• Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
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  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
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Entries in Vespa (26)


Courtney and Mertyl

Courtney was born in 1999. Mertyl was born in Italy in 1967. I love both of them! Both of them make me smile! But, I love Courtney so much more than Mertyl!

Courtney also happens to like Mertyl... So it is a winning situation for all of us!

Mertyl is a 1967 Vespa Sprint 150cc, VBB. She has been restored twice.

First in 2007, and then again in 2008 after a truck driver rode over me (breaking my left knee, ankle, tibia and fibulae also see this post on the accident). She is worth every cent I've spent on her!

This is what Mertyl used to look like before she was restored (she was a bit old, rusted, silver and ratty). And here are some pictures of the first restoration (stripped down, resprayed, looking great!).  This post was written on the day I took delivery of Mertyl after her SECOND restoration in 2008 - I could not ride her since I was still in cast with my broken leg.  One of my kind friends, Paul Oosthuizen, did the honours!  Thanks Paul!

This photo of Courtney and Mertyl was taken using a Lomo effect in Instagram on my iPhone 3GS.


Liam the Great and Mertyl my Vespa!

Ah yes, I love Liam! Today we got the 'all clear' from the specialist.
There was a concern that he may have cancer or possibly TB because of
a problem with his lymph node. But, we thank God that he is well! The
swelling is as a result of a prolonged chest infection, and that we
can continue to treat!

Here is part of a video with Liam the Great and Mertyl my Vespa!

Liam loves Mertyl, and I love Liam!!!

Please join us in giving thanks for his life!


A beautiful old Vespa


I came across the lovely old Vespa in a mall that was fatefully named 'The Twin Towers' in Hong Kong.

Isn't this bike lovely? I think it is a VBL 150 Sprint.
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Taking Mertyle the Vespa for new year's day ride


It is a lovely day in the Cape! I'm taking Mertyl for a gentle cruise from Gordon's Bay to Kleinmond along the coast! Ah, this is the life!

Here's a short video of Mertyl (back home).



Mertyl (the Vespa a.ka. The orange bomber) at the beach


It is a perfect winter's day in Cape Town, after doing a little work and taking care of a few things around the house we decided to take the 2 min drive to Strand Beach. I rode down on Mertyl, while Megan, Courtney and Liam came by car.

Another perfect day!


Going for a ride on Mertyl the Vespa!


Megan asked me to pop out to pick up some bread and milk, so I decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to take Mertyl my Vespa for a quick spin. Liam is becoming quite fond of Mertyl! Every chance that he gets he wants to sit on her!

I'm leaving to watch the rugby at Newlands rugby stadium in an hour or so - Ppppprrrrroooooovvvvviiiiiinnnncccceeeee!


Mertyl is back in action! The most beautiful Vespa in the world is back on the road!


Today I rode my Vespa for the first time since the accident! I can't kick start it, but as you can see I have plenty of slopes on which to push start it in second gear. Wow! It sure feels great to have just this little ride on the paving outside our house! When I get back from Israel in two weeks I hope to be strong enough on my leg to ride the Vespa and the BMW! By the way, the leg you can see here was the one which was broken in the accident, and the panel just in front of
it was the one that was smashed. Doesn't the Vespa look fantastic!?



Mertyl the great (aka my Orange 1967 Vespa VLB 150cc) is back!!


Wohoo! My beautiful orange Mertyl is back in action!! I was called by Uncle Regie of KR and Sons in Zasm Street, Waltloo, Pretoria to say that they had finished the painting, bending, and bashing to get Mertyl back in shape!! She looks great!

In this picture you'll see Mertyl (with her left legshield repaired after the accident), a friend Rev Paul Oosthuizen (with the helmet - he is bringing her home for me), my friend and colleague Prof Neville Richardson (who drove us to collect Mertyl), and Uncle Regie the 'doctor of Vespa' who has her looking as good as new!

I am so pleased that she is back!! However, I won't be riding her for a few months yet - tomorrow is week 4 since my accident, which means I still have 8-14 weeks before I am off my crutches and back up to speed!

Thanks for the help Uncle Regie, Neville, and Paul!! It feels GREAT to have Mertyl where she belongs, safely in my garage at home!


The stuff of dreams... Praise the lord and pass the twostroke!

Originally uploaded by Bella_modernist.

Yup, this is the stuff of dreams! I am CERTAIN that there will a 1952 Vespa just like this one when I get to heaven!

My good friend Dr Bentley bought me a model of this EXACT Vespa the other day! It is on my desk.



A video of me taking my Vespa for a little ride in the country ;-) [Vid]

Yup, those lazy Sunday mornings... Nothing better to do than take my Vespa for a gentle spin the country.

Thankfully someone was on hand with a camera to catch the leisurely event!

PS. You'll notice that's not me (sure, my style is the same... But this is small frame Vespa - probably a 50cc, perphaps a 125cc!)

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The Church of Vespa! The Pretoria Vespa fun ride [Pics]

This morning I was not preaching, although I was engaged in a sacred activity. The Monks of the 13th century called it otium sanctum (that's Latin for 'Holy leisure').

This morning I met up with about 20 other Vespa riders at the Pretoria Vespa showroom in Duncan Street Pretoria (that is a place of great temptation for me! They have THE MOST incredible stuff for sale - caps, jackets, mugs, clocks, books, AND OF COURSE, all the latest Vespa models! I think the time may have come to sell my kidneys to buy the NEW GTS250ie!!!)

Anyway, Markus and Freddie were there to meet us, and within about 30 minutes 20 0r so new (and some slightly older) Vespa's had arrived (with their owners, and owners' spouses of course). It could be a scene from an alley way in Italy! The bikes were looking great, and so were their owners.

These folks were in for a morning of fun, relaxation, and enjoyment - they were here to enjoy God's good creation (and of course God's preferred mode of transportation, the Vespa!) I felt tempted to go on my 'beast' so that I could ride with them.... But I thought they may just smurk at a BMW among the stylish Vespas... So, instead I took my Orange Bomber (my 1967 Vespa Sprint 150cc - pictured here). You can see in the photo at the top that my old Girl is parked in the background, but just look at this incredible PX200 collectors item. This bike came standard with white wall tires, a brown leather seat and all the Chrome. It was one of the last 10 two-stroke Vespa's sold in South Africa!

I knew that I wouldn't be able to ride with them out to Cullinan / Bronkorspruit. The older Vespas (like mine) simply don't run at the speeds of these new models. Moreover, the orange bomber has been a little tempramental in the last few weeks... I didn't want to get caught somewhere far from home. Not to mention that I had work to do...

So, I met all the folks, had a chat with many likeminded people. We talked about favourite rides, longest rides, favourite responses to our cool bikes from friends, family and passers by... It was a sacred hour!

When they took off on their ride I started up the Orange bomber and headed home. My heart was glad. I was glad that I had taken the time to meet with these cool people, and share in our common joy!

You know, I think the Church will need to become much more like this... Going to people, not expecting people to come to us. I think that in a consumer driven culture we will need to find people and address their needs and desires directly. I suppose at the end of the day if the purpose of the Church is establish the Kingdom of God here on earth, then what I did this morning is truly the work of ministry!

Now, if only I could have taken a collection (a tithe!) I'm sure I would have been able to buy that brand new Vespa on the spot... Well, we pray!

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Just to remind you what a Vespa SHOULD look like... Here's a picture of my old girl...

Yeah, I know, she's painted Orange and I'm not a Cheetahs fan (the South African Cheetahs rugby team have orange as their colour), but heck you have to admit that my old Vespa looks sweet!!!!

She is a 1967 Vespa Sprint VLB. You'll see me buzzing around Pretoria on her in both summer and winter.

I love the contrast between the paint on the bike and the bricks at my office. Don't you?

I haven't ridden her in a few days - I have an hour or so tomorrow morning, I think it's time for another ride!

Now, now, remember that ENVY is a sin! Any other Vespa lovers out there!?

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