Tag Archives: leisure

Birthday party!

Party girls

When I blogged about Altydgedacht Wine Estate after our recent wine tasting expedition, I had no idea that we'd soon be back for another birthday party. A friend of ours invited us, along with about 25 of her other friends, to celebrate her 30th birthday at the estate... and boy, were we impressed. The venue was beautifully prepared, the food was exquisite, the wine just great and the service impeccable.

We had an awesome time partying the night away between two rows of absolutely huge wine barrels, and the great thing about the venue was that because we were far away from any neighbours, we could play the music as loudly as we liked without having to be considerate.

Thanks for an awesome evening!

Let me at that Digger Loader

Digger Loader

Boys love toys - really we do. Give any guy the chance to play with one of these and I guarantee you that they'd jump at it. Imagine using a few of these for team-building exercises! Speaking from a guy's perspective, it would be fantastically awesome to have a couple of hours to drive one of these puppies around, being able to just dig up huge amounts of soil.

Okay, to be fair, perhaps one would have to go for a lesson or two - but, given enough space, I'm sure that they're not that difficult to work out!

I'm interested to know how many of our female readers would like to play digger-loader digger-loader. Guys, feel free to answer too, but I'm fairly sure that for the most part I know the answer. Ladies, how would you like to spend a few hours fiddling with one of these toys?

Lung cancer, sharks and SCUBA divers

Diving in a Shark Tank

The words cancer and shark evoke a common reaction in many people. Both induce a sense of fear. Lung cancer is one of the most difficult forms of the illness to treat, but, however dire the situation, it would seem as though it is treatable.

The two ladies in the photo, Leni White and Teresa Renier, are in fact lung cancer survivors! What makes them special is that even though most doctors would strongly caution against SCUBA diving after beating lung cancer - these two ladies still dive, with no apparent ill effects.

The two ladies, having beaten cancer, took on the other fearsome challenge in support of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, when they dropped themselves into a tank of sharks at Cape Town's Two Oceans Aquarium. Although they were understandably a little nervous, all went well and they left the tank heroes in their own right. Read more about their story here, in BizCommunity's medical news section.

Disclaimer: Kerry-Anne and I are not in the medical field and don't suggest that you should do anything without consulting your physician first. If you've survived lung cancer and would like to dive, please consult your physician and, as Leni and Teresa do, understand the risks.

Another view for a clue

Another view from the room

Here's another visual clue to the location of our friend's house, mentioned in our previous post. Isn't this view just divine? Even though it's quite a distance to travel from here through to the city centre for meetings or social events, I can just imagine that coming home to this heavenly picture makes all that driving seem somewhat insignificant.

And then, of course, there's always the possibility of spotting a whale frolicking in the surf...

A room with a view

Room with a view

This weekend we visited a friend of ours who lives on the other side of the planet. At least it seemed that way, given the distance we had to drive to reach her house.

I have to say, the trip was entirely worth it though, for this is the view that greeted us when we arrived. The small seaside village that our friend calls home has plenty of holiday houses, and isn't too far away from Cape Point.

You'll win a great deal of respect if you can guess the name of the village from just this description and the photo above. Have a try - where does she live?

The play-park roundabout

Roundabout in the play-park

Have you ever been on one of these? Have you ever been spun around so fast that you've eventually just fallen off because you were unable to hold on any longer? Have you ever felt nauseous while being spun around at a million miles per hour?

Kerry-Anne loves spinning things. She loves things that make ordinary people nauseous. It's almost as though someone removed her inner-ear so that she's impervious to that which makes many (i.e. me) turn green.

We have several play-parks close to our house, so kids don't have to go far to play. Sadly, the days of allowing your young kids to play alone in these parks are kinda over, so it's actually seldom that we see kids playing on these. I guess kids today spend time playing on their Wii or XBox... which (I think) is sad. I hold a lot of memories of playing outside, doing all kinds of weird things away from home. I can't imagine that the kids of today would in years to come have memories of a particularly difficult XBox game that they cracked, or a particularly tricky level that they achieved on the Wii.

Is this cynical? Perhaps. :)

Wheelchair-friendly hiking trail

Wheelchair-friendly hiking trail

I don't know exactly when this sign was put up at the top of Tygerberg Hill, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't there back in 2002 when I was, in fact, pushed up the hill in a wheelchair.

Allow me to take you on a little trip down memory lane. I sustained an unfortunate moshing-related injury at my graduation party in April 2002 - I tore a ligament in my knee and ended up on crutches for 6 weeks (and believe it or not, there was absolutely NO alcohol involved in this incident).

Sometime during those 6 weeks, our friends Nicholas and Chanel phoned us up one Sunday and suggested that we all go up Tygerberg Hill for a picnic. Of course, hiking up the hill on crutches, while not at all impossible, was going to be annoyingly slow and extremely tiring. So, ever resourceful, Nicholas borrowed a wheelchair from one of his family members (yup, apparently there are people who have spare wheelchairs lying around :P), and the three of them took turns pushing me up the hill in it.

It's a memory I really treasure - particularly since we lost Nicholas to a stop-street-jumping truck driver in May 2004. Paul's dad's recent heart-attack scare reminded me once again of how fragile we are, and how important it is to build up a storehouse of memories for the future. What are you doing today to make memories with the people you love?

Belly-dancing teacher extraordinaire

Tenille from Feminine Divine

There's a cynical statement that says that people become teachers because they're not able to actually do whatever it is that they teach in practice. Tenille (in this photo) is the founder of and teacher at the Feminine Divine Oriental Dance Studio where Kerry-Anne attends classes, and I'm confident in saying that she both teaches and practises what she teaches like a pro.

Kerry-Anne's progress from her own unique... erm... style, to the performance delivered on Saturday (in only a couple of months) simply has to be proof of this! In fact, all round, the performances delivered by the (approximately) 200 dancing divas was worthy of a standing ovation.

I mentioned in my previous two posts that I've been working on photos from Saturday's show. Finally, I'm done. If you'd like to see the 200 best shots of the day, visit the photo album here... and please, don't forget to comment on photos that you think are simply awesome. :)

Feminine Divine Annual Studio Show

Cane Dance

The day of the long-awaited Feminine Divine Studio show eventually arrived. Kerry-Anne, and the rest of the dance studio, had spent months practising an assortment of belly-dance styles, and making costumes to match.

This is only the first sample of the photos to come (I'm busy working through the 500 photos I shot!); this genteel yet slightly cheeky cane dance was performed by the studio's teachers towards the end of the show. All in all, the show was spectacular, and I guess can be summed up in the words of Anais Nin (taken from the Feminine Divine website): "There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.".

GeekDinner at The Pasta Factory

GeekDinner at The Pasta Factory

This month's GeekDinner was held at The Pasta Factory, a restaurant in Park Road, Cape Town. We really enjoyed the venue - it was open, people could hear and see the speaker easily and it was easy to mingle with other geeks and wannabe geeks. :)

The talks ranged from Joe's talk on spectrum (as in wi-fi spectrum) and how we need to conserve and optimally use it, to the viciously entertaining slideshow karaoke by Elodie on how to charge batteries using other batteries. (In slideshow karaoke, the "victim" has to give a talk based on someone else's set of slides, which they've never seen before. The results are always rather amusing, as you can imagine.)

All in all we had a great evening - helped along by plenty of good wine (kindly sponsored by Delheim), as well as a few J├Ągermeister shots. ;)

Don’t breathe out

Boa Constrictor

Apart from the album that I've uploaded, this is the last of the photos that I'll post from our visit to The Giraffe House. Boa Constrictors aren't native to Africa, but I thought that I'd post this photo because the snake show/educational was so interesting. I'm not a parent, but what was nice was that the snake handler in the photo engaged with and invited kids forward to touch and hold snakes - yup, even this large Boa Constrictor.

One of the interesting things that I learned was that Boa Constrictors are often kept as pets and each year several owners are killed by their friendly slithery snakes. Boas are classified as constrictors, and contrary to what you may think, they don't actually crush their prey, they suffocate it. Each time the animal (or... erm... human) breathes out, the reptile tightens its grip so that the prey is unable to fill its lungs properly. Eventually the victim is unable to catch a breath and suffocates. So... DON'T BREATHE OUT! :)

One of the other interesting things that we were taught is that if a snake is coloured with red, yellow and black, the rule of thumb is that if the red scales touch the black scales then the snake isn't poisonous [*see edit below], but if red touches yellow... you should probably back off. The handy rhyme goes:

"Red touching black - poison lack; red touching yellow will kill a fellow."

EDIT: Please see my the comment below which corrects what I understood the handler was meant by red/black and red/yellow.

My humps

Camel in the Cape

Pete (that's our name for the camel we found at The Giraffe House) is a Bactrian camel - meaning that this fellow is of the two-humped variety.

The Bactrian Camel is apparently one of only two species of camel, the other being the Arabian, or Dromedary, camel. What I found interesting is that there are only very few camels in the world that are not domesticated. The weirdest thing of all is that it seems as though the camel is the only land mammel able to drink salt water without suffering ill effects!

One of the fun things you can do in Cape Town is to take a ride on a camel: Imhoff Farm offers short rides around the farm as well as a 2-hour-long "Bush Ride", which I hear is loads of fun.

If you've ever taken a ride on the Imhoff Farm camels, please leave a comment and tell us what your experience was like (as well as any tips that one may find useful on a 2-hour-long camel ride!). The only camel ride Kerry-Anne and I have taken was a short one on an Arabian camel while on honeymoon many years ago.

The Giraffe House – a real giraffe in Cape Town!

The Giraffe House

Not only does The Giraffe House have this bouncy plastic giraffe (don't you love his smile? :) ), but they have a real one too! Right here in Cape Town, just down the road from Stellenbosch! I did catch a few (well, actually plenty of) shots of the tall and timid animal, but that I'll show you in Monday's post.

We've been meaning to visit The Giraffe House for some time now, so when we were given the choice of going to our godchild's 6th birthday party HERE or a "boring adult cake-and-tea"... erm... there was no contest. Definitely, The Giraffe House! The cool thing about the place was that they don't only have a giraffe, but also an assortment of other animals, some of which I'll show you on Tuesday and perhaps Wednesday.

Thanks, Ethan, for having a birthday and convincing your mom to take us all to The Giraffe House!

Worldwide Photo Walk, Cape Town

Nelson Mandela

As many of you will probably know, today is Nelson Mandela's ninety-first birthday. Co-incidentally, it's also the day on which groups of photographers took to the streets of their towns and cities armed with cameras, to take part in the second global Worldwide Photo Walk.

After our late night at Wakame, I momentarily regretted signing up for the walk, as it meant getting up in time to meet the rest of the group near the planetarium in Cape Town at 8am. But somehow I dragged myself out of bed, drove through to town, and met up with a group of about 20 photographers. We spent the next two to three hours walking the streets of Cape Town, spending quite some time in the well-known open-air St George's Mall. In retrospect I was glad that I didn't bail on the outing - the weather was fantastic, the other photographers were friendly and fun, and there were almost too many great opportunities for photos.

We'll be posting more of the photos from the walk over the next few days; but for now, let me close by wishing you, Madiba, a happy birthday and brilliant next year!

Stormwater drains

Man hole cover

Ever since I was a kid I've been curious to know what lies beneath holes like these. When I was young I remember playing in stormwater pipes not far from my parents' home. I remember walking below the streets watching people pass by from beneath the drains in the road. Fortunately for my brother, sister and friends we had sense enough not to play in the tunnels when rain was imminent, but still, I sometimes shudder at the danger we put ourselves in. Not only was there the possibility of being trapped by some kind of freakish flood, but there could have easily been freakish people wandering the tunnels too.

A few years after leaving home, I noticed that the municipality had erected heavy iron grids in front of the entrances. I do hope this was in response to residents' complaints, and not as a result of some unfortunate incident. To be honest however, I suspect it was because the cops got tired of chasing baddies down the tunnels! :)

Flying high

Paragliding over Table Bay

Although this photo was taken on Sunday, today's weather was pretty much the same; I thought it appropriate to share this photo because it gives two clues as to something fun I'll be doing early tomorrow morning... before heading off to work. Have a guess, and remember, I did say two clues. :)

Today is Kerry-Anne's birthday and at this stage she's received so many messages from people on Facebook, Twitter, on her cell phone, and in her mailbox that she's spent the whole day just getting through them all. I never knew that she knew so many people! So, believe me, if she hasn't yet responded to your message, it's not because she's ignoring you.

Thanks to the people who've contributed to the "Drummer-girl project" that I started for Kerry-Anne; we're up to R700 already! One of the contributors even offered to let her use his electronic drumkit every now and again! Why didn't I think of that!? An electronic kit with headphones! ;)

Lego – fun for all ages

Lego, fun for all ages

Come on now, admit it, everyone loves playing with Lego... don't they? After chatting with several friends who have kids I've decided that guys (and perhaps a few girls) have kids only so that they can justify buying Lego. I believe that our stand-in photographer Mandy has no kids and is unashamedly a Lego-lover (which is why we have this photo today!).

An interesting thing that I discovered from the Wikipedia article on Lego is that Ole Kirk Christiansen, Lego's inventor, actually used a patented design by Hilary Harry Fisher Page called Kiddicraft. Kiddicraft was developed in the 1930s, while Lego materialised in the 1940s. Lego (due to its remarkable success) eventually succeeded in purchasing the rights to Kiddicraft in 1981.

Aren't we all lucky that Ole "leveraged" the Kiddicraft design? Were it not for this small part of history, it's possible that millions would never have experienced the joy of Lego!

A safe way to hire a Jet Ski

Jet Skiing in Melkbos

Jet Skiing is one of those sports that I think many people would love to try, but either it's too expensive, or they live too far away from the ocean and its waves to make one of these water bikes a worthwhile investment.

I'm sure many people know that you can hire a Jet Ski for the odd bit of fooling around, but what's always bothered me with this is that jet skis are dangerous and I don't know how to read the ocean - I do know that it's not something to toy with, though. A colleague of mine, who rides his jet ski regularly, told me of an incident where he helped someone who had paralysed themselves by landing incorrectly after jumping the ski... that's not a place I'd like to be!

But there is another option if you're visiting Cape Town and would like to take a tour of the coastline on a jet ski (and want to drive the machine yourself). Bugaloo Adventures have a Seafari jet ski package for R600 that puts you on a jet ski with a guide on a separate ski. The guide rides alongside you, keeping one eye on the ocean and one eye on you to make sure you're staying safe, and helps you learn how to ride the ski. It's a pretty cool idea, don't you think? I'm just waiting for Bugaloo to offer us a free ride, so that we can review the actual experience! :D

To help us out while we're on vacation, today's photo was taken by Bennie Vivier - the guy who, when I started getting into photography, was kind enough teach me about the subtle technical aspects of the art.

Where to buy tyre swings

Tyre swings for sale

At the end of last month I posted a photo of a swing made from an old car tyre. Today I happened to spot a road-side vendor selling these tyre swings pretty close to where I live. Don't you think it's far better to put these tyres to use as a swing than to have them lie about polluting the environment? I just wish that they would make swings for big people. Perhaps some old 4x4 tyres would work nicely... heh, one could even have a premium-class swing made from BMW run-flat tyres! :D

I didn't think of it at the time, but I should have asked the vendor (sitting in the far right corner of the photo) how much these cost. I can't believe that they would be expensive, so if anyone is interested, leave a comment and I'll stop by to find out for you.

If you'd like one for your kids (or even for someone else's), you'll find this vendor just up the road from the Stodels Nursery in Bellville. I've marked it here on Wikimapia.

Why not consider buying two of these and some tough rope, and then setting them up in a field or forest somewhere where someone would use them? You'd support the vendor and possibly make some kids (or skinny big people) happy at the same time... the butterfly effect, you know! :)

BenRiach Whisky

Benriach's 16-year old Cape of Storms whisky
I'm not sure how many of our readers drink whisky, but if you do, then you'll understand when I say that our evening out at a whisky tasting was fantastic... especially when the BenRiach guys served up, amongst others, their finest 20-year-old!

The BenRiach Distillery in Scotland was first established in 1898, and only 5 years ago purchased from the Chivas Brothers by three entrepreneurs, two of whom were South Africans... which is how I imagine this bottle of 16-year-old gold received its name. In total we tasted five bottles, ranging from the 20-year-old, to a fine 10-year-old (which I actually enjoyed more that the 20 year old).

The most interesting things that I learned from the evening were (a) that a "single malt" is a whisky that comes from a single distillery and is made from a single type of malted grain, and (b) that most of BenRiach's casks (the barrels in which the whisky matures) are second-hand bourbon casks purchased mostly from the USA (thank you, Jack Daniel's!). :)

Yola: Synthasite rebooted – the ftv launch party

The Yola launch party at ftv

You may recall us mentioning Synthasite, a Cape Town Internet startup company making it big in San Francisco. Passing the 2 million user mark, and comfortably heading to 3 million, Synthasite has outgrown its name and was recently rebranded as Yola... a free platform on which novices and pros can comfortably build websites from scratch (well, not actually from scratch... rather using the online tools and building blocks made from scratch by the Yola developers!).

The party was plenty of fun - we saw loads of people that we hadn't seen for some time, met a few people we hadn't met before, ate a few snacks and drank a few drinks, danced for a while and generally had a pretty good evening. If you have a spare moment, visit our gallery section where I posted a few extra photos taken at the launch. :)

Playpark tyre swings

Play park tyre swings

I'm not sure if it's a specifically South African thing, but check these swings out. Which brightspark (and I do mean that) thought of turning a car tyre inside out and fashioning a bucket-like swing seat from it? Most playpark swings I come across in and around Cape Town seem to use these kind of seats... the only difficulty with them is that if you're all grown up, and if the tyre was from a small vehicle, it's kinda difficult to get it off your butt once you've plopped in. :D

I used Google Image Search to see if I could find swings like this in other countries. I have to admit that I only checked the first four pages of results, but what was interesting was that the only similar ones that I found appear to have originated from South Africa. Others were full tyres tied to a rope... which is cool, but just not the same. ;)

On the topic of swings, check out the cartoonstock.com cartoon depicting the dangers of installing swings in high-density housing areas.

Party in a jukebox

Jukebox playlist

A fun thing to do for a party is to hire an old-fashioned jukebox... and I imagine that a fun thing to do during the summer holidays in Cape Town would be to hire a jukebox for a few days. :) I hired one for a party a couple of years ago, and it was a blast - quite literally.

These days the only boxes that you can hire are fitted with hard drives containing hundreds of MP3 tracks. I'd love to find one of these babies that still uses LPs. I guess that finding one, especially in a public place, would be nearly impossible. Please leave a comment if you know of a genuine jukebox that plays genuine LPs. We may just have to visit! :)

Playpark slide for big kids

Playpark slide for big kids
I remember posting a photo of a Jungle Gym late last year. At the time one of our readers from the USA commented on the fact that they used to have metal and wooden Jungle Gyms too, but that these had been replaced with plastic ones as it was believed that the others were a health hazard. Another reader commented that he had once damaged his windpipe on one. However, the common thread running throughout the comments was that Jungle Gyms are fun!

So naturally I was excited to spot this hybrid of a Jungle Gym crossed with a slide. I came to a screeching halt when I noticed it on my way home from work - to get a few photos of course. The awesome thing that I discovered about this slide is that it was made with kids like me in mind. It's big enough that it doesn't make me feel like a giant - not only the stairs and the landing spot at the top, but also the slide itself.

After taking a few photos from the top, I tested the slide.... and by Jove, I fitted! It wasn't one of those annoying plastic slides, it was genuine stainless steel, and was wide enough that the sides didn't act as brakes to slow my descent! It was phenomenal! (And I guess that after reading this Kerry-Anne will want to be taken there to try it out :) ).

Cape Town on sale

Lorry on the highway

I can't understand why some people think of Cape Town as a cold, wet, windy and depressing place during winter. Sure, we have our periods of grey, and our fair share of cats and dogs (proverbially speaking). The converse is also true, however; many of our winter days are as this day - sunny, warm(ish) and beautifully clear. On these days, the sky seems crisper and cleaner, and it's a privilege to be living in one of the world's most beautiful cities.

Now that I've painted this pretty picture of our perfect peninsula, let me explain the title of today's post. Each year Cape Town Tourism runs a discount promotion whereby both visitors and locals can take advantage of cheaper rates for an assortment of activities and accommodation. From the website, it looks like the season starts on 25 May, only a few days away. So, if you are planning on visiting between 25 May and 25 September, then remember to visit the Cape Town On Sale website to check for any bargain opportunities!

Eric Cloete, Cape Town’s very own accordion player

Eric and his Accordion

We snuck away from the belly dancing for an hour or so to grab some lunch at one of our favourite spots, Pastis. When I heard the gentle strains of an accordion starting up as we were ordering our food, I almost jumped out of my seat in glee.

If you've read our About Us page, then you'll know that I was inspired to start Cape Town Daily Photo as a result of my many visits to Eric Tenin's Paris Daily Photo. And I started visiting Paris Daily Photo because we'd visited Paris itself in 2006, and had utterly fallen in love with the city.

Eric Cloete has been playing the accordion since the age of 10. He performs at all kinds of events around the Cape, but incredibly, it was the first time we'd seen or heard him. He stopped at our table for a few minutes, and, when we mentioned how much we loved Amelie, he played us a couple of pieces from the movie. It couldn't have been better - perfect weather, lovely food, me all dressed up in my pretty belly dancing clothes, and a surprise reminder of our second-favourite city in the world. Just one more Cape Town experience to file under "Special Moments". ;-)

Visit Eric's website to read more about him, and follow his blog to find out where he'll be playing next. Also keep an eye out for his CD, Accordion Music of the World.

David Newton and a well-meaning proctologist

Comedian, David Newton

Kerry-Anne posted about David's show at On Broadway a few weeks back (while I was away on a business trip). I got a chance to see him performing last night and, as you might have guessed if you saw yesterday's post, I took my mom and dad along to the show as well. As it turns out, Kerry-Anne was right: David's comedy show was insanely funny (click the link to see more photos of the show).

We sat at a large table with a few strangers, and enjoyed a pretty good and reasonably priced meal. After dinner we kicked back to watch, amongst other things, David relate in great detail his experience when visiting a proctologist (which is what what you see happening in the photo above). Only a comedian can turn a topic so... erm... uncomfortable (in all senses of the word) into an evening of hilarity.

"This year I have taken on 'Colorectal Cancer' as my Corporate & Social Responsibility/ Investment Project because, let's be honest, it's a pain in the ass and no one seems to want to talk about it...so I'm gonna." - David Newton.

Good job David, best of luck with your upcoming trip to the USA, and thanks to Matrix Ads for inviting me!


GeekCricket action

Regular readers will know that I've been to quite a lot of cricket lately. This particular game was a little different, though. This wasn't a test match, or an ODI, or even a Pro20 game.

No, this was GeekCricket - a glorious opportunity for those of us not playing to spend a whole morning laughing at our friends. Actually, these guys did surprisingly well for a bunch of amateurs, and I got the feeling that this might just become a more regular event. I hope so, anyway.

I got bullied gently coaxed into keeping score for part of the match, with a real scoring book and all. *excitement* Given that this is GEEKCricket, though, I sincerely hope someone will write a little piece of software to make scoring simpler next time around. ;-)

You can read a few updates on the game here, and see a whole lot of photos here.

Our wedding anniversary

The Sanctuary Spa

Today Kerry-Anne and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. We married fairly young and have been together for quite some time... so here's the challenge to you: leave a comment and guess how many years we've been married. (Hey, family and friends who know, shhhh..... ;) ).

So we normally don't do anything extravagant for our anniversary, but since I missed last year's one due to a business trip (*cough*) to Vegas, I realised that I'd have to make up for it this year. Since I'd like to keep the length of this post within reason, I'll tell you about the main highlight and fill you in about the breakfast, lunch and afternoon parts of our day next week.

We've never been to a health spa; I knew that Kerry-Anne would love it, and since I'm such a *cough* confident guy, I figured that I could put aside my bravado and join my lady for a couple of hours at a spa. So, I did what any smart guy would do and called a (female) friend for some advice. She recommended the Sanctuary Spa at the Twelve Apostles Hotel as "the best spa in Cape Town". And, although we're not experts in the field, she may have been right - the spa was pretty awesome.

We started off our skin rejuvenation journey in something called the Rasul Chamber. You first use some kind of coarse salt (I think) to exfoliate, and then apply a layer of clay (which looks much like real white potting clay)... followed by (yes, guys) a face and hair mask! The chamber then filled with dense steam for about 30 minutes before a fine rain began falling from the ceiling, washing off the products clinging to our skin.

Once we were done in the chamber, we headed off to the flotation pool, then sat in the warm spa bath for about half an hour, enjoying (part of) a bottle of sparkling wine.

At about 12h30 we were taken outside, up to the gazebos (seen in this photo) for an hour-long Swedish massage... which was divine. The gazebos have glass walls that allow you to see the ocean while you're in the room, and the sound of birds twittering and chirping in the surrounding bushes was incredibly relaxing.

I'd love to go into more detail about the experience, but time and the word-count of this post are against me. To get back to the introductory paragraph then, let's hear it: how many years do you think we've been married for?

Every day is a braai day

Braai fire

A weekend isn't really a weekend in Cape Town if it doesn't include at least one braai, is it? We had ours last night, with a couple of really good friends that we hadn't seen for a while.

If you're not familiar with the workings of a braai (which is kind of like a barbecue, just better :P ), here's a fairly typical description of what takes place:

Guests arrive, bringing meat (steak, lamb chops, sosaties and boerewors are the most popular choices) and drinks (beer is almost mandatory, at least for the guys, but red wine is a favourite too, and if you're in the northern suburbs then it's Klippies and Coke, of course). It's customary for each guest or couple to bring a side dish or a packet of chips, or even dessert - and this is usually arranged with the host beforehand. In our case, our hosts had told us not to bring anything, so we took them some easter eggs and sparkling grape juice instead. It's just not polite to arrive empty-handed. :)

Most of the time, you'll find the women in the kitchen for at least part of the evening, while the men are outside... um... tending the fire... or something. They make it seem terribly important, anyhow. It's a funny thing, because I'm sure that most of us girls could braai the meat if we wanted to, but this is one area of our lives where gender roles seem to have stuck. And you know what? I think we're all pretty okay with that.

So the guys cook the meat, while the girls get all the other bits and pieces set out on the table or the kitchen counter (potato salad, Greek salad, noodle salad, corn-on-the-cob, braaied mushrooms, and garlic bread are a few of the most common side dishes you'll see), and once the meat is cooked, everyone helps themselves, drinks are replenished, and we sit down together (outside if it's still warm enough - or, at some of the braais I've been to, even if it isn't) and eat until we can eat no more.

Bet you're hungry now, aren't you?