Hot Child in the City

 I am a firm believer that tempestuous weather leads to tempestuous actions and it’s been a hot week in both temperature and temperament in South Africa. The temps were high and the wind was howling a few days. Add to the mix the movement by the University students protesting the high cost of university education and it’s a volatile situation.

The marching and protests were at all of the universities and across all cities. There was even global support with London and NY marching. On my way to the car after work a cavalcade of police cars raced past and then the next thing I was in the midst of the march.  There were probably a breadth of 10 or more young people striding past shouting, blowing whistles and dancing. They were marching to the Houses of Parliament but were met with very aggressive police action. 

The students were angry at the Universities themselves until a sneaky video was released on Wednesday of the moronic uneducated Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande saying ‘if the students don’t accept this, we’ll start our own movement. Students must fall’ before he burst out laughing. This video was published and went viral. This resulted in drawing the attention to the governing party the ANC rather than the Universities. The ANC have been our governing party since Mandela led the Revolution and defeated apartheid.

  
The thing that most of the anti-ANC people can’t understand is why people who vote them into power yet who are struggling with poverty do not vote in another party.

  
The majority of voters are afraid to turn away from the party that freed them from the shackles of apartheid, but they are questioning why the promises made by the ANC are still out of reach, dangling like a carrot on a string held out to keep them voting. 

The people are hungry, they want that carrot. 

Add to the lack of life changes for the majority of the SA population post apartheid, the ‘born free’ generation has a 40-45% unemployment rate. Many companies out source their labour. The high cost of tertiary education means that only 7% of people in SA have a university degree. 

This is the generation to have complete unity in SA, where the kids have grown up in multicultural classes. They had a rainbow assortment of friends, were exposed to many cultures and religions. These students stood together regardless of religion or race. The students made a wall of people to protect the Muslims who had prayers on Friday.

   
 

And they held hands in unity.

  
They were successful of sorts in that they had promises from the government that there will be 0% fee increases next year. However that doesn’t provide a viable solution the the problem of inaccessibility to education for the majority of South Africans. 

  
A long term goal of free education is needed. The good thing is the people now have their eyes opened to the bloat and greed of the ANC. Let’s hope the DA can win over enough trust to be our chosen government.

Education of our youth is our only hope. 

Of course Nzimande has stated he has no idea how to fund this 0% increase. The ANC really demonstrate they are incapable of governing.

It was a busy week but I popped by and did a bit of a shop on my way home from work last Monday in order to try and make sure I cooked at home at least a few nights. Monday I made pork chops in a rich spicy tomato sauce, baked potatoes, fried mushrooms and artichokes with melted butter. It was really yummy.

Tuesday we had book club at Dawn and she served chicken with wraps and apple crumble. I had already planned our dinner for Wednesday so I ended up having Mexican 2 days in a row. In fact after you add in my usual Friday lunch time treat with my friend Helen at Tortilla Modern Mexican by my office and I was on Mexican overload. But as I love Mexican it’s not a complaint.

Thursday night we had brinner (breakfast for dinner) so I made southern fried potatoes, grilled bacon, an omelette stuffed with spinach leaves and sharp cheddar cheese, and mushrooms for Caitlin. It was a heart attack on a plate but damn it was tasty. 

On Friday morning Lily took Pixie back to the chiropractor again and she seems to be benefiting from it.

  
Afterwards all 3 of the doggies went to the groomer so we have a few days where the house doesn’t reek of dog. But it doesn’t last. Oh well. I love my beasties. 

Speaking of smells. As you may remember the dogs are on a raw diet. This week they got duck egg omelette when we picked up their food and ohhhh my word we have nearly died of dog fart inhalation syndrome.

Jeez Louise. 

Anyway. The joys.

Friday we just chilled at home after a busy week, Josh came down for the weekend so we ordered pizzas from Mimmi To Go. Norm and I were both pretty much snoozing in front of the telly, I was very tired. 

The dogs hoped a bit of crust might come their way. 

  
Saturday we had Mzudumo in so we popped into Earthworx Nursery and bought some plants to go in our newly tidied front garden area. 

  

Of course the dogs were a big help.

   
 
It looks nice and soon we hope the flowers will spread a bit and the empty bed fill in with some colour. This was R500 worth of flowers, a whole trolley full, but it all just disappeared in the big bed. We still have to cover it with mulch.

  

  
Saturday afternoon we watched the South Africa Vs New Zealand Rugby World Cup game. I expected the boks to do much worse, but they seemed well matched as the scores stayed even, despite the boys losing in the end. 

Today we had a long lazy morning in bed and headed out for a late breakfast about noon. We decided to try the new Allegria at Mainstream Mall in Hout Bay.

   
  It’s such a relief that the road is now open! The roadworks is still in place but traffic can flow.

We sat outside as there were no ashtrays so we hoped that meant they were going to adhere to the law and not allow smoking. That was why we stopped going to the previous venue, Gabriella’s. If you sat inside you smelled of bacon frying and if you sat outside you were surrounded by smoke. 

Today was a muggy but cool day and perfect for sitting outside. The intense heat of last week has eased up. As always in this wee village we saw quite a few people we know and Norm ran off for a few chats.

We were attended to quickly and we ordered a cappuccino while we looked at the menu. The coffees arrived quickly and were perfection, not burnt, not bitter, just creamy and rich with a sprinkling of cocoa. A really excellent cappuccino. Yum. I almost ordered 2 but I’m so sensitive to caffeine I would have been able to levitate round the shops.

Norm ordered the Grande at R68 which was 2 eggs done as you preferred, bacon, a tasty beef sausage, a fried tomato, fried mushrooms, toast and jam.

 
I had my usual Eggs Benedict. It was R65 with bacon.
  
My eggs were done exactly as I asked, soft centre and no slimy whites. My bacon was perfectly crisp. I was interested in how the sourdough bread would work as a base but I really liked the dense texture and it was toasted nice and crisp the way I like my toast. It was as if I made it myself and that is a compliment in that it was exactly how I liked it, not a boast as I would never be able to achieve that perfection myself! I loved the hollandaise, it had a lightly lemon tang, nice and creamy and rich. So divine. 

The owner or manager came over and said hello and made sure we were well looked after, she was a great host.

We really enjoyed our meal and as we were parked there decided to do a shop at Woolworths rather than Pic n Pay. We did a huge shop as we were out of everything and headed home. 

Norm has had a day of ticking lots of items off of my honey do list, on top of all of the gardening he has changed 2 locks and hung a mirror and put up the mask the girls bought for me. 

  
We will watch the rugby later on as Australia and Argentina are playing. 

I’m going to roast a silverside roast and veggies. I got sweet potato instead of the usual delicious normal potato roasties as I’m going to try and reduce my carbs and exercise a bit as I need to get healthier. So the family must support that and suffer with me.  😉

This weekend has flown by as always – life marches on. Enjoy yours.

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Pixie’s Adventure

It seems Summer may properly be on the way, or that Spring has properly sprung? Whatever is happening I’m loving the warmth & sunshine! 

  
All of the greenery has flourished, the roadsides and gardens blooming. It’s been fabulous to go to work in bright light and come home with a few hours of sunlight remaining.  I had been waking in the dark and rushing home before complete darkness hit each night. 

Caitlin and I were keeping us all meat free early this week, we made fresh veggie burgers from chickpeas, coriander, sweet corn, an egg and cumin. We floured and fried them in coconut oil until crispy and brown. We bought fresh rolls from our local Oakhurst Kwikspar which has an amazing wee bakery, we have their savory and their sweet pies often. We did the shopping for our entire dinner from there! 

Caitlin made a tzaziki from the Greek yogurt and cucumber we picked up and I made fresh salsa from a yellow pepper, tomato, red onion and fresh cilantro. I made crispy fried potatoes, pepper and onions and we topped the burgers with slabs of fresh avocado and cheese, a creamy Camembert for Norm and the girls and a sharp pungent cheddar for me. 

 
Caitlin went for the no bread option. 
  
Norman had also picked up Malva pudding and custard so we had that for afters and we watched a movie, the last in the series of Night at the Museum films, it is sad to see Robin Williams making us all laugh and now knowing with hindsight just how broken he was. I think of his poor children left to live with that burden. It’s so heartbreaking. 

I can’t discuss the movie itself as I mostly snoozed. As usual. 

I never follow recipes, I just wing it. Hence I’m crap at instructions and used 2 tins chickpeas instead of one, and a whole tin of corn instead of half so we had a lot of mixture left so the next night we went Mediterranean! 

Again, that Spar sorted me with the extras I needed. I picked up some small auberines (eggplants to you Yanks 😉). I also got pita bread and a few other bits and pieces to feed us for a few breakfasts and lunches. 

I cut the aubergines in half and baked them for a bit then topped with crumbled feta and popped them back in the oven to melt the cheese.

 
Caitlin rolled up the chickpea mixture and we covered the balls in flour and deep fried them. We toasted the pitas and filled them with tzaziki, salsa, onion and feta. It was so yummy! 

Wednesday I hadn’t prepared for dinner and got home late so I chucked in the free arriabita sauce I received in one of my Girl Geek Dinner event goody bags and chucked in some crispy grilled bacon and served with pasta. It was edible and it was cheap! Sometime a girl just has to go for function, without the frills. One can’t always live the caviar lifestyle. (Any local Hout Bay readers will get the tongue in cheek jab I’ve made.) What a load of bollocks exists on the Internet. 

Thursday afternoon I had a meeting in the northern suburbs which finished after 430pm. The only benefit of sitting in traffic in Cape Town is the views. You are driving parallel to Table Mountain.

  
As I only got back to Hout Bay at 6.30 we decided to get take aways. Lily and Norm had cassarechio ravioli and Caitlin and I had pizza from Mimmi To Go. I opted for a half and half. I got half Salame – tomato, mozzarella, salame, mushrooms, olives and half Manuel – olive oil, mozzarella, cooked Parma ham, avocado, basil. 

As always it was divine, I so love their tomato sauce, you so seldom taste it on a South African pizza but it is a thick base for the slabs of proper creamy mozzarella on a Massimo pizza. 

  
Luckily after 2 hours in traffic munching that pizza and vegging out with my dogs and family saved my day. And possibly me from death row if anyone crossed me. 

  
I finally remembered to email the doggy Chiropractor David Black that I had Read about on a random blog. I was delighted when he rang me on my way home and we made an appointment for the next day to take Pixie to see him. 

Friday evening I finished about 4ish and headed home. Caitlin was out and Norm and I fancied a curry. We are so blessed to finally have a decent take away since Indian Oven opened in the bay. We got our usual, a portion of saag aloo with soft potato cooked in creamy spinach and a buttery garlic naan bread to share, I had prawn curry and Norm the chicken korma. It is so divine.

As Lily only eats mine or her mom in law’s curry she asked for a chicken chow mein from K1 sushi. Norm came home ready to scream as they were so disorganized it took 3 attempts to pay. Luckily their food is so good you forgive their idiocy. But they will drown in season if only 1 dude can work the bloody card machine. FFS.

Saturday Lily and I got up and had a lazy morning and then scooped up Pixie to head around the mountain to Noordhoek. The house is in San Michel and love this area and if I didn’t have to trundle into the city every day would love to live here.  Such stunning views.

 

We were taken in promptly at 12 and Pixie looked so anxious. She kept giving me the side eye on the drive there.

  

But  she wasn’t stressed once she saw David was only going to rub gel on her with an ultrasound device she relaxed and enjoyed the attention. He thinks a few treatments will help with the spasms. Bless her. She struggles lifting her lower body and falls over at the slightest touch since her accident.
We brought her home and headed to The Riverway Cafe for lunch as we were starving. We grabbed a table outside and ordered their delicious lemonade.
   
 
How cute are those bottles? For lunch we each had the special and we shared a portion of their homemade chips. It was fresh prawns wrapped in bacon and grilled and served with warm bread and salad.

  
We thought the riverbank looked lovely.  All the wildflowers are blooming.

  
We finished up and headed to Pep Stores to shop for Operation Shoebox the charity we support every year. We bought almost all of it at the one stop! This year we chose a 3 month old girl and a 6 year old girl. 

  
We got lots of goodies and some clothes, a soft, soft stuffed animal for the baby and 2 Polly pocket sets for the 6 year old as they fit easily in the confines of a shoebox. I love that we make a child happy who might otherwise have nothing for the holidays.

We were so efficient we decided to go and hit the spar again just as the rugby was starting so there were no crowds. We got a filet, potatoes, mushrooms, a bag of spinach and an avo.

We settled in and watched the South Africa and Wales game and then Lily and I made hassle back potatoes, mushrooms fried in garlic and butter, a spinach salad and a yummy sauce. We had blue cheese dressing which was perfect. The steak melted in your mouth and the potatoes were nice and crispy.

  
We had brought home a lemon meringue pie from spar. It was so creamy and tart. Perfect for a warm evening. We rented the new Jurrassic Park but of course I fell asleep. 

Tonight I’m going to roast the other fillet half in the oven but I’m enjoying having nowhere to rush off to. I’m off now to see what Norm is up to, I saw him wandering off with a paintbrush.

Enjoy your weekend all.

Lights, No Camera, Action!

I seem to have slipped into a pattern of hurtling through life for a week, then blogging on the weekend and this week I will be adhering to that same pattern.

I did try to keep to my vow to cook at home this week but had mixed results. On Sunday I had sliced up the fillet left over that night after I grilled us each a steak as I had bought a huge whole fillet. It’s expensive but it serves us for at least 2 meals to buy a whole roast. I fried onions and peppers and liquidized it for Lily, and fried the mushrooms and left over fillet cubes. I mixed in the pepper and onion mix and some cream and served with pasta. It was divine. A vegetarian can leave out the fillet and it would be just as yummy.

The next night I took fat boneless chicken breasts and wrapped each in two slices of back bacon and cooked in a deep glass dish. I rolled them halfway so they semifried and they were delicious, the best I’ve ever made, the chicken was very moist yet the bacon was crispy. I made baked potatoes and a simple salad of raw baby spinach, avocado and feta. So easy after working.

I had my manicurist Vanessa around to do my monthly pedicure on Wednesday. As we finished so late Norm picked up takeaways for us all. We had Thai Cafe. Norm said they have a new guy front of house and he is fabulous. That makes all the difference,

I finished early on Thursday as I had an appointment with David King the guy who does my Body Reactivation technique treatments. He is brilliant. He worked on my shoulders, low back and did a lot of energy clearing. I felt like I was walking on clouds after.

As I was so late we had pizzas from Mimmi To Go they are just so delicious, thick with real creamy mozzarella and this time I had my latest obsession, the meaty salame with olives and instead of mushrooms I substitute jalapeño. 

  
Rooowwwrrrr it makes the kitten purr.

Friday rolled around quickly and we had take aways again (oops) from Spiro’s. We decided to rent a movie and chose Life Of Crime with Jennifer Aniston. I chose it as it said it was a comedy. 

It was mayyyyybe at a stretch a comedy noir. The twist at the end generated a legitimate guffaw, I laughed a few times…all in all it was just odd. And the evil protagonist nazi dude is one of the most revolting humans imaginable. 

So…..yeah, don’t bother. 

Saturday we were all looking forward to an evening at Kalk Bay Theatre where we were dining and then seeing Dragging 30. Lily and I had a lazy day but Norm worked hard with Mzudumo all day. He pressure hosed the back patio and they took a giant clump of agapanthus and divided them up and planted them on the little hill of bare earth. 

  
There was a little clump of something there until last summer but it died and has been looking sad. Our new gardening consultant Melodie gave us some suggestions.

We had our garden cleaned of overgrowth this week by Melodie’s company Ladybird Landscapes it took 3 days to get rid of it all but it is now stripped back to the basics. Now we can see where we can plant things and what is thriving. We will just fill the gaps with some color. I’m hoping Melodie will suggest some things to fill the gaps. 

Everything is blooming already.

  
After Norm dropped Mzudumo we all watched Scotland and Samoa in the Rugby World Cup. Scotland won which put us all on a high! 

We were unsure how dire the traffic might be as Kalk Bay has had road works forever and I’ve spent hours there previously, so we left ourselves an hour to travel as we were also not entirely sure where it was. Just as well we did as we went to the wrong theatre in Muizenberg. Not sure why some of us thought the Kalk Bay theatre would be in Muizenberg, but well, I wasn’t driving. 

We ended up at the right place finally which is right on Kalk Bay Main Road by Artvark. I love that little spot, it was closed of course as it was evening but it is full of lovely little pieces and some stunning art.

Anyway we arrived at 6.10pm as there was no traffic as we came from the Muizenberg side instead of the Fish Hoek side. We were advised to come at 6.30 to give plenty of time for dinner. 

We took selfies.

   
 
And then it started raining so we trooped inside only to be told it was too early to be allowed inside.

So we stood in the lobby and took more selfies.

  
The host let us pick our seats as we were so early. I think he just wanted us out of his hair.

It’s a charming, rustic little theatre. We nabbed front row centre.

  
Finally just before 630 we were told we could be seated and we climbed up the stairs to the upstairs dining area. There was a charming little area and I wondered why they didn’t seat us there and offer us a drink when we arrived early, especially as it was raining. But never mind. 

  
We instantly spotted our table.

  
I loved that personal touch.

The tables filled up quickly and the place had a great buzz of energy as it was booked solid. 

  
  

  
We were seated and given drinks and the menu to peruse. 

   
We all 4 ordered the Camembert to start, it was really delicious, but could have used another second or two in the oven as it was not that hot. I like mine melting and oozing. But the fig and sticky syrup were the perfect accompaniment.

   
 
All the carnivores had the fillet steak. 

  
The steaks were so delicious! The meat was tender and cooked to perfection. The potatoes were thoroughly cooked (that’s my pet peeve is underdone potatoes) and the sauce was divine, just a touch of chili balanced perfectly by the cream. The fresh Roma tomatoes and the spinach were perfect with it.

Caitlin had the fritters which looked delicious and she really enjoyed it. It’s nice to see an interesting vegetarian option on such a small menu. 

  
Usually when you dine at the theatre you only dine there because it convenient as it is at the theatre. The food is a necessary thing to do quickly before the show. This is different entirely. The food really was amazing. 

After we finished we dashed down to our seats as the show was starting. The show was about 2 thirty something women played by Genna Galloway and Natasha van der Merwe who stumble onto a fabulous drag queen. It was funny and well played. The drag queen Cadenza Jones played brilliantly by Alain Fleischmann is fabulous. 

  
All 3 have great voices. 

  
We all really enjoyed it.

 The theatre and restaurant is in such a gorgeous old building, it obviously was originally a church.  

  
We left before 10pm and as Lily hadn’t had a drink she drove us all home. I really had a great evening, we will definitely try this gem again. The theatre tickets were only R125 each so it’s a reasonable night out. The dinner was about R250 per head for 2 courses and a few rounds of drinks.

They had no coffee machine so we were all unable to have a coffee, that was the only disappointing thing about the whole dinner that night. And those who read my blogs know how critical I am and how easily I’m disappointed so that says a lot. 

All in all the whole night was definitely a 4.99 stars so it is to be recommended for sure. I think the shows change frequently so keep an eye out for something that intrigues you. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 

If you are not a southern suburb dweller (sorry for you) then you could always make a day out of it and shop, and hang out all day then have dinner and the show before trudging back over the mountain but for us lucky enough to be in Hout Bay it was pleasantly easy and a brilliant evening. 

The Cup Runneth Over

I’m not into sport of any kind. The exception is where it’s an international event such as a World Cup. And by International I mean involving the entire world, not like the poorly named American World Series. I’m still confused by that one.

I’ve been watching some of the Rugby World Cup matches. Yesterday there were 2 big games being played. We stayed home to watch the Scotland and South Africa match. 

  
I love to support my country of residence most of the time, but I will always support Scotland. Norm and I were so depressed after Scotland lost so we headed off to Ragafellows for dinner. 

  
We enjoyed the starters on our last visit so much we had them again. We ordered the Salt Prawns with chilli sauce at R60 which is simply fat juicy prawns with a yummy sauce for dipping, as well as the Crispy Calamari at R50 which comes with an absinthe aioli. 

For our mains we both tried something different than our usual. I had the Bertram for R89 which is a beef patty, chorizo pulled pork, basil pesto, rocket, tomato. I had them hold the pesto, I detest pesto. 

  

Norm ordered the new addition to the menu, a dish designed for a man sized appetite, and named in honour of the infamous unmasked crime fighter, JJ De Villiers. 

  

A donation goes to support the perpetual battle against crime.

It is a beast of a meal, but Norm cleared his plate! 

  

It was a good ending to a lovely day, we went home and caught the end of the England vs Australia game. I was supporting England in this match in honour of the many years I lived there. Unfortunately England lost. Cue the rude memes. 

  
Ouch. Liz must not be pleased. 

Anyhoo…

I had a lovely day yesterday as I had a long lie in bed, then headed off for a lunch time appointment with my hairdresser Leandra at Mop Hair. It’s a lovely airy salon, I love getting the scalp massage and treatment when I get my colour done. I feel like a princess. 

  

That morning Norm had shown me a pic of a lovely trunk on sale on Facebook in a group and I casually said “ohhh I want it” and promptly forgot about it, but when I got home Norm had bought it for me as a surprise! 

  
It is a future project, we will paint it and it will be used for storage. We so need storage.

Note that when I say ‘we will paint’ what I really mean is ‘Norm will paint’. All I do is find the projects and Norm takes it from there. His dad had a joiners business and Norm has inherited his attention to detail. His current project is a second hand table. 

We kicked our Friday off with a curry fromThe Indian Oven in Hout Bay. A great curry take away is on almost every High Street in the UK so that is something we are so grateful finally came to Hout Bay. We had years of having to go out of the village to find a decent curry. The owner is from Durban so he knows his curry. I always have the prawn curry and it is nicely flavored and has fresh yummy prawns, we also always have the saag aloo. It was divine.

I did cook a chicken curry on Monday and pop it in the slow cooker. It was yummy and served us for a few quick meals and a lunch or two, even the dogs get leftover rice.  But by Friday we were happy to have another! 

Oh yes, I’ve had one exciting thing this week, I got a private message on Twitter from Groot Cobstantia about our experience at Jonkershuis and they offered us a wine and chocolate pairing tasting experience! That’s really cool of them I hope we can do it next weekend. 

Today we had a lazy morning as the dogs were also happy to chill. I played my silly games in bed and Norm snoozed. We finally got up at noon and headed off to our usual Sunday venue The Riverway Cafe. It was drizzling rain and the little stream was swollen and all the wildflowers were blooming on the banks. The renovation of that area is looking so lovely. 

We ordered our 2nd coffee of the day. I love their cappuccinos, so creamy. 

 

We ordered our food straight away, we had spent so long slobbing about I was starving!  I decided I could do justice to The Kitchen Sink.
   
 
It is a huge serving at R75 and is 2 eggs, artisanal bacon, beef and coriander sausage, herbed mushrooms, Roma tomatoes, baked beans, toast and room temperature butter. Room temperature butter makes me happy. I asked for medium eggs and they were perfect. My bacon was well done as requested.

Perfection.

Norm had a Grilled Honey and Lime Chicken Breast, with avo and rocket, served on an open toasted baguette.

  
He really enjoyed it.

After we ran our errands and headed home, Lily came back from George where she went for a funeral. Josh came back with her. I cooked fillet steak for the carnivores and soy sausages for Caitlin. To go with I fried some red peppers and onions, made whole mushrooms cooked in butter, baked some potatoes and made a salad of baby spinach, cucumber, feta and avocado with blue cheese dressing, 

We are rounding it off with the new version of Annie. Lily made a delicious strawberry shortcake.

  
It’s going to be another busy week. I hope you enjoy yours.