The Fear of Loneliness

The fear of loneliness can be a motivator behind many decisions made by some people. Irrational sometimes to outsiders, these decisions can result in constraints to the lives of some and heartbreak to others. People settle for people they do not love, or stay in relationships with people they do not love rather than risk being alone. Loneliness is one of humanity’s biggest issues, often leading to despair. Isolation is even used as the ultimate prison punishment, it can affect people in many different ways, leading some people to behave bizarrely. As an only child of working parents, one whose home was surrounded by countryside rather than playmates, I grew up being alone a lot and I am comfortable with my own company. However nothing makes me happier than time with my family. My family is everything to me. But I do not mind being alone.

This topic came up this weekend when watching ‘Like Father‘ with the fabulous Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer. Kelsey plays the Father and that was his term, ‘fear of loneliness’, he used it when discussing a poor decision made by Kirsten (in the role of the daughter) and proposing explanations for why the situation may have happened.

Lauren Miller Rogen was not only the screenwriter but also the director and producer of the film and hubby Seth Rogen appears in it.

It was a good enough movie to amuse me on a lazy cold winters day. I give it 3 and a bit Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Thursday was the start of a four day weekend for me as it was Women’s Day in South Africa.

August the 9th is a Public Holiday marking the day of the national march of women in 1956 to petition against legislation that required African persons to carry the ‘pass’.

The ‘pass’ was an identification document which restricted a black South African’s freedom of movement under apartheid and only by having the pass were they allowed to enter ‘white’ areas. The ‘pass’ had come into force under the Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950.

On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women staged a march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against proposed amendments to the act. They left petitions containing more than 100,000 signatures at prime minister J.G. Strijdom’s office door. They stood silently outside his door for 30 minutes.

The women then sang a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! (This translates to “Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock”.).

As discussed in my last blog, women in South Africa do not have a lot to celebrate however.

Neither do many women worldwide. I loved reading this week about the increase of the number of women entering into politics in the US. The one thing we can congratulate Trump on is waking people up to the risk of letting racist, misogynistic bigots run the country and getting them to step up to vote or even to run for office.

This day also marks the anniversary of my first day at work in South Africa after I immigrated back here in 2007. We were given a fancy lunch at the Mount Nelson by my new company and I thought ‘wow’ I can get used to this. However I only lasted 6 months with that company and am now on my third contract house since moving back. If I am unhappy, I move on. Life is too short.

I had booked to go on a reconnection medicine walk on Thursday but I woke up so stiff and sore from the cold that I could barely make it downstairs and so I had to cancel. We have had a cold snap of icy weather in Cape Town and my arthritis is reacting badly to it.

Instead I wrapped up warm and stayed tucked in bed and Norm went to get us pastries and then brought me pastry and a frothy latte in bed, where I lay surrounded by cats and snoozing Pomeranian pups.

That morning a guy came to repair the cowl that blew off of our chimney and the animals and I stayed in bed while Norm dealt with that. As the guy said it blew off the chimney due to his fitting it incorrectly the first time he did not charge us! That was lucky.

I put together some lunch from the salads I had picked up on my way home on Friday. I bought them for the shared lunch after my walk but as I did not walk we had some yummy bits to choose from. We had Asian slaw, potato salad, pickled beetroot with chunks of creamy feta and roast chicken. It was divine, healthy and so easy.

On Thursday evening we decided to just stay in by our cozy fire. We got chicken burgers from The Kitchen Takeaway and just relaxed.

The joint pain I was having could have been due to the Wednesday night when I had gotten chilled to the bones while sitting in an assembly room watching Norm present to 50 residents and several members of the City Of Cape Town Council about the proposal to start a Central Improvement District, aka a CID. This is a private-public partnership formed by the property owners in the area to provide complementary services over and above what the City of Cape Town provides.

Our CID will cover 3 areas, Oakwood, Hughenden and Meadows, it will be called by the acronym ‘OHMCID’. The website is live and the process is busy following the regulatory requirements. We just need 60% of the property owners to sign up to it and we can start to boost our security and be more in control of managing our area.

The presentation finished about 8pm and we were starving so we headed into the village and stopped at the Woodcutters Arms Pub in Hout Bay.

Norm was tired after presenting that night as well as several other meetings he had for work that day. It was a relief to get into somewhere warm.

❤️

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We both ordered a few Tapas items which they served on platters.

I had jalapeño cheddar cigars, onion rings and popcorn chicken strips.

Norm had his beloved scotch egg with fries and hake goujons.

The food at that pub is reliably well cooked and tasty. We wanted something simple to share and nibble with our fingers. I give it four Kitten Stars for being exactly what you could hope for in a Gastropub. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ It hit the spot and we came home and crashed after.

We have both had busy weeks. At least the days were busy with work but our evenings were spent in front of a fire as it’s been so cold and drizzly outside. The animals were happy snuggling up.

The cats love it when we have a fire.

We had plans to go on a road trip on Friday as I also had the day off. We were going to drive across Chapman’s Peak to Imhoff Farm but it was drizzly, overcast and rainy so we fancied something a bit cosy. We needed to do a few errands so we decided to go to Peddlars in Constantia then pop over to the mall.

We quickly settled in to a table by the window after trying 2 others which were reserved (it was very empty so that shuffling around was all a bit bizarre).

Even Scots Norm was feeling the cold.

We decided to just order the pub platter to share.

It had calamari, onion rings, chips, chicken strips, pulled pork spring rolls and a few sauces. It was really yummy and hit the spot. We didn’t linger, we had a drink each then headed off to the mall. We got a human wrist support for Navajo’s sore ankle.

The doggy Physio has recommended it, so far so good, we will see if he wears it. We had a few other things we needed so we ran our errands then bought a few groceries and we decided to go for a coffee.

We popped into Mugg & Bean and Norm had a cappuccino and a slice of caramel cheesecake.

Norm gives their cheesecake 4 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I had an iced coffee and a chocolate chip muffin. They have divine muffins.

We headed home as Norm had to walk the dogs and take Cordelia home at 5. We popped into Hout Bay quickly first as I had inadvertently sat on my specs and they badly needed to be adjusted so we stopped by Tanya Seeber enroute.

We were still full from lunch so didn’t even eat dinner that night despite shopping for it. We just nibbled nuts, cheese and apples and such that night.

Despite our plans going awry we had a lovely day together. I feel very blessed that after 21 years of marriage Norm is still my best friend. We can make most things we do enjoyable.

On Saturday morning Norm cooked us a delicious breakfast to set us up for the day.

After breakfast Norm and Nav pottered about the garden.

I got ready while they were busy as I was signed up for a slot in a day of singing at a two day Sacred Song Circle Marathon event.

This is one of the songs in our repertoire and it is one of my favorite songs to sing. It’s such a happy lighthearted song with such a nice rhythm.

The lyrics are “waniskâ! pêtâpan ôma

âsay piyêsîsak kî-nikamowak

ê-miyonâkwan kitaskînaw”

This translates to:

“Wake up! The sun is coming.

The birds are already singing

How beautiful this land of ours is.”

Isn’t it a lovely song, suited for what turned out to be a lovely day. The event started on Friday evening and carried on all day Saturday. It was held in a house off the beaten track, in a remote area in the southern peninsula and it was about an hour from my house. I went to Gerri’s house, our drum circle leader, then she and I drove in convoy to the house.

Our drummers were supposed to wear red.

There were lots of people there, approximately 20 adults. There were also children of all ages and there were many places on the property to keep children occupied but the vibe was relaxed and they ran in and out of the tent too. The singing was held in a large round tent filled with rugs, blankets and pillows. There was a center altar with many items there for blessing. There were different rounds of songs, with the changing of song leaders every hour or so. When we arrived our friend Martyn was singing and then it was to be our turn. Martyn sang very lovely, soothing, soft songs and everyone was quite lethargic from the shared lunch they had eaten just before we arrived. Gerri brought our large communal drum and when it was our turn we stood up around it. We sang all dance songs so they were mostly quite energetic. Waniska is probably our slowest song and we really wail on the chorus even for that one. We woke the tent up and got the energy going.

After our round we stayed for one more round of South American native songs which were sung in Spanish or Aztec. Some of the terms were familiar from my North American song repertoire and some from my very limited Spanish. I left and drove Michelle back to Gerri’s house where she had left her car. I then headed home, cold and tired but happy.

Norm cooked us a delicious dinner when I got home. He grilled the fillet steak and we finished off the salads from the previous day. He also boiled some corn and sliced up an avocado.

He also made a roaring big fire to warm me up. It was a divine end to a lovely day.

We are having a lazy evening tonight and we do not yet have plans for tomorrow, we will have to see what the day may bring.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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Gathering No Moss

This week has been a hectic one. Last Friday afternoon I left work a little bit early as I had an appointment with my chiropractor. He managed to unlock my stiff back a bit but advised me to take it easy and put an ice pack on my back when I got home. I had to make an appointment to go back the following Monday. Once I got home Norm made a little ice pack for me and I applied it to my sore back and we quite literally chilled out in front of a warm fire as it was pouring with rain.

Norm had a very exciting day while I was off at work that day. He had gotten involved in an attempt to apprehend a robber at Mainstream, our main shopping area in Hout Bay. A dodgy character has been hanging out with a knife in the basement parking area and approaching people and taking their handbags or phones or whatever he can get from them. Norm was part of the chase and he came around a corner to find the guy sitting down on the pavement putting on his shoes, Norm shouted at him and the guy bolted right past him, dropping his rather large scary knife. Unfortunately he got away again but fortunately Norm was not injured in the process.

We had an easy morning drinking coffee in bed on Saturday until the doorbell rang and Norm remembered that we had workmen coming to repair the garage roof.

We then went downstairs to build a fire and watch the Royals tolerate the arrival of Trump the Twat and his prostitute companion.

It says so much about how the Queen received the Obamas vs the lower budget version of greetings she gave the Trumps. The Obamas had a proper state visit with her and Phillip collecting the Obamas in the Royal Land Rover as compared to this visit which was much like Trump himself: all flash, little depth.

But how much has this little adventure cost the UK taxpayers? Some say upwards of 30 million pounds, the cost of the Scotland foray alone was confirmed at up to 5 million quid. We can monitor this page for the results once published. Whatever the UK paid, it was not worth it. I would pay to stay away from the chief kitty grabber.

Trump was such an embarrassment (again). He would have been briefed on protocol but was probably either still under the sunbed or getting his hair backcombed and did not hear it.

He left a 92 year old woman standing in the sun for 15 minutes while he fecked about. He did not bow to acknowledge her once he finally sloped in, he then walked in front of her and roamed vaguely around the military grounds and then wandered off in the middle of the final salute from the guard. He then later went on telly and gossiped about his private conversations with the Queen. He is a clueless feckwit.

He then went on to talk about how strong and powerful Putin was the night before with him and….oh wait. He said that Putin claimed he is innocent regarding interference and tampering with the US elections. He then said he believes Putin over his own staff and the FBI. And still his believers keep making excuses for him.

Anyway we enjoyed the scenes of pomp and circumstance from Windsor as they bring back our memories of Norman’s investiture ceremony at Windsor.

It started drizzling with rain and the repairmen had to pack up and go. Later in the afternoon Norm answered a neighborhood watch call about an African woman ringing doorbells on the road behind us. They said she seemed distraught. There is a mentally ill woman who rings all the bells in the neighbourhood on Sundays begging for food or money so we assumed it was her and so Norm drove over to see what was going on. He found a young woman covered in blood frantically waving him down. She had a deep gash on her arm and told Norman that she had been stabbed because she could not pay rent to the man whose shack she stays in. Norm could see that she was in a bad way and he drove her to the fire station. The men on duty told her that she must go to the hospital. She was not happy with that and was still in a panic about money and the risk to her life if she does not get funds. The emergency tech told her that if she did not get her arm sutured she risked gangrene and the loss of her arm. I think he tried to scare her into looking after her injury but he is correct in his dire prognosis, that was a definite risk if she did not get it seen to. She reeked of booze either from the night before or from earlier that day. Norm left her there with the fire and rescue team waiting on an ambulance to collect her. I hope that she found a safe place to stay once she was released from the hospital.

Yet another desperate victim of abuse who was drawn to us? I am glad the universe sent her to us so Norm could get her help. She was so distracted by the money issues she was not at all concerned about the large gash on her arm.

Saturday was a very lazy day and evening surrounded by the dogs.

Norm and I binge watched the documentary ‘Staircase‘. It is a miniseries about the trial of novelist Michael Peterson and his conviction for the murder of his wife Kathleen. I think that this man was convicted predominately for his lifestyle rather than the evidence presented. It was revealed that Michael was bisexual and that he and Kathleen had an open marriage. They denied that they could have had a happy marriage and they felt that this gave him a motive.

The parochial conservative residents of the town where they lived in North Carolina had a completely narrow point of view and an inability to accept an unconventional lifestyle consisting of multiple partners or involving bisexuality. The prosecutor was so full of venom it was obvious she lives a vanilla life full of 5 minute missionary interactions with eyes furiously clenched shut.

I know straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian, asexual, pansexual, and all manner of people who are living many different lifestyles. That is no one’s business except the adults involved in these relationships and lifestyles. Why do other humans feel that they have the right to judge other people based on their own ideas of what is acceptable and what is not?

Not being heterosexual does not make one more predisposed to murder than any other sexual proclivity does.

It makes me sad that still so many people cannot live an open life with no judgement.

On Saturday night I really fancied Chinese food so Norm went to the Blue Lotus in Hout Bay and got a take away for us.

I ordered Bamboo Rolls, Spicy Crispy Pork and noodles with vegetables.

The sushi was not the best, it was loosely rolled and was predominately rice. But it was edible. The crispy pork was divine! Tender pork with a crispy coating with just the right amount of spices. The noodles seemed a bit bereft of actual vegetables, it only had a few onions. But the noodles went nicely with the pork.

On Sunday we had the repairmen come back around to finish painting the roof in the morning and then we had plans to go to the shops to buy Norm’s birthday presents afterwards. However when we got ready to leave and went outside it was such a stunning, sunny winter day that we decided to rather go on an adventure.

We drove through Hout Bay village and over Chapman’s Peak Drive. It is quite often called one of the world’s most stunning drives.

For once the road did not seem terribly busy, often the traffic is insane as it is popular with tourists and cyclists and the roads are crazy curvy and narrow.

Norm took a pic of me after he paid the toll fee but was holding the receipt in his hand. The wind was pumping so I asked him to put it down but of course I was being difficult.

*Cough that is not a cloud*

After we hit Noordhoek we decided to stop at Jakes On the Common to see if there was space for us but it looked very busy. We were quite lucky and we were given a table upstairs.

We were starving as it was late afternoon so we quickly ordered and were served very promptly. Norm chose the Pulled Pork burger with chips and looked very pleased with his choice when it arrived even though he ordered sweet potato fries and got normal full carb fries. His dish was R109 (if he had paid for sweet potato fries they would be R15 extra).

I had the pulled pork Moroccan flatbread for R136. It was divine!! I really enjoyed this.

They also had live music  on for the afternoon which we really enjoyed a lot.

I did not catch this guy’s name but he played some brilliant songs. In SA in particular these sorts of entertainers usually all have the same repertoire of about 5 or 10 songs. There is little variety. But this guy was laying down some beauties. So many of them triggered some wonderful memories.

He played the Rolling Stones classic ‘Angie’. This is one of my all time favourite songs. One of my Desert Island discs if you will.

Who else had forgotten how gorgeous Mick was back in the day?

‘Angie’ always brings back memories of listening to this album in the car on our annual family treks to Daytona Beach Florida. My Dad and I would sing at the top of our lungs.

Brilliant that Norm didn’t have his phone so we ended up chatting more than usual. The music kept generating conversations around the places we were at the time the songs were popular or the times or places that the musical memories took us to.

He played ‘Perfect’ by the Scottish band Fairground Attraction which reminded us of going to see the lead singer Edie Reader when we lived in Belfast.

We happily listened and chatted and we decided to order dessert.

I chose the Cinnamon Donut Holes for R48. They were served with a Nutella dipping sauce. The menu said they came with cream but there was no cream. The donut holes were a bit firm as opposed to light and airy but they did have a nice taste and I did enjoy them and eat every bite. They were more like a churro than a donut in texture.

Norm had the Upside Down Potted Cheesecake for R55. He thought it was OK, but not the best cheesecake he has ever had. It was not supposed to have cream so he gave me his.

Norm had a chat to the waitress about it but she wasn’t listening it seemed.

We drove home around the mountain roads to avoid both the R50 tolls as well as any traffic we might encounter.

In the evening I started watching Stephen Fry’s America on Netflix while Norm was out with the dogs. It brought home to me how far removed my life is in Cape Town or Europe to what the lives of people on this show are like. I could barely understand the people he spoke to who live in the same state I grew up in!

Overall it has been a hectic week. I had another appointment at the Chiro on Monday so got home a bit later than usual. Norm cooked dinner for us that night. He made fillet steak, roasted butternut, steamed asparagus and stir fried mushrooms.

On Tuesday I got a call from my son Trevor. He was upstairs gaming on his computer and there was a fire downstairs in the fireplace. He heard a strange crackling noise and when he looked out there were flames billowing out of the garage. He ran into the garage and put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. He has burned his left hand and there is a lot of damage to the garage but the house is all fine.

The next morning I ended up spilling a boiling hot latte on my left hand and burning the same fingers that Trevor burned the day before. This empathy thing is now getting a bit silly!

Tuesday was Norman’s birthday and we invited Caitlin and Wesley to come to dinner with us at Cheyne’s. They collected us and we arrived for 7pm.

The menu has recently been updated and I was happy to see some familiar items and some new ones to try. The Yum Cha Dining Experience is R150 per person for 3 dishes and R50 extra for a 4th dish. We all opted for 4 dishes.

Me, Caitlin and Norm all started with the Crispy Hake Tempura: picked shallots, miso mayo, unagi sauce.

For my choice on the Land section of the menu I had the Mumbai Chilli Beef: cardamon and ginger syrup, toasted coconut and chili.

For my Earth choice I had the potato and coconut dumplings: penang sauce and toasted nuts.

Caitlin and Wes both had the baby back pork ribs: sweet yakaniku glaze, toasted sesame.

For dessert the girls both had the peanut butter shake. (I am a creature of habit.)

Both of the fellas had the Fuji Apple crumble: apple caramel and peach ice cream. They both seemed to really enjoy it.

The service was impeccable and as always the food divine. After we finished our meal we headed home so that Norm could open his presents. The kids got him some trendy track suit pants and a warm woolly sweater perfect for our winter weather.

He also was given a bottle of wine from Wes. This resulted in us staying up far later than we should on a school night.

Therefore I was feeling a bit tired on Wednesday night but we had plans straight after work. We went to Kalk Bay Books for a book signing by Mandy Wiener. As you see below, Norm and I were the youngest people in attendance. And we are old AF.

It was really interesting. She talked about her new book The Ministry of Crime. This is a follow up book to Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed. There is such a criminal underbelly to South Africa, most of us have no clue as to the depth of corruption in our country.

After the talk was over we left and wandered off towards our car. We were parked right outside of the Kalk Bay Kitchen Bar so we decided we might as well give them a try. Norm had a burger and I had the Chicken Burrito Bowl.

The flavours were brilliant. The combination of items was really perfect. I found a bone in my chicken however which put me off. After that I just picked about in the bowl trying to avoid death by chicken bone.

Also on Wednesday my shipment from my Mom in Atlanta finally arrived!

We opened it up and had a quick peek of my new goodies. My mom sent a chair and footstool that belonged to my Grandmother.

The other item is an old Victrola that belonged to my Daddy.

It just needs a polish and it will be grand.

I also received a stack of the old records it plays so we will try and get it operational. It would be nice to have a cocktail evening and play the records.

The boxes were packed full of second hand clothes from my Mom as well so I will need to do a cupboard clean out to accommodate them all. My mom has fabulous taste so I am very pleased with most of them.

Tonight we have nothing on our itinerary so we are having an easy night in. Norm cooked a fab dinner of chicken in a cream sauce on cauliflower noodles with sweet potatoes and squash.

We have a busy weekend planned. Sunday is non-stop with drumming in the morning and a pop in at a friend’s farewell picnic and coffee with a friend among the highlights.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0x0

#SheToo

I am beginning to think that someone must have a voodoo doll of me and that they are enjoying sticking pins into it as my body has moved from one ailment to the next for what feels like months now. The strange thing is that each ailment is corresponding with the symptoms of someone in my life who also has that ailment. Is this some sort of empathetic referral? Is this part of my exploration into spirit medicine work?

A work colleague was out of work all of last week with back pain. On the weekend I managed to put my lower back out ironically on the day when he suddenly felt fine.  I am in a lot of discomfort but I have not been to a chiro, I am stretching and trying to endure in the hopes it resolves itself. So far, no luck but it has gotten better. My whole lower back was locked the first few days but now it has settled into the one hip. Specifically my left hip which is the same hip I had replaced a few years ago. I will have to go to the chiro so I booked in for tomorrow after work.

Josh has been with us all week but he left to go back home to Mossel Bay on Thursday. Lily will be happy to have him home. I will miss him, every time he goes it is like empty nest syndrome again as he is as much our son as the 3 humans I gave birth to are. I wonder if Lily’s Spirit Guardian Owl is going to remain now that Josh has come back home?

Our family have a strong connection with birds. They send me messages often.

We have had a few days of really warm weather which was a nice change. We were able to go without a fire in the evenings to keep us warm. On Thursday the rain started again and it turned a bit colder.

The flowers that Norman gave me for our anniversary last week are blooming and are so stunning. I love lilies. The smell is so gorgeous.

Norm has been looking after Josh and I very well as always. On Sunday he had not shopped so we had a takeaway from Spiro’s.

On Monday Norm shopped and cooked for us for the rest of the week. He baked chicken with mushrooms and zucchini in chicken stock and then stir fried baby spinach and fried brussel sprouts to go with it that evening.

He made a pork roast and fried red cabbage and roasted butternut and steamed some cauliflower on Tuesday.

On Wednesday he did chicken sausage and sweet potato mash with fried zucchini and home made coleslaw.

Thursday he made Banting cottage pie with a beefy stock topped with cauliflower mash and a thick layer of cheese. He steamed baby corn and gem squash to go with and it was delicious. His cooking skills are so good he does most of our cooking now.

I had a conversation with yet another friend this week who has told me that she too has been the victim of domestic abuse and is ready to get out of this situation after many years of suffering. I am not sure why the universe has sent me so many women to talk to about abuse lately. It is like I am the Survivor Whisperer. Much of the conversation seems to be around reversing the psychological conditioning that has resulted in them blaming themselves for the abuse or for not leaving sooner. That conditioning is hard to escape when you have heard it for years from the man abusing you and the other enablers who may be in your life. Even if that enabler is a seemingly well intentioned parent who tells you that you should be thankful for a man who stays with you. The previous generation does not always understand the power we women possess and that we have the ability to just put our backs into it and push through to the other side. We can make a powerful foe once we decide to push back against our oppressors. I feel the female energy rising up in pacha mama.

I do not know my role in these women’s lives unless it is simply to share my own experiences and to listen to them when they need to talk. I am also trying to listen to the messages I hear from my guides and to do the footwork they suggest I should do. If my guides tell me that I have to say a specific thing to a specific person, I am trying to simply be the vehicle to deliver that message with no filters.

The hardest thing to ignore is the messages I get about the women who are still caught up in their own cycles of dysfunction. I get messages that specific women need help, but if they do not acknowledge that need, then what should I do? THAT part I have not figured out. I am still very new at this healing role which is being forced upon me by the universe. I am not at all sure of the path the universe has in store for me in regards to support of women who have been victimised. I will just keep being present and doing what I can until the Great Spirit makes it clear.

I do feel a universal energy shift. It is coming. I have been reading about this particular prophesy or potential energy shift.

“We live in a time of great change… a time which appears and reappears in the prophesies of many Aboriginal cultures from all over the world. The world is in decay, the systems man has built and valued for so long are falling apart… this is the time of the 7th Fire.

We must begin the healing now. We must live as flesh ruled by spirit, choosing compassion over greed … choosing love over fear. We must be the change we want to see in the world, if we are to become the Warriors of the Rainbow.”

#8Fire #8thFire #AnishnabeProphecy 🔥🔥💞💓🌎🌠

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The Anishinaabe people believe in the 7 Fires Prophecy. Each fire represents a prophetical age, marking phases. They seem to feel a change coming as well and believe that there will be a shift back towards Walking the Red Road. “It is at this time that the Light Skinned race will be given a choice between two roads. If they choose the right road, then the Seventh Fire will light the Eighth and final Fire, an eternal Fire of peace, love, brotherhood and sisterhood. If the light skinned race makes the wrong choice of roads, the destruction which they brought with them in coming to this country will come back at them and cause much suffering and death to all the Earth’s people.”

Walking The Red Road means living a consciously present life of practicing and honouring The Seven Sacred Values of the Lakota:

1. Wóčhekiya – Prayer

2. Wičákha – Honesty

3. Wahwala – Humility

4. Waúnšila – Compassion

5. Waóhola – Respect

6. Wawokiye – Generosity

7. Wóksape – Wisdom

I identify strongly with the people of these tribes. I have a deep connection to White Buffalo Woman and the Lakota believe that White Buffalo Calf Woman brought them the 7 virtues.

I am reading everything I can find to try and broaden my knowledge about my own heritage as well as the cultures and teachings of other indigenous people throughout the world. I am trying to be conscious and tuned into the universal energy and the voices of the spirits around me. I have removed the people from my life who impede me in that growth by tainting me with their darkness. I have learned many sacred songs and we sing them in their native tongues at our drumming circles. I still struggle with my own mind, keeping it positive and focused. I’m easily distracted.

My eyes are open. I feel the simmering sizzle of energy and I pray for the light which will emerge out of the ashes of this fire.

A’ho Mitakuye Oyasin.

Soul Mates

When you are twenty, twenty years seems like a life time. I guess that is because it is. Even when you are old AF twenty years seems like a life time. Hence my surprise every time mine and Norman’s anniversary rolls around and I add up the duration of our years together. (Much like my age, I have to add it up every time, but at least I remember the YEAR I was born, unlike the year we got married which tends to be elusive to my memory.)

Twenty one years! We have certainly had a lot of fun (and a lot of fancy dress parties).

I have had past life regression and know that we have been married in past lives as well, and know that Norm is my soul partner. I have been very lucky to have even found him considering that I grew up in Georgia and he grew up in Scotland, but it was meant to be that we met. We met in Johannesburg South Africa after my first marriage ended. We were introduced by a common friend and when we met we recognised each other. Call it crazy but we were meant to be.

Saying that, we are both rubbish at remembering dates and the only reason I realised that the 5th of July was our anniversary was that the posts from our 20th anniversary safari trip last year came up as a memory on Facebook.

This year will be a bit less dramatic than our wonderful safari trip, we just booked to go for dinner at Foxcroft in Constantia this year. I love this restaurant, the food and service is always outstanding.

We booked for 7pm and arrived a bit early for a change.

We ordered a bottle of Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc from a nearby vineyard and settled in to peruse the menu.

Norm had promised to keep his beard until after our anniversary because I love it but it drives him mad as it is itchy.

The server brought some gorgeous olive ciabatta and some sort of fancy butter. It was so nice and was very charmingly presented.

We were given menus which offered a choice of 2 tapas, 1 main and 1 dessert course for R495 per person.

I chose the Tuna Tataki as one of my tapas dishes. It was described as ‘Seared Tuna Tataki: Chipotle, avocado, cucumber and rice puffs’. It comes with a wee vial of sauce / oil which you drizzle over. This was a gorgeous taste combination.

Tuna tataki

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Norm started with the Sunchoke Mille Feuille which did not photograph well as it was flat, covered in a thick dusting of cocoa powder and was served on a black plate. However he really loved this dish and raved about it all night. It was described as ‘pickled mushroom, naartjie, hazelnut, burnt onion’. A naartjie is a local nectarine type fruit. The funny thing is there is no mention of artichoke in the description, yet apparently that was the main ingredient and we discovered that a sunchoke is a Jerusalem artichoke. Nevermind. Now we are educated on our artichoke varieties.

I have to confess to not being very adventurous overall in my choices as I had 2 pork dishes. I love their pork. Norm and I both had the ‘Free-range pork collar: Gochujang, white cabbage, sweet potato, kimchi’ for our second tapas choice. The lighting was a bit dark so apologies for the quality of the pic but you get the gist. This was a very tasty dish.

For my main I chose the Pork again, this time it was billed as ‘Oak Valley Pork: Butternut, sage, spiced apple and pecans’. The pork belly was very tender and the flavours were divine.

Norm had the linefish as he wanted to experience as many varieties of tastes as possible. The fish of the day was Angelfish. It was described as ‘Yakiniku Linefish: Aubergine, sweetcorn, chicory, puffed rice, nori’. He said this was a very nice dish, tasty and well cooked.

For dessert I chose the ‘Toasted Carrot Cake: Pecan ice cream, carrot ganache, cream cheese espuma’. It was very tasty and yummy. Of course I bit that crispy pastry tube without noticing it was chock full of the foamy espuma mixture which of course ejected out of the end of the pastry shell but luckily landed on my plate as opposed to my boobs where most things usually land.

Norm chose the ‘Mango, Chocolate, Madras: mango jelly, 55% itakuja, passionfruit and madras curry’. This did not appeal to me at all but Norm loved this dish.

After dessert they bring little treats of sweets to the table to have with your coffee but we avoided coffee as it was late. They specialise in macarons. The other little blocky was a coconutty yummy thing. Dunno. It was almond flavoured. Other than that I have no clue what it was but it was delicious.

We had a lovely night out together and counted the many blessings we have had and reminisced about the wonderful things we have experienced in our lives together. It has been an exciting adventure.

Josh has come back to stay with us for a few more weeks as his project in Simonstown has picked up pace again.

Norm has been great about cooking for us. On Monday he cooked a gorgeous pork fillet roast, spinach and roasted root vegetables. I ate it in front of the fire with Pixie drooling at my feet.

On Tuesday night he made chicken sausages, mashed sweet potatoes with chicken gravy and home made coleslaw. (He burns my sausages because I like them like that.)

Then on Wednesday night he made a rich, beefy, tomatoey sauce and served it with roast butternut and a delicious cheesy potato bake.

It is so lovely to have yummy leftovers for lunch at work each day, or else my options are to go out in the winter chill and rain to forage for food or settle for a crappy toasted cheese.

I mentioned the ongoing taxi wars in South Africa in my last blog. We keep receiving mixed messages in the media, that the battle has been resolved and then we hear of yet more shootings, injuries or deaths. Five more people were shot in Pretoria on Thursday.

We had another fire in Hout Bay on Monday. After the fire they discovered the body  of a 6 month old baby in one of the 15 shacks that burned. The news is not clear about whether the baby was at home alone or whether the mother & father were home during the fire or why the baby did not get rescued. It is such a tragedy, RIP to this beautiful baby girl. My only hope is that she died while sleeping and did not wake. Heartbreaking.

I left work early today as I went back to the doctor. My cold symptoms have just not gone away and I am coughing constantly and my throat is so sore. He has given me a list of things to do, salt water up my nostrils to cleanse my sinuses, nose drops and something to dry me up to stop the coughing so that I can sleep. He says there is no infection just inflammation.

We had a quiet night in last night, we ordered pizza and just chilled out with a big fire.

We woke up this morning and headed out. Before I went to my drumming session Norm and I popped over to Constantia to Mugg & Bean.

I had the M&B Classic with poached eggs, bacon, tomato, a hash brown, chips and toast.

Norman had the All American breakfast with scrambled egg, bacon, tomato, beans, sausage, chips and toast. I find it funny they call it the All American. I never had beans for brekkie in the USA but it is a constant item for a British fry up.

I was supposed to drum and sing at a Spirit Dance today but it was cancelled as we did not have enough dancers booked. I would say it is because of the dubious weather we have been having but today was stunning! As the dance was cancelled we had a rehearsal at Owl Lodge in Constantia. There were lots of us attending as it was a good bye party for Jesse and Neo who are off to Europe indefinitely. I will miss them both, they have such great energy in our drumming sessions and Jesse is the drum master.

Here is a pic of all of us after the last Spirit Dance.

We have tentatively rescheduled the dance for September when the weather might be more reliable.

Tonight Caitlin is popping round for dinner which will be lovely. The rest of the weekend will be spent relaxing. I hope you enjoy the rest of yours.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxo

 

Baby Daddy

The World Cup has kicked off and our office has been bitten by the fever. We were designated teams and so the office has allowed each team to decorate their section with the team colours.

My section got England.

My British colleague brought in a flag for us.

Last week flew by as work is quite busy. I was keen on a weekend of relaxation.

Lucky for me Norm cooked most of the week and kept us on track with low carb eating.

He made a gorgeous bolognaise and served it over low carb spinach noodles the first night. He made roast veggies to go with it.

The next night he made the rest of the sauce into a low carb lasagna. He used zucchini instead of pasta sheets. It was delicious.

On Friday night Norm and I were watching telly and chilling out in front of the fire. Lola was cuddling with me.

Then we heard over the neighbourhood watch radio that there was a fire at Clay Cafe which is just up the road from our house. We dashed upstairs to look from the balcony and we could see huge flames leaping above the trees several miles away. We heard continuous explosions but were not sure what was exploding.

Next day we saw on social media a post about the damage that had been done by the fires and explosions.

This is the venue where we went for my last birthday to paint plates. You can see everyone’s pottery shattered in bits strewn across the lawns. I love this venue and I do hope that they get back in full operation soon. I am just glad that no one was injured in the fire.

On Saturday we did not have to be up and out so Norm and I had a slow morning drinking coffee in bed then eventually made our way downstairs to make brunch. I made some ‘flapjacks’ from Banting on the Go. I had thought from the pic that a flapjack in South Africa was just a pancake in American-speak.

FYI: It is not. It is more like a crumpet so I had to add tons of milk but they were still quite stodgy.

Norm made scrambled cheesy eggs and bacon to go with it all. I used a tiny bit of honey to sweeten my ‘flapjack_wannabe_pancakes’. In the end it was all really tasty and set us up for the rest of the day.

Not that we did much of anything. It was really cold and rainy on and off all week. We are so grateful for the rain. Hopefully this pushes day zero even further away, except now we read that it was all somewhat of a farce!

I was chatting to my Mom on the weekend and when I told her we had received a lot of rain she said ‘does that mean you can wash your hair more than once a week?’ She knows all about Day Zero and what it could mean for us residents to have our taps turned off. I thought that really sums up the way my mother thinks. Quite frankly, I don’t give AF how my hair looks!

Anyway.

Later on Saturday evening Norm and I decided to get a take away from Indian Oven.

We ordered our usual order, I had the prawn curry, we shared saag aloo and some spinach bhajis. We usually love their food but the last two visits the prawns have not been nice. They taste like they just thawed out some frozen prawns from Woolies and chucked them into the sauce. Their prawns used to be de-shelled and tasted like they were quickly fried and then added. There is a difference in both texture and shape. They are now not very nice at all. I could not finish them.

I won’t order that dish again, I will have to find an alternative as this is the only decent Indian food venue in Hout Bay. The rest of the food was nice, the spinach bahjis were a bit doughy but edible. The saag aloo is always yum.

My daughters Lily and Caitlin were both down in Cape Town for their friend Jess’s hen weekend and on Sunday we were surprised when my daughter in law Amber and Caitlin both popped in to take Norm out for Father’s Day brunch. We did not know that Amber was in town so it was a lovely surprise to see her. Her newly cut and coloured hair is so cute! It makes her eyes look so blue.

Caitlin had booked us into a local Hout Bay favourite, La Cuccina.

Norm and I like it here and often pop in for breakfast or lunch. It is a lovely open and airy venue.

I ordered the Sweetcorn Fritters Breakfast for R75:
Sweetcorn fritters with two poached eggs, oven roasted plum tomatoes and crispy streaky bacon, topped with homemade tomato chilli jam.

It was delicious but the fritters were a wee bit soft for my liking. The bacon was crispy and the eggs soft however and it was all very tasty. The chilli jam adds a nice tinge of sweet spicyness.

Norm ordered the Full Breakfast at R85. It consisted of two eggs, crispy streaky bacon, beef sausage, mushroom, roasted plum tomato and two slices of toast.

It was so lovely to see the girls. Caitlin has been so busy lately we have not seen her very often and Amber has been working away at sea a lot and we had not seen her in 6 months. Amber had not seen Caitlin’s new flat or met her kittens so she was going to stay over another night in Cape Town with Caitlin.

After we finished I could not resist a cheeky piece of Lemon Meringue Cake. It is a lemon cheesecake topped with meringue. It was delicious but I could only manage half and I took the rest home for afternoon tea.

The girls were struggling a bit from their weekend of drinking and partying and they headed off to Caitlin’s place after brunch.

I love that my kids make an effort to celebrate Norman on Father’s Day. He has been such a wonderful supportive step-dad to them and I am so happy that they recognise that. I am so blessed to have this kind, wonderful man in my life. It doesn’t hurt that he is sexy and has that Scottish accent.

For the rest of the day Norm and I had a lazy afternoon. Norm was surrounded by his pack of Pomeranians.

❤️

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We built a roaring fire and settled in for some Netflix binging.

Snuggly Sundays ❤️🔥❤️

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When we were at La Cuccina we decided to pick up a couple of their ready meals to just chuck in the oven for that evening’s dinner. We chose the Vegan sweet potato cottage pie and the Vegetarian aubergine, spinach and butternut bake. We topped both with cheese and baked for half an hour. They were both really tasty and we will definitely try these again.

That night in the middle of the night Norm and I were woken by a bang. When I say ‘woken’, I am only partially correct as I do not remember anything. Norm says I sat up and we had a long conversation but I don’t remember it. We have a set of 3 paintings which hang above our bed and one of these fell off in the night and crashed onto the bed with a bang.

The next morning when Norm mentioned it happening I immediately thought of my father since it happened on Father’s Day and my Dad has sent me messages like this before on other days of significance such as his birthday.

I know that I am being watched over by both my father and my maternal grandmother. It makes me feel protected and very grateful.

Our spirits never die, they simply transform from one form to another.

We repeat various patterns until we resolve our character defects, but even that condition is temporary. Some of us take longer than others to resolve those issues. We often rub up against the same souls ad infinitum until we finally resolve that particular soul contract we have been dancing around for many incarnations.

I spoke to yet another friend this week who is a survivor of domestic abuse. This type of relationship is inconceivable to anyone who hasn’t been involved in one. Abusers, like many serial killers, have an incredibly high level of charisma. They are able to turn on the friendly, charming part of their personality and make a woman feel like she is incredibly special and well loved. They often pick lonely women who have been on their own for a while and are almost desperately lonely. They choose their victims. After building the woman up for several months they slowly start to tear them down, bit by bit, chipping away at her confidence and often her sanity. He will exhibit violence or intense anger, then try and make the woman think it is her that is either the cause, or that she is overreacting or ‘hysterical’. The violence escalates, the woman often living in such terror and insecurity that she feels she deserves no better or that she is the reason for the anger.

Even mental abusers follow the same patterns, first making the woman feel he cannot survive without her, that she is amazing and he adores her. Then the little misogynistic jibes start, talking down the gender and then targeting her specifically. Denigrating her intelligence or capabilities and making her feel less than in order to make him feel superior. I almost think emotional abuse is harder to recognize. When they thump you the bruises are visible, when they use words to destroy you it can be harder to identify and women are culturally indoctrinated to believe what men say, they are superior aren’t they? It takes a switched on woman to recognize these behaviors. It takes a strong one to realize it is better to be alone than with half a man.

It is a long psychological game that positions the woman to be willing to allow her boundaries to be pushed or even violated.

It is something that will make or break you. It almost broke me, but I realized that only I had the power to make better choices. That I deserve to be happy and respected.

That I am a Fucking Goddess TYVM.

If I don’t believe it, then no one else will, right?

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

More That Binds Than Tears Apart

I recently heard on the radio that there is indeed such a thing as Man Flu. Apparently there is research which proves that men are more incapacitated by illness than women. That is the good news for you dudes lolling about clutching your tissues and Vitamin C and suffering with a case of severe helplessness. The bad news is that the reason you are so helpless is that men are the weaker sex. Women may tend to be weaker physically due to their size and musculature, but we are superior in every other way.

Hey, don’t blame me, it has been validated by science.

Dr. Kyle Sue, a medical professor at a Canadian university performed the analysis. Several studies he cited suggest that female mice have stronger immune systems than their male counterparts, and that gender hormones have a direct effect on the immune system.

A 2013 study from Stanford University found that women’s antibodies tend to respond more rapidly to an injection of the flu virus than men’s antibodies. The study also found that men with higher testosterone levels tended to have the weakest antibody response. As a result, the study suggests that testosterone suppresses the immune system, while estrogen boosts it.

This explains why the flu has decimated me and had such a strong effect. Menopause results in a decrease in estrogen and an increase in testosterone. I often joke that I have more testosterone than most blokes, based on my hirsutism and aggressive, snarky personality. Apparently this may be true.

I started feeling dodgy weekend before last and by the following Wednesday it was coming on thick and fast. I still made it to work that Thursday and Friday but on Friday I was not fit for thinking much less working and after our morning meeting I came home and went straight to bed. I spent Saturday in bed popping every medication possible in the hopes that I was well enough to attend my friend Melanie’s 50th birthday party which was last Saturday night, however it was not to be. I was feeling like death that night and knew I was in no state to be partying much less did I want to go and spread my germs and create some sort of epidemic. On Sunday I was due to go drumming but I was not fit for that either. I took both Monday and Tuesday off of work and barely left my bed for 4 days. Wednesday I worked from home but I did not make it for a full day, I crashed in the afternoon.

I had plenty of company, Lola never left my side and Panda popped in and out depending on how cold he was and where his beloved Daddy was at the time.

Norm brought me breakfast and lunch in bed.

I got up to go downstairs for dinner if only to give my back a bit of a rest. Norm has been cooking healthy banting meals most of the time. This was various squash, sweet potato and roast pork.

He made a delicious beef and bean curry with cauliflower rice and poppadoms.

He built a roaring fire each night, wrapped me up in furry blankets and settled me in with a tray.

Tonight he made fillet steak, perfectly pink inside yet crusty outside, exactly the way I like it. The man now has a meat thermometer FFS. He is Jamie Oliver in a kilt. He boiled sweet potatoes, fried red cabbage in balsamic and butter and steamed some mixed broccoli, green beans and zucchini. It was simple yet delicious.

He has been so good to me. I could not have coped without him as the congestion was making my vertigo worse so my head was spinning like a top. I walked like a crab for a few days, skittering sideways, holding onto the wall and bumping into things due to my dizziness. It was like drinking a bottle of wine without the happy part.

Thursday I went back into the office and then also worked Friday and today. After work today I finally gave up and went to my GP. He listened to my lungs and my cough and decided I have a chest infection and he has put me on antibiotics.

We did venture out of our nest for a wee bit on Saturday night as we were invited out to our friend Helen’s birthday celebrations at Quentin’s which is just up the road. We said that if it was the UK then one of the restaurants in that area would be our local and we would walk there, however to do that here in SA would require risking our lives. In fact, when Helen and her friend drove home from dinner that night about midnight they had giant rocks thrown at their cars and a lot of damage was done. They were driving past the township at the police station when it occurred.

Yes. This happened right opposite the police station.

Welcome to Africa.

If that was the UK there would be manned CCTV in place and if that horror did occur it would be nipped in the bud immediately instead of happening to at least 4 other people that night according to the number of posts from the victims.

It was a dreadful end to a lovely evening. There were about 20 or more of us and we had two tables. It’s a lovely venue and the winter special is on.

I chose the avocado ritz to start.

It was nicely done, the avocado was ripe but firm, the prawns were fresh and perfectly cooked and the sauce was light and nice.

For my main course I chose the Roast Loin of Kingklip. It was all Banting which was nice as my dessert definitely wasn’t!

The fish was perfectly cooked, very firm in texture. The sauce was lovely and the spinach was tasty.

For dessert I chose the dark chocolate pudding. I was so eager to tuck in I didn’t snap a pic. Oops. It was so rich and decadent. I would have liked a bit of ice cream to cut through the richness of the chocolate but it was really creamy and gooey and lovely.

We didn’t last very late we were home about 11pm. We were one of the first to go but I was still feeling a bit rough. Norm snapped a pic of Helen and I on our way home.

On Sunday Norm just picked up a roast chicken and made some salads for a late lunch. My friend Retha popped round for a few minutes and had lunch with us. Norm and I spent the rest of the day snuggled up on the settee watching movies. We built a big fire and the critters all gathered round.

Lazy Sundays ❤️

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One thing about being ill was that I watched a lot of Netflix. When I watch on my own I try to find things I know Norm will not enjoy and as a result I chose a documentary series called “The Keepers“. It is a heart-wrenching series and for any other survivors of sexual abuse, there are triggers galore in this story. I found it a very difficult yet riveting story to watch. Like a train smash.

It is based in Baltimore Maryland in the USA and it tells the story of years of sexual abuse and deviant behaviour by several Catholic priests charged with the care of children. It is revealed that not only did the nuns and various other people at the schools or churches know about the abuse, but so did the Baltimore Diocese who chose to rather cover up the abuse than to deal with the issue of negligence in their duty of care. In fact, after the abuse was reported in the ’60’s by an altar boy who was attending St. Clement Parish, Father Maskell was removed from the parish and put in charge of looking after young girls at Archbishop Keough High School which was a girls only convent school. This gave Maskell and his colleagues free rein to abuse these girls in some horrific ways. They even brought in other pedophiles to be serviced by the girls in the priest’s offices on the school grounds. The girls all remembered that they were raped by police officers and various other men and that even Dr. Christian Richter, a local gynecologist colluded in the abuse. Maskell was also chaplain for the Baltimore police department during that time and he was good friends with the police chief at the time. Maskell’s brother was a police officer. The breadth of the cover up reaches right to the level of at least a Bishop and goes down deeply into the seedy echelons of the people who worked as police, those who had a duty to serve and protect the community.

There were several murders which have been linked to the perpetrators of the sexual abuse, one was the death of a nun, Sister Cathy, who knew about the abuse and was thought to have confronted the abusers and was subsequently murdered. The other death was a woman who resembled the nun. There are other rumors of deaths which people now think could be related to Maskell and his deviancy. None of them have been solved.

One of the ‘girls’ who seemed to have been a particularly favoured target of their abuse has since recovered many of her suppressed memories about that time and even recovered a memory of Maskell taking her to view the body of Sister Cathy. This victim had gone to Cathy to ask for help in dealing with the abuse. The priest had told her when he took her to see the body that if she told anyone else about the abuse she would end up in the same situation as Sister Cathy.

The concept of Recovered Memories was quite new at the time the 2 survivors had taken their case to court. This as well as the long period of time between the abuse and the charges was used as a means to suppress the case. There should be no statute of limitations on abuse of a child.

The church representatives tormented the witnesses and tried to diminish and intimidate them. In the end the church and the courts colluded to stop the case going forward to trial. No one has been prosecuted for the death of the two women nor the dozens of sexual abuse victims who came forward. The Church has subsequently paid off several of the surviving victims of the abuse who incriminated Father Maskell. They call it compensation but we all know it was guilt money which they hoped would make it all go away.

They don’t realise it is never about the money.

The #MeToo movement has empowered many victims to come forward. Many of these people were victimized decades ago but have not come forward for various reasons. Many victims repress all memory of the abuse.

I did not remember being abused as a small child until many years later when I was a mother myself. An episode of trauma triggered all of the memories to rush in just after Trevor was born. It all came hurtling back. I fully believe that our minds can restrict us ‘viewing’ information which we are unable to process or endure. Complete escapism. It’s a survival mechanism.

I was in a conversation the other day with 2 other women. All three of us are survivors of an abusive first marriage. We all found it hard to believe as we are all really forthright almost bolshy women. I know that my past is why I am who I am. I am a survivor. I know that whatever life throws my way cannot be worse than the things I have already made it through. This gives me a sense of bravery I might not otherwise feel.

I have a strong bond with the underdog and my kids call me Mama Bear. Woe betide anyone who messes with my children. Even though my eldest is 6’6″ and just turned 32 this week I still feel protective over him. At some point I’ll have to hand over that baton I guess! For now I am happy being Mama Bear.

We are hoping Norm hears some good news about his ongoing visa dramas this week, so we will appreciate any good vibes you can send our way.

Until next time, kisses from the Kitten xoxoxox

Path of Persistence

I’ve been trying to keep up with all of my own tasks as well as those which Norman  is usually responsible for and so far the house is still standing and all 5 animals are still alive.

Some of them are coping better than others.

Navajo is still hopping about on 3 legs and his ankle is still so swollen.

I am spraying arnica on it twice a day. It does not hurt him but it is cold and it smells funny so at first he scooted off in the opposite direction whenever he saw the bottle. I praised him and gave him so much love each time I treated him that he eventually started to stick his leg out and wait for the spray as he knew it would be followed with lots of attention. He was on anti-inflammatory meds every evening which I mixed into his mince. Norm tried every means possible to hide it, wrapping it in a block of cheese, in a sausage, in a ball of mince, he tried everything. I just grind it up and mix into the mince and he is eating it but the meds are now finished and I need to get him back to the vet but I can’t take him myself as I am in the city all day on a new project and cannot take time to get back to Hout Bay in business hours.

We gave Navajo a few days rest without walking, he was a bit overexcited about life (poor cats) but I think he needed to take it easy. He is struggling with getting up the stairs. He has no problem going down, he lifts that back leg and flies down the stairs. He is struggling a bit with weeing, he prefers lifting the ‘good leg’ and of course when he tries he wobbles about and then remembers and rights himself. Bless him.

He is a clever boy. The other day I heard Pixie snuffling about under the stairs and I managed to crawl in there with her to discover both of her balls lined up in a neat little row just outside of her reach. She has a little smushed up Pomeranian face and not much of a snout, whereas Navajo has a really long nose. He deliberately puts her toys there and sits back and watches her repeatedly trying to get to them, knowing she cannot reach them with her wee mouth. He has a strong streak of sadism.

Maybe he is paying Pixie back for annoying him. She can be a right little pain in the butt. She has this ‘trick’ where she goes outside at the back just when we are getting ready to go up to bed. She can get in and out of the house via her doggy door but once I lock up she cannot get upstairs to join all of us as she cannot navigate the security gate as she is too chubby to get through the bars. Navajo will not settle at night if one of his pack is missing so I have to go out and try and entice her back inside. If she decides to be awkward then I have to put off all of the alarms, unlock all of the locks to get out the back, traverse the dog poop and other surprises lying around in the dark while shoe less and fetch her. So when she did it this week I said to her ‘come in Pixie’ and then opened the treat cupboard to feed the cats. She then thought I was getting a treat to bribe her in and popped in through the doggy door with a look of expectation. Navajo had come down to assist me (aka get under my feet and make it twice as difficult) and I turned and said to them both in a very gruff voice ‘Naughty children GET UPSTAIRS NOW!!’ and they both turned and ran upstairs as if being pursued by a monster, feet scrambling against the tiles until they got traction. They knew they were being naughty and they were like cheeky children flying up those stairs. It was all I could do not to laugh.

The other doggy drama has been with the neighbour across the road who has several huge dogs. She cannot manage them all on leads while walking them on her own and so she takes them down to the road reserve off lead. This would be fine if they were disciplined. They are not. Twice this week I have had these massive dogs attacking my dogs while mine are in their own garden. They fight through the gate so only their snouts can make contact but this can be enough. When I lived in Los Angeles I had a little American Eskimo dog named Teka and while walking her one evening she had sniffed under a gate and the dog on the other side managed to get hold of her lip and tore it badly leading to a bad cut and a ton of blood.

I lost my cool a bit on Thursday when I got home and the dogs all started fighting for the second time that week and I saw the owner just watching from across the road rather than trying to restrain her dog. I have now told her that I will pepper spray the dogs if they attack my dogs while in their own garden. I hate to do that but I must protect my dogs.

It is a family joke that we always have some major catastrophe when Norm goes away and this trip I have been forced to be Mrs McGyver. The first issue was the garage door which cannot be opened when the electricity is off. Mzudumo and Cordelia were both at the house working that day when the power tripped. Luckily Mzudumo has experienced this before with the dodgy SA electrical supply and he managed to override the electric motor and open the door manually. However he did not fix it back so when I got home I could not open the garage and had to go through the house and open it manually but then I could not figure out how to get it back onto opening by the remote. Norm phoned and talked me through it and I sorted it out.

Next the ice maker in the fridge blocked up due to the electricity being off. This is also something Norm usually sorts out but I managed to chisel out the blockage and get it operational again.

I also have been plodding my way through some of the items on Norm’s honey-do list. I had been given a gorgeous bird feeder a few Christmases ago and I recently found it in a cupboard and when Caitlin and I went for lunch yesterday I bought some dried worms at Earthworx and hung it up. I can see it from my kitchen window and hopefully it will draw some interesting birds.

I have a plant which has needed to be tied to a stick to support it for ages and so I dug around in the garage and found a stick which I hammered into the ground and tied up the plant. So far it is still standing! This one long stem had grown so long and was so top heavy it was just lying on the ground. I could not bear to just chop it off in order to get it to fill out a bit as it had lots of blooms. I will cut it all back at some stage but I thought this was a good interim solution.

Josh has been a godsend as he has fixed the garage motor which kept shorting out every time we tried to open it, the landing light which tripped and various other things.

He drove all the way to House and Home to collect the headboard we ordered weeks ago but it was still not in stock! This is now twice we have driven to the shop to collect it after being told to do so, the first time it was damaged when Norm arrived and she said come back the following Tuesday to collect a new one. Unfortunately Josh was sick and could not go on Tuesday and it took over a week until he was well enough to make it through. He popped in last Thursday only to be told it was still not in stock. The reason we chose this particular head board was because the original salesman told us it WAS in stock. They have now said they will deliver it when it is finally in stock but had no date when that will be. Shockingly bad customer service.

Welcome to Africa. Not much is terribly efficient here.

Last Sunday I had my friends Caroline and Helen over for lunch.

We have all worked together on various projects over the years and we are all geeky girls who adore our animals. We talked data, dogs and cats mostly!

My dogs were barking like lunatics as there were lots of kids out in the street playing. Pixie was so annoying that I shouted ‘OK Pixie, that is enough I am getting my gun’, to which Caroline says ‘bloody Americans, I bet she goes through loads of Pomeranians.’

I laughed so much.

We have a water gun which we use to keep the Poms in check as they really detest getting wet. Pixie especially hates water and as soon as she sees the gun she has a Pavlovian type response and starts shaking the water off of her before it even hits her. It does not phase Navajo as he loves water and tries to catch the stream in his mouth.

That day I had gotten up early and tidied the house and then went to Spar to get some things to serve for lunch. I got croissants for Josh and I to have for a late breakfast. They have divine ones. I over heated them a bit, they were not so brown when I bought them but I prefer them with the chocolate melted.

For lunch I picked up loads of bits and pieces. I bought a roast chicken, some cold meats, some cheeses and fresh bread.

I made a cheese platter and used my lovely Carrol Boyes serving items.

I served salads and various ‘picky things’ which was all perfect fare for a warm sunny day. We have vowed to make this a regular event with the three of us meeting up more frequently.

Wednesday it started to storm in the early evening and the thunder and lightening were rather majestic.

Cape Lightning #storm #CapeTown #lightning

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Our dogs are not bothered by loud noises or the bright flashes of lightening but the dogs at the guest house next door are and they started barking as soon as the thunder started and they were still barking the following morning when I woke up. I think the dogs are left on their own most of the time and so no one is there to calm them when they get upset and they get upset over every noise. A siren sets them off howling like coyotes for hours.

Thursday was my last day at UCT and I had to leave at lunch time to go to the American Consulate to get my passport renewed. It was very sad to leave UCT I have been really happy working there it is a great team.

I had to get a new photo made for my passport and the American passport has a lot of rules. You are not allowed to wear glasses, you cannot smile, you have to put your hair behind your ears so that your ear lobes show and you cannot wear earrings. The US passport pics are also a different size than most other countries require. Add all of these requirements up and top them with some very unflattering down lighting, dirty hair and the inability to NOT smile when facing a camera and you end up with this clusterfeck of chaos. The photographer kept saying ‘don’t smile, look grumpy’ and so caught me pinching my smiley lips together.

I look like a criminal. I am now stuck with this photo for the next 10 years. My last passport was before the new rules and it was quite flattering.

Oh well.

After the photo I went to the Red Gallery Cafe for a quick bite of lunch before my appointment at the Consulate. I sat outside despite the gloomy weather and I ordered the chicken stir fry.

It was a massive portion and was nicely flavoured. There was so much left over I had the rest that night for my tea.

We have a 4 day weekend with two days off of work for Easter holidays.

Yesterday was Good Friday and Caitlin collected me and we went out for lunch. It has been raining for a few days now on and off and we had planned to go down to the harbour and have lunch and walk along the slipway but the weather was not being very cooperative. Caitlin wanted to buy a protea and so we decided to go to Earthworx Garden World as they have a sweet little cafe there where we could still wrap up warm and sit outside but be protected from the weather.

We both ordered the Chicken Pie and salad.

After we ate we wandered around and bought a few bits and pieces. I got a new type of succulent which I do not have, some potting soil and a new pot, I got the worms for my feeder, some stuff you put in the mellow yellow toilets to reduce the wee smell and some spray to try and stop the dogs peeing on the patio. We have a lot of pee related issues.

Caitlin came back and played with the pups for a bit and pottered around with me in the garden then headed home late afternoon. I just made myself a pizza with some left over mozzarella and the last of the salami from the previous weekend. It wasn’t fancy but it filled a gap.

Today is the Two Oceans Marathon which results in one of the roads out of Hout Bay being shut as it is actually the race route. I can see the choppers overhead following the runners.

#OMTOM2018 #choppers #houtbay

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I can also hear the voices over the tannoy cheering on the runners.

Sounds of #omtom2018

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I have the marathon playing live in the background on the telly as I write and I can hear it outside as well. I love seeing the beautiful images of Cape Town and the surrounding areas. The rain and clouds have cleared and it is a gorgeous day. I am going to pop a gammon in the oven and do some gardening today. My new succulent will be split into two plants and re-potted.

The drought has resulted in me changing the plants which have not survived without water and replacing them with succulents. You can literally just throw a leaf from a succulent into a bit of dirt and it grows. Amazing.

I am trying to get plenty of rest this weekend as I start a new client and project on Tuesday. It will be a rather intense project and I am feeling a bit stressed about it from both a logistical point of view as well as worrying about the level of intensity of the project. I am meeting a colleague on Monday afternoon to prep for the next day.

Luckily I have a friend staying with me to help with managing the dogs and the staff and everything else around the house. Like most things we just have to keep chipping away at it all until we get it done.

I am nothing if not persistent.

Enjoy your weekend. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxo