Rain Angels

We have had quite a bit of rain this week. It rained lots on both Tuesday and Wednesday. My rain fairies were looking out for me. When I left home on Tuesday it was raining quite a bit and it was really dark so I struggled to see to navigate on my drive in. When I got into the city and parked up, it stopped raining while I walked in and as I settled in with a coffee the heavens opened and it poured again! It then slowed a bit and around 3pm a colleague said it was just about to pour again and so I left work. When I went outside it wasn’t raining at all, but by the time I went a few blocks it was drizzling and as I got into the car it poured again. The same thing happened on Wednesday so I avoided frizzy hair and working in damp clothes but the dams got filled a bit, a win win all around in my eyes.

On Monday after work I had Vanessa come around to give me a pedicure. The dogs love her so much and go a bit mad when she arrives.

Vanessa always tells me such interesting tales. I asked her what she knew about the delivery truck that crashed in Hangberg and she said that it was due to a truck’s brakes failing and the truck then ran over an old man who was standing outside his shack and was unaware of the out of control truck. Vanessa said that the community beat the truck driver for hitting and killing the pensioner and that they also robbed the elderly victim as he lay dying. I found this confusing to exact justice for his death yet to have such little respect for the man to rob him! Shocking.

That night Norm made us the delicious Cauliflower ‘Mac’ and cheese dish we love and topped it with crispy bacon.

Another night he made a dish from the same recipe site. Buffalo Ranch Stuffed Chicken.

He made sweet potato fries in the air fryer and steamed broccoli drizzled with lemon juice. He forgot to drizzle the chicken with the ranch dressing before serving it but it was yummy and a nice change.

With the cold rainy weather we just snuggled up and had cozy evenings in watching Netflix. We finished watching ‘What If‘.

I absolutely loved this series! I enjoyed the intrigue and tension and it kept my full attention. I found Rene Zellweger a bit affected but I still give it 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Norm took Pixie to the vet this week as she is having another skin reaction and she now has 2 different shampoos that we have to wash her in.

Lily came down on Thursday night as she had an early appointment on Friday morning at the American consulate to renew her passport. She and Norm gave Pixie her skin treatments and Pix seems less itchy.

Norm bought the ingredients for tacos and Lily and I made beef tacos and refried beans. It was all delicious.

Lola sat at the table with us so politely.

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Where’s my plate? #cat #kitty #Lola

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After dinner we made a big fire and snuggled in.

It was still freezing cold on Friday night so we decided against going out to dinner so we decided to try Nippon Sushi for Chinese food. Norm has said he will never go back as he was so annoyed by the service. He was told it would take 20 minutes when he placed the order. He went to the shops and then went next door to have a glass of wine. He went back after 30 minutes only to be told it would take an additional 20 more minutes. He was exasperated. The food was good but it was no better than the food at Blue Lotus who are quick.

We watched RuPaul and messed about. Lily downloaded an app that turns you into an anime character. Pretty cute heh?

On Saturday the girls had booked to take me to lunch but I had forgotten that I had a hair appointment in the city. I was up and out early and found easy parking as the city was quiet. We decided to lighten the hair around my face as my grey is annoying me. We also moved my parting to see if that helps. Leandra also gave me a different cut.

I stopped by the shop and got a roast chicken and salads for lunch. Later that afternoon Caitlin came around. Caitlin is creating the website for Lily and Josh’s wedding invites. The girls reviewed it and made some changes and then that evening we went to Papino’s for dinner. We all ordered fillet steaks and I also ordered some mushrooms and onion rings for the table.

I had Portuguese chips, Norm had fries and the girls had mash. It was all delicious. I was a bit annoyed when the waitress told me they were out of vodka. Especially as there was a shop next door. But the food was great and I give mine 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It was lovely to have both my girls here with us.

Caitlin came back to the house for a bit then headed home late that night. Last night the alarm kept tripping and it woke us up several times. The rain has gotten into the gate motor so we have had to bypass one of our circuits until the electrician can come next week. It keeps tripping and is causing all sorts of issues.

Today we had a lazy morning until Lily had to drive back home. I was supposed to go to drumming but I did not want to miss any time with Lily so decided to stay home. We sat out on the balcony drinking coffee and enjoying the warm weather we awoke today.

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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Offensive Defensiveness

This week we had news of a very significant arrest by SAPS (The South African Police Service) which I hope makes for a bit of peace in Hout Bay.

Official announcement from the Office of the Station Commander of Hout Bay SAPS: “On Wednesday, 22 of May 2019 at approx. 01:00 Hout Bay SAPS members led by the Station Commander, Lt Col Nebhisi searched several houses in Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu for known suspects. Four suspects aged between 25 and 31 were arrested for violent crimes committed in Hout Bay. The suspects will be linked with other cases, including Robbery, Robbery with a firearm, House Robbery, theft and a case of Firearm control Act. Cellular phones and an imitation firearm were also confiscated. Currently photo identity parades are being conducted to link the suspects with cases that occurred in the last six month that contributed to the crime escalating in Hout Bay. Suspects names cannot be made public at this point as they have not made their plea at court. The suspects will appear in the Wynberg Magistrate court on Friday, 24 of May 2019 on the mentioned charges.”

Two other suspects had already been arrested after a recent chase following a car theft.

The 4 suspects appeared in court on Friday and were also remanded in custody for a bail hearing on 12 June 2019, so in all 6 well known criminals will be behind bars until 12 June for their bail hearings.

This lot of bad boys are assumed to be members of the balaclava wearing gang who have been hitting houses and robbing victims in both Meadows and the Harbour. We celebrated the arrests and signed a petition to not release them on bail as there is an iterative cycle of crime, arrest, bail, crime and on and on it goes. Same criminals, different victims.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was officially sworn in this week and crime and our ineffective criminal justice system should be top of his list of issues choking our country.

I had a strange interaction this week and I was quite taken aback by how a woman spoke to a colleague. I wasn’t involved in the convo, the African man next to me was talking to an Afrikaans woman who stopped by. There was an issue with some conflicting information and this woman was so rude to my friend. He investigated and it turned out her team are responsible for maintaining this info, and we wondered if that was at the root of her defensive behavior. I couldn’t believe it. I wondered was her attitude because she is Afrikaans and he is black? Is it because she is a pay grade above and sees herself as ‘superior’ in a literal way? I then listened to the woman, and I mean reallllly listened. As in read the vibrations of her voice, not her words. I watched her body language and watched her nervous twitching.

Her arrogance was a defense mechanism. A way to deter people, put them on the back foot so they were taken aback and didn’t defend themselves, even when she was wrong. Rather defend than risk attack.

Like a small barking dog. Like our smallest Pomeranian Panda.

I even recognize that behavior in myself.

It just shows it pays to sit back and observe and try and understand the motivation for the behavior of others.

I’m just so volatile and reactive there is no time for observation or reflection until afterwards, in my post game analysis.

Lessons!

I’ve had a great weekend. Norm had a conference in Johannesburg this weekend and so he treated me to a flight to George so that I could visit my oldest and youngest children. Trevor will be 33 years old in a few days which is almost unfathomable to me! How is that possible?

Norm flew up to Johannesburg on Wednesday and so I had to keep myself and the dogs alive until Vanessa and Robyn came to stay with the dogs on the weekend. We have a dog walker as well, Charles is lovely and the dogs adore him.

I had originally booked a half day off but decided that I would take a full day off on Friday. I had to take out the bins and recycling early on Friday morning, feed the dogs their raw diet, get packed and to the chemist to pick up my meds and then I was finally off. I checked in early then went to Mugg and Bean for a quick bite to eat then went to hang out by the gate and play games on my iPad.

They do no announcements at this airport, you have to watch the signs. Luckily my gate didn’t change as they often do, and we eventually boarded a bus and were driven to the little airbus. Down came a little set of stairs and you climbed up into the tiny little cabin. The center of the aisle is very narrow and reasonably tall but the areas under the overheads are very low and due to the narrow nature of the plane you have to sort of leopard crawl or crouch to your seats. An annoying man was in the wrong seat and as a result he held up the entire queue of people trying to board as he said ‘there are plenty of seats just sit somewhere else’ to the woman whose seat he was in when she questioned him. The flight was pretty empty. There are only 3 seats in a row, two on the one side and one on the other side.

I was originally given a bulkhead seat but it had been changed at the last minute and when I got on and saw that I had two large leather seats to myself on the exit row I was happy as I had tons of space.

It’s a beautiful view.

When we landed and we went to exit there was the same man who had been delaying entry now standing in the aisle turning on his phone and faffing about. I finally shouted ‘can we get out please’ and he finally looked up and slowly shuffled off halfway into his seat so we could get off. Some people are oblivious of what is going on around them. I wanted off as I was eager to see my babies!

Lily was waiting on me when I landed in George. I collected my bag and off we went.

We went to pop into Josh’s Mom Jackie and her man Alistair’s gorgeous house for a drink. Jackie was off back to the UK on Saturday so it was such coincidence we were both in George at the same time. It was lovely to see Bronwyn and her fiancée Brendan too. We sat in the garden chatting and then Lily and I went to her house for her to change and for us to meet Trevor.

The sun was setting on the drive from George to Mossel Bay and it was quite beautiful.

We got ready for dinner and Trevor arrived to join us. I hadn’t seen him in over a year!

He is such a handsome and sweet man.

I finally got to meet Toothless, Lily’s mad feral kitten.

For dinner we went to Cafe Gannet in the Mossel Bay Harbour. We did not book and we were happy that we were given a table all on our own which was nice.

Lily had the calamari with both rice and chips. She loved it.

Trevor had the Indian Battered Hake for R140: served with fries, side salad and coconut curry sauce.

I had Asian Chicken: Chicken breast in pomme coat, tossed in spiced soy, honey, ginger & garlic glaze. Served on top of short grain rice. Accompanied with pickled red sesame cabbage. It was R165.

I loved this dish! The chicken was tender and full of flavor I would have this dish again.

My only criticism was that the cabbage was not pickled. It had barely met the vinegar. It was certainly not pickled.

But I still give this dish 4.5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

We were full but still had a sweet craving and so we chose dessert. Lily and I ordered the Chocolate Pudding which comes with your choice of ice cream and we both chose peanut butter.

Trevor ordered the apple crumble which he usually loves. He said it was ‘interesting’. He said ‘good interesting’ when I dug deeper.

Lily then went back home from the restaurant and Trevor and I drove through to the Wilderness where he and Amber live. Their house is in a lovely peaceful setting and faces a nature reserve.

Near their house is a stunning beach.

We had a relaxed evening chatting and watching telly. It was so good to just be with him.

On Saturday Lily came through to pick us up for lunch and we went to Timberlake Farm Village. We were starving and went straight to Zucchini for an early lunch. We sat outside despite the chill. It was pleasant as we were wrapped up warm.

We were in the sun which helped.

We all ordered a panini. Trevor had the Brie and gammon panini and Lily and I had the roast chicken one.

There are loads of little monkeys running around but they were too fast for a pic.

We had a leisurely meal and then we had a wander around the shops in the village. They had all sorts of things, some cute plants, lovely jewelry and charming hand bags. I could have spent a fortune. Lily bought some cute feather earrings.

We then went back to Trevor’s house and relaxed and hung out until that evening when we were going for sundowners at Upstairs at Rosie’s in Sedgefield. They have a wide view of the sea.

We chatted to the owner Rose (who is also Amber’s mom) before the crowds arrived.

Trevor ordered ribs and Lily and I both ordered a fillet steak.

We enjoyed our evening a lot!

After dinner Lily headed back home and Trevor and I went to his house.

We watched Aquaman.

