Thursday, 8 November 2012

"Bond girl" and her Pierce do Durban - Part 2

"Bond girl" and her Pierce do Durban - Part 2
7 November 2012

We’re in Durban, so let the good times roll! 

It was a completely novel feeling having no responsibilities at all.  Freeing and liberating, just indulging in us.  We had drinks in the Hotel bar with work colleagues and then a lovely meal with a select few of Grant’s dealers to celebrate someone’s birthday at a fabulous gem of a restaurant, called “Little India”.  Sublime!  Just relaxing and chatting and eating and enjoying.  And then after supper it was back to the Hotel for a few drinks more.  If only I drank alcohol as the liquor was flowing.  I suspect that come morning, many regretted their excesses.

And while Grant got up early on Saturday morning to attend a conference, I snuggled in deeper in the soft King Size bed.  I lazed about in bed once I finally awoke, reading a book and eating biltong (my first course of breakfast) – disgusting I know.  But as for the Hotel breakfast when I finally went to the dining room, it was heavenly.  And I had a further four courses at the restaurant breakfast – muesli with nuts and yoghurt, croissants and cold meats, bacon and mushrooms and fruit for dessert.  And let’s not forget the delicious cup of chino.  Then a taxi to Musgrave centre and a bit of a walk about.  Popping in at a Curios market for gifts for the kids.

And then as a huge big treat, Pierce organised tickets for me to go to the Durban Motor Show with him on Saturday afternoon.  Oh joy!  All my life.  Yet despite my reservations I actually did enjoy it quite a bit.  The cars were marvellous.  From new-fangled monsters to classic antiques.  Even watching a bit of drifting and drag racing, if you don’t mind.  I picked myself a lovely little antique that I wouldn’t mind zooting around in.  And for those days when I’m in too much of a hurry, a little red Ferrari would do me quite well.  I’ve always had a penchant for Porche’s – so a little white one would be my Friday car.  And on Tuesdays I think the yellow Lamborghini will work.  Which leaves the little red MG for Thursdays and the Rolls Royce for Sundays.  And as a bit of an indulgence for Saturdays, I picked me a Harley – rather spiffy indeed.

Then the pampering and preening for the big shindig started.  I had a set of false nails lying around at home – leftovers from a gift from my cousin’s girlfriend.  So I decided to apply those post haste – on Thursday evening already so that I could get used to them so long.  And simply for fun, to make me feel good, I got myself a delightful set of false eyelashes too.  I got a very au natural set – no tarantula legs for me.  But oh my word, trying to apply these with the aid of false nails, was a near impossible task!  I nearly lost an eye in the process!

Although I had lost weight quite nicely in the lead-up to our weekend away, I had been laying off the dieting since Friday.  And had some severe moments of panic when Grant tried to zip me into my dress.  The previous time I had tried it on, had been early morning, before eating and drinking the whole day.  And even then our domestic worker, Monica, had to help with the actual zipping.  I had visions of a popped dress, which would be a crises for sure.  But luckily with a bit of perseverance and patience, we got me all in.  Sadly one lovely lady, only made it to the do as the desserts were being served.  She missed all of the preceding fanfare as her dress popped before leaving her room.  It took her a good few hours to sew it all back together again.  And another lady was seen clutching her side after a rather energetic bout of dancing, never to be seen again – popped dress too, I fear.

All I can say, is “Mother of mercy”, but Pierce looked hot!  No need even for a Brosnan style wig or toupee!  Sadly we didn’t get any really great shots of the two of us together.  However there was an official photographer at the Gala event, who took photos of all of the couples as they entered the ballroom, so a goodie might still appear.  The night was magical, with awesome entertainment.  The Muses performed a winning show with their violins.  They really were inspiring and set the scene.  All glamorous and showgirl style, they had us all hooked.  And then, for a wee bit of fun, and quite unexpectedly they had the most marvellous magician who did two really fantastic sets.  He was funny and brilliant and a very talented guy.  If ever in need I can highly recommend him – his name is Stan Sussman and he was a real hoot.  Entertaining and clever and an illusionist par excellence.  I still can’t wrap my head around some of the stuff that he did.

It also was really nice meeting so many of the people Grant speaks about so often.  His colleagues are lovely and fabulous people.  His dealers are awesome.  And with a winning combo like that, it is no wonder that GWM is doing so well.  I even liked the speeches and award ceremony too.  The food was magnificent and beautifully presented.  The Ballroom looked glorious too.  And as for all of the guests – people really took trouble and looked their very best.  There were tuxedo’s galore and beautiful dresses by the dozens.  High heels and lots of make-up all around.  The MC was funny and had a true gift for keeping the night flowing.  And in dramatic fashion, two new cars were unveiled – they had been hiding under drapings of red cloth.  All very glitz and glam.

The DJ kept up the vibe once all the official duties were done and guests took to the dance floor.  The bosses mingled and made everyone feel at home.  And it was rather charming and very, very sweet, seeing Grant’s very dignified and sedate boss, the CEO and Big Cheese of GWM, a 70 year old man, doing Gangnam style dancing with his beautiful wife.  He clearly keeps abreast of trends and knew the moves quite while – he had the whole wrist thing down pat.

And just because we could do it and didn’t feel like the night ending, despite being the second last table to leave the do, we went to the Hotel Bar once more.  And what a delight that was.  Because Saturday night is Bollywood night at the Hilton Hotel Bar.  Complete with bouncers, very loud music, beautiful Indian girls and dressed up Indian men.  The music was typical of their culture and utterly charming.

We woke up on Sunday morning, tired and bleary eyed after just two and a half hours sleep.  We finished our packing and enjoyed yet another five course breakfast at the Hotel’s restaurant.  The restorative properties of coffee really helped.  And then, within the blink of an eye, we left the hotel, not before me sneaking a pic with the friendliest doorman on earth.  His beautiful suit was adorned with buttons and badges from all over the world, and Grant also gave him one, to fill up his lapels some more.  Then off to the airport, check-ins and flights.  Collection of kids at three different homes.  Happy to see them, but oh what a joy, to escape the mundane every once in a while.

The Castles went off without a hitch.  The kids were all well cared for and wanted to stay with their friends some more – how rude!!!  The smell of curry powder assails me when I open my kitchen cupboard, as I stocked up on spices.  When in Rome and all that.  The fake nails popped off.  I still wear the eye lashes every so often.  The dress has been washed, the tux been returned.  But the photos and the memories remain.

Oh, and by the way, it seems that Durban had been a sort of holding facility for the weight that I had lost.  And very unkindly, she gave it back to me again, at the end of our weekend.  Now, I’ve heard all about the saying of not looking a gift horse in the mouth, but really – this is one horse that should’ve been left well alone…..
Dinner at "Little India" - yip, we had curry
Supper with some of Grant's dealers
Durban Motor Show - GWM had the biggest display
The sea of red shirts are GWM dealers
Sunday's mode of transport - a Rolls Royce
Given the colours, I'm sure this is The Stig's car
Friday's run-about
Simply for fun
This one made me laugh - I just love the driver and the passenger
I'll take this one - Tuesday's will be Lambo day
A true classic
The hotel foyer - ever so smart
Jumping on the bed some more
Shaken, not stirred
Me in my favourite frock
The Muses performing
Our table
Stan Sussman - about to perform a decapitation as well as a circumcision at the same time - scary stuff
The happy couple
All together now - "Aaahhh"
Grant's guys
So long Durban - it's been real

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