Monday, February 11, 2008

It's Braai Time

So I was off at a team build on Friday ... with this team I'm trying to leave. It went better than I expected. We were out at Campus Mentis in Hartebeespoort and the Team Build was run by The Keltram Group. The morning session was especially impressive ... since I'm certainly not one of those obstacle-course team-build kinda girls. We made wine. That's right, we stomped the grapes with our very own feet. I think it's a fab team building idea and was certainly great, although squishy, fun :)

The afternoon session wasn't nearly as impressive, we did one of those survivor challenge type things ... luckily more geared to the mental figuring out sort of thing as opposed to the running all over the place type of thing :)

And then it was home to Varen who was lounging around with Hammi & Zej. After a quick shower for me, we all headed out to dinner at Piatto in Cresta. Was a lovely evening although I must admit that I was yawning my head off towards the end ... no doubt from spending the day in the sun, definitely not because of the company, we spent most of the evening in hysterics :)

Saturday was fairly busy. Varen & I went to breakfast at the new Blackheath Centre. Not too shabby, and the pancakes we had at Coffeeberry Cafe were delish!

Then we ordered our tv cabinet ... although it's more like shelves for under where the wall-mounted tv will go rather than a cabinet. But we (I) designed it ourselves and are having it made to specification by Timber City :) Certainly still working out cheaper than buying something and this is specifically what we want. We also managed to move more of my stuff - it's almost all done now :)

I spent the afternoon watching National Treaure: Book of Secrets while Varen played with his new Lenovo laptop.

In this follow up to the box-office hit National Treasure, treasure hunter Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) once again sets out on an exhilarating, action-packed new global quest to unearth hidden history and treasures. When a missing page from the diary of John Wilkes Booth surfaces, Ben's great-great grandfather is suddenly implicated as a key conspirator in Abraham Lincoln's death. Determined to prove his ancestor's innocence, Ben follows an international chain of clues that takes him on a chase from Paris to London and ultimately back to America. This journey leads Ben and his crew not only to surprising revelations – but to the trail of the world's most treasured secrets.

I thought the movie was fab, but I'm a sucker for the uncovering archaeological conspiracies genre :)

On Sunday we woke up to a perfect day and decided it was ideal braai-ing weather. Which of course meant we had to go out an buy a braai :) And it must be said that Varen was hugely in favour of getting himself a Weber ... but it was a little pricey so we went with the identical Cadac version. It worked just fine, might I add.

So then we figured it was a good idea to invite Varen's fam over for the braai as well and show off the latest additions to the house (the couch that arrived while I was in UK). As you can no doubt tell, this turned into quite the event. We rushed off to do all the shopping and managed to get home in time to get the house cleaned before they arrived - shoo! The afternoon was a resounding success (even with people sitting on the floors!) and the weather played along perfectly ... in fact it's still lovely and sunny here in Jhb!

This weekend I also finished reading my latest book, The Exiled Times of a Tibetan Jew by Jake Wallis Simpson.

The novel centres on a colourful group of refugee Tibetans. One of the group's members, the charismatic (and slightly dubious) Rabbi Chod, recognises himself as the reincarnation of Moses, and various friends as reincarnations of key Biblical figures. Despite condemnation from both the mainstream Jewish and Tibetan communities, he declares his followers the true 'lost tribe of Israel', and defiantly opens up a synagogue in a pet shop. The action is seen through the eyes of the narrator, Monlam, who is born into a family where suppression and dysfunction are common currency. Both of his parents are Tibetan Jews, followers of Rabbi Chod. His father owns a cafe called 'Hush Hush', so called because within the cafe, all forms of noise are forbidden. Any customer who speaks is instantly banned and a Polaroid photo of them is pinned to a cork board in case they should dare to return. Monlam himself lives an extraordinary life; as each day goes by, he makes his way not into the future, but the past. He falls asleep each night only to wake up the day before. In this way, as he grows up his parents get younger. By the end of the book his parents are children - too young to manage by themselves - and the adult Monlam has to look after them. In this way he witnesses his own family history, quite literally living backwards into their lives.

This is a truly bizarre read, but I enjoyed it. Every morning the guy wakes up and it's yesterday (his future is everyone's past). I like it because of the concept although there are definitely some bits where I was sure the author was as confused by his new time-rules as I was. Either way, even with the predictable circular nature of the story being told, I thought it was an interesting read.

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