Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Complete Exhaustion

Today I'm exhausted. And thankfully seem to have gotten over the huge wave of complete anger and utter helplessness I was feeling earlier. I am now ready to write this post :)

Last night I rushed from work, already exhausted by the day I'd had spent worried and afraid and then relieved, to Belly Dancing. I think that was my last lesson, actually. I'm not that into the dancing part of it really, I'm just interested in the actual technique and exercising the right muscles. I'm not interested if I'm doing it wrong and it looks fine for the "dance routine" bit. That's a waste of my time. So I'm not really sure what to do about that right now. Although that really is the least of my problems.

Then I rushed off to the first Book Club of 2007. It was fab, although not that well attended. It was just me, Band (it was at her house), Sal & She. Which is great since Sal & She are our two newest recruits. It was a good evening and nice to spend some time with the girls :) And now I have new books ... that I hope I get a chance to read!

Then when I got home I had to do some work ... bouncing our application and server in the hopes of ensuring no more Errors like last week. Yup, although I was supposed to have a 2 week break from stand-by support, due to TheBrad's incident yesterday and now missing laptop etc. I am back on stand-by.

This was followed up with a 02:12 AM wake-up call because of a completely unrelated error and then a 4am arranged wake-up to check performance.

And all this was followed by me bleary-eyed, forgetting my cell phone at home and turning round about a third of the way to work to fetch it. And then there was some stupid jack-knifed truck on the highway which meant that all in all I spent a good hour and half in fabulous Jhb traffic this morning. Blegh.

These are all high up on the list of things that do NOT make me happy. I was furious when I got to work this morning, but a healthy dose of full-volume iPod listening and no communication with anything vaguely resembling a human being has ensured that now at 11am I am feeling remotely back to normal ... remotely.

Not only has this hijacking forced me to be back on stand-by, TheBrad is off to the Caribbean for the Cricket World Cup in 2 weeks ... he'll be gone for 6 weeks. So suddenly everything is my problem. All the production issues, all the people clamoring to get their projects developed and the mass of general maintenance work that still needs to be tested. It's all mine. I think I might have an aneurysm before May.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Safe & Sound

So TheBrad is safe. He walked into a Standard Bank branch in Westonaria and called his Dad. The entire morning has pretty much been spent waiting and holding onto every brief snippet of information we had, by the entire department.

His accounts were being monitored & nothing had been withdrawn. MTN was trying to track his cellphone and the 3G card we share for standby - this was supposed to be his week. The last we heard before he showed up in the Bank was that MTN had located his cellphone signal in Soweto somewhere.


Too Close to Home

Had a lovely evening yesterday. Went for drinks with a long-lost friend of mine, Cee. We used to work together, back in the Cape Town days, at Grapevine Interactive. Then she moved back up to Jhb, her home town. We did get back in touch when I first moved up here, but had pretty much lost contact in the last year.

Anyway, it was her birthday back in January and being the good, never-forgetful friend I am, I mailed her and since then we've been trying to find a gap in the calendar that suited us both to finally catch-up. And last night was the night. It was great to see her again. Hopefully we'll make more of an effort this time not to let a year slip by before seeing each other again :)

Oh, and this weekend I finished reading Katherine Dunn's Geek Love.

Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out-with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes- to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There's Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family's most precious-and dangerous-asset.

As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same.

A truly very odd story.

And now I've just found out that TheBrad was hijacked on his way to work this morning. We have no further news other than he is probably still in the car. Apparently his mom saw it as it happened outside his house.

I can't write anymore right now.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Back To Normal

Well, I'm back at work on a Monday morning feeling far more relaxed than at any time last week! The weekend was good, and very relaxing :) Just what I needed.

Things with Varen seem to have balanced back to mostly normal after Mozambique fractured us rather sharply. I think the space to do our own thing during the week really helped :) We mostly spent the weekend finishing Season One & starting Season Two of House. It is a fantastic series.

One of the funniest quotes I remember was when one of them was commenting that there wasn't a huge difference on one patient reading, only 1% and House responded that if your DNA was only 1% different, you'd be a dolphin! Pahahahahahahaha. Brilliant stuff.

Other than that, we went to a formal dinner party held by Varen's folks on the Saturday evening. Was pretty cool, getting all dressed up and what not but I didn't really know anyone there except his siblings so it was kind of random. But good to do something different on the weekend.

