From Here to Infinity

From Here to Infinity

From Here to Infinity

Happy 8th Birthday Indulgence Café!! I cannot believe it, can you?
It seems that the first 8 years have absolutely flown by as I have pushed, shoved and cajoled this little café to blossom into the beautiful swan that she is. It has been an amazing and at times heart stopping adventure, there were times, moments where I wondered if it was worth the effort. We have made it to 8 years and the future shines very brightly ahead with loads and loads of awesome and wonderful things lined up for the journey ahead.

Happy 8th Birthday Indulgence Café, From Here to Infinity.

Now that the mushy stuff is out the way we can begin to talk about the fun we had in January and dangle the carrot of what is to come in February……………….
Before we closed in December Hamilton Wende came to read to the kids from his new kids book, Arabella, the Moon and the Magic Mongongo Nut, also a huge pleasure to listen to and the story is enchanting. There were about 20 kids who sat and listened enthralled, not to mention me as well!
Hamilton Wende reading to the kids in Dec 2013 from Arabella, the Moon and the Magic Mongongo Nut: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB8SzYd4IBY

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Hamilton Wende, Arabella, the Moon and the Magic Mongongo Nut

Hamilton Wende, Arabella, the Moon and the Magic Mongongo Nut

We closed for about ten days between Christmas and New Year, most of which I spend sleeping, eating, reading and socializing. Time that I thoroughly enjoyed! All too quickly the idyl was over and it was back to work with renewed vigor and energy, all ready to plunge headlong into some really wicked happenings at Indulgence Cafe and Lollipops Catering!

I watched the kids have fun and giggled just like one of them with the Wacky Wizard on the 10th of January, he was literally magic and the kids were lapping it up. What a treat. We will definitely do more events for kids during the school holidays. I didn’t realise before that there was such a crying need for kids entertainment or how much fun it is, so without a doubt there will be a kids program for the next holidays!
There is a brief video clip of the Wacky Wizard: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-CU-LN8nnY

The Wacky Wizard doing his thing

The Wacky Wizard doing his thing

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The singing chiropractor, Mike Marinus was wonderful to both look at and hear sing and he started the New Year Musical Friday nights off for us. The crowd was nothing to write home about but the evening was delightful. He had me up and grabbing a partner to pretend I could waltz around the shop, next thing I will be pretending I can sing. Trust me, I cannot. Singing is a gift and Mike has it! We hope that he will be back soon.
Brief video clip of Mike Marinus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl_qXsFmP9g

Mike Marinus singing for his supper

Mike Marinus singing for his supper

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I had the luxury of an evening at the theatre with family and friends one Saturday night in mid-January and we saw the very enchanting 6 Dance Lessons in 6 Weeks with Judy Ditchfield and Jose Domingos. In my somewhat simple fashion I have written a little review. This show is a real treat and really worth seeing A review of 6 Dance Lessons in 6 Weeks http://wp.me/pVdYg-ju

Six Dance Lessons in six Weeks

Six Dance Lessons in six Weeks

Bruce Dennill at Indulgence Café:
Next to join us for a Musical Friday was Bruce Dennill, man of many talents. He sang and entertained us for the evening and included a rendition of Happy Birthday for horror author Joan De La Haye, who happened to be spending her birthdya evening with us!

Bruce Dennill and Joan De La Haye

Bruce Dennill and Joan De La Haye

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The first of our Monday Night Talks which was with Andrew Ross, @maddog_sa as some may know him. What a character he is, such energy and drive! A really impressive human being. I just hope that some of his glow has rubbed off on us and that we can really develop a following for these really amazing talks! The next one is on the 3rd of Feb with Roy Blumenthal, caricaturist and artist extraordinaire!

Andrew Ross

Andrew Ross

We have also introduced a monthly sports talk with Jon Gericke. The first one on the 27th, was pretty well supported. Jon had a riveting conversation with Neal Collins, the very outspoken football analyst! The next sports talk is on the 17th of Feb and the focus is on cycling. Jon will in conversation with Douglas Ryder, who is team principal for cycling team MTN – Qhubeka. Fascinating stuff!

Neal Collins bringing the point home with Jon Gericke

Neal Collins bringing the point home with Jon Gericke

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Our first author event was a double header with Author Charmaine Pauls, a gorgeous South African young woman who lives in Chile. her latest book, a romance novel about a Chilean winemaker promises to be the perfect Valentine’s read accompanied by some full bodied red wine! Coupled with this book talk was a Chilean wine tasting which was conducted by Rodney Hill. Casillero Del Diablo, the wine of the night was delicious. We loved the bubbly. It turns out that Chilean chardonnays are completely different to our local ones, so definitely good for shaking up the palate.

Charmaine Pauls and Rodney Hill

Charmaine Pauls and Rodney Hill

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We had some lovely evenings in January, but February my friends is an incredibly special month and is also jam packed to the gills! It is our birthday month and we are going to party. Plus we have very special plans to bring you a very romantic Valentine’s Dinner……………….read on 🙂

Coming up this month:
3rd Monday talk with Roy Blumenthal, visual Artist
5th Wednesday …………..”2 for one” burger special
7th Indulgence Café 8th birthday party
10th Beefing it up with Steve Maresch, Owner of Local Grill Up-market steakhouses
12th Quiz dinner
14th Valentine’s Dinner with live romantic music
17th Sports Talk….Jon Gericke in conversation with Douglas Ryder
19th Wednesday live jazz hosted by Etienne Shardlow
21st Live music Friday with Eden Michelle
22nd Jassy Mackenzie launches “Switch” with Animals in Distress
24th Monday talk with Nadav Ossendryver, Kruger Park Animal Spotting
26th Comedy Live, comedian to be confirmed still
28th Open Mic evening hosted by Keira Witherkay

As always thanks so much for coming on this journey with us! Keep watching this space
Love ‘n Lollipops
Mandi

One Night in Parkhurst…

The lights went out. That’s what happens occasionally in Johannesburg for any number of reasons and last night, Thursday, was the night the lights went out in Parkhurst. The suburb was incredibly dark, the streets pretty menacing in their blackness. If you happened to look up at the sky the stars were an incredible sight to behold, bright bold and beautiful but who looks up when you are not sure what could possibly be lurking in the street with you?
My house is pretty similar to most of the others in my street, it has a serious big driveway gate topped with spikes, inset into a tall menacing wall, all crowned with an electric fence that under normal circumstances would be humming away into the night, but for some reason wasn’t last night. In fact, nothing was working last night, the entire system had crashed including the battery back up that should have allowed us to still open the gate regardless of there being no power running to it.
I had been forewarned that there was no electricity and that the gate wasn’t opening so it wasn’t a surprise when I got home to darkness. I had called my housemate who was still at work late in the evening to please meet me at the house so that we could make a plan to get into the house, we had to “break in”. He was waiting for me when I pulled up outside the house and the two of us stood outside looking at Fort Knox brainstorming the way in. Not having criminal minds the solution isn’t always so obvious, particularly when there is an electric fence to surmount as well.
The end result of our cat burglar debate was that he would go over the gate, the spikes and the electric fence and somehow override the motor on the gate so that we could get onto the property. Seemed simple enough but first we gingerly had to explore if the fence was live, and believe me I had no intention of testing it. We all know that touching live wires is a man’s job, well in my house it is even when I am standing outside the house in the street in darkness. Being the boy scout that he is, he came equipped with a bright torch and of a course, a panga (machete), you never know when you are going to need a rubber handled panga to touch an electric fence with. A sigh of relief when we finally decided the fence was not live and he was about to do the boy thing and climb over. Wait, you cannot go I said. I will be left standing in the street outside the house in the dark all on my own, it’s a girl thing and I have seen allllllll the movies! Who knows Jason could be stalking the streets of Parkhurst tonight and Valentine’s Day is not far off and I was not going to be standing there by myself with him somewhere on the other side of the wall. So I called the security company and then the party started.
I am pretty sure my very calm words to the lady who answered the phone were “please could you send someone to wait with me, while we attempt to break into my house” and I gave her the address. Housemate and I then set about finalizing plans for the break in and waited until company arrived before he could attempt to summit Mount Everest.
Within minutes a security vehicle pulled up screeching, and then another one arrived. Followed by another and another and another, followed by a couple of police vehicles and one or two other security companies, and a neighbour or two. Pretty shortly the smell of burned rubber, overworked clutches and testosterone was very strong in the air and we were magically surrounded by men with very big guns and body armour. I guess when calling ones security company the two words “Break and in” should not be used unless of a dire emergency and I felt like a complete tit having caused this adrenalin fueled mayhem and shattering the calm peace of the night. I have to say they all, including the police went off with good grace having seen the humour in the situation and not hauling me off to jail for almost being the girl who cried wolf.

Two vehicles remained shining their very bright light up the drive way, whilst my housemate scaled the gate. He very nearly managed to remove the family jewels at their root on the spikes, but luckily only ended up tearing a teeny tiny little hole in his jeans. Following which he, hey presto, opened the gate and we could drive both vehicles in and park for the evening, smiles on our faces and mine still a pretty deep shade of red.
Of course five minutes after we walked into the very dark house the electricity was restored……

A very big thank you to Cortac and the South African Police Service for their incredibly rapid response, you guys were amazing of course to my housemate who thankfully today is not speaking with a squeaky voice.

Note to self and all of you out there: Maintenance is required on the security system and peripheral devices

6 Dance Lessons and So Many More…

Six Dance Lessons in six Weeks

Six Dance Lessons in six Weeks

Last night I had the privilege of spending time with family and good friends and watching fabulous South African talent on stage at the Auto and General Theatre on the Square at Sandton. All I knew about the show before the lights dimmed was that there would be dancing, I never explored what I was going to be watching beforehand and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised and very charmed. Last night’s show was dedicated to the late Joan Brickhill, a fitting memorial

The show is about an elderly woman, Lily, played by Judy Ditchfield, who hires a dance instructor, Michael, played by Jose Domingos, to teach her to dance over a period of six weeks. What starts as an oil and water match filled with barbed antagonism evolves into a deep and meaningful friendship between two people whom life has done a good job of trampling all over.

Neither one of the two characters are easy people to get along with, both having enough emotional baggage to start a wagon train. The tale unfolds at a graceful pace over the six dance lessons, with an entire host of wonderfully sarcastic lines which Judy and Jose deliver with perfect timing. None of which I am ashamed to say I can remember, I will have to go see the show again with pencil in hand.

It is patently obvious that Jose and Judy are very comfortable working together on stage. I am no dancer so I cannot even begin to comment on whether either of our stars are good dancers but I am not embarrassed to say that I was swept away with them when they danced across the stage, clearly, both thoroughly enjoying the roles that they were playing. The music is a wonderful mix of dance music, the most contemporary of which is The Beach Boys so please don’t go see this show expecting to hear Emenem and Santana; just allow yourself to be enchanted by Ella Fitzgerald instead.

What I found so remarkable about this show is the sheer range of human issues that it manages to tackle in a light and entertaining way through the medium of wit and dance without leaving the audience feeling like they have been put through an emotional mangle. Nothing is sacred and the topics that get tackled are everything from bigotry, homophobia, old age to loss and suffering. I promise you I have only mentioned a few of them but you are so caught up in the unfolding tale of a growing deepening friendship with the bond of trust, that you only realize the subjects that have been handled, sometimes not so delicately, when you sit down to coffee and cake after the show.

I loved it, Judy though not an old woman manages to convince you she is an elderly lonely woman with deep scars, the most incredible dress sense and some really beautiful dresses and Jose struts his gay dance instructor stuff with just the right amount of camp and the perfect amount of wounded humanity. He also has a very nice butt which I noticed more than once!

This show is a combination of fantastic lines, music, dance, laughs and human frailty and I loved every minute. Definitely worth watching so do yourself a favour and see it before it closes on the 9th of Feb.

Our 2013 in Pictures…………..

January to December 2013……

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Welcome to the New Year

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Amiga inspecting the beanies for The Beanie Project

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Sushi Evenings at Indulgence Cafe

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Adriaan Basson and Anton Harber at Indulgence Cafe

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Easter Egg Collection for the Needy

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Naughty Cupcakes

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Hagen Engler at Indulgence Cafe

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Our New Baby

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Auriol Hays at Indulgence Cafe

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Annica at Indulgence Cafe, a taste of next month

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Gareth Crocker at Indulgence Cafe

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On Radio Today with Michael De Pinna

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1368292680166Pieter Dirk Uys Visits us for the first time

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20130512_124418Keira Witherkay at Indulgence Cafe

20130503_212026Annica in Action

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20130629_153925Peter Piegl, Sean Newman and Glenn Agliotti

20130622_161842Gogo’s Birthday

20130615_154449_resizedMad Hatter’s Tea Party

20130612_190154Michael Sears

20130612_190207Jo-Anne Richards

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IMAG0070Craft Beer Tasting with the League of Beers

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20130727_144133The Twisted Market

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20130802_193133The Bloody Book Week with Margie Orford, Stuart MacBride, Alex Eliseev, Barry Bateman, Mike Nicol, Michele Rowe, Mthuthuzeli Nyoka and Julian Rademeyer

DSC_7496Tony Leon at Indulgence Cafe

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20130924_122758Heritage Day with James Hendry

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DSC_9685The Burger Menu Launches

20131011_225528Girl Power

20131012_144845Lee Marcus with Basha, baby

20131016_212818First Annual Horror and Fantasy Festival at Indulgence Cafe

20131022_170708Halloween at Indulgence Cafe

20131025_213359Second Craft Beer Tasting with Three Skulls Beer

20131027_104105_1Pieter Dirk Uys, the Return Visit

20130906_174602Lionel Bastos, live at Indulgence Cafe

20131129_215752Open Mic Night at Indulgence Cafe

20131122_200835 Keira and Auriol together again

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20131115_172523Wine and oyster evening with Oneiric Wines

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IMG_119765828790758Zapiro at Indulgence Cafe

20131209_095040The Death of a Statesman, Nelson Mandela

20131204_202922Deep Fried Man live at Indulgence Cafe

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Author’s Cocktail Evening with a whole bunch of great SA authors

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Hamilton Wende Reading from Arabella, the Moon and the Magic Mongongo Nut

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A slightly Disorganized Carols By Candlelight

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Twitter Pre-Christmas Evening

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We Look forward to a fabulous and fun filled 2014 with more events, more authors and a whole bunch more Indulgent Fun, share this journey with us in this coming year
Love ‘n Lollipops
Mandi