A few days in the life of..

So the past few days have been pretty interesting. Life has a way of coming in swings and roundabouts, but the truth is: it ALWAYS evens out in the end, and we have to learn to take the good with the bad. I know this better than most and have a rather amusing set of stories to add under this little file divider. I’ve also long since established that some days I can only say “this shit ONLY ever happens to me” and count on the fact that at least half the people who hear me tell the story won’t believe me….I’m OK with that. I don’t particularly care about your opinions anyway, so if all you take away from it is an amusing little story, that’s fine by me.

So here are a few things that happened during the course of the last 10 days:

  • When I returned from a 2 week out of country work trip the Friday before last, the Gypsy kindly offered to bring groceries and cook me dinner. While he was busy in the kitchen and I was happily sipping on a glass of wine I decided to switch on my “media setup”. This consists of a TV, PS3, Apple TV, Speakers and a laptop. So I plugged everything into the socket and flipped the switch and BAM! Flashes of light, smoke, loud exploding noises and a few shrieks from me before the electricity tripped. GREAT! I had no idea what exploded at the time but had been convinced that all of the above equipment would need to be replaced after that. I followed the smoke and found that the laptop’s charger had quite literally EXPLODED O_o How? I have no idea…but i’m very grateful that I’m pedantic about unplugging and switching off everything except the most essential things when I leave the house. Could you imagine the chaos and potential fire hazard if this happened while I was away? The explosion burnt my floor *facepalm* and the laptop is no longer usable (fantastic) but surprisingly enough everything else seems to have survived the onslaught.
  • On Tuesday I paid a little visit to my dentist as my dental implant (a long story in itself but it cost me a fortune, involved several bone implants and a piece of my jaw removed) felt slightly loose. It wiggled….like a loose tooth about to be pulled. The dentist very kindly tightened my screw and then indicated that he would like to replace the screw as it may have suffered some metal fatigue as a result of the wiggling….I made a follow-up appointment for the Friday.
  • On Friday i returned for a half an hour appointment to replace the screw. Let’s just say it did not go according to plan. DID YOU KNOW: A dental implant can experience a mechanical failure???? The dentist had to completely break the “tooth” of the implant apart in order to remove it. At this point I didn’t know whether i was supposed to laugh or cry. I had paid thousands of rands for that thing and here the dentist was kindly breaking it apart. Not to mention that this whole process took 3 hours. And trust me after 3 hours of someone messing about and “rukking” and “plukking” your mouth in order to try and break the “tooth”, your jaw and mouth in general is pretty damn raw, tired and sore. Then I learnt something new AGAIN. DID YOU KNOW: A dental implant comes with a warranty? I couldn’t stop laughing when the dentist informed me that it was definitely a manufacturing error and that I would no doubt be able to replace it under the warranty. The entire tooth has to be remade, so I will be returning in two weeks to have it replaced….at zero cost to me or my medical aid.
  • On Monday morning I had to head out of country again for yet another business trip. I always use Uber to take me to the airport and I’ve never before experienced any issues with the app or the service. I usually go online to request the uber about 10minutes before I have to leave home for the airport. I also make sure that, bearing traffic at that time in mind, I have more than enough time to get to the airport and drop off my bag etc. I generally don’t cut things close when it comes to flights. But the app had a problem. It simply refused to process payment, which means it refused to get me an Uber. I restarted the app a few times and even downloaded the 163MB update in an attempt to make it work. By now it was already well past the time I was supposed to leave home. I decide to add a different card as payment, but the app wouldn’t even let me do this and just continued to tell me that there is a processing error. In desperation I even tried to pay for the ride in cash…NO LUCK. So I finally gave up (by now running very late) and called a metered taxi service (which I HATE using). Unfortunately they wouldn’t be able to reach my home until only an hour prior to my flight. I would NEVER make it. As a last resort I loaded my suitcase in my car and drove myself to the airport….this will mean an astronomical parking charge, but what else could I do. By now I’m stressing about missing my flight as the traffic at that time is way more hectic than when I was supposed to leave home. I finally got to the airport and dropped my bag off with like a minute to spare prior to check in and bag drop cut off time. PHEW! And then the super nice lady behind the counter says “oh shame mam, you look so stressed. I’ll tell you what. I’m cancelling your online check-in and moving you to a business class seat.” Bless her cotton socks! I managed to make it through security and immigration and walked onto my flight with a few minutes to spare and then I was spoiled with excellent service, WAY better food and a ton of space.
  • When we arrived here the airport had another surprise for us….the immigration queue was literally running outside of the terminal building. Three international flights arrived at exactly the same time due to delays and the airport is simply not geared for that kind of traffic. It was going to be an incredibly long wait. Then a sweet old man in front of me starts asking the officials where the SADC line is. From experience I know there is technically a separate line for the SADC countries, but that when it’s this full nobody adheres to these rules and the immigration officers don’t enforce it either. But the old man spotted my SA passport, grabbed me by the arm and told me to follow him. And within minutes we were right in front of the queue and we sailed through without any hassles.
  • But without a doubt, the highlight of my day was last night. My SIL sent us a little photo of my littlest nephew in a superman shirt looking grumpy and miserable. Apparently the little man was also having a bad day, just like his aunty. So I asked my SIL to give him a big hug from me.  A few minutes later I get a message from my SIL saying that superman asked her to tell me that the hug made him feel better. *heart melts* That right there tops EVERYTHING. Nothing that happened in the last 10 days could spoil or top that moment….nothing. Family is everything.

