I love the fact that we have a proper duck pond as a municipal park here in Strand. The appropriately named Dam Park is situated right across from the Strand High School and offers a nice green space in the middle of Strand suburbia.
There is a playground to the side of the dam with an array of colourfully painted swings, a climbing frame, a roundabout, and a slide – you know, all the basics – as well as an old tractor and plinth mounted steam train. (Which stinks at the moment thanks to some homeless person deciding that it would be great to use as a bathroom. Disgusting!)
We used to in the past visit the dam fairly often in order to feed the ducks (like literally everyone else in the area) and watch the locals occasionally try their hand at catching a dam fish or two, but seeing feeding ducks is now seen as not quite the correct thing to be doing (population and invasive species control reasons mainly), we drop by there far less than what we used to in the beginning.
The water levels of the dam itself on the day that we visited was surprisingly high – much higher than what I had anticipated (considering the drought conditions we are currently experiencing), but quite probably because of the one or two surprise days of rain we had experienced earlier in January.
With Chantelle stuck at work, the girls and I spent some time playing around (they even got me to climb to the top of the climbing frame with them), before we eventually got bored and convinced Chantelle to join us for some lunch at play time at the Gordon’s Bay Spur during her break.
It was a good plan.
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Also, a map in case your kids bug you to go and look at some ducks.
Related Link: Facebook Page
We kicked off an incredibly busy weekend (more on this at a later stage) by heading to the family favourite Strand duck pond (just across Strand High School) in order to feed all the hungry quackers. Armed with a loaf of fresh white bread purchased on the way at Cinnamon Square Spar, we arrived at the duck pond only to discover Emily fast asleep in her Bambino car seat.
Not wanting to wake her seeing as she needed the sleep having woken up particularly early on this Saturday morning, we left the windows wound down and stepped out onto the grass embankments – and were immediately flocked by dozens of geese and rather cute white ducks.
(For a change, Egyptian Geese didn’t dominate the scene. Also, the duck pond was at a mysteriously low level, certainly much lower than what I’ve seen it before. Not sure whether maintenance, leak, or just old fashioned Summer evaporation.)
Jessica quickly clambered up onto a park bench and started dishing out white bread slices left, right and center, and it wasn’t long before Chantelle and I found ourselves also joining in on the fun!
Lots of quacking, flapping and bread devouring was to be had, and no time at all the bread was done and we could make a run for it, back to the safety of the car and ready to head on to the next stop of our jam-packed family activities weekend!
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It would seem that the duck population in the Strand duck pond across the road from the high school enjoyed a rather good breeding season.
Needless to say, this very hungry pack of ducks and geese terrified Jessica more than just a little – Luckily for us, a nearby park bench was on hand, and this combined with the newly learned ‘karate kick’ trick from Daddy, meant that Jess could (kind of) enjoy the duck feeding outing to the fullest!
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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! :)
This past weekend wasn’t exactly the greatest it must be said, thanks for the most part to both Chantelle and I being laid out cold with the first proper illness brought on by the changing season – all thanks to little miss Jess who happily passed on all her bugs to Mommy and Daddy!
I didn’t go in to work on Friday in order to attend Granny Sedge’s memorial service, which was held at the Eden Park Retirement Village. The service was well attended by both family and friends, and I was honoured to be asked by the family to do the eulogy for my late gran. After the sad affair and a little bit of tea and sarmies were indulged in by the guests at the retirement village, the close family was invited to meet up at my folk’s place for some lunch and snacks, and while Chantelle eventually left to continue her baking work, I ended up pretty much spending the rest of the day there.
Saturday I awoke feeling as if a bus had driven over me and after taking some medication and killing a little time at home, I drove through to Kuilsriver to meet up with the family at Gran’s house in Eden Park, in order to start the process of emptying the little place of all Gran’s belongings. Dad hired a nice big trailer for the job and in the end, we pretty much managed to find a home for all the bigger items, with little Jessica scoring a beautiful white toy box in the process. Not feeling particularly well at this point, I left in the afternoon and joined up with Chantelle at her folk’s place in Bellville, where I promptly crashed on the guest bed for an hour and a half or so, before rising to eat a little supper and watch a little rugby, finally making the long trip back home where I promptly crashed into bed and slept from 21:00 right through to 08:00!
Sunday saw both Chantelle and I still feeling pretty grotty, so we organized for the Montgomery Clan to come over for a visit and for Monty to see if he could fix the braai room lights that had blown a few weeks ago. As it turned out, the lights was a relatively simple fix, mainly a matter of locating the burnt off wire and reattaching it to complete the circuit, meaning that after a light lunch the sick Lotters joined the healthy Montgomery Clan and little Jessica for an enjoyable outing to the Strand Duck Pond, which saw plenty of pieces of bread being devoured by the ducks, and lots of excitement on the kiddie’s playpark!
As for Sunday evening, I spent the majority of it in bed once again.
(But at least I bounced back feeling better in the morning.)
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!
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Oh dear. This happened a couple of weeks ago, but boy does it easily slip into second spot on my world’s worst dad moments list. And to be fair, it should firmly feature as Ryan’s first world’s worst uncle moment too! (Just in case you’re wondering what was my first world’s worst dad moment, then undoubtedly it would have to have been that time when I accidentally spilled scalding hot water from my coffee mug over mini Jessica, back when she was still just a couple of months old – thank goodness nothing serious came out of that, other than me feeling like an extremely horrible and useless dad of course).
Anyway, after a fantastic Sunday afternoon spent with my family at Mom and Dad’s pad whilst Chantelle was out watching a theatre show with her family, I decided to cap the day off with a visit to the local duck pond. Jessica and I made the stop off for some bread, and through some surprise circumstances, ended up at Sonstraal Dam with the full roster of Mom, Dad, Ryan, Monty, Cheryl, Chantelle and Robert in attendance, where we then proceeded to feed the ducks and enjoy the fresh, albeit a little chilly, outdoor air.
After all the bread had been gobbled up by the hordes of ducks and Egyptian geese that had descended upon us, Ryan and I thought it would be a good idea to entertain Jessica by walking with her hand in hand and swinging her up into the air we went along. This was coming along swimmingly, and Jessica would giggle in glee as we swung her upwards into the sky after every count of 3, until that infamous and regrettable moment when both Ryan and I simultaneously lost grip on Jessica’s hands at the start of an upward swing, with the result being my daughter flying face first into the gravel before us.
Blood, tears and a very angry wife, not to mention a deep feeling of shame.
So yes, definitely second in my probably yet to be finished list of World’s Worst Dad moments.
(The creche asked about the scab and the bump the next morning mind you. And my colleagues laughed and made fun of me. Sigh, not my best of moments as a daddy then. Luckily for me, Jessica has a particularly short memory, and quickly got back into the “swing” of things. Snigger. See what I did there?)
Chantelle was back on duty for this weekend past, and for a change, Jessica and I stayed planted firmly in Gordon’s Bay for the duration of the weekend! Not that we didn’t achieve much mind you… just look at this list! :)
In terms of entertainment the two of us worked our way through the animated Doctor Strange movie, Tekkonkinkreet, the Iron Giant, and the remaining couple episodes of the Marvel Anime: Blade series, as well as all the South Africa versus Sri Lanka one day cricket action.
(We even put in a little bit of Darksiders on the XBOX for good measure on Sunday!)
We went for our second ever swim in the sea on Saturday, we designed, printed, and placed a whole lot of fliers for Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes venture, we shopped at the mall for a new monitor for Daddy’s office, we read storybooks, and we fed the ducks and geese at the Strand duck pond.
(Mommy got a little scared when the Egyptian Geese got a little too close for comfort. This might have had something to do with the fact that Daddy kept tossing chunks of bread at her feet.)
We did lots and lots of household chores, we baked a chocolate cake for Mommy, we fixed the towel rails in the bathroom, and of course we constantly tidied up after ourselves.
Whew, talk about productive.
Needless to say, both Jessica and I enjoyed the little break from the daily grind! ;)
During her split on a working Saturday afternoon, Chantelle joined Jessie and me as we headed off for an epic duck and Egyptian geese feeding session over at the Strand duck pond, marking the first ever time that either Chantelle or Jessie had ever been there!
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