Wednesday, October 31, 2007

31/10 House Hunting Updates

02:40 pm
Oooh, I forgot to mention. While I was at home sleeping yesterday afternoon I got an email saying my bond application response letter was available for collection. Eeep, I'm nervous! I'll get it tomorrow when I'm back at head office.

Current House Hunting Tally:
17 Property Blurbs cut out of the 28/10 Paper
8 Houses visited
1 Agent no-show

3 Private Property Sellers contacted
10 Property 24 Agents contacted
5 Other Online Agents contacted

12 Off the list
2 Sold out from under me

I can't wait till Saturday to get the paper again!!

This Time It's My Fault

I'm tired again today. At least I was in at a reasonably average time (7am). But the thing is ... here's how yesterday went:

Went home just after midday ... I solved the issue that had been plaguing us so skipped out an hour earlier than I'd planned. Then I slept for a good 2 hours or so. After waking up, Varen came by to collect me and we headed off to my first house viewing appointment, we'll call this place Unit Three (Windsor).

Unit Three (Windsor)
1) It is a new development
2) It is a very decent price!
3) It should be fairly easy to rent out when the time comes
4) It has a bath & shower

1) It's in Windsor, which I swore off completely. But it is right on the edge in a very quiet street ... but still, what about the resale?
2) Palisade fencing - Do I want people to see me when I'm in my garden?
3) I don't think the finishes in the kitchen / bathroom are that great ... but it's so hard to tell without being able to actually see them.

It looks like it could be a good idea, depending which units are still left. It's a little tiny, I may have to give up my dream of having a dining room table but, it's actually quite a good size aside from that. Now how to decide about the area?

After checking out the construction site and chatting to the agent, Varen & I headed for gym. After gym we had a little time to spare so decided to go do a drive-by on another place I'd heard about, we'll call it Unit Four (Northcliff).

Unit Four (Northcliff )
Note: having not seen the place, these are all based purely on the drive-by and my discussion with the Agent.
1) It's in Northcliff and from the outside, the complex looks good
2) Should be safer than Melville or Windsor

1) It is a 47m2 2 bedroomed unit ... how small must that be?

Neither here nor there:
1) It is a 1st floor unit

I will be contacting the agent today to arrange a proper viewing :)

Current House Hunting Tally:
17 Property Blurbs cut out of the 28/10 Paper
8 Houses visited
1 Agent no-show
1 28/10 Paper Agents still to contact, maybe

5 Private Property Sellers to contact
7 Property 24 Agents contacted
5 Other Online Agents contacted

10 Off the list
2 Sold out from under me

Sadly while we were out driving around, Varen got one of those bad-news calls. His grandfather had died just after 5pm. It was expected and his folks had flown down the day before to say their final goodbyes, but it's still pretty sucky when it does actually happen. So baby, my thoughts are with you and your family :)

After all of that, I still had Book Club, which turned out to be a very good evening :) We had 2 new additions ... well one with another maybe who came along to check the group out and decide if she was keen. Spam, we want you back!

And I blame Book Club (although no doubt it is my fault!) for my exhaustion this morning. Got to bed at around 11:30pm (yes, and I was still up at 6:20 this morning!) and I think I had a minor hang-over this morning ... we drank a fair amount of red wine and Amarula (not mixed!). It was one of the best book club evenings I've had in a while. We were talking so much, it didn't matter how late it was getting :) Yawn.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yes, I'm Awake and it's Five AM

Check out the the time on this post. That's right, it's friggin early. Essentially I haven't slept since 2am this morning. In typical style, after our weekend implementation everything went quite smoothly till about 4:30 yesterday afternoon (while I was at gym, so we only became aware of the issues at around 6:30pm). It proceeded to cause us grief till about 8:30pm and I continued monitoring till bedtime, 9:30pm.

But then it all started again at 2am this morning. And I couldn't get back to sleep. Instead I got up and showered at 4:30 and have been at the office since just after 5am.

Brilliant start to the day ... not. At least for now I'm fairly wide awake and most amused that I'm not the only person in at this time.

Anyhoo, here's hoping I make it thru the day because it's going to be a busy one ... Got to go see a house later and then Gym with Varen and then I'm having all the girls over for Book Club :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

29/10 House Hunting Updates

08:57 am
So, I have just handed in my pre-approved Bond Application form. It should take 3 - 4 days to be processed and then I'll know if any of this is worthwhile.

Although if it comes back too low, I'll just have to put this on hold till after my (hopefully) March increase ... I am not giving up!

10:05 am
I have now added 8 more units to my hunting list (from Property 24). I've also scheduled an appointment to see a new development (ready end February 2008) tomorrow afternoon :) Oh, and crossed two more off my list.

Current House Hunting Tally:
17 Property Blurbs cut out of the 28/10 Paper
7 Show Houses visited
1 Agent no-show
10 Off the list
3 28/10 Paper Viewing Appointments to make
5 Private Property Viewing Appointments to make
8 Property 24 Viewing Appointments to make
1 Viewing Appointment scheduled

03:36 pm
Have been mailing and phoning Estate Agent type folk all day.

Current House Hunting Tally:
17 Property Blurbs cut out of the 28/10 Paper
7 Show Houses visited
1 Agent no-show
3 28/10 Paper Agents to contact
1 Viewing Appointment scheduled

5 Private Property Sellers to contact
8 Property 24 Agents contacted

10 Off the list
1 Sold out from under me

Now it's off to gym ...

7 Down, Lots More to Go

Finally got out of here on Saturday evening just after 11pm. It wasn't particularly stressful, just tedious, with much baby-sitting as I made the newbs do the real work. Varen spent the evening watching a dance-off ... unfortunately for him his little sis only came on at around 10pm. Rather later in the evening than he was hoping for based on what he was subjected to, I gather.

And then it was Sunday. We had a relaxing morning around the house (his house ... well, hopefully only for the next 3 weeks!) until about 11:30 when we headed off to start the house-hunt. I must say, this conflict in show-house times is most frustrating and means it is awfully tricky to actually plan a decent route with no back-tracking. I'll say that we certainly didn't get it right yesterday afternoon, with some show houses starting at 12:00, others at 12:30, still others only at 2pm and a handful that were "on show" as per the paper, but didn't even have anyone home, we did plenty of back-tracking across Gauteng. Well, to be fair, my criteria limits me to within the highway boundary - I am a girl from Cape Town, I cannot commit to being stuck in the 4ways traffic each and every day of my life from henceforth on.

So, the house-hunting tally: 17 property blurbs cut out of the paper, 7 show-houses visited, 8 crossed off the list (based on a few drive-bys and eventually ruling out all of Windsor completely! I'm going to be a girl living on my own, before traffic chaos comes area safety), 1 agent no-show, 5 view by appointments and today I have 12 viewing appointments to make (that's an extra 5 off private property).

On the plus side, it wasn't total chaos. I saw a very funky place in Melville / Richmond that looks like a very cool new building (although the lifts look a bit dodgy, but I assume they're busy with final maintenance), we'll call it Unit One (Melville). And a nice new place in Rivonia, we'll call it Unit Two (Rivonia).

Unit One (Melville)
1)I doubt traffic is much of an issue to either work-site.
2) It's a very funky new building.

