Welcome to my blog, these are the ramblings and musings of an (upper) middle aged biker and if you enjoy braais, (barbeques) beers and motorbikes then hopefully you will enjoy what Janet and I do; we do lots of braais, we drink lots of beer and we tour South Africa on our motorbike, which at the moment is a BMW R1200RT. Join us, read about what we do and please leave us your comments.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Farewell to our friends

This weekend was a good one, albeit a bit sad as well because we bade farewell to two friends who are leaving to live in England. Six ex Rhodesians, three ex members of one of the finest Police forces in the world; the BSAPolice gathered at our home for some serious eating, drinking and reminiscing.
Here they are, from left front; Nicky Hillman, Annie Surkont, my lady Janet, myself, Joe Surkont and Dave Hillman, it is the Hillmans who are leaving us and we are really going to miss them. Joe and Dave were in the same training squad in depot in 1965, I only met them some twenty six years ago when we moved to the cape but we have been good friends ever since.
We invited the four of them to spend the weekend at our house to give them a bit of a spoil to remember us by.
Fresh oysters, we were all so excited to eat them that we only remembered to take a photo after we had finished eating them!
I did remember to photograph the ones that I baked; a sprinkle of Pernod, a dash of fresh cream, a sliver of creamy blue cheese, covered with grated aged cheddar and ground black pepper. About twenty minutes in the hot oven to melt the cheese - delicious!
When Janet was ready with her side dishes; savoury rice and crunchy spinach and beetroot salad I started my mains; fish cakes which I had made up the previous day and left in the fridge to set, were made up of three different types of fish; smoked angel, local mullet and snoek which I had saved from previous seafood braai and mixed with an equal amount of mashed potato. 
I rolled them in flour, dipped in egg and covered with breadcrumbs, these were then deep fried.
At the same time I smoked two angel fish and we served up;
Here's the spread; from the seafood sauce at the bottom, the fish cakes, crunchy spinach and beetroot salad, savoury rice and smoked angel fish.
Deep fried fish cakes, I love making these things and make sure to save all my left over fish.
The plate, everyone seemed to enjoy their meal and for dessert Janet made a lovely millionaire's shortbread.
The three ex cops sat up until midnight reminiscing about the old days in the BSAP, it was great having our friends around and giving them a spoil, good luck for the future and bon voyage to Dave and Nicky and we will certainly keep intouch.
(All photos by Nicky Hillman with the exception of the top one taken by a waitress at Pearlies restaurant where we had breakfast Sunday morning.)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ceres Rail, a nostalgic train trip

 At 09h30 on Boxing Day Janet and I were at Demeter Station in the little mountain town of Ceres as the beautiful steam engine hauled its four carriages in. There was a large crowd of eager enthusiasts waiting and the train was pretty full by the time we steamed out.
 I found us a comfortable seat in one of the lovingly restored old carriages and we settled down for the two and a half hour round trip down to Wolseley.
 There is a bar on the train so we were able to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine from the Waverley Hills wine estate which on the train's route. Passengers who wish to can get off  at the estate for a picnic and re-board the train on its way back, we decided to stay on board for the whole trip and have lunch later. 
 Those of you who know the area will appreciate that the views from the train are spectacular.
 This is a relatively new venture, apparently since August last year but it was very enjoyable and definitely something that we will do again sometime. The return half of the trip was fantastic because the engine was working harder pulling the coaches back up the mountain so one could hear the old familiar "Chuff-chuff-chuff" and the shrill steam whistle at the road crossings, evocative stuff. I can remember the steam trains in Rhodesia when I was young, my Father worked for the Rhodesia Railways as a Guard and he took me on occasional weekend trips with him, very fond memories.
I can thoroughly recommend this to anyone in the area looking for a memorable day out, we paid R280 each for the trip and the wine is R30 a glass. Next time we will drive through to Ceres in the morning, take the afternoon trip and stay over one night in a self catering unit and go back home Sunday morning.
Bookings essential via email, check out their website at www.ceresrail.co.za they are also on facebook.

Friday, January 1, 2016

First lunch in 2016

Janet and I went on a wonderful, nostalgic steam train trip on Boxing day and I'm going to post details and photos in my next post, in the meantime here are some photos showing how me and my buddy Frank welcomed the new year in, he came round for lunch;
 Jasus Lalandi our West Coast Rock Lobster, steamed for a couple of minutes and you can see how big these were, they hardly fit in the steamer!
 Doused with garlic butter and smothered with grated cheddar cheese and under the grill.
 Cheers buddy, happy new year, enjoy your meal.
My plate with Janet's delicious savoury rice and avocado, our first lunch for 2016 and may it continue in the same vein, happy new year my friends!