Tag Archives: beach

Cape Town today

21 Apr

This time of year is Cape Town’s best kept secret. Forget coming here in summer: April is the time to visit the fair cape! Not a cloud in the sky, the temperature is still warm enough (most days) to walk around without jerseys and jackets, and (best of all) there is no wind! I love this city but man this place’s wind makes me want to kill myself. (Exaggeration).

Sure, the ocean is bloody freezing but it pretty much always is so I tend to look at it and nothing more, most of the time.

This weekend was magical. Sleeping in, brunch, seeing The Kooks live, spending time with a long list of special friends, walks on/along the beach, naps… Thanks, Mother City. You are too kind.

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A Weekend In Franskraal

7 Mar

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photo 4This past weekend we drove out to Franskraal, a coastal town just past Stanford on the East Coast. Now that we’re married we are eager to have tons of “weekends away”, and the Western Cape is so ideal for that. Just a few hours’ drive takes you to beautiful coastal towns, the winelands, mountains, and more!

We drove up after work on Friday which was a good move as it made the weekend seem so much longer! Plus the drive was beautiful and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the mountains, lighting up the beautiful Elgin valley, and finally setting the ocean on fire as we got to Hermanus.

On Friday night we drank and braaied to celebrate Stef’s birthday [the whole reason for the weekend away]. We all chipped in to buy him Settlers of Catan and an extension pack that allows up to six people to play.

On Saturday morning after a big breakfast we went to the beach. SC and I went for a jog and then walked back in the waves. I’m pretty sensitive to cold but the water was a perfect temperature and I have decided the East coast is where it’s at; I just can’t face the arctic waters of the west coast! After some reading time on the beach [still on Les Miserables, should finish in the next decade] we went for a swim and then finally headed home where we had a late lunch with some bubbly. We then went to Birkinhead Brewery in Stanford which has the most incredible mountain views and delicious beer. We watched the rugby which was not as exciting as the drinking game we invented: Take a sip every time the angry Afrikaner at the end of the bar drops an f-bomb. After that we played Settlers of Catan which I was sure I would hate but completely loved. At 2am, Chris won.

Sunday morning was another big breakfast and then SC and I went for soft serve. I’m not much of a sweet tooth but man oh man, give me soft serve on the beach and I am one happy girl! It has to be the strawberry and vanilla kind, or if it’s plain vanilla it needs to be dipped in caramel. Obviously.

After that we went horseriding on the beach. On Saturday we saw horses on the beach and jogged until we caught up with them to ask for a number. It was just Simon and I on the ride and he was a bit nervous because he hasn’t ridden much and the last time I took him riding he was put on a fairly grumpy horse. Simon got a palomino gelding Goldy, and I was put on a feisty little skewbald called Harry. He was a handful, but such fun to ride! Simon went from being nervous to even be on a horse, and having never done more than ten steps of trotting, to galloping on the beach! I was so chuffed and I definitely plan to do this again, soon. Having done horse riding for 13 years of my life, I miss it every single day.

After a really stunning ride, made better by the fact that we were the only two, along with the guide, we drove to Hermanus en route home. We stopped there for a walk around. It really is a beautiful town and was pleasantly quiet. We went to Hemingway’s which is contending with Book Lounge to be my favourite book shop in South Africa. I got a better copy of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin [ours is falling apart] as well as the complete works of Shakespeare because buying them individually is a mission and takes up too much space in our little flat.

After a lunch of gin and tonics and  fish and chips with a view, we drove back to Cape Town, enjoying another beautiful afternoon of sunshine.

It’s energising escaping the city, even if only for two days. I plan on doing more of this in future!

A Summer PSA

2 Nov

This isn’t exactly a fun piece. It isn’t humorous, and it doesn’t have pretty pictures. It’s not depressing or gross, though, and it is very, very necessary that you read this.

My mother was always obsessive about sunscreen. Every two minutes I was pulled out of the pool or off the horse and more thick white goo was applied to my face.  It irritated me so much as a kid! But today I am so grateful to my mother, and I apply SPF to my face every single day, even if it is raining and I am indoors all day.

SC got sunburnt badly a few times as a kid. As a result thereof he has to have a skin cancer check every six months. I decided I would go to his doctor, too, for what they call ‘mole mapping’. Here’s what it entails, and why everyone should go:

It’s not exactly a great experience, you know? First you stand in front of a stranger in your underwear. Doctor or not, that’s not as nice am activity as, say, a glass of wine with your best friend. Secondly, said stranger takes pictures of your body in sections. These show up on a big computer screen and trust me, that doctor’s room lighting would do any super model injustices. I cringed more than once. The doctor then ‘maps’ the moles you have. He labels them, and thereafter pays special attention to the ones that are potentially problematic. He cleans them and then takes a really, really close-up picture of them. A mole, multiplied by a bajillion and shown on a big screen, is not pretty. It’s not cute like, say, a baby panda. But then again, neither is cancer.

The surprising thing for me was that the moles I had been worried about were nothing: non-threatening moles and in some cases not even moles but pigmented polyps. One of the two moles that he marked was a tiny little freckle on my stomach that I had never even noticed! And I can’t help but wonder: how many people don’t have check-ups because they think they aren’t at risk since they don’t have huge moles all over their bodies?

The two moles he marked were in the “yellow zone”, one of them inching towards orange.  The zones go from white to yellow to orange to red, and obviously red is a very dangerous place to be. The doctor told me these could be problematic and I would have to come for a three-month check-up, which I did yesterday.  If they had gotten worse, I would need to come in every three months for monitoring. Since my last visit I had become even more SPF-crazy, and yesterday I found out it had paid off! Both moles had moved backwards towards the white zone, and now I only need to go back next year!

Last week, my English teacher from high school, who was just a wonderful human being, died of skin cancer. It can spread to your other organs and kill you. It can kill you, full stop. And yet every summer we see people lying in the sun, covered in oil, desperate for a tan. We fry ourselves, despite the risk of CANCER, just so our skin will be a little darker. Isn’t that completely insane?

I think everyone should go for mole-mapping at least once, if only to know where they stand. You may think a tan is sexy, but skin cancer is most certainly not. And since even cancer can’t deter us from striving for ‘beauty’, I urge people to think of how much worse they will age because of all of their time in the sun! Ladies, you want to carry a vintage leather bag, not look like one.

If you have just thirty minutes and R300 to spare, call Dr Pieper’s office at 021 42 44 257 and make an appointment. He practices from a gorgeous old Victorian house on Kloof Neck Road and his receptionist is such a laugh. And maybe someday you will thank yourself for it. In fact, I’m pretty sure you will.

Right. Thanks for reading. Here’s a picture of a bunny:

Engagement Party #1: Durban

16 Apr

On Saturday morning we flew to Durban to go view some venues in the Midlands [more on that later]. We almost didn’t make it for many reasons, including one o us oversleeping by an hour, 33 missed calls [on a phone NOT on silent], being locked outside an apartment, inside a stairwell, broken intercoms, and a lack of required documentation. How we got on our plan on time, I do not know.

But we did.

After viewing venues it was a quick stop at SC’s parents’ place, and then off to our first engagement party on Virginia Beach.

It was exactly what we planned: a barefoot gathering of friends and family, barefoot, on the beach, with punch in paper cups, a bonfire, and mini bunny chows!

My fiance is hot!

He also struggles to use my SLR.

Beach vibes! Gotten my Bridesmaid Margie.

Nicky and Greta contemplate how to help the balloons survive the wind.

These guys tried to crash our party.

Bridesmaid Margie creates beach-vibe straws.

SC with Groomsman Will. Future Father-in-Law, without whose help this would not have happened, in the background.

Friends and future family!

Future Mother-in-Law [second from left], who put in tons of hard work for all of this.

St Anne’s girls unite!

Bonfire, beach, bare feet.

I assume it’s a guy thing…

Friends around the fire.

Massive thanks to William The Groomsman and Margie The Bridesmaid as well as SC’s parents who put it all together. They did everything for us. All we did was come up with the idea. And arrive.

Oh, and to everyone who came. It really was quite wonderful.

Once, Twice, Three Times an Engagement Party

4 Apr

This whole “getting married” thing is going to be something of a cross country affair.

SC and I live in Cape Town.

My whole family lives in Jo’burg.

His whole family live in Durban.

We’re getting married in Hilton, where I went to school.

And our guests are scattered across the globe.

Now, because we are getting married in Hilton, KZN, which is close to where his family lives, we figured we’d have the engagement party in Jo’burg, where my family lives. Something fancypants and formal, like finger snacks and bubbly in a gorgeous hotel.

And then we figured we might as well do one in Cape Town for our friends. Nothing formal, we’d just get everyone together somewhere lovely and we’d all be in a room to celebrate.

And then his mum [Future Mother-in-Law (MIL)] asked whether we could please have one in Durban for his family, as many of them may not be able to see us before the wedding. It made 100% sense, especially since we’d be flying up for venue viewing next weekend! An added bonus is that our Durban friends and family are super awesome and fun to be around.

I wasn’t too keen for more expenses, more phoning/emailing/organising, finding a venue, stressing… All the rest. So I figured we should do something totally the opposite of our Jo’burg engagement party. We’d go totally Durban.

The vibe is meeting on the beach for punch in colourful plastic cups with stripey straws, mini bunny chows [discovered these in December and they changed my life], and have a rad, laid-back time with family, barefoot, on the East Coast. Maybe even a bonfire later!

So that is the plan for our the Durban leg of our engagement festivities.

And here is the invite, which I just think is absolutely gorgeous:

These were done in about a day by Ashleigh, and they are actually what we wanted.

So happy with our first invite going out, I feel it bodes well for the rest.

PS. If you want to use a talented designer who works quickly, does what you want, and is so chilled with taking feedback [I’ve worked with my fair share of designers who cry if you ask them to change something, trust me it is not fun], get in touch:

Reliving Our Second Date

31 Mar

We’re engaged!

Goodness, it has been a whirlwind two weeks. Bit somewhere amongst the madness of celebrating and planning a wedding, we found time to relive our second date.

Our first date was a bottle of very expensive red wine and crème brûlée at Cafe Paradiso.

But our second date was quite special. It happened almost a year ago, just after we met [29 March 2011], and we decided to relive it last week.

It starts with a beautiful drive from town to Kalk Bay, which includes a good walk to Cafe Olympia, our favourite Kalk Bay spot.

We sit at the window counter while people-watching, enjoy fresh bread with good olive oil and balsamic vinegar, a glass of wine, and great company. This time it included doing some wedding planning.

And then we eat mussels. These are so, so good! I could eat them every day.

The next stop is Simon’s Town. We normally get soft serve but the machine was broken this time.

But that didn’t put us off. We sat on the pier. Last time there were hundreds of tiny jellyfish in the water. This time there was a seal.

From there we go to Smitswinkelbaai, a fascinating town of about 15 houses which is inaccessible by car. You have to park at the top of this cliff and walk down to the town. It has amazing views, and our tradition is to slow dance on the slop of the mountain, overlooking the town and the ocean.

And then to Misty Cliffs for a walk on the beach, followed by chasing each other, and then a teenager-like few minutes of making out on the beach.

And finally, we stop at Chapman’s Peak to take in the view, and appreciate one another.

And then back home.

I look forward to sixty autumns of this.

The Weekend That Was

6 Mar

Great weekend after a very hectic work week [well, for me]!

Firstly, on Friday, I was working at House and Leisure‘s Design Indaba stand. SC came around to do a spot of painting.

And when I got back to the office [at 6pm, uhfff!] these were waiting for me:

I really am the luckiest girl in the world.

On Saturday we spent the morning on Camps Bay beach at the Caprice Volleyball Tournament. SC played, I lay on the beach drinking virgin cocktails and eating breakfast pastries.

After that we went for burgers at Royale. Definitely one of my favourite burger joints in Cape Town [Gourmet Burger and Royale are kind of battling it out for the number one spot at this stage.]

SC had a delicious Romany Creams milkshake which he very kindly shared with me.

We usually order the two things both of us want but cannot decide which to order, and go halvies. This time it was a beef and chorizo burger with guacamole and salsa, and a beef burger with rocket and mushrooms.

On Saturday we saw Two Door Cinema Club at a “secret venue”, and it was mind-blowing! [More on that later, it deserves its own post entirely]. We took a bus there which, I’m sure, was from the 1950’s.

On Sunday morning, Cape Town was not looking too shabby. This is the view SC has from his bedroom.

After church we cooked lunch at his place and boy oh boy did we outdo ourselves!

I got some baby squid from Ocean Jewels, which is a SASSI-approved fish supplier. There were super affordable and tasty so I will definitely be getting some more soon.

Voila! Baby squid and chorizo salad. We still had some Frankie Fenner chorizo left from a while ago so we sliced that up and added it to the salad, as well as some home-made tomato tarts.

And then, of course, it was time for high tea.

 
This unbelievable box of delights was delivered to my desk on Friday afternoon from Chocolate or Vanilla [the answer is vanilla, of course!], in Gardens. Now I have always been a huge fan of cupcakes but I am telling you, mini cupcakes are the future! They are delicious as anything, but the fact that they are bite-sized means that not only are they easier to eat, you can also eat one without feeling too sweet, or sample several flavours because there’s room for more!
You absolutely MUST try these cupcakes. Definitely some of the best I have had. Just send Lara a mail at chocolateorvanilla@mweb.co.za.
And that’s a wrap for another lovely weekend! I can feel autumn in the air, so expect these posts to start looking quite different soon!