Courage over Comfort

This week we had the National and Provincial Elections in South Africa. Considering the corruption the ANC has been proven to be guilty of and how much embezzlement they have done by pilfering money from so many areas I had hopes that they might be knocked from their perch but unfortunately the masses have again voted them into power.

I think that some people continue to support the ANC because they feel that the party saved them from the horrors of apartheid. They vote out of fear that if they give another party power, things could revert back to that repression.

Contrary to the fear of SA returning to the days of apartheid I overheard several old white toppies at work yearning for ‘the old days’. They reminisced over when SA was a safe place to live, where the shops were closed on Sundays and families went to the beach and had barbecues. What they are neglecting to remember was that those beaches were restricted to white use only and the black and colored populations were banned from the beaches and so many other places where whites took their privilege for granted. You can understand how some of the Africans who lived through that horrendous time are afraid of going back to that, but conversely the ANC have done nothing in their 25 years of governing to better the lives of the majority of their constituents.

Change is badly needed in SA. Our state owned enterprises are limping along having been badly managed and plundered by corruption. There have been so many politicians who have been proven to be involved in the state capture debacles and these people need to be prosecuted. The economy is struggling and needs uplifting. I only hope that Ramaphosa can turn the country around.

I am happy that the DA party has retained control of the Western Cape at a provincial level, now that they have gotten rid of Patricia De Lille I hope that they can also turn themselves around as I think she was as corrupt as the ANC politicians.

The benefit of the election was that most of the country had the day off to allow them to vote. As I am not a citizen I cannot vote but I fully enjoyed the paid day off!

Caitlin had a bit of drama on the holiday as she had a car crash. She works for a company with a mostly American client base so she had to work. On her way in to the office she had a guy turn directly in front of her resulting in her swerving into oncoming traffic to avoid hitting him. She hit the verge in the center of the road and it caused her tire to burst. Her bumper and rims were badly damaged. Luckily she was not injured but the driver kept going and did not stop so she has to claim on her insurance and pay her deductible and it will cost her thousands.

She had assistance from several people who stopped and changed her tire for her. There must be some chivalry left! I am just so grateful she was not injured, it could have been really bad if someone had been coming in the other direction.

Road safety in SA in general is a bit dodgy. Coming home last Friday I came around a blind bend to find an articulated lorry stopped in the middle of the road with no safety cones or any warning at all. I then drove on a bit to find a man frantically trying to pick up a load of broken bricks which had obviously fallen off of the back of the lorry. The poor guy had no protection or warning signs behind him for any traffic which came upon him, he was very vulnerable. You would never have that situation in Europe. The lane would be closed while it was all cleaned up.

We have tried to stay predominately low carb this week. Norm cooked where he could.

One night he did a ‘one pan’ meal of baked chicken, roast cauliflower, broccoli and butternut.

He also boiled some sweet potato and served it all with mashed sweet potato. It was delicious.

I also cooked a few times, I made a Mexican ‘Taco Salad’ by frying mince, adding spices and then serving it on a bed of lettuce. I topped with cheese, salsa, sour cream & guacamole. It was rather yummy if I say so myself.

To go with it I attempted to make some ‘cheese’ taco shell substitutes using provolone cheese. We used to get thinly sliced provolone from Woolworths but they no longer stock this and so we bought a block and I grated it and baked it. I did not leave them in quite long enough and they were a bit chewy rather than crispy but they were OK.

The following night I used the left over spicy mince to make a chill con carne and to serve it we topped it with cheese, salsa and sour cream.

On election night we decided to go out for dinner and I was craving prawns so we went to the Lookout Deck at the Hout Bay harbour. It was a cold night and there were only a few other tables of people there.

We chose to sit out on the deck as it was cold but not too cold.

As a result of it being such a quiet night the staff in the kitchen were obviously bored as the noise they made was incredibly loud and a bit off putting.

I ordered the Prawn Pan for R198.

Norm ordered the catch of the day which was Dorado. It was a nice meaty piece of fish and he said it was nice.

We had a moment of weakness and fell off the low sugar bandwagon. We both ordered a sundae. I had the chocolate nut sundae and Norm had the caramel fudge one.

The next day I felt sluggish and my joints were killing me, it reminded me of the toxins of sugar and that it is not compatible with my chemical make up.

One night we ordered Banting pizza from Casarecchio. It has a cauliflower base so it is low carb. I had it with mexican beef, peppers and onions and it was very tasty.

On Friday night I had my usual treat of Sushi for dinner. I had Crab salad, Cucumber Roses topped with fat steamed prawns, Salmon Roses and Butterflies.

Saturday morning I slept late and Lola kept me company. In fact I woke up to her sitting on my chest and she then refused to move for hours. I had a long lie as it would have been rude to disturb her, right? #ThatsMyExcuse

It was an absolutely stunning day.

When I finally got up I discovered a dead mouse deposited right where I usually sit in the lounge. I hoped it wasn’t Lola who killed him and then came to kiss me with that mousey mouth. Bleh.

Norm made us a late breakfast and I watched the Brené Brown Netflix show ‘The Call to Courage’. She referred to this quote from Theodore Roosevelt.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I have always felt that I am courageous but I think maybe I am just aggressive and volatile. I am not at all good at being vulnerable. In fact if I feel hurt I attack. I cannot express feelings of vulnerability. I’m not very good at expressing anything except in writing actually!

Saturday night I had booked tickets to go to our fave live music venue Cafe Roux to see a performer we had never heard of, Cat Simoni. Many of her YouTube videos are a bit cheesy but this one has sound only and is a song I love, just to give you an idea of her voice.

It was a tribute to Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, James Taylor and Carole King, I chose to go as I love all of their music.

We arrived about 7 and we were shown to our favorite table.

We were quite hungry so we ordered some dinner. I chose the chicken salad which came with grilled chicken breasts, avocado, fresh Parmesan slices, toasted pine nuts, rocket and a fresh light salad dressing.

This salad was so delicious! I really enjoyed it. It had turned into a really warm day and evening after our week of cold and misty weather so a salad was the perfect choice.

Norm had the braised chicken fillet with mushroom sauce and steamed vegetables and he really enjoyed it.

We both give our food 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We settled in and waited on Cat to come on stage. Another couple were seated next to us and then shortly after that Cat came on. Usually the staff announce the performers and at the same time remind the audience that they should not talk during the performance but this time it did not happen. Maybe the couple next to us were not aware of this rule and they talked loudly throughout the entire show. The man even sang full voice along with Cat. He was out of tune and it really spoiled the evening for me, I found him so annoying!

When I wanted to confront him Norm reminded me of all of the concerts where I have misbehaved. I threw a girl across the tent at George Ezra and shoved a woman so hard I nearly chucked her off of the bleachers at Rodriguez and I threw a drink on a woman at Kings of Leon. I have an anger management issue. I am not good in crowds and I am not good with arseholes. Sometimes it goes a bit awry when those things are combined. His reminders calmed me down and I sat passively even though bristling with annoyance.

However Cat had a lovely voice and I loved the songs she sang. Funny enough my favorite was the unplanned track she sang as an encore, Landslide by Stevie Nicks.

Despite the obnoxious arse next to me we had a brilliant night.

The next day was both Mother’s Day as well as my daughter Caitlin’s birthday and she came around to collect me about 12:30 and we went down to the village to shop for some tidbits. We tried to keep the carb count low but had a few exceptions.

We had chicken meatballs, mozzarella arancini, a few different types of cheese, ham, dips, crudités, low carb seed crackers, onion marmalade and a low sugar cranberry iced tea. It was easy and delicious.

For dessert we had low carb brownies and Banting ice cream.

I loved the brownies but Norm did not like them at all. That is fine, more for me!

I gave Caitlin one of her birthday presents as the other gift had not arrived yet.

I had bought some succulents in a little metal teapot at the Vintage market from Potted Up.

I love the teapot and it is so heavy that it won’t blow around in the crazy Cape Town winds.

The children gave me a lovely little stone bird which goes on a metal rod and will go into a flower pot in my garden. How adorable is he?

Caity also painted a lovely little purple butterfly for me. I am going to frame it as it is so special.

Apparently Lily is bringing another little gift for me this weekend but the phone calls from Lily and Trevor and spending the day with Caitlin made me feel greedy to expect anything more. I am so blessed.

Caitlin and I were going to make some pewter designs and she brought us each a little notebook and a wooden box to decorate. I chose a few designs and Caitlin drew them to size.

I traced the first design onto my pewter and outlined it with the tools, then puffed out the design to make it raised. We melted beeswax to fill the back of the design to stop it being flattened.

We then rubbed it with a liquid which gave it a patina and then polished it.

After we finished we glued it to our notebooks. I did a Celtic design.

Caitlin did a protea.

I think they turned out rather fabulously. I am so chuffed with our efforts.

We packed up after 8pm as we were finished, tired and hungry. Norm went for takeaways and Cait and I shared a Banting pizza and salad.

We rang my Mom to wish her a happy Mother’s Day and had a laugh about all sorts. Norm and I are hoping to go visit this year or next. I really miss having her near enough to pop round for a visit. I sent her a little parcel of things for her fairy garden. They arrived today.

We all relaxed a bit then Caitlin headed home. It was such a lovely day.

Today I was back at work. This is the first full week we have worked in ages as we have had a public holiday every week for the last 4 weeks.

I hope I cope. It’s going to be a busy week. Norm and I are going to the Opera on Wednesday to see Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. I am ever so excited. I adore the emotions the opera triggers in me. Here is a little taste for you.

Lily and Josh arrive on Friday and we are going to Hudson’s for burgers to celebrate Caitlin’s dinner as a family. Pixie has a chiropractor appointment on Saturday morning and I have drumming on Sunday so it will be a busy weekend.

I hope you all had a great weekend and here is hoping for a good week ahead for us all.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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The Power of Change

I think that my husband has a very sexy voice and accent, but sometimes our attempts to communicate with me and my southern drawl and him and his Scottish accent results in some confusion.

In my last blog I mentioned that we took a road trip out towards Paarl but I forgot to tell you about the rather funny conversation Norm and I had over the Afrikaans Language Monument. The monument commemorates the semi-centenary of Afrikaans being declared an official language of South Africa separate from Dutch.

I had always heard it called the ‘Taal Monument‘ as Taal means ‘tongue’ or ‘language’ in Afrikaans. So when Norm saw it sitting on the hill he said ‘Is that the Afrikaans Monument’ to which I said ‘That is the Taal monument’, to which Norman replied ‘Yes it is indeed quite tall but what is it called?’. I said it is the ‘Taal Monument’ and he again said almost with annoyance, ‘YES I KNOW it is tall but what is it called??’.

We had such a giggle once we realised that we were both on about the same thing.

It was a short week last week. I only realised it was a public holiday in SA when I opened my May time-sheet template on the 30th and saw the following day was marked off as a holiday. Otherwise I would have been sitting in the office all alone wondering why there was no traffic and no one was in! The holiday is known as Worker’s Day in SA but it is also known as Labor Day or May Day. If you want to read more about the history behind it in South Africa here is a LINK.

Mozambique has been hit by yet another Cyclone. This is the second cyclone in a six week period. In the last count I saw, at least 38 people have died and about 35,000 homes have been destroyed by the storm. Aid workers were desperately trying to reach survivors but rain was disrupting their movements. They are now also suffering an outbreak of cholera on top of the other issues they are contending with and 14 people have been diagnosed.

Our weather in Hout Bay and Cape Town has suddenly turned very cold. As a result the cats are very clingy. They only get near each other when it is cold or rainy.

The mist rolled in and has been making the valley and seas quite eerie. I made a collage of what the view is like normally compared to what it has been like some days last week, you would not have even known there is a mountain range behind that mist!

It was quite beautiful at night as long as you did not have to try and drive in it.

We also had a tragedy a bit closer to home this week when a runner was shot in the back in Hout Bay while jogging down one of our main roads in Beach Estate. Luckily he survived. There was also a robbery and stabbing of a 20 year old French woman who was walking through the Bo-Kaap, an area formerly known as the Malay Quarter.

Crime is so out of hand in South Africa. We are so under resourced when it comes to the numbers of police needed, especially in Hout Bay.

Norm has been cooking for us on our new low carb reboot. One night he made teriyaki fillet steaks, fried halloumi cheese until it was crispy, roasted sweet potatoes and steamed asparagus. It was delicious.

Another night he baked chicken breasts and fried red cabbage with bacon & cooked the other half of the halloumi cheese from the previous night.

As a result of cutting out carbs and sugar I have managed to lose 2kgs this week!

We had a bit of a cheat night on the evening of the public holiday though as we went to Massimo’s for dinner.

Yes I needed my roots done. Shhh, don’t be rude.

We were seated by the door so we got periodic blasts of cool air which was a lovely contrast to the heat from the pizza oven.

As it is an Italian restaurant there were limited low carb options which were appealing to me in the colder weather so we gave ourselves a night off of our rations. I usually have pasta from there so I figure I shaved a few carbs off of my usual fare? Give me a wee bit of credit please for trying!

I had 3 dishes from their tapas menu. I chose the deep fried calamari, mozzarella cheese bites and the pepite which is fried squares of polenta topped with truffle salt and grated fresh parmesan cheese. It was all delicious.

Norm ordered “JJ’s Jewels” which is two oven roasted artisan sausages with mash, balsamic and onion gravy and seasonal vegetables. You can also have it with fries but their mash is yummy.

We did not realise it when we decided to pop in but Wednesday evening is open mic night so anyone who wanted to sing could get up and do so. There were a few of the restaurant patrons who sang but the best singers by far were the restaurant staff who all have really good voices.

We had just popped out for a quick bite but we ended up staying until the end of the evening as it was so enjoyable. I give our evening a high 5 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This has been a bit of a rocky week in regards to our families beloved animals. Lily’s childhood pet, Bacardi was put down as he had bowel cancer and it had spread to his spine and he was losing the use of his back legs. Lily had been so desperate for a Weimaraner dog when she was young and her Dad managed to find her one. Bacardi was a highly strung but loving dog for her and a companion for her Dad after the kids all moved out. We are all very sad that he is gone. The fact he died on the same date as Jean’s birthday was quite comforting to the kids as he adored Jean. Jean was their childhood nanny who raised them and whom they loved dearly as a Grandmother figure. I imagined Jean coming to take Bacardi over to the other plane.

On the same day our own dogs all went to the vet for their annual inoculations. Navajo has been scratching his ear a lot and the vet took a scraping and found he has yet another yeast infection in his ear. Even when muzzled he tries to rip your arm off when treating it though so it must be very sore.

Pixie was in fine health for a change but wee Panda has been deemed not so wee and has been put on a diet. He weighs almost as much as Pixie and she is much bigger framed than he is. He is not happy about it as he loves his food. After he finishes he looks up at Norm like, where is the rest of it? The increase in weight explains his increased snoring lately as he sounds like a chain saw and as he sleeps right up next to me I will be glad to have that noise toned down a bit!

We had also planned to take Blue the kitty to the vet as he had a couple of lumps on his head which both Norm and I are too blind to see but Caitlin had our cat carrier and had to bring it around. She checked out his lumps and could clearly see that they were scabs so he has probably been fighting again.

It was nice having Caitlin here for a visit. We chatted about what we should do next weekend on the 12th as it is both her birthday and Mother’s Day. We thought about doing lunch and painting at Clay Cafe but it was booked for parties of 2 that day so we decided to get some snacks in for our lunch and do pewter art at home and watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. She is going to get some boxes for us to decorate and we will do a design to decorate them. I’m just happy to have at least one of my babies here for the day and the fact I get to spend Cait’s birthday with her is very special. Lily and Josh will be down the following weekend and we are all going for a late birthday dinner for Caitlin then.

Norman had not shopped so that evening we had a takeaway from Posticino. We tried to keep the carbs down so we each ordered the Eggplant Parmigiana and a large salad to share. It was really tasty and far less carbs than if we had a pasta or pizza. It gets a full 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friday night we always have takeaways as well and I had my usual sushi from K1 in Hout Bay.

I had the crab salad, salmon nigiri, butterfly and salmon roses. Only two of my choices had rice. 50/50 right? #BetterThanFishandChips

It scores a full 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I treated the household to some new appliances this week. I ordered a new toaster and kettle combo. Our old kettle was a second hand gift from a friend who emigrated years ago so no telling how old it was. It leaked something awful and the toaster was a bit hit or miss on the toasting function.

I love the white!

I also ordered a cordless Dyson vacuum at a ridiculously obscene cost but it is made for coping with dog hair and lord knows we have plenty of that! It hasn’t arrived quite yet but hopefully it will soon. Norm vacuums daily and the floors are covered in hair almost immediately after.

Luckily I had a hair appointment on Saturday morning to sort out the aforementioned gray roots so I was up and out reasonably early.

Norm made us a yummy low carb high fat breakfast before I left as I knew we would not get lunch so I needed the fat to keep me full until evening.

He also made me a latte in my favorite Elvis mug ❤️

I’m a lucky Kitten.

When I was in the city there was a Taxi protest outside CT Traffic Services which is more than likely related to the Traffic Enforcement of Taxis. The police have been doing roadblocks and have been impounding taxis for unpaid fines or other violations. The taxis think they should be above the laws.

I parked a few blocks away so that I got in a bit of a stroll. Thembi brought me a coffee and got busy colouring.

I also had a moisturizing treatment. Afterwards Leandra did a lovely blow dry, I wish my hair looked so sleek on a daily basis.

I went home to collect Norm, we ran a few errands and then went to the local primary school to attend the 3pm show ‘Faces of Amoyo‘ being put on by Amoyo Performing Arts Foundation.

It started out with the whole group of performers singing You Gotta Be.

There were 17 different scenes with the children dancing, singing and even acting.

There were school children of all ages performing and there was such talent!

We enjoyed the show so much! Amoyo does amazing work in the community, helping children to stay focused on positivity and to try and keep children away from the influences of alcohol, drugs and crime. If you can spare any money to donate to them they are in desperate need of funding. Here is a link to their funding page. Either a once off donation or a regular monthly debit will be going to support the brilliant work they do. If you are overseas a little bit of foreign currency goes a long way.

Afterwards we stopped off to buy some Banting ice cream from our local Italian Gelato spot, Ice Dream. They make their own ice cream and it is so yummy and stops me from feeling deprived of treats while reducing our sugar intake. They also do vegan ice cream as well as the regular and no sugar versions.

We then came home so Norm could walk and feed the dogs and at 6pm we headed out for an early dinner. We went to Papino’s in Hout Bay.

We both ordered our fave dish from there, the hollandse biefstuk, and we also decided to have a cheat night so Norm ordered fries and I ordered Portuguese chips.

It was delicious! They seem to have changed the sauce recipe and added a new spice which I could taste and smell but could not identify. I’m not 100% sure about it, but I love their steaks and can always have a plain fillet if I decide to change from my usual choice. We enjoy this cosy, friendly little spot. I give it 4.5 Kitten Stars as the steak was perfect but the sauce was not quite what it usually is. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

We were home early and had a relaxing evening as we had such a busy day.

Today we are also having a lazy day as befitting a Sunday. I made an omelette for a late lunch and Norm made bacon.

Now we are watching Knock Down The House.

I have such a girl crush on AOC. ❤️

Later on we may go into the village or I may spend all day in my PJs! Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy it.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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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❤️

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Shadows

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

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

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

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

OMG this was so good!

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

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

I also recommend subscribing to Tara’s YouTube channel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kisses from the Kitten xxoxoxoxox

The Spirit of Water

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

I said jokingly ‘Maybe you saw our ghost.’

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

What?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Silly Kitten.

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

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

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

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

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Bit cloudy in the bay today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

Every Little Thing, Gonna Be Alright

I have been in such pain with my back all week. Sitting is sore as is walking. Getting up out of my desk takes quite a while and then things have to shift in my pelvis before I can walk.

Getting old is not for sissies. One of my project team is leaving this week however so I had to be on site to make sure everything is wrapped up and handed over to the other analyst.

The wind has been a bit insane blowing a gale! It seems to be hot most days and then cooler in the evenings. Unfortunately this creates prime conditions for the criminals as the banging of the wind covers up the noises from their house breaking activities. Tuesday was the busiest day and night CCP (our local crime fighters) experienced since it launched 2 years ago, with:
– 4 break ins,
– 1 attempted robbery and
– 1 medical emergency, all in under 24 hours.

Yet many locals do not contribute either time nor money to CCP or our local Neighbourhood Watch. They know the local police are under-resourced and our only hope of dealing with crime is by the residents working with the various defense teams, yet so many do nothing to contribute.

Norm was taking great care of me all week and he shopped and cooked healthy low carb meals for us.

On Tuesday he baked chicken breasts with the skin on to add more fat and keep the chicken moist. He steamed gem squash and some mixed veg and made a salad.

On Wednesday Josh came back down to Cape Town and Norm baked pork chops and to go with it he cooked the remaining gem squash and fried some baby zucchini. Norm also made a cheesy spinach dish which is one of my faves.

It is a rather spectacular view that we have for dinner, I will miss this view when we move out of Hout Bay.

On Thursday for lunch I had no left overs and so I decided to use the take away service OrderIn and chose to order from Fat Cactus.

FatCactus.PNG

I chose the pulled pork quesadilla called the Happy Hog. It arrives in a pizza box so it was relatively intact on arrival. It normally comes with pineapple salsa but I always ask them to substitute normal salsa.

I had not planned my day very well however as I had forgotten that Norm was out at a meeting that night and I had to cook dinner and as we had mince, cheese, lettuce and avocado and not much else so I decided to make Mexican food for dinner too. Oops.

However due to my back I was unable to bend down. You do not realise how much you bend until you cannot do so. I had to draft Josh to come downstairs and be my sous chef. He got things out of the fridge and cupboards and put things in the oven for me. We coped! Norm only got home quite late from his meeting and then in no time it was bed time.

Thursday was also the day that my analyst was leaving the team and leaving our contract house. I decided to buy a cake to mark the occasion and so I went over to the shops after lunch. I was hobbling along with my painful back, gripping a wobbly cake. I came up to the little spot where the Rastafarians sell their natural medicines on the street.

They were all taking a photo. I politely stopped to wait but they said ‘no sister come and join us’. I quickly jumped into the middle of them and brandished my cake in the air for the snap. I wish I had asked them to send me a copy of the pic but I was laughing too much to even think of it until I was back at my desk. I popped back by there on Friday to ask if I could have a copy of the pic but they were so stoned they could not even remember the interaction. I found that rather hilarious.

That is what I love about Cape Town, people of all backgrounds, cultures and races all interacting together.

Friday was World Aids Day 2017.

world aids day logo

AIDS and HIV are still huge issues in Africa. You can see some of the statistics on the South African National Aids Council web site but here is a set of stats on SA from 2016. The numbers are rather frightening.

aids.PNG

On Friday I managed to just miss a major accident on my way into work. A car somehow managed to crash into 2 City of Cape Town road workers, knocking them both down a ravine and causing quite a lot of damage. I have not seen any updates about the victims, I pray that they are all safe.

The roads were blocked for hours. Luckily I left hours before this all occurred.

I left work early Friday afternoon as I had my 5 weekly occurring appointment with my chiropractor. There was no traffic on the motorway and I was there half an hour early. The receptionist never recognizes me and this was no exception. When I told her my name she said I don’t have you down to see the therapist? I told her I was there to see the Chiro and she said “he has gone away for the weekend” and I said “but I have an appointment and have had it for 5 weeks?” To this she replied, we rescheduled all of his appointments and proceeded to brandish a list vaguely in my direction. I could see my name on the list so I asked her what method of communication she used. She blustered as she had no clue, then proceeded to make me feel like an idiot for being there. I was so upset as I had been in pain all week. She said to me if I was in pain I should have come in earlier. But there was too much going on at work, I had a appointment for Friday and so did not phone to move my appointment. I was incredibly upset, that promise of relief had been what kept me going. Her lack of sympathy and inability to acknowledge she had messed me around and not fulfilled her function of managing the chiropractor schedule was what upset me most. Now I’m spending another weekend in pain.

What is it with my chiropractor scheduling issues lately?

I came home feeling so disheartened and sorry for myself. Being in pain affects your moods and how you cope with life.

Luckily I have nothing scheduled that means I have to be on the go this weekend. Norm and I have had a long lie in bed surrounded by cats and dogs this morning. Tomorrow I have a list of show houses for us to view. Maybe we will find one we love. Fingers crossed!

I hope you enjoy your weekend.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxox

Is There A Doctor in the House?

This past weekend was a lovely long 3 day weekend as Monday was Heritage Day in South Africa. It was made even better as Lily and Josh were down for the weekend. I cooked for us all on Thursday but on Friday night Lily was out with her childhood girlfriends for dinner but Josh had been working all day so he was happy to stay at home and chill with me and Norm. We ordered ribs and chicken burgers from The Kitchen Takeaway.

ribs

We started watching a new show called ‘Better Things‘ which I really enjoyed. I thought it was very funny. It stars Pamela Adlon who is very cute yet sexy and quirky and odd and she is perfectly cast for the part.

better things

Of course she is one of the creators so that makes sense that she is perfect for the part. She collaborated with Louis C.K. who I am not always a fan of, I think he uses crudity in place of humour sometimes. But I am often edging onto the crude side myself sometimes, but then my prudish Virgoness pulls me back from the abyss.

We got up early on Saturday as I had an appointment at Skin in Hout Bay for a laser treatment. Norm and I popped in to La Cuccina for a quick breakfast before my appointment.

Norm then went off to do some errands in town and then he came back at 12:00 to pick me up.

Regular readers will know that we are downsizing and have taken the difficult decision to sell our beloved house and leave Hout Bay. After Norm collected me we drove over to Constantia to view a house which looked appealing on the brochure. We quite liked it but it does need a bit of work done to make it suitable for us, such as putting in a shower in the en-suite and removing some cupboards so my cooker could squeeze in to their kitchen layout.

After we had our viewing we went home and started on our plan to ‘house-doctor’ our home to make it more viewer friendly as the agent was coming to make the brochure photos on Tuesday. This is also called ‘Staging’ your home. Basically we removed all of the ‘personal’ items such as family photos and just did a general decluttering.

There were some items which I have kept for ages as they were gifts, or some which were mementos and had memories associated to them. Time to let that all go.

I had gone through a ‘Chinese’ themed decor phase a few years back where I had a bright red dining room and a lot of Chinese style artifacts and items, but this is no longer my style so out they went. I had other mementos of our past holidays such as a rusty little statue from Sardinia and a pottery plate from a trip to Portugal. The platter has a chip on it and I still have my memories, so out they went.

Lily had a look through the box and she took the Chinese artifacts and some of the other items. The rest will go to DARG to be added to their fundraising garage sales. I have another big bag of jewelry which will go as well once Caitlin has made sure there is nothing she wants out of it.

We packed up CD racks and gave away a CD player to a friend as we have several CD players and never play any of them. Norm took some winter jackets down to the homeless men who do car guarding in Hout Bay as they are outside in all elements and it is still cold at night. They were very happy that he thought of them. He is a good kind hearted man. I hope that it helps to balance out my own nasty selfish side. A couples group karmic score sort of thing.

The house is so empty it almost echos. But it looks so spacious.

That evening as we were on our own we decided to pop down to Woodcutters Arms for a wee bevvie and a pub dinner.


We are never very adventurous and we both had our usual starters, the jalapeno cheddar cigars for me and the scotch egg for Norm.


He does love these scotch eggs.


Norm was somewhat virtuous and had the Blue Cheese Burger on special and he had it with salad and did not eat his bun.


I was very naughty and had chips with my chicken burger but I also did not eat my bun.


I had an order of onion rings to make up for not eating the bun however.

After our dinner we headed home and decided to watch a film. I randomly chose ‘Nocturnal Animals‘. I do love Jake Gyllenhaal.

nocturnal-animals-trailer.jpg

That was one weird hard to follow film. I could never tell what was reality and what was part of the screenplay the lead actress was reading. I won’t even go into whether the lead was played by Amy Adams or the other one.

Isla-Fisher-Amy-Adams

We had more house viewings on for the next day but first we got up and carried on getting the house in a state for the brochure photos. Norm pottered about endlessly fixing and tidying. He is a demon when he sets his mind to a task.

Lily and Josh headed off to their hen party and bachelors parties.

Norm and I headed out late afternoon and viewed 2 houses both in Constantia, just around the corner from the one we viewed on Saturday. The 1st property we saw on Sunday was perfect for us. It was in a quiet cul-de-sac and the only thing we need to do is add a shower in the master en-suite. A lot of the older houses do not have an en-suite at all and when they do it often does not have a shower. With our current drought one cannot even contemplate filling a bath to luxuriate in.

The 2 properties were just a few minutes away from Cait’s new flat and she had just returned from her weekend away with Wes and his friends so we popped by to see her. She has made a lot of progress with unpacking.

After we left Caitlin’s house we were starving so we popped in to Peddlars for an early dinner. Once again they have completely changed their menu. They have now opened up what was 3 different restaurants on the same site which previously had 3 different menus to be one open room and only 1 single menu. However it now seems to have lost it’s identity, decor wise. There are completely different styles in the 3 seating areas and it seems a bit of a design fail.

But I wasn’t there to enjoy the decor I wanted fed.

Norm settled in with a glass of sauvignon blanc.


We decided to have a cheat night (ignore I had one the night before *cough*)

I ordered the Panko Crumbed Chicken Breast for R98 which was described as Parmesan and herb crusted with chips. I chose to add cheese sauce for an extra R20 and was glad I did as it was a bit dry without it.

Norm had the Beer Battered Hake and Chips for R115 and he enjoyed it.


We decided to push the boat out and have a dessert to finish off our day of debauchery.

We decided to order 2 and to share so we had a Chocolate Brownie at R48 which came with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce as well as the Chocolate Nemesis at R65, described as a flourless chocolate cake, mascarpone and berries.

I preferred the brownie and Norm preferred the chocolate nemesis. But they were both delicious.

We headed home and Lily arrived soon after we got in. Josh was still of partying with his pals until later that evening when Lily went to fetch him feeling a bit worse for wear. The girls had a pamper party but the fellas had played footy on the roof of a building and he ended up with raw knees and a bruised rib.

His blood pressure has been very low so I was worried about him playing sport, but I am a bit of a paranoid mommy sort. He was fine, just a bit banged up.

We had a chilled out evening as we were rather knackered from the House Doctoring and tidying.

On Monday morning Lily and Josh were up early and off back to the Garden Route as they both had work the following day. Norm and I carried on pottering about.

I made us an omelette out of the bits and pieces in the fridge. I fried peppers, onions, mushrooms and chorizo and then made it into an omelette. I served it with avocado and tomatoes.

I reheated my left over onion rings and had those with my omelette.

After I ate I went out and started on tidying the garden. I worked at trimming all of the bushes around the pool as that is what you see when you are on our patio looking out and it was full of dead bits from the last time it bloomed. We do have a gardener but he seems to be busy doing other things….not sure what.

We set up our back garden patio area which was still in winter mode. We put the couches out and put on all of the cushions, we rearranged the tables and chairs and did a general tidy up.

We were so exhausted after it all but it feels great to get rid of clutter. Our house looks fab. Hopefully it will sell quickly and we will find the perfect house to move to which is smaller and without the stairs which are giving my arthritic knees such issues.

We were back at work on Tuesday and today I facilitated a client workshop delivering our first work item. It went really well and they are happy with my progress.

A Cosatu strike occurred today. The strike is in protest against corruption and state capture.

cosatu

Cosatu national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the country was struggling with a 38% unemployment rate and about 10 million people who were without jobs, while more than 17 million were on social welfare.

“This is happening while South Africa is losing roughly R147 billion a year from the money illegally taken out of the country,” he said.

There is such corruption across all political parties and branches of our government. It saddens me as South Africa is such a wonderful place, if only it was not being pilfered by our government. It is over 20 years since apartheid ended yet nothing has changed for the vast majority of the people here. Crime is prevalent, unemployment is rife and millions still live in shacks.

The ruling government should be ashamed of this continued oppression.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week. I am looking forward to my Introduction to Shamanism course on Sunday. We are taking a break from viewing properties until we gauge how our house performs on the market.

Kisses from the Kitten. xoxoxoxox