I have to saw that I thought it was really rubbish, poorly acted, had a major overuse of CGI and weird voiceovers. But I watched it because my boy wanted to watch it, and well, because of Jason Momoa. He looked pretty fine.

But the film itself scores a low 2 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️

Sunday morning we had a lazy morning, then Lily came to collect us and we headed into Wilderness for brunch. We went to The Blue Olive Restaurant.

We sat outside.

Lily and I ordered the Chicken Burger with avocado, brie cheese, bacon, figs and salad on a large grilled chicken breast.

Trevor ordered the Alfredo pasta but I did not annoy him with photographing it.

There was even a busker singing nearby who wasn’t bad!

After lunch we relaxed a bit then Lily drove me through to the airport. I told her that she could just drop me and head home but as I was so early she insisted on walking me in and waiting for me to go through. I had forgotten that George airport is so tiny and now I know why the kids eye rolled so hard when I wanted to get to the airport so early. We arrived before the check in desk was even open.

We had an iced coffee and hung about chatting until I insisted Lily go home and I then went through security to the gates. I had full bottles of water in my carry on bag when I went through security in Cape Town and George and they cared not at all!

The plane was delayed and they did nothing to update or inform the passengers. The board still showed the original boarding time even though we only started boarding closer to the time when we were actually due to take off. Eventually the plane tootled into view.

The board doesn’t update but people start to drift up to queue. I hate standing in queues so I waited til most people had gone through. I had asked for the same seat I had on the trip over and when I boarded, you guessed it, there was a man sitting in my seat. I stopped, looked pointedly at the seat numbers, looked at my boarding pass and then looked stonily at him. He said ‘I can move’ and I said ‘well you ARE in my seat, sooooo’ but then I realized I didn’t really want the window seat so I said that I would take the aisle seat. Of course I only said it after he unbuckled and shuffled out into the aisle and so he had to turn around and shuffle back in. Oops.

I wish I had suggested he go to a different row as there were plenty of empty seats and he manspread his thighs so wide that I felt like I had three legs. He also kept shoving his elbow across the armrest and into my body. I let him get his arm well into the space and then I leaned hard on it. I definitely heard a bit of a grunt out of him. Good. Silly arrogant arse.

I told you I am not good with strangers.

Anyway.

We land and I collect my bag and head out to the car park. I try to pay for my parking using a credit card but it won’t accept my card. I was holding up the queue and eventually had to use cash. I had exactly R400 and parking was R395. Norm said today when he tried to pay the machine charged him twice!

I was back at work today, a bit dazed and exhausted but I was there! Norm arrived home tonight to much hysteria from the dogs.

That squeaking is from the ball in Navajo’s mouth. He stole it from Pixie because a) it is a great way of expressing excitement, b) he loves to give a gift to new arrivals and c) because he loves to annoy Pixie.

It is lovely going away, but it is just as lovely to come home. We have a quiet week planned recuperating from our excursions.

We are going to Cafe Roux on Saturday to see ‘The Rockerfellas’.

The lead singer lives in our neighborhood so we are going for that reason as the music might be a bit too rocky for us old gits.

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

Act Two

Considering that I was worried about being able to endure a full week, this week flew by! I find if you are out midweek it makes the week feel shorter.

The monotony of our week was broken up on Wednesday when we attended the Opera at the Artscape. It was organized by my friend, a lovely ex-colleague named Rob.

We left early and stopped at Col’Cacchio in the Foreshore for a quick bite. We chose them because of the proximity to the theatre and they do low carb options.

We were seated at the front by a large window.

There were only six tables of customers in that section of the restaurant and three of them had Americans sitting at them. What are the odds?

I chose the Zucchetti Verde Rosso for R95: zucchetti with chicken parmigiana. Zuchetti is zucchini made into a noodle format.

It was very tasty but I could have done with more chicken. Next time I will have a salad starter as I didn’t quite feel well fed up.

Norm had the low carb beef lasagna with brinjal (aka eggplant), bolognaise, ricotta, Italian parmesan. It was R100.

He enjoyed it.

We give our dinners 4 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

After dinner we headed off to the Artscape Opera House.

We saw the Opera ‘I Capuleti e i Montecchi’ which is based on the classic love story, ‘Romeo and Juliette’. We had a drink in the lobby prior to the show.

The opera house had a display of beautiful costumes from other versions of the opera.

It is such a beautiful opera. It was a Cape Town Opera production and they did such an amazing job.

Here is a link to a video of images from their Instagram account, hope it works!

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The young cast of rising stars and phenomenal creatives have given their all to this production of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. This eternally fascinating story of Romeo and Juliet with incredibly beautiful music opens tonight on the opera stage followed by performances on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May. Designer Michael Mitchell has done some extraordinary costume and set designs which look like renaissance paintings, it’s a visual feast. The contrast between the privileged and powerful Capulets, insurgent Montagues and the innocence of Romeo and Juliet’s ill-fated love is palpable and ultimately heart-wrenching. Tickets are between R100 and R300 to see this glorious opera with an orchestra, forty singers and superb set, costumes and lighting. Book today, link in bio! . . . . #AllThingsItalianCPT #capetownopera#music #art #classicalmusic #opera#theatre #singer #artist #operasinger#soprano #travel #fashion #teatro#concert #instagood #capetownopera#piano #style #capetown #dance#orchestra #architecture #makeup#theater #artschool #musica #priora#bhfyp #musicstudents

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Here is a clip of a version of the same opera done years ago, it begins with the scene between the priest Lorenzo and Guilietta where he persuades her to drink the sedative.

The opera was so beautiful and we were surprised to see a female actor playing the part of Romeo.

Apparently that is traditional. I thought maybe it was just the Cape Town version as it is supposed to be one of the top ‘gay capitals‘ in the world or something like that. Then we joked that the dramatic nature of Romeo and Giulietta’s relationship was just like some of our lesbian friends’.

The actress Brittany Smith played Guilietta in the show we attended, and she was beautiful and had an incredible voice. She was a pleasure to watch.

