A Consistent Approach 

When Norm and I lived in Europe we made a real effort to take the kids to a new city every year. As I was the one who did the bookings and it was summer, we always stayed somewhere near a beach with a pool. Now that we live in Cape Town we have those things year round. We live a 5 minute drive to several stunning beaches and we have our own pool. Hence when my annual break comes we tend to just stay in Cape Town. After all, we would just be paying to go away somewhere else to experience what I am so blessed to have at home. 

Most businesses in SA shut down for at least a part of the holiday. It makes sense for an employer if staff take their holiday then so I tend to take 3 weeks off. This year I took just over 2 as I want to save some time off for my Mom’s planned visit in October next year. 

The first week is always Christmas preparation, shopping and various other things. But this year was relaxing as I was organized. 

In my last blog I talked about how serene it was on Christmas Day and Norm pointed out that this was the first year the kids all pitched in voluntarily. Normally they help if asked but this year it was volunteered. Such a difference it makes to share the load. 

I decided that this week I would do nothing other than ‘be on holiday’. So I’ve spent my mornings out back chilling on the patio and my afternoons right by the pool.

  
Norm has been productive and hung my new Buddha on the front porch.

  
The butterfly that was there before is now on my crazy blue shed.

  
And my new dragonfly is now hanging on the wall out back.

  
I had such a lovely Christmas. The family outdid themselves with some fab gifts and my home looks so cozy.

After everyone left on Boxing Day we relaxed for a bit then went to Woodcutters Arms pub.

My handsome hubby rocking his Xmas clothes.    
  We had driven down to the beach but the wind was howling so we moved into town. We thought Woodcutters appropriate as we took Mom there last year on Boxing Day. 

That night Hout Bay has had another horrendous fire in Imizamo Yethu the informal settlement predominately made up of shacks. On Boxing Day, the 26th, a day symbolic of giving, so many instead experienced devastating loss. Many of the shack owners were away for the holidays and may not even know their homes are gone. 

   
We had just given away so many clothes as Thula Thula had no space. Norm managed to find several boxes of decent condition men’s clothes and some sleeping bags. He did a wee shop for food donations too.

Every bit helps.

Last night we decided we were so over turkey and stuffing and went out for dinner. I fancied prawns and Norm a steak so we went to Pescarne.

We often dine at Pescarne & have done so since they opened, however last night was like being in an episode of Fawlty Towers. It was a long list of issues, the staff appeared to all be in training. Norm had to get up and find the waiter himself on multiple occasions due to lack of service and his steak arrived blue, or almost raw instead of medium rare.

  
We sent the steak back. When it arrived it was dropped off with no cutlery. He had to ask twice for a fork while his steak got cold. The second steak tasted great as did mine. I ordered the Pescarne Special at R185.

  
It was faultless, perfectly cooked, the prawns were fresh and the sauce was light and slightly lemony.

We ordered a round of drinks which we chased up three times as they took forever to arrive. We also had to finally get up to find a waiter to chase up the bottle of water we ordered and once it finally was dropped off we were given no water glasses. It literally took 20 minutes to complete the process of ordering water. 

Despite multiple complaints to our waiter and then later to another waiter when ours disappeared yet again and we wanted to pay, the owner could not be bothered to come and apologise or have a word with us. Even after our waiter went to speak to him about our complaints. You cannot treat locals so poorly and expect them to support you in the winter. Simply shocking service. 

In their defense, when I complained on their Faceboook page their representative contacted me immediately to offer a free return visit. So will try again. The issue isn’t the food it’s the service. The waiter treated me as if I was invisible. The owner did too so that is the precedent he sets. 

Today my friend Retha came round for a chat. I then spent the afternoon by the pool relaxing. I’m having a fab holiday! 

The Contented Christmas Kitten

I’m still not sure if my attitude changed or what happened, but this was the calmest, most easy going Christmas I have ever hosted. It was also one of my best, I was so well prepared and I’m the sort who stresses about things being out of control, so maybe that was what lay as the basis of my serenity. Preparation! 

I woke up early on Christmas Eve and popped my first gammon in the oven and started thawing my turkey. I made 2 pans of cornbread for my stuffing.

  
Once it was done I added the other ingredients from my Grandma’s recipe. I had a bit of a challenge translating the ‘sticks’ of butter as an actual measurement as I do every year. Grandma never measured anything. 

  
Caitlin made 2 pecan pies.

  
I baked a rich chocolate cake with fudge icing which I ended up undercooking as the kids arrived while I was making it and flubbed it up. But it ended up tasting a bit like a chocolate fondant so it’s all good. 

My son Trevor and Amber his partner drove down from The Wilderness which is about a 5 hour drive up the coast from here. Josh drove down as well. They all arrived in the afternoon. We have our traditions and on Christmas Eve we always have a roast gammon, potato salad and baked beans, all cooked American style. 

   
I cooked this gammon in coke, pineapple juice and moscavodo sugar and wrapped it tight in foil in the oven. It was so tender, really delicious. 

That night we played games and just chilled out as everyone was so tired from the drive down and I was tired from cooking all day.

  

I got up at 7.30 and tidied the kitchen and started the dishwasher and took out some puff pastry for breakfast. I rubbed the turkey down with butter and covered it with bacon and popped it into the oven. I decided to do my second gammon in the slow cooker to save oven space. Once my meats were on the go I grabbed a coffee.

The kids started waking soon afterwards and we gathered round to open presents. 

  

We hand them all out to everyone and then we go round taking turns so everyone gets to see what you get. 

  

The doggies each got a stocking full of rawhide bits.

  
It took ages to open all the presents, but I didn’t bother with watching the clock. I decided we would eat when we were ready, whenever that was. I enjoyed the moment.

I received some fab presents! I was so spoiled. I received a big wooden Buddha from Trevor and Amber which is going on my porch. 

  

Norm bought me the new Adele CD as well as Macklemore and Lewis. He also got a couple of gorgeous metal garden bits and pieces for me. 

  I just adored the ring and necklace Norm went back and bought for me from Rock Chic after I had admired it the other day. 

  
I received a beautiful silver basin, some angel cards, a garlic press, some little party markers for drinking glasses, a stunning set of oil and vinegar dispensers, a glasses case, a wallet and makeup bag and lots of other fab things. Norm bought us new iPad covers but they sold us the wrong ones. Meh to you Apple.

The kids and Norm all got lots of clothes, games and various other bits and pieces. We were all so spoiled. 

After we opened presents I decided to attempt some home made treats using puff pastry. I cut it into squares and brushed the surface with milk. I put little chocolate buttons and walnuts into the centre of the square of pastry and pulled all 4 corners into the centre and pinched them together. I baked for 15 minutes. They were delicious and so easy.

  
We then realized that Santa forgot to put out the stockings!  Lucky for us he popped back even though he was already out the red suit.

  

I got busy preparing for the main meal. The menu was turkey, ham, little sausages wrapped in bacon, braised red cabbage, honey glazed carrots, broccoli casserole, both roast and mashed potatoes, roasted mushrooms, brussel sprouts cooked in chicken stock and chili, cornbread dressing, homemade gravy made from turkey drippings, and cranberry sauce. For dessert we had chocolate fudge cake, pecan pie and/or magic cookie bars.
We always have enough food for dozens even though there are only 7 of us. This year was no exception. 

The kids played games while alternating with kitchen duties.

   
 We set the table up outside as it was still quite warm. We made mimosas to go with. 

 
My turkey was delicious and pretty. 

  
And my plate was heaped rather obscenely. 

  
We feasted ourselves into a food coma. Afterwards several of us napped and others watched telly, we just got horizontal with our holiday overload and relaxed. After an hour or so we got up and played some of the other new games. Everyone nibbled at leftovers when they were ready to eat again that evening. We also had staggered approaches to the desserts. I made a few pitchers of some delicious cocktails and we all had a laugh. 

I felt very blessed. We ate too much, drank too much and completely overindulged exactly as one should on Christmas. But most important to me was having all my babies under one roof. 

We shot our usual photos, on the stairs…..

  
And the obligatory silly shot.

  
And a few shots in the garden.

   
    
 
Trevor, Amber, Lily and Josh have all driven back up the coast and Norm, Caitlin and I are having a rest. I’m exhausted but so content with my life. I hope you spent the holiday happy and with someone you love. 

Not A Beige Life

I am so organized that I didn’t need to go to the shops or leave the house from Saturday until Tuesday. I’m normally so busy that I actually started to develop a bit of cabin fever.

  
That only leads to mischief. 

Norm and I decided to do ear candling which is defined as: 

Ear candling, also called ear coning or thermal-auricular therapy, is an alternative medicine practice claimed to improve general health and well-being by lighting one end of a hollow candle and placing the other end in the ear canal.

  
That’s me with no makeup on and wearing my PJs. Eek. Anyway, it helped my hearing.

Monday we were all home that evening, the girls and Norm had work that day. I had shredded up the remaining silverside beef roast I had done in the slow cooker for Sunday lunch. I made up a spicy BBQ sauce and marinated it, heating it that night and serving it up Southern Georgia style on buns, topped with coleslaw and served with crispy wedges roasted in coconut oil.

  
It was a taste memory from back home for sure. 

I had one more run round the shops planned on Tuesday to get fresh veg and other bits and pieces for Xmas eve and day dinners. Norm was worried the shops would be rammed and that I would drag him down so he refused to allow me to go with. He did a quick dash round on his own. Which is wonderful but chances are we are still missing some things.

Cranberry sauce! I just realized I didn’t put that on the list. 

See? If I walk round the shops then I think of these things. Never mind. Our deal was that instead he would take me to The Riverway Cafe. I hate shopping so I was happy with that. I got to relieve my cabin fever and I avoid the shops? 

Hell Yeah! 

We headed out and settled in to a lovely table outside in the shade. The riverbank was all abloom and the buddleia was attracting a few bees. 

We both opted for the chicken salad as we knew we wanted to try one of the milkshakes everyone has been raving about and wanted to save space. How cute are the sliced tomatoes round the edges? 

  I have had many things on the breakfast menu but only a few from this section. The chicken salad had a Mexican flavor to me. Norm disagreed as he detests Mexican food and he loved this salad. I adore corn and coriander.

   

We finished our salads and asked our server what milkshakes were on offer, he described several including strawberry and caramel but we both opted for the rolo.

  
Wow. It was unbelievably deliciously sinful. The milkshake was thick and the flavours blended perfectly.

It was so hot but we still decided to have a walk across the new bridge linking the areas together and as we were paying up we spotted Santa. 

  He greeted the kids.

  
We walked round the local shops and popped into & Banana and saw some stunning woodwork sculpture and lovely handbags, then into Rock Chic to drool over their stunning jewellry and crystals and finally we had a wander around the charming little nursery next to Ragafellows.

We headed back home and I had to sort the many bags of clothes and shoe donations we had collected as Thula Thula are too full to receive anything. My domestic goddess Cordelia is always keen on second hand clothes. I took out the expensive suits and designer labels and made a whole big bin bag full of items which we will give to Chic Mamas in Hout Bay. They can sale those and donate the cash to a charity.

I pulled out some of Caitlin’s donated cute items for Cordelia to give her daughter for Xmas and the rest we packed up in about 8 bulging black bags for Cordelia to slowly take home. She won’t take all at once as she doesn’t want to draw attention to herself as it can be dangerous. Last time we gave her loads at once she was robbed. She will keep what fits her or her family and sell on the rest of it to make money. Much better than gathering dust in my closet.

I relaxed in the shade by the pool the rest of the afternoon. I had made a beef stew out of the soup and veggies left from my roast so dinner was organized, we had bought a nice ciabatta to go with. Lily brought home Debra, a work colleague, to stay and we all chatted til bedtime.

Today I had a lazy morning, Norm brought me coffee in bed and I had a slow start, playing games surrounded by the cats and dogs. 

I sat in the shade under a tree by the pool for a while.

  
Pixie and the other beasties mooched around. 

  
But even in the shade it was so hot it wasn’t pleasant so I went to the back of the house and chilled under the patio. 

We finally have all of the outside patio couches and cushions set up, we had put them away for the winter.  It’s all creams and blues and beach themed as my girls redesigned the colour scheme.

  
I had bought bright pink, green, turquoise, red and all couloirs of the primary colour wheel in an African print.

  
I loved them, but then again I also painted my garden shed bright blue. I like colour. No surprises that fuchsias are my faves, mine are blooming beautifully.

  
I’ve never been the beige sort. I’ve never lived a beige life. I have few things I regret not doing as I’ve always been the sort who takes risks. Life is too short not to.

Our book club is full of adventurous women, we are all expats settled in South Africa, other than 1 who is local but married to a Brit. 

Today was our annual book club year end dinner with husbands and children included. We booked for 25 people at 4pm. Of course we were late, we are always late. We all rocked up just after 4.30 to Dunes Restaurant on Hout Bay beach.

  
The location is stunning.

  
We all drew names and painted our secret Santa recipient a piece of pottery at Clay Cafe. Today we exchanged them.

  
Dawn drew my name and painted a lovely red plate for me.

  
I love it!

The service was rather slack, my drink was missed on 2 of the 3 rounds with Norm finally giving up and going to the bar.

We ordered dinner and I had a fillet steak as the chef is a steak expert. 

  
The steak was perfect, the chips real- I.e. handcut and crispy and gorgeous. It was delicious. Veg was ehhh. Limp.

We had a lovely evening catching up and didn’t make it terribly late. Tomorrow I start cooking, we will have a roast gammon, potato salad and baked beans. I will do my cornbread for my stuffing and make my desserts, 

My son Trevor and his girlfriend arrive tomorrow, I’m so excited! Happy holidays to you and yours.

Sharks, Camels & the Solstice

I had my manicurist booked to come round on Thursday at 5 as the courier was booked for 4.30-5pm to deliver my FNB credit card as it expires in a few weeks. They had said I need proof of address and my ID. I had a call during the time they were booked but they literally let it ring twice, not even until the voicemail kicked in. I rang the call centre back immediately and got a guy who just didn’t have a clue. He was completely uninformed and unhelpful. He said they were due to deliver between 4.30-5 which I knew. 

I heard nothing from them.

Not a whisper.

My daughters went white shark cage diving on Friday. It meant they got up ridiculously early to drive to Gansbaai.

Their surname is Walker so it’s a photo opportunity not to be missed.

  
They absolutely loved it! You don’t need to be scuba certified as you just dip below the surface. The sharks swim very close to the cage.

  
Norm went into his work and I got up and out early to the shops. I popped by Allegria Cafe in Mainstream Mall for a quick bite of brekkie.

 
It was a round R70 inc a 10% tip for a cappuccino and 2 eggs, bacon and a roasted plump rosa tomato, a slice of toast with butter and jam. A bargain! I was fed and off quickly. 

I had bought my son a present and the shop had left on the security tag. I only noticed when I went to wrap it. So I went and had that removed, then did a run round clicks and a big shop at Woolworth’s. I didn’t want to miss getting a turkey. We still need one more shop for veggies for Xmas. I headed to Blue Route and bought the last few things on my list. I didn’t mess about, I drove to the far corner and parked and walked in the heat to the mall. I dashed into the 2 places I had items to get and home, no bother. But I had a clear vision of my objectives, I wasn’t just searching. 

I went home and finished wrapping some more gifts. I then got a call from the delivery company asking if Monday was convenient. Umm, no yesterday when we booked and scheduled was convenient. Then he tells me he needs photocopies to take with him of my proof of residence and ID. what?? Why would I give some random delivery person a copy of my ID? 

FNB can forget it. I will apply elsewhere to get my credit card. Why is customer service such a challenge in South Africa? Especially in banking. We certainly pay enough for the privilege of the bank earning interest on our money.  Some things they do well, but service is usually lacking.

We were all home and so I cooked Mexican for Lily, Josh, Norm, Caitlin and I on Friday night. We had spicy minced beef, sweet corn and refried beans. I made both crispy shells for tacos and soft shells for burritos. For toppings we only had salsa, guacamole, sour cream & cheese, but they were still divine. Norm went out on a HBNW call and went to Cassarechio for ravioli as he hates Mexican food. We all watched the DVD of their shark dive. The girls had an early night as they had been up so early.

Caitlin had some friends around on Saturday. Several of the ‘kids’ she grew up with came round as Caitlin’s twin god babies are down from Johannesburg so they had a mini reunion. There were 4 little toddlers and another little girl here, they all had a picnic in the back garden as the weather turned cold and windy and even drizzled a bit of rain.

Saturday morning Norm did a holiday booze run and got wine to take as a gift for our friend Travis’ 30th birthday party held in conjunction with his family’s annual Sunmmer Solstice celebration. 

We had a lovely time. We took the obligatory selfie.

  
They had lamb roast on the spit with salads and garlic bread.

  
There was an amazing cake for Travis’ birthday.

  
Travis currently lives in Dubai. Hence the camels and ‘sand’. It was fresh and tasty. 

But the pinnacle of the evening was the fire dancers. 

  
They had me mesmerized.

My friend posted a video here.

The music was really good, the playlist included everything from Jefferson Airplane to Macklemore and Lewis. I think I danced to both! I really enjoyed the DJ. We had a lovely afternoon sipping margaritas by the pool.

  
We finally toddled off about 11, tired and happy. They are such a lovely family.

Today there was a fire on the mountain.

  
Apparently another fire set off by a flare. What idiots. I heard the fire choppers flying over.

Photo credit Facebook.   

They managed to get it under control. We are so lucky to have the fire service volunteers.

  
Photo credit.
But what a waste of their resources. And then another fire occurred later this afternoon in the valley.

  
And speaking of which, in a water restrictions period we have had endless water leaks and burst pipes. This one pumped for hours and hours despite the City being notified.

  

Yesterday I popped a beef roast in the slow cooker when I went out and today we had a yummy roast for lunch. I love those easy meals.

I found out this week my son and his girlfriend are coming down for Christmas so I will have all my babies under one roof, that makes a Mum pretty happy! 

Today Norm washed and brushed the poms, they smell much better. This was possibly due to me finding a tick stuck to me. I was tipsy and sleepy and not a little freaked out. I tried everything to get it off eventually having to yank it out with my tweezers. Eek. 

Anyway, I’m off to finish wrapping what I hope are my last few gifts. 

Ending the Year

This was the best work week ever as I only worked about 10 hours instead my usual 45.

Monday was a normal day, I worked late to try and tidy up all the loose ends I needed to resolve. Tuesday Norm drove me in and as he is not a morning person we left an hour later than my usual 7am departure. We all left work at 12.30 and headed out to the northern suburbs to Nitida Wine Farm for our work year end lunch at Cassia Restaurant. We have all been working hard and needed a good social event.

We had a few items to choose from, all sounded divine.

  
I opted for the Camembert as I was worried the paella might be too filling. but the paella Mark ordered looked delicious. 

  
One of our colleagues at our table had arrived late and he also ordered the Camembert but ages after we did, so when the food came out and they not only served him, a man, before they served the women was bad enough, but my starter then only arrived after everyone else had finished eating as they gave him my food.

I was incredibly annoyed. No apology was given. Just an “oh we gave him your food” when I finally pointed out I was without my starter.

Shockingly poor form.

When it did arrive it was nice enough. 

  
I had opted for the beef fillet as I adore hassle back potatoes. I said to the waiter I wanted my steak pink but not bloody, medium rare to medium. But the steak put in front of me was well done. The potatoes were more boiled and lightly broiled than a crispy hassle back like I make at home. 

  
Again, it was ok, not exceptional, just ok.

My director had the coq au vin. It looked divine, she said it was average. 

   

Ellanda had the linefish. I didn’t ask how it tasted but it looked good. Presentation was faultless for all courses.

  
The dessert was a choice of either cassata.

  
Or chocolate mousse.

  
Several people sent the mousse back. It was really awful. I just didn’t eat mine. T was somehow bitter and tasteless at the same time.

The problem with eating so little food and a constant topping up of your glass means it got a bit messy. I remember there being 4 die hards left late in the afternoon and I have a vague memory of wandering around a colleagues new home, then a vague little image of Norm getting me home but that’s it. Oh dear. White wine you are dangerous. 

As a result I bolted awake at 6am. Woke Norm and went through a tick list of “where’s my handbag, where’s my laptop, where’s my phone….” And then lay down to wait for death.

Or a bacon sandwich.

Luckily I have the most amazing husband in the world and he went and bought crispy fresh rolls and bacon and made me a bacon butty and a big mug of sweet, hot tea. 

That, a wee nap, a shower, some antacids and I finally recovered enough to wrap a few presents. 

  
Norm nipped out in the afternoon to collect the reindeer I ordered.

  
I love him, he is festive yet African.

The reindeer not Norm.

We just mooched around all day, the weather is stunning. My skin is peeling from my recent sunburn so I avoided the pool.

Norm went out on a HBNW call out and there were so many people there, that when a call came in to check a guy who appeared unconscious in his car, Norm went off to check it out. It turned out that when he checked for a pulse he realized the man was dead. He lived in his automobile and that is where he died. He was only 45 years old. Such a sad situation. His name was Chad.

RIP Chad.

Norm called the police which took an hour to arrive as they were chasing the guys from the original call Norm attended.

It was a busy night in Hout Bay.

Josh has now arrived to hang with Lily for the holidays. I have finished present shopping, I have 2 online deliveries coming and I have to go do my food shop. I’m not doing the last minute “oh no the children don’t have enough to open” panic. The oldest is 30 next year and all 3 are now employed. They had a budget and all had the same spent on them. It will have to be enough. 

Today has been divine. The whole family are at work, Cordelia isn’t here, it’s just me and the animals. I’ve been able to do nothing at all. I finished wrapping other than a few bits (as always I ran out of paper). This afternoon I have my pedicurist coming round to get my toes pretty for the hols, and that’s the extent of my obligations. I have until 4th January til I’m back at work. Tomorrow I’ll venture out as Cordelia will be here with the dogs. I’ll finish my last few errands and then count down the days til Christmas. 

Tomorrow the girls are going white shark cage diving, that should be very exciting for them! 

Deviation from Reconciliation 

I’ve spent all morning clearing out cupboards and I have a huge pile of clothes to pass onto the recent fire victims. Tops, pants, skirts, suits and all sorts. And all sizes of course.

  
Caitlin also did a clear out, I was ruthless and tossed out anything I’ve not worn in a year. Some of the suits I’ve barely worn since leaving the UK as it’s so casual in Cape Town corporates. Caitlin is going to drop it off at Thula Thula where it will be handed over to the fire victims.

There was another fire last Sunday near 12 Apostles Hotel on the coast road.

  
It resulted in the firemen closing the coast road to Hout Bay but not to people driving out from the city,  they only stopped people at the roadblock, so Lily left town at 830 pm oblivious of the fire and got sent back to town at a point when she was only 5 minutes from home. She was tired and so annoyed after driving right round the city and back. Lucky the fire was away from any homes but still it burned all night.

We finally managed to cheer Lily up and while eating dinner we were talking about cougars with Lily saying that the woman’s age doesn’t matter it’s the age gap that makes it a cougar type situation. She tried to demonstrate her point and said ‘if I was 23 and had a 13 year boyfriend then I would be a ummmmm, a pedophile,not a cougar.’  Exactly.

The news has also been focussed on Oscar Pistorius‘ and his retrial. It was a victory for all women who have ever been the victim of domestic abuse to hear that guilty verdict. I was so disgusted that he had only been charged with culpable homicide the first time around. I think he knew it was Reeva in that bathroom, I think she ran and he was hunting her down and he intentionally shot at her in a blind rage, 

Of course that’s just my opinion, but I believe it with all of my heart. 

Closer to home we had 2 of our local criminals back from incarceration and wreaking havoc again. Bongani Mongase and Sam Mposelwa were both known to be repeat offenders and without compassion for how they treat their victims.

The petition was successful for Sam but Bongani was released on a technicality. The judge was blatantly wrong. And now this criminal is on the loose again. 

This is just one of the many challenges of our beautiful country. 

Our biggest challenge is our embezzling, barely literate President Jacob Zuma and his cronies & the effect their incompetence and corruption has on our economy. This was never more evident that this week when the rand took a nosedive to the lowest level ever, This could be directly linked to Zuma replacing the Finance Minister Nene (watch me whip…) with the woman who is rumored to be Zuma’s latest side bit Dudu Myeni. There are many rumors why, none of them favourable for Zuma. But Zuma has proven over and over that he doesn’t care about his constituents or his country’s best interests.

One positive bit of local news was our Mayor Patricia De Lille handing over the keys to the new social housing flats built in Hangberg in Hout Bay Harbour. 

Look at that view! The mural is stunning too.

   

 These homes will make such a difference to the lucky recipient’s lives.

My week flew by as always. In the midst of our biggest financial challenge in SA we also have Christmas to cater for. Our salaries do not change but everything is rocketing in cost, from electricity to food. The rand is so weak, anything imported will be exhorbitant. 

I had done no shopping so I left work a bit early Friday and headed to the V&A Waterfront to make a start. I drove around for about 30 minutes until I finally found a parking spot, then I fought the heat and the crowds to spend a fortune. The fortune came home in a handful of bags. I gave it a few hours and then headed home, it was so hot and no chance my oven was going on so we ordered Italian take away. I had a pizza from Massimos take away Mimmi To Go and wow it was brilliant. I do love their food.

The next day it was overcast and drizzly but still hot and humid.

  
Lily and I were up early to trek Pixie over the pass to Noodhoek to see David Black the doggy Chiro. It’s a stunning drive and was even more so with all the wildflowers blooming.

  
Pixie was well behaved as always so we decided to take her with us on our next stop. Pixie loves our girly day adventures. We went to Constantia Mall and had lunch at Melissa’s and Pixie settled in under the table quite happily.

  
Lily and I both ordered the Eggs Benedict on a rosti.

  
The bacon was lovely and crisp and the egg was medium but the rosti could have been a bit crispier. It was ok but not exceptional. 

Norm was at the bank nearby and so he popped over to collect Pixie and take her home. Lily and I paid up and finished our shopping. We headed to Mainstream Mall in Hout Bay and at Clicks I managed to get all the usual Xmas bodywash and scent gifts on the 3 for 2 deal and saved over 300 bucks!

Once we were home I decided to finish up with shopping on Takealot from the comfort of my couch. I found exactly what I wanted and as I downloaded and ordered via the app I got free shipping. Then I found that I had enough ebucks from FNB that I could get it all for free! I was so chuffed.

That evening we finally got around to putting up the tree. 

  
The girls did an amazing job. We are not Christian so our decorations are all little toys, reindeers and santas. No mangers to be seen. They sit comfortably among the Buddhas and Coptic crosses from Ethiopia in our pagan home.

  
It wasn’t long before Lola found her spot.

   
 
That evening we ordered Chinese food and sushi from K1 Sushi and rented Trainwreck with Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. Tilda Swinton played the magazine editor and was brilliant! I didn’t recognize her at all. I laughed so hard it’s a brilliant film. I’m a wee bit Amy’s character in the film, just less slutty. Norm said several times “You say that!” Or “You do that!”.

Today I tidied and faffed and relaxed, next week I work on Monday but finish work at lunch on Tuesday as we have our year end party for work. Wednesday is then a public holiday in SA. Then I am off work until the New Year. 

The public holiday is The Day of Reconciliation. The holiday came into effect in 1994 after the end of apartheid, with the intention of fostering reconciliation and national unity.

The irony is that the single thing which is doing the most to unite our rainbow nation is our mistrust and disgust toward our unethical President. He and his cronies are ruining this wonderful country. That Zuma is from the same party who brought about the end of apartheid must make Nelson roll over in his grave. 

  
#ZumaMustFall

Norm’s Ear, My Cleavage & The Prince

I’m such a narcissistic media junky it took all of my self-restraint to stop myself from taking thousands of pics while lurking around Prince Harry when we attended the event last Sunday at Chavonnes Battery, but if one does not behave, then one does not continue to garner invites. Therefore I trawled the net after the event and managed to find a couple of pics on various Twitter posts. 

 

So I made a little collage of me and Harry ❤️

  

There were other VIPs such as Chief Mandela, Helen Zille who is the Premier of the Western Cape, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and Marlene Le Roux who is the Director of the Artscape & looked stunning in head to toe electric blue. 

But let’s admit it, it was all about Harry.

  
Photo credits to VandAWaterfront on Twitter. 

It’s been another busy week. Monday was the end of year function for Girl Geek Dinners Cape Town. Retha and I went together and I was grateful for her freezing air con as it was so hot and muggy.

  
In fact I used the hand blower to cool off under my frock. 

  
It was held at Atlantic Imbizo at the Clock Tower. We had lots of goodies, we always have such great sponsors at GGDCPT.

The dinner was spinach pancakes, chicken schnitzel, and chocolate mousse.
   

There were 5 speakers and a reasonable turnout.

  
It was stunning once the sun set.

  
We got home late and exhausted and I was back up at 6am.

It was averaging in the high 20s at a minimum I would guess, but it was 34 one day when I left work.

  
Wednesday I went to see David for Body Rebalancing. I’ve been so stressed. He did a lot of work leaving me light of head and light of spirit. 

 We ended up having takeaway Thai that night as I was so late home. It did the job. 

Thursday Norm offered to shop and so I asked him to pick up steaks and salad as the heatwave continued, I wanted something easy. It was perfect.

Friday the girls attended the memorial service for their friend Carl and then that evening they both had their end of year parties for work. They both stayed over in town.

Norm and I had a quiet night in and he made chicken bangers and mash with broccoli and asparagus.

  
It was nice to be spoiled. He even bought us a sinful chocolate pudding. We just chilled out and stayed in and watched telly, it cooled only a bit even late that night it was so muggy.

Saturday I had a midday hair appointment at Mop Hair in the CBD. I love it there, so relaxing and such a treat.

After it cooled a bit Norm and I went off to Ragafellows for burgers. We sat on the busy courtyard. 

  
We shared the crispy calamari and zucchini fries as nibbles with an ice cold drink.

  
We both had their delicious burgers.

We had a lovely evening, I had a few cocktails sitting on the cool courtyard.

Today I have been very naughty. I have a million things I should be doing. I’ve still done barely any Christmas shopping, the fridge is empty, but I’m tired. 

So I spent my morning on the patio drinking coffee and messing around on my iPad with the dogs lying at our feet.

  
I then finally tore myself away and popped on my swim suit and drifted off to the pool.

  
I filled up Navajo’s pool for him to mess about. He loves splashing around.

  
I started getting a bit too much sun so Norm made a little spot with the brolly.

  
I still got too much sun. Tomorrow I may regret it, but today it was fabulous.

#YOLO