Touched by an Angel

One more sleep.

That is, there is only one more sleep until my darling hubby is waiting eagerly at the Cape Town airport for collection.

All I can say is phew. I would say more but kids might be reading.

Managing a home as well as starting a new client and new project has almost done me in. Thank goodness we don’t also have small children, I wonder how single moms cope. Hats off to them. We have so much pressure just as women in general. Waxing and coloring and styling and making up. Feck it can be hard work. Add to that keeping a house functioning and it is a lot to keep juggled. It’s like a finely tuned machine, I used a calendar with color coded keys for each person, the domestic, the gardener, the pool man, the dog food delivery man, the house sitter and dog walker. If one factor shifted it all went awry. For example, Josh was planning on staying in Mossell Bay from Good Friday until the following Thursday so I had booked Vanessa a few nights to stay over and help me, but then Josh had to come back early for work so I ended up having all three of us here but that worked out ok. Luckily we had the new bed for Vanessa.

But then as I had originally cancelled Vanessa from Easter weekend I was on my own on Tuesday morning when I started my new project at our new client site. I had told our cleaner when she was here in person the previous week that I was starting a new project and was supposed to be in an 8am meeting and I also sent an SMS the day before to remind her that I had to leave by 7:30 at the latest and if she wasn’t there I could not wait. I was ready by 7 but there was no sign of her by 7:30 and when I rang her phone was off. Often when she goes to the Eastern Cape she is late coming back to Cape Town so I assumed she was not back and I left a voicemail and sent a text message to say I had to go to work. As she wasn’t here our gardener could not get in to work later at 9 when he arrived. It also meant the dogs were on their own all day. On the days when no one was going to be at home, I booked Vanessa who popped in to let the dogs out for a wander and a wee and filled their water bowls.

I had a meeting with a colleague on Monday even though it was a public holiday just to prep me for Tuesday but it was still exhausting sitting in workshops most of Tuesday. I left as soon as I could and raced back feeling so bad that Navajo was inside unable to go to the toilet from that morning but he did so well bless him.

We could not get our ID badges which meant I could not even go for a wee on my own, eventually that was sorted and yesterday I got access to the WiFi and network. Those niggly little details make such a difference when you get on boarded to a project. It’s lovely being in the city Centre with so many choices of food and a nice coffee place across the road. I’ve mostly eaten at Now Now which has a really great menu and delicious food and a few Banting choices. I have a coffee there every morning and usually my lunch is there too as it’s across the street and I don’t have time to faff about.

I had this Banting dish for lunch Tuesday, it has cauliflower mash topped with spicy chicken, sour cream and sliced almonds. Yum.

Peri Chicken Pot 👍🏼

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Josh and I were surviving off of OrderIn. This went fine most nights but one evening we ordered burgers from The Kitchen Takeaway and had a major drama. The order got stuck in the app. Eventually I noticed that it had been a long time since I placed the order and I had not had an SMS so I checked the app to make sure the order had gone through and noticed it had not been completely processed. I rang the call centre (I won’t call it a ‘helpdesk’ as it certainly NOT that) and after sitting on the phone in a queue for 5 minutes someone finally answered and when I asked her about the status of my order she then put me on hold and disappeared for ages, she then came back to say that the ‘restaurant had refused the order’ and when I asked her why she said she had to check ‘with a colleague’. She then put me on hold again. After another 5 minutes listening to an annoying call centre message she comes back to say that the restaurant was missing an item we ordered and had cancelled the order. I told her that we only ordered burgers – how many ingredients could be missing?! This sounded rather unlikely.

Josh had subsequently rang the restaurant on his mobile who told us that A) they had not refused the order as they had not received the order and that B) there were no missing ingredients, they had all that we asked for. This can only lead me to the conclusion that the call centre agent was not being truthful. This has happened before where OrderIn agents blamed the restaurant for the issues in delivery and when I rang the restaurant they told me that the story I was given by the call centre agents is not true. They are obviously told never to admit a glitch on the app however the damage that they can do to a restaurant’s reputation can be terrible.

Petrol went up this week and I missed that memo. By the time I got the message I was home and in my PJs and not a chance was I moving. It is already taking twice the petrol driving up the mountain now that I drive the coast road.

I was presenting very tedious information to the client in workshops twice this week and both days I had such a sore tummy. Presenting stresses me out especially when I have not written the documents myself. I hate surprises. But both days went well and I have my rules confirmed. I’ll package for sign off next week.

Driving out of the city yesterday a car stalled at the traffic light in front of me. The large truck behind me got annoyed at the delay & overtook the queue of traffic & drove around us & cut in front to turn left at the same time the poor dude got his car to start resulting in a major collision right in front of me. It was rather shocking and loud but no one was badly injured. I was then starting to shift into victim mode and think “why me? Why are all of these stressful things happening to me?” And then I pulled myself up for languishing in egotistic self pity. I needed to shift my focus and say Thank You! Thank you spirit guides and protectors and ancestors for keeping me safe in that accident. Thank you for a job. Thank you for a job where I get to talk to people all day about a topic I love, data and data quality. How lucky am I that I get paid to write, even if I am writing technical approach documents, at least I am doing something I love to do and getting paid a cracking good salary to do so.

I need to refocus. Maybe being without Norm has made me more appreciative of what I have. I just know I can’t wait for him to get home and I’m feeling renewed in how I am approaching this project. Life is good. I’m a lucky Kitten. I just need to focus on those positives and keep myself in gratitude mode.

This morning I was up early and took Pixie to the doggy chiropractor. We were a bit early so we canoodled in the car.

I put a ham in to bake when I got back.

I baked a gammon ❤️

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I then popped out to Spar and bought some veggies so I will do roast butternut and cauliflower, corn on the cob and serve those with the ham.

I’ve just been chilling outside with the dogs and relaxing. Feeling blessed to have this view.

And feeling pleased the plants I repotted are thriving.

The view from my happy place ❤️😍

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Enjoy your weekend and until then, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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Path of Persistence

I’ve been trying to keep up with all of my own tasks as well as those which Norman  is usually responsible for and so far the house is still standing and all 5 animals are still alive.

Some of them are coping better than others.

Navajo is still hopping about on 3 legs and his ankle is still so swollen.

I am spraying arnica on it twice a day. It does not hurt him but it is cold and it smells funny so at first he scooted off in the opposite direction whenever he saw the bottle. I praised him and gave him so much love each time I treated him that he eventually started to stick his leg out and wait for the spray as he knew it would be followed with lots of attention. He was on anti-inflammatory meds every evening which I mixed into his mince. Norm tried every means possible to hide it, wrapping it in a block of cheese, in a sausage, in a ball of mince, he tried everything. I just grind it up and mix into the mince and he is eating it but the meds are now finished and I need to get him back to the vet but I can’t take him myself as I am in the city all day on a new project and cannot take time to get back to Hout Bay in business hours.

We gave Navajo a few days rest without walking, he was a bit overexcited about life (poor cats) but I think he needed to take it easy. He is struggling with getting up the stairs. He has no problem going down, he lifts that back leg and flies down the stairs. He is struggling a bit with weeing, he prefers lifting the ‘good leg’ and of course when he tries he wobbles about and then remembers and rights himself. Bless him.

He is a clever boy. The other day I heard Pixie snuffling about under the stairs and I managed to crawl in there with her to discover both of her balls lined up in a neat little row just outside of her reach. She has a little smushed up Pomeranian face and not much of a snout, whereas Navajo has a really long nose. He deliberately puts her toys there and sits back and watches her repeatedly trying to get to them, knowing she cannot reach them with her wee mouth. He has a strong streak of sadism.

