The Continuity of Spirit

This week has been a challenge to get through. Hearing people justify the sexually predatory behaviors from the president elect and then standing back and feigning shock or disgust when those exact same behaviors trickle down and are exhibited by the masses.

You are normalizing these behaviors so don’t be shocked when it becomes the norm.

However I’m trying to not let it keep me down, this intellectual dumbing down of America. Nor will I bow to the blatant hatred and racism being displayed by the Trumplodites. The American Propoganda Machine is on full blast.

I fear for anyone with skin darker than milky white, for any woman walking alone, for anyone who may be perceived as not Caucasian, any woman wearing any form of traditional clothing which designates any religion other than Christian. Any man in a yarmulke or a turban.

I fear for their safety.

This is Trump’s America. Welcome to the nightmare.

The safety pin campaign which started up following the Brexit vote to show solidarity with Muslim and other immigrants who were the targets of the escalation in hate crimes has been taken up in the states as a response. The same escalation of hate crime is happening in the USA. Many women, Asians, Hispanic, Muslim, gay or other minorities are being attacked, abused and harassed,  beaten and stabbed.


Image credit.
Are you aware that there are almost 900 known Hate Groups in the United States? That’s the known ones, I’m sure there are many more politely masquerading as Gentlemen’s Groups or Churches. But the poison being spewed will be just as toxic.


Now that racism and bigotry are being promoted by the president elect these are sure to escalate.

Maybe these feelings of despair were exacerbated by my family’s own experiences with hate crimes and senseless violence.

I’ve written before about my daughters’ friends who were both beaten to death in Cape Town in what has been called race crimes or mistaken identity. It pains me to even think about these beautiful, brave young men who were murdered. I can’t even begin to imagine how their families cope. In Africa white men are the minorities. It flips the script on the American issues. Maybe it gives a different perspective.

Caitlin and Lily have been so supportive of Carla whose son Carl was beaten to death after a night out. His family have suffered so. On Saturday Caitlin took Carla for a pedicure as a treat and we met up for lunch afterwards at Forresters Arms a popular gastro pub.


It was a warm sunny day and we got a table outside. It was busy and vibey but service was good, the waiter understood the menu and offered good advice on portion sizes.

We shared the chili poppers.


Caitlin and Carla had the infamous burgers.


I had a few of the tapas offerings. The 80g fillet steak with stir fry veg was tender, juicy and delicious.


I also had the chili prawns. Fresh, moist and tender and the coriander was a perfect lift of the chili.


I had expected chicken in a basket and was ever so pleasantly surprised by the menu, venue and service.

I award 5 kitten stars to Forries! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

We had a lovely afternoon chatting. When I left I was driving home thinking how sad I was about the loved ones we have senselessly lost and of course Pierre is uppermost in my mind.

As usual when I think of Pierre, his song came on the radio. It gave me a feeling of comfort. When I told Caitlin this story when she arrived home I said that maybe Pierre and Carl were letting me know they are hanging out. Caitlin said that like Pierre, Carl was very fit and did a lot of climbing.

So from now on that will be my mental image, what brings me comfort. I do know that our physical presence here on earth is only a temporary manifestation of our reality. The continuity of spirit is permanent.


Meanwhile the rest of us are just trying to cope with life.

Saturday evening Norm, Retha and I went for dinner at Grill Under The Milkwood.


Retha had been lucky enough to go sailing all day so I’m surprised she had the energy to stay upright much less eat. She looked great after a bit of sunshine however.


Retha ordered the Escargot in Blue Cheese.


She loved it.

Norm and I always order the same starter at this venue as it’s our favorite dish usually. We ordered the ‘Baby Calamari Starter’ at R63.00 for 125g. It is described as ‘Baby calamari tubes and tentacles grilled or deep fried dressed with our signature lemon garlic herb sauce’. However what arrived was a bowl of rubber. The grease it was fried in had left a nasty taste as well as the dreadful consistency.


