The Spirit of Water

We had yet another spooky experience last week. In my last post I mentioned the voices which woke me on Wednesday morning. On Friday night as Norm and I were going to bed Norm came into the bedroom and looked at me a bit oddly when I walked in from the ensuite and said ‘were you just on the balcony’? I said that I had been in the bathroom taking off my makeup and asked him why did he ask. He said ‘are you serious?’ and I said ‘of course, why would I lie about being on the balcony?’

I said jokingly ‘Maybe you saw our ghost.’

He looked a bit spooked and said he had seen a woman with long dark hair wearing a white gown standing on the balcony.

What?!

When we first moved into our house we had a few odd occurrences with spirits and we did a few energy cleansing sessions before we could get the main spirit to move on. I never saw the spirit manifest, I was aware of her energy but I did not see the spirit. Caitlin however did, she saw her standing on the landing walking into the bathroom. Caitlin got the feeling that the woman had drowned.

She had long dark hair and was dressed in a long white gown.

Is this our previous spirit back in our house? If so why is she back? What message does she have and is she attached to the house, or to me or to someone else in the family? Did she blow back in with the crazy winds? Caitlin has a theory it is because we have done renovations and put the house on the market as that often upsets spirits who are attached to a home. I did ask the ancestors of the land to release us from our contract with this house and allow us to move on. Maybe that alone disturbed things.

I will do a spirit cleansing with some sage this weekend. If she has a message for me I hope she makes it crystal clear as I am not too great at interpreting without the message being very clear. Even then I can be a bit obtuse.

After that bit of excitement we had a very lazy weekend. I spent it doing a great deal of not much at all. It was still warm outside and so we stayed inside, well out of the heat. The walls of our house are thick. concrete and keep the house cool in summer.

I played games on my iPad or watched my current series Grace and Frankie. I’m currently obsessed with an online puzzle app. It’s crazily addictive.

I made a simple salad for our lunch on Saturday. I boiled eggs, added rolls of sliced ham and maasdam cheese. Maasdam is a swiss cheese made of cow’s milk. It is my personal fave. I just added lettuce, avocado, sliced a raw zucchini and some tomatoes and sprinkled it all over with chopped red cabbage and carrots.

Norm and I had toyed with the idea of going out on Saturday night but we were quite happy in and Josh had come home from the track so we thought we would just get a take away. We went to The Kitchen Takeaway and I was naughty and ordered a free range chicken burger and chips. Every time I do so I always wonder why as I struggle to swallow the bread. It gets ‘stuck’ in my esophagus, almost like my body is rejecting it’s arrival. So why do I do it to myself? The next day my digestive system complains terribly, but still I do it over and over again.

Silly Kitten.

On Sunday I decided to try out another of the items I purchased from Banting to Go. I baked the muffin mix. The mix costs R49 but it made 12 muffins. You add either milk or yogurt, I used 2 tablespoons of full fat greek yogurt. You then add 100grams of fat/oil, I used butter. You then beat these together with 5 eggs and once all are mixed together you add the powder and blend.

These were a hit! I will try out a few variations on these, maybe add cheese and bacon to make a savoury version or chopped nuts and cinnamon to make a ‘sweeter’ type of muffin. It won’t be any sweeter in reality, but if the mouth tastes cinnamon and nuts maybe I can convince myself it’s a Cinnabon. No?

I topped mine with a ton of butter, a tiny drizzle of honey and sliced cheese. I took one to work today and just had it with a tiny bit of sugar free peanut butter. They would be nice as a base for a poached egg too. These are so handy to have in the cupboard.

The weather has been rather mad. After weeks of heat we woke yesterday to an overcast day which promised us rain but did not deliver.

Bit cloudy in the bay today

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We had the same overcast weather today, it’s very cool but still there is none of the much needed rain.

Recently we have had major winds which of course will blow away a large amount of water from the dams. You may scoff at this idea, but that would only be if you have never a) experienced Cape Town winds or b) owned a pool in Cape Town. We really saw this for ourselves when the water restrictions meant that we had to stop the weekly pool top ups from our pool service company. When the restrictions came into place we had to buy a pool cover, it was one of the first items the CoCT (City of Cape Town) publicised as a requirement to adhere to their new policies.

As mentioned on my last blog, the proposed levy based on the value of your home has been scrapped. 55,300 people lodged a complaint about this proposed levy on the CoCT Public Participation page which allows residents to have their say on various campaigns. The City listens to some, but some of the proposals are going to go ahead regardless of what the residents have to say. I know this to be the truth as we had our complaints ignored in the implementation of the TRAs in Hout Bay near the cemetery. A TRA is a ‘Temporary Relocation Area’ and just means a site where evictees are intended to be accommodated on a temporary basis after some sort of emergency. In Hout Bay the fires in the townships were the emergency situations which triggered the crisis and the need for relocation.

The fact that the City has not managed to successfully implement anything in the last few years to mitigate the risk of the province running out of water boggles my mind. I will try to give a bit of background in order to help you understand why I am so frustrated.

Water in Cape Town is supplied from a number of dams in mountainous areas close to the city. The dams are recharged by rain falling in their catchment areas, largely during the cooler winter months of May to August, and decline during the warm, dry summer months of December to February during which urban and agricultural water use increases. In fact a huge amount of our water goes to agricultural use.

Since 1995, Cape Town’s population has grown from 2.4 million residents to an estimated current figure of 4.3 million, representing a 79% population increase in 23 years whilst dam water storage only increased by 15% in the same period. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry predicted that the growing demand from the city would exceed supply by 2013 without water conservation and demand management measures by the city, and that further water sources would be required by 2019.

The government ignored this warning and instead has alternately blamed residents for the shortfalls, they have blamed the weather, climate change and pretty much everything they can, when in actuality the blame lies solely on their own dry, dusty doorstep.

They have been aware of the risk that our population would exceed the amount of water which the city has available as well as the issue of the drought and have been harping on about water conservation since 2015, but what have they actually done?

It took until October 2017 for the City of Cape Town to issue an emergency water plan to be rolled-out in multiple phases depending on the severity of the water shortage. The stricter monitoring of consumption identified many leaks in our ancient infrastructure, some of which took months for the city to identify and rectify. Those should have been identified and resolved more quickly.

Last week the CoCT drilled its first test borehole into the Cape Flats aquifer, hoping that the earth’s natural underground reservoirs would provide an extra 80 million litres of water per day.

The City has also decided it is time that they focused their attention to the roll out of the plans to distribute water once Day Zero arrives and they turn off the taps. This projected date has now moved forward to April 11. I do not think the city can cope with this scenario.

So far they are planning to issue each person who queues at one of the designated water distribution centres 25 liters of water each day. Have you ever tried to carry a 25 liter container full of water? What if you do not own a car? What if you are infirm? How will the indigent or disabled access their water? How will they avoid people double dipping into the supply process and taking more than their share? How will they stop people with wells from selling their water? How will they police people selling water as safe to drink when it’s from a source deemed unsafe for consumption? How will businesses function with the toilets not working? Hairdressers or salons, car washes, so many businesses need water to function.

