Three . . . two . . . One . . Launching Jedland

Taking a deep breath, here we go then. My novel Jedland is now available from Amazon. I always thought you needed a Kindle to read kindle books, but nope, there is a lovely little Kindle App that can be downloaded to smartphones, laptops, iPads etc etc. I only learnt this a short while ago myself,  and now I spend many a night annoying my hubby as I read from my phone while he’s trying to sleep. Something about the light he says. I don’t know what his problem is, the light is bright enough for me!  

Hope you will take a look and if you enjoy it please would you let your friends know.

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20 years on and taking a leap of faith with Jedland

Unbelievably, this past weekend I celebrated 20 years of working. And if that’s not enough to contemplate, then how about working at the same place, for that complete 20 years?  

I’d like to say I’m at a loss for words as to why I’ve stayed so long, but I can’t, because the reason is easy, the people. They make me laugh, they give me lock jaw from grinding my teeth, but mostly they’ve carried me through life’s happy days, and. . . the not so happy days. 

That said, there is one special person I have to mention, and that person be my bestie Natty. Natty and I have worked together for the whole 20 years, and I have to say she has kept me going throughout. She’s been there when I’ve wanted to lob my laptop over the balcony . . . with or without a colleague attached, as well enduring my jabbering on at lunch time, and of course laughing with me, and no doubt at me, on oh so many occasions.  Thank you Natty, you are the greatest :)

So 20 years on, and now is the time to take a leap of faith. And as I’m a bit of a comfort zone girl, reasonably happy to fly under the radar so to speak, this is a biggie for me.  I’m going to publish my novel – Jedland – on Amazon kindle. I love this book. I think it’s a little gem and I hope everybody else will love it to. Not sure if I should have a fanfare and popping of bubbles, or if the press need to be invited, we will see.

I leave you today with a big smile and a watch this space :) 

 

 

 

Sleep deprivation and knickers inside out

video: Courtesy YouTube

How do you know when you’ve not had enough sleep? Well for me the signs are pretty darn obvious, with this morning being toothpaste on the wrong side of the brush, and knickers on inside out.

With that in mind my best remedy is to turn my car into a moving juke box, as in crank up the music and hit the tarmac. I have one song – Tears for Fears – Everybody wants to rule the world – that I blast myself awake with, and before you know it my steering wheel is a drum set, my seat becomes a bit of a trampoline and the paintwork seems to beam with happiness. Singing happens, but the less I say about that the better.

No doubt many, many people who live close to Newlands Rugby Stadium will have heard it as I pulled up to swipe my tag into the parking this morning, music still blaring. If you did, I can only but say, hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

a trifle mess

At this very moment I am watching Oz Masterchef contestants making Heston Blumenthal’s Jubilee Trifle. And boy, are they having some trouble.  That blast chiller is sure going to be in great demand . . .  and between you and me I’m egging on Kelty and Noleen to be shipped home . . . even before their jelly is set.  Shame man, I don’t dislike them, I just don’t want either of them to win. 

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photo from: tenplay.com.au

The magic Heston puts into this dish is amazing. I think if given the chance to visit and eat at one of his restaurants I would do so.  He is so clever, and he also seems like a nice bloke, which can’t be all that bad. If anybody has eaten there, I’d really like to hear about it, if not only to weep and turn green with envy.

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photo source: Sydney Morning Herald – on line version

My memories of trifle are Christmas based. A whacking big glass bowl of sponge, tin fruit, red jelly, bright yellow custard, whipped and thick fresh cream, and at times either cherries or hundreds and thousands to decorate.  I can still hear that glug, that sound of suction as the spoon lifted a portion out, dolloping it into a bowl.  Pure delight.  

I can’t remember making one myself, but I’ve certainly had a few over the years, and most of them have not been good. Runny custard, not enough jelly, no fruit, and artificial cream – yuk!

How about you, any tips for a great one, or stories of a bad ‘un?  What about sherry, do you put it in? I think we had it in ours, but I can’t be sure. 

All these memories have me thinking about other childhood puddings I loved to enjoy, mostly for sunday lunch, after a plate of roast meats and divine roast potatoes.  Here are a few of my favourites:

  • Spotty Dick
  • Bread and Butter Pudding
  • Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Apple and Blackberry Crumble
  • Apple and Blackberry Pie
  • Baked Alaska
  • Arctic Roll
  • Treacle Pudding
  • Egg Custard
  • Bakewell Tart

         —————————————————— fill in the blank please

A-ha, Yellow team won the Heston Trifle challenge.  Tomorrow they cook-off against Heston himself. If I was them I’d phone in sick

Kalk Bay, chilled coffee and a whole lot of clutter

In my previous post I mentioned hubby and I would be taking a trip to Kalk Bay on Sunday.  And who’d have thought we could have picked such a beautiful day?  Stunning blue sky, major heat, vibey shops, amazing eateries, and as expected plenty of good folk just generally enjoying a special Sunday Morning.

I took some photos and thought I’d share a few things that caught my eye. Who knows, maybe this coming weekend you’ll take a trip there yourself. And for those far, far away, maybe keep it in mind when you visit Cape Town one day.

This is a lovely little deli, open about 5 months now, forming part of the Kalk Bay Books building

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These don’t need a lot of introduction, other than to offer a thought of where they may have travelled

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A whole lot of who knows what

 

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Located next to Kalk Bay Train Station

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Question time

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Can you see the sea beyond the train station?

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Peering down a side road

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Bit more clutter

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Stopped off here, sat at a table on the pavement for a chilled coffee

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Pretty nice place to be

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And finally, how about having this little man in the house?

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what you doing?

Anybody doing anything nice this weekend? Heading off hiking, wine tasting, shopping, wedding, sharpening your teeth or finding a way out of not eating haggis for Sunday lunch?

So far I’ve hit the shops this morning and almost purchased an Apple Mac Air, could well be heading back tomorrow to do so. Anybody have thoughts on this lightweight piece of hardware? Then tonight hubby and I are out for supper to 95 Keerom.  Not been there before, but have heard good things. For a change I think I’ll pull on something nice to wear and splatter some makeup on my face, not that either will make eating any easier that is. 

Tomorrow (Sunday) we are heading to Kalk Bay for a mooch around the shops, my main interest being the junk, err sorry, Antique shops where I can have a good old giggle at some of the things on sale. Aren’t you constantly amazed at the price of items that must have originated from the ark, but are now labelled as distressed?  Distressed being a euphemism for if you want to be chic you need to buy this NOW. Might even stop off for a bit of breakfast if I’m lucky.

What’s your favourite Kalk Bay place to visit?  I used to really enjoy the Brass Bell, but feel the vibe has changed with the many additions been added. There was something really wonderful about watching the sea crash against the rocks as you sat in the main restaurant munching.

Cape to Cuba, been there a couple of times, really love the quirky décor there, the food is not bad either, but hubby isn’t mad on it.  Oh yes and what about Harbour House. Spent several evenings there enjoying the winter special, and a few weekend lunches too I might add.  And of course who could forget Olympia Café, one of the most popular places on the planet. 

Ok, this is starting to feel like a tourist guide to eating places in Kalk Bay, so I will shut up now and end with a final place I like to visit Kalk Bay Books, one of the few remaining independent book sellers who don’t seem to mind you browsing.

So that’s me then, what you doing? Maybe I’ll bump into you somewhere?

 

 

 

 

 

Figaro and the need for a nudge to the shins

Have you ever been to the opera?  Pre November 2013 if you’d asked me the same question I would have responded rather physically by falling off my chair amidst laughter of note.  You wouldn’t be far wrong picturing me amongst  oxygen tanks, masks and extremely large vessels of smelling salts.

Post November though I can tell you I finally experienced that which I have been avoiding for longer than I have been able to walk unaided. Yes it is true, minus armfuls of popcorn, boiled sweets and cool drink with loads of ice and a very long straw, and fully at my own free will, I crossed the opera threshold.  I sat amongst those who can translate without sub-titles, and joyously managed to almost fall asleep only once. I sum this up with one word. Pride.  Come on now, you can’t fall asleep all that easily with several folk belting their hearts out a mere few rows before you!

My first experience then was to watch a local Cape Town production of what I like to call Figaro, but I think is really called The Barber of Seville. Please correct me at your will.  And before you ask, no I did not purchase a program to refer back to. I never do, much preferring to strain my neck to read over the shoulder of the person in the row before me.

This production was set in Cuba with the era being pretty modern, if you consider the days of Downton Abbey modern that is.  There was a distinct colonial feel to everything, but I’m prepared to accept this as a subjective interpretation. I don’t know why, but a drawing room full of greenery with folk sitting around in suits and waistcoats always gives me a stiff-upper lip in the tropics feel.

Well blow me down, if they hadn’t set up sub-titles for dim-wits like me to follow. And even better they were in English.  Very clever for those not versed in the old Italian lingo. It was sort of along the lines of the supermarket system where a streaming line of text advises you which teller to use, or provides hints on opening times etc.  The only difference being you didn’t shift seats every ten seconds or so.  Retrospectively that could have been quite fun actually. Imagine moving to the right every time somebody on stage sung “Figaro”. You could be out the door before the second act.

Despite the brilliance of the scrolling sub-titles, I did have one little problem with the system.  Yes, quite a few times the same words were repeated over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over . . . and over again. There was a point when I was tempted to seek out the maintenance man, or log a call with the opera help-desk to get the darn thing fixed.  I mean it seemed rather odd for e.g. “yes he did” to be repeated about twenty times, didn’t it?

Well clearly no it wasn’t, because I learnt during the interval this was in fact correct. And yes, the performer was supposed to be repeating the same line at different levels of decibels, while perfecting multiple arm extensions for far longer than is really needed to get a point across.  Jeepers, for those who could actually understand the words, it must have been akin to a stylus being stuck on a record.  You could imagine the need to leopard crawl onto the stage, your intention being to provide Figaro with a hefty nudge to the back of his shins.

Jokes aside, I actually quite enjoyed it. The highlight for me being an elderly character who was either a drunk old codger, or a sound asleep one. Either way he never seemed to move far from one chair to another, his head constantly slumped, and/or eyes floating around their sockets. Despite his non-staring role, he was hilarious, barely singing a word while brilliantly flopping here and there, completely in sync with the other characters, moving props as and when needed to work with the story.

Would I go again then? Yes I think I would, but maybe a more traditional version to see how they compare. I can’t say I was bowled over by the experience, but equally I wasn’t put off for life. How about you, ever been, liked it, loved it, hated it or indifferent?