Thursday, December 31, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Lovely tender calamari and wonderful fresh hake, both done in a light beer batter - delicious! We had a bottle of wine with the meal and enjoyed a nice leisurely time chatting with the owners who remembered us from the last time, because of the motorbike.
When it was time to settle the account I produced my card only to be told that the machine was out of order, "Now you tell me!" I had to walk down to the ATM to draw some cash, as I was leaving I said to Leon "I'm leaving my wife here so if I don't come back you can have her." and he asked "What about the bike?" !!!!! Bloody cheek - no way was he keeping the bike! I went back.The previous day we had a wonderful Christmas buffet lunch with Frank out at "Beira Mar", here we are with the owners; Don and Connie and what a fabulous lunch that was. So far it has been a great weekend and tomorrow morning we are driving down to Capetown to pick our family up at the airport, very exciting! Watch this space.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
"Marinated spare ribs and spatch-cock chicken ok for you Madam?" I asked as I cracked my own beer and stacked the braai, "Bring it on boy, I'm hungry!" she replied.
The spare ribs took the hunger pains away and there was no immediate rush for the chicken, Janet prepared some garlic potatoes and we cracked another beer, damn it was good!
Any doubts I may have had about staying home instead of going for a ride were certainly cancelled out by the lunch we had, I don't think we would have had a better meal in any restaurant.
Somebody had one of those "Oh Shit!" moments in the bay this past week, this was the sight that greeted me as I was driving down past the two hotels on Friday.Not a nice thing to see, I know the owner of the boat but I haven't spoken to him lately so I don't know what happened, probably a broken mooring though. That's one of the ever present dangers of owning a yacht and one of the reasons why I have never bought one, I have done plenty of sailing as crew member on various yachts and have really enjoyed racing but I have never wanted to own one, way too much maintenance involved - I'll stick to biking.
Talking about which; do you think this babe rides this beast? I have my doubts, she looks way too petite to handle that monster, look at the size of that back tyre! And it looks like there's a whole bunch of nitrous bottles on the back too, scary stuff!
The FA Cup pool competition has suffered a bit of late, I wasn't able to meet Frank on Friday afternoon due to pressure of work and the last opportunity that we may have for 2009 will be on Thursday afternoon, Christmas Eve if I can get finished in time. After that my family will be here with us for three weeks and I will be playing against my Son-in-law who takes no prisoners, I need all the practise I can get!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
We had a public holiday today which was rather nice, it was a very relaxing gap in a hectic week. We got the bike out and went for an early ride to the local Wimpy for a good breakfast, it wasn't a very long ride but it did blow the cobwebs out of the exhaust pipe and as usual the breakfast was great - as far as I'm concerned you can't beat a Wimpy breakfast.
Things are getting seriously hectic on the mussel farm now as the demand hots up in the weeks before Christmas. I am under serious pressure to meet customer's orders and get the truck loaded and on it's way to Capetown by one o'clock, if the mussel ropes are not good this can be a difficult and stressful morning.
The video shows the "Mussel Cat" assisting with harvesting mussels from the same raft as the barge, these are then run through the vessel's deck equipment which cleans and separates the mussels, grading the small ones out, they are then brought around to the barge in a 400kg tub and added to the barge's production just to speed things up. On one of these busy days the orders can be anything up to 500 bags of mussels, each weighing 5kg which must be completed before 12pm so that we can head in to load the truck. The trip from the farm to the jetty takes 15 minutes, so this also has to be taken into account.
On the barge the mussels are fed onto an incline conveyor which delivers them into the brush "declumper", this has two counter rotating brush beds which break up the clumps, separate the mussels and gives them a clean. They then pass over a grid which take out those too small for market and then they drop into another conveyor which delivers them to the grading table, there any broken ones are removed before they are fed into bins for loading into the automatic scale/bagger. On a busy day this is a non stop operation from 07h00 to 12h00 with a half hour tea break at 10h00 - as I said; hectic! I still enjoy my job though, and I think this makes me a lucky guy even though it interferes with my riding time.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
But that is not because I am afraid of the crime, Oh no, it is because I hate football with a passion. So don't be afraid to come to South Africa in spite of what you have heard, the majority of South Africans of all colours are friendly and easy going people and you will have a ball. Of course there are criminals waiting to take advantage of tourists who are unwary, but that happens in all countries. I assure you that you will have a great time and you will be well looked after, but on the other hand soccer hooligans will not be tolerated and there are many really big Afrikaaners here who support rugby and who will not tolerate soccer thugs. Interesting times, I look forward to reading all about it.
Also looking forward to the ride tomorrow, Dick and Janet are going to join us at the Viper lounge and we will visit Dave on the way home to see how he is doing after his knee operation, he is still battling 15 months after his bike accident.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
There are other improvements including a better ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) system, a better fairing and windscreen and a better radio set-up (which I didn't go for anyway) so I look forward to seeing the new bike soon.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
It's always nice to have a bit of a leg stretch and a chat alongside the road but soon we were on the way again, next stop the Eland's Bay hotel for quick, cold beer.
The ride home was just as good with a slight breeze to keep us a bit cooler than on the way up, altogether a 275km round trip, just enough for a lazy Sunday outing and well worth doing again sometime.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Ideally this needs to stand undisturbed for at least three weeks and luckily we had planned our catering so that we had that much time.
This second photo was taken after two weeks and you can see how the orange is looking a lighter colour on the top half as all of the juice and essence is being drawn out, by the end of the third week we had a really delicious orange liqueur - give it a try.
I've got more things to tell you, some more "out of Africa" photos to post and tomorrow evening I will tell you about the lunch ride to the Hacienda - stay on two wheels and keep the shiny side up friends.