Silent Nights and Sand Storms

The wind in Cape Town was insane most of this week. The seas were full of white horses.

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As we live in a bay which is surrounded by a sandy beach, the wind blows the sand all over the place, even over the roads making them impassable. There was a team of men pulling cars out of the sand over the weekend.

This is a road believe it or not!

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Even after so many years in SA it is still so strange to think about my friends and family in the northern hemisphere being in midwinter and dealing with piles of snow rather than sand. All of my friends were posting pictures on social media of the lovely Christmas vibe inducing snow while we swelter in the heat. I cannot adjust to a hot Christmas.

I had a message from my Mom in Atlanta last week to say that she was snowed in with no electricity. She was without electricity (or heat) from last Friday so I was very worried about her as she lives in a rural area on her own and is not very agile. Her power was only restored on Monday morning.

I panicked until it was all resolved.

Despite all of the weather chaos, Norm and I had a very chilled weekend after our fun filled Friday spent with Sharlene. But the week has been rather busy.

But let’s pick up where we left off on the last blog……

On Sunday Retha messaged to ask what I was up to and Norm dropped me at her place. The wind was calming down a bit but was still hectic if you were outside in it. We did sit outside though and it was a lovely afternoon.

Norm collected me from Retha at around 2pm and he and I decided to go out for a late lunch & we popped into Woodcutters Arms.

Norm ordered the chicken breast burger with brie and cranberries. Brie and cranberries are a divine combo and I was very tempted by this on the specials board.

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However I fancied a ‘mommy meal’ and I chose the Beef Sunday Roast, there was both lamb and beef on the menu. It came with horseradish, gravy, roast potatoes, veggies and a yorkshire pudding (trust me, it is there, smashed flat and hidden under the meat).

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The food was good and we watched a bit of the Rugby 7s which was showing in the pub then afterwards we toddled off around the village to run a few errands.

We popped into the newly renovated Checkers in Hout Bay and we were ever so impressed with the look and feel of the place, it looks amazing! The staff still seem totally disinterested in any of your needs as a customer and completely ignore you at the check out tills but that culture cannot not be changed by renovation, that is poor management.

After we left we drove past Ice Dream and the place was so busy we decided we had to join in.

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We went in and bought an ice cream and sat out in the courtyard to eat them in the sun. They have such amazing flavours. Norm had the cookies and cream and I had a scoop each of chocolate and coconut.

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Life is made up of these little simple pleasures, the challenge is slowing down long enough to take them all in.

At Checkers we had bought new lights for our Christmas tree, however we only bought one strand as we were not sure how many strings we might need or whether that brand would work well as they were cheap and battery powered.

We needed a lotttt more even for our tiny tree.

Norm went to buy more lights on Wednesday and we finished it off that night. Caitlin came around and put the lights on as I am a bit useless with that sort of thing. The girls usually get annoyed with my decorating as I tend to put all the ornaments in one spot. Oops.

It is a tiny wee tree but it has been around the world with us for decades and I would never get rid of that little tree.

We also put out our stockings and put my reindeer on the mantel, they have also been a part of our celebrations for many years.

Monday night Norm braaied steaks for us. He used his meat thermometer as he cooked a whole fillet. He has been using his new braai mat to cook the veg. He is putting his previous Christmas and birthday presents to good use.

I made a salad to go with it and it was perfect fare for the heat.

Tuesday Norm followed me to the car dealer so I could have my car serviced. December is probably the worst time to have that unexpected expenditure, however it was due for it’s 45,000 km service and so I felt I could not neglect it. After the accident last week I wanted to make sure everything was intact. Interestingly enough the brakes needed replacing, he said they were very bad. So the fact that I managed to stop my car last week in the accident is even more miraculous!

When I arrived at work after dropping my car I received the following announcement from the US citizens alerts I receive via email from the consulate:

“The U.S. Consulate Cape Town informs U.S. citizens that the Al-Quds Foundation and Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa announced plans to hold a demonstration on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 in Cape Town’s Central Business District from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in protest of the United States’ recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and its plans to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  The march will begin at the Muir Street Mosque and proceed down Darling Street, then to Adderley Street, and end at the Parliament building.”

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That orange buffoon has no clue of the damage he does on a global scale or the risk that he puts the country in. Not only that he does not care.

Here is a joint statement by SA religious leadership on increased hostility by Israeli government and Trump’s unfortunate meddling.

Never mind. As long as Ivanka and her pasty faced husband are happy what does the rest of the world matter?

On Wednesday we woke to a bit of rain which cooled down the high temperatures and was a welcome relief. It rained on and off all day and well into the night. The rain also seemed to dampen down the insane winds we had all week. We need the rain with our current drought so I will not complain. I also won’t complain about the reduced high temps or loss of wind!

As mentioned, Caitlin came around after work on Wednesday as her hairdresser lives in Hout Bay and came around to our house to do her hair. She stayed for dinner but ate after we did as she was getting her hair cut when the food was ready.

Norm really hit it out of the park with this meal. He made chicken, baby broccoli, brussel sprouts, stir fried baby zucchini and a cheesy spinach sauce for the chicken.

He stuffed the chicken breasts with Wensleydale cheese with cranberries and then wrapped them in bacon. The cheese stayed intact after cooking and the cranberry added a slightly sweet taste. It was divine.

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To try and encourage the growth of a bit of Christmas Spirit I booked tickets for myself and Norman to attend the Christmas Carols evening being held on Thursday at Cape Point Vineyards.

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It is such a stunning view from that venue.

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They have a regular Thursday market on each week in the summer which gets very busy.

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The money earned from the tickets to the caroling event will go to the Valley Development Project which is an NPO that works in Masiphumelele and Ocean View and their mission is to endeavour to facilitate a creative process enabling communities to take responsibility for their own sustainable development. To date they have raised over two million Rand, providing more than 14 000 meals per month, to about 700 children, between the ages of 1 to 17.

It is such a stunning drive over Chapman’s Peak drive.

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The market started at 4.30 but as I was at work we arrived only about 5.30 and the place was already rammed with cars! There were thousands of people there! We had taken our blanket and chairs just in case there were no seats and I am glad we did. We found a patch of grass by the lake and settled in.

We had a view of the lake.

After we got our little mini camp set up we wandered off to find food. There was a vast selection of stalls serving everything from fish and chips to curry. We saw a stall which was grilling meat and they were cutting a divine looking beef roast and so we had a beef roll.

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It was so tasty! They did it up proper with English mustard and carmelized onions.

We sat listening to the carols and watching all of the kids run around in their santa hats and reindeer ears. We watched with amusement as a group of people spent ages trying to fish a kid’s hat out of the lake where it had fallen in.

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We decided to have dessert and I tried a brownie but it was not worth the carbs, it was very dry and tasteless.

We had a little duck come out of the lake to visit us. He waddled around and stole bits of food from everyone’s blankets. He, on the other hand, loved the brownie. He had nipped under my seat and was busy gobbling up the crumbs when a nearby kidlet pointed out the sneaky crumb theft and we shooed him away. I can’t imagine human food is healthy for duckies.

We packed up just as the sun was setting and started to make our way home.

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The views are so beautiful on the drive back as well.

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We got home and relaxed a bit before toddling off to bed.

Today was my last day at work until 8th of Jan when I return. As it was my last day I treated myself to lunch from Fat Cactus. I ordered a cheese quesadilla and what I thought was a single taco but it ended up being 3! There was tons of food, luckily I have students to share with as they are always hungry.

We have a busy weekend ahead. Tonight we are dining at Cheyne’s with friends and tomorrow we are off to a Christmas party with friends in Simon’s Town. Sunday I am at drumming. My Sisters Circle are also starting a Grandmother’s Circle (you don’t have to be an actual grandmother to join, think of it more as an Elder Circle). This Circle will meet to work on projects to help the community or environment or whatever we choose. It will be an outreach group rather than a support group like the Sisters group. One of the grandmothers from Grandmothers Circling the Earth is visiting SA from Denmark and we are going to get to meet her and learn from her in regards to starting our own circle. I am very excited about this group and the potential we have to help the community.

It should be a powerful drumming circle as there is a new moon on December the 17th and the New Moon is a powerful one. The New Moon is a great time to manifest your desires and wishes, but this New Moon tightly conjuncts not only the Sun and Saturn, but also the Galactic Center, the single point in space around which the whole of our galaxy pinwheels and turns, opening a black hole of epic proportions (think the power of our Sun x 4 billion) which will suck in everything in its vicinity.

You can read more about this on The Numerologist.

I wish you all everything you need from this moon.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxox

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