Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Archive for weekend special

A weekend in the garden

…so the weekend was busy, but it came to a delightful denouement with T, M and C’s farewell party. In 3 weeks my beautiful German family are moving back home. We are in a bit of denial – after 5 years we are going to miss them terribly!  It’s also fairly unusual, I think, to make such an amazing friendship in adulthood. My nearest and dearest are people I have known since I was 5, but somehow, this little family, who I have gotten to know only over the last 9 years have become very special to me – and it’s the kind of friendship that will survive distance and years. Saying goodbye is going to be hell!

The party was amazing – hosted at a garden cafe at our local nursery, we ate great food, drank far too much wine (which is why I couldn’t run this morning…) and relaxed under a beautiful canopy of ivy and vines. The tables were decorated with crisp white clothes, protea place mats, glass vases with bunches of proteas. Rather appropriate for a farewell to SA party. Food highlights were bobotie filled mini pancakes and mini peppermint crisp tartlets. Yum!

Now this was my second trip to the same cafe over the weekend – we ran the nite series on Friday night, started there – 5,5km on a stunning single track through the forest area next door. So stunning! My time was not amazing, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! Charlie sweated up a storm and seemed to enjoy it too. Next month we run the next one in the series- we’ll see how that one goes! Yay!

 

Crazy and quiet

…this was a weekend of contrasts – moments of such peace and quiet – awesome – to moments of pure blind terror and chaos! It was insane! By last night I was feeling a bit odd!

Friday had been a lovely quiet youth day. Saturday Morning was the busiest time on call that I have had for a long while (preterm twin caesar delivery; an emergency caesar for feral distress to discover a mother bleeding out, a horrible miscarriage)! Sunday started well, and then ended with some drama with a planned home birth being brought to hospital, only to have her deliver in the parking lot, to everyone’s consternation!

The rest of the weekend was nice – had some good family time with my daughter – shopping for Father’s day gifts for Charlie and Pops; playing monopoly on a cold Sunday afternoon; preparing a roast dinner for Sunday lunch for the Dads. She is such a sweetie pie – we are having the best time with her at the moment. So interactive, so kind, so sweet, so intuitive.

Funny week

…as in strange, not funny haha. Hmm… Headache has not completely gone, so I have still been battling quite a bit there. There are a whole host of investigations underway – I’ll fill you all in when I have some more info – it’s probably just all neck related – gynaecologist’s neck… But it’s been debilitating.

The weather has been cold – I enjoy winter, I love snuggling down on the couch with a blanket; and I signed us up for Netflix, so I am ready for it all! I have a stash of Milo and hot chocolate, lots of tea ( pity about the snacks I always want) On that note, any recommendations of things to watch – series, movies…

The long weekend looms, and I am on call – guess it has to happen – I’ve had a long run of weekends off – loved those! Our city seems to be emptying out, so on the social side, it’ll be quiet – time to catch up and regroup; do some tidying up, some sorting out at home – I need to do that. The only problem is I tend to sort out one area, and am then all sorted out – and the thought of continuing another room or cupboard seems to much… Let’s hope I have a good dose of endurability this weekend.

Oh, and I’m running again, after a 2 week break, here’s to marathon training (again).

Of birthdays and weather

…so, happy birthday to me; and happy birthday party to my daughter! What a weekend it was! I was a bit of an obsessive weather watcher, and despite a very windswept beach, we found a few sheltered spots and had a great party!

So the weekend went as follows

  • Friday -photoshoot for a calendar that the wild women are putting together as a fundraiser – running around in forests and bushes, diving off jettys into rivers, splashing about – crazy stuff! Then it was home to finish up party stuff – cake was almost finished that evening; biscuits were completed, and other miscellaneous party stuff. Late to bed…
  • Saturday – started with my birthday, and a panicked call from a friend’s husband, she’d fainted in the shower – so a quick dash there to get her all sorted out, then home to get ready for a long day. Thandi started at ballet rehearsals, I ran some chores, then on my way back to fetch her, I tripped on the pavement ending up with skinned and bruised knees, elbow, hands and ego! Witnessed by only an apologetic car guard, I was mortified! Anyway, pulling myself together, fetched the child, and then off to her school’s Games day – what fun and chaos, noise and laughter! And wind… I had my duty at the Stake your Claim, and we had a bumper year with great prizes and a new record with the amount we raised! Then it was home to work, work, work – more baking and the finishing touches to the party stuff. I have to say – it wasn’t much of a birthday! By the end of the evening I was sore and stiff, with all my muscles cramping after my fall!
  • After a not great night in bed, listening to the howling wind, Sunday dawned, yes windy – not ideal for a party on the beach, but anyway, there was no plan B, so we had to make plan A work. We headed off to the beach house nice and early, I stopped at the local spar to buy some bread – I wanted long slices, so as I was getting ready to put the beautiful fresh bread through the slicer the ‘wrong way’ I had the bakery lady shouting that I must stop, the security would help me, to which I replied that I wanted long slices of bread, to make ‘sushi roll sandwiches’; I reckon they are still talking about the crazy lady putting the bread the wrong way through the slicer! You get surprisingly, a lot of sarmies out! With a creamy filling – egg mayo, chicken mayo and cheese spread with ham; they rolled up well and came out beautifully! Anyway, we prepped everything, packed cars and headed to the beach, where we had to make a few executive decisions on where things had to go – we found some sheltered spots, and despite the wind, the kids had a whale of a time – no tears, no drama, delicious food, fun activities, and the best treasure hunt EVER! I had a friend there taking photos, so when I get those I will post them, here are a few I took before things got underway…


The toughest part of the weekend was quite how much I missed my mom. I shed many tears this weekend. Mom, wish you were here to see this beautiful big little girl; she’s a reminder of you every day, when I look into  her eyes and see yours. Her day was awesome – you would have loved it! See you again, second star to the right, straight on until morning!

Party prep

..ok, so things have been insane the last few days – between party prep, birthdays and the judging interview.But I am still standing!

So, the interview for the BWA awards went well, I felt good and confident going in, and coming out. I was nervous, but realised that there is nothing I  couldn’t answer. I am my own boss, I have my own passions and ethics; and I think I carried that over well. I was happy with how things went. So we will see – Monday I hear if I am indeed a finalist, then we go from there.

On the party prep side, I think I am on track…

  • fudge and smudge √ (yum – my favorite fail proof recipe – realizes that the brand of condensed milk matters – having made 2 batches, the one took way longer to cook than the other – I will have to share recipe at another time, all of a sudden I can’t remember if it’s 125gm of butter or 250gm…) 
  • coconut ice √(ooh, bad photo – super easy too – 1 can condensed milk, 340gm icing sugar – mix together; 340gm desiccated coconut, add in. It’s tough to stir! Then divide mixture in half, add colour to one, and then press them into your pan, in layers.)
  • rice crispy treats √ 
  • sugar crystals √ (The recipe for this is super simple, but don’t be scared by the amount of sugar – I start with 2 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar in a big pot, and bring to a simmer, allowing the sugar to dissolve – keep adding a cup of sugar at a rtime until it doesn’t really dissolve anymore – it usually ends up between 8 and 10 cups (!!!). Take it off the heat and allow to cool a bit. Prepare your sticks – make your skewers wet, roll in sugar and then allow to dry; then it’s the tricky part. I use my champagne flutes, pour the sugar syrup in with whatever food colouring I’ve chosen; and then it’s a matter of suspending the sticks in the syrup. I generally use a clothes peg and then adjust the height of it to accommodate the glass. You don’t want the stick to touch the sides or bottom of the glass. Then watch them grow – I grew these for about 10 days, I think, maybe longer. I do move them around every day, so they don’t get stuck to the sides – these things happen. Thandi loves watching it all too! Good science demonstrations!)
  • biscuits √(with a food colouring pen I am going to draw in a little Think, and the sprinkles are coming out of her wand – I’ll take a finished product picture.)
  • cake √
  • dresses, bunting, table runner √

Still to do

  • icing of cake
  • cupcakes and icing
  • tinkerbell onto the biscuits in food colouring
  • filling of the little jars as favours
  • and on the day – sandwiches and fruit skewers.