And that is about all the news I have, it looks like it'll be another busy week ... and then a weekend in Cape Town, yay! Oh and Happy Birthday to my fab friend Lia, for Saturday!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Things to Ponder

Sitting in traffic yesterday afternoon singing along to the song on the radio, I look across at the woman in the car next to me. She's singing along to the same song too :) These are the sort of little things that make me smile.

I dunno, I guess that's a pretty weird thing.
Although, I'll console myself with the fact that it's not so weird as some of the stuff in my head :)

The other day I decided that google-ing myself was far to last year and decided to wikipedia myself. I was sorely disappointed. And then wondered to myself if it would be wrong to write an entry for myself ... hmmm. Apparently, as JofH proceeded to inform me, this would be far too narcissistic, even for me ;)

I wonder if wikipedia-ing someone will eventually replace google-ing someone? Will ordinary citizens start writing entries on wikipedia about themselves? I was fascinated by the concept that I could actually do this, and quite easily.

Global Rich List

Forget Forbe's list of the top 100 wealthiest people in the world, use Global Rich List to find your ranking :)

Every year we gaze enviously at the lists of the richest people in world. Wondering what it would be like to have that sort of cash. But where would you sit on one of those lists? Here's your chance to find out.

Me, I'm ranked the 245,669,566 richest person in the world :) Hey, it doesn't sound like much but I'm right up there in the top 4.09%.

Did you know? The world's 225 richest people now have a combined wealth of $1 trillion. That's equal to the combined annual income of the world's 2.5 billion poorest people

Finally it's Friday

Nothing terribly exciting to report. Had after-work drinks with Band last night. Was fab to get a chance to catch up and really talk properly ... not snatched moments of conversation with a million other people around. She is a good friend :)

The rest of the evening was spent pretty lazily in the bath reading and then in front of the television. Managed to catch an episode of Bones, which used to be one of my weekly watches but I actually don't think I've seen it since I moved in with Loulou. Wasn't a particularly good episode, but better than watching some other rubbish!

And then it was off to bed fairly early at 10pm. I'm still catching up on sleep from Wednesday's Production debacle. Only to be woken at 6am this morning for the same Production issue ... however this time the system had crashed so badly that we weren't notified at 2am when it actually went down. We had to be notified by one of the big boss-men who wanted to know why his Completed Processing Email Notification had not yet arrived.

So it has been a mad scramble to get things back up and running. We are at the moment and as of now are only fairly close to finishing a process that should be done by 6am at the latest! Lot's of unhappy people today.

Anyway, it is Friday today, so I'm hoping things can only get better with the arrival of the weekend :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lucky Escape

Before we left for our trip to Mozambique, there was flooding at the Zambezi river and it was the first question (just about) that everyone asked me when we got back ... "Were you affected by the flooding??"

Well, we weren't. We missed that disaster that has apparently killed about 40 people. Now it seems we were lucky to miss Cyclone Favio by mere days! And if we had been there, we would've been in real trouble. Here's what the news had to say:

"The National Meteorology Institute, INAM, said Favio's strong winds and rains were concentrated in the province of Inhambane but were felt as far away as Xai-Xai, the capital of nearby Gaza province."

"The cyclone has caused widespread damage at the holiday resort of Tofo Beach, uprooting palm trees and destroying electric pylons around the area which has become a favourite of backpackers and scuba divers, Radio Mozambique said."

Inhambane & Tofo both affected badly ... that's exactly where we were less than a week ago! Yikes.

Get a Website, Dammit!

Went to a fabulous little restaurant in Melville last night with JofH. It's called The Loft and has now completely annoyed me by having no web prescence !?! Don't restaurants of all places understand the importance of this ... how do you think I decide where to go for dinner when I want to try somewhere new? All I could find to provide you with useful information about this fabulous restaurant was this:

6 7th Street
Tel: (011) 482 8986

Anyway, it has a fabulous vibe if you can get past the throng of people standing on the thin pavement to smoke their wretched cigarettes. Due to the heat JofH & I picked a sidewalk table ... which is why we were privy to the throng. Anyway, the food was good. My chicken satay starter was not the best, it was okay and the drop of peanut sauce only arrived half way thru the meal. But my main, a vegetarian lasagne-type dish, was fabulous! They don't have a very vast menu and oddly enough didn't have a single chicken main course.

It was fabulous to see JofH again and catch up :) He naturally did the "come work for me" sales pitch again and was thrilled to hear that it was a real possibility.

Otherwise today has been a bit crazy (hence the late post), started with a Ladies Breakfast at work ... nice enough but still not the turn-out I'm hoping for. And then an hour and half long meeting. So now I have finally found some time (before lunch, only) to post. Forgive me, but some days are hectic!

Oh, and another birthday in the family today ... February is a busy month for us, I know. My cousin Megs: Happy 15th! Wow, you are getting old ;)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I really like this very South African design site. I think the Mooj is fabulous :) Like so many awesome shelving concepts (way too many to list! Perhaps that'll warrant a whole post one day), but this one is actually here locally in South Africa! And the Springbuck sure looks like so much more fun than any ordinary rocking horse.

Fantastic, Joom!

It's Been a Long Morning Already

So, what started out as a long evening has turned into an even longer morning!

Nothing too exciting to report from yesterday. Enjoyed a good work function for the latter half of the day and then headed off to Belly Dancing. Pretty cool, we had a new instructor. But I do miss Tenille's classes that focus more on technique and spend way more time checking everyone does the moves correctly etc. These classes I've been to up in Jhb don't seem too interested in that as long as it sort of looks right and you're following the dance they're teaching.

Anyway, and then it was a night spent at home watching TV. CSI seems to be focusing more on their characters love lives these days than their actual crime-solving ... but hey, whatever :P And then there was a double bill of Nip/Tuck. So I was up late wondering what the hell kind of pills these script writers were on, exactly.

People in the world can't really be like these guys. They have absolutely no moral fibre. Someone please tell me that they're not based on the world at large! If they are, I'm in trouble ... and in the serious minority.

I spend so much time in my head worrying over moral issues and trying to do the right thing and make the right decisions. It's quite exhausting but I simply cannot help myself, it's just the way I'm built. Yes, alright, I already know I have a serious "responsible older sibling" thing going.

I deliberated for ages over the decision to break up with Bean. I'm currently twisted up in trying to figure out what to do in my relationship with Varen: Is it too soon after Bean? Is that unfair to him, to us? Can I find the feelings he's waiting so patiently for me to have? Can I justify putting him thru this chaos and confusion while I figure things out?

And along with all that, I'm also trying to figure out where my life is headed and what the right path would be. If Bean and I had survived and skipped the last 5 months of last year and were still blissfully happy together, I would be relocating to the UK with him in a month and a half. As it is, I'm still not sure if that is something I should do or not. In typical South African-youth style, moving to the UK has been part of my life plan since I left school. I just haven't gotten round to doing it yet. Does this mean it's not to be ... or is now the right stage of my life for it?

Should I stay working where I am, if I head to London it does make sense to stay till then and at least try to relocate with them (they have a branch there, it would be the logical choice). Should I make a move to JofH's company ... he's keen. And now, I've been "tracked down" by my old college's recruitment branch ... it seems the woman who was principal while I was studying there is searching for me for a project the company she now works for is starting. And she specifically wants me. Hmmm ... interesting and confusing.

Anyway, for now I'll follow the job offers and see how they go ... I guess if the cash is impressive enough, it's worth seriously considering. Made more so by the fact that I have been awake since 4:30am this morning working on a Production issue. Blegh.

Oh, and today there are birthday wishes for my Grandmother's favourite unmarried son-in-law ;)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Been Reading

So back to life as normal ... Tonight was Home Night with Loulou. She was feeling creative so opted to cook. She whipped up areally good Asian Stir-fry with noodles and crumbed aubergine on the side. Thumbs up :)

Anyway, so as I said I took a fair number of books along with me to Moz. And I finished two of them ...

The first was Jonathan Safran-Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father's closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.

I loved it from the first page. The 9-year old Oskar's internal voice was written so fabulously and I could hear it perfectly. He is a fantastic character. It's not a particularly complicated story, but it does get confusing in bits (esp. the grandfather's pages that are completely illegible). I also loved the crazy layout of the book. Not confined to the expected norm. But with random pictures and pages with just 5 words on them. Brilliant, I'm sure I will read this again one day.

