Monday, 20 May 2013

My birthday weekend (1) - eating out and a visit to the Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens

Mo, my long-suffering husband, has long since accepted his weird wife's aversion to attention of any sort. He therefore knew that a birthday party with hordes of people and a huge cake was not really my style - if for no other reason than the significant fire hazard forty lit candles could present.

Also, he knew that the spa day his friends suggested as being the perfect gift, would be wasted on me. I am a simple girl with simple tastes. Give me a breakfast out with my husband/ family and I'm happier than a 12 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert. Throw in a movie, popcorn and a coke and you can pretty much call it the best day of my life.

So, imagine Mo's disappointment when, a day before my birthday, he was informed that his request for leave from work (for the day of my birthday)  had been denied. I was sad because I had been counting on him to provide me with the much-needed distraction from my entry into the geriatric realm - just kidding, I will grab at any opportunity to spend a day with him doing the breakfast-movie-lunch-roam around aimlessly chatting combo.

But my disappointment was nothing compared to his fury. He ranted and raved about his loyalty to the company; how, when many of his colleagues recently resigned, he had resisted the urge to take up tempting offers at other companies purely out of loyalty to the company and concern as to how they'd cope if he left them at this crucial stage. By Wednesday evening the process of distributing his CV elsewhere had begun.

He therefore decided that, instead of an epic 40th birthday, he'd treat me to a birthday weekend, during which we'd do some of the little things I love doing with some of the most important people in my life.

On Thursday night, the official start of this weekend, we headed out to Canal Walk mall for supper. I felt like indulging my carnivorous desires, so I chose my favourite take-out burger in the world - a Steer burger [The reason I can still confidently say that is that I have not been desperate/adventurous enough to brave the 150m long queues outside the newly opened Burger King in the city centre as yet - I shall wait until the hype dies down and the queues shorten].

Heading for takeout - here I am with mini-me, who insisted on donning her trench coat,  bag and  hijab like her mommy 

On Friday night we headed to Jimmy's Killer Prawns where, once again, it became evident that the older two are no longer the little kids they were not too long ago. In the past, one of the main attractions of dining at this place has always been the tank filled with fish in an amazing array of colours. They'd gape awestruck as these beauties delighted them merely by swimming by.

That night however, Shakeel  (14) spent the evening the way he prefers to spend most evenings of late - glued to a screen. But, this time, I didn't mind too much as he was not watching some mindless movie or playing some annoying game, but honing his creative talents by drawing terrifying pictures of mythical monsters. Tharaa (11) too chose to spend a creative hour by constructing various interesting objects from paper serviettes.

Shakeel (14) and Tharaa (11)

The other two, Nuha (8) and Aisha (3) are finally at the stage where they are willing to play by themselves - or maybe they've just resigned themselves to the fact that this is how things in this family are right now - with their older siblings preferring to pursue their own interests instead of playing with them all the time. This is so sad for me.

Nuha (8) and Aisha (3)

On Saturday we headed out to the little town of Stellenbosch. We had no particular destination in mind, so - as we often do, we bought our lunch nearby and found a place to enjoy it (we usually do this in whichever town we choose to explore). This time we discovered the absolutely beautiful Stellenbosch Botanical Garden, which is a small enchanting space filled with exquisitely landscaped flora.

We sat down to a little picnic before exploring the Garden itself. Mo and I enjoyed our takeout Thai meals while the kids enjoyed an unhealthy McDonalds sharebox.


The kids were fascinated by the fact that some of the beautiful bonsai trees were "even older than mommy!!" So imagine their excitement when they spotted bonsais dating close to the beginning of the Second World War, which made them "even older than Granny!!"

A 40 year old bonsai - "It's sooo old - just like you mommy!" they yelled excitedly/ heartlessly 

The kids loved the khoi pond and were amazed at how huge some of these fish were. This area of the Garden was absolutely beautiful and we could not resist snapping as many pics as we could before daylight faded.

Mo and I

The kids and I

Yesterday we headed off to a little beach, which had been Mo's and my favourite hangout before we had kids. It was lovely but I'll have to share the details with you at a later stage, since - although I'd love to sit and relive my weekend for a while longer - a very messy house awaits me.

Until then

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