2013 Review

Another eventful year has ended, and more memories piled atop old. I’m struggling these days even more to hold them all in my head, and find that some leak out as others enter. I hope this post immortalises some of them, capturing an hint of them to serve as a future prompt, a link to a sight, a story, a smell that still lingers in my brain. Before all that though, here is a little clip of how we ushered in 2014 in Germany!

Pictures and videos for some of these memories to come soon! All links below are to existing blog posts on the topics.

January (Japan)

  • Snowboarding with Arnault, Delphine and friends at Nozawa Onsen on multiple weekends
  • The green shoes with pink laces finally paid off when I met Julia

February (Japan)

  • Completed my first marathon, the Tokyo Marathon in 4 hrs 12 minutes and achieved my goal of running the whole 42kms.
  • A big month for work, with the INPEX, IFC and both JICA BoP projects all  being wrapped up at the same time
  • Off-piste snowboarding with Arnault, Delphine and friends.

March (Japan and Thailand)

  • A weekend trip to the Boso peninsular and the fire festival at Takao-San with Julia
  • 10 day return bike trip to Osaka and surrounds and return via Route 19 with Julia, including a catch-up with Lloyd-san.

April (Thailand)

May (Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda)

June (Africa, Holland and USA)

  • Cederburg bike and hike weekend
  • Amsterdam stop-over and catch-up with Julia
  • New York visit for training
  • Presentation of South African PoC site selection model to NHLS PoC forum in Pretoria

July (Africa, Munich, Austria, Slovakia and Italy)

  • Ethiopian food and cultural night with the team
  • Catch-up with Samir and Julia in Munich
  • Train trip From Munich to Bratislava via Vienna
  • Best man for Bryans wedding in Bratislava
  • Family holiday in Sardinia, Italy
  • Rome weekend with Julia

August (South Africa)

  • Supporting the SA DAT team transition
  • NeighbourGoods and ArtonMain markets
  • Apartheid museum

September (South Africa, Lesotho, Ethiopia)

  • Hiking Cathkin peak and the Cathederal, Drakensburg mountains with Antoinette
  • Raspberry day trip with John and Sameera
  • Lesotho Wine tasting festival

October (South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland)

  • Cape Town to Lesotho via the Garden Route bike journey
  • Cube 10 course degustation dinner for my 30th birthday with Julia, drinks with John, Hanna, Antoinette and Vibhutti.
  • Kruger, Swaziland, Drakensburgs, and outback Lesotho bike tour with Julia

November (Lesotho, South Africa)

  • DAT Access Summit in Pretoria
  • Golf with Nick in Pretoria
  • Hiking Ketane Falls in Lesotho with Emma, Bhavya, Jenna and friends.

December ( South Africa, Lesotho, Ethiopia, Munich)

  • SA team strategy week and Regimen Optimisation workshops
  • Weekend wine tasting in the Stellenbosch with Maria, Micah and Bhavya
  • LST strategy meeting in Camps Bay and SA POC modelling team workshop
  • Ethiopia GeneXpert Workshop and presentation in Adama
  • Julia and friends traditional Christmas eve ‘Werewolf’ game
  • Christmas in Bavaria with Julias’ family
  • Snow shoe hiking in the Alps
  • NYE celebration in Munich

Dinner diary: Palacina Hotel Moonflower restaurant

Dinner diary: Palacina Hotel Moonflower restaurant

The Moonflower provides a wondrerfully relaxing, rustic and pleasant dining experience. It could hold its nose in the air and be irritatingly pretentious, but it doesn’t, it is friendly and down to earth. I think it is the smiley, uber friendly waiters and staff that deserve credit for ensuring those that show up in jeans, tshirt and thongs still feel comfortable amongst the finery of the decore and clientele.

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The veranda
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They also have a live band playing soft jazz tunes

I had the grilled snapper on seasonal veggies.

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Grilled snapper with lime butter sauce
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Spinach side plus complimentary bread!

The grilled options, which also includes lamb chops (also delicious) come with a selection of sides including mashed, roasted or fried potatoes or rice. I asked for extra green vegies and was ingormed I could have spinach, which I received sauteed in a white wine and cream sauce. Perfect.

Best yet, Moonflower does not break the bank. Mains are about 1200 Kenyan shillings, incidentally the same price I paid for a custom smoked salmon sandwich for lunch! I think that is about $15.

Highly recommend.

Review: The ides of March

Watched the Ides of March (Ryan Gosling & George Clooney) the other night.. a good but not exceptional movie. Some things just didn’t sit right. A very sharp look at US politics with a very bleak message for idealists like me that may one day consider a career in the great game.


Hated the Ryan Gosling character by the end, much as he did himself as well I suspect.