Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Cat post

No, I am not going to start posting about my two lovely felines every day of the week and updating you on their diet, antics and incredible shedding rate, but I am going to write a post about cats today, and probably tomorrow too ;-)

See, on Saturday, TSC and I were both feeling bleak. This was largely because of the abusive neighbours and the inept police. We decided that we should cheer ourselves up by driving a little way up the road (we live on the edge of town near where the small farms start) to find a place to take a long walk in the spring sunshine.

We were driving really slowly with the window down when we heard this desperate meowing. We thought perhaps a cat had got caught in the barbed wire fence, so we pulled over, crossed the road and starting calling. And this tiny ginger kitten came bounding out of a gutter and launched itself into my arms like a small orange (affectionate) missile.

It was so cute, purring away like a little generator. We looked around for more kittens or a mother, but couldn't find any. The little thing was skin and bones and was desperately trying to crawl into the nape of my neck to get closer (it didn't have much luck though, with my phobia of having anything near my neck. I kept trying to get it to just stay on my shoulder). We couldn't just leave it there, so we took it home.

It was dusty and had a scrape on its teensy nose, but it was so excited to be with us. We kept saying how it was full of beans. This expression prompted the name 'Bean'. Now ginger cats are almost always male (not sure why, but it's true), but Bean happened to be a little girl.

We debated keeping her and decided that we'd see how our cats reacted first. After stopping to buy her some kitten food and a bowl, we took her home. She wolfed that food down in about two seconds flat. She must have been starving. Our cats (the big pansies) were terrified of this little scrap of fur and headed as far away as possible. Not good.

We took our little beansprout to the vet, who confirmed her sex, provided some tick and flea ointment and dewormed her, and said she must be about eight weeks old. I asked the vet if our cats would adjust and she said maybe, but it would take a few months. Seeing we're moving in a few months, we didn't think ti would be fair on our cats to take on two huge new adjustments.

Fortunately, our (only) nice neighbour LOVES cats. She's been trying to convince her husband to let her get one, but he wasn't keen. Until he met little Bean, that is, so just won his heart with her affection and red-headed wiles (yes, as a ginger, I use those too. Not).
We handed her over with peaceful hearts, watching as Sandra cuddled the little bundle of fur to sleep in her arms. I'm very happy that she's found a good home, even if they did insist on renaming her Tinkerbell (?!?!?).

"It's Bean a good day," I said to TSC as we headed back to our unit. I just couldn't resist!

About the nasty neighbours: We have given them the details for the sister at the Teddybear Clinic, and they have promised to schedule an appointment today for later this week. I'll give the clinic a ring tomorrow and check whether or not that's been done, and we'll take it from there.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Monday update

After work on Friday, I called Childline to report my neighbours' abuse of their child. I was told there's nothing they could do, and given the number for Child Welfare. I called Child Welfare and asked to speak to a social worker, who told me off for calling on a Friday afternoon, saying there was nothing they could do. She advised me to call back this week.

I headed over to the local police station to open a case against my neighbours. I spoke to two officers who didn't have any idea what I should do, before being directed to a lady named Beauty who was very helpful.

She explained to me that the Child Protection Services unit has been closed down and that child abuse now falls under the auspices of the general police. I think this is ridiculous, as you surely need special training to deal with the situations that come up. Beauty told me that there's no record of my three calls or of a case being opened, and that they haven't logged a visit to my complex on that evening. She advised me to call emergency services back and get their feedback on my reference number from Friday, to put it all in an email and send it to Crimeline, who will then brief the police to open a case.

I called emergency services and quoted my reference number, asking them which police vehicle had made the call and what had happened. I asked the woman to read me her report. It said they had stopped by at 21.20, spoken tot the mother and sorted it out. That was it. As I was the complainant, they should have taken a statement from me, not just the lying, child-beating mother!

Yesterday, at church, I spoke to a friend who is a social worker. She called me this morning with the name and number of a state social worker who will be able to come out to the complex. She also have me the name and number of a sister at the local Teddybear Clinic who can do an assessment on the child. She advised that becuase the parents kept saying how worried they are about him, that he's a psychopath and a thief and that he needs help, I should ask them to take him to the clinic. If they resist, I can bring in the police or the state social worker. I will keep you posted on what happens next.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Too far this time

Two of my favourite bloggers, Being Brazen and Elizabeth, have both given me a nice award, which makes me very chuffed and I will certainly post about it next week. Elizabeth says I make her giggle, which I'm glad of, but today I'm going to write a very serious post.

My neighbours have taken it one step too far this time. We have put up with their screaming matches, wondering the whole time whether he was beating her or the kids. We have also put up with feeding and loving their cat, which they have completely abandoned. But last night, for the first time, they gave us proof that they are more than just nasty neighbours - they are criminals.

As I was dishing up supper at about 19.15, we heard a child screaming its lungs out, so we went outside to investigate. There was blood all over the corridor, and the screaming was coming from inside their flat. I wanted to call the police, but TSC went straight to their door and starting bashing on it. Eventually, after much shouting, the father came to the door and TSC demanded to know what was going on. The guy wouldn't let him see past him into the house and started making all the usual excuses - the kid slipped and knocked his head etc.

TSC kept pushing and telling him to bring the kid out so he could see if he was ok, and the guy stalled until his wife (who is the one who hit the kid) had washed the blood off the kid's face, telling TSC that the child (who is eight years old) is a psychopath, that he shoplifts and tried to poison them and that they're trying to get social services involved to help them with this "problem". He also said that the kid says his grandmother "touches" him, but they don't believe him. Five minutes later, he says that the kid is mentally unstable because he was molested for five years.

Eventually, the wife drags the kid out. His face is blue on one side and there are fingermark bruises all down one arm. TSC asks the kid if his mother hit him. The kid won't look at him, but shakes his head - no. TSC gets down on his haunches, looks the kid in the eyes, and says, "Please tell me the truth." The kid nods his head - yes. The mother then begins yelling at TSC saying that they don't want their kid, he's a piece of rubbish, they want to get rid of him and they'll pay us to take him away, he's just costing them money. All of this in front of her child.

While this was all happening, I had called emergency services and asked them to send the police. They took down my details and promised that a car would be around. This was at 19.30. For the next hour, we forgot about dinner while this man tried to talk his way out of the situation, saying that he realises things get out of hand sometimes (his wife packs her stuff and threatens to leave him on a regular basis after his verbal (and probably physical) abuse), but that they are trying, and with all due respect, we're not parents so we can't understand etc, etc.

I called for the police again at 20.15. Then again at 21.10. When we eventually went to bed at 11.30 after waiting for four hours, they had still not arrived. Apparently they came after midnight, when the child was in bed, and just took a statement from the parents. What help is that? Like they told the truth! Fortunately, our other neighbours (the nice ones) and TSC had ensured that the kid was safe. Had none of us intervened, who knows how far it would have gone.

I finish work early today and will be going straight to the police station to file a report. I will also be writing to the newspapers. It is simply unacceptable that in a situation where a child is at risk, so little is done. I cannot handle abuse of children and animals. It makes me shake with rage because they have no choice, no power to fight back.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Two Mondays

Thanks to yesterday's public holiday, today feels like a Monday. So two Mondays in one week! Eep. But tomorrow's Friday, so it's all good.

And I just realised that we're nearly into October, which means I need to start on Christmas presents now in order not to be broke in December. I tell myself that I'm going to do this every year, and I don't. But this year will be different.

Hmmm... de ja vu.

But seriously... I want to go on a kick-ass holiday at the end of the year, so I will need to have some cash then. Which means I will need to either:

a) Win the lotto (unlikely, seeing I don't play)
b) Get in some more freelance jobs ASAP
c) Convince people to order their corporate gifts through me or let my company do their PR (coz I'd get commission)
d) Cut down on my spending (also unlikely given the current inflation rate. Ok, and my tendancy to buy random gifts for those I love)
e) Open a shebeen on my veranda (anything's possible in uor dodgey complex)
f) Take up a new line of work that pays better (politics, maybe? Or law. I'm argumentative enough to be a lawyer.)

This cash injection is absolutely necessary to my well-being. See, I need to unwind as fully as possible during the first week of holiday because my in-laws are taking TSC and I to a lovely resort just after Christmas for a week, which will be... stressful to put it politely.

There are not many people I would choose to go on holiday with, I prefer to just get away from everything and everyone. And my in-laws, although they are very kind-hearted people who don't mean to make things difficult, are experts at stressing me out. Firstly, we don't speak the same language. Secondly, they live in a different world to me. Theirs is populated with their family, their sheep, farm life and red wine that's been stored overnight in the fridge. Mine is inhabited by lunatics, irrational clients, my mental cats and "room-temperature" red wine. So we battle to relate to each other.

Thirdly, their idea of a holiday is to go shopping. This makes sense, if you think that they live in a small town where there aren't many stores. But my idea of a holiday is to escape to a quiet cabin in the mountains or on a beach and retreat from the madding crowds. They like to spend every single minute surrounded by people. I like to hide from the world with just TSC by my side.

So I worry that the week will be claustrophobic for me. I can handle that for a few days, and I just want TSC to enjoy his time with his folks as much as possible seeing he doesn't see them often. But I do plan on relaxing as much as is humanly possible before then. And seeing it's TSC and my second wedding anniversary on 16 Dec, I'm thinking spa treatments, romantic dinners and adventures together are in order.

So... any advice on making money in a hurry (legally, please)?

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The pigs

Argh! I don't know about you, but I find sitting in traffic super-stressful. My blood pressure rises as I compulsively watch the clock ticking and shake my head at the nutter in the stationary car next to me picking his nose. In Johannesburg, however, unless you work from home, there's no real way to avoid the traffic. I'm more fortunate than some in that I only live 8km (just under 5 miles) from the office. BUT it takes me on average 25 minutes to get there!

Why? Well, aside from the bumper-to-bumper traffic, there are numerous other obstacles to overcome. My route to work is fairly simple. I drive out from my complex, onto a main road. I keep straight until I hit a T-junction and then I turn left. I stay straight again through a couple of robots (yes, that's what we call traffic lights in South Africa), turn right and go through two more robots and arrive at work. On a weekend it takes me 10 minutes. Well it would if I ever worked on weekends, that is ;-)

BUT, on the road just after the T-junction, there are currently massive roadworks going on. There are men working, large construction vehicles and loads of those little orange cones that seem to scream "hit me!" (or is that just me?) stretching for about 1km. Why? Understanding that the traffic on this road is completely insane, the city council has decided to widen the road. Fair enough. I can deal with that if it means the traffic will let up some time in the future. What I can't get over, however, is that every morning, on the same road, the cops set up a roadblock during the peak traffic, which makes it a million times worse. Yes! there they sit in their cars, all 20 or so of them, pulling off our mini-bus taxis and anyone else they don't like the look of, which causes havoc.

Once I'm past that road, it's usually a lot better. Today, however, the idiots had set up ANOTHER roadblock in the last road I take. Grrr! Are they thick? Have they not SEEN the traffic? But no, the clever clogs must put two blocks on two already busy roads during peak hours next to the roadworks?!?!?!

I will not let this colour my day. I will not. I will console myself with the fact that my new house is much closer to work (about 4km away) and cuts out the roadworks, if not the roadblocks.

Our house, in the middle of our street...

Monday, 22 September 2008

SA post

Caz tagged me to do this meme she created, so here it is:

Link back to the original meme (that would be this post) and the meme inspirer (that would be EXMI)
Link to the person who tagged you (Caz)
Give (at least) 5 reasons why you love SA
Tag at least 5 peeps
Let me know when you've done it!

Now please note that there are gazillions of things I love about SA, and most of them have been written about by other peeps who've been tagged in this meme. It's Monday morning, so I'm not even going to try to be original, sorry for you. If you're bored by this, come back tomorrow. I'll try for something scintillating then (but no promises, k). So, off the top of my head, here are some of the things I love about my country:

1. I love South Africa because it's never dull. Whether the President has been recalled by the ruling party or some foreign tourist has tried to pet a lion and been munched, there's akways something going on.

2. I love South Africa because most of its people (there are exceptions, of course) are friendly and fairly well-mannered. If you sit next to someone on a bus or a plane, more likely than not, you'll enjoy a good conversation, unlike on public transport in most European countries, where everyone avoids each other's gaze as much as possible.

3. I love South Africa because its people are ambitious. Not content to be seen as just another poor African country, South Africa is hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup, establishing trade relations and (finally) getting a bit more up to speed on technology. We have one of the best banking systems in the world, our Para-Olympic team recently used their competitive spirit to score a whole whack of medals, our Constitution is the most progressive globally, and you can drink water straight from the tap (faucet) without filtering it (which Rand Water tells us is a big deal).

4. On a less serious note, I love South Africa because we're half a season behind in terms of fashion, so you can get away with last year's look for longer ;-)

5. I love South Africa because of the variety. I mean this in terms of environment, people and even food. Pretty much no matter where you live in the country, you can travel 20 to 40 km and you'll be back in the middle of nature, surrounded by a wealth of local fauna and flora, whether it's the long grasses and cosmos of the Freestate, the fynbos of the Cape or the lush semi-tropical plants of KwaZulu-Natal. If you are in almost any public place with a group of South Africans, you'll come into contact with people of different colours, languages and faiths. And if you're looking for traditional South African food, you could mean the spicy Cape Malay dishes, good old Afrikaans pap en vleis (a corn-based starch food and meat) or potjiekos (food cooked over the fire in a cast-iron pot), a township Smiley (a cooked sheep's head), or the Zulu favourite, amasi (fermented milk that's a bit like cottage cheese). Truly a rainbow nation in all senses of the word.

Right, I hereby tag:
Because I Can

Friday, 19 September 2008


There is nothing better than getting a nice handwritten letter in the post. That's why my grandfather and I write to each other. We could SMS (yes, at 82 he is great on the cell phone) or call, but we write.

I really wish I got more letters. Hence my question to you... Anyone wanna be penpals? Not in the "I'll write to you every week on Sunday at 2pm" strict kind of way, but just to exchange the occasional correspondence for fun. If so, email me: doodlesofajourno@gmail.com.

Ok, aside from that... it is Friday, and I am back at work. Yesterday was spent in bed, sounding like a donkey with my hee-hawing flu voice. TSC thought it was hilarious, of course. It's a bit better now. I just sound like a phone-sex line, or a 30-a-day smoker. All gravelly and such. And so, while it lasts, I will use it (as any woman would) to get exactly what I want out of my darling hubby. Hehehe...

Ok... I am stalling and writing rubbish, when what I actually want to write is: THE OFFER ON THE HOUSE IS ALL GOOD TO GO AND WE ARE SOON TO BE HOME OWNERS!!!

So excited! I've already started planning where the furniture will go, what veggies to plant and what sort of house-warming to have ;-) Yeeha! Our first house. Our house... in the middle of our street... Can't get that song out of my head.

On that happy (ecstatic, over the moon, joful etc.) note, here's a Friday funny for you. One of my favourite C&H strips:

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Have you ever wondered...

How people figure stuff like this out? And yes, I tried it, it works for me.

Grab a calculator (you won't be able to do this one in your head).
1. Key in the first 3 digits of your work DIRECT landline phone number at WORK (NOT the area code).

2. Multiply by 80
3. Add 1
4. Multiply by 250
5. Add the last 4 digits of your work phone number
6. Add the last 4 digits of your work phone number again
7. Subtract 250
8. Divide by 2


Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Right. Rather than bore you with the details of my disgusting and slimy head cold, let's talk about something nice. Well, for me, anyway...

We have made an offer on a house. And it has been accepted. Our only clause was that a structural engineer be brought in to have a look at a crack on one of the upstairs walls before we sign. So I am trying very, VERY hard not to get excited about anything until his report comes in (today or tomorrow), but I am walking around with butterflies in my stomach.

It is a wonderful house. TSC was sold on it because it has loads of garage and working space, and I was won over by the beautiful veggie garden and the fact that it's like something out of Anne of Green Gables. And the owners are nice. And the rooms are huge. And it has a fireplace. And, and, and...

Please, if you're the type who doesn't mind being asked, say a little prayer that (God willing) everything works out fine!

Monday, 15 September 2008

Says it all...

Too full of yet another head cold to write more bull.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Role play

Have you ever noticed how you end up in roles you'd never have imagined yourself in?

I've never seen myself as the entrepreneurial type. At all. I kind of pictured myself as a journalist working my way through the ranks at some nice glossy consumer magazine, until, after many moons, I would eventually make editor.

Instead, at the age of 24, I find myself working my half day PR job in the mornings, and then running my own freelance business in the afternoons. I'm not exactly sure how that happened, seeing I don't have a clue how to run a business.

Frankly, I am amazed that all the right paperwork got filled in and that the thing got registered at all, nevermind the fact that I actually have a couple of clients. I mean, the last time I did book-keeping was in grade 9, and I sucked at it even then. I have no idea how quotes and invoices and all that jazz works. Yet, somehow, I have still managed to get a bit of money in the bank. I still need to find someone to help me figure out the whole tax thing and do the book balancing so I don't end up in jail someday.

I just feel like such a fraud. I am terrified that someone will discover that I ended up here by accident and don't know what I'm doing. I stress that my clients will realise that I'm actually just a little girl playing dress up. This whole thing petrifies me beyond belief.

Is it like this for everyone? Somebody please say yes!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Current addictions

Right... Being Brazen tagged me to do this meme she made up awhile ago, and I am finally going to do it, seeing time allows.

Firstly, I tag:

Now... the rules:
*Post at least five current addictions (with some details please)
*Mention the person who started this game of tag (Being Brazen) and also the person who just tagged you (in my case, also Being Brazen).
*Type your post with the heading "Current addictions"
*Tag at least two people and pass on the above rules.

And, my cuurent addictions:

Viva la Vida, the latest Coldplay CD. I have a love/hate relationship with this album. I love the music, but I hate having the tunes stuck in my head for the whole damn day, everyday.

J'Adore by Christian Dior. One of my favourite scents, I got a mega-big bottle for my birthday.

Spring blossoms. It makes me so happy to see the green shoots and beautiful fruit tree blossoms along the roads of Johannesburg. Feeds my heart.

Easy Living magazine. This is a UK mag that I adore. I can only find it in Checkers and Exclusive books, but it's jam-packed with useful info on everything from beauty to health and simple solutions to everyday products.

Avocado. On its own, with balsamic vinegar in a salad or with grilled chicken breasts on a crusty roll... Yum.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Post, as promised

It has been a busy time! I guess it's the whole end-of-year-itis that hits around this time every year, but I really feel like I need a holiday now. That's wishful thinking, of course, but we're all allowed to dream.

My folks are setting off on their little little 3-week jaunt around Eastern Europe next week and I am so jealous. TSC and his team will be repainting their house while they're gone, which means that I will barely see him. That man is unbelievable when it comes to work. As soon as he has a project on the go, everything else falls away... his studying, his wife... *Sigh* I'm hoping that he'll be more reasonable this time, but I doubt it. I'm pretty sure that he sees this an yet another opportunity to try to prove himself to my folks.

In other news... I scraped the side of my car on a pillar in the parking bay last week. Argh! I drive so carefully and try to take really good care of my car and then I do something stupid like that. THEN... when I took the bloody thing to the panelbeaters, they tell me that, actually, the front of my car needs work too! Why? Because I went through a huge and completely unavoidable pothole that stretched right across one of the main roads in Rosebank (a very affluent part of Johannesburg) awhile ago, which has buggered up my bumper.

So I call my insurance agency and log the claims. Becuase the incidents are separate, they apparently need separate claims and I must pay the excess twice over. AND... because I am under the age of 26, my excess is very much higher. I could cry.

Sorry - this is very much a rant of a post, isn't it? Even Formula One has let me down. After quite a dull race on Sunday, the last few laps burst into action when the rain came down, and Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton (two of the main championship contenders, from Ferrari and McLaren respectively) were fighting it out on the track. They came close to touching and Lewis, who was behind, needed to go off onto the grass. He came back on the track ahead of Kimi. Now, in this situation, a driver can be penalised for gaining advantage off-track, so according to the rules, Lewis needed to surrender the position back to Kimi. He did, letting Kimi pull in front of him. He then made another attempt at overtaking the Finn, and pulled it off magnificently.

Kimi then lost it and smashed his car into the wall, while Lewis managed to remain cool and calm in crazy conditions (skidding around a wet track on his "dry" tyres) to pull off a win. Celebrations ensued on the podium.

And then... because the body that runs F1, the FIA, and Ferrari are big buddies (fact: the Ferrari team boss and the FIA boss go on annual ski holidays together), Ferrari complained that Lewis still gained advantage off-track, and the FIA penalised Lewis by 25 seconds, putting him in third place, and handing the race to the other Ferrari driver, Phillipe Massa.

This drives me mental, especially because in the last race, Ferrari unsafely released Massa into oncoming traffic in the pit lane, which blatantly trangresses the regulations, which state that a team needs to check the pit lane before allowing their driver out. Did the FIA allow Ferrari's race to be compromised? No, they just gave Massa a fine.

Almost enough to make me quit watching. Almost.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Sorry for my absence over the past 2 days. I've been running around organising two big events, which are now (thankfully) over. I thought it would be downhill from here, but apparently not, as I have two freelnace rush jobs that I need to squeeze in that both require reserach and interviewing and need to be started and completed within the next four days. Eep!

So I leave you with a funny and a promise to post properly again soon.

"I was shopping at the local supermarket where I selected the following items:
A litre of milk
A carton of eggs
A carton of orange juice
A 250 gram package of bacon
A head of lettuce
A 1 kilo can of coffee

As I was unloading my items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind me watched as I placed the items in front of the Cashier.
While the cashier was ringing up the purchases, the drunk calmly stated, "You must be single."
I was a bit startled by this proclamation, but I was intrigued by the derelict's intuition, since I was indeed single. I looked at the six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about my selections that could have tipped off the drunk to my marital status.
Curiosity getting the better of me, I said: "Well, you know what, you're absolutely right. But how on earth did you know that?"
The drunk replied, "Cause you're ugly."

Moral of the story... Never question a drunk."

Monday, 1 September 2008

Of Mondays and movies

Why does everything go wrong on a Monday? Is it so that you'll have the rest of the week to sort it out, or is it to drive home the point that the weekend is very definitely over? Just a question. Today hasn't been especially bad. Aside from the printer pulling its usual attention-seeking nonsense and the fact that ALL my colleagues are out of the office at an exhibition today, it's going fairly smoothly.

Our friendly kind-of-temporary receptionist, CK, is in for the day, so at least I have company in taking everyone else's calls and managing their clients. And it's unusually quiet, so I may actually get some of the things on my list done for a change.

The weekend was great. TSC's childhood family friend, Rob, spent it with us. He's really easy going and didn't seem to mind the fact that we didn't really give him proper guest status (which would've meant showing him the sights of Jozi [are there any?!?]; waiting on him hand and foot; and serving him 3-course gourmet meals). We treated him more like a member of the family, which means that he got to, go grocery shopping, sample my pasta a la Tamara, watch old DVDs with us and even help with the clearing up after meals.

We enjoyed having him, and I think he enjoyed his weekend. Yesterday was the long-awaited joint birthday picnic, which was AWESOME (in my opinion)! And yes, Slyde, after this, my b-day truly is over for the year, k?

It was a little windy, but we had a good turnout of over 30 people and there was more than enough food (I now have a fridge stocked with enough potato salad and various juices to last the next month). Everyone seemed to get along, and my only worry was that I didn't get to spend enough time with anyone because I was trying to talk to everyone.

Of the bloggers, Angel, Glugster, Ruby and Arkwife were in attendance, along with Angel's son, Damien (aka The Knucklehead). What an awesome bunch! I've only met Angel before, and I loved the chnace to finally meet her man in real life. He is just as sharp as he is on his blog. Although, Glug, if you're reading this, I still find you intimidating in all your technical wisdom ;-)

We made everyone play a loud and childish (but fun, I hope) game called 'Hah', which requires the use of both hands. Angel somehow managed to play with one hand while taking pics with the other. She also made THE MOST AMAZING CUPCAKES in the world! they were so beautiful you didn't want to eat them, but YUM, I'm glad I did! With purple frosting (my favourite colour), which was strawberry flavoured, and little sparkles and decorations, they were gorgeous works of art. And the red velvet recipe meant they tasted like a little slice of heaven. Mmmmm... making myself hungry now. Angel, I still have your cake tray! I must get it back to you sometime soon.

Ruby and Arkwife are also stunning ladies that I hope to see more of, and, despite the fact that they'd never met us before, they still managed to come up with a funky present - these spoons made entirely of chocolate that you stir into hot milk to make your own Belgian hot chocolate. How cool is that?

My only regret is that by the time everyone had left and we'd packed up, we were covered in sticky juice, various dips and other food remnants, so we decided to go home instead of visiting EXMI and went home to shower instead. Then we watched Untraceable, starring Diane Lane and Colin Hanks, which traumatised me with its twistedness.

Ugh... I get shivers down my spine just thinking about it. It's about an Internet serial killer who devises incredibly sick ways of killing his victims with help from his readers - the faster they post, the quicker they die. If you, like me, can't handle depictions of cruelty to animals or graphic scenes of torture, STAY AWAY from this one.

It would've been a bad end to a good weekend, but we saved it by rewatching one of my all-time favourite movies - Snatch, directed by Guy Ritchie. So funny, even the millionth time around.

Ok, this has been a long post. Ending it now. Happy 1st day of spring to those of you in the Southern Hemisphere!