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?

hangberg tourist bus.jpg

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.

img_7927

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 

Advertisements

Powerlessness & Indecision 

Norm and I had such a lazy day on Saturday. We are both feeling exhausted. Norm has been helping Caitlin paint all week in her flat and he is physically tired, I am mentally tired from stressing about selling our home and finding a new one and all the other stress around moving. I do not cope well with uncertainty.

I have such a mix of emotions. I love my home and I love Hout Bay. However the ongoing issues with protesting and roadblocks and traffic congestion are causing me distress. Add all of this to the fact that I am not coping with the stairs in our home due to my increasing issues with arthritis has resulted in our decision to leave Hout Bay.

We have all been aware of the chaos from the fires a few months back and the need to relocate the fire victims. We knew of the plans to build more accommodation and were accepting of this. These plans are to better the lives of South African poor, however now it seems like the plans are changing on a regular basis. Some will not improve anyone’s lives, they will just make them different not better.

There are now signs posted up in the area where the City of Cape Town (CoCT) has proposed to put a TRA (Temporary Relocation Area) near the cemetery, just off of the road which is the only access point into our suburb.

fence.jpg

This proposed “TRA” will most likely increase crime and congestion. It may potentially result in other health issues. The shacks will have no sanitation, no running water and no electricity. The government is proposing cutting down all of the trees in the area to accommodate the shacks. The issue is that the trees currently protect the area from erosion and also soak up some of the ground water there. If they cut out the trees and move hundreds of humans in with no proper toilets then inevitably the cemetery below will be awash with human feces and other unhealthy off flows resulting from habitation.

The SA government has set up these TRAs many times, and very seldom do they end up being temporary. This will mean the ever expanding township expands even closer to our home.

We could decide to wait and see what happens in Hout Bay, but there is a load of new flats, 2 or 3 blocks, as well as 3 new housing estates. Traffic is already heavy from 6am til late at night. Summers will be like it used to be when we would go on holiday in Florida and drive up and down the main drive, bumper to bumper. Except here someone will maybe chuck a rock through your window.

Just kidding.

Maybe.

Either way. It is time to leave the Bay.

My heart hurts.

But life goes on.

One has to accept they are powerless. You can do the footwork to drive life in the direction you think it should go, but destiny is really the one in control.

Back to Saturday morning, Norm and I finally got up as we were getting pretty hungry and while I was off foraging for an easy yogurt, he offered to make us a healthy low carb, high fat breakfast. He made crisp bacon, cheesy scrambled eggs and cut up some avo for us.

He even made a plate for Caitlin and served her breakfast in bed. He does spoil the women in his life. She will miss these luxuries once she moves out.

We had an easy day and then we decided to go out for a last minute date night and I booked us into Quentin at Oakhurst for dinner. We love their venue – it is so beautiful.

quentins venue

We were starving by this time and we quickly settled in with a bit of his gorgeous home made bread still warm from the oven.

The Winter Special is R195 per person for 3 courses. We had 4 choices to choose from his available starters.

Quentin Starters.PNG

I opted for the Vintage Avocado Ritz
quentins avo ritz.jpg

It was nice enough but could have done with a few more prawns and a squirt of lemon.

Norm opted for the mushroom soup.

quentins soup

There were 4 mains to choose from.

quentin mains.PNG
I chose the roast loin of Kingklip (this is fish for those who have never heard of it.)

It was a lovely large moist piece of fish and I enjoyed the tasty simplicity of the spinach and tomatoes. I will try out this dish myself I think! They overdid it a tiny bit with the crust – there were dried herbs in the topping which made you think you had a fish bone and once you managed to extract it you found it to be a wee green stick of some sort. But everyone who knows me is aware of my aversion to dried herbs.

quentins fish.jpg
Norm ordered the lamb and it looked gorgeous and perfectly cooked. I had a wee taste and it was really juicy and tender.

quentins lamb.jpg

We also had a choice of one of the 4 desserts on offer.

quentins desserts.PNG

Of course I chose the soft centered dark chocolate pudding with raspberries.

quentin choc dessert.jpg

I was expecting a chocolate fondant type of dessert but was not disappointed in what I did get. It was like a partially baked brownie sort of thing. Very liquid underneath a thin cake type topping. But it was really gorgeous – I could have eaten about 4 portions of this!

Norm had the apple & blackberry crumble with gorgonzola and he raved about this! The combination of the cheese with the fruit was spectacular.

quentins apple dessert

Norm said he felt like he reverted to childhood in his choices. His family would always have soup as a starter, often had lamb and crumble was always produced from his mom’s garden. He was a happy chappy.

All in all I give Quentin’s winter special 4.5 Kitten Stars.

We polished off a bottle of wine between us and did not stay out terribly late. It was great to see the venue busy and full. I do love the vibe there, you feel very spoiled by the staff. It is walking distance from our house and if we lived in Europe we would stroll there. But if we tried that here we would at a minimum be mugged. I don’t want to consider the worst! South Africa can freak one out should one allow those thoughts to take hold.

Norm and I had a long lie in again on Sunday morning. Norm brought a coffee back to bed after feeding the dogs. He watched the news on telly and I played covet fashion and cuddled up with Lola.

Eventually hunger drove us out of bed and we showered and headed down to the village for brunch and a round of shopping. We had heard a new owner had taken over Deli Delish and so we decided to pop in there as it was a gorgeous sunny day. We used to visit there often, it was our usual weekend sunny day brunch spot. However since the glorious lady who started it moved away the last few owners have neglected the food and it had become very disappointing every time we visited so we stopped going. However I was happy with our food and the service on Sunday so I am glad it is back on our list. Hout Bay doesn’t have that many places with nice breakfast since Julie sold Riverway Cafe, we tend to go only to La Cuccina or Gabriella’s. 

But Deli Delish is a lovely bright and charming venue. 

We ordered coffee and food and sat chatting about our plans for the day.

I ordered my usual eggs benedict, they came with crispy pancetta and fried onions. The sweetness of the onions was a lovely balance for the salty pancetta.

delish eggs bene

Norm had the deli breakfast. When he said he did not want toast they substituted avocado instead. Very nice! Usually no one offers any substitutions for those who choose low carb. I didn’t get asked what toast I preferred, I assumed it came on a muffin but apparently not. I just didn’t eat the toast.

delish norm.jpg

We did a run through the shops, I went round Woolies for meat and veg and Norm popped over to Pic and Pay for a few things and we met up at the end. We dropped the food off at home and then headed off to Noordhoek for a show house.

The house there was stunning and is in a lovely security estate. But it would not work for our dogs and it is too far to drive for me every day. But it was so gorgeous. The style and finishes are stunning. 

We then headed to Constantia to a house which was perfect on paper, however the agent contacted us to say that it had sold and the show house was cancelled. Bugger! That is two weekends in a row that has happened.

*Repeats* Not meant to be, not meant to be.

We then went to another show house in Constantia and I heard a voice calling ‘Lisa?’ from the bedroom and then I realised it was my friends’ Mandi and Cathi’s baby sister Marcella and her husband Simon! What a small world! I have not seen either of them since Mandi moved to Canada so would not have recognised them if they had not spotted me. That house was in a perfect location, but was in need of a lot of renovation which we are not keen on.

We looked at a total of 10 houses on show. Most were just an outright NO. But there was one which Norm was keen on, simply because of the lovely garden and that it was on a very quiet cul de sac. But it did not have a great flow and was a bit poky.

There was one which we both loved but we want to check out the stats on crime in the area.

It is an ongoing search.

By the time we got home it was almost 6pm and we were starving, so Norm took the dogs out for their walk and I started dinner. I made chicken sausages, home made cole slaw, a simple green salad with avo and feta cheese and steamed gem squash.

I also thought I would be prepared and make a lasagna sauce for Monday night, however we both zoned out and forgot about it and it burnt to a crisp. What a waste of time and food 😦

Norm just comforted me and said it is because we are trying to do too much rather than just taking things as they come. He is right, that is my style. I am trying to keep myself in the present but it is a constant battle to keep focused and positive. I keep day dreaming and imagining my furniture in the homes we view on show days. 

Tonight he followed my instructions and replaced the burnt sauce.


He chopped zucchini and layered those and raw baby spinach with the sauce, then topped it all with mozzarella.

 

It was so yummy when baked.


I am the luckiest woman ever. ❤️

I need to just relax and enjoy it.

My Mom is in Atlanta Georgia and the after effects of Hurricane Irma will be felt there today. I have been keeping an eye on the progress as much as I can. The report today at lunch time looks like it will miss most of Atlanta but it is hard to know, Mother Nature can be unpredictable.

irma

I am praying to the Great Spirit for the protection of my Mom and the rest of the people who may be impacted by the many threads of wrath that Mother Nature seems to be expending. We have been dealing with so many disasters, Hurricane Harvey, an earthquake in Mexico,  an earthquake in Japan, floods in Asia, floods in Italy, Hurricane Irma, as well as the many fires burning out of control. There are many more.

Yet the imbeciles of the world keep denying climate change.

The best meme I have seen regarding this cacophony of chaos is this one.

trump

I hope all of your loved ones are safe, dry and warm.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxox

 

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.

let it go vintage_buddha_let_it_go_sticker

Image credit.

The fourth pillar is Living in the Now.

be-here-now

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.

insecure-issa-rae-1480436785-640x904

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.

woodies_cesar burger.jpg

Retha had the ribs.

Woodies_Retha ribs.JPG

And Norm had the sausage and mash.

woodies_sausages.jpg

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

 

 

This Little Piggy

Working for 2 different clients can lead to confusion. I cannot operate on auto pilot in the mornings, I have to think – ‘where am I working today’? I have one client in the Foreshore in the city on Monday and Tuesday and my other client where I work from Wednesday to Friday is in Mowbray which is off in a completely different direction. On Wednesday I was speaking to the client when I first arrived and she was talking about a meeting the day before which completely baffled me, since when do we work on a Sunday? She then pointed out to me it was not Monday, it was Wednesday. To me it felt like Monday as it was the start of the ‘week’ with that client! It was a rather ditzy and embarrassing conversation.

On Thursday when I got home from work Norm was out walking the dogs and it was really cold so I started a fire and got dinner on the go. I had gem squash, chicken breasts, baby spinach and red cabbage to work with so I decided to bake the chicken with sliced peppers and a bit of coconut oil. I sliced the cabbage and fried it in butter and balsamic vinegar. I steamed the gem squash. I stir fried the baby spinach in a tiny bit of butter until it was limp then used the hand blender to puree it and then stirred in a dollop of double cream and a handful of grated mature cheddar cheese and simmered until it was all melted. I topped the baked chicken with the spinach mix and scooped out the squash and mashed with butter to serve it. It was so delicious even if it looks a bit of a mess.


I had left overs but I forgot to take them to work with me the following day and as it was a Friday I decided to treat myself and use OrderIn and get my fave Mexican food from Fat Cactus for lunch. I had a pulled pork quesadilla with chill poppers. I wised up this time though and instead of the usual pineapple salsa that comes with the dish I asked for basic salsa instead. Pineapple is never nice with savoury food in my opinion.


I had worked an extra hour on Thursday evening so I finished a bit early on Friday afternoon and headed home as Lily and Josh were coming down for the weekend.

Caitlin was busy at her new flat until late that evening, but the rest of us spent the evening catching up and ordered take away food from Spiro’s for dinner. We started a new series we had heard was good which neither of us had seen called Ozark. The first episode was almost soft porn which is always rather embarrassing when watching with your kids. However we endured to the end and I think we will continue watching it, it was a very good premise.

ozark-title_1501103456415_10134033_ver1.0

We had a turn in the weather at the end of the week and it was lovely outside on Friday night and it was our first night without a fire in ages, it was as warm as a summers evening so we sat outside for a bit. Navajo loves it outside in the evenings.


Saturday we were all up early as Lily and Josh were off to Simon’s Town on business. Josh’s electrical firm is starting a large project there. Josh will be coming to stay with us while working there but they were viewing accommodation for their staff who will be coming down too. Lily messaged us in our family Whatsapp group to say the Simon’s Town harbour had whales cavorting right opposite the building site.

I asked Lily for a pic and my smarty pants daughter Caitlin sent me this pic:


Ha bloody ha. Cheeky minx.

Lily said the pics were not very clear even though the whales were up close. You could just see a fin waving vaguely about occasionally.

I had an appointment at Skin in Hout Bay for laser treatment and so I also got up and got ready after Norm brought me a coffee in bed. When I got into the car a calendar reminder popped up telling me I had an appointment at Skin in an hour. I only then realised I had been aiming for arriving at the wrong time for my appointment. As I was all dressed and ready I managed to entice Norm into coming out for breakfast at La Cuccina which is next to the spa.

I ordered their Eggs Benedict with crispy bacon. It was perfection! The eggs were soft as requested, the muffin was properly toasted and the hollandaise sauce was the perfect touch of lemony richness.


By the time we finished eating it was time to go for my laser appointment so it all ended up working out perfectly as I did not have time after my laser appointment finished to eat. I only had about a 20 minute gap before I needed to head into the city for my hair appointment so I decided to pop to Clicks as I needed vitamins and other bits and pieces.

I then headed into the city to the very vibey Long Street where my hairdresser has just set up a new salon on Church Street.

66 church street

She was running late due to her earlier clients arriving late – many people struggle to find the new location as there is no signage as yet. I ended up finishing a bit later than I expected. I gave Thembi a lift home to IY as it was on my way. I got home around 5pm. After Norm finished walking the dogs we got ready and phoned an Uber to collect us as we were off out for dinner with our friends Mel and Steve and their daughter Chloe.

We were going to the Hoghouse Brewery in Ndabeni for dinner.
hoghouse
We arrived a bit early so I decided to try one of their Apple Wagon Margaritas while waiting for our friends to arrive.

This was one kick ass margarita, it was strong but enjoyable. I ended up having about 4 or 5 of those bad boys!

Norm and I sat hungrily perusing the menu and enjoying our drinks while we waited for Mel, Chloe and Steve to arrive.

Once our friends arrived and ordered their drinks we ordered various starters for us all to share.

The fellas were salivating over the thought of Scotch eggs so we ordered 2 portions of those for them and some chili poppers. None of us enjoyed the chill poppers – they are served more like what I am used to a chill relleno being prepared but they used jalapenos instead of the traditional poblano chiles, so it was sort of in the middle of these 2 dishes.

We also ordered a portion each of the Arancini, the croquettes and some nachos. The arancini is balls of wild mushroom risotto served with chipotle aioli. They are gorgeous. The croquettes were described as ‘bacon + boerenkaas / kimchi aioli’. They were crispy, cheesy and bacony, exactly as you would expect. I love a good croquette.

We wolfed down all of the delicious starters and we ordered some mains also as shared items. As you can see from the menu above, you order the meats in portions by 100 grams of weight.

There were 5 of us so we started out with 500 grams of pork ribs, 300 grams of Pork Belly, and 2 portions of their buttermilk chicken as Mel does not eat any meat other than chicken.

When the platter arrived we realised 500 grams of ribs was not going to be enough so we ordered another 500 grams of ribs. Oink oink. Speaking of oinks, the pork belly was the best pork belly I have ever eaten – I am not normally a fan of pork belly as I find it too fatty, however theirs had a huge portion of soft lean roast pork with a small sliver of fat under the crispy crackling. Everyone raved about this.

We had also ordered 400g of burnt ends. This was my fave meat I think, it is the ends of a beef brisket – crispy and blackened. They were so tasty.


We rounded it all off with three portions of chips, two portions of onion rings and two portions of eggplant parmigiana.

The chips were hand cut and freshly fried, no frozen chips served up here! The onion rings had a crispy beer batter coating and were so yummy. The eggplant parmigiana was one of the best I have ever eaten. The marinara sauce was perfection. I loved this dish and next time will have a portion all on my own.

If you go with a group though it is a great idea to order a few bits and pieces of everything so you can sample a variety of dishes. We ate like carnivorous kings and then Norm and I ordered our Uber home which arrived quickly. We headed home and were tucked up tipsy in bed just after 11.

The next morning Norm and I had a long lie in with our coffees and iPads and Lily and Josh headed off back to Mossel Bay. Once we finally got up I decided to make a banting breakfast so I grilled some streaky bacon and then lined a little oven proof pot with it, cracked in an egg or two, then topped it with cheese and baked them.


They were delicious!

Later on Sunday afternoon we decided to watch a film and we randomly chose ‘Wilson’ as I like Woody Harrelson. It was a very odd film. He plays an autisticish type middle aged man who is feeling all alone after his father dies and he seeks out his ex-wife who has had a rather rough life since they split. He discovers that the baby he thought she had aborted had actually been adopted and they seek to find her and stalk her.

It was very odd. He somehow ends up being a bit endearing despite being borderline insane. We enjoyed it well enough. I give it 2.5 – 3 Kitten Stars.

We were both feeling a bit fragile after our night out drinking on Saturday, we no longer have the stamina we had when young so we had a lazy day of lolling about.

Tonight I have Vanessa coming around to do a pedicure for me. Later this week we are taking Caitlin and Wes to Cheyne’s for his winter special. He has extended his Winter Yum Cha Experience till end of August. It is only R150 for any 3 dishes off his Winter menu.

cheyne.jpg

I am very excited about that! I have not eaten at his main restaurant in a few months.

Next weekend is very busy as I have a drum workshop on Saturday and on Sunday I am off for high tea at the Silo Hotel with my friend Di.

hightea

Enjoy your week ahead everyone.

Privilege

In one of my local Hout Bay Facebook groups there is an on-going debate about the term ‘privileged’ and what that actually means. It is sometimes used as a divisive term in regards to race. It is actually more related to financial status as many white people are also poor. The primary difference that I see is that there are very few white people who live in shacks, where as there are millions of blacks who live in shacks.

IY-The-Old-768135.jpg

Image credit.

Based on statistics published by the Housing Development Agency (HDA) in South Africa in 2013 (the most recent I could find), the number of households living in shacks has increased at a rate of 4.5% per year. In terms of total households, Census 2011 indicates at total of 712,956 households living in shacks in backyards, compared to 459,526 in 2001.

stats SA

This varies across the various provinces in South Africa.

stats by province.JPG

Consider that in each shack you could have anywhere from 2-6 people living in them and you start to get an idea of the number of people who live in shacks.

stats by number_gender.png

For me the saddest statistic is that Census data indicates that there are just under one million children under the age of 18 who live in informal residential EAs accounting for 5% of all children in South Africa.

This analysis is based on Census 2011 data and I know for a fact that this data was incorrect. We know that to get an accurate Census of the counts of people living in shacks when they are often out working during the day or they may be of an illegal immigration status and unwilling to disclose personal info is near impossible. Aside from census data, the HDA analysis is supplemented by other survey data sources including the 2010/11 Income and Expenditure Surveys as well as the General Household Survey from various years. However as an analyst, I know that your outputs are only as good as your inputs. Dodgy data = dodgy analysis.

It is harder to find stats on informal settlements divided by race. The best figure I can isolate is that just 7,754 white households lived in informal settlements. This is extrapolated to estimate that 31,000 white people live in informal settlements.

So when defensive white people throw out the ‘my family was poor’ argument they are being somewhat disingenuous. The majority of whites in South Africa have no comprehension of the levels of poverty and lack of opportunity that shack dwellers experience.

Shack dwelling generally means that you do not have running water or electricity supplied to your shack or other amenities that most of the world take for granted.

stats acces to services.png

I was reflecting on my own privilege one morning this week when driving to work. I accept that I am privileged. I wake up in a warm, dry bed. In a home with a solid door and windows to keep out the elements and hopefully any unsavory people I do not want to wake up to in my bedroom. I shower with piped in heated water, available at the turn of a tap (albeit restricted amounts due to the drought). I choose from my closet full of clothing and shoes to decide what I want to wear. I take a lunch of healthy food with me to work. I get into my relatively new car which gets serviced regularly and I drive to my high paying job which has parking on site so that I do not have to walk into the rain. I am treated with respect in my work environment and have a certain level of control over what I choose to do and when. If I have health issues I make an appointment to go to the doctor and it is paid for by my medical aid (which I can afford to have) and I get paid sick leave from work. At night when I get home I have a supply of ready cut firewood which is delivered by the truck load to my home and I can start a big fire in my fireplace. I have 5 pets who are fed the best food available and which I can afford to take to the vet whenever they have a twinge. If we have a busy day we can afford to go to a restaurant or get a take away. Otherwise we can afford to buy the best food to cook and eat at home.

I thought about how grateful I am for all of this as I drove past people walking in the dark, enduring the pouring rain on their journey to what is most likely a low paying job. People who had probably spent the night sleeping in a shack which might have leaks and drafts of ice cold air keeping them awake, who if they wanted to wash with hot water had to go to a standpipe to get the water, bring it back to their living area and heat it in order to wash. People who most likely did not have any breakfast, but who if they were lucky, might be given a bit of toast and margarine before they start their day’s work. People who work at what may be a very physically exhausting job for an entire day for about what I get paid per hour just to sit on my arse doing analysis and writing reports.  People who have to suffer with any pains or ailments they have until they can get the time off to go to the free clinic for basic treatment, but will miss a day’s pay. People who may have only a few items of second hand clothing to wear, yet always look clean and well dressed.

It made me count all of my blessings and to be grateful for all of these things. It made me aware of my privilege.

Some people say ‘but I worked hard and sacrificed to get to where I am’, however the difference is that my parents could afford to educate me. I had books to read as a child and I had opportunities.

I cannot deny my privilege however I am not defensive of this nor do I carry guilt about my circumstances. I have had hardships, after my divorce from my first husband I had nothing. I worked as a waitress and I endured abuse from drunken idiots who came into my workplace. I survived off of the food they gave me at work. I struggled. But my way out was to move to a bigger city and fall back on my University degree. That led me to become self sufficient and financially stable again and when I met Norman and emigrated to the UK I was able to get a temp job which eventually led me back to SA where I have specialist skills which have allowed me to get the job I have now. Part of that was due to my drive and determination but a lot of it was opportunity and some of it  of course was destiny.

I count my blessings every day.