"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Thursday, 28 April 2011

final arrangements - 29 april 2011

i will not be at my desk for long tomorrow (in fact hardly at all) and thought as the brilliant wedding planner that i am, i would share some private information with you, which you may be able to use tomorrow to impress your visitors when watching the event of the year.  this is private information disclosed only to well connected wedding planners*

Miss Philippa Middleton, Miss Catherine Middleton’s sister, will be her Maid of Honour.
Prince Harry will be Prince William’s Best Man.

The Bridesmaids and Page Boys will be:

The Lady Louise Windsor
Aged 7 – daughter of The Earl and Countess of Wessex; first cousin of Prince William.
The Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones
Aged 8 – daughter of Viscount and Viscountess Linley (née The Hon. Serena
Stanhope); second cousin of Prince William.
Miss Grace van Cutsem
Aged 3 – daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh van Cutsem (née Rose Astor);
goddaughter of Prince William.
Miss Eliza Lopes
Aged 3 – daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lopes (née Laura Parker Bowles);
granddaughter of The Duchess of Cornwall.
Master William (Billy) Lowther-Pinkerton
Aged 10 – son of Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (née Susannah
Richards); no relation; son of Prince William and Prince Harry’s Private Secretary.
Master Tom Pettifer
Aged 8 – son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pettifer (née Alexandra [Tiggy] Legge-
Bourke); godson of Prince William.

The ages above are the Bridesmaids’ and Page Boys’ ages on the day of the wedding.

The Bridesmaids and Pages will perform the traditional role of Bridesmaids and Pages
on the day. They will be with the Bride on the morning of the wedding, accompany
her down the aisle and return with the newly married couple up the aisle. The
Bridesmaids and Pages will also have places in the Carriage Procession from the
Abbey to Buckingham Palace.

All the Bridesmaids and Pages were chosen jointly chosen by the couple.


A rough breakdown of numbers of guests is as follows (this includes spouses):
The vast majority of guests are drawn from Prince William and Miss Middleton’s Family and Friends – over 1,000
Over 50 Members of The Royal Family Over 40 Members of Foreign Royal Families
Over 200 Members of Government, Parliament and Diplomatic Corps
Approximately 80 guests drawn from Prince William’s charities, including some individuals who are not in senior positions, who the Prince has known for some time60 Governors-General and Realm Prime Ministers
Now this is very important:-

The following timings have been released

8.00 -10.00am Main congregation arrive (have the tea and sandwiches ready please)
After 10.00am Foreign Dignitaries and Royal Families arrive
The British Royal Family are – as protocol always dictates – the last to arrive, just ahead of the Bride.(oh my word please don't let eugenie and beatrice wear funny hats)
11.00am Bride arrives, and the service starts (now sit down and be quiet - oh,  first get your drink)
12.15pm Service ends and Carriage Processions begin (yeah, get another drink)
1.25pm Balcony appearance (will they kiss, won't they kiss, long or short, eyes open or closed, g & t time, bubbles are finished)
1.30pm Fly Past (once the planes fly over you can start another party)

i also have a wedding flypast format sheet showing how the aircraft are going to look from above.  the lancaster aircraft at the front is pilotted by flt. lt ernie taylor with co-pilot sqn ldr jamie watson.  interesting hey?

i also have the ingredients for the wedding cake but will save that one for later.

enjoy tomorrow - the boss has agreed to give us time off but was pretty shocked to hear that the guests start arriving at 8.15 at the abbey - 9.15 our time - half an hour of work!!!

special day.
have it off.
thank you
till later - (god save the queen)

*(and people lucky enough to work with gillian, the googler of note)

Members of the Wedding Party

famous blue raincoat

this was (and still is) absolutely my most favourite morbid song of all time.  i have listened to it 100's of times over the years.  the record i had but lent it to a friend never to see it again (you know who you are!!).  bestest sister and i do not share the same taste in music (actually we still don't (except michael buble - mickey bubbles, as nic calls him).  while i enjoyed bob dylan, leonard cohen and cat stevens she sang away (she can sing, i can't) to the bee gees, beatles, elvis and donny osmond (you can't deny that BS). oops i forgot abba (up there as my worst with elvis).

anyway this is not about sisterly stuff it is about the famous blue raincoat (FBR) song above.  isn't it an amazing song?   in my matric year at "that school" on the main road i wrote an essay about what i thought the meaning of lyrics were.  it is obviously about jane being unfaithful to cohen. i thought the FBR was a good friend, maybe best friend who he loves like a brother.  was it a single act of infidelity? when she came back she was "nobody's wife".  was he married to her?  the FBR then deserts jane.  does cohen take her back? (i thought (and hoped) so).  cohen then thanks FBR "yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes....i thought it was there for good so i never tried".  hectic stuff and to be able to be so honest in a song.  i just love the way he signs off with "sincerely l. cohen".  hits the right spot everytime.  i remember trying to work it out but never really being able to put my finger on this love triangle.  then along came...........
this lead me the other evening to do some research on the FBR but i am left a tad disappointed.  not sure if this is 100% true because i cannot find a copy of the recording of the interview with the BBC but i presume this must be true:-

"Interview," BBC Radio (1994)" - Leonard Cohen:-
The trouble with ["Famous Blue Raincoat"] is that I've forgotten the actual triangle. Whether it was my own . . . of course. I always felt that there was an invisible male seducing the woman I was with; now, whether this one was incarnate or merely imaginary I don't remember. I've always had the sense that either I've been that figure in relation to another couple or there'd been a figure like that in relation to my marriage. I don't quite remember (but I did have this feeling that there was always a third party, sometimes me, sometimes another man, sometimes another woman)

can you believe it?  all the time i have spent trying to work out what he was getting at and he cannot remember or explain.  must have been something he was smoking at the time!!  how many times in 6 lines does he say  "forgotten" or "i don't quite remember"? 

here are the lyrics again for those of you who are interested.  i forgive him completely though - it is still in my top 10 songs of all time.

It's four in the morning, the end of December
I'm writing you now just to see if you're better
New York is cold, but I like where I'm living
There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening.

I hear that you're building your little house deep in the desert
You're living for nothing now, I hope you're keeping some kind of record.

Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear
Did you ever go clear?

Ah, the last time we saw you you looked so much older
Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder
You'd been to the station to meet every train
And you came home without Lili Marlene

And you treated my woman to a flake of your life
And when she came back she was nobody's wife.

Well I see you there with the rose in your teeth
One more thin gypsy thief
Well I see Jane's awake --

She sends her regards.
And what can I tell you my brother, my killer
What can I possibly say?
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you
I'm glad you stood in my way.

If you ever come by here, for Jane or for me
Your enemy is sleeping, and his woman is free.

Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes
I thought it was there for good so I never tried.

And Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear

Sincerely, L. Cohen

wonder if my BS has investigated the lyrics of "the long haired lover from liverpool" or "chick a cheat her"

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

men - you got to love them....

yesterday, being a typically wintry easter monday, i did some sorting.  it is usually the weekend that you bring down your jerseys from the top shelf and re-organise the other shelves but instead i had stuff to do for the wedding next monday, cutting ribbons and sticking them on jam jars (same jars from the last wedding are now being recycled into floating candle holders).  so i sorted out the study where all the "wedding stuff" is still stored (mammoth job).  once that was kind-of sorted i moved to the pile of papers on the computer desk.  this proved to be a good move as i found some wonderful old emails which i can use on this blog.  hysterical letters from cheryl in new zealand - i also found this email titled THE MEN COMMANDMENTS (rules for men from men) which i think you will enjoy.  i have had to do some editing as some of the stuff was pretty damn rude (but very funny) - i know you enjoy it and if you want the unedited version let me know and i will email it to you.

here goes:-

1.  it is ok for a MAN to cry under the following circumstances:-
  • when a heroic dog dies to save its master;
  • the moment angelina jolie starts unbuttoning her blouse;
  • after wrecking your boss’ car;
  • one hour, 12 minutes, 37 seconds into “the crying game”.
 2.  any MAN who brings a camera to a bachelor party may be legally killed and eaten by his friends.

3.   unless he murdered someone in your family, you must bail a friend out of jail within 12 hours.

4.   if you’ve known a MAN for more than 24 hours, his sister is off limits forever, unless you actually marry her.

5.   moaning about the brand of free beer in a friend’s fridge is forbidden. complain at will if the temperature is unsuitable.

6.  no MAN shall ever be required to buy a birthday present for another MAN. in fact, even remembering your friend’s birthday is strictly optional.

7.   on a road trip, the strongest bladder determines pit stops, not the weakest.

8.   when stumbling upon other men watching a sporting event, you may ask the score of the game in progress, but you may never ask who’s playing.

9.   it is permissible to drink a fruity alcopop drink only when you’re sunning on a tropical beach… and it’s delivered by a topless supermodel…and it’s free.

10.  only in situations of moral and/or physical peril are you allowed to kick another MAN in the nuts.

11.   unless you’re in prison, never fight naked.

12.   friends don’t let friends wear speedos. ever. issue closed.

13.   if a MAN’s fly is down, that’s his problem, you didn’t see anything.

14.    women who claim they “love to watch sports” must be treated as spies until they demonstrate knowledge of the game and the ability to drink as much as the other sports watchers.

15.   a MAN in the company of a hot, suggestively dressed woman must remain sober enough to fight.

16.   never hesitate to reach for the last beer or the last slice of pizza, but not both – that’s just mean.

17.    if you compliment a MAN on his six-pack, you’d better be talking about his choice of beer.

18.   never join your girlfriend or wife in discussing a friend of yours, except if she’s withholding sex pending your response.

19.  phrases that may NOT be uttered to another MAN while lifting weights:
  • yeah, baby, push it!
  • c’mon, give me one more!
  • another set and we can hit the showers!

20    never talk to a MAN in a bathroom unless you are on equal footing: i.e. both urinating, both waiting in line, etc. for all other situations, an almost imperceptible nod is all the conversation you need.

21.   never allow a telephone conversation with a woman to go on longer than you are able to have sex with her. keep a stopwatch by the phone. hang up if necessary.

22.   there is no reason for guys to watch ice skating or mens gymnastics. ever.

23.   when you are queried by a buddy’s wife, girlfriend, mother, father, priest, shrink, dentist, accountant, or dog walker, you need not and should not provide any useful information whatsoever as to his whereabouts. you are permitted to deny his very existence.

24   you may exaggerate any anecdote told in a bar by 50 percent without recrimination; beyond that, anyone within earshot is allowed to call ‘BULLSHIT’.  (exception is when trying to pick up a girl, the allowable exaggeration rate rises to 400 percent)

25.  the minimum amount of time you have to wait for another guy who’s running late is 5 minutes. for a girl, you are required to wait 10 minutes for every point of hotness she scores on the classic 1-10 babe scale.

26.  agreeing to distract the ugly friend of a hot babe that your buddy is trying to hook up with is your legal duty. should you get carried away with your good deed and end up having sex with the beast, your pal is forbidden to speak of it, even at your bachelor party.

27.  before dating a buddy’s “ex”, you are required to ask his permission and he in return is required to grant it.

28.  the universal compensation for buddies who help you move is beer.

29.  a MAN must never own a cat or like his girlfriend’s cat.

30.   if a buddy is already singing along to a song in the car, you may not join him…too gay.

31.   under no circumstances may two men share an umbrella.

32.  before allowing a drunken friend to cheat on his girl, you must attempt one intervention. if he is able to get on his feet, look you in the eye, and deliver a “*uc* **f!” you are absolved of your of responsibility.

don't you love it!!!  this is exactly why we can read MEN so well.   i am working on my woman to woman commandments.  watch this space!!

on looking for a picture to make the page look pretty, i found this one.  can it be that a book has been written about the points above?   needs further investigation.

Monday, 25 April 2011

what you learn when working with anusha............

1.   religion

anusha is indian - hindu (and don't you dare confuse that with any other type).  i have been thinking of her this weekend because the first thing i heard on the radio yesterday morning was that sai baba had died.  before this would have meant absolutely nothing to me but since anusha visited india a couple of years ago i was fascinated with her whole trip and the pilgrimage of sorts which she took to the temple of sai baba.

he was an indian guru, spiritual teacher and educator.  when anusha and her mom were in india they visited his ashram, prashanti nilayam.  i suppose sai baba dying is a bit like how we will all feel when madiba dies.

2.  cooking

besides learning lots about the hindu religion i also benefit from her curry cooking expertise.  she has taught me to make the most divine butter chicken, she knows where to buy the correct spices and taught me how to make breyani the indian way (it is not just fried rice with lentils and bit of lamb or chicken added cooked on a pan on top of the oven).  there is a whole ritual involved in layering the ingredients, using buttermilk and then baking it in the oven.  her butter chicken though is awesome.  matthew was home for the weekend (left early yesterday morning) and he requested the butter chicken for the family dinner on friday night.  here is the recipe....

1kg chicken fillet
1 onion chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tin of ideal milk - (i have also used greek yogurt instead)
2 tablespoons garlic
3 tablespoons butter chicken spice (from the curry pot on lansdowne road)
¼ cup ground almonds (optional) - (a must)
1 large tin tomato puree
1 small tin tomato paste
60g butter
Salt to taste
Cut chicken into cubes
Liquidize the following:
3 tablespoons butter chicken spice
Tomato puree
Ground Almonds (optional)
Fry the onion in the butter.  Add cubed chicken and cook until sealed.
Dish out into a bowl and add the left over margarine/butter to liquidizer and blend of 30 seconds.
Place the pot back onto the stove and add the liquidized ingredients and cook for 10 minutes on moderate heat.  Add Ideal milk and bring to a slow boil.  Add the tomato paste and once thickening; add the chicken keeping it on low heat
Stir, then and sprinkle with course black pepper and allow simmering for ± 15 minutes.
Serve with basmati rice or roti

3.  how to be "tough"

in our very small legal office anusha runs the collection department.  she has been away for the week so our office has been extremely quiet and peaceful (actually too quiet and peaceful).  we have interleading offices and to hear her on the telephone to debtors is quite something to behold-

anusha - "so, i need R2 000 from you by friday, no excuses.  if it is not in our bank account i will get the sheriff to remove your goods, but - no, i am not listening to any more excuses and yes, i am sorry that your mother is really sick but we will remove all the furniture on friday if you don't pay (mother's sick-bed too)"

4.   how to be less "tough"

sometimes she does weaken but that is usually only when they have advised her of a service that they can offer to her (and therefore to us as well) -  "oh, so you make built in cupboards?" "you sell russell hobbs appliances?  i am looking for a stick blender" "you sell fire wood? how much? that is good, please can you deliver a load to our office"  she can strike a bargain like no-one else.

5.    how to manage your husband according to anusha

feed him well and he will put your toothpaste on your toothbrush for you and, in winter, run your car with the heater on to warm it up for you 10 minutes before you leave the house – oh – and as you run out of the house hand you a lunchbox with chopped cucumber, fruit and yogurt!!!

i do not know how she gets point 5 right – must be some secret ingredient in her magical spices.  come on anusha, share!!

Friday, 22 April 2011

i have 2 really blonde stories for you...

here is the first one. you are going to be absolutely shocked that someone with my all round good common sense and intelligence could be so completely, utterley and totally STUPID.

in may last year whenever i logged on to 2oceansvibe, one of my favourite sites containing general cape town skinner and up-to-date goings on of the rich and famous, i kept having a problem where the screen was red and the fonts were all spread out.  being a good mate (not really (actually not at all) but i feel that i know him pretty well (i know where he goes and what he drinks, you know) of the editor, i thought i would advise him of my problem and thereby perhaps assist him in keeping his "followers" happy.  if i was getting frustrated i could only imagine what his other readers were feeling while sitting with their ipads on the camps bay strip sipping cocktails (sorry hot chocolate, it was may).  our exchanges went something like this:-

On 21 May 2010, at 11:13 AM, JENNY wrote:
hi seth
i seem to have a problem getting into your site.  everything is red and the fonts are all strange.  a general problem or something wrong with my computer?
From: Seth Rotherham - 2oceansvibe.com [mailto:editor@2oceansvibe.com] 
Sent: 21 May 2010 12:15 PM
Cc: Christopher Mills; Mark Slingsby; David Ramsay
Subject: Re: RED SCREEN
Thanks Jenny.
we have had a few of these complaints and I am hoping to hear back from my hosting company / developers to see what they think it might be.
what operating system are you using?
could you please send me a screen shot?
Seth Rotherham
Website: 2oceansvibe.com
"Work is a sideline, Live the holiday"
Le travail est une activité secondaire, vivent les vacances..
On 21 May 2010, at 13:13 AM, JENNY wrote
hi seth
thanks for your reply.
i am not that much of a computer fundi but attached is what my screen looks like. i use intenet explorer as my browser.
hope this is what you meant?
have a great weekend

SO what did i do?  i happened to have my camera in my bag, took it out and took a "shot" of my red screen.  very cleverly downloaded the picture and attached it to the above email.

if you look carefully you can see my reflection in the screen holding the camera.  as i sent it i thought "maybe i am being stupid", i know about print screen but screen shot was new to me.  i resisted the need to call busiest brother and confirm that what i was doing was correct.  what else could that mean?

well that night busiest brother was around for supper with the boys and i mentioned what i had done.  a stunned silence as they asked me to explain, then explain again and one by one they fell off their chairs laughing.  nic rushed straight to the computer to check whether 2oceansvibe had used me as their feature story for the next day.

all gareth could say was "thank goodness you have changed your name"

for those of you who might need this information in the future this is how to do a screen shot:-

A "screenshot" is a snapshot of what's on your computer's screen. (HELLO, exactly what i did)

To create a screenshot follow these steps:

The first step is to create the windows that you want to capture and leave them up on the screen.

Just to the right of your keyboard, you should see three groups of keys.  The lower set of keys usually is
a group of arrow keys.  Above that is usually a set of some six keys that are labeled "Insert," "Home,"
"Page Up," etc.  Above that should be three keys that have rather odd labels - like Pause/Break and ScrLk.
One of those keys should be labeled PrtScrn/SysRq. Pressing Alt-PrintScreen (Alt-PrtScrn) places an image
of the frontmost window on the clipboard. Pressing PrintScreen by itself places an image of the entire
desktop on the clipboard.

If you press PrtScrn/SysRq, nothing will appear to have happened.  However, your computer just took
a snapshot of its screen and stored that picture on its clipboard, much as it stores information that you
cut and paste.

Open MS-Paint. (From Start/Run, issue the command "mspaint".) Create a new empty image, and use
Edit/Paste to bring in the screenshot you just took. (If the screenshot is smaller than the default Paint
canvas, you will end up with white areas. Start over: create a new empty image, change its dimensions
to 1x1, and Paste again. The canvas will grow for the Paste, but it doesn't shrink.)

Use MS-Paint to Save As, using PNG as the file format (it is superior to all the rest).

you learn something everyday!!

"Thank you Jenny"

thank you seth rotherham for not using the story.

now please never use this against me.  you may have to wait a couple
of days for blonde moment 2 because i have to take a few pictures to
illustrate the story properly (seriously).



Thursday, 21 April 2011


200 word challenge - part I
serendipity - i love the word (there is a house in hout bay with the name).  i have read it often but never been able to use it much (actually hardly ever but now i can)
oxford dictionary definition  “the faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident”.
have you ever wondered about the past and how often your path may have crossed with someone that may end up being important in your life in the future?  those first teenage discos st thomas’s church, when you danced with (and sometimes kissed) boys you never knew?  how many teenagers in that hall on one particular friday night would end up in the same pta meeting on a tuesday night, 15 years in the future only a few hundred metres from your first “encounter”.   how your first “boss” mrs holloway who taught you so much about work and life and who, in later years, you would meet at stuttafords for coffee once a month to catch up on life in general, see photographs of her grandchildren far away and then years down the line you find out that her “little gabrielle in an easter bonnet” is in fact the lovely bielle.
(206 words – sorry a fail but i blame the definition)

i am cheating a bit but a little background before 2nd challenge

this is an encounter with serendipity that needs to be shared.  it happened about 2 years ago with my friends “the cullens” (and thanks to barry’s passion for filming we have a real recording of it).  i had what was a fairly odd call from wendy one morning “jen, when matt was a baby what colour pram did you have?”  was this a “check your mate" competition?  i had to think a bit but remembered that I had been given a candy striped yellow pram when matthew was born.  i remembered and told her, to be advised that "barry had a surprise for me".  “the cullens” came over to dinner one night and i was presented with this dvd:-

200 word challenge - part II

how awesome is that?  brief synopsis for those of you who don't recognise anyone. simon cullen is the very blonde, barefooted toddler waiting patiently for a yellow-sweatshirted 4-year-old gareth to come down the slide (not his best heights and still a no-no).  please note gareth's hands hanging on for dear life and wendy thinking "hurry up, my son wants a turn".  and how proud does gareth look when he hits the ground? nic is seen briefly trying to climb the steps to the slide. i am there doing a quick skip to stop him climbing.  simon makes his way to matthew in the striped yellow pram. wendy (yes, it was the 80's and we all had a perm at sometime, didn't we?) is following close on simon's heels (note wendy's beautiful hands and nails - still the same) and how cute is that baby, sucking desperately on this dummy?  two nice polite exchanges between wendy and myself and ending off with barry's beautiful baritone* voice thanking me and complimenting me on my baby.

barry then takes his film-making up a notch by adding footage of matthew's rugby (same boy, same nostrils, gum guard instead of dummy)

(197 words - howzat!!) 
the world is small and i suppose in our little southern suburbs comfort zone this is not that unusual. where the serendipity probably comes into it is 21 years later, with barry sitting in his study in betty's bay putting his old cine movies onto dvd, about to cut out all the "arb" people in his movie, thinking "i know that giggle" and asking wendy to give me a call. 

so basically barry ** "accidentally discovered something fortunate, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated" - which is serendipity (whatuthink?)

thank goodness there were no cameras at the st thomas's socials or serendipity may not hold the same meaning for me!!

*awesome alliteration

**accidental alliteration

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

did you get the nod?

imagine being able to invite your 1 900 closest friends to your wedding, then by lunchtime the 1 900 at the abbey will drop to 600 who get lunch with the queen. as night falls, so do the guests, only 300 can stay for dinner.  hopefully by bedtime it will be just billy boy and catherine in their castle in the sky.

i am a sucker for royalty.  diana spencer stole my thunder and got married 4 months before i did in 1981.  once again she beat me to it when bonny prince william was born 6 months before gareth.  she beat me again to a divorce and, mhdsrip, in the one race i did not mind losing to her, she beat me again. 

now the race has started for the next generation and william is first out of the blocks.  i was in london in 1980 when the engagement was announced.  my wonderful grandmother, granny housego (bet you have never heard that surname before? pronouced "howz-e-go") requested tea towels, coffee mugs and postcards of the pending royal marriage.  the tea towels were hung on her walls (next to the 3 flying ducks), the postcards were put into photo frames and diana was right there in her display cabinet (ball and claw with the mirrors and glass)

framed like family alongside gordon mullholland of the villagers and cliff "honky tonk" jones (who once gave her a signed postcard of himself).  just as well, in a way, that she died before diana because diana's death would have hastened her demise.  she struggled through elvis's death 20 years before that and sobbed whenever she heard "love me tender" on the "wireless"  - she was the granny who even cried while listening to her radio soapie "the whiteoaks of jalna" (you must remember that one on springbok radio - "the whiteoaks of jalna, from the novel by mazo de la roche, adapted for radio by darryl silverstone").

i have been sidetracked - this is not about my granny but about the royal wedding.  i am getting old and sentimental - it is the first summer that i have reminded myself of my grandmother by complaining of the heat.  i never thought the day would come when i would look forward to the last days of summer but this summer it has happened.  perhaps "the ex-bf's" comment about only having "10 good summers left" may come back to haunt me.  sorry off the subject.... getting so old and sentimental that i have actually requested that the busiest brother bring me a few souvenirs home in june.

don't you love this one?
I Do Royal Wedding Retro Tea Towel
will look so good hung in my study between nick faldo and lawrence dallaglio (my favourite english sportsmen who my boys (including michael) can't stand, but they still buy me their biographies).

back to the wedding.  bestest sister is having a wedding party.  we are going to have to wear a hat (my worst), eat cucumber sandwiches and drink gin out of her royal doulton tea cups (have to take 'em cups out sometime). 
still hoping that the boss is going to agree to close the office early next friday.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

funnest days...continued

if you remember - like i know you do - one of my earlier posts (gosh, i am sounding like a blogger) mentioned the 2 funnest days of the year, so far.  well 5 march was the second day.  nina and glenn got married on the common at noordhoek with the reception at cafe roux afterwards.

nina is bestest sister's niece who i have known since she was a toddler climbing all over her mum, helen while helen was trying to help me attach a week old and very hungry gareth to a rock hard rugby ball (my boob) - sorry gareth (just checking if you are still "following"). nina is a dynamo woman, tri-athlete of note, seriously good snowboarder and, in a nutshell, a crazy breath of fresh air.  bestest sister was booked way in advance to do hair and make-up for the bride and others.  about six weeks before the wedding they realised how difficult it was going to be to organise from afar (london) and that maybe they did need a "wedding planner".  a couple of emails back and forth and i had the job.  only previous experience was a couple of 21st, 40th and 50th birthday parties (oops and a 70th, sorry e-mum) but i was not worried, i had a team of keen helpers.

nina had been planning for ages and had been buying decor stuff online. she was arriving the week before the wedding with her purchases, which i had kind-of-got-an-idea-of on skype, but not really.

the biggest challenge was going to be the common.  very dry and the weather had been so hot and windy.  there was really nothing there except for a wonderful tree and a lovely view of the surrounding mountains.  anyway i could go on and on but need to show you the pictures.  i would have had before, during and after ones but my camera went missing after the wedding.  these are a couple of pictures i have been sent by the assistant photographer, faye - justin de reuck was the main photographer -

http://justinphotoblog.com/?p=1232 - take a look

and faye turnbull


his assistant who sent me the pictures below.  they did an amazing job.  i had a good laugh when justin was wanting to take a picture of the couple cutting the cake.  nina had not lasted for too long in her beautiful dress, after the first dance the skirt of the dress was off to reveal an ordinary pair of board shorts.  there was a quick runaround looking for the skirt which was in a ball on a faraway chair.  a quick redress in front of the crowd and the picture was taken and the skirt quickly once again removed.  board shorts and bustier was the look till the end of the evening!!!
bielle's sign, bestest sister's wedding logo, bob's champagne buckets with villiera brut, 100's of jam jars from oasis

hearts on a string on a bench, another bielle-sign
nina ordered these hearts on a string, online.  somehow while ordering she pushed the wrong button and instead of ordering 14 of them (one per table) she ordered 144 of them - 1000gbp instead of 100 - but a good mistake.  we used the hearts to make the aisle, we hung them from trees and benches...and sign-posts.  don't you just love the sign-posts that bielle made?

we laid tables with drinks under the trees, made purple vodka cocktails in jams jars (employed nic and bielle for the day to help with the drinks) - "thirst is a dangerous thing".

at the 11th hour the wind came up and we had to remove the top of the gazebo.  luckily we had heaps of organza which we (sorry, kathy, lesley and lynne) draped around the poles.

the ceremony on the common

once the ceremony begun there was a rush to get the venue decorated as the setting up could only begin once the lunchtime crowd had left cafe roux.  a few shots of the decorations at the venue-

before the lights were lit
and after

please take a look at the two photographers blogs, if you want, and you will get a better idea of this special day.  it is amazing when you think that things will never come together and they do - helen made 160 beautiful screen printed cushions which the guests could take home, lesley (with a wee bit of help from wayne) organised and had made the wedding shirts - groom, father of the bride, 4 bestman and a 1 bestmaid, bielle was amazing with all her creative input and sign writing, kathy has contacts that you would not believe and knows just where to shop (anything from cheap ribbon to paper parasols), bestest sister with her hair and make-up, lynne with her ability to always have the right tools for the job and a cooler box of icy drinks, nic (relaxed - as always - and charming - most times) behind the bar making sure the drinks were icy.  lots of very hard work by the crew in the hot midday sun (manually moving the haystacks into pews, erecting the gazebo poles by hammering metal stakes into the hard common, hanging ribbons and hearts between the poles, unpacking cases and cases of beer and champagne, hanging lanterns from the trees and bows on the gate, having to tie the covers to the haystacks because the wind came up, erecting tressels tables - just to give you some idea) and the common was done. 

the tables at the restaurant were next. half the crew moved up to the venue while bestest sister and i, as invited guests, attended the ceremony. the cream paper roses which nina had bought worked out so well in the glass vases (we hired the vases and fancy led lights from liz puccini creations) and with a little hiccough of not being able to locate the seating plan (it was on the common in the van) eventually everything was in place and looked lovely.

it was a doubly special day because the parents of the bride, bert and helen were also celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary.  the speeches were awesome, the food devine and the band kept the party going.

a day that had a bit of everything for me but best of all was the face of the groom when he arrived on the common (even if it was second only to the look that nina received when she arrived!!) - a job well done - thanks to all involved....

oh and i have got another job on 1 may... much smaller scale but how cool is that?  watch this space!!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

herein lies today's lesson ..........

the BB is heading back to london this weekend so last night the eccentric mother, bestest sister, busiest brother and mwah had a much needed catch-up and we headed through to his place (with the lovely garden) armed with sushi. 

sake house in claremont (021 6747600) has a half price sushi special.  on from april through to the end of august and best news of all is that you can get the discount for takeaways.  sake house is down that sleazy road near claremont station close to the new family planning clinic or first national bank (whichever you identify best with).  it is only about 400 metres away from the office so i often have a prawn handroll for lunch. now i can have 2 for R34 or 4 for R68 (but that would be greedy)

take a look -  http://www.sakehouse.co.za/

beautifully prepared and presented by eddie.


pleasure ;)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

200 word challenge

i read about this some time back - writing 200 words a day for a month.  i try not to re-read my posts once i press "publish" because when i do, i realise i am long-winded.  a bit too much like i talk - which is a lot and often i babble.  so i am going to try this as a test.  since i have already wasted 62 words i have a quickie for you.

starting now.......

last night while trying to pack the leftovers neatly into fridge i thought that today, being a monday was the day to detox. while thinking along those lines i remembered this detox drink that i had made a month or two ago.  demi moore and aston kutcher drink it.  maple syrup, lemon juice, water and cayenne pepper.  the canadian kotze's who were here over christmas brought me this huge 1 litre bottle of organic maple syrup.  so i got working. but i got sidetracked.  i had a bag of limes (which are much nicer than lemons) so i put them into the blender with some ice cubes, i added a healthy amount of maple syrup. something about those two ingredients made me think that i was onto something special.  forget the cayenne pepper and water - i just added a cup* of whiskey.  whisked it up together - put it into a glass and settled down to watch the golf.  it was wonderful and so was the golf and NO i did not add the cayenne pepper and take it to work - i thought about it, but i didn't **

give the girl a bell's!!!

199 words not too bad hey.  i had to edit a bit after doing the word count so i took out a few words * (and a half) **(only because there were no leftovers!!)

Monday, 11 April 2011

touching sides

i do not make new year resolutions anymore.  i try not to say to friends that i would love to see more of “we must get together soon” because, once too often,  it has happened to me that when i see the person at the local shopping centre (ok, the wine section in woolworths) i am embarrassed because i have not made the effort to get together “soon”, like i fully intended to do.  i do have the best intentions (most of the time).  it would be so much easier if there were not so many great people in my life.  i feel cheated that it is so difficult to spend time, even a small amount of time, with these friends.   

this is why i enjoy facebook.  i only have around 130 friends (i am a bit embarrassed to poke people, even although there are so many people i would love to re-connect with).  this must be a part of my "fear of rejection" complex. i even have a couple of  "friends" i am not entirely sure that i know.  since i have 2 dennis rosslee’s as friends i am now almost certain the first one made friends with me by mistake (the second one is my ex-brother-in-law). one very handsome, yuppie cape town photographer sent me a friend request – he was my 5th facebook friend, so i did not know that you did not have to accept these "friend requests".   he has definitely thought i am someone else – he has even tagged me in one or two of his amazing photographs – group photographs which makes it difficult to know exactly who his “jenny rosslee” is.  “she” is definitely not in the “52 year old and large” category as all his pictures are taken of beautiful, stick insect-like creatures at stunning venues on the atlantic seaboard.  i cannot de-friend him as i love his work.  i even passed on a picture on his page to bielle who was photographed by him at some designer prize giving (yes, she won a prize).  she was suitably impressed that he was my “friend” and that i had access to his work. so impressed that she has used it as her profile picture.

great picture, hey? it may, however be the end of our “friendship” when he starts reading this blog!!

and looking at the pictures above, which one is me?  maybe a reflection in the disco ball? the disco ball?

i also love facebook because of my friends who use it well.  i love janetta’s sign off’s at the end of most days - she manages to say so much in a couple of words "gatvol" "moeg" "2 133 caps" "eish..." i love the fact that i can keep in touch with christine and watch her gorgeous grandson grow (i want one too).  i have met her daughter-in-law who lives in the usa only a couple of times but so enjoy her comments on facebook as she copes with the ups and downs of motherhood.  i love seeing the progress on dee’s new holiday home and always keep track of what she is reading.  gill and i at office are able to plot daughter shelley's movements in sydney (the city, not the gardener) - she uses some application that even gives you a map of the restaurant she eating at. i have seen wedding pictures, baby pictures and sometimes party pictures which i wish i never stumbled upon. (talking about stumbling upon things - remind me to tell you about stumble upon sometime, if you don't already know)

i don’t think we should beat ourselves up about not being better friends but i do still feel guilty. time for another girls gathering.  whatusay? 

Saturday, 9 April 2011

have to share this...

stunning day in cape town.  watch middle son's rugby at uct in the sun (definitely my m-o-m but hairstyle lost him a few points!!) - head for local suburban watering hole and have lunch with the BB (yes, he had a break from work and came to watch rugby as well) and the bestest sister. salad and wine. all good. people leave to watch stormers at newlands, other friends arrive (mr min's wife included), more wine. old bf arrives (EM - eccentric mother and "bestest" sister never liked him much).  first bf always holds a special place (kind of) in any girls heart (doesn't he?) but don't get the bestest sister on this one - but anyway, he arrives, chats, brags and then excuses himself to go back to his "dear wife".  oh my word, we nearly fell off our chairs (minister's wife included).  could anyone ever imagine being a "dear wife"? and this was after he told us all that we all only had 10 "good summers" left!!  kathy choked on her wine.

on this most awesome saturday morning

when usually i would be out in the garden, watering and fiddling around i am sitting at the computer (on a big blue exercise ball - which works like a charm and keeps my back straight - this stupid desk is too low) updating my blog. 

last night i started falling asleep watching the us masters golf (this is going to be a weekend of very late nights) so decided to have a quick peek at facebook.  it turned into a pretty long session as my newest facebook friend, victoria (BB's girlfriend's young sister in glascow) was also online.  she is such a sweetie and was really upset because someone had played the fool with her on the chatline and pretended to be ronan keating (the love of her life) - cruel joke, by the way.  anyway after our "chat" (i hope i made her feel better) i took the brave step of pressing "link" on facebook and linking my blog to my facebook profile (sounds important, and pretty computer literate hey?)
WELL, this morning i have some comments and bestest of all a faraway follower (FF).  michael's niece in leicester.  i did not know she had a blog, it is great.  i have met "jistheinitial" (how clever, why can't i think of things like that?) only a couple of times, brief encounters (like a funeral) but we have never spent any length of time together (drinking wine (lots), telling secrets and solving the problems of the world). i am her facebook friend but we do not really know each other very well.  i read the wonderful letter she wrote to her grandmother on her 90th birthday (the grand dame is 91 tomorrow) and was very touched and very impressed with her writing style. she always has interesting bits and pieces on facebook as well.  but i have now spent the last hour (and a half) of this wonderful, sunny, clear and crisp morning (when i should be in the garden) reading her blog and am blown away.  we are like family (we are, but you know what i mean), she could be my sister or my best friend.  she loves all the things that i love - cupcakes and brownies, sufjan stevens (and some indie bands i have never heard of), she has made the most incredible buntings (only this last week i bought (sorry) a bunting, don't know where i am going to put it but i saw it at our local gift shop and had to have it), maps (i love maps). the one below is wrapping paper which i bought in the states (i want to frame it but have not found the right frame (jistheinitial does framing (where is the info on that FF?))

and charity shops (how i love english charity shops, i could live permanently in england just for charity shops - and the hovis seed loaf, that mueller rice yogurt pudding stuff, the awesome little english villages, jennifer and andrea, the county pubs (dark ale) - and now to spend time with jistheinitial, share wine, listen to "not known" indie bands and get to know each other better.
oh, and i would have to include a trip to glascow to sort out the critter who nearly broke victoria's heart.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

my two most fun days of the year.... so far

the first one was in early january, while still on holiday, when together with sidney, a gardener i headed for the BB's (busiest brother) house in bergvliet and got stuck into the garden.  i had studied what was there and it was going to be easier to just pull everything out. i left sidney to do the dirty work and took lucie (BB's lady) shopping.  have you guys been to little orchard nursery in constantia?  if not go, it is worth it.

we got there early and loaded the car with more plants than anyone would have thought possible (thankfully michael was not present to witness what got loaded into his vehicle).  this place is awesome and so so cheap.  not all starke ayres quality but pretty damn good and half the price (maybe quarter). take a look -
http://littleorchardnursery.co.za/.   they have a list online of what is available and delivery is free (don't tell michael).
BB and lucie liked what i had done in my garden so it was relatively easy.  basically purple and white - salvias, lavenders, a camellia or two, a couple of ice cream bushes.

Breynia disticha - for those who like to learn

they had agapanthas on special at R17 a plant so threw in half a dozen of those as well.  i had dug out some plectranthus (spur flowers) from my garden and lots of groundcover. 

lucie left for work and boy did sidney and i work - dug in heaps of bounce back into 2 new beds and cleared out practically all the rest. deciding to extend the beds was worth the hard work in the end.  at lunchtime i ducked out to woolworths and we had a 10 minute break while we downed a ginger beer and gobbled a steak pie.  bonding in the true sense of the word. sidney is too sweet but highly irritating in that he repeats everything i say to him, back to me, but with a stutter.  it can be pretty funny but it was far easier for me to say "sidney, look we must dig like this" then just move on leaving him to give himself the instructions.

it was hard work in the hot sun but it was so great to see the garden take shape.  when BB finally gets to take a peek at this blog he may feel a very slight bit of guilt and send me a picture or two so that i can show you.  i visited there last week and 3 months down the line everything is growing beautifully, thanks to his state of the art watering system (he is always at work and lucie is now back in london) so without the fancy automation who knows what it would look like. 

arb dry garden

give them their due (ok jenny, ever the diplomat) they have also worked in the garden and have renovated the water feature into a lovely pond with stunning water lillies all now in bloom (ok, 2 are blooming).

i did say 2 most fun days but this has taken awhile so the second favourite day will have it's own post.  boy this is so much fun i did not realise how late it is getting.  it reminds me a bit of those stories we used to read when we were young -

jenny and lucie went to the  . that is not jenny in the picture. 
she is a bit
they spent lots of BB's .  BB did not mind cos he now had a pretty .  BB was very grateful to  and  for working so hard.  he was happy to buy them a  and a

 for lunch.   are happy.

best i stop now before i lose the few followers i have.

bedtime, goodnight.