Method of Measure

Yesterday I went to my drumming circle. I haven’t gone in over a month for various reasons, one weekend I was suffering from stress another was when Panda was sick and I had to look after him then the last event Norm was sick. My voice took a lot of strain as I have not sung in so long.

The session was well attended by the core group of drummers who have been together for a few years. It was a really powerful session with a lot of things shifting for a few people. After drumming several of us stayed around for a cup of tea and a chat.

We discussed the need to work for financial survival vs the wish to work doing something that your heart desires. For example, I went to University to do Radiography but ended up in IT specializing in Data, a move which ultimately made it financially viable for Norm and I to move back to SA. However, if I could work in any field with no need to bring in enough income to support us, I would love to train as an acupuncturist. One of us in our circle is trained as a Project Manager but prefers to work in an area that supports her beliefs. One of us is in marketing but wants to change directions in her career. One of us is working with energy but does not make enough money to live comfortably. Everyone seems to need a side hustle just to survive.

We talked about how the world measures success. Is it measured purely by how many toys and homes you have managed to accrue or is it based on how many lives you have touched or changed in a positive way, or the influence and impact we have over the things we believe in? What is your measuring stick?

Norm and I both made a really great salary in the UK. I spent most of my salary on flying the kids to us for school holidays and on taking them all around Europe and to the US. We saved little but made a lot of memories and exposed my children to so many different cultures and places.

I deem that as positive whereas some people may see it as a waste of money that I should have been saving for our retirement. It is all based on your personal perspective.

Meanwhile Norm and I have a clear ability to measure Panda’s success as he progresses every day!

We have a little footstool by the couch for the Pomeranians to use to get onto the couch. Last Sunday Panda was trying to jump on to the footstool but he could not lift his front legs high enough. But by Thursday night we saw him with both of his front feet on the stool. He still does not have the strength to pull himself up but it is still visible progress. Mastering stairs and being able to use the doggy door are the next milestones we are aiming for him to achieve.

On Monday when I was getting ready to leave for work, Panda was awake at 7am and ready to go downstairs for a treat. Before he was ill he would follow me downstairs and have some biltong when I left every morning. He obviously remembered that routine and he barked and barked until Norm got up and took him down to have a wee and a treat.

We continued with encouraging him to walk around the garden to build his muscles and help with his confidence.

He did so well that instead of carrying him around the block Norm decided to try and walk him on a lead. He did brilliantly and was so pleased with himself so each day Norm walked him a bit farther. He cannot manage the whole walk he used to do but he goes down the hill and back, then up the hill and back down.

On Wednesday Norm took him to the Physio and walked him into the offices on his lead and the Physio was shocked and pleased at his progress.

We are trying to get him back into his pre-paralysis routines. He was eating his chicken and his dried food in his old bowl in the garage with the other dogs each morning and evening with a few top up meals between. Norm noticed he was looking very jealously at Pixie and Navajo’s raw food and so he has gradually put him back onto that and he is eating eagerly instead of begrudgingly. We are also encouraging him to drink out of the communal water bowl in the pantry instead of wanting us to give him water individually out of a small bowl.

Pixie has been very naughty all week. We were eating dinner and put Panda’s bowl of chicken down by the table so he would eat a bit more with us. We heard a snuffling noise and looked down to see Pixie had nipped in and polished off all of the chicken.

She showed no remorse at all despite having just eaten her own dinner.

The next day when Norm was feeding Panda, Pixie bit him quite badly, breaking the skin in two places. He chastised her and put her into the bathroom to cool off.

She wasn’t bothered as she got the chicken.

When I came downstairs yesterday Panda met me at the bottom of the steps and was twirling around and wagging his tail like he used to. He sat by me while I had my toast begging for a bit.

It is so wonderful to see him returning to health.

I added many of the videos of Panda’s progress to my Kitten In The City YouTube channel so that anyone whose dog may have the same illness can be encouraged to support their dog in recovery and not give up.

Norm is very busy at work but still managed to cook for us a few nights.

He made a HFLC dinner of pork chops, mushrooms, cauliflower mash purée, red cabbage, and brussel sprouts cooked in chicken stock.

The next night he made lemon and pepper chicken kebabs with coleslaw, and a parmesan and spinach salad and chips.

We also had takeaways a few nights. We had yiro’s from Spiro’s, I had prawn and Norm had lamb and we both had loaded chips. It was very yummy.

I had crispy chili chicken and prawn Dim Sum from Blue Lotus.

It was also really delicious.

Friday we got takeaway chicken schnitzel with salad from Posticino’s.

On Friday work was a nightmare. I had worked for 10 hours on Thursday on a deliverable which was due on Friday and I had gone in to finish it up and prepare it for delivery. A few people on the team had recently moved desks and at 9:45am one of them unplugged the network cable and power supply for the entire pod of desks. My computer then failed to start back up even in safe mode.

All of my work and data for the client is on my desktop hard drive. I lost all of the 15 hours work on my deliverable and could not access my timesheet which I’m supposed to send for invoicing as it is month end. I hope I get paid! I spent hours waiting on the Helpdesk technician and playing games on my phone while seething with anger at my moronic colleague who never even apologized. I finally took an Ativan as I thought my head might explode. That is the first time my new daily dose of anxiety meds have not been enough to keep me calm.

I left at 2:30pm as the Helpdesk technician finally showed up to take my hard drive away so there was no point in staying. I had a chiropractor appointment that afternoon and then came home to chill.

Norm and I started watching Peaky Blinders this week. It is so funny to be surrounded by the Birmingham accent again.

Some bits are rather violent so I just don’t watch those bits but overall it is a good series.

The weather this week has been overcast and drizzly with some intermittent hot days. The weather started out overcast and chilly yesterday but then warmed up. Lola spent the morning chasing birds.

Today is cold and rainy so we are having a cosy pajama day. Norm cooked us some brunch.

Now I am snuggled on the couch with Lola and Panda. Life is pretty good.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend and here’s to a peaceful week ahead.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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I Hear You Knocking

 

I suspect that I have suffered from anxiety for most of my life but I just did not have a name for it. When I moved from a tiny little town in rural Tennessee to Los Angeles in the 80’s I was diagnosed with asthma because when I would drive on the motorways I would hyperventilate and it was assumed it was a reaction to the air quality. Now I realise that I was experiencing my first full blown panic attacks.

Over the years they have reappeared in moments of extreme stress with different intensities. At their worst I faint and at their best I just feel a bit ‘twitchy’ and hypersensitive. A few years ago I was interviewing the CIO at a client and I blacked out in the middle of the interview, my vision went black and I heard the roaring in my ears but I stayed upright. Luckily the project manager I was working with realised something was going on with me and carried on the interview and I came around within a few minutes. On Wednesday this week the same intensity of breathless panic hit me. It started with being aware of my heartbeat, it seemed to be jumping around loudly in my chest. Then my bottom lip went numb which is the signal my doctor told me to be aware of, it signifies a panic attack. The symptoms then escalated until I could feel myself about to faint, I heard the roaring in my ears and my vision started to go dark. I managed to talk myself out of it by breathing deeply and slowly and reassuring myself that I was fine, it was not a heart attack, it was anxiety. Naming it took away some of its power. I scrambled around in my bag and found my anxiety medication and slipped an ativan under my tongue, drank some water and sent an SOS whatsapp to Norman asking him to ring me and talk me down. I walked around the office talking to him until I felt a bit more steady. However I could feel it’s insidious presence at the back of my mind, like a steady knocking to remind me of its presence.

One thing I find with anxiety is that if I try to be a typical Virgo and analyse what may have triggered it, it makes me more anxious. However I am pretty sure that it is the combination of work pressures, money pressures, the fear over Panda’s health and worries over his prognosis.

Sometimes you just have to accept that it is what it is and try to just take things a minute at a time.

When I went home I had to shower and get ready to go out again as it was Norman’s birthday.

We have a lot of history together.

We had made plans to go for dinner with our friends Mel and Steve. Caitlin had offered to babysit Panda so we could have a night out and so we dropped him off there enroute to Peddlars.

Caitlin has 2 kitty cats and neither of them were very happy about the interloper.

In fact there were a few stare offs going on between little Mittens and Panda.

We had booked and were seated at a nice big round table.

Soon after we were seated our friends Mel, Steve and their daughter Chloe arrived.

We were not allowed to take any pics of Chloe (teenagers) but it was lovely to catch up with them all, they had just returned from the UK where they were looking for Universities for Chloe.

We had a lovely dinner. Everyone except me ordered starters but I knew I wanted dessert and could not manage 3 courses. Mel was very generous and gave me one of her spinach and feta croquettes which were delicious! I will order these next time we go there. They were R59 and amazing, tasty little balls of heaven.

Norm ordered the Gnocchi Gorgonzola for R68: Potato dumplings with spinach, assorted mushrooms, cream and gorgonzola. Norm enjoyed it but I tasted it and thought it was revolting but then again I do not like gnocchi or gorgonzola so there you go.

Chloe had the calamari and it was a massive portion. Steve had the beef carpaccio. Everyone seemed to enjoy their food.

For his main, Norm ordered the fillet steak which was on special and had it with sweet potato fries but I did not snap a pic of it. The rest of us ordered burgers, Steve and I both had the Bacon and Cheddar Burger for R125: Crispy bacon, mature cheddar served with chips and onion rings.

Mel chose the Camembert Chicken Burger for R120: Chicken breast with melted camembert, cranberry and herb salsa, served with chips and onion rings. She enjoyed it but said it was very salty.

For dessert both Chloe and I had the chocolate brownie at R49. It came with ice cream and was garnished with strawberries.

I had asked the waitress about the brownie because as an American I have high standards for brownies and she assured me it was divine. She was wrong. It was full of chunks of chocolate and had very little actual brownie taste. The texture was wrong. I did not enjoy this dish very much at all.

I had advised the restaurant when booking that it was Norman’s birthday and so they did a special little bit of decoration on his cheesecake.

Norm gave his dinner 5 Kitten Stars but mine gets 4.5 as the brownie disappointed me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

We stayed quite late for a school night just chatting and having a laugh and then we went to collect Panda. He was so excited to see us, I am sure he thinks we may just abandon him. Silly boy. We are in it as long as he is willing to fight.

Norm has been working on Panda’s prototype for a walking frame to assist him with rehab once his legs will function. He bought an aluminium side table and removed the top so that he just had the frame. He tested out the size using towels and clamps to hold Panda up.

During the week Norm went to a fabric shop in town to get neoprene. He had Panda in his arms and the manager stopped him to advise no dogs were allowed in the shop. When Norm explained his illness and why he needed the fabric, the lovely manager went to get samples of the fabric and brought them to Norm, let him choose, cut the size needed and helped Norm pay. So sweet.

On Saturday he made a sling from the cloth to go into the frame.

Panda was confused as to what was going on.

Panda is slowly starting to get stronger while simultaneously losing weight and muscle mass. Trying to get him to eat is a nightmare, some nights Norm has to almost force feed him the recovery food with a syringe and some nights he will almost bite your arm off for a bit of roast chicken and sometimes he turns up his nose. However he always has an appetite for biltong or dried meat treats.

He is still having tissue salts melted into his drinking water and he loves them. He licks any sediment up from the bowl when the water finishes. He is also now taking a daily dose of Colostem. It is a mix of colostrum and stem cells. Colostrum is taken to strengthen your immune system and help your body fight disease-causing agents.

Stem cells have the following benefits:

  • Synergistic formulation,
  • Colostrum supports healthy immunity.
  • Supports many aspects of healthy adult stem cell cascade (activate, specialise & regenerate) Encourages normal immunity
  • Helps to maintain a healthy gastro-intestinal environment

He also has CBD drops at night to help relax him for sleep.

Next on the agenda is to take him to Dr Barry Hindmarch for acupuncture next month when I get paid. Meanwhile Norm and I do a bit of light physio to keep his joints supple. I work on each leg individually and take them through their range of motion and then give him a massage but he is just a bag of bones, skin and copious amounts of hair.

I have seen his back leg kicking and this week when it happened I clapped and cheered and he did it again. Initially we weren’t sure if he was using his body to move his leg or whether it was deliberate fine muscle movement. Either way it is encouraging even though it is such a minor thing.

His bark gotten a bit stronger.

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with Panda, on Monday when I got in from work Navajo was unable to get up from the floor. He had obviously put his back out. Against my advice Norm went behind Navajo and tried to lift his hindquarters up. Navajo screamed in pain and nipped out to try and bite Norm and barely missed his face. If you have ever had back pain you know that if someone tries to help you up it can cause you pain. We messaged David the doggy chiropractor to request an appointment the next day and fretted over him all night. We had been given some CBD Jell-O shots for Panda and I decided to give one to Navajo to help with his pain. He happily took it all and about an hour later he was as high as a kite. He refused to come upstairs and he collapsed and fell sound asleep. I worried about him all night and woke feeling like death. When we came downstairs Navajo was as good as new. He had refused food the day before but he wolfed down his breakfast and acting like he had no pain at all! Norm took him to the chiropractor and David also did a little treatment on Panda to release some tension in his neck.

I’ve not stuck to low carb this week. Norm and I are both stress eating. On Monday he made a nice chicken stir fry but we had no sauce and I made a sort of satay sauce with teriyaki, sugar free peanut butter, chili and a bit of honey. We served it on noodles.

Tuesday night we had pasta takeaways from Cassarechio which left me with leftovers for lunch the following day. Thursday we had takeaways again, I had tapas from Massimo’s: calamari and fried polenta bites.

Friday I went for lunch at Nuri sushi with my friend Sakshi. I left work early as I was having another high anxiety day and had to take my meds to cope. It meant I was really tired and as I had done my billable hours there was no need to stay.

That evening Norman decided to try this recipe from one of our favorite low carb sites. He bought a rotisserie chicken and shredded it up so it was quick and easy and they tasted delicious.

He made homemade coleslaw and frozen chips in the air fryer.

This week there was an armed robbery at the iconic Mount Nelson Hotel. It is a very high end beautiful building and has amazing service. Police spokesman FC Van Wyk said 15 armed men arrived at the hotel in two vehicles. The security guard at the access control gate was threatened with a firearm. Two of the suspects removed the guard’s baton and hand radio and stayed with him while other members of the gang proceeded to enter the hotel.

“They pointed staff members and guests with two firearms and robbed them of their personal belongings,” a statement from Van Wyk said.

“The suspects then started breaking the glass cabinet display windows in the foyer with big hammers and removed jewellery, and also took an undisclosed amount of cash from the cash register.”

The suspects fled the scene shortly after the robbery and 5 of them were later arrested.

Such high profile crimes are sure to impact tourism which is a large part of Cape Town’s economy.

The Army has now finally been deployed to the high crime areas around Cape Town to deal with the gang crime and high number of murders. It took a few weeks to get them on the streets. I hope it makes a difference.

Before the press all told us the Russians were stealing our information I downloaded the FaceApp and did the obligatory old lady shot.

I look just like my Grandmother ❤️

Saturday we just relaxed, I slept until 10 which is unusual for me. I obviously needed the rest.

It was freezing cold out so I built a fire. All five of the animals kept close by.

We had seen a few episodes of Killing Eve on a flight and we really enjoyed it and Caitlin downloaded both series for us and we watched a few episodes of that. It is gripping.

I put on a pot of chicken curry late that afternoon and it wasn’t ready for dinner that night so we are having it tonight. I’ll do spinach purée and cauliflower rice with coriander to go with, it smells divine.

Today I went to Marina da Gama for drumming. I have missed a few sessions so it was lovely to see everyone. Drumming and singing helps to ground me and gives me peace. This song is one of my favorite songs and I always get a lot of positive feelings from it. It is so beautiful.

I hope Panda makes more progress this week and I hope you all have a great week. Until next time. Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

 

The Sounds of Silence

It is often the tasks that we think will go smoothly which end up being the most trying and those situations where we anticipate drama that end up being the easiest to achieve.

Today Norm and I had a few errands to run which we had expected to be very quick. We both nipped out in our ‘house clothes’ (which they call leisure wear in the US and pajamas in some countries). After all, who might we see at the police station or at the Computicket ticket kiosk? I showered but did not bother with makeup as we expected to be back home in no time.

First we stopped at the Police station as we both needed affidavits signed. I have lost my drivers license and I need the affidavit to collect a new one and Norm needed one signed for business reasons. We had printed all the paperwork we needed, had our passports for ID, a proof of residence and even a pen so we were very prepared.

We arrived and there was one lone guy working the front desk. He spent ages filling in forms of some sort for a previous ‘client’ and after about 20 minutes he drifted over to help us. Eventually after more than half an hour we finished and we were off to Checkers to collect our tickets for Sam Smith whom we are seeing perform this week.

We queued for ages at the Computicket kiosk even though we were very well prepared for this adventure as well, we had a print out of the transaction email, my ID and my debit card and when we got to the desk I handed all of this over. The woman entered my card number and nothing came up. I then realized that I have had my cards renewed since I had bought the concert tickets over 6 months ago so that is why it would not come up on her screen. She tried the booking reference but that did not work either. Eventually she called over a manager who repeated all of the same steps with no success so they ended up having to phone Computicket but the phone rang foreverrr before someone eventually answered. The manager kept asking me to ‘show her the email on my phone’ despite the email being printed out and lying on the counter in front of her. It was rather exasperating but eventually they managed to find my tickets on the system and print them.

We spent well over an hour on these tasks which we thought would be quick sticks.

By this time we were starving as we had not had breakfast so we decided to pop into Allegria Cafe for brunch. Enroute we ran into several people we know, we couldn’t get away with looking a mess and seeing no one of course!

We both ordered a coffee and Eggs Benedict with bacon.

The eggs were soft and the bacon crispy. It was perfection. 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

After brunch we came home and Norm had a nap.

We had been kept awake until almost 2am last night by our hard partying, Beatles loving, jacuzzi shagging, profanity belting neighbours. They had a Beatles album on loop for 10 hours or more as they were partying when we got home from lunch. It takes a lot of effort to make the Beatles obnoxious but the volume was so loud we could barely hear our own telly over the noise from their music even after we closed all of our doors.

We eventually ended up calling the police, once at 12.30 and again after 1am. The police just hung up on me three times but I kept phoning back. FFS that volume of music is so thoughtless.

One of the people we ran into at the shops was our other neighbour whose house is even closer to Miss Beatles and she said she was kept awake until 3am. We had eventually went to bed and drowned the bulk of the noise out with our fan.

It might be time to start using some special powers to get Miss Beatles to move on.

Other than the noise drama this weekend things were pretty uneventful this week.

Last Monday Norm picked up dinner for us from Posticino in Hout Bay.

The chicken schnitzel was nice but the pasta was light on sauce and a bit dry, I’ll give it 4 Kitten Stars overall ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

On Tuesday Norm had a meeting after I got in from work so I cooked dinner. He had shopped so I didn’t have to plan.

I made chicken breasts wrapped in Richard Bosman prosciutto and served it with Woolworths sweet potatoes stuffed with a creamy leek sauce and steamed asparagus.

The chicken was delicious but I wasn’t overly keen on the sweet potatoes dish as I’m not a huge fan of leeks. But if you like leeks it is a quick and easy side dish, you just chuck the tray into the oven and bake for half an hour.

Speaking of Woolworths, this week they announced a new make up collaboration with Sir John who is known for being the man behind the faces of celebrities such as Beyoncé, Priyanka Chopra and Kim Kardashian West.

These are one of the few 100% vegan and Beauty Without Cruelty-endorsed products in South Africa. I am keen to check them out but my makeup routine is pretty basic, I don’t wear eyeshadow and use high street products.

As it is almost election time in South Africa the current party governing SA are busy bribing voters and making promises they won’t deliver on (and I use governing in the loosest sense possible). They trotted out some shiny new trains to gawk at, promising they will be up and running soon. PRASA later clarified that the trains will not be fully operational until late 2020 at the earliest.

However the launch did not go as smoothly as Ramaphosa probably hoped.

The entire country has had multiple protests over various things this week. Some groups have been protesting crime, some protesting drugs and education challenges and some protesting service delivery.

A report by the Mexican Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice found that three South African cities are among the top 50 most violent places on earth based on murder rates per 100,000 people. Cape Town’s murder rate has steadily increased since 2009/10, up by almost 70% between 2009/10 and 2017/18, despite plateauing over three years.

“The increase in the murder rate in Cape Town is presumably driven by gang violence, which has been exacerbated by the supply of thousands of illegal firearms to criminal gangs in Cape Town,” the report I found said.

The ANC have made a mess of governing this country.

I had a few days of intense sushi-ness this week. On Thursday for lunch I had a takeaway from Nuri.

I ordered salmon roses and double prawn rolls. They were both very tasty but very awkward to eat from the takeaway box without mutilating them. The box is great for transporting them however as it stops them rolling about!

One of the young lads on our team, Mawande has just got a new job working for Oracle which is such a brilliant opportunity for him. He will gain so much experience. I am sad to see him go as he is a very nice lad and is always so helpful to me.

The team went for a coffee to say cheerio and to wish him well. He was flying to Johannesburg today, they have their head office there. He is starting work tomorrow. He had never flown or stayed in a hotel and I gave him a bit of advice about everything from avoiding the costly mini bar in his room, to being early for his flight and being on his best behavior while on training as this is the time when they will be assessing him. He was a bag of nerves but I think he will do just fine.

For lunch on Friday I went for sushi again. I had a major craving all week.

After work I went to my chiropractor Kevin for my regular 5 week adjustment.

I had sushi from K1 for dinner that night. I had salmon roses, prawn and cucumber roses, prawn nigiri and crab salad. It was all delicious.

Norm and I finally finished his favorite series, Ray Donovan and we started watching The OA this weekend.

We finished the first series and I really loved it! I give it 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. It was bizarre but it was right up my alley!

We were up early on Saturday as Norm had to take Pixie to the Chiro in Noordhoek. I stayed in bed until he got back home as it was a bit drizzly and dreary weather out.

We had plans to collect my friend Jenny for lunch. As she is visiting from the UK I had planned to take her to a Constantia wine farm with a lovely view but the weather was not very cooperative and we ended up going to Peddlar’s instead. We had not been there in a while as the last time we went it wasn’t very nice. But they seem to have upped their game.

We got a nice bright table inside rather than risk the on and off drizzle outside on the patio.

We all opted for one of their Burgers. Norm and I both had the Bacon and Cheddar burger which came with fries and gorgeous onion rings.

Norm ordered the Cheesecake for dessert. It looked very appealing.

Proof that looks cannot be relied on when it comes to food, Norm said it wasn’t great and only rated it 2.5 Kitten Stars.

I also ordered dessert and in a similar vein, my creme brûlée looked lovely.

However when I cracked open the perfectly formed crisp topping, underneath it was a very soupy consistency. It did not even have a very tasty filling.

I was very disappointed in my dessert and give it 2 Kitten Stars but my burger was delicious and gets a full 5 Stars. The meat was good quality, the patty nice and thick, it was juicy and perfectly cooked.

Jenny was very virtuous and avoided the bun, the chips and dessert.

It was lovely to see Jenny, we first met in George well over 25 years ago as our ex-husbands were work colleagues. We lost touch for ages but reconnected when I moved back to SA. Ironically she moved to the UK after I came back here! Jen is a very kind, no nonsense sort of woman, it is always lovely to catch up with her.

We left late afternoon and took her back to her daughter Vicky’s house and we headed home. Norm walked the dogs and we settled in for a quiet evening at home, however our eejit neighbour put paid to that plan!

Later last night we got a bit hungry so Norm popped out to Massimo’s and I had the chicken milanese which is chicken breaded in Parmesan and fried, it came with mash and roast veg. It was delicious.

Tonight we had a takeaway from Cassarechio, Norm had ravioli and I had half of a Mexicana pizza.

This week I was added to a Facebook group page for planning our 40th high school reunion. Things like reunions and lunches with old friends make you realise just how quickly your life has hurtled past. I would love to attend but we just don’t have the funds to go to the US just 9 months after our recent visit.

I’m really looking forward to seeing Sam Smith in concert this week. I hope you all have a lovely week.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

The Path of Peace

This was my first week back at work after my month off and it was a challenge to get back into a routine. On Monday I had a full day workshop on Data Modeling, on Thursday I attended a DAMA Conference and today I had a presentation to a potential new client and had to drive to Stellenbosch so at least I had a break from the usual monotony of being desk bound for 8 hours a day.

Last Thursday I finally bowed to pressure (pun intended) and went to the doctor and the chiropractor about the headaches I have been having for weeks. My GP told me I had a sinus infection and that my neck was out of alignment. He subscribed antibiotics and muscle relaxers.

I popped into Allegria Cafe and Life for a bite to eat after seeing the doc. I had the chicken salad with avocado and it was delicious.

I saw the chiropractor later that same afternoon but after a day or two of no pain my headaches returned and I ended up going back to the chiropractor again yesterday morning.

That day I shopped for food while waiting on my prescriptions to be filled and so on Thursday night I cooked for a change. I was surprised I hadn’t forgotten how! I roasted a pork fillet in a spicy plum sauce, and to go with it I made roast sweet potatoes, mushrooms and fried red cabbage in butter and balsamic.

It was rather delicious if I say so myself.

I had a lovely last weekend to round off my holiday.

On last Friday morning I went to Blue Route Mall to return some items, finish my last bits of Christmas shopping and pick up something for Lily’s birthday. After shopping I went to Jakura for lunch and had their crispy chili beef. It was delicious and spicy.

They also do yummy sushi and have one of the fun conveyor belts with the sushi on it. I don’t know why but that makes it taste better.

On Friday evening Norm and I had planned to go out for dinner but it had started pouring with rain, the windows were rattling like mad and the sky was really cloudy and misty so we decided to rather stay in.

Norm went down to the village to pick up a curry from The Indian Oven.

I had butter chicken and we shared saag aloo and cauliflower rice. It was OK but I have found their food is not as special as it used to be. I used to love their curry with prawns but the prawns now taste plastic and frozen so I moved to chicken dishes instead, but I invariably find a bit of cartilage or bone in my food which is very off putting. But of the options for curry in Hout Bay this is the best of the lot.

Last Saturday morning we had a lie in and then I made eggs baked in half an avocado and topped with cheese and bacon to go with them.

I found the avo to be a bit bitter when warmed but Norm loved them.

Saturday evening Caitlin popped by and we had our friends Mel and Cyril round for drinks and snacks.

We had a lovely night laughing and telling stories about all sorts. It was a relaxing night and stress free as we just did snacks so I wasn’t running around messing about with food.

On Sunday I had planned to go drumming in the morning but I only woke at 9.30 and it was too late to get there so we had another long lie in bed.

Later in the afternoon we went to La Parada at Constantia Nek to meet friends. They have live music on Sundays and it is heaving. Sharon had organized it and invited several others. Her friend Walter was there.

He managed to knock over 3 different glasses which had us all dodging liquids. Oops.

Our friend Delia was there as well.

We had a giggle about Delia being a mom of 5 yet she struggled to convince the bouncers she was of legal age. She is such a cutie and she is such a nice person as well.

Sharon and I had a good natter, it was lovely to see her. She is such a kind person.

We all ordered tapas to eat. Norm and Delia had the tuna tataki and I had the grilled calamari.

I also had the prawn croquettes.

The calamari was lovely but the prawn croquettes were overly cheesy and did not seem to contain much in the way of prawns at all. They also tasted a bit doughy. I won’t recommend those. The tuna tataki looked divine.

We had some German tourists sitting at the same table and I spent a lot of time chatting to Heloise who was sat next to me. She and I instantly bonded. She said to me that she felt like I ‘was a drummer whose heart was in rhythm with hers’. I hadn’t told her I was a drummer and that freaked me out a wee bit! We talked about spirituality and our pasts and beliefs and she said that I healed her with some of the things I said. I told her that I have been told I am a healer, I just do not know how to apply these alleged skills. Another friend told me that just my energy can heal people. I don’t question it, I just let it flow if I am speaking to someone on that topic. If spirit sends me a message I speak it and try to be a conduit and not block it by trying to be rational.

It was a latish end for a school night but Norm and I went home and relaxed a bit after. I managed to stay awake for my workshop the next day so it is all good.

Norm cooked a few nights this week. One night he stuffed chicken breasts with cranberry and cheddar cheese. He served with roast sweet potatoes and vegetables.

Another night he made spaghetti bolognaise with low carb noodles and topped it all with cheese.

Together one evening we cooked fillet steaks with spinach pureed with mature cheddar cheese and served it with roast vegetables.

My friend Cyril said that the spinach looked like a frog about to jump, I agree that it does! I am glad he didn’t say that before I ate it or it would have put me off.

This weekend we were supposed to have my kids here for a late Christmas lunch and to exchange gifts, however this has been a week full of sadness in that two of Caitlin and Lily’s girlfriends’ fathers passed away and one of Wes’ friends also lost his father. Touched by 3 deaths in one week. I pray for peace for their families.

I woke to an interesting message from a friend today who is a medium and psychic. A friend who passed away a few years ago came through to my psychic friend to tell her that ‘my Native American rituals’ (I assume he meant my drumming and prayers) has meant that he can no longer communicate to me. She said he was very dramatic and she even named him so there is no doubt who it is. I found it interesting that prayer has blocked him from communicating with me. I wonder what that means?

I know that I have a lot of peace when I drum and I feel very close to my ancestors and nature. I hope my friend finds the peace which still seems to elude him much as it did in life.

Caitlin popped around this afternoon to get her presents. She liked her presents and the kids gave Norm a lovely shirt and they gave me a gorgeous mermaid blanket. I love it so much!

We had sushi for dinner from K1.

It was so yummy.

I am off to the hairdresser early tomorrow and then we are going to a friend’s leaving party in the afternoon. We had a huge rainstorm today and as much as we need the rain I hope it clears tomorrow as the party venue is outside at the beach.

Either way it will be what it will be!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x

Light & Dark

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

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

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

We ordered drinks and settled in.

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

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Chicken Campagnola

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Norm ordered his with zucchini fries instead of pasta.

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

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Creme Brûlée ❤️

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

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Cheesecake

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

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

Anyway, we got fed and then we headed home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Iced coffees ❤️

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jess was such a beautiful bride.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxox

Gathering No Moss

This week has been a hectic one. Last Friday afternoon I left work a little bit early as I had an appointment with my chiropractor. He managed to unlock my stiff back a bit but advised me to take it easy and put an ice pack on my back when I got home. I had to make an appointment to go back the following Monday. Once I got home Norm made a little ice pack for me and I applied it to my sore back and we quite literally chilled out in front of a warm fire as it was pouring with rain.

Norm had a very exciting day while I was off at work that day. He had gotten involved in an attempt to apprehend a robber at Mainstream, our main shopping area in Hout Bay. A dodgy character has been hanging out with a knife in the basement parking area and approaching people and taking their handbags or phones or whatever he can get from them. Norm was part of the chase and he came around a corner to find the guy sitting down on the pavement putting on his shoes, Norm shouted at him and the guy bolted right past him, dropping his rather large scary knife. Unfortunately he got away again but fortunately Norm was not injured in the process.

We had an easy morning drinking coffee in bed on Saturday until the doorbell rang and Norm remembered that we had workmen coming to repair the garage roof.

We then went downstairs to build a fire and watch the Royals tolerate the arrival of Trump the Twat and his prostitute companion.

It says so much about how the Queen received the Obamas vs the lower budget version of greetings she gave the Trumps. The Obamas had a proper state visit with her and Phillip collecting the Obamas in the Royal Land Rover as compared to this visit which was much like Trump himself: all flash, little depth.

But how much has this little adventure cost the UK taxpayers? Some say upwards of 30 million pounds, the cost of the Scotland foray alone was confirmed at up to 5 million quid. We can monitor this page for the results once published. Whatever the UK paid, it was not worth it. I would pay to stay away from the chief kitty grabber.

Trump was such an embarrassment (again). He would have been briefed on protocol but was probably either still under the sunbed or getting his hair backcombed and did not hear it.

He left a 92 year old woman standing in the sun for 15 minutes while he fecked about. He did not bow to acknowledge her once he finally sloped in, he then walked in front of her and roamed vaguely around the military grounds and then wandered off in the middle of the final salute from the guard. He then later went on telly and gossiped about his private conversations with the Queen. He is a clueless feckwit.

He then went on to talk about how strong and powerful Putin was the night before with him and….oh wait. He said that Putin claimed he is innocent regarding interference and tampering with the US elections. He then said he believes Putin over his own staff and the FBI. And still his believers keep making excuses for him.

Anyway we enjoyed the scenes of pomp and circumstance from Windsor as they bring back our memories of Norman’s investiture ceremony at Windsor.

It started drizzling with rain and the repairmen had to pack up and go. Later in the afternoon Norm answered a neighborhood watch call about an African woman ringing doorbells on the road behind us. They said she seemed distraught. There is a mentally ill woman who rings all the bells in the neighbourhood on Sundays begging for food or money so we assumed it was her and so Norm drove over to see what was going on. He found a young woman covered in blood frantically waving him down. She had a deep gash on her arm and told Norman that she had been stabbed because she could not pay rent to the man whose shack she stays in. Norm could see that she was in a bad way and he drove her to the fire station. The men on duty told her that she must go to the hospital. She was not happy with that and was still in a panic about money and the risk to her life if she does not get funds. The emergency tech told her that if she did not get her arm sutured she risked gangrene and the loss of her arm. I think he tried to scare her into looking after her injury but he is correct in his dire prognosis, that was a definite risk if she did not get it seen to. She reeked of booze either from the night before or from earlier that day. Norm left her there with the fire and rescue team waiting on an ambulance to collect her. I hope that she found a safe place to stay once she was released from the hospital.

Yet another desperate victim of abuse who was drawn to us? I am glad the universe sent her to us so Norm could get her help. She was so distracted by the money issues she was not at all concerned about the large gash on her arm.

Saturday was a very lazy day and evening surrounded by the dogs.

Norm and I binge watched the documentary ‘Staircase‘. It is a miniseries about the trial of novelist Michael Peterson and his conviction for the murder of his wife Kathleen. I think that this man was convicted predominately for his lifestyle rather than the evidence presented. It was revealed that Michael was bisexual and that he and Kathleen had an open marriage. They denied that they could have had a happy marriage and they felt that this gave him a motive.

The parochial conservative residents of the town where they lived in North Carolina had a completely narrow point of view and an inability to accept an unconventional lifestyle consisting of multiple partners or involving bisexuality. The prosecutor was so full of venom it was obvious she lives a vanilla life full of 5 minute missionary interactions with eyes furiously clenched shut.

I know straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian, asexual, pansexual, and all manner of people who are living many different lifestyles. That is no one’s business except the adults involved in these relationships and lifestyles. Why do other humans feel that they have the right to judge other people based on their own ideas of what is acceptable and what is not?

Not being heterosexual does not make one more predisposed to murder than any other sexual proclivity does.

It makes me sad that still so many people cannot live an open life with no judgement.

On Saturday night I really fancied Chinese food so Norm went to the Blue Lotus in Hout Bay and got a take away for us.

I ordered Bamboo Rolls, Spicy Crispy Pork and noodles with vegetables.

The sushi was not the best, it was loosely rolled and was predominately rice. But it was edible. The crispy pork was divine! Tender pork with a crispy coating with just the right amount of spices. The noodles seemed a bit bereft of actual vegetables, it only had a few onions. But the noodles went nicely with the pork.

On Sunday we had the repairmen come back around to finish painting the roof in the morning and then we had plans to go to the shops to buy Norm’s birthday presents afterwards. However when we got ready to leave and went outside it was such a stunning, sunny winter day that we decided to rather go on an adventure.

We drove through Hout Bay village and over Chapman’s Peak Drive. It is quite often called one of the world’s most stunning drives.

For once the road did not seem terribly busy, often the traffic is insane as it is popular with tourists and cyclists and the roads are crazy curvy and narrow.

Norm took a pic of me after he paid the toll fee but was holding the receipt in his hand. The wind was pumping so I asked him to put it down but of course I was being difficult.

*Cough that is not a cloud*

After we hit Noordhoek we decided to stop at Jakes On the Common to see if there was space for us but it looked very busy. We were quite lucky and we were given a table upstairs.

We were starving as it was late afternoon so we quickly ordered and were served very promptly. Norm chose the Pulled Pork burger with chips and looked very pleased with his choice when it arrived even though he ordered sweet potato fries and got normal full carb fries. His dish was R109 (if he had paid for sweet potato fries they would be R15 extra).

I had the pulled pork Moroccan flatbread for R136. It was divine!! I really enjoyed this.

They also had live music  on for the afternoon which we really enjoyed a lot.

I did not catch this guy’s name but he played some brilliant songs. In SA in particular these sorts of entertainers usually all have the same repertoire of about 5 or 10 songs. There is little variety. But this guy was laying down some beauties. So many of them triggered some wonderful memories.

He played the Rolling Stones classic ‘Angie’. This is one of my all time favourite songs. One of my Desert Island discs if you will.

Who else had forgotten how gorgeous Mick was back in the day?

‘Angie’ always brings back memories of listening to this album in the car on our annual family treks to Daytona Beach Florida. My Dad and I would sing at the top of our lungs.

Brilliant that Norm didn’t have his phone so we ended up chatting more than usual. The music kept generating conversations around the places we were at the time the songs were popular or the times or places that the musical memories took us to.

He played ‘Perfect’ by the Scottish band Fairground Attraction which reminded us of going to see the lead singer Edie Reader when we lived in Belfast.

We happily listened and chatted and we decided to order dessert.

I chose the Cinnamon Donut Holes for R48. They were served with a Nutella dipping sauce. The menu said they came with cream but there was no cream. The donut holes were a bit firm as opposed to light and airy but they did have a nice taste and I did enjoy them and eat every bite. They were more like a churro than a donut in texture.

Norm had the Upside Down Potted Cheesecake for R55. He thought it was OK, but not the best cheesecake he has ever had. It was not supposed to have cream so he gave me his.

Norm had a chat to the waitress about it but she wasn’t listening it seemed.

We drove home around the mountain roads to avoid both the R50 tolls as well as any traffic we might encounter.

In the evening I started watching Stephen Fry’s America on Netflix while Norm was out with the dogs. It brought home to me how far removed my life is in Cape Town or Europe to what the lives of people on this show are like. I could barely understand the people he spoke to who live in the same state I grew up in!

Overall it has been a hectic week. I had another appointment at the Chiro on Monday so got home a bit later than usual. Norm cooked dinner for us that night. He made fillet steak, roasted butternut, steamed asparagus and stir fried mushrooms.

On Tuesday I got a call from my son Trevor. He was upstairs gaming on his computer and there was a fire downstairs in the fireplace. He heard a strange crackling noise and when he looked out there were flames billowing out of the garage. He ran into the garage and put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. He has burned his left hand and there is a lot of damage to the garage but the house is all fine.

The next morning I ended up spilling a boiling hot latte on my left hand and burning the same fingers that Trevor burned the day before. This empathy thing is now getting a bit silly!

Tuesday was Norman’s birthday and we invited Caitlin and Wesley to come to dinner with us at Cheyne’s. They collected us and we arrived for 7pm.

The menu has recently been updated and I was happy to see some familiar items and some new ones to try. The Yum Cha Dining Experience is R150 per person for 3 dishes and R50 extra for a 4th dish. We all opted for 4 dishes.

Me, Caitlin and Norm all started with the Crispy Hake Tempura: picked shallots, miso mayo, unagi sauce.

For my choice on the Land section of the menu I had the Mumbai Chilli Beef: cardamon and ginger syrup, toasted coconut and chili.

For my Earth choice I had the potato and coconut dumplings: penang sauce and toasted nuts.

Caitlin and Wes both had the baby back pork ribs: sweet yakaniku glaze, toasted sesame.

For dessert the girls both had the peanut butter shake. (I am a creature of habit.)

Both of the fellas had the Fuji Apple crumble: apple caramel and peach ice cream. They both seemed to really enjoy it.

The service was impeccable and as always the food divine. After we finished our meal we headed home so that Norm could open his presents. The kids got him some trendy track suit pants and a warm woolly sweater perfect for our winter weather.

He also was given a bottle of wine from Wes. This resulted in us staying up far later than we should on a school night.

Therefore I was feeling a bit tired on Wednesday night but we had plans straight after work. We went to Kalk Bay Books for a book signing by Mandy Wiener. As you see below, Norm and I were the youngest people in attendance. And we are old AF.

It was really interesting. She talked about her new book The Ministry of Crime. This is a follow up book to Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed. There is such a criminal underbelly to South Africa, most of us have no clue as to the depth of corruption in our country.

After the talk was over we left and wandered off towards our car. We were parked right outside of the Kalk Bay Kitchen Bar so we decided we might as well give them a try. Norm had a burger and I had the Chicken Burrito Bowl.

The flavours were brilliant. The combination of items was really perfect. I found a bone in my chicken however which put me off. After that I just picked about in the bowl trying to avoid death by chicken bone.

Also on Wednesday my shipment from my Mom in Atlanta finally arrived!

We opened it up and had a quick peek of my new goodies. My mom sent a chair and footstool that belonged to my Grandmother.

The other item is an old Victrola that belonged to my Daddy.

It just needs a polish and it will be grand.

I also received a stack of the old records it plays so we will try and get it operational. It would be nice to have a cocktail evening and play the records.

The boxes were packed full of second hand clothes from my Mom as well so I will need to do a cupboard clean out to accommodate them all. My mom has fabulous taste so I am very pleased with most of them.

Tonight we have nothing on our itinerary so we are having an easy night in. Norm cooked a fab dinner of chicken in a cream sauce on cauliflower noodles with sweet potatoes and squash.

We have a busy weekend planned. Sunday is non-stop with drumming in the morning and a pop in at a friend’s farewell picnic and coffee with a friend among the highlights.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0x0

The Cultured Kitten

On Tuesday Norm and I decided we needed to adventure out of Hout Bay. As we had been wanting to go to the Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary African Art) since before it had even opened we decided to go for lunch and hit the museum afterwards. We had a slow morning and headed into the V&A Waterfront just before lunch. We had forgotten that the Cape Town Carnival was on the 2nd of January and the city centre was very busy as there were multiple roads closed in preparation, but eventually we managed to get to the waterfront and get parked under the museum by the Clock Tower.

We just wanted a quick bite so we wandered around until we found a place that did not look too terribly busy. As it is peak tourist season and half of South Africa  appear to be in Cape Town this week this was a wee bit of a challenge but eventually we spotted a table outside by the sea at Mondiall Kitchen & Bar. We settled in and ordered a drink.

We both ordered the Fish and Chips as that is what one does when at the seaside.

It was a nice size portion and was perfectly cooked. It was yummy. We relaxed a bit enjoying the view, but did not want to linger too terribly long as we wanted to get through all of the exhibitions at the museum. But it was a rather spectacular view from our table.

We did have to stop for the obligatory selfie on our way to the museum.

It is a very impressive building.

We decided to become members of the Zeitz MOCAA as it was a great deal. The view from the 6th floor is spectacular and we can just pop in for a drink or lunch and enjoy that view or we can keep an eye on the exhibits and go whenever they change. You basically pay for the membership if you go there twice.

When we entered we could hear a rather mournful and haunting melody playing which echoed throughout the rather imposing foyer. The song is part of the exhibit which is in the atrium. You can download a clip of the song HERE.

Nicholas Hlobo’s iimpundulu zonke ziyandilandela, hangs in the opening atrium and is rather spectacular. The blurb about the piece says “As oral histories inevitably disappear, Hlobo represents the Xhosa myth of the Lightning Bird or the witch’s servant, manifesting itself as a bird or an attractive man. Hlobo, however, morphs the myth to particular personal concerns taking into account taboos associated with masculinity and violence. The generosity of Hlobo’s practice allows us to enter a fantastical world not normally accessible to us.’

We obtained our membership cards quickly and easily and then went to watch the video about how they converted the old grain silos into the museum and hotel. It is a fascinating structure.

You can watch the video HERE.

After the film we headed up to the top floor with a plan of winding our way down from there. There is a sculpture garden for a few of the larger pieces of art and around this is a glass window with amazing views. Norm did not cope well with the view from the 6th floor. He is not good with heights but he did come to the window and snap a pic for me.

That’s true love.

From there we walked down the central spiral staircase to each of the levels.

I really loved the fashion aspect of the work of Nandipha Mntambo. Nandipha’s solo exhibition, Material Value, presents artworks that span an entire career of using cowhide and the cultural, historical, and universal associations we attribute to this medium.

This piece below made me think of my new painting and I called it ‘The Girl Who Killed a Million Cows.’

I also enjoyed the work by another artist whose name I did not note and surprisingly I can find nothing about this piece on the website. I have investigated and I think her name is Mary Sibande but if anyone has more info please advise and I will update the post.

There was minimal info that I could find on the meaning behind the piece but I spent ages walking around and sitting gazing at this tableau. It was so full of detail.

We watched two very interesting short films. I struggled to find much info on either of these online either. They were both very creative but I really loved the short film from the South African artist William Kentridge called ‘More Sweetly Played the Dance’ which looked like old faded black and white flickering film shown across multiple screens.

The music is so evocative of South Africa. We saw every thing available across all 6 floors. We really enjoyed our visit and will definitely go back sometime soon.

On Wednesday I had an appointment to see Kevin my chiro for an adjustment on my back. As I was leaving just before lunch I persuaded Norm to come with me and we stopped for lunch in Constantia on our way home. We went to Mugg & Bean as it is pretty reliable food and there are lots of seats so we were able to get a table even in season but it was very busy.

Norm had the California omelette and I had the eggs benedict. (No surprises there, we are both rather predictable in our tastes.)

It was a very hot day so when we got home I went for a swim and enjoyed lying under my brolly by the pool as I do not go in the sun to tan. It was rather heavenly there.

It is amazing how the pool cover manages to keep the pool full, with our winds in Cape Town you lose a lot of water to that as well as to evaporation. The cover also keeps the temperature perfect for swimming.

Or floating on your back like an otter.

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Ahhhh bliss….

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After a few hours of chilling by the pool Retha messaged and asked if I wanted to come and hang out at hers so she collected me and we sat by her pool instead. Eventually we got a bit peckish and as Retha had some stunning tomato plants we decided to try making fried green tomatoes.

We sliced them, patted with flour, dipped them in beaten egg and then rolled them in breadcrumbs and fried in coconut oil. For the dip I used chives and spring onions from Retha’s garden and chopped them finely and mixed them into a bit of full fat yogurt, a drop of honey and a bit of mustard. We drizzled it onto the fried tomatoes. It was all rather divine if I say so myself and it was made all the more special knowing that they were just on the vine 2 minutes before we ate them. I do not think I have had fried green tomatoes since I left Georgia over 30 years ago when my granny used to make them from her own home grown tomatoes.

That evening Norm and I decided to braai as it was still quite hot. We kept it simple and Norm did chicken breast kebabs and corn on the cob on the gas grill. I just made a salad and some cole slaw to accompany it.

We sat outside chatting and enjoying the cooler air until evening and then we decided to watch a bit of Stranger Things 2 which is now our new addiction as we finally have a Netflix account and finished series 1 of Fargo.

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Sorry I have posted in the past four days 😭

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Thursday we had a lazy day (not that our other days were full of exertion). We did not go out at all and I relaxed by the pool all day. That evening Norm again cooked dinner on his grill and we ate outside in the garden. Norm cooked kassler chops and the remaining 2 pieces of corn on the cob and I made sweet potato fondants to go with it. The chops satisfied my gammon craving which was unrequited at Christmas.

Caitlin had house guests and wanted to have a braai on Friday so that morning Norm and I dropped off our Weber grill which we had told her she could have for her new flat as we have a gas grill (or ‘braai’ as we call it in SA). After we executed our parental tasks we went to Martin’s Bakery for brunch. Norm and I had a laugh after we ordered as we both ordered the usual breakfast fare of the other! I had a ham and cheese omelette and he had the poached eggs on spinach.

After we came home I spent the rest of the day at the pool under my brolly again until time to get ready to go out. We had booked to see a local Hout Bay girl named Keren Lindley who now lives in London and was performing on Friday night at Cafe Roux in Noordhoek village. Most of the audience seemed to be friends of family (except for us :D).

We had never attended one of their music evenings and we did not know that they have a seating plan so we arrived early to get a decent seat which meant we had to sit a long time waiting for the show to start. We were seated by the door which meant we got a bit of air as it was such a warm evening.

We spotted these signs on the table which made us happy as it is so annoying to go to listen to a musician or band and have the audience chatter over them all evening.

We ordered dinner, I had the chicken and brie burger with chips.

Norm had the calamari. My burger was yum but Norm said the calamari was average but it was beautifully presented. It came with a tin cup full of chips on the side.

Keren started her performance just after 8:30 and she was fabulous, even if she only performed for an hour. The tickets were cheap cheap at R100 per head but I had expected her to do 2 sets.

I borrowed this pic from our friend Matt who was either closer than us, or has a better camera.

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Keren Lindley at Cafe Roux

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Afterwards we went and sat in the courtyard outside and finished our drinks and then headed back across Chapman’s Peak drive towards home. The lights of the villages twinkled in the distance and we were almost the only car on the rather treacherous road at that time of night.

I was up early today as Pixie was off to the doggy chiropractor in Noordhoek. We were home by mid-morning.

I am going to take advantage of my last weekend before I return to work on Monday. I am very grateful for 3 weeks of paid leave and the chance to completely relax however all good things must come to an end.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxo