Teach a Man to Fish

This week has been very heavy going for me emotionally. My heart is heavy with sadness and uncertainty.

Once again this week we have had protest action in Hout Bay. Starting on Tuesday there were roadblocks and riots going on in Hangberg, the opposite side of the Bay from where I live.

The protest was in relation to an announcement last week by the DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) that rock lobster quotas would shrink further this season. Many of the residents in Hangberg are fishermen. Other residents were protesting about ongoing service delivery problems and issues with communication between their community and the City of Cape Town.

The Hangberg protests started on Tuesday and carried on most of the week.

Photo credit.

hangberg protest

Image Credit.

As with most scenarios where there is a lot of chaos and confusion there was a big debate about exactly what happened between the police and the protesters.

Many people were saying that the police were being incredibly restrained in their approach, while others were saying that the police were firing at ‘the innocent’. I am not sure how you feel but if I was innocent and somehow found myself in the midst of a protest and the police arrived I would make my way home and try to avoid any trouble. For the protesters to call themselves innocent is a bit of stretch. They were clearly seen stealing property such as picnic tables from the neighbouring restaurants and setting fire to them in the streets.

The tables were sometimes used as shelter from the water cannons and rubber bullets that were fired at the protesters.

hangberg boy

Image credit.

The video below was filmed by Tin Dwarka who was on the scene. It is difficult to watch.

Very quickly after it happened a journalist had posted an article stating that the police had shot a child in the mouth. Then many of the people on our local Facebook group started asking ‘what was a child doing there?’ or ‘why wasn’t he in school?’. These sorts of comments are to me the moral equivalent of asking the rape victim what she was wearing when she was raped. There are no bad children, only bad parenting. The boy’s parents were possibly participating in the riot and he followed suit.

However the claims of innocence by the majority of the protesters and their attitudes that they were the victims in this scenario were ridiculous as there is footage of a bus full of tourists being robbed by the protesters during the protest. How does that represent your cause?

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Image credit.

Tourism in Hout Bay is down due to the news reports of our ongoing protest action and many of the residents of Hangberg will be employed by the tourist industry, so how do they not make the connection that they are only hurting themselves?

Later that night we heard on the Neighbourhood Watch radio that the protesters had resorted to looting and were doing damage to the nearby businesses. They broke into the Hout Bay Harbour Market as well as the other businesses nearby. They broke the windows out of local restaurant Fish On The Rocks.

It all seemed out of control.

On Tuesday evening we sat listening to all of this on the Neighborhood Watch radio and I made chicken Stir fry with spinach low carb noodles. It was yummy. I fried the chopped chicken and once browned added in lots of sugar free peanut butter to some chopped chili, soy sauce and coconut oil.

I’m trying to stay low carb and drop those kilos I picked up.

We woke on Wednesday at 6am when our house alarm went off as the city was putting in a new electricity supply of some sort in our neighbourhood. The power going off triggered the house security alarm which triggered the dogs going insane. We were without power for 12 hours. Luckily I was working so it didn’t impact me too much other than getting dressed for work in the dark. Have you ever put on mascara in the dark? I didn’t attempt my eyeliner.

The protests carried on all of Wednesday and Thursday. Houses were broken into and property was looted.

The protesters were shooting off flares, one of which landed on a boat in the harbour.

harbour boat

When I got home on Wednesday the power was still off. Once our electricity came back on that evening I started making dinner. We had fillet steak I marinated in balsamic vinegar, lemon, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. It was so tender it barely needed to be chewed. I steamed gem squash and fried cabbage and mushrooms to go with it.

I noticed that my birthday flowers are blooming. That is what I love about lilies, they change daily and last so long. This pic is almost 2 weeks after my birthday.

On Thursday night we had an ‘everything in the fridge dinner’. You know when you have lots of little bits left at the end of the week but not enough of any of them to feed three people? A few spoonfuls of this and a few spoonfuls of that, throw in an aubergine and you’re good to go.

We sliced the left over fillet steaks, fried the left over zucchini from the lasagna earlier in the week, roasted baby vine tomatoes in garlic and balsamic, creamed spinach, baked some aubergines, sliced up some avocados, made the last bit of cabbage into cole slaw, chopped up the remainder of a cucumber and made tzaziki, grilled halloumi, and fried some yellow peppers with sliced chorizo and it was a feast! All of the items went so well together.

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There was enough left for me to bring to lunch Friday which meant I wasn’t tempted to use orderin.

The protests in Hangberg seem to be over. Friday I read that a truce has been brokered between the Hangberg rioters and police after a meeting with MEC Dan Plato.

I then heard at lunch time that there had been a terror attack in the London underground. Luckily the device did not fully detonate and no one died. It’s getting so risky to be in Europe just living life. They arrested a suspect but the chances are there will be another coward willing to sacrifice themselves for their misguided cause. But if you think about the risk then the fear could paralyze you. If you let this stop you enjoying life then the terrorists have achieved their goal. 

It’s been a sad weekend for me as Caitlin has moved out. That’s my last baby now moved out and independent. The renovations on her flat are mostly done. She has some cupboards to finish painting then she’s all done but she decided to stick with her plan as she had booked the movers for early Saturday morning and so she moved her furniture and slept her first night there last night. 

I was up early too as Pixie and I were off to Noordhoek to the Chiro.


Afterwards I came home and Norm made us a yummy HFLC breakfast of cheesy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon and avocado.

We headed out in the afternoon to view more potential houses. We saw 3. I loved one of them but it’s massive. 5 bedrooms and a huge garden with a large pool and a koi pond. Norm thinks it is too large for us. We are supposed to be downsizing.

We also saw a cute small house but he thinks that one is too small.

It’s like viewing show houses with a Scottish Goldlocks. Hopefully we will find one that is ‘just right’.

Norm and I popped by Caitlin’s flat after we finished viewing houses. First she came home and we filled up her car and Norm’s truck with her desk and last bits and pieces and hauled them over. It is really a lovely flat now. She changed everything about it and did most of the work herself. She should be very proud of her efforts.

But now my nest is empty. It makes me sad.

After we left an exhausted Caitlin at her flat we were starving so we stopped off at Primi Piatti for dinner as it was on our way home.

I had a naughty Dacquiri.


We stayed as low carb as possible with our food choices however and had fillet steak in a creamy mushroom sauce and substituted the lower carb mashed butternut and sweet potato instead of normal mash.


It was delicious and after we came home, we watched an ep of Sons of Anarchy which is my new addiction. We hadn’t gotten into it before but now we can stream we have started from the beginning. I am hooked!

We have several more house viewings today. This whole exercise of house hunting and moving is very stressful. The nice ones go fast. I’m comparing them all to my current house and they all come up short in comparison. I love my home.

We just need to keep looking. The one that is meant for us will be found eventually.

I just need to focus on the present and keep my eye focused on the prize.

Wish us luck. ❤️❤️❤️

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo 

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Rainy Days & Fridays

Once again our lives in Cape Town were touched on by protest action. Tuesday we were notified by our client that there was a risk of protest action at the University where we are based from Wednesday to Friday.

The staff at the University were on strike and the #FeesMustFall crowd who brought the University to a stand still last year were back on the scene. In a mass meeting held at UCT on Monday‚  the students called for protest over the alleged exploitation of in-sourced workers‚ as well as the financial and academic exploitation of students with historic debt. We were told that if our offices were impacted by the protest we would have to work from home. Luckily a peaceful agreement appears to have been reached as there was no visible protests.

Never a dull moment.

All week Norm has been helping Caitlin paint her flat as the new wooden floors were being laid on Friday. So on Wednesday Retha popped round to visit and she and I went to get Thai food from Thai Cafe in Hout Bay for us all for dinner. I still managed to stay on my low carb plan as I had a pak salad and chicken satay. I am sure there are some traces of sugar in the satay sauce but it is better than a plate of noodles or a bowl of rice, so I made the best choices I could.

The dogs did not get a walk as Norm was out so Panda was acting like a lunatic, running round and barking at me and Retha, then stopping and just staring at us. He is such a wee freak.

But he is so damn cute.

We got a lot of rain on Thursday which was lovely for our dry dams but that meant I had to contend with a lot of traffic. I practiced mindfulness and just stared out the windows at the forest and houses on the journey.

That night Norm was home late so I had to conjure up something for dinner out of what was in the fridge. We had a small pork fillet and some bacon so I wrapped the fillet in bacon and baked it in a pan with some mushrooms.


I cut it into 3 portions, and served it with steamed broccoli and creamed spinach as that was all we had in the house to eat. I also added some sauerkraut to my plate as I love it, especially with pork.

We were happy to see a bit of rain as the City of Cape Town has now implemented Stage 5 Water restrictions. We cannot save any more than we already are, washing our hair only once a week, taking quick 2 minute showers and using our grey water to flush the loos. My nasty little car has not been washed in months. I hope they make progress soon with the plan for desalination plants.

Today it has rained again but it was far less severe than Thursday’s downpours.

The crazy weather in the States has affected some of my friends, one couple whom I have known for 20 years have a condo in Florida which is at risk of Hurricane Irma damage so they have gone to Atlanta to stay with my mom for a bit, but there is a risk that Atlanta gets hit with some strong winds too. I hope everyone stays safe.

I had a few meetings on Thursday and Friday with my client. I presented my design and plan and they seem rather pleased and have requested that myself and my analyst ‘N’ both work there 5 days a week until the end of the year. I hate giving up my cushy corporate office but needs must. At least I am employed and the work is interesting and will be incredibly challenging if we achieve our objectives.

As it was Friday I used OrderIn to get some sushi delivered from Sakura.

I ordered:

  • 1 X Prawn, Avo & Mayo Salad @ R48.00
  • 1 X Deep Fried Prawn Heat Sushi @ R48.50
  • 1 X Salmon Roses @ R64.00
  • 1 X Golden Rolls @ R39.00

It arrived quickly and was delicious as always. I probably won’t order the deep fried one again, I did not realise it was going to be deep fried even though it is called that, I thought it would just be spicy and only the prawn would be deep fried. Oops. I have never been a fan of deep fried sushi. The rest was yummy.

We ended up leaving work early today to work from home as the network went down and we need to access the servers. We do not have much planned this weekend except for attending some show houses on Sunday. There are a few I really like the pics of, let’s hope they are as nice in reality.

Have a great weekend all.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Festivities & Feathers

There is nothing quite like a birthday to make you feel special. Sunday was my actual birthday but I had a lovely celebratory weekend with time spent with my husband, my daughters and their fellas as well as a girly morning with my bestie and my daughters. My only regret was that my son and his partner Amber could not come down but Amber has been working away and only got home this weekend. Hopefully I can see them soon.

We started off on Saturday at Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia. It is a stunning relatively new wine farm with both a wine tasting venue as well as a restaurant.


Caitlin’s beau Wesley joined us.


Josh had a business meeting in Simon’s Town and by the time he arrived back to Hout Bay we were finished and he missed our lunch.

Aren’t my daughters gorgeous?


The view is stunning from the vineyard, it looks out across the valley.

The way it works is that you pair up for Tapas for Two for R650 for the full menu. The Menu for Saturday is below, it changes depending on what is fresh and available locally but you cannot make choices – you get what is on the menu.

The food arrives in 3 servings as shown in the groupings below.


The first set of dishes all arrived at the same time.

The tuna was very tasty in this dish – there was a strong cumin flavour, but I love cumin. A lot of the dishes throughout the day contained cumin. I really liked this dish it was fresh but had a deep earthy taste.

Out of the first round of dishes, most of us preferred the skirt steak with the soft taco, it was my fave for sure. The steak was tender and the spices came through nicely.

The linefish sashimi dish had a strong vinegar taste from the pickling so was a bit too tart for a few of us but the fish was very tender and melted in your mouth.

Then after they cleared away the first round of plates, the 2nd serving arrived, a risotto and a tart. I was not looking forward to either as I detest pears and am so-so about risotto. But I was very pleasantly surprised as both of these dishes were delicious and the tart was so pretty with the edible flowers decorating it.

The risotto was perfectly cooked and creamy in texture, the little cheese croquettes were divine. I loved the crispy kale and the leeks were nice and soft but full of flavour.

The pastry on the tart was light and flaky and still crisp (I hate soggy pastry). The pears were soft and full of the flavours they were cooked in, the cheese and the pears were a gorgeous combination.

The third set of dishes arrived after they cleared the 2nd round of plates and gave us a few minutes to recover.

The fish was stunning, I think the nuts were a wee bit overpowering for the delicate fish. But it was nice and the fish was cooked perfectly.

I do not usually eat lamb as it is too fatty and too gamey for me, but I did taste the lamb rib tapas and it was nice. The flavours were lovely and the meat tender, it was just too fatty for my personal taste. The blokes loved this dish and they had all 3 of our portions to share between them.

The Blesbok was divine, tender and moist. I enjoyed this dish a lot. I loved the black garlic cream.


As it was a special lunch several of us ordered dessert.

I ordered the bon bons.

They were all very complicated flavour combinations. Here is the list of fillings.

bonbons.jpg

Norm and Wes both had the ice cream which came with a delicious slab of honeycomb. I love honeycomb but the ice cream sounded too complicated to me.

I thought the day was fabulous, the venue stunning, the service excellent, but I did find the food a wee bit pretentious. If I compare this meal to a meal from Foxcroft, just a few miles up the road, I would prefer Foxcroft. I also prefer Cheyne’s. However this venue gets extra points for the venue and view.

All in all I give Chef’s Warehouse 4.5 Kitten Stars.

We went home to digest and relax for the rest of the afternoon. Norm had a little snooze before he had to take the dogs for their walk. Caitlin and Wes had gone to visit his Grandmother who was having her 80th birthday celebration. Lily and I started watching a sweet little show called Atypical.

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It is predominately about Sam, a young lad who is on the autism spectrum. However it also touches on so many other family dynamics. I love Jennifer Jason Lee, I think she plays a great role in this series.

Later on in the evening we all started getting a bit peckish so we ordered sushi from K1 Sushi in Hout Bay.

It was fresh and lovely. I had salmon roses (as always) and bamboo rolls topped with prawn.

On Sunday, my actual birthday, the girls and I got up early as we had booked to go to Clay Cafe in Hout Bay. My bestie Retha came to meet us.

They have a lovely venue at Clay Cafe where you can go to paint pottery. There is a playground for the kiddies and they do meals or pastries. It is a large warehouse with lots of tables.

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You choose your paint colours and your accent colours and the piece of pottery you want to paint. We chose 6 plates and 1 coffee mug for us all to paint.

First we all had breakfast. They serve their eggs benedict on a slice of sweet potato instead of a muffin or bread so it was low carb yet delicious. My eggs were perfectly cooked.

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Then after we finished our food we got stuck into painting. Your table has a number and you all paint it on the bottom so they know which item relates to which order when you come to collect it after they fire it in the kiln.

The girls are so artistic.

We had such fun.


Retha is a painting machine, she can usually do 2 items to my one item!

Caitlin painted a coffee cup for me, I chose the slogan to remind me to stay in the present.

I chose the colours turquoise, yellow and white for my 6 plates, I hoped to match my kitchen. I chose the theme of feathers to go with my Native American background. We all painted our own interpretations of feathers.

The top plate is a pic of Lily’s and the bottom 2 are mine. I chose 3 feathers in one of the plates I painted. This was to represent me and my 2 mini-me daughters. And yes I know those feathers look more like fish bones than feathers. Like many things, I love to paint but have rubbish skills.

Much like my photography.


And in this pic Caitlin’s plate is at the top and Retha’s 2 are at the bottom. I find it interesting that Retha and I did very similar drawings without referring to each other.

After we finished painting Retha headed off and the girls and I all had a slice of cake to celebrate my birthday. 

It was very moist and rather divine.

Josh came to collect Lily and they headed off home to Mossel Bay around 12.30. Caitlin dropped me at home and then went over to her flat to work on her renovations. Her new floors are being laid this week so she needs to get the ceilings and walls done.

When I walked in to our house I had a big bouquet of my favourite flowers and a mystery box awaiting me.

I ripped open the box to find that Norm had bought me the metal pig I had been coveting for months.

Then Norm and I just relaxed for a bit as it was a stunning sunny day. I sat by the pool in the shade and thought about how sad it makes me to leave this house.

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Later in the afternoon we drove over the mountain to Noordhoek to view some show houses. One of them was perfect for us on paper, but as we arrived in Noordhoek the agent rang to say they had just received a cash offer from a UK buyer and the house was pretty much off the market.

I was sad for a moment but then I refocused myself and thought that what is meant to be will be and got over it. We then saw a different house which we both loved that was on show. All it needs is a pool to be perfect and there is space to put one in. It has a large garden for the dogs. It’s all on one level. It is in our price range but I do not think I can bear the drive in each day to the city. It would add up to 2 hours MORE commute time to my day. I would be able to walk to the beach from the house but there is no view of the sea. If I am going to drive that far every day I want to come home to a stunning sea view.

We circled around the city and viewed a few houses in Tokai and Constantia. I saw one I loved but Norm thought it was poorly built. He called it Mr Bodgit’s house. So that is a no. He is very keen on the Noordhoek home but he does not have to commute as he works from home or he travels to the client.

This weekend we are going to explore the northern suburbs as houses are much cheaper there and I can take the bus into work.

We finished off my birthday by going for dinner at our fave Indian restaurant The Indian Oven. It was a lovely relaxed birthday weekend. I felt very blessed.

I have a lovely family.

Last night Norm shopped and started dinner and then I finished it as he had a work call. We baked chicken breasts and aubergines and steamed some broccoli. For a sauce over the chicken I fried some sliced mushrooms in butter, then removed them from the pan and fried some baby spinach and then pureed it. I added the sliced mushrooms back to the pan as well as a handful of cheddar cheese and a large dollop of fromage frais and gave it a good mix together. It was rather delicious.

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I have been rather sporadic with my low carb lifestyle for a few months and as a result have put about 4 kgs of weight back on. My knees are killing me and my legs feel full of fluid so I need to get back onto the low carb track.

Dinner tonight was ‘noodles’ made out of spinach topped with bolognaise.  All low carb, high fat. 


So far so good this week.

Wish me luck though, this kitten has no willpower at all.

Kisses from the Birthday Kitten. xoxoxoxo

The Cross Pollination of Religions

I find it so ironic that most of our world’s wars and fighting are due to lack of acceptance of other people’s religious beliefs when in fact most religions have so many common threads running through them. Why can we not just accept our differences and find our areas of commonality and treasure our individuality?

Regular readers will know about my exploration of my Cherokee heritage and the evolution of my spiritual journey.

In the Native American teachings I have been involved in, we always pay tribute to the 4 elements.

When reading about my latest interest, Mindfulness, I have read a lot about the Buddhist beliefs and I see that they also believe in the power of the 4 elements, and I also found the same info relates to Hinduism. I found that often the terms are different and maybe even the way that the elements are ‘experienced’ or expressed, but they are all dealing with the same base elements of Fire, Earth, Air & Water.

I think we all have far more in common than that which separates us.

I am trying to practice the four pillars for finding inner peace on my journey towards Mindfulness, namely:

Acceptance, Perception, Letting Go and Living in the Now.

I think the 1st pillar, that of Acceptance is a big one, to accept that you are not in control of anything, that you are simply a cog in the universe and that in order to have inner peace you need to just go with the flow. As a control freak this is a huge challenge for me. But I am trying. I am a major road rager but with my new attempts to find my serenity, my driving has changed and my blood pressure gone down as a result. If other people on the road want to rant and rave, that is their choice. I choose to take my foot off the petrol and enjoy the view on my journey. Stressing will not get me there any faster, the only thing it does is increase my already high adrenaline levels and ruin my day.

acceptance

Image credit.

Perception is an interesting one. It is about mastering your own internal dialogue and turning it towards the sun. What you think or perceive, you then become or behave. Your actions reflect your beliefs. If you believe that you are angry, you will exhibit anger. If you perceive someone to be targeting you with their actions or behaviours then you will respond accordingly. Meanwhile your interpretation of their actions is often viewed through your own internal filters and often their intention is nothing like your interpretation. Just take things at face value, do not imagine various conspiracy theories or subterfuge is present, and even if they are the other person’s motivating factors, rise above it. Do not internalise other people’s energy, just keep strong within yourself. Only you can choose your reactions to external events.

Perceptions-and-Quality

Image source.

Which blends a bit with the next pillar, Letting Go. I tend to hold grudges. If you hurt me or let me down then I remove you from my inner circle. If you have a go at me then I come back at you with all of my might. I am a dirty, scrappy fighter with a vicious temper. I am a mean redneck injun ‘coming for your scalp’ kind of fighter. When angry my filters disappear and I have a vicious tongue. As a linguist I can rip people to shreds verbally. I am trying to release things which upset me and not hold onto them with a death like grip.

Let it gooooo.

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Image credit.

The fourth pillar is Living in the Now.

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Image source.

This just simply means to avoid having your thoughts stuck in the past, dwelling on what has been, what could have been, what you thought happened vs. what actually did happen. Or, trying to avoid having all of your thoughts focused on the future, daydreaming about what will be, what could be, or on what might be. I am not a big daydreamer, I am too much of a Virgo realist for that. I do visualisations of what I want, I do imagine myself living the life I want. However that means I am not focussing on living the life I am in. My biggest shortcoming is dwelling on the past, feeling guilt for bad decisions in my life, harbouring anger for my past hurts. Even when the anger is turned inward towards myself, which is possibly the worst type of anger.

We can miss out on enjoying our life if we are caught up in projecting about the future. You know how when you are on holiday and you spend the last few days dreading that it is ending rather than just throwing yourself deep into the moment and fully experiencing the present?

That.

I am trying hard to focus on now. To see the beauty around me, which is so easy when you are in Cape Town, I am surrounded by beauty, the sea, the mountains and the people. To feel the emotion or physical experience of the present. If Norm gives me a cuddle late at night, to fully experience that cuddle rather than tensing up and thinking ‘my alarm is going off in 6 hours’. So what? Who needs sleep, rather enjoy that cuddle!

My biggest hurdle in being fully present is with focusing on the task at hand rather than multi-tasking and only partially paying attention to my own life. But as with most changes, the first step is awareness and I am fully present in that regard.

I am trying and I feel so much more relaxed as a result.

We have had a lot of rain on and off this week. On Tuesday I woke up early and heard the rain pouring down on our tin roof and I struggled to get out of bed. The dark cold winter mornings make it so tempting to hit the snooze button. As a result I was a bit slow leaving the house. After I left Hout Bay I came around a blind bend to find a huge queue of traffic sitting in the dark. It inched along slowly, barely moving at all at certain points and I noticed that no traffic was coming through at all on the opposite side of the road coming from the city. I passed a myCiti bus on the opposite side of the road which had pulled over with the driver walking around the bus, appearing to check for damage to the bus. Then eventually we came upon a scene of a car crash with rescue vehicles and police blocking the road.

crash

Eventually we were allowed past and I saw that there was a golf with its bumper ripped off and a truck turned on its side.

Later that day I read on the Sentinel News Facebook page that the accident claimed the life of a 64 year old Hout Bay man.

Camps Bay police spokesperson Captain Keith Chandler said the collision involved two vehicles, a VW Golf and a Mitsubishi truck. It was alleged the driver of the truck overtook a bus in the face of oncoming traffic and collided with the Golf and overturned. The driver of the truck was a 64-year-old Hout Bay resident, who died on the scene.

Such a tragic situation. If I had left when I woke up instead of faffing about on Covet Fashion then I might have been right in the middle of that accident.

Covet may have potentially saved my life.

Wednesday again we had a lot of rain and the traffic into work was a nightmare. I was supposed to have an appointment with my new chiro Kevin that morning at 8am, however I had a new analyst joining me on site at my project so I changed the appointment so that I would be there to greet her and get her settled. However the traffic meant that my usual 45 minute journey took an hour and a half and I was not there to meet her regardless! However she had someone else on the project let her in and she was fine. I stressed about her but not too much about the traffic, but I was not in control of either of these things so I let it go and I was not too wound up when I finally got to work.

Lily and Josh came down on Wednesday night and they also had a nightmare of traffic problems on their journey. That night I made a big pot of spicy chili con carne for our dinner which we topped with cheese. It was all very yummy.

Wednesday evening we started watching a new series which I am obsessed with. It is called ‘Insecure‘ and was created by the stunning Issa Rae.

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I have now watched all from both seasons except for a few episodes. It is very funny and real. There is a lot of sex which is rather awkward viewing with grown kids in the room, but hey ho, what can one do except make a joke about it.

We had a baby shower at work on Wednesday for one of the women on the team who is now on maternity leave.

 

zykhona shower

We had cake and snacks and it was a good opportunity for the new analyst who joined to meet all of the other team members so that worked out well. We have a lot of students from the University who are on our team working on various projects and they are similar ages to our new analyst. I had to leave a bit early for my chiropractic appointment but it was fine, I got to be there for the majority of the party.

Today I had a busy day at work but I treated myself to Fat Cactus pulled pork quesadillas for lunch. It was delicious as always.

fat cactus

I had a message mid day from Lily saying that she and Josh had been in a car accident. A guy who has no license or insurance was learning how to drive and crashed into them. WTF was he doing on the roads?? At least no one was hurt but Josh’s truck was damaged.

Today I booked tickets to see John Legend in concert here in Cape Town in November. I got seats on the 5th row from the front in the seated section. I love him!

john legend

This weekend should be lots of fun as we are celebrating my birthday. We have a family lunch planned for Saturday and then on Sunday Retha, the girls and I are going for breakfast and to paint pottery, then Norm and I are going to view a house in the afternoon which looks pretty perfect for us online, we just have to hope the reality is aligned with the images.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Kisses from the Kitten. xoxoxox

The Art of Acceptance

I have had a very eventful week!

Late on Tuesday evening we saw on social media that there was to be yet another riot in Hout Bay. We read that they intended to block our road out of the village and then we saw the residents nearby posting that there were tires being burned in the road and they could hear trees being cut down with chain saws. Eventually we heard on the Neighbourhood Watch radio that the Public Order Police Services (POPS) had finally arrived and then we heard the loud bang of several stun grenades being thrown to disperse the rioters. That sound was chilling and rather frightening that it was so near our house.

Protesters reportedly threw petrol bombs at the police officers. We read that there were arrests made of 2 of the protest leaders.

This protest was rumoured to be about the lack of engagement by the government in the ongoing issues around re-homing the victims of the fire which happened months ago.

Delays are ongoing and people are angry that they are being kept in the dark regarding progress. The other rumour is that it is not the people who are awaiting houses who are causing the unrest, that it is the slum lords who are no longer going to be able to own multiple shacks for rental and whose income will be impacted who are behind the ongoing chaos. But based on the protests just last week I am not so sure about these rumours.

Last week a 13 year old girl went missing from a suburb in Cape Town.

anchen pink ladies

Her mother seemed very vague on where she could be, when she actually disappeared and many of the details around her disappearance.

I found her profile on Facebook and the photos there are very sexual for a 13 year old girl, you would guess she was much older.

A few days after her disappearance she was found in a local township in a shack. These areas are incredibly dangerous for the people who live there, much less for a young white girl. Every day we hear of murders, shoot outs between gangs, rape of women and children and other drug fueled issues.

I wonder what Anchen was thinking when she left to join a man she ‘met’ on Facebook? How horrid must her home life be to want to escape it so badly? Why is her Facebook page so sexual and why is her mother not policing its contents? Why did she feel the need to find ‘love’ with a stranger? So many questions.

This pic on her page made me very sad.

anchen.PNG

You can see the pain in her eyes. What is Anchen’s secret and what is causing her such pain? I hope the entire family get counselling and find peace and that Anchen was not damaged when missing. I hope that she has not been damaged in the past and that is why she is so unhappy and over-sexualised for her age.

A few weeks ago I slipped in my kitchen and twisted my knee. This is the same leg that I had a hip replacement done a few years back. Since I slipped my knee has been very swollen and sore. My usual chiropractor managed to unlock my back Saturday before last, but the limping has caused it to go out again. I went for an x-ray on Friday afternoon at Constantiaberg MediClinic.

The report tells me that I have arthritis in my knee and narrowing of the joint.

Lovely.

Before I went off to the hospital last Friday I used OrderIn to order sushi from Sakura Sushi Bar for my lunch.

  • 1 X Salmon Roses @ R64.00
  • 1 X Golden Roll @ R48.50
  • 1 X Open Prawn Tempura @ R48.50
  • 1 X Prawn, Avo & Mayo Salad @ R48.00

It was delicious.

sakura_allv2

We had no leftovers from the previous night when Norm had made us a delicious low carb dinner of noodles made from spinach, pork fillet, spinach, mushrooms and coconut cream sauce. So I had a legitimate excuse for being indulgent instead of just ‘it’s Friday’.

pork pasta

I managed to get a last minute appointment with Dr Kevin Lentin first thing Saturday morning. This is the lovely man who helped my Mom when she was here last year and injured her back.

I had such an interesting conversation with him. He does not just adjust your spine and send you on your way, if you are interested in just that I assume he does, but he takes a very thorough history from you and what became very evident in my exam is that there is a lot of underlying issues which are exhibiting themselves in body pain.

Kevin explained that every stimulus that comes in your conscious mind is processed by your subconscious mind and compared to every past memory your have. When it finds the same stimulus in your ‘files’ then it tells your body to react in the same way as it did when you last experienced that same stimulus. What he thinks is happening with me is that my body is sort of in this incessant loop of an adrenaline reaction. When your body is stuck in this loop then many of your bodily functions go into an almost shut down mode, or at the least are impaired in functionality. Your digestive system, your cardiovascular system, your muscular system and even your libido are impaired.

The way to deal with this is to ‘reprogram’ your subconscious to remove the reaction from this stimulus and to detoxify the liver from the poisons which it may be ‘holding onto’.

He said it may take a while to uncover where the brain has gotten ‘stuck’ in this loop, however I am pretty sure I know most of the ‘baggage’ my brain is holding onto. My issues started primarily after our home invasion a few years ago. This would have triggered my childhood memories of an armed invasion we had when I was 5 years old. I was at my Grandmother’s house and several armed men came into the house to rob her. They were wearing stockings over their faces. They tied us all up and made us lay face down on the kitchen floor. They held a gun to my head and threatened my grandmother to force her to give them the combination to the safe we had in the bedroom. So when we had the men come into our lounge wearing a balaclava I immediately regressed to that 5 year old child. My daughter Caitlin said that I sounded like a child screaming. I need to tell that inner child that she is safe and dig down to heal that long term wound.

I also have a lot of residual anger and trauma from my first marriage which results in my completely inappropriate reaction to things Norm does or says as they are filtered through the screen of my previous marriage.

The first step to resolving my issues with my anger is to be first be aware and secondly to be accepting of the current situation, without colouring it with the past.

I have been practicing this and it actually works!

After my appointment with Kevin we went back to the house and I sat outside in the sun while my darling hubby made us breakfast. He made us cheesy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, tomatoes and avocado. I felt very spoiled.

Later I had to head into the City for a hair appointment. I had rescheduled my usual 5 weekly appointment as next weekend is my birthday and we have a lunch planned so Leandra my hairdresser managed to juggle things to squeeze me in early.

I was a few minutes early and I had a wander around her new shop which is downstairs from the new salon. It is really lovely!

 

They have just gotten their signage and I nicked this pic of Leandra off of her instagram.

leandra sign

The shop downstairs if called Repeat After Me and the hair salon upstairs is called Pause. They are at 66 Church Street opposite where Cafe Mozart used to be. You should pop in and have a browse, they have stunning clothing, shoes, jewelry and art. Leandra is also setting up 2 treatment rooms for massage and manicures etc. She does such a lovely job on my hair.

leandra me.jpg

Saturday evening we had a date night and had booked to go for dinner at Lucky Bao.

baosign

When we arrived at 7.15 for our 7.30 booking the restaurant was rammed and there were no seats available as it is a tiny venue. There were even people spilling outside onto the patio. We stood in the doorway looking confused until one of the staff came past and asked us were we OK and we asked about our booking. He said to us that they were full and that he could only seat us at 8pm. He suggested we have a seat outside by the fire pit to wait, but the wind was howling and the fire pit is also the smoking area so we were not willing to do that. We asked him how it is that we booked and yet there were no seats and he just shrugged. It was really annoying but I tried to practice Acceptance.

But I was still annoyed.

Baby steps.

We decided to have a drive through Hout Bay and think about where to go as an alternative. We ended up going to The Lookout Deck at the harbour just for a change from our usual spots. We go there in summer but not usually in the winter. It has a stunning view, even though it was dark and we could not appreciate it.

lookout view.jpg

Image credit.

We grabbed a table outside on the deck as there is a glass divider protecting you from the wind. It was not too cold as we both had on jackets.

I ordered salmon roses as a starter which were very nice.

 Norm ordered the fishcakes.

lookout fishcakes.jpg

For my main I chose the Prawn Special, half a kilo of prawns for R150. They were just ok, not amazing. They were a bit soft and difficult to peel.

Norm ordered the calamari and said it was not very good. It is the sort of venue you go to for drinks and music on a sunny summer afternoon, not for impressive food.

I mourned my planned evening at Lucky Bao.

Sunday we got up and out to do a grocery shop as we were out of pretty much everything. On our way out of our suburb Norm spotted a group of 6 young boys climbing a wall of a property. We stopped and they ran, we chased them for ages and finally rang Watchcon to send a car to stop them and have a word with them. They looked to be between 6 and 8 years old! That is the sort of nonsense that drives me mad in South Africa. The crime is rife. Norm rang the bell to advise the residents of what was going on but no one was home, we potentially saved them the loss of their belongings if there was a window open for the little buggers to crawl through.

Next we popped into the Allegria Cafe for a bite of late breakfast. I had my usual Eggs Benedict.

sunday brekkie eggs bene.jpg

Later in the afternoon we went to view some show houses. I adore my home and I love Hout Bay but the levels of crime have me so stressed. If these protests keep going on then I worry about the price of our house being affected when we do want to sale and retire. Our 5 year plan is to move to the Garden Route and buy a place in Wilderness. That is where my son lives and is also quite near where my daughter Lily stays as she is in Mossel Bay. I am even considering buying a plot and building at a later stage. This is the view from the plot I have my eye on. Pretty amazing isn’t it?

wilderness plot.PNG

If we were financially able to do so I would sell up now and move but I need to work and save for a few more years before I can retire, hence the traipse around the show houses.

I planned out our show house approach and made a spreadsheet like all good analysts do. We were going to view a variety of areas to get an idea of the market. We first drove out to Marina da Gama. We arrived at the show house only to be told by the agent that she could not show the house as she did not have the keys! We drove for 20 minutes out of our way for nothing. Out of the list I had made there were 3 houses where the agent either did not show up or could not access the property. Shocking and unprofessional but that is just Cape Town for you.

We toured all around the city and viewed houses in Tokai, Bergvliet, Plumstead & Wynburg. We viewed townhouses, old houses, renovated houses, nice houses and dismal horrid houses. We were quite surprised by how much the price of houses has gone up since we bought ours. I have one which is everything I want in a house which is in Noordhoek but we have not seen it yet, just viewed it on the website. I still want to go and view that one but other than that nothing really tickled our fancy.

We watched a film when we got home. I just went through the list of ‘People are watching’ films and randomly picked. It was called ‘Security‘ and starred Antonio Banderas and Ben Kingsley.

film_antony banderas

It was the sort of film that appeals to both me (because, well Antonio) and Norm (because, well they shoot shit & blow things up.) It kept our attention and even made us laugh a bit, maybe not because it was funny but for odd reasons. I will give it 3 Kitten Stars, because, well, Antonio.

We had a relaxed evening as we were exhausted even though all we did was roam around the city in a car!

This morning I went to see Kevin again and he worked a bit more on my back, I see him again on Wednesday and he is going to target my knee.

After I finished I spent an hour sitting in traffic on the motorway and I didn’t rant or rage! I just enjoyed my view and appreciated the beauty of my surroundings and my many blessings.

I hope you all have a great week. Next weekend will be exciting as Lily is coming down and it is my birthday!
Until then, Kisses from the Kitten for you all xoxoxox.

Weekend at Woodies

The last few weeks have been riddled with chaos and filled with both natural and unnatural disasters both near and far.

Terrorism and the alt-right hate groups kicked off on Saturday the 21st in my home country, the USA. There was an alt-right rally in Charlottesville Virginia which resulted in a battle between the good guys and the bad guys (i.e. Nazis, skinheads and your generic racists). This resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, murdered in another of the cowardly ‘murder by automobile’ incidents which are becoming so prevalent.

We then heard about the same thing happening in Barcelona on Thursday, this time a multi-pronged Islamic extremist attack resulting in 14 deaths as per the last article I saw. This was well planned and had many different terrorists involved. The most deaths occurred again when a van drove into a crowded pedestrian area and mowed down loads of innocent people.

These acts of cowardice and hatred sicken me.

We then heard about the floods in Sierra Leone and that over 400 people have died, many bodies have not been found and some of those who were found were never identified and were dumped into a mass grave.

Again another flood occurred in India where almost 300 people are dead or missing.

Yet millions of people do not believe in Global Warming?

The levels of ignorance astound me.

However the most revolting news item in SA is the story of the group of cannibals who have been discovered in Durban. The case is still under investigation so they are not sure if it was a ritual or what the hell is going on.

The mind boggles.

It has been rather chaotic closer to home as well.

Tuesday there were protests  over the re-blocking which the city is supposed to be doing in the township where the fires were months ago. The progress is very slow and the victims of the fire are still living with no electricity in tiny homes which keep flooding when it rains. Their protests were at least directed to the government and the appropriate people this time instead of towards the other residents of Hout Bay as they have been in the past!

reblocking protest

After I got to work on Friday Norm messaged me to say that there were more protests going on, this time in Hout Bay by the harbour area of town. The protests were regarding lack of service delivery in Hangberg, one of the townships in Hout Bay.

Image credit. Image Credit.

The police started using stun grenades to push back the protesters. The protesters blocked the roads and stopped people moving about the harbour. They tried to charge tolls to people who needed to pass by the roadblocks. It carried on for most of the day. Luckily I was on the other side of town at my client and missed being in the middle of any of it.

Then we woke this morning to news that there had been yet another fire in IY. I read on Hout Bay News that Thula Thula, which is the fire relief NPO in Hout Bay, has reported that there was a fire in Madiba Square to the Hughenden side of Imizamo Yethu and that another 20 homes were destroyed. The area is not part of the previously damaged area and does not have electricity but it is super-blocked so the fire trucks could get to the blaze before it ripped through the entire township. Super-blocking means that the dwellings are laid out in a grid pattern which accommodates vehicles being able to pass between the structures.

Residents reported that the fire was started by a cooking fire that was knocked over in a ‘domestic scuffle‘.

On a more personal level, this week has been very busy and seemed to go by in a blink. After a weekend of lovely weather last weekend we had a lot of rain that followed and then it has gone full circle resulting in a gorgeous bit of warm sunny weather this past weekend.

We have had ongoing drought so it was a relief to get the little bits of rain. The news this week reported that our mayor is planning on implementing some desalination plants to mitigate the risk of the dams drying up completely, one of them is supposed to be built in Hout Bay. Why they have waited so long to investigate this option is beyond my understanding.

I had a bizarre thing happen last Monday night. I was sitting on the couch and I tilted my head forward to look at my iPad and my left ear started cracking and pinging and I suddenly had a severe bout of vertigo so bad that I was almost ill. I sat up and held on to the couch until my head stopped spinning and then after it stopped I could feel stuff rushing down the back of my throat. (Sorry I know that is rather gross but it is elemental to my story.) Luckily I had a follow up appointment with my ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat specialist) the next morning. When I told her what had happened she seemed very concerned. (I had thought it was a good thing and that it meant my middle ear had ‘unblocked’ but what do I know? Nothing it appears.) She was concerned my eardrum had burst.

She wanted to test my balance due to the intense vertigo episode and so she had me walk heel to toe along a straight line which is taped on her floor, then she had me stand on a cushion with both of my eyes closed. I felt like I was having a test for DUI! I have always had terrible balance due to my vertigo but I somehow passed all of the tests.

She tested the pressure in my ears and said that both eardrums are still ‘flat’ which means they are still full of fluids, but the left one was improved. Then I had to do a full on hearing test in a wee booth with headphones on. The smallness of the booth triggered my claustrophobia but I managed to keep myself together and I got through it. I have some hearing loss on the right ear but she said it is not too critical. It could be due to all of the deafening concerts I attended when young or from shooting rifles without headphones as a kid.

I had not realised it was raining so hard when I went into work on Tuesday morning and I wore fabric boots to work, however the ENT is about 2-3 blocks away and it was pouring so on the walk over there my boots got soaked. My socks inside my boots were sodden and I spent the day with wet feet after my morning traipse across the foreshore.

When I got home on Tuesday I built a roaring fire and put my boots by it to dry. Norm made us a delicious dinner of low carb noodles made from spinach and coconut cream chicken with baby spinach to go over it. He served it with broccoli and it was so yummy.

On Wednesday morning I had an appointment to see the dental hygienist to get my teeth cleaned and Norm had to drop his car across the road at the garage so he came with me. I am not very good with dentists. I survived it however and we went to the shops to get something for dinner that night as he would be without transport once I went off to work. We had a quick breakfast at Mainstream and then I dropped him home and shot off to the client.

In the afternoon I worked over to make up some of the time I lost that morning and when I got home Norm had again made us dinner. He made fillet steaks for us and an ostrich steak for Caitlin as she is not keen on beef steaks. To go with it he roasted a mix of sweet potato and pumpkin in coconut oil and steamed some baby broccoli.

steak.jpg

I have been very spoiled by my gorgeous man as usual!

We have now found out his car is going to cost about R16k to repair it so we will be on a bit of a budget for a while. His car is about 10 years old so we may need to look at replacing it.

 

Last Friday morning the dogs woke me up a bit earlier than I normally get up for my client which is based on Mowbray so I decided I might as well go in early as I still had time to make up from going in late due to my dental appointment on Wednesday. However I forgot that when I go to work in that direction, leaving early just means I get stuck in the school traffic so my drive was a bit of a nightmare and took me an hour and 15 minutes instead of the normal 45 minutes. An extra 45 minutes I could have lain in bed!

I had no lunch to take to work on Friday so I decided to give OrderIn another chance after the last fiasco and I ordered from Sakura Sushi Bar.

I ordered a variety of stuff, I was so hungry. I ordered:

  • 1 X Salmon Roses @ R64.00
  • 1 X Golden Roll @ R48.50
  • 1 X Open Prawn Tempura @ R48.50
  • 1 X Veggie Spring Rolls (2pcs) @ R17.00

It was all delicious! OrderIn pulled through this time and my smiling driver arrived with hot spring rolls and intact sushi.

sakura-all2.jpg

It was all delicious and I will definitely order from there again – it gets a full on 5 Kitten Stars!

Friday night we decided to have a relaxed night so we went for dinner at Woodcutters Arms, our local pub. There was sport on telly so the place was buzzing and had a great energy. We have had so many restaurants close lately it is good to see one of them succeeding.

I had my usual fave the jalapeño cheddar cigars.


I then had a Cajun Chicken Burger which comes with onion rings and a jalapeno sauce.


Norm had the Fish & Chips and said it was lovely.

Early on Saturday morning Pixie and I were off to the chiropractor in Noordhoek. I slipped a few weeks ago and jammed my knee and it has been very swollen. As a result my back is a bit out due to my limping. David the chiro worked on me and got me back in alignment and gave me a script to get my knee x-rayed if it does not improve. Pixie has a lot of swelling in her back and I have noticed she is struggling with the stairs a bit. We are in the wars my Pixie and I!
After we got home I had to get ready for an appointment for a laser treatment and a facial later in the afternoon at the salon Skin and so that Norm could use the car he decided to come with me for breakfast at La Cuccina which is next to the salon and then come back to collect me after. It was a stunning, sunny day so we sat outside on the balcony. We ran into a couple of friends, that is one thing I love about Hout Bay, every where you go you see a familiar face.

Regular readers know about my Eggs Benedict obsession so of course I opted for that.


After I finished with my Laser torture and relaxing facial Norm came to collect me and dropped me off at Retha for a visit.

Our friend Carol was there too.

Retha and Carol were doing pewter drawings and while they were busy we all had a lovely rum cocktail.

I stayed until after Norm had walked and fed the dogs and he collected me. Then we got a take away curry from Indian Oven, our local Indian food restaurant. Their food is divine. We had intended to go out for dinner but my sore knee was aching and so swollen I decided I should stay in and keep it elevated.

We watched a bit of telly and I ended up falling asleep on the sofa after my day of cocktails so when we went up to bed I was wide awake and lay there thinking and fretting about things I have no control over for hours. I finally got off to sleep about 4a.m. so when the doggies woke Norm for some food at 8 a.m., he tiptoed out and let me sleep until 10 which was heavenly. He came up with a coffee and we had a lazy day.

Norm and I watched the film Rough Night. I had not heard any reviews or anything at all about this film so it was a pleasant surprise. I laughed so hard!! It is just farcical nonsense but sometimes we need a bit of that to counter the challenges of life.

rough night

I give it 4.5 kitten stars.

Later that afternoon we showered and went to Retha’s for sundowner cocktails.

Retha drinks Norm

We chatted so long that before we knew it, it was too late to have a braai as we had planned and so we decided to all rather go out for dinner. We ended up back at the Woodcutters Arms again and had a lovely evening chatting and laughing.

woodies_me norm

We ordered all sorts of goodies to eat.

Retha and I shared the jalapeno cigars (I never get tired of those). Norm, Retha and Barry all each had the scotch egg.

woodies scotch egg

I had the Chicken Caesar burger which was on the specials board.

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Retha had the ribs.

Woodies_Retha ribs.JPG

And Norm had the sausage and mash.

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We ended up staying until last rounds and then we headed home. We were both exhausted and I slept like the dead until my alarm went off.

Today life resumes as normal, I am busy with both client projects and life carries on.

The weather has turned cold again so instead of grilling outside I decided to just chuck all the meat in with some peppers and onions and bake them.


I made a colorful salad and will grill some halloumi.


I hope you have a great week. Avoid the cannibals and terrorists if possible. 

xx

 

 

Awakening & Feasting

This has been a fun but hectic weekend. I knew it would be tiring having so much fun so on Friday evening we just ordered in take away pizzas. Lily and Josh were out with their friends for dinner so it was just me Norm and Caitlin. We stayed Banting and ordered cauliflower bases for our pizzas from Papino’s in Hout Bay. I had never tried theirs and they were excellent! I wolfed it down before I could take a pic unfortunately. The edges were crispy and the toppings were plentiful. I suspect they are even better when eaten in rather than as a take away, but it is nice to have a choice of low carb. We have tried other pizza places and they are not as nice.

We were all up early the next morning as the girls and I were going shopping to look at flooring for Caitlin’s new flat. We headed out to the Access Park area and found some lovely laminate flooring in a gorgeous oak which she is keen on. She is being very thorough in her pricing – comparing various installers and suppliers prices to find the best solution as it is an expensive exercise to replace flooring. Norm and I had it easy when we did ours in the UK. We went to IKEA, bought the middle range of product and he installed it himself.

After we finished shopping we were all starving so we stopped at Martins bakery on Main Road near Caitlin’s new flat. I did not take any pics so I nicked one off their website 🙂

Martins

The bakery is owned by Caitlin’s boyfriend Wes’ family and is very charming. Their food is divine and their baked goods spectacular.  They also do gluten free and low carb options so I will stock up on various bits and pieces next time I am there. We intend to make this a regular weekend meet up once Caitlin has moved into her flat. I just had a coffee and a donut as I had a day of feasting planned, but the girls both ordered breakfast and it looked really nice.

After we ate Lily and I went to collect my car at the flat and we came back to Hout Bay. Lily and Josh were off to meet their friends and I was booked for lunch at Cheyne’s in Hout Bay with my friends Nicola and Alison to sample the winter special again.

We all made it pretty easy for the waiter as the restaurant was rammed. We all had the crayfish tempura which was on the specials board. It arrived steaming hot and perfectly cooked. I love the dips that came with it. Yum yum yum.

For our mains we went with the same dish I had last visit as it was so yummy, the Crispy pork san choy bau served on baby gem lettuce and topped with kimchi, chinese mustard and a quail’s egg. It was sprinkled with crushed roasted peanuts.

As our 3rd dish Nicola and I had the Deep Fried potato and coconut dumplings which are served with a tom yum lemongrass cream. Alison had the Spinach and Pak choi ohitashi with toasted sesame and crushed peanuts.

We managed to knock back a few bottles of the delicious Iona Sauvignon Blanc as we stayed for hours chatting and catching up. It was a lovely afternoon full of scintillating conversations and lots of laughs. Ali gave me a lift home and then I changed quickly to head out for dinner and theatre at the lovely Theatre on the Bay.

First we grabbed a drink downstairs and then we headed upstairs for dinner.

I had the tempura prawns and salad to start.

For my main I had the linefish. I cannot remember what type of fish it was but it was tasty and well cooked, The carrot dish was  a bit under-cooked but it was an acceptable dish overall.


We had both chosen the chocolate and ricotta dessert however we expected something soft and light and instead the dessert was very solid and heavy. In fact it was almost impossible to slice in order to eat it. It tasted a bit like it had been frozen and then thawed out.

In defense of the restaurant manager, when he saw that I had barely touched mine he offered us a different dessert instead but I declined. He then offered us a coffee or a drink but we kept saying ‘no it is fine’. We said to him we were going to pop down to get a bottle of water and then wait to go into the theatre. When we went downstairs to the bar he popped up out of nowhere like a genie and then refused to take payment for the bottles of water! What lovely customer service!

At 8pm we filed into the theatre and settled in. I had not read any reviews about the play so it took me a few minutes to realise that there were only 2 actors in the entire play!

mystery play

It then took me a few more minutes to recognise the brilliant Jonathan Roxmouth! I so loved his performance in Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat.

The other actor, Weslee Swain Lauder was also very funny and talented. They had us laughing a lot.

There were cut outs of the 2 main characters in the theatre foyer and we decided to be silly.

We really enjoyed the play it was so well done and very funny. We love that this venue is about 10 minutes from our front door.

On Sunday I had a Drumming Circle and before the circle started those of us who had recently made our own drums all met up to do an Awakening Ceremony for our drums. We started out as always by smudging our bodies as well as our drums with sage.

I love how my drum has turned out now that she is dry.

The ceremony consists of us all speaking into the back of our drums while imagining our intentions for our drums: will we use it just to make music, for healing or shamanism work, for our own pleasure or as part of the community. During this part of the ceremony you are to allow the drum to ‘speak back’ to you and express what the drum wants to be called or any other info. I gave thanks to the hartebeest who gave their skin to me for covering my drum and to Mother Earth for providing me with the skin for my use. I asked the Great Spirit to bless my drum and to help my drum serve a higher purpose in healing and shamanism.

We then went through the various drum sequences and what they mean, trying them out as a group on our new drums and for me, hearing my drum’s voice for the first time. My drum had a lot of vibration when I drummed and the handle reverberated strongly in my hand. She has a very deep voice and almost seemed to have an echo, hence I decided to name her Echo.

We snipped off the umbilical cord of our drum and I chose to burn mine in the ceremonial fire.

We all then went back into the house to join the others who had come for the Drumming Circle. There were lots of us there and we were a multicultural group. Victoria who made a drum with us brought a friend who has studied as a Sangoma. We all performed our usual repertoire but we have added a few new songs. Shortly before the end of the session, Victoria’s friend started to sing and her voice was amazing! She was up and dancing and drumming and singing and it was chilling, she was in the spirit of the ancestors and she was absolutely fabulous. Afterwards we all joined in another ad-lib song with her, howling, shouting, singing, chanting – whatever our own spirit decided to put out there. It was undoubtedly the best drumming circle I have attended. The Great Spirit was in that room with us.

Afterwards Norm came to collect me and while he was walking the dogs I made us dinner. It was such a stunning warm day we just did sausages and salads. To go with we had cole slaw and grilled halloumi cheese. It was all nice and light.

Norm and I decided to watch a film later in the evening and we chose Lion.

Lion.jpg

Image credit.

One of the issues with streaming is that often the subtitles do not download with the film. We were not sure if they just did not exist or whether they were missing but we managed to follow it until it switched over to English. It was such a heart rending film and highlights the number of vulnerable children in the world. As am empath I struggle to watch these things, my emotions can be overwhelmed.

Today we are back to the day to day grind. I was so tired this morning that I drove to the wrong client office. Luckily I realised what I had done and only cost myself an extra 10 minutes travel time. Silly me.

Tonight Norm is making us a nice banting dinner. Tomorrow I am back at the ENT for her to check my ears to see if the fluids have cleared, and then Wednesday morning I am at the dentist for a cleaning. I am not great with dentists so wish me strength.

I hope you all have a wonderful week.