Saturday saw us walk up Table Moutain for a picnic by the dams, taking the Constantia Nek jeep track route up. This particular route is fairly easy going in terms of terrain obviously, but don’t be fooled – it’s the elevation that gets you!
So, so stiff the day after! :)
Related Info: Constantia Nek – Around the Dams
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We started off December with a picnic at the Helderberg Nature Reserve, joined by Evan, Natasha, Evalynne and Ryan, and so it seemed fit to end my holiday off with yet another delightfully relaxed, frisbee-filled picnic at the shady Helderberg Nature Reserve, this time joined by Karl-Heinz, Trish and Ryan.
(And yes, there were cupcakes for dessert!)
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Despite the gloomy weekend weather, Chantelle’s craving for Hillcrest’s scones with clotted cream was strong enough to organize a morning outing with our friends to Hillcrest Berry Farm.
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What a pleasant weekend this past weekend was, what with it being our first “normal” weekend in literally months! Our new schedule of doing three markets in a month, two of those being handled by Cheryl and myself on Chantelle’s work weekends, meant that this weekend was a proper weekend off for the Gordon’s Bay Lotter clan, and so we tried to make the most of it by spending time together as a family.
Friday evening kicked off with Chantelle’s folks making the trip through to our house in order to spend some quality time with Jessica, followed by a delectable pork chop meal that Chantelle whipped up using her shiny new Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals recipe book! It was a laid back, enjoyable visit, Jessica was as cute as a button, and at the end of it all (i.e. after Monty and Cheryl’s departure), Chantelle and I rewarded ourselves with a good night’s sleep! :)
Saturday morning I darted out to get the preliminary tools needed in order to break out and replace the expired lock mechanism on our front door security gate, though I opted to hold back on buying an actual replacement lock on this initial trip, just so that I could make sure of the exact dimensions of the old lock after successfully removing it first.
After a lengthy (but successful – yay, for birthday money, so many shiny new things for my toolbox!) trip to Builders’ Warehouse, I arrived back home to tag with Chantelle as she hit Pick ‘n Pay and Spar in order to secure the ingredients necessary for making our afternoon bring and braai with the friends a success, while I stayed at home to look after Jessie (who decided that this was the perfect time for a nap anyway).
Of course, when I say friends, I mean only Trish and Karl, as it turned out that this was a particularly bad weekend to invite the buddies over – Damen, Michelle and Logan were sick and in hospital, Evan, Natasha and Evalynne were sick (plus one trip to the hospital), Ryan was away in Mossel Bay on a golf tour with Dad, and Dean was at work, while Zania was back home with a sick Zandea! (And of course, Terrance remains firmly planted in Japan).
Regardless of this though, we went ahead with the braai, which turned out to be a really enjoyable afternoon visit, with Jessica being on her cutest behaviour, Karl and Trish happily entertaining her while the indoor braai kept everything nice and toasty, and for a change, all of the food turning out pretty damn delicious – i.e. Karl took over the braai from me!
We finished up the visit with some heated four-man Blur racing battles (thanks for the loan of the extra controllers Ryan), the result of which was Trish wanting to murder me more than once, Jessica doing her best to distract Karl at every twist and turn, and Chantelle biting back her lip in order to keep her ultra competitive nature in check! :)
(And yes, I made sure that I stayed up the whole night to watch the Champions League finally run its course, thought truthfully I was a bit disappointed at Chelsea stealing the title on the night).
Sunday was just the three of us, and with the weather being as gloomy as it was, we headed out to Builders’ Warehouse to get the replacement lock (drilled out the broken one just fine, but damn it, now I need to lay my hands on a metal file in order to widen the slot by a millimetre or so for the new one!), followed by some winter clothes shopping at the Mall for young Jessica. We looked around for a new DVD rack (our old one is filled to the brim), and eventually decided to pop in for an early lunch at the always kid-friendly Spur – though I don’t think Jessie could quite make out what to do with the big bunch of crayons our waitress handed over to her!
Afternoon was filled with chores and a well-timed nap for the three of us, before we made another mini-excursion out to Strand, to point and babble at each passing seagull unlucky enough to find itself in Jessica’s visual range, and also to partake in the Belgium Waffle House’s menu that Chantelle had been so keen to give a spin.
The evening was finally capped off with Jessica and I watching the Madagascar DVD that I had just received from Claire and Ryan (one of the six DVDs in my birthday pack from the two of them!), while Chantelle slaved away in the kitchen, cleaning up and baking shortbread and Turkish Delight for the orders going out this week.
Soup for supper, more baking while watching first Idols and then X-Factor for Chantelle, while I set about tidying up after the weekend, and knocking a couple of blog posts out before the sultry, seductive song of Club Pillow struck again…
Again I find myself playing catch-up with my weekend report back blogging, but oh well, what can one do? If you’re reading this then it means I haven’t lost you lot just yet, so all’s good then! ;)
This weekend was Chantelle working weekend, so once again single-parent mode was switched on and Jessica and I ambled through a weekend of chores, lunch time braais, DVD watching and loads of time playing in the sand on the beach. No big disasters, just loads of tickles and smiles then.
Of course, this means that the weekend before was the activity packed one, and as you know by now, the first half of that weekend was pretty much dominated by Chantelle’s first ever market selling experience. While she and her mom slaved around at the stall in Bellville, Jessie and I tackled the morning, which included a visit to the costume shop to pick up our costumes (which Jessica made more entertaining by making a big poo in her pants just as we arrived), a trip through to Willowbridge to buy a slice of cake and support my better half, followed by a trip through to Ryan to help him move some furniture, before making the journey to Tygervalley in order to buy some new clothes for Jessie, who is growing at the rate of knotts I tell you! (Ackerman’s is a real lifesaver when it comes to buying lots of baby clothes for not quite so much money).
Saturday evening however was the next big one, and after leaving Jessie at home with Ouma, Chantelle and I changed into our fancy dress costumes and awaited Ryan’s pickup, heading out to D’urbanvale for Trish and Matt’s big combined 30th Birthday Party – Lord of the Rings themed of course!
Chantelle looked awesome in her rented brown peasant girl dress, complete with bare feet and braided hair, which she sourced from the fantastic Wonderland Costumes in Somerset West, while I stepped off the conventional path and instead dressed up as a New Zealand prop, complete with rugby socks and a Gilbert ball tucked under my arm, courtesy of Ryan’s old rugby days stash. I also sported this awesome forest green cloak to make people even more confused, also sourced from Wonderland Costumes in case you’re wondering.
Amazingly, Ryan navigated to the address first time around, and we were welcomed onto the huge premises by a helpful little hobbit, before being accosted by the little girl of our host who demanded some game time with the rugby ball (which ended in tears thanks to Ryan). The costumes on display were all fantastic and very inventive (you should have seen Karl’s homemade tree beard!), and we had everything from elves, to Ents, to Peter Jackson himself! (I was kind of hoping some photos would have made their way online by now, considering the fact that the host had hired an official photographer for the night, but as you might have guessed from the lack of photos on this post – that hasn’t happened yet. Tragic because Chantelle and I forgot to take any pictures ourselves!)
There were loads of people (from both parties, though our side was a little thinned thanks to an unfortunate work call that meant Evan had to miss out, despite his costume neatly laid out on his bed – Not that this stopped Natasha from joining us mind you!), a manned bar, delicious starters, themed decor, a lurking pool which claimed two victims on the night (Ryan was one of them!), all leading up to the awesome main feast where we hungrily partook in a succulent spit braai, followed by a cool Minas Tirith cake (cut with a real sword) for dessert.
Apart from the incident which saw Michelle and Damen leave in a haste after the photographer’s flash triggered a little bit of an attack for poor Michelle, the evening was a complete and utter success, thoroughly enjoyable and definitely a highlight of the month!
I was a little bit disappointed in that my extensive research the weekend before wasn’t put to any use, but hey, at least I could identify a lot more costumes that what I would have been able to otherwise, and Trish has promised that we’ll put it to use a little closer to her actual birthday later this month! :)
Anyway, after the fun that was Saturday evening, Sunday was a far more relaxed affair, spending some enjoyable time with the family as we tucked into a lazy braai for lunch, did a spot of shopping, and partook in quite the competitive game of darts against Robert – which I for a change actually won!
Excellent. Anyway, this weekend coming up also promises to be a good one, what with Chantelle doing the market again on Saturday morning, Trish and Karl’s boardgames and cake get together in the evening, following by Michelle and Damen’s little Logan’s big Christening on Sunday – Lots to look forward to then :)
In celebration of Trish Storbeck’s 30th birthday, they organised a big Lord of the Rings themed party which needless to say, turned out to be a whole lot of fun (as chronicled here).
A photographer was hired to capture the events of the evening, and these are a couple of photos I managed to grab off Facebook once they finally went live! :)
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Ugh, it had to eventually come to an end, but of Tuesday 3rd of January 2012, I find myself firmly back behind the keyboard, banging out fresh new SurveyThumb code for my wage masters over at Touchwork. In truth, I thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks or so off, having spent a lot of time with family and friends, and just generally unwinding as I recharged my batteries in full preparation for 2012!
New Year’s Weekend was very much a Northern Suburbs affair, with Jessie and I traveling through on the Friday to my mom’s place in Bellville, where the three of us spent a lovely day in and out of the pool, despite the nasty little wind that kept popping up and threatening to drive us away. The evening on the other hand was spent back home in the company of wifey, where we got together to enjoy a delicious homemade pizza over a Eagles DVD after a successful putting Jessica to bed routine!
Saturday was literally Braai Day, and after packing both of our little cars to the brim with all of Jessica’s hardware and software, we sped off back to Bellville in order to offload the little one with all her belongings at the Montgomery Clan stronghold, where she’ll be spending the next two weeks with Ouma and Oupa until the Baby Steps daycare reopens mid January. After settling her in with Cheryl, and then promptly grabbing her away again, it was a quick stop off at the local Spar for supplies, before hitting the N1 to Kraaifontein, where Jessie, Chantelle and I joined up with Damen and Michelle, as well as the rest of our friends who had made the trip through for an afternoon New Year’s braai.
With Damen elected tongmaster and stuck behind the raging fire, the rest of the boys dug out a tennis ball and plank, and proceeded to carefully destroy Damen’s backyard with a hearty round of cricket (in a very confined space). Food was eventually served, before the boys once again peeled off from the womenfolk, picked up the XBOX controllers and proceeded to smash each other with a few rounds of FIFA 11.
From there it was back to Bellville as this time we properly managed to leave Jessie behind with Ouma and Oupa, as Chantelle and I headed out back into the breach, this time to Zevenwacht Wine Estate in Kuilsriver, where we joined up with Malcolm, Andri, Michelle, braai master Gary and all of their collective kids at the Ollewage’s swanky pad. There we enjoyed a fantastic evening of good company, good stories and even better food, making it all the way through to midnight for that all important countdown and many ‘happy happy’ wishes!
Finally, it was back to the Montgomery Stronghold in Bellville, where a tired but happy Craig and Chantelle hit the sack for some well-deserved shuteye, the first of 2012!
Sunday was a delayed start for Chantelle who slept in thanks to a massive headache, but when Jessica and I did eventually manage to get mommy out of bed, we persuaded her plus Ouma to join us for a walk around Sonstraal Dam in Eversdal in order to feed the multitude of Egyptian Geese and ducks that call that spot home. After a successful stroll and having depleted our loaf of fresh white bread, we beat a hasty retreat from the busy feathered fiends, heading off to Tyger Manor McDonalds, where Robert joined us so that I could treat everyone to some McDonalds as a late lunch.
From there Jessica, Chantelle and myself shot off to my folks, dropping in at the perfect time to catch both Great Grans (plus Ryan) at Mom and Dad’s pad. More visiting was had, a watermelon devoured, and then it was finally back to the Montgomery Clan where we handed over Jessica to an excited Cheryl and Monty, before hitting the long road back to Gordon’s Bay, and more importantly, our awesome bed!
So yeah, a pretty good New Year’s Weekend after all then I reckon! ;)
We enjoyed a pleasant Heritage Weekend this year, pity of course about the public holiday falling on a Saturday, but Chantelle was off so that always makes for a nice weekend in the Lotter household! :)
Friday evening after the putting Jessica to bed routine, Chantelle and I treated ourselves to some delicious home-made pizza, the first time we had made those in absolute ages! As a companion to our deliciously decadent supper, we sat down and watched Leon Schuster’s Schuks Tshabalala’s Survival Guide to South Africa, marvelling at just how much kak Leon actually manages to get away with!
Saturday, and Jessica and Chantelle were out for the majority of the morning and early afternoon attending Chane’s surprise stork party in Somerset West, and with no baby gym to attend or rugby being showed on SABC2, I found myself pottering around the house, catching up on housework and admin, and even forgoing the gardening for some time spent working a bit on this here website.
I had to however get out eventually to enjoy the stunning weather Gordon’s Bay was experiencing, and so on Chantelle’s return we grabbed the pram and made our way over to the beach for a pleasant stroll and soft serve ice-cream, before hitting the shops in order to get all the necessities for the mandatory Heritage Day braai.
And braai we did, with chicken, steak and boerewors all making their way on to my grid (though after a fairly lengthy struggle with some very wet wood!). For a change, we had even hired out a DVD, again the first in absolute months, and although it didn’t leave much of an impact on me (I can’t remember its name, but it was kind of a slice of life comedy involving a girl whose brother is marrying the girl who made her life absolute hell during high school), it was just lekker to curl up next to wifey and enjoy a lazy evening in her company.
Sunday was a different story, and after a brisk early morning stroll with Jessica in the pram to return the DVD while mommy slept in, it was up and at them (after the fantastic Argentina versus Scotland game of course!) as we prepared for the trip through to Bellville to meet up with Evan and Natasha, Karl and Trish and Ryan for a Sunday afternoon braai.
Jessica had started coughing on Saturday evening, and Sunday it had gotten much, much worse. So on route to Evan’s place, we swung by the 24 hour M-Kem pharmacy in Bellville, where the on duty nurse took one look (or rather listen) and said that it was straight to the doctor with us. Seeing as there was a waiting list, we decided to first go through to Evan’s place to get things started, with Chantelle tasked to take leave of us halfway through in order to take Jessie to the doctor – who then proceeded to inform us that Jessie’s tonsils are inflamed as is her right ear canal. Ouchies!
Shame, so our little dribble monster is not feeling all that great at the moment. :(
Anyway, as for the actual braai, it was a blistering hot day in Bellville and so while we all hugged the bit of shade provided by the outside Simba-branded umbrella so kindly provided by Mr. Granger, it was left up to Evan to place himself slap bang in front of the hot coals and handle the tongs, a job which admittedly he did rather well, even if it looked like he needed a shower once he was eventually done! :)
Natasha had baked peppermint crisp tart for dessert, but before we partook in that, the three Lotters zipped away through to Durbanville, to pay a visit to Mom who is currently in hospital after having her knee replacement operation on Friday. It turned out that dad was also visiting around the time that we were there, resulting in a lekker little family catch up session in the hospital ward.
Anyway, back it was to Evan’s place for some of that delicious dessert, before packing up the coughing princess, putting in some petrol to get us home, and then make the arduous trek back to Gordon’s Bay, where it was straight into the bed time routine (with Idols blaring in the background) and getting everything ready for the new week to come.
Oh, and vienna sausages on cheese rolls for supper.
So yeah, a pleasant Heritage Day after all, I’d say! ;)
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! :)