1) The safety issue may be questionable.
2) The unit I can afford is quite tiny ... and I know I said I had very minimal requirements, but still.
3) The bathroom of this unit is en-suite (although the bigger, more expensive unit has a separate bathroom)
4) Looks like all the parking is outside, without cover ... and quite a way from the complex. Imagine this in the rain ....

Neither here nor there:
1) The units only have showers.

I'll be doing a call-back for this one since they also apparently have a loft unit for sale that I didn't get to see, although I should probably check the price first.

Unit Two (Rivonia)
1) New complex with lovely finishes in the Kitchen & Bathroom.
2) Separate bathroom.
3) Good area safety-wise (although there were all those hi-jackings on Rivonia offramp?)

1) The traffic from Rivonia is likely to be a nightmare, I'll be further than ever from both work-sites.
2) The visitor parking is all miles away from the actual units.
3) There will be quite a lengthy un-covered walk from the unit parking to the unit entrance. Imagine this in the rain ...

Neither here nor there:
1) The units only have showers.

I'll be doing a call-back for this one too, since the unit on show was actually a bachelor version (bedroom & lounge in one ... so not what I'm looking for!). But we did get to wander a proper one-bedroom unit of some friendly neighbour. Plus there are two more units in this complex in my private property list. A little worrying that so many are for sale, but I guess it is a fairly new complex and these are all people who bought off plan as an investment ... I hope.

Anyway, after all that driving around and pretending to care what the house-sitters had to say, Varen & I headed off for a much needed late lunch. We ended up more than frustrated as place (Luca's) after place (Sale Pepe & Europa in South Road) were closed. We ended up having a lovely lunch at Simply Asia tho.

I think we were both impressed with our food (and the fact that they were open!). We shared 6 cute little veggie spring rolls (Po-Pia Je) and some chicken satay (Satay gai) to start. He then had Preow-Wan Gai (Sweet & Sour chicken) and I had Sen-Yai Goong Pla-Muk Prik-Phao (Prawn, Calamari & Cashew nuts with noodles in roasted chili paste). On the plus side, Varen preferred his and I preferred mine.

Mine was really different (I thought, and certainly from the sort of thing I usually have at Cranks) and I especially loved the calamari.

We ended the evening with a little House Season 4. At the moment we're watching lot's of different shows because they're all being downloaded as fast as they're aired in America. I don't really like watching this way ... because it really limits the number of episodes you can do in one sitting (we're up to episode 6 of How I Met Your Mother S3 and episode 4 of House S4). But I guess it'll be okay because we have so many different series to keep up with, by the time we've watched the first few episodes of everything, there should be another round of episodes available - well this is what I'm hoping.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Yes, I am at Work

So here I am, on a Saturday evening, at work. We're doing a huge, giant implementation. It's one of those world-wide things where everyone has to be in-sync after the same date. Unfortunately, because of this, yesterday was fairly stressful. Our testers were still having issues, but well, as you can imagine under the circumstances, that's just too bad and we have to implement regardless. Unfortunately we are still waiting for a patch from our vendor for 2 bugs and they just cannot figure out what is causing the issue. This is more of a concern because the errors are intermittent. We had one whole bug-free day of testing. The following day everytime we tested these two specific things, they broke. What do you know, the next day it ran smoothly ... typical since we were desperate for some error logs to send to the vendor.

So here we are at 6:30pm on a Saturday implementing regardless.

Yesterday Varen & I went to gym, against our inclination, but it had to be done. Then we had a quiet night in and finished watching Supernatural S2. Today we spent out and about. Had to get to the Post Office to collect my order for Book Club. Then headed to Cresta for a bit where we got distracted (and fleeced) at the Estoril Books sale.

And then I bought myself a property times :) I spent the rest of the afternoon paging thru the 3 thick papers of houses for sale ... and realised just how little was in my price range. At least there was enough to warrant a trip to show houses tomorrow afternoon tho :) I am very excited and really looking forward to it.

But now it is back to work ...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Scrounging Funds: an Update

Okay, so I said earlier that I could get my hands on this much-needed deposit ... but it's still a bit of a process, trying to arrange the sale of my unit trusts and close a 32-day call account, apply for the actual bond.

So I've called my contact at Old Mutual (my uncle) and he gave me the unit trust call centre number. I am so impressed with their call centre, I managed to get updated values of my unit trusts so simply. I got the forms from their website and have made a note of the other documentation they require.

I've also opened a new Standard Bank savings account. Apparently they won't transfer the proceeds of my sale to a third party account (where my savings are currently) so I now need a new spot to store the deposit I'm slowly building up. Thankfully as an existing customer of Standard Bank's this was an easy internet transaction :)

I've put a notice to close on my FNB 32-day Million a Month account ... if I haven't won that million yet, I doubt it's gonna happen anytime soon. I'm gonna have to wait till end of November for that cash to be available, but I'm on it :)

Then I've chatted to my financial adviser. This was not an exciting part of my day ... she recommends against swapping a Unit Trust investment for a property one, apparently the growth is not as good in property. But, on this point I have to agree with Daddio. That money was saved for a reason, to give me the means when I needed it. What really is the point in having all these savings if you never have anything to show for it. Sure, I'm a huge fan of saving cash rather than frivolously letting it trickle away on the latest fad, but this is a house. Not just any house, one I actually plan on living in myself. It seems like a worthy expense.

I still plan on saving, don't get me wrong ... I have an annual holiday to take ;) But here's hoping my bonus will cover that because Varen & I have our eyes set on Peru for 2008.

So that's where things stand. I will apply for the pre-approved bond on Monday. It should take about 3 or 4 days. Once I know how much of a bond I can get, I can see if it's actually worth liquidating the unit trusts ... I mean if the bond plus the deposit is less than 500000, it doesn't really make the quest worth-while :( But we're being upbeat today ...

Two Things on my Mind

So, it turned out to be a quiet week. Well, purely in the "going out" social sense of the word. In actual fact it has been quite a momentous week. There are two things on my mind this morning. And I choose to focus this post on them since I can't possibly bore you with yet another "we watched series last night" post - although, we did because I didn't play in the Action Cricket game, I was supposed to be having dinner with Interviewing-for-a-Husband, but her overnight in Jhb got canceled ... btw. she is the one who recently announced her engagement on facebook. Damn, I was dying to see the ring.

So, firstly, the sad news my brain is desperately ignoring for the time being (although the rational part of me knows I should be mentally preparing myself). I will be going home to Cape Town for a nice relaxing (?) 2 week holiday in December. I haven't been home since February. My family is changing ... and it's going to be a shock for me, or so my folks keep warning. My grandfather, The Gum, is steadily and rapidly deteriorating due to his Alzheimer's or whatever they've decided it actually is. There were many scary stories when he was put on the wrong medication and slept with a hammer under his pillow and tried to sneak out of the house each night after bedtime but, thankfully those days are passed and now he's just a muddled mess of old memories. He and I were pretty close when I was young and it's going to be tough sitting there hoping he can stay focused enough to say hello.

