Swimming With The Fishes

Do you ever feel like you are just barely keeping your head above water? That if you stop flailing madly about that you will just sink deep into oblivion?

No?

Just me then? Sometimes I feel I’m just managing to cope…life can be overwhelming. But I get up and I keep moving. That is half the battle won, just showing up. 

Speaking of drowning, when I left the office on Monday evening it was pouring rain. Really bucketing down. The 15 minute walk was accomplished in as little time as possible but with 2 busy roads to cross it still takes a good 10 minutes. I not only didn’t have a brolly I didn’t even have on a jacket. I was sodden, water sloshing in my boots. I was squelching and my hair looked like I had stuck my finger in an electric socket.

There was so much rain there was a huge mudslide near my house as a result of a dam bursting.

I was rather miserable when I came home. 

Still, I made dinner for Norm and I and a chicken curry for the following night and let the flavours set in the fridge overnight.

For our dinner that evening I made Mexican beef salads from the remainder of the roasted sirloin from the Sunday roast.

Tuesday I was much better prepared for the weather, I wore a raincoat and carried a brolly.

It rained not a drop.

As if Tuesday wasn’t annoying enough in it’s lack of cooperation, I had a near miss accident Tuesday morning. I have to make what is a complete turn round on a busy dual carriage way. There are 2 lanes which turn across a busy road on a filter light and an Ilios tourist van turned and pushed me out of my lane.

  
I was almost pushed into the wall of the hotel where I park. I wrote to the company who apologized but wow I was pissed off. It scared me.

That night we had the curry I made and to go with I made cauliflower ‘rice’ and a spinach and cream purée which was so yummy.

  
I had enough for lunch the next day luckily.

Norm had to come into the city on Wednesday so he came to my office and took me for a coffee which was a nice treat. It was Cordelia’s birthday on Wednesday so we bought her a potato salad, roast chicken and a birthday cake to take home so she wouldn’t have to cook that night. We also heard that day that our friends had been broken into and robbed the previous day. Luckily no one was at home. Still it’s a horrid thing to happen.

Norm went to get Cassarechio take aways on Wednesday evening, Caitlin and I shared lasagna and spaghetti gamberi. The lasagna was delicious but the prawns were small, frozen, chewy and oddly flavoured. We threw them out. Blech. 

Norm went away for work to Tunusia on Thursday. Or Tanzania. Damn I’m not sure! Something with a T. Either way we managed to cope. I cooked whatever was in the fridge on Thursday.

  
I mixed gem squash, cream cheese and bacon and baked. We had red cabbage, mushrooms, zucchini and avocado.

As my hairdresser was going on holiday I had to leave work early Friday and get my hair done. I’ve noticed my hair is thinning loads, my hairdresser said I have a lot of new growth. I was afraid I was going bald. I wasn’t sure if this was yet another symptom of menopause or what was going on. I also have a really itchy scalp, so much so I asked Leandra to check me for lice! I’m clean as a whistle so who knows why I’m so itchy.

Friday Caitlin stopped at Mimmi To Go to pick up pizzas. I had the Pavarote which is bolognaise and mozzarella, Lily had Hawaiian and Caitlin had the chorizo. We were all tired from our busy weeks and had a quiet night in. 

On Saturday my friend Retha and I decided to go on a bit of a road trip. We are surrounded by amazing vineyards and quaint little shops. You could hit a different wine farm every weekend. 

We drove off to Franshhoek and had a drive through there. It is such a charming little town. The leaves were all changing colour. I always like the white sign on the side of the mountain heralding that you have arrived.

  
Then we decided to drive over towards Stellenbosch to Hillcrest Berry Orchards where there is a divine little tearoom.

We were given a table out on the verandah overlooking the valley.

   
   
We decided to share the fish and the platter.

The fish was silverfish which I thought was this critter:

  
But I discovered it’s just another name for Sea Bream.

It was beautifully prepared, perfectly cooked, moist and firm. It had a sprinkling of spinach gnocchi, was on a bed of spinach and bok choi and was topped with crispy kale.

  
It was amazing! 

We also shared the cheese and charcuterie platter.

  
It had seed crackers, Melba toast, smoky olives, tart pickled zucchini, Brie, salami, roast beef and some sort of creamy cheese spread. It was very pleasant and my only criticism is the lack of any fruit, jam or compote to balance it. I prefer figs or cranberries but neither were served and as its a berry farm I find that odd. But what was on the platter was divine.

We finished off with a hot chocolate to warm us up in the cooling afternoon air. We shared a slice of Banting cheesecake with cherry coulis.

  
We had a little bird keeping us company.

  
We finished up and had a little stroll to stretch our legs then headed back to Hout Bay.

Lily and I were home that evening. We still had Caitlin’s hard drive and we watched several movies. 

The problem with this approach is no trailer or description so we just randomly picked things, with varying degrees of success.

We watched Willow Creek which was a ridiculously slow ‘horror’ about Bigfoot.

  
It was a waste of a portion of my life but we laughed a lot. For that reason alone I give it about a 4/10.

We also watched The Honeymoon which was equally dreadful.

  
It was about a couple on their Honeymoon in a cabin out in the middle of nowhere. The wife is taken over by an alien.

It was really bad. A 3 out of 10.

Then we hit on the gem Walk of Shame with the lovely Elizabeth Banks.

  
Maybe it seemed great in the shadow of its predecessors, but I loved it! So funny, quirky and almost impossible to imagine it was a lot of laughs. 

I would rate it about 8/10. A real surprise.

We just threw together some nibbles for dinner. 

  
I fried up some chorizo til crispy, threw in some olives, made some deviled eggs, made crispy crackers from provolone and had those with smoked mussels and creamed cheese. It was quick, easy and filled a gap! 

Lily and I got up and out of the house on Sunday. We went to China town at Sable Square. We had a few odds and ends to get and for treats I got a new top and Lily some boots. We had lunch while there at Sake. We didn’t go for the All You Can Eat bar as I can’t eat enough to justify it. We each got a little plate of sushi, 4 delicate little salmon roses for me and Tempura California rolls for Lily. He got the order wrong and doubled her order so she had 8, but she managed to eat them. We shared some beef noodles and headed back to the south.

It was a stunning day. Warm, sunny and not a breath of wind.

  
We completed our other errands and finished up at a little boutique market by us called Alphen Farmstall and shopped to keep us supplied for a few days. 

We just had a quiet evening at home tonight. Tomorrow we are all back at work so we should probably get to sleep.

I hope you had a great weekend, mine was brilliant.

A rose is still a rose, Mary

This week I had one of those Golden Thread enlightenment moments where I realized how all of my past lives relate to each other. It’s the Celtic thread at the root which ties them all together.

I detest Rosemary. I recently discovered that an old Appalachian folk tale involves planting Rosemary by the door to keep away witches. It certainly would have worked with me! When we bought this house it had several Rosemary bushes. I’ve dug them all up.

  
In researching this folklore I also read about the fact that Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Appalachia were settled by Irish and Scottish immigrants in the 1700s. Many of these were Gypsies and some of these Gypsies merged and married into the original Cherokee people who were residing in that area, the Tsalagi. The magic and folklore from the Celtic Gypsies and the Tsalagi blended into it’s own local branch of magic. A dialect and brew of old wives tales, folklore, colloquialisms and Magic still evident in some areas of the South.

My knowledge of my own blood line only goes back as far as a blend of Cherokee and generic Georgia/Tennessee hillbilly. I don’t know what country my family originally emigrated from, but I have always had an affinity for the Celts. My first husband is Welsh, my second husband is Scottish. My older children have welsh names. 

My heart was broken when Norm changed jobs and we left Northern Ireland, I loved it there. It felt like home. I didn’t see my future there long term however. I knew that wasn’t my destiny. It was just part of my soul history and therefore felt familiar.
Many years later when I had past life regression and remembered the wedding and marriage Norm and I had in the turn of this century, I had felt that the Estate I remembered my parents owned in that life was located in Ireland. 
I’ve had ancestors send me messages via multiple mediums that I’m a healer, that I’m not fulfilling my destiny as a healer. This was validated by the experiences from when I trained in sports therapy and I could feel things in my patients bodies that no one else felt. Small lesions in their tissue, they felt so large to me and I could clear these areas easily. I found it easy to get great results. My teacher could not feel the things I felt, but the patient validated my findings.

In the Appalachian areas the local healers were called Witch Doctors. There was no negative connotation to these roles or to their names. In Africa, where my heart feels most at home they also call their native healers Witch Doctors. 
We all come full circle, the Universe might just take a few cycles to get us there. 
It brought me comfort and a feeling that I glimpsed something deeply embedded in my destiny.

Last Sunday we had Roast Chicken for dinner. I made fondant sweet potatoes, and mushrooms and as I had a big container of zucchini, I both grilled some zucchini and also cooked some with sliced mushrooms and cream to make a sort of sauce. 

  

Monday morning the sunrise was so stunning! But as always this red sky heralded some frenetic weather. 

  

Monday night after work I fried some tender Beef Fillet steaks, mushrooms, steamed gem squash and broccoli with lemon. It was delicious. The steaks were marinated and room temperature when I cooked them and they were ever so tender.

  

Tuesday I got away from work on time as we had Book Club in Constantia at Mel’s house. Everyone met at my house and drove through in Dawn’s car to Mel’s. We had a lovely dinner of chicken, kale and couscous and as we celebrated Mel’s birthday I wasn’t sticking with Banting as I had a huge piece of rich chocolate cake. Oh well. YOLO. 

That night I was so hot as I was in boots and a sweater but we were having a Berg wind which means it is unnaturally hot. 

We were all wondering about one of the women who is missing book club at the moment due to her son’s extra murals lifts times conflicting. We had heard about a local woman who was rushed to hospital for picking mushrooms in the forest and mistakenly eating a toxic one. Her kids didn’t eat the mushrooms luckily and rushed to get her help. Our friend picks and eats forest mushrooms and we worried it was her but later I checked and found out that she is fine, I hope the real victim has no lasting damage. I will stick to mushrooms purchased at the shop! 

Recently there was news that many of the kidnapped girls and women held in the Sambisa forest were freed by Boko Haram but the news is all fuzzy, depending on which source it seems to differ. Some of the victims were part of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign in Nigeria. I can’t bear to think what these girls’ lives have been like. 

We had a bit of good news closer to home this week re Norm’s recent redundancy, he was paid his insolvency pay which we were not expecting due to the company’s bankruptcy, so that was a fab little bonus! 

Wednesday evening I made baked Chicken breasts with spinach, mushrooms and coconut cream and to go with it I made roast butternut. 
 

The sauce was delicious.   

Thursday I had another workshop in Bellville so Nomtha and I drove through to the northern suburbs. We finished up about 4 so I came home and started dinner. I made pork fillet with mushrooms in a creamy sauce. To go with I made mashed cauliflower and to break the monotony of beigeness I added some bright avocado. I can’t bear a monochromatic plate of food. The pork was so tender and delicious.

This past Friday afternoon we went to Easy Life Kitchens to see the kitchen designs they have done for us. They showed us a few options and we gave feedback. We then chose the style of door we liked, the paint finish and colours, the floor plan design and handles. They then put together a complete design and we go back to get an actual quote. 

This is an example of the style I chose, a simple Shaker style with this exact handle. I am having a quote of a buttermilky cream colour and a very, very pale greyish blue. 

 

It will be so wonderful to have a functional beautiful kitchen. I don’t have enough cupboards, I have very little counter space and exactly 2 plugs. 

Now that I am cooking I need a better space to create. 

Friday evening the girls were both home so we finally watched the movie ‘Sisters’ with Tina Fey and Amy Peohler. It was very funny, we loved it. It is recommended for sure. 

  
We ordered takeaway pizza and I again had a non-Banting night and a normal pizza. 

We had a nice family night in and I was asleep soon after the movie.

I got up late Saturday morning and Norm brought me a frothy milky latte in bed in one of my new cups.

  
I loves me some Elvis. Eventually I got up and made some zucchini fritters,

  

some colorful peppers, onions and tomatoes,

  
and it was all rather yummy.

  
Saturday was a pajama day, I slobbed about with Lily watching the crime channel and old movies. We watched Now Add Honey with Portia de Rossi. It was not completely 100% dreadful but it had some rather dreadful moments. Don’t bother with that one. We also watched Daddy’s Home with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. We enjoyed this but we are big Will fans.

  
That evening we tried the new fish and chip shop we couldn’t get into last week. Yes I had both chips and mushy peas. The fish was thick, fresh and moist. The chips crispy and hand cut. A few of the mushy peas were still a bit hard, but all in all I would rate it 9 out of 10, we will definitely go back it was a much needed gap in Hout Bay main strip. 

The local Oceana Group owned factory was pumping out it’s poisons again on Saturday. We live in the most beautiful place on earth and the corrupt government allows various corporate entities to destroy it.

The other thing in the local news which is annoying me is that the South African Broadcasting Company has made a decision recently that they will play 90% local South African music. This is so narrow minded to me. The main station, 5FM had already decreased in quality in my opinion with their line up changes. I had already started listening to other stations during the childish, misogynistic and juvenile Roger Goode show during my drive home so I will have to find more non-parastatal stations or download more music. I just usually rely on the radio to expose me to new music, but I want my horizon to be wider than just the narrow borders of South Africa! 
I love SA but it has its challenges, I met a fellow American while queuing for lunch on Friday, we both moved here from LA in the 90’s. We agreed that SA gets under your skin. We also agreed that if it was perfect it would be too crowded, you just have to take the good with the bad in life. It is what allows you to see the highs, the roller coaster ride of coming up out of those lows. 

Sunday Norm and I got up and out after I had a bit of time to play with the dogs.

  
We went to The Riverway Cafe for breakfast.

  
We had scrambled eggs, crispy bacon and avocado with Banting bread. It was cooked perfectly. 

  
After we ate,  the waitress who served my friend Retha and I last week came over and told me we had short payed our bill by R100! I was mortified that she had to pay that herself! I was so pleased she came over to tell me. Bless her heart. 

I did think my bill was very cheap last week and even mentioned it in my blog! Anyway, I reimbursed her and we had a laugh about it. She said she knew I’d be back and it would be resolved. It’s nice to be a local in my lovely little village.

the karmaeleon

I had several conversations this week about the many changes that life throws at us, changes at home or at work, changes in location or fortune. I know I’ve personally touched on all of those so I’m sure there are plenty more challenging situations, in addition to those experienced by me.

My measure of success is our ability to adapt to that change in circumstance, and should it be a detrimental occasion, how quickly do you get back on your feet? And are you able to let karma take its course or can you not let things go? I struggle with that one, I resist change despite choosing a life rife with change.

I really resisted change in my work situation. I didn’t want to leave the project I’ve been on for ages. But circumstances changed and leave I must.

I’m trying to get my head round the change and I’m doing so, there are still logistical challenges which mean working further than the city.

I’ll adapt. I love my job, the client is what defines the level of stress. The project I’m moving to has very technical, switched on stakeholders who know what they want. That direction makes it simple. So there are positives and negatives. 

There were several protests this week, mostly around lack of change or the speed at which it is moving by the current government. The ANC was such a strong party with Mandela at the helm. Now it’s a sham.

Many of their political rallies are poorly attended and the people are finally starting to be unwilling to settle for lack of progress when they see the politicians living fat off their spoils.

   
 One protest shut down the motorway, one took place at Sir Lowrys Pass another was in Stellenbosch, and a third in the City Centre regarding housing shortages in the Western Cape. Rumour is that the EFF is generating the conflict. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

There were protests for the unfair bail of alleged murderers of a local child.

There were protests by members of the ANCYL over the lack of transformation  of the sport of Rugby. Several sports have been subject to harsh penalties by the Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula which to me is a bit unfair. If the foundation is not laid by the government at grass roots level, then how can professional level sporting bodies magically generate these players as young adults? A sportsman is identified young and nurtured in countries who have successful national teams. Again the government are pointing the blame elsewhere instead of admitting lack of forethought and planning which is the real root cause.

The provincial government is much more progressive and forward thinking. But they have a long way to go.

Monday night Norm picked up some mince and I made a quick dinner for us as I was so tired from our late night out for Mothers Day. I made tacos and cheesy taco shells but I got distracted and they were rather crispy so we had tacos and tostadas. See, I went with that change and flipped it. They were crispy and yummy.

Tuesday Lily’s friend Talya came for dinner. I made mashed sweet potato which I had parboiled the previous night while I was busy making our tacos. I wrapped chicken breasts in bacon and baked them, fried whole mushrooms in butter and made a creamy mushroom sauce, and steamed broccoli to accompany it.

  
That night I noticed that this small itchy bite on my leg had gotten infected. Lily looked at it and thought it was a spider bite and that she saw “fang marks”. The family decided it looked nasty and made me promise to go to the doctor as soon as possible. With my replaced hip I need to be careful of infection. 

At least I got to sleep in an hour later the next morning. I went down just after 8.30 when the office opened. The receptionist fit me in as the 2nd patient of the day so I didn’t have long to wait. The doctor lanced it and it was all very sore and disgusting. He aspirated a lot by shoving in a needle. Not much fun. He also put me on a kick ass antibiotic and did a blood test. It’s still full of stuff and sore but not bright red and my leg is no longer hot. Hopefully it heals soon. 

As a result of my itinerary of visits to the doctor, the lab and the chemist I only got to work at 10am. I had to work late to make up my time and my darling husband made a delicious dinner for us.

  
He made pork chops, cauliflower mash, steamed asparagus and fried mushrooms. It was so wonderful to be looked after.

Thursday was my daughter Caitlin’s 28th birthday and we booked dinner at Spiro’s.  We turned over so many different options and changed the booking several times. Initially we were going to Deez for Mexican, but there is very little in the way of carb free options and Norm is not a Mexican food fan. Then last year’s pic of our prawn fest came up as a Facebook memory and we all fancied prawns. Last year we went to Pescarne but they changed owners so Caitlin just decided we would try the prawns at Spiro’s. 

Caitlin’s fella Wesley joined Norm, me, Lily and Caitlin. He is very cute and such a nice guy.

   
 
The girls both ordered mussels and Norm, Wesley and I ordered the crispy squid. When it arrived it was really large pieces of squid and I knew they would be chewy. Norm bit into his and confirmed my suspicion. I sent mine back but the boys ate theirs.

The waitress came back and said they had one order of the small squids left. They were delicious and indeed crispy!

  

Us girls all ordered the 6 Tiger Prawns at R160. My daughters both had chips and salad but I just had the salad.

  

There was a strongly flavoured sauce on the prawns. I would have preferred a choice of sauces on the side, I prefer peri peri or lemon butter. But the girls enjoyed it. The prawns themselves were fresh, fat and juicy, really nice.

When we got home we sang Happy Birthday and blew out candles and had a bit of carrot cake.

I stayed awake far too late and had a couple of cranberry and vodkas with dinner so I struggled to wake up the next morning. I was facilitating a client workshop that afternoon in Bellville on the north side of town. A few strong espressos later I drove the team out there while delicately balancing their laptop with the jobs open. The laptops died and they struggled to get it ready to show the client. Luckily they sorted it all while I did my rules confirmations and we looked at the data on my laptop. Phew. 

The weather was cold and drizzly. The workshop took 2 hours so I dropped my team off and headed home. 

I had my usual session on the patio to wind down after my busy day. Lola kept me company. It was brisk and cool. 

  

I was really tired and not up to cooking. I fancied a Massimo’s pizza. I had the Pavarotti which is bolognaise, mozzarella and basil.

Oh my it was so divine.

  
One night of carbs won’t kill me. I’m still slowly losing. I put no pressure on myself. If I really want something I’ll have a bit.

The weather was so misty when I woke on Saturday. Pixie had a chiropractor appointment in Noodhoek at 9:30am. I drove with my fog lights on through the valleys and up Muizenberg Mountain. Suddenly I came through the mist and it was perfectly clear. I looked out over the side of the mountain and it was like looking out a plane window at a sea of clouds.

  
After our appointment I needed petrol but first I stopped to draw cash at the Oakhurst ATM. Pixie sat watching me from the window. She’s so cute.

We popped into Hout Bay and filled up with petrol then headed home. I walked in to the house and heard Norm’s Neighborhood Watch radio announcing an attempted ATM robbery at the very same one I had just left!
Thank you Grandma. Just as I had arrived home a little hummingbird was dancing about in the bush outside our gate, Grandma sends me hummingbirds to let me know she is around. She obviously protected me. 

Retha and I went for lunch at our fave, the local Hout Bay gem The Riverway Cafe.

  
  
We had a gorgeous shared lunch of the Dragonfly Board platter with pulled lamb, pita bread, tzaziki, hummus, olives, zucchini, fries, and chicken strips with a blue cheese dip. We also shared piggy poppers as their version is my fave thing ever. 

     
 

We had a latte, shared a large bottle of water and rounded it off with a gorgeous Pimms cocktail and it was R170 each. Bargain! Such tasty quality in a lovely setting is worth every penny.

  
We had a lovely afternoon and I toddled off a bit tipsy from the Pimms and sugar. 

Norm and I just had a quiet night in. We were going out for dinner as we were on our own, but we decided to order take aways from the new chippy and rent a movie on BoxOffice. That didn’t go as planned.

Norm arrived at 6:30pm to be told they were not taking any more orders. He said, ‘ummm, so when should I come back?’ Only to be to,d they were not taking any more orders for the night! At 6:30?? 

Damn, there goes that plan.

So as we were all ready for fish Norm popped into Spiro and bought us grilled fish. It was a thick, gorgeous piece of fish in a lemon butter sauce so I was perfectly happy.

However once we settled in with our food, we tried to rent Sisters on DSTV BoxOffice.

So we entered the long assed ridiculous number and sent the SMS. Over and over.

  
It costs me airtime for each SMS and I spent about half a hour messing around, generating new codes and finally resorting to tweeting to them. They couldn’t sort it and never bothered to respond if they did. I messaged them again this morning and they had no clue what was going on.

What crap service.

Instead of the movie service we decided to try out our new high speed internet that we had installed this week from Sonic Wireless. Norm remembered that the Eurovision Song Contest was on and we streamed that for a laugh. We always made an event of it when we lived in the UK. I fell asleep of course. 

We woke to a thump and our alarm going off. Norm could not get it to engage again. It turned out Navajo rolled into the door and knocked it open and we didn’t notice. The alarm won’t activate with the door open. After it settled down I couldn’t go back to sleep despite it still being dark.

Today I am having a pajama day, I’m making a roast chicken dinner later for us all. I’ve just been sitting by the pool enjoying the sunshine.

  
Norm is spending the day working in the garden. He is putting down fertilizer to try and get the existing grass growing again and pitting down a bit of grass seed on the bare bits where Navajo runs round killing it. I doubt it works but you have to try, right? 

Disappearing Act

Last Sunday we were so lazy, probably because it was preceding a public holiday. Last Monday was Workers Day so we had the day off and my friend Retha and I decided to try and get in for lunch at Green Vine Eatery at Silvermist Vineyards. We did not have a booking but thought why not risk it.

 We enjoyed the amazing view. 

   
 
We were greeted by the resident pig.

   
  
The staff were running round full on busy but the hostess told us to just wait a sec and she would make a plan. We waited patiently as I’ve been many times and knew it worth the wait. We were seated in no time.

  
I had a glass of their Sauvignon blanc and Retha the red.

  
For lunch we decided to share the Caesar salad with bacon.

  
I was ever so pleased to see real anchovies! 

We shared the platter as well. 

  
It had charcuterie, cheeses, bread, pickled baby onions, olives, grapes, and a few bits of salad.

They were both divine.

 
  
We both had the lemon tart for dessert. It was light, creamy and not too sour. Perfection. 

I love the rustic tablecloths.

  

Tuesday we were back at work and I was so tired. 

Walking across the foreshore to my car after work I noticed 2 rather scruffy looking men lurking in the shadows and I tried to navigate around them, but I could see one of them was already racing over to me. As I have my laptop and my handbag with me I don’t want to let anyone near me who can grab either and leg it. The man started waving a piece of cardboard at me and I saw it said ‘I cannot talk. I am homeless and need money for the shelter.’ I kept walking but I read the card and told him firmly ‘no, sorry’. He then started shouting at me ‘Did you read the card???’. Um, would that be the card that says you cannot speak, despite you shouting at me? He didn’t get the irony. I shudder to think of whom he took that sign off of. 

He then got very agitated as many junkies tend to do when their appeals do not work. I’m certainly not opening my handbag in front of a junky while meandering down an alley.

He started shouting and showing me his tattoo and telling me he had been a bad boy but he has changed. I think the badly defined jailhouse style tat was something religious or Jesus related. Little did he know that would hold no sway for me. 

I’ve known enough addicts to recognize one, he had lost his teeth. He twitched and jerked. His eyes were not present. He started shouting that he would defend me and keep me safe, the funny thing was that he was the only person who was making me feel threatened. I kept him distracted and walking until we got to the car park entrance where I knew a security guard is stationed and I ducked into that entrance, leaving him waiting at the top.

I arrived at my car with my heart racing.

Never a dull moment in Cape Town.

This week the news was full of a story which blew up on social media. Rhodes Must Fall activist Ntokozo Qwabe was rude to a white waitress and then bragged about it on Facebook. I reported his post for hate speech and it was removed. But some guy went and made a page for donations to this waitress. I feel that there is no question that Ntokozo behaved atrociously but people treat black staff terribly all the time. I think the need to raise funds for her missing one tip was extreme, it is other people cleaning up Ntokozo’s mess. He learns nothing from this.

I read that the waitress’ mom is ill so maybe that cash helps the family cope with that burden at least. 

I think that the scholarship should be removed from Ntokozo. He doesn’t deserve to be allowed to both protest the existence of Rhodes and benefit from his legacy in my opinion. 

Driving in early on Thursday the weather was so windy. The sunrise was stunning.

  After arming my car I was walking in to my office when the wind blew a giant metal sign loose which whizzed by my head missing me by inches!

I was away from my desk in the afternoon on Thursday and when I came back the client looked at me and said “You are disappearing” and I assumed she was complaining I wasn’t at my desk and started to stutter. 

Then she asked if I was dieting. Haha! She wasn’t noticing my absence she was noticing my weight loss! 

Funny.

Locally a lot is going on.

Stupid humans are again interfering with nature here in the bay, trying to move sand to places more convenient. They’ll never learn.

  
The horrid story about poor Francesca the girl murdered in the forest nearby has been in the headlines again as her murderers were granted bail and are roaming the streets.

It’s so frustrating.

Friday when I got home from work I sat on the balcony. It was windy but still stunning.

   
 
For dinner I baked pork chops and stir fried some mixed veggies and some cabbage. Norm and I had a relaxed evening in as Lily is in George for Josh’s birthday and Caitlin was out with her friends.

There was an event at the local school we were going to attend on Saturday morning, but the wind was still howling so we didn’t fancy hanging around outside. Instead we went to Allegria Cafe for brunch. 
  
We both had 2 eggs with bacon and mushrooms. 

The wind was howling still but it was so busy we had to sit outside. It was well positioned and we didn’t struggle too much.

  
After brunch we did a shop at Woolies and picked up my weekly ice cream supply then headed home to give Mzudumo the quarter chicken and sausage roll we got for his lunch.

The dogs all got bones which made them very happy! They kept swapping ownership.

     
 
When I got home I realized I had been wearing my shirt inside out all day. Oops.

Saturday was also the Cannabis March to march for support of the legalization and decriminalization of personal use of marijuana.

  
We gave that a miss too. We stayed in and had the chili con carne I made the night before.

  
It was very hot and full of so much flavor. I did include a few tins of the red list forbidden kidney beans but I had such a chili craving, it had to be done. At least I didn’t have tortilla chips with! 

I topped the chilli with grated sharp cheddar cheese and a dollop of fromage frais. Delicious! 

We rented Star Wars: The Force Awakens to watch that evening which was lots of fun. 

Today was Mothers Day. Lily made a lovely collage for me and drove back from George.

  
Norm brought me a milky coffee in bed, I love that new coffee machine! We were booked to go for lunch but the girls were having scheduling issues as Lily wasn’t back from George quite yet and Caitlin was very hungover from a party the night before. Instead the girls booked us in for dinner at Ragafellows. However Norm and I decided to still use the lunch booking and to go to The Riverway Cafe anyway. It then worked out that both girls still joined us!

  
Caitlin and I were starving so we ordered some piggy poppers to start while we waited for Lily to arrive. 

  
Then when Lily got there I ordered the Pint of Prawns.

  
Lily ordered the chicken baguette with fries.

  
Norm had the chicken salad.

  
And Caitlin the toasted cheese, mushroom and tomato sandwich with chips.

  
We love their lemonade.

 We ended with sharing a Banting brownie and Banting cheesecake. 

  

They had amazing afternoons tea stands being created in the kitchen and loads of them were being served.

  

When we got home the girls gave me a gorgeous silver gravy boat and a set of coffee cups with drawings of some of my favorite old school actors.

  

 We went home to relax for a bit and at 730pm we got ready to head out to Ragafellows for dinner.


  
We shared the calamari and prawns to start for just for a wee nibble.

   
 We all had burgers except Lily who had the salad.

We had a lovely evening! 

  
I feel very blessed.

   
 
I hope you have celebrated today with someone you love even if it’s an animal baby! 

Holiday Squared

We continued our Sunday tradition last weekend and I made a gorgeous roast beef for dinner. I cooked it American style as a pot roast rather than baking it. I cooked it in broth, onions and garlic. Once cooked I strained the sauce and added cream to the rich broth. I made crispy, buttery fondant sweet potatoes and steamed long stem broccoli. 

 

That meant the next night was destined to be Tacos. I shredded the left over beef and seasoned with cumin, paprika and whatever else was in the El Paso spice packet. Haha. 

I made my own salsa however so at least that contained no sugar or carbs. We served with a simple, crispy salad.

We bought sliced smoked provolone at woollies this time and that is the magic bullet to the cheese taco success.

  
After my previous attempts it made such a difference in both the effort it took as well as the consistency of my results. I overlapped two pieces of cheese and popped onto baking paper and baked til bubbly and it worked perfectly!

  

I even had leftovers to take for lunch on Tuesday.

Tuesday was a pseudo-Friday as last Wednesday was a Public Holiday. I arrived home and sat on the balcony outside my bedroom to destress. The sunset was amazing! 

  

We got take away crispy calamari squidlets that night for dinner from a local restaurant but they must have changed their supplier as they were not nice, they were very rubbery and chewy. Neither Lily nor I could eat them. Normally they are tiny and crispy and delightful but these were the size of a flippin tarantula and wouldn’t even fit in your mouth. Meh.

The public holiday which was on last Wednesday 27 April commemorates the day in 1994 when the first democratic election was held in South Africa. South Africa celebrates Freedom Day to mark the liberation of our country and its people from a long period of colonialism and white minority domination (apartheid).

But are we free? We have an uneducated, embezzling, unethical government led by a buffoon. Corruption and crime is at an all time high. 

As a result we residents have to do all we can to defend ourselves. We have several groups of men in Hout Bay who are unwilling to allow the underbelly of society to win the battle. They patrol our streets at night.

These are the pics of the highlights of one of these groups’ Freedom Day morning.

  
A knife of considerable size was taken off of a man who was spotted skulking about in the wee hours of the night.

A car was stolen and crashed by the thieves into another person’s house while racing away, catching the house alight. 

(But damn that house has some stunning doors!)

Some mornings we hear of 4-5 families being attacked in their homes at night. One family spent 2 hours tied up and locked in their bathroom. Another lady lost 5 teeth and suffered a broken jaw. People will say ‘Thank God you are safe’  to the survivors but I get so angry that it even happens. 

This country has such potential, but it has so many challenges. I don’t see the infrastructure put in place to support the change needed to address those challenges. 

Many African women especially still suffer from years of suppression both culturally and politically. I see this in many young women who have not yet found their voices. They are hesitant to speak up in a group until they gauge the temperament of their audience. Racism and sexism and bigotry can be hidden behind smiling faces. That is the worst racism or bigotry, the kind so ingrained the bigot is unable to see it. The people who put people into stereotypical boxes of their own narrow minded views. Those who say “I love gay people” or “I don’t like Germans” or generalise any stereotyped characteristics of a particular group or race. 

There are fabulous people who also happen to be gay. There are plenty of miserable arses who are gay. The same as any group of humans.

Even Germans. *giggle*

There was another protest at the City of Cape Town offices next to my office on Tuesday. It was the residents of Dunoon protesting over lack of housing. We have on average a protest a week. But people keep voting for their oppressors and those oppressors keep blaming history. At what pace should change happen? I have no doubt that the DA led Western Cape is better managed than the ANC led provinces. But even in the Western Cape change is slow.

On Thursday I hurried home at 4 from work as I had Vanessa coming round to do my nails. We had a good chat and a giggle as always. 
On the holiday I had been a busy bee and prepped food for a few dinners, so after Vanessa left I heated up the chicken curry I had made.

  

To go with it I made normal basmati rice for the girls and cauliflower rice for us low carb peeps. I just chopped up onion, cucumber and tomato and mixed in a bit of fromage frais. I had all manner of veg in the curry and in my bowl I added lots of green chilis as well.

 On Friday Lily and Caitlin got up early and went to the courts for a bail hearing of one of the alleged murderers of their childhood friend. Carl’s mom Carla needed support and my girls went. I am so proud of what kind thoughtful girls they are. 

They chatted to the bounty hunter who had managed to track down and catch accused Juane Jacobs. He was the size of a wall, a huge bear of a man bulging with muscles. He also captured a recent well publicized rapist, word on the streets is that the raper has become the rapee.

Karma is a bitch.

After court Lily had to go to SARS to sort out her tax number and as it is right by my office she joined me for a quick lunch. The weather was overcast and grim all week. 

After I got home from work we were all having a wander round the garden and Norm was working on the pool, but we were not outside for long and when we came in we saw that cheeky Panda had jumped onto the couch he normally pretends to be too feeble to reach on his own. Then he had opened my bag and gotten into a zipped compartment and opened up a closed box to steal my sugar free gum and was subsequently whisked off to the vet. The vet made him vomit. He brought up tons of gum. 

According to the vet the issue with xylitol is that the dog has a blood sugar drop and their body can’t regulate it, so the vet said after 4 hours to keep an eye on him and if he seemed especially tired to give him honey and take him to the 24 hour vet. Except 4 hours later was his bedtime and little dogs sleep lots.

We watched him and kept waking him up and making him walk sleepily around the room like a movie overdose victim.

He was fine thank goodness!  
That night we had the third of my midweek holiday prepared meals, bolognaise sauce. Norm picked up Butternut ‘noodles’ and we had those with my bolognaise sauce and fresh grated Parmesan.

  

We had a lazy morning on Saturday then headed out to Easy Life Kitchens in Tokai. We booked for them to come and give us a design and quote for a kitchen refitting.

  
We ran our errands and finally got a new clock for the kitchen.

 We need bedside lamps but I didn’t find what I wanted. We hit Builders Warehouse for various bits and pieces as welł as the chemist. By then we were starving so stopped on our way home at Greens in Constantia.

I had Eggs Benedict which was cooked perfectly other than a single strip of almost raw bacon.

  
But the eggs had perfect runny centers, it was topped with a rich hollandaise,  it was yum yum.

Norm had a cheese and bacon frittata.

  
On Saturday I hit 14kgs down in weight since I started the low carb lifestyle in January. Just over 30 pounds in U.S. terms. Amazing to me still to lose it so easily if I only make the right food choices. Fat is good but sugar is bad is a new concept. I’m still having a big bowl of Banting ice cream every night. We stock up every week at Ice Dream in Hout Bay.

We eat well and yet we just keep losing, it boggles my mind.

Saturday evening Norm and I decided to go out for dinner and went to local venue Papino’s.

 We had a bottle of Diemersdal Sauvignon blanc which was delicious and crisp,

 
We both had the same main, Hollandse Biefstek with extra mushrooms and vegetables. The steak was so tender. The veg was al dente and fresh.

  

We were not out late and when we came home Caitlin wanted to rent a film and we decided on The Hateful Eight by Tarantino.

Thanks to the fact my brain doesn’t shut off I had been awake since 5.30am and having had a few glasses of wine I passed out, missing the end of the movie.  

 This morning I woke at 4 and could not go back to sleep due to passing out mid movie last night. So I lay in bed playing games on my phone until the dogs finally forced Norm up to give them breakfast. 

I got up and made a giant milky coffee with our new machine and settled in to watch Hateful Eight again. This time with my eyes open. 

I loved it! I am such a fan of Tarantino’s films. The acting was great. I can see why Jennifer Jason Leigh was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. Michael Madsen is one of my faves and he brought his sexy back in this film. The last film I watched him in he was rather bloated and corpulent. But he was sleeker and less red faced, or just potentially had better makeup in this one.

Norm made breakfast and I had a mooch round outside with the dogs, happy to see a bit of sun.

  
  
My flowers are finally blooming from all this rain.

  
Today is crisp and sunny. I’m pleased to have an extra day off as Monday is Workers Day, I hope you have a great weekend. I’m enjoying the fact that I have no obligations!