Stumbled across this gem of a photo that Chantelle sent to me last year, of Emily sitting in the handy kitchen washbowl at Gordon’s Beach Lodge, no doubt while Chantelle was happily chopping things up in the kitchen during work.
If you are a long time reader of mine, then this shot might look slightly familiar. After all, way back in 2011, Jessica was treated to the exact same indignity! :)
Not that the kids seemed to mind it all that much…
Having two kids is expensive. It doesn’t have to be of course – you could just dress them in newspapers and toiletpaper – but needless to say we prefer to be able to give them a little more in life.
Sadly, Chantelle’s Cupcakery hasn’t recovered very well following the loss of the Sacred Ground supplier contract as well as our withdrawal from the food market circuit, and saddled with the heavy debt incurred during the disastrous Stellenbosch Christmas Market debacle at the end of last year (don’t ask, but thanks to poor planning on the event organisers’ part, it was a complete and utter fail) – so needless to say, things have been pretty tight in terms of the Lötter household finances this year.
So much so that Chantelle has finally had her hand forced and has re-entered the job fray, joining up with her old employers Gordon’s Beach Lodge as a part time guest house manager for them (Hello Andy!).
So it is back to the horrible notion of morning and evening shift work, not to mention working over weekends, but what has to be done, has to be done. It just means that I need to up my Daddy skills – looking after one little girl is a breeze. Looking after one little girl and a baby by yourself – not so much.
Anyway, for Chantelle’s Cupcakery it is business as usual (wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cupcakes), but at least now we are guaranteed a little more stable of an income to make up for those times when everyone in the area appears to be on some or other diet…
On weekends where Chantelle is working but business is slow, what better than to invite over friends, karate buddies and family to enjoy a braai together? Even if it has to be hosted at the guest house! :)
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Better late than never. Had an enjoyable weekend with friends the weekend before last (yes, yes, I know that I still have to do the write up regarding the Pinnacle Point weekend which happened the week before that!), starting on Friday and going through all the way to Sunday.
It kicked off on Friday night when I joined Chantelle and Jessica over at the guest house after work, waiting on the arrival of Malcolm and a heavily pregnant Andri who had managed to pull the parents in for a shot of babysitting and were coming through for a relaxing getaway night at Gordon’s Beach Lodge. (Unfortunately circumstances prevented Michelle and Gary from joining us, but oh well, next time then I guess).
Although Al Forno’s was our first pick for our evening’s eating out adventure (Jessica was fast asleep back at GBL, with Eba on “babywatch” duty), it was packed to the rafters when we eventually showed our faces, and so we fell back on Plan B, namely retracing our steps and hitting The Tavern instead. As luck would have it, they had a table open (with a great view of the tight rugby game between Western Province and the Lions for Malcolm and myself. As luck would have it, the evening was made even sweeter thanks to a WP win!).
The three of them ordered the Tavern’s famous calamari (which by all accounts was absolutely delicious), while I tucked into a great tasting burge -, though I must point out that the accompanying chips were quite a let down, being completely overdone and crispy to the point of being unpleasant. However, conversation was great (loved the “Arum’s reaction to Corban in a Batman suit” video clip!) and in the end it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening out.
Skip to Saturday and Malcolm and Andri enjoyed a good sleep-in as Chantelle saw to her other guests for breakfast first, while I entertained Jessica who decided to take a catnap on my lap in front of the television in the upstairs room (we decided to also sleep over at the guest house in the end, basically as to not disturb Jessica on our late return). What followed that though was of course a scrumptious breakfast courtesy of my wife, with the usual delectable GBL spread to choose from for the rest of us, followed up with a fluffy big omelette as a main for me. (What the others enjoyed, now escapes me!)
Anyway, eventually our two guests had to take the leave and return to the real world, while I set about taking Jessica back home with me where we proceeded to spend the little afternoon time we had left shopping for the evening’s events, shifting around cement slabs (for later work) and of course drinking plenty of formula milk (for Jessie, not me).
Come late afternoon and it was back off to Gordon’s Beach Lodge, where the other pack of friends started dribbling in, on what turned out to be a most beautiful day mind you, including the likes of Damen and Michelle, Karl-Heinz and Trish, Ryan, Evan and Natasha, and two of their mates, Wikus and Aruzell. The big Springboks versus All Blacks game was on for the boys (the girls did something else, or at least I assume they did), and for a change we actually won it. In the meantime I had gotten around to starting the fire, and what followed was a fantastic evening of chatter and braai, rounded off with some great chocolate pudding courtesy of Ryan. And of course, what evening (with that lot) would be complete without some competitive rounds of Scattergories and 30 Seconds (sorry Wikus and Aruzell), taking us rather deep into the night! (And also sorry for not getting around to trying out your card shuffling machine Ryan, nor your Poker set Evan)
With the friends all occupying the available rooms in the guest house, we too decided to spend the night seeing as it would have been cruel to wake Jessie up so late to transfer her back home, though that said, in the end I did have to make an after midnight emergency trip home for some medicine, seeing as Jessica was not enjoying a particularly pleasant night.
I did eventually get some sleep time in case you’re wondering.
Sunday morning of course was when it all came together, when the months and months of carefully laid plans finally bore fruit, as Chantelle successfully executed the “Surprise Stork Party for Natasha” plan, catching Natasha complete unawares and overwhelming her with all the lovingly made food and cake, and more importantly, the big pile of presents!
And although the guys were stuck in the same dining room as the girls on this wet and overcast morning, there were more than enough eats and helium balloons to keep everyone happy (Evan on helium = hilarious. Chantelle, not so much. She laughs to much). Dean, Zania and Zandea had also joined us for the celebrations, and in the end it was a fantastic morning of fun that we can only hope Natasha thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed!
Eventually everyone said their goodbyes and parted ways, leaving an exhausted Chantelle and Jessica to capture a much needed afternoon nap, while Daddy started the unenviable job of trying to get all of the weekend’s luggage piled up into a single Getz and then unpack it once he got back to the other side. Of course, by then it was Sunday evening already, leaving only enough time for Idols, baby bedtime routine, toasted sarmies, a surprise present of Melrose cheese spread from Chantelle, and some leftover cake. (Did I mention just how yummy all of Chantelle’s various cakes and eats turned out?)
Anyway, so yup, all in all a pretty damn good weekend! :)
In the end, Natasha had no idea when she walked in on her surprise stork party held at Gordon’s Beach Lodge, skillfully organised by Evan and the girls.
And with Chantelle behind the main planning of the event, no wonder it was such a great success! ;)
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Just to prove that I’ve still got it if needed, I quickly whipped up this delightful green and white wordy little brochure for Chantelle for use in a post box drop in order to promote Gordon Beach Lodge’s (GBL) Winter Special that is currently on the go.
I thought it came out pretty nice, and fits the current Winter Wonderland that Gordon’s Bay’s tourist committee are currently chasing (hint, their strategy involves putting fairy lights on the milkwood beach walk).
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! :)
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
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.
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!
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! :)