Enough is Enough

My work week started pretty much on the same note as it ended on last week. My PC was still with the technician when I got in on Monday morning and finally at midday my client said I may as well go home.

On my way I popped in to the shop and got steaks for dinner. To go with them Norm made mushrooms, fondant sweet potatoes, red cabbage, and brussel sprouts cooked in chicken stock.

To make the fondant potatoes, he just peeled and parboiled them, then he sliced the potatoes into thick discs and fried the discs in butter until browned. I love these. He parboiled the sliced sprouts in chicken stock then fried them off in butter. He added the mushrooms in with the sprouts once the stock had cooked down.

Before I left work on Monday I asked my client to let me know when my computer had been fixed so that I did not drive into the city for nothing. I got a message late Monday afternoon to say my computer had been repaired so I went in at 7:30am on Tuesday only to discover it still had issues.

I raised another Helpdesk call. Finally by lunch time on Tuesday I was operational and had to quickly test the data run from that morning.

Tuesday was my birthday and I woke to some stunning lilies from Norman.

He also made a card for me and gave me a gift card from Woolies so I will get a new top or jeans or something nice with it.

When I got home from work there had been a delivery of a stunning bouquet of various bright flowers. They were from my son Trevor and DIL Amber.

There was also a basket containing a package of yummy treats with a cluster of beautiful pink roses attached.

The treats were licorice All Sorts, biscuits, a Lindt chocolate bar, biltong and a large box of nougat. So special!

I put the roses in a vase. The buds were so lush and they are such a beautiful colour.

I felt very spoiled.

That night we met Caitlin and Wes for dinner in Hout Bay at Cheyne’s.

They were already there when we arrived.

Wes gave me a bottle of Amarula (my favorite liqueur) and Caitlin made a colorful mandala type drawing for me. It is to help with anxiety. I can focus on the colors and patterns to ground me.

On the other side of the art she wrote a really sweet note. It was so touching.

We got settled in and checked out the menu.

I ordered a Passionate Buddha cocktail.

Cheyne’s had on their Spring Yum Cha special at the price of R280 per head for 4 courses. There are four sections of the menu, Sea, Earth, Land and Happy Endings. You can choose any four dishes. I always choose one from each section.

Wes had shrimp tempura and Norm, Caitlin and I all had the Hake tempura from the Sea section of the menu to start. It came with pickled shallots, miso mayo and unagi sauce.

It was perfection. The tempura was light and crispy and the tartness of the pickled shallots and the richness of the unagi sauce were the perfect compliment.

Next I had my favorite, the Mumbai chili beef. It was as tasty as it always is.

Norm and Wesley ordered the pork belly. It came with pear teriyaki, crispy potato, Keralan cream and puffed black rice.

This dish looked so beautiful. Norm rated it a full 5 stars so it must have tasted as good as it looked.

Caitlin and I ordered the crispy potato pave from the Earth section of the menu. It was flavored with truffle oil, maldon salt, Parmesan and caviar.

I wasn’t convinced about these. I always have the potato and coconut dumplings but felt like I should be adventurous. I missed my dumplings so we need to go back soon!

The pave potatoes were like what you would get if a hassleback potato and a croissant had a baby. They were tasty and delicious but just a bit dry. I nicked some sauce from Norm’s pork belly dish and it was just what the potatoes needed.

Instead of a dessert, Caitlin ordered 2 of the Land offerings, the baby back ribs and the Tokyo beef slider. I tasted the beef slider and I am definitely having that next time. It was tender sliced beef in a gorgeous shiitake cream with crispy rosti potato and it was served on a brioche. It was divine!

Norm had ordered the aubergine tempura dish from the earth section but it never arrived. Norm asked the waiter could he rather have an extra dessert as he was past eating savory food by the time we had finished our last round of food and the waiter had cleared the plates. Caitlin had not ordered a dessert so she had a bit of his peanut butter shake.

I also ordered the peanut butter milkshake. It comes with miso butterscotch, toasted nuts and chocolate soil.

Norm and Wes chose the creme brûlée. It came with toasted banana bread and miso ice cream.

I had a taste and it was as divine as it was the last time I had it. It was the perfect texture, light, rich and creamy with a crispy sugar topping. We all gave our meals 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When the bill arrived there was a bottle of wine on the bill that we did not drink, but it was quickly replaced by the correct bill and we paid up and headed home as it was a weeknight.

On Wednesday I woke up with the beginnings of a terrible flu. I went into work as I was so behind thanks to my PC issues.

I felt dreadful but I struggled through and delivered the analysis I needed to. However as the night went on I felt worse and worse. I called in sick on Thursday and Friday and just stayed in bed feeling sorry for myself.

Norm looked after me, pumping me full of Corenza C, Acc 200 and steaming mugs of med lemon.

Panda kept me company.

August was Women’s Month in South Africa but instead of being shown the honour and respect we deserve, the murder and rape of women and children continued unabated.

South Africa’s femicide rate is 5 times higher than the global average, and more than one in five women experience physical violence, worsening to one in three in low-income areas.

The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) had found that South Africa had the world’s highest rate of rape, estimated at 138 rapes per 100,000 women in 2017.

The women in SA decided enough is enough and planned a week of protests.

I watched the protests on social media and on the telly from my bed.

I was so proud of the women who took to the streets.

There were some men who joined in support.

There were so many people supporting the cause.

During Women’s Month alone at least 23 women or girls were murdered.

Below is a list of the known 23 victims:

  1. Nolundi Vumsindo from the Eastern Cape. The 44-year-old victim was sleeping in her home next to her daughter when a man pushed into the house and stabbed the woman before running away.
  2. Verusha Padayachee, a 32 year old gym owner from Pietermaritzburg was found beaten, cable tied and strangled allegedly by her husband. She had a restraining order against him. He has since committed suicide.
  3. Lynette Volschenk, a 32 year old woman from Cape Town was murdered and chopped up by a 21 year old male suspect who lives in the same block of flats.
  4. An 84 year old grandmother from the Eastern Cape was brutally stabbed to death in front of her grand children. Her murderer claimed she was a witch.
  5. Meghan Cremer, a 30 year old woman from Cape Town was taken from her home, beaten, murdered and dumped on a sand mine. One of the suspects was known to her and her family.
  6. Leighandre ‘Baby Lee’ Jegels, a 30 year old boxer from the Eastern Cape was allegedly shot and killed by her policeman husband. Jegels’ professional boxing career took off in 2014 and in two years she was named the South African Junior Bantamweight Champion. She later also became the WBA Pan African Junior Bantamweight Champion. 
  7. Nathlia Pienaar a 6 year old from Cape Town was shot dead in a gang shooting while playing outside her house.
  8. Sadiqah Newman, 26, from Cape Town, was 8 months pregnant and a mother of two. She was shot 8 times while walking to a shop with a friend. Cops say the young woman was used as a shield by the man who was the intended target.
  9. Chantal McKenzie-Vlotman a Cape Town mother of 6 and a grandmother of 4 was fatally shot.
  10. Lauren Prins, a 30 year old Cape Town disabled mother of a three year old boy died after she was shot 10 times in gang cross fire.
  11. Jo-Anita Schulz was shot dead on Women’s Day by her husband.
  12. Nyameka from Cape Town was murdered and her body was dumped. Her murder is believed to be gang related.
  13. Yanela from Cape Town who was murdered and dumped. Her murder is believed to be gang related.
  14. In Johannesburg a 39 year old female doctor was strangled to death.
  15. The doctor’s helper was also murdered and burnt beyond recognition by robbers who then stole TVs, laptops and cellphones.
  16. Jesse Hess who was 19 years old and lived in Cape Town was murdered. Her 85 year old grandfather was murdered too.
  17. Esmeralda Isaacs, a 14 year old girl from the Northern Cape was stabbed multiple times and was found dumped on a field. No one has been arrested.
  18. An Eastern Cape woman, aged 71, was stabbed to death by her son.
  19. A Cape Town woman, aged 55 was stabbed to death by her 14 year old son.
  20. Sisanda Fani, aged 30, from Port Elizabeth, a young mother, was found dead in her car from a single gunshot to head. She was in the process of getting divorced.
  21. An unknown woman in her thirties was found murdered and dumped under a tree near a primary school in Welkom.
  22. Janika Mallo, 14 years old from Cape Town, was raped and murdered and her body found dumped in her Grandmother’s yard
  23. Uyinene Mrwetyana (Known as ‘Nene’ to family and friends) Nene was 19 years old and living in Cape Town and was raped and murdered in the post office.

A vigil was held at UCT where Nene attended University.

After days of unrest our president finally made an appearance to try and placate the protestors.

I hope it is not empty platitudes. Let’s hope that the government puts something in place to affect this huge issue. None of us feel safe. But life goes on and you do what you can to maximize your security and minimize your risks.

We have had continued progress with Panda. He can make it out of the doggy door into the back garden and as of today he can make it back in! He can go up and down the two steps from the garage to the scullery. He now runs on his walks with Norm. He went to his Physio and she has said he will only need a few more appointments.

This week we had Vanessa come stay with him on Tuesday night while we were out. But Norm also tried leaving Panda alone for a few hours Norm had to go to the dentist. He made sure he could get to water and had him pee before he left. He was fine on his own.

As Norm had work done on his dental implant he has to eat soft food. Last Sunday we had pasta from Posticino. I had spaghetti with amatriciana sauce. It was delicious.

On Tuesday Norm made the low carb mac n cheese using cauliflower and it was delicious as always.

We also had pasta from Massimo’s one night. I love their pasta.

On Friday Lily came to stay. She dropped Josh at his best mates house as they were going riding early on Saturday. We watched Black Mirror and shared a lasagna and margarita pizza from Cassarechio on Friday. Cassarechio does such a wonderful lasagna.

On Saturday there were 10 of us booked for dinner at Papino’s for a late birthday celebration but I felt so ill that I rescheduled. We ordered takeaway pizzas and pastas from Papino’s instead. They even sent a divine little parcel of chocolate mousse for my birthday dinner.

How sweet was that?

We had Josh, Lily and Caitlin here with us. The girls and Trevor gave me a gorgeous statue of Ganesh, a Hindu god. Ganesh (or Ganesha) is a god of wisdom, success and good luck.

It has been so hot this weekend but I’ve stayed snuggled up in my pajamas. At least I was surrounded by my family. If I am not well by tomorrow I must go to the doctor as I will need a note for work. I hope I wake up magically recovered. Wish me luck.

Until then, air Kisses from a germ free distance from The Kitten. xoxoxoxox

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Hold The Guavas

Last week was a four day work week in South Africa as Friday was a public holiday. It was National Women’s Day. It commemorates the events on 9 August 1956, when more than 20,000 South African women of all races staged a march on the Union Buildings in protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950, commonly referred to as the “pass laws”. In South Africa, pass laws were a form of internal passport system designed to segregate the population, manage urbanisation, and allocate migrant labour. Also known as the natives law, pass laws severely limited the movements of not only black African citizens, but other people as well by requiring them to carry pass books when outside their homelands or designated areas. Before the 1950s, this legislation largely applied to African men, and attempts to apply it to women were met with significant protests. Pass laws would be one of the dominant features of the country’s apartheid system, until it was effectively ended in 1986.

I celebrated the day with my friends Melodie and Bronwyn. We jumped on the bus in Hout Bay at about 11am and went into Sea Point. We got off on Main Road and strolled along popping into any shop that caught our eye. Bronwyn bought herself a gorgeous pink cardigan and bought the same one for me in a stunning bright blue. It is so soft and feels lovely against your skin.

It is an early birthday present. I am very lucky and felt so spoiled.

We stopped at Mojo Market where there are loads of different food stalls and live music.

We had not had breakfast so we ordered a cappuccino and donuts.

They make the donuts to order so they are hot and they are lovely and crispy outside. You can have them sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar or with hot icing. The icing comes in vanilla, chocolate and caramel and I asked for a bit of each. Wow those were sinfully delicious.

After we finished we walked down to the promenade by the seaside to Winchester Mansions. It is a gorgeous Cape Dutch building with a lovely sea view.

We were seated on the front patio looking out to the ocean.

My selfy skills need work.

Mel ordered chicken wings and wedges and Bronwyn and I both ordered chicken strips and chips.

The serving was huge but the chicken was moist and tender and the batter crunchy. It was very nice. If this was a ‘light meal’ the portions of their mains must be unmanageable! I was very impressed.

There was a sweet baby redwing starling which hopped up onto my handbag and begged for food. It was the sweetest. I love birds and this little guy seemed almost tame.

We had a lot of laughs. Bronwyn was telling a story about an interaction with someone and said that she almost ‘kicked her in the guava’. I had never heard that term used to describe someone’s lady bits and I laughed myself silly. We then somehow got onto the subject of mushroom soup and I pointed out that it smells like semen. These two discussions gave us a lot of amusement.

After we had finished eating we strolled back up to catch a bus, but the stop for the one we needed was back on Main Road so we walked around to that stop. We waited ages and when our bus came through it was so full the driver did not even stop. After standing in the cold wind for about 20 minutes we gave up and booked an Uber.

The rest of the weekend was pretty chilled and relaxed. It has been sunny but cold. I put Panda out on the front porch so he could get some fresh air and sunshine.

Sunday it started raining again. Last week it rained on and off for most of the week and was very cold. We had fires most evenings.

We have had a busy week and ended up with takeaways for dinner several nights.

I had a prawn yiro from Spiro’s with loaded chips.

It was very tasty and the home made pita bread is one of the best I’ve ever eaten. It was quite silky in texture. The yiro came with feta and tomato saganaki sauce as did the loaded chips. The sauce was divine. I enjoyed it very much.

I had pizzas a few different nights. I had a Regina pizza from Massimo’s one night.

And I had a Mexican pizza from Cassarechio.

They are very different styles of pizzas but both are nice. Massimo’s is more like the pizzas you get in Italy but the one from Cassarechio was tasty too.

Norm cooked a delicious dinner on Thursday night. He grilled fillet steaks and halloumi cheese, fried sweet potato rounds in butter and served it with a baby spinach and rocket salad topped with pomegranate seeds. It was all perfectly cooked.

Panda has made more progress this week. We took him to see a Physio to see if he is ready for hydrotherapy. She did not think he is quite ready but she gave us some additional exercises to do at home with him. He is trying so hard. When you lift him he’s trying to stand, he puts his legs out straight to hold himself up. Norm even managed to hold him up so he could pee. He practices wiggling and scoots his body from one end of the bed to the other.

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Physio time ❤️

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Despite my relief at Panda’s progress I had a high anxiety week. I have had an intense headache and palpitations for weeks and finally on Thursday I reached the limit of my endurance and booked an appointment with my GP. He did a test where he asked questions about my stress and anxiety and determined I had moderate to high anxiety. He discussed my options and we agreed that I should try a daily dose of anxiety / depression medication as I could not take the Ativan on a daily basis as I had been doing recently. He also gave me something for my headache which has now improved.

On Thursday there were protests in Hout Bay at the harbour. The protestors were upset that they had not been paid. Who was supposed to be paying them I’m not sure and why they had to cause obstacles for everyone who lived in the area I am not sure. Many of these protests make no sense.

There was another truck petrol bombed in Cape Town this week. I also don’t understand who can be benefiting from this. There have also been a series of cars stoned just off the motorway.

The death of Ivan Ivanov that I blogged about recently has led to the implementation of a new team of guards on Table Mountain. I hope that they make a difference and make it safe for people to use the parks and mountains without so much risk.

With so much chaos and ineptitude in our country I find it farcical that the government is attempting to implement a National Health Service (NHI). They should focus on resolving the current problems before attempting such a huge transformation.

Many of the government hospitals are in dire straits so they have to sort that out before they have any chance of it being a success.

Norm and I have started watching a new series on Netflix called The Family.

It is as fascinating as it is worrying. It is about a secretive Christian Conservative organization in Washington, D.C. called The Fellowship Foundation, aka ‘The Family’. It outlines how they infiltrated the Washington political scene and the power they wield. I really recommend it.

I hope you all have a fabulous week. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Pixie’s Adventure

It seems Summer may properly be on the way, or that Spring has properly sprung? Whatever is happening I’m loving the warmth & sunshine! 

  
All of the greenery has flourished, the roadsides and gardens blooming. It’s been fabulous to go to work in bright light and come home with a few hours of sunlight remaining.  I had been waking in the dark and rushing home before complete darkness hit each night. 

Caitlin and I were keeping us all meat free early this week, we made fresh veggie burgers from chickpeas, coriander, sweet corn, an egg and cumin. We floured and fried them in coconut oil until crispy and brown. We bought fresh rolls from our local Oakhurst Kwikspar which has an amazing wee bakery, we have their savory and their sweet pies often. We did the shopping for our entire dinner from there! 

Caitlin made a tzaziki from the Greek yogurt and cucumber we picked up and I made fresh salsa from a yellow pepper, tomato, red onion and fresh cilantro. I made crispy fried potatoes, pepper and onions and we topped the burgers with slabs of fresh avocado and cheese, a creamy Camembert for Norm and the girls and a sharp pungent cheddar for me. 

 
Caitlin went for the no bread option. 
  
Norman had also picked up Malva pudding and custard so we had that for afters and we watched a movie, the last in the series of Night at the Museum films, it is sad to see Robin Williams making us all laugh and now knowing with hindsight just how broken he was. I think of his poor children left to live with that burden. It’s so heartbreaking. 

I can’t discuss the movie itself as I mostly snoozed. As usual. 

I never follow recipes, I just wing it. Hence I’m crap at instructions and used 2 tins chickpeas instead of one, and a whole tin of corn instead of half so we had a lot of mixture left so the next night we went Mediterranean! 

Again, that Spar sorted me with the extras I needed. I picked up some small auberines (eggplants to you Yanks 😉). I also got pita bread and a few other bits and pieces to feed us for a few breakfasts and lunches. 

I cut the aubergines in half and baked them for a bit then topped with crumbled feta and popped them back in the oven to melt the cheese.

 
Caitlin rolled up the chickpea mixture and we covered the balls in flour and deep fried them. We toasted the pitas and filled them with tzaziki, salsa, onion and feta. It was so yummy! 

Wednesday I hadn’t prepared for dinner and got home late so I chucked in the free arriabita sauce I received in one of my Girl Geek Dinner event goody bags and chucked in some crispy grilled bacon and served with pasta. It was edible and it was cheap! Sometime a girl just has to go for function, without the frills. One can’t always live the caviar lifestyle. (Any local Hout Bay readers will get the tongue in cheek jab I’ve made.) What a load of bollocks exists on the Internet. 

Thursday afternoon I had a meeting in the northern suburbs which finished after 430pm. The only benefit of sitting in traffic in Cape Town is the views. You are driving parallel to Table Mountain.

  
As I only got back to Hout Bay at 6.30 we decided to get take aways. Lily and Norm had cassarechio ravioli and Caitlin and I had pizza from Mimmi To Go. I opted for a half and half. I got half Salame – tomato, mozzarella, salame, mushrooms, olives and half Manuel – olive oil, mozzarella, cooked Parma ham, avocado, basil. 

As always it was divine, I so love their tomato sauce, you so seldom taste it on a South African pizza but it is a thick base for the slabs of proper creamy mozzarella on a Massimo pizza. 

  
Luckily after 2 hours in traffic munching that pizza and vegging out with my dogs and family saved my day. And possibly me from death row if anyone crossed me. 

  
I finally remembered to email the doggy Chiropractor David Black that I had Read about on a random blog. I was delighted when he rang me on my way home and we made an appointment for the next day to take Pixie to see him. 

Friday evening I finished about 4ish and headed home. Caitlin was out and Norm and I fancied a curry. We are so blessed to finally have a decent take away since Indian Oven opened in the bay. We got our usual, a portion of saag aloo with soft potato cooked in creamy spinach and a buttery garlic naan bread to share, I had prawn curry and Norm the chicken korma. It is so divine.

As Lily only eats mine or her mom in law’s curry she asked for a chicken chow mein from K1 sushi. Norm came home ready to scream as they were so disorganized it took 3 attempts to pay. Luckily their food is so good you forgive their idiocy. But they will drown in season if only 1 dude can work the bloody card machine. FFS.

Saturday Lily and I got up and had a lazy morning and then scooped up Pixie to head around the mountain to Noordhoek. The house is in San Michel and love this area and if I didn’t have to trundle into the city every day would love to live here.  Such stunning views.

 

We were taken in promptly at 12 and Pixie looked so anxious. She kept giving me the side eye on the drive there.

  

But  she wasn’t stressed once she saw David was only going to rub gel on her with an ultrasound device she relaxed and enjoyed the attention. He thinks a few treatments will help with the spasms. Bless her. She struggles lifting her lower body and falls over at the slightest touch since her accident.
We brought her home and headed to The Riverway Cafe for lunch as we were starving. We grabbed a table outside and ordered their delicious lemonade.
   
 
How cute are those bottles? For lunch we each had the special and we shared a portion of their homemade chips. It was fresh prawns wrapped in bacon and grilled and served with warm bread and salad.

  
We thought the riverbank looked lovely.  All the wildflowers are blooming.

  
We finished up and headed to Pep Stores to shop for Operation Shoebox the charity we support every year. We bought almost all of it at the one stop! This year we chose a 3 month old girl and a 6 year old girl. 

  
We got lots of goodies and some clothes, a soft, soft stuffed animal for the baby and 2 Polly pocket sets for the 6 year old as they fit easily in the confines of a shoebox. I love that we make a child happy who might otherwise have nothing for the holidays.

We were so efficient we decided to go and hit the spar again just as the rugby was starting so there were no crowds. We got a filet, potatoes, mushrooms, a bag of spinach and an avo.

We settled in and watched the South Africa and Wales game and then Lily and I made hassle back potatoes, mushrooms fried in garlic and butter, a spinach salad and a yummy sauce. We had blue cheese dressing which was perfect. The steak melted in your mouth and the potatoes were nice and crispy.

  
We had brought home a lemon meringue pie from spar. It was so creamy and tart. Perfect for a warm evening. We rented the new Jurrassic Park but of course I fell asleep. 

Tonight I’m going to roast the other fillet half in the oven but I’m enjoying having nowhere to rush off to. I’m off now to see what Norm is up to, I saw him wandering off with a paintbrush.

Enjoy your weekend all.

It’s All Relative

Last week was one of those weeks where you feel like your life is one monotonous rotation of work, home, bed, and then the cycle starting over again the next day. But this week was packed full of all manner of random diverse activity. 

Work was again hectic with me going off at 7am and getting home about 7pm so we had a few nights of take aways. I was delighted that my favourite pizza appeared back on Massimo’s daily special menu. 

  
The John Wayne is one of their many delicious sounding daily specials and consists of pulled bbq beef, smoked mozzarella, red onion, and huge pieces of jalapeño peppers. It’s my happy place. Oh Lordy. Their tomato sauce is so full of flavour. The mozzarella is thick and creamy, it is proper mozzarella. Not that plastic rubbish so many places try to pass off as mozzarella. It’s just amazing. My only slight suggestion would be to cut the jalapeños a wee bit shorter but that’s more about my untidiness while eating than anything else. But it is all of my favorite things all on one pizza.

Caitlin got the Happy Valley Calzone – stuffed with ham, mushrooms, mozzarella, feta, caramelised onions & cacio cheese, served with sliced avocado.

   

Norm was supposed to ask for no ham as Cait is trying to be pescatarian but he forgot. 

We liked the idea that R10 of the cost of it goes to Watchcon. She said it was delicious and it certainly smelled divine. 

On Tuesday night Norman and I attended the meeting of the Hout Bay Community Policing Forum. There was a huge upsurge in attendance from the usual numbers of attendees and they ended up moving it to the local elementary school. There were over 200 people in attendance with many people expressing concern at the increased level of crime we are experiencing in Hout Bay. 

A young lad spoke to the group, a tall good looking guy who is the head boy at Silikamvas  a local school in the informal settlement. He spoke passionately and eloquently about the fears the students have traveling back and forth to school. Another guy spoke about the issues he has living right next to the township gates, about how unmanageable crime is. The crime stats were read and a very dry presentation of a mind map was spoken through.

The issue is that police distribution is driven by the census results and the census takers just lay about in the shade. No one was willing to let strangers into their home to take stock of all their belongings in a society where people regularly rob you of said belongings, therefore they submitted incomplete figures and our area’s population was stated as approximately 30k, however based on the analysis done by a local pilot the real figure is closer to 66k. The informal settlement alone is estimated at 30k, so in reality our entire police force should be allocated only to one of Hout Bay’s informal settlements, Imizamo Yethu, not to all of Llandudno, Suikerbossie, the harbour, and the rest of the valley. Even if we didn’t have such a high level of crime we would be under-resourced. 

We had promises from our representative in charge of Safety and Security  JP Smith.  I for one feel neither safe nor secure.  He even had the nerve to try and joke about the Burning of The White House.

Tempers were boiling and words were flying, but the usual level of lack of care was exhibited by our councillor Marga Haywood, she is so unimpressive and ineffective. At least JP Smith talked the talk, as to whether he will actually have any effect will remain to be seen. Hout Bay is such a beautiful place it breaks my heart that it is so full of violence. How many stabbing victims and raped children will make the government wake up to this crisis? 

I felt like the group meeting was still rehashing the same points as always, nothing changes except the crime stats. Rape has gone up 200% but only the National Crime commissioner can know the number, we can only be told percentages and statistics. They tried to reassure us that it’s ‘only in the single digits’ but one woman raped is one woman too many and 9 is still a single digit, and 9 is way too many.  

Sometimes I get discouraged by the way we are forced to live, looking over our shoulders. I had to pop into the ATM to get cash and as the guard was nowhere to be seen, I took my pepper spray. I would have taken my tazer had it been in the car. Yes, I have a tazer. Next on my list of desired acquisitions is a paint ball rifle adapted to use pepper balls. 

We left the meeting and went off to grab dinner at Cassarechio which is Norman’s favourite Italian restaurant and I got a nice winter tummy warmer of a dinner of spaghetti bolognaise and we headed home. 

Wednesday I had the nurse pop round work to test me for a new policy, they need to take blood and urine etc to test that you are not about to drop dead before they insure you.

I left work a bit early as my pedicurist Vanessa popped round. It is so cold I kept my socks on til the last minute! Brrrr. But it is so nice to have her come to the house. 

Thursday we had a team lunch booked at Borage Bistro.

  
 I had heard great things about the restaurant and the chef since it opened and was so excited to try it. Norm dropped me off that morning so that I could have a drink to celebrate with the team.

   

   
 The team took a few bottles of a nice Spanish red with them and I ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc which comes from the Almenkerk winery. It was lovely and light and crisp, I loved it. 

  
We all ordered our food from the specials menu.

  
 I ordered the pork tacos, I love carnitas so I was expecting a lot.

I was disappointed on many levels. 

The service was sporadic, not because of the waitress but because of the kitchen. They were passing over the dishes a bit slow. We told the people served not to wait for us as their food was getting cold. 

Lizelle had the pasta, we were joking it looked like pot noodle. She said it was nice. 

  
It looked dry.

Guy had the chicken salad at R65 which looked nice. He said if he made it at home he would had added more chicken but it was sufficient. It was chicken, bacon, tomato, avocado, honey & mustard. 

  
The pork tacos were nicely presented in a big wooden bowl thing.

  
I’m not sure if they make their own tortillas and then fry them or buy commercial flour tortillas and then fry them. Or were they poppadoms?  They were impossible to eat and the shells shattered as soon as you tried to bite into one. You need the heavy texture of a corn tortilla for a taco, not flour. The flavours were nice, I enjoyed the sort of fusion of a pulled pork sandwich topped with coleslaw and then served in a taco. I just think it lacked something in its execution and delivery, 

The meat was riddled with large blocks of fat. 

  
You had to do a quick sift through the taco for fat blobs. It makes me want to heave a wee bit to think about it now. Sorry you have to look at it but I wanted to show I wasn’t exaggerating. 

I expected dry shredded meat like carnitas. This was very moist. 

It had white bean purée instead of the traditional borlotti/pinto beans which might work, but they needed more flavour, maybe a wee bit of cumin or some chili to lift it. 

The portions for the salad and the risotto were tiny. The pork tacos were the largest of the choices we all had. The men who didn’t have tacos were still hungry after we ate and so we ordered 4 of their Food Boards.  

 
They were lovely. That seemed to fill the gap. 

Charlton had the brownie. He said it was good.

  

 

Norm collected me at 4 after far too much wine with my lunch. I was being collected at 6 for the Launch of the Xtraordinary Women Inspirational Evenings

  We had a lovely evening, it was put on by the students at the other campus to the same school my daughter Lily attended, CPUT. It was all very professional and well done they should be proud. I would never guess it was first year students. 
It was lovely to see everyone. It seems my bestie Retha and I have no time to see each other as we are both so busy with work.

  
The wine sponsor was Bon Courage who provided a lovely rose sparkling wine.

  

I got home late and was so tired but Friday passed quickly. Lizelle and I took advantage of the midday sun and walked over to The Foodlovers Market and had their salad bar for lunch. 

We had so many days of rain and howling winds it was nice to have a sunny day yesterday and today. It is sunny but still bitterly cold. It is about 12 celcius every day. 

This morning it was bright and sunny but cold, all of the book club girls were meeting for breakfast at La Cuccina to celebrate Dawn’s birthday. It was so delicious. I had the Eggs Benedict with crispy bacon which is R58.

  
They serve the cappuccino with a charming little shortbread heart shaped cookie.

  
We had a good natter and a nice meal and then I came home to collect Lily and we headed off to Blue Route Mall. There were still some sales on and I got several tops and a pair of jeans, several jackets and a pair of trainers. Lily was lucky to find everything on sale. She got a great buy on a warm winter jacket.

We had a lovely day but the entire world seemed to be there as it was the 1st Saturday of the month. Never mind, we survived. We stood about half an hour at Mr Price. Very poor show. How can you not realise you will be busy on that day? 

The girls are out tonight so Norm and I are relaxing at home. Tomorrow we are out at a jazz event so we are taking it easy tonight. 

I do hope you all enjoy your weekend everyone.