The Red Road

Last Sunday was taken up with showhouse visits as it has been for the last month. It is rather exhausting. At least it was a stunning sunny day and it was good to be out and about.

At least we had a long lie in bed watching the news and drinking coffees before we headed out. We had decided to stop for lunch at Greens in Constantia but when we arrived there the whole restaurant had changed! We just thought that they had done a reno and we remarked on how nice it was looking and that they changed the tables and chairs and we were pleased that there were seats available as it is normally rammed on a weekend. Then when we asked for a table the waiter said ‘we are closing’ and when I expressed surprise Norm pointed out that the waiter’s shirt was branded ‘BCG’ and the waiter laughed and told us that it is now yet another branch of Bootleggers Coffee Company. We were rather shocked as Greens was such a popular venue, it was always so busy. Why would they close? Regardless, we could not eat there as they were closing even though it was only 1p.m. We wandered off down the rows of shops and saw that Hartlief Deli had some tables available and so we went into there and managed to grab a table.

We ordered a coffee and I chose the German Salad. It was a salad heaving with shredded gypsy ham and grated emmental cheese. The ham was so delicious!

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Norm chose the Chicken Salad. His chicken was tender, juicy and very tasty.

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We both polished off every bite and headed out to go to our list of viewings we wanted to see. We viewed 6 different properties. Only 4 were on our planned list and 2 were ones where we saw the boards when driving around and just popped in.

The first one we saw I absolutely adored. I loved every thing about it except the location. It is on the corner of 2 very busy roads and the traffic noise is very bad. When we arrived there was a young boy roaming around in the car port and about to enter the gate which was left open. When we asked him if we could help him he begged for money however he was well dressed and clean so he is not a street urchin. I wonder whether if we had not disturbed him would he have gone in and taken a chance at stealing something. The agent was out back and did not hear us enter or even call out to her, she only heard us when we rang the bell.

We saw a few others which were not options for us for various reasons. One was a bit dirty looking despite the fact that their domestic was busy scrubbing the floors in the midst of the showing. There was a teenager watching rugby in one room, a child asleep in another and the house reeked of curry which was bubbling outside on a cook stove which was in a junk filled lean to by the kitchen. The pool was so green as to be a possible dwelling for a plethora of frogs. The whole house was so revolting and off putting I did not even view all of the rooms, I legged it after I walked in on the sleeping child.

WTF?? Who shows a house in that state?

We also went back for a 2nd viewing to a house which was on our list of maybes, but during the 2nd viewing we noticed things we had not noticed when we viewed previously so it is off the list.

We saw another one which we just drove by and when we saw the on show board we stopped and it was sheer perfection, however it was also 2 million above our budget so perfection is to be expected. However the agent there had another property which is in our budget and we made an appointment to go and see it this Saturday.

The search continues.

We got home exhausted on Sunday evening and after Norm walked the dogs he nipped out to get a curry from the Indian Oven.

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I went over my carb allowance as I also had a few cheeky vodkas to chill me out a bit.

We binged on Sons of Anarchy and wound down.

SOA

The traffic going into town on Monday was horrendous, especially as it was only 7a.m. I heard on the radio that there was a taxi strike going on and that is probably why there were more people driving. All of the taxi ranks were empty.

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Usually the taxi ranks are full of taxis, people and noisy chaos.

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The taxi drivers were preventing the buses from running, in fact they torched several buses. A Golden Arrow bus (below left) was set alight in Delft earlier this morning and a MyCiti bus (below right) was also set alight on the N2 at the R300.

 

As a result of the strike the roads were chaos. Many people could not make it into work at all due to intimidation by the taxi drivers. They stoned many other buses. Over 50 people were injured and more than 150 windows or windscreens were broken.

taxi injury

The next day the tea lady at our office said that there were men redirecting people around a corner to a taxi but when they went around the corner there were men with guns who then robbed them.

Later in the afternoon I read that the Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, and representatives of the SA National Taxi Organisation (Santaco), as well as a Taxi Task Team, had met to thrash out a leadership issue and the strike was called off.

South Africa is having such amazing weather that it seems rather ludicrous to hear that yet another hurricane is bearing down on the Caribbean. Hurricane Maria hit the already recovering area on Monday evening.

When I got in from work on Monday I saw that Norm had started painting the dining room. The dining room is open plan with the kitchen so when the kitchen was repainted it meant the dining room needed to be painted the same colour but he has not gotten around to finishing it until now. With the house going on the market we have to do all the little chores which have been on our list for a while.

Tuesday was a very busy day at work as it was my last day on the project where I usually work on Mondays and Tuesdays. We had a client meeting and I did my last handovers and updated all of the documentation on the shared repository. It felt very odd leaving there as I have been at that client on and off for the last 9 years. I am now full time at my client on the other side of town. I have gotten used to that environment and it does not quite seem so foreign to me now however I do prefer working in the CBD. For one thing, there are plenty of places to walk to easily for food. My new client has nothing at all except a KFC which is incredibly unhealthy. That will force me to be prepared and take in my lunch every day. I have stocked up on soups so that in a crisis I can at least take in a tin of soup rather than eating rubbish food or spending a lot of money on OrderIn as they charge a delivery fee and of course I always give a tip so this can quickly add up.

The other reason I prefer my CBD office is that it is peaceful and quiet most of the time. My new office is right by a taxi rank and the noise is deafening and continuous. The constant hooting of the taxis and the shouting and whistling of the taxi gaatjie (the man who collects the fares, opens the taxi doors and shouts out the vehicle’s destination to potential passengers as the minibus) is incessant. I find it hard to tune it out.

After my busy day I packed up all of my belongings from my desk into my car and headed home. Norm had been at Caitlin’s new flat grouting some of the new tiling he had done for her and painting and doing all sorts of chores at our house so while he was dropping off Cordelia I started cooking dinner. I saw he had also shopped and so I baked pork chops topped with peppers and roasted some chopped butternut in coconut oil. I fried sliced mushrooms in butter and garlic and steamed baby broccoli topped with lemon.

I woke on Wednesday to hear about another earthquake in Mexico which had killed over 200 people. This is just a week or so after a previous earthquake had struck off the southern coast of Mexico.

mex earthquake

The world seems to be in free fall. It is rather concerning the levels of destruction happening on a regular basis. We humans have a lot to answer for in our destruction of the planet which is the direct impetus for a lot of these issues.

I blame Trump for the others ūüôā

On Wednesday evening I attended a talk by Michelle Reid on Shamanism. Michelle poured the women’s sweat lodge I last attended. It was such an interesting talk and the venue ‘Soul‘ is so lovely. There is a coffee bar, a sort of reading area and a gorgeous outside area surrounded by plants and a water feature.

As it was evening Norm kindly offered to drive me. We were a bit early so we sat out in the courtyard and had a coffee while waiting for it to begin.

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As the talk was not going to last very long Norm just sat in the courtyard and worked on his book while we were listening to Michelle. Michelle took us through her own path to Shamanism and she and I have so many parallels in our lives – I find it so fascinating. She and I have birthdays one day apart and I feel a real draw to her spiritually, I feel that we have been connected in other incarnations in some manner.

I am booking to go on her Introduction to Shamanism course.

shamanism

I feel she has been sent to guide me on my spiritual path as she keeps getting recommended to me whenever I ask others for various areas of guidance or information. I asked someone about studying drumming & shamanism and Michelle was recommended but we did not connect at that time. I asked someone else about getting a drum bag made and she was again recommended to me. I then attended the Women’s Sweat Lodge and there she was, pouring the lodge. I had resisted attending that lodge and when Michelle sent me the protocols there was mention of White Buffalo Woman who I feel is my spirit guide, if not one of my ancestors. I feel that when the Universe points us towards a path we must follow that path.

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I will show up and do the foot work and see where this path takes me. I find it all very exciting. I know I am not fulfilling my destiny or my purpose, I hope this opens the doors to allow me to do that.

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Michelle told us the tale of Spider Grandmother whom I had never heard of. Folklore differs somewhat between the tribes, however in Hopi stories she is known as the Earth Goddess. Although accounts vary, according to mythology she was responsible for the stars in the sky; she took a web she had spun, laced it with dew, threw it into the sky and the dew became the stars. Some tribes claim she is responsible for the creation of dream catchers, used to filter out bad dreams and allow only good thoughts to enter. In some cultures she is so sacred that you cannot mention her name except in ceremony.

I find this all so fascinating learning about my roots and history as a Native American descendant.

On my way into work this morning I went past the site where the City of Cape Town has proposed placing the TRA (Temporary Relocation Area for the fire victims.) There was a protest just starting about the removal of the trees in that area. There has been no environmental impact study done to understand what may happen to that area if they remove them.

graveyard protest

Photo credit.

There is yet another peaceful protest planned today in Hangberg. I will be at work and cannot attend. This is to show support for the people involved in the protests last week.

hangberg peace protest

The whole world seems to be protesting.

This weekend is a long weekend. Lily and Josh came down and I made chili con carne. 


We have kept our house viewing appointments to a minimum for this weekend to allow Norman maximum time to do the bits and pieces he wants to do around the house in order for them to be able to come and do the pictures for our sales brochure.
When I got home I sat on my balcony staring at the clouds ove the mountains.

I’m going to miss this view. Even when grey and cloudy it’s beautiful.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend.

Kisses from the Kitten. xoxoxox

 

 

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Powerlessness & Indecision 

Norm and I had such a lazy day on Saturday. We are both feeling exhausted. Norm has been helping Caitlin paint all week in her flat and he is physically tired, I am mentally tired from stressing about selling our home and finding a new one and all the other stress around moving. I do not cope well with uncertainty.

I have such a mix of emotions. I love my home and I love Hout Bay. However the ongoing issues with protesting and roadblocks and traffic congestion are causing me distress. Add all of this to the fact that I am not coping with the stairs in our home due to my increasing issues with arthritis has resulted in our decision to leave Hout Bay.

We have all been aware of the chaos from the fires a few months back and the need to relocate the fire victims. We knew of the plans to build more accommodation and were accepting of this. These plans are to better the lives of South African poor, however now it seems like the plans are changing on a regular basis. Some will not improve anyone’s lives, they will just make them different not better.

There are now signs posted up in the area where the City of Cape Town (CoCT) has proposed to put a TRA (Temporary Relocation Area) near the cemetery, just off of the road which is the only access point into our suburb.

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This proposed “TRA” will most likely increase crime and congestion. It may potentially result in other health issues. The shacks will have no sanitation, no running water and no electricity. The government is proposing cutting down all of the trees in the area to accommodate the shacks. The issue is that the trees currently protect the area from erosion and also soak up some of the ground water there. If they cut out the trees and move hundreds of humans in with no proper toilets then inevitably the cemetery below will be awash with human feces and other unhealthy off flows resulting from habitation.

The SA government has set up these TRAs many times, and very seldom do they end up being temporary. This will mean the ever expanding township expands even closer to our home.

We could decide to wait and see what happens in Hout Bay, but there is a load of new flats, 2 or 3 blocks, as well as 3 new housing estates. Traffic is already heavy from 6am til late at night. Summers will be like it used to be when we would go on holiday in Florida and drive up and down the main drive, bumper to bumper. Except here someone will maybe chuck a rock through your window.

Just kidding.

Maybe.

Either way. It is time to leave the Bay.

My heart hurts.

But life goes on.

One has to accept they are powerless. You can do the footwork to drive life in the direction you think it should go, but destiny is really the one in control.

Back to Saturday morning, Norm and I finally got up as we were getting pretty hungry and while I was off foraging for an easy yogurt, he offered to make us a healthy low carb, high fat breakfast. He made crisp bacon, cheesy scrambled eggs and cut up some avo for us.

He even made a plate for Caitlin and served her breakfast in bed. He does spoil the women in his life. She will miss these luxuries once she moves out.

We had an easy day and then we decided to go out for a last minute date night and I booked us into Quentin at Oakhurst for dinner. We love their venue – it is so beautiful.

quentins venue

We were starving by this time and we quickly settled in with a bit of his gorgeous home made bread still warm from the oven.

The Winter Special is R195 per person for 3 courses. We had 4 choices to choose from his available starters.

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I opted for the Vintage Avocado Ritz
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It was nice enough but could have done with a few more prawns and a squirt of lemon.

Norm opted for the mushroom soup.

quentins soup

There were 4 mains to choose from.

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I chose the roast loin of Kingklip (this is fish for those who have never heard of it.)

It was a lovely large moist piece of fish and I enjoyed the tasty simplicity of the spinach and tomatoes. I will try out this dish myself I think! They overdid it a tiny bit with the crust – there were dried herbs in the topping which made you think you had a fish bone and once you managed to extract it you found it to be a wee green stick of some sort. But everyone who knows me is aware of my aversion to dried herbs.

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Norm ordered the lamb and it looked gorgeous and perfectly cooked. I had a wee taste and it was really juicy and tender.

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We also had a choice of one of the 4 desserts on offer.

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Of course I chose the soft centered dark chocolate pudding with raspberries.

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I was expecting a chocolate fondant type of dessert but was not disappointed in what I did get. It was like a partially baked brownie sort of thing. Very liquid underneath a thin cake type topping. But it was really gorgeous – I could have eaten about 4 portions of this!

Norm had the apple & blackberry crumble with gorgonzola and he raved about this! The combination of the cheese with the fruit was spectacular.

quentins apple dessert

Norm said he felt like he reverted to childhood in his choices. His family would always have soup as a starter, often had lamb and crumble was always produced from his mom’s garden. He was a happy chappy.

All in all I give Quentin’s winter special 4.5 Kitten Stars.

We polished off a bottle of wine between us and did not stay out terribly late. It was great to see the venue busy and full. I do love the vibe there, you feel very spoiled by the staff. It is walking distance from our house and if we lived in Europe we would stroll there. But if we tried that here we would at a minimum be mugged. I don’t want to consider the worst! South Africa can freak one out should one allow those thoughts to take hold.

Norm and I had a long lie in again on Sunday morning. Norm brought a coffee back to bed after feeding the dogs. He watched the news on telly and I played covet fashion and cuddled up with Lola.

Eventually hunger drove us out of bed and we showered and headed down to the village for brunch and a round of shopping. We had heard a new owner had taken over Deli Delish and so we decided to pop in there as it was a gorgeous sunny day. We used to visit there often, it was our usual weekend sunny day brunch spot. However since the glorious lady who started it moved away the last few owners have neglected the food and it had become very disappointing every time we visited so we stopped going. However I was happy with our food and the service on Sunday so I am glad it is back on our list. Hout Bay doesn’t have that many places with nice breakfast since Julie sold Riverway Cafe, we tend to go only to La Cuccina or Gabriella’s. 

But Deli Delish is a lovely bright and charming venue. 

We ordered coffee and food and sat chatting about our plans for the day.

I ordered my usual eggs benedict, they came with crispy pancetta and fried onions. The sweetness of the onions was a lovely balance for the salty pancetta.

delish eggs bene

Norm had the deli breakfast. When he said he did not want toast they substituted avocado instead. Very nice! Usually no one offers any substitutions for those who choose low carb. I didn’t get asked what toast I preferred, I assumed it came on a muffin but apparently not. I just didn’t eat the toast.

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We did a run through the shops, I went round Woolies for meat and veg and Norm popped over to Pic and Pay for a few things and we met up at the end. We dropped the food off at home and then headed off to Noordhoek for a show house.

The house there was stunning and is in a lovely security estate. But it would not work for our dogs and it is too far to drive for me every day. But it was so gorgeous. The style and finishes are stunning. 

We then headed to Constantia to a house which was perfect on paper, however the agent contacted us to say that it had sold and the show house was cancelled. Bugger! That is two weekends in a row that has happened.

*Repeats* Not meant to be, not meant to be.

We then went to another show house in Constantia and I heard a voice calling ‘Lisa?’ from the bedroom and then I realised it was my friends’ Mandi and Cathi’s baby sister Marcella and her husband Simon! What a small world! I have not seen either of them since Mandi moved to Canada so would not have recognised them if they had not spotted me. That house was in a perfect location, but was in need of a lot of renovation which we are not keen on.

We looked at a total of 10 houses on show. Most were just an outright NO. But there was one which Norm was keen on, simply because of the lovely garden and that it was on a very quiet cul de sac. But it did not have a great flow and was a bit poky.

There was one which we both loved but we want to check out the stats on crime in the area.

It is an ongoing search.

By the time we got home it was almost 6pm and we were starving, so Norm took the dogs out for their walk and I started dinner. I made chicken sausages, home made cole slaw, a simple green salad with avo and feta cheese and steamed gem squash.

I also thought I would be prepared and make a lasagna sauce for Monday night, however we both zoned out and forgot about it and it burnt to a crisp. What a waste of time and food ūüė¶

Norm just comforted me and said it is because we are trying to do too much rather than just taking things as they come. He is right, that is my style. I am trying to keep myself in the present but it is a constant battle to keep focused and positive. I keep day dreaming and imagining my furniture in the homes we view on show days. 

Tonight he followed my instructions and replaced the burnt sauce.


He chopped zucchini and layered those and raw baby spinach with the sauce, then topped it all with mozzarella.

 

It was so yummy when baked.


I am the luckiest woman ever. ‚̧ԳŹ

I need to just relax and enjoy it.

My Mom is in Atlanta Georgia and the after effects of Hurricane Irma will be felt there today. I have been keeping an eye on the progress as much as I can. The report today at lunch time looks like it will miss most of Atlanta but it is hard to know, Mother Nature can be unpredictable.

irma

I am praying to the Great Spirit for the protection of my Mom and the rest of the people who may be impacted by the many threads of wrath that Mother Nature seems to be expending. We have been dealing with so many disasters, Hurricane Harvey, an earthquake in Mexico,  an earthquake in Japan, floods in Asia, floods in Italy, Hurricane Irma, as well as the many fires burning out of control. There are many more.

Yet the imbeciles of the world keep denying climate change.

The best meme I have seen regarding this cacophony of chaos is this one.

trump

I hope all of your loved ones are safe, dry and warm.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxox

 

This Little Piggy

Working for 2 different clients can lead to confusion. I cannot operate on auto pilot in the mornings, I have to think – ‘where am I working today’? I have one client in the Foreshore in the city on Monday and Tuesday and my other client where I work from Wednesday to Friday is in Mowbray which is off in a completely different direction. On Wednesday I was speaking to the client when I first arrived and she was talking about a meeting the day before which completely baffled me, since when do we work on a Sunday? She then pointed out to me it was not Monday, it was Wednesday. To me it felt like Monday as it was the start of the ‘week’ with that client! It was a rather ditzy and embarrassing conversation.

On Thursday when I got home from work Norm was out walking the dogs and it was really cold so I started a fire and got dinner on the go. I had gem squash, chicken breasts, baby spinach and red cabbage to work with so I decided to bake the chicken with sliced peppers and a bit of coconut oil. I sliced the cabbage and fried it in butter and balsamic vinegar. I steamed the gem squash. I stir fried the baby spinach in a tiny bit of butter until it was limp then used the hand blender to puree it and then stirred in a dollop of double cream and a handful of grated mature cheddar cheese and simmered until it was all melted. I topped the baked chicken with the spinach mix and scooped out the squash and mashed with butter to serve it. It was so delicious even if it looks a bit of a mess.


I had left overs but I forgot to take them to work with me the following day and as it was a Friday I decided to treat myself and use OrderIn and get my fave Mexican food from Fat Cactus for lunch. I had a pulled pork quesadilla with chill poppers. I wised up this time though and instead of the usual pineapple salsa that comes with the dish I asked for basic salsa instead. Pineapple is never nice with savoury food in my opinion.


I had worked an extra hour on Thursday evening so I finished a bit early on Friday afternoon and headed home as Lily and Josh were coming down for the weekend.

Caitlin was busy at her new flat until late that evening, but the rest of us spent the evening catching up and ordered take away food from Spiro’s for dinner. We started a new series we had heard was good which neither of us had seen called Ozark. The first episode was almost soft porn which is always rather embarrassing when watching with your kids. However we endured to the end and I think we will continue watching it, it was a very good premise.

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We had a turn in the weather at the end of the week and it was lovely outside on Friday night and it was our first night without a fire in ages, it was as warm as a summers evening so we sat outside for a bit. Navajo loves it outside in the evenings.


Saturday we were all up early as Lily and Josh were off to Simon’s Town on business. Josh’s electrical firm is starting a large project there. Josh will be coming to stay with us while working there but they were viewing accommodation for their staff who will be coming down too. Lily messaged us in our family Whatsapp group to say the Simon’s Town harbour had whales cavorting right opposite the building site.

I asked Lily for a pic and my smarty pants daughter Caitlin sent me this pic:


Ha bloody ha. Cheeky minx.

Lily said the pics were not very clear even though the whales were up close. You could just see a fin waving vaguely about occasionally.

I had an appointment at Skin in Hout Bay for laser treatment and so I also got up and got ready after Norm brought me a coffee in bed. When I got into the car a calendar reminder popped up telling me I had an appointment at Skin in an hour. I only then realised I had been aiming for arriving at the wrong time for my appointment. As I was all dressed and ready I managed to entice Norm into coming out for breakfast at La Cuccina which is next to the spa.

I ordered their Eggs Benedict with crispy bacon. It was perfection! The eggs were soft as requested, the muffin was properly toasted and the hollandaise sauce was the perfect touch of lemony richness.


By the time we finished eating it was time to go for my laser appointment so it all ended up working out perfectly as I did not have time after my laser appointment finished to eat. I only had about a 20 minute gap before I needed to head into the city for my hair appointment so I decided to pop to Clicks as I needed vitamins and other bits and pieces.

I then headed into the city to the very vibey Long Street where my hairdresser has just set up a new salon on Church Street.

66 church street

She was running late due to her earlier clients arriving late – many people struggle to find the new location as there is no signage as yet. I ended up finishing a bit later than I expected. I gave Thembi a lift home to IY as it was on my way. I got home around 5pm. After Norm finished walking the dogs we got ready and phoned an Uber to collect us as we were off out for dinner with our friends Mel and Steve and their daughter Chloe.

We were going to the Hoghouse Brewery in Ndabeni for dinner.
hoghouse
We arrived a bit early so I decided to try one of their Apple Wagon Margaritas while waiting for our friends to arrive.

This was one kick ass margarita, it was strong but enjoyable. I ended up having about 4 or 5 of those bad boys!

Norm and I sat hungrily perusing the menu and enjoying our drinks while we waited for Mel, Chloe and Steve to arrive.

Once our friends arrived and ordered their drinks we ordered various starters for us all to share.

The fellas were salivating over the thought of Scotch eggs so we ordered 2 portions of those for them and some chili poppers. None of us enjoyed the chill poppers – they are served more like what I am used to a chill relleno being prepared but they used jalapenos instead of the traditional poblano chiles, so it was sort of in the middle of these 2 dishes.

We also ordered a portion each of the Arancini, the croquettes and some nachos. The arancini is balls of wild mushroom risotto served with chipotle aioli. They are gorgeous. The croquettes were described as ‘bacon + boerenkaas / kimchi aioli’. They were crispy, cheesy and bacony, exactly as you would expect. I love a good croquette.

We wolfed down all of the delicious starters and we ordered some mains also as shared items. As you can see from the menu above, you order the meats in portions by 100 grams of weight.

There were 5 of us so we started out with 500 grams of pork ribs, 300 grams of Pork Belly, and 2 portions of their buttermilk chicken as Mel does not eat any meat other than chicken.

When the platter arrived we realised 500 grams of ribs was not going to be enough so we ordered another 500 grams of ribs. Oink oink. Speaking of oinks, the pork belly was the best pork belly I have ever eaten – I am not normally a fan of pork belly as I find it too fatty, however theirs had a huge portion of soft lean roast pork with a small sliver of fat under the crispy crackling. Everyone raved about this.

We had also ordered 400g of burnt ends. This was my fave meat I think, it is the ends of a beef brisket – crispy and blackened. They were so tasty.


We rounded it all off with three portions of chips, two portions of onion rings and two portions of eggplant parmigiana.

The chips were hand cut and freshly fried, no frozen chips served up here! The onion rings had a crispy beer batter coating and were so yummy. The eggplant parmigiana was one of the best I have ever eaten. The marinara sauce was perfection. I loved this dish and next time will have a portion all on my own.

If you go with a group though it is a great idea to order a few bits and pieces of everything so you can sample a variety of dishes. We ate like carnivorous kings and then Norm and I ordered our Uber home which arrived quickly. We headed home and were tucked up tipsy in bed just after 11.

The next morning Norm and I had a long lie in with our coffees and iPads and Lily and Josh headed off back to Mossel Bay. Once we finally got up I decided to make a banting breakfast so I grilled some streaky bacon and then lined a little oven proof pot with it, cracked in an egg or two, then topped it with cheese and baked them.


They were delicious!

Later on Sunday afternoon we decided to watch a film and we randomly chose ‘Wilson’ as I like Woody Harrelson. It was a very odd film. He plays an autisticish type middle aged man who is feeling all alone after his father dies and he seeks out his ex-wife who has had a rather rough life since they split. He discovers that the baby he thought she had aborted had actually been adopted and they seek to find her and stalk her.

It was very odd. He somehow ends up being a bit endearing despite being borderline insane. We enjoyed it well enough. I give it 2.5 – 3 Kitten Stars.

We were both feeling a bit fragile after our night out drinking on Saturday, we no longer have the stamina we had when young so we had a lazy day of lolling about.

Tonight I have Vanessa coming around to do a pedicure for me. Later this week we are taking Caitlin and Wes to Cheyne’s for his winter special. He has extended his Winter Yum Cha Experience till end of August. It is only R150 for any 3 dishes off his Winter menu.

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I am very excited about that! I have not eaten at his main restaurant in a few months.

Next weekend is very busy as I have a drum workshop on Saturday and on Sunday I am off for high tea at the Silo Hotel with my friend Di.

hightea

Enjoy your week ahead everyone.

Thou Doth Protest Too Much

Navajo has still been struggling with his ear infection and as a result is not sleeping well. This means that none of us get any sleep as he sleeps by our bed and he is so restless. He went back to the vet this week for an ear cleaning and injection and is now also on tablets for the inflammation as well as the ear drops. We had to buy a muzzle to put on him when we put the drops in as he tries to snap at us and growls the most terrifying growl.

After waking at 4am from Nav I was a zombie on Wednesday and had a busy day at work so when Norm offered to cook us dinner I was so grateful. He did Banting food and wrapped chicken breasts in bacon, steamed broccoli and stir fried baby zucchini with mushrooms. He grated sharp cheddar to top the broccoli. It was delicious.

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While at the client site on Thursday we had a message come through that the protests had started up again. We have now had weeks of on-again, off-again protests which originated with people protesting the living conditions in the shacks which the government have arranged for them after the recent fires where 4500 informal houses were destroyed by fire in March‚Äö leaving 15000 people homeless. These conditions are not fit for humans to live in. They are in tin shacks which have no electricity or running water, only communal showers and long drop toilets. The field they live on is a flood plain and after months of drought the recent rains have resulted in the floor of their shacks being full of water. It is freezing cold at the moment and it is really unsuitable.

An update was posted onto a local Facebook group, Hout Bay Organised and the first post made at 11 a.m. advised us that “anti land invasion forces along with SAPS were removing illegal dwellings by court order in Dontse Yhake (DY). Apparently stun grenades have been let off to disperse crowds.

A court interdict has been in place and residents that have erected illegally and who are preventing the implementation of much needed infrastructure have been made aware.
Very large police presence containing situation in the DY area above IY. All main roads remain open. Hughenden Road is closed.”

