Fire and Rock

In a recent blog I mentioned the two old farts who sit near me at my current client who were reminiscing over ‘the good old days’ and now I am starting to be aware of all of their ridiculous conversations. It doesn’t help that Old Fart #1 has a voice identical to Kermit the Frog.

Yes, he is that annoying.

This week’s Old Fart Convo was them both moaning about the client using external vendors to do the analysis and testing on a project. The funny thing is that I AM the external vendor who is doing the analysis and testing. Silly feckers. I have mostly finished the analysis and mapping and the gaps I have remaining are all dependent on the client providing info to me. This last week has been so frustrating as I am being bounced from person to person in my quest for this info. The system owner referred me to another team and that team (after ignoring my request for 6 weeks) finally referred me back to the system owner. I felt like I was playing some sadistic game of ping pong.

I had a funny moment this week when I was trying to use the microwave at the client and could not figure out how to turn it on. (I am very visually challenged and could not see the labels on the buttons). A very nice older man came around to help me and a cheeky young fellow looked at us both flailing blindly about and says “soooo….you guys are both in IT?” with a raised eyebrow. We laughed and he told us about another employee who raised a help desk call because she had inadvertently “deleted the internet”. He calmed her by telling her that is not actually possible. Turns out she had deleted the internet explorer icon.

Bless. Even I am not that daft.

This week flew by as all weeks seem to when you are old AF. I have not been sleeping well all week and I have been very tired. Luckily I’ve had a lazy weekend of rest if not an excess of sleep.

Norm was at the dentist this week and finally got the implant done for the two teeth he had extracted and so he has had to stick to soft food all week. Our low carb path has been diverted badly as a result. Of course my path diverted last weekend when I was away. We had takeaways most nights this week so that Norm could have pasta or other things he could manage with his tender mouth.

Friday night I had my usual sushi from K1 but the last few weeks it has not been as good as it used to be before they changed the chef and most of their staff.

Next week I will try a new venue we heard about to compare. I love my sushi.

It’s been a week of much chaos in South Africa.

One of the largest government clinics in Cape Town was burnt to the ground. Arson is suspected.

There has been a spate of lorries being set alight across SA. One of these was petrol bombed while a driver was resting in the lorry and he sustained serious injuries.

There were two train fires back-to-back in Cape Town this week and another fire occurred today, making three train fires in one week.

I’m not sure where the new rail security teams were while the trains were being torched, but I did read that some of the security guards were terminated. Like most areas in SA there is probably corruption there as well.

Speaking of corruption, President Cyril has appointed his cabinet.

The biggest surprise for many was the appointment of former mayor from Cape Town, ‘Aunty Pat’ as Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure. But as they say, shit rises to the surface. (Do they say that? Scum rises? Bloated dead bodies thrown into a lake rise? Whatever the metaphor for revolting things which rise, you get the drift.) Fox and Henhouse come to mind. As much as I want to see more women in politics I detest this evil wench.

When driving into work this week I passed a man near the police station dancing in the street and waving around a rifle. No one else reported seeing him so I’m not sure what was going on there!

There has also been an unprecedented large number of CEOs resigning recently.

It makes me a bit uneasy when there is so much turmoil. But to be fair, it doesn’t take much to trigger my unease!

I mentioned that I had lost my drivers license recently and I finally printed off the forms to go apply for another. The form said I needed a case reference number from the police. Norm and I had already gone to get an affidavit signed at the cop shop, but then when the form indicated I needed a case number we had to go back to the police station on Thursday evening to get it. We waited for ages and eventually a rather surly overweight cop shuffled over and asked what we needed. When I told him he asked rather abruptly ‘was it stolen?’ and I said ‘I have no idea what happened it is just gone, I assume I lost it’ and fat boy then said ‘where did you lose it’. I had to bite a large hole in my tongue to not say what came into my head but I was unable to stop myself saying ‘if I knew where I lost it I would go find it’ to which he said ‘I am trying to help you’ while simultaneously not helping me at all. He refused to give me a case number as I wasn’t sure it was stolen. What a waste of time.

I left work early on Friday to go to the dreaded licensing department. Since I was last there they have implemented a ticketing system. At first the ticket giver refused to give me a ticket as I did not have proof of address with me. I told her that I had only gotten my license a few months ago and so I am in the system. She said if I wasn’t I would have to come back. I told her I was willing to take that risk (just give me my bloody ticket was resounding in my head).

I had to go through the entire process again, vision test, thumb prints, photographs and payment. I can’t understand why they can’t just reprint it with a fee. I had to pay just under R200 for the new license and an additional R50 for the photographs at a chemist which they don’t even use. What is the point?

It was all so annoying. At least it only took just over an hour as opposed to the last visit which took almost three hours.

We had a lazy day on Saturday and I stayed in bed playing games on my iPad until lunch time. Norm and I made a yummy brunch of an onion and cheese omelette with bacon and avocado and I topped mine with some spicy salsa.

Norm was working all afternoon and so I binged on RuPaul’s Drag Race and lazed about.

Late afternoon Norm took the dogs out for their walk and a short while later came rushing back in a bit of a state. He and the dogs had been attacked by a Doberman whose owner left the gate open. The dobie raced at our dogs and Navajo was ready to take him on but Norm managed to maneuver the dogs away from the dobie but he kicked out at the dog and the dog bit Norm on the foot. The owners heard the shouting and the wife ran out but the dog got away from her grasp and he would not stop attacking. Finally the husband came out and managed to get hold of the collar but the dog bit him and when he let go came back again to attack. Eventually they managed to get him in the gate. We have never seen anyone walk this dog so I’m not surprised he is not socialised and is full of aggression. When Norm got home he took off his shoe and saw that the bite did not break the skin but he suspects he will be badly bruised. The dogs were not fazed by the drama, once home Pixie barked indignantly that Norm had not given them their post walk treat.

Norm and I had booked last night to go see a guy called Frankie who lives in our neighborhood and is the lead singer for a band called The Rockerfellas.

We had no idea what to expect and I was worried it might be a bit too noisy for us old codgers.

But we wanted to see them so we booked to see them perform at Cafe Roux in the CBD. It was a sold out show and so we could not get our usual brilliant seats. Our alternative seats were behind a large column and we could only see a portion of the stage. Luckily they extended the stage a bit and at least we could see the performance if it was at the front.

We arrived about 7:30 and settled in.

I do love this venue and the owner and staff are fabulous. I love that they try to ensure respect to the performers and keep the audience quiet.

We ordered dinner when we arrived. I ordered a pizza with Parma ham, rocket, tomato and fresh Parmesan. Their crusts are thin, just the way I like them.

Norm ordered the butternut ravioli with fresh Parmesan, burnt butter and sage.

The food was delicious and I give it 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The band came on and quickly got the place pumping! They were wearing ridiculous 70’s rock star type clothes and one was even wearing a wig.

They had a variety of props such as flaming helmets and guitars.

Frankie is a really good singer and performer and we had such fun.

They did a few Queen numbers and Frankie changed into his Freddy wannabe get up.

We were singing and clapping and really getting into the vibe. I am now officially a fan and will go watch them whenever they play nearby. They get 5 Kitten Stars as well. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Today I have alternated between being lazy and being productive. Now that we no longer have a housekeeper I had a pile of clean laundry to sort out as well as I badly needed to tidy my closets. My boots and shoes were all over the bedroom. I cleaned out my shoe cupboard and put aside some leather boots for the girls as well as some for charity. It made me feel virtuous and organized.

We then showered and went into the village to run errands and shop. We went to Culture Cafe and Grill for a late breakfast. They have very nice smooth coffee with no hint of bitterness. We both ordered a coffee while we checked out their new menu as they have recently rebranded. The inside looks nice.

Norm ordered the low carb breakfast of eggs, bacon, fried tomatoes, local South African sausage and mushrooms.

I wasn’t as virtuous and I think what I ordered was called the Republic breakfast. It came with boerewors, eggs, bacon, mushrooms, fried tomato, toast and a hashbrown. As I am not a sausage fan I asked if I could have extra bacon instead of the sausage and they accommodated me. I asked for my eggs soft, over easy.

The eggs were rock hard and the owner very kindly cooked more to replace them. I wasn’t a fan of the hashbrown which was a generic frozen version and contained peas and other bits. Not what we yanks consider a hashbrown. But it tasted OK, I just wasn’t expecting the peas.

Norm ordered a side of sweet potato fries and they were the best I have ever had. When we usually order sweet potato fries they are frozen and tasteless but these were hand cut and really nice.

After we finished our lunch we went to the shops and bank and then to fill up my car with petrol for the week.

Norm has been working since we got home as he has so many projects going at the moment. I’ve been chilling with the animals and writing (when Pixie allows me to stop petting her).

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Lap Dog #pom #pomeranian #dog #pup #PixiePup

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Or when she gave me a break from insisting I throw her ball.

We just got a roast chicken and salads for dinner tonight as it has been a warm day. Our weather has been all over the last few weeks, dropping to 11*C some mornings and getting up to the high 20s some days.

That is part of life in SA, you often never know what to expect. It certainly keeps you on your toes.

Tomorrow Vanessa is coming to give me a pedicure and on Thursday Lily and Josh are coming down as Lily has to renew her passport.

It is my boy Trevor’s birthday this week as well, I wish I was closer and could bake him a cake and make a special meal for him. No matter how big they get your children are always Mommy’s babies.

I hope you have all had a good weekend and I wish you well for the coming week.

Until next time Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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Courage over Comfort

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I ordered the Prawn Pan for R198.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was an absolutely stunning day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caitlin did a protea.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Vintage Shadows

As lovely as a long weekend is, it seems to take a week to get your internal calendar back on track. Norm and I had decided to also try to get back on track with living a low carb life again after Easter and on my first day back at work Norm welcomed me home with a delicious low carb dinner. He wrapped chicken breasts in bacon, roasted sweet potatoes and steamed gem squash and baby broccoli. We added cheddar to the gem squash and sprinkled it onto the broccoli to increase the fat content.

On Thursday he baked a pork fillet and mushrooms in teriyaki, roasted broccoli, zucchini and green beans and steamed a gem squash to go with it.

On Wednesday night Norm and I booked to go and see his ex-colleague Mae Sithole perform at Cafe Roux in Cape Town city center. It is our fave music venue. They insist that the audience give the artists silence and the respect that they deserve. I detest people chatting when watching live music.

We arrived at the venue just after 7 as we intended to have dinner there.

I ordered the braised chicken fillet with mushroom sauce and steamed vegetables at R120 and it was really tasty! The chicken was tender, the sauce delicious and plentiful and the vegetables were al dente.

Norm ordered the tagliata: seared beef sirloin with rocket, roasted baby tomatoes, garlic, chilli, toasted pine nuts & parmesan shavings for R145.

We both were really happy with our meals and pleased that there were low carb options available.

Mae came on stage just after 8:30ish. She was supposed to be joined by her brother but he did not make it to Cape Town in time and so Mae brought several friends on stage to play with her instead.

First Mae had a musician called Mapumba who is originally from the DRC come up to join her. Mapumba had a lovely deep voice which sounded wonderful combined with Mae’s.

I found a clip of Mapumba performing to let you experience his voice.

The other artist she brought on with her was a guy called Nick Turner.

