Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dead Guilty by Beverly Connor

In Beverly Connor's absorbing series, the bones of the dead reveal the secrets of the living. In this latest investigation, forensic anthropologist Diane Fallon must lead a chilling excavation of a crime with harrowing implications: the murder of three people, hanged execution-style in an isolated patch of Georgia woods.

This was alright as a follow up to One Grave Too Many (although it seems to take place about a year later, which confused me for a little). But I did find it a little same-same-but-different. Diane seems to be setting a a peculiar trend of being kidnapped on her way to her car o_0.

Still, I am looking forward to the rest of the books in the series and I'm enjoying the Museum / Forensic cross-over :)

* This book is part of the Diane Fallon Forensic Investigation series: One Grave Too Many (2004), Dead Guilty (2004), Dead Secret (2005), Dead Past (2007), Dead Hunt (2008), Scattered Graves (2008), Dust to Dust (2009), The Night Killer (2010), One Grave Less (2010)

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Visit to Pretoria

#sigh Another weekend come and gone. This one absolutely flew past. I'm tired and not feeling 100% and have to work late today (sad face). Doing that on a Monday really screws with my week. It's like you never quite recover.

The traffic was so bad on Friday afternoon in all directions leaving the office (I left nearly half an hour later than usual) that I got passed the first robot (traffic light) and then did a U-Turn and came straight back. At least it was Friday so there were people around and a mere 45mins wait for the bar fridges to open. So that turned out to be a much better way to spend a few hours than stuck in the traffic.

We watched Noah on Friday night. I assumed it'd be good. Or at least entertaining / interesting based on the star-studded cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson & Anthony Hopkins. Nope. Don't even waste a minute of your time on this. We very nearly switched it off very early on, but we thought it might improve ... but it didn't. And then we just finished it for the sake of it. It was terrible.

On Saturday we had a long day planned. But we had a late-ish morning because we had no puppy-training. I did manage to take Peps out for a quick walk before we headed out tho. We met up with some friends at the Hazel Food Market in Pretoria at 11am.

It's a mad packed little spot. Parking can be a hassle, but it was great. We wandered from stall to stall tasting in buying. Loved the koeksisters, bought a ton of fudge from Sweet Angels (wow, what a variety of flavours!), bought cabanossi, melktert, tried a chili popper (a little disappointing), bought home made ginger beer, and some drunken cheese. And more ... even more. It was such a fun morning. And when we finished with the tasting, we wandered thru the craft area and into the Capital Craft Beer Academy for the rest of the day. Another friend from work and her hubby joined us there.

It was a great day out :) I think we got home after 5pm! Took Peps out for another quick walk and then napped / bathed / read my book before we headed off to @jarredcinman's for dinner. (Told you it was a busy one!)

We had a lovely evening although we were exhausted by the time we left (shortly after 10pm).

We had a completely lazy Sunday, I think we only got out of bed around 11am. Haha. Just what I needed. We did our grocery shopping and made lunch at home. I researched more on our Turkey trip while The Trucker went to cricket. I don't think we're gonna be able to fit it into our budget :(

And then we made some yummy pasta with the cabanossi and drunken cheese and a spicy tomato sauce for dinner. I almost finished a whole book today! Haha. It was pretty perfect.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Gobble gobble?

I know, today's post is rather late. I didn't have time this morning ... I told you, I've been super busy at work. It hasn't stopped and is showing no signs of letting up next week either!

Which is annoying because I would love nothing more than to spend some more time trying to squeeze or tiny budget into a September trip to Turkey (!) I have secured the leave and we've found an awesome deal on Emirates flights with our Discovery discounts ... but the rest is proving tricky. We'd obviously land in Istanbul. And I MUST get to Hot Air Balloon over Cappadocia and swim in Pamukkale's travertine pools (Didya see? That'd tick of *two* Life List items. Score!). And after a little research, some time in Fethiye wouldn't go amiss either! I found the perfect trip itinerary ... but it's only like double our budget :/


Anyway, other than the crazy of work and the highs and lows of the possibility of Turkey, it's been a pretty cool but quiet week.

