Facing The Music

After our busy week last week Norm and I were quite happy to have a quiet night in last Friday. Norm made a delicious low carb cottage pie using cauliflower mash instead of potatoes. He topped it all with a thick layer of mature cheddar. To go with it he served baby zucchini fried in butter.

It was nice to have home cooked food on a Friday as we normally have a take away. Norm is getting pretty impressive with his cooking skills!

After dinner we started watching the People vs. O.J. Simpson docudrama which was shown a while back in the US and garnered great reviews. It is part of the American Crime Story series and I intend to watch some of the other ones after this is finished. We found it funny that even though we knew a lot of the info around this case we were still in suspense. I think the acting is brilliant. We finished the series on Tuesday night as we devoured it.

The weather reports had been predicting rain for Friday and as we were relaxing a call came in over the radio asking for assistance so Norm got dressed and headed out. As he left the sky opened and it poured with rain for several hours.

I thank the Cloud spirits and the Water spirits for blessing us with such abundance.

While Norm was out I looked for something on Netflix to keep me amused on my own. I spotted that they have done a new series of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, this time branding it simply ‘Queer Eye‘. I did enjoy it but they jerk the heart strings and I’m too much of a bawler to watch many of those without getting too sad.

Saturday morning I had an appointment at the hairdresser in the city centre. I was lucky and got parking nearby on Long Street so I only had one near death experience walking across the chaotic traffic. Pause is such an airy gorgeous venue and I joined the throngs waiting for the lovely Leandra to work her magic.

Due to the drought most people are only washing their hair once a week. It is a bit of a bonus when that once a week falls on the day you get your hair washed at the hairdresser. I did not have a cut this time, we just did a half head of colour to cover my roots.

When I got home I asked Norm if he fancied going out for a late pub lunch and then skipping dinner. He agreed and so I waited for him to shower and then we headed out to the Woodcutters Arms in Hout Bay. It was a warm sunny day with a wee bit of wind but we found a table in the beer garden and we settled in.

We ordered drinks and noticed that they had changed their menu and added on a few new items, however we were not tempted to stray from our usual starters and so we did not. I had the jalapeno cheddar cigars and Norm had the Scotch Egg.

The chicken burger I normally order was gone from the menu however and so I chose another starter as a main, the Popcorn Chicken. I just ordered a portion of fries to go with it.

The chicken was nicely moist and not over cooked. The sauce was really bitter. Not sure what was going on there but it was inedible. I just used my tomato sauce I was given for the fries instead as a ‘dip’.

Norm ordered the Fish and Chips with mushy peas. He encountered a lot of bones when eating it but it was a nice large piece of fish and he did not seem to mind the bones.

I had spotted one item on the menu which was new. There was a peanut butter and popcorn sundae. I can’t get the exact name and description as it is not yet on their website. But it was a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream and another flavour I could not quite identify and there was a swirl of peanut butter sauce on the top and the bottom of the sundae. Peanut butter and popcorn are 2 of my favourite things and I was not disappointed in this tasty little pot of sinful deliciousness.

After we finished eating we headed home so that Norm could take the pups out for their daily constitutional. We just had a relaxing evening at home that night.

On Sunday we had invited Caitlin’s childhood friend Lee and his mom Carla over for lunch. Lee is wanting to set up an NGO and Norm has a lot of knowledge in that area so he has offered to assist Lee. Norm and I got up early to tidy up the back garden and Norm did a shop for us. We kept it simple and just did salads and grilled meat. It was a really hot afternoon but it was enjoyable company so we did not mind too much.

When driving to work on Monday morning I heard that there had been yet another fire in the township in Hout Bay. A firefighter was stabbed by a resident while he was battling the blaze. This is such a bizarre thing which happens in the townships sometimes, the very people coming to assist are then attacked. I have blogged about this from an ambulance point of view but it appears to be wider spread than I understood.

Later that day we also heard about a group of girls who had been raped by four men at the beach in the wee hours of the morning. The girls were parked at the beach and these 4 men attacked them. The alleged rapists were all caught which is at least some comfort.

It is not all doom and gloom and bad news however as we just heard that Day Zero has been pushed back to June! The drought has also finally been declared a national disaster so this should free up some funding. According to the statement released by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the government will “strengthen and support the disaster management structures to implement contingency plans and ensure that immediate relief, recovery and reconstruction measures are put in place to enable the national executive to effectively deal with the effects of this disaster”.

The three provinces – the Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape – have already been declared provincial disasters and now they will all be declared national disasters.

On a global scale water scarcity is a huge issue.

In its most recent data (2014), the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said 45 countries were experiencing water shortages, defined as less than a thousand cubic metres (one million litres) per person a year. They include South Africa, Cyprus and Morocco.

The UN’s climate science panel, the IPCC, said in a 2014 report that for every degree Celsius of global warming, about seven percent of the world’s population will see a drop of at least 20 percent in renewable water resources.

Pollution and global warming as well as the population explosions over the last few decades have led us to a dangerous point regarding the resources we need in order to survive.

This week has also been full of some brilliant live music. Both compliments of Cafe Roux, but one was in the city centre branch and the other at the Noordhoek branch.

On Tuesday night Norm and I booked to go to see his former colleague Mae Sithole perform with her band at the Cafe Roux branch in the Cape Town city centre. I love how they make sure that the audience is there to listen and not whitter on to their pals.

We had the best seats in the house. We were on a raised platform at the back of the room and we had a brilliant view of the stage. After we sat down we both started to cough and I had a major sneezing attack. Our waiter, Maya, told us that there had been a fight in a club up the street and the bouncers had used pepper spray to break it up. The intense wind meant that it blew into the other bars down the street and we were all choking. They turned on the air con on high and eventually it dispersed but I would hate to imagine what it was like closer up!

We each ordered a drink to calm our sinus passages and then ordered some food.

Norm ordered the butternut ravioli with sage butter sauce. He really enjoyed this and raved about it.

I ordered a pizza as the menu said they make their own bases and the toppings for the Mexican pizza sounded yummy. I was not disappointed, they do nice thin crispy pizzas with plenty of toppings. I loved the fresh coriander.

To give you a taste, I found this video of Mae performing a while back on the Expresso Morning Show.

Mae’s live performance in Cafe Roux was much more passionate. But appearing at 7am on telly might lead one to be a bit less enthusiastic in their delivery.

Mae’s rendition of Jailer had everyone in the venue on their feet shaking it and singing along with her.

I love this video which was filmed on the streets of Cape Town. It will give you a feel for our city’s vibes as well as Mae’s.

And this is one of my favourite songs of hers which was filmed at UCT, the University where I am currently consulting. I wonder did she write this song about her and her German origin husband Joerg meeting and falling in love?

We chatted to Joerg before the performance and he was telling us about their wedding and his need to pay lobola or a bridal dowry as is customary in many African cultures. I think that Mae is Shona as she is from Zimbabwe. Joerg paid 8 cows for the privilege of Mae’s hand in marriage. As she is such a beauty with an amazing voice and a few University degrees under her belt, I think he got a bargain.

The staff, the comfy seating, the food, the venue, the performance were all brilliant. The only debit was getting slightly pepper sprayed, however that is not the fault of the venue.

I will give the evening a full on 5 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

After the performance ended we joined the crowds trying to greet Mae and exit the venue. We gave her a congratulatory hug on our way past and we went out onto Shortmarket Street to walk to our car and saw that it was pouring with rain! Giant fat raindrops were falling, with thunder and lightening making a rather spectacular show above us. Normally we would run to avoid getting drenched but I was quite happy to revel in it. It poured with rain all the way home and we were so happy, we just hoped that the weather was not upsetting the pups at home but our dogs are never bothered by loud noises such as storms or fireworks. Norm has been walking them while it was storming over head before and they were not in the least bit fazed.

The following day was Valentine’s Day. Norm and I never exchange gifts but I was surprised by stunning flowers when I got in from work.

He had left the sweetest handwritten message on my card.

I am such a lucky girl. ❤️

We did book to go for a night out however. We booked at the Cafe Roux Noordhoek venue for dinner and to see Alice Phoebe Lou. The show was sold out so I am glad we booked in advance.

When we arrived at Noordhoek Village we were rather surprised that there were huge numbers of people milling around. There was no parking so Norm dropped me at the venue and went to park and I went through to get our seats.

We then discovered that there was a market on. Every Wednesday there is the Village Market from 4-8pm. It looked like a lovely market, however it was directly adjacent to the venue where the music was being played and the noises from the market stalls and the people who were attending it was rather overbearing and we struggled to hear each other or the music when it started.

When Norm dropped me I had first been escorted over to sit in the middle of a picnic table where there were already 2 other couples sitting. I had been having issues with my back for a few days so I was not keen on not having a seat with a back to lean on and when the waiter came over after Norm arrived and offered us a table on the perimeter of the venue which did have a back to the seats we gladly abandoned our new friends and moved over to the other table.

We ordered our food which came pretty quickly. I chose the pulled pork which came on a seeded bun with coleslaw and fries. I did not eat the bun but I did have most of the fries.

Norm ordered the cheddar cheese burger which was really messy but he seemed to enjoy it.

Alice came on at about 8.30. She was performing on the opposite side of the courtyard to where we were seated but we could see her OK.

However people would get food from the market behind us and then come and sit on the wall of the bench we were seated on and yammer on loudly. I shushed a few of them and glared at the rest but it was really distracting.

I found a video of Alice performing one of the songs from her last CD so you can hear her.

And this contains some of the songs she sang last night.

Alice has a lovely voice but she spent a lot of time talking to us and in some instances even lecturing us about one subject or another. She was a bit rambling in her conversation and somewhat distracted. She even forgot the lyrics a few times. As a result of that and the background noise I will only give the night 3 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Later that day we heard the horrific news from the USA of yet another school massacre, this one being the worst since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. This is also the 18th school shooting in the US since the start of this year only.

Let that sink in. In six weeks there have been 18 shootings which have occurred at a school. I am so glad I do not have children attending an American school.

However my sadness was somewhat alleviated by the resignation of our president Jacob Zuma. In typical Zuma fashion, he was very late for his own scheduled media appointment. If you can endure listening to his illiterate ramblings and bizarre speech patterns I have embedded the video below.

He jumped ship before the vote of no confidence could occur that was tabled for the next morning in Parliament. Jerking around the bollock deficient ANC and the rest of the country right up to the last minute.

I have my doubts about the proposed new President Cyril Ramaphosa because of the history of his involvement in the Marikana tragedy. I hope as the president he learns to put his constituents ahead of his bank balance. That concept seemed to be a challenge for the last president.

I hope that South Africa can recover from the damage done by Zuma. I also hope that he and the cronies who assisted him in raping our country will be brought to task and justice will be served.

On a more personal level I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. I have another busy one scheduled. But of course, you will hear all about it soon enough.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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Shadows

The hot weather has continued but despite the mugginess in the air promising us rain it has been scarce. We received a few drizzles again on Friday, we are so thankful to the Water Spirits and the Cloud Spirits. I pray that they distribute water liberally over our dams. I would so rejoice if we had a weekend of rain. I’m trying to practice gratitude for the water we do have rather than stressing and focusing on the scarcity of it. Keeping a positive gratitude is the aim.

We have a houseful this weekend which is lovely. Josh is racing this weekend and Lily and his Dad David came down to stay for the weekend.

Last night we had a braai. It was windy but we were sheltered at the back of the house. Norm cooked chicken sausage, steaks and chicken kebabs and Lily and I made cole slaw and there was potato salad from woolies. Lily made garlic butter for the mushrooms and Norm cooked them on the grill.

Last weekend when Norm and I were at Pick n Pay they had an excellent special on Brie and Camembert and so we picked up some Brie. On Wednesday evening Norm braaied 2 fillet steaks for the 3 of us as I was going to slice them that was enough meat. I put the Brie into some oven proof dishes and drizzled them all with honey and Norm popped those on the top shelf of the gas braai while the steaks cooked. I made a big salad of spinach, cabbage, carrots, cucumber & tomato and for the meat and I made a sauce by chucking in a preserved fig, a green chili, a big shot of lemon juice, a glug of vinegar and some honey and blitzing it until smooth. To serve I sliced the meat and rubbed it with the sauce and lay it across the salad and served a little bowl of it for adding to the salad.

OMG this was so good!

I will try to recreate that again but as I never measure anything my dishes are never consistent. But I try to not get too hung up about that.

I have written before about mindfulness and that I am trying to focus on being in the present and conscious of my internal dialogues. A friend mentioned the work of Tara Brach on The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine website. I subscribed to the site and they have sent me some videos on deepening our connections to others. You can click that link and sign up to the site and watch yourself. I really recommend it.

I also recommend subscribing to Tara’s YouTube channel.

Tara talks about the need for self-acceptance and how lack of this can interfere in our ability to form intimate bonds and relationships with others. I strongly identify with this as I have self confidence issues. People always find this surprising as I have no issues with stating my opinion and to those who do not know me well, I appear to be a confident extrovert. In reality I have this inner voice constantly telling me I am not good enough, that I am inadequate in many of the ‘roles’ I play, from my career to parenting to marriage to just being a woman.

In today’s culture women over 50 are invisible and are often deemed not worthy of attention. In many cultures women are not valued at all regardless of their age. If you have wrinkles or are overweight, you are bombarded with millions of media images of perfection and this can impact your self esteem. With the influx of stories about women being victimized by men and then not believed and even worse of those violators not being taken to task for those violations deepens these feelings of being undervalued.

The first video from Tara is discussing ‘How to Shift from Self-Criticism to Self-Acceptance and Love’.

It is impossible to feel negative about ourselves and still form a strong bond with another person. The two are mutually exclusive.

The second video is discussing ‘How Self-Acceptance Rewires the Brain for Deeper Connection’.

Three points which Tara mentions as a way to help us change our sense of self are:

  1. Learn to Observe your own thoughts. (Mindfulness)
  2. Mindfully Feel your feelings.
  3. Offer a gesture of care to your inner self.

The idea that Tara puts out there is that what we hide from others (and often even hide from our own conscious thoughts) can block us from forming deep bonds.  Hiding what you do not like about yourself impacts upon your ability to have a healthy relationship with another.

This is aligned to what I have been reading from Jung about the shadow archetypes. Jung believed that the Shadow archetype represents all that we are ashamed of, all that we do not like about ourselves and all that we keep secret, the unconscious parts of ourselves which we repress. As long as we repress this part of ourselves we cannot grow into a complete mentally healthy person. We have to become conscious of this aspect of ourselves and bring it into the light. Jung’s philosophy is that the act of making the shadow conscious is the starting point towards psychic health and individuation.

It is not the same as the Cherokee concept of the Shadow Walker. A shadow walker is someone who can walk the line between light and dark, life and death. So both conceptually refer to a division in the person, but very different in actuality.

Many therapists and psychologists believe that shame is the root of most addictions. Addictions in turn can then become part of our shadow self and something that we hide. We also hide various other behaviours which in turn can lead to deep feelings of shame and self loathing.

The 12 Step recovery groups have a slogan ‘we are only as sick as our secrets’. This refers to the idea that feelings of shame and regret about actions taken while not in recovery can quickly derail a person in their attempts to get clean or sober.

For me I know that my issue is around both self acceptance of my physical self and my strong personality.

Aging and weight loss have riddled my body with bags, sags and lumps and bumps. This makes me so self conscious that I cringe at the idea of anyone seeing me undressed, even my darling loving husband who loves me unconditionally whatever my weight.

This is not HIS issue or HIS feeling of revulsion I am experiencing, it is just a thought in my head. I do not have to buy into that thought, I can choose to let it go.

So for me to implement the 3 step guidance that Tara gave in the second video I will need to first witness the voices in my head and listen to what they are saying. To acknowledge that these are just my self destructive thoughts and they only exist in my own head, these are not what anyone else is feeling.

Secondly, I need to name the feelings which are triggered by these thoughts. Am I feeling shame that I have taken so little care of my physical shell? Am I feeling embarrassed that I am not toned and sleek? Am I feeling other emotions? What are they?

Labeling these emotions activates a different area of our brain. We need to think of the emotions as waves and let them just roll over us while mindfully acknowledging our suffering.

For an empath, the need to ‘dampen’ down our deep wells of emotion is a survival instinct. If we allow ‘in’ everything and tap into some of that energy it can be incredibly overwhelming and even depressing. We need to learn the skills to master it and not allow it to ‘stick with us’. To feel the empathy but not let it overwhelm us.

The third step is to offer comfort to ourselves. Tara suggested closing your eyes, putting your hand on your heart and offering emotional and even verbal comfort to yourself. When something which causes us pain rises, to even verbalise ‘ouch’.

Imagine the joy of yourself healing from these useless negative emotions.

To move away from self judgement to self acceptance is the goal.

An easy way for most of us to relate is regarding dieting or food issues in general. We set a goal for ourselves to lose weight, this is sometimes driven by feelings of self disgust or lack of worthiness. If we ‘cheat’ on our diet, we then have even more feelings of self disgust, sometimes leading us to give up completely on our goal. Instead, we should just write that off as an oops and carry on with no guilt. Just pick yourself up and go back to the original goal. It is only one meal. But if you self sabotage repeatedly then you need to address those issues. Why do you not feel worthy of self care and healthy food? Is the weight some sort of protection?

Some of these feelings of lack of self acceptance run very deep, the roots may be buried in childhood. We may have to keep hacking at those roots with a metaphysical machete.

Consciousness is our first step. I am willing to take that step, do you want to come along?

Kisses from the Kitten xxoxoxoxox

The Sacrificial Kitten

I feel like I should have some sort of large neon flashing light counting down to when the water runs out in Cape Town on my blogs. “It is X amount of days until Day Zero” announced in some deep ominous voice when it opens, a bit like all the silly nonsense we had on our MySpace blogs. Day Zero is a moving target which is based on our consumption, the rainfall and the dam water levels. I did mentioned that the City of Cape Town (CoCT) does have such a countdown. HERE is the link again and you can see that the previous date of 12 April has now been pushed back a few days to the 16th of April. This is as a result of people conserving more and that tiny drizzle of rain we had this week, so we gained 6 days.

I also discussed how Day Zero will only impact some people in Cape Town. An article about township residents and water has confirmed these views. If you have lived most of your life with the restriction of ‘use only what you can carry’ then you are already water conscious and far less precious than most of us are. Many people do not even have a bath or a shower in their home so they are not worried about not being able to do either of those things when Day Zero arrives.

Now we are watching the infighting at the governmental level and blaming of each other regarding taking responsibility for the water crisis. The National government (the ANC) are responsible for ensuring that the provinces have an adequate water supply and the local government (the DA) are responsible for ensuring the water is distributed to the residents.

Both are pointing fingers at each other and neither seem to have a clue what to do to get us out of this mess. National government is saying that the residents are wasteful and do not look after our resources rather than acknowledging that the population has outstripped the supply as discussed in a previous post. Local government is trying to ride that same old pony to the bank and is trying to put the financial burden onto the citizens. Neither of these actions are helping.

It is amazing how little water one can use when being very aware and cautious. I managed to wash up about 4 sinks full of dishes on the weekend using one small pan of water. I put a tiny bit into a second pan for rinsing and I washed them all in the same pan of wash water. It is not ideal but it is what we must do.

Humans need to start thinking more on a global scale than just to the limits of their vision or the ends of their noses. We all need to think about our footprint on Mother Earth.  I saw that California is proposing legislature which will make it illegal for restaurants to offer plastic straws. After their one-time use, non-biodegradable plastic straws often end up in our oceans and waterways where they break down into smaller, micro-size pieces that are discarded into our environment. They are oftentimes mistaken as food by marine life. An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic garbage ends up in the world’s oceans every year and an estimated 90% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs. I rejoiced about the new proposed legislature while others I see online are saying ‘we have bigger issues like child abuse and crime to deal with here in Amuricah!’ uh yeah and that is why those are both illegal too you imbeciles.

People.

In Cape Town many restaurants have taken a voluntary pledge to not use single use plastic items which are not recyclable and to ban plastic straws completely.

We all have to make sacrifices for the good of others. Norm and I discussed on the weekend how much water it uses to make a frothy coffee. We have already had to feel the environmental guilt from using the pods, but now to realise that it takes a bowl of water to wash the milk out of the frother after each cup is making me give up my machine coffees. I will heat the milk in the microwave and try to avoid the resulting horrid little slimy bits you get from heated milk.

Sigh.

On Friday when Norm came home with the dogs from their walk Navajo was limping. He was right as rain when they left home but he came home and refused to put his back foot onto the ground and tucked his leg right up into his body. We all tried to keep him still to see if he had a thorn but we could see nothing. If we touched his foot he yelped.

My boy ❤️ #navajo #swissshepard #shepard #dogsofinstagram #tongue

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When we got up on Saturday morning Norm took him to the vet. The vet could not look at it properly and due to the yelping when we touched it he wanted to sedate Navajo and do an x-ray to make sure there were no fractures. That is now over R3k we have paid at the vet this month. Norm had to leave him and so he came back home to wait for the call to say Nav was awake from the sedation. Norm went back to collect Nav a bit later and the vet had given him a cortisone injection in his foot and he seemed much happier to put it down to walk on it, but he was high as a kite and was rather amusing when trying to navigate round the house. The vet thinks he just strained it.

Today we heard that Lily’s Weimaraner Bacardi is unwell. I would appreciate a positive thought or prayer for his healing please.

Baby sitting ❤️

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My friend Melodie popped by for coffee and a chat on Saturday afternoon. It was really warm and windy out so we sat out at the back of the house, the patio there is really protected by the wind. Norm had bought some choccie biscuits and a small cheesecake for us to have with our coffees on his way back from the vet.

It was lovely having Lily down for the weekend. On Saturday Lily and Josh went to a Havana themed birthday party at the Grand. Norm dropped them off so that they could Uber home and have a few drinks.

The Grand is right on the beach and it is a lovely venue. They are such a cute couple those 2. Lily borrowed the dress from Amber and Lily bought Josh his outfit that day and he borrowed Norm’s hat.

Summer loving ❤️ #havanaparty #taigs30th #thegrand

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When Norm returned from dropping off the kids he decided to pop down to The Kitchen Takeaway for something for our dinner as there was just us two eating. We ordered the Ribs and Prawns combo. Both of those choices tell you how much Norm loves me as he hates to eat food that he has to touch with his hands but I had ordered it as a combo and we only realised it was for 2 people when he arrived and so he sacrificed his own choices in order to share mine.

Awww.

It was delicious.

After dinner Norm and I sat down to watch a bit of telly and the next thing I knew Josh and Lily were arriving home. It was well after midnight and we had obviously both nodded off in front of Dragons Den. We all headed sleepily off to bed.

When we woke on Sunday Nav ran around and jumped half up on the bed. He had not been able to do that the previous day as it hurt to put pressure on that back foot but on Sunday he seemed much better. He did still yelp when we gave him a yogurt container to lick as he tried to hold it with a front paw which resulted in putting pressure on the back foot and he cried loudly and looked a bit sheepish at us. But once he got his balance back he was fine and spent the day without any further protests.

Norm and I hung out around the house until Lily decided to head back up the coast and then we showered to go out. I did my once weekly hair wash but still managed to keep the water usage to a minimum by not waiting on the cold water to heat and by having it drip down rather than pummel me with water. Norm is tracking our consumption daily to ensure we are below the current 50l per person per day targets.

As we were getting ready to leave Lily rings to say she has just discovered Josh’s truck keys were in her handbag. She was about an hour up the road and had to turn back, thus adding in so much wasted time to her already long journey. Poor Lily. She also left all of her dirty washing but we will keep that for her return. 😉

Norm and I finally headed out to hit the shops about 1pm. We decided to pop in for a spot of lunch at Tashas in Constantia and were lucky enough to get a table outside with a view of the mountains. It even had a bit of shade for my wee scotty.

Considering how hot it was outside we were happy for the shade.

We both ordered the Apple Goat Cheese salad for R114 which was described as: goat’s cheese served on ciabatta toast, caramelised apple, baby gem lettuce, micro herbs, walnuts, red onion & rocket tossed in a balsamic & olive oil dressing.

We just scraped the cheese off of the toast but I had a naughty nibble of the corners of the crispy ciabatta. It was a delicious combination of flavours and I really enjoyed it.

After we returned home Norm heard that another hiker had been stabbed in the St James area which is popular with hikers. The attacker had posed as a security guard and was wearing a uniform. This would have led the victim to think that the stabber was there to assist or to protect them, not to attempt to murder them.

Two weeks ago, nine hikers were robbed and stabbed in the St James Peak area, by two men who appeared to be hikers. The duo had joined the group and hiked with them for about half an hour before attacking them.

Obviously the person or gangs who are performing these robberies are planning their approach, it is not just opportunism which is the impetus for many of our crimes. This is deliberately going there with a plan to do harm. I do hope they catch these horrendous cowardly ‘men’ as they seem to target the older or more elderly hikers.

It doesn’t sound like your usual tikhead (aka meth-head).

Unfortunately this is yet another area where local government have thrown their hands up as the Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has washed the province’s hands of responsibility for the murder. He has pretty much said ‘Nothing to do with us!’ as technically any crime remains the constitutional prerogative of the South African Police Service (SAPS) which is ‘owned’ by National Government.

I guess that title of ‘Community Safety Member of the Executive Council’ is just a suggestion?

On Sunday afternoon after we got home from the shops I put a beef roast into the slow cooker. That made for a gorgeous roast dinner on Monday evening. To go with it I made fondant sweet potatoes.

Sunday evening it was still really hot so we bought some chicken kebabs at the shops to braai on the grill. Norm made those with grilled corn on the cob and I made a few salads to go with it. I even pickled some cucumber in vinegar.

Late on Sunday night we read about Cape Town fire fighter Ashley Kruger’s death while she was on duty fighting a blaze on Table Mountain. City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Theo Layne said 37 firefighters, a city-contracted helicopter, four fire engines and three water tankers were involved in extinguishing the blaze with assistance from Table Mountain National Parks. The fire fighter was a friend of a friend so it is particularly upsetting when you can put a face and name to the death of a hero. RIP to Ashley’s friends, her wife and her family, they at least have a bit of consolation that she died being selfless and heroic. The ultimate sacrifice.

On Monday when I got home from work I was so happy that I had put that roast into the slow cooker as I arrived home to no electricity! The entire valley was without electricity all day.

Luckily we have a gas cooker and so I could cook the sweet potatoes and reheat the roast. It was incredibly hot outside and a roast was possibly not the best meal for the weather but it was what it was.

When I left work on Monday it was 38 degrees C! That is 100.4 degrees in American.

Norm and I sat outside in the moonlight trying to catch a bit of a breeze. The dogs were baffled as to why we were sitting quietly in the dark and why we were on the front stoep.

Eventually at about 10pm the electricity was restored and we could put the fans on. The weather did finally cool off a bit about bed time and there was even a tiny bit of rain on Tuesday morning.

For dinner on Tuesday I shredded the remainder of the beef roast, added beans and spices and made chili con carne.

It was good, but not amazing because some of the kidney beans were still hard. I boiled the chilli after we finished and it was fine for lunch today.

I am attending an event on Sunday called “Dance To Heal The Earth – One Day Dance in Honour of The Water.” Dance to Heal the Earth is a profound focal point for discovery, initiation, healing, and manifesting our intention, in alignment with the Great Creation, Mother Earth and the Core of our Beings. Every movement in the Dance is a prayer of profound focus and intention.

“All living things will take part. Dance to Heal the Earth! Let your feet beat a healing rhythm into the earth. Let your feet beat a strengthening rhythm for those who struggle the hardest. Let your feet beat a life-giving rhythm for all peoples, regardless of race or national boundary, regardless of whether we’re human or whether we’re the trees, the air, the fish, the birds, the buffalo, the bear, the crow. Our dance is a prayer, and our songs, rhythms and our breath give life.”<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
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I will take my drum and sing to support the drummers. If there are not too many people who want to drum I will join on the large communal drum, but I’m not good with being crowded so I will take my own just in case. Either way I am really looking forward to it.

I read a quote today by Cheryl Strayed that reads:

“Our work, our job, the most important gig of all, is to make a place that belongs to us, a structure composed of our own moral code. Not the code that echoes imposed cultural values, but the one that tells us on a visceral level what to do.”

To me that sums up exactly what I am trying to achieve, to have my heart beat aligned to the beat of Mother Earth, to align my compass to the direction of what is right and just.

The Spirit of Water

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

I said jokingly ‘Maybe you saw our ghost.’

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

What?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Silly Kitten.

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

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

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

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

Bit cloudy in the bay today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

Setting the Bar

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

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

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

#OnThisDay in 1991

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even when he wants to kill me.

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

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

And less of the aftertaste.

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

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

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

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

What level 6B Water Restrictions mean. Buckle up Buttercups

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

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

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

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

I’m delighted on both fronts.

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

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

I hope you all have a good weekend.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Kitten and the Kittens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lily and Josh arrived next.

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

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

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

I DETEST seaweed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is Mittens, the little girl.

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

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

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

This position made us laugh.

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

The recently departed Mr Gingerbread Man. #HesInMahBelly

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impulse and hunger are a dangerous combination.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kisses from The Kitten. Xoxoxo

Celebrations and Expectations

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

And yes that is a giraffe in the background.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway.

Expectations and all that……

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

🌞

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

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

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

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

Until then, kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxo