It was lovely to have my husband return home on Monday last week. He wasn’t gone very long, he only slept away 4 nights. We had a dog walker for Navajo and Charlie brought a friend one evening who offered to walk the Poms and then Caitlin walked them once so even the lil ones got a bit of exercise.
Monday came round quickly and I had another busy day at work. I’m analyst on 3 projects and Project Manager on 1 so I am so busy!
I’m leaving home before sunrise and some mornings I’m walking across the city in the twilight. Is it twilight in the morning? No that is dawn, right? Either way it’s a bit eery yet beautiful. Peaceful yet frightening.
I worked til 5pm last Monday and only got home an hour later. I fried mushrooms in coconut oil then added cubes of pork fillet until browned. As I was also preparing a lasagna sauce at the same time I chucked in some puréed peppers, onions and garlic. I also added a container of cream, the dregs of some sour cream, a tsp of Dijon mustard, the remainder of some tomato purée and spices. I steamed a head of cauliflower and baked some cubes of pumpkin.
Pixie fancied a bit and didn’t take her beady eye off of me. She is such a funny wee thing.
At the same time I also made the sauce for the lasagna I served on Tuesday. So when I came home late Tuesday evening I just had to layer the marscapone, mozzarella and the sauce and bake. Instead of lasagna sheets I used thinly sliced zucchini for the final layer.
It was rich and fully Banting.
I had to drive to the northern suburbs early Wednesday morning for a workshop. I arrived early about 7.45 and stopped for a latte at the odd unfriendly little cafe at the entrance to the estate. It took a while to get started and we finally kicked off actually being productive after 9 so instead of the planned half day it was almost 3pm when I got back to the other project work. I needed to finish a set of analysis and only got away at 5.30. There was a major traffic accident in the city and the roads were grid locked. It was a nightmare and it was pitch black when I finally got home. As a result we had takeaways from Spiro’s. I had such delicious ribs and salad. Thank goodness for Spiro’s.
Thursday I was again really busy at work with more things to do than I had time to do them. I rushed out of the office to get home by 5 to meet both Vanessa for my pedicure as well as the girl who was house sitting to show her the dog food etc. After everyone left it was late so we went to get fish and chips at the new place in Hout Bay. I did have both mushy peas and chips, I figure the occasional chip won’t kill me. Little did I know I would derail so often this weekend.
Friday we got up and packed to hit the road to Wilderness. Norm had woken with a dreadful cold but he soldiered on, sneezing the whole way with Caitlin in the back seat wearing a scowl under her germophobia scarf.
My son Trevor was having his 30th birthday at Joplin’s in Wilderness which is about a 6 hour drive door to door. (Yes I said 30. Yes Years. Bloody hell I feel ancient.) We planned a surprise party with a comic con theme.
The drive down was grey and rainy.
Travel does not always accommodate Banting and this trip was one of those. We stopped for a bite at the Blue Heron Farmstall on the road to George but everything had pastry or sugar. We bought little bacon and mushroom quiches and coffees.
We arrived in Wilderness just before 7pm and Caitlin went off to have dinner with her Dad and his wife in George.
Amber, Trevor, Norm and I had dinner at Salinas just up the road. I had the seafood tapas platter at R150. The fish gujons had a crisp tempura batter and were delicious, the mussels nice, but the calamari was tough and a bit fishy.
We went back to Trevor and Amber’s and relaxed and chatted and had an early night. Norm still wasn’t feeling very well and we were all tired.
I woke up early on Saturday to find Amber sneaking round the kitchen decorating her Cupcakes of Catan. She is so creative.
Too cute! Trevor is so lucky to have her, he is very artistic but I hazard a bet that like me he is a lazy one pot cook when possible.
Norm and I got ready and drove to George, it’s such a stunning drive.
We went to the George Mall and we had lunch at Mugg and Bean
We both ordered a cheddar Omelette with bacon.
It was nice but service was incredibly slow. They only had 1 card machine and probably had at least 30 tables. It was a complete nightmare. I finally gave up left cash on the table and left.
We did a bit of shopping and I bought some jeans and found I have dropped down another jean size. Yay me! We visited Eden Meander which is a newer part of the mall. I thought Amber said it was called ‘Eat and Meander’!
We headed back to the house to get ready for the party. This is Lily as Tank Girl, Caitlin as Jareth from The Labyrinth and me in Steam Punk mode ready to depart.
We had to stop for petrol and everyone at the station and in the surrounding cars was pointing and laughing.
At the party there were loads of props to play with and take pics with.
This is me with Rose who owns Joplin’s and who hosted us for the evening. Rose is Amber’s mom. She’s lovely.
It was a brisk but warmish evening for winter and as I had on pleather leggings it was lovely outside on the veranda.
This is Trevor in full regalia as Kylo Ren, he looked brilliant. Amber ordered the outfit and had it sent to my house as it was all a surprise.
Amber worked so hard on the decorations and the food.
We had such fun.
The Cupcakes of Catan were arranged like the board.
Caitlin made a Wall of Trevor tribute to him.
We all clubbed together to buy him all the bits and pieces for him to build himself a very fancy gaming PC.
Next day we all felt rather rough. I had a few coffees and drank a lot of water. This was my fave little spot, we could see buck jumping round in the distance.
Trevor and Amber’s house is so stunning.
Eventually Norm and I felt up to going out. Everyone was immobile except Amber who was her usual energetic self looking after everyone. We went to Timberlake Organic Village which has some wonderful little shops and cafes. There were little monkeys running round everywhere.
There was a cute cafe with an outside area with a singer.
We got a table in the shade on the veranda.
And I ordered some hair of the dog in the form of a Bloody Mary.
It was a very nice one, very spicy. It was just what I needed. We listened to music, relaxed and watched the monkeys.
I ordered the chicken salad.
Norm ordered the beef burger with low carb fritters instead of a bun.
But he had chips. Oops.
We had a lovely time out while everyone napped at home. We went for a drive along the beach.
We came back home and Amber built a roaring fire, the kitties were happy.
We kicked back on the giant sofa and watched back to back episodes of Making A Murderer. We have three left so no spoilers please!
We ordered Thai food and Amber’s cousin Calum went to collect it. We chowed while devouring episode after episode. We stayed up far too late as a result.
We got up early this morning as we didn’t want the dogs on their own any longer than required. Trevor opened his presents, Amber got him a cable for something or other which means he can adjust the volume from his TV rather than his PC. I got him a top with a cool collar which morphs into a hood. Or a hood that morphs into a collar. Chicken, egg. I also got him a flannel shirt with a hood and a lovely blue nubby knit sweater with a hood.
I seemed to be obsessed with hoods.
I hope he liked them all.
We had one last group pic in the garden.
We decided to try to get halfway and then stop at Wimpy as they do all day breakfast. I got the low carb with 2 eggs, bacon and mushrooms.
We didn’t mess about and hit the road as soon as we finished,
We had a real ‘Only in Africa’ moment when we happened upon a troup of Baboons just chilling in the road.
Crazy. We navigated through them then carried on. When we hit Sir Lowry’s Pass it was so misty.
In LA we would call that smog!
We got home just before sunset, it’s so nice to be in my house but I love spending time with my boy. I’m so blessed with how fabulous my kids are.
We got takeaways from Spiro’s and when Norm set the packet on the counter it fell right off. Lily and Caitlin both lost most their food and all their chips. We managed to share the food out between us. It was so delicious! Just sparse.
Back to reality tomorrow I’m afraid. 4 days off went too fast.
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