The Devil’s In The Details

It was lovely to have Norm there when I woke last Sunday after being away. We had a slow morning as Norm was still tired from the flight. We finally headed out for lunch at noon. We decided for a change to try Deli Delish in Hout Bay. We used to go there often but it’s changed hands many times and it has lost what made it so appealing. 

When we arrived there was an elderly man sitting outside peering at his phone and as we passed he shouted a greeting. When we left he was in the same spot and asked was everything ok. Apparently he is involved but that’s an odd way to attend to your restaurant, the original owner’s charm and personality is what made the restaurant so fabulous.

We hoped for the best. The staff outnumbered the patrons.

  

I ordered the chili poppers and the chicken and halloumi salad and Norm ordered the Spanish omelette, my own speciality! 

  
I had seen chili poppers on the specials board rather than on the menu and so I didn’t see a description of the dish and didn’t expect the phyllo, but it was actually really nice.

  
The salad however wasn’t. As you see it is described as ‘sesame seed crusted’ but nary a seed was present.

  
The chicken tasted strongly of braai, which is barbecue meat. It was deeply smoky. The halloumi was cold and chewy. It wasn’t pleasant.

Norm was equally unimpressed by his meal.

  
His omelette was like rubber and the chorizo wasn’t cooked, just sliced up and put into the omelette. Norm asked why my omelettes are so much better. I whip milk or fromage frais into mine, the air makes them fluffy, not rubbery. I precook my chorizo with my pepper and onion before adding the egg and I let the egg ‘seal’ a bit before I laden with fillings. It’s the little things, that attention to detail. Something us Virgo’s thrive on. 

Consultancy is the same, that attention to detail is the deciding factor between an adequate consultant and an excellent one. The ‘door opener’ to a client and what can distinguish between a resulting 6 week contract and a 2 year contract.

It is also the key difference between a mediocre restaurant and a successful one. 

We finished up and decided on impulse to buy a coffee maker. 

So we did.

I love Red!

  
We also bought a milk frother and all manner of pods to taste. We didn’t research and our attention to detail failed. We bought multiple types of pods. Oops. But work has the one with the short fat pods, so I will take some to work. When we got home we checked it out and realized we bought the wrong type machine, it takes only outdated pods. 

Crap.

Later in the week Norm returned it and the guy at the shop said it was being discontinued. 

Wtf? Why was it on the shelf?? 

We swapped it for this no name one at half the cost!

  
My reindeer cookie jar holds the pods. It may be odd in April but it does the job.

All this week we have been trying out a variety of new options for dog food. As I have mentioned, we only feed raw to our dogs. We normally buy from the breeder where we bought Navajo but it’s far away and the food is in very large bags, is messy and smelly and horrid to deal with. Our small dogs eat so little the bags last too long and start to pong. The doggy fridge is always covered in blood and smells horrid. Yes they have their own fridge and freezer! We need an alternative.

With Norm away I had to make a plan as I couldn’t drive to the breeder to collect stock. Last week I bought chicken necks and wings at Pic n Pay and they had that for a few days with veg and banana mixed in. Then I saw someone talking about how great Give A Dog A Bone was. I contacted them last week and found out for R77 they deliver to my door! Even better, the delivery day is a day Cordelia is here to accept delivery. 

They had an extensive menu. It is organic and already minced up with veg and fruit. It is well balanced and easy to serve. We are thrilled! I have now put in a weekly order. No more mess, fuss or travel. The dogs love it!

  

After lunch at Deli Delish last Sunday we did a big grocery shop and I cooked a roast chicken for Sunday dinner. 

  
I made caulimash, mushrooms, a cream sauce and baked cheesy aubergines. The Sunday film was Spy with Melissa McCarthy. It was hilarious. 

Monday was another gorgeous day. I was up too late on Sunday night and struggled to get up so Mondaymorning and ended up in the huge 7am queue of traffic into town.  The sun was just up over the sea. The horizon a lovely pink. This is me parked waiting for the shuffle of cars.

  
That night I made a spaghetti bolognaise sauce for Tuesday’s supper to serve over zucchini noodles. 

Last Monday evening was quite warm so I kept dinner light. I made chicken and coriander meatballs. I added puréed onion and red pepper, 2 eggs, coconut flour, and coriander to minced chicken. It was too sticky to make nice round balls. It was like cooking a pyramid. But I eventually got them browned. I served with rosa tomatoes, avocado, crispy bacon, steamed asparagus and roasted crispy zucchini. All carb free 100%.

It filled a gap. 😉

The girls all met at Louise’s house this month for book club on Tuesday evening. We had a laugh at 3 of the girls’ stories of their adventures on the Whale Trail. They walked for hours every day for 5 days which is my idea of hell even when this is your view.

But they are all fit and sporty and have the time to spend training. The funniest story to me was that after the trip when they returned to Dawn’s Range Rover the monkeys or baboons had pulled bits off of the car trying to get in. That is a common occurrence but it is something unique to Africa I assume!

  

This week has been filled with even more sad passings, as if 2016 hasn’t claimed enough.

It was closer to home on Wednesday as my aunt Juanita passed away. She has been ill for a while but it is still tragic when someone leaves us. RIP Juanita, I hope you find peace. 

  

Then on Thursday social media started posting about the death of Prince. No one believed it at first.

  
I loved Prince, he brought us such amazing music and was one of the first to challenge gender roles and stereotypes. He embraced sensuality at a time when men were not open about that side of themselves. He was both feminine and masculine. The world will be a dimmer place without his light. 

Percy Sledge also passed on the 14th and I didn’t even see it on social media until days later. Another icon.

RIP to all the souls who passed over this year. 

Wednesday evening I got home late and was rather knackered so I wanted something I could start cooking and leave a bit so I could relax. I pan fried some pork fillets in butter. Tossed pumpkin in olive oil and put in to roast and sat to rest for a few minutes to destress. Then I steamed the cauliflower and put in the blender and added an egg yolk and puréed it. Once I took the pork out to rest I added cream to the pan and made a sauce.

  

We have had months of turmoil on our campuses. The latest is a protest at Rhodes University where a list was published on social media announcing accused alleged rapists.

Photos were seen of Vice Chancellor Dr. Sizwe Mabizela asking police to stop their actions against the protesters‚ and yet police continue to shoot rubber bullets at protesters.

  
It turned into a naked protest. But there was no justification for shooting anyone.

It led to a shut down of the campus. I wonder how much education is happening during these times of unrest. But change is needed to deal with the remaining suppression and victimization which occurs in SA.

The weather turned again and on Thursday when I had to go to multiple client sites there was lots of rain. It was a long horrendously stressful day. 

Friday was Earth Day and Mother Earth made her presence known. 

  
South Africa was hit with a huge storm with 100km winds. Trees were whipped away, limbs flew through the air and landslides and rockslides occurred.

The sky was ominous.

  

  

There were trees down across the roads and even landing on top of houses.

   
 
A local suburb’s security hut was knocked over.

  
I cannot imagine how some of the shacks in the townships survived the storm.

  
Another item in SA news is the latest attacks on Policemen on duty, leading to several being murdered. There were 3 attacks and 1 had his phone stolen, but one of the victims had his revolver stolen. More senseless deaths.

I got home late on Friday and was so tired so Norm kindly offered to get a take away. I was craving Pasta so had a non-Banting meal. I ordered spaghetti bolognaise. It was so bland. I’m now used to the tasty food we have been having as fat adds flavour.

The dogs were desperate for a crumb.

  
We had a quiet night in, happy for our warm dry home. Norm spent a lot of time out with the Neigbourhood Watch guys as this crazy weather gives a lot of cover for criminal activity.

Lily did a bit of Grooming to the pups on Saturday. Navajo kept his eye on the gardener.

  

I shot off to the hairdresser after lunch. I didn’t have a cut but I had my roots done.

  
Saturday night we were off to a friend’s birthday. Our friends Dawn and Gavin picked us up and 6 of us trundled over to Tokai.

We all joined together to give her a Pandora bracelet and an initial charm.

  
We all gathered to open it.

  
We had a lovely evening and the food was yummy. Afterwards we had a piece of cake.

   
   
And how suitable that the week ended in celebration of life and love.

Hold those you love close and have a great week. 

My Missing Half

This week was my second week with Norm away. He spent a week in Switzerland on a consulting contract and the second in the UK on personal business. I missed him terribly. The girls were brilliant support and we had someone to walk Navajo every day. But I still missed my other half.

But we coped with no drama. We kept it quiet about Norm being away for security reasons.

Sunday evening Lily and I cooked roast chicken breasts for dinner.

  
To go with it we made a purĂ©e from gem squash and marscapone. We fried red cabbage in balsamic vinegar and butter. For a sauce we fried mushrooms in garlic butter, used a bit of almond flour to make a roux then added a container of cream. My mom thought my pic looked like toes in gravy. 🙈

On Monday after work I decided to make Pork burgers for dinner. I cooked an onion and a red pepper, purĂ©ed it and added to 2 eggs, a few tablespoons of almond flour and the minced pork. I mixed well then made into balls and then pushed in a block of emmenthal cheese into the centre. 
 
I fried the burgers in butter til browned and topped with crispy bacon, avocado and a creamy mushroom sauce. I served with crispy grilled zucchini and roasted sweet potato wedges. I didn’t miss the bread at all.

On Tuesday I had a meeting at my employers offices in Century City. That’s an extra 10-15 minutes minimum with hectic motorways. I hate driving on motorways. I left early to avoid the traffic and was there by 7.30. We had a dress rehearsal for our client demo which we held later that afternoon in Belville. The client was very happy and we have a second workshop planned for next week. 

I was home by 6 and wanted something easy so I made fillet steaks, one of our faves. I made broccoli, red cabbage and roast pumpkin to go with. 

  

Lily and I both fell asleep on the couch and just before 11 I got a call from JJ the head of the CCP to warn me of criminal activity nearby as he knew Norm was away. We had everything locked up but the dogs were going mad. Navajo refused to come inside. We could hear the radios of the patrollers in the bushes nearby. It is scary!

We eventually calmed down and went to sleep. But I was a zombie the next day. Anxiety is exhausting.

Wednesday I was back to my usual office at the foreshore. We had a long presentation from Johannesburg with no video, only audio. That was interesting, I felt like Road Runner was going to appear any minute. Sometimes you just have to picture that pay cheque and tolerate the nonsense. It’s better than holding a tin can at the traffic light.

That night I created a mix of all the bits and pieces left in the fridge. I made giant mushrooms which I stuffed with red pepper, onion and chorizo, I boiled gem squash and scraped them out to purée then mixed in bacon and marscapone, then re stuffed back into the squash. I topped them with grilled asparagus and lastly I made stir fried spinach to accompany it. It was so tasty and garlicky.

  
This week was the last for Voter registration in SA. Almost 80% of 26.2 million South Africans registered to vote in the upcoming 2016 Municipal Elections are under the age of 30, according to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)

So many in South Africa are calling for Zuma to be impeached. The council of Churches have been voting about whether to support Zuma or to also call for impeachment. We all know that Archbishop Desmond Tutu is not a Zuma supporter.

There are so many of the ANC supporters who are going to jump parties. I’m not sure whether I fear the ANC or the EFF party more. I can only hope the DA is to be the party who benefits from the majority of the many voters fed up with the ANC nonsense

On Thursday I was back at my employer home office for a bit of mentorship training on Data Quality and assessments which is my area of speciality. There is another project kicking off which I will possibly be involved in as well from a mentorship point of view. It’s all rather hectic! I came home to work in the afternoon.  I love my view.

  

 
That evening I cooked the last of the veg from my last shop and defrosted scallops to cook with them. We had brussels sprouts so I cooked those with bacon, chicken stock and a bit of chili and I made sweet potato mash. Sounds bizarre but it was yummy.

  
Friday I was back at the main office and heard we are also having a workshop for that project on Monday. I’m so glad Norm will be there to support me next week.

Friday evening it was hot, we had such a warm sunny week. For dinner Lily and I made prawns and chorizo in a creamy tomato sauce with zucchini noodles. It was as yummy as always but it is such a quick dinner it is perfect for after work. 

We woke to a gorgeous day on Saturday. This is my fave time of year, hot days and cool nights. My grass is coming back after the recent rains.

  

  

Lily and I left the house at 8.30am as Pixie was booked in to see David Black the doggy Chiro in Noordhoek. 

The drive there is so stunning.

  
When we got back I whipped up an Omelette with peppers, onion, chorizo, cheese, tomatoes and coriander.

 

I tidied the kitchen and waited for Norm’s flight to arrive. The girls headed off to The Brass Bell in Kalk Bay. It’s been there forever, I remember dancing there to live bands back in 1991 when I first came to SA. It’s a tradition in Cape Town. It’s funny to think we took Lily there as a baby and 25 years later she’s old enough to drink there.

  
While waiting for Norm I smartened up a bit. I bought a new lippy this week. 

  
It is much darker than I expected. I had a colour I loved which I have worn for years but they discontinued the colour.

  
I drove all over the southern suburbs and bought as many as I could find when they discontinued it. The one above is my last. My heart breaks. The perfect pinky burgundy colour. Perfect for day.

Norm arrived at 4pm and the dogs were ecstatic. 

  
So was I to be fair.

Norm had slept on the plane so he walked the dogs, showered then took me out for dinner for a catch up date night.

  
We decided to try the new restaurant Grill Under The Milkwood which has opened where Pescarne was located. They rebranded.

  
We had our fave wine Professor Black from the Warwick Estate.

  
It was delish! 

  
To start I had the garlic scallops and prawns.

  
It had a rich delicious flavour. The scallops were not cleaned which was a bit odd. But I cut away the yucky bits and it was fine. I really enjoyed this.

Norm had grilled calamari to start and seemed to enjoy it.

  
For our mains we both had the Fillet Tornado with vegetables.

  
The veg was the traditional South African fare of butternut and spinach but they were nicely seasoned and tasty. Norm and I both asked for medium rare but mine was very rare. Like blue.

I sent it back but when it came it was barely cooked more. I just ate round the edges. But it’s all new so will give them another chance. Norm’s was cooked perfectly. 

Today we are off shopping for groceries and odds and ends and we are going to have brunch somewhere along our journey.

I’m glad to have my sidekick home. 

The Pleasure Principle

I am a bit of a hedonist and I have always found a lot of pleasure in eating lovely tasting food and yet I’ve never really been someone who regularly cooked. I could, I just didn’t. Especially when working late. Now that we have changed our lives I get pleasure from cooking when I have time to do so at my leisure and sometimes food is eaten only for function and sustenance, not to bring pleasure. For example breakfast is plain full fat yogurt with seeds, a few nuts and a tsp. of honey. Not the pleasure of a muffin, but it’s only a meal.  

Lunch is usually a few bits from the previous night’s dinner or sometimes just a few slices of cheese, cucumber or olives. It’s just a few nibbles as the fat of the yogurt satiates my appetite. It’s completely a different way of eating. 

And it’s still slowly paying off, I am 13kgs down so far. That is 28.6 pounds in U.S. Mom. 😀

I do miss going to the tasting menus we frequently used to enjoy. I miss elegant food. My own food is never about appearance, it’s all about taste.

Tuesday I was told that I am being assigned to a new project which is based on the opposite side of town, miles away. It will add an extra half hour each way to my already long, stressful drive. 


Apparently Cape Town has the worst traffic in the country. 

   

So due to that bad news conversation on Tuesday night I was home late from work but as soon as I got in I got stuck into the pork roast that had been in the slow cooker for 24 hours. It just fell off the bone and I easily shredded it. I had been wanting to try these provolone cheese taco shells. I hadn’t had the cheese pre-sliced which was a big mistake.

  
I tried everything, even an electric carving knife in my attempts to get thin, even slices but I had no success. I baked til I thought it was ready.

  
I didn’t leave them all in the oven long enough though so some were a bit dodgy. But I managed to feed us. It tasted pretty good.

  

Wednesday I was also home late and couldn’t start cooking until I had driven Cordelia home so I quickly threw together our dinner. I fried some mushrooms in garlic butter and cut up the half beef fillet, put the steaks in a bowl and rubbed with olive oil, Worcestshire sauce, garlic and pepper to marinade. I stir fried some baby spinach and steamed some broccoli. 
  
Once the mushrooms were nicely brown, I added a container of cream to the hot pan of mushrooms and brown butter, as well as a tiny bit of grated cheddar and a spoon of Dijon mustard. It was delicious! The steaks from Woolies were soft like butter.

The next day I had the left over steak sliced thin with cheese, cucumber and olives.

Thursday this week was World Health Day. Coincidentally it was all about targeting the conquering of Diabetes. 

  
If I hadn’t got this weight off and instead had continued to gain more weight then diabetes could have been my destiny. I intend to go soon to have my blood pressure and cholesterol tested to see what impact my diet has had on either as both were elevated before my weight loss.

Traffic is back to being busy now that schools are all back and everyone has returned to work. Tuesday I decided I would leave work at 4 in order to be home to deal with all my responsibilities. I hit traffic quickly and by the time I got onto New Church it was chockablock and not moving.

When I got to Rafikis I saw the road up Table Mountain was blocked by a police car. Beyond was the portal to hell.

  
Allegedly the driver of the Dump Truck was unlicensed. BTW – What do you call that type of truck lying on its side? My Scottish hubby calls it a Tipper Truck. In the U.S. it’s a dump truck. But in the UK the rubbish is taken to the ‘tip’ and in the U.S. it’s called the ‘dump’. I get confused with terms between all the places I’ve lived. 

Anyway. This guy wiped out a street. And I turned down a road that just stopped and did not move for ages. An hour and a half since I left the office and I’m then heading back to Sea Point. 

I drove for 2 hours to get home. It’s normally a 20 minute journey if it is not rush hour. 

Thursday I left work at 4 and came home to meet the dog walker. The lad who normally walks Navajo was busy so his brother came. He had never met Nav and complained about how Nav pulls. That’s the reason we have to have a dog walker if Norm’s unavailable as he is too strong for most women.

Navajo that is, not Norm. He’s a sweety.

I was very industrious, I made some soup from a bag of butternut that needed to be cooked.

  
 I also made the sauce for Friday’s lasagna and when Caitlin came home she cut up the zucchini and layered them with the sauce, ricotta and mozzarella. 

For that evening’s dinner I took the remainder of my shredded pork shoulder and added purĂ©ed onion, garlic and peppers, a bit of tomato purĂ©e and a bit of stock and added Mexican spices, cumin, paprika, chili powder and chopped chili. 

I was determined to master those Pecorino taco shells. Especially as I bought a crap load of that cheese. So I tried again as we also needed to finish off that Mexican flavoured meat. I concentrated more on the thinness of the slices the second time, rather than the thickness. I made the bits form circular patterns on the baking paper and baked til golden. I removed the tray, let them cool a second or two then carefully slid them onto a cutting board covered in foil which I had balanced on its side.

  
And after they cooled they hardened into cute little taco shells!

  
They are small so 2-3 per portion per person. I block of cheese fed 3 of us. 

I left work at 3.30 on Friday as I had done my 40 hours and I needed to shop for that evening. I got salad, garlic bread and a chocolate dessert for the kids. For myself I popped into Ice Dream in Hout Bay village for Banting Italian gelato. 

  
They only had chocolate so I bought a few liters of that for R140 per liter. Ice cream is normally about R45-50 for 2 liters. But the xylitol makes the price extreme. But it’s so worth it.

Friday evening Josh drove down from George and Caitlin’s friend Wes came over and we had the lasagna for dinner and all played Cards Against Humanity which is always such a laugh.

If you do not know the game, it is so non- PC. You draw a black card and read the card out to the group, then each player gives you a card face down and you then shuffle. You read them all and then pick the one you like best.

   
 
It can be hilarious.

Saturday started off rather abysmally. I woke to the sound of Navajo heaving and bolted out of bed. He was ill on the landing. I opened the balcony door so he ran outside and vomited again. In the first hour after I got out of bed I cleaned up 2 large ponds of dog vomit, washed the outside patio (due to aforementioned dog vomit), washed down 2 bloody trays from defrosting raw dog food, cut up a raw chicken carcass and a pile of raw liver, cleaned the kitchen and washed both Friday night’s dishes and a Pomeranian ass.

I live such a glamorous life.

Mzudumo arrived bright and early and I had to organize his breakfast and dinner while he sorted out the last few weeks overgrowth. He was impressed with how much the grass had revived and grown since the bout of rain. It hasn’t completely revived but it is not as brown.

  
I thought it was winter but this week turned hot again! Saturday was 31 degrees. Lily and Josh had friends around and hung out at back. 
I enjoyed having a relaxed day and it’s great having the kids and their friends  around. Caitlin went to the theatre and then her friend Annie came back with her to watch a movie. 

Later we got a take away from Asia Bay in Hout Bay. It wasn’t very nice. Meh. We desperately need a good Chinese restaurant in HB. We have loads of sushi places. We all just chilled out Saturday, it’s a decent telly night with Graham Norton and Saturday Night Live both on. 

Last night I saw on Facebook that a local woman had committed suicide. I had met her once or twice but didn’t really know her personally at all. She was due to be married yesterday but her fiancĂ© had also recently committed suicide and her heart was broken. Such a tragic story, now her children will have to survive without either of them to guide them. That is yet another hanging linked to someone we know, I went 50 years without hearing of a single hanging and now they occur so frequently, unlike an overdose it is  so final and full of despair. I do understand that desperation, I have been there. I hope that none of my loved ones ever feel that level of darkness. I wish protection over the souls of this woman’s 2 young children. My heart breaks for them. Their destiny is changed forever.

RIP C.

Today Josh drove back to George after he and Lily went through to collect the secondhand couch they bought in Stellenbosch. They tied it to the back of his truck and he Clampetted off up the motorway.

  
Today I did a big grocery shop for the week. I stopped for brekkie at Allegria Cafe at Mainstream Mall. 

  
Photo from their FB page.

I ordered a latte and the waitress disappeared briskly off and was gone for ages. She eventually brought it and apologized about how long it took. I ordered my usual choice of Eggs Benedict with bacon.

  
I asked for soft eggs and well done bacon. It arrived quite quickly, especially in comparison to the time it took to fetch the latte. I removed the sourdough bread and got stuck in, it was after 12 and I was ravenous. The eggs were almost well done, not at all liquid and the hollandaise needed more lemon. It was about a 3,5 in comparison to The Riverway Cafe, my current leader in the local Eggs Benedict Championships. 

  
I finished all my chores and Lily and I intend to relax for the rest of the day. It’s boiling hot and gorgeous outside. We are parked off in front of a fan and the Crime Channel. 

Happy days.

I hope you enjoy the remainder of your weekend. 

No Thula for Thuli

The nights are drawing in and the sun is setting earlier in the evenings. Some mornings I leave while it’s still dark outside.  It’s getting cooler, the cats are now cuddling up with us in the evenings.

  
Saturday evening we rented Rock The Kasbah. It had a brilliant cast with Bill Murray, Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Bruce Willis and the delicious Taylor Kinney. However it was a bit slow. But not terrible. Just…meh. 

That night we hadn’t shopped so I thawed out a bag of Woolies prawns and a bag of scallops. Norm popped out for mushrooms and zucchini noodles. 

Lily and I made Zucchini ‘pasta’ with a creamy tomato and red pepper sauce with prawns and chorizo topped with scallops fried in garlic butter, served with steamed asparagus. It was lush. 

The last few weeks have been full of controversary over our President. The President and the public protector Thuli Madonsela have been at loggerheads over whether work done to his personal compound could be classed as ‘security upgrades.’ Thuli said no, he must reimburse the state coffers for the work not deemed compliant with legislature over what is due to him. For example a chicken coop and a swimming pool were classed as vital for his security. 

  
Despite the condition of them. 

Advocate Thuli stood her ground despite being harassed by some of Zuma’s cronies. She was finally vindicated when the Constitutional Court ruled in support of the Public Protectors report. 

Zuma has to pay! 

When even one of the national newspapers has headlines such as this:

  
You know a change must come.

Whenever any behavior is questioned its put down to a difference in Culture. 

For example at work there were 4 of us waiting to enter the elevator and as I was first to arrive in the foyer I entered first and a young lad nearly ran into me, pushed his way into the elevator in front of the other woman. She proceeded to tell him that men generally wait for women to enter or exit first.

He said “not in my culture”. So she said “well I’m talking about the culture of this building and of this company which employs you”.

He didn’t seem bothered.

But this lack of respect for women is endemic in SA. It’s at the root of the rape culture.

This story described in this blog is typical of this behavior. This was my reaction as I felt so angry for the blogger. If it had happened to one of my daughters I’d have wanted to arrange for him to lose a kneecap. 

  
The president runs a patriarchal government where state funds are treated as his own personal bank account. The every day citizens see this entitled behavior and the repeated dishonest and immoral behavior and think that what is good for the chief is good for them. And downward the moral fibre of SA goes. 

It is the same as our crime. If the president steals then why shouldn’t everyone else? It is all intrinsically linked, from the lack of planning and governance over the infrastructure for water and power to the lack of policing of the extreme levels of crime, murder and rape. 

It’s the Broken Window Theory. Minor crimes unreported and major crimes sanctioned from on high.

“The broken windows theory states that maintaining and monitoring urban environments to prevent small crimes such as vandalism, public drinking, and toll-jumping helps to create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness, thereby preventing more serious crimes from happening.”

In SA the police discourage you laying a charge of trespassing if you catch someone on your property.

In our case once the intruders traversed an obstacle course consisting of jumping a wall, avoiding triggering multiple beams while getting across the lawn, and crawling up the front steps to avoiding setting off those beams. 

We saw this on the neighbors cameras. The police were like, “nah. No damage so don’t bother. ”

It can be frustrating living here. 

Sunday Lily worked and Caitlin had stayed at a friend so Norm and I decided to go out for breakfast as we had to go do a shop anyway.

We went to The Riverway CafĂ© in Hout Bay. Due to my continued eye issues I’m wearing no make up except blusher and lippy.

  
The coffee was delicious. Norman had an omelette with Banting bread.

  
  
I had the Eggs Benedict with bacon and Banting bread.

  
It was divine.

We ran into our friends Andy and Alison who invited us for a braai later that afternoon. After we finished we did a huge shop at both Pic n Pay and Woolies. Norm and I both bought jeans as ours are all too big. You can manage with loose shirts but not jeans.

We went back for a rest and Caitlin came home full of cold. She went straight off to bed bless her and we went off to our braai after Norm walked the dogs.

We joined our friends Andy and Alison and their family for a fillet braai. They have a garden and grow loads of organic veg and made the most divine salads. The food was gorgeous, the wine and the conversation was flowing. To crown a perfect evening they had Banting ice cream! There is an authentic Italian ice cream place in Hout Bay called Ice Dream and it’s justifiably renowned. 

  
Our entire dinner was Banting and if you weren’t aware you would never know!

Seed crackers and cheeses to start, fillet steak, a creamy pepper sauce, a gorgeous cauliflower salad and a green salad with ice cream to finish? “Diet” food? Exactly. I’ve not felt this good in years. 

Our spontaneous evening out resulted in my schedule being off a day. I had a pork roast to put in the slow cooker and so I started that when I got home tonight. It is a shoulder which I’ve never cooked, I didn’t notice that was the cut I bought, so we will see how it turns out. 

I put a chicken in the oven to roast for tonight, surrounded by mushrooms. I made brussel sprouts cooked with bacon, chili and stock. And I steamed some cauliflower and purĂ©ed it to make mash. I made a gravy with the chicken drippings to top it. 

  
I’m now ready to relax a wee bit before bed. Have a fab week! 

Sugar Mama 

The older I get the more annoyed I get with noise. People chewing, people tapping pens or fingernails on desks, people who read their emails or code out loud. People who bang the spoon against the sides of the cup when they stir their tea as stridently as Quasi-bloody-modo ringing that bell.

 

I’m like that grumpy neighbour lady shouting at the neighbour kids. Even if it’s all only reverberating in my head.

There’s a lot of stuff banging round in there.

Also, people annoy me. 

It was the longest week ever considering it was a four day week with Monday being a public holiday. Sunday Norm seemed to have mild food poisoning and was not a happy camper. I cooked for us but he ate like a mouse.

I roasted a fat woollies chicken, rubbing tons of olive oil into the skin and packing mushrooms round the chicken to cook in the drippings from the chicken, turning sticky from the chicken fat. After half an hour I slathered the skin with butter and put a bit of butter inside the bird. The skin went so light and crispy. I made purĂ©ed sweet potato and I stir fried spinach to go with it.  I put the chicken on the cutting board and dished up the mushrooms and then I made the most amazing gravy in the roasting pan on the stove. I melted a bit more butter sprinkled almond flour over the pan and made a roux then added a container of double thick cream and blended. It was like Christmas gravy. 

You know that turkey dripping gravy?

Oh, lawd.

  

You would think all that fat would make me fat but I keep slowly losing. Some day I might look like this.

 

  

The weather turned suddenly and has been cold and rainy. 

Like, suddenly winter. Flip flops to boots in one week.

Tuesday Norm collected me and we went to Home Affairs to try and apply yet again for his residency. The visa office is near my current client so we walked across. 

  
Despite having an appointment we waited an hour only to be told Norm had applied for the wrong visa. We were told what to fill in and left. What a waste of time. He managed to get an appointment later that day and went to a cafe and started over. Luckily I didn’t have to go back.

We were both tired and stressed. We had luckily bought ‘carb clever’ ready made pizzas at Woolies.

  
We fried onions, peppers and chorizo and added that. The base was ok, but it didn’t taste like the cauliflower ones we had previously. Maybe they had added another ingredient, they were rather cardboard like. 

I got home late on Wednesday as I went to David King for a Body Reactivation session at the V&A Waterfront. I wasn’t feeling too bad this time, I think he is getting to the bottom of my angst. Usually by the time I see him I’m twisted like a pretzel. When I left work it was pouring and I trotted to the car but still got rather drenched.

As I was late home Norm went to drop Cordelia and then picked up dinner from Spiro’s in Hout Bay. 

The pups went to the groomer on Thursday. They look and smell gorgeous for about half a day, then they are sticky and smelly again.

  
Thursday was my usual creative dinner night. AKA what’s in the fridge? Let’s eat it. This time I ended up with giant mushrooms which I fried in butter and garlic then stuffed with crispy bacon, onions, yellow pepper, garlic, Parmesan and topped with cheddar. I had a few zucchini left which I sliced, covered in fresh grated Parmesan and baked. I roasted pumpkin in coconut oil and fried some thick slabs of halloumi. It went well together luckily! 

 

Also on Thursday, we had some bad news. Norman received his redundancy notice along with many of his colleagues across the world.

There was a termination of a major contract which has left his employers with no choice but to file for insolvency and close down. 

Fortunately, he has some consultancy work lined up as well as some other opportunities so we are not panicking. His role came with excellent medical aid however. Medical aid for two oldies like us will cost a fair chunk. 

But we will be fine I’m sure.

Friday finally arrived and Lily and Norm headed out to Stellenbosch to view a couch and were still out when I got home as I left work at 3. We just had a quiet night in and we were all snoozing on the sofas by 10!

I had a long lie in bed then Lily and I made brunch.

  
I did a cheese and tomato omelette with avocado and crispy bacon. For Norm and I there were fried onion and pepper, I didn’t add to the omelette as Lily is not a fan. 

We have been lazy all day and I will do my best to spend as much time in my pajamas as possible. 

I hope you enjoy yours.