Spirits and our Ancestors

Last weekend seems like it was a lifetime ago. A lot has happened. On Tuesday we were sitting in our office when we heard a series of explosions outside, it was so loud the building felt like it shook! We are on the 4th floor and we all raced to the window to see if we could see what was happening but we could see nothing from our offices. I went onto Twitter to see if I could discover what was happening and I read that it was the police firing tear gas and stun grenades at the MyCiTi bus strikers. The illegal strike continues and the bus company says they will replace those who continue to strike.

That night it was so hot I could not bear the thought of a hot meal and so Norm popped down to K1 in Hout Bay to collect some for sushi for me.

I had Prawn roses, Salmon roses, Prawn tempura, and Cucumber roses prawn. It was R123.

The temperatures this week have been shockingly high resulting in me being unable to sleep. Usually in Cape Town it is cool in the morning and evening and only intense during the day when the sun is up, but this week it is 30*C when we wake and still hot when we go to bed. It was so hot that our smoke detector was triggered and refused to be silent until I removed the battery. Norm had gone out to get our dinner and when it triggered Navajo started howling loudly like a baying wolf. I had to deal with his howling and the strident alarm while climbing onto a chair and wielding the extension of the vacuum hose thing which was the first thing I saw when running around looking for something suitable to reach the ceiling.

There was also a Full Moon on Wednesday night and the energy from a full moon strongly affects me and this one seemed to contribute to my emotional mental state. It was a Hunters Moon in the Northern hemisphere. I was so emotional, sad and weepy. This could be due to the combination of all of my stresses, compounded by the heat and the full moon energy.

I had drum practice on Thursday night after work as we needed to rehearse and show Grandmother Robin the songs we are performing at the upcoming Dance to Heal the Earth and agree on the order of them. We all arrived just after 7 and it was 9.30 when Norm came to collect me so between the physical exertion of the drumming and singing as well as the intense heat, you can add on the fact it was a school night and it exhausted me. It was wonderful to meet Grandmother Robin finally so it was worth the tiredness. She radiates such a powerful energy it could almost feel a bit overpowering it at times. I feel so strongly connected to Robin and as we are both part Cherokee maybe it is the soul connection memory of a sister from my tribe.

As it started quite early after work Norm and I just popped in to Mugg and Bean quickly to get a bite to eat on our way to Constantia. I had their delicious lemonade with buttermilk chicken and chips.

Norm had a burger. Mine was yummy but his burger seemed quite greasy but he said it was some sort of sauce. Whatever it was I found it unappetizing but I am very fussy about burgers and may be judging it too harshly.

Friday morning I had to go to the American consulate to get the documents notarised that I need to send to my Mom regarding her house sale. It meant I got into work quite late so I had to stay later than I usually do on a Friday. I was so tired.

On Friday evening I attended a Pipe Ceremony with Grandmother Robin. The event was described as “a sacred Native American ritual for connecting physical and spiritual worlds. The Sacred Pipe is one of the most sacred items and rituals of indigenous North America. Different nations have different stories, but most agree that at a time of suffering a spirit being came into our world in physical form and delivered the first Sacred Pipe. From that time on the Sacred Pipe has always been a bridge between our worlds to carry prayers and bring healing.”

Again due to time constraints we popped in to Constantia to grab some food. We went to Tashas.

I ordered the fried chicken burger for R112:
crispy buttermilk chicken breast, pretzel bun, roasted garlic mayo, iceberg lettuce, white cabbage slaw, coriander, gherkin, tomato & fries.

Norm had the Panko Hake for R128:
crumbed hake, homemade tartare sauce, fries, peas, lemon & parsley.

We did not hang about, we headed over to the ceremony as soon as we finished. Norm dropped me and headed over to the northern suburbs. Lily and Josh were down staying at their friend Mike as Josh and Mike had a race the next morning. Lily had bought a crinoline for my Halloween costume and I wanted to try it on so Norm headed over to meet them when he dropped me.

