Week 430

The week of Dec 2, 2019 – Dec 8, 2019

Busy weekend…

Monday: Gym session with Johnny, Ben and Chris. Admin, YouTube watching. Tired, early night.

Tuesday: Grocery shopping, chores, Netflix watching.

Wednesday: Gym session with Johnny and Ben. Supper at Susan’s- she made nice tacos. Good catch-up. She’s looking less stressed and more happier. 

Thursday: Busy day at work. Beer and takeaway burger from Oblivion. Finished reading Cider House Rules by John Irving.
The Cider House RulesThe Cider House Rules by John Irving
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Similar to other Irving books I’ve read in that it chronicles a long period of two or three people’s intertwining lives. I enjoyed it thoroughly.


Friday: Office year end function: Lunch at The Surf Shack, Camps Bay. GoodFellas back. Early to bed.

Saturday: A busy day. Took Susan to Rare Woods to buy offcuts to fix her chairs. Early lunch at Jack Black. Remainder of the day spent at our poker group’s year end game. Amazingly I came second.

Sunday: Brunch with mom and Susan at Susan’s place. Eggs, bacon, croissants, halloumi, mushrooms, onions, corn. Really nice. Helped mom with some groceries then Susan and I watched The Laundromat at my place. Chores.

My work week was divided into: New development 80%; Code review 10%; Office function 10%.

Podcasts listened to this week: NPR How I Built This; Beyond the Grid;

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Week 429

The week of Nov 25, 2019 – Dec 1, 2019

Stressing over SARS…

Monday: Gym session with Johnny. 4 hours spent accumulating documents for a SARS audit that I’ve been marked for. Takeaway pizza from Bardelli’s.

Tuesday: Stressed about SARS audit. Not helped by FNB online banking not allowing downloads of statements.

Wednesday: Gym session with Johnny. Evening birthday party for Tinky. Takeaway sushi. Fun and good conversations.

Thursday: Still stressing about SARS audit. Now the online submission of uploaded documents fails. I’m finding it too much. After-work beer at Jake’s before a trustee meeting.

Friday: Early before work gym session. A frustrating day where I missed the SARS submission deadline due to online form difficulties. Tired, it’s been a long stressful week because of that. WhatsApp catch-up with Susan.

Saturday: Did the Rondebosch common parkrun for the first time in months. Went to the SARS office in town expecting there to still be manual submission drop-boxes, but no, they’ve been done away with. Took mom for a drive around Chapman’s peak and lunch at Jake’s on the Common. Easy afternoon, then Indian takeaways and Netflix movies with Susan at her place.

Sunday: A very lazy pleasant morning spent with Susan. We then went and met Brenton, Jill, Julia and Barbs for a walk along Sea Point promenade and had lunch at the Mojo Market. Then back to Susan’s to put up Christmas decorations. I then briefly left to help with a little body corporate work, then Susan and I made toasted sandwiches for supper, had a chat and watched an episode of The Code. Tired.

My work week was divided into: New development 70%; Bug fixing 30%.

Podcasts listened to this week: Beyond The Grid; NPR What It Takes; NY Book Review.

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Week 428

The week of Nov 18, 2019 – Nov 24, 2019

Gatsby party…

Monday: Gym session with Johnny, Ben and Chris. Body corporate work. Chores. My home computer isn’t starting reliably. Reseated the memory chips but that didn’t help.

Tuesday: Body corporate trustee meeting – all the usual matters. Long day.

Wednesday: Gym session with Johnny. After-work shopping at Canal walk. Looking for a white tie to wear on Friday. A quick beer at Panama Jack’s to see the QE2. Received a phone call from the lady whom my mother had a fender bender with. My conciliatory demeanor probably failed my mom’s interests. YouTube watching.

Thursday: Susan made a nice spaghetti bolognese for supper. Nice to catch-up.

Friday: Avril’s 80th at Rondebosch cricket oval. Gatsby themed.

Saturday: Dropped off computer for repairs. Replaced top washer. Attended woodworking expo at Hardware Centre. Saw the Lamello P2. Helped mom with chores. Takeaway lunch with mom at home. Afternoon snooze, not feeling well. Reluctantly went to pay with Susan, but had to leave early due to feeling faint. Early to bed.

Sunday: Day spent taking it easy by myself. Sleeping and reading. Started feeling better in the afternoon. Chores.

My work week was divided into: Building install 40%; New development 30%; Meetings/meeting preparation 20%; Research / planning 10%.

Podcasts listened to this week: BBC Books & Authors; NPR What It Takes; Beyond The Grid.

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Week 427

The week of Nov 11, 2019 – Nov 17, 2019

Car troubles…

Monday: Gym session with Johnny, Ben and Chris. Admin, books and chores. Body corporate work. Reading.

Tuesday: Finished reading The Whisper Man by Alex North. My car has been giving me troubles. Ordered a new crankshaft position sensor online. This being the results of YouTube research into the problem. Grocery shopping. Trustee meeting. YouTube watching. Early to bed.

The Whisper ManThe Whisper Man by Alex North
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Easy to read and engrossing.


Wednesday: Another gym session with Johnny, Ben and Chris. Sushi dinner with Barbs and Heidi to celebrate Barb’s birthday.

Thursday: Nice home cooked supper with Susan at her place and a catch up. Mom has had a fender bender and didn’t get all the details of the other car. She’s in a state.

Friday: Received the new car part. Took it to Richard’s Auto who fitted it. Thankfully this sorted out the problem. Immediately after work took mom to the police station to report the fender bender. Then met Susan and went to a braai at Bianca’s house in Fish Hoek. Tired.

I’ve been extremely unproductive at work. I far prefer active development than research and planning. 

Saturday: Slow day, woke with a headache. Took mom to visit Ann and Ian. Lunch at Bossa at the old Maestro’s venue. Grocery shopping for Sunday lunch. Slow evening.

Sunday: Whole morning spent cooking. Lunch with Susan, Brian, Di, Tinky and Anthony. Roast lamb, veggies, deep fried potatoes. Dessert was pecan nut tart. Really good long afternoon lunch. Tinky and Anthony stayed later. Watched the Formula 1 with Susan.

My work week was divided into: Other 50%; Meetings/meeting preparation 20%; Research / planning 20%; Code review 10%.

Podcasts listened to this week: BBC Books & Authors; F1 Beyond the Grid;

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Week 426

The week of Nov 4, 2019 – Nov 10, 2019

Livingstone holiday and then back home…

Monday: Woke up at Fawlty Towers backpackers, Livingstone. Breakfast and a short stroll around the neighborhood. Susan and I then went off to the Zambian side of Vic falls which was bone dry. We walked across the border bridge to access Zimbabwe requiring the whole immigration thing. Lunch at the touristy restaurant there. The Falls from that side was more impressive. Then we went on a subset cruise which was fabulous. Early night.

Tuesday: A lazy boozy day. Checked out of Fawlty Towers, but remained there lazing at the pool. We transferred to Victoria Falls Waterfront, and checked in to the adventure tents accommodation, and had poolside Amarula. Very nice dinner at the restaurant there.

Wednesday: Didn’t sleep well. Packed, had breakfast, repacked. Shoes, socks and long legged pants for the first time in a week and a half. Flight from Livingstone to OR Tambo, then OR Tambo to Cape town. Finished reading ShadowPlay by Joseph O’Connor. Uber’ed home, first to Susan’s, then mine. Home by 9.

ShadowplayShadowplay by Joseph O’Connor
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I found this quite a tough read. The narrative chops and changes between people and this requires concentration to get the context.

The trip: we saw some lovely places, but in the whole it was overshadowed by it being a financial loss to Susan. She was worked like a dog, the work being not what she expected, and Jono being very demanding.

I think I don’t actually like traveling. Not being entirely self reliant, but needing to ask a host or employee for things and not wanting to abuse the visitor-employee relationship. Too much digging around in suitcases, with the entrenched South African fear of things being stolen. Not being able to stop and enjoy the moment. And especially with this trip I haven’t like not being in control of my own money. But still enjoyable seeing nice places.

Thursday: Back at work, feeling tired. Poker with the boys.

Friday: Slept solidly, woke up not sure what day it was. I’m not used to having someone to be be concerned about. Grocery shopping and a quick stop at Susan’s to see how she’s doing. YouTube watching and an early night.

Saturday: A busy day but a productive one. Gym, haircut. Cleared the rental flat of the few items remaining and took it to the dump. Showed mom the flat and had lunch at Palmyra Knead. My car seems to be developing troubles – YouTube research suggests a crankshaft position sensor problem. Tidied the garage and assembled the small kitchen cabinet project I’d put on the back burner. Ironing, another early night.

Sunday: A short walk at Rondebosch Common, really just to stretch my legs and to take my car for a short drive to see if problems reaccurs. Which they do. Small lunch with mom at Starke Ayres nursery. Chores, admin. Cooked a roast chicken dinner for Susan and I. Resumed our watching of Roman Empire.

My work week was divided into: Leave 60%; Building install 30%; Code review 10%.

Podcasts listened to this week: <none>

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Week 425

The week of Oct 28, 2019 – Nov 3, 2019

Kariba …

Monday: Driving around parts of Harare visiting people in Jono’s book for Susan to photograph. Nice lunch at Tinkerbell’s restaurant. Red Lion pub at Salisbury sports club. An afternoon swim, then more visiting of people and photographs. A meal at Pariah State restaurant in Avondale. Tired, probably because of the heat, consistently > 35°.

Tuesday: An early start, drive to Kariba. The drive is firstly along the tarred road to Zambia where trucking is heavy, then on a dirt road to Charara, location of the Kariba Invitational Tiger Fishing Tournament. Stopped for the customary beer at the baobab tree. Got introduced to the tournament directors and got settled into our accommodation at Wild Heritage. Watched the tournament opening ceremony followed by beers at the Long Bar. Toothache starting to get severe, I suspect an abscess.

Wednesday: An early start to drop Susan off to go photograph the starting flare by boat. Jono and I watched the start from the closest point which was still far way. Went to a dentist in Kariba township – not very confidence inspiring. Diagnosis: a cyst that needs to be treated with antibiotics before going further. A most welcome afternoon rest. Back to the evening event of Susan photographing the fishermen returning to the weighbridge. I’m a little bored.

Thursday: A pleasant morning of doing nothing other than reading, and watching a herd of zebra print within 30m of our accommodation. Then with Susan back we went to Kariba town for a few photographs. Pleasing to see the dam wall. Back to the tournament area. Home, Susan is exhausted.

Friday: Interesting day traipsing around Kariba with Jono for information for his book. A few beers at harbour view pub. Watched the tournament closing prize giving, too tired to enjoy the after-party.

Saturday: Forgot to take malaria tablets for at least one day. Crossed over to Zambia via Kariba Dam wall. Fascinating place. Checked in to Eagles Rest, lovely place in not so lovely Siavonga, watched the RWC final at the bar. Photographing in the evening. Dinner, just Susan and I, again on the beach at Eagles Rest. Enjoying the local beer: Mosi.

Sunday: Exhausting 7hr road trip, but eventually arrived in Livingstone. Drinks by the pool. Pizza meal out. Everyone feeling relieved.

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Week 424

The week of Oct 21, 2019 – Oct 27, 2019

Start of Zim/Zambia trip…

Monday: Met Faiek the handyman at the rental flat and gave him the cabinet doors and drawer front work I’d intended to do. Susan and I did some planning and shopping for the trip. It’s getting close.

Tuesday: Faiek completed all the work I needed, and did very well too. I’m very pleased. Susan and I inspected the work. A visit to the Medicross to get my vaccination card signed. Pnp visit for trip toiletries. Fish and chips takeaway. A little packing.

Wednesday: Gym session with Johnny. Dinner with mom and Susan at Hoghouse, Pinelands. Nice food. Mom won’t be seeing me for a couple of weeks.

Thursday: Busy midday lunch hour. Dropped off the rental flat keys with the agents, bought Ziploc bags and a boerie roll for lunch. Evening packing.

Thursday: I’ve been enjoying seeing Susan for midweek evening shopping and random chores.

Friday: Half day at work. Start of Zim/Zambia trip with Susan and Terry. Flight to Harare. Picked up by Jono with complimentary drinks and snacks en route. Taken to his very beautiful house. Cheese and biscuits.

Saturday: Breakfast at the Bottom Drawer coffee shop and market. Visited the National Gallery for a Rembrandt exhibition. Jono took us on a walk around Harare city centre. Very impressive cathedral. Afternoon swim. Diwali celebration, more of a drinking session.

Sunday: A little grocery shopping at a Spar, the normal stuff is available but payment is confusing. Jono took us on a game drive in Lake Chivero national park. Very nice lunch time braai. Lazy afternoon and evening spent on the big house stoep.

My impressions of Harare is that it’s sad and depressing because there are signs everywhere of what it must have been like, but is no more. Instead lawlessness in traffic is rife, road condition is terrible, electricity and water is unreliable, payment and currencies is a mess. But it’s still a pretty place, jacarandas, bougainvilleas, flame trees, green foliage everywhere.

My work week was divided into: Research / planning 40%; Building install 30%; Meetings/meeting preparation 20%; Leave 10%.

Podcasts listened to this week: NPR’s What It Takes.

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Week 423

The week of Oct 14, 2019 – Oct 20, 2019

Frantic activity…

Monday: Met with painter/handyman at the rental flat. We organised the work he’s to do next week. Evening spent with Susan now that she’s back from her trip. Good catch-up.

Tuesday: Grocery shopping. Inspected the vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. Susan got to see the place too. Supper at my place with Susan. A few chores.

Wednesday: Gym session with Johnny. Body corporate AGM in my flat.

Thursday: Mobile travel clinic Dr. Docrat for a hepatitis-A vaccine. Quick visit to Susan’s for drinks with her, Tinky and Lindy. Quiz night with Paul and Barbs at Knead, Palmyra Junction. Home to load shedding.

Friday: Dinner at Brass Bell with Susan and Lindy. First time I’ve been there for years. A nice evening.

Saturday: A very busy morning. Collected the cabinet doors and drawer fronts from City Boards. Started the installation but disappointingly decided to stop because I hadn’t properly thought through the drawer construction. Helped Susan setup for her braai. Guests arrived and it was a great success and fun night. I helped Anthony with the braaing.

Sunday: Another eventful day. Susan gave me a plan ahead for the drawer fronts. We went to the world veterans indoor cricket championships to watch a friend of Lindy’s. Then dropped her off at Rondebosch oval cricket club. Then onto Anthony’s birthday braai. I helped with the braaing two days in a row. Tired, Susan and I watched a movie.

My work week was divided into: Other 80%; Bug fixing 10%; Testing 10%.

Podcasts listened to this week: BBC Books & Authors; Beyond The Grid;

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Week 422

The week of Oct 7, 2019 – Oct 13, 2019

Rental flat renovation…

Monday: Midday meeting at the rental flat with Johnson’s Top Carpet rep Neil to finalise flooring work. Admin and Netflix watching.

Tuesday: Inspected the initial flooring work done. Original parquet looks good. Chilled evening watching TV.

Wednesday: Mom’s tax dispute with SARS has thankfully been resolved – no tax owing. Gym session with Johnny and his brothers-in-law. Clothes shopping at Canal walk.

Thursday: Inspected the flooring work done to date. Quiz night with Paul and Barbs at Palmyra Knead. WhatsApp catch-up with Susan.

Friday: Going-away drinks at Peddler’s on the Bend with Lourens, Greig, Simon, Bernie and Paul. Lourens and family are emigrating.

Saturday: Visits to City Boards (Montague Gardens) and DIY Shop (Brooklyn). Started painting the balustrade handrail replacement for the flat. Lunch with mom at Greens in Plattekloof. Visited the flat, removed the old handrail, took it to the dump. Watched El Camino movie. Great being reacquainted with the Breaking Bad genre. Caught up with Susan via WhatsApp.

Sunday: Watched the Japan F1 grand Prix. First topcoat on the handrail. Swept and cleaned the rental flat balcony in preparation for painter to see it. Takeaway lunch with mom. Second topcoat. Beer at Fat Harry’s. Intermittently keeping track of Susan’s travelling via WhatsApp. Third topcoat. Chores.

My work week was divided into: Testing 40%; Building install 30%; Bug fixing 20%; Meetings/meeting preparation 10%.

Podcasts listened to this week: TED Radio Hour; Beyond the Grid; BBC Books & Authors.

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Week 421

The week of Sep 30, 2019 – Oct 6, 2019

A very busy week…

Monday: Gym session with Johnny. Chores and catching up with things.

Tuesday: Collected keys for my rental flat. A month of minor renovating begins. Trustees meeting with new group of trustees. They seem keen and eager. Very nice later supper with Susan at her place.

Wednesday: Tough gym session with Johnny. Evening spent with Susan at my place booking accommodation for our Livingstone trip. Susan leaves for a Kruger Park holiday.

Thursday: Tried the pomodoro technique while testing. Works well at keeping distractions to designated times for breaks. Met Neil from Top Carpets to get quote on flooring. Poker with the boys. I did OK but not great.

Friday: After work drinks. YouTube watching. Early night.

Saturday: Dropped off wood for edge banding, ordered external wood cut to size for replacement balcony handrail, got spare keys cut and checked they worked. Made plans to meet with Neil again and with a painter. Lunch with mom at The Brasserie. Afternoon snooze, then a walk-jog-walk twice around Rondebosch Common. Dinner with David at The Eatery. WhatsApp catch-up with Susan.

Sunday: Gym, grocery shopping, chores. Canal Walk with mom to let her see Downton Abbey. Wasn’t bad. Lazy afternoon. Ironing. Netflix watching.

My work week was divided into: Testing 90%; Bug fixing 10%.

Podcasts listened to this week: BBC Books & Authors; Inside Line F1; Making It; 

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