Emily Turns 4 Birthday Party at Country Mews (2018-01-20) Photo Gallery 17 FEB 2019

Oh dear, Emily’s 5th birthday has come and gone already this year, and I have to admit, we kind of didn’t get around to hosting a party for her. We did take her out to Spur on her actual birthday, and Chantelle’s folks treated her to an afternoon outing the next day, but actual birthday party with friends and family – whoops, kind of didn’t get around to it.

Last year we did a whole lot better though. We threw a nice pink and purple unicorn themed party for all the friends at our house, complete with cake, games, treats and by far the highlight of the get together, Chantelle’s paint your own unicorn biscuits.

I guess we’ll just have to do better next year then!

Coffee and Sandwiches at Groves Cafe in Hermanus (2018-08-25) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 16 FEB 2019

After a day spent bay hopping around Hermanus to watch the whales frolic and play, as well a stint in a museum or two, we rounded off our Overstrand visit with a cup of cofee and something light to eat at Groves Cafe.

Situated in the heart of the touristy center of Hermanus, Groves is a small coffee shop and bistro that excels in providing excellent coffee, a good selection of craft beers, and light meals – complemented of course with a great view over the bay.

Simple, delicious, and a great way to get off our feet for a short while.

So, good coffee, a good view, nice shelter from the wind – basically hard not to like them then.

Related Links: Groves Cafe | Hermanus

Celebrating with Eisbein at Sweetwell in Stellenbosch (2018-11-07) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 15 FEB 2019

Chantelle and I celebrated last year’s wedding anniversary with a day spent out and about in Stellenbosch. For lunch we opted to duck into the excellent Sweetwell farm butchery and restaurant.

Situated on the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, Sweetwell itself is an absolute delight. Classic white farm walls, a great view of the surrounds, free roaming chickens and particularly good food that emerges from the kitchen. I had their truly excellent eisbein while Chantelle tucked into a decadent slice of pork belly.

In addition to the restaurant, the premises is also home to the deli, which is stocked with all manner of high quality home industry product, as well as all the meat and baked goods that emerge from the onsite butchery and bakery.

It’s a classic farm restaurant experience that sits comfortably on that level just below fine dining, and is certainly a very easy to recommend spot!

Delicious.

Related Link: Sweetwell | Stellenbosch

Capsule Reviews: Games (Grand Theft Auto V, Cities: Skylines) Games | My Reviews 14 FEB 2019

It has been quite some time since I’ve last done this, but what can I say, I’ve been playing a LOT of games over the last while.

Grand Theft Auto V (2014)

When a young street hustler, a retired bank robber and a terrifying psychopath find themselves entangled with some of the most frightening and deranged elements of the criminal underworld, the U.S. government and the entertainment industry, they must pull off a series of dangerous heists to survive in a ruthless city in which they can trust nobody, least of all each other.

There is little left to be said about Grand Theft Auto V which hasn’t been said before. There is a reason that this mammoth game is one of the best selling games of all time, why five years down the line it still features in the annual top game lists, and why it continues to be an absolute unit of a cash cow for parent company Rockstar Games.

Now I’m not interested in the massively successful multiplayer mode, instead it is the campaign which I want to gush about. Extremely late to the party, all I can say that this is once again a masterclass in merging story into an open world sandbox title. The seamless story/action transitions, the character switching, the seemingly endless amount of things you can interact with or do in the world is astounding. Sure, the gunplay could be seen as a little simplistic (even at the time of release), but mixed in with the rest of the elements, the cinematography, the exceptional soundtrack… well, everything just works.

Honestly, I can see exactly why GTA V sits with as high a metacritic rating as what it does.

Metacritic rating: 97 | Wikipedia

Cities: Skylines (2017)

There isn’t a story blurb for this one, but basically Cities: Skylines is hands down the best city builder currently available on the Xbox. After the last Sim Cities dropped the ball in a horrible PR negative way, developer Colossal Order and publisher Paradox Interactive unleashed this modern city builder that quickly became a firm fan favourite, so much so that developer Tantalus Media was approached to produce a console port.

The end result is a magnificent city builder that works flawlessly with a Xbox game controller, one which is guaranteed to suck up MANY precious hours of your lifespan. Urban planning, zoning, districts, taxation, policies, road, subway and rail placement, public works – its an absolutely delightful time sink.

The game runs well, is particularly well supported with DLC, and in my opinion is an absolute must for anyone with an inkling of love for the city building genre.

Naturally, I’m completely in love.

Metacritic rating: 81 | Wikipedia

When Will I be Load Shed with EskomSePush Software & Sites 13 FEB 2019

The slickest, easiest way to currently get the answer to when will you be load shed on a particular day is by downloading the quite frankly well written local load shedding schedule app, EskomSePush. (We will all agree to look past the juvenile joke name, okay?)

Written by Dan Wells and Herman Maritz a handful of years ago, EskomSePush is an extremely user friendly tool that does little more than ask you to download and install the app on your phone, click on the plus button to bring up the location search, and then select the location that you are interested in. The resulting screen then gives you a nice concise view of what your load shedding schedule looks like (across any of Eskom’s seemingly limitless stages) for any particular upcoming day.


The app is easy to read, sends warning push notifications when needed, and is simple enough that most people should get the hang of it. For my part, it works like a charm and its load shedding reporting has yet to fail me, meaning that our rolling blackouts by another name still hasn’t caught me with my pants around my ankles and no torch in sight.

Given the big amount of electricity generation worries on the Eskom horizon, it is probably a good idea to hang on to the app for some time to come.

Related Link: EskomSePush | Google Play

Shopping at the Lindt Chocolate Studio in Cape Town (2019-01-09) Photo Gallery | Shopping 12 FEB 2019

Did you know that the Lindt chocolate classes hosted in Cape Town and Johannesburg were a first for Lindt worldwide? It is something that Chantelle has always been keen to do at some point in time, and now that we’ve actually stumbled upon the Lindt Chocolate Studio in the reinvigorated Silo District of the V&A Waterfront, I reckon that the ‘maybe’ has now moved much more firmly into the realm of ‘definitely’.

We were in fact wandering about that area thanks to our first ever visit to the gorgeous Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) gallery, and of course once we spied the gleaming gold logo of Lindt, Chantelle was reeled in and immediately bought a handful of exotic flavours for us to try and compare.

Secretly, this made me super happy.

Decadent.

Related Link: Lindt Chocolate Studio | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town

A December Holiday in Pinnacle Point Mossel Bay (2017-12-26) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 11 FEB 2019

Last year we spent some holiday time up with the family at Pinnacle Point Estate in Mossel Bay. Two years ago we did the same (though on a slightly shorter scale because we also spent some time in Gouritsmond).

Two years ago the holiday was filled with swimming, walks on the beach, rides on the golf cart, playing Jenga, and doing our best to avoid the massive crowds that descend upon the area for the Christmas break. (We were not successful).

Oh, and gingerbread houses. Lots of gingerbread houses.

Delightful.

Related Link: Pinnacle Point Estate | Mossel Bay

The De Wet’s Huis Photo Museum in Hermanus (2018-08-25) Historic Attractions | Photo Gallery 10 FEB 2019

Hermanus, or Hermanuspietersfontein as it was known before the postmaster shortened the name to make it more practical, is of course an exceptionally popular South African coastal town that is a must for whale watchers, beach lovers, and people who want to escape to the sea. It used to also be quite the fishing town, and if you head over to the Fisherman’s Village complex belonging to the Old Harbour Museum, you’ll come across a small house marked as the De Wet’s Huis Photo Museum.

(Incidentally, this house, which is right next to the Whale Museum, is actually the old Dutch Reform Sunday School house, which was broken up into numbered stones, moved across to the current site, and then rebuilt by the museum curator and his team.)

The small museum houses a nice collection of photographs detailing old Hermanus, with some of the pictures dating as far back as the beginning of the last century. A number of photos in the exhibit are printed from the glass negatives taken by famed photographer T.D. Ravenscroft. The antique furniture displayed in the cottage belong to Will Paterson, son of Scotty Paterson (one of the founders of Hermanus), and a leading figure in Hermanus at the turn of the last century.

Now granted there are hardly enough photos here to label this post as one of my normal photo gallery outings, but that is only because the museum made if very clear that the taking of photos was not particularly welcome.

Still, a quick and interesting historic distraction then.

Related Link: Old Harbour Museum | Hermanus

Memorials, Trees and a Chapel at The Old Fort in Durban (2018-02-07) Historic Attractions | Photo Gallery 09 FEB 2019

Durban’s Old Fort (just next to Kingsmead Stadium) has had a long history tied to military action – the site having been first established as a military camp by the British back in May 1842, when 237 men of the 27th Regiment and Royal Artillery under Captain Thomas Charlton Smith were sent in to respond to an imminent Boer threat.

Following the ensuing retaliatory siege by the Boers after the failed British attack on Congella (lifted only be the arrival of the schooner Conch and the frigate HMS Southampton), a permanent fort was built on the site and a permanent British garrison was based there with a larger force being stationed outside Pietermaritzburg at Fort Napier.

Over the years a number of British Regiments did garrison duty in Durban and eventually the fort was later leased by the War Office to the Durban Light Infantry where it was at last converted into cottages for veterans. (Incidentally, the magazine was converted into a chapel and given the tranquil, lush nature of the grounds, the chapel has proven to be one of the city’s most popular wedding venues over the years!)

These days the grounds are open to the public, providing a quiet green space within the bustling city. There are old military relics scattered about to discover, and if you are somewhat of a military nerd, then the hugely informative Warrors Gate M.O.T.H. (Memorable Order of Tin Hats) Museum and Shrine (situated on the grounds) is an absolute must.

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Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in South African military history then.

Related Link: The Old Fort | Durban