Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bossypants by Tina Fey

In her acceptance speech for Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Tina Fey announced that she was proud to make her home in "the 'not-real America'". It is perhaps that healthy sense of incongruity that makes the head writer, executive producer, and star of NBC's Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock such a cogent observer of the contemporary scene.

Bossypants, her entertaining new memoir, shows that strangeness has been her constant companion. Fey's stories about her childhood in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania are only appetizers for LOL forays into her college disasters, honeymoon catastrophes, and Saturday Night Live shenanigans. Most funny read of the month; the best possible weekend update.

So this was a bit of a weird read ... since I've never actually watched SNL or 30 Rock. So I don't really know much about Tina Fey. Aside from her being a comedian / comedy writer and seeing a few YouTube clips. I did enjoy the book. But I suspect it would be better suited to someone who had more context.

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School. Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners - and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage - in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.

So a friend on Goodreads read this and seemed to enjoy it so I added it to my list. I also added it to The Trucker's niece's Xmas Pressie ... so I wanted to read it beforehand. I was not disappointed. I thought it was a great girly YA book and I'm looking forward to reading the next installment.

You know when after you've finished reading a book and every time you think about getting your Kindle to read some more you're a little disappointed cause it's already finished and you're actually reading something completely different now. This book was like that for me.

* These books are part of the Finishing School series: Etiquette & Espionage (2013), Curtsies & Conspiracies (2013), Waistcoats & Weaponry (2014)

2014 Review

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Well, The Trucker and I increased our menagerie by one new bunny (named Smudge) and a little Miniature Schnauzer girl-pup who we named Pepper. The first dog I've had since leaving home <3

Oh, and then there's that little matter of Getting Pregnant!

We also renovated our whole house in 2 weeks, pretty amazeballs.

2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
The first of our SCMDinner crew, @Thunderkitty6, had a little boy in January. And quite a few people at work. And DJ Mike & his wife. And, as always, about a billion people on my Facebook timeline ... next year I'll be one of them :D

3. Did anyone close to you die?
My paternal grandfather, Ed.

4. Did anyone close to you get married?
A guy I've known since high-school (!)

5. What countries did you visit?
Turkey (sorry, *still* have not posted about this trip properly yet) ... and more of South Africa (on our Cape Roadtrip and Kruger Long Weekend)

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
I think 2015 is going to be quite the year of change ... new baby, moving to Cape Town. So I reckon there is enough that I'm already going to have in 2015 that I didn't this year!

7. What date, from 2014, will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Almost getting sued for a blog post!

And, of course, finding out we were pregnant and telling the family and seeing that little heartbeat for the first time ... and watching The Littlest One grow from scan to scan to scan <3

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Is it pathetic to say getting pregnant? I know it happens to lots of people completely randomly and all, but we waited and planned and tried, all on purpose. And I was more than a little nervous about it not being as easy as it turned out to be. Those months of waiting are stressful!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Can't think of anything particular this year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had that neck issue that I had to go to a physio for ... and The Trucker ended up in a Moon Boot. Does that count?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Dunno. Do all the supplies for our house renovation count? What about all the new Baby paraphenalia?

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Always, The Trucker. This year has really shown and reminded me how patient he actually is. He's been amazing since I got pregnant and certainly does more than his fair share of house-stuffs (including almost all the cooking). I am too lucky and so spoilt <3

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Erm, dunno. The world? It's been a pretty shocking year news- and society-wise. Somehow I suspect it's not going to change anytime soon either tho.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Travel and Home Renovations!
Oh, and Gynae visits o_0

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Okay, so this one is kinda obvious ... the fact that we got pregnant and the whole experience. Actually, I've remained pretty calm, but it's definitely the one thing I wouldn't trade for anything from this year!

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Ways to Go by Grouplove

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? I think I'm prob about the same ...
Thinner or fatter? Fatter ... but I'm growing a human here!
Richer or poorer? Definitely poorer :(

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? and 19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I don't really have an answer for either of these ... I think I did pretty damn well all round in 2014.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
This year it's The Trucker's family's turn so we'll be heading to his mom's house in the Free State on Xmas eve and spending Xmas day there before heading back to Joburg. Then on Boxing Day we're flying to Cape Town for a week and doing a "delayed" Xmas with my family.

21. How will you be spending New Year?
No idea. We are very boring. Especially since I can't even drink this year o_0 Haha.

22. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Nope, but very definitely stayed in love with my Trucker <3

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
From shows that started this year, I'd say How To Get Away With Murder, Z Nation and Stalker. Oh, and let's not forget The Knick!

25. What did you want and get?
Pregnant! Oh, and we're having a little girl, which I was definitely hoping for :)

26. What did you want and not get?
Yeah, feeling pretty blessed about 2014 so got nothing for this one either.

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
This year I turned 34 and got a super early birthday celebration at the office, with a real-live bunny this year! (Sadly I couldn't keep him)

And then The Trucker and I were on our Cape Roadtrip, staying at Addo, on my actual birthday.

28. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Erm ...

29. Who did you miss?
Actually probably my Grandfather, Gum Drop. There were quite a few moments this year where I was reminded of him and thought of him and was sad he wasn't here anymore.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Almost Done

Shewee. That was our last "regular programming" weekend on 2014. And the final 2 working days have begun. Although I suspect they'll be fairly unproductive, honestly. The drive to work today was total bliss! And I can't help wondering if it felt calm like this every day, how much that would affect our mindsets and stress levels. I sometimes think we forget life wasn't always like this for everyone.

The weekend was pretty good. I'm still apparently being difficult because I don't know what to tell people to get me. #sigh. Haha.

On Friday evening we got pizza and watched Gone Girl. Brilliant. Finally something The Trucker couldn't predict ;) I thought it did very well against the book. But I don't think it ended the same ... it's been a while tho. Seriously, there are so few good movies at the moment, watch this one!

On Saturday we had to go collect my mom's gift from somewhere far away (the East) so figured we'd spoil ourselves with some Salvation Cafe breakfast to end the year (it has been too long!). We were very disappointed to find it closed and the only other option there was Vovo Telo. Which, really, would never be on my list. I find their breakfasts boring and insufficient. And this time was no different. Very annoying having this awesome expectation and ending up with something functional but disappointing :( Plus Stanley Beer Yard was apparently having their Xmas function later in the day and they were blaring their music over the Vovo Telo music and patrons. It was a very unpleasant way to start the day.

But anyhoo ... then it was off to collect Mom's gift. Damn, I wish we'd been able to find it in Cape Town. It's a rather irregular shape and size ... so luckily it's being sent down on one of the The Trucker's connection's trucks to Cape Town today. I think we would've struggled taking it on the plane. Thank goodness that even tho he's out of the trucking business, he still has friends who can help out :)

Then we headed to Woodmead to try finish up the rest of our Xmas shopping. It was chaos.

And when we got home, did we relax? Well, some of us did (me). The Trucker mowed the lawn and laid down some compost. The garden looks awesome! And then we invited some friends over for a braai. What a great evening :)

On Sunday we met up with some other friends at Urban Angel for breakfast and then headed to Rosebank. Now that I'm doing my photo wall again, I need some more frames for the new photos (adding what I could find from The Trucker's side of the family).

Then we really were shattered by the time we got home. The rest of Sunday was very quiet.

Did I mention we've now managed to buy all the plastic dinosaurs and we've ordered the wood for the nursery's DIY projects? Unfortunately sorting thru the spare room is no closer to being done o_0

Oh, and I had a visit to the vet with Gyps on Friday morning :( Her one eye seemed to have a lot of gunk in it. So I took her just to get checked. Turns out she has 4 tiny ulcers in her eye (they drop in this stuff that makes it glow green!). So she's been on eye drops since then. Currently she is hating me :( Back to the vet this afternoon, and hopefully it'll be sorted! Fingers crossed ...

Friday, December 19, 2014


Well it hasn't been such a bad week. Work is showing no sign of slowing down, but the days full of meetings have ground to a halt so have managed to work from home yesterday & today so am getting quite a lot done from the comfort of my bed (my back has started really taking strain - pregnancy symptom, I presume?).

Aside from that we had a lovely public holiday on Tuesday, which was disguised as a Satuday: busy morning and lazy afternoon. We had dinner out with some friends at Let's Meat. This time I tried their Nutella & Chili Chocolate sauce with a fillet. Shew. Decadent. But a little too burny for my mouth when I accidentally ate one of the chili chunks. Glad I tried it but doubt I'll have that one again. The Trucker had the Surf & Turf sauce I had last time.

And last night we headed to The Gourmet Garage for a long overdue catch-up with CollegeInstructor. He's been on holiday for ages (seriously, I think it was something like 6-8 weeks!) in Mexico and Cuba so was awesome to hear about it. Sadly we all decided Gourmet Garage has outlived it's deliciousness. It's been ages since we were last their. And although nothing beats those chili-cheese fries, the rest wasn't as good as we remembered it being previously.

And that is that. I reckon I can survive the 2 days left of work next week before Xmas break ;) Nervous about Xmas pressies arriving in time ... sposed to be collecting Mom's tomorrow and The Trucker's niece's should be arriving next week. I couldn't get what I wanted for The Peeb so back to the drawing board for that o_0 Oh, and NOTHING has been wrapped. #sigh. Oh yes, and The Trucker and I are no closer to any gifts for each other ... It's starting to nag at my brain. I definitely feel like there hasn't been enough time this year. And I have no bright ideas for anyone on what I want since I'm so focused on next year and what we need for the Babe ... so I don't want clothes cause who knows how long they'll fit for, I do want a new handbag but I know I'll need one of those Baby Bag things next year. See, it's like living in a weird limbo till you figure out exactly what you need.

At least I've managed to steer myself away from buying cute baby stuff. Because for the most part the things I have been eyeing, I'm pretty sure she won't be using / needing for at least a few years haha.

Righto, back to work then.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver

Robert Moreno, an American citizen living in South America, is shot in the Bahamas by a sniper. The killing was commissioned by the U.S. government, who received a tip-off that Moreno was planning a terrorist attack on a U.S. oil company headquarters. But this intelligence was fatally incorrect: anti-American Moreno ordered a protest at the oil company, not an attack.

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are drafted in to investigate. While Sachs traces Moreno’s steps in New York, Rhyme travels to the scene of the crime in Nassau, where he finds himself on a dangerous path trailed by the sniper himself. As details of the case start to emerge, the pair discover that not all is what it seemed. Can they achieve justice and escape with their lives intact?

It's been ages since I read a Lincoln Rhyme novel ... the whole romance between the two of them and him trying to overcome his disability etc. etc. Don't misunderstand, I lovedlovedloved the first in the series ... but nothing since has quite lived up to that. Although most have been good (I think the electricity one is the only one I really didn't enjoy) and this was no exception. It started out a bit iffy ... but it came together in the end. And had some twists, but nothing that shocked me or made me feel differently about the book, really.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Let the Short Weeks Begin!

Ah, hello 4 day week! Still, it seems too long. Haha. The weekend was good. Met up with @WhizBangLouLou and her "new" (not so new, but first time I've met him) boyf for dinner at Tony's Pizza.

Shew, the pizza there was delish! I went for a half-and-half because I just couldn't make up my mind. And I still don't know which half was my fave! I had half Butternut and half Pizza pesto. I would recommend both :) Yum.

On Saturday we headed to Clearwater for some Xmas shopping. Luckily Mom & Dad have both been sorted already. And now the Brother-in-Law. The only outstanding purchase is the Peeb. Usually she's the easy one ... this year I'm struggling!

I can't actually remember how the rest of Saturday afternoon went ... but we watched Lucy in the evening. It was as rubbish as I'd heard (I tried to warn The Trucker). Seriously, don't watch this.

On Sunday we had breakfast at home and then just as The Trucker was about to leave for cricket he heard it had been cancelled. So he came grocery shopping with me. And then later we went to fetch some plastic dinosaurs I found on Bid or Buy. Sadly they were not what I was looking for, for the Nursery DIY projects. So that was disappointing. And I ended up in a bit of a funk for the afternoon.

But then I started working on the photo wall. I kinda figured we wouldn't bother putting it up because we'll likely move in less than a year. But we were discussing how to clear the current-dumping-ground-future-nursery and that's currently where all the frames are sitting gathering dust (although that's only part of what's cluttering the room currently). The Trucker said just put it up. I adore the photos and they're wasted sitting in a pile on the floor in a room we don't go into. So I got on a mission. Luckily I'd already bought some brown paper. So I started the tracing part. Didn't have enough to do all the frames. And now I need some new frames (for the few photos I managed to get of The Trucker's side of the family).

So yeah, I am on a mission now. First to buy more dinosaurs (Looks like the Crazy Store is the place!) then to get some photos printed and more brown paper bought and then hunt down some new frames ... Hopefully the wall will be hung before the end of Jan!

