Vintage Shadows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I enjoyed it very much, rice included.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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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

UTC 2 UCT

This week has disappeared in a blink of an eye. I guess the new project means we don’t have any time to waste and as we are focusing so intensely the days pass quickly. I have so many gaps in info from the client but I need to leave time to document it all so it’s a balancing act to take time to obtain the info and still leave time to knock it into a decent deliverable.

I had a ditzy moment last week when I set up my new client email account and was then confused when someone sent a meeting request for a slot in the past. The client heard the discussion with my colleague when I said I set my time zone to “UTC” time. The client pointed out I’m at UCT not UTC and that UTC stands for Coordinated Universal Time, not the actual University where I was. I felt a right eejit.

Then I realized that why I keep saying UTC instead of UCT is that I grew up near Chattanooga which is where University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is located. No wonder my brain gets dyslexic.

On Monday Norm only got to the shops after I got home so it was quite late and he wanted something quick and easy so he just grabbed some fish cakes and veg. He stir fried the veg and baked the fish cakes. He made fresh cole slaw to go with it.

Norm has also been busy with work. Not having a car has been awkward for him. On Tuesday he has both Cordelia and Mzudumo here working. Cordelia gets paid monthly so that is no issue but Mzudumo is paid daily as he only comes once a week. In addition to the cash Norm also has to come up with lunch for them both. He usually nips out to the bank and gets them chicken to cook or a pie and chips or something but this week he managed to put together a big plate of bits and pieces from fish cakes to left over veg so he coped without shopping. However he needed to get to the ATM so he trotted off to the closest shops with Navajo. It’s not very safe walking on our roads but Navajo is a great guard dog. Norm just had to make a plan and so he braved it.

On Wednesday we heard that there were some traffic issues near the circle and then we heard that the police station was shut. Eventually we heard that a policeman who was on duty had killed his wife then shot himself. So sad! I hope they did not leave any children behind as that would be so heartbreaking for the kids to lose both parents to such violence. RIP to them both, I assume the husband had to be mentally ill to do such a thing. Once again women are treated as property of their partner, with him feeling he has the right to do as he wishes.

That day we also heard that there had been a second bus fire. This time it was in Khayelitsha. If the buses are not being torched then the trains are! It is a nightmare in SA if you do not drive and have your own car.

Wednesday Norm was trying to piece together dinner from our almost bare cupboards. He had chicken and mushrooms and carrots. He opened the chicken to find it was off. As he had already chopped the vegetables he decided to pop down to get chicken rather than scrap it all for a takeaway. He bought noodles and a sauce and it was yummy.

One night we had takeaways from Spiro’s but I did not snap a pic. I had yummy little crispy squids. Norm had chicken souvlaki.

This week we discovered Norm’s visa runs out on Christmas Day. We toyed with the idea of going to see my Mom for Christmas but the flights were R40k so that’s impossible at this point. Norm will pop into the UK on his own sometime before the end of the year. It’s so annoying that we have to keep doing this while they mess him around.

I also received a text message that my drivers license is ready. Three messages in fact. The problem was that message 2 came hours before message 3 which came hours before message 1 so it was illegible nonsense.

Luckily I managed to decipher it once the other messages arrived. I’ll pop by next week to collect it. Dreadful prison faced photo and all. 🙄

Speaking of an inability to manage communications, I’ve had weeks of harassment by my bank, FNB. The law has changed so as an American citizen I have to submit a tax return, even though I’ve not earned there in 30 years. Not only that I have to go back and submit for several other years. What a waste of money for me to pay a US tax man to file just to confirm that with the exchange rate my salary is below the level which mandates filing. Nonsense.

Anyway the bank is sending me emails and text messages over and over telling me to complete the forms they sent me which I filled in and returned last week. I finally emailed to complain and they tell me I did not submit a different form! Nightmare.

This week I ordered lunch from Tigers Milk via OrderIn. First my order was ‘stuck’ for 20 minutes and finally the restaurant picked up the order. That is the one good thing is you can track it each step. Eventually it arrived. I had ordered taquitos. They were described on the menu as ‘TAQUITOS | (V) Crunchy tortilla fingers filled with nacho cheese sauce, guacamole, refried beans, sour cream and Pico de Gallo”

I lived in LA so I know my Mexican food. I expected something like

->See sexy tacquitos <-.

Instead I got this globby, cold, gooey mess:

The FLOUR tortillas were filled with microscopic amounts of cheese and not even heated, just rolled up and then the toppings were thrown on top. I expected them to be separate. Like fajitas. Or lightly on top of CRISPY corn tortillas. The dish was very sour, I’m not sure what that was about. I barely ate it. It really was exceptionally revolting. There was nothing nice about this dish.

It was a gorgeous evening on Friday and after I got in from my appointment at the chiropractor I sat on the balcony upstairs by my bedroom.

Norm and I fancied some live music and a bit of a night out. We knew there was music on at The Lookout Deck on Friday evenings so we went there once the dogs were walked and fed. They had a duo performing which we had not heard before.

They sang some very cool songs, but did not always get the right key. But they did ok. It was so beautiful there as the sun was setting.

We had seats right by the harbour.

I ordered a vodka with passion fruit cordial and lemonade. At home I have soda but when out I hesitate to order with soda as some places are light on the passion fruit and it’s too vodka-y for me. Our waiter says ‘that’s like a sweety’ and I wanted to tell him to bring my drink and hold the sass. Cheeky fuck. Annnyyywayy.

I fancied a bit of Sushi and ordered my usual salmon roses.

The salmon was fresh and tender. It was excellent.

I had ordered a prawn and avo starter but they were out of breaded prawns (which means they are frozen 🙄). I changed to the starter portion of fish cakes and ordered chips to go with them.

Norm chose the fish and chips.

We did not stay too late, we had another drink then headed home. We are such home bodies.

We have started a new series we are both really enjoying called ‘The Last Kingdom‘.

I love the visuals, the costumes are absolutely amazing. I tried to find the designer but googling just brought back a load of geeks moaning that the costumes were not authentic because there was insufficient embroidery on the tunics, or their swords were the wrong length, or the helmets were the wrong time frame. Give me a break. They were a visual treat full of fur, leather, chain mail, and all manner of interesting designs. I loved them! But I guess to a history nerd it would be as annoying as it is to me when medical shows do silly things like have a patient on a spinal board sitting up. To each their own bĂŞte noire.

On Saturday Norm and I left home at 10.30am and headed off to collect some fresh pastries from Martins Bakery.

We then headed over to Caitlin’s flat. We bought Banting pie and rolls, croissants, muffins, fresh milk for coffees and ham for the croissants. Caitlin put out cheeses, jams, butter and other bits and made us all coffees. Her friend Carmel was down from Johannesburg so it was nice to see her. After she left Norm got busy on his handyman duties. He put up a smoke detector.

He hung up 3 photographs and two mirrors in her bedroom.

The cats kept a close eye on things.

After he finished what she needed done we headed off to Constantia to the shops. We then came home to drop our shopping.

Around 4pm we headed out to Zur Holzbucht to pop in and have a drink to celebrate my friend Annie’s birthday.

There were a few people there whom we already knew and we met a few other interesting people. It was a lovely sunny day and we were seated out in the beer garden.

It was an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. Everyone was quite merry.

Things escalated quite rapidly.

We did not want to get stuck hanging around too long as that leads inevitably to drinking too many and Norm was driving. Later we heard there was a roadblock with a breathalyzer so I’m glad we were sensible.

We popped into the Indian Oven for a Curry on our way home.

We had saag aloo (aka spinach and potato), spinach bajees, cauliflower rice, naan bread and poppadoms. I had butter chicken and Norm had chicken korma. It was delicious.

We had a quiet night in and watched a few more episodes of The Last Kingdom.

Norm made us brunch today once we finally got out of bed.

He made cheesy scrambled eggs & bacon, he served it with some avocado and tomatoes.

We have had a somewhat lazy day with me doing admin, playing games and blogging and Norm has been working. I wanted to do some gardening (aka poking about in my pots) but it’s really warm outside so I’m lying low inside where it’s cool.

We just passed the halfway mark on the project so this week will be plugging our knowledge gaps and getting our deliverables finished and reviewed. Wish me strength as I think I’ll need it!

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxo

Hardly Strong

I was watching a series this week where a mother and daughter were having a bit of a disagreement and the mother said to the daughter ‘You think you are so strong, but it only comes off as hard.’ I have heard this myself many times, I know that I am strong. I am also hard when the occasion warrants it. I wonder what is the tipping point from one to the other? I guess I ride that fence in between the two, falling into one direction or the other depending on my need for self protection.

I had 3 days off last weekend as it was my birthday and I try to always book off work for my birthday. I think it should be illegal to have to work on your special day. Norm and I had discussed what I fancied doing weeks ago but the discussion did not stick in his head and what I planned and what we did ended up being completely different, however I was happy with the way the weekend panned out. I had asked Norm to book for the whole family to go to Hogshead as I knew that their food is a generic people pleaser and we have a few fussy eaters in our family. I had asked Norm to book for just he and I to go for a fancy lunch at La Mouette on the Sunday or even on Monday which was my actual birthday. The Hogshead somehow fell off plan completely and we ended up taking the whole family to La Mouette on Saturday night. A lovely, however pricey expedition.

Friday after I got in from work Lily arrived down from Mossel Bay. It was lovely to see her and catch up with what all is going on in her life. Josh did not come with her this visit as he has been traveling back and forth for months and just needed a bit of a rest. Friday night we just chilled at home, ordered pizzas and cozied up in front of the fire as it was quite cold again and the rain was pouring down.

Saturday morning Norm was up early as he had to take Navajo to David, the doggy chiropractor. Navajo’s ankle seems better but he has so much strain to his lower back and hips from hopping on 3 legs and hauling his weight around on his front legs. Just touching the middle of his back makes him cry. It is breaking my heart watching him struggle. However after seeing David on Saturday and the doggy physio on Monday he actually managed to pee while standing on his bad leg today, something he has not done for months. Fingers crossed he is on the road to recovery.

After Nav and Norm got back home, Norm had to quickly shower and change and he headed off to a business meeting in town where he was presenting to 2 different groups.

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❤️

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Focus on how cute he is and not my messy kitchen in the background please.

Lily and I decided to head into the village as I need to buy new eyeglasses and I needed some advice on what style suits me. I tried on dozens. I narrowed my faves to these 4.

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Help! Which ones should I choose?

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I posted this pic on both Facebook and Instagram asking for votes and I got loads of responses. Most votes seemed to be for either 1 or 3. Some people really did NOT like the red glasses, but I love red and I love cat eye glasses so I am not sure if I can be persuaded to not take them. I go back in 2 weeks for an eye exam and will decide then which ones I want. If I can get number 1 in a black frame, I will definitely take those.

After we finished at the optometrist Lily and I drove down to the Hout Bay harbour as we wanted to have a nibble and go for a walk along the harbour and pier. As we got into the car at the optometrist we were hit by a wave of stench. We have a fish processing plant in our village and when it is in operation the entire village reeks of a horrid smell which makes you feel nauseous. We decided to drive down to the harbour and see what it was like but once there we opened our car and decided it was unbearable so we turned around and headed back into the village and settled on Deli Delish. We sat inside as the weather is so unpredictable and we hoped that meant we would not smell the stinky fish factory.

The stench had made us a bit nauseous and we were conscious that we were eating a big meal a few hours later so we decided to just have a scone and a bit of pineapple tart.

I also had an iced coffee which was divine.

After we finished we headed home to get ready for our dinner at La Mouette. Caitlin and Wes came to our place first and I opened the birthday gifts from the children. They gave me 2 gorgeous warm long cardigans and a low carb cook book.

Wes gave me a bunch of lilies which are my fave flowers, they will last ages and look gorgeous as they bloom.

We had a photo shoot on the balcony outside our bedroom before we left. (Ummm what is going on with my one weird skew boob?!)

We then all drove together into the city in my car and were lucky enough to get parked right by the venue. We asked the doorman to take a pic of all of us outside on the patio on our way in.

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My lovely family @TeamLaMouette

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We were seated in a cozy corner booth with lots of room to stretch out. We were treated to a gorgeous glass of champagne as we were handed our menus. The champers was compliments of our host Mari. Such a thoughtful gesture!

They served us with 2 different types of home made bread and a bowl of warm dipping sauce. The sauce was made up of garlic and various gorgeous flavours in a hot beef fat broth. Sounds odd but it was very tasty, smoky and meaty.

We all decided to go for the Winter Tasting Menu which is R295 for 5 courses.

To kick off, the table was served some ‘snacks’ which were described as:

  • Mushroom gyoza, fermented cabbage and apple slaw
  • Truffle and cheese croquettes, roasted garlic aioli
  • Crispy beef short rib bao, pickled cucumber, crispy onion and chipotle mayonnaise.

These were all fabulous! The cheese croquettes are always a favourite and a meal at La Mouette would be incomplete without them. We all moaned with happiness while devouring them. The bao was rich and meaty, really gorgeous flavours. The gyoza was divine as well and I am not really a fan of the texture of dumplings, but the gorgeous flavours made up for the texture.

Next came the leek and potato soup described as ‘Smoked mash, leek oil, ash and veloutĂ©’. This was served with a bit of theatre. First they brought out a bowl with a pile of fine mash with a glistening puddle of leek oil sitting in the centre.

Then they bring around a little container and pour on the creamy soup which you then stir all together.

The soup has such flavour and I loved the way that they presented it.

For the next course you had a choice of either spicy vegetable kofta:
Cauliflower crumble, green tea and parmesan oats cracker. Norm chose this and he said it was tasty and he enjoyed it.

The other choice was the West coast mussels: Curry, compressed apple, burnt chard and onion bhaji powder. All of us except Norm had this dish. I am usually a big mussel fan, I found the delicate mussels to be a bit overwhelmed by the intense flavours of the dish. I enjoyed it but it was not my fave dish of the night.

The next course was a choice of two offerings as well, the choice that most of us went with was the cured pork belly: BBQ carrot purée, red chicory and crackling.

This was so good! The pork belly was tender and had an amazing flavour. The crackling was thin as paper and ever so crunchy. It was beautifully cooked. I loved this dish. I wanted to lick my plate.

The other main option was Herb gnocchi: Parmesan crème fraîche, pickle butternut purée, mushrooms and sorrel. Caitlin had this and she seemed to enjoy it and ate it all up quick sticks.

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Herb gnocchi

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Dessert was lemon meringue:
Mascarpone, lemon leaf snow and wood sorrel. Ohhhhh yummy yum yum. Lemon meringue is one of my fave desserts and this one did not disappoint. It had such flavour. I loved it.

After we finished and asked for the bill we were served some of their homemade macarons. I missed the description but I thought I could taste passionfruit, but the girls thought they were blueberry! Whatever the flavour they were oh so good.

They made our tongues blue but our already full tummies even happier!

We had a lovely evening and Lily drove us home as she was our designated sober driver.

In the middle of the night that night the house alarm went off and Norm looked all around the house to see if he could see anything out of the ordinary but assumed it was just the wind and we eventually went back to sleep.

Sunday we were all up early as always, it is impossible to lie in with a houseful of hungry beasties. Norm went down to the kitchen to feed them and discovered a bird with an injured wing. It was a tiny little bird and Lola had obviously been torturing it and had damaged his wing. Norm caught him and took him down to the green and released him, I am telling myself that he recovered and is now fine.

Then today when I was coming home from work I saw a guinea fowl running frantically along the side of the road and then noticed that there was a bird knocked over and dead in the road and the frantic one was trying to get to its partner. I found both of these experiences so upsetting as I love birds.

Sunday morning Lily and I sat in the sun on the balcony drinking coffee and enjoying the nice change in weather.

The dogs hung out with us as they are always happy to be outside.

Lily had a long drive ahead and so she showered and packed up and headed home late morning. It was so lovely having her here.

Norm and I decided to go out for lunch later that day and headed across Chapman’s Peak toward Jake’s. It is the most stunning drive.

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Road trippin ❤️ #ChapmansPeak

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We were given a fabulous table in a spot of sunshine right by the door so we also caught a bit of fresh air.

I wore one of my new cardigans and it was lovely and toasty warm.

They had a different guy singing than the previous time we were there but we really enjoyed him, he had a great voice. He sang some great tunes and had a wide variety, he did Under the Bridge by RHCP and even King of the Road by Roger Miller which always reminds me of my grandmother.

Norm chose the fish and chips. It was beautifully presented but the fish was undercooked and full of bones. Norm never complains at a restaurant but he actually called over the manager and showed him the raw gooey dough and the piles of bones. The manager said we were the 3rd to complain about the fish that day and I wondered why did he not pull it off the menu? However the manager was very nice and apologetic and took the fish off of the bill.

I chose the Tasting Platter as I fancied picky things. It had panko prawns, yunan ribs, chili poppers, chicken pot stickers and parma ham and cheese balls. I had expected cheese croquettes but these were cold, spicy cheese balls, filled with a soft cheese and were not cooked. They were tasty but just not what I expected. The rest of it was very nice.

Norm felt deprived after his unsatisfactory meal and so we both ordered the Chocolate fudge brownie for dessert described as ‘white, milk and dark chocolate, bar one chocolate sauce and ice cream.

However only 1 portion arrived so we just shared it.

As an American I have high standards when it comes to brownies. Don’t give me a dry ass piece of cake, shove a nut in it and call it a brownie. I think the sauce was not made from a bar one but other than that I have no complaints. The brownie was moist and full of yummy chocolate chunks and was really good. I will be having this every time I visit Jake’s.

We drove the long way home and it had started raining while we were at Jake’s and it became a torrent of rain and it is a very windy road so we made our way slowly. We stopped off and did a little shop of bits and pieces and then headed home and built a big fire to stave off the freezing cold.

The next morning Norm gave me his gift as he had saved it for Monday as he wanted me to have something to open on my actual birthday. I badly needed a new handbag as mine was literally falling apart. He chose this one as it has a separate removable section for containing my iPad. It is simple and elegant, I love it.

Norm had to go to a meeting for work early that morning so he dropped me off about 10 at Cait’s. First we popped into Martins Bakery which is right by Caitlin’s flat. It is owned by Wes’ aunt and uncle so I am always happy to support them. The fact that they make such nice food is a bonus! I bought some donuts and muffins and we headed to Caitlin’s. We had a coffee and a pastry and then we headed to Kalk Bay. I have always loved Kalk Bay, it is a special little place. We parked at one end of the village.

We walked along the main road, hitting all of the cute quirky shops. We trawled through the china shop and realised that it used to be a tattoo parlour and this is where Caitlin and Trevor  got their first tat, we all 3 had one done there together about 12 years ago. Here is a throwback pic of me getting mine.

Caitlin bought some little china figurines to go into her printer tray and some other items and I bought a cowboy hat as mine is falling apart.

We shopped until we were exhausted and hungry and we headed off to Live Bait to see if we could get a table and we were in luck! We were given a lovely table right by the window overlooking the pier.

We settled in and ordered a drink and some lunch.

We both ordered the prawns which came with chips, rice or salad. I chose chips and Caitlin chose salad.

The prawns were perfectly cooked and were ever so tasty. We both loved this dish and scarfed every bite. They were in a buttery, slightly spicy sauce. The chips were home made and delicious.

After we finished eating we went for a walk down the pier to help with our digestion. The wind was howling!

We walked down to the lighthouse and back.

After our walk we stopped for an ice cream at the Ice Cafe as Kalk Bay is infamous for their ice cream. We walked along the road munching and staring at the sea and then when we finished we headed back to Hout Bay.

Caitlin dropped me off at Retha’s so that she and I could have a birthday drink together. Retha gave me Pierre’s steam punk hat for our dress up box which I put on so that I would not forget it. The kitties seemed perplexed by it all.

Norm came to collect me and when we got home I discovered that Trevor and Amber had sent me some Ferrero Rocher chocolates and a stunning bouquet of flowers.

Norm had bought a chocolate brownie to stick a candle in so that he could sing to me and wish me happy birthday. I made a wish that my ex-husband has good results from his biopsy this week. As I made the wish and blew out the candle I smugly thought ‘how virtuous of me to use my wish for the good of my children’ and the candle relit!!! I looked at Norm and he said ‘that means you get an extra wish’ and so I wished another wish. I thought that was a rather spooky experience. But I won’t look my gift wish in the mouth.

I really feel self indulgent wishing for anything as I have all that I could ever hope for – a roof over my head, an interesting career, a lovely family, a loving, handsome husband and wonderful children. I wish there was more money and less crime and that my mother lived closer and then my life would be perfect, but then who ever expects perfection? Even a Virgo would never be that greedy.

I am so blessed.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0x0

 

The Kitten Whisperer

 

This has been another week of turmoil in South Africa. There have been protests over a few different things. Rumours are that there is another taxi strike planned for tomorrow. I will drive around the village rather than risk getting trapped like last time.

Last Wednesday there was a protest against Gender Based Violence held in various towns in SA. It was an Intersectional Women’s March and included in this protest were people protesting the violence done against all women, inclusive of all non-gender conforming people, the LGBTI community and disabled women.

Men were not welcome in the march. There are people of all genders who perpetrate and experience intimate partner and or sexual violence, however men are most often the perpetrators and women and children the victims. Despite the march clearly stating that men were not welcome, until men step up and support the initiative to prevent this violence, there is minimal chance of change or success. Men need to be role models to their children, showing them by their behaviour that violence or abuse of women and children will not be tolerated in our society.

Are you aware of these statistics provided by Safer Spaces?

  • More than half of all the women murdered (56%) in 2009 were killed by an intimate male partner.
  • Between 25% and 40% of South African women have experienced sexual and/or physical intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
  • Just under 50% of women report having ever experienced emotional or economic abuse at the hands of their intimate partners in their lifetime.
  • Between 28 and 37% of adult men report having raped a woman.
  • South Africa also faces a high prevalence of gang rape.
  • Most men who rape do so for the first time as teenagers and almost all men who ever rape do so by their mid-20s.
  • There is limited research into rape targeting women who have sex with women. One study across four Southern African countries, including South Africa, found that 31.1% of women reported having experienced forced sex.
  • Male victims of rape are another under-studied group. One survey in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape found that 9.6% of men reported having experienced sexual victimisation by another man.
  • Non-partner Structural Violence is particularly common, but reporting to police is very low. One study found that one in 13 women in Gauteng had reported non-partner rape, and only one in 25 rapes had been reported to the police.

Structural violence is “where violence is built into structures, appearing as unequal power relations and, consequently, as unequal opportunities. Structural violence exists when certain groups, classes, genders or nationalities have privileged access to goods, resources and opportunities over others, and when this unequal advantage is built into the social, political and economic systems that govern their lives.” Sadly this is a leftover of apartheid and colonialism and is still prevalent in South Africa.

I think that the concept of a Blesser is reflecting these same patterns of patriarchal hierarchy and behaviours. A “blesser” in South Africa is kind of like a sugar daddy. He’s an older man who often has multiple girlfriends he lavishes with gifts, in exchange for sex and companionship. A woman allowing a man to look after her in exchange for sex. The behaviour of women culturally conditioned to not value their body and dignity due to many years of being devalued by a nation. It is heartbreaking.

The current ruling political party does little to change these statistics and despite the ANC being in power for decades, they have not done very much to improve the lives of the poor and uneducated masses in general. A few South Africans benefit greatly from their rule and most benefit not at all.

In fact some people say that not only have they not benefited the constituents in the areas where they govern on a provincial level, but they have also done their best to make the western cape ungovernable.

Many people in the outlying areas rely on trains for getting into the city for work. There has been a rash of fires on the routes going into the city with multiple fires occurring at or near the station, fires people say were deliberately started in order to cause transport chaos as it coincides with the ongoing taxi strikes. More of an attempt to cause turmoil.

This week in a shock address to the nation, President Ramaphosa officially confirmed that the ANC-led government will change the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation. That is pretty horrendous, that the president used a public broadcast to air his views but that this is being treated as a done deal without going to court.

This means that your private property – your home, business or land – could be taken away from you without payment should the government decide that it is in the public’s best interest (whatever that means!).

Meanwhile life goes on, I get up in the dark and go to work hoping I get through to my destination with no dramas.

Norm has been looking after us and trying to keep us healthy. On Monday he cooked a yummy dinner of chicken breasts wrapped in bacon, corn on the cob, green beans and baby spinach.

On Tuesday for dinner he made fishcakes, coleslaw, mashed sweet potato and baby zucchini. That was a nice change! We tend to get into a rut and eat the same old things quite often.

Work has been busy. On Wednesday I had a workshop that lasted most of the day. It exhausted me but we were off that night to Caitlin for dinner so I perked myself up and off we went after work.

When we arrived at her flat we went in to look at her new bathroom cupboard which Norm was going to sort the handles for. While we were in there her boy cat Scout kept going into his litter box. Caitlin said ‘I think he is a bit constipated’ and without thinking I said ‘I think he has a bladder infection and we need to read about it as it can be dangerous for boy cats as they can get crystals in their urethra’. As I have never had any issues with a cat having a bladder infection or crystals I have no idea where this information came from. It kind of startled me that I said it! We then googled it and read that a bladder blockage can be fatal for a male cat and then I rang the 24 hour vet who said she must take him in that evening rather than wait overnight. Caitlin was so grateful that I was there that very night and that I directed her to the vet as she would never even have noticed his behaviour most likely.

Another of my healing whisperer moments. I am no longer questioning them. My hairdresser is Christian and she also gets The Voice and she said that she treats it as the voice of the holy spirit. I have decided to treat it as The Voice of the Great Spirit. I am still learning how to deal with this gift.

Caitlin had already made our dinner of delicious chicken curry and cauliflower rice so we quickly had dinner.

Cait then popped Scout into his carrier and shot off to the vet and Norm and I went home. Scout is still not completely well, his bladder is very inflamed. We would be happy for any prayers and healing you can send him if you are so inclined.

Driving into work on Thursday morning I had loads of police cars passing me, I think they are visibly policing to deter the taxi violence. There were rumours of a protest by the Khoisan over fishing rights being planned, but I did not hear of any evidence of it happening.

On Thursday there were lots of helicopters flying over Chapman’s Peak and we read later that they were searching for the body of the missing woman who was last seen there and had not returned home. They found her body so at least the family have some closure, I do hope it was not suicide but the rumours are that was exactly what transpired. So sad for her family regardless of how she died.

We had another long workshop on Thursday which I was facilitating and mid-workshop the fire alarm went off and we all evacuated. I took my laptop as it is my own, not my company’s. It was so hot and we were standing in the direct sun and I was wearing a giant woolly jumper and boiling with heat. After we were allowed in I ran up the 3 flights to our meeting room, wearing said jumper and carrying my laptop. I thought I might keel over by the time I got back and then had to quickly recover and start leading the meeting again.

Thursday night Norm had a meeting and had cooked chili con carne for us so I ate while he was out. He is getting to be as good at making chili as I am. I was very impressed.

Friday after work I had a hair appointment so I finished work at 3pm. I was home about 6pm and by then Lily and Josh had arrived at our place for the weekend. We let them choose the take away and as Josh was racing on Saturday they opted for Cassarechio so Josh could carbo load. We had a night relaxing and watching serial killer or murder TV shows as Lily loves that as much as I do.

Her and Josh were up and away early on Saturday and I was off to take Pixie to see David the doggy Chiropractor in Noordhoek. I rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth, gulped a coffee and threw on some clothes without showering. I would just get full of dog hair anyway.

When I left there was a wee french bulldog who was waiting to be treated and he had such an awkward gait, I felt so sad for him. There was a dachshund being treated while we were waiting our turn and David said the dog was paralysed when he started treating her. He is a miracle worker. He has transformed Pixie’s life.

After I got home I showered and Norm and I headed off to meet our friend Annette for lunch.

She moved to Johannesburg a few years ago. I was so excited when she said she could see us.

I brought Norm along but we barely let him get a word in edgewise.

We met at The Lookout Deck which is at the harbour in my village.

It is so beautiful there even on an overcast gloomy day.

They had a special on for 1/2 a kilo of prawns with either chips or rice for R165. It sounded nice and both Annette and I ordered it.

The prawns peeled easily, were moist and full of flavour. We both got stuck in and covered in sauce and made the most of it. Yummy. Norm had the hake and chips and ate every bite.

We all fancied a sweet and ordered dessert. Annette had the creme brulee, Norm had the baked cheesecake and I had the chocolate nut sundae which was massive! I love soft serve ice cream and ate it all though!

We spent most of the afternoon there catching up and then Annette went home to spend her last evening in Cape Town with her son and daughter in law.

When we were chilling out that evening in front of a big fire, Norm heard of an issue on the radio, strapped on his bullet proof vest and headed out with the Neighbourhood Watch group as there were 6 men seen trying to enter a property. That has become a normal part of our lives as it happens several times a week. It is a strange way to live but it is necessary to help in the defense of our neighbours and boundaries.

Norm has just left now to go to another attempted break in.

Today we have been very lazy, Josh and Lily drove home and we built a big fire and have been snuggled up with me writing and Norm working until when he had to go out on the call.

I am delighted to read today that Patricia De Lille has finally resigned and the DA can start to move forward in a positive manner.

Navajo sees the doggy physiotherapist on Tuesday and hopefully she can help him with his gamey leg. Hopefully Scout improves as well and both of our babies feel some relief. I have a 4 day week at work and all manner of fun things planned which I will tell you about next time.

I wish you all a great week ahead. Until next time….

Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0

More That Binds Than Tears Apart

I recently heard on the radio that there is indeed such a thing as Man Flu. Apparently there is research which proves that men are more incapacitated by illness than women. That is the good news for you dudes lolling about clutching your tissues and Vitamin C and suffering with a case of severe helplessness. The bad news is that the reason you are so helpless is that men are the weaker sex. Women may tend to be weaker physically due to their size and musculature, but we are superior in every other way.

Hey, don’t blame me, it has been validated by science.

Dr. Kyle Sue, a medical professor at a Canadian university performed the analysis. Several studies he cited suggest that female mice have stronger immune systems than their male counterparts, and that gender hormones have a direct effect on the immune system.

A 2013 study from Stanford University found that women’s antibodies tend to respond more rapidly to an injection of the flu virus than men’s antibodies. The study also found that men with higher testosterone levels tended to have the weakest antibody response. As a result, the study suggests that testosterone suppresses the immune system, while estrogen boosts it.

This explains why the flu has decimated me and had such a strong effect. Menopause results in a decrease in estrogen and an increase in testosterone. I often joke that I have more testosterone than most blokes, based on my hirsutism and aggressive, snarky personality. Apparently this may be true.

I started feeling dodgy weekend before last and by the following Wednesday it was coming on thick and fast. I still made it to work that Thursday and Friday but on Friday I was not fit for thinking much less working and after our morning meeting I came home and went straight to bed. I spent Saturday in bed popping every medication possible in the hopes that I was well enough to attend my friend Melanie’s 50th birthday party which was last Saturday night, however it was not to be. I was feeling like death that night and knew I was in no state to be partying much less did I want to go and spread my germs and create some sort of epidemic. On Sunday I was due to go drumming but I was not fit for that either. I took both Monday and Tuesday off of work and barely left my bed for 4 days. Wednesday I worked from home but I did not make it for a full day, I crashed in the afternoon.

I had plenty of company, Lola never left my side and Panda popped in and out depending on how cold he was and where his beloved Daddy was at the time.

Norm brought me breakfast and lunch in bed.

I got up to go downstairs for dinner if only to give my back a bit of a rest. Norm has been cooking healthy banting meals most of the time. This was various squash, sweet potato and roast pork.

He made a delicious beef and bean curry with cauliflower rice and poppadoms.

He built a roaring fire each night, wrapped me up in furry blankets and settled me in with a tray.

Tonight he made fillet steak, perfectly pink inside yet crusty outside, exactly the way I like it. The man now has a meat thermometer FFS. He is Jamie Oliver in a kilt. He boiled sweet potatoes, fried red cabbage in balsamic and butter and steamed some mixed broccoli, green beans and zucchini. It was simple yet delicious.

He has been so good to me. I could not have coped without him as the congestion was making my vertigo worse so my head was spinning like a top. I walked like a crab for a few days, skittering sideways, holding onto the wall and bumping into things due to my dizziness. It was like drinking a bottle of wine without the happy part.

Thursday I went back into the office and then also worked Friday and today. After work today I finally gave up and went to my GP. He listened to my lungs and my cough and decided I have a chest infection and he has put me on antibiotics.

We did venture out of our nest for a wee bit on Saturday night as we were invited out to our friend Helen’s birthday celebrations at Quentin’s which is just up the road. We said that if it was the UK then one of the restaurants in that area would be our local and we would walk there, however to do that here in SA would require risking our lives. In fact, when Helen and her friend drove home from dinner that night about midnight they had giant rocks thrown at their cars and a lot of damage was done. They were driving past the township at the police station when it occurred.

Yes. This happened right opposite the police station.

Welcome to Africa.

If that was the UK there would be manned CCTV in place and if that horror did occur it would be nipped in the bud immediately instead of happening to at least 4 other people that night according to the number of posts from the victims.

It was a dreadful end to a lovely evening. There were about 20 or more of us and we had two tables. It’s a lovely venue and the winter special is on.

I chose the avocado ritz to start.

It was nicely done, the avocado was ripe but firm, the prawns were fresh and perfectly cooked and the sauce was light and nice.

For my main course I chose the Roast Loin of Kingklip. It was all Banting which was nice as my dessert definitely wasn’t!

The fish was perfectly cooked, very firm in texture. The sauce was lovely and the spinach was tasty.

For dessert I chose the dark chocolate pudding. I was so eager to tuck in I didn’t snap a pic. Oops. It was so rich and decadent. I would have liked a bit of ice cream to cut through the richness of the chocolate but it was really creamy and gooey and lovely.

We didn’t last very late we were home about 11pm. We were one of the first to go but I was still feeling a bit rough. Norm snapped a pic of Helen and I on our way home.

On Sunday Norm just picked up a roast chicken and made some salads for a late lunch. My friend Retha popped round for a few minutes and had lunch with us. Norm and I spent the rest of the day snuggled up on the settee watching movies. We built a big fire and the critters all gathered round.

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Lazy Sundays ❤️

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One thing about being ill was that I watched a lot of Netflix. When I watch on my own I try to find things I know Norm will not enjoy and as a result I chose a documentary series called “The Keepers“. It is a heart-wrenching series and for any other survivors of sexual abuse, there are triggers galore in this story. I found it a very difficult yet riveting story to watch. Like a train smash.

It is based in Baltimore Maryland in the USA and it tells the story of years of sexual abuse and deviant behaviour by several Catholic priests charged with the care of children. It is revealed that not only did the nuns and various other people at the schools or churches know about the abuse, but so did the Baltimore Diocese who chose to rather cover up the abuse than to deal with the issue of negligence in their duty of care. In fact, after the abuse was reported in the ’60’s by an altar boy who was attending St. Clement Parish, Father Maskell was removed from the parish and put in charge of looking after young girls at Archbishop Keough High School which was a girls only convent school. This gave Maskell and his colleagues free rein to abuse these girls in some horrific ways. They even brought in other pedophiles to be serviced by the girls in the priest’s offices on the school grounds. The girls all remembered that they were raped by police officers and various other men and that even Dr. Christian Richter, a local gynecologist colluded in the abuse. Maskell was also chaplain for the Baltimore police department during that time and he was good friends with the police chief at the time. Maskell’s brother was a police officer. The breadth of the cover up reaches right to the level of at least a Bishop and goes down deeply into the seedy echelons of the people who worked as police, those who had a duty to serve and protect the community.

There were several murders which have been linked to the perpetrators of the sexual abuse, one was the death of a nun, Sister Cathy, who knew about the abuse and was thought to have confronted the abusers and was subsequently murdered. The other death was a woman who resembled the nun. There are other rumors of deaths which people now think could be related to Maskell and his deviancy. None of them have been solved.

One of the ‘girls’ who seemed to have been a particularly favoured target of their abuse has since recovered many of her suppressed memories about that time and even recovered a memory of Maskell taking her to view the body of Sister Cathy. This victim had gone to Cathy to ask for help in dealing with the abuse. The priest had told her when he took her to see the body that if she told anyone else about the abuse she would end up in the same situation as Sister Cathy.

The concept of Recovered Memories was quite new at the time the 2 survivors had taken their case to court. This as well as the long period of time between the abuse and the charges was used as a means to suppress the case. There should be no statute of limitations on abuse of a child.

The church representatives tormented the witnesses and tried to diminish and intimidate them. In the end the church and the courts colluded to stop the case going forward to trial. No one has been prosecuted for the death of the two women nor the dozens of sexual abuse victims who came forward. The Church has subsequently paid off several of the surviving victims of the abuse who incriminated Father Maskell. They call it compensation but we all know it was guilt money which they hoped would make it all go away.

They don’t realise it is never about the money.

The #MeToo movement has empowered many victims to come forward. Many of these people were victimized decades ago but have not come forward for various reasons. Many victims repress all memory of the abuse.

I did not remember being abused as a small child until many years later when I was a mother myself. An episode of trauma triggered all of the memories to rush in just after Trevor was born. It all came hurtling back. I fully believe that our minds can restrict us ‘viewing’ information which we are unable to process or endure. Complete escapism. It’s a survival mechanism.

I was in a conversation the other day with 2 other women. All three of us are survivors of an abusive first marriage. We all found it hard to believe as we are all really forthright almost bolshy women. I know that my past is why I am who I am. I am a survivor. I know that whatever life throws my way cannot be worse than the things I have already made it through. This gives me a sense of bravery I might not otherwise feel.

I have a strong bond with the underdog and my kids call me Mama Bear. Woe betide anyone who messes with my children. Even though my eldest is 6’6″ and just turned 32 this week I still feel protective over him. At some point I’ll have to hand over that baton I guess! For now I am happy being Mama Bear.

We are hoping Norm hears some good news about his ongoing visa dramas this week, so we will appreciate any good vibes you can send our way.

Until next time, kisses from the Kitten xoxoxox

Launch of the Season

Even though it is not quite December, the season seems to be fully launched. The week flew by and it was the weekend again before I caught my breath.

On Thursday night we had a work function in the city centre. I left my office in Mowbray promptly at 3pm and shot off to Hout Bay to leave my car at home and then Norm kindly drove me in so I could have a drink. The traffic was insane! The function was at The Park Inn at the Foreshore. They have a roof top bar and restaurant called Harald’s Bar and Terrace. The view of Table Mountain is spectacular from there.

haralds.jpg

It was a bit overcast and at one stage the dark clouds rolled over the mountain and we actually got rained on and had to dash inside for cover.

haralds clouds.jpg

Our lovely office manager Tamarin and I raced off to the bar when it started to drizzle.

tamarin

I got a lift home with my colleague Darren so I did not stay terribly long. As it was a work night I kept to single vodkas and avoided the deadly wine. As a result I was able to function on Friday at work without too much pain, just a bit of tiredness.

As Norm and Josh were home alone Norm bravely decided to make low carb spaghetti bolognaise. I sent him brief instructions and he managed it all on his own. It was delicious. We had been given tidbits to nibble at the work function so I did not have any that night, but I did take some to work the next day.

spagbol

On Friday afternoon Norm messaged me to say that a truck had rolled over on Rhodes Drive. I did not think much of it until hours later on my drive home when I came up on a long queue of traffic. There was a traffic cop redirecting everyone. A cement truck had rolled over onto a car. Luckily (and unbelievably) no one was killed.

cement truck

Photo credit.

We were all redirected back onto the motorway and then eventually we could drive the long way around and get home but it added a while onto the journey, not what anyone wants on a hot sunny Friday afternoon. But I guess it is better than being under a cement truck! #Winning

Norm and I decided to just get a take away for dinner that night as it was hot and we were both rather tired. I had been going to go out with Retha for her birthday but her plans changed and quite frankly I was happy with having a night at home.

Norm popped down to Indian Oven, our local Indian food take away spot.

We started with a shared order of Spinach bhajees.

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I had my usual prawn curry but it was a bit spicier than usual, it was still divine. We also shared an order of saag aloo which is cubes of potato cooked in pureed spinach. It is so tasty.

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We had a quiet cozy evening in. The dogs were being ridiculously cute. Pixie was chasing Navajo around and nipping at him. He would jump on the sofa with her ball in his mouth and she was then unable to reach him. Then he would jump down and run around the sofa with her in hot pursuit growling and yipping at him.

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I woke up early on Saturday as Pixie had an appointment in Noordhoek at the doggy Chiropractor.

It is such a stunning drive.

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We were lucky with the traffic and arrived early.

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Lucky for us he had a no show so we got to go in early and so we finished earlier than planned.

I was meeting the George Escapees NoBooksNOurBookClub members for lunch at 12. We have all been friends for about 25 years and meet up whenever we are all in Cape Town.

We were booked at Bistro 1682 at Steenberg Farm. Janine had already nabbed a table outside in the shade by the time I arrived.

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We had to wait about 30 minutes for Nicola who was late.

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The waiter helpfully suggested that she might be lost until I told him she actually lives on the estate! She had an exhausting week and after getting dressed had sat down for a second to just rest her eyes and fell asleep.

Oops.

We forgave her.

The menu at Bistro 1682 is mostly a Tapas based menu so we all decided to choose 2 starters. They do have main courses but it was a hot day and it was a bit too much to try and gnaw through a steak or something large and heavy.

I chose the Baby Patagonian Calamari for R92 which was described as: Avo pulp, tomato & jalapeno jam, aioli, coriander salsa. I loved the little phyllo pastry basket in the middle to add a bit of visual interest.

This was perfection! The tangy sauce and the coriander all joined together to create a celebration in my mouth.

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For my next course I chose their version of a “Caesar” Salad for R94. It was described as ‘Parma Ham, white anchovies, artichokes, marinated peppers, cos lettuce,
soft quail egg, curry oil’.

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Now regular readers know how calling a salad a Caesar just because someone chucked on some ‘Caesar dressing’ is a good way to wind me up. This one was adequately described so I did not really expect a proper Caesar. I found it a bit heavy on the dressing and not very much like a Caesar at all other than the anchovies. But it was tasty enough. I just found all of the sauces combined a bit overwhelming for what should be a delicate salad.

I did not take a snap of the menu on the day and the online menu only has this dessert dish which sounds vaguely like it could be what I ordered: Dark Chocolate Marquise R82 Raspberry Ice Cream, Chocolate Soil, Orange Foam, Chocolate Cigar.

However I do not see any raspberry ice cream or a chocolate cigar on my plate below, do you? Who knows what I ate but I can tell you I would have it again and again!

It was divine!!

Whatever it was.

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We did not stay out terribly late as Nicola was going to the Johnny Clegg concert so we wrapped it up about 2.30 and I rang for Norm to collect me.

We went home and pottered about getting ready for the open house on Sunday. That evening we had planned on going out for dinner but we decided rather to stay in and continue to get things ready for the show house.

Norm went to the fish and chip shop and bought calamari, prawns and fish then he went to the Thai place next door and bought salads. We split it all and had a rather delicious (low’er’ carb) dinner and did not miss the chips at all.

fish

On Sunday we got up and got moving with the cleaning and sorting of the house. I had a wander around the garden and decided to dead head my strelitzia. It was looking a bit straggly. (It is also known as a Bird of Paradise due to the bird like blooms.)

I got into the midst of it and tried to avoid losing an eye to the sharp leaves. I cut out quite a lot of dead growth.

Left pic is after, upper right before.

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Unfortunately I forgot that I am old and rather unfit and I put my back out due to all the contortions to avoid eye loss. I was in agony and this meant Norm had to do all of the rest of the show day preparation on his own. Not that I do much at the best of times, but still. I usually at least pretend to help.

I hobbled about until 3pm when the estate agent arrived then I took her on a tour so she knew where things were and what to promote to any potential sellers.

Then we bundled all of the dogs into Norm’s car and headed off to Deli Delish as they were so welcoming to us and the dogs when we went the last time. It was a terribly windy day and so we sat out on the patio area. This time Panda insisted on sitting in Daddy’s lap.

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We were both ravenous as it was 3pm and we had not had anything except coffees. As it was so warm I opted for a salad and had the soy-sesame chicken salad. It was OK but there was a bit too much sauce for me.

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Norm opted for breakfast.

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We even indulged in dessert and I had a piece of Pineapple tart.

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After we finished we popped over to drop off Retha’s birthday present. I gave her a voucher for Skin in Hout Bay so she can treat herself to a pedi or something nice. Norm took the dogs for a walk and I hung out with Retha, Paola and Philip chatting for a bit.

Just around 5pm Norm headed home to relieve the estate agent but I stayed a bit longer chatting.

I am still hobbling about with my back pain. Norm treated us to a lovely dinner last night, he made fillet steaks, veggies and roast pumpkin.

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There is nothing quite so nice as having someone look after you when you are not quite feeling yourself. I am very blessed.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox