Thursday, 8 March 2007

Bridesmaids, bikes and buffets

I’m in a bit of a foul mood today and in a bid to avoid working (which I generally do at all costs) I thought I’d update my blog - an exercise long overdue.

So anyway, a lot has happened over the last few weeks - some of it rather blog-worthy. Yet sadly, and in spite of all my (ahem) BEST INTENTIONS, I haven’t had the chance to sit down and write anything until now. (Pathetic but true.) So this will be the condensed version of some cool things that went down recently.

To start off with, I recently found myself camping in unseasonably wet weather at the BMW Bike Club weekend away. Yes, you read right... prissy princess me spent the weekend with leather clad biker boys (and girls) and it was (surprisingly) brilliant! Like I said, it started off on a really wet note, with me hurtling down the N1 in very unpleasant weather - Destination Unknown. Well, not entirely unknown. I knew I was heading somewhere towards Paarl... (to be specific) a wine farm called Nelson’s Creek. I knew it was the BMW Bike Club weekend away. And I most certainly knew that in spite of the anti-rain dance I had done earlier in the day - I was going to get a little soggy over the weekend. Not entirely looking forward to spending Friday night in a tent, I arrived at my destination with frayed nerves (just not a fan of driving in the rain) and looking forward to sampling the red wine. And I wasn’t disappointed. As the wine flowed, I soon forgot about the rainy weather and my slightly leaky tent and by the time my head hit th
e pillow many hours later, I drifted off to a lovely sleep in The Great Outdoors. The next morning, we (my friend Karen and I) saw the bikers off as they went on their different drives, after which we got in my car and headed towards the nearest wine farm. After a rather long drive which involved many wrong turns and unfamiliar territory (a polite way of saying we were very, very lost) we ended up very close to Nelson’s Creek - at a gorgeous wine farm by the name of Fairview. If you ever have the opportunity to pay this place a visit, you won’t be disappointed. (Apart from their famous cheese and wine, they also have the most bizarre goat turret!) We had a decadent cheese platter for lunch which, topped with crisp wine, was possibly the very best lunch I have ever had the pleasure to eat. Mmmmmm... yum!

Later in the day, back at ‘camp’ we watched the GS (or X something) Challenge, which basically involved an obstacle course and the guys showing off to see who’s the most agile on their bikes. I must say, it was very, very impressive - good to watch. The evening ended with a large buffet dinner and dance that felt very much like a wedding, sans a bridal party! There was lots of food, flowing wine, fairly cheesy band and the usual drunken festiveness that make wedding receptions famous. In all a great evening with lots of interesting people, good chats and laughing. Towards the end, general silliness reigned supreme, and I knew it was time to hit the ol’ tent when I caught myself frolicking around the dance floor (along with a few others) pretending to be a pretty ballerina. Pretty, I’m sure, it was not!

I left early the next morning, (not out of shame as you may think but rather because I had some early lunch plans) with an entirely new respect for the biking fraternity. Mind you, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill bikes - they’re BMW bikes. (Gasp. Ooh. Aah.) Esteemed prince of mechanical steeds. So a degree of class was to be expected. But what did surprise me was the different types of people I met - varying in age, background and outlook. Really interesting. And most of all, the passion these guys have for biking is almost tangible. I was a little jealous they had realised their passion and were able to enjoy it on a regular basis. That’s pretty rare. Anyway, bottom line - next time you’re invited to a weekend away with the BMW Bike Club - say yes.

10th Design Indaba at the CTICC

A couple of weeks after my foray into the biking world, I was lucky enough to attend the Design Indaba, held in Cape Town at the CTICC. This was the first time I attended the Indaba and I was really stunned in oh-so-many-ways. Spanning over three days, the Indaba consisted of numerous talks by some of the world’s most impressive creatives - from creative directors to cartoonists, architects to artists. For the most part, each speaker was riveting, with the exception of maybe one or two. (Mr. Frere-Jones may have contributed numerous fonts to the global collection, but listening to him describe how to design a font just didn’t rock my world.) Guys that stood out were Alistair King (creative director of King James), Brian Eno (who needs no introduction), Hella Jongerius (a Dutch product designer), Jaime Hayon (brilliant industrial designer and artist), Jurgen Bey (product designer with a really beautiful take on life), Keith Helfet (who’s designed a couple of Jaguars in his time), Paul Davis (interesting and outspoken illustrator), Milton Glaser (artist who, among others, coined the phrase/logo I New York and designed a famous Bob Dylan poster) and Zapiro (brilliant, contraversial newspaper cartoonist), who earned himself a standing ovation. In all, very, very, ├╝ber-very inspiring. I also swung by the expo a couple of times and saw a lot of amazing stuff on offer. Most of it was too pricey for me but I ended up buying two beautiful candle holders from Light from Africa (a foundation that raises funds and facilitates skill development as well as job creation. Sales of their pieces benefit the artists and communities affected by HIV / Aids.) I also loved, loved, loved Hennie Meyer’s ceramic blocks. After a quick Google search, it appears his trademark pieces are bizarre but beautifully crafted ceramic teapots (sadly, not on show at the expo). The blocks blew me away but alas were too expensive for my lowly copywriter salary. Pity. Heath Nash’s lamp shades also caught my eye, as did the various jewellery collections on show. Anyway, enough perving over expensive material objects I can’t afford...

Hennie Meyer ceramic blocks

Those pretty much are the two major highlights of the last few weeks, though on a more personal note, Nicola (one of my best friends) is getting married and asked me to be one of her bridesmaids, along with Karen and Nicky. It’s such an honour and very exciting. The wedding is in January and there’s lots to be done, (including embarking on a radical weight-loss programme, because let’s face it, no one wants a chubby bridesmaid!) so the next few months are bound to be busy. They’re such a great bunch of girls - I’m really looking forward to it all.

Well, that’s my bit for now. I’ve successfully used up the last bit of what has been a tedious and dull work day. Time to head home now and start preparing my abused liver for tonight’s book club and the weekend ahead.

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