I have a friend helping out with lemon meringue and brownies for the adults, and my husbuddy is organising the water for everyone to drink. Phew! Now just to pray for good weather.

 

 

 

 

Moments

..of peace and calm in the midst of my chaos.

So I spent the weekend doing lots of things, it was busy, but I had a few awesome moments. I’ve mentioned how I have really started enjoying sewing. I get that, at the moment, it brings me closer to the memories of my mom, and that is just precious. I have finished up more or less everything I needed to sew for the party – I might need another tablecloth, but that’ll be easy peasy if I do need it. It was really nice seeing everything come together, and I think the stuff I’ve sewn won’t fall apart the first time they put them on!

The Wendy Darling dress for my brunette daughter

The Tinkerbell dress for the blonde friend!

Another good point was my run on Saturday – I’d had my bad day – it was tough, and the night was also tough, but Saturday morning dawned absolutely perfect, so I headed down to the beach to the regular running group there – what a pleasure – the weather was perfect; the running was comfortable; my running partner was chatty (the right kind of chatty); I wasn’t the sweeper and finishing at the beach on that perfect morning was amazing! Was on a complete high.

Yesterday we headed out to our beach house to finalise the planning for Thandi’s and Charlotte’s party – another perfect day on a beautiful beach with wonderful people. So our plans are finalised, we are almost as excited as the girls!

Settling back down

…and it is time! The last few weeks have been crazy, last week was insane at work, so I am hoping that this first full week will be civilised. I am so tired of feeling rushed and anxious about how much I have to do, and how little time I have!

Ok, so this weekend was spent in CT, I was down at a Women’s Health Symposium which was a good meeting. Although I have almost a pathological issue with spending time in lectures when CT awaits me!Anyway, the meeting was worthwhile, and I got to see my friends over some spectacular meals and even got a tiny smudge of shopping in.

The dinners out were at lovely. On Friday night we ate at Thali, an Indian tapas style restaurant. It’s in the heart of vibe Gardens, beautifully decorated and busy! They don’t take bookings, so get in early. The food was delicious – they serve tapas for 2- so you share each course with your table mate – we started with poppadoms and aloo palak, served with a spicy salsa and a curry salt. Then we moved onto a delicious yellow dhal, with a pulled brisket croquette, served with a naan bread; then a fish taco (I think fish taco may be my absolute best way to eat fish!) and seared tuna, and then a delicious tender lamb curry and braised chicken served with curried mushrooms, with basmati rice. Dessert is almost unnecessary, but really, who could miss out – as part of the tapas, you get a cardamon toffee, within a coconut truffle (I love cardamon, its subtle citrusy taste wakes up a tired palate), and then one can order all sorts of other delights – my table tried the pistachio and rosewater kulfi, and the indian bon bons, a collection of beautifully crafted indian flavoured chocolates – yum! Finishing off with some chai tea was the bomb! All in all a taste sensation. I also really liked the fact that the chef and owner was working the room – clearing plates, interacting with diners and other staff, all too often the çelebrity’ chefs don’t do that.

Saturday night saw us head off to an old faithful – we headed noord to The Foodbarn. This has to rate as one of my favourite spots – reliable food, well priced and a lovely atmosphere. (although I did have a few palpitations en route, as we drove along some of the 2 Oceans route!) I started with fish tartare (yellowtail is definitely better raw, than cooked), followed by a mushroom risotto and finished off with a dessert named Mont Blanc, which was a delight – chestnut mousse, chestnut toffee, salted caramel and teeny little meringues – too nice! We drank an unusual varietal with our meal – a Rousanne, which may just become my favourite white wine – fresh, with green apple flavours. The food barn is just lovely, and I have yet to have a bad meal there. Love it!

Sunday I headed home to my beautiful little family – Thandi and I got stuck into her lego, building an enormous castle, and then tried to sort the lego out – flip, she has a lot, and loves it (as do I!) ! I reckon her and I need to tackle all the projects she has, so we can really get it all sorted out. Anyway, it was a lovely way to while away a Sunday afternoon.

Ok, so let’s get this week going, my poor nurse is wondering why I am taking so long between patients!