Tag Archives: chantelle

World, Say Hello to Jessica Jessica | My Life 15 NOV 2010

On the 14th of November 2010, a full 8 weeks to early, our precious little dribble monster entered this world, kicking and screaming, and most important of all – alive. Small, but alive. Both mommy and daughter are doing well. And daddy? Daddy is of course over the moon at the moment, unable to contain this overflowing feeling of joy!

World, say hello to Jessica Madison Lotter.

Needless to say, everything has happened rather quickly, rather unexpectedly and naturally thrown all of our carefully laid plans on their heads. If you followed the saga, you will know that on Saturday Chantelle was rushed into hospital and taken up with a confirmed case of pre-eclampsia. What we were told was that baby will have to be removed, but they’ll try to keep her in mommy’s tummy for as long as possible. Chantelle over-nighted at Louis Leipoldt and in the morning,  I got a phone call at home from her to let me know that the blood test results had just come back and that Jessica needed to be removed on Wednesday already.

A few minutes later, this changed to today.

So I grabbed everything I thought we would need (remember, we hadn’t even begun to think of packing Chantelle’s hospital bag yet), jumped into the Getz and raced down the N2 to reach Louis Leipoldt, discharge Chantelle and then transport her all the way through to Netcare Kuilsriver where they had a bed available for her and most important of all – place in their neonatal ICU.

Mommy-to-be Chantelle lying in her comfy hospital bed, enjoying the peace of an empty ward and happily awaiting the big cut. (As you can see, this must be pre-op - because she's still wide awake and not grimacing in excruciating pain.

As the wonderful sisters fussed over, poked and prodded Chantelle, I got to work on the admin of signing her in, and was soon back next to her side as the various machines were put to work and blood samples taken. She had already met the gynaecologist who would be taking part in the operation, Dr. Albertyn and it was now simply a matter of playing the waiting game as we patiently sat and waited for what was scheduled to be a 17:00 Caesar.

Funnily enough, Chantelle's tummy had literally just begun showing in the week, meaning that we've been kind of robbed of all those fabulous tummy pictures pregnant moms usually take! So we'll just have to do with this one of grumpy bumpy!

Monty and Cheryl swung by the hospital as well, back from the mission that Chantelle had assigned them, namely the purchase of all the things Chantelle wasn’t comfortable in asking me to organise in case I got them wrong. However, the hospital enforces extremely strict visiting rules and stick to their guns about the allowed time slots and number of visitors per patient (two), meaning that they first needed to wait for 30 minutes outside in the cafeteria, where I joined them for a quick cup of coffee to fill them in on everything that was going on.

Needless to say, the very parched Chantelle (who was obviously not allowed to eat or drink anything) would have killed for that cup of coffee.

But the clock did strike 3 and mom, dad and brother got to visit, though in the end we didn’t have much time to play happy family because Chantelle’s operation was suddenly bumped all the way up and around 15:20 they were already getting her all prepped and ready to go.

Chantelle laughing at the appearance of Doctor Craig, in the final stages of being prepped for theatre.

I got to follow the bed as they wheeled Chantelle down the hospital’s narrow corridors towards the theatre, before being asked to take a quick left and enter the changing room where I stripped out of my clothes and donned some doctor’s garments. (And when I say doctor’s garments I mean literally a doctor’s garments. His were the only ones my fat frame would fit in!).

I joined Chantelle in the waiting area once more, as the final preparations were administered, before I was asked to go and sit in a little room while they took her in, gave her the spinal anaesthetic (or whatever that is called) and basically started opening her up.

Doctor Craig in his full glory. Needless to say, true to form, I was wearing my slip-slops under those funky little feet tissues.

It wasn’t long though before I got the go ahead to enter and I was led through the operating theatre to a little stool next to Chantelle’s head, where I sat touching her face and holding her hand as the doctor’s feverishly worked on opening her up and bringing our little premature daughter into this world.

Chantelle stops thinking of the weird sensation as the doctors work on her and instead poses with Craig for the perfect Caesar theatre shot! (How's that for a painless delivery?)

I sat there for what must have been literally the shortest of time, before I gasped in excitement as I saw a little blue hand poke up into my vision. Then, without any hassle at all, my ice blue baby was lifted clean out of Chantelle and handed to the paediatrician who immediately set to work stabilising Jessica while the other attending surgeons returned to the important work of sewing up my wife again.

I won't lie, but I was amazed how I manned up in the moment, dealing with all the visible blood (to me) as the amazing doctors worked all out on bring my little bundle of joy into this world!

That moment when my daughter came out and let out a scream must rank as one of the most joyous and overwhelming moments every in my life.

Quickly color flooded into her body, and the doctor held up our most prized asset to the world, before wrapping her up and holding her so that mommy could see.

My concerns over my ice blue child quickly disappeared as she was immediately whisked away for stabilisation. I don't think I breathed for these next few minutes.

My long-legged, hairless Jessica, her lungs working as she poses for what will no doubt be her most unflattering photo ever. My God I'm in love with her from the moment I saw her...

Mommy gets to see her beautiful daughter for the first time. Robbed of the chance to hold her, this had to do for now. Aren't they both just so beautiful though? :)

Then she was returned to her little cart full of tubes and whatnot, and I was asked to follow as she was whisked down the passage and straight to the NICU incubator, where the paediatrician and sisters immediately got to work on hooking her up and inserting all the necessary tubes and sensors into our little miracle.

It felt like forever that I stood there, sending smses by the 100 and waiting for that all important moment when I would be allowed in, see my child and touch her for the very first time.

The joy that I felt, or rather still feel, is just to much to describe – it is simply sheer, unadulterated happiness that washes over you as the pride takes hold and you want to scream out to the heavens and introduce the world to your child.

Racing along to the NICU in the maternity ward. This will be Jessica's home for at least the next five weeks.

My baby, my daughter, my Jessica, lying there in her little heated bed, obscured by all the life giving equipment but alive – alive and breathing and fighting to grow.

Her skin is incredibly soft and she is just absolutely gorgeous – the most beautiful baby girl in the world. I laugh as I write this because to me babies always look a little alien and grotesque – and everyone always told me wait until I had one of my own. They were right. My daughter is the most beautiful little person I have ever seen.

Back in bed, hooked up to a lot of drips and machinery, this is definitely post-op. Chantelle is sore, drowsy - and incredibly overjoyed. (Not that you can see it from this particular snap of course!)

As for mommy, well Chantelle was eventually wheeled back in, wound closed up, but unfortunately in a lot of pain and on a lot of medication. Unfortunately the severity of the cuts, a horizontal cut on along the pubic line and a vertical one down from the navel in order to facilitate Jessica falling out rather than being pulled out, meant that she wasn’t able to see Jessica any more than those initial few seconds on the operating table, but it didn’t matter. Baby was alive, she was alive and I was there to act as the hands, feet and eyes from mommy dearest.

I'm not sure how many smses and phone calls we got and gave, but let's just say I'm not looking forward to our cellphone bills at the end of the month!

Talking about hands and feet, one thing that did throw me a bit was when I was asked to bring in the nappies and supplies for the baby – something we had absolutely no clue that we were meant to have provided on the big day! So I had to quickly make a mental note, jump into the car and race down to the local Kuilsriver pharmacy to pick up the necessary supplies – much to my bemusement and Chantelle’s annoyance of course!

Still, other than that slight hiccup which arose out of a simple lack of communication and more importantly as a result of the suddenness of the whole situation, the Netcare Hospital in Kuilsriver is a fantastic place for mommy and baby to recuperate in. The staff are all absolute angels, fantastic in their work and care for us all, in other words a home I am happy to leave my wife to spend the next three or four nights in any my daughter the next five weeks!

My beautiful daughter, fast asleep in her new world of pink and butterflies.

So far things are looking good. As the doctor said, Jessica is obviously a premature baby and thus has all the risks that come associated with that. However, she weighed in at a good 1.4 kg, her development was good, all her bits and pieces are in place, she is able to breath on her own, her heart is beating correctly and for now she has avoided all the nasty things like blood on the brain, malfunctioning heart bits and the like.

But she will remain in intensive care in the NICU for at least five weeks and strict visiting restrictions will be in place to avoid any chance of infection occurring. That means that mommy and daddy can see her any time they want (after washing hands on entering the unit of course!), but granny and grandpa can only see her once and once only in the next five week period.

As for everyone else, you will have to rely on my photos and commentary I’m afraid.

But in summary, my little long-legged daughter is alive, and happily fighting for her life. Her chances of making it are good, but we are of course far from being out of the woods just yet. So keep us in your prayers and thoughts, and hopefully in five weeks time we’ll properly introduce little Jessica Madison Lotter to the world – without all the drama this time around! ;)

P.S. And thank you to each and every one of you for all the love and support we received. It was a fantastic feeling to know how many people we can love and rely on in this world.

Thank you.

We need Your Prayers Please… Jessica | My Life 14 NOV 2010

We thought we were in the clear. 31 weeks and 4 days had already passed, and apart from some very swollen feet, Chantelle and little unborn Jessica were doing absolutely fine.

That all changed yesterday.

Chantelle spent Friday night at the guest house, pampering herself with a nice bath and the soft embrace of that luxurious bed they have. Saturday morning however she awoke to the strange sensation of not being able to close her hands due to an unusual swelling. Louise also picked up on the fact that Chantelle wasn’t looking well and indeed, was appearing rather swollen.

And for once Chantelle listened to her advice and went to her GP.

Her blood pressure was sky high, but worse than that – her urine test showed positive for containing proteins.

I was in the middle of Somerset Mall’s Pick ‘n Pay with my shopping when I received Louise’s call to come and pick Chantelle up because something wasn’t right. Quickly exiting the mall, I raced through to the guest house where I came across a Chantelle who wasn’t feeling great but certainly wasn’t showing any signs of distress and appeared to be okay.

Still, knowing that one doesn’t mess around with these things (thanks to Irene Bourquin’s antenatal classes!), we attempted to contact our gynaecologist, Dr. Adele Le Roux at Louis Leipoldt hospital in Bellville. Unfortunately, she wasn’t on duty and we were referred to the gynaecologist standing in for her, Dr. Du Toit.

Needless to say, Dr. Du Toit immediately advised us to pack Chantelle’s bags and bring her in to hospital for observation.

It is not a great feeling knowing that there is definitely something wrong here, and so we drove through to the hospital in mostly silence. On arrival, Chantelle was shown to a bed in the maternity ward where they immediately hooked her up to some machines to check on the baby’s condition as well as hers – and of course take the obligatory readings and blood for further blood tests.

I took care of signing my wife in, and with the help of a wonderful woman running the desk, sat back as she took care of all the details of organising everything with Chantelle’s medical aid, which for once was actually extremely helpful and we got the necessary authorisation codes without too much hassle.

The fantastic Dr. Du Toit eventually arrived and after a brief look through the measurements, instructed that Chantelle be wheeled through to her office for a full check-up. Baby was put up on the monitor and all the necessary measurements were taken again. The good news is that Baby looks fine, about a week under-developed though, but weighing in at just over 1.5 kg.

The bad news is that Chantelle has Pre-eclampsia.

The wikipedia link above will tell you everything you might want to know, but for those of you not familiar with pre-eclampsia, here’s the executive summary: Basically Chantelle’s placenta is in the process of poisoning her. It is pumping out toxins into her system and overwhelming her kidney system. No one knows exactly, outside of a few theories, what causes pre-eclampsia but what we do know is that it is INCURABLE, affects up to 10% of pregnancies, strikes normally around the 32 week mark and is prevalent in first-time pregnancies. It is highly dangerous to mothers and can affect the baby as well. Two of the most common symptoms is rocketing blood pressure levels as well as proteins in the urine.

And now for the worst part. The only way to deal with this incurable affliction is to REMOVE the placenta.

Which of course means that the baby has to come out with it.

If you’re doing your sums, this means that little Jessica will have to be prematurely removed a full 8 weeks before her due date, and will have to be placed in an incubator. My little daughter will now HAVE to become a fighter to make it through.

The good news is that her chance of survival is pretty high, though of course the cost at which her survival might come is anyone’s guess. Because of her weight and development, we’ve been assured that she should be able to pull through, and as we’ve heard before, girl’s do tend to pull through premature birth better than boys – but remember – she’s coming out a full two months to early!

Thanks to the medical aid situation of Chantelle still languishing on her Discovery KeyCare Plus plan, she will have to be shifted to Kuilsriver for the neonatal ward there, but for now she is being held over at Louis Leipoldt for observation, before the big decision gets made on Monday as to when the caesarean will have to take place.

In case you’re interested (and the more visitors to cheer her up, the better), visiting hours are 15:00-16:00 and 19:00-20:00 and she’s in the maternity ward, room 2. She will no doubt spend tonight there as well.

So in summary, if you could just keep us in your thoughts, pray for us and send positive energy our way, it would really, really be appreciated.

Thank you.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preeclampsia

A Wife in a Blur My Life 19 AUG 2010

So I’ve finally managed to get Chantelle to upgrade and move from the always fun to play Burnout: Takedown, a well worn PS2 release from back in 2004, to the newly released 2010 Blur on my shiny black XBOX 360.

To be honest, playing the PS2 on the big 40 inch full definition television is becoming harder and harder to enjoy now that I’ve been sitting with the HDMI-connected XBOX 360 for the better part of a year now, and so last weekend I took the plunge and headed into BT Games where I traded in a stack of my pre-played games and got a nice shiny black wireless controller in return.

The next step was convincing Chantelle to break away from the tried and tested and take me on in this new racing game, though I was quick to turn off all the power ups in order to keep things as similar as possible between the two racing games.

Thankfully, she took the bait and we were soon racing against one another and the AI full tilt, though it must be said that she is still getting to grips with this high powered racer with its vast array of very different handling cars – as can be seen by her increasing frustration, competitive spirit and seemingly insatiable desire to beat me.

Trust me, the best way to put your wife in a bad mood is to challenge her to a race and then beat her pants off at it! :)

Still, can’t say that she’s been deterred yet – now she’s calling me out and challenging me at the end of a hard day’s work – which seems to be working: She’s already managed to stun me with two great (and rather unexpected) victories! :)

So here’s to a whole lot more next gen racing fun in the future. After all, she’s going to be looking for something to do once she goes on maternity leave! ;)

Stubborn Like Her Dad My Life 04 AUG 2010

Chantelle went for another check up scan on Friday, though this time around she gave her mom a much appreciated present, inviting Cheryl to accompany her to the gynae while I stayed at work, slaving away at my keyboard as per usual.

Our baby at 13 weeks! :)

The good news is of course that everything still looks perfectly normal, little jellybean is now no longer jellybean size, clocking in at 10 cm long with a weight of 150 odd grams. Everything has formed nicely now, ten little fingers and ten little toes, and the heartbeat is still happily racing away as it should at this stage of the game.

The only niggly news coming out of the visit is that it turns out that Chantelle is of O negative blood type, meaning that I need to establish my blood type sooner than later, just to make sure we don’t hit the Rhesus Negative type problem later on. This of course meant a trip to the pathologists on Saturday (and I must say I was quite impressed with the PathCare out here in Somerset West), where they drew a vial of blood with that awesome new vacuum needle/cartridge system of theirs.

I didn’t get a lollipop for being a good boy though :(

Finally, the funny or should that be disappointing news is that our 51% guess of Jessica turning out to be a little girl has only increased to a miserly 52% guess – it turns out that our baby is already giving off strong indications that she has inherited her father’s legendary stubbornness, literally refusing to turn around on her tummy despite all the ferocious prodding, poking and pushing, thereby denying the doctor and C from confirming as to whether or not our little bun in the oven is in fact a tollieman or not! :)

Needless to say, if little Jessica has indeed inherited my stubborn streak, then boy do I feel sorry for my wife already! ;)

My Jellybean’s Beating Heart My Life 07 JUN 2010

Last Friday was a momentous occasion for both Chantelle and myself – it marked our first ever ultrasound scan of the Jellybean, at last turning what is currently said to be so into something that is more of a concrete reality – an affirmation that in a couple of months’ time, I WILL be a father.

And that simply put, is big.

I requested to work the day from home and so late Friday morning I found myself following Chantelle’s Getz down the N1 in order to make our appointment at Louis Leipoldt in Bellville, one of the oldest private hospitals in the Western Cape and co-incidentally the hospital at which both Chantelle and I were originally delivered. Now the reason we were coming all the way out there instead of going to the much closer Vergelegen in Somerset West is partly due to restrictions placed upon us by Chantelle’s KeyCare Discovery medical aid plan and partly due to the high recommendations this one particular gynaecologist was receiving from all our friends: Dr. Adele Roux.

The visit itself wasn’t particularly long or complicated, we eventually found the right building after starting out at the wrong one, we found Dr. Roux’s offices, Chantelle filled out the necessary forms while I admired the rented Bonsai trees and paged through those magazines that only seem to exist in doctors’ quarters, before Dr. Roux called us in for our turn.

Pleasingly Dr. Roux came across exactly as she had been described to us by our friends and I must say, after my first impression and meeting with this woman, I really am quite fond of her as a doctor and really wouldn’t mind sticking with her all the way through this great event of ours. We had an enjoyable chat covering all the usual things first time would be parents talk about I suppose, before she led Chantelle into a little side room where they covered everything that needed to be covered, before I got the call up to come and join them and have a little look-see.

And there it was – my little Jellybean, the result of mommy’s and daddy’s chromosomes getting friendly with one another!

It really is an amazing sight. There isn’t much there to see, some dark areas and some light spots, but once the doctor started talking us through it all and the moment I saw that tiny little heart beating like there’s no tomorrow in that small shapeless blob, I can’t even begin to explain the emotions that ran through my body. (Though if it helps, Chantelle is said to have shed a tear on seeing that grainy black and white image!)

That is my child.

From the measurement of 19mm in length, the machine places our child to be at 8 weeks and 3 days old, meaning that if all goes well we will be looking at a birth somewhere around the 13th of January 2011 – so if that isn’t something to look forward to, then I certainly don’t know what is! :)

Our Jellybean. You can already see its little arms and legs protuding out of the main blobby.

(P.S. Despite the fact that Chantelle has not managed to produce the twins I had put in our contract, I’m sure she’ll be relieved to hear that I’m not going to divorce her after all – just in case she’s still wondering! :P)

(P.P.S. I had the doctor highlight every nook and cranny to make sure the second Jellybean wasn’t hiding anywhere. This proved to be particularly difficult with Chantelle laughing the whole time.)

Homemade Pizza Heaven My Life 17 MAY 2010

Last Thursday we came up with a great idea on what to make for supper. No boring old frozen chicken steaklets defrosting in the oven, no boring pancakes or toast, no, we decided to finally make use of Chantelle’s awesome pizza baking apparatus that has been languishing in our cupboards ever since I’ve known her! (Plus the awesome pizza baking pan Chantelle mysteriously added to the Wedding Registry. No idea why, but she did – and now it has finally proved itself useful! – Unlike our other baking sheets which proved to be to big to fit in our little oven! The horror I tell you).

Avo - the unsung hero of many a pizza

And when I say homemade pizza, I mean homemade. From scratch super Chantelle whipped up some pizza base dough and while we waited for it to rise a little, we popped out to Pick ‘n Pay to buy all the necessary toppings – which proved damn expensive. Turns out that buying your pizza really is cheaper than making it yourself!

Anyway, back home we each got to roll out our base, slather it with Chantelle-made tomato base and then have fun drowning our twin pizzas in whatever we felt like! Chantelle went for the more savoury route, picking things like feta, onion, bacon, red pepper, garlic and avo, while I opted for my favourite sweet bacon, pineapple, banana, avo and feta combination.

A couple of minutes in the Chantelle’s nifty baking apparatus and then a couple of minutes grilling in the oven to brown the top and finally the moment of truth was upon us (well actually that moment came by twice seeing as we were making two pizzas) – it was a success!

A very, very tasty success! :)

My pizza happily cooking away in Chantelle's magic pizza baker

Chantelle's pizza getting some colour thanks to the oven grill

For some or othre reason, I’m pretty sure Chantelle forbade me from using this picture on the blog. But I can’t be sure, so I’m posting it anyway! :P

Chantelle holding her masterpiece. At this stage I was jealous because mine was still to come!

You’re jealous, right?

The Coming Age of Aunties and Uncles My Life 14 MAY 2010

So for any of you who have not yet been informed (telephone account is going to be high this month!), Chantelle and I are delighted to announce that we are indeed four weeks pregnant, with the blood test having confirmed all this on Wednesday 13 May 2010.

(Wow, nice turnaround time PathCare!)

As I’ve mentioned before, we literally started trying for a child a month ago, meaning that no matter what happens from now henceforth, at least Chantelle and I now know that conceiving is simply no hassle for awesome people such as ourselves, which of course bodes well when we start planning for the second (and last) addition to our family later on in life – hey, got to get this first one out of the way first – unless it’s twins of course – which I’m rooting for by the way! :P)

Even better news than us being pregnant is that so far everyone is proving to be very supportive, from work to family and friends, which is a great relief for us. As Chantelle’s boss Louise says, “the timing couldn’t be any worse (the guest house’s busiest period is in January), but never mind that, we’re so happy for you!”.

Of course, with a whole heap of our friends circle being currently pregnant or having just given birth, it really is going to be a great time all around and something that I’m sure is going to knit our little circles that much tighter in the long run.

So in short, I’m happy. Very, very happy.

(Overjoyed I would go as far as saying. Even chuffed with myself if I must.)

And as far as Chantelle feels about the whole matter, well you guys can guess how she’s doing (but it won’t be a very hard guess, I assure you.)

So in eight months time, Chantelle will no longer have to borrow baby Zandea to feel like a mother! :)

Besides, now she really DOES have a legitimate reason to boss me around! ;)

To Nieuwoudtville and Back My Life 06 MAY 2010

So last, last weekend (yes, yes, I’ve taken my sweet time to write this quick post), Chantelle and I effectively cut ourselves off from the rest of the world, jumping into our little green Getz and jetting along on a 5 hour trip through to Nieuwoudtville, tucked in the Northern Cape near Calvinia, and one of the best sources for great tasting lamb and spectacular natural flower shows come every flower season.

We were there to spend the weekend with Retha and Miguel at Retha’s mom and dad’s little smallholding which comes complete with big rambling house, sheep, geese and one or two minor little crops surrounding it. Needless to say, Nieuwoudtville’s one tarred street doesn’t really feature well on the GPS and thus it was no wonder Chantelle and I managed to get just a little lost when we rode into town in pitch black darkness at around 22:00 in the evening – though for once we were both in agreement and was able to pin the blame squarely on Retha’s shoulders thanks to her rather ambiguous directions! ;)

Outside of a wonderful supper (bobotie), breakfast (pap for chantelle), lunch (braai), supper (braai), breakfast (toast with eggs) and lunch (sunday roast) there really isn’t all that much else to talk about because this was one weekend that consisted 100% out of nothing more than sitting around, chilling, enjoying good company and conversation and just letting your stresses and strain simply flow right out of you.

We took in the few sights that Nieuwoudtville has to offer, namely the completely dried up waterfall which is situated in a stunning drop gorge, the amazing quiver tree (kokerboom) forest which is basically a hill densely covered in these alien-looking trees and sheep. Lots and lots of sheep. (Plus we got to see sheep on a farm that included “Plooie”, the world’s ugliest mutated sheep and the mad one – which we attempted to cure by hitting it over the head!)

We also spent a lot of time in Loeriesfontein, about 50km down the road from Nieuwoudtville. Unfortunately Chane and Jasper were in Cape Town for the weekend so we didn’t bump into them, but we enjoyed the hours spent with the rest of Retha’s aunts and uncles, some of who drove all the way down for Kimberley for the big get together.

It was just well and truly proper “kuier” time in other words.

The trip home went a lot quicker than getting there and in truth, it was a real pity that essentially we were only there for Saturday and half of Sunday, but man was it worth it. Both Chantelle and I had slept like logs throughout the stay and had now returned refreshed and feeling like new.

So thanks to the Vorster’s for their wonderful hospitality, generosity and friendship – rest assured we’ll be making our way through to that side of the world far sooner than later! :)

Retha was tasked with feeding the geese and sheep on Sunday morning. Luckily you can get them to stop following you around simply by emptying the contents of your bucket out!

Chantelle smiles while Retha hides as we stare out over the rather non-existent waterfall. It turns out that the land is parched, very parched at the moment.

Sneaking up on Retha, Miguel and Chantelle, as they all admire one of the many unique quiver trees that make up the fascinating quiver tree forest. Like something straight out of a sci-fi movie I tell you!

Nieuwoudtville may be a small, speck on the map, but it comes packed with wonderful people, great food, and more importantly, that feeling of just getting away from it all – exactly what us city slickers sometimes need!

Jackie Chan, 30 Seconds and Bertie’s Mooring My Life 03 MAY 2010

Apart from the big office move that happened over the course of Friday which saw Touchwork uproot itself from Unit 4 and move everything across to Unit 1 of the office block (lots of heavy lifting and installing everything from scratch), this past weekend turned out to be quite an enjoyable affair! :)

Craig Lotter, certified braai adept.

Friday night was kicked off with a visit to Gordon’s Beach Lodge from Wayne and Candice, Retha and Miguel, Laluna and of course, your fabulous hosts Craig and Chantelle (well considering Chantelle was on duty, she kind of had to be there), and started out with a magnificently crafted braai that saw Tong Master Craig produce some fine specimens of tasty cooked Meat and Chicken, complemented by an array of extra goodies whipped up by the ever handy Chantelle, who seems to have a spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen as of late (peanut butter cookies, chocolate cake, orange tart, etc.). The meal and booze going down a treat, we then supplemented the chatting and food with a competitive game or two of 30 Seconds that saw the ladies take on the might of the men, coming up short on both occasions as expected. As per usual it was loads of fun, and as a bit of a surprise, it turns out that Chantelle isn’t the only one who gets quite into it – Retha seems to be right up there with her! Despite the obvious disadvantage thanks to his Spanish native tongue, Miguel actually held up his end of the team pretty well and a cleverly crafted clue gifted us the final game in a unfair sudden death situation that had been shoved upon us by the desperate girls – Crocodile Dundee for the win! :P

Wayne, Candice and Laluna, all called in action to pose for the camera-wielding Chantelle!

Calling it quits just before the clock struck 01:00, we left the guests to enjoy the hospitality of the guest house while Chantelle and I returned home for some well deserved rest – but not for too long as come morning we were up and ready, dressed in our walking clothes and heading out to the guest house in order to deal with providing breakfast for our guests (Needless to say, you can tell there weren’t exactly any real guests hanging around).

Although scaled back from the normal huge feast (hey, no one is paying right?), the breakfast was still a delicious combination of fresh muffins, eggs, toast and bacon and everyone enjoyed themselves as expected. From there Wayne and Candice bid their farewell and left to take care of all their other business elsewhere, and saved from the walk thanks to the miserable wind that whipped up, I said my goodbyes and headed back home – spending the rest of the day toddling around working on my broken PC, downloaded and upgrading to the new Ubuntu (twice because I screwed up – a whole 1.4 GB needed to be pulled down in the end instead of the 700 MB actually required), and messing around doing house chores and watching television. Oh, and Jackie Chan.

Twin Dragons, an oldie but a goodie of his where he plays his twin brother, the one a street smart low level crook with a penchant with violence and the other a gifted music conductor. Fun, irrelevant and packed with loads of action, the movie went down an absolute treat with my Ooskus fish and chips I ordered for myself! :)

Needless to say, Chantelle was more than happy to have missed out on the Jackie Chan spectacular, but on her eventual arrival home she was mortified to discover that there wasn’t a single thing worth watching on the telly, so after a quick supper for herself, I finally relented and allowed her to entertain herself by taking a rasp to my always in a bad conditions heels. So she was in heaven playing beautician while I got to lie on the bed and finish up my Mythical Detective Loki: Ragnarok manga.

Claire and Chantelle, forced to share a bench while I got to share with the umbrella stand parked next to me.

Sunday saw Chantelle back off to work and me catching up on the latest episodes of Mazinkaiser that I laid my grubby paws on, before getting ready to welcome Claire who decided to pop in for a visit and take us out to lunch at Bertie’s Mooring in the process. As it turned out, the weather did a complete 180 degree turn and we were blessed with beautiful weather, meaning we could sit next to the harbour and all the sailing boats eating our lunch on a beautiful day, followed by a walk down Gordon’s Bay main beach with soft serve firmly in hand and dripping all over our toes!

The view of the day, courtesy of Bertie's Mooring

Of course, Claire couldn’t quite escape without a showing of the fabled wedding album (which really is fantastic – completely obliterated my low expectations!), after which she eventually decided to call it a day and headed off back to her side of the woods on the other side of the Boerewors Curtain. Chantelle too returned to her work and so I spent the rest of Sunday watching the ICC T20 world cup match between India and South Africa and fiddling around on my blog during the breaks.

And supper? Well I got a playful SMS declaring someone’s love of ribs and the desire to have ribs and the fact that this someone must now have ribs, meaning that old Sunset Spur got to host the two of us one more time (so much for this someone’s healthy eating drive, eh? :P)

Oh, and somewhere in between all of this I played some more Red Faction: Guerilla, got extremely frustrated on the last mission and vowed never to play it again.

But outside of that, it really was an awesome, relaxing weekend with a good balance of friends, family and my own little hobbies. Nice! :)

The Craig, a picture of relaxed serenity. Awesome, I know.