23 March 2007

The one with 6 days to go

Breakfast is a smoothie (made by Abraham) and a view of Table Mountain. This morning it was a case of "Kloof Street in the mist" and I had neither smoothie nor mountain view. Autumn in Cape Town is my favorite season: it starts to rain more, the air gets a crispy bite and the students at upper campus start to cover more skin and wear less flip flops. I am going to admit that my TDL is in a depressing state and I cannot blog about my failure to wipe urgent matters of the list.

22 March 2007

The one with 7 days to go

Pfizer sponsored my TO DO LIST. It's a Viagra Feel Alive plastic writing board. Here in the Pharmacology Division, all items sponsored by pharmaceutical companies are frowned upon - even those really nice pens (often referred to as "reptile" pens). Anyway... There is one less thing to do (MCC submission: done... check!) but then I added the NONMEM literature to the list. Also, I now have an International Student Identification Card and collected my airplane tickets. Its so rare to actually have a printed ticket now that you can fly with a eticket or just a credit card and ID. Today I also realised that I am dressing to casually and will dig up my white coat and start to walk really fast down the corridors with my white coat flapping and my stethoscope swinging around my neck. Oh, the joys of being a doctor!

21 March 2007

The one about the fire on Signal Hill

Three helicopters were used to fight the fire on Signal Hill last Saturday. Our apartment is below their flight path to refil the waterbags at the reservoir at the bottom of De Waal Park. In the picture you can see one coming in for a refil and another tiny spec dumping water on the fire.

The about the rainbow city

I think it was Desmond Tutu who referred to South Africans as the rainbow nation. Cape Town is often referred to as the gay capital of Africa and the international gay symbol is a rainbow. On Saturday I saw a complete double rainbow in Cape Town and it was spectacular. The rainbow seemed to end near the roof of the Tamboerskloof Dutch Reformed Church. What a scary idea!

The one with 8 days to go

Time is rushing by and so much has still to happen before I leave for Sweden next week. On the urgent "To do NOW" list there is a new clinical trial submission to the Medicines Control Council, my PhD proposal, a journal article, three sections of the 8th edition of the South African Medicines Formulary to edit, monitoring reports of my visits to the SEACAT sites in Limpopo en Mpumalanga provinces, two reviews for the university ethics committee and there are still 154 of 170 CDs of complete Mozart Edition that I haven't listen to yet. Today is a public holiday and I am blogging from my office. My desk is a mine field of documents and and coffee cups. Clearing my desk is, however, not on my list of things to do.

11 March 2007

The one about changes on Kloof Street

In the past few weeks I have noticed the following changes on Kloof Street:

1. Maestro's are closed. I noticed this a few weeks ago. Alex Fokkens introduced me to their baked cheese cake way back in 1994.
2. The early bird breakfast at Arnold's is now R8.
3. The Kodak shop at the entrance of the Kloof Centre is closing down.
4. The Woolworths food store is being enlarged - a positive change.

5. The Grill is advertising a new menu - but still looks pretty empty to me.

09 March 2007

The one about Frank Lloyd et al

South Africa hosted the 2006 International Horn Society Symposium in Cape Town. Although this was almost 9 months ago I finally managed to track down the recordings of the concerts. Windworx played an arrangement of the Schumann Konzertstuck for four horns with some of the world's greatest horn players. The soloists were Frank Lloyd, Bruno Schneider, Jeff Snedeker and Geoffrey Winter. All the concerts were recorded and in my opinion Geoffrey Winter's performance of the Concerto for Horn, Winds and Percussion by Machala (with Windworx) is the best recording.

Frank Lloyd's interpretation of Interstellar Call (Messiaen) was an exhibition of French Horn gymnastics that left the audiance stunned and begging for more. On the CDs there are a number of other recordings of Frank Lloyd's performances: Horn concerto by Förster, Double horn concerto by Haydn (with Bruno Schneider) [with a slow movement in E-flat minor which was absolute hell for the orchestra], Espana for solo horn (Buyabovsky), three pieces from the Little Suite by Borodin and Naturel for solo horn (Pousseur). I stopped playing horn in 1991 and switched to bass (basically because it suited my temperament better and caused less physical pain) but after hearing Prof Lloyd playing I must admit that I longed to blow a note or two.

08 March 2007

The one about a breakfast on Bree

Tamara invited me to breakfast at her secret place. We arranged to meet at 07:03, but I was late and only arrived at 07:07 due to a facial scrub emergency [out with Nivea; in with the Body Shop]. "A slice of Bree" is a sandwich heaven just of Buiten Singel (that very San Franciscoesque street connecting Oranje and Buitengracht streets). There are four items on the breakfast menu: a croissant, a full house croissant, a croissant with scramble egg and a croissant with scrambled eggs and bacon. We discussed life (mine) and TK's dinner with Tom and Jerry. Tonight might be a dear diary moment for TK - so let's all hold thumbs.

06 March 2007

The one with the visitors from George

I just love Mondays! Many may find this strange. It’s just that if the brown stuff hits the fan on Friday, you are in trouble (read: screwed); if it happens on a Monday you have enough time to deal with the problem or to delegate the brown stuff...

My brother, Louis, and his wife, Suzette, stayed with us during the weekend. They stopped over en route from Durban and George. Louis is my oldest brother. He left home when I was 16 and I believe the reason for our amicable relationship is based on the fact that weren't in each other's way during our early adult years.

Louis and Suzette were not the only visitors from George. Callie and Jeanne decided to drive up on Friday and were staying in a friend’s apartment a few blocks up Kloof Street. We met up at symphony concert in the Baxter (a long story) and had a late dinner at Arnolds. The photo was taken during breakfast on Sunday. I made (!) French toast... a major achievement, I know ;-)

Please note: there is no real maple syrup in Cape Town. I search high (and low). This is a sad state of affairs. French toast and crispy bacon (Louis showed me how to BAKE bacon) is just not the same without maple syrup.