Category Archives: Random ramblings

Bassie and Bertie blog about Hill’s Lazy Beds and special foodies

As promised last week, this is a special blog post as translated to me by the doggies – they don’t speak person very well, it’s mainly Minions-style mumbles. The experience they’d like to share all relates to a package that was delivered especially for the two of them. And so, without further ado, see their thoughts below on the special Hill’s Ideal Balance Food and Hill’s Lazy Bed pouch they’ve been trying out for a few weeks…

This is what we got from the nice people at Hill's Pet Nutrition SA. They delivered it to Daddy's work. Mommy's name was on the tag as the people at daddy's work don't know us.
This is what we got from the nice people at Hill’s Pet Nutrition SA. They delivered it to Daddy’s work. Mommy’s name was on the tag as the people at Daddy’s work don’t know us so they might have thrown it away if they didn’t get a response on calling out ‘Package for Bassie and Bertie’. We’re glad they didn’t.
I jumped straight in. I sat nicely. It was warm and comfy. Then Mommy said I must let my sister try it, so I hopped out because I am a Good Boy.
This is the Hill’s Lazy Bed pouch, especially for small doggies like us. Bigger doggies can try a big puffy pillow instead. I jumped straight in. I sat nicely. I was happy because it was warm and comfy.
When I thought about it, I was surprised I fit as the Hill's Lazy Bed pouch is for small dogs only and I thought I was a big doggie. Then Mommy said I must let my sister try it, so I hopped out because I am a Good Boy.
When I thought about it, I was surprised I fit as the Hill’s Lazy Bed pouch is for small doggies only and I thought I was a big doggie. Then Mommy said I must let my sister try it, so I hopped out because I am a Good Boy.
He's not a Good Boy. I only got my turn to sit in it after brother, so I wasn't happy. He always pushes ahead of me. I wasn't happy.
I don’t like the Lazy Pouch because I only got my turn to sit in it after my brother. He always pushes ahead of me. He’s not a Good Boy.
I gave Mommy this look showing I was only sitting in it so she could take a photo. She took pity on me and let me out. My brother hopped right back in.
I gave Mommy this look to show her I was only sitting in it so she could take a photo. She took pity on me and let me out. My brother hopped right back in.
Before we knew it, suppertime was here, and daddy said we could try ALL the things. We didn't believe him, but he said it would all be healthy and wholesome so we were allowed.
Before we knew it, Suppertime was here, and Daddy said we could try ALL the things. We didn’t believe him, but he said it would all be healthy and wholesome as the ingredients are perfectly balanced, so we were allowed. The kibble is the flavour of salmon, a healthy pink fish we’ve never seen, and there are some vegetables and vitamins and minerals included. Plus the ‘Healthy Naturals’ treats are ‘turkey and cranberry’, yummy things we didn’t know about before.
This part we were very excited about - look at all the nice food we got to try! Mommy was trying to hold us back so this photo is a bit blurry. Is our fault. Oops.
This part we were very excited about – look at all the nice foodies we got to try! Mommy was trying to hold us back so this photo is a bit blurry. Is our fault. Oops.
We tried to be patient but it smelled so good we impatiently raised our paws and said 'Mmmm!' to rush Daddy along, in case he forgot it was actually for us and he wasn't to try it.
We tried to be patient but it smelled so good we impatiently raised our paws and said ‘Mmmm!’ to rush Daddy along, in case he forgot it was actually for us and that he wasn’t to try it himself because he’s not a doggie.
Because the foodies rested in the bag when it was wrapped up for us, the Lazy Pouch smells like all the foodies. I love the foodies. So when I nap in the Lazy Bed pouch I lick it when I think Mommy isn't looking.
Because the foodies rested in the pouch when it was wrapped up for us, the Lazy Bed pouch smells like all the foodies. I love the foodies. So when I nap in the Lazy Bed pouch, I lick it when I think Mommy isn’t looking. But Mommy is always looking, because I am lovely.

Show this blog post to your furry critters. If they tell you they would also like to try the Hill’s Science Plan or Ideal Balance foodies, or even the Hill’s Lazy Bed pouch or the giant pillows for bigger doggies, try your nearest vet shop or contact Hill’s directly by clicking here.

That’s all, folks… Bassie and Bertie would love to try other treats and doggie goodies, let me know if you’d like to get in touch with them and I’d be happy to translate on your/their behalf. ๐Ÿ™‚

Vampirically good Sunday sundaes and Husband has a haircut

How do you celebrate working your final Sunday shift? With a sundae, of course. A ‘Sunday sundae’, if you will. And I knew just the one I wanted when the time came to celebrate this exact event. See, when my not-quite-was-and-now-never-will-be boss told me I absolutely HAD to try the Mondiall chocolate sundae for dessert as part of our team dinner I blogged about a few weeks ago, that sundae was so good it left chocolate squiggles on my heart that have been flowing since then. Almost like a vampire’s blood lust. And sticking with the monster theme (I have purple hair, I’m allowed), the fact that my last attempt at photographing it was a no-go meant I repeated ‘Mondialllll chocolate sundaeeee’ almost zombie-like each time Husband asked what I wanted as a treat. So, I present to you…

The Mondiall chocolate sundae. Best Sunday sundae ever.

Now it may LOOK like it's just strawberries and ice cream but you can't see just how chocolatey it is. I assure you there's also caramel syrup, a nut table, chocolate biscuit bits and more swirled in there. Also, this is probably the best shot of my purple hair
Now it may LOOK like it’s just strawberries and ice cream but you can’t see just how chocolatey it is. I assure you there’s also caramel syrup, a nut table, chocolate biscuit bits and more swirled in there. Also, this is probably the best shot of my purple hair

And was it good? Was it ever. Absolutely worth the R45 price tag, and the fact that Husband could sip a draught beer in the sunshine while live jazz music smoothed us from stressy Sunday morningย into soothed Sunday eveningย made it all the better.

But of course, that’s not all we did this weekend. In fact, my weekend was Friday and Saturday, seeing as I was working Sunday. See my other weekend highlights below, such as reliving my best French toast breakfast experience

Friday, 19 September 2014: Best French toast at Cassia, Nitida with parents

The first time my parents went to Nitida they were actually headed to the OTHER restaurant on the wine estate, much further back on the property. But Cassia is right at the entrance so they walked in and got their waitress to cancel their booking at 'the other place'. It's that good! (PS: No offence to 'the other place', we just love Cassia so much we never venture past it!)
The first time my parents went to Nitida they were actually headed to the OTHER restaurant on the wine estate, much further back on the property. But Cassia is right at the entrance so they walked in and got their waitress to cancel their booking at ‘the other place’. It’s that good! (PS: No offence to ‘the other place’, we just love Cassia so much we never venture past it!)
I love the lighting at Cassia
I love the lighting at Cassia
Delightful array of breakfast drinks - cappuccino (mine), orange juice (mom's), glass of bubbly (dad's)
Delightful array of breakfast drinks – cappuccino (mine), orange juice (mom’s), glass of bubbly (dad’s)
Yes, it was cold enough for us to sit by the fire. Right in front of it, in fact. We ended up warm as wombats. (What? Wombats live in Australia. They're warm, trust me.)
Yes, it was cold enough for us to sit by the fire. Right in front of it, in fact. We ended up warm as wombats. (What? Wombats live in Australia. They’re warm, trust me.)
Dad had a waffle with a side of bacon, as you do
Dad had a waffle with a side of bacon, as you do
My French toast with tart berry puree and a crispy bacon rasher on each. Absolutely scrumptious (and yes, sadly still wearing a scarf in September - come onnnn, Summer!)
My French toast with tart berry puree and a crispy bacon rasher on each. Absolutely scrumptious (and yes, sadly still wearing a scarf in September – come onnnn, Summer!)

Saturday, 20 September 2014: Breakfast at Damhuis in Melkbos, traintripping, Table Mountain gazing

One of my many criteria for a good breakfast cappuccino is a tasty little biscuit on the side. At Damhuis in Melkbos, said 'side biscuit' is a tiny rusk. Just perfect!
One of my many criteria for a good breakfast cappuccino is a tasty little biscuit on the side. At Damhuis in Melkbos, said ‘side biscuit’ is a tiny rusk. Just perfect!
Husband with his Benedicty breakfast at Damhuis. (But pic is more to show you his 'before' hair, so take note)...
Husband with his Benedicty breakfast at Damhuis. (But pic is more to show you his ‘before’ hair, so take note)…
I had the 'Small breakfast' - still enough to line my tummy though!
I had the ‘Small breakfast’ – still enough to line my tummy though!
For we had an adventure-filled day that included a train trip...
For we had an adventure-filled day that included a train trip…
Proof of Husband on the train (and another sneaky shot of his 'before hair')
Proof of Husband on the train (and another sneaky shot of his ‘before hair’)
Yes I know I'm positively biased towards anything purple, but aren't these flowers just darling? These are at McPherson's in Table View, I'm going to have to try recreate the look in our new garden, once we've finally moved in (Eep)
Yes I know I’m positively biased towards anything purple, but aren’t these flowers just darling? These are at McPherson’s in Table View, I’m going to have to try recreate the look in our new garden, once we’ve finally moved in (Eep)
My mountain. Anywhere I can eat good food for a good price AND see the mountain gets points from me - so McPherson's is way up on my 'favourite places' list
My mountain. Anywhere I can eat good food for a good price AND see the mountain gets points from me – so McPherson’s is way up on my ‘favourite places’ list
Bassie meets Joshi. Bassie not so sure of little people
Bassie meets Joshi. Bassie not so sure of little people

Sunday, 21 September: Doggie naps and Husband’s haircut

Doggies having nap. Sort of.
Doggies having nap. Sort of.
Doggies politely leaning on Granny's leg to let her know they'd like some of the homemade pie too (please)
Doggies politely leaning on Granny’s leg to let her know they’d like some of the homemade pie too (please)
Husband caught in the act with his mouth full of (healthy) dessert and will you look at his sweet haircut
Husband caught in the act with his mouth full of (healthy) dessert and will you look at his sweet haircut! I did tell them both to smile, promise.

No sunset pics this week alas, will atone for the lack in next post, hopefully. Over and out kids, I know I’m not the only one who is exhausted by public holidays in the middle of the week. Enjoy the coming weekend!

Why I drink hot drinks and celebrate half birthdays

Nothing warms frosty fingers more than spreading them around a hot cup. And my fingers have been more than a little frosty lately. So while it’s no secret that I love coffee, any hot drink will do at the moment. And not just for instant heat. See, even on the steamiest day you’ll find me pouring vast quantities of hot liquid down my gullet. I wouldn’t say it’sย a caffeine addiction, as I can get by just fine on decaf… as long as my first liquid intake of the day is coffee. Ultimatelyย it boils down to the fact that the day hasn’t really started until I’ve had at least one cuppa. Wise folk always comment that you’ll never be truly happy until you learn to appreciate the small things in life, and while they’re usually referring to things that are free, there’s no denying the satisfaction of breathing deeply fromย a freshly brewed, prettily cupped cuppa joe.ย That’s why I had cup after cup last weekend and they sure did make me happy, as you’ll see below.

But don’t fool yourself into thinking the fun stopped there, as Sunday was also Husband’s half birthday! Here’s a reminder of why we celebrate half birthdays in our household, and some snaps of the day…

Saturday, 19 July: Breakfast at Hillcrest Estate, drinks at Brazenhead in Big Bay,ย coal collecting in Blouberg, scones at the nursery

Lush green setting at Hillcrest Estate in Durbanville. Bright white sky was blinding and sunnies were atop my head instead of protecting sensitive eyes, hence funny expression on face
Lush green setting at Hillcrest Estate in Durbanville. Bright white sky was blinding and sunnies were atop my head instead of protecting sensitive eyes, hence funny expression on face
Hot drink! Delicious cappuccino with complimentary cookie to start the weekend on the right note
Hot drink! Delicious cappuccino with complimentary cookie to start the weekend on the right note
Excited for flapjack stack with bacon, banana, grated cheese and berries. The cappuccino was not yet sipped, hence me still looking very tired
Excited for flapjack stack with bacon, banana, grated cheese and berries. The cappuccino was not yet sipped, hence me still looking very tired
Saucing up his breakfast pita
Saucing up his breakfast pita
Diane and Chris marvelling at the pics of the ghostie we captured on camera a few weeks ago. Not pictured? Hot drink! (Hot chocolate) at the Brazenhead
Diane and Chris marvelling at the pics of the ghostie we captured on camera a few weeks ago. Not pictured? Hot drink! (Hot chocolate) at the Brazenhead
Grey mountain at high tide
Grey mountain at high tide
Solitary seagull walking along the water's edge
Solitary seagull walking along the water’s edge
Hot drink! We popped in at Stark Ayres nursery for the 'scones and hot chocolate' special - all this for R30. Lovely flecks of vanilla in the tub of cream meant for scone-smearing
Hot drink! We popped in at Stark Ayres nursery for the ‘scones and hot chocolate’ special – all this for R30. Lovely flecks of vanilla in the tub of cream meant for scone-smearing
Bassie and mommy sitting by the fire
Bassie and mommy sitting by the fire

Sunday, 20 July: Breakfast at Inside, Eden on the Bay, dog walks on the beach and half-birthday celebrations

Hot drink! Pot of tea with my breakfast at Inside
Hot drink! Pot of tea with my breakfast at Inside
Sipping on his half birthday breakfast Coke, as you do
Sipping on his half birthday breakfast Coke, as you do
Hot drink! This time a vanilla cappuccino from the Nescafe machine in the Pick n Pay at Eden on the Bay.
Hot drink! This time a vanilla cappuccino from the Nescafe machine in the Pick n Pay at Eden on the Bay.
Bertie gave mommy a big lick while Bassie waited for her turn
Bertie gave mommy a big lick while Bassie waited for her turn
The look I was given before my lap was jumped on
The look I was given before my lap was jumped on
Then Bassie gave mommy big licks too
Then Bassie gave mommy big licks too
Bassie trotting ahead of me on the beach
Bassie trotting ahead of me on the beach
Bertie pulling his dad along the mussel-strewn sand to bark at assorted sea birds
Bertie pulling his dad along the mussel-strewn sand to bark at assorted sea birds
THAT's the sand-speckled face of a very happy little dog who has just had a long walk on the beach. Note her brother behind her with his head out the window, barking at all and sundry
THAT’s the sand-speckled face of a very happy little dog who has just had a long walk on the beach. Note her brother behind her with his head out the window, barking at all and sundry
Miss Bassie wrapped in a towel - still grinning as wide as she can
Miss Bassie wrapped in a towel – still grinning as wide as she can
Half birthday cake! A full carrot ring and some mini carrot cakes all made by mum, so you know they were delicious. Not pictured? HOT DRINKS!
Half birthday cake! A full carrot ring and some mini carrot cakes all made by mum, so you know they were delicious. Not pictured? HOT DRINKS!
The half-birthday boy - note the birthday hat at his place at the table and Kinder Surprise egg in hand - his first ever
The half-birthday boy – note the birthday hat at his place at the table and Kinder Surprise egg in hand – his first ever
Kisses for the (half) birthday boy
Kisses for the (half) birthday boy
Tolerating more half birthday kisses
Tolerating more half birthday kisses
Pretty pink clouds behind a palm tree
Pretty pink clouds behind a palm tree

That’s all for now, folks. I’m currently enjoying a mid-week ‘staycation’, so stay posted as I’m sure to put up some pics of my favourite moments from this week soon…

Landlubbers celebrating the great Cape outdoors by boat, foot and bus

Ahoy, me mateys! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I’ve turned to Pirate Speak. Argh. Shiver me timbers (Alas, that’s all the Pirate Speak I know. If you have a few more catch phrases up your sleeve, please share with me so I can impress others when next I have a parrot on my shoulder.)

The reason for my twist to all things sea-wordy is because we were sea-worthy this past weekend. See, Husband has decided he is a budding fisherman. As such, we renewed his fishing licence (you can do so at your local Post Office), stocked up the inflatable boat with all sorts of fishing apparel (poles, boxes, hats, hooks, soggy bread and the like) and headed out to the open waters just in front of the Blue Peter in Big Bay. Because we do love to be beside the seaside. See below.

Rowing us out into the deep blue (grey) sea! Note how wet his shirt is, and also dimple that only shows when Very Happy
Rowing us out into the deep blue (grey) sea! Note how wet his shirt is, and also dimple that only shows when Very Happy
I was there too - smiling, but cold and wet. Note wooly hat and shiny arm - that's because I was completely drenched
I was there too – smiling, but cold and wet. Note wooly hat and shiny arm – that’s because I was completely drenched
This is the life: Fishing! On the sea! We only caught more sea this time, alas
This is the life: Fishing! On the sea! We only caught more sea this time, alas

But the fun didn’t end there, oh no. We also took the doggies for a lovely long walk (bark in the park) in the marshy wonderland they’d not yet explored near McPhersons of the ‘Sunday lunch special’ I recently wrote about:

Very Excited doggies exploring at McPherson's. Note how each is wanting to go in a different direction.
Very Excited doggies exploring at McPherson’s. Note how each is wanting to go in a different direction.
Wild lilies grow along the edges
Wild lilies grow along the edges
Sweet little dog and I happy to be out and about. Am wearing wellies to keep feet dry.She's happy hers are very muddy
Sweet little dog and I happy to be out and about. Am wearing wellies to keep feet dry. She’s happy hers are very muddy

Then, just so I don’t disappoint all the foodie fanatics asking “Where are my weekly food pics?”, here you go: we bussed into town on Sunday morning and had a fancy brunch at Kloof Street House on Sunday. Not cheap by a long shot but worth most of the pennies as it’s a rather unusual venue with lots of nooks and crannies to explore while you wait for your gastronomic extravaganza to appear…

Such pretty, quirky outdoor furniture at Kloof Street House
Such pretty, quirky outdoor furniture at Kloof Street House
Charming entrance to Kloof Street House
Charming entrance to Kloof Street House
Excuse the frizzy hair, focus on the gorgeous Eggs Benedict with parma ham on a Hollandaise-sauce coloured plate. Mmm!
Excuse the frizzy hair, focus on the gorgeous Eggs Benedict with parma ham on a Hollandaise-sauce coloured plate. Mmm!
Yay brunch! Hidden under the mound of rocket was a delicious prawn, chilli and avo omelette
Yay brunch! Hidden under the mound of rocket was a delicious prawn, chilli and avo omelette

And of course that’s not even half of how we spent the weekend. We also napped with the doggies, watched some big bikes going around the track at Killarney Race track and snacked on imported goods from the UK Emporium. Amongst other things…

Bertie napping with his dad
Bertie napping with his dad
Watching the bikes zoom around the track at Killarney - this greenie was the winner of the race we watched
Watching the bikes zoom around the track at Killarney – this greenie was the winner of the race we watched
My favourite weekend treat - Vanilla Coke and Millionaire's Shortbread Wonka Bar
My favourite weekend treat – Vanilla Coke and Millionaire’s Shortbread Wonka Bar

Looks like this weekend’s set to be another cold one so keep warm, kids!

Letting Cape Town’s best kept secret out the bag…

When you first mention that you live in/are moving to the Western Cape, folk-not-from-these-parts treat you with suspicion. They’ll always end a grudging comment on the sunny summers with something along the lines of “But the winters? No thanks. The wind howls and it doesn’t stop raining for months and months and months…”

Truth is, they’re wrong. I’ve only lived in Cape Town a few fingers’ and toes’ worth of months now but I know Capetonians are excellent secret-keepers. Because the ‘months and months and months’ of solid rain and howling wind those folk from ‘Up North’ speak of? It’s more like a few days here and there. Broken by days of the most wondrous blue skies, sparkling seas and light breezes of excitement and hope that blow away any grey-thought cobwebs still hanging around.

This past weekend was one such weekend. The kind you think of when you hear the lyrics to ‘June Afternoon’ by Roxette (that’s pretty old school, I know). It was the “Wah wah, here comes the sun, playing in the park, never getting dark…” kind, with the magical sunset glow adding a special filter to everything. (I wasn’t the only one to think so – click here for proof).

And of course, this winter wonderland is when all the whimsical ‘winter specials’ come into play that are long forgotten when the December hoards grace our lovely seaside towns – when it comes to Blouberg beachfront alone there’s two for 1 sushi and more on offer at Catch22half-price pizza all day on Monday at Col Cacchios in Big Bay (click here for a reminder of how much I love this special)… and the list goes on, stretching as far afield as Stellenbosch if you’re so inclined.

And so, frolic in the winter sunshine we did. You’ll see there’s a natural sunny ‘haze’ in most of these photos, that’s what I’m talking about – sometimes a picture really is better than a thousand words when describing something.

Sun-dappled head of my dear, sweet girl in the car on the way to the beach
Sun-dappled head of my dear, sweet girl in the car on the way to the beach
Doggies running up the beach path ahead of their dad
Doggies running up the beach path ahead of their dad
And run they did! If you squinch up your eyes you can JUST make out a little doggy-shaped dot on either side of hubby in this sunny shot
And run they did! If you squinch up your eyes you can JUST make out a little doggy-shaped dot on either side of hubby in this sunny shot
Bassie baby noticed I hadn't kept up the frantic jog so turned back to keep me company
Bassie baby noticed I hadn’t kept up the frantic jog so turned back to keep me company
Later that day - a beer on the sun-drenched patio of the Big Barrel pub at Mountain View Farm, while the crowds cheered on SA vs. Wales rugby inside
Later that day – a beer on the sun-drenched patio of the Big Barrel pub at Mountain View Farm, while the crowds cheered on SA vs. Wales rugby inside
Later still - soaking up more sunshine at the lovely outdoor eating bit of our local Food Lover's Market in Sunningdale - had a delicious nut-brittle type slice of cheese cake and pot of spicy cinnamon tea. Divine weekend treat.
Later still – soaking up more sunshine at the lovely outdoor eating bit of our local Food Lover’s Market in Sunningdale – had a delicious nut-brittle type slice of cheese cake and pot of spicy cinnamon tea. Divine weekend treat.
Even the plain white teapot was positively glowing with sunny goodness - probably because of the hot liquid sunshine it held. Silken teabags are always a win
Even the plain white teapot was positively glowing with sunny goodness – probably because of the hot liquid sunshine it held. Silken teabags are always a win
Sunday dawned even warmer than Saturday, if possible - here is the friendly local cat at McPherson's Garden Centre, where we tried out the Sunday lunch special
Sunday dawned even warmer than Saturday, if possible – here is the friendly local cat at McPherson’s Garden Centre, where we tried out the Sunday lunch special
Not sure of his real name, but I've named the cat 'Furry McPherson' because he lives at McPhersons :) He reluctantly hopped off the bench when our food arrived
Not sure of his real name, but I’ve named the cat ‘Furry McPherson’ because he lives at McPhersons ๐Ÿ™‚ He reluctantly hopped off the bench when our food arrived
See what a wonderful view we had? Hard not to relax when there's such a picturesque sight on offer
See what a wonderful view we had? Hard not to relax when there’s such a picturesque sight on offer
And then the food came! I am always at my most excited in food pics - this plate of 3 meats, rice and veg was R59, but that's not all...
And then the food came! I am always at my most excited in food pics – this plate of 3 meats, rice and veg was R59, but that’s not all…
The price also included this tasty block of malva pudding and creamy vanilla ice-cream drenched in custard. Tabasco sauce an optional extra
The price also included this tasty block of malva pudding and creamy vanilla ice-cream drenched in custard. Tabasco sauce an optional extra
Bassie sat proudly on her Grampa's knee that afternoon as they told each other about their recent walks
Bassie sat proudly on her Grampa’s knee that afternoon as they told each other about their recent walks
And later still we collected coal from the beach. Yip, that's genuine coal washed up with all the mussel shells, perfect in the fireplace... makes the house smell like a steam-train
And later still we collected coal from the beach. Yip, that’s genuine coal washed up with all the mussel shells, perfect in the fireplace… makes the house smell like a steam-train
A very curious seagull followed me along the beach as I added more coal to our collection
A very curious seagull followed me along the beach as I added more coal to our collection

See? Winter in Cape Town’s really not about gloomy grey skies and rainy moods. Well, not all the time.