Friday, June 29, 2012

Everybody Say Awe

It's been a week of ups & downs. Monday was blissful. Tuesday I went to SCM Dinner which was good fun (always is when there's a birthday to celebrate :) ). On Wednesday The Trucker came over for dinner and we had another lovely evening at home. Altho I ended up in a weird mood which put a bit of a dampener on the end of the evening. But by yesterday I was back to normal again ... Last night The Trucker was playing 2 Action Cricket games so I wasn't expecting to see him. But I decided to have McD's for dinner (have not had it in ages!) and clearly my system has forgotten how to process it or something because by 21h30 I was throwing it all up partially digested.

Awesomeness :P I felt horrid. But somewhat better after getting it all out. I dozed for maybe an hour and then woke up feeling yucky again. And while I was up heating my Microwave Hottie, who should pull up in my driveway, but The Trucker. He came to see how I was feeling. Awe. Even more special since he had to head to Bloem at 5am this morning. But what a lovely surprise.

And the best news is that I'm feeling better this morning :) Although a little fragile but I think that's just from having had nothing to eat yet and a very light sleep.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Romantic, liberating and totally addictive, Fifty Shades of Grey is a novel that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever. When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind - until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out. Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more. But Grey is tormented by inner demons, and consumed by the need to control. As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires, as well as the dark secrets Grey keeps hidden away from public view...

Okay, so I've been feeling a lot like I'm the only girl in the world who has taken more than a week (hell, I think it's been more than 2 weeks!) to read this book. I am not quite sure what the fuss is about. And after a friend sent me the Bizzybiz Blog posts, I'm feeling a lot better about my lack of enthusiasm about this book.

Seriously, I found it tedious. I dunno if that's because I wasn't expecting it to be about a completely sheltered 21yr old and a ridiculously impossibly wealthy 27yr old. The hype was making out to be "Twilight for adults" (okay, so the characters have made it out of high school :P) but this was just too glaringly *exactly* the same as the Twilight series (sans Vampires, of course). The cipher any/every girl, the described-in-minute-detail wealthy impossibly good-looking boy. And yes, spoiler alert, this run-of-the-mill ordinary girl is the only person this amazing god-like man is interested in. And she says no way, he couldn't possibly be. And he says but yes, I want *you*. And she says no, but why would you and he says oh, but I just do. And then she gives in because he is being all caveman and hit her over the head with his club and dragged her back to his cave just to prove that yes, he really does only have eyes for her. Vomit.

Yes, I get that (I suppose) we all want a boy who determinedly knows exactly what he wants and what he wants is you. There are few things more heady. And confidence is sexy. But let's be fair. I am living a real life with real people. And I get that there is something to be said for fantasy and escapism, but at this point in my life I am desperately trying to undo the damage that movies, series and fiction have done to my expectations of a relationship and romance and real life. I realised that as I read this book lying in bed next to my wonderfully normal boyfriend
(who I completely adore), while he was playing a game on his tablet and wondered why he hadn't just ripped my pj's off in a frenzy of lust. Oh yes, because I live in the real world. If yours did, congrats, but I expect it won't happen again tomorrow night ...

I think this book is going to be doing a lot of damage to the Twilight generation (who no doubt will follow that series up with this one), who will have unbelievable expectations of what love is and what it is to be in love with someone. They are in for some serious heartache, and I reckon they will be in therapy for years wondering why none of their relationships last longer than the honeymoon phase. I expect this lot will also have plenty of undue expectations of sex after this book.

Seriously people, unless you think you can handle this as pure escapism and fantasy (NOT real life), don't read this book, read the blog posts I linked to above instead. Or read the blog posts after you've read the book at very least to remind yourself just how unreal it actually is.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pink Monday

I don't normally post on a Tuesday morning. Well nothing real or meaningful anyways. And I do have a book review to write because (after weeks!) I finally finished the first 50 Shades book. But more on that later. I just wanted to write because last night was lovely. And it was still Monday.

It was one of those surprisingly perfect cherry-on-top absolutely-normal, nothing-spectacular, but blissful-leaving-you-beaming-and-feeling-full-and-happy nights. Seriously folks, I don't remember being this consistently happy ever before. Like pinch yourself, is it real life happy.

It was such a normal day. Work was meh, but ended on a laugh. I wasn't in the mood for gym really, am I ever? And then I raced home, showered let the bunnies have a little run, put some Thai Butternut & Prawn soup on the stove. I was thrilled because The Trucker was letting me make soup for dinner - he is not a fan of soup & I love it. But he hadn't tried this one yet. Sadly the Ostrich Chili will never become a favourite for him because he hates all the beans :(

He came over a little later and we ate some delish warm soup - and he loved it! Haha :) *beams* And then he watched some episodes of Fringe (I'd already seen them) while I finished 50 Shades and then finished reading amberance from Bizzybiz Blog's far better and laugh-out-loud funny blog posts about the book. I highly recommend you skip the book and just read those instead. I had tears and sore cheeks from laughing so much!

And then it was bed time. It was very romantic. We played (he played, I watched) a round of Tower Defense and he finally passed the level that he's been stuck on ;) Not even kidding! It is highly addictive & I steal his tablet whenever it's free so I can play too - haha. I am a terrible back-seat driver when he plays tho. But he is remarkably patient <3

I dunno exactly what made it such a perfect night but I went to sleep feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, knowing that I want to feel this happy always (well, within reason, I understand that you can't appreciate how good you've got it without not having it occasionally.  I suppose that is what this post is for. To remind me). I slept wonderfully but certainly would've preferred to stay cuddled in my bed this morning. Work does not thrill me one bit lately :(

Monday, June 25, 2012

Plenty of Preparation

Hmmm, this weekend feels like it flew by. I really wasn't ready to get up and come to work this morning. More especially because at 3am I felt like I hadn't fallen asleep yet ... and then at 5:20 (when my first alarm went off, I'd just been having a truly surreal dream. No really, there were unicorns!).

Anyway, the weekend ... On Friday I met The Trucker at Flight Centre in Sandton so we could swipe our credit cards & pay for our flights to Vietnam & back. And then our afternoons turned sour and neither of us was in especially good moods in the evening. So we got take-out pizza (added our own avo at home - seriously the best way to do it!) and watched the whole Lost Room series.

On Saturday we were up sort of early to go and meet DJMike & his girlf (now fiance) for breakfast & a catch-up at Food Lovers Cafe in the new Nicholway centre. My breakfast was awesome (but far too big!) but The Trucker wasn't super impressed ... I have promised him that we can go to (my absolute worst) Tasha's once as payback.

After that we headed to Woodmead to get some specific shopping done. And then it was back home for our marathon Vietnam Accommodation booking. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon ;) We have now booked & paid for all of our accommodation, our 3 sleeper train trips and even have our Cambodian Visa's (super impressed they offer a handy e-Visa service and we got them back & approved on a Saturday! Thumbs up to Cambodia!). Vietnam also offers an e-Visa service, but we are getting our approval letters from our Halong Bay Cruise people. So yes, we have also booked & paid our deposit for our Halong Bay Cruise & booked our diving day trip at the Cham Islands. Today The Trucker will be booking & paying for our Top Gear motor-biking experience day trip (over Hai Van Pass). And then we'll be done. Saturday was 5 weeks till we fly! Yay.

So after spending a lazy afternoon, we decided to head out and watch Men In Black 3 in the evening. It was good fun :) And I am very happy to say that we didn't watch it in 3D. I am definitely going to be making a concerted effort in future to avoid the 3D movies!

After that we headed off for some sushi for dinner :) Haven't had in ages. And then it was home. Since we'd been to the 17h30 show, it was still quite early, so we watched The Boat that Rocked. Thoroughly enjoyed it, what a fun movie :)

On Sunday we had a lazy morning, only woke up at 9am! And we were going to make breakfast at home, but decided to go shopping for dinners for the week instead so ate out.

After that it was a mad dash back home then off to cricket to watch The Trucker. Was a little chilly, but lovely way to spend an afternoon in the sun :) Then we headed to my place so I could clean the bunny hutch while he relaxed. And then later back to his house for dinner. And we finally watched Chronicle and I'm not really sure what the fuss was about. Honestly all I knew of the movie was the way they launched in NY with 3 people-shaped planes. But I wasn't overly impressed. It was kinda entertaining, but in the end just sad.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Back to Blissful

It's been a good week :) Always nice to be able to say that on a Friday - haha.

So, on Monday night The Trucker came over and I cooked us dinner. We're getting much better at this cooking & eating at home thing (you will notice we don't eat out at restaurants much during the week at all anymore!). I even made Cauliflower Mash, something I haven't had in ages that my folks used to make occasionally. Much better for me cause I don't like mashed potato (weird, I know).

On Tuesday evening it was off to SCM as usual. The Trucker was working at home. So I headed there after SCM to spend the night.

On Wednesday he came over and cooked us dinner and we watched John Carter. Meh, I wasn't blown away. I wasn't actually sure we were even watching the right movie initially since I thought it was a political drama (who knows why?). I did like the twist tho. I wouldn't recommend bothering with it unless you particularly like Sci-Fi written in the early 1900s? I did like the weird little green baby creatures tho, but there were definitely moments I felt like I was watching Star Wars Episode 1 (the flight chase scenes and the weird aliens that reminded me of Jar Jar Binks!

Oh, forgot to mention that on Sunday I watched Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs. Good light entertainment to keep your mind distracted when feeling less than stellar :)

Last night he came over again (yay for no Action Cricket this week) and I made dinner. Actually I made a total experiment that turned out to be delish and got the thumbs-up approval from us both. Will be making that accident again sometime ;) Haha.

And after dinner we got stuck in with our Vietnam bookings. We booked our flights there & home with Flight Center (I know, I don't usually use travel agents, but The Trucker has a friend who got us a good deal!) on Wednesday and will be going to pay for them later today. But we have a bunch of other little bits to book ourselves too. Last night we booked some of our internal flights (we have one we need to book still, but hoping for a better price - so far the only option we have is a Business Class fare on the flight at the time we need. And we can't change the time because we have to work around another flight! Complicated). So far that is turning out to be our most expensive thing ... aside from getting to Asia & back. So we'll no doubt suck it up and enjoy a splash of luxury ;) Haha.

We also booked our first night of accommodation (in Hanoi). OMG I am absolutely loving the agoda website. Thanks so so so much to @clairam for introducing me! I highly recommend it for accommodation bookings, they have great specials. Case in point. We booked a 3 star hotel in Hanoi for R172, including breakfast! And that is per room, so less than R100 each! Love it :)

And this morning I paid the deposit for our cruise on Halong Bay :) This weekend I anticipate a frenzy of further bookings & payment. We need to book the rest of our accommodation, 2 more day trips and a few Sleeper Train tickets.

And then we wait. Not long, mind you. Tomorrow it'll be 5 weeks till we fly! YAY :)

Monday, June 18, 2012


I'm feeling quite subdued this morning. I think it's a combination of the weather and the day I had yesterday.

The rest of the weekend was really good tho. On Friday evening I had a wonderful time. @Arkwife, @Tamara0h, @Rubyletters and @jackson_files came over. I couldn't believe how long it's been since we last got together. I made a fire and gluhwein. Everyone brought a pot of soup (except @TamaraOh who brought delish & decadent lindt chocolate mousse for dessert).

We drank and ate and sat outside next to the fire catching up. It was lovely.

Afterwards, The Trucker came over. On Saturday morning we woke up quite late, but didn't have much that needed doing. We headed off to Doppio for breakfast and then did a little shopping admin and then headed home. I spent the afternoon looking more closely at how to reshuffle our Vietnam itinerary so we could do everything in the time we have (Thai Air only flys to & from Joburg on certain days of the week). The Trucker lazed on the couch. We watched some series and then it was time to head off to @Toxic_Mouse's to watch the rugby. Then we popped home briefly for some dinner and to get changed before heading to Topo Gigio in Greenside for @nadia_ass's birthday celebrations. We didn't stay too long, but long enough to have quite a few of her delish cupcakes!

We were going to head to RR after, but we were a bit tired and The Trucker had 2 cricket games on Sunday.

Sunday was weird. We were in funny moods. You know the sort: You get insecure and need them near and reassuring and that sends them running and needing space. Worst Catch-22 ever. Anyway, I think it is all okay now. He came over for dinner, we had a chat and then ate the most delish Butter Chicken that I made in my slow cooker. Yesterday was not a great day. And I hate feeling like I wasted a weekend day being miserable and curled up in bed ... But I did get out and do some retail therapy (new boots!), and I made yummy food, so it wasn't a total waste of a day).

Friday, June 15, 2012

05 May: Twee Rivieren to Johannesburg

Ah, another early morning. We were headed off on a game drive and I think we had to meet at something ridiculous like 5:30 ... or maybe that was the time we woke up. I dunno, but we were 2 very grumpy folk this morning. Very little sleep due to the cold and discomfort of sleeping pretty much on the floor of our tent. At about 3am I got the hell in and got the pump out and repumped the leaky mattress for a bit. It helped a bit, but was flat again by the time we had to get up :( No more tenting this trip for us! Needless to say The Trucker has now thrown the mattress away and we'll have to get a new one before any future tenting happens!

So I got dressed and headed to the ablution block to brush my teeth, go to the loo, you know, the usual. And there at the mirrors (at *very* early o'clock, in the dark!) was our campsite-neighbour doing her hair and make-up. I kid you not! It took everything I had not just to stop, stand and stare. Inside tho, I wondered if this was one of those people who's husband has never seen without make-up? Yes, she was definitely Afrikaans. Anyway. I will tell you that all we saw them do before we left was go for a morning drive and then make breakfast at camp. I'm glad she didn't put on high heels as well (where is that eye-roll smiley when you need it?). #Sigh Whatever works for you, I guess. Anyways, it gave me a little amusement so early in my day. I honestly couldn't be bothered with that much effort so early in the morning!

And then we were bundled up in the back of the game-viewing vehicle, just the 2 of us. Wearing our sleeping bags, scarves, beanies, everything we could to keep warm! We had a lovely driver, from Canada (I know, right?). Anyway, the short story is no, we sadly kept our predator view-count to zero :( In fact we didn't see much of anything. I was very disappointed that even going with the Game Rangers, you stick to the same-old-same-old road that you could do yourself in your very own car. And since we were in a 4x4 it's not like we had the advantage of height in the game-viewing vehicle. At least The Trucker could concentrate on the scenery a bit more than while he's driving.

We did seem to somehow end up focusing more on the smaller animals (and birds, much to The Trucker's dismay ... he is actively NOT a bird person - haha). I kept spotting all these mice, obviously emerging from their nests to catch the first little bit of sunshine and warm up for the day. Was quite cute :) And The Trucker spotted a group of meerkat also emerging for the day.

So with our game drive finished, we packed up our tent and got on our way after a quick breakfast at the restaurant. We had to stop back at the reception/border control point and get stamped back into South Africa. I can't help thinking that they may easily have never noticed if we skipped this altogether (I have previously skipped an exit stamp when leaving Canada in the very early hours of the morning and they rushed us all through to our connecting flight to Frankfurt). It is also kinda weird to have a left-Namibia stamp dated yesterday and an entering-South-Africa stamp a whole day later ... world's longest transit? Haha.

So we were on the road again. I wanted to go home via Hotazel (just for the name! Haha). We didn't know what the roads would be like, but it was still pretty early and we hadn't booked accommodation for this evening because we didn't know what time we'd leave Kgalagadi or how long we'd be in the mood to drive. So we threw caution to the wind and took the road to Hotazel. I can tell you the road was perfectly fine and not a problem to drive at all.

I got my photos next to the (not very impressive) sign, and we missed photos of the Deben sign again ... Oh well. And then it was on to Kuruman again. We stopped for petrol. It was about 3pm. About the time we'd left Joburg for our overnight in Kuruman at the start of our trip. Yes, we could drive all the way thru. And we did. Much better having the Sunday to relax at home before work again on Monday. What a wonderful birthday holiday I've had <3 :)


Plenty of Planning

The week ... *casts mind back*

Monday was pretty uneventful. The Trucker came over for dinner. On Tuesday I went to SCM as usual. Got to chat to @clairam about my Vietnam itinerary. She approves :) Although she did get me excited about a possible day in Phnom Penh, which we currently don't have. But that was back when I thought we had an extra day to throw in somewhere. Turns out we likely don't because Thai Air only flys on a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday (and arrives back on those same days). At the moment it looks like Flying out on a Saturday and back 2 weeks later on the Monday. Otherwise it's a whole extra 2 days leave which I'm not sure I have. We were kinda hoping to do a long weekend to Lesotho to go up Sani Pass with the Pajero too.

So far our planned itinerary includes (these are the highlights, not the full itinerary, and nothing has been booked as yet): Overnight on a Junk Boat in Halong Bay, a Motor Bike Ride over the Hai Van Pass ala Top Gear, scuba diving at Cham Islands, visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels, visiting Angkor Wat and 3 days on a Cambodian Beach :D I am so excited!

Anyway. Then on Wednesday The Trucker came over for dinner and we were both in weird moods so we put the Vietnam planning on hold (not much we can do till I get my passport back anyways :( ) and watched Series.

Last night he had Action Cricket so I got a night home alone. I realised that I'm not quite sure how I survived Winter without this boy. His gas heater has moved to my house and now so has his extra warm blanket. Okay, the thing is ugly! (My aesthetics are offended!) But it is super warm, so it is staying :)

Not much planned for this weekend except this evening, which I am super duper looking forward to. Some of my fave girls, who I probably only see maybe ever y3-4 months, are coming over for a soup evening :) And there is exciting stuff coming up in the future which I am looking forward to ... my 2 girl-cousins (16 & 20yr olds) are coming to visit me for a weekend from Cape Town in July. Then there is, of course, our pending trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. And then potentially this weekend up Sani Pass.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

04 May: Mata-Mata to Twee Rivieren

This morning we took it quite easy, confusing the time-zone change we were about to make when we hopped back over to South Africa. We woke up at a reasonable hour and had breakfast at a leisurely 8:30am before heading off to try our luck at the border again.

The border was easy peasy, they happily stamped us out of Namibia ... however, you then have to check in at the Tourism Authority (or something). It all seems a little backward to me, but whatever. Anyway, we'd heard yesterday that there was some weird new rule that said if you wanted to enter at the Mata-Mata border post, you had to have booked at least 2 nights of accommodation in the Kgalagadi. Eep. What a time to be discovering this. But we had to try our luck anyway ... it would certainly ruin our trip to try heading back South thru Namibia to get back into SA. And we had our hearts set on the Kgalagadi ... we would've booked 2 nights there if we could've.

So armed with our booking form we attempted to sneak in. When the lady told us we needed 2 nights of booked accommodation to get in, I calmly pointed out a little clause in our printed booking confirmation that said the magic words "must reside in the park for a minimum of 2 days". As far as we understood it, we would be in the park today and tomorrow before heading home. That's 2 days. She called her manager.

We were lucky he was a friendly and understanding fellow. I think it's a silly rule, personally, but I guess they're trying to stop people who aren't actually there to visit the Kgalagadi using the border post and their roads. Still. So in we drove (after a quick fuel-up).

The one massively disappointing thing for me about the Kgalagadi is that there are really only 2 roads you're allowed to drive on. This is pretty boring and it means you don't have many routes to choose from when heading from Mata-Mata to Twee Rivieren. We got a little creative, but since the gates close at a specified time, we were nervous abut how long some of the routes would take so did a little driving down a potential route (in case there was something more interesting than Gemsbok) & turning around and driving back to the road we'd left.

We didn't have much game viewing luck. That seems to be the anti-super-power The Trucker & I trigger when we're together in a car. Individually (apparently) we both have great luck at animal sightings. Together, it is yawn-worthy. Seriously, later in the evening when we were chatting to our camping neighbours, we heard about their 2 separate cheetah sightings, practically on the road only a few metres apart! We had our heart set on spotting at least one predator, but no luck here.
I do now know why it was previously called the Gemsbok National Park. My word, there are absolutely masses of them!

Anyway, we arrived and checked in at Twee Rivieren reception, only to go thru the 2-night stay debacle again (seriously, would they have turned us around now?!). The dude kept my confirmation print-out tho, apparently they've told their head office in Pretoria to change the wording before because of similar confusion. I think it should state things like a minimum 2 night stay in giant red letters when you book (maybe it does and I forgot?) because, let's face it, that is not a normal booking requirement.

And then we went and pitched our accommodation for the night ... only to discover that our air mattress had a cut. The Trucker did an amazing job of patching it with some super glue and packing tape (bought at the nearby store), but it turned out there must've been a leak elsewhere because we were in for a truly awful night of sleeping pretty much on the ground :(

The highlight tho, was eating dinner at the Twee Rivieren restaurant. I had Venison Pie (a favourite and rare dish for me) and it was superb! We also booked an early morning game drive for tomorrow ... you know, in a last ditch attempt to see a predator or two.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Freezing Cold!

Well it was another quiet weekend. Not quite as much hibernation as I would've liked in this cold tho ... But we did spend the whole weekend at The Trucker's house a) because his sister and niece were visiting his mom b) because he has electric blankets and c) because he had to feed his ex-girlf's dogs (she was away for the weekend and technically they are his dogs too).

So on Friday evening I went over there for dinner. His sister was still there and had a friend round too so it was quite nice everyone sitting chatting at the table. Afterwards, he and I sat and looked thru the Vietnam holiday itinerary I'd put together. It's quite a whirlwind! But it's going to be awesome and I'm so so so excited!

On Saturday morning we were up early-ish. Since I'd started Vietnam holiday planning, I realised I'd better apply for my replacement passport ... mine only expires in 2015, but it's already full enough to make me wary to travel anywhere more than into a neighbouring country (especially not anywhere that requires a visa!). So off we headed to Home Affairs. I can't remember what time we got there exactly, but it wasn't super early ... but we did seem to miss the rush. Unfortunately The Trucker had to make two trips for me. 1) I'd left my green ID Book in the safe at home and 2) I hadn't figured on paying double because I didn't take my old passport along with me me to hand in. We were R10 short between us and they don't take credit card. Anyway, after all that, they did only end up charging me the normal price. #Sigh. But I was grateful to save the R400! So yay, now that is done and I should get my 3rd passport in the next few weeks. Exciting stuff.

By that time we were pretty much starving and headed off to get some breakfast before heading to get some hay for the bunnies and then past his office to print our Bioscope tickets (seems I was awfulyl forgetful on Friday! I blame the distraction of holiday planning ;) ). We chilled out and relaxed and napped at my house while the bunnies got to run around. They definitely prefer this cooler weather, and seem to love finding a sunbeam :) Me too!

A little later we headed off to the Zoo Lake Bowls Club to have a drink and say hi to the The Natives Put Foot Rally Team and sign their awesome car :) I am a little jealous of the guys doing the Put Foot Rally this year. I hear they've already opened registration for 2013. It's a little too advanced planning for me :(

And then it was off to The Bioscope to watch You Laugh But It's True, the Trevor Noah documentary as part of the Encounters film festival. I really enjoyed it. It's showing again on Sunday 24th at NuMetro in Hyde Park.

Being a 4pm show, it was over quite early and we headed home for some real winter comfort food: tomato soup and grilled cheese toast :) And we watched Safe House. Haha, I must say it is kinda surreal to watch a movie actually set in Cape Town ... when it's supposed to *be* Cape Town. Was pretty awesome, really :) Great fun. I recommend you watch it just for that, if nothing else. I enjoyed it :)

On Sunday we had a lazy morning at home and made ourselves breakfast. Then we headed off on a marathon shopping trip. I was in a weird mood, but The Trucker managed to get everything he set out for. I just did boring grocery shopping. I have not been in a proper shop-for-me mood in ages ... It comes down to money, I think. And lately if I do any retail therapy it all seems to be shopping for the house or garden. I think the last time I bought new clothes was the dress I wore to The Peeb's wedding. I think I may need a personal shopper ;) In fact, I wish someone could come in and trash my wardrobe and give me a whole new one and tell me what I should be wearing. Most of the time I am just going for comfort, and temperature since I get dressed in the cold and dark these days ... I just don't feel very inspired or creative at that time of day. So mostly I just wear the same old same old things. Meh.

The Trucker went to cricket in the afternoon. I was considering going along to watch since I haven't been in ages, but in this icy cold wind with nowhere to sit and be protected from it, I figured I'd be better off going home and letting the bunnies run for a bit ;) It was nice. Sitting outside with them and the birds, the sprinkler on (just because it's freezing, doesn't mean my plants don't need their bi-weekly water). Then I decided to try out my veranda fire place for the first time and make sure it wasn't just for show ;) It was awesome. But, it didn't last for very long (I wasn't trying to make a big fire and I didn't have much kindling).

In the evening I went back to The Trucker's and he made us delish Bacon Carbonara for dinner - yum!


Friday, June 08, 2012

Fabulous Friday

Oh right ... areal post. What's that again? Haha.

Mkay, this week? It's been a good one but I'm a little exhausted on this Friday morning after 2 late nights. Some days I despise that I have to wake up at 5:40am to get to work in time to miss the traffic. But, I wouldn't change it ... I like leaving work at 15h:45, instead of 18h30 or something equally ridiculous.

So, Monday night was quite. The Trucker came over and we watched the finale of Game of Thrones S02. Meh, I really enjoyed  the first season, but I think they're making a Heroes mistake ... adding too many characters & sub-plots that you can go whole episodes without seeing someone. Which is fine if you don't like them / aren't interested in their sub-plot. And I didn't think it was much of a season finale. Yes there is a new "twist" but other than that it could just have been another episode. I actually asked if we were sure that was the last one ... Not blown away.

Tuesday was a fantastic evening! (Although late, got home around 11pm!). Instead of our usual SCM, the whole SCM crowd (plus The Trucker and other assorted partners who usually have other things on on Tuesdays) headed to Picolinos for their Beer & Comedy evening. Looks like there is another on the 6 September. I'd recommend it. Although the comedy started late (after 8 I think?), we all enjoyed our delish pizza's and then laughed till we cried. Vittorio Leonardi was the MC for the evening and there were some great comedians there. My faves were Robby Collins, Deep Fried Man and, of course, the back in top form John Vlismas who was the main act (which is why there was no way I was leaving before he was done!!). Shoo, I could hardly breathe when he did his recession bit. Hysterical! Thoroughly enjoyed myself :)

Wednesday was much quieter. The Trucker came over and made dinner (I <3 when he cooks!). He threw together some pasta and it was delish! And he had a sago craving so had bought the woolies one for us to try. Not as rich as the one he made a few weeks back, but still hit the spot on a cold winter night :) Yum.

Last night was Bookclub. Such a nice group of 6 girls we've got at the moment, am thoroughly enjoying being part of one again :) And even better, this month we added both the Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hunger Games series to our stock. Cant wait! I took 50 Shades of Grey this month :D

Oh, and our Vietnam Holiday planning has kicked off - Whoop whoop! It's definitely a good Friday :) Oh, and ps. in case you were wondering ... I got my refund from the Bid or Buy guy later that day. See, definitely been a good week :)

Thursday, June 07, 2012

03 May: Keetmanshoop to Mata-Mata

Our early-to-bed-early-to-rise habit this trip meant we were up early (in fact, just before the sun!) and we headed off before breakfast to Giant's Playground for a walk. Very nice in the early morning light ... but it does get a bit same-old same-old after a while. I think we were there about half an hour?

We packed up quickly and took leftovers from the braai to eat en-route for breakfast. Honestly we shouldn't have been in any rush. I naively thought perhaps we could pop into the Kgalagadi for an afternoon drive or drive around Torga's Safari Lodge to see some game, but more on that later.

En route we saved a little tortoise that was in the middle of the road :) A highlight of my day ... wish I could've brought him home with me. We stopped at a little farmstall, on a farm just next door to the farm we were staying, for an early lunch and then arrived at Torga's around 11:30am. There was no one there. We walked around calling, eventually we found someone. We were very early. And apparently the only people staying there that night. They showed us to our room. We dumped our stuff and decided to explore a little. This meant heading to the Mata-Mata border post and finding out about if we could do a day-trip to the Kgalagadi. Nope. The gate closes at 4:30pm and they won't let anyone thru after midday.

So we headed back to Torga's. There really is *nothing* to do there. We signed up for a sunset game drive (since they don't let you drive around on your own), had a swim in their pool and then headed back to our room to relax for the afternoon ... there was much napping and reading :)

We went for the sunset game drive, but unfortunately didn't see much game, but we did see the border-fence between Namibia and South Africa which runs along the edge of this farm. Literally on the border - haha. We chatted to the couple who run the place and stopped on top of one of the red dunes to watch the sun set. Lovely.

When we got back, 4 more people had arrived. They didn't make it thru the border before it closed (I gather it happens a lot!). We sat around the fire chatting. We had booked an awesome special thru Safari Now (where I booked all our accommodation, highly recommend it) that included dinner, bed and breakfast. But we were in for even more than that! When we got called for dinner, we were surprised to be served a plate of Kalahari Truffles each, which we'd been discussing and been shown by the couple who run the place. OMG and here they had prepared them for us! They were amazing. We both felt very spoilt. And then came a delish start soup followed by an amazing main meal (they served these sweet potato things which were so divine!!). I didn't even have space to think about dessert tho.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Ruining my Day

Mkay, right, 2 posts in one day. Haven't done that in ages.But something this morning has upset me and I need to vent before I can move on.

I absolutely hate it when someone makes you feel guilty even tho you are not in the wrong, they are.

Okay, so that is a bit of a sweeping statement. And perhaps some of you can rise above it and it doesn't leave you feeling awful, but unfortunately, no matter how in the right I am, other people can still make me feel bad and I hate it. Not bad as in I think I did anything wrong, but bad as in leaving me with a horrible feeling, I can't quite explain it properly. And angry because of how they've reacted.

So here are some examples to help you. The one I can remember very clearly is not letting someone in front of me in traffic in a particular spot where the traffic queues every morning. Many people try to jump in just before the highway onramp because there is such a queue. But I don't let people in. Buddy, I've been queuing here, what is so special about you that you shouldn't have to too? Also, it's all very well thinking to yourself well what is one extra car in this long queue going to make to me. Honestly, nothing. But to the guy who just joined the back of the queue, there are at least 10 (definitely more by the time he gets to the front) cars slowing down his progress. And that is where I think the inconsideration lies. So, I don't let people in. I didn't let this one guy in and he promptly got in behind me and continued to pull the finger at me for a continued stretch all the way onto the highway. I mean really. And yes, it made me so annoyed and ruin my morning. And I was NOT the one trying to jump the traffic queue.

This morning it happened again. I placed an order on Bid or Buy on the 17th May and promptly did an eft for the full amount including delivery. On the 21st after no feedback whatsoever I mailed them asking when my product would be delivered (because I know there is a postal strike on, but I wanted to know if it had even been posted yet!). The guy phoned me back to say the order had slipped thru the cracks and so sorry he hadn't seen it yet. But they didn't have stock of what I'd ordered (so why are you listing it then??) did I want a replacement. He clearly wanted me to take the replacement and at the same price. I'd ordered a curtain of fairy lights 2m x 2m. He wanted to replace this with a 4m string. They sell 20m strings for even less than I'd paid. And he was willing to deliver them to me. And if they didn't suit my purpose I could return them. Urgh. This all sounded like too much hassle to me and after discovering I certainly wouldn't be getting my money's worth, I decided I wanted a refund. And (I thought at this point) if I couldn't find what I wanted by end of July, when he was getting more stock, I'd be in touch. On the 24th I mailed him with my decision and banking details.

So anyway last Monday I phoned him again to ask when he'd be refunding me. Don't worry, he says, it'll happen this week. Okay fine I say. Last Friday I phone again. It'll definitely be done on Friday or Saturday he says. He (who knows why) wants to go into a branch and do it. And I'll be notified immediately.

So this morning, I check my bank account and it's still not there. Bid Or Buy was mailing me asking for to rate the seller and on the weekend I'd already decided that was probably the only way to get my refund. So this morning I put the experience as a negative rating (well it has been!!) And said truthfully that they hadn't had stock of the item I ordered and I was still waiting for over a week for my refund.

Boy, it didn't take long before I got a phone call from him asking why I'd given him a negative rating. Seriously? Oh but he's been trying to find the lights for me, he says. Well you never once said that to me, instead you promised payment more than once and never met your own deadlines. I can only trust someone I don't know so many times :P

So let's hope that as he said I'll be refunded today. Until the money is in my account, his negative rating stands (I said I'd change it after I was refunded).

I mean really. How can he claim offense and make me feel bad when I've been nothing but honest, because this has been a negative experience. If only I'd just found the lights in a shop, been able to go to the check-out and take my item home with me there and then.

Urgh. Let's hope the week improves from here!

Winter Weekend

Wow, a weekend with not much to report at all. We were very lazy and aside from a shopping excursion to Woodmead on Saturday (after a very late wake up!) and an afternoon at Gilroy's on Sunday with some friends, we barely left the house.

We made some delish nacho's for dinner on Saturday evening. And I made crumpets for breakfast on Sunday (after I'd cleaned the bunny-hutch and done some grocery shopping while The Trucker was playing a very early cricket game).

All in all, it was definitely a weekend we needed. You know one of those bundled-up winter ones with the heater on (omg I am loving having the little gas heater!) in front of the TV (We have now finished Spartacus: Blood & Sand ... he is re-watching it with me cause I'd never seen it).

We also watched Real Steel. Which was more entertaining than I thought it'd be :)

So yes, very boring, I know ;)

Friday, June 01, 2012

Chilly Philly

Brrr. It has been chilly this week. Luckily The Trucker brought over his little gas heater this week (YAY!) since his sister had another in storage that they can use.

Other than that, what have I been up to? The Trucker came over on Wednesday evening (with the heater) and made dinner. I love when he makes dinner. I know they say anything someone else always taste better but seriously, the boy can do no wrong in the kitchen. I guess because I have too-high expectations of myself and I know what goes into it when I cook that it never seems as good to me?

And then last night @jarredcinman came over for a catch-up. Was an awesome evening with gluhwein and veggie burgers and long conversations about everything. I love these evenings.

Don't have much planned for this weekend. Oh, but I did get bedside tables this week. Nothing too fancy since everything I've seen costs R1500 and up! For bedside tables ?!? I ended up going and buying 2 B-Cubes from Mistry's (basically a square frame with a shelf in the middle), which were the perfect size and had them stained to match my 4-poster bed. OMG I am so thrilled with them :) And all for < R300 each!

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