Well, at least the weekend was good. Friday evening was spent with my folks in Pretoria and we all went out for supper to Fishmonger in Centurion. It's a Friday favourite with my parents because they serve the most delicious fish (for some reason my parents don't eat meat on Fridays. Catholic upbringing, I guess) and TSC enjoys it because they do a mean steak too. It was great (especially my squid heads - yum). I love that I'm finally at a place where I get along with my folks and we really enjoy each other's company.
Saturday morning we left for Mooinooi, a small town built around a mine near Rustenburg. Literally translated from Afrikaans, it means something alongs the lines of "pretty girlfriend".
Since moving to Joburg we've become good friends with the parents of a friend from varsity, who was also the MC at our wedding. While they are the same age as my parents (maybe even a bit older), we get along really well with them. They (let's call them Elle and Zee, which, lucky for them, are not their real names) had invited us to spend a night at their plot along with an Australian couple who were visiting Africa for the first time, Jo and Steve.
It turned out to be such fun. We arrived shortly before lunch, unpacked and had a lovely al fresco meal on the veranda. We chatted for ages and eventually retired for an afternoon nap. Afterwards we headed off for a short walk (about an hour in total) to watch the sunset. Most of the sun was obscured by clouds, but it was pretty anyway. Well, judge for yourselves:
When we got back, the two dogs who live on the property had arrived and TSC had a great time playing with them (big puppy that he is) before getting the braai ready. I made pap (pronounced pupp) and relish for the Aussies to sample and TSC, resident braai-master, dazzled all with his deliciously spiced and perfectly-cooked beef steaks and lamb chops.
After a few glasses of nice wine (Backsberg rosé and Inkspot vin noir) and a few hours of easy conversation, the Aussies headed off to bed and our friends followed shortly. TSC and I decided to give the outdoor showers a try.
What a cool experience! Because the plot is set in the middle of the bush, there is no-one around for miles. Under the full moon we took a steaming hot shower in the cool night air. The showers are open on one side, facing away from the buildings and have no roof. It was a new feeling - the cold air, the moonlight and the hot water.
If I ever have a house in the middle of nowhere, I will build a shower ilke that. And one inside for winter, of course ;-)
Sunday morning TSC and I awoke before dawn (we're not used to taking Saturday afternoon naps and it completely threw our sleep out) and had a cup of coffee alone on the Verandah before Elle and Zee joined us. Eventually Jo and Steve appeared and we enjoyed a light relaxed breakfast together.
Then at about 10am we donned our hiking shoes, hats and sunblock and climbed into the bakkie (light utility vehicle / ute / truck / pick-up for you non-locals). We stopped on a nearby plot where the walking trail begins and set off for the river. It was really hot, and by the time we arrived at the waterfall and pools, I wished I'd brought my bikini with. Elle and Zee got into the water and the rest of us rolled our trousers up and dipped our legs in. It was cold! But lovely. The rocks are textured from hundreds of years of rippling water, and the deep pools were beautiful. I wished I'd lugged my old manual SLR camera along instead of my snapshot camera.
When we eventually got back it was almost 2pm. We had another great al fresco meal before packing up our things. TSC and I dashed off, picked the cats up from my folks and made it back home in time to have a quick shower before we had to be at Montecasino for church, which was great.
We're in our third week now and we've got an average of 260 people attending. I think the concept of a church in a casino establishment makes people curious. And I think it's more accessible to many people in terms of location and time than our morning services at a local school.
So a good weekend, all in all. Let's hope it's a good week too. For me, for TSC (who is writing his first varsity test today) and for all of you!