Friday, September 30, 2011

Congrats Peeble!

So big news last night. My little sister, The Peeb, is getting married next year! I am all kinds of excited for her ... and a little green that my baby sister is doing it first. But I guess with my checkered relationship history thus far, it's not too surprising. She, after all, has gone well past the 2.5yr mark with her now-fiance.

But they're still not conventional, he didn't really propose, there is no ring and she was picking a date before even telling anyone they'd decided. Haha. I guess that's to be expected from someone I never really expected to bother with signing the papers.

Sheesh, so I think that takes it to 3 weddings in Cape Town for me next year ... and I can't miss any of them. I've pretty much known all 3 people my whole life!

What else ... I went to The Trucker's last night. We had one of those nice (and rare for us) evenings at home just doing our own thing. He worked and I bathed and read my book. Much more in the style of an evening you'd have when living with someone. It was nice and comfortable, honestly. And good practice driving into work from his house (just a few kms further away than my new house will be!). Eep, which reminds me ... today will be my last Rental Payment!! This is super exciting news for me :) The lawyers have all been paid and now it's the downward slide to home ownership for me! Very exciting times :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011


It's been an average week. A quiet night on Monday. SCM on Tuesday. And The Trucker & I went for sushi last night. It took the longest time ever and was not the best sushi experience I've had there (Cedar Square, why go anywhere else when you can get strawberry, salmon, avo & cream cheese rainbow rolls :) )

This morning we started work with a team breakfast at Europa ... so it has been a crazy busy morning trying to catch-up with work already. And I've been a bit sick the last 2 days. Which is annoying because I never get sick, and The Trucker seems to take great joy in pointing this out every time I have gotten sick this year so far :P I think this has been my sickest year ever (which really only includes a bout of tonsillitis and food poisoning :P So I don't think it's that bad going!)! Either way, I am ploughing my way thru a box of strepsils and medlemons and tissues at the moment. But I do feel better today than I did yesterday, so that's gotta count for something.

I am also feeling *very* poor! Paid both property attorneys now and my savings account is resembling my current account :( *sob* But I know it'll get back on track eventually ... But I am hoping my next salary comes round asap!

Oh, and I met with 3 interested potential new tenants from my investment property last night. That went well. But it is so funny how your "top contenders" change after you meet the people. I think I've pretty much already chosen my new tenant, honestly. But will wait for the credit check to come back before we sign anything :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

11 August: Maun to Francistown

Today was a long driving day. I think (it was a while ago now), we skipped breakfast and headed out, leaving Maun (A) behind.

Francistown (B) was a little confusing because they had some major roadworks on the go, but we found out overnight accommodation eventually, a little outside town. I'd booked us into Dumela Lodge because everything in town looked like a casino and I didn't want to give in to city-type accommodation if I didn't have to!

I really quite liked it. The tents were up on raised platforms with victorian baths. We lazed around for a bit of the afternoon, after the long drive, it was much needed.

But we decided to head into town for dinner and ended up at their local Nandos (pretty much the same as our Nandos). With a waffle at the Milky Lane next door afterwards :) It felt close to being back home already.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

10 August: Maun

Ah, what a lovely day! We were up pretty early to get the tent all packed up and us ready for our day on the river. We had some breakfast and then headed out.

We were taken by boat to a spot further up the Okavango river where we met up with our Mokoro captains & their mokoros. Weirdest part is that they now have all these fibre glass ones!

And off we went. I sat in front and trailed my hand in the water enjoying the calmness around me. It was lovely. Although I won't lie, by the time we reached the island we were stopping at for lunch, my butt was killing me! Should taken a cushion ;)

We had a lovely guy steering us, Tony. We chatted a lot to him about his life. It was very interesting. The wander around the island was pretty boring, no animals and very hot. But we stopped in the shade and had a packed lunch we'd brought from the Okavango River Lodge, which was quite nice. And then we headed back, with the intention of going on a quick tour around the village before being taken back. But we got distracted by an elephant on the side of the river which delayed us too long to fit that in, unfortunately :(

It was a fabulous way to spend a day and I would really recommend it as part of any trip to the Okavango :) And I think my favourite part was the frogs ... turns out I was quite an expert frog-spotter (they're so cute!) and even ended up with a stow-away for a little while :)

That evening we headed into Maun for dinner at The Sports Bar. It was pretty average, aside from some haloumi spring rolls, which were delish! Botswana was not a winning culinary destination for me :P

Monday, September 26, 2011

More Stuff

Shoo, it was a busy weekend. On Friday afternoon a friend of The Trucker's arrived from the States so I went thru to his house and we all (along with a bunch of other friend's of theirs) headed to The Keg for an evening of catching up. My goodness but was Friday night cold!

On Saturday morning the 3 of us headed to Wimpy for breakfast while watching some of the RWC2011. I do quite like their wrap breakfast. After breakfast we did a little shopping before dropping off The Trucker's friend at his family (he had a wedding he was out here for) and then to my place to check up on the bunnies.

Then it was off to another of The Trucker's friend's for a visit (they were braai-ing but since we were headed to another braai, we just stopped in for a drink to say hi to everyone). And then to a friend of his' mom's 50th braai. Sheesh, it was a busy day. And the funniest part was that even tho I started out not knowing anyone at the 50th, I left having met my dad's cousin & his wife who happened to be there. A rather entertaining turn of events, but highly likely in my world. Haha. And one of the birthday girl's sister's lives up the road from my uncle too. South Africa can be a pretty tiny place sometimes! It turned out to be a really good evening :)

On Sunday we had a lazy morning and then got up & showered and went for a walk. It was a beautiful morning after the overcast & freezing Saturday! The Trucker took me to Golden Harvest Park (which I didn't even know existed!). It was very cool. A weird place, with all these random house in the middle of the park, but good for a walk :)

And then it was back home and we made ourselves (mostly he did) a delish breakfast (another breakfast wrap) :) Snuggled up in front of the tv for a bit, started Game of Thrones. Then he had to do some work and I went home to clean the bunny hutch and do some grocery shopping for the week. You know, the annoying admin stuff that gets in the way of the weekend.

In the evening I watched The Girl Who Played with Fire. I thought it was a very good follow up to the first one and again I can't imagine why Hollywood is bothering to remake them.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Moody Blues

It has been a very meh and off-kilter week for me. I've just been down and anti-social and, left to my own devices, my brain attacks. It's very annoying that it can make stuff up and make me believe it. Although logically I know it's not true. Sigh. So I've spent a week being squashed by questions about life and what I'm doing and why and all sorts of annoying things. I've had self-doubt swallow me.

So Monday I was home and actually in bed with lights out by 8pm. I was just feeling disconnected and unnaturally tired. On Tuesday I almost did the same but decided instead that I would go out. Since it was an SCM Birthday at Schwabing ... R50 a schnitzel! Not too bad and I think the best food-experience I've had there. But because there were so many of us and we were waiting for people to arrive we ordered late, our food arrived even later and I was exhausted by the time I left ... I even skipped dessert (and @samanthaperry had organised a delish cake from Indulge!)

Wednesday was pretty average but another evening spent at home alone. Last night tho, I finally saw The Trucker (he'd been working every night this week so far). We shared a pizza at Col'Cacchio. Poor boy, dealing with my mood I had to keep trying to convince him it wasn't him ... not the real him anyway, just the him my head was making up stories about :P

I guess after this many years and this many failed relationships it's hard not to doubt and question and to just trust instead. I mean, sure it's easy when the person is nearby reminding you that they're there ... but when they can't be, it's that little bit harder. Because the last person who was "working late" probably wasn't ...

On Thursday I had woken up completely blue and spent a sad day expecting everything to fall apart and completely unsure of myself and my life and what on earth I am doing and the point of it all. Even tho logically I know I am doing great things. Traveling the world and being independent with lots of friends and a wonderful family that's just a little too far away sometimes. Unfortunately when I'm in this dumb mood I don't rely on any of them and instead just end up curling up inside my head making myself feel worse. Silly, I know.

But on the plus side I know it'll pass and I'll get distracted by real life and things on the go again ... I can feel it happening already.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

09 August: Okavango Delta to Maun

This morning we had a bit of a lie-in, since we were doing a self-drive stay at Sango Safari Camp (A), we had no activities to get up and out of bed for at 6am (although, just a warning, when you're sleeping in tents, luxury or not, everyone else in the tents next to yours will wake you up anyway :P).

It was quite lovely. We ordered hot-water buckets for the outdoor showers and had a relaxed breakfast before setting off.

We entered Moremi at North Gate and headed East in the hopes of seeing the Leopard with it's kill that everyone was talking about. Sadly (as is my luck since as good as I usually am at seeing wildlife, I've never seen a leopard in the wild) by the time we got there, apparently it had moved (considering the number of tourist vehicles we saw heading back from where it had been, who can be surprised?). So we drove around there a bit more, saw some more elephant (I wouldn't be surprised if by the end of this trip we'd seen every single elephant living in Botswana!). Then we headed back to the gate and took the road West to Hippo Pools (B).

Sadly we couldn't take the route we wanted (to South Gate via Third Bridge) because the roads were flooded. But we did enjoy this detour, although there were only more elephant, 6 sleeping hippo and plenty of buck to see. And then it was back to the North Gate-South Gate road which we took straight down to the exit.

We'd booked into Kaziikini Campsite for 2 nights, to give us a nearby spot to explore Moremi from. I think we lasted 3hrs there ... We made ourselves some lunch. The Trucker had a snooze. I had a shower (very outdoor and communal). And then we decided this was not for us. By this stage our ice bricks had long ago melted and we were sort of under the impression we'd be able to get meals and whatever we needed here, but I don't think we could've. And I think the driving was beginning to take it's toll.

So we headed back to Maun (C) (keep in mind after packing up we left Kaziikini at about 5pm). Took the rental car back and headed off in search of somewhere to sleep. Maun was full! But we met the most helpful woman (Kirsty) at the Okavango River Lodge (our 2nd attempt to find somewhere to sleep).

She phoned around and saved us the drive. We spoke to her about what our options for the next day were ... and we ended up deciding to stay right there. We had to pitch our tent in their campsite for tonight, but they had a room for us for tomorrow.

And we booked in for a full day's Mokoro trip for tomorrow too :) A restful day with no driving. So we went and set up our tent and came back for some dinner. Cheese burgers must've been the meal of the trip - haha.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

08 August: Gweta to Maun to Okavango Delta

I think without a doubt this was the Longest Day of our trip, although not necessarily literally. We skipped breakfast at Planet Baobab (A) and headed out early for Maun (B) because The Trucker had noticed yesterday that there was something funny happening when he put the Pajero into 4x4 mode. So before we headed off into Okavango country, we needed to get this checked out and fixed. The Bush Mechanic that had taken a look yesterday at Planet Baobab thought it sounded simple and told us exactly where to go in Maun.

Unfortunately, things are never that simple :( After stopping at the place we were told and informed they didn't have the part but to try elsewhere, we ended up at Trans Motor World in Maun-dustria with Philemon shaking his head at us. No, no, they don't have Pajero parts.

But we hoisted her up and took off a wheel and the diff-lock (I was just nodding and smiling by this point without a clue in the world) and he checked it out. They couldn't find anything wrong and things did nothing but slow down after the thrill of the chase was over. So with nothing fixed and no ideas on what was broken we headed out to rent a 4x4.

Sigh, and eventually we headed out of Maun. It had not been a great day so far but we decided that to cheer ourselves up we wouldn't just grab a take-out and get on the road to our next destination but we'd stop and have lunch somewhere nice. My Aging Aunt had suggested The Old Bridge Backpackers, which was exactly the gorgeous setting we needed. It was beautiful, right on the river with yummy food. I definitely recommend it :)

And then we were off again. We went up around Moremi and ended up going thru a bit of Chobe to get to Sango Safari Camp (C). But not without some more trouble along the way. The drive was going well enough, we saw a few elephant. And then we came to the river crossings. It's hard to believe the river crossings will be un-crossable when for the most part you spend your time driving thru such dry sand. We'd never have made it across on our own and we were stuck without any cell-signal when a Sango vehicle came past us, en route to transfer some other guests. We attached a tow-rope and floated thru the worst parts of the river, grateful.

Needless to say that by the time we arrived, moods were a little frayed. We spent our evening at our gorgeous luxury tent and watched the sun set while listening to a hippo not far away. Sadly we didn't get to see him :(

We had a communal dinner in the main area and then headed back to bed to enjoy their gorgeous plush beds and listen to the sounds of wildlife around us. I will say it's really tricky to tell how close the animals are when it's so quiet at nighttime ... but it was easy to believe that the elephants we heard were pushing over trees really nearby. The hippo's also continued to call. Apparently there were also lions after I'd fallen asleep (The Trucker did not sleep well, listening to the cacophony surrounding our mere tent)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Not So Far Away

Well, I did skip the traditional Monday morning weekend post ... but Taste seemed more important :) So here's what else we got up to.

I'd bought a weekend in Bryanston on St Luke's Auction a while back and decided that the Taste weekend would be the best time to use it. So on Friday afternoon, we headed off to Homestead on Homestead.

Wow. Seriously. We (much to our surprise) found ourselves in the honeymoon suite, an absolutely massive room with a giant bathroom (2 showers, one indoor & one outdoor!). It was fabulous. And the house is also amazing. The owner, Ingrid, grew up there as a little girl cause her folks built it originally. The grounds are massive and stunningly maintained. I was just fascinated. I mean I always look at these fancy places and wonders who puts together all the bits and pieces of furniture. Because it all looks amazing but none of it is ever stuff I would choose. It's like those places in magazines where you wonder if anyone ever uses all these chairs and spaces ... it all just looks too pristine.

Anyway we headed off to the original Ghazal's for dinner on Friday night. Their Mahknie was delish (as always), but neither of us found the Korma as good as usual. And I dunno why The Trucker insists on starters ... I was so full by the end of the meal! But we still found space for a little flake-cone from KFC on the way back (he *has* to have dessert ... it's a terrible habit ;) haha).

And then we had a bit of a lazy Saturday morning and breakfast was spot-on ... while we watched the 2nd half of our very convincing RWC win over Fiji :)

Then it was off to the shops for a bit (had to collect our taste tickets). I hate shopping with The Trucker ... inevitably he comes home with bags of goodies and I've bought nothing. Well, I'm not that much of a shopper anyways. Haha. But I was teasing him about it ;)

Then it was a quick hello to the bunnies before heading off to Taste. After Taste we headed back to my house let the bunnies round a bit before heading back to the B&B for a lazy evening. We decided to make use of the DSTv in our room (since neither of us have it ... and again I was reminded of why we don't!) and watched Ghost. Wow, it was rubbish. Some movies I guess you should just not watch again.

Sunday was another lazy morning. And then after some lazy book-reading before leaving the B&B, we headed off to do some major grocery shopping.

I decided to experiment this week with pre-made meals for breakfast & lunch for work. So far it's going well. Breakfast is a mix of granola, vanilla seeds, dried cranberries, banana and strawberries (those last two are added on the morning). And for lunch I whipped up a veggie cous cous salad type thing (cous cous, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, carrot, baby tomatoes, red, yellow & green peppers, celery, bean sprouts, kidney beans, feta ... I can't remember if there is anything else). We'll see how it keeps (hence the experiment part. It's all been portioned into 500g. So I spent my Sunday afternoon preparing while The Trucker headed home to garden & work.

It was a pretty good weekend really :) Don't discount the good a weekend away even so close to home can do ;)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Taste of Joburg 2011

Ah, Taste of Joburg, I think this must be my favourite annual Joburg event :) As is tradition, I was at the Saturday afternoon session. The weather treated us well, not too hot (in fact the day started out downright chilly with a breeze and overcast but it got quite nice and sunny but afternoon).

It was The Trucker's first time at Taste and I think he enjoyed it too :) Between us we managed to try an awful lot of dishes! Hey, and this year we even had seconds of our 2 favourites (both desserts that we shared, so I guess it was one whole portion each in the end - haha).

So, the favourites of the day were definitely the Honeycomb mousse with salted peanut and chocolate gastrique from La Belle Terrasse (our first was far better than our second tho, I think because it was colder so the outer chocolate containing the delicious mousse was harder - and oh those salted peanuts complimented the flavour so perfectly!!) and the Self-saucing Malva pudding and kumquat preserve with home-made ginger ice cream from roots @ Forum Homini (always a strong favourite of mine!).

My favourite main was also from roots, their Springbok bobotie with home-made gooseberry chutney and marinated baby tomatoes. I was surprised to see that the chef from roots has now opened another new restaurant called Gray. We tried 2 of their dishes: the Beef jap roll with honey & beetroot puree, asparagus and wasabi aioli (my fave of the two) and their Pepper-grilled sirloin cube with smoke cauliflower puree and mustard seed sauce.

I was also surprised at home many dishes contained mushrooms that never even mentioned them :P My next favourite main was probably the Baby spinach gnocchi with blue cheese and walnut sauce from Oliva Bar & Kitchen.

The item that I think we had the highest hopes for (but didn't really live up to the expectation) was the deconstructed 'Rocky Road')Honey and rose water ice cream, chocolate brownie praline and home-made marshmallow) from The Saxon.

What else ... The Sashimi-style Scottish salmon with a variety of shoots, ginger and garlic chips and a citrus dressing from Bellagio was pretty average (although tasty).

I especially liked the prawn in La Bonne Table's Mediterranean vegetable tatin and aubergine caviar with Mozambican Prawn ... pity the rest was not especially impressive.

There were way too many mushrooms for me in the Crunchy prawn & ricotta pasta 'pillows' served on wild mushrooms with a smoked salmon Champagne cream from Piccolo Mondo (my own fault really).

I ended the day with the Oxtail burger with pear ratatouille from Sel et Poivre & Le Petit Sel, which was pretty average too, I thought.

The only other thing I really enjoyed this year was a delish brandy Cocktail (no idea what it was, but it was good!) with Fish Eagle. Other than that, there was nothing much I was blown away by in the exhibitors. What I found really quite sad (although I guess it was an eventuality really) was that they started charging for the wine-tastings. So much for promotions, but I imagine it can kinda get out of hand. So we tried some wines and some champagnes and all round had a lovely afternoon :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Something Different

On Wednesday eve, I went to the Sunday Times Piet Byleveld dinner with @WhizBangLouLou at The Local Grill in Parkhurst. Was so nice to do something different like that. And we both bought his book and got them signed (who can resist a signed copy of a book??).

It was kinda weird, sitting at these tables of about 12 not knowing anyone else ... ever stayed at a small hotel or b&b where they seat all the guests together at dinner? Yeah like that. Although we were by far the youngest at our table and pretty much kept to ourselves. The starters were amazing. A wide variety of different plates of food shared among everyone. The only downside is that it's hard to actually get to and store all these big plates on those tables.

After our starters, Piet and Hanlie (the actual author) got up to speak. It was really very interesting because I realised I've never really paid that much attention or been that aware of Serial Killers in South Africa. I guess because in real life it tends to drag along over years.

Then it was time for mains and I had their chicken dish. Basil Pesto and Sweet chili sauce are a bit of a strange combo. Then they got up again and took some questions from the audience while we got our dessert, which although tasted delish, was a rather small portion (but suited me fine).

And then we queued to get our books signed and headed home.

Last night The Trucker came over after cricket and I'd got us some take-out from Luca's ... I had a craving for their salad :) Was a nice eve, I feel like I haven't really seen him in a while (especially with him so distracted by work chaos last weekend).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

07 August: Makgadikgadi Pans to Gweta

OMG Did we freeze last night! The Trucker even had to get up in the middle of the night to re-peg the tent cause the wind had really come up and the cover was flapping around like crazy. Brrr!

Much later, we had a lazy morning today knowing we didn't have far to go to our next overnight-stop. The rest of the campsite seemed to have completely cleared out before we left!

We faffed around making a delish scrambled egg breakfast (with feta & chives, bacon and toast) and then after packing up camp, took a bit of a walk before saying goodbye to Kubu Island (A). We also took a drive around the "island" before heading on our way.

This was by far one of the most awesome days of our trip. The Makgadikgadi is like nothing I've ever seen before and we got to see it in all it's moon-surface-like glory today! Words cannot describe it :)

We got to Planet Baobab (B) in the afternoon and had a refreshing swim in their pool. While I lazed next to the pool with my book, The Trucker took the Pajero off to try get it cleaned. That Makgadikgadi dust is something else! It got everywhere and it was impossible to clean!

We had a lazy afternoon, reading and napping. The Planet Baobab cottages are truly adorable! Before sunset, we went for a drink and to place our dinner orders (these have to be done around 5pm). We sat just enjoying our surroundings ... until I noticed that their stove chimney had set their thatch alight. And then there was quite the mad scramble with everyone (well, all the boys) trying to put it out. Throwing buckets of water and sand up into the air.

Turns out that although the cottages all have fire extinguishers, the dining area, kitchen and bar don't seem to?? Anyway, nothing got too burnt although we could see that there was quite a gap of thatch the next morning! And everyone continued their evenings.

I think I just had a toasted sandwich for dinner. You don't get so hungry snacking on rubbish while driving ;) The place is beautifully lit at night, highlighting all the massive surrounding baobabs. I would recommend a night or two at Planet Baobab if you're nearby :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My First ...

Oh my word. What a morning!! I just had my first personal brush with crime in Jozi ...

Okay, let me start by explaining my living situation. I live in a cottage on a large property. There are people in the main house and there are also people living in rooms between the cottage and the main house (our domestic worker and family of hers, I'm not always exactly sure of who lives there and who doesn't, aside from my domestic and her man). And a business is run from the main house during the day so there are always plenty of people around.

This morning I woke to a massive verbal fight happening in the rooms next to my cottage. A little later I heard the fight move into the large garden behind my cottage and I peeked out the window and saw my domestic's boyfriend and another man shoving and fighting. I went to go shower, staying out of it.

I got out of the shower to my phone ringing. It was the lady living in the main house telling me that my domestic's nephew had apparently opened my kitchen windows and taken stuff, could I please go and see if anything was missing. There was an already-opened bottle of vodka missing and that was all. The windows were wide open and I guess that was all within reach thru the burglar bars that he was interested in. Apparently this all happened at 05:45 this morning.

And so, the police & ADT were called. Apparently during the fight he'd also assaulted my domestic and her sister (his mom). I was impressed with how prompt they were. We made statements and when I left for work he was already locked in the back of their van.

Now it does seem kinda silly to me to lay a charge of theft against someone for something as ridiculous as an already-opened bottle of vodka, but I understand the principal. They wanted to press charges so I got behind them and did what was needed. They live there for free and he was screwing with the trust that exists between all of us living on the property.

I don't know what will happen now, but it was not an ideal start to my day.

At least the day has improve dramatically since I had my annual review just after arriving (I was obviously quite late after the morning's antics) and it went really well :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

06 August: South Africa to Orapa to Makgadikgadi Pans

So actually our trip started at 13h30 yesterday afternoon (A) when we actually left the house and started driving ... this involved a stop at Steers for lunch and more driving, almost to the Botswana border. We spent the night at The Trucker's ex-girlf's dad's game farm (yes, it is weird, but they're still business partners). We arrived after dark, but we still had a bit of a game drive before braai-ing (saw some of their giraffe). It was not a late night because we had an early morning border crossing to get to.

This morning we didn't even have breakfast, just packed a few muffins and rusks and whatnot into the front with us and headed off to the Groblersbrug border post (B). We weren't there first and it's a bit confusing with a lot of people all queuing for different things (I did not think it was particularly well sign-posted) but we got thru the SA side quite easily. Then it was over the Limpopo river and into Botswana. All this was pretty quick ... until we got to the queue to pay (I'm not sure what exactly, honestly - assume it's something to do with bringing the car in?). This took (and I'm not kidding here) ages! Two hours, I think?

Eventually we made it thru and were on our way (with a quick petrol stop - it's much cheaper in Bots!). The plan of the day was to head up to Orapa (C) for lunch (because it's where The Trucker spent some of his childhood and he'd never been back) and then on up into the Makgadikgadi Pans for our overnight stop at Kubu Island (D).

Orapa was an iffy step in our journey. You see, it is the ultimate gated community. You need a pass to even get in there (it's built around a Diamond Mine). And we couldn't get much info on how to get this pass beforehand. So we went armed with minimal info from 2 blog posts I'd found that basically implied we could just get it on arrival. But who knew how long that was likely to take? I'll tell you, it wasn't long. And as a stop, I generally wouldn't recommend it (there's really nothing much going on there). But it was pretty cool for The Trucker to check out his old house and reminisce. We had lunch at Wimpy.

After lunch we asked a local about the best way to get to Kubu Island. This was a dumb idea and left us panic-ed because we were told that the road was completely flooded and we'd never get thru and we'd have to go all the way around the Pans and then down from Gweta. We tried asking at the local police station (completely useless). And we tried calling Kubu Island. No answer. Eventually we called Planet Baobab (our following night's destination to see if they could tell us anything or if we could get an extra night accommodation there instead).

Whew, the relief! The told us there were definitely no problems with the roads (they had people who had come that way in the last few days). So off we headed. Seeing the salt pans for the first time is akin to spotting the sea for the first time on a long drive :) Quite surreal and spectacular. And Kubu Island did not disappoint (although there was a little confusion about our booking. Luckily I'd printed everything out and had proof of payments and booking emails with us).

We set up camp (yes, we were tenting tonight!) and took some Savannas up onto the rocky hill to watch the sun set. Quite stunning :) The photos don't do it justice. And the baobabs all around us were awesome. After sunset, we made a fire and set up the skottel and cooked up a delish stir-fry for dinner :) Blissful, I tell you!

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Being a Greek god is not all it once was. Yes, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse-and none too happy about it. And they've had to get day jobs: Artemis as a dog-walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, Dionysus as a DJ.

Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees-a favorite pastime of Apollo's-is sapping their vital reserves of strength.Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed-but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?

This did have a few laugh out loud moments, but i didn't think it was nearly as hysterical as I was led to believe. Good fun, but I preferred Lamb. Guess I'm just not that into those Greek gods ;)

Monday, September 12, 2011


To say this weekend did not end well would be an understatement ... but thankfully it started well :)

The Trucker worked late again but I had a girls-fondue to attend at @WhizBangLouLou's which turned out to be such a fun evening with a great group of girls :) Seriously, I had a blast!

I ended up getting to The Trucker's place at about 22h30 to find him almost passed out asleep. Poor boy! On Saturday morning we had a disappointing breakfast at Chef and The Fat Man. I guess I'm just not really a buffet-breakfast kinda girl.

And then it was off to buy The Bundles a new hay bale (Midfeeds has moved which caused some confusion). And then there was other admin. The Trucker is *amazing* when it comes to house-admin ... we changed all the blown light bulbs (4!) - Could not get The Housemate or Varen to do that without weeks of nagging! And he fixed my washing machine which was leaking ... apparently when I assembled it, I connected one of the water-cables the wrong way round - oops. But I don't feel too bad since it took more than 18mnths for anyone to even notice it or for it to start leaking (which I think had more to do with needing plumbers tape than my mistake.

And then we tried to have a relaxing afternoon. I hadn't slept well at all on Friday night and The Trucker was still playing catch-up on sleep from Thursday night. Well, I had a relaxing afternoon reading my book, the poor boy didn't get to sleep uninterrupted for even half an hour in 3 hrs. His phone is *always* ringing, there is always some crisis that needs him!

Anyhoo, I made us a very late lunch at 16h30 and then after The Bundles had a bit of a run around we headed off to his house for a walk. Then I had a divine bath with my book while he faffed with his house stuff. And then we settled in with some popcorn to watch Super 8.

Boy am I glad we didn't bother going to the cinema for this one. I renamed it Super Dumb. Seriously, do not bother watching this. It is like it was trying to be one of those kid-group movies from the 80s or something but throw in some completely unbelievable alien nonsense and you just lose it. Yeah, I did not enjoy it.

On Sunday we were up early and off to Zoo Lake for The Trucker's cricket game (to be played around the Rugby World Cup screening). Was quite a cool morning, although the boy was pretty stressed with work stuff (I can relate, I can't stand waiting on 3rd parties to fix issues). So I went home around 13h30, he stayed to play the final (cause they won their morning match) and then went off to work again. Thank goodness tho at the end of the evening they'd finished what needed doing, so am sure that's a weight off his mind :)

Me, I did more house admin, cleaned the bunny hutch, finished up my Botswana blog posts (!). While I ate dinner, I watched 9
. It was okay, quite sweet, I guess. But again, I'm not a huge fan of animated movies.

And then around 8pm started to feel yuck. It must've been something I ate, I think. OMG I felt completely green. I think I threw up at least 4 times. I couldn't even sip water without throwing up. It was that awful full-body retching. My body was sore and drained. And I was so thirsty. Seriously, a far from ideal way to end my weekend. The last time I remember feeling that bad was when I got back from Egypt with a 7-day stomach virus.

And you know that weird combo of I don't want anyone to see me ill like this (cause who can stand the sound of someone else throwing up?!) versus omg, I just want someone here to look after me and make me feel better. Yeah, that. The Trucker was pretty good over bbm tho :)

Luckily although I am fragile this morning, I seem to be alright. Have managed some water, gingerbeer and an apple. Will have some bovril toast before heading into work a little later ... There is no way I'm going to work before I am certain I can keep my food down!!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Upcoming Awesomeness

Thursday evening did not turn out to be nearly as fabulous as Wednesday. The Trucker was supposed to come over but ended up working till 2am (poor boy).

And this weekend is likely to be pretty average. Nothing specific planned except for a fondue this eve, which I am super looking forward to because I adore fondues! And then there is the rugby on Sunday (which I'm saving my shirt for - haha). But The Trucker is playing cricket the whole day ... so we'll see how that goes :P I have an admin day planned for Saturday. See, all very run of the mill at this stage.

*But* I am so looking forward to next week :) I'm off to the Sunday Times Piet Byleveld dinner on Wednesday evening (Yay! Scored some tickets after it was sold out cause someone cancelled). And then next weekend The Trucker & I are spending a weekend away ... in Bryanston. Haha. I know, kinda ridiculous, right? But I got the 2 nights for 2 people bed and breakfast super cheap on the St Lukes Auction :) And hey, I figure any night that's even kinda away for you both is good fun so why not?

And I especially picked our "away weekend" for next weekend because it's one of my all-time favourite Jozi events! The Taste of Joburg Festival :) It's their 5th year ... and I haven't missed one yet! I am so excited, it's The Trucker's first time :) I have tried to prepare him for what a Taste Nazi I am ... but I don't think he'll really understand till the day - haha.

Yep, I have a strategy and a formula ... none of this wishy-washy trying as I wander stuff for me. And I always go to the Saturday afternoon session. I go armed with my pen and the first thing I do is cross off everything I have no interest in eating (this list is inevitably far too short every year!). Then I do a second parse to try and whittle it away to a manageable number of things to try. Sharing is a nice idea but isn't usually effective, depending on who you're attending with (The Trucker does not eat seafood, the prawns will all be mine - mwahahahahaha) and the size of the portions (often quite tiny).

And then I rank the food in order of (my) priority, to ensure I absolutely don't miss out on my must-haves. And then the wandering can begin. Awe, I absolutely love the Taste of Joburg ... I can't wait!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Stuff Weeks are Made of

I'm in an oddly cheerful mood this morning ... which surprises me no end considering I did not sleep soundly at all last night. It took me a long time to get used to sleeping on my own again and now sleeping with someone else in the bed with me sometimes throws me. Especially cause at this point it's pretty erratic and usually we end up chatting till late not letting my brain switch off properly, you know?

Anyway, so this week ... Um, Monday was a total waste, and completely by accident. I had good intentions, I so often do. But instead I found myself watching 1 episode, that turned into 6, of Glee. I keep reminding myself that I do need these night's off since for the most part I'm out and about with other people each evening. But I am also starting to realise that I need to better use my free time and not use it for hibernating or escapism all the time, but rather for actually doing stuff around my house (like packing, or sorting ... there is always something!). I promise to be better and make better habits in my new house :)

Did I mention I'm going to have to buy a TV for my new house? Well I figure I must. I have realised that without one, I *never* use the lounge. And without one it is just not conducive to dvds on the couch etc. etc. So that is one major purchase I'm planning shortly after my move. (Mom, Dad and family, take note for Xmas, I will need donations to my new TV fund - haha!)

And then Tuesday was SCM and last night I stayed late at work for a Poker night, which was awesome. I haven't played in a while and was feeling a bit out of it initially, but ended up coming 3rd (of 9!). Awesome, I won a whopping R10 (on top of my original contribution, that I made back) - haha. The Trucker had had a horrible day so he decided to come over, which rather made my evening :)

And I got a present! He arrived with a pink Springbok shirt for me ... just in time for the Rugby World Cup, starting on Sunday. I've always meant to get myself one (not specifically a pink one), since I was dating Bean (he was an avid rugby fan), but never quite got round to it ... and now I ave one. YAY :)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Sugar Girls and Seamen by Henry Trotter

Sugar Girls and Seamen illuminates the shadowy world of dockside prostitution in South Africa, focusing on the women of Cape Town and Durban who sell their hospitality to foreign sailors at one of the busiest cultural intersections in the world. Through their continual interactions with international mariners, ’sugar girls’ are major traffickers in culture, ideas, languages, styles, goods, currencies, genes and diseases. Many become cunning linguists by mastering the men’s tongues, develop emotional relationships with the salty waifs, bear their babies and entangle themselves in vast webs of connection. In many ways, these mermaids are the ultimate cosmopolitans, the unsung sirens of globalisation. Based on fifteen months of research at the seamen's nightclubs, plus countless interviews with sugar girls, sailors, club owners, cabbies, bouncers and barmaids, this title provides an account of Dockside 'romance' at the Southern tip of Africa. Through stories, analysis and first-hand experience, Sugar girls and Seamen reveals this gritty world in all its raw vitality and fragile humanity.

So, another book I didn't finish reading. I tried, honestly I did. And I persevered long after I grew bored, in the hopes that it would recover. The book is just tedious. And it feels terribly repetitive. Trotter says that he was thrilled to convert his research study into an actual book, but it still feels like he had no idea how to write something that wasn't technical and academic. A ghost writer or co-author would probably have gone a long way to helping this.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Meeting His Family

Well I had another awesome weekend :) And looking thru the calendar I can already tell we're heading into that crazy-busy pre-Xmas social whirlwind.

So back to this weekend ... on Friday we had a work Spring party. Which originally I thought they'd just put far too much effort into, but it turned out to be really nice and I was sorry that The Trucker hadn't joined me (for a change partners were invited and it worked better than usual, I thought). But he'd had his own crazy day and I went over to his place at about 8pm and we had a relaxing evening not even finishing the Top Gear Vietnam Special before yawning our heads off and going to bed. It was a long week!

On Saturday morning I was scheduled to meet his *entire* family! Eep. I won't lie, I was nervous. His mom & gran drove up from the Free State to stay with him till Tuesday, so everyone was meeting at his house for breakfast (which was delish!). So it was him & me, his mom & gran, his sister and her 9yr old daughter and his aunt & cousin. Sheesh. It was all a bit overwhelming initially, but by the time I headed off at 13h30 I'd had a lovely morning :)

But I had @Tamara0h's  Gypsy picnic to go home and dress up for! I arrived there at about 3pm and had a lovely afternoon sitting in the sun outside chatting with @Tara_L_B, @Rubyletters and @Angelsmind. And then at about 18h30 I was off again to a friend's housewarming. Sheesh, it was a crazy day and I left the house warming before 9pm, exhausted and needing just a little quiet time to myself.

On Sunday I headed back to The Trucker's for lunch with the family and stayed till dinner (we made a really yummy pasta!!). Is it weird that I think his family is the most similar to mine of anyone I've ever dated? I find it very strange. But good :)

Friday, September 02, 2011


Mkay, my head has (thankfully) moved on from it's muddle. It just gets caught up in itself sometimes. But to be honest I haven't had a spare moment to think this week, really.

Work has been crazy! Have worked a bunch of overtime to get a site live yesterday. And aside from that, I went to dinner with The Trucker on Wednesday evening and to a friend's for dinner last night too.

On Wednesday, we tried Lapa Fo. I used to love the place, but it went a little downhill but it's been, literally, years since I last had their food so I figured it was time to try it again. Hmmm, the place was packed, but it all seemed to be the owner's friends. The service was unbelievable shocking. The completely screwed up my order (to the point that all I ended up eating were a few corners of The Trucker's pizza that had no mushrooms on it). I was being difficult, I'll admit. I ordered a pizza and removed 4 of the toppings and added one. I watched the waitress write it all down (correctly). And when my pizza arrived I could not work out why on earth it was so salty (I despise salt). After individually tasting all toppings, I discovered anchovies. Anchovies, when the base pizza I'd ordered was vegetarian and all I'd asked to be added was a different type of cheese. YUCK. It had taken so long from our original order being taken to our food arriving that since it was already 20h30, I was in no mood to place a new order. We left rather sharply. Apparently the food is actually good. So maybe we'll try it again, just as a take-out instead.

And yeah, last night I was exhausted after such a long and insane work day, but I headed off to @zoosev's for a dinner with the girls. Omg she made us an amazing dinner (a Moroccan chicken dish) and even better dessert (oven grilled fruit with homemade mango ice cream!). Such a lovely evening catching-up with everyone too!

Yawn. It's been a *long* week.

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