Sweetest Hangover

I had such a fabulously overindulgent weekend last weekend – it was laden with Sugar and Wine. Therefore when I woke on Monday feeling like I had a hangover I wasn’t sure whether to blame the sugar, the wine or both.

I had intense pain in my hip and felt fuzzy headed and fluey. I only had a half bottle of wine on Sunday and that was in the afternoon, so I am pretty sure my body was reacting to the sugar and chocolate I consumed Saturday. It was literally a few spoonfuls of shared desserts. When will I learn my body does not cope well with sugar? My ankles were swollen as well – from a 2 meal deviation from low carb. Crazy heh?

My Mom had her back operation on Monday to fuse her fractured vertebra. She came through it fine and is now resting at home. Hopefully there will be no more dramas until we can get her to South Africa for her visit.

We also had a family tragedy as my Aunt Sylvia who lives in Chattanooga Tennessee passed away. She had fibrosis of the lungs and had been struggling with her health and breathing. My Uncle Joe and Sylvia had been together for decades and he is shattered by her loss. It is hard to be so far away from family with all of these things happening, not being able to support them is a challenge.

It was my Dad’s birthday on Thursday. He would have been 81 if he had lived. He died at 49 from a stroke. He was obese, with a body type exactly like mine, skinny legs and flat arse, all of our weight residing around out abdomens. If only we had discovered the Banting lifestyle it would have maybe resolved his health issues. But like so many ‘if onlies’ we just didn’t know. 

I struggled to make it through the day Monday as I felt so rubbish and was so worried about my Mom.

I ate clean on Monday, stuck to banting as much as I can considering my lack of kitchen. It still took a few days to recover from my sluggishness.

Our book club has now started doing various activities rather than just rotate homes and have dinner at each other’s houses. Some cynical people may say we have given up the pretext of reading books and just go straight for the drinks. On Tuesday we decided to try the newly refurbished Constantia Nek restaurant which now is home to La Parada and Harbour House.

nek-shot

Image credit

The place was buzzing when I arrived. The other girls were already there and I settled in next to my friend Melanie with a gorgeous glass of Spier sauvignon blanc.

me-n-mel

The other girls had eaten before they came out, but I had been at work and did not have time to eat so I was ravenous! I checked out the tapas menu and decided to order 3 different dishes.

I chose the prawn croquettes at R60. There were 6 croquettes so the portion is generous! They were lovely and crispy with a creamy centre containing large chunks of prawn.

prawn-croquettes

I chose the fillet which was accompanied by cauliflower puree, spicy red pepper pesto, crispy bacon, bone marrow and baby mushrooms. It was R78.

I asked for medium, pink but not bloody. It was perfection. I love a nice bit of char on the outside of my steak, the cut was tender and so delicious.

fillet

I also had the crispy salt and pepper squid. It was also a generous portion and was only R49.

squid

The food was divine, the portions are great value for the cost, the service was a bit slow but friendly.  All in all 4 kitten stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

And while I play the country is still full of chaos and strife and political twists and plots.

The ever challenged Minister Pravin Gordhan gave the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement on Wednesday (the US equivalent of a financial state of union sort of thing). The main aim was most likely to stave off a junk rating for South Africa due to the turmoil created by our imbecile of a president. He did give a bit of additional budget towards university education, but this is a drop in the bucket of the R17.6bn estimated to be required to fund tertiary education.

This article is an excellent analysis of the #FeesMustFall agenda.

Also this week, it has become clear that the charges against Pravin are political and have been instigated and proven to be purely political, calculated, desperate and malicious rather than to expose any wrong-doing by the Minister. The information in the link to the article are highlighting the horrific levels of intimidation and coercion which are used by our so called special crimes unit are committing plenty of crimes themselves.

Near where I work in the city,  there were multiple marches and a fracas with the police and the protesters, they occurred near Cape Town Parliament with the cops firing rubber bullets into the crowds. In the 1st image you can see a big ‘W’ on the building – that is a client office I worked from a few years ago. This is relatively near my main client site.


Image credit.

My kitchen cupboard doors finally arrived on Wednesday as well. They are exactly the colour I wanted. Well, most. We were one short.

