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

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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

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Celebrations and Expectations

The last day of my year end holiday ended on a high as Lily and Josh drove up to stay with us and Caitlin came for dinner that evening to see them. We were having dinner to celebrate Lily and Josh’s engagement as he proposed to her on the 3rd of January.

And yes that is a giraffe in the background.

Both families are so pleased and excited as Lily and Josh have been together since high school and are made for each other. Josh also has a lovely family and we are happy to now consider them our family too.

For dinner I cooked a big pot of chili con carne and made cheese quesadillas with sour cream, salsa & home made guacamole to top them with. Caitlin stopped and bought a bottle of bubbly on her way over so that we could toast to their happiness.

Caitlin had just come to our house from an animal adoption centre where she went to investigate getting a kitten now that she has her own flat. She fell in love with 2, a girl and a boy from the same litter. The shelter had originally said that she could take them the next day but there were issues with the paper work and inoculations so she can only get them this coming weekend. But they are so cute! I will post some pics when she does, I do not want to spoil her own unveiling.

We had a relaxed evening and Caitlin went off home to get to bed as we both had work on Monday.

The next morning I woke up bright and early and drove into Mowbray and there were almost no cars on the road at all. I got settled in my desk and then realised I had left my laptop charger plugged in at home. My battery was pretty low as I had not used my laptop much in the holidays so I rang Norm and dragged him out of bed and begged him to bring it to me which he did. He is the best husband ever.

To cheer myself up about being back at work I booked tickets for Valentine’s Night for Norm and I to see Alice Phoebe Lou. It is a Cafe Roux sessions night that we spotted when we were there last week. We have seen Alice perform before and she is brilliant so that should be fun. It gives me something positive to look forward to.

Monday night Norm braaied dinner for us, Lily and Josh. We had chicken breast kebabs (or sosaties as they call them in SA). He also cooked butternut and pumpkin on the braai, I made coleslaw and Lily made a salad so we had a lovely family dinner.

On Tuesday while at work I received a message from Norm to say that he heard on the radio that a woman in her forties had been doused with petrol and set alight in Hangberg, the township on the harbour side of Hout Bay. The story was in the news and allegedly the woman was beaten and then set alight by her drug dealer. She is allegedly a tik addict (aka meth). Whatever her sins she did not deserve that and I pray for her family as she was a mother of 4 and has since passed away from her injuries.  This is now at least the fourth drug related death in this area as 3 young men were killed last year over drugs too.

I cannot fathom what sort of person could do such a thing to another human. To deliberately douse them in petrol and set them alight?

But I have written before about how expectation is the root of all disappointment. I know that my expectations of others are high. I also set the same standards for myself and I get very hard on myself if I do not meet those expectations. I try to be realistic about what I expect and to be gentle with myself but setting the bar high is my go to position and it is not easy to divert from that standard.

However, no matter what our desire for internal change there is also an element of the fable of the frog and the scorpion in that we cannot change our intrinsic nature. I do believe that we can evolve and become more enlightened or aware of our impact on others, but our core being usually does not change.

I now know that I sometimes see and experience things that many people do not due to my empath and spiritual abilities. I sometimes see elements of people’s aura or energy which is not evident to other people. I had always assumed that other people were vibrating at the same frequency as I am and were in tune to these things as well, but I now know that is not the case.

This can create a dilemma when others trigger my unease. Do I keep these feelings to myself? I see red flag signals and feelings of high alert when I interact with certain individuals and with my new decision to listen to my instincts I choose to avoid that toxicity when I encounter it.

I find that I am often disappointed in other women when they do not seem to be ‘conscious’ of things such as misogyny and oppression of other women and even more so when they propagate that energy. I had an interaction with a friend of over 40 years recently over the Golden Globes protest when she shared the horrid misogynistic meme which tried to devalue that protest with slut shaming and saying that the protesters were hypocritical as they had their cleavage showing. The meme was from someone who claims to be christian. I guess he did not read that bit about Jesus not being a Judgey McJudgeson but rather being loving to all with no discrimination. Not that I personally am a follower of Jesus but to each their own. My only personal judgement is for those who spout Christianity but exhibit very unchristian behaviour.

They missed the entire point of the protest, women should be able to wear whatever they wish without being the victim of abuse, cat calls, lewd staring or another behaviour from men who see women as their property or as fodder for their titillation.

If my partner was inclined to stare google eyed at another woman’s cleavage I would not be with that partner. However other women seem to choose to be oblivious when their partner does that. I do not find it a compliment, I find it invasive and creepy and will no longer be silent, I will call them out on it should I be unfortunate enough to be in their presence again.

I have been reading about Carl Jung and his theory on archetypes and how this influences and even determines how and why we react to external stimuli and I do understand that some men are trapped in the ego or Warrior stage of their development and this may result in exhibiting overly macho or misogynistic behaviour. These are the men who act like petulant teenagers when challenged, regardless of their age. Their ‘evolution’ has been halted for whatever reason. However by allowing them to demonstrate these behaviours without calling them out only allows them to be normalised.

So again, it is all in your perspective and maybe in your levels of acceptance and even self worth.

Personally, I know I deserve more. I know I have raised my daughters to have high standards and they also know their self worth. I am very proud of that.

On Tuesday night Lily and Josh went to meet their friends for dinner so Norm and I just decided to get a naughty take away. He headed out and seemed to be gone for hours and eventually we receive a whatsapp message to our family group saying that he had inadvertently captured a young lad who was busy strolling back from the beach where he and and his accomplices had mugged someone who was walking on the foot path to the beach in Llandudno. Norm took him to the police station and handed him in then cruised off to get a chicken burger.

My husband, the hero. For the mugging capture not for bringing home the chicken burger of course.

On Wednesday Lily took Pixie to the vet as she has been struggling with her breathing lately. Pix is not overweight as she eats very healthy raw food and not commercial rubbish. She does have enough fur to provide a coat for about 20 larger dogs than her but a heavy coat is natural for Pomeranians so I did not think her breathing issues are related to the heat.

The vet said that Pixie is in great shape but that she was quite worried about her breathing too and so she did an x-ray of her to check for any fluid in her lungs or around her heart.

Her airway is a wee bit narrowed and her heart is a bit enlarged, but they could not get her lie on her back calmly so they made an appointment for Norman to take her back on Friday morning and sedate her in order to get clearer pictures. You can see the vertebrae that she fractured years ago have fused.

Panda was not bothered by all of this he spent the day chilling in the ironing basket.

That evening we planned to go to Caitlin’s as Lily and Josh had not seen the progress in her flat in a while but then Josh came home from work with a dreadful case of sunburn and he felt really nauseous from it so off he went to bed and Lily, Norm and I drove over to Caitlin and stopped to pick up take away dinner from Col’Cacchio which we chose as they have various low carb options and are close to Cait’s flat.

I had a major challenge on the phone ordering the food from them however. First of all when I phoned she could not understand either ‘melanzane’ or ‘eggplant parmigiana’ and so she put on another staff member who said that they no longer serve melanzane despite it still clearly showing on their online menu. I told them I would have to call them back as I then had to go back to everyone and reconfirm their orders and phone back with a new order. I then tried to order a Volatilia salad and the girl could not understand me at all – I had to spell it several times. Then I ordered a Cobb (also had to spell it) and 2 chicken Caesar salads which she then said they also do not serve. I had a Caesar salad there recently and so I said to her ‘since when? I just had one last week’ and she eventually said ‘oh you mean a Caesar with chicken’. Was she taking the piss now? I had to repeat my name and number so many times I eventually said, ‘I am not saying it again. I will be there in 10 minutes’ and just hoped she had gotten the order right as she seemed rather a ditz.

I ordered 4 salads in total and we went to collect the food and of course, she got it wrong. We ended up with only 1 Caesar and 2 Cobb salads instead. How hard can it be to listen to someone and then enter it into the computer? If you cannot work a computer write it down by hand and get help once the client is off the phone. My call took ages and led to much annoyance. When Norm went to pay she had no idea how to ring him up either. I do understand that people start new jobs but surely she should be shadowed by someone competent until she gets trained?

Anyway.

Expectations and all that……

Speaking of expectations, I was not expecting the intense heat we are having this week. It was 25C at 7am and when I left work it had risen to 35!

🌞

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Tonight we are cooking sausages and halloumi on the grill and just making a salad. It’s too hot to put on the cooker.

It is Lily’s birthday on the 16th but she has to be back at work in Mossel Bay on the 15th and so I booked a table on Friday night for me, Norm, Lily, Josh, Caitlin and Wes to go to Cheyne’s in Hout Bay before she leaves.

I will appreciate any positive thoughts and prayers that you can spare for Pixie. I love that little girl so much, she is my little shadow. I hope that she is OK or that they can treat her easily.

I will update everyone on the outcome with Pixie as well as our dinner at Cheyne’s in my next blog.

Until then, kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxo

Endings & Beginnings

I started this blog weeks ago but due to the ongoing challenges with images and space I have not had much enthusiasm to write, but now with it being the first day of 2018 I am feeling inspired. I will try to just hit the highlights and not keep you here for hours, but still you should probably grab a cuppa and pull up a comfy seat.

First of all I want to wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2018. I hope it brings you both of those things, the most important of all.

As is to be expected at the end of the year I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, reviewing the past year and thinking about what I want to manifest in my life for this new year. I have been thinking about the type of people I want around me and what directions I want to take my personal growth as those two elements are intrinsically linked. You either surround yourself with people who lift you up and challenge you to be the best you can be, or you choose people who drag you down to their level. I want to surround myself with those who lift me up and keep me positive.

You know how some people’s personalities are initially off putting and later as you get to know them you actually like the person underneath and realise that was just a veneer? Then there are also those who have an initial veneer of appearing to be one thing and then once you have had enough contact with them that veneer rubs off and you see the real person lurking underneath and you are no longer fooled? Or those people you have warning flags about but ignore those feelings and later realise those original instincts were valid.

As we get older or wiser we start to see through that shimmer easier and sometimes even sooner. Or maybe we start to trust our intuition and listen to the niggles of distrust.

This year I want to tap more into that intuition and listen to those messages.

We also want to have people around to the house more often. Life is so busy we just don’t take the time but I intend to change that, our house is perfect for entertaining and I want to make use of it before we move. We have so many special people in our lives who we only see on occasion and I want to make a point of engaging those people more.

Conversely, I am also thinking about those fake friends in my life who are either never available or who cancel at the last minute. Those people have shown me over and over that I do not matter or that other friends are more important to them.

My priorities are going to change and I will follow my instincts about people who make me uneasy and I will not fool myself about people’s cavalier approach to my feelings. As a Virgo I often appear much tougher than I am. I want to try and expose that vulnerability. I am not very good at expressing myself verbally, I can write and tell you exactly my feelings but verbally I am dreadful at communicating. That discomfort makes me prickly and awkward, I am going to try and face that discomfort and speak my heart openly.

I am a rather determined person. This can be both a negative and a positive in that I can range from obstinate to pig headed. Actually there is no glimmer of a positive with either of those descriptions is there? If you want to spin it however and you need something done, I’m your girl.

One positive outcome of my determined nature is that I have investigated many options for my media issues on my blog. I finally decided to go old school and use Photobucket. I first used the site when I blogged on MySpace! I have been blogging on various sites for so many years, I can’t imagine not blogging. When I retire I hope to write a book, but that’s another show Jerry!

However after spending ages setting up a new account (as I have no idea what email I used on my original photobucket account) I discovered that you can only embed 5 pics from photobucket to a 3rd party site for free.

Back to square one. For now I will just use my IG posts so you have to deal with my hashtags and people’s comments and all that malarkey. Sorry.  I just resent having to pay to write.

Anyway, I will try and catch you all up on our lives. I have still been on holiday, I am in my final week. I have this week left and then I am back to the same client as last year. The weather has been mostly fabulous. We even got a random drop or two of rain.

Josh and Lily left to go back to Mossel Bay just before Christmas. Norm and I have just been pottering about since I have been on holiday. Norm went to meet some of the fellas for year end drinks on the Wednesday before Christmas and before he went he set up a lounger and sun brolly for me and removed the pool cover.

I settled in and relaxed in the heat. Then the wind picked up and started rocking the whole umbrella stand so I decided to collapse it. I had to climb about in the garden and managed to scrape my leg quite badly on a rusty pole.

I felt quite sorry for myself but I messaged a pic of my bloody wounds to the family group and went to watch another holiday movie (I must have watched a dozen Christmas movies these past few weeks).

About half an hour later Norm comes rushing in to the house very concerned as my phone was off and he could not get hold of me. I told him I was fine but my phone had crashed and once he discovered I wasn’t lying dead in the garden from a hemorrhaging leg wound off he went to join the guys. Then I googled ‘tetanus’ and started to be convinced my jaw was getting stiff and I was having palpitations but of course that was ridiculous.

The GP saw me first thing the following morning and the injection wasn’t even sore! I had built it up in my head to be so sore, I think I must have been thinking about a rabies injection. Silly me.

For being such a brave little soldier Norm took me for breakfast afterwards to Nutmeg Farm Stall at Earthworks Nursery. After lunch I bought some cacti for Caitlin for Christmas.

To be safe I put them in the floor between my feet and we headed off home. En-route the tray fell over and the spines inserted themselves into my foot. When we got home Norm had to remove them with tweezers, I’m such a klutz sometimes.

That night we went to Constantia to Primi Piatti for dinner and as I was struggling with the heat we sat out in the Courtyard.

I had a strawberry daiquiri to cool me off.

Cocktails @primiworld #Constantia #kitteninthecity

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To start we shared the calamari and the zucchini fries and for our main we both had the Filleto Ai Funghi which is basically fillet steak with mushroomy pepper sauce. The Pan Fried Calamari was described as: Soy, lemon and honey glazed calamari tossed with rocket and tomatoes and cost R79. We were not impressed with this dish in the least. The calamari was chewy and rubbery and there was minimal calamari, mostly salad. The zucchini fries were a bargain at R39 with a garlic aoili and they were very yummy.

For our steak which was described as ‘Flame-grilled fillet tournedos, served on potato with a mushroom, green peppercorn, mustard and brandy sauce’ we substituted butternut and sweet potato mash and reduced our carb intake a bit. We also ordered their spinach and parmesan as an extra side dish for R35. We had a lovely evening and the food was wonderful and lower in carbs than if we had their specialty of pizza or pasta.

On the Saturday before Christmas Norm and I drove down to the Garden Route where Lily and Trevor live. We were worried about traffic and wanted to leave at dawn, but Vanessa was house & doggy sitting and she only finished work at 3 so we had a slow morning packing and organizing things and finally got on the road about 1pm. We had minimal traffic and it was a pleasant journey. We stopped at a services and filled up the tank with petrol and got road snacks (or Padkos as they call it in SA) and I fed Norm tidbits of cheese, raw veggies, biltong and other healthy choices. We chatted the whole way and it was almost a pleasant journey. I even stayed awake! That never happens.

When we arrived at Lily and Josh’s flat we had a play session with the cutest Pekingese dogs which the neighbor owns. They are almost as cute as Pomeranians.

Almost.

How cute is this pup?

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That night Lily, Josh, Norm and I went to the Cattle Baron for dinner. We had a really delicious meal of fillet steak and fries.

My love 😍

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A few days after we had dinner there Josh realised he could not find his ray ban sunglasses. He traced the last time he wore them to that night and he rang the restaurant and they still had them! We collected them and I was so impressed at their honesty. That is a rare thing.

We were invited to Christmas day dinner at Jackie and Alistair’s and had said we would take some things to contribute too so Lily and I cooked the entire morning on Christmas Eve. We made 3 pans of cornbread and then made 2 of them into a large cornbread dressing. We baked 3 pecan pies and a chocolate sheet cake with fudge icing. When we finished cooking Lily, Norm and I headed to Wilderness to see Trevor and Amber. They had just eaten lunch and we were starving so we stopped at the Blue Olive to get a quick bite of lunch. They do tapas so we ordered prawns, mussels and calamari.

We then headed over to Amber’s mom Rose’s house and visited for a few hours with Trevor and Amber. Amber’s adorable little sister Sage was there as was her cousin Saskia and her cherubic little girl Olive. She is such a beautiful nice natured happy baby. We stayed until the sun was about to go down and Amber had to head home to start cooking for the next day so we headed back down the coast to Mossel Bay.

Christmas morning I woke at 6am as always and I tried to lie quietly until everyone got up. Eventually we were all gathered around the tree and we opened our gifts. We had all decided to keep it minimal this year, I normally spend thousands on each of my children but they are all working adults now and we are trying to be less wasteful and commercial so we just bought things we need or really want. Norm and I had large gifts for each other in Cape Town so we took pics of them and put them in envelopes to open. We did each have other things to open though and it took a while for all four of us to get through it all. I had got a large tool for Norm’s gift (a drill or drill press or something or other he wanted) and he had got the painting I posted previously by Ana Kuni.

I cannot tell you how much I adore this painting and how much I love having her hanging in my home. He also bought one of those mirrored jewelry cupboards for me which I have now filled with all of my jewelry.

After the gifts Josh popped over to wish his Dad a happy Christmas while we did the last bits of cooking and then came back to collect us and we all drove over to Josh’s Mom Jackie’s house in George. She had done an amazing job decorating the table and preparing heaps and heaps of delicious food.

We all settled in around the patio outside while it was cooking and Josh used his new Xmas present of a fancy bluetooth speaker to play us some fabulous background tunes in the form of Leon Bridges.

His voice is just amazing. It created a lovely relaxed laid back vibe.

We were called into dinner and we had saved ourselves the whole day and we were starving and heaped our plates up rather high. We all stuffed our faces with a ton of food. There was a pork roast, a lamb roast, 2 roast chickens, stuffing, roast potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots and probably other stuff I have forgotten.

Then after gorging we moved back outside to the patio to play cards. We played a game called Spoons or Donkey. Everyone is dealt 4 cards and a spoon is put into the centre of the group for every person bar one. Your objective is to get 4 of a kind and when someone does everyone must quickly grab a spoon from the centre of the table and the person who does not get a spoon gets a black mark on their face from a burnt cork. The first person to get 6 black marks (one for each letter in D-O-N-K-E-Y) loses. It was such fun! I don’t mind losing but I hate having stuff on my face so I tried very hard but did not win. I lost a few hands as did most of us.

For a Xmas photo the whole group gathered for a post game pic, notice that everyone except Josh has black cork all over their faces. This photo makes me happy every time I look at it.

We were playing DONKEY so all have burnt cork on our faces ❤️😂😂

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After a bit of cards we took a break for dessert and it was all yummy, but as I made all of it except for the bread and butter pudding it seems a bit braggadocios to say so.

But it was.

We played cards a bit more and we laughed so much at one stage that I was convinced I had popped a stitch from a surgery I had back in 2006. We were literally weeping with laughter.

Then later we had a cheese and fruit course which was equally as delicious as everything else Jackie and Bronwyn had made.

Eventually we decided we needed to go and get horizontal and we headed back to Mossel Bay. We watched the new Will Smith film Bright. It was very entertaining and I would give it 3.5 Kitten Stars.

The next day we had a slow start as we had been very *ahem* “festive” all day (except for Lily our designated driver). Eventually we got up and moving and went off to meet Amber, Trevor, Saskia and Olive at Zucchini Restaurant at Timberlake near Wilderness. We had lunch, I had a rather mediocre calamari and then we had an amazing milkshake for dessert.

Afterwards we went around to Amber and Trevor’s house.

Boxing Day with family

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We gave them their presents and we hung out there until it got dark and then headed home. We were all so tired so we had an early night as we were driving back the next day.

We got up early on the 27th and packed the car and hit the road early. We were again really lucky with traffic, it was busy but not ‘driving down the coast for Christmas’ busy and we made decent time. We got back to some very excited doggies and Vanessa gave us the keys and then she went off back to work. As much as I loved spending time with my kids there is nothing like your own bed and I was happy to be home.

We spent the afternoon pottering about the house and then at 7pm we went to Caitlin’s flat to take her presents to her. Afterwards we ordered pizza and salad and had dinner there but she was as tired as we were and it was an early night. The rest of the week was spent relaxing and doing not much of anything. My poor tired body needed that as did my soul.

It was rather hot on Friday evening so we decided to go to dinner at Papino’s in Hout Bay.

It is so hot 🤒

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We both ordered our favourite meal there, the Hollandse Biefsteak.

On Saturday we went out for lunch and it was so crazy hot that it was difficult to function. We ran our errands and did a shop and headed home to cool off in the pool. Later that evening Caitlin and Wes came for dinner and Norm and Wes braaied some gorgeous steaks and chicken kebabs. Caitlin and I made salads and other bits to go with it. It was all rather scrumptious. We sat outside to try and keep cool.

Sunday was Hogmanay and we were really looking forward to an evening of special food and getting a bit dressed up for a change.

We had booked to go to one of our favourite restaurants, Foxcroft in Constantia. They had a special on for New Years. There were six courses on offer for R1400 p/person. We booked an Uber and were pleasantly suprised that it was less than R70 for the journey. We arrived and settled in and they brought us a complimentary glass of bubbles. They explained the menu and took our orders for the dishes which you could choose.

The first course was the bread: Potato sourdough with salsa verde butter and black olive.

Second was the amouse bouche which was served rather charmingly in an egg shell. It was a broccoli parfait with a strong cheese flavour.

Really gorgeous.

The 3rd course was a choice of yellowtail tuna tataki or springbok tartare and we both chose the tuna. The tuna was served with avocado labneh, cucumber and a rice puff.

The 4th course was a Turnip Gratin: roast onion, capers, lemon thyme and Parmesan. It was so tasty! It sounded rather unimpressive, especially as I detest capers however they were fried til crispy and were delish. The gratin was ever so tasty.

Next we had to choose between a quail dish or a dish of sweetbreads. I had heard the sweetbreads were to die for but the whole concept of eating organs put me off too much to be that adventurous. We both opted for the honey glazed Treadstone quail which came with 2 tiny breasts and a ickle bitty drumstick. They described it as rhubarb, candied pecan and liver jus. That description might not grab you but this was one delicious course indeed. The quail is less strident in flavour than duck and has a soft buttery texture and we both really enjoyed this dish.

The next dish we had to choose between pork or line fish. The line fish said it was done with caramelized fennel, leeks, chorizo and mussels. They almost had me at mussels except the line fish was hake. Is hake a line fish? Regardless, it sounded too pedestrian for the price we paid and we both opted for the pork. The pork was a brilliant choice. It was described as Oak Valley Pork: gem squash puree, fermented plum, charred cabbage and smoked pork jus. There were 3 different types of pork and all were amazing, but the pork belly was absolute heaven.

There were 2 desserts to choose from and we both opted for the compressed strawberry. It came with lemon curd, geranium, sour cream and matcha.

Afterwards we had a cappucino to go with the petit fours. There was a passionfruit macaron and a delicious marshmallow treat. They were the perfect ending to an amazing meal.

We had 2 different couples sit next to us throughout the night. The first 2 were women and were from Ireland. We had a lovely long chat to them. The next couple were German and wanted us to recommend a bottle of local bubbly. It was nice having people in Cape Town be friendly, trust it to be because they were tourists!

We finished up and called for an uber and headed home. We noticed driving in to the neighbourhood that there were cars parked all along the road and thought it was people having parties. Once we were home we could hear what sounded like a really large group of people singing and then the next thing we hear is the radio saying that the police were needed to break up a fight. Norm put Navajo’s lead on him and they set off to see if they could assist the police and security people. They were gone for ages and then I realised it was time for the countdown to midnight and Norm was nowhere to be seen. I then thought that seemed like bad luck to ring in the NY on our own and burst into big sloppy sobbing wine sozzled tears. Norm came flying through the door at 12.02 to find me blubbing and could not figure out what the hell was wrong with me. I finally managed to tell him what was going on and he calmed me down and he explained what was going on up the hill and how he had been busy dealing with 300 drunken teenagers. A girl in our street had planned a party on Facebook and sold entry tickets. Her parents started to get concerned too late to do anything effective to deal with it. There were kids staggering all around the neighborhood, drunk and high and full of teenage angst. There were several fights and plenty of broken bottles and shouting and people passed out in the street or sick in the bushes. Eventually the police managed to clear the melee and get people to go home.

Norm and I decided to stay up to ring in the bells on UK time which is at 2am SA time and then we got the chance to celebrate and count down together. We took up a bottle of wine and some amarula and got into bed and watched the UK fireworks and everything on telly. It was quite cozy.

In the end that is all that matters, that we spend it with people we love or with those friends who care for us.

I have had an amazing holiday, restful, fun, exciting and relaxing, it was everything I needed. I had special time with all of my children and I had plenty of time to spend with my darling hubby. I could not ask for more.

Happy New Year everyone.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxoxo

I Wish You Enough

I finished up work last Friday and the season is fully launched. We’re off on the run up to the holidays!

I’m not seeing as many tourists as usual but I’ve been lying low and avoiding the shops.

On Friday after work Norm and I joined Paola, Phillip, Retha and Barry at Cheyne’s for dinner.

We were sat at a table by the open patio which was perfect on such a warm evening. The waitress came and we ordered a round of drinks. I ordered a Passionate Buddha. We had an incredibly long wait for our drinks, we eventually had to flag a passing staff member to enquire and then the drinks arrived quite quickly which leads me to think they may have been ready and waiting on the bar and our server was a bit overwhelmed.

Never mind. They eventually arrived.

We had a lovely chat so we were not stressing too much, but we were starving so we asked to order.

They brought our Sea course first.

Norm ordered the Calamari. This is always delicious and this night was no exception.

Everyone else received their first round of food but mine arrived after everyone else had finished eating.

I ordered the Crayfish Tempura which was an extra R25 but was worth every cent.

Usually you are served the Land and Earth choices together but the dishes were served haphazardly which meant people were eating at different times.

Retha and I both ordered the coconut and sweet potato dumplings which were as delicious as always. They were light and crisp.

I had ordered the Mumbai Chili beef which was so yummy. The beef was cut into small pieces so it was crispy and not too chewy. I loved the chunks of coconut and little surprise bits of chopped green chili.

Norm and Barry had the crispy pork topped with a quails egg. Norm absolutely raved over this dish. It’s one of my faves but I decided to revert back to beef that night and really loved my chili beef.

For my dessert I had my usual peanut butter milkshake. I gobbled it up so fast I didn’t snap a pic. Oops.

Norm had the apple pie with ice cream and loved it.

Cheyne is one of my favorite chefs but if that visit had been my first I would not have been very impressed. The service was rather hit or miss and the music was horrendous. Music should accompany your meal, not be an intruding assault on your ears. As a result Norm heard very little of the dinner conversation. At one point it sounded like there was 2 different songs playing at once. I’m not sure what was going on but it was all a bit off. Luckily we are all converted Cheyne fans already and just brushed it off and enjoyed the food.

After dinner we headed to Retha’s house for a coffee. We chatted and laughed and had a great end to a lovely meal before we all went home.

Saturday morning we got up and out as we needed to shop for the party we were attending later that day.

We went for breakfast at Allegria Cafe in Mainstream Mall in Hout Bay.

Norm had an omelette.

I had the Eggs Benedict with bacon.

After we ate we popped into Woolies to get some bits to take to the party. We got carrots, celery and cucumber as well as dips.

Later that afternoon we drove out to Simon’s Town and arrived at Carol’s house. She has such an amazing view of the entire harbour.

There were some people we knew as well as some we that we didn’t.

No idea why the bowl of biltong is so funny.

We sat enjoying the view and talking nonsense.

Carol had bought sushi and Retha bought some roast chickens. Everyone brought a platter to share and we had lots of yummy food.

Norm and I tried to do a ‘selfy with a view’ but the sun was just setting so it was a challenge.

But the sky was a stunning shade of pink.

Norm and I began the long journey home around 10.30pm as I was off to drumming early the next morning.

Drumming began at 10am on Saturday in Constantia so I was up and organized early.

We were supposed to meet a Grandmother who is over from Europe but she fell ill and could not make it. Those of us who are regulars in the circle still stayed behind for tea and cheesecake and communion. It was lovely.

Afterwards I popped by Retha’s as she wanted to apply some feng shui in light of the new moon (pardon the pun) which was happening that night. We created a few items in her ‘money spot’ designed to bring abundance and prosperity into her life. We chatted about gratitude and the fine line between asking the universe that your needs be met and the greed of asking for wealth and abundance.

It’s a conflicting dichotomy.

We decided to ask for enough abundance to bring peace. That seemed an acceptable compromise.

Lily and Josh arrived not too long after I came home from Retha’s. They were down to attend a wedding of one of Lily’s ex-colleagues.

We decided to order takeaway pizza because it’s easy and Norm popped into Papino’s as their Facebook page said they were open. Norm said it was very confusing as the staff seemed different and they said they were only doing takeaway no sit down service.

The pizza wasn’t the same either and we suspect that on Sunday they have a different pizza chef. It wasn’t up to their usual standards.

But even bad pizza is pretty acceptable.

We just had a relaxed night that night as all of my adventures had done me in.

On Monday my goal was to wrap all of my Christmas presents and Lily was kind enough to help me reach that goal.

Lily and Josh were off to a wedding that afternoon and Norm drove them over so they can have a drink and a good party then Uber home. They looked so gorgeous.

My gorgeous daughter and her fella 😍

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When Norm took the kids to Durbanville I had a pedicure so my toes are red, shiny and ready for Christmas.

Norm was on tenterhooks all day regarding the ANC elections. The results were finally announced on News24: “Cyril Ramaphosa has won the gruelling race to become the new ANC president after receiving 2440 votes against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s 2261 votes. His supporters celebrated with song and dance, and the Rand strengthened with 4% upon the announcement of the news. A tough road lies ahead for Ramaphosa, however, if he is to stick to his campaign promise and clean up corruption in the ANC. Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza was elected deputy president and Free State premier Ace Magashule secretary general. Both men are seen as allies of President Jacob Zuma and will have a strong voice in the governance of the party.”

I’m so thankful Zuma is going. He must still pay for his crimes, why should he be absolved?

As I feel that Trump should do prison time, so should Zuma. They both treat the presidency like their own piggy bank.

It’s been lovely having Lily and Josh here, it makes a nice energy. They have friends over here right now and I can hear their laughter in the garden.

That makes this Kitten happy.

I’ve been terribly lazy all week. I’ve watched endless holiday films from ‘Home Alone’ to ‘The Grinch’.

I will have to create a new blog in the NY as I’ve exceeded my media limit for my free site. I can’t afford to pay to upgrade so I’ll have to start over or continue embedding my Instagram pics as I did above which is a pain. I can’t do that with another person’s photos. If anyone has any creative solutions please contact me.

Here is me wishing you all a very happy Christmas or Hanukkah or Yule or {insert vaguely named year end celebration} or whatever type of celebration you may be having, spiritual or not. I hope you spend it with someone you love or at least a person you enjoy the company of.

But most of all I wish you an abundant and prosperous 2018.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Two Degrees From Spiteri

The weather has taken a sudden turn in Cape Town and it has been boiling hot outside. On Thursday I had my annual check up at the gynae who is in Milnerton so I set off just after 7am to make my way across the city. I had to use the car’s air conditioner as it was already in the upper 20s and by the end of the day we saw people posting shots of their temperature gauges hitting the 40s!

After the doctor I had to go into the client offices and work late to make up the time I had lost that morning. After work when I got home it was still incredibly hot and so we pulled off the pool cover and had a swim. The pool cover keeps the water a lovely temperature and it keeps the pool full as we are unable to top it up due to the drought. It does not keep all of the rubbish from blowing in however so Norm had to do a quick clean before we jumped in.

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Navajo and Pixie go insane and try to bite the pool brush.

Panda just sat next to me watching quietly like a good boy.

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After our swim we decided it was too hot to cook so we had a braai. Norm grilled chicken breasts, chicken thighs, corn on the cob and some oepsies which are saucy bacon strips wound around a wooden stick.

I made a salad and some coleslaw.

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We ate outside under the patio at the back of the house.

Even after the sun went down it was still so hot that I sat outside for ages.

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On Friday our team had their year end function at Basilico in Newlands.

The theme was The Great Gatsby.

However it was about 30*C outside and it seemed even hotter inside. It was like an oven. They had all the doors and windows closed as they supposedly had air conditioning on but we eventually told them we had to have air. The sweat was literally rolling down our faces. It was incredibly uncomfortable.

Nevertheless we carried on.

I ordered the chicken breasts with chips.

But after I saw my colleague’s pizza I was ever so jealous as it looked amazing, crispy thin crust and lots of cheese and proper bacon. I’ll pop in sometime when it’s cooler and try one.

For dessert I chose the chocolate cherry brownie.

The brownie was more like a chocolate fondant in texture as it was undercooked. It was a soft smushy almost pudding like consistency. It needed 5 more minutes in the oven and would have been amazing as the flavours were perfection but it is really rich.

We played several party games. I won a nice bottle of wine as I had 12 of the 14 random items in a list which we all had to have in our handbags. I carry a suitcase, not a handbag. We were all given a few little party treats too, body creams and a nice chocolate.

One of the ladies does belly dancing and so she led a contest with the guys to test their skills.

We had such a giggle.

Unfortunately due to the heat I’m only rating Basilico 3 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Once we finished lunch I shot off home and changed and Norm packed up our picnic gear and chairs and we headed off to Kirstenbosch Gardens for the Texas concert.

We were driving in towards the venue and I started chatting to my angels. I always say ‘Angels find me nice parking’ when I enter any car park, but this venue can be a nightmare so I said ‘Pierre I know you would have had a game plan to avoid crowds, I liked the parking I had last time so if you can arrange that same spot I’ll be ever so grateful. I know that’s a bit of an ask so if you can get one anywhere in that lot I’ll be very happy.’

We drove in to the same area from the last time we were at the venue and the parking was full. We decided Norm would drop me and the gear and go park. He was back in seconds so I said ‘that was fast did you find something close?’

He says ‘I saw a car leaving after I dropped you and swung back around and got the exact same car parking space as last time.’

What?!?!?

I had to sit down and catch my breath and we hadn’t even started the uphill trek.

You may call this coincidence but I am 100% sure that my request for help was heard and acted on.

Pierre knew I’m not good with walking long distances. He also knew poor Norm would be laden like a pack animal with me dragging slowly up the hill moaning loudly behind him. Maybe it wasn’t me Pierre was helping after all!?

We gathered our gear and trekked uphill to the gate. We waited only a bit before the gate opened and we then got settled on the slope down towards the stage.

Eventually the space filled so full that it was blanket to blanket.

Norm popped open a cider for me.

We loved our new chairs, it has both a wee bottle holder and a wine glass holder.

How cool?

We were so comfy.

Those chairs are life changers. We were so happy.

We spotted our friend Tom who now lives in Scotland and he told us a fortuitous tale of running into Sharleen at the airport at the moment when she was really annoyed at the long queues and loss of her luggage, including her guitar.

We were delighted to hear a happy ending that the guitar was eventually found.

Norm had packed our picnic basket with chicken meatballs, cheeses, chicken breasts, nuts, seed crackers, pickles, salads and all sorts of delicious tidbits but it was so hot I wasn’t terribly hungry so I just nibbled.

To give the promoter their due the emcee came on stage promptly at 7 as promised. We loved that it was an evening of all female singers.

The first act up was Emily Capell from London.

Image credit.

She was very funny and energetic and we enjoyed her.

She was quite country with a rock twist. I liked her whimsical cheeky vibe but thought her hair a bit too Amy Winehouse-esque.

Next was Henry Ate and they also had a great sound with lots of energy.

Henry Ate was a South African band that came to fame in the mid-1990s. Headed up at the time by lead singer Karma-Ann Swanepoel. It appears she is still the lead singer so maybe they broke up and reformed. I’m pretty sure we saw her years ago when on the bill with Ard Matthews at Cape Farmhouse. She was a bit tipsy if I’ve got the right chick.

The sun eventually set and it got chilly so we wrapped up. Then Sharleen and the band bounced onstage to thunderous applause and Texas were off. The entire audience got up on their feet and danced until the 10 pm curfew when the sound has to shut down as the park is surrounded by residential areas.

They played all of their old hits. This is one of my faves. It hits me in the feels.

She is so beautiful and still looked amazing, of course I was a million miles away.

Imagine our surprise when Sharleen starts to tell a story about having a princess moment over airport dramas and meeting Tom!

A few minutes later she then says she wants to say hi to her long time friend Kate Carin who now lives in Cape Town and was in the audience. Norm and I both whipped round to look at each other.

What?

Kate is our next door neighbour and until this moment when I googled her had no idea she is a famous costume designer! Norm had said vaguely that she “worked for the BBC.”

What a small world! Sharleen tells two stories onstage and they are both about people we know.

We had such a brilliant night. We danced the entire last set and had such a laugh. I sang so much my throat is a bit sore.

