The Red Road

Last Sunday was taken up with showhouse visits as it has been for the last month. It is rather exhausting. At least it was a stunning sunny day and it was good to be out and about.

At least we had a long lie in bed watching the news and drinking coffees before we headed out. We had decided to stop for lunch at Greens in Constantia but when we arrived there the whole restaurant had changed! We just thought that they had done a reno and we remarked on how nice it was looking and that they changed the tables and chairs and we were pleased that there were seats available as it is normally rammed on a weekend. Then when we asked for a table the waiter said ‘we are closing’ and when I expressed surprise Norm pointed out that the waiter’s shirt was branded ‘BCG’ and the waiter laughed and told us that it is now yet another branch of Bootleggers Coffee Company. We were rather shocked as Greens was such a popular venue, it was always so busy. Why would they close? Regardless, we could not eat there as they were closing even though it was only 1p.m. We wandered off down the rows of shops and saw that Hartlief Deli had some tables available and so we went into there and managed to grab a table.

We ordered a coffee and I chose the German Salad. It was a salad heaving with shredded gypsy ham and grated emmental cheese. The ham was so delicious!

german salad hartlief.jpg

Norm chose the Chicken Salad. His chicken was tender, juicy and very tasty.

norm chick salad hartlief.jpg

We both polished off every bite and headed out to go to our list of viewings we wanted to see. We viewed 6 different properties. Only 4 were on our planned list and 2 were ones where we saw the boards when driving around and just popped in.

The first one we saw I absolutely adored. I loved every thing about it except the location. It is on the corner of 2 very busy roads and the traffic noise is very bad. When we arrived there was a young boy roaming around in the car port and about to enter the gate which was left open. When we asked him if we could help him he begged for money however he was well dressed and clean so he is not a street urchin. I wonder whether if we had not disturbed him would he have gone in and taken a chance at stealing something. The agent was out back and did not hear us enter or even call out to her, she only heard us when we rang the bell.

We saw a few others which were not options for us for various reasons. One was a bit dirty looking despite the fact that their domestic was busy scrubbing the floors in the midst of the showing. There was a teenager watching rugby in one room, a child asleep in another and the house reeked of curry which was bubbling outside on a cook stove which was in a junk filled lean to by the kitchen. The pool was so green as to be a possible dwelling for a plethora of frogs. The whole house was so revolting and off putting I did not even view all of the rooms, I legged it after I walked in on the sleeping child.

WTF?? Who shows a house in that state?

We also went back for a 2nd viewing to a house which was on our list of maybes, but during the 2nd viewing we noticed things we had not noticed when we viewed previously so it is off the list.

We saw another one which we just drove by and when we saw the on show board we stopped and it was sheer perfection, however it was also 2 million above our budget so perfection is to be expected. However the agent there had another property which is in our budget and we made an appointment to go and see it this Saturday.

The search continues.

We got home exhausted on Sunday evening and after Norm walked the dogs he nipped out to get a curry from the Indian Oven.

indian oven 2

I went over my carb allowance as I also had a few cheeky vodkas to chill me out a bit.

We binged on Sons of Anarchy and wound down.

SOA

The traffic going into town on Monday was horrendous, especially as it was only 7a.m. I heard on the radio that there was a taxi strike going on and that is probably why there were more people driving. All of the taxi ranks were empty.

taxi rank deserted2

Usually the taxi ranks are full of taxis, people and noisy chaos.

Taxi-Ranks-FULL.jpg

The taxi drivers were preventing the buses from running, in fact they torched several buses. A Golden Arrow bus (below left) was set alight in Delft earlier this morning and a MyCiti bus (below right) was also set alight on the N2 at the R300.

 

As a result of the strike the roads were chaos. Many people could not make it into work at all due to intimidation by the taxi drivers. They stoned many other buses. Over 50 people were injured and more than 150 windows or windscreens were broken.

taxi injury

The next day the tea lady at our office said that there were men redirecting people around a corner to a taxi but when they went around the corner there were men with guns who then robbed them.

Later in the afternoon I read that the Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, and representatives of the SA National Taxi Organisation (Santaco), as well as a Taxi Task Team, had met to thrash out a leadership issue and the strike was called off.

South Africa is having such amazing weather that it seems rather ludicrous to hear that yet another hurricane is bearing down on the Caribbean. Hurricane Maria hit the already recovering area on Monday evening.

When I got in from work on Monday I saw that Norm had started painting the dining room. The dining room is open plan with the kitchen so when the kitchen was repainted it meant the dining room needed to be painted the same colour but he has not gotten around to finishing it until now. With the house going on the market we have to do all the little chores which have been on our list for a while.

Tuesday was a very busy day at work as it was my last day on the project where I usually work on Mondays and Tuesdays. We had a client meeting and I did my last handovers and updated all of the documentation on the shared repository. It felt very odd leaving there as I have been at that client on and off for the last 9 years. I am now full time at my client on the other side of town. I have gotten used to that environment and it does not quite seem so foreign to me now however I do prefer working in the CBD. For one thing, there are plenty of places to walk to easily for food. My new client has nothing at all except a KFC which is incredibly unhealthy. That will force me to be prepared and take in my lunch every day. I have stocked up on soups so that in a crisis I can at least take in a tin of soup rather than eating rubbish food or spending a lot of money on OrderIn as they charge a delivery fee and of course I always give a tip so this can quickly add up.

The other reason I prefer my CBD office is that it is peaceful and quiet most of the time. My new office is right by a taxi rank and the noise is deafening and continuous. The constant hooting of the taxis and the shouting and whistling of the taxi gaatjie (the man who collects the fares, opens the taxi doors and shouts out the vehicle’s destination to potential passengers as the minibus) is incessant. I find it hard to tune it out.

After my busy day I packed up all of my belongings from my desk into my car and headed home. Norm had been at Caitlin’s new flat grouting some of the new tiling he had done for her and painting and doing all sorts of chores at our house so while he was dropping off Cordelia I started cooking dinner. I saw he had also shopped and so I baked pork chops topped with peppers and roasted some chopped butternut in coconut oil. I fried sliced mushrooms in butter and garlic and steamed baby broccoli topped with lemon.

I woke on Wednesday to hear about another earthquake in Mexico which had killed over 200 people. This is just a week or so after a previous earthquake had struck off the southern coast of Mexico.

mex earthquake

The world seems to be in free fall. It is rather concerning the levels of destruction happening on a regular basis. We humans have a lot to answer for in our destruction of the planet which is the direct impetus for a lot of these issues.

I blame Trump for the others 🙂

On Wednesday evening I attended a talk by Michelle Reid on Shamanism. Michelle poured the women’s sweat lodge I last attended. It was such an interesting talk and the venue ‘Soul‘ is so lovely. There is a coffee bar, a sort of reading area and a gorgeous outside area surrounded by plants and a water feature.

As it was evening Norm kindly offered to drive me. We were a bit early so we sat out in the courtyard and had a coffee while waiting for it to begin.

soul me

As the talk was not going to last very long Norm just sat in the courtyard and worked on his book while we were listening to Michelle. Michelle took us through her own path to Shamanism and she and I have so many parallels in our lives – I find it so fascinating. She and I have birthdays one day apart and I feel a real draw to her spiritually, I feel that we have been connected in other incarnations in some manner.

I am booking to go on her Introduction to Shamanism course.

shamanism

I feel she has been sent to guide me on my spiritual path as she keeps getting recommended to me whenever I ask others for various areas of guidance or information. I asked someone about studying drumming & shamanism and Michelle was recommended but we did not connect at that time. I asked someone else about getting a drum bag made and she was again recommended to me. I then attended the Women’s Sweat Lodge and there she was, pouring the lodge. I had resisted attending that lodge and when Michelle sent me the protocols there was mention of White Buffalo Woman who I feel is my spirit guide, if not one of my ancestors. I feel that when the Universe points us towards a path we must follow that path.

red road women healing

I will show up and do the foot work and see where this path takes me. I find it all very exciting. I know I am not fulfilling my destiny or my purpose, I hope this opens the doors to allow me to do that.

redroad-300x295

Michelle told us the tale of Spider Grandmother whom I had never heard of. Folklore differs somewhat between the tribes, however in Hopi stories she is known as the Earth Goddess. Although accounts vary, according to mythology she was responsible for the stars in the sky; she took a web she had spun, laced it with dew, threw it into the sky and the dew became the stars. Some tribes claim she is responsible for the creation of dream catchers, used to filter out bad dreams and allow only good thoughts to enter. In some cultures she is so sacred that you cannot mention her name except in ceremony.

I find this all so fascinating learning about my roots and history as a Native American descendant.

On my way into work this morning I went past the site where the City of Cape Town has proposed placing the TRA (Temporary Relocation Area for the fire victims.) There was a protest just starting about the removal of the trees in that area. There has been no environmental impact study done to understand what may happen to that area if they remove them.

graveyard protest

Photo credit.

There is yet another peaceful protest planned today in Hangberg. I will be at work and cannot attend. This is to show support for the people involved in the protests last week.

hangberg peace protest

The whole world seems to be protesting.

This weekend is a long weekend. Lily and Josh came down and I made chili con carne. 


We have kept our house viewing appointments to a minimum for this weekend to allow Norman maximum time to do the bits and pieces he wants to do around the house in order for them to be able to come and do the pictures for our sales brochure.
When I got home I sat on my balcony staring at the clouds ove the mountains.

