1. Pour out how much you think you need.
01/09/14 “Sunbirds and sunshine”
Turns out it was completely fine for me to move hotels and move in with Laura in her two-bedroom, its a five star on the edge of the waterfront, right next to everything we could need. Its amazing, a beautiful apartment with a living room and fully stocked kitchen with our own bedrooms and ensuites and our bedroom doors opening out onto a balcony overlooking a swimming pool and a palm tree almost stretching through my full length window, and the hotel complex is built right along one of the waterways on the canals. Its completely self-catered but between me and Laura we save a fair bit of money sharing food and housekeeping stuff. We ge t paid in cash and apparently we may also get a small allowance per day for food because we’re internationals. Just got our fingers crossed for a car now so we don’t have to be picked up all the time and we can actually explore the town!
We checked out this badass food market around the corner from work one day, they sold a lot of secondhand clothes, and freshly made delicious food and we tried our first taster of south african wine and biltong (dried meat). We also had these incredible brownies and lemon cakes.
Our first Sunday together was awesome, the weather completely changed from stormy to sunny overnight and it was beautifully warm. After checking out this awesome food market around the corner and having some bubble tea and dried fruit, we caught a taxi over to the cable car to the top of Table Mountain. The cable car was excellent but very fast, it rotated one full cycle so we could see everything 360degrees as we ascended to the summit. Laura was a bit nervous bless her because of the height but she quickly overcame it and stood right on the edge of the cliffsides overlooking the bay. The views were unbelievably spectacular, we kept blinking to just try and convince ourselves it was real. The summit cafe proved to be a popular scrounging spot for the local dassies and redwing starlings, the starlings flew to my hands and took food from my fingers, and the dassies climbed onto my knees to share my pizza. Dassies are these curious rodent-like creatures, a bit like very tubby guinea pigs with shiny dark little eyes and sniffly snouts. I also saw sunbirds for the first time which were beautifully stunning to look at, iridescent like polished jewellery and brighter than stained glass.
After a bit of hiking and exploring, we had some food and got chatting to a couple of local guys who offered to show us around and give us a lift back. In the end we ended up going to a big shopping mall outside of town where I got a new nose stud and they bought us dark rum and chocolate milkshakes which were awesome. Then they dropped us back. Laura got their numbers and we might hang out again, they said they’re up for coming to Boulders Beach for a day with us.
We were shattered at the end of the day, but full of plans for the coming weeks, shark cage diving, wine farms, cheetah sanctuary, penguin bothering, safari, lobster restaurants, whatever we can find!
07/09/14: “Know Thy Worth”
Its been a very busy week in the workshop, we’ve got quite a few deadlines due on set, so it was all hands on deck for us, Laura as it turns out is a very fast mouldmaker so she’s been adopted by Gerald in the lab, I’ve been mainly on sorting as the workshop is a shambles and all sculpting jobs are already accounted for. The girl who runs the makeup fx shop on the second floor has been bringing in her new 6 week old kitten this week, I made such a strange inhuman noise when I saw her, she’s absolutely tiny, and can only make these little squeaking noises. She purrs like an engine though when she’s played with, and Yoko is a bit jealous of her, she hissed at her a little bit, but she’s been with me a lot this week and getting plenty of fuss as the boss is on set. She knows I wear feathers and give her more fuss than most people so she’s always in the same room as me, its quite companionable. I found a bag of feathers when sorting through the crafts, and the rest is history. I was cleaning up feather shards for ages afterwards whilst she determinedly upturned the dustpan.
I miss sculpting a bit so I’ve bought some clay off lovely Chris who is one of the main sculptors, he makes his own brand of oil-based clay, a hybrid of plastelline and chavant, I want to get my baby Groot sculpted and moulded before I leave whilst I’ve got good mouldmakers to consult.
The market we visited on Saturday holds an evening event on Thursday night, so me, Laura and this lovely girl whom we’ve both made good friends with called Mehnaaz who is single-handedly doing a whole production job by herself, we all went to the evening market. Its a very busy and lovely musical atmosphere, live music on stage, lots of continental foods and local wines and beers, including locally made clothing, Jack Daniels brownies, homemade mezze (we got this amazing chickpea hummus), and so much asian food, it turns out Cape Town has a massive thing for Japanese cuisine, its got such a big sushi culture, so many restaurants and every single store, even the cheap ones, sells supplies for Japanese cooking and I’ve found lots of oriental markets, a few of us at the workshop want to hit up a good sushi place soon. I decided I very much like South African wines, and I’m very keen to try as many as I can, its lovely.
We thought we would be working through the weekend, but it turns out nearly all of the supervisors are going on set with the boss this week, so we got Saturday night off. We decided to celebrate our unexpectedly free weekend with our first night on the town. Zelda from mouldmaking came with us back to ours and we went downtown. The funny thing is that Zelda definitely knows the cheapest ways of getting around town, but it turns out its not the most friendly way to do it. There’s a small mini bus which you can flag down, but apparently they hate foreigners, so Zelda told us it was probably best we kept quiet so they didn’t hear our accents, but keeping quiet at the back of this mini bus full of locals had us nearly cracking up in giggles.
The main street was intimidating, we seemed to attract all the unsavory locals like magnets, bothering all of us for money, and getting aggressive when I blocked their way to Laura’s bag which one of them made a beeline for when she was rifling through it. Thankfully one of the sculpting girls Yette works at a bar which we went straight to and stayed there, she stuck our bags behind the bar, and then sent me across the road for milk and whipped us up white russsians for the equivalent of less than £3 each. Needless to say, I got drunk fast. The bar filled up and the atmosphere was very strange to acclimatize to. Brilliant music, extremely friendly people, easy to make friends and dance with just about anybody, had one gripe for my pocket from a mystery hand which I pinched sharply but never saw who it was, but the most bizarre thing is that me and Laura danced to kill like we love to, but every single guy who interacted with us was so respectful of our personal bubbles compared to what we’re used to in clubs at home. At home in clubs I’d expect a guy to seize me from behind and grind up against me and when I wriggle away, he would normally pursue me and get sore if I spurned him, sometimes even aggressive and insulting. However throughout the whole night even though the bar was tiny and completely packed out and Laura and I danced (as someone so eloquently put it) “like black girls”, every single guy who showed his interest was extremely respectful of his distance and contact. It was so strange and yet refreshing. We made several friends, these girls practically kidnapped me from the bar side and spun me in circles and I had such a good laugh. We were expecting a short quiet night, but it turned into a brilliant night of great music, and dancing until I physically couldn’t stand, I haven’t had such a good night in so long. I liked what it said in led lights above the bar, “Know Thy Worth”.
The following morning I set the table for a great breakfast of yogurt and granola for the three of us, and we then got picked up by Mehnaaz and we headed out to Stellanbosch for the Cheetah sanctuary. It was another beautiful day, we’ve had so many good sundays, its been brilliant. The rural winelands of Stellanbosch were lush, green, and full of large white old farmhouses with lots of exotic trees and brightly coloured flowers and beautiful birds. The Cheetah sanctuary was in this gorgeous open setting with an old mansion as the main office, and the huge pens were spread out next to a lake. They had pens holding servals, caracals, jackals, bat-eared foxes and meerkats, as well as these absolutely massive dogs who were the biggest fluffiest cuties.
The cheetahs were just unbelievable. They had so many cubs running about in their pens with their overlong legs and fluffy spines, twitchy ears and lined deep amber eyes, and the most gorgeous dark eyelashes. The adults were so beautiful and graceful, and every one of them seemed so content. It was a fantastic place and it was also so ridiculously cheap, less than £20 overall for me to both meet two of the younger cubs and one of the adults. We were taken into one of the pens and sat down next to the sleeping babies, and stroked them, they had beautifully soft fur, and they purred so loudly. We all had a turn and I got an extra turn! They fidgeted and yawned and made the cutest little squeaking noises.
After petting the babies we went and had lunch, which was brilliantly delicious, fresh and hot under the canopies in the sun with iced coffee (which I’m currently addicted to). I went back to meet one of the adults on my own whilst the girls checked out the other enclosures. I was sent to meet one of the main famous adults called Joseph, he was huge and purred so loudly I could hear him from over 10ft away. They are really just giant kitties. I sat with him and stroked him and could hardly dare believe I was actually touching him. He was absolutely gorgeous.
After wrapping up, we hit the road and headed to Spier Wine Farm. It was a gorgeous park full of wildlife, flowers and lakes, famous for its wine farms and deli food. We wandered the park soaking up the last of the sun and I bought a bottle of wine, I can’t wait to try it, its described as a mix of raspberry and plum notes with hints of vanilla and spice.
Laura has made us egg fried rice this evening and we’re both completely knackered from our long day with no real recovery from our night out, so we’re a bit comatose on the sofa. Back to work tomorrow but not sure what to expect as everyone is on set, we have our fingers hestitantly crossed for a few bonus days off, then we can go to Simon’s Town for penguins and sharks and also book to go on safari!
I remember when I thought people in their 20’s were adults. Now all of my friends are in their 20’s and everybody is just kind of fumbling around bumping into each other, trying to figure out where the free food is
Excellent gif use