So life comes with its ups and downs all the time. It’s up to us what we choose to focus on.  All I can say is…life with me = never boring.

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#DineInTheSky

A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from Diners Club International about a Dine in the Sky competition…..as per usual my attitude was “why the hell not” and I entered without giving it so much as a second thought. Then at the end of May, during my first few days spent on engagement in Cape Town I was bombarded by a bunch of missed calls from a number I did not know and a desperate voicemail plea to return a call as they “do not want me to miss this great opportunity”.  I did not recognize the details of the company calling me but I took a chance and returned the call and it turns out it was a representative of SABC3’s Afternoon Express.

What I had not realised was that the Diners Club International competition was hosted by both them AND the Afternoon Express and I was chosen as one of 3 lucky winners. <insert excited squealing and jumping up and down here>

The prize?  Myself and a partner was invited to join one of the Afternoon Express presenters, representatives from Diners Club and 2 other winners to enjoy a beautiful champagne breakfast high up in the sky at Val Bonne Country Estate one saturday morning.

Guys…it was amazing. The view…the experience…the people..the goodie bags:P and everything else was just fantastic.

We arrived early in the morning in order to ensure that our hair and make-up was done to perfection as it was all being filmed for the Afternoon Express in HD.  We were then strapped in and hoisted 40m into the air by crane where we dined, chatted, were interviewed and enjoyed the amazing view.

I had expected to be super nervous as I am normally pretty scared of heights.  But a few years ago I had adopted a new approach to things that scare me. How often will I be presented with the opportunity to do something again in the future? I guess the fact is my fear of missing out is FAR greater than my fear of heights and even though I sometimes want to DIE on the inside I insist on pushing through…simply because life is too short to be scared.

Surprisingly enough I was calm, confident, even slightly dare devilish…twisting around in my seat…leaning out to take selfies with most of the table and swinging my feet out of bounds of the platform. What was even more surprising is that the Gypsy, whom I took as my + 1, who is usually so chill and very rarely gets freaked out was a nervous wreck once we reached roughly 20m. The most entertaining part was that while they were interviewing him 40m up he was all calm and confident but the moment the cameras moved he was back to secretly gripping the table and glaring at me for carelessly swinging around in my seat.

We had an absolute blast though and were proper spoiled the entire time.  I have no idea when this is supposed to air and even if I did know I probably wouldn’t tell anyone as I’m fairly certain I sound like a complete chop:P But it was a truly fantastic and fun experience:)

Being totally silly post make up and before the big hoist
I loved this random photo i took by accident of our shadows….I’m keeping it!
Breakfast (40m up in the sky) is served…..this was also accompanied by bubbly which is sadly NOT featured in this pic.
Just one of many splendid views from the top
The crew doing their thing at 40m
Cause when you’re dangling 40m up in the air selfies are important
His smile is a complete lie I assure you….
Pulling faces when the camera crew can’t catch me:P
DON’T LOOK DOWN!
Half a table selfie….the camera man managed to take a shot of me taking a selfie of them taking a shot of me taking a selfie of them……inception at it’s best.
My size 4 feet look like they belong to a giant in comparison to the buildings and tables at Val Bon Country Estate

P.S. This is most certainly not a paid for or sponsored post.

Come dine with me…..

So this past weekend we took part in a “come dine with me”-like competition with another couple.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t originally consider it to be a bit of a silly idea, but as we got closer to the time and as we worked on our menu (which had to be submitted together the Wednesday before) I got super excited about the idea:)

So the two of us brainstormed and we also got a lot of input from other people, using some ideas and discarding others and this is what our final menu looked like:

Aperitif

Stuffed eggs with cayenne pepper

Wrapped Asparagus

Starters

Spicy butternut and bacon soup with a dash of cream and home-made buns

Main Course

Incredible baked lamb shanks on a bed of root vegetables with a fresh garden salad

Dessert

Decadent chocolate mousse with home-made vanilla ice cream and a berry coulis

Digestifs

Assorted coffee varieties

Assorted dessert wines

Looks super yummy right? Below is the menu submitted by the other couple:

FullSizeRenderWe were convinced that even just on menu alone we clearly already had the upper hand here. So Friday night came along and we happily went off to enjoy a night of fine dining and doing nothing. It was FABULOUS! The starter was pretty amazing,I won’t lie. They definitely scored major points on that. Camembert backed in white wine with rosemary and garlic served with cheesy breadsticks…..I would happily have eaten only that all night.

The mains included a rib eye steak braaied to absolute medium-rare perfection served with roasted potatoes, vegetable skewers and served with a berry sauce. It was good and hearty and scrumptious but, in my opinion, not a “come dine with me” style of meal.  Mains was followed by dessert which was mango slices covered in sweet cream and caramalised sugar. Pretty yummy, but once again not a fancy dessert. I’ll leave out the part where I tell you of all the yummy wines we had along with the meals….:P

And then, just like that, it was our turn. Our table was decorated to perfection with a beautiful Ruby themed bouquet of flowers and all the detailing being red and black and white….it was beautiful! We prepped everything so that when the time came we would just have to pop the various things in the oven to reheat or cook (depending on what it was) without leaving our guests unentertained for longer than just a minute or two at a time.

Upon arrival we served them some sherry to warm the cold bones followed by the Aperitif of stuffed eggs and bacon wrapped asparagus…an instant hit.  I secretly popped my rolls into the oven (home-made, as the rules specified) and as soon as the hot, fresh bread came out the oven it was time for the starter…..a spicy and bacon filled butternut soup with fresh buns. All the noms and just perfect for the cold weather. I paired the soup with a lovely Chenin Blanc from Beau Joubert which complimented the various tastes perfectly.

We proceeded to spend some time chattering away to give everyone a chance to rest in-between courses and to give us a chance to heat up all the food.  The break was just long enough to enjoy some more wine and to let the previous course settle and then we served the mains.  Guys…most of the work here was done by the guy person and he did an exquisite job. The lamb shank was falling off the bone and went so well with the creamy mash and vegetable bed it was cooked on. It was truly amazing and I paired it with a beautiful blended red and a Pinotage.

More rest time and wine drinking time was given, and then it was time for our dessert.  Home made ice cream and home-made chocolate mousse…..heavenly!  Our guests declined the Port and Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest on offer and opted to drink more wine, which was eventually followed by yummy Nespresso just before home time.

Then of course it was time for the scoring and OF COURSE WE WON! Did anyone EVER have any doubt? This means that we’ve got bragging rights for days and they also have to take us out to a restaurant for dinner:D

All in all a really fun and yummy weekend was had by all. I suspect we will be doing this again:)

It’s been a while..

So as I’m sure most of you realise by now…I haven’t exactly been doing my part when it comes to this blogging thing.  Hell…I haven’t even been around on twitter or any other platform all that much lately. The thing is…life has this way of getting in the way sometimes.

I’ve also adopted a far better attitude towards all forms of social media.  The guy person isn’t into it…like AT ALL and as such he’s hardly ever on his phone.  So out of respect for him I put my phone away when he arrives or when I arrive at his home. We talk, we watch movies, we laugh and we live in a time where cellphones didn’t exist. My phone stays in my bag and is only pulled out every so often to check if I’ve missed a call or a personal message that may be important. Anything that doesn’t appear to be important or life threatening can wait..face to face time is simply more important.

Then of course….work. I think by now we’ve established I’m a complete and utter workaholic…I’m ok with that. It means I work hard when I need to and delivered an excellent result in record time. It’s my thing and I’m happy with that. The guy person also seems to get this for the most part.  I don’t understand people who don’t try to be the best at what they do….people who do a job just for the sake of having one and earning a salary…people who don’t get passionate about what they spend most of their time doing. I realise they probably don’t understand me either…but seriously…what is wrong with you?

So the new job has been great for the most part. Big corporate life and being a permanent staff member is far different from being the contractor and I’m trying to adjust to the changes with a smile….I’m successful at it too…for the most part. Certain things frustrate me and the red tape and office politics irritate me on occasion but for the most part I’m totally rocking this corporate thing. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with a true legend in my field and he has been a constant source of wisdom and support and for that I can’t possibly thank him enough.

Obviously I can’t go into any work related details…the job description pretty much says “hush-hush”, but what I will tell you is that rest assured…the bad guys…we be catching them:)

In other news…life is sometimes hard, but I’ve gotten pretty good and faking a smile till I make it. I’m dealing with a lot of emotional and human related issues at present…not to mention shouldering the struggles of the people I care about (I do that). Life is by no means moonshine and roses…but it is mostly good and I’m mostly happy and I’m infinitely grateful for all the amazing people and things in my life.

So I may be a little scarce sometimes…but I’m always here. And maybe soon I’ll return to regular updates and all kinds of drivel on this here blog:)

Dear Negative people

Sometimes I wonder how many of us stop to think about what we say/tweet/blog.  I wonder if some people even realise just how negative, whiney and full of complaints they have become.

I’m (mostly) a very positive person.  And even though my job often makes me cynical with regards to trusting people and just how screwed up the justice system is everywhere, I tend to be the person who sees silver linings, generally sounds annoyingly chirpy and also the one who gets stupidly happy at the tiniest things.  Don’t get me wrong…some days I too feel down in the dumps, some days I complain and some days I whine (especially when I’m sick…I’m completely miserable and pitiful when i’m sick) but this is not an everyday occurrence. And everyone is entitled to complain or a whine or to a negative day from time to time.

But I’ve noticed that more and more people are constantly negative, constantly complaining, constantly whining and constantly a pain in my ass.  Every single word that flows out of their mouths/fingers laced with the toxin more commonly known as negativity. If you let it run your life for too long you stop realising that you’re being negative, you fail to recognize the amazing things in your life and you spread negativity to the people around you.  You become an increasingly horrible person to be around.

There are few things that annoy me as much as someone who has amazing people in abundance, amazing opportunities and just honestly so many blessing rained on them only for them to not once be grateful, not once say anything positive or happy…just negative negative negative!  The sad part is that the external parties are not the only ones to notice.  These amazing people who you have in your life…they notice it too.  They feel that you don’t value them and that you take them for granted, because if you’re this miserable all the time, surely the people who surround you must feel that it is somehow their fault? And not only that..spending too much time with a negative person is emotionally draining, exhausting and quite frankly unpleasant and because it is so toxic, some of these people will, in time, also become negative. A negative person is also often extremely self-centered.  Everything is a crisis, everything is horrible and in everything they ARE the victim, not because they’re actually the victim, but because they choose to act like the victim. There are days when I feel like saying “Get your head out of your ass, it’s not a hat” (to quote Pitch Perfect).  I mean if your head is up there to begin with, I suppose it makes sense that you have such a crappy outlook on life.

After putting up with a lot of the negativity from a lot of people over time I have finally come to the conclusion that I need to do what makes me happy.  I need to, at least to an extent, distance myself from the negative people in my life. Guys, I love you dearly, but realise for once that life is not that bad.  Make a point of noticing at least one good thing a day, because I can guarantee you that your life does not suck, you just choose to see it that way.

Love
Ruby
xxxxxx

Dear MINI

Everyone who knows me KNOWS that ever since getting my MINI last year I have been MINI-crazy.  I absolutely adore my car.

On Friday night I was super excited to be attending the launch of the new Limited Edition Bayswater.  I had no idea what to expect, but they wowed us with a 3D Projection in Nelson Mandela Square.  I think they stressed a little bit as Jozi decided to grace us with an epic rainstorm shortly before the event was due to start, but the rain finally cleared and the program could go ahead. For those of you who didn’t get to see it…..there is a YouTube video here 🙂

And the cars were BEAUTIFUL! I’m not going to go into the technical details here…we ALL know it’s not my strong point but you can find all the details on their website:) I will however show you some pictures to tease 🙂
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All in all I think everyone had a really fun time and I got to meet some interesting new people, which, at the end of the day, is my favourite part of any event I get to attend…well that and the wine:)

Love
Ruby
xxxx

 

 

Dear Glacéau vitaminwater

Thank you so much for the goodie bag I received today:) I just said earlier this week that I don’t have a laptop bag for the little HP Folio I won the other day and then today you guys pitched up at my client’s offices with not ONLY a laptop bag but also some free Vitaminwater goodies…my co-workers were also thankful for these:P The gifts are very much appreciated:)

Ruby
xxxx

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