Sunday, 4 October 2009

I've been away {but you probably figured that out!}




I've spent the last 10 days travelling & visiting relatives in Botswana & Johannesburg. We've only just returned tonight & I still have mountains of unpacking to do & a stinky house to deal with {our two cats rebel when we are away & clearly choose not to "go" outside & use their sand-boxes at night}. Nothing that a good scrubbing & airing can't fix but my live-in help has been very unwell in our absence & clearly needs a helping hand so I suspect this week will be domestically orientated & school starts tomorrow morning so I'm not envisaging a busy bloggy week from me.

The break away was better than we all expected. The long drives (2 days there & 2 days back) were a lot better for us all than I think we had all imagined! Now that the kids are older & MP3s, Ipods, Nintendo DS Lites & Mini DVD Players have been invented the kids were pretty well behaved, although Jack did insist on fashioning "ear-pokers" out of 5ooml plastic Coke bottles, cardboard take-out containers & straws (yes, all very imaginative...) to all our detriment LOL! I took a stack of photos on our journey there & will share them with you all in due course. The journey towards the border is quite an eye-opener & I love the way that scrapbooking has made me so much more aware of my surroundings. I have photos of all the creatures we shared the road with...cows, sheep, goats, donkeys...you name it they were there...hence the looooooooooong journey!

The weather was perfect (note to self - Gaborone surrounds are idyllic in September). There was one rather scary thunderstorm one night & we HAD to drive in it because our kids were at the movies with the President's nephews (yup - you read right...) so we had to collect them & the journey into town is long. We were fine though & it subsided relatively quickly. The roads are not bad, certainly nothing like Zimbabwe & Mozambique...no potholes, but a good chance of running into a goat or a giant baboon, although probably less chance of that when it's bucketing down I suppose. It was actually wonderful to experience a real African thunderstorn again. Haven't had one of those in Durban since we moved here & they are quite common in Zimbabwe so Shane & I were a bit nostalgic ;-D


Botswana is not exactly the entertainment capital of the world but is certainly a step up from most of it's neighbours so we enjoyed dinner out at Primi Piatti, lunch at Debonairs, etc, and lots of time "at home" just chatting out by the pool, sleeping in late & enjoying dinners cooked by our hosts (definitely the highlight for me - not having to hear "What's for dinner?" even once!). This year has been quite a tough one on the extended family front with all types of feuds going on between the various camps & we have managed to stay out of it all - so we are rather pleased with ourselves about that. My DH is a peace-maker but not a wimp. He prefers to call rather than e mail & stands his ground when necessary but has taught me, over the years, that there are times when it's better just to shut up...and now I can do it! It hasn't always been easy but it gets easier!! At the end of the day people are different & everyone has their strengths & weaknesses & age definitely helps you decide which battles are worth fighting & which to laugh off...

We drove there & back via Joburg - where we always stay with Shane's aunt & uncle. They are always so graciously hospitable to us all (we ALL stop by for a night or two on either side of our journeys) so not a month goes by when they don't have visitors. Shane's cousin is pregnant after many years of waiting, so that is exciting news for everyone so we had another lovely visit. We went to see "Cats" at the Montecasino Teatro last night & sadly it was horrible! The dancers & singers were world-class so it's most unfortunate for them, but the set, costumes & lighting make it very difficult to follow the story & "make-out" what is actually happening on stage. The kids (our own & all those around us) kept us well entertained with their pea-shooting (with scrunched-up straw covers, etc) as they were all bored to tears. We also caught a movie there - The Ugly Truth-which we watched with our 16 year old while the other 3 watched "Aliens in the Attic".

The Ugly Truth had a 16 age restriction but was cringeworthy to actually watch with a 16 year old, and probably could have done with a No under 18 one, but was absolutely hilarious...just wish my "baby" hadn't been with me {or EVER seen it LOL!} It had the whole movie house in hysterics & I pity poor Cathrine Heigl {sp?} having to act some of those scenes...but VERY funny for grown-ups...definitely one to watch ;-D So that, in a nutshell, is what I have been up to for the best part of the last 2 weeks. On the scrappy front I completed & presented the Calendar & have some great pics ready to post here SOON & managed a quick scrappy shop in Joburg...all old stuff as usual...never seem to find any new lines here...got the "Your Life. Beautiful" papers by Webster's Pages - bought a few of them online here a while ago but found the whole range, and the Que Sera Sera Doilies to go with the paperpack I found locally a few weeks ago (K & Co.) Very pretty...aswell as a few staples like self-adhesive chipboard alphas (love the Heidi Swapp ones because there are always tonnes of A's
& E's!)



15 comments:

Vicki said...

Welcome home. Sounds like an interesting trip and looking forward to seeing the photos.

Jenny said...

Welcome back and yes I miss those Highveld thunderstorms too

topkatnz said...

Sounds like you had a great break away - so glad to hear.Hx

The Lonely Scrapbooker said...

Missed you! Loved reading about your trip. Gosh you are such a world away.
Can't wait to see the layouts you'll do with the photos you took.
Cats is way overrated by the way. I saw it twice--once on Broadway and once a junior theatre (amateur teens) production and would describe both just the way you did.
Welcome back to internet space!

tania said...

Hi Helen, welcome back!! Your trip sounds interesting, you sound relaxed:) Thanks for the tip on Cats, we were thinking of going, but will now spent my money otherwise;) Enjoy your day and I hope Mercy is there;)to help with the unpacking and cleaning.

Jenny in Durbs said...

Glad to have you back. Sounds as if a great time was had by all. I love Cats have seen it lots of times in London - but am disappointed to hear about this version especially as we were hoping to go as a family on a special trip.
Waiting for your photos.

Carol B said...

:-)
Lovely post. Love the holiday description. I imagine Botswana as very rich in textiles and crafts. Thanks for the warning re the movie PG rating. Good luck with the big housework catch-up. We never even went away, and I have somehow landed with quite a backlog myself. Only a few weeks till the Christmas (summer) hols!

Bernadine said...

Welcome back Helen. Glad you had a good holiday. I am to learning the art of shutting up when it comes to my family and all the politics. It is the best way to go. :)

Shayne said...

SOunds like you guys had a wonderful time. I was considering booking tickets to Cats in Cape Town (Dec) but not sure now.

Looking forward to pics!

Oh and to seeing Ugly Truth myself!

Penny said...

Welcome home - missed your posts!

Helen Tilbury said...

Ah yes good to be back in the land of technology! Have to prize myself away & prioritise though because it's nearly time now to collect the little ones & there is no food for them to eat ;-D Still have a lot of blog reading & commenting to catch up on so please bear with me...yes we really had an "African experience" - not my favourite holiday choice despite being a born & bred African...could have preferred Oxford Street LOL! Anyway, good to be back in my own bed & close to a Woolworths! Sorry I burst a few bubbles with Cats but truthfully for over R1000 we would have been way better off using that on something else. We watched Beauty & the Beast there last year & that was exceptional in all respects so you never know. I did eavesdrop during the interval & at the end (in the loos LOL!) & everyone was saying the same thing so I know my opinion was shared by many. Will try to upload my katrillion photos later this evening. Off to play Mommy now...

Cathy said...

Nice to have you back Helen. Also a big thanks again for my parcel of goodies that arrived just before you left on your epic journey. Glad you got there and back safely.

Michelle Ramsay said...

Glad you are back and have all had a great holiday. Yes, family feuds - can be painful, but if you keep out of them, life still carries on - he he. Look forward to your holiday episodes.

Sandra said...

Welcome home, Helen!!!!!!!!!!

Sounds like you had a fabulous time away :)

Lynette said...

Welcome home...hope you are all rested:)