I live off of Hughenden Road so this was rather worrying. I did not know if I would be able to get home. As Norm is part of Neighbourhood Watch I messaged him to find out what was going on and if our house was at risk but he did not reply. I found out later he was on the other side of the mountain having lunch with a friend. Later after he came home he told me the roads were clear but there was still a heavy police presence.

A house was invaded near the gates at DY and there were Nyala vehicles in place to deal with any further riots but they were being stoned and various battles were on-going between police and protestors.

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We read about children being subjected to tear gas from within their shacks, as the shacks provide little protection from any outside elements. It was heart-breaking to read about the innocent being caught up in this chaos that was being perpetrated by a few.

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Friday morning we woke to read there had been a night of violence in Imizamo Yethu. The ANC offices were torched and a community leader’s home was attacked, various businesses looted, and a young person was shot dead.

This is the second death due to these protests. Earlier this month, a probe was launched into the death of Imizamo Yethu resident Songezo Ndude, 26, who sustained head injuries during clashes between police and residents.

We heard that they cleaned out the Somalian shops and burned all the containers on the Main road in IY where the businesses operate from.

We then heard that the people who were behind the protests were the slumlords who had paid the local meth addicts to cause havoc and torch the buildings.

We also read that a body was found in the streets of IY. It was a 19 year old young man named Siyamthanda Betana and he was murdered in the cross fire of the shooting. He was at a friend’s house when he heard a noise. He went outside and was shot.

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His family are devastated and one of his former teachers has offered a reward to anyone who has information about his death. Everything I have read about this young man has said he was a clever, kind and talented young man. This is such a tragic waste of life.

All of this seemed to happen predominately under cover of night as do most acts of cowardice. During the day it seemed to get relatively calm however we saw a heavy police presence when we ventured out on Saturday morning.

Friday night we stayed in to avoid any potential conflict with the chaos. When I got home from work I built a big fire as it is so cold. I played games on my iPad and indulged my addiction of home improvement shows. I cooked a banting dinner for the three of us as Caitlin was at home. I made pork chops & free range chicken sausages with roast veggies and steamed broccoli.

I had bought a new device for streaming which arrived that day and Norm spent the evening setting that up so we can watch telly from our bedroom. We love spending the morning in bed with the pups and endless cups of frothy coffee on weekends.

Saturday morning our gardener Mzudumo arrived early and said that he had not slept all night out of fear that his home would catch fire if they torched the area community leader who has a shack near him. The drought has meant our garden is barely growing and we cannot wash our cars so we asked him if he would mind going to Caitlin’s new flat and helping Cait with sanding the base boards which need to be repainted when she puts down her new floors. He is just happy for the work and it meant he was inside on that cold day rather than outside in the garden so he was agreeable with the change in routine.

Norm and I first went off to look at bathroom fittings as that is our next home renovation project. We needed something to eat and so we popped into the Earth Fair Market in Tokai.

earth market

We spotted Gail’s Kitchen, a trader who was selling Banting products.


We grabbed a chicken sandwich, an Origin coffee and a table out in the sun.


Norm got stuck in. The bread was divine!! Normally banting products can be very dry and tasteless but this bread was moist and tasty.


We decided to buy a couple of bite size quiches, a loaf of bread and some tiny carrot cake muffins to take home.


We finished our bathroom ideas shopping at the places nearby the market and headed off to Caitlin’s flat, stopping on the way at Mr Price. I needed a basket for carrying wood from the garage to the fireplace. They had several and I found the perfect one.

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I also bought a new tin to keep my coffee pods in.

I found a clock for my newly renovated kitchen which goes perfectly with the cupboards we have installed.

We went to Caitlin’s flat and Norm pottered about helping her remove nails from the floor and walls and rehung her cupboard doors which were a bit skew. We hung around until Mzudumo was finished at 3.30 and we drove him back to Hout Bay as Caitlin stayed to continue working on the flat.

We were off to our friends Alison and Andy for a spit braai that evening and so Norm walked the dogs and we showered and headed off. Our friend Retha was also there so we had a lovely evening chatting to friends and hanging out.

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We had heard at one stage of the evening that chaos was happening again in the township but none of the security groups was posting any thing new, but still we did not want to stay out too late and we headed home about 10ish.

The next day Caitlin went hiking but Norm and I had a pyjama day, I cooked a big pot of spicy tomato, sweet potato and carrot soup and we built a warm fire. A perfect lazy chilled out Sunday.

We watched the film Going In Style with Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Michael Caine.

going in style

It was a perfect lazy choice and was a funny film. We really enjoyed it and give it 4 Kitten Stars.

The peace seemed to be across our valley as we read that finally there had been a Peace deal reached in Imizamo Yethu.

I hope this means that the re-blocking and building of more suitable homes can carry on and that the protests will cease.

Today I worked from home in the morning and I am currently at the hospital with Caitlin who is having minor surgery. Please send her your healing prayers and hopefully we will be at home soon.

Enjoy your week. xx

Nature or Nurture

I have read a few things about Virgos this week which made me ponder how much influence your star sign has over your personality traits and how much is environment.

Virgos are notorious for our organisation. As a child I read a book which really stuck with me. It was a very old book which I found on my Grandmother’s book shelf. It was called Five Little Peppers and How They Grew.

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I was an only child and to amuse myself I read voraciously, I read pretty much¬†any book I could get my hands on (some of which were entirely inappropriate for a child which is possibly why I have so many issues now lol). I even read her encyclopaedias. I was¬†fascinated by many aspects of this book. I found the concept of so many people functioning in a tiny house quite bizarre as a middle class¬†only child. My Grandmother’s house only had one bathroom but by the time I was spending a lot of time¬†at her home¬†not many people lived there full time. My cousins and I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, myself in particular as I grew up in the house next door to her. The Peppers had a regimented¬†routine which was timed by Mr Pepper and functioned in an almost military like precision.

I liked this idea and I still have a Bathroom Routine which I follow meticulously and if I get off track of this routine then I will generally forget one of my daily tasks. My routine is Virgo analytical and based on the least repeat actions and¬†optimal process flow. After I shower¬†I brush my teeth, that way if I drip toothpaste it does not get onto my clothing. If I wash my hair I put on my leave in conditioner or hair oils as soon as I am out of the¬†shower while my hands are still clean of¬† other products which reduces the amount of water and time I waste on repeated hand washing. I put on my face cream then leave it to ‘set’ while I apply my body lotion. This stops your face being shiny and oily and leaves my body lotion time to soak in while I apply my make up in the next step and it avoids¬†the body lotion¬†being wiped off by my clothing. Then I put on my clothes and lastly I dry my hair which allows my hair time to air dry as much as possible (thus saving electricity as well as time and hair damage.)

I find routines give me a feeling of comfort and calm. Lord knows I need all the calm I can get in my life as I am a complete stress kitten full of senseless anxiety.

Recently a friend sent me a Ted Talk video about the Philosophy of Stoicism which I found fascinating.

It basically discusses how our reactions to events are the root of our emotions, not the actual events themselves. In a kind of ‘we choose whether to be happy or sad’¬†sort of way. That whether a situation is stressful or not is down to how we choose to react to that situation. Personal Mastery.

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Norm is very good at recognising whether my reactions are based on current situations or whether they are ‘triggered’ by my tumultuous past.

The video also describes how we can strive for self improvement through the 4 Cardinal Virtues.

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Nelson Mandela was influenced by the study of these principals. I suspect this is where he made the decision to lead through peace rather then the methods which had gotten him imprisoned.

I found this concept very interesting and it gave me some goals to strive for in my own personal growth where as my husband is high on these scales. He is a natural born leader and is excellent at communication and staying calm. (Most of the time.) He stresses over things I find silly, such as cooking, as he does not feel confident in the kitchen. However he can stand in front of a thousand people and confidently present or speak to them. That situation would make me physically ill.

However my Mom and my husband are both Cancerians and while my Mom is great at engaging on a one to one basis I cannot imagine her speaking to a group of people in a professional capacity. So how much is nature and how much is nurture?

It makes one think. But then I think too much.

Last week was a busy week. We returned from our anniversary trip  last Saturday and then on Sunday we relaxed as we were rather exhausted and it was cold and dreary outside. I made a huge fire and a big pot of chicken curry for that night which then did us for a few lunches during the week.

I went back to the nurse last Monday¬†who says my blood pressure is still high. It may be diet related as we did not stick to low carb eating¬†while we were¬†away. I then went for a follow up at the ENT on Tuesday and she told me my ears are still full of fluid so I am back on different meds. I only go back in a month’s time.

Norm took Navajo to the vet on Tuesday and he also has an ear infection, he is not very happy at the moment and is rather moany and groany so hope the drops help the poor baby.

Wednesday Norm did a shop for me as he was going to be away in Gabarone from Thursday morning until late on Friday and it is difficult for me to get to the shops, deal with the animals and still take Cordelia home on the days when she is working for us.

Thursday night I cooked chicken breasts in spinach and coconut cream and served it with corn on the cob and fried zucchini left over from my lasagne which I also made that night. It was a short cut low carb lasagne for me and Caitlin to have on Friday while Norm was away. I made my normal meat sauce but instead of slicing the zucchini into long strips lengthwise to mimic lasagne noodles (which takes ages) I just chopped it into little round disc shaped slices and popped a layer of those on top of the meat and then topped it all with mozzarella. It tasted just as good and saved on the faffing with slicing the zucchini.

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Norm had some travel issues and only arrived home after midnight on Friday but I waited up for him as I was very happy to see him.

Saturday we were up early as I had an appointment at the chiro for myself and Pixie so we toddled off to Noordhoek for that.¬†Our appointment¬†was at 9.30am so we were back home by 11. I had invited friends around for Norm’s birthday celebrations on Sunday so I showered and headed out to the shops to buy party food and Norm’s presents. I was starving so I stopped at Woolworth’s to have some breakfast. I had their eggs benedict and added some bacon to it.

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They are usually really slow there but they were on the ball and I was fed and off on my way quickly. I did a huge shop of snack type¬†food. I used to do proper cooking when we entertained but then I would spend all day on my feet cooking and end up tired and if I am faffing with food service I¬†can’t relax and enjoy it so I decided to do all finger foods.

Norm spent the day Saturday painting our new kitchen. He did the ceilings and the walls around the cupboards. Now he only has the dining room left to finish. The end is in sight! Our next project is the upstairs bathrooms but we are not sure when we are going to start that project but I am putting away money each month to fund it.

As Norm was busy painting and it was pouring with rain we decided to be lazy and use OrderIn to get takeaways. Norm normally hates using a delivery service but there was just too much going on for him to pop out and I cannot drive at night so I persuaded him to use OrderIn.¬†We ordered from a new place as saw on their menu that we could get low carb food. We chose RT’s Pub & Grill. We got the usual email saying our food would arrive in 45 minutes. Usually this is an over-estimate with OrderIn¬†and it arrives in half an hour. However after an hour I received a call from OrderIn to¬†apologise that they were running a bit late and it should be there soon. After an hour and a half had passed I received an SMS to say it was on it’s way but then I got an SMS asking me to rate their service which usually¬†arrives after¬†the food has¬†been delivered so I phoned them back to ask what was going on. The guy on the phone was rambling nonsense at me, first saying the driver had been in an accident, then saying that the food was not ready and he would have to phone the driver and phone me back. I waited another 15 minutes and I phoned back to the call centre and got a different agent who slagged off the first agent saying he ‘wasn’t surprised he did not ring back’ and implied that¬†he is not very good at his job. He then said HE had to phone the driver and he promised to phone me back. I was raging by the time. He phoned me back in about 10 minutes and said that the delivery guy¬†had been¬†almost at my house, but then the restaurant had¬†phoned to say they had given him the wrong order and he had to go back. This all reeked of utter bullshit. The food eventually arrived after over 2 hours. It was ice cold. I was so angry I gave them a 1 star rating and tweeted how poor the service was.

I then got an email saying they will credit my account. I have not seen it reflect as yet but they said it might take a few days. Norm will never order from them again. I was so disappointed as it is a life saver when he is away and I have to feed me and Caitlin with no shopping in the house. It was also a shame as I think the food would have been fine if it was warm.

On Sunday¬†we were up early getting the house cleaned for Norm’s birthday drinks. We are both pack rats and end up with piles of books and paper and all sorts of crap piling up. Norm also steam cleaned the tile floors.

We had invited everyone from 4pm as it was a Sunday we knew every one had work the next day (including me!) so we started early.

I made devilled eggs, fried some little free range chicken chipolattas, and put out fresh bread, a cheese board, nuts, crisps, popcorn, dips, some veggies with dips, olives, crackers, jams and all sorts of nibbles. We stocked the bar with spirits and had a cooler with beer and cider. We had various bottles of red wine on the bar and plenty of white wine in the drinks fridge.

Once people started arriving I turned on the oven to heat up the frikkadels (meatballs), chicken and cheese meatballs, and the chicken samosas I had bought at woollies. They were tasty and so easy to prepare.

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Our house is perfect for entertaining now with all of the counter space in the new kitchen as well as the new bar area. Downstairs is all open plan so people could gather in various areas and still mingle about and be part of the different convos. It was lovely to see our friends, we ended up with over 20 people there.

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Eventually we all ended up gathered around the bar. I love that new bar.

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We had such a lovely evening. We still managed to be in bed by 11 even if we were a bit tipsy with it!

Tonight Norm and I are going out for dinner to a venue we have never been to before. I don’t want to spoil his surprise so I will save it for my next blog.

Have a great week everyone!

 

 

 

Worlds Apart

I had such a stressful day at work on Thursday. I am usually part of a team, working with a technical resource who does the data extraction and performs the assessment and I get the output for Quality Assurance. However my current client does not have anyone to fulfill this role and I spent all of Thursday trying to download their analysis tool, connect to the database and get extracts for analysis. It was incredibly frustrating as no one was willing to help me or give me the info I needed to be self sufficient. I left work with my data eventually but my stress levels were off the chart. 

When I got home Norm told me he had shopped and was cooking for us all and I was so relieved, 

He made us a tasty low carb dinner. He made fillet steaks, grilled halloumi, roasted veggies in the oven, steamed cauliflower and then topped it with cheddar cheese and popped it under the grill. It was so delicious.


It was so delicious I didn’t have any left for my lunch on Friday. There is no canteen on site and it was pouring with rain so I decided to stay put and use OrderIn delivery service to get some lunch. The closest place to me was Fat Cactus. As I love Mexican food I decided to order the pulled pork quesadillas and some chilli poppers. 


It arrived hot and relatively quickly. I’m so impressed with their service. The food was really yummy. The pork was full of flavor and not at all fatty. 

We had a quiet night in on Friday and just stayed home and wrapped up to avoid the cold and rain and Norm built us a big cozy fire. 


We have finally finished all of the episodes of our addiction Breaking Bad and now we are watching the spin off ‘Better Call Saul’.


When we woke on Saturday morning Norm saw on the local security group that there was chaos in Hout Bay. The weather is freezing cold and damp and the people who have been displaced by the recent fire in the informal settlements were blocking the roads and hurling bricks and setting things alight to protest the fact that no progress has been made in returning them to a more permanent home. They have no electricity or water in their temporary shacks. They have to use portable toilets and communal showers. They are saying that some of the plots in the area recently cleared by the fire have been given to people who are not even on the list of original residents who were fire victims. The City of Cape Town had asked for patience while they reblocked the area but the field where they are housed is now flooding due to the recent rain. According to someone who spoke to a person at the scene, the protesters were setting up for a demonstration early Saturday morning when some guy trying to drive through swore at them for blocking the road and apparently pulled a gun. The protesters threw rocks at him and things escalated from there.


Photos sourced from the HBO group on Facebook.

We did not have to go out that morning so we stayed in, listening to the sirens and following it all on the Neighborhood Watch radio. 

Later around lunch time we heard the roads were open and Caitlin headed out to the northern suburbs to a friend’s baby shower. 

I decided to make pancakes and bacon for brunch for Norm and I. There is no stressful situation that can’t be improved by pancakes. ūüíē

Norm and I were booked to go out last night to one our favorite Cape Town restaurants, La Mouette. We were not sure if the road was open via the village so we took the long way out via Constantia. 

We were seated in the front room near one of their roaring fires. 

We ordered the Winter Special at R295 per person.


Norm was happy with the carafe of wine which came with the Winter Special as was I. I didn’t catch what label it was but it was a really tasty Sauvignon Blanc and wasn’t too acidic.

They served fresh homemade bread with little dishes of hummus spread, rendered beef fat and pickled onion.

The first course was the infamous cheese croquettes with a smoked aioli. These are so heavenly. The cheese is warm and liquid, the coating crispy and the aioli the perfect accompaniment to the smoky cheese filling.

The second course was Butternut Soup. It was served with a bowl of the accent flavours and the soup is then poured over the Parmesan, shiitake mushrooms, croutons and beurre noisette crumb by the waiter. The flavours all popped and it was such a gorgeous combination.


The Main Course was Roast Chicken, served with purée of root vegetables, crispy kale and triple cooked potatoes. A little pot of chicken jus was poured over at the table when it was served. This chicken was so tender it melted in your mouth.


Dessert was Beignets served warm with hazelnut praline butter and a dark chocolate sauce.

You opened the pastry and spread it with the praline cream and then dipped it in the sauce. I could have eaten a dozen of these they were light and the flavours so tasty. The meal was perfect for a cold winter night. We had a lovely evening.

When we left we reminisced about all of the parties we have attended there sitting around the lovely old fountain in the courtyard.

Driving home we decided that we would take the shortest route as we had heard the roads were all clear. However we saw lots of debris from the fires and lots of broken glass and rubbish littering the roads. As we passed by the main protest area our car started making a very odd noise, like it was dragging something. It was too dangerous to stop there so I was panicking that our tire was punctured but we kept driving. When we went over a speed bump the noise stopped. When we got home we could see nothing untoward so we are unsure what the sound was. 

We saw later that night that there was a group of 20 or so people out throwing bricks and stones in that same area where our car had issues and a guy had his side mirror knocked off his car when they tried to put a brick through his window. We were lucky we got through safely.

I woke at 3am last night and could not get back to sleep. The medication I am on for my ears makes me quite nauseous and once I was awake Navajo was making so much noise moaning and groaning I could not get back to sleep so I am rather tired today. I managed to go back to sleep at 730 but after Norm fed the dogs Panda came up and barked to get back into the bed. I love my dogs but sometimes I want to kill the wee buggars.

Today the protests started back up causing the village once again to shut down. There are only 3 routes into our village. One is shut due to landslides from our recent storms, in the protest the traffic lights were all damaged and the roads blocked on the coastal side of the village and the other was also blocked by protesters so all routes in have been compromised for two days. For those of us who have contributed to helping the victims of the recent fire by donations or financial contributions it is hard to understand. But then we have never had to sleep in a cold, damp metal box for months on end. I don’t think we ever can understand it. Our lives are worlds apart. The meal we had last night is more in cost than many people make in a day’s wages. We are part of the privileged few, educated, employed and earning a decent wage to enable us to buy our own warm, dry homes.

I hope the city now speeds up the rehousing of the fire victims, these people have suffered so much already. 

Late this morning I made brunch for me, Norm and Caitlin. I made cheesy zucchini fritters.


I made bacon and eggs and served it with avocado and rosa tomatoes.


We are now relaxing by the fire and Norm is busy on a bid for some work and Caitlin is painting her tables for her new flat. We have a busy week ahead so I’m having down time.

I wish you all a safe week ahead. 

Music & Cocktails

This weekend we really enjoyed watching Glastonbury live via our BBC iPlayer. We try to catch the key acts every year, however until this year it was only available once they were on YouTube. We can now watch real time via streaming. On Friday evening we  loved the set by The Pretenders, it is hard to believe that Chrissie Hynde is 65 years old, unlike many aged artists she has not lost any of her vocal abilities.

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We also really enjoyed Radiohead. They sound exactly the same as they always did too they just look a bit older (as do we all).

Saturday we watched some new artists and a few others, but my fave was Katy Perry. Her shows are always so fun to watch. Her dancers were dressed in all manner of silly headdresses which made it interesting. Sunday night we watched Ed Sheeran. I do love Ed Sheeran but am not a fan of his ‘rapping’. It does not sit nicely on him. I prefer his folky / pop songs.

It was freezing cold and I was wearing about 5 layers of clothes, a furry blanket and snuggling an animal or 2 while watching in front of a roaring fire. It felt funny to see people who were attending the festival in shorts and t-shirts looking hot and flustered.

Saturday I had a busy schedule. First thing that morning I had a follow up session at Skin in Hout Bay for the laser treatments I am having. It was a small area we are working on so I was in and out and back home quick sticks.

I had a bit of time before my next appointment so I made a HFLC breakfast for Norm, Caitlin and I. I added feta, cheddar and cilantro to the omelette. I love salsa even though it is not banting if store bought, but I added it to mine. The bacon was preservative free.

Norm was busy painting the pantry ceiling & Caitlin has been busy renovating some tables for her new flat so our house has a lot of painting going on. She had bought the tables on a local Facebook group where people sell off their bits and pieces of furniture and used clothing. She got them very cheap and they are solid wood. She sanded them down and is busy painting them white. She has replaced the glass tops with adorable wall tiles. Her furniture is all white, grey or blue so these will be perfect.

Cait Tables

Excuse my big boot in the pic, oops. They are not finished so this is a pic of them in the garage.

I then had an appointment at the hairdresser Saturday afternoon. My hairdresser Leandra has moved to a new venue in Cape Town city centre and I was not 100% sure where it was so I gave myself an hour to get parked and find it. I am glad I did as the street signs were very misleading. I cannot parallel park so I parked up a few blocks away from Church Street and walked down. I knew I was looking for number 66 and the street sign pointed towards the mountain for numbers below 84 so off I trudged in that direction. I got into the 1st bit of road which was quite dark as the sun was blocked by the buildings and I came face to face with a dude with his penis in his hand. I think he was having a pee, however I did not stop to find out. I crossed over to the other side of the road but he had already seen me and he shouted out to me and waved his willy in my general direction, looking rather disappointed that I was not keen on a close up. This was rather frightening as we were the only 2 people anywhere to be seen. If he had pursued me I would have been in a spot of bother. I kept moving quickly and he went off in the direction I had just come from and so we went our separate ways. I got to the main road and realised that I had ran out of buildings and was obviously going the wrong way, so I turned around and headed back in the direction I had come from but luckily he had moved out of sight.

Eventually I found the spot for the new salon and climbed upstairs and settled in.

 

I had my hair coloured and trimmed and then I offered the hairdressers assistant Thembi a lift home. Thembi shared with me that she is so excited that her daughter was coming soon for a visit. She has been living in the Eastern Cape with her grandfather and aunts. She had been getting in with a bad crowd when living here in Cape Town and so Thembi sent her off to school there. It is so hard for parents who work to keep an eye on their teens and all it takes is getting in with a bad crowd and then there is trouble. We discussed how her kids have been so much more privileged than she was growing up and how they take this for granted. I think if you have never been hungry, you cannot conceptualise it or appreciate how blessed you are to not have to worry about your next meal.

Norm and I had a date night on Saturday and went out for dinner to Papino’s which is one of our faves in the winter. They had a roaring fire and it was nice and cosy.


We both ordered our usual, the Hollandse Biefstuk which is a pan-fried beef fillet with mushrooms flamb√©ed with brandy at R172. We had Portuguese chips with it which are like thick home made potato chips (or crisps to you brits.) We shared an order of their fried mushrooms.

We even had a bit of dessert and squeezed in a cheeky Malva pudding. Described as ‘Served Home-made, warm Cape pudding served with vanilla ice-cream or cream’ it costs R45.

On Sunday while Norm was continuing working on painting the kitchen I lazed about and finished the last few episodes of OITNB which left me emotional and wound up so I then watched a couple of films while slow cooking a pot roast for dinner that evening. I picked random films I thought would not interest Norm as I prefer to save those we both are keen on to watch together.

First I watched Brain on Fire which is based on a real life event.

brain on fire

It was pretty good, if a bit intense. I give it 3.5 Kitten Stars.

Next I watched Captain Fantastic just because I was intrigued by the cover pic.

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I did not even look at the cast list beforehand and I only realised the lead was played by Viggo Mortensen when he shaved his beard about 3/4 of the way through the film as he is thin as a whippet in this film and far from his usual handsome self. I really loved this movie. I laughed out loud, I sobbed with heartbreak and I sat amazed and breathless. It was riveting and very emotionally gut-wrenching.

I give it a full 5 Kitten Stars.

Once Norm finished painting he joined me in the lounge and he built us a big cosy fire.

By then my beef roast was ready.

I had cooked carrots in the sauce with the roast and to go with it I steamed broccoli and made fondant sweet potatoes. It was rather delicious if I say so myself.

The following night I started our dinner before Vanessa arrived to do my pedicure to save a bit of time later. I cleaned the fat layer off of the roast from the previous night and shredded the meat, chopped the carrots and put it with the sauce from the pot roast into a casserole dish and heated it in the oven. Norm peeled and thinly sliced the remainder of the sweet potatoes and layered with cream and mozzarella cheese and we baked this too. It was delicious and perfect for a cold night.

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It even stretched until lunch on Tuesday!

Monday morning I had an appointment to see the ENT specialist my GP had recommended. She is in the new Christian Barnard Hospital at the foreshore so I walked over from my office. It is about a 10 minute walk so was very easy. The new hospital is stunning, bright and clean. I hope it stays that way.

I liked the ENT. She was very approachable and seemed to find me funny. She did an ultrasound check of my ears and discovered my middle ear is full of fluid. She sprayed a bit of anaesthetic up my nose followed by a scope and discovered I have a deviated septum. She could see the scar tissue from all of my childhood issues with my ears. I missed so much school as a child due to chronic ear infections. She also noted the scarring of my oesophagus from acid reflux. It was like a psychic doctor asking about stuff from my past which I had not mentioned. She has given me a list of things to do twice a day. First I have to wash out my sinuses with a salt water solution, followed by a nasal spray to open my sinuses, then turn my head upside down and drop in a steroid and antibiotic mix which is actually eye drops. Then I must do the Valsalva manoeuvre. The Valsalva manoeuvre is performed by moderately forceful attempted exhalation against a closed airway, usually done by closing one’s mouth, pinching one’s nose shut while pressing out as if blowing up a balloon.

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All of this will be done twice a day for 2 weeks and then I must go back to see if it is resolved. It is a mission and rather awkward to achieve in the mornings before work as I leave so early.

After work last night we were invited to a cocktails evening at Retha’s. She has a friend Jennifer who is working on the yachts in Europe who wanted to practice her cocktail skills. Here is our lovely bartender with a round of cosmos.

bartender

I was willing to be a guinea pig as I love cocktails.


We got to choose a few different cocktails for Jennifer to make and I asked for a pina colada. They were divine!


She made a few different ones. I am not a fan of mint so I skipped the mojito round.

We had been nibbling on cheese and nuts and homemade bread but eventually we decided we needed proper food and we ordered Thai food on OrderIn.

We ended the night on a round of chili chocolate tequila drinks.

chili choc martini

It was so delicious.

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Dunno what Norm is up to in the background? Trying to drag me off home most likely as he was driving and not cocktailing.

We did not stay late but all those different cocktails meant I suffered a bit on Wednesday morning. But it was worth it as it was a fun evening.

I have a few fun events coming up this weekend. We are going to the winter warmer special at La Mouette on Saturday so I am very excited about that.

lamouettefood

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It is one of our favourite restaurants in all of Cape Town.

Sunday I have a drum circle to attend. I have booked to attend a workshop late July to make my own drum which I am so excited about. I have asked for a hartebeest skin rather than a goat skin as the colour is much richer. I thank the animal who shall give his skin to my drum.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and weekend. Much love.