Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My time's flown, and haven't you grown!

We are interviewing again for a nanny. I've tried doing the earth mother thing, but earth mothering an increasingly active walking, talking, climbing dynamo for 12 hours a day is becoming tough going. I think both she and I would benefit if she had someone else to come and take over for a few hours that has a bit more steam in their boat.

I placed an ad on a jobs site and have had about a hundred replies. A lot of the young women who applied are foreign, and expressed an interest in improving their English while working in London. Fair enough, but how does one hope to improve their English looking after someone who has about 20 words of human language, and mostly favours 'No' and 'Whoo Whoo?'

One candidate is an ex 'Disney on Ice' skater. I imagine her cracking open a beer and sharing tales with Julia of back-stage affairs, brutal ambition, and knife turning betrayal. Those ice skating people have seen it all.

We had a fantastic time in South Africa. Cape Town is a must for anyone. You need to drive though. And then I'd avoid the motorways because as is true of much of South Africa, and indeed the world over, motorway drivers are all psychotic. But yes, Cape Town has so many wonderful things to do and see, and one really gets a good feel for the country's beauty and diverse culture. Not least of all by encountering a vast shanty town beside the motorway minutes after leaving the airport.

We ate a lot of good food. You don't have to spend a lot of money to eat well in South Africa, and this is not just because of the exchange rate invariably being in your favour if you are a foreigner. Food is just generally quite inexpensive, tasty and well prepared pretty much everywhere you go. And if you are in Cape Town and like fish, well, the city is your oyster. OK, bad pun, but you get the idea.

I practically lived on deep fried calamari, which they do so very well over there. And it's not those shitty little rubberised rings either. No, these are proper big pieces of the stuff deliciously fried, and oh so good with some lemon butter sauce on the side. Because eating it deep fried isn't enough to clog the arteries, you definitely need the sauce to complete the coronary. And then there are prawns, oh and good steaks. Hmmm, I definitely miss the food there.

The V&A Waterfront in the city of Cape Town is fantastic for shopping. They have a large craft market selling the more Africany type stuff, and it's worth bargaining because prices are pretty steep thanks to tourism. If you do like African art, and want a genuine bargain, I'd recommend trying vendors that sell on the sides of roads which you will find in places like Fish Hoek and en route to Cape Point.

We attended my sister's wedding in Johannesburg which was a blast. We arranged an in-room babysitter and basically reverted back to our pre-baby pre-parenting ways for the night. Read: Much alcohol, much bad dancing, much talking of shyte. It was good to feel irresponsible again if only for an evening. Until the next morning that is, when fortunately Roberto and various family members were in a much better state to take care of Julia while I walked around feeling sorry for myself.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is why I don't drink like that anymore. Parenting on a hangover and or low blood sugar is a seriously bad idea and I advise against it at all costs.

And on that note I hear a certain young lady waking from her morning nap ...

Over and out

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