Friday, August 29, 2008

Going Game-Spotting

So last night was supposed to have been more interesting than it was. It was Varen's poker night and I had made plans for dinner with J9-double0blonde. But sadly, dinner did not happen ... and I was left enjoying a relaxing evening at home alone (which was fabulous none the less!).

This morning we were up early (and to Varen's credit he did manage to drag himself home round midnight but is still suffering from sleep deprivation this morning) because we're leaving early this afternoon and heading to Madikwe for the weekend with Varen's family to celebrate his dad's 50th birthday.

So finger's crossed for a lovely, relaxed, game (the animal kind) filled weekend :) But damn I'm going to miss my babies, Bell & Henna. Luckily we have Bokkie swinging by during the weekend to check on their food & water. Still ... it's the first weekend neither Varen or I will be with them.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Consistently Second

Well, in good news I've woken up in a far better place than yesterday (see, the future did bring moe positive thoughts!). Although my excitement about doubled when I thought today was overcast and I'd finally have an opportunity to wear my new jersey I bought over the weekend. Meh, no such luck :( But it's time will come ...

So, last night I went to my second Girl's Poker Evening. What fun :) I came second ... again. And won my money back again (no profit, no loss). I really enjoy these evenings and I'm looking forward to the possibility of an interim game we're talking of setting up now.

Oh, and I forgot to mention yesterday that I actually managed a lunch-time swim session on Tuesday. Am going for a second attempt today ... if I haven't fallen asleep by then :) Today has a good feeling clingy to the air. Sigh, and goodness knows I need it after yesterday!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Feeling Blue

So, this may be a post to rival yesterday's "Shortest Post Ever". I am hugely not in a blogging state of mind. It's not that my mind isn't racing with thoughts, it's that they're not blog-type thoughts. They're inklings of things and issues and fears and whatnot. Things I'm not yet ready to share with the world at large ... or even anyone outside my head. Sadly, they're not good things :( Let's say that at this point I'm a scared little girl. I hate that. But sometimes life gets a little overwhelming and ... How can I explain? Sometimes I wish I could control everything ... and at the same time sometimes I wish more was left to chance and worked out itself as if by magic. Magic, I could do with a little of that these days :)

For the first time in my life I look back (on my vast 28 years) and wish I was one of those people who'd met someone when I was 21 or 23 or whatever and had been happily dating them for the last 7 - 5 years. But, to be fair, I haven't. Mostly because of who I am ... and often to do with the boys I was dating. I dunno, forever freaks me out. I don't know how people just "believe". Where do they get their faith that they can weather all storms with one person. Where do they get the faith that that one person will manage to put up with all their (okay, my) nonsense for that long? How do you prove yourself to someone (or them to you) except over time ... and that's the one thing passing by faster every day. If you make the wrong choices there's no going back. Like me, it's pointless wishing for something I can't change ... like having met Mr. Wonderful when I was barely 20. I've generally accepted that I made the right (or best with the knowledge I had) decision at the time.

Meh, regret (and that isn't even really what I feel) is a waste of an emotion ... nothing one can do about the past. Let's just say there have been some occurrences surrounding me lately that have made me wonder about life-long things. And in all honesty, those things should really make me greatful that I haven't spent the last 5 - 7 years with the same person. But still, society is a weird place and we have some odd things hard-wired in our brains, don't we?

But now, time to focus on the future ... finger's crossed that brings a few more positive thoughts :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No! I Don't Want To Join a Bookclub by Virginia Ironside

Too young to get whisked away by a Stannah Stairlift, or to enjoy the luxury of a walk-in bath (but not so much that she doesn't enjoy comfortable shoes), Marie is all the same getting on in years - and she's thrilled about it. She's a bit preoccupied about whether to give up sex - Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! - but there are compensations, like falling in love with her baby grandson, and maybe falling in love with someone else too. Curmudgeonly, acute, touching and funny, this diary is what happens when grumply old women meet Bridget Jones.

Okay, this was a fairly "sweet" read but I think I'm a few years prior to being able to relate to a woman who's just turned 60. Although I can totally relate to the looking forward to being a grandmother thing ... I am really looking forward to that :) Although I admit that I have yet to bag the man and give birth to their potential parents, the thought of my future grandchildren still fills me with anticipation. Meh, I wouldn't really recommend it, but if you've got nothing else but this lying around the house and it's a beautiful read-in-the-sunshine sorta day out, then by all means pick it up and go get yourself some vitamin D :)

Shortest Post Ever

Hmmm, for the first morning in a very very long while I'm stumped. I'll admit it mostly happens on Tuesday mornings since we tend to have very very uneventful Monday nights ... and last night was no different. So there. Nothing to say ... enjoy it while it lasts :) Oh, but I have another book to review ... I guess I could do that?

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Weekend of Much Spending

Shoo, what a weekend. It had it's ups and downs and round abouts like usual ... it was oddly busy but equally quiet. Hmmm. Let me cast my mind back ...

Friday night, damn, I can't remember what we did on Friday night. Oh yes ... we went for dinner at Cranks, it's been absolutely ages since we last ate there (eep, the last mention I can find on my blog is from December 2007 ... it surely can not have been that long ago ?!) and after a week of no cooking, we certainly didn't feel like starting on a Friday night :) Plus we have no series to watch and there's nothing showing on big-screen and we'd already experienced the futile-ness of trying to pick a dvd together ... so out we had to go :)

On Saturday we were up early-ish because Varen had made plans to go climbing with Koet ... and I decided it was as good an opportunity as any to head to the gym myself :) Impressive, no? (But wait ... there's more coming!). After that we went on a bit of a shopping binge, Varen was in dire need of some new work pants & shirts and me, well I also need some new clothes (which girl doesn't?). And boy did we buy! I went a little over board on the spending this weekend, but we got paid early on Friday and to be honest, I got my payout from the transfer last week.

That's right folks, the big exciting news of last week is that Bean & I no longer own a house together. But, I hadn't yet mentioned it because well, as always, there are still niggly issues. There was a leak that had to be fixed (condition of sale) ... which was fixed. But they're now complaining that the roof was not painted as well. So we're waiting to hear if we can get away with it (honestly, if I'd thought it wasa big deal I would've gone in with a paint brush myself in the last 5 months ... I certainly wouldn't be paying to have the entire ceiling painted, that's for sure!) ... finger's crossed.

Anyhoo, I got two fab new tops, a gorgeous dress and a new handbag - sorry Wren, as much as I love my Wren bag, I have just had to face up to the fact that I am a compartment-bag sorta girl. I was dying having everything I cart around daily with me just getting lost in one big giant open space. My new bag has oodles of zips and separaters (and it is red!) :) I love it! Hmm, what did we do after that? Oh yes ... we headed home and decided to make ourselves a real home-cooked dinner :) So we went out shopping for supplies ... and stopped off at Sportsman's Warehouse on the way. And in a completely surprise buy (yes, I was not going there to buy, Varen was the one requesting the visit), I bought swimming gear for the gym. A Full-piece costumn (can't remember the last time I wore one of those!), goggles, a cap (eep!) and even a nose plug. I warned you it was an expensive weekend ... and it's not done yet!

After that we went home and prepared the Beef with Port Casserole I'd chosen for Varen from He loves meat ... but I'm not a huge fan so usually the most meaty thing we eat at home is Chicken or Ostrich. Not very manly :) So I decided that we'd give this Beef Casserole a try. But it needs to cook for 2 hours (see why we waited till a Saturday to make this!). In the meantime we headed to the gym to break in the new swim gear. Yes, I know, I went to gym twice in one day ... I'm surprised it didn't break out into thunder and lightning right then! Swimming was pretty cool, but hugely exhausting. I'm not a swim-type person ... I like being in the water, I just don't understand why you'd wanna go anywhere once in? I like to swan about when in the water :) But he had me doing laps ... 12 can you believe, I was impressed because I was pretty sure I wouldn't manage more than four! Okay, the last 2 were backstroke but hey, I still did them! Oh, and another huge plus ... I can stand in the gym pool. I hate being in water I can't stand in (unless I'm snorkelling or scuba diving) ... but in a pool (or sea or lake), with no floating mechanism, that freaks me out! I do however think I'd be much beter at this if he let me use a snorkel. It's the gasping for air while trying to do freestyle that exhausts me ... I hardly get any airfor an entire lap.

And then we went home with enough time for me to make Mom & Dad's Cauliflower Mash (yum!) to compliment the casserole. It turned out to be a very yummy dinner ... although truly lengthy. But if you have those 2 hours to spare, it's otherwise quite simple! And we settled in to watch No Country For Old Men.

After stumbling across a case of money among dead bodies, Llewelyn Moss thinks he can keep it quiet, but when silent killer Anton Chigurh locates Moss and his money, Vietnam veteran Moss makes a run for it. With bodies falling everywhere Anton goes, it's only a matter of time before he catches up with Llewelyn. Whilst all this is going on, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell is overseeing the investigation and begins to see the country in a different light than it once was.

Sho, now that was brilliantly filmed and I was really enjoying it. And then it ended and I realised I didn't know what the hell it was about at all. I had no idea who the story was supposed to be about. It was one of those "This happened, then this happened and then this happened after that" movies. You know, the ones that don't come together at the end and explain themselves. The ones that just exist as a course of events. Either way, Javier Bardem was brilliantly cast and played the role of the villian to perfection! He was scary. But he also sorta has a look of Jeffrey Dean Morgan (patient Denny Duquette on Grey's Anatomy, patriarch John Winchester on Supernatural, and Judah Botwin, the deceased husband of show protagonist Nancy Botwin on the Showtime series Weeds) about his eyes. we spent a long time wondering if it was actually him with some serious prosthetic work done!

On Sunday we went to meet our new Domestic Worker. She seems lovely and will be thankfully starting on Friday :) Yay. And then headed all the way to Menlyn to watch The Dark Knight, on IMAX. It was quite amazing and although I didn't enjoy it as much the second time around (knowing the twists and turns), I still thoroughly enjoyed it :) If you haven't watched it yet ... skip Ster Kinekor or Nu Metro and go straight to IMAX! Oh, and I bought a fab new green jersey too :) See, the shopping simply never stops.

Oh, and we stopped by Sakura for some sushi (haven't had that in ages either) and it was ghastly! They have not only increased the price of their "eat all you can" special to R130 (as I mentioned last time) but they now seem to be padding their sushi with extra rice! I could hardly taste anything but rice ... there was so much it actually became hardto swallow. I am so not going back there in a hurry!

And then we came home and spent a lazy sunny afternoon in the garden reading with the bunnies. Seems Henna's now in the lead of the bunny-humping competition. Is all very peculiar! And that was the entire weekend ... in a nutshell :)

Friday, August 22, 2008


So I was wrong, Henna was only momentarily thwarted. Yesterday afternoon we played another few rounds of "you jump over the veggie patch fence and I'll come catch you". I don't think she thought it was such a fun game and would have much rather have been munching away on the veggies, I'm sure :) But, yesterday afternoon I did manage to watch her actually do it and figure out how to better halt her attempts. So far it seems to have worked :) Finger's crossed or there'll be now yummy veggie leaves left by Monday!

Other than that we didn't do much. Got take-out for dinner (again, I know!) but we were lazy and have been very relaxed on the house-cleaning lately (having been away last weekend and only ate home-cooked food on Monday night) ... so neither of us was interested in breaking the spell :) But I have found some fab new recipes on thanks to Jackson's Mom, so I think there might be some cooking going down this weekend :) Our search for a new reliable, honest, English speaking domestic worker is in full swing tho, so finger's crossed! If you have someone you want to recommend who fit's the bill and is available on a Thursday or Friday, drop me a comment, it will be much appreciated :)

Oh and we watched a dvd last night. Varen & I have discovered that in future we should not even attempt dvd-watching during the week. Because we mostly watch the movies we're actually keen to see on the big screen, there's very little left to find on dvd that we can both agree on. So now we're thinking of instituting a 2-dvd rule. If we get dvds, we have to get two, and I can pick one and he can pick the other because, we can barely ever find something we're both keen to see. Which invariably means there's not enough time on a week night for dvd watching but we'll see how it goes. I'm keen to investigate PushPlay, a dvd service some of my friends are using with great success!

So, last night we watched Scoop!

In the funeral of the famous British journalist Joe Strombel, his colleagues and friends recall how obstinate he was while seeking for a scoop. Meanwhile the deceased Joe discloses the identity of the tarot card serial killer of London. He cheats the Reaper and appears to the American student of journalism Sondra Pransky, who is on the stage in the middle of a magic show of the magician Sidney Waterman in London, and tells her that the murderer is the aristocrat Peter Lyman. Sondra drags Sid in her investigation, seeking for evidences that Peter is the killer. However, she falls in love with him and questions if Joe Strombel is right in his scoop.

Yes, I know, shock horror, it's a Woody Allen film, which usually I steer clear of ... and it had one of my least favourite actresses starring in it, Scarlett Johansson - but bizarrely, it was my choice ... and Varen was off reading his book before we were half an hour in. But, in my defense, it did have Hugh Jackman in a not-as-fab-as-Wolverine but, not-as-rubbish-as-him-in-Kate-and-Leopold role. Meh, the movie was decidedly average. I liked the way they did the death-bit. But Scarlett was an even more irritating character than normal and you could literally watch her practiced character-habits ... rub the chin while thinking, push glasses up nose. Painful.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pudgy Little Worm

So yesterday late afternoon, I got home from work and let the rabbits out to run around the garden and went to water the veggie patch and get them some leaves to snack on. And I noticed that there were a lot of half eaten leaves. Damn, I thought, I have a worm! And none of these leaves were eaten yesterday afternoon, so he must be a big one. So I went hunting for him. I looked and looked, under the leaves and along the stems, all the while Henna is standing on her back legs pining for some snacks. So I break off the leaves that are already nibbled and give some to her and some to Bell. I looked for the offending worm for a good few minutes but couldn't find a thing.

So I went inside to get something to drink and fetch my book and headed back outside ... And there is the worm, munching on my veggie plants. Only it's not so much worm shaped as furry and brown with long little ears :) Henna, the little sneak had finally figured out a way to climb over the barricade we'd built and was happily munching on all her treats. I have now had to amend the barricade to thwart her attacks ... but it's hard to be too mad when she's just such a cutie :) I guess Hen is only as curious and inquisitive as Bell when there's food involved, but we knew that all along!

Later in the evening Brother Swoop & Brother Zion came over for some family time with Varen. We ordered pizzas and sat around chatting and catching up. It was a good evening but I retired early for a bath and to give the boys some time alone.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dark Video by Peter Church

A minibus taxi flipping spectacularly on its head; two teenagers engaged in illicit sex in a shopping-mall rest room; a raunchy table dance in a Cape Town strip club? What have these scenes got to do with a beautiful young woman running through Newlands Forest early on a Sunday morning? Alistair Morgan is the key. A gifted law student with a glittering career in the offing, Alistair seems to have it all: looks, charm and money ? and the attention of the hottest girls on campus. But his privileged lifestyle is about to be turned upside down as he is lured deeper and deeper into the sinister online world of Dark Video, where reality blurs and morals unravel. From the ominous slopes of Table Mountain and the murky depths of False Bay to a dusty Karoo farm and the limestone cliffs of Arniston, Dark Video is an intense thriller that will keep you spellbound from the word go.

Oh my word. This book was hectic! I don't know if it was more hectic because it was set in Cape Town so most of the locations were very familiar to me or just because it simply is a hectic story. Sheesh, I was hooked. There was one bit, about mid-way in the book, the pivotal part of the storyline where I just couldn't put it down. I was horrified in a way I am not usually while reading.

Oh, and then the ending ... it twists and turns perfectly for my highest expectations. You think you can see it coming ... and parts of it you can, but the very very end leaves you with the nastiest feeling in the pit of your stomach. If you like books like this, then read it. If you are remotely skeptical then stay away. It is a hectic read ... or as they say in the above write-up, an intense thriller, they couldn't be more spot-on! Shoo.

Fancy a Glass?

So last night we cracked the nod for another Tuesday Night Dinner at J9-double0blonde & Squeak's house ... it was pretty sparsely attended but nice for us to catch up with everyone who was there :) But I've discovered I can certainly not drink as much as I seem to think I should. Well, I can drink it, it just affects me worse than ever these days ... I must be getting old & out of practice ;)

I have now decided that I am not having another glass of red wine without a glass of water alongside it (for actual drinking, not just to make me feel better). Lately if I've had more than 3 glasses of wine, I find I wake up in the middle of the night, usually in a minor panic. My biggest worry when ever I drink is always "what did I say?" and "did I offend anyone?". Those are the standard questions I ask myself. And they make me panic as I go over the evening with a fine-tooth comb wondering if someone could've misinterpreted something I said or I didn't pick up on the subtle social nuances telling me I was headed into a no-go discussion area (I'm no pro at this at the best of times so when I'm slightly lubricated by the alcohol, you can just imagine!). And I always lie awake with this mild panic until I fall asleep again ... I hate that part.

And then there are the weird dreams. As I've said before, I tend not to be much of a dreamer (or, at least, be aware of any of my dreams, if they do, in fact, exist) but when I've had a few glasses of wine and after I've fallen back to sleep after my panic-ed wake-up, I have the most peculiar dreams! It's all very odd and it's definitely encouraging me to keep this glass of water resolution ...

In other news, I'd just like to say Congrats to HighSchoolLove on the impending (although it should've happened by now!) arrival of his second child and first daughter :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One Red Paperclip by Kyle MacDonald

Kyle MacDonald wanted his own house. The problem was he didn't have a job and he didn't have any money. Thinking back to his childhood he remembered the game he loved to play - Bigger and Better. It was a way of trading your old stuff to get bigger and better new stuff. Legend had it, some people managed to trade an old biro for a brand new car! This got Kyle thinking. If that kind of entrepreneurial spirit could turn tiny objects into big ones, then why not try trading up to a house? And then he saw it.One red paperclip, sitting on his desk, holding the pages of his CV together, ready to go out into the world and help him find the job that would eventually get him a house. But that didn't sound nearly as much fun as trading. So he wrote an internet advert hoping to trade one red paperclip and suddenly his inbox filled with responses: the trading had begun. Did he get the house? Well, you're about to find out! One thing's for sure, he did a lot of trades and met a lot of very interesting people. One small paperclip was the beginning of a great big adventure.

This book was fabulous ... even if you pretty much know the outcome before you start, it's all abotu the journey! It's a fantastic idea, although I'm no where near positive enough to try it for myself (or to think it might work here in South Africa ... or to actually work a 2nd time around!) Check out the One Red Paperclip blog (mentioned regularly in the book) and read up for yourself if you're not gonna get the book. I think it's a fantastic uplifting story based in the here and now of the internet age.

> Follow Kyle MacDonald on Twitter


Last night was mostly quite. But in a good way :) Varen & I chatted, really talked about things because we've been in a bit of a bickering state lately (if you couldn't tell from the way I glossed over our Saturday morning drive yesterday?). Things seem on the up tho and I'm feeling positive this morning. Even after there was a bit of family drama in his folks house that involved plenty of phone calls between them all ... eventually I gave up waiting for him to be done on the phone and went up to bed to read :) My current book is hectic! And that's that. Nothing spectacular, another average Monday night in the Phillygirl-Varen household.

Oh, nearly forgot to mention that I finally downloaded the weekend's pics last night and have added two to yesterday's post (one of the Afri-Ski slope in it's glory and another of Lovely Lesotho). And I also kept one to include today of my Belly girl :)

That's her in her favourite spot on the farm ... The wood is the "portable hutch" Varen made for them so that we can give them some run around space while we're there and she's perched atop the cat-box that we use for them to travel in (we leave it open for them in the hutch because it gives them a place to go if they don't want to be out in the open for some reason). But my Bell (who clearly has some Meerkat genes) just loves to jump up on top of the cat box and peer out over the top of the hutch walls. This is why I'm so nervous of her escaping while we're down there, but so far she's never attempted a jump ... I think it's just her curious nature to see what's beyond her boundaries. She's such a cuty :) Henna on the other hand is quite happy just munching the grass quietly ... she's never even tried to jump on top of the cat box.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Snowboarding in Lesotho

The weekend got off to a particularly bad start. Varen's dad, who was spending the weekend at the farm as well had apparently forgotten the keys ... which meant that we had to take a detour from Randburg via Bedfordview (yes, on a Friday afternoon at around 4pm ... picture the scene!) (And for those not in the know of Joburg geography, Randburg happens to be practically on the N1 South - the road we take to the farm. Bedfordview, however, is really, really not.) This meant that out farm arrival was delayed by at very least half an hour (probably closer to an hour tho). We arrived late and tired of driving at around 8pm (keeping in mind that Varen left his office to fetch me for this "trip" at 3pm that afternoon! He'd been "on the road" now for 5 hours). But, picturing Varen's poor father stuck locked outside the farm in the cold & dark appeased my annoyance at our detour ... until we arrived and found him sitting inside the house watching TV. Even now, I'm still not sure why we needed the fetch the keys and delay our arrival. Sigh.

We had a quick dinner and an early night in anticipation of our early Saturday morning. We managed to get up around 6:30 ish and be on our way just after 7am. Luckily Varen's dad let us use his double cab 4*4 bakkie :) The morning started out okay but deteriorated rapidly. Once we crossed the Lesotho border (at the Ficksburg-Maputsoe border post. It is shockingly sign-posted in terms of what to do and where to go to get yourself stamped ... in fact I think you could drive right thru without getting an entry stamp and no one would notice or care - in fact Varen was quite keen to do just that!) Anyhoo, it was at this point that things went awry. Varen hadn't printed a map (he'd kinda looked at it and figured he knew where he was going) and Afri-Ski isn't in the GPS either. We hit a T-junction, now what. So we aimed for the mountains and Varen got on the phone with Brother Swoop (who'd been there a few weeks ago) and his mom to investigate the online directions for us. Me, I was in a fabulous mood, knowing that if we'd taken the wrong turn, our very expensive day out was wasted. After about 45mins of driving, we had confirmation we were on the right route (shoo!) but still we drove and drove and drove. Thank goodness we had confirmation or we definitely would've begun to think we'd headed in the wrong direction! It was not a fabulous start to the day.

But I will say, Lesotho is a beautiful country and if the day's snowboarding (with lesson) hadn't cost almost R900 I would've been quite happy aimlessly driving around the country enjoying the view! Brother Swoop had told us it was well sign-posted, it's not ... not until you pass the top of their ski-lift or until you get to the actual turn into their road. Eventually we got there ... it's a full 3 hour drive from the farm (when we'd planned this day-trip, we'd thought it was only 2 hours away!) .. it was now just after 10am. We went to reception, they told us to go to the Ski-shop. We went to the Ski-shop, they asked for our proof of payment. We didn't have one. Take note here folks, they only tell you that you need to bring along your proof of payment in the email where they send it to you. Varen had made the deposit on Thursday so we can only assume that the money arrived in their account on Friday and they emailed him the proof of payment (to his work email address, we realised after checking gmail) after we'd already left on Friday afternoon. So we headed back to reception in the hopes that they could find it. We came very close to printing out Varen's proof of payment from the bank deposit he'd made when the receptionist found it. They were very helpful, letting us use their internet and all ... but still, not an ideal arrival process.

afri-ski slopeSo we kitted up and got our all-day slope-pass and our lesson vouchers. But, our lesson was only scheduled for 12h30, an hour & half away. Now what? We decided to try the restaurant and have a bite to eat first. They only open at 12h30. Great. So we headed off to the slope to mess about and see what came naturally (Not much!).

Okay, let me say here, the day did turn out to be okay and the lesson is well worth it but there are plenty of things that weren't very impressive, in my opinion.

You pay R295 for an all-day slope-pass. And, I guess it's not too bad, except when you've paid another R290 for the 2hour ski-school and then the gear rental is R275. It becomes a really expensive day out. I think they should have some kind of variable rate for beginners because there is no way I could spend a whole day on the slope, and other than our lesson, I didn't use the actually proper slope-area either. And, let's face it, South Africans (for the most part) have not gronw up ski-ing and if you're starting out a) as a girl who never skateboarded or water-skied and b) at almost 30 ... it's not something that comes naturally. So most of your time is actually wasted because as fun and easy as it looks, it's damn frustrating and you don't really end up doing all that much except sitting the the snow, getting soaked. Once we'd decided we were freezing, soaked and over the snowboarding, we headed back to the car, got changed and had a drink at their bar and by the time we decided to actually hit the road again, our timing was perfect, it was 4pm ... and we had a 3hr drive ahead of us. We headed home via the Butha-Buthe-Fouriesburg border crossing.

So, I'm glad I went and tried it out. I'm now 100% certain that snow-sports are just not for me ... except maybe tobogganing or ice-skating. I don't need to go again. Well, I might give it a bash if we happen to be holidaying in a snow-covered venue where we have the opportunity, but I won't be driving all the way to Lesotho and spending a grand on one day again for it.

lovely lesothoOh, and let me tell you, we are still sore and stiff ... oh, and sunburned! My knees are so bruised - I find falling the easiest way to stop ;) So we spent a very lazy Sunday morning doing absolutely nothing! It was just what we needed :) And then, of course, we had a 3 hour drive back to Joburg. Varen worked out we drove for 13 out of 48hrs. Let's just say that Sunday evening consisted entirely of reading in bed and a hot bath for me.
Even with the truly shocking start to the weekend, it ended up being quite a good one.

It was a worthwhile experience but I won't be heading back in a hurry. Photo's to follow (hopefully tomorrow), because we were just too tired to download them yesterday evening :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cold Weekend Ahead

Logo for Afri-Ski, LesothoHmmm, I can barely remember what we got up to last night. Mostly it was a little cleaning and a lot of packing for another weekend away at the farm. This time we're going with a purpose in mind tho ... we're heading out early tomorrow to cross the border into Lesotho and try out the Afri-Ski slopes.

Now me, I've never been to the more well-known Lesotho ski resort, Tiffendell. But I did try a little skiing in my 97/98 Xmas holidays in Austria - we did a 6-week post-Matric (Grade 12) European tour with stops in Paris, Prague, Venice, Vienna, Wattens, Amsterdam and London. It was in Wattens, Austria that we spent Christmas and got a chance to go skiing. Now that first day when there was plenty of powdered snow, I didn't completely suck ... but after that, once the snow had been pounded down by all us skiers and go quite icy, well then I pretty much sucked. I just can't get the hang of having such long things attached to my feet and pretty much the only way I knew how to stop myself was to force a fall (not ideal!). On top of this, I have also been sand-boarding ... once. I did it while I still lived in Cape Town and it wasn't something I've been dying to do again either. Again, I don't really like having both my feet strapped onto one board. It's just odd, okay.

But, Varen and I have decided to try this out and give it all we've got so instead of opting just to spend the day bum-boarding (tobogganing or zipfelbob as they call it, but even Wikipedia has never heard of that before!), as I was quite keen to actually do, I've decided to join Varen and attempt snow-boarding. Let me point out here that I am in no way an adventure sports type person. Going fast does not do it for me. But anyhoo, I figure I've got to at least try it before I decide next time that I'll skip both the ski's & the snowboard and stick to the Zipfelbob :) That said, we've wisely opted for a 2hour ski-school lesson in the hopes that it'll at least mean we get some joy from our day and at very least don't come home with any broken bones :)

Sigh, blogger is up to it's shoddy service tricks again. I wish someone would sort it out. Now it constantly says: "Could not contact Saving and publishing may fail. Retrying..." when I try saving a draft or publishing my post. On top of that, I haven't yet successfully managed to upload a picture this morning either: "ERROR. The requested URL could not be retrieved. While trying to retrieve the URL: The following error was encountered: Zero Sized Reply ". Sigh. it's just so damn frustrating!! Anyhoo, the only way I actually managed to get this post up was via email ... but it still doesn't seem to work very well with images. Gonna have to play around with that. And because I'm using Evolution, I seem to have very little control over how the image gets added into the text :( The worst part is I used to be very happy with blogger's service ... over the last few weeks tho, my faith in them has taken a huge dent!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Been on a Blind Date?

Wow, Varen & I had a really lovely evening last night. All the way from London, Mr Jones set us up on a "friends blind date". For those who don't know (and I don't think I've ever explicitly mentioned this), Mr Jones & I met while I was over on my business trip to the UK in January. More specifically he sat opposite me for those 2 weeks and got me my free ticket to see the Terracotta Army at the British Museum.

Anyhoo, we've stayed in pretty regular email contact since then and a few weeks ago he dropped me a mail to say that a friend of his and her husband were moving out here. So he swapped our email addresses & she & I started chatting and made a plan to meet up when they arrived. So now they've been here about 2 weeks, started at work last Monday and we finally met up for drinks with them at JB's Corner in Melrose Arch (eep, I seem to be going there far more regularly than the venue warrants ... but since they've been put up at Melrose Arch until they find themselves a home, it seemed like a good choice!).

We were pretty nervous as we drove to dinner ... I mean it really was like a blind date and all I really knew about them was a) they were friends of Mr Jones, b) they were married and c) she was an Aussie and he an Englishman. Not a lot to go on. So the entire car drive over, I was thinking of possible discussion topics. Needless to say this all turned out quite unneccessary - although we did have the cliche blind date bit of "I'll be wearing a green jacket" and "I'll have a green scarf on", but that was where it ended. Conversation flowed so easily and I had to almost stop conversation to ask specific questions I had (like where about's in Aus are you from, and how do you guys know Mr Jones and the like ...). At a cursory glance we really seem to have plenty in common with them and we're already making plans to have dinner again and I'm looking forward to it. Nothing like meeting new and interesting people to brighten one's mood :)

My M&Ms LogoOh and I saw this online this mornign and thought it looked totally awesome :) You can now personalize your own M&Ms with words, faces & colours. How fun and novel! I very much doubt they'll ship to South Africa (I haven't looked into it that closely, but it's a safe bet that they won't), but I still think it's a very cool idea :) If they did ship here, I think I'd totally use them for birthdays or something fun like that!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Simple Crustless Quiche

So, I finally got my quiche cooked to perfection (I'm sure it's the new dish! Bought at Clicks, if you're interested) and here is the long awaited recipe :) I like this because it's a really easy to prepare and pretty healthy meal (since there's no calorie-filled crust!)!

Simple Crustless Quiche - Before Baking Simple Crustless Quiche - Fresh from the Oven

Ingredients (I don't know how many this'll serve ... mebbe two, three at a max):

  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (or you can just use self-raising flour, up to you)
  • 2 eggs
  • salt/pepper (I prefer to just use a few grinds of the Hot Chili seasoning from Woolies)
  • 1 cup A sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese
(NOTE: for this recipe I'm going to include the "filling" ingredients I used last night, but really this is the section you can go wild and get creative on!)
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 wheel of goat's milk feta
  • 6 or 7 sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 slices of chopped pastrami
Cook all necessary "filling" ingredients (with the above ingredients, that's only the spinach). When cooked, leave to cool in a mixing bowl. While the cooked filling is cooling, mix your base ingredients (the milk, flour, eggs, baking powder & seasoning) in another mixing bowl. Use a fork to mix these ingredients, you do not need to over-mix it just ensure the egg is mixed in completely and the most of the flour bubbles are gone. Stir in ¾ of the cheddar cheese (Note: I didn't do this because I'm adding feta to my filling, use the recommended cheddar quantity if there's no cheese in your filling)

By now your cooked filling should be cool. Crumble the feta cheese on top and combine with your hands (messy!). Mix in the sliced sun-dried tomatoes and pastrami (this is completely optional if you're not a carnivore ... but Varen insists!). Spray and cook your quiche dish (this is the bit I usually forget!), put your filling in first and then add the liquid base. Feel free to smoosh it around to ensure all the filling has been covered by the liquid. Now sprinkle on the remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake in a 200°C oven for 15 - 20 minutes
(depending on the size & shape of your dish this may vary but generally testing the baked-ness with a knife is probably the way to go after around 15mins). Leave to cool for 5 mins (if you can!) and enjoy!

We have yet to find out if this works as a left-over the next day, simply because there's never been a scrap left :) It's a winner!

The Good Side of Facebook

So last night was very quiet. I made my crustless quiche again and I finally got it right-enough to post the recipe (coming a bit later!) :) Was delish.

And then I was browsing around on facebook and ended up in a lengthy messaging session with a very old friend of mine, we were best friends in high school, when I was in Std 7 (Grade 9) and she was in Std 9 (Grade 11). We probably haven't spoken since she left school tho ... Sho, over 10 years! Anyhoo, we decided to upgrade our frantic messaging into an actual telephone call and after 40minutes had barely scratched the surface. So nice to catch up and I look forward to speaking to her again soon :) Hmmm, so it seems FB can actually occasionally do some good ;) Which reminds me, I got the weirdest message this morning ... for my mom, from a girl she lived with before I was born (luckily I've heard the stories, so I know she is who she says!). Still. Another good deed by Facebook, me thinks :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup

Book Cover for Six Suspects by Vikas SwarupThere's a caste system even in murder. Seven years ago, Vivek 'Vicky' Rai, the playboy son of the Home Minister of Uttar Pradesh, murdered Ruby Gill at a trendy restaurant in New Delhi simply because she refused to serve him a drink. Now Vicky Rai is dead, killed at his farmhouse at a party he had thrown to celebrate his acquittal. The police search each and every guest. Six of them are discovered with guns in their possession. In this elaborate murder mystery we join Arun Advani, India's best-known investigative journalist, as the lives of these six suspects unravel before our eyes: a corrupt bureaucrat; an American tourist; a stone-age tribesman; a Bollywood sex symbol; a mobile phone thief; and an ambitious politician. Each is equally likely to have pulled the trigger. Inspired by actual events, Vikas Swarup's eagerly awaited second novel is both a riveting page turner and an insightful peek into the heart and soul of contemporary India.

I was super keen to read this after thoroughly enjoying Q&A. The premise of the story is decent, but the style ends up making the read disappointingly disjointed (although I love what he was trying, it simply didn't work for me). The one thing I did find especially entertaining was how the Indian author wrote the American character :) He uses as many cliches as possible (or at least I hope they were cliches!). It's a decent read, but no where near as brilliant as I thought his first novel was ...

and I was disappointed too by the fact that although the ending tries to tie it all up (and sorta dos in a fairly unexpected way), he didn't "complete the story" of all the characters, only the neccessary few to find out whodunnit.

ps. who knew that the author, Vikas Swarup, was India's Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa?

God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens

Book Cover for God is not Great by Christopher HitchensIn the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris's recent bestseller, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which the heavens are replaced by the Hubble Telescope's awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix.

So I didn't really read this one, I listened to it on Audio Book (so fab having an iPod dock i my car!) and it's long. It's helluva interesting (if you're interested in the debate of religion as opposed to blind faith) but I must say it lost me towards the end. The beginning is fabulous and he outlined and argued many of the reason's that I have for having an almost outright disdain for organised religion and also why, although I take less issue with people who just have a firm faith in their own beliefs, I myself do not. My stance on religion, belief and faith is pretty simple: I don't believe there's a God. I think religion is a man-made creation and was more about power and control than anything else, really. I also find it frightening what people will do "in the name of faith". But that's just my opinion.

That said, I think people should be free to beleive in whatever God they like as long as it doesn't infringe on anyone else's human rights (and they don't blather on trying to convert me). I'd be interested to know if any "true believers" read this book and what you thought. Because, honestly, I find that religious people (and this is a generalisation) take far more offense at someone outlining why they feel that the believer's religion is a lot of nonsense than the religious expect us to take when they attempt converting non-believers. Anyhoo, that's just my two cents and I think that either way, if you're serious about your faith or seriously against it, you should read this book and form your own opinion.

From Bad to Good

Yesterday was a bad bad day. Coupled with Blogger's clear inability to let me publish my post till 3pm (it was written and ready to go before 8am!) was work. Work yesterday was the worst. I came awfully close to either hurling my computer off my desk or just getting up and walking out. I ended up doing neither but relied heavily on Varen via IM to resolve my issues ... sadly even he couldn't work it out. Picture whatever software you use constantly to get your work done, now imagine that you have to do something specific on it and then every time you do said thing the entire program crashes. Every. Time. I was at my wits end and so frustrated I was almost in tears.

But in the end, the day improved, simple because we decided not to use this specific program and go a different route with he work I was doing. Thank goodness!

In the evening, Varen's folks came over for dinner and he made his yummy Ostrich Steaks :) So, at least the day ended well!

Oh, and I had the weirdest most vivid dream last night (and I very rarely remember my dreams!), I won't bore you with the details, but I was being made to swim (don't really know why, it was just part of some required thing) but I don't really like to a) swim or b) swim in those giant olympic sized pools. So they were trying to find out if someone could sub for me. But in the end I said I'd try beforehand to see if I could manage it (it was something like 80 stokes in a lap ... is that a lot? It sure sounded a lot to me!). All I remember was being scared. I don't like swimming in those giant pools because I can't stand in them without my head being underwater ... and if I get tired, I'll need to stop and stand. It's weird, I know. I can't even remember the last time I swam in one of those pools. More weird is that my Mom & aunt were both in their high school swimming teams and absolutely love to swim. Me, I just like to stand in the water ;) Or snorkel actually, that's about the only real reason I find for swimming (other than cooling down in which case you just need a splash pool with a seat and a cocktail!). Hmmm ....

Monday, August 11, 2008


So I'm in a way better mood this morning, actually, I have been since Friday evening. The evening didn't go quite as planned, I was hoping to be whisked out by Varen in an attempt to spend some us time and not be distracted by multiple escapism devices (watching series on tv or reading my book in the bath). But that didn't happen. We did however have a long chat about things, how I was feeling and what we could do to take control of the things actually within our control. And after that I felt much better :)

On Saturday morning we were up early (ish, around 9 / 9:30) and got to cleaning. The maid finished up at the end of July and we're now left to our own devices. It took 3 hours but we got the house spotless. And then decided to relax by going to see The Mummy 3.

Movie Poster for The Mummy 3The blockbuster global Mummy franchise takes a spellbinding turn as the action shifts to Asia for the next chapter in the adventure series, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Brendan Fraser returns as explorer Rick O'Connell to combat the resurrected Han Emperor (Jet Li) in an epic that races from the catacombs of ancient China high into the frigid Himalayas. Rick is joined in this all-new adventure by son Alex (newcomer Luke Ford), wife Evelyn (Maria Bello) and her brother, Jonathan (John Hannah). And this time, the O'Connells must stop a mummy awoken from a 2 000-year-old curse who threatens to plunge the world into his merciless, unending service.

Doomed by a double-crossing sorceress (Michelle Yeoh) to spend eternity in suspended animation, China's ruthless Dragon Emperor and his 10 000 warriors have laid forgotten for eons, entombed in clay as a vast, silent terracotta army. But when dashing adventurer Alex O'Connell is tricked into awakening the ruler from eternal slumber, the reckless young archaeologist must seek the help of the only people who know more than he does about taking down the undead: His parents.

As the monarch roars back to life, our heroes find his quest for world domination has only intensified over the millennia. Striding the Far East with unimaginable supernatural powers, the Emperor Mummy will rouse his legion as an unstoppable, otherworldly force - unless the O'Connells can stop him first. Now, the trademark thrills and visually spectacular action of the Mummy series will be redefined for a new generation.

So me, I like the Mummy movies. And I especially liked the idea of them broadening their scope to other mummies, not just your typical Egyptian type mummies, so this movie combined two of my favourite things, mummies and the Terracotta Warriors :) And the movie was mostly fun ... if you could get past the few annoying / insane factors: Firstly, they shoulda got Rachel Weisz back, her replacement was just plain annoying. Secondly, I don't like the now grown-up kid ... Brendan Fraser should definitely have stuck with a more primary role. Thirdly (and not to give too much away here), Yeti's ... seriously? So yeah, just some mindless (leave your brain at the door) entertainment :)

And then it was back home for an evening of Eco-Fluxx and 30 Seconds with J9-double0blonde, Squeak and Maroon. It turned out to be a fantastic evening (despite my week's anti-social-ness, I was keen to see people again by Saturday evening) and just what I needed :)

Logo for Cafe SophiaSunday was very lazy, I didn't have an especially good evening's sleep, had just a touch too much red wine and champagne, me thinks :) So I finished watching Brothers & Sisters S2 in my PJs and we only ended up getting up and out of the house after 12h30. Varen went and got his hair cut and I did some grocery shopping and then we headed out for some lunch at Cafe Sophia. We shared one of their yummy Sangria jugs and 10 plates of Tapas (and for someone, Varen, who professes to not like Tapas very much, we both completely enjoyed the meal) ... I think it's an ideal way to spend a Sunday afternoon, if only they could have pulled back their awning and let us soak up some of the Jobrug winter sun, I would've been much happier. Oh yes, and what on earth is with the plasma tvs on their walls. Now I can sorta understand that at say, FTv but at Cafe Sophia, where they're showing some lowly Super Sport channel and playing Buddha Bar type music, it just doesn't work! I hate places that have tvs (actually I hate all tvs that are just on for the sake of it). It's distracting, your eyes are naturally drawn to the moving pictures and no one is actually watching or interested in what's showing cause there isn't even any sound!

Oh, and I forgot to mention ... we very nearly bought another little dwarf bunny on Saturday. We wandered past a pet shop and saw the teeniest month old bunny (about the size Bell & Hen were when we got them, but obviously much smaller than they are now!), just like Bell: white with blue eyes. Luckily we don't know if it was a girl or boy otherwise I would've had to tear Varen away! I haven't really thought about getting another bunny, but I think if I did I would want one that was completly different colouring than our two. Anyway, yeah, I think the chances of a third bunny for us are pretty slim at this point tho ...

Network Error (tcp_error)

A communication error occurred: ""
The Web Server may be down, too busy, or experiencing other problems preventing it from responding to requests. You may wish to try again at a later time.

For assistance, contact your network support team.

So, that up there is the error I keep getting when trying to do any number of things on Blogger. WTF? I hope they (or wherever the problem is) gets it sorted asap, because it is more than annoying! So again, here is the post I wrote earlier (coming in segments as I try and ensure it get's posted this time!):

Aaargh and it's not working again and again and again. I've tried about everything I can think of (do you have any idea how many "draft versions" I now have of the same post sitting in my list?). Blogger, friggin sort your shit out! Anyhoo, will try once or twice more ... if it still denies me, well, you'll just have to wait till I have more patience. This is slowly deteriorating my previously good mood. I can just tell, this is going to be one of those days where everything goes wrong and nothing works the way it should :( sob. It's definitely Monday again.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Too Much But Still Nothing To Say

Today I'm not in a happy mood. In fact last night I was composing my post in my head and it wasn't one I would be willing to actually publish. I still think I might do that, just to have a record of my actual feelings but not leave them out for public display. Not everything is for human consumption and as honest as I am on my blog, often there's a line between what goes on in a person's head privately and what they're willing to share with all and sundry out loud (as it were). So this is not going to be a particularly entertaining blog post. I'm just not in a social mood right now. I'm sure you all noticed just how my week's nights have been going, and last night was no different. But hey, I can only hope that my anti-social gymming might pay off. Bah, unlikely ... that's just typical in my life tho.

So ye, I'll probably be writing a bit more later if I actually get the chance. Work seems to think that I'm here all day to actually work ... I have *no* idea where they got that idea from, but it's seriously stifling my mood by not providing me with an outlet for what I'm feeling. And I believe that's a large part of why I've ended up feeling the way I do today ... although another half of me can't wait to dive right in and get cracking on things here, simply as another escape mechanism, like watching Series or reading my book (or going to gym). Sigh. Finger's crossed I feel better over the weekend. At very least I'll have to fake it for Saturday night because we've already made plans ... other than that I could happily hide away all weekend, although that probably will only serve to further entrench these feelings. No right answer, no easy solution ... but hey, isn't that practically the definition of life.

On that note, I remembered that I wanted to mention a post that I read yesterday that really struck a chord with me, it was written by Sweets and it was about depression. Not hers, mind you, but a friend of her's who went so far as to actually kill herself. It's funny cause her post was all about how she simply couldn't understand why her friend had done it but what I got out of it (finding it easier to relate to her friend than her), was that not everyone understands when things are wrong in your head but you just can't explain them. It was very interesting to hear things from a different point of view. Although the funny thing is I'd probably be the first person to tell someone to "suck it up" and get on with life ... but I don't often take my own advice. Sometimes the smallest thing can seem insurmountable.

So anyway, ye, that is pretty much what I hope my private post will be about. Summing up the small things that are whizzing around my head right now in the hopes of controlling them or at least beating them into submission with a little logic ;) But I've already shared more this morning than I was planning to ... hope y'all have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Test Post

does this get published? Blogger is being a nightmare and has yet to let me successfully publish my post from 07h50 this morning !! Sigh. <- yes, of course that one gets published :P well now that I know it's working here is my post from earlier: (which naturally didn't work ... am endeavouring to track down the issue. Annoying.)

We had another quiet night at home. But we skipped the gym and opened a bottle of bubbly instead (Varen bought a boxful of the stuff a while back and we had never even opened one of them ... so just decided what the hell!) and then we spent the rest of the night trying to name his new software project (any suggestions will be considered!). I hated everything he came up with and struggled to find anything I liked ... I think there's a reason that they have whole companies who do this sort of thing :) But we shall persevere.

