Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Elephant x 2

So last night Varen was home at a reasonable hour, before the sun set :) We had a quiet night at home. But we got some bad news ... that elephant in the room, not only is he not leaving, but he brought a friend. Oddly enough I'm still quite calm about things ... But eventually there's a point when you've pursued all possible solutions to a problem and still come up empty handed. Essentially it's not my problem, but it certainly has an impact on my life and I'm trying as best I can to help and support Varen thru this but it's hard to be upbeat when someone is feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders. For now tho, I'll help how I can and hopefully we'll get thru this together. On the plus side we have a lovely holiday coming up ... which this elephant is putting a serious damper on :( Damn, I wish more than anything that the SA exchange rates could just wind it back a year.

Anyway, on with more exciting things. Visas.co.za collected all my Moroccan Visa requirements yesterday and I'm hoping to get my passprt back on Friday or Monday next week at the latest. The nice thing is that included in that R399 service fee is a courier service :) And on the even more plus side, I got the outstanding info I needed for my Schengen visa. So as soon as I've got my passport back, I'll be re-queuing for that one. Hopefully it'll be smooth sailing from here :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Snow Garden by Christopher Rice

Son of the bewitching Anne Rice, the author follows his first novel, A Density of Souls, with a second that is just as rife with murder, fear, madness, and homoeroticism. Unfortunately, it is also a histrionic hodgepodge, all set on a snowbound college campus in the Northeast. Respected Atherton University professor Eric Eberman seems devastated when his wife, Lisa, drives her Volvo into the icy Atherton River and drowns. Was it a drunken accident or suicide? This question and many more erupt into scandal when the small university town discovers that Professor Eberman has been sleeping with one of his male students, Randall Stone. Randall comes to suspect that Lisa's death was not accidental, and subsequently he and his tightly knit group of college friends go through tremendous amounts of angst, haunted by sexual desires and obscure fears and just generally all worked up.

Yeah, I dunno hey. It all get's a little bit more entertaining towards the end ... although it still ends up feeling like a plot which is trying to be too much, to tell too many stories and which ends up not doing justice to any of them. Essentially it just didn't end up believable ... are there really that many messed up people living is such a confined space?! I dunno, it ended up being about as believable as Season of the Witch for me ... (which is not very!)

A Weekend Alone

Had a very quiet weekend. Can barely remember Friday night actually ... Varen was working again, I think he got home round 8:30 / 9pm. Saturday he went back to work although he thought he'd be back by 3pm or so ... no such luck :( After me going shopping and planning a yummy dinner at home for the two of us (since we've hardly seen each other this week), he calls to say he'll be staying late. Luckily he managed to escape for about 2 hours to actually come home and have dinner with me :)

I made Salmon with Honey & Soy sauce and it turned out great (even tho I forgot all about the sesame seeds)!Other than grocery shopping and a swim at the gym, that was as exciting as my Saturday got. It was nice and relaxed at home with the buns :) (I know, I've been very bad with photo taking lately - tried to take this weekend and then discovered the battery needed charging! I'll post some soon tho)

On Sunday, Varen & I had a home made breakfast together before he set off for another day at work (he ended up working till half past midnight on Saturday and Sunday night!!) and I didn't see him again till this morning. I on the other hand went out for lunch at Cool Runnings in Melville with the bloggirls :) Was a fabulous lunch with Exmi, Jackson's Mom and Louisa. I had my traditional Chicken Nacho's again (I never eat them elsewhere so why the hell not, I say!) and they were delish ... with all the accompaniements this time :) Ooh, and special mention to my fav cocktal there, the Vanilla Mojito!

And then I had a very relaxed Sunday afternoon ... much like Saturday :) Finger's crossed I can survive this week with no public holiday ... Oh and make some headway on the visa's. Turns out Visas.co.za (who's site is mostly useless ... unless you have a login!) wants to charge me a R399 service fee on a visa costing R205 (Moroccan) ... seems like daylight robbery. But then I think of the schlep of driving thru traffic in the mornings and hanging around waiting till the Consulates open (those places have even better working hours than banks ... how can people do business like this?!) and then queueing etc. etc. I think it might actually be worth that R399 just so I don't have to do it ... but then again, handing my passport over to some interim body does not fill me with joy. On the plus side of things tho, the elephant may well start backing out of the door this week :) Yippee! Finger's crossed for some good news.

Friday, September 26, 2008

No Visa ... Yet

Wow, I'm fuming right now. Just in at the office, late I know. There's a good reason tho ... I've been out in the East (a fair drive) at the Portuguese Consulate. Let me tell you, they and Intrepid are not currently in my good books. After finally burning a hole in my credit card yesterday (more on that later), and buying my Euros, I went to apply for my Schengen visa this morning. Now what they say is, if you're going to multiple Schengen countries, you need to apply to the country of your longest stay (Portugal in my case). Where the problem comes in tho is that my itinerary only contains information for the "joining" hotels (that'd be when I start the tour in Spain). Freaking useless. So after leaving home at 7:30am to get to the Consulate by 8:30 and sitting in their waiting area until 9am, I was out of there within a few minutes, still holding all my documentation and knowing I'll be back there next week to re-apply ... assuming Intrepid replies to my email with the necessary urgency! Am thinking perhaps it might be wise to apply for my Moroccan Visa in the meantime!

Other than that, back to yesterday ... So yeah, I spent a fortune and bought my Euro's. And then I bought a flight to Cape Town (luckily my gran will be paying me back). We'll be going on our first every family holiday (yes yes, I've been on holiday with my immediate family before, Daddio, Mom and the Peeb, but this time it'll be with the *whole* family, my gran, my uncles, aunts, cousins etc.). We're going somewhere (I forget where right now) to scatter Gum's ashes. So, out of something sad comes good :) I'm really looking forward to this unexpected long weekend in October.

