Things are a little tough with Chantelle and myself living apart at the moment, so last Friday was pretty cool in that we set aside a little alone time and after visiting with Jessica in the hospital, I whisked my wife away and off we drove to Tygervalley where we selected a movie to watch for the first time in absolute ages (I believe the last time we were at the cinema was to catch the new Karate Kid!)
Actually, there are quite a couple of worthy films on the big screen at the moment, but Chantelle was quite keen on Spud, and so we booked our tickets and then slinked across the food hall to grab some McDonalds for supper (also a first in a very, very long time!). Despite the unnerving sight of a completely passed out man sleeping on the couch across from us, we enjoyed the quick bite to eat, before hurriedly making our way back to the cinemas, making the usual Chantelle pitstop combined with the Chantelle in the popcorn queue routine in the process.
Spud was surprisingly well supported, but we managed to secure decent seats and settled down to enjoy the huge number of adverts, no film previews and what turned out to be a pretty decent film – even if I didn’t end up walking out quite satisfied at the end of it all. The reason for this I’m pretty sure is a combination of a) I haven’t read any of the books and b) I never went to boarding school.
Still, it was a well made movie with a likeable cast all around, and more importantly, John Cleese was absolutely brilliant in his particular role. So I liked that.
Well, we’ve been settled in our new home here at Country Mews for less than a week, and already we’ve entertained twice, the first being a nice Sunday morning visit from Dean, Zania and our uber cute god-child Zandea (with mother-in-law in tow), who stopped by on their way back from a weekend away at Hermanus. Of course having been in the house for exactly one night meant that the place wasn’t exactly ready to be shown off just yet, but technically it counts as the first proper visit – I’m not counting the numerous visits by the Montgomery Clan as they were invited to work (by their daughter mind you) and not to visit! ;) (That will still come, I promise – Chantelle owes you something really special!)
The exciting news on their side is of course that they too have just purchased a beautiful little house in Kraaifontein, though it did come at the expense of poor Dean’s boat, a project that has been teetering on being complete for so many years now! On a side note, little Zandea is growing more and more with each visit and she’s in that absolute cutie-pie stage at the moment which makes me all the more eager for my own little Jessica to come along!
The second visit was a far more formal affair, our very visit dinner event in the new house. While I was away at work and then sweating it out at karate, Chantelle busied herself with cooking up a fantastic “Surprise Chicken” meal, complete with pumpkin (butternut) fritters and of course the all important chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Estate agent Len’s freshly dropped off celebratory bottle of champagne was at the ready as we welcomed Retha and Miguel into our home for the very first time!
The two of them are freshly returned from Spain, and so it was great to catch up on all their adventures over a fantastic supper, good European football (Barcelona and Valencia in one night!) and of course that previously mentioned all important pudding. We don’t have much time with them as in a month’s time they are off to Austria, before a quick trip back here before heading out to South Korea (or was that China? I can’t remember now) for at least a year, so its good to grab a hold of them as much as possible in the next little while!
(Oh, and the gifts they brough back from Spain for us was pretty cool too!)
Of course, the European soccer was of no great interest to Chantelle and Retha, and my wife somehow convinced Retha to give her a proper back massage while the men remained glued to the telly, something which C really, really enjoyed and more importantly, somewhere inbetween afforded Retha the opportunity to feel little Jessica kick for the very first time.
So yes, our little house is probably only at about 80% settled in now, but already we’ve got a visit count well up and running. And hey, we haven’t even begun to organise the official house warming yet!
Like I mentioned earlier, this weekend turned out not to be all that awesome, despite all the cool things that were actually going on around me. Stupid mighty morphing sickness!
Anyway, Friday evening kicked off with Chantelle preparing us some awesome fishcake burgers for supper before we jetted out in Gina G. on route to catch Steve Carrel and Tina Fey in Date Night at Ster Kinekor, Somerset Mall. The movie turned out not to be completely brainless comedy like I was expected and in the end we both pretty much enjoyed it – all I’m saying is watch out for the rotate around the pole dancing segment – you’ll be in hysterics! :)
Saturday morning we were out and about quite early already, riding all the way through to Cape Town in order to pick up Chantelle’s wedding ring which had gone in for repairs to the jeweller a week or so before (one of the diamonds had popped out of the engagement ring segment of the wedding ring). That pickup went pretty smoothly and so it was a change of direction and off to Durbanville in order to catch Andy in her newly opened games store, Games Exctera (more or less that spelling I think), sitting in 22 Oxford Street, Durbanville main.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the size store she managed to lay her hands on and with a good selection of XBOX 360, PS2, WII and PC titles, both new and secondhand, and with decent prices for game trade-ins, I’ve got a feeling that she’s not going to do too badly in this new venture of hers! :)
From there the sickly Craig carted Chantelle off towards Damen and Michelle’s pad, in order to join in on the manly gaming session part of Damen’s day-long birthday celebrations, with only one small snag getting in the way of arriving more or less on time – I managed to get the two of us horribly lost and in Kraaifontein of all places.
Needless to say, again not one of my proudest moments and so out came the GPS and by hook or by crook we made it back to the general vicinity where we needed to be and I joined Damen and Dean for some intense Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer battles while Chantelle stole Gina G. and went to enjoy her Saturday elsewhere.
Of course, one can only game for so many hours and when the prescribed time finally arrived, the wives and rest of the friends (even little Zandea came along for the ride!) descended upon Damen’s safehaven and so out came the charcoal and meat and what ensued what a great braai, featuring a chocolate fountain, ice cream, salad, snackies, Wii-playing, Lips karoake (Terrance’s fault again!), and just general fooling about get together in celebration of Damen’s 29th Birthday.
Not feeling particularly great by this stage of course, I’m kind of glad we had already made plans to sleep over at Mom’s place on the night, and so after saying our goodbyes, Chantelle drove me to my old home where we sat down and had a bit of a chat with Mom and Pops (who was watching the Masters of course!) before I bid them goodnight and sunk into a restless but necessary sleep.
(Oh, but before I forget, has anyone of you tried dipping boerewors in the liquid chocolate that comes out of a chocolate fountain? Wow, what an awesome taste sensation – it’s brilliant I tell you!)
Sunday morning Chantelle and I decided to skip our initial plans of going through to Church as the sickly Craig (and Chantelle who was starting to develop the same symptons that I had when it first started) needed all the sleep he could get, meaning that the morning was pretty much wasted away in bed and in front of the television.
But of course, that couldn’t last all day, oh no, not in the lives of Craig and Chantelle, as by noon it was time to get showered, changed and ready, before setting off to hit the Montgomery stronghold for a day of family braai, darts and conversation. We were joined by my mom and pops as well as Retha and Miguel and the day turned into a pleasant get together, even if both Rob and I were forced to retire early and crawl into bed while the rest continued to party without us!
From there it was a late evening back into GB where to be honest, not much else happened other than some manga reading, ice cream munching, feeling sorry for one’s self and movie watching (The Mummy was awesome to see again!), before jumping into bed for a well deserved, but probably more needed than anything else, deep rest.
And that my friends is the tale of this weekend past. Not particularly exciting I suppose, but certainly filled to the brim with damp tissues and coughed out bits of lung! :P
Last Thursday saw Chantelle and myself meet up in Bellville after work in order to join Dean and Zania for a braai – after all, someone had to eat those crayfish and that Geelbek that his colleague had gifted him! Of course on arrival Chantelle immediately got to work at wrestling the adorable little Zandea from Zania’s arms (as Terrance puts it, every time he sees a photo of us with the Stapelbergs its seems as if Chantelle has stolen the baby!), while Dean and I set up camp outside around the weber on what could only be described as the perfect summer’s evening.
We were spoiled for starters with a chilled crayfish little dish that Chantelle thoroughly enjoyed, but as for me, it was definitely the main course of tasty Geelbek that did the trick – a fish that I don’t particularly remember having eaten before. Despite clinging to the grid for all that it was worth after being removed off the coals, we eventually coaxed it off without dropping it and with that done it was time to drop the manners and tuck in – and tuck in we did! (Leaving of course some space for dessert. C’mon, what did you think?)
Anyway, outside of the scrumptious food being served on the night, the other story to come out of this particular dinner meeting was of course Dean’s CampMaster outdoor chair which decided to look me straight in the eye and take me on – a decision it would later come to regret.
Despite the fact that before I even sat down, I had already voiced my concerns over those dubious little thin pipes making up the chair, but on Dean’s assurance I gave in and sat down, and sure enough, it was a pretty comfy seat – until I shifted weight to stand up again.
With a loud ‘twang’ there broke one of the plastic catches holding the legs in place and with a great sigh, the chair kind of half folded in on its self.
Of course, there was much profuse apologizing following the incident for at least the next half hour, but damn it, now I feel as guilty as hell. So if anyone knows where I can find a replacement chair like the one in the picture below, please, please give me a shout so that I can ease my conscious and in doing so, prod Dean into one day inviting us back for supper.
You know, because he’d have two chairs then…
It turned out to be quite the sociable and relaxed weekend this time around, with Chantelle and I kicking Friday off by heading out to Bellville after work in order to visit with Mom and the rest of the family in celebration of mom’s 53rd birthday. As per usual it was an excellent braai followed up with lots of catching up chatter between the brothers, sister and folks, all nicely washed down with lots of great tasting little snack goodies – the perfect family get together in other words! :P (Not that Chantelle lasted all that long mind you – before I blinked twice she had taken her leave of us Lotters Original and sneaked off to the couch where she happily snored away much of the evening!)
Saturday was a pretty chill affair for the first part, with Chantelle sleeping away just about the whole morning like a dead person and I happily entertaining myself with Ryan’s Devil May Cry 4, before we finally set foot outdoors in order to hit the Pick ‘n Pay and grab all the necessary goodies for afternoon braai time. So whirlwind housekeeping and setting up, and pretty soon our guests of Damen, Michelle, Robert, Karl, Trish, Dean, Zania and little Zandea arrived, heralding the start of an awesome evening in the company of good friends. As is now quickly becoming the norm, I served up a masterful array of good tasting meat off the braai (seriously this ultimate braai that Chantelle bought me is awesome!) and it combined well with all the light snacks that Chantelle created including green salad, spanspek and some home made garlic roll. And don’t forget the ice cream filled, chocolate lathered sugar cones for dessert either!
And while watching the South African cricket team take on India provided the bulk of the day’s entertainment, the evening was not to pass without building some competitive spirit and so out came our 30 Seconds for its maiden voyage, providing some excellent games in which I’m sad to say, Team Lotter/Montgomery were soundly beaten by Team Storbeck/Oosthuizen! (But boy did Chantelle become a little bit too competitive by the end of the matches – get one little thing clue or description wrong and she’ll take your head clean off, mark my words! :D)
Seeing as we had held the braai early afternoon (15:00 to be exact) in order to accommodate the Stapelbergs and their little one, the rest of the crowd bid their farewells while there was still plenty of time left on the day’s clock, meaning that Rob and I got to ring in bedtime by watching the surprisingly fun Death Race starring Jason Statham in the lead – lots of car and gun action in case you are wondering!
Sunday morning saw us sleep in pretty late, before finally rousing and setting Chantelle to work on crafting some delicious french toast with bacon and fried banana for breakfast, after which Rob and I set about playing around with Dean’s copy of Ashes, which turns out to be a surprisingly fun cricket game – not that I can bat to save my life of course!
Following that we kicked Rob out of the house and set off for the mall, where I finally picked up a copy of Twilight (the first book) for Chantelle from CNA and then an awesome little paper shredded for my study here at home. (But no toaster mind you. Still can’t find a four piece toaster that both my wife and I see eye to eye on!)
Back home it was time for serious chillax as Chantelle stretched herself out on the couch in front of American Idols for the next couple of hours while I faffed around writing blog posts, doing the dishes and in the end playing some games (Again, Devil May Cry 4 is awesome. ‘Nuff said). Evening eventually rolled by and we found ourselves surely but steadily drawn in by the amazing Will Smith Seven Pounds drama, before ending the night off with Chantelle working on her Sarie competition entry, toasted cheese sarmies and just some general office and braai dishes cleaning up.
And testing the new office shredder of course! :)
Yay, Chantelle was off for a change, it was Valentine’s Day weekend, We were going away to Hermanus and most important of all little Zandea was being christened – how could one not start the weekend on such a high note? :)
Like I said, it was Zandea’s christening on Sunday and to make it all that more special, Dean and Zania decided to hold the christening at the same church where they got married two years ago, all the way out in Hermanus, Zania’s old hood. Of course, not ones to pass up a great opportunity for turning the event into a weekend away just for the fun of it, we unleashed Chantelle on the Internet and soon she had turned up a great looking place to stay – which then got converted into an even sweeter deal when she organised a guesthouse networking swap which meant that she and I got to stay the weekend in Hermanus for free while in return, the owner of that guesthouse gets to spend a weekend in the future at Gordon’s Beach Lodge at no charge. Great networking and strengthening of referral ties for the two managers and for me, the added bonus of some much needed pressure release off my poor little wallet, still feeling the stinging of the bashing it took with last week’s car saga!
Anyway, we only managed to get away from Gordon’s Bay pretty late on Friday evening after work, and eventually come 21:00 or so we landed in Hermanus, finding the Pebble Beach guesthouse, situated right next to the Hermanus golf club, easily enough thanks to Mr. TomTom’s unerring sense of direction.
Greeted on arrival by the friendly Francis, we stowed our bags in what can only be described as one of the most luxurious rooms I’ve been in and then darted out to grab a quick bite to eat at the local Spur – which surprisingly enough actually had other people still dining away by the time we got there! (Food wasn’t great though in case you are wondering)
After a fantastic night’s sleep (well for me in any event), the morning got underway with a fantastic breakfast served up by the great Pebble Beach team and with our tummies full and hunger sated, we headed out to Hermanus proper to do some stall browsing and hook up with Dean and Zania (and Zandea!) who were meeting up with us at Mugg & Bean for a drink. One successful visit later, and Chantelle and I were on our next mission, walking Hermanus flat in search of the elusive soft serve which simply put… couldn’t be found. (And no, we’re not talking about KFC or Steer imposter soft serves here – I’m talking about proper two tone, sugar cone stuff man!) Any how, with our walk not turning up anything we jumped into the car and headed down towards Onrus side but as you might have guessed, our search was just as fruitless, so with our heads hung low we turned around and returned to town – which made it all the more funnier when on entering the town and right across the road from where we were previously parked, Chantelle spotted the magical soft serve sign just sitting there minding its own business!
Overjoyed we parked and rushed down to the Princess Cafe, placed our order and then watched in horror as the poor soft serve machine sputtered into life, squirted out a couple of chocolate poo’s worth of ice cream and then promptly died, leaving us with little more than a brown twirly mess in a styrofoam cup. Shame, the girl serving us was very apologetic and as a result we didn’t pay anything for the ice cream we did manage to get out, but still I guess the little that we got was better than nothing in the end! :)
Back at the guesthouse, Chantelle was soon down and out for the count enjoying a rather lengthy afternoon nap while I set about enjoying the marvelous, black interior pool before stretching out and catching some rays on the soft grass. Next it was time for some R&R with a couple of the Ultimate Fantastic Four graphic novel, followed by the Stormers versus Lions game on Supersport, though I must admit to missing out rather large chunks of the latter thanks to my darn eyes that kept on falling closed!
The evening was spent for the most part in Panarottis, where we dined on some delicious pizza offerings (though it didn’t quite make up for the missed Cattle Baron, which would have been Chantelle’s supper treat had they not gone and closed down a couple of weeks prior to our visit!). Back home, I enjoyed a late night dip in the pool (Chantelle refused to join me for some reason – something about not having a bather with or something like that! :P) and while she enjoyed a lazy bath I got some solid reading time in again.
Oh, and we swapped Valentine’s gifts just before midnight – it seems like she just couldn’t wait to unleash the monstrous love bug stuffed animal she found upon me!
Sunday kicked off with a special Valentine’s Breakfast which basically was the same as the previous day’s breakfast but just with all the colour replaced with tones of red, white and pink – which was actually quite a cool little touch. Then a quick pack and settling of our little extras bill, we dashed off to the St. Peter’s stone church and grabbed our seats (actually, we accidentally stole the Church Warden’s reserved seats) and enjoyed the spectacle that saw little Zandea, who was VERY well behaved by the way, join the Christian family.
What was great was that Evan and Natasha, and Michelle and Damen had also made the drive through from Bellville on Sunday morning to attend the church service and following on from that, all of us met up at Zania’s mom’s house where we sat for the next couple of hours indulging in some awesome finger snacks and talking the day away. Chantelle and I eventually bid our farewell though (sorry for starting the mass exodus Dean!) and headed back to GB, where Chantelle naturally gave her new Coricraft friends a good testing out and I busied myself with setting up a whole lot of blog posts for the coming week.
The evening however saw us once again out of the door and out to the mall, where we enjoyed a great little Subway snack and then plonked ourselves down in our seats for the rather unentertaining (though it does have its moments) and long Valentine’s Day movie starring a host of A-list faces.
And that was pretty much that. A great weekend filled with friends, some driving and tons of R&R, meaning that I start this week in our newly renovated little shoebox feeling rather refreshed…
Related Link: http://www.pebblebeachguesthouse.com/
So, a huge, huge honour has been bestowed upon us this Christmas day (well, night to be more accurate – was the only time we could squeeze Dean and Zania in on a day rather fully scheduled in terms of visits) – Dean and Zania have asked us to be Godparents to little Zandea, a task that we both eagerly accepted, making Chantelle the happiest Godmother in the universe at the moment I think! ;)
Thank you Dean and Zania, this is indeed a fantastic honour for the both of us! We’re proud to be able to serve you guys in this manner.
(Plus, now I feel like I have finally surpassed Karl-Heinz’s rank of Goatfather! :P)
Borrowing Dean and Zania’s adorable little Zandea as a willing prop, this following photo proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Chantelle was made to be a mother:
See? Who can argue otherwise?
In a fantastic bit of news that came through last night, we learned that little princess Zandea, Dean and Zania’s pride and joy, finally decided to show her face to the world last night, after deciding that waiting until the 16th of this month was simply far too long to bear.
Weighing in at 3.4 kg, little Zandea seems to be as healthy as can be, and all is good in the world of the Stapelbergs.
So congratulations Dean and Zania, you guys must be ever so proud. Chantelle and I can’t wait to meet the little girl, that’s for sure, so expect a visit from us sooner than later! :)