2009_0219chnhvplus0076This morning it was minus 17 outside when I woke up.

The sky is still blue and the sun is still there and we saw them both yesterday – it was really beautiful.

I found a jumbo box of fair dinkum cornflakes – oh I am so happy.

When it’s really cold the inside of your nostrils freeze.

Pris Gollan is a good cook – and all of her kids are growing up really fast.

I’m not sure if I’m more annoyed at having shoes stolen out of my van, or having the window with my silver fern and southern cross smashed.


The silence of snow is truly amazing. I stopped working on the computer and looked out the window to see big, slow, heavy, swirling, individual flakes of snow, silently falling down down down. My office is on the third floor in the school here in Rzhyshchiv. I tried to take some photos – but you can’t see the action. Snow is so different from rain. It is so silent it is deafening. I don’t want to prepare lessons today. I want to stand at the window and wonder. It is a sight to behold. The wind catches the flakes, some appear to be going up, then they will spiral into a mini slow motion tornado, then again as always they fall down down down. And silently they make their bed upon the ground. Oh it’s a beauty that has to be seen. All of you antipodeans, come over here and visit. I know I encourage you to come in the summer, but some of you, come in the winter. You can help me teach English – but you can see the snow fall. You can wonder at the wonder of wonders.

I keep turning round to see out the window. It just got thicker and faster. Some of those flakes must be the size of a 20 cent piece. Words are not enough. I wish you could all see what I can see.


2008_1018everybodydance0063Stuck in traffic! A rainy late Friday afternoon and I'm stuck in a propka. The name for a cork is the same word for a traffic jam. I see a sign for the metro system so I pull up on the footpath, park the van and head to the underground. 15 minutes later I'm waiting in the rain with some friends. I have a silly hat, a sign that says Lida for president, and I'm wondering why for the second time in a few weeks I forgot to bring a jumper when the weather is below 10 degrees. Eventually we hop on a bus and are transported to some weapons factory that has been converted into a TV studio.

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When I returned home to Rzhyshchiv, the cat which was hanging around last year was still here and pregnant. Mark and Jacqui,2008_0817cat0014 friends from NZ have befriended it and now I have three kittens as well, Kiwi, Smokey, and Chunkey. They are beginning to become used to being fed and loved. I still haven't relented and let them inside yet. But I must admit they look rather adorable - but then they grow up don't they?!?


2008_0521roof0016Variety is the spice of life. However, too much spice spoils the food. It is the subtle differences that bring about a pleasant change. It is the slight change of perspective that teaches us something new. Trying an old trick a new way uncovers a skill. Approaching the same situation from another angle helps get us out of the rut.

I thought about this today as I was getting dressed. I don't know why, but I put my left leg into my trousers first. It felt weird! I then realised that I don't think I have ever done that before.

Also I bought a new camera. Fiddling around with all the settings and functions, I notice that the subtle changes in setting help bring out a variety of finished products.

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imageI wrote this psalm on December 7 while at

Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Zambia.

I had recently been white-water rafting on the Zambezi


God You are Sovereign.

You created the amazing waterfalls that thunder.

The people that live here and all the animals.

The rich and the poor You made.

God, I don’t understand You or Your justice.

But I know You are just – the judge of all the earth will do right.

So God, I see my problem before me.

It looms up big like a dark cloud –

Like an overwhelming obstacle that will swallow me and consume me.

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Anzac SlouchWith NSW on school holidays I spent the last two weeks up in Queensland. I stayed with my "Aussie family" the Gollans. Highlights include but were not limited to:

  • climbing Mt Beerwah
  • organising a garage sale
  • working with Josh
  • ANZAC Day service
  • riding with Tim
  • Jemimah's surprise 18th (which I didn't give away)
  • basketball training
  • general socialising
  • seeing Serge and Tanya from Ukraine
  • walking in the bush etc.

Tim and Judith are both much better bloggers than I (and I currently don't have a camera), so you can see pictures of the climb and pictures from the garage sale on their sites. Judith also drew a really good image of an Australian diggers hat. Click on the picture for a larger version on Jude's site.

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