Tag Archives: sonstraal dam

Strolling around Sonstraal Dam in Durbanville (2017-08-05) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 02 MAY 2018

Going for an afternoon stroll around Sonstraal Dam whilst feeding the ducks is somewhat of an institution for any family with small kids in Durbanville, and seeing as this is something that we did back when we were kids, there is no reason not to continue the tradition with my own brood – even if I don’t exactly live in the area any more.

Although an inviting and scenic space, there is in fact no swimming or boating allowed in this small body of water, and in response to an outbreak of avian botulism in 2005, no fishing allowed either. (Although the bird flu has since been dealt with, the local council opted to maintain the fishing ban in order to protect the local birdlife, many of which use the dam for breeding purposes).

Another thing worth pointing out is that for a long time the dam area went into a real state of disrepair and neglect, thanks in large part to the inconsiderate nature of visitors who littered with abandon and in general just disrespected the facilities. Thankfully though this problem seems to have mostly been dealt with and the dam area certainly appears to be undergoing a productive period of rehabilitation.

Anyway, I’m kind of getting distracted now. Last year August I found myself in the area, and so invited my folks (who live reasonably nearby) to join us for a walk around the dam. It was, as always, a pretty pleasant affair.

Even if we didn’t actually feed any ducks for a change.

Oh, and after our stroll we grabbed a coffee and some cake from the Deeghuys Taste Kitchen, a neat little eatery/test kitchen for Deeghuys that is tucked away off main road Durbanville. It was rather nice as well.

Related Link: Durbanville

Picnic in the Jack’s Back Garden (2015-03-08) Photo Gallery 12 MAR 2015

It’s ridiculous that I’m still busy posting photo sets from this past weekend, but I guess it just goes to show that I really wasn’t lying when I said we had a jam-packed weekend on our hands! In case you haven’t been following, Saturday saw us feeding ducks, eating pancakes at the Root 44 market, playing with animals (and tarantulas!) at Giraffe House, date night supper at Cocoa Wah Wah in Rondebosch, and if that wasn’t enough, capping it all of with Nik Rabinowitz’s What the Eff at the Baxter Theater.

Sunday saw us eat cheesecake at Lourensford Harvest Market, and getting something to drink at Stodels in Bellville. And before we capped off the weekend with supper with the Montgomery Clan, our last big activity for Sunday was a outdoor picnic with the ducks of Sonstraal Damn.

Except, that isn’t quite how it went down…

IMG_20150308_163344 jessica lotter

You see, it turns out that Sonstraal Dam wasn’t all that inviting on Sunday afternoon, with a miserable wind kicking up sand and dust and in general just making for a rather unpleasant outdoor experience.

So a new plan was hastily hatched, and with the agreement of Damen, Michelle, Evan, Natasha, Dean and Zania, we phoned up Andri and Malcolm (who live down the road) and asked if we could instead set up picnic shop in their backyard garden.

Happily they said yes, and so the next couple of hours was spent on blankets, dipping into picnic baskets and chatting about life, work, and whatever else sprung to mind – surrounded by vibracrete walls and the kids jumping the socks off of the trampoline!

In other words, a great example of making lemonade when life hands you lemons! ;)

Losing Grip: World’s Worst Dad Moment #2 My Life 20 DEC 2012

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.

Oh dear.

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.

egyptian goose in water swimming

(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?)

News Year’s Weekend 2011/2012 My Life 04 JAN 2012

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! ;)

Photo Gallery: Feeding the Ducks at Sonstraal Dam (2012-01-01) My Life | Photo Gallery 01 JAN 2012

I’ve always loved heading over to Sonstraal Dam in Eversdal, armed with bread in hand and on a mission to feed the variety of ducks and geese that inhabit the dam. Now I get to pass on this tradition to my daughter, and seeing as this little outing makes for quite the nice pram stroll, I even invited both Mommy and Ouma to join us! ;)