Friday, August 01, 2014

Sorry for the Downer

Shewee what a week. I know I don't usually mention it but the world does seem to be off it's axis lately. There is so much going on (not in a good way), all over, every day. Usually I can hide from it and not let it affect my little bubble (which some may say is not the best approach, but I am not a protesting change-the-world type). All these airplane incidents lately. It's kind of unsettling (especially as one is about to fly ...).

And then there is the Israel-Gaza stuff. I don't know much about this, and am trying to avoid it because it seems there are so many conflicting views. I just really don't understand why people fight and kill each other in general. So I'll just hang my head there.

And I think because of all these things going on in the world, we become more aware of other saddening news items, like people dying in sinking boats and whatnot. It feels like it is definitely time to avoid any news for the sake of ones own personal well-being. People are cruel and mean and nasty.

And then yesterday, someone killed a giraffe :( I say killed because it doesn't seem like that was accidental to me. It's a freaking giraffe. Being transported on the highway. With bridges. Which make me sick.

It makes me want to curl up at home with my special people and animals and bunker down and hide from so-called humanity :/ I know there are probably also some good news stories out there ... but they are currently being vastly overshadowed.

Sorry, that's pretty heavy for a Friday. But it is the sad state of our world and it is tangible everywhere you go and everyone you speak to lately. Everyone seems to be feeling the slump of all of these stories and more.

Anyway, back to my frivolous life now ...

Erm, where to begin. I barely remember Monday evening. On Tuesday I went to the SCM Xmas in July. Which was pretty freaking awesome! There were 15 of us and the feast was enormous.

We started with home-made butternut soup (garnished with pumpkin seeds) to go with home-made bacon&cheese rolls. So tasty! Then we moved onto mains which included a KFC Bucket (a long standing joke in the group), slow roasted lamb with mint sauce, 2 rotisserie pork with different marinades, cheesy veggies and roast potatoes. And I made my Mandarin Broccoli Salad which was a hit!

And then dessert too! Custard Milk Tart. Shewee. Even when you try to just take a tiny taste of every dish, you end up stuffed.

Wednesday was a quiet night in. Our Patio renovations began this week so the garden has been in a state. Tricky to let the bunnies run around at the moment ... And Pepper & Gypsy also had to be kept inside for 24hrs while the cement set. Although that doesn't seem to have stopped another cat running thru it and leaving paw prints :/

Today the wall between the garage & garden should go up and then this weekend we'll pick the tiles. We're currently thinking those "Wood-like" ones. Not sure when the roof will get added, what with the whole Steel Strike that's been going on and The Trucker being busy with his own house still (the slab for the double storey should be starting today. Wowee. And he's got 2 buyers interested in buying the shell. We decided it made more sense to sell it that way for a lower price than finish the house and then the new owner may end up doing what we did when we bought our house to get all the finishes etc they want. It just doesn't make sense. So fingers crossed that all goes smoothly :)

Last night we went for dinner at a friend's house. It was an awesome evening :) And this weekend, I'm hoping for a quiet one. We're away the next 2 weekends (Oppi & my gran's 90th in Cape Town - woooo!).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.

This was my least favourite Gillian Flynn novel. It was kinda twisty, but I still found it fairly predictable. The characters were strange. I dunno. It didn't really resonate with me. I think read it if you've read her others, but if you haven't ... start with something else.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

01 - 03 May: Bot River to Cape Town to Johannesburg

We left KolKol after a delish breakfast (did I mention they provide you with fresh eggs, milk and butter?!) and headed home to Mom's for our last night before catching the train back to Joburg.

We had a little bit of a debacle in our quest to acquire some Cloudy Apple. We stopped at Peregrine again but they were sold out. But apparently the Houw Hoek Farmstall, which we'd passed earlier, should still have. So we decided we weren't in a rush so why not. And we managed to get their last four-pack. Yay!

For our last dinner in Cape Town, we headed to Catherina's with the folks. Shew. It was a pretty delish dinner and we discovered another good wine (which we're still trying to get more of!), Steenberg's Echo Red Blend.

The next morning we headed out early to catch our train home. This time we left on time, yay! The first half of the trip was lovely. I read a lot and we got to enjoy the scenery. But we did seem to have a carriage full of kiddies.

Sadly the next day proved to cement our decision to not use the train again any time soon. When we woke up, we were running about an hour late. A vast improvement on our trip down, you'd think? But we progressively lost more and more time.

We thought when we got to Krugersdorp station, it'd be safe to let our friends who had offered to collect us know we'd probably arrive in an hour. Unfortunately it took us over 2 hours to go 5km. Apparently there was something wrong with the signals.

Now I get that things can go wrong, but really, no one communicated well with us on either train trip and you really are stuck, waiting in the queue when things do. There is no faster option (except if they put you on a bus, which is way less comfortable).

We eventually, along with a lot of other people, decided to give up and get out at Luipaardsvlei and get a lift from there. The train did end up leaving in the 20mins after making the decision that we were left waiting for our lift, but who knows how many more stops they had along the way.

