As per usual, we had a nice and busy weekend, with things kicking off on Friday when Chantelle abandoned us for Bellville in order to go and watch the much hyped 50 Shades of Grey movie with Natasha and Michelle Garrett. She opted to take Emily with in order to leave her with Ouma and free up some Daddy/Daughter time for me with Jessica, and taking full advantage of this generous offer, I picked up Jessica from Vergeet-My-Nie at the end of the work day and headed off to the Gordon’s Bay Spur!
Needless to say, Jessica was particularly excited, even more so when we were handed a table literally next to the play area! For the next hour and a half she was bobbing between playing in the kids area (our Spur has really jacked this part of their operation up!), eating food and drinking pink milkshake with her dad, and running around with two other random little girls who seemed to be having just as much fun over at the Spur as what she was!
(Footnote: I didn’t stay up to find out how much Chantelle enjoyed the BDSM-tinged 50 Shades of Grey movie – which as it turns out was quite a lot – but I am rather pleased to report that I didn’t wake up chained to the bed or something like that the next morning).
With Chantelle working and an Eskom loadshed looming, Saturday morning saw me escape to Somerset West with the girls for some retail therapy (no, actually just household and DIY shopping – lightbulbs seem to be really, really expensive these days, not to mention the price of garden tools!), followed by a visit to the always busy, always pleasant Root 44 market at Audacia.
There it was to be pancakes, playing in the sand pit and of course going down the slides (yes, even Emily joined in) that was the order of the day!
The rest of the afternoon/evening was pretty uneventful now that I think about it – Chantelle and I attempted to watch Liam Neeson getting rather confused in the movie Unknown, but sadly as we got just over half way, Chantelle’s gentle snoring and permanently shut eyes became a subtle enough hint, and so we abandoned the film for some much enjoyed bed time.
Sunday was work day for Chantelle once more, but I had more than enough on my own plate to keep me busy. I had invited all the friends around for a Boerewors braai at our place – the first informal get together at Country Mews of the friends in I don’t know how long!
Anyway, all the rushing around paid off, because by the time our guests in Michelle, Damen and Logan, and Evan, Natasha and Evalynne arrived, everything was set up and ready, meaning that chilling in the driveway around our newly bought outside table could commence in ernest!
What followed was an enjoyable afternoon of chatter, boerewors and spanspek, and even a short trip to the park here in Country Mews. Of course, boys will be boys and FIFA did at one point get hauled out and played – and to make things even better, Ryan eventually showed up in Gordon’s Bay, coming through for a visit and some FIFA following his outing to the Art of Brick exhibition in Waterfront earlier in the day.
Eventually though, the day and early evening were done, and with the kids in bed and the last of our guests gone back across the Boerewors curtain, Chantelle and I settled down to finish off the enjoyable Unknown (for the record, Chantelle didn’t quite make it – she’d have to catch the ending again the next morning), rounding off what was a great little weekend.
Taking full advantage of the multitude of public holidays and thus long weekends over the course of April/May, the weekend of the 25th to 28th of April 2014 saw the intrepid family units of Karl and Trish Storbeck, Damen and Michelle Oosthuizen, Ryan Lotter, Dean and Zania Stapelberg, Evan and Natasha Granger, and obviously Chantelle and Craig Lotter, pack up their kids (where applicable) and camping gear, and set off to the Montagu Guano Caves camping site, a good 2.5 hours journey away from Gordon’s Bay.
What followed was an entertaining and pretty damn enjoyable weekend of tenting, caravaning, sun, rain and many, many camp fires, all of which has been neatly documented in the photos below:
I’ve been a bit slack on the weekend updates again I see, so just in case you were wondering what the Lotter Clan has been up to over the past two weekends, never fear, for the info is here!
Two weeks ago I capped off a busy work week with my bi-monthly release notes send out and then headed off back home only to find Chantelle and Cheryl still furiously busy in the kitchen, pumping out baked produce in readiness for the Saturday market stall at Willowbridge. Monty was happily entertaining Jessica, and after a delicious curry for supper, we let the ladies get back to their work while we continued to entertain and eventually tire out Miss Jessica.
Eventually the market work was done and Cheryl and Monty returned home to Bellville, leaving a pretty tired Chantelle ready to tackle the next project, a beautiful pink baby shower cake while I set about teaming up with Ryan over XBOX Live to take another stab at the explosive and enjoyable Crackdown co-op campaign.
