Category Archives: Settling in

Best Ski boots in the World

From day 1, the Non Stop instructor course added value to my skiing experience!!  After the technical session with Jens Mende, I realized that my ski boots were not ideal, and it was causing unnecessary knee pain.  Topshelf was recommended to help me out, and boy did they just do that!  These guys specialize in building custom ski boots called the TS1.

Donny and Ryland evaluated my 8 year old ski boots, my feet and lower legs;  I could tell from the look on their faces that my feet and leg dimensions did not match up with my current ski boots at all.  Luckily I didn’t buy boots of the shelf on our arrival in Fernie, so the option of getting customized ski boots was open.  I grabbed it with both hands!!  After a short negotiation in our native language, and Justinus getting new powder ski’s out of the deal, we agreed for the process to begin.

They have all kinds of machines and tools to custom fit a boot, and lots of experience in the field.  Pointing out that I have a bunion on my right foot, they just smiled and said “no problem, we have a tool for that!”.  I thought they were joking….they do not joke about feet problems, they only have solutions!  If they have all the ingredients available, it will be about a day or two to get your boots out the door for testing, but you don’t want to rush it anyway.

Raptor 115 RS Race Ski Boots - The Shell of my new boots!

Raptor 115 RS Race Ski Boots – The Shell of my new boots!

The first step was getting the right shell for my feet.  They had a look, consulted and decided on Head Raptor 115 RS Race Ski Boots.  Here the client doesn’t have a lot of choice, but to trust the experts.  The next step was customized foot beds.  The foam injection was the last step before testing and tweaking, here I had a say on the colour of the socks that I prefer.  I appreciated the fact that Ryland prepared me for the process, as it was a bit uncomfortable to stand in the boots while the foam was compacting my feet within.  Throughout the process, Ryland’s experience and expertise on boots and skiing was making me more and more comfortable with the process and I knew I was in good hands.  The glass of smooth French red wine welcoming me to the TS1 gang was the cherry on top!

Having a nice Red wine while fitting the best ski boots in the world!

Having a nice Red wine while fitting the best ski boots in the world!

In the days to follow the main focus points would be comfort and alignment.  I needed to work out the air in the foam and my alignment would be tested continually.  The alignment is tweaked by sticking strips of wedges with duct tape. Ryland said that I should keep on coming back, until I am of opinion that it is the best ski boots that I’ve ever worn.

The next week, Ryland worked somewhere else and Donny continued the process.  Monday afternoon Donny tested the alignment intensely and the results started to become consistent, by the next day we had the best stance!  The duct tape were taken of the final result was made permanent.

I walked out with the best ski boots in the world!

If you ever need custom fit ski boots, look them up in Fernie!

5369 Fernie Ski Hill Rd  Fernie, BC V0B 1M4, Canada



Buy, eat, drink and enjoy!

Grocery shopping doesn’t change much when you’re in another country, you have to make a list and walk the aisle. In Fernie we buy, eat, drink and enjoy!

There are mainly two grocery stores in Fernie;  Overwaitea and Extra Foods.  Overwaitea is much closer to home and we earn points there, so it’s where we do our weekly groceries shopping.  Like most people in Fernie the staff is super friendly and helpful.

The store is very clean and neat, light and bright.  The fruits are shiny and of good quality and the veggies very fresh, we buy about 30 apples and 20 bananas a week!  Some products have the same look, but there are a lot of unfamiliar products, to me at least.  Good old pampers are on the shelves, so that’s no brainer! Justinus and Jano loved the Maltezers (chocolate balls), and we’ve bought a lot of those!!  Other products we love are the lemonade and flapjack ready mix (it’s called pancakes here).  The liquor store stock fine South African wines and beers and we’ve also bought a bottle of Amarula, divine with crushed ice.  It seems that Christopher is over his diary allergy, so buying food has also become a bit easier.  He is just on soya milk, lactose free yoghurt and margarine.

Converting Canadian dollars to South African Rand…..  At first glance prices sounds like a bargain, 3.49 for bread, then thinking about it R35!  My goodness, everything seems very expensive, especially the cheese.  I guess we will go back home and be thankful that things are so cheap!  At the moment, I’m buying were we get points, sale prices, marked downs and comparing like mad, but I guess it won’t take long before we are used to it, like everything in life.

Buying bulk definitely saves a lot of money, many products come in bulk.  And after a week of consuming food, we’ve already opted to buy the 2kg peanut butter, 1.5 liter tomato sauce, the biggest cereal packs, 2kg mince pack (looks like a big roll of cold meat) and 4litres of milk as it’s much cheaper per unit, hooked already!

Our menu hasn’t changed much.  Justinus and Eunice make the big breakfasts three times a week.  Lunch is a sandwich or we eat on the ski hill.  A personal favourite is the chilli soup in bread bowl at the Lost Boys Café (just as you get of Timber Bowl Express chair lift).  We’ve also enjoyed scrumptious pork ribs and burgers at Kelsey’s on the hill.

Buy, eat, drink and enjoy!

Chilli Bowl another way to Buy, eat, drink and enjoy in Fernie

Dinners are basically fish, rotisserie chicken, spaghetti bolognaise, tuna pasta, readymade lasagna, and since Kerry made her delicious fettuccini, it has been incorporated in our menu.  I recently bought a readymade beef roast which was very yummy, the meat was so tender it fell apart!  The pork chop recipe I googled was also very good.  We combine it with veggies and/or salad that Eunice makes; either a chef’s salad or juicy carrot salad.

Friday nights have always been our family night with Nando’s, popcorn and jelly babies and a movie for the kids.  Since there’s no Nando’s here (in Calgary though!), we’ve been eating Boston Pizza’s BBQ Chicken and Pepperoni pizzas, it is bursting with flavor!  The other alternative, McDonalds, was Christopher’s request (just because he gets a kids toy)!  Hot Chocolate with cream is also a big favourite!

We eat a lot more here; we assume that it is due to the colder temperature, being very active and being in a holiday spirit.  Whatever the reason, eating has always been a pleasant experience!

Cheers for now from Ankie – Go buy, eat, drink and enjoy!

What was the turning point?

I’m not sure where the turning point was, but boy I’m glad it turned!

Justinus has been a busy bee since I’ve known him, always two or three things to do at any one time.  I think he is just too intelligent; he can’t help himself, maybe a bit hyperactive too!  Ask him anything about almost everything, especially sport stats;  his knowledge really baffles me sometimes.  He is a man with a plan, always optimistic and doing whatever it takes to make a success; that fact instantly attracted me to him when we first met.  So, I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me when he got to travel a lot, mostly for work and studies; there was a lot to be done!

Having fun in Rotary Park in Fernie, BC, Canada

We were married almost 10 years, when I fell pregnant with our first child.  We were living in Pretoria then, and decided to move closer to Durban, where Justinus spent about 70% of his time (the rest were spent on MBA).  We moved our house content in the 8th month of my pregnancy and if it weren’t for Maria Thonga’s help, we would’ve struggled indeed!  Christopher was born in December 2008, and luckily the birth was over the holidays, so we got to spend a great deal of time together.  At 2 weeks old, we took the journey to Umdloti with my parents.  My dad drove 1630km in 3 consecutive days, to make the round trip.  At 27 days, after frustrating troubleshooting and receiving well intentioned advice, Christopher was eventually diagnosed with pyloric stenosis.  He had to get a laparoscopic operation to open up the narrowing between his stomach and the small intestine.  Justinus was at MBA classes in Johannesburg, and if it weren’t for my mother, persistent not to leave our side even on the sister’s demand, I don’t know how I would’ve made it through the ordeal.

Living in Umdloti was very lonely for me; though it was a very special time with Christopher.  Fortunately when Justinus went to Johannesburg for MBA, his folks made an effort visiting me or I went with to Pretoria.  After 6 months we moved back to Pretoria.  Travelling locally and internationally continued, but we had a better support system in Pretoria, and I got a job with an incredible boss.

I fell pregnant with our second child and Sarika was born in October 2010.  We moved January 2011 and went on a skiing holiday in February.  Sarika was only 4 months old!  Justinus knew that if he would’ve asked for my opinion I’d said no, thus it was a birthday surprise!  We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday while the kids stayed with our parents.  .Justinus flew more than 100 times in 2011, he missed us a lot and missed out on the kids.

In January 2012, we went for a drive and Justinus told me of his new plan.  He was thinking of leaving the company that he had helped to expand through hard work and sacrifice for the past 11 years. He did a great job in developing the company, and I am very proud of him.  It seemed that he was weighing up the effort of working so hard and missing out on family life.  We knew that all the hard work was a sacrifice for the family, but it seemed that he was wondering if this sacrifice was worth it.

Early March 2012 was the end of an era.  Justinus was home, spending lots of time with us, started exercising, losing weight, eating healthier etc.  We are loving it!  And now, 2013?  We are spending the ski season in Fernie, Canada!  What a story the kids will tell?!  My dad taught me how to ski when I was 2 and 4 respectively!  He is part of my life and chose to tell a better story at the end of his!  I thank grandparents for their love and support, God for His grace and that He created man with a free will to choose!  I am so glad about the choices Justinus has made and know that he will make a success of anything he touches in the years to come.

When is the next turning point?

New found Friendship

It is amazing how much can change in a year, and how quickly something that usually takes forever can come together. How long does it take form a great friendship?

While I was still at Private Property I would often meet with other people in the industry.  While I was playing golf one day with a friend from school he mentioned that another guy, Gert van der Walt, who went to school with us, was a co-founder/owner at

That sounded like a great excuse to get in contact with Gert again.  After a few phone calls I got his number and we arranged to have breakfast.  There I met Jano, Gert’s business partner for the first time.  For about a year we would have a breakfast meetings every now and then.  To make a long story short, after I left Private Property and had some time on my hands, Jano and I started playing squash.  He then got me kicking and screaming onto a mountain bike and the rest as they say is history.

Our families started to spend time together and from the first braai, our wives and kids got along very well.  Although Jano’s first introduction to Monopoly Deal card game turned into disastrous defeat, we started spending more time together.  Once we decided to come to Fernie we said they should come and visit.  I’m not sure if I was really expected them to say yes, since we had known each other for only about 3 months by then.

In an epic display of new found friendship, Jano booked airplane tickets late one evening not long after we did. From then on, no one in either family could wait for the holiday to come.  On the way to Fernie, between the cries of exhausted children Jano and I discussed what it would take to make this the best holiday ever!

New found Friendship: Adriaanse, De Jagers and Eunice (the super nanny) on the last day of the Epic Holiday!

Then as I dropped them at the Calgary airport again after 3 weeks, we agreed:  This was the Best Holiday EVER!  I still don’t really know how we managed to become such great friends in only 6 months.  It could be because we are both technology junkies, or maybe that we are/were both in web business. It could also be because our wives and kids get along like a house on fire.

Whatever it is, I hope this new found friendship can make many more best holidays EVER!

Getting Nando’s in Calgary

Our family have the tradition of eating Nando’s every Friday evening. Lately we have combined that with a movie night with the kids. It is loads of fun. As luck would have it there has always been a Nando’s relatively close by, N1 city when we lived in Cape Town, Umhlanga in Durban and Parkview next door to Woodlands. I knew there are Nando’s stores in Canada but could not find one in Fernie when were here in September.

When we were dropping of the rental car in Calgary we happened to drive past a Nando’s. It must have been some sort of a sign, as I now know that there are only one Nando’s in Calgary (which is the 3rd largest city in Canada).All excited we stopped wanting to have some lunch but it was closed. So we had KFC across the road. Not the same at all.

We got there by pure chance!

We got to Nando’s in Calgary by pure chance! What luck!

The next time I got to Calgary to pick up the De Jager’s, I left early so I could stop at Nando’s for lunch. I was not disappointed at all. I could have been in the Nando’s in Corlett drive in JHB. They even had beer on tap, which I have not seen in SA.

Inside Nando’s in Calgary – Felt just like back home!

I ordered my favoured half chicken meal, and it was just like back home. The service was great and the food awesome! Well done Nando’s, I hope you guys have great success and that there will be a Nando’s in Fernie someday!

I ordered my favourite half chicken meal at Nando’s in Calgary

Until them we have to eat another takeout on Fridays, although we all would prefer Nando’s. At least I can look forward to another airport run next week, which I will combine with a stop at Nando’s!