After work I had to rush home to meet Vanessa my pedicurist. Her daughter had been ill and so we missed last week’s appointment so I had to fit her into my already chaotic week! She is such a sweet girl and it is such a pleasure to have my treatment done in my own home. Even though we had no sink to fill the foot spa, we made a plan 🙂

Norm was ever so productive, in between managing the builders, the house and being busy with Neighbourhood Watch duties he still managed to keep us all fed. Wednesday he made us divine pork chops and bought a couple of salads to go with. We had a ripe avo in the fridge to round it all off and to add a bit more fat and it was all healthy and yummy. He is an amazing hubby.

I was so excited about going to the Artscape Theatre to see the production of Carmen by the Cape Town Opera.

carmen

Norm has had so much on his agenda that he forgot he was supposed to drive me to the theatre as I cannot see to drive at night. The theatre is very near my work so I decided to just leave my car at work overnight and walk over to the theatre straight from work.

The restaurant was fully booked but as I arrived at 6pm I managed to get seated in a comfy wicker seat on the veranda. 


The wind was howling but there were dropdown ‘walls’ which I fancy getting for our outside patio. I ordered a sneaky vodka and cranberry and a tuna salad. 

I hate that bitter purple lettuce it had to be banished. 

I was quite cozy there until Helen arrived at 7. We then went in to the foyer and got a bottle of water for the show and ran into Rob who organized it. There were loads of people in the group. We sat down just as the chimes were sounding. 

The opera was so fabulous we had such fun. They put the lyrics in English up on a board almost on the ceiling which was quite literally a pain in the neck, but that was my only complaint really.

Violina Anguelov who played Carmen was quite sharp featured and rather older than I expected but she had a stunning voice. She also was quite sultry and sexy.


However, by far my favourite was Noluvuyiso Mpofu who played a beautiful Micaëla with such sweet vulnerability and tenderness, I loved her.


It was a very talented cast.


Norm drove through to the city to collect me and it was after midnight when we finally got to bed. But it was a brilliant show and worth it! 

Darren collected me on Friday morning and we went to Canal Walk for a workshop. We finished early and went home, and I was so impressed at the progress of the kitchen renovation. 


Lily and Josh came down and we ordered pizza from Massimo’s.


Today I’ve been to the hairdresser. She did my hair for our Halloween party tonight. The theme is Disney/Animation.

This is my date. Do you know who I am? 


Hopefully tonight will be lots of fun. I’ll take lots of pics to share with you! 

Advertisements

Fairy Dust & Foxes

On Monday I arrived home to find my entire house coated in a thick layer of dust.

Every bit of it. Even my bedroom upstairs.

I think I may have brought it on myself. Look at me asking the fairies for dust in my last blog. Fairies have a naughty sense of humour. 


Norm had his hands full all week project managing it and looking after Caitlin and I. We still had to eat and function even without a kitchen. 

The plumber and the electricians were there Monday and Tuesday rewiring and moving the plumbing and putting in the water supply to our fridge for the ice maker. 

Pixie and Panda both helped. AKA nipped the heels of anyone who came near their Daddy.


The room was all empty and ready for transformation when they arrived after Norm had been working all weekend to get the old cupboards removed.


Norm was so good about being resourceful and managed to make a plan and feed us all week.

Monday I worked in the morning from our offices in Canal Walk. I then went to the client in the CBD and ended up home late so that evening we had chicken kebab take aways from Spiro’s in Hout Bay and this gave me left overs on Tuesday for lunch. If I don’t take my lunch it can be a struggle to get Banting meals.

Tuesday Cordelia was there and at least some of the dust was dealt with. The only problem was that Cordelia also thought she was helping by putting away all of the items I left out as my survival kit into random boxes, so now we have no idea where anything is. I had left out 3 plates, bowls, cups, glasses etc just to get us by. Now it is a mad scramble to find a cup or fork. Then you often have to go upstairs to wash it in the bath.

Norm managed to set up the washing machine outside so that Cordelia could at least do some of the laundry. He also managed to do a shop, and when I got home late that evening he braaied us all some gorgeous fillet steaks on the gas braai. He had gotten some lovely salads from Spar the day before so we finished off those. It was really tasty and all low carb.

On Wednesday the joiner arrived to start to put in the cupboards. I was impressed at the progress they made.


I was again working from the other side of town on Wednesday and then I had to go to my other client in the CBD. I hate all of that motorway driving. That night I just got a pizza from Posticino when Norm got us food as I couldn’t face searching for cutlery, going upstairs to rinse it and all the other hassle.


Thursday afternoon I saw on Facebook that there was a two hour delay getting home due to traffic issues related to the building of a fancy block of flats in Bakoven. They had a stop go system operating during peak rush hour as one lane was closed while they dismantled a giant mofo of a crane. Rather than sit in my car I stayed at work til 6 before I ventured off, but still got stuck when I got to Camp’s Bay. At least it’s beautiful.

It was very misty over the sea.


Since I got home so late on Thursday Norm cooked for us again. He cooked pork fillet on the gas grill and bought salads. Halloumi and butternut and a crunchy salad from Woolies. We don’t have anywhere to prepare anything in our non-existent kitchen. Food has to be mostly ready to eat. The halloumi and butternut salad just needed a minute in the microwave.


We sat outside as it was a hot evening and put on the fairy lights to summon our mischievous fairy friends.


After dinner we just relaxed as we had a crazy week and it felt like it went by in a flash. We decided to watch the third US Presidential debate. That orange slime ball of Trump revolts me. Hilary has her shortcomings and I do not fully trust her. However I feel that she will be a decent president. I see how the alt-right and religious zealots love their leader.


So yes the devotion of the survivalists and the rifle carrying conspiracy theorists make sense, but I can’tunderstand how women can vote for Trump. It is unfathomable. Are these women raised on Fox News and a lifetime of so much misogyny it is part of her own reality? 

There is just so much hatred in America it is frightening.  Add on so many guns and it is a volatile mix, a keg waiting to be lit. People often ask me do I not miss the States? No. I miss my Mother but nothing else. Ok maybe shopping. But not that hostile energy of hatred and paranoia I see on the news and even on my own feeds on social media. 

It can come from some surprising corners. Everyone who knows me knows I am a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community (and all variations of any of these ‘labels’) and their rights. So when I was attacked this week on Twitter by a trans producer I was shocked. especially as she attacked me about an article I retweeted, I didn’t even write it! I shared an article from the Medium site.


I woke the next morning to a barrage of assault. A series of 6 abusive tweets about the fact that the trans community had created the term rape culture and as cisgender I know nothing about rape culture etc etc. 

No honey, you know nothing about me. She wished I had been born CAMAB so I would understand. Her hostility didn’t help me understand anything.

I blocked the toxic cow. Before I did I checked her Twitter page and it was full of her trolling people. I think she must be a very sad and angry individual.

Friday rolled around fast. I couldn’t get away from work early as I wanted to miss the crane removalstop go traffic so I only got home late. 

The baskets and drawers were in place as were the electrical sockets. We have 2 large food larders by the fridge for groceries. I have sooo many electrical outlets! 


Norm got take aways for us when I finally got home, he and Cait had Banting food from Spiro but I went for Fish and Chips. When he went to Spiro they told him they had my fave tiny squid so I got a portion of those brought home as a surprise!

I have 1 week to go until my party and my costume is finally sorted. I ordered from a local Cape Town shop I found online called Costume Crazee. It arrived Thursday evening but was tiny. I emailed the shop and they sent a larger size and collected the smaller size the next day. No hassle. Amazing customer service! I am getting so excited! 

Friday evening Norm was out most of the night with HBNW.  Some bad guys were spotted trying to break into a property and the security providers, the police and many others were soon hot on their heels. Norm was in and out most of the night bashing round on the mountain and listening to the radio when he popped in at home.

We got up and out on Saturday. We had a few errands to run but I didn’t make a list and I forgot half of them. Oops. 

As we struggle to feed ourselves with no kitchen we went out for breakfast. We stopped at Greens as it was on our route. 


We ordered coffees, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, bacon and avocado.


Notice anything odd? 

They forgot the bacon! When we pointed it out they returned quickly with a plate piled high with bacon. No damage done. It was delicious. I liked the extra spinach leaves as well. The eggs were creamy and the mushrooms in a delicious creamy sauce. I liked the tang of the lemon I squirted over the avo and spinach.

We headed over to Gelmar in Tokai and were so happy when they had 42 of the handles we need. 


I still only have the sample doors as our schedule is off by a week. The company who made the carcasses messed up the doors which knocked on a few days, then the painter who ended up making the doors had twice as much work as she originally accounted for which adds on a few more days and the next thing you know you are a week behind. I think we are still going to be done before my Mom and Joy arrive. We may not have time to do the tiles and paint but we would enjoy doing the choosing of tiles and paint colour with Mom and Joy’s input.

Saturday evening I wanted to see my ex-brother in law who is visiting from the states. Caitlin, Norm and I went to meet him and my ex husband Hugh at Dunes in Hout Bay. It’s handy as only 5 minutes up the road.


We arrived just before sunset but it was howling with wind so we were lucky to get a table inside.



Service was slow and our waitress rather surly. I’ve come to accept that as the norm there. I only eat there if we have visitors or guests. It’s tradition. 

I had salmon roses to start. 


They were delicious. 

For my main I asked for my steak to be medium and pink but not bloody. It was so raw when it arrived it was still breathing. I sent it back but when it came back it was perfect and it tasted delicious.


After the waitress served us she went to top up our wine glasses and somehow managed to knock over a glass of red wine all over Caitlin. Head to Toe. She didn’t offer to help, didn’t offer a cloth or anything, she just carried on faffing. Caitlin took off her shirt and the waitress put it in salt water. She never came and cleaned the wine off the floor, the manager never approached us to apologize, no offer of compensation.

Nothing.

Yet Caitlin’s shirt is ruined, it’s stained.

This morning as always I woke at 6 but I had a long lie and Norm brought me coffee in bed. I met some girlfriends at my fave new venue Foxcroft Constantia for lunch. Norm and I collected Alison on our way and he dropped us off so that we could have a glass or two of wine and not worry about driving.


We met my friends Nicola and Janine.


We chatted loads and caught up with each other’s lives. 

We ordered lots of dishes as they are tiny.

We tried the dirty steak. Thinly sliced rare fillet with Anchovy, guasacaca, pickled cucumber. It was divine. It is R75.


We tried the Tempura Prawn with Tom ka gai emulsion. It’s R65. 


The Duck is a main on at R 190, it is a 7 Day Dry Aged Duck Breast with Turnips, fermented plum, gem squash, kale.


We also tried the fish. Pearl cous cous, coriander, mussel chowder for R170. Very nice. 


Then for dessert we got 2 sweets and the cheese platter.

We got the compressed strawberries at R70. Toasted croissant, mascarpone and sweet berries. This was the star. Wow.


Raspberry Beignets for R65. Litchi milk ice, raspberries. These were better when I came previously.


And a cheese platter which came with a gorgeous flavored butter and a basket of divine bread. Selection of local and international cheeses, preserves for R120.


We had a lovely time, I came home a bit midday tipsy. I might have a nap. That’s what weekends are for after all.

Enjoy the remainder of yours. Xx

The Toothwhisperer

My week started out a bit badly as I was at the dentist on Monday but as far as dental visits go it wasn’t too bad. I took a tramacet pain pill for courage and Norm drove me. Dr Pretorius was great, talking me through every action before he made it and moving slowly. My tooth is still tender if I bite on it but it should improve. This was the last phase of my root canal.  I also had to take my car in for its 30k mileage service. Luckily that’s free with my motorplan. Norm followed me there at 730am and then dropped me to collect it late that afternoon after the dentist. I worked from home in between appointments. It was a hot sunny day at least. 

I was back in my main client’s office in the CBD on Tuesday. I woke to pouring rain, another rapid change in our crazy weather. This time of year in South Africa can be so unpredictable. When I got to the café where I usually buy my morning coffee there was a lady standing outside who stopped me. She said ‘I am not asking for money. Please do not judge me. But I am hungry.’ As both a mother and as a child of the American South, that is something I cannot turn my back on. I asked her to wait for me while I just put down my bags at my desk and I would be right back. When I got back outside she looked like she was so surprised I came back. She showed me her neck which looked like she had her throat slit at one stage as there was a dark scar from side to side. She also walked hunched over as if she could not straighten her upper back. She said in a gravelly voice that she has throat cancer and she is having treatment and can only swallow soft food. I told her to come with me to the café where she can sit inside in the warmth and I will buy her breakfast. She said that about the only thing she can eat is cereal with milk and could I rather buy that. I took her into the corner shop and bought her a giant box of corn flakes and a big bottle of full fat milk. The change was R10 so I gave her that as well as I tried to not get emotional. She broke my heart. There but for the grace of God go I. Or you. 

I’ve been pretty much homeless but for the kindness of friends. It can happen to any of us. So many people live day to day, paycheck to paycheck. Or they are dependent on their partner to provide a roof. Or they fall victim to anything which requires medical assistance. If you have no medical aid an accident can bankrupt you. You lose a job or a partner, what happens to you? So many, especially women, have no safety net.

Then that same evening when I left work a young man approached me asking for cash for the night shelter. But so many people are needy, how do you choose who to give to? But to anyone who approaches me for money while walking I will say no. It’s not safe opening your bag on the street. If they are hungry I will buy food. 

Work has been varied again which makes it less monotonous. I can’t bear monotony. I had so many different projects and clients demanding attention. I facilitated 2 workshops on Tuesday and hopefully that will result in a bit of new work, the client seemed very happy with what we showed them. I got home late but still quickly threw together dinner.


I made spicy mince with cumin, garlic, chili, chili powder, paprika and a bit of stock and cooked peppers and onions in butter. I served it salad style with butter lettuce, rosa tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, salsa and cilantro. I made taco ‘shells’ from baking thinly sliced smoked provolone until bubbly.

I had enough left for lunch on Wednesday, this worked out well as I ended up getting asked to dial in on a conference call as a Specialist Consultant for a new client which lasted til almost 1.

I got home so late on Wednesday as I didn’t leave the office til almost 5pm and then sat in stand still traffic for ages. I heard on the radio that there had been 3 casualties on the motorway in the southern suburbs. Three men who are part of the group of housebreakers known as the “Crowbar Gang” and were being pursued by security police.

This is what they mean by a crowbar gang.

They crossed over to the wrong side of the highway and rolled their car and 3 of them died and 1 of them went to the hospital but was in critical condition. He also subsequently died.

They hit a mother and her child in one car as well as a second car. The people in the other cars were injured but have survived thankfully. 

Luckily Norm bought us dinner and prepared it all once I finally got home. It was grilled fish, butternut squash and steamed broccoli.


It was low carb but not high fat.  I would have dipped the fish in coconut and fried it in coconut oil but I was so tired I was happy to be fed whatever and however Norm felt like cooking.

The #FeesMustFall student protests have gotten completely out of hand and incredibly violent across the breadth of the country. Here in Cape Town at CPUT, Lily’s alma mater, the protestors locked a couple of security guards in a closet and set the campus on fire. 


Several protesters have been arrested and charged with attempted murder.

At Wits in the North of the country a priest named Father Graham Pugin from Holy Trinity Church in Braamfontein bravely stood at the church entrance blocking the police riot vehicle from entering the church grounds to arrest protestors who were seeking sanctuary.


Image credit
Father Pugin got shot in the face by a rubber bullet as a result.


I received an email from the University of Cape Town advising that the Information  Systems Expo was cancelled due to the unrest. 


Those kids work all year towards presenting their work at the Expo, Caitlin was always proud of their work. So many people will be punished for the means of a few. People will be affected who themselves may not be able to afford a make up year. The poor affecting the poor. The year will be written off as a fail for most. The damage is immeasurable.

I am supportive of the desire for change. However some of the points they protestors make seem ridiculous to my western mind. 

Surely science is science?  Not that I don’t believe in black magic or witchcraft. I do. However this does not devalue science! Surely there is room for both the physical sciences as well as black magic? Even though black magic goes against the limitations of physics and science.

I am confident that this turmoil is being instigated by Zuma to distract us from his own issues and the investigations into SARS and other areas of suspected corruption. 

Zuma tried to stop our wonderful, brave, amazing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela from releasing her report on State Capture before her term ended. State capture is a type of systemic political corruption in which private interests significantly influence a state’s decision-making processes to their own advantage through unobvious channels that may not be illegal. In SA a family called the Guptas seem to be leading Zuma and manipulating government decisions. Parliament described the probe as an “investigation into complaints of alleged improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries relating to alleged improper relationships and involvement of the Gupta family in the removal and appointment of Ministers and Directors of State Owned Entities (SOES) resulting in improper and possibly corrupt award of State contracts and benefits to the Gupta family businesses”.

Zuma also had his fingers up another puppet’s backside in the form of Shaun Abrahams. Abrahams has charged Pravin Gordhan with fraud. Malema has had charges levied against him as well. The timing is rather suspect.

The light is shining on Zuma. Like most vermin he doesn’t like the light.

The same as the light is shining on Trump’s latest scandals coming out about his many abuses on women. Let us hope that the American voters do the right thing. Even if they vote for that moron who doesn’t even know what Aleppo is. He can’t be as dangerous as Trump.

Thursday I had a meeting in Canal Walk for most of the day then at lunch time I came back to the city for my main client after Norm and I went to the bank to move funds to pay for the kitchen renovation. It was a stunning sunny day with a strong wind coming off the sea and was a pleasant if blustery walk across the city. 

That evening when we were home relaxing Pixie started barking like a lunatic. We moved all the furniture looking for a ball or bone or what ever might be driving her so insane. Norm shouted at her and tried to distract her and then I heard rustling. It was a tiny shrew! 


We chased round with a shoe box for ages and finally got it. We are a catch and release house.

I had a day in office on Friday working toward my delivery of my main project. I had a yummy Mexican salad for lunch from Tortilla Modern Mexican


The chef there chops lettuce just for me as I don’t want the carbs from the chips, rice or tortillas. I do have beans however. This is my weekly treat. I never thought I would see beans as a treat!


Friday Josh and Lily drove down for the weekend as Josh has a race on. It was lovely to see her again so soon. 

We ordered in take aways and Norm took a break from dismantling cupboards to collect them. We had a curry and the kids had sushi. We had a chilled evening. I was delighted to discover that series 6 of American Horror Story was on playback so we watched an episode of that. 

I love that series! Norm is not a fan. We have opposite tastes in TV. 

The kids woke us at 6.30am so we got up and busy. We packed up the kitchen cupboard contents and Norm dismantled the cupboards. It was exhausting and my house is a mess! 


We knocked off at sunset and showered and the kids came home for dinner. We tried a new place, The Kitchen Takeaway. I had 100g of delicious fall off the bone ribs, Lily had the crispy chicken burger, Josh had the gourmet burger and Norm the Banting burger.  Due to the state of my kitchen I didn’t take any snaps but I loved their takeaway packaging, I adored my ribs, everyone loved their food. The chips were crispy outside and fluffy inside and covered in a nice spicy salt.  Gorgeous all around. We will be back!

Today has been working on dismantling the kitchen cupboards. Norm somehow managed to pull together a delicious Banting Brekkie. I was sitting outside and so surprised! 


Josh and Lily pitched in with taking down the upper cupboards as it was a bit much for Norm and let’s face it, I’m more of a hindrance than a help.


Pixie was so annoyed that she was not the center of everyone’s attention.


Monday the electricians come and sort out their portion of the project. Tuesday the joiner comes to install the carcasses and on Thursday or Friday the painter will deliver the doors and painted panels. The Quartz people cannot come until the units are in. There are so many steps involved in this sort of project. Timelines usually mean little in Cape Town. 

I just want to be functional as soon as possible. My Mom and Joy are due to arrive in 4 weeks. I just want it all done for their arrival.

My mom has her MRI this week then her op on her back as soon as possible. Hopefully they can inject the vertebrae with cement like last time as it has a quick recovery time. 

So if you can spare some good wishes please send them to Atlanta for my Mom and if any is left maybe a bit of fairy dust to my kitchen!

Have a fabulous week yourselves. Xx

The Spokeswoman 

The week started off so gorgeous, so sunny and  hot! We had a lovely 27 degrees Celsius on Monday and Tuesday was even hotter, allegedly hitting over 30 degrees. As I work in an air conditioned office I often have no clue what is going on outside. It’s like Antartica in my office, we freeze. 

I wondered will it finally stay warm, can I actually now move from boots to pumps? “Pumps” is another of those words which seems to mean a different thing in different countries.

In the US, a pump is a sexy, closed heel.


In South Africa a pump is flat.


I get so confused. Maybe it means both? Since my hip replacement I can no longer wear heels. I miss them, I never feel properly dressed up without a sexy pair of stilettos.

But it’s been so many years since I wore heels it would be hilarious to watch I’m sure. 

And then Thursday arrived and in typical Cape Town fashion,  I reverted back to boots as it was storming so badly it sounded like the house was going to blow in when I was getting ready for work. Once I got into the city the heavens opened and as well as icy cold wind and drizzle it started pouring giant splodges of rain. I have a long walk and I just zipped my jacket and put on my hood and plodded and splashed across town, dodging people running and went to my office. It’s impossible to use an umbrella in Cape Town.

I looked like a drowned rat when I got to work. I shook off and put what bits of me I could manage under the hand dryer. At least my thighs got dry in front and the back of me didn’t get as wet as I was walking into the downpour. 

drowned-rat

But that is Cape Town for you! Crazy daisy weather.

On Monday evening I had a phone call from Washington from a woman from Democrats Abroad asking if I had submitted my ballot. When I told her I hadn’t registered before I emigrated and that I left the US so many years ago that I can’t even remember my last address or Social Security number in order to register she said she would see what she can do. Maybe I can vote after all! That would be fab to vote against the Donald. I never answer my phone, the fact I answered an unknown US number is a real exception.

I then received an email from someone and she was zero help, suggesting I ‘figure out how to open the pdf’ that I told her wouldn’t open. Gosh why didn’t I think of that! She sent a link to a website which provided no guidance at all. So I’m back to square one, unable to register without proof of tons of info from 30 years ago. I’ve moved over 40 times, no chance will I know an address from when I lived in LA! Bugger.

I cannot face another president coming into the mix where I am going to be quizzed on ‘WTF is America thinking??’ every time a random stranger hears my Yank accent. I had to endure this for all of the years that Bush was ineptly banging around the White House. I cannot explain how a moron gets elected. I assume it is by the support of other morons but I am not the International American spokeswoman on moronic behaviour. And no I also cannot explain what is going on with the blatant murder of blacks by police in America. I am as horrified by these recurring deaths as anyone – I cannot explain it to others. But still I get quizzed. Luckily I’ve been out of the US and lived so many places my accent is a hodge podge. I escape scrutiny on occasion. 

Meanwhile life goes on. 

This week was over in a heartbeat because I was so busy. 

Norm was working on Monday evening so Caitlin and I ordered a Thai cafe order for home delivery. But as we took so long to make a plan then had to await the delivery dude, it was very late by the time we ate and it was time for bed soon after we finished.

As a result of having no leftovers, the next day I decided to take some smoked salmon to work for lunch so I walked to Food Lovers Market and visited the salad bar and made up a simple salad but they had no ripe avos so I bought a tiny perfect avo at the corner shop for only R3 and I took it all back to the office kitchen to construct it. It went so nicely together. It also meant a nice midday stroll out  in the gorgeous sunshine.

The drama continues over the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng into yet another executive position after being deemed unfit to serve as the COO. Now several of the SABC board have resigned and the parastatal is in deep trouble. The blatant disregard by the ANC of the findings by the Public Protector had already led to some resignations but the latest shenanigans has resulted in the last few members who seemed ethical to finally jump ship. The company is in a mess as is everything the ANC touches, Mandela must be so disappointed.

The medical infrastructure is barely functioning.  The incompetencies in the hospitals mean you don’t want to get injured in an accident. If you go for surgery where you select the hospital and surgeon yourself then you are generally ok. But you don’t want to be injured and especially not out in the remote areas.

Norm has started with getting the kitchen prepped for the renovation project. He has packed up a lot. 

We had a moment of panic this week when we rang to check progress with the company we paid to produce the cupboards and discovered the guy whom we were dealing with no longer works there. OK, to be perfectly honest, in reality I panicked and Norm just regretted telling me. 

He rang them the next day and confirmed that all was in order and the cupboards would be ready on Monday the 10th as planned. However as things often pan out, when Norm followed up with the painter she said that she wanted to get a full sized door to use as the demo piece for approval. When she drove to the site to collect a door they showed her one which was the wrong design! She had heard the whole story directly from me about the design so she agreed with them that they would pay her for the doors and she will produce and paint them! Thank goodness for the painter who seems so switched on. She should have a sample available on Monday for us to approve. I’m excited beyond measure. 

Norm has started chipping away at the tiles.

Meanwhile on Facebook, one of my Mom’s friends posted some of the cutest pics from January 1992. This is me and my children a year and a half after moving from LA to South Africa.

Caitlin would have been 3, Lily just turned 1 and Trevor was 5. So tanned and golden. Like a negative of them now, they never go in the sun and have dark or black hair. 

How did I have 3 children under 5 and have painted nails?  This was Africa, there were no nail salons. 

Norm is on a mission to grow his own tomatoes. His seeds have sprouted.


 His mom always had a load of her own tomatoes, as did my Grandmother. There is nothing better. I was not thinking properly as we chose rosa tomatoes which I love, but if we had planted large tomatoes we could have had fried green tomatoes, I miss those! 

I found this low carb recipe on a blog I want to try: Low carb fried green tomatoes.


The #FeesMustFall protesting is still going on with the university students. The University where Lily attended was full of chaos on Thursday. The protesters threw human feces at the police and in return the police fired rubber bullets. The government have sat firmly on the fence proving ineffective at controlling the situation.

I worked on 4 different projects this week, doing data analysis, project planning, created a presentation and reviewed someone’s document so it was varied and the week flew by. 

Caitlin flew to Johannesburg for a few weeks leaving on Thursday evening. It was unfortunate that Norm had work and they both were away. 

Early Friday morning Norm also flew away to speak at an event. Here he is having dinner with the parents of SA Gold medalist Wade van niekerk and SA Athletics officials. 

Meanwhile I was attending the launch of my friend Darryn Clark’s new location for his business Time Menders with my friend Annie. Darren is an artisan who makes and repairs clocks. It’s a stunning venue full of classic cars, bikes and various bits of Americana and memorabilia. 


It is a fabulous space with good clear energy. Some of those old spots can have a lot of bad juju hanging around. I hope it’s going to be a successful venture. They want a pseudo Biscuit Mill vibe with a coffee shop and maybe restaurant or cafe but with artisans occupying the stalls not just selling the usual same old tat you see at so many markets. 

In typical SA fashion, the blokes stayed round the fire and the women all sat comfortably round the lounge area and didn’t mingle. Of course we did talk about menopause and abusive men all night soooooo I can’t blame the blokes really. It was a man free zone.

We went very early and so we left early too and got home by 8 as I wanted to go spend time with Lily and Josh who had arrived just after I got home from work. I was so glad I wasn’t on my own that night. The wind picked up again and the rain was intermittent. The garden is loving it. 

Saturday it again poured with rain in the morning and we woke to overcast misty mountains.

I had a lazy day on Saturday and Lily and Josh were off to the track for training on Josh’s bike. He is racing next week so they are coming back again. Norm flew home from Bloemfontein late yesterday afternoon. 

I wanted to cook something for dinner but we had nothing much in the fridge and I was too cozy to shop.  I thawed out a bag of frozen raw prawns. I fried 3 small peppers, red, yellow and orange, 4 red Birdseye chillis, an onion and 4 cloves of garlic. I then added a bag of chopped butternut. I added double cream, coconut cream, 2 cups chicken broth and 2 tins chopped tomato. I flavored with chili powder, cumin, fresh coriander and paprika. I let it simmer until the butternut was soft then used the hand blender to make it all smooth. I cleaned and tailed the prawns and cut them into small pieces and washed them and added to the soup. I then added provolone to a sheet of baking paper and cooked til bubbly.

I topped the soup with fresh cream and chopped cilantro to serve. The provolone ‘crackers’ added a bit of crunch.


That soup was to die for. So much flavor and bite. Mucho caliente baby. We just relaxed the rest of the evening, I was happy to have Norm home. The animals were cozy too.

Lily and Josh drove back this morning and Norm and I headed out to do errands. It was sunny but there was a bit of chill in the air. My flowers were looking for the sun.


We went to Hirsch’s and bought a stainless steel extractor hood to go with our new cooker.


That is another thing sorted. We tried to find lighting and a bar fridge but no luck.

We were starving by the time we left the shop so we went to Mugg & Bean for a bite to eat. I had the Cobb salad.

Norm had the low carb Eggs Benedict. Instead of an English muffin it had mushrooms.


We did a shop for toiletries and bits and bobs at Clicks then decided to go to Constantia to do a big grocery shop, we were out of everything. On our way we spotted a huge fire. We never saw what was burning.


We then did a Pic n Pay shop for basics, then got our meat and veg at Woolworths. 

Norm walked the dogs and we relaxed a bit then we made dinner together.

We stuffed chicken breasts with spinach and marscapone then baked it. It was soooo tender. 


To go with we made mushrooms, gem squash and steamed cauliflower. 

The weekend has flown by, tonight we are watching Creed, the Sunday movie. Tomorrow my car goes in for a service so I am working from home and then in the afternoon I am at the dentist for the second phase of my root canal treatment. Hopefully it won’t hurt as much. 

I get to see my painted sample cupboard door tomorrow, I’m so excited! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead. Xxx