Baby Daddy

The World Cup has kicked off and our office has been bitten by the fever. We were designated teams and so the office has allowed each team to decorate their section with the team colours.

My section got England.

My British colleague brought in a flag for us.

Last week flew by as work is quite busy. I was keen on a weekend of relaxation.

Lucky for me Norm cooked most of the week and kept us on track with low carb eating.

He made a gorgeous bolognaise and served it over low carb spinach noodles the first night. He made roast veggies to go with it.

The next night he made the rest of the sauce into a low carb lasagna. He used zucchini instead of pasta sheets. It was delicious.

On Friday night Norm and I were watching telly and chilling out in front of the fire. Lola was cuddling with me.

Then we heard over the neighbourhood watch radio that there was a fire at Clay Cafe which is just up the road from our house. We dashed upstairs to look from the balcony and we could see huge flames leaping above the trees several miles away. We heard continuous explosions but were not sure what was exploding.

Next day we saw on social media a post about the damage that had been done by the fires and explosions.

This is the venue where we went for my last birthday to paint plates. You can see everyone’s pottery shattered in bits strewn across the lawns. I love this venue and I do hope that they get back in full operation soon. I am just glad that no one was injured in the fire.

On Saturday we did not have to be up and out so Norm and I had a slow morning drinking coffee in bed then eventually made our way downstairs to make brunch. I made some ‘flapjacks’ from Banting on the Go. I had thought from the pic that a flapjack in South Africa was just a pancake in American-speak.

FYI: It is not. It is more like a crumpet so I had to add tons of milk but they were still quite stodgy.

Norm made scrambled cheesy eggs and bacon to go with it all. I used a tiny bit of honey to sweeten my ‘flapjack_wannabe_pancakes’. In the end it was all really tasty and set us up for the rest of the day.

Not that we did much of anything. It was really cold and rainy on and off all week. We are so grateful for the rain. Hopefully this pushes day zero even further away, except now we read that it was all somewhat of a farce!

I was chatting to my Mom on the weekend and when I told her we had received a lot of rain she said ‘does that mean you can wash your hair more than once a week?’ She knows all about Day Zero and what it could mean for us residents to have our taps turned off. I thought that really sums up the way my mother thinks. Quite frankly, I don’t give AF how my hair looks!

Anyway.

Later on Saturday evening Norm and I decided to get a take away from Indian Oven.

We ordered our usual order, I had the prawn curry, we shared saag aloo and some spinach bhajis. We usually love their food but the last two visits the prawns have not been nice. They taste like they just thawed out some frozen prawns from Woolies and chucked them into the sauce. Their prawns used to be de-shelled and tasted like they were quickly fried and then added. There is a difference in both texture and shape. They are now not very nice at all. I could not finish them.

I won’t order that dish again, I will have to find an alternative as this is the only decent Indian food venue in Hout Bay. The rest of the food was nice, the spinach bahjis were a bit doughy but edible. The saag aloo is always yum.

My daughters Lily and Caitlin were both down in Cape Town for their friend Jess’s hen weekend and on Sunday we were surprised when my daughter in law Amber and Caitlin both popped in to take Norm out for Father’s Day brunch. We did not know that Amber was in town so it was a lovely surprise to see her. Her newly cut and coloured hair is so cute! It makes her eyes look so blue.

Caitlin had booked us into a local Hout Bay favourite, La Cuccina.

Norm and I like it here and often pop in for breakfast or lunch. It is a lovely open and airy venue.

I ordered the Sweetcorn Fritters Breakfast for R75:
Sweetcorn fritters with two poached eggs, oven roasted plum tomatoes and crispy streaky bacon, topped with homemade tomato chilli jam.

It was delicious but the fritters were a wee bit soft for my liking. The bacon was crispy and the eggs soft however and it was all very tasty. The chilli jam adds a nice tinge of sweet spicyness.

Norm ordered the Full Breakfast at R85. It consisted of two eggs, crispy streaky bacon, beef sausage, mushroom, roasted plum tomato and two slices of toast.

It was so lovely to see the girls. Caitlin has been so busy lately we have not seen her very often and Amber has been working away at sea a lot and we had not seen her in 6 months. Amber had not seen Caitlin’s new flat or met her kittens so she was going to stay over another night in Cape Town with Caitlin.

After we finished I could not resist a cheeky piece of Lemon Meringue Cake. It is a lemon cheesecake topped with meringue. It was delicious but I could only manage half and I took the rest home for afternoon tea.

The girls were struggling a bit from their weekend of drinking and partying and they headed off to Caitlin’s place after brunch.

I love that my kids make an effort to celebrate Norman on Father’s Day. He has been such a wonderful supportive step-dad to them and I am so happy that they recognise that. I am so blessed to have this kind, wonderful man in my life. It doesn’t hurt that he is sexy and has that Scottish accent.

For the rest of the day Norm and I had a lazy afternoon. Norm was surrounded by his pack of Pomeranians.

❤️

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We built a roaring fire and settled in for some Netflix binging.

Snuggly Sundays ❤️🔥❤️

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When we were at La Cuccina we decided to pick up a couple of their ready meals to just chuck in the oven for that evening’s dinner. We chose the Vegan sweet potato cottage pie and the Vegetarian aubergine, spinach and butternut bake. We topped both with cheese and baked for half an hour. They were both really tasty and we will definitely try these again.

That night in the middle of the night Norm and I were woken by a bang. When I say ‘woken’, I am only partially correct as I do not remember anything. Norm says I sat up and we had a long conversation but I don’t remember it. We have a set of 3 paintings which hang above our bed and one of these fell off in the night and crashed onto the bed with a bang.

The next morning when Norm mentioned it happening I immediately thought of my father since it happened on Father’s Day and my Dad has sent me messages like this before on other days of significance such as his birthday.

I know that I am being watched over by both my father and my maternal grandmother. It makes me feel protected and very grateful.

Our spirits never die, they simply transform from one form to another.

We repeat various patterns until we resolve our character defects, but even that condition is temporary. Some of us take longer than others to resolve those issues. We often rub up against the same souls ad infinitum until we finally resolve that particular soul contract we have been dancing around for many incarnations.

I spoke to yet another friend this week who is a survivor of domestic abuse. This type of relationship is inconceivable to anyone who hasn’t been involved in one. Abusers, like many serial killers, have an incredibly high level of charisma. They are able to turn on the friendly, charming part of their personality and make a woman feel like she is incredibly special and well loved. They often pick lonely women who have been on their own for a while and are almost desperately lonely. They choose their victims. After building the woman up for several months they slowly start to tear them down, bit by bit, chipping away at her confidence and often her sanity. He will exhibit violence or intense anger, then try and make the woman think it is her that is either the cause, or that she is overreacting or ‘hysterical’. The violence escalates, the woman often living in such terror and insecurity that she feels she deserves no better or that she is the reason for the anger.

Even mental abusers follow the same patterns, first making the woman feel he cannot survive without her, that she is amazing and he adores her. Then the little misogynistic jibes start, talking down the gender and then targeting her specifically. Denigrating her intelligence or capabilities and making her feel less than in order to make him feel superior. I almost think emotional abuse is harder to recognize. When they thump you the bruises are visible, when they use words to destroy you it can be harder to identify and women are culturally indoctrinated to believe what men say, they are superior aren’t they? It takes a switched on woman to recognize these behaviors. It takes a strong one to realize it is better to be alone than with half a man.

It is a long psychological game that positions the woman to be willing to allow her boundaries to be pushed or even violated.

It is something that will make or break you. It almost broke me, but I realized that only I had the power to make better choices. That I deserve to be happy and respected.

That I am a Fucking Goddess TYVM.

If I don’t believe it, then no one else will, right?

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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More That Binds Than Tears Apart

I recently heard on the radio that there is indeed such a thing as Man Flu. Apparently there is research which proves that men are more incapacitated by illness than women. That is the good news for you dudes lolling about clutching your tissues and Vitamin C and suffering with a case of severe helplessness. The bad news is that the reason you are so helpless is that men are the weaker sex. Women may tend to be weaker physically due to their size and musculature, but we are superior in every other way.

Hey, don’t blame me, it has been validated by science.

Dr. Kyle Sue, a medical professor at a Canadian university performed the analysis. Several studies he cited suggest that female mice have stronger immune systems than their male counterparts, and that gender hormones have a direct effect on the immune system.

A 2013 study from Stanford University found that women’s antibodies tend to respond more rapidly to an injection of the flu virus than men’s antibodies. The study also found that men with higher testosterone levels tended to have the weakest antibody response. As a result, the study suggests that testosterone suppresses the immune system, while estrogen boosts it.

This explains why the flu has decimated me and had such a strong effect. Menopause results in a decrease in estrogen and an increase in testosterone. I often joke that I have more testosterone than most blokes, based on my hirsutism and aggressive, snarky personality. Apparently this may be true.

I started feeling dodgy weekend before last and by the following Wednesday it was coming on thick and fast. I still made it to work that Thursday and Friday but on Friday I was not fit for thinking much less working and after our morning meeting I came home and went straight to bed. I spent Saturday in bed popping every medication possible in the hopes that I was well enough to attend my friend Melanie’s 50th birthday party which was last Saturday night, however it was not to be. I was feeling like death that night and knew I was in no state to be partying much less did I want to go and spread my germs and create some sort of epidemic. On Sunday I was due to go drumming but I was not fit for that either. I took both Monday and Tuesday off of work and barely left my bed for 4 days. Wednesday I worked from home but I did not make it for a full day, I crashed in the afternoon.

I had plenty of company, Lola never left my side and Panda popped in and out depending on how cold he was and where his beloved Daddy was at the time.

Norm brought me breakfast and lunch in bed.

I got up to go downstairs for dinner if only to give my back a bit of a rest. Norm has been cooking healthy banting meals most of the time. This was various squash, sweet potato and roast pork.

He made a delicious beef and bean curry with cauliflower rice and poppadoms.

He built a roaring fire each night, wrapped me up in furry blankets and settled me in with a tray.

Tonight he made fillet steak, perfectly pink inside yet crusty outside, exactly the way I like it. The man now has a meat thermometer FFS. He is Jamie Oliver in a kilt. He boiled sweet potatoes, fried red cabbage in balsamic and butter and steamed some mixed broccoli, green beans and zucchini. It was simple yet delicious.

He has been so good to me. I could not have coped without him as the congestion was making my vertigo worse so my head was spinning like a top. I walked like a crab for a few days, skittering sideways, holding onto the wall and bumping into things due to my dizziness. It was like drinking a bottle of wine without the happy part.

Thursday I went back into the office and then also worked Friday and today. After work today I finally gave up and went to my GP. He listened to my lungs and my cough and decided I have a chest infection and he has put me on antibiotics.

We did venture out of our nest for a wee bit on Saturday night as we were invited out to our friend Helen’s birthday celebrations at Quentin’s which is just up the road. We said that if it was the UK then one of the restaurants in that area would be our local and we would walk there, however to do that here in SA would require risking our lives. In fact, when Helen and her friend drove home from dinner that night about midnight they had giant rocks thrown at their cars and a lot of damage was done. They were driving past the township at the police station when it occurred.

Yes. This happened right opposite the police station.

Welcome to Africa.

If that was the UK there would be manned CCTV in place and if that horror did occur it would be nipped in the bud immediately instead of happening to at least 4 other people that night according to the number of posts from the victims.

It was a dreadful end to a lovely evening. There were about 20 or more of us and we had two tables. It’s a lovely venue and the winter special is on.

I chose the avocado ritz to start.

It was nicely done, the avocado was ripe but firm, the prawns were fresh and perfectly cooked and the sauce was light and nice.

For my main course I chose the Roast Loin of Kingklip. It was all Banting which was nice as my dessert definitely wasn’t!

The fish was perfectly cooked, very firm in texture. The sauce was lovely and the spinach was tasty.

For dessert I chose the dark chocolate pudding. I was so eager to tuck in I didn’t snap a pic. Oops. It was so rich and decadent. I would have liked a bit of ice cream to cut through the richness of the chocolate but it was really creamy and gooey and lovely.

We didn’t last very late we were home about 11pm. We were one of the first to go but I was still feeling a bit rough. Norm snapped a pic of Helen and I on our way home.

On Sunday Norm just picked up a roast chicken and made some salads for a late lunch. My friend Retha popped round for a few minutes and had lunch with us. Norm and I spent the rest of the day snuggled up on the settee watching movies. We built a big fire and the critters all gathered round.

Lazy Sundays ❤️

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One thing about being ill was that I watched a lot of Netflix. When I watch on my own I try to find things I know Norm will not enjoy and as a result I chose a documentary series called “The Keepers“. It is a heart-wrenching series and for any other survivors of sexual abuse, there are triggers galore in this story. I found it a very difficult yet riveting story to watch. Like a train smash.

It is based in Baltimore Maryland in the USA and it tells the story of years of sexual abuse and deviant behaviour by several Catholic priests charged with the care of children. It is revealed that not only did the nuns and various other people at the schools or churches know about the abuse, but so did the Baltimore Diocese who chose to rather cover up the abuse than to deal with the issue of negligence in their duty of care. In fact, after the abuse was reported in the ’60’s by an altar boy who was attending St. Clement Parish, Father Maskell was removed from the parish and put in charge of looking after young girls at Archbishop Keough High School which was a girls only convent school. This gave Maskell and his colleagues free rein to abuse these girls in some horrific ways. They even brought in other pedophiles to be serviced by the girls in the priest’s offices on the school grounds. The girls all remembered that they were raped by police officers and various other men and that even Dr. Christian Richter, a local gynecologist colluded in the abuse. Maskell was also chaplain for the Baltimore police department during that time and he was good friends with the police chief at the time. Maskell’s brother was a police officer. The breadth of the cover up reaches right to the level of at least a Bishop and goes down deeply into the seedy echelons of the people who worked as police, those who had a duty to serve and protect the community.

There were several murders which have been linked to the perpetrators of the sexual abuse, one was the death of a nun, Sister Cathy, who knew about the abuse and was thought to have confronted the abusers and was subsequently murdered. The other death was a woman who resembled the nun. There are other rumors of deaths which people now think could be related to Maskell and his deviancy. None of them have been solved.

One of the ‘girls’ who seemed to have been a particularly favoured target of their abuse has since recovered many of her suppressed memories about that time and even recovered a memory of Maskell taking her to view the body of Sister Cathy. This victim had gone to Cathy to ask for help in dealing with the abuse. The priest had told her when he took her to see the body that if she told anyone else about the abuse she would end up in the same situation as Sister Cathy.

The concept of Recovered Memories was quite new at the time the 2 survivors had taken their case to court. This as well as the long period of time between the abuse and the charges was used as a means to suppress the case. There should be no statute of limitations on abuse of a child.

The church representatives tormented the witnesses and tried to diminish and intimidate them. In the end the church and the courts colluded to stop the case going forward to trial. No one has been prosecuted for the death of the two women nor the dozens of sexual abuse victims who came forward. The Church has subsequently paid off several of the surviving victims of the abuse who incriminated Father Maskell. They call it compensation but we all know it was guilt money which they hoped would make it all go away.

They don’t realise it is never about the money.

The #MeToo movement has empowered many victims to come forward. Many of these people were victimized decades ago but have not come forward for various reasons. Many victims repress all memory of the abuse.

I did not remember being abused as a small child until many years later when I was a mother myself. An episode of trauma triggered all of the memories to rush in just after Trevor was born. It all came hurtling back. I fully believe that our minds can restrict us ‘viewing’ information which we are unable to process or endure. Complete escapism. It’s a survival mechanism.

I was in a conversation the other day with 2 other women. All three of us are survivors of an abusive first marriage. We all found it hard to believe as we are all really forthright almost bolshy women. I know that my past is why I am who I am. I am a survivor. I know that whatever life throws my way cannot be worse than the things I have already made it through. This gives me a sense of bravery I might not otherwise feel.

I have a strong bond with the underdog and my kids call me Mama Bear. Woe betide anyone who messes with my children. Even though my eldest is 6’6″ and just turned 32 this week I still feel protective over him. At some point I’ll have to hand over that baton I guess! For now I am happy being Mama Bear.

We are hoping Norm hears some good news about his ongoing visa dramas this week, so we will appreciate any good vibes you can send our way.

Until next time, kisses from the Kitten xoxoxox

Letting Go

What is it about us that makes us self-sabotage? Even though we know how great we feel when we give up our vices or lose weight or eat healthy, why do we not adhere to these best laid plans? Is it lack of will power? Lack of self worth? Or is it just chemistry? When you eat sugar, you crave sugar. If you smoke a cigarette it makes you crave another one. These actions set up a cycle of dependency within our bodies.

I feel permanently exhausted lately. I do not sleep very much but I know that part of this is due to diet, based on how wonderful I felt when we were on 100% Banting. However getting back on track once we have drifted is proving to be a challenge for us both. Even Norm is slipping and he was always so stalwart that it helped keep me focused on healthy goals.

A poor diet also creates horrendous mood swings for me. (As if menopause didn’t throw in enough of those hurdles for me to surmount.) As a result I was a cow all weekend. The problem is, even when I know I am being a cow, there is nothing I seem to be able to do to snap me out of my cow-ness.

Then I go into a mental state of such anxiety thinking about why my behaviour is so horrid, maybe I am depressed? If not, then why do I feel so low all of the time, when I have so many amazing things to be happy about?

And then I go into a spin of anxiety about my mental health. I wonder if once a person has been diagnosed with mental health issues whether this then triggers it’s own issues? My mental health has been relatively stable since I moved back to South Africa, bar a few blips triggered by events such as our home invasion.

And then I wonder am I just thinking too much? The curse of the Virgo, we over analyse every event, every word and every action.

Anyway. Virgos.

On Friday, Norm had managed to sell our old couch and an exercise bike we had been wanting to get rid of for ages. We were rather short on cash due to paying to ship over the few items my mother had given me as well as buying the ‘new’ 2nd hand sofa, so I was happy we had cash to get us through until month end.

We had a quiet weekend. On Friday night Josh was home with us and we ordered take aways from Posticino and just had a quiet evening at home.

Josh was racing on Saturday so he was up and out of the house at dawn. Norm and I lay in bed until 8 when the dogs insisted on their breakfast. I had a hair appointment in the city and Norm and I decided to go for brunch before I left so we popped into La Cuccina.

As it was a last minute plan, Norm did not have time to shave. I love him with facial hair but he says it itches so it never lasts long.

❤️

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Phwaor.

I ordered my usual Eggs Benedict.

Norm ordered scrambled eggs and bacon. They make their own bread and he was unable to resist those carbs. I ordered my bacon well done and poor Norm also got his well done even though he likes his still oinking.

Afterwards I headed into the city to the hairdresser. I love the vibe at the new salon Pause, and I thought about how many different salons in how many different places that I faithfully trekked to just to continue with Leandra and how happy for her I am that she now has her own salon and shops. She is such a lovely hard working girl and I wish her every success with both.

After my appointment I headed home and relaxed outside by the pool for a while, tossing Pixie’s ball to keep her amused.

Pixie and the Pool Pipe #WeirdBandNames

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That evening we decided to go out for dinner and we went to the local pub, however it was rammed as there were several sports games on (she says vaguely) so we did an about face and headed back out again as soon as we saw how noisy and crowded it was.

We decided to head up to Constantia for a change and went to Primi. It was a very dark night, despite there being an almost full moon, it was difficult to see when traveling through the poorly lit wooded areas.

We eventually made it there and settled in and ordered a drink and some food. We got some of their delicious zucchini fries.

Zucchini fries

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I chose the Recco Classico pasta which was described as “A curry-infused Napoletana with garlic and fresh chilli, rounded off with cream and garnished with fresh coriander.” They serve it in 2 sizes. I chose the smaller option. The price for plain pasta was either 65 / 80, or With Chicken it was 80/ 95 or With Prawns it was 115 / 155. I chose to add prawns.

When my dish arrived it looked very yummy and I took a big bite of prawn and pasta but quickly had to spit it out as the prawns were still in their shells. I had to fish each prawn out of the sauce and de-shell it resulting in a right mess and burnt fingers. It also meant the first bite of prawn was pretty much lost in spitting it out. There were only 4 prawns in the dish which meant I paid an extra R50 for very little prawniness.

But the sauce was delicious.

Shortly after eating I had some sort of allergic attack and could not stop sneezing and my throat felt swollen. The only things I know I am allergic to is dust or iodine so it could have been the prawns but I suspect it was dust. My eyes were watering like mad so we did not hang about and we headed back to Hout Bay after we ate. Once home I took an antihistamine which seemed to calm things down but my throat still felt very swollen.

The next day I had planned on attending a sweat lodge but as I had felt so rubbish the night before I was worried it might be the beginnings of a cold and as I was so exhausted I decided I needed a pajama day and I settled in to have a day of rest.

I was a bit sad as I was looking forward to lodge. The weekend before last we had our drumming practice on Sunday at Gerri’s and afterwards many of us stayed to help build a new sweat lodge. Gerri had gotten lots of wattle from Greyton and had been soaking it in the pool to keep it moist.

Soaking the wattle

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The wattle all got classified by size and straightness.

Next we dug 8 holes and 2 poles for each of the 4 directions were placed on opposite sides of the circle and these became the lodge entrances. These would form the ‘doors’ to the lodge.

Then the wattle were bent inwards towards the centre of the circle.

This is quite physical and takes hours to finish. I was unable to stay til the end but Gerri sent a pic of it once it was complete.

When they want to hold the lodge they just cover the structure with thick blankets and this keeps the heat in.

So I was a bit sad I could not christen the lodge, but I have to remember to allow rest time and I feel as if I have been non-stop for months. The weekend before last was busy end to end.

Last weekend on Friday after work we had a team lunch at Col’Cacchio near our offices.

Note my colleague trying to garrot me with his dinner knife.

Charming.

The next morning Norm and I were up and out early as we took Navajo to see the doggy chiro that treats Pixie. As we could not leave little Panda home alone we took all three of them.

Navajo was a bit of a nightmare. He is not good with new situations and he was like a large, slavering bull in a china shop. David the chiro did not seem too sure of him and Norm had to hold Nav tight to stop him nipping David. Eventually David managed to treat Nav and we quickly scarpered out of there. We have put Nav on another dose of strong anti-inflammatory meds and will see if his ankle calms down. It is worrying as it has been months and he is still limping. David is worried his muscles will atrophy.

That night Norm and I had gone to Papino’s for dinner and as mentioned I was busy at the lodge until late on Sunday so I felt pretty knackered when Monday rolled around.

This Saturday I had woken to news that my cousin Mona’s husband of 25 years had passed away. It was their 25th wedding anniversary on the previous Wednesday and he died on his actual birthday.

Mona and I were raised like sisters as we both spent a lot of time at our grandmother’s house. I lived next door to my Gran and Mona lived with her father and siblings a few miles away. Mona’s mother Avene was my mother’s sister and she had died when her 3 children were tiny.

Mona was raised in a Christian church-going family, however my family never attended church, in fact my father was agnostic.

I was the naughty cousin once we got to be teens, I was partying, exploring tarot cards, Ouija boards and all sorts of things and I remember once involving Mona in my Ouija board antics and she freaked out and crossed herself and ran. Mona has maintained her life long bond with the church.

I never felt close to Christianity, however this did not stop Mona and I from being ‘sisters’. We may have drifted apart many times but we never stopped loving each other, so my heart is breaking for her and her daughter Stephanie. Stephanie was from Mona’s first marriage but was quite young when Mona remarried and so she saw Steve as a second father. As I have lived outside of the US for almost 30 years I had only met Steve once or twice but according to everyone who did know him he was a lovely man.

I pray that Mona and Steve’s loved ones all find the strength they need to get through this.

I am going to focus on changing my perspective, and yes I know I’ve said that before. I read in this post that “Happiness is accepting what we don’t control — which is everything outside of ourselves — and investing in what we do control, which is everything inside us.” Control is a huge issue for me, so I am still having challenges with that it seems. Maybe this is a ongoing life lesson…….letting go of trying to control everything so that I can find my own peace and be happy?

Thank you for reading and if you can spare a prayer for Mona and Stephanie I would be most appreciative.

Until next time, kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

Touched by an Angel

One more sleep.

That is, there is only one more sleep until my darling hubby is waiting eagerly at the Cape Town airport for collection.

All I can say is phew. I would say more but kids might be reading.

Managing a home as well as starting a new client and new project has almost done me in. Thank goodness we don’t also have small children, I wonder how single moms cope. Hats off to them. We have so much pressure just as women in general. Waxing and coloring and styling and making up. Feck it can be hard work. Add to that keeping a house functioning and it is a lot to keep juggled. It’s like a finely tuned machine, I used a calendar with color coded keys for each person, the domestic, the gardener, the pool man, the dog food delivery man, the house sitter and dog walker. If one factor shifted it all went awry. For example, Josh was planning on staying in Mossell Bay from Good Friday until the following Thursday so I had booked Vanessa a few nights to stay over and help me, but then Josh had to come back early for work so I ended up having all three of us here but that worked out ok. Luckily we had the new bed for Vanessa.

But then as I had originally cancelled Vanessa from Easter weekend I was on my own on Tuesday morning when I started my new project at our new client site. I had told our cleaner when she was here in person the previous week that I was starting a new project and was supposed to be in an 8am meeting and I also sent an SMS the day before to remind her that I had to leave by 7:30 at the latest and if she wasn’t there I could not wait. I was ready by 7 but there was no sign of her by 7:30 and when I rang her phone was off. Often when she goes to the Eastern Cape she is late coming back to Cape Town so I assumed she was not back and I left a voicemail and sent a text message to say I had to go to work. As she wasn’t here our gardener could not get in to work later at 9 when he arrived. It also meant the dogs were on their own all day. On the days when no one was going to be at home, I booked Vanessa who popped in to let the dogs out for a wander and a wee and filled their water bowls.

I had a meeting with a colleague on Monday even though it was a public holiday just to prep me for Tuesday but it was still exhausting sitting in workshops most of Tuesday. I left as soon as I could and raced back feeling so bad that Navajo was inside unable to go to the toilet from that morning but he did so well bless him.

We could not get our ID badges which meant I could not even go for a wee on my own, eventually that was sorted and yesterday I got access to the WiFi and network. Those niggly little details make such a difference when you get on boarded to a project. It’s lovely being in the city Centre with so many choices of food and a nice coffee place across the road. I’ve mostly eaten at Now Now which has a really great menu and delicious food and a few Banting choices. I have a coffee there every morning and usually my lunch is there too as it’s across the street and I don’t have time to faff about.

I had this Banting dish for lunch Tuesday, it has cauliflower mash topped with spicy chicken, sour cream and sliced almonds. Yum.

Peri Chicken Pot 👍🏼

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Josh and I were surviving off of OrderIn. This went fine most nights but one evening we ordered burgers from The Kitchen Takeaway and had a major drama. The order got stuck in the app. Eventually I noticed that it had been a long time since I placed the order and I had not had an SMS so I checked the app to make sure the order had gone through and noticed it had not been completely processed. I rang the call centre (I won’t call it a ‘helpdesk’ as it certainly NOT that) and after sitting on the phone in a queue for 5 minutes someone finally answered and when I asked her about the status of my order she then put me on hold and disappeared for ages, she then came back to say that the ‘restaurant had refused the order’ and when I asked her why she said she had to check ‘with a colleague’. She then put me on hold again. After another 5 minutes listening to an annoying call centre message she comes back to say that the restaurant was missing an item we ordered and had cancelled the order. I told her that we only ordered burgers – how many ingredients could be missing?! This sounded rather unlikely.

Josh had subsequently rang the restaurant on his mobile who told us that A) they had not refused the order as they had not received the order and that B) there were no missing ingredients, they had all that we asked for. This can only lead me to the conclusion that the call centre agent was not being truthful. This has happened before where OrderIn agents blamed the restaurant for the issues in delivery and when I rang the restaurant they told me that the story I was given by the call centre agents is not true. They are obviously told never to admit a glitch on the app however the damage that they can do to a restaurant’s reputation can be terrible.

Petrol went up this week and I missed that memo. By the time I got the message I was home and in my PJs and not a chance was I moving. It is already taking twice the petrol driving up the mountain now that I drive the coast road.

I was presenting very tedious information to the client in workshops twice this week and both days I had such a sore tummy. Presenting stresses me out especially when I have not written the documents myself. I hate surprises. But both days went well and I have my rules confirmed. I’ll package for sign off next week.

Driving out of the city yesterday a car stalled at the traffic light in front of me. The large truck behind me got annoyed at the delay & overtook the queue of traffic & drove around us & cut in front to turn left at the same time the poor dude got his car to start resulting in a major collision right in front of me. It was rather shocking and loud but no one was badly injured. I was then starting to shift into victim mode and think “why me? Why are all of these stressful things happening to me?” And then I pulled myself up for languishing in egotistic self pity. I needed to shift my focus and say Thank You! Thank you spirit guides and protectors and ancestors for keeping me safe in that accident. Thank you for a job. Thank you for a job where I get to talk to people all day about a topic I love, data and data quality. How lucky am I that I get paid to write, even if I am writing technical approach documents, at least I am doing something I love to do and getting paid a cracking good salary to do so.

I need to refocus. Maybe being without Norm has made me more appreciative of what I have. I just know I can’t wait for him to get home and I’m feeling renewed in how I am approaching this project. Life is good. I’m a lucky Kitten. I just need to focus on those positives and keep myself in gratitude mode.

This morning I was up early and took Pixie to the doggy chiropractor. We were a bit early so we canoodled in the car.

I put a ham in to bake when I got back.

I baked a gammon ❤️

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I then popped out to Spar and bought some veggies so I will do roast butternut and cauliflower, corn on the cob and serve those with the ham.

I’ve just been chilling outside with the dogs and relaxing. Feeling blessed to have this view.

And feeling pleased the plants I repotted are thriving.

The view from my happy place ❤️😍

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Enjoy your weekend and until then, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Path of Persistence

I’ve been trying to keep up with all of my own tasks as well as those which Norman  is usually responsible for and so far the house is still standing and all 5 animals are still alive.

Some of them are coping better than others.

Navajo is still hopping about on 3 legs and his ankle is still so swollen.

I am spraying arnica on it twice a day. It does not hurt him but it is cold and it smells funny so at first he scooted off in the opposite direction whenever he saw the bottle. I praised him and gave him so much love each time I treated him that he eventually started to stick his leg out and wait for the spray as he knew it would be followed with lots of attention. He was on anti-inflammatory meds every evening which I mixed into his mince. Norm tried every means possible to hide it, wrapping it in a block of cheese, in a sausage, in a ball of mince, he tried everything. I just grind it up and mix into the mince and he is eating it but the meds are now finished and I need to get him back to the vet but I can’t take him myself as I am in the city all day on a new project and cannot take time to get back to Hout Bay in business hours.

We gave Navajo a few days rest without walking, he was a bit overexcited about life (poor cats) but I think he needed to take it easy. He is struggling with getting up the stairs. He has no problem going down, he lifts that back leg and flies down the stairs. He is struggling a bit with weeing, he prefers lifting the ‘good leg’ and of course when he tries he wobbles about and then remembers and rights himself. Bless him.

He is a clever boy. The other day I heard Pixie snuffling about under the stairs and I managed to crawl in there with her to discover both of her balls lined up in a neat little row just outside of her reach. She has a little smushed up Pomeranian face and not much of a snout, whereas Navajo has a really long nose. He deliberately puts her toys there and sits back and watches her repeatedly trying to get to them, knowing she cannot reach them with her wee mouth. He has a strong streak of sadism.

Maybe he is paying Pixie back for annoying him. She can be a right little pain in the butt. She has this ‘trick’ where she goes outside at the back just when we are getting ready to go up to bed. She can get in and out of the house via her doggy door but once I lock up she cannot get upstairs to join all of us as she cannot navigate the security gate as she is too chubby to get through the bars. Navajo will not settle at night if one of his pack is missing so I have to go out and try and entice her back inside. If she decides to be awkward then I have to put off all of the alarms, unlock all of the locks to get out the back, traverse the dog poop and other surprises lying around in the dark while shoe less and fetch her. So when she did it this week I said to her ‘come in Pixie’ and then opened the treat cupboard to feed the cats. She then thought I was getting a treat to bribe her in and popped in through the doggy door with a look of expectation. Navajo had come down to assist me (aka get under my feet and make it twice as difficult) and I turned and said to them both in a very gruff voice ‘Naughty children GET UPSTAIRS NOW!!’ and they both turned and ran upstairs as if being pursued by a monster, feet scrambling against the tiles until they got traction. They knew they were being naughty and they were like cheeky children flying up those stairs. It was all I could do not to laugh.

The other doggy drama has been with the neighbour across the road who has several huge dogs. She cannot manage them all on leads while walking them on her own and so she takes them down to the road reserve off lead. This would be fine if they were disciplined. They are not. Twice this week I have had these massive dogs attacking my dogs while mine are in their own garden. They fight through the gate so only their snouts can make contact but this can be enough. When I lived in Los Angeles I had a little American Eskimo dog named Teka and while walking her one evening she had sniffed under a gate and the dog on the other side managed to get hold of her lip and tore it badly leading to a bad cut and a ton of blood.

I lost my cool a bit on Thursday when I got home and the dogs all started fighting for the second time that week and I saw the owner just watching from across the road rather than trying to restrain her dog. I have now told her that I will pepper spray the dogs if they attack my dogs while in their own garden. I hate to do that but I must protect my dogs.

It is a family joke that we always have some major catastrophe when Norm goes away and this trip I have been forced to be Mrs McGyver. The first issue was the garage door which cannot be opened when the electricity is off. Mzudumo and Cordelia were both at the house working that day when the power tripped. Luckily Mzudumo has experienced this before with the dodgy SA electrical supply and he managed to override the electric motor and open the door manually. However he did not fix it back so when I got home I could not open the garage and had to go through the house and open it manually but then I could not figure out how to get it back onto opening by the remote. Norm phoned and talked me through it and I sorted it out.

Next the ice maker in the fridge blocked up due to the electricity being off. This is also something Norm usually sorts out but I managed to chisel out the blockage and get it operational again.

I also have been plodding my way through some of the items on Norm’s honey-do list. I had been given a gorgeous bird feeder a few Christmases ago and I recently found it in a cupboard and when Caitlin and I went for lunch yesterday I bought some dried worms at Earthworx and hung it up. I can see it from my kitchen window and hopefully it will draw some interesting birds.

I have a plant which has needed to be tied to a stick to support it for ages and so I dug around in the garage and found a stick which I hammered into the ground and tied up the plant. So far it is still standing! This one long stem had grown so long and was so top heavy it was just lying on the ground. I could not bear to just chop it off in order to get it to fill out a bit as it had lots of blooms. I will cut it all back at some stage but I thought this was a good interim solution.

Josh has been a godsend as he has fixed the garage motor which kept shorting out every time we tried to open it, the landing light which tripped and various other things.

He drove all the way to House and Home to collect the headboard we ordered weeks ago but it was still not in stock! This is now twice we have driven to the shop to collect it after being told to do so, the first time it was damaged when Norm arrived and she said come back the following Tuesday to collect a new one. Unfortunately Josh was sick and could not go on Tuesday and it took over a week until he was well enough to make it through. He popped in last Thursday only to be told it was still not in stock. The reason we chose this particular head board was because the original salesman told us it WAS in stock. They have now said they will deliver it when it is finally in stock but had no date when that will be. Shockingly bad customer service.

Welcome to Africa. Not much is terribly efficient here.

Last Sunday I had my friends Caroline and Helen over for lunch.

We have all worked together on various projects over the years and we are all geeky girls who adore our animals. We talked data, dogs and cats mostly!

My dogs were barking like lunatics as there were lots of kids out in the street playing. Pixie was so annoying that I shouted ‘OK Pixie, that is enough I am getting my gun’, to which Caroline says ‘bloody Americans, I bet she goes through loads of Pomeranians.’

I laughed so much.

We have a water gun which we use to keep the Poms in check as they really detest getting wet. Pixie especially hates water and as soon as she sees the gun she has a Pavlovian type response and starts shaking the water off of her before it even hits her. It does not phase Navajo as he loves water and tries to catch the stream in his mouth.

That day I had gotten up early and tidied the house and then went to Spar to get some things to serve for lunch. I got croissants for Josh and I to have for a late breakfast. They have divine ones. I over heated them a bit, they were not so brown when I bought them but I prefer them with the chocolate melted.

For lunch I picked up loads of bits and pieces. I bought a roast chicken, some cold meats, some cheeses and fresh bread.

I made a cheese platter and used my lovely Carrol Boyes serving items.

I served salads and various ‘picky things’ which was all perfect fare for a warm sunny day. We have vowed to make this a regular event with the three of us meeting up more frequently.

Wednesday it started to storm in the early evening and the thunder and lightening were rather majestic.

Cape Lightning #storm #CapeTown #lightning

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Our dogs are not bothered by loud noises or the bright flashes of lightening but the dogs at the guest house next door are and they started barking as soon as the thunder started and they were still barking the following morning when I woke up. I think the dogs are left on their own most of the time and so no one is there to calm them when they get upset and they get upset over every noise. A siren sets them off howling like coyotes for hours.

Thursday was my last day at UCT and I had to leave at lunch time to go to the American Consulate to get my passport renewed. It was very sad to leave UCT I have been really happy working there it is a great team.

I had to get a new photo made for my passport and the American passport has a lot of rules. You are not allowed to wear glasses, you cannot smile, you have to put your hair behind your ears so that your ear lobes show and you cannot wear earrings. The US passport pics are also a different size than most other countries require. Add all of these requirements up and top them with some very unflattering down lighting, dirty hair and the inability to NOT smile when facing a camera and you end up with this clusterfeck of chaos. The photographer kept saying ‘don’t smile, look grumpy’ and so caught me pinching my smiley lips together.

I look like a criminal. I am now stuck with this photo for the next 10 years. My last passport was before the new rules and it was quite flattering.

Oh well.

After the photo I went to the Red Gallery Cafe for a quick bite of lunch before my appointment at the Consulate. I sat outside despite the gloomy weather and I ordered the chicken stir fry.

It was a massive portion and was nicely flavoured. There was so much left over I had the rest that night for my tea.

We have a 4 day weekend with two days off of work for Easter holidays.

Yesterday was Good Friday and Caitlin collected me and we went out for lunch. It has been raining for a few days now on and off and we had planned to go down to the harbour and have lunch and walk along the slipway but the weather was not being very cooperative. Caitlin wanted to buy a protea and so we decided to go to Earthworx Garden World as they have a sweet little cafe there where we could still wrap up warm and sit outside but be protected from the weather.

We both ordered the Chicken Pie and salad.

After we ate we wandered around and bought a few bits and pieces. I got a new type of succulent which I do not have, some potting soil and a new pot, I got the worms for my feeder, some stuff you put in the mellow yellow toilets to reduce the wee smell and some spray to try and stop the dogs peeing on the patio. We have a lot of pee related issues.

Caitlin came back and played with the pups for a bit and pottered around with me in the garden then headed home late afternoon. I just made myself a pizza with some left over mozzarella and the last of the salami from the previous weekend. It wasn’t fancy but it filled a gap.

Today is the Two Oceans Marathon which results in one of the roads out of Hout Bay being shut as it is actually the race route. I can see the choppers overhead following the runners.

#OMTOM2018 #choppers #houtbay

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I can also hear the voices over the tannoy cheering on the runners.

Sounds of #omtom2018

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I have the marathon playing live in the background on the telly as I write and I can hear it outside as well. I love seeing the beautiful images of Cape Town and the surrounding areas. The rain and clouds have cleared and it is a gorgeous day. I am going to pop a gammon in the oven and do some gardening today. My new succulent will be split into two plants and re-potted.

The drought has resulted in me changing the plants which have not survived without water and replacing them with succulents. You can literally just throw a leaf from a succulent into a bit of dirt and it grows. Amazing.

I am trying to get plenty of rest this weekend as I start a new client and project on Tuesday. It will be a rather intense project and I am feeling a bit stressed about it from both a logistical point of view as well as worrying about the level of intensity of the project. I am meeting a colleague on Monday afternoon to prep for the next day.

Luckily I have a friend staying with me to help with managing the dogs and the staff and everything else around the house. Like most things we just have to keep chipping away at it all until we get it done.

I am nothing if not persistent.

Enjoy your weekend. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxo

Wild West

Do you ever feel like your life is running away and that you are desperately trying to keep up? I am very much feeling like that at the moment. Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities I have.

Work, life and everything else has me feeling like I am not at all in control and as a self confessed control freak that unsettles me.

Luckily Norm and I had a relatively calm weekend. On Friday we just wanted a quiet night in so Norm popped out for fish and chips for me and Josh from the local chippy, The Catch. Norm ate chicken and salad from Spiro’s instead. Norm could eat from Spiro’s every night if we let him. I do love Spiro’s but I fancied a nice bit of battered hake and mushy peas and I was not disappointed. One needs a bit of variety. A girl cannot live on chicken souvlaki and salad alone.

I had started watching a documentary called Wild Wild Country one day when I was home on my own. I picked it randomly as it sounded like something Norm would not find interesting. I had never heard of Bagwan Shree Rajneesh, or Osho as he came to be called so I had no clue what I was in for.

Wow. I loved this series so much!!

The documentary used various clips from decades old films or videos to narrate and slowly roll out all of the past information about the heyday of the movement. The Bhagwan’s attorney was former top Los Angeles defense lawyer, Philip J. Toelkes. Philip went by the name Swami Prem Niren when he was living and working with the Bagwan and he was interviewed recently and this interview was used to provide a lot of the story. He seemed a bit melancholy, like he is either still mourning the loss of Osho or as if he is still struggling with the break up of the communal Rajneeshpuram ashram life style that they all led. It did seem rather heavenly. Sheela claimed that there were no drug addicts or alcoholics living there but what she really meant was that the environment was restricted from these items so was drug and alcohol free predominately, but they could have a beer with their dinner. The addicts and alcoholics were there they were just content with their life and did not feel the need to exercise those addictive behaviours. Maybe they became sex addicts? That is a joke btw.

I found the relationship between Osho and Ma Anand Sheela in particular rather fascinating and I am still unconvinced which of them was the instigator for the criminal activities they ended up getting prosecuted for. I don’t want to say too much as I want you to watch it with the same sense of wonder that I did. I will talk a wee bit about Osho and his methodologies and philosophies however.

According to the Bagwan “every human being is a Buddha with the capacity for enlightenment, capable of unconditional love and of responding rather than reacting to life, although the ego usually prevents this, identifying with social conditioning and creating false needs and conflicts and an illusory sense of identity that is nothing but a barrier of dreams.”

To me this is simply mindfulness. I interpreted this as saying that our thoughts create our own prisons and mental conflicts. If we simply lived in the present moment without viewing life through the filters of societal expectations and ‘norms’ then we would be much happier.

It is probably no surprise to hear that the Bagwan was called the ‘Sex Guru’ by some people. For a ‘holy’ person he was rather unconventional in his views about sex. He believed in the pursuit of pleasure and that sexuality was something not to be ashamed of, that any interaction between mutually consenting adults should not be taboo. He felt that love should be treated as sacred and fully enjoyed as a beautiful experience not a sinful task we should rush through.

There was much controversy surrounding the Bagwan and the “neo-sannyasins” or  “sannyasins” as his followers were sometimes called. There were some unconventional therapies practiced in the ashram.

He had “active meditation” techniques which were characterised by stages of physical activity leading to silence. The most famous of these remains Dynamic Meditation, which is a bit of a compressed summary of his various approaches.

The 5 stages are described here on this website, I am not going to bother to reinterpret rather let it come from the Osho’s mouth so to speak.

Whatever you have to say about his techniques, the followers all seemed deliriously happy in the old footage. Maybe it was all the sex but I suspect it was just the freedom of being able to be their true selves with no judgement. I sort of likened it to being almost childlike in the carefree aura they all seemed to have before things went a bit awry.

I don’t want to say more, but I will give Wild Wild Country a full on 5 Kitten Stars.

Last Saturday we met Caitlin for brunch at Martins Bakery. Martins is owned by Caitlin’s fella Wesley’s aunt and uncle.

I feel like I seldom see Caitlin now that she has moved out as we are both so busy. I don’t like to just pop in when I am out as she is a grown woman, I do not want to poke myself into her day uninvited. Norm and I were a bit late as we forgot that we were going to Caitlin’s flat after brunch to help her with bits and pieces and so we needed to pack some tools. We arrived a few minutes late and Caitlin walked over from her flat as she lives just literally across the road. Caitlin and I both had the eggs benedict.

Norm had the omelette with bacon, cheese and mushrooms.

They were all perfectly cooked. We had so many errands so we did not buy anything to take home, but they have delicious banting chicken pies.

We went over to Caitlin’s flat and Norm helped her hang up her clocks and paintings and helped her with various bits and pieces. It was fun to see her silly kittens again, they are so full of adorable nonsense.

On Tuesday we had a wee visitor in the form of a spider. It was rather large. I was watching telly and saw this movement out of the corner of my eye and saw this large furry dude shooting down the side of the fireplace and he then took off under the telly. We had a houseful of animals as usual so Norm tried to catch the spider. Don’t you love how Blue just does not give AF? He is such a funny cat.

He succeeded and took Mr Spider outside and popped him into the bushes. He is much safer out than in with our bunch.

Look who came in? And went right back out….. #spider #rainspider 🕸🕷

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Sunday we had a lazy day. Norm popped down to the shops and made a lovely dinner for us of baked chicken, roast vegetables and corn on the cob.

Monday and Tuesday were busy at work as I am wrapping up my project for handover at month end. We had a client workshop to walk-through some of our reports. All went well with minimum change so we are on track for the end of the month.

Tuesday night Norm was out at a business dinner so Josh and I used OrderIn to order a curry. I did not think it was up to their usual standard and in the middle of the night Josh woke up violently ill. He is still ill and the doctor has put him on a bag full of meds as he had food poisoning. Bless. I made him chicken soup and I had chilli con carne that I made yesterday.

Wednesday was Human Rights Day which is a public holiday in South Africa so we had the day off. Human Rights Day commemorates the Sharpeville Massacre that took place on March 21, 1960, when 69 people were killed during a protest against pass laws. Pass laws were implemented during apartheid as a way to restrict the movements of Africans.

We had a lazy morning and then Norm took me for lunch at Deli Delish. I love this venue it is always sunny and bright and I adore all of the pillows in this section where we usually sit. They are very welcoming to doggies out on the patio as well,  this is where we take the pups on the rare occasion that we venture out with all 3 of them.

We settled in with a big coffee and ordered some food.

I had the smashed avo on seed bread topped with a poached egg and I ordered some bacon to go with it.

#Brunch

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Wednesday was also the day I dropped Norm at the airport. He is flying to Atlanta to help my mother get her house sorted out to go on the market. My mother is a hoarder. Not a nasty ‘you can never have too many cats’ sorta hoarder, more of a ‘one can never have too many black cashmere sweaters’ sorta hoarder. She has 4 walk in closets rammed absolutely full of her clothing. (Aka 4,721 black cashmere sweaters and 2,488 pairs of black loafers at last count.) She also used to make china dolls so she has a room full of those and so much other bits and pieces of various ‘collections’ she has.

I drove him to the airport and he flew off to Johannesburg, then onto London and then onto Atlanta where my mom is collecting him. He is so sweet to go through all of that to fly over to help her, I have no paid time off left and cannot afford to be without pay.

Before the house sells she has stuff to go to auction, some bits to give to charity and there are a few items I want to come here if possible. My grandmother’s old armchair and tea set, my dad’s old wooden boxed phonograph are all things I want to ship over and as long as the cost is not too exorbitant we will do so. Mom has bought a new built single story small bungalow in north Georgia much nearer to our family. She does not really have anyone who can be relied on to help her quickly down in Atlanta, I will be so much more relieved to have her nearer her brothers and my cousins.

I have arranged lunch on Sunday with some friends I have not seen in ages and I am really looking forward to that. Next week is also a 4 day week with Friday being the start of Easter, then the following is also a 4 day week due to Easter Monday. It is lovely to have three 4 day weeks in a row. However I do wonder what percentage of people in South Africa are actually Christian? I do not celebrate Easter as I am not Christian. We often have a family lunch of some sort but there is no religious ceremony involved. Yet most of the country get the day off as well as a 4 day weekend. Is that the norm around the world or is the paid Christian holiday a leftover from the previous colonialism and apartheid inflicted on the country and its indigenous residents?

Maybe I think too much. I will just celebrate the paid days off from work and not look that gift in the mouth.

I hope you all have a Fabulous Friday sort of day tomorrow and a great weekend.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

Bedfellows

This week I was invited to a Town Hall meeting at the American Consulate. I am not one of those expats who feels the need to gravitate towards a collective gathering of my home boys and girls. I am the sort who tends to try to assimilate into my environment. However this is the first Town Hall that our new consulate general has put on and I thought it would be interesting to attend.

I arrived very early as I always tend to do, I have a rubbish sense of direction and get a bit panicky if I get lost so even though I had been to the consulate a few years ago I left plenty of travel time. It was really hot outside so I parked in the shade and waited until I saw them opening the doors and a queue forming. You have a lovely view of the mountains from the car park so I did not mind waiting. Once inside I went to the front of the room as I am blind as a bat and I could see that they were doing a presentation. I strategically chose a chair on the aisle on the second row. I noticed that everyone had sat down and I remembered that I wanted to get some forms to register to vote and so I got up and went back to the other side of the room. I debated leaving my sweater on the seat to hold my place but there were no more people arriving so I could not imagine that anyone would deliberately get up and scoot over to that particular chair which had no one near it. When I came back a little old lady had magically appeared in my seat. I moved around her to the front row and sat on the corner seat thinking this would mean I would not be annoyed. I could feel the woman one seat away checking me out and looking for any opportunity to launch into a convo. I desperately avoided meeting her eye. It is like being on a plane when you just want to be left alone to read your book and you have an enthusiastic, bored person next to you slavering over you like a Labrador. I am far too anti-social for that. Meeting strangers is my worst as it inevitably leads to a gazillion personal questions.

I had forgotten the amount of noise a room full of Americans can make. It was deafening as there were at most 50 people there. But at least I avoided eye contact and thus avoided getting the third degree.

As soon as I got comfy in my new seat a very large lady with massive amounts of long thick obviously unwashed hair came and wedged in next to me. She swirled around and threw her clump of hair over her shoulder and smacked me right in the head with it. (Strike One)

She then shoved her arm over the arms of both chairs and impaled me with an elbow. (Strike Two)

She then chucked what appeared to be a parka made especially for Arctic travel over the chair arm and it landed fully in my lap. (Strike Three).

At this point I stood up, lifted my chair and banged it onto the floor a few inches away from her hair, wardrobe and various appendages.

She then decided to heave said parka out of her chair completely and it landed on my crossed legs. I simply kicked it across the floor.

She was all out of strikes.

There were various speakers, the session was opened by a new guy who only recently joined the Cape Town consulate, I think his name was Tom. He seemed very nervous but he was quite amusing. He then handed over to the Consul General Virginia Blaser who arrived in Cape Town in August last year. She chatted to us about the duties of the Consulate and some of the various functions they perform and some of the contributions that the US Government make to other countries, including SA.

Next we had a presentation from the City’s safety and security executive director, Richard Bosman. He gave us the good news that Day Zero has been moved back and is not expected to hit in 2018 at all. He gave us an overview of the City’s Disaster Plan. My personal opinion is that the management of the drought has been a clusterfeck of note. But I did not tell him that of course. (Luckily I was sober)

It was all an interesting event but it felt very odd to be surrounded by so many American accents.

The annoying lady next to me was a ‘positive listener’ in that she made either a grunt or a ‘mmmm hmm’ noise or some sort of vocal response to every single thing that any of the speakers said while bobbing her head in the corresponding direction. WTF woman this is not a private phone chat, STFU.

Anyway, I did not do her any harm, so go Kitten! (No strikes)

This week the news has been full of the Gugulethu, Nyanga & Phillipi township protests. Demonstrators are protesting evictions by the city’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit who removed illegal shack dwellings this week. The protests were over the evictions as well as the fact that the protesters do not have proper housing. This chaos spills onto the motorways & results in road closures which creates danger and havoc for commuters. The protesters torched the post office. However living in a tin shack would make one want to protest, I cannot blame anyone for protesting, but there is no need for violence and destruction of property. I guess their frustration has led to this however.

I had recently written about the school secretary Gill Packham who was missing and the burning car that was found with a body in the boot. It has now been confirmed that the body was Gill’s and her husband Rob has now been arrested for her murder. Her head had been bashed in at the back, she could have fallen, but why put the body in a torched car? What is he hiding? There are some rather seamy articles being posted about his sexual proclivities. He had allegedly undergone treatment for sex addiction and was into bondage. Maybe her death occurred during some sexual game and afterwards he panicked and put her in the boot and torched the car, or maybe her death was as a result of domestic abuse. We may never know the real truth as he is claiming it was not him. I feel such heartache for their two daughters. To lose your mother is bad enough but to lose her to violence at the hands of your own father and to then have the country gossiping about their sex lives must be the worst possible scenario. I pray for their peace.

Norm took all 3 of the dogs to the vet on Friday.

Navajo has been limping again on his back leg, but it is on and off. The steroid injection he had last time did help but only temporarily. Today they drained fluid from his ankle so I hope that brings him some relief. Pixie and Panda were both due some injections. Panda yelped and Pixie tried to hide as she probably remembers the last visit where she was left to be sedated on her own. Owning dogs is an expensive adventure but I would rather go without than have my dogs suffer.

For lunch on Friday I used OrderIn to bring some food as we had nothing to take for my lunch. I tried a place called Knead and I was ordering a Caesar salad when I saw that they had kitka bread. I love kitka bread and switched my order to the Classic Chicken Mayo Toasted Sandwich @ R56.00 with Square Kitka bread.

I’ve only had kitka rolls and had expected that, but the bread was sliced from a loaf but it was nice but not the density of the rolls I expected. There was a lot of mayo on it but it was tasty enough. It contained big chunks of chicken which I prefer to minced chicken. It also had lots of pickle and I love pickles.

I am so relieved it is finally the weekend but I have been busy already.

I got up early and set off for the hairdresser just after 9. I encountered a million cyclists preparing for the Cape Town Cycle Tour and several tourists tottering along goggle eyed staring at the sea. Therefore I was surprised to get parked on Long Street just after 9:30. I went into the salon to wait. It’s normally so busy but was really quiet.

Leandra looked a bit confused but I assumed it was because I was so early. She called me over and said “I’ve got you in the book for next week” I checked my diary and so did I! OMG I was a week early. Luckily she had a client cancel and I fit in perfectly. Silly me. Anyway my hair feels fab!

After I finished I went to collect Norm as we needed to buy a bed for our guest room as we are expecting a friend over from Belfast soon. We went to 3 shops and found a bed that fit my budget and then hit the mall as it was now after 2 and we were starving.

We popped into Mugg and Bean at Blue Route Mall and Norm had a stuffed croissant with ham and eggs in it. I had a few items off the tapas menu which Norm shared with me.

I had the buttermilk chicken which was very tasty but needs bigger pieces of chicken. I also had the wedge of salad which is a wedge of iceberg lettuce with bacon and blue cheese and we also shared the fritters which had jalapeño and corn with a chipotle sauce. Th fritters were doughy and needed another minute in the fryer.

We then found the perfect headboard, simple and plain.

You can see it HERE

All we have to do is buy bedding to match my chaise loungue which is in that room and it will look fab. It will still be Norm’s office but when we need a third bedroom it means our visitors do not have to stay in the garden flat.

Tomorrow is the Cape Town Cycle race but we are not sure if we will watch it from the comfort of our home or join one of the parties on the main road cheering them on. I find I need one day on a weekend to recharge, preferably in my pajamas.

Next week I have booked for Norm and I to go to see Odwa Bongo perform at the city branch of Cafe Roux. I found a track he has released on Soundcloud if you would like to listen – click here.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0