And then there's the Peeb. I haven't written much about her here, but since I last saw her, she has been diagnosed with a chronic disease that has left my little sister walking with a stick due to some crazy form of arthritis that seems to be getting worse. I'm worried about her. I don't know what to expect when I see her again, more than anything I hope she's okay ... although when I read her blog, I know she's not really. So that's in the back of my mind. At least I'll get to see the Peeb sooner than December, we're all off on a grand family long weekend in Cinsta in 2 weeks, I can't wait :)

And secondly, the exciting then depressing and now exciting again news that I simple cannot keep in any longer ... it is pretty much taking up all of my mental processing currently :) I want to buy my own place. It resolves the question of me moving in with Varen before I'm ready. It also resolves the frustration that I'm having about living out of just a room at the age of 27. I need my own space, I crave it with every fibre of my being. I have wanted it for a while. It teased me when I lived with Bean, in what essentially was always his place, I just lived there with him. But I threw myself in whole-heartedly and got involved in the decor and made it my home. Which made it so difficult when I had to move out. Now I've spent a year living with Loulou and although I needed that time, hunting for furnishings for Varen's new house has sparked off this nesting instinct of mine again. And with me, furniture is a passion, I need to bond with it. I have very definite likes and dislikes ... if I had my own space, I would make it my own. I want that.

So on the weekend the thought popped into my head and slowly during the week is has become more than just a fledgling desire, it has turning into an overwhelming flame of need. I chatted to the bond people, unfortunately they can't tell me what sort of bond I qualify for without me actually applying first. So I got the forms. It was while filling out these forms that the excitement turned to depression ... I started to look at my funds (and where the hell all my money was going each month!). What can I say, I drew up a detailed balance sheet, I am the prodigal daughter of an accountant and a bookkeeper ;)

So, I wracked my brains, surely there must be some solution. I mean, after all I'm not looking for something flashy, I'm looking for a small one bedroom place (although, where the bedroom, lounge and kitchen are *not* all in one room and the bathroom is preferably not en-suite - who wants the guest traipsing thru their bedroom to the loo?). Plus, I was desperately hoping to be able to still afford to keep the place Bean & I bought ... since it has a tenant who is helping to pay off the bond and it is in a very good area.

Yesterday morning I began the investigation of my solution. I needed to scrounge up at least a hundred grand as deposit. And I am happy to report that after looking thru my Unit Trusts
(a huge Thanks Mom & Dad for having the amazing foresight to start saving for us since we were kiddies!) and various savings accounts, I have managed to find R150 000 lying around that I can use as a deposit ... which means I just might be able to afford my monthly bond repayments and the levy & insurance that'll naturally follow. I mean, I still won't be able to afford anything too expensive, I did just buy a car! But it means the dream has not yet died :)

So, I've starting browsing on Private Property and Property24 and on Saturday I'll be hitting the Property newspaper with my scissors and giving it a read with my fine-tooth comb. Exciting times :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Depressed Wednesday Night

Well, it wasn't supposed to be a quiet night at home, Varen & I were supposed to meet up with DJMike & Beukes (before he heads of to USA and is gone forever) ... but they were planning a post WineX dinner at 9pm. Please note that because of my generally early (6am) wake-up, my bed time is usually 9:30pm. Sad, I know but this is the only way I can mange to leave work at 3:30 in the afternoon :)

Anyway, Varen & I skipped gym cause of a terrible day. I was depressed over the realisation that my current dream (mentioned yesterday) is not as likely as I was hoping - I'm gonna need more than just your fingers crossed here, guys. I am actually still rather depressed about it ... you know when you think you've found the solution to all your problems and suddenly you realise that it's something you'll need more than all the luck in the world to acheive. I feel like a D student who's been told the pass mark is a mere 90% :P

And it wasn't just me, Varen had a rough day at work yesterday too. So we decided to skip the gym and enjoy some escapism (me already in my PJs at 5:30pm with depression) provided by Supernatural. At 7pm I realised there was no way I was gonna make the 9pm dinner (sorry boys!) ... I was already yawning my head off and certainly not in the mood to get myself dressed up to see people. Instead we popped out for a few mouthfuls of sushi and then crawled back into bed for one last episode of Supernatural before Varen started the long drive home, he had to be at work at 5:30am again this morning ...

And now it's the next day ... I haven't quite given up all hope on my dream but I'm slowly exhausting all possibilities of it happening :( I don't know how Varen is a) managing to stay positive or b) putting up with me in this funk. Thanks, my love.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Another Quiet Tuesday Night

Hmmm, let me cast my mind back and try to remember what we got up to last night. We skipped gym because we had a "late" work day (that's a normal work day to the rest of you ;) ) and then popped round to good old faithful Woolies for some dinner supplies - we can't eat take-out all the time ;)

After the shop, we headed over to Varen's to cook up a storm. Well, to be more precise, he cooked up a storm of Calamari, Veggies and potato bake while I bathed, read my book and caught up with my folks on the phone :) Such a sweetie.

Luckily we still managed to find time for one episode of Supernatural before bed :)

Oh, and I forgot to mention ... I hate trucks. I wish South Africa would invent an alternative to these behemoth vehicles invading every lane on our roads, because they are certainly not polite about the 8 car-lengths that they take up (and expect you to leave open for them in peak-traffic so that they can change lanes like a taxi-driver!)

And another thing ... I have something brewing in the back of my mind. I don't want to mention anything just yet, but it's there and I'm getting my hopes up :) It is a very exciting time for me, assuming I get the go-ahead from the necessary parties. But until I know it's a certainty, I'll be keeping it to myself :) Eeep, could everyone please keep their fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another Quiet Monday Night

So it was a quiet night of gym and some Supernatural ... oh and an actual sit down dinner at Ghazal's. Which was an absolute waste, take-out is so much more convenient ... especially since the starters are not worth the mention. But, on the plus side I have leftovers for lunch today :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Recovering From Our Stubbornness

Well, it was certainly a weekend of extremes! Varen & I had our first major fight since we started doing this seriously ... Let me tell you, things get seriously blown out of proportion when you're both as stubborn as we are. It made for a supremely depressing Friday night and Saturday morning while we slowly worked our way thru the giant misunderstanding (which thankfully we did!).

Friday had started out quite nicely tho, we'd headed off to Primi Life (I don't exactly know why Primi Piatti has gone this weird naming route, but whatever ...) for Koet's birthday bash. Let me warn you upfront that Primi Piatti is right up there on the restaurants I plan to avoid for the rest of my life. I friggin hate the place. On Friday, the venue was decidedly average, in true Primi style. I mean, it wasn't terrible, but it didn't raise my opinion either. In all honesty, I'm not entirely sure what my bad opinion of this restaurant is based on tho.

It's a year since I crashed my little old Citi Chico ... weird to think about that, I seem so far away from then. So, for the first half of the evening everything went smoothly with some interesting conversation and then Varen & I had our "who can be more stubborn" contest, which lasted thru to midday on Saturday when things were finally resolved.

And thank goodness for that, because we'd booked our free amazing overnight experience at Forum Homini! Damn, I can't believe we both forgot our cameras :( But the rooms were exquisite and completely decadent. We had our 6-course dinner at 7pm with Root Restaurant's much-recommended wine-teasers. This was Varen's first real experience of Forum Homini 7 their restaurant Roots (aside from a few bites at the Taste of Joburg), and I think he was suitably impressed! The dinner was generally divine ... there was just one course (Rump & Escargot vol au vents) which I didn't especially enjoy, but that's just me :)

Then it was back to our room in time for the 9pm Rugby World Cup final. We watched the first half from our giant bath with bubbles :) I didn't think it was an especially entertaining game of rugby to watch (although there were one or two nail biting moments!) ... what with not a single try scored (and yes, the England one was out!). But, I guess such is the nature of the World Cup final games where the two teams should be fairly well matched. Although, South Africa did manage to score more than double England's points to achieve our second World Cup victory :)

On Sunday morning we got to enjoy breakfast at Roots which was spectacular and a perfect escape from the usual sort of buffet egg-and-bacon breakfast's one would usually get. We had chocolate dipped fruit, coconut & vanilla shakes, cinnamon flapjacks with toasted banana and a slice of bacon & gorgonzola quiche - yes, even their breakfasts have 3 courses!

After breakfast, we headed back to our room to relax in the sun with our books for a bit before our in-the-room hour-long massages. It was brilliant, I had a hot stone massage along with some reflexology on my feet & hands. Varen had an Indian Head massage followed by a full-body massage (it was okay, I was right there next to him ;) ). After that we unfortunately had to head back to reality :(

The rest of Sunday was fairly mundane and we watched a little more Supernatural S2 :) The weekend certainly ended on a much higher note than it started!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Shock of Losing

So last night was Action Cricket night ... the last game before the semi-finals. And for the first time in a long while, our team did not make it thru (hello, we usually win the entire tournament!). It was shocking and when I say we lost, I mean we were cleaned up by the other team, with a mere 80 runs required off the last 4 overs, there was little hope for us :(

But I did chat to The Big Boss a little about the latest extra-curricular affair in the office, Hopefully Separated Husband and the girlf (yes, she was there "supporting" him again). Very entertaining as apparently they'd told him earlier in the week that nothing was going on between them (a little more background info: the girlf was The Big Boss's PA before she got surgically removed from the company). Anyhoo, I'm pretty much over caring ... and now that we've played our last game of the cricket season, we won't be seeing them again (unless he brings her along to the possible partners dinner we're thinking of having at the end of the year ?!?). I wonder if they'll be there, finally able to show off their relationship at next years cricket season ;)

And that was the entire evening ... except for those final few drinks at the bar with the work crowd after, to celebrate the end of the season.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Back to the Grind

So, I'm back at work today ... it's fairly late for a blog post, but my zippy little C2 went in for it's 1500km check-up. And I've been going thru emails and catching up on what I missed yesterday (not much it seems!)

On Tuesday eve, Varen & I went for sushi with Loulou ... was fab, we hadn't been for a while and I gorged myself. And yesterday we went to gym (again ... yay we managed 3 times so far this week! Have to go on Friday again since we'll be at Forum Homini this weekend and the food is so good and there are so many courses!) and finished watching Supernatural Season 1. Brilliant :)

Other than that, yesterday was divine. Watched Desperate Housewives (Season 3 is way better than 2!) and popped out to Sandton for Global Wrapp. My opinion of Sandton has spiraled down to nothingness and Global Wrapp wasn't as good as I remember, but it's been soo long since I last had it!

Still, it was better than a day at work :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

And The Boss Said It's Okay

So I've taken today off ... a much-deserved Mental Health day. Time to myself to spend lazing in bed (yes, I'm still in my PJs!), read my book (which I finished, read review below) watch some more Desperate Housewives and maybe a little later take an unrushed stroll round the shops.

All women want to kill their husbands some of the time "Where there's a will, I intend to be in it," wives half-joke to each other. Marriage, it would appear, is a fun-packed frivolous hobby, only occasionally resulting in death. But when Jazz Jardine is arrested for her husband's murder, the joke falls flat. Life should begin at 40 - not with life imprisonment for killing your spouse. Jazz, stay-at-home mum and domestic goddess; Hannah, childless career woman; and Cassie, demented working mother of two are three ordinary women. Their record collections are classical, not criminal. Cassie and Hannah set out immediately to prove their best friend's innocence, uncovering betrayal, adultery, plot twists, thinner thighs and toy boys aplenty en route but will their friendship survive these ever darker revelations? Sexy, funny and wise, Kathy Lette's irresistible new novel is about women not Having It All But Doing It All. It's about how today's mother is often a married lone parent. It's about the fact that no woman has ever shot her husband while he was vacuuming.

This is Kathy Lette at her brilliant best, casting her trade mark caustic eye on what goes on in the bedrooms and kitchens of ordinary married couples. A novel which will strike a cord with married women everywhere and ensure that, from now on, they all read the small print on their marriage licenses.

Loved this book, absolutely loved it. The number of times (many, many!) I found myself reading out loud (over the phone even) paragraphs and sentences from this book to my boyf ... it was a truly hysterical read. Definitely good for light entertainment if you're between deep and dark reads and one I could definitely recommend as a holiday read or just to lift your mood. Although, I must say it does leave those of us (me) who are more than a little cautious about spending the rest of our lives with one person a little skittish ... based on the disarray marriage afflicts on these women's lives. But still, a fabulously entertaining book!

I still have to go to gym later, but sacrifices must be made :) On a truly awesome note, my boss is well aware that I'm not really sickly on this "sick day". Yes, he is that cool about these things (as long as they are not taken advantage of) and can see the benefit of taking the occasional day off where neccessary to allow you to do your job better. Plus, I had no meetings today and the two newbies are driving me nuts! Just how slow can a Junior resource actually be?

So, here's to spending the morning in bed and arriving at work tomorrow a little less frazzled by life :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Everyone Needs a Little Space

Yesterday afternoon Varen & I hit the gym (we did rather badly with our schedule last week and in true Monday stylre, were determined to pick it up). Except that I was irritable again. I don't know what it is ... it just seems to be everything about life lately. I mean, don't get me wrong, my godawful mood from Friday has dissipated. But, since the things that led me down that path in the first place are still around, I imagine it'll be rearing it's ugly head as soon as it all builds up and squishes me again! So I think I just have daily twinges of not feeling entirely right about life at the moment, and it makes me cranky.

So, in the interest of protecting my relationship with Varen, I sent him home after gym. And I went back to some peace and quiet and space in my room. Sometimes you need that, you know. A night where you can just do what you want to do without worrying what the other person feels like eating or watching or if they wanna read or not.

So I lazed in the bath with my book and watched a little more Desperate Housewives (so far Season 3 is way better than 2!) and prepared lunch and packed my gym stuff, chatted to Daddio and read a little more before bed :) It was the night I needed. I could miss him but more importantly I could enjoy doing whatever I wanted without inflicting it on him (yes, it's true ... only women and gay men watch Desperate Housewives voluntarily!). So that was my evening, it may sound boring, but that's what Monday nights are for :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Want a New Bin

I wish South Africa had colour-coded Recycle Bins. I've seen them on tv, they seem to have them in America.

Veggie Global has a Global Green Law (Number 9) just for this issue, they even have a motto:

"Organic is Green, Glass is Yellow, Paper is White,
Metal is Grey, Plastic is Blue, Hazard is Red!"

And Kitchen Recycle Bins have some fab kitchen bins to make recycling as easy as throwing away rubbish. Back when I lived with The Lying Pilot, I had a two-portion bin that I used to make recycling easier ... and I've longed for something that helpful ever since!

I was raised by a recycling-enthusiast and our school furnished their entire Computer Room with the proceeds of their Recycling efforts. But, to be honest I haven't recycled a thing since I moved to Joburg ... without a handy bin, it's just too much effort. And also, I have no idea where to deposit my recycling efforts up here??

House-Content Hunting

A more stable weekend :) Friday night saw us heading to Cranks for the first time in a while. It served it's usual fabulous food, although I ventured from my norm and ordered a dish I hadn't tried before (it's served in a hollowed out pineapple). Needless to say, I prefer their curries and will be ordering my old faithfuls again next time :) It wasn't bad at all, it just wasn't what I head back to Cranks for time after time.

After the meal, we headed for Cinema Nouveau to watch Death at a Funeral.

Last rites... and wrongs.
On the morning of their father's funeral, the family and friends of the deceased each arrive with his or her own roiling anxieties. The son, Daniel, knows he will have to face his flirty, blow-hard, famous-novelist brother Robert, who's just flown in from New York--not to mention the promises of a new life he's made to his wife Jane. Meanwhile, Daniel's cousin Martha and her dependable new fiancé Simon are desperate to make a good impression on Martha's uptight father--a plan that literally goes out the window when Simon accidentally ingests a designer drug en route to the service, leaving him prone to uncontrollable bouts of delirium and nudity in front of his potential in-laws. Then comes the real shocker: a mysterious guest who threatens to unveil an earth-shattering family secret. As comedic mayhem and unfortunate mishaps ensue on every front, it is now up to the two brothers to hide the truth from their family and friends, and figure out how to not only bury their dearly beloved, but also the secret he's been keeping.

It was hysterical and just the sort of movie I needed in my state of mind. Although I was thrilled to see that people don't insist on bringing their toddlers to Cinema Nouveau, it doesn't seem that it stops people talking thru the movie. But the movie was funny enough to outweigh this regular annoyance.

On Saturday we did some more house-content hunting for Varen's new place. Although he's pretty much picked out a fridge & tv and looked at loads of washing machines & microwaves, this weekend was spent focusing more on the living area of the house so we went scouring any store that stocked couches, chairs, tv cabinets & dining room tables. It was exhausting but I think we've come up with some fab ideas for the place :) He is also now the proud owner of brand new cutlery & crockery :)

After spending the day rushing from Coricraft to the Design Quarter to Fourways Crossing, we headed to Lapa Fo for an early dinner. It wasn't as fabulous as our first visit, but I think that had a lot to do with working our way thru the menu because our choices were not as spectacular as before. It was still damn good pizza.

We ended the day watching plenty of Supernatural while the storm raged outside. This is not a good series to watch 6 episodes of just before bed, there are some scary episodes! Reminds me of the way every now and then, in the early days, you'd get one of those super freaky X-Files that would mean you were sleeping with the light on that night ;)

Sunday we rushed around a little more and eventually headed to Varen's folks for a very late Sunday lunch. And after a relaxing afternoon (at least part of the weekend should be!), we headed back to his place for a few more episodes of Supernatural.

Yes folks, I managed to miss every last rugby game this weekend. Although I would've watched last night's SA vs. Argentina game, we had to get up particularly early this morning and it just wasn't to be ... who schedules games at 9pm on a Sunday night?!? Admittedly I didn't even remember about the one on Saturday evening :P One of the perks of no longer dating Bean is that my life is no longer run around the Supersport calendar :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's My Prerogative

Okay, so originally I said that I would continue to post all my book reviews here as well as on the What Am I Reading Blog. Based purely on today's lack-of-interest inspired mood, I've changed my mind.

Update 28Feb08: And I've changed it again since the novelty of the What Am I Reading Blog seems to have worn off for all the contributors. So I've copied the full review back here :)

I've finally finished reading the lengthy A Lion in the Bedroom by Pat Cavendish O'Neill.

Here Pat tells the story of her charmed life among the glittering names of the twentieth century – Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Gianni Agnelli, Princess Grace and the Hollywood crowd – and the day everything changed for her, when she was presented with a tiny lion cub and she entered a world more magical and inspiring than anything she had known before.

Pat Cavendish O'Neill was born into a world of enormous riches, eccentricity and intrigue. She tells the story of her glitzy expatriate life in Kenya, where scandal and affairs were commonplace among the wealthy aristocratic foreigners...

And of how it all changed for her when she was presented with a tiny lion cub. This was her beloved Tana.

This book has taken me absolute ages to read, and not by any means because it was a dull story (it's just pretty lengthy at 600 pages)! I chose it as an out-of-the-ordinary read for myself but after my recent trip to Kenya (and a visit to Joy Adamson of Born Free fame's house), I thought it would be worth it ... and I was right.

It is a well-written easy to read book and a fascinating life story. Pat Cavendish O'Neill has certainly lived to experience a many-varied lifestyle. From being a decadent heiress (although a naive one), with enough money to travel around the world many times over (which she did) and have family homes in so many countries to being a dedicated "mother" to more lost animals than one could count.

Her story takes you back to a time I can hardly imagine, with experiences I could barely relate to with the common-place-ness of the Royal guests and the long list of famous friends. But in the end, nothing can prepare you for the depth of emotion she manages to convey when she tells the stories of her beloved Tana and the incredibly bond they have.

I'd recommend it to anyone who loves a good biography, because this woman has truly lived!

Ps. Yes, Prerogative is spelled like that (who would've thought?!?), I checked.

Blog Action Day

To all blogger's reading, Blog Action Day is coming up on October 15 (Monday), will you be participating?

On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic.

Blog Action Day is about MASS participation.

Lost Faith in Life

So I'm in one of those weird dejected, uninterested, lost-all-faith-in-life moods this morning. I guess it started last night and just hasn't evaporated yet, even tho I slept in and woke up to sunshine this morning.

I don't know exactly what it is, and I hadn't really thought too much about it either until Varen asked me what was making me so angry last night ... it's many things, all different facets of my life are getting me down, and then there is the whole life-itself thing, the world we live in, the daily frustration of life on earth. See, it's lots of things.

There are some things I won't discuss here, I still have a vague idea of my readership and am not really in the mood to offend innocent bystanders by my overly critical mood-affected pick-aparts. Although these things *are* still slowly grinding down my will to live with each new day when I wake up and are faced with them yet again.

There are many mundane things frustrating me, many things completely out of my control and although there's plenty in my life that should out-weigh these things (a boyfriend who loves me, good friends and supportive family, health, living above the poverty line and my new zippy little C2), all these are still not sufficient to assuage my depression and anger at life in general.

Sorry, this is not an especially up-beat post for a Friday (which has barely registered in my world).

So, what are these things, the few I'm willing to list? I'm 27 and don't have my own space. Yes, I have a room at Loulou's, but it is not the same. I am the sort of person who forms a bond with items I own, be it as small as the pictures I brought back from Malawi or my framed South African notes or as large as my Indian Elephant Stairs (hmmm, have I told that story?) or my Hippo Table. Currently I have no space for more so, even tho I'm getting to that nesting age and wanting to be surrounded by things of my choosing, it is currently an impossibility in my life. Even moving in with Varen wouldn't solve this issue ... although it would ease it slightly, but as I well know, that is not reason enough to move in with a boyf.

