Weekus Horribilis

The last week has been rather horrific for the residents of our village. It feels like we are under some sort of siege, there have been back to back fires and other tragedies and chaos.

The drought has continued with a brief respite on Wednesday, however it was just literally a drop in the dry dams and our ground greedily absorbed it. We need a few days of solid rain. Then I wondered if there are still fire victims with no shelter in the rain? Everyone is saying that if you are a foreign national you will get no support if you were a fire victim. Only South Africans will get support. This smacks of xenophobia to me. Yet the government are always criticising the people who exhibit this behaviour. So it is not do as I do, but do as I say? What hypocrisy.

There is a ‘Tent City’ which the City of Cape Town has now set up for the fire victims who have registered for assistance. They put the tents onto the sports grounds.


Image source.

In my last blog, I mentioned that it was estimated by the guys on the ground that 4-5 thousand people had been displaced by the fire in IY that occurred last weekend.

The crazy thing is that the figure originally reported was only 650 homes and 2 to 3000 people which must have been based on Census figures as we locals all know that the last Census figures vastly underestimate the numbers of people residing in Hout Bay. But late on Sunday after the fire the figures of displaced people and destroyed homes was reported as 3,500 homes, and 15k people displaced.

Fifteen thousand. People with no home, no clothes, many with no belongings at all.

This picture puts things into perspective.

afterfire greg raggers eekhout

Image Source.

There were 3 people who perished in the fire as well as one who died later in hospital from their injuries. This is such a tragic situation.

The Ngceza Family all passed in the fire and there was a memorial being held for them today.

Ngceza Family

Image credit.

After the weekend we had hoped the week might bring about peace and calm, but when I drove through the village on Monday morning I looked up and saw flames and smoke were still present on the Harbour side of the bay.

fire 20170313.png

Luckily all of the fires are now out.

On Monday I worked until about lunch time at Canal Walk and then as there should be no traffic midday I decided to come home and work from there the rest of the day . Once I was settled in Norm’s office at home I got a message on Whatsapp to say that there had been a head on collision on the Constantia road coming into Hout Bay and that there was a fatality. We later heard that the driver had survived but was in critical condition and had been hit head-on by a guy who had just lost his home in the fire. The steering went on his car and as the Constantia road is a long stretch of endless curves, he was unable to divert his car off the road and went head on into the oncoming traffic.

Norm was going out when I got home on Monday and he messaged to say he had gone over to Ambleside School as they needed people to help move some of the donations to another location. He was amazed at the number of volunteers and donations which were there.

I had seen on social media that loads of different companies have donated huge amounts of money and donations of various other items. What I find bizarre is the lack of high visibility of anyone from Disaster Management being present to coordinate the efforts until days later. The number of affected people is so astronomical but it all seems to be being predominately managed and coordinated by ordinary people from the community and various NGOs. Our new councillor has been brilliant apparently, working many hours to assist with the relief efforts.

Finally on Tuesday Lindiwe Sisulu, the Human Settlements Minister, and Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela appeared in Hout Bay to allegedly meet with the area leaders. The residents have now agreed to halt the re-building of the shacks until re-blocking can occur and the City can install fire hydrants to reduce the chance of this sort of disaster occurring yet again as this is becoming at least an annual occurrence. The shacks were so closely packed and higgledy-piggledy before the fire that there was no chance of a fire truck getting through. Reblocking is the rearrangement of shacks in informal settlements to widen pathways betweens homes and open up spaces for roads and communal areas. It also involves dismantling structures and rebuilding them with inverted box rib (IBR) galvanised steel sheets, which are fire resistant.

However the area leaders had said that they were not involved in the process despite what the City of Cape Town has said to the press. Reblocking can lead to uprisings and infighting as well, so I hope it is managed carefully to avoid further issues. From the rumours swirling around, people are re-building on the area which the City have said they are going to clear on Monday – there have been multiple protests and clashes of the people who want to start getting their homes built and the city officials charged with keeping the fire site free of any structures.

I hope these efforts improve the lives of the people who live there, I cannot understand why proper houses have not been built. We have been here in Hout Bay for almost 10 years and have seen only 1 block of flats built and that was on the Harbour side, not in the IY informal settlement. The City of Cape Town has pledged R30million on redeveloping Dontse-Yakhu which is the section of Imizamo Yethu which was destroyed.

As always the rumours are bouncing around about arson and who could be behind all of these fires. uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe has said that the reason behind the fires is land dispossession, which of course feeds into the paranoia and suspicion. The anger towards years of oppression is justified, however misdirected the retaliation may be.

The number of white farmers who are being murdered on a daily basis in South Africa is on the rise. Since the start of 2017, 26 farmers have been brutally murdered. Recent statistics indicate that as many as one farm attack a day occurs across the country. Farmers say they’re under siege, but that government is turning a blind eye. Most of these murders are not publicised, however I have a friend who is from a farming community and she has said that she knows so many families who have been affected. Even Carte Blanche filmed an episode about the increase of murders. You can view it here.

The xenophobia and hate speech originates with the ‘leaders’ of our government.

That is Julius Malema (aka Juju) who has been taken to court for his encouragement of land repatriation without compensation. He has been barred from hate speech about killing the farmers and taking the land.

Occasionally you hear a voice of reason like we heard from the leader of COPE ‘Terror’ Lekota when he addressed Parliament this week.

Race is still a universal area of contention which makes me sad.

We had planned on having a braai on Monday night as it was so hot, but as Norm was busy with relief work Caitlin and I decided to make dinner while he was out. We had bought some delicious figs from a family who deliver them to Hout Bay, they are certainly not banting but it won’t kill us to indulge on occasion. And figs always justify an occasion. We cut a pocket into our chicken breasts and stuffed them with slices of camembert cheese then wrapped them in streaky bacon. We baked our figs in honey and we just made a simple salad with lots of avocado to go with it. The taste of the sweet figs and the lush creaminess of the avocado together is so divine, they are a match made in heaven.

figs cheesy chick.png

I cannot believe I spent over 40 years avoiding figs like the plague. My views were based on the taste of Fig Newtons which I do not remember fondly from my childhood.

Fig-Newtons-Stacked

I am really freaky about the texture of foods. Fig Newtons have a grainy sticky texture. Yuck.

But fresh figs? Little clusters of delicious goodness.

figs 2

Image Credit.

Tuesday I was back at our new offices as I have a new project on the go. It is a short duration so will be intense for a few weeks, but I prefer to be a bit busy, it keeps me out of trouble.

Usually.

Norm is still doing bits and pieces to assist with the rescue operations when he can. He fetches and carries if asked and even dashed off to buy crates of water for the firefighters on Monday. Caitlin, Norm and I had all cleared out some of our clothes which are now too big for us and Norm dropped them off. As many of them are quite new we hope that they find a good home and that they bring benefit to someone else.

norm clothes

I still have more I can cull from my wardrobe, I am just doing it section by section and giving away anything which I have not worn in a while. Rather let someone in need make use of it than to have it sitting in my cupboard as moth fodder.

Tuesday I was back in the city centre office and that night Caitlin was at Wesley. Norm and I decided to braai the sausages we had bought for the previous day and to go with it I just fried some mushrooms and peppers and made another salad. It was so hot outside that this sort of food goes down a bit easier.

I did not bake the figs this time and as they were very ripe and soft I just sliced them gently and added to the salad .

figsalad2.JPG

It was all so tasty. I even had enough for lunch the next day and it was just as tasty.

While Norm was braaiing on Tuesday night I made the sauce for cottage pie for the following night. I feel asleep and burnt it a tiny bit but I managed to rescue most of it and then once it was doctored up with the cauliflower mash and cheese it was perfectly edible. I roasted butternut to go with it. As always Pixie was hoping for a dropped morsel.

cottagepie.png

Tuesday evening while trawling Facebook for entertainment I spotted a gorgeous red Chinese style dresser which I promptly fell into lust for. I messaged the seller and she sent her number and Norm rang and we were the first to ask about it. We made an appointment to pop around after work on Wednesday and it was even more gorgeous in real life. Norm rang our friend Louis who has a truck and he popped over to help Norm collect it and carry it into the house.

It is as if it was made for the spot I put it. I have decorated it with some of my African art.

red dresser.png

The 2 figures on the right of the unit are North African fertility figures which I gave Norm when we got married. The bowl in the centre is full of monkey balls. The vases were a house warming gift which I adore. This is right in the front door of my house, and it makes me so happy every time I look at it.

When Norm was driving back from collecting the dresser his engine light came on and his car is making some odd noises. He could only get it into the garage next Thursday so that leaves us with one car until then as he does not want to drive it until it goes to the garage.

That meant he could not get to the shops and I got home from work late so we ended up having a take away (yes we carbed out and lived!). Ha. Whatever, it was delicious. I had a pizza from Massimo’s. I had the Hot Latina. I love me some chili.

hot latina

It was delicious as always.

Friday morning we awoke to mist like pea soup over the foreshore.

fog.png

Of course it was on a morning when I had washed my hair and the moisture made me look like I have been drug through a damp hedge. Lovely. However our dry city is so desperate for any moisture I won’t complain. Too much.

On Friday we had nothing to take for breakfast so I ended up going to the little canteen at the back of the Artscape which we have discovered is open to the public.

ArtscapeLiveCanteen1

It does cooked meals which you can take away and is just across the street from us so it is very handy. On Friday after I ordered my food and was waiting for it to be prepared, a white woman came into the canteen and ordered and paid then strode down to the area for yogurt and cereals. She shouted to the woman making my food and the woman acknowledged her but carried on making my order. Angry white woman then starts shouting ‘how long is this going to take??’ while glowering at the staff. They then start to move at the speed of molasses, their own form of silent protest. I just waited until she shut up, then I moved to stand between her and the staff and stared the bitch down until she cottoned onto the fact that she had no support from anyone in the canteen. She then seemed to calm down, but how dare she speak to people the way that she did. After she snatched a spoon out of the hand of the woman serving her and stomped off I commended the women on their professionalism. They said ‘leave her, we are used to it.’ That statement makes me so sad.

If I was in their shoes I would have been tempted to crawl across the serving counter, knife in hand.

But that I why I am not suitable for customer service.

The mist finally cleared by the afternoon and I went for a walk to Food Lovers Market by the train station. It was warm so I did not fancy hot cooked food and so I opted for sushi. I chose the salmon roses for R44 and the avocado and prawn salad for R44.

sushi friday

I liked the salad, it was the first time I had tried it. It had avocado, cucumber, prawns and sushi mayo. It could use a bit more prawn but other than that it was lovely, I will have this again.

Norm and I decided to go out for a drink last night as it was St Paddy’s. We went to Woodcutters Arms but there was no parking so we decided to go for food first. We went to The Indian Oven.


We are very predictable in our choices, we eat there often and love the food. We had poppadoms and onion bahjis to start.
For mains Norm had chicken Korma, I had prawn curry and we shared cauliflower rice and saag aloo which is a rich gorgeous dish of potatoes and creamy spinach.

Afterwards we were too full to drink and the bar was even more crowded so we acknowledged we are old farts and came home to relax. We started watching telly and I was asleep in minutes.

I had to be up and away early today as it was mine and Pixie’s morning to see the chiropractor and we had to leave at 8.30. As it is all uphill mountain roads it can take thirty minutes or almost twice that when stuck behind a heavy vehicle. We had no issues and it was a sunny clear day so it was a pleasant drive. We arrived early and had a cuddle while watching the world go by. Excuse my no-makeup-9am-on-a-weekend face.

img_5264

After we got home Norm made us a rather delicious low carb/high fat breakfast.

brunch

Norm has been doing a bit of the remaining tiling in my kitchen and I am writing. He is now walking the dogs. We found about a fund raiser for the fire victims being held at La Parada, we did not book so we won’t be attending but I hope they raise loads of money for the victims.

fire la parada

 

 

We have not decided what we are doing later. I am having lunch with friends tomorrow in Simons Town. I am working from home on Monday and Tuesday is a public holiday so I am looking forward to a few low key days and to not travelling to the city every day.

I hope you enjoy your weekend. x

Advertisements

Lights, No Camera, Action!

I seem to have slipped into a pattern of hurtling through life for a week, then blogging on the weekend and this week I will be adhering to that same pattern.

I did try to keep to my vow to cook at home this week but had mixed results. On Sunday I had sliced up the fillet left over that night after I grilled us each a steak as I had bought a huge whole fillet. It’s expensive but it serves us for at least 2 meals to buy a whole roast. I fried onions and peppers and liquidized it for Lily, and fried the mushrooms and left over fillet cubes. I mixed in the pepper and onion mix and some cream and served with pasta. It was divine. A vegetarian can leave out the fillet and it would be just as yummy.

The next night I took fat boneless chicken breasts and wrapped each in two slices of back bacon and cooked in a deep glass dish. I rolled them halfway so they semifried and they were delicious, the best I’ve ever made, the chicken was very moist yet the bacon was crispy. I made baked potatoes and a simple salad of raw baby spinach, avocado and feta. So easy after working.

I had my manicurist Vanessa around to do my monthly pedicure on Wednesday. As we finished so late Norm picked up takeaways for us all. We had Thai Cafe. Norm said they have a new guy front of house and he is fabulous. That makes all the difference,

I finished early on Thursday as I had an appointment with David King the guy who does my Body Reactivation technique treatments. He is brilliant. He worked on my shoulders, low back and did a lot of energy clearing. I felt like I was walking on clouds after.

As I was so late we had pizzas from Mimmi To Go they are just so delicious, thick with real creamy mozzarella and this time I had my latest obsession, the meaty salame with olives and instead of mushrooms I substitute jalapeño. 

  
Rooowwwrrrr it makes the kitten purr.

Friday rolled around quickly and we had take aways again (oops) from Spiro’s. We decided to rent a movie and chose Life Of Crime with Jennifer Aniston. I chose it as it said it was a comedy. 

It was mayyyyybe at a stretch a comedy noir. The twist at the end generated a legitimate guffaw, I laughed a few times…all in all it was just odd. And the evil protagonist nazi dude is one of the most revolting humans imaginable. 

So…..yeah, don’t bother. 

Saturday we were all looking forward to an evening at Kalk Bay Theatre where we were dining and then seeing Dragging 30. Lily and I had a lazy day but Norm worked hard with Mzudumo all day. He pressure hosed the back patio and they took a giant clump of agapanthus and divided them up and planted them on the little hill of bare earth. 

  
There was a little clump of something there until last summer but it died and has been looking sad. Our new gardening consultant Melodie gave us some suggestions.

We had our garden cleaned of overgrowth this week by Melodie’s company Ladybird Landscapes it took 3 days to get rid of it all but it is now stripped back to the basics. Now we can see where we can plant things and what is thriving. We will just fill the gaps with some color. I’m hoping Melodie will suggest some things to fill the gaps. 

Everything is blooming already.

  
After Norm dropped Mzudumo we all watched Scotland and Samoa in the Rugby World Cup. Scotland won which put us all on a high! 

We were unsure how dire the traffic might be as Kalk Bay has had road works forever and I’ve spent hours there previously, so we left ourselves an hour to travel as we were also not entirely sure where it was. Just as well we did as we went to the wrong theatre in Muizenberg. Not sure why some of us thought the Kalk Bay theatre would be in Muizenberg, but well, I wasn’t driving. 

We ended up at the right place finally which is right on Kalk Bay Main Road by Artvark. I love that little spot, it was closed of course as it was evening but it is full of lovely little pieces and some stunning art.

Anyway we arrived at 6.10pm as there was no traffic as we came from the Muizenberg side instead of the Fish Hoek side. We were advised to come at 6.30 to give plenty of time for dinner. 

We took selfies.

   
 
And then it started raining so we trooped inside only to be told it was too early to be allowed inside.

So we stood in the lobby and took more selfies.

  
The host let us pick our seats as we were so early. I think he just wanted us out of his hair.

It’s a charming, rustic little theatre. We nabbed front row centre.

  
Finally just before 630 we were told we could be seated and we climbed up the stairs to the upstairs dining area. There was a charming little area and I wondered why they didn’t seat us there and offer us a drink when we arrived early, especially as it was raining. But never mind. 

  
We instantly spotted our table.

  
I loved that personal touch.

The tables filled up quickly and the place had a great buzz of energy as it was booked solid. 

  
  

  
We were seated and given drinks and the menu to peruse. 

   
We all 4 ordered the Camembert to start, it was really delicious, but could have used another second or two in the oven as it was not that hot. I like mine melting and oozing. But the fig and sticky syrup were the perfect accompaniment.

   
 
All the carnivores had the fillet steak. 

  
The steaks were so delicious! The meat was tender and cooked to perfection. The potatoes were thoroughly cooked (that’s my pet peeve is underdone potatoes) and the sauce was divine, just a touch of chili balanced perfectly by the cream. The fresh Roma tomatoes and the spinach were perfect with it.

Caitlin had the fritters which looked delicious and she really enjoyed it. It’s nice to see an interesting vegetarian option on such a small menu. 

  
Usually when you dine at the theatre you only dine there because it convenient as it is at the theatre. The food is a necessary thing to do quickly before the show. This is different entirely. The food really was amazing. 

After we finished we dashed down to our seats as the show was starting. The show was about 2 thirty something women played by Genna Galloway and Natasha van der Merwe who stumble onto a fabulous drag queen. It was funny and well played. The drag queen Cadenza Jones played brilliantly by Alain Fleischmann is fabulous. 

  
All 3 have great voices. 

  
We all really enjoyed it.

 The theatre and restaurant is in such a gorgeous old building, it obviously was originally a church.  

  
We left before 10pm and as Lily hadn’t had a drink she drove us all home. I really had a great evening, we will definitely try this gem again. The theatre tickets were only R125 each so it’s a reasonable night out. The dinner was about R250 per head for 2 courses and a few rounds of drinks.

They had no coffee machine so we were all unable to have a coffee, that was the only disappointing thing about the whole dinner that night. And those who read my blogs know how critical I am and how easily I’m disappointed so that says a lot. 

All in all the whole night was definitely a 4.99 stars so it is to be recommended for sure. I think the shows change frequently so keep an eye out for something that intrigues you. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 

If you are not a southern suburb dweller (sorry for you) then you could always make a day out of it and shop, and hang out all day then have dinner and the show before trudging back over the mountain but for us lucky enough to be in Hout Bay it was pleasantly easy and a brilliant evening. 

New Member of the Family

Our project had a go live this week so I worked a lot of overtime. By Friday I was exhausted and luckily finished early. The weather has been glorious so I snuggled up in my sunny bedroom and had a snooze in the sun.

Norm went out to get sushi for Lily and I and we just had a chilled out night at home watching movies. I needed the down time and it was good to spend time with Lily as she had been away most of the week.

Saturday we had made an appointment to go and meet the breeder of Swiss Shepherds I had been chatting to online. It was in the northern suburbs so off we went with Pixie and Panda in tow. We were planning on buying one of the new litter of only 2 weeks in age, but we met a gorgeous little boy of 11 weeks, Ivanhoe. She had him for breeding purposes so she wasn’t willing to sale him. But we hit it off so well she offered him to us, with a clause for us allowing her to use him for breeding. She wants to preserve his bloodline as he is highly intelligent. She plays all sorts of games with the pups to test their intelligence and nature. So he is going to be our dog. How cute is he? We have decided to name him Navajo in honour of our Native American heritage and to keep the name similar to what he is used to.

20130804-143850.jpg

He will grow to be huge. We will have him go for extensive training. We can’t have a dog that size with manners as bad as our Pomeranians or it will be unmanageable. I can’t wait for him to come live with us. We just need to get the bits and pieces sorted then we will collect him this week.

After our morning with the dog we headed back to Hout Bay. We dropped the gardener off at home and went to our new local pub The Woodcutters Arms for a late lunch / early dinner.

We sat outside in the beer garden as it was a lovely day. We decided to have a proper meal and let that be our only meal of the day, so we both had starters. Norm had the scotch eggs which I did not fancy at all as I am not a fan of sausage. But he seemed to enjoy them

20130804-145931.jpg

I had the warm Camembert which was served with a large bit of French stick and some berries which I think were cranberries. They had a lot of orangey marmalade taste but also a heavy taste of cloves, one of my most hated tastes. Blah. So I had the heavy rich cheese just with the bread and I found that a bit much. It needed the fruit to lift it.

20130804-150218.jpg

For my main I had the chicken which came with mash and spinach. The sauce as very rich and tasty, slightly salty for my taste but all in all it was yummy. The mash was lovely and creamy and the spinach was delicious. I love spinach. The dish certainly was a standard above what I would call ‘pub grub’.

20130804-151052.jpg

We stayed there til sundown and then it got a bit chilly outside so we headed home. Saturday evening we had a family night at home.

Sunday Norm’s colleague arrived in Cape Town and we were all invited out for breakfast at Bistro Sixteen82, we had eaten lunch there before but not breakfast.

There were 8 of us and we opted to sit outside as it was a stunning morning.

20130804-151722.jpg

The menu is limited, only a handful of choices. Norman and I both opted for the Eggs Benedict, my fave breakfast choice. It came with pork belly bacon which sounded interesting and it tasted divine! I cut off the fat and it tasted like a tender gammon. The hollandaise was perfect, not overwhelmingly lemony or tart. It came on a crispy rosti and with grilled sliced rosa tomatoes.

20130804-152118.jpg

We had several cappuccinos and lots of chat. We were a very cosmopolitan group: Scottish, English, American, Australian and several South Africans of Indian descent. We had a lovely morning and then Norm had to deal with his visitors so I am happy to just relax the rest of the afternoon. This week is a 4 day week so that will be a nice change. I hope you had a great weekend too!