Thursday, April 26, 2012

Birthday Girl

Wow. Thirty Two. Yip, I'm old (er). Happens every year, you think I'd be used to it by now ;)

The week has been fairly quiet, really. The Trucker came over and worked while I watched Series on Monday night. On Tuesday I went to SCM. And last night I went to Ghazal's for dinner with The Trucker, @Toxic_Mouse and his girlf. Which would've been a lot more awesome if I wasn't having an attack of the birthday-sensitivities. Oh well. I am in a much better mood for celebrating today.

Does anyone else get weird emotionally around their birthday for no obvious reason? There is also something I feel about the pressure to have a good day that gets me ... which, I know, is ridiculous. Today the pressure is off, so I am feeling a lot better!

It started with 4 birthday wishes before I even woke up (and I thought I was up early!) and plenty more since, a very normal get up & go to work early mornign at home and now here I am. With a desk cover in pink & purple balloons, with a bunch of work to get finished today (and a Team Breakfast a little later - not birthday related) before I can leave early and head home to finish packing and The Trucker and I can set off on our mini-break to Namibia :)

Can't wait. So, I'll be back on the 7th May.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Looking Back

Shooo. Just realised this morning that today a year ago I was packing for my trip to Russia & China! Sheesh, how time has flown. And that, of course, meant I'd missed the one-year anniversary of my first kiss with The Trucker! (I looked it up, so handy having a blog, and it was on Saturday!). Wow, a year.  I guess after Varen I couldn't really imagine finding someone I could date for this long ... and to be fair it took a fair amount of time to find him. I am completely in love with this boy. I know that I am definitely still in the honeymoon phase, but I am loving it <3 :)

That also means it's Birthday Week for me. Thirty Two on Thursday. I haven't had too much birthday-weirdness this year (usually I do), but thinking about that does kinda explain my blue-mood from last week. You know, the life-is-overwhelming one ... the one where you remember you're about to turn old and no one has ever asked you to marry them and you've never fallen pregnant and will any of those things ever happen ... #sigh. I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. But it is kinda hard since I don't really know if those things are on the cards for me anymore (anything seemed possible when I was younger). Anyway, just remind me I've still got 2 years till I plan to throw caution to the wind ... and let's face it, a lot can happen and change in 2 years. Finger's crossed tho.

Anyway, back to reality. The weekend ... It was a pretty quiet one, honestly. On Friday evening, The Trucker & I went to dinner with some of my work-friends at one of their houses. We had a great evening. Well, I did. Us girls all know each other pretty well and all worked together for about 3 years before the first of us left the company. But, we all have very different boys ... and they seem to struggle. Usually we just do girl-catch-ups ... but every so often it's nice to have our boys along too. But girls seem a lot easier to throw together randomly based on the boys they're dating. Boys not so much. They even tried to watch rugby but apparently there was nothing on. Maybe next time we'll make them braai - haha.

On Saturday we had an admin morning before The Trucker headed off to his mom's for the night. He'd originally planned to go because I had a friend's bday on Saturday evening and he wanted to take the new Pajero on a longish-trip before we head to Namibia at the end of this week. But my plans got cancelled. Still, I didn't go because I figured he probably needed some family time on his own ... and I get him non-stop for 10days from Thursday :)

So I was at a bit of a loose end. I had some shopping to get done and then I ended up going to Ruby Sushi with @samanthaperry and some friends of hers. I was not blown away ... although I didn't have any sushi. I tried their chicken satay, which was very dry and not enough sauce. And then I had the crispy beef, which was fine but I also found the beef had been cooked to within and inch of existence. So I wouldn't order that again. They did have some interesting sushi options (like with bacon! I sent The Trucker a photo - haha), but they serve the 8 piece portions, so they immediately fall out of potential sushi spot status for me. Oh well.

I had a very lazy Sunday morning. Seriously, it was absolutely lovely. Drinking hot chocolate, sitting on my garden bench, reading my book, listening to the birds fight over seed at the feeder and watching the bunnies run :) #bliss.

Then reality set in and I got up, cleaned the hutch, showered and made myself some breakfast. The Trucker got back at about 2pm and we headed straight to the shops to stock up on stuff for our Namibia trip. Made it by the skin of our teeth as everything closes so early on a Sunday :P But we ended the afternoon off with a Red Velvet Waffle from Mugg&Bean (I'd seen @beagle_momma tweet about it earlier in the week!) Pretty. And I thought was delish. But yeah, don't need to have it again anytime soon. Was a nice novelty tho :)

The Trucker came over for dinner (I threw together so delish Tuna Salad) and we watched We Bought a Zoo.I enjoyed it. Probably because I would love to buy a zoo :D Matt Damon is not my fave and I was a little horrified to hear that The Trucker falls into the part of society that thinks Scarlett Johansson is sexy ... #sigh. Mostly, I just think she can't really act :P But, aside from that, I loved it. 

Oh, and since we're being all retrospective in this post, I figured I'd mention that this weekend I realised I've been out of school for 15 years now ... Oh. My. Gawd. How on earth did that happen? Not that school is anything more than a distant memory, honestly. But that just sounds so long ago!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Five Day Week

Yay. So far it has been a lovely morning ... I say that as I am currently sitting on my garden bench, listening to the birds go wild at their feeder and watching the bunnies play in the garden while I drink my hot-honey-water.

I decided to work from home today. Gotta get the most out of this laptop, I figure. And I had no meetings this morning and I wanted to test out the vpn setup on it (for one day when I might actually have to work from home). So far so good :) I'll go in a bit later after the traffic. The best part was the extra snooze for 50mins this morning! Hey, maybe I'll do this once a week ...

Anyway, this week. Right (casts mind back) ... On Monday night I went for sushi at Cedar Square with @Rubyletters. Was lovely to catch-up. What I've learnt is that if you wait for ages till everyone in my blog girls group is available for a catch-up, it just takes too long. So sometimes it's nice to just do a mini-one with one or two of them. Sushi was, as always, delish and to put the cherry on top, The Trucker came over after I got home.

On Tuesday evening I went to SCM, but it wasn't at The Blue House because @clairam is jet-setting around Turkey this week. Poor girl :P And after that I went over to The Truckers. You know, I really like the doing-your-own-thing evenings but still snuggling up together in bed. That's the thing I want from living together. But, surprisingly, I'm not quite ready for the rest of it ... although I don't believe it would be the same with this boy at all. I was thinking about it the other day and realised, in every other relationship where I've lived with someone I've dated, I was already living with them by now. And sure, it's usually a matter of convenience, and this time I have my own home, so giving it up is that much harder (am simply not ready for that yet!). But I think this boy & I just move slower ... and I kinda like that, honestly. Yes, yes, I'm madly in love, I know.

On Wednesday, The Trucker worked late, getting the Pajero ready for our trip - has been a week-long project but will hopefully be finished today! (I dunno exactly what has happened, but I know it involved taking the whole engine out!). I made him lie to the mechanic he's working with on this to say we were leaving for Namibia a week early, because every other trip we've gone on in the old Pajero, this guy has been working on it till the last minute and we've left 2hrs late! I refuse to do that on my birthday. And, you know what? The Trucker told him we were leaving on Wednesday this week ... good thing we weren't really because it'll only be ready today!! Sheesh, can you *imagine* how annoyed I would've been.

So, I stayed home and watched Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. We'd started watching on Saturday, and got about half an hour in, but The Trucker got a bit bored with it. I loved it. It's quirky and cool ... but long! I can't believe they're making movies of all my favourite books these days.

Yesterday, I was expecting The Trucker to come over for dinner, but he ended up working late on the Pajero again and only arrived at about 20h30. We re-read thru our Namibia itinerary and got all excited for our trip ... although we need to do some prep-shopping this weekend!

And that was my week. Yesterday, I was in a bit of a weird mood. I am in a better mood now so don't really want to talk about it. Just was a bit blue ... it happens when you think about life too much, I think. Everything becomes a little overwhelming and you begin to question everything you do and wonder if you made the right choices and if things will work out the way you hope.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Room by Emma Donoghue

Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don't have the key. Jack and Ma are prisoners. 'This book will break your heart ...It is the most vivid, radiant and beautiful expression of maternal love I have ever read' - Irish Times . 'Startlingly original and moving ...Endearing and as utterly compelling as The Lovely Bones ' - Scotsman . 'I've never read a more heart-burstingly, gut wrenchingly compassionate novel ...As for sweet, bright, funny Jack, I wanted to scoop him up out of the novel and never let him go' - Daily Mail . 'This is a truly remarkable novel. It presents an utterly unique way to talk about love, all the while giving us a fresh, expansive eye on the world in which we live' - New York Times Book Review. 

Loved this book, loved it. In fact, I think I will go out and but my own copy. Look it's probably not for everyone, but if you enjoyed books like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, then you'll probably enjoy this 5 year old perspective.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Righto. So to be clear, I am all happy and filled with the warm fuzzies still (amazing!!) but, there are plenty of other thoughts also swirling in my head. So, a quick warning, I'm about to pour them out of my head onto this blog. I need some quiet in here - haha.

1. Job Satisfaction vs. Cash Money
 Righto, this is a tough one. Almost 4 years ago, I left The Big Corporate for a little friend-filled work environment. I always knew I'd end up working here. I knew it'd be my "settle down" company. But at the beginning of last year this little company merged with 2 others and became a big corporate too ... well, not quite, but a little.

And after a bit of a rocky path, I've settled back down here again. Not all days are perfect, obviously. But if someone had to ask, yeah, I'd probably still say I like my job and what I do every day. I love working on things people can see and use (websites). And I love problem solving and there are things and projects I work on that give me great satisfaction. There are also projects I work on and people I work with that make me want to tear my hair out. But that is not the problem. I'm still good on the Job Satisfaction front, I think. And I don't really want to leave ...

But there is this nagging voice in my head (and out loud from The Trucker), saying I should think about heading back to The Big Corporate and earning some big bucks as a contractor. It could never be a long-term plan because I really don't find the work there rewarding. But I am wondering if it might be worth considering for 12-18months ... just to make a dent in these bonds and keep up my standard of living (it has taken a knock lately what with now having a personal trainer & spending 1K a month in medication for my newly discovered Allergies & Asthma, more on that in point 2).

I'd hate to leave here and have to come back not as senior or something because I had missed out on all that time. And I would feel like I was really letting my friends here down by leaving. How on earth does one make a decision like this?

2. Health & Wellness
So, I figured a report back on both the Personal Training and Allergies & Asthma diagnoses was needed.

The Personal Trainer has been okay. I've been going 3 times a week (except for Public Holidays and when I've been away). I'm not sure how much it's helping honestly (2nd measurements next week). But apparently if I don't change my eating habits as well, it's not going to have very dramatic effects anyway. So, we'll see. I've also switched to only one session a week from May. Mostly because it's damn expensive, but also because I figure I know how everything works now and he mostly just stands around counting and deciding what machine to do next ... I'm still keeping the one session a week tho, so I'm still accountable and will still do the measurements etc.

On the Allergies & Asthma front, I went for my one-month check. Nothing has changed, in fact I got an extra script (for eye-drops and nasal spray instead of the nasules which I didn't like at all!). I noticed such a dramatic difference in the first month tho! I was off the meds for a few days before I could get the next lot and I noticed the decline (I was even yawning at gym again). Now that I'm back on them, I'm almost back to what should be normal. Not 100% tho because right now it is actually the change of season on top of everything. But even so, it is a vast improvement on what I've been living with for years! So Yay for that. Boo for the R1000 a month in medication tho ... Am looking at how Chronic works with Medical Aid. I think they'll cover the Asthma pump, but I'm not sure yet about the Allergy meds. Every little bit helps tho, I guess.

3. Too Perfect
Yeah, can you even  believe that heading? The love life has been amazing and pretty much perfect for months now. Bliss. It's a strange state to get used to. I'm no longer waiting for 'the other shoe to drop', but now I occasionally wonder if it's real. The last time I thought things were going perfectly, it was pretty much all a lie just to keep me happy because that made life easier for him, if I was happy and naive and not asking too many questions.

But for now, it seems real. And I'm trying to believe ... because the alternative will eat me up and turn me into an emotional wreck. You can't question everything all the time. And really, how can someone prove that sort of thing, except day by day, with every sweet thoughtful and considerate thing they do (And at the moment, there are plenty!). Awe <3

Monday, April 16, 2012

Highlight: Titanic Centenary

Yawn. Shoo, I can't believe another weekend has come and gone ... this one flew past! And only one more weekend in Joburg and then we're off to Namibia :D

So on Friday evening The Trucker & I had a quiet night at home watching series. On Saturday we headed out to tick off a lot of admin items. I needed a new track-pad for my Blackberry. I'm not the only person I know with this Curve to have this problem, and it's been completely driving me nuts for months now. The track-pad seems to become too light sensitive (or something) and it is pretty much impossible to use because it auto-scrolls All. The. Time. Anyhoo, a guy at work had the same model Blackberry with the same problem and he found a place to get the track-pad replaced in Campus Square. So that was on the list for Saturday morning. I am much happier. And it was ready in less than 20mins. Definitely sounds better than going via the Vodacom shop where they probably would've taken my whole phone and got it back to me 3 weeks later or something ridiculous.

Anyway, since we were in Melville, we headed to 44 Stanley for a late breakfast at Vovo Telo. The service was pretty rubbish, but the food was good (I tried their Pain Perdu). I still have major issues with their drinks-options, as someone who doesn't drink coffee or tea .. since they have the most limited range of fruit juice options usually (no, I'm not a fan of carrot).

There was whirlwind clothes shopping for The Trucker and a hair-appointment for me. Yay. It is a schlep to go all the way to Sunninghill now that I've moved, but I really do like the lady who has cut my hair the last 2 times. I don't even get it done as often as every 6 months (last time was June last year! Shoo). So I walked out of there smiling ... so did The Trucker ;)

We had a little afternoon snooze after all the running around. We had a long evening ahead! On Saturday evening we got all dolled up (black-tie) and headed to Le Canard for their Centenary Titanic Last Dinner Celebration. I was super excited and the evening was great fun! From arriving to a welcome glass of champagne to the sounds of waves & seagulls to the radio clip they played us with news from 1912 to the lengthy meal and the iceberg warnings.

I don't think we really had the exact meal, they combined some courses (apparently the veggies were served as separate courses in those days?) and modernised some items (like swapping squab for quail). But I loved the idea of the recreation and am thrilled to have been able to enjoy it on the centenary (they've been hosting the recreation dinner for 7 years now apparently).

On Sunday, I made scrambled eggs with chives & feta for breakfast and then The Trucker headed off to play cricket (he had 3 games in a row today!). I went shopping instead ... got 2 new pairs of jeans which were much needed. And it's so rare for me to find 2 pairs I like so quickly that I figured why not and bought them both. I pretty much live in my jeans. So I am very happy :)

Later I grabbed us some Subway sandwiches and headed off to watch the last 2 cricket games. Poor boys, they were completely exhausted by the third one. We had home-cooked ostrich burgers for dinner and watched Our Idiot Brother. Hmmmm. It was pretty average with some mildly entertaining moments. Yeah, I know, not exactly the best sales pitch. But I wouldn't really recommend it. Nor would I tell you outright not to bother watching it tho ...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekly Round Up

Shoo, am I glad this was a short week. Dunno how I'm going to survive next week's Five. Whole. Days. Haha. Anyway. This week has been a good one.

Well, it started with SCM on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday I found out that my new work laptop that I'd just finished installing & setting up would be replaced by HP because of that annoying Calculator pop-up problem. Awesome. #sigh. Oh well. As I type and the Calculator pops up 100 times, suddenly re-installing a new one no longer feels like such a task ...

On Wednesday evening I went over to The Trucker's and he made dinner (I love when he makes dinner, it is delish! Yet another part of his charm). And (cute-warning) on Thursday morning I was full of smiles after going to make myself breakfast at work and discovered he'd sneaked a heart-shaped sweetie-pie into my lunch-box <3 Awe. Seriously, it is the little things that tell you someone cares :)

Last night @Thunderkitty6, @samanthaperry and @clairam came over for a #SCMGirls evening. It was much needed and very awesome. Lots of wine and pizza :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Cairo Diary by Maxim Chattam

British-occupied Cairo, 1928: Several young children have disappeared and were then found, horribly mutilated, in the tombs just outside the city. Panic is spreading among the locals after a cloaked giant is sighted. Has a ghoul from One Thousand and One Nights been brought to life? British inspector Jeremy Matheson follows the trail of the monster, which takes him into the depths of underground Cairo as well as deep into his own tortured past. Mont-Saint-Michel, 2005: Marion has taken refuge in the wind-swept and remote monastery located on a spit of land on the west coast of France.In the wake of a scandal, caused by her own revelations, that is now reverberating through the French capital, she has been spirited away from Paris and brought here by the Secret Service for her own protection. When she finds a diary dating from 1928 in the monastery library, penned by Jeremy Matheson and hidden inside the jacket of an Edgar Allen Poe book, she is inexorably pulled into the past as she is being watched, and taunting notes and riddles urge her to give back what is not hers...

Meh. I didn't think this book was either good or bad ... it just kinda was. It's not one I would recommend you either do or don't read. Honestly, it's going into my pile of books I've read and don't need to keep ...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Oops, seems I missed the draw date for my little competition. Which sadly there has been very little response to :( So, since I only had comments from 2 different people, the random drawing is moot and The Divine Miss M and Mandy win the tickets! Well done guys! Please get in touch with me on gladtobeagirl AT gmail DOT com and I will tell you what I need to get you those tickets :)

OMG I am working on my brand spanking new work laptop (guess that shipping my computer down to Cape Town to work for a week was annoying for everyone - haha! At least this makes next time much easier! Just hope they're not expecting me to work from home now too :P ) and something I press keeps opening the freaking calculator. I have no idea what it is yet, but it is driving me mad! Aside from that tho, my new laptop is *awesome*! Should be finished setting up this morning and can send the old desktop back to the IT dept. Yayness.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wonderful Easter Weekend

Wow, I had an absolutely perfect Easter weekend :) It started with dinner at @zoosev's with @WhizBangLouLou and some other girl-friends on Thursday evening.

The Trucker came over after I got home and we had a lazy morning deciding how to start our weekend away. We had breakfast at a nearby Mugg&Bean and then grabbed some lunch-supplies at Woolies and got on our way. We headed for the Pilanesburg Game Reserve.

We had a stunning afternoon driving around and spotting game. We joked about only seeing Elephant (like on our Botswana trip) but, this time we saw quite a lot! Just no predators. We did see quite a lot of Rhino tho :) And had an amazing sighting of Elephants with calves playing in a watering hole. It was amazing!

As the sun was setting, we headed back to Magaliesburg to check-in at our weekend's accommodation, Matlapa Lodge. Wow, the place was lovely and exactly what I had been looking for. Only 9 units, all self-contained. An awesome outdoor shower (the weather this weekend was still perfect for it!) and a gorgeous deep Victorian bath. The only thing that didn't wow us about the place was their very boring and average breakfasts. It got a little the same so we skipped our last one. But other than that, I would seriously recommend the place :) It is lovely.

On Saturday morning we were up early and off to do the Magaliesburg Canopy Tour. Now, I've always wanted to do one of these, but have always been too nervous. I've gotten a little afraid of heights in my old age ... and, honestly, have never been much of an adrenalin junkie. To be honest, I am too terrified of going on The Big Wheel at fairs ... you know, the ones with the open seats that rock every time you stop to let the people at the bottom off & on. I wouldn't have a problem if I was strapped in or completely contained. If I am peering over a dizzying height, I prefer something at waist height between me and the nothingness down below. Being strapped in and zipping between cliffs ... well I wasn't really sure if I could stomach it.

But, The Trucker was keen and I figured what is the worst that could happen? (The most used question in my vocabulary) And so we signed up and went. And it was *awesome*. Seriously, except for the first fast one (where I wasn't convinced the brake would stop me slamming into the side of the rock), I was absolutely fine. The view was stunning. We're definitely talking about trying the Magoebaskloof or Drakensburg ones! The most disappointing thing tho was the lunch afterwards. Our guides were fantastic.

We browsed around a few of the small shops in Magaliesburg on our way back to Matlapa Lodge. Honestly, folks, I don't really get the appeal of the Magaliesburg ... aside from all the awesome things to do in the area, the place itself is pretty disappointing and you can't go there with nothing in mind and just wing-it. There is absolutely nothing of interest in the actual "town" itself.

We stopped at Melon Rouge for scones and then we had a lovely relaxing afternoon, reading our books and napping. Luckily we had seen a potential dinner spot on our driving around and hit jackpot with The Black Horse Brewery & Restaurant. Wow, what a gorgeous place. And we had a delish dinner and the prices were quite reasonable. Would definitely go back here! Seriously, it was the only food-highlight of our entire weekend away. The rest was pretty much a #foodfail :( Haha.

On Sunday morning we headed up Breedt's Nek Pass (again) and into Mountain Sanctuary Park for a hike. It was an awesome walk and the grotto is gorgeous (although a bit more over-grown than I remember). After that we grabbed some take-away lunch from Steers and headed back to the Lodge for another lazy afternoon. Dinner on Sunday night was a total fail. We couldn't find anywhere suitable (after finding the Askari Lodge Restaurant listing on with a menu, we were rather disappointed to arrive to find the only option they had was a buffet ... which never works out for me). We drove around looking for spots that weren't too far away but couldn't find anywhere open and by the time we were ready to give up and go to Wimpy (the only thing that we saw open), even that was closed at 8pm. We ended up with toasted cheese&tomato sarmies from the local garage's take-out spot. Turned out okay. The evening had turned overcast and there was rain and we sat in bed watching Californication on the laptop :)

On Monday we skipped out breakfast at Matlapa and instead tried Le Classique Ristorante. A bigger breakfast but, really, more of the same. After that we headed home.

It really was a lovely long weekend away :)

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Almost Away Again

Yay. Today is technically Friday. We have a lovely 4 day long Easter weekend starting tomorrow and I am really looking forward to it :) These early mornings really are getting harder now that the sun is rising later and it's getting colder.

I'm more excited tho because yesterday we managed to find what looks like a lovely little spot that still had space available for the long weekend. The Trucker & his friend were talking about us all going away for the long weekend, but nothing ever got organised. So this week, after getting back from Cape Town, he & I decided we still wanted to try going away if we could so I started a hunt for accommodation. But I'll tell you, it's damn hard to find accommodation in South Africa if you a) don't have any where specific in mind and b) are looking for something quaint or romantic (I am not a holiday-resort sort of person).

I wish more than ever that the silly accommodation websites in South Africa would let you search by range (instead of province). Living in Gauteng has highlighted the sheer need to be able to search for accommodation in say a radius of kilometers from a central point. In Gauteng we have the fabulous option of being able to get to 4 of the other provinces without having to drive prohibitively far. So doing a province search is, quite honestly, a nightmare. I'd rather be able to find accommodation that is 2-3hrs drive from Joburg. I don't really care which province it's in :P Clearly no one else has thought of this tho because not a single accommodation listing website offers this service, despite the fact that I mailed the need to a few of them a couple of years back. And trust me, I know that the functionality is available (I, personally, have used it for listing car dealerships on another website). #annoying

Anyway, so we bounced around, found a lot of lovely accommodation that was either too far away (I didn't want to drive 5 or 6 hours what with our marathon road-trip to Namibia coming up at the end of the month) or too expensive. Seriously, having nothing specific in mind can be a curse. But luckily I was at SCM on Tuesday night and @samanthaperry recommended a spot in nearby Magaliesburg to me which The Trucker also thought sounded good. And they have space! Bonus :)

So tomorrow we'll be going away for 3 nights. Yesterday, TheBrad asked me why I actually bought a house ... since I seem to spend so much time away - haha.

Anyway, so this week ... on Monday night The Trucker came over and brought and cooked us a delish dinner. It was one of those nice nights of hanging out together just doing our own thing. Tuesday evening was SCM. And last night I had a quiet evening at home alone.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Gallows Hill by Margie Orford

A dog scavenging in an illegal building site digs up a bone. A human bone. She drags it back to where her mistress lies dead in an abandoned shed, but there are hundreds more … Skeletons which have lain undisturbed for centuries beneath Gallows Hill, where Cape Town’s notorious gibbets once stood.

Investigative profiler Dr Clare Hart is called in by Captain Riedwaan Faizal of the SAPS Gang Unit and soon discovers that a deadly, more recent secret lies hidden among these long-buried bones. Who was the woman in the green silk dress? Who wanted her dead? Who buried her body among these ancient graves?

As Clare Hart gets closer to revealing the truth about Gallows Hill, she becomes entangled with a fascinating but vulnerable young woman, and is drawn into a world of art, desire and destructive jealousy. Against the backdrop of corporate corruption and seething political tensions, Clare and Riedwaan’s complex relationship remains as explosive as ever – and their very lives are at risk: the keepers of the secret of the woman in the silk dress will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

Gallows Hill is the fourth in Margie Orford’s Clare Hart series, published to acclaim around the world. Be warned – read one Clare Hart novel and you’re hooked!

I was super keen to read this book. And I loved that it was set in Cape Town. But it kinda fell short for me ... I wasn't wrapped up in the story (there were a few too many going on, I thought). There was one thing I really didn't see coming, but other than that I found I didn't terribly care by the time the book wrapped up. Unfortunate, really. But, I won't be giving up on this author just yet tho :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Taste of ... Cape Town

While I was in Cape Town last week, I found out that my all-time favourite Food Festival, Taste, is now happening down there too (apparently my Mom went to last year's one). Sadly tho, I'll be back in Joburg by the time it happens on the 19th - 22nd April.

But, the awesome news is that I can offer 2 of you an opportunity to each win 2 single entry tickets* to the Friday 20th evening session!  I am jealous :)

It'll be on at the Green Point Cricket Club and you'll get the opportunity to experience 14 of Cape Town's top restaurants.I've just had a look at the restaurant listing on the site and I am now drooling. I've been gone from Cape Town so long, I don't even recognise most of these restaurants. I think perhaps next year I will have to make a plan to come down and try Cape Town's Taste festival instead of Joburg's ... for a little variety, you know ;)

Anyway, so yeah, this is your opportunity to win some tickets and go and enjoy all that Taste has to offer and make me completely jealous! Just leave a comment with your favourite Cape Town restaurant recommendation on this post and you'll be entered. I'll be drawing the winner randomly on the morning of 10th of April (that gives you a week!). *And* duplicate entries will be included in the draw if you provide a new restaurant recommendation each time :)

* Please note that this gets you free access into the venue and a tasting glass, this does not include any crowns.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Ending the Week in Cape Town

Showee, another busy few days... Trying to pack as much into our last few days in Cape Town as we could! Let me tell you, this has not been a holiday. It was busier than staying in Joburg ... And I had to go to work everyday! Haha. It has made us think about doing this week-swap on a somewhat more regular basis tho. Maybe 3 or 4 times a year :) Let's see how it goes, shall we. Has been a bit of a hassle having my computer shipped for work ... But rumour has it I should be getting a laptop instead soon, which will def make it easier to up and spend a week in CT :D Only thing is finding someone to bunny-sit ... CollegeInstructor house-and-bunny-sat for me while we were away last week. And he'll be doing it again when we're off in Namibia for 10days in Apr/May. Handy, but don't want to take too much advantage of his goodwill.

Anyway, as I said, we were busy! On Thursday it was all rainy in the afternoon and The Trucker & I were supposed to be heading for an early dinner at Cape2Cuba with my friend Liary. Due to the weather (and ensuing bad traffic), we moved it a bit closer to home and went to Jake's instead. I haven't been since before I moved to Joburg. I had the Asian Sampler Starter, which was delish. But then I was really not inspired by anything specific for my main. So I had their butternut & blue cheese parcels. Which were nice, but not spectacular. Was lovely to catch-up tho, and see her before her little boy arrives in a mere 5weeks!

On Friday I spent most of my work day in meetings, but I did manage to pop out for lunch with Jam (who is also preggers and due in July ... I won't lie I was getting broody with all these preggie friends and weddings this week!!). Sadly another shocking service experience from a Woolworths Cafe :P

After I got home, The Trucker & I headed off to The Beach Cottage for the eve, with my mom who had gone down after lunch. Awe, I love spending time there! He made his delish prawn green curry for dinner :)

In the morning, the 3 of us headed into Simonstown for breakfast at Bertha's and the The Trucker & I hopped on a train to enjoy the sea-side journey back to Dad's house to get ready for the next wedding. I love that train trip, and I haven't done it since before I moved to Joburg either. It was a little disappointing tho because they've removed all the nice seats in the 1st class / Metro Plus carriages (at least the ones we were one, did see some others still had it when we passed them). And they have awful windows now :( I understand wanting to try and control people climbing onto or off the train thru the window, but it does kinda ruin the journey :( I did see other carriages that now have split windows where the bottom & top portions both have sliders, so maybe that's a little bit of an improvement/compromise? The other sad thing is the spray paint over the windows (I don't honestly mind it so much on the carriages)... We spent the journey standing / kneeling on the seats to be able to see out and enjoy the sea view.

And then it was time to get dolled-up again, this time less so, for the Beach Wedding. We headed back to the Miller's Point beach with Daddio and waited for the ceremony. It turned out beautifully (we were all a little nervous about the wind & weather after the last few days & hopeful that the baboons wouldn't come thru!). They had a stunning set-up right on the sand. I thought it was beautiful. And this was the first bride I've seen wearing pants - haha! After the ceremony, we headed to the Ski-Boat Club for the reception.

Going to so many weddings in such a short space of time makes you completely aware of how differently people can make essentially the same thing (a wedding). The 3 we went to were all so different from each other and lovely in their own ways and reflective of the couples themselves. I know it sounds obvious, but I guess it was highlighted by going to 3 weddings in 9 days!

The Trucker & I spent Saturday night at the Beach Cottage again and then headed off to the airport. We got there early and were annoyed to discover that our plane was already delayed half an hour! Pfft. The airport seemed unusually empty for a Sunday afternoon too. We had time for lunch at the Wimpy and got home at about 6pm.

Shew. It was nice to be back in my own house & own bed. Less nice to be back in Joburg traffic this morning. It's so weird. I was leaving the same time CT for a longer journey to the office, but the morning trips were such a pleasure there (the afternoons not so much!). Made me re-realise how packed & crowded Joburg is!

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