Nick and Mae also sounded great together. They sang a few tracks. I’ve posted the only video I can find of Nick performing in English but it has the whole album not just the tracks he did with Mae, so enjoy!

We had a great evening. The last song was one of my favorite songs that Mae does and Mapumba jumped in with a brilliant sort of reggae vibe and they rocked the house! I was almost crippled from dancing but it was worth all the knee pain! I do love this song.

In my last few blogs I have been discussing the dramas with getting refunded for Sam Smith’s cancelled concert and my refund finally came through this week. I saw that Sam also cancelled his appearance at the Billboard Awards so his injury must be quite serious. I hope he recovers with no permanent damage.

Speaking of damage, after more than a year of intermittent droughts in South Africa, several areas have been subjected to flooding. News24 reported: “The death toll in KwaZulu-Natal as a result of heavy rains and flooding this week has risen to 70, acting Premier Sihle Zikalala announced on Thursday morning.

At a media briefing on Thursday, Zikalala began by thanking government, communities and all those who have offered support in the aftermath of the devastating floods.”

Beaufort West has been suffering dreadfully due to ongoing drought and had a bit of relief this week with heavy rainfall, however it is not enough to break the drought or fill the dams to sufficient levels.

Climate change is having a severe effect globally, if only our governments gave a damn.

Speaking of ineffective governing, we woke to another service delivery protest in Hout Bay on Friday morning.

My drive to work was through the area protesting but this time the police were on site managing the commuter’s safe passage through. The residents in Mitchell’s Plain were not as lucky. “A protest in the Siqalo informal settlement in Mitchells Plain turned violent on Friday morning and roads had to be closed, said the City of Cape Town’s law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason.

Significant damage to electrical infrastracture was done. One transformer, two distribution kiosks and one pole feeder cable were set alight and destroyed.”

We heard that commuters were being pulled from their cars by the protestors.

Approximately 150 of the Hout Bay protestors returned to the township and marched to Dontse Yahke and started staking out areas of land in the environmentally protected area. The land removal authority had to go to court to get authorization to remove any structures built but I had heard that there were no shacks built, only marked out in preparation for building. The saga is ongoing around this area.

In addition to the protests, there were several busses set alight in Cape Town. A golden arrow bus was set alight as well as a MyCiTi bus that was heading into the city centre on Nelson Mandela Boulevard also caught fire. As with the train fires mentioned in a previous blog, it is the taxi services who stand to benefit the most from these situations as it results in more passengers for them if the other means of public transport are put out of commission.

SA has an election coming up very soon. I read this week that out of the top 20 best-performing municipalities in SA, 15 are run by the DA. This is according to Good Governance Africa’s 2019 ranking of municipal performance.

I hope the DA retain power in the Western Cape, as they seem to be far less corrupt than the ANC. Of course, that bar is not set very high!

On Friday evening Norm attended a charity dinner at the British Consulate’s residence so I was flying solo as it was a Rugby event and was R1000 a ticket so I decided to give it a miss.

For my dinner I ordered sushi from K1 in Hout Bay. I tried to keep my choices to items with minimal rice but failed somewhat, but at least it wasn’t all rice filled choices. I had a few new choices, one was called Butterfly, this was salmon wrapped around steamed prawns and cucumber. I also had Salmon cocktail which I did not expect to contain rice based on the picture on the menu but was basically a rice ball topped with a sliver of salmon. I will have Butterfly again but not the Salmon cocktail. I also had my usual crab salad and salmon roses.

I enjoyed it very much, rice included.

On Saturday we were up early, Norm was on a business call and I sat outside with the pups waiting for him. My wrap was a gift from Josh and the necklace was a gift from his Mom Jackie. They match perfectly don’t you think? #DressedByDavidsons

We went on a road trip to the Vintage Ideas Market held at the Simondium Country Lodge near Paarl.

Our friends Mel and Cyril had a stall there for their Potted Up business. They up-cycle containers found in waste management facilities or bought from charity shops or garage sales, thereby turning other people’s discarded items into beautiful water wise pieces of art for decorating your home or garden.

There were so many stunning items to choose from that I struggled to choose just one, but I finally decided on this one.

I absolutely adore it! It looks lovely on my porch with my other pots.

We ran into my friend Bronwyn who was there with her sister in laws and some other friends and we all found a cool spot on the veranda and settled in with a drink.

We were starving and so we ordered lunch. Norm and I derailed on the low carb plan and had pulled pork sandwiches with chips. I only ate half my roll if that gives me any credit in the willpower department? No? Oh well, it was yummy!

We spent several hours there chatting and drinking and having a laugh, all in all a lovely afternoon! We finally left about 4:30 and headed home.

We saw the Franschhoek wine tram tootling along next to us while driving home.

That is still on our to do list! It looks like so much fun.

We took well over two hours to get home as there were three major traffic jams on our journey home. One was due to a truck rolling over.

We saw three car crashes on our route, but the other two were not impacting traffic, so we were unsure what caused the other traffic jams but the roads around Cape Town were all chocka!

We had a quiet night in as I was knackered from the heat (and the 3 vodkas I consumed on the veranda!)

We watched the end of series 3 of Outlander and there are only 3 series available on SA Netflix and I’m so upset it’s over! I loved it. I hope the remaining season becomes available here.

We started watching a new series called Shadowhunters which is like a modern version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer with more attractive actors and a bit of technology thrown in. I’m enjoying it so far even though it is a wee bit cheesy. But I love anything with demons, vampires or angels in it.

Today I had drum circle. It was our first circle held at Gerri’s new house in Marina da Gama. I am directionally challenged and was worried about finding it but I had no issues getting there. Gerri’s new home is so lovely!

We had a soul nourishing day drumming on the communal drum.

We even learned a new song. It is a tricky one, but the chorus is easy.

After drumming I was ravenous and Norm was working so I popped into Allegria Cafe in Hout Bay for an omelette. It had Emmental cheese, bacon and caramelized onions.

It was just what I needed and was high fat and low carb. It was cooked perfectly.

Tonight we chose Indian Oven for a takeaway as they do not use flour in their sauces and they do cauliflower rice. I ordered prawn curry and Norm and I shared saag paneer and cauliflower rice.

It looks lovely but it wasn’t. The prawns tasted quite rubbery, like they thawed frozen prawns in the microwave. The spinach had way too much pepper. It was rather disappointing and I give it 2 Kitten Stars.

We have a few fun things on our calendar over the next few months. We are attending the opera iCapuleti e I Montecchi in May and we also booked to see Kinky Boots at The Fugard in June.

It is Josh’s birthday as well as Caitlin’s birthday in May. Cait’s is on the same day as Mother’s Day and Lily is coming down for a wedding the following weekend so we will all go out for dinner to celebrate then. Norm also booked for me to fly to George to see Trevor as it is Trevor’s birthday in June.

I love having things to look forward to. It gets me through the monotony of every day life.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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.

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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

A Scotsman, an Irishwoman & an American walk out of a bar….

It has been three weeks since I have had the time to blog. I was signed off of work due to stress for two days just after Norm arrived back home from his trip to the states. We are under such time pressure on this project that I could not afford to have any down time so despite being signed off I worked from home both days. I made great progress at home with no distractions. When we are in the office we spend up to four or five hours of the day in meetings rather than designing our solution and documenting it.

I went back to work the following Monday and have focused on applying various tools to help me deal with the personalities around me. The work does not stress me, I am one of the few people who enjoy creating documentation, but I love writing so to me it is paying me to do what I love to do, as long as I have the proper level of understanding of the design I am trying to document. The stress comes from the people around me who cannot cope with their own stress and therefore displace it towards the team.

My friend Rosie has been over to visit us for the last 2 weeks. We have been friends for over 20 years.  I first met Rosie when I moved to the UK to live with Norm in November 1996. Norm and I still lived in Belfast when we got married in Scotland in July 1997 but I cannot remember when we left there to move to England, but we were probably living there about 18 months to 2 years. Rosie was part of the group I hung out with in Belfast, we went to the same pubs, went on weekends away and attended various other events as a group together. Rosie was also one of our friends who made the effort to come and spend time with us when we visited the UK in January 2017 on our whirlwind tour.

Unfortunately I was knee deep in my very tightly dead-lined intense project for the majority of her visit and Norm was left to be the tour guide. He took Rosie to the Cape Point Nature Reserve and they were lucky enough to see a pair of Eland, DassiesPenguins, Baboons and all manner of lovely things. He took her to the V&A Waterfront where she got to see the new Zeitz MOCAA museum and wander around the shops. She went to the Slave Museum and saw the Bo kaap and District Six.

We took her to dinner and lunch at some of the area’s nicest spots for either their vistas, their food or both. I will not do my usual blow by blow or it will bore you to tears so I will touch on the highlights of her visit.

Lily and Josh came down for Rosie’s first weekend,

and Caitlin and Wes also joined us all for dinner at my fave venue, Cheyne’s.

We had a lovely evening and a lot of laughs.

How funny is the photo bomb dude in the background?

I do not have a copy of the menu that night but I will try and remember the basic description of what I had. The beauty of Cheyne’s food however is the alchemy of the combinations he puts together and I will not be able to express that level of granularity. We all went for the Yum Cha experience which is any four dishes from his menu. His menu is divided into 4 themed sections: one with seafood dishes, one with carnivorous choices, one with ‘side’ dishes and one with sweet dishes.

I started with this dish in the pic below. It is baby shrimp tempura with a delicious sauce. I adore this dish.

For my selection from the Land section of the menu I had the Mumbai Chill Beef. It is always divine and nothing else tempted me away from choosing it again this visit. It was so yum, I love the combination of the raw coconut and the slices of chili.

I was delighted that the sweet potato fritters were back on the menu. I adore these fried dumplings in the rich peanut buttery coconut sauce. Rosie asked to swap one of her duck fat fries for one of my fritters and I threatened to impale her in the eye with my chopsticks. I think she got the message I do not share my food.

These are little balls of heaven.

For my fourth choice I had the peanut butter shake. There was a bit of drama when the waitress forgot our fourth course. She came around to our table after having disappeared for ages after our third round of dishes and asked us if we wanted anything else or should she bring the bill and we said ‘ummm yes, we would like the rest of our dinner’. Josh had just been about to give up and leave as he had a race the following day and was up really early so in order to get him to come out with us we had promised him he would be home by 9pm. But he had also ordered dessert as had the rest of the table except Wes and Cait who both had 4 savoury courses. Josh got home late but luckily it did not impair him as he still kicked ass and took home first prize.

He also loved his milkshake luckily!

We had a great evening and it was lovely having my girls and Rosie all together. They were so tiny when Rosie and I were friends years ago I wanted her to get to meet them, I only wish Trevor had been here too.

Saturday morning Rosie and I got up and headed out to the Hout Bay Harbour Market. We had a wander around the stalls and a tour of the food section and Rosie bought a hat and had a healthy salmon poke  bowl.

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Salmon Poke Bowl @bayharbourmarket ❤️

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It was too early for that for me as I was feeling a wee bit hung over from the previous night as my Cherokee liver cannot metabolise the fire water and I ended up being tempted by a plate of bite sized, fresh, hot, iced donuts.

Oh my gawd they were amazing.

I regret nothing.

We left the market and drove over to the actual harbour and had a wander around the stalls selling African artifacts. Rosie bought a little musical instrument at one of the stalls and then found some sunglasses to go with her new hat.

