Finally An Angel

This has been such a stressful week for me. Like most introverts I do not enjoy change or new situations. I know I do not behave like your typical introvert as I am bolshy and opinionated, but I cringe at people asking me questions about myself or trying to communicate with me if we do not have an existing relationship. My Mom has said that I just spent too long out of Georgia and too long with the typically stoic Brits and it made me snobby. Southerners will chat to perfect strangers, no problem. I can do so depending on my mood, so maybe I am just a moody cow?

This week I had validation of one of my ‘messages‘ from the Universe/Spirit Guide. The friend I recently ‘heard’ in my head was looking for a new job has resigned. It wasn’t a surprise seeing as the Universe had already told me this was going to happen. However it was a surprise because I DID hear it in my head. Crazy heh? I wish her well as she got a huge increase with her new job and it is a great opportunity for her.

I saw an interesting article about healers. It gave the following list as ‘Signs you might be a healer’ and I tick the majority of them, I have added comments on some of these:

  1. You are highly sensitive to energy.
  2. You feel other people’s emotions and physical ailments as your own (empath). (This really affects me – I absorb other emotions and it really stresses me out, this is hard for non-empaths to understand.)
  3. You are intuitive and can read others very easily.
  4. You are a “big picture” thinker and don’t concern yourself too much with the details. (Not this one, my Virgoness overrules this as I am indeed a details girl.)
  5. You have gone through bouts of existential depression. (If I allow myself to feel the crisis of our globe or the pain of the masses, it drops me to a place I struggle to get out of.)
  6. You have felt like an outcast for most of your life.
  7. You think differently from others. (One of my best skills as an analyst, I approach problems differently than the other people on my team.)
  8. You get overwhelmed in public easily. (I can panic if surrounded by too many people, if they are touching me due to crowding I go a bit crazy. Concerts can be a nightmare for me but I try not to let it impact my life.)
  9. You have struggled with anxiety or panic before. (Regular readers hear allll about this often.)
  10. You are the natural peacemaker between people. (Not usually, I might be the one stirring it up.)
  11. You are the confidant that people turn to in times of need.
  12. You experience digestive issues, lower back pain or gain weight around the stomach (solar plexus chakra disorders). (All of the above.)
  13. You feel drained after spending too much time around people
  14. Sensitive beings like animals and children gravitate towards you.
  15. Other people tend to “dump” their emotional baggage onto you to deal with. (refer to many previous blogs.)
  16. You think in shades of grey rather than in black and white.
  17. You are very aware of the interconnectedness of life and deeply respect it.
  18. You believe in synchronicity more than coincidences.
  19. You have a history of healers in the family, e.g. nurses, psychologists, massage therapists. (I do not – however I do believe I am descended from White Buffalo Woman, the greatest healer.)
  20. You’ve experienced a major trauma in your life, e.g. loss of your family, life-threatening illness, near death experience, physical/sexual/emotional abuse, war, mental illness. (I tick a lot of these unfortunately, but what did not break me has only made me stronger.)
  21. You’ve gone through a spiritual awakening. (It is happening NOW.)
  22. You’ve experienced the dark night of the soul.
  23. You tend to use the right side thinker more than a left side thinker. (I am a balance between the two.)
  24. You experience chronic pain in your body or an autoimmune disease (energetic blockages). (I work on energy rebalancing and unblocking.)
  25. You are EMF sensitive (electromagnetic hypersensitivity).
  26. You tend to attract people who need “fixing” but often get trapped in self-sacrificing roles. (Nope, I am not a co-dependant sort and have little patience for those who dwell in their misery or pain.)
  27. You’re an excellent and compassionate listener. (I need to work on this, my attention span is too short.)
  28. You are naturally drawn towards healing professions that help others experience balance and wholeness.
  29. You can feel, distinguish between and alter the energy within and without yourself.
  30. You have had numerous mystical experiences. (More than most for sure!)

I know I am going down the path that The Great Spirit and my ancestors wish for me.

Norm shopped for us and on Tuesday he cooked dinner as I was not feeling great. I felt so exhausted and achy.  As Caitlin was at Wes that night Norm made pork fillet as she does not care for pork but I love it. He baked it in coconut oil and covered it with peppers, onions and mushrooms and then steamed asparagus to go with it.

On Wednesday Cait was home and I cooked chicken as that is her fave. I wrapped it in bacon and baked it. I sliced zucchini and fried it quickly in butter til browned and to go with it I steamed cauliflower. I attempted a lazy Banting cheese sauce. I grated cheddar cheese into a pan with some butter and double thick cream, stirred like mad and hoped for the best. It was nice! We just drizzled a bit on the cauliflower.

As always my food pics are rather dire sorry about that lol.

I heard on Tuesday that I had made it to the next stage of the interview process for the job I recently applied for and I was expected to create and give a 5 minute presentation of my analysis results from the exam scenario provided to us.

On Thursday I arrived at the interview venue 30 minutes early. I chilled in my car for 15 more minutes, then walked across to the venue. I was still unable to wear eye makeup due to my eye infection which makes me feel a bit underdressed. I miss my eyeliner.

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On my way there I had asked the Great Spirit for a sign that I was where I was meant to be and when I arrived they put me into a meeting room to wait. The walls were covered with indigenous art, horses, cattle and bushmen. Very much like this painting.

It was so similar to Native American rock art, it made my soul feel comforted and ‘at home’ and it instantly started to relax me.

I had rehearsed my presentation over and over to get my timing to less than the specified 5 minute limit. They finally called me in to a large room with a screen where a panel of 5 members of staff were waiting to interview me. I was very nervous but I started to relax when I got into my flow and I could tell that they were very impressed with my analysis and recommendations. However after my presentation, they went around the table for each of the interview panel to ask me questions. It was an experienced based interview where they expected me to give examples of various scenarios, for example, ‘can you give an example of how you had to win people over to your way of thinking and how you went about it?’ I went into a panic and can’t remember very much of anything I said for any of my responses. I gave a silly example for the first question and said ‘I just bully people into submission’. I laughed but it is somewhat true! But I get results in a project and hopefully that message came through. Overall though I felt the presentation won them over. They rang the following day to say that they want me to join them however it can be arranged via my contracting house. That made me feel great!

I headed home and worked from home the rest of that afternoon rather than drive into the city for a few hours.

For dinner that night I was craving chili con carne so I fried up mince with onion and yellow pepper until browned. I added a tin of red kidney beans, a tin of tomato purée, a splodge of tomato paste and lots of chili and spices and left to simmer. The beans are not allowed on Banting but one tin among a whole pot is acceptable by my standards.

To go with the Chili I made baked provolone ‘nachos’. I topped it all with grated cheddar, guacamole, salsa and fromage frais.

Caitlin had a couple of friends come down from Johannesburg to stay with us for a few days and they went out for dinner that night but when they came back Carmel gave us a huge box of Iranian candy in a lovely box. It looks like stained glass windows.

Carmel and her boyfriend had come down to Cape Town on the Shosholoza Meyl train. They said it was quite affordable and comfortable and was a cool way to see the country.


Lily and Josh also came down for the weekend, and on Friday Caitlin invited Wes around and I invited Retha which meant we had nine people for dinner. I was still not feeling quite myself and Norm offered to shop and braai for us all and Carmel made some gorgeous salads and I didn’t have to do anything except pour myself a cocktail.

Again, my pics are rubbish but in my defence it was dark outside.

It was also quite chilly outside and as I was not 100% well once Retha went home and Lily and Josh headed to bed I went to snuggle on the couch with the pups and watch a bit of telly.

The next day I was off to get a laser hair removal session at Skin in Hout Bay. It was 2 hours long but hopefully the torture is worth it. They have the latest equipment however and the pain is nothing like the previous salon’s machines which hurt so badly I needed pain meds beforehand and it ended up scarring my forearms due to burning me. I am going to try and see if they can treat the burn scars at ‘Skin’ after the hair removal is complete.

The kids were all off out for the day. Lily and Josh went to race his quad in the northern suburbs and Caitlin and her friends were off to the Hout Bay Harbour Market. Caitlin treated me to a small lemon meringue pie from the Nap stall and Norm to a banting chocolate cake slice.

In the afternoon I started watching “This is Us” on LookTV and 5 minutes in I was already tearing up.  This is such a emotionally raw show, I am really loving it. I am both laughing and weepy in every episode and it is so well written how the lives of these people all intertwine. It touches on many topics, such as homosexuality, obesity, adoption, body shame, rage, fear, spousal abuse and pretty much any family or human dynamic possible. This series gets a full 5 Kitten Stars. Watch it!


While I was being a couch potato Norm started painting the base coat on our kitchen walls.

Painting the ceilings and walls is the only thing left and then our kitchen renovation is complete! It has been a long haul. Next we are going to remodel our bathrooms, we were going to get some quotes on the bits and pieces on Sunday but I did not feel up to going out.

We had bought tickets a few weeks ago to go to Theatre on the Bay for a dinner and theatre evening. Even though I was not feeling 100% I had no intention of missing it.

Caitlin and her friends were having a night in after a day of beach walks and festivities and she snapped a pic of me and Norm when we got ready.

The drive along the coast road takes 15 minutes at most and it is such a stunning route.

The Theatre on the Bay is my favourite venue for shows and is quite pretty.


We had booked to have dinner at the Sidedish Theatre Bistro restaurant which is in the upper floor of the theatre building, it is so convenient! It is a lovely, elegant setting as well.

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We were the first people to arrive and they were playing Drake‘s music. I love his music and was disappointed when they looked at the 2 old white people and made an executive decision to put on Rihanna. But the Rihanna song ‘Stay‘ which they chose is one of my faves and I was not too upset. Then mid groove on that song they changed it again! I shouted to the staff who were fecking about, ‘come on guys, I loved both of those songs, just pick one’ lol. We all had a laugh and Drake went back on.

There were only a few choices of Sauvignon Blanc on the menu and I picked the first listed, the False Bay (Waterkloof) Sauvignon Blanc at R99 a bottle. When the waitress, Naomi, went to open it the top kind of came off in her hand. We took a sip and realised it was oxidized. It was foul. The manager of the restaurant came over and agreed it was off and suggested we try another brand. Norm chose the Lomond Sauvignon Blanc at R145 a bottle. It was divine and we settled in to relax and enjoy our evening.


The dinner deal is for 3 courses and we both started with the Calamari misto. The calamari was divine, but the salad looked a bit sad and the little piece of toast was so hard I could not bite it but I don’t need the carbs and was happy with my calamari.

Norm and I both chose the chicken for our main. It was crispy outside and stuffed with feta and spinach. It was nice but I would have preferred veggies rather than chips. I did not eat many of those as they were just your average frozen chips – I won’t waste my carb allowance on mediocre chips. The chicken was enough to fill me up though.

For our dessert course Norm chose apple mousse in a crispy phyllo pastry basket.


I chose the Decadent Velvet layer cake. It was indeed decadent, the topping was rich white chocolate and I could only manage a bite or two. It was tasty, just very rich.

The play we were going to see was called ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’.

It was brilliant!!! It was such a farcical bit of nonsense and the actors had to be on their game as there were so many physical challenges in the show. The lead female character was played by Nicole Franco and she had visible bruises on the backs of her upper legs due to being thrown about the stage (either that or she has a rather mad personal life). Sacrificing for her art I guess!

We laughed non-stop for an entire 2 hours. The play starts with one of the cast members roaming about and asking the people sitting in the first row questions. We were on the 2nd row and I was so confused as I was thinking ‘how unprofessional, what are you doing?’ But the other people next to me in the theatre told me it was part of the show after they saw my dropped mouth and confused face.

I give the dinner 3.5 kitten stars (the service was fabulous, however the food was just above average.)

I give the play a full on 5 Kitten Stars. If you are in Cape Town readers, you MUST book to see it if you can still get tickets. There are 3 weeks left of this run.

When we left the theatre it was drizzling rain which made us so happy, the drought in Cape Town is getting dire with us only having a few weeks of water left in our dams. We are desperate for rain.

When we arrived home, we popped on the news and I was devastated to hear that Gregg Allman was dead at 69.


I have loved Gregg’s music since I was a kid and in the 70s I was lucky enough to meet him in Daytona as my Dad’s cousin was his friend.

RIP Gregg, your music will be sorely missed. I know you were a kind, good hearted man and I do believe you are indeed finally an Angel.

On Sunday when Lily and Josh were packing up to leave, my doctor rang to say my lab results were back and that I have a bacterial chest infection which explains why I have been feeling so dizzy and rubbish. I had blamed exhaustion as I seldom sleep more than 5 hours a night.

He told me he was ringing in antibiotics and I needed to start taking them immediately. As I have had a hip replacement any sort of systemic infection can be quite serious. Even before I have my teeth cleaned I have to go onto antibiotics.

It was cold and damp outside and after Lily and Josh headed home I wrapped up on the couch and Cait made us all some broccoli cheese soup which was delicious.

That evening Norm and I watched the film Get Out.

Oh my word this is a crazy film!! I was on the edge of my seat and shouted at the screen on a few occasions, therefore just based on the emotions it generated I give it 4 Kitten Stars.

This week I booked for Norman and I to go and see the Scottish band ‘Texas’ who are appearing for the first time in SA in December this year.

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The show is at Kirstenbosch Gardens. It is such a stunning open air concert venue.

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Image credit.

I cannot wait to see them. This is my favourite of their old songs. Lead vocalist Sharleen Spiteri is so beautiful and has such a gorgeous voice.

I went into work as normal yesterday but my doctor emailed to say I was contagious and so I was sent home. I felt so dizzy and short of breath that I just went to bed and stayed there. Today I have worked from home as well and I probably will do so again tomorrow just to be sure my infection is under control. I am glad that at least I know what is wrong with me and hopefully the antibiotics will sort me out. I hope you all have a great week.

Much love to you all.

Drumbeats and Heartbeats

On Monday Western Cape Premier Helen Zille declared the Western Cape a disaster area due to our on-going drought crisis. “The disaster declaration will accelerate the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre’s Project ‘Avoiding Day Zero’, the Province’s strategy to ensure that taps do not run dry,” Zille said in a statement. I am so glad the government are finally actually doing something other than just sitting back, wringing their hands and hoping for rain.

Then today we awoke to a disaster of a different sort, the news of a bomb in Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert. There are 22 people who are known dead, 59 people injured and many who are still missing at the point of writing this. If the bomber deliberately targeted this audience then they were aiming to hurt young people as Ariana’s audience is predominately young. I feel such pain for the families of those who were victims of this attack, my own children have attended a concert there and I have several friends based in Manchester. I have now heard they are all safe.

It makes my heart so sad.

Last Friday after work I cooked dinner for myself, Norm and Caitlin. Norm had bought some mince and cauliflower so I decided to make a banting Cottage Pie. As we had a tiny bit of butternut left over in the fridge I steamed that as well as a big bag of cauliflower and blended them both to make the topping. When Norm pureed it we also added an egg yolk to help bind it all. For the mince I fried it in one pan, fried an onion, a big yellow pepper and a pack of chopped bacon in another and once both were browned I mixed together, added a big splodge of tomato paste, some Worcestershire sauce and dark soy and a half a cup of beef stock and let it simmer. We popped it all into a dish and topped it with cheddar cheese and baked it.

Carrots are on the orange list, but I really fancied carrots so we boiled them and just kept the serving small.

While I was cooking dinner Norm was out walking Navajo but they were gone for ages. When they got home he told us that he had managed to get the neighbour to accompany him on the walk with their dog. They have a gorgeous wee Border Collie which is an ‘outside dog’. First of all I detest that term – if your dog is not going to be part of your pack and therefore live in the house with the family (as a minimum at least at night), then don’t have a dog. Secondly, a border collie requires a lot of exercise and stimulation if it is not being used as a working dog. They got the dog as a pup and it has a squeaky toy which it is obsessed with and I seldom see anyone interacting with this gorgeous girl, we just hear the frantic squeaking of her playing on her own with her toy. We never see the dog being walked and when we arrive home it comes to our fence and cries and cries for our attention. If we are outside it comes to try and interact with us. This dog breaks my heart. Norm has been taking Navajo to their gate to interact with the wee girl and they have finally made pals. Norm has offered to walk her every evening with Navajo but the owners seemed nervous as Navajo is rather an intimidating beast to strangers. We hope the owners become relaxed enough to let Norm give her regular outings with our pack.

My upper back was feeling very dodgy last week, like any sudden move would throw it out completely. The 2 hours I spent looking down doing the exam on Friday morning was just too much for me and it sent me into intense spasm in my neck and across my shoulders. I am sure it is stress that does these things to my body. I don’t think I can blame this ailment on menopause too can I?

I took it easy on Friday evening and when I went to bed I took 2 Tramacet which are strong pain pills that were left over from my hip op a few years ago, however they only lasted until 3am when I awoke with a start. I was wide awake for ages but eventually fell back to sleep.

When Norm got up to feed the dogs he brought us both a coffee in bed. I did not want to spend too much time in bed though as I did not think it would be great for my back. However the Tramacet had relaxed my muscles enough that my spasms did feel a bit better once I got up and had a shower.

I just made a quick cheese and pepper omelette for breakfast to tide me over as I was off to the Drumming Circle I mentioned in my previous blogs. I was very excited but as I always am when experiencing new places and things I was also full of anxiety. As my neck was so stiff Norm offered to drop me and come back to collect me after and I gratefully accepted and off we went to the Constantia Hills to the home of the host, Gerri.

Before I left home I asked the Universe to send me a sign that I was on the right path for my journey of spiritual discovery. As my signs mostly seem to come in the form of birds I asked for it to be a sign which involves birds and for it to be so obvious that even I could not miss it. I told Norm this on our way there and he just gave me the heebie-jeebie side eye as he usually does with anything remotely spiritual.

When Norm dropped me I went and knocked at the door. While waiting on the door to be opened I looked down and noticed the sign propped against the side of the porch.

Sometimes the spirits have a sense of humour.

I took this that I was indeed right where I was meant to be.

Gerri welcomed me in and we went through to have a chat about my genealogy. Gerri is of British descent and we chatted about the pull of the Native American ideology. Gerri has studied with Grandmother Robin Youngblood who you can read about on her site.

Once all of us who were attending arrived we were all smudged by burning sage in a large abalone shell and using a wing of feathers to waft the smoke around us while Gerri uttered the cleansing prayer.

smudging kit

Image credit.

We then all settled in around the Mother Drum.

Gerri handed out song sheets for us all, they are in various Indigenous tongues. We sang in Zulu as well as Native American languages. We also banged on the Mother Drum to the beat. Gerri’s daughter Jess has a stunning voice and she sang the lead as some songs have a sing and repeat format.

At one point I heard a hawk loudly joining in with us from the garden – my second bird sign that I was walking the path meant for me. He sang much better than I do but that is OK, I can live with that. I just felt blessed that he came to show his support.

I am not what one would call a ‘singer’ by any stretch of the imagination, in fact I am quite possibly tone deaf as I sound dreadful even to my own ears, but that did not stop me. I did not feel self conscious at all despite there only being 4 of us chiming in. It was a judgement free, loving environment where I could just be myself.

I loved that I could openly discuss things such as past life regression and soul connections and soul contracts without people looking at me like I was a lunatic.

After we finished the drum circle songs we went into the garden and performed the Cherokee Morning Ritual giving thanks to all 4 directions and to the Great Spirit.

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The next circle is planned for June and they are going to learn some new rattle songs.

Norm and I will be going to George the weekend of the next circle however as it is Trevor’s birthday so I will have to miss a circle. I have not seen my son in months though and I am so excited to spend time with him. He is such a special boy. I guess he is not really a ‘boy’ if he is over 30 years old and 6’6″ tall, but he will always be my baby.  

After Norm collected me on Saturday afternoon we headed home. My back seemed pretty much healed despite all of the drumming. Or maybe I felt better because of the drumming? Healing comes in various ways, maybe the communing of my spirit with my ancestors healed my physical ailments?

We had a relaxed night and just chilled out for the evening and got takeaways for dinner as I was not in the mood to cook.

Sunday morning Norm got up and made a lovely Banting brekkie for me, him and Caitlin. He even served Caitlin breakfast in bed. We are such lucky ladies to have Norm to look after us.

I decided to give myself a bit of pampering in the afternoon and did a deep conditioning treatment on my hair and shaved my legs. They are so white as to be blinding so I decided to use a bit of Caribbean Tan to perk them up a bit. However I appear to have missed my foot. Just one of course. Oops. I look like I have been tanning in one random sock.

Norm took the dogs on a little Sunday jaunt.

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I would have gone with them if I had known, I just won’t join on his normal walks as it is a bit like climbing a mountain just to get up our road as it is a steep, steady incline and I find I am knackered before we even get off our street.

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Sunday evening we decided to have a braai as it was quite warm outside.

Even our pets were chilled out and pretending to be friends. Navajo looks happier than Blue with this camaraderie to be fair.

It was dark by the time Norm started the braai and as a result the sausages got a bit burnt but the fillet he cooked was lovely. We just made a big salad and served coleslaw to go with it.

After we had dinner we decided to watch a film and due to all of the Oscar hype we chose Manchester by the Sea. I was not keen on supporting Oscar winner and alleged sexual predator Casey Affleck who starred in the film, however I have to admit he did a brilliant acting job. However whenever a demon dwells inside a person they are quite often good at covering this up and putting on a false front.

I found this film so heavy going. It was full of angst, drama and trauma. It was so sad and depressing. It did have some brilliant acting and cinematography, but that is all I can say about it. I give it 2 kitten stars for the acting and beautiful vistas.

This week I booked tickets for Norm and I to go to the Theatre on the Bay. We are going to see ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’.

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Ironically, my actual booking went wrong! When I went onto Computicket and selected 2 seats and went to pay, it offered a Dinner and Show package deal which I selected, but then instead of releasing the seats I had chosen, it added 2 more seats as part of the dinner deal at the Sidedish Theatre Bistro.

theatre bistro

Once I realised this I emailed Computicket and explained and they promptly responded and actioned a cancellation of 2 tickets. I was ever so impressed! Such excellent customer service.

I have had many instances of sties and eye infections in the last year or two, whereas I had gone my entire life before that without ever having experienced one. Late last night I started to have a pain in my right eye and by the end of the evening it was quite swollen. I suspected a sty was starting and so I tried the hot compress route but when I woke this morning it was really red and swollen. I suspect it may be yet another thing caused by the dryness of my eyes due to menopause sucking the life blood out of me.

It is such fun getting old.

I left work a bit early today to go to my doctor. He’s given me an ointment. He’s also given me spray for my sinuses as I have been a bit dizzy and had quite a few headaches. I have a morning cough that just won’t go away and he’s asked me to bring in a morning sputum sample for testing by the lab.

I found out today that I have made it to the next stage of the interview process for the job I took the exam for last Friday and on Thursday I have to do a presentation of the analysis I did in the exam. Eek. So good news I did well, but bad news I have more torture in store for me.

Wish me luck on the health front as well as with the interview please! I’m rather nervous about both.

 

Hypochondria By Proxy

For our Blue Boy this has not been a great week. He got into a tussle with another neighbourhood cat a few months ago and his face was scratched quite badly. When one small spot just at the corner of his wee nose did not appear to heal we kept an eye on it and when it seemed to be getting bigger we started to worry he might have skin cancer as he has a white face and a pale pink nose and loves to lie in the sun. The African sun is so harsh that it is a real risk for animals with pink noses.

Blue

On Wednesday we finally convinced Norm to take Blue to the vet. It took hours to catch him and get him into the travel box and he was not very happy, in fact he howled the entire journey. I should clarify that Blue howled, not Norm.

The vet put Blue on the exam table, looked as his nose, and when he poked around the ‘lesion’ on his nose it fell off.

The lesion, not his nose thank goodness.

The vet said it was nothing at all and definitely not cancer.

I cannot count the number of times that the girls and I insist Norm take one of our animals to the vet and the vet says they are perfectly fine. You may have heard of Munchausen by proxy syndrome (MBPS) which is a relatively rare form of child abuse that involves the exaggeration or fabrication of illnesses or symptoms by a primary caretaker.

Maybe instead of MBPS I have Hypochondria By Proxy as I do not cause the illnesses or symptoms I just imagine their existence.

Ironically I have to be near death to take myself to the doctor or to take medication. Obviously I love my beasties more than I love myself?

Caitlin was out at the Justin Bieber concert on Wednesday evening and so I cooked pork chops for dinner as she is not a fan of pork.

I kept it simple and just baked them with a bit of seasoning. I fried whole mushrooms in butter until brown, roasted butternut in coconut oil and steamed asparagus to go with it.

On Thursday I had a client presentation and workshop which I facilitated. We were getting requirements in order to be able to scope the work to allow us to put together a proposal. I always stress out so much when I have to present, once I get going I am fine, but the build up of anticipation really knocks me for six. The meeting was booked for an hour but lasted over 2 hours. We still did not finish and have organised a follow up session. I had not had time for lunch before hand and I felt a bit woozy due to hunger but I managed to make it through without collapsing in a hypoglycaemic heap. #Winning.

I had such an intense headache after, possibly due to the carbs I had for lunch as I just grabbed a sandwich after we finished and wolfed it down hungrily. The bread had dried cranberries in it. Who does that to an innocent loaf of bread? I detest sweet things hiding in my savoury things. Meh.

When I got home I lay down in a dark room hoping my headache would settle but it did not. I was so stressed out and was rather an anxious nightmare for poor Norm as I could not shut up with obsessing.

Today I was scheduled to take an exam for yet another role that I have been put forward for as I have been shortlisted and part of their recruitment process is that the applicants take a written exam. It was being held in an area of town that I am unfamiliar with and it is quite a technical role, so both of these things combined to cause me such anxiety I was a blubbering eejit. Norm is the sweetest man and so late last night he drove me across town to the location I had to go so that at least I could stop panicking about getting lost. I was so glad of that this morning as the traffic was horrific. It moved at a snail’s pace and I made it with only minutes to spare despite leaving an hour and a quarter to get there.

The exam was based on a case study and was divided into 3 parts which were weighted according to the importance of the responses:

  1. They provided a list of hypothetical customer problems and I had to classify them into an issues list, define the root cause then make a list of actions I would take to investigate a resolution.
  2. They described a system enhancement proposal and I had to create a data dictionary and a data lineage diagram.
  3. They provided the text of 2 emails and I had to decide which mail should be prioritised, write the full proposed email responses and make an actions list defining what steps I would take to deal with the issues.

We had 2 hours to take the exam, I finished in just over an hour and a half. I have not written anything by hand other than meeting notes in ages and those get transformed into an electronic version before anyone has to consume the information, so I hope they can actually read my answers. There were some technical bits I could not answer but those were minor. Now we wait and see if I make it to the next step, if so I have to present the information which I have written in the exam to an interview panel.  The role that I tested for is until the end of 2017 so it is a meaty project which I would like to sink my teeth into. I am in line for 2 different roles, we just have to see which client bites back.

We had builders in today to finally get the bit of wall plastered in the kitchen where we had removed the old tiles. When I got home it was all sorted and looks fabulous. Next week Norm will paint the ceilings and walls and then that is the kitchen pretty much completed.

wall skimmed.png

When I got home from the exam I was starving and so Norm and I popped out for a bit of brunch. We went to Dario’s Café which is a bit of an icon in Hout Bay. They have a porch area where you can sit and watch the world go by on a sunny day so we grabbed a seat there and ordered a coffee.

darios

I chose my usual fave Eggs Benedict. I had never had Dario’s version but it was really delicious. The eggs were soft and the bacon crisp exactly like I requested. Their hollandaise is creamy and just the right amount of tartness.

darios eggs benedict.png

Norm had a cheese and mushroom omelette.

darios omelette.png

We didn’t hang about afterward as I needed to get home and start work as I was working from home this afternoon rather than travel into the CBD for just a few hours.

After I got home I received a message that the sentencing had been handed down for Juane Jacobs and Brent Henry who murdered my children’s friend Carl Schoombie. Both of them received the sentence of life in prison. I am so glad that the family have had justice for their brother, it will not bring him back but at least they know someone has to pay for the crime. Carl’s brother Lee has worked diligently to ensure that these animals did not get away with the murder. He is going to set up the Carl Schoombie Foundation. It would provide a platform for victims’ families who did not have the ability to voice their opinion in the journey to justice.

Lee gave an interview on the radio if you wish to listen, the link is here. It is hard to listen to, it breaks my heart even though I know all of these facts it does not remove the trauma of hearing them again.

I hope that justice will also be served for the deviant who murdered the 3 year old Courtney Peters whose murder I blogged about recently.

courtney2

The news has revealed that not only was Courtney murdered but she was also raped twice by the 40 year old pervert Mortimer Saunders. Saunders was a ‘friend’ of the family who rented a room in their home, the family thought he was a very nice guy. However this is often the case with paedophiles, they not only groom the child, they groom the parents into thinking they are harmless. Saunders has requested that he be placed into a hospital rather than be sent to Pollsmoor. Pollsmoor is a maximum security prison here in Cape Town, one of the prisons where Nelson Mandela was held for part of his incarceration. Pollsmoor is a notoriously dangerous place rife with gangsterism and extreme horrific violence, including sexual violence. Child rapists are the lowest of the low and Saunders knows that his chance of being raped himself is incredibly high.

An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.

Karma will be served for this man, I suspect he will not even survive long enough to go to trial. Or if he does, he will not enjoy sitting on those hard benches.

The numbers of rapes and murders of our women and children in South Africa seem to be on the rise, or maybe they are just more visible with the increase of exposure from social media. However when your President is himself an accused rapist what message does that send to the men in the country? The sooner that we get rid of Zuma as the president the sooner our country can begin to heal from his damage and pilfering of the coffers.

ON a more positive note, I am very excited about a Drum Circle which is happening tomorrow with the group I have recently discovered in my search for a teacher in Shamanism.

The host posted the video of the song we are going to learn.

This song speaks to my soul of memories of my past lives. It is so familiar to me. When I looked up the lyrics on YouTube I was astounded.

‘Our hearts are full
and our minds are good.
Our ancestors come
and give us strength.
Stand tall, sing, dance
and never forget who you are
or where you come from.

A hundred years have passed
Yet I hear the distant beat of my father’s drums.
I hear his drums throughout the land.
His beat I feel within my heart.
The drum shall beat
so my heart shall beat.
And I shall live a hundred thousand years.’

As mentioned in my last blog about my search for my true calling as a healer, the message that I get told in my visions is consistent and it aligns with the lyrics I highlighted above:

‘never forget who you are
or where you come from’

I am exactly where I need to be and the path is opening up before me. My soul memories of my previous incarnations are rising to the surface. I will try to keep up with the flow of my destiny.

But for now, I am logging off and I am going to sit on my balcony in the sun and drink a little Friday afternoon cocktail in celebration of life and as a tribute to those who are no longer with us.

Hold your loved ones close. ❤

 

 

 

A Weekend With Bryan

This weekend Norm and I had a relaxed agenda. On Friday I got home from work quite early and it was nice to not have to worry about dinner as I had been organised for once and had made it the night before. I pureed butternut and put it on top of curried mince. We just served it with salad and it was simple but yummy and low carb.

On Friday night it was only me and Norm at home and we decided to watch a film on Netflix. We chose the film Small Crimes which sounded like it would be violent enough to appeal to a bloke and hopefully contain enough black humour to appeal to my twisted sense of humour.

I thought this flick was rather dreadful and if there was any of the promised black humour I am definitely colour blind. I would guess that it was written by either an addict or someone who has experienced the chaos of life with an addict. Because this dude’s life was completely unmanageable. I got frustrated with his constant stream of bad decisions. I mean FFS dude, hello?? But then again, that is an adequate representation of life with an addict. None of the characters made you give a damn about what happened to them. 

I give this film 1.5 Kitten Stars. And that is me being a generous kitten.

The next morning we had a lazy morning planned, we were going to take the dogs on a walk in the forest. But then while lying in bed sipping a latte brought to me by my darling hubby, my phone chirped to remind me I had an appointment in the CBD to get my hair done. Oops. I jumped up and showered and headed into town. But from originally being a bit late I somehow managed to end up early when I arrived. Thank goodness for the Virgo over-estimation of travel times. It saves me over and over.

I spent a few lovely hours getting head massages, my hair treated and coloured and sipping coffee. Sometimes I think about letting the grey grow out but Norm talks me out of it.

After I got home and Mzudumo finished in the garden Norm and I decided to go out for an early dinner at our closest local pub, The Woodcutters Arms.

It was quite warm all weekend after last week’s bout of cold weather but it was just starting to cool off outside by the time we arrived at the pub so we grabbed a booth inside. You can never predict what season may be in residence in Cape Town from one day to the next.

I am nothing if not predictable when it comes to food and I had my ‘usual’ starter.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cigars (v)

Pastry Wrapped Cheese and Jalapeno, Served with Tomato & Onion Chutney
R44.00


Norm also had his fave starter.

Scotch Egg

Smoked Paprika Sea Salt, Pea Puree and Pea Shoots
R45.00


For our Main, we both decided to try the Hunters Chicken which was on the specials board. I had forgotten that Hunters Chicken comes with a sauce or I would have asked the chef to not include it. I asked for chips but they forgot so I had to wait a bit, it came with baby potatoes as pictured below. It was tasty but I found the sauce overwhelming.


We headed home for Norm to sort out the beasties and take them for a walk and feed them their dinner. Later that evening we decided to watch a film.

When we first got our LookTV installed we had started watching the movie ‘Split’. At least we thought we were watching Split. It did not seem at all like a horror and there was no sign of James McAvoy well into the film so we kept going out of the film and checking the name but it kept saying we were watching Split. We later discovered that this sometimes happens with the open source software Kodi which LookTV uses. It gets some sort of crossed message and loads the wrong film. We wasted about an hour of our lives which we will never get back. We did not enjoy the ‘wrong’ film at all so luckily I don’t have to try and find out what it is to watch the end of it.

Friday we managed to get the correct film to load for Split.

I absolutely loved this film!!!! I thought that James McAvoy did a brilliant job portraying all of the personalities that his character ‘Kevin’ exhibited. I never check for viewers’ or critic ratings on films and I now see that Split only scored a 6.4/10 on the Rotten Tomatoes website. I totally disagree, I would give this film 4.75 Kitten Stars. The missing bit of the 5th star is based on a few things in the story which seemed a bit incomplete, but that could be due to me wandering off to the kitchen or something.

I thought I would check the ratings on Rotten Tomatoes for Small Crimes and see how they compared with my views on that one and that film scored 5.5/10 so obviously I am not aligned in my opinion to the Tomato lovers. I like what I like. I don’t reallllly like tomatoes very much though so maybe it is a tomato karma payback.

This week I listened to a woman on the radio talking about a project she is running in some of the challenged areas of Cape Town. She described the issues concerning children in some of the communities she works in. The group she was representing do ‘knock and drops’ which means that they go into these communities and they go to the local shops and hangouts and they collect the children they find there and escort them to their homes, knock the door and ask the parents whether they knew their child was out and if so why do they allow them to roam the streets in the dark with all of the crime going on? Not as a criticism of their parenting, but as a way to raise awareness of the risks of these behaviours. The DJ said it was more of a challenge to raise kids in these tiny shacks and homes as the kids cannot just be sent to their rooms to play on their computers and iPads as a middle class home does, they often do not have a room, much less an iPad. There may only be a single ‘room’ in their entire home that is used by the entire family for all functions, living, eating and sleeping.

National Child Protection Week is commemorated in South Africa to raise awareness of the rights of children, this year it takes place from the 25th May to the 1st June. The local organisation Living Hope and various other groups are dedicating the entire month of May to Child Protection however there is still such a high rate of child rape in SA. 19 children have been murdered in the Western Cape already in 2017.

The most recent data from the South African Police Service shows that between April 2016 and December 2016, there were 30,069 reported cases of rape – down from 32,161 cases over the same period in 2015.

This data shows that South Africa’s rape statistics are double the country’s murder rate over this (275 day) period at 53.8 cases per 100,000 people in the country. This equates to one person getting raped every 13 minutes.

Assuming that The Economist’s estimate that one in every nine cases go unreported, that figure gets even more alarming, rising to someone being raped every 2 minutes.

More than 1.2 million adolescents die every year around the world — an average of 3,000 deaths per day, two-thirds of these deaths occur in Southeast Asia and Africa.

Recently we heard the story of 3 year old Courtney Pieters who disappeared while playing outside her home in Elsies River, a suburb of Cape Town.

courtney

Everyone was hopeful that she had just wandered off and would be found safe, but as time went on our hope diminished and then on Saturday we heard that Courtney’s body was located in a shallow grave near the Epping Industrial Centre. Later that same day a man was arrested for her murder. This week the suspect will be brought before the Magistrates Court. My heart breaks for her family and especially for her Mother. Her body was found the day before Mother’s Day. Please spare a thought or prayer for her family and loved ones.

When we got home on Saturday we watched a few episodes more of Breaking Bad, our new addiction. I love the part played by Bryan Cranston. In my opinion he is such an underrated actor. We are now starting series 3 already.

Afterwards we were going to watch a film but we decided it was too late to start one and moved over to a bit of light hearted comedy and ended up staying up far too late anyway. That is the problem with weekends, we stay awake late, but my body does not know it is a weekend and still wakes before 6am where I lie quietly messing about playing games on my phone, trying not to wake the household (specifically the dogs).

Sunday was Mother’s Day in South Africa and the USA. None of my 3 children were in Cape Town. Caitlin was away for her birthday redeeming a prize weekend away in Plettenberg Bay, Lily was in PE and Trevor was in Wilderness. Norm was lovely to me though and went to buy pastry and served me pastry and coffee in bed. I spent until noon lying in bed with my animals, munching pastry and drinking coffee and then finally got up and got moving. Norm took a nap so I curled up on the couch with a blanket and watched a few episodes of the Netflix series I am watching called 13 Reasons Why.

13 best pic

It reminds me of how horrid teenagers are to each other and how painful high school is for so many kids. I know it was for me, I hated high school. But the series is riveting viewing. It is not the sort of thing Norm enjoys though so I watch it when I am on my own. As it was Mothers Day I was going to do whatever I fancied and I fancied doing not much at all!

Caitlin and Wes arrived back in Cape Town about 7 that evening and I was given my Mothers Day presents that Caitlin had brought from all of the kids. They gave me a beautiful wooden cookbook holder and a new mixer as mine is over 20 years old and rather disgusting as the beaters are covered in rust. We are also going to the garden centre to get a plant for my garden this weekend. I want a bougainvillea to plant in the hopes it grows along the wall at the front of the house.

MDayGifts.png

Later Norm and I went for dinner at my fave place, Massimo’s in Hout Bay.

As our starter, we both had the fried baby calamari. I love the coating Massimo uses on his seafood, it is light as air.

I love their pizzas so I had one of my favourites of their offerings, the Hot Latina with tomato, mozzarella, chorizo, red onions & fresh chili for R128.

Norm ordered the Chicken dish that was on special.  Free range chicken breast stuffed with Italian garlic sausage, parmesan & peas, served with boulangere potatoes and green beans 125.

The delicious potato dish was so yummy and I was rather envious Norm got it and nicked a wee bite. Norm really enjoyed this dish and almost licked his plate.

Massimo’s have a brilliant concept called ‘Pay it Forward‘.  Massimo’s clients can buy one or more R10 ‘virtual’ slices of pizza and for every 6 slices sold Massimo’s will deliver one pizza to a local charity. We added 2 pieces to our bill. ‪#‎shareMassimosLove‬ ‪#‎payitforward‬

After we got home we decided to watch a film. We wanted something light and frivolous and as we have been spending so much time with our current Breaking Bad obsession we chose ‘Why Him?’ with Bryan Cranston and James Franco. It also starred one of my fave comedy actresses Megan Mullally, formerly ‘Karen’ of Will and Grace. She and Bryan had a hilarious scene where she was high on weed and trying to seduce him.

I had expected a light chuckle at best but we laughed our legs off. Not literally of course, don’t be silly. But we had a lot of laugh out loud moments and really enjoyed it. I would give this film a solid 4 Kitten Stars for amusement value.

We had a Chimney Sweep around on Monday to try and sort our blocked chimney for winter.

chimney

He said he had never seen so much ‘stuff’ in a chimney. (umm yay us? #Winning)

Eventually he ended up with 3 full black bin bags of bird nest debris!

chimney bin bags.png

Maybe it was storks trying to finally bring me some grandkids?

stork

I am surprised we did not catch out house on fire when we tried to make a fire previously. Such a risk! Everything is so dry as the drought continues in the Western Cape and it has been announced that level 4 water restrictions are being implemented.

water

We cannot save more water than we currently are doing in our home. However a lot of other households need to start doing so based on the levels in our dams.

dam levels.JPG

This week I finally booked the last 2 days accommodation in Port Elizabeth for our upcoming 20th anniversary trip. After we leave the safari lodge we have already booked we will then drive on to spend 2 days in PE. We will stay at the Radisson Blu. It looks lovely as it has sea views from all of the rooms.

radblu

One of the prizes that Caitlin won in her package that she took for her birthday weekend was a couples photographic shoot by Sharyn Hodges Photography. We were given a sneak peak of the pics and they are so stunning!! They are such a beautiful couple.

caitwes

Last night Caitlin and I went out for a belated Mother’s Day dinner at Grill Under the Milkwood.

me milkwood

We were seated and given our menus, we were one of only 2 occupied tables at the time we sat down. We decided what we wanted to order but when the waiter came and Caitlin ordered a chicken dish they said they were out of chicken. Out of chicken?! It was only 6.30pm and there was a shop open literally across the road. How can a restaurant be out of chicken? Caitlin does not really like red meat and she did not fancy fish.

Now I remember why we have not been to this restaurant in ages.

I ordered the 200g fillet steak with chips and onion rings as an extra side because I love onion rings.

dinner milkwood.png

Caitlin ended up just having a beef burger which looked pretty good, she said it was fine. We were not out late as Caitlin is at the Bieber concert tonight and didn’t want two late nights in a row. Not that I was chomping at the bit to go clubbing myself as I get up at sparrow’s fart.

This week I made contact with a woman who has various circles, both a Sisters and a Drumming circle as well as performing sweat lodges for the Solstices. I found her via an acquaintance and when she mailed me I got a feeling like an electric current racing through my body. I think I may have found my Shamanism teacher.

When the student is ready, the Universe will provide. I am so excited to begin this journey – I hope you are looking forward to walking this path with me?

Suddenly Winter

After weeks of unbearably hot muggy weather it has suddenly dropped to the mid-teens. It is like we had a weekend of hot lazy summer weather and on Monday when we woke up it was suddenly winter! The mornings have been around 15 deg C. (Beth to save your need for conversion this is about 60 degrees in Fahrenheit 😉). Whenever people in the US or Europe hear our temps they think ‘well that is not at all extreme or unbearable’, but they do not realise we have no air conditioning or heating in our homes as well as crappy windows in many instances. We had double glazing in the UK so it kept out the chill, the heat, the wind and any outside sounds. We have no such luxuries in our current house, when it is cold you simply wrap up and listen to the wind whistling through the windows. I would never have imagined being inside the house in the UK with fur boots and several sweaters on but that is how I am dressing at home this week.

Norman and I have gotten into the habit of watching a film on Sunday evenings as DSTV shows a relatively recently released film on Sunday at 8pm. Now that we are unsubscribed from DSTV we are carrying on with our habit but with the added freedom of choice we get from Netflix and LookTV.

This past Sunday we chose the film ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ because we wanted something light and I am a huge Zach Galifianakis fan.

keeping_up_with_the_joneses

I also enjoy Isla Fisher even though I cannot distinguish her from Amy Adams (I am still not convinced there are two of them. I mean have YOU ever seen them both in the same place? Hmm?? I thought not.)

twins

Image credit.

I also enjoy looking at Jon Hamm so I had high expectations for this film. But it was just ‘OK’, it had some funny moments but a bit of a thin story line. I will give it 3 & a half Kitten Stars.

On Monday when catching up on the news I read that at least 82 Chibok girls were finally released in exchange for several detained Boko Haram extremists. There are at least 113 girls still unaccounted for. Some of these girls will never come home as they were strapped with explosives and sent on missions with ‘suicide bombers’.  I cannot imagine the horrors the girls experienced while captive, some of the girls were raped and had babies themselves while in hiding, many were used as sex slaves for the pleasure of the militants, some were starved and some were deafened by the proximity to explosions. Innocent victims of the battle for what? Boko Haram want to create an Islamic State, however there is infighting among this group and it has splintered. I always find it ironic when these militant groups try to force other people to adhere to their way of life but cannot even agree themselves on what their beliefs and principals are.

I have been thinking a lot about how our actions & our energy impacts and influences other people. I have started to notice that our animals get frenetic when we humans are frenetic.  I have been deliberately trying to control and manage my outbound energy. Over the weekend I tried very hard to keep my menopausal outbursts to a minimum and to not be as verbally cutting as I know I can be. Virgos have a nasty tongue and can cut you dead should we go on defence (or offense for that matter).

It makes sense that the pull of my energy which results in random strangers spilling all their dirty little secrets is the same energy that causes occasional chaos around me. I suspect that this is because I do not know how to channel or direct my energy.

energy

I can feel it zinging around me sometimes – it almost feels like an internal vibration. I also call it my spidey-senses just because of the tingle.  I have always assumed it was me reacting to external influences, however I think it is just me!

I have made the conscious decision to loosen my ‘shields’, to let in some of the people & energy I have always blocked. The role of the empath is to help or heal. Norm saw this first hand when we went to the shops on Sunday. Walking through the aisles I had a little old man stop to interact with me. We had a long chat, in fact it was so long that Norm got bored and drifted off with my trolley. I suspect the old man is lonely. The little old man and I both left our conversation with a smile. When I stop to think about all of the lonely people in the world it makes my heart so heavy, if I ‘tap into’ that whirlpool of emotion at a global level I feel so overwhelmed it takes my breath, but if I lighten that loneliness just a little bit for one person then it makes me happy.

So why not? I just need to get out of the way and let it happen. I suspect that much like hypnosis or ‘hearing’ a spirit who has passed over it is all of a similar nature, learning how to let that info flow into you without the obstacles of ‘sensibility’ intruding. Similar to how children and animals can see and hear spirits – they are open and without judgement.

If you had asked me 2 years ago ‘can I hear spirits’ I would have said sometimes but rarely. But after my friend Pierre passed over I have had my eyes and ears opened to receive his messages. I ‘hear’ his words without my ears – they just are there, in my head. I don’t know how I know it is coming from Pierre, but I do. Pierre often uses music to communicate with me, but he uses numbers to communicate with Retha. Do spirits choose the channel they think you will be the most receptive to?  I don’t think I am doing a very good job of explaining it all because I do not have the appropriate words to translate things which relate to spirituality.

I have so much to learn but I am trusting the universe to send me my teacher now that I have accepted this role as one of my life’s purposes. I cannot count the number of times I have been told that I am a Healer and that I am not fulfilling my life purpose.

I have had many detailed visions of White Buffalo Woman and have been told by various other energy workers that I am descended from her and that I have the calling to be a shaman. I once had a therapy done which used essential oils and a sort of reiki treatment and it relaxed me so much I had visions. The main vision was being surrounded by Native American women. The leader of these women had long, flowing grey hair and she came to me with a bundle and lay it into my arms. She and the other Native American women all hugged me, stroked my hair, wrapped me in animal skins and welcomed me ‘home’. They told me that I am a Shaman and kept asking me if I knew who I am and did I understand ‘my purpose?’.

This is a video by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe. He is the leader of the Lakota Dakota Nakota Oyate, the great Sioux nation. He tells us the story of White Buffalo Woman.

I have had several past incarnations as a Native American. I was one of the Cherokee tribe who were sent away down the Trail of Tears. As with most original settlers the Cherokee were forcibly removed from their land once it was understood to be valuable. I had past life regression and I went into that body and that life. The experience was tragic and heart-breaking as my husband in that life (who is a friend in this current incarnation) died in the journey.

I had a very interesting experience this week. I turned to a friend and said to her she was considering looking for a new job. She looked shocked and asked me how I knew this? I cannot explain how I knew other than I ‘heard it’. She said to me that she was thinking about that very thing at the moment I said that to her. It kind of freaked us both out.

Maybe I can be the next Tyler Henry?

I am prepared to just relax into it and see where it takes me.

I had a bit of progress on the house renovation front this week as well. On Monday after work I met Caitlin at a lighting display shop as she is looking for lighting for her new flat. I have been looking for lights for downstairs for ages and I finally found some! I have ordered 2 of the 3 light fixture ones and 2 of the 5 light fixture ones of this same style. They will go in the lounge, dining room, entry and landing upstairs. It is not a great pic but it is all I have at the moment as the lights are still in the boxes unassembled.

It goes really well with our metal stair railings and security gates, they have the same little swirly thing. Hopefully the lights will get up soonest and I will share a pic of them in situ. We are still trying to find a plasterer to come and finish the wall in the pantry as the original plasterer died in a car accident and the 2nd just does not answer his phone. It can be so frustrating trying to achieve things in this go slow country.

After work on Wednesday I went for laser treatments at Skin Hout Bay. My bookclub girls had given me a voucher well over a year ago but I lost it. When we were unpacking all of the last bits of stuff into the new kitchen I found it again and even though it had expired the salon were willing to let me use it. My long term readers may remember when I went for full body laser before with another salon. I spent a ridiculous amount of money and I still look like Sasquatch. (Menopause: The Gift That Keeps on Giving.)

Here I am ‘captured’ on a recent swim. 😉

bigfootpatterson

Skin has offered me a discounted package and I have booked to go back for a few more treatments.

After I came home from my laser treatment that afternoon Norm was in the garden with a guy who installs fireplaces. We have had what we assumed was a ‘leak’ or crack somewhere in the chimney as any smoke spills out into the lounge and into Caitlin’s room which is the bedroom nearest the chimney.

The fireplace guy had climbed onto the roof to have a look and discovered a hotel for birds in our chimney!

We are getting a chimney sweep to come and brush and clean the chimney and we will try to build a fire and see if it smokes us out again. If we still have an issue with the smoke we will have to install the expensive metal flue-thingy-ma-bob-tube which drops down inside the chimney and provides a protective layer within the chimney itself to direct out the smoke (or something like that she says vaguely.)

After the fireplace guy left and things settled down Norm made us the most delicious dinner. He baked a pork fillet and in the same pan he threw in some butternut, chopped peppers and mushrooms. He cooked it in a combo of coconut oil and olive oil.

He made steamed broccoli to go with it. As always my pics are rather rubbish, but the food was yummy!

On Thursday a friend and I walked over to Food Lovers Market at The Towers in the Foreshore for lunch as I had a craving for sushi. We had a young man begging for money on the street, but I will never open my bag on the street. We then went into the building and into food lovers market. A small older man came up to my friend and I and he was holding a tiny little loaf of banana bread about the length of a finger. He had on workman’s clothes and was covered in dust and his hand that was holding the tiny loaf was shaking. He said to us ‘I just need a little money for some food, I am so hungry and I have no money.’ My friend turned away but I looked in his eyes and I saw such humiliation and pain, possibly due to the fact that he was reduced to begging to feed himself even though he works hard every day. I could see that hard work in his calloused hands and dusty overalls. My heart broke and I asked him how much was the bread? It was only about R5 and I knew it would not fill his stomach so I gave him R20 and wished him well. If I meant that he could go a few hours without hunger then it was worth that.

I guess healing can come in many forms?

My friend who turned away was saying after that she is too hard hearted. I just said to her that whatever we put out to the universe comes back to us threefold. If I put out a bit of wealth then hopefully it returns to me, in whatever form that may be. I will accept love in exchange ❤

Thursday Caitlin and Wes drove down to George to spend her birthday weekend there. I hope she has a wonderful birthday weekend, she had won a prize in Plettenberg Bay and they were going to redeem that. Her birthday is today, Friday.

caitbday.png

Last night Norm had a meeting and so I decided to see what I could create out of our fridge contents. I had minced beef, chicken breasts, chopped butternut, broccoli and a few odds and ends of veggies. As Caitlin was away and Norm was out I messaged Retha to come round for an impromptu dinner as we had more than Norm and I could eat.

I made two meals so that we did not have to cook tonight but we would not have to resort to a take away either.

For Friday I decided to cook the mince. I did not have the ingredients to do Mexican food or even a cauliflower topped cottage pie. I did have the butternut though and decided to do a minced beef base and top it with the butternut. As butternut soup is nice with a dash of curry seasoning I decided to use curry to flavour the mince. I fried the beef with onions and peppers and added a bit of beef stock and seasoning and let it simmer for a bit. I steamed the butternut and then pureed it with my blender stick and popped it on top of the mince once it was done. Tonight I will just need to heat it and throw together a salad.

For Thursday’s dinner I made the chicken breasts, I just chopped peppers and mushrooms and threw in some seasoning and coconut oil and roasted it all. I chopped up the last bits of random veggies (mushrooms, peppers and a few brussel sprouts) and stir fried them in butter and I steamed some broccoli, we also had a bit of the butternut puree to go with it all.

I was worried I had overcooked the chicken because we were chatting so much but it was only brown from the sauces and it was nice and tender and moist still.

I am finding that I am listening to more music now with our new LookTV as it has a list of online radio channels which mean I can get access to the international playlists while pottering about the house. Regular readers may remember my complaints about the policy implemented by the eejit Hlaudi Motsoeneng who was the COO in charge of the SABC operations before he was finally removed from his post. Unfortunately things have not improved. There are about 5 local artists who get played over and over with an occasional international artist thrown in. They also moved the only decent DJ they have from 5FM to another station. They moved the misogynist toad DJ Roger Goode to the morning slot. I cannot bear the man who prides himself on being ‘Dirty Uncle Rogey’. He makes the most revolting ‘jokes’ but seems to misinterpret smut as humour. His team seem to forget they are supposed to be entertaining the listeners and spend the show chatting to each other or singing loudly. He has 2 incredibly racist characters on his show, both of whom rely on cultural stereotypes as their only form of humour.

Can you tell I am not a fan?

Tonight Norm and I are on our own and are just having a quiet night in. I’m a bit sad that I won’t be spending Mothers Day with my children. Trevor and Caitlin are in George and Lily has gone to PE.

Trevor and Amber did send flowers which just arrived. Aren’t they stunning?


I am very blessed.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend. ❤️

Sofari So Good

This was our last 4 day week for a while. The week went quickly but I suspect next week will drag.

The drought continues in Cape Town. I can’t embed this video but click HERE to watch recent footage of the dams. It is so frightening. More so that the government seems to be doing nothing about it.

It is getting cooler in the mornings and getting in the shower without warming the water actually takes my breath, much like walking slowly into an icy pool in the blazing heat. I gasp and lose my breath and just quickly get wet, turn the water off, lather, turn it on quickly to rinse and do it all again, leaving the shower stall with my teeth chattering. No idea how I will cope mid winter. We have had a few downpours and a few sprinkles of rain, but it is instantly soaked up. We need a wet winter to top up the water levels in our dams.

I have spent a lot of this week looking for a holiday to book for mine and Norm’s 20th Anniversary in a few months. We wanted to go on a safari as that was the first real holiday we had together when we met. We took the kids to Pilanesberg and to Sun City.

I asked for suggestions on Facebook and I have sent a query to ask about prices for several different lodges in various locations. We were considering Pilanesberg, Namibia, Kruger or a few in the East of SA. Some require a flight to Johannesburg and then a second flight on a small charter plane. That quickly adds up in cost. We have had a quote from one place which sounds amazing. It is in the Eastern Cape so is in a malaria free zone which is a bonus. It is owned by one of Caitlin’s friends’ parents so we get a friendly rate.

It is called Kichaka. It is like my dream holiday.

There is something so special about being on safari, I just love it. To do it in a five star setting is so exciting to contemplate.


We will fly into Port Elizabeth, rent a car and drive an hour or so to the park. We will spend 3 nights there and after our anniversary we will drive to the coast and rent a hotel or apartment there for 2 nights and then fly back.

I am so excited I almost hyperventilate when I think about it.

It is still a bit away so I need to calm down.

On Friday evening Norm cooked for us as he is wanting to seriously watch his carb intake for a few days. He made a perfectly cooked fillet steak and served it on cauliflower mash, fried brussel sprouts and steamed asparagus.

We had a relaxed evening as I was so tired. I was in my pajamas by 4pm and watching the sun go down from my bedroom chaise lounge.

I had a busy day planned on Saturday. First I had an appointment to go with Pix for our chiro visit. You never know what the traffic will be like so I try to leave an hour to get there. It’s a stunning drive but mostly uphill so if caught behind a horse trailer or delivery truck it can take ages. I got there quickly and we just relaxed outside til our turn.

We drove back around to Hout Bay after we were done and I showered to get ready to go out to lunch. Retha was collecting me and we were meeting our friend Bennii for lunch at the Hout Bay Harbour.

We met at The Lookout Deck.


I had the Tian of prawns and salmon roses as I wanted some thing to pick at rather than a big meal.

Retha had the fish cakes and sweet potato fries.


Benni had the ribs which looked yummy. The portion was massive, enough for lunch and dinner later.

We all shared an order of jalapeño poppers.


Retha and Bennii both opted for dessert. Retha had the creme brûlée.

Bennii had the Strawberry Meringues.

We chatted and caught up with each other it’s been ages since we all hung out. We all met years ago through our Xtraordinary Women Network. After we said our goodbyes to Bennii Retha dropped me at home.

Caitlin had been out shopping all day and came home to show us her bits and pieces for her new flat. She dug out all her stored bits to take stock. I’ve bought her house things for years now so she has a starter set of most kitchen things she will need.

That night Norm went for takeaways and I got to choose and as always I chose Massimo’s.

Norm had the Lamb and beef topless ‘gastro’ burger, stuffed with chorizo, topped with melted cacio cheese and red onions, served with Greek side salad for R105.

I had the pasta dish on special, ‘Granchio’ pasta – flaked crab meat, prawns, mascarpone, chilli & garlic, with a squeeze of lemon for R169.

It was divine. Last time I had this dish there were fewer prawns, this time there were just enough.

I also had one of Caitlin’s deep fried artichokes. They were really delicious. She had the meatball tapas with them.

We finished off the series “Stranger Things”. I loved it and can’t wait for another series. Those children are great actors.

We chatted excitedly about our holiday and looked on airbnb for places to rent in Port Elizabeth for our two extra days and I think we have decided on a place near the beach as well as bars and restaurants so we have entertainment in the evenings and the beach to walk on in the day.

Today we had a slow start as Norm had a Skype call at lunch time and after that we headed out.  We needed a shop so we decided to give the Hummingbird Cafe another try as it is handy for Pic N Pay. I ordered Eggs Benedict with bacon and asked for my eggs to be runny in the center.


They were not, they were solid and over cooked. I’m not sure if they always put their Eggs Benedict under the grill or if it was being kept warm while they finished Norm’s, but the grill dried up the hollandaise so between the overcooked egg yolks and dried up hollandaise it missed out on the rich creamy joining of the delicious yolk and hollandaise which is why I choose that particular dish.

Norm had the full English.


He said it was ‘ok, nothing special’.

We did our shopping and headed home. We have just pottered about. Now we are settling in to pick a film to watch to finish off our weekend.

Work comes early tomorrow. Have a great weekend everyone. 😘❤️

Cracking Moderately Misbehaved

Happy May to you all! This year is rattling past at a helluva speed. Why does time move faster the older we get?

clock

We did have a wonderful time with the family on our lovely 5 day break. I missed my boy Trevor but as he is now a proper adult he has his own home and animals to maintain and as Amber is away working he had to stay put.

Monday was Workers Day in South Africa. Our last day with the kids on Monday’s bank holiday was lots of fun.

We finished off the giant vat of curry I made earlier that weekend and we played various games with me, Lily, Josh, Caitlin and Norm all taking part.

First we played the board game Avalon. You are given a card which tells you the role you play in that round and you are designated as either a good guy, a bad guy or Merlin the wizard. Then you all close your eyes and put your fist in the centre of your circle of players, then with all except the bad guys keeping their eyes shut the bad guys stick up their thumbs and show the other bad guys who they are except I kept forgetting who was who. Oops. I was the bad guy for 3 rounds and the assassin for one. The game has obviously heard of me and my reputation for badassness. Yeah right.


It is a strategy game. The millennials love that shit. I’m not a fan, I like silly, fun, boisterous games where I can shout and laugh and expel energy. Therefore based purely on my personal taste, I give Avalon 3 Kitten Stars.

Then we played Uno. Everyone loves Uno, it is easy and fast and fun. Occasionally Josh would shout at me for giving him a card that meant he had to pick up lots or get skipped, but that was not deliberate on my part, it was just unfortunate timing that was the only card I could play and he was next to me.


Finally we all got a bit tired, so Josh went upstairs to play his online game and the rest of us wanted to adjourn to the comfy couches so we played Charades.

We had a great evening laughing and taking the piss out of each other. That is how our family shows love, we either feed you, torture you or both in succession. Fun heh?

The next morning Lily and Josh headed back home to Mossel Bay. It is about a 4-5 hour drive, on a hot day it is not very pleasant at all so I am always so grateful when they make the effort to come visit.

After they left I had a wander around the garden moving around my little treasures and enjoying the fact it had cooled off a bit after the rain. As the garden is constantly growing and changing the little garden art items get hidden by the growth.


The dogs really love when I have a mooch outside. They follow me around, sniffing and exploring everything.

Panda seems completely recovered from his op if a bit sedated from his ongoing pain meds. Navajo continues to constantly harass him, poor wee baby. 😦

As there was a packet of steaks opened at the braai we decided to cook the remainder of them and Norm and I made a yummy HFLC lunch for us and Caitlin.


We sat outside in the shade at the back of the house to eat our lunch as it was nice and cool.

Later Norm and I slobbed about and watched a few episodes of the first season of  Breaking Bad. This is one of the series that we were both keen on watching but as we missed the start of the series when it was first shown on telly we never bothered to try and catch up. Our new TV app LookTV was behaving luckily and we really enjoyed Breaking Bad.

I am so glad my life is on the opposite spectrum from Walter’s ‘chosen’ path.  There but for the grace of the gods go I.

Or you.

Or anyone.

Life is but a roll of the dice.

My life is generally so devoid of excitement that I am barely even Cracking Moderately Misbehaved, much less Breaking Bad. I am at a stage of my life where a chilled out life is desirable and contentment is my primary goal.

Chaos is for the young.

Other than for those who are unfortunate enough to live in an area which is rife with gangs, drugs and violence, whether they are part of that life or not they have to live with the chaos.

On Monday’s public holiday 13 people were shot in Elsie’s River which is an area that is incredibly unsafe. There are gang wars and drug wars and all manner of violent people living there. The innocent are sometimes trapped in the cross fire.

Yet there are 316,000 Capetonians who are without police protection due to the high levels of violence in some of the suburbs and informal areas. In the last 10 years the force have lost 872 police officials while the conviction rate in SA courts is almost non-existent. If the ratio of police to members of the public is 1:362 then that means 315,664 people have been left without police protection. As our census figures are grossly underestimated then this figure is quite likely much higher.

Since 2012, more than 200 attacks on EMS staff members have been reported. Furthermore, the Cape Argus reported that 214 ambulances had been taken off the roads last year. It is unfathomable to me that someone would attack a person who is trying to assist or provide medical care to someone else. That your own needs outweigh those of people needing assistance to me means a lack of any form of moral compass. The ambulances get attacked by addicts looking for drugs, or just by people who want to keep the police and emergency vehicles off their turf. Just in 2016, 5,148 days’ worth of work hours were lost. This is due to responders being absent on account of safety concerns or being off of work due to stress or post traumatic stress disorder due to being previously attacked.

Recently dozens of metro EMS personnel gathered outside the Khayelitsha magistrates court.

Everyone has a right to be able to do their jobs without fear of injury or attack. However the violence in these areas has led to attacks on police officers, emergency medical staff, fireman and others who are required to enter this area to perform their job functions. Several areas, including Hanover Park, Nyanga, Khayelitsha and Manenberg, have been identified as so-called red zones where emergency crews have been targeted by criminals. They are all part of the area known as the Cape Flats.

The recent shooting in Elsie’s River was potentially related to a huge gang war going on in the Western Cape over territory and drugs. One of the alleged leaders of one of these gangs was also recently gunned down. His death allegedly is linked to the fight over which of the players of the underground will ‘own’ the nightclub security industry. (AKA ‘Bouncers’ to you Yanks & ‘Doormen’ to the Brits.)

A shooting in the trendy nightclub Café Caprice in Camps Bay was also linked to this turf war. I am glad my kids are not big night clubbers as the risk is not worth the potential for fun.

The idea of living in the midst of this chaos is unfathomable for those of us whose biggest complaint is our neighbour’s barking dogs. A mild annoyance vs. the risk of your safety is just not something we can even begin to compare.

I guess our own areas of pain are relative to what we experience in our own little life bubbles. But to realise how lucky some of us are when we do not have to live in chaos is a step in the right direction. Starting to be aware and compassionate and to realise that everyone has their challenges is another step.

Baby steps….but at least I am stepping.

Big loves ❤