Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mother City Living

Okay, I know I should totally do a Cape Town catch-up (that's my view as I arrive at work in the mornings, roughly 7am). I have been busy, that is for sure. I have also been in a weird mood (sort of ... sometimes more than others ... I think it was more like I was overly sensitive so it was a little too easy to swing into a down, blue mood).

Anyhoo, all is right in the world again this morning (which is why I've waited till now to write). So what has been keeping me busy?

The Trucker & I went for dinner with Mom&Dad on Monday night. We went to a place called Societi Brasserie in Tokai. The place is stunning decor-wise, but I wasn't overly impressed with the food options. The only chicken dish they offered was a 1/2 chicken (I am not a fan of chicken-on-the-bone). They do have a very nice range of ciders tho, and I had the Everson's that we'd had on Valentine's Day. For dinner I ended up having 2 starters. Their very tasty prawn cocktail and then when everyone else had t heir mains, I had the French Onion Soup (have never had it but have been dying to try a proper one!). It was very yummy! So despite being unimpressed with my options, their food was still very tasty :)

On Tuesday, The Trucker popped thru to Seapoint to have lunch and a walk on the Promenade with me :) And in the evening we had my sister, her husband and all her in-laws over for dinner. It was a little exhausting because I wasn't really in the mood for that many people. Until Tuesday evening, I didn't really get a full night's sleep because The Trucker was being woken by being too hot or because there were mozzies and kept waking me too. But he bought a small fan for our room and things have improved vastly :)

On Wednesday afternoon we popped over the mountain to Noordhoek for a walk (since we're not going to gym while here). It was lovely because the cloud had come in and it was cool (but not cold) and cosy (cause of the low cloud). Perfect beach-walking weather, honestly.

Then, The Trucker & I went to dinner at Royale Eatery with The Divine Miss M and her man. Ah, such a good spot, and one of The Trucker's requests for restaurants-to-visit while we were here (we didn't get to any of the new ones I wanted to try :( ). I had the Miss Piggy burger with extra cheese. Yum. Shoo, I do love their sweet potato fries as well (although maybe not as much as the sweet chili cheese fries at Gourmet Garage ;) ).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fatal Females by Micki Pistorius

Although they may find it deeply disturbing, many people have a morbid fascination with the notion that women – givers of life – are capable of ruthlessly taking it. Indeed, throughout history the view seems to have prevailed that women are not inclined to commit violent crimes. But Pistorius shows that this is not in fact the case. She examines more than 50 documented cases of South African female killers, categorised according to the nature of their crimes – e.g. love triangles, battered women, poisoners – and she develops a new hypothesis to explain the psychology of that rare woman, the female serial killer.

Factually, I guess, this was pretty interesting. But there was something about the writing style used in this book that really did not capture me. I really struggled thru the last few chapters. It was told in such a matter-of-fact style that I really wasn't connected or gripped at all by the book. I did find it quite interesting that I could not remember a single one of these women or cases (although most were in the late 90s) except Daisy de Melker (which I knew about before).

Monday, March 26, 2012

2 Weddings & a Flight to Cape Town

Mkay, so I'm typing this on my phone from our Cape Town offices. I'm here for a week and my computer has been shipped but hasn't arrived yet. To be fair I'm one of only 3 people actually here so far tho.

So, the weekend. Shoo. It was crazy busy. But first, on Thursday eve I went to dinner at Kong Roast for @WhizBangLouLou's surprise birthday dinner. Her family were all away for her actual birthday so I organised a bunch of her friends to surprise her. We sat waiting at a table with helium balloons and Hello Kitty party hats. The look on her face when she saw us was awesome.

Dinner was good, I had a caramelised pork dish which I'd have again. Although we ended up eating quite late

Then on Friday, I left work at about 12:30 to head home, pack and get all dolled up for The Trucker's friend's wedding at 3pm.

Shoo, we only left at about 11pm, it was a long day. But a nice wedding :)

On Saturday we were up & left the house a little late (in retrospect). I'm usually compulsively on time/eary, but The Trucker assured me we'd be at Lanseria with enough time.

Turns out Lanseria is not what it used to be ... There are now 3 airlines flying out of there and the place is chaos (we didn't realise it was school holidays!). We arrived half an hour before our flight but they wouldn't let us check-in. Luckily there was a half hour later flight which we made by the skin of our teeth!

I managed to calm down on the flight, I don't deal well with those kinds of situations. The Trucker remains far too calm. But we made it. Unfortunately once we arrived in CT I started panic-ing again. We had to get from the airport to my mom's house (half hour drive), get showered & dressed and collect my gran in an hour to get to The Wild Fig in time for The Peeb's midday wedding.

Shoo. It was crazy. But we made it and then I could calm down for real (and for the rest of our time here, hopefully :) ). The restaurant made for a lovely venue and it was great catching up with family & friends. Good to meet the groom's family who'd come out from America.

It was a lovely lovely afternoon. The Peeb & her hubby looked happier than I've ever seen them :) He said some lovely things in his speech and I think they have an awesome future to look forward to together! Seriously, these two are pretty much perfect for each other :)

The Trucker & I headed home for a nap before a bunch of us went over to my dad's for the evening and a light dinner.

Sunday was way more relaxed! We woke up late, had breakfast at home with my mom and then we went to Noordhoek for a walk on Long Beach. Then we took Chappies over to Hout Bay for some lunch at The Lookout Deck. Don't recommend their sushi, their chef is very heavy-handed with the mayo ... Which usually I like, but not when it's all you can taste!

We got ourselves a soft-serve ice-cream and walked along the docks before heading home thru Constantia.

We relaxed at home the rest of the afternoon.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Weirdness Continues

Yeah okay, it's been a bit of a weird week still ... but I'm back to my good mood again this morning :)

I think I had a quiet Monday evening at home and on Tuesday went to SCM. The Trucker had an Action Cricket game and came over afterwards. He left at about 6am on Wednesday. He spent yesterday's public holiday driving around the country delivering computers and surprisingly made it home in very good time at around 9pm.

I won't lie, I was a little annoyed that the boy seems to have no concept of Public Holidays. Although he did offer that I could join him ... that wasn't exactly what I had in mind for my much needed day off. I had a lazy morning, sleeping in, eating breakfast at home while the bunnies ran. I headed off to do some shopping and then CollegeInstructor came over for a briefing on the house (he's house & bunny sitting for me while we're in Cape Town next week) and then we went for a lovely lunch at The Greek Sizzler - I was craving that Small Platter to share that we'd had on The Trucker's birthday.

And then I pretty much had a Bones marathon for the afternoon (It was my all-time favourite TV show, but I'm not so sure about this new plot-direction in Season 7). Which was perfect since a storm came over and it was lovely. I went over to The Trucker's after he got home, so I did get to see him a little yesterday.

Am having a weird separation anxiety week. Which is odd and I've been unsuccessfully trying to rationalise my way out of it (since we'll be together in Cape Town all of next week, so I know he's crazy busy trying to get lots done before that). But sometimes my brain goes funny and I can't tell the difference over bbm and the phone if he's busy-for-real or if he's avoiding me. As soon as I see him in real life I can see the honesty of how busy he really is. I guess it's a little throw-back from all those late-nights Varen worked which were probably more likely spent with his now-wife.

Anyhoo. I'm much better now and back to blissful happiness and bursting with love for this boy (vomit, I know ... but sometimes it's true and it should be celebrated!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Blue Monday

I'm a little blue this Monday morning. It was a bit of a weird weekend. On Friday evening The Trucker was off bachelor-partying while @WhizBangLouLou came to keep me company and distract me (my over active imagination does not handle bachelor parties well ...) We ordered indian take-out, shared a bottle of wine and had a good evening :)

The Trucker was also a fabulous boyfriend-at-a-bachelors. He messaged me during the eve (just before I went to bed) and then I woke up to find his "Home safe" message waiting for me too. #sigh So yeah, I think the boys had a good evening, they certainly had a lot to drink but thankfully had rented a bus to take them between pubs & home again.

It took him a while to get going on Saturday morning. I was up early, cleaning the bunny hutch and getting some admin done. Eventually we met up at Clearwater for lunch ... and some more work admin for him Don't ask me how but we managed to fit 10 printers in to a Citroen C2 & a Renault Clio!

We had a much needed nap in the afternoon (I passed out as well, which I found surprising) and then headed back to his place for dinner and to watch Friends with Benefits.

It was quite a fun movie and I think just the sort of light-hearted thing we were in the mood for.

On Sunday morning we took his bike out for a quick ride to breakfast at Doppio Zero and then home. Then he headed to cricket and I found myself in a very peculiar mood. you know the one. The one where you want to do something but you don't know what and you feel like you're wasting a perfectly beautiful day and should be doing something awesome because it's weekend. Pretty much at a loose-end I guess. It happens to me sometimes on weekends. I seem to fill up my week-evenings with things and then my weekends are these gaping holes of not really doing much of anything. And every now-and-again it gets me down. I keep reminding myself that we're about to have 2 busy weekends in a row and I should be appreciating the downtime ... but it didn't work.

So when The Trucker got home, I went over to his house and watched The Help while he installed 17 laptops. That did help my mood a bit.

I enjoyed the movie. I didn't really get why Viola Davis was the Oscar favourite for it tho ... I far preferred the Minny Jackson character. But still I am very glad I finally watched it :)

I headed home after to get started on dinner and The Trucker came over when he was done (so handy living so close, I'll tell you!). I attempted the Petite Lasagnas I found on Pinterest.

These were not what I would call a success. They weren't a dismal failure either tho ... I just think I either filled the first layer too full. Or our wonton wrappers aren't quite the same because they were quite tricky to get out (I was expecting it to be more like the Poppadum cups). I bought the largest size of wonton wrapper I could get (about R20 for 60 at the Asian Supermarket in the Buzz Center) and they were still quite small when I pressed the first layer into the muffin tray. I dunno. I doubt I'll be attempting them again ... Now what will I do with all these wonton wrappers ?!

I ended the weekend in a very weird mood. I felt ill. That nervous anxiety kinda ill. I dunno what was causing it, but I suspect that's why I'm still a bit blue this morning. Nothing is wrong, which makes it even more annoying. There is a much-needed public holiday this week (which The Trucker will be working thru :( ) and we're off to a wedding on Friday and another on Saturday with a flight to Cape Town in between. Followed by a much anticipated week in Cape Town - yay :) See, no reason at all. #sigh I guess sometimes life is like that.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Valentines Day 2.0

Ah. I am back to feeling over-flowing with love and happiness. Seriously folks, I don't remember ever being this happy or just feeling all round good and upbeat for so long and consistently ever before ... It's a lovely thing :) I'm full to bursting.

So, it's been another busy busy week. On Monday evening I made some Woolies sorbet between wafer biscuits for dessert and headed off to @louisabouwer's for dinner. My word, Nicola has really grown up since I last say her. Her hair is long and so curly, and she's completely adorable. She even tried teaching me some Afrikaans (because I answered in English when she asked me about the colours of her pencils ... she was determined I should say it in Afrikaans - haha). We had a lovely dinner and catch-up :)

On Tuesday evening I went to SCM as usual. And The Trucker came over after he'd played Action Cricket. #sigh this was one of those nights where we stay up chatting into the night instead of going to sleep at a reasonable hour. And then, again, I just couldn't get to sleep properly. Seriously, that makes it once a week I've had a night like that for the last 3 weeks. I am no longer amused.

And on Wednesday, I got a surprise at work ... which The Trucker annoyingly teased me about the night before - I am no good with surprises. Well, I am fine if I don't know there is going to be one. But don't dangle some unknown information in front of me and refuse to say any more! Anyway, he had a gorgeous bunch of red roses delivered to my office :D And all the card said was "Because it's not 14th February xxx". Awe.

Seriously, how completely unexpected and what an awesome and lovely idea :) And he went flat-out. He came over and cooked an amazing dinner for me (I was banned from the kitchen). We had prawns in green curry with noodles. It was *amazing* (managed to save some for lunch today - yay!). I couldn't believe he had never made it before! And then there was apple crumble (store-bought) for dessert. It was a lovely evening. I adore this boy.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Time is Flying

Meh, it was a bit of a weird weekend ... so I'm around average on the enthusiasm scales this Monday morning.

On Friday night, The Trucker was supposed to be at a bachelor party (which was orig sposed to be on the weekend of his birthday). But yet again it was postponed (I dunno how any of these things get organised when left to 3 boys). I'd already made plans with my friends for the evening tho. So I headed off to Clearwater for some shoe shopping & dinner with @Arkwife & @Rubyletters. It was a lovely afternoon, although I was definitely drained and quite over shopping by the time we'd finished the bottom floor. Luckily @Arkwife & I had both found the shoes we needed (me for The Peeb's wedding ... to match my new dress). We had dinner at Juicy Lucy and I managed to get home thru a massive storm by 8pm. The Trucker came over later because he'd just been working at home.

On Saturday morning he left early to go meet the groom to go outfit shopping and I headed to Hyde Park to collect my new Birkenstocks. I bought my first pair back when I first moved to Joburg, so about 7.5yrs ago now and finally I realised they really do need replacing! But boy have they lasted. And I adore my new shiny ones :) After that I met up with @jarredcinman at Life for a coffee.

I popped in at the Exclusive Books Mega Warehouse sale on my way home, but I breezed in and out quite quickly. I don't enjoy it at all now that it is so crowded and I especially didn't like that the books weren't on shelves this time (where their spines are all facing you and you can easily see past the people crowding around, this time they were all on tables so you really had to try and squeeze past people to see clearly). I am not sure I will even bother next time.

The Trucker was done with the shopping by the time I got back so we headed to Clearwater to get some shopping he needed to do for work done. We had a lazy afternoon and then headed to Assaggi for dinner. One of the guys at work had recommended it to me and we were at a bit of a loose end on Saturday eve. It was quite nice :) We shared their Zucchini fries to start (yum!). And then I had their spinach cannelloni. I enjoyed it. It is in a bit of a weird center tho, but was packed on Saturday night (we still managed to get a booking for two at about 4pm tho).

On Sunday we went for a walk at Golden Harvest Park and then made breakfast together at home. Then he headed off to do some admin and play cricket while I went and did some grocery shopping - am also very excited because I bought some wonton wrappers, which I've been trying to find to make a recipe I found via Pinterest: Petite Lasagnas.

Later in the evening I went over to The Trucker's for dinner (he made Philly Cheese Steak Rolls - that's Cheese Steak Rolls which are apparently famous in Philadelphia, not made with Philadelphia Cream Cheese ... I was confused for a while). They were delish, but far too huge for me. And then we watched Machine Gun Preacher.

Shoo, not a light movie. There was more than one occasion I averted my eyes from what was going on on-screen. The movie itself, I suppose, is very good. It lost me a little with all the religious ferver. Seems a lot of movies these days are steeped in overly religious tones (we gave up watching The Tree of Life because of similar reasons in the first 15 minutes or so).

Anyway, aside from that, it was also hard to watch because of all the Kony 2012 stuff that is plastering my Facebook feed. We finally watched the video that's been posted and while I hope they stop Kony, it did make us wonder what came first ... this movie? Anyway, it's amazing what social media is doing for this cause in a way that has never been achieved before, I believe.

Friday, March 09, 2012

It's Been a Busy Week

Finally, it's Friday! It's been a busy week.

Monday was my nice quiet night at home. On Tuesday I went to SCM Dinner. On Wednesday it was Bookclub. And then last night The Trucker & I went out for dinner. See, busy. Add to that the fact that I hardly slept on Wednesday night and I am pretty ready for this weekend.

Work is also annoying lately. My schedule is empty which means I get co-opted onto all these annoying little things no one wants to do. I hate being in that stage. I like being stuck in on a project.

The Trucker & I tried Lucky Moo for dinner last night because he's never been, and it's been ages since I last have. The food was, as usual, delish. Wasn't very impressed with the dim sum (although he loved it) ... or the fact that we ordered it as a starter and it arrived after our mains. Maybe I was just too full already. I had my fave, the Kung Pao Chicken. We shared their chocolate & banana spring rolls for dessert. They are delish. So yeah, the food was great, the service was useless. Stick with this for take-out (unfortunately for us, it probably would've been cold if we'd headed home to eat).

Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Reves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire. Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who call themselves the reveurs - the dreamers. At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter's daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer's apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love...A fabulous, fin-de-siecle feast for the senses and a life-affirming love story, The Night Circus is a captivating novel that will make the real world seem fantastical and a fantasy world real.

I liked this book. It's imaginative and fantastical. But I didn't read it fast enough ... that might sound weird but most good books benefit from regular reading and from reading more than one or two pages at a time for you to become properly entranced by them. I didn't give this that time till the last few days, so I do feel like I missed out on some of it's effect. The other thing I struggled with in this book (but not prohibitively) was that it's out of sequence. But the sequence wasn't really made clear enough for me until the end when they reference an event in the last chapter that happened a year before. Sure, they print the date in a tiny font at the start of each chapter, but I never really pay much attention to the chapter headings (books so rarely have them anyway), so although I was aware that they were dated, I missed that they weren't sequential completely. I'm not sure why they weren't, it seemed a bit like a wasted writing-tool. But other than those minor things, this is definitely worth a read :)

Monday, March 05, 2012

Health Update

Mkay so it hasn't been a very busy weekend, and I'm not bouncing off the walls filled with love and awe this morning either, but things are still pretty good.

I went to the Doc on Friday afternoon. Not my normal doc, a homeopath, but The Trucker's doc. When we both got sick a few weeks ago and I refused to go to a doctor (because my faith in what they can do for coughs & sneezes is non-existant), I promised I'd go to discuss my general health-issues. Let me explain, I don't think I'm sick. And I'm actually not. But I probably cough and sneeze *a lot* more than the average person. Me, I don't really notice, it's been this way for years, to me it is just a normal day. But The Trucker pointed out it was not and I agreed to give it a try. I have before with no long-term solution, but he swears by his doc. And after Friday, I'm feeling quite positive myself.

So it turns out that my lung function is worse than I thought. I knew it was below average, I didn't realise it was functioning at 2/3rds capacity (or something). Basically it's those little blow-tests ... and the highest I could get the marker to go was 450. For my age I should be getting over 600. I have asthma. Proper asthma apparently, not just the low-grade asthma I was told about before.

I also have allergies. Nothing specific enough for them to be able to identify, nothing that on it's own will kick the reaction above my tolerance point, just lots of things (probably, dust, pollen grasses etc.) that collectively push it over. So I am now on an asthma inhaler twice a day for a month (the doc is trying to get my lungs up to normal in the next month just so I can see how life is supposed to be) (not a normal inhaler, one of these weird round powder ones with a counter). I am also on an anti-histamine (or reactor-inhibitor or something) every evening (for the allergies). And nasules, which I hate. Apparently this could also cure the permanent dark rings around my eyes ... after not having a single doctor in my entire life able to tell me what causes it or how to cure it, this one apparently can. Aside from the 2 mucus sinuses we have on either side of our nose (below our cheekbones), we have a blood sinus above our nose, between our eyes in front of our brain (apparently) and mine is not draining, which is causing the rings. Clearing the permanent allergic reaction should apparently clear this and therefore get rid of the rings.

I'll admit I'm coughing less in the mornings and haven't had any full-on coughing attacks since I started on the meds. I'm still blowing my nose ... it's day 3, so there is still a while to go tho ... I remain hopeful.

Anyway, on Friday night we went for dinner with DJMike & his girlf at our now traditional spot, Cafe Mexicho. On Saturday, The Trucker was up early and off to work, I didn't see him again till 7pm.

I had a lazy morning and went dress shopping for The Peeb's wedding. Luckily I found something I really like, fits really nicely and I should be able to use more than just once :) Now to find shoes - sigh. I am so much better at shopping for house stuff! And then I fell asleep for 2hrs. That is completely unlike me! Even when I am tired, even when The Trucker is lying napping next to me, I usually struggle to fall asleep during the day. I was a little worried it was the anti-histamines, which are supposed to not have whatever makes you drowsy in them ... I was fine yest, so hopefully was just a once-off :)

Then we had a quiet Saturday evening, we went out for sushi at a new spot at Appleby's Center. I wasn't very impressed, honestly. I won't be suggesting we go back there again.

On Sunday we went out for breakfast at Mugg&Bean and did some shopping before he headed off to work again. Then I met up with him to watch his cricket game and afterwards we went for a late afternoon walk. He worked from home for the rest of the evening while I made burgers for dinner and watched series.

It was a rather quiet weekend, really.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Pretty Much Perfect

Another lovely week in progress over here. I'll say it again, life is good and full. Warm & Fuzzies. Haha.

Monday was a nice quiet uneventful evening at home. On Tuesday I finally made it back to a SCM Dinner (have missed it for 2 weeks). It was really nice to see everyone again.

And then last night I took The trucker out for a belated birthday dinner (since there really wasn't time on the weekend). Originally I'd told him to pick a restaurant, being his birthday and all. But then inspiration struck and I decided on a surprise restaurant instead. I don't think he minded at all since he has had quiet the chaotic week (he got the new Pajero on Tuesday ... and is still very upset about saying goodbye to his bmw).

I saw the car for the first time last night and I kinda totally get it. It's gonna be awesome and I can't wait for us to take it to Namibia in April/May, but it is big and not nearly as subtle as the bmw. Although for someone who has owned as many cars as he has (and he had this bmw longer than any other car he's ever owned, I think ... since he made it over the 1yr mark!) I didn't think he'd be this fussed about it. On the plus side it has already out-lasted the 24hour Toureg (now there is a story - haha!)

Anyway, it's kinda hard to surprise someone with a destination when they are driving, but still. Off we headed for dinner at DW11-13. We'd tried to go once before but they were fully booked, so neither of us had been before.

I won't lie, this is not a cheap night out (the starters are all around R100). But we really enjoyed the food :) We shared a starter, their 'chili and ginger infused melon, buffalo mozzarella, parma ham, chiffonade rocket, de boeren extra virgin olive oil, balsamic reduction'. The melon was really good and I'm a huge fan of buffalo mozzarella :) The Trucker had the fillet for mains (which he loved!) and I had their Scottish Salmon (which I've so missed since F!sh closed down :( ) which was spot on and perfect.

We did the wine teasers with our main course, which I really like the idea of. And then somehow managed to find space for dessert. I had their 'chocolate marquise, rose water ice-cream, chocolate soil, candy floss, caramel sauce' - what a novelty the candy floss was :) And The Trucker had their 'peanut butter parfait, cherry sorbet, warm cherry sauce, red wine poached cherries, hazelnut tuille'.

All in all a pretty perfect dinner out, honestly. I know some people struggle with the portion sizes (and for the price it probably doesn't seem like enough), but it was enough for me.

Am super glad I did my personal training measurements before dinner tho :) And in very exciting news, I am apparently down 3% body fat! Whoop. Although I'm still not convinced since I can't feel all these lost centimetres in my clothes yet ...

In annoying news tho, we found out yesterday that we will be missing Russell Peters' show in South Africa :( We'll be in CT when he is in Joburg and vice versa .... pfft. But we do have so much lined up already :)

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