Showing posts from February, 2013

More Midlands, with a bit of Mandela and Mary

After swimming the Midmar Mile on Sunday the 10th of February, we had an afternoon to do some Midlands Meandering. This mainly involved getting a bite to eat, since I now had my apetite back, and visiting the Mandela capture site.

We travelled from Lidgetton to Nottingham Road, winding along and contemplating where to stop. Our first port of call was the Bierfassl (The beer vat) -  a proper German pub selling beer from the Nottingham Road Brewery on tap. We stuffed our faces with eisbein and kassler steaks, all accompanied by buttery mash and sauerkraut. As with most pubs, it was too dimly lit to properly photograph the food, but I do have this shot of the Notties Beer tasting board. Four glassed of beer for R17 -bargain!

On our way back we had to stop at the Waffle Inn for, you've guessed it, waffles! We had warm, sugary Belgian waffles while watching yellow weavers feed a not-so-little young one. Their waffles were deeeelicious and the owners delightful.

Before the sun set, we h…

Staying at Lastingham. I love the Midlands.

Part of the fun of travelling all the way to the Midlands to swim the Midmar Mile, is being in the Midlands for a weekend. It is such a beautiful part of the country. And it sometimes feels so foreign, like it could be in England. I mean, even the climate changes as soon as you pass Escort.

This year I made sure to book in time. You really need to book waaaay in advance, as many swimmers already confirm next year's booking while at the Midmar. I managed to find a cancellation at a lovely-looking guesthouse called Lastingham, in the small town of Lidgetton. The location was perfect as it is just 10 km from the dam. Last year we stayed on top of the mountain, on the other side of the dam, about 30km away, with only dirt roads going there. And it was muddy.

So here's Lastingham:

This place was so lovely I just had to do a whole post about it. The owners, Mike and Lynn, are so hospitable and welcoming. Lynn will probable make you what ever she has available in the pantry if you as…

Midmar Mile 2013, or the day I saw Chad le Clos again

The big day finally arrived on Sunday 10 February 2013. I was so nervous my hand was shaking as I ate breakfast. Ridiculous really, I've done this before, after all. I need to do visualisation exercises or breathing or get a mantra or something. It was cloudy and mild outside. "A great day for swimming", everyone said.

Because we were just too late Saturday afternoon to register, we had to get down to the dam earlier than I had planned, so I could get my race pack. And then the waiting started. With nothing much to do but take a few photos and try not to vomit at the smell of the boerwors rolls and doughnuts, we settled for people watching from the comfort of our car. As I've mentioned before, swimming draws an interesting crowd.

One of my favorite things were the bakkie-loads of swimmers arriving. See, parking is a bit of a pain, and you have to decide, do you park at the start of the race, or on the other side, at the finish, and take a taxi to the start. There wer…

Friday lunch at the Radium Beerhall

A couple of Fridays ago, our team at work decided to go to lunch. There were many lovely options, but we decided to go for a traditional, old pub. And where better than The Radium Beerhall located in Orange Grove.

The Radium is the oldest bar and grill in Jozi (since 1929), and used to be a tearoom back in the day (read more here). I wish I knew what it looked like in those days, and can only imagine lovely ladies having tea and chatting about starching their husbands' shirts. Today however it is filled with mainly the husbands. Heheh. Okay, it is probably not that bad, but when we arrived over lunch time, there really were only men over the age of 50. It was packed. I think this is the closest you'll get to having a local, like Cheers. It cleared out after lunch, and filled up again around 4pm with again, mostly men, this time 35 and up.

This place is a legend in itself. It has tons of stories to tell. Apparently it used to be frequented by journalist - if those maroon walls…

It's a miracle! Swimming goggles that fit.

Yes, yes, another post about swimming, and yes, I am behind on blogging due to internetlessness, but those posts will have to wait. This is important!

Since I started this swimming thing I have had issues with the goggles. They are an integral part of the swimmer's kit because eyes are not made to function, or like, chlorinated water. My goggles however, has always been leaking, fogging, squeezing my eyes out of it's sockets, and making my head feel like it has been in a vise grip after 30 minutes. I started with a inexpensive one from Total Sports then upgraded to a Speedo pair. Yet the suffering continued. This week I decided, no more. I needed to find one before Sunday (which is D-day aka Midmar 2013).

I have been researching goggles for months now. I even ordered one from TYR, that came recommended and promised to reduce "raccoon eyes". But they did not have stock. I could not find it in stores either. Then I bought a different TYR pair that is made specially for…