The second was Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner's collaboration, Freakonomics.

Cult bestseller, new buzz word..."Freakonomics" is at the heart of everything we see and do and the subjects that bedevil us daily: from parenting to crime, sport to politics, fat to cheating, fear to traffic jams. Asking provocative and profound questions about human motivation and contemporary living and reaching some astonishing conclusions, "Freakonomics" will make you see the familiar world through a completely original lens.

Well, I couldn't really have picked a more different book to follow with and I like to do that. I really enjoyed Freakonomics and have added their blog to my listing on the side. It was interesting and made me think. Although the Abortion-Crime debate seems to have taken much flak (as with a number of the other ideas they raised), I like it. And I'm hoping we'll see a similar curb in SA's crime in 10 years when our Pro-Choice law turns 20. Anyway, it's interesting reading and I recommend it ... if you can't get you hands on it, start on their blog in the mean time :)

And that's about as exciting as it get's here on a Monday Night. On with the rest of my Tuesday ...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Back From The Beach

Righto folks, you can all breath a sigh of relief, I'm back :)
So, the Holiday in Moz ... where to begin? It's almost hard to remember back that far.

I will tell you up front however that this is a tricky post to write .. mostly because i've never been bothered by who reads my blog, but now I may start having to be careful so as to not ruffle feathers. But, in my usual way, I still can't help being bluntly honest about things. Most people who know me have figured this out and appreciate it (hey, Sal ;) ). So sorry in advance, but this here is my space and these are my thoughts. If you don't like 'em, you don't have to pop by and read them.

So the trip started with Varen and I over-catering, as usual, Or so we thought. We actually hit it pretty spot on. Then way back on Saturday morning we woke early and hit the road by 3am. He let me sleep a little and the drive was fairly uneventful ... until we hit the Moz border around 8:30. Now the border gates only open at 8am so we thought we were being very clever getting there early and all. Obviously everyone else is also aware of this trick as we queued in the car for about an hour and eventually got stamped into Mozambique about 2 hours after we'd first hit the lengthy queues. Yay, more stamps in the passport! So off we go. This is where the story becomes most unpleasant.

We're pretty nervous driving around a foreign country, trying to obey all the laws and keep to their low speed limits. Then we get pulled over by a guy who says he's police. We obey, naturally. Since he can hardly speak English and the threat of a Mozambiquan prison is worse than one back home, I'm quite sure. He takes Varen's driver's license & passport ... he'd asked for it, so we'd obediently obliged with a smile. Stupid us. Now he has our official documents and the bribery begins.

It turned out later that the guy wasn't even really a police man, just some local pulling a con on the innocent people driving a GP car and their Rands. We found this out the hard way because a while later we were pulled over by the real police for speeding and given an actual fine (receipt and all!). Which was fair enough because it gets a little tiresome being over-taken by speeding buses, with trailers even. Worst of all, the Moz cops weren't bothering to stop these locals driving at light speeds, I guess they already know they can't afford the fines, so rather make some money off the foreigners ;)

So here are our hard earned lessons for those of you thinking of driving across the borders into our neighbouring countries some day: Keep lots of certified photocopies of all your official documents (drivers & passports) handy. And when some official looking local asks for them, hand these over instead. They're certainly not worth the bribe to get them back ;)

So the drive to Tofo was not fabulous and I guess I'm sort of grateful that Varen didn't just swing the car round and head back home during that trip.

We met the others at the Albatroz in Tofo, they'd driven down on the Wednesday before us for a few extra dives. Albatroz was a nice spot to stay. We had a 6-sleeper self-catering hut. The owner was pretty visible and an all-round nice guy and their food was good too. I'd go back. Although the stairs to & from the beach did get a little exhausting on your third or fourth time back up during the day, but hey you probably need the exercise ;)

All in all, it was Varen & I, another couple and a brother-sister pair). It made for interesting times. I'm always nervous of traveling with friends for more than just a weekend away. People tend to have different expectations of their holiday and this was no different. I'm not sure if it just came down to the fact that we generally wanted to do different things (like swim in the sea ... odd, I know!) but the holiday was spent in a bizarrely segregated fashion. We actually all ate together only once on the entire trip. Admittedly there were nights that we braaied "together", but they organised the food for the four of them and we organised ours. Perhaps it's a matter of catering, we joined later and brought our own supplies, but we'd bought in bulk, expecting some overlap.

That was such a truly bizarre aspect of our trip, i cannot fully explain it. Maybe it's because I'm from Cape Town and we swim there even tho it's freezing and because Varen was there with me, but we were the only two who swam in Moz's beatifully warm ocean the entire holiday (that I know of). Excluding any swimming that may have taken place during the diving, which by it's nature forces the person to be emersed in the actual sea water. Bizarre.

And then there was all the free time when not diving. Admittedly all I brought to pass the time were books (5 to be truthful! But one was Spud! and that was only because Varen had started it). Between the four of them, there was one book. One fiction book, there was another with pictures of the fish we were hoping to see). Okay, so they're not big readers. They brought backgammon (which I've now learnt and is actually quite fun - Varen & I are fairly well matched) and cards. During the entire trip the six of us only ever played one game that included everyone. They managed to teach each other bridge, a delightful card game for four. Varen and I did eventually get a chance to pick up the rules and catch the occasional game, but I think you get the picture.

Hey, and in all fairness, maybe they thought we just wanted to do stuff on our own? We did two drives into Inhambane and were regularly reading in bed in the afternoons - I prefer reading lying down than sitting, I guess cause it's easier to get & stay comfortable ... I read for lengthy periods of time, which is why bath-time is perfect for reading ;)

So from that perspective along with all the ups & downs Varen & I had, it wasn't the best holiday I've had, although it was truly relaxing and I loved being in Tofo. The diving was fun ... even tho we only managed to dive 3 times. The wind really picked up on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday we suffered thru a lengthy, choppy boat ride (my worst!) and eventually managed to get down to the bottom for about 3 mins when the DM called Time. The bottom was so churned we'd landed in an underwater sand-storm! Wednesday they didn't even bother launching our boat. Anyway, for those of you who've been, we managed to hit Mike's Cupboard, Giant's Castle & Manta Reef. I saw Giant Manta Rays and a Guitarfish for the first time and 2 turtles (my fav!). The rest of the sea life was spectacular, but those were my highlights ;)

And I missed Bean a lot on this trip. It sounds weird, but that's how it was. Not in a "I want to get back together with him" kind of way. Just because I think it was a fairly long holiday to have with Varen so early in the relationship. Bean and I knew each other, well. We had established boundaries and we understood each other ... out of time and habit, whatever. I missed that. I missed that understanding you share with someone after so long. I miss that comfort of having someone know you that well. Varen and I took a bit of a knock this holiday. It was a learning curve, for us both, I'm sure. But, as I said to him on the drive home, I'm not entirely sure yet what I learnt. Also, I'd only ever dived with Bean before, we'd also been to Ponta do Ouro together and let's face it, anyone who's been to both can surely see the similarities. And on the drive there & back we passed places we'd been. It was heart-wrenching. And I was sad. But I couldn't be sad and I couldn't properly explain my sadness. Even now I'm not sure I understand it completely. But I'm sad for Bean, for my loss. I think the holiday highlighted things, aspects of his personality that I lost when I gave him up, things that Varen isn't. But, I keep reminding myself, there are things that Bean wasn't, that Varen is, that I'm learning about and that's how I got here. I guess the trick is figuring out what you need and what you want and what is forgivable and aiming for that.

We got back on Saturday after another long drive (with no un-scheduled stops, thankfully!) and I was grateful for the Sunday at home to be back in my own space and get some of those post-holiday admin things out of the way (washing, fetching post, cleaning the fish bowl etc.). And I'm looking forward to a little space this week.

Had a fabulous sushi lunch with Loulou on Sunday. Was great to see her again :) And now it is back into the swing of things at work ... Time to wade thru my emails and try to remember what exactly it is I do for a living.

Ps. Happy Birthday Mom! Your pressie will be hand delivered next weekend ;)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Last Post ... For a While

This is a bit of a brief goodbye post. At some un-godly hour tomorrow morning (2am or thereabouts) Varen & I will be heading to the Komatipoort border and on up to Praia do Tofo (just above Inhambane) till the 18th. Yay yay yay!

