there but for the grace of the gods….

Last Monday seemed to come round so quickly as it was just a regular two day weekend. It had started to get chilly so I was happy to have Sunday’s leftover soup for lunch. I got in early to a stunning sunrise outside my office window.

  
As we hadn’t done a proper weekly shop Norm just popped in for bits and bobs while I was at work. He picked up pork chops and I baked those and to go with it I fried red cabbage in balsamic and butter and baked some butternut cubes.

Tuesday I seemed to spend most of the day in meetings. It was icy cold in our office, even though I was wearing 3 sweaters. The cold wind off the snowy mountains goes straight to your bones. Most South African homes do not have central heating, we do have a fireplace but we have a crack in the chimney lining so can’t use it. It’s bitterly cold.

While walking to my car after work on Tuesday I was approached by a homeless guy. He asked for cash. He was reeking of shame. Of sadness, and desperation. That mix unique to an addict. He said he never thought he would be in that situation. I refuse to open my bag on the streets. It’s unsafe. I put money aside when I’m in my car and if they are still there after I drive past, I stop and give them cash. He was nowhere to be seen. It tugged at my heart, he was a young, nice looking white guy with blond hair and beard. He was tidy and well dressed but had the dirty, over-tanned look of a person who lives on the streets. I wondered about his story.

There but for the grace of the gods go I and all that. I thought of my own periods of desperation where only my strong network of friends supported me and held me up. What if I didn’t have those networks or I had a serious addiction which resulted in me stealing to support it and made my friends turn their backs on me? 

There was a guy last week who was selling key chains, not begging. He made them and said he wanted money for the shelter. After I drove out in my car he was there by the exit and I gave him ten rand, he was happy as I didn’t take a key chain, I let him sell it on to someone else. 

I thought both times how it is hard to know who and what people or charity to support when there are so many. So many worthwhile groups and individuals that it’s hard to choose and one can’t give to all.

It weighs heavy on my heart.

That evening I layered chicken breasts, baby spinach and sliced mushrooms in a casserole pan and covered it all with 2 containers of pouring cream and a few knobs of butter. I baked for 45 minutes but forgot to top with mozzarella after it had cooked for 30 minutes as I usually do. Oops. It was still tasty and I served with steamed green veggies.

  

There was a bit of drama and yet more bad PR regarding the South African Firemen who are over working in Canada. They had gone on strike and finally returned to SA this week.

Basically it started as great PR that SA sent over all the firemen. Everyone was so proud.

  
Then the firefighters found out they get only $7 a day of the $170 per day fee the Canadian government is paying per firefighter.

Once again the people are being exploited for someone else’s financial gain. 

We were at a Client site on Wednesday and when we finished I decided to just work from home a bit and then finish early.

I stopped off at La Cuccina in Hout Bay as it was on my way home and I was starving. It was now about 1 pm. I ordered the Sweetcorn Fritters Breakfast at R68. It consists of poached Eggs, plum tomatoes and crispy bacon.  It isn’t Banting but hopefully less carbs than a normal Eggs Benedict.

  
I had free wifi so I worked there for an hour and had a few coffees. I then headed home and snuggled up with Lola while trying to nap with yappy dogs and Cordelia hoovering in the background.  

Lily and Caitlin were both out so we planned to go out Wednesday evening as Thursday was a public holiday but it was too damned cold to go out! 

We decided to get take-outs and snuggle in for the night. I was non Banting and ordered Lasagna. Oh well. 

The dogs were happy we stayed in.

  
The next morning Norm had a meeting and Lily and I watched Notting Hill which is one of my all time fave movies.

After the movie we made Brunch. We made chorizo scrambled eggs, crispy bacon and rosa tomatoes.

  
Thursday was Youth Day in South Africa which commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Soweto uprising, in the form of Youth Day. 

June 16 was the first day of what came to be called the Soweto uprising – a day that students stood up against the bantu education system. It began in the Johannesburg township, but soon spread to other townships around the country. The protest was against the forced learning of Afrikaans, what the people saw as the language of the oppressors. 

On June 16, 1976, police blocked the movement of between 10 000 to 20 000 pupils marching towards the Orlando Stadium. It was during this confrontation near Orlando High, that 13-year-old Hector Pieterson was shot by the police. The photograph by Sam Nzima became forever part of South Africa’s history and the iconic demarcation of the beginning of the uprising. It showed a bleeding Hector Pieterson in the arms of Mbuyisa Makhubo, running, his face twisted in grief. Hector’s sister, Antoinette, was running beside them crying hysterically.

  
I think knowing so many people fought so hard for freedom of education is why I can’t understand how today protests can result in the burning of schools. Why fight so hard for something one day and throw it away the next? It baffles my logical western educated mind. 

We watched 2 hours of Carpool Karaoke with James Corden. Our fave was of course RHCP.

I adore Anthony Kiedis. My daughters adore him, he is ageless. 

It was freezing cold and Caitlin had to work so Lily and I were happy to just veg out while snuggled up in a blanket with the animals. We watched ‘How To Be Single‘ which was brilliant. 5 Kitten Stars.

  

We laughed so much. Rebel Wilson is one of my favs and Dakota Johnson was only mildly annoying. I really like Leslie Mann she is adorable and quirky.

This week has had so much international tragedy. Orlando Florida had a triad from hell. The shooting of Christina Grimmie while signing autographs first shone the public eye on Orlando.

Then we watched in horror at the footage of the aftermath of the shooting and mass killing in an Orlando Gay Club. Ironically several of those killed were not gay if that’s what the killer’s objective was to target gay people just for being gay. There were victims who accompanied gay children out for a night of fun and a bartender who had 2 children. 

The third tragedy was the death of toddler Lane Graves who was taken by a gator while wading in a lake by Disney. 

Then UK politician Jo Cox was murdered by a racist, this one a supporter of Britain First a political party which is against immigration. Jo Cox was adamantly pro-immigration

It can be a dark world. So much hate doing so much damage. 

This week I’ve blocked and deleted several people due to the ignorant things they say. One was a friend of 30 years. An immigrant who believed in keeping out other immigrants from the U.S. and a supporter of the oppressors of women and the poor.

The irony of supporting those who would oppress them seemed to escape them. 

I checked the little button that allows you to view your interactions on Facebook and all of mine to that person were friendly, supportive and positive. All to me however were saying some snarky comment to my liberal gun hating, mass murder protesting memes or facts. That isn’t a friend. So I unfriended. 

People I went to school with spewing racist homophobic poison, gone. I don’t need that negativity. 

I feel better, as if allowing that poison on my timeline, even if it is hidden, is some sort of complicit agreement of their views. 

As Thursday was a holiday and our project just delivered I decided to use up some of my overtime and treat myself to a day off which meant yet another 4 day weekend! Everyone else was working though so I decided to go to the Blue Route mall nearby as I needed a few bits and pieces. It was a gorgeous sunny day but the air was a bit brisk. 

I first went for a quick bite at Mugg and Bean in the mall. They were busy so I didn’t object to the very crowded area where they sat me, it was so close you had to put your arse in your neighbors face to get into your booth. Charming. 

They brought a gorgeous hot latte to me and I ordered a cheese omelette with crispy bacon on the side. 

  
The bacon was like charcoal in places yet the fat was still somehow gelatinous so I sent it back and just got out of there as quick as I could. They took the bacon off the bill, but it meant I had an unsatisfactory experience as I would have ordered avo or something had I know bacon was off the options. In the U.S. my entire meal would have been comped, but that does not happen here. No matter how poor the experience you seldom get compensated. 

I bought some cute new boots at Woolies having tried on every pair in the mall. It’s so nice that every pair zips over my newly thinned down calves and I have that freedom of choice, before Banting I couldn’t zip most boòts. I used to only be able to wear ankle boots due to my chunky calves. My chunky everything.

Cute heh? I don’t wear much beige or brown but I will now. 

  
I got some of the other things I needed and came home to sit in the sun and stare at my mountain.

  

I relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon and then Norm and I went out for date night. 

We were lucky to get a table as it was Friday and we had no booking so we were pleased to get in to Grill Under The Milkwood.

When we sat down the music was so unsuitable for leisurely dining. It was a rather intense Trance beat. It made you want to shoot an espresso and get moving, maybe grow dreads. Or whatever one does at a Trance event, I have no desire to find out. The thump thump was certainly not the pace to set for leisurely dining. We asked the host to please change to something less intense, he cheekily suggested ‘Classical’ but he wandered off and the music dropped pace. 

We both had the same dish for our Starter – the baby calamari. Norm had his grilled and it was in a lemony sauce. I had mine fried.

  
It was delicious. The tentacles crisp and light. Very nice.

My main was the 200gram fillet steak with mushroom sauce and vegetables as my side. Norm had the 300gram. 

  
The tradititional SA fare of butternut and spinach was perfectly cooked. I liked the little bit of raw shredded cabbage in a sour vinegary sauce. It was excellent. The steak was the end cut of the fillet and therefore was not as tender as it could have been, but it was cooked exactly as I asked, pink throughout but not bloody. Perfection.

We shared the Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc my absolute fave, it was divine. While Norm had a post dinner coffee I had an amarula on ice. Yum.

  
We had a lovely evening chatting and I went home quite happy. The girls were home when we got back and we watched a silly Mr Bean film. We were in the mood for a bit of nonsense.

  
We were up very early Saturday as it was my friend Anze’s funeral at 9 on the other side of town. It was in a lovely church where I think Anze’s brother in law is the pastor. There was a huge turnout, they had to bring in extra seats for all the people to fit in. That says so much about what a special woman Anze was. Her current man, Patrick and her ex-husband Angelo both brought me to tears when they spoke, but when Sarah their 9 yr old daughter read a verse of scripture it was just so touching. Anze’s children are so young, Angelo asked that we all help keep Anze’s memory alive for the children. It was a very special ceremony. I’m broken hearted for all her loved ones, especially Sarah and Eli. 

  
Anze will be missed, she touched so many lives.

Llewelyn Clayton is Anze’s ex-brother in law who gave the service and another pastor Selwyn did something I’ve never experienced but thought was lovely, they had the family all stand in a circle, like a group hug, and the other attendees all prayed for them, raising hands toward the family. A way to pass on strength and share their burden.

We created a border and the pall bearers walked the coffin out to the hearse, loaded the hearse and left. Norm and I headed off after the ceremony. 

By now it was 11am so we stopped off for brunch at Newport Deli in Mouille Point.

  
It is directly opposite the lighthouse.

  
We parked on the coast road and walked up, it was grey and overcast and bitterly cold.

We ordered a coffee and breakfast. We sat upstairs with a view over the park.

  
  
They must be halaal as bacon was replaced by macon on the menu, so instead of bacon I had salmon and avocado with my eggs. It all tasted so fresh and delicious.

  

Norm had his eggs with avo and grilled tomato which he said had tons of flavour.

  
We headed home after eating to find a sad and upset Caitlin who was just about to book an emergency flight to Durban as her friend Annie’s father had passed away suddenly. Such a day full of sadness and tragedy. 

Norm had work to do and I just relaxed and played distracting games on my iPad. The weather is so cold, we finally broke out the gas heater.

  

We finally finished watching The Making of A Murderer. It makes me feel ill that these things can happen. The world can be a cruel place.

Today is Father’s Day. My own father passed away before my children were born. I so wish he could have known them he would have been so proud of them. They are pretty amazing people.

  
My Dad was one of the original Hipsters. When being a hipster meant being cool, not an annoying poseur.

The weather is dire and it is pouring with ice cold rain. Caitlin was up and away at 5 am to catch a plane to Durban to support Annie. Father’s Day will always mark a sad day for Annie. Bless her. 

Lily and I got up early and fed the dogs and took Norm a coffee in bed. We then attempted Cream Cheese Pancakes. My only adjustment was to use a tiny bit of local honey instead of xylitol.

  
They turned out OK. Put it this way, if Banting means the only pancakes I can have are these ones, I can live with that! They are better than no pancakes at all. 

Lily took a tray up for Norm.

  
The girls had bought a few presents to open and Lily gave them to him and we all relaxed until our lunch booking at Papino’s at 2 which is perfect in this miserable weather as they have a roaring fire. 

  
Norm had his usual hollandse biefstek with veg.

  
I was non Banting and had a pizza.

  

 
 Now we are watching The Spotlight and just having a cozy night in front the fire. 

I hope you had a lovely weekend. I could get used to this 4 day week scenario! 

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