In between all the major happening, a girl's gotta just hang around and do stuff, you know? So as here's some of the random stuff I've been up to.
Steve and I went to see Avatar a few weeks ago. I must say, I really enjoyed it. The 3D was extremely immersive - so much so that you have to occasionally remind yourself you're in a cinema watching something on a 2 dimensional screen otherwise you can become blase about it because it becomes so real it looks just like real world. I will admit I became quite nauseous at one point (akin to travel or motion sickness); I think as my brain became used to the experience it got better but I still felt a bit unsteady when we walked out. And looking anywhere but the centre of the screen is a BAD IDEA, let me tell you.
The universe was extremely well realised and consistent, which I always appreciate in anything remotely fantasy or sci-fi; you could get lost in the story they were trying to tell you rather than to focus on inconsistencies and future-tech-babble.
I enjoyed the story itself, too. It wasn't a new paradigm in story telling that did what no-one had done before, but I didn't go in looking for that either. It was a highly enjoyable and consistent sci-fi-esque story with some great visuals and characters I identified with and felt for. I also appreciated the lack of one-dimensional Holywood stereotypes. The hero was flawed, both physically and in his character. The heroin wasn't a Cinderella type that needed rescueing. The bad guy wasn't a charicature. I especially enjoyed Sigourny Weaver's character and performance.
All in all, an evening well spent being entertained and taken on a flight of fantasy for a while.
Pilanesburg Game Reserve
While we were still hiring the car, we decided to take it to the Pilanesberg for a day. As usual we had a lovely time and saw some amazing sights. Several rhino sightings; lots of elephants; some giraffe; a crocodile; a shy hippo (or it's ears and eyes, at least); plenty of impala, waterbuck, wildebeest and zebra. There were two especially enjoyable moments, though.
The first was when we had to stop dead in the road while a young elephant took it's time standing in a dip in the road that had a stream alongside it; drinking, playing with the water, spraying itself; all without a care in the world or a worry about us watching it.
The second happened as we were leaving. It was nearing dusk and we had actually already left the park and turned onto the main road when Steve noticed a group of cars stopped in the road that went not into the game park itself, but alongside it to the accommodation at Bukubang camp. We went to investigate and out of the long grass came trotting a pack of wild dogs. These are extremely rare and shy animals and seeing them just once in your life is truly amazing. They approached the road at a leisurely pace, and one by one came to investigate the car, sniffing all around it curiously. The whole pack eventually made it onto the road where we watched them excitedly until they were satisfied with their investigation and trotted off again. It was really amazing. I'll post pictures when the internet situation is resolved.
A day at the cricket
Steve's colleagues organised tickets to the final day of the final match of the England-SA test series. We all conveniently forgot that we had either lost or drawn all the previous matches, from the way we celebrated (and mocked Steve) after winning that day. It did mean it was quite a short day as we managed to bowl them all out before lunch time, but it was really enjoyable. We went for lunch with some of his colleagues and friends afterwards, during which the heavens opened - so it would have been a short cricketing day either way; luckily we won before it could rain out.
As for the rest of my time, it's nice to spend quiet evenings with Steve, especially now that he's home a bit earlier than used to be the case, and it's been especially nice when him, me and Leigh have eaten and chilled out together. Steve and I have been out a few times too, although not too often as we wait for expenses etc to settle down. During the day I walk either just around to try and be a bit more active, or to the small cluster of shops around the corner when we need something; I go swimming in Leigh's complex's pool; or I watch TV. I've especially been enjoying the Brothers and Sisters box set I borrowed from a friend. Life is hard! ;) Although, I'm going to have to start working on my CV soon.