Thursday, December 13, 2012

November: Part 2

This is part two of my travels throughout the month of November. Part one can be found here.

The view of the Monument coming back into Grahamstown.
After the weekend away, coming back down to earth and back to little old Grahamstown was a bit of a shock to the system, but we managed it without a hitch, spending Sunday afternoon driving back and Sunday evening celebrating Grant’s birthday with the rest of our friends at the Rat and Parrot. We also had Monday to recuperate, having intended originally to spend an extra day in George before 1time’s closure ruined our plans. But, I will admit, I was grateful for the day spent relaxing at home rather than coming straight from travelling to returning to work. The day off was spent truly relaxing – staying in PJs and watching series, taking advantage of Tommy’s first good day and just generally arbing about.

Back to work on Tuesday for work as normal, but thankfully the rest of the week did not revolve around just work work work and no play. I got to take my camera out again on Wednesday when Kim asked me to come to the paddocks and take photos of her horse, Lightning. I have never been very comfortable around horses, having never done riding or anything along those lines. So I was a little nervous around him, but not enough to make him act up. I was surprised to find how soft and velvety he was and had a lot of fun trying to capture his friendly, excitable side. He is still young and inexperienced and really not used to being told to run, which meant that he got a bit uneasy and nervous, and we ended up having to cut the shoot short to calm him down. I had fun nonetheless and the photos that I got out of it can be found on my photography blog.

The rest of the week passed by in an uneventful fashion and Friday came quickly, which is always a relief. On Friday evening we went and picked Kath up and kidnapped her for a night of movies, popcorn and soju. We watched Brave (I finally got around to it) and made up a drinking game whereby we had to take a shot whenever a character said “Och”. After Brave came Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter which was fairly entertaining, though none of us made it all the way through it and we stopped the movie with half an hour to go. Not because it was bad, but because we were all ready to pass out. Kath and I managed to outlast Grant, which we both thought was impressive, and it was to bed with us where Kath and I stayed up chatting abit before passing out.
I was awoken at 5am by Kath, being the light sleeper that I am, and almost got up the gall to go and capture some scenes during the golden hour (I really do understand why it is called that now), but even being awake, I was too tired to bother leaving the house. Instead, I grabbed my laptop and started doing some photo editing. I was joined by Kath and her kindle before too long, and then it was time to drop Kath at home and start getting ready for the day ahead.

The day ahead on Saturday involved a trip to PE with Vicky. I needed to go and see my dad, who was bringing down some gifts that my Mom had found me overseas. For Vicky, it was a day of trying to find a harness for her kite so that she could take it out for some kite surfing. Unfortunately, we found that PE is a pretty useless place for finding kite surfing equipment, and after spending a few hours searching, we gave up and had lunch before heading to the race track to meet dad whose race was supposed to be at 3pm. Only to find that he wasn’t there. It turns out that he had given me the wrong time, and had gone back to his hotel to fetch supplies. We waited for most of an hour before he finally arrived, and it was a quick hug and leave as I had a session with Debbie planned for 6pm and, with the road still not fixed, the trip back was going to take longer than usual.

We managed to get back home by 5pm, giving me one hour to sort out the studio and get the house into some semblance of order before going to pick up Debbie and Ben. The plan was for Debbie to have a quick photo session and then for them to stay for some dinner and games thereafter. Alas, the session was not as quick as we had expected, but it was a lot more fun. Debbie came fully prepared with three outfits and was in a great mood which meant that she was very open to looking silly while I tried to find the best angles and positions, and while I got used to ordering her around. Puddims decided to join in the fun for a bit and became one of Debbie’s props, perfect considering her affinity for cats, and around an hour and a half later, Grant came in asking why we were taking so long. It turned out that in our absence, Grant had finished making dinner and had converted Ben into a sports-watching, beer-drinking guy. Debbie was thoroughly impressed. After dinner… there was more sport, because Grant is obsessed with both the soccer and the Formula One…. But after THAT there was Baulderdash. Mike and Vicky came over, and it made for a fun game of words, people, acronyms, movies and laws as Balderdash always does. With alcohol flowing and hubbly blowing, the evening turned into quite a lot of fun. Debbie's photographs can be found on my photography blog.

Sunday was almost as action packed as Grant, Jono and I prepared for the farewell braai that we would be hosting for Kath and Mangwe. We bought meat, we made salads, we cleaned the house so that it was spick and span, and we were ready for the hoards to arrive. And then we found out the Mangwe had gone to PE for the day and was likely to only arrive back late in the evening. And then Kim cancelled. And Shaun and Mel were both coming back from PE. And Danika and Tom were in Cape Town. And our hoards of people only ended up being three guests. Suddenly we found ourselves with mounds of potato salad, rolls and bread and hardly anyone to eat it. But that wasn’t going to get us down. We laughed, we chilled and we had a good time despite the small crowd.

And so, my busy few weeks came to an end. It was back to work as usual on Monday, and though even work itself was more exciting with launches and promotions popping up all over the place, it was still a small relief to find that little changes, even when your life seems to be spiralling uncontrollably (in a good way).

So, you can expect to see a ton of photos on my photography blog, and I am going to be trying my best to update my website as soon as possible (I haven’t added much since June), and in the meantime you can watch this space for more details on my exploits through what’s going on in December.