The Other Foot

Women often say that they hear the voice of their Mother emerging when they become parents. The other night I heard the voice of my previous abuser emerging when I got annoyed with Norman. Norm did something that annoyed me and I shouted ‘but you know it annoys me so why are we discussing it, just don’t bloody do it’. My anger erupted in a microsecond and the words were out before I could even absorb what I was saying. Blaming HIM for MY lack of anger management.

It is a known psychological phenomenon that the abused can become the abuser. This is in the instances of both mental and physical abuse (whether sexual or domestic violence). The previously abused have a feeling of lack of control or self worth left over from the instances when we were the victim. I know that my natural reaction is defense, I can attack at the least provocation. Hopefully being aware of the behaviour is the first step towards healing. Luckily Norm knows that most of my reactions are based on my past experiences, not his actions. He is a very evolved man. I am trying. (Not to be a man obviously, just to be more conscious and less reactive.)

Maybe my newly found awareness is all part of the interactions I have had recently  with other women who have suffered abuse. Maybe this is all related to my own healing as well as the support of other women and their own issues with abuse.

Maybe it is bigger than me…….or the other women.

There has been a bit of good news this week as the Constitutional Court has confirmed that Advocate Shaun Abrahams’ appointment as the head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is constitutionally invalid and has ordered him to step down.

Judge Mbuyiseli Madlanga found that the manner in which former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana vacated office was invalid and therefore it had a knock-on effect on Abrahams’ appointment. Madlanga found that former President Jacob Zuma was bent on removing Nxasana at all costs and effectively bought him out with a R17 million settlement.

The judge found that this compromised the independence of the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, which rendered his vacation of office invalid. The Constitutional Court has ordered President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint a new National Director of Public Prosecutions within 90 days. The court further ordered Nxasana to repay the R10 million he has already received as part of his settlement.

Sean Abrahams was the lapdog of the corrupt disgraced ex-president Zuma and I am so happy to see the back of him. I only hope that the R10 million is returned to the people and the deep levels of government corruption will be dealt with once and for all.

There was a meeting held last week at the Hout Bay Public Library where Zak Mbhele, the DA spokesperson on policing gave us some rather frightening news. I use the term ‘news’ but it was just confirmation of what most of us already suspected. ‘Mr Mbhele said there were good police officers in the force, but they were “islands of excellence in a sea of dysfunction”.

“The police are not well managed, and they are severely under-resourced and understaffed,” Mr Mbhele said. “The ugly part of it is that things won’t get better for a while, and the truth is that our communities are very much on their own.
“The Metro police are doing great work, but they have limited policing powers. For one, they don’t have investigating powers. The is a huge mountain of crime, but the channelling of crimes through the criminal justice system is not happening.”

Hout Bay, he said, faced four major crimes: taxi violence, crime stemming from protests, house robbery and burglary, and muggings and common assault.

“Crime intelligence in SAPS has become a shambles. Crime intelligence, for example, used to run the witness protection programme, but it was later found that (former Crime Intelligence head) Richard Mdluli and his friends were using witness protection houses for parties and braais (aka BBQs). When you have a situation like this, no one will come forward to assist police in their investigations.” The situation was exacerbated by a shrinking SAPS, and budgets being slashed across all departments.’

The protests in Hout Bay continued on Monday and as I came into the bay from work I could see the smoke from the fires being set by the protesters.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana has instructed the officials from his department to meet with the protesters urgently to try and quell the tensions.

There is still debate about whether the poacher Durick van Blerk was shot during the anti-poaching operation or whether he jumped into the water to evade arrest by Water Wing, the anti-poaching team.

The police spent days searching for the body of Durick van Blerk but did not find him.

One point was clarified about the search and the protest, the protesters were unhappy that the 2 poachers who were arrested were not released so that they could help search for the body as they knew where the incident occurred. Other rumours from various residents in the harbour are that van Blerk managed to evade the police and he is hiding out until the dust clears. I actually hope that rumour is true as he is about to become a father soon and it makes me sad to think that child could grow up without a dad.

The residents are not disputing that the men on the boat were poachers, they were caught with lobsters in their boat.

Fishing is a dying industry as we humans decimate the bounty of the seas, the community would be better served with the city redeveloping the harbour area and putting in shops, restaurants and other tourist draws similar to the V&A Waterfront. The construction would result in employment and once it is complete there would be jobs available in the new shops, restaurants and other new venues as well as jobs in security and the operational running of the premises.

This development would draw tourists and bring in revenue to the Bay while the protesting just results in loss of revenue and destruction.  One trader lost almost 500 pieces of stunning hand made silver jewelry.

These are the scenes of the devastation done by looters during the protest. Opportunists who jump on the bandwagon of destruction.

The long reaching results of this protest could impact the decision of future tourists when they are choosing what suburb to stay in and if they do decide on Hout Bay, it may then impact on their choice of accommodation, if they google Hout Bay they will see all of the bad press and run for the hills. Or to Camps Bay if they can afford it. They certainly may be hesitant to book anywhere near the harbour.

Compounding the issue of decimation of the fish by pollution and corporate over-fishing, the South African government has created fishing quotas which mean that the fishermen whose families have fished for generations cannot support themselves off of the profits they make. In some cases the quotas were halved. Once again, the government has cared more about filling their own pockets than about making the lives of their residents easier.

Norm as always has made my life easier this week. He cooked for us this week and he ventured out of his routines to try a stir fry. He also wilted some baby spinach, so I added a bed of spinach to my bowl and then topped it with the stir fry.

It was really yummy as well as being low carb and nutritious.

I did not get much sleep last night however as the owners of the guest house next door were playing horrendous music and shouting at each other until well after midnight. I wanted to go and have a chat but Norm talked me out of it.

I worked from home yesterday and for dinner we are having the chili con carne he made for us the day before.

Norm was a bit of a ninja superstar on Tuesday in fact. He had both Mzudumo and Cordelia there working so had to manage them, he had people knocking the door all day to drop off forms for the proposed SRA, he took all 3 pups to the groomer, the doggy physio came to see Navajo, he painted the garage door, cooked that night’s stir fry and the next night’s chili as well as all of the normal daily chores.

I do not know how I could cope without him or how single mothers do it every day.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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Protest on a Half Shell

We had thought we might go for breakfast or brunch to the Hout Bay Harbour Market today to mark the end of my four day break, but when I woke up this morning my wrist and joints were sore from yesterday’s tent excursion and drumming and as it was gloomy outside we decided to stay in and hibernate.

I ordered some wood to be delivered next week and played games and chatted online from the comfort of my bed and snuggled with the animals.

Winter is the only time the cats are friends. Even then, we caught Blue attacking Lola like a vampire yesterday, biting her neck ferociously.

Norm and I eventually emerged from our warm beds about 11.30 and Norm made us gorgeous French toast with maple syrup.

It was crispy and perfect. I’m a lucky woman.

Then I was sitting outside on the patio drinking a large cup of tea and looking at the misty mountain while Navajo had a run round the garden, as one does on a Sunday.

Then the Neighbourhood Watch radio burst into life and we saw on social media and via WhatsApp that there was a protest happening at the Harbour.

The road to the Market was blocked off and filled with burning tires.

We heard that they set the buildings at the market on fire and I was so relieved that the Universe protected me from being there. I read that they also torched the Department of Public Works store, two harbour master offices, one fisheries inspector’s house and another government official’s house.

We listened on the radio and followed via social media and WhatsApp and heard that the march had then diverted out of the Harbour and towards the village, up Empire Road, through Beach Estate heading towards the police (SAPS) station. Then we heard many sirens coming down from the Nek and into town. The Public Order Police (POP) were dispatched as were the fire department.

The protestors fired off many rescue flares and also set a house in Beach Estate on fire. They vandalized property all along their path.

Eventually the protestors were met with force by POP and rubber bullets finally stopped the madness.

I’ve heard several stories which are being claimed as motivations for the protest. I read that there was a police raid on the poachers and this resulted in the death of one of the poachers. Then we heard that a single diver had gone missing late Friday while diving off the Chapmans Peak side of the bay. Yesterday there were rescue helicopters and NSRI boats out searching but they did not find the missing diver. Then they said the protest was against the police not allowing them to search for the body.

The stories vary on whether the poacher was shot or drowned. We saw this posted online.

Finally we saw that the press had reported a few articles on the protest. “Residents of the harbour community claim that the protests erupted following the death of a young fisherman who was allegedly shot dead by a policeman on Saturday. The incident stemmed from an alleged poaching incident.” Another article said the boat hadn’t returned and the police wouldn’t search, an another said that the police shot at the boat.

So possibly the police raided a group of poachers and one of them died in the process.

The poachers in this area generally poach abalone or lobsters. There are quotas on the limits to fishermen but these limits are ignored by poachers. The poachers claim that the tight quotas mean they cannot survive if they adhere to them. Here is a good article about it. Far be it for me to sit in judgment from here in my big house sitting by my warm fire, resting up before I go back to my corporate job. I just don’t see the point of punishing people who are not responsible. What did the Market owners and traders do to deserve this?

We must not lose sight of the fact that a mother lost a son, people lost a friend. Whether what he was doing was right or wrong, a young man died.

We also saw on social media that a car had burned on the road out of Hout Bay late Friday night. The story on this is a bit vague too.

Car burning in Hout Bay last night

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The reports are that the car was abandoned. Maybe it was torched. Maybe the driver crashed it and ran. Who knows.

There is never a dull moment in Hout Bay.

We heard again of another friend who is emigrating. The list grows. Meanwhile in my typically backwards manner we are fighting for the right to stay, with Norm jumping through hoops to get his residency permit.

I daydream of having my kids, my Mom, and all of our friends and family all living on a big compound together somewhere isolated from the rest of the world. As long as it has my family, WiFi, peanut butter and Netflix I’d be happy. 😂🤷🏻‍♀️

Tonight we are staying in rather than deal with any possible dramas. Why put our beak into something that has nought to do with us. We are wrapped up and trying to keep warm. The dogs are being annoying because it is too wet to walk them.

I am back to work tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have a non-eventful drive to work. Wish me luck.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

The Fear of Loneliness

The fear of loneliness can be a motivator behind many decisions made by some people. Irrational sometimes to outsiders, these decisions can result in constraints to the lives of some and heartbreak to others. People settle for people they do not love, or stay in relationships with people they do not love rather than risk being alone. Loneliness is one of humanity’s biggest issues, often leading to despair. Isolation is even used as the ultimate prison punishment, it can affect people in many different ways, leading some people to behave bizarrely. As an only child of working parents, one whose home was surrounded by countryside rather than playmates, I grew up being alone a lot and I am comfortable with my own company. However nothing makes me happier than time with my family. My family is everything to me. But I do not mind being alone.

This topic came up this weekend when watching ‘Like Father‘ with the fabulous Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer. Kelsey plays the Father and that was his term, ‘fear of loneliness’, he used it when discussing a poor decision made by Kirsten (in the role of the daughter) and proposing explanations for why the situation may have happened.

Lauren Miller Rogen was not only the screenwriter but also the director and producer of the film and hubby Seth Rogen appears in it.

It was a good enough movie to amuse me on a lazy cold winters day. I give it 3 and a bit Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Thursday was the start of a four day weekend for me as it was Women’s Day in South Africa.

August the 9th is a Public Holiday marking the day of the national march of women in 1956 to petition against legislation that required African persons to carry the ‘pass’.

The ‘pass’ was an identification document which restricted a black South African’s freedom of movement under apartheid and only by having the pass were they allowed to enter ‘white’ areas. The ‘pass’ had come into force under the Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950.

On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women staged a march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against proposed amendments to the act. They left petitions containing more than 100,000 signatures at prime minister J.G. Strijdom’s office door. They stood silently outside his door for 30 minutes.

The women then sang a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! (This translates to “Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock”.).

As discussed in my last blog, women in South Africa do not have a lot to celebrate however.

Neither do many women worldwide. I loved reading this week about the increase of the number of women entering into politics in the US. The one thing we can congratulate Trump on is waking people up to the risk of letting racist, misogynistic bigots run the country and getting them to step up to vote or even to run for office.

This day also marks the anniversary of my first day at work in South Africa after I immigrated back here in 2007. We were given a fancy lunch at the Mount Nelson by my new company and I thought ‘wow’ I can get used to this. However I only lasted 6 months with that company and am now on my third contract house since moving back. If I am unhappy, I move on. Life is too short.

I had booked to go on a reconnection medicine walk on Thursday but I woke up so stiff and sore from the cold that I could barely make it downstairs and so I had to cancel. We have had a cold snap of icy weather in Cape Town and my arthritis is reacting badly to it.

Instead I wrapped up warm and stayed tucked in bed and Norm went to get us pastries and then brought me pastry and a frothy latte in bed, where I lay surrounded by cats and snoozing Pomeranian pups.

That morning a guy came to repair the cowl that blew off of our chimney and the animals and I stayed in bed while Norm dealt with that. As the guy said it blew off the chimney due to his fitting it incorrectly the first time he did not charge us! That was lucky.

I put together some lunch from the salads I had picked up on my way home on Friday. I bought them for the shared lunch after my walk but as I did not walk we had some yummy bits to choose from. We had Asian slaw, potato salad, pickled beetroot with chunks of creamy feta and roast chicken. It was divine, healthy and so easy.

On Thursday evening we decided to just stay in by our cozy fire. We got chicken burgers from The Kitchen Takeaway and just relaxed.

The joint pain I was having could have been due to the Wednesday night when I had gotten chilled to the bones while sitting in an assembly room watching Norm present to 50 residents and several members of the City Of Cape Town Council about the proposal to start a Central Improvement District, aka a CID. This is a private-public partnership formed by the property owners in the area to provide complementary services over and above what the City of Cape Town provides.

Our CID will cover 3 areas, Oakwood, Hughenden and Meadows, it will be called by the acronym ‘OHMCID’. The website is live and the process is busy following the regulatory requirements. We just need 60% of the property owners to sign up to it and we can start to boost our security and be more in control of managing our area.

The presentation finished about 8pm and we were starving so we headed into the village and stopped at the Woodcutters Arms Pub in Hout Bay.

Norm was tired after presenting that night as well as several other meetings he had for work that day. It was a relief to get into somewhere warm.

❤️

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We both ordered a few Tapas items which they served on platters.

I had jalapeño cheddar cigars, onion rings and popcorn chicken strips.

Norm had his beloved scotch egg with fries and hake goujons.

The food at that pub is reliably well cooked and tasty. We wanted something simple to share and nibble with our fingers. I give it four Kitten Stars for being exactly what you could hope for in a Gastropub. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ It hit the spot and we came home and crashed after.

We have both had busy weeks. At least the days were busy with work but our evenings were spent in front of a fire as it’s been so cold and drizzly outside. The animals were happy snuggling up.

The cats love it when we have a fire.

We had plans to go on a road trip on Friday as I also had the day off. We were going to drive across Chapman’s Peak to Imhoff Farm but it was drizzly, overcast and rainy so we fancied something a bit cosy. We needed to do a few errands so we decided to go to Peddlars in Constantia then pop over to the mall.

We quickly settled in to a table by the window after trying 2 others which were reserved (it was very empty so that shuffling around was all a bit bizarre).

Even Scots Norm was feeling the cold.

We decided to just order the pub platter to share.

It had calamari, onion rings, chips, chicken strips, pulled pork spring rolls and a few sauces. It was really yummy and hit the spot. We didn’t linger, we had a drink each then headed off to the mall. We got a human wrist support for Navajo’s sore ankle.

The doggy Physio has recommended it, so far so good, we will see if he wears it. We had a few other things we needed so we ran our errands then bought a few groceries and we decided to go for a coffee.

We popped into Mugg & Bean and Norm had a cappuccino and a slice of caramel cheesecake.

Norm gives their cheesecake 4 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I had an iced coffee and a chocolate chip muffin. They have divine muffins.

We headed home as Norm had to walk the dogs and take Cordelia home at 5. We popped into Hout Bay quickly first as I had inadvertently sat on my specs and they badly needed to be adjusted so we stopped by Tanya Seeber enroute.

We were still full from lunch so didn’t even eat dinner that night despite shopping for it. We just nibbled nuts, cheese and apples and such that night.

Despite our plans going awry we had a lovely day together. I feel very blessed that after 21 years of marriage Norm is still my best friend. We can make most things we do enjoyable.

On Saturday morning Norm cooked us a delicious breakfast to set us up for the day.

After breakfast Norm and Nav pottered about the garden.

I got ready while they were busy as I was signed up for a slot in a day of singing at a two day Sacred Song Circle Marathon event.

This is one of the songs in our repertoire and it is one of my favorite songs to sing. It’s such a happy lighthearted song with such a nice rhythm.

The lyrics are “waniskâ! pêtâpan ôma

âsay piyêsîsak kî-nikamowak

ê-miyonâkwan kitaskînaw”

This translates to:

“Wake up! The sun is coming.

The birds are already singing

How beautiful this land of ours is.”

Isn’t it a lovely song, suited for what turned out to be a lovely day. The event started on Friday evening and carried on all day Saturday. It was held in a house off the beaten track, in a remote area in the southern peninsula and it was about an hour from my house. I went to Gerri’s house, our drum circle leader, then she and I drove in convoy to the house.

Our drummers were supposed to wear red.

There were lots of people there, approximately 20 adults. There were also children of all ages and there were many places on the property to keep children occupied but the vibe was relaxed and they ran in and out of the tent too. The singing was held in a large round tent filled with rugs, blankets and pillows. There was a center altar with many items there for blessing. There were different rounds of songs, with the changing of song leaders every hour or so. When we arrived our friend Martyn was singing and then it was to be our turn. Martyn sang very lovely, soothing, soft songs and everyone was quite lethargic from the shared lunch they had eaten just before we arrived. Gerri brought our large communal drum and when it was our turn we stood up around it. We sang all dance songs so they were mostly quite energetic. Waniska is probably our slowest song and we really wail on the chorus even for that one. We woke the tent up and got the energy going.

After our round we stayed for one more round of South American native songs which were sung in Spanish or Aztec. Some of the terms were familiar from my North American song repertoire and some from my very limited Spanish. I left and drove Michelle back to Gerri’s house where she had left her car. I then headed home, cold and tired but happy.

Norm cooked us a delicious dinner when I got home. He grilled the fillet steak and we finished off the salads from the previous day. He also boiled some corn and sliced up an avocado.

He also made a roaring big fire to warm me up. It was a divine end to a lovely day.

We are having a lazy evening tonight and we do not yet have plans for tomorrow, we will have to see what the day may bring.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

The Kitten Whisperer

 

This has been another week of turmoil in South Africa. There have been protests over a few different things. Rumours are that there is another taxi strike planned for tomorrow. I will drive around the village rather than risk getting trapped like last time.

Last Wednesday there was a protest against Gender Based Violence held in various towns in SA. It was an Intersectional Women’s March and included in this protest were people protesting the violence done against all women, inclusive of all non-gender conforming people, the LGBTI community and disabled women.

Men were not welcome in the march. There are people of all genders who perpetrate and experience intimate partner and or sexual violence, however men are most often the perpetrators and women and children the victims. Despite the march clearly stating that men were not welcome, until men step up and support the initiative to prevent this violence, there is minimal chance of change or success. Men need to be role models to their children, showing them by their behaviour that violence or abuse of women and children will not be tolerated in our society.

Are you aware of these statistics provided by Safer Spaces?

  • More than half of all the women murdered (56%) in 2009 were killed by an intimate male partner.
  • Between 25% and 40% of South African women have experienced sexual and/or physical intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
  • Just under 50% of women report having ever experienced emotional or economic abuse at the hands of their intimate partners in their lifetime.
  • Between 28 and 37% of adult men report having raped a woman.
  • South Africa also faces a high prevalence of gang rape.
  • Most men who rape do so for the first time as teenagers and almost all men who ever rape do so by their mid-20s.
  • There is limited research into rape targeting women who have sex with women. One study across four Southern African countries, including South Africa, found that 31.1% of women reported having experienced forced sex.
  • Male victims of rape are another under-studied group. One survey in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape found that 9.6% of men reported having experienced sexual victimisation by another man.
  • Non-partner Structural Violence is particularly common, but reporting to police is very low. One study found that one in 13 women in Gauteng had reported non-partner rape, and only one in 25 rapes had been reported to the police.

Structural violence is “where violence is built into structures, appearing as unequal power relations and, consequently, as unequal opportunities. Structural violence exists when certain groups, classes, genders or nationalities have privileged access to goods, resources and opportunities over others, and when this unequal advantage is built into the social, political and economic systems that govern their lives.” Sadly this is a leftover of apartheid and colonialism and is still prevalent in South Africa.

I think that the concept of a Blesser is reflecting these same patterns of patriarchal hierarchy and behaviours. A “blesser” in South Africa is kind of like a sugar daddy. He’s an older man who often has multiple girlfriends he lavishes with gifts, in exchange for sex and companionship. A woman allowing a man to look after her in exchange for sex. The behaviour of women culturally conditioned to not value their body and dignity due to many years of being devalued by a nation. It is heartbreaking.

The current ruling political party does little to change these statistics and despite the ANC being in power for decades, they have not done very much to improve the lives of the poor and uneducated masses in general. A few South Africans benefit greatly from their rule and most benefit not at all.

In fact some people say that not only have they not benefited the constituents in the areas where they govern on a provincial level, but they have also done their best to make the western cape ungovernable.

Many people in the outlying areas rely on trains for getting into the city for work. There has been a rash of fires on the routes going into the city with multiple fires occurring at or near the station, fires people say were deliberately started in order to cause transport chaos as it coincides with the ongoing taxi strikes. More of an attempt to cause turmoil.

This week in a shock address to the nation, President Ramaphosa officially confirmed that the ANC-led government will change the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation. That is pretty horrendous, that the president used a public broadcast to air his views but that this is being treated as a done deal without going to court.

This means that your private property – your home, business or land – could be taken away from you without payment should the government decide that it is in the public’s best interest (whatever that means!).

Meanwhile life goes on, I get up in the dark and go to work hoping I get through to my destination with no dramas.

Norm has been looking after us and trying to keep us healthy. On Monday he cooked a yummy dinner of chicken breasts wrapped in bacon, corn on the cob, green beans and baby spinach.

On Tuesday for dinner he made fishcakes, coleslaw, mashed sweet potato and baby zucchini. That was a nice change! We tend to get into a rut and eat the same old things quite often.

Work has been busy. On Wednesday I had a workshop that lasted most of the day. It exhausted me but we were off that night to Caitlin for dinner so I perked myself up and off we went after work.

When we arrived at her flat we went in to look at her new bathroom cupboard which Norm was going to sort the handles for. While we were in there her boy cat Scout kept going into his litter box. Caitlin said ‘I think he is a bit constipated’ and without thinking I said ‘I think he has a bladder infection and we need to read about it as it can be dangerous for boy cats as they can get crystals in their urethra’. As I have never had any issues with a cat having a bladder infection or crystals I have no idea where this information came from. It kind of startled me that I said it! We then googled it and read that a bladder blockage can be fatal for a male cat and then I rang the 24 hour vet who said she must take him in that evening rather than wait overnight. Caitlin was so grateful that I was there that very night and that I directed her to the vet as she would never even have noticed his behaviour most likely.

Another of my healing whisperer moments. I am no longer questioning them. My hairdresser is Christian and she also gets The Voice and she said that she treats it as the voice of the holy spirit. I have decided to treat it as The Voice of the Great Spirit. I am still learning how to deal with this gift.

Caitlin had already made our dinner of delicious chicken curry and cauliflower rice so we quickly had dinner.

Cait then popped Scout into his carrier and shot off to the vet and Norm and I went home. Scout is still not completely well, his bladder is very inflamed. We would be happy for any prayers and healing you can send him if you are so inclined.

Driving into work on Thursday morning I had loads of police cars passing me, I think they are visibly policing to deter the taxi violence. There were rumours of a protest by the Khoisan over fishing rights being planned, but I did not hear of any evidence of it happening.

On Thursday there were lots of helicopters flying over Chapman’s Peak and we read later that they were searching for the body of the missing woman who was last seen there and had not returned home. They found her body so at least the family have some closure, I do hope it was not suicide but the rumours are that was exactly what transpired. So sad for her family regardless of how she died.

We had another long workshop on Thursday which I was facilitating and mid-workshop the fire alarm went off and we all evacuated. I took my laptop as it is my own, not my company’s. It was so hot and we were standing in the direct sun and I was wearing a giant woolly jumper and boiling with heat. After we were allowed in I ran up the 3 flights to our meeting room, wearing said jumper and carrying my laptop. I thought I might keel over by the time I got back and then had to quickly recover and start leading the meeting again.

Thursday night Norm had a meeting and had cooked chili con carne for us so I ate while he was out. He is getting to be as good at making chili as I am. I was very impressed.

Friday after work I had a hair appointment so I finished work at 3pm. I was home about 6pm and by then Lily and Josh had arrived at our place for the weekend. We let them choose the take away and as Josh was racing on Saturday they opted for Cassarechio so Josh could carbo load. We had a night relaxing and watching serial killer or murder TV shows as Lily loves that as much as I do.

Her and Josh were up and away early on Saturday and I was off to take Pixie to see David the doggy Chiropractor in Noordhoek. I rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth, gulped a coffee and threw on some clothes without showering. I would just get full of dog hair anyway.

Doggy chiropractor visit #Pixie #pomeranian #pomsofinstagram #dog

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When I left there was a wee french bulldog who was waiting to be treated and he had such an awkward gait, I felt so sad for him. There was a dachshund being treated while we were waiting our turn and David said the dog was paralysed when he started treating her. He is a miracle worker. He has transformed Pixie’s life.

After I got home I showered and Norm and I headed off to meet our friend Annette for lunch.

She moved to Johannesburg a few years ago. I was so excited when she said she could see us.

I brought Norm along but we barely let him get a word in edgewise.

We met at The Lookout Deck which is at the harbour in my village.

It is so beautiful there even on an overcast gloomy day.

They had a special on for 1/2 a kilo of prawns with either chips or rice for R165. It sounded nice and both Annette and I ordered it.

The prawns peeled easily, were moist and full of flavour. We both got stuck in and covered in sauce and made the most of it. Yummy. Norm had the hake and chips and ate every bite.

We all fancied a sweet and ordered dessert. Annette had the creme brulee, Norm had the baked cheesecake and I had the chocolate nut sundae which was massive! I love soft serve ice cream and ate it all though!

We spent most of the afternoon there catching up and then Annette went home to spend her last evening in Cape Town with her son and daughter in law.

When we were chilling out that evening in front of a big fire, Norm heard of an issue on the radio, strapped on his bullet proof vest and headed out with the Neighbourhood Watch group as there were 6 men seen trying to enter a property. That has become a normal part of our lives as it happens several times a week. It is a strange way to live but it is necessary to help in the defense of our neighbours and boundaries.

Norm has just left now to go to another attempted break in.

Today we have been very lazy, Josh and Lily drove home and we built a big fire and have been snuggled up with me writing and Norm working until when he had to go out on the call.

I am delighted to read today that Patricia De Lille has finally resigned and the DA can start to move forward in a positive manner.

Navajo sees the doggy physiotherapist on Tuesday and hopefully she can help him with his gamey leg. Hopefully Scout improves as well and both of our babies feel some relief. I have a 4 day week at work and all manner of fun things planned which I will tell you about next time.

I wish you all a great week ahead. Until next time….

Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0

Cinder-Cinderella

The last few days really sum up what it is like living in South Africa. The highs, the lows and the chaos and calmness in-between these polar opposites.

We had plans this weekend to go away to the wine lands a few hours outside of Cape Town. We were invited to a charity function in Somerset West on Saturday night and we decided that as it would finish late and we would want to have a drink, that we should rather stay over. We booked in for the night to NH Lord Charles Hotel.

We had understood that the function was black tie and neither Norm nor I had sussed out what to wear by that morning when we needed to pack. Norm has a tuxedo as well as his kilt so he thought he would be fine. I had in my mind a long silver silk skirt and top I wanted to wear. When we got up on Saturday we tried them on. My skirt was too big and the top was unflattering. Norm’s tux jacket fit fine, but his dress shirt and his trousers were a bit big. The trousers also had an old fashioned wider cut than the narrow style of men’s trousers now. But as it is Cape Town, we figured there would be all sorts of attire there and we were not wrong.

I dragged a dress I bought many years ago for a black tie event in the UK out from the depths of my cupboard . It is tea length but it is heavily beaded and so beautiful that it is acceptable as evening wear. I had not been able to fit into it in years, but I kept it because it was so expensive and my daughters have worn it for several 1920’s themed events. I thought, ‘let me just see how tight it is’ and tried it on and it fit me perfectly! I think it is looser than when I bought it many years ago. I was really chuffed about that but that meant I needed tights and I had none. We needed to stop at a shop somewhere on our journey.

We had a coffee in bed and then got up and showered and packed to go. The dogs mooched around staring at us with big sad eyes, when they see a suitcase they know exactly what is coming and they do not like it one little bit. Even though they love Vanessa and Robyn our house sitters, they love us more.

We packed the car and hit the road, dropping off a house key to our house sitter and then stopping quickly for me to buy some tights and get some cash and then we were on our way. Traffic was not bad at all and we were there in no time.

After we checked in we waited in the room for the bellboy to drop off our bags and then we headed off to the lobby to get a bite to eat. We were so surprised to find that the pub was called St Andrews pub! Norm was born and raised near St Andrews so we had to snap a pic.

We grabbed a seat in the lobby and ordered a drink. The lobby was very stylish and bright with cool sofas and chairs.

Our friends attending the dinner also arrived and joined us and we all ordered some sandwiches to tide us over until that night’s dinner.

Little did we know at that time the sandwich was far better than the dinner we would have later.

We all went back to the room to relax for a few minutes and get dressed and then Norm and I headed off to find the ballroom.

The ballroom was huge and there were loads of large tables set up but it was very well organised and we spotted our names on the board outside and easily found our group. There were 23 tables of at least 8 to 10 people each so it was a large crowd attending. We got settled in and poured a glass of wine and waited with great expectation.

As it was a charity fund raiser for Gabriella Centre, there was both a loud and silent auction on that evening and Norm and I wandered around looking at the items available but most were a bit too rich for our blood. The items mostly ranged from leather goods, wine, art, makeovers, and trips. There was a trip for 10 people to go on safari, complete with 5 air conditioned chalets. You still had to get all 10 of you there but if you had the cash this was a bargain of a prize!

The dinner was served buffet style. Strike one as I detest a buffet, especially at a function where you end up queuing to dish up from a mauled over vat of what is often overcooked food. The food was not very good. The meat was fatty and tough, the pasta overcooked and the chicken pie had a crust that tasted like it was made of Plasticine (aka playdough to you yanks).

But this event was not about the food, it was about raising funds for Gabriella’s Centre.  Gabriella Centre is a Residential and Day Care facility for children and young adults with profound Physical and Intellectual Disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy.

There were 2 different entertainment acts booked. The first was South African icon PJ Powers.

PJ Powers is a name that most South Africans over the age of 40 all know. My kids had never heard of her, nor did Norm and I know much about her other than the ‘World in Union’ song she sang for the 1995 Rugby world cup.

The South Africans seemed to love her and really enjoy it. Norm and I thought she talked too much and in quite a rambling fashion so to those of us who are not familiar with her history it was hard to follow. But she has a great voice. She had a famous drummer called Barry Van Zyl doing her percussion. Barry lives in Hout Bay but he has a great CV and has played with some amazing artists.

We had understood it was black tie but today I see that it says the dress code is ‘Cocktail’. Well that explains the men there in jeans and trainers! In Cape Town whatever the dress code, there will be someone who rocks up in jeans. If summer you may even get some shorts. Fashion has predominately passed Cape Town by. This was also evident by the number of women with bouffant 1990’s hair. You know the slick down the front and bouffant up the back style that was horrid back then? It is even more horrid now.

Anyway, I am not being very charitable. Norm and I made the effort and he was in a tux and I was in my beaded frock. The lighting was pink and so all of us have a rosy glow in my pics.

After PJ finished performing they held the auctions. There was so much money raised, it was brilliant to see the bids climb so high!

After the auctions finished they had a band called The Rites come on to get us all up for a boogie. They were such fun. They played loads of party songs to get you up and on the dance floor. Norm and I danced and danced to most of them. They were not a band you would pay to go and watch perform as they were not technically perfect, but they had soul, heart and enthusiasm and so we had a blast.

The night finished after midnight and we all happily wandered off to our rooms a bit tipsy but smiling. We had plans to meet at 9am the next morning for breakfast.

Despite the many vodkas I had that evening I could not get to sleep. I watched 3am go by and think I slept about 4 hours in total. I missed my own pillow and my snoring Pomeranians I guess.

We went down and had a lovely breakfast with some of the group we had dinner with. There was a whole section of different breads and pastries, a section with yogurts and toppings, a section with fresh fruit and juices and even champagne. There was a chef to make an omelette or whatever egg variety you wished for and next to him was a whole counter of cooked foods being kept piping hot in bain-maries. There was scambled eggs, bacon, sausage, halal food, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and hash browns. The service and the quality of the food was top notch. If they ran out of anything you just had to mention it and it was promptly restocked.

After breakfast we packed up and hit the road. Norm and I had decided to take our time getting home and go for a drive as we do not venture to that side of Cape Town very often. We drove to Stellenbosch and had a drive through town looking at all of the historic buildings but most of the shops were shut as it was Sunday so we decided not to stop. We drove through a national park and then up a mountain pass and then headed to Paarl.

As we drove along we spotted the Franschhoek Wine Tram tootling along the road on the train tracks next to us! We have wanted to do this tour for a while now so we will plan that adventure soon. Basically it is a hop on hop off tour around the wine farms in the area.

Norm seemed to know where he was going so I just relaxed and let him drive us about. He did seem to be looking for some place in particular however and eventually he turned into Drakenstein Correctional Centre. I saw the signs and wondered where he was heading (is he going to lock me up?) and then I looked up and saw the statue of our beloved Nelson Mandela.

The prison is famous for being the location where Nelson Mandela spent the last part of his imprisonment for being a political terrorist. We showed our solidarity and support for Madiba and the horrors of apartheid.

We tried to take a selfy with us both in it but the sun was coming at us and I was blinded.

Yeah, that did not work out too well. Sorry Madiba, no disrespect intended.

We decided as we were so near to see if we could get a table at Fairview as we love their Goatshed restaurant and philosophy on food. We were given a lovely seat outside. It was cool but sunny and perfect weather for dining alfresco.

Norm was a bit in the sun but as it was cool he could cope. Isn’t he cute?

We had a perfect view of the goat tower where the goats can trundle over a bridge from their pasture to climb and cavort.

Norm chose the Gammon sandwich: Smoked gammon slices, pickled cucumber, sweet mustard, tomato for R84. This looked divine and when I saw mine I was a bit jealous.

I am a pulled pork fanatic and so I ordered the ‘BBQ pulled pork, baby leaves, tomato, pickled cucumber & fried egg’ for R88.

It was not at all what expected when it arrived. The fried egg was a surprise as I had not read past ‘pulled pork’ in the description and the pork was chopped rather than pulled. It was also covered in a sauce, so I guess that was the ‘BBQ’ part of the description.

Once I got my head adjusted to what I was eating I got stuck into it. It may not have been what I expected, but when I removed my expectations and just ate it, it was very nice indeed! The pork was more like gammon than pork roast and it had a lot of fat on it but it was very tender and cooked perfectly.

We were surrounded by nature and fabulous views. I felt a bit like Cinderella as there were squirrels climbing above and around us on the vines and there were loads of tiny birds hopping on the tables and drinking from the trough of water that runs around the patio. I would not have been surprised by the appearance of a Fairy Godmother or a pumpkin.

After we finished our lunch we had a walk around the farm and a visit to the notorious scarecrow.

It was a lovely day and a perfect end to a fabulous weekend.

On Monday I woke at my usual time and feeling a bit tired I headed into the city for work. As I got to the roundabout just outside of the police station I noticed some strange things going on around me and ahead of me was chaos. As I pulled into the roundabout a taxi pulled in behind to block me moving back out.

There was a large 4×4 in front of me and he obviously saw clearly what was happening and he drove over the centre divider and went around the roundabout on the wrong side of the road, entered the other road on the wrong side of the road and managed to escape the protest. I then cottoned on to what was happening and went into panic mode. Honey I was almost holding onto Mr 4×4’s tail pipe and I stayed right with him, shrieking and swearing loudly in my car, willing to drive over whatever or whomever got in my way. This is the same roundabout where they often throw bricks through driver’s windows so it is not a place to linger even in times of peace.

After I got to work I read this post: “The blockade at the Imizamo Yethu traffic circle is allegedly as a result of Hout Bay-Wynberg Taxi Association drivers being threatened with guns in the early hours of this morning, Monday July 30. Sources told the Sentinel that drivers from the Codeta-aligned associations threatened Hout Bay operators with rifles and other firearms. These operators then rallied other Hout Bay drivers, who immediately blockaded Main Road in an attempt to prevent the alleged perpetrators from leaving the area. There is a heavy police presence on the scene. Attempts are being made to bring a negotiation between the two taxi groups.”

By the time I came home, peace was restored again.

So in a matter of days my experiences ranged from fabulous to terrifying. That pretty much sums up life in Cape Town. Whatever happens, you will never be bored.

Until next time, kisses from the (rather bedraggled) Kitten xoxoxoxox

Light & Dark

Cape Town is one of those cities where the weather can be very unpredictable especially at this time of year. We were delighted with the sunny weather we have had recently after our bout of much needed rain. My garden is lush and green,  the lawn is mostly weeds but at least they are green weeds!

#lolakitty #tablemountain #houtbay #southafrica #catsofinstagram #cat #kitty

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I was so tired on Friday after our busy week last week that Norm and I decided to just stay in and relax after I got home from the chiro. Saturday we had a lazy morning in bed drinking coffee and then Norm got busy with chores. He has been  sanding down the garage door so that he can re-stain it. It had a lot of sun damage and was looking a bit tired so Norm decided to freshen it up.

We decided to go out for dinner that night and headed to Constantia. We went to Primi. It is a chain so you know what you are getting and the food is generally always good. As we had gone out early we got a table, the place filled up soon after we arrived.

We ordered drinks and settled in.

We both ordered the Chicken Campagnola: Chicken scallops sautéed in garlic, mustard, mushrooms, rosemary, parsley, cream and white wine. Served with linguine and roasted vegetables. The veggies come in a separate bowl.

Chicken Campagnola

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Norm ordered his with zucchini fries instead of pasta.

After we finished our mains we decided to treat ourselves to dessert. I ordered the  Crème Brûlée: Traditional baked custard with a crisp caramelised sugar crust. It was R48. It had a nice taste and lovely creamy texture.

Creme Brûlée ❤️

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Norm ordered the cheesecake. On the menu as ‘Cheesecake: Thick and creamy baked cheesecake, topped with summer berries’. It was R58.

Cheesecake

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Norm did not enjoy this dessert at all. The fruit on top was either heated too long or had too much gelatin in it or something else went wrong in the preparation as it was like toffee in texture, really thick and chewy. Very strange. He actually moved it off his cheesecake (with a thud) and ate around it.

We waited ages for them to clear our plates. One of my annoyances. We find the same issue often occurs at this particular Primi. The staff are very eager on arrival, your drinks order and food order is taken promptly, your food arrives relatively quickly, and then it is as if you become invisible. We always have to flag someone down to take away our plates. The waiter did not try to up-sell, he did not offer dessert or coffees, he did not offer bottled water or another round of drinks. When we asked to order dessert we had to shout our order at him quickly before he disappeared as he was running away while taking our order.

Anyway, we got fed and then we headed home.

Sunday I had a busy itinerary but on Saturday night I was up a few times in the night with a dodgy tummy, most likely due to all of the sugar in the Crème Brûlée. Hence I was not feeling strong enough to go to drumming that morning. It always disappoints me to miss my drumming as it soothes my soul.

I stayed in bed and Norm made us French Toast and bacon.

That perked me up and after a few hours my tummy settled down and we decided on going to the other engagements we had planned for the day.

We were off to a farewell picnic for our friends Hila and Jack who are emigrating to Germany. The picnic was being held in the Green Point Urban Park.

When we went outside to leave I was hit by a wave of heat and I realised it was incredibly hot. You do not feel the heat in our thick walled farmhouse. I went back inside to change my top but I kept on my boots (mistake) as they are the most comfortable shoes for walking and with my already knackered back I thought that should be my priority.

We arrived in the city and drove around and around the area of the park for ages looking for parking. It was so busy and crowded it seemed the whole of the city also wanted to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. We got a message from our friend Di who was meeting us there as she and I already had plans to meet for coffee before the picnic was arranged. Norm dropped me at the gate where Di was waiting and she and I wandered off to find Hila and Jack. Eventually Norm found a place to leave the car a few blocks from the lighthouse and hiked back to meet up with us. The park was very sunny and none of us pale faced oldies can endure the heat so we did not stay long. Me, Di and Norm walked across the park to the next gate and went to Newport Deli at Mouille Point.

We sat upstairs so that we could look out over the park and the sea views.

We all ordered a Freezerchino for R40 which is a delicious icy coffee, perfect for the hot weather.

Iced coffees ❤️

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Norm had the cheesecake and Di and I had the carrot cake. Norm said that the cheesecake was better than the one at Primi but was not that nice. He gave it 3 stars.

The carrot cake was tasty and the icing was divine, however the cake itself was a wee bit dry. It may not have been fresh made that day.

Di, Norm and I sat for ages catching up and chatting. Di and I have so much in common and we both see the world with our eyes open – even our third eye! She and I both have the ability to sense things and see things that most people do not see. We both have extrasensory bullshit detectors as well and see things in people that most people choose NOT to see, those hidden, dark layers many try to keep covered. We see them.

After we finished eating and chatting we went outside to wait for Di’s uber to arrive and then after she was safely on her way Norm and I walked down along the seaside to our car and headed home.

Caitlin went to George for the weekend as it was her and Lily’s friend Jess’ wedding. I have such beautiful daughters.

Lily was one of the bridesmaids and the girls all looked so stunning.

Could not love these humans anymore than I do. #reeds_out_photo

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Jess was such a beautiful bride.

I still have all of that ahead, however, Lily may be the only one of my 3 who opts for a proper wedding, the other 2 are making noises that they may have a registry wedding and a reception dinner and save their money as a wedding can be so crazy expensive. As I had 2 rather unconventional weddings myself I can hardly object!

Monday morning when I got ready to leave for work the gate key was not on the shelf where it normally is kept. As Norm had locked up I had to wake him to ask about the key. He got up and stumbled around (naked) looking for the key. He leaned around the banisters to see if the keys were left in the lock, took a misstep, swung round said banisters and tripped and fell down a few steps. This triggered the house alarm, which triggered hysteria with the dogs. The alarm was screeching, the dogs were howling, and a naked man was flailing about. It was one of those horrific yet hilarious moments. I was frightened that he fell right down the full set of steps and hurt himself, but the sight of a naked man bouncing around can be pretty funny.

He was not so amused. But at least he wasn’t injured (other than his pride).

This week I started watching a new Netflix series called Dark Tourist. I binge watched it and made it through the whole series.

Dark tourism has been defined as ‘tourism involving travel to places historically associated with death and tragedy’. The host is New Zealander David Farrier.  The show travels to various countries and either does proper tours where available or finds a guide to assist him in gaining entry to some of these nefarious places.

One of the last episodes was filmed in Africa and the last was filmed in America. Both of these episodes touched on people driven by fear, bigotry or religious fervor.

The Africa episode visited North Africa to experience a voodoo ceremony which looked very intimidating. A lot of animals are sacrificed to appease the gods which I found difficult to watch. The ceremony was quite violent, bloody and aggressive with those who are possessed slashing their skin with knives. But then Christian exorcisms are also sometimes violent so maybe regardless of your religion all removals of bad spirits involves this sort of physical battle?

The next stop on the Africa tour was in Orania, an enclave of right wing Afrikaners, the people who conceived and implemented apartheid in South Africa. The community started settling in the area in 1991 and after the democratic elections in 1994 it became evident that their narrow world was changing and many of the people raised in the apartheid era could not fathom living side by side with people of colour, or  people of colour having the same rights and privileges as they did, as the Afrikaners seem to view themselves as the superior race. The residents speak of ‘the good old days’ which basically just means the days when whites ruled and people of colour were treated like animals or inferior beings.

As inconceivable and extreme as this community is, there is another which seems even sadder to me. David interviewed a family who are part of the Suidlanders civil defense organisation group. This group seem a bit like a cult to me, they follow the prophesies of Siener van Rensburg, an almost illiterate uneducated Afrikaner who allegedly had visions, one of which was predicting white genocide. The founder and head of the Suidlanders is Gustav Zietsmann Muller. The family that were interviewed seemed to be verging on hysteria. The mother cried through every conversation and prayer. They held a rather chaotic cluster feck of an exercise where the community rehearsed an evacuation, packing their cars with the food, water and weapons they will need to stave off this imaginary attack and then moving off in their giant trucks as a convoy. They bumbled about, eventually realizing that all of the trucks were pointing towards the imaginary ambush rather than towards the planned escape route. After much negotiation they finally headed off on their pretend ambush. Eventually they all ended up around a campfire with a preacher shouting at them, instilling yet more fear and nonsense.

The final episode visited the States and went to Kentucky to visit The Ark. Yes, an ark. Obviously not THE Ark. Again, we see the levels of bigotry among the religious extremism groups. They talk about how being homosexual is depraved and that sexual behaviours such as infidelity and promiscuity were the reasons that their lord decided to drown everyone except Noah, his family and the dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. FFS. Words fail me. Do facts not matter at all to the religious zealots? They have other models of animals that they say were also on the ark, but I could not get past the dinosaurs. Read a book other than the bible people! (And yes I know the bible does not whitter on about dinosaurs, these eejits say it is the dragons that the bible mentions which are actually dinosaurs.)

The next visit was to other extremists, Doomsday Preppers. Many of the people who adhere to this belief also do so in the name of religion but all are driven by fear.

I found it a very interesting series and I will give it 4 Kitten Stars.

Norm has been great about cooking for us. He made baked chicken, brussel sprouts and roast sweet potatoes on Monday. On Tuesday he made chicken sausage, sweet potato mash and coleslaw. Wednesday night he had been busy working and had not shopped so we got takeaways from Posticino. I felt like I have been eating a lot of meat so I chose the melanzane parmiagiana and the caprese salad. No pasta and no meat = thumbs up.

It was really good and even though it was listed as a starter it was a huge portion, enough for my lunch the next day.

On Thursday Norm cooked again, pork roast, cauliflower mash, steamed broccoli and mushrooms cooked in butter.

This week has flown by. I’m happy Friday is finally here. We are invited to a charity dinner with our friends this weekend and we are both really looking forward to that. I will tell you all about it in my next post.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxox

Gathering No Moss

This week has been a hectic one. Last Friday afternoon I left work a little bit early as I had an appointment with my chiropractor. He managed to unlock my stiff back a bit but advised me to take it easy and put an ice pack on my back when I got home. I had to make an appointment to go back the following Monday. Once I got home Norm made a little ice pack for me and I applied it to my sore back and we quite literally chilled out in front of a warm fire as it was pouring with rain.

Norm had a very exciting day while I was off at work that day. He had gotten involved in an attempt to apprehend a robber at Mainstream, our main shopping area in Hout Bay. A dodgy character has been hanging out with a knife in the basement parking area and approaching people and taking their handbags or phones or whatever he can get from them. Norm was part of the chase and he came around a corner to find the guy sitting down on the pavement putting on his shoes, Norm shouted at him and the guy bolted right past him, dropping his rather large scary knife. Unfortunately he got away again but fortunately Norm was not injured in the process.

We had an easy morning drinking coffee in bed on Saturday until the doorbell rang and Norm remembered that we had workmen coming to repair the garage roof.

We then went downstairs to build a fire and watch the Royals tolerate the arrival of Trump the Twat and his prostitute companion.

It says so much about how the Queen received the Obamas vs the lower budget version of greetings she gave the Trumps. The Obamas had a proper state visit with her and Phillip collecting the Obamas in the Royal Land Rover as compared to this visit which was much like Trump himself: all flash, little depth.

But how much has this little adventure cost the UK taxpayers? Some say upwards of 30 million pounds, the cost of the Scotland foray alone was confirmed at up to 5 million quid. We can monitor this page for the results once published. Whatever the UK paid, it was not worth it. I would pay to stay away from the chief kitty grabber.

Trump was such an embarrassment (again). He would have been briefed on protocol but was probably either still under the sunbed or getting his hair backcombed and did not hear it.

He left a 92 year old woman standing in the sun for 15 minutes while he fecked about. He did not bow to acknowledge her once he finally sloped in, he then walked in front of her and roamed vaguely around the military grounds and then wandered off in the middle of the final salute from the guard. He then later went on telly and gossiped about his private conversations with the Queen. He is a clueless feckwit.

He then went on to talk about how strong and powerful Putin was the night before with him and….oh wait. He said that Putin claimed he is innocent regarding interference and tampering with the US elections. He then said he believes Putin over his own staff and the FBI. And still his believers keep making excuses for him.

Anyway we enjoyed the scenes of pomp and circumstance from Windsor as they bring back our memories of Norman’s investiture ceremony at Windsor.

It started drizzling with rain and the repairmen had to pack up and go. Later in the afternoon Norm answered a neighborhood watch call about an African woman ringing doorbells on the road behind us. They said she seemed distraught. There is a mentally ill woman who rings all the bells in the neighbourhood on Sundays begging for food or money so we assumed it was her and so Norm drove over to see what was going on. He found a young woman covered in blood frantically waving him down. She had a deep gash on her arm and told Norman that she had been stabbed because she could not pay rent to the man whose shack she stays in. Norm could see that she was in a bad way and he drove her to the fire station. The men on duty told her that she must go to the hospital. She was not happy with that and was still in a panic about money and the risk to her life if she does not get funds. The emergency tech told her that if she did not get her arm sutured she risked gangrene and the loss of her arm. I think he tried to scare her into looking after her injury but he is correct in his dire prognosis, that was a definite risk if she did not get it seen to. She reeked of booze either from the night before or from earlier that day. Norm left her there with the fire and rescue team waiting on an ambulance to collect her. I hope that she found a safe place to stay once she was released from the hospital.

Yet another desperate victim of abuse who was drawn to us? I am glad the universe sent her to us so Norm could get her help. She was so distracted by the money issues she was not at all concerned about the large gash on her arm.

Saturday was a very lazy day and evening surrounded by the dogs.

Norm and I binge watched the documentary ‘Staircase‘. It is a miniseries about the trial of novelist Michael Peterson and his conviction for the murder of his wife Kathleen. I think that this man was convicted predominately for his lifestyle rather than the evidence presented. It was revealed that Michael was bisexual and that he and Kathleen had an open marriage. They denied that they could have had a happy marriage and they felt that this gave him a motive.

The parochial conservative residents of the town where they lived in North Carolina had a completely narrow point of view and an inability to accept an unconventional lifestyle consisting of multiple partners or involving bisexuality. The prosecutor was so full of venom it was obvious she lives a vanilla life full of 5 minute missionary interactions with eyes furiously clenched shut.

I know straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian, asexual, pansexual, and all manner of people who are living many different lifestyles. That is no one’s business except the adults involved in these relationships and lifestyles. Why do other humans feel that they have the right to judge other people based on their own ideas of what is acceptable and what is not?

Not being heterosexual does not make one more predisposed to murder than any other sexual proclivity does.

It makes me sad that still so many people cannot live an open life with no judgement.

On Saturday night I really fancied Chinese food so Norm went to the Blue Lotus in Hout Bay and got a take away for us.

I ordered Bamboo Rolls, Spicy Crispy Pork and noodles with vegetables.

The sushi was not the best, it was loosely rolled and was predominately rice. But it was edible. The crispy pork was divine! Tender pork with a crispy coating with just the right amount of spices. The noodles seemed a bit bereft of actual vegetables, it only had a few onions. But the noodles went nicely with the pork.

On Sunday we had the repairmen come back around to finish painting the roof in the morning and then we had plans to go to the shops to buy Norm’s birthday presents afterwards. However when we got ready to leave and went outside it was such a stunning, sunny winter day that we decided to rather go on an adventure.

We drove through Hout Bay village and over Chapman’s Peak Drive. It is quite often called one of the world’s most stunning drives.

For once the road did not seem terribly busy, often the traffic is insane as it is popular with tourists and cyclists and the roads are crazy curvy and narrow.

Norm took a pic of me after he paid the toll fee but was holding the receipt in his hand. The wind was pumping so I asked him to put it down but of course I was being difficult.

*Cough that is not a cloud*

After we hit Noordhoek we decided to stop at Jakes On the Common to see if there was space for us but it looked very busy. We were quite lucky and we were given a table upstairs.

We were starving as it was late afternoon so we quickly ordered and were served very promptly. Norm chose the Pulled Pork burger with chips and looked very pleased with his choice when it arrived even though he ordered sweet potato fries and got normal full carb fries. His dish was R109 (if he had paid for sweet potato fries they would be R15 extra).

I had the pulled pork Moroccan flatbread for R136. It was divine!! I really enjoyed this.

They also had live music  on for the afternoon which we really enjoyed a lot.

I did not catch this guy’s name but he played some brilliant songs. In SA in particular these sorts of entertainers usually all have the same repertoire of about 5 or 10 songs. There is little variety. But this guy was laying down some beauties. So many of them triggered some wonderful memories.

He played the Rolling Stones classic ‘Angie’. This is one of my all time favourite songs. One of my Desert Island discs if you will.

Who else had forgotten how gorgeous Mick was back in the day?

‘Angie’ always brings back memories of listening to this album in the car on our annual family treks to Daytona Beach Florida. My Dad and I would sing at the top of our lungs.

Brilliant that Norm didn’t have his phone so we ended up chatting more than usual. The music kept generating conversations around the places we were at the time the songs were popular or the times or places that the musical memories took us to.

He played ‘Perfect’ by the Scottish band Fairground Attraction which reminded us of going to see the lead singer Edie Reader when we lived in Belfast.

We happily listened and chatted and we decided to order dessert.

I chose the Cinnamon Donut Holes for R48. They were served with a Nutella dipping sauce. The menu said they came with cream but there was no cream. The donut holes were a bit firm as opposed to light and airy but they did have a nice taste and I did enjoy them and eat every bite. They were more like a churro than a donut in texture.

Norm had the Upside Down Potted Cheesecake for R55. He thought it was OK, but not the best cheesecake he has ever had. It was not supposed to have cream so he gave me his.

Norm had a chat to the waitress about it but she wasn’t listening it seemed.

We drove home around the mountain roads to avoid both the R50 tolls as well as any traffic we might encounter.

In the evening I started watching Stephen Fry’s America on Netflix while Norm was out with the dogs. It brought home to me how far removed my life is in Cape Town or Europe to what the lives of people on this show are like. I could barely understand the people he spoke to who live in the same state I grew up in!

Overall it has been a hectic week. I had another appointment at the Chiro on Monday so got home a bit later than usual. Norm cooked dinner for us that night. He made fillet steak, roasted butternut, steamed asparagus and stir fried mushrooms.

On Tuesday I got a call from my son Trevor. He was upstairs gaming on his computer and there was a fire downstairs in the fireplace. He heard a strange crackling noise and when he looked out there were flames billowing out of the garage. He ran into the garage and put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. He has burned his left hand and there is a lot of damage to the garage but the house is all fine.

The next morning I ended up spilling a boiling hot latte on my left hand and burning the same fingers that Trevor burned the day before. This empathy thing is now getting a bit silly!

Tuesday was Norman’s birthday and we invited Caitlin and Wesley to come to dinner with us at Cheyne’s. They collected us and we arrived for 7pm.

The menu has recently been updated and I was happy to see some familiar items and some new ones to try. The Yum Cha Dining Experience is R150 per person for 3 dishes and R50 extra for a 4th dish. We all opted for 4 dishes.

Me, Caitlin and Norm all started with the Crispy Hake Tempura: picked shallots, miso mayo, unagi sauce.

For my choice on the Land section of the menu I had the Mumbai Chilli Beef: cardamon and ginger syrup, toasted coconut and chili.

For my Earth choice I had the potato and coconut dumplings: penang sauce and toasted nuts.

Caitlin and Wes both had the baby back pork ribs: sweet yakaniku glaze, toasted sesame.

For dessert the girls both had the peanut butter shake. (I am a creature of habit.)

Both of the fellas had the Fuji Apple crumble: apple caramel and peach ice cream. They both seemed to really enjoy it.

The service was impeccable and as always the food divine. After we finished our meal we headed home so that Norm could open his presents. The kids got him some trendy track suit pants and a warm woolly sweater perfect for our winter weather.

He also was given a bottle of wine from Wes. This resulted in us staying up far later than we should on a school night.

Therefore I was feeling a bit tired on Wednesday night but we had plans straight after work. We went to Kalk Bay Books for a book signing by Mandy Wiener. As you see below, Norm and I were the youngest people in attendance. And we are old AF.

It was really interesting. She talked about her new book The Ministry of Crime. This is a follow up book to Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed. There is such a criminal underbelly to South Africa, most of us have no clue as to the depth of corruption in our country.

After the talk was over we left and wandered off towards our car. We were parked right outside of the Kalk Bay Kitchen Bar so we decided we might as well give them a try. Norm had a burger and I had the Chicken Burrito Bowl.

The flavours were brilliant. The combination of items was really perfect. I found a bone in my chicken however which put me off. After that I just picked about in the bowl trying to avoid death by chicken bone.

Also on Wednesday my shipment from my Mom in Atlanta finally arrived!

We opened it up and had a quick peek of my new goodies. My mom sent a chair and footstool that belonged to my Grandmother.

The other item is an old Victrola that belonged to my Daddy.

It just needs a polish and it will be grand.

I also received a stack of the old records it plays so we will try and get it operational. It would be nice to have a cocktail evening and play the records.

The boxes were packed full of second hand clothes from my Mom as well so I will need to do a cupboard clean out to accommodate them all. My mom has fabulous taste so I am very pleased with most of them.

Tonight we have nothing on our itinerary so we are having an easy night in. Norm cooked a fab dinner of chicken in a cream sauce on cauliflower noodles with sweet potatoes and squash.

We have a busy weekend planned. Sunday is non-stop with drumming in the morning and a pop in at a friend’s farewell picnic and coffee with a friend among the highlights.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0x0