Friday, 30 January 2009

The good, the bad and the downright nasty

I’ve noticed many of you bloggers out there post lists. Lists of good things that happened. Lists of good thoughts. Lists of positive stuff. Lists of really nice, feel-good stuff. And I really dig that kind of thing, especially in keeping with my ‘positive’ outlook for 2009. But ultimately, there’s a tormented realist deep inside of me who can’t help but point out that lists of crappy things are also easy to make. Sorry, but it’s true. I’m thinking this calls for a bit of balance so please indulge me in my own list. A list of the good, the bad and the downright nasty. (By the way, you should know upfront that this has been a bit of a shite week, as you’ll see in my list, but now that the weekend is almost here, I expect a full recovery.) Anyhoo, here we go (starting with the good stuff)…

Sunshiney stuff that makes me happy:

1. I went for a walk on the beach at Big Bay on Saturday, followed by lunch in Simon’s Town. It was a stunning day, though the morning was a bit foggy. After the walk, I had an ice-cream for breakfast – as did my buddy and her doggies. Ah, it’s the simple things that make life good, don’t you think?

2. On Sunday, I joined some of my favourite people at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens for a picnic while enjoying a sundowner concert. Prime Circle was playing and the place was packed, but it didn’t detract from the beauty of Kirstenbosch. Nestled in the shadow of Table Mountain it’s the perfect setting to end off a stellar weekend.

3. I’m really, really happy Obama has begun his term and is already making important and long over-due changes. Never mind all the hype, I believe he’ll have a positive effect on the U.S., which in itself, will impact on the rest of us. More so, though, I’m glad George Bush is OUTTA THERE. And not a minute too soon. I’m also looking forward to our S.A. elections, and I hope Cope gives the ANC a good run for their money. Though some of their party candidates are less than impressive, they’re no where near as bad as Jacob Zuma (Umshimi Wami – bring me my machine gun) or Winnie Mandela. Yikes. Oops, dangerously close to the bad stuff here. Will quit while I’m ahead.

4. Friends of mine are organising tickets for us to watch As You Like It at
Maynardville’s Open Air Theatre. Shakespeare at Maynardville is another annual Cape Town tradition that’s a must do. Mmmm… hot chocolate, warm blanket and a play by the esteemed bard.

5. If the wind isn’t howling next Thursday, I’m heading up Table Mountain. By cable car, of course. Not by foot, that would be ridiculous. ;) I’m really looking forward to it. Champagne, camembert and crackers… maybe some dark chocolate for dessert. Yum!

Bad-ass stuff that makes me sad:

1. So it would seem my beloved landlord (who is a genuinely nice guy, by the way) hasn’t been paying his rates bill for the last few months, and so on Monday I came home to a love letter from the municipality who are threatening to cut off my water and electricity if he doesn’t pay it soon. Now you can lead a horse to water but that doesn’t mean Mr Ed is going to have a drink, and so I’ve been a little anxious about the LL not getting in touch with them and paying his dues. After all, me sitting in the dark, all thirsty, wouldn’t bug him much but it would definitely piss me off. So now we wait to see who wins the race. The landlord or the municipality. I know whose side I’m on.

2. My trusty kettle is officially kaput. This happened on Tuesday. I’m sure I don’t need to spell this out for you, but I will anyway. It means no C_A_F_F_E_I_N_E. This is a very bad thing, both for me and anyone who I encounter in the morning. Grrrrr…

3. My car broke down on Wednesday night. Again. Sigh. Half an hour away from home, and my car reverts to only two gears. Third and fourth. Amazing how many intersections there are between Table View and the southern suburbs. I’m proud to say I never stalled once, though I certainly revved the hell out of my poor little chariot. Suffice to say, if my car was a horse, it would’ve been shot many moons back. (Humanely, of course.) But with the economy as it is, a new car just isn’t an option right now. But there’s a happy ending this time. Amazingly, my car has already been fixed, in just one day. And for nothing! So I’m mobile again! (Could everyone please touch wood.)

4. I recently got a rather in-depth update on an ex who seems to be living quite happily without me. Come on, guys. We’ve been over this before. After we’ve dated you’re supposed to be so heart-broken that you (a) join a monastery (b) turn gay or (c) spend at least a few years pining away for me. Sheesh…What’s up with that moving on stuff? And if you’re so happy, the least you can do is return my picnic basket and my cooler box and my Scrabble set and my mountain bike and my alarm clock…

Downright nasty stuff that makes me mad:

1. Last night, there was a Lindsay Lohan movie on the telly. I don’t know what it’s called, but it gave a whole new meaning to crap. (Okay, so maybe this doesn’t exactly make me mad, but it’s too crappy to go under the ‘bad’ list.) To be fair, I’m not a fan of Ms Lohan’s to begin with, but I saw Mean Girls. And enjoyed it, but that’s only because Tina Fey is brilliant! Nope, this one sucks. In it, she’s a victim of some warped serial killer but somehow survives, though the same can’t be said for all her limbs. Eeuw. Now she’s in some sort of denial where she thinks she’s someone else and can’t recall what happened to her. Trust me, it’s not a good movie and if at any time you’re standing at Blockbuster holding a DVD box in your hands with a similar synopsis written on the back, PUT IT DOWN and move away. Slowly.

2. ‘Trying to find parking for Sunday’s sundowner concert at Kirstenbosch led me across the path a rather nasty biatch. Searching up and down the parking lot, I found a bay next to which a car was really badly parked, as in parked across two bays. But the driver was still sitting in the car so I jumped out of mine to ask her if she would mind moving over just a squidge, so I could park in the bay next to her. Her answer was a dead-pan ‘no’, because she was keeping the bays for friends who were coming later. I told I didn’t think that was very fair (it wasn’t!) and she just looked my in the eye and said “’Sorry for you”. I could feel my Hulk complex kicking in and so I stomped away before I turned bright green and smacked her (fat) ass. 25 Minutes later I found parking. Six blocks away.
And that’s it for my list. You like? Apologies for it being so long-winded, but I don’t often make lists. If I ever do one again, I promise to make it a whole lot shorter. Now I have to run. (Not literally. I’m off for Friday after-work drinks!) TTFN.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Be still my beating heart

I have taken a new lover.

Yes, it's true. Diemersfontein Pinotage, and it's everything I've ever looked for in a wine. Dark and lovely, it has overtones of (get this) coffee and CHOCOLATE! And it's not like those poncy wine descriptions... you really can taste a hint of chocolate. And in a beautiful red wine, that is very special thing.

It's by no means a new wine and in fact, I suspect I'm one of the last few people on the planet to discover it. Which is especially surpising considering how deeply in love I am in with red wine and chocolate. But better late than never. I was introduced to it at the Nose Bar on Wednesday night. Strange name for a great little restaurant slash wine bar in Cape Town's trendy Cape Quarter. I've been there before, on a blind date, but going back with one of my favourite gal pals was much more fun. And we certainly made the most of the extensive wine menu on offer. A glass of this and a glass of that before scoffing down a delicious cheese platter. OH MY GOD. Yum. And then for dessert, some of the above-metioned chocolatey-wine loveliness. (Yes, I like to drink my dessert.) To be fair, I woke up the next morning with a head stuffed with cotton-wool but it was worth all that delicious wine.

Unfortunately, Diemersfontein Wine Estate is in Wellington, which is a little far from where I live. Pity, but perhaps that's a good thing. It improves my chances of general sobriety and ability to be a relatively 'high'-functioning individual. It retails at about R70 a bottle from the wine farm itself (and is about the same price from Makro), which is a fair bit pricier than the regular plonk I feast on at braais and other social get-togethers. (And keep in mind, that R70 is the wine farm price. Restaurants have the ridiculous habit of adding a ginormous mark-up. Very uncool.) Regardless, the Diemersfontein Pinotage is wonderfully quaffable and worth every cent it sells for, though I'll definitely be saving it for more 'civilised' occasions!

So spread the news. Belinda Carlisle was right. Heaven really is a place on Earth. And it's called Diemersfontein Wine Estate. (Can you also hear the angels singing?)

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Well, look who's back!

Me, that's who.

Yup, five hours in to my first day back at the office and let me tell you, I'm taking strain. No more morning visits to the beach followed by a late breakfast, no more long leisurely wine-flavoured lunches, no more Dr Phil and Oprah, no more lazing in my garden with a book. Oh, how sad.

It wasn't particularly easy to haul my butt out of bed this morning. Coincidentally, or perhaps not so much, my butt is showing the after-effects of all that festive munching and drinking and so today not only marks my first day back in the (gag) office but also my first day back at gym. At least, that's the intention.

To be honest though, I'm actually feeling quite optimistic about the new year and all the goals I want to achieve by next December. Some certainly seem more doable than others but I'm feeling psyched, so watch this space! So in spite of feeling the effect of those 'back in the office blues' I'm sure they will pass. And starting back on a Tuesday means a shorter week. Woohoo.

I had a pretty cool holiday too. 'Went to an awesome 'Dusk Till Dawn' New Years Eve party. Other than that, spent time with friends and family. Even went horse riding on Noordhoek beach on Friday. That was great but it left me walking like a cowboy for the next couple of days. Anyway, more on the holiday stuff later. For now, Happy New Year everyone. I hope it's a goodie for both you and me! :)

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