Tag Archives: leave

Holiday Time at Last My Life 21 DEC 2011

So my year-end leave officially kicked in last Friday (thank you Mr. Public Holiday), and although we can’t go away for a proper year-end vacation (as per usual, it is full steam ahead for Chantelle at the guest house), I am determined to get out and about as much as possible so that it at least feels like I’ve made a proper break from work.

So far we’re off to a good start (well apart from the fact that both Chantelle and I are struggling with a bit of sickness at the moment, Chantelle bearing the brunt of it), with Friday being a proper Gordon’s Bay beach and harbour walkabout afternoon, with Jessie and me happily ambling along under the blazing midday sun – though perhaps for a little too long as both Jess and myself ended up with a bit of a sunburn on our exposed arms! (Needless to say, a) the pram didn’t provide enough shade as I thought it would, and b) Mommy was quite, quite cross with Daddy! Next time, instead of packing the suntan lotion in the pink bag and just leaving it there, I guess I’d better make use of it!).

Both Bikini Beach and the main beach are doing well (though the crowds are definitely reduced this year), with people rather enjoying the sun and unusual absence of any wind – with some entrepreneur even going so far as to bring in a number of fun kids’ rides and setting up shop right next to the Spur!

Saturday was an off day for Chantelle and in an attempt to squeeze even more birthday gifts out of her 31st birthday this year, she invited all our friends out to join us for an afternoon braai, followed by some Uncle Barry’s soft-serves on the beach afterwards. For a change we had a full house (well, apart from Evan who was called in to work), and in the end we enjoyed a great get together in some glorious Summer weather, which was doubly as sweltering for me out in front of that super hot braai fire! (You know it’s a good day when I turn the front outdoor fountain on.)

(Just a note though, while the braai was pretty awesome, the prior trip to the mall for supplies wasn’t so much – I hate shopping centres at this time of the year!)

Sunday was a proper outing as Chantelle, Jess and myself headed out towards Blouberg to join up with Monty, Cheryl and Rob at the famous Blue Peter Hotel, where we enjoyed a rather scrumptious lunch at a spacious table on what turned out to be a glorious Summer afternoon! This was followed by a quick stop in at the brand new super large Makro store, before heading to Bellville for a final round of coffee with the folks before the trek back home.

Monday was spend in large out at Somerset Mall, where we were in particular looking for a walking ring for Jessica, now that she has proved to us that she’s quite adept at standing for long periods of time on her flat feet. We eventually found one we liked (and enjoyed a round of Subway). Unfortunately for me though, on returning home and breaking it out of its box, I discovered that the ring was broken, meaning a frustrating return trip to the mall. Wonderful, just wonderful.

Tuesday was brunch at Hagglunds day, and with Chantelle heading off to work, it was a stroll along the beach for Jessie and Daddy, though this time I played it a lot safer and only ventured out once the sun had finished doing most of its damage for the day.

Right, and now you are pretty much up to date with my outings, and outside of watching lots of animated television and movies whilst looking after Jessica on a full time basis, that’s pretty much what the rest of my leave period is going to look like.

So perhaps not so much a vacation for me after all? O.o

Back to Work, Back to Blogging My Life 07 MAY 2011

Note: Once again, life gets ahead of blogging, and this post which was meant to appear on Tuesday, only appears now. Oh well, what can you do? :P

And I’m back. Thanks to all of the public holidays plus three days’ leave, I have technically been away from work for 11 days now, having last been there back on the 22 April! Having not taken a holiday break last December, I was pretty much desperately in need of this little downtime, but unfortunately as any single parent with a baby will tell you, there really is no such thing as proper rest and relaxation if you have one of those little critters in your care! :)

Lack of funds and of course the fact that Chantelle was working meant that I didn’t go away for my leave period, and instead found myself home-based for the entire holiday, which isn’t all that bad I guess – if you don’t mind a little hard work. Yup, once again those sleeves got rolled up and I found myself toiling away for a considerable number of hours around the yard, sawing down poles, pulling up brick borders, laying down cement slabs, doing gardening, cleaning up the yard and yes, even doing a little bricklaying as well.

But it wasn’t all hard work, all the time mind you.

Pringle Bay, and a beautiful shot of Chantelle holding the cutest baby in the world!

On the Saturday of the Easter weekend Chantelle, Jessica and I went out for our first real outing together, taking the car for a spin along the always scenic coastal road towards Betty’s Bay, on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. We trundled about Pringle Bay, enjoyed lunch, changed nappies, drove through Betty’s Bay and in general just enjoyed a pleasant afternoon together. The evening brought with it another first, with us taking Jessica along with us to a restaurant for the first time, the family friendly Gordon’s Bay Sunset Spur. Armed with a milk bottle (always at the ready), the evening went quite well actually, though we didn’t break any records for length of stay come to think of it! :)

The Monday following the gluttonous, copious Easter egg devouring of the Sunday was kicked off with an enjoyable visit from Zania and Dean with Jessica and myself, before Chantelle arrived back from work and the Montgomery clan rolled in to join us for a late afternoon braai. As it turned out, my folks popped in for a visit on their way back from their little weekend away, and ended up staying for the delicious meat-fest as well!

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Pinnacle Point and the Long Weekend My Life 17 AUG 2010

(Note, this post is now officially more than a week late. I started it off last week with the best of intentions, but you know, things just always seem to get in the way…)

So as I may have alluded to earlier, this long weekend past proved to be the perfect refreshing getaway, as Chantelle and I both took off Friday and headed up to Pinnacle Point with Retha and Miguel to enjoy a weekend of leisure and relaxation.

Of course, as expected with Chantelle and myself, we did only get away from home on Friday morning after midday, but the morning wasn’t spent entirely in vain as the flat had gotten cleaned and more importantly, we finally purchased that suede headboard we had ordered from Boardman’s all those weeks ago!

But on the road we did finally end and with Chantelle at the wheel, we rocketed along the N2, making our first stop in Buffelsjag at the delightful Rolandale restaurant and rest stop where we tucked in and replenished the fuel in our tummies. From there I grabbed the wheel and we were back on the N2, enjoying the beautiful green scenery dashed with the brilliant yellow of all the canola fields in full bloom.

Admittedly, my eyes did get a little heavy under the beautiful sunlight we were enjoying, and after a quick refresher break in Albertina, we continued our journey into Mossel Bay, where after a police roadblock we found ourselves making a detour to the local Checkers in order to pick up our meat for the evening’s braai before turning around and hitting the road up to Pinnacle Point.

Thanks to Dad’s organising, getting into the resort was a snap and surprisingly enough, we found the house first time round, in other words a welcome return to dad’s share of that Top Billing lifestyle that we’d all so love! ;)

By this stage the light was rapidly fading and the wind was starting to whip up, and seeing as Miguel and Retha were only expected to arrive after midnight, Chantelle and I got stuck in trying to light our fire which was proving remarkable annoying thanks to the gusting wind that kept killing off all of our matches!

Frustrated but not willing to give up, we eventually got the thing burning and as it turned out (with the help of a innocent desk lamp which I grabbed to provide some outside light), produced a fantastic supper! As for the evening’s entertainment, we attempted to watch Angela Jolie in Tomb Raider, but for some or other reason the fatigue hit us hard, and so we found ourselves fast asleep by the time Retha gave us a ring around midnight to let them in!

Saturday morning was another late start as the four of us opted to sleep in, but after we all finally got up and ready to go, it was time to pile into the fully charged golf cart and give Retha and Miguel a proper tour of the massive estate, before ending up at the clubhouse where we tackled the stairs down to St. Blaize’s trail and made the trek to check out the caves down below.

The next stop for the day was of course, wait for it, Checkers, again to stock up on supplies, but from there it was on to new adventures as we drove through to Jukani, the big cat sanctuary which had impressed Chantelle and I so the last time we were in Mossel Bay.

As expected, Retha and Miguel were as impressed as we were, and we spent the next couple of hours taking in all the sights and sounds, as well as enjoying the awesome feeding presentation conducted by Jukani’s always likable staff.

The final bit of entertainment was of course still to come, and after everyone had gotten prepped, we hit the short road down to the casino, where we targeted the Admiral’s Buffet for a very long and filling supper, followed by a brief (and loss inducing) stint in the casino.

(As per usual though, I enjoyed the period we spent in the arcade far more than what I did in the money grabbing casino main! :P)

Some television and chat rounded off the rest of the evening back home, and leaving Miguel to do his usual late night documentary watching stint, the rest of us piled into bed for some well deserved pillow time.

Sunday and the weather started taking a real turn for the worse, meaning we pretty much lazed around after enjoying a delicious bacon and eggs breakfast courtesy of C, before we braved the elements and drove off to Mossel Bay to do a bit of whale watching, eat a soft serve (in Chantelle’s case enjoy some mini doughnuts) and then scour Mossel Bay for a film to enjoy at a cinema.

And whilst we had no luck in terms of finding a movie cinema showing anything worth watching in Mossel Bay, we were treated to a spectacular whale sighting in which we got to see a whale happily splashing his tail around, just off the rocks by the St. Blaize cave!

By this stage the weather was now properly miserable and so we spent the rest of the day lazing around and reading, before the girls got stuck in and prepared us an awesome cooked chicken supper!

Monday I’m afraid the weather really was against us and so after a good long sleep in, most of us simply opted to pack our bags and hit the road back home – though it must be said that the traffic coming back over Sir Lowry’s pass was pretty hectic and getting home took a lot longer than expected (think bumper to bumper coming down the mountain!), but nevertheless, it couldn’t detract from what in the end was a pretty damn awesome weekend after all! :)

And hey, just because I can, I even posted some pictures I took while in a state of snappy happy! ;)

Related Link: http://photos.codeunit.co.za/v/20100806-Pinnacle-Point/

Lean back, Feet up and Arms down My Life 06 AUG 2010

So don’t expect to see too much of me online this long weekend, nor expect to find me lurking around Gordon’s Bay anywhere. No, this long weekend (and I mean looonng weekend thanks to having booked Friday off), Chantelle and I will be dragging Retha and Miguel up with us to Pinnacle Point near Mossel Bay, where we expect to relax in style and comfort thanks to the borrowing of dad’s generously offered week in his fractional ownership luxury pad holiday house.

I expect to have my feet up, be cut off from online communications, catch up on a lot of manga reading, visit all the sights Mossel Bay has to offer, braai a lot and who knows, even make a little money at the casino. What I won’t be doing is stressing about work, answering my phone and giving myself a hernia by attempting to play golf.

No sir, this is going to be one long enjoyable weekend of friends, food and fun.

And yes, I think Chantelle and I more than deserve this little break!

Yes, this is pretty much the vista you can expect at Pinnacle Point. Promise I'll try to take some pictures of my own!

See you after Women’s Day then! ;)

Freedom Day and in Pain My Life 29 APR 2010

So as all we South Africans know, Tuesday was a grand old public holiday, Freedom Day if you’re counting. Now judging by the traffic pattern on Monday, it’s pretty clear that a lot of my fellow Capetonians decided to take Monday off and enjoy an extended long weekend – something I with my 0.25 days of available leave was unfortunately not able to emulate.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a good day off. Apart from the usual time wasters like household chores that included doing the washing and cleaning the dishes, I still found the time to sink a lot of web development across my CodeUnit and Funakoshi sites in, as well as polish off all the remaining episodes of Batman: Brave and the Bold that I now own on DVD. Oh, and considering that I had Monday evening to play Red Faction: Guerilla all the way through to 00:30, I really can’t complain about not being entertained!

Of course, with Tuesday being such a particularly beautiful day, it would have been an absolute crime not to enjoy the outdoors, fresh air and sunshine a bit, and this then explains why at midday I found myself with hat on head, decked out in walking shoes, and happily trotting along the road with Chantelle up past Bikini Beach and the Naval College, down to the end of Gordon’s Bay Main Beach and then finally back up to the guest house again.

Seeing as Chantelle is currently in the whole detox, eat healthy and exercise more frame of mind (spurred on by the great success in this field that Retha is currently enjoying), it seems like this will be the order of the day for quite some time yet, something I quite look forward to (as you should know by now) as it is always good to get that little bit of extra exercise in! ;)

However, such a beautiful day couldn’t be satisfied with just a hour-long walk and so we decided to extend our outdoor session by going through to Bertie’s Mooring where we joined all the other patrons out on the shaded walkway next to all the fancy sailboats in the harbour and enjoyed a delightfully relaxed and slow-paced luncheon which saw Chantelle enjoy a healthy grilled fish with salad while I stuck to my guns and had the always tasty deep fried hake with chips. (But did select the much more calorie light Castle Lite as my tipple of choice for the day – if only to be able to sing Ice Ice Baby and not look like an idiot!)

And that pretty much summed up my Tuesday public holiday, though I must still mention one more little, teensy weensy detail – all of this was done whilst in absolute agony!!

My thighs were burning, my joints were stiff, my shoulders and arms were sore! Hell, I was like an old man who managed to get his shoelaces caught up in the wheel of a bus and who was then dragged for the next kilometer or two down the road!

The reason for my particular discomfort?

An exceptionally enjoyable karate training session on Monday night, marking my return to training following an off period of two weeks (i.e. four sessions) thanks to that stupid bout with flu and a chest cold I previously suffered through!

Although I had started to prepare for my return with some light sessions in the gym, obviously it wasn’t enough because the intensity level at karate in anticipation of Sensei Marius from Germany’s visit later this year and the upcoming grading has definitely been cranked up! It would seem I missed some pretty cool stuff (including the start of weapons training – something I haven’t done since I learned a bit of Chinese Broadsword back when I still did Kung Fu) during the time I was gone!

So in an effort to whip us into a respectable shape physically as well as to prepare us for the upcoming June grading, it looks like we’re going to be in some pain for quite a bit longer – but as always, well, well worth it if you ask me! :)

(Though I do feel a bit sorry for Chantelle who is going to just have to now deal with my moaning and groaning in pain every time I sit down and get up from the couch! :P)