Monday, March 31, 2014

Drinking and Eating

Shew what a weekend. A full mix of all sorts, that is for sure. My neck is *almost* back to normal ... I reckon it probably would be if I hadn't had to drive in to work this morning. It's feeling a little sensitive after that.

But, back to Friday. I headed to the Physio after work. It seems like it's gotta get worse to get better with these physio visits. It loosened a bit and I promised not to drive or work on a computer all weekend and then headed home.

The Trucker & I had made plans with @Toxic_Mouse and his girlf to go for sushi at Cedar Square on Friday evening. So off we went, and of course it started raining! Haha. We had a bit of a laugh at that and although we had to move our table out of the downpour, it was nothing as torrential as the last time!

The service was a little slow, as it is when they are packed to the brim on Friday & Saturdays generally (pretty much why we stopped going), but the sushi was delish, as always! Yip, definitely still my fave sushi spot :)

We headed to Ciao Baby for coffees and desserts after that, but I didn't have anything. By that point I was sore and exhausted and desperate to head home (but I couldn't really say as much since it has been ages since The Trucker has seen his friend).

On Saturday morning I woke up and my neck was impossible o_0 We spent the morning trying to find me a neck brace at 5, FIVE, different places! A Dischem, 2 Clicks, Olivedale Clinic and some place that wasn't even open recommended by Olivedale o_0 #sigh In between all that we managed to grab some breakfast, but that was the extent of it. Seriously, the people I asked didn't even know what neck braces were, what are people in car accidents doing these days? Honestly tho, the Dischem did have 2, but both were smalls which didn't even reach around my neck.

When we got home I settled on the couch, upright, and watched some Downton while The Trucker went to get some work done ... and tried another Dischem, finally finding a neck brace! But, by the time he got home, my neck had improved dramatically :) Although I reckon I should've used the neck brace this morning for driving!

And then, feeling much better, we headed to SA on Tap. Which turned out to be a really lovely afternoon! Although we only bumped into @WhizBangLouLou there, we had great fun, just the two of us.

So, there was a venue change this year. I prefer the new venue. Far more relaxed and spread out than at Brightwater. It felt a lot more like Jozi Craft Beer Fest, which I think is a good thing :) The glasses were also different this year. Aside from getting a choice between a goblet or a lager glass, they were smaller and only provided two levels (last year there were 3). And if I remember correctly, last year it was R5 per token. This year it went up to R12.50. I preferred last year's set-up. I mostly just like the "tasters" and then I can get a little more if I know I like it ... this year took a little more commitment and I did end up turfing at least one of them!

So what did I drink? Yeah, I'm sure you already know I'm not massively into the flavour of beer, but I found some sufficiently girly ones to suit my palate. I started with Black Horse Brewery's Pink Drink. I already know I love their Ginger Beer and this was that mixed with strawberry. I reckon it was a hit because I saw loads of people with it's distinctive colour in their glasses! It was unquestionably my favourite of the day. The Trucker started with Smack Republic's Maboneng Maverick. Which I quite liked as well (although it's hard to be sure just from a few sips, but I'd try it again, and I think that's the only one of his all day that I can say that about!).

I don't have the little pamphlet still (bad planning on my part), but going on memory ... I moved on to Mogallywood's Raspberry Beer. Which I didn't like. It was a little sharp and a little too much like cough mixture for me. The Trucker tried their Porter, which had a distinct coffee flavour.

Then I tried The Cockpit's Purple Haze (Fokker) Weiss and The Trucker had That Brewing Co's 1806. I tried The Beer Keg's Pumpkin Ale (photographed). That was the one I ended up turfing. It started out well, very spicy, I thought ... but I just couldn't finish it. I think The Trucker went back for another from That Brewing Co.

And I got myself a Claren's Cherry Cider, which I remembered enjoying at the Jozi Craft Beer Fest last year. And this time I also tasted their Pineapple Cider. Nope, not for me. I'll stick with the Cherry. It's just too sharp!

We managed to grab a bite to eat, the queues were ridiculous! So we went with a pulled-pork taco and a halloumi taco. My fave was definitely the halloumi one! And then we ended with our last beer. I tried the Drayman's Honey Beer, which I really liked. And it was chilled, definitely a plus. I think The Trucker ended with their Hefe. I can't remember what else he drank, but I think something from Three Skulls.

And then we headed home. It really was a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon :)

We didn't do much for the rest of Saturday. We got pizza for dinner and watched Her. Hmmmm. I didn't know much about it but had heard it was really good. Yeah, I dunno. It's definitely interesting. Although The Trucker lost interest before the end. I did NOT like Joaquin Phoenix's moustache thru the entire film, it annoyed me constantly.

But, as I said, we both thought it was an interesting look and how insular people are getting, spending more and more time interacting with their devices ... although for now there are still real people on the other end of the Whatsapp messages and Facebook or Twitter interactions. I was curious as to how it was going to end ... yeah, it was interesting, I think it's worth watching.

Then on Sunday we had a lazy morning at home and cleaned up the house a bit. We had our second guest (I know, ridonkulous, right?). @Sascha_with_a_C popped in before we headed off to lunch :) We gave her some of The Trucker's home brew and she handed over some of her delish home made peanut butter ice cream!

And then after a little bit of a catch-up, she and I headed to YuMe at Bellairs for their DimSumDay special. It was a weird afternoon. I'd booked our table, mentioning we'd both be having the special when I booked the table earlier in the week. But then when we arrived we had a quiet little mouse of a waitress come and tell us that she'd have to call the manager because they were no longer offering the special (even today it's still advertised on their website tho!).

Erm. That was annoying. But yes, go speak to the manager because no one had said a word when I booked or called the number I'd left with my booking to warn us so I wasn't impressed. She eventually came back (no sight of the manager) and said, it was fine, because I'd booked they would do it for us and she took our drinks order.

A different waiter then came to ask us what we wanted to drink, and we said we'd already ordered. Waiter 2.0 brought our drinks. And then we chatted away ... for almost an hour. I dunno about you, but their advert for the special sorta makes it appear as a set-menu one-of-each sorta Dim Sum deal. So you can imagine our horror when the original soft spoken waitress arrived to apologise yet again. Apparently she doesn't serve our section but our guy (Waiter 2.0, apparently) doesn't know about the special so um, could we please place our order. Sorry, what? Place our order?

Yup, you still have to select 4 "flavours" from their actual menu (which come in portions of 3, hence the 12 dim sums). To say we were unimpressed by this development is a giant understatement.

By this point we'd both vowed never to return o_0 But I can say that at least their Dim Sum arrived quickly and almost all was forgiven by the time we left. The Dim Sum was great and I would have recommended it if they were still running the special. Although I think sharing 2 specials between 3 people would probably be smarter. We left a few behind, but we did order 8 different "flavours" between us so we could taste them all (there was only one we didn't order off their menu).

My favourites were definitely the Spicy Chicken, Coriander and Chilies, the Chicken, Ginger and Spring Onion and the Spinach, Cream Cheese and Spring Onion. The Sui Mai was pretty disappointing, honestly.

So yeah, no mention of the tea that was supposed to come with our special and we left as soon as we'd finished eating. I doubt I'll be back in a hurry.

And then, another restful lazy afternoon. I read my book, The Trucker napped. And we watched The Wolf of Wall Street. I found the prospect of watching a 3hr movie a little daunting. Seriously, they managed just fine with 90mins for so long, why does every move have to be over 2hr these days o_0 Anyway, The Trucker was also not quite sure about it having read the book years ago.

While we watched there was lots of reading online about the background. I dunno, shew. The dude was a total douche. I can't believe the excess which these people felt completely entitled to. Especially annoying to me are the scene where he gets into a fight with his wife where she is accusing him of cheating (which he had) and he outright flatly denies it. I mean okay for you if you wanna hide it, but if you get caught, come on, be a man about it. At least be somewhat apologetic and in-the-wrong. And then when she finally says she doesn't love him anymore. I dunno hey, how did it take that long?!

Yeah, wow. I couldn't believe there were women who worked in the office with these guys! I can't fathom the arrogance. Greed is a frightening thing. Anyway, yeah, horrific. But it didn't feel like 3 hours worth. I recommend starting early, at 6pm. If you're like me, you'll spend a lot of it with your jaw on the floor horrified. But that's just because it's based in reality. If I'd just thought it was a made-up movie, then it's pretty entertaining :)

Friday, March 28, 2014


Urgh, this has not been a great week. In fact even tho I still only technically had a 4 day week (the physio ended up booking me off on Monday), it has dragged ...

I'm off to the physio after work again. Follow up appointment. She said I could cancel if I felt 100% better, the worst news is I feel about as bad :P Monday & Tuesday were pretty awful. Driving in to work on Tuesday knocked me. Try changing lanes on a 4 lane highway when you have to rotate your whole body to move your head. Yeah, you people who've worn neck braces, you know what I mean.

And then, on Wednesday things improved significantly. Seriously, getting out of bed was easier, my range of motion improved. Thursday was similar. Not 100%, so still planning to keep this afternoon's appointment, but so much better.

Then, last night, I tripped over the foot of the laundry stand as I went to close Gypsy's window ... as I stumbled I must've moved my neck strangely. Or just more than it was ready for yet. The pain.

I have set myself back to Monday / Tuesday state. I have missed a whole week of Boot Camp :( Damn, I hope this gets sorted asap. Tuesday showed me how simply exhausting and draining it is to be in pain. it doesn't feel like today is going to be a good day.

And on top of (or because of) all that, I am not feeling all sunshine and roses at home. Nothing is wrong, I just feel like we're in a slump. He works all night, I watch TV. He stops briefly for dinner (which either of us makes) and watches something with me ... and then goes back to his laptop. He's got a lot going on at the moment, big work decisions and opportunities. His mind isn't switching off at night. Every night this week after we've got in to bed and switched out the light, he's got up again and gone to try and numb his brain in front of the TV and fallen asleep on the couch. I know it's not a big thing, and I understand why ... but it still gets me down too. It's hard to explain, time before we fall asleep at night is important to me.

I know, I'm being prickly and overly sensitive :(

Anyway. Yeah, we haven't been going out much during the week either. I think with the house and the expense (OMG, did I tell you we worked out how much the renovations cost o_0 DOUBLE what we were kinda thinking beforehand. I know, we did re-do *everything* and in only 2 weeks ... but still) and the rain, we kinda went into a hibernation mode. And this week I haven't wanted to do anything or drive any more than to work and back with my neck. #sigh

To be fair, yesterday we did stop everything and go an sit outside for sundowners together. Managed to find some Liefman's Fruitesse and Lindeman's Pecheresse for much cheaper (more than R10 less!) at our local bottle store. So, happiness :)

Just feeling a little blue this morning ... am sure it'll pass ;)

Did I tell you I had another surprise delivered to my grandmother? This time I ordered Cape Town: Then & Now from Loot for her. Sounds like she's enjoying it. Am looking forward to seeing it when we go down in April.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Inquisitor's Key by Jefferson Bass

Miranda Lovelady, Dr. Bill Brockton's protege, is spending the summer helping excavate a newly discovered chamber beneath the spectacular Palace of the Popes in Avignon, France. There she discovers a stone chest inscribed with a stunning claim: inside lie the bones of none other than Jesus of Nazareth. Faced with a case of unimaginable proportions, Miranda summons Brockton for help proving or refuting the claim. Both scientists are skeptical--after all, fake relics abounded during the Middle Ages--but evidence for authenticity looks strong initially, and soon grows stronger.

Brockton and Miranda link the bones to the haunting image on the Shroud of Turin, revered by millions as the burial cloth of Christ, and then a laboratory test finds the bones to be two thousand years old. The finding triggers a deadly tug-of-war between the anthropologists, the Vatican, and a deadly zealot who hopes to use the bones to bring about the Second Coming--and trigger the end of time.

Set against an international landscape, and weaving a rich tapestry of religion, history, art, and science, The Inquisitor's Key takes Jefferson Bass to an exciting new level of suspense.

So I read Madonna & Corpse before this, not knowing much about it aside from that it was billed on Good Reads as "Book 6.5 in the Body Farm Series". It's not so much a book as a prelude. There is no mention of the Body Farm, but it sets you up nicely to head straight into The Inquisitor's Key (lucky me, I had it ready and waiting on my Kindle or I think I might've gone mad!).

Which also turned out to be a very un-Body Farm novel, aside from the characters we've grown to love. It is set in France and made for an interesting story. I really quite enjoyed it :) Although I'm a little concerned about the whole "Brockton wondering how he feels about Miranda" bit. #sigh Do all books (and TV shows: Castle, Bones etc) have to devolve into this?

But yeah, aside from that, and the fact that the whole historical bit was a little hard to follow because I wasn't really sure who was who when they reverted to that part of the storyline every few chapters or so. But I got the hang of it by the end ;) Bonus points for the whole Shroud of Turin tie-in, since that fascinates me too!

* This book is part of the Body Farm series: Carved in Bone (2006), Flesh and Bone (2007), The Devil's Bones (2008), Bones of Betrayal (2009), The Bone Thief (2010), The Bone Yard (2011), ~Madonna and Corpse (2012), The Inquisitor's Key (2012), ~Jordan's Stormy Banks (2013), Cut to the Bone (2013)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Long Weekend FTW

Shew, what a weekend! Seriously, a very much needed, full one. Although I am at home today, waiting to make an appointment with a physio o_0 (Wooo, appointment booked for 9:45) Did something to my neck, NO idea what, but best to get it sorted asap, I reckon.

It started on Saturday morning, shew, have had very broken sleep since then. Every time I try to turn while sleeping it hurts, but I have to turn because it hurts too ... It seemed like all the hot baths / microwave hotties had helped by yesterday evening. But this morning it was sore again. Do you have any idea how many movements rely on your neck muscles o_0 It is a lot. Lying down, getting up ... sneezing is the worst!

But I digress. Back to Thursday evening. I'd booked tickets for The Trucker and I to go see the latest production of Rocky Horror Picture Show (on at Monte till 30th March). Man, I completely love that show.

We shared a pizza for dinner at Ciao Baby. The pizza was yummy, but their menu didn't blow me away so I'm unlikely to go back, except in a pinch. Which is how we ended up there in the first place. We didn't want something big or heavy before the show ... and I really don't find the restaurants at Monte that great.

The show was fantastic. Seriously, it is hard to go wrong with RHPS. They had my fave, Brendan van Rhyn, playing Frank again. I think the role is his forever in South Africa now, I've never seen anyone better ... but I didn't think his make-up, hair or outfits were as good as the last time. But that is about the worst thing I can say about the whole show. Oh yes, and Magenta's annoyed sounded-put-on accent. That was annoying. But Rif Raf was one of the best I've seen. And I loved the set.

And the participation boxes were such a fabulous touch, I loved it! Oh and then the icing on the cake, The Trucker & I got a photo with Frank before we left. Sold! (ps. in a total aside, I was in high school a year behind the Director!)

On Friday we were up fairly early. The Trucker had arranged for the gardener to come over and get our acacia's planted and dig the beds ... and move 2 existing trees! Once he got started, we headed off to Lifestyle to stock up on a few more necessary plant items ... Potato Bush trees and I found an air-plant (see how cool it looks in the shower?) ... and a whole lot of other indoor plants and compost etc.

By the end of the afternoon, literally we had to force the gardener to leave at 3pm so we could get to Bokkie's wedding, the garden looked amazing. Seriously, it makes such a difference, I am so happy with how it's come out <3

So yes, on top of spending the whole day in the garden, we got cleaned and prettied up and headed to Mellow Oaks for Bokkie's wedding ... Shew, it was like a high-school reunion for me (7 of us from our matric year - The Queen of Melodrama even flew out from London for the weekend, Evil Bob and the rest of them were up from Cape Town)! I realised I've known these boys for 22 years now. Yikes. The boy I took to my matric dance was there! The boy I kissed at my 21st. There was a lot of history. It was a fantastic night.

Okay, so it's not the venue I'd pick, but it did the job. It was a stock-standard wedding venue. The real magic was in all the friends and familiar faces.

On Saturday, trying to release my sore neck by acting normally, we headed out to do some more house shopping. We went to buy more towels and accidentally bought new bedding and 2 new plates for my collection. And we decided to just bite the bullet and buy the bar stools we wanted. Good thing we did too, 3 Mr Price stores later and we finally had them. What a hassle! Mr Price must have one of the worst stock systems ever. Which comes as somewhat of a surprise since they seem so technically advanced with those counter mounted screens facing both the customer and the teller at once.

The grey ones clearly are highly in demand ;) But we found 4 and I sat on the floor putting them together with the allen key (I love that about Mr Price furniture!) yesterday. In fact I am sitting on one right now. They are great. And I really like the grey, I think it's more subtle than the black or white would be.

On Saturday evening, after an afternoon nap, we headed to Craft in Parkhurst for @WhizBangLouLou's birthday dinner. It was a great evening, even tho I felt a bit rude to the people sitting to the left of me ... without moving my entire body to face them, it was hard to talk to them. Haha.

I started with the very yummy alcoholic Ginger Beer. Love. But I had to move on to a Bone Crusher after that since it has been ages (they have a great craft beer menu!). I ordered one of their pies. I had my heart set on the Chicken & Macon one, but they were out of all except the Gammon, Leak and Potato. So I went with that. The Trucker had a pizza (boring!). My pie was delish! I would definitely recommend it. And I'd have it again (or a different flavour) ... except for the fact that I had some serious order-envy over the Welsh Rarebit Steak. OMG someone else at the table ordered it and I had a taste. Yip, I'd definitely have that next time. But after that, if I went a third time, I'd have one of the pies again ;) Haha.

For dessert, I had to have one of the Lemon Meringues that had been staring at me since we'd arrived. They looked amazing, and it was no understatement. Delish. The Trucker had the Popcorn Panacota. Not too shabby. That salted caramel was superb.

On Sunday morning I had sort of intended to head off to watch The Trucker play cricket, but when I woke up I was in such pain, I stayed on the couch with my microwave hottie watching series instead. I did feel better a few hours later after I'd showered so braved grocery shopping.

When The Trucker got home, he got down to some serious house stuffs. We needed a whole lot of plumbing done (don't ask me what, but he fixed leaky taps, taps with no pressure and noisy toilets and running toilets). It was a long afternoon for him. I put the chairs together and did a little unpacking and sorting ... and then I was exhausted and went to lie down and read my book. My entire upper body was taking strain. I had a lovely nap and felt much better after a hot bath. And I watered the new garden.

Ah, it really was a completely lovely weekend (aside from the pain).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Busy Up Ahead

Yay, technically today is Friday! We have a long weekend ahead of us in South Africa :) It'll be the first weekend I'm spending in the new house since the weekend we moved! I know, right? I can't wait.

But it's still gonna be a busy one (Rocky Horror tonight, a high-school friend's wedding tomorrow and @WhizBangLouLou's birthday on Saturday). Which will more than make up for my very quiet week ;)

On Monday The Trucker was in Cape Town, so I had a nice quiet evening at home on my own. And last night SCM was cancelled (although I had intended going, typical! Haha) so I had a nice catch-up evening with The Trucker who arrived home around 18h30. Frozen Mac n Cheese to the rescue - haha.

And then last night he was exhausted and in a funny mood. And I was exhausted because I got a bee in my bonnet when I got home from work about cleaning ... I was kinda hoping it'd magically happen over our domestic's last few visits, but it hasn't. Or not to my satisfaction anyway. So there I was on my hands and knees scrubbing grouting and paint spray off the kitchen floor tiles. And then I moved onto the main bathroom ... but I had less luck. I'm hoping I can get all the touch-up painting I want done this weekend.

And I'm hoping to go on a mission to find my hanging pot plants :)

I seem to have missed mentioning that we watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on Sunday evening. Well, we did. And it was adorable. It is quite predictable, but some Sunday evenings, light fluffy and predictable is just what you need ;) So I'd recommend it.

In other fun news, the list of tickets for future events on my fridge is growing! I booked some more this week & last week. So what's coming up?
1. Obviously, Rocky Horror at Montecasino this evening.
2. SA on Tap Craft Beer Festival on the 29th March and this year you get to pick your own glass type! Yay. Obviously, I went with the goblet.
3. Da Vinci - The Genius is FINALLY coming to Joburg! I have been waiting for ages now ... especially since right when I was expecting it they went and extended the Cape Town exhibition. I have heard amazing things about this one from all the people I know who went in Cape Town and can't wait. It opens on the 2nd April.
4. Jozi Craft Beer Fest on 10 May.
5. Days of the Dinosaurs which I am hugely looking forward to (even tho only kids under 8 get to *ride* the dinosaur ;) ). It opens on the 20th June (and will be in Cape Town from the 2 August).

Anything else you can think of that I should have tickets for?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Father of Forensics by Colin Evans

Before CSI, there was one man who saw beyond the crime, and into the future of forensic science. He was once one of the most famous people in Britain, and, through his use of cutting-edge science, Bernard Spilsbury single-handedly brought criminal investigations into the modern age. Starting out as a charismatic physician in the early 20th century, Spilsbury shook up the English justice system and hit the headlines, garnering a reputation as a real-life Sherlock Holmes. He uncovered evidence others missed, stood above his peers in the field of crime reconstruction, exposed discrepancies between witness testimony and factual evidence, and most importantly, convicted dozens of murderers with hard-nosed, scientific proof.

Killers who would have escaped punishment pre-Spilsbury began to drop through the hangman's trap-door. This is the fascinating story of the life and work of Bernard Spilsbury, history's greatest medical detective, and of the cases that not only made him a celebrity, but also inspired the astonishing science of criminal investigation in our own time.

Saw this book of The Peeb's at my gran's house. She'd borrowed it and had just finished reading it, so I quickly swiped it so I could read it before she gave it back ;)

It was certainly an interesting read. Not especially gripping in a murder-mystery kinda way. And I didn't come away feeling like this guy was *that* amazing. I guess he was pretty amazing at the time, and in England. But it felt like saying he was The Father of Forensics was a bit of a stretch. It read more like he was The Father of Expert Witness Testimony. While it does sound like he was a good pathologist (? Is that the right word?) and yes, no doubt ahead of his time, and I'm sure we are grateful today for many of the techniques he developed, I found they rather glossed over the bit in the beginning where they said England was pretty much behind everywhere else when he arrived on the scene.

Guess it was one of those perfect timing situations. The right person with the forthright personality in the right place at the right time. It still is a pretty fascinating read. I suppose we forget how many people most probably got away with crimes even a mere 100 years ago. And I did find it especially interesting how the book discussed how crime began to change ... from people who knew each other (mostly it sounded like people marrying and then offing each other for money) to more random / stranger crimes.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Smiling and the Sun is out

This weekend feels like it flew by! At least the rain seems to be paused tho :) I am a little worried about the bunnies today tho ... I didn't know what the weather was going to be like today when I left home at 6am. So the black tarp is over their hutch ... but today looks set to be quite warm. I hope they don't get too hot in there :( Most especially since (typical!) it's the one day The Trucker isn't home to lift it off for me ... he was up at 4am (!!) this morning to catch a 6am flight to Cape Town for work. He'll be home tomorrow.

11h25 Update: And now I am positively thrilled I left the tarp down on the bunnies this morning since it is absolutely bucketing down again o_0

On Friday after work, we went shopping for supplies to take down to Reitz on Saturday and decided to do home made pizza's for dinner. Because of the move and me being away we haven't tried out his new Pizza Stone yet. He seems suitably impressed ... although I didn't even get a bite of his pizza to try ;) Haha. He puts on yucky stinky tobasco sauce (which, as you might be able to tell, I can't even stand the smell of!) but I put on piles of red & yellow peppers (which he can't stand) so it all evens out in the end! But, I could hear him crunching his crisp base, so it definitely seems effective and better than his attempts at pre-frying the base to try and get it crispy. Yay!

On Saturday we headed off to Reitz (that's a very overcast view of the Vaal above, we stopped to see how high it was) to visit The Trucker's Mom & Gran overnight. I haven't seen them since before we broke up! So that's sometime back in 2012. To be fair there was some kind of fall out and they hadn't spoken in nearly a year (neither seems to know what caused it o_0 ) but they got back in touch at the end of January.

It was a lovely weekend. For the first time I actually felt welcome in my own right, not just sort of tolerated as an obligation of having him visit. The Trucker's mom took his break-up with his ex-girlfriend pretty badly, I think. I get it, they dated for 7 years or something ridonkulous. From when he was 21. When his folks were living nearby and they all spent a lot of time together. They got to know her well. They expected him to marry her. Anyway, I think she was sort of hoping I wouldn't last and he'd get back together with his ex or something (totally disregarding the fact that they had been broken up for more than a year when we started dating!).

This time the pictures of the ex-girlfriend were no longer hanging around the house. And she spoke to me, not just as part of a conversation with The Trucker, like she was actually telling or showing me something specifically. I feel much better after this visit! Realise that even on Friday evening I was joking with him and asking if he'd reminded his mom that it was me coming along and not the ex-girlf :P

We looked thru old photo albums (my best!). Damn he was quite a cute kid. I want to get a bunch for our photo wall before we put it up again because otherwise it'll be terribly lop-sided, all my family together and then his family photos tacked on the end. I want it merged, amalgamated, joined. I found a couple this weekend, although they don't have many (and none from his Dad's side unfortunately), so I need to get copies made. And I need to go thru all of mine as well to figure out what sort of photos I need. I'm excited :)

In the evening we watched About Time again. His mom thoroughly enjoyed it and we even enjoyed it again, having seen it so recently. We're all loved up at the moment so things are all floaty and perfect.

We had a lazy morning on Sunday and then his mom made us delish french toast (with actual french loaf!) and bacon for breakfast before we headed back to Joburg. It was a gorgeous drive. The rolling yellow Free State hills. And the sun-flowers were out :) The Trucker even stopped a few times and I picked a few of them from the side of the road. Unfortunately they didn't handle the trip well :(

We went straight to the Design Quarter, on the hunt for bar stools. I think we've picked one. It's called a Padded Pu Bar Chair. We saw a grey one we really liked, although I can only find black on their site (strange since they had white & grey, no black, in store o_0 ). Damn, these things are expensive!

Then we popped home with just enough time to drop off our bags and say hello to the Gypsy Cat before heading to Rocomamas for lunch with CollegeInstructor for his birthday. Many peanut butter shakes later, we headed to do our grocery shopping for the week and then home.

It was a long day! The weather made me quite energetic tho and I did some gardening while the bunnies ran in the sunshine. We've blocked off the garage with their old hutch and given them the run of the whole garden now. Mostly since Smudge realised he could jump over the little fence we'd put up ...

It was a lovely weekend. And I'm more than thrilled this is a 4 day week :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Bathroom Love

Shew, Friday. Already. Yay! I think this week has felt shorter because obviously, I missed work on Monday and I worked from home yesterday (waking up and driving in the rain in the early hours, read still dark, of the morning has been getting to me!).

Yes, it is pretty much still raining here. Although yesterday was almost dry. There was even some delightful sunshine in the morning ... But after lunch the clouds came over all heavy again. They're still here covering the sky as far as the eye can see.

But other than that it's been a quiet week. I missed SCM since I had missed the whole weekend with The Trucker. And the rain. It makes me want to curl up with a cuddly blanket on the couch, in front of the TV, and not go anywhere. Which is what I did a lot of this week.

Last night we did end up getting take-out Chinese food and sitting on the couch together (the rest of the week nights he's been working at the kitchen counter on his laptop). Note to self: really must find bar stools we like so we have more than one! Haha.

Oh, and on the house front, since the shower glass went in over the weekend, I took our "after" pics for you to see :) There are still a few more bits and pieces coming, but who can wait so long?

And, typically, after I took the photos, The Trucker & I got all handy and put up the towel rails, finally. And put in our coffee cup hooks in the kitchen (there is not as much cupboard space in this kitchen as you may think!) And put up my photo frame above our bed <3 Little things, all getting ticked off the list. Slowly.

We're off to visit his mom this weekend so losing another weekend of house stuff ... so have to do as many "little" things as we can during the week. I know, if you came to visit, you probably wouldn't even notice the things that scream in my head every time I see them. You don't know the original plans ... like how it was supposed to only be a dado rail of 3 mosaics, not 4. But it turned out okay in the end :)

Is this not the BEST bathroom, ever? I adore it. We still need to get some little cupboards made for either side of the basin on the floor. And I am now on the lookout for hanging plant pots for in the corner above the bath, next to the mirror. (If anyone knows where I can find ones like in the picture below in Joburg, PLEASE leave a comment!) And am also thinking of sneaking an Air Plant into the shower now too! The pic inspired me, but it's not where I'd put it in my shower ... but I know the perfect spot for it.

Folks, and this is just the bathroom ... do you see how home improvements just take up all of your time, energy and money? Once you start it is so hard to stop! Cause you know how nice "this" would look? And wouldn't "this" be perfect over there? It's a problem. Haha.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What Hidden Lies by Michele Rowe

Winner of the 2011 CWA Debut Dagger Award. When Detective Persephone (Persy) Jonas is forced to work with retired criminal psychologist Dr Marge Labuschagne to solve the murder of a suspected sex offender, suspicion and distrust threaten to derail the investigation. Persy believes the killer is her childhood sweetheart, now turned vicious gangster; Marge is sure the answer lies in the victim's shady past. As the women race against time and their own prejudice to hunt the killer, past and present collide, unearthing long buried secrets and lies. As the hunt intensifies they realise they have more in common than they think and are bound in ways they could never have imagined. Finally faced with a ruthless killer, it seems that the darkest secrets are the ones they are hiding from themselves.

Shew, I had actually forgotten I had this book, it took me so long to get around to reading it (having a Kindle will do that to regular books). I bought this ages ago at the Bloody Book Week event we went to.

I wasn't so sure  about this book when I started it ... I know it sounds strange, but the title annoys me. It feels incomplete. What Hidden Lies ... Beneath? I know it's supposed to be lies, the noun, but when you read it, it sounds like it is a verb and there should be another word or two there o_0 I think it's cause the sentence starts with "What". I don't know, but it annoyed me the entire time I was reading. Ridiculous, I know.

What I did thoroughly end up enjoying about this book was it's local setting. Having grown up in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, this was all very familiar to me. I wonder if this is what people who live in New York or Chicago feel when they read books set there?

Another big, and surprising, plus for me while reading this was that I did NOT see the twist coming. I mean I knew something was coming but I didn't guess right. So that gets an immediate thumbs up from me ;)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Memorial Weekend

And I'm back in the deluge that is Joburg. I gather it stopped rainy briefly this weekend ... but it has certainly been back in full force since yesterday afternoon! I adore the rain, but this is getting a little much now o_0 Apparently it is the wettest March in 14 years!

At least I got a bit of a break during my long weekend in Cape Town ;) On Thursday evening we had dinner at Rocomama's. Poor them, just before our order came out, they lost power (just their side of the street, which must be very frustrating) and had to close their kitchen. The Trucker and I ate by candlelight and headed home quickly.

I got a very marginal lie in on Friday morning because we had to leave for the airport at 7am (worried about the traffic in this weather!). But we had some breakfast at Lanseria before I flew which was nice :)

It was a very crowded flight. Bloody cyclists o_0

And then I landed in beautiful sun & blue skies. Mom collected me and we headed straight to my gran's (her mom ... my only remaining grandparent). Was good to get to see her for a bit. She'll be 90 in August. Yoh. Looking forward to another Family Long Weekend then :)

She was quite chuffed to be ahead of me in Downton Abbey. Haha. After that we did a little shopping and then headed home for the rest of the afternoon. And I managed to catch 27 Dresses on DSTv :)

Mom & I had dinner at Simon's with Dad & his Girlf (using a few of their Cape Town Entertainer vouchers). But I wouldn't recommend it. We heard the prawns were really good so Mom and I ordered that for mains. And I tried their interesting sounding Calamari starter (with chili and orange).

There was nothing technically wrong with the food, but it was very meh. None of it left me wanting to go back or rave about it to anyone at all. And I would sorta have expected that from a Constantia restaurant like this one.

But it was still a nice evening, spending time with the family.

On Saturday morning we left home at 9:30am to collect The Peeb & Doc and head to Montagu, to Dad's Brother's house. Dad collected my other aunt and cousin from the airport en route.

We arrived in Montagu in time for an awesome spread of lunch and just sat around and caught up with each other. We realised we haven't seen my cousin since her dad's funeral (in 2006)!

After lunch we planted a tree with Ed's ashes and Dad said a few words. We'd been telling a few stories all afternoon. But, I realised, there really weren't that many. He wasn't the story-telling sort and really rather kept to himself. So we relied mostly on what we remembered about him. Mom had made a batch of Ed's Ginger Biscuits for the weekend. Yum.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in much the same way. We took a little stroll around the town, the other's checked into Squirrel's (Mom & I were staying at my uncle's house).

In the evening we went to dinner at The Docks. Was kinda entertaining since we had to order in the afternoon as a table of more than 8 (to ensure all our food came at the same time). I shared their crumbed camembert with mom. Which was delish! And then had a Seafood Platter for mains (Calamari, Fish & Prawns). Yawn. I guess I was trying to get in all my seafood eating while away without The Trucker (he doesn't eat seafood, except sushi & prawns, really). But none of it was really spectacular.

The evening dragged on and we were all exhausted by the time we left.

Was up at 8am the next morning, had a quick shower and headed to Squirrel's for one of their delish breakfast omlettes with the family staying there. We hung around at my Uncle's house till about 14h30 and then all packed up to head back. My aunt & cousin were flying out that evening.

Did I mention that I seemed to bring the rain with me? On Saturday when we woke up at Mom's house, it was all overcast and drizzly. And then now on Sunday in Montagu it was super overcast with expected rain ... and we drove thru rain on the way home! It must be me o_0

Mom and I had a quiet evening at home. I watched a documentary on the Titanic Aftermath and then we watched Knocked Up. What happened to Katherine Heigl? Haven't seen her in anything recently ...

Monday was lazy. Another beautiful day. And we left for the airport at 10am. Was fantastic to see The Trucker when I landed. I missed him this weekend. Had a nice afternoon catching up with him, the Gypsy Cat and The Bundles &lt3 We made some Mac n Cheese (our post-America Melrose Cheese way) and The Trucker made Salted Caramel Frozen Yogurt for dessert - amazing! It was a perfect evening.

Ooh ooh, and The Trucker put the rest of the shower up while I was away :) The main bathroom is *nearly* 100%. Still need the towel rails up and to figure out our cupboard plan for there o_0

Damn, so not ready to be back at work!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Weekly Stuffs

So, today is my Friday. The week has felt long enough already. Tomorrow I'm flying to Cape Town for my grandfather's memorial this weekend. It's going to be an emotional weekend. And The Trucker unfortunately won't be coming with me :( Turns out it's Argus weekend in Cape Town and the flights, even at random times during the day are completely exorbitant!! Even with my 35% Discovery discount o_0

Plus, it's only our second weekend in the new house, so I'm not so thrilled about leaving Gypsy all on her own (with someone just popping in to feed her) just yet. Although she seems to be finally settling in, yesterday morning she sat on the half-wall while I showered and this morning she ventured in briefly afterwards (she used to go and sit in the shower every morning after I got out). How cute is that #ThrowbackThursday picture of her <3 Taken on the day we met her in Sodwana (about 10 days short of a year ago! yoh). I can't believe she was so tiny!

In other pet news, I finally took Smudge to the vet yesterday. He's supposed to be 3 months in March, so I wasn't too worried, but I suspected he was ready for the snip. And he definitely is a boy and ready so they kept him overnight and will do it today. Here's hoping there are no surprise baby bunnies in our house o_0 Lily hasn't stopped digging holes since a few days before we moved ... But, she hasn't actually started on any "nesting" yet, so hopefully we're safe.

Things around the house are calming down. The Trucker and I are doing better than after the last move, although we have *very* different styles of moving. He wants everything cleared away. That apparently does not mean either a) sorted thru or b) in the right place, it just means hidden from offending his vision. So the chaos of the spare rooms has been shuffled, the furniture moved to the lounge area and the rest (where possible) packed into the spare room cupboards. I can ignore the chaos in the spare rooms for longer, it seems, because I like to put things into their "right" place when I unpack them. So if they can't go there, then I can't seem to do anything.

We seem to be getting by tho. And, again, getting rid of quite a lot of stuff. But believe it or not, he is more of a hoarder than me! (I couldn't believe it either) That pic is of the computer stuff we ARE NOT keeping!

We finally managed to move the Spare Bed into the Guest Bedroom so our bedroom is now complete :) And last night The Trucker constructed our shower half-wall panels so hopefully he'll take them to get the glass cut today. Then he can silicon it all and our shower will be complete! Although I do kinda love it now with the open half-wall ... it doesn't keep the heat in very well :P Haha.

Other than that it has been a pretty quiet week. @clairam popped in to visit to see the house since I missed SCM on Tuesday. Has been hectic with all the rain. Yesterday was the worst, I think! Today was the first morning since Saturday I woke up and it wasn't raining! Although it's still completely overcast. Is making it hard with Gypsy and the bunnies! And getting laundry dry!

Oh, and last night I spotted this teeny tiny cute little *green* snail. I have never seen one like it! I had to find a 10c to show some perspective. Gonna have to Google and see if I can figure out what sort it is.

Oh, and I heard about this kinda cool concept called #bookly. It's a writing / reading platform for phones (since South Africa has a huge mobile market and a very high illiteracy rate!). Anyone can submit a story and anyone can read them. Now, I'm not much of a writer (aside from this blog), but I think it is a pretty cool idea and could be a great platform for people who do like writing but maybe aren't likely to get published. Especially since the stories aren't supposed to be that long (I think only 1000 words?)

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