15 minutes in the airport lounge

woman in white top and denim jeans sitting on red luggage bag
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

So, there I was, Cape Town airport lounge. Glass of bubbles emptied. Cranberries and cheese and a tiny brownie consumed. Now to wait. What to do?

TV has cricket on. BORING 101. Wondering how to switch to the WWE channel without being noticed. Quick check out of the immediate surroundings and no remote to be seen. Damn it. Now I can’t infuriate my fellow travellers with some overacting, angry faces, ripped bodies and terrible storylines, and a little bit of wrestling every now and again. Heavy sigh.

grayscale photography of wrestler on field
Photo by Mike González on Pexels.com

Instead, I find myself interested in fellow travellers. To my left and slightly behind there are a group of young people – probs about 6. Am I awful for hoping they aren’t on my flight? Nothing against them personally, only they are very happy and chatty when they could do with putting a sock in it – when sleep is calling that is.

Just behind them is a gent who filled his plate with grub, a bit like a squirrel prepping for winter. To the right is a slightly older couple, both plugged into their phones, an array of empty glasses close by.

Directly in front of me, a young gent is almost horizontal on his chair. To be fair he is quite tall, legs like an octopus, feet as large as an elephant. The chair is far too small for him, he needs a lounger. He too is plugged into a phone. He had a friend who has gone awol.

To my left, there is a gent clearly in the process of immigrating from South Africa. His phone is attached to his ear and his mouth is working ninety to the dozen trying to explain how he needs to sell his house and needs his original matric certificate and how he still thinks SA is for retirement, but can still go 50-50 in a property deal in SA if need be. He also shared a bit about somebody who is welcome to visit but not with somebody else. Now he is on ex-pat tax. Sell and invest apparently is the way to go. He is a thirsty chap, pouring tumblers of something down his gullet. Not surprising with all the chatter he is doing. For the love of all chatter, now he is advising on doing AirBnB. I think I need to check out what he is drinking. Oh no, he tells me, err sorry his caller, he is a family with no cousins – pass me a tissue I’m about to weep and sob my way onto my flight.

Flipping heck waiting for a flight is boring.  Not even people-watching is making it enjoyable. One thing that is evidently clear is the mobile phone/Cellphone has taken over life.

Mini rant – put the phone down and pick up a book. Because quite frankly I don’t give a flying hoot about your personal life. Keep it to yourself. Let’s go back to the old landline.

What do you do while waiting for a flight?

antique close up cord dial
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

15 minutes with Cape Town

So today, my ninth day in Cape Town, it is time to say farewell – for now. I’ll be back. You can’t keep me away.

Despite knowing my return will be soon, my heart is sore and it will be a tough one. Time to man-up, or should that be woman-up, and enjoy my family and diarise my arrival date once more. That’s the best way to deal with the goodbye, have a date of arrival up and ready.

Time here has been superb. Been out to a few nice places and ate far too much. The heat generally is a bit of a no-no, even when living here, but this visit it was a little too much too soon, no doubt after spending a LOT of time in the chilly old UK. Sweating, flipping heck, you’d think there was no liquid left in my body.

Went to Boschendal for lunch – love this place, can’t come here without going there. Stunning day, simple yet delicious food – baby marrow griddle cakes, poached egg, whipped goats cheese and a green salad with a tangy-sweet dressing, courtesy of The Deli. I did have a photo, but it’s crap. And of course a perfect, chilled glass of wine.

Went to the Mount Nelson for morning High Tea – oh my goodness, amazing food, amazing place, another favourite to visit when here. Here is a photo taken from The Nellies web – thank you Nellie. And yes, it is just like this image, if only you could scratch it and smell it.

nelson tea

Went to Protege in Franschhoek. Again, superb food, brilliantly hot day. We did the Reduced menu (4 courses), which was in all honesty too much for such a hot day, but you know what, if you are there, you’ve just got to do it! Had a nice glass of bubbles there too. Actually, I digress slightly, was with my daughter who was having her nails done at 10am at the Waterfront, Battery Park, when a lady came in, jeans, cap, long tresses, made up to the nines. “Would you like a drink,” the receptionist asked.

“Yes, please,” she said.

“Sparkling or still water,” the receptionist said.

“Oh,” the glam gal said. “Sparkling. Sparkling wine.”

A little chuckle to myself, but you know what if you’re offered, why not have it. Needless to say she enjoyed that glass of sparkling wine while being pampered, and quite honestly I would have taken the sparkling wine too.

Protégé+Food+18

photo borrowed from Protege – thank you Protege

Back to Protege. The reduced menu started with a plate of snacks, which were almost enough to not need another morsel to pass my lips. Again, I wish there was a photo of the food, but go look at the site to get an idea. Here is the menu:

SNACKS

Sourdough, chicken butter, biltong, olives, confit garlic

Edamame beans, sriracha and sesame

Korean fried chicken, coriander, buttermilk

STARTERS

 Miso seared Tuna, Spiced squid, crisp jalapeno, avocado

OR

Beetroot Tart, smoked olive, semi-dried tomato, capers, sage, goats cheese

OR

Kerala style Kingklip, labneh, pickles, curried sultana

OR

Confit Pork roti, kimchi, miso aubergine, Ponzu mayonnaise, pickled cucumber

MAINS

 Cauliflower risotto, chermoula, dukkah

OR

Springbok loin, red cabbage, baby spinach, smoked pomme puree, stone fruit

OR

Linefish, salsa verde, sweetcorn, Cape Malay relish

Or

Karoo lamb rump, caponata, Jerusalem artichoke, herb soubise, Peri peri

DESSERT

 Cheese selection and homemade preserves

OR

Dark chocolate cocoa bean, peanut, pistachio and raspberry

OR

Mango, pineapple, coconut and meringue

One last stop to eat too much, La Belle for breakers at the Alphen. Last meal of indulgence before steamed fish and veggies becomes the norm for a few weeks.

la belle

Photo borrowed from La Belle at The Alphen– Constantia – thank you La Belle

So there you are, loads of food, there were other places too only these were the highlights.

What else is good while here? Well I feel healthier, happier and more creative. Hmm, so how can I get around all that back in the UK? Good question, and one to ponder. Only not today. Nope, noppity-no, today is about enjoying and being with the people I love.

Au Revoir Cape Town . . . see you again soon.

 

 

I won’t miss

This stuff

biltong 1

 

Biltong will NOT be on my list of “I will miss” when we leave South Africa.

If you’ve never had or heard of it, this brown looking stuff is dried, cured meat. There’s probably more to it than just being cured meat, but you know what, I really don’t want to know.

South African’s love this meaty stuff, with many a young one being given a stick of it to chew, long before they can walk, and I suspect can speak, which would have them refusing point blank to hold it, let alone munch on it.

Anyway, you can serve it up all nicely and give me wine, but no, no, no, not going past my lips

biltong 2

 

#memory

Ticking off something on my to-do-list

I don’t really have a bucket list, but something I have long wanted to do is parasailing. So when we arrived in Mauritius I sidled up to hubby and said I wouldn’t mind giving it a go. He said go for it, and that is exactly what I did.

On the day, Hubby had very strict instructions to aim the camera and just keep clicking! And because with many digital’s these days you can’t see anything in the screen, and hubby was thinking I might dump him in the sea if he didn’t get some happy snappies, he readied the camera, by his ear, waiting to hear the click that would confirm photo’s were being taken. I think he did OK 🙂

I’ve created my first gallery here and hoping it works!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We are launched with an excerpt and a poll

Super thrilled, A Good Wife has now been released. Below is a short excerpt to tease and entice you to read further.

cover for smashwords

 

Gloria pulled a length of wool from beneath her arm, letting her eyes linger over the unopened lemon creams in her underwear drawer.

She placed her phone on the polished chest of drawers. “Georgie, are you having me on?” she said, selecting the loudspeaker functionality that would free her hands to crochet lilac loops. As a rule, she didn’t do handiwork. Her intention, though, was to distract herself from eating. Her waistline had thickened in the past ten years, and with mere months before turning sixty, she wasn’t about to give in to her body’s wish to explode, no matter how hard it was attempting to do so.

The hook worked effortlessly in breaking open the biscuit wrapper. Gloria took two. One was such an awkward quantity when it came to lemon creams. There was comfort and irony in knowing she’d kept to her latest diet’s golden rule, self-appointed, that is, of not touching, looking at, eating from, sobbing over, or even caressing the biscuit tin – or, for that matter, any lurking packets – for the next six weeks. Roger would be proud she’d kept to it. Not that he minded, or even mentioned her fuller figure . . . too often, that is. The main thing was, she wouldn’t have to lie – to herself or to him. That was the key to their marriage. No lies, no secrets.

“No, I’m not,” Georgie said, her voice rising before ending with a defining “t”.

Gloria was sure her neighbours were now in on the conversation. For not even the distance between houses, with their established foliage and aged trees filling the depths of manicured gardens, could contain Georgie’s heightened state.

“Gwen is dead,” Georgie repeated, “mid-morning, today.”

Gloria felt her body slumping. “That puts paid to our Kreef Bay weekend then.”

“Are you serious, Gloria? That’s all you’ve got to say?”

Gloria’s eyes flew open. “No. No. I mean. Of course it’s not. It’s just that, well, she was perfectly fine when I saw her yesterday. We’d met for a coffee at that new place in Rondebosch, Blossom’s. The reviews live up to reality, by the way. A mixture of modern and Victorian. A touch of flowery wallpaper and matching china. Amazing place, considering it’s along Main Road, next to that awful shoe repair bar. The brownies …” Gloria stopped to gasp “… I tried Gwen’s, only a corner, mind. You’ll love them—”

“Gloria!” Georgie interrupted, once again engaging the neighbours.

Gloria pulled a face. “Sorry. Yes, where was I? Oh yes. Gwen. Yes, later she popped in at the house to ask Roger to check over some paperwork; they were laughing together in his study. I left them to it. Don’t tell me it was her heart.” She brushed crumbs from the duvet. “I remember her telling me how she hoped her death would be dramatic, trampled by elephants while on safari – something like that. Are you sure she’s dead?”

Georgie’s voice sounded tired. “She was at her swimming class.”

Gloria needed her phone against her ear to continue this conversation. “Really? She couldn’t swim?”

“Gloria!”

“Didn’t anybody see her struggling in the deep end?”

“Gloria, you really are an insensitive cow. It’s no wonder Roger is away a couple of days a week.”

Gloria chose to ignore the jibe. “I think we should meet at Gwen’s house. Gwen-too and Mabel need our support. I can be there by eleven.”

“No. Gwen-too said wait until she’s ready.”

“Really? We’re practically family. There when she was born … powdered her bottom over the years. And Mabel’s.”

“Practically or not, she said she needed time alone. I’ll speak to you soon.”

Gloria sat with lilac loops in her lap. Gwen was dead. And she couldn’t swim? Gloria had been friends with Gwen and Georgie since college days, where they’d met, having simultaneously. . .

 

Let me out!

Earlier this year husband and I were in the UK, and after making the decision to not hire a car, we relied on public transport to get us around. For us, the chance to jump on and off trains and enjoy the local bus service as we sped across the country was pure delight. I don’t even need a hand to count the amount of times we’ve used a train, or a bus in South Africa.  We/I just don’t do it.

Anyway, mostly in the UK we were heading to places within a couple of hours of where we were staying. And while we were highly competent in boarding and disembarking with ease, due to automatic doors – aren’t they so clever? – and allowing people ahead to do the honours, one day it didn’t go to plan.

For the life of me, our destination that day has left me, but wherever it was the requirement was to change trains several times. Easy peasy lemon squeezy? Ah, no. Total embarrassment and hysteria more like.

So there we were loving the rocking motion of the train as green fields flew by, wooly sheep munched grass, cows moo-ched around, industrial areas tarnished the landscape, and let us not forget the occasional buffet car announcement regarding delightful snacks and hot drinks that to be fair should have been left behind, and never ever brought within an mile of the station.

The general rule of thumb with train trips, as we all know, is the train stops, you get off as fast as you can, as in max 1 or 2 minutes before they leave again, and then you run like a looney for your next train, arms flaying, face white, gums exposed as you fight for breath – erm, sorry, that’s probably just me. Failing this of course, you’ll be singing to the conductor on the platform “wish me luck as you wave me goodbye” because there is no way you’re getting off that train until the next station a gazillion miles away. Why you only get a minute of two before the train goes is beyond me. Do you think it has something to do with raising cardio levels for those with little time for the gym?

Well this particular day husband and I had thawed out – you do remember we were in the UK in Spring? –  we’d eaten a pretty darn awful bacon butty, washed it down with coffee strong enough to curl our toes, and sufficiently burnt our gullets in the process. I thought British Rail drinks were supposed to be lukewarm? Do you have to order it this way? You know sort of along the lines of having a skinny latte with wings, as opposed to requesting “coffee to go love please.”

Where were we? Yes, about to disembark. We were ready, tickets clutched in  hands. We smiled at each other, as we do when we know the sprint is about to take place, and headed to the door. Alone. Nobody else was in our carriage. I checked my ticket about 256 times to be sure we were getting off at the right station. We were. I checked it again.

Train stopped. Fellow travellers began to spill out of other carriages. Our door did not open. We looked at each other. Panic reared its head and I swear my bacon butty was readying itself to appear. Sweat began to form.

“Open the door.”

“I can’t.”

“Where’s the handle?”

“I don’t know.”

By now we were banging on the window, hands and fists, shouting for anybody to help us.

“Why won’t it open?”

“I don’t know, it just won’t.”

“We have to get off.”

“I know.”

“Is there a sign showing you how?”

“No”

“Open the window, try to use the handle outside.”

“How do you open the window?”

Teeth were bared and eyes were wide with fear.

Have you ever seen those crazy programs where people are trapped behind glass while everybody else stands there watching, nudging each other, pointing and rolling their eyes? Well let me tell you, it’s true, they really do do that. Even the conductor on the platform who was raising his whistle to send the train on its way.

“We’ve got to get off.” We continued to shout and bang and wave our tickets. We must have looked like right charlies.

“HELP!” we shouted, rather loudly. Anybody would have thought we were trying to escape a crazed loon.

Well I don’t know how long this went of for, but however long it was, it was too long. How either of us didn’t end up requiring oxygen is anybody’s business.

So how did we get out?

The bloody door opened by itself! I swear, we did nothing. There was the usual hiss and clunk and lo and behold we were free.

We bolted, hit the platform, laughed a little awkwardly and joined our fellow commuters as if nothing had even happened.

And what you may be asking did we learn from this?

Easy, we are a couple of idiots!

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

Image

 

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

Image

 

A whole lot of who knows what

 

Image

Located next to Kalk Bay Train Station

Image

Question time

Image

Can you see the sea beyond the train station?

Image

Peering down a side road

Image

Bit more clutter

Image

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

Image

Pretty nice place to be

Image

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

Image

 

 

The moon and the neighbours

Think I mentioned somewhere that hubby went away for the festive season – just checked him in for his return flight tomorrow night 🙂  Does anybody know if New Year Flights have any fun activities, bopping in the aisles or free Champagne?

Anyhoooooo, while he’s been away I’ve been in charge of the whole house, in and out.  What this means is I have to do all those jobs I gently suggest he do i.e. pick up the doggie poop, water the garden, sweep the leaves and water the garden.  I’ve quite enjoyed them…well maybe not the poopy bit, and have become a pro at dodging the sprinkler as I charge in, grab it and reposition.

Admittedly I did have a couple of mishaps, for instance I now know it’s probably not a good idea to switch the water off before removing one sprinkler device and attaching another.  I’m talking Wet T-Shirt champion here, clearly not for the body beneath, but rather the amount of water I can retain in my T-shirt.

I’ve also learnt how to attach the grass cutting bucket thing to the mower, which is a double first for me, because this is the very, very, first time I have ever, and I mean ever, mowed the lawn.  Now I’ve lived in a lot of houses so that says a lot. Do we put this down to hen-pecked hubby, or lazy-wife – may I suggest you choose your reply carefully!!!!!

So where does the moon and the neighbours fit into all of this?  Well part of the gardening chores includes dead-heading the roses, and true to form I’ve embraced this task.  Every day I clutch my scissors and pace up and down the rose bushes, eyes narrowed, itching to decapitate any dead looking blooms.  The other morning  I was a little distracted, and as women do began multi-tasking, as in, undressing for the shower, sweeping the floors and dead heading the roses.

Now bearing in mind dead heading can require bending, it may not have been a good idea to do this while I was partially clothed – blushes slightly.  The end result of this full moon incident is I now find my neighbours have suddenly shut windows and pulled down blinds.  Somewhat embarrassed I am hoping it’s all coincidental and I that will discover they are in fact away and not avoiding me … and a repeat performance.

I of course now find myself in a quandary, should I take a pound of mince pies around and hope they don’t slam the door in my face, or should I stay clear for a few months and let the image fade in their minds?  Oh, decisions, decisions…