Robin brought her stunning hand carved sacred pipe for the ceremony. She passed it round and held it to our lips, we all had gone around the room first and stated our intentions, why we were in ceremony and what we hoped to get help with or to achieve and then we all had a toke on the pipe. Then Robin spoke to us about her path and how she had become a shaman or teacher of the red road. She was fascinating to listen to. I felt an even stronger bond to her when she talked about her family hiding their Native ancestry as it was a thing of shame in the previous generations rather than a thing of pride like it is now. Then we went around the room again and did our closing words of what we felt we gained or what resonated with us from the other people who shared or from Robin’s words. There were approximately 20 people attending, all were women except 1 man named Peter who is a Traditional Healer, or what is sometimes called a Sangoma in South Africa. Peter held the masculine space and balanced out the male to female energy in the circle. I met some new ladies and saw some of the ladies I know and really enjoy spending time with. It was such a wonderful evening full of love.

I snagged Grandmother Robin for a selfie!

When we finished I saw I had a message from Lily asking when Norm was coming and I  rang her to tell her he had left hours ago and I was in a panic something had happened to him. Eventually I got hold of him and he was a in a state, he arrived shortly after and explained that he could not find them and his phone had died so he spent 2 hours frustratingly driving around the northern suburbs. He had turned his phone on for a second and I rang at that very moment and his phone died completely after we spoke. He gave up looking for them and came to collect me and it was 10.30 by the time we got home and even later by the time we got to bed. Saturday morning Norm tried again and succeeded in meeting Lily and getting my crinoline which was perfect for my outfit.  He came to collect me and we headed out for brunch to Allegria Cafe and Life. I had a ham and cheese omelette with carmelised onions on the side.

Then we went to Pep to finish buying the bits and pieces we needed to complete our  Operation Shoeboxes of Love which will be the gifts from Santa for two little babies. I drew a baby boy and a baby girl. I put them into plastic boxes rather than cardboard shoe boxes as the mother of the baby can use the boxes to store things for the baby afterwards.

This initiative makes me so happy to think that a stranger will have a smile for Christmas thanks to my little boxes of love.

It was another very hot day and we came home to relax a bit after we ran our errands. We had to be at Spiro’s for 7pm for our Halloween party. As Norm is on antibiotics for his tooth he was not drinking so he drove us down. We snapped some pics with the kids before the guests arrived or we sweated off our makeup or messed up our costumes.

My daughter Caitlin was Carrie from the Stephen King film, Lily was Tiffany from Bride of Chucky and I was Jack the Ripper’s victim.

Norm was Dr Cannibal Lester, an invention of his own.

Our friends Karen and Scott were a Cereal / serial killer and her victim.

Caitlin’s beau Wesley was Wolverine and he was perfect for that costume.

My colleagues Joe and Debora from UCT looked fab as vampires.

My friend Kimi was the creepy girl from The Ring.

Her hubby Robert was the guy from Scream.

They looked brilliant together and they danced all night long!

We had a lot of laughs.

Caitlin’s friends all looked fabulous.

I did not get pics of all of the guests, once the party kicks off I seldom think to take pics.

We had such a fun evening, we booked a DJ who was brilliant and we ordered platters of delicious party nibbles for each of the tables and after we ate we all got up and danced. The dance floor stayed busy most of the night, a sign of a good DJ! My knees are now knackered however after a night of jumping about.

However as always happens with events in Cape Town people drop out at the last minute. Some people never even respond to the event, some people respond to confirm and then just never show, some confirm but then message with some lame excuse and some just never message at all. Even someone I had thought was one of my best friends just did not show or bother to send her apologies. It has really opened my eyes to who is my friend and who is just a vague acquaintance on the periphery of our lives. Some people you only seem to hear from when they need something. Users. I have removed several people as friends on Facebook and unfollowed even more, they have proven they are not friends as they care nothing about my feelings. It is hurtful, but sometimes we need these culls to regenerate positive energy in our lives. I won’t brood about it. Once I make up my mind someone is out of my life, that is it. They do not merit a thought.

Lily and Josh left in the morning as they had a long drive home. Before she left she dressed Pixie in her tutu and it was so cute.