And then last night we went to Madame Zingara for Hammi's 30th birthday. Now I do love Madame Zingara, just the vibe and the performance and the feeling that you have landed in a faraway place for an evening. It's spectacular. But, I was still a little disappointed this year. Nothing can compare to Irit Noble as the Hostess of the Evening and I was sorry to see she wasn't on the bill last night. The new hostess certainly didn't have her presence. I was also a little disappointed by the acts ... although they were amazing and I must mention the Malaysian girls here - although I think they were robots ... no one's body can do that ... robots, or an elastic spine perhaps? I couldn't take my eyes of their contortions. But, the rest of the acts were all just a little too similar, I felt like last year there was more variety. And this year hosted an almost all-girl line-up. But yeah, still spectacular! Although I did think my Chocolate Chili Fillet this year was far better than last year - delish :) We left almost immediately after the show, me yawning after two late night's out in a row and Varen exhausted by his work week.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Heritage Day

Sheesh I'm tired this morning ... but feeling a lot better after my strawberry, banana & muesli breakfast :) Didya miss me yesterday?

Yesterday was a public holiday here in SA, Heritage Day. I just took the opportunity to do not very much. Sadly Varen's work situation hasn't improved ... and it won't till Tues next week. He worked till about 20h30 on Tuesday night (or was it later?) and then yesterday till 5pm too. So have hardly seen him at all this week :( Which is a contributing factor to why I did very little. Yes, I could've met up with people, but I just wasn't in the mood. Instead I did a little clothes shopping ... didn't find much and just generally hung out with my two best girls (the bunnies, who no longer seem to be pulling fur out of each other ...).

But last night was poker. I didn't do very well this time, a combination of a little too much red wine and the knowledge that Varen was actually at home for a change meant I played more recklessly than usual ... plus the cards just didn't turn for me :( But I got to go home a bit earlier than usual and see Varen :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Working Till The Witching Hour

So last night was quiet. I know I say that about most Monday evenings, but last night was really quiet ... Varen didn't get home from work till midnight. Finger's crossed that he got enough done that he doesn't have to work too much on Wednesday (public holiday, yippee yay!) or the weekend.

So I stayed home and bathed, read my book and loved the bunnies. Who are seriously causing me worry. Bell's fur on her shoulders has been thinned out so much it looks pink and Henna has a serious chunk missing as well. Sheesh, I'm wondering if maybe it isn't time for a bigger hutch or separate hutches (although that'll be very sad!).

That's all folks :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth a second-rate travelling circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. Jacob, a veterinary student who almost earned his degree, is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her. Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford.

Loved this book, loved it. It's got a circus and animals and a love story. It's a fabulous uplifting read about people becoming friends in spite of them selves ... and naturally how hero winning the heart of the girl and overcoming the "demon", all with a little help from those friends. An endearing, heart-warming story :)

Although I'm still not sure about this whole water thing ?!

Things Going On

Shoo, what a weekend.

Let me tell you upfront that Mom is okay now. But she didn't have the Liver Biopsy. Instead she fainted while in X-ray and got sent to the ER (turns out her system was not at all in favour of the anaesthetic stuff they gave her beforehand in anticipation of the biopsy). I knew something was wrong when I got a call from my dad, instead of my mom around midday. She stayed in overnight and went home on Saturday only. Not quite as planned! Turns out tho that her blood tests are back and it's not auto-immune hepatitus, which only leaves the toxin-induced one or the NAFLD. So, she had a much deserved well rested weekend as the stuff they gave her worked it's way out of her system and I spoke to her plenty (as I'm sure you can imagine!).

Varen & I went for sushi with J9 and Squeak. It was one of those cool "surprise" evenings where you decide at about 4pm to go out when you'd previously had nothing planned. Was great ... although sadly Kung Fu Kitchen has removed my favourite, Salmon Roses, from it's all-you-can-eat menu :(

On Saturday aside from me hitting the gym pool & Varen going climbing, we were very very lazy. You know those weekends where you sorta know there are things that need doing but all you wanna do is laze about watchign series or reading a book. A day like that. Although we did head to Clearwater Mall for a browse and some lunch before watching Hellboy 2 (I am in desperate need of some new pants but I can't find anything I like despite continuous browsing!).

With a signature blend of action, humour and character-based spectacle, the saga of the world’s toughest, kitten-loving hero from Hell continues to unfold. Bigger muscle, badder weapons and more ungodly villains arrive in an epic vision of imagination from Oscar-nominated director Guillermo del Toro. After an ancient truce existing between humankind and the invisible realm of the fantastic is broken, Hell on Earth is ready to erupt. A ruthless leader who treads the world above and the one below defies his bloodline and awakens an unstoppable army of creatures. Now, it’s up to the planet’s toughest, roughest superhero to battle the merciless dictator and his marauders.

Now I remember enjoying Hellboy, but this movie just left me cold. I can't pinpoint exactly why, but it just didn't do it for me. It may well have been my mood after pretty much wandering the shops with no success for 2 hours, but I was hoping it'd actually be the perfect remedy for my mood and instead, it fell short.

On Sunday we spent 7 hours at Varen's folks place, first braaing for lunch and then watching Sweeny Todd (just as good the second time around). There is good and bad news that came out of yesterday. Hopefully Varen got what he needs to get a succesful result in just over a week that will go a long way to removing the elephant (my finger's are crossed and my hope is rising!) but there was other news that is not mine to tell that kind of put a damper on the day.

Actually it's been a kinda weird weekend for bad news, with my mom spending the night in hospital, someone we know dying on Thursday night after a very long battle with cancer (sadly leaving behind her matric daughter) and finding out this morning thru about 100 messages on Facebook that a guy I was in matric with has also died. It all kinda leaves you in a quieter place.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow’s Eastern Standard Tribe is a soothsaying jaunt into the not-so-distant future, where 24/7 communication and chatroom alliances have evolved into tribal networks that secretly work against each other in shadowy online realms. The novel opens with its protagonist, the peevish Art Berry, on the roof of an asylum. He wonders if it's better to be smart or happy. His crucible is a pencil up the nose for a possible "homebrew lobotomy." To explain Art's predicament, Doctorow flashes backward and slowly fills in the blanks. As a member of the Eastern Standard Tribe, Art is one of many in the now truly global village who have banded together out of like-minded affinity for a particular time zone and its circadian cycles. Art may have grown up in Toronto but his real homeland is an online grouping that prefers bagels and hot dogs to the fish and chips of their rivals who live on Greenwich Mean Time. As he rises through the ranks of the tribe, he is sent abroad to sabotage the traffic patterns and communication networks in the GMT tribe. Along the way, he comes across a humdinger of an idea that will solve a music piracy problem on the highways of his own beloved timezone, raise his status in the tribe and make him rich. If only he could have trusted his tightly wound girlfriend and fellow tribal saboteur, he probably wouldn't be on the booby hatch roof with that pencil up his nose.

Okay, so this was another jaunt into the world of Audio Books for me, you can download it free here. I thought this book was fabulous. I loved the way it was written and the way Doctorow describes things. Although I must admit that listening while I drive does tend to cause the occasional rewind and re-listen ... usually when I get distracted by some idiot in front of me. So occasionally I was a little confused (my fault, not the books, I think) but all in all it was a cool story and very nicely and believably set in the future (and the setting and associated concepts is about as Sci-Fi as it gets, because underneath it's still a boy-meets-girl story, boy-gets-screwed-over-by-girl-and-boy's-best-friend story).

> Follow Cory Doctorow on Twitter

I Love My Mommy

Righto, a late post I know. But I've been furiously working this morning before this project goes live later. Now I have a little breathing space so thought I'd better catch you up.

Mom's had her Liver Biopsy this morning ... I haven't heard back from her yet, but at the moment she's probably had the procedure and waiting out the 3 hours at the hospital before they'll let her go home (in case of internal bleeding - eep!).

Nothing much else going on. The painting was done yesterday. I dunno if the new dude will be happy with it, but the way I look at it is, it's taken a month to get this far, it's time to cut your losses on this one buddy. And don't ever contact me again, that would be ideal :)

I sent my very direct letter to the Joburg Municipality, copying the conveyancer, the managing agents and the money-grabbing trustee basically saying here's all the documentation to back up the fact that I have already paid this money over to my body corporate (like a good little sectional title owner) now get your money from them and leave me be. Finger's crossed. Although truth be told I'm a little nervous taking on the system over 360 bucks. But it's the principal. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who won't even blink twice at the acocunt and just pay it and the trustee will get her happy way of extra cash without anyone being the wiser. But I'm not one of those people. Especially not this week, anyway.

Things with Varen & I are good and things are looking good regarding the news we've been waiting for. In theory things should be more of an upward breeze after the news we got yesterday than the slog we were expecting beforehand. So I'm feeling more upbeat right now ... oh, and of course, because it's Friday :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Date Night

So last night in an attempt at "date night", Varen & I went out for dinner. I know, I know, we eat out quite a bit (less than before lately, I think anyway), but I can't actually remember the last time we went and had a meal out alone, just the two of us. So it was a step in the right direction, getting away from the distracting tv and books to read and actually talk.

We decided to try a new little Indian place that's opened up called Sitar in Cresta (no web presence yet, as the owner kept reminding us it was their one-week-opening-aversary). It was quite nice. Not quite Ghazal's nice, but nice to try somewhere new. I even have some left overs for lunch today. But a quick warning, they don't have their liquor license yet ... so it's non-alcoholic cocktails or lassi's for all :) Anyway, my most dissappointing thing about the meal was that it wasn't saucy enough ... but maybe that's just cause I didn't order the right thing, we'll eventually go back to try again, so I'll try something else then.

Yeah, conversation between Varen & I at the moment is weird. There's this giant elephant in the room. And instead of the elephant being the thing everyone knows is there but doesn't talk about, it's like the only thing we end up talking about ... which leaves no one in a good mood. On the other hand, we should have a better idea of where things stand in about 2 weeks, so let's hold out till then and hope for the best :) This is serious stuff folks, which is why I'm being completely vague.

And this morning all I've been dealing with is the issue between S&T, the municipality & me. Did I mention that the lovely trustee has apparently ordered them not to make any changes to the budget and therefore not refund anyone for these double payments ... effectively increasing our monthly levies by R400 without even telling anyone. But thanks to my fabulous conveyancer, I'm drafting a letter and basically copying the world on it (including the money-grabbing trustee) and telling the Joburg municipality to get their money out of S&T and not me ... I've already paid. Will be checking on the painting later today and hopefully that will be another item off the list of annoying things to deal with! Hopefully.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

No one is very much help

Okay, so I know I don't usually blog midday, but it's turning out to be a frustrating day.

Annoying Item 1: The Painting
So Varen kindly took the paint I'd bought on Monday afternoon round to the unit and left it there. I'd arrange with the new owner (who isn't yet living there. In fact this guy isn't even the new owner cause the actual new owner is off in Uganda or Congo or somewhere, this guy is just his friend who's dealing with all his New Property admin ... kinda like what I'm doing for Bean!) that he'd also leave the key there this morning so the painter could collect everything and hopefully be done before the end of the day.

Turns out he forgot to leave the key. In his defence he has now popped round to drop it off so hopefulyl the painting will still be done before the day is out. But I still have to go round to inspect it all tomorrow ... what I'm going to do if it's not up to scratch, well that I refuse to think about right now.

Annoying Item 2: The Managing Agents 

I called on Monday. Lady in Charge of the Complex of my now-sold unit was "preparing for a meeting" so I left a message for her to call me back. An Urgent message. I have yet to actually speak to this woman. Yesterday, I actually got to speak to someone who assured me she'd look into my issue (this municipality bill that I don't really want to have to pay twice for) and call me either later or today. Do you think I've heard from her? Nope. So today I call back. Can I speak to either of them? Of course not! But I can leave a message ... oh yes, because that's proven to be very helpful so far :P Aargh.

Annoying Item 3: My Visa Application
So more than a month ago I tried to start sorting out my visa's for my upcoming trip. Apparently you can't do it that long in advance :P But the helpful lad at visas.co.za sent me all the info I'd need to collect in order to apply (these schengen visa applications practically want blood). Today I'm about ready, aside from the photo's I need, so I call the Portuguese Embassy to see if they have any weirdo visa application times (I remember on a previous trip I had to apply between 9 & 11:30 am and then collect between 1 & 3:30pm or something equally ridiculous).They don't, but I went thru all the application requirements with him again, just to be sure. Turns out that when visas.co.za said "An original bank letter or foreign exchange receipt must accompany the application.", they were wrong. I missioned off to the bank last week to get this required letter, but it turns out that they'll only accept my forex receipt. Sigh. So now I have to actually go and buy my forex before I can think of applying. Charming.

How much more can there be ... sigh.

More More More

Not much to report on. Hopefully the painting of the ceiling gets completed today and I can wash my hands of the whole debacle. Oh wait, I can't. Because of South Africa (or is it just Joburg?)'s new Rates & Taxes switcheroo where the municipality has decided that the Managing agents of complexes must relinquish control and owners must pay the government directly, my nightmare is yet to be over.

The switch happened from 01 July (sale already well underway). And I received my first back-dated bill from ye charming and efficient (said dripping with sarcasm) municipality just this week (well who knows it's been sitting in my over crowded post office box for to be honest). They are now billing me for monies already paid to the worst Managing Agent around (well, in my experience, but I have yet to have met a decent one!). The Managing Agent is apparently "in discussions" about how to now handle this ... are they going to give me my freaking money back, who knows? But I must still please pay the municipality as requested. Does anyone else feel like they're being screwed over here (cause it's happening thruout Joburg to everyone who owns a sectional title unit)?

Sigh. Other than that things are decidedly average. Things are not rosy at home. I'm sure we'll muddle thru but we each have a lot of stuff going on in our own space at the moment and that has left us more than exhausted when we finally see each other at home. Nights are wasted with Series-watching, book-reading and eating out of neccessity (dinner). I think I need a date-night.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Street Kid by Judy Westwater

At age two, in postwar Manchester, Judy was snatched from her mother and sisters by her psychotic father - a spiritualist preacher. He kept her in his backyard, leaving her to scavenge from bins to beat off starvation. At four, she was sent to an inhumanely strict catholic orphanage, before being put back in her father's cruel care.

For the next three years, she was treated as a virtual slave. After being taken by her father to South Africa, Judy ran away to join the circus where she found her first taste of freedom and friendship - before her father tracked her down. Weeks later, Judy was alone again and living on the streets, too terrified to turn to her circus friends. For 9 months, 12-year-old Judy made her home in a shed behind a bottle store before collapsing in a shop doorway from near-starvation. Finally, aged 17, Judy managed to pay her way back to England to find her mother and sisters. But, her return to Manchester cruelly shattered any dreams of a happy reunion. Determined that her childhood experiences should in some way give meaning to her life, Judy has worked tirelessly to help children in need back in South Africa in the very place she had been treated to such abuse herself. She has opened 7 centres to date.

Oh. My. Word. The lives some people have survived just amazes me. I don't know if I'd have the strength. The things this girl lived thru during her childhood are just horrific! More than that I just cannot say. She went on and on, surviving. It's an inspirational story by the end when she triumphs over her past.

I must say tho, that reading what she went thru as a kid, almost stopped me reading this book midway!

Mom's Liver & My Spiders

So last night was very quiet. Varen had to work fairly late so I was mostly home alone with the bunnies. They're so cute. Henna is getting much easier to pick up now, even for Varen (who never used to be able to even get near her without her running off) and seems to enjoy the daily cuddle :)

Other than that, we found out what has been affecting my Mom's liver yesterday. She's had problems with it for a while now and her doc was even convinced she was an alcoholic and lying to her about it (if my mom had 2 glasses of wine a week that was a lot!). So she was on this extreme diet, which didn't help one bit. But now it turns out she has some kind of non-viral Hepatitis. I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me worry, but I'm slightly more at ease now knowing what she has rather than "some huge unknown that they don't know how to cure". So, she's got to have a liver biopsy on Friday and hopefully they'll be able to determine if it's the Auto-immune one or the drug-induced one (from her cholesterol pills). I was worried for a bit that it might be Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (except that she does not have diabetes nor is she obese), cause there's no cure for that really and it's all about diet ... and we've already seen that the diet did not improve the state of her liver over 3 months.

So ye, not much else going on ... but I think I did forget to blog about the fact that we had 3 brown button spider's in our garden. I had seen these spiders around the garden (one in the elephant grass, one at my veggie garden and one inside the bunny hutch!) and after a close look one day, I saw the red markings and thought "Nope, that's not right". So Varen & I looked up pictures of spider's online ... him convinced it was harmless, me less so. And then I spotted a pic. And he didn't believe me at all. Brown button spider's are not to be sneezed at, I was worried about the bunnies being bitten! After taking him outside for him to see for himself, he agreed that it was one and the same. So we killed them. Terrible, I know ... but I wasn't about to try moving these things to a new home outside our garden. If they were completely harmless, I would've left them well alone.

And that's all the news I can think of.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Brutal Art by Jesse Kellerman

Ethan Muller is struggling to establish his reputation as a dealer in the cut-throat world of contemporary art when he is alerted to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: in a decaying New York slum, an elderly tenant has disappeared, leaving behind a staggeringly large trove of original drawings and paintings. Nobody can tell Ethan much about the old man, except that he came and went in solitude for nearly forty years, his genius hidden and unacknowledged. Despite the fact that, strictly speaking, the artwork doesn't belong to him, Ethan takes the challenge and makes a name for the old man - and himself. Soon Ethan has to congratulate himself on his own genius: for storytelling and salesmanship. But suddenly the police are interested in talking to him. It seems that the missing artist had a nasty past, and the drawings hanging in the Muller Gallery have begun to look a lot less like art and a lot more like evidence. Sucked into an investigation four decades cold, Ethan will uncover a secret legacy of shame and death, one that will touch horrifyingly close to home - and leave him fearing for his own life.

This book had such promise. Aside from the immense detail down irrelevant avenues, the core story of the artist and his link to Ethan's own family is good. But unfulfilled in the end. The story pretty much goes where you expect in terms of "the link" but never really comes to fruition in a substantial enough way.

So it was a good read, but not a great read. I must say I definitely prefer his father's Alex Delaware novels.

Uninspired Title

Wow, what a weekend. Friday night was very uneventful. I sat home watching some new Series while Varen went with the work boys to visit a guy who's poor baby was born 3 month's premature ... I have seen pics, their little girl is tiny!

Saturday started with admin. I'm pleased to say that my annoyance with Bean seems mostly resolved - aside from the fact that I still have to deal with the painting issue. That was the primary admin issue. Seriously folks, I just need to get a damp stained area (the leak was fixed back in April) painted over. So I go to the paint shop after finding a very nice handyman for the complex willing to do the work (do I look like I own ladders & brushes?). And I'm sure the Mica sales-guy was trying to rip me off. I just cannot believe that my only option is a 1L tin of primer (at R77) and 1L tin of PVA paint (at R186). And we'll barely use any of that to get the stain painted! So this week I'm using my lunch hour in search of a better deal. Seriously, how can paint be so expensive?!?

And then we headed off to the Grand Thai Festival at Zoo Lake. It was nice to wander around and we met up with J9-double0blonde too. The food was yummy, that was about as exciting as it got for us - munching on satay (my fav) and spring rolls while drinking Singha. Except the food seemed to be hugely overpriced - everything was R30 except the spring rolls at R20. And sadly they were blasting the Thai music very very loudly and it made speaking virtually impossible. But other than the racket, it was a nice few hours spent out in the sunshine. I must say that I do not understand Muay Thai boxing any more than I understand normal boxing or wrestling or any of those sorts of "sports". I find it quite boring and mostly inexplicable.

And then Varen & I went home for a lazy afternoon & evening - he had quite a bad sinus headache for most of the weekend :(

Sunday was fabulous :) We headed off to my favourite venue, Roots at Forum Homini with JofH and YogaCherryl for a Spanish-style 12-course lunch. I know, 12 courses ... but each was really only a few mouthfuls to taste and was really very good. It was a fabulous long lunch on a beautiful sunny afternoon. The ideal way to spend a Sunday :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's Never Over

So last night was pretty cool, although spending that long at work was quite honestly exhausting and I won't be doing it again soon!

But we had a bunch of people over and we had a great evening (I won't be going into details of this new club we've started, but let me give you a brief idea: The American TV Season is just getting started. A lot of people watch downloaded series. It really doesn't make sense for everyone to use lots of expensive South African bandwidth all downloading the same shows).

Either way it was our first meeting and everyone who didn't already know each other really seemed to get on and I look forward to next month :)

In other news, I am having a nightmare dealing with Bean. I am so completely fed up with things. I have been ignoring his emails since Monday but eventually yesterday I just couldn't anymore. Let me outline the story for those of you who may not have been reading since word go.

So way back when he & I were still dating, we bought a property (the unit above the one we lived in together) ... This was in March/May 2006 and a spur-of-the-moment decision, the house was on show, we went up to have a look round and later that afternoon we were signing an offer to purchase.

Eventually, I think in about August 2006, by the time we were already on the rocks, transfer came thru and we took ownership of the unit as well as it's long-term tenant. In the December, we broke up. In March / May (always get those M months confused!) 2007, he moved over to London and we decided it wasn't worth yet selling the property as we'd almost certainly make a loss. At that stage things with it were very easy, we had a tenant paying the bulk of the monthly bond repayment and they paid on time.

Everything changed in November 2007, the tenant stopped paying her rent in a timely fashion and since then it has been a downward spiral of what I have had to handle regarding this "investment" of ours. My fury comes at the fact that he hasn't done a thing to ease the process ... he's all the way in London, what could he possibly do? Now yes, party my mistake for agreeing to not sell before he left and saying I'd look after things for us. But, I think I've handled it all pretty well with only a few knocks to my personal sanity. But I am now completely fed up and it is all unfolding via email.

As I said I bit my tongue for the first few days of this week, not replying to his emails. I figured that sending business-related emails while furious was probably not in my best interest. So eventually yesterday I replied. Calmly and directly. Not wildly exaggerating, not saying I'd done everything, but rather listing all the things I'd done in an orderly fashion.

a) I had to deal with the late rental payments. (This has been well documented!) Yes, I occasionally (once or twice in 5 months I think) asked you to contact Dudu but all you really did was speak to her and get the same answer I did: "She'll pay tomorrow" or "she'll pay by the end of the week". But it didn't affect your bank balance at the end of the day, nor did you have to deal with the extremely infuriating man (her son / husband who knows?) who paid for her the one month and was shouting at me over the phone at least 3 times in one month.

b) I had to deal with lawyers regarding the possible eviction proceedings and personally take letters round to be signed etc. more than once

c) I had to organise to get the plumbers in to fix the leak in the kitchen ceiling.

d) I had to handle the entire process of selling the house (dealing with private property requests, annoying estate agents etc.)

e) I had to organise to deliver & collect keys when also getting the Electrical Certificate required for the sale.

f) Once sold, I had to deal constantly with the lawyer once you conveniently signed over your power of attorney.

g) Even now, once the sale has gone thru, I'm still the one who now has to go over, have a look at the damage to the ceiling and organise to either paint it myself or have it painted at our expense.

So, I am demanding R1000 as his half of my "Management Fee" for the last 16 - 18 months, I do not think this is unreasonable (this amount is based on an estimate of my personal time spent, phone calls to lawyers, estate agents, tenants, plumbers, electricians and the new owner and petrol driving backwards and forwards to the unit every time something needs doing). Keep in mind that I'm currently holding R12000 of his hostage until this final "painting the ceiling" issue has been resolved. There are more emails currently being exchanged (pah, he thinks he can make demands from all the way in the UK). But this is all weighing very heavily on my mind. By the time he went to the UK, we were not dating, we were not friends, we were only business partners. But I feel like he has completely taken advantage of our previous closeness in forcing me into a situation where I have had to be responsible for all of the house-related things ... but he still get's half the profit!

Sigh, I never thought I would so look forward to never speaking to someone again! But thanks to Daddio, Varen and JofH for listening to my vents and providing me with much needed support and cool-headedness when dealing with this frustrating situation.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Backward Day

So today I'm in late and my day is going backwards ... to some degree. We're starting a new group this eve and as such I'll be staying at work and heading straight there. So, I figured I'd wake up later than usual and enjoy my lazy morning outdoors with my bunnies (since there'll be no one home this eve to let them out as usual) and read my book and just generally enjoy the morning. And now I'm at work ... went straight into a meeting, which was actually a presentation of one of my colleague's hike up Kili. Now I'm certainly not the hiking type, but this more than made up my mind that this is one trip I won't be embarking on!

Other than that, last night we finally had our braai ... and our home made kebabs were delish :) Was lovely to spend a late afternoon sitting in the garden in the fading sun with Varen and the bunnies.

I'm sure I had other stuff to write about ... but now I can't remember :) Ah well, back to work then.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Bell Digging, My First Video Post

09Sept08: So everybody's gotten in on the video blogging thing ... and yesterday I took the cutest video clip of my little Belly-girl. So I figured what the hell ... well hell is almost what it turned out to be - you try finding decent sensical video editing / compression software for Linux. Easier said than done. But I set my mind to it this afternoon and hey-shoo-wow, here it is :)

Let me explain, both my darling bunny girls are now just hitting their bunny-teens (this'll last till they're about a year old ... sigh!) and have become quite avid diggers. In an attempt to distract Bell, I put a cardboard box over one of the holes she was digging, and so she proceeded onto another one nearby (there are at least 6 or 7 holes at last count, all round the edge of the gardens). So, I put a plastic plant pot filled with sand in the hole thinking (naively) that that'd deter her. She investigated it for a while before tossing it aside. So off I dashed to grab my camera and then refilled the pot as best I could and put it back into her hole ... this is the result :)

Too cute, isn't she? And let me tell you if you place your foot over the hole either one of them is currently digging, they will not hesitate to let you know how unimpressed they are with a little nip (nothing that draws blood!).

Wow, blogger's internal "video-embed" thing totally sucks ... it just goes on and on and on with the processing. It's only a 1.4Mb file, t was faster to upload than to process (and it hasn't even finished processing!). Am now exploring the embedded YouTube video option ... finger's crossed! Damn, YouTube requires processing time too :P Meh, guess I will just have to post this tomorrow then!

10Sept08: And now it is tomorrow morning :) Seems overnight Blogger did finally manage to finish processing the vid so you can happily see it above :) Other than that ... our braai yesterday evening never happened, something far more unexpected came up!

I got a call from PianoGirl. Yes, the same person who hasn't spoken to me since May or whenever. And invited Varen & I over to Tuesday Dinner at her house. Now as most of you will know, we've been persona non grata at Tuesday Dinners since the May incident except occasionally when neither Daisy or PianoGirl have been in attendance ... this has usually been when it's held at J9 & Squeak's house. So anyway, I get this call, apparnetly Daisy isn't going to be there for dinner so would we like to join them. After much humming and ha-ing ... let's just say I'm a skeptical cynical person ... but I'm also someone who would rather let issues fade into the ether than deal with them head on (if they're as ridiculous as this one was) when it comes to my friends because honestly, there's no one you're going to agree with all the time and you don't always need to fight about these things, you can just talk about someone else. The way I see it is that's why one has multiple friends, to access different parts of our personalities. But anyway, that's just my opinion.

So yeah, we gave up our braai plans in an attempt to bury the now-ghostly hatchet and had a lovely evening there with the usual group. There was a new girl there I'd never met before and she certainly provided some interesting conversation. Now here's a question for you: Would you have Liposuction. Okay, let me be more specific, would you have Liposuction in your 20s? (She did at the ripe old age, my age, of 28)

Now I don't really know how I feel about this, I'd never really been faced with the reality of it before and as such I've never given it much thought, which leads me to believe I doubt I'd get it done myself ... although I did leave wondering if it's be a nice convenient alternative to dieting & gym. But isn't that just the lazy way out? I still have to say that I really don't think it's something I'll be doing in my lifetime!

Up all Night

Another quiet Monday. Although, this one had a really good feel about it. I made some yummy pasta for dinner, we cracked open a bottle of wine, we prepared kebabs for tomorrow night's braai (the sunshine is really getting us into the braai mood and Varen has promised to be home early! Am really looking forward to it).

And then I went up to laze in the bath while Varen read downstairs on the couch. I put the bunnies to bed, while Varen read. I went up and read in bed, while Varen read. I went to sleep, while Varen read ... still on the couch. Eventually I woke up and he still wasn't in bed (2 & half hours after I turned out the light ... thinking he'd be up shortly). So I called him on his cell phone to find out where he was. Still on the couch reading - pahahaha. It must've been a good book? Nah, it was just another Terry Prtchett (okay, he does love love love those) that he'd read before. Me thinks it's just a good way to destress and wind down from work.

And that was the entire night ... plenty of reading and cooking / preparing for all!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Never Watch Babylon AD

So finally, the weekend blog post. Dunno, today just seemed to get away from me and there was no time left for it till now (I'm home watching the bunnies run about).

Friday night was pretty cool. Went to see Tropic Thunder with J9-double0blonde and Squeak.

Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. lead an ensemble cast in Tropic Thunder - an action comedy about a group of self-absorbed actors who set out to make the most expensive war film ever. After ballooning costs force the studio to cancel the movie, the frustrated director refuses to stop shooting, leading his cast into the jungles of Southeast Asia, where they encounter the real bad guys.

Loved it, absolutely loved it. The characters are absolutely hysterical and they did a couple of brilliant things: Firstly, before the movie in the ordinary preview/advert slot they included previews of the characters (actors playing actors!) upcoming movies. Brilliant! Secondly (and if there's only one reason you see this movie), Tom Cruise has an absolutely brilliant part. Now me, I always thought that guy just took himself way to seriously and certainly couldn't laugh at himself or at his expense. If you think the same way I do, go and watch this movie! Let me warn you, it takes a few sentences out of his mouth to place him but once you do, you'll enjoy it all the more :) Brilliant! And who knew Robert Downey Jnr (a personal fave) could do so many accents?!

Saturday was a hugely admin day. Did some shopping, got my car approved for it's new insurance, bought Varen's dad's 50th birthday gift (a variety of 12 bottles of wine for his new wine-rack) and took the girls to the vet. Well, for about 2 weeks now I've been starting to wonder if in fact we do own two girl bunnies ... Bell has been displaying some distinctly male traits, like jumping and spraying her pee. And Henna does eat a lot ... but what if she's not pudgy because of her eating habits? These were not things I could quietly let slide until I ended up with some new additions so it was off to the vet to get them sexed (it's not that hard and I'd tried myself except this is not something I want to be wrong about ... best to get the experts in!). Thankfully we are definitely the proud parents of two GIRL bunnies :) Yay ... no renaming required!

Then after a nice lazy afternoon, we thought we'd see another movie (there hasn't been much good showing ... and it doens't seem to have improved!). Varen was desperate to see Babylon AD, so I caved since it had Vin Diesel in it ...

