Weekend in Review (2-4 November) My Life 05 NOV 2007

Belly DancerAs I had mentioned in an earlier post last week, this weekend was chocca block full of activities, so much so that Chantelle and I hardly got time to rest! But it is all good, because it was a damn enjoyable weekend! :)

Friday night we kicked off the weekend by organising a braai with Dean, Zania, Terrance and Ryan, …borrowing’ my parent’s place as the venue (mainly because I really felt like playing table tennis again, something I haven’t done in ages!). The weather wasn’t all that great, windy as hell, but everyone pitched (in fact, even my parents joined in) and the evening was a right success. My braaing skills didn’t get a chance to shine though, mainly because my dad stole the role of the Tongmaster right out from under my nose, but it was probably best that way because in the end the food was absolutely delicious!

After all the chatting, eating and socialising was done and finished, we hit the garage for some heated table tennis action (honestly it was more like slow motion ping pong action if I must be absolutely truthful), but it was great fun to do some trash talking again and beat the crap out of the little white ball that seems intent on rolling under the table or beneath the caravan at the drop of a hat. We all managed to avoid serious injuries (Dean even managed to avoid impaling his groin on the table this time around) and had a lot of fun. My only disappointment was that I couldn’t get Chantelle to join in on the action – she was too busy playing Agony Aunt to her roommate over the phone while the rest of us were table blazing :(

By Saturday morning the weather had taken a turn for the worse I’m afraid, putting pretty much a stop to our plan of tackling Lion’s Head. However, seeing as the two of us had only got to bed around 3am, this wasn’t THAT much of a train smash! Not that all was lost of course: we still headed out to the Waterfront to go to the Two Oceans Aquarium, a trip that the both of us haven’t made in ages and turned out to be quite enjoyable indeed. The place hasn’t really changed all that much, though it was quite disappointing to learn that the seals have been relocated to uShaka Marine in Durban, leaving a pretty empty enclosure behind. And apart from the disturbing incident with Mr Turd in the kiddies’ puppet show session, the rest of the place was looking pretty good (which could be because of the ridiculously high entrance ticket price in my opinion).

Early Saturday evening saw Chantelle and I pack in a bottle of red, tuck a freshly bought milktart under the arm and head off to Karl and Pat’s place, where we enjoyed a lekker couple of hours of idle chit chat, good music and even better food (I never knew a chicken salad could be that enjoyable!). The milk tart wasn’t half bad either – which would explain why I basically had a quarter of it :)

Unfortunately we had to cut our visit a little short, thanks to the fact that we had purchased tickets (on Chantelle’s insistence) to the International Oriental Dance Festival Gala Evening, put together by Ajsa Samia & the Palace of the Winds dance troupe. The evening was basically a charity drive organised to benefit the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children in Athlone, a worthy cause and one I didn’t mind shelling out R100 a ticket for. The evening pulled together a number of dancing schools from all across South Africa (one of Chantelle’s friends were taking part in fact), including two international stars from Germany and Belgium respectively. Basically this was a belly-dancing display and we were treated to numerous styles from all across the east and even northern Africa, with dance types varying from the common veil dancing right through to the spectacular sword dancing. In fact, we even had a couple of traditional Greek dances thrown in for good measure!

I’ve never seen this kind of dancing in real life and it really is quite a thing to behold. The dances are very sensual, strong and beautiful, with every step being slow and concentrated and must take a hell of a lot of skill and body control to achieve. And the dancing is not restricted to any body type – in fact, some of the best skills on display were put on by some rather plump performers – the German lady being the pick of the crop by far (though I was afraid she might knock herself out with her rather ample bouncing bosom). – We were also treated to the music of Gypsy Magic, an amazing group of musicians who specialise in gypsy folk music and really do produce an awesome sound extravaganza.

The dancers and the dancing for the evening were great – lots of variety, lots of colour and lots of passion, but I’m afraid the concert itself was marred by very poor planning, an absolutely pathetic MC and a definite lack of rehearsal. I know it was a charity drive and I know from my Karate experiences just what to expect when an amateur sport puts on a show, but still, for the price one paid for the tickets, a person couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed with the evening’s show. And I swear, if that idiot of a …sheik’ asks me to give a performer a big handshake one more time, I’m probably going to throw my shoe at him – even if it is a waste of a good shoe.

Sunday morning we chose to sleep in a little, Church being the victim of our late night out. However, we did eventually get out of bed to attend yet another meal out, this time a braai with Chantelle’s friend Andri and her husband Malcolm. Unfortunately Andri couldn’t get through to Chantelle’s phone at all, meaning we rocked up, meat in hand, just in time for a delicious’ lasagne. The food was great (I can’t believe I’m saying this about lasagne nowadays – I used to be a staunch anti-pasta guy) and the company was just as good (particularly when I learned that Malcolm likes comic books, gaming and figurines, immediately giving us common ground and leaving the ladies to fend for themselves). Afternoon entertainment was some friendly games of Poker and Blackjack, and much to my surprise I managed to clean the house out. A real hustler right to the end I might add :)

From there we raced off the Chantelle’s mom’s place, just in time to catch the latest instalment of Idols (Chantelle’s treat, my torture) and we had a nice relaxed evening with them, before her dad had to head out to work for his evening shift – though he did drag us with him (using a flower delivery as the excuse) to go check out his massive office in the Eskom building – very nice and shiny I might add, I was quite impressed (which is a particularly difficult thing to do because it takes quite a lot to impress me).

On the way home from that, we grabbed KFC, plonked ourselves down on the couches of my flat and finally managed to spend a little bit of quality time together – for the first time this whole weekend!

The weekend: In short, it was fun, it was busy and I enjoyed lots of good company (and even more good food). Honestly, I’m not sure I could have done any better even if I tried :)

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.