Friday, October 9, 2009

Here's pointing at you...






I have lived in Cape Town for five years and only recently (and shamefully) did I go visit one of the Cape’s greatest tourist attractions: Cape Point. If you have not heard of Cape Point, it is the famous spot where the two great oceans meet: the (cold) Atlantic and the (warm) Indian. It is also set in the midst of a lovely nature reserve and makes for a great weekend escape if you are looking for a bit of countryside with great waves…

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jade lounge

Jade Lounge and Bar is one of the most popular nightlife spots on the Greenpoint stretch (after the pink strip).
If you happen to walk in on a wednesday evening you could relax in a private corner and listen to a three-piece jazz band. This year they also played host to the very popular Levi's Vintage Sundays, which featured bands such as Prime Circle, Bed on Bricks, Dave Fergusen and many more...
But if you happen to walk in on a Friday or Saturday night expect this: Loads of people, No Under 23's, No entrance fee (a rarity on a weekend night in CT), Hot men and women, women and men who think they're hot, DJ's spinning out fabulous tracks and generally some crazy arse business as shown in the photo below.
(For the record I don't remember this photo being taken and it culd be a photo-shopping plot against me)


Can you say disco?

I found these glasses in a rather retro shop on Greenpoint main road. The disco balls have a weight – which keep the (very yellow) insect eye sunnies on!
Thoughts?

KINKy


If you're out on the town - looking for a 'pre-drinks' place before heading to that club, or just wanting to share a couple cocktails with the ladies, then this is the place for you… But be warned, it’s not for the conservative!
If you happen to stumble up the white staircase with arrows indication some kind of ‘shop’ – don’t expect to find ciggies or boerewors rolls.
A few of us found ourselves taking the stairs after a few drinks ‘went down like home-sick moles’ as my T likes to say.
What you can expect are an assortment of goodies such as karma sutra couches, whips, underwear (with more holes than I’d to know what to do with), gel-like liquids, lotions, and cutely-deceiving toys…
(App they pack away the big boys at night – but the shop is open all day too.)
But lets just say that (back downstairs), the music is good, barmen friendly and efficient and drinks at your standard Cape Town price.
I haven’t been back yet – but I do plan to return at some point in the near future

Address Stress

Let me just saying that moving house (well in my case moving ‘flat’) is a different type of stress, but a stress none-the-less. I have moved so many times, its hard to count them up. But while I am writing this, I might as well:

Welkom House
Gran’s House
Port Elizabeth House
Letsitele Valley House
Arbour Park House
Pompagalana House
Varsity Residence in Cape Town
Rosebank Flat
Kenilworth Flat
Kenilworth House
Port Alfred House
Greenpoint Flat
Seapoint Flat

I think that’s enough to last me a while.
I don’t share that luxury that others do having grown up as a child in the same neighbourhood until they go off to uni…

Luckily here in South Africa with the economic climate as it is, there are plenty of people doing what ever they can to make extra pennies.
I say ‘lucky’ because it just so happens that on this recent move, we found a guy with his bakkie and trailer who (with the help of two other helpers) moved all our stuff from storage unit in Somerset West and my stuff from Green point flat into my new two bedroom, two bathroom flat in Seapoint for a mere R600.
They were late, but I’ve never heard of movers being on time, and so began the trek from one apartment to the next. (I do hope to stay in this one for at least two years.)
The first night I barely slept, trying to adjust to the new noises (including those made by undesirables in the block towards the South who are farming what sounds like illegal immigrants and wannabe-cool-gangsters).
One of my lovely friends came around that evening with a warm curry, picnic plates and utensils… and of course a good bottle of Shiraz ☺
I can say that now my new home is looking much more 'unpacked' and homely (much neater than it does in the picture) – and I love it!

NEW PICS

I finally found the pictures I took of the IPL parade in April earlier this year...
If you have a mo - do go have a look and see which celebrities you can spot!
Story is titled: IPL Madness.
The parade went down Adderley street in the Cape Town CBD.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Caster's cries



Being in the magazine industry, and especially because I sit very close to the team who work on a certain running magazine, much of chat has been about our poor Caster Semenya.
The 18-year-old (remember back to what you were like at 18), who beat the world record in the Women’s 800m and thereafter had to face questions about her eligibility to compete as a woman.
By now most of you know that an Australian reporter leaked the results that were only due to be released in November (and kept private if Caster so wished).
From the beginning we discussed how potentially traumatic this must be for a young person, especially coming from a rural village in Northern SA. I sympathise as I too spent my younger years growing up in a rural area in Northern SA (well at least that’s what people in Cape Town think of Tzaneen ‘aka planet Zarnine’ – according to a certain friend).
It has now been reported that the young Caster has gone into hiding.
Can you blame her. I am not familiar with what tribe she is from, but most traditional black African tribal people adhere to strict traditions and are greatly shamed by many things. Especially regarding ones sexuality.
It is not unheard of that men in such communities are only regarded as men once they have gone to the ‘bush’ and had circumcision (performed by other dodgy tribal men), starved and had cruel beatings.
Some women feel they are no yet women unless they give birth to a child (and we already have so many pregnant 12, 13 and 14 year olds on the streets).
But these are tame traditional thoughts for people who believe that strange (free thinking) women are witches.
Imagine what it must be like to be both male and female and have this made public to the world.
Caster has gone into hiding and is receiving trauma counselling in the wake of claims that gender tests have shown she is a hermaphrodite.
International athletics officials have said their verdict will be delivered at the end of November but that the world champion is unlikely to be stripped of her Berlin medal.
WE are all particularly upset with the way our own Athletics officials have handled the whole saga from day 1.
You gotta love the incredible artwork and wit of SA cartoonist Zapiro..... (see att cartooon)...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Detective Hoskins at it again...



An eye witness account of a break in at 4am... it was quite scary!! (but cool)

BF and I hear this noise, which wakes us up – check the time – 3:50am this morning...
Then another noise – like a bang
BF gets up to look outside the window (coz it sounds like its coming from the road?) But he cant see anything.
We hear a crash sound, or a smash sound. I get up to look out the window too.
Then we see this car – looking very dodgy on the street next to Ultra liquors (see drawing)
The car was driving around the corner very slowly and stopped.
We saw two guys running in the premises by Ultra Liquor. By this stage the alarm started going off.. Pew pew pew booop booop booop....
We were like – no ways – what the hell is going on.
For some reason the sound carries really well to our flat.
Because of where we are positioned, we are the only ones that can see the premises. Trees block other people’s view.
The dodgy car reverses back down the road next to Ultra liquors.
Two guys jump back over the fence – towards the car, with a white bin bag size bag.
As they put the stuff in the boot, a policecar turns into the road.
I think the policecar was simply there on a routine check because it was too soon for someone to have called them.

So then the driver accelerates, the dudes scatter in different directions.
The police car chases the dodgy car.
Three minutes or so later more police cars are all over the place. Chubb (SECURITY COMPANY) only arrives about 10 minutes later.
By this stage there is a lot of excitement (Detective Hoskins and BF) and a lot of noise outside.
A bunch of police cars and the person managing the Ultra liquors park in the parking lot.
BF and I then debate whether we should report everything we saw etc.
So we decide to meet the police at Ultra and tell them about our eye witness account.
Real exciting stuff.
It took about an hour or so to give them our statement, for them to write it down etc.
From my bedroom window we could see in which directions the other guys ran.
Great thing though -
They caught the driver!
The dodgy car was not a stolen one and did in fact belong to the driver.
The manager at Ultra gave us a couple red bulls.
(it was now about 6am)
The robbers had stolen (or attempted to steal) cartons of cigarettes... Light to carry and worth about R250 a pop these days.
But these were recovered.
Many more cigarette cartons were in a duvet cover in the shop – abandoned.

It's been too long...

It has really been too long since I last wrote!!
Well you see,
it’s because I have been on trial for a murder case…

Ok – I knew you wouldn’t buy that

It’s because I had a baby…
Ok – anyone that actually knows me will laugh this off

It’s because…
…..
……….
computer says no…

YES – one of the reasons is because I have spent too much time watching ‘Little Britain’ recently – it’s great!!!

The truth is: I have been really busy (I know we all say this) and lazy (less of us admit to this)...

I have been on numerous adventures, which definitely deserve some space – most notably the latest adventure of Detective Hoskins…

But please understand, I am currently in a temporary office space, which resembles something from the First World War trenches.

Ok - it's not that bad. But it's messy, cramped and some days it gets so hot I know my colleagues are considering suicide... via window jumping (we're on the 16th).

On that note – Cape Town has been experiencing the strangest 'winter'.

My newish flat mate (German guy - not so new anymore) is only in South Africa for three months, which unfortunately for him is over our winter period. But it might as well be summer the way the sun has been shining and the warm weather we’ve had. Last time I checked Cape Town wasn't in the KwaZulu of Natal (the only warm place in SA during winter).
All I am hoping is that it lasts!

We are having a bit of an overcast day today, and apparently it gets worse ¬–it’s chasing me all the way up to Port Alfred this weekend!
I am going up to the ‘P of A’ for wedding and taking my new 1920’s chic dress with me – so that I can look ”GORJUSS”…
But more on that after the wkd…
We have some catching up to do!

A

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson - dead - really this time.. ???


So even though Wikipedia says he died in 2007 at the age of 65 (totally untrue)
He infact died last night due to a cardiac arrest at the age of 50.

Admittedly he was a bit of a weirdo, but he was also legendary in many ways and his impact on the musc industry was one which only people dream of making.

Here are some quick facts on what happened last night:

Pop singer Michael Jackson was reported to have died on Thursday in Los Angeles, California. Multiple sources confirmed the 50 year old Jackson died. He had been rushed from his home to UCLA Medical Center in what a source said was a coma, and was later pronounced dead at the Hospital. Authorities said they were called to Jackson's home at about 12:30 PM Pacific Time.

Well... i know some people who were planning to go to these concerts... they are in mourning today.

Is it just me, or does anyone else get the sneaky feeling this is all one media ploy... or a jackson ployy.. so MJ can live out the rest of his life in peace?????
you never know...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cheese and wine pairing - what goes with what


Cheese and wine pairing – for those of you who have always wanted to know…

Personally I think a good Shiraz of Cab-Sav or wooded Chardonnay go with most cheeses. I am not a sweet wine or port person, so I tend to leave those out of the equation and replace them with sweet fig preserve or something like that instead. But check out the guide. It has been put together by Checkers, who stock wines from the all around the Cape.

Blue Cheese:
Sweet Sherry
Dessert Wine

Blue Stilton:
Mulled Wine

Boerenkaas:
Chardonnay
Cabernet Sauvignon

Brie:
Chardonnay - unwooded
Chenin Blanc
Cabernet Franc
Pinot Noir
Blanc Fumé
Dry Riesling
White Port
Brandy
Port - White
Cream Liqueur

Camembert:
Cap Classique
Chardonnay - wooded
White Wine - dry
Cheddar with chillies:
Vintage Cider
Real Ale
Cheshire:
Red Wine - with sweet oak character

Cream Cheese:
Cabernet Sauvignon
Rhine Riesling

Edam:
Chardonnay
Sauvignon Blanc
Port
Emmental:
Sauvignon Blanc

Farmhouse Cheddar:
Vintage Cider
Shiraz

Feta:
Shiraz
Red Wine - flavourful
Sauvignon Blanc

Goat’s Milk Cheese:
Merlot
Chardonnay
Semillon
Chenin Blanc
White Wine - neutral, low-acid
Mulled Wine - sweet

Gouda:
Pinotage

Gruyère:
Red Wine - fruity
Port
Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot
Shiraz
Chardonnay

Hard Goat’s Milk Cheese:
Cream Liqueur

Harvati:
White Wine - flavoursome, delicate
Chardonnay - unwooded

Herb Cheese:
Sauvignon Blanc

Mature Cheddar:
Dry Stout
Pinot Grigio
Chardonnay - unwooded
Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot
Shiraz
Chardonnay
Maasdam:
Shiraz

Ricotta:
Red Wine - full-bodied
Chardonnay
Parmesan:
Chardonnay
Shiraz
Pinotage

Roquefort:
Sauvignon Blanc
Riesling

Stilton:
Dessert Wine
Mulled Wine
Wheat Beer

Taleggio:
Red Wine - lightly wooded
White Stilton with apricots:
Medium Sherry
Classic English Ale
Pinot Grigio

White Stilton with cranberries:
Classic English Ale

get to know your cheeses better....



I am a really big cheese fan and often wish that I lived in a giant wheel of cheese that I could munch on all day.
I also do a lot of cooking with cheeses. I came across this list, which I found very useful, and recommend that those who are wanting to put together a cheese platter, have a look at it.
There is nothing worse than buying an expensive bloc of cheese that tastes like plastic and smells like your grandfathers toe jam.
(It’s happened to me!)
Always insist on trying cheeses before you buy them, so that you can familiarise yourselves with them.
This list was also courtesy of Checkers.

Your guide to our wide selection of cheeses

Blue Cheese - A rich cheese that is ideal for flavouring a wide variety of foods due to its pungent, peppery taste. Crumble over salads and soup.

Boerenkaas - An ideal table cheese with a distinct nutty flavour that becomes stronger and somewhat fruity as it matures. Can be enjoyed on sandwiches, in soups and fondues.

Boursin - This soft, garlicky, little cheese is well-flavoured with herbs and was created by Monsieur Boursin in 1957. Serve with fresh baguettes or as a canapé topping.

Brie - Also known as "The Queen of Cheeses" and best enjoyed with light- to medium-bodied red wines. Try deep-frying it and serving it with fresh figs, or wait until it’s perfectly ripe and enjoy it on crusty croissants with preserves.

Camembert - The rich, strong flavour of Camembert deserves to be savoured. Try baking it whole and serving with French bread.

Cheddar – This is a firm cheese with a smooth texture - ideal for everyday use on sandwiches, snacks or for cooking purposes. Try it matured for a stronger flavour.

Cheshire - Cheshire is firm in texture and slightly more crumbly than Cheddar. It is rich, mellow and slightly salty with an excellent aftertaste. Add it to a fluffy soufflé or omelette.

Cottage Cheese - This is one of the most versatile cheeses around. It is low in fat and an excellent source of protein. Use as a dip for fresh veggies or enjoy it on a sandwich with cold meats and leafy greens.

Edam - A semi-soft, mellow and nutty cheese that is famous for its distinctive red wax coating.

Emmental – The famous holey Swiss cheese has a very tasty, nutty character that makes for a great table cheese. Wonderful in savoury pastries or with fruit and relish.

Feta - The distinctive, tangy taste of feta adds zing to salads, pasta, pizza, burgers or even potatoes.

Goat's Milk Cheese - Goat's Milk Cheeses are mostly soft in texture and can be eaten fresh, blue veined or with natural mould on the rind. Superb crumbled over salty baked potatoes.

Gorgonzola - A mild and creamy, pale yellow, blue-veined cheese from just outside Milan in Italy. Excellent in salads and dips.

Gouda - Named after the Dutch town, this sweet and mild cheese is delicious with bread and pickles.

Gruyère - This firm, fruity, dark yellow cheese has a wonderful complexity and is best appreciated with a full-bodied wine. Also delicious grated over French onion soup.

Halloumi - This semi-hard to hard cheese has a mild, yet tangy flavour that is best shown when it’s melted. Coat slices in flour, pan-fry them in butter until they ooze, and serve with lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper for an irresistible snack.

Harvati - A semi-soft, mildly sweet and creamy cheese that can be enjoyed on its own, or in a sandwich with cucumber and fresh dill.

Maasdam - A sweet, buttery cheese that is ideal for serving as a snack. Also lovely on grilled sandwiches.

Mascarpone - A creamy cheese that can be used to enrich a variety of desserts and sauces. Also used to make the famous Italian dessert, Tiramisu.

Mozzarella - This semi-soft cheese melts well, making it great on pizza. Its subtle flavour is best savoured with tomatoes and basil in a Caprese salad, especially when using the traditional and coveted mozzarella di bufala, which is made from buffalo’s milk rather than cow’s milk.

Parmesan - A hard, straw-coloured cheese with a thick crust and strong flavour - often finely grated and sprinkled over pastas, or shaved into slivers and scatted over salads. Authentic Parmigiano Reggiano comes from a single region of Italy, and is adored worldwide.

Pecorino - This favourite grating cheese has a distinctive salty taste with a fruity tang and is a great wine companion. Try it as a stuffing for tomatoes or mushrooms.

Raclette – It’s characterised by an authentic, rich, full flavour and is produced on both the Swiss and French sides of the Alps. A very good cooking cheese, delicious with ham.

Ricotta - A mild, crumbly, versatile cheese that can be used for filling sweet or savoury tarts. Ricotta is also often used in classic Italian lasagne. It is low in fat and its subtle flavour works well with ripe salted avocado.

Roquefort - The "King of Cheeses" is intense and complex with a thick and creamy texture. Delicious in a lunchtime salad with a sweet Riesling.

Stilton - A great after-dinner cheese that goes especially well with a glass of Port. Stilton also makes an excellent topping on baked potatoes.

Taleggio - A characterful cheese with a wide range of flavours and a strong aroma. Serve as the hero of the cheeseboard, on walnut bread or with fruit.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kirstenbosch winter concerts

Its that time of year...
Yes we all loved the summer Kirstenbosch concerts – something quite unique to our beautiful city. Nothing like spending an afternoon picnic-ing on a lawn with a few thousand people on the largest grass bank known to man (ok, known to me) with a great sound system and a cool live bands. And lets not forget being surrounded by picturesque mountains and greenery in the botanical gardens (picturesque is a word i use to often – lucky me!).
But now its winter and lets face it – the scenery just insnt good enough to keep us outdoors.
So Kirstenbosch hosts a winter deal – more like a dinner with great big fire places, equally good bands and if you are me – lots of wine :-)
I will be going to the event this weekend: Bed on Bricks

Below is the lineup for this season:

May
  • 31st: James Stewart – ex-The Usual singer, songwriter, producer and musical
June
  • 7th: Jac Sharp - ‘acousticharisma’ – mix of styles, instruments & vocals
  • 14th: Bed on Bricks - pop, rock, jazz combo
  • 21st: Hot Water - upbeat SA beats, hopping blues, modern folk & world music
July
  • 26th: Taxi Violence - Music inspired by Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones.
August
  • 2nd: Coda - Van Loveren Concert - one of the hottest SA bands at the moment.
  • 9th: Captain Stu - Van - juxtaposes jazz & reggae tones with traditional African influences.
  • 16th: Kolo Novo Movie Band - known for playing wild balkan music parties, now quieter
  • 23rd: Claire Phillips – Fresh new vocalist & songwriter - jazz, funk, soul, folk
  • 30th: Verity - SA singer/songwriter & inspirational speaker
September
  • 6th: Boulevard Blues - rock classics, light jazz, soul and funk.
  • 13th: Sterling EQ - sensational all-girl electric quartet creating a classical revolution
  • 20th: Rudimentals - best Reggae and Ska band in the country.
  • 27th: Southern Gypsy Queen - old school rock band entice with Bluesy undertones
October
  • 4th: Josie fields - singer songwriter who supported James Blunt last year
  • 11th:Napalma - interaction, between Brazil and Africa
  • 18th: 7th Son – they exist on the sharp side of ‘rude, rock, reggae’
  • 25th: Flat Stanley - modern rock with exceptional song-writing, beautiful melodies
Need to Know

Friday, June 5, 2009

It's wine tasting time...

It’s definitely a wine evening in Cape Town... Then again wine evening is every evening for me!
But for particular night, I was given two tickets to the Old Mutual Trophy Show 2009. For those who don’t know – this is an evening where the winning wines are on display for tastings at the CTICC (Cape Town International Convention centre).
I was there last weekend for the Good Food and wine show, which was great. I have never tried so many pesto’s, relishes and oils… and of course plenty glasses of wine. I was determined to try every Shiraz on offer hence a slight headache the next day.
I did end up buying strawberry champagne from Italy, just because I had never had anything like that before. It tastes like a strawberry-tiser (If Appletiser were to make a strawberry drink) with alcohol. 14% of it ☺
But back to this evenings events!
Below is a list of the award winning wines, which I am going to taste.
A very well done to Kleine Zelze for their achievements. I ahve been to the wine estate for tastings and they do have a fabulous collection!!
I will write a brief note detailing which ones my favourite were, and what I think is great value for money.
Aaaaaaaand the winners are:

Best Red Wine Overall and Best Shiraz
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz 2007

Best White Wine Overall and Best Chenin Blanc
Simonsig Woolworths Limited Release Chenin Blanc 2008

Discovery of the Show (Best Value) and Best Unwooded Chardonnay
Ashton Unwooded Chardonnay 2008

Best Port
Bredell’s Cape Vintage Reserve 2003

Best Cabernet Sauvignon
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2007

Wooded Chardonnay
Tokara Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2007

Best Bordeaux-Style Red Blend
Saronsberg Nick & Forti’s Epicentre 2005

Best Unwooded Sauvignon Blanc
Lomond Sugarbush Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Best Wooded Sauvignon Blanc Semillon White Blend
Vergelegen White 2007

Best Wooded White Blend
Fleur de Cap Limited Unfiltered Viognier Chardonnay Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Best Noble Late Harvest Dessert Wine
Nederburg Noble Late Harvest 2007

Best Natural Sweet Dessert Wine
Nederburg Private Bin Eminence 2008

Best Fortified Dessert Wine (Red)
Monis Wood-matured Muscadel 2001

Best Museum Class Wooded Sauvignon Blanc
Tokara White 2005

Best Museum Class Wooded Chardonnay
Chamonix Chardonnay 1999

Best Museum Class Fortified Dessert Wine
Nuy White Muscadel 1986

OTHER GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

* Axe Hill Cape Vintage 2006
* Fleur de Cap Unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (unwooded)
* Haskell Pillars Shiraz 2007
* Kanu KCB Chenin Blanc 2006 (wooded)
* Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Shiraz 2007
* Lomond Pincushion Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (unwooded)
* Nederburg Noble Late Harvest 2008
* Raka Biography Shiraz 2007
* Vergelegen Red 2004

Thursday, June 4, 2009

'Gay penguins' rear adopted chick


My new flatmate is German, and as much as he is lovely, he doesn’t speak English that well… yet. So I thought I’d make an effort to look up where he was from on the net and bring things up in (lack of) conversation. But whilst looking up Stuttgart and Germany, this article called 'Gay penguins' rear adopted chick popped up, which immediately caught my eye because it was so bizarre.
Everyone has their different ideas on why people are gay, what it means to be gay etc etc… anyway I thought penguins were one of the species of animals who had heterosexual life partners. Guess I was wrong!

But this is old news! Apparently this zoo made headlines in 2005 about its gay penguins. The real treat is that the ‘gay penguins’ have now matured and adopted a baby, which they hatched and are now raising.
Here is a snippet from the article:

Two ‘gay’ male penguins have hatched a chick and are now rearing it as its adoptive parents, says a German zoo.
The zoo, in Bremerhaven, northern Germany, says the adult males - Z and Vielpunkt - were given an egg, which was rejected by its biological parents. (Gays are so accepting)
It says the couple are now happily rearing the chick, said to have reached four weeks old.
Since the chick arrived, they have been behaving just as you would expect a heterosexual couple to do.

The zoo had previously flown in four females in a bid to get the endangered penguins to reproduce - but quickly abandoned the scheme after causing outrage among gay rights activists, who accused it of interfering in the animals' behaviour.

Well done to Germany for being so modern in their thinking… gag… bunny hugging gay activists

Homosexual behaviour is well documented in many different animals, but it is not understood in detail, says Professor Stuart West, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Oxford.
"Homosexuality is nothing unusual among animals," Bremerhaven zoo said on Wednesday.
"Sex and coupling up in our world do not necessarily have anything to do with reproduction."

I'm sure certain people living in our 'pink' city will find this article quite interesting.
Picture and article snippet from BBC

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rand weakens as Zuma gives state of nation address



For those of you who don’t know (aliens, coma patients and ignorant non-South Africans) today was a day made in history as our (shower-head) president Zuma made his first state of the nation address.
There were some Cape Townians I dare say, who groggily got out of bed this very cold morning and ‘forgot’ that today was the momentous day – and for a few moments wondered why traffic was ‘the worst ever’.
But seriously, some people arrived almost two hours late for work – and we aren’t living in Joburg!
The luxury of living in Cape Town is that we don’t spend three hours a day driving to and from work.
But anyway, back to my previous point – I know that at least some people out in the world were waiting and watching with baited breath for the speech.
How do we know this?
Besides the fact that we are a great country for the press to have a dig at – lets face it, our bunch are entertaining!
But thats not all...
Our Rand weakened...
Reports said:
South Africa’s currency traded 1.1 percent weaker at 8.0375 per dollar as of 11:07 a.m. in Johannesburg, from 7.9477 yesterday.
It slipped versus all 16 most-actively traded currencies monitored by Bloomberg, losing 0.7 percent against the euro to 11.4225.

Most importantly: “The rand is waiting for direction from the state-of-the-nation address, which is widely expected to give an indication of economic policies going forward,” said Kay Walsh, an economist and currency researcher at Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg. “Investors are hoping for some reassuring signs from the new president.”

Our premiere Helen Zille said that she was positive about Zuma’s proposed job creation plan, but warned of the risk of the plan becoming an “ANC patronage network”.
She lauded Zuma’s recognition that social welfare should encourage people to become self-reliant, ultimately “weaning them off grants”.
She said that it was crucial that Zuma kept his pledges, particularly relating to the independence of the judiciary.

Anyway, I am not going to go into all the details of Zuma’s speech – check it out yourselves at: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=131843&sn=Detail

The Charlie gives you wings



Cocaine found in Red Bull
No wonder it gives you wings!!!
After certain tests were conducted last week, the Hong Kong government found there to be traces of cocaine in Red Bull produced by an Austrian company.
But don’t send out those mail orders now – the amount of coke is barely noticeable.
News reports say:
Because of "the extremely low level of cocaine found in the products, normal consumption" was unlikely to cause health problems or have any psychotropic effects, the Department of Health and Centre for Food Safety said.
"Red Bull Cola", "Red Bull Sugar-Free" and "Red Bull Energy Drink" were found to have between 0.1 microgrammes to 0.3 microgrammes of cocaine a litre, said the Hong Kong government statement.
What is more interesting, is that Six German states told retailers to stop selling Red Bull Cola energy drinks after the incident. The bans started Friday last week after a sample test conducted by authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia state found 0.4 micrograms per litre in the drink – a bit more than the ching-chongs found.
And of course Red Bull is totally denying giving out (almost) free amphetamines.
Red Bull moved quickly to deny the findings and said independent tests on the same batch of drinks had found no traces of cocaine.

Monday, June 1, 2009

What happened to Flight 447 – Air France?

What happened????
An aeroplane mysteriously disappeared whilst flying over the Atlantic today. This is pretty scary since I have two friends about to do some serious cross-Atlantic travelling. The main thing that worries me is that no-one seems to know what happened yet? I mean how do you just disappear? How do 288 people just disappear?
Air France Flight 447 which dropped off the radar three hours and less than 200 miles into a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.
The Brazilian air force mounted a search and rescue operation for the Airbus 330-200k in the waters around the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. But to no avail…
Air France said that the aircraft had sent a message reporting an electrical "short circuit" after strong turbulence.
The company said the plane had probably been struck by lightning. But Planes get struck by lightning all the time and cope just fine – are in fact engineered to sustain through a lightning storm… So that’s crap if you ask me!
It was 190 miles north east of the coastal Brazilian city of Natal when it was lost contact three hours and 20 minutes later.
It is a mystery.
My heart goes out to all of those who have lost family and friends.
But who knows, maybe the passengers and plane got pulled off course by some magnetic force unknown to us and landed stranded on an island with 'the others'…

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My birthday... what a day...

It was my birthday yesterday... and I thought I should just share with you what an amazing day it was…
I know that after a certain number of birthdays I will sadly have to change the name of my blog to 30-something-in-capetown... but thankfully, that's still a little while away!

Since I am a total ‘foodie’ I have to tell you about the restaurant we went to last night.

Speaking of being a foodie, I was given two tickets to the Good Food and Wine show tomorrow night at the CTICC (Cape Town International Convention Centre), so watch this space for stories about that!!
If you are interested in trying out delicious food, gorgeous Cape wines and demonstrations from
local and internationally acclaimed chefs, one after which I am nicknamed ‘Aimsley’ – it is a total must-see!!!

For more info just Google: Cape Town Good Food and Wine show.
Back to Birthday stories:
This was honestly the best birthday I have ever had, and the best thing about it?

My party is still coming – Friday night – Mexicano Baby…
Yes, I had to work on my birthday, it was a Tuesday, but I got given lots of cake throughout the day, a beautiful smoothie recipe book and some jewellery from my colleagues ☺
Lucky me...

There is also the delightful feeling of being called by security (not because my friends have sent me a mail stripper), but because I have beautiful things to collect from the main reception… (again not male strippers)

I received a bunch of flowers from my mom – a total surprise as I thought she had actually forgotten my birthday! She is an extremely busy woman after all.

As I was leaving the building for a break, I bumped straight into my flatmate holding an enormous bunch of roses (the gorgeous specimen he is, I could have once again confused him for a male stripper). This was also a total surprise!
I never get this many flowers!

At 4:30pm, just as the day was winding down, I got yet another call from security. Not having a clue what could be happening this time, the lady behind the desk smiles and tells me I am such a lucky girl.
There was another huge bunch of flowers: red roses, with red feather and red jewels and green things wrapped in black and white polka dot paper – basically the epitome of me, in a bunch of flowers ☺

And its from none-other than my totally gorgeous and endearing boyfriend.
The reason I was so surprised was that I had already gotten a lot of presents from him, the main two being: a Russell & Hobbs stainless steel blender (I can see those frowns, but I actually asked for a blender) and a winter coat.
So I felt over all totally spoilt and very happy ☺

I actually started getting that jaw pain I used to get at school on ‘photo’ days, from smiling so much!!

Lets move onto dinner…

So, we went to the Hussar Grill (my favourite local steak restaurant) for a real treat to indulgence!
We started with a couple glasses of champers before moving on to our select delicious and expensive cab-sav.
We (me+boyfriend) shared the camembert deep fried cheese with cranberry jelly. It was absolutely gorgeous and rich.
Of course we had to have steak as our mains. Although I usually consider myself a creature of versatility I have the same main dish every time I’m at Hussar. It’s just sublime and meets every need in a mouthful: the 200g rump done medium-rare to rare with the famous creamy blue cheese sauce… *goosebumbs*
My boyfriend had the Flambeed fillet with a béarnaise sauce (also great).
We were then brought (on the house) creamy, chocolate vodka martinis, which were as silky as a slipping into a warm bath.
And then we still shared the ‘five spoon truffle’.
I felt like I was ontploffing (great Afrikaans word meaning exploding).
What a dinner!
The best thing about this place is that the service has been immaculate every time I’m there ☺
If you are in CT, you have to try it out! www.hussargrill.com

What a way to end the day… well it didn’t quite end there… but that’s all I’m willing to share ☺

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This mornings early llightning in our mother city







Creepy... i woke up very early this morning and saw bright flashes of light outside my window.
Check these pics out! They were sent to me by a friend this afternoon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Spray on condoms - still a hard sell

I thought since it was the SEXPO this past wkd in CT, this is a very timely article to read :-)
For all of you that went, i would love some feedback and comments!

A very good friend sent me an email this morning with information on the development of the 'spray on condom'. It really does prove for interesting reading.


Edison had his lightbulb, Ford had his Model T, and Jan Vinzenz Krause has his spray-on condom. Inspired by the mechanics of a drive-through car wash, the German sexual-health educator designed a custom-fitting male contraceptive using liquid latex and some materials from a hardware store.

"I felt a little like MacGyver," he says of building the contraption.
U.S. condom sales have been increasing steadily over the years, according to Packaged Facts, a division of Market Research Group, and they are expected to top $444 million annually by 2010. But usage among teens appears to have leveled off, with 61.5% of sexually active high schoolers surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2007 reporting that they had used a condom during their most recent intercourse, down from 62.8% in 2005 and 63% in 2003.

Access to condoms is one issue; inclination to use them is another. Which helps explain why companies are constantly looking for ways to improve the standard product — vibrating, warming, climax-delaying, even glow-in-the-dark condoms are all available on drugstore shelves.


Offering a wide variety of condom options is not only a smart business move, it's good for public health. When used properly, condoms don't just act as contraceptives; they also prevent the spread of most sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

That means sexual-health educators, public health officials and condom brand CEOs alike are interested in finding ways to make condoms more appealing, especially to young people.


As a teenager, Krause, now 30, had trouble finding the right size condom, which set him on a quest to aid other similarly befuddled young men. In 2001 he developed an online condom adviser, which provides printable measuring tapes and instructions to help men determine which condom, out of all the brands available in Germany, will fit the best.

According to Krause, more than 300,000 people have used the free service.
The site's popularity put Krause in touch with students and sex-ed teachers across Germany, who expressed a common frustration. "They told me, 'Mr. Krause, I don't understand why the industry doesn't develop a condom which fits you perfectly,' " he says. Hence his idea for a spray-on condom.

The prototype, which began testing last year, consists of a hard plastic tube with nozzles that spray liquid latex from all directions, much like the water jets in the tunnel of a car wash. According to Krause, there are numerous advantages to his spray-on condom. "The condom fits 100% perfectly, so the safety is much higher than a standard condom's, and it feels more natural."


But there are some stumbling blocks. The men who tested the spray-on condom had a few hesitations, Krause says. Some were "a little bit afraid to use the tube" and would only try it on their fingers. Others worried that the mechanism, which hisses as it sprays, might ruin the mood.
But the most serious problem with the design — which is what has kept the product off the market thus far — is that the latex takes too long to dry.

Liquid latex currently takes two to three minutes to vulcanize, making it impractical. "For people to buy it," Krause says, "it needs to be ready in five to 10 seconds."
That has kept the spray-on condom on hold indefinitely until a faster-drying latex comes along.

Meanwhile, Krause is tackling the size problem by preparing to launch a line of condoms in six sizes, instead of the usual one or two. They should be available in Europe starting in September and in the U.S. possibly as early as 2010.
"

Having condoms in different sizes we think is a good and smart idea," says David Johnson, group product manager of Trojan Brand Condoms. Trojan's parent company, Church and Dwight, makes nearly 8 out of 10 condoms sold in the U.S. But different-size condoms introduce their own problems: namely, men aren't very eager to buy a small size.

Trojan's Magnum line, whose condoms are 15% bigger than regular ones, accounts for 13% of the U.S. market. But when the company introduced a smaller condom several years ago, it had to discontinue it.
Krause says men are reluctant to go to a drugstore cashier with a box of small-size condoms — for obvious reasons.

His solution: he plans to sell his new line of different-size condoms online. "Men on the Web," he says, "they are very honest."


– so who wants to try this???
(I think ill give it a skip)




Friday, May 15, 2009

Failing Forward album launch – Hunting beasties


‘Failing Forward’ started up in January 2006, now a few years down the track and a long list of member changes that saw the departure of the founding member as well as the leaving and rejoining of the original drummer, the band finds itself well situated in the South African rock scene.

I went to their album launch of Hunting Beasties, a little while ago. They have a few good songs, namely the track ‘Hunting Beasties’ (their biggest hit so far) and are quite entertaining to watch live. The drummer plays in a way that makes his skill look effortless. What I’m trying to say is that he doesn’t look like he’s killing himself while playing, like Snake from aKing/fokofpolisiekar. Yet he plays as well, if not better.
The band members come from a very Christian background, and even though this is not always apparent in their music, there is an undertone of it. But more essentially their songs are about life and experiences and overcoming certain things.
Keep an eye out for this band…

Thursday, May 14, 2009

KKNK 2009




My KKNK adventures

Ok I know this is waaaaaay over due…
But April was a very busy month for me!
With all those public holidays there was a lot of pressure at work – but that’s boring. Lets rather talk about my virgin KKNK experience. For those of you who don’t know, the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunsteling Fees (KKNK) is very similar to the Grahamstown Arts Festival. Yes my Afrikaans spelling is probably quite off.
The difference is that it’s a bit smaller and focused more on Afrikaans music and productions.
And it’s in the Karoo... where quite frankly, besides ‘Ronnies Sex Shop’, there isn’t much else!
Ooh wait – lots of biltong and brandy & coke!
I watched a number of bands including Fokofpolisiekar (energetic), aKing (put me to sleep with their performance), bed on Bricks (rocking), and some other Afrikaans bands I had never heard of such as Willim Welsyn en die Sunrise Toffies who were all great in their own right.
Check out the pictures!
Overall though i have to admit the best time i had was atthe Oudtshooren zoo.. there were white bengal tigers, cheetahs, white lions, crocodiles etc.. so many animals! spent a number of hours there!
Picture 1: the zoo entrance
Picture 2: (from L-R)
Justin Kruger from Van Coke Kartel, Tim Rankin from Bed on Bricks, Willem Welsyn from Willim Welsyn en die Sunrise Toffies
Picture 3: Ronnies sex shop
Picture credit: Amy Hopkins

nights at Assembly


Have any of you been to or heard of a place called ‘Assembly’?
Here are some of the things I heard about it… before I had actually been to it:

“Its so cool, you would love it”
“loads of bands play there – it was made for live music”
“It’s an upmarket club type place”

Ok –
I have now been to Assembly twice. Let me get back to you on the above
statements: It is cool, but would not be my first choice. It reminds me a lot of Mercury Live lounge. It has a great stage, and the sound quality is pretty good for live bands. The whole venue is like a big warehouse-type of vibe. So it is not upmarket. It is very, very Cape Townian in the sense that hippy-chic girls are aplenty.


On the two occasions I went, one was too see the Albert Frost Trio. Al is an insane guitarist. Look out for his album ‘devils and gods’. His songs are good but also have multiple personalities. I have a few favourites, after listening to the album a number of times. There is a bluesy-rock influence in his sound. For those of you who appreciate crazy guitar skills – he is a must see!

The second time I went to Assembly, it was a busier night, as there were a number of bands, with the headlining act being ‘Cassette’. Now if any of you have listened to the radio (particularly GARETH CLIFFS MORNING SHOW) at all in the past six months you would have heard of them. Their most famous song – Who do you trust? “who do you trust, who do you trust now, who do you trust, why should we stop now…”. (I can hear myself already going out of key.)
I confess I didn’t know many of their other songs, but their live act was great (see pics). When they finally played the song I love so much, I was astounded by how similar it sounded to the radio edit. This just showcasing how tight they are as a band. I was super impressed!
So if know these guys are playing – make a plan and go see them! I expect greater things to still come!

Picture 2: Albert Frost; Picture 1 and 3: Cassette. Picture credits: Amy Hopkins

Sunset in Greenpoint


I took this picture from my flat. Yes I am lucky enough to have this gorgeous view. It comes at a price though!
I have never seen the sunset so radiant though – and i am sure many Cape Townians whipped out their cameras to capture this image. I always think – if i painted this, no one would believe it was a real scene. And i also think those living in Camps Bay would have better views... and better camers :-)
Picture credit: Amy Hopkins

The v&A waterfront

The Victoria Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town
I took this picture while sipping on a G&T from one of the many delectable restaurants on offer. Picture credit: Amy Hopkins

weekend getaway STANFORD

Its time for a much-needed weekend-getaway! And how lucky was I to be invited to Stanford, a small peaceful little village, just inland from Hermanus (see map, x marks the spot).
I have never been to Stanford before, much less heard of it. So I am looking forward to quality time with books and magazine during the days and bottles of good red wine at night.
I was more pleasantly surprised to find out that besides the local bottle store and café, there are actually other shops, namely wine farms in the area… and what else is Stanford famous for? Its cheese!!! I swear this place was made for me ☺I will of course have to report back once I have spent the entire weekend there.

But before I get myself carried away here thinking its only going to be wining and dining. The weekend is actually a ‘boys surfing weekend’ and they want me to come along to take photographs of their ‘like totally sick waves bro’.
I get to work this morning and glance over the Cape Times. Can you guess what’s on the front page?
Weather pattern images showcasing the ‘storm of all storms’ to hit our shores this weekend.
Yes we know its winter and cold-front season is upon us.


So I went onto wind guru to check the swell and the onto goggle weather to check it out.

See for yourself what I found! 6-7m swell... and the papers are warning people to stay indoors and OUT OF THE SEA!
Maybe this will deter the boys-with-gills to stay indoors and really enjoy their wine with me?
I'd have better luck getting my boyfriend to stay awake during Angels and Demons. Which i quite enjoyed by the way. But i have read the book, which was incredible – so i am biased to like the story.
I can’t see them fishing in the pouring rain either. But they are determined to still pack their rods as there “is a dam there with bas I think”?
Stanford is surrounded by the Klein River Mountains and spread along the southern bank of the river (Klein river- is this where the bas are?), just before it widens out to form a coastal lagoon.
All in all I am just being facetious , and very much looking forward to a weekend away exploring one of the treasures of the Cape.
Watch this space for a report back!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A not-so-typical night out in CT – champagne, pizza, strippers and police

I have to share this with you

Firstly my friends and I decided to meet up for a ‘Pooza’ Thursday last week. (For those who don’t know, this term refers specifically to a drinking session on a Thursday to get you in the spirit – excuse the pun – for the upcoming weekend.)

So we head to oblivion – a no under 23’s wine bar in Kenilworth/ Claremont area. (Check out website on www.oblivion.co.za – it rocks)
But to keep it fairly tame, the bunch of us ordered some pizzas, beers and wines, thinking this is where the night would stay. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Someone decides its time to buy a bottle of champagne.

Then the newbie training waiter knocks over champagne.
Let me make this clear - he knocked the champagne onto the one pizza.

We felt sorry for him, but also annoyed that we had lost a bottle of champers and pizza in one go.

However that was very quickly rectified. Oblivion being the place it is, with great service, they promptly bring us two free bottles of champers, a free pizza and a round of shooters called ‘bush-men’s balls’.

After much merriment
we end up going to…
wait for it...
can you guess...
MAVERICKS
A STRIP CLUB!!!
My first time EVER in strip club – I have never seen so many boobs! But it was nothing like the stories I had heard about strip clubs. I was expecting to see all kinds of bits all over the place. But it was much classier tan that, and a lot of the girls had dresses and lingerie on.
Except for maybe one or two…

After we have settled in and ordered some drinks (which are exorbitantly priced), all the women seem to fade into the background. I then pop off to the ladies, only to return to the boys shoving hundred Rand notes into my hand and telling me my dancer is on the way. We then bustle up to a private room. My pulse quickens and I start feeling rather anxious/ curious.

Of course the boys are there to watch – mostly to laugh at my nervous and uncomfortable expression and body language. I often tease about how gorgeous some girls are although I have never had a lesbian experience, I sometimes suggest it as a joke to my boyfriend. So I was caught in a moment where I thought I might actually enjoy the dance.

I couldn’t have been more mistaken. I have never felt so awkward! Sitting on my hands and not knowing where to look, I was bright red! The sexy blonde asked me in a Russian accent (put on or not I couldn’t tell) ‘You do not like?’. I fumbled some kind of reply and thanked my lucky stars the song was coming to an end!
We all had a good laugh about it and the guys had their turns with dancers too. WE all had a fair amount to drink by this point and decided it was time to go home as we all had work the next day and it was 1:30am.

The driver had drunk less than us – obviously. (Thank goodness!)
But by very unfortunate luck we manage to find ourselves pulling off the road at a roadblock 100m from my flat.
They were looking for drugs (we presumed) as they didn’t want to breathalyse anyone, and started unpacking the car. I was then asked to get out (from the back seat) and go across the road to a police van (a bakkie with a cab on the back).
Hold on let me mention this: I was asked to get out before any of the guys were.

I had no illegal substances anywhere on/ in me. What I found disturbing though, was that they would not search me standing on the road. The policewoman demanded I get into the back of the van (where they put criminals). I refused; starting to feel scared and uncomfortable. She started shouting at me demanding I get in and stating that if I had nothing to hide I would have nothing to be afraid of. I definitely didn’t have anything to hide and started opening my bag and taking things out. But she wouldn’t budge. She said she could only search me if I was in the van. One of the guys came over to find out what was going on. She then shouted at him saying he was interfering in police business.

I gave up and got in the damn van. She took my bag apart (which is quite a task as I refer to my bag as the ’black hole’). She eventually let me go. The whole process took about 40 minutes. They of course found nothing. It was a horrible experience and I would like to know if anyone has ever had anything similar happen to him or her?

Needless to say I was so happy when I arrived home.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

winter has arrived.....



So winter has definitely arrived in Cape Town...
I was sent these two pictures today of what our beloved city looked like this morning and thought I just had to share these with the world.
After the heat waves and laaaate summer, the words ‘Global Warming’ (accompanied by slight anxiety and alarm bells) come to mind – but that is a whole other discussion for another day.
It was as if some holly being flicked a switch and just like that it was winter… but who are we kidding? Just because its colder and wetter and darker, does not mean our dear true Cape Town winter has hit us just yet! It’s really only autumn and we can look forward to another four months of even colder and wetter weather.
Besides it’s not yet raining sideways is it?

Lets not be sombre though, there are great things about winter, Namely:
- Warm food like pasta’s and soups and curries (lots of it)
- A reason to stay in doors and watch your favourite dvds and series over and over… and not feel guilty
- Drinking copious amounts of red wine because it ‘keeps you warm’ and is ‘good for your heart’ (yeah right!)
- Wearing slippers
- Scarves and warm jerseys and jackets and tracksuits

While I am in the spirit of things I thought I might as well share my basic but reliable curry recipe. I hope I haven’t forgotten anything and excuse the measurements, I taste as I go along...

MY CURRY RECIPE

A FRUITY SPICY BLEND OF COMFORT AND WARMTH

Ingredients:
1 desert spoon oil
1 (large) onion chopped
4 tomatoes chopped
2 desert spoons of peach chutney
2 desert spoons of apricot jam
2-3 potatoes peeled and chopped (I advise par cooking these)
700g (at least) of beef goulash
Spices and herbs:
I large garlic clove crushed
Curry powder to taste (5 heaped teaspoons of medium at least)
1 teaspoon (heaped) of turmeric
1 teaspoon of cumin seed powder
A dash of garam masala spice (garam = ‘hot’ and masala = ‘paste’)
1 cube beef stock dissolved in a little hot water
A large handful of fresh coriander (chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sambles (optional):
Save some chopped onion, tomato and coriander.
Slice up 1 banana and get some desiccated coconut.

Instructions:
Add your oil to a nice big pot and get that heating up
Add onions and fry ‘til opaque
Add all your spices and coriander
Add tomatoes – this will give you the juice
Add your jam and chutney
Add your potatoes and let the mixture cook for a few minutes
Lastly (always last with a curry) add your meat and cook for an hour more
Remember to always taste as you go along and if at the end the sauce is too ‘watery’ add a teaspoon of flour and mix to thicken
Enjoy with sambles and best served with brown basmati rice ☺