Friday, October 31, 2008

Last Minute Things

Shoo-wee, what a morning. Took my car in for a service this morning (that's a whole nother story itself). So rather, let me start at the beginning.

Abotu 2 weeks ago I noticed that the little "how long till your next service" indicator was saying my service was due in a few hundred kilometers. I was told when I bought the car that my car would need servicing at 20 000km and I was only approaching 15 000km. I was a little confused and concerned. So I called Citroen Northcliff and tried to speak to their Service department. I tried about 8 times over 2 days. Eventually they must've gotten tired of me and thought I should speak to someone, anyone. I ended up speaking to the woman I think arranges car-financing. She tells me she's never heard of a car only needing to be serviced at 20 000kms but I should check my service book. I did. It was more confusing than I was expecting. It said C2's need to be serviced at 30000km / 20000miles or 2 years under normal circumstances or 12000miles or 1 year under severe circumstances. Well no problem I think, clearly I don't drive excessively so I must follow the normal indications. But still I'm worried about the indicator with the incorrect details. So I continue trying to get hold of someone in the servicing department. I finally speak to someone and he assures me that C2's get serviced at 20 000kms and my indicator has probably just been set incorrectly. I should continue driving till the 20 000km mark and then bring it in for it's service and they'll reset the indicator then.

So I feel marginally better. But for some reason I'm still unsettled so on Monday after work I pop into the Citroen Northcliff's Servicing Department to make absolutely sure. The nice lady there checks my service book and says no, I urgently need to get my 1 year service (the car had last been serviced at 1500km on 18th October so was due). But I drive under normal circumstances, I don't understand. No no, apparnetly just driving in South Africa constitutes "severe" conditions - don't ask me! Now why didn't the freaking people I spoke to on the phone mention this awful annual or-clause?! But, I was informed it was okay because I have a month leeway to get this service done. Aak, you don't understand, I explain, I'm about to go away for 3 weeks, by the time I get back the month will have expired and my warranty will be affected! So I luckily managed to get it booked in today.

The Servicing Department opens at a relaxed 7:30am (they clearly don't seem to be aware that I work too!). Their driver only starts at 8am. Their driver had 2 passengers this morning. He decided to drop the other guy off first ... at UJ. And then bring me to work ... in Rivonia!?! He was also the most relaxed driver around. Needless to say I got into work far later than I was expecting!

Today is going to be a mad rush day, I can tell. I have to hand over work to people here and then collect my car and rush off to buy the plug adaptor I was going to do without - damn, forgot the camera charger has an Australian plug (that's where Varen bought it!) and requires a converter to work here ... a converter that turns into a damn 3-pronged SA plug. Hence the need for a SA > Euro plug converter because apparently you don't need one for our square 2-pronged plugs. Damn, damn. And then after all that possibly take Bell back to the vet ... all before I start packing. Aaargh. Anyhoo, gotta be at the airport by 8pm so finger's crossed.

Yesterday Varen & I had a quiet evening at home. I'd picked up Bell at the vet in the afternoon and we were keeping a watchful and loving eye on her. She seemed pretty doped and dozy and we kept her in the cat box over night. I caleld the vet this morning tho cause she doesn't seem to have started eating again yet (when I left this morn) and apparently she should've so we'll check again when we get home and if she still isn't eating she'll have to go back for a few shots. Sigh. Traumatic. I had a look at her damage this morning and I can't believe how huge her wound is. I mean I suppose it's cause she's so tiny but still. I was left feeling like a horrid mommy putting her thru this. Henna's also handled it quite strangely. She thumped for the first time ever yesterday. I don't think she liked the anti-septic smell of Bell or the cat-box and she was petrified to go near it. It was kinda cute actually ... she'd sorta sneak up to it and then get scared and turn tail and run at top speed away again. Sigh. I hate to be leaving them!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Frustrating Morning

Aaaaaargh. How do people do it? Let me explain. I live inside the highway circle. I work inside the highway circle. It can still take me 40mins in traffic to get to work if I leave after 6:50am in the mornings, which is why I try my dammedest (how on earth does one spell that?) not to. I freaking hate traffic. I hate the complete waste of time spent crawling in ones car. And I even have fun podcasts to listen to.

This morning I took Bell to the vet - I managed to get her an appointment to be spayed today so at least I'll still be here to keep an eye on her at her most hurt. The vet is outside the highway circle. It wasn't hard to get there by 7:20am (they open at 7:30am), going against the traffic, but oh my word, what I saw going in the other direction put the fear of God into me. I dropped Bell off and managed to get out of there by 7:30am - they were inside already and kindly opened up instead of leaving me to sit outside waiting in my car. And after a brief squiz at my handy mapbook, I headed into the nightmare that is Joburg Morning Traffic. It's taken me over an hour to get into work. It was a complete nightmare ... and I even tried to take the most direct backroads ... let me tell you, there are no secret sneaky routes left in Joburg, everyone knows abotu them and *everyone* is using them, creating just as much of a traffic nightmare as on the highway. My most frustrating moments were seeing a green light in front of me and still not being able to go anywhere because the turning traffic had so blocked up the lane there was no where left for me when it was my right of way. Aaaargh. So not a good start to the day.

There were also a bunch of other things I wanted to post about that I've forgotten over the last few days.

Firstly, Varen's work. Now you all have read abotu what insane hours he's been working for the past month and a half or so. It was all to ensure they got their project live by tomorrow, an insane deadline by all accounts based on how recently they've changed the requirements, hence the overtime. On Monday they're told that the go live has been moved out 2 weeks because of *new* requirements. This means he'll probably be working soldly up until he joins me in Morocco. Then on Tuesday they get told, nope, actually, thanks for all your hard work, but we're moving the go live to 15th December. So now there is no pressure whatsoever and everyone is left wondering why they've been rushing and working 70 hour weeks. Sigh. But at least it means I've had him home at a reasonable hour this week :)

Secondly I had an amazingly long chat with the Peeb yesterday. Yes, I know she's my sister but let me tell you, this was a rare occurence. She was in a good mood, a pleasant mood and from my perspective, I don't get to see that side of her much. And chatty. The Peeb is never chatty ... well not with me at any rate. And we spoke about things I never would've thought we would discuss. The Peeb and I don't have a close sisterly relationship really. So yesterday was a good day :)

Thirdly Varen's Schengen Visa. Let me explain. He was never supposed to be in Spain, he was supposed to fly straight to Morocco to meet me and join the tour. The airline (after we booked) cancelled one of the flights, so he had to catch the one the day before meaning he had 24 hours to spend in Spain. Now that may sound nice to some but let me tell you what a mission it is. He now needs a Schengen Visa. For a 24hr stop over, too long to qualify for a transit visa (less than 6 horus I think). The airline offered to pay R300 towards his visa costs (the Schengen here costs R711!). Then we found out when he tried to apply on Monday that the Schengen Visa requires that you show proof of purchase of a minimum of 520 Euros, whether you are there for 1 day or 9. How freaking silly is that ?!? He already bought EUR 350. And he doesn't really need Euro's, except for the trip local payment. All his Euros will be immediately converted into the Moroccan dirham (at a similar exchange rate to the Rand-EUR, I gather). So now he has to buy even more Euros just to get this freaking Visa, in this sucky exchange rate climate, because he has to spend a mere 24 hours in Spain because of the airline's fark up! It's annoying. To say the least.

I think that was all of it :) One. More. Sleep.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Flying High

Last night a bunch of us (12 of us took up an entire row!) went to see Cathy Specific at the Victory Theatre.

Varen & I had dinner with J9 & Squeak beforehand and then went to battle the Victory Parking (expect to double park!). There we met up with Bob and some friends of mine from work. And at 8pm we all sat down to enjoy another Brendan van Rhyn performance.

What can I say, the man is fabulous. He is so charismatic on stage, I couldn't take my eyes off him or his endless legs ... and yes, all this even while he was dressed as a woman! I will say that his performance in Rocky Horror was the entire reason I booked for this show and I wasn't disappointed. I was also very impressed by his main supporting cast members (
Phumi Mncayi & Sean Redpath - not sure if they change each night?) who displayed an amazing variety of accents and characterisations of different cultures and stereotypes and complimented Cathy perfectly.

I'll definitely be going booking to see him in his next show, whatever that may be.

In other news, it seems (from everything I've found online) that we are going to have to get Bell spayed to curb her aggression :( We are hoping we can do this as soon as possible (gotta find a willing vet!) so that we can get the girls back into a hutch together again - they both seem very lonely since they've been separated :( Is such a sad situation. I must say tho even with all these issues I really had to stop myself getting a cute new little baby bun yesterday ... there were 4 week old pitch black dwarf buns at the pet shop I walked past. To be honest if I weren't about to go on holiday for 3 weeks, I would seriously be considering it ... although it's probably smarter to wait till we build the new bigger hutch (which hopefully won't need a divider to keep Bell & Henna separate anymore!).

And now ... there are just 2 more sleeps left till I'm off. But sadly the weather does not seem to be improving, stupid cold front :P Good thing I bought a fab new Knee Length, Waterproof Rain Jacket from Cape Union Mart yesterday - sheesh waterproof gear is expensive! But I love this new jacket and think it'll come in very handy for years ... could really have used it up on the mountain with the gorilla's last year!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Variety of Stuff

So yesterday I took part in the Speak Up blogger's survey that I read about on Louisa's blog. Am hoping very few bloggers complete it to increase my chance of winning ... but also hoping loads of bloggers complete it to see more interesting results. So that said, if you're a blogger, go on over and fill'er in ;)

And there was something else I saw online yesterday that I wanted to mention ... but now that I sit here writing this, it completely escapes me! Oh well, for another post then. Damn, and I remembered it again on my way to work this morning! Oh yes, I remember. Check out If The World Could Vote. Sadly it doesn't represent America ... I mean we all know the world would never have voted Bush in twice! But it's still interesting. And then continuing with politics, but this time closer to home (which other than doing my bit and voting when it's required, I tend to steer well clear of). The possible break-away party led by Lekgotla is having a big old convention at Sandton City between 31 Oct and 2 Nov (this weekend). Now that'd be something really interesting to attend if politics is your thing ... or even, who knows, you could tell your kids you were there if it becomes (as I believe it will) a serious turning point in our history. Anyway, I won't be there, but I thought I'd mention it in case anyone else its curious.

Other than that I'm in a good mood this morning :) I've got on my new skirt (with working order zipper) and I'm feeling upbeat. Plus we're going to a show this evening which I'm really looking forward to! Still a few things I need to buy (the list seems to get longer every day!) before my trip tho ... a thin waterproof jacket-type thing being at the top of the list - especially now that I've been checking out the weather. Seems Spain's just been hit with a cold front and bout of rain. Although the predictions for Saturday are looking better than they did yesterday it's still quite a bit chillier than here. Second on the list is a SA > Europe plug. Am sick of buying a new plug for every place and was checking out some multi-plugs (we have a Multi > SA plug but it seems the opposite is harder to get your hands on!) but they don't all do the voltage conversion. Sigh. Anyway, will finally decide and buy one this afternoon ... one simply must be able to charge cellphone & camera batteries.

Last night was quiet. Varen got home around 21h30. I spent the night keeping a watchful eye on my bunnies. Was devastated this morn to find Bell had pulled out chunks of her own fur overnight (she's still on her own inside). But I couldn't find any gaping holes in her fur, will have a closer look this afternoon tho. But I have read about some bunnies doing this when they're having a phantom/false pregnancy and they're preparing a nest. They recommend getting them spayed to stop this (although it doesn't cause them any harm). But our local vets don't advise doing the procedure on such small animals. They'd only do it if we had male & female bunnies and even then they're only neuter the males (much easier proceedure ... as with humans). So I don't really know what to do. Sigh.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Silent Boy by Torey Hayden

From the author of Sunday Times bestsellers One Child and Ghost Girl comes a heartbreaking story of a boy trapped in silence and the teacher who rescued him. When special education teacher Torey Hayden first met fifteen-year-old Kevin, he was barricaded under a table. Desperately afraid of the world around him, he hadn't spoken a word in eight years. He was considered hopeless, incurable. But Hayden refused to believe it, though she realised it might well take a miracle to break through the walls he had built around himself. With unwavering devotion and gentle, patient love, she set out to free him -- and slowly uncovered a shocking violent history and a terrible secret that an unfeeling bureaucracy had simply filed away and forgotten. Torey refused to give up on this tragic lost case. For a trapped and frightened boy desperately needed her help -- and she knew in her heart she could not rest easy until she had rescued him from the darkness.

I think this has probably become my favourite Torey Hayden novel, it has a happy ending :) But it's a hectic story ... one thing I find when I read some of these non-fiction books is I simply cannot believe how some people treat their kids, those who are supposed to be most precious to them.

The Last Weekend Before I'm Off

I had a lovely weekend. Friday night started with a movie, Eagle Eye.

A fast-paced race-against-time thriller. Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan are two strangers who become the pawns of a mysterious woman they have never met, but who seems to know their every move. Realising that they're being used to further her diabolical plot, they must work together to outwit the woman before she has them killed.

I kinda liked this movie. I mean it had some seriously specific requirements to actually occur (
/*spoiler*/ if he wasn't a twin, the entire thing would've pretty much been a moot point). But otherwise, it was fun.

Saturday started with an admin morning. Getting some more forex and Varen's travel insurance so he can apply for his Schengen Visa today. And I happily found some shorts (which I detest usually, I feel like such an idiot when I wear shorts!) that I like and a funky new skirt. I hope it's hot in Spain, Portugal & Morocco - although I don't really think it's going to be :(

Then I lazed around for a while while Varen headed to work (again). And then I went to the October bloggirls lunch at M&A in Edenvale. We had an amazing turnout :) Got to catch-up with Angel, Sweets, Sleepy Jane, Tamara, Exmi & Ydnic. I realise more and more how much I enjoy the company of these girls each month :)

After that it was off to Varen's folks because his mom & sister were in a Dance Showcase that evening and the family en masse was dragged along to watch. Now this was my first time at such and event (I was lucky to get out of the day-long one earlier this year - thank goodness!). Firstly, why you'd tell your guests to dress "formal" to sit around on plastic garden furniture is beyond me ... lucky I stuck with smart-casual (to Varen's mom's horror) and was far from under dressed :) Secondly, the dancing actually wasn't bad to watch, some of it was really good. But why oh why they drag things out and intersperse the evening with "General Dance" sessions (where the audience can stretch their legs and give it a twirl) is beyond me. We the audience are not dancers (mostly, I think these things are far more entertaining an evening for the ones who are tho). For us it just meant that the evening was barely over by 11pm (started at 7pm) and that was even before the "prize giving". It's just too long for people who are interested in watching *maybe* 3 or 4 of the people dancing. So, the evening was long and tedious, but the actual dancing wasn't so bad.

And then, to make matters worse, I had to take Varen to the Emergency Room in the early hours of Sunday morning! He had a migraine that started early in the evening, at the Dance Showcase and had persisted. He even threw up from the pain it was so bad (all while I was fast asleep!). But just after 1am he woke me and said it was just too bad and not going away so off we drove. After a drip with some fabulous meds, he was feeling much better and we got home again at about 2:30am and had a very lazy Sunday morning.

We had brunch at Doppio Greenside and then went to do some more admin (the skirt I'd bought the day before had a defective zip - annoying, but Cape Union Mart happily swapped it for me, and I decided to get my long jeans taken up so that I can take them on holiday where I most definitely won't be wearing heels!) And then Varen went to work again :( Luckily it was quite a brief stop and he wasn't home long after I'd finished some more shopping (got some new shoes from Skechers!).

Then we decided to go and watch another movie (there's not much showing, but we won't be watching for a while now!), Max Payne.

Maverick cop Max Payne (Mark Wahlberg) is hell-bent on revenge against those responsible for the brutal murder of his family and partner. His obsessive investigation takes him on a nightmarish journey into a dark underworld. As the mystery deepens, Max is forced to battle enemies beyond the natural world and face an unthinkable betrayal.

What rubbish. I mean, if you want action, or you played the computer game, then this is probably fine. But if you're looking for a sensical story then forget it. I had so many plot problems with this movie it wasn't even funny. But Varen enjoyed it (he was apparently amazed at how well they stuck to the game story line). /* spoiler*/ FYI. "the natural world" as mentioned in the above synopsis is actually just some stupid drug :P I was expecting something a little more along the lines of Constantine. Disappointed.

In other sad news, we've separated Bell & Henna for the last 2 days. I want to give Henna's wounds a chance to heal. Sadly, after separating them, Bell became more agressive when they were outside together in the garden :( I hope they'll get over it if we build them a bigger hutch where they're separated by wire mesh only ... so they can still smell & lie next to each other, or get completely away from each other if they need to. I've begun designs for this new hutch, but there's no way it'll be even started by the time I'm off on Friday ... which really makes me worry about them while I'm away. As I said at bloggirls on Saturday, no one looks after your pets the way you do, because other people just don't have that bond / the same love for them that you do. So all I can do is make sure Henna's on the mend by the time I go and then hope for the best! It's so sad to watch beccause Henna's so gentle but Bell is very agressive (I hope she grows out of it as she get's older!). I've also now started rubbing a drop of Rescue Remedy into Bell's ear in the hopes it'll calm her. Sigh.

And now I'm expecting a bit of a crazy week trying to get anything I've forgotten done before I go.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dry by Augusten Burrows

You may not know it, but you've met Augusten Burroughs. You've seen him on the street, in bars, on the subway, at restaurants: a twenty-something guy, nice suit, works in advertising. Regular. Ordinary. But when the ordinary person had two drinks, Augusten was circling the drain by having twelve; when the ordinary person went home at midnight, Augusten never went home at all. Loud, distracting ties, automated wake-up calls and cologne on the tongue could only hide so much for so long. At the request (well, it wasn't really a request) of his employers, Augusten lands in rehab, where his dreams of group therapy with Robert Downey, Jr., are immediately dashed by grim reality of fluorescent lighting and paper hospital slippers. But when Augusten is forced to examine himself, something actually starts to click, and that's when he finds himself in the worst trouble of all. Because when his thirty days are up, he has to return to his same drunken Manhattan life-and live it sober. What follows is a memoir that's as moving as it is funny, as heartbreaking as it is real. DRY is the story of love, loss, and Starbucks as a Higher Power.

I enjoyed this book. It's personal and (I assume) honest. I guess it's weird because I know only one person who's been the whole AA route and I've never asked him about it. I will say it's really hard for someone who doesn't drink to that degree to be able to understand something like this. And that's what I liked about the book. I do not understand addiction. I can't relate on any level. But this book probably came close to explaining it to me ... or rather painting a picture of what it's like for someone else.

Gum's Famous

Am in a much better mood today. Could just be that things are wearing off, or it could be the long chat I had with my mom yesterday. Is hard to feeling able to talk to people about what's swirling in my head, but at least I know I can talk to her. If this persists, I will go back to see my psycho, but I figured with a week left before I leave on holiday (yes, A WEEK!), it wasn't worth going now.

Anyway, exciting news is that Bandi scanned in the family pics we have of Gum from the old Shell adverts, he must be about 3 or 4 years old in them so it was some time in the late 1920s. And it was totally him hanging there in the Matjiesfontein Transport Museum :) How cool is that?! Have included two pics below ... the first is the most similar to the one hanging in Matjiesfontein and the second is just so you can have a decent look at him in his cute little Shell car.

In other news, last night was very quiet ... Varen got home from work around 21h15 and left again (to go back to work after a pleading phone call) at around 21h30. Annoying or what? Also, I let the bun's sleep inside last night in their makeshift hutch ... Henna has huge chunks of fur missing again and I can see raw flesh where the hair has been pulled out, and where some has already started growing back. Am worried now that their hutch is too small and have plans to make a bigger space for them, with a divider so that we can separate them. They are perfectly fine together and actually often very cute how they "cuddle" when they're out with the whole garden / house downstairs. Sadly we don't have the time to sort something new out before I go away, which worries me more :(

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Need Sleep

Today I'm very much in a leave-me-alone mood. I don't think I slept last night. At all.

We started the evening with dinner at F!sh with J9 & Squeak. Their first time and sadly I didn't find it as impressive as the last two times I've been there. Naturally I had my all-time (usually) favourite, Salmon Teriyaki. Oddly enough, the piece of salmon was too big, which meant there wasn't quite enough sauce to go round. And the Wasabi Mash was luke-warm. But the evening was still pleasant.

Except that on the drive home Varen and I had a fight over something minor and stopped speaking to each other. Which continues even now ... I hate that things can't be resolved quickly ... or more especially before bed :( Anyway, so I tossed and turned and over-heated all night. I ended up going to sleep downstairs at 1am in the hopes that the cooler temperature would aid my rest ... I went back up to bed around 5am. And got up for work just over an hour later. Not a very peaceful night :(

And I'm lying on my blog ... well not really lying but definitely censoring and not letting what's in my head spill over onto the page. There's a lot going on up there. And either because I know who's reading or simple because I don't want to share it with the world or even more probably because I don't want to think about stuff long enough to write it out, it's left swirling up there. Needless to say I'm not a very happy person lately. More importantly (to me), I've been trying to think about the people in my life who bring me joy rather than annoyance or frustration or disappointment (this last emotion is what I feel most often when I think of people) ... and the list is very very short. Scary short. Sometimes thinking about that makes me want to up and leave and run away and start somewhere new and fresh ... or as an extreme alternative to become some sort of hermit. More tho, I want to know how one meets new people, meets new outstanding, influential-in-your-life sort of people, meets people who will be life-long friends ... in my 28 years of life I, sadly, seem not to have figured this secret out.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Welcome Home

Had a nice quiet afternoon, catching up on yesterday's blog post, downloading photos and spending some time outside with the buns. And Varen came home early (18h30 ish) and we had dinner and a relaxing evening catching up. Was nice to be home. Although I still definitely wish I lived in the same city as my folks. I miss hanging out with them and a weekend, even a long one, is never long enough. And especially if something has upset me, it seems that time ends up being wasted on a bad mood ... which isn't always that easy to snap out of. But I'm feeling upbeat again and now focussing on my next adventure: Spain, Portugal & Morocco :) Yay.

Oh, and I forgot to mention 2 things:

Firstly (and most importantly), we found out a week or two ago that Mom no longer has to have the Liver Biopsy. Her liver function tests are back to completely normal. Which we all think is perfectly weird, that they seem to fluctuate this wildly ... like being off the charts one time and then well within normal the next. But for now she's not on any specific diet and is back to normal naturally :) Which is fab. Finger's crossed it doesn't swing wildly again.

And secondly, according to Afrigator, I'm in the Top 45 Female African Bloggers :) Which is pretty cool cause I'm like number 20 ... but a brief look at the list tells me that half the South African lady's I read don't even seem to be signed up on Afrigator ... so it's probably not all that accurate. But I'm enjoying it while I can :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Whirlwind Tour of Small Towns in the Western Cape in a Weekend

Right. After getting swiftly back into the swing of things at work today and finding no where near enough time for my post-long-weekend blog post and then getting home to a now-supposedly-working computer (wasn't working all of last week because Varen decided he just had to have the new Intrepid Ibex beta release installed) which decided it just simply couldn't connect to the Internet, I am now finally online, at home and ready to get posting :) Shoo.

So I flew down to Cape Town, via Lanseria again, what a pleasure! Daddio picked me up at the airport and we headed to his cousin's house for a visit with some extended family who was visiting from Aus (New Zealand? Never can quite remember which).

Then on Friday morn Mom, Dad & I headed out to collect the Peeb & Button and then drove to Matjiesfontein, taking the long way round via Worcester, Robertson (where we had a brief tea & scones stop) and Montagu. Marga was dropped off with us by the TJs who stuck around long enough for a brief run thru the Marie Rawdon Museum before they headed off to our final-destination hotel (they couldn't accomodate us all on Friday night hence our half-way stop-over).

We lazed about walking the town, reading up on it's history, having a drink and then enjoying dinner at the Lord Milner Hotel, where we were staying. I had a delish fillet with pepper sauce - was so tender! Oh and their sweet potatoes! On of the amusing highlights of dinner was definitely Marga getting hit on by old man Rawdon :) (both of them 84!)

Breakfast was not nearly as impressive as dinner, but overall the stay was good and I'd definitely like to go back, this time tho, I'd probably go on the train, as is tradition :) Before we headed out again, we visited their Transport Museum which was particularly interesting because we all knew Gum would've loved it! We even think we saw a photo of him in the museum - what are the chances, right? But as a little boy, his father worked at Shell and he had a cute little Shell car. And there was a photo of a child in the museum riding a car just like it. Pity the child had his head turned, but we left high believing it was him :) (Wish I'd thought to take a photo to compare to the family ones!)

We had a beautiful drive from Matjiesfontein to Calitzdorp via Seweweekspoort (don't worry, I'd never heard of it either!) on a dirt road thru rocky mountain valleys (Klein Swartberg). Dad also had a flat tire that he had to change en route (ours wasn't even the first flat of the weekend ... luckily it was the last, for our family).

In Calitzdorp we stopped for lunch at The Rose of the Karoo - a very yummy chicken mayo sandwich, just what I was in need of :) And then we started the dirt-road (more!) drive to our main accomodation, The Retreat at Groenfontein, and to meet up with the rest of the family.

The Retreat is beautiful and I'd highly recommend you stay there if you are looking for peaceful surroundings, far off the beaten track with no cellphone reception and good food. On our first afternoon there, we trekked to their rock-pools (20 mins walk) for a well deserved swim. It was cold but refreshing, unfortunately the good effects had all worn off by the time we'd walked back to the house and we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing out of the sun.

On Sunday morning, we headed out after breakfast in all 3 cars to the Swartberg Pass. We enjoyed the joke that we would be leaving Gum's ashes on the road to Die Hel (The Hell) - nice and ironic for a non-religious family like ours :) We stopped briefly at "The Top" but after nearly being blown off the mountainside, continued on to the "Teeberg" view point. And the views were stunning all round. We sprinkled out his ashes (human ashes are nothing like ash as you know it, let me tell you ... this was gritty, bits of bone type stuff) and toasted him with Coke (Croak) and munched on Messaris Chili Chippi's while Marga told the story of how they lost a wheel while rallying thru the Swartberg Pass years before ... a fitting send off that I think he would've appreciated.

After that, half the family headed for home (school-going kids and whatnot) and the rest of us headed back to The Retreat for another lovely night. I spent some time wandering the nearby dams, watching Weavers and Red Bishop birds nest ... and would you believe I saw tortoises mating. Most peculiar.

On Monday we left after breakfast and took Route 62 home (well straight to the airport for me!). We stopped at Ronnies Sex Shop and I found the spot on the wall where my friend Nix & I had left our mark (as one must) almost 5 years to the day (24/10/2003). We'd always said we go back in 5 years time ... and oddly enough without any planning I ended up right there. Life can be strange. And then we stopped again for some lunch in Montagu, their chicken mayo sandwich was nothing compared to the one I'd had in Calitzdorp, but it hit the spot :)

And then it was home for me. The weekend was busy, I saw some beautiful sights and stayed in some lovely new places, but it wasn't all good.

I think it's a strange thing when one has been away from one's family for so long that you start to disconnect. I guess I just had a crisis of faith about what family, or extended family, at any rate, is. Our is not held together by love, nor is it by obligation. I'm not exactly sure what it is because we sure are a mixed up bunch of different personalities that really started to grate over the extended time. I guess it's also partly because of the purpose of our weekend and everyone handling things differently. But I really think one should feel comfortable and some kind of "safe" within the arms of your family ... and for me that's always included the extended family and not just Mom & Dad. But it's not so anymore, perhaps I've just outgrown them. I don't want you to think you can just say whatever you like to me simply "because I'm family". I'm jealous of my perception of how families should be, because ours really is not that, has it ever been or was I fooling myself. Yet I still long for the Christmas Days and every birthday spent together, which I constantly miss out on while up here in Joburg. I guess I was just feeling the distance, feeling left out and far away because I'm not really part of it anymore, well other than in spirit that is. Anyway, it was pretty emotional for me, and this has rather come out as a jumble but it's hard to explain how I was feeling, now that I'm back in Joburg and back to normal, mostly.

Anyway, in other exciting news, it's abotu 11 more days until I jet off on my holiday. I'm starting to get that excited nervous tingling :)

Kaleidoscope by Barbara Erasmus

Kaleidoscope is a novel about shifting perspectives within a family, brought about by the birth of an autistic child. Primarily about relationships, insights are given into the difference between early infantile autism, Asperger's Syndrome and social phobia.

This was a really quick read, got thru most of it on my flight down to CT on Thursday evening. It's a mostly sweet story, going in depth into each character. But it's still pretty boring ... no twists or turns and nothing very unexpected. Still, it's an interesting read, seeing the detailed fictional family dynamic at work. I wonder what I'd do in that situation ... what would you do?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Super Crunchers by Ian Ayres

Companies used to rely on human experts and their years of experience to guide them. Now, cutting-edge organizations are mining the data and crunching numbers instead, to come up with more accurate, less biased predictions. As Freakonomics detailed, statistical analysis can reveal the secret levers of causation. But economist, Ian Ayres argues that that's only part of the story: super crunching is revolutionizing the way we all make decisions. Beginning with examples of the mathematician who out-predicted wine buffs in determining the best vintages, and the sports scouts who now use statistics rather than intuition to pick winners, Super Crunchers exposes the world of data-miners, introducing the people and the techniques. It illuminates the hidden patterns all around us. No businessperson, academic, student, or consumer (statistically that's everyone) should make another move without getting to grips with thinking-by-numbers - the new way to be smart, savvy and statistically superior.

So, I know, I know, this book took me ages ... but as I've already said, I stopped reading half way thru and started on something else. It's not that this wasn't a good book, let me rather say it was an interesting book. But it's a tough read. It's very technical and not nearly as easy or fun to read as Freakonomics. But still, as I said it's very interesting. And if statistics interest you at all then I suggest you give it a try ... And even read something lighter in between if it helps ;)

> Follow Ian Ayres on Twitter

Thursday, October 16, 2008

O is For Outlaw by Sue Grafton

'First there was a phone call from a stranger, then a letter showed up fourteen years after it was sent. That's how I learned. I'd made a serious error in judgement and ended up risking my life ...' The call comes on a Monday morning from a guy who scavenges defaulted storage units at auction. Last weekend he bought a stack. They had stuff in them - Kinsey stuff. For thirty bucks, he'll sell her the lot. Kinsey's never been one for personal possessions, but curiousity wins out and she hands over a twenty (she may be curious but she loves a bargain).What she finds amid childhood memorabilia is an old undelivered letter. It will force her to re-examine her beliefs about the break-up of her first marriage, about the honour of her first husband, about an old unsolved murder. And it will put her life in the gravest peril.

To be fair, I'll leave my Super Cruncher's review till I actually finish it ... but by half way thru I felt in dire need of an easier, lighter read. And Estoril had had a sale where I added another of Sue Grafton's Alphabet Series to my collection.

As a forensics / murder mystery reader primarily, I have a growing collection of these three staples: Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone / Alphabet Series, Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series and Kathy Reich's Temperance Brennan series, and the Bones TV Series! Make no mistake, I'm also definitely looking to add Jeffery Deaver's Lincoln Rhymes series and Jonathan Kellerman's Dr Alex Delaware series.

Anyhoo, so it turns out I'd read this one .. no surprises there. But still, I haven't read one of these in ages and it was a pleasure. One day (when I own them all ... and she's finished the series) I'm going to read them from A to Z ;)

Till Tuesday

Another nothing night ... Varen worked, although he did pop home for about an hour & half for dinner with me. It was annoying that he had to work yet again because this afternoon I jet off to Cape Town and won't see him again till Monday evening. But I am looking forward to the family weekend in the Karoo :) Details on my return.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacks

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is populated by a cast as strange as that of the most fantastic fiction. The subject of this strange and wonderful book is what happens when things go wrong with parts of the brain most of us don't know exist ...Dr Sacks shows the awesome powers of our mind and just how delicately balanced they have to be' - Sunday Times . 'Who is this book for? Who is it not for? It is for everybody who has felt from time to time that certain twinge of self-identity and sensed how easily, at any moment, one might lose it' - The Times . 'This is, in the best sense, a serious book. It is, indeed, a wonderful book, by which I mean not only that it is excellent (which it is) but also that it is full of wonder, wonders and wondering. He brings to these often unhappy people understanding, sympathy and respect. Sacks is always learning from his patients, marvelling at them, widening his own understanding and ours' - Punch .

So, this was another Audio Book I listened to (while reading Super Crunchers & O is for Outlaw!). I think it must be different to listen to it in Oliver Sacks' voice versus reading it in your own. Still, it makes for interesting subject matter ... even if he is long winded or occasionally repetitive. But I must admit sometimes I'm not sure it's all that good to know what sort of bizarre things can go wrong with Human Beings neurologically. Don't read it hoping for happy endings tho.

> Follow Oliver Sacks on Twitter

A Nice Nothing Night

Last night was a lot of nothing. Varen finally got home from work just after 2am. I spent the night making yummy Mexican mince for dinner and then watching some Series and having a good old catch-up phone call with one of my dear friends in Cape Town. Actually it was quite a nice night :) Not very eventful as night's go, but still nice.

Oh, and as you *all* must've noticed yesterday, the aliens were supremely disappointing!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Love Summer Braai's

Last night was nice ... Varen came home early, especially :) Since he can work to his heart's content (not really :P) this weekend while I'm in CT, so rather take an early evening now while I'm around. We decided to take advantage of Joburg's lovely weather and have a braai. Was a really nice evening. And today, I'm headed back to the Portuguese Embassy to collect my passport & Schengen Visa - whooo hooo!

Oh, and don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for those spaceships today - tee hee!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tasty Weekend

The weekend was good. Varen worked late on Friday and the whole of Saturday, but I spent the time relaxing with my book, the bunnies & some new series (OMG, the opening scene of Grey's S5 is hectic!). Figure I needed to get in as much relaxing as possible before my long weekend to Cape Town (although I won't really be in CT) and our first ever entire-family holiday :) Looking forward to it!

I also went for sushi with Loulou on Saturday evening. You know, maybe it's just me, but I'm weird about last minute planning. I almost didn't even call her to do something cause I always assume people will already have made plans. But then I figured, well if she does have plans I'm in the same boat I started out in, so why not give it a try. I always think I have to organise things in advance to see people. I think it's more like that with couple-friends. You assume that because they're in a couple that they're already doing something, perhaps not with other people, but at least with each other. And to tell the truth that's not always the case. Anyhoo, it turned out to be fabulous to see her outside of Book Club :)

And then Sunday. Sunday Varen had the day off :) We had a relaxing morning at home and then headed off to Taste of Joburg (thanks Tamara for reminding me!)

I was amped for this the entire weekend because Varen & I had had such a a blast there last year, but it wasn't nearly as impressive, I didn't think. Weird how things this year (after having been last year and now having an expectation), things have not been as amazing as I remember them being previously. I dunno if it's just the rosiness of memory or if, as I said, it's having the pre-expectation this year that I didn't have last year.

Last year Taste seemed more spacious and also, I'm sure there were far fewer people - may have just seemed that way cause of it's spread-out-ness. I also really liked the "outdoor" factor of last years venue, a giant grassy field (although one of the people working there said the dust last year was awful, but I don't remember that). This year it was pretty much in a Monte Casino outdoor parking lot. And it was crammed into the space and filled with people! But the portions this year definitely seemed bigger than I remember from last year. But we certainly spent a fair bit of cash and ate lots! The heat definitely got to us in a big way and we didn't have as leisurely an afternoon as we did last year. We were in and out in an hour & half.

All in all, we tried plates from The Dining Room at The Grace, La Cucina di Ciro (me), Prosopa (me), Ristorante Ritrovo, Sel et Poivre (Varen), Sophiatown Bar Lounge, The Pot Kiln and Yum Nostalgia (Varen). Yes, yes, I know we didn't eat at either of my favs (Roots or soulsa) but I figure we're there to try something new. But anyway, the best bite of the day was the Tiger Prawn Diavolo style with Creamy Parmesan Risotto (from Ristorante Ritrovo) and specialy mention must be made for Prosopa's Smoked salmon layered with roasted zucchini & skordalia (garlic & potato pate).

After that we had a very relaxing Sunday afternoon :) Nice weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dinner Out

Last night was pretty cool. Varen & I went for dinner with J9, Squeak and Bokkie at Bellinis in Illovo. Now, don't let the teeny tiny menu scare you off, they usually have some great specials and we all ate well! I had their Scottish Salmon Rosti - yum. Love that sweet potato rosti! And then a chocolate pot for dessert. Wasn't quite what I was expecting (more like a literal hot chocolate) but was like a very smooth chocolate mousse.

And that was that ... except that I woke up with swollen eyes this morning. Seriously they're still all puffy, I look like a cat. I dunno what it is, it's never happened before but my mom assured me she sometimes get's it. But damn I wish it'd go away.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bring on the Aliens

Didn't see Varen again last night. I went to the 2nd swap night while he worked till 11pm. But I got to catch up with DJMike & TheBrad (and his new iPhone) so it was pretty cool actually.

Nought much else to say ... Oooh, except, is everyone else talking about the aliens scheduled to arrive next Tuesday? Weird, I know. But someone at work told me about it - she totally believes. Me, I'm not so convinced about aliens. Don't get me wrong, I believe there is a good likelyhood of there being life out there, but I very much don't believe in "the little grey men". I think it's far more likely that there are other life forms but not such that we'd recognise them or that they'd even vaguely resemble us. Anyhoo, the low down on next week, if you're interested, is that The Galactic Federation of Light (sounds very star-trek-y to me) has "channeled" a message thru some woman called Blossom Goodchild (Go to Federation of Light > The Message) saying that they'll be sending a spaceship into our atmosphere next week on a "Mission of LOVE". In her (their?) words "For this initial presentation, we shall simply be presenting our ship to you."

Anyhoo, so this giant alien spaceship should be visible in the southern hemisphere (?) for 3 days next week (14 - 16th October). All I'm saying is if anyone see's anything ... let me know :) Now wouldn't that make for an interesting week! Wonder what it'd do to the exchange rates tho ;)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Successful Application

Righto, late again I know ... but I went to the Portuguese Embassy and this time successfully applied for my Schengen Visa :) Yippee! All should be done in 2-3 days.

And because I was headed back there this morn, Varen & I decided to spend the night at his folks place (super duper nearby) and have dinner with them. It was a nice relaxed evening. Although I'm feeling so worried about not being at home this morn to replace the bun's food and water. But will head home a little later to check on them. Hate leaving them alone :( Although of course they're probably just fine.

Other than that, it's been a very constructive week so far: 1) got my Moroccan Visa in my passport on Monday 2) collected my new Driver's License on Tuesday 3) applied for my Schengen Visa on Wednesday. I wonder what the rest of the week will bring ;)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Feta & Baby Marrow Fritters

And so the recipe (again thanks to PnP's Fresh Living mag - page 32 of October 2008 issue).

They recommend "Serve as part of a Sunday brunch or simply as a snack". I quite agree. But Varen & I wolfed them down as dinner last night. I imagine as a snack or part of a brunch, their "serves 4-6" might work. I'll tell you that we ate about 4 each ... but they were biggies. Next time I'll endeavour to make them smaller & thinner!


  • 1 cup (250ml) self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon (3ml) sea salt (really a few twists of the Woolies salt grinder will do!)
  • 3 jumbo eggs, beaten
  • ½ packet (150g) baby marrows (5 or 6 will do), grated
  • 1 bunch (5-6) spring onions, chopped (I only used 3)
  • 1 tub (225g) Bronerg organic feta cheese 2 wheels Woolies goats milk feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) paprika
  • ½ cup (125ml) fresh parsley, chopped (seriously did not use this much!)
  • ½ cup (125ml) fresh mint, chopped (had to steal some from the Bun's veggie garden so didn't use nearly as much as this ... but I could taste it and it was yummy so will use more next time!)
  • olive oil for frying
Next time I'm thinking of adding some grated red pepper to the mix as well and I'm sure if you like mushrooms (eugh!) you could try those too!

Mix flour, salt and eggs in a large bowl until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick pan (not really sure if the olive oil is actually necessary but I do advise having the pan quite hot!) and fry dollops of the fritter mixture until golden brown on both sides. Not unlike frying flapjacks. They recommend serving with lime wedges and roasted tomato. I haven't got that far yet ;)

Will post photo's next time I make 'em :)

Caught in the Act

So yesterday, I finally got my passport back with my Moroccan visa. I say finally, but actually it was spot on time. But here's how my MDS Visa's experience went. Originally I phoned them about a week & half ago to arrange my Moroccan visa. And after giving me all the visa info and telling me that's be R205, I had to ask if there were any additional costs (surely it wasn't just going to be the visa price and their good will?). Yes, there was a Service Fee of R399. After debating what I thought was quite an exorbitant fee, I "signed up" last Monday and they promptly collected all my required documentation. Please note at this point, the dude I was dealing with didn't actually give me any payment information. I actually called them back to ask wtf. I mean I wasn't exactly prepared if I had to hand it over to the guy collecting my docs. Turns out when the visa is ready, they'd call me and delivery would only take place after payment. Fair enough, suits me fine.

Yesterday morning I called them, knowing from the embassy that a Moroccan visa takes 4 working days. So I figure it should be about ready. Yes, it turns out in fact it was - the guy (who must not be used to people doing their homework) told me it arrived late Friday afternoon ... hello, I know the Embassy closes at 1pm! But hey. Who cares, my passport was back containing my visa :) Yippee! So I confirm the bank details I'd gotten before and the payment amount (you see, when I called the Embassy, they said visa's cost R245 ... but at this point I figured that MDS Visa probably got some kind of discount or something?). Yes yes, everything was in order. So I transfered the cash and emailed the dude my proof of payment. My passport would be arriving later in the afternoon by courier :)

About 2 hours later, I get a call from the dude: I need you email address (this he asked for and I gave in our earlier conversation). Erm, I mailed you my proof of payment so you really should have it :P Turns out some folks are about as computer savvy as my grandmother (ie. not very). Ah yes he says, thanks very much. Fabulous and I go on my merry way. A few moments later I receive an email (and I quote):
Hi phillygirl the total amount is R695 The visa was R245 and my Service fee is R450 so the total is R695.00,Please could you please do a payment for the balance.

Excuse me? Now the increased visa fee is not a surprise ... although this is their freaking business so you'd think they might actually know in advance! But now, after I've actually paid, you want to increase your service fees, I'm sorry there are a few things I just simply won't stand for. And I thought the R399 service fee was high to begin with! So I phoned the supervisor and I said sorry, I was quoted R399 and I confirmed that fee with the dude this morning. There is no way I'm paying a "surprise" additional R51 (a 25% increase!).

In their defense, I will say that she didn't charge me the extra service fee and their courier service was on time and my passport is safely back in my hands. Also, I've been hearing from JofH (who is also trying to get visa's) that there is another visa company charging R430 service fee and you still have to go and drop off and collect your passport yourself (some place in Fourways)!! Ridiculous. So at this point I'm not entirely sure if I'd recommend this bunch or not ... they may just be the best of a bad bunch, as the saying goes. But, if you do use them, be sure to get your facts written down and stick to your guns!

And then I got home and didn't do very much. Although Henna did an awful lot of testing my patience. She knew she wasn't allowed in the Veggie garden andstill she stared at me thru the glass doors watching me ... and then jumped over and began munching anyway. At which point I'd drop what I was doing and rush outside to rescue what I could ... and she'd happily jump back out as if she had no idea what I was bothered about. She's a real cutey :) We are going to have to seriously make a new plan for these veggies tho ... perhaps one of those wrought iron planting shelves or something ... ?

Up, Over & Away

Monday, October 06, 2008

How To Buy New Jeans in 10 Days

What a weekend ... Friday night I'd planned a girls movie night with J9 & Squeak, since Varen was working ... again. But then he ended up getting the evening off and I luckily managed to book an extra ticket next to ours :)

We headed off to watch My Best Friends Girl.

Smart, beautiful and headstrong, Alexis is the girl of Dustin’s dreams. But after only five weeks of dating, the love-struck Dustin is coming on so strong that Alexis is forced to slow things down – permanently. Devastated and desperate to get her back, Dustin turns to his best friend, Tank, the rebound specialist. A master at seducing – and offending – women, Tank gets hired by freshly dumped guys to take their ex-girlfriends out on the worst date of their lives – an experience so horrible it sends them running gratefully back to their beaus.

But when Tank works his magic on Alexis, he ends up meeting the challenge of a lifetime. Alexis is the first girl who knows how to call his bluff, and Tank soon finds himself torn between his loyalty to Dustin and a strange new attraction to his best friend’s girl.

Let me tell you, Varen was glad he came along. This is not at all a girly-girl movie, there is plenty for the boys - who laughed continuously. Although it does have all the expected girly bits too. It was fun, but I came out feeling rather flat. I really like Kate Hudson, but again she is in her typical role. You know the one, the one where someone is tricking someone and then end up falling head over heels in love and then discover the trick and become super angry, only to end up together eventually anyway (Sorry if that spoils it for you ... ?). Actually, the movie felt like an odd cross between How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Wedding Crashers. Oh, and another thing, they did not dress her well in this movie. I mean seriously, nothing on screen (for me) will ever beat that yellow dress in How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days. But the dresses she was wearing in this did not suit her figure at all. And I still can't figure out if I like Dane Cook. Although I know I do NOT like Jason Biggs (what a moron ... okay, I know they're only the characters he plays, but still).

On Saturday Varen had the *whole* day off :) he likes to tell me it was to spend with me, but I found out they were actually fumigating their offices :) Either way, I had big plans for the day. None of which happened. We had a huge fight in the morning. Things were particularly fragile. Although I think they're back to normal now ... but I think with all of what is going on at the moment, things do swing wildly for us emotionally right now. And I know, I know. I'm not being very upfront about it here. And I'm not going to be, this is just not anonymous enough for it. Things are rocky, but I have hope and that's what I'm holding onto. But who knows what'll happen in the next few months ...

So after a very relaxing afternoon at home - sadly we spent the day doing the sort of things I've been doing on my weekends without him ... but he needed the time to relax after working every day for a week & half. We headed to another movie in the evening, Taken.

Bryan had only recently given up his government career as what he calls, a “preventer” to be near his daughter, Kim. His familial goal is nearly derailed when she asks to spend time in Paris with a friend. All too aware of the dangers that could lie in a foreign land, Bryan reluctantly agrees.

His worst fears are realised when Kim and her friend are abducted from the Paris apartment at which they’ve just arrived. Moments before Kim is dragged away by the unknown assailants, she manages to phone Bryan, who begins to expertly piece together clues that will take him to the darkness of Paris’s underworld, and to the City of Light’s plushest mansions. He will face nightmares worse than anything he experienced in black ops – and let nothing and no one stop him from saving his daughter.

Meh, not great. I completely agree with Mark Kermode's review. The shoot 'em up factor is fair enough (again, not a single bad guy till he last one puts up much of a fight) although it's another movie where no one survives the film (except the good guys). The most hectic part of the movie sorta seems glossed over ... the whole sex-trade-people-buying-virgins bit. Oh my word, that made my skin crawl. Oh, and even with the wake of death, none of the authorities seem particularly concerned ... hello?! Anyway, so yeah, if you take a total break from life-logic, you'll be fine.

Sunday I was again left to my own devices while Varen went back to work. I decided to go shopping :) Ah, and so began the jeans saga. I've been browsing for kjeans for about 2 weeks now, my lovely Levi's were wearing a little thin, so I was determined to find a replacement pair. Sadly, Edgars has had a very poor Levi's range lately :( And I despise the actual Levi's store ... I can't browse for jeans when they only have 5 options and they're all folded. How can you tell what something looks like when it's folded?!? It is just not conducive to browsing.

So, I started at Truworths. I tried on almost every style of jeans they had (I've stopped being fussy out of necessity now, I figured I'd buy a cheapy pair to tide me over till I found a pair I felt kinship with ... still very sad to give up my cirrent pair). Why oh why are they only stocking skinny-style elastic-fabric jeans? I do not want a pair of jeans (comfy pants in my opinion) that are suctioned to my knees.

And then I went to Edgars (again) in the hopes that they had new stock. They did :) They had some fab new Levi's ... but do you think they had it in any size over 32? In fact most of the sizes were 28. I know they haven't sold out, they didn't have these jeans there last weekend. Now I know I'm not skinny, but I'm also certainly not the largest woman wandering the malls ... who are they stocking these jeans for then, I ask you?

Depressed I went to Woolies instead. Now they had some great options ... in my size even. But every pair I tried on was about a foot too long. I think I've now reached the point of being too short to be this chubby :P Sigh. What a nightmare shopping experience.

But, I went back to Edgars, determined (although I pretty much hate the rest of their jeans range aside from Levi's). And I found 2 pairs that were satisfactory (I could get 2 for the price of a Levi's). One is a bootleg and it's length is perfect for flat shoes even! And one is a nicer style (in my opinion, and I am fussy!) with a wide leg ... but a bit long. Wearing them with heels today and I still think I might need to get them taken up a smidge. So success at last, but sheesh, what a hassle! Why can I always find cool jeans when I'm not looking but as soon as I need a pair urgently, there's nothing for sale. But I did top my shopping off with a Little Miss TShirt like Boldy Benny :) I love it!

And then I spent the afternoon at home with the bunnies. Henna is a little scoundrel :) She has now learned to get over the higher barricade round the veggie garden with just one jump! She is such a cutey tho :) It's funny to me how Bell has figured out how to jump a barricade when she thinks she's missing out on something. But, the only thing that'll get Henna to jump over is knowing there's food on the other side. And here's another picture of the cutest girls for you :) Oh, and I'm looking for a bunny-sitter for about 10 days in November ... any suggestions?

Last night Varen was home in time for dinner and I made some yummy Baby Marrow & Feta Fritters (recipe to follow, no doubt) from the new PnP Fresh Living magazine, which I am loving. It has some fab recipes :)

Friday, October 03, 2008

fR!d@y ...

So last night Varen worked late again ... not too late, I think he was home by 11pm. I wasn't home much earlier. To get me out of my blue funk, J9-double0blonde and Squeak arrived and took me out for drinks. We ended up at Cafe Sophia and had a litre of their Sangria (I prefered the one Varen & I had the last time we were there, but still good :) )

In other very positive news, it's the weekend :) I'm hoping to see a little of Varen ... although I know he'll be working again. But hopefully not all nighters like last weekend!

Must think up things I'm happy about:
(hmmmm ...)
1. Going to Cape Town to see the fam in 3 weeks :)
2. Going to Spain, Portugal & Morocco in 4 weeks. Downside is 2 weeks without Varen ... but I'm hoping the novelty of travel will keep me upbeat till he joins me.
3. Warm Joburg evenings spent in the garden watching the bunnies at play
4. Swimming. Okay, so I'm so not an exercise person (as you should all know by now) but I'm loving the swimming. Have been going about 3 times a week ... not made any difference yet but it calms me mentally which is good enough for me right now :)
5. Damn, there's just got to be a fifth ... I know, these "happy" things should be glaringly obvious, but it's hard when your mind is beset with badness and sadness. Okay, too much pressure. I'll think on it this weekend tho.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Another Day

Another day. I'm still here, still surviving. Feel slightly more upbeat today (might be because i actually saw Varen last night :) ) but still the overall haunts me. There's only so practical one can be before falling into a mess of sobs at the things beyond your control ...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Blue Funk

Oh yes, I am supposed to blog this morning ... often this is a fabulous task that I relish. Lately it's become a bit of a chore. It's not blogging per say, it's me. My mood is not on a high, nor do I see it getting back up there anytime soon. It's not like I'm miserable or anything ... I think worn down or slowly eroded is a better way to describe it. I feel drained by life. And maybe it is just that usual year-end type stuff, but I'm not completely convinced. Things seem to be mostly mediocre in all aspects of life. Although I'm still mostly enjoying work ... except the fact that I have to actually work everyday, but I think that's quite a common malady - who wouldn't rather spend the morning lazing in bed until your body decides it's had enough sleep and then swanning about all morning getting things done while alternatively relaxing and enjoying the sunshine?

Varen & I aren't very connected at the moment. I don't think it's to do with the elephant, although that's not helping. It's more to do with the fact that I have hardly seen him in the last week. For the most part that makes me miss him and really enjoy the moments when he's around ... on the other hand tho, you get used to not having someone in your space. It's a bit of a catch 22. And it's especially hard for me to be understanding and accommodating to him while I'm in this weird blue funk. Mostly I just seem to disconnect.

And then there's friends and family. There's an ongoing family niggle that's mine alone to deal with. But it's reared it's ugly head very recently and has just added to my mindset. And friends ... well, who knows. Mostly I've been feeling anti-social lately. I was sorta dreading book club last night, and for half the night when I didn't know what to say to most of the people there, because I've long since learnt that they don't really care about what's going on in your life ... or rather if they do, it's really only at these monthly intervals, but did end up having a pretty good evening out with them. It's become a weird group. I guess it's just weird because I started it but it seems to have been hijacked a bit by some of the others ... it's more about them and the friends they're already seeing more than twice a week (just my own personal guestimation here) so they're chatting away like normal, already knowing exactly what's been happening in each other's lives leaving the rest of us (maybe it's just me?) to feel left out or rude and nosy when we try to join in and actually figure out what the conversation is about. On the other hand the thing that I'm liking (although is probably not good for me) is having different groups of people. I'm seeing the bookclub girls monthly, the poker girls monthly, the bloggirls monthly ... and no one overlaps. It nice for me to spend time with different people, but I'm left not really connecting with anyone.

There's so much more I could say about all sorts of things going on in my head (around thee issues, in more detail), but I won't. It's just my round about way of apologising for the particularly boring blog-posts of late :)

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