Turning off the taps will be catastrophic and will lead to even more unemployment when companies have to shut their doors if they cannot function with no water.

How will people manage to perform a job if they have to spend hours queuing for water every single day?

What about Schools or Hospitals? How will they function without water?

The health risks associated to lack of clean water do not bear thinking about.

How has our beautiful Cape Town come to this level of crisis?

How has our beautiful Mother Earth been the victim of such abuse?

Those who have a duty of care to look after both are only looking after their own self interests.

I pray for protection over Mother Earth and I try to practice Ho’oponopono as often as I can.  I give my apologies for the harm we have done to her. I pray for forgiveness of the violations and abuse that humans have done to her body. I give thanks to her and I tell her I love her.

I pray to the Cloud Nation and Water Spirits to release the waters onto Cape Town and the other areas on Mother Earth which are suffering from drought. I pray for the blessing of rain.

As much as I love a bit of steampunk, I pray that the day does not come when we have to live like post apocalyptic survivors.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

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Setting the Bar

Many of the schools returned this week for the start of the new school year and it made the roads all full of chaos again. If I did not know better I might assume it was the children doing the driving.

I still find a January to December school year odd having grown up with the American system of starting the new year in September after the 3 month summer break.

It was Lily’s birthday on Tuesday. She had a lovely dinner out down the coast with friends and family. This pic came up as a memory for me – I know where I was in 1991 as I stayed in the hospital for a full week! Lily was a huge baby at almost 5 kilograms and she was face down with the cord around her neck. She was purple when she finally emerged. The gynecologist had noted that her stats were low and they raced off to an operating theatre and he literally reached in with his giant basketballer sized hands and grabbed her and yanked her out. Luckily I had previously agreed to an epidural after the nurse had said to me that the baby was the size of a baby calf. If I had not had the epi the doc said I would not have been able to cope with the pain.

#OnThisDay in 1991

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Lily was the only one of my 3 babies who was a wee chubster. We called her Buddha Baby as she had rolls of baby fat on her arms and legs. You can certainly not guess that by looking at her now she is such a slender, stunning girl.

Norm was great about keeping us fed all week despite the ongoing heat. He has become a master on his braai. He cooked fillet steak, mushrooms and roast veg for us on Monday night. The fillet was nicely crusty with a bit of char on the outside but very pink inside, just the way I like it.

There was even enough for me to take for lunch the next day as my appetite has lessened now that we are doing low carb again.

On Tuesday we have Cordelia in to clean and she leaves quite late so we just got a take away that night, however we both avoided the chips and we had veg and salad with our protein.

On Wednesday night Norm also cooked outside as it is still very warm. He grilled pork sausages, mushrooms and halloumi and I cooked red cabbage on the stove. Pork and cabbage go so well together.

Thursday he got very adventurous and made the sauce for a lasagna. I emailed him the instructions and he did the shopping and cooking. The sauce was divine and we layered it with chunky cottage cheese, sliced zucchini and topped with mozzarella and baked for about 30 minutes.

I had an odd experience on Wednesday morning. I was deep asleep and I heard someone calling ‘Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa’ over and over in my ear. I finally emerged into full consciousness and turned over to face Norm, except he appeared to be sound asleep. We are the only ones home at the moment. The dogs were not disturbed, despite Norm saying that he had heard me talking to someone just before I woke up. I never remember my dreams. I do have recurring incidents where I am sure I am astral travelling as I am partially conscious but unable to move. I am always ‘dreaming’ of someone on the other side and I do believe I am there with them in that plane and that is why I cannot move here in this plane. But this was not one of those incidents, I have no memory of the incident other than of waking and hearing the voice.

I had that same experience once before when we were living in a very old house that was full of spirits. But then the voice said ‘Mom, Mom, Mom’ and I knew in my heart that it was the baby I had miscarried prior to Trevor. That house had a lot of spiritual things going on, from seeing shapes out of the corner of my eye to the lights blinking on and off when I tried to communicate directly with the spirits I felt and saw in the house.

This experience was different. I have no idea what this one was……I have to confess that it really spooked me.

That night as we were cuddling before falling asleep I told Norm he was the ‘Best Husband in the World’ and he said that was not correct. He said that if he were the best in the world then he would be taking us around the world on holidays every few months and I would be able to retire.

I guess it depends on what you see as a priority in a relationship. I dated very wealthy men when I was younger and I did not choose them, I know my idea of what mattered to me in a husband and a relationship changed after my divorce. I wanted a good, kind, loving man who treated me like I was a goddess and who would love my children as if they were his own. What I got was exactly that and I will always be thankful for him in my life.

Even when I want to kill him I cannot imagine my life without him.

The fact that he is also handsome, sexy, Scottish (oh that accent) and has an MBE were just gravy on my already overflowing plate of luck. He also is proud of my intelligence, he would never try to diminish me or ‘dumb me down’ just to make himself feel superior as some men do. He is also a feminist and believes as I do that women should be who they are, not what the man in the relationship wants or needs them to be in order to not threaten their fragile male ego. He would never try to change me.

Even when he wants to kill me.

I tried out the Banting on the Go ‘Crackling Crisps’ this week that I mentioned in my last blog.

They were OK but I won’t buy them again. I could not finish the packet. They have a funny sort of chemically aftertaste which is pretty ironic as I had assumed that they were just your normal pork scratchings but without the chemicals. They definitely needed more salt.

And less of the aftertaste.

Pixie has been somewhat off her food, she did not want to eat her dinner at all on Tuesday night and she seemed so tired. But she is always smiley.

But it was very hot that evening and she did go for a walk. Of course now that the vet has said she is fine, any concerns I have are discredited by Norm the eternal optimist.

I do hope she is OK and that I am just overly paranoid. I so love this little girl.

Regular readers will know that the Western Cape is suffering from a severe drought. It was just announced this week that from the 1st of Feb the government will be implementing Level 6B water restrictions. This means that Capetonians will be expected to keep our water consumption to less than 50 liters per day per person.

What level 6B Water Restrictions mean. Buckle up Buttercups

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This is an unachievable target as 60% of the people could not reach the previous target of 87 liters per person and most of us have no hope in hell of meeting the new targets. The City has sat on it’s hands and done nothing to proactively deal with this crisis and now they are all in a panic as the day when the taps in the city are turned off looms ever closer. April 21 of this year has been set as the estimated target of when we will run out of water (aka Day Zero).

This is all rather terrifying and yet I still see trucks being brought into the suburbs to fill people’s swimming pools. There were 2 in my suburb alone on the weekend. Where do the idiots buying this water think it is coming from?? I find some peoples lack of community and even common sense rather shocking.

The lack of action by the DA government is shocking and the mayor has been under review for multiple reasons. I hope she is removed from post as I think she is almost as bad as Zuma when it comes to doing what is best for her own interests rather than the interests of those she has been appointed to represent. The fact that they were trying to raise the rates everyone pays each month to compensate for the lack of forward planning has enraged most people. Under the proposed drought levy, some 52 510 Capetonians were set to temporarily pay a fixed rate of R150 a month to make up for the City’s R1.6bn loss in revenue from reduced water consumption. Rather penalise those who exceed the targets rather than try and recover the additional revenue needed by using the value of one’s property to drive the levy.

This afternoon the City of Cape Town voted to both limit mayor Patricia De Lille’s powers to handle the drought crisis, and to introduce punitive tariff measures for residents. The idea to add a levy to our rates based on our property value was voted down.

I’m delighted on both fronts.

Josh came back to Cape Town today. We all got a curry from Indian Oven in Hout Bay. It was delicious as always.

We have been relaxing tonight listening to the mad winds that are howling outside. It has at least cooled things down a wee bit.

I hope you all have a good weekend.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Kitten and the Kittens

I promised to update you about Pixie our Pomeranian and her breathing issues. Lily dropped Pixie at the vet first thing at 8am on Friday morning so that she could be sedated to get a decent x-ray of her airway, lungs and heart. Pix is usually fed her breakfast at 8am so she was very confused by the entire exercise of being whisked away. However she is such a well behaved girl she went along obediently. The vet had Lily leave her with the receptionist and the family all sat worrying all day about what might be wrong with her. I was glad I had work to occupy my mind.

For lunch on Friday I had no leftovers to bring and so I used OrderIn and chose Fat Cactus. I ordered the Grilled Chicken Fajita food truck tacos for R95. You get 3 tacos but there was a ton of onions in the taco. I love onions but this was predominantly onions with a bit of chicken. But a so-so taco is still damn good.

I did an onion cull and then I really enjoyed them but wow they were messy. I could not finish all 3 especially as I wanted to save room for Cheyne’s. Luckily in a university environment there is always a hungry student nearby.

After work I went straight home and arrived just before Lily and Norm were back with Pixie. The vet said that they struggled to get clear x-rays due to Pixie’s rather excessive coat but eventually they did so and while her heart was a bit ’rounded’ they are not overly worried about her. The vet said that at least now they have a baseline image in case her symptoms do get worse. So it seems that Pixie is fine! It all cost me a few grand but I would rather test her and know she is fine than leave it and risk her health.

Lily bought her a present for being such a good girl. She loves this ball and has carried it around proudly since.

We then had Pixie’s good test results to celebrate that evening at Cheyne’s as well as Lily’s birthday. I had booked for 7 but Cheyne’s is literally 5 minutes away and we got there just in time.

We took 3 cars so we could do our own thing after. Norm and I arrived first and we were seated in the big room at the front under a fan which helped with the heat.

Lily and Josh arrived next.

Next Caitlin and Wes arrived and we all ordered drinks. I had a few of my fave cocktails. the Passionate Buddha, over the course of the evening. It is so yummy and refreshing. Our waiter was on the ball and had our drinks served and our food orders in quite quickly. We all opted for the 4 dish special and each chose one dish from the Earth, Land, Sea and Happy Endings sections.

There was a dish on special which the waiter suggested we try and several of us chose to order this dish which came out first.

The only problem with ordering the special they quickly describe is you do not get to read about the finer details and this dish came piled high with seaweed.

I DETEST seaweed.

The sharp sea taste from the seaweed was rather overwhelming for the delicate pork. I loved the pork and the pickled cucumber as well as the sauce but the seaweed spoiled it for me.

The next dish to arrive was the Potato and Coconut dumplings. 5 of us ordered these and we all loved them. (I order them every visit.)

Midway through the dumplings my Sea choice arrived. I ordered the baby shrimp tempura.

Again several of us ordered this – we all loved it. The sauce had a lovely spicy kick. I really enjoyed this dish.

Caitlin and Norm both had 3 dishes arrive in rapid succession so they were complaining that their food got cold due to the giant fan. I loved the fan and would rather have cold food than sit in a puddle of sweat but the cool cats at the table did not agree.

I decided to try a different dessert than my usual peanut butter shake and I had the chocolate fondant with strawberry and miso ice cream.

The fondant was perfection, warm, dark and oozing with rich liquid chocolate. I would have preferred this with the peanut butter ice cream or even vanilla. I thought the strawberry was too distilled to cut through the richness of the chocolate.

I could not finish it all but Norm was happy to polish it off.

We headed home just after 10 having really enjoyed our night. I love having the girls both here and I love treating them.

Saturday I had an appointment in the CBD to get my hair done by Leandra at her new salon Pause. Thembi has worked for Leandra for as many years as I can remember. She is a lovely woman and she is about to go off of work to have a baby. I had popped over to Pep by my office and bought her a little bag of goodies for the baby.

I put them into a nice bag which she can use for baby later and took it all in with me to the hairdresser early that morning. Thembi was very pleased with them all. I told her I left the tags on in case she needs to exchange anything, but she said it was all perfect and that you can never have enough baby things.

Maybe it was because I was early but I got perfect parking on Long Street right by the salon. I can’t parallel park so I can only access spaces near an exit so I usually have to park miles away. So, yippee for my parking angels!

Afterwards I popped over to Caitlin’s flat to meet her new kittens, Scout and Mittens.

This is Mittens, the little girl.

This is Scout who is her brother and is a very sweet loving kitty.

Everybody meet Scout one of my two new babies. #scoutkitty #kitten #catsofinstagram

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They are such sweet little kitties. Scout is so loving and kept running up my body to bash his wee face against my mouth in a kiss. He had lots of lippy on by the time I left. Mittens alternates between chaotic runs around the room and crashing in a mini coma.

This position made us laugh.

I had not had breakfast before the hairdresser so I stopped at Martins bakery for a bit of lunch for me and Caitlin. I bought us each one of their yummy banting pies, it is full of big chunks of chicken breast in a spicy sauce and is topped with sweet potato mash. In a spur of the moment grab I also picked up gingerbread men for us as a very non-banting treat.

The recently departed Mr Gingerbread Man. #HesInMahBelly

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impulse and hunger are a dangerous combination.

I hung out with Caitlin and played with her kitties for a few hours and then I headed back to Hout Bay. Josh and Lily had been at the track all day and only arrived home after I did. It was very hot and we just decided to be lazy and order take away pizzas from Massimo’s in Hout Bay.

Our pizzas were so gorgeous both in appearance and taste. So much so I did not snap a pic but trust me if you want an authentic Italian pizza this is the place you need to go. I ordered my current fave which is the Pancetta which tastes like crispy streaky bacon with big splodges of mozzarella and thick puddles of the tastiest tomato sauce. Yum.

We decided to watch a film while munching on our delicious pizzas and so we watched Special Correspondents with Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana. I do love Ricky’s self-deprecating humour.

It was amusing enough and I would give it 3 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

One evening during the week Lily and I also started watching the series Grace and Frankie as it was something that we knew the fellas would not be bothered with. It is such a farcical concept but I do love Lily Tomlin. I especially love the fact that Lily (or ‘Frankie’) is supposed to be a ‘hippie’ who is in tune with the universe and some of her actions are hilarious.

It is based on the premise of two men who have been legal partners for decades have also been lovers. They break the news to their wives and children and plan a marriage. I know if my husband of 40 years told me my whole life had been built on a lie I would not be so congenial. Whether there was a gorgeous Malibu beach house in the divorce settlement or no Malibu beach house.

Okay, maybe for that beach house, it is pretty amazing.

I do find Martin Sheen a bit unbelievable in his role as a gay man. His teeth or dentures also annoy me.

I am enjoying it enough to continue watching it however. I would give the overall series 3 and a half Kitten Stars except I cannot make half a star so it gets a 3. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lily and Josh drove back to Mossel Bay yesterday as Lily started work today.

I had been planning to go for a drumming session on Sunday morning however I did not want to leave while Lily was here and by the time they headed out it was too late to go for drumming. I get so little time with my children that I do not want to miss any of it.

Norm and I had a chilled out day lazing about. We both just read or played games and later on we watched a few episodes of Season 2 of Fargo. The ending was absolute nonsense and I think that we may not bother watching series 3.

Today the products I ordered from Banting on the Go arrived. I got a few low carb mixes to try such as a pizza crust or muffins. I ordered a ‘flapjack’ mix forgetting that in SA a flapjack is a sort of cookie like thing. To me it is pancakes.

I will let you know how they all taste once I get around the making them.

Tonight it is still quite warm despite the sprinkling of rain we received this morning. Norm is doing steak, mushrooms and veg on the grill outside. I am a very lucky Kitten. I hope you feel just as loved.

Kisses from The Kitten. Xoxoxo

Celebrations and Expectations

The last day of my year end holiday ended on a high as Lily and Josh drove up to stay with us and Caitlin came for dinner that evening to see them. We were having dinner to celebrate Lily and Josh’s engagement as he proposed to her on the 3rd of January.

And yes that is a giraffe in the background.

Both families are so pleased and excited as Lily and Josh have been together since high school and are made for each other. Josh also has a lovely family and we are happy to now consider them our family too.

For dinner I cooked a big pot of chili con carne and made cheese quesadillas with sour cream, salsa & home made guacamole to top them with. Caitlin stopped and bought a bottle of bubbly on her way over so that we could toast to their happiness.

Caitlin had just come to our house from an animal adoption centre where she went to investigate getting a kitten now that she has her own flat. She fell in love with 2, a girl and a boy from the same litter. The shelter had originally said that she could take them the next day but there were issues with the paper work and inoculations so she can only get them this coming weekend. But they are so cute! I will post some pics when she does, I do not want to spoil her own unveiling.

We had a relaxed evening and Caitlin went off home to get to bed as we both had work on Monday.

The next morning I woke up bright and early and drove into Mowbray and there were almost no cars on the road at all. I got settled in my desk and then realised I had left my laptop charger plugged in at home. My battery was pretty low as I had not used my laptop much in the holidays so I rang Norm and dragged him out of bed and begged him to bring it to me which he did. He is the best husband ever.

To cheer myself up about being back at work I booked tickets for Valentine’s Night for Norm and I to see Alice Phoebe Lou. It is a Cafe Roux sessions night that we spotted when we were there last week. We have seen Alice perform before and she is brilliant so that should be fun. It gives me something positive to look forward to.

Monday night Norm braaied dinner for us, Lily and Josh. We had chicken breast kebabs (or sosaties as they call them in SA). He also cooked butternut and pumpkin on the braai, I made coleslaw and Lily made a salad so we had a lovely family dinner.

On Tuesday while at work I received a message from Norm to say that he heard on the radio that a woman in her forties had been doused with petrol and set alight in Hangberg, the township on the harbour side of Hout Bay. The story was in the news and allegedly the woman was beaten and then set alight by her drug dealer. She is allegedly a tik addict (aka meth). Whatever her sins she did not deserve that and I pray for her family as she was a mother of 4 and has since passed away from her injuries.  This is now at least the fourth drug related death in this area as 3 young men were killed last year over drugs too.

I cannot fathom what sort of person could do such a thing to another human. To deliberately douse them in petrol and set them alight?

But I have written before about how expectation is the root of all disappointment. I know that my expectations of others are high. I also set the same standards for myself and I get very hard on myself if I do not meet those expectations. I try to be realistic about what I expect and to be gentle with myself but setting the bar high is my go to position and it is not easy to divert from that standard.

However, no matter what our desire for internal change there is also an element of the fable of the frog and the scorpion in that we cannot change our intrinsic nature. I do believe that we can evolve and become more enlightened or aware of our impact on others, but our core being usually does not change.

I now know that I sometimes see and experience things that many people do not due to my empath and spiritual abilities. I sometimes see elements of people’s aura or energy which is not evident to other people. I had always assumed that other people were vibrating at the same frequency as I am and were in tune to these things as well, but I now know that is not the case.

This can create a dilemma when others trigger my unease. Do I keep these feelings to myself? I see red flag signals and feelings of high alert when I interact with certain individuals and with my new decision to listen to my instincts I choose to avoid that toxicity when I encounter it.

I find that I am often disappointed in other women when they do not seem to be ‘conscious’ of things such as misogyny and oppression of other women and even more so when they propagate that energy. I had an interaction with a friend of over 40 years recently over the Golden Globes protest when she shared the horrid misogynistic meme which tried to devalue that protest with slut shaming and saying that the protesters were hypocritical as they had their cleavage showing. The meme was from someone who claims to be christian. I guess he did not read that bit about Jesus not being a Judgey McJudgeson but rather being loving to all with no discrimination. Not that I personally am a follower of Jesus but to each their own. My only personal judgement is for those who spout Christianity but exhibit very unchristian behaviour.

They missed the entire point of the protest, women should be able to wear whatever they wish without being the victim of abuse, cat calls, lewd staring or another behaviour from men who see women as their property or as fodder for their titillation.

If my partner was inclined to stare google eyed at another woman’s cleavage I would not be with that partner. However other women seem to choose to be oblivious when their partner does that. I do not find it a compliment, I find it invasive and creepy and will no longer be silent, I will call them out on it should I be unfortunate enough to be in their presence again.

I have been reading about Carl Jung and his theory on archetypes and how this influences and even determines how and why we react to external stimuli and I do understand that some men are trapped in the ego or Warrior stage of their development and this may result in exhibiting overly macho or misogynistic behaviour. These are the men who act like petulant teenagers when challenged, regardless of their age. Their ‘evolution’ has been halted for whatever reason. However by allowing them to demonstrate these behaviours without calling them out only allows them to be normalised.

So again, it is all in your perspective and maybe in your levels of acceptance and even self worth.

Personally, I know I deserve more. I know I have raised my daughters to have high standards and they also know their self worth. I am very proud of that.

On Tuesday night Lily and Josh went to meet their friends for dinner so Norm and I just decided to get a naughty take away. He headed out and seemed to be gone for hours and eventually we receive a whatsapp message to our family group saying that he had inadvertently captured a young lad who was busy strolling back from the beach where he and and his accomplices had mugged someone who was walking on the foot path to the beach in Llandudno. Norm took him to the police station and handed him in then cruised off to get a chicken burger.

My husband, the hero. For the mugging capture not for bringing home the chicken burger of course.

On Wednesday Lily took Pixie to the vet as she has been struggling with her breathing lately. Pix is not overweight as she eats very healthy raw food and not commercial rubbish. She does have enough fur to provide a coat for about 20 larger dogs than her but a heavy coat is natural for Pomeranians so I did not think her breathing issues are related to the heat.

The vet said that Pixie is in great shape but that she was quite worried about her breathing too and so she did an x-ray of her to check for any fluid in her lungs or around her heart.

Her airway is a wee bit narrowed and her heart is a bit enlarged, but they could not get her lie on her back calmly so they made an appointment for Norman to take her back on Friday morning and sedate her in order to get clearer pictures. You can see the vertebrae that she fractured years ago have fused.

Panda was not bothered by all of this he spent the day chilling in the ironing basket.

That evening we planned to go to Caitlin’s as Lily and Josh had not seen the progress in her flat in a while but then Josh came home from work with a dreadful case of sunburn and he felt really nauseous from it so off he went to bed and Lily, Norm and I drove over to Caitlin and stopped to pick up take away dinner from Col’Cacchio which we chose as they have various low carb options and are close to Cait’s flat.

I had a major challenge on the phone ordering the food from them however. First of all when I phoned she could not understand either ‘melanzane’ or ‘eggplant parmigiana’ and so she put on another staff member who said that they no longer serve melanzane despite it still clearly showing on their online menu. I told them I would have to call them back as I then had to go back to everyone and reconfirm their orders and phone back with a new order. I then tried to order a Volatilia salad and the girl could not understand me at all – I had to spell it several times. Then I ordered a Cobb (also had to spell it) and 2 chicken Caesar salads which she then said they also do not serve. I had a Caesar salad there recently and so I said to her ‘since when? I just had one last week’ and she eventually said ‘oh you mean a Caesar with chicken’. Was she taking the piss now? I had to repeat my name and number so many times I eventually said, ‘I am not saying it again. I will be there in 10 minutes’ and just hoped she had gotten the order right as she seemed rather a ditz.

I ordered 4 salads in total and we went to collect the food and of course, she got it wrong. We ended up with only 1 Caesar and 2 Cobb salads instead. How hard can it be to listen to someone and then enter it into the computer? If you cannot work a computer write it down by hand and get help once the client is off the phone. My call took ages and led to much annoyance. When Norm went to pay she had no idea how to ring him up either. I do understand that people start new jobs but surely she should be shadowed by someone competent until she gets trained?

Anyway.

Expectations and all that……

Speaking of expectations, I was not expecting the intense heat we are having this week. It was 25C at 7am and when I left work it had risen to 35!

🌞

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Tonight we are cooking sausages and halloumi on the grill and just making a salad. It’s too hot to put on the cooker.

It is Lily’s birthday on the 16th but she has to be back at work in Mossel Bay on the 15th and so I booked a table on Friday night for me, Norm, Lily, Josh, Caitlin and Wes to go to Cheyne’s in Hout Bay before she leaves.

I will appreciate any positive thoughts and prayers that you can spare for Pixie. I love that little girl so much, she is my little shadow. I hope that she is OK or that they can treat her easily.

I will update everyone on the outcome with Pixie as well as our dinner at Cheyne’s in my next blog.

Until then, kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxo

The Cultured Kitten

On Tuesday Norm and I decided we needed to adventure out of Hout Bay. As we had been wanting to go to the Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary African Art) since before it had even opened we decided to go for lunch and hit the museum afterwards. We had a slow morning and headed into the V&A Waterfront just before lunch. We had forgotten that the Cape Town Carnival was on the 2nd of January and the city centre was very busy as there were multiple roads closed in preparation, but eventually we managed to get to the waterfront and get parked under the museum by the Clock Tower.

We just wanted a quick bite so we wandered around until we found a place that did not look too terribly busy. As it is peak tourist season and half of South Africa  appear to be in Cape Town this week this was a wee bit of a challenge but eventually we spotted a table outside by the sea at Mondiall Kitchen & Bar. We settled in and ordered a drink.

We both ordered the Fish and Chips as that is what one does when at the seaside.

It was a nice size portion and was perfectly cooked. It was yummy. We relaxed a bit enjoying the view, but did not want to linger too terribly long as we wanted to get through all of the exhibitions at the museum. But it was a rather spectacular view from our table.

We did have to stop for the obligatory selfie on our way to the museum.

It is a very impressive building.

We decided to become members of the Zeitz MOCAA as it was a great deal. The view from the 6th floor is spectacular and we can just pop in for a drink or lunch and enjoy that view or we can keep an eye on the exhibits and go whenever they change. You basically pay for the membership if you go there twice.

When we entered we could hear a rather mournful and haunting melody playing which echoed throughout the rather imposing foyer. The song is part of the exhibit which is in the atrium. You can download a clip of the song HERE.

Nicholas Hlobo’s iimpundulu zonke ziyandilandela, hangs in the opening atrium and is rather spectacular. The blurb about the piece says “As oral histories inevitably disappear, Hlobo represents the Xhosa myth of the Lightning Bird or the witch’s servant, manifesting itself as a bird or an attractive man. Hlobo, however, morphs the myth to particular personal concerns taking into account taboos associated with masculinity and violence. The generosity of Hlobo’s practice allows us to enter a fantastical world not normally accessible to us.’

We obtained our membership cards quickly and easily and then went to watch the video about how they converted the old grain silos into the museum and hotel. It is a fascinating structure.

You can watch the video HERE.

After the film we headed up to the top floor with a plan of winding our way down from there. There is a sculpture garden for a few of the larger pieces of art and around this is a glass window with amazing views. Norm did not cope well with the view from the 6th floor. He is not good with heights but he did come to the window and snap a pic for me.

That’s true love.

From there we walked down the central spiral staircase to each of the levels.

I really loved the fashion aspect of the work of Nandipha Mntambo. Nandipha’s solo exhibition, Material Value, presents artworks that span an entire career of using cowhide and the cultural, historical, and universal associations we attribute to this medium.

This piece below made me think of my new painting and I called it ‘The Girl Who Killed a Million Cows.’

I also enjoyed the work by another artist whose name I did not note and surprisingly I can find nothing about this piece on the website. I have investigated and I think her name is Mary Sibande but if anyone has more info please advise and I will update the post.

There was minimal info that I could find on the meaning behind the piece but I spent ages walking around and sitting gazing at this tableau. It was so full of detail.

We watched two very interesting short films. I struggled to find much info on either of these online either. They were both very creative but I really loved the short film from the South African artist William Kentridge called ‘More Sweetly Played the Dance’ which looked like old faded black and white flickering film shown across multiple screens.

The music is so evocative of South Africa. We saw every thing available across all 6 floors. We really enjoyed our visit and will definitely go back sometime soon.

On Wednesday I had an appointment to see Kevin my chiro for an adjustment on my back. As I was leaving just before lunch I persuaded Norm to come with me and we stopped for lunch in Constantia on our way home. We went to Mugg & Bean as it is pretty reliable food and there are lots of seats so we were able to get a table even in season but it was very busy.

Norm had the California omelette and I had the eggs benedict. (No surprises there, we are both rather predictable in our tastes.)

It was a very hot day so when we got home I went for a swim and enjoyed lying under my brolly by the pool as I do not go in the sun to tan. It was rather heavenly there.

It is amazing how the pool cover manages to keep the pool full, with our winds in Cape Town you lose a lot of water to that as well as to evaporation. The cover also keeps the temperature perfect for swimming.

Or floating on your back like an otter.

Ahhhh bliss….

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After a few hours of chilling by the pool Retha messaged and asked if I wanted to come and hang out at hers so she collected me and we sat by her pool instead. Eventually we got a bit peckish and as Retha had some stunning tomato plants we decided to try making fried green tomatoes.

Fried green tomatoes from my garden … with @stresskitten 😊

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We sliced them, patted with flour, dipped them in beaten egg and then rolled them in breadcrumbs and fried in coconut oil. For the dip I used chives and spring onions from Retha’s garden and chopped them finely and mixed them into a bit of full fat yogurt, a drop of honey and a bit of mustard. We drizzled it onto the fried tomatoes. It was all rather divine if I say so myself and it was made all the more special knowing that they were just on the vine 2 minutes before we ate them. I do not think I have had fried green tomatoes since I left Georgia over 30 years ago when my granny used to make them from her own home grown tomatoes.

That evening Norm and I decided to braai as it was still quite hot. We kept it simple and Norm did chicken breast kebabs and corn on the cob on the gas grill. I just made a salad and some cole slaw to accompany it.

We sat outside chatting and enjoying the cooler air until evening and then we decided to watch a bit of Stranger Things 2 which is now our new addiction as we finally have a Netflix account and finished series 1 of Fargo.

Sorry I have posted in the past four days 😭

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Thursday we had a lazy day (not that our other days were full of exertion). We did not go out at all and I relaxed by the pool all day. That evening Norm again cooked dinner on his grill and we ate outside in the garden. Norm cooked kassler chops and the remaining 2 pieces of corn on the cob and I made sweet potato fondants to go with it. The chops satisfied my gammon craving which was unrequited at Christmas.

Caitlin had house guests and wanted to have a braai on Friday so that morning Norm and I dropped off our Weber grill which we had told her she could have for her new flat as we have a gas grill (or ‘braai’ as we call it in SA). After we executed our parental tasks we went to Martin’s Bakery for brunch. Norm and I had a laugh after we ordered as we both ordered the usual breakfast fare of the other! I had a ham and cheese omelette and he had the poached eggs on spinach.

After we came home I spent the rest of the day at the pool under my brolly again until time to get ready to go out. We had booked to see a local Hout Bay girl named Keren Lindley who now lives in London and was performing on Friday night at Cafe Roux in Noordhoek village. Most of the audience seemed to be friends of family (except for us :D).

We had never attended one of their music evenings and we did not know that they have a seating plan so we arrived early to get a decent seat which meant we had to sit a long time waiting for the show to start. We were seated by the door which meant we got a bit of air as it was such a warm evening.

We spotted these signs on the table which made us happy as it is so annoying to go to listen to a musician or band and have the audience chatter over them all evening.

We ordered dinner, I had the chicken and brie burger with chips.

Norm had the calamari. My burger was yum but Norm said the calamari was average but it was beautifully presented. It came with a tin cup full of chips on the side.

Keren started her performance just after 8:30 and she was fabulous, even if she only performed for an hour. The tickets were cheap cheap at R100 per head but I had expected her to do 2 sets.

I borrowed this pic from our friend Matt who was either closer than us, or has a better camera.

Keren Lindley at Cafe Roux

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Afterwards we went and sat in the courtyard outside and finished our drinks and then headed back across Chapman’s Peak drive towards home. The lights of the villages twinkled in the distance and we were almost the only car on the rather treacherous road at that time of night.

I was up early today as Pixie was off to the doggy chiropractor in Noordhoek. We were home by mid-morning.

I am going to take advantage of my last weekend before I return to work on Monday. I am very grateful for 3 weeks of paid leave and the chance to completely relax however all good things must come to an end.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxo

Endings & Beginnings

I started this blog weeks ago but due to the ongoing challenges with images and space I have not had much enthusiasm to write, but now with it being the first day of 2018 I am feeling inspired. I will try to just hit the highlights and not keep you here for hours, but still you should probably grab a cuppa and pull up a comfy seat.

First of all I want to wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2018. I hope it brings you both of those things, the most important of all.

As is to be expected at the end of the year I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, reviewing the past year and thinking about what I want to manifest in my life for this new year. I have been thinking about the type of people I want around me and what directions I want to take my personal growth as those two elements are intrinsically linked. You either surround yourself with people who lift you up and challenge you to be the best you can be, or you choose people who drag you down to their level. I want to surround myself with those who lift me up and keep me positive.

You know how some people’s personalities are initially off putting and later as you get to know them you actually like the person underneath and realise that was just a veneer? Then there are also those who have an initial veneer of appearing to be one thing and then once you have had enough contact with them that veneer rubs off and you see the real person lurking underneath and you are no longer fooled? Or those people you have warning flags about but ignore those feelings and later realise those original instincts were valid.

As we get older or wiser we start to see through that shimmer easier and sometimes even sooner. Or maybe we start to trust our intuition and listen to the niggles of distrust.

This year I want to tap more into that intuition and listen to those messages.

We also want to have people around to the house more often. Life is so busy we just don’t take the time but I intend to change that, our house is perfect for entertaining and I want to make use of it before we move. We have so many special people in our lives who we only see on occasion and I want to make a point of engaging those people more.

Conversely, I am also thinking about those fake friends in my life who are either never available or who cancel at the last minute. Those people have shown me over and over that I do not matter or that other friends are more important to them.

My priorities are going to change and I will follow my instincts about people who make me uneasy and I will not fool myself about people’s cavalier approach to my feelings. As a Virgo I often appear much tougher than I am. I want to try and expose that vulnerability. I am not very good at expressing myself verbally, I can write and tell you exactly my feelings but verbally I am dreadful at communicating. That discomfort makes me prickly and awkward, I am going to try and face that discomfort and speak my heart openly.

I am a rather determined person. This can be both a negative and a positive in that I can range from obstinate to pig headed. Actually there is no glimmer of a positive with either of those descriptions is there? If you want to spin it however and you need something done, I’m your girl.

One positive outcome of my determined nature is that I have investigated many options for my media issues on my blog. I finally decided to go old school and use Photobucket. I first used the site when I blogged on MySpace! I have been blogging on various sites for so many years, I can’t imagine not blogging. When I retire I hope to write a book, but that’s another show Jerry!

However after spending ages setting up a new account (as I have no idea what email I used on my original photobucket account) I discovered that you can only embed 5 pics from photobucket to a 3rd party site for free.

Back to square one. For now I will just use my IG posts so you have to deal with my hashtags and people’s comments and all that malarkey. Sorry.  I just resent having to pay to write.

Anyway, I will try and catch you all up on our lives. I have still been on holiday, I am in my final week. I have this week left and then I am back to the same client as last year. The weather has been mostly fabulous. We even got a random drop or two of rain.

Josh and Lily left to go back to Mossel Bay just before Christmas. Norm and I have just been pottering about since I have been on holiday. Norm went to meet some of the fellas for year end drinks on the Wednesday before Christmas and before he went he set up a lounger and sun brolly for me and removed the pool cover.

I settled in and relaxed in the heat. Then the wind picked up and started rocking the whole umbrella stand so I decided to collapse it. I had to climb about in the garden and managed to scrape my leg quite badly on a rusty pole.

I felt quite sorry for myself but I messaged a pic of my bloody wounds to the family group and went to watch another holiday movie (I must have watched a dozen Christmas movies these past few weeks).

About half an hour later Norm comes rushing in to the house very concerned as my phone was off and he could not get hold of me. I told him I was fine but my phone had crashed and once he discovered I wasn’t lying dead in the garden from a hemorrhaging leg wound off he went to join the guys. Then I googled ‘tetanus’ and started to be convinced my jaw was getting stiff and I was having palpitations but of course that was ridiculous.

The GP saw me first thing the following morning and the injection wasn’t even sore! I had built it up in my head to be so sore, I think I must have been thinking about a rabies injection. Silly me.

For being such a brave little soldier Norm took me for breakfast afterwards to Nutmeg Farm Stall at Earthworks Nursery. After lunch I bought some cacti for Caitlin for Christmas.

To be safe I put them in the floor between my feet and we headed off home. En-route the tray fell over and the spines inserted themselves into my foot. When we got home Norm had to remove them with tweezers, I’m such a klutz sometimes.

That night we went to Constantia to Primi Piatti for dinner and as I was struggling with the heat we sat out in the Courtyard.

I had a strawberry daiquiri to cool me off.

Cocktails @primiworld #Constantia #kitteninthecity

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To start we shared the calamari and the zucchini fries and for our main we both had the Filleto Ai Funghi which is basically fillet steak with mushroomy pepper sauce. The Pan Fried Calamari was described as: Soy, lemon and honey glazed calamari tossed with rocket and tomatoes and cost R79. We were not impressed with this dish in the least. The calamari was chewy and rubbery and there was minimal calamari, mostly salad. The zucchini fries were a bargain at R39 with a garlic aoili and they were very yummy.

For our steak which was described as ‘Flame-grilled fillet tournedos, served on potato with a mushroom, green peppercorn, mustard and brandy sauce’ we substituted butternut and sweet potato mash and reduced our carb intake a bit. We also ordered their spinach and parmesan as an extra side dish for R35. We had a lovely evening and the food was wonderful and lower in carbs than if we had their specialty of pizza or pasta.

On the Saturday before Christmas Norm and I drove down to the Garden Route where Lily and Trevor live. We were worried about traffic and wanted to leave at dawn, but Vanessa was house & doggy sitting and she only finished work at 3 so we had a slow morning packing and organizing things and finally got on the road about 1pm. We had minimal traffic and it was a pleasant journey. We stopped at a services and filled up the tank with petrol and got road snacks (or Padkos as they call it in SA) and I fed Norm tidbits of cheese, raw veggies, biltong and other healthy choices. We chatted the whole way and it was almost a pleasant journey. I even stayed awake! That never happens.

When we arrived at Lily and Josh’s flat we had a play session with the cutest Pekingese dogs which the neighbor owns. They are almost as cute as Pomeranians.

Almost.

How cute is this pup?

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That night Lily, Josh, Norm and I went to the Cattle Baron for dinner. We had a really delicious meal of fillet steak and fries.

My love 😍

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A few days after we had dinner there Josh realised he could not find his ray ban sunglasses. He traced the last time he wore them to that night and he rang the restaurant and they still had them! We collected them and I was so impressed at their honesty. That is a rare thing.

We were invited to Christmas day dinner at Jackie and Alistair’s and had said we would take some things to contribute too so Lily and I cooked the entire morning on Christmas Eve. We made 3 pans of cornbread and then made 2 of them into a large cornbread dressing. We baked 3 pecan pies and a chocolate sheet cake with fudge icing. When we finished cooking Lily, Norm and I headed to Wilderness to see Trevor and Amber. They had just eaten lunch and we were starving so we stopped at the Blue Olive to get a quick bite of lunch. They do tapas so we ordered prawns, mussels and calamari.

We then headed over to Amber’s mom Rose’s house and visited for a few hours with Trevor and Amber. Amber’s adorable little sister Sage was there as was her cousin Saskia and her cherubic little girl Olive. She is such a beautiful nice natured happy baby. We stayed until the sun was about to go down and Amber had to head home to start cooking for the next day so we headed back down the coast to Mossel Bay.

Christmas morning I woke at 6am as always and I tried to lie quietly until everyone got up. Eventually we were all gathered around the tree and we opened our gifts. We had all decided to keep it minimal this year, I normally spend thousands on each of my children but they are all working adults now and we are trying to be less wasteful and commercial so we just bought things we need or really want. Norm and I had large gifts for each other in Cape Town so we took pics of them and put them in envelopes to open. We did each have other things to open though and it took a while for all four of us to get through it all. I had got a large tool for Norm’s gift (a drill or drill press or something or other he wanted) and he had got the painting I posted previously by Ana Kuni.

I cannot tell you how much I adore this painting and how much I love having her hanging in my home. He also bought one of those mirrored jewelry cupboards for me which I have now filled with all of my jewelry.

After the gifts Josh popped over to wish his Dad a happy Christmas while we did the last bits of cooking and then came back to collect us and we all drove over to Josh’s Mom Jackie’s house in George. She had done an amazing job decorating the table and preparing heaps and heaps of delicious food.

We all settled in around the patio outside while it was cooking and Josh used his new Xmas present of a fancy bluetooth speaker to play us some fabulous background tunes in the form of Leon Bridges.

His voice is just amazing. It created a lovely relaxed laid back vibe.

We were called into dinner and we had saved ourselves the whole day and we were starving and heaped our plates up rather high. We all stuffed our faces with a ton of food. There was a pork roast, a lamb roast, 2 roast chickens, stuffing, roast potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots and probably other stuff I have forgotten.

