Cinder-Cinderella

The last few days really sum up what it is like living in South Africa. The highs, the lows and the chaos and calmness in-between these polar opposites.

We had plans this weekend to go away to the wine lands a few hours outside of Cape Town. We were invited to a charity function in Somerset West on Saturday night and we decided that as it would finish late and we would want to have a drink, that we should rather stay over. We booked in for the night to NH Lord Charles Hotel.

We had understood that the function was black tie and neither Norm nor I had sussed out what to wear by that morning when we needed to pack. Norm has a tuxedo as well as his kilt so he thought he would be fine. I had in my mind a long silver silk skirt and top I wanted to wear. When we got up on Saturday we tried them on. My skirt was too big and the top was unflattering. Norm’s tux jacket fit fine, but his dress shirt and his trousers were a bit big. The trousers also had an old fashioned wider cut than the narrow style of men’s trousers now. But as it is Cape Town, we figured there would be all sorts of attire there and we were not wrong.

I dragged a dress I bought many years ago for a black tie event in the UK out from the depths of my cupboard . It is tea length but it is heavily beaded and so beautiful that it is acceptable as evening wear. I had not been able to fit into it in years, but I kept it because it was so expensive and my daughters have worn it for several 1920’s themed events. I thought, ‘let me just see how tight it is’ and tried it on and it fit me perfectly! I think it is looser than when I bought it many years ago. I was really chuffed about that but that meant I needed tights and I had none. We needed to stop at a shop somewhere on our journey.

We had a coffee in bed and then got up and showered and packed to go. The dogs mooched around staring at us with big sad eyes, when they see a suitcase they know exactly what is coming and they do not like it one little bit. Even though they love Vanessa and Robyn our house sitters, they love us more.

We packed the car and hit the road, dropping off a house key to our house sitter and then stopping quickly for me to buy some tights and get some cash and then we were on our way. Traffic was not bad at all and we were there in no time.

After we checked in we waited in the room for the bellboy to drop off our bags and then we headed off to the lobby to get a bite to eat. We were so surprised to find that the pub was called St Andrews pub! Norm was born and raised near St Andrews so we had to snap a pic.

We grabbed a seat in the lobby and ordered a drink. The lobby was very stylish and bright with cool sofas and chairs.

Our friends attending the dinner also arrived and joined us and we all ordered some sandwiches to tide us over until that night’s dinner.

Little did we know at that time the sandwich was far better than the dinner we would have later.

We all went back to the room to relax for a few minutes and get dressed and then Norm and I headed off to find the ballroom.

The ballroom was huge and there were loads of large tables set up but it was very well organised and we spotted our names on the board outside and easily found our group. There were 23 tables of at least 8 to 10 people each so it was a large crowd attending. We got settled in and poured a glass of wine and waited with great expectation.

As it was a charity fund raiser for Gabriella Centre, there was both a loud and silent auction on that evening and Norm and I wandered around looking at the items available but most were a bit too rich for our blood. The items mostly ranged from leather goods, wine, art, makeovers, and trips. There was a trip for 10 people to go on safari, complete with 5 air conditioned chalets. You still had to get all 10 of you there but if you had the cash this was a bargain of a prize!

The dinner was served buffet style. Strike one as I detest a buffet, especially at a function where you end up queuing to dish up from a mauled over vat of what is often overcooked food. The food was not very good. The meat was fatty and tough, the pasta overcooked and the chicken pie had a crust that tasted like it was made of Plasticine (aka playdough to you yanks).

But this event was not about the food, it was about raising funds for Gabriella’s Centre.  Gabriella Centre is a Residential and Day Care facility for children and young adults with profound Physical and Intellectual Disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy.

There were 2 different entertainment acts booked. The first was South African icon PJ Powers.

PJ Powers is a name that most South Africans over the age of 40 all know. My kids had never heard of her, nor did Norm and I know much about her other than the ‘World in Union’ song she sang for the 1995 Rugby world cup.

The South Africans seemed to love her and really enjoy it. Norm and I thought she talked too much and in quite a rambling fashion so to those of us who are not familiar with her history it was hard to follow. But she has a great voice. She had a famous drummer called Barry Van Zyl doing her percussion. Barry lives in Hout Bay but he has a great CV and has played with some amazing artists.

We had understood it was black tie but today I see that it says the dress code is ‘Cocktail’. Well that explains the men there in jeans and trainers! In Cape Town whatever the dress code, there will be someone who rocks up in jeans. If summer you may even get some shorts. Fashion has predominately passed Cape Town by. This was also evident by the number of women with bouffant 1990’s hair. You know the slick down the front and bouffant up the back style that was horrid back then? It is even more horrid now.

Anyway, I am not being very charitable. Norm and I made the effort and he was in a tux and I was in my beaded frock. The lighting was pink and so all of us have a rosy glow in my pics.

After PJ finished performing they held the auctions. There was so much money raised, it was brilliant to see the bids climb so high!

After the auctions finished they had a band called The Rites come on to get us all up for a boogie. They were such fun. They played loads of party songs to get you up and on the dance floor. Norm and I danced and danced to most of them. They were not a band you would pay to go and watch perform as they were not technically perfect, but they had soul, heart and enthusiasm and so we had a blast.

The night finished after midnight and we all happily wandered off to our rooms a bit tipsy but smiling. We had plans to meet at 9am the next morning for breakfast.

Despite the many vodkas I had that evening I could not get to sleep. I watched 3am go by and think I slept about 4 hours in total. I missed my own pillow and my snoring Pomeranians I guess.

We went down and had a lovely breakfast with some of the group we had dinner with. There was a whole section of different breads and pastries, a section with yogurts and toppings, a section with fresh fruit and juices and even champagne. There was a chef to make an omelette or whatever egg variety you wished for and next to him was a whole counter of cooked foods being kept piping hot in bain-maries. There was scambled eggs, bacon, sausage, halal food, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and hash browns. The service and the quality of the food was top notch. If they ran out of anything you just had to mention it and it was promptly restocked.

After breakfast we packed up and hit the road. Norm and I had decided to take our time getting home and go for a drive as we do not venture to that side of Cape Town very often. We drove to Stellenbosch and had a drive through town looking at all of the historic buildings but most of the shops were shut as it was Sunday so we decided not to stop. We drove through a national park and then up a mountain pass and then headed to Paarl.

As we drove along we spotted the Franschhoek Wine Tram tootling along the road on the train tracks next to us! We have wanted to do this tour for a while now so we will plan that adventure soon. Basically it is a hop on hop off tour around the wine farms in the area.

Norm seemed to know where he was going so I just relaxed and let him drive us about. He did seem to be looking for some place in particular however and eventually he turned into Drakenstein Correctional Centre. I saw the signs and wondered where he was heading (is he going to lock me up?) and then I looked up and saw the statue of our beloved Nelson Mandela.

The prison is famous for being the location where Nelson Mandela spent the last part of his imprisonment for being a political terrorist. We showed our solidarity and support for Madiba and the horrors of apartheid.

We tried to take a selfy with us both in it but the sun was coming at us and I was blinded.

Yeah, that did not work out too well. Sorry Madiba, no disrespect intended.

We decided as we were so near to see if we could get a table at Fairview as we love their Goatshed restaurant and philosophy on food. We were given a lovely seat outside. It was cool but sunny and perfect weather for dining alfresco.

Norm was a bit in the sun but as it was cool he could cope. Isn’t he cute?

We had a perfect view of the goat tower where the goats can trundle over a bridge from their pasture to climb and cavort.

Norm chose the Gammon sandwich: Smoked gammon slices, pickled cucumber, sweet mustard, tomato for R84. This looked divine and when I saw mine I was a bit jealous.

I am a pulled pork fanatic and so I ordered the ‘BBQ pulled pork, baby leaves, tomato, pickled cucumber & fried egg’ for R88.

It was not at all what expected when it arrived. The fried egg was a surprise as I had not read past ‘pulled pork’ in the description and the pork was chopped rather than pulled. It was also covered in a sauce, so I guess that was the ‘BBQ’ part of the description.

Once I got my head adjusted to what I was eating I got stuck into it. It may not have been what I expected, but when I removed my expectations and just ate it, it was very nice indeed! The pork was more like gammon than pork roast and it had a lot of fat on it but it was very tender and cooked perfectly.

We were surrounded by nature and fabulous views. I felt a bit like Cinderella as there were squirrels climbing above and around us on the vines and there were loads of tiny birds hopping on the tables and drinking from the trough of water that runs around the patio. I would not have been surprised by the appearance of a Fairy Godmother or a pumpkin.

After we finished our lunch we had a walk around the farm and a visit to the notorious scarecrow.

It was a lovely day and a perfect end to a fabulous weekend.

On Monday I woke at my usual time and feeling a bit tired I headed into the city for work. As I got to the roundabout just outside of the police station I noticed some strange things going on around me and ahead of me was chaos. As I pulled into the roundabout a taxi pulled in behind to block me moving back out.

There was a large 4×4 in front of me and he obviously saw clearly what was happening and he drove over the centre divider and went around the roundabout on the wrong side of the road, entered the other road on the wrong side of the road and managed to escape the protest. I then cottoned on to what was happening and went into panic mode. Honey I was almost holding onto Mr 4×4’s tail pipe and I stayed right with him, shrieking and swearing loudly in my car, willing to drive over whatever or whomever got in my way. This is the same roundabout where they often throw bricks through driver’s windows so it is not a place to linger even in times of peace.

After I got to work I read this post: “The blockade at the Imizamo Yethu traffic circle is allegedly as a result of Hout Bay-Wynberg Taxi Association drivers being threatened with guns in the early hours of this morning, Monday July 30. Sources told the Sentinel that drivers from the Codeta-aligned associations threatened Hout Bay operators with rifles and other firearms. These operators then rallied other Hout Bay drivers, who immediately blockaded Main Road in an attempt to prevent the alleged perpetrators from leaving the area. There is a heavy police presence on the scene. Attempts are being made to bring a negotiation between the two taxi groups.”

By the time I came home, peace was restored again.

So in a matter of days my experiences ranged from fabulous to terrifying. That pretty much sums up life in Cape Town. Whatever happens, you will never be bored.

Until next time, kisses from the (rather bedraggled) Kitten xoxoxoxox

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Light & Dark

Cape Town is one of those cities where the weather can be very unpredictable especially at this time of year. We were delighted with the sunny weather we have had recently after our bout of much needed rain. My garden is lush and green,  the lawn is mostly weeds but at least they are green weeds!

#lolakitty #tablemountain #houtbay #southafrica #catsofinstagram #cat #kitty

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I was so tired on Friday after our busy week last week that Norm and I decided to just stay in and relax after I got home from the chiro. Saturday we had a lazy morning in bed drinking coffee and then Norm got busy with chores. He has been  sanding down the garage door so that he can re-stain it. It had a lot of sun damage and was looking a bit tired so Norm decided to freshen it up.

We decided to go out for dinner that night and headed to Constantia. We went to Primi. It is a chain so you know what you are getting and the food is generally always good. As we had gone out early we got a table, the place filled up soon after we arrived.

We ordered drinks and settled in.

We both ordered the Chicken Campagnola: Chicken scallops sautéed in garlic, mustard, mushrooms, rosemary, parsley, cream and white wine. Served with linguine and roasted vegetables. The veggies come in a separate bowl.

Chicken Campagnola

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Norm ordered his with zucchini fries instead of pasta.

After we finished our mains we decided to treat ourselves to dessert. I ordered the  Crème Brûlée: Traditional baked custard with a crisp caramelised sugar crust. It was R48. It had a nice taste and lovely creamy texture.

Creme Brûlée ❤️

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Norm ordered the cheesecake. On the menu as ‘Cheesecake: Thick and creamy baked cheesecake, topped with summer berries’. It was R58.

Cheesecake

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Norm did not enjoy this dessert at all. The fruit on top was either heated too long or had too much gelatin in it or something else went wrong in the preparation as it was like toffee in texture, really thick and chewy. Very strange. He actually moved it off his cheesecake (with a thud) and ate around it.

We waited ages for them to clear our plates. One of my annoyances. We find the same issue often occurs at this particular Primi. The staff are very eager on arrival, your drinks order and food order is taken promptly, your food arrives relatively quickly, and then it is as if you become invisible. We always have to flag someone down to take away our plates. The waiter did not try to up-sell, he did not offer dessert or coffees, he did not offer bottled water or another round of drinks. When we asked to order dessert we had to shout our order at him quickly before he disappeared as he was running away while taking our order.

Anyway, we got fed and then we headed home.

Sunday I had a busy itinerary but on Saturday night I was up a few times in the night with a dodgy tummy, most likely due to all of the sugar in the Crème Brûlée. Hence I was not feeling strong enough to go to drumming that morning. It always disappoints me to miss my drumming as it soothes my soul.

I stayed in bed and Norm made us French Toast and bacon.

That perked me up and after a few hours my tummy settled down and we decided on going to the other engagements we had planned for the day.

We were off to a farewell picnic for our friends Hila and Jack who are emigrating to Germany. The picnic was being held in the Green Point Urban Park.

When we went outside to leave I was hit by a wave of heat and I realised it was incredibly hot. You do not feel the heat in our thick walled farmhouse. I went back inside to change my top but I kept on my boots (mistake) as they are the most comfortable shoes for walking and with my already knackered back I thought that should be my priority.

We arrived in the city and drove around and around the area of the park for ages looking for parking. It was so busy and crowded it seemed the whole of the city also wanted to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. We got a message from our friend Di who was meeting us there as she and I already had plans to meet for coffee before the picnic was arranged. Norm dropped me at the gate where Di was waiting and she and I wandered off to find Hila and Jack. Eventually Norm found a place to leave the car a few blocks from the lighthouse and hiked back to meet up with us. The park was very sunny and none of us pale faced oldies can endure the heat so we did not stay long. Me, Di and Norm walked across the park to the next gate and went to Newport Deli at Mouille Point.

We sat upstairs so that we could look out over the park and the sea views.

We all ordered a Freezerchino for R40 which is a delicious icy coffee, perfect for the hot weather.

Iced coffees ❤️

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Norm had the cheesecake and Di and I had the carrot cake. Norm said that the cheesecake was better than the one at Primi but was not that nice. He gave it 3 stars.

The carrot cake was tasty and the icing was divine, however the cake itself was a wee bit dry. It may not have been fresh made that day.

Di, Norm and I sat for ages catching up and chatting. Di and I have so much in common and we both see the world with our eyes open – even our third eye! She and I both have the ability to sense things and see things that most people do not see. We both have extrasensory bullshit detectors as well and see things in people that most people choose NOT to see, those hidden, dark layers many try to keep covered. We see them.

After we finished eating and chatting we went outside to wait for Di’s uber to arrive and then after she was safely on her way Norm and I walked down along the seaside to our car and headed home.

Caitlin went to George for the weekend as it was her and Lily’s friend Jess’ wedding. I have such beautiful daughters.

Lily was one of the bridesmaids and the girls all looked so stunning.

Could not love these humans anymore than I do. #reeds_out_photo

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Jess was such a beautiful bride.

I still have all of that ahead, however, Lily may be the only one of my 3 who opts for a proper wedding, the other 2 are making noises that they may have a registry wedding and a reception dinner and save their money as a wedding can be so crazy expensive. As I had 2 rather unconventional weddings myself I can hardly object!

Monday morning when I got ready to leave for work the gate key was not on the shelf where it normally is kept. As Norm had locked up I had to wake him to ask about the key. He got up and stumbled around (naked) looking for the key. He leaned around the banisters to see if the keys were left in the lock, took a misstep, swung round said banisters and tripped and fell down a few steps. This triggered the house alarm, which triggered hysteria with the dogs. The alarm was screeching, the dogs were howling, and a naked man was flailing about. It was one of those horrific yet hilarious moments. I was frightened that he fell right down the full set of steps and hurt himself, but the sight of a naked man bouncing around can be pretty funny.

He was not so amused. But at least he wasn’t injured (other than his pride).

This week I started watching a new Netflix series called Dark Tourist. I binge watched it and made it through the whole series.

Dark tourism has been defined as ‘tourism involving travel to places historically associated with death and tragedy’. The host is New Zealander David Farrier.  The show travels to various countries and either does proper tours where available or finds a guide to assist him in gaining entry to some of these nefarious places.

One of the last episodes was filmed in Africa and the last was filmed in America. Both of these episodes touched on people driven by fear, bigotry or religious fervor.

The Africa episode visited North Africa to experience a voodoo ceremony which looked very intimidating. A lot of animals are sacrificed to appease the gods which I found difficult to watch. The ceremony was quite violent, bloody and aggressive with those who are possessed slashing their skin with knives. But then Christian exorcisms are also sometimes violent so maybe regardless of your religion all removals of bad spirits involves this sort of physical battle?

The next stop on the Africa tour was in Orania, an enclave of right wing Afrikaners, the people who conceived and implemented apartheid in South Africa. The community started settling in the area in 1991 and after the democratic elections in 1994 it became evident that their narrow world was changing and many of the people raised in the apartheid era could not fathom living side by side with people of colour, or  people of colour having the same rights and privileges as they did, as the Afrikaners seem to view themselves as the superior race. The residents speak of ‘the good old days’ which basically just means the days when whites ruled and people of colour were treated like animals or inferior beings.

As inconceivable and extreme as this community is, there is another which seems even sadder to me. David interviewed a family who are part of the Suidlanders civil defense organisation group. This group seem a bit like a cult to me, they follow the prophesies of Siener van Rensburg, an almost illiterate uneducated Afrikaner who allegedly had visions, one of which was predicting white genocide. The founder and head of the Suidlanders is Gustav Zietsmann Muller. The family that were interviewed seemed to be verging on hysteria. The mother cried through every conversation and prayer. They held a rather chaotic cluster feck of an exercise where the community rehearsed an evacuation, packing their cars with the food, water and weapons they will need to stave off this imaginary attack and then moving off in their giant trucks as a convoy. They bumbled about, eventually realizing that all of the trucks were pointing towards the imaginary ambush rather than towards the planned escape route. After much negotiation they finally headed off on their pretend ambush. Eventually they all ended up around a campfire with a preacher shouting at them, instilling yet more fear and nonsense.

The final episode visited the States and went to Kentucky to visit The Ark. Yes, an ark. Obviously not THE Ark. Again, we see the levels of bigotry among the religious extremism groups. They talk about how being homosexual is depraved and that sexual behaviours such as infidelity and promiscuity were the reasons that their lord decided to drown everyone except Noah, his family and the dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. FFS. Words fail me. Do facts not matter at all to the religious zealots? They have other models of animals that they say were also on the ark, but I could not get past the dinosaurs. Read a book other than the bible people! (And yes I know the bible does not whitter on about dinosaurs, these eejits say it is the dragons that the bible mentions which are actually dinosaurs.)

The next visit was to other extremists, Doomsday Preppers. Many of the people who adhere to this belief also do so in the name of religion but all are driven by fear.

I found it a very interesting series and I will give it 4 Kitten Stars.

Norm has been great about cooking for us. He made baked chicken, brussel sprouts and roast sweet potatoes on Monday. On Tuesday he made chicken sausage, sweet potato mash and coleslaw. Wednesday night he had been busy working and had not shopped so we got takeaways from Posticino. I felt like I have been eating a lot of meat so I chose the melanzane parmiagiana and the caprese salad. No pasta and no meat = thumbs up.

It was really good and even though it was listed as a starter it was a huge portion, enough for my lunch the next day.

On Thursday Norm cooked again, pork roast, cauliflower mash, steamed broccoli and mushrooms cooked in butter.

This week has flown by. I’m happy Friday is finally here. We are invited to a charity dinner with our friends this weekend and we are both really looking forward to that. I will tell you all about it in my next post.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxox

#SheToo

I am beginning to think that someone must have a voodoo doll of me and that they are enjoying sticking pins into it as my body has moved from one ailment to the next for what feels like months now. The strange thing is that each ailment is corresponding with the symptoms of someone in my life who also has that ailment. Is this some sort of empathetic referral? Is this part of my exploration into spirit medicine work?

A work colleague was out of work all of last week with back pain. On the weekend I managed to put my lower back out ironically on the day when he suddenly felt fine.  I am in a lot of discomfort but I have not been to a chiro, I am stretching and trying to endure in the hopes it resolves itself. So far, no luck but it has gotten better. My whole lower back was locked the first few days but now it has settled into the one hip. Specifically my left hip which is the same hip I had replaced a few years ago. I will have to go to the chiro so I booked in for tomorrow after work.

Josh has been with us all week but he left to go back home to Mossel Bay on Thursday. Lily will be happy to have him home. I will miss him, every time he goes it is like empty nest syndrome again as he is as much our son as the 3 humans I gave birth to are. I wonder if Lily’s Spirit Guardian Owl is going to remain now that Josh has come back home?

Our family have a strong connection with birds. They send me messages often.

We have had a few days of really warm weather which was a nice change. We were able to go without a fire in the evenings to keep us warm. On Thursday the rain started again and it turned a bit colder.

The flowers that Norman gave me for our anniversary last week are blooming and are so stunning. I love lilies. The smell is so gorgeous.

Norm has been looking after Josh and I very well as always. On Sunday he had not shopped so we had a takeaway from Spiro’s.

On Monday Norm shopped and cooked for us for the rest of the week. He baked chicken with mushrooms and zucchini in chicken stock and then stir fried baby spinach and fried brussel sprouts to go with it that evening.

He made a pork roast and fried red cabbage and roasted butternut and steamed some cauliflower on Tuesday.

On Wednesday he did chicken sausage and sweet potato mash with fried zucchini and home made coleslaw.

Thursday he made Banting cottage pie with a beefy stock topped with cauliflower mash and a thick layer of cheese. He steamed baby corn and gem squash to go with and it was delicious. His cooking skills are so good he does most of our cooking now.

I had a conversation with yet another friend this week who has told me that she too has been the victim of domestic abuse and is ready to get out of this situation after many years of suffering. I am not sure why the universe has sent me so many women to talk to about abuse lately. It is like I am the Survivor Whisperer. Much of the conversation seems to be around reversing the psychological conditioning that has resulted in them blaming themselves for the abuse or for not leaving sooner. That conditioning is hard to escape when you have heard it for years from the man abusing you and the other enablers who may be in your life. Even if that enabler is a seemingly well intentioned parent who tells you that you should be thankful for a man who stays with you. The previous generation does not always understand the power we women possess and that we have the ability to just put our backs into it and push through to the other side. We can make a powerful foe once we decide to push back against our oppressors. I feel the female energy rising up in pacha mama.

I do not know my role in these women’s lives unless it is simply to share my own experiences and to listen to them when they need to talk. I am also trying to listen to the messages I hear from my guides and to do the footwork they suggest I should do. If my guides tell me that I have to say a specific thing to a specific person, I am trying to simply be the vehicle to deliver that message with no filters.

The hardest thing to ignore is the messages I get about the women who are still caught up in their own cycles of dysfunction. I get messages that specific women need help, but if they do not acknowledge that need, then what should I do? THAT part I have not figured out. I am still very new at this healing role which is being forced upon me by the universe. I am not at all sure of the path the universe has in store for me in regards to support of women who have been victimised. I will just keep being present and doing what I can until the Great Spirit makes it clear.

I do feel a universal energy shift. It is coming. I have been reading about this particular prophesy or potential energy shift.

“We live in a time of great change… a time which appears and reappears in the prophesies of many Aboriginal cultures from all over the world. The world is in decay, the systems man has built and valued for so long are falling apart… this is the time of the 7th Fire.

We must begin the healing now. We must live as flesh ruled by spirit, choosing compassion over greed … choosing love over fear. We must be the change we want to see in the world, if we are to become the Warriors of the Rainbow.”

#8Fire #8thFire #AnishnabeProphecy 🔥🔥💞💓🌎🌠

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The Anishinaabe people believe in the 7 Fires Prophecy. Each fire represents a prophetical age, marking phases. They seem to feel a change coming as well and believe that there will be a shift back towards Walking the Red Road. “It is at this time that the Light Skinned race will be given a choice between two roads. If they choose the right road, then the Seventh Fire will light the Eighth and final Fire, an eternal Fire of peace, love, brotherhood and sisterhood. If the light skinned race makes the wrong choice of roads, the destruction which they brought with them in coming to this country will come back at them and cause much suffering and death to all the Earth’s people.”

Walking The Red Road means living a consciously present life of practicing and honouring The Seven Sacred Values of the Lakota:

1. Wóčhekiya – Prayer

2. Wičákha – Honesty

3. Wahwala – Humility

4. Waúnšila – Compassion

5. Waóhola – Respect

6. Wawokiye – Generosity

7. Wóksape – Wisdom

I identify strongly with the people of these tribes. I have a deep connection to White Buffalo Woman and the Lakota believe that White Buffalo Calf Woman brought them the 7 virtues.

I am reading everything I can find to try and broaden my knowledge about my own heritage as well as the cultures and teachings of other indigenous people throughout the world. I am trying to be conscious and tuned into the universal energy and the voices of the spirits around me. I have removed the people from my life who impede me in that growth by tainting me with their darkness. I have learned many sacred songs and we sing them in their native tongues at our drumming circles. I still struggle with my own mind, keeping it positive and focused. I’m easily distracted.

My eyes are open. I feel the simmering sizzle of energy and I pray for the light which will emerge out of the ashes of this fire.

A’ho Mitakuye Oyasin.

Midwinter Nightmares & Dreamy Evenings

I mentioned in my last blog about the ongoing police operations going on in my village.

On Thursday I had another crazy drive to work which I assumed was related to the police operations.

I turned out of my suburb onto the main road only to find a half naked man gamboling down the street with a large dog in tow. He was beckoning me on, it felt like a surreal moment where I fell into a bizarre version of A Midsummer’s Night Dream and Puck was leading me to mischief. All he was missing was a flute.

Except it is not midsummer it is the start of winter and this was more of a nightmare than a dream.

It all seemed a bit suspect & then I saw some sort of reflective barricade placed across the road which turns up by the African taxi rank. I did not know if it was placed there by the police or criminals so I did a quick U-turn and went a different route where I found Public Order Police (POP) vehicles parked with flashing lights at every round about.

They blocked the roundabout by the police station with taxis and large stones.

Photo credit for the above images: Ashraf Hendricks.

I later saw this post by Ashraf Hendricks showing the POP shooting tear gas to disperse the protesters.

And then this post showing the police advancing onto the main road to push back the protesters.

Later I discovered on Twitter that Taxi drivers affiliated to Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) are staging a demonstration in Hout Bay main road. This protest is to do with the local taxi drivers fighting over routes. This dispute was allegedly resolved and agreement reached, but it would appear someone forgot to send that memo to Hout Bay.  They say The Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations  (CODETA) has been allowed to operate on their routes illegally.

Eventually I saw that the protesters had been dispersed but things were still tense.

This News article gives more info on the background. There is a bitter history between the parties involved, healing and forgiveness is required. So far at least 13 people have died in the taxi wars.

On a personal front, I have been practicing the songs for the upcoming Spirit Dance to Heal the Earth which is scheduled on the 7th of July.

It is such a different sound to hear the songs sung with a strong male voice as most of our drummers are women.

The cold rainy weather has continued with our dams filling up with precious rainfall. We have been building cozy fires every evening.

I finally got some money in this week so we could loosen up a bit on our tight budget. In fact we splurged on takeaways from Spiro’s on the very night it hit my account.

Thursday night Norm cooked and we finished off the beef stew / goulash he made on Tuesday by using it to top off some low carb noodles. He fried some chopped cabbage and baby zucchini to accompany it.

The week rattled by with busy days full of meetings and cozy nights at home, the weather making us want to bunker down and stay in. On Friday we did just that, we again had a takeaway for dinner. I had chicken schnitzel and linguine with Napoletana sauce from Posticino’s.

Saturday was busy. We went for breakfast at La Cuccina. They were out of hollandaise which forced me to be adventurous and veer away from my usual order. I had The Tyson. You can have it as an omelette or as a wrap) Scrambled eggs, spring onion, mature cheddar, bacon, fresh chilli a tomato, HP and tabasco sauce. There is also a Veg option — you just take out the bacon and add mushrooms. It is R86.

Norm had his fave, Scrambled Eggs and bacon.

After breakfast Norm settled the bill and headed home and I drove into the CBD for a hair appointment at Pause.

It is such a spacious airy venue, there is nothing worse than having clients and staff all crammed together in a tiny salon, but the high ceilings at Pause make the place feel vast. The energy is nice and light and the tall windows bring in lots of light.

Saturday vibes. #wedohair #youdoyou #capetownsalon

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While the color on my hair was setting I had an appointment for a foot massage. There are treatment rooms at the back and they do lots of different therapies and treatments.

I was quite amused by the therapist talking about the drought and “Dojo Tanks”. Bless. I think she meant JoJo tanks. 🤭😂 I just let her whitter on, shut my eyes and relaxed.

My feet and legs felt wonderful afterwards, then when my hair was rinsed, I had a treatment and received a scalp and shoulder massage from Thembi which was just perfect, I felt relaxed top to toe!

I traipsed across town to my car in the drizzly rain afterwards and headed home for the afternoon. Then about 6:30pm Norm and I bundled up and headed back into the city yet again for my second time that day.

We had booked to see Ann Jangle at Cafe Roux our fave music venue.

I subscribe to their upcoming events notifications and I always read the description of the artists advertised to narrow down the choices, then try and find videos of performances to decide who we want to see. I loved all of the videos I could find for Ann.

We enjoy the venue, the vibe and the staff at Cafe Roux so it seemed an easy decision to make.

The rain stopped for our walk across the city, but it was bitterly cold. We settled into our fave table and ordered a drink while deciding what to eat.

Norm ordered the butternut ravioli and I had the bacon, feta and avo pizza. I forgot to snap a pic of either. They were both very tasty, however midway through mine I bit down on something hard and my tooth almost cracked. I fished out a piece of hard plastic, the type that snaps off of a feta container lid. We tried in vain to get the attention of any member of staff. Eventually after being acknowledged by the staff several times yet no one coming near, a waiter came to us. I told him about the plastic and he apologized and called over Mr T who was the manager on duty. He offered to replace my pizza but as I had eaten half of it by then I told him not to bother. He said he would comp the pizza and apologized again and went to get drinks for us. While he was gone I found yet another piece of plastic in my pizza topping. It made me feel quite ill but the manager handled it well, so fair play to him.

At 8.30 Ann Jangle came onstage with her band.

We had fabulous seats and a wonderful view. The trio at the table next to us however had been drinking all day and were very talkative throughout the evening and the man could not keep still, he kept kept invading my personal space, he sat on my jacket, put his jacket in my lap, elbowed me in the ribs and almost knocked me out while clapping maniacally. He had no clue about personal space. I tried to not lose it with the eejit. I silently imagined breaking my glass and impaling him on it.

But I’m a lady.

*cough*

Ann’s voice was stunning. She had a very powerful voice and unbelievable range, she could sound almost girly, dreamlike and tender, then switch to this deep, strong voice so easily. The childlike quality does not come through in her video recordings that I found. I loved that she had only 4 people on stage, it kept her voice as the focal point. I really enjoyed her, she is so talented.

We got home late and as a result had a long lie in bed this morning. When we got up Norm started a roaring fire and made us breakfast.

It was delicious.

I’ve been enjoying the sounds of the crazy storm outside and being grateful for the rain and my warm home.

I’m very blessed.

Until next time.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Baby Daddy

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

My section got England.

My British colleague brought in a flag for us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

❤️

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

Snuggly Sundays ❤️🔥❤️

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That I am a Fucking Goddess TYVM.

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

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

More That Binds Than Tears Apart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Norm brought me breakfast and lunch in bed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes. This happened right opposite the police station.

Welcome to Africa.

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

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

I chose the avocado ritz to start.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lazy Sundays ❤️

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, kisses from the Kitten xoxoxox

Letting Go

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway. Virgos.

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

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

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

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

❤️

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Phwaor.

I ordered my usual Eggs Benedict.

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

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

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

Pixie and the Pool Pipe #WeirdBandNames

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

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

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

Zucchini fries

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

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

But the sauce was delicious.

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

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

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

Soaking the wattle

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The wattle all got classified by size and straightness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charming.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox