Weekend in Review (11-13 April) My Life 14 APR 2008

Schalk BritsIt was another long slog into the office on Friday morning, but thank goodness the traffic was plain sailing and it wasn’t much of a headache to get to the office. What was a headache though was arriving right in front of the office door and then remembering that you had left your phone in the car, all the way back on Middle Campus, meaning you had to go back and repeat the torturous ascent again. Wonderful. :(

Luckily the rest of the day proceeded on a far better note mainly because I only got to work in the office until just before 12:00 because from 12:00 onwards I had a very important meeting with the newly established UCT Web Working Group in Welgelegen, the home of UCT’s Department of Communication. The meeting itself was pretty informative with a broad cross section of different web-based UCT groups being represented and it was a great platform for the cross-border exchange of information. The meeting ended a little earlier that what I had expected though and seeing what looked like load shedding going on at Upper Campus, I decided to ditch work and go home in order to install my shiny new R8 000 work-bought copy of Adobe Photoshop CS3 instead.

Back home I was however greeted with the distasteful prospect of fishing our first dead fishy out of the tank and flush him, but with that task done and a quick lunch later, it was behind the keyboard for the rest of the afternoon for me. Chantelle got off a little earlier too, and after a power nap that she almost didn’t arise from, we got dollied up (me in my beautiful blue and black striped shirt that Chantelle surprised me with earlier in the day) and left for Bellville once again, this time our target being the University of the Western Cape.

It is not my scene in the least. An activist organised event in support of the Cuban Five struggle, the focal point of the evening being the relaunch of Brian William’s Cuban inspired poetry book, “One Renaissance many Revolutions”. The ambassador from Cuba was there, a couple of our struggle icons were sitting in – heck, even Judge Desai was present and had a speech going! And anything where trade unions are present and they end off in song and chant “Amandla” is not my cup of tea anyway. In any event, we were with a purpose and that was to support Retha who had been asked to recite some of the poems from the book. Of course, we would never leave our friend hanging and therefore were present and accounted for in a surprisingly packed auditorium.

Like I said, for me the evening was all about counting the bricks in the wall, but for other more cultured people I’m sure it was a treat. There were a couple of speeches, a lot of poetry being read as well as quite a few musical items to take in. After everything was said and done, it was finger food time outside and once the crowd subsided and the food had all but disappeared, we decided it was time to pack our bags and make our way out to Buena Vista in the Tyger Waterfront.

Luckily for us we were actually able to secure a table for seven in the busy, latin-inspired venue and settled in with cocktails in hand and some nachos for support. In all honesty the tiredness from the previous nights settled in a little and I didn’t enjoy the evening as much as I should perhaps have, but Chantelle managed to finally get to smoke her nicked authentic Cuban cigars so it was all good. By midnight enough was enough and we bid Retha and her pals a good night and it was back on to the long road home.

Saturday morning I was up and faffing around in the man room, leaving Chantelle to sleep in a little later than normal. On making my breakfast however, I was horrified to see that two more of our fishies had bitten the dust overnight, leaving only two out of the original five standing. Talk about being bad parents!

As I was saying, I let Chantelle sleep in for most of the morning and when she finally awoke I rewarded her by putting her straight to work in cleaning out the fish tank and neatening up the place a bit in anticipation of Retha’s arrival later the evening. As it was, my sleeves were also rolled up and I got stuck into baking the welcome chocolate cake that we had earlier decided upon.

We didn’t have all that much time to get everything done, because at 13:30 we were out of the house and on our way to Newlands to catch the Stormers versus the Cheetahs game at 15:00 in the afternoon. The trip was plain sailing until we hit Main Road Rondebosch and from there on in it was bumper to bumper traffic, all the way to the stadium! From the news reports on the radio we later learned that both the M3 and N1 were backed up, the N1 all the way back to Century City! Luckily we made it to the stadium on time, although we did have to park quite some distance away and by arriving on time I mean we arrived as the dancing girls ripped off their long pants and led the players on the field! Still, we were in our seats at kickoff and that is all that counts :)

Unfortunately the guys at Computicket had misled Monty just a little and although we had a decent enough view of the field, it wasn’t exactly the greatest seats in the stadium, being tucked up right next to the wall and underneath the higher seating tier. In any event, all eight of us (yes eight! Monty, Cheryl, Dad, Mom, Ryan, Retha, Chantelle and I) managed to squish into the little line of seats and sat in anticipation as the game got underway.

All I can say is WOW! The Stormers played magnificently and to get four tries in the first half while making the Cheetahs look like they weren’t even trying to play was amazing. Completely in a class of their own, the Stormers gave the Cheetahs a good hiding and there were some VERY quiet Cheetahs fans all around us. And of course our whole crowd being in such good spirits, the whole area around us was soon echoing with calls of ‘Stttoooorrrmmmmers’ throughout the match. The only cost to me of course was that I then had to walk around for the rest of the weekend without a voice!

At this point in my story, I would just like to note that I am not sure just how much of the game Chantelle and Retha actually took in. Every time I looked the two of them were deep in conversation and when I looked again, the two of them had disappeared for a smoke break and the shops, only to reappear well into the second half! And shame, Monty had to miss two awesome tries for the Stormers thanks to Cheryl sending him off on a coffee mission right at a crucial stage of the game!

It was a great game to watch and I think it marked the first time we’ve actually won when Chantelle has been to watch the game, thankfully breaking that curse at last. The trip home was a bit of a nightmare though thanks to the heavy traffic out of Newlands, but Retha, Chantelle and I eventually made it home safe and sound, where we got stuck straight into icing the cake so that we could sit down and relax ASAP.

After an afternoon of mostly chilling, the girls headed out to forage, eventually returning with the fantastic chicken burgers from Flameros for supper and an unfortunate movie choice in form of “Reno 911!: Miami” – definitely a movie where you have to be drunk to actually find funny or watchable for that matter. Nevertheless, my dire warnings fell on deaf ears and the three of us hunkered down to end off the evening by watching this most un-entertaining movie, all the while munching on cake, burgers and chocolate for dessert. What more can one ask for I tell you! :)

Sunday thankfully got off to a slow, slow start, thanks mainly due to the fact that I had pulled out of my golf date in Worcester with dad and his buddies, opting to stay indoors instead. Having driven around since Wednesday already I simply didn’t feel like it any more and as such just wanted to take the day off and do absolutely NOTHING at all. So while Retha and Chantelle soundly slept on, I played FIFA 08 all morning long, stopping only when those two sleepyheads finally arose and we set about making some French toast for brunch.

Actually, even after Retha had left, that was pretty much all that I did. FIFA, FIFA and more FIFA. I finished my first season with Totteham and went straight on to my second and if Chantelle hadn’t dragged me out to go shopping with her I might very well had played straight through to the night! But thankfully it was just as well that I didn’t because she later introduced me to one of the most marvellous feel good movies that I’ve seen in ages, that being “Little Miss Sunshine”, a definite must see for everyone who can appreciate a good movie!

And that was pretty much that for Sunday. The only other thing we got up to was teaching Chantelle a kung fu form at 23:00 on the lawn outside (much to the amusement of the passing security guard and to the detriment of my buggered knee) and catching the end of the second Matrix movie and actually following it for a change, something I failed to do all those years back when I was snoozing in the cinema :)

A busy Friday, a semi-lazy Saturday and an extremely lazy Sunday – I’m not quite sure how I should score this one…

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.