Toxicity and Acidity

This has been a rather eventful week in Hout Bay, but before I catch you up let’s go back to where I left off on my last blog because us Virgo’s are nothing if not methodical in our approach.

Last Sunday Norm and I went out for a pub meal at our local, Woodcutters Arms. As it was a bit late for a Sunday night in our little village, the place was almost empty so we took a nice big booth at the back.

I asked if they had any of their Sunday Roast left and the waitress checked with the kitchen and said there was one portion of the beef roast remaining so I happily ordered it. I love their roasts, they have delicious horseradish and crispy roasties.

However this time as I was last in the queue I got the end of the roast and it was full of fat. The vegetables were completely raw, not even blanched. The roasties were perfect as was the yorkshire pudding and sauces.

Norm ordered his fave scotch eggs: Smoked Paprika Sea Salt, Pea Puree and Pea Shoots for R45.00. He said that the coating was very thick and hard. Maybe there was too much breading but as the egg is so under-cooked I suspect maybe the oil was just too hot? He was a bit disappointed and he usually loves this dish.

For his main he ordered the Pork Sausages: Served on Mashed Potatoes, Buttered Peas, Brown Sauce Onions and Gravy for R78.00. He enjoyed this dish and it was such a massive portion he took some home for lunch the following day.

When the manager came to inquire about our food I said mine was ‘OK’ but she sensed the hesitation in my voice and she asked was I sure so I mentioned that the beef was very fatty. I did not make a fuss, and she offered to replace it with something else but I was pretty full from the bits I could eat so I declined her offer. But then when the waitress brought the bill she told us that the manager had taken my dinner off of the bill! That is a rare occurrence in South Africa, in the US it is commonplace but certainly not here.

I realised that I had forgotten to mention in my last blog that when my friends and I had our excessively long breakfast at Hout Bay Manor that the manager had taken off the  main courses from the bill due to the eggs debacle. Amazing customer service in both regards.

We love the Woodcutter’s Arms and will not be deterred by a once off bad meal, it is our local and we enjoy sitting in their beer garden on a warm sunny afternoon and their food is usually always good, I think it is a very high standard for ‘pub grub’.

On Monday I was back at work and had to rush home to meet Vanessa who came to give me a pedicure. She is such a lovely girl and we have such a laugh while she is working on my calloused tootsies. We sat chatting and watching the Brexit chaos on sky news while she worked.

While Vanessa was finishing up Norm started cooking our dinner. He chopped chicken breasts and fried them in mushrooms and onions and to go with it he puréed some butternut with lots of butter and stir fried some baby spinach. I helped him with the sauce for the chicken and added thick cream, a bit of bisto and a big spoonful of Richard Bosman bacon jam to add a bit of depth to the flavour. It was a quick and easy meal and was very tasty as well as low carb and high fat with the added cream and butter.

Another night Norm cooked a big pot of bolognaise sauce and we had that with sweet potato mash and steamed baby broccoli and the next night he topped the sauce with mashed cauliflower and cheese and baked it making it last two nights. It was all very yummy. I am a very lucky Kitten!

On Tuesday afternoon I had to leave work early as I had an appointment to see a gastroenterologist about my abdominal pain and constant acid reflux. He sent me for an ultrasound which checked my organs and aorta and when I told the sonographer that I was trained as a radiographer she happily announced all of the findings in my scan, ‘there is your liver and it is fine, there is your gallbladder and it is nice and clear, and there is your aorta and you do not have an aneurysm’. Bloody hell an aneurysm was the one thing I was NOT worried about but thanks for clearing that up!

My gastroenterologist is a very amusing guy. He told me about the difference in men and women in regards to their bowels. He said that women tend to be constipated and I asked him was that a control issue? He said it is a thesis on it’s own (he is a professor) and yes, part of it is about control. He said that women often have issues with using  public toilets whereas if a man needs to go he is happy to pull over to the side of the road, drop a squat and use grass to clean himself. I even have issues going in a posh venue and could never go in anywhere unsanitary. I would only go on the side of the road if I was in danger of death or explosion. As a Virgo I cringe at even discussing these things. But discuss them I will do as Prof B booked me in for a ‘top and tail’ as he so charmingly called it, aka a gastroscopy and a colonoscopy.

On Wednesday morning I got up at my usual early hour and headed off to work. As I got to the entrance by the first taxi rank which goes up into the township I had a taxi almost back into me when he came flying backwards, reversing quickly into main road with his lights off and no brake lights in the dim light. He was setting up a blockade on the road but I did not realise that, I just thought he was being an idiot so I drove around him.

I carried on towards the roundabout at the police station and I drove straight into a protest / roadblock.  The taxis had all formed a line end to end around the traffic circle by the cop shop and were in the process of closing off the roads. I have had this happen before and I did the same thing as I did then, I just drove on the wrong side of the road and put my foot down and shot off towards the coast road to the city. Until you have been in that sort of situation you have no idea how terrifying and intimidating it is. You never know if the protesters will throw rocks at your car or even shoot at you, whether they will allow you to drive through or whether they will hold you hostage. I did see one police van but he just drove around the blockade and down towards the village ignoring the blockade.

I rang Norm once I had gotten past it and he told me that he had just started to ring me as he saw on social media that there had been 40 shots fired in a shoot out between rival taxi gangs resulting in a death to one of the drivers. This is in a residential area with a school nearby but these idiots do not care who is endangered in their fights over financial gain. They fight over which taxis get to drive which routes. This week I had a taxi overtake a long queue of traffic by driving on the wrong side of the narrow curvy coast road, not only endangering themselves and their passengers but all of the other drivers who could be involved if there was an accident.

The taxi drivers ended up closing down the entire village, blocking all of the points of exit or entry into the village. I must have been one of the last cars to get out via that route. Eventually law enforcement and the security teams managed to clear the roads and get the taxi drivers to leave. Why they did not arrest them all for their actions I have no idea. You sometimes wonder who is in charge, the cops or the bad guys.

Norm and I had started watching the new Netflix series about The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Norm and I used to live in the village next to where the McCann family lived in the UK and we had followed it all when it was going on so many years ago. However due to the lies and publicity put out by the Portuguese police I had incorrectly come to the conclusion that the parents were somehow involved, whether this was a cover up because they overdosed her on a sedative when leaving her alone in the room or some other skulduggery. However now that I have watched this documentary and reviewed all of the facts I believe that Madeleine was most likely the victim of child trafficking. There were so many leads that hinted at this but none of them were properly investigated as the Portuguese police were too busy trying to implicate the parents rather than launch a proper investigation. They did not even set up a roadblock until several days after the child went missing. Goncalo Amaral was the head of the incompetent policemen from the Polícia Judiciária‎ in Portugal and he has been proven to be corrupt and was fired from his post. He has also been proven to be money grabbing by writing a book full of lies, ironically called ‘The Truth of the Lie’ which was banned and then reinstated in a court of appeal. He has recently been linked to a mafia crime ring. He diverted this investigation and I feel he is ultimately responsible for the poor performance of the Portuguese police. Based on the latest charges against him it makes me wonder if he was actually implicated in her disappearance and that is why he derailed it. We may never know the truth.

It was a heart wrenching story and I cannot imagine what the McCanns have gone through over the years. To lose a child is traumatic enough but to then have people blaming you must be horrific. However it is a very well done documentary and I give it 5 Kitten Stars.

We have also started watching Outlander. It is a show that people have recommended to me for years but when they mentioned the time travel aspect I thought, nah, not for me. But I recently joined a new Fashion House in my covet fashion game and they are all fans of the show so I decided to give it a try when we found it on Netflix and I love it!! Many of the women who are fans are all agog over the lead character played by the handsome Sam Heughan but he does not do anything for me, don’t get me wrong he is cute but then, so are puppy dogs. But I do love the sight of a man in a kilt, especially my own man. I give Outlander 5 Kitten Stars.

On Friday afternoon when I left work I popped into Woodheads to buy waxed string to finish decorating my drumstick. I had plans to work on it over the weekend but my days got away from me and I have not yet finished it. But at least I am prepared!

I could not decide on the blue or the red so I got a roll of both. I hope they will go nicely with the design I recently painted on my drum.

On Friday evening Norm and I had a takeaway from the Blue Lotus Chinese restaurant in Hout Bay and finished the last episodes of the Madeleine documentary series. We were both up and out on Saturday morning as Norm had to take Navajo to Noordhoek to the doggy chiro and I had a hair appointment in the city at Pause.

I love my hairdresser and her assistant, they make me feel so spoiled.

When I got home Norm was out so I sat on the patio while the pups had a run around, it was a cloudy misty day.

I took a selfy of my newly coloured hair while I waited, how does it look?

When he got home Norm and I went down to the village for a late lunch as it was after 2pm and I was starving. We went to Zur Holzbucht the local German restaurant and chose a table in the beer garden as it was not too hot for my delicate wee Scotsman who cannot tolerate the heat or sun (neither can this Cherokee for that matter).

Norm had a light lunch earlier that day while I was busy in town so he had the only dessert on the menu, the apple strudel. He asked for it with ice cream but it came with cream instead, he said it was just average, nothing special.

I was ravenous so I had the kassler roast with sauerkraut and pan fried potatoes. It was really yummy, I love their food and I am a sauerkraut fiend and they make their own. They have very rich yummy gravy and the potatoes were crispy outside and soft and fluffy inside. I give it 4.5 Kitten Stars.

Sunday we were invited out for lunch with some friends but I had to start my prep for the colonoscopy I was having on Monday so sadly we were unable to attend. I was allowed to eat up until 1pm and Norm kindly made us crispy bacon and cheesy scrambled eggs which he served on a fresh croissant he had picked up that morning from Oakhurst Spar. Their pastries and baked goods are top notch and always fresh. It was very yummy. We kept referring to it as ‘my last meal’ like I was a Dead Woman Walking and due for execution rather than just the indignity of a scope.

And then the fun started. I had to drink 3 sachets of the prep diluted in a glass of water, followed by another glass of water, with a glass of water every hour between them. I was allowed no solid food after 1pm and so that evening I only had a cup of strained chicken (noodle-less) soup and some jelly, but to be fair I was not hungry due to the overabundance of water slogging around in my system. The prep itself was not as bad as I had heard as I had imagined it to be horrendous. It was rather unmentionable but at least it was efficient in it’s function, albeit being a bit uncomfortable. Enough said about that!

I took Monday off of work for the procedures and when I logged onto Facebook I saw that the village was again on lock down. There was another shoot out between the taxi drivers, this time resulting in the death of 4 men and the injury of several more. The large white vans in the video below are what we refer to here as taxis, they shove in dozens of passengers and drive like lunatics resulting in a many road traffic accidents and deaths, but they are the only affordable transport option that many of the poorer residents have access to.

By the time we had to leave to go to the clinic the roads were cleared and we sailed through with no issues.

Today I read on the Community Crime Prevention Facebook page that “All calm in the area with large presence of SAPS/POPS, traffic and Law enforcement. Multiple road blocks and impoundments (sic) of taxis reported this morning with 1 licensed firearm confiscated for ballistic testing already.”

I just hope that they continue to monitor this ongoing issue and punish the lawless who are driving the routes without a permit and putting all of our lives at risk.  It is such a toxic situation. I wish they would just close down the taxi ranks in the village and put on more of the buses and sort out proper safe affordable public transportation. The buses are usually safe but they do not cover the entire city and some say they are too expensive. I do not know the comparative price between the African taxis and the MyCiti buses. Uber and Taxify are expensive and are not always safe and the trains are also a risk to your safety and are very unreliable. This country has so many issues. The elections are coming up so it will be interesting to see if anything changes and which party wins, but somehow regardless of which party takes power I just think it will be more of the same old bullshit.

Speaking of bullshit, back to my more personal dramas……we made it to the clinic in plenty of time for my procedures. I had told the doc I wanted to be knocked completely out and I was taken in to the exam room and asked to undress and the nurse attempted to put in an IV, however I have very poor veins and my arm is black and blue today. She eventually got the IV in and gave me something ‘to relax me’ and that is the last thing I remember until I was being shaken awake and my basket of clothes shoved at me. I stumbled around and managed to get myself dressed and wandered off to the loo. They then moved me over to the tea room and went to fetch Norm. He made me a cup of tea and gave me a biscuit but I was nodding off and did not manage to really eat or drink. I was in such pain that I was not coping so they gave me another injection for nausea and then due to the excessive cramps they gave me an injection of buscopan to try and stop the cramping but it had no effect. Prof B took me in to view the images and he confirmed that my hernia repair had reversed and my hernia was back. He also found a polyp which he removed and sent for biopsy. He also said I have a lot of diverticulum and a very tortuous colon and he struggled to navigate it. Luckily there is no inflammation and I should have no issues with it. I know that is probably TMI but my blogs serve as a diary and even as memory aids for me when I cannot remember things, at least I can look it up!

I came home and slept the entire afternoon, the anesthetic knocked me out. I told Norm that must be what it is like to be in a relationship with a heroin addict as I could not keep my eyes open.

Prof B has put me onto a new medication which is a PPI or a proton pump inhibitor. When compared to taking an antacid, I like to think of it as the PPI actually wets the forest down to prevent the flare up of fires in the first place and an antacid just attempts to douse the already raging flames with a bit of water. I took one of them last night and one this morning and I am not having any reflux pain at all. I did take another day off of work as my throat feels like someone drove a truck down it and my stomach has not settled from all of the invasive things which occurred *ahem* so I did not feel up to being in the office all day with a dodgy tum. I will go back tomorrow.

Hopefully there will be no further taxi dramas and life will continue as it should, toxicity and acidity free.

In the meantime, I wish you all a great week. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x

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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

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.

indian oven starters.jpg

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.

curry.jpg

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.

dogs cute.jpg

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

It is such a stunning drive.

chiro view.jpg

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.

1682 calamari.jpg

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’.

1682 salad.jpg

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.

1682 dessert.jpg

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

Weekend at Woodies

The last few weeks have been riddled with chaos and filled with both natural and unnatural disasters both near and far.

Terrorism and the alt-right hate groups kicked off on Saturday the 21st in my home country, the USA. There was an alt-right rally in Charlottesville Virginia which resulted in a battle between the good guys and the bad guys (i.e. Nazis, skinheads and your generic racists). This resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, murdered in another of the cowardly ‘murder by automobile’ incidents which are becoming so prevalent.

We then heard about the same thing happening in Barcelona on Thursday, this time a multi-pronged Islamic extremist attack resulting in 14 deaths as per the last article I saw. This was well planned and had many different terrorists involved. The most deaths occurred again when a van drove into a crowded pedestrian area and mowed down loads of innocent people.

These acts of cowardice and hatred sicken me.

We then heard about the floods in Sierra Leone and that over 400 people have died, many bodies have not been found and some of those who were found were never identified and were dumped into a mass grave.

Again another flood occurred in India where almost 300 people are dead or missing.

Yet millions of people do not believe in Global Warming?

The levels of ignorance astound me.

However the most revolting news item in SA is the story of the group of cannibals who have been discovered in Durban. The case is still under investigation so they are not sure if it was a ritual or what the hell is going on.

The mind boggles.

It has been rather chaotic closer to home as well.

Tuesday there were protests  over the re-blocking which the city is supposed to be doing in the township where the fires were months ago. The progress is very slow and the victims of the fire are still living with no electricity in tiny homes which keep flooding when it rains. Their protests were at least directed to the government and the appropriate people this time instead of towards the other residents of Hout Bay as they have been in the past!

reblocking protest

After I got to work on Friday Norm messaged me to say that there were more protests going on, this time in Hout Bay by the harbour area of town. The protests were regarding lack of service delivery in Hangberg, one of the townships in Hout Bay.

Image credit. Image Credit.

The police started using stun grenades to push back the protesters. The protesters blocked the roads and stopped people moving about the harbour. They tried to charge tolls to people who needed to pass by the roadblocks. It carried on for most of the day. Luckily I was on the other side of town at my client and missed being in the middle of any of it.

Then we woke this morning to news that there had been yet another fire in IY. I read on Hout Bay News that Thula Thula, which is the fire relief NPO in Hout Bay, has reported that there was a fire in Madiba Square to the Hughenden side of Imizamo Yethu and that another 20 homes were destroyed. The area is not part of the previously damaged area and does not have electricity but it is super-blocked so the fire trucks could get to the blaze before it ripped through the entire township. Super-blocking means that the dwellings are laid out in a grid pattern which accommodates vehicles being able to pass between the structures.

Residents reported that the fire was started by a cooking fire that was knocked over in a ‘domestic scuffle‘.

On a more personal level, this week has been very busy and seemed to go by in a blink. After a weekend of lovely weather last weekend we had a lot of rain that followed and then it has gone full circle resulting in a gorgeous bit of warm sunny weather this past weekend.

We have had ongoing drought so it was a relief to get the little bits of rain. The news this week reported that our mayor is planning on implementing some desalination plants to mitigate the risk of the dams drying up completely, one of them is supposed to be built in Hout Bay. Why they have waited so long to investigate this option is beyond my understanding.

I had a bizarre thing happen last Monday night. I was sitting on the couch and I tilted my head forward to look at my iPad and my left ear started cracking and pinging and I suddenly had a severe bout of vertigo so bad that I was almost ill. I sat up and held on to the couch until my head stopped spinning and then after it stopped I could feel stuff rushing down the back of my throat. (Sorry I know that is rather gross but it is elemental to my story.) Luckily I had a follow up appointment with my ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat specialist) the next morning. When I told her what had happened she seemed very concerned. (I had thought it was a good thing and that it meant my middle ear had ‘unblocked’ but what do I know? Nothing it appears.) She was concerned my eardrum had burst.

She wanted to test my balance due to the intense vertigo episode and so she had me walk heel to toe along a straight line which is taped on her floor, then she had me stand on a cushion with both of my eyes closed. I felt like I was having a test for DUI! I have always had terrible balance due to my vertigo but I somehow passed all of the tests.

She tested the pressure in my ears and said that both eardrums are still ‘flat’ which means they are still full of fluids, but the left one was improved. Then I had to do a full on hearing test in a wee booth with headphones on. The smallness of the booth triggered my claustrophobia but I managed to keep myself together and I got through it. I have some hearing loss on the right ear but she said it is not too critical. It could be due to all of the deafening concerts I attended when young or from shooting rifles without headphones as a kid.

I had not realised it was raining so hard when I went into work on Tuesday morning and I wore fabric boots to work, however the ENT is about 2-3 blocks away and it was pouring so on the walk over there my boots got soaked. My socks inside my boots were sodden and I spent the day with wet feet after my morning traipse across the foreshore.

When I got home on Tuesday I built a roaring fire and put my boots by it to dry. Norm made us a delicious dinner of low carb noodles made from spinach and coconut cream chicken with baby spinach to go over it. He served it with broccoli and it was so yummy.

On Wednesday morning I had an appointment to see the dental hygienist to get my teeth cleaned and Norm had to drop his car across the road at the garage so he came with me. I am not very good with dentists. I survived it however and we went to the shops to get something for dinner that night as he would be without transport once I went off to work. We had a quick breakfast at Mainstream and then I dropped him home and shot off to the client.

In the afternoon I worked over to make up some of the time I lost that morning and when I got home Norm had again made us dinner. He made fillet steaks for us and an ostrich steak for Caitlin as she is not keen on beef steaks. To go with it he roasted a mix of sweet potato and pumpkin in coconut oil and steamed some baby broccoli.

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I have been very spoiled by my gorgeous man as usual!

We have now found out his car is going to cost about R16k to repair it so we will be on a bit of a budget for a while. His car is about 10 years old so we may need to look at replacing it.

 

Last Friday morning the dogs woke me up a bit earlier than I normally get up for my client which is based on Mowbray so I decided I might as well go in early as I still had time to make up from going in late due to my dental appointment on Wednesday. However I forgot that when I go to work in that direction, leaving early just means I get stuck in the school traffic so my drive was a bit of a nightmare and took me an hour and 15 minutes instead of the normal 45 minutes. An extra 45 minutes I could have lain in bed!

I had no lunch to take to work on Friday so I decided to give OrderIn another chance after the last fiasco and I ordered from Sakura Sushi Bar.

I ordered a variety of stuff, I was so hungry. I ordered:

  • 1 X Salmon Roses @ R64.00
  • 1 X Golden Roll @ R48.50
  • 1 X Open Prawn Tempura @ R48.50
  • 1 X Veggie Spring Rolls (2pcs) @ R17.00

It was all delicious! OrderIn pulled through this time and my smiling driver arrived with hot spring rolls and intact sushi.

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It was all delicious and I will definitely order from there again – it gets a full on 5 Kitten Stars!

Friday night we decided to have a relaxed night so we went for dinner at Woodcutters Arms, our local pub. There was sport on telly so the place was buzzing and had a great energy. We have had so many restaurants close lately it is good to see one of them succeeding.

I had my usual fave the jalapeño cheddar cigars.


I then had a Cajun Chicken Burger which comes with onion rings and a jalapeno sauce.


Norm had the Fish & Chips and said it was lovely.

Early on Saturday morning Pixie and I were off to the chiropractor in Noordhoek. I slipped a few weeks ago and jammed my knee and it has been very swollen. As a result my back is a bit out due to my limping. David the chiro worked on me and got me back in alignment and gave me a script to get my knee x-rayed if it does not improve. Pixie has a lot of swelling in her back and I have noticed she is struggling with the stairs a bit. We are in the wars my Pixie and I!
After we got home I had to get ready for an appointment for a laser treatment and a facial later in the afternoon at the salon Skin and so that Norm could use the car he decided to come with me for breakfast at La Cuccina which is next to the salon and then come back to collect me after. It was a stunning, sunny day so we sat outside on the balcony. We ran into a couple of friends, that is one thing I love about Hout Bay, every where you go you see a familiar face.

Regular readers know about my Eggs Benedict obsession so of course I opted for that.


After I finished with my Laser torture and relaxing facial Norm came to collect me and dropped me off at Retha for a visit.

Our friend Carol was there too.

Retha and Carol were doing pewter drawings and while they were busy we all had a lovely rum cocktail.

I stayed until after Norm had walked and fed the dogs and he collected me. Then we got a take away curry from Indian Oven, our local Indian food restaurant. Their food is divine. We had intended to go out for dinner but my sore knee was aching and so swollen I decided I should stay in and keep it elevated.

We watched a bit of telly and I ended up falling asleep on the sofa after my day of cocktails so when we went up to bed I was wide awake and lay there thinking and fretting about things I have no control over for hours. I finally got off to sleep about 4a.m. so when the doggies woke Norm for some food at 8 a.m., he tiptoed out and let me sleep until 10 which was heavenly. He came up with a coffee and we had a lazy day.

Norm and I watched the film Rough Night. I had not heard any reviews or anything at all about this film so it was a pleasant surprise. I laughed so hard!! It is just farcical nonsense but sometimes we need a bit of that to counter the challenges of life.

rough night

I give it 4.5 kitten stars.

Later that afternoon we showered and went to Retha’s for sundowner cocktails.

Retha drinks Norm

We chatted so long that before we knew it, it was too late to have a braai as we had planned and so we decided to all rather go out for dinner. We ended up back at the Woodcutters Arms again and had a lovely evening chatting and laughing.

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We ordered all sorts of goodies to eat.

Retha and I shared the jalapeno cigars (I never get tired of those). Norm, Retha and Barry all each had the scotch egg.

woodies scotch egg

I had the Chicken Caesar burger which was on the specials board.

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Retha had the ribs.

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And Norm had the sausage and mash.

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We ended up staying until last rounds and then we headed home. We were both exhausted and I slept like the dead until my alarm went off.

Today life resumes as normal, I am busy with both client projects and life carries on.

The weather has turned cold again so instead of grilling outside I decided to just chuck all the meat in with some peppers and onions and bake them.


I made a colorful salad and will grill some halloumi.


I hope you have a great week. Avoid the cannibals and terrorists if possible. 

xx

 

 

Deviation from Reconciliation 

I’ve spent all morning clearing out cupboards and I have a huge pile of clothes to pass onto the recent fire victims. Tops, pants, skirts, suits and all sorts. And all sizes of course.

  
Caitlin also did a clear out, I was ruthless and tossed out anything I’ve not worn in a year. Some of the suits I’ve barely worn since leaving the UK as it’s so casual in Cape Town corporates. Caitlin is going to drop it off at Thula Thula where it will be handed over to the fire victims.

There was another fire last Sunday near 12 Apostles Hotel on the coast road.

  
It resulted in the firemen closing the coast road to Hout Bay but not to people driving out from the city,  they only stopped people at the roadblock, so Lily left town at 830 pm oblivious of the fire and got sent back to town at a point when she was only 5 minutes from home. She was tired and so annoyed after driving right round the city and back. Lucky the fire was away from any homes but still it burned all night.

We finally managed to cheer Lily up and while eating dinner we were talking about cougars with Lily saying that the woman’s age doesn’t matter it’s the age gap that makes it a cougar type situation. She tried to demonstrate her point and said ‘if I was 23 and had a 13 year boyfriend then I would be a ummmmm, a pedophile,not a cougar.’  Exactly.

The news has also been focussed on Oscar Pistorius‘ and his retrial. It was a victory for all women who have ever been the victim of domestic abuse to hear that guilty verdict. I was so disgusted that he had only been charged with culpable homicide the first time around. I think he knew it was Reeva in that bathroom, I think she ran and he was hunting her down and he intentionally shot at her in a blind rage, 

Of course that’s just my opinion, but I believe it with all of my heart. 

Closer to home we had 2 of our local criminals back from incarceration and wreaking havoc again. Bongani Mongase and Sam Mposelwa were both known to be repeat offenders and without compassion for how they treat their victims.

The petition was successful for Sam but Bongani was released on a technicality. The judge was blatantly wrong. And now this criminal is on the loose again. 

This is just one of the many challenges of our beautiful country. 

Our biggest challenge is our embezzling, barely literate President Jacob Zuma and his cronies & the effect their incompetence and corruption has on our economy. This was never more evident that this week when the rand took a nosedive to the lowest level ever, This could be directly linked to Zuma replacing the Finance Minister Nene (watch me whip…) with the woman who is rumored to be Zuma’s latest side bit Dudu Myeni. There are many rumors why, none of them favourable for Zuma. But Zuma has proven over and over that he doesn’t care about his constituents or his country’s best interests.

One positive bit of local news was our Mayor Patricia De Lille handing over the keys to the new social housing flats built in Hangberg in Hout Bay Harbour. 

Look at that view! The mural is stunning too.

   

 These homes will make such a difference to the lucky recipient’s lives.

My week flew by as always. In the midst of our biggest financial challenge in SA we also have Christmas to cater for. Our salaries do not change but everything is rocketing in cost, from electricity to food. The rand is so weak, anything imported will be exhorbitant. 

I had done no shopping so I left work a bit early Friday and headed to the V&A Waterfront to make a start. I drove around for about 30 minutes until I finally found a parking spot, then I fought the heat and the crowds to spend a fortune. The fortune came home in a handful of bags. I gave it a few hours and then headed home, it was so hot and no chance my oven was going on so we ordered Italian take away. I had a pizza from Massimos take away Mimmi To Go and wow it was brilliant. I do love their food.

The next day it was overcast and drizzly but still hot and humid.

  
Lily and I were up early to trek Pixie over the pass to Noodhoek to see David Black the doggy Chiro. It’s a stunning drive and was even more so with all the wildflowers blooming.

  
Pixie was well behaved as always so we decided to take her with us on our next stop. Pixie loves our girly day adventures. We went to Constantia Mall and had lunch at Melissa’s and Pixie settled in under the table quite happily.

  
Lily and I both ordered the Eggs Benedict on a rosti.

  
The bacon was lovely and crisp and the egg was medium but the rosti could have been a bit crispier. It was ok but not exceptional. 

Norm was at the bank nearby and so he popped over to collect Pixie and take her home. Lily and I paid up and finished our shopping. We headed to Mainstream Mall in Hout Bay and at Clicks I managed to get all the usual Xmas bodywash and scent gifts on the 3 for 2 deal and saved over 300 bucks!

Once we were home I decided to finish up with shopping on Takealot from the comfort of my couch. I found exactly what I wanted and as I downloaded and ordered via the app I got free shipping. Then I found that I had enough ebucks from FNB that I could get it all for free! I was so chuffed.

That evening we finally got around to putting up the tree. 

  
The girls did an amazing job. We are not Christian so our decorations are all little toys, reindeers and santas. No mangers to be seen. They sit comfortably among the Buddhas and Coptic crosses from Ethiopia in our pagan home.

  
It wasn’t long before Lola found her spot.

   
 
That evening we ordered Chinese food and sushi from K1 Sushi and rented Trainwreck with Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. Tilda Swinton played the magazine editor and was brilliant! I didn’t recognize her at all. I laughed so hard it’s a brilliant film. I’m a wee bit Amy’s character in the film, just less slutty. Norm said several times “You say that!” Or “You do that!”.

Today I tidied and faffed and relaxed, next week I work on Monday but finish work at lunch on Tuesday as we have our year end party for work. Wednesday is then a public holiday in SA. Then I am off work until the New Year. 

The public holiday is The Day of Reconciliation. The holiday came into effect in 1994 after the end of apartheid, with the intention of fostering reconciliation and national unity.

The irony is that the single thing which is doing the most to unite our rainbow nation is our mistrust and disgust toward our unethical President. He and his cronies are ruining this wonderful country. That Zuma is from the same party who brought about the end of apartheid must make Nelson roll over in his grave. 

  
#ZumaMustFall