Saying yes to unplanned outings

Sometimes the best times with your kids are unplanned.

I spent a long weekend in the Midlands at my cousin’s wedding, and L and the kids stayed at home. I had promised Connor that I’d take him to Hamleys in Sandton on Wednesday, but thinking about it on the way home today, I decided that today would be better for shopping. I’m running a long race on Wednesday and I know I’m going to be too shattered to want to traipse around a shopping centre looking for Nerf guns and Lego.

So, off we went. Half way to Sandton, Bradley “remembered” that he had a project to prep for on Tuesday, and we magically had to get piping, syringes and ice cream sticks for it! OMW… on a Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm and he’s sprung the most unlikely strange list… where on earth was I going to get that on a SUNDAY AFTERNOON.

But instead of freaking out, I told them we’d have to cut the milkshakes out of our plans so we could find someplace to get the odd list of supplies… on a SUNDAY AFTERNOON?! Seriously?!

Anyway, off to Sandton we went. Connor ended up smiling from ear to ear after he found the Nerf gun of his dreams and spending his pocket money on that very expensive piece of plastic.

Oh but then, we noticed a sign. And I said yes! Lets stand in the awful queue, and wait for ice-creams that I don’t eat. LOL!

Turns out the Magnum pop-up store is back in Sandton. And we missed it last time it was in Joburg. So we joined the queue. Bradley looked at the other people’s made-up ice creams and decided that it would be too rich… so he ordered a normal Magnum. Of course, Connor did the whole “Make my Magnum” thing.

A milk chocolate coated, popping candy, Oreo crumbed and honeycomb drizzled stick of yumminess was the result.

And then we noticed another sign… and I said yes, lets go and investigate!

The Samsung Galaxy Studio is open in the Mandela Square until the end of the month, and they have all sorts of gadgets on display. The kids smiled and giggled at the history of mobile phones. They sniggered and laughed when they saw the first cell phone. Even more giggles when we saw the first camera phone.

It was really cool to play around with the new S7’s, but the highlight was definitely the Gear VR. We didn’t wait in the long queue for the 4D experience, but instead we tried out the devices at the stands. And that was awesome enough.

Then we raced to Lifestyle on the odd chance that we’d get there before they closed, and that Westpack would have the said strange items, and lo and behold we got there with 10 minutes to spare, and they did have said items in stock! Whoop!

I need to do that more often… just go with the flow and say yes.

We got home with smiles on our faces.

Mission accomplished. My guilt at not being around for the weekend was squashed 🙂

Comments { 5 }

Freelensing the dogs and not winning

I got home relatively early today to meet an insurance guy, who never pitched up… so I picked up my camera, unhinged the lens, and played with some free-lensing.

At the beginning of summer, I scattered a pack of random seeds, hoping to get a romantic looking mix of flowers throughout my garden. Well, with the lack of water that didn’t quite happen. A gorgeous clump of cosmos did appear though, and I’ve really enjoyed having it in my garden. The very last flowers are left on the stalks now though… it’s almost time for winter.

So I thought the flowers would be ideal to try out free-lensing again. They don’t move, unless there’s wind, so in theory they’re good subjects to test with. Perfect in theory for isolating a flower or two for a gorgeous arty photo.

I’ve tried. I really did. And I have no flower shots to show you… I took plenty, but they were hopeless. They really were.

Then the dogs decided to calm down, and watch me. So they became my next subjects. and I’m happier with these, so you get to see them.

I know freelensing is about focusing on a plane, and the skill is in getting it to focus where you want it to focus. But my word, to just focus on one eye in the one photo and then a tip of an ear, in the next, looks rather odd to me tonight.

I know why free-lensing photographers have most of their photos in black and white too… it’s the only way they look good in most cases!

The 2 arty doggy portraits of my favourite huskies are growing on me slowly. Maybe by tomorrow, I’ll regret writing this, and fall in love with free-lensing again because of all the arty flaws in the shots… but for now, it’s just a frustrating exercise.

I suppose that’s what learning is all about though… pushing through and just to keep on trying.

Comments { 0 }

And so ends our holiday at the seaside

We had the most amazing holiday with friends in Muizenberg, as you can tell from my other blog posts… but I’m not going to bore you with umpteen blog posts outlining every thing we did.

Instead, I’m going end my holiday post series with photos from the one of the afternoons we spent closer to the house we rented. The kids actually just wanted to swim in the sea. The wind was icy most days, and the weather not fantastic. It didn’t stop us though, and the kids did swim at every opportunity they had.

Next time we go there, we’re definitely going to book the kids on a few surfing lessons… and get them wetsuits!

If you’re wondering where we stayed for the 2 weeks, we rented a house in Marina da Gama via Airbnb… it’s so worthwhile browsing through the site when going on holiday. The house was amazing for 2 families!

Comments { 2 }

[Photos] Kalk Bay harbour on a rainy day

A bit of a photo story of our afternoon at Kalk Bay harbour



We were sitting in a restaurant when this amazing rainbow appeared over the sea. Half the patrons were hanging out the window of the Brass Bell taking photos of it… instead Hilary and I ran along the pier to get capture it over the lighthouse. Different angle, with a little more effort… and you get magic 😉

There were 2 seals at the harbour waiting for scraps from the fisherman who were gutting their catch for shoppers. This guy was massive!!

I’ve got an awesome shot of the kids faces as they were being chased up the steps by him, when he thought they were hiding a tasty morsel. LOL! It’s definitely a bribery shot.

He got his treat in the end 🙂


Comments { 3 }

Tobogganing at Cool Runnings in Cape Town

On a windy day, after we’d spent a few days at wine farms, there was a little bit of guilt about not having done much kid stuff on the holiday, so we took the kids tobogganing! Cool Runnings  is a toboggan park in Tygervalley, and has a stainless steel track that’s 1.2km long meandering down a […]

Comments { 1 }

Lunching at Ell at Spookfontein winery

The Spookfontein winery is 10km outside Hermanus in the Hemel en Aarde Valley. What an absolutely gorgeous setting! The restaurant Ell, on the wine farm, is quite high up on the slopes of the mountain and has the most amazing views over the valley from the huge glass windows that surround it. We met my […]

Comments { 2 }

The drive to Hermanus via Betty’s Bay penguins

We always spend one day in Hermanus when we visit Cape Town, so that we can visit my aunt and uncle. This time we took our friends with us, and then met up with my family for lunch at an amazing restaurant in the Hemel en Aarde valley. A drive to Hermanus is actually a […]

Comments { 2 }

A meander through magnificent Babylonstoren

We spent an afternoon meandering through the magnificent gardens at Babylonstoren, and to be quite honest, I  could have spent more time there. Babylonstoren is an amazing wine and fruit farm close to Franchoek. The farm dates back to 1692, and it’s been restored over the last 10 years. I’m only really going to blog […]

Comments { 4 }

Most fabulous wine tasting at Steenberg

We visited a few wine farms while in Cape Town, and this one was by far the best. Steenberg is on the Constantia wine route, and was really close to Muizenberg where we were staying so we popped there for a quick wine tasting one afternoon… while Hilary visited her friend (if you’re wondering why […]

Comments { 1 }

A little road trip to Misty Cliffs

On the first proper day of our holiday, we spent the morning at the Two Oceans race expo getting our numbers, and then we went for a little drive. Our first stop was Hout Bay. It’s such a special little town, and I just love the harbour area. It’s the perfect place to find fresh […]

Comments { 2 }