Monday, March 03, 2008

Meandering in the Midlands

This weekend Varen & I left work early and headed to the Midlands for a weekend away. We managed to get out of the house by 3pm but only managed to get out of Joburg by 4 ... that's typical Friday afternoon traffic here! And then just when we thought we were on our way, having managed to pass the first 2 tollgates, we came to an abrupt halt. Seems there'd been a pretty serious car accident and traffic was stopped in both directions ... so that they could fly a plane off with the injured, using the N3 as their runway.
Was pretty hectic stuff watching the plane take off overhead ... unfortunately I didn't have my camera out at the right time :( But this did delay our journey even further. (Oddly enough I can't find a single mention of it in any online news this morning ... how very South African!)
We finally navigated our way in the dark, sans gps and with a pretty indescriptive map to Millford Farm for our 2 night stay. It's quite a lovely little place on a dairy & horse stud farm high up in the hilltops. The room was nice and they brought breakfast to us each morning. But mostly we just used it as base-camp for our Midlands Meander.
We spent Saturday driving some more and managed to hit 12 of the little craft stores on the map. And believe it or not it turned into quite the shopping spree. We stopped for lunch at Swissland Cheese and enjoyed the Taster Platter while watching the goats high up in the middle of nowhere. And yes, luckily the MPS can manage dirt roads after all :)

I found a chest of drawers that I'm crazy about ... unfortunately they're a mere R8500. I left them there while I debate their neccessity and my actual craziness (this is how it is with me & furniture!). And we managed (on our last stop) to find some lovely dining room chairs at Sterling's Wrought Iron :) And at bargain prices compared to what we've seen up here in Joburg! So once they arrive, there's just the bubbling wooden floor to get fixed and the cow-hide carpet to get made and it's House Warming time :)
We ate dinner at the very nearby Tanglewood Country House, distance after the day's driving being a priority! It looks like a lovely little place although there didn't seem to be any guests eating there with us. Just us and strangely enough our hosts from Millford Farm with some friends. The food was sadly un-amazing, but served it's purpose.
On Sunday morning we stopped off so I could buy myself a lovely Mexican Chimenea from Dargle Valley Pottery ... it may sound crazy but I've always wanted one and I think evenings on our balconey, with a fire roaring and a mug of hot chocolate on those dry cold winter nights in Joburg will be fabulous :) And then we headed South to Maritzburg for a whirlwind visit with Daddio's Dad who had been in hospital there for the weekend. He's okay now and it was really good to see him :)

And then we turned ourselves around and pushed home to Jobur where we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, glad to be out of the car for a change and watching the end of Prison Break S3. All in all, a good weekend with some unexpected buys :)

And now it's my first morning in my new department ... I'm trying not to let all the emails I'm still copied on from my previous department irritate the hell out of me. Not because I'm receiving them, but because their content epitomises a large part of why I felt the burning need to leave!

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