How to have a successful end-of-year work party when the biggest local news ever breaks

It’s simple. Postpone, and have it at the start of the year 🙂

People living ‘in land’ in South Africa (ag shame) often ask what’s the best thing about living by the sea. But it’s not just the ‘Vaalies’ who dwell on the topic. I was chatting about this with a colleague just last week and we agreed that Capetonians take the gorgeous coastline for granted.

For example, this here view is five minutes from our front door:

Gorgeous shot of the mountain
Gorgeous shot of the mountain

it’s even prettier at sunset:

Sunset at Dolphin Beach
Sunset at Dolphin Beach

As if that’s not enough, my co-workers and I had our eyes re-opened to the beauty of the place we work and play in, thanks to our ‘start of year’ party.

Why a ‘start of year’ party, you ask? Well, if you work in the media industry you’ll know that Madiba’s expected but tragic passing at the end of last year led to weeks of flurried activity… it was a whirlwind of posting story after story online, and once his funeral passed and the news reverted to normal, most of us felt pretty drained – plus, of course, it was December. The month where most of the world take the annual leave they’ve saved up to savour in the sunshine.

And so, our annual outing was postponed to January – last Friday, to be exact.

What a wonderful time we had! Our office is just a hop, skip and jump (read: short drive) from the V & A Waterfront. So at lunch time we made our way across in convoy, and started off with an eco marine tour that left outside the Two Oceans Aquarium I’d last visited on my birthday last year. What a treat to relax on the catamaran, basking in the sun (as we were of course responsibly sun-lotioned and sunglassed, some were even smart enough to bring caps to protect their delicate noggins).

You’ll be pleased to know we safely left the harbour and no one fell off; crested some pretty, violent waves (meaning they were pretty and violent, not ‘pretty violent’); ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ over a sweet, unplanned leaping display by dolphins endemic to the area; learned all about sunfish and why their top sides are lighter than their unders; marvelled at the beauty of Table Mountain; and learned the reason ‘Robben Island’ is named as it is; we’d all worked up quite a hunger (and thirst!)

And so, once our sea legs had reverted to land legs, we walked across to ‘Den Anker’ for a traditional Belgian lunch. Here comes a Dr Seuss moment: “Oh, the food that we ate and the drinks most of us drank!” It was all delicious and a great way to unwind.

Here are a few snaps, kindly donated by colleagues who were clever enough to document the afternoon – the pics of food are my only contribution…

Now that’s what I call a good way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Chillaxing
Chillaxing
"King of the world!". Well. Kinda
“King of the world!”. Well. Kinda
That's me in the blinding sun
That’s me in the blinding sun
Lunch is served!
Lunch is served!
Tomato mozzarella starter
Tomato mozzarella starter
Sirloin Bearnaise with chips, mayo to dip them in, and a side salad (not pictured). I ate every bite
Sirloin Bearnaise with chips, mayo to dip them in, and a side salad (not pictured). I ate every bite
Chocolate fondant - delicious but tiny
Chocolate fondant – delicious but tiny
Creme brulee - biggest I've ever seen, complete with vanilla flecks. mmm.
Creme brulee – biggest I’ve ever seen, complete with vanilla flecks. mmm.
One of the cute bottles I took home to serve as vases. Walking around the Waterfront clutching 3 empty beer bottles? Sure way to get some funny looks!
One of the cute bottles I took home to serve as vases. Walking around the Waterfront clutching 3 empty beer bottles? Sure way to get some funny looks!

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