Saturday saw Chantelle out early as she headed over to Willowbridge to run (with Cheryl) our very first stall at Willowbridge (we’re now back permanently, meaning you can catch us each and every Saturday at the Willowbridge Slow Market from 09:30 to 14:00), leaving Jessica and me to mind the house, get up to all sorts of mischief and await the arrival of the lady to pick up her Baby Shower Cake.
After the pickup Jess and I headed out to the Somerset Mall to take care of a few shopping errands, ending off with a stroll around Stodels, making sure that after the business end of our visit had concluded, we still had enough time to stay and play a bit on their slides and wooden climbing frame. For lunch I treated little Jess to some McDonalds (the Happy Meal Purple Minion toy was the target), and after a quick detour to Benbel on Monty’s behalf, she and I packed our bags and headed off to Bellville, first meeting up with Chantelle at Dean’s place for a visit with Zania, little Zandea, Damen, Michelle and little Logan, followed by some time with the Montgomery Clan (we were sleeping over for the night), from which Chantelle and I eventually snuck away to Tygervalley for a date night, first taking in the very amusing Despicable Me 2 at Ster-Kinekor, followed by a mouthwatering delicious supper of pizza at Panarottis.
We didn’t stick around in Bellville on Sunday morning, instead returning to Gordon’s Bay fairly early on, allowing me to get cracking with some DIY (taking down the punching bag, filling holes in the lawn and painting the exterior wall) while Chantelle got her hands dirty in the kitchen for the Monday Sacred Ground Deli order.
Not that it was all work mind you – I did make some time for Assassin’s Creed and Crackdown in terms of gaming, as well as taking in a couple of episodes of the thoroughly enjoyable Community (I’m currently on Season 1), as well as an impromptu trip to the beach with Jess, where we enjoyed an hour of so of filling up buckets and tossing sand on one another!
So yeah, a pretty enjoyable weekend with pretty decent weather in other words!
Last weekend obviously had the extra bonus of Friday being a public holiday (Women’s Day), meaning that once again Jessica and I found ourselves making the most of our day off together. While Chantelle and Olga happily baked cupcakes and what not in the kitchen, Jess and I undertook the mission of Theo’s Mall Coffee Shop cupcake delivery, after which we took the time to waddle around the mall, the end result being a brand new book for Jess and a nice bag of salted peanuts and raisins for me. (I suspect Jess loved her book more than I loved my peanuts!)
Unfortunately Chantelle had to leave for her delivery in Franschhoek, meaning that after Jess and I had dropped off Olga after her half day of work, we were free to play, part of which included a fun visit to the duck pond in Strand, where Jessica very happily started the session off by giving strict eating instructions to the first group of ducks that she encountered, before eventually running for her life as some of the bigger geese started to get a little too friendly with the chunks of bread in her hand!
The evening was made up of fingerpainting for Jess, blogging and Crackdown with Ryan for me, and after our impromptu KFC supper, poor Chantelle was back in the kitchen, this time finishing up all the cupcakes and cake required for Saturday’s market stall.
Saturday was an early start for us, as Chantelle, Jess and I departed for Bellville, first stopping off at the Montgomery Clan stronghold to drop off Jess and pick up the packaging and stall display materials, before heading over to Willowbridge in order to set up our stall and start trading! Pleasingly, despite the reduced foot traffic thanks to the long weekend and various other distractions that the weekend was offering, we still made well over a R1,000 worth of sales over the course of the day, meaning that I’m pretty pleased how my first day back at the markets had gone. (Plus, it was pretty nice to catch up with all the old trader faces which I haven’t seen for about year or so!)
Chantelle had Jess for the afternoon following the market, and so she and the little one headed off to Kid Station, the kid’s hair salon situated in Tyger Manor, for Jessica’s very first ever hair cut, the end result being a very cute little blonde bob, without any of those eina curls to bother her any more! (Apparently Jessica was really well behaved and sat perfectly still for the haircut, making her even more so super deserving of the fun little “Certificate of Bravery” she received at the end of the ordeal!).
I on the other hand had organised a proper FIFA Foursome guy’s evening for the remainder of Saturday and as such, found myself playing FIFA 13 on the XBOX with Damen, Evan and Ryan for just short of nine straight hours, only taking a few short breaks here and there, including a quick stop for some St. Elmo’s Pizza. Seriously, nine hours of intense and VERY competitive virtual soccer (it probably was a little overboard, but hey, we haven’t done it in such a long time that it was worth it!). Anyway, I eventually called it a night just before 01:00, making the long drive back home to Gordon’s Bay where I very quickly slumped into bed for some well deserved rest time!
Up until now, despite the heavy snow on the mountain tops around us, weather had been pretty good for our weekend escapades, but that had to eventually give way, and it did for Sunday, meaning that the day was pretty much spent indoors, Chantelle sleeping most of it away on the couch while Jessica assisted me in some sorting and tossing out of stuff around the house. The day at home was only punctuated by a quick trip out to Pick ‘n Pay for Jess and me to pick up some braai stuff, which of course translates directly into the fact that I spent the afternoon behind the coals preparing a rather delicious braai of chicken, pork and venison sausage!
Lots of television, lots of play time, and then a little icky clean up, some blogging and a little Community Season 1, was pretty much my Sunday in a nutshell.
Still, it was a long weekend so I can’t exactly complain! :)
Last weekend was a good mixture of DIY and family time, with the week having ended off on a particularly good note, what with a successful SPI audit demonstration of my Kinetica project at Touchwork, followed by the fixing of my car’s central locking (finally) by Hyundai Helderberg. As it was, Friday had I worked from home, meaning that I got to spend the early evening with Jessica, and after she was in bed, spend a little time with Chantelle as we gobbled down some KFC so that she could get back to work on an emergency birthday cake for a client, meaning I was free to tinker away the rest of the evening on the PC.
Saturday morning we did a bit of tidying up around the house, before I got out my notepad, measuring tape and pen, and started making calculations for the shelving job that I was about to tackle. All of these plans culminated in a 3 hour long trip to Builder’s Warehouse where I secured all the boards, railings, brackets, fasteners, etc., which obviously then meant then that the rest of my Saturday was spent putting up shelves all over the braai room!
With Jessica finally in bed, Chantelle and I snuggled up on the couch to watch He’s Just Not That Into You, before heading for a rather well deserved evening’s rest.
Sunday morning saw me pick up my tools and complete the final bit of the shelving project left over from Saturday, before shifting focus to put up a bracket on the wall of my office in order to wall-mount my second monitor. By this stage Monty, Cheryl and Rob had arrived, and so we all hopped into our cars and drove off for a afternoon of markets, first popping in at the vibey (well, they were doing a Christmas in July theme after all) Blaauwklippen market to observe their new giant marquee tent that provides shelter for the traders (and visitors!), before popping down the road to introduce (meaning of course browsing followed by beer and food!) the Montgomery Clan to the big Root 44 market at Audacia.
Rushing back home, we made it just in time for the arrival of Mom, Dad and Ryan, who joined us for a big combined family braai, which was capped off with a hilarious round of 30 Seconds for good measure! After bidding everyone farewell (fitting because in a couple of days Mom and Dad were to embark on their a couple of weeks’ long safari trip to the Serengeti!), Chantelle and I set about tidying up, before I unfortunately had to hole myself up in my office and tackle some outstanding Touchwork work.
Still, a pretty enjoyable – and productive – weekend after all! :)
We enjoyed a nice weekend of family, friends and braai this weekend I must say, so feeling refreshed and raring to go, overjoyed too by the fact that now with school holidays in effect, my drive through to the office is a whole lot smoother as well!
The weekend was kicked off with a Friday visitation from Monty and Cheryl, and after Cheryl finished helping Chantelle with her baking work (you should see the awesome paintbrush cake these two whipped up!), we sat down to enjoy a delicious ostrich noodle dish for supper. Saturday, after my morning walk, Jessica and I joined Chantelle on her delivery to the always delightful Sacred Ground deli in the picturesque Franschhoek, and after a bit of a stroll around (and hugging the giant teddy, and stopping in for artisan chocolate), we enjoyed a light lunch outside the bakery.
Sadly, late afternoon saw Chantelle struck down by her first proper bout of morning sickness, which meant that Jessica and I was tasked with heading out for an extended shopping trip, eventually returning home to put on the fire for a pork and boerewors braai, followed by a delayed watching of the South Africa versus Samoa rugby game on SABC 2. Oh, and because Chantelle was out of sorts, I finished up the night by challenging Ryan to some FIFA (Sadly, it again didn’t go my way).
Sunday saw us start the day off (well, after my early morning walk – been good with those this week) with a cleaning whirlwind around the house, followed by a quick supply run to the shops, coming home just in time for the arrival of Mom and Dad, Evan, Natasha and little Evalynne, who joined us for a leisurely afternoon braai, made even more interesting by the fact that I was asked to prepare a smorgasbord of meats on the day! (Seriously, on the grid I had pork, boerewors, chicken, blesbok, turkey and rump steak!)
Entertainment for the day was seen to by the antics of Jessica and Evalynne (who eventually managed to play together in semi-harmony of sorts), as well as an enjoyable round of 30 Seconds in which Chantelle, Dad and myself narrowly beat out Evan, Natasha and Mom for the win! Oh, and Evan and I capped the evening off with a couple of excitable rounds of FIFA 13.
After all was said and done, Chantelle found ourselves looking at our house and deciding that there was just no way we had the energy to tackle the hurricane mess left by the day’s visitation that late in the evening, meaning Chantelle vegged out in front of the TV before slinking off to bed, while I again got a hiding at FIFA from Ryan. Sigh.
So all in all, a pretty enjoyable weekend of family, friends and braai was had!
Had a pretty enjoyable weekend I must say, so much so that I’m feeling kind of energised as I step into the new week (of course, the fact that Wednesday is a public holiday certainly doesn’t hurt!).
Friday night wasn’t anything special, with Chantelle picking up on baking after Jessica went to bed, leaving me to roam about and entertain myself, the end result being taking in the new Iron Man: Technovore movie on my new tablet, which went well for the first half of the movie, but not so great for the second half, as Chantelle’s recollection of my epic snoring can attest to.
Saturday was an early start as we packed up for the weekend and drove through to Bellville, first to pop in and have a look around at the funky little food and craft market held at D’Aria in Durbanville, before heading over to our old market stomping ground at Willowbridge Mall, just to see how everyone is doing on that side of the world.
The afternoon was reserved for a braai with friends at Ryan’s pad, and although both Jessica and Ryan would only join the group a little bit later on, all the usual suspects were there and we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon outside on Ryan’s backyard lawn, braaing, playing cricket and in general just letting the toddlers tear about while the adults played a little catch up (It feels like ages since the last time we all met up for an official gathering!). Some FIFA rounded off the gathering for the guys, and the winning funniest moment of the day was without a doubt awarded to Ryan for his scaling of his neighbour’s wall using a rickety ladder, just in time to see Karl hop over, retrieve the ball, and return to the yard, just as Ryan finally managed to make his landing on the other side!
Supper was had at Monty and Cheryl’s place, and while Chantelle then proceeded to decorate cupcakes late into the night, I entertained myself by draining my tablet’s battery via some full-on game playing, eventually turning in for the night for some much deserved rest time.
Sunday was a super early morning for Chantelle and myself, as we silently stirred, packed up the car, left Jessica still sleeping in Robert’s room, and headed out to Century City, where we set up stall at the always delightful Century City Natural Goods Market, having finally cracked the nod following the withdrawal of their usual cake provider for the day. This being the last market for the Summer season, it was pleasing to see such a good turnout, and as always the vibe was awesome, plenty of interesting people milling about, kids loving the train and science show, and of course an excellent choice of music and live performance, this time featuring an appearance from the rather groovy Trenton and the Free Radical.
As for the actual stall itself, Chantelle and I did very well, selling over 100 cupcakes and 50 brownies on the day!
After the market closed its figurative tent doors at 14:00, Chantelle and I then wandered over to Canal Walk, to do a spot of clothing shopping for Jess (not much luck and more importantly, who the hell thought that skinny jeans is a great idea for an active toddler!?!), as well as to partake in a light lunch, courtesy of the delicious La Rocca cafe in the mall. Relaxed and happy from our successful day out in the sun, we then finally made the trip back to Bellville, where on arrival at the Montgomery Clan Stronghold, I immediately took the excited Jessica out for a walk around the big Door de Kraal dam in Welgemoed, while a slightly knackered Chantelle crashed for a bit on her mom’s couch (there was plenty of gentle snoring I might add).
Supper time rolled around, and after enjoying some delicious mackerel that we had purchased from the market earlier in the day, it eventually became time to load up the cars and head out to Gordon’s Bay once more, and after successfully transferring a sleeping Jessica straight into her own bed, I could at last proceed and wound the evening down by reading a comic book in bed.
So yes, a relaxing weekend indeed!
Oopsie, I really haven’t been posting much to the blog lately have I? (Hint: If you see continuous comic book art, cosplay or joke posts, then you can be sure that the blog is running on autopilot mode.) The truth is that I simply haven’t felt like sitting down to write down my thoughts or recollect the happenings of the past week for quite a while now, and besides, I have been far to preoccupied in the evenings anyway, what with finally finishing up on Chantelle’s now finally completed Cookies & Cakes website, playing loads of Lord of the Ring: War in the North multi-player with Ryan (not to mention all the epic FIFA battles), and actually sitting down to watch some excellent movies like Serenity (thoroughly enjoyable) and Dark Knight Returns Part 2 (even more so)!
So what is worth mentioning that you might have missed out on? Well Easter 2013 was a little bit of a let down thanks to poor weather and no Internet service for the duration of the long weekend. What it did however involve was plenty of trips through to the mall, Easter egg fun with Jessica, loads of quality family time, a thoroughly enjoyable braai evening with Mom, Dad, Ryan and Michelle that culminated in a VERY entertaining game of 30 Seconds, followed by a delectable selection of cupcakes for dessert. Other highlights were a stop for Belgian Waffles at the Belgian Waffle House in Strand, the purchase of plastic bowling pins for Jessica, and the making of our own mouth-watering pizza to eat while watching the frankly rather disappointing final instalment in the Twilight movie series.
The next couple of weekends after that saw lots of gaming for me in terms of multi-player Lord of the Rings: War in the North, even more quality family time with Chantelle and Jessica (hello Stodels!), the occasional feeding of the ducks in Strand, a surprise visit from Monty and Cheryl to say hello to little Jess who had said that she was missing them, and probably the most enjoyable of them all, a big braai evening with Andri, Malcolm, Gary and Michelle, with the kids all playing together and the adults eventually getting stuck into some seriously competitive 30 Seconds battles, though we had to ease the rules a little for the ladies, resulting in the girls playing 45 Seconds as opposed to the guys’ 30 Seconds! :)
Oh, and I headed out to Newlands to catch a Stormers game, the first time I’ve been to Newlands in absolute years!
Okay, that’s probably everything that really needed mentioning, so now that we’re all caught up, I’ll do my best to start posting things more regularly to these here pages!
Last year I didn’t have too many weekends to enjoy, mainly because Chantelle and I were pretty much running market stalls each and every Saturday and Sunday! This year however we’ve cut back on the markets, now only doing Hathersage every second Sunday, which effectively means that once again I have weekends to relax and recharge in – and it would appear that so far I’m doing my best to make up for lost time!
The past two weekends have been completely filled with friends and family, and yes markets, so in other words, so far so good. (And it helped that each Friday work finished up with a drinks session!)
Two weekends ago I found myself tied up in the Lance Armstrong confession on Oprah, discovered a great new Fish & Chips shop at the Gordon’s Bay Pick ‘n Pay complex, taking in the forgettable Madagascar 3, paying R65 for the privilege of a new debit card which is annoying seeing as ABSA were the ones who gave it an expiry date in the first place, purchasing super expensive kiddies shoes for Jess (R240 is far two much for shoes smaller than my fist!), not to mention an awesome braai with friends which saw me testing out my new gazebo, playing FIFA offline with the boys, and of course teaching their little ones the bad habit of jumping off the lounge table (something which I taught to Jessica and must still showcase here on this site)!
And topping all of that off, Sunday was spent first visiting the pretty cool new Root 44 market that recently opened its doors, as well as ending off with a surprisingly enjoyable stop at the classic Blaauwklippen market, where we ended up buying Jessica a pretty fun toy (Walltrax, yet another thing I still need to get around to showcasing here on this blog!).
Last weekend on the other hand I found myself enthralled by the Proteas versus New Zealand cricket, taking in the awesome Dark Knight Returns Part 1, purchasing a new sound card for my home desktop machine, entertaining the Montgomery Clan for an awesome Snoek and Yellowtail fish braai, playing offline Blur versus Robert, visiting with Chantelle as she handled the stall at Hathersage Market, and enjoying some Lotter Clan family time by eating waffles at Ryan’s pad in celebration of his 30th birthday.
And from the looks of it, the next couple of weekends should feature more of the same, with at least one friends’ expedition to Stellenbosch confirmed, a possible night market adventure on the cards, as well as a potential day out at the cricket.
Socially busy, busy, busy, just the way that I like it! :)
(Shame, of course this is all pretty tiring for young Jessica as one could imagine…)
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!
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”4″ ids=”21616,21617,21618,21619,21620,21621,21622,21623,21624,21625,21626,21627,21628,21629,21630,21631,21632,21633,21634,21635,21636,21637,21638,21639,21640,21641,21642,21643,21644,21645″]