Monday, March 31, 2008

Cape Trip - Part Three

Hope you aren't bored with my seemingly never-ending Cape holiday yet? I so enjoyed our trip that I just HAVE to keep sharing, so please, please bear with me ;-)

We arrived in Cape Town and without further ado fell in love with the local Thai restaurant - I am ashamed to admit that we ate there 3 nights out of a possible 7!! The staff must have thought we were SO lacking in imagination - but our feeling was "why mess with a good thing?" And believe me, it was all good!

Saturday morning we woke up refreshed from our looong journey and raring to go. First on our agenda was a look around the Cape Argus Cycle Tour expo - one of the drawbacks of having a cycling nut in the family..... While Grant took in all the stands on offer, Paula and I managed to entertain ourselves by watching a whole bunch of men having their legs waxed. I kid you not! There they were, a row of otherwise normal-looking men, having their legs waxed without flinching (I'm sure they were only being so very brave because there were a whole bunch of people watching them) We also found a cunning little device which enables woman to wee standing up. So I suppose you could say that our trip to the expo was not entirely a waste of time ;-) (Can anyone enlighten me as to why a woman would want to wee standing up?)

Then we were off to Hout Bay. It is tradition that when in the vicinity, we always have a meal of fish and chips at Mariner’s Wharf in Hout Bay, so that's exactly what we did. Hout Bay is lovely and well worth a visit.
Grant and me at Hout Bay




Hout Bay marina, the building houses Mariner's Wharf

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I baked bread

I have always wanted to bake bread, but have never done so, for the simple reason that the thought of using yeast terrifies me - well it did until today. Today I baked bread and it came out beautifully, even if I say so myself! I looked for the least intimidating recipe I could find and dived right in, yeast and all ;-)

This is the recipe that I used, I found it on All recipes, it was submitted by Joanne Shew Chuk.

Country White Bread

INGREDIENTS:
2 (.25 ounce) packages active
dry yeast
2 cups warm water (110
degrees to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add sugar, salt, eggs, oil and 3 cups of flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Divide in half and shape into loaves. Place in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks.

(I used instant yeast, so I just added it into the dry ingredients and then added the liquid ingredients, easy-peasy!)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's a meme.....

While I was away on holiday I was tagged by Cooksister (you've just got to go and check out her blog, for one thing she is a fellow South African and for another, she has the loveliest blog with simply delish recipes!) for this meme:

What were you doing 10 years ago?
We were living in a little town in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands, called Greytown, it was the town that Grant and I grew up in. We had been away from Greytown for a few years, but had “come home” shortly before Paula was born. We were living in a property adjoining my parent’s property at the time. It was quite an old house, full of character and it had a lovely big garden, with fruit trees. As far as the kids were concerned the highlight was the “chicken house”, complete with chickens and a cheeky rooster, which we inherited from the previous owner.

I was working part-time in my father’s accounting business (some things never change.) Grant was working in real estate. Paula was two going on three and Rox was 8 years old. It was a busy, but good time in our lives.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Hold on a minute while I have a look at my blog to check…….. Oh yes, how could I forget! Last year this time Paula had just been diagnosed with Cough Variant Asthma – we had been through a simply torrid time with this poor child who would cough, in a croup-like fashion, for hooooours on end every single night! Because of that not a lot was going on in the rest of our lives! (Thankfully, all that is now behind us; it turns out that Paula has an allergy to chlorine and provided she doesn’t swim in chlorinated water and takes her inhaler once a day, her asthma is completely under control.)

Five snacks you enjoy
Pretzels
biltong
crisps
chocolate
goats milk cheese on salty crackers with tomato and chilli jam (it's a new craze I have, yum!)

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire
Pay off my mortgage!
Take a lovely, long overseas holiday.
Donate money to a charity caring for AIDS orphans.
Buy beautiful furnishings for my house.
Eat out….a LOT!

Five bad habits
Snacking
Spending too much time reading or messing about on the computer
Not exercising nearly enough
Finishing peoples sentences for them (I HATE that I do that!)
Being overly anxious

Five things you like doing
Reading
snacking
walking on the beach with my family and our Jack Russell
eating out (I LOVE to eat out!)
blogging.

Five things you would never wear again
Leg warmers
coloured pantyhose (eeeuw!)
mini skirts
permed hair
a “meringue-like” wedding dress (it was the 80s people!)

Five favorite toys
Cell phone,
computer
USB memory stick
our Garmin Nuvi 200 (is it just me or are these GPS thingies just amazing???)
my car

And, finally, five bloggers to tag for this
Okay I am wimping out of tagging again. If anyone wants to do this consider yourself tagged and please leave a comment so that I can come and see your meme – I’m nosy that way!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cape Trip - Part Two

As mentioned in my first post about our trip to Cape Town, we drove to Cape Town, via Port Elizabeth

The trip through the Eastern Cape was quite hum-drum and boring on the whole. Having said that, just outside Mthatha is a cluster of small villages called Qunu (pronounced koo-noo) and this is where Nelson Mandela spent his childhood and where he has his retirement home. We found the drive through this area quite fascinating. It’s hard to imagine that a statesman of the stature of Nelson Mandela came from an area as humble as Qunu. Just goes to show that great things can come from small beginnings.

I believe that the Nelson Mandela Museum is in Mthatha and I’d really love to see that sometime, but when you have a couple of hours on the road behind you and many more hours on the road ahead of you (and innumerable stop/start sort of roadworks) you don’t really want to dilly-dally in Mthatha!

We spent the night in Port Elizabeth and the next morning we were up bright and early to continue on our trip to Cape Town, along the Garden Route. On the way we stopped at the Storms River Bridge, at the “Big Tree” in Tsitsikamma and at the Knysna Quays (lots of lovely little shops!).

Storms River Bridge


View from the bridge


We just love Knysna and have decided that we need to plan a holiday there in the not too distant future. There is just so much to do in that area and it is so, so beautiful!

Paula at the Knysna Quays

Monday, March 24, 2008

Make a wish meme

Sanni over at PYB design tagged me for the “Make A Wish” Meme, created by Linda

Here are the rules:




1. Think about what it is that you want more than anything, what your heart’s desire and fondest wish is, and what it is that you would wish for if you were to see the above wishing star flame across the night sky.

2. Right click and SAVE the blank graphic above.
3. Use a graphics program of your choice and place your wish on this picture:
Here´s my wish (huge thanks to Sanni who did the graphics for me!):



Anyone who would like to do this meme........... consider yourself tagged!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

I'm back.....

We had a wonderful holiday; one of those where nothing goes wrong and it's all just so blissful that it's almost too good to be true. I'll be posting little bits about it in the next couple of weeks, as I don't want to bore you to death with all the details all in one go! But here's a brief outline:

We spent our holiday in Cape Town. We drove down (it was a looooong, horrible drive), spending a night in Port Elizabeth en-route (I thought of you in P.E. Jeanne!) and a night in East London on the way back.

Our week was spent in a timeshare apartment in Tableview, with a clear view of Robben Island to the right and this view of Table Mountain if we took a short stroll down the road:

Isn't that just beautiful?
We did so much in Cape Town! It was Paula's first trip there, so we were determined to cram as much into the week as possible. And cram it in we did! We did all the "must do" activities: we drove along Chapman's Peak, went up Table Mountain, ate fish and chips at Hout Bay, we visited "Just Nuisance" and the penguins in Simonstown, tasted wine at a winery, saw the beach huts a Muizenberg (and got drenched in the process!) and we did a tour in an open-top bus.... But have no fear, I will tell you all about it in the next couple of weeks!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

We're all going on a summer holiday....

Just wanted to pop in and tell you that I will probably be quite scarce around here for the next couple of weeks as we are going on holiday!

"Talk" to you soon!

Camino Portuguese (Coastal Route)

We are planning another Camino walking holiday!  I couldn't be more excited.  The plan is that next year, in June, Grant, Paula and I wi...