Then after gorging we moved back outside to the patio to play cards. We played a game called Spoons or Donkey. Everyone is dealt 4 cards and a spoon is put into the centre of the group for every person bar one. Your objective is to get 4 of a kind and when someone does everyone must quickly grab a spoon from the centre of the table and the person who does not get a spoon gets a black mark on their face from a burnt cork. The first person to get 6 black marks (one for each letter in D-O-N-K-E-Y) loses. It was such fun! I don’t mind losing but I hate having stuff on my face so I tried very hard but did not win. I lost a few hands as did most of us.

For a Xmas photo the whole group gathered for a post game pic, notice that everyone except Josh has black cork all over their faces. This photo makes me happy every time I look at it.

We were playing DONKEY so all have burnt cork on our faces ❤️😂😂

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After a bit of cards we took a break for dessert and it was all yummy, but as I made all of it except for the bread and butter pudding it seems a bit braggadocios to say so.

But it was.

We played cards a bit more and we laughed so much at one stage that I was convinced I had popped a stitch from a surgery I had back in 2006. We were literally weeping with laughter.

Then later we had a cheese and fruit course which was equally as delicious as everything else Jackie and Bronwyn had made.

Eventually we decided we needed to go and get horizontal and we headed back to Mossel Bay. We watched the new Will Smith film Bright. It was very entertaining and I would give it 3.5 Kitten Stars.

The next day we had a slow start as we had been very *ahem* “festive” all day (except for Lily our designated driver). Eventually we got up and moving and went off to meet Amber, Trevor, Saskia and Olive at Zucchini Restaurant at Timberlake near Wilderness. We had lunch, I had a rather mediocre calamari and then we had an amazing milkshake for dessert.

Afterwards we went around to Amber and Trevor’s house.

Boxing Day with family

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We gave them their presents and we hung out there until it got dark and then headed home. We were all so tired so we had an early night as we were driving back the next day.

We got up early on the 27th and packed the car and hit the road early. We were again really lucky with traffic, it was busy but not ‘driving down the coast for Christmas’ busy and we made decent time. We got back to some very excited doggies and Vanessa gave us the keys and then she went off back to work. As much as I loved spending time with my kids there is nothing like your own bed and I was happy to be home.

We spent the afternoon pottering about the house and then at 7pm we went to Caitlin’s flat to take her presents to her. Afterwards we ordered pizza and salad and had dinner there but she was as tired as we were and it was an early night. The rest of the week was spent relaxing and doing not much of anything. My poor tired body needed that as did my soul.

It was rather hot on Friday evening so we decided to go to dinner at Papino’s in Hout Bay.

It is so hot 🤒

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We both ordered our favourite meal there, the Hollandse Biefsteak.

On Saturday we went out for lunch and it was so crazy hot that it was difficult to function. We ran our errands and did a shop and headed home to cool off in the pool. Later that evening Caitlin and Wes came for dinner and Norm and Wes braaied some gorgeous steaks and chicken kebabs. Caitlin and I made salads and other bits to go with it. It was all rather scrumptious. We sat outside to try and keep cool.

Sunday was Hogmanay and we were really looking forward to an evening of special food and getting a bit dressed up for a change.

We had booked to go to one of our favourite restaurants, Foxcroft in Constantia. They had a special on for New Years. There were six courses on offer for R1400 p/person. We booked an Uber and were pleasantly suprised that it was less than R70 for the journey. We arrived and settled in and they brought us a complimentary glass of bubbles. They explained the menu and took our orders for the dishes which you could choose.

The first course was the bread: Potato sourdough with salsa verde butter and black olive.

Second was the amouse bouche which was served rather charmingly in an egg shell. It was a broccoli parfait with a strong cheese flavour.

Really gorgeous.

The 3rd course was a choice of yellowtail tuna tataki or springbok tartare and we both chose the tuna. The tuna was served with avocado labneh, cucumber and a rice puff.

The 4th course was a Turnip Gratin: roast onion, capers, lemon thyme and Parmesan. It was so tasty! It sounded rather unimpressive, especially as I detest capers however they were fried til crispy and were delish. The gratin was ever so tasty.

Next we had to choose between a quail dish or a dish of sweetbreads. I had heard the sweetbreads were to die for but the whole concept of eating organs put me off too much to be that adventurous. We both opted for the honey glazed Treadstone quail which came with 2 tiny breasts and a ickle bitty drumstick. They described it as rhubarb, candied pecan and liver jus. That description might not grab you but this was one delicious course indeed. The quail is less strident in flavour than duck and has a soft buttery texture and we both really enjoyed this dish.

The next dish we had to choose between pork or line fish. The line fish said it was done with caramelized fennel, leeks, chorizo and mussels. They almost had me at mussels except the line fish was hake. Is hake a line fish? Regardless, it sounded too pedestrian for the price we paid and we both opted for the pork. The pork was a brilliant choice. It was described as Oak Valley Pork: gem squash puree, fermented plum, charred cabbage and smoked pork jus. There were 3 different types of pork and all were amazing, but the pork belly was absolute heaven.

There were 2 desserts to choose from and we both opted for the compressed strawberry. It came with lemon curd, geranium, sour cream and matcha.

Afterwards we had a cappucino to go with the petit fours. There was a passionfruit macaron and a delicious marshmallow treat. They were the perfect ending to an amazing meal.

We had 2 different couples sit next to us throughout the night. The first 2 were women and were from Ireland. We had a lovely long chat to them. The next couple were German and wanted us to recommend a bottle of local bubbly. It was nice having people in Cape Town be friendly, trust it to be because they were tourists!

We finished up and called for an uber and headed home. We noticed driving in to the neighbourhood that there were cars parked all along the road and thought it was people having parties. Once we were home we could hear what sounded like a really large group of people singing and then the next thing we hear is the radio saying that the police were needed to break up a fight. Norm put Navajo’s lead on him and they set off to see if they could assist the police and security people. They were gone for ages and then I realised it was time for the countdown to midnight and Norm was nowhere to be seen. I then thought that seemed like bad luck to ring in the NY on our own and burst into big sloppy sobbing wine sozzled tears. Norm came flying through the door at 12.02 to find me blubbing and could not figure out what the hell was wrong with me. I finally managed to tell him what was going on and he calmed me down and he explained what was going on up the hill and how he had been busy dealing with 300 drunken teenagers. A girl in our street had planned a party on Facebook and sold entry tickets. Her parents started to get concerned too late to do anything effective to deal with it. There were kids staggering all around the neighborhood, drunk and high and full of teenage angst. There were several fights and plenty of broken bottles and shouting and people passed out in the street or sick in the bushes. Eventually the police managed to clear the melee and get people to go home.

Norm and I decided to stay up to ring in the bells on UK time which is at 2am SA time and then we got the chance to celebrate and count down together. We took up a bottle of wine and some amarula and got into bed and watched the UK fireworks and everything on telly. It was quite cozy.

In the end that is all that matters, that we spend it with people we love or with those friends who care for us.

I have had an amazing holiday, restful, fun, exciting and relaxing, it was everything I needed. I had special time with all of my children and I had plenty of time to spend with my darling hubby. I could not ask for more.

Happy New Year everyone.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxoxo