Wow, yet another *amazing* weekend. (Can you tell, my trip to Cape Town definitely squashed my blue mood!).
I finished work early on Friday afternoon because everyone in the Cape Town office was going to a 2 hour presentation that will be done for the Joburg office this week ... and I certainly wasn't going to sit thru it twice. I'd much rather enjoy a Friday afternoon off in Cape Town, obviously :) So I made a mad dash from Seapoint to Kalk Bay to meet The Trucker & a friend of his at the Brass Bell for drinks. Which was fabulous, since I hadn't been round to False Bay yet. Was a gorgeous afternoon and a bit later we moved on to Cape to Cuba for dinner. Oh my word. It was delish and I adore that place's decor ... has been *ages* since I was last there!
On Saturday morning I spent some time visiting my gran and then later I headed to the airport with Mom & Daddio. We had lunch before my flight left at Mugg & Bean (was not especially impressive). The flight was uneventful, as was the rest of Saturday evening ...
On Sunday morning I spent some time with the bunnies and then headed off to meet Loulou at the Exclusive Books warehouse sale. R50 per kilo of books! Yes please. I ended up buying 8 books for R130. 2 were even from my online wishlist and 1 was by a friend's sister. After that we headed off to Doppio for some breakfast.
Then I had some time to clean the bunny hutch. As usual I went to buy them 3 sheets of grass. And after cleaning when I was replacing their water bowl & food, I found a little frog (I think she was a Common Caco) had come along in the grass. I moved him to my pond, but he seems to have decided to move on (sadly, I was really looking forward to having him live there!).
After that it was off to @Nadgia's mom's house for the Sass Design Shoot. Remember when a whole bunch of us blogger's descended on Sass's house to buy her divine dresses. Well we decided to do a photo shoot all together in the items we bought. It was *such* a fun afternoon and we were so lucky because we had Jenty photographing us, as well as 3 other photogs she brought along with her *spoilt*.
Sigh, and this morning I drove all the way to the new offices. Okay, it's about an extra 10-15 mins to my previous 5min journey to work ... but no doubt will be worse in the afternoon, I expect. Plus it'll probably wreak havoc with my barely memorable gym-schedule (a week in Cape Town will do that to you). Anyhoo, the place is pretty much chaos now as we're all crowded onto the ground floor while we wait for the renovations and what not to be completed.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Wow, yet another *amazing* weekend. (Can you tell, my trip to Cape Town definitely squashed my blue mood!).
Friday, February 25, 2011
Awe, my last day in our Cape Town office. Seriously tho, it has been an eye-opening experience on what I think I'd like my next phase of life to be. I mean I know I want to eventually settle down and have babies, but I don't see it happening anytime sooner than the next 3yrs (since I have yet to meet anyone who vaguely interests me). And spending time here in our Seapoint offices has made me realise I missed out on the experience of Cape Town city living. I am thinking that it'd be an awesome way to spend the next couple of years of my life. Refreshing.
I have realised this week, when asked if I could give up my Joburg social life, that although I thought it was friends & work tying me to Joburg, I don't really know what my Joburg social life is. Okay, I know I keep fairly busy. But I couldn't tell you what I'm doing or who I'm doing it with. None of it is very consistent, except for SCM Dinners on Monday nights. The more I think about it, the more I think that I may have reached the same level of complacency about Joburg life as I did about Cape Town before I ended up leaving. 2011 may be the year of moving home. But I'm going to try to just mull over the pros and cons till after I'm back from my holiday (Visa chaos begins again next week!).
(Quick aside: That doesn't for one minute mean that there aren't people I wouldn't miss terribly if I left Joburg ... and I guess the down side would be not being forced back for holidays, like I was with Cape Town and I got to see my friends while visiting, but hopefully, I'd still get to go for work occasionally. Anyway, again, not thinking about this yet.)
Anyway, so what else have I been up to while here ... Well I had a lovely dinner with Mom, The Peeb & Doc on their Garden's apartment balcony. It was so gorgeous. If I come back to Cape Town, the rule will be living town-side. Otherwise it's just not worth doing. And then last night I went to CTFM with Dad for dinner.
Posted by phillygirl at 2/25/2011 09:11:00 am
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Wow, Wednesday already. This week is speeding by but has been filled with some many awesome things. I won't lie, this is really making me wonder what exactly has been keeping me in Joburg all this time ... it might be time to come home.
My lunch breaks have been filled with walks along the Seapoint promenade ... and I have loved being exposed to this side of the world. To be honest, I never spent this much time this side, even when I lived here. I had no need. I mean yes it is nice and pretty, but let's face it, it's miles away and parking is a nightmare and I never lived close enough for it to be convenient. So when I wanted to take a stroll at the seaside, I went to Noordhoek or False Bay and that was fine by me. But, being here has been amazing and I feel like I've been missing out. I'm ready to sell the bunnies and all my furniture and move to Seapoint surrounds.
You'll laugh, since I spend less than 10mins driving to work in Joburg (soon to change upon my return), but here it's taken an hour each morning from either of my folks houses in the Southern Suburbs. And I have barely noticed. There are fewer lanes and a lower speed-limit but the views are gorgeous and it doesn't feel like a drive thru concrete to work each morning. Sigh. Clearly the sea air is getting to me and maybe it is just the novelty factor, because I know Cape Town didn't seem all that special to me by the time I moved away 7years ago ... But still.
So, what have I been up to? I've been busy busy. Busy with work, busy seeing friends. I had dinner with The Divine Miss M on Monday night at a fabulous little spot at the top of Long Street called Royale Eatery. It was as good as they say! We munched on delish burgers (I had their Federale Burger) and finished with a dessert of their very decadent shakes! (I mixed Lunch Bar & Honeycomb - omg, it was so rich but so good!). Highly recommend this one :)
Oh, and before dinner I popped round to hang out with the Peeb and spend some time cuddling the cutest kitten, NamaLlama. Then last night I met up with Liary for sunset and dinner in Camps Bay. So gorgeous ... although completely overpriced! We ate at Tuscany Beach and both had pasta. Which, I won't lie, was delish. But I'm not sure I would go back at those prices.
Yawn. Did I mention how I am loving this week?
Monday, February 21, 2011
Wowee. What a weekend and this Monday morning (yes, yes, later than usual, I know) I am definitely in a lighter, brighter, happier mood :)
Flew out later than usual on Friday evening, but what a pleasure since ORT was practically empty at at 6pm (I know, surreal, right?). Anyway, I landed and discovered that UberTwitter had gone to hell ... which means I was barely online this weekend because, honestly, none of the other twitter client I tried (3 of them!) suited my requirements sufficiently. I plan to do an entire post around this late in the week. But thankfully they seem en route to be sorted ... Thank Goodness!
Spent the whole of Saturday helping Mom get all prepared for her Birthday party that evening. It turned out to be completely awesome :) She had a bunch of people over and served food in little boxes, which was such a brilliant idea, no washing up and perfectly sized portions. She had a Thai chicken & rice dish in the white boxes and beef sliced over potato salad in the red one. There was one box of each colour per person, but obviously some people only had one and others had more, and we were only left with 5 boxes left! The dessert boxes were completely finished! I made mini fruit skewers and then we put little cheese-cakes in the red boxes and squares of rum-loaf in the white boxes. And we drank lots and lots of champagne! Got to bed just before 3am.
Woke up late on Sunday and I think this was the first time in my life I've seen my mom with a bit of a hangover - haha. But I made her some scrambled egg for breakfast and had a lovely swim before heading off to collect my youngest girl-cousin, Kaese, and The Peeb and the 3 of us had a lovely Grandgirls outing to the 2 Oceans Aquarium. It was awesome. I haven't been since before I moved up to Joburg (so more than 7yrs ago!) and I'll admit it was smaller than I remembered. But still lovely. And we were there for the Shark, Ray and Turtle Feeding ... although the sharks weren't hungry, the ray's and turtles were!
We ended our afternoon looking over the harbour eating chips and soft-serve ice-creams :)
After that is was a mad dash back home for a roast chicken Weber at Dad's. Delish! I was exhausted by the end of the weekend, but I loved every second of it :)
Friday, February 18, 2011
Meep. Dealing with a work crisis this morn ... not that I really had much to say anyway. Had a very very weird dream last night, not only about people I actually know but about the bunnies, who were attacked by cats (plural!) and I couldn't find all of them. The hutch had been knocked over and there were millions of other bunnies around too.
Anyway, let's focus on the important things, Cape Town tonight :) Can't wait.
Posted by phillygirl at 2/18/2011 08:00:00 am
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Okay, I should be writing a blog post, but instead I'm using my pre-work time running around like a headless chicken printing out vast forests of documentation in preparation for my extensive visa application process ...
This does not make me happy. This makes me terrified. Because I'm never certain that the document I'm providing is the one they want. Or maybe they want an original and it's only a copy. And did I fill in their form correctly? Sigh. Visa applications are no walk in the park. Yet I say that and I've never not gotten one.
Other than that, I ignored Valentines Day completely (so no real difference than while I was dating Varen :P), and had a lovely dinner at SCM, as per usual for a Monday night. I was actually thinking about it and the last (only?) Valentines day I actually remember is one with Bean, where we had a picnic in our garden. It was lovely :)
And then last night Loulou and I went for dinner at Gourmet Garage. Oh yum. I definitely ate too much, but oh that peanut butter burger with chili-cheese fries is just too good! And then I introduced Loulou to Skoobs, my new favourite place at Monte :) It was a lovely evening.
And now, back to work between general visa panic. I mean, technically I can only start applying from tomorrow ... in exactly 90 days, I will start my homeward trek from Kunming, China. Eep. But yeah, next week I'm in Cape Town (yay!) so I plan to be ready to get started on my visa applications when I'm back. Which should give me 6 or 7 weeks to get all 3. Let's hope that's enough time. I'm especially not good with vagaries like the Russian consulate's 4-20 working days turn around time. I mean really ?!?! So I may just end up spending the extra R350 to get it processed faster for peace of mind.
Posted by phillygirl at 2/16/2011 08:37:00 am
Monday, February 14, 2011
Yawn. Apparently I can't sleep on Sunday nights anymore :P I suspect it has something to do with the house-hunting, which is just generally ruining my mood as well. Good thing I won't be doing it for the next 2 weeks then, I guess. Plus, I also blame the damned heat wave we had at about 3am this morning. I am very grateful I have an air-con. But still.
So I should've posted on Friday. I got some awesome news on Thursday. But I really have just been in such a blue mood. So let's start with the good news :) I'm off to work in our Cape Town offices next week :) The truly awesome bit is that I get to fly down on Friday evening (and will only fly back the following Saturday) ... which means I'll get to spend my mom's birthday with her (it's this Saturday) :) I am super excited about it. Since the merger quite a few people have got to go to Cape Town, but I think I'm the first person going for as long as a week ... but I suspect they're only letting me do that since they don't have to pay for my accommodation or transport. Haha. Who cares?!?
Sigh, but even that couldn't cheer me up from this blue funk I've been in ... and I am definitely blaming the house-hunting for it. I don't think I'm going to actually be able to buy a place for me to live this year (ever?). I page thru the paper and wonder who on earth is buying all these houses. How does someone get to a place where they can spend more than 3 million rand on a property? I've felt for my entire adult life that property is *just* out of my grasp. Like I'm just a couple of years behind where I should be and can never quite catch up. Sigh. I dunno. But yeah, I think it's a plus that by being in Cape Town, I'm forced to skip even reading the property section for 2 whole weeks. Hopefully it'll put me in a better mood ;)
You know, I even got so frustrated ... since they clearly just do not make the sort of place I want, that meets all my requirements, so I started actually designing my own house! I mean I know my eventual, one-day end goal is to build my own home, but I wasn't even designing that one ... I was designing a little one-bedroom for now. Sigh. It's so depressing.
Righto, onto the weekend. So I did nothing on Friday night. But had a lovely full Saturday. @scottjorton and I decided to go see the Transvaal Museum, sorry the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History :P Yawn. I found this more disappointing than Museum Africa. Seriously people, where are you keeping all the interesting things?!? There is an absolutely giant stuffed bird section (which is like a Robert's Bird Book in 3D. There is a geology room which we sped thru, having done the same sort of thing in more detail at Museum Africa. And then there are their 2 Genesis of Life Halls. Which mostly just seem to mostly contain fake plastic replica's of things (like dinosaurs and fossil bones). Which I found tremendously disappointing.
So yeah, it barely took us an hour to finish up there, and we'd gone all the way to Pretoria, it seemed a waste to head straight home. So we decided to go to the Zoo. Which was fun. They've got 4 new young Mountain Gorilla's who were very active and gave us a great show :) We also stumbled upon an as yet unfinished new exhibition, for penguins & seals ... looks like it'll be great when it's finished. When we were finished, it started pouring with rain. And while everyone else rushed for shelter, we just walked thru the awesome rain.
Since we were already drenched, we decided to go to the Botanical Gardens afterwards and walk in the rain some more ... I know, it sounds crazy, but sometimes you have to do crazy things :) It was such fun! But we were absolutely soaked. Haha. So we stopped for hot chocolate on the way home. It was a lovely day :)
Sunday was quite industrious, cleaned the rabbit hutch early, actually made breakfast (!) and headed off to house hunt. Sigh. Let's not discuss that any further, shall we? And in the evening I headed off to celebrate @Rubyletters' new job & new couches at her place with @mkmuerte and @scottjorton.
A pretty good weekend ... now imagine if I was feeling all happy how much better it could've been! Ah well, 5 days till Cape Town *grin*
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
I'm in a weird place, very all up in my head ... mostly about the property stuff. Am constantly trying to consider all options and figure out potential bond implications etc. etc. It's exhausting.
So I skipped SCM Dinner on Monday night. And last night I decided to go and watch Black Swan, since I'd heard rave reviews from a number of people who'd already seen it. I think I missed something tho. I mean yes, it was damn intense. But I didn't really come out of it feeling like I had any idea of what was actually going on. I'd heard it was scary (in a psychological way), but that's not the way I'd describe it. Intense. That's definitely the word I'd go with. I will also say that after seeing Natalie Portman's body in this movie, I'm amazed she is now pregnant!
I dunno. Although technically some of the dance shots were amazing, I'm still not really a ballet fan (aside from acknowledging that what they do is incredible, I still wouldn't plan a night at the ballet).
Monday, February 07, 2011
Another wonderful weekend. Although I'm not feeling especially upbeat this morning (perhaps the 5 hours or less of sleep now that Project Property 2011 has officially taken over my thoughts, in a bad way).
On Friday evening I headed out to The Doors for the first time in the almost 7 years I've lived in Joburg. I'd heard many things about the place, but it seemed quite normal to me. Not as pretentious as the people at The Hat are trying to be, and not as dark as the people at RR, but perhaps that's because all of them were at Thornfest? Either way, it's a very very long way to drive for a pretty average club experience.
Ended up getting home at about 3am, which was far later than I was aiming for. And was up and ready to head out to brunch by 8:30am. Needless to say, Saturday was a terrifically lazy day. It started off with a fabulous Champagne brunch with some of my favourite ladies in the whole world: @jackson_files, @Rubyletters, @Arkwife, @louisabouwer and Doodles. We ate a mountain of food and lazed around catching up until about 14h30. It was fabulous.
The rest of my Saturday was equally lazy :) And then on Sunday, I had a breakfast date with a boy from Internet Dating at The Salvation Cafe (seriously my new absolutely favourite breakfast spot!).
And then it was an afternoon of house-hunting. I'm pretty sure I've now seen the most hideous complex ever built and am horrified and terrified by the state of places that have had tenants living in them! (Honestly, 2 places I looked at, in a row, had iron burn marks on the carpets in the bedrooms! What are these people doing?). But yeah, I looked around a lot, I found some places I actually really like. Like really. And then much much later when I was trying to calculate what the banks were actually likely to lend me (since I own the flat still and don't plan on selling that, since the rental currently covers the entire bond). And that was just depressing and sad. I don't think I can actually get the place I think I might want. Sigh. But so we soldier on and we'll find something, I'm sure ... right?
In the evening I went to a friend's 30th birthday party, which was lovely. And just the distraction from house-thoughts that I needed!
Friday, February 04, 2011
Mkay, so let's start with the bad and sad news ... I did not win the Getaway Magazine's Dream Travel Job competition. I know, shock, horror.
Okay, for a moment we can be realistic about this and know that as awesome as it would've been, I think my bosses may have killed me. I mean, 2 months off work between 01 February and 31 May may be pushing it, just a touch :)
And so, as much as it would've been *completely* amazing, I'm not too upset about it. Since yesterday I paid for both my tours in full! And so, Holiday 2011 is officially the Trans-Mongolian Railway & China :) I'll be starting with Real Russia's 9day Trans-Mongolian Express tour. Which starts with a few days in Moscow (I am actually getting quite excited about this unexpected addition to my trip, since I have discovered some interesting things I'm looking forward to seeing in Moscow - like the Cosmonaut Museum and the Metro Stations!) and then takes Train 4 (did I mention that I'll be climbing on board the train on my 31st birthday? How cool is that?!) via Mongolia to Beijing. After arriving in Beijing, I'll join Intrepid's 15day Beijing to Kunming tour. And we all know that I absolutely can NOT wait to visit The Great Wall, most especially see The Terracotta Army and then there'll be the visit to the Giant Panda's :D How on earth can I be even remotely upset that I'm missing out on a few weeks of paid for travel around our lovely country? Okay, I still can. But it pales in comparison to the excitement I'm really starting to feel about this trip :) Will be booking my flights later today and then it's just waiting around until I can start applying for my 3 Visa's. Pfft. Not looking forward to that bit at all!!
So anyway, back to this week ... Um. It hasn't been a very social week (no doubt I'll be making up for it with this very busy upcoming weekend ... balance yada, yada). I didn't do anything exciting on Wednesday, but last night I went to Monte to watch Splice.
Oh. My. Word. I enjoyed this movie more than any others I've seen recently. Don't get me wrong, I walked out of there with a WTF feeling that lasted the rest of the evening! But I think that's a fabulous reflection of the film :) Seriously. I'd recommend you watch it.
And then I discovered Skoobs, the new bookshop at Monte, which I think I might move into. It is awesome :) Oh, and I had a big fight with Monte while getting a Club Festival card (because then movies are R15 each!). They want you to tick if you agree or disagree with Term & Condition 20 (Something to do with them being able to use my image / voice etc. etc. and owning any images taken inside their premises etc.) ... which I disagreed with. Which I'm guessing no one else has ever done because the dude processing my ticket had to go and talk to his manager. This all left him very flustered with no less than 2 trips back to his manager and eventually me calling the manager over because they didn't want to give me a card if I disagreed. As I pointed out: a) they were asking if I agreed or disagreed specifically with that one and below that I had agreed to the other Terms & Conditions and b) no where did it say that if I disagreed I couldn't have a card :P What a fuss and bother. Yes, I was probably being difficult, but I was given the option. I got my card anyway, but the irony was that the guy kept asking me if I'd actually read item 20 because I'd disagreed. I'm guessing people don't usually read it and just tick agree actually and if more people *did* read it there would be more people disagreeing.
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Ever have those days where you wake up and think: This is my life. I think I am having a responsibility crisis. They happen every so often (and they disappear quickly, it's like a momentary-as-you-wake-up wobble). I dunno if I can quite explain it. But I guess it comes from knowing I'm about to spend a chunk of cash in a very short amount of time when I pay for both my tours and my flights in the next few days, the fact that I am toying with buying a place that I can actually live in and the phone call from my tenant saying he wants to move in with a friend of his but he'll find someone to take over his lease (hmmm, these seem all money related). But that's what responsibility is, isn't it?
Sigh, all of these are awesome things (except for the tenant issue, but I have no doubt that'll be resolved). But they're scary adult things. I dunno, I'm not usually this worried about spending on my holidays (and this is a very average costing trip for me actually). But the house thing is weighing on my mind. I want a space I can settle in. But I have some serious constraints, like all the furniture I own and the bunnies. And because of the flat, I have some serious budget constraints ... and I have some very snobby area-requirements - haha. I dunno, I'm sure everything will work itself out and I know my mood won't last, but I woke up with it weighing heavily on me this morning.
On Monday night SCM Dinner was in @clairam's new home. And it is awesome and amazing and I spent the whole night amazed at how grown up this house was. Sigh (no doubt that also has to do with this morning's mood?). And last night I wasn't in the mood for anything and so I climbed under my duvet, with dessert (note: before dinner!) and watched Moulin Rouge. It was actually a kinda perfect evening.