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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Vintage Shadows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I enjoyed it very much, rice included.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Basic Rights for Humanity

Norman had a meeting in the city on Wednesday last week and so he came through to meet me and take me for lunch. There is a Kauai just behind my client’s offices and so we met there.

Norm had the Tropical chicken wrap for R59: free range chicken, pineapple, carrot, greens, with thai peanut dressing.

I had the Salsa Quesadilla wrap for R49: white cheddar, red pepper, salsa, jalapeno,
spring onion, coriander.

It was OK, I would have preferred it toasted longer to crisp it up and make it a bit more golden but it was acceptable. I give it 3.5 Kitten Stars.

Thursday was Human Rights Day which is a public holiday in South Africa and is historically linked with the date 21 March, 1960 and the events of Sharpeville. On that day 69 people died and 180 were wounded when police fired on a peaceful crowd that had gathered in protest against the Pass laws. This day marked an affirmation by ordinary people, rising in unison to proclaim their rights.

It was also World Water Day on Friday. This day is to highlight the importance of access to fresh water which is a basic human right. Many people would argue that access to electricity is also a basic human right.

The irony is that both of these precious commodities are scarce in South Africa.

South Africa is suffering from a drought across the majority of the country. Cape Town is no longer in a critical state but many other areas are still desperate for help.

On the flip side of that we have the recent cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi & Zimbabwe resulting in a large portion of areas in those countries being submerged by flood waters and causing hundreds of deaths.

 

Both sides of this coin are due to climate change.

The load shedding has continued with the electricity being turned off for anywhere from 2 to 8 hours in a 24 hour period across rotating areas of the country. There is not much you can do to amuse yourself in the dark. Well maybe if you are young and full of energy, but not when old and tired from working all day. Us oldies just want to watch Netflix and eat chocolate at night. Our goals are usually achievable with minimal effort.

Norm came up with the idea to play Scrabble during the evening’s load shedding.

He forgot that I am a word junky and I kicked his ass. However it kept us occupied and meant that we interacted rather than just grumpily staring at our phones or squinting at a book (I struggle to read even in the light these days).

The shambles around public transport in SA has continued unabated despite the efforts and successes by the new rail enforcement unit. Recent stats on their new unit’s work was that they have conducted about 588 stop-and-searches, 84 hot spots searched and fines to the value of R8300 were issued. What levels of success they have achieved in stopping the theft of the cables I have no idea.

The ANC-led government manifesto states that it will “invest in rail infrastructure to ensure it is safe, reliable and integrated with other modes of public transport. Rail must be the backbone of our public transport system” however the ANC has had the duty to deliver this promise for the last 25 years. Decades of mismanagement, corruption and a lack of care has directly led to the breakdown of South Africa’s rail system.

Since 2010, 3,642 have died and 15,634 people have been injured on our railways. Between 2015 and 2018, R213,744 million was paid out to victims while a total of R503,552 million has been lost due to vandalism and derailments. Behind the shocking statistics are truly horrifying stories of how the ANC and by extension Prasa has failed both their employees and the commuters.

You can read the full report from Thuli Madonsela who was the previous public protector here.

New trains have been promised to the long suffering commuters which have endured poor service, poorly maintained filthy and dangerous trains as well as risk of attack from arsonists and thieves. Many people lose their jobs due to the inability to get to work on time despite arriving at the station hours before they are due at work. Our train services are a nightmare as was witnessed directly by President Ramaphosa when he took a journey last week which resulted in the train being stuck for 3 hours.

This week a dummy of the new train design arrived in Cape Town. However until they deal with the cable theft and security issues it is just a bandage over a gaping and bleeding wound.

Sometimes I despair at the future of this country and sometimes I revel in the beauty around us and the wonderful people of South Africa. I bounce between these opposing dichotomies often.

For example, it was lovely having Thursday off of work for the public holiday however we spent most of it in the dark rather than doing whatever we wanted.

We decided on Thursday that rather than struggle with trying to prepare food without electricity to just indulge ourselves and eat out. We first went to Tasha’s in Constantia but there was a huge queue for a table so we walked across the car park to the other mall and went to Mugg and Bean. We got the last table there. I ordered my food and the waitress then told us that the fryer is not working due to the electricity shut down so I re-examined the menu and quickly choose the Rancheros Omelette, cheesy chili & M&B salsa-filled omelette topped with chorizo, fresh avocado, baby potato, charred corn & cherry tomatoes, drizzled with sriracha mayo & sour cream served on the side.

I did not read the ingredients that carefully as I was rushing to choose something that came without the elusive fries or hash-browns and did not notice that the omelette contained chorizo which I only like if it is sliced thin and fried til crispy, I also forgot about my stomach issues and the prospects of pain from eating chili. I do love chili but it is not my friend at the moment. I chucked the chorizo onto Norm’s plate. However I will not let my own shortcomings contaminate the rating of the food and I will give it a good 4 Kitten stars as it was very tasty, just spicy AF.

Norm had the California Omelette: omelette filled with cheddar, mozzarella & fresh basil. Loosely topped with fresh avocado, back bacon & Danish-style feta, drizzled with a basil pesto mayo & served with pan-fried rosemary cherry tomatoes. He enjoyed it.

After we finished eating we walked back across to the main building and had a wander around the shops. Norm needed to buy a data dongle as he is struggling to work without access to the WiFi during the power outages. We tried to buy another lantern but the shops were all sold out as expected.

We then headed back home and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon.

Pixie has been so tolerant of her cone of shame and has even mastered being able to use the cone to scoop up her ball to get it into her mouth. She is a clever wee thing. She needs to have someone scratch her face for her though as she is unable to manage that.

Her little leg is all healed now and so we took the cone off of her yesterday and she is not chewing herself so I think she is A-OK now thank goodness. I love that little ball of fluff, and cannot bear the idea of her being in pain or unhappy.

On Thursday night we went out for dinner during the second period of electricity shut down and we chose to go to Papino’s in Hout Bay. We arrived just as the sun was setting and the owner brought out large silver candelabras for each of the tables which gave us enough light to see. I wanted something easy to manage in the dim light which was also not too spicy or heavy for my constantly sore tummy and so I chose the Flammenkuchen which is a German variation on a pizza. I had never eaten one at Papino’s but I have tried them at various German restaurants and had expected something similar to those thin and crispy styles, but this version was more like a tomato-less cheesy pizza. It was good but it was a bit heavy and salty for my tastes. I do love Papino’s pizza bases though and next time will stick to a traditional pizza.

Norm chose his favourite dish from Papino’s, the Hollandse Beifstuk which is a pan fried steak with a brandy butter mushroom sauce. He was told in advance that they were not serving any starch dishes so it came only with the vegetables.

Apologies for the standard of my pics but they were taken by candlelight so please cut me some slack. The electricity came back on just as we were leaving so we were able to pay our bill and we headed home to enjoy some rare TV time and relax before bed as I had work the next day.

On Friday the load shedding was from 6pm to 8pm and so Norm nipped out to get us take aways for dinner and I chose to have sushi from K1. They do a 2 for 1 special for the same ‘colour plates’ as their dishes are classified by plate colour. I chose the prawn salad which was minimal prawn, chopped cucumber and avocado and topped with sesame seeds.  The other dish in this bracket was the salmon sashimi. It was nice and fresh but cut a bit thick for my liking. I also had cucumber prawn roses & salmon roses as my other 2 dishes. It was R129 for all 4 dishes and I was pleased with my choices but probably will not order the prawn salad again.

On Saturday I had plans to meet my friends Bronwyn and Melody for breakfast at 10 am at Hout Bay Manor. I arrived first and the waiter sat me in a shady spot by the fountain.

I tried to take a group selfy of the 3 of us once the ladies arrived but I failed miserably. I did get Bronwyn and Mel in it though!

I ordered the El Pixo for R75: sweetcorn fritters made with feta, chili & spring onions, served with slices of avocado, streaky bacon, 2 poached eggs, grilled baby tomatoes, fresh coriander, chili, olive oil, lemon zest & a wedge of lemon. I asked for soft eggs and crispy bacon and the chef delivered on both points. It was delicious but I forgot I am supposed to be avoiding chili and ended up suffering a bit after and trying to drown the burn in gallons of water. However I cannot blame the venue for my stomach issues and I give this dish 5 Kitten stars as it was delicious.

The girls both ordered the Dippy Eggs and Buttered Soldiers for R65: 2 soft boiled eggs, 2 slices of buttered toast, blanched asparagus with hollandaise & tarragon, sea salt & black pepper.

They asked that the chef make sure that the eggs were soft as you cannot dip your soldiers into hard eggs. The food arrived but the eggs were too hard and both orders were sent back. The second time was much better.

We stayed so long that we ended up ordering cake and another round of coffees. Bronwyn had the orange cake and I had the chocolate cake which was rich and divine.

Our ‘breakfast’ ended up lasting until 4pm! We had not even noticed how long we were there as we were chatting up a storm. It was all so effortless to communicate with these ladies, there were no awkward silences or talking over each other, the conversation all just flowed smoothly. I love these ladies, I feel like I do not have to put up defenses or false pretenses, I can just be me. That is not something that happens often in Cape Town, there are a lot of false and superficial women who only care about what car you drive, where you live, what gym you attend, how much money your husband makes and where you get your botox injections. I make my own money and do not inject that shite into my body so it can make small talk with some women quite challenging as what matters to them quite often matters not at all to me. It is so refreshing to find women whose views are more aligned to mine despite the vast differences in where and how we were raised.

Bron and Mel shared with me what it was like growing up in South Africa during the apartheid era, something which many of us westerners cannot even begin to comprehend, especially those of us who are white. Friends and families were torn apart due to the Immorality Act. Whites were not allowed to have a relationship with anyone who was not also white. Non-whites were not allowed to go into restaurants or public spaces, even onto the beaches. People of colour were not allowed into any ‘white’ residential areas unless they had a ‘Pass’ which gave them permission to enter an area due to their employment.  The girls told me about the police driving around in large vehicles called a Casspir or a Black Maria. The police would search for non-whites and arrest any who did not have a pass authorising them to be there and would throw them in the back of the van. Unfortunately this mentality has remained with some white people in SA, they phone the police as soon as they see a person of colour walking along the road minding his own business. It can take generations for the damages of the past to heal.

However the current ANC government is doing little to better the lives of the people who were damaged so badly by the apartheid government. Corruption is rife and I see so little progress in creating better living conditions for most people.

I had a conversation with Caitlin last week after I gave an African man on the street some coins. She said to me ‘he will just spend it on drink’ and I said she should not be so quick to judge someone based purely on their physical appearance. He was shaking and yes that could be from DTs due to needing a drink, it could also be due to Parkinson’s or other neurological condition. There is no way to know that without having a conversation with him. Even if he does have a drinking problem, we have no idea what demons he may be living with which drive him to use drink to numb his pain or trauma. He was an elderly man and so he would have been victim to the atrocities of apartheid and we cannot imagine what damage or abuse he may have been subjected to. We may all be just one trauma away from a similar state of poverty ourselves. If I lost my job I am but a few months salary away from financial trouble. I am lucky to have a house, but there is no guarantee I would be able to sell that house in a timely manner to support my lack of income. We do at least have pensions and some savings, however minimal. Some people do not even know where their next meal is coming from. I do not pretend to be able to understand the challenges the poor have to endure.

I am not suggesting that we are obligated to give money to everyone we encounter who extend their hands, there are so many desperate and needy people in South Africa that it would be an impossible goal. I limit the money I give to the elderly or to women as I know that they often suffer the most indignities and are the most vulnerable.

After our hours of chat at the manor, setting the world to rights and discussing our retirement options we realised the time and we wandered off home to our husbands. It was a very hot day but it was lovely in the shade by the pool at the manor. I found a cool corner in my house and relaxed as Norm was busy working.

Later that night we had load shedding again and so we decided to go to Massimo’s for dinner. We managed to nab the last table outside on the balcony.

I had a lovely view of both my darling hubby and an amazing pink sky as the sun was setting.

I wanted to avoid anything acidic or spicy. I chose the Granchio pasta dish: real flaked white crab meat, prawns, mascarpone, a hint of chili & garlic. The chili is so minuscule that it cause me no harm. It was light and creamy and the prawns were beautifully cooked. This is my favourite of their pasta dishes. It gets 5 Kitten Stars.

Norm chose a dish from their specials menu, the Pork and Beef Meatloaf for R135. It was meatloaf topped with a creamy mushroom sauce, served with oven roasted potatoes and seasonal veg. I was impressed they managed to conjure up potatoes as none of the other restaurants have had a back up plan for potatoes as even with a generator the fryers use too much electricity. This dish looked yummy. I love the roast veg that Massimo’s serves as it always includes roast beetroot.

Today we are having a lazy day, Norm made us a late brunch of eggs, preservative free Richard Bosman bacon and avocado. We will go for dinner at the pub later on.

I have an appointment to go to a gastroenterologist on Tuesday about my stomach pains. I am really struggling to cope, the occasional heartburn is now pretty much constant and the added dull ache has me a bit worried. I wanted to wait til after my current client contract ended but it has been extended a month so I cannot wait any longer, particularly if I do have an ulcer as I suspect I may have. Wish me luck please!

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x

Deserving

I was told recently to ‘lighten up’ and I realized that I have become a very serious person and wondered when that shift occurred from the ‘up for anything’ mad version of myself. I have never been frivolous or silly, I think it is not in my nature. I’ve always been self deprecating, that comes easy for me. But the lighthearted nature of being joyful seems to have drifted away from me.

