Tag Archive: duncan houston


This is my buddy Dunc, who is my best friend from school and who tbV and i are currently staying with while we try find a place to live [as well as his wife Megan and sons Connor and Ryan].

Three times a week he intentionally causes me a lot of pain…

…and it’s great!

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
    but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Well, to be more accurate he ensures that i am in the place of pain.

i usually use that verse from Proverbs 27.6 in the Bible to talk about accountability and someone who is not scared to love you well by telling you when you are doing something foolish or hurtful. But in this case it’s slightly different, although i guess still a form of accountability, as Duncan is my 100 push-ups partner.

When i was in Stellenbosch i did this before about four years ago, and i think both of us are quite skeptical as to how i could have finished it back then, but Dunc was doing it when we moved in and so i joined him.

It is a six week program that you can find at hundredpushups.com although the reality is that if you don’t complete a week you do it again and so we are on week ten or something but in week 5 of the program. Today we attempted sets of 20, 20, 24, 24, 20, 20, 22 and then as many as you can with a minimum of 50. All with 45 second intervals in between.

i use the word ‘attempted’ as mine looked a lot more like 20, 20, 24, 24, 13, 13, 13, 18 which as you can see is far off the mark.

But it is also 145 pushups in about 15 minutes, which is not such a bad thing. Especially as we go on to do five different arm muscle builders with some hand weights.

What makes it easier though, and far more enjoyable, is that i have a good buddy doing it with me. And even more than that, no matter how crap i am, he is constantly cheering me on and telling me how good i’m doing. He nailed all of them except the last one and i was short on four of the sets [having given blood yesterday, as he kept telling me, may have had some small effect] and yet he keeps on shouting out, “Good work, buddy. You’re doing great.”


We’re probably a couple of weeks away from bottles though.

So friends who push you to be the best you can be, who hold you accountable, who challenge you three times a week to do something that will stretch you and cause you a fair deal of pain but which will have good results in the end… you can’t buy these with money.

And i truly do have some of the best friends in the world…

Who hurts you? i would LOVE to hear about someone in the comments section who is your Duncan… tell us a story!

And of course, who are YOU Duncan to?

so yesterday morning i come downstairs and i log into Facebook and am busy catching up on the nights mail when suddenly a word in another mail in my inbox catches my attention… it’s a mail from my wife, the beautiful Val [tbv] with some bank details regarding flight money and my comment below it says, ‘bitch, i want all the money’

[cue me confused] so i start trying to work out what word i was going for cos i have clearly mistyped when suddenly, in the inbox to my left a new mail rises to the top of the pile, addressed to my former UK housemate from the Simply Way with brett fish anderson [that’s me] writing “Fuck you”

You've been hacked...

[confusement changing to panic as i realise i’m being hacked but all this live and while i am in my account] so i quickly scramble towards the password changing settings menu and as i do i get a notification and it is one of my old friends who i have not been in any contact with for a long time and he is saying ‘now why would i do that?’ so i click on it and on his status which was something along the lines of ‘Have a great week everyone’, brett fish anderson has commented ‘i hope you die.’

[password changed and hoping that is it – ticked the option to ‘log me out of all devices i am currently logged into’ – nice touch Zuckers – and waiting to see if the surreal movie-type experience has finished… my buddy Dunc, who i am staying with, walks downstairs so i share the story with him and he tells me to check my activity log – good job Zuckers – and so i do – just three other people fortunately – old church friend, old cape town friend and my boss’ wife all with the eloquent ‘F___ you’ scrawled upon their page [by brett fish anderson of course] and so managed to delete them]

by this time i have an email from a friend from The Simple Way suggesting i might have been hacked and copying the mail from my boss’ wife to me which i have just deleted…

so crisis largely averted – i think one downfall of the hacker was being over the top in terms of using language no one would have suspected i would actually use in that way – but it was a little freaky as it started to happen in front of my eyes [maybe better that way rather than arriving to 200 sent out messages i guess] and felt a little bit like being trapped in a movie…

i have seen a lot of hack attempts and been the victim on occasion, but that was definitely the most malicious one i have personally encountered. feels a little bit violationary…

and is it boss’ wife or bosses wife?

okay, so that title doesn’t apply AT ALL here, in fact it the opposite of applies, but it was likely to draw a lot more readers than ‘i like my friends’ and look, there you are so hi!

arrived back home after a good 32 hours or so of travelling [if you exclude the New Jersey/New York trip we took with airforce Jon to get to the airport] from JFK to Dubai for eight hour layover then to Cape Town and having watched 8 movies [fist pump!] to be met by Val’s family [mine are away] and then as we were heading out of the airport bumped into my best friend from college days Mandy Hunt and her two girls and gifts of flowers for Val and a balloon and a gift bag which i later discovered had some slabs of chocolate and two full packs of bacon [it’s like she knows…]

Duncan Houston Springbopk

then on to Dunc’s house. Duncan Houston in one of the very few people from school i am in any contact with at all and one of my best buddies – we have not stayed in crazy ongoing contact while i’ve been away but every now and then have connected on Skype or Messenger and caught up… but after settling in and Val heading upstairs not to actively not sleep we started chatting and spent a few hours catching up and discussing the mysteries of the Universe – including religion, politics, family, life and more…

it was seriously like no time had passed and i think the best friendships in life are categorised by that. the ability to be able to step into a friendship that has had a 19 month face (and to some extent, contact) gap and just pick up where we left off.

Duncan and Megan have been beyond generous throughout our married lives and inviting us to live with them for the whole time we are back home [altho Dunc did say if we hit June then we might have to talk…] has been just one more gift of amazingness [to be fair, nodding at the chocolate cupboard while uttering the words ‘help yourself’ was maybe not the brightest of moves] and we are very much looking forward to the rest and rejuvenation this time is going to bring for us…

so yes, i am completely grateful for the friends that i have – my other best friend Rob Lloyd is coming over with his wife Nicky for lunch and looking forward to connect with my other best buddy Reegs on the weekend if not before… and then there is MJ who has been prepping my hobbit suit for the cricket on Friday – does it get any better than that?


i don’t feel very strong right now.

i feel wronged. badly done by. hurt. betrayed. disappointed.

and yet again and again it comes back to me that the call is on me to forgive.

pride. ego. self-righteousness. my idea of “justice”. all these things rally against me, trying to convince me that i am in the right [maybe i am] and that the other should approach me [maybe they should] and seek peace and restoration. and maybe in the ideal world that is what should happen.

but i come from a far greater than ideal world. i come from a kingdom. and in this kingdom it often appears as if everything is upside down. and yet when you tilt your head, change your perspective, and open your eyes to really see how the upsidedowness really takes shape, it is quickly obvious to see how this new way is so much better. this new way is right. this kingdom brings life.

it doesn’t demand love, it earns it. it showers it indiscriminantly on whoever is in arms reach. and those beyond. it seeks out people to Love who may not be the likeliest of candidates or people who i might feel are all that deserving.

am i? am i deserving.
if ‘forgiveness is the attribute of the strong’ then i don’t feel so strong right now.
i feel tired from having walked that road before. so many times.
always the one to seek peace, to chase with repentance, to humble myself [that’s probably not true, but it’s certainly what i like to think]

forgive those who deserve it? easy. i can do that. i have. again and again.
but those who don’t? sure, but can i at least make them feel bad? can i at least see them ask for it or at the very least even seek it?
because often they don’t. often it has to be me who has to set out on that same journey again [my shoes feel worn down, and in the absence of shoes, my feet]

i think of my buddy Dunc. how is he still my friend? i honestly sometimes don’t know. oh i get why we are friends and what we share in common and how we can laugh and enjoy life to the full together. i get how we can be friends. and are.

but i have given that boy some crap. man, he has experienced some of the depths of my bad moods and hockey-related tantrums and unfairness accusations and passive aggressive looks [that if they could kill i’d have been put away for life]. and yet he has still stayed around. and loved me. and been so incredibly generous to me and Val just again and again and again.

and so thankx Dunc. maybe in you i will discover some hope for myself.

and in Jesus! cos He sticks with me. and i know i’ve let Him down again and again.
and yet He keeps welcoming me back. and He keeps being incredibly generous. and He keeps putting amazing opportunities in front of me

and more importantly, when i don’t seem to possess enough of this particular attribute of the strong
and when i arrive once more at a place where i feel wronged. badly done by. hurt. betrayed. disappointed.
He refuses to let me stay there. He refuses to let me wallow.
or wait [fruitlessly perhaps] for the other person to set out on my path.

the nudge comes. the Spirit speaks. the call is made.
you put this right. you Love. you forgive. and I will give you everything you need to be able to do it.
seventy times seven – My kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

[to all those friends and family of mine who have never given up on me – despite quite possibly having cause – i thank you so much – it means the world to me – despite how completely wrong i can get it from time to time, i really do try.]

%d bloggers like this: