The Spectrum of Light And Dark

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign (16 Days Campaign) is a United Nations campaign which takes place annually from 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day).

The world has a long way to go to address the issue, it isn’t only South Africa where gender based violence is prevalent but it is a huge issue here. Add in our high levels of poverty, HIV and drug addiction and it is a recipe for disaster.

Cape Town has a forensic unit at Victoria hospital where medical care, social workers, psychology and medico-legal assistance is provided.

My friend Bronwyn who runs Community Cohesion works there.

Recently Bronwyn launched an appeal for donations of instant oats for the rape survivors who are being treated at the forensic unit. Victims need to take post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent HIV transmission.

The reality is that many women do not have the food security they need to take the medication, which needs to be taken for a month, and is seriously strong. It cannot be taken without food.

This forensic unit covers over 50 different suburbs. Here is a map so you can see the high number of communities and the immense level of need.

All of the areas shown go to Victoria hospital for assistance with sexual violence. There are so many areas in the catchment with abject levels of poverty, so these oats will make a huge difference. Just having transport to get to the hospital is a huge challenge for many of the women.

Some women do not survive their attack to even make it to the hospital.

A friend told me a horrific story about a friend of hers who was strangled and stabbed in Hout Bay.

Christel was murdered by her cousin Andrew and her dead body was left in the bathroom of her home for days. Her family had been trying to contact her and they went to her home to look for her. Her mother, son and the father of her child discovered her decomposing body lying on the bathroom floor with a curtain covering her face.

Christel had shared the house with her female cousin whose parents owned the house. Her aunt and uncle lived in Hangberg which is another area of Hout Bay. When Andrew was released from prison for murder he pitched up at his parents previous home where Christel and his sister were staying. Andrew was a meth addict and when he came around he tried to rape his sister but his sister fought him off and then she went to stay with her parents in their home in Hangberg. Christel had nowhere else to go and stayed in the home.

Andrew returned and argued with Christel and he stabbed her several times and strangled her. Over the next few days Andrew tried to find a way to get rid of Christel’s body. He tried to borrow a chain saw from the woodcutters who live by the river. He tried to dig a hole at the cemetery but the caretaker chased him away. He bought plastic bags and an axe.

When the family discovered Christel’s body they found 4 or 5 used condoms which indicated that Andrew must have been violating her body after her death. He wore condoms as Christel was HIV positive.

Everything about this murder is just so horrendous but many aspects of it occur regularly in South Africa and in other countries.

There are so many women and children who are victimized by people they know or even by family.

A few weeks ago 2 teenagers were charged with the rape and murder of 14 year old Janika Mello whose body was found in her backyard. The half-naked girl was found lying among broken furniture, rubble and several condoms with a bloody concrete block next to her.

She had been bashed beyond recognition and her mother could only identify her by her shoes. One of the murderers was a distant cousin.

Or the story of Kwanele Fezile Zuma and her brother Ngceboyenkosi Minende Zuma, both 22, from Mpumalanga. They took a taxi back home late on Monday after they both went for interviews in Johannesburg.

The taxi had several men in it and one of them hit Ngceboyenkosi in the back of the head with a gun and threw him out of the moving taxi. Ngceboyenkosi had blacked out and only woke up in hospital the next day where he was told that his sister Kwanele was dead. She had been raped then murdered.

Another young University student was stabbed 52 times in her dorm room. 21 year old Precious Ramabulana was a hard working student and the shining light of her family. Precious was murdered on the eve of the launch of the 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.

It seems to never end.

If you would like to support the brilliant work that Community Cohesion do then please donate via the bank info found on their website.

Or if you want to donate to the Back A Buddy fund raising campaign for purchasing the oats, it’s available HERE.

Another ongoing drama in Cape Town is the attacks on our public transport systems and this week there were more train fires. In the early hours of Thursday morning 18 carriages were destroyed by fire and many of the platforms were closed.

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato stated that more than 40 train sets, with at least 140 carriages, have been burnt over the past three years “yet not a single person had been prosecuted”. This is despite a new security force being implemented.

My own Thursday was pretty good however. Our new HR system went live and the client provided champagne and Charly’s cake. 🧁 Charly’s Bakery is the best in Cape Town. They also brought in a portable coffee cart and a few baristas to provide us with free coffees all day.

They also gave us all a branded baseball cap and a nice big coffee mug.

Everyone else on the project was relaxing and making tons of noise but as I’m working on multiple work streams I was as busy as always, but I definitely scarfed some of that delicious cake. I had a meeting from 3 to 4pm then I dashed out quickly as we had dinner plans.

When I got home I had a few minutes before I needed to shower and decided to have a wee lie down, but Pixie was not having it. She insisted on trying to shove her tongue up my nostril.

Norm and I were meeting my daughter Caitlin, her beau Wes and our nephew Calum who is over from Scotland.

We all met in Hout Bay at Lucky Bao. As it was 34 degrees that day we asked for a table outside. It was a stunning evening and the recently redesigned patio and garden looked gorgeous.

As we were seated near the door the smokers in the garden did not bother us.

Caitlin has been ill for a few days and Wes has the flu so I was happy they made the effort.

Caitlin looked so beautiful and she was wearing a gorgeous pair of leather boots I had passed on to her as I can no longer wear high heels. I love it when I can recycle something to my girls, especially when it is an item I invested a lot of money in. I bought the boots from a charming little boutique in London.

Calum had been at a wine farm with his friends all day so he took an Uber. He seems to be having a great time on his visit.

We had a variety of dishes and all of the food was very well received. All of us had the Bao Chica Bao dish as a starter. It was a crispy piece of chicken in a fluffy fresh Bao.

Popeye’s Chicken sandwich better watch their back.

Norm and I both had the Lucky Wagyu Burger: 180g local Wagyu, kimchi, miso & spring onion aioli, bourbon, maple & soy glazed bacon, 8 month aged boerenkaas, toasted japanese milk bun, fries. It was R140.

The mix of flavours were brilliant together.

Wes had the Shio Ramen Pork Belly: Egg, double-soup and spring onion at R125. He said it was really good.

Caitlin had the Lucky Poké Bowl with salmon and black rice and said it was delicious.

Calum had the spicy chicken wings after his Bao.

We had a fabulous relaxed night.

At home this week Norm has been cooking some delicious low carb meals.

He tried the steak and zucchini noodle dish again, this time he used fillet steak instead of beef strips and it was so tender and tasty.

Tuesday night Norm baked chicken breasts and I made guacamole to spread on top. He grilled bacon to top it all.

He made fondant sweet potatoes and steamed asparagus to go with it. It was so delicious.

On Wednesday he roasted a pork fillet and made puréed cauliflower with cheese as a base and fried zucchini and mushrooms to go with it.

Friday we always do take outs and I had my usual sushi from K1.

It was sheer perfection this week. They got the order right and the salmon and prawns were tasty and fresh.

As we had gone to bed late on Thursday after our dinner out, I was a bit groggy on Friday. Traffic was backed up badly to get onto the motorway and after a very slow bumper to bumper journey to the next junction we were diverted off the motorway and into another suburb. I did not know the route and when I put on my GPS I received a message from my colleague telling me to avoid the motorway as a truck had lost its load on the motorway. Damnit. A bit too late to save me unfortunately. I eventually managed to find my way to the office but spent well over an hour getting there.

We had more treats from the client to celebrate the successful migration and they brought in a team of masseuses to give us all ten minute neck massages and there was more cake. The massage was amazing and she worked hard on my sore neck and upper back. I am still bruised but my neck is so much looser.

A few people rolled off of the project this week. One team member flew back home to India and another team member said ‘he was much better than most of the Indians I have worked with’. I looked at him with shock and called him out on his racism and otherism. I said to him it is like saying to a Chinese person they are a great driver as opposed to the ‘rest of their people’ or that someone is ‘sexy for a black girl/guy’. I actually heard both of these latter phrases on telly this week believe it or not.

My coworker was offended by me pointing out his stereotyping and racism. He said ‘Well I know what I meant’ and he just did not grasp what I was trying to explain. He tried to explain that all of the Indians he has worked with are fine if working from a specification document but will not apply independent thought on their own. I finally just left it.

The show I saw the Asian driver comment on is a new show I just started watching called “Merry Happy Whatever” with Dennis Quaid and Ashley Tinsdale.

It was quite a cute show but it also approached some interesting views on a variety of issues and showed the inherent racism and bigotry of some people from previous generations or those with extreme religious views.

On the complete opposite of that show I also started the series “Ghost Wars”. I love anything about the supernatural so I love this show. It is a tiny bit gory and a whole lot of freaky.

We had a longer lie on Saturday but Norm had to meet the rest of the security group from our suburb at 9. He got home late morning and made us a healthy brunch of scrambled cheesy eggs, bacon, Rosa tomatoes and avocado.

Norm worked in the afternoon and I relaxed and pottered about, relishing not having to be anywhere.

I went to Drumming this morning in Marina da Gama. It was our last session until next year.

On the way there I passed a large peacock just chilling near the forest edge. He appeared to be on his own, no peahen or other male nearby. He was so bright and beautiful.

While waiting for everyone to arrive, Frans read a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh.

One day the Buddha was sitting in the wood with thirty or forty monks. They had an excellent lunch and they were enjoying the company of each other. There was a farmer passing by and the farmer was very unhappy. He asked the Buddha and the monks whether they had seen his cows passing by. The Buddha said they had not seen any cows passing by.

The farmer said, “Monks, I’m so unhappy. I have twelve cows and I don’t know why they all ran away. I have also a few acres of a sesame seed plantation and the insects have eaten up everything. I suffer so much I think I am going to kill myself.

The Buddha said, “My friend, we have not seen any cows passing by here. You might like to look for them in the other direction.”

So the farmer thanked him and ran away, and the Buddha turned to his monks and said, “My dear friends, you are the happiest people in the world. You don’t have any cows to lose. If you have too many cows to take care of, you will be very busy.

That is why, in order to be happy, you have to learn the art of cow releasing. You release the cows one by one. In the beginning you thought that those cows were essential to your happiness, and you tried to get more and more cows. But now you realize that cows are not really conditions for your happiness; they constitute an obstacle for your happiness. That is why you are determined to release your cows.”

We could all benefit from releasing our cows.

We had tea after drumming as a few people brought some treats. I love that group of people, they are all so kind and sincere.

Later this afternoon we went to a braai at our friends Andy and Alison. There were 11 of us there and everyone was lovely. Andy and Alison have 3 Saluki dogs, one is a 11 month old puppy who is adorable. They are such elegant and beautiful animals.

The older two were constantly harassed by the pup and eventually wandered off to have a rest.

Alison made loads of salads and veggies and Andy grilled lamb, pork and steak.

In honor of so many people who eat low carb, Alison also made a peanut butter cheesecake and it was divine! Even Norm loved it and he hates peanut butter.

We had such a fun evening chatting and laughing. I really enjoyed it.

Lily messaged us to say that Calum made it to Mossel Bay and had dinner with Lily and Josh.

He is driving all along the Garden Route and then up to Johannesburg and on to a game farm. It was so great to see him.

Tomorrow I am back at work. We have a new person joining us on the team which will be great as we have far more work than we can cope with. Hopefully that will take a bit of stress off of me.

Have a great week. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

The Value of a Woman

September was Women’s Month in SA and I wrote about some of the women who were murdered during that month. One of those victims was Jesse Hess who was raped and murdered and her grandfather also murdered. The Police suspected Jesse’s cousin was the perpetrator but felt they did not have sufficient evidence and so they decided to wait until the suspect committed another crime with the same pattern. He did.

The man has been arrested and appeared in court charged with rape, aggravated robbery and attempted murder following an attack on a 16-year-old this week. He is suspected in the assault on another woman as well. The police decided it was worth sacrificing another woman yet sacrificed at least two. He is finally in custody, now we must hope our criminal justice system can manage to convict him.

It says so much about the misogyny endemic in SA that the death of other women was an acceptable trade off for his capture.

In that same blog I also mentioned the rape and murder of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana. Her murderer was convicted last week and has been sentenced to 3 consecutive life sentences.

If you can stomach it, here is a link to a transcript of his confession.

I hope he rots in jail.

This misogyny does not only affect South Africa, it is international. The police in Minneapolis just announced that an internal review of sexual assault cases turned up an estimated 1,700 untested rape kits from as far back as the 1990s, a backlog that officials say could take at least two years to clear.

The revelation of the untested kits comes one year after the discovery of widespread failings in the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault in Minnesota which spurred changes by police departments and county prosecutors throughout the state. Minnesota police frequently struggled to investigate cases of sex assault in the years reviewed, often failing to interview witnesses, collect evidence or even assign detectives in cases in which the victim was drinking, the months long investigation found.

But I assume that most of the victims are women and the majority of the police are men who either did not value the safety of these women or feel they deserved justice.

The world has a long way to go to reach equality between genders.

In fairness the violence and crime in SA is not always against women. I read a post on Facebook from a man who was hosting friends for dinner on Friday night when one of the couples there received a phone call from kidnappers who had their 19 year old son and two other lads as hostages and were demanding R8k in ransom. The police were completely ineffective but the guests contacted a Muslim security firm and despite it being the time they would normally be in Mosque they arrived in minutes. They were still wearing their religious garments but they were so effective and clued in to what they were up against. They hacked into the boy’s phone. The boys were left on their own briefly and managed to escape and were rescued. It must have been terrifying for all involved.

I have written many times about the dire state our State Owned Enterprises and this has definitely not improved. Last Friday the employees of South African Airways declared they were going on strike and rather than deal with the potential chaos of managing with a skeleton staff or bringing in untrained temporary staff, SAA cancelled all flights on Friday and Saturday. International flights resumed today.

SAA estimate a daily loss of R50 million per day and that if the strike continues then they will fold. The airline is more than R40 billion in debt, and it’s failing to generate enough revenue to launch a recovery. The recent strike action now has the potential to finish the company off for good. It’s understood that SAA will struggle to pay worker salaries at the end of the month.

On Monday the Springbok Rugby team did a bus tour through Cape Town and some of the suburbs.

Much of the city turned out to celebrate their success.

Their World Cup success has made so many people feel positive about the hope of our multicultural society being more tolerant of each other. Hopefully it helps in that regard and the magic lasts.

Work has been very busy and stressful. We had several workshops and I am now involved in 3 different work streams. We are also doing a bid for another client and had to spend a bit of time giving input to that. I had worked a lot of overtime and intended to leave early on Friday but we had a meeting which ran over and then I still had to do my status reports so I left about 5 despite getting in just after 7am.

On Saturday I had a pajama day and did absolutely nothing. Lola woke me at 6am. That is when my alarm goes off during the week and she obviously wanted a cuddle like she gets most mornings. I was not best pleased.

Norm got up very early as Navajo had a chiropractor appointment at 8:45 and it’s a long drive there. Norm has been working with Navajo to get him to use his new ramp to get into our new truck. We were worried that Navajo would refuse it and he was a bit wobbly going up but he used it!

We had no milk for a coffee so I decided to lie in bed with the Pomeranians and cats. On his way home Norm bought milk and croissants and when he got in he cooked breakfast and we had a yummy bacon and egg croissant.

I decided to watch a film in the afternoon while Norm was having a nap.

I randomly chose the film ‘Fractured’ as it was on the recommended list on Netflix.

I don’t want to give anything away, it was a bit of an emotional roller coaster! It was nothing like I expected. The acting was a bit sketchy but I still really enjoyed it. Don’t get distracted at the end, it has a major twist. I give it a strong 4 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

We started out the week trying to keep it low carb but that failed miserably. Norm cooked chicken kebabs and sweet potatoes with fried mushrooms and coleslaw and it was yummy.

The rest of the week was takeaways. I had sushi on Friday night but it arrived so discombobulated that it wasn’t photo ready. Oops. It still tasted delicious once I reconstructed it.

Today I was supposed to go to drum rehearsals but the dogs woke us at 6am and Norm and I both managed to fall back to sleep and only woke at 10am so it was too late to shower and drive there for 10.30 so I gave it a miss. Norm brought me coffee in bed and Lola and I snuggled.

We have a super king bed and she chose to balance on top of my bent knee. Why do cats choose the most awkward spots to sit?

Pixie sprawled across my lap while I played games on my iPad.

You can barely tell which end of her is which. I almost always have at least one animal perched on top of me.

Today is a stunning day with very little wind. We have had insane winds most of the week and the calm is nice.

In the afternoon Norm went to the shops and I put a chicken curry in the slow cooker for tomorrow’s dinner. Norm tried a new low carb recipe tonight.

It was delicious but next time we will use fillet as it was a bit tough. I suspect he used stewing steak. Nevertheless it was very tasty.

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend, mine has been very lazy and relaxing.

This week we are off half a day on Thursday to attend our year end function. It will hopefully make the week pass a bit faster.

Have a wonderful week. Until next time Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

3 Roots

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

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

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

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

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

How many others have these beasts tortured which went unreported?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I chose the bacon and cheddar burger.

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

This week we finished watching Season 2 of The Sinner.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Stepping Into Your Power

Usually when a client’s project wraps up I have a few days to recover before I start a new project with another client, but my last project ended on Monday afternoon and on Tuesday afternoon we had a sales meeting with a new client and I was asked to come back on Wednesday to join their Data Migration team so my head was spinning! It was exacerbated by the fact that our new client is in a panic as they are on a tight schedule and have not built a reconciliation process. They have been told by their auditors that a reconciliation process is required for approval. We have not even signed a statement of work and the client seems a bit all over the place in regards to timelines and requirements so I have no idea how long we will be there.

Usually when I start a new project I am full of anxiety and fear. Will I be able to do what the client needs? Will I be out of my depth? Is it too technical for my skills? But this time I have not been nervous at all. I am quite comfortable and confident. Even Norman remarked on the fact that I have not been panicky. It’s as if something shifted.

I was discussing this with a friend and she said that maybe the shift is due in part to the dramas from my last client. Maybe the every day battles with the developer sharpened my confidence? Similar to the way a grain of sand can turn into a pearl. The oyster adds layer after layer of substance to protect itself from the irritating sand and eventually a pearl forms from the layers of protective minerals.

The developer is the irritating grain of sand and the emergence of my confidence represents the pearl in this scenario with the outcome being me stepping into my power.

It was an interesting way to look at it. Through pain comes growth.

The interesting thing is that my previous client contacted me on Friday to say the next phase is starting soon and they may need me back sooner than expected to document the metadata.

The current client initially only needed us for three weeks but the work he requires will take much longer than that. It is still all up in the air.

My new client is in the northern part of Cape Town and it adds an hour each way of travel to my day. Normally I panic driving on the motorway, especially when I’m traveling to an area I am unfamiliar with. I’ve been using Google Maps and have gotten lost once, however I did not stress. I’m just taking my time.

I’m enjoying this feeling of peace. Long may it last.

Unfortunately peace is not present in all of Cape Town or Hout Bay.

Last Saturday night a lot of the schools had their year end dances and many of the students met at the beach at the end of the night. A 19 year old young man and two of his friends were robbed and two of them were stabbed. The 19 year old died. He was a student at UCT. Later in the week another victim was stabbed at the beach and another had a brick thrown at his head. This is all taking place just down the road from Camps Bay police station.

On Wednesday this week we had a shooting in Hout Bay which also occurred almost on the doorstep of the police station. It was part of the ongoing taxi wars. A driver and his passenger were both shot.

The Western Cape police service is severely under resourced and many of the police nationwide are corrupt or criminals themselves.

This week in another province there was a shootout between two rogue cops who had just robbed a post office and two legitimate police. You couldn’t make it up!

We had such a surprise on Thursday evening. I had arrived home about 6pm and had just gotten into my comfy (e.g. sloppy) clothes and settled in to watch a bit of telly. The doorbell rang and I looked out and thought ‘hmmm no idea who that is so I’m ignoring it’ and came back to sit down. Luckily Norm is more curious than I am and he went outside to see who it was. As he got closer he saw the other person was smiling at him but he could not see who it was until he was right at the gate. It was our nephew from Scotland who was visiting Cape Town! He wanted to surprise us and he certainly did! He brought a bottle of wine for Norm and flowers for me.

They are so beautiful. Calum is a digital nomad. He travels around the world staying in a place only as long as he fancies, renting AirBnB properties and absorbing the local customs and atmosphere. He owns an IT based company so can work anywhere he likes. It’s a brilliant lifestyle for a young single man. He has been living in Bali on and off as he loves it there. He is meeting up with some South African friends in Cape Town and has rented a flat with an amazing view of Table Mountain.

It had been ten years since we last saw Calum. He stayed with us for a few months when we first bought our house. He and Caitlin became such good friends so we rang her on Thursday and she came round to join us for pizzas.

Calum joined Caitlin and her friends today on a mountain hike.

It was so misty it made the visibility a bit difficult.

There was a lot of cloud cover over the mountains visible from our house this morning too.

We had a bit more excitement this week as Lily and Josh won an engagement photo shoot from Ruby Bear Photography. They went to the beach near where they live. The sun was setting towards the end of the shoot and the photos we have seen are amazing!

They got soaked from the waves.

But the photos are beautifully done.

I had drumming this morning and before I left I sat outside to have my morning coffee. The dogs were outside with me, I wanted Panda to trot down the stairs so I could film it but he refused to cooperate.

I really loved our drumming session, I felt so rejuvenated and relaxed afterwards, it is always so cleansing for me. It is also nice to see all of my drumming circle.

Afterwards I collected Norm and we went for a pub lunch at Woodcutters Arms. It was very busy but we found a table in the beer garden. Norm ordered the Guinness Beef stew with mash which looked delicious.

He rated it 4 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I had two starters. First I had the jalapeño cheddar cigars.

They could have been cooked a bit longer to crisp the phyllo pastry a it more. They were a bit doughy but they were tasty.

I then had the starter portion of popcorn chicken strips with chips.

I give my dishes 4 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ They make the best homemade chips so that boosted the score.

Yesterday Norm and I went to Blue Route Mall. Norm needed some shorts and I wanted to spend my birthday gift card. I also wanted to shop for the two toddlers I am making my Operation Shoebox Christmas donation boxes for. Norm found several nice things but I could find nothing I fancied. I was looking for work clothes as my current client offices are much more professional and I can’t wear jeans every day like I usually do. I did get all of the clothes and toys for my Christmas boxes though. Now I just need the boxes and the food treats and I can drop them off.

Norm and I had brunch at Mugg & Bean in the mall. Norm had the Tropical Breakfast, consisting of a fresh seasonal fruit salad served with full cream plain yoghurt, luxury muesli & honey.

I went for lunch instead of breakfast and had the Buttermilk Fried Chicken which was described as ‘sesame-crusted buttermilk chicken strips served with a side of sweet chilli sauce.’ However if there were sesame seeds on that chicken they must be invisible.

They were not very crispy either, they needed to be fried longer. They were rather disappointing.

After we finished shopping we headed home to relax.

We watched a few films this week.

I chose “The Silence” because it had Stanley Tucci in it. (Or one of those Tucci brothers anyway.)

It sucked so bad it could have sucked a golf ball through a garden hose. I give it 2 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️

It had a ridiculous ‘plot’ (if you can call it that) and was nonsense.

However this afternoon we watched ‘In The Shadow of The Moon’ and I really enjoyed that. It was also a bit far fetched but I was very entertained by it. It gets 4 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

We also just finished a series on Netflix which I really enjoyed called The I-Land.

I give it 4 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Norm was not as keen on it as I was as he thought it a bit weak on plot. (Yet he enjoyed that disastrous The Silence??)

Norm has cooked for us most of the week. As I get home so late with this new project I can’t or we would be eating at midnight.

He made chicken breasts wrapped in bacon, gem squash, fondant sweet potatoes and roast broccoli on Monday night. It was delicious.

Another night he grilled fillet steaks and I made a salad. He also did some chips in the air fryer. It was a really warm evening so was perfect.

Wednesday he made chicken sausages with cauliflower mash, mushrooms and steamed asparagus.

I had my usual weekly treat of sushi. I had crab salad, salmon roses, cucumber roses topped with prawn, and tempura prawns.

They added something crispy on top of the crab salad and I did not enjoy that at all. I think I will stop ordering that dish as it is a bit tasteless. But the sushi was delicious and fresh.

I have had a busy weekend and am looking forward to just chilling for the rest of the evening before I have to do that long commute again all week.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend and that you have a great week.

Until next time Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Friday Lily came down for the weekend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was lovely spending more time with my gorgeous girls.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My air plant is blooming too.

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

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

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

With a little help from my friends

This week was exhausting as Norm was away on a business trip to Kenya and I was in charge of the house, the 5 animals as well as still working. I negotiated with work to only do half days so that helped. I also hired my friend Michelle to come sleep over and assist me. I could not have coped without her as she stayed with Panda as he still cannot be left on his own.

We soon got into a routine, we both got up at 7 and while I was getting ready for work Michelle fed the dogs and sorted out Panda. While I was working she did Physio with him, practiced standing and took him out for a bit of sun.

The earth has healing energy so it was good for him to connect to that. He is now able to sit for quite a long time, lie down and roll over.

On Tuesday we took him for Physio at the Animal Fitness Centre in Plumstead. While I was sitting in the waiting room with Panda in my lap, he suddenly extended his front legs and sat up! Michelle said he had also done it earlier that morning. Once he realized he could do so he started to do it constantly and he has built up a lot of strength in his front legs.

Then with the Physio’s assistance he walked a few steps. She used this strap under his hips.

I cried with happiness to see him walk. He was smiling from ear to ear with pride.

They did a lot of strengthening and stretching exercises with him and he was so sore for several days as his muscles have all atrophied completely.

Every day Michelle walked Pixie and Navajo then came home to collect Panda and walk him around the neighborhood for a bit. It was so exciting for him.

All of the animals loved Michelle and she was so helpful to me around the house. She vacuumed up the endless dog hair, tidied the house, did laundry and the dishes. She was such a blessing. She even did a bit of reiki on all of the dogs.

Panda is still very restless at night. The first night he woke me every hour. The next night it was every two hours. The 3rd night Michelle tried to get him to sleep with her so I could get a decent nights sleep but he complained and thrashed about looking for his mommy. At 2am I woke to his howling, went and got him and brought him into my bed, he drank some water and then slept til morning.

I cooked for us each night. On Sunday Norm did a shop for me and I cooked a big pot of bolognese sauce. On Monday when I got home I made some toasted ciabatta and cooked the spaghetti and we had a quick and tasty dinner. I grated some fresh Parmesan on top and voila.

The following night we got home quite late due to Panda’s Physio and I cooked lasagne noodles, layered them with the remaining bolognese sauce, some ricotta cheese and mozzarella. I toasted the remaining ciabatta. It made another delicious dinner from the one packet of mince.

The following night I just cooked some frozen tempura hake fillets and chips and served it with baked beans and coleslaw. On Thursday I stopped at Oakhurst Farmstall Kwikspar and bought one of their delicious chicken and mushroom pies, some of their potato salad, and I made more coleslaw and we had another easy meal.

Norm had a good trip once he finally got to Kenya. He was due to fly on Sunday night but the flight was cancelled. Then the second flight was also cancelled. The third flight was delayed four hours so it was 2am when he got to his hotel and he had another flight at 5am so he got very little sleep and had to start work as soon as he landed. When he got home on Friday night he woke in the middle of the night ill with food poisoning and spent most of Saturday in bed.

I had an appointment to get my hair done at Pause in Cape Town CBD so he had to cope for a bit on his own. As the grey around my face is getting quite prevalent Leandra has decided to lighten the colour around my face to make the contrast with my natural black hair colour less severe and noticeable.

What do you think? Leandra gave me some lovely curls even though I wasn’t going anywhere special.

After my hair appointment I went into Hout Bay and got some electrolytes and Imodium for Norm, got petrol, went to the bank and did a bit of a shop.

When I got home I made Norm a pot of vegetable soup.

Lily and Josh were planning on coming down for the weekend but they both have flu so they stayed home. Caitlin came for dinner on Saturday night and it was lovely to see her. We made various salads and did tapas of chicken samosas, chicken strips and arancini balls. Norm got out of bed and managed a bowl of soup and some toast.

We started watching Series 2 of Mindhunter on Netflix.

This is such a riveting series, I am loving it so far, but then I have an obsession with serial killers.

It has been absolutely stunning weather the last few days.

Today Norm is feeling a bit better and Panda is stuck to him like glue. He so loves his Daddy. I was supposed to go to drumming but I am exhausted and need a day of rest.

I have started on the full strength anxiety / depression meds and I have not had any anxiety reactions this week. No vertigo or palpitations or any other symptoms. It is such a relief.

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend and that you have a great week.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Hold The Guavas

Last week was a four day work week in South Africa as Friday was a public holiday. It was National Women’s Day. It commemorates the events on 9 August 1956, when more than 20,000 South African women of all races staged a march on the Union Buildings in protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950, commonly referred to as the “pass laws”. In South Africa, pass laws were a form of internal passport system designed to segregate the population, manage urbanisation, and allocate migrant labour. Also known as the natives law, pass laws severely limited the movements of not only black African citizens, but other people as well by requiring them to carry pass books when outside their homelands or designated areas. Before the 1950s, this legislation largely applied to African men, and attempts to apply it to women were met with significant protests. Pass laws would be one of the dominant features of the country’s apartheid system, until it was effectively ended in 1986.

I celebrated the day with my friends Melodie and Bronwyn. We jumped on the bus in Hout Bay at about 11am and went into Sea Point. We got off on Main Road and strolled along popping into any shop that caught our eye. Bronwyn bought herself a gorgeous pink cardigan and bought the same one for me in a stunning bright blue. It is so soft and feels lovely against your skin.

It is an early birthday present. I am very lucky and felt so spoiled.

We stopped at Mojo Market where there are loads of different food stalls and live music.

We had not had breakfast so we ordered a cappuccino and donuts.

They make the donuts to order so they are hot and they are lovely and crispy outside. You can have them sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar or with hot icing. The icing comes in vanilla, chocolate and caramel and I asked for a bit of each. Wow those were sinfully delicious.

After we finished we walked down to the promenade by the seaside to Winchester Mansions. It is a gorgeous Cape Dutch building with a lovely sea view.

We were seated on the front patio looking out to the ocean.

My selfy skills need work.

Mel ordered chicken wings and wedges and Bronwyn and I both ordered chicken strips and chips.

The serving was huge but the chicken was moist and tender and the batter crunchy. It was very nice. If this was a ‘light meal’ the portions of their mains must be unmanageable! I was very impressed.

There was a sweet baby redwing starling which hopped up onto my handbag and begged for food. It was the sweetest. I love birds and this little guy seemed almost tame.

We had a lot of laughs. Bronwyn was telling a story about an interaction with someone and said that she almost ‘kicked her in the guava’. I had never heard that term used to describe someone’s lady bits and I laughed myself silly. We then somehow got onto the subject of mushroom soup and I pointed out that it smells like semen. These two discussions gave us a lot of amusement.

After we had finished eating we strolled back up to catch a bus, but the stop for the one we needed was back on Main Road so we walked around to that stop. We waited ages and when our bus came through it was so full the driver did not even stop. After standing in the cold wind for about 20 minutes we gave up and booked an Uber.

The rest of the weekend was pretty chilled and relaxed. It has been sunny but cold. I put Panda out on the front porch so he could get some fresh air and sunshine.

Sunday it started raining again. Last week it rained on and off for most of the week and was very cold. We had fires most evenings.

We have had a busy week and ended up with takeaways for dinner several nights.

I had a prawn yiro from Spiro’s with loaded chips.

It was very tasty and the home made pita bread is one of the best I’ve ever eaten. It was quite silky in texture. The yiro came with feta and tomato saganaki sauce as did the loaded chips. The sauce was divine. I enjoyed it very much.

I had pizzas a few different nights. I had a Regina pizza from Massimo’s one night.

And I had a Mexican pizza from Cassarechio.

They are very different styles of pizzas but both are nice. Massimo’s is more like the pizzas you get in Italy but the one from Cassarechio was tasty too.

Norm cooked a delicious dinner on Thursday night. He grilled fillet steaks and halloumi cheese, fried sweet potato rounds in butter and served it with a baby spinach and rocket salad topped with pomegranate seeds. It was all perfectly cooked.

Panda has made more progress this week. We took him to see a Physio to see if he is ready for hydrotherapy. She did not think he is quite ready but she gave us some additional exercises to do at home with him. He is trying so hard. When you lift him he’s trying to stand, he puts his legs out straight to hold himself up. Norm even managed to hold him up so he could pee. He practices wiggling and scoots his body from one end of the bed to the other.

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Physio time ❤️

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Despite my relief at Panda’s progress I had a high anxiety week. I have had an intense headache and palpitations for weeks and finally on Thursday I reached the limit of my endurance and booked an appointment with my GP. He did a test where he asked questions about my stress and anxiety and determined I had moderate to high anxiety. He discussed my options and we agreed that I should try a daily dose of anxiety / depression medication as I could not take the Ativan on a daily basis as I had been doing recently. He also gave me something for my headache which has now improved.

On Thursday there were protests in Hout Bay at the harbour. The protestors were upset that they had not been paid. Who was supposed to be paying them I’m not sure and why they had to cause obstacles for everyone who lived in the area I am not sure. Many of these protests make no sense.

There was another truck petrol bombed in Cape Town this week. I also don’t understand who can be benefiting from this. There have also been a series of cars stoned just off the motorway.

The death of Ivan Ivanov that I blogged about recently has led to the implementation of a new team of guards on Table Mountain. I hope that they make a difference and make it safe for people to use the parks and mountains without so much risk.

With so much chaos and ineptitude in our country I find it farcical that the government is attempting to implement a National Health Service (NHI). They should focus on resolving the current problems before attempting such a huge transformation.

Many of the government hospitals are in dire straits so they have to sort that out before they have any chance of it being a success.

Norm and I have started watching a new series on Netflix called The Family.

It is as fascinating as it is worrying. It is about a secretive Christian Conservative organization in Washington, D.C. called The Fellowship Foundation, aka ‘The Family’. It outlines how they infiltrated the Washington political scene and the power they wield. I really recommend it.

I hope you all have a fabulous week. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo