Priscilla and The Butcher

I’ve had a fabulous weekend despite the turmoil going on politically in both my country of residence as well as my country of birth.

One problem that is going on here in South Africa which touched us last week is the ongoing war between the metered taxis and Uber drivers. In South Africa a taxi must register and pay for a license in order to be able to work in a specific area. They are restricted to working within their licensed area. Understandably when an Uber driver cruises into their registered zone and picks up a client, sometimes charging half the fare, there is conflict

I didn’t take an Uber home last Thursday when I was out for drinks. I took another company, Airport Shuttle Cape Town even though we were nowhere near the airport. I’ve used Uber before and the quality of the car and driving skills of the driver were both rather scary. This driver arrived dressed professionally in a shirt and tie and was driving a shiny new Prius. He was friendly and a safe cautious driver. I will definitely use them again. 

Norm found Uber very easy to use while in Johannesburg however the drivers sometimes had him meet them around the corner to avoid conflict should there be metered taxis present at the pick up point. But he used both metered taxis and Uber and generally Uber was much cheaper.

Friday evening Norm and I were on our own as Caitlin had gone away for the weekend with Wes. We just had a relaxing evening in. Norm was tired from his trip and I was tired from my late night after our team social event. We just ordered Thai take away and enjoyed being together again.

Saturday Mzudumo came bright and early and could actually mow the grass after the rain on Friday as it had grown a few patches of bright green tufts. Just a few more days of prolonged rain and my garden may recover.

Dealing with the drought driven water management from our water saving efforts was a challenge with Norm away. There is a big pan in the shower and while I use as little water as possible to wash, at least what is not used is mostly caught by the bucket. It’s a decent system but when full it is heavy. So it is awkward to get a full bucket of water down the stairs and into the garden. Caitlin made a trip every evening, often getting sloshed with water in the process.

At least it has kept my bushes by the pool alive. 

On Saturday Norm nipped out to the shops to get us something to make for lunch, he bought lots of colourful salad fixings and I made a salad of lettuce topped with avocado, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, cucumber, rosa tomatoes, purple spring onions and Camembert cheese. Norm also got a roast chicken from Woolies so the three of us shared that. I popped Mzudumo’s share of the chicken on top of the remainder of my fried rice from the previous night’s take away and added a bit of chutney to moisten it and with a pile of toasted buttered bread on the side our carb loving Mzudumo was fortified for the afternoon’s work.

Norm and I stayed low carb. We had salad and chicken.


We had a lazy relaxed day and watched the memorial service of Ahmed Kathrada. I wrote about the legacy that ‘Kathy’ has left behind in South Africa and his role in the end of apartheid. The speakers at the memorial called out the blatant blindness Zuma seems to have for the plight of his citizens and disregard for our Constitution. Zuma must step down.

A movement to remove him is gaining impetus. 

Saturday night we were booked to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Artscape Theatre.

We headed out just before six as we had to feed the dogs and get them settled, so we had limited time. We decided to try Mouille Point for something quick for a pre-Theatre dinner. We headed to Newport Deli but it was just closed for the day so we crossed our fingers and popped into The Butcher Shop & Grill. They looked pretty busy and we didn’t think we would get in, but we told them we were pressed for time and wouldn’t linger and they found us a cozy table upstairs. 


Our waiter Simba was over in a flash, we had a quick glance at the menus, settled on a fillet steak and sides and ordered our food. Simba was back in moments with our drinks and a tray of home baked, salty and yet slightly sweet, delicious fluffy bread, with lots of room temperature butter and a dish of beef sausage in a tomatoey sauce. Cold butter is my bête noire so I was so happy I could slather my bread in creamy butter without tearing it to bits.


We were very pleased that they offered so many options as sides. We both opted for sweet potato and were surprised to get a whole, baked in it’s skin sweet potato. It was delicious. We ordered creamy spinach to share and I had crispy fried onions as I’m an onion ring addict.

We both had mushroom sauce and it had a gorgeous rich flavour with big chunks of button mushrooms.  These were such tender, tasty steaks. Possibly one of the best I’ve eaten. It melted in your mouth. The food arrived quickly and it was all brought at the same time. I hate getting my steak and then waiting ages for my sides. This place has it all down to an art. Brilliant service, brilliant food and a beautiful setting. We can’t wait to go back, next time we will book in advance and ask for a table with a sea view. 

We give them a full on 5 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Simba got us in, fed and out in an hour so we thought we had plenty of time to get to the theatre but hadn’t factored in that it was the weekend of the Cape Town Jazz Festival at the CTICC. Traffic was rammed. We slowly inched our way across the foreshore, finally getting parked and inside just as the chimes were sounding. We were seated in the 2 seats at the end of the row by the aisle, third row from the front. At least we did not have to crawl awkwardly over the people who were already seated.

We settled in and I was worried we might have limited visibility but it turned out to be a different sort of hazard in store for me.

The production was an all South African cast.


I loved Phillip Schnetler‘s performance. He had the most amazing muscled, gorgeous legs! He jumped in HEELS from the ground to the bar counter in a light as air single effortless leap. He rocked those heels. He had a great voice as well. He could wriggle and twist like a snake. He was lots of fun to watch.


Veteran actor David Dennis played Bernadette. 

He was witty, glamorous and very talented. When I looked up the actor I was shocked that he is such a young virile man! He’s a brilliant drag queen.

The actors and dancers were all so fabulously camp we wondered if any were straight! If so they certainly grasped the swish and thrust of the female impersonators so well. 

The costumes were just draw dropping! There are over 220 costume changes per performance.

The set was so bright and fun, you couldn’t possibly see all of the details going on at once. Norm and I had a ‘did you see?’ exchange of note on the way home as we both saw things the other missed. 

At one point the dancers all started exiting the stage stairs next to me and I looked up to see a gorgeous barely dressed muscular young man holding out his hand. My southern girl good manners leapt to the fore and I took his hand, only to find myself being pulled up the stairs and onto the stage. I have always been a sucker for a hot guy in eyeliner. 

I was pulled into the center of the stage and quickly instructed in the sequence of dance moves they expected me to perform, all the while looking desperately towards Norm with wide deer-in-the-headlamps eyes, and squealing out of fear like a pig. I can not follow anyone when it comes to dancing. I cannot spin around as I have horrendous vertigo. I’m also potentially the most unfit woman on the planet and had just recently consumed a bit of cow which seemed about as big as my head. 

All in all a recipe for disaster. 

Factor in that I was wearing skinny jeans and my lack of arse means they fall down without a belt. Of course, I had forgotten my belt. 

I was whirled and spun, & this made me soooo dizzy, then I was forced into a giant circle of other random people holding hands and spinning round, apparently expected to fly around as if I was a vial in a centrifuge.