I think the responsibility that comes with my life has overwhelmed me. Politics in the US, SA and Europe weigh on my mind. I worry about the environment and the world we are leaving for our grandchildren and future generations. Financial responsibility also sits heavily upon me.

I worry and I fret about things that may never happen and even if they do I cannot avoid them or change the outcome.

I’m trying to be conscious of those thoughts. When I get stuck in that loop of fretting needlessly and pointlessly, then I try and focus on bringing my mind back to the present. Being mindful. It is an ongoing challenge.

I’ve been following a Facebook group of different people posting videos performing Ho’oponopono prayers and I’ve also been trying to practice it in my every day life. I saw a dead kitten on my way to work and said Ho’oponopono for that kitten every morning this week. I read an article about a young girl named Alesha MacPhail who was murdered in Scotland and I looked at the beautiful, innocent wee face in her photo and said Ho’oponopono for her. A pigeon flew into the bottom of my car when driving home and died and I said Ho’oponopono prayers for the pigeon. A friend is struggling with issues with her son’s health and I’ve said the prayers for them both.

The prayers bring me peace and calm my scattered mind. But the energy from these situations hangs heavy on my heart. I sometimes wish I was one of those people who can compartmentalise my thoughts. I’ve had some high anxiety level days recently.

This week hurtled past, Friday was upon me before I realized it. I presented my progress to my client on Friday and he is very happy with my work so far. That takes a bit of stress off.

Norm and I had a quiet weekend after last weekend’s chaos as we both needed it!

Norm cooked most of this week and looked after me well. It has been very hot this week so we kept our meals simple.

He made sweet chili chicken kebabs, fried halloumi, coleslaw and salad one evening.

Another night he just baked pork chops and I made a salad.

We use a lot of avocado despite the ridiculously high cost of them as they are high in fat. Our bodies need healthy fat.

He made a big pot of rich tomatoey bolognaise sauce and served it over low carb noodles with steamed broccoli the first night. The next night he layered the sauce with sliced zucchini and mozzarella and baked it.

It was delicious. Mince (or ‘hamburger meat’ to Americans) is so cost effective as it always stretches to at least 2 meals.

On Friday we were happy to settle in for a cosy night at home and we started watching a new Netflix series called Dirty John.

We haven’t finished it so please no spoilers!

This series is gripping but it may trigger survivors of domestic violence. It certainly had me feeling a bit anxious. There were many scenes I could relate to: having someone tap into and record your phone calls, keeping track of where you take the car, watching them flip quickly from being loving to being full of rage and then to gaslighting you that you are to blame for their behavior.

Guns against your head, hands around your throat…..hatred in their eyes. Terror.

Now I can recognize those types of men from a mile away, I see those who have that in their nature. I keep shouting ‘what are you doing’ at the female character in Dirty John when in fact I did the same behaviors myself. That cycle of hate and dependency. When you are stuck in that dynamic it is like quicksand, dragging you down to places you never imagined and feeling like there is no way out of it. Especially when he has hoodwinked society into believing he is a really charming nice guy. Often nothing is as it appears. How many serial killer’s neighbors say ‘he seemed like such a nice guy’?

So many women are trapped in this type of scenario, often where the roles are reversed from the ones in Dirty John, when the woman is the one who is financially dependent and sees no way to survive outside of her marriage. In fact many of the women in domestic violence situations are lucky to live through it. “About 87,000 women or girls were killed worldwide in 2017, 58 percent of them victims of domestic or family violence.”

I have been in this situation more than once. I was engaged at 18 years of age to an addict and I see so many similarities with his behaviors in this series. My fiancé Jeff lied easily and created so many scenarios to enable his addiction. He went into hospital for multiple surgeries for nonexistent ailments just to get access to drugs. He tried to drag me down into that world but I woke up and managed to get away from him. We totaled my dad’s truck but luckily no more long term damage occurred. I googled Jeff a few years back and saw he has died. I wonder if it was his addiction that killed him.

I’m one of the lucky ones who survived. I’m even luckier to have married a kind, loving and incredibly gentle man the second time around. I changed my perspective and expectations of what I deserved. I deserve respect, I deserve kindness and I deserve to be loved. Until a woman realises that she deserves those things she may not even recognize them and most likely she will not be attracted by them, or even attract them TO her. Some women repeat these patterns over and over, choosing men who exhibit variations of the same behaviors and never get out of that destructive loop.

I’m so grateful for my marriage and the love of my husband.

I was woken early on Saturday by Navajo shoving his nose into my sleeping face. Nav is the only abuse I get these days! He seems to panic that I have overslept on weekends and wakes me at 7. During the week he barely opens an eye as I sneak out well before 7am and the pets and Norm then lie in until after 8. I assume Navajo thinks he is being helpful. He so isn’t.

I had a hair appointment in the CBD Saturday morning and left just after 10 but there was no parking that I felt competent enough to wiggle into and drove around for ages until I found a spot.

My hairdresser Leandra asked if I felt like a change and I thought ‘why not?’ and let her have free rein. She cut lots off the bottom and now it is just past shoulder length. The ends were not in great shape and it was rather frizzy so it looks so much healthier now.

What do you think?

While washing my hair Thembi asked me had I been experiencing the Hout Bay headaches and neck aches and I was shocked to learn it is an epidemic! Apparently lots of people have had it. I’ve been struggling with headaches for weeks and I thought it was my neck and had been to the chiro for 3 sessions with minimal success. Interestingly today mine is gone! Maybe extending my neck over the basin unlocked it, maybe Thembi’s amazing neck and head massage did or maybe it was a virus. Whatever it was I’m relieved it is not with me today and hope it stays away.

When I got home Norm and I went out for a late lunch. We popped into Hout Bay and went to Dario’s as I fancied a burger and theirs are divine.

We grabbed a table outside.

There was a lycra wearing arsehat nearby who was having a very loud facechat conversation with someone. Who does that in a restaurant!? I wanted to go and ask him to STFU but Norm discouraged me and agreed that if it went on too long he would have a quiet word with Mr arsehat. After his call finally ended he grabbed his bike and moved off, on the way out he said something about Norm being Scottish so obviously has met him before? It’s such a small town but I have no fears of burning bridges. Oops. Just as well I have Norm to rein me in.

I saw that Dario’s had prawns on special for R99 and so I diverted from my burger desire.

They came with garlic butter and were very nice. Norm stuck with the burger plan.

Both meals were yummy.

When I had driven to town that morning the sea mist was so thick you could barely see over Llandudno and we noticed the same while down near the beach in Hout Bay, you couldn’t see the mountains at all!

After we ate we went to Mainstream as I needed to go to Clicks as I was out of everything from face wash to foundation. I always get a shock at the till when a half basket of shopping costs almost 2 grand! And I even changed some of my usual products for cheaper brands. The cost of living in SA is getting out of control. Maybe I’m at the age where I should just say ‘feck it’ and give up on make up and giving a damn how I look? Or maybe this is the age when I need it most 😂. Women in our 50’s are pretty much invisible so no one may notice either way.

Today feels a bit cooler, if only the cold front causing the heavy mist would bring some rain. We badly need it!

Our firefighters have been battling a fire in Franschhoek just outside of Cape Town for several days now. It has done a lot of damage.

Please pray for the firefighters, residents, animals, vegetation and trees and for rain to dampen the flames.

Today we are having a lazy pajama day. Norm made brunch for us.

Later I may trade my PJs for my swimsuit and have a bob about in the pool. That is as strenuous a day as I can manage!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

Sizzling

There was a fire last Friday night and we could smell the smoke from our house so intensely that I checked social media to see if it was nearby but it was miles away in Grabouw. When I woke up on Saturday the whole valley was covered in smoke and the horses across the valley were whinnying which I assume was due to being agitated by the smoke.

We read that this fire had been contained and was under control but then on Sunday evening we started smelling smoke again.

We read on social media that there was a new fire on Kloof Nek and Signal Hill which had spread across to Sea Point. It was dark but we could see from our balcony that there were thick clouds of smoke rising over the back of Table Mountain. The pics we saw were horrific.

When I drove in on Monday morning I could see the mountain was still smoldering and the choppers were busy dousing the flames.

These ongoing fires are worse than I have ever experienced since I have lived in SA. It seems too coincidental that they are occurring in an election year. There have been rumours for years that the ANC party are trying to make the Western Cape ungovernable and to challenge our resources to the point of collapse in an attempt to shift the voters from the DA to the ANC.

Several people were on twitter claiming that the ancestors were punishing the white home owners by the fire on Signal Hill.

We had a tragedy this week where 4 children were killed when a walkway collapsed. The Black First Land First (BLF) spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp has come out in support of a comment by Facebook user Siyanda Gumede, in which he said he “doesn’t have a heart to feel pain” for the three children who died after the tragic collapse of a walkway at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark, who he assumed to be white. This political party has been accused of hate speech over their comments on many occasions. The BLF seem to hate all white people and want us all out of South Africa.

The EFF party also want the white people to leave South Africa and think that any land or property we own should be taken from us. Their leader Julius Malema has said that we must be happy that the EFF have not called for white genocide.

The EFF have also had claims of hate speech levied about their abuse of journalists, predominately women journalists.

Bheki Cele who is our Police Minister had objected to the appeal for additional police officers being allocated to the Western Cape. The Western Cape Equality Court estimated that the Western Cape is 4,500 officers short of the amount needed to police the province. In December, the court found that the system being used to allocate police resourcing was unfairly discriminating against poor and black people in the Western Cape. The provincial police-to-population ratio was one officer for every 509 residents and in Cape Town it was even worse – 1:560. This had to be corrected so that crime-fighting capacity in the province could get close to the national average of 1:375, so that crime could effectively be addressed.

The fact that Cele is one of the ANC’s disciples just feeds into that theory that the treatment of the Western Cape is deliberately subversive.

The newly implemented Rail Enforcement Unit has been somewhat successful in their arrests of a few of the culprits who are committing crimes on the railways. The  stats I can find are that thirteen arrests were made by the end of 2018: for assault, possession of drugs and stolen property, theft and fraud. It is just a shame that there had to be millions worth of damages done and many injuries and a death to trigger any results to happen.

There were more arrests made in 2019 for cable theft. In January the police arrested five suspects allegedly involved in cable theft in Rondebosch.

Regardless, it is still not a safe environment to travel on the trains in the Western Cape. It is not safe to venture into many of the areas in Cape Town due to gang violence and lack of police presence. It is not always safe just to walk around being white. I have had verbal abuse when walking in the city being told to ‘go home’ or ‘get out’. It can be very intimidating.

Norm was called out to attend a break in very near our home on Friday night. The family were violently attacked when 5 African men walked into their home carrying axes. The security beams were off and the back door was open due to the intense heat. There was a delivery driver arriving to drop off food or cigarettes and he was also attacked. There were several children there who witnessed this all. I hope the family and their visitors get over this trauma. I hope the smaller children do not even realise what was going on and therefore won’t have too much residual trauma.

There will most likely not be any arrests made and if so they most likely will not make it to court or a conviction.

There have still been no arrests for the train arson attacks. A whopping 214 trains were burnt in suspected arson attacks in South Africa in the past three years, with 174 of them torched in the Western Cape.

Transport minister Blade Nzimande’s response to a parliamentary question revealed that most cases of arson took place in 2016 when 69 coaches were burnt, compared to 65 in 2018 and 41 in 2017.

The Western Cape accounted for 56 of the 65 coaches burnt in 2018, with eight incidents taking place in Gauteng and one in KwaZulu-Natal.

All of these problem areas are under the ownership of the National government, the ANC, so I am a bit confused why they think that non-delivery in these areas will impact on people’s votes?

But then again as a westerner there are many things I do not understand about South Africa.

We have chosen to make our home here and so we just get on with life.  I can only hope that we can find a way for us all to live in peace and harmony.

I started a new project with a client on Friday. This is the 3rd project I have done for this client since 2010. I am documenting the metadata for their data warehouse. It seems like it will be interesting.

It has been a busy week and we have not been eating that healthy so we are going to get back to banting from tomorrow.

I tried the quail’s eggs my friend gave me and boiled them and added them to a chinese slaw salad I picked up from woolies and some tuna.

Norm did cook one night and made baked pork fillet with mushrooms, corn on the cob and gem squash and it was very yummy.

We ended up having take aways a few nights however so our balance of healthy vs unhealthy was off.

Last night we met our friends Mel, Steve and their daughter Chloe at Hoghouse Brewing Company.

We took an uber so that Norm could have a few drinks.

One thing that I struggle with at this venue is drinks. I know it is a brewery but I do not drink beer. I tried their cider but it was just OK, I did not really enjoy it. I ended up drinking water. I go there purely for the food. We ordered food to share for the table, we ordered lots of meat as you do at a BBQ joint.

We ordered 300g of pork ribs, 300g of pulled pork, 300g of burnt ends and 300g of pork belly.

The boys ordered the chorizo scotch eggs, Chloe ordered some nachos, Mel ordered the eggplant parmiagiana and we ordered chips, onion rings, chili poppers and wild mushroom arancini.

For dessert I had a pasteis de nata, Chloe had a vanilla milkshake and Mel and Steve had sorbet.

I found that  few of the dishes had changed since we were last there. The burnt ends were quite fatty, next time I would choose the beef brisket in the hopes it was less fatty. I did not try the pork belly but there was a gorgeous crackling and it looked nice. I loved the pulled pork. In fact next time I may just order that only it was so good. We had a lovely evening catching up with our friends and eating like piggies.

Today Norm and I are having a pajama day. I have been fasting with only hot water with lemon until lunch time to clear my digestion. I have tidied my clothes and have been writing. Norm is going to make us a high fat low carb lunch of eggs, bacon and avocado. I know that I will feel better once we get back to reducing our sugar intake. It makes a huge difference to my digestion and my arthritis symptoms. We will derail temporarily next weekend as the girls are coming up for our belated Christmas lunch. I look forward to that! Seeing my girls, not the banting derailing.

I have also booked a few events to look forward to, I booked to go to the theatre to see Into the Woods. It is playing at The Theatre on the Bay which is our fave venue and we have booked the dinner and show option which is usually lovely. I booked a lunch at Foxcroft with some girl friends. I love that restaurant.

Today we woke to some cool weather and it has rained quite a bit which hopefully will dampen some of the ongoing fires we have been having.

I am very grateful for the rain.

I wish you all a happy week.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0

Shutting Down

We have had a bit of on and off rain this week with more water to fill our dams. However after our weekend last week of sunny gorgeous weather it was a bit disorientating to have some days of cold weather interspersed with the warm sunny days. Do I wear boots? Do I wear flip flops? Those are predominately the only foot wear I wear and the weather in South Africa can change from one extreme to the other as it has done all week. We have not had a fire in the evenings all week so that tells you the temperature has been manageable by just wearing a warm sweater and wrapping up in furry blankets. Then again today was 27 degrees Celsius and it was a glorious day (that is about 78 in F for my American readers who can’t be arsed to google and covert).

We had one morning this week where it was pouring with rain and on my way in to work I spotted a huge bird of prey sitting on a road sign. The bird was as tall as the road sign and really fat with fluffy brown and white feathers. I wish I could have snapped a pic as he looked so majestic but trying to shoot a one handed photo while hurtling along a curvy road in the dark while it is pouring with rain is maybe not the safest so I chose to rather not risk it. I love it when we spot random animals just going about our daily lives, there are a few little bucks which have been spotted in our suburb lately as well, I would have thought it could be due to the drought except our streams are full again.

On Tuesday night Norm cooked dinner for us. He chopped up chicken breasts and mushrooms and fried them, then added baby broccoli and made a sauce out of cream, chicken stock, fromage frais, and a wee squizz of tomato paste.

It was low carb and very tasty and it was nice to try something different as it is easy to get into a menu rut, especially when trying to eat low carb. One can only create so many different types of salad or make cauliflower into so many different potato or rice substitutes.

Tuesday afternoon after work I had to stop for petrol. The South African petrol price had a monstrous hike of a Rand a liter on Wednesday. This puts our petrol up to almost R17 a liter. If my math and metric conversion skills are correct, this translates to $4.50 (USD) per gallon. As everyone was trying to fill up before the midnight price change I had to visit 2 different petrol stations to fill my tank up completely as the first station ran out of petrol in the middle of filling my car. The hike is being blamed on the poor rand value, however the poor rand value can be blamed on the cluster feck of our government and the fact that most of the government’s funds have been embezzled in the State Capture fiasco. So the root cause is the government’s lack of proper governing without the ability to avoid sticking their hands in the taxpayers pockets. I was curious about how our petrol prices rank against the rest of the world and I found this info which tells me we are not the most expensive globally. However this link is NOT considering the average salary in that country so there is very little perspective on the impact of the price to drivers. If the cost of petrol is high as are salaries then the effect is negligible, however South African salaries are not very high and this will really impact all of us. No road trips in my future for a while and this will probably mean my kids cannot pop down for the weekend as often.

Later on Tuesday night I had a dig through our family dress up box. We are having our annual Halloween party on the 27th of October. I am still not even 100% sure of what I am going as but I found a dress which I wore before I met Norman. I was unable to fit into it for decades, but as it is such a lovely funky dress I kept it, if only for Halloween options.

I was so pleased to see that it fit me again! I will possibly use this as the basis of my outfit and just tweak it. It is velvet and I love velvet. I am on the hunt for a crinoline and then I will be able to create the exact look I am after.

Meanwhile, we have had plenty of turmoil in South Africa with multiple different protests occurring across the country. (Much like the US where many women are protesting the potential Supreme Court appointment of the petulant man child Brett Kavanaugh.)

I received a demonstration alert from the US Embassy notifying us that there was a protest planned in the city on the 2nd October under the Western Cape Total Shutdown banner. However I later saw an article saying that this was fake news so I am not sure whether the Cape Town demo went ahead on the 2nd or not?!

The Western Cape Total Shutdown concept was implemented to protest gangster-ism, violence, unemployment and crime in the suburbs around Cape Town. But I am struggling to find any details other than this link.

A march had taken place on the 29th of August where scores of Kensington residents shut down a large part of Voortrekker Road as they peacefully demonstrated with placards and posters. A similar demonstration occurred in Bonteheuwel a few weeks later on the 25th of September when there was another protest held about the crime in the Cape Town suburbs. Residents in areas including Kensington, Bonteheuwel, Bishop Lavis, Manenberg, Kraaifontein and Hanover Park took to the streets to highlight an increase in gang violence in their communities. A total of 13 protesters were arrested in Bonteheuwel and the police shot rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowds.

On Thursday in the Bonteheuwel area a man was murdered by a known gangster. This issue with gangs is part of the basis for much of the protests. the gangs rule these areas. The victim was not associated to a gang so the reason for his murder is so far unknown or at least not yet publicised.

Today the Total Shutdown protests continued, this time in the north of SA near Johannesburg. The coloured communities are protesting over the killing of a woman during alleged gang violence.

They also highlighted their dissatisfaction with what they believe is the lack of prioritisation of people who identify as coloured. The term of ‘coloured’ is not a racial slur, this is a term used in SA to designate a particular distinct group of people. The term may have originated during the apartheid era, however now it is part of every day terminology here and is used by the coloured community themselves.

Another protest which occurred this week is regarding the ongoing issues with the Train Services in the Western Cape which I have blogged about previously. The rail service has been targeted for attack with many fires being set and many instances of robbery due to lack of proper security on the trains. This protest was under the banner of #UniteBehind. We have had at least one death from the arson attacks and at least one death from the robberies. In July alone 32 coaches were damaged as a result of arson. The damage caused to trains and infrastructure came to a total of more than R50m.

#UniteBehind launched #DelayRepay, a campaign to demand better rail service and compensation in cases of continued delays on Thursday. The coalition of civil society movements held a rally at the Cape Town Train Station.

The #DelayRepay campaign is a response to the “disastrous” deterioration of the Metrorail service. The rail service, the organisation said, “robs commuters and the public of money and human dignity”. People have lost their jobs due to this issue when they were late on a recurring basis. Some people spend up to 5 hours commuting every day due to delays and cancellations.

On Thursday there was a collision between 2 trains in the northern part of SA and 320 people were injured.

The first train was stationary due to technical problems when it was rear-ended by the second train. Metrorail’s spokesperson said they were investigating how the second train driver was allowed into a section where the existence of a stationary train had been reported to the depot. They were using the controversial manual authorisation system at the time. Metrorail has said previously it is forced to use this method because of severe cable theft and infrastructure damage that has crippled electronic communication to the signalling network.

Yet another issue due to lack of policing and non-adherence to safety processes in our rail system.

I am so grateful to have a car and to be independent of this drama (and to have a valid license albeit a temporary one.)

Another huge challenge in SA is unemployment where the unemployed rate is over 26% and is as high as 30% for the unemployed youth. This equates to over 6 million people without employment according to stats from the last quarter. The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, rose to 36.7% in the first quarter from 36.3% in the previous quarter. The cycle of poverty can lead to an increase in drug abuse and crime. I am so blessed that my children are all employed.

Thursday night Norm and I cooked dinner together. We did a Mexican themed dinner of spicy mince and beans.

We just served the mince like a salad, on a bed of lettuce and topped with cheese, salsa, fromage frais and home made guacamole. It was really yummy and the best thing is it is so fast to prepare when there are two of you to chop and prep.

This weekend I have to take Pixie to the chiro for her 5 week adjustment. Navajo had a visit this week, Norm took him on Thursday. He is such a curious alert dog.

He is getting better about going to the chiro, he was a raging nightmare the first visit but he has gotten used to it now and still remains alert, but is more relaxed.

As for the rest of the weekend, it is open to possibilities. I hope you enjoy yours.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxox

Hardly Strong

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

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

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

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

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

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❤️

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

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

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Help! Which ones should I choose?

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

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

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

I also had an iced coffee which was divine.

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

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

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

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

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My lovely family @TeamLaMouette

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Herb gnocchi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Road trippin ❤️ #ChapmansPeak

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

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

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

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

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

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

However only 1 portion arrived so we just shared it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We settled in and ordered a drink and some lunch.

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

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

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

We walked down to the lighthouse and back.

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

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

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

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

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

I am so blessed.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0x0