In the evening we watched The Maze Runner. Hmmmm. I have the book for this series on my Kindle, but haven't read any of them yet ... am not sure that the movie has motivated me to start either. It was a bit iffy and I'm not entirely sure where it's headed. The movie definitely felt like a prequel to something.

Not feeling especially awesome about work right now ... definitely a combo of end-of-year fatigue and feeling overwhelmed with preparation (and expectations) for next year.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Dust to Dust by Beverly Connor

A woman dies under suspicious circumstances, supposedly after finding evidence of her incarcerated brother's innocence. Now to prove a possible murder, Diane Fallon must root through the victim's family secrets-and the many skeletons in her closet...

I mostly enjoyed this one. It did seem a little convenient that when they end up investigating multiple murders, they're all related. And, yet again, Dr Fallon ends up in the firing line. I think this is my most consistent complaint about this series.

This one also had a disappointing outcome ... I dunno why exactly. The whole crazy family thing just didn't sit right with me.

* This book is part of the Diane Fallon Forensic Investigation series: One Grave Too Many (2004), Dead Guilty (2004), Dead Secret (2005), Dead Past (2007), Dead Hunt (2008), Scattered Graves (2008), Dust to Dust (2009), The Night Killer (2010), One Grave Less (2010)

Monday, December 08, 2014

Fabulous Weekend

Awe, we had a really good weekend. It started on Friday afternoon with our office Year End function. Better than last year aside from the fact that I couldn't drink. I stuck with mock-mojitos ... crushed lemon, mint and ice with sprite zero.

I did take strain tho and was pretty exhausted by the time I left (early by some standards) at 19h35.

On Saturday morning we tried a new breakfast (Urban Angel) spot I saw Jenty mention on her blog. I reiterate her comment that we are in sore need of good breakfast spots in that part of Joburg. And I was super impressed with this little spot.

I had a peanut butter, banana and yogurt smoothie with their Bagel Breakfast. It was spot-on. And there are definitely more items on the menu I'll be back to try :)

In the afternoon we headed to Emmerentia for The Lumineers concert. Shewee it was a hot afternoon. We camped out on our picnic blanket under the trees until The Lumineers came on. We ended up near the back, and it's not the best venue in my opinion ... Well, I don't really like Emmerentia in general. I don't think it's much of a Botanical Garden, more of just a park with giant stretches of lawn. I consider Kirstenbosch and Walter Sisulu to be proper Botanical Gardens. So anyway, the sound wasn't great. So I'm glad we got to see them in San Francisco. That was a much better show, I thought. But it was still a nice way to spend an afternoon :)

Unfortunately we got home to no power (of course) so went to bed early with our Kindles.

On Sunday morning we were up fairly early (the power came back at about 3:30am) and headed to Silverstar for breakfast before going to the Tutankhamun exhibition with The Trucker's niece. Not much was open for breakfast but we found a nice little spot called Vigour & Verve.

The exhibition was awesome. One of the best I've been to! I love the little dome "globe" they had it in (so much better than the revolting venue where they had the Da Vinci exhibition, although Silverstar is much further out). And I was super impressed that the audio guides were free. Definitely the way an exhibition should be done! And they had childrens-versions and adult-versions. The flow thru the exhibit was also set up well. Although I got a bit bored towards the end (the rest of the bits and pieces in the tomb don't fascinate me as much as the tomb itself or the mummy).

But seriously, what is with the people taking photos all the way thru the exhibit?! You know it's all replica stuff, right? Just sit back and enjoy and take it in, absorb the experience itself ... unless you're creating a pamphlet or a booklet for the expo, you are NEVER going to look at those photos ever again. I just got irritated because they got in the way and I'm not just talking about people with their cellphones either (they were there too) but there was a woman with her freaking SLR! I do not understand.

After that it was a whirlwind grocery shop and then back to clean the house before our friends came over for a braai. What a great afternoon! We didn't have power again for most of the afternoon, but no one noticed (luckily it went off just after we made the potato salad!). And by the time everyone left (around 6pm) it was back on again.

Friday, December 05, 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Furry: Life with the World's Most Melancholy Cat and Other Whiskery Friends by Tom Cox

Meet THE BEAR - a cat who carries the weight of the world on his furry shoulders, and whose wise, owl-like eyes seem to ask, Can you tell me why I am a cat, please?

Like many intellectuals, The Bear would prefer a life of quiet solitude with plenty of time to gaze forlornly into space and contemplate society's ills. Unfortunately he is destined to spend his days surrounded by felines of a significantly lower IQ . . .

RALPH: handsome, self-satisfied tabby, terrified of the clothes horse.

SHIPLEY: mouthy hooligan and champion mouser, rendered insensible by being turned upside-down.

ROSCOE: fiercely independent kitten, tormented by her doppelganger in the mirror.

And then there's Tom, writing with his usual wit and charm about the unexpected adventures that go hand in hand with a life at the beck and call of four cats . . . or three cats and a sensitive poet who just happens to be a foot high and covered in fur.

So I was inspired to read The Moggy Series by @MYSADCAT on twitter. The photos of The Bear often look so like my Gypsy Cat :) The book wasn't quite what I was expecting tho,and although there are some amusing bits, overall it's just a story. I'll still give the rest of the series a try tho.

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

Isabel Spellman, the uncompromising - okay, obstinate - twenty-eight year-old San Francisco private eye in Lisa Lutz's riotous debut novel, THE SPELLMAN FILES has her share of problems. And those problems all happen to be named Spellman. Her parents, Albert and Olivia, co-owners of Spellman Investigations, think nothing of placing their daughter under 24-hour surveillance simply to find out if she has a new boyfriend. David, her perfect older brother, who escaped the family business by becoming a lawyer, is hypercritical of just about everything Isabel says, wears, or does. Fourteen-year-old sister Rae lives on sugared snacks, considers recreation surveillance her favorite hobby, and believes that life is one endless opportunity for intra-familial blackmail. And good-natured Uncle Ray, a former cop and health food nut, now embraces gambling and drinking; and when he's not in battle with his niece Rae over the whereabouts of his favorite shirt, must be rescued from "lost weekends."

Welcome to Izzy Spellman's off-kilter world. Equal parts Sam Spade and Bridget Jones, she's a damn good investigator—if only her dysfunctional family would back off and let her do her thing. Izzy's cynical—okay, wise—enough to realize that a primrose-covered cottage with a white picket fence is not in her future. That's okay with her. Ever the jaded P.I., she catalogs her ex-boyfriends with calculated brevity, reducing her romantic misjudgments to curt summaries of name, age, occupation, hobbies, duration, and last words. No sooner has she met a new man that she begins composing his exit profile.

Hired to trail a husband whose wife suspects he's gay, Isabel easily determines that nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, Daniel Castillo, the object of her subject's misidentified affection, turns out to be a gorgeous—and straight—Guatemalan dentist whom Isabel quickly zeroes in on as the future "Ex-Boyfriend #9." Keeping her family and Daniel from discovering the truth about each other, though, proves harder than she would have guessed. While other parents might be happy to learn that their daughter is dating a professional man, Olivia Spellman has a pathological distrust of dentists. When Isabel discovers that her folks are not only having her followed, but have hired Rae to do it, her outrage pushes her to quit her job at the family agency - even though it's the only job she's ever had and the only thing she does well.

But just because Izzy says she is leaving the family fold doesn't mean that the family has any intention of loosening its hold on her. Besides, she's under contract. So, they make a deal - one last, ice cold case, from twelve years before when a Marin County teen went missing in the woods near Lake Tahoe.

Izzy throws herself into the case, thrilled at the prospect of getting away from Spellman Investigations for good. But then Rae, who has been expertly manipulating every member of the family with her ill-gotten knowledge of their individual secrets, disappears without a trace. Izzy, who loves the little creep in spite of everything, is propelled into the most vital missing person search of her career.

There has never been a heroine quite like Isabel Spellman, or a fictional family exactly like the Spellmans. The laugh-out-loud antics that Lisa Lutz cooks up for this strangely loveable dysfunctional brood vault THE SPELLMAN FILES into the pantheon of comic crime novels that includes the work of Carl Hiassen and Jasper Fforde. With publication rights already sold in over 20 countries and movie plans underway at Paramount, Lisa Lutz's delightful book should prove to be one of the most widely read—and talked about—literary debuts of the year. 

Shewee, that is a long blurb. I got it straight off Good Reads. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Off-kilter is the right word. I loved the style it was written in and the tone. It's got some great characters set up and I'm looking forward to delving into the rest of the series!

* These books are part of The Spellmans series: The Spellman Files (2007), Curse of the Spellmans (2008), Revenge of the Spellmans (2009), The Spellmans Strike Again (2010), Trail of the Spellmans (2012), The Last Word (2013)

Thursday, December 04, 2014

20 weeks, 6 days

Shewee, and we're past half way now! It feels like it has flown by but then I remind myself that you don't even actually know you're pregnant till the end of the first month.

Plus I suppose mine feels faster since I haven't had my attention drawn to it constantly by the symptoms (still haven't had anything, really).

It is definitely getting to the point that I am noticing the regular needing to pee thing. And my belly is pretty huge. Centimeter-wise it hasn't actually seemed to grow since 16 weeks. And that along with the fact that I'm still not sure I've felt her move had me nervous in the last week (apparently it'll start any time between 18 & 22 weeks).

The week before a scan always seems to be the most nerve-wracking ... it's the longest time since you last checked up on them and saw they were fine and well.

Yesterday we had our appointment with the Fetal Ultrasound Specialist. Our gynae recommended this appointment from our first meeting. Just to check on all the internal organs and what not, so there are no surprises like a club foot or cleft palate or something at birth. If anything like that is likely you can know in advance and find a specialist and be prepared beforehand. I suppose with the rush of giving-birth hormones, they are trying to minimise the surprises. I'm all for it!

Wow. This scan was just amazing. Seriously, I think it was my favourite so far! The face is there and fully formed. It's incredible to see the little lips and nose and eyes. They measure the nose and the brain and whatnot (no spina bifida). Make sure the cerebellum is growing as it should. And then you get to see all 5 fingers on both hands.

They go thru the rest of the body at a cross-section. We saw the heart's 4 chambers pumping. He measured the arm bones and leg bones. And we saw all 5 toes on both feet. And that both feet are pointing in the same direction (so no club foot).

And he confirmed that we are definitely having a little girl :) I also asked him about the kicking and he showed me that basically she is facing the placenta so that is currently acting as a pillow between her & I, and it has no nerve endings ... so it's quite likely I'll feel her a little later. So all is on track.

All our measurements were normal and our risk of downs halved. Whatever they measure that, if high, is a likely indicator for pre-eclampsia is low for me. And he measured my cervix, which is all good, there should be no risk of pre-term birth.

Basically all is going perfectly. I had tears in my eyes at this scan. Now there is a long break before the next one (cause of Xmas holidays) ... 6 whole weeks to wait!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Kruger 2014

So I know this super late, but that's still better than never, right?

Let me start by saying that this was by far my best Kruger trip to date. We organised it way back in May! My Dad absolutely loves wildlife but barely travels by plane (I think I was still dating Varen the last time he came to Joburg to visit me!). So I told my folks, knowing about our intentions to start trying for a baby this year that we wanted to get all the awesome things about living in Joburg done (again in some cases) before we headed back to Cape Town, so this was their opportunity to finally come to the Kruger Park (neither has ever been. Shocking for 2 people who love wildlife and have lived in South African their whole lives, right?).

I didn't think Dad would actually come and I invited Mom along too. I spose it's a bit weird to invite your two divorced parents on holiday with you, but that's not the sort of divorce they have (thankfully!). And Dad's girlfriend and her daughter were invited along too (of course). 

As the planning actually kicked in and it turned out we couldn't get accommodation when we'd planned, the trip got pushed out to November. After our last trip there, The Trucker and I specifically wanted to stick to the Southern camps: Crocodile Bridge and Lower Sabie.

Dad's girlf and her daughter couldn't make it (exams and leave) but both my folks were still keen. We were fine with it if they were ... it saved us having to get a 2nd car for the trip. But it did turn out to be kinda entertaining checking in with 4 people for 3 rooms (which slept 2-3 people each).

My folks flew up on the Friday (7 November) afternoon and as soon as I got home from work we all headed to Kaapsehoop for our overnight stop. The week before they arrived was a little stressful: my mom ended up in the Emergency Room on the Wednesday night / Thursday morning, luckily her doctors cleared her for the trip. Plus the Pajero we had been planning on using was no longer in working order ... so we had to hunt down a rental car. I'm thrilled that because of the 94.7 Mountain Bike race happening that weekend that we actually couldn't rent the car in Joburg. It meant we came up with a different, cheaper plan. We took my Jazz all the way to Nelspruit and rented the X-Trail from there.

So we headed to my Mom's cousin in Kaapsehoop for Friday night (my folks met thru him, back in the day, because he was my Dad's housemate). We had a lovely dinner at The Bohemian Groove Cafe  (seriously, my meal, the Pork Schnitzel, although it took ages, was amazing!) and then stayed in a cute little cottage. The place was crazy misty.

From there it was on to Nelspruit, a quick Wimpy Breakfast and off to the airport to collect the car. With that done we headed into Kruger at the Phabeni Gate.

Our days at Kruger from then are a blur ... we spent 2 nights in the chalets at Crocodile Bridge and 2 nights in the tents at Lower Sabie (disappointingly the tents furthest from the river). One of the days the car said the temperature got all the way up to 42! And then we had some overcast days towards the end (luckily the weather turned after we checked into the tents ... we were a little nervous of surviving the heat in them!).

We had an incredible animal viewing experience. On 2 days we managed to see the full Big Five before lunchtime! And this from 2 people who had never seen a Leopard in real life before! Seriously.

We saw a pack of Wild Dogs lazing on the side of the road. We saw over 40 Rhino during our trip (inl 2 babies). We saw Leopards mating at dusk. Okay so the light was terrible and we could only see them thru the binocs (Definitely have to buy ourselves a pair, having Dad's pair in the car was a huge bonus!). On morning The Trucker spotted a Leopard dozing in a tree! And then we saw one briefly with it's kill.

I saw more Hippos out of the water than ever before (I don't actually think I've seen a wild one out of water). We saw Lion ... only one male, but a cub experience that was incredible! There were 2 momma Lions with an array of 5 cubs in various ages. There were two littlees who were so cute bounding around!

We saw loads of Ellies and generally loads of baby animals everywhere. We saw a stand off between a croc and a cautious dik-dik (no one got eaten). And we saw the usual: Buffalo, a Hyena, Jackals, Giraffes, Zebras, even a puff adder that had recently eaten. And so many birds!

I think the only thing we missed out on seeing on this trip was a Cheetah. But the 4 Leopards more than made up for it ;)

The food in the park was better than our last trip. They've converted the old awful restaurants to Mugg & Beans and Cattle Barons. And their shops were all well stocked. Mostly we braaied ... although we did have one Mugg & Bean dinner.

Seriously, a spectacular and awesome trip! If we went again we'd definitely go back to those 2 camps :)

Monday, December 01, 2014

It's December!

Shew. And just like that it's December.

I had a pretty awesome weekend ... it was back to busy and the End of Year crazy is starting in full force this week! On Friday afternoon Mom had her surgery. Turns out it was Gallstones. So actually I was kinda relieved (they can't be cancerous which was a huge fear of mine). She's been back at home since Saturday and sounds a like she's on the mend!

On Friday evening we had a lazy one ... in fact I can't even remember that far back. Oh, I think we watched Guardians of the Galaxy. I wasn't terribly impressed.

On Saturday I had brunch with the Blog Girls (Louisa, Arkwife, Ruby Letters and Tamara 0h) at our usual spot, Papachinos. It was a lovely morning of catching up with everyone :) And then I headed home for a pretty relaxing afternoon.

In the evening, The Trucker wanted steak for dinner. Which left us in a bit of a confusion ... since I generally don't often eat steak, so we had no idea where to go. We tried Turn & Tender, but at 7pm on a Saturday evening we couldn't get a table. So we headed to our back-up plan, the nearby LBV. Which was booked out for a private function.

So we headed homewards and decided to give Let's Meat in Bel-Airs a try. We knew we'd get in because the place always looks quiet ... which is why I hadn't been keen to go their in the first place. Oh wow. We will definitely be going back. I even had steak! And it was delish :) Even tho, I do think it's on the slightly over-priced side of things. The Trucker had a 300g rump with their Portuguese sauce and I had a 200g fillet with their surf & turf sauce. I was blown away and that was a tough choice because their other sauces also sound amazing! So yes, we will be going back :)

On Sunday I headed to Tasha's in Rosebank for brunch with @nadia_ass. So good catching up :) And then I did a little shopping ... it was supposed to be scouting for xmas pressies, but I ended up coming home with 2 dresses for myself instead haha.

I got home to find The Trucker had bought new tarp for the bunny hutch (Pepper had chewed the old rain-covering we had for them to pieces!) and even cleaned the hutch! Along with having done the week's grocery shopping. I felt very spoilt :)

And that was pretty much it for our weekend ... he headed off to play cricket in the afternoon, but it got rained out. And I just enjoyed the storm from our patio :)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin