Mother’s Day morning saw Chantelle, Jessie and I join up with Mom, Dad, Ryan, Ma, and Robert (Monty was unfortunately working and Claire and Riley had other plans) at the always enjoyable Bamboo Garden restaurant, situated in the Cape Garden Centre. I’m rather pleased we made a booking because by the time we eventually left the establishment, the queue of people waiting to get in was rather lengthy! Breakfast itself was really yummy as expected, and we enjoyed a nice morning as a family on what turned out to be a really pleasant Mother’s Day.
I enjoyed a pretty good birthday weekend, thanks to the fact that my birthday fell on a Saturday this year, resulting in a nice long weekend for me thanks to Touchwork’s policy of getting a day off on one’s birthday. Anyway, Saturday afternoon we took over Mom and Dad’s house in Bellville, and with all the usual suspects in tow, we enjoyed a day of braai, boerewors rolls, rainbow cake and the all important table tennis! But man, that rainbow cake. Did Chantelle do awesome or what?!? :)
A weekend or two ago, Chantelle and I took Jessica through to the local duck pond in Strand to feed the ducks and geese. Jessica was in for a big surprise when a rather bold Egyptian Goose grabbed the full slice of bread straight out from her hand, and then of course I had a great deal of fun getting the flock to chase little Jess around, which it turns out she quite enjoyed!
We visited with Priscilla at her guest house in Jacobsbaai for the first time last year February, and one year later, we found ourselves once again packing our bags and joining Monty and Cheryl for what turned out to be a thoroughly relaxing weekend at the always welcoming Artists’ Retreat guest house. It was a pretty short weekend for Chantelle and myself, just Friday and Saturday evening after all, but for little Jess it’ll go on for a little longer – she stayed behind for another three nights with Monty and Cheryl, primarily because they were rather keen to show her off to Bernard and company who are also down for a little holiday break, staying over in the picturesque Paternoster for the week. The weather was palatable, the entertainment subdued, and the food fantastic (alongside Chantelle’s cupcakes and treats that travelled through with us, Monty braaied on Friday, I braaied on Saturday, and for breakfast we went to the Weskusplek restaurant on Saturday and then enjoyed a guest house breakfast on Sunday courtesy of Priscilla and her mom!). Jess had fun stealing everyone’s shoes and clomping around in them and like I said, Chantelle and I pretty much just slept in, lazed about and unwound – in other words a weekend of relaxation well spent!
I finally gave in and agreed with Chantelle that it was time to spruce up the look and feel of our home here in Country Mews – in other words it needed a new coat of paint and definitely some new varnish on the window frames! Chantelle managed to make contact with the guy who recently painted the house across the road from us (Oom Boeta), and after accepting his initial quote we were all set to go! Picking a colour turned out to be a lot easier than normal thanks to both Chantelle and I keen on the same idea, and in the end we sourced a wonderful colour named “Cyclone” from Builder’s Warehouse’s house brand Fired Earth’s Severe Weather range. Coming in at R460 for a 20 litre can meant that it wasn’t too horrible in terms of price, which was just as well because by the time the boys had finished, we had used up 60 litres of paint on the house! There were a few problems with Oom Boeta and his boys, and eventually we did end up forking over more money that what was initially agreed upon, but we did get a lot extra thrown in, like the painting of the gate, the re-waterproofing of the roof’s spine as well as the painting of the braai chimney and the fixing of a minor hole in the roof! The job did take a couple of days longer than originally planned for, but this was mainly due [...]
Thursday was Human Rights Day and although Chantelle was forced to spend the day working in the kitchen to churn out a humongous amount of cakes and cupcakes, that didn’t stop Jessica and me heading out for a morning adventure to Monkey Town. We were there last a year ago, and this time around Jessica was a lot older and could thus enjoy the monkeys, birds and all the other little critters a lot more than what she did the last time! We got to see the monkeys feeding, the chimpanzees come out to play, and I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed the couple of hours we spent wandering around the park, hand in hand, as if stuck by superglue! :)
My folks invited Chantelle, Jess and myself to join them for a Lotter Clan weekend away at Pinnacle Point, and seeing as the three of us haven’t been away together in who knows how long, we jumped at the opportunity! We left Gordon’s Bay on the Saturday morning, only to return on Tuesday afternoon, meaning that the three of us enjoyed a well and truly proper little break of rest and relaxation. As you can imagine with weather as good as what it was for the duration of our stay, naturally there was plenty of swimming to be had, not to mention trips out to Mossel Bay and George (soft serve ice cream for the win!), plenty of good food on offer, and we even managed to squeeze in a delicious birthday lunch at the Mossel Bay harbour in celebration of my mom’s birthday! Oh, and Jessica got her first taste of a trampoline as well.
A gorgeous sunny day meant that we weren’t quite ready to head home just yet following our visit to the newly opened Root 44 market, and so Chantelle, Jessica and myself found ourselves making the short drive down the road to the more established Blaauwklippen market, which I must say, blew our socks off. We had only been once before, but the rain had meant we didn’t get to see this vibrant market in its full glory – something which I’m quite glad to say we now have! :)
A new market recently opened up on the R44 on your way into Stellenbosch, named Root 44 (well, it is on the wine farm Audacia after all). Being a direct challenger to Blaauwklippen as well as Oude Libertas markets, Chantelle and I thought it would be cool to head on down and check out what this new kid on the block offers – and boy were we impressed. A lot of things still need to be tweaked, particularly for the traders, but other than that, this new market definitely has the potential to become big. Loads of space, plenty of activities for families to do, so definitely a thumbs up from us then!
We invited the friends over for a January braai at our place, and answering our call came Evan and Natasha, and Damen and Michelle, all with little ones in tow of course! The wind died down enough to allow for an outside braai and an excuse to put up my new gazeebo, on what really was a sweltering hot day. By all accounts, the little ones all had a whale of a time, whilst the big ones sat around eating their fill on delicious braai food and much desired dessert. In other words, a successful South African friends get together!
We started off December with a picnic at the Helderberg Nature Reserve, joined by Evan, Natasha, Evalynne and Ryan, and so it seemed fit to end my holiday off with yet another delightfully relaxed, frisbee-filled picnic at the shady Helderberg Nature Reserve, this time joined by Karl-Heinz, Trish and Ryan. (And yes, there were cupcakes for dessert!)
I spent the second last day of my holiday with Chantelle, Dad and Jess at Butterfly World – Mom unfortunately missed out due to an emergency Devon look-after call, following the unfortunate burning of Riley’s fingers on the lawnmower. It was a beautiful summer’s day and despite the unbearable humidity in the butterfly enclosure, and what seems to be the loss of the porcupine exhibit, as well as the dried up river, little Jess seemed to thoroughly enjoy her big expedition. We capped off the visit with a quick bite to eat, followed by a trip back to Pop’s pad for a nice, refreshing swim in the pool (while Chantelle enjoyed an impromptu nap). So, a good day out then.
Claire and Riley played host for this year’s big family Christmas get together, and as luck would have it we were blessed with the perfect weather to really enjoy and make the most of a really great day. The venue was awesome, the lunch spectacular, the swim refreshing, and of course, the present opening and Secret Santa shenanigans loads of fun! And in case you were wondering who all was in attendance, let’s just say that the Carpenter clan, the Montgomery group, and the Lotter horde all made a good showing! :)
In joint celebration of Natasha and Chantelle’s birthdays, we decided to organise a picnic outing, taking a break from our usual haunt of Klein Joostenberg and instead opting for the Helderberg Nature Reserve, a gorgeous picnic venue – provided you manage to grab a spot under the huge shady trees of course! As it turned out, pretty much no one from the invited guest pool could join us on the day, so in the end it was just Evan, Natasha, little Evalynne, Ryan and the Gordon’s Bay Lotter clan who got to soak up the sun, throw plenty of frisbee and ball, play loads of ring-a-rosie, and of course, tuck in the mouthwatering fabulous picnic spread! (And yes, there WAS cake!)
Sacred Ground ordered so many cupcakes for their big launch event that Chantelle had no other choice but to rope in the helping hands of Retha (who just happened to be spending a few nights with us at the time, fresh from Spain)!
Chantelle and Cheryl finally managed to make a trip through to Cape Town to visit the famous Charly’s Bakery. Although the trip was fun, turns out Chantelle was a little underwhelmed with their goods in the end…
Craig Lotter is an established web developer and application programmer, with strong creative urges (which keep bursting out at the most inopportune moments) and a seemingly insatiable need to love all things animated. Living in the beautiful coastal town of Gordon's Bay in South Africa, he games, develops, takes in animated fare, trains under whichever martial arts dojo is closest at the time, and for the most part, simply enjoys life with his amazing wife and daughter.
Oh, and he draws ever now and then too.
This is a collection of things that he has managed to find the time to scribble down since 2007.
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