Posted in Crime, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Somewhere warm!

The private security firm we use, Atlas Security, sends out a weekly newsletter of crimes and incidents in Port Elizabeth that they have responded to. 

It is very detailed but depressing to read when you realise that these are only incidents that they have responded to.  It does not include other security firms or the police. 

Today however, when I read it I had to laugh.  Here is an extract of one of the crimes they responded to: 

“At 03h36 on Monday morning, an Outeniqua Street, Kamma Heights homeowner found a suspect sleeping in the back seat of his car that was parked in his yard.

The owner heard noises coming from his yard and found the 19-year-old boy sleeping on the seat, with their dog under his arm. The owner woke the suspect and questioned him. In the mean time, the owner’s wife phoned ATLAS to despatch a Response vehicle to their home.”

Yes, it is sad that the teenager that had to find somewhere to sleep, but did you notice who his sleeping partner was? 

So much for having a watchdog…. I can just picture them snuggled up together keeping warm.

Posted in Ordinarylife, South Africa, Work

Gautrain! Awesome

I was in Jo’burg on business yesterday, it was fun.  I got to catch the Gautrain from the airport and back!  Boy was I impressed.  It was clean, fast and efficient.  It was worth flying up there just to catch the train.  

My only problem….  the escalators at the Sandton station!  Holy cow they have dug a deep hole in the ground.  The platform of the station is a long way from the surface and while catching the esculators up you get quite a good idea of how deep.  You can see all the way down.  Not good when you have a slight fear of heights.  I was beginning to get rather stressed near the top.  On the way back I thought I would be smart and catch the lift…. That was fine until we started to descend and I realised the doors were glass…. Yikes, I had my eyes shut the whole way down. 

Please excuse quality of these photos.  I took them from my phone.

Gautrain
Gautrain - interior
Posted in Dogs, Family, Ordinarylife

My lovable guard dog.

My German Shepherd is turning into a very good guard dog.  He has become very protective of me.  He always has been a bit but seems to be getting more so lately. 

I could never take him to the vet or any place like that because he protects me if anyone comes close, he is fine if Mr OL takes him though.  Even when he was a puppy he did not like it if somebody – like our gardener came close to me.  However this week he has taken it to new levels.  We have had some people working in our back garden paving – yes, we have finally given up on grass – the dogs have just run tracks in it. Well back to the workers, they have been there all week and the dogs have been fine, until this morning. I walked outside to talk to the workers to tell them to stop ringing my doorbell a million times a day.  Duke went mad, barking and going for them. He didn’t bite them, but did let them know that he was not happy.  As soon as I walked back inside he stopped and sat down as if nothing was wrong.  A few minutes later I thought I would try again and he did it again.  I just stepped out the back door and he would go for them, I would step back inside and he would stop.  It was actually quite funny – well, from my point of view it was.  He does stop if I tell him to, but seeing as they have been ringing my doorbell and waking the baby all day for the past week I thought I would let them stew a bit.  Also I am not adverse to people knowing we have a vicious dog on the premises.  I had a gardener working here over the weekend and it was actually Daisy that decided to tell him she was also a guard dog, and when she starts then Duke starts, but as soon as I told them to stop they did.  I needed to actually speak to him during the day so could not have them attacking him every time I wanted to tell him to do something. 

So would you be upset if your dogs were this protective of you, or would you be quite happy?  Obviously if they did not stop when I told them to I would be very upset about it, but seeing as they stand down when told I am actually rather pleased.

What, me? Vicious - NEVER!
Posted in Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

Fantastic

So the weekend was just as good as I thought it was going to be.  It was GREAT to see my friend that I have not seen and it was as if we had seen each other last week.  Except of course that she now has a 8 month old – who is GORGEOUS!  The day absolutely flew by. We met at the Beacon Isle hotel for breakfast and ended up spending about 5 hours just sitting on the veranda and grass area chatting. Breakfast let to tea, which led to cake. 

At one stage Mr OL and I thought about booking in for the night – and probably would have done if we did not have the animals at home to worry about.  It was so relaxing and peaceful there. Not to mention beautiful.  Even the weather played along and was fantastic. 

Do I really need to go back to the UK???

Unfortunately they have headed back to the UK today.  Brrrr!!

Posted in hiking, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, Robberg Hike, South Africa

Awesome weekend planned!

I am very excited for this weekend. 

I have made plans to meet up with a friend that I have not seen since 1999.  

We first met in 1993 whilst working at the same place in Cape Town.  In 1994 we briefly shared a flat until I decided to go travelling and moved to London.  In 1997 she also decided to move to London and we once again briefly shared a flat.  I left (notice a trend) later that same year to go travelling.  

She still lives in the UK and besides a brief visit to Scotland in 1999 when we met up I have not seen her since. 

She is in South Africa visiting family in the Garden Route at the moment and we have decided to try and meet half way – PLETTENBERG BAY.  I can’t wait.  We are just going to go through for the day tomorrow but it should be awesome.  

Not only am I going to meet up with her but I also get to see one of my favourite places on earth!  I love the Garden Route and she and I used to spend a lot of time there.  It will be like old times – except that we are both 16 years older, married, she has a 6month old baby and I am 9 months pregnant. As I said – just like old times.

Reasons why I love PLETT! (photos taken when we did the Robberg Hike in Novemeber 2008)

Robberg in Plett November 2008
Robberg - Plettenberg Bay.
Posted in Family, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Quilting, Running, Training

Me, obsessed? Never!

Mr OL thinks I get a bit obsessive about some things – like Ironman training or what ever it is that I have going on at that moment.  Although I was a bit upset when he said it, I realised that he is quite right. 

I get all passionate about “it” (whatever “it” may be), I obsess about “it” for a while, Google and research as much as I can about “it” – then finish, complete or do “it”, once it is over I hit a bit of a depression until I find the next “it”.  

This is not good – especially not for career choices.  It means that I have yet to find what it is that I enjoy doing and will continue to enjoy doing in the future.  How it is good though is that it means I have a broad range of interests and know quite a bit about quite a few subjects.  What is that saying “Jack (Jill) of all trades, Master of none” I think that describes me pretty well.  I can do lots of stuff reasonably well, but am not exceptionally talented in any.  Once I have figured out how to do it I will move on to the next thing.  Some things do endure though.  I have done TWO Ironman races and I have painted for over 10 years and I have been blogging for over 3 years.  

However – I do have a latest (passing) obsession – quilting!!! Go figure?? I can’t stop Googling it, looking at material and researching different styles and stuff.  I blame that b#@%@#% playmate.  I really enjoyed making it, but realised that as far as quilts go it was not quite up to standard or done in the correct way.  Hmmmm, I am NOT going to start quilting –NOT, NOT, NOT!!!! 

I will also give you a heads up to what my next obsession is going to be, unless of course ALL my priorities change once the baby is born.  It is going to be run training!  I need a goal, something to get me out of bed, onto the road and back into shape, and yes something to obsesses about and to research.  I need a training program!!! So, me being me I have figured it out.  I want to do the Comrades Ultra Marathon in 2011!  I have thought about it A LOT, it is something I have always wanted to do and would have done this year if I had not fallen pregnant.  I have discussed it with Mr OL (he is hoping once the baby is born I will change my mind but is ok with it if I don’t) and have uhmmm, researched it.  Unfortunately it is an “up” run that year but I don’t want to wait till 2012 (baby #2 might get in the way). 

So, over the next year and a bit please be prepared to be bored with this blog focusing on 2 main topics – the first being Baby OL and the second being running.  In preparation I have bought a running stroller…..  I could not get the one I wanted DRAT!  They don’t sell BOB strollers in South Africa – they would not even ship me one!!!  In fact they would not even ship one to my sister in the UK.  So I have had to make do with a local stroller.  Not what I wanted but the only reasonable one I could get, it does say on the website not for professional jogging though?  Not really sure what that means – but do you think training for the Comrades would be classed as “professional jogging”????  

Don’t say I did not warn you!

Posted in Charity, Family, Food, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Swimming, Wetsuit

The Weekend!

I had a great weekend. 

It as fantastic to see my sister again!!!  We spent the whole day Saturday together which was great!  I then “let” her spend Saturday evening with our brother, seeing as he is off on Honeymoon tomorrow so she will not really get to see much of him.  Mr OL and I went out for dinner with friends.  They said if we did not join them we could strike them off the baby sitting list and seeing as they are the only ones on it at the moment we thought we had better go.  Of course that was not the only reason, it was great to see them and they are a really nice couple. 

Sunday I went to the beach and watched the Ocean Racing Series.  It was funny not to be taking part, but I am chicken of swimming in the sea without my wetsuit. When I got down there I really wished I had entered. The sea was beautiful and not cold at all.  I would have managed just fine.  My sister enjoyed it and it was a just a little reminder of what she is missing living in London…. 

On the way home I got caught up in a whole group of motor bikes….  Luckily they were going the opposite direction so I just pulled over and watched.  It was the Toy Run, where the bikers collect toys and then give them to needy children.  I am not sure how many bikes there were but there were a lot!!!  I am not usually a fan of motorbikes but it was amazing to watch and hear.  Click HERE for photos’ of the Cape Town one.   And HERE for photos of the PE one.

After that I went to the Walmer Park Summer Food Festival – Yum!!!  It was pretty good. But then it involved food so…… Of course it was good.

Then of course it was “THE WEDDING”  I can’t believe my little (all 6foot3 of him) got married.  He and his friends scrubbed up pretty good. Who knew that those boys could look that smart.  His wife looked STUNNING but then I expected no different she really is beautiful.  The wedding was fantastic, very simple décor, white roses for flower, all very tasteful.  I will post photo’s as soon as I have had them developed (or stolen some from somebody else).  Yes, I said developed – I took them on my film camera (so retro I know) but I enjoy using it and sometimes think the photo’s come out better.  But then I do have a really crap digital camera. 

Well I guess that is all from me for now – except to say that I am going to head straight to bed when I get home.  Mr OL is very good about sharing although this time I wish he had been a bit more selfish – he seems t have given me his cold!!!

Posted in Charity, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Work

Rock Pools and Penguins

We started with a talk at the SAMREC Centre to learn about about penguins and see a few that have been rescued and then headed down to the beach and rock pools. 

The day ended with games on the beach.  Luckily the weather held for most of it, but turned a bit chilly and windy towards the end.

Here are some photos  – none of me as I was the one holding the camera.

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At the SAMREC Centre learning about penguins

 

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Some of the rescue Penguins and Volunteers
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Exploring
Sea Urchins.
Sea Urchins
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Cape Recife Lighthouse
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Cape Recife Nature Reserve
Posted in hiking, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, Whale Trail

Just a few

Here are a couple of photos that I took with my digital camera.  I can’t wait to get the others developed.  For now I am going to leave you with this and a promise that I will write more detail shortly!!

Looking over the Breede River Valley
Looking over the Breede River Valley

 

Looking over the De Hoop Nature Reserve toward the sea.
Looking over the De Hoop Nature Reserve toward the sea.

 

Whale watching from afar
Whale watching from afar

 

Walking towards the 3rd hut.
Walking towards the 3rd hut.

 

Cormorants nesting - with chicks (very cute)
Cormorants nesting - with chicks (very cute)

 

Some whales - not cooperating!
Some whales - not cooperating!
Posted in Family, hiking, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Whale Trail

Back in town!

I am back and everything I have ever read about the Whale Trail is true!  It is FANTASTIC.  I had an awesome time and would well recommend it. 

I will post pictures and more info shortly.  All I will say for now is it must have some of the nicest and best equipped hiking huts in the country.  The staff are so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable and the trail very well maintained. 

We left PE on Wednesday and got back yesterday.  It is quite a drive (7 hours) but not unbearable.  You don’t walk on the first day so that is fine, but yesterday was a bit of a rush.  It might have been better to stay another night in the area and only drive back today, but unfortunately we could not because of leave constraints…. 

I took my old film camera so will have to wait to get the photo’s developed….  It’s been a while since I used it but it is a better camera than my digital so I thought I would try it out again.  It was actually quite fun and will be interesting to see how the pictures come out.  I am so used to instant gratification of the digital that this is quite novel.  I hopefully will be able to convert (or at the worst scan) some of the photos so you can see how beautiful it was. 

And it lived up to its name – we saw LOADS of whales and some of them were really close in to shore.