Everything You Need

This week has been really busy. Thankfully I am finally well. My doctor put me onto steroids on Monday as my cough was not improving. I did not read the instructions and only took one tablet the first day but the next morning I took the full dose of 6 pills and it made me feel like I had just smoked crack: twitchy and full of energy. At least that is what I assume it is like to smoke crack! They told me to take all 6 in the morning but they still affected my sleep all week.

I took both Monday and Tuesday off of work to rest as I was still coughing so much. There are issues at work which I needed to resolve so I went in on Wednesday.

Norm and I have done well with our low carb eating. I have lost 3Kgs since we got back from the US (that is 6.6 pounds for my US readers). I think a lot was fluid and toxins based on how much I have peed and how much I’ve been pouring with sweat. I never sweat. I may have a damp forehead but that’s all. Lately I’m drenched so suspect it’s the dietary changes and clean eating.

We did not cook every meal but tried to stay as low carb as we could. We had a takeaway eggplant parmigiana from Cassarechio last Sunday night as neither of us felt like cooking as it was stinking hot and when the kids wanted pizzas on Friday we decided to have it again as it’s less carbs than pasta or pizza and it is very tasty.

On Monday midday I made us an omelette as Norm was on a conference call. I hate wasting food and always try to use leftovers so I used the Mexican flavored mince from the low carb pizza I made the previous Saturday night as a filling.

I used 6 eggs so that the base would be solid. I let it cook until the base was nicely brown and I resisted poking around and messing with it. I added a layer of cheddar.

I then layered the pre-warmed meat mixture onto one side of the egg base.

I added too much meat so my flip wasn’t 100% successful but once I served it with added guacamole and salsa it was presentable enough.

It was so tasty!

I spent the majority of Monday resting. I had not slept the night before. My sleeping has been very hit or miss. I alternate watching the room get bright from the sun coming up and sleeping like the dead. On Wednesday night I got to sleep about 6a.m. and then got up at 8:30a.m. Funnily enough I coped fine at work on Thursday. On Friday I fell back asleep after my alarm went off and only woke at 7 from the dogs barking at me. I had to get the bins out and the recycling truck comes very early. I leapt out of bed, showered, got the bins out and fed the dogs and still made it to work by 9! I was groggy all day despite all that sleep.

My friend Vanessa came around on Monday as I had a pedicure booked and my feet needed done now that we are back in sandal weather.

It was 27* C and we were ever so hot. Norm and I decided to just have salad for dinner due to the heat. Norm fried some halloumi and grilled a packet of bacon while I made a salad with avocado, tomato, radishes and cucumber. I also made some blue cheese dressing. It was all so delicious and the flavors were gorgeous together.

We have now finished watching season 1 of ‘The Witcher’ and we started “Don’t F**K With Cats”.

OMG. We were gripped while watching it. I had heard nothing about the videos or the murderer. I don’t want to say much and spoil it. There are only 3 episodes but it was riveting and we devoured it. I give it 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I slept better on Monday night and I decided to cook on Tuesday as Norm had a dental appointment and several conference calls and was in and out all day.

I sautéed some chopped onion, chopped cabbage and celery as my stock base, once that had all sweated off I added sliced mushrooms and chicken breasts cut into cubes. I fried it all in butter til browned, dusted the pan with almond flour for thickening and stirred it all in, then added enough organic chicken stock to cover it and let it simmer til the stock was absorbed. I then added some spices and a container of cream and let it simmer a bit more til it thickened. I then added a few baby spinach leaves and a wee bit of cheddar and mixed that in and removed it all from the heat.

I popped it into a casserole dish and Norm made cauliflower mash which I spread on top. I then covered it all with a thick layer of cheddar and mozzarella and popped it into the oven til brown.

To go with it I steamed baby broccoli and drizzled it with lemon juice.

This dish was soooo tasty! I was ever so impressed with myself 😂.

That night the heat cooled down a bit and a cool breeze picked up and it was much more tolerable.

On Wednesday I went back to work and Norm went down to Stellenbosch for some consulting work. He stayed there until Friday.

Each day I packed myself a day’s worth of food: full fat yogurt for breakfast, lunches of various bits such as tuna, boiled eggs, ham, cheese, olives, pickles, or raw veg such as celery, carrots, baby tomatoes, or cucumber. I also took snacks of celery with sugar free peanut butter or creamed cheese spread on top and seeded low carb crackers. It takes organization but it is worth it to eat healthy. I need to keep reminding myself that I am worthy of the effort.

The wind was howling from Wednesday onwards but it was still incredibly hot. It meant the alarms at home were triggering all day from the wind and the alarm company kept phoning me. As I was busy at work I wasn’t happy about the distractions.

On Thursday I did a bit of a shop to tide me over while Norm was away. I would normally eat loads of rubbish when he is away but I avoided the chocolates and chips aisles and bought healthy lunch food and keto friendly foods. I was craving chicken wings and I cooked a tray of those and feasted til I couldn’t eat any more.

While Norm was away I had Vanessa come around each day to check on the dogs and let them out for a wee and a wander. Pixie decided she wasn’t going to eat on Thursday morning and even refused it again when Vanessa came around.

She wasn’t her usually happy smiling self.

Panda however is always Mr Perky Pants.

Pixie felt better that evening and ate all of her food and tried to muscle in on Navajo’s bowl but was promptly told off. Maybe it was just the oppressive heat affecting her.

Thursday was Lily’s 29th birthday. I cannot believe almost all of my babies are in their 30’s. Lily is such a wonderful person. She is so kind as well as beautiful.

Mom and I gave her cash as she has been saving for her wedding and wanted her to treat herself.

The wind turned severe on Friday and Saturday.

It started raining in some of the areas surrounding Cape Town on Friday. Lily and Josh drove down from Mossel Bay that afternoon and it rained most of their journey. In some areas Josh said it was raining so hard that they could barely see. I wish Trevor had been able to come, I miss him terribly.

I gave Lily and Josh their Christmas presents when I arrived home. From me and Mom Lily got 2 beautiful dresses, a top, a handbag, winter pajamas, summer pajamas, socks and some ballet shoes to wear when dancing at her wedding. I also gave her the robes I bought for her bridal party and she loved them.

Josh got 4 T-shirts for lounging in and a pair of NASA pajama pants and they all fit him.

Josh gave me a beautiful round planter to hang in my window. It can also be a bird feeder but I never see the birds eating out of my existing one and I suspect the cats might be the reason for that. I will fill it with succulents.

On Saturday Lily and I overslept and had to rush to get ready as we were meeting Caitlin at the bridal shop for a fitting at 10a.m. Lily tried on her dress and the assistant pinned it where it needs tailored. We have to go back again in a few weeks.

The girls went on to the fabric shop to get the bridesmaids dress fabric. The shop had sold out and they ended up going to Somerset West which is almost an hour away. It was worth it however as they found most of the fabric and the shop has promised to order more. They also found the sun umbrellas and fans for the wedding. They celebrated by having a nice brunch together.

I went onto the city centre after our appointment as I was getting my hair done at 11a.m. I love relaxing in the salon when there is nowhere that I have to be, reading and getting spoiled. I had a colour, a treatment and my fringe trimmed. Leandra put a few curls in as we were going out that night.

When we all arrived back at the house we opened presents. The kids gave me a handbag I had been drooling over.

They also gave me a gorgeous wrap. I wore both for dinner that evening.

Caitlin said she loved her gifts too. Mom gave her 4 pair of Levis which fit like a glove and I gave her a top, a cardigan, socks and pajamas. I had bought Wes some pajama bottoms and a 4 pack of vests but the vests were tiny! They were even tight on the girls. As they are an American size large I’m not sure what happened there. His pajama bottoms did fit at least, but he has such a wide chest.

The girls ended up swapping their pajamas as one pair was bigger and Caitlin can’t stand anything tight.

Panda helped the girls sort out their second hand jewelry from my Mom. Lily received a box of silver earrings and Caitlin was given a box of lockets and chains.

We phoned Mom and woke her and had a lot of laughs. Mom told the girls loads of crazy things I did when young. She told them about when Jeff my first fiancé had his parents come to visit. They took us out to dinner and got me drunk and tried to get me to marry their son right there and then. My Mom and Dad hated Jeff with just cause. He was an addict and a thief. I didn’t even remember that scene but not surprising if I was drunk.

When Norm got home and showered we all headed out to Papino’s for dinner.

We ordered some chili popper starters which was baked phyllo pastry containing a slice of jalapeño and a dollop of creamed cheese. It was good but not what we expected as we were all doing low carb. But we quickly scarfed them up!

We all ordered steaks, everyone had a fillet except for Wes. They all come with veg. I ordered mine with salad, Norm and Cait had sweet potato fries, Lily had mash and the boys had Portuguese chips. I ordered 3 bowls of garlic fried mushrooms for the table.

The food seemed to take ages as we were starving but the waitress kept keeping us informed and our drinks filled up so we just chatted.

Finally the steaks started arriving. The blokes were served first. Then the girls and lastly me. My steak was perfectly cooked and very tender.

Several people said their steaks were cold and Wes and Caitlin sent theirs back. Wes’s steak was well done rather than rare and Caitlin wanted hers heated up. Wes and Lily had a few bits of silver skin, or connective tissue, which made parts of it inedible. I loved mine and most everyone ate it all so the food must have been okay. We had a great night talking and laughing so that is what matters.

Wes wasn’t feeling well so he headed home after dinner. The rest of us chatted a bit when we got home but it soon started thundering and lightning badly so Cait headed out before the rain started as there are no street lights on our side of the mountain.

Sunday morning Lily and Josh shot off early to the Waterfront for Josh to try on suits for the wedding. They booked a nice pale grey for him. It will all look gorgeous whatever they wear, they are such a beautiful couple.

I sent my Christmas presents for Trevor and Amber with the kids for Lily to give them.

After Lily and Josh left it started pouring with rain which we desperately need.

The front door is open letting the cool damp air blow in. Norm and I are having a pajama day. It’s so peaceful listening to the rain.

The animals are all napping around the room.

Navajo is guarding us at the gate.

Norm is alternating relaxing with cleaning and working, I am blogging and playing games.

It is just what I need.

I hope that you get everything you need ❤️

Until next time, Kisses From The Kitten xoxoxoxo

Balance and Control

Our last weekend in the states was spent with me in bed as I was so ill. I missed our family dinner which had been planned on our last Saturday and also a BBQ with friends which was organized for the Sunday. I spent most of Monday alternating sleeping with packing.

Mom caught the bug from me as well and with her asthma I was very worried about her. She went to the doctor on Tuesday after we left and they gave her a steroid injection and antibiotic so she is now a bit better.

On Tuesday morning my uncle Joe popped by to say cheerio and drove with us to the shuttle that took us to the airport.

We flew from Atlanta to Johannesburg and went through immigration control and customs then checked our bags for a second flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town. The trip was approximately 20 hours but seemed longer as I was still so sick and as usual could not sleep on the flight. I coughed the whole trip and hopefully I haven’t started a world wide plague.

I watched loads of films on the long haul flights. The main one that stays in my mind is ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ which was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

I love Tarantino’s work. It is no surprise that the film won several Golden Globes: best comedy or musical, best screenplay and, for Brad Pitt, best supporting actor. As usual poor Leo got nominated but did not win. I thought LDC was very good but have to admit the lovely Brad was the star of that film. Leo plays old school fading Hollywood star Rick Dalton and Brad plays his stuntman Cliff Booth. The film starred so many other brilliant actors such as Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Damian Lewis, Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen, Maya Hawke, Lena Dunham and Al Pacino.

I had read nothing about the concept of the film beforehand, but as a Manson family obsessive I knew Cielo Drive was the place where the Manson Murders took place and when Leo and Brad turned into Leo’s drive and Tarantino focused on the street name I realized that there was going to be some connection to Sharon Tate’s infamous death. However despite some facts being represented in the film, many were part of a parallel universe.

Cliff meets the Manson family when he gave a beautiful young hitchhiker a lift. This is how Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys met Manson, when Dennis gave two of Charlie’s girls a lift and took them to his home, eventually letting Manson and many of the family stay with him for a life of debauchery until his agent chucked them out.

In the Tarantino film Cliff took the hitchhiker to Spahn Movie Ranch in Chatsworth California in LA County. There Cliff sensed something wasn’t right and as a result had a run in with several of the family. This was indeed where the family stayed for a while in 1968 and 1969 creating their own little commune which thrived on mental manipulation, sex and drugs.

I won’t give away the ending but it is a Hollywood twist on reality where the bad guys always lose and the good guys always win. I adored it and give it a full on 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. This film is a must watch.

I also watched a bizarre little arty independent film called Love is Blind starring Matthew Broderick, Chloe Sevigny and the beautiful Shannon Tarbet.

Shannon plays ‘Bess’ who is Matthew and Chloe’s daughter but she cannot see or hear her mother. She is undergoing therapy and the film follows her various issues and experiences. It is quite beautiful and ethereal in parts but is a bit slow moving. I would love to have that beautiful tree house from the film.

I give the film 3 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️.

I give the tree house 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

After our plane finally landed in Cape Town, we caught an Uber as soon as our bags were available but we still got home very late.

The dogs went insane when we got in, Panda squealed for ages.

Pixie collapsed in my lap refusing to leave me and Navajo ran in circles of excitement.

Neither Blue or Lola kitty were anywhere to be seen.

Norm and I faffed around settling in and playing with the dogs so only got to bed around midnight. Norm’s head was stuffed up and he snored all night and kept waking me up.

The next morning the dogs were awake and wanting out very early. Panda has a nasty habit of humping your foot under the duvet if you don’t get up. So charming.

I eventually came downstairs but went back to sleep on the couch and slept most of the day. Sleeping on a leather settee under a faux fur blanket in such heat was a bad idea! I woke stuck to it like glue with Blue snoozing on top of me.

Later Lola appeared and the two cats alternated clinging to me. Pixie slept at my feet. I’ve missed them all so much.

Norm shopped as we had nothing in the house after such a long trip away. He got roast chicken and veggies and made a yummy salad. I made a home made bleu cheese dressing for the salad.

We are now committed to eating low carb again as I have gained so much weight and am now back up to the weight I was before we started banting. I want to lose weight by Lily’s wedding and need to get my blood pressure and arthritis under control. Both of my health issues are related to my diet.

I had a conversation on Twitter with Prof Tim Noakes when I was taken off of my blood pressure meds a few years back. He told me that his studies revealed that the blood pressure drop for most people occurred when they removed sugar from their diet rather than when they lost the weight. This led him to conclude that the weight is not driving up the blood pressure as much as the over consumption of sugar (and carbs) does. Hopefully mine will go down with the dietary change. With my family history of heart disease and strokes it is not very sensible to be carrying so much weight.

Regarding the low carb approach, we will start trying new recipes as it gets boring eating just meat and salad. There are low carb pizza crust recipes, low carb Mexican recipes and even various low carb noodles for Thai or Italian dishes. I want to find Shirataki noodles to see what their consistency is like. If anyone in Cape Town knows where I can find some, hook me up!

Low carb eating is not that difficult it just takes planning. Like everything in life it requires balance and control.

Much like magic.

We started watching “The Witcher” on Netflix and the character Tissaia de Vries mentions that magic is all about channeling chaos. “This is the balance,” says Tissaia, describing magic as “organising chaos”.

The Witcher magic is all about balance and control.

We both love The Witcher. It’s like Games of Thrones with less misogyny and incest. I love that the women characters are powerful.

On Friday I decided my cough was getting worse and booked an appointment to see Dr O, my own GP. It was exactly one week since I saw the doctor in the states. Dr O has diagnosed me with bronchitis and put me on a different antibiotic.

Dr O also put me back onto high blood pressure meds as my BP is still scary high. (170/100) He took it 3 consecutive times with me lying down to relax and it did not drop. I know that it will resolve soon. It is a temporary blip and further motivation for success.

My doctor signed me off of work as I am due back on Monday but we are in a critical stage of our project so I feel terrible about not going in. Hopefully I can get some data results and analyze it from home. The client has such tight restrictions on sensitive data so I doubt it but I can only ask.

Norm cooked a lovely brunch on Friday when we got home from the doctor. He made scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese in them, bacon and avocado and rosa tomatoes.

For dinner we both contributed. I marinated some fillet steaks which Norm cooked perfectly, charred outside and pink inside.

I made fried mushrooms with onions, and spinach puréed with cheese. Norm also made the cole slaw.

It was so tasty and gorgeous.

The poms were desperate for us to share.

We didn’t. It was too delicious to share.

Saturday I finally managed to unpack. I didn’t put it all away until today as felt so dreadful.

Norm made us brunch again on Saturday and made the same as Friday – cheesy scrambled eggs with bacon and avo. Breakfasts are guilt free on low carb as long as you avoid the toast and potatoes.

Norm set up our Amazon Echo and we spent the whole day listening to various playlists on Spotify. We are deciding whether it is worth subscribing to Amazon Prime or not, but for now Spotify is great for music.

We felt like something indulgent for dinner and I decided to make a low carb pizza. I used the Fathead pizza recipe from my favorite low carb site.

I mixed 2 cups of grated mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of full fat cream cheese in a bowl and microwaved for 1 minute, stirred and microwaved another minute and stirred well. I added an egg then 3/4 a cup of almond flour. I laid it on a piece of baking paper, put another piece on top and rolled it out flat.

I baked it (on the paper) for 10 minutes in a preheated oven, then flipped it over and baked 10 more minutes until golden brown.

I was cooking the sauce at the same time. I sautéed some chopped onion, then added minced beef and continued browning the mixture. After the meat was cooked I added 2 packets of Old El Paso taco seasoning.

I mixed it in and let it cook a few minutes and I then puréed a tin of diced tomato and a bit of salsa and added that to the meat mixture. I simmered it til thick then spread it onto the crust. I added a layer of chopped coriander then a layer of grated cheddar and some grated mozzarella and popped it back into the oven til the cheese had browned.

I then put some sour cream, salsa and sliced avocado on top for serving.

Wow! It was sooooo good. Most low carb crusts are made of cauliflower and taste revolting. This crust was easy and pretty quick. If you add a simple topping such as salami and olives it would be even quicker. This is going to be a new favorite. The crust can also be made into crackers for crudités if you entertain or a replacement for naan bread to go with a curry.

Sunday the 12th of January 2020 is a significant date cosmically and there was a large ceremony held by the Aboriginal tribes at Uhuru Rock in Australia. As an empath and channeler I felt this energetic pull despite knowing nothing about the ceremony until later in the day when my friend Michelle told me about it.

Maybe this was why I was unable to sleep on Saturday night. I coughed and coughed and I was wide awake and almost vibrating with energy. I did not fight it and let the energy pulse and make my mind ping from subject to subject. I saw the room lighting up as the sun came up and eventually went off to sleep sometime about 5ish. Norm let me sleep until 1pm and then woke me from a deep sleep.

I’ve just been pottering about today. There was a fire in the townships while I was away which displaced many families and so Norm and I both cleaned out our cupboards and have about 6 or 7 large trash bags full of clothes and shoes to donate. And as a bonus my cupboards are tidy!

I’ve let work know that I am ill and tomorrow I will go back to Dr O to see how my lungs are doing.

Wish me luck and healing energy please ❤️

Until next time, Contagious Air Kisses from The Kitten 😷 xoxoxo

Taking Up Space

South Africans had a moment of huge pride this week when the beautiful Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe. There had been so many comments on social media about her short natural hair. She was told to wear a wig to make her more attractive but she was confident enough to trust her own natural beauty would be sufficient and she was right! It was more than sufficient. Zozibini is a stunner.

I hate to see women running other women down. I wish we could be more supportive and less judgmental and be proud of other women’s confidence and ability to be themselves regardless of public opinion. There is so much societal pressure for women to be a certain size or look a certain way.

We need to encourage each other to take up and hold space.

We need to be vocal in showing each other appreciation. This week I went to buy lunch when at the office and the young lady behind the till was wearing a stunning burgundy lipstick which looked so beautiful against her cocoa colored skin. I told her exactly that, that her lipstick was lovely and it looked gorgeous against her skin. She laughed and said thank you for the compliment and told me that it made her day. She thanked me for making her smile. Such a little thing can make a difference to another woman’s day.

I was given a lovely compliment from the client this week and it made me feel great. I presented my deliverable to my stakeholders and afterwards they asked me what my job title is. I told them that I’m whatever the client needs, business analyst, data quality specialist, data analyst, data governance consultant or a data migration specialist. If it is to do with data, then I’m your girl. She said that my work is really good quality and is so thorough. That was nice as some of the other projects we are involved with for this client have been so contentious. This one has been smooth.

Another item of great news for the female gender is Greta Thunberg being named Time magazine’s Person of the Year. I am so full of admiration for her. It says so much about the insecurities of the ignorant who denigrate her. She is so intelligent and determined to make a difference and I believe this is only the beginning of her impact on the world.

Work has been really busy this week as everyone was trying to tie up loose ends before the end of year break. We had meetings every day except Friday.

Despite the time these meetings took to prepare for, attend and then write up the meeting notes, I still made great progress and on Friday I delivered my work book of data quality rules, mapping and look up tables for approval and produced a year end status report. I have a new developer starting next Tuesday and wanted these for him to use as his specification. I am now off work for a month so he has to sink or swim on his own.

The electricity outages have finally stopped. It had been getting worse and worse and even went up to stage 6 and allegedly stage eight was looming. Stage 6 is where the power can be shut off 18 times over a four-day period for four hours at a time, or 18 times over an eight-day period for two hours. But luckily stage 6 was withdrawn almost as quickly as it was implemented.

Our president shortened his trip to Egypt to come back to reassure us that there was no catastrophe in progress and eventually everything would be fine.

But to me it sounded like this….

All nonsense and bullshit.

Life staggers on…..

It was quite hot this week and with all of the on off electricity Norm bought a ready made roast chicken and salads for a few nights. He did make the yummy baked chicken topped with guacamole and crispy bacon dish I love and served it with chips and salad.

The left over roast chicken seemed to satisfy the needs of the beasties.

I went to the gynecologist this week for my annual check up and all is A-OK. She even does an ultrasound so she is very thorough. Everything is where it should be and nothing is where it shouldn’t be. Phew.

Norm had a busy weekend with Neighbourhood Watch and was called out for a few security issues. A woman in our suburb heard a noise upstairs and discovered a man in her bedroom. He had shimmied up the outside of the house to the second story and climbed in an open window or patio door. Later that week when exploring how the urglar had gotten in the guys discovered the homeowner’s iPad and the robber’s jacket which had been left in the bushes. This was days later and tells you how useless our police are with forensics.

Yesterday on our way home there was a major accident at the turn off to our neighborhood and it appeared to be the security companies and neighborhood watch guys dealing with it instead of the police. There were multiple injuries.

I could not tell how the accident happened but it was a mess.

I’ve watched a variety of things on Netflix this week.

I watched “The Confession Killer”. I really recommend this series and give it 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

I thought it was a bit similar to the documentary Making A Murderer which was about another case where the police were determined to find someone to blame whether it was the actual murderer or not.

Both are riveting viewing.

Lily came down from Mossel Bay yesterday and we watched a couple of films.

6 Underground was advertised on the Netflix home screen so we watched it.

It was a bit of a boy target audience type film. The beginning was all car chases and gunshots followed by more gunshots, explosions, death and action. And gunshots. And car chases. It has Ryan Reynolds in the majority of the scenes though so it was OK but I only give it 3 Stars and that is predominately because of the beautiful actors and actresses. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Then we watched another film which was suggested by Netflix and it also happened to star Ryan Reynolds! It was a similar vibe. It also starred Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman. Ryan’s character was the center of the plot but he does not actually appear in the film that long.

This one was better in my opinion. It was a bit of a mental twist. I give it 3.5 Kitten Stars ✨⭐️⭐️⭐️.

I was off to the city early on Saturday as I had an appointment at the hairdresser. I had not had my colour done in 7 weeks but thanks to my new fringe it is not that obvious as most of my grey is around my face so you cannot see it. I usually have my hair done every 5 weeks so think will stretch to 6 and see how I cope. It’s so expensive having your hair done.

It was misty over the sea and mountains. The roads were bumper to bumper traffic due to the onslaught of tourists and visitors on holiday. Parking was scarce too, both from tourists, the usual Saturday visitors and the additional pressure of one block roped off for a film set. Cape Town is rife with film or photo shoots as it is beautiful and varied scenery and cheap labor rates.

I eventually found parking and had a relaxing massage and colour from Thembi and a cut by Leandra. I’m so comfy in this salon, some salon staff are so snooty.

After my hair appointment I collected Norm and we went to Dario’s for a burger. It was rainy outside but we sat outside on the porch and the plastic curtains kept us dry.

Norman and I both love their burgers. I ordered the Jalapeño, bacon and cheese burger. It also comes with an egg but I asked them to leave off the egg.

The burger was cooked to perfection, there was just the right amount of jalapeño to taste but not be overwhelmed by them. There was ample bacon, I think 4 strips, and it was crispy but not overcooked. They toast the bun so it is crispy and the burger is not so large you cannot pick it up to eat. I am not a fan of eating a burger with a knife and fork, I want to dig in. I give that burger and chips a perfect 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Norm and I went to Woolworths to do a shop for some tapas type picky bits in case we were hungry later that night but would do for Lily’s dinner.

We headed home and encountered the aforementioned car bash and were stuck in traffic as we had to use a single lane. Luckily it had cleared by the time Lily arrived down here.

We had a chat and caught up then watched the films.

The next day Norm made Lily and I his famous poached eggs and bacon. It was perfect. I’m a spoiled kitten for sure.

It was a beautiful day after the misty skies and rain of the previous day.

Caitlin picked us up and we got a few Christmas gifts in the Hout Bay shops. I also got a few pair of leather flats and some vests as well as over the counter tablets to help me sleep on the plane.

We then went to the pub for a few drinks and an an early dinner.

Some game was playing and the other bar attendees would periodically shout about things going well or poorly, I never knew the difference. Eventually the game ended and as a result the noise died down.

Lily ordered the beef stew with mash from the specials board.

Caitlin had a chicken Caesar salad.

I had popcorn chicken from the starters.

We all shared a starter portion of jalapeño and cheddar cigars.

We all sat around for a while outside by the pool. After a bit my friend Michelle popped round for a chat.

I’ve had a lovely time with the girls. I am so blessed. Caitlin left about half six and we all got into our jim jams to relax.

I am now off of work for an entire month, I’m so excited.

I hope you get to have an end of year break of some sort. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

The Peter Principal

Thanks to my fabulous Sunday evening last weekend, on Monday morning I was a wee bit hungover. I had left the office early the previous Friday so I missed the arrival of a meeting invite for Monday but luckily I wore a nice dress and did not look a tramp despite my fuzzy head. We were expected to attend an end of phase meeting to present the wrap up of our project to the executives and project owners.

The clients were happy with the work we have done in Phase 1 however I did manage to upset the project owner with my direct and honest comments about the poor communication on the team.

Typical.

We had a new consultant join our team this week, now there are 4 of us from my consulting house. I have worked on a previous project with her so we are familiar with each other. I provided feedback on her deliverable and she pretty much told me to back off. She has asked me to not be involved in her work stream and did not even have a handover with me so I’m not sure what is going on there. Bizarre.

I usually prefer working with men, there are far less undercurrents, subterfuge and nonsense. I’m a ‘what you see is what you get’ direct person but many women play games even at work. That is not my style which is likely due to my high levels of testosterone (thank you menopause). Or maybe just my Virgo nature. I may be a feminist but I am also a realist.

I’m so glad I go on holiday soon. I’m exhausted.

Norm has been very busy with work too and he recently got paid from one of his contracts so he had a new pool pump installed.

Our pool has been green and horrid for months as we couldn’t top it up due to the drought and the pump was dead. The pic above was taken on the day it was installed and it was still full of chemicals.

Norm has lots of other new work booked so that is great news for us. We hope to sort out some of the items around the house that need to be done. I would love to modernize both of our ancient and ugly upstairs bathrooms, put down new floors, get new curtains throughout the house, paint inside and out and even put a sheltered deck at the front of the house leading down to the pool. There are so many things we have talked about since we bought the house but couldn’t afford. We hope to slowly chip away at the list now that we have a bit of extra income coming in.

The wind was insane for a lot of this week. I wore a floaty dress on Tuesday and had to try and avoid flashing my knickers while simultaneously carrying my laptop bag, my hand bag and a desk fan I took into work to cope with the heat. I am sure I looked rather mad twirling around with my dress grasped in my hand.

As is typical of Cape Town the weather took a radical turn and it was roasting hot from Thursday. When I got into my car after work it was 37 degrees Celsius!

Just to add insult to injury, load shedding has kicked in again and the electricity was shut off from 6 to 8 p.m. that night so we couldn’t even use our fans. We couldn’t swim in the pool yet as the chemicals had not settled.

The reason the load shedding has been implemented so suddenly is to avoid collapse of the power system which would result in a complete country wide black out and would take a week or more to get back on track.

On Friday Eskom ramped the severity up to Stage 4. That means we were scheduled for load shedding 12 times over a 4-day period for two hours at a time, or 12 times over an 8-day period for four hours at a time. It could also occur with no notice. We were off mid-morning, in the evening and again in the middle of the night.

Eskom has huge amounts of money owed to them by the government and other debtors, for example government departments and municipalities owe a combined approximately R36bn to the cash-strapped SOE. Municipalities owed R26.5bn of that amount at the end of October, while provincial governments owed R5.8bn.

National government departments owe R3.4bn, with the department of public works owing a whopping R3bn of that. I’ve read that the total debt is around R441bn.

South African Airways is another parastatal which is in financial crisis. The board has made a decision to place the airline under Business Rescue and the future of the national carrier is now solely in the hands of a business practitioner, with the board and shareholders no longer having a say in its affairs.

The recent strike did not cause the financial issues but the loss of an estimated R50 million per day during the 8 day duration of the strike certainly did not help!

The third government area impacted by incompetence is South Africa’s Defence Force which has become unsustainable and will gradually come to a grinding stop according to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. The Minister has warned that the South African Air Force (SAAF) is facing a cash shortage which may have an impact on its future capabilities.

“The defence has become progressively unsustainable in terms of declining defence allocations and have reached a point where the republic must decide on the kind of Defence Force it wants and can afford,” she said.

Whether the money meant to fund these 3 was embezzled like so many other government areas bleeding money in SA is unclear. I suspect it is due to inept government members who are completely unqualified for the positions they have been appointed to.

AKA The Peter Principle.

The Peter Principle is based on the logical idea that competent employees will continue to be promoted, but at some point will be promoted into positions for which they are incompetent, and they will then remain in those positions. According to the Peter Principle, every position in a given hierarchy will eventually be filled by employees who are incompetent to fulfill the job duties of their respective positions. In the SA cabinets and the parastatal positions of power, many people were given jobs because of party loyalties or nepotism, certainly not competence.

What can we citizens do except suffer in silence (or blog and whine about it)?

The dogs all went to the groomer this week and I tried to get a group pic of all 3 but they would not cooperate. Eventually I managed to get a decent picture of Miss Pixie.

It took quite a few attempts.

Despite the warm weather Blue was desperate for snuggles and attention and tried to block me playing any games on my iPad.

Pixie and Navajo went to the doggy chiropractor on Saturday morning and Navajo has now completely mastered using his ramp to get in and out of Norm’s little truck.

He is a clever boy. Our animals are all so funny.

Norm has cooked low carb most of the week.

We had chicken, spinach and feta sausages with cauliflower mash, steamed broccoli and fried mushrooms. It was really yummy.

He made cauliflower ‘Mac and Cheese’ topped with bacon one night.

Thursday night was too hot to cook and we had no electricity so I had sushi from K1.

On Friday Norm managed to cook despite not having electricity. He made fillet steak which was so lush and tender. He made mushrooms to top the steaks and fondant sweet potatoes. He also made a spinach and rocket salad topped with pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and Parmesan cheese.

On Saturday it was a stunning day. It was hot but had a nice breeze.

The chemicals had finally settled and the pool looked so inviting.

The electricity was off from 10 to 12 but Norm managed to make a delicious brunch for us. He had bought low carb bread and made poached eggs, bacon, avocado and Rosa tomatoes.

As it was such a lovely day Caitlin came over to visit and swim in the afternoon.

She is such a beautiful girl and is so clever and kind. We chatted about transsexuals, drag queens and that there is still so many misconceptions about people who are gay and the need to challenge outdated or wrong opinions whenever we encounter them. All of my kids are such wonderful humans. I am so blessed.

The electricity went off again at 6pm and we decided to go out for dinner rather than struggle. We went to Peddlars in Constantia.

Enroute we spotted the large male peacock I have seen a few times wandering around near the forest. He is such a beauty.

I washed my hair but forgot that I couldn’t dry it with no electricity but it dried quickly in the heat so I didn’t look a mess.

The entire restaurant and bar was rammed. The footy was on and the electricity was off so people were there to watch the game and eat.

Norm ordered the grilled Patagonian calamari and sweet potato fries but his calamari was in a spicy garlic and ginger cream sauce which packed a punch.

I love their burgers and I had a bacon and cheddar burger.

My burger was a bit cold when served but we were so hungry I just ate it without any complaints. They cocked up our drinks order as well. We waited ages for the drinks then when they finally arrived I was handed a triple vodka in one glass and the mixers in another. I sent the vodka back and asked for a single. They brought a bottle of still water but no glasses. It was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing.

Never mind. The food was good.

Today Norm and I decided to go out to Blue Route Mall where we could run errands and get some breakfast so when the 10am electricity shut down occurred we headed out. As we drove through Tokai we spotted a troupe of baboons with several tiny babies. So sweet.

We were successful in our missions, I found two pairs of jeans and some new sandals and Norm got navy shorts. We also went to the chemist as I needed make up and some other bits and pieces.

We then went to Mugg & Bean for brunch. The place was packed but we got the last table. After we were seated a queue formed of people waiting for a table so we had great timing.

I was really hot and ordered an iced coffee. Norm said ‘yes you ARE hot’ and I said ‘yes, hot and round like a scotch bonnet.’

I ordered the classic Eggs Benedict.

The hollandaise was perfect, lemony, rich and smooth.

Norm ordered the low carb Country Style breakfast.

It had eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach with cauliflower fritters. Norm loved it but I tasted his fritters and thought they were revolting.

We are now having a restful afternoon. Pretty much a perfect Sunday ❤️

We are watching the film “The Irishman” on Netflix. I’m half heartedly watching as I blog but it seems like a good film. It has a brilliant cast.

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend and I hope you enjoy the week ahead. I have just over a week until I break for Christmas holidays and I am counting down the days.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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