From Pewter to Goldberg

Forgive me readers, it’s been weeks since my last confession. I’ll try and do a highlights version but it has been hectic!

There was a lot of sadness when Lily had a friend die last week. He was a young lad who was beaten up after a night out in Cape Town and subsequently died. It wasn’t known until after he died that he had been beaten – it was all pieced together after. So tragic. Josh came down for the weekend to attend the funeral. On arrival, Lily mistakenly closed the gate on his new truck and dented it. That didn’t help the darkness of the already dour mood.

The funeral was Friday and the kids went out after with his family but Norm and I just had a night in as I was to be up early the next morning.

My friend Jenny came to Cape Town to visit her daughter Vicky. We met when we lived in George over 20 years ago. Our former husbands worked together and our kids were at the Convent together. Now she lives in the UK and her daughter has settled back here after traveling round the world. It’s funny as neither of them have changed, Vicky is just a taller version of herself.

We booked into a class at the Pewter Studio over in Edgemead. Jenny had found and booked the course, I arranged to bring my friend Retha and my daughters Caitlin and Lily. We traced the image we selected onto the piece of pewter, so no real artist talent was required thank goodness! But we worked very hard. And laughed a lot.

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We started out by tracing and then outlining the pattern we chose and built it up flipping it over and going over it from both sides until it was finished.

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We had to coat it in a substance, then rub it off and then polish it. It was then glued onto the chalkboard and ta dah!

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Cute!

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Lily did the bird houses, Retha the wine and Cait and I the cupcakes. I chose the simplest and largest pattern.

After the class my girls and Retha headed back toward their own agendas and Jenny, Vicky and I headed to meet another George escapee Annette at Maestro’s On The Beach.

We had cocktails of course.

IMG_7030.JPG We sat on the balcony overlooking the beach and had a stunning view of Table Mountain from our seats.

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We all had steaks except for Annette who had calamari.

IMG_7027.JPG The food was really delicious and we all chatted as if we had seen each other just last week rather than 20 years previous. It was a lovely afternoon and then Annette kindly dropped me at home.

That night The Fray was on at the Casino. I had bought Lily and Josh tickets on One Day Only. At R130 you can’t go wrong, except I figured I would be knackered and maybe saturated with cocktails so didn’t plan to go. I was later very glad I didn’t when I found out they were standing as I couldn’t cope with that!

Sunday I made some yummy pancakes and bacon

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and we had a day of chilling out and puppy snuggles.

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We just had to get through 2 days of work and then we had a public holiday. It was Heritage Day.

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However it has also become known as National Braai Day. Whatever the reason behind it all, we decided to braai.

I had a hair appointment so still had to trundle over the mountain to the city but thanks to the new hair colour which works in 10 minutes I am out of there in no time! Once home I put together the side dishes, I did potato salad with boiled egg and loads of coriander and made a sauce of Fromage frais and hellmans and yummm it was divine. Lily made a salad and I made these Aubergine toastie things. I used coconut oil to coat the outsides and used mozzarella.

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They were delicious! Next time I will make thinner slices of Aubergine and leave the skin on the edges like the recipe – I winged it but they were good. But they could be improved.

We then attended an evening put on as part of the Oceana Seafood Festival in Hout Bay. It was An Evening With Denis Goldberg. He was the only white convicted with Mandela as part of the Rivonia trial and was convicted to 4 life sentences for his role in the acts of ‘terrorism’ by Umkhonto we Sizwe. But one has to ask is it terrorism when it is a protest against a tyrannical government based on racist policies? I call it simply protest. However as it was not peaceful it led to prison sentences. They all served many years, Denis served 16 I think it was before released. The evening was a viewing of the documentary made of his life ‘Sentenced with Mandela: The Story of Denis Goldberg’ and a Q&A after.

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I even got a pic with him! I felt very privileged. His story was sad and touching and humbling. So many people hurt, so many lives ruined due to apartheid.

Having a midweek holiday makes me so disorientated but it was good having 2 work days! But Thursday was book club, so Norm dropped me off. As my birthday had been 3 weeks prior I forgot that bookclub hadn’t marked the occasion and was pleasantly surprised by a chocolate cake and presents. The girls got me lots of lovely gifts and Cam made a delicious meal and it was good to see them all, I didn’t make the last bookclub as Panda was too ill.

Friday was a short work day as I had my annual mammogram booked. As I have 2 friends being treated currently for breast cancer I certainly wasn’t calm about it by any means but luckily the scan and ultrasound were both all clear. Thank you Universe.

Lily had her friend Jess taking the bus down so we went to collect her early Saturday and then went shopping and for brunch at Cavendish. I had eggs Benedict at JB Rivers. They were average.

IMG_7119.JPG But we had a nice girly afternoon.

That night Norm and I had date night and managed to get a last minute table at Ragafellows and were seated next to a lovely garden view of the nursery next door.

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We had burgers and they were delicious as always. We debated going out for drinks but realised we actually are happier being home with the family and headed home to catch the end of the movie the girls were watching.

Today Norm and I went for drinks with our friend Catherine and her son Zachary at Spiro’s. She is looking gorgeous and Zack has shot up so much!

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We had a few cheeky bottles of Splattered Toad and ordered a platter for 2 to share. We ordered hummus, Aubergine dip, calamari, fish cakes, halloumi and courgette ribbons as you get 2 dips and 4 meze choices with pita breads for 198. It was really delicious and a perfect choice for snacks while drinking. Zack was ever so good, he watched the footy on Telly and watched some cartoons in the playroom. We all gave him coins to put in the toy machine and he was totally disgusted that he got a dog with a pink ribbon followed by a pink Barbie handbag. How rude! Lucky the 3rd attempt resulted in a pirate eye patch.

It has been a busy social week and I feel very blessed to have all the many blessings I have experienced. Life is pretty fabulous.

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It’s A Wonderful Day In The Neighborhood

As I write that title I think about the dilemma I often have, who is going to ‘get me’. Did the whole world know about Mr Rogers or was he an American only concept? In today’s fast paced world Mr Rogers would never succeed. He spoke too slowly, his concept was too simple and would never hold the attention of the overstimulated ADHD kids of today.

Last night we went to Quentin’s with our friends Retha and Pierre

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We have been wanting to go for dinner there since they opened, but we never seem to get ourselves sorted. In fact I have booked and canceled 3 times there due to a variety of reasons with a variety of companions. We have been for the lunch carvery recently but I’m not a fan of carverys or buffets in general and I wanted to try it on an evening with proper service.

What service! Subtle, unobtrusive and attentive. Really brilliant.

The venue is just stunning, the pseudo rough image of a renovated barn, but with such gorgeous decor. Linen napkins, and lovely tableware. I adore the chandeliers. The lighting is strong enough to see what you are eating but still gentle and flattering.

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There is a standard menu.

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and a blackboard with specials of local available fresh items.
Norm and Retha had the fritters.

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And Pierre had the marrow.

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I had one of the specials from the blackboard which was the scallops in a burnt whiskey sauce. I adore scallops and these were fresh and tasting slightly of sea which is as they should. The whiskey was a subtle accent not overwhelming at all.

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I would have this again. I think they were about R100.

For mains Retha had the kingklip, it was served on a bed of spinach. She said it was lovely and it looked moist, it was a lovely thick fat loin of kingklip.

Norm had the slow cooked lamb neck and said it was tasty.

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It looked very tender and seemed to flake off the bone.

Pierre had the lentil bobotie. I didn’t fancy that, it looked too fiddly, loads of wee dishes of things.but Pierre seemed to enjoy it.

I had the fillet. It was a huge portion at 280 grams. I have enough left for a nice steak baguette today. It came with perfectly crispy and fluffy chips and al dente baby broccoli and green beans. The steak was incredibly tender, perfectly cooked and beautifully seasoned. It was exceptional. There was a wee bowl of spicy green peppercorn sauce. It was hot and full of flavour and not at all gloopy so I know it was made fresh for me, not a premade pot on the boil like a lazy chef might do. It was creamy like silk. It had a sharp bite of the peppercorns. Really a gorgeous plate of food.

We washed it down with our usual Sauvingnon Blanc, this time a Tokara. It was a gorgeous one, crisp and sharp. We are so blessed with so many vineyards on our doorsteps in the Cape.

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For dessert I was stuffed but we still wanted to try the chocolate mousse ganache. It would be rude not to really. 🙂

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It was so rich and creamy, so divine and a perfect end to our meal. I loved the toasted hazelnut sauce with the walnuts in. I adore walnuts, a underutilized nut in my view. Walnut whips? Mmmm. Yeah baby.

Retha had the malva pudding with custard. It looked delicious as well.

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I fully enjoyed our meal. The service, the food, the fact it is 2 minutes from my house? All of it. A fabulous experience, definitely to be recommended. It is not cheap by any means, but it is excellent quality and I feel it is worth every penny. Our meal was about R400 per head. Three of us had wine, 1 had a few mixed drinks, we all had starters, mains, 3 had desserts and 2 of us had a coffee with 2 bottles of water for the table.

Quentin does seem to genuinely want to please his customers and for people to enjoy his food. He seemed to get a bit nervous when I mentioned I have a food blog, until I assured him I am no one of any importance 🙂

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Sparklers & Rena the Rhino

Things at work are still settling after the team reforming, a new team lead and the addition of an additional project manager means there will be a period of readjustment. But the energy is more open and transparent and that will result in rapid uplift I feel and also be mitigation of the risk of exceeding timelines. So my stress has gone now, I’m not losing sleep or tense. Thank you Universe for shifting that energy.

Yesterday was my birthday. That morning the girls woke up and gave me my pressies. I had asked for an exercise bike as I’d ridden one following my op. Norm gave me a lovely one.

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I’ll give it a good go this weekend.

Oooerrr missus that sounds a wee bit rude.

The girls gave me a lovely African design gourd which I adore.

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They also gave me a glass jar full of fudge which is great as it will match the other jars in my kitchen after we eat the fudge. I have a jar and box fetish. It was sweet of them spending their precious pocket money.

I didn’t want a fuss this year (very unlike me). I didn’t fancy a party and didn’t even take leave from work, I can’t remember ever working on my birthday! Our lives are so busy and there is so much going on that the additional pressure of organizing even a meal was stressing me too much. I normally want an elaborate dinner at a minimum, but I didn’t even fancy that on a weeknight. I requested going for burgers at Ragafellows, my usual fave. The food is always good. It’s always got great service. So off we went, just me, Norm and the girls. We arrived to a table all decorated with balloons. Very sweet.

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Spiro was there to personally seat us and he did a great job working the crowd as always. 😀

We had a lot of laughs.

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I do love spending time with my gorgeous girls.

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We shared a few starters and then all had burgers, Lily and I both had the Bertram which is a fat handmade beef patty, topped with chorizo pulled pork, basil pesto, rocket & tomato. We both had them hold the pesto as we don’t enjoy basil. Pulled pork is one of my fave things ever.

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We had dessert even though we were stuffed, we just felt the occasion called for at least that. I ordered ice cream and it came with both a flaming sparkler and the whole staff singing happy birthday trailing behind Spiro. I caused much hilarity in my embarrassment as I tried to first blow out the sparkler then grab it, burning my fingers. All while Spiro egged me on. Doh. I can’t help it if I can’t see what’s going on.

A highlight of my day was my son ringing, it is always lovely to hear from him. Another was when my friend Mandi rang from Canada. I do miss her so. Life is a little less bright without her. Another highlight was my friends Retha and Pierre popping by to say Happy Birthday. They brought me such a lovely present of a beautiful turquoise coloured tin.

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These colours are what I want in my new kitchen.

All this week I have been applying for finance for a new car. The bank wanted a deposit and so I had to pop to the bank to sort that out. The funny thing is the money I got back from SARS the following day was almost the same amount! Thank you Universe, you always provide!

I picked up the car on my birthday. I didn’t plan it but it’s the way it happened. I left work at 2 o’clock to collect it. They gave me flowers and had a cheesy blanket and bow covering it. I had a giggle.

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I am loving driving my new car. I am less road rage-y as it won’t go near as fast as my old car so why try to race? I’m loving that I can take my time tootling up Table Mtn or queue without panicking that I might roll backwards into someone while sitting in an almost vertical position. I may be having some old age mellowing happening that I enjoy going slow.

I did have one embarrassing moment when I stopped for petrol and couldn’t remember how to get the petrol cap to pop open. Luckily the attendant took charge and opened the car door and flipped a wee switch.
He also offered to buy my old car. He offered R45k as that is what he has saved. Um, no.

I’ve decided to name my car Rena after my Grandma. She is grey and chunky like a Rhino so I decided an R prefix name was in order, and Rena is my guardian angel now as she was while alive on more than one occasion. It’s an obvious choice.

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