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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.