I’m going to miss this view. Even when grey and cloudy it’s beautiful.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend.

Kisses from the Kitten. xoxoxox

 

 

Advertisements

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 

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

 

Festivities & Feathers

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

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


Caitlin’s beau Wesley joined us.


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

Aren’t my daughters gorgeous?


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

I ordered the bon bons.

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

bonbons.jpg

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

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

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

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

atypical.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

clay cafe venue.JPG

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

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

clay cafe eggs benedict.JPG

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

The girls are so artistic.

We had such fun.


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

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

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

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

Much like my photography.


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

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

It was very moist and rather divine.

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

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

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

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

pool.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

I have a lovely family.

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

spinach dinner.jpg

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

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


So far so good this week.

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

Kisses from the Birthday Kitten. xoxoxoxo

The 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.

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.

Solstice Celebrations 

I started on Saturday with the Corticosteroids my doctor prescribed for my on-going issues with my ears and sinuses but they have made no difference whatsoever. I went back on Monday for another blood pressure check and to get my lab results. My blood pressure is still high and needs to be monitored. The lab results showed I still have a bacterial lung infection and I am now on a different course of antibiotics. My GP has also referred me to see an ENT specialist about my blocked ears. I made an appointment for next week to see her. She is located near my client where I am based on Mondays & Tuesdays so I will just walk over there and hope there is no rain that day. Umbrellas are useless in Cape Town with our winds.

We have finally been receiving a bit of rain here and there which helps with our on-going drought issues however we must not become complacent that a few drizzles will resolve the low dam levels. The City of Cape Town has decided to finally get off it’s hands and send out a RFI (Request for Information)  this week to try and come up with some ideas to resolve the issues rather than just hope for heavy winter rains.

It is now very cold in the mornings and I cannot bear to take a cold shower. I keep my shower to as short a time as possible and I get wet when the water is tepid, but ice cold water on a cold morning is just asking for sickness and goodness knows I am struggling enough with that already. I no longer condition my hair in the shower, I put on a leave in conditioner afterwards. I look a mess most of the time as I try to only wash my hair once, or at most, twice a week. Luckily menopause has sucked all of the moisture out of my once oily hair and it copes fine.

I think we are going to have to bite the bullet and implement a proper grey water recycling system as Norm has a damaged shoulder and is struggling with carrying the buckets of water down to the garden.

As mentioned in my last blog, Friday was a public holiday in South Africa and I went across town to Maestro’s on The Beach to have lunch with my friend Di.

It was a stunning winters day and we grabbed a table outside to enjoy the view of Table Mountain and the beach.

As it was a weekend I decided that carb controls be damned and I ordered their chicken schnitzel with cheese sauce, chips and onion rings. The Schnitzel comes with a choice of one side dish for R105 (about $8 USD). The cheese sauce is an extra R19 as were the onion rings (at R25).

It was really yummy and I wolfed down every bite.

I even had ‘dessert’ in the form of an Oreo Milkshake for R35. It was thick and creamy and rather divine.


Di and I had not seen each other in ages as we live on opposite sides of Cape Town and neither of us are great on motorways nor can we drive at night but we made up for lost time, spending 5 hours sitting in the sunshine and gabbing. It was good for my soul. It was lovely having the sun on your back and good conversation with a friend who cares.

When I eventually made it home Norm and I decided to watch a film and we chose the movie ‘A Cure For Wellness’ as I had thought I had seen a friend posting about it on Facebook. Later I checked back on their feed only to discover it was a different film they watched. Oops.

cure for wellness image

A Cure for Wellness was a crazy,  bizarre and rather uncomfortable film. It was a bit like a train smash in that you could not stop watching it no matter how horrid or distasteful it got. The premise of the film is that an ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. It all derails from the point of arrival and just becomes more and more strange. It ended in a rather unfinished manner (so many questions) and therefore makes me think they are planning a sequel. I will not subject myself to that if so.

A Cure For Wellness gets 2 kitten stars and that is only because it managed to hold my attention.

Early on Saturday Mzudumo arrived and got started in the garden while Norm and I had plans to  go the shops to buy a cover for my new iPad. I saw on Facebook that a friend was asking about the cost of an Uber to Cavendish Mall so we stopped to collect her and her son and gave them a lift. They were going to the cinema so we could not give them a lift home as we had to get back to give Mzudumo his lunch.

I went to the iStore but they only had black covers and I wanted something a bit more colourful and cheerful. They referred me to Incredible Connections and they had a red one which is the colour I wanted but it was almost a thousand rand! I chose a bright fuchsia coloured one instead but when I got it home and on my iPad I saw that it only has a ‘prop up option’ when in the landscape view, not in the Portrait view. As I play covet and it is only available in that view it means it is not very handy for me. That is what I get for being a cheapo miser to save R300!

After we finished shopping we went for brunch. We chose Mugg & Bean as it serves breakfast all day and Norm loves his omelettes.

We both went for their ‘Simple California Omelette’ which is described as a deconstructed 3-egg omelette filled with cheddar, mozzarella & fresh basil. Loosely topped with fresh avocado, back bacon & Danish-style feta, drizzled with a basil pesto mayo & served with pan-fried cherry tomatoes. It is R77.90.

It is served with toast, Norm had the low carb option but I had white bread and just ate a bit of it. We found it odd that they did not serve the toast with butter. We asked for butter but by the time it arrived the toast was cold. The butter was rock hard as if it had been in the freezer, I could not even cut it with my knife, much less spread it on my toast. This is a pet peeve of mine, butter should be served room temperature.

Caitlin had her childhood best friend Katherine down from Johannesburg that night with her gorgeous twins Luke and Tyler who are 3 years old. It is a good rehearsal for grandkids (which are not even visible on the horizon at this point.) The boys are so different considering that they are twins, Tyler is fearless and exuberant and very friendly while Luke is more cautious, gentle and sensitive. Tyler had a great time playing ball with Pixie who loved the attention and was so gentle with him but Luke was a bit intimidated by the dogs and refused to get on the floor, choosing rather to walk from couch to couch.

As the boys were having dinner with us I decided to make something child friendly and made 3 cheese mac and cheese adding full fat cream cheese into the sauce as well as cheddar, then topping it all with mozzarella for baking. Of course I plonked a load of chilli in mine.

 

Once the twins settled down to watch a movie upstairs in bed with Katherine and Caitlin Norm and I put on a movie to wind down from all of the excitement. We chose Collateral Beauty with Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren. We chose it for the brilliant cast.

collateral beauty.jpg

I found bits of it confusing, but it was a very emotional movie and well acted. Other than Keira Knightley who looks the same no matter what emotion she is displaying. I give it 3.75 kitten stars.

Katherine and the kids were flying very early the next day and they were up and out and away to the airport. After Caitlin got back she went back to bed as it was so early for her. It was father’s day and she rose about lunch time to give Norm his presents from her, Lily and Trevor. They gave him some meat thermometers for when we braai a roast as well as a grill matt for cooking on the grill which means you do not have to scrub the grill, you can just wash the matt.

braai mat

On Sunday I had another drumming session planned. There were more people there this time which made it even more fun. We sang lots of songs and we performed a new activity called ‘Heart to Heart’ which is about connection, toning and harmony. It is done with 2 people and you put your ears together, place one hand on the other person’s back over their heart area and the other over their opposite ear. You then vocalise until you are harmonising the sound. Caitlin and I did a reenactment to show how it’s done.


I was rather full of trepidation as it meant being intimate with a total stranger as well as ‘singing’ which I know I am not very good at (exuberance and skill are totally different things.) I loved it though! It also sort of relaxes you for the singing portion of the day.

Later I read about how sound is used for meditation and in various spiritual practices to aid connection to spirit and the universe. I find it fascinating.

After my drumming session I raced home as Caitlin had booked us into Woodcutters Arms pub for a late Fathers Day Dinner.

We got stuck into their yummy pub grub. Norm had his fave starter the Scotch Egg at R45. Caitlin and I shared the Jalapeno Cheddar Cigars at R44.


Norm had a blue cheese and onion burger from the specials board and I had the Cajun Chicken Burger at R82.

Caitlin and I shared the onion rings and she had a Red Pepper and Halloumi Salad at R85. I was stuck into my burger too quickly to snap a pic of her food but it was very pretty, however she said the halloumi was cold.

Norm was very virtuous but Caitlin and I shared a dessert. We had the White Chocolate and Oreo Sundae for R43. It was so delicious.


Monday and Tuesday were both very busy at work. As I was at the doc on Monday I had to work late to make up the time and so Norm cooked dinner. He baked chicken breasts, fried a variety of squash and steamed corn on the cob. It was very yummy.

Caitlin slept at Wes as his parents were away and there had been a break in on Sunday night. He slept through it and didn’t hear a thing but they took about 4 TVs, iPads, laptops and a lot of valuable items. I’m just glad he wasn’t injured.

I had a client workshop today and when I got home I cooked my fave, Mexican food. It’s quick and easy.

I prepared the toppings while the chili con carne cooked.


Then I made it into a big pile of yumminess.

Tomorrow is a big day. I start my new project at my new client and then tomorrow night we pour a sweat lodge to celebrate the Winter Solstice. It’s my first sweat lodge with this group and I’m very excited. It will only finish at 11:30 or midnight so I will be knackered on Thursday but I am sure I’ll survive.

Wish me luck! ❤️