Tag Archives: traffic

A Weekend of Tygervalley, Newlands, Blaauwklippen and Mondeor! My Life 22 MAR 2015

As always, last weekend was plenty entertaining for Craig and his little girls. With Chantelle working, it was up to us to go exploring, and as such, Emily, Jessica and I found ourselves making the trip through to Bellville to spend a large chunk of Saturday morning browsing around the Tygervalley Shopping Centre, darting in and out of toy, book and clothing stores – much to the delight of young Jessica it must be said.

After a refueling stop at the Tygervalley McDonalds (Jessica had pleaded for a hamburger), we travelled through to Mom and Dad’s pad where Jessica and Emily were to spend the next couple of hours alone with mom, seeing as I was joining Ryan and Dad for the big Super Rugby game at Newlands between home team Stormers and the visiting Chiefs. Traffic was heavier than usual (or as Ryan would put it, we left later than what Dad wanted to because I made myself a cup of coffee first), the result of which was that the stadium was already making a lot of noise by the time we finally parked our car!

stormers versus chiefs 2015 super rugby at newlands stadium

That said, I don’t think arriving a little earlier would have made any difference anyway – lines to get in through the various stadium gates were crazy – it would look like the new ticket scan system is slowing down access into the stadium badly, resulting in a lot of angry people in the process!

ronnie lotter, ryan lotter, and craig lotter watching the stormers at newlands rugby stadium

Anyway, it took a little longer than expected to find our seats, but once we were sitting and settled in, we were treated to an awesome first half spectacle of the Stormers dominating the Chiefs in the scrums and just a tight, exciting game in general. Newlands had a little earlier paid tribute to the heroic firefighters who had been involved in those massive fires just a few weeks earlier, and so there were quite a lot of men in uniform dotted around the stadium. In addition, high school Stellenberg had a contingent of students doing high school track meeting flashes/cheers, which was a bit weird to see at a rugby game, but good for the atmosphere anyway!

super rugby stormers versus chiefs steven kitshoff running with the ball - newlands march 2015

Sadly, come second half and things changed badly for the Stormers – despite the lovely cheerleader girls doing their best to motivate the boys on, the Chiefs turned up the gears and with their superior handling and running down the wings, gave us a proper hiding and lesson in how good rugby should be played.

super rugby dhl stormers cheerleader girls in red hotpants at newlands rugby stadium 3

So that was saddening and disappointing to say the least. After all, I only go to the rugby stadium like once every 1.5 years or so, and so to finally go and then lose is quite depressing as you can imagine.

Anyway, the ride home was a lot smoother and quicker than the ride to the stadium, and after some visit time back at Spolander street with Mom, Dad and my little girls, it was in the car and back to Gordon’s Bay to close off what had been a pleasant Saturday after all.

IMG_20150315_130427 jessica lotter standing in front of silver classic car

Sunday was another glorious day in terms of weather, and so I took Emily and Jessica through to Lourensford Market for some pancake time. However, the closer I got, the more  and more signboards signboards appeared that pointed out that today was the day of the big Getaway Expo held at the Lourensford grounds, meaning a snap decision was made to avoid the massive crowds, parking headaches, and bumper to bumper traffic, and instead make a sharp turn, amble leisurely through the leafy glades of Somerset West, before hitting the R44 and driving down to the always enjoyable Blaauwklippen market instead.

Interestingly enough though, it turned out that Blaauwklippen had decided to celebrate St. Patrick’s day a little earlier than the official date (Tuesday 17 March), and as such everything was decked out in green and a lot of Irish music and culture was on display – which doesn’t really make much sense considering the fact that I don’t think Ireland has that much representation down here in South Africa?

IMG_20150315_135131 emily lotter eating a pancake at blaauwklippen market

Not that it matters though, the girls and I enjoyed the vibe, and Jessica was particularly enthralled with the duo of Irish dancing girls that entertained the crowd with all their kicking and flailing about.

IMG_20150315_141420 jessica lotter watching irish dancing girls at blaauwklippen

The pancakes were good, the girls had fun, and Jessica has already booked a horse ride for the next time that we return – which in itself is something rather amazing given her general fearful nature!

IMG_20150315_145549

From there we were summoned to come through to the Mondeor Garden Restaurant to meet up with Monty and Cheryl who were driving through from Bellville in order to meet us for a cup of coffee (Chantelle was busy finishing up her shift for the day – i.e. this was all her sneaky plan for some coffee and cake time), which is then exactly how the rest of Sunday afternoon was spent.

IMG_20150315_163238 jessica lotter in the sky on a trampoline at mondeor restaurant

The carrot cake was particularly delicious.

IMG_20150315_163507 emily lotter in the swing canoe at mondeor restaurant

In other words, yet another activity packed weekend for Craig and his girls done and dusted! :)

The 2.5 Hour Commute My Life 08 FEB 2013

baden powell drive protestIt wasn’t a particularly enjoyable Monday this week mind you. It started off innocuously enough, with me leaving home at 7am as per the norm and perfectly on time, but that pretty much only lasted until I joined up with the N2 from Sir Lowry, where an accident further down the line had caused a massive back-up of traffic which would happily keep me company for the next 40 minutes or so.

The traffic jam meant that I needed to stop and put in petrol as well, but once we finally made it out of Somerset West, the road opened up in front of me and I gunned it towards my usual off-ramp of choice, Baden Powell Drive.

Except, it turned out that this morning the authorities had closed it due to angry protests blocking the road (burning tyres are difficult to skirt around, so it makes sense to shut the road), meaning that instead I had to do a u-turn and head back on the N2 and into Cape Town to cut across via the M3 or M5. Radio traffic reports were not my friend as we header closer and closer towards Cape Town, happily informing me one after the other of accidents and broken down cars on the highways and the byways, literally damming up just about every conceivable route towards my final destination, and in the end, resulting in a full two and a half hour commute into work!

Two and a half hours! Needless to say, I was not a happy chappy.

Of course, Monday also happened to be the day that the electricians were coming in to install a power meter, which meant that they were waiting on me to power down the server room – which I was naturally now late for, never mind the fact that it took a little while for them to get the installation right, meaning the office was plunged into darkness on more than just one occasion.

And of course the modem server would kick up a problem during the process, the end result being that it was shudown which in turn meant a lovely hour of reconfiguring SMS Tools and the USB modems in order to get it back up and running properly again!

In addition to all of this, and on top of my already hectic workload, we discovered that Steve hadn’t completed any of the Distell work he was meant to do before he left the company at the end of January, meaning that I’ve now got an extra stack of development problems to deal with – which is just wonderful. Oh and some office politics raised its ugly head, which also guaranteed that I didn’t break out into a smile at any point in time.

Finally Tracy and I lost badly to Hypenica’s table tennis team of Ruairi and Tomy, and then to cap off a bad day (at least the drive home was painless apart from the horrible wind), I went and horribly lost pretty much all of my FIFA 13 games against Ryan in the evening.

So no, Monday wasn’t a particular favourite of mine this week as you could probably tell by now…

Cape Town Traffic My Life 23 MAY 2012

Wow, it’s much colder these mornings now that I’m not sporting my fluffy, rugged beard anymore. Chantelle’s hinting and the fact that Jessica was in real danger of forgetting her daddy’s handsome face prompted an impromptu shave-off on Sunday evening, leaving me a far colder person in return.

Anyway, I had completely forgotten just how hectic early morning Cape Town traffic into the city is, what with having the luxury travelling along the quiet Baden Powell coastal road for the last three and a half years since moving to Touchwork, which is of course situated in Westlake Business Park, handy when you’re driving in from the rather remote Gordon’s Bay.

The reason I braved the N1 Cape Town traffic this morning is a rather funny story mind you. Unable to source her stylish party boxes from the usual avenues, Chantelle was sitting in a bit of a pickle as we are just about out of our signature black boxes and with a market on Saturday, this is a bit of a disaster.

Luckily for us though, in her attempts to trace more boxes, she stumbled across the original packaging manufacturer, one Merrypak situated in Ndabeni, Cape town. So yesterday morning she convinced her mom to join her as they headed out that way to check out the factory shop and in the process successfully secure some much needed packaging for the market.

Of course, this infers that she was on an early shift yesterday, meaning that after her trip to Cape Town industria, it was straight back to work, with the result being that I only got to see her on her return home just before 21:00 last night.

Naturally the first thing she did was take the packaging out of the car, rip free a box in order to show me… and then curse like a sailor when it dawned on her that the person who retrieved her order from the back of the factory had in fact given her the wrong boxes – completely unusable in our context!

Frustrated, she called her mom to rant a little, and a short while after putting the phone down, her mom called us back to say that she and Monty would be able to make a trip through to Merrypak this afternoon in order to return the goods, provided of course that we could get the boxes to them before the afternoon.

And with Chantelle on morning shift today, that meant I had an opportunity to shine and earn brownie points with wifey, by selflessly offering to make a super early trip through to Bellville (leaving at 05:30), followed by a trip through to Westlake in order to undertake an early morning gym session at Steenberg Virgin Active, and then finally work.

All of which explains how it came to be that I sat in the horrible gnarled mess that is Cape Town traffic in the early morning hours, as I shot down the N2, crossed on the R300, delivered in Bellville, exited on the N1 towards Cape Town, hopped on the M5, switched to the N2, hopped onto the M3 and parked at the gym.

(To be honest, it was technically free flowing I suppose, but still, what a LOT of cars on the road – certainly not something I’m used to driving in!)

Which brings me to a completely different musing. We are currently seriously in the process of contemplating a move back to the Northern Suburbs, back to where our wonderful support structure of friends and family reside. But more on this in another post later this week. I need to get off this desktop at the gym and started heading over to work if I don’t want to be late…

Really Shouldn’t be on the Road My Life 28 JUN 2011

There is this very annoying fella that makes me grind my teeth just about every morning on my ride through to work.

His crime – the audacity to ride one of those stupid hand-cranked reclined bicycle thingies in morning Muizenburg traffic. Now cyclists in bunches are already on my annoyance list, but this guy on his reclined thingie really takes the cake.

Extremely low on the road, even his stupid little red flag and high visibility jacket doesn’t make him visible until you are just about right on top of him, never mind the fact that he travels so slow that you have to hit the brakes when you’re on top of him, only because his stupid mode of transportation is so wide that you actually have to swing into oncoming traffic to avoid him.

And he annoys the crap out of me even though he hasn’t actually done anything to me.

Weird, right?

Related Link: http://www.ushandcycling.org/hc101.html

Sitting in Traffic My Life 06 JAN 2010

Bliksem, I sat in traffic for 2 whole hours last night trying to get home from work! O.o

The reason?

Cape Town’s scorching heat which seemed to have sent everyone straight to the beaches – seriously though, doesn’t anyone work in Cape Town any more? :P

Baden Powell turned out to be the rotten egg this time, right from Muizenberg and all the way through to the N2. Each and every public beach was jam-packed full of people, Muizenberg, Strandfontein, the works, meaning tons of parked cars everywhere, people crossing the roads and just a general go slow from everyone in the vicinity!

And if you thought it got any better by the time you finally took the Strand turn offramp to head into Gordon’s Bay, oh no, forget about it. Strand beach was a nightmare in terms of cars trying to reach it, and thus a very hot, very sweaty, and very jealous Craig only reached his cool domicile just before 19:00 the evening, after spending an invigorating 2 hours in the traffic and having polished off more than a liter of Coca Cola.

What an incredible waste of my time. :(

Camps Bay Beach. Technically I was nowhere near hear, but simply put, I'm feeling to lazy to Google a more location-apt picture at the moment! :P

(At least the finally fixed sliding door blinds was a good sight to see on entry – and at R285 I guess it wasn’t that big a price to at last have blinds that actually open and close when you tug on a string, never mind actually all turn together when you want to block out the light for some private time…)

Baden Powell Closed My Life 18 DEC 2009

sandstormAnd now I know.

You know, in the just over a year that I’ve been working here at Touchwork in Westlake, I had yet to experience the inconvenience and bugger up that a closed Baden Powell route into Muizenburg brings – until Monday morning that is.

Up until now, I’ve been pretty lucky in hindsight. Many people have gone on and on about how frequently that last section of Baden Powell into Muizenburg (the beach section essentially) gets shut down, be it due to sand on the road or just plain heavy wind conditions, but up until Monday I had never actually experienced it closed for myself – and man, what a pain now that I have!

Baden Powell is the most economical and sensible way to get to Westlake from Gordon’s Bay, meaning that I travel along this very picturesque coastal road every weekday morning and afternoon of my life. The road is pretty remote, not all that busy and drives straight from the N2 into Muizenburg without any detours, making it perfect for my purposes in other words.

But it does have one little flaw. The last section into Muizenburg is laid literally slap bang in the middle of the beach, meaning that while you have surf and sand to the one side of you, you now also have sand dunes on the other – and needless to say, the constant wind is always shifting sand from one side of the road to the other.

Now I have no idea what possessed the road planners to place a road in the middle of the beach, but unfortunately the consequences of having done so are very real, because when the weather conditions become just a little bit too unsafe, the traffic cops come out in full and that poor little road needs to be locked down post haste – leaving very little alternative routes into Muizenberg open!

Which is of course why I found myself diverted into extremely heavy traffic towards Strandfontein, not exactly the nicest area around, for a journey that lasted in total well over a hour and three quarters in time, quite a couple of wasted kilometers extra, and which naturally led to a rather frustrated Craig finally making his way to the office – late for a change.

*sigh*, I guess it really was just a matter of time until my luck ran out! :(