Tomorrow a colleague and I start a new project at UCT and it will keep us busy for at least the next 4 weeks or so and I am looking forward to that. I am trying to arrange to go down to the Dance to Heal the Earth Dance next week but as Norm’s car has died and is in the garage I do not want to leave him home with no transport so it depends on a few factors.

Today would have been my Dad’s 83rd birthday. As he died at 49 it is hard to even imagine him as an old man. I so wish he was here to meet his wonderful grandchildren as he would be so proud of them.

Wish me luck on my new project. The heat is supposed to break tomorrow and we are due to some very welcome rain.

I hope you have a lovely week, until next time, Kisses from the Kitten. x0x0x0x0

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Bedfellows

This week I was invited to a Town Hall meeting at the American Consulate. I am not one of those expats who feels the need to gravitate towards a collective gathering of my home boys and girls. I am the sort who tends to try to assimilate into my environment. However this is the first Town Hall that our new consulate general has put on and I thought it would be interesting to attend.

I arrived very early as I always tend to do, I have a rubbish sense of direction and get a bit panicky if I get lost so even though I had been to the consulate a few years ago I left plenty of travel time. It was really hot outside so I parked in the shade and waited until I saw them opening the doors and a queue forming. You have a lovely view of the mountains from the car park so I did not mind waiting. Once inside I went to the front of the room as I am blind as a bat and I could see that they were doing a presentation. I strategically chose a chair on the aisle on the second row. I noticed that everyone had sat down and I remembered that I wanted to get some forms to register to vote and so I got up and went back to the other side of the room. I debated leaving my sweater on the seat to hold my place but there were no more people arriving so I could not imagine that anyone would deliberately get up and scoot over to that particular chair which had no one near it. When I came back a little old lady had magically appeared in my seat. I moved around her to the front row and sat on the corner seat thinking this would mean I would not be annoyed. I could feel the woman one seat away checking me out and looking for any opportunity to launch into a convo. I desperately avoided meeting her eye. It is like being on a plane when you just want to be left alone to read your book and you have an enthusiastic, bored person next to you slavering over you like a Labrador. I am far too anti-social for that. Meeting strangers is my worst as it inevitably leads to a gazillion personal questions.

I had forgotten the amount of noise a room full of Americans can make. It was deafening as there were at most 50 people there. But at least I avoided eye contact and thus avoided getting the third degree.

As soon as I got comfy in my new seat a very large lady with massive amounts of long thick obviously unwashed hair came and wedged in next to me. She swirled around and threw her clump of hair over her shoulder and smacked me right in the head with it. (Strike One)

She then shoved her arm over the arms of both chairs and impaled me with an elbow. (Strike Two)

She then chucked what appeared to be a parka made especially for Arctic travel over the chair arm and it landed fully in my lap. (Strike Three).

At this point I stood up, lifted my chair and banged it onto the floor a few inches away from her hair, wardrobe and various appendages.

She then decided to heave said parka out of her chair completely and it landed on my crossed legs. I simply kicked it across the floor.

She was all out of strikes.

There were various speakers, the session was opened by a new guy who only recently joined the Cape Town consulate, I think his name was Tom. He seemed very nervous but he was quite amusing. He then handed over to the Consul General Virginia Blaser who arrived in Cape Town in August last year. She chatted to us about the duties of the Consulate and some of the various functions they perform and some of the contributions that the US Government make to other countries, including SA.

Next we had a presentation from the City’s safety and security executive director, Richard Bosman. He gave us the good news that Day Zero has been moved back and is not expected to hit in 2018 at all. He gave us an overview of the City’s Disaster Plan. My personal opinion is that the management of the drought has been a clusterfeck of note. But I did not tell him that of course. (Luckily I was sober)

It was all an interesting event but it felt very odd to be surrounded by so many American accents.

The annoying lady next to me was a ‘positive listener’ in that she made either a grunt or a ‘mmmm hmm’ noise or some sort of vocal response to every single thing that any of the speakers said while bobbing her head in the corresponding direction. WTF woman this is not a private phone chat, STFU.

Anyway, I did not do her any harm, so go Kitten! (No strikes)

This week the news has been full of the Gugulethu, Nyanga & Phillipi township protests. Demonstrators are protesting evictions by the city’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit who removed illegal shack dwellings this week. The protests were over the evictions as well as the fact that the protesters do not have proper housing. This chaos spills onto the motorways & results in road closures which creates danger and havoc for commuters. The protesters torched the post office. However living in a tin shack would make one want to protest, I cannot blame anyone for protesting, but there is no need for violence and destruction of property. I guess their frustration has led to this however.

I had recently written about the school secretary Gill Packham who was missing and the burning car that was found with a body in the boot. It has now been confirmed that the body was Gill’s and her husband Rob has now been arrested for her murder. Her head had been bashed in at the back, she could have fallen, but why put the body in a torched car? What is he hiding? There are some rather seamy articles being posted about his sexual proclivities. He had allegedly undergone treatment for sex addiction and was into bondage. Maybe her death occurred during some sexual game and afterwards he panicked and put her in the boot and torched the car, or maybe her death was as a result of domestic abuse. We may never know the real truth as he is claiming it was not him. I feel such heartache for their two daughters. To lose your mother is bad enough but to lose her to violence at the hands of your own father and to then have the country gossiping about their sex lives must be the worst possible scenario. I pray for their peace.

Norm took all 3 of the dogs to the vet on Friday.

Navajo has been limping again on his back leg, but it is on and off. The steroid injection he had last time did help but only temporarily. Today they drained fluid from his ankle so I hope that brings him some relief. Pixie and Panda were both due some injections. Panda yelped and Pixie tried to hide as she probably remembers the last visit where she was left to be sedated on her own. Owning dogs is an expensive adventure but I would rather go without than have my dogs suffer.

For lunch on Friday I used OrderIn to bring some food as we had nothing to take for my lunch. I tried a place called Knead and I was ordering a Caesar salad when I saw that they had kitka bread. I love kitka bread and switched my order to the Classic Chicken Mayo Toasted Sandwich @ R56.00 with Square Kitka bread.

I’ve only had kitka rolls and had expected that, but the bread was sliced from a loaf but it was nice but not the density of the rolls I expected. There was a lot of mayo on it but it was tasty enough. It contained big chunks of chicken which I prefer to minced chicken. It also had lots of pickle and I love pickles.

I am so relieved it is finally the weekend but I have been busy already.

I got up early and set off for the hairdresser just after 9. I encountered a million cyclists preparing for the Cape Town Cycle Tour and several tourists tottering along goggle eyed staring at the sea. Therefore I was surprised to get parked on Long Street just after 9:30. I went into the salon to wait. It’s normally so busy but was really quiet.

Leandra looked a bit confused but I assumed it was because I was so early. She called me over and said “I’ve got you in the book for next week” I checked my diary and so did I! OMG I was a week early. Luckily she had a client cancel and I fit in perfectly. Silly me. Anyway my hair feels fab!

After I finished I went to collect Norm as we needed to buy a bed for our guest room as we are expecting a friend over from Belfast soon. We went to 3 shops and found a bed that fit my budget and then hit the mall as it was now after 2 and we were starving.

We popped into Mugg and Bean at Blue Route Mall and Norm had a stuffed croissant with ham and eggs in it. I had a few items off the tapas menu which Norm shared with me.

I had the buttermilk chicken which was very tasty but needs bigger pieces of chicken. I also had the wedge of salad which is a wedge of iceberg lettuce with bacon and blue cheese and we also shared the fritters which had jalapeño and corn with a chipotle sauce. Th fritters were doughy and needed another minute in the fryer.

We then found the perfect headboard, simple and plain.

You can see it HERE

All we have to do is buy bedding to match my chaise loungue which is in that room and it will look fab. It will still be Norm’s office but when we need a third bedroom it means our visitors do not have to stay in the garden flat.

Tomorrow is the Cape Town Cycle race but we are not sure if we will watch it from the comfort of our home or join one of the parties on the main road cheering them on. I find I need one day on a weekend to recharge, preferably in my pajamas.

Next week I have booked for Norm and I to go to see Odwa Bongo perform at the city branch of Cafe Roux. I found a track he has released on Soundcloud if you would like to listen – click here.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0