I loved the train trip. I would recommend it, but really you need a lot of books (Kindle ftw!) and to not be in any sort of hurry. And I think if you have kids under the age of 10 it's probably quite a fun experience for them. So, maybe we'll try again one day ... for our eventual kids.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Weekend with Mom

Shew. This weekend flew by. It was a decent mix of busy and relaxed ... but I definitely could've done with a lie in this morning.

On Friday I raced home after work to see Mom. We hung out and took Pepper for a walk. Gypsy loved having her here too and spent the weekend sleeping in the spare room with Mom instead of us - haha. At least she had a substitute for Finny & Jax (her cats), that she'd left at home (obvs).

On Friday evening we decided to stay in so The Trucker made us the Gammon with Broccoli and we watched The Other Woman.

Meh, the movie was nothing special. Pretty predictable. I have been banned from picking the movies since Noah and now this - haha. Also, can you believe Cameron Diaz is over 40. It's so bizarre. While she doesn't look like she should be in an older "mom" role (not that she was in this), I'm also not so sure she is aging very well. Anyhoo. Still, don't bother watching this one.

On Saturday morning The Trucker took Pepper to Puppy Training while I stayed home and had a lazy morning with Mom. When he got home we headed out. We tried the Bosheuval Market. I think it is their first one. Perhaps it'll get better and fill out ... it was pretty dull. We took a wander around their beautiful gardens and left.

We decided that since we were out that way, we'd try The Culinary Table for lunch. Shewee. The Trucker & I shared their Butternut & Feta Open Lasagne (BEST!) and a 3-Cheese Toasted Cheese. And Mom had a starter portion of their Laksa Mussels (which I got to taste). Very good. And it looks like they change their menu monthly.

After that we headed home for a relaxing afternoon and a nap. I took Pepper for a quick walk around the complex as well.

For dinner we headed to Cafe Mexicho, which we haven't been to in ages! Shewee but the Chili Poppers were hotter than I remembered! And they have a new flavoured Frozen Margarita (Pina Colada), which I tried and was quite nice mixed with the strawberry :) We shared their nachos with chicken and quesadilla's for mains. Good thing too! We've definitely learnt we can not finish the food there :)

We rolled home! Haha. And then decided to try another movie before bed. This time we tried Transcendence. It wasn't bad (hello, Johnny Depp) but, I still managed to fall asleep somewhere towards the end.

On Sunday The Trucker was up early again for an early cricket game and Mom and I had another lazyish morning reading in bed. But we were up and walking Pepper around the complex before 10am and then I took her to the Fourways Farmers Market :) Damn, that place has exploded since I was last there (okay so it was more than a year ago)!

The parking was insane! And there were masses of people bustling around. We wandered the stalls tasting and trying things along the way before attempting to get Mom some coffee ... which we very quickly gave up on and decided that Bubbly was the better way to go. The queue had barely moved in the coffee queue by the time we got back and were sipping while sitting on a hay bale.

We decided to share a Balkan Burger and follow it up with a Nutella and Custard Pancake (also to share, wow it was so rich, I could never have had my own one!). And then we decided to head home with our bags of goodies (I got some aubergine pesto and halloumi and a Brownie from The Counter for The Trucker).

And then we didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon till we had to take mom back to the airport :( We took Pepper along and took her to Golden Harvest afterwards for a walk (she met geese for the first time. And barked her head off at some horses being ridden by policemen in a road block en route to the airport! Haha).

And then we had an early dinner at The Mariner with @Sascha_with_a_C. Half price sushi? Yes, please.

Now do you see why I needed a lie-in? Haha.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Having the Best Day

Sorry today's post is late, I was busy booking flights to Istanbul (!!) Squeal. Yes folks. This is happening for really reals.

But before I get to that, back to the past week. /Tries to remember/ ...

Oh yes. I had to be in a workshop for work on Monday & Tuesday so got home later than usual (after a much longer drive thru traffic than usual!). Pretty exhausted. So we didn't do anything in the evenings.

But I did still manage to squeeze in a walk for Pepper, every day this week :) Mom flew up from Cape Town for the weekend yesterday. Awe, she got to see our new house and meet the Pepsicle :D And she brought me my new pair of alpaca wool gloves, knitted by The Peeb.

Oh yes, and Pepper went for a wash and came back with a trim! She is looking like a proper little Schnauzer now. It's not a full Schnauzer-cut, but more like a winter cut. So she's lost the rough long curls (and no longer looks like a teddy bear) and you can finally see her face! Would've taken a pic, but haven't had a chance for a good one yet. She looks sooo cute and is so soft now :)

We took Mom out to Parkhurst's Christmas in July last night. It was alright. We bought some gluhwein and strolled the street. The Trucker was right, it would've been much nicer if they had actually closed the road for the evening. And unfortunately the shops didn't really have anything that interested us enough to buy.

And I'd tried to book a table for dinner at Craft, but they weren't taking bookings (I hate that in a restaurant). So we thought we'd try Coobs. But we didn't have a booking :/ Can't win. So we left and headed to Tei Avon for shwarmas. Yum :)

So yeah, today could not be better: 1. It's pay day 2. We booked our flights this morning and 3. Mom is here for the weekend. Work is also going well, although busy, I'm enjoying it. And we are about to book our tour in Turkey. The smile on my face is huge.

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