On Monday evening I had another attack of Domestic Godessery (well I guess on Sunday actually, since that's when I bought the ingredients and planned the meal). I made the MOST AMAZING salad. It's a Mandarin Broccoli Salad and we served it with chicken breasts. It was quite simple to make and I'll definitely be making it again. I even had the leftovers for lunch on Tuesday. Yum. Yum.

No SCM on Tuesday. The Trucker and I have been very lazy this week. Although Pepper has been getting her daily walks (of course). Lookit how she's grown! Aside from that we've barely done anything.

I did get to do a Birthday celebration for a friend at work tho. Which has been such fun! I designed a quote we got printed on canvas and raised some cash and managed to get her some proper French Champagne and macaroons. (Can you tell we went with a French theme :) ) And the birthday girl loved it :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

29 April: Sedgefield to Cape Agulhas

Today we said goodbye to Teniqua Treetops and took a rainy drive back along the N2. Seriously it seems to rain every time!

We stopped again in Riversdale, this time for lunch so we decided to try find a place The Trucker had been told about by friends in Joburg, Die Ou Tronk.

You have to turn off to get to it but it's quite a nice little stop. The tables were outside under branches heavy with avocados. It's an interesting little piece of history and while all the nick-nacks and what not that filled the rooms didn't interest me, the building itself did.

I can't remember what we had for lunch, but it was nothing spectacular but we did taste a slice of the melktert they had on sale and The Trucker then bought us a whole one. It was good :)

The rest of the drive to Cape Agulhas, our next overnight stop, was fairly boring. Grey rain clouds all the way ... but eventually we could see the sea!

Can you believe I'd never been to Cape Agulhas before? Me neither. I don't quite know what I was expecting, but it doesn't look very impressive on arrival. That said, it honestly is the place I will without doubt be going back to from everywhere we went on this trip.

If I thought I was impressed by the SANPark's accommodation at Addo, well this was EVEN BETTER. They were still in the process of building the 15 chalets that will be there. There were only 7. And they really do feel like they are on the tip of the world. You look out from each one onto a stretch of fynbos before the sea.

The units themselves are gorgeous little wooden chalets with a completely stocked (utensil-wise, not food-wise, obvs) kitchen, a small 4-seater table, a lounge area and a bedroom with a nicely sized bathroom (shower only). There is an indoor fireplace. And then there is the deck, looking seaward.

When we arrived, we decided to go and check out the 2 ocean marker and visit the Meisho Maru wreck for sunset (we'd been advised in advance). It was fabulous. We strolled along the wooden walkways for quite a while, enjoying breathing in the sea air. We got our touristy photos.

And then we got the most stunning photos of the wreck as the sun was setting before heading back to braai on the deck. It was a superb stay and I will advise everyone living in Cape Town that this is the perfect weekend break-away. I can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

As America's Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons.

Annie Glenn, with her picture-perfect marriage, was the envy of the other wives; platinum-blonde Rene Carpenter was proclaimed JFK's favorite; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived on base with a secret. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, meeting regularly to provide support and friendship. Many became next-door neighbors and helped to raise each other's children by day, while going to glam parties at night as the country raced to land a man on the Moon.

As their celebrity rose-and as divorce and tragic death began to touch their lives-they continued to rally together, and the wives have now been friends for more than fifty years. THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB tells the real story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history.

I was very curious to read this book, but it's not as interesting as it sounds. It is interesting to transport yourself back to life in the 50s / 60s and the changes that America and the world were going thru. But I struggled to follow a lot of the story line.

There were a lot of names and couples to remember and a surprising amount of them had the same names! I was often confused. Especially after they added the New Nine (1962), The Fourteen (1963), and The Original Nineteen (1966). I definitely got lost with who was who.

But shew, those families lived a different life! So, it was definitely interesting to read about that, the real lives that were going on back home, not just the astronaut's space adventures. And I'll be honest, I didn't know America went to the moon so many times ... (I only know about the first one with Neil & Buzz). And I did notice the mention of the camera failing and them faking it in a studio ... so there you go, Conspiracy Theorists ;)

Oh, and I heard there is going to be a TV Series soon. I'll definitely give that a watch :)

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