30 December 2006

The one about the sunset in Wilderness

Braamie and I visited Denise in Wilderness to watch the sunset from her clifftop garden. My cellphone photograph does not do justice to the magnificent view.

20 December 2006

The one about Aggie's cleaning services

My parents make use of a specialised kitchen cleaning service. Aggie and her crew (I think it is her brother) pitched up at lunch time to make sure the kitchen floor is 100% clean. After pecking their way through the kitchen, they politely left without leaving a bill.

19 December 2006

The one where Abraham is not impressed

Abraham's impression of the Garden Route Mall.

The one where we are on route

Abraham is back from Iran. For good, this time. (Do I hear a communal sigh, "Finally"?) On our way to George, for our first holiday together, we visited Andrée's grandparents in Montagu. We were shown how the irrigation channels worked (unfortunately the water only arrived the next morning and we only saw slimy green gunk) and inspected their very impressive and extended vegetable and fruit garden. Good cuisine is in the van Zyl genes. Deon (Andrée's father) is a kitchen guru and now I know why.
We left Montagu to continue cruising down the R62, past Ronnie's Sex Shop (we were too early for a beer), and over the Garcia Pass to join the N2 at Riversdale. We arrived in George just in time to experience the yearly traffic jam in York Street. I am also sad to report that the beautiful geelhoutboom at the end of York street has died and has been replaced by a fancy Christmas pyramid. Viva George!

The one with a photo of Lion's Head

Another shot taken with my Nokia 6800 : Lion's Head as seen from my kitchen window.

15 December 2006

The one about the last concert of the year

I am free. No more concerts for 2006. This photo was taken by a clarinettist and feautes the bass section of Windworx. I am off to George and plan to expose myself do dangerous levels of sun light on Vic Bay for the next two weeks. But, alas, will the weather play along? As they used to ask in George: "What happens after two days of rain? Monday!"

The one where I am a gastrowhimp

When invited to dinner by Ushma, I asked her if (1) her mother is critical of her cooking, (2) if she can cater for people who cannot tolerate spicy food and (3) if she was aware of the fact that I am a critical bastard. She replied YES! to all three. In her invitation to dinner she stated that dishes for both "gastrowhimps and cement mixers" will be on the menu. In typical JS style I phone to apologise for being late - only to realise that I was actually 90 minutes early. I picked up some flowers, wine (The Italian Job) and Tamara. We arrived late but was the first to arrive. Helen was already there, but since she was staying with Ushma, that didn't count. The rest of the guests included Rudi, Jerusha, and Karen (the birthday girl).

I started with the milder dishes, but later could not resist the tempation to peck at the forbidden cement-mixer dishes. Melissa's provided the Belgian chocolate tart. After refrigerating the "to take home" left overs for 24 hours, I ate the vegetable curry cold. It was amazing to experience cold food that heat itself on the way down.

10 December 2006

The one where I regress

Today is Phumla's birthday. We planned brunch with three of her friends, Thenji, Pumza and Samela. I waited for them at Vida reading my book and took this picture of the Seattle Coffee Co. After brunch at Green's (I again had the Welsh Rarebit) , we drove to Mouille Point for some ice cream. This was my second visit to Greens within 12 hours. I had a drink at the bar after the Windworx concert last night. The bar is really comfortable and not too busy. The music is unobtrusive and you can actually have a conversation without developing a hoarse throat. They also stock single malts whiskies and I enjoyed ye olde dram tot of the Glenfiddich. Did you know that Glenfiddich has a South African web site?! During my last Highlands fling I ventured South to visit the distillery near Dufftown. I have very fond memories of Scotland. When you leave the distillery, there is always as sign at the gate reminding you to drive on the left side of the road.

09 December 2006

The one about Rosa's Bakery

Saturday started with a 1km swim. Having lost all my guilty feelings about straying from my diet, Janman introduced me to Rosa's bakery on Kortmarkstraat. For breakfast Jannie had two berry-filled Danish pastries and I had the pizza baguette and a chocolate croissant. This is the kind of bakery that even my mother would approve of. Jannie bought a loaf of Rosa's legendary rye bread and I will report back later. Bon appétit.

08 December 2006

The one about the picnic at Zevenwacht

The staff of the Lipid Clinic at Groote Schuur went for a picnic at Zevenwacht wine estate. The manor house was built in 1800 and is surrounded by lakes and sprawling lawns. The picnic baskets were well stocked and the food was delicious. As we were finishing our meal, mother duck and her gaggle of ducklings arrived. She skillfully directed them through the picnic basket obstacle course ("Watch out for the [duck] liver pâté!" and "Isn't that lettuce leave a bit too big, dear?").

07 December 2006

The one about Andrée's first day

Andrée van Zyl was born this morning. She was delivered via Caesarian section at 03:45 at Vincent Pallotti Hospital. She weighed 4.2kg. It's weird that this is the kind of detail people always want to know.
On my way to visit the proud parents at the hospital, I stopped at the Woolworth's near Great Westerford. I couldn't make up my mind which flowers to buy and asked the lady browsing the Christmas goodies in the opposite isle. She recommend the bright orange flowers in the sensible pot. And the reason: they would last longer. Now that is the kind of detail that I like to hear.

03 December 2006

The one about the white Christmas party

Marinus's White Christmas Party invitations were hand written and delivered via snail mail. No sms, no quick email: this man has style. The instructions were simple: wear white and bring a handmade Christmas tree decoration. I did manage to wear a white shirt and, in a last minute scramble, was able to find an incense holder and some incense in the kitchen cupboard. These were probably remnants of an earlier cohabitation era.
On arrival we were presented with alcohol soak fruit kebabs and a glass of punch. Our host then showed us the handmade (not by his hands, though) Christmas tree. The whole room was filled with polystyrene snow. Our flammable gift was then well isolated to avoid a potential disaster. We were truely amazed at the number of men who own (and wear) white pants.
Although, I do not enjoy parties, I met some interesting people and, for the first time, had to opportunity to wallow in snow.

01 December 2006

The one about Eunice Majali's last day

Eunice Majali has been my house keeper since moving to the city. She has been the angel responsible for my domestic sanity. Now her husband is rediscovering his tribal roots and Eunice is not allowed to work any more. She is a modern, independent woman and I believe that this is an injustice. But Eunice has a plan. It is all on the QT.