It was a stunning warm sunny day. We bought a gorgeous soft serve ice cream at Muriel’s and walked to the end of the pier, watching the variety of people strolling around us.

We are so blessed to live in such a stunning village.

The local man who feeds the seals and drags them out of the water to beg for tourist donations was around but we avoided him and I took a pic of the seal as he headed back out to sea.

That evening we headed back to the Harbour for dinner at the Lookout Deck as we went for their Saturday night kilo of prawns special.

We had our prawns and sat by the window looking out to sea, it was a lovely setting and the food was nice, the prawns were quite difficult to peel this time for some reason but once you managed to wrest it out of the shell it was lovely. A huge catch of tuna were being processed just nearby and we watched all of the activity with interest.

On Sunday we went to the stunning Constantia Glen vineyard.

It was a gorgeous sunny day outside with just a bit of wind to keep it pleasant.

Both Norm and Rosie had the flammkuchen. (That is just German for pizza.)

Norm had the Caprese Flammkuchen.

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Caprese Flammkuchen @constantiaglen

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I had the charcuterie and cheese platter.

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Cheese and Charcuterie platter

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I really enjoyed the Constantia Glen Two wine, it was a blend but was really easy on the palate and not too acidic.

I was back at work on Monday but Rosie had been struggling with anxiety since her Mom’s recent death and so I arranged some healing treatments of various modalities for her and Norm took her to them during the week. Luckily I knew who to make the first booking with and that person helped with the connections for the other treatments which Rosie managed to have. She went for Reiki, hypnotherapy and family constellations therapy which deals with how our past can affect our present. She also happened to time it so that she was here when my spirit workers group held an all women sweat lodge and she got a lot of benefit from that too.

I booked midweek for us all to go and see a singer we knew nothing at all about on Wednesday night at our fave music venue, Cafe Roux in town. Usually I watch a video to gauge whether the artists will be my type of music before booking but this time I was so busy I just looked for someone appearing that week and chose Lucy Kruger and the Lost Boys.

They were very talented, Lucy had a haunting voice and she called up various other artists she knew to perform with her. There was a guy next to her who she called Andre who was half genius and half irritating twat. He needed to be noticed and sometimes he just made a lot of noise, occasionally adding a positive element to the sound. Another woman sang with her and their voices were the perfect complement to each other.

However we had a brilliant night despite Andre and toddled home quite late for a school night. I was sluggish the next day at work, however I had promised Rosie a night out on the legendary Cape Town gay scene the following night. I asked a gay friend to recommend some options and she suggested we go onto the group Cape Town Lesbians on Facebook and look for suggestions. I went on to the page and saw an event posted for a singer called Janelle Botha who was performing at what appeared to be a small venue in Cape Town called the Cheeky Bean Cafe. It was a really cheap entry of R30 and there were only a few people saying they were attending so I thought it sounded like a nice cosy environment in which to gently dip our toe into the Cape Town scene. We thought we might meet some friendly women who could direct us onto our next venue.

Norm had to take Caitlin to the airport that day and had a busy day chasing around trying to sort his visa (that is a blog all on it’s own) so he decided to have a chilled night at home. Rosie and I booked an Uber and set off into town in high spirits. We did not know exactly where we were going but once we got to Somerset Square the driver got out of the car and spoke to the guards and found the venue and dropped us right outside. There were less than 10 people there all of whom were sitting outside smoking, however all of the inside tables had signs saying ‘Reserved’ on them. We walked up to the bar and were approached by a very pretty and friendly member of staff who asked if we knew about the cover charge. I said we did but it looked like the tables were all taken. She said they would ‘sort something out’ for us. She told us to pay at the bar when Rosie offered her a R200 note for our joint R60 cover charge. I placed an order for a round with the bartender and also handed over R100. The barmaid then gave us a sour look and asked did we not have anything smaller. We dug around and came up with exact change which she took. We got our drinks and we asked the first waitress again where could we sit? She said they would ‘sort something out’. In the meantime we went to sit on the couch in the corner of the room. As soon as we sat the grumpy little barmaid stomped over and started ranting again about us not booking. We told her the invite said nothing about booking being required, besides which they took our entrance fee! You cannot make someone pay entrance and then tell them there is not enough room for them. We got up and moved to a table which had become available outside but it was a cold evening and I was dressed for being inside in a bar, not sitting outside. Besides which the smell of cigarettes was overpowering. I was freezing cold and very hungry. We again asked about a table inside for the third time when Rosie went for a new round and the grumpy barmaid shouted ‘I don’t know you!’ which seemed a bizarre thing for a manager of a public venue to say. We clearly were not welcome and she seemed to be rather angry about us being there and asking for a seat apparently! Why did they not just ask a group at a bigger reserved table whether we could join them? The singer was average but we would have enjoyed the event except that the manager was so unwelcoming and unpleasant that I phoned Norm and begged him to rescue us. He was not happy as he had driven all the way to the airport and had just arrived back home and had to come back to the city. He kindly agreed to come through and collect us and we all drove down the main road until we spotted a Hudsons Burgers and parking available just across the road and we were lucky enough to get a table with a stunning and friendly waitress who was very efficient and had us all munching happily on a burger in no time at all.

I was feeling so traumatised by the horrid experience at The Cheeky Bean Cafe that I even had a milkshake to cool me down.

Our waitress asked us where we were from and when I said ‘Hout Bay’ she looked perplexed so we had a laugh and explained how a Scotsman, a Northern Irish woman and an American all ended up together in Africa. She really was lovely. She proved to me again just how the waiter or waitress is such a big part of your overall experience.

When we got home we enjoyed relaxing on our new sofa which I bought second hand from a friend. Our old one was lovely but Norm hated it and I knew that this one was really well made and comfy and as I am a red freak I bought it spur of the moment.

I love it so much! It was a bit of drama getting it home as it poured with rain and it was being temporarily stored on a patio but luckily it did not get damaged. The dogs are baffled by the change as the back is not cushy enough for dogs to be draping over it and there are no blankets covering it like we needed with the creamy sofa so there are no hidey places for them under the blankets. It has just confused them terribly.

I was off work on Thursday as it was Freedom Day in South Africa and Rosie had booked to go to Robben Island. Norm and I drove her to the waterfront and put her onto a boat then we had some shopping to do and a nice afternoon together planned. We did the things we needed to do and then we went to the Zeitz MOCAA and were pleasantly surprised it was free as it was a public holiday. We went to the 6th floor and grabbed a table with a gorgeous view all around us.

We ordered a simple lunch of chicken and chips. We were a bit naughty and both indulged in the gorgeous looking desserts we saw being served. I had a piece of the Red Velvet Cake of the day.

Norm had the lemon meringue with coconut sorbet.

Norm and I had over 4 hours to kill in total. We wandered through the Zeitz after our leisurely lunch even though we saw most of the displays recently, but we saw some new items and noticed things we missed the first visit. Afterwards we walked about outside the silo and spotted that the Chavonnes Battery Museum had a sign announcing a Mandela Photography exhibit was on. It was R100 entry each but profits go to youth development so we decided to bite the bullet even though we only had less than an hour before Rosie was due to arrive back.

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Mandela photo exhibition

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After that we sat by the water at the arrival point waiting for Rosie, it was a moody and dark and somewhat gloomy day inland but when she returned Rosie said the weather was gorgeous at sea.

On our way home we drove up to the top of Signal Hill so that Rosie could see the beautiful view of the city laid out below but as we drove up the mountain, the already dreary weather turned worse and a thick mist rolled over the city. Rosie hopped out and tried to snap some pics, I snapped this pic of her snapping a pic which I thought looked quite cool.

That evening we took Rosie to Papino’s for dinner, one of our fave venues which only locals have discovered. Norm and I both had our usual, the hollandse biefsteak but Rosie had lamb shank and raved about it. Ours was as divine as it always is.

On Saturday Rosie attended the sweat lodge I mentioned so Norm and I dropped her off and then popped out for lunch. We stopped in at Pastis in Constantia as it was a lovely sunny day and it feels like you are in a pub garden in Europe when sitting there outside under the vines.

We had two of the items on special and shared them. We ordered fishcakes and Portuguese calamari. The fishcakes were a bit gooey for my taste and the calamari was a bit chewy despite the coating being a bit insipid in colour. It was OK but nothing amazing.

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Calamari and fish cakes

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We were enjoying sitting in the sun however so we decided to linger and have dessert. I had the lemon meringue.

Norm had the cheesecake.

We woke to a sunny morning for Rosie’s last full day and Rosie and Norman headed off early to catch the cable car to the top of Table Mountain. After they returned home Norm dropped Rosie and I at Dune’s on the Beach for a late lunch.

The venue has a gorgeous setting of simple picnic tables under umbrellas with a sand floor. We got a seat under the shaded area at the back of the restaurant.

I ordered the chili poppers for us to nibble on as starters.

Rosie and I both ordered the mussels with fries to share.

They were delicious! We both really enjoyed every morsel of our food, the bread was fresh, the chips crispy and the sauce on the mussels was moreish.

We had a gorgeous afternoon chatting and munching and drinking. I had to be back at work on Monday so I took it easy and only had a few ciders and we did not have a late night.

On Monday I shot off early as always and arrived at the client site about 7.30am. I knew the client was not going to be in the office as they had all taken a day’s leave as Tuesday was another public holiday. I did expect my team to be in the office though and when I discovered they were all working from home I was so annoyed. What a waste of petrol just because no one seems able to communicate in a professional manner. I packed up and drove back home and started working from there. I was using our Bluetooth mouse and when working my screen suddenly flipped upside down and my spreadsheets started closing down. I lifted my hands up but the typing in front of me continued as if my laptop was possessed by a demon. I quickly pulled out the USB thingy (what the hell is that thing called?) and tapped furiously on my laptop mouse rather than the Bluetooth one. The crazy activity all stopped. I restarted my laptop and Norm googled to find out how to reset my screen and then I managed to retrieve all of my documents. I assumed it was a virus of some sort that caused it and then carried on working. A bit later my wrists started aching so I asked Norm for the keyboard which goes with the mouse. Norm went to rummage around to find it and when I came back into the room he confessed that while rummaging around in that same box earlier he had bashed around the keyboard which was linked to my laptop and that was what had resulted in my bizarre pseudo-possession. I think he only confessed in order to shut me up going on about bad juju and muttering about doing a spirit cleansing on the house.

That afternoon we drove Rosie to the airport and went in to have lunch with her and send her on her way. She has now messaged to say she has made it home safe and sound. I have had a lazy pajama day today and have a pot of chicken curry on the stove bubbling away. It will be a 3 day work week for the remainder of it, our project ends at week end and then I move offices back to the foreshore. It has been an exciting & busy few weeks for both work and our social lives, I could do with a bit of quiet now really! We have a few weeks until the family all go away for Caitlin’s 30th birthday. I hope I have some peace until then.

One thing that having a visitor highlights is just how beautiful my home and country is and just how blessed I am.

I am such a lucky woman. Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Banging Bongos

If I were even partially educated about astronomy or astrology I would be looking to see what that fella Mercury is up to as I have just enough info to be dangerous and I know that Mercury is the planet that can cause chaos with communications. While looking for a reference to link to I see that Mercury also governs all of the characteristics of my personality. This is not very surprising as it rules Virgo and I am very much a stereotypical Virgo. Read THIS it is interesting (well it is to me anyway but I am a mercurial Virgo soooooo…..yeah that. Just read it.)

The reason I felt like Mercury was interfering on Tuesday was that I woke up to no internet at home. I trundled off to work and the traffic was horrendous. I managed to keep my calm by spotting squirrels in the forest that I was driving through or checking out the strange ways that trees form due to the crazy winds in Cape Town or listening to calming Native American tribal music or watching the people in the cars around me doing weird people things. I do love people watching and goodness knows we got plenty of weird ones in Cape Town.

I finally arrived at work to find I had no internet at work either. I do not have a network cable at my desk, I use the WiFi which was not communicating with my laptop. I spent an exasperating day talking to the unhelpful help-desk and connecting and disconnecting my laptop to try and connect to the database. We then had a client workshop over Skype and we had a horrendous connection, resulting in 50 minutes of frustration and about 10 minutes of productive conversation.

It was if the Universe (side-eyes at Mercury) was trying to stop me communicating to anyone!

On Tuesday evening Norm and I were booked to go to Cafe Roux in Cape Town city centre to hear a local young artist called Odwa Bongo. We love live music and in particular we love this music venue and intend to try and make it at least once a month to hear someone new. We had such fun when we went to watch our friend Mae Sithole perform recently.

We arrived about 7pm and settled in.

We like to arrive a bit early so that we have finished eating when the artist comes on and we can give them the attention they deserve.

I ordered the Mexican pizza which was thin, crispy and full of yummy flavours. I love fresh coriander and it had lots. The chipotle sauce was very tasty and spicy.

Norm ordered the butternut ravioli with a burnt butter and sage sauce.

The artists usually start at 8:30pm but Odwa was a wee bit late starting as some of his audience was late arriving but once the audience settled in he was introduced.  Odwa emerged onto the stage in a long, hooded cape like jacket which was very dramatic.

He had a very interesting instrument which he used to open many of the songs.

Odwa has an amazing voice, he can reach some incredibly high notes and his voice is so pure with a lovely, full, rich tone. He was very charming and animated on stage  and talked about his personal challenges in life but he was very inspirational and positive in his outlook. His face is so expressive when he sings.

Odwa sang predominately in Xhosa which I assume is his home language. Even though we had no clue what he was singing about for many of his songs we did not mind as it meant that we could just feel the emotion of the song and not bother with trying to absorb the lyrics. He did sing a new song he has just written in English and it was fabulous! I wish I could find it online to share but he said it was brand spanking new so I feel privileged to hear it at all.

I did post this English track called ‘Confused’ on my last blog, however it is worth posting again so you can appreciate the clarity of his tone if you missed it. You can follow Odwa on Soundcloud here.

Odwa had a band as well as a back up singer on stage with him. I really enjoyed how the bass player and the keyboard player interacted. They were both enjoying themselves and it showed. I love how you can see the joy on some musician’s faces, pure elation at being in the zone doing what they love.

The back up singer was Zolani Bongo, I did not hear if they said whether they were related but it is an interesting surname to have in common if not.

After a few songs Zolani moved to the main microphone at centre stage to do a song on his own. Zolani has an amazing voice and range as well so if they are related there are some good vocal genes in that bloodline.

Zolani sang a gospel song, but I was not sure what it was called even though it was in English (blame it on the vodka). I asked Odwa on Facebook for the track and he told me that it is a song called ‘I remember, I believe’ which as far as I can discover was originally done by Lizz Wright. I would love to go and see Zolani perform a night of blues, his voice is perfect for the old blues classics. He gave me goosebumps.

I found this track of the original artist so you can appreciate the tune. (Zolani did it better in my opinion.)

I managed to track down the lyrics to go with the video if you would like to see them they are HERE. The interesting thing I discovered is that the singer Lizz is from the same state where I grew up! Maybe it was that Georgia girl vibe which got me all in my feels.

 

Then Odwa told us how he had won tickets to see Freshly Ground and that when there he was lucky enough to meet the adorable Zolani Mahola. She is a small, beautiful lady and has the cutest grin so even though she is a grown woman she is indeed adorable.

Their voices were so complimentary they killed it!! Everyone was up dancing and having such fun.

 

We stayed for a few more songs and then we headed home what with it being a school night. Between the vodkas and my exhaustion I forgot to take my phone out of my handbag when I got home, so I woke up confused and lost and banged around in the dark until I found it just before my alarm went off.

It started drizzling with rain on my way in to work and after stopping for most of the day it has again started this evening, there is the rarely heard sound of rain gushing out the drainpipes in the background as I write, I wish we had a system to collect it all but our plastic drain thingies got trodden on by Navajo and we have finally chucked them out.

Nevermind.

Hopefully our garden will be enjoying the drenching it is getting. I thank the Universe for this water, I hope that it is also falling over our thirsty dams.

The rain has cooled the air off beautifully, Norm is making homemade low carb lasagna for dinner for us and Josh.

Life is good, I am so blessed.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

 

 

Facing The Music

After our busy week last week Norm and I were quite happy to have a quiet night in last Friday. Norm made a delicious low carb cottage pie using cauliflower mash instead of potatoes. He topped it all with a thick layer of mature cheddar. To go with it he served baby zucchini fried in butter.

It was nice to have home cooked food on a Friday as we normally have a take away. Norm is getting pretty impressive with his cooking skills!

After dinner we started watching the People vs. O.J. Simpson docudrama which was shown a while back in the US and garnered great reviews. It is part of the American Crime Story series and I intend to watch some of the other ones after this is finished. We found it funny that even though we knew a lot of the info around this case we were still in suspense. I think the acting is brilliant. We finished the series on Tuesday night as we devoured it.

The weather reports had been predicting rain for Friday and as we were relaxing a call came in over the radio asking for assistance so Norm got dressed and headed out. As he left the sky opened and it poured with rain for several hours.

I thank the Cloud spirits and the Water spirits for blessing us with such abundance.

While Norm was out I looked for something on Netflix to keep me amused on my own. I spotted that they have done a new series of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, this time branding it simply ‘Queer Eye‘. I did enjoy it but they jerk the heart strings and I’m too much of a bawler to watch many of those without getting too sad.

Saturday morning I had an appointment at the hairdresser in the city centre. I was lucky and got parking nearby on Long Street so I only had one near death experience walking across the chaotic traffic. Pause is such an airy gorgeous venue and I joined the throngs waiting for the lovely Leandra to work her magic.

Due to the drought most people are only washing their hair once a week. It is a bit of a bonus when that once a week falls on the day you get your hair washed at the hairdresser. I did not have a cut this time, we just did a half head of colour to cover my roots.

When I got home I asked Norm if he fancied going out for a late pub lunch and then skipping dinner. He agreed and so I waited for him to shower and then we headed out to the Woodcutters Arms in Hout Bay. It was a warm sunny day with a wee bit of wind but we found a table in the beer garden and we settled in.

We ordered drinks and noticed that they had changed their menu and added on a few new items, however we were not tempted to stray from our usual starters and so we did not. I had the jalapeno cheddar cigars and Norm had the Scotch Egg.

The chicken burger I normally order was gone from the menu however and so I chose another starter as a main, the Popcorn Chicken. I just ordered a portion of fries to go with it.

The chicken was nicely moist and not over cooked. The sauce was really bitter. Not sure what was going on there but it was inedible. I just used my tomato sauce I was given for the fries instead as a ‘dip’.

Norm ordered the Fish and Chips with mushy peas. He encountered a lot of bones when eating it but it was a nice large piece of fish and he did not seem to mind the bones.

I had spotted one item on the menu which was new. There was a peanut butter and popcorn sundae. I can’t get the exact name and description as it is not yet on their website. But it was a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream and another flavour I could not quite identify and there was a swirl of peanut butter sauce on the top and the bottom of the sundae. Peanut butter and popcorn are 2 of my favourite things and I was not disappointed in this tasty little pot of sinful deliciousness.

After we finished eating we headed home so that Norm could take the pups out for their daily constitutional. We just had a relaxing evening at home that night.

On Sunday we had invited Caitlin’s childhood friend Lee and his mom Carla over for lunch. Lee is wanting to set up an NGO and Norm has a lot of knowledge in that area so he has offered to assist Lee. Norm and I got up early to tidy up the back garden and Norm did a shop for us. We kept it simple and just did salads and grilled meat. It was a really hot afternoon but it was enjoyable company so we did not mind too much.

When driving to work on Monday morning I heard that there had been yet another fire in the township in Hout Bay. A firefighter was stabbed by a resident while he was battling the blaze. This is such a bizarre thing which happens in the townships sometimes, the very people coming to assist are then attacked. I have blogged about this from an ambulance point of view but it appears to be wider spread than I understood.

Later that day we also heard about a group of girls who had been raped by four men at the beach in the wee hours of the morning. The girls were parked at the beach and these 4 men attacked them. The alleged rapists were all caught which is at least some comfort.

It is not all doom and gloom and bad news however as we just heard that Day Zero has been pushed back to June! The drought has also finally been declared a national disaster so this should free up some funding. According to the statement released by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the government will “strengthen and support the disaster management structures to implement contingency plans and ensure that immediate relief, recovery and reconstruction measures are put in place to enable the national executive to effectively deal with the effects of this disaster”.

The three provinces – the Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape – have already been declared provincial disasters and now they will all be declared national disasters.

On a global scale water scarcity is a huge issue.

In its most recent data (2014), the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said 45 countries were experiencing water shortages, defined as less than a thousand cubic metres (one million litres) per person a year. They include South Africa, Cyprus and Morocco.

The UN’s climate science panel, the IPCC, said in a 2014 report that for every degree Celsius of global warming, about seven percent of the world’s population will see a drop of at least 20 percent in renewable water resources.

Pollution and global warming as well as the population explosions over the last few decades have led us to a dangerous point regarding the resources we need in order to survive.

This week has also been full of some brilliant live music. Both compliments of Cafe Roux, but one was in the city centre branch and the other at the Noordhoek branch.

On Tuesday night Norm and I booked to go to see his former colleague Mae Sithole perform with her band at the Cafe Roux branch in the Cape Town city centre. I love how they make sure that the audience is there to listen and not whitter on to their pals.

We had the best seats in the house. We were on a raised platform at the back of the room and we had a brilliant view of the stage. After we sat down we both started to cough and I had a major sneezing attack. Our waiter, Maya, told us that there had been a fight in a club up the street and the bouncers had used pepper spray to break it up. The intense wind meant that it blew into the other bars down the street and we were all choking. They turned on the air con on high and eventually it dispersed but I would hate to imagine what it was like closer up!

We each ordered a drink to calm our sinus passages and then ordered some food.

Norm ordered the butternut ravioli with sage butter sauce. He really enjoyed this and raved about it.

I ordered a pizza as the menu said they make their own bases and the toppings for the Mexican pizza sounded yummy. I was not disappointed, they do nice thin crispy pizzas with plenty of toppings. I loved the fresh coriander.

To give you a taste, I found this video of Mae performing a while back on the Expresso Morning Show.

Mae’s live performance in Cafe Roux was much more passionate. But appearing at 7am on telly might lead one to be a bit less enthusiastic in their delivery.

Mae’s rendition of Jailer had everyone in the venue on their feet shaking it and singing along with her.