We cast our vote during the Municipal Elections at the beginning of the month.
After voting, we popped in at Aunty Helen's place for a quick visit. Mia was up and about, she's such a cutie pie!
Looking like a little princess in the dress that came all the way from Dubai.
It's no secret that I do love me some leather, zipped ankle boots. I had to attend a high achievers' award ceremony alongside Chris in Johannesburg, so whilst out shopping for my first ever black suit for the function, I stumbled across these boots. After much toying, caution to the wind, I bought both pairs!
Gotta love Durban!
We decided to stay on in Johannesburg for a few extra days after the awards ceremony and as Chris had forgotten his driver's at home - I hired my first car, ever!
We stayed at the Sun International Sandton City Hotel - this impressive chandelier is at the hotel's centre. It's a pity my photographic skills aren't brilliant as this photo truly does not do it justice. It's gorgeous!
Usually I just have a cappuccino but this month I had some cake too!
Our view of Sandton from our hotel suite and - apparently - the Joker was at Sandton City's Gautrain station.
August brought with it us being back in Durban for a year - yikes! Is it really possible for 12 months to literally fly past in such a blur?! I suppose, in hindsight, we have been busy: Chris with the business; us renting and then buying another house; Chris' family visiting from Australia; us getting married; Justin being unwell and Uncle Lenn's passing... It really has been a jam-packed, emotion filled year. I'm slowly starting to feel settled, Durban is starting to feel like home again. We are also finding ourselves socialising more, which has been good for us, as we both can easily spend all our free time together! The one thing I do enjoy about visiting Johannesburg, is that I get to pop into some stores that aren't down here along the coast such as Birkenstock and H&M and - lest we forget my favourite haunt - Super Sconto! I stopped yoga over the Winter months - can anyone say Winter fat much? Luckily I have found a Pilates studio just down the road from us; I have pre-booked 20 one hour lessons for September, so let's see how we go. I have never done Pilates, so not too sure what to expect but coupled with my wogging (walking/jogging) and Parkrun - hopefully by November's end, I'll be beach ready!
Some light retail therapy ensued!
Criminal Minds, our hands-down favourite telly show always start off with a quote of some sort; the above two stuck out in my mind. Thought I'd share these words of wisdom.
A walk along the promenade wouldn't be complete without stopping by the Moses Mabida Stadium. It's been over 6 years since the FIFA World Cup graced our shores and our stadium looks as neat and tidy as can be. Not to mention a stunning piece of architecture that dots Durban's landscape. Spent some time there with Zubaida and naturally a selfie or two were taken!
Over the past few months I noticed when checking my tyre pressure that my back left-hand side tyre constantly seemed to be losing pressure - Chris usually deals with maintenance issues but because he's been so busy - I told myself I'd get to it. Eventually, after many months of procrastinating, I finally contacted a good friend of ours who works at a Hi-Q and booked my car in to have a look see. I am usually very pedantic about these things, so don't follow my lead and rather get it sorted out ASAP as vehicle maintenance is so important.
Chris and I had a lazy Sunday lunch along the promenade at California Dreaming, whilst sitting in the warm sun. !t was really busy, so perhaps that's why the service and food quality wasn't quite up to our expectations but when we can we like to support local business. We'll probably give it one more chance to redeem itself.
I follow the lead of my favourite cook, Ina Garten, and have been freezing any leftover roast chicken with my eye on making homemade stock. August found me cooking up a batch - nothing more comforting than knowing exactly whats gone into it and they freeze so well.
Guess who I found taking it easy on our bed one evening. It's a Jessie!
Whilst we were in Johannesburg, we strolled down 7th Street in Melville and popped into Junkie, a sweet jam-packed charity store just to have a squizz and I found this vintage 1960's Pyrex Coffee Carafe - I just love the simplicity of the design. So carefully packed, it now has a home down here in Durban.
So now I have caught everyone up on the last three months.
Until next time,
Chris and I officially became members of the Durban & Coast SPCA in July and with that attended our first AGM - it's my intention to start doing more volunteer work within the organisation. There were also many a warm Winter's afternoon spent relaxing in the Durban Botanical Garden, having a good laugh with friends and sneakily sipping on the odd glass of Prosecco!
July brought with it evening's that were chilly, hence the visit to our local gas refill shop.
A sunny afternoon sky as seen from the patio of Blue Zoo Restaurant at Mitchell Park.
A light lunch was had with two sweet friends.
I'm not often in front of the camera but when I am, it's usually Chris sneakily taking photo's whilst I'm busy chatting away and not looking - he always seems to take such candid shots - until I notice what he's doing, then the quality of the photos seem to take a dive, as can be seen below!
If I had to choose a single place that makes Durban, Durban for me it has to be it's botanical garden - it costs nothing to enter and I don't think I've ever walked through the front gates and not seen people from all walks of life chilling and taking in the abundant views of the different flora and bird species from the comfort of a blanket spread out on one of the manicured lawns. Over the weekends there are usually a few different bridal parties having their photos taken in and amongst families, friends and couples enjoying the freedom that this green lung offers. Coupled with the fact that the garden has been impeccably maintained and with the added comfort of knowing that there are friendly guards patrolling - you know you're safe and that counts too. Every few weeks, the venue hosts a Music by the Lake concert - our tickets are already booked and paid for the upcoming Mi Casa concert - can't wait!
Chinese from our local Maan Hing Restaurant for supper!
The sky obviously drew my attention in July, as I took various photos whilst out and about. These two photos were taken on a Friday afternoon, spending some time with a friend before her return to Dubai; the afternoon was spent listening to her reading out loud from one of the 50 Shades of Grey volumes, the both of us critiquing where necessary and people watching. We saw a good few people - walking in groups of two - eyes glued to their phones, gathering Pokemon tokens (is that correct, are they tokens?). Definitely not how I'd like to spend my time but each to their own.
Aunty Helen and I took a couple of red roses and placed them by Uncle Lenn's side. We sat on the grass adjacent
and chatted about him for a short while; nothing morbid, just a few sweet words of love and adoration. A friend of ours lost her husband to cancer during July and Chris graciously accepted her request to be a pallbearer at his funeral. I can't remember the words verbatim that the minster said during his sermon but he something along the lines that a broken heart is our price to pay for loving someone and we should wear it proudly and to accept that the pining will never totally disappear and we should learn to live with it; that, that grief is our way of knowing we truly loved someone. Those words stuck with me.
We attended the Durban Pride 2016 after party - pity it was a wet and cold evening but luckily we were in good company - safe to say, laughs and a good time was had by all. I have to admit that I wouldn't ordinarily attend a party like this but I felt compelled to show my support, especially in the wake of all those party-goers who were tragically gunned down the month before at a gay club in Orlando. Personally, for me, it was my small way of saying that I am not afraid to go out, that homophobia should not exist in this day and age. According to Chelsea Handler, 1 out of 50 people are born Gay yet the LGBTQ community still has to contend with blatant discrimination and all for what? Being who you are? It makes no sense to me. The sad thing is that half the atrocities committed against the community are done by people who haven't been able to accept that they are gay, which all comes down to acceptance and love (or lack thereof) from their close circle of family and friends.
At the carwash!
It goes without saying that if one leaves Justin in a room on his own, he'll make his way from the hound's bed to not only on the couch but under a couch blanky too!
So that's July all summed up in a few photos - now for August!
Until next time,
Spring is knocking at our front door and with that, I thought it's time to come out of my Winter hibernation and return to the online world! I was thinking what would be the best way for everyone to catch up on what I (and to a certain extent Chris) have been getting up to these past few months. Why not share a few snapshots?!
On the topic of dogs, our old man, Juzzie, gave us a bit of a health scare that lasted from June through July.
We noticed that Justin was battling to eat his food - he's never battled to eat his food! We took him to our Vet who first advised us that he may have an infection of the gums, so round one was a course of antibiotics - which seemed to help at first but once the course was finished, the problem persisted. So back to the Vet we went, this time we were advised that he'd need to be booked in for a teeth cleaning session (which involved a general anaesthetic) - at this stage we were trying to eliminate any potential causes. So an overnight stay at the Vet and another course of meds ensued. He was okay for a few days before the symptoms returned.; by this stage, I was starting to worry as Justin has always been a healthy and happy dog - back to the Vet we went. After a thorough examination, he was finally diagnosed with a degenerative nerve disorder, which essentially means that where certain nerve endings connect with the next set of nerves, the connections are breaking down which in turn starts causing pain - in his case, it's in his jaw - thus preventing him from drinking and eating with content. If he was 10 years younger, we could have biopsied to find out what's causing it but because he's pushing 14 years old, our Vet recommended that there's not much we can do other than to keep him as comfortable as possible - which we are now doing with a daily dose of anti-inflammatory meds. He will be on the meds for the rest of his life.
Mia turned a whole 2 years old this month and Chris and I gave her (well, her dad Andre) a padded toilet trainer seat and a step up to help him when it comes to potty training her. Yes, it wasn't the most exciting gift to give but practical nonetheless!
When we moved into our house, some globes needed to be replaced. We were at PnP Hyper and found these globes that would stay on should there be an electricity cut. At just over R100 a globe we cringed but bought three for the kitchen area. As luck would have it, January through May we didn't have any power outages but low and behold, one evening in June the lights went out and boom!, our fancy globes kicked in and we had light in the kitchen. Mental note to self: buy some more for the rest of the house. Well worth the investment.
Aunty Helen and I took Candy for her annual check-up at the Vet. She can be seen chilling on our doggy seat cover on the back seat of Chris' Ford Ranger.
During the month I made two Polenta dishes - having never made anything with Polenta, I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty it was - hence the reason I made two variations during the course of the month! It was also the perfect excuse to use the Le Creuset ovenproof dish that Donovan gave as a wedding present to us.
I have no idea what 'PHENYLALANINE' is but Sprite Zero obviously felt it needed a little asterix - I'm too afraid to google what it is...
Saturday afternoon at the Durban Botanical Garden with friends!
There is always time for a cappuccino!
June also marks the beginning of us moving away from eating any red meat and pork - so it's seafood, chicken, ostrich and vegetarian meals from here on out. Sadly, no more perfectly grilled rib-eye steaks!
Another Nutbrown product to add to my vintage kitchenware collection.
So that's June all summed up in a few photos - now for July!
Until next time,