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Last time we saw the amazing wizard Harry Dresden he was in a bit of a tight spot, being murdered and all. He never ceases to amaze, even after death Harry will stop at nothing to help his friends and his newly found daughter Maggie.

We have known Harry to be in a few tight spots, but not quite as tight as this one.  Even on the other side he seems to have enemies waiting to settle a score. Strange creatures lurk around every corner. The city has changed since his death and annihilation of the red court. A new fight to fill the empty space of the red court as has taken over the streets of Chicago.  Set with new challenges Harry makes a couple of friends and overcomes the obstacles the dead have to face.  I didn’t find this book as exciting. It was a bit of an anti climax to last book. I still can’t help loving Harry and enjoyed Ghosts story just as much.

 

 

 

Archery

After years of wanting to get involved in archery and having to save up for more important things than hobbies, I finally just closed my eyes and bought myself a bow.  Buying a bow is not something you do without doing a little bit of research. Find out where to purchase the one that will suit not only your wallet but also yourself.

Getting started:

What you need to know before purchasing your bow.

1.       Which eye is dominant?

In a lot of cases, a right handed person might not have a dominant right eye. To check which eye is dominant you can do the following. Take note that you will buy your bow according to which eye is dominant, not which hand is dominant. 

·         Extend both hands in front of your face. Place your hands together to make a triangle like in this picture.

·         Keep both eyes open and look through the triangle at any small object.  The object must be in the centre of the triangle. 

·         Close your left eye. If the object stays in view you are right eye dominant. If the object does not stay in view you are left eye dominant. You can repeat the test, by looking through the triangle again with both eyes open and closing the right eye. If the object stays in view you are left eye dominant. If the object does not stay in view you are right eye dominant.

2.       What is your draw length?

Take a measurement of your “wingspan”, this is fingertip to fingertip. (If you know your height this should be exactly the same as your “wingspan”.  Here is how to calculate your draw length.

If you are 1.7 meters the formula would like as follows.

170cm / 2.5 = 68cm

68cm / 2.54 = 26.77inch (this part converts it to inches)

The above is my draw length, but my bow is still set at 25inches because I use a trigger/release.

3.       Price range. Bows range from about R2500 – R12000 for a naked bow. (Bow with no extra’s added on) Then there are some extras to make your bow more accurate and reduce the noise.  This is what I added on to my bow. 

·         Sight

·         Arrow Rest

Arrow rest helps guide the arrow when releasing it. The one I chose is actually called a whisker biscuit. Due to it being a little circle of whiskers that support your arrow.

Other arrow rests look like the picture below where it is a forked piece of metal that lifts up when you draw the string back.

·         Stabilizer

This obviously helps stabilize the bow when aiming.

·         Peep

The peep is used with the site to aim.  The peep can be set higher or lower on the draw string when setting up the bow for the archer.

·         Sling

When drawing the bow, to ensure a natural shot, the archer must not grip the bow but let it rest again his/her hand. This will ensure that when releasing the arrow the “grip’ on it will not influance the shot. The sling is there to stop the bow from falling to the ground when the arrow is released.

·         Release

When setting up the bow a little loop it put onto the bow string for the release to clip on.  This is then basically a trigger that you release to shoot the arrow instead of using your fingers to hold the string when drawing it back.

·         Carry case

·         Couple of arrows 

·         Butt

The butt is just a backing to stick targets on, so your arrows won’t pierce the target or shoot through.

 

·         Targets

 

The final product looks like the below picture when all the extras have been added.

My “Mission Craze” cost + – R2500. The extras I bought were all beginner level; (sight, whisker biscuit, stabilizer, peep, sling, release, carry bag and 6 arrows) which came to an additional R1900.  A butt will cost you an extra R600 and targets are about R10 per paper target.

All the information I have added above is for the bow I bought. This is a compound bow not a recurve bow or crossbow.

I was looking for an easy treat to make without having to use my oven. I remembered my friend Riana used to make a triangular sherry cake that only needed some fridge time. So yesterday I asked her and she could not remember the recipe but sent me something similar, a Triangular cheese cake.

This little cake is easy to do and looks very impressive when done. The golden recipe is as follows.

Ingredients:

130g Butter

120ml castor sugar

1 egg yellow

250ml cream cheese

10ml vanilla essence

24 tennis biscuits

12 cherries

125 dark chocolate

How to:

Mix the butter, sugar and vanilla.

Add the egg yellow and mix well.

Add the cream cheese and mix well… again.

Place 12 biscuits on foil in rows of 3 (thus you will have a 3 x 4 layer of biscuits).

Pour half the cream cheese mixture onto the biscuits and spread evenly.

Place another layer of biscuits.

Pour the rest of the mixture onto the biscuits and spread evenly.

Place the cherries evenly in the middle row. (This is where I deviated a little. I don’t like cherries, so I used little pieces of chocolate instead. You are welcome to go wild and do what pleases your taste buds.)

Here is the tricky part: Fold the two outside rows in to make a triangle; use the foil to help you here and fold it in tight to help it keep the shape.

Now place it in the freezer and leave for 24 hours to set.

When removing from the freezer to serve, you can melt chocolate and pour over the entire cake, or slice the cake and pour over each individual piece (nom nom). Also to spice it up a little, you can sprinkle some nuts on, or whatever you fancy. It all depends on how you would like to serve your little piece of heaven.

 I have not tried adding sherry yet, but I am sure if you add one or two teaspoons to the mixture it should work. (Will report back when I know the result.)

 Thanx again to Riana for sharing!

iPad 2

My husband recently purchased himself an IPad 2. Even though we paid a small fortune for it, I know it is worth the money.  Why you may ask? Because he now has an extra limb. Peter has made use of the Ipad2 like no one I have ever seen.  This is very easy to do, due to the amount of cheap or free apps available.   Below are apps I think people need to get 1st for their Ipad if acquiring such a nice little device.

1.       App shopper

This app lets you filter the app store to find apps that are free, have changed price and even find paid apps that are now free. You can filter on categories, such as games or utilities and create a wish list so that you can see when the app you want is on special! This is a great way to fill up on free apps before you’re prepared to start investing in paid apps.

2.       Twitter mobile

This is the app released by Twitter themselves. It’s actually one of the best Twitter apps, and it’s free!

3.       MobileRSS HD Free

This is a Google RSS feed reader. It downloads all pictures from your feeds when you start it up, so you don’t have to wait for them to load every time you start reading another feed.

4.       Viber

Viber is awesome for voice and text communication to any other iOS device over the internet. This is the app to replace WhatsApp at the price of NOTHING! A must have!

5.       Facetime

Facetime is like Skype. You can video call another person who has Facetime installed.  This is yet another free way of communicating over the internet via your iPad or iPhone.

6.       iBooks

Very cool eBook reader.

7.       ARCreader

This is an eBook reader for all you comic book lovers. It support CBZ and CBR formats too!

8.       Epicurious

For the ladies and gentlemen who love to play in the kitchen, Epicurious is the way to go.  Just enter the name of the dish you want to cook and it provides you with a list of mouth watering recipes.

9.       TuneIn Radio

This is exactly what the name says. You can select from a list of genres and it will display the radio stations that fall into that category. Click and play.

10.   Evernote

This is a handy little tool for saving notes to the cloud. Your notes will automatically sync to all your devices, including PC, Mac, iOS, Blackberry and Android.

There are millions of little games available for the iPad, but that is a blog for another time.

 

 

 

A small nameless little boy is dragged to a fort door and handed over to the royal guard by his peasant grandfather, who no longer wishes to care for the bastard son of the King- in-waiting.  The life of little Fitz, so named by the stable master, drastically changes as the stable master( once hand to the king-in-waiting) is handed the duty of raising little Fits as best he can.  Fitz a quiet shy boy, then unknowingly grabs the attention of King Shrewd, his grandfather, who makes a deal with him to serve the royal family in return for an education.  He is moved from his humble lifestyle as the stable master’s servant and moved to the royal keep where he is trained in all skills, including all the unspoken dark work that needs to be done to keep the royal family safe and in power. Fitz then soon finds out he possesses a power that no one else can sense.  His stable master frowns on this and Fitz then tells no one else of his secret.  Fitz, being the bastard son of a prince makes enemies due to his status but also finds friends in unexpected places.  While our little hero is growing a danger comes to the once peaceful land. The red-ships that come to raid and destroy their villages at night leave not only the people in fear, but those taken by them return with no humanity and become a burden to the kingdom.  Fitz royal assassin and half blood prince takes it upon himself to save his people and defend his family’s kingdom.  The story of Fitz captivated my mind and I loved this character’s strength and honour.

The Name of the Wind is a gripping tale of a young boy who is orphaned and forced to live in a crime ridden city, his escape from this bitter place and the pursuit of his life-long dream to join the University of Magic.  The reader is taken through a new world of friends, enemies and interesting magics. It is told in the voice of Kvothe, a humble tavern owner, recalling his exciting life, his hardships and triumphs as he builds his way to glory.

 

I have only read these two books in the series, but it captured my imagination and I loved every second of reading it!

Peter was the one who originally introduced me to reading novels and since then I have fallen in love with fantasy.  I usually tend to follow what he reads seeing as his pace is a lot faster than mine and he suggests most, or actually all of my reading material.  A month or two ago Peter gave me Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy to read and I have been glued to it.

Mistborn:  The Final Empire

Mistborn: The well of Ascension

Mistborn: The Hero of Ages

The 1st book sets the scene in a world where the evil overlord has won and is ruling his empire with an iron fist.  The skaa (slaves) are the Lord Ruler’s property but the noble populace who rent them are allowed to do with the skaa as they please. Everyone has been use to this way of life for a thousand years, until a hero rises up that plans to overthrow the empire. This sets of a chain of events that not only leaves our hero and his friends to fight evil, but to save their entire world from destruction. Throughout the series the reader is introduced to new characters, creatures and ideas like Allomancy, a magic where characters use metals to gain special powers. The Mistborn Trilogy is a thrilling ride through the lives of the hero and his crew and is filled with action, politics and suspense.

After a short trip on the Gautrain from Sandton to O.R Thambo international airport, we booked our bags in and took a 2 hour flight on a kulula.com. (This I might add was my 1st/virgin/maiden flight and I found it rather boring.) Landing at George on the beautiful coast of South Africa, we quickly made our way to get our rental car so we can start our now much reduced trip to Sedgefield. The trip out of George to wilderness is filled with mostly bland scenery but then you hit Wilderness.  Here the world starts to change from bland to beautiful forest and greenery and I spent my time gawking out the window taking in as much as I could for fear of missing something important.

 

This is God’s country.

 

From Wilderness to Knysna there was nothing that was not beautiful.  On day one we made sure to quickly book into our chalet and start exploring the amazing country side.

Monday consisted mostly of exploring but we soon found ourselves on the east head of the Knysna river mouth.

Peter leaning over to look around the east head at the Knynsa river mouth

 

 

After climbing the rocks and going as far around the mountain as possible on foot, we made our way back for a seafood lunch at Cornutti.  This is where the oyster eating started!

Oysters!

 

We also made sure to investigate the featherbed experience (that we got told about on the plane.) We booked two tickets for a 10:00 am tour on Tuesday.

After a short trip back to our chalet we had some rest and got ready to go out again, this time to explore the night life and sample the local cuisine.

So hence we made our way back to Knysna and found “34 degrees south” in the Knysna Harbour area. This was not quite a restaurant, more like a deli that serves dinner.  The atmosphere was amazing. We were seated next to some French tourists and Peter promptly gave them advice as to South African wine and food, which they took with a smile and a thank you.

Tuesday morning came and after a nice breakfast we travelled back from Sedgefield to Knysna.  Arriving at the harbour waiting to board the ferry, we got surrounded by Swedish, German and Dutch tourists that had booked the same trip.  It was wonderful listening to all the languages and knowing that people from across the world also get to experience our beautiful country.

Ferry trip to featherbed nature reserve

 

The trip from the dock to the nature reserve took 20 minutes which the tour guide filled with random information about Knysna’s history, the estuary and wildlife in the area. Arriving on at the nature reserve we were handed walking sticks and promptly had ourselves seated on a tractor train that would take us up the mountain.

Tractor taking us up the mountain

 

 

 

Again the trip up the mountain was filled with information about the nature reserve, the plants that grow there and some history.  This was topped off with the most spectacular view!

View of Knysna from Featherbed Nature reserve (West head)

 

Once we reached the top of the mountain, the tour guide gave us the option to either take a drive down or a 2.2 km hike.  We opted for the hike.  The trip down was steep but beautiful.  We were told to try spot a moss that grows on the plants in the reserve. This moss is called “old-man’s-beard”.  The reason it got called to our attention is because this moss can only grow and survive in areas where the air pollution is almost zero.

The rest of the hike consisted of lots of walking and conversations here and there with some of the other tourists.  (It is easy to make friends when we wear our Vibram 5 finger shoes, cause people tend to notice and ask about them. I call them my ice breaker shoes.)  Eventually we reached the bottom of the mountain and completed the walk with a stroll along the beach back to the restaurant.  At the end of the trail they have a foot bath that is filled with cold water and ice! AMAZING!  Once inside we were served a feast! Venison, beef, chicken, fish, calamari, veggies, breads, salads and to top it off we had ice cream and hot chocolate sauce for pudding.  It is amazing to see how a good walk can build up a storm of an appetite.

The 20 minute boat ride back to the featherbed company was uneventful and we spent it chatting to a couple from Bloemfontein who was on honeymoon as well.  (This particular couple caught our attention because the man did the entire hike down the mountain on crutches. He had torn ligaments when doing some stunt at his wedding)

Tuesday night we travelled to Thesen Island and tried out another restaurant called “Quay Four” where Peter had more oyster eating to do (and half a kilogram of prawns).

500g Prawns.. DONE!

 

Now for the Oysters!

 

This island is in the Knysna lagoon and is definitely a rich man’s playground.  The island has waterways to all the houses and boats can be docked right by your R3mil vacation home.

Wednesday showed its head rather quickly but this time round we took a drive past Knysna and headed up the south east coast past Plettenberg bay to the monkey and bird sanctuary’s.

Monkeyland Entrance

 

Monkeyland is actually a rehab for little monkey’s that used to be in overcrowded zoo’s or pets that were abandoned by their not so loving owners.  None of the monkeys in the sanctuary were ever wild monkeys.  Once inside you are told not to leave any sunglasses on your head or leave any lose items lying around, because the monkey will steal them.  This appeared to be true.  One little critter tried to steal an ice-cream out of Peter’s hand.

 

The bird sanctuary is right next door.  This is a giant bird cage that has been created over a piece of forest.

Birds of Eden

 

When you enter the cage you slowly start moving down walkways into a cool forest area and the smaller birds seem to prefer this space rather than the more open area closer to the canopy top.  There is a small stream that runs through the heart of the sanctuary and the sound of water makes for a calm cool experience. They have a wide variety of bird including flamingo, various species of parrots, loeries, blue crane, hornbill etc. This sanctuary had a couple of rescued birds as well.

 

Thursday we stayed in the chalet to recover and do what honeymooners do I guess.. like self medicating and recovering from the tummy bug we both picked up on Wednesday.  BIG SIGH (Thank God we had two bathrooms) Eventually Thursday night we decided that we had best go get something to eat.  On the way we took a bit of a late afternoon detour and ended up at Buffel’s bay.  The weather had started changing dramatically and thick rolling clouds of mist slowly made their way inland but eventually stopped and settled itself like an old dog settling in for a cold night. Making our way back to Knysna the air was cold and the same mist cloud was draped over the Knysna heads. It looked like a thick wool blanket.

 

Mist (Buffel’s bay)

 

Mist on the west head in Knysna

 

We ended up having dinner at a restaurant (again on Thesen Island) that only served starter portions.  This was rather interesting and offered us the opportunity to try lots of different dishes.

 

Friday was spent at the airport. (Still due to the tummy bug.)  We needed to be out of the chalet at 10:00am and could not get an earlier flight back to JHB. We were too afraid to go anywhere due to lack of toilet availability.  Thus staying at the airport seemed like a good idea because, they had air conditioning and clean bathrooms.  20:00 Friday night we boarded our plane back to JHB.

My husband and I have been dating for 5 years now and we tied the knot on the 19th of Febuary 2011.  This  inspired me to start a new blog. A new blog for a new life.. together.