Maybe he is paying Pixie back for annoying him. She can be a right little pain in the butt. She has this ‘trick’ where she goes outside at the back just when we are getting ready to go up to bed. She can get in and out of the house via her doggy door but once I lock up she cannot get upstairs to join all of us as she cannot navigate the security gate as she is too chubby to get through the bars. Navajo will not settle at night if one of his pack is missing so I have to go out and try and entice her back inside. If she decides to be awkward then I have to put off all of the alarms, unlock all of the locks to get out the back, traverse the dog poop and other surprises lying around in the dark while shoe less and fetch her. So when she did it this week I said to her ‘come in Pixie’ and then opened the treat cupboard to feed the cats. She then thought I was getting a treat to bribe her in and popped in through the doggy door with a look of expectation. Navajo had come down to assist me (aka get under my feet and make it twice as difficult) and I turned and said to them both in a very gruff voice ‘Naughty children GET UPSTAIRS NOW!!’ and they both turned and ran upstairs as if being pursued by a monster, feet scrambling against the tiles until they got traction. They knew they were being naughty and they were like cheeky children flying up those stairs. It was all I could do not to laugh.

The other doggy drama has been with the neighbour across the road who has several huge dogs. She cannot manage them all on leads while walking them on her own and so she takes them down to the road reserve off lead. This would be fine if they were disciplined. They are not. Twice this week I have had these massive dogs attacking my dogs while mine are in their own garden. They fight through the gate so only their snouts can make contact but this can be enough. When I lived in Los Angeles I had a little American Eskimo dog named Teka and while walking her one evening she had sniffed under a gate and the dog on the other side managed to get hold of her lip and tore it badly leading to a bad cut and a ton of blood.

I lost my cool a bit on Thursday when I got home and the dogs all started fighting for the second time that week and I saw the owner just watching from across the road rather than trying to restrain her dog. I have now told her that I will pepper spray the dogs if they attack my dogs while in their own garden. I hate to do that but I must protect my dogs.

It is a family joke that we always have some major catastrophe when Norm goes away and this trip I have been forced to be Mrs McGyver. The first issue was the garage door which cannot be opened when the electricity is off. Mzudumo and Cordelia were both at the house working that day when the power tripped. Luckily Mzudumo has experienced this before with the dodgy SA electrical supply and he managed to override the electric motor and open the door manually. However he did not fix it back so when I got home I could not open the garage and had to go through the house and open it manually but then I could not figure out how to get it back onto opening by the remote. Norm phoned and talked me through it and I sorted it out.

Next the ice maker in the fridge blocked up due to the electricity being off. This is also something Norm usually sorts out but I managed to chisel out the blockage and get it operational again.

I also have been plodding my way through some of the items on Norm’s honey-do list. I had been given a gorgeous bird feeder a few Christmases ago and I recently found it in a cupboard and when Caitlin and I went for lunch yesterday I bought some dried worms at Earthworx and hung it up. I can see it from my kitchen window and hopefully it will draw some interesting birds.

I have a plant which has needed to be tied to a stick to support it for ages and so I dug around in the garage and found a stick which I hammered into the ground and tied up the plant. So far it is still standing! This one long stem had grown so long and was so top heavy it was just lying on the ground. I could not bear to just chop it off in order to get it to fill out a bit as it had lots of blooms. I will cut it all back at some stage but I thought this was a good interim solution.

Josh has been a godsend as he has fixed the garage motor which kept shorting out every time we tried to open it, the landing light which tripped and various other things.

He drove all the way to House and Home to collect the headboard we ordered weeks ago but it was still not in stock! This is now twice we have driven to the shop to collect it after being told to do so, the first time it was damaged when Norm arrived and she said come back the following Tuesday to collect a new one. Unfortunately Josh was sick and could not go on Tuesday and it took over a week until he was well enough to make it through. He popped in last Thursday only to be told it was still not in stock. The reason we chose this particular head board was because the original salesman told us it WAS in stock. They have now said they will deliver it when it is finally in stock but had no date when that will be. Shockingly bad customer service.

Welcome to Africa. Not much is terribly efficient here.

Last Sunday I had my friends Caroline and Helen over for lunch.

We have all worked together on various projects over the years and we are all geeky girls who adore our animals. We talked data, dogs and cats mostly!

My dogs were barking like lunatics as there were lots of kids out in the street playing. Pixie was so annoying that I shouted ‘OK Pixie, that is enough I am getting my gun’, to which Caroline says ‘bloody Americans, I bet she goes through loads of Pomeranians.’

I laughed so much.

We have a water gun which we use to keep the Poms in check as they really detest getting wet. Pixie especially hates water and as soon as she sees the gun she has a Pavlovian type response and starts shaking the water off of her before it even hits her. It does not phase Navajo as he loves water and tries to catch the stream in his mouth.

That day I had gotten up early and tidied the house and then went to Spar to get some things to serve for lunch. I got croissants for Josh and I to have for a late breakfast. They have divine ones. I over heated them a bit, they were not so brown when I bought them but I prefer them with the chocolate melted.

For lunch I picked up loads of bits and pieces. I bought a roast chicken, some cold meats, some cheeses and fresh bread.

I made a cheese platter and used my lovely Carrol Boyes serving items.

I served salads and various ‘picky things’ which was all perfect fare for a warm sunny day. We have vowed to make this a regular event with the three of us meeting up more frequently.

Wednesday it started to storm in the early evening and the thunder and lightening were rather majestic.

Cape Lightning #storm #CapeTown #lightning

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Our dogs are not bothered by loud noises or the bright flashes of lightening but the dogs at the guest house next door are and they started barking as soon as the thunder started and they were still barking the following morning when I woke up. I think the dogs are left on their own most of the time and so no one is there to calm them when they get upset and they get upset over every noise. A siren sets them off howling like coyotes for hours.

Thursday was my last day at UCT and I had to leave at lunch time to go to the American Consulate to get my passport renewed. It was very sad to leave UCT I have been really happy working there it is a great team.

I had to get a new photo made for my passport and the American passport has a lot of rules. You are not allowed to wear glasses, you cannot smile, you have to put your hair behind your ears so that your ear lobes show and you cannot wear earrings. The US passport pics are also a different size than most other countries require. Add all of these requirements up and top them with some very unflattering down lighting, dirty hair and the inability to NOT smile when facing a camera and you end up with this clusterfeck of chaos. The photographer kept saying ‘don’t smile, look grumpy’ and so caught me pinching my smiley lips together.

I look like a criminal. I am now stuck with this photo for the next 10 years. My last passport was before the new rules and it was quite flattering.

Oh well.

After the photo I went to the Red Gallery Cafe for a quick bite of lunch before my appointment at the Consulate. I sat outside despite the gloomy weather and I ordered the chicken stir fry.

It was a massive portion and was nicely flavoured. There was so much left over I had the rest that night for my tea.

We have a 4 day weekend with two days off of work for Easter holidays.

Yesterday was Good Friday and Caitlin collected me and we went out for lunch. It has been raining for a few days now on and off and we had planned to go down to the harbour and have lunch and walk along the slipway but the weather was not being very cooperative. Caitlin wanted to buy a protea and so we decided to go to Earthworx Garden World as they have a sweet little cafe there where we could still wrap up warm and sit outside but be protected from the weather.

We both ordered the Chicken Pie and salad.

After we ate we wandered around and bought a few bits and pieces. I got a new type of succulent which I do not have, some potting soil and a new pot, I got the worms for my feeder, some stuff you put in the mellow yellow toilets to reduce the wee smell and some spray to try and stop the dogs peeing on the patio. We have a lot of pee related issues.

Caitlin came back and played with the pups for a bit and pottered around with me in the garden then headed home late afternoon. I just made myself a pizza with some left over mozzarella and the last of the salami from the previous weekend. It wasn’t fancy but it filled a gap.

Today is the Two Oceans Marathon which results in one of the roads out of Hout Bay being shut as it is actually the race route. I can see the choppers overhead following the runners.

#OMTOM2018 #choppers #houtbay

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I can also hear the voices over the tannoy cheering on the runners.

Sounds of #omtom2018

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I have the marathon playing live in the background on the telly as I write and I can hear it outside as well. I love seeing the beautiful images of Cape Town and the surrounding areas. The rain and clouds have cleared and it is a gorgeous day. I am going to pop a gammon in the oven and do some gardening today. My new succulent will be split into two plants and re-potted.

The drought has resulted in me changing the plants which have not survived without water and replacing them with succulents. You can literally just throw a leaf from a succulent into a bit of dirt and it grows. Amazing.

I am trying to get plenty of rest this weekend as I start a new client and project on Tuesday. It will be a rather intense project and I am feeling a bit stressed about it from both a logistical point of view as well as worrying about the level of intensity of the project. I am meeting a colleague on Monday afternoon to prep for the next day.

Luckily I have a friend staying with me to help with managing the dogs and the staff and everything else around the house. Like most things we just have to keep chipping away at it all until we get it done.

I am nothing if not persistent.

Enjoy your weekend. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxo

Takers and Fakers

I mentioned that the Budget Speech was done last Wednesday. I also discussed the failings of the current government to adequately plan for the number of children in the Western Cape province and how 10k children have no placement in a school. I found it rather ridiculous that the ANC blamed the high levels of uneducated Africans solely on the past years of apartheid when the ANC have been in power for over 20 years. From what I have seen the ANC have done very little to better the cause of their constituents during those 20 plus years.

Unemployment in January 2018 was 26.7% as compared to the official unemployment rate in 1994, as recorded by Statistics South Africa, which was approximately 20%. The ANC have failed to improve in this area either and the two issues are intrinsically linked. Education is one of the paths out of poverty and unemployment.

Statistics SA calculates an “expanded rate” of unemployment which includes people who do not have a job and are available to work but have not taken active steps to look for work. Calculations using the expanded rate put unemployment at 31.5% in 1994 and 35.6% between July and September 2013. So either way you slice the data, the ANC is failing to progress the living conditions of the voters.

It is estimated that 53 million girls do not have access to education. This can be due to many different reasons but some of the girls are too isolated to be able to attend a physical school and so a proposal was made to the African Union (AU) Summit by the ONE foundation which suggested digital learning could be a way to reach many children. Globally there are so many challenges to getting access to education and this needs to be addressed strategically, hopefully the new first lady will help to further that agenda.

Another issue compromising the rights of young girls is the high incidence of sex trafficking and child trafficking and other ways of suppressing these young girls from living their best lives. A crazy situation has just literally blown up in South Africa. This oppression was done in the name of religion.

Back in February 2016 a raid was done on the Mancoba Seven Angels Ministry church where 18 kids between the ages of 7 and 13 years of age were removed from the care of the church. This was after months of investigation into the practices of the church where it was identified that none of the children there were being allowed to go to an external school and were also not being educated by the church. This is illegal to not educate a school aged child and so the police removed the children on the instructions of the Social Development MEC.

A report by chapter 9 institution the CRL Rights Commission was presented to Parliament’s portfolio committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs in October last year where they warned it was a disaster waiting to happen.

Commission chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva told City Press that she interviewed the cult leaders in 2016 during her investigation into church practices and made the parliamentary committee aware of her “serious concerns” however for some reason this case seems to have slipped through the many governmental cracks and the predictions by the CRL report were realised when the cult leaders ran out of money and then decided it would be a good idea to go on a crime spree in the hopes of topping up their coffers.

The cult members ambushed a police station in Ngcobo on the Eastern Cape. There were 5 police staff killed as well as an off duty soldier. Three of the SAPS members were shot on site while two additional members were kidnapped before being killed and left on the side of the road. During the attack, ten firearms and a police van were stolen from the police station, and an ATM a short distance from the police station was robbed.

Investigations into the raid on the police station led the police to the doors of the Mancoba Seven Angels Ministry church yet again where another shoot out occurred, this time the interaction left seven people dead and resulted in 10 arrests. Further exploration of the ‘church’ premises revealed that there were approximately 100 girls here who were being kept as sex slaves. These children ranged in age from infants to teens. The adults who lived on the premises were not allowed to leave the compound either.

If only the government had acted on the report they could have saved those girls from years of sexual abuse and gotten them into a school so that they could get an education.

There has been some rather horrid news over the last week.

There was a post going around social media regarding a woman who went missing on her way to work on Thursday, a notice was put out by the Pink Ladies organisation. 57-year-old Gill Packham‚ a teacher at Springfield Convent in Wynberg‚ was reported missing by a relative on Thursday morning. On Thursday night a burning BMW was discovered at the train station in Diep River and a body was discovered in the boot of the car. It is feared but not confirmed that this body is the missing teacher. I pray that she died prior to them setting the car alight as that would be a horrendous way to die. I feel so sad for her children and loved ones. Such a senseless death.

We also heard on the radio that there was some sort of taxi war going down on Thursday night in Hout Bay, very near our home. There were reports of gun shots from multiple people.

“Hout Bay police have now confirmed that a 22-year-old man was killed during a shooting incident outside the OK Mini-Mart in Hout Bay on February 22.

The shooting, which occurred at 9.30pm, is believed to be related to a taxi war.

“Another victim was shot inside the OK Mini Mart and sustained injuries to his head. He was transported to Groote Schuur Hospital,” said Warrant Officer Tanya Lesch. “A murder case and attempted murder case were opened. No arrests have been made as yet. All leads are being followed up to establish the cause of the incident.”

Rumours were circulating that this incident was linked to the most recent fire in the township. The fire is rumoured to have been caused by a fight over taxi routes. The man who allegedly started that fire has gone into hiding and the way things work in the community is that if you are not there to pay the price of your actions yourself then a family member will be given your punishment. The rumours are that one of the victims was the brother of the alleged arsonist.

The local Driftwood Restaurant & Pub in Hout Bay was reported to have been robbed by 4 armed men the morning after the shoot out. This was potentially an inside job as the takings from the previous night were all on site. There are various gambling machines in the pub which also would have been emptied. Who knew the patterns of the bank deposits? This has happened before at this same venue.

I had a relaxed weekend at home despite all of the chaos swirling around the village. Norm was away from Friday morning when he flew to Zambia at ridiculous o’clock in the morning. He left the house at 4.30am but I did not hear him tiptoe out, I only woke when Josh left for work.

Friday night Josh and I stayed in and ordered a curry from the Indian Oven and it was ever so delicious as always. As I had been awake so early that morning and Josh was working the next day we were both asleep by 10pm.

Saturday I had a friend pop by to drop off some cleaning products that I bought, but other than that I had a lazy day just doing not much of anything. Of course everything I do is accompanied by my shadow.

I started watching a new series called Retribution on Netflix. There were only 4 episodes in the series and I binge watched them all on Saturday night. It was such a great show, I really recommend it and give it a full 5 Kitten stars.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sunday I had to emerge from my nest and go shopping so I showered and went down to the village. I did not bother to put on make up so of course I saw so many people I know. Typical.

I decided to cook a beef curry for that evening and I put in loads of veggies and lentils and some cannelloni beans. It cooked all day and we had it that evening for dinner. I forgot to buy any cauliflower rice so we just had it as is with some poppadoms and some chicken samoosas I bought at woolies.

Beef and veggie curry

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Norm arrived home late on Sunday night so I waited up for him to get in. I am never sure who is more excited to see him, me or the dogs. Navajo has barely been eating while Norm was away and he is also limping on his back leg again. I am not sure if this is just amateur dramatics or whether he really has a problem. He is a bit of a drama queen.

On Monday Vanessa came around to do my pedicure and after she left I made dinner. I had cooked a bolognaise sauce on Sunday afternoon. I sliced up a couple of aubergines and fried them to make sure they cooked properly. I then created a sort of Lasouka or Mousana. (What you get if a Moussaka and a Lasagna had a baby.)

I layered the meat sauce in the bottom of the pan and topped it with a layer of the fried aubergines.

They were not as burnt as they look trust me, I am a Mousana Master. I then added a layer of ricotta cheese and topped with a layer of sliced mozzarella and baked it all for about 30-40 minutes.

It was very rich with all of the cheese, it would have been fine without the ricotta. But it was rather tasty and was a nice change from my usual low carb lasagna.

We have had a bit of rain here and there as well and the current estimate for Day Zero is July 9th.

Our new president has announced his new cabinet and I am rather disappointed to see that it is littered with Gupta owned Zuma supporters. His choices are driven by what is good for the ANC, not what is good for the country.

I am most disappointed in the retention of Bathabile Dlamini. Her incompetence has been proven many times over. David Mabuza will be sworn in as the Deputy President of South Africa which is also a slap in the face of all of us as he has been surrounded by scandal and corruption charges. A few of the ministers who did get moved out were a relief so it is not all doom and gloom. However this was a missed opportunity to do a proper clear out of the Gupta-ites and Zuma sycophants.

Ramaphosa only gets two kitten stars for this new cabinet. And that is me being incredibly generous.

⭐️⭐️

I’ve got my eye on you Cyril!

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

The State of Turmoil

There is so much chaos going on in South Africa that I am not quite sure where to start!

Let’s start with an update on the drought. The day after our Dance to Heal the Earth we read that Day Zero was pushed back to mid May!! I thank the Universe for the sign that our prayers were received and acted upon.

The farmers have gifted Cape Town with some of the water from one of their own dams. Between 7.5 and 10 million cubic meters of water is being released from the Eikenhof Dam in Grabouw by farmers who are donating the water to Cape Town. The water will flow via several smaller dams and end up in the Steenbras Dam, from where it will be pumped to City residents.

It is an impressive sight to see this much water flowing. Such a blessing of abundance.

The Day Zero date changed prior to the gift from the farmers however. Could the citizens have reduced their consumption so severely to make such a difference already or was it the dance? I know what I choose to believe and I give thanks.

I hope that the additional month delay before the expected implementation of Day Zero does not give people a false sense of comfort which results in the consumption increasing again. Globally water is at risk and this precious resource needs to be treated as such. I know that I will never again take it for granted.

One of the other areas of chaos is around Zuma, our incompetent fool of a president. The way that elections work in SA is very different to the US. In SA we vote for a political party and the party then chooses who will be our President. Zuma has been in hot water almost since he was put into power. He is corrupt and has been instrumental in the state capture by the Gupta family. Financial mismanagement, deception, corruption and nepotism are pretty much the extent of his skill set. We won’t even mention his previous charge of rape. Oops, I think I just did.

In December last year the ANC elected a new leader of their party, Cyril Ramaphosa who is currently South Africa’s Vice President. This puts Mr Ramaphosa, a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle and one of South Africa’s wealthiest citizens, in position to become the next president of the country, as the ANC still holds a voting majority. However this transition has not gone smoothly as Zuma has refused to step down.

At this point there are 5 options available for Zuma.

One option is that he is recalled as the president of the country by the ANC. The ANC’s top six met with Zuma over the weekend in an unsuccessful bid to persuade him to resign, after which the top six met with the party’s national working committee (NWC) on Monday evening. The NWC then convened an urgent meeting of the national executive committee (NEC) for Wednesday evening in Cape Town which was subsequently cancelled. The NEC is the body that can recall the state president.

If Zuma continues to refuse to resign, Parliament can remove him with a motion of no confidence. Such a motion has already been tabled at the request of the opposition for February 22. Discussions are underway to have this brought forward to as early as next week.

The ANC could also lodge their own vote of no confidence in Zuma.

If a motion of no confidence fails, he could be removed with an impeachment. For this a two-thirds majority support is needed in the National Assembly. Parliament’s Rules Committee is yet to adopt final regulations regarding the impeachment of a president.

Finally, Zuma could resign voluntarily, however he is panicking about his fate should he no longer be president and has tried to ensure his supporters are kept in power to protect him. His position as head of state was all that stood between the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) reinstating the 783 charges of fraud, money laundering and racketeering which had been set aside in 2009. The Supreme Court of Appeal set aside the 2009 decision by then prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe to withdraw the criminal case against Zuma. The effect of the judgment is that charges are automatically reinstated.

Mr Zuma’s term as head of state will be up in 2019 when national elections are scheduled to be held however the party want him out sooner than that due to his impact on the overall party.

The other impact of this leadership turmoil is the postponement of the State of the Nation Address (SONA). The fact that they had to postpone SONA gives us an idea of the state of the nation – it is bloody chaos and confusion!

This party has gone downhill rapidly since the wonderful leader Mandela left office.

The resulting delay of the SONA will cost the citizens as all of the politicians and their entourages had already made arrangements and bookings to be in Cape Town and we will all bear that cost. The timing of the new date for SONA will have to consider the Budget speech, which will be delivered on February 21. The SONA is supposed to position the budget speech.

Meanwhile, life goes on for those of us struggling to survive financially while trying to conserve water and function as law abiding adults.

On Monday night our electricity went off again. Norm had a business meeting via Skype that evening and so he had grilled our dinner early so that he could take his call. He did roast veggies, sweet corn, organic chicken sausages and pork chops.

After Norm’s meeting he was busy eating his dinner when the power went off. We knew it was the whole street as we could hear all of the burglar alarms being triggered when the power cut. Ours has a back up battery so it behaved itself. This time it was a transformer which blew knocking out the power on our side of the valley. It may have been due to power surges from every household putting on their air conditioners and fans in the hot weather. It was HOT!

No that’s not Fahrenheit it’s aka effin hot!!!!

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The electricity was still off when we went to bed and only came on at 11am on Tuesday, 14 hours or so later. Puddles of melting ice were forming under the freezer so it came on just in time before everything had to be chucked out (or eaten).

I was so exhausted on Tuesday at work. It was so hot the previous night and it was hard to sleep. With no electricity obviously my fan was not on so I could hear every little pant, grunt and groan from the dogs. I woke before daylight but had to wait for a bit of light to see to get dressed. I was at work before 7am.

That day Josh had driven down to Mossel Bay and Norm had gone to a late meeting so I was on my own that evening. I was not that hungry so I just had some tempura prawns and other bits from the freezer. It was nice to have the house all to myself for a change. The only problem was that I forgot I had to feed the dogs at 6pm. When I finally got a bit peckish myself at about 6:30pm I went into the kitchen to see what I could find. I had a poke about in the fridge, shut the door and then turned to see all three of them sitting in a row with their adorable furry faces staring at me, heads cocked in confusion. I could hear their questions: A) Where is our Dad? and B) Who is going to feed us? I then twigged that they were asking me what the hell is going on and I hurriedly gave them their dinner. Luckily dogs have a short memory and give up their resentments immediately.

I could learn from dogs.

On Wednesday I had nothing to take to work for lunch so I used OrderIn to order from Obz Cafe. It was still hot out so I chose the Prawn and Avocado salad for R106.00.

This was yummy and I will order this again. It was swimming in the dressing though so I will ask for that to be served on the side next time.

Wednesday evening Norm and I were invited to Caitlin’s for dinner as a thank you to Norm for all of the help he gave her with her flat renovations. However midday Norm rang to say he had an invitation to the British High Commissioner’s for a function and so we quickly rescheduled Caitlin’s dinner to Thursday evening instead.

Every year the British High Commissioner holds a huge event at their official residence to mark the Eve of Parliament. However, as SONA has been delayed while the ANC take out their trash and get their house in order, this means that the opening of Parliament is also delayed indefinitely.

Norm and I are always invited to this event because of Norm’s MBE. This year Norm’s invite did not arrive so he contacted his friend at the embassy to ask was it cancelled because of the delay of Parliament opening. His friend told him that the invite had gone to his old email address which was from his previous job. Once Norm found out it was still being held despite Parliament not opening, we rescheduled with Caitlin and decided to pop in.

It is such a stunning old Cape Dutch thatched home with terraced gardens going down from the back of the house. The area where the house is has many hills and there are large crowds attending so sometimes you have to walk for quite a distance, however Norm kindly dropped me at the front gate where I waited for him to walk back up. I had been so silly as to wear not only new shoes but new shoes with a bit of a heel as I was wearing a cocktail length dress. I never, ever wear heels as my knees can’t take it. But a girl has gotta look cute.

Even an old one with dodgy knees.

We were greeted by an African choir at the front of the house and we joined the reception line to meet the new British High Commissioner HE Mr Nigel Casey and his wife Clare who seemed nice and friendly. (‘HE’ is the honourary title given to an ambassador in case you think my caps lock got stuck or I was emphasizing his gender or something random.)

We were greeted by rows of staff bearing trays laden with cold sparkly champagne but I waited to get a drink until after we were inside and had gone through the reception line. I know what it is like trying to balance a drink and a handbag while trying to shake hands. I am too clumsy for that challenge.

Open bars were set up on each end of the upper garden serving mixed drinks, cocktails, wine or champagne and there was a stand from Ocean Basket serving complimentary sushi. At the bar there was a very cute, suntanned and tattooed bartender with long blonde surfer hair in a manbun who served me. Ignoring the man bun, his cuteness was somewhat dampened when he could not understand my accent when I asked for ‘water’. Water is one of those words which I always struggle to get people to understand. My southern accent seems to throw them. Too many syllables in those vowels Scarlett!! Never mind, another bartender caught the exchange and just before I was given a straight up large vodka on the rocks he intervened and told the guy ‘dude she asked for water. NOT Vodka.’ Oops. Can you imagine me taking a giant glug and then spitting it out all over the fancy pants people around me?

Somehow I can. And that lovely scene would probably be promptly followed by me rolling down the terraced garden with my dress over my head.

The cocktail of the day was a whisky sour and so I took one just because it looked pretty and I love cocktails, however I seemed to forget that I detest whisky. It was a yummy cocktail however it was rather heavy on the whisky. It was kind of like a margarita with a shot of whisky in it.

Ay caramba.

I amused myself watching the women who were rookies at this event for the first time as many had on stilettos which impaled them into the grass. I struggled to walk steadily over the rough grass in my wedges, I would have broken an ankle in stilettos. The attire of the attendees ranged from a old dude who like a right tramp in mismatched wrinkled clothes and flip flops, to women who looked ready for the Oscars. My fave is always the people who wear ‘traditional clothing’ whether that be kilts or African designs. I love the bright and energetic colours.

We had a wander around the garden, trying to see who we could recognise. However I am half blind and Norm has a memory like a sieve so the only person we noticed was Patricia De Lille skulking about in the corner of the garden surrounded by body guards or protectors.

Norm was worried she might recognise me from my twitter profile and quickly scuppered me off to the other end of the garden before I was accosted by one of her thugs as a social media vigilante.

At the British High Commissioner’s event

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The new High Commissioner gave his welcome speech to the crowd.

Afterwards everyone continued to mingle, munch canapes and guzzle the free booze. In his speech, Nigel had told us that the cocktail of the day was a Whisky Sour in honour of it being ‘International Whisky Day’ however he appears to have told us a wee porky as I checked and it is only in March. Maybe he said National, but then I wondered whose nation, his home country or his current assignment? After a bit of research I see that it was International Scotch Whisky Day on the day of the event so I will let him off.

The choir from the front of the house then moved around to the back of the garden and performed from there.

They had amazing voices and a lovely harmony. I really enjoyed them.

We wandered about until about 8pm and then we headed off to get some dinner. As we were in Bishopscourt it seemed easiest to pop over to Constantia Village so we went to Primi. I ordered a strawberry daiquiri to cool me off as it was still very warm. Neither of us were terribly hungry so Norm ordered a salad and I ordered tapas.

Norm had the Caesar Salad: Cos lettuce tossed in PRIMI Caesar dressing with boiled egg, pecorino shavings and garlic croutons. You can choose to add either Anchovies for an additional R20, Grilled Chicken for R25 or Crispy Bacon for R20.

I had 2 items off the tapas menu. I chose Sylvia’s Crispy Chicken Livers which was described as ‘Crispy chicken livers sautéed with onion, garlic, fresh chilli and lemon.’ This was R55. They were incredibly salty and slightly burnt but I still nibbled a bit of them.

Crispy Chicken Livers

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For my other dish I chose Zucchini Fries, described as ‘Tempura battered zucchini with garlic aioli’ for R40. I loved these, they were both crispy and tasty if not completely low carb due to the tempura batter.

Zucchini fries

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We arrived home relatively early but my feet were killing me from balancing on heels in nobby grass clumps. The drought has meant the previously lush grass is now dry and clumpy.

Thursday after work we headed over to Caitlin’s for dinner. She and Wes cooked together while Norm and I played with the kittens.

They have grown so much since I first met them. The kittens, not Wes and Cait. they are pretty much fully grown.

Scout kept jumping on me and bumping his face against mine.

As a result he had a lipstick smudge over his eye which we at first mistook for an eye infection.

Caitlin and Wes spent ages carefully rolling the pumpkin into gnocchi but it was so worth it. The sauce was baby tomatoes, sage, cream and bacon. It really was divine.

Pumpkin Gnocchi with bacon and sage sauce

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For dessert Caitlin surprised Norm with a chocolate brownie cheesecake from Martin’s bakery which is owned by Wes’ uncle and aunt.

We both felt very spoiled. Wes even brought a bottle of wine for Norm and a very funky looking bottle of a creamy liqueur I have not yet tried as a thank you for treating him on Lily’s birthday. I will be cracking this baby open this weekend. He is such a polite young man.

I hope you all have had a great week and that you have a lovely relaxing weekend free from chaos. Mine is expected to be busy!

Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x

The Sacrificial Kitten

I feel like I should have some sort of large neon flashing light counting down to when the water runs out in Cape Town on my blogs. “It is X amount of days until Day Zero” announced in some deep ominous voice when it opens, a bit like all the silly nonsense we had on our MySpace blogs. Day Zero is a moving target which is based on our consumption, the rainfall and the dam water levels. I did mentioned that the City of Cape Town (CoCT) does have such a countdown. HERE is the link again and you can see that the previous date of 12 April has now been pushed back a few days to the 16th of April. This is as a result of people conserving more and that tiny drizzle of rain we had this week, so we gained 6 days.

I also discussed how Day Zero will only impact some people in Cape Town. An article about township residents and water has confirmed these views. If you have lived most of your life with the restriction of ‘use only what you can carry’ then you are already water conscious and far less precious than most of us are. Many people do not even have a bath or a shower in their home so they are not worried about not being able to do either of those things when Day Zero arrives.

Now we are watching the infighting at the governmental level and blaming of each other regarding taking responsibility for the water crisis. The National government (the ANC) are responsible for ensuring that the provinces have an adequate water supply and the local government (the DA) are responsible for ensuring the water is distributed to the residents.

Both are pointing fingers at each other and neither seem to have a clue what to do to get us out of this mess. National government is saying that the residents are wasteful and do not look after our resources rather than acknowledging that the population has outstripped the supply as discussed in a previous post. Local government is trying to ride that same old pony to the bank and is trying to put the financial burden onto the citizens. Neither of these actions are helping.

It is amazing how little water one can use when being very aware and cautious. I managed to wash up about 4 sinks full of dishes on the weekend using one small pan of water. I put a tiny bit into a second pan for rinsing and I washed them all in the same pan of wash water. It is not ideal but it is what we must do.

Humans need to start thinking more on a global scale than just to the limits of their vision or the ends of their noses. We all need to think about our footprint on Mother Earth.  I saw that California is proposing legislature which will make it illegal for restaurants to offer plastic straws. After their one-time use, non-biodegradable plastic straws often end up in our oceans and waterways where they break down into smaller, micro-size pieces that are discarded into our environment. They are oftentimes mistaken as food by marine life. An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic garbage ends up in the world’s oceans every year and an estimated 90% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs. I rejoiced about the new proposed legislature while others I see online are saying ‘we have bigger issues like child abuse and crime to deal with here in Amuricah!’ uh yeah and that is why those are both illegal too you imbeciles.

People.

In Cape Town many restaurants have taken a voluntary pledge to not use single use plastic items which are not recyclable and to ban plastic straws completely.

We all have to make sacrifices for the good of others. Norm and I discussed on the weekend how much water it uses to make a frothy coffee. We have already had to feel the environmental guilt from using the pods, but now to realise that it takes a bowl of water to wash the milk out of the frother after each cup is making me give up my machine coffees. I will heat the milk in the microwave and try to avoid the resulting horrid little slimy bits you get from heated milk.

Sigh.

On Friday when Norm came home with the dogs from their walk Navajo was limping. He was right as rain when they left home but he came home and refused to put his back foot onto the ground and tucked his leg right up into his body. We all tried to keep him still to see if he had a thorn but we could see nothing. If we touched his foot he yelped.

My boy ❤️ #navajo #swissshepard #shepard #dogsofinstagram #tongue

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When we got up on Saturday morning Norm took him to the vet. The vet could not look at it properly and due to the yelping when we touched it he wanted to sedate Navajo and do an x-ray to make sure there were no fractures. That is now over R3k we have paid at the vet this month. Norm had to leave him and so he came back home to wait for the call to say Nav was awake from the sedation. Norm went back to collect Nav a bit later and the vet had given him a cortisone injection in his foot and he seemed much happier to put it down to walk on it, but he was high as a kite and was rather amusing when trying to navigate round the house. The vet thinks he just strained it.

Today we heard that Lily’s Weimaraner Bacardi is unwell. I would appreciate a positive thought or prayer for his healing please.

Baby sitting ❤️

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My friend Melodie popped by for coffee and a chat on Saturday afternoon. It was really warm and windy out so we sat out at the back of the house, the patio there is really protected by the wind. Norm had bought some choccie biscuits and a small cheesecake for us to have with our coffees on his way back from the vet.

It was lovely having Lily down for the weekend. On Saturday Lily and Josh went to a Havana themed birthday party at the Grand. Norm dropped them off so that they could Uber home and have a few drinks.

The Grand is right on the beach and it is a lovely venue. They are such a cute couple those 2. Lily borrowed the dress from Amber and Lily bought Josh his outfit that day and he borrowed Norm’s hat.

Summer loving ❤️ #havanaparty #taigs30th #thegrand

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When Norm returned from dropping off the kids he decided to pop down to The Kitchen Takeaway for something for our dinner as there was just us two eating. We ordered the Ribs and Prawns combo. Both of those choices tell you how much Norm loves me as he hates to eat food that he has to touch with his hands but I had ordered it as a combo and we only realised it was for 2 people when he arrived and so he sacrificed his own choices in order to share mine.

Awww.

It was delicious.

After dinner Norm and I sat down to watch a bit of telly and the next thing I knew Josh and Lily were arriving home. It was well after midnight and we had obviously both nodded off in front of Dragons Den. We all headed sleepily off to bed.

When we woke on Sunday Nav ran around and jumped half up on the bed. He had not been able to do that the previous day as it hurt to put pressure on that back foot but on Sunday he seemed much better. He did still yelp when we gave him a yogurt container to lick as he tried to hold it with a front paw which resulted in putting pressure on the back foot and he cried loudly and looked a bit sheepish at us. But once he got his balance back he was fine and spent the day without any further protests.

Norm and I hung out around the house until Lily decided to head back up the coast and then we showered to go out. I did my once weekly hair wash but still managed to keep the water usage to a minimum by not waiting on the cold water to heat and by having it drip down rather than pummel me with water. Norm is tracking our consumption daily to ensure we are below the current 50l per person per day targets.

As we were getting ready to leave Lily rings to say she has just discovered Josh’s truck keys were in her handbag. She was about an hour up the road and had to turn back, thus adding in so much wasted time to her already long journey. Poor Lily. She also left all of her dirty washing but we will keep that for her return. 😉

Norm and I finally headed out to hit the shops about 1pm. We decided to pop in for a spot of lunch at Tashas in Constantia and were lucky enough to get a table outside with a view of the mountains. It even had a bit of shade for my wee scotty.

Considering how hot it was outside we were happy for the shade.

We both ordered the Apple Goat Cheese salad for R114 which was described as: goat’s cheese served on ciabatta toast, caramelised apple, baby gem lettuce, micro herbs, walnuts, red onion & rocket tossed in a balsamic & olive oil dressing.

We just scraped the cheese off of the toast but I had a naughty nibble of the corners of the crispy ciabatta. It was a delicious combination of flavours and I really enjoyed it.

After we returned home Norm heard that another hiker had been stabbed in the St James area which is popular with hikers. The attacker had posed as a security guard and was wearing a uniform. This would have led the victim to think that the stabber was there to assist or to protect them, not to attempt to murder them.

Two weeks ago, nine hikers were robbed and stabbed in the St James Peak area, by two men who appeared to be hikers. The duo had joined the group and hiked with them for about half an hour before attacking them.

Obviously the person or gangs who are performing these robberies are planning their approach, it is not just opportunism which is the impetus for many of our crimes. This is deliberately going there with a plan to do harm. I do hope they catch these horrendous cowardly ‘men’ as they seem to target the older or more elderly hikers.

It doesn’t sound like your usual tikhead (aka meth-head).

Unfortunately this is yet another area where local government have thrown their hands up as the Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has washed the province’s hands of responsibility for the murder. He has pretty much said ‘Nothing to do with us!’ as technically any crime remains the constitutional prerogative of the South African Police Service (SAPS) which is ‘owned’ by National Government.

I guess that title of ‘Community Safety Member of the Executive Council’ is just a suggestion?

On Sunday afternoon after we got home from the shops I put a beef roast into the slow cooker. That made for a gorgeous roast dinner on Monday evening. To go with it I made fondant sweet potatoes.

Sunday evening it was still really hot so we bought some chicken kebabs at the shops to braai on the grill. Norm made those with grilled corn on the cob and I made a few salads to go with it. I even pickled some cucumber in vinegar.

Late on Sunday night we read about Cape Town fire fighter Ashley Kruger’s death while she was on duty fighting a blaze on Table Mountain. City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Theo Layne said 37 firefighters, a city-contracted helicopter, four fire engines and three water tankers were involved in extinguishing the blaze with assistance from Table Mountain National Parks. The fire fighter was a friend of a friend so it is particularly upsetting when you can put a face and name to the death of a hero. RIP to Ashley’s friends, her wife and her family, they at least have a bit of consolation that she died being selfless and heroic. The ultimate sacrifice.

On Monday when I got home from work I was so happy that I had put that roast into the slow cooker as I arrived home to no electricity! The entire valley was without electricity all day.

Luckily we have a gas cooker and so I could cook the sweet potatoes and reheat the roast. It was incredibly hot outside and a roast was possibly not the best meal for the weather but it was what it was.

When I left work on Monday it was 38 degrees C! That is 100.4 degrees in American.

Norm and I sat outside in the moonlight trying to catch a bit of a breeze. The dogs were baffled as to why we were sitting quietly in the dark and why we were on the front stoep.

Eventually at about 10pm the electricity was restored and we could put the fans on. The weather did finally cool off a bit about bed time and there was even a tiny bit of rain on Tuesday morning.

For dinner on Tuesday I shredded the remainder of the beef roast, added beans and spices and made chili con carne.

It was good, but not amazing because some of the kidney beans were still hard. I boiled the chilli after we finished and it was fine for lunch today.

I am attending an event on Sunday called “Dance To Heal The Earth – One Day Dance in Honour of The Water.” Dance to Heal the Earth is a profound focal point for discovery, initiation, healing, and manifesting our intention, in alignment with the Great Creation, Mother Earth and the Core of our Beings. Every movement in the Dance is a prayer of profound focus and intention.

“All living things will take part. Dance to Heal the Earth! Let your feet beat a healing rhythm into the earth. Let your feet beat a strengthening rhythm for those who struggle the hardest. Let your feet beat a life-giving rhythm for all peoples, regardless of race or national boundary, regardless of whether we’re human or whether we’re the trees, the air, the fish, the birds, the buffalo, the bear, the crow. Our dance is a prayer, and our songs, rhythms and our breath give life.”<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
i)

I will take my drum and sing to support the drummers. If there are not too many people who want to drum I will join on the large communal drum, but I’m not good with being crowded so I will take my own just in case. Either way I am really looking forward to it.

I read a quote today by Cheryl Strayed that reads:

“Our work, our job, the most important gig of all, is to make a place that belongs to us, a structure composed of our own moral code. Not the code that echoes imposed cultural values, but the one that tells us on a visceral level what to do.”

To me that sums up exactly what I am trying to achieve, to have my heart beat aligned to the beat of Mother Earth, to align my compass to the direction of what is right and just.

The Throne

I never thought I would get excited about a toilet. As a Virgo even the mention of a toilet makes me cringe. However the looming presence of Day Zero is a bit of a game changer and makes you think about things which we take for granted every day.

Such as elimination of waste.

Norm was tasked with getting us prepared for the very likely possibility that we have to live without running water to our homes. He went to several stores and all of them were out of stock of 25 liter water containers as well as ‘survivalist’ toilets. He put his name down to be contacted and they rang to say they had stock on Tuesday and over R3k later we have the containers we need as well as a toilet.

We are currently restricted to 50 liters consumption per day per person. To put this into perspective, here is a video from several months ago on what 87 liters looks like when going about your daily life. Imagine this being restricted to the proposed 25 liter per person per day.

Or to try and determine what you are personally using, there is a calculator page where you can input your consumption and it will give you an idea. I think you will be shocked at how quickly it mounts up.

Here is a more recent video which discusses the restrictions in US measurements but despite only being released a few days ago it also is out of date as the parameters change almost daily.

I already only wash my hair once a week and my ‘showers’ are more of a 2 minute quick, cold sprinkle of water than an actual shower. I use makeup remover cloths each night to avoid using water to wash my face. We have buckets in the shower to catch our grey water and this water is used to flush the loos or water the few plants which have survived the drought and lack of irrigation. We have pipes which attach to our guttering down pipes which route any rain water into our pool. We limit our dishwasher to when it is so full you cannot get in an extra spoon. As a result our pantry smells revolting. Anyone have tips for destinking a sitting dishwasher? We can’t waste water rinsing every dish so there is left over bits on some. It’s rather horrid, but we are doing what we can.

We have hand sanitiser by all of the sinks to reduce the water we use washing our hands. We try to avoid using much water to cook. Or we are clever about it. Last night Norm washed the spinach over the steamer then used that water to steam the broccoli. That bit of water will go into the garden today.

It made a gorgeous dinner too. 😍 He stuffed chicken breasts with Brie and wrapped them with bacon. He added a bit of cream to the spinach.

Back to whining about the drought after that brief interlude……

Meanwhile we witness other people using their garden hose to wash their cars. I have not washed my car in months and months. It used to get washed weekly.

However the panic only seems to be among certain residents. When I chat to my African colleagues about Day Zero they say ‘bring it on’. The point of view of some people is that it is only the people who live in ‘expensive houses’ who will be impacted by this issue. I was chatting to a colleague who said that the people who live in the informal settlements already have to walk 3 or 4 blocks to reach the standpipe at the location so they already conserve water. If you have to walk and carry every bit of water you use then you will value every drop.

When Mzudumo and Cordelia arrived at work on Tuesday, Norm had a talk with them about the water restrictions. Neither of them had a clue about Day Zero. They know to conserve water as Mzudumo isn’t washing the cars or watering the dead garden and Cordelia is asked repeatedly to not waste water.

Norm is now measuring our consumption via the water meter. He tracked how much we used on a day when Cordelia was in as she mops and does the laundry and dishes and therefore uses a lot of water. Norm has now given her a spray bottle of diluted cleaning product to use for cleaning rather than a bucket. We asked her to only do 2 loads of washing, one of whites and one of colours.

We will track our consumption daily and identify when we might be going over our designated amount.

Many people have wondered why the city doesn’t just apply the same principals to the water supply as they did to the electricity supply. From what I understand the water pressure fluctuations causes issues with the aged infrastructure and results in new leaks. It can also cause issues with the geyser etc from what I’ve heard but I know nothing about plumbing or building.

With all of this added anxiety and stress I am still trying to manage my crazy lady hormones and emotions.

#BabySteps

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It is not easy.

Traffic is my bugbear. I now listen to my Robbie Robertson’s CD Music for the Native Americans and practice my ho’oponopono prayers and that calms me.

But it takes a focused approach to living consciously and being aware of our emotions. I try and analyse whatever emotion I am feeling and then decide whether it is helpful or harmful and then let it go or use it to channel into something positive.

However not all frustration and anger are ‘bad’ emotions. I believe that the turmoil on Mother Earth is a catalyst for change. I feel a huge change coming, I hope that the  feelings of anger which so many people are feeling is building up to a positive transformation and bringing so many people into the light.

We just have to wade through the dark to get into that light.

Keep heading towards that light people. We will come through this, just as we come through everything that life throws at us.

That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

Setting the Bar

Many of the schools returned this week for the start of the new school year and it made the roads all full of chaos again. If I did not know better I might assume it was the children doing the driving.

I still find a January to December school year odd having grown up with the American system of starting the new year in September after the 3 month summer break.

It was Lily’s birthday on Tuesday. She had a lovely dinner out down the coast with friends and family. This pic came up as a memory for me – I know where I was in 1991 as I stayed in the hospital for a full week! Lily was a huge baby at almost 5 kilograms and she was face down with the cord around her neck. She was purple when she finally emerged. The gynecologist had noted that her stats were low and they raced off to an operating theatre and he literally reached in with his giant basketballer sized hands and grabbed her and yanked her out. Luckily I had previously agreed to an epidural after the nurse had said to me that the baby was the size of a baby calf. If I had not had the epi the doc said I would not have been able to cope with the pain.

#OnThisDay in 1991

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Lily was the only one of my 3 babies who was a wee chubster. We called her Buddha Baby as she had rolls of baby fat on her arms and legs. You can certainly not guess that by looking at her now she is such a slender, stunning girl.

Norm was great about keeping us fed all week despite the ongoing heat. He has become a master on his braai. He cooked fillet steak, mushrooms and roast veg for us on Monday night. The fillet was nicely crusty with a bit of char on the outside but very pink inside, just the way I like it.

There was even enough for me to take for lunch the next day as my appetite has lessened now that we are doing low carb again.

On Tuesday we have Cordelia in to clean and she leaves quite late so we just got a take away that night, however we both avoided the chips and we had veg and salad with our protein.

On Wednesday night Norm also cooked outside as it is still very warm. He grilled pork sausages, mushrooms and halloumi and I cooked red cabbage on the stove. Pork and cabbage go so well together.

Thursday he got very adventurous and made the sauce for a lasagna. I emailed him the instructions and he did the shopping and cooking. The sauce was divine and we layered it with chunky cottage cheese, sliced zucchini and topped with mozzarella and baked for about 30 minutes.

I had an odd experience on Wednesday morning. I was deep asleep and I heard someone calling ‘Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa’ over and over in my ear. I finally emerged into full consciousness and turned over to face Norm, except he appeared to be sound asleep. We are the only ones home at the moment. The dogs were not disturbed, despite Norm saying that he had heard me talking to someone just before I woke up. I never remember my dreams. I do have recurring incidents where I am sure I am astral travelling as I am partially conscious but unable to move. I am always ‘dreaming’ of someone on the other side and I do believe I am there with them in that plane and that is why I cannot move here in this plane. But this was not one of those incidents, I have no memory of the incident other than of waking and hearing the voice.

I had that same experience once before when we were living in a very old house that was full of spirits. But then the voice said ‘Mom, Mom, Mom’ and I knew in my heart that it was the baby I had miscarried prior to Trevor. That house had a lot of spiritual things going on, from seeing shapes out of the corner of my eye to the lights blinking on and off when I tried to communicate directly with the spirits I felt and saw in the house.

This experience was different. I have no idea what this one was……I have to confess that it really spooked me.

That night as we were cuddling before falling asleep I told Norm he was the ‘Best Husband in the World’ and he said that was not correct. He said that if he were the best in the world then he would be taking us around the world on holidays every few months and I would be able to retire.

I guess it depends on what you see as a priority in a relationship. I dated very wealthy men when I was younger and I did not choose them, I know my idea of what mattered to me in a husband and a relationship changed after my divorce. I wanted a good, kind, loving man who treated me like I was a goddess and who would love my children as if they were his own. What I got was exactly that and I will always be thankful for him in my life.

Even when I want to kill him I cannot imagine my life without him.

The fact that he is also handsome, sexy, Scottish (oh that accent) and has an MBE were just gravy on my already overflowing plate of luck. He also is proud of my intelligence, he would never try to diminish me or ‘dumb me down’ just to make himself feel superior as some men do. He is also a feminist and believes as I do that women should be who they are, not what the man in the relationship wants or needs them to be in order to not threaten their fragile male ego. He would never try to change me.

Even when he wants to kill me.

I tried out the Banting on the Go ‘Crackling Crisps’ this week that I mentioned in my last blog.

They were OK but I won’t buy them again. I could not finish the packet. They have a funny sort of chemically aftertaste which is pretty ironic as I had assumed that they were just your normal pork scratchings but without the chemicals. They definitely needed more salt.

And less of the aftertaste.

Pixie has been somewhat off her food, she did not want to eat her dinner at all on Tuesday night and she seemed so tired. But she is always smiley.

But it was very hot that evening and she did go for a walk. Of course now that the vet has said she is fine, any concerns I have are discredited by Norm the eternal optimist.

I do hope she is OK and that I am just overly paranoid. I so love this little girl.

Regular readers will know that the Western Cape is suffering from a severe drought. It was just announced this week that from the 1st of Feb the government will be implementing Level 6B water restrictions. This means that Capetonians will be expected to keep our water consumption to less than 50 liters per day per person.

What level 6B Water Restrictions mean. Buckle up Buttercups

A post shared by Kitten In The City (@stresskitten) on

This is an unachievable target as 60% of the people could not reach the previous target of 87 liters per person and most of us have no hope in hell of meeting the new targets. The City has sat on it’s hands and done nothing to proactively deal with this crisis and now they are all in a panic as the day when the taps in the city are turned off looms ever closer. April 21 of this year has been set as the estimated target of when we will run out of water (aka Day Zero).

This is all rather terrifying and yet I still see trucks being brought into the suburbs to fill people’s swimming pools. There were 2 in my suburb alone on the weekend. Where do the idiots buying this water think it is coming from?? I find some peoples lack of community and even common sense rather shocking.

The lack of action by the DA government is shocking and the mayor has been under review for multiple reasons. I hope she is removed from post as I think she is almost as bad as Zuma when it comes to doing what is best for her own interests rather than the interests of those she has been appointed to represent. The fact that they were trying to raise the rates everyone pays each month to compensate for the lack of forward planning has enraged most people. Under the proposed drought levy, some 52 510 Capetonians were set to temporarily pay a fixed rate of R150 a month to make up for the City’s R1.6bn loss in revenue from reduced water consumption. Rather penalise those who exceed the targets rather than try and recover the additional revenue needed by using the value of one’s property to drive the levy.

This afternoon the City of Cape Town voted to both limit mayor Patricia De Lille’s powers to handle the drought crisis, and to introduce punitive tariff measures for residents. The idea to add a levy to our rates based on our property value was voted down.

I’m delighted on both fronts.

Josh came back to Cape Town today. We all got a curry from Indian Oven in Hout Bay. It was delicious as always.

We have been relaxing tonight listening to the mad winds that are howling outside. It has at least cooled things down a wee bit.

I hope you all have a good weekend.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo