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Impromptu Cheese & Wine with Old Friends

What an amazing thing when you have in independent friends. I use the word “independent” to describe friends who don’t expect anything from you, don’t insist on seeing you, spending time with you or having long conversations,, but when you do eventually see each other, you give each other what true friends should, spend quality time and catch up on everything that has been going on since the last time you spent time together.

Two such friends are Martin and Natasha. On our way to buy dinner last night, we drove past them, pulled over and inevitably invited them over for a glass of wine. Later on the evening we prepared a cheese platter with some salmon, cured meat, and some good Babylonstoren bread that we made malba toast from.

This is friendship. This is The Winelands. This is good!

Cochlear Incapacity

Two nights ago, I had to go to the ER with a serious case of vertigo. As I’ve already lost one of my ears’ functionality (hearing and balance) about 10 years ago, I took the symptoms quite seriously and explained this to the doctor.

The cochlea contains a “labyrinth” of liquid which maintains balance and equilibrium – my left cochlea has a sort of puncture after a car accident and it seems the liquid has crystallised due to the airlock being broken. What seems to have happened is that some of these crystals got stuck in the wrong loop after the big move (Read “The Big Move” posted on 19 April 2017).

I’ve been asking the universe for a few days off work and now I have it. I’ll only be returning to work in 4 days!

The Flat Tyre Lesson

What’s the deal with vehicle maintenance plans, right? “I’ll deal with it when it happens” – I always said.

That’s until yesterday when Ryno’s car had a burst tyre due to the extreme heat in Paarl the past few days.

Unfortunately we don’t have the funds to replace the tyre at the moment so he’ll just have to drive 60km/h until we do.

This had me thinking that one should really have a separate bank account for vehicle maintenance – even if you just put R200 in it each month. I have a Motorcard (linked to my credit card) for vehicle related expenses, but the problem is just there in brackets… It is linked to my credit card.

So I’ve decided to open a separate savings account for vehicle maintenance. If anyone has any better ideas on how to avoid being caught off guard when having to replace brake pads or tyres, PLEASE let me know.

Your invitation to a better 2017

I subscribe to the Betterman Blueprint by Erik Kruger and received the following invite this week that I’d like to share:

My friend,

This year is drawing to a close. Many are excited for the upcoming holidays and the opportunity to unwind.

It’s been an interesting year. Trump. Brexit. My discovery that some people believe the world is flat. Did I mention Trump?

Irrespective of how interesting or horrific your year turned out to be. There is room for improvement. It’s wise to understand that there is no clear route to success. Anyone who thinks they can outline the steps needed to achieve such greatness is delusional. But there are definitely steps that you can take that will vastly increase your odds.

Let’s chat about a few easy ways to prepare for an incredible 2017…

1. First up, take stock.
Your current situation is an accumulation of your past decisions and actions. As simple as that. Although we might not have 20/20 clarity when looking at our destination. Hindsight is always crystal clear.

People can often identify the exact moment when things started going wrong. They can pinpoint the second when everything changed. But it’s important to acknowledge the small events that led up to that tipping point.

To get your mind going in the right direction you can ask yourself two focusing questions:

1. What went well this year? Even the worst year has a few bright moments.

2. What could I have done better this year? Admit to failure and incomplete actions.

2. Work on your core-chassis.
I have borrowed the core-chassis idea from P&G. Every product has a core-chassis. For toothpaste it consists of the ingredients that cleans and protect from cavities. From there you can start adding other more interesting elements such as different flavours, whitening etc.

The core-chassis of productivity is:

A sustainable diet
Eating for productivity is different to eating for a ripped body. I wont get into it for now, but your diet in this instance should provide continuous energy throughout the day. No highs or lows. Small, light meals during the day. Stay away from processed foods and white carbs.

A healthy body
Exercise is as important for your mind as it is for your body. You don’t need to look like a cover model. But you should stay in shape.

Enough sleep
This is obvious, and the most neglected. Think you are coping fine with less than 7 hours of sleep? You aren’t. Hit the bed.

A challenged mind
A mind that is just going through the motions everyday accomplishes very little. It needs to be challenged and pushed. Read new things, weird things, and hard things. Look for the relationships between seemingly unrelated areas of life.

3. Accept total ownership.
This life is yours. It’s up to you to make the best of it. Along the way you will find people who will help you to raise your game. But they cannot act on your behalf. They cannot be responsible for your happiness or success.

When you take ownership you start evolving. Something deep in you stirs. A voice starts whispering that no matter what comes your way, you will conquer it. No matter the battles you have to face, you will not allow your tranquility to be disturbed.

This evolution is slow.

So you have to be patient.

But with each passing day you will become so much more.
Acta non verba,

Suburban Spring


I spent some time planting new flowers in our “garden” yesterday. While we live in a complex where the units are wall to wall, we decided to have at least some form of garden. We’re the only ones. I’ve never been fond of gardening – that is Ryno’s department – or getting my hands dirty in any way. But for me this little garden that blooms is a great reward for the bit of effort we put in.

Holiday planning

Ever since we moved to the Winelands, we’ve been complaining that we don’t get enough visits.

You know how you always get so excited when someone moves home to a holiday location, you say things like “now I have a place to sleep when I need a holiday” and “I can’t wait to come visit”…. It doesn’t happen.

BUT this year my dad is coming to visit for Christmas and having my first off day after working 10 days in a row, I decided I’ll spend the day planning the itenerary. As a bonus, which I’m also super excited about, two old friends are also coming to visit during Christmas as part of their Cape tour.

Needless to say I used up all my data. But we’ve now got a lineup of JC le Roux MCC tasting (at the JC le Roux farm of course), lunch at Moyo on Big Bay/Blouberg, a day out at the V&A and, of course, Family Christmas lunch at home for 7. It will be the most guests we have for a meal since moving here.

While the two friends won’t be visiting long enough to join us on all the adventures, I cannot wait to see them again. Ryno bought a new set of linen for the guest bedroom and we’ll be getting guests towels soon. It is the small things that matter. We used to have all of this and so much more before moving South and rebuilding a complete home has been more of a challenge than I initially thought.

Each part of your home is an investment. Every pot and candle and towel is worth money and sentiment and letting go of things used to be my trademark, but I’ve learnt to value each item and be grateful.

60-second pizza dough

Tonight we tried a new recipe that I got from one of my colleagues. She is an all-over-the-place mom of two who has been working 7days a week for the past 4 months while also moving house twice in that time. So this 60 second pizza dough is a life saver in her busy schedule and I thought I’d give it a try. 

You need:

  • A baking tray
  • A mixing bowl
  • 250g plain yoghurt
  • 2 cups of self raising flour
  • Non-stick spray
  • 1 teaspoon oil

Do this: 

  1. In the mixing bowl, put the yoghurt and the self raising flour and fold over with a spoon till thoroughly mixed (about 20 seconds)
  2. Rub the oil on your hands (about 5 seconds)
  3. Spray the pan/baking tray with the non-stick spray (about 5 seconds – including opening the kitchen window to avoid choking)
  4. Using your oiled hands, put the dough in the baking tray and press to even out (about 30 seconds)

And there you have a perfect dough for pizza. Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Spread some mayonnaise, fried chicken fillet with mushroom cut in small pieces, grated mozzarella, herbs and fine grated lemon skin before you pop it in the oven for 20min for a Rarno-favourite. 

I loved this and you will too!

Because we can…

To alleviate some of the stress I’ve been having with the PaarlApp launch being 2 days away, Ryno told me this morning; “Let’s go to the beach” And so we did…

“Let’s go to the beach”

But as this was already an impulsive outing, I was hungry as soon as we got into the car, so we planned to stop somewhere on the way to get a snack… Oh no… We came across the Blaauwklippen Market. Quite a quaint market compared to the glorious Root44, but a much more enjoyable experience in my opinion. Where we had Pizza-in-a-Cone for the first time and we weren’t disappointed!


We eventually ended up at the beach – Gordon’s Bay specifically, for no reason..


And then the impulse…. JC le Roux completely-unplanned-but-absolutely-fabulous MCC tasting! What an experience. It cannot be put into words. Ryno had the deluxe pairing which involves pairing each of the 5 MCC’s with a different bite-size snack from maccarons to fudge. I opted for a less risky option (if at all); the Nougat Pairing where 5 different flavours of nougat are paired with 5 different MCC’s. For those who don’t know; MCC stands for Methodè Cap Classique, which is basically the South African version of Champagne – same process, different country.

We enjoyed the experience, ambience and venue so much that we made a booking for the day after Christmas with our Christmas guests..