And then there's my job. It's not a bad job, I think I'm pretty good at it although I go thru phases of being frustrated as all hell with it. In it's favour, I have a great boss who I can be completely honest with. But, one of the down sides of having a younger boyfriend with no formal education in the same industry as yourself is that you can compare salaries. Now I don't know exactly what Varen is earning, but I know it's at least 150% of my salary and if he moves to the fancy-ass company he has his eye on, it'll be even more! Now I know that he's a boy and in terms of "supporting a family" should perhaps be earning more. But my equality mentality just struggles with this continuously. I want to earn more (although I don't really want to work more) so that I could think about getting my own place ... even if it meant having to sell the place Bean & I own.

But, is all this really practical? I mean eventually I will be living with someone (hopefully!) and starting a family of my own. Is there a point in me buying & furnishing my own place, think of the expense now, not the metal stability it would provide? And really, would having a 10 grand monthly bond repayment provide me with mental stability ... or would it just provide my mind with a different set of issues.

And those are just some of the personal issues in my life. Now let's move on to the completely-out-of-my-control but frustrating-as-all-hell none the less issues. The traffic in Joburg and all the idiot drivers (not just taxi's) that come with that. The weather in Joburg at the moment ... rain rain rain. Now generally I like rain, but I've found that I also have a penchant for clean, ironed clothes. These two appear to be mutually exclusive and which drove me to despair last night. What else? Hmmm, other than all other people in the world and their ridiculousness and sheer inconsideration for anyone else?

I think it's time to forget wishing for my own house and start wishing for my own island. Far far away (with internet access, obviously).

Let's hope a weekend break and the Mental Health Day I'm planning for next week do something to improve my state of mind. Have a good one.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We Drove all Night

So last night was very quiet, well aside from the honking of horns and the very occasional acceleration of a nearby car.

Varen & I hit the gym again - we're aiming for a minimum of 3 times a week ... more if we're feeling overly enthusiastic (hasn't happened yet!).

I've been wondering about gym. Is it all a matter of faith? Do you need to believe in the process of gym in order for it to work. I'm inclined to believe so ... I have never had faith in the gyms ability to affect my bod, no matter how many 20 minute sessions I spend on that crazy fitness-flyer thingy. It never has and although Varen thinks if we keep to his Schedule of Exercise, we'll see the difference in 3 - 4 months, I have my doubts. See, I do not believe in the Power of the Gym. And I think that must be what is holding me back from being slim and toned. But I just don't get it. There are these crazy gym people there ... they all seem to feel that spending 4 hours in the gym is the most worthwhile part of their day. You can see the strain in their brow as they pull an especially heavy weight and watch the sweat bead as they jog for their 50th straight minute. They are Dedicated and they believe. But, to be fair, you see plenty of the ordinary folks like me there too, just wiling our way thru our prescribed exercise regime, looking as if we'd be less bored watching paint dry or grass grow. I do my bit, I keep my heart rate up during my cardio workout and I try and heave the best I can when working on my arms or legs and God knows I push it when aimlessly passing one of those giant fitness balls from my feet to my hands when working my abs. But I still don't believe. Sigh, I just hope the Gym Gods won't curse me to flabby hell for it.

After a well deserved 10 minutes in the sauna, we headed to Varen's place - you drive and drive until you're almost at hell and you'll find it there on your left ;) And boy did we ever hit Joburg Traffic. You'd think by 7pm in the evening everyone would've successfully found their way home, but not anyone driving on Hans Strydom last night (or Mabilongwe or whatever they've chosen to rename it in the middle of the night without anyone noticing!!). Not only were the traffic lights out at the Highway on & off ramps, but some silly woman had manage to need her Merc-cedes Bends hauled up onto a flatbed truck. This blocked an entire lane which, combined with the friggin lights out (was this load shedding or just general failure, who can tell bot hare just as likely as the other) made for a frustrating drive. You'd think if dear old Outsurance were going to send pointsmen anywhere, it'd be to help in 3-lane traffic where everyone is fighting for the next available spot on the N1!

After eventually getting to Varen's place, we had a quick bite from Fish Aways (wasn't very impressed, although usually their stuff is fairly good, and far cheaper than Ocean Basket!) and managed to squeeze in just one episode of Supernatural before bed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Boss in Town

So today I'm not in an especially swimming mood ... It may have something to do with the constantly uninterrupted sleep thanks to standy-by last night.

That and I like my space in the early morning (7 - 8:30) while the office should be quiet with just a few early birds around. These days, the new people in my team seem overly keen (to arrive, not to actually do any work, mind you) and are all in between 7:15 & 7:45. Leaving me surrounded during my preferred quiet time. I need the space before I'm willing to face my colleagues. I know this may sound crazy, but I think it's probably something to do with the fact that it was just TheBrad and me for 2 years and now that we have 3 new people on our team, things are feeling a little crowded. Aaargh, the work balance between TheBrad and I was so easy, and I'm not really sure how long we took to build up this respect and faith that work the other person was doing was in safe hands ... I feel none of that for my new recruits. They're either too cocky or too slow and so far I'm just not seeing the benefits of expanding our team. Oh well, the most I can do is train them up and hope they show the competency required to take over the responsibilities. Apaprently this takes 6 to 12 months ... sheesh, who has that kind of time or patience?

To avert the issue this morning, I have moved to my bosses desk (in his absence). It is sufficiently far away for me to have my space yet close enough to assist them if necessary. Although I have a cunning plan to have the one who's been here slightly longer to actually train up the one who's just arrived. Well, just for this week at least while TheBrad is away too. My other plan is to give them more to do than they can manage for the week ... it keeps them out of my hair :) Wow, maybe I really do have potential to be in control ... I'm turning out to be more adept than I expected in that most "boss" of characteristics, delegation. It leaves my time free to blog :)

Anyway, on top of that, I was frustrated by traffic this morning ... no one driving in front of me seemed to show any sort of training (aside from a few weekends spent on the bumper-cars!) they were all very wary and drove at least 4 car lengths from the next car in front of them. This is very frustrating for me as I like to spend as little time as possible in traffic and having the person in front of me allowing everything in front of them with this ever widening gap just drives me nuts!

So here I am, ready for another day of playing boss.

Oh, and Varen came over after gym last night and we managed to watch another 2 episodes of Supernatural.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Where Is That Tornado?

So yesterday was madness, on so many levels. There were numerous "Storm Warning" emails going round Gauteng yesterday, warning that you shouldn't be out driving between 6 & 8pm blah blah. But what ended up happening (at least where I live, which is all that counts for the purposes of this blog), was that News24 created chaos by posting the "Storm Warning" story on the front page. This meant that companies started sending people home at 3:30pm ... which is annoying for me, because it's the time i usually leave (if I've managed to make it in by 7am). So the traffic was building along with the clouds. By the time I got home and ready for gym, Varen was gridlocked in traffic. After some thinking about it, watching the first bolt of lightning and listening to the thunder, we decided to give gym a miss and he headed back to work (he was gonna have to go back after gym anyway :( ). I watched the rain start pouring, thankful that my washing wasn't on the line (for a change!) and praying that the predicted possibility of severe storms with their 2cm radius hail did not strike my brand new car!!

It was all over in about half an hour and the sky proceeded to clear. It must've started raining sometime during the night again tho (at least after 11pm when I went to sleep) because it's still going this morning ... seriously, have I secretly moved to Cape Town's permanent winter?

Anyhoo, I had a relaxing night with my book (I have less than a hundred pages to go, I feel like I've been reading this book forever!) in the bath and some series. I finished Extra's Season 2 ... I like the concept of the series with it's "guest star", but I'm glad they only made each season 6 episodes because there's only so much watching someone get annihilated in front of people that I can do. It makes me squirm in the same way watching mr Bean does ... he's just too sad a character that eventually it stops being funny. I think that limit must be somewhere around five & half episodes :)

Also, I discovered a friend of mine in CT got engaged ... via facebook. I mean really? Fair enough that it may be the current best means to brag to people you haven't seen since primary school, but is this really how you should be notifying close friends of the news? I promptly smsed her ... apparently she thinks it is :P But I'm thrilled that she's finally got the ring, it's been a troubled time for her and the relationship of about 4 years has definitely had it's ups and downs!

Then Varen popped by for a quick visit on his way home from work ... unfortunately about 10 minutes before he arrived a Production issue reared it's ugly head and I wasn't a very entertaining hostess :(

Monday, October 08, 2007

Didn't Move From the Couch

What a lovely and relaxing weekend :) The weather on Friday and Saturday was filled with Thunderstorms and lightning and as such Varen and I did little but watch the whole of The Dresden Files. I like it and was disappointed to read that the 12 episodes we watched was all they ever made :(

But , we did also have breakfast with his dad on Saturday morning at Queen Street Cafe in Kensington, not a bad little place, but not nearly up there with Doppio Zero for breakfast. Pretty good for a light bite out.

On Sunday (after watching the last 3 episodes in our PJs on the couch), Varen & I headed off to his mate Koet's place for a lovely seafood potjie and we ended up watching the Rugby (SA vs. Fiji), which was a more harrowing game than we were expecting, but thankfully, the Boks won in the end :)

Sunday evening was spent starting a new Series (I did mention it wasa super relaxing weekend, didn't I?) called Supernatural. I'm not sure if I like it yet, but we're only 2 episodes in so who can tell yet :)

Updated at 12:24. Ooops, I totally forgot to mention that we weren't total lazy louts on Saturday, we went to Varen's aunt's Cheese Shop (far out on William Nichol, nearly all the way to Erasmia, friggin miles away!). We stocked up on lots of yummy cheeses, mostly to take to the potjie as snacks (which went down fabulously!) but primarily because he needed some fab Camembert to finally make me the long promised Steak & Camembert dinner :) He made it for dinner on Saturday night and it was delish ... we skipped the usual Cranberry sauce and used some Marula Jam instead along with some yummy stir-fry veggies :) I love having dinner cooked by the man I love :)

Updated at 14:12. Oh, and we bumped into (well sort of, rather let's call it spotted them across the shop) Assumed Cheating Husband and his new girlfriend (from work, but who no longer works here) at Hi-Fi Corp on Saturday afternoon. So using our tremendous powers of sleuth, we've assumed that he is no longer a Cheating Husband but rather a Hopefully Separated Husband. I mean, surely if you hadn't yet called time on your marriage, the time you spent with your new girlfriend would not be spent in a Hi-Fi Corp, but rather in a seedy motel room? Either way, the whole thing still weirds me out.

See what happens when I blog at 07:27am ... clearly I forget stuff :)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Fridays Should Be Better Than This

So I'm in a foul mood now ... it comes from spending an hour discussing hardware and infrastructure for our system. Discussions like this bore me to tears and leave me wondering what I could better have spent my hour doing (many things, let me tell you!).

Last night wasn't much better. Went to gym which is only made marginally not boring by Varen's prescence ... but I can't figure out the exercises. They don't seem to make me hurt in the right places or at all, even if I'm on the highest weight I can manage. Plus I'm convinced I don't get those endorphins released that other folks do. On the whole it means the highlight of gym is the fact that they sell Kauai :) Which I skipped last night anyway in lieu of my few slices of Heavon on a Pizza I had left.

Then we headed of to Varen's place. Unfortunately traffic was a nightmare and the cherry on top was finally arriving the million miles away at his place and realising I'd left my laptop in my bedroom. Not helpful and certainly did nothing to improve my mood.

We did the obligatory further driving (since they are stalling on the invention of teleporters!) and collected my laptop and then the evening (for the remaining few minutes we had left before I had to go to sleep) turned out okay.

But the good news is, it's Friday :) Although I'm dreading next week when TheBrad and my boss are both on training ... this means I'll have to bear the brunt of the workload for the week.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Heaven on a Pizza

So yesterday Varen & I had a rest day from Gym, but we will be back battling the forces of food this afternoon (Gym & Action Cricket tonight, I must be crazy!). Anyway, this opened the evening up to try a new (for us, although I gather it's been around a while tho) restaurant I'd been eyeing out.

I am devastated again with the sheer lack of web prescence but there are write-ups about the restaurant and they're all positive :) So, the restaurant in question is Lapa Fo in Emmerentia.

Varen & I went quite early (trying to eat an early dinner as part of a healthier lifestyle) and the place was empty when we got there (although another table arrived the same time as we did) - which is fair for 6:30pm. So with a little trepidation (although we'd browsed their specials boards before) we entered the lamp-lit restaurant. After Varen chose a lovely bottle of Stormhoek Pinotage for us, we tackled the menu and were amazed! Faced with so many strange and wonderful options, we both went for a half & half pizza and ended up sharing so that we each had 4 different quarters to taste test. I went for the more ordinary, the Percy special (I gather a favourite) with Bacon, Salami, Green & Red Peppers, Avo, Chili & Garlic - was fab. I can't remember all the toppings of my 2nd choice, but it had Cinnamon Pumpkin, Feta & Courgette. It was good, but paled in comparison to the other 3 choices.

Varen went for the unique and chose the most divine & decadent pizza toppings. His first choice was Bacon, Dark Chocolate, Pear & Feta and this was, by far, the favourite of the evening, for both of us. I would highly recommend it! Then he chose a more "desert" pizza option (yes, more desert than the last one, if you can believe!) with an assortment of fruits (Strawberry, Banana, Passion Fruit, Melon etc.) with Marscapone.

They let you chose between about 6 different pizza base options and we both went for the Wholewheat option. I loved it but I must say, a normal white base is probably more suited to the fruity pizza. The food was divine, Heaven on a Pizza :) We will be going back - they have a Thai Green Curry pizza I've just got to try (well, half of at least)!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


So, just a quick update. I had a chat with Lady on GT when she came online this morning and things are sorted :) It wasn't so much a misunderstanding as her being in a funny place personally and just being distant from everyone.

So we had a long chat about it all and I am feeling way better. And she was very sorry she'd given me the wrong impression! Suddenly it is a much better day :)

Where Have All The Good Friends Gone?

So yesterday afternoon / early evening was my second foray to gym as part of our new programme. Not too shabby. But I was sore from Monday's session (which is apparently a good sign, maybe I'm the only person who just doesn't get how we do this to ourselves, on purpose?!?). Anyway, I'm not too sore today (yet?) But we did legs and I was sure I would be walking around on crutches this morning.

After that Loulou and I headed off to book club for a night with the girls (a lot less of the girls since 3 dropped out after last month - excuses, excuses). Was fab to see everyone again although I'm still left wondering what is going on between Lady & myself.

I'm pretty sure I don't remember doing anything to royally piss her off ... But the way she's been acting makes me think I surely must have. It's been happening for a while ... at very least definitely since I got back from my East Africa trip.

Do you know that when I sent her the details of the trip I was planning her only comment (in my memory) was "Jees, that's a lot of driving". Not "Oh nice, Gorilla's" or "Wow, unusual destinations" or anything enthusiastic at all. More of a "rather you than me" approach, really. Which I didn't really take too much notice of at the time ... until I got back and in spite of the email I sent everyone with a selection of pics and us both being on Google Talk all day, I didn't even get a "Hey, welcome back" or a simple "How was the trip?". Not until I next saw her at Book Club.

So in an attempt to iron things out with her I arranged an after work coffee ... I don't want us to end up only seeing each other at Book Club, we were better friends than that (or so I thought?). The coffee was fab and I thought we were back on track and we left things with many "Let's not leave it so long next time"s.

I haven't heard a word from her since then, till Book Club last night. The worst part is that I know they had a picnic party for Bug's 30th ... and I wasn't invited. I got to see the pics on facebook :P

And again last night when mentioning the trip we're planning with the fan-damily to the half-way point somewhere around East London, her initial reaction was "Surely East London is not half way between CT & Jhb". Well, luckily Loulou backed me up on that one. And when I mentioned that you drive via Bloem and not Durbs, all she had to say was how dreadful she thought driving thru the Free State was. Not a stitch of the usual sort of encouragement or excitement you'd expect from a friend when you tell them about a weekend you've planned or the fact that you'll be getting to see your family that doesn't actually (shock, horror) live in the same province as you (let alone 2 suburbs away!).

Even her "Oh cool, man"s have come to sound hollow, like those things you say because people expect them to be said in polite company. I guess there was no way getting out of polite enthusiasm tho since I did get to show off the new car just a little bit as we left and loaded up the books into it's tiny, tiny boot (too small for both our Book Club book crates!).

Am I supposed to try and arrange something again? Isn't it her turn now? I don't know what I've done or what is going on? As you can imagine, watching the slow steady decline of a friendship is not an easy thing, but I'm also not really sure what I can do ... I guess I'm gonna have to call her on it and ask the tough questions. I hate that. But our friendship is more important to me to lose it quietly without a fight.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Back to Gym

Last night was pretty quiet ... as Monday's tend to be. Started gym again (have given up on yoga for now) with Varen as my no-nonsense trainer. So far day one was good :)

Then it was home for a nice light dinner (chicken breasts with cheese & mustard sauce and veggie skewers - yum!) and the last few episodes of Num3rs Season 3. Sheesh, what an ending ... I did not see that coming. Am slightly devastated but curious to see how they continue is Season 4 (just started in the States apparently, Varen is getting on the download!) but fingers are crossed they don't lose my favourite minor characters!

And that was that, other than the start of planning a family long weekend away that'll hopefully be in November over the Peeb's birthday :) Yay, am keeping fingers crossed. Although in sad news, Daddio probably won't get to go to Antarctica at the end of this year. The stupid company that fired him (Yay that he managed to squeeze 3 months salary out of them finally!) upped their pricing so much that they aren't getting the contract, so Daddio won't be able to wangle his way on board :( Oh well.

Oh, and I almost forgot ... how is this weather in Joburg? I mean, I know Joburg summers tend to mean rain rain rain after their dry winters, but this is honestly far more like a Cape Town winter than anything remotely recognisable as a summer!It's getting tricky to know when it's safe to hang out your washing ;)

Monday, October 01, 2007

My Job?

Ever feel like you spend your whole day reminding everyone else to do their jobs?

The Lovely Lion King

On Friday Varen & I got Ghazal's take-out (yummy!) and went to watch Knocked Up.

From the director of The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes a comedy about a one night stand that became something more. Allison Scott (Katherine Heigl) is an up-and-coming entertainment journalist whose 24-year-old life is on the fast track. But it gets seriously derailed when a drunken one-nighter with slacker Ben Stone (Rogen) results in an unwanted pregnancy. Faced with the prospect of going it alone or getting to know the baby's father, Allison decides to give the lovable doof a chance. An overgrown kid who has no desire to settle down, Ben learns that he has a big decision to make with his kid's mom-to-be: will he hit the road or stay in the picture? Courting a woman you've just "Knocked Up," however, proves to be a little difficult when the two try their hands at dating. As they discover more about one another, it becomes painfully obvious that they're not the soul mates they'd hoped they might be. With Allison's harried sister Debbie (Mann) and hen-pecked brother-in-law Pete (Rudd) the only parenting role models the young lovers have, things get even more confusing. Should they raise the baby together? What makes a happy lifetime partnership after all? A couple of drinks and one wild night later, they've got nine confusing months to figure it out...

I mostly enjoyed it ... I mean it has the usual expected schmaltzy Hollywood ending, but there are some fabulously funny bits during the movie that I could totally relate to - I mean I fully expect to be that sort of crazy person (kicking him out the car and leaving him stranded!) when I'm pregnant (based purely on the sort of crazy person I am usually). All in all an entertaining story about two fairly lovable charaters :) Although I must say that the sister & brother-in-law sub-plot was a little thin and dull (except for the Fantasy Baseball moment).

Saturday was fairly un-busy. Went to Doppio Zero for breakfast and then I headed off to have my hair cut. There shall not be much further discussion on this topic as I am only just accepting that there is nothing I can do but wait till it grows out and work thru my current depression over just how bad I think the cut is :( The colour came out really nicely tho :) I wanted to go for a dark brown but Varen has this thing about red hair (boys everywhere?) so we compromised on a really dark reddy-purple sort of colour. Not a natural look, but funky none the less. Still, it's unfortunate that it's been cut too short and I will probably only stop having to wear a brown bag over my head in a few weeks ...

That evening we got all dolled up and headed to Maraschino's in Sandton (no web presence?) for JofH & YogaCherryl's engagement party (yes, they got engaged back in July so, the party was a touch delayed). It was a blast and they had a fabulous "Pink Martini" theme :)

On Sunday we saw the two of them again when we went to see The Lion King at Montecasino's new Teatro. The show was superb and the opening scene was one of the most spectacular I've seen. Although to be honest, the acting and singing weren't what impressed me most (I found I couldn't always hear what was being said above the music) but rather the set design, use of space and the most incredibly thought out animal costumes. It was brilliant!

I love how they managed to take the most distinctive thing about an animal and use that in the costume design. Sometimes it was hard to remember there were people behind these animals :) My favourites were the giraffe & zebras (who had a purely "walk-on role"), Pumba the warthog, the hyena's and Scar the Lion (who was the best actor in my opinion - reminded me of Tim Curry, actually!)

A lovely weekend of entertainment :) Sorry to be finding myself back at work today because, to be honest, I'm not especially happy here lately ...

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