Praying for Oscar’s protection

Praying Psalm 5v3,11-12 for Oscar today!

v3 O Lord, in the morning You hear my voice….

v11 …let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
that those who love your name may exult in you.

v12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you COVER HIM WITH YOUR FAVOUR as with a shield.




Extract from the song, “Lighthouse” by Scottish band, Runrig

There’s a sky full of trouble
Lifetimes and fear
Save me, save me
Talking the soundings
Now the tempest is here
Save me, save me
And daylight is breaking
On out-stretched hands
Lost on the ocean
Reaching for land

There’s a lighthouse
Shining in the dark
A lighthouse
Standing in the dark
All the world’s a ship
Shipwrecked on the seas
Breaking up in pieces
We’re clinging to the reef
There’s a lighthouse
© C & R MacDonald

love from Sally, UK


Find Solace with God

Dearest Oscar

I’ve been thinking of you so much lately, especially over the Christmas period.  I pray that you’ve been alright, that you’ve been able to go to the chapel and that you’ve found solace in your relationship with God. Keep your faith, it is so important.  We keep you in our thoughts and prayers every single day and know that you will get through this awful time in your life with the courage that you’ve always shown in other aspects of your life.  I pray for your eventual happiness and fulfilment. 

I have believed in you from the start and have not wavered, and there are so many of us who feel the same way.  I hope you can take some comfort in that.

Much love

Carol Saayman

Two Worlds

The two worlds I live in

Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be.

Last week in school we started to read Goethes “Faust I”. I like this book very much, because there is so much to think about and to learn from these pages: enthusiasm for knowledge, magic, love, temptation, salvation… To be fair, this book is not an easy read and my pupils weren’t too keen about it, but we didn’t really had a choice so we went through the first few scenes. It didn’t take long and one of the girls  closed her copy saying this:  “I don’t even understand A  SINGLE WORD Goethe is saying. Why do they want us to read this? It’s obsolete and boring and there is nothing we can learn from it!” I told her that she should please give it another try and that there is so much more on these pages than only words and that she would get into it when we’ll talk it over. But one could tell from the look on her face that she wasn’t convinced.

I love books.
I love that moment when you open one and sink into it,
you can escape from the world.

Well I’m probably the greatest book lover on earth and there isn’t one that I wouldn’t read or at least give a chance and it was important to me that she won’t give up on this one. I wanted her to go with me on this journey. And as I was thinking about what to tell her to catch her interest, I remembered a scene from one of my favourite TV series that explains very well why I love books and the following lines include exactly what I wanted her to understand.

Books give a soul to the universe,
wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
and life to everything.

The protagonist in the series addresses an audience at her graduation party. She says: “I live in two worlds. One is a world of books. I hunted the white whale aboard the Pequod, fought alongside Napoleon, sailed a raft with Huck and Jim, rode a sad train with Anna Karenina…It’s a rewarding world.”

I think she is right about this. It is a stirring world… and not only one. There are millions. Each book a door to something new. Imagine yourself opening a book, a new and uncharted territory. At first it is like the girl in my school class said: only words on white or offwhite paper. But after a few pages something catches your attention: a character, a situation … in the end it doesn’t really matter what it is. But there IS something that takes you on a ride and lead your thoughts away from everyday life.

Our story begins where all good stories begin…
High, high above the earth,
where stars pepper a velvet sky,
and where galaxies twirl until they feel so dizzy
that they need to sit down.

I think, my first book (except from the books of fairy tales and a few other stories for kids my mum, dad and granny had read to us) was the “Neverending Story” by Michael Ende. An impressive book for all kids and adults showing what we all are capable of. The protagonist, a little boy, quite shy, not really good at school or sports and afraid of heights becomes the hero of a secret world that is in decline because nobody from the real world – our world –believes in fairy tales any longer. Everyone seems to have lost their curiosity and imagination. And it happens that this little boy who doesn’t consider himself special in anyway is the only one who can prevent this magic world from disappearing.

I couldn’t put it down. Like the boy in the book I was fascinated by the creatures that inhabit a fantasy world so iridescent and different from the real one, that everything seemed possible. Together we flew on Falkor the Luckdragon’s back to the ivory tower to meet the childlike empress, accompanied Atreyu, a young warrior from the Grassy Plains and we fought side by side against “the Nothing”, the oblivion that threatened this magical world.

Books aren’t made of pages or words.
They are made of hopes, dreams and possibilities.

What I love most about this story is that the passion of a little boy saved a whole world. He never thought that he could be a hero but he became one. This book shows us that you doesn’t have to be strong or fearless. Believe in yourself and do the things you do with love and don’t give up. And if you ever feel like you can’t do it alone, take one of the helping hands that are reaching out to you and encouraging you.

A library is full of new worlds to travel.

This is just one example but it was the beginning of my “journey”. It was the one who showed me that each and every book would offer me an escape from the everyday life whenever I’ll need a time out.

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends,
they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors,
and the most patient of teachers.

They can make you laugh, cry, reflective, excited… it’s your choice. And all the books I’ve read in my life have taught me something: about love, friendship, kindness, difficulties in life, possibilities, faith, how to deal with situations, seeing people with the heart not the eyes, different countries, different times and even different worlds. I’ve learnt that I can do whatever I want to do and be whomever I want to be and that I should dare to dream.

Reading is dreaming with open eyes.

Of course there are books I’m more into and quite a few needed a second chance to capture my imagination. But it was worthwhile. Any time. And this is what I told the girl in class. Not with so many words but I think she understood what I was trying to say and she appreciated my way of looking at things. She said, she had never seen it this way but would definitely give it a try.

Dear Oscar,

this is the world I wanted to share with you. A world that promises a thousand unknown stories, a thousand doors leading to places you have never seen before, a thousand people you would never get to know. And you’ll see:

Fairytales are more than true.
Not only because they tell us that dragons exist,
but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

Love, Silke

Trust in God

Oz, I am thinking of you every day while you have to be in prison. May God keep and hold you safe and remember that we pray that the appeal does not go through, we have to put our trust in God. Don’t give up, you are on a brink of a miracle with a great future waiting for you.

Hope you had a lovely Christmas. We miss you.

Marilize Cleary

Oscar the Donkey

Oscar, what have you done to me?! You’ve made me start running, and now I’ve adopted a donkey – simply because his name was Oscar!

Shortly before Christmas I was scrolling through my twitter timeline and the local donkey sanctuary had retweeted a picture of Oscar, suggesting that people adopt him. The national donkey sanctuary were advertising 12 donkeys altogether, on corresponding days, but I had missed completely their previous tweets. I discovered that he is actually at my local sanctuary – it was meant to be!

Well, I had to have Oscar, didn’t I? So I went onto their website and completed the adoption form there and then.

And he works for a living – he’s used as a therapy donkey, helping children and also adults who have additional needs. Much as you have done.

He’s described as a ‘cheeky chappy’, bright and clever and who likes a bit of fun. Now, I don’t for a second believe that right now you feel like a cheeky chappy, but I get the impression that that is how you were prior to this tragedy, and I hope it’s how you will be again – don’t lose that part of your personality, Oscar.

He apparently likes to steal jackets off washing lines – something I imagine you wanted to do, the time you visited the UK, forgetting it was winter here! Yes, my dear, I remember the “I ain’t scuuurd!” tweet very well 😉

I have two twitter accounts, and I can sometimes go days without looking at this particular one, which was why I’d missed all the previous tweets about donkeys to adopt. Was it Fate that I looked at it on this particular day? God? The Universe? Or simply coincidence? Maybe. Whatever it was, I’m glad I did. You, my dearest one, need to be like a donkey – placid, hard-working, humble, but keep a touch of humour and fun about you.

Keep plodding on, Oscar, like your namesake, and I will keep supporting you. In a manner of speaking, you can consider yourself adopted!

Sending you and your family the brightest of blessings for the coming year.

With much love,


Oscar the donkey

Oscar the donkey