The Bucket List: 26 days to go

And so, as we speed to the end of the year, everybody’s feeling a bit sluggish and daydreaming of time off on the beach, sipping cocktails or just spending time with loved ones. I can’t believe how busy I am as we approach the end of November, but feel incredible blessed and empowered – hey, when you’re a business owner, busy is good. Busy is happy.

And while it’s been a productive year, it’s been a long one too and I can’t wait to take some time off. Pending the dreaded Schengen application, I’m scratching one off the bucket list this year – Christmas in Italy, New Years in Paris, France.

 So…Dear Schengen gods, be kind as the lovely Ms. Ponto and I apply for our visas. Come 23 December we want to be leaving on a jet plane.

For Italy, I’m taking my inspiration from Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn. There will be Osso Buco. There will be Gelato. There will be hot chocolate on the piazza as the winter sun sets. That’s a definite. 

France in the early 1900’s  is my inspiration for our trip to Paris. When life was simple and great French design and innovation was the order of the day,

I’ve been to both these countries, but this time around I look forward to taking it real easy and enjoying every single second. More on our travel plans when we have visas…eek.

Come Dine With Me SA – Knives out, wine glasses firmly in hand

So I’ve been watching Come Dine With Me SA religiously since it started. Partly because I’m a food hound and partly because I’m a huge fan of the UK series. It’s been quite a revelation I must say. Knives drawn, poisoned chalice and sour grapes …I could go wild with the puns because the Saffers, they are a vicious bunch.

Each episode so far has been categorised by boozy, whiny, bitchy comments from contestants and, while some menus have been good, I have yet to see a menu that’s been great in its design and execution. Now, I sound like a boozy, whiny, bitchy food snob myself (the whisky is going down well in this uncharacteristically rainy Cape weather) and for the most part many of my friends have told me that I should have put my money where my mouth is. I don’t know.

Far more fun being an armchair critic…I don’t think I could stand the fake niceties of playing the game (“hon, this steak is divine” and privately to the camera later, “what utter crap”). Or the fact that the other contestants are allowed to take a wander around your house. Uh..no. To do what? Rifle through my drawers and sit in my bedroom. *shudder*

But, it’s fun to watch…to be a voyeur at someone else’s crap dinner party. Or to urge on the underdog and wish the bitchy superior contestants their come uppance. And let’s face it, while the narrator (Dave Lamb, the original Come Dine With Me UK narrator) often comments on the amount of booze at each dinner, don’t we all identify with that? I often cook with a glass of wine in hand.

So, what’s the point of the post? We are so vastly different from our UK counterparts and that is reflected in the way we socialise. In the UK, meals are not discussed and criticised right at the table – the Saffers don’t give a flying fuck. They will tell you your steak is rubbish and your sauce is bought at the local PnP. While the UK contestants love a good old boozy evening as well, they rarely hit the sauce heavily at every single dinner and we really love our spirits and shooters (the English prefer wines. And vodka. Never understood the Vodka thing).

 Basically, I miss the zip and zing of not knowing what’s coming next in the UK series, but the SA series have become predictable as contestants draw lines in the sand very early on and you, at home, unwittingly make that choice as well.

Will I stop watching? Not on your life. Will I ever enter? Not on your life.