Tag Archive: the beautiful valerie


hey there, gather round and listen up

step yourself a little closer so-i can tell you what is up

on this day, the very 25 of may

there are a few things that I feel that I have got to say

first of all, we find ourselves upon a special day

so, let’s all join with one another and hip hip hooray

and give some applause, and much due celebration

to the woman of, this very day’s creation

well not this very day, but one very much the same

28 calendars ago, the day this baby came

brought into this world, a Duffield, began to find her feet

but let’s skip right to future days,  way after when we two did meet

we stood together in a church, in front of some of you

and made some promises, and then each one of us said ‘I do’

we set off for honeymoon, amidst some cries and laughter

surely set for our very own ‘happily every after?’

but sadly that is not always, the way this thing does work

cos pretty soon I realise, I now-live with quite a jerk

and as much as I enjoy throwing blame at Valerie

I soon realise that the jerk in the mirror it is me

cos marriage is a thing that is worthy of applause

but it is also quite a spotlight that will emphasise your flaws

It’s certainly not all bad, in fact the good outweighs by far

Just good to know it’s not all Disney or if-it-is then with Jafar

Or Ursula from Little Mermaid, Jungle’s Kaa or even Scar

[Is there some reason why so many of  Disney villains rhyme with ‘bra’?]

But moving on there is a reason for me to-have-sit and write this poem

As today is my girl’s day, and you are here, I thort ‘I’ll show ‘em’

Just a note, pick one or two, of reasons why I love my girl

And know that there are many hundreds more that I could here unfurl

But when it comes to passionate justice, tbV she is a fighter

And those of you who’ve read her blog now know that she is quite the writer

She is so-really good at games and this immensely makes me proud

Altho my ego takes a beating, fairly often when-it’s allowed

And after many months of fighting, I now take much admiration

Watching Val laughing out loud at scenes from Parks and Recreation

There’s so much more, but that’s a glimpse, of just why I am such a fan

Especially when she calls me ‘Boy’ or ‘B’ or ‘specially ‘Husband-man’

We’re growing up and on together as we live eternity

And it’s a journey that is not always simple as it could be

But we’re committed so we fight on and we hope that you will see

‘Life to the full’ will stay our motto, this Fish and this tbV

You see we’ve grown up in a world that points us all to independence

While what we are finding out are merits to inter-dependence

That we’re in this thing together when it’s good and when it’s bad

When we disappoint each other, if we make each other sad

We know it’s not intentional and we know we will bounce back

And the very bottom line is that we have each other’s back[s]

What helps to make it stronger is the foundation we’ve got

That we’ve built our lives on God, especially when we lose the plot

They say a triple stranded cord is one that can’t be eas’ly snapped

And for our present situation that just seems completely apt

So my tbV I love you, yes I kinda think you’re nice

Sorry that this pome is not up to the standards of V. Ice.

I wish you all the best of birthday celebrations for this day

And plan to stick with you by your side if you feel like that’s okay?

I love you very much and am so glad that you’re my girl.

The end! [cos there’s no good word that rhymes with ‘girl’].

so last nite we had another incredible time with enGAGE – our church congregation – i preached a talk called ‘The Crit of the Hippo’ – crit being and assessment, a mark, an evaluation… and hippo being a really big creature… so The Big Evaluation essentially… and of course the words ‘crit’ and ‘hippo’ combining nicely to form the word ‘hypocrite’ of which the original meaning was simply actor – so being someone you are not, or as the Cretans liked to do – ‘claiming to know God but by their actions denying Him’ [Titus 1.16]

during worship an older (50ish) homelessly looking white woman walked in to the service and then out through the back towards the hall and the toilets – my beautiful wife (aka the beautiful Val) came up to me twenty minutes later asking where she was and she had completely slipped my mind so i said i wasn’t sure and she went off to find her… apparently she found he naked (or close to, with a rag wrapped around her waist) taking a bath in our bathroom (well using the sink to give herself a clean) with Lindri, one of the other ladygirls in our church hanging out with her…

Lindri then came to me afterwards – after a fine preach and some interaction on being a hypocrite or matching what we say we are with who we are – and said that the woman needed a place to stay and she had no money and could we take her to the shelter…

and that’s where it becomes real, and uncomfortable, and messy, and confusing… cos i honestly didn’t know what to do – i did know that the hostel – which is more than likely full – has a cut off time and was most likely closed – i do know that we have a general policy of not giving money to people on the streets although we also have a policy of doing what we can to help them and at the very least buying them something to eat or maybe helping out with clothes and stuff – but the reality of last nite was there was an in-your-face situation and i didn’t know what to do and so we missed it

and later in bed tbV quizzed me about the whole thing which made me quite upset cos i knew i hadn’t know what the right answer was and cos we hadn’t really done anything (except not thrown her out of our church for taking a bath which i guess would put us ahead of at least one or two other churches) and cos it meant i had to think about it again and feel guilty and not just snuggle down in my warm bed and conveniently not have it invade my thoughts

Jesus said ‘whatever you don’t do for the least of these, you don’t do for Me’ and that is a haunting piece of scripture on any occasion you don’t give money or food, or walk past someone who is lying in the gutter…

another probably reality is that if we did take her home and give her a place to stay for one night, what then? Send her out the next night to sleep in the cold? Adopt her completely and have another person in our home and in our lives to feed and look after? And then the following week there will be two people in church wanting a place to stay and by then our house is more than full (legally i don’t even think we are allowed extra tenants but i don’t think that’s necessarily the point)

as a community we have been helping one of our own guys who has been struggling with a place to stay and money recently and so a bunch of us have done a little bit to help him out – there is a car guard at Ginos, our local restaurant hangout, who a couple of our guys have befriended and we are in the process of organising him a French bible – and there are kids from kayamandi and cloetesville and vlottenberg who a bunch of okes are engaging with every week and building into… so we are doing something

but none of that really helps that old lady from last nite and i am not satisfied that me not knowing what to do and doing nothing is even close to enough – i didn’t feel a specific prompting by God to do anything specific but as tbV said well hasn’t God already told us what to do in His word and yes. the least of these

so i don’t know. It’s easy to have answers when you are not faced with situations (and people). It’s easy to have theory and preach that powerfully or effectively. It’s easy to avoid or ignore or come up with some kind of justificationary thort or reasoning or whatever

all i know is i feel crap that we didn’t help that lady. I feel crap that i didn’t know what to do. I am glad she felt the freedom to hang out and take a bath in our bathroom and i am glad that some of the women from our congregation engaged with her and hopefully shared some life and love

so what’s your answer then?

the combined talents of the beautiful Val (aka tbV) and Michael-John (aka Muscle-John, agent of the stars) and brett FISH anderson (owner of the world’s most famous stuffed dolphin, No_bob, who still doesn’t!) bring you the new word that is about to sweep the world… are you ready… for…

“HIGH-FIVEABLE”

“Astonishing” [time magazine]

“Mouth-wateringly cathartic” [the daily post]

“if it was a tangible thing, i’d have one under every chair” [oprah]

that’s right – your friend made that brilliant pun, good call on that epic sports move, hey that cute girl totally just smiled at you – that’s high-fiveable!

be the first one on your block to own the bragging rights of introducing what is bound to become common popular every day speak into your vocabulary – find an opportunity to whip out “That’s high-fiveable!” today

go ahead – that’s the challenge – find a place to use it, then stand back and smile (not a gloat or a smirk, mind you, an appreciative smile!) as you see the amazement and respect spreading across the faces of family, friends and colleagues and let’s not forget, the boss.

and then head back here and report on how it went

now that IS high-fiveable… a-a-a-a-and break.

i don’t understand chocolate – i know something about cocoa beans but that’s about it – possibly a glass and a half of milk in certain brands and a handful of raiSINs in other overly disobedient and retarded versions – and a bunch about it liking to stick around and be an accessory to your body long after the eating date (friends with unbenefits?) and also that when it goes white it is old (if it starts out white it is probably not as nice as any other form and so you’re in trouble already) um, and that the best possible melting mix in my travels is the following:

[serves two]

one slab of top deck (or more or bigger depending on how many people)

one or two bags of smartie eggs

a microwave, a microwave-friendly plate and two teaspoons (or more if more)

break the Top Deck into individual pieces and then break those in half – microwave for between 30 and 70 seconds (depending on your microwaver) – open, stir, microwave some more until the hint of meltage – the add smartie eggs – the microwave another 30 to 70 seconds then open stir and continue until melted

eat with teaspoons (while watching Survivor or in extreme cases, Amazing Race)

amazing! the chocolate, not the race although it is highly entertaining, especially when chocolate is involved in the challenges as it was that one time.

but give me a bag of cocoa beans, a great big…. tract of land, a shovel and a glass and a half of milk and i will have no clue – throw in a conveyor belt and a packaging machine and will i not still be useless?

[the answer is yes, yes i will]

so i don’t understand chocolate – i ‘get’ some of the concept behind it, i know how it affects me and adds to my life – but i completely love it (well maybe not ‘completely’ – definitely not more than the beautiful Valerie and probably only equal to a good gravy-covered pea-and-sausage-accompanied mash potato portion) and make the most of it (and occasionally embrace it when no-one is looking)

i love chocolate.

so what are you saying, brett fish?

well, i think it’s completely obvious what i am getting at but let me lead you there on the off chance that your mind is not as lateral thinking as mine own.

i love God!

arr, so last nite of crew before baptist summer camp 1 (1000ish young people) arrive and my friend Craig Fincham leads a devotion/crew-building moment and confesses some stuff to the team and God who has been loudly whispering (well i have been incessantly converting His calls to a whisper so as not to pay too much attention to them) to me decides this is a moment of truth (MOT) moment to SCREAM at me – okay buddy, choose this day whom you will serve… i knew i had to and it sucked a lot (cos of the impending disappointment and hurtment that i knew tbv would experience and of course – once again – the embarrassment of not being big or strong or real enuff with this thing i’ve been struggling with for most of this last year, or maybe more accurately not ‘struggling with’…

and so i had to (take 2) confess that once again i got caught up in online pokering and while last time i confessed i left a back door which enabled me to fairly easily slide back into it, i knew this time it had to be kill kill kill (which is not easy cos i really enjoyed playing online and it gave me both an escape and an outlet for my competitive vibes) and so i have come home and deleted the software, this time with the knowledge that i cannot start again if… it is gone, finished, and i know that it won’t be a problem again in that regard cos the only reason it was able to become a problem again was cos i left a backdoor…

and so it was tough and it sucked to have to admit to her i’d been caught up in it again, but at the same time it was amazing and incredible and much needed and it really was (again, you’d think i would have learned last time) like getting a huge chunk of my life back again (and time which i need for book-writing so super stoked and excited for everything the time will free me up to be and do) and it was SO INCREDIBLY TIMED cos i knew deep within that as much as i was ready for summer camp and the workshops i had prepared and to serve and so on, that i wasn’t and i absolutely needed that moment to happen so i could stand in front of 1500 young people absolutely compromise free and not hiding my secret sins while admonishing them to be free of theirs.

burden lifted. thank you God. thank you lovely wife for your grace and forgiveness and lack of judgement.

thank you God for 15th chances… help me not to need a 16th… free me from my addictive personality that quickly gets my feet wrapped up and entangled with sin or distractful things which masquerade as not sin.

hebrews 12.1-3 starts with ‘therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw of everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…’

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