Look at the size of the tentacles and thickness of the slabs of steak.  We tasted it to see if it was edible and sent it back. It was horrible.

The owner came to apologize and I told her that she should not be trying to pass that off as Baby Calamari. I told her she should rather be upfront and tell the customers that they do not have baby calamari so that we have the option to make an alternative choice. We didn’t now want Retha to sit waiting for the kitchen to start making new starters for us after she had finished hers. It was disappointing.

Instead we waited for our mains. Retha ordered the Eisbein at R129. Described as ‘Prepared crispy served with hot or cold sauerkraut and mustard and baby potatoes.’ Retha chose mixed veg instead of the potatoes.


Norm had the 300g Tornado – ‘Fillet steak decked with sautéed mushrooms topped with creamy red wine and herb sauce with a touch of garlic’ at R199. He chose mixed veg as his side.


When I asked him how it was he said ‘good, not outstanding’.

I had a plain grilled 200g fillet at R159. I ordered mine with butternut and spinach.


My steak was cooked perfectly as was my veg. I enjoyed it.

As I hadn’t had my starter I was not quite satisfied and Retha and I fancied dessert. However the ONLY dessert they offered was what they called ‘Red Velvet Cake’. Their menu online has many cold and warm desserts but they had none on offer except that one. One dessert on offer on a Saturday night?!?

We decided to share the Red Velvet.


I don’t know what it was but it was incredibly far removed from Red Velvet anything. I’m a Georgia girl, Red Velvet originated in the South. I can spot an imposter a mile away. It had a citrus flavor mixed with a nutty flavor, neither of which taste should come to play in Red Velvet. The cream cheese was not very creamy. It tasted like it even may have contained a layer of tinned caramel. It appears as if the chef just sprinkled it with food colouring.

I don’t understand calling something by a label which is misleading. Be honest with your customers. We were very disappointed with our evening.

Two Kitten Stars for you Under The Milkwood. ⭐️⭐️. Meh.

Tonight my Mom and her friend Joy arrives from the USA. I’m so excited to see them both. I hope they have a fabulous visit. We collect them very late from the airport. Tomorrow I’ll be exhausted at work but I’m sure I’ll cope. Coping is what we do.

I had hoped that our kitchen renovation would be complete before they arrived but due to endless delays by the company that is making the doors and hand painting the units we are still living in a construction site.

It’s still in need of tiles and paint but it’s at least functional.


I always have goals of a spotless home when we have visitors. Navajo does his best to make that a challenge.


Whatever made me think white bath mats were a good idea?

My life will be pretty busy until after New Year but I’ll try to keep in touch 😘

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Hypocrisy & Self Destructive Tendencies

America has chosen a new president. Or shall I say, half of the half of the eligible voters in America who voted put this guy in office.

wtf

His campaign was based on hate, bigotry, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, Islamophobia, climate change denial and anti-science rhetoric and was backed up by zero policies, plans or methods of his proposed means of change other than that tired old mantra ‘build a wall’.

trumpaloompa

The Trumplodites say that they supported him because they want change. The liberals call it a ‘white lash’ against the 8 years of the Obama presidency.

Bush’s reign was the root of the financial crisis and Obama inherited this mess and had to try and turn that around. However as with many things the bigots and the racists want to blame all of America’s woes on Obama. They are very short-sighted and seem to have had their memory of everything erased other than Hillary’s email fiasco.

No matter what shocking thing Trump said, his defenders would throw out the email argument in defense.

emails

It was clear to the rest of the world (who get their news from sites other than Fox News) that the FBI’s James Comey was trying to interfere with the electoral process and was an obvious supporter of Trump. Maybe like Julian Assange he has a personal axe to grind with HRC?

A surprising number of Latinos voted for Trump, some even say the Latino vote is what swung Florida.

latino-votes

I have a completely un-validated theory about this. Is it possible that the Florida Latino population is predominately Cuban or Puerto Rican and have a feeling of separation from the Mexican voters who had been labelled ‘rapists and drug dealers’ by Trump? That they assume that Trump doesn’t hate all Latinos, only the ones born in Mexico? Or is it just that lumping all Latinos into one big bucket is stereotyping and therein lies the root of this error of judgment? Expecting all Latinos to jump the same direction is a bit ridiculous.

The alt-right support Trump’s points of view as he is one of them. He is full of racism, hatred and bigotry. His election has legitimised these behaviours and made them acceptable. I saw people posting on social media about the harassment and hate they are experiencing mere hours after the election results were posted. I fear for my African American friends who will live under this rule.

The KKK are celebrating and have planned a parade in his honour. Finally someone is openly supporting their archaic views of white superiority.

The number of African Americans who have been openly murdered by police are on the increase as is the overall number of people who die by gun violence. However the idea of any sort of regulation on guns is repulsive to the Trump camps.

Can anyone say paranoia?

shooting

Trump has ranted against people of Mexican heritage during the general election including U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, whom Trump stated is biased against him due to his views, but now Trump will come face-to-face with Judge Curiel when he is in court to defend himself against allegations of fraud in a major class-action civil trial. If Judge Curiel finds against Trump, it will be seen as vindictiveness and if he finds for him I am sure the cries will be that he was intimidated into his decision. There are many outstanding legal issues at play with this creature. He is litigious by nature and has no qualms about legalities, morality or ethics. He boasts of avoiding paying taxes and you can guarantee that any changes in this arena will only benefit the rich.

Trump somehow managed to avoid going to trial over the case of rape against a 13 year old girl when the charges were dropped. Was she intimidated? Was she paid to keep quiet?  Either way these allegations from Jane Doe and many other women cannot all be made up, where there is this much smoke there has to be some sort of fire burning. People dismissed his own claims of being a sexual molester and predator as ‘locker room’ talk. Now that I see the type of people who support him, maybe this is the sort of talk American men indulge in. Maybe I just hang out with a better class of man.

We expected women voters to pull out all stops to derail the misogyny train, however the exit polls show this is not the case. Many women were apparently secret Trump supporters, possibly ashamed to say they don’t care that he assaults women and grabs them by the pussy. These are the voters I just cannot understand.

The new vice president is not a supporter of LGBT rights and thinks gay people should not be allowed to marry and that the law should reflect that only a marriage between a man and a woman is recognised or allowed.

All of these things are thrown under the banner of christianity. and this is one of my issues with religion. We won’t open the door on the patriarchy and suppression of women by the church, that is a rant worthy of a blog on it’s own. However to try and say that this paedophilic swindler is ‘god’s choice’? That is some crazy form of self delusion. The right wing republicans are so far removed from anything resembling Christianity. They have built their cult on common hatred of homosexuality and women who have an abortion. They try and say that the lives of babies matter more than the rights of the woman who is carrying that baby. Even when that ‘baby’ is still just a cluster of cells. Even when the mother was raped or when her pregnancy puts her life at risk. Trump even went so far as to say that women who have abortions should be prosecuted.

If they are spouting these views under the banner of ‘pro-life’ then what about the lives of the children in Syria who are living a life of hell? They adamantly oppose allowing these children into ‘their’ society. They care not for the lives of children who are already on this earth, so to try and use that bullshit argument as their justification does not fly.

Many churches preach politics and poison directly from the pulpit, rather than godly behaviours such as love and charity to your fellow man. Such hypocrisy. What they mean is that they will welcome you if you are white, straight and conformist. Oh and armed.

The millennials were supportive of Hillary who won 54% of voters age 18 to 29, compared to 37% who cast ballots for Trump. As represented in this Infographic shared on Twitter shows, the youth had an entirely different view than the oldies.

youth

Is this because the youth are not devotees of the Faux News twisting of reality? Do they have a wider vision?

I learned a lot from this election. About both my home country and about myself.

I learned that hate and bigotry is alive and well in America.

I also learned that my ‘go to’ reaction when upset is one of a variety of self-destructive behaviours masking as ‘self-soothing’. When I received the message that Hilary had conceded to The Trumpaloompa I immediately felt torn between the need to barf and the desire to eat chocolate, sugar, cake, anything to make me ‘feel better’. However I know that it is a temporary fix and will lead to me ultimately feeling like rubbish. But synching your mind and your actions is not an easy thing. I ended up having a non-banting pizza for dinner last night and this morning I had a muffin for breakfast.

I had the sugar symptoms known as ‘carb flu’ kick in by midday – a headache, fuzzy brain and sore stomach. So why do I do it? That is a question I cannot answer. I do it to comfort myself, despite the resulting discomfort.

Ironic isn’t it?

I expect a lot of discomfort for the next 4 years.

 

 

 

 

The Whole Hog

On Friday I worked from our head office in Century City and when our workshop finished and we left work early I was starving so I headed to Allegria Cafe for a bite to eat. I ordered my fave Eggs Benedict.

It looked beautiful but the bacon was way too underdone for my preference. Norm likes it like that but I left most of mine uneaten. Their hollandaise is gorgeous. I just pushed the English muffin to the side.

The painter had been busy distressing the cupboards.


I hung out in the garden with the dogs for a bit that afternoon.


That night we went to Retha’s and got dinner from The Kitchen Takeaway in Hout Bay. Retha and I both got the free range chicken burger and Norm had a beef burger. It was delicious and certainly not low carb, but sometimes you just want a burger! We watched some movies and I passed out as always. Oops.

We had a huge chore list for Saturday but first I had to take Pixie to Noordhoek to see David Black our chiropractor. We got there early.


It’s a stunning drive, I pulled over for pics on the way home. All the wildflowers are in bloom.

I got home about 10.30am and collected Norm and off we went to Canal Walk. There was a bar fridge on special at Game and we managed to get the last one in Cape Town. We are getting a new bar top and mantel piece done in a nice dark wood and will kit the bar out properly. With a decent kitchen I hope we will entertain more often. The same joiner who fitted our kitchen is doing the wood work. He does quality work at a good price.


Norm had gone to Kenilworth the previous afternoon to take back a recently purchased vacuum cleaner we had for a week when it started smoking. It is a tiny cheap one as Cordelia is very heavy handed and has broken about 4 of them, starting with our very expensive Dyson so each time we spend less. The girl at the shop said the reason it burned out after a week is that we used it as a vacuum. Ummmmm. It IS a Vacuum? Should I use it as a blender? A deep fat fryer? She said it had burned out because we used it every day.

What?

We had it a week. Are you telling me the shelf life of this product is a week?

So they sent it away for repair instead of giving us a new one. Now we have 3 long haired dogs and no vacuum. And we are renovating our house. I can’t believe they didn’t give us an exchange? We have to wait?

We asked could we purchase the fridge at the Kenilworth branch and then collect it the next morning at Canal Walk or could they at least hold it til we get there. No.

The worst customer service ever.

After Game we went for lunch at Mugg & Bean in Canal Walk. It was hectic busy as always.
I ordered the Eggs Benedict. Yes I’m predictable. I like what I like.

Again I knocked the stack from the muffins and pushed the bread to the side to manage the amount of carbs. My eggs were supposed to be soft but they were hard. The bacon however was perfect.


Norm had an omelette filled with cheddar cheese and mushroom and bacon on the side.


He seemed pleased with it.

After Century City we headed to Northgate shopping area. We went to Arora Lights and found 2 light fittings for the kitchen and scullery. These are not exactly the same style I bought but this is very similar. Mine have rings with ridges around the silver part.


Then we went searching for tiles for our kitchen renovation project.

We didn’t get any as we couldn’t decide. The 2 on the left are the top contenders. We have to blend with the terra-cotta and blue floor tiles.

We went home and relaxed a bit then Norm took the dogs out for their walk and we went to collect Retha. We were heading out to The Hogshouse Brewery in Ndabeni.

It was our friend Elmari’s birthday celebration.


I was pleased to see some old Twitter pals.


The food is served ‘family style’ on shared platters. We ordered a variety of starters.

Chilli poppers, black pudding scotch eggs, home made tortilla chips and guacamole and Arancini di Riso which are beautiful rich balls of mushroom risotto deep fried in a crispy coating. All were excellent quality.



Some pics are compliments of my friend Hila aka Add To Taste on social media. Some are from Retha. I took a few. I can’t remember who took which. Oops. Rest assured the good ones probably aren’t mine. 🙈 thank you ladies.

For mains it’s the same concept, they brought platters of meat and we selected various sides. We just made our own trays, the ribs were melt in your mouth.

I had the Pulled pork which was prepared SA style, not Southern American style. But it was still delicious. We had a crispy deep fried miso mushroom, spicy corn, onion rings, a vinegary cole slaw salad and all sorts of yummy tidbits.


For desserts I had the most divine Portuguese egg custard tarts called Pasteis de nata. Wow. Just wow. One of the best desserts I’ve tasted. Light, creamy I want more.


They also had a variety of sorbet or gelato. It was served in a sweet crispy waffle cone. I had the salted caramel. Both the cone and ice cream were gorgeous.

We waddled out happy!

Today Norm made our first meal on the new Smeg cooker.


It was yummy!


We have had a lazy day and late this afternoon I am going to a BBQ/braai at Retha. Norm is supposed to be working but he is snoozing. So he will work later while I play. Such is life.

My mom arrives one week from today. I am getting very excited!

Haunted

As promised I have some pictures of our Halloween party last weekend to share with you all. We had such fun. It was held in the back room at Spiro’s in Hout Bay. We had some very large parties in the past in our homes where lots of things got damaged, broken or barfed on and we decided rather to move it to our fave venue.

We arrived at 7 and some of our friends were there already.

Each year we have a theme. This year’s was ‘Disney or Animation’.  I was Tiger Lily from Peter Pan.

My daughters and I snapped a quick pic on arrival. Caitlin was Belle and Lily was Velma from Scooby Doo.

I ordered 6 of Spiro’s large platters and put them on the tables. There was different contents on the various tables but there was calamari strips and crispy squids, zucchini ribbons, fish cakes, meatballs, spicy chicken livers, Haloumi, Spanokopita (classic spinach, feta and dill pie), Dolmades (hand-made vine leaves stuffed with rice & herbs) and a variety of other bits as well as decadent dips like Taramasalata (creamy cod roe dip), Hummus or Tzatziki (tangy cucumber, garlic and mint dip) and my personal fave the aubergine dip which are all served with Pita bread. It was all divine and it served to line the tummies of the guests before they got stuck into the cash bar.



We then lowered the lights and moved out tables to make room to dance.


I thought Belle and Johnny Bravo (Caitlin and her fella Wesley) looked brilliant. Wes made the perfect Johnny Bravo and Caitlin is a beautiful Belle.

We had friends show up in all manner of crazy outfits. We had such fun.

Lily and Josh as Velma and Shaggy were adorable.

My book club girls mostly all made it this year and we had a laugh dancing.

Even Chris came late after a work party she had to attend.


We booked a DJ via the venue and didn’t have to manage him, when he veered off of the crowd faves and people sat down he caught on to the shift in mood and redirected. We danced all night! My legs were killing me on Sunday. As was my head. The problem is it is hot and you are dancing so you end up drinking far more than is good for you.

The night flew past and we staggered home just after 1. I woke up covered in lipstick as I was not able to remove my makeup the previous night. Oops.

But Monday was back to normal. Our client’s offices are being renovated and the building is covered in scaffolding. Outside our windows are men dangling from ropes – brave fellas 14 stories in the air. The homeless have taken up residency under the cover of the scaffolds so our walk through reeks of urine. Yum.

vc-renovation

Monday evening I popped round to Retha to catch up since we haven’t had a chat since she returned from  her trip to Paris and Corsica. She brought back a sweet little mirror for my handbag.


I love it.

The protestors were out again this week – this time protesting the suppression of the State Capture report. The march was coordinated by the Economic Freedom Fighters or EFF. The leader of this party was previously very involved in the ruling party , but they realised that the ANC was purely interested in bettering themselves, not in addressing the plight of the struggling masses.

2nov_state-capture-protest

This week has proven to not be a great one for our President or some of his puppets.

On Monday, Shaun Abrahams the head of the National Prosecuting Authority (aka the NPA) finally dropped the ridiculous charges against Pravin Gordhan, our finance minister. The charges against former SARS officials Oupa Magashula and Ivan Pillay were also dropped. South Africans are now calling for the resignation of Shaun Abrahams who is one of the many puppets under the control of Zuma.

The Report on State Capture which was produced by our recently departed and well loved Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was finally released. President Zuma and his cronies had tried to stop this being published as it clearly shows how much the Gupta family control South Africa. We all knew that the Guptas had a lot of influence but I do not think any of us realised how endemic and pervasive it actually is. So much of our countries finances are being mishandled and misappropriated.

The report clearly shows that Eskom, our parastatal energy supplier, has been favouring contracts with the Guptas and that the board did not put South Africa’s interests first, it made decisions on what was financially favourable for the Guptas. Eskom has also been misleading us on the need for a nuclear reactor. This coupled with the lack of care and attention and basic maintenance of the existing infrastructure by the ANC has led to mismanagement and the inability to provide SA with the energy we need. The Eskom board is so corrupt it should be dissolved.

We have also gone to another stage on water restrictions which is also due to incompetent management of the existing infrastructure as well as lack of control of the corporations and businesses which are dumping waste into our drinking water supplies. The government try to blame it on the drought, which is indeed compounding this issue however it is certainly not solely responsible.

The other area of mismanagement of funds due to incompetent leadership is our state owned airline SAA where billions of rands have been wasted. This money could have been used to assist students, provide housing or fill any of the other areas which could benefit the disadvantaged.

On Tuesday the NPA dropped fraud charges against Robert McBride, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate head. This was all again done for devious means.

It all makes for interesting dinner conversations as it’s like the script of a low budget soap opera.

Tuesday evening Norm did fillet steaks on the gas grill. 


He made fried mushrooms on the eye. I love that grill. It has saved us during the renovation project.


It was a lovely evening.


The public protector’s office confirmed on Wednesday that its chief executive officer, Louisa Zondo, has handed in her resignation. This story in itself smells of corruption. Maybe I am jumping to conclusions but the timing is just too suspect.

On a more personal note, my kitchen renovation project is making fabulous headway. The quartz countertops went in on Wednesday. Kitchen cupboard knobs were also put on that day. They look fabulous.


We just got a Posticino pizza on Wednesday and it was so yummy.


The plumber came today and installed the taps.

The electrician also fitted the extractor hood. 


Norm was working this evening and popped into Primmi to get dinner on his way home.

We had mashed butternut and spinach with grilled Mediterranean chicken.

It was delicious and lower in carbs than my usual chicken and pasta. It’s all about choices, I had a tasty dinner but didn’t choose pasta. I can cope with this if it’s considered a diet! 

We have a busy weekend ahead. I’m busy at work as well as I am now PM on a new project. It’s not long until Mom comes and the next thing you know it’s going to be Christmas. Life rattles past so quickly.

I hope you had a fun Halloween- it’s my favorite holiday. This year was pretty brilliant I must say.