A delicious birthday lunch, and a gorgeous cat.

Yesterday we met family and friends for my early birthday lunch at the nearby Oyster Box Hotel. The Ocean Terrace Restaurant which overlooks the Indian Ocean, is a favourite place of ours for eating out.

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There was a display in the foyer to celebrate the birth of baby George. The arrangement of red anthiriums was really gorgeous.

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There were seven of us for lunch, and we had a really jolly time. Before deciding on my choice from the menu, I decided to go and check out the traditional curry buffet. Durban has a big Indian population and curries are a speciality. There were about a dozen to choose from and I really would have liked to try each one, but it would have been an impossibility if I still wanted to fit into my skirt, so I only tried about six.  🙂

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Here’s my sister and I with the famous Umhlanga lighthouse in the background

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This was my choice of dessert, an ice cream sundae with halva, hot fudge chocolate and peppermint crisp. It was sooo YUMMY. The pic is a bit out of focus, but you get the idea. 🙂

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After eating all this food,  I suddenly found myself the lucky recipient of two cupcakes, complete with a birthday sparkler. I decided it would be wise to take these home and save them for teatime much later.

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All too soon, it was time to say our goodbyes for a whole seven months. I guess time will fly by as it usually does these days, and before we know it, we’ll all be together again.

Outside the front of the hotel is a really old rickshaw. At the beginning of the 20th century there were more than 2,000 rickshaw-pullers operating in Durban, and it was an everyday mode of transport. Today they are just a tourist attraction.

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It may look to you as though I am the only occupant here, but you would be quite wrong in that assumption. Having an afternoon nap, was the hotel’s resident cat Skabenga (meaning hooligan or vagabond in Zulu), who has made this luxury hotel his permanent home for the past ten years. It all started when he wandered onto the property as a stray, and was fed tasty and expensive seafood tidbits by the guests. He soon realised he was onto a good thing, and decided to stay. Can you blame him? He has a favourite couch, and takes daily  strolls around the hotel, enjoying the spoils that come with his status as the ‘main cat’ on the block. I was reading that Skabenga is renowned for his impeccable timing, and emerges every time there is a red carpet occasion at the hotel, such as the royal cocktail party held for Prince Rainier and Princess Charlene of Monaco, so I was rather thrilled that he was waiting there for me on my birthday. 😎  He certainly does look well fed, doesn’t he?

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I’m going to be rather busy packing and travelling for the next few weeks, but I’ll try and pop in on the blogs occasionally, and I’m sure I’ll do a post on the Centenary birthday celebrations once it’s all over.

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Happy Birthday celebrations for my great-nephew.

Today was my great-nephew’s 13th birthday, and we went for a celebratory lunch at my sister’s house. The Birthday Boy was all smiles as he came to greet us, and I’m not surprised. Most people had given him money instead of a present, and he had quite a decent nest egg already. He’s saving up for some fancy cricket gear. I persuaded him to pose with me in his new cool shades, and with his wallet full of notes.

Although it’s mid winter here, the children were in and out of the pool. Their soccer ball kept landing in the water, so they just jumped in to retrieve it, and had a whale of a time.

The men were all busy cooking the meat on the braai, and jolly good it smelt too. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the word ‘braai’ it literally means, “burnt flesh, or roasted meat.”

It was such a happy time, with seventeen of us, ages ranging from three to eighty-seven years. I love these family get-togethers; such special times. Eventually the food was ready, and we all tucked in as though we hadn’t eaten for a week. There’s just something so tasty about meat done over the coals.

My contributions was the dessert, which was my famous chocolate pie which always goes down a treat, plus extra whipped cream and strawberry and chocolate chip meringues.

One of my sister’s friends asked me what was in the pie. My reply was, “You really don’t want to know.” Anyway, after she’d eaten a good sized portion, she asked me again, and as the damage was already done, I told her, ” A packet of chocolate cream biscuits, butter, milk, cream, three bars of chocolate, a whole packet of marshmallows, and two Cadbury’s Flakes.” There was hardly a morsel left, but hubby scraped the dish. Better go to waist than to waste, I always say. 😉

My sister had made him a grenadilla birthday pudding, which looked really delicious. So as you may gather, no-one went hungry. 😉

Whilst we were waiting for lunch to be ready, I was getting some pics for Ailsa’s travel theme this week, which is “Art.” My sister is an artist, so I thought I could show you some of her work, but that will have to wait until tomorrow, because now it’s time for bed here. Hope you’ve all had as splendid a weekend as I have.