To bleed, or not to bleed: that is the question!

J. Francois Barnard – 5 April 2014

I have been a blood donor for the last 16 years. Just the other day, April 2, 2014, I donated my 92nd pint of blood. By 2015, somewhere in the winter, I should reach number 100. Won't it be great if I can take as many new donors as possible with me that day?

My bloody story started many years before I started donating blood in 1998. Let's go back thirteen years before that to 1985.

Other Mother’s Children

J. Francois Barnard – 11 April 2014

Why it always worked like that, I do not know. As if it was not enough for me to bring up my offspring, I also had to raise other mother’s children too! At times I felt like sticking a label on a forehead, send the kid back to mommy with the words: “Job incomplete!”


I started my Information Technology business in 1992 and worked alone for a long time. By 1996, I made my first staff appointment. It was a young man 20 years of age.

The Sad Case of Twak

J. Francois Barnard – 1 April 2010

In 1993 I built my first house. I could not afford anything fancy, and when the architect told me about timber construction below R500 for a square meter, I fell for it. My grandfather once lived in a timber house in Stanfieldhill, Standerton, so why not me?

Our house was erected on the last stand in our street, and adjacent to a smallholding with mice, rabbits, lizards all sorts of wildlife visiting us from the veld.

Other visitors included the common garden variety of South African criminals.

My Peculiar Master

J. Francois Barnard – 7 July 2011

It was quite cold this morning, and being overcast the weather slowed all of us down. I have already served the Master his breakfast and was in the kitchen preparing my own when I noticed him heading for the door. I dropped everything immediately and rushed there to open it for him. He just brushed past me without a word.

But having served him for so long now, I already know this daily routine. Come rain or shine, the Master will go out. Maybe hesitantly sometimes, but out he will go.

My Weekend Child

J. Francois Barnard – 6 June 1994

You were about three years old when I remarried. It was such an intense time for both of us. We both had to make adjustments. But we were young and handled it well.

It was sad that the marriage between Mom and I did not work out. I later told Mom that it would be even worse if the divorce did not work out. She and I had to keep on communicating to make it a success. And that was for one reason only: You.