A mercenary is hired to deliver a “package” – an innocent young woman raised in a monastery – from the ravages of a post-apocalyptic landscape of Eastern Europe to a destination in the teeming megalopolis of New York City. But this is hardly a typical job for the hardened gun-for-hire. As he, the young woman, and her fearsome guardian make the 10 000 km trek, a religious sect that has taken a special interest in the woman (who may hold the secret to mankind’s salvation) threatens them.

Okay, I'll tell you upfront that even the trailer looked rubbish, but there was nothing else showing and he was really keen to see it (Boy does he owe me big for this one!). Do not even bother to rent it on DVD, that is how crap it is. Hell, if your friend gives it to you for free just toss it in the bin and save yourself the trouble. It is boooooring. Can you believe that we both pretty much missed the end of the movie (and definitely the punchline because I'm still not sure what the point was!) because we needed the loo and just weren't interested in sticking it out. There's not even any Vin-type action ... he does a bit of a remake of XXX2's snow-mobile chase and that's about the end of it. Well, I'm ignoring the weirdo Majesty of the religious sect, her Mother, and her half-man half-machine Father - see, that is just how little sense the movie makes! Oh and he eats a rabbit :P

Then to try and make things better, after we grabbed some Mochacho's for dinner (can't even remember the last time we had that!), Varen suggested we rent a movie (to cleanse our movie-watching palate). And he didn't even let me pick a super girly flick as payback (I will get him one day with a marathon ... mwahahahahha), he chose Shooter. (I'll admit by this point I cared little)

Bob Lee Swagger, one of the world's great marksmen and the son of a Congressional Medal of Honoree, is a loner living in the Rockies. He's left the military, having been hung out to dry in a secret Ethiopian mission a few years before, when he's recruited by a lisping colonel to help find a way that the President of the US might be assassinated in one of three cities in the next two weeks. He does his work, but the shot is fired notwithstanding and Bob Lee is quickly the fall guy: wounded and hunted by thousands, he goes to ground and, aided by two unlikely allies, searches for the truth and for those who double-crossed him.

So, Varen was particularly lucky that although this film was by no means brilliant, it certainly seemed so up against Babylon AD. Was mostly pretty predictable but otherwise okay.

Sunday was not a lazy day. We were up and cleaning the bunny hutch and off swimming. And then headed to Varen's folks for a Sunday lunch. We ended it with an early bedtime followed by a lengthy read under the duvet. A brilliant Sunday :)

The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine M.D.

In this groundbreaking book, Dr Louann Brizendine describes the uniquely flexible structure of the female brain and its constant, dynamic state of change - the key difference that separates it from that of the male - and reveals how women think, what they value, how they communicate, and whom they'll love. She also reveals the neurological explanations behind why: a woman remembers fights that a man insists never happened; thoughts about sex enter a woman's brain perhaps once every couple of days, but may enter a man's brain up to once every minute; a woman's brain goes on high alert during pregnancy - and stays that way long after giving birth; a woman over 50 is more likely to initiate divorce than a man; women tend to know what people are feeling, while men can't spot an emotion unless someone cries or threatens them with bodily harm! Accessible, fun and compelling, and based on more than three decades of research, The Female Brain will help women to better understand themselves - and the men in their lives.

What a brilliant book. Okay, so it's been sitting on my shelf for absolute ages ... I'd always had the intention to read it but with all my book club books, I just never got round to it. And then my mom was up visiting in April and she started reading it. She didn't finish it so she bought herself a copy when she got back to Cape Town. Now that's a recommendation :)

So when I had a gap before I got my new book club books last week, I started it. It's brilliant and I'd recommend it to all women out there, no matter what stage of life you're in. Even more so if you have daughters! Even if you don't. I'm so trying to get Varen to read this book now too ... I think it'd be very helpful. There are things in this book that explain so much of what I experience that I didn't realise was caused by physical hormonal reactions in my female brain. How much better would things be if he didn't think I was crazy half the time and actually understood that it was my biology more than just me sounding irrational!

I think every woman should read this book ... and every man who wants to better understand his woman :)

> Follow Louann Brizendine on Twitter

Friday, September 05, 2008

Not-So-Blind Date

Last night was fabulous :) We had our second dinner out with our new friends (will have to come up with nicknames soon, I guess!). Went to Xai Xai in Melville for some darwa's and Chicken Trinchado ... too divine!

And again, we spent the whole night yakking away like we'd known each other forever. I did however ask for an answer to Sweets' burning question:

sweets said...why would that couple want to live in SA?? how odd :) do tell if you know!

So we all know it's not the same reason South African's head for the UK (money, money, money) but it's the same reason I was considering the UK and would even consider Australia ... travel. They had the opportunity with their jobs to experience life in another country (and it's not like they moved to Timbuktu or somewhere completely foreign where they couldn't speak the language), a place that gives them a new base of operation when planning trips and some new local sights to see. Which I think is the perfect reason to move elsewhere :)

Anyhoo, next we'll be treating them to a good old South African braai at our place :)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

An Unplanned Evening

Well last night turned out surprisingly well. From an evening I was expecting to spend eating a rushed dinner at home (before Varen headed off to climb) and then head off for a swim at the gym myself (missed yesterday's lunch time slot because of a particularly lengthy meeting), I was surprised to get a call from Bokkie who had a craving for sushi.

So while Varen went climbing, I went out eating. I must admit we gave Sakura a second chance. Okay, so the situation there is not as bad as I previously described, but I don't thikn I'll personally be heading back there anytime soon. I've figured out what they've changed. Their Prawn Maki ... like 65% of the reason I go there is because I loooved their Prawn Maki. They are padding it with rice. They used to add prawn, avo and mayo into the middle and it used to be three kinds of goodness, but now they're skipping the mayo and adding sticky rice into the middle. It's gross. It makes my mouth stick together as I try to chew it. And the overpowering rice flavour is sooo disappointing! Oh well, we live and learn ... but now I'm going to need new sushi spot tips. I don't really like Ocean Basket's sushi (too dry). And CTFM is still fairly low on my list after The Cape Town Experience. So suggestions / recommendations please people ... and naturally, it's only really helpful if these places are in the Johannesburg area :)

And that was about the entire evening. Although I did have a very lengthy family phone call, you know, the ones that get passed from person to person. Had to call the Littles (my twin cousins) for their 13th birthday yesterday. So, I spoke to each of them, then their older sis and then my mom arrived at their house so I had aquick chat with her and then naturally I couldn't go without another quick catch up with my gran. And all this while I was in a getting-rapidly-colder bath - technically I forgot to phone them until I thought about phoning my mom (because of the book I'm reading) and some synapse sparked. Luckily they were all still up and about at 9pm :)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I Just Can't Think of a Suitable Title

Last night was book club. And, instead of usually being quite fired up after my girls-night, I was feeling oddly detached. Still am really. I think it's to do with the book I'm currently reading. And the way certain relationships with people at book club have deteriorated from people I used to count as friends to people I just see monthly at book club. Is quite sad if you ask me, although I seem to be the only one it bothers (or who even notices) ... or maybe it was an entirely intentional evolution of the relationship planned by the other side. Is really so hard to tell. And no, I am not the sort to ask that question. I will put in effort ... up until a point. If you consistently do not respond to my effort, I too will give up and then things will either fade into nothingness, or you will return the effort. Fade into nothingness seems to be the well-traveled path in these circumstances because I am not unfamiliar with them.

None the less, I still enjoy seeing these girls at book club and I definitely enjoy getting a new stash of books to read. So often I wonder if the thoughts swirling in my head are things that only bother me ... or if everyone is sitting on their side thinking similar things. Yeah yeah, if only people would just talk to each other, we could probably resolve all sorts of things. But to be fair, when it comes to friendships, people are more out to not hurt someone than be honest with them. I'm the just the same tho. Anyway, don't worry, as I said, all this stuff is coming from the book I'm currently reading ... it is very interesting (more in the actual review I'll write when I finish reading it tho!).

But other than the huge reflecting on friendships (or lack thereof), things are dandy :)

Oh, and the list for the September bloggirls lunch is now up and awaiting your names!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert

Gabriel Blackstone is a cool, hip, thoroughly 21st Century Londoner with an unusual talent. A computer hacker by trade, he is - by inclination - a remote viewer; someone whose unique gifts enable him to 'slam rides' through the thought processes of others. But slamming rides is something he only does with the greatest reluctance - until he is contacted by an ex-lover who begs him to use his gift to find her step-son, last seen months earlier in the company of two sisters. And so Gabriel visits Monk House in Chelsea, a place where time seems to stand still. Its living room is filled with the perfume of roses, African masks line the walls and everywhere - on doors, on walls, on ceilings even - the mysterious coded symbol of cross and circle dominates. As the dog days of summer turn into a cold and hostile winter, Gabriel becomes increasingly bewitched by the house, and by its owners, the beautiful, enigmatic Monk sisters - one of whom is a deadly killer, and who will stop at nothing to protect a terrifying secret that is as old as time itself. Season of the Witch is an extraordinary Gothic thriller that takes on big themes - love, death, alchemy, the power of the human mind to transform and transcend reality - and wraps them into a thriller narrative that will beguile and entrance all who turn its pages.

Hmmm, this was a pretty weird book. But, it's certainly got an interesting storyline and is an easy enough read. It's hard to really describe. It's not really a thriller or an action packed whodunnit (you pretty much know it's one of the two sisters just from reading above) and to be honest the alchemy/witch craft thing is a little unbelievable. But other than that it's a nice enough read to tide you over between brilliant books :) Not a very good review, I know ... but some books are just plain average (in my opinion, I've a very fussy reader - which I'm sure you all already know!).

Another Typical Monday

Last night was another typical Monday ... aside from the fact that I managed to sneak in another lunch-time swim. Which I am surprisingly enjoying ... finger's crossed I may have found something to get me back into shape!

Other than that, Varen and I had a quite evening at home, I made some very delish pasta and he fiddled around on his new project (for those of you who are faint of heart or who don't have a clue regarding Programmer-type stuff, give that link a skip!). And I had a long leisurely hot bath with my book. Say what you like about these larny places with their exquisite showers (and I do love outdoor showers!!) but eventually a girl just needs a long relax in a hot bath, it can't be beat ... sadly not even by the most gorgeous of outdoor showers ... well, maybe if it was a outdoor shower-bath-combo type thing, but now we're getting away from ourselves :)

And I enjoyed bonding with my cute little bunnies some more ... who are digging plenty of holes round the garden now, sigh.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Weekend in the Bush

Well, we whooshed out of here at 3pm and raced up North to Buffalo Hills in Madikwe Game Reserve (again) to meet Varen's family (currently that includes 9 of us, his 2 parents, their 4 kids and 3 significant others ... sheesh!)

The weekend turned out to be lovely :) We arrived at around 19h30 and had time for a quick shower before dinner. They make very yummy 4 course dinners!

And then it was another early morning wake-up ... for our first Game Drive :) We saw all the usual, Zebra, Giraffe, Wildebeest, Rhino, Lion, Buffalo and plenty of bokkies. We even had the very rare experience of seeing Lion mating. I've seen this once before in Etosha, but this was by far a better sighting.

It's really an incredible thing to see. It lasts barely 30 seconds (that's actually pretty tantric for a Lion, I gather!) and he bites her on the back while she howls (in pain). But, while we were watching, she still teased him, by wander away and then coming back purring. Was amazing to watch her rolling on her back like an ordinary house cat after, as well :)

After a very lengthy morning Game Drive, we headed back to the lodge, for breakfast, to shower and just generally lay about till our evening Game Drive. A fabulous way to spend the day is such beautiful surroundings ... and we had lovely warm weather!

We didn't have as interesting sightings on our evening Game Drive, but we did manage to find a herd of Ellies. After that we had another sumptuous dinner and then headed to bed anticipating our third early morning in a row!

The wind came up on Sunday and our last Game Drive of the weekend was the least impressive of the lot (in retrospect, we shoulda stayed in bed and had a lazy luxurious morning ... but then no doubt those on the drive would've had some amazing sighting or another, typical Murphy). After that it was breakfast and packing up (damn, I love their showers!) and then we all hung around enjoying the beautiful surroundings reading our books until about midday before we raced home to spend some much needed time with my darling bunnies (Thanks again, Bokkie, for feeding and watering them!)

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