3 Roots

When I meet new people they often cannot place my accent as I have absorbed a bit of each of the places I have lived. When I first moved to Los Angeles no one could understand my drawl. I had to tone down the Scarlet O’Hara-ness of it just to avoid people taking the mickey out of me. Then after living in Northern Ireland I took away a bit of that accent, as well as bits from the various places we lived in England, a bit from Norm’s Scottish brogue and probably even a bit from my many years in SA. I feel like I have at least 3 ‘homes’, the US, the UK and South Africa.

It is rather discouraging that all 3 of these countries seem to be governed by the inept, the corrupt and the misled. I felt so sad this week when my favorite South African politician, Mmusi Maimane,  resigned as the leader of the Democratic Alliance.

I had such hope in his ability to change things for the better for South Africa, however it appears he could not even change his own party to align with what most South Africans hope for, unity and peace. I wish him well in his future.

Then when I read articles like this one it discourages me even more. “Four police officers were arrested by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) in Honeydew, for alleged murder and assault. The officers stand accused of torturing two men in holding cells at the local police station, one of which was killed. They allegedly punched and kicked the two arrested men repeatedly, while they were still in handcuffs. One of the men died from his injuries, and it is further alleged that the officers involved did not report this. The other man survived after being treated in hospital for his wounds.

“The police officers continuously kicked and assaulted the arrested people until one [died] and they didn’t report this to anyone. Only the family member came later on and insisted to see his brother and that’s when the discovery was made,” Ipid spokesperson Sontaga Seisa told EWN.”

How many others have these beasts tortured which went unreported?

The last week has been very challenging at work. Our reporting line is that we report to the Data Team Leader who reports to the Programme Manager. I provided a status report which has rattled some cages and caused some discord. Our overall project work stream status was Red. The Team Lead felt like we were reporting the wrong info and was upset as it made him look like he was not providing us with clarity and assistance. But I defended my stance and clarified the areas of confusion and eventually he seemed to accept what we were reporting. On Friday we provided a demo for our proof of concept and he obviously had no clue what we are doing much less how we achieved it. Regardless of his lack of support we managed to implement a process which has minimized the risks we had highlighted and resolved the issues we had reported. The Programme Manager respects our experience and skills and thinks we are exactly what the project needs and to me that is what matters. So despite the challenges we ended the week on a successful note and this week’s status report was yellow. Next week we should go green if we continue with the path we are on and hit no further snags.

It is so much easier when the client supports you and is not an adversary. I can never understand clients who bring a specialist on board only to be threatened by the application of those specialist skills.

The one bit of good news is that my friend Sakshi is also joining the project to do a Data Governance exercise so I will have her there from the 1st of November which makes me very happy.

This week flew by, probably because we are so busy. Norm has been working a lot of hours and is prepping for a new project too. We also had good news for Norm in that he has just bought a new car. It is a small truck with a canopy and will be perfect for his needs. We usually take my car when we go out together, his car is for hauling things to the dump or carrying the dogs around.

He collects it next week. I am so glad he will be getting rid of his 11 year old Zafira, I worry about him driving around in it as it has a lot of issues. Saying that we have spent a lot of money fixing most of them!

Norm only managed to cook a few nights due to his busy schedule.

He made a few recipes from our fave low carb website. He made the yummy low carb version of Mac & Cheese, Cauliflower Mac & Cheese. We top ours with crispy bacon.

We also spotted another recipe on that site and tried that one night. It was so simple, he baked chicken breasts, made guacamole and crispy bacon and layered it. The taste combo was divine. It sounded a bit odd but we loved it, this will be a regular menu item. He served it with sweet potato slices fried in butter.

He also cooked one of my favourite meals, fillet steak, fried mushrooms and steamed asparagus and baby broccoli. He also did some chips in the air fryer.

We went out to eat last night at Peddlars in Constantia as I was craving a burger and I am not a fan of any of the burgers that are served in Hout Bay. We went early so it was not too busy yet.

Norm likes to take pics of me but he always avoids my camera when pointed back at him, but that never stops me.

I chose the bacon and cheddar burger.

It is served on a platter with crispy fried onions and chips. It gets 5 Kitten Stars, it was tasty, juicy and delicious. A great standard of meat and just the right amount of toppings. I like a burger I can pick up and bite rather than have to cut with a knife and fork due to being too big for the bun to cope.

This week we finished watching Season 2 of The Sinner.

It was riveting viewing and I really enjoyed it. It had nothing to do with the Series 1 story line other than starring the same detective, Detective Ambrose who is in both. It is a similar sort of premise in that like Season 1, we know who committed the crime but we do not know why. The show then explores the background of the perpetrator and what led them to executing the crime. It gets a full on 5 Kitten Stars as it was really brilliant.

One of the subjects that was discussed in The Sinner was the concept of Lilith, the Night Hag archetype.

I have experienced a lot of episodes of sleep paralysis and am very familiar with the Night Hag, however I did not know that she is a well known ‘creature’! I thought she was the product of my imagination. She has been visiting me since childhood. I read up a bit about the concept and I think next time I will not be as terrified when she visits me. I hope.

I have also just finished watching Rhythm & Flow Season 1 and I also enjoyed that. It is a competition to find a new Rap performer and the guy who won was really talented.  The judges are Tip “T.I.” Harris, Cardi B and Chance the Rapper. I am a big Cardi B fan, she is so funny. A bit rude on occasion but always funny. There were some very talented artists on the show. I hope the winner becomes a big success as he has so much talent.

 

We have been having a lot of rain lately, drizzly misty days and then on Friday we had a downpour of note! We had a few places where the rain came in, we have a leak in the lounge ceiling and the rain water also poured under our patio door and onto the upstairs landing. It rained hard all Thursday night and then on Friday morning many of the roads were deep in water resulting in a rather hazardous journey to work. It was like white water rafting in a Nissan. It cleared up on Saturday and when I went into town to the hair dresser it was sunny if a bit chilly.

I always enjoy my visits to Pause, Leandra is a lovely girl and a great hair dresser and Thembi gives the best head massages ever. We decided to only trim my fringe as the rest of my hair was still falling nicely. Leandra had finished my fringe and I asked her to cut a bit more off as it grows so fast, but I should have followed her advice as I look a wee bit like I could have appeared in the film Dumb and Dumber.

Next time I will listen to Leandra. Luckily it grows quickly. Silly me.

Norm took Pixie and Navajo to the doggy chiro yesterday morning and it seems to have helped them both. Pixie is getting old and it breaks my heart to see her struggling. You can see the age on her face. It makes me a bit sad. If only our animals could live forever. Not in a creepy ‘Pet Sematary’ sort of way though.

Despite all of the challenges of our week, I have to count my blessings. Our home survived the torrential downpour, I have a job, we have food on our table, we have electricity and running water in our home, I have a wonderful husband, children and family and my Mom is still here with us. I have so much more than so many others and for all of that I am grateful.

Halloween is coming soon and this is the first year we have not hosted a Halloween Party. Cape-Tonians are just so unreliable, you never know how many people will arrive until the party is underway, so you do not know how many to cater for or how big the crowd will be despite people RSVP’ing. We decided to stop having the parties for that reason, it is expensive and stressful and that stress is just not worth it. It makes me so sad to not be dressing up or going out. But such is life. I was hoping a local venue might have a party we could attend but it does not appear to be the case.

I have a busy week ahead. It is pouring rain again today and I have had a pajama day. I hope you have all had a great weekend and that you have a safe and enjoyable week ahead. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x

 

Soul Food

It is starting to feel a bit like summer is finally here, our weather has been stunning this week if a bit windy.

As my new client has a stricter dress code I have been digging into my cupboard to find clothes that are appropriate. Usually I wear jeans and a T-shirt to work. This week I wore a chocolate linen dress and jacket that I have had for over 25 years! Quality always lasts.

We have made a bit of progress on the project but it has been slow going. It is a rather chaotic environment. I was asked to go to a interview at another client next week but it is even further away from where I am working currently which has added two hours of travel to my day. I told my contract house that I was unwilling to drive even further. My last client also wants me back as the next phase is kicking off there but I am now committed to my current client. There are too many clients who want my skills but I can only be in one place at a time! It is a nice change from having several of us on the bench, I prefer to be busy and have something I can sink my teeth into.

Load shedding has kicked in this week and we have had several instances where we had no electricity. It is so much easier if it happens in the day time as you can always amuse yourself, but if it happens at dinner time or during the time of the evening when we are chilling out and watching telly it is rather annoying! It happened on Thursday night from 8pm to 10.30pm just when we were relaxing and it was so frustrating. Norm read to me while I played games on my iPad. I love the sound of his voice so I was OK with that form of entertainment.

Norm has been busy with work so wasn’t able to shop and cook every evening but he did his best.

Monday night he cooked a delicious pork fillet, fried sweet potato slices, mushrooms and brussel sprouts. This was another attempt of doing the sprouts in the air fryer and it’s the last attempt as they were not nice. The outside leaves get a bit charred and the inside remains too crispy for my taste.

On Tuesday he made chicken, spinach and feta sausages with cauliflower mash and steamed broccoli.

The rest of the week we had takeaways. On Friday I had sushi from K1 in Hout Bay and it was all very fresh and yummy.

I had salmon roses, prawn roses, king nigiri and cucumber roses topped with prawns.

On Saturday I met my friend Bronwyn for breakfast at Hout Bay Manor. First I delivered my Operation Shoebox parcels for the little girls as the Manor was the drop off point for Hout Bay.

It was a beautiful day and Bronwyn and I sat outside.

Bronwyn ordered the Eggs Benedict but with potato rostis as the base instead of an English muffin. She added bacon and it was R78.

I chose the El Pixo which was R75 and consisted of Sweetcorn fritters and feta, chilli, spring onions, avocado, streaky bacon, 2 poached eggs, grilled baby tomatoes and fresh coriander.

Bronwyn was meeting some other friends at 12.30 and invited me to stay and we ended up hanging out til 3pm! Bjorn works with Bronwyn and his friend was over from the UK.

The guys had lunch and Bronwyn and I had cake and coffee. Bjorn’s friend had a curry and Bjorn had a delicious looking duck breast.

We chatted about so many things, spirituality, astral traveling, anxiety, past life regression, gender based violence, the different beliefs of the many cultures in South Africa and so many other topics and the time flew by.

It was such a relaxed day spent with lovely people. It was good for my soul. I am able to vent and be myself with Bronwyn, there is no judgment or need for holding back my true feelings or my wacky beliefs.

After I went home I relaxed while Norm pottered about and then we ordered take away dinner from Massimo’s and we watched a bit of The Sinner. I had watched it ages ago with Lily but there is a second season available and as Norm had not watched it we started watching from the beginning again. I read that there is also a third season but that has not been released here yet. It is intense but very good.

Today I was due to go to my Drumming Circle but we had committed to go to a party at our Scottish neighbor Kate’s. The timing would have meant I was rushing around if I tried to attend both so I gave drumming a miss.

We had a bit of a downpour of rain late morning but it cleared up soon afterwards and it was bright and sunny after.

We went down to Kate at about 1.30pm and arrived to the sound of bagpipes.

There were many other Scots there so Norm felt right at home. We found a seat in the shade and grabbed a drink.

Everyone was asked to bring along a bottle and a plate of food to share. After the piper finished there were a couple of young girls who were DJing. There was lots of dancing and everyone had such fun.

Except maybe the doggy. He howled when the piper played. Everyone is a critic.

The view from Kate’s garden is the same as ours obviously just a bit lower down the mountain. She has a stunning garden.

We had such a lovely afternoon chatting to everyone, drinking and dancing. Kate is such a brilliant host.

We staggered up the hill just as it started to drizzle with rain again. Norm walked and fed the dogs then crashed. Afternoon drinking is not for the weak. As I have a long drive to work and an early start tomorrow I limited myself to just two drinks.

We had a bit of progress with the wedding planning. After last weekend’s wedding dress adventures Lily finally decided on her wedding dress this week. I wish I could show you but obviously I can’t but it is so beautiful on her. She is going to be such a stunning bride.

I’ve had such a delicious weekend and hope that you all have enjoyed yours too.

Until next time Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

One

I have only one more day on my current project and I am so glad it is almost over but it makes me sad that we did not finish developing the entire solution. I loved the work, I enjoyed working with my client as I appreciate that he is as passionate as I am about data quality. I was given enough trust to make design decisions and manage the delivery without too much interference and I was fully supported by him. He trusted my judgment as an expert. However as I have mentioned on previous blogs, the developer who was allocated to the project has caused endless drama.

I am used to making visible progress every week and working to time constraints and delivering to very high standards but the standards of the developer are not like mine. He made rookie mistakes like copy and paste errors, mapping the rule to the wrong field, and misinterpreting the objective of the rule and building the rule to validate the opposite of what it should, for example it errors where the field is populated rather than null in a basic completeness rule. Yet he does not want help and will not admit his code is wrong even when proven to be so.

This week he reported me to HR for made up nonsense when I told him he had corrupted the data and lost the leading zeros from the numeric fields in our postal code validation data. He huffed and puffed and argued with me and then got especially angry when I finally told him that double clicking on an excel file will drop the leading zeroes from numeric data and that sort of basic knowledge is ‘excel 101’, but it is a well known risk to anyone involved in data. He just cannot take feedback because of his arrogance so he flounced off to whinge to HR.

I am exhausted from the drama. I am also working 10 hour days to get as much completed, handed over, and signed off as I can.

I worked very late last Monday and only got home at 7pm. When leaving there were hardly any other people about as it was so late and because the schools were off that week the usual groups of children kicking a football or shouting or dancing were also missing.

As I walked through the square and towards the road where I park my car the most beautiful sound of bells started ringing from the Town Hall. After 8 months working from this office I had never heard them!

It was quite magical! It seemed a suitable send off from work as it was a public holiday the following day so I had the day off.

Tuesday was Heritage Day in South Africa. On this holiday, South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions. Most people seem to call it ‘Braai Day’ and just have a barbecue. As Norm is not a keen braaier and we are not South African, we are never quite sure what to do with ourselves on that holiday.

Prior to 1995 the 24th of September was known as Shaka Day in KwaZulu-Natal. This was in commemoration of the Zulu King, Shaka, on the presumed date of his death in 1828. Shaka played an important role in uniting disparate Zulu clans into a cohesive nation. Each year people gather at King Shaka’s grave to honour him on this day. The Public Holidays Bill presented to the new democratic Parliament of South Africa in 1995 did not have the 24th of September included on the list of proposed public holidays. As a result of this exclusion, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), a South African political party with a large Zulu membership, objected to the bill. Parliament and the ANC reached a compromise and the day was given its present title and seen as a public holiday.

Norm and I had not decided what we were going to do on my day off and when I woke with an intense headache I did not feel up to doing anything. I have a bit of medical knowledge due to Radiographer training and I am a bit of a hypochondriac as are many Virgos and these two things are a dangerous combination. On Monday evening I had a very sore area over my groin and upper leg and it was a bit bruised. As this pain was gone on Tuesday when I woke and my head was incredibly sore I became panicked that I had a blood clot which had moved and I was going to have a stroke any minute. Norm looked at me like I was insane when I told him this. It is very feasible dammit! Now that I survived my non-existent clot I can find it funny.

My Dad had his first heart attack in his thirties and died of a stroke at the age of 49 so I am justified in my paranoia, but luckily that was exactly what it was, paranoia.

As a practical Virgo I was also prepared to consider it could be residual sinus pain after my flu so I decided to try Salex which is a type of saline medication you mix into boiled water and squirt up your nostrils. Like a neti pot.

I also tried Hopi ear candling to try and unblock my ears.

Norm had nipped out that morning to buy us fresh pastry and he brought some with a frothy coffee to me in bed.

I took some aspirins and lay relaxing for hours with lots of Lola Kitty snuggles.

Norm is trying to start getting us back onto high fat, low carb eating but as I have been interspersing my diet with muffins and croissants this is probably not good for me. We want to start losing for our year end trip to the US and for Lily’s and Josh’s wedding. Those sorts of photos last forever so we need to get our arses in gear.

On Wednesday Norm took Panda for his last session of physio and hydrotherapy as Panda is pretty much back to normal. He can make it all the way up the main stairs, however sometimes it takes either a lot of our encouragement or a lot of us resisting his annoying bark. Yesterday none of us could be arsed to get up and stand behind him and clap and cheer him up the stairs and we were too tired to let his yapping bother us so he eventually ran upstairs on his own without any encouragement. He has the ability but he is not very confident.

That night Panda did the full walk around the neighborhood with the other two dogs after having gone for his physio session so he was so exhausted that night. He passed out on the sofa and did not budge all night.

I once again only got home about 7pm. When I got home Norm made us a delicious dinner of roast mushrooms and pork fillet, fondant sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli.

When I left work on Thursday it was so hot walking to where I park my car and when I got in it was 34 degrees Celsius!

As it was after 6pm this was a shocker. Normally in Cape Town it usually starts cooling off late afternoon.

It was just too hot to turn on the oven that night so Norm stopped and got a ready cooked roast chicken and some coleslaw and salad and made chips in the air fryer to go with it. It was perfect for that weather.

Pixie does not seem to understand how hot her hair can make you feel when she climbs all over you for attention. When I was trying to cool off and relax by playing Covet Fashion, Pixie just wanted to play.

On Friday Lily came down for the weekend.

On Saturday Caitlin, Lily and I were going shopping for fabric for the bridesmaids dresses and then we had an appointment at 1pm to go to The Wedding Boutique for Lily to try on wedding dresses.

My favourite designer was Alena Leena who is Cape Town based. I loved almost all of her dresses.

Lily tried on all manner of designs from a princess style to a mermaid style, to the fitted style, many different fabrics from a few made of lace to heavy ones made of beads and all manner of patterns from flowers to art deco.

Lily tried on 6 dresses and we are still having a dilemma choosing one as they all looked so beautiful on her. But she is a gorgeous girl with a perfect body and luckily she fit into all of the tiny sample sizes with only a few being a smidge too tight in the chest. I wonder what they do with bigger girls as they only have a few dresses on site unless they have a storage room to hide the size 16s out of sight?

We narrowed it down to 2 that we all love and one which I do not like but the girls adore. We took videos and photos of each dress and sent them all to the Wedding Whats app group Lily created so as to include my Mom in the planning and design decisions. It was so funny that Mom’s top choice was my top choice and her least favorite was the same one that is my least favorite. The girls both prefer the one Mom and I do not like but if Lily wants that one I will immediately accept it, she has to go with what makes her heart sing. They all look beautiful it is just down to personal design choices.

After we finished shopping we were starving and there was a branch of Fat Cactus just down the road so we stopped off. It was very empty but the service was still shockingly slow.

Caitlin was driving us but Lily and I ordered a strawberry margarita.

It was lovely spending more time with my gorgeous girls.

I ordered the chicken tacos. They were very tasty and I give them 4 Kitten Stars.

Lily wanted a plain cheese quesadilla but the waitress said the cheese quesadilla had onions in it and she should order the Chi Chi Chi quesadillas with chorizo, cheese and chipotle which was the same dish Caitlin had ordered.

Neither of the girls enjoyed this dish. I tasted it and I could see why. It was basically a huge pool of barbecue sauce with a single slice of chorizo in each triangle of quesadilla. It did not taste nice and was like trying to eat soup with chopsticks. The girls each gave it 3 Kitten Stars (and that was being generous.)

I ordered refried beans which were NOT refried beans, it was a sort of chili made from kidney beans without meat. It only arrived when I was half way through my tacos.

Our second round of drinks took forever to arrive and when I saw them sitting on the bar I sent Caitlin to collect them. Our waitress was more interested in chatting up the cute bartender than looking after her 2 or 3 tables. The one thing nice she did was to turn off the footy when we asked her too. The sound of the game was blasting when we went in and as we were the only table we cheekily asked her to turn it down and she not only muted it but she put on some nice blues music too.

All in all, our lunch gets a measly 3 Kitten Stars.

On Friday night Lily and I started watching ‘The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco’. It is a spin off of ‘The Bletchley Circle‘ but as we hadn’t see the original series first we felt a bit uninformed.

On Saturday when we got home we were trying to find something on Netflix that we had not all seen and asked Caitlin had she seen it but she had so we decided to watch a few episodes of the original series as none of us had seen that. It is OK, not ‘wow’ but a decent show. As it is set in the 1950’s it is so hard to view the racism and misogyny that was deemed acceptable. Is this what the Trumplodytes mean when they refer to ‘Make America Great Again’? It is only a positive environment if you are a white man.

When we got home Norm had made a basic mince and tomato base sauce so I added kidney and borlotti (pinto) beans and seasoning and turned it into chili con carne and we had it with chips, salsa and sour cream. Mexican or Tex Mex food twice in one day is fine with me!

Today it is raining again and a bit cooler. At least the rain we have had has kept the garden alive.

My Clivia are thriving and are showing off lush bright orange blooms.

My air plant is blooming too.

Lily drove home this morning and Norm and I have been relaxing and enjoying the cooler weather as have the doggies.

Wish me luck tomorrow with coping with my last day. I have a sales meeting with another client on Tuesday and I have also been put forward to a new client based in Pietermaritzburg so we will see which of them comes forward and contracts us first.

Enjoy your week and until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xxoxoxoxox.

Enough is Enough

My work week started pretty much on the same note as it ended on last week. My PC was still with the technician when I got in on Monday morning and finally at midday my client said I may as well go home.

On my way I popped in to the shop and got steaks for dinner. To go with them Norm made mushrooms, fondant sweet potatoes, red cabbage, and brussel sprouts cooked in chicken stock.

To make the fondant potatoes, he just peeled and parboiled them, then he sliced the potatoes into thick discs and fried the discs in butter until browned. I love these. He parboiled the sliced sprouts in chicken stock then fried them off in butter. He added the mushrooms in with the sprouts once the stock had cooked down.

Before I left work on Monday I asked my client to let me know when my computer had been fixed so that I did not drive into the city for nothing. I got a message late Monday afternoon to say my computer had been repaired so I went in at 7:30am on Tuesday only to discover it still had issues.

I raised another Helpdesk call. Finally by lunch time on Tuesday I was operational and had to quickly test the data run from that morning.

Tuesday was my birthday and I woke to some stunning lilies from Norman.

He also made a card for me and gave me a gift card from Woolies so I will get a new top or jeans or something nice with it.

When I got home from work there had been a delivery of a stunning bouquet of various bright flowers. They were from my son Trevor and DIL Amber.

There was also a basket containing a package of yummy treats with a cluster of beautiful pink roses attached.

The treats were licorice All Sorts, biscuits, a Lindt chocolate bar, biltong and a large box of nougat. So special!

I put the roses in a vase. The buds were so lush and they are such a beautiful colour.

I felt very spoiled.

That night we met Caitlin and Wes for dinner in Hout Bay at Cheyne’s.

They were already there when we arrived.

Wes gave me a bottle of Amarula (my favorite liqueur) and Caitlin made a colorful mandala type drawing for me. It is to help with anxiety. I can focus on the colors and patterns to ground me.

On the other side of the art she wrote a really sweet note. It was so touching.

We got settled in and checked out the menu.

I ordered a Passionate Buddha cocktail.

Cheyne’s had on their Spring Yum Cha special at the price of R280 per head for 4 courses. There are four sections of the menu, Sea, Earth, Land and Happy Endings. You can choose any four dishes. I always choose one from each section.

Wes had shrimp tempura and Norm, Caitlin and I all had the Hake tempura from the Sea section of the menu to start. It came with pickled shallots, miso mayo and unagi sauce.

It was perfection. The tempura was light and crispy and the tartness of the pickled shallots and the richness of the unagi sauce were the perfect compliment.

Next I had my favorite, the Mumbai chili beef. It was as tasty as it always is.

Norm and Wesley ordered the pork belly. It came with pear teriyaki, crispy potato, Keralan cream and puffed black rice.

This dish looked so beautiful. Norm rated it a full 5 stars so it must have tasted as good as it looked.

Caitlin and I ordered the crispy potato pave from the Earth section of the menu. It was flavored with truffle oil, maldon salt, Parmesan and caviar.

I wasn’t convinced about these. I always have the potato and coconut dumplings but felt like I should be adventurous. I missed my dumplings so we need to go back soon!

The pave potatoes were like what you would get if a hassleback potato and a croissant had a baby. They were tasty and delicious but just a bit dry. I nicked some sauce from Norm’s pork belly dish and it was just what the potatoes needed.

Instead of a dessert, Caitlin ordered 2 of the Land offerings, the baby back ribs and the Tokyo beef slider. I tasted the beef slider and I am definitely having that next time. It was tender sliced beef in a gorgeous shiitake cream with crispy rosti potato and it was served on a brioche. It was divine!

Norm had ordered the aubergine tempura dish from the earth section but it never arrived. Norm asked the waiter could he rather have an extra dessert as he was past eating savory food by the time we had finished our last round of food and the waiter had cleared the plates. Caitlin had not ordered a dessert so she had a bit of his peanut butter shake.

I also ordered the peanut butter milkshake. It comes with miso butterscotch, toasted nuts and chocolate soil.

Norm and Wes chose the creme brûlée. It came with toasted banana bread and miso ice cream.

I had a taste and it was as divine as it was the last time I had it. It was the perfect texture, light, rich and creamy with a crispy sugar topping. We all gave our meals 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When the bill arrived there was a bottle of wine on the bill that we did not drink, but it was quickly replaced by the correct bill and we paid up and headed home as it was a weeknight.

On Wednesday I woke up with the beginnings of a terrible flu. I went into work as I was so behind thanks to my PC issues.

I felt dreadful but I struggled through and delivered the analysis I needed to. However as the night went on I felt worse and worse. I called in sick on Thursday and Friday and just stayed in bed feeling sorry for myself.

Norm looked after me, pumping me full of Corenza C, Acc 200 and steaming mugs of med lemon.

Panda kept me company.

August was Women’s Month in South Africa but instead of being shown the honour and respect we deserve, the murder and rape of women and children continued unabated.

South Africa’s femicide rate is 5 times higher than the global average, and more than one in five women experience physical violence, worsening to one in three in low-income areas.

The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) had found that South Africa had the world’s highest rate of rape, estimated at 138 rapes per 100,000 women in 2017.

The women in SA decided enough is enough and planned a week of protests.

I watched the protests on social media and on the telly from my bed.

I was so proud of the women who took to the streets.

There were some men who joined in support.

There were so many people supporting the cause.

During Women’s Month alone at least 23 women or girls were murdered.

Below is a list of the known 23 victims:

  1. Nolundi Vumsindo from the Eastern Cape. The 44-year-old victim was sleeping in her home next to her daughter when a man pushed into the house and stabbed the woman before running away.
  2. Verusha Padayachee, a 32 year old gym owner from Pietermaritzburg was found beaten, cable tied and strangled allegedly by her husband. She had a restraining order against him. He has since committed suicide.
  3. Lynette Volschenk, a 32 year old woman from Cape Town was murdered and chopped up by a 21 year old male suspect who lives in the same block of flats.
  4. An 84 year old grandmother from the Eastern Cape was brutally stabbed to death in front of her grand children. Her murderer claimed she was a witch.
  5. Meghan Cremer, a 30 year old woman from Cape Town was taken from her home, beaten, murdered and dumped on a sand mine. One of the suspects was known to her and her family.
  6. Leighandre ‘Baby Lee’ Jegels, a 30 year old boxer from the Eastern Cape was allegedly shot and killed by her policeman husband. Jegels’ professional boxing career took off in 2014 and in two years she was named the South African Junior Bantamweight Champion. She later also became the WBA Pan African Junior Bantamweight Champion. 
  7. Nathlia Pienaar a 6 year old from Cape Town was shot dead in a gang shooting while playing outside her house.
  8. Sadiqah Newman, 26, from Cape Town, was 8 months pregnant and a mother of two. She was shot 8 times while walking to a shop with a friend. Cops say the young woman was used as a shield by the man who was the intended target.
  9. Chantal McKenzie-Vlotman a Cape Town mother of 6 and a grandmother of 4 was fatally shot.
  10. Lauren Prins, a 30 year old Cape Town disabled mother of a three year old boy died after she was shot 10 times in gang cross fire.
  11. Jo-Anita Schulz was shot dead on Women’s Day by her husband.
  12. Nyameka from Cape Town was murdered and her body was dumped. Her murder is believed to be gang related.
  13. Yanela from Cape Town who was murdered and dumped. Her murder is believed to be gang related.
  14. In Johannesburg a 39 year old female doctor was strangled to death.
  15. The doctor’s helper was also murdered and burnt beyond recognition by robbers who then stole TVs, laptops and cellphones.
  16. Jesse Hess who was 19 years old and lived in Cape Town was murdered. Her 85 year old grandfather was murdered too.
  17. Esmeralda Isaacs, a 14 year old girl from the Northern Cape was stabbed multiple times and was found dumped on a field. No one has been arrested.
  18. An Eastern Cape woman, aged 71, was stabbed to death by her son.
  19. A Cape Town woman, aged 55 was stabbed to death by her 14 year old son.
  20. Sisanda Fani, aged 30, from Port Elizabeth, a young mother, was found dead in her car from a single gunshot to head. She was in the process of getting divorced.
  21. An unknown woman in her thirties was found murdered and dumped under a tree near a primary school in Welkom.
  22. Janika Mallo, 14 years old from Cape Town, was raped and murdered and her body found dumped in her Grandmother’s yard
  23. Uyinene Mrwetyana (Known as ‘Nene’ to family and friends) Nene was 19 years old and living in Cape Town and was raped and murdered in the post office.

A vigil was held at UCT where Nene attended University.

After days of unrest our president finally made an appearance to try and placate the protestors.

I hope it is not empty platitudes. Let’s hope that the government puts something in place to affect this huge issue. None of us feel safe. But life goes on and you do what you can to maximize your security and minimize your risks.

We have had continued progress with Panda. He can make it out of the doggy door into the back garden and as of today he can make it back in! He can go up and down the two steps from the garage to the scullery. He now runs on his walks with Norm. He went to his Physio and she has said he will only need a few more appointments.

This week we had Vanessa come stay with him on Tuesday night while we were out. But Norm also tried leaving Panda alone for a few hours Norm had to go to the dentist. He made sure he could get to water and had him pee before he left. He was fine on his own.

As Norm had work done on his dental implant he has to eat soft food. Last Sunday we had pasta from Posticino. I had spaghetti with amatriciana sauce. It was delicious.

On Tuesday Norm made the low carb mac n cheese using cauliflower and it was delicious as always.

We also had pasta from Massimo’s one night. I love their pasta.

On Friday Lily came to stay. She dropped Josh at his best mates house as they were going riding early on Saturday. We watched Black Mirror and shared a lasagna and margarita pizza from Cassarechio on Friday. Cassarechio does such a wonderful lasagna.

On Saturday there were 10 of us booked for dinner at Papino’s for a late birthday celebration but I felt so ill that I rescheduled. We ordered takeaway pizzas and pastas from Papino’s instead. They even sent a divine little parcel of chocolate mousse for my birthday dinner.

How sweet was that?

We had Josh, Lily and Caitlin here with us. The girls and Trevor gave me a gorgeous statue of Ganesh, a Hindu god. Ganesh (or Ganesha) is a god of wisdom, success and good luck.

It has been so hot this weekend but I’ve stayed snuggled up in my pajamas. At least I was surrounded by my family. If I am not well by tomorrow I must go to the doctor as I will need a note for work. I hope I wake up magically recovered. Wish me luck.

Until then, air Kisses from a germ free distance from The Kitten. xoxoxoxox

Method of Measure

Yesterday I went to my drumming circle. I haven’t gone in over a month for various reasons, one weekend I was suffering from stress another was when Panda was sick and I had to look after him then the last event Norm was sick. My voice took a lot of strain as I have not sung in so long.

The session was well attended by the core group of drummers who have been together for a few years. It was a really powerful session with a lot of things shifting for a few people. After drumming several of us stayed around for a cup of tea and a chat.

We discussed the need to work for financial survival vs the wish to work doing something that your heart desires. For example, I went to University to do Radiography but ended up in IT specializing in Data, a move which ultimately made it financially viable for Norm and I to move back to SA. However, if I could work in any field with no need to bring in enough income to support us, I would love to train as an acupuncturist. One of us in our circle is trained as a Project Manager but prefers to work in an area that supports her beliefs. One of us is in marketing but wants to change directions in her career. One of us is working with energy but does not make enough money to live comfortably. Everyone seems to need a side hustle just to survive.

We talked about how the world measures success. Is it measured purely by how many toys and homes you have managed to accrue or is it based on how many lives you have touched or changed in a positive way, or the influence and impact we have over the things we believe in? What is your measuring stick?

Norm and I both made a really great salary in the UK. I spent most of my salary on flying the kids to us for school holidays and on taking them all around Europe and to the US. We saved little but made a lot of memories and exposed my children to so many different cultures and places.

I deem that as positive whereas some people may see it as a waste of money that I should have been saving for our retirement. It is all based on your personal perspective.

Meanwhile Norm and I have a clear ability to measure Panda’s success as he progresses every day!

We have a little footstool by the couch for the Pomeranians to use to get onto the couch. Last Sunday Panda was trying to jump on to the footstool but he could not lift his front legs high enough. But by Thursday night we saw him with both of his front feet on the stool. He still does not have the strength to pull himself up but it is still visible progress. Mastering stairs and being able to use the doggy door are the next milestones we are aiming for him to achieve.

On Monday when I was getting ready to leave for work, Panda was awake at 7am and ready to go downstairs for a treat. Before he was ill he would follow me downstairs and have some biltong when I left every morning. He obviously remembered that routine and he barked and barked until Norm got up and took him down to have a wee and a treat.

We continued with encouraging him to walk around the garden to build his muscles and help with his confidence.

He did so well that instead of carrying him around the block Norm decided to try and walk him on a lead. He did brilliantly and was so pleased with himself so each day Norm walked him a bit farther. He cannot manage the whole walk he used to do but he goes down the hill and back, then up the hill and back down.

On Wednesday Norm took him to the Physio and walked him into the offices on his lead and the Physio was shocked and pleased at his progress.

We are trying to get him back into his pre-paralysis routines. He was eating his chicken and his dried food in his old bowl in the garage with the other dogs each morning and evening with a few top up meals between. Norm noticed he was looking very jealously at Pixie and Navajo’s raw food and so he has gradually put him back onto that and he is eating eagerly instead of begrudgingly. We are also encouraging him to drink out of the communal water bowl in the pantry instead of wanting us to give him water individually out of a small bowl.

Pixie has been very naughty all week. We were eating dinner and put Panda’s bowl of chicken down by the table so he would eat a bit more with us. We heard a snuffling noise and looked down to see Pixie had nipped in and polished off all of the chicken.

She showed no remorse at all despite having just eaten her own dinner.

The next day when Norm was feeding Panda, Pixie bit him quite badly, breaking the skin in two places. He chastised her and put her into the bathroom to cool off.

She wasn’t bothered as she got the chicken.

When I came downstairs yesterday Panda met me at the bottom of the steps and was twirling around and wagging his tail like he used to. He sat by me while I had my toast begging for a bit.

It is so wonderful to see him returning to health.

I added many of the videos of Panda’s progress to my Kitten In The City YouTube channel so that anyone whose dog may have the same illness can be encouraged to support their dog in recovery and not give up.

Norm is very busy at work but still managed to cook for us a few nights.

He made a HFLC dinner of pork chops, mushrooms, cauliflower mash purée, red cabbage, and brussel sprouts cooked in chicken stock.

The next night he made lemon and pepper chicken kebabs with coleslaw, and a parmesan and spinach salad and chips.

We also had takeaways a few nights. We had yiro’s from Spiro’s, I had prawn and Norm had lamb and we both had loaded chips. It was very yummy.

I had crispy chili chicken and prawn Dim Sum from Blue Lotus.

It was also really delicious.

Friday we got takeaway chicken schnitzel with salad from Posticino’s.

On Friday work was a nightmare. I had worked for 10 hours on Thursday on a deliverable which was due on Friday and I had gone in to finish it up and prepare it for delivery. A few people on the team had recently moved desks and at 9:45am one of them unplugged the network cable and power supply for the entire pod of desks. My computer then failed to start back up even in safe mode.

All of my work and data for the client is on my desktop hard drive. I lost all of the 15 hours work on my deliverable and could not access my timesheet which I’m supposed to send for invoicing as it is month end. I hope I get paid! I spent hours waiting on the Helpdesk technician and playing games on my phone while seething with anger at my moronic colleague who never even apologized. I finally took an Ativan as I thought my head might explode. That is the first time my new daily dose of anxiety meds have not been enough to keep me calm.

I left at 2:30pm as the Helpdesk technician finally showed up to take my hard drive away so there was no point in staying. I had a chiropractor appointment that afternoon and then came home to chill.

Norm and I started watching Peaky Blinders this week. It is so funny to be surrounded by the Birmingham accent again.

Some bits are rather violent so I just don’t watch those bits but overall it is a good series.

The weather this week has been overcast and drizzly with some intermittent hot days. The weather started out overcast and chilly yesterday but then warmed up. Lola spent the morning chasing birds.

Today is cold and rainy so we are having a cosy pajama day. Norm cooked us some brunch.

Now I am snuggled on the couch with Lola and Panda. Life is pretty good.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend and here’s to a peaceful week ahead.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Do Turkeys Have Totems?

This week crime has been predominant in the news. We read about three policemen being shot in Delft, one of the areas which has a high incidence of gang related violence. One of the policemen died and the other two were seriously injured.

This happened despite the recent deployment of the SANDF (the army) to help with the gang issues.

I also read that Shoprite, one of SA’s largest retailers, has implemented its own crime squad due to the high numbers of armed robberies they have to contend with. Apparently the chain has at least one a day!

Closer to home, on Saturday over the neighborhood watch radio we followed a chase of 3 criminals being pursued through Hout Bay. An Ukrainian tourist, 44 year old Ivan Ivanov, was stabbed multiple times in a struggle over the theft of his backpack. He was on a walking trail very near our village and was only a short distance from the public car park for the hiking trail. The tourist died.

I have heard that 80% of the crime in the Western Cape province is committed by people who are either on bail awaiting trial or are on parole from a crime. I wonder whether the perpetrators of this murder fall into that statistic? One of the three murderers was apprehended but two are still on the run.

Another tourist was robbed of his bags on the beach in our village and a woman was attacked while walking on the beach this weekend. Keri Cross is the Director of Community Crime Prevention (CCP) and she said the woman was out walking around noon when she was attacked on a trail just above Sandy Bay nudist beach.

Fortunately, another walker heard the woman’s screams and rallied the troops.

Cross said Hout Bay has about 820 cameras at different locations and the CCP Watchcon control room could track the suspect’s every move.

“Alerts were immediately sent out on all channels and a number of service providers and volunteers sprang to action to try to find the suspect. The chase lasted for over 90 minutes, with the suspect managing to evade response teams a few times. Shortly after 1pm, OmniVision Security spotted the suspect on CCTV along the mountainside and response teams moved to intercept him. The suspect was cornered, taken into custody and handed over to SAPS.”

As one of the key industries in Hout Bay is tourism these types of issues could be catastrophic to our village.

A study by the Western Cape community safety department has revealed some shocking figures, showing why the province seems to be losing its fight against violent and gang-related crime.

Nearly half – 45.8% – of Western Cape detectives have not received even basic training, while over 90% have had no specialised training.

Speaking to 702 Radio, MEC for Community Safety, Albert Fritz said, “Of the 875 cases monitored during the assessment, 380 dockets just did not arrive at court – this is completely unacceptable. When dockets are received, they are often incomplete, leading to cases being struck off the roll. Eventually, in some of the very serious crimes, like gangsterism, they only get a 2% conviction”, said Fritz.

This is shocking but not surprising. A skills audit done in the SAPS (SA Police Service) revealed that many officers are illiterate and that over 1000 policemen have criminal records themselves. Corruption is also very high within both the police force and the government.

Basically, in summary, we are fucked if we rely on the police for safety.

It made me so angry that the police were up in arms over the shooting of the officers in Delft and National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole has vowed to stop at nothing to get the killer(s). Why are the police not as irate over the crimes and murders visited upon us every day citizens and visitors?

In Hout Bay, the majority of the criminals are apprehended by our amazing network of security providers: Hout Bay Community Policing Forum (CPF), Community Crime Prevention (CCP) various volunteers, and Watchcon coordinating it all with the police only acting as bit players. I am so grateful for the selfless individuals who rise to the occasion and risk their own safety to protect others.

“Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said Hout Bay had one of the best neighbourhood watches in the city. It’s extraordinary, the speed of the action. They have really mastered the art of crime-fighting and what we call plural policing where they combine Law Enforcement, SAPS and private security companies. They form a line of people, and if you’re a suspect, you can be sure that they will catch you, brilliant people doing excellent things,” he said.

Meanwhile life goes on.

I mentioned in my blog last week that I made a curry last weekend which we had for dinner on Sunday. I tried to keep it low carb and high fat, but we did have a few cheeky poppadoms which I just microwaved.

For the curry I fried onions, red and yellow peppers, chilis and garlic in curry powder and coconut oil and once done I used my hand blender to liquidise it. I fried cut up chicken breast in coconut oil and curry and various other spices then once cooked I added a bag of butternut chunks, more spices and a bottle of passata then let it simmer all of Saturday afternoon. I fried another onion, added cauliflower rice and loads of coriander to serve it over instead of traditional rice. I also stir fried a bag of baby spinach, then liquidised it with some cream and some spices. It was delicious and was enough to last for dinner on Monday night too.

On Tuesday Norm cooked a recipe from our favorite low carb site but we were not very keen on this dish. It was incredibly, overwhelmingly meaty and not very flavorful.

We won’t try that one again.

On Wednesday evening Norm had a meeting at Massimo’s and brought home dinner for us. I had tapas: pepite (fried polenta bits with truffle salt and Parmesan), calamari and fried baby artichokes. It is all high in carbs but I am addicted to these gorgeous polenta bites.

It was all so delicious. I had never eaten baby artichokes like those. I liked them a lot!

On Thursday we tried out some of the offerings from the new menu recently launched at Spiro’s in Hout Bay.

I had 2 of the prawn skewers priced at R60 for one or R110 for two skewers and there are 3 prawns per skewer. You order your side dishes separately and we ordered hand cut chips and loaded chips and shared them.

It was all very tasty and I loved the Greek version of loaded fries. I wish them much success with their venue remodel and new menu.

Friday we also had yet another takeaway and I chose sushi from K1 in Hout Bay.

I had crab salad, tempura prawns, salmon roses, and cucumber roses topped by prawn. It was all very yummy but I have noticed that their portions have gotten smaller. They used to give 4 tempura prawns instead of 3, the crab salad is about half the size it used to be and there are now 3 pieces of sushi in a portion rather than 4. Every restaurant appears to be struggling but once customers feel they are not getting value for money they will go elsewhere so I hope this reduction in value doesn’t affect them.

I cooked last night. I baked pork chops, fried red cabbage in balsamic and made fondant sweet potatoes.

I had a bit of drama with OrderIn this week for lunch. I ordered buttermilk chicken tacos from Knead Bakery in Wembley Square. The app provides a status of the delivery process and the status was sitting at ‘accepted by the restaurant’ past the time when I had been told it would be delivered. I sent a query on the app to ask whether there was an issue but I received no response. Finally after over an hour the status updated to say the food had been collected from the restaurant and the driver was on his way. I tracked his journey via the app and when I went to collect the food I asked him what took so long. He said he needed air in his tire. Umm what? It took an hour and a half.

When I got to my desk and opened the box the food was in complete disarray.

The OrderIn description said it came with salsa, a sriracha sauce, cheesy nachos and slaw but none of these things were included. The food was ice cold and incredibly dry. There was a small container of an incredibly sour, disgusting sauce which I could not stomach.

On their menu it is described as: BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN TACOS R95. Buttermilk marinated chicken breast coated and deep fried with tangy slaw, fresh salsa, creamy coriander dressing, fresh coriander, avo & radish.

But on the app it says: Buttermilk marinated chicken breast coated & deep fried with tangy slaw, fresh salsa & sriracha mayo in a 4×10 mini taco served with a side of cheesy nachos & sriracha mayo dip.

I wrote to OrderIn customer service and complained about the clusterfeck of chaos. In their defense, Knead admitted that the dish no longer comes with nachos and the description on the app is wrong and that they had inadvertently sent a vegan sauce instead of the promised sriracha sauce. Poor vegans.

Knead offered to give a free replacement meal the following day so I agreed to give them a second chance. OrderIn said they will credit me with 2 free delivery fees as well.

The food arrived and the driver was surly and short, obviously he was annoyed that he did not get a tip as I hadn’t ordered or paid, it was done by the agent dealing with the complaint. But the food was warm and intact and came with the correct sauce.

It was very tasty but I found a small bone in the chicken. I won’t order from Knead again despite their efforts to compensate me. It literally left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

The weather has been a bit crazy this week, bringing a lot of much needed rain.

On Monday when I got into work I realized I had left my mobile phone in my car. I park almost half a kilometer away and it is still dark when I get to work so I was not keen on going back to get it. As I work in a dangerous area and I knew the phone could be seen once it became light I was worried my car would be broken into and my phone stolen.

Walking back and forth again resulted in an almost 1.5 kilometer walkathon before I could start work. But it could have been worse if it had happened on any other day as the weather turned on Monday afternoon and it started raining on my way to my car that afternoon and we even had a bit of thunder and lightning on Tuesday night. We built big fires every night to keep the chill out.

Despite the weather I had two hair raising incidents driving. One morning I was in a long queue of traffic and due to the rain and mist I left plenty of space between me and the car in front. As I neared Bakoven a SUV came flying up onto my rear, flashing his lights and swerving around me as if to overtake. There were cars coming on the other side of the narrow coast road and there were cars in front of me, so there was nowhere for me to move to and nowhere for the psycho driver to go if he got around me. I eventually got fed up, slammed on my brakes and gave him the finger out of my window and he backed right off.

The same day on my way home I was stuck behind a bus which was going slowly, but the road is very dangerous so I settled in and relaxed. Next thing in my rear mirror I see a fancy SUV racing up on the wrong side of the road, overtaking a long queue of traffic and then overtaking the bus on a blind bend. If a car had come around the bend it would have taken out me, the bus, and countless other cars. For the gain of at most, fifteen minutes.

The roads are full of arrogant arsehats.

We have had some progress with Panda’s illness. He is starting to get stronger and can hold his head up longer. He can even lift his head up from a side leaning position which shows his core strength is coming back. His bark is also getting stronger.

When I come home from work I am greeted by his yips, wiggles and happy smiling face. We still have to try and decipher his whines and barks. This week he was moaning a lot and squirming and we tried everything to settle him. Eventually Norm picked him up and put him on his lap.

Next Panda lets out a giant loud burp. He obviously had a bit of trapped wind is why he was so unsettled.

Norm has continued with putting him in his walker even though he cannot move around yet, but it gets him used to the walker.

Navajo is so protective over little Panda.

He had a busy day yesterday as Norm and I attended a fundraiser for CCP. I had told them when I booked that we would have Panda with us and when we arrived at Dario’s they had reserved a table for two people and a dog.

So cute.

Our table was out on the patio.

Norm held Panda so he could be a part of the social aspect.

The set meal included a coffee, orange juice and champagne, 2 eggs, 3 bits of bacon, a potato rosti, stuffed tomato and toast.

We popped Panda down on his bed while we ate.

There was an adorable baby French Bulldog sitting next to us, I love this breed. Look at that face!

After we finished we headed to the shops to run some errands. On our way home we saw that the new skate park was full of people skating.

It is lovely that the kids in the community have this venue.

We gave Panda a bath when we got home as he was starting to smell like an incontinent geriatric’s underpants. It took us both to do it as holding him and washing him is not easy since he cannot stand and he has tons of hair! We dried him with the blow dryer after. He smells so much better and I’m sure he feels better.

Last night Norm and I watched A Star is Born.

I loved this film so much! I adore Lady Gaga and also enjoy Bradley Cooper. His affected voice and accent was a bit annoying but he has a nice singing voice and of course Gaga was fabulous. I give the film 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

Tonight we are watching Bohemian Rhapsody during dinner and I am really looking forward to that.

I had mentioned that the girls and I had bought my Mom a voucher for her birthday and she went shopping and bought some Chanel perfume with her voucher.

Look at her cute little smile. I love that we found a way to treat her despite being so far apart.

Work is slowly moving along. We had a BI department meeting and we were given a lot of information from teammates who had attended several recent conferences. I was rapt as I am always eager to learn new info.

It was a bit distracting that the guy behind me talked throughout the entire meeting. Ironically he is one of the people who has so much to learn. He also spends our smaller team meetings on his phone.

Why is it that those who need education the most are those who are the least eager to learn? Or is that why they need the education? A chicken and egg sort of situation?

Conversely my other colleague (the one who reads out loud and verbalises everything he types) is curious about everything. He has the most obscure conversations with me. He said to me that my bone structure reminds him of the ‘Red Indians’ on television. I had never heard Native Americans called this until I moved to Europe. It is a colonial term freely used there and in South Africa. I find the term incredibly offensive. I told my colleague that it is not politically correct to call us that and that I am of Cherokee origin. He obviously read up about my lineage and the next day he said ‘so do turkeys have totems?’ I said to him I did not understand the question and then he said ‘oops I meant Cherokees’.

That made me giggle. I’m happy to discuss things with him however as he is inquisitive and eager to learn. Even though he called me a turkey.

I hope you all have a great week. Until next time, Kisses From The Kitten xoxoxo

Hope and Comfort

After I posted my last blog about my friend Jay who passed away, my friend Chris messaged me to say he had also experienced the same light show I had written about! Chris was also at school with us and he said that Jay had sent him this image as a GIF:

However IG will not allow the GIF to do it’s thing so I found this video which is a very close representation to what I saw.

The fact that Chris saw the same sorts of lights and that the GIF was sent by Jay confirms to me that Jay was communicating to us. It comforts me.

Norm attempted to start us off eating well this week and did a shop to make dinner on Monday but as he has to wait for me to get home from work so I can take over Panda-sitting and I worked late it was very late by the time he got home and we ended up with another take away that night.

On Tuesday he made a yummy dinner of cauliflower cheese ala macaroni and cheese. He make crispy bacon to go on top and I added grated parmesan and chopped chill to mine.

Wednesday was my Mom’s birthday and the girls and I clubbed together to buy a gift card for her. She had been wanting to buy herself some new perfume and it was the same cost as the gift card so she will buy that for herself from us. It was such a mission to find a company in the US that would accept a SA credit card for a US ‘delivered’ item, even though it was an electronic gift card but that seemed not to matter. Amex was going to charge a fee, Eileen Fischer made me jump through a million hoops and Dillard’s allowed the purchase then cancelled it the following day. Finally I found Nordstrom’s and they were brilliant. From now on I can just send her a credit to spend. I video called Mom on Wednesday night when I got home and we had a nice chat, it is so nice to be able to see her and chat via whatsapp without having to pay for an international call.

That day Norm and I both had to go to the bank as it is a joint account which requires both of our signatures. Standard Bank as always was incredibly inefficient and we queued for an hour to get to see a teller. I really hate this bank and may consider moving our investments to a more user friendly bank. Standard are closing down many of their branches so I assume that the queues will just get worse. They suck at customer service. The teller asked us the same question 3 times and could not seem to grasp the concept of moving funds from one account to another.

We had a dilemma about what to do with Panda as he cannot be left alone and we could not take him into the bank. Caitlin kindly volunteered to puppy sit and Norm dropped him off at her office.

Caitlin said he had a few visitors pop by to see him and he was so tired that night from his adventures.

After our long time waiting at Standard Bank we were starving so we popped into Brownies & Downies across from the bank for a spot of lunch.

They serve their cappuccinos on a cute little tray with a few bits of brownie and fresh cream.

They had a pulled chicken sandwich on ciabatta on special and we both ordered that.

It was so tasty! Slightly spicy and really yum. The chef said it usually has peppers in it but peppers cause my hernia to go a bit mental so I asked him to leave them off and he did. There is a lovely warm vibe there.

The premise of this cafe is to “train people with intellectual disabilities. Special-needs young adults are trained and integrated into jobs in the hospitality and retail sectors. Training while working in Brownies & downieS helps to break down long-standing stigmas and gives customers and special-needs adults the opportunity to meet and interact with each other in a fun and homely environment.”

That night for dinner Norm and I made a really delicious meal. We are getting a bit tired of takeaways but needed something simple and quick. We grilled fillet steaks we had marinated in garlic, pepper and olive oil. We sliced the steaks and served them on a bed of spinach and rocket, pomegranate seeds, toasted pine nuts and thick shavings of parmesan cheese. It was soooo divine! This is going to become a regular meal for us.

Lily drove down to Cape Town to collect her passport at the US embassy and she arrived on Thursday night. Norm cooked for us and made baked pork chops, roasted sweet potato rounds, fried halloumi and steamed broccoli. It was so delicious.

We have continued with nursing little Panda back to health, sometimes he is happy to chow the fancy food from the vet which is supposed to give him the nutrients he needs to recover and sometimes he turns his nose up.

We bought him bibs as his ruff is a nightmare to clean.

Saturday Norm ran errands while Lily and I watched after Panda. He got some tapas type bits for lunch. We had chicken samosas, chili poppers and arancini stuffed with mozzarella with various salads.

The girls offered to babysit Panda for us that night as we tickets booked to go to see the musical Kinky Boots at The Fugard Theatre in the Cape Town city centre.

First we stopped at Hudson’s for a burger.

We sat on the outside patio but it wasn’t unbearably chilly.

I ordered the Original Royale burger with battered onion rings, bacon, cheddar cheese and chili oil.

Norman ordered the East Village Selection of 3 60g sliders but said the meat was very average. I was too hungry to bother with a pic of his dinner.

We give our meal 4 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We headed over to the theatre and grabbed a drink and roamed around until we could take our seats.

We absolutely loved the show. The lead, Lola, was so talented! Lola was played by Earl Gregory. I remember him from Joseph’s Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Darren Craig played Charlie and he was also very talented as was the actress who played Lauren, Namisa Mdlalose. Their chemistry was very sweet.

We loved the choreography with this scene being my favorite.

We had such a lovely evening with a lot of laughs. It was also nice to see my friend Rob. We have not had a break since Panda became ill so I was glad the girls were so kind.

When we got home we watched some of the acts appearing at Glastonbury.

Some of my favorite performances have been, Miss Janet ❤️

The sexy, energy bomb that is Lizzo.

I also enjoyed King Princess.

We loved Lewis Capaldi too.

We are so limited in what music we get exposed to here that we have a wonderful time watching the various artists.

We stayed up far too late. After Lily left today we have carried on watching. I’m rather lazy today.

Norm took Panda to the vet as he is not too keen on eating, but we finally managed to get some roast chicken down him. The vet says he has lost a tenth of his body weight already. The vet gave him an IV as he seemed a bit dehydrated and she gave him another vitamin shot.

Panda has discovered he can make a bit of a growl now and practices a lot.

We realised just after filming that Panda managed his first solo poop (you can see Navajo realised it when he gave Panda a sniff). That was obviously what the grunting was about! The vet checks may have loosened things up in that regard.

In the local news over the last few weeks were the horrors that have been becoming public around the Al Noor Childrens Home in Cape Town.  Back in June the Department of Social Development  removed 17 children from the centre after conducting a preliminary investigation into a number of serious complaints of alleged physical and sexual abuse.

The children were placed in other child and youth care centres, and are receiving the necessary social support, including assessment and counselling. Then we heard that more children were removed and that the manager was up on various charges including fraud. Amina Okpara was arrested on June 14 for fraud and corruption by the Hawks and may face further charges including sexual offenses. It is alleged that Okpara redirected donor funds meant for daily operations of the Centre into her personal bank account and used it for personal gain. She was arrested during a sting operation by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team together with the Department of Social Development (DSD). At the time of her arrest, there were 35 children in the building none of whom any record existed on the premises.

Joshua Covenant Chigome, spokesperson for MEC of Social Development Minister Sharna Fernandez, confirmed that criminal charges have been laid with the SAPS against the alleged perpetrators.

The home has since lost it’s license and has received an eviction notice from the City of Cape Town.

A third whale has died due to being trapped in the fishing nets around False Bay.

“The former department of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries had issued the exploratory octopus permit about 17 years ago, allegedly without consulting the City. In 2017, after the drowning of a Bryde’s whale, the City asked the department to set limits as a condition of the permit, but this was ignored. The permits were intended to assess the techniques, economics, population and biology and management of a possible future commercial octopus fishing industry, according to a published notice by the environmental affairs department in 2003.”

Everyone is up in arms and a petition is going around and hopefully the nets will be removed. Regardless of where you live please sign.

News from Limpopo showed a different sort of protest in that the protesters hijacked an excavator and forced the operator to dig up the road.

There are so many things to protest but this sort of vandalism doesn’t help anyone’s cause in my opinion.

The SA government is in a mess. The auditor-general’s annual municipal audit report, released this week, details the alarming state of financial management at most of South Africa’s towns and cities.

Only 18 of the country’s 257 municipalities received clean audits in the past financial year.

Unauthorised, irregular and wasteful expenditure at municipalities, which piled up over many years, has now reached R122 billion.

The latest annual municipal audit report details some alarming instances of maladministration in several towns and cities in South Africa. These include spending of R21 million on a single fence, and R58 million in missing pension fund investments. One Eastern Cape municipality paid R2,500 per toilet for a sanitation project that now threatens local drinking water.

Crime is still on the increase and the Cape Town murder rate has risen by more than 18% in one month. It is only six months into the year, the murder rate in Cape Town stands at 2,302. Between November 2018 and April 2019, there were a total of 1,875 murders in the province. In essence, that is an average of 10.2 murders reported in a single day. In April alone, mortuaries in the Western Cape reported 308 corpses that were processed. Gang violence has been identified as the primary cause of this rapid increase in murders. The Cape Flats has been identified as the capital killing grounds of the city.

The crime in our suburb has lessened since they did not release the members of the group who were recently arrested and their bond was refused.

As much as we love SA there is a long way to go to sort out the challenges, however much like I have with the prognosis of my baby boy, I do have hope.