Thursday, December 23, 2010

Goodbye 2010

I didn't get much sleep last night, but am bright and awake this morning ... because it is my last working day of 2010!

It has been quite a busy week, considering it was a short one. The final SCM Dinner for the year where @clairam went all out with gammon and turkey! Was delish and such fun :)

Tuesday evening was spent sorting the house out, a bigger job than you can imagine. Well, it was more like tidying since there is barely any cupboard space in the bedrooms, but I now have the spare room to fill with stuff that was taking up space elsewhere. Barely got any packing done tho.

But, I did do a full costing of Holiday 2011 and it still appears to be viable :) So now I wait till the end of January before I can start booking - Real Russian Tour prices only come out then and I've pretty much decided that I should do one of their tours because even tho I could take the train on my own, a) I don't speak or read any Russian and am unlikely to be able to in the next 4 months and b) I think it's be a huge waste to go all that way and not actually get to explore a bit of Moscow (will prob spend 2-3 days there if I do the tour) and c) at least this way I am likely to know the people sharing my berth on the train somewhat better ...

But that's okay, I got everything packed yesterday afternoon. I am taking wa-ay more clothes than I could possibly need for 10 days in Cape Town, but I managed to get it all and the xmas pressies to fit so I'm feeling okay about it :) Plus, I figure the pressies need padding in the bag so they don't get damaged! Yay, will be in Cape Town this evening, can't wait to see the fandamily, spend some time at Millers relaxing and catch up with good friends :) YAY.

And then last night @scottjorton brought round his power tools and made sure my new safe was attached to the wall before I go away. I bought a safe on the weekend after *finally* investigating safety deposit boxes at banks. There are no deposit boxes currently available at the bank I tried in my area and the cost alone would quickly surpass buying a safe for the house (depending on the size, I guess?). So anyway, I am very excited to have my safe, most especially now that it can't just be picked up and walked off with.

And then we went for dinner, with a quick detour to his office to take some awesome night shots of the almost full moon last night and the gorgeous night skyline of Sandton. Next time I am *so* taking my camera :) Ended up having a late dinner at Metro Lounge, am so glad I've discovered their delish Grilled Vegetable Salad with Haloumi. Yum.

Oh, and Project Property 2011 has already taken some twists and turns and may not turn out quite the way I'd planned ... But will explain more when the idea has settled.

Doubt I'll be posting while in Cape Town (although it's been known to happen occasionally), so if not: Have a wonderful End of Year break with your special people and see y'all in the New Year :) Cheers to 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Work Week of 2010!

Ah, the last work week of 2010. Where has the time gone?

On the plus side my mood is fabulous and I had a lovely happy weekend :) I didn't actually do too much. I don't think I did anything on Friday evening (if I did, I have already forgotten!). Oh wait, yes. I remember, I spent the evening working on a new project of mine (anyone suspect I may have a little too much of my grandfather in me and be unable to complete all these things I start? I guess it depends on where / if there is any urgency!) And on Saturday I somehow ended up doing lots of shopping ... although I only went out for a few very specific things, things that needed replacing now that TheHousemate has moved out and taken his stuff with him, I had no cups for my kitchen. Which isn't a very big problem for me since I generally don't drink hot drinks very often. But on that very rainy Public Holiday, I realised that I absolutely needed cups because I couldn't even make myself some hot chocolate.

So that was the plan on Saturday. And it was very successful :) And while buying cups, I spotted the chair I had on my 30th Birthday wishlist. I decided to buy it! I know, I am spending far too much on myself over Longvember, but I know that I've wanted this since April, so it's not an impulse buy so I'm okay with it :) and I love it! (Plus I've already put most of my bonus into my bond, so I'm not being completely frivolous!)

Nothing much else exciting happened on Saturday, I worked some more on this new project of mine and watched some series. And started to brew Project Property 2011. More on this once I know more, but the truth of the matter is that I am beginning to think I really need to buy a place that I can actually live in. I am a strange person in that every since moving up to Joburg I've never properly settled in here. Well, the closest I came was probably when I was living with Bean, but even then, and with Varen, the plan was always eventually to move either overseas or home to Cape Town. So I still have a bunch of furniture I've left in Cape Town that it didn't make sense to bother shipping up here ... but I've been here 6&half years now. I think it's time to admit that I live in Joburg and still will, at very least, for the next 3-4 years.

I've never hung my light from Morocco and I haven't hung my photo frames on my photo wall. I feel like I really need a place to settle and not expect to move again, a place that is mine. Anyway, so that is the plan, I'm not sure if it'll be successful or not, but it's what I'm aiming for by the end of 2011.

On Sunday morning I was up early and headed off to Newtown. I'd booked myself and J9-double0blonde on a 5km "Fit in the City" walk thru Joburg's inner city with Past Experiences. The weather was absolutely perfect for it (for some reason I like getting a bit rained on) and I had a fabulous time :) I find walking gives me such a liberating feeling, I can't really explain it. And the city was pretty empty, it was really lovely.

After that it was off to a friends house for a lunch-time braai. It hailed a bit at her house while we were there, much excitement.

I left at about 15h30 to go home and clean the bunny hutch for the last time this year, and only just got it finished by the time it started pouring with rain. Followed shortly by much more extreme hail. Sheesh. Was awesome to watch tho :)

And now, I have about a billion things on the go ... I am in my anxious-holiday phase, where I'm not sure if it'll all come together. There are 3 visa's to arrange and 2 different things to book, and then flights on top of it. I never know what order to do it in and it always feels a little like a leap of faith at this point. Of course, once everything is booked and confirmed, I can bask in the excitement of my upcoming trip, but I'm not there yet. And then there is the Project Property 2011 worry niggling in the back of my head. I have already found something I think might be it, but am waiting for the agent to send the plans thru and then I have to hope the bank will give me *more* money, for *another* property ... sigh. So needless to say, it wasn't exactly a restful sleep last night.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Day of Something Something

Yesterday was a public holiday here in South Africa and it was about as perfect a public holiday as it could be. Well, I wouldn't want them all to be like that, but I think I definitely needed just this one.

On Wednesday evening I joined Loulou and some friends at The Baron for a few celebratory drinks (all these people starting their leave :( ). It was quite fun, but I'm really not the sort of girl who meets people in bars. Unless there is perhaps some random connection to someone else in the group. Anyway, it was a very rainy evening.

And when I woke up the next morning, randomly at 05h30, it was still raining. In fact by this stage it was already starting to flood parts of the garden. But I do absolutely adore this weather when I can stay nice and warm in bed :) Which thankfully I could. And I did. I went back to sleep for a bit and then spent most of the morning in bed watching series. It was awesome :) Exactly the relaxing do-nothing day I think I needed.

I went to watch Scott Pilgrim in the afternoon. Sadly it was no where near as good as I was expecting. I like the idea of what they were trying to do, but I didn't really feel like they quite got it right.

And that was about it for the day. Am feeling quite refreshed today. It may have to do with a half-empty office tho :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Already Planning

This is probably your last day at work of 2010. Lucky you. I'm still here till the 23rd. Although already I'm getting frustrated by the lack of stuff to do. Which is great ordinarily, but not so much when you are responsible for billing 7.5hrs each day.

But, I am staying upbeat because I picked up my new lights yesterday during lunch and hung them when I got home. They're not quite as awesome as the originals, but are close enough.

And most especially what is keeping me happy at the moment is that I think I have decided on Holiday 2011. I know, usually I don't start thinking about it until the year has actually started but I decided to do just a little research in the meantime and it's now a fully grown idea :) There is still plenty to be figured out and expenses to be calculated, but it's looking pretty likely that 2011 will be the year of the Trans-Mongolian Railway and a bit of a visit round China!

I haven't figured it all out yet, but instead of doing a tour for the Trans-Siberian trip like I was thinking of in 2008, I think I'll just do the Trans-Mongolian trip on my own. I expect it'll be about 7 days on Train 4. This train crosses Siberia, cuts across Mongolia and the Gobi desert, then enters China.

Once in China, I only knew there were definitely 2 things I wanted to see: The Great Wall and The Terracotta Army. But have (rather obviously) added Giant Panda's to this list. Yesterday I was wondering if I was sub consciously working my way thru WWF's list of species (based on the menu on the left): Tigers, Giant Panda (potentially this trip), Rhinoceros (and plenty of other experiences, I do live in South Africa!), Polar Bear, Whales and Dolphins (have snorkeled with both in Mozambique), Elephants (African and Asian), Marine Turtles (a failed attempt), Great Apes. Guess it'll have to be Tiger's next! Hahaha. I wonder if anyone else can say they've done all this?

I was also thinking of adding the Hunan Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (the place where they filmed part of Avatar) to the list of must-do's, but after looking around for trips in China, I can't find any that go there. Admittedly it has only been one day of sporadic research so, who knows. But I've found a 15-day Intrepid trip that covers the first 3, so that's what I'm thinking of for now.

So yeah, now just to get thru today and enjoy the Public Holiday tomorrow :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Weekend That Was

Right, so back to regular programming. Last Thursday evening was book club which was good. On Friday I went out for a drink with @samanthaperry at The Brazen Head - seems everyone is celebrating last days of work lately :P Not me ... I'm here right up until the 23rd. And then it's off to Cape Town :) Yay.

On Saturday I had a busy morning. It started with a very disappointing visit to the Post Office. I had ordered new lights for my bed from The In Thing (it may sound peculiar, but it makes much more sense if you've seen it!) ... wa-ay back forever ago and was waiting for them to arrive on a shipment from Thailand. They finally got to South Africa and I got my tracking number for them last Monday. So I figured if I go to the Post Office on Saturday morning they should be there. But there was no slip in my post box and I couldn't check a damn thing on their useless website from my phone :P Pffft. Already now annoyed by this, I went to the actual Post Office and figured if there wasn't too much of a queue I'd try just asking. Well the lady was completely unhelpful. Apparently their system was down nationwide and there was nothing she could do for me. Sigh, after my Post Office experience with The Peeb's gift and now this, they are NOT on my #brandplus list!!

Then I went to Sandton (still had Mom's last gift to buy, but had no bright ideas!) and ended up having breakfast with @Rubyletters at Mugg & Bean, which was lovely :) And the morning ended super well because I did find Mom's last gift before I left the center!

Then I popped into DJMike's to collect my Hard Drive full of series :) Yay. I may never leave my house again (except for work and my trip to Cape Town - hahaha). And then it was off home again to swap keys with @samanthaperry. I'll be fish-sitting for her while she's away and she'll be looking after The Bundles while I'm away. A great arrangement :)

And that was pretty much that till I headed out in a huge storm to J9-double0blonde's 30th Birthday Picnic. Not ideal picnic weather, but she had a great back-up plan in the lounge ready :)

And then on Sunday I had a very lazy morning in bed (the weather has really been playing along for just that!) and then met up with Loulou at Koi for a sushi lunch - delish!!

And that was about that for the weekend. Last night was SCMDinner, as usual :) And oh boy am I really looking forward to the public holiday on Thursday! Just really in a non-focused work-space right now! Plus this weather is so perfect for staying in bed, NOT for getting up early and going to work :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Anniversary of Sorts

So, today is a Monday. And usually I'd be writing down all of what I got up to on my weekend ... but that'll have to wait. Today is a significant Monday.

Today it is exactly a year since Varen and I broke up. And exactly 4 years since Bean and I broke up. Yep, lucky girl that I am, the 13th December has been break-up day for me, 2 relationships in a row. Just imagine what'll happen when it finally falls on a Friday! In future, I vow to never see or even speak to my boyfriend / husband on this day. It just seems safer all round. (And just think, next year I'll be celebrating on 13-12-11 :P)

So, this probably has a little something to do with my generally not upbeat mood of late. I mean, it's been a whole year and I'm still single. And although I'm okay with that generally (since I haven't met anyone I wish I was dating), it's still tough when you reflect on where all your exes are.

Varen is living in the States with his new girlfriend, who is apparently pregnant (with his kid, for the second time this year). Bean is, last I heard, living happily in a house he bought with his long-time boyfriend in London. And if we look further back in history ... even The Lying Pilot has been married 6 years and has a son now. Actor-Writer-Director is definitely married and has been for quite some time, I dunno if he has any kids yet. The Queen of Melodrama is, as far as I know, in a long-term relationship and High-School Love has been married for many years now and has 2 kiddies.

That's right folks, all my failures have become someone else's success story ... sigh. And that's great for them, I guess. But it really starts to make me wonder about myself. Self doubt, awesome, just what I wanted for Xmas this year :P

And don't get me wrong, it's not like I can think of a single one of them and wish it hadn't ended or that I was still with them. Not. A. Single. One. So, that's a plus, in my book. But after a year of not very many exciting boy-stuffs, it's getting a little tedious and I'm losing faith a little ... I mean, I guess if you get to 30 and you're single, there's probably a reason, right? I know there's a reason I am. And those reason are (frighteningly) becoming more pronounced as I get older and especially as I've spent more time on my own this year. I'm cynical about relationships, I'm cynical about boys ... and yes, I know girls & boys are different and their brains work differently and they don't think about things the same way we do and and and. None of that makes this any easier.

So, actually mostly what I've spent this liberating year of turning thirty and being single doing is adjusting my mindset. I am no longer pinning all my hopes on meeting a Mr Right that I can spend the rest of my life with. Well, that'd be nice and is Plan A but, as realism sets in, I've come up with Plan B and Plan C too.

So, Plan B is far more realistic than Plan A. For Plan B I only need someone who can commit to at least 5 to 10 years (or more) together. Someone to have children with. And no, divorce etc. is not ideal and no, I didn't have to experience it as a child, but see, I want kids, and ideally I'd rather not do it on my own, but I am also realistic about the probability of meeting the person I could spend forever with in my next few child-bearing years.

See, what I realised is, I could meet that Mr Right when I'm 45 or so and still have 30 amazing years with him (which, being 30 myself, I can attest is a fair portion of time and not to be sniffed at). But, I can't wait till I'm 45 to have my children. And I want children. If you don't that's fine and you can continue on your merry way until you meet that man, but I cannot.

And so, although Plan B is not perfect (and, of course, Plan A would be infinitely better), it still provides those children with a father. Plan C would be to do it alone. Far from ideal, but may end up being a necessity. I refuse to let the whims of personality and the people I meet to dictate my life and if I have children or not. And hence I will, given no alternative, do this alone (well, not entirely alone because if that becomes the course of action, I'll definitely be moving home to my family in Cape Town - which, is actually also part the plan regardless of which of these outcomes end up becoming reality).

And so, these are the things spinning in my head lately. Reality and the things that we need to do to achieve the things we want from life. It's no easy thing to adjust the mind of a person who's believed her whole life that you meet someone, you fall in love and live happily ever after. Life, sadly, is just not that easy. Well, perhaps it is for some, it's true I've seen some amazing relationships amongst people I know. But I guess I just have to accept, it's just not that easy for me. And, the thing I'm still struggling with, is that that is okay.

I won't lie, it's hard for me to read or hear that you got engaged or married or are having a baby. And the only way to get thru that and be happy for you is for me to know that I have a plan and am not leaving it up to chance. There are some things I know I can't control, like meeting someone amazing. But I'll stick to having a plan for the things I can control.

And that said, who knows if I can even have kids (another thing left to Life's Wheel of Fortune and chance). I mean we spend our whole lives trying not to and the only way to know for sure if you can is to actually do it. Hardly the kind of litmus test one hopes for in these situations, but such is life.

On the plus side, I'm definitely not rushing into anything with anyone in order to achieve any of this. Having these alternatives prepared in my mind means that I'm open to whichever outcome ends up occurring. So, for now, until I meet someone that really turns my head (or turn 34), I am in no rush.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Watching The Pot

I went to see Harry Potter last night :) I really rather enjoyed it. Although my only gripe with the whole Harry Potter movie thing is that you know what, I don't really remember the books enough anymore for it to be a problem watching the movie and complaining about what they left out (this is a good thing in my opinion) but, that also means I barely remember where the last movie left off. And these are not actually separate stories anymore, they are one long story (most especially with this one being split into 2 parts). It'd be nice if they gave me a quick catch up. Because you would probably, I expect, be completely lost if this was the first Harry Potter movie you ever watched (assuming you had not read the books).

Much the same as in the books tho, I do not enjoy the character romances that are developing. It seems completely unlikely and I think that's a part of the book Rowling got horribly wrong ... but that's maybe just me. But, aside from all of these things, I did enjoy the movie :)

Other than that, not a lot has been going on in my life. I had a quiet Tuesday evening at home. The bundles are all fine, and I have found a bunny-sitter :) Thanks a billion @samanthaperry! Occasionally lately, I'm worried about myself and thinking it might be time to go speak to someone again, just for a little perspective, but will leave that till next year. And other than that, life continues as normal :) Neither here nor there, sprinkled with both good and bad and much in-between.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Good Times

Had a lovely evening out with the girls last night :) At our previous dinner we decided that what we really needed to end off this year was a big prawn dinner and that's just what we did!

@Arkwife, @Rubyletters, @louisabouwer, @jackson_files, Doodles and myself spent the evening at Coco Bongo sitting at an ideal round table (it makes conversation so much better :) ). Awe, we had such a lovely evening, catching up, eating kilo's of prawns and swapping Secret Santa gifts (thanks @jackson_files, I *adore* mine!).

Coco Bongo has a Monday night special on prawns, R99 for a kilo. It was delish, and I can't remember the last time I had prawns, but I do think I prefer my memory of Adega's kilo of prawns (which I think is all I've ever ordered from them). Only because they came in a big container which had one of those flames underneath keeping it warm. By the time I was onto my last few prawns at Coco Bongo, they were definitely cool.

So nice catching up with everyone :)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Long Weekend

So, it's been quite a busy weekend. On Thursday night I went to Wolves for the first time (not quite sure what the fuss is about, I had a completely different expectation of the place after having heard about it from so many people) with J9-double0blonde, @saulkza and @Nadgia. Always nice to try somewhere / something new tho. They had some live music which wasn't very impressive - we were sitting outside and I was barely aware there was even anything going on and it didn't seem like the sound quality was that great but anyhoo.

On Friday we had our Office Year End function, which was pretty awesome :) We started the morning with a walking tour around Newtown and part of the Joburg CBD with Jo from Past Experiences. I absolutely *loved* it! I think I got some great photos and I am super keen to do a few of their other tours now. After that we had lunch at Nikki's Oasis, which was neither here nor there for me, but it suited our day and was conveniently located. We had a blast with our Secret Santa as well :) Thankfully 12 of us had hired a bus to get from the office into town and back. And after the day a handful of us continued the party at one of our colleague's houses. Was a good day :)

But I definitely hate the after effects of too much alcohol these days. I hardly drink much at all anymore and I definitely despise that anxious feeling the next wondering if I did or said anything wrong or offensive to someone. And I replay the whole thing in my head over and over. Paranoid, much?

Saturday was fairly lazy, but I did finish shopping for Daddio's xmas pressie. Now I only have one outstanding item left to buy :) I can not believe how organised I've been this year. But I definitely think the strategy of finding one thing a weekend is working for me - hahaha.

On Saturday evening I went to Piccolino's in Fourways with @samanthaperry and @SynStalker - another new spot for me :) And let me just say that even tho I had to pay extra for both Avo and Feta (I mean really ?!?), the pizza was *delish* !! The venue is a bit weird tho, but I imagine as an afternoon spot it works far better :) I'd go back.

On Sunday I decided to haul out all the photo frames I've been collecting for my one-day wall. I know, it's very silly, but I can't seem to accept that I actually live anywhere because I keep expecting to move and so don't properly unpack / set-up some things (my Moroccan light has never been unpacked). And the thing with my photo wall is that it's far easier for me to justify not hanging them because a) the collection is still growing so how would I know yet how to hang them and b) none of them have photos in them yet so why bother yet.

So I decided it was time to find some photographs for the frames (especially with my impending Cape Town trip ... I need an idea of what I'm looking for when I'm down there too!) so the morning involved eating left-over pizza, reading my book and sorting thru old family photos inherited from Daddio's Dad. I found some awesome ones and then decided to head off to the Rosebank Rooftop market ... for more frames and potentially to finish my xmas shopping (just need one last thing for Mom). I didn't do any xmas shopping tho, but I did do plenty of shopping for me :) 5 new frames! And some new drinking glasses and a brand new spatula (all part of the "yay I live on my own again" celebration!).

And then I headed off to @jarredcinman's for sundowners. A lovely weekend actually.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

December Already

Wow, it's the first of December. Which means The Housemate is moving out today. This is both good and bad news. Bad news because I'll no longer have someone sharing the rent. But I think I've also learnt that if I do ever live with someone in future, a 6month lease is all I'm willing to commit to up front. As much as I mostly enjoy hanging out with The Housemate, I don't know how living with each other has affected our friendship. I think it'll go back to the was it was before, but only after some time. It is also a very strange experience living with someone you are not emotionally involved with. And I think the little cottage was too small a space for me to be sharing. So I am definitely looking forward to having the place all to myself again :)

In other news, things have been quiet. SCM Dinner on Monday night and a night at home last night. I've had a very difficult letter to write in the last 2 days regarding a house they want to build on vacant land right next to our holiday house. We all had to register as I&AP (interested and affected parties) and had to get our comments in by today. We're all opposed. If they do build it, it will be very sad and completely change our experience of the place :(

And I need to figure out something for the bunnies while I'm in Cape Town over xmas and new year. Sigh, the worst part of owning pets! I hate imposing on people and everyone who lives on our property seems to be away over the same time.

Other than that, I'm hoping to start my #365 up again today (the first seemed like a good excuse to get myself going again!). I just have really not been in the right head space to be hassling with taking a photo a day recently. And I haven't done any work on The Concept lately either ... I was waiting for the computer to be formatted and now I just need to get down and do some work on it ... but it's hard with this semi-holiday attitude.

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