So this afternoon we'll duck early from work and head to his place to get some sleep before the lengthy drive. But not before we hopefully manage to buy some Koi for his dad ... who won't believe me that the "koi" they have in their fish pond are really just your average ordinary run-of-the-mill goldfish. So we're off to buy at least 2 of the real thing to prove my point ;) Hello, I really should know, I've had my koi for a little over a year now!

Anyway, onto the exciting news. Last night was such a blast! We *finally* had the Book Club Girlie Party :) And in retrospect it's quite lucky most of those girls left Book Club before it because I'm really not sure it would've been their cup-of-tea ... in fact I'm pretty sure one or two of them would've been downright awkward.

Loulou came along with me and we had such a laugh. It was run by some lovely women from Inamorata. And just about everyone bought something, even me ;) Just some novelty/gimmicky stuff, nothing hectic (my Mom reads this blog, okay!).

It was also really good to see Band again, the only one of the people who were supposedly my friends for the past 3 years or so that I'll probably ever have continued contact with again. I'm glad it's her :)

Righto, so that's about all the news I have. I have to try cramming a full day's work in before 3pm now so no more time for blogging ;) Have a fabulous week & I will be back as soon as ...

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Hokay, this is going to be fairly disjointed, I'm sure. I will be writing while doing a million other work-type things - good thing I'm a girl and can multi-task ;)

Right now I'm waiting for the Test Server to start up. Oops, it's done. BRB.

Kay, I'm back. Yesterday was a pretty hectic day! Spent a 2 hour lunch break with Varen stocking up on food & drinks (so many drinks!) for our imminent trip to Mozambique. I'm pretty sure we have kept alive our apparent tradition of seriously over-catering! I'm not quite sure how we will fit all the rations, the dive gear, clothing and ourselves into his two-door polo ??

Ooh, and during our shopping spree we saw a hysterical Vanity Plate ... so funny in fact that I made him take pic for me to post up here. I love it! He thinks it's earned a spot up there in the top 5 most stupid things.

Anyway, I'm sure we'll figure that all out very soon ;) Last night we went for dinner with JofH & YogaCherryl. He, the born & bred Joburg boy, finally got to one-up me, the Cape Town girl, with a restaurant I hadn't yet tried :) We went to La Campagnola in Bryanston.

It was nice enough, although it won't make my list of favourite Jhb restaurants, I also wouldn't veto any ideas to go back. It's not a very vast menu but my Melanzane alla Parmigiana was fabulous :)

All thru dinner I wondered, though. They have all these bottles of wine in racks along the wall. And they are really dusty. Now are these just really old, expensive bottles that few people buy or really cheap, rubbish wine that no one wanted to buy ... or, my much more creative idea on it all, they have one of the Jhb Police finger-print guys moonlighting & dusting the bottles for effect! I wonder if there's a market for that sort of "ambient dusting" ? ;)

And that was that. Tonight we have the Book Club Girlie Party and already 2 people have canceled ... I'm noticing a trend :( Oh well, I'm sure it'll still be loads of fun, right, right ?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I read this article titled Mouldy cheese fascinates Web surfers on IOL, and naturally I was fascinated ;) I love these crazy Web-cam concepts people are putting up (Like the continental drift cam I blogged about on Your Daily Dose of Internet Madness back in the day!)

Apparently there's a gap in the market now being filled by West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers who now allow cheese "aficionados a chance to watch in real time the slow process of mould growth for a whole year and without having to leave home."

Go watch CheddarVision!

Quiet Night

Didn't get up to anything exciting last night. Except I started Belly Dancing again. And after such a long break, I really felt it!

In other news, I've closed the Idiot Drivers blog. I tried it, really I did. But I just do not have the inclination. And driving round Joburg is stressful enough as it is with all the Idiot Drivers out there, but trying to get pictures of them ... well, I just can't be bothered for the most part. And if I don't take the pictures, clearly that rather defeats the object of the blog. So for now it's closed.

Other than that the rest of this week is looking to be pretty hectic ... planning for our Mozambique trip and finding time for all the admin that needs to get done before we go.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fantastical Weekend Away

Thursday evening was pretty uneventful. Varen & I started watching House Season 1. Since Bean & I did not have MNET, I missed all the first seasons, but managed to catch a few episodes here & there when back for a visit home in CT. It's a fantastic show and I'm thrilled to be able to catch up on the ones I missed :) Admittedly I did fall asleep half way thru the second one ... oops!

On Friday we left work early and headed off for a much deserved weekend away, one Bean & I were supposed to enjoy together. I'd booked it way back when before our relationship came to a crashing halt. Anyway, it was booked and was a place I was dying to go to since I'd first found the website back in 2005 and since I'd paid the deposit, it seemed such a waste to cancel.

We arrived at the fantastical Sycamore Avenue in Mooi River at about 7pm that evening. We got our key, dumped our bags in the Bottle Treehouse and headed to the Main House for dinner.

Dinner was a little strange, all the occupants of their 5 treehouses sitting round one communal table with nothing in common or to talk about. The food was nice enough ... good home-cooked stuff, but nothing too fancy about it.

Our treehouse was beautiful and interesting with lots of little quirks around the place (I love the big red leg!). The huge spa bath, the outdoor shower and the hammock chairs on the balcony all made for a fabulous, relaxing weekend.

On Saturday after breakfast (Yay, our own table!) we headed off to Bulwer to visit some of my fam (Daddio's side, who were there for a long weekend from Greytown). We spent a nice afternoon catching up with them and enjoyed a brief walk around the only hotel in Bulwer (Mountain Park Hotel) which apparently is pretty much the same as it was 100 years ago.

After the visit, Varen & I headed back to Sycamore Ave for a Zulu Dinner (pap & stew and who know's what else!). It was okay, I managed. I'm not a huge fan of pap or anyt sort of mielie derivative, really. Being one of the few South African's who didn't grow up on the stuff (Thanks Mom!). And then there was our first fight.

Well, it's silly now in retrospect. And rather interesting too. I caught him out in a silly little lie he'd told me from way back in the day when were were still Just Friends and I was dating Bean. Anyway, he felt stupid for it and handled it by retreating into himself ... and I was annoyed. So there wasn't much communication - see what a problem it can be when you're both stubborn, you'd think I'd be used to it however considering all the ex's. Either way, eventually we had it out properly ... and there wasn't even any yelling :) And then it was off to sleep ... I think B&B accomodation is the maddest thing. You've gone away for a nice relaxing weekend and you have to get up & out of bed and some ridiculously early hour becausethat is when they serve your Breakfast. And it is included in your bill, so you'd better make the most of it ;) Either way, we slipped in at the latest possible still-serving breakfast time of 9:30 (see, ridiculously early for a weekend morning!). And then to top it off, we had to be checked out of there by 10am. What a waste of the last day, really.

We were hoping to go for a horse ride before heading back to Jhb, but these need to be booked the day before so we couldn't manage that. So we took a slow meander home thru the Drakensburg. I even managed to buy Mom's bday pressie ;)

Oh, I forgot to mention that Dad's birthday gift finally arrived last week, so now I can tell you all what it was. I got him one of these funky new puzzle's he'd heard about called wasgij ... yep, that's jigsaw backwards. And that's basically the aim of the game. It's not so simple as build what you see on the box, you have to build the view from a point in the picture on the box ... so you get s few clues. But basically it's a guessing game till you've finished the puzzle :) Should keep him busy!

Anyway. We stopped at a fantastic little Northern Drakensburg restaurant for lunch. I'd discovered it the first time Bean & I had been to the Drakensburg back in 2005, called the Caterpillar & Catfish Cookhouse. I can't quite explain why I love it, but I do. It's lovely and on Sunday afternoon it was sunn yand we sat outside and listened to live music and ate a good lunch (I had Smoked Trout Salad - really good).

And then we were home. We watched 2 more episodes of House and I almost fell asleep again ... I assure you it's not because it's a bad program or anything, it's brilliant and I thoroughly enjoy it, I was just knackered.

And that was the weekend.

Yesterday evening was Home Night 3 with Loulou. She cooked a fabulous Lamb Stew ... yes mom, can you believe I just wrote that ?? The flavour was really good, just a pity about all those pesky bones! I'm not partial to any meat on bones ... it means I have to start touching it with my hands, and I really don't like that unless there's some sort of bread buffering it ;)

Anyway, after dinner Varen came over and we watched another 2 episodes of House. And I didn't even come close to nodding off - Yay, I think I'm cured ;)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Could I be More Annoyed ?

It has been a rough morning so far!

Firstly Varen messed up on alarm duty ;) Apparently alarms were set for 6 & 6:30 am ... and apparently they went off, but still we slept till 8:20 !! So it was a mad rush to work this morning, taking the bike instead of fighting the Jhb morning rush hour. So, already my Taurean-required morning rituals were screwed with. Not a good start.

Then work ... Well, I can say that I'm not really sure what I'm doing anymore or if I want to be doing it. I just get so frustrated these days. This whole year has been one project taking priority of the previous one. Which means we haven't really been able to actually work on anything properly. Just as you're starting on something or in the investigative phase, someone comes along and decides this other project has way more priority and now you should start working on it instead. Of course, next week it'll happen all over again with another new project that has just received the latest highest priority.

And then, of course, there's the girl-factor. I am a girl therefore no one seems to listen to me. I'm at our "second sight" (as JofH likes to call it) and supposed to be merely a phone call away from the thick of decisions being made and day-to-day project decisions. Unfortunately you can only be a phone call away if the folks at our primary spot make that call :P Frustrations seems to be the order of the day.

Blegh. I guess it is my fault, I wanted to try working in a "big corporate". JofH, start drafting a real offer ... my patience here is wearing thin ;)

And that's a pity because I had a really lovely & relaxing weekend away with Varen ... more on that in a later post ;)

Oh, and I forgot to add the other most annoying thing about today ... My whole week was fairly well scheduled. Aside from the dinner Varen & I were supposed to have with JofH & YogaCherryl on Tuesday. Because I completely forgot we were *finally* supposed to have our Book Club party tomor eve. So I tried rescheduling the dinner for Wednesday. That meant Home Night 3 on Monday, Book Club Girlie Party on Tues, dinner on Wed and possibly a Comedy show on Thursday and then as much sleep as possible on Friday before our Saturday 2am wake-up call to begin the drive to Tofo in Mozambique. Busy week, huh? I guess that's why it's a bit of a relief, in retrospect, that the plans got so screwed up that I'm now hardly doing anything this week ;)

This eve will still be Home Night 3 with Loulou. The Book Club Girlie Party has been moved to Thursday and Wednesday is apparently not so convenient for JofH & YogaCherryl ... so that dinner will probably be postponed to after Varen & I are back from Moz.

But still, I shouldn't be surprised the Book Club thing was postponed again. Book Club has turned out to be rather disappointing so far in 2007. We have made it all the way to Feb without actually having a single Book Club evening. Rather shocking if you ask me, but what can one do?

Anyway, my rant ends there.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Jan von Hollenben

Have just found another fantastic photographer ... this time thanks to The Cool Hunter. I've had a look at Jan von Hollenben's site and although there are some interesting pics in the Portraits section, my favourites are definitely in Dreams of Flying!

Hmmm, it has me thinking I might try this at home! Enjoy :)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

My First Time at Music Group

So last night (after skipping gym, naughty naughty) I went to JofH's Amazing Music Group. Apparently it's been going for 4 years now. He has told me about it before, but I was always too scared to go ... what with my fairly mainstream, radio type taste in music. Basically, I like stuff I can sing to ;)

Anyway, last year I decided to face my fears and give it a bash. Unfortunately their last evening of 2006 coincided with the weekend Bean & I were in Balito for my cousin's wedding ... so my foray in music group had to wait.

It was quite a fab evening, except from the brief call-out I had - damn I HATE standby! Anyway, there were loads of people (ten) there sharing their music and opinions. And we got to hear some really interesting stuff that I might listen to again and even consider putting it onto my spanking little iPod. And we also got to hear stuff that I just could not relate to ... I mean, that's not to say it wasn't very pleasant music, I just don't know when one would listen to it. Does that make sense ? I need music I can turn on and listen to ... and sing along with, as I explained earlier. Some of the more musical stuff was nice, but I just can't see an appropriate occasion in my near future where I'd need to be listening to it instead of something else? I don't know, perhaps I'm just a music-heathen ;)

And that was that. I went home yawning, had a good sleep and found myself back at work this morning :) The usual.

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