I had a scared mom evening with the bunnies tho. They are now both at an age where there is equal-opportunity mounting. And Varen & I were initially cheering Henna on as she gave Bell some of her own medicine. Let me say here that they are both girls and this is all about who will gain dominance and be the alpha-bunny. But, I don't think Bell plays fair (she is a whole month older!) and she bites hold of Henna, often pulling out large chunks of Henna's beautifully coloured fur :( It freaks me out. And yes, we gave them a bit of a time-out from each other, but we know that doesn't make a difference because when they get put to bed (back into the hutch at night), they are left to their own devices. In the end I was following them around with a water-spray bottle which seemed to work ... sigh.

Aargh ... I wrote this before 8am this morning and am still (it's now 12h41) struggling to get it posted. Don't know what is up with Blogger today! Friggin' annoying tho ... my belated apologies to the avid readers out there ;)

Yay ... it's now 12h58 and I finally got the post up in entirety. In my defense, I've been working with someone for the last 2 days so have very little alone time at my desk, which leads to complete inability to a) blog b) read other blogs c) instant message all my friends and d) facebook. I'm having serious withdrawal here! As you have probably guessed, this little burst of blogger productivity is during my "lunch hour" ... Varen actually very sweetly just popped by with some sandwiches from the new Nando's Peri Deli. It's new and I can't find anything online about it yet ... but so divine! We had chicken with roasted peppers and mozarella cheese on chocolate ciabata - spoilt :)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Good Disguise

So last night was a Tuesday disguised as a Monday and went the way Monday's usually do. I got home, let the bunnies out, did some cleaning and prepared dinner (I know, who knew just how Martha Stewart I could be!). I tried a 2nd attempt at the crustless quiche. This time with a far more successful "filling" in my opinion, spinach, feta and sun dried tomato. It still didn't turn out quite right sadly (so no recipe just yet, Sweets ...), I have decided I need to invest in a proper "quiche dish" or something. Neither Pyrex dish I have seems suitable they're either too small which means the quiche ends up a little too much like a loaf or too big and then it ends up too thin (yes, I only have two, okay). So no more quiche making till I have found a suitable cooking container :)

And then Varen & I went to the gym and came home, popped dinner in the oven and that was about the rest of the evening. I watched more Brothers & Sisters and he played around online ... quiet but good :)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Another Monday

Nothing much exciting to report, a Monday night as per the usual. Varen wasn't feeling well at all (not the usual!) and came home and practically went straight to bed with lots of water and a few panado & disprin (he had a head ache, I gather). So I went off and did our required grocery shopping on my own and then headed off to gym. On the up side, he was at least feeling better a little later and after a quick laze in a hot bath, he had dinner dished up and waiting for me (sometimes he's just the sweetest thing!).

And that was the entire evening!

Honestly tho, I do have other stuff swirling round my head from a minor emotional collapse on Sunday's drive home from the farm but I'm currently keeping it under lock and key and hoping if I ignore it it'll turn out not to have been as big an issue as my head was choosing to make of it - my head often seems to gang up against me and create charming little neurosis for me to fret over. Personally I despise it for that fact. So for now, I am accepting my distinctly average life (average of my peers mind you, I understand it's not neccessarily average in terms of people of the world at large) for what it is and the joy and pain it brings me ... and trying not to wish to hard for the greener grasses in someone else's field (too much analogy there?). Admitedly I'm not lusting after anyone specific's life, I am lusting after the life I dreamed of for myself ... but I said I didn't want to talk about it so let me stop right there before I get myself worked up and marginally depressed again.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Back to the Farm

Sigh. Monday. Again.

I had a lovely weekend. Varen & I didn't do much on Friday night since we were planning an even earlier than during the week morning on Saturday to head out on the 3 hour drive to the farm and spend the rest of the weekend there with his family. We had lovely weather on both Saturday and Sunday and did some lovely walks around the farm and got to see the latest acquisitions, the 33 spring bokkies :) We mostly just chilled out. Perfect after the week we'd had.

The bunnies were so cute last night. After we got back from the farm and let them loose on their home turf, Varen & I went upstairs. He was finishing his latest book and I was watching some more Brothers & Sisters on his laptop and at some point, the girls joined us upstairs. Normally they go a little mental upstaior with the novelty of it, but this time they sniffed around a bit and then just sta quietly together in the corner and dozed. It was too cute to watch and I could not believe just how well-behaved they were! Admittedly about half an hour before I finished watching my last episode of the evening (by this time even Varen was watching- tee hee) they started to go a bit nuts and run around at top speeds and chew on the wiring (this is the primary reason they're not allowed in the bedroom, it's too hard to keep them out from under the bed and away from the wires! Varen has already resorted to sticky tape on his laptop charger cable!!).

Which reminds me. For the first time in a very very long time, I discarded a book before I'd finished it. Hell, I didn't even get half way on The First Psychic by Peter Lamont.

Book Cover for The First Psychic by Peter Lamont
A non-fiction Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell -- the amazing true story of a notorious Victorian wizard. He was simply the greatest psychic of all time. He was also the first - before him, the word 'psychic' did not even exist. The feats he performed were so extraordinary that Victorian scientists had to invent the term in order to explain them. The man who became the world's first psychic was Daniel Dunglas Home. Now almost entirely forgotten, Home was a household name in Victorian Britain, a man of inexplicable ability who divided opinion wherever he went. Hated by Dickens and defended by Thackeray, denounced by Faraday yet mysterious to Darwin, insulted by Tolstoy but patronised by the Emperor of France and the Csar of Russia. He was, it is said, the only subject upon which Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning ever argued. The astonishing feats he performed, and the bizarre personal life that attracted so much controversy, are the subject of this charming and entertaining book.

See, the story sounded so interesting but Lamont writes like a pompous Englishman, using needlessly flowery language to describe things. It just got too tedious to read and not at all interesting in the way I was expecting. He spends way too much time trying to explain why he's saying what he's saying (and I didn't even bother with the excessive footnotes!!) I may wikipedia the dude for a brief history tho, cause it's still pretty interesting :)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Wide Awake

Sigh. This morning I'm well rested again after a nice quiet night home with the buns (that's bunnies for my British readers ;) Thanks Mr Jones) while Varen went off to poker with the boys :) I barely even blinked when he got home around 1am (or so he says, I was too fast asleep to even check the clock, it could've been 3am for all I knew or cared!).

It was much needed. And now I'm looking forward to a nice relaxed weekend :)

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