We were seated on the second row so we could see down into the orchestra pit as well. It was interesting to watch the faces of the musicians. Some of them just appeared to be doing a job, their faces lacking any animation. Some of them had such joy beaming from their faces that you could see their love of music. It gave us something to do during the set change breaks. The opera was 3 hours duration so was a bit long and tiring for a school night. But we loved it so much.

The Opera merits a full 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We had a bit of middle aged excitement this week when all of our things we had ordered for the house arrived.

We bought a new Dyson vacuum which is amazing. It is cordless so you can whiz around with it easily. It is made for managing dog hair and our house has never been cleaner. It breaks down into a little handheld version as well so you can quickly do a little bit if needed.

We also bought a Phillips Air Fryer. We tried it out the first night and used this recipe HERE. It was for pork chops and brussel sprouts. We followed the instructions in the recipe and then cooked a few minutes longer as the chops looked a bit anemic.

Norm fried halloumi in the grill pan to go with it. While we were eating the first chop we cooked the second for 15 minutes. It turned out much more golden.

They were good! I loved the sprouts. I used American mustard instead of Dijon and the maple syrup is not low carb but it was a teaspoon between us and most of it remained in the bowl where I mixed it into the sprouts. We will do this again but will cook one or the other in the fryer, the air needs to be able to circulate around the contents I think. Will keep you posted on our progress.

We also got a new bed for Navajo. He has so many issues with his back and leg and we hope it makes it softer than lying on the tiles for him.

He’s such a lovely boy.

Last Tuesday Norm cooked the low carb cauliflower cheese and bacon dish I loved so. With it we served the last of the chicken frikkadels leftover from Sunday lunch.

On Thursday night I had my usual Friday treat a day early and had sushi.

I had my usual crab salad, butterfly, salmon roses and cucumber roses with prawn on top.

It was delicious even if it contained a bit of rice and sugary mayo.

There was a horrific murder in the news in Cape Town this week and we all read in shock about the hijacking and murder of the surfer David Wolfromm. The hijackers shot him, stole the car after having thrown him bleeding into the back, then crashed the car and set it alight with him still tied up inside. That would be a horrendous way to die. From the first time I read about this murder I had a feeling that I had a connection to the victim. Even before they released his name, I felt it. Today when I went to drumming everyone was discussing David’s murder and several of the attendees had attended various memorials for him. I then realized that I had met David and his family at the song marathon I attended last August where various spiritual groups had all gathered in a giant tipi to sing and drum. People sang in many different languages and David was a follower of the South American tribe Huni Kuin or the Kaxinawá, also known as the Kashinawa who are an indigenous people of Brazil and Peru. He and a group of others sang in the native language and it was beautiful.

David seemed like a lovely happy man. He had a wife and 5 children so it is just so unfair that a good man was taken for no reason at all.

Today we did a few songs in honor of David. We sang The Wolf and we learned a new song in Huni Kuin called Eskawata Kayaway. We used shakers rather than our drum.

From what I understand the tribe does not have a written language so everything such as lyrics are just written down phonetically. I managed to find a video of a man I assume to be Huni Kuin singing the song we sang today in honor of David.

It seems odd that he doesn’t move his mouth but maybe it is cultural? At least it’s the same song and as it appears to be a rare thing to find online I am grateful I found it!

I am glad that we paid a tribute to David and maybe a bit of him will stay with our group and we may adopt this new song to add to our repertoire for the dance? It’s just so sad for his loved ones.

There were other crimes and various headlines around transport.

There were a few instances of local bus robberies in the news. A man was shot and killed on a bus into town this week. The Golden Arrow bus service has suffered more than 20 robberies on its buses in the last seven months. They say they are going to consider implementing a specialised unit targeted at dealing with crime.

The residents of Hout Bay are threatening another protest if the City of Cape Town does not deliver on their promise of adding additional buses to the existing routes to cater for the hundreds of residents who took taxis before they shut down the taxi route from Hout Bay to the City. People just stand and watch full buses not even stop because of over crowding. People are late into work and late back home to their families due to the lack of available transport.

There has also been ongoing issues about 5 hours up the coast in George near my children. The city is in the process of introducing the Go George bus service and buying out taxi routes has been full of drama with at least two assassinations, attacks on buses and numerous protests.

South Africa’s public transport system is in a shambles. You have read my many blogs about the train system, the taxi service and now the buses. I am so grateful I have a car and am not reliant on the vagaries of all the unreliable transport methods in SA.

We had a re-enactment of Caitlin’s birthday and my Mother’s Day celebrations on Friday night as Lily and Josh were down in Cape Town for a wedding.

We went to Hudson’s in Claremont on Friday for 7. I have always gone to the city branch or Green Point but Claremont was easier for Caitlin. Lily and Josh stayed with us on Friday night and we all went together in my car and arrived first.

The music was all rock and was incredibly loud. Even the kids found it loud so that opinion is not just because I am an old fart. It was deafening. You could not converse without shouting directly in someone’s ear. The table was so sticky that we asked them to wipe it but it remained sticky even after wiping and they told us it is always sticky. It was so sticky we kept the menus and put our arms and phones on them or they stuck to the table. It wasn’t a very pleasant venue and we found out that the food was far inferior to the other branches.

Norm and I both had the Original Royale.

It had onion rings, cheddar cheese, bacon and a bit of chili oil. It was R89 for the 180gram patty I had or R105 for the 250gram that Norm had.

Lily had the Shroom Burger with cheddar cheese and mushroom sauce, Josh had The Player with bacon, feta and avocado and both Caitlin and Wesley had the Tribeca Selection with 3 100g sliders: The Shroom, The Player and The Wiseguy (which has tons of chili).

You order your side dishes separately at an additional cost. I had skin on fries and bought dusted onion rings for the table to share.

The breaded rings on the burger were a bit heavy on the dough, I far preferred the dusted version.

Caitlin and Wes had truffle fries and Norm had sweet potato fries but he said they were ice cold. I ordered a vanilla milk shake and it was as thin as milk and super sweet. It was not nice. I’ve had shakes at both of the venues we normally go to and they are usually thick and delicious.

My experience at the restaurant was only nice because of the company. I give it 2 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️

After dinner we opened gifts.

Caitlin got both some cute fun gifts and some practical gifts.

She got a set of three books from me by the author Joe Abercrombie, the First Law Trilogy series.

Her dad bought her a slow cooker. Lily got her a set of cute notepads with sloths on them and a glass cutting board and a toy for her cats.

She set it up as soon as she got home and Mittens had a blast.

The kids gave me a set of painted stones. I have been wanting some of these for ages. I have set them out on the front porch.

The bird they also gave me is now flying over my succulent collection.

I love them all. I love any type of garden art.

It was lovely having my girls with us.

It was nice to see their fellas too.

We were up early on Saturday as Lily and Josh had to run some errands and then get to their friends house and get ready for the wedding and out to Stellenbosch by 2pm.

Norm took Pixie to the chiropractor in Noordhoek early in the morning and when he came home he made us cheese omelettes, bacon and avocado. I added a spoon full of onion marmalade to mine.

It was delicious. I am a lucky Kitten.

Saturday evening we decided at the last minute to go out to dinner and we headed to Constantia and managed to snag a table at the Cattle Baron.

We were seated out on the little patio area under a gas heater.

Norm ordered the 300g Chateaubriand: Fillet flambèed with brandy. Served with a Cattle Baron Bèarnaise & a mushroom sauce.

I ordered the 200g Sautéed Mushroom Fillet: Grilled beef fillet served on deep-fried rosti and topped with garlic sauteèd mushroom. It was R195.

We both had chips and shared an order of mushrooms sautéed in garlic butter. They serve a complimentary dish of mashed butternut and creamed spinach with the steaks. It was all so delicious, the steaks were both very tender and perfectly cooked.

I had the chocolate fondant with ice cream: molten chocolate cake with a crispy exterior and runny chocolate centre. It was R58.

Our meal was delicious and the service perfect so we give 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. This place is becoming my fave local steak house.

We went home and cosied up with the animals.

Panda tolerated Blue because it was so cold.

On Sunday after drumming I drove back from Marina Da Gama and collected Norm and we went for lunch at Woolworths before we did our grocery shop.

I ordered a bottle of still water and a chili omelette with bacon.

I was given sparkling water and did not notice until I took a swig. Blech who enjoys sparkling water and if you do, why do you hate yourself so much? It tastes like I imagine water tastes like when drank around a mouthful of rocks.

Then she finally brings our food and I get a few bites in wondering why I don’t taste chili when I got a mouthful full of salmon. Not what my mouth was prepared for.

Eventually a chili omelette was delivered and it was ok. It had a weird cream cheese and chive type stuffing that was a bit odd but it was ok.

But due to the long time it took to cook, the fishy first attempt and the weird cheese it gets 2 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️

Tonight Norm and I made low carb pizza, I used veggie pizza bases and topped them with mozzarella and Proscuitto.

First I baked the base for 5 minutes.

I made my own sugar free sauce from garlic, a tin of chopped tomatoes I liquidized, a small tin of tomato paste and a dash of Worcester sauce.i simmered it for about half an hour.

I topped the sauce with the ham and the cheese and baked.

It was good. Not as good as a real pizza, but for low carb it was edible.

We are wrapped up warm watching telly and listening to the pouring rain. Cape Town needs the rain.

Wishing you all a great week ahead. Until next time Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Courage over Comfort

This week we had the National and Provincial Elections in South Africa. Considering the corruption the ANC has been proven to be guilty of and how much embezzlement they have done by pilfering money from so many areas I had hopes that they might be knocked from their perch but unfortunately the masses have again voted them into power.

I think that some people continue to support the ANC because they feel that the party saved them from the horrors of apartheid. They vote out of fear that if they give another party power, things could revert back to that repression.

Contrary to the fear of SA returning to the days of apartheid I overheard several old white toppies at work yearning for ‘the old days’. They reminisced over when SA was a safe place to live, where the shops were closed on Sundays and families went to the beach and had barbecues. What they are neglecting to remember was that those beaches were restricted to white use only and the black and colored populations were banned from the beaches and so many other places where whites took their privilege for granted. You can understand how some of the Africans who lived through that horrendous time are afraid of going back to that, but conversely the ANC have done nothing in their 25 years of governing to better the lives of the majority of their constituents.

Change is badly needed in SA. Our state owned enterprises are limping along having been badly managed and plundered by corruption. There have been so many politicians who have been proven to be involved in the state capture debacles and these people need to be prosecuted. The economy is struggling and needs uplifting. I only hope that Ramaphosa can turn the country around.

I am happy that the DA party has retained control of the Western Cape at a provincial level, now that they have gotten rid of Patricia De Lille I hope that they can also turn themselves around as I think she was as corrupt as the ANC politicians.

The benefit of the election was that most of the country had the day off to allow them to vote. As I am not a citizen I cannot vote but I fully enjoyed the paid day off!

Caitlin had a bit of drama on the holiday as she had a car crash. She works for a company with a mostly American client base so she had to work. On her way in to the office she had a guy turn directly in front of her resulting in her swerving into oncoming traffic to avoid hitting him. She hit the verge in the center of the road and it caused her tire to burst. Her bumper and rims were badly damaged. Luckily she was not injured but the driver kept going and did not stop so she has to claim on her insurance and pay her deductible and it will cost her thousands.

She had assistance from several people who stopped and changed her tire for her. There must be some chivalry left! I am just so grateful she was not injured, it could have been really bad if someone had been coming in the other direction.

Road safety in SA in general is a bit dodgy. Coming home last Friday I came around a blind bend to find an articulated lorry stopped in the middle of the road with no safety cones or any warning at all. I then drove on a bit to find a man frantically trying to pick up a load of broken bricks which had obviously fallen off of the back of the lorry. The poor guy had no protection or warning signs behind him for any traffic which came upon him, he was very vulnerable. You would never have that situation in Europe. The lane would be closed while it was all cleaned up.

We have tried to stay predominately low carb this week. Norm cooked where he could.

One night he did a ‘one pan’ meal of baked chicken, roast cauliflower, broccoli and butternut.

He also boiled some sweet potato and served it all with mashed sweet potato. It was delicious.

I also cooked a few times, I made a Mexican ‘Taco Salad’ by frying mince, adding spices and then serving it on a bed of lettuce. I topped with cheese, salsa, sour cream & guacamole. It was rather yummy if I say so myself.

To go with it I attempted to make some ‘cheese’ taco shell substitutes using provolone cheese. We used to get thinly sliced provolone from Woolworths but they no longer stock this and so we bought a block and I grated it and baked it. I did not leave them in quite long enough and they were a bit chewy rather than crispy but they were OK.

The following night I used the left over spicy mince to make a chill con carne and to serve it we topped it with cheese, salsa and sour cream.

On election night we decided to go out for dinner and I was craving prawns so we went to the Lookout Deck at the Hout Bay harbour. It was a cold night and there were only a few other tables of people there.

We chose to sit out on the deck as it was cold but not too cold.

As a result of it being such a quiet night the staff in the kitchen were obviously bored as the noise they made was incredibly loud and a bit off putting.

I ordered the Prawn Pan for R198.

Norm ordered the catch of the day which was Dorado. It was a nice meaty piece of fish and he said it was nice.

We had a moment of weakness and fell off the low sugar bandwagon. We both ordered a sundae. I had the chocolate nut sundae and Norm had the caramel fudge one.

The next day I felt sluggish and my joints were killing me, it reminded me of the toxins of sugar and that it is not compatible with my chemical make up.

One night we ordered Banting pizza from Casarecchio. It has a cauliflower base so it is low carb. I had it with mexican beef, peppers and onions and it was very tasty.

On Friday night I had my usual treat of Sushi for dinner. I had Crab salad, Cucumber Roses topped with fat steamed prawns, Salmon Roses and Butterflies.

Saturday morning I slept late and Lola kept me company. In fact I woke up to her sitting on my chest and she then refused to move for hours. I had a long lie as it would have been rude to disturb her, right? #ThatsMyExcuse

It was an absolutely stunning day.

When I finally got up I discovered a dead mouse deposited right where I usually sit in the lounge. I hoped it wasn’t Lola who killed him and then came to kiss me with that mousey mouth. Bleh.

Norm made us a late breakfast and I watched the Brené Brown Netflix show ‘The Call to Courage’. She referred to this quote from Theodore Roosevelt.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I have always felt that I am courageous but I think maybe I am just aggressive and volatile. I am not at all good at being vulnerable. In fact if I feel hurt I attack. I cannot express feelings of vulnerability. I’m not very good at expressing anything except in writing actually!

Saturday night I had booked tickets to go to our fave live music venue Cafe Roux to see a performer we had never heard of, Cat Simoni. Many of her YouTube videos are a bit cheesy but this one has sound only and is a song I love, just to give you an idea of her voice.

It was a tribute to Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, James Taylor and Carole King, I chose to go as I love all of their music.

We arrived about 7 and we were shown to our favorite table.

We were quite hungry so we ordered some dinner. I chose the chicken salad which came with grilled chicken breasts, avocado, fresh Parmesan slices, toasted pine nuts, rocket and a fresh light salad dressing.

This salad was so delicious! I really enjoyed it. It had turned into a really warm day and evening after our week of cold and misty weather so a salad was the perfect choice.

Norm had the braised chicken fillet with mushroom sauce and steamed vegetables and he really enjoyed it.

We both give our food 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We settled in and waited on Cat to come on stage. Another couple were seated next to us and then shortly after that Cat came on. Usually the staff announce the performers and at the same time remind the audience that they should not talk during the performance but this time it did not happen. Maybe the couple next to us were not aware of this rule and they talked loudly throughout the entire show. The man even sang full voice along with Cat. He was out of tune and it really spoiled the evening for me, I found him so annoying!

When I wanted to confront him Norm reminded me of all of the concerts where I have misbehaved. I threw a girl across the tent at George Ezra and shoved a woman so hard I nearly chucked her off of the bleachers at Rodriguez and I threw a drink on a woman at Kings of Leon. I have an anger management issue. I am not good in crowds and I am not good with arseholes. Sometimes it goes a bit awry when those things are combined. His reminders calmed me down and I sat passively even though bristling with annoyance.

However Cat had a lovely voice and I loved the songs she sang. Funny enough my favorite was the unplanned track she sang as an encore, Landslide by Stevie Nicks.

Despite the obnoxious arse next to me we had a brilliant night.

The next day was both Mother’s Day as well as my daughter Caitlin’s birthday and she came around to collect me about 12:30 and we went down to the village to shop for some tidbits. We tried to keep the carb count low but had a few exceptions.

We had chicken meatballs, mozzarella arancini, a few different types of cheese, ham, dips, crudités, low carb seed crackers, onion marmalade and a low sugar cranberry iced tea. It was easy and delicious.

For dessert we had low carb brownies and Banting ice cream.

I loved the brownies but Norm did not like them at all. That is fine, more for me!

I gave Caitlin one of her birthday presents as the other gift had not arrived yet.

I had bought some succulents in a little metal teapot at the Vintage market from Potted Up.

I love the teapot and it is so heavy that it won’t blow around in the crazy Cape Town winds.

The children gave me a lovely little stone bird which goes on a metal rod and will go into a flower pot in my garden. How adorable is he?

Caity also painted a lovely little purple butterfly for me. I am going to frame it as it is so special.

Apparently Lily is bringing another little gift for me this weekend but the phone calls from Lily and Trevor and spending the day with Caitlin made me feel greedy to expect anything more. I am so blessed.

Caitlin and I were going to make some pewter designs and she brought us each a little notebook and a wooden box to decorate. I chose a few designs and Caitlin drew them to size.

I traced the first design onto my pewter and outlined it with the tools, then puffed out the design to make it raised. We melted beeswax to fill the back of the design to stop it being flattened.

We then rubbed it with a liquid which gave it a patina and then polished it.

After we finished we glued it to our notebooks. I did a Celtic design.

Caitlin did a protea.

I think they turned out rather fabulously. I am so chuffed with our efforts.

We packed up after 8pm as we were finished, tired and hungry. Norm went for takeaways and Cait and I shared a Banting pizza and salad.

We rang my Mom to wish her a happy Mother’s Day and had a laugh about all sorts. Norm and I are hoping to go visit this year or next. I really miss having her near enough to pop round for a visit. I sent her a little parcel of things for her fairy garden. They arrived today.

We all relaxed a bit then Caitlin headed home. It was such a lovely day.

Today I was back at work. This is the first full week we have worked in ages as we have had a public holiday every week for the last 4 weeks.

I hope I cope. It’s going to be a busy week. Norm and I are going to the Opera on Wednesday to see Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. I am ever so excited. I adore the emotions the opera triggers in me. Here is a little taste for you.

Lily and Josh arrive on Friday and we are going to Hudson’s for burgers to celebrate Caitlin’s dinner as a family. Pixie has a chiropractor appointment on Saturday morning and I have drumming on Sunday so it will be a busy weekend.

I hope you all had a great weekend and here is hoping for a good week ahead for us all.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Home Sweet Home

As lovely as it was to see my family and friends and as sad as I was to be leaving my Mom, I am very happy to be back home in our own environment with our animals.

I also sensed that my Mom might have had enough of us being around as she got a bit snappy and told me all I did was boss her around. I did tell her to use her turn signal when driving which she never did and I would wake her when she slept late and suggest she went to bed at night when she stayed up late but that was so we a) survived her driving and b) spent more time together. But she is used to living on her own and seemed to struggle with getting into a routine. She also needs a lot more sleep than I do, but then most people do!

Our return trip was broken down into 4 phases: first we took a shuttle bus from Chattanooga to the Atlanta airport, we then had a 13 hour flight from Atlanta to Doha, a 9 hour layover in Doha, then another 10 hour flight from Doha to Cape Town. It makes it more manageable mentally to break it down like that rather than to view the 33 hour journey in its entirety. We celebrated the successful completion of each phase and got very excited as we neared the end of the final flight. We did not leave a car at the airport so we had to Uber home but that went smoothly and we were home quickly with no dramas. The only thing that marred our journey was the fact that we were surrounded by screaming babies and toddlers on the first flight. We were in the row behind the bulkhead which had 2 infants, one of them screamed blue murder for most of the flight. His brother was about 5 and alternated between playing full volume games on his dad’s phone and shouting and crying. He kept crawling up the aisles when the air hostess was trying to navigate her trolley. There were loads of men hovering around the children and the men wouldn’t sit down even as the plane was taxiing down the runway. They also kept moving seats throughout the flight. I kept hoping the pilot would slam on brakes so that we could watch the idiots fly off down the aisle. I was struggling with a headache and the screaming meant I had to take a tranquilizer to survive.

The second flight was uneventful as was our layover. At Doha we had a meal then found a quiet place to sit and rest. As I don’t sleep on planes I tried to sleep a bit but kept waking myself up by my snoring. Oops. Embarrassing.

We wandered about the airport being a bit silly and trying to keep ourselves amused.

Our last week in the US was busy yet relaxing.

We went shopping for the kids’ Christmas presents and I got some good buys in the sales. I got a pair of Levis for a bargain and they fit me perfectly. Norm also got a couple of pair of Levis but not as cheap as mine which I had unearthed in the clearance rack at TJ Maxx. His were from a posh men’s store but were still cheaper than buying them in SA.

We drove up to spend New Years Eve on Watts Bar Lake with our friends Joy and Tim. They have a lovely home directly on the lake.

We met my mom and Joy’s lovely friend Raven on the way so she could follow us as it is a twisty windy route which would be difficult if you didn’t know the area.

This is Raven, Joy and I.

Some of my Mom and Joy’s friends came up to see us too. Left to right is Tanya and her mom Evelyn, Joy, mom and I.

I probably haven’t seen Tanya in about 30 years. Evelyn came with my Mom to visit me in George when I first moved to South Africa in 1991/2. It was so nice to see them and spend time with them.

At midnight there were fireworks across the lake.

We were hoping to meet Tim and Joy’s giant pony of a dog Bo but he was put into kennels as there were a lot of people there for the party and the roof was being replaced early the next morning and they were worried the noise would stress him out. Little Pax was there however and he is so adorable.

Norm and he became great friends.

We had a lovely time.

We were hungry by the time we finally got organized and on the road the next day and so we stopped at Abuelo’s for Mexican food as we were going to a shop in the mall next to it.

It was bitterly cold that day.

We enjoyed their queso dip and chips and salsa. I was hoping for some really good carnitas and so I chose the carnitas enchiladas.

I was disappointed in the carnitas as well as the flavorless enchilada sauce. It was all rather bland. Mom had recommended the potato side dish papas con chile instead of rice but in my head I had expected patatas bravas which are Spanish spicy fried potatoes but instead it was cheesy creamy mash with peppers, onions and chilli topped with cheese. I didn’t enjoy that dish very much mostly due to the texture. I’m not a fan of mushy food.

Norm and Mom had the quesadilla.

Mom and my friends love Abuelo’s but I definitely preferred the Mexican food we had the previous week by far, the whole Abuelo’s vibe from the ‘hacienda style’ decor to the food felt a bit gringo plastic. The staff all looked incredibly grumpy and unhappy but I would also be grumpy if I had to work on New Year’s Day. I suspect Tres Amigos is family run and all staff seemed to be Mexican or Hispanic based on their accents and the food tasted more authentic. I give Abuelo’s 3 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️.

While home I had been trying to track down Peggie who was my bestie when I was in my early 20’s. We used to party hard back in the day and we got into all sorts of mischief. I managed to contact her and we met her at a local diner called Nikki’s Drive In for dinner.

Nikki’s has been around since the 1950’s and is a local icon.

Norm had a burger.

I ordered the shrimp platter and Mom ordered the fried oysters and we shared them.

We stayed for hours and chatted. Our journey there was a bit of a nightmare as it was pouring rain, we were traveling at rush hour and we ended up exiting via the wrong exit and so Peggie was waiting almost an hour for us. I was so glad she waited. When we got ready to pay our bill the waitress told us that it had been paid by a secret Santa! Apparently he paid the full bill for 3 tables!

We met my uncle Joe at The Boathouse Rotisserie and Raw Bar the following day for lunch.

It is right on the Tennessee river.

Joy and Tim drove down to join us.

We enjoyed getting to see everyone again.

Mom enjoyed it too and she treated us all to lunch.

Mom and Joe had the fried oysters and I nicked one and they were divine. Much better than Nikki’s.

Joy, Tim and I all had the shrimp.

It was really good. The shrimp in the south of the US are very different to South African prawns.

We all had a piece of key lime pie for dessert. It was just OK. I am not a fan of whipped cream and expected it to be topped with meringue.

I give the pie 3 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️ but my main course was a solid 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

Peggie came to Mom’s house to see us on our second last day and it was nice to spend more time catching up with her. She gave me a painting she had done, a feathered clasp she made as well as some stunning earrings.

On our last full day we had a lazy morning, packed our bags and then went to dinner at Fuji Steak House. I was craving teppanyaki style food and some friends recommended this venue. I used to love Benihana but there wasn’t one nearby. We were seated at an empty teppanyaki table when we arrived.

While we were eating our miso soup and salad 2 other groups joined us.

We all ordered our food and the chef got busy cooking.

One of the groups at our table was a family of 3, a young man and his parents and they were revolting to be near due to the way which they ate. There was a very sweet white sauce served with the food and they dumped 4 servings of the sauce all over their food and mixed it all together into a sticky sweet mess, running their fingers round the serving bowl then loudly sucking their fingers clean. They took huge bites and chewed loudly with their mouths open. It rather put me off of my food. I also found it odd that the father was wearing a trucker cap while eating. It is basic etiquette to remove a hat when dining. Almost every man there had on a trucker cap. What is that about?

Mom and I ordered the shrimp and fillet steak. As is traditional it was served with rice and vegetables done on the grill.

The food was good but I found the sauce quite heavy. The steak was tender and the shrimp tasty.

I give our dinner 3.5 Kitten Stars, the food was acceptable but the overall experience probably pulled that score down due to the finger suckers at our table.

Later that evening Warren and Anita popped by to visit.

He seemed to be minding his manners after falling out with Mom on his last visit. He chose to blame me for my Mom getting upset over his behavior during his previous visit rather than apologize for his being inappropriate. He loves to shock people and takes pride in having ‘no filters’. However if that is how he wants to present himself then he has to take responsibility for the impacts of that. I love him but he can be hard work.

Norm said to me that he understands me much better after this visit. He found it odd that no one was at all curious about our life in South Africa. Everyone mostly just talked about themselves. He also found it odd that some of my family made very little effort at all to spend time with me or even to ring to say goodbye. My religious and political beliefs are diametrically opposed to my family but that should not matter. Family is family. My uncle Joe surprised me in the efforts he made, he was sick but we still saw him many times. He even popped by on our last day to say cheerio. I really valued and appreciated the time with him. Much like our last visit to the UK the people we thought would make an effort couldn’t be bothered and the ones we thought we might not even see did make the effort!

As they say in the UK, ‘There is nowt so queer as folk’. I still am permanently surprised by the interactions I have with people and their behavior. Life is easier without expectations and then you are never disappointed when those expectations are not met.

But maybe I am a bit unfair today as I am incredibly hung over and suffering from lack of sleep.

We arrived home on Monday around lunch time and I showered and went straight to bed for a nap. I slept a deep sleep until 6pm when Norm woke me. We got a takeaway for dinner and I forced myself to stay awake until 11pm to get onto local time. I kept nodding off but we soldiered on. I slept really soundly that night despite my long nap.

On Tuesday I had plans to meet my friend Cathi for lunch as she was here visiting from Canada and it was her last day today. We picked her up in Constantia at 1.15 and headed to Bistro 1682 at Steenberg winery.

Norm dropped us off and we were given a lovely table on the patio.

To start they brought a complimentary platter of bread, olives, olive oil and raspberry vinegar.

For our starter we shared the Panko Crusted Cheese Fritter at R88: Tender greens, goat’s’ cheese mousse, charred courgettes, tomato & jalapeño jam. It was divine but I forgot to snap a pic before we wolfed it down.

I ordered 2 tapas dishes, Tempura Prawns for R110: Chargrilled pineapple salsa, coriander, chipotle aioli, pineapple syrup.

This dish only gets 3 Kitten Stars as it was a small portion of prawns for that price. Maybe I am spoiled by the giant American shrimp and portions.

I also had the Beef Tataki for R105: Seared beef, truffled corn, shimeji mushrooms, wild rocket, chilli, mayo. The chilli oil gave it a nice little kick. The beef was very tender.

This dish gets 5 Kitten Stars as it was a nice sized portion and tasted delicious. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cathi ordered the Sesame & Ginger Sirloin Salad at R185: Tender greens, red cabbage, onion, coriander, sprouts, aioli, chilli & soy ginger vinaigrette. It looked lovely and Cathi seemed to enjoy it.