to the rest of the family and more central. I'll write about that closer to the time supplemented with photographs.
On the day Shelley told me about Jason's proposal I went to my bible and talked to the Lord about it. When I opened my Bible this is the verse that came up;
The Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehi, king of Israel, to propose a meeing. But Jehoash king of Israel sent this answer to Amaziah king of Juda: 'A thistle in Lebanon sent to a cedar in Lebanon to say, "Give your daughter in marriage to my son."  (2 Kings verse 8 and 9)
It goes on a bit, well actually a lot, but that was the first verse I read when I opened my bible. So If you think God doesn't exist and that He doesn't know what is going on, think again.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

April A-Z challenge 2016

One of my own pictures.
Last year I didn't take part in the A-Z challenge, mostly because I was too busy at the time, but this year I have decided to get to it and start writing posts ahead of time with scheduled posting dates. Trying to decide on a theme is, at the moment, my biggest stumbling block but I do know that having a theme is the route to go. When last I did participate I chose Africa as my theme and, to tell the truth, some of those posts have had the most page views out of all my posts. The trouble with trying to decide on a theme is the huge variety of subjects out there that do already fascinate me. I'm not looking for a way to increase my hit rate but rather a desire to give those who already visit my blog new and interesting insights into things that interest me. I absolutely love airplanes and then of course I love boats too, fascinating. God's word is the usual theme of my blog but I also know that God is in everything so my choices can cover any subject I choose.
Another thing that I learned from the A-Z challenge is that short posts with pictures seem to be the most enjoyed. This doesn't mean that readers aren't interested in longer posts, it just means that during April the blogosphere is abuzz with writers and readers flitting from one blog to another in a mad scramble to visit as many posts as possible. It does get very hectic indeed. I don't have photographs pertinent to everything I write about and do at times have to use other peoples pictures. I, as a photographer, do appreciate it when other writers use my pictures and then give a link to where the picture came from. This is to me common courtesy and therefore when I use someone else's pictures I do acknowledge and link to their article.
Another thing I learned was to reply to other peoples comments on my posts and go and check out their posts. I came across some very interesting posts, writers I then followed. Not everyone I followed, at that stage, kept my interest, sometimes I lost interest later or their posts became too sporadic to keep on following. The same thing happened to me. After the challenge some people never came back or never commented or just disappeared. This time I know this ahead of time so am prepared for it, I won't be disappointed. Of course there are some of those who found my blog through the challenge who come back often and make a point of commenting, they are my favorite followers and I visit them whenever I get a chance.
With regards to scheduling, this took some time to work out how to get it to work. There was a chap in the UK who helped me get it working. I can't remember who it was but I do know help is out there and people all over the world are willing and able to help out where necessary. I have a new computer now so will probably have to go through the whole process all over again but that's okay.
Do recommend taking part in the A-Z challenge? Absolutely. It will increase your following a lot, it will increase your hit rate, it will increase the number of comments on your posts but most of all it is a absolutely fun and worthwhile thing to do.
For now, as the signup list is not yet active, I would suggest you choose a theme, see if you can write a few posts ahead of time and get the scheduling thing working. That's what I'm going to do.
To everyone on the A-Z challenge team I would like to say thanks and I admire all of you immensely.
Blessings to everyone who takes part whether they are writers, readers or just visitors, Geoff.

This too shall pass.

Clouds rolling in with blue skies  cooler temperatures.
Well I have some feedback on my previous post that may interest you.
It rained here last night but rain here in Johannesburg doesn't mean a gentle soaking rain as it does in Cape Town. Here it means Sabre rattling and much banging and roaring (Lightning and thunder) which can go on for hours. This posturing and aggression of course sends Archibald into meltdown. The fact that there is a tree here only a few yards from my cottage that gets struck quite often doesn't help. It got struck again last night which made all of us almost jump out of  our skins. The temperature today has dropped at least 5 degrees and sleep last night wasn't as difficult as it has been of late.
I got a request late yesterday afternoon in regard to my work application, Could you please e-mail your CV through to us. The position advertised was an almost perfect description of what I've been doing for so many years now and to tell the truth, I don't usually get replies to any application I submit so this was a big surprise.  So to those who said a little prayer for me, thanks. And of course to the Lord, Thank you so much, I really do appreciate it and love you very much.
There is other news I would very much like to tell everyone about but have been asked to hold off until Monday or Tuesday, but it is good news.
For those around the world who are going through trying times, whether it be weather related or some other distressing situation, hang in there. This too shall pass. The son of God Jesus, or Yeshua if you prefer, says "I will never leave you nor forsake you" and if you are a believer then you will know that He never lies.
Blessings and love from a happy, and cool, Geoff in South Africa.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Climate change and chaos in 2016 already

Wow what a start to 2016. China stock markets tumbling this whole week, the Rand reaching record lows, flooding in the UK and all sorts of disputes about gun control in the USA not to mention what your weather has thrown at you. In Australia huge fires and lakes that have been empty now filling up, Earthquakes in Pakistan and a whole plethora of other world events that indicate what the French foreign minister said about only 500 days to climate chaos is true. The world seems to have gone nuts this year. The daily temperatures here over the past few days has gone up into the middle forties (113 degrees Fahrenheit.) It's a bit lower today at 39 degrees (100 Fahrenheit.)
I must tell you that I do read conspiracy theories and in this particular instance I'm beginning to see that they may not all be just theory. How did the french foreign minister know this was on its way with such accuracy?
Anyway, moving on.

I applied for a Workshop Manager position today with an exhibition stand building company Progroup.co.za , keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer for me.
I am good at this, It's something I've been doing for more than twenty years now. Oh, if you need a stand built for an exhibition or a film set built here in South Africa then get hold of me, I'll take care of it for you. e-mail
From me to you, blessings and safety, Geoff.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

2016 wishes for you.

I'm not sure about you but my 2015 was an awful year. It started with me having a heart attack in January, having to spend a month off work recovering, for which I was not paid, getting fired later in the year and then spending the best part of 6 months without any income. That means that in 2015 I only worked for about 5 months, hopefully 2016 will be a better year financially.
I am definitely looking forward to the new year but can't see much improvement on the horizon for now with the state of the South African economy. 2015 saw strikes and rioting all over the country with students demanding removal of statues (Rhodes must fall campaign,) free education for university students (Fees must fall marches,) and finally the removal of the finance minister which saw the value of banks and the Rand do a spectacular nose-dive resulting in the calls for removal of Jacob Zuma the president of the A.N.C. (Zuma must fall campaign.) There were a whole lot of other strikes affecting teachers, the police and many other sectors of the country. Will this change in 2016? I doubt it.
On the global front we saw wars escalating involving world powers arguing and threatening each other, the huge migration (migration could be the wrong word, invasion, although considered politically incorrect, is more likely correct considering the implications of the European population dynamics shift,) adding to the confusion and hardship experienced by innocent people trying to get away from their own leaders who are destroying them. Major earth shaking and earthquakes, and then of course the weather freak out at the end of the year.
I would like to say to everyone who was seriously affected by all these events that my heart goes out to you and that I feel very sorry for you no matter who you are. My prayer for you, once again no matter who you are or what you believe, is that my God will restore your lives and bless you in 2016. May we, as the world population, come to calmer waters for the sake of our planet as well as each other.
Blessings and love from an old man struggling to survive here in a very political South Africa. Bless you all, Geoff.