With horror I felt my trousers slowly inching their way down my hips until I had a dropped Bieber like crotch thing going on.

However I was still spinning as both hands were being gripped by the other victims so I felt a bit like this chick must have felt.

I broke my hands free and yanked up my jeans. But the pause made me lose my balance and I staggered off from the place I was supposed to be on the stage. I started to make a run for the perceived sanctuary of backstage. One of the actresses grabbed me and steered me back onstage and to the front to take a bow. I was frantically trying to get off that stage but she wasn’t having it. I took my bow and legged it towards freedom. 

How mortifying- I’m still not clear on how it even happened, but afterwards Norm and I laughed a lot about it all. 

We had an absolutely amazing night. 

Priscilla scores a well deserved 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. I would see it again if it was on for longer. 

Today we have had a lazy day.  It’s sunny but not too hot. We are going to braai later.

Tomorrow I plan on joining others in wearing black in honour of #BlackMonday. As a sign of our discontentment with the blatant disregard that president Zuma has shown for our Constitution, all disapproving South Africans are to stand together behind the #BlackMonday movement. This coming Monday (3rd April 2017) we will all wear black in solidarity and use the tag to further the cause.

It will be interesting to see how the ANC chooses to handle the indignation of the voters, will they stand with Zuma or will they stand for what is right? 

The Sisterhood

This week I was reading an article about the many women who mother us throughout our lives. I only have a few of these women who come immediately to mind with a maternal influence, other than my mom and my beloved maternal Gran. My Grandmother has been with me through various life incarnations, we were definitely together for the last two lives. However I do have many women in my life who form my sisterhood and I have learned so many things from them. We have deep soul connections. I have a friend who always does the right thing – she is my role model for peace and serenity. I have a friend who is always kind – I know that is a lesson for me. Kindness is not always my first go to reaction.

I now understand that the same souls will often touch our lives in multiple incarnations. Especially when we are on the same path of evolving and learning.

This has been quite an eventful week in SA. 

Tuesday we woke to the sad news of the death of Ahmed Kathrada who was one of the men who fought so that South Africa could be free. He, together with Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni, Billy Nair, Elias Motsoaledi, Raymond Mhlaba and Denis Goldberg, spent 26 years in prison, and never relented on the belief that South Africa would one day be free. If you read Mandela’s book ‘The Long Walk To Freedom’ or any other articles on the Rivonia Trial, Mr Kathrada was affectionately known as ‘Kathy’ to many of his friends.

R.I.P. Kathy, you fought a good fight.

Ahmed Kathrada

Image credit.

I was privileged to meet Denis Goldberg a while back as he lives in my village. The hyperlink will take you to that post. These men sacrificed so much for the sake of making life better for others, these founders of the ANC must despair at the levels of corruption which have become endemic to the party.

Another case of corruption was revealed this week when the IPID (Independent Police Investigative Directorate) raided the home of acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane who is believed to be taking back-handers.

Then today we awoke to the news of the Rand (our currency in South Africa) crashing after our mad, self-serving president Zuma decided to have a midnight cabinet reshuffle and fire our Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

zuma_shuff all

Zuma and Gordhan have had many issues, I have blogged about this before. Zuma is in the pocket of the Guptas and this week there is a trial between the Guptas and Gordhan. The president is being so obvious in his attempts to protect the Guptas and to act in their best interest rather than his citizens’.

Similar to the issues with Trump and Putin, it is hard to know whether their control of the president is due to being blackmailed or whether it is simply greed. Neither of them put the country’s needs before their own.

One other surprise was the decision in courts to decriminalize the use of marijuana, which is called ‘dagga’ here. The Western Cape High Court has made a landmark ruling, declaring that it is an infringement to ban the use of dagga by adults in private homes. It is not legalized but people will no longer be prosecuted if they possess it or grow it for personal or medicinal use. So many people could benefit from the medical use so I’m pleased that they won’t be prosecuted. SA has a huge Rastafarian community and they can now be free to practice their religion as they wish. Rastafari see cannabis as a sacramental and deeply beneficial plant that is the Tree of Life mentioned in the Bible.

Norm has been in Johannesburg all this week which results in a lot more responsibility falling on me and Caitlin. We worked out a routine where Caitlin feeds the dogs in the mornings. Raw feeding means you sometimes get messy and no one wants to go to work reeking of blood. Blech. I get up too early to deal with it in the morning.

We asked Cordelia to work all week rather than her usual 3 days so that the dogs were not on their own all day and we booked Charles, our fave dog walker, to come every afternoon. I come home earlier than usual and I take Cordelia home and feed the dogs and organise dinner for Caitlin and I.

Luckily my giant pot of beef and bean curry kept us fed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights. I am now officially over beef curry for a bit. But we had healthy good food and I am grateful for that.

On Wednesday I decided to try the OrderIn delivery service and I downloaded their app. I could not download it on my iPad as it gave me an error message, so it must check that you have more than a data card installed on the device you are downloading to and can send messages. Then once I managed to download it to my phone I placed the order and tried to enter my debit card info to pay but I received a odd message about my name needing to be complete. It was complete and I had input it as per the name on my card, so I tried to use my credit card as I thought maybe it was rejecting the debit card type. However I got the same nonsensical message when I tried to save my credit card info so I rang the customer care line as instructed on the error message. I told them what the problem was and the message I received, the guy on the phone seemed baffled and his suggestion was that I enter someone else’s credit card info. Sure dude let me pop next door and get the neighbour’s credit cards! How unhelpful.

Luckily I am an analyst and I thought logically about what the problem could be. I asked the guy on the phone whether it could be due to having a hyphen in my name. He did not know.

I tried re-entering my info, this time leaving out the hyphen in my surname and it worked!

From that point the service was fabulous! They sent an email notification that the order was received by the restaurant, then an SMS notification of the info on the driver who is delivering the food. You can track his progress, but you do not need to as they SMS to say he has left the restaurant with your food and then another SMS to say that he has arrived outside your house. (Of course my dogs had loudly told me he was at the gate before the SMS did.) My food arrived piping hot and I was very impressed.

Just don’t try to include a hyphen in your name and you will be fine. 🙂

Thursday I got a lift into work with a colleague as we had a team social event planned for the afternoon. We had colleagues both flying down from Johannesburg and driving over from all of our other clients coming to meet at our office and we were all collected by one of the City of Cape Town red double decker open topped red tourist bus.

CPT_bus_with_12_apostles_background_945_500_85_s_c1_c_c

We had privately hired the bus and the services of the staff for the day and arranged our own itinerary. First we drove around the city

team day bus selfie

and then through Gardens and we then took De Waal Drive which has a stunning view over the Cape Town harbour.

team day harbour view

Then we drove through and parked at Kirstenbosch Gardens. The gardens are ranked as one of the top in the world and is not only a garden but also a 36 hectare nature reserve and conservation area. It is absolutely stunning. We settled down on blankets and benches around the duck pond.

team day kirstenbosch

We had ordered individual picnic boxes from Moyo.

We relaxed and chatted and had lunch and a few drinks, the organisers had packed several large cooler boxes with ciders, beers, wine and soft drinks.

After a while of lolling about in the sun we all headed back to board the bus and we drove through Constantia to Hout Bay where I live and circled around the village and then headed along the coast road back to Mouille Point. We stopped at Pepenero for more drinks as it has a stunning view, but our silly bus driver parked opposite so we only had a partial view of the sea and the rest of his bus.

I decided to move over from cider to cocktails. (Drunk Lisa always tends to make very, very bad decisions.) I had a few delicious strawberry daiquiris.

team day DAC.png

After a few of those bad boys I was feeling no pain. (This morning I feel more pain than I am happy with however.)

The rest of the team all jumped back on the bus and headed back to the pick up point after 5pm, however as I was already half way home there was no point in returning to the CBD. My colleague Owen and I shared a cab from Mouille Point. The clouds rolled in and the horizon over the sea looked amazing, this pic does not do it justice I am afraid. What appears to be clouds is a mist settled in layers over the ocean.

team day car home clouds

I got home and Caitlin organised fish and chips for our dinner and I pottered about until after midnight. Today I am not so strong. I should have gone to bed earlier.

However, tonight my darling hubby comes home and all will once again be right with my little world.

It’s cooled off lots and today it has rained a lot, our dams badly need it.

Have a great weekend all! 

Road worthy

Why is it that a 3 day week always feels like it lasts a month? On Wednesday I was back at work after the public holiday on Tuesday.

The heat continued and it was hard to cope, but it was not hot enough to melt entire cars, so when I walked past the Artscape parking enroute to buy lunch at FLM and saw a whole car park full of cars in the state shown in the pictures below I was rather curious.

Later I heard that a film is being made. Rumour is that it is the Maze Runner 3. Cape Town is a huge centre for movie productions. You never know what or who you might encounter.

I had a presentation to my current client on Wednesday and my meeting went well. I always work myself up to such a state, but once I start presenting I am usually OK.

That afternoon I decided to take a different route home as the traffic was insane, however I did not factor into my last minute-ooo-let’s-turn-here-as-there-is-the-filter-light decision that traffic at the beach due to the heat would be even worse. At least I could gaze at the sea from my air conditioned car and listen to one of Ed Sheeran’s current top 16 hits on the radio..

The laws in SA are often not applied except on occasion. Many of the cars here look like they are held together with sticky tape, cardboard and rubber bands. At least in the UK a car has to prove it is fit to be on the road. In the UK you have to have a road worthy certificate for cars which gives assurance that there are proper brakes, that the headlights and turn signals function and the car is not a danger to other drivers.

The problem with not having any processes to ensure a car is road worthy is that all manner of clapped out cars are on our roads.

I was a near miss victim of this lack of regulation. When driving home on Wednesday I had overtaken a really old truck full of men piled in the back of the truck, the cab was periodically opened and closed to allow in a bit of air for what appeared to be a group of rastas. When I looked over at the driver he appeared about a hundred years old with no teeth and wrinkles like a raisin. A few minutes after overtaking them I came around a blind curve and upon a queue of stopped traffic backed up from the Llandudno traffic light.

I stopped easily but I looked up into my rear view mirror to watch with horror as the little truck plowed toward me with no signs of even slowing. I pulled off to the hard shoulder to get out of his way. He went wide of me and weaved behind the mini in front of me, coming finally to a stop by hitting the curb. I nearly peed my pants. Car crash very narrowly avoided

After all the drama I went into Hout Bay village to collect Norm at the garage as he dropped his car to see what’s up with the engine.

We went home and then Norm went to drop Cordelia at home and to collect a take away from Spiro’s.

I had tapas and a bit of Norm’s salad and tzaziki. I had delicious crispy squid, halloumi and chicken wings. At least I can stay mostly low carb with Spiro’s healthy menu.


Once it cooled off a bit outside I made a Banting lasagna sauce for the following night’s dinner. It was too hot to cook early enough for eating that night.

One of the things I miss about my new office is stretching my legs each morning and afternoon walking across the foreshore from our old car park to our old office. I don’t miss the drunks, addicts and crazies as they are everywhere.

I was pleased to go exploring around my new work location with some colleagues. We took a walk around the neighborhood and I found a close dodgy wee cafe suitable for milky coffee in the morning as well as a new spot for lunches called The Lunch Depot. My friends ordered pies which they said were just ok, if a bit dry. I ordered the crispy chicken livers with salad. There was a sweet tangy dressing which was a nice balance for the livers. It was really yummy. I think it was about R60 I think which is reasonable.

Thursday afternoon it finally rained exactly as my weather app predicted.

Pixie cavorted about the garden.

For dinner I made lasagna stuffed peppers using peeled baked aubergnes instead of pasta. I pre-baked the peppers then layered in the Real Meal Revolution meat sauce alternating with baked aubergine slices, then spooned on a huge layer of ricotta cheese and topped it all with thick mozzarella slabs. I baked until the cheese bubbled and was brown on top. I served with a salad with lots of avocado, radishes, cucumber and tomato with a dash of balsamic.


All of the dogs and one of the cats were very keen on sharing with our Norm.

The following day they went to the groomer as they were smelling rather dreadful after getting wet in the rain. Pixie had hair that looked as if it had been crimped when it dried from her playing in the rain.

Don’t they look lovely? They smell of baby powder.

Caitlin went to the court again on Friday as it was the day of judgement for the men accused of killing her childhood friend Carl who was murdered. His family finally have justice. The 2 accused Juan Jacobs and Brent Henry have both been found guilty of murder. It won’t bring back their son or brother but at least someone had to pay for his death.

The sentencing should be in a few weeks.

The rebuilding of the area damaged by the recent fires is underway. Below is an excerpt from a post on Friday by our local councillor Cllr Rob Quintas:

  • 33 Starter Kits were delivered onsite and construction began according to the new and safer specs for the designated 33 beneficiaries of the first rollout
  • The immediate aim is to rapidly provide the kits for the remaining 162 families left
  • 92 people received counseling and a rollout of programs and counseling for 162 children is underway with a total of approximately 720 adults and approximately 300 children receiving counseling so far.
  • The SA Red Cross has also provided a soup kitchen for cooking and there is an additional tent for cleaning baby bottles and preparing baby food and formula.
  • The two smaller tents onsite have been converted into “food halls” for eating in, which will assist in maintaining hygiene and preventing food preparation in the tents which risks rodent and other health risks and there is another tent for baby bathing and feeding.

On Friday we had a peasant version of my lasagna for dinner. I had lots of everything leftover from my pepper dinner so I chucked it all in a pan and baked it and again served with a fresh crisp salad.


We had a quiet night in watching movies and relaxing.

I woke to this face on Saturday morning

The Pomeranians were so cute.


Norm wasn’t feeling very well so he slept a lot and we had a rather lazy day.

I fancied a BLT but needed a low carb alternative. I grilled bacon and made some bacon, cheese & tomato lettuce wraps which I served with boiled eggs. I used fromage frais to give it a bit of moisture. It was really nice.

While Norm was napping I made a beef and butter bean curry for today. I add a bit of butternut which breaks down and thickens the sauce.


I will serve it with cauliflower rice with a bit of fried onion, garlic and cumin added.

I’ve got a busy week ahead. Norm is working and I am delivering my project and we are having a social event at work.

I hope your week is full of happiness. X

In The Navy

Sunday was a stunning warm sunny day but it was still pretty windy. Retha and I had plans to go for lunch but we were then invited to a braai at our friend Carol’s so we encouraged Norm to come with and we headed out around 2. Carol is an artist and she wanted us to have first option as she is selling a few pieces.

The Naval Festival was on that weekend so we expected the town to be a bit busy.

navy

We had heard from Carol that the traffic coming into Simonstown was chockablock and that we should go around via Cape Point rather than directly into town on the main road. We drove over Chapman’s Peak. The traffic was busy as usual for a Sunday, but we were behind a Rastafarian on a bicycle with a giant headdress which scraped the sides of the mountain when he went around a curve too tightly. It was such a surreal sight.

carol rasta

We were stuck behind him on the curvy roads until we got a spot where it was safe to overtake him. The views from this road are amazing.

carol chappyview

We got to the other side of Chappies and cruised quite the thing until we hit the main road where the traffic was backed up as far as we could see in both directions. We could see blue lights ahead of us but could not tell what was going on. We got into the lane to turn right towards Cape Point but the police told us the road was only open up to Capri so we had to turn around and head back into the traffic chaos.

We later found out that there was another protest in Masiphumelele on Sunday. From what I can piece together from the various news reports, the story is that the demands are numerous, but the 2 items I see consistently in the reports and posts are that Felicity Purchase, the area’s ward councillor, is being encouraged to resign for not supporting the plight of the people who live in a state of poverty with no electricity or decent standard of life, and that the land they have been promised since 2003 has never been developed into housing for them. There are also reports of shacks being knocked down and removed resulting in people being made homeless. Whether this latter part is due to the City attempting re-blocking of the area is not clear to me.

The protestors are trying to make the Western Cape ungovernable. The Western Cape is under DA rule. The poster below is a member of the ANC judging by his profile pic (I snipped his name to avoid potential law suits or protests on my own front garden.)

musi post edited.JPG

I saw pictures of the protests on social media.

masi fire.png

We carried on to Simonstown but the traffic was a nightmare and it took us ages to get to Carol’s. Carol had also been stuck in traffic when she had nipped out to the shops to get some shopping in and therefore only just arrived home before we trudged in!

The view there is just so stunning.

We settled in to enjoy it.

carol me norm cute

There were 3 submarines which could be seen in the harbour which was very cool!

submarines

We could hear the music and tannoy from the Navy Festival but it was not offensive it was just festive.

We hung out on the balcony other than when we were inside having lunch, it is just such an amazing spot.

carol all

carol me norm view

Carol was beavering away in the kitchen for ages it seemed. As our plans had changed I was unprepared and Retha had brought all of the salads.  Carol had started the chickens on the braai but it was not being cooperative so she moved it into the oven. The chickens were in the Weber long enough to get the smoky braai flavour though and they tasted divine.

Carol and I spent far too long in the kitchen trying to get a pic of those chickens with the gorgeous view in the background. It was an either / or option. The bright light from outside was creating too much glare to focus on both.

View with shaded chickens:

carol chick n view combo

Or just the chickens and no view. How lush do these birdies look? Yum.

carol chicken

When we finished eating, the traffic was still back to back so we relaxed a bit longer until the sun went down and then we could see that the road was clear. After Retha dropped us home we had a quiet evening in and enjoyed being out of the crazy wind.

Monday I worked from home and didn’t have to get up too early. I set up in Norm’s desk and worked all day but it was 29 deg C and so unbearable with no air conditioning. The local glazier came round to replace our window pane damaged in the wind over the weekend.


Then Vanessa came around in the afternoon to do my monthly pedicure. 

Later I thawed some prawns and scallops that I had in the freezer and I made a lovely dinner that night. I cooked the prawns quick in butter on a high heat, then lowered the heat and added zucchini and butternut noodles and a tin of coconut cream with a splodge of tomato paste and heated it through. I grilled some streaky bacon and steamed some asparagus. I cooked the scallops in lemon, butter and garlic. 


To serve I crumbled the bacon over the top and draped the asparagus over and placed the scallops on top. Scallops are one of my favorite foods.

Later that evening the air was broken by the sounds of thunder and we even had a burst of intense hard rain. The ground greedily sucked it up.


We hoped it would cool things down but no such luck, it was so hard to get to sleep in the heat. 

Today was a public holiday in South Africa. “Human Rights Day is a national day that is commemorated annually on 21 March to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa.

The 1960s were characterised by systematic defiance and protest against apartheid and racism across the country. On March 21 1960, the community of Sharpeville and Langa townships, like their fellow compatriots across the country, embarked on a protest march to march protest against pass laws. The apartheid police shot and killed 69 of the protesters at Sharpeville, many of them shot while fleeing. Many other people were killed in other parts of the country. The tragedy came to be known as the Sharpeville Massacre and it exposed the apartheid government’s deliberate violation of human rights to the world.”

The irony is that the current government has done little to better the lives of the voters and there are still frequent protests about service delivery and the plight of those still living in such inhumane circumstances and conditions.

We had a lazy morning but we had some errands to run and we braved the intense still heat. We went to The Woodcutters Arms. We were lucky to get a table in the garden. 


I had a cheeky cider on ice while enjoying the shade of the trees by the river.

We both ordered a starter and a salad.

I had the jalapeño cigars.


Norm had the scotch egg.


Norm had the chicken Caesar salad.


I had the red pepper and halloumi salad.


We had a walk over to the shops after lunch. On our drive home we saw the organized fire relief redistribution process was still well underway.


There are so many people affected. The guys who fitted our window yesterday both lost their homes. Our gardener Mzudumo didn’t lose his shack but he lost his TV and DVD player and other things as they were stolen when he removed his home contents for safety as the fire encroached near his shack. Everyone in the village knows someone affected in some way.

It will take a long time for the village to heal.

I’m back in the city bright and early tomorrow and in the afternoon I am facilitating a workshop with the client.

Wish me luck! Xx

Weekus Horribilis

The last week has been rather horrific for the residents of our village. It feels like we are under some sort of siege, there have been back to back fires and other tragedies and chaos.

The drought has continued with a brief respite on Wednesday, however it was just literally a drop in the dry dams and our ground greedily absorbed it. We need a few days of solid rain. Then I wondered if there are still fire victims with no shelter in the rain? Everyone is saying that if you are a foreign national you will get no support if you were a fire victim. Only South Africans will get support. This smacks of xenophobia to me. Yet the government are always criticising the people who exhibit this behaviour. So it is not do as I do, but do as I say? What hypocrisy.

There is a ‘Tent City’ which the City of Cape Town has now set up for the fire victims who have registered for assistance. They put the tents onto the sports grounds.


Image source.

In my last blog, I mentioned that it was estimated by the guys on the ground that 4-5 thousand people had been displaced by the fire in IY that occurred last weekend.

The crazy thing is that the figure originally reported was only 650 homes and 2 to 3000 people which must have been based on Census figures as we locals all know that the last Census figures vastly underestimate the numbers of people residing in Hout Bay. But late on Sunday after the fire the figures of displaced people and destroyed homes was reported as 3,500 homes, and 15k people displaced.

Fifteen thousand. People with no home, no clothes, many with no belongings at all.

This picture puts things into perspective.

afterfire greg raggers eekhout

Image Source.

There were 3 people who perished in the fire as well as one who died later in hospital from their injuries. This is such a tragic situation.

The Ngceza Family all passed in the fire and there was a memorial being held for them today.

Ngceza Family

Image credit.

After the weekend we had hoped the week might bring about peace and calm, but when I drove through the village on Monday morning I looked up and saw flames and smoke were still present on the Harbour side of the bay.

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Luckily all of the fires are now out.

On Monday I worked until about lunch time at Canal Walk and then as there should be no traffic midday I decided to come home and work from there the rest of the day . Once I was settled in Norm’s office at home I got a message on Whatsapp to say that there had been a head on collision on the Constantia road coming into Hout Bay and that there was a fatality. We later heard that the driver had survived but was in critical condition and had been hit head-on by a guy who had just lost his home in the fire. The steering went on his car and as the Constantia road is a long stretch of endless curves, he was unable to divert his car off the road and went head on into the oncoming traffic.

Norm was going out when I got home on Monday and he messaged to say he had gone over to Ambleside School as they needed people to help move some of the donations to another location. He was amazed at the number of volunteers and donations which were there.

I had seen on social media that loads of different companies have donated huge amounts of money and donations of various other items. What I find bizarre is the lack of high visibility of anyone from Disaster Management being present to coordinate the efforts until days later. The number of affected people is so astronomical but it all seems to be being predominately managed and coordinated by ordinary people from the community and various NGOs. Our new councillor has been brilliant apparently, working many hours to assist with the relief efforts.

Finally on Tuesday Lindiwe Sisulu, the Human Settlements Minister, and Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela appeared in Hout Bay to allegedly meet with the area leaders. The residents have now agreed to halt the re-building of the shacks until re-blocking can occur and the City can install fire hydrants to reduce the chance of this sort of disaster occurring yet again as this is becoming at least an annual occurrence. The shacks were so closely packed and higgledy-piggledy before the fire that there was no chance of a fire truck getting through. Reblocking is the rearrangement of shacks in informal settlements to widen pathways betweens homes and open up spaces for roads and communal areas. It also involves dismantling structures and rebuilding them with inverted box rib (IBR) galvanised steel sheets, which are fire resistant.

However the area leaders had said that they were not involved in the process despite what the City of Cape Town has said to the press. Reblocking can lead to uprisings and infighting as well, so I hope it is managed carefully to avoid further issues. From the rumours swirling around, people are re-building on the area which the City have said they are going to clear on Monday – there have been multiple protests and clashes of the people who want to start getting their homes built and the city officials charged with keeping the fire site free of any structures.

I hope these efforts improve the lives of the people who live there, I cannot understand why proper houses have not been built. We have been here in Hout Bay for almost 10 years and have seen only 1 block of flats built and that was on the Harbour side, not in the IY informal settlement. The City of Cape Town has pledged R30million on redeveloping Dontse-Yakhu which is the section of Imizamo Yethu which was destroyed.

As always the rumours are bouncing around about arson and who could be behind all of these fires. uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe has said that the reason behind the fires is land dispossession, which of course feeds into the paranoia and suspicion. The anger towards years of oppression is justified, however misdirected the retaliation may be.

The number of white farmers who are being murdered on a daily basis in South Africa is on the rise. Since the start of 2017, 26 farmers have been brutally murdered. Recent statistics indicate that as many as one farm attack a day occurs across the country. Farmers say they’re under siege, but that government is turning a blind eye. Most of these murders are not publicised, however I have a friend who is from a farming community and she has said that she knows so many families who have been affected. Even Carte Blanche filmed an episode about the increase of murders. You can view it here.

The xenophobia and hate speech originates with the ‘leaders’ of our government.

That is Julius Malema (aka Juju) who has been taken to court for his encouragement of land repatriation without compensation. He has been barred from hate speech about killing the farmers and taking the land.

Occasionally you hear a voice of reason like we heard from the leader of COPE ‘Terror’ Lekota when he addressed Parliament this week.

Race is still a universal area of contention which makes me sad.

We had planned on having a braai on Monday night as it was so hot, but as Norm was busy with relief work Caitlin and I decided to make dinner while he was out. We had bought some delicious figs from a family who deliver them to Hout Bay, they are certainly not banting but it won’t kill us to indulge on occasion. And figs always justify an occasion. We cut a pocket into our chicken breasts and stuffed them with slices of camembert cheese then wrapped them in streaky bacon. We baked our figs in honey and we just made a simple salad with lots of avocado to go with it. The taste of the sweet figs and the lush creaminess of the avocado together is so divine, they are a match made in heaven.

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I cannot believe I spent over 40 years avoiding figs like the plague. My views were based on the taste of Fig Newtons which I do not remember fondly from my childhood.

Fig-Newtons-Stacked

I am really freaky about the texture of foods. Fig Newtons have a grainy sticky texture. Yuck.

But fresh figs? Little clusters of delicious goodness.

figs 2

Image Credit.

Tuesday I was back at our new offices as I have a new project on the go. It is a short duration so will be intense for a few weeks, but I prefer to be a bit busy, it keeps me out of trouble.

Usually.

Norm is still doing bits and pieces to assist with the rescue operations when he can. He fetches and carries if asked and even dashed off to buy crates of water for the firefighters on Monday. Caitlin, Norm and I had all cleared out some of our clothes which are now too big for us and Norm dropped them off. As many of them are quite new we hope that they find a good home and that they bring benefit to someone else.

norm clothes

I still have more I can cull from my wardrobe, I am just doing it section by section and giving away anything which I have not worn in a while. Rather let someone in need make use of it than to have it sitting in my cupboard as moth fodder.

Tuesday I was back in the city centre office and that night Caitlin was at Wesley. Norm and I decided to braai the sausages we had bought for the previous day and to go with it I just fried some mushrooms and peppers and made another salad. It was so hot outside that this sort of food goes down a bit easier.

I did not bake the figs this time and as they were very ripe and soft I just sliced them gently and added to the salad .

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It was all so tasty. I even had enough for lunch the next day and it was just as tasty.

While Norm was braaiing on Tuesday night I made the sauce for cottage pie for the following night. I feel asleep and burnt it a tiny bit but I managed to rescue most of it and then once it was doctored up with the cauliflower mash and cheese it was perfectly edible. I roasted butternut to go with it. As always Pixie was hoping for a dropped morsel.

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Tuesday evening while trawling Facebook for entertainment I spotted a gorgeous red Chinese style dresser which I promptly fell into lust for. I messaged the seller and she sent her number and Norm rang and we were the first to ask about it. We made an appointment to pop around after work on Wednesday and it was even more gorgeous in real life. Norm rang our friend Louis who has a truck and he popped over to help Norm collect it and carry it into the house.

It is as if it was made for the spot I put it. I have decorated it with some of my African art.

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The 2 figures on the right of the unit are North African fertility figures which I gave Norm when we got married. The bowl in the centre is full of monkey balls. The vases were a house warming gift which I adore. This is right in the front door of my house, and it makes me so happy every time I look at it.

When Norm was driving back from collecting the dresser his engine light came on and his car is making some odd noises. He could only get it into the garage next Thursday so that leaves us with one car until then as he does not want to drive it until it goes to the garage.

That meant he could not get to the shops and I got home from work late so we ended up having a take away (yes we carbed out and lived!). Ha. Whatever, it was delicious. I had a pizza from Massimo’s. I had the Hot Latina. I love me some chili.

hot latina

It was delicious as always.

Friday morning we awoke to mist like pea soup over the foreshore.

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Of course it was on a morning when I had washed my hair and the moisture made me look like I have been drug through a damp hedge. Lovely. However our dry city is so desperate for any moisture I won’t complain. Too much.

On Friday we had nothing to take for breakfast so I ended up going to the little canteen at the back of the Artscape which we have discovered is open to the public.

ArtscapeLiveCanteen1

It does cooked meals which you can take away and is just across the street from us so it is very handy. On Friday after I ordered my food and was waiting for it to be prepared, a white woman came into the canteen and ordered and paid then strode down to the area for yogurt and cereals. She shouted to the woman making my food and the woman acknowledged her but carried on making my order. Angry white woman then starts shouting ‘how long is this going to take??’ while glowering at the staff. They then start to move at the speed of molasses, their own form of silent protest. I just waited until she shut up, then I moved to stand between her and the staff and stared the bitch down until she cottoned onto the fact that she had no support from anyone in the canteen. She then seemed to calm down, but how dare she speak to people the way that she did. After she snatched a spoon out of the hand of the woman serving her and stomped off I commended the women on their professionalism. They said ‘leave her, we are used to it.’ That statement makes me so sad.

If I was in their shoes I would have been tempted to crawl across the serving counter, knife in hand.

But that I why I am not suitable for customer service.

The mist finally cleared by the afternoon and I went for a walk to Food Lovers Market by the train station. It was warm so I did not fancy hot cooked food and so I opted for sushi. I chose the salmon roses for R44 and the avocado and prawn salad for R44.

sushi friday

I liked the salad, it was the first time I had tried it. It had avocado, cucumber, prawns and sushi mayo. It could use a bit more prawn but other than that it was lovely, I will have this again.

Norm and I decided to go out for a drink last night as it was St Paddy’s. We went to Woodcutters Arms but there was no parking so we decided to go for food first. We went to The Indian Oven.


We are very predictable in our choices, we eat there often and love the food. We had poppadoms and onion bahjis to start.
For mains Norm had chicken Korma, I had prawn curry and we shared cauliflower rice and saag aloo which is a rich gorgeous dish of potatoes and creamy spinach.

Afterwards we were too full to drink and the bar was even more crowded so we acknowledged we are old farts and came home to relax. We started watching telly and I was asleep in minutes.

I had to be up and away early today as it was mine and Pixie’s morning to see the chiropractor and we had to leave at 8.30. As it is all uphill mountain roads it can take thirty minutes or almost twice that when stuck behind a heavy vehicle. We had no issues and it was a sunny clear day so it was a pleasant drive. We arrived early and had a cuddle while watching the world go by. Excuse my no-makeup-9am-on-a-weekend face.

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After we got home Norm made us a rather delicious low carb/high fat breakfast.

brunch

Norm has been doing a bit of the remaining tiling in my kitchen and I am writing. He is now walking the dogs. We found about a fund raiser for the fire victims being held at La Parada, we did not book so we won’t be attending but I hope they raise loads of money for the victims.

fire la parada

 

 

We have not decided what we are doing later. I am having lunch with friends tomorrow in Simons Town. I am working from home on Monday and Tuesday is a public holiday so I am looking forward to a few low key days and to not travelling to the city every day.

I hope you enjoy your weekend. x

Nero’s Hairdresser

Our weekend started off drama free, but after Friday the world seemed to have a wee bump and go off kilter.

Friday was crazy windy and ever so hot. I walked over to Food Lovers Market at lunch and it was challenging trying to walk. My colleague had her eye glasses blown off and ran over by a bus! 

I finished work and headed home early. I sat on my balcony in my happy place as we have no air conditioning and it was 31deg C (about 90 F). I played games and waited for the sun to dip and the weather to cool enough to go inside.


I was smelling what I thought was the neighbours dinner but when I came in I discovered that Norm had cooked chops! 

He did mashed butternut and cauliflower, browned some mushrooms and steamed baby broccoli. It was delicious and I was so pleased to have healthy home cooked  food made for me. 

Late Friday night we heard on the HBNW radio about a fire that was furiously burning in Imazamo Yethu. That is the local informal settlement of mostly shacks. A fire there is disastrous as it is so densely packed.

The next day we woke about 7 and Norm saw on the security Whatsapp group that people in our suburb were worried about the need to evacuate as the fire had burned all night and the smoke near our homes was thick. As Norm is area leader for HBNW he shot off to assist. He spent all day out in the sun, directing traffic, helping fire victims, assisting the rescue services and doing whatever was required.


I went out to film it from my front garden. 


The fire raged for over 13 hours. 


Image credit Sullivan Photography .

Norm took the pics below on site while assisting. The thing that upset me the most was that thieves would await the victims emptying their belongings from the burning shacks and would steal the last remaining items the victims own. What sort of person can do that?

 A coward. 

You see the people guarding their things in the pic below. They had to ask someone to fetch them refreshments. It must have been unbearably hot.


There were queues of people with buckets of water being passed from hand to hand to try and keep the remaining shacks wet and hope it reduces the spread of flames and keeps them safe. 

The wind was crazy and the choppers were not dispatched until it was desperate. They do not usually drop water bombs on residential areas but the fire trucks could not get into the area to be able to put it out. They not only had the congested navigation to cope with but they also had people deliberately cutting the fire hoses and putting blockages in the road to stop the trucks. Then an idiot with a drone was noted flying near the choppers that were waterbombing the fires. 


He nearly caused one of the choppers to crash. They think they know who it is and if so he will be arrested. 

Drone footage can be brilliant but the circumstances they film in must be safe and the privacy of others should not be violated.

The estimates are that this devastating fire has displaced about 4-5 thousand people. Thula Thula in Hout Bay are coordinating relief efforts for the victims. If you can contribute then your donation will help provide toiletries, non perishable food, clothing and more. There are various ways to donate.

Bank details: Thula Thula NPC, FNB Hout Bay

Account no: 62589383836

Branch code: 204009

 To donate via PayPal go to FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/thulathulahoutbay/app/208195102528120/

Or pay via snapscan. 

I felt rather like Nero’s Hairdresser as I had to leave this fiery chaos and shoot off to the CBD as I had a long ago booked hair appointment. Our original plan had been that Norm would drop me at the hairdresser, manage the garden and Mzudumo while I was busy there and then collect me when I finished and we would then head off to our friends for a baby shower at 3pm. That plan all derailed and I toddled off to the city on my own. I had a lot of my hair chopped off as it was in dreadful condition. It looks better don’t you think?

Due to the fire they had closed off the road from the village to ny house so I came home via the motorway rather than the sea road. Traffic was a nightmare and it was bumper to bumper so the 20 minute journey took me 1.5 hrs instead.

Norm finally came home from assisting the rescue operation and I made us a late lunch of cheesy omelette and bacon. 

I topped mine with spicy homemade salsa.


I made the salsa on Thursday night when I made Mexican food. It was all Banting. The salsa was a whole onion, about 10 rosa tomatoes a splodge of chopped garlic and 2 birdseye chillis. 


We finally got the dogs sorted and headed over to the Baby shower but we were hours late. We missed the gift giving. 


We made it for cake though. 


Norm and I gave them a bag stuffed full with all of the various baby lotions, potions, soaps, and bits one needs, several baby spoons, bibs, a pack of cute blankets, nappies, wipes, nail clippers, and a cute little babygro outfit. As they have 3 other children I included a packet of jelly babies each which made me popular this morning when they got to open them. 


We joined the party for a bite and a drink and then we played a few rounds of charades. It was lots of fun but Priya was tired and we all headed home after a long day for them all.  She is one of the most beautiful pregnant women ever.


We woke to news of another fire on the mountain on the harbour side and later we heard of yet a third. They feel they are deliberate and politically motivated.

Then we hear about the cancellation of The Cape Town Cycle Tour. Formerly called ‘The Argus’ it is the largest, timed cycling event in the world and this year was its 40th year.

35 000 cyclists were registered to ride the 109km route. People come from all over the world to participate.


The wind is insane.

Protests were also occurring along the route which also led to concerns about safety. I saw this post on Facebook.


There have been protests there about housing for many months.below is a video of a protest in Masiphumele earlier this month.

The government is very slow to make progress on housing in the Western Cape. I can understand the frustration this generates. 

We had a lazy day today as Norm was still quite tired from yesterday. We were supposed to join friends for a braai but thought an open fire in this wind was a bad idea. We had a movie day instead. We caught up on the episode of SNL recorded from last night and watched a film called Masterminds which was such a giggle.


It is hardly Shakespeare, but if you want light hearted nonsense you will enjoy it, it gets a 4 star Kitten rating. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We are on our own tonight as Caitlin is out with friends.This week I am in workshops from Monday through to Wednesday so will be out in Canal Walk. I hope you all enjoy your week. Personally I’m hoping for a bit less excitement. 

In Their Shoes

I have often wondered where and how we learn our humanity, our values, ethics and emotions. I do not think that we are all destined to adhere to the same belief system that our families do. I know that we make our own choices, however I also know how hard it can be to be a single resistor in an environment which is supportive of whatever it is that we feel is wrong.

This is even more of a challenge in today’s climate of ever increasing conservatism and radical beliefs. It seems every American town is now the equivalent of the repressed fictional town in Footloose where no activities should take place which are fun or pleasurable, where we should not be the unique individual our internal nature tells us to be. Instead we should adhere to the cookie cutter outline of the virtuous and pure as imagined by the pastor and church who are defining what is and what is not acceptable. Anything can be viewed as sinful if you choose to view the world through those narrow minded principles. If you exchange the pastor or preacher in this scenario with a leader from ISIS or any other extremist religion you often have similar levels of suppression and repression in the name of their god.

Religious extremism is the same, whether we call the believers ‘Christian’ or any other label – it is still just a form of extremism and a means of oppression.

Our family are really looking forward to seeing the Disney film ‘Beauty and the Beast’. 


However there is already controversy around this film on multiple points.

The first is regarding the introduction of a gay character in the film. This has led to banning of the movie in a narrow minded little ‘christian’ theatre. Because apparently Jesus would be embarrassed to see people display love.

Beauty ala theatre

And due to the intense homophobia of Putin, the film will be shown in Russia but with an adult rating. Which sort of defeats the purpose of the film which is to delight children and adults both. Children will most likely not even catch on to any subtle nuances regarding the interactions of the new plot line.

All of this furore because of men dancing. Insanity.

The second area of controversy is around the lead character, Emma Watson. Emma posed for a cover on Vanity Fair and showed a portion of a breast, a wee bit of under boob if you prefer to be specific. Emma was then savaged on social media about how she let down the side regarding feminism, shouting that she cannot be both a feminist and display her sexuality. Emma set them straight – clarifying that for her feminism is the freedom to do whatever she wishes with her body. I really admire this young woman, she seems so switched on. Especially for a child star, so many of these kids derail completely.

We all know that many ‘men’ (and some women) are intimidated by a woman owning her sexuality. The issue is with them – not with the woman who is showing a bit of skin. The normalisation of rape culture is ever so prevalent.

That rape culture which leads to women being traded like cattle and treated far worse than most animals. Fears of Human trafficking were raised in South Africa as 4 local girls vanished in a week. There was a total of 5 girls who were all assumed to be part of the same issue, another girl in the same area has been missing since last year.

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Luckily a later report has indicated that the 4 girls missing from Kuils River have now been found, the story around their disappearance has not been publicised however they were found miles away up in a town up north. I am just glad for their families that they were found and I hope for the family of the 5th girl that she is found safe very soon.

Cape Town is such a unique city and it has some idiosyncrasies which I have never seen anywhere else. One of these is the number of unfinished motorways which just hang in the air over the city looking bizarre.

The City of Cape Town has asked for proposals that would address these unfinished bridges with a view to alleviate the traffic congestion in the city centre and to contribute some form of upliftment for the poor. Each of the six proposals had to address Cape Town’s traffic woes, as well as have an affordable housing component. The models were all on display in the City of Cape Town offices.

Cape Town

I look forward to the changes and hope it does alleviate the congestion in the city, traffic in Cape Town is just insane.

The xenophobia in South Africa has carried on in different factions. There is continued fighting within the zama zamas (illegal miners). I have written about the issues with the illegal miners before. The rumour is that the local Basotho are behind the recent ambush and murder of 14 illegal miners. The Basotho resent the influx of Zimbabweans, Malawians and Mozambicans competing for gold. It appears that there is a hierarchy of thieves.

We even had an incident of conflict regarding race in my new office. It started out in a rather innocuous conversation about coffee of all things. The tea lady (whom I will refer to by her initial ‘N’ as I do not want to intrude on her personal privacy) was making herself an espresso from the coffee machine and an Afrikaans guy asked did she want milk. She replied no thank you and he said ‘you like your coffee like yourself, black?’. She replied ‘I am not black.’ This is where he should have shut up and apologised and shuffled off back to his desk. Instead he said ‘Brown?’. When he saw her displeased expression he then said ‘well what colour are you?’ I wanted to crawl into a cupboard. I did not know either of these people so I felt like I could not get involved so I just dropped my gaze and shuffled off to my desk. However it got under my skin and I felt that I should have defended N. But I was unsure what was the appropriate thing to say?  And did N even WANT me to intervene?

I am still not sure whether this dude realised what a dolt he was being or not. I personally had never thought about that common phrase – how often do you hear someone (white) saying jokingly that they like their coffee like they like their men: strong and black? Until you are on the other side of that quip you may not realise the conflict you are creating or the pain you are causing.

Those of us who are privileged have no idea of the challenges others go through. On Friday I had workshops on the Protection of Personal Information Bill. The workshops were held at my consulting house so I drove through to Century City. I popped over to the garage to get a coffee as they have a Torrador coffee shop there. The way the process works is that you go and order your coffee and they give you a slip, you take the slip to the queue and pay at the tills. Yesterday while I was waiting my turn in the queue a man walks into the shop and just pushes to the front and takes the next available till. Myself and the African guy in front of me both shout ‘there is a queue’ to the man, who turns around and waves his arms and says ‘what is a queue?’. He had a strong Italian accent and I said to him, ‘you may be European but you know exactly what a queue is.’ The African guy in front of me just said ‘it’s fine let him go’ but I wasn’t having it. Fair is fair. The European grumpily trudged over to join the queue behind me, muttering the entire way, and then when he got behind me decided he needed to make amends and proceeded to

put

his

arm

around

me and pat me on the shoulder.

This wound me up to no end. I hate strangers getting in my physical space, but to take it further and presume that you have the right to put your hands on my body? Oh HELL no.

I turned around and looked him in the eye and said ‘Do not touch me.’ The women behind the tills were loving this, I assume they see this level of passive aggression often but as a white woman I am comfortable being able to express the right to own my body and tell people to stop touching it. Many others are not confident enough to do so. Many people are so desperate for work they will endure so many insults and injustices just to keep employed. This advert blew up on social media due to the racism and the fact that it sounds like slavery, not employment.

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I am not sure whether it is age which has opened my eyes or whether it is the many environments I have lived in but I seem to be so much more awake. I feel that ageing and/or menopause have changed me in more ways than the obvious physiological ways. I am more self accepting, more confident and less compliant. I speak up for what I feel is right, even when it makes me unpopular. We won’t mention the flip side of menopause and the memory fails and hot flashes. Growth usually comes with discomfort.

I saw an interview with the wonderful Annie Lennox where she said that if nothing else, Trump deserves the credit for being the catalyst to wake up women globally and get them to show up and demand equality.

March the 8th is International Woman’s Day. However there are so many insidious things which still mean that the world has such a long way to evolve to the point where we do not have ‘Gay’ rights, ‘Women’s’ rights, ‘Transgender’ rights or any other kind of rights other than Human Rights. We should all be equal.

On this day of what should have been a day for Women, I received an email from a company who claimed to be celebrating International Women’s Day. But their message was so derogatory to women. The email subject header alone annoyed me.

Girlboss

Then embedded in the email = there it was again.

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Really??? As a means of celebrating women they choose to minimise us and qualify our ability to be Boss? To liken us to a child? What were you thinking Takealot? This propagates that culture that women are inferior. When I tweeted my displeasure to Takealot they were completely oblivious to the fact that they were being sexist.

If you want to promote the #GirlBoss book, bundle it into a promotion aimed at GIRLS. Find some books which encourage girls and have a promotion around that.

girl boss

Do not blur the two.

One thing which did appeal to me was the email sent out by ONE. ONE.org is a campaigning and advocacy organisation of nearly eight million people around the world taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Did you know that 130,000,000 girls were unable to go to school today? Or any other day? They did not choose to not go, they do not have access to education. My family and I decided to participate in this initiative.

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I chose my number and made my video.

The sirens and the Hoover in the background add a nice touch, don’t you think? Not? Oh well at least I tried. My family told me I look grumpy. I was trying to bring the appropriate level of seriousness to the video.

Caitlin chose her number and as always was creative in her delivery. Cute hey? She had her colleagues contribute.

caitlin one crop

Thursday I decided to be also be a bit creative and adventurous and cook something new, I fancied salmon and so we debated over the fact that it was so expensive but we bit the bullet.

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I used the zucchini noodles from Woolies to make another pseudo pasta dish. I browned chopped onions and mushrooms, then added the zoodles and cooked for a minute to soften, then added a container of double cream, a tin of coconut milk and a few drops of dark soy and a squeeze of tomato paste and gave it a good stir, I cut the salmon up and chucked it in and that was it. I served with steamed broccoli.

It was really tasty and ever so quick for a meal after work.IMG_5115

This week I was advised that I am being put forward for a new project with a new client. I am of course panicking about the unknown, Norm is as always trying to sooth my frazzled nerves. I have only just settled in my new office, and this will mean moving outside of the Cape Town city centre and will add on a lot of time to my commute. However in the current economic client I am just happy to have work. I will see whether I am the right fit for the work they need soon I hope.

We have a busy weekend planned, my social calendar seems to always be feast or famine, I have a weekend with no obligations or a weekend with a back to back itinerary.

I hope you enjoy your weekend.