Although I did get a fair bit of home maintenance, furniture shifting and re-packing done this weekend thanks to the new carpet finally getting laid in the second bedroom on Friday afternoon, Saturday was pretty much a minimal work day as come 13:00, Mr. Brown and Dr. Storbeck arrived on my doorstep, followed by a surprise drop-in from Mr. Lotter Jr., completing our fearsome foursome.
The task for the day was of course to break out the XBOX 360 and squeeze in as many FIFA World Cup 2010 simulation games in as possible, trying our best to predict or equal what has been and what is still to come in the real World Cup.
As it turned out, lack of game time on Karl’s part actually meant he was performing ten times better than normal (:P), and opened the afternoon’s scoring account with a fantastic, cracking half-volley shot from a cross-in from yours truly, that simply rocketed past a despairing Ryan and Terrance keeper!
The afternoon progressed and we slotted in a lot of games, with Mr. Brown seeming to have the worst luck of the day, considering the fact that by the end of it all he was pretty much the overall loser, having lost the biggest number of games!
But in fairness we had some cracker games and for the most part they were all a very tight affair, usually ending up with only a single goal difference and on more than one occasion we found ourselves trading blows through extra time and then taking it all the way through to penalties, where some of us (Ryan for the most part), simply couldn’t get to grips with EA’s new penalty taking system!
But hats off to them for providing us with some absolutely tense moments, some brilliant goals (that Ronaldo shot from Ryan was an absolute beauty!) as well as the usual array of howlers, like Karl’s missing of various open goal tap-in opportunities! :)
But the simulated soccer couldn’t go on forever because the main drive for Saturday’s get together was of course the big 16:00 quarterfinal clash that saw an in form Argentina take on a just as in form Germany (who I am behind to take this whole damn thing!) and what a match for the Germans it proved to be! My bountiful snacks that I had stocked up on for the extravaganza kept flowing from hand to mouth and the disbelief of how easy Germany was making it look in dismantling Diego Maradona’s team just kept on growing!
Around half time I set about getting out of my cosy couch and started up the fire, which then happily burned itself down to some fine coals as the game reached it’s rather unexpected conclusion, marking the moment where we switched gears by bidding farewell to Ryan who had another engagement to get to, leaving Mr. Brown, Dr. Storbeck and I to put together a lekker braai and enjoy some more hanging out time.
Despite my attempts to ensnare them into watching the second match for the evening at my place, they resisted my charms and instead opted to hit the long ride home and catch the first bit on the radio, thereby saving them a much later return to Bellville. In fairness, I can’t really argue with that logic, but they did miss out on some great snacks I tell you! ;)
So thanks guys, it was an absolute blast having you around for the footy. Maybe next time we’ll be lucky and Mr. Dean and Mr. Oosthuizen will also be able to join us for an even bigger clash of the Titans!
(But the footy visits didn’t quite stop there believe it or not, because Sunday was still on its way and we had a last visit before their trek to Potchefstroom from Wayne and Candice to enjoy, and little did I know that Wayne had literally just laid his grubby paws on FIFA 10 – and you just know we HAD to test it out on our return from supper…)
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
Wow. Serious, I’ll get around to organising another day in GB event when I get the chance boys, but before then I need my social calendar to calm down just that little bit and give me some time to breathe! ;)
It all started last week really when on Tuesday evening Chantelle and I made our way over to the cinema to catch It’s Complicated, which turned out to be a pretty fun watch. Wednesday then followed up with an impromptu visit from Retha and Miguel to our part of the world on the pretense of putting the necessary kilometers on for his new shocks. We met up at the Waterstone Village Spur after karate practice and ended up spending a good chunk of the evening dining and catching up as per the norm.
Thursday evening Chantelle and I then met up with Mom, Dad and Claire to watch the stage production of Grease at the Artscape, also a brilliantly fun bit of popular culture to absorb I tell you. Friday then saw me abandon Chantelle to her own devices (she was working in case you’re wondering) and I joined with Ryan, Dean and Terrance at Ryan’s noisy pad for some excellent Modern Warfare 2 and FIFA 10 XBOX action!
(Admittedly, Saturday I took a breather, but I did work on my CodeUnit blog all day so you can’t really call that a day off, now can you? :P)
Sunday we played host to Rob and Laluna, though our planned visit to Barbados for some drinks was cut tragically short by a whole lot of yawning and snoring emanating from the instigators themselves, i.e. Laluna and Rob of all people! But I did spend two hours on the golf driving range so technically I was out and about.
Monday saw Chantelle nip off work at lunch and join me on a trip through to Durbanville where we hooked up with Trish and Karl and their peeps (including Wayne, Candice and Mr. Brown) to partake in a birthday braai bash in honour of Trish’s upcoming birthday on Wednesday.
Yesterday I got off again (though Chantelle was working a late so again it probably doesn’t quite count), but come today it’s back in full swing, with a visit tonight to the Barnyard Theatre to catch Broadway Rocks with Karl and Trish in support of the Fisantekraal Animal Welfare group. Thursday I’m sitting without a car seeing as it is back in the shop, so nothing planned as of yet, but don’t hold your breath, Friday we’re back to being social butterflies when Wayne and Candice join us for supper here in Nagua Bay (as well as for breakfast the next morning).
Oh, and Saturday evening happens to be the Funakoshi Karate Fundraiser Ball event, meaning dress-up fun for everyone.
And then Sunday, finally a proper day off, where weather permitting I plan on sneaking out with Chantelle to some remote forest conservation area, take with some good reading materials and pack a nice yummy picnic basket.
You really can’t say we don’t deserve it! :P
It’s bloody hot out here in Gordon’s Bay at the moment. But I’m sitting here, secretly hoping that the Spur ribs we’ve just had won’t give us the runs tomorrow, and thankful that we once again have running water, after Gordon’s Bay went and lost most of its supply on Sunday afternoon, leaving most of its residents without much choice but to buy up every single liter of still water that the surrounding shops could supply.
But outside of a sweltering weekend with water supply for only half of it, it was a pretty chilled and enjoyable weekend, with some time spent at the sea, some time spent behind a Terry Pratchett book, some time spent watching shows like Blade, Stripperella, Dante’s Inferno and even Independence Day. Devil May Cry 4 also fell before me as I knocked the final nail into its coffin and then got reacquainted with the lovely Lara Croft in Tomb Raider: Underworld. I finally sorted out the house over at House of C, added a few posts to my growing collection scheduled posts and in even braaied a delicious hunk of fillet on a sweltering Sunday afternoon.
But it was Friday evening that was undoubtedly the highlight of the weekend. Shooting straight through to Bellville after work (though when I say shoot I mean crawl as the traffic was particularly bad), failing to locate a replacement chair for Dean at Tygervalley, I then found myself being the first to enter Damen and Michelle’s pad where I eagerly gripped the Roman’s Pizza they had organised so long and then set up my controller and created my profile, finally leaning back and awaiting the arrival of the rest of the evening’s enemies in the form of Terrance, Karl-Heinz and Dean (not forgetting Damen of course!).
We five warriors then fired up Modern Warfare 2, selected our weapons and proceeded to blast the crap out of one another for the next couple of hours, with Michelle desperately bolting herself up in her room for safety (well truthfully, she was already sleeping). Dean proved himself to be the cautious type, and not half bad with a grenade launcher, generally the weapon of choice for Picaroon Brown, though that said he once again proved himself to be far superior at these games of war than what us mere mortals are (though he didn’t score half as many knife kills as what he usually does). Damen must genuinely have been practicing because he easily occupied second place, while I was generally happy with my performance, scoring some cool rocket launcher sniping kills for a change.
Karl was however cannon fodder. (Not entirely unexpected considering this was his first time of course).
It was an awesome evening of competitive gaming once again and I must say that I really am enjoying putting the time aside this year to spend as much time with my friends as possible. In the past it was sometimes the case that I’d only see some of the guys literally every six months or so, but at the moment I am determined to make this a thing of the past, hence all these frequent gatherings I keep talking about.
It’s good, I’m enjoying it and hopefully it continues for quite some time still to come! :)
First up was the five-star gourmet meal that Chantelle cooked up (she can give you all the details in case you are curious) for Retha and Miguel’s late night visit here at Nagua Bay where they regaled us with tales from their recently completed month long holiday over in Europe. That in particular was an awesome visit considering the fact we hadn’t seen them since December (Miguel we haven’t seen since our wedding!), so it was a great chance to catch up and receive some awesome goodies in the process! ;)
Another bit of fun and games on Thursday night actually came an hour or so earlier on my way home from work, when I pulled off at Checkers in Muizenberg to get something to eat because my blood sugar must have been quite low considering I was on the verge of passing out behind the wheel! But to cut a story short, I returned to my car, pie in hand, when I watched a truck slam into the overhead railway bridge, literally collapsing the poor driver’s entire container and I imagine, leaving him with quite a bit of explaining to do to his boss when he finally made it back to work! (Geez, these trucks hitting into that low bridge happens far more frequently than what I would ever have imagined!)
Anyhow, Friday I finished up feeling pretty good about myself after having completed three 20 minute sessions on the treadmill, one in the morning, one at lunch and one directly after work. No hassles with the legs, no particular fatigue, just a plain old good sensation of having achieved that! Not that I returned directly home mind you. No, seeing as Chantelle was on work duty and Ryan had just received a rip of the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths movie I so wanted to see, I headed off to Bellville to join up with Karl-Heinz, Terrance and Ryan for some FIFA madness, where we slotted in a couple of games and some great goals for the next two and half or so hours! (Karl managed to finally end his goal drought and banged in three goals on the night, one being an awesome back header that completely flummoxed the keeper).
Saturday morning I broke tradition by starting the day off by watching the above mentioned Justice League movie, and man was it as awesome as I had hoped it would be. The only problem after that, was of course that nothing else seemed quite as exciting for the rest of the day! Now initially I had planned to do a ton of web work over the course of the day, working on websites, typing up documents, etc. but thanks to the oppressing 35+ heatwave that engulfed the area, I was pretty much left lying on the couches, watching anime, rugby, reinstalling Ubuntu and playing Devil May Cry 4 (and doing the much hated housework), so at least I ended up feeling fairly relaxed by the end of the day.
Funnily enough though, the one game I had been waiting for the entire day, namely the Stormers Super 14 clash, I actually ended up missing on the night, but all for a good reason it must be said. One phone call from Chantelle and all of a sudden I found myself sitting down at the table with a couple of glasses of beer in my hand and enjoying a fabulous snoek and crayfish braai with Chantelle, Wammy and Louise, and some of her guests, all under a fabulous warm summer night sky. It was lekker (and so was the Devil May Cry 4 gaming session which closed off the night for me).
Sunday however I didn’t make the mistake of turning on the TV to early and so I did actually end up behind the keyboard for the most of the day, but considering the horrible wind and heat outside, I guess it wasn’t too bad a play. Lots of blog posts neatly scheduled, an important letter scripted and proofread (well mostly anyway) and some further work on the Funakoshi website project that seems to be continuously trudging along, pretty much made up the most part of the day. Oh, and plenty of Devil May Cry 4 slotted in between. Turning out to be a damn good game, just as good as the previous one after all.
Outside of that, I did make a quick stop at GBL in the afternoon to have a look at Chantelle’s buggy wi-fi access point (as well as keep Candice and her mom company), and then later take Chantelle out for supper at the Sunset Spur after her shift ended come 21:00.
So it was a good, Melrose cheese spread filled weekend of not doing much, meaning I’m all rested up for what could potentially be quite an important week for me – though more on that with tomorrow morning’s post in case you’re curious! ;)
I mentioned previously in these here pages that Chantelle surprised me with a proper man’s braai this Christmas, and after giving it its final protective paint coat, I decided to at last set it forth on its maiden burning, seeing as this Saturday past was the first day Chantelle was actually off from work in who knows how long! Not wanting to plan something big, we summoned two sets of couples whom we haven’t seen in absolute ages to join us and so come last Saturday 18:00ish, Karl, Trish, Damen and Michelle joined Chantelle and myself under our new Coricraft umbrella and in front of the magnificent braai, on one of the most stunning days you could possibly imagine!
(It was such a nice day that Chantelle and I had even nipped out for a quick swim in the ocean before the others arrived. The swim would have been longer, but it was quite a hilarious 10 minutes or so watching Chantelle try to jump into her bather which wouldn’t slip on even in the slightest, her decision to shower just moments before proving to be a rather silly idea after all! :P)
Braaing on wood and thus real coals at last was an absolute pleasure and as such I turned out the perfect braai goodies, succulent meats, juicy sausage, crisp braai broodjies, it was simply fantastic. And pared with some delicious watermelon, spanspek and Trish-prepared salad, we dined like kings under the perfect sky. (And there was even ice-cream to be had too…)
From there the evening degenerated into a slog match between Karl and Chantelle over Tetris, with the Doctor proving to be the far superior when it comes to moving bricks around a pixelated screen, though I must admit to have been quite overjoyed when the Game Over finally struck Dr. Storbeck because that irritating music loop had really begun to grate my ear drums! It wasn’t a particularly late evening but it was a good evening of friends and catching up, in other words a perfect success. So I guess the question is simply who do we invite over next? ;)
So like I mentioned ages ago already, we had invited all the friends over on the Saturday evening preceding Chantelle’s birthday for a bring and braai in celebration of C’s upcoming 29th birthday, and as per usual, it quickly degenerated into yet another night of SingStar battling as Terrance and Trish once again had their way and managed to convince us (or should that be twist our arms) into hauling out the microphones and letting them loose on the poor, unsuspecting public!
As it happens, I actually managed to capture some photos for a change, so where better to post them than here?
So here goes then:
The point? Well, we all had fun, the night was a success, and our neighbours probably still haven’t forgiven us! :)
Last night marked the final FIFA foursome featuring KJ versus RC, well at least for the time being as my flat has now steadily regressed to a point where basically there is nothing there besides a bed, table, TV and fridge and by the end of next week I’ll be sipping champagne on the beaches of Gordon’s Bay (when the police aren’t watching of course!), far removed from the confines of steadfast old Bellville.
The invite had gone out on late Friday afternoon, but eager beavers as they always are, Karl, Jeremy and Ryan all responded positively and come last night at 19:30, all four footballers were once more assembled, squatting all over my lounge. That said, we were almost a member short when in an attempt to get out of the evening’s fixture, Karl splashed some particularly nasty chemicals on his face during a lab experiment gone wrong, causing us all undue panic and despair. Luckily it would seem that Karl is too tough a cookie for just any chemicals to permanently damage his eyes and as such he was present and counted for, even though he would periodically rub his eyes, call his sight blurry and blame his Masters students for robbing him of yet another goal when he shot straight at the keeper – again.
Actually despite their small handicap (Karl’s eyes, not his shooting ability. Wait, maybe his shooting ability too), Jeremy and Karl were on song, managing to put most of the games close to 50-50% possession and bringing down the number of shots at goal that Ryan and I were able to pull off quite substantially. Heck, they even managed to open the evening’s proceedings by forcing a draw!
Unfortunately though that is pretty much where it ended and they seemed unable to go any further. Apart from that first draw, Ryan and I completely dominated the rest of the proceedings, easily winning game after game with a variety of well worked goals that Ryan didn’t hesitate to put in the back of the net. For some strange reason my playmaker skills were on fire last night, setting up goal after goal opportunity for Ryan to pounce on. And although I didn’t put as many in the back of the net as what Ryan did, I did score some sublime free kick goals that were more than enough to make the night a success for me. Of course, I do feel that I have to mention one particular hiding specifically where we had them by the short and curlies so bad that we were forced to abandon the game at 6-0 just to keep them from leaving for good!
Despite their dastardly tactics of trying to put me off by diverting my attention with tons of small talk, switching from England to another team and Jeremy sneakily moving the chips ever closer to me, Ryan and I managed to hold on and once more beat their pants off by the time the night’s festivities had ended – sorry guys, better luck next time! Though if I look at the number of empty packets of chips and cooldrink strewn around the flat, I am not exactly sure just who the eventual loser of the evening was…
Oh, and as an extra little warm-up bonus to the night’s activities, I also managed to get them all limbered up before the big game by getting them to help me take down a big rack box in the lounge! Thankfully we managed this without putting anyone’s eye out or dropping it on anybody’s foot. I think.
So that is that and FIFA Foursomes at 706 Antoon Benning are now officially closed. Hopefully we’ll organise a new venue in the future because as Jeremy puts it, this has been quite a fun way to de-stress in the evenings and have a good excuse to chow as many chips as a person’s stomach can hold!
Ah, another night of fantastic four-way football had dawned upon us come Monday evening. After a hasty call to arms late Friday afternoon, the lads all responded favourably and come the end of the weekend, all four of us were once again hunkered down around my television, cooldrink and chips firmly within our grasp.
The increased threat level that Karl and Jeremy now bring to the table means that I can no longer pick teams by simply choosing a random colour (sorry Patricia) but instead Ryan is now left to choose decent enough teams to give us a fair chance against the might of Jeremy and Karl’s long ball England. That said, in a shocking first, Karl and Jeremy played the larger percentage of the evening with teams other than that of their trusty old red and white cross lads. In fact, it was only towards the end of the evening in the hopes of winning a game that the boys finally switched to their old stalwarts of Rooney and Owen.
That said and done, Ryan and I were truly on song last night. We did not lose or draw a single games, winning the majority of the games by at least a three goal margin (in fact the first three games were all won 4-1 in our favour) and only struggling a little in the last two or three outings when our fingers must have gotten a little greasy thanks to all the chips we were consuming.
Of course, it is not that Jeremy and Karl didn’t put up a decent fight mind you. They worked some exquisite goals, making good use of some nifty through passes as well as scoring a sublime free kick goal and an excellent header goal off a corner kick (the only goal to come off a corner in fact), and I am pretty sure that not a single game went by without them scoring at least one goal.
Unfortunately for them (and despite their tactic of keeping my attention off the games by making me chat throughout the night) Ryan had an absolute blinder of an evening, scoring a host of goals and setting up even more nifty chances for me to score off as well. Actually, I scored quite a number of glorious goals too I’ll let you know, it is just that all my good work was quickly undone by an absolute howler of an own-goal I managed to score, literally running the ball the length of the defensive square right into the back of my own net. Talk about embarrassing! (And for some or other reason Ryan wasn’t quite as impressed with my accuracy in that goal as what I was)
Feeling intimidated by the mounting losses, Karl tried to sneak off early, mumbling something about work and a curfew set by Patricia, which I promptly overthrew by calling Patricia up and asking her if we could hold on to Mr Storbeck for a little while longer. As it was, it turned out to be their best chance at winning or drawing a game for the evening as come 90 minutes we were neck and neck at 3 goals apiece. Thankfully though a complete and utter blunder by Jeremy in the dying seconds of the game saw me snatch up an easy loose ball and blast it home to take the game as the whistle blew! Sorry boys, better luck next time.
So for the first time in ages, Ryan and I can swagger proudly in the knowledge that at last we can claim to be unbeatable (until the next time of course!) As always, thanks to all the guys for showing and better luck next time – I suggest distracting me with Easter eggs just in case you guys are looking for a new strategy (Just ask Terrance how effective they are!)
And as is the norm, after K and J left, Ryan asked for a couple of quick games of FIFA 08 to cap the night off, which strangely enough, saw us score 7 goals in 3 games, a personal record for the two of us. Unfortunately for him though, he lost overall seeing that I took our first game 2-1 (the other two were both 1-1 draws). Maybe next time Ryan… or you could just try the Easter egg trick that I’ve just suggested to Karl and Jeremy! :P