Friday 27 March 2009

Thursday night in pictures...

And there it is, the cake of choice this year - I did NOT choose the blue! My hand mixer, James Martin one, died a horrible death when it lost its battle creaming the butter and made an awful sound and collapsed. Luckily it was far enough into the creaming process, and the icing was basically ready. I am just shocked that my fairly new hand mixer could not stand up to the task at hand, especially as its visits to the kitchen counter are fairly infrequent these days.

When you say nothing at all - Ronan Keating

Kirstin will be 13 on Sunday, my word time does fly. According to Kirstin this is her ALL time stand out favourite song, so Happy Birthday to my all time favourite YOUNGEST daughter!

Sunday 22 March 2009

Hedgehogs and echidnas

So I managed to turn out the cake on time. Friday night was spent baking and decorating and well...he ain't perfect by anybody's stretch of the imagination but he has personality...and Isobel thought he was wonderful and at the end of the day that is all that really counts! Malcolm reckons he looks more like an echidna google it and you will see that he has a very strong case.

Thursday 19 March 2009


I forgot to tell you all about St Patricks Day!!!! Firstly we had our first proper teenage parents experience when Jess asked if she could NOT go to the planned BBQ (he he okay braai) and instead made her own way into town with about 10 friends to watch the parade. Yes, when I see the freedom my daughter now has I am even more certain that we did the right thing!
Kirstin, Malcolm and I headed off to Warren and Tracy for our celebrations and when we got there the door had the most adorable welcome "Happy St Patrick's Day African people" which her girls had made - really smile worthy and heart warming stuff - thanks!
Upon entering the house we were greeted with orange, green and white balloons AND curly green and silver shiny streamers strewn about - Tracy really went to town! It was an awesome day, the sun shone the kids all played in the garden and we sat around chatting, drinking wine (okay I was designated driver so I had ginger ale!) and enjoying each others company. We all brought our own meat and a salad contribution and in typical SA fashion by the time we had all eaten the serving table still had enough food to feed us all over again!
At around 18h30 we headed home and collected Jess along the way and then had a quiet evening at quiet in fact that I was in bed by 21h00...

I Want You - Kings of Leon

I am so disorientated, it is already Friday! Having a day off on Tuesday has me feeling a little off balance, but I ain't complaining because it certainly feels like the fastest week on record...and it is another busy one. Final hockey game of the season on Saturday (sob!) and then we have the Ireland Wales game to look forward to! In between all of that I have to do some organising - Sido arrives next Saturday and there is a fair bit to do! Oh...and I have a special request - to bake a birthday cake for one hell of a cute little 6 year how could I say no!? But where am i going to find the time??? Oh well let us enjoy the Friday is played A LOT in our house at the moment...enjoy and have a fab weekend. No pictures, but you can always do your own you tube search....

Monday 16 March 2009

St Patrick

Ahh St Paddy's Day is upon us, and tonight shall be my first real Dublin experience of the event. I am heading down to Temple Bar with the sports and social crowd from work, it might just be messy....
Having said that, for once I am actually not in the mood for a big night but I also know myself fairly well so that may still change! For now I am heading to the lunch room where we are being treated to food from Diep Noodle Bar - saliva glands are activated!
Ooooohhh and no work tomorrow!!!! YAY.

Saturday 14 March 2009

Hockey stuff...

I think I can safely say that I am a hockey player now. I have had a few very decent games in a row and today I heard one of my teammates bellowing "Natalie is on fire today" and I was, yes even if I say so myself! I enjoy playing in defence, I have made myself very comfortable and I really do manage to to do my part for the team, in fact a couple of times today...well I even impressed me! I even saved a goal from a short corner and did my bit during another one and ran straight at the person receiving the ball, and almost managed to get it too, but did force a panic pass which is also good I guess.
We won the game 3-1 and I was thrilled as it was imperative that we won to keep our place in the league. Sadly next Saturday is our last game of the season, I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone, but at least I do have summer hockey and two tournaments in May to look forward to.
Last year I was still relatively new when we had our home tournament and spent more time off the pitch than on, which I was more than happy to do because I was a weak link so to speak. But I must also admit that I made up my mind there and then that by 2009 tournament I would be playing more and watching less.
This year I think I may actually get a bit more pitch time and will be a lot more useful when I am playing! No matter what I have improved and am very proud of my achievements so far.

Way too early

So this morning then...bed was comfortable and the thought of a Saturday lie in utterly appealing. For some daft reason I woke just before 07h00 but it was actually not too bad, as I got to lie there for an hour pretending to have a PROPER lie in before ejecting myself out of bed with considerable force and heading for the shower. Sadly my Saturday morning lie in would be rudely interrupted by an appointment with a hockey match. Yep, off to a game at 10h15 to meet the U16 girls I will be looking after on tour.
I arrived at the school where they were playing and was rather confused by the kits running around the field. We do not play in green and to the best of my knowledge the juniors do not wear purple and yellow, I don't think...
A call in to my friend then - "W do the juniors wear a different colour kit to the seniors?" a hesitant "no" is the response and then.."Sunday Natalie the game is on SUNDAY". Up shot is that I now know where I am going tomorrow, I had time to do my grocery shopping and spend the morning at home with the family. Down side was cancelling the 10h30 movie tickets to see Marley and Me with the girls tomorrow! But as we are always looking for the POSITIVE it was a painless procedure and we are going to a noon show. All is well that ends well.

Thursday 12 March 2009

Crack the Shutters - Snow Patrol

I never actually wrote about our first trip to the 02 in Dublin. We went to see Snow Patrol and the venue is amazing - specifically built for enjoying concerts. Eyes Open is my favourite album but I was fully expecting to here all the music from A Hundred Million Suns because it is their latest release and was thrilled because they basically played BOTH albums! Here is one of their newer songs , when they sing the chorus I don't just fills me with a rush of positive visions, opening the shutters and letting the stale out, the fresh in, summer, freedom and all sorts crosses my mind! It is amazing what we can take from music and how much it can affect our mood. Have a super weekend - mine will be filled with hockey, I am going to watch the U16 girls at 10:15 (need to get to know them a bit before our tour) and then I am playing a game in the afternoon - looking forward to another fun-filled weekend in Dublin! Malcolm is also playing hockey on Saturday afternoon, and playing golf on Sunday morning....the guys are finally getting together for a game after much procrastination!

Wednesday 11 March 2009

Life is beautiful!

I stepped out of my front door this morning and was greeted with the most unbelievable surprise. I did not even need my jacket, the weather was absolutely glorious and the sun was even shining! I walked to work with the feeling that my heart was actually ready to burst- I know that sounds bizarre but I really was that happy, and no I did not sneak a Valium! I don't know it just felt like the day was so full of promise, all the songs on my Ipod were awesome and it felt amazing to be alive.
I got to work and spread the enthusiasm, which was hardly difficult as Dublin and its residents certainly come alive when the weather cooperates as it did today, 15C - have not had temps like that in so many months!
I got my letter confirming my permanency and then I got a text from Wendy confirming the that my services will be required for the U16 tournament over the Easter weekend. Wow, what an utterly fansplendific day!

Monday 9 March 2009

Permanent fixture

Six months ago my head was spinning, back to a full-time job after many years of being at home, (okay besides my half day jobs in 2005 and 2006) and now I have got into the routine of Sunday shopping and early mornings.
It has been a long frustrating and very rewarding journey and today I was made permanent. I feel very privileged to have a job and am really pleased that I am now part of the furniture!

How the weekend REALLY turned out

What a weekend! Hockey on Friday night was MAD. Firstly I got lost because the ground is down the tiniest of lanes and my Garmin (sat nav) kept directing me down a road about 100m short of where I really needed to be. To make matters worse my battery on my phone was on its last legs and kept beeping ferociously while I tried to get my bearings, drive and listen to instructions from Margaret. She did much better than poor Molly (the Garmin) and I finally made it albeit 5 minutes late. We started playing with a team of 7 – including our goalie and luckily 1 more person showed up so it was an 8 strong Three Rock team taking on 11 strong Muckross.
I played back, but had to push forward too and after 15 minutes I was exhausted, serves me right for skipping so many hockey practices lately!
We all played brilliantly, including me – I even managed to defend a long corner that came in at waist height and used my stick like a cricket bat to stop it from getting to target, the umpire decided not to blow on the illegal height so I was relieved that my aim was good on that occasion!
After the game we discovered that the clubhouse was closed and stood around in the car park chatting for a while. I got invited to a fundraiser for the U16 hockey tour, a dinner at the club on Saturday night with live music – a good cause so of course I said yes.
On Saturday morning I got up and started cleaning and then had to pause and go and have breakfast with a friend at Howard’s Way, luckily it is a short stroll from home. We had a great chat and delicious breakfast and then it was home again to get stuck into more housework. I had also decided to go up to the club at 15h00 as the men’s first team were playing in a big match and a friend from work was going to be up there. I took jess along and we had a great time, the match was brilliant and we won
4 – 1.
On Saturday evening I found myself helping out in the kitchen, well dishing up salad and cutting bread to be precise, and during all this activity it emerged that Wendy still needed an extra person to chaperone the team on their tour over the Easter weekend. Ever the eager beaver I said that I would happily help out if they were stuck. I am not sure if they will definitely need my services but if they do I will be going on tour (all paid for) to look after a bunch of 15 year olds, should be a blast!

On Sunday Emily arrived with her chef hat, apron and oven glove – TOO cute and we baked a chocolate cake together, well she decorated I did the baking and then she helped clean up – by licking out the icing bowl. I do NOT know how the child was not ill after all the rich icing she ate and she managed a piece of cake later too!
We ended the weekend with Kill Bill 2 (awesome movie, she sure can kick ---) and an early night!

Friday 6 March 2009

Definitely, Maybe, Possibly

Wow, another week has FLOWN by and again I am faced with a weekend full of possibility. The possibility that I will actually get up early, the possibility that I will clean the house and the possibility that I will finally tackle the attic. Isn't it great to know how many possibilities I have!

Tonight I get to run around on the hockey pitch and play a match with my favourite people, the Vets - which usually means a glass of wine and very decent conversation follows.

On Saturday my intentions are to send Malcolm off with the girls to do some school shoe shopping, it is about time he got to enjoy trying to find shoes for Kirstin. What with her narrow mismatched boats it is always charming. While they do that I will put on my sweats, tie up my hair and get stuck into the house...I think!
On Sunday Em is coming over and I get to bake with a 5 year old - has to be chocolate as it is all she eats, as far as cakes go, and then we will take our creation to her house and have a tea party with her mom. What a fab weekend I have coming my way!

Thursday 5 March 2009

Tuesday 3 March 2009

Anti-social networking

Malcolm sent me an article about social networking sites - Get off Facebook and get a life - I read it and although there is always a place for technology I have to agree that we may just be taking it too far. My favourite eldest daughter spends more time on MSN chatting to her friends than she does in their company. Now I know it is something that teenagers do, but from now on I will be encouraging her to invite her friends over on the weekends, or arrange a place to meet. Hang on, I think I have already done the encouraging bit, perhaps insisting is required? We do still eat together but last night Jess and her lap top joined us at the dinner table - our third child? We made her close it and enjoyed our meal together but as soon as we were done she was back on to see what so and so had said...
On Sunday my youngest favourite daughter had her friend over and the three of them sat at the dining room table on their lap tops playing Sims, healthy - I think not. Guess I had better get a grip.

Friday Photo Challenge

EM has set a challenge which sent me scurrying to my old photo album and this is what I discovered, I LOVED mud. Yes there are MORE pictures at different times and scarily often I am covered in mud, as you can see my baby sister is following in my footsteps...if it ain't mud it's nudity, old fashioned briefs and bikinis - signs of a warm climate upbringing I guess!