Weekend in Review (4-6 April) My Life 07 APR 2008

GoldfishWhew, it is ni-ip-py this morning! I should have worn a long top in to work this morning because damn, winter is definitely beginning to settle in at last! Anyway, work, work and still more work. A week of living in Gordon’s Bay already and still no opportunity just to sit down and relax for a day I say! – See, I should have ghost written for Dr Seuss after all :)

Friday itself didn’t kick off on the greatest foot, firstly because I had to go into the office, secondly because I was stuck in traffic and thirdly because UCT was load shed for a big chunk of the afternoon, cutting a huge slice of work time from me. In fact, the only really good things that came out of Friday was the fact that we had to cancel Saturday’s planned server maintenance thanks to the fact that the new server is still unexpectedly blue screening intermittently and Retha and I finally got together to put up her UCT Hispanic Society website.

Thank goodness the trip home was a lot better than the trip there in the morning thouh and I arrived home with just enough time to sort out my home network issues before Chantelle arrived home from work. Tired of constantly shifting things around and tightening any more screws, we declared that we would go out for a movie just to get away from the flat for a bit. So with much excitement, we raced to the car and headed off to the mall to catch none other than “Horton Hears a Who”, a prospect that had me driving Chantelle nuts with my native “Horton Hears a Whooooo” call! :)

Unfortunately for us though, our plans were dashed when on arrival we were greeted with a pitch black parking lot and an even darker mall inside. A couple of eateries were still operating on backup generators, but the movies were completely knocked out, as was my secret wish of having some Subway for supper again. Seeing my childlike disappointment, Chantelle took a drastic step in cheering me up and introduced me to a little takeaway stop called Flameros, a place famed for having the biggest, meanest and tastiest chicken burgers in the Western Cape! We then drove on a little further and complemented our chicken burger takeaways with some Steers chips and a copy of “Mr Woodcock” from the local Vees Videos.

So with Horton relegated to the back of my mind, a rejuvenated Craig sat down and ate his burger and chips (which was indeed the best chicken burger he had ever eaten) and watched the frankly terrible Mr Woodcock which for a change was good a good thing because it wasn’t his video choice that sucked this time – it is all Chantelle’s fault this time around!

Saturday morning saw me wide awake just after 05:00 for some or other strange reason and at 07:00 I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I abandoned C in bed and went to my office to begin work on my steadily growing backlog of Commerce IT work. Unfortunately, this moment of work-filled bliss was short-lived as Chantelle shot out of bed, got dressed and dragged me off by the hand, faster that what I could say “huh?”

As it was, Saturday morning was the morning I had promised to come ring browsing with Chantelle who is nowadays very keen on showing me the style of ring that she likes and accompanying it with the words “hint hint”. As it was, we ended up browsing through about five or six different jewelery shops and I can now walk away safe in the knowledge that I know NOT what to get Chantelle should the mood ever take me ;) (As it was, all Dean could shout into the phone while she was distracted with some or other diamond on her finger was “Run, run now while you still can!”)

With the window shopping done, it was time to shoot off to work for Chantelle, who dropped me off at home so that I could get back to my work which was still to be done. *sigh* A domesticated man’s work is never done. My to do and shopping lists complete, I was just about to step out to the shops when I got a call from Chantelle saying that she needed to go to the shops for work as well, so would I want to join her? Of course, “No” really wasn’t an option and in the end we managed to annoy each other at the aquarium as she made me purchase a bundle of stuff for our new fish tank (I’m going broke at this rate I tell you!), battle for supremacy by racing through Pick ‘n Pay to see who could finish first and annoy salespeople in a hardware shop who wanted to close while we were decided which wood stainer and polyfiller to go for.

Eventually home, I sprang into action, cleaning out our ‘vase’ fish tank and setting it up for Sunday’s fishies, baking two cakes for the parents’ Sunday big visit, handled the washing and finally prepared a delicious roast chicken meal for supper, complete with ice-cream, peaches and chocolate mint sauce! Exhausted, I finally kicked back, switched on the PS2 and just started playing when there was a knock on the window, a sigh from me, and a Chantelle at the door :)

Supper was delicious if I say so myself, though the roast veggies were indeed just that – roasted beyond all recognition. Luckily I don’t like them anyway, so it didn’t really matter all that much to me. In any event, it wasn’t all that much longer before a terrible tiredness seized my head and before I knew it, I was stretched out along our bed, gently snoring away to keep the frogs outside company.

Sunday morning and the routine wasn’t all that much different to be honest. We got out of bed, Chantelle got ready for work and I got stuck into my work in the office. Once she was gone, it was out of the office and into the kitchen, sponge at the ready to deal with the huge mess I had created the night before. Equally dividing my time between all my chores, I was soon scrubbing, screwing, ironing and moving away, quietly wishing time to forward by at least a month so that everything can already be magically done and sorted and that I can be sitting on the beach with a cold beer in hand (which probably wouldn’t have worked anyway seeing as it was officially our first rainy day here in Gordon’s Bay.)

However, the monotony of the day was soon broken up when Chantelle phoned to find out whether or not I had gone to collect our goldfish yet. Excited when she heard that I hadn’t left yet, she rocked up at our doorstep in a heartbeat, I jumped in and off we went. A quick trip to the shops to get stuff for the guesthouse as well as a few odds and ends for our place (lightbulbs in particular!) and then it was off to the local pet store to go pick up our babies. Seeing as this first batch is in all reality just our simple guinea pigs, we picked out three multi-coloured and two plain orange common goldfish, bagged them and set off home where I went about the arduous task of acclimatizing them first and then setting them free in our giant vase. It turns out that goldfish must be hard little buggers to kill because they are now quiet happily swimming around, dodging the violent up-current caused by our vicious aerator and sniffing inquisitively around the water filter which magnified by the curvature of the glass looks like a giant black monolith.

Unfortunately though, as much as I impressed Chantelle with my aquarium stocking and wall crack filling skills, they weren’t enough to keep me out of the work on her early return from work as we sprang into action to spruce up the place before the parents’ big arrival. And when I say spruce I mean clean like there is no tomorrow – hell, Chantelle even switched out our toilet paper that was on the roll for the special visitor’s 2-ply edition. Talk about wanting to make a good impression! (on her parents, not on the soft toilet paper in case you are confused.)

And the topping on the cake was… well the topping on the cake. Not trusting my lumpy icing making skills, Chantelle whipped up her own batch which I am happy to report tastes as good as mom’s and with a tin of caramelle in the one hand and a tub of cherries in the other, she proceeded to create the cake of all cakes – a triple story monster cake!

With literally a minute to spare, the folks pitched up perfectly on time, bringing with them the agreed entrance fee, that being some flowers and more importantly, my tall rack of shelves that I had left behind in the flat thinking that we didn’t have space for it in the new place. Of course, Chantelle changed her mind and we had to now have it, so thank goodness we could persuade Monty and Rob to bring it along for us!

After a brief bit of chit chat and looking around the house with an approving eye, mom, dad, Cheryl, Monty, Rob, Chantelle and myself got into the cars and headed off to the Gordon’s Bay Spur where we sat down for a thoroughly entertaining supper, the experience of which thankfully was about a billion times better than the last time Chantelle and I made the mistake of going to that particular Spur. It sounded as if everyone enjoyed the little treat and I’m glad Chantelle had come up with the idea in the first place :)

Back at home, the men (not Robert who was as sick as a dog and looked like he was about to pass out any minute) set about doing all the little DIY odd jobs around the house (alway good to have dads around) while the women set about dividing up our mammoth three story cake and making the extremely important cups of coffee. The work done, the cake eaten and the coffee drunk, everyone agreed that it had been a wonderful evening and that we have indeed set up a beautiful little living space now – meaning we could happily kick everybody out and finally hit the sack for some well deserved zeesssssszzzzzzzz.

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.