Monday, January 28, 2008

Solo Raver on Clifton Beach

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After work today, we went down to Clifton Beach with a bunch of friends for a picnic and to watch the sunset. For a Singaporean used to HOT HOT HOT & HUMID sticky yuckiness at the East Coast Park, it was a pleasant surprise that even though it's in the middle of summer and the average temperature's like a regular day back home at around 30 degrees C, it's not hot and sticky at all.

And once the sun sets, the temperature drops down to about 18 or 20 degrees. So there we were wrapped in our blankets, eating chips and dip when suddenly this lone ranger, I mean, raver... sparks up his twirly torch things and starts prancing around, practicing his moves. It was the most random thing, but we were treated to an hour of flame throwing and twirling, which was kinda cool (can you imagine if this happened on East Coast Beach? the cops would be there in a jiffy)... music's banned on the beach coz of the residents nearby, but this guy was dancing to a random beat in his head. This place is fulla hippies!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Day ?!? of the staircase?

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All I can say is... IT'S FINALLY DONE!

It got to the point where I got bored of it. I'd come home and not even be bothered to check on where these guys were at... but after about 2 weeks (8 or 9 working days), it's all shiny, sparkly and varnished. That last curvy bit of the balustrade was what they were struggling with.

Couldn't be bothered to upload pictures coz after day 5 it all kinda looked the same to me... Even the maid who comes once a week is bored of it already (we'd keep calling and telling poor Constance "sorry, don't come tomorrow they're not done yet. Come the day after." And the next day we'd have the same conversation again...)

What an anticlimax... More work-in-progress photos in the album below.

Windows Live Spaces

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Day 5 of the Staircase mini-series

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So yesterday was the 5th working day and supposedly the last day of construction (YEAH, RIGHT!!!)

They've only just added the gangplank... and strangely enough, it doesn't look anything at all like our old staircase frame which it's supposed to be made out of. Which reminds me, we should ask them why this is the case.

More of the balustrade's been welded down, so what's left is the balustrade/ railing that goes from the stairs and sweeps up to the loft. And touching up bits & pieces here & there.

Kelly just went home during lunchtime today to check on them and apparently they're working fullsteam ahead. Seems like they'll need another 1 or 2 more days to be completely done. We're getting massive cabin-fever already and can't wait till we get the rest of the apartment back. To top it all off, apparently the municipality is shutting down electricity in the entire city tonight for "maintenance" reasons. ARGHHHHH!!!

More pix in album on the left.

Day 4 of the Staircase mini-series

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The Balustrade's been attached halfway, and each column bit has been welded to the next. Still sounds kinda creaky when you walk up & down the stairs.

More angles in the album on the left.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Got a messy house? Party at your mama's!

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...and so we did. Organized a braai at Gaye's place on Saturday while she's away in New Zealand.

Victoria and her friends came over, people from Ogilvy came over, and Kelly's bunch of friends came over. It was a motley crew over beers and braai... and lots of MEAT. It's truly a S.African passion (we've now had 3 braai's in the space of 7 days).

And then spent Sunday cleaning the massive mess, and sleeping it off... anything to deny the dirt & dust at home!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Day 3 of the Staircase mini-series

Shouldn't have spoken too soon. Just when we were getting excited, we came home today to find that *drumroll please*... everything is as it was yesterday.

The only thing you can do is laugh. HA. HA. HA.

Of course they called to say that they're working in their workshop today, making the gangplank out of the old staircase frame. I can almost believe that they'd have the proper tools back at the workshop and it would be less messy to do it there than to do it in the living room itself... but let's just see what Monday brings (yes, no work happens on the weekend. It's Cape Town!)

Eating out is getting boring; No TV and no couch is getting boring; Dirty, messy house is even more boring... what to do this weekend?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Finally, the freaking spiral staircase is underway: Day 2 Afterthought

Oh, and the other thing about opening your house to builders which people don't talk about is the trail of trash they leave behind them...

We've got cigarette butts IN MY PLANTS! (they've just been fertilized, dammit!) Yesterday, someone left major skidmarks in the toilet and I HAD TO CLEAN UP SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIDMARKS! And today, there's a trail of dirt on the loo seat and you just wonder where the heck these people come from. Dirt and dust from the construction - I can deal with... but not when it's from someone else's bum! YUCK!

Finally, the freaking spiral staircase is under way: Day 2

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So we both walked into the apartment this evening with baited breath, half-expecting it to look like it did yesterday, with nothingness in the living room (just in case they went back to Africa time and decided not to do anything today). But it's starting to get more exciting now. The stairs have been bolted into the ground, although each individual step is not welded to the main stem yet. We've traipsed up and down and it's a bit scary-unsafe... but they'll weld it together once the top's been completed.

So right now it's a staircase to nowhere... it just goes up but doesn't join to the upstairs bit yet. Part of the old crappy staircase frame is now being fashioned into a gangplank to join the stairs to the loft, if that makes sense. It's looking like an iron sculpture in the living room now.

Also looks like part of the balustrade is sitting in the corner, waiting to be attached. YAY! More pix in the album on the left.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Our first braai

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A "braai" (pronounced "rye" with a B in front) is in S.African terms what a "bar-bee" is to the Ozzies or a BBQ (sic) is to the S'poreans.

Gaye had given Kelly a belated birthday Weber at the start of the summer and we decided to finally make use of it this past weekend (test it out before inviting people round). Deee-lish! We slapped on the chicken and Broewors (don't even ask me how to pronounce this, but I think it's "Broo-er-vors")... aiyah, sausage then say sausage lah... it's so long that it's curled up like a snake (it's kinda sic coz it really looks like a large intestine on the grill. ick.) and kinda tastes like there's either nutmeg or star anise in it.

My belly had a hard time processing all that meat... felt like my entire gut was gonna explode from indigestion for a good 3 hours! (next time we'll throw shrimp on the bar-bee).

Finally, the freaking spiral staircase is underway: Day 1

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After 7 months (Vive l'afrique!) of waiting, the guys finally came to start work on installing this staircase. Go South African efficiency! Hip hip hoorah! (of course Kelly had to personally storm into their workshop just after the new year and hiss & spit before these guys finally rocked up). At least they were apologetic, and there's been a hint a discount will be offered. Vive l'afrique! Now comes a full week of dirt, dust and disruption before life is beautiful all over again.

Day 1: the current staircase has been dismantled (ie., blowtorched to high heaven) and taken away... we can't make our way upstairs at all and since we can't watch TV, we're both sat in bed right now surfing the internet. Check the album on the left for daily photo updates.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Patio Table's here

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We finally got off our bums and went to look for a proper patio table for the balcony (up until today we'd been using a pail turned upside down as a makeshift table of sorts).

It was hot, we weren't really in the mood to shop, so we picked up the first SMALLEST table we could find (6 months ago we were adamant that we didn't want a wooden table and look at where we are now). It's a wooden table. It came with 2 chairs Kelly wanted to throw away, but it actually kinda works with our pseudo-designer plastic chairs.

If you look closely in the other corner, we've also got a mini Weber barbeque set, courtesy of Gaye. I think we can finally invite people around for a braai (aka barbeque) now that we can put plates down on something other than a pail!

Pre-Christmas Dinner

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Work shuts down between 22 Dec - 1 Jan, so on the first day of our holiday we drove out to Paarl, the wineland area, where Kelly's friend's dad has a holiday home on a golfing estate. Tim's dad very kindly let all of us hang out there the entire weekend. How generous?

Pearl Valley's beautiful... the guys ended up playing golf while the girls went food shopping and cooking (of course). In the end we had Gammon and Chicken (turkeys were all sold out) in a massive pre-Christmas feast; the start of 12 days of non-stop eating.

Learnt a cooking tip: halve a pineapple and scoop out most the flesh. Put mayo and honey in it, wrap it up in Glad Wrap and refrigerate. By the end of the day the mayo would've soaked up the pineapple flavour. Voila! Dipping sauce for gammon ham. :)

Prototype Wine

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This urbanite had never seen grapes actually growing on vines (no, the plastic ones in the Cold Storage wine section doesn't count).

We moved the stormed-out shoot out to the winelands in Stellenbosch and set up camp right next to these growing grapes. Very cool!

Cuckoo Cape Weather

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This is how infuriating the weather here can be. One moment it's bright, sunny skies and the next, it's storming like you'd never seen before (that's why it used to be called the Cape of Storms).

I now have an insurance claim to deal with on one of my shoots. Both pictures here are taken on the same day, just 7hrs apart. The foggy, misty one is on top of Table Mountain - where the fog is in the pic is usually a glorious backdrop of the city bowl and the ocean below it (it's so high up that your ears pop as you're driving up the mountain).

We had to find an alternative location an hour away and were checking the forecast every hour, which kept predicting sunny skies in the afternoon. We couldn't really believe it until it actually happened... and the weather turned in just half an hour.

Kelly's Stitches

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We had an office Christmas party, Kelly got drunk and got pushed off a mini-cliff and rolled down into the rocks and bushes. He didn't even realize he was bleeding until people started noticing pools of blood all over the dancefloor. I was on my way home from the airport and went to pick him up and followed the trail of blood to get to him.

4 hours and 4 stitches later, all's good.

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