We have now cracked the Kirstenbosch best practice. We did have to wait ages to get out of the car park after the concert finished but at least we didn’t walk miles so I can live with that balance.

We had such a perfect night. I give the experience a full 5 Kitten stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This morning we got up and showered and headed to La Cuccina for breakfast. I had the eggs benedict with bacon.

Norm had a full breakfast with low carb bread.

Afterwards I shot off to the city to get my hair cut and coloured. The wind is insane and the coast road was littered with bits of trees and rocks blown off of the mountains along the road.

After my haircut I came home and we just chilled out with the pups.

Tonight Norm has popped out to Massimo’s for pizza for our dinner.

It was rather amazingly delicious.

We are having a quiet night in. We are watching #SLFN.

We finally decided what to do for NY Eve. We booked in for dinner at Foxcroft our fave restaurant. We will have an early fancy dinner of amazing food then toddle off home, climb into the pool and welcome in the bells together listening to some music and sipping wine.

There will be no first footing round the neighborhood for Norm this year like last year in Scotland.

Never mind I’ll be spending it with the love of my life so I can’t ask for more.

What a lucky Kitten I am. I am thankful for my many blessings.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Lucky Kitten and The Mongoose

Norm and I had quite the adventure again this weekend. Last week seemed to drag however, maybe because of our anticipation and chomping at the bit to get away for our longish weekend? Or it could have been lingering exhaustion from the previous weekend’s festivities?

Norm had shopped during the week and one of us cooked most nights, however I had no leftovers to take to work for lunch on Thursday and I used OrderIn to get Sakura Sushi delivered to the client office.

In line with my new sense of adventure I ordered a different type of sushi than what I normally try. I ordered the following:

  • 1 X Prawn, Avo & Mayo Salad @ R48.00
  • 1 X Salmon Roses @ R64.00
  • 1 X Salmon Sashimi Flower @ R48.50

The new item I tried was the salmon sashimi flower. I had carefully examined the description of the dish as I bloody hate seaweed and always stick to things I know do not contain it. Guess what? The pretty little sashimi flower is wrapped with seaweed. Did the menu mention seaweed?

No.

Meh.

I managed to unwrap the seaweed and chuck the rest of the ‘flower’ into the prawn and avo salad so it all worked out in the end. It took a bit of ducking and diving but no seaweed touched my mouth.

When I got home on Thursday evening I had all good intentions to pack my suitcases for the weekend away but I was just too tired to function.

On Friday afternoon I was like a kid about to go on summer holidays and could barely sit still at work. I left the office at 12 and headed home to pack and get organised and try to get on the road early. Instead I faffed about and by the time we got the car packed up we only left Hout Bay at 2pm. Traffic out of the city was a nightmare and I am a very nervous passenger. I tend to yelp and shriek when cars stop in front of us or get anywhere near us. Imagine over two hours on a motorway. Poor Norm.

Anyway after about 2 hours or so we finally arrived at the Airbnb accommodation where my friend Retha had arranged for us all to come and stay to celebrate her upcoming birthday.

It is an absolutely stunning house in a very special location. We did not even bother to unpack or even have a tour on arrival, we needed to chill out a bit and so we had tea and biscuits out by the pool with Retha and Barry.

Another couple were joining us on the Friday night and after they arrived we all got settled into our rooms. A bit later we were all called into the kitchen. The staff had prepared dinner for our first night in the villa. The sun was just starting to set and the view of the sea in the background was amazing.

The staff had made a large simple salad which was on the table for us to get started with.

For the starter they served Ravioli. It had a gorgeous spicy sauce on top.

For the main we were told Venison pie was on the menu and as I am not a huge fan of venison or pie, I was feeling a wee bit of trepidation. However this was one very special pie! The venison was tasty and full of rich flavour, but it wasn’t a gamey taste. The pastry was crisp, light and dry and not at all soggy. It was served with oven roasted veg.

It was all rather divine.

For dessert there was malva pudding and custard. It was lovely as well and we all felt very spoiled!

After we finished with dinner we went to the lounge and settled around the bar. It was great hanging out with my bestie.

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We played pool and listened to L.M. Radio which broadcasts out of Mozambique. They play oldies, new music, jazz, pop, rock, reggae, african tunes, disco, you name it, they play it! They even came out with a Edith Piaf tune at one stage! It is a nice mix and the perfect party soundtrack for our pool playing.

We stayed up playing pool and drinking and talking rubbish til quite late. I was feeling a bit of pain when I woke early the next morning. I went down and made a coffee and waited for breakfast to be served and hopefully to revive me.

I had a bit of a wander around the house, it went on an on! The entire house is just stunning and is full of lovely furniture and art.

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We had asked for breakfast to be served at 8.30am and promptly at that time we sat down to enjoy the fresh fruit, juices and yogurt.

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We were all fascinated with the mirror on the kitchen ceiling.

After the fruit and yogurt were consumed we were served a delicious cooked breakfast of toast, eggs, fried tomato, bacon and sausage. We sat chatting after breakfast and some of us toddled off on walks and some of us just relaxed by the pool for a bit.

Late morning we decided we would all go and explore the local market, The Hermanus Country Market which is held at the local cricket grounds.

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There were mostly food vendors and as it was so hot and we had just had a huge breakfast we were not hungry, but the perimeter of the market had various hand-crafted items for sale and so we had a wander around those stalls. We bought a lovely bright red African print waterproof picnic blanket from a woman with the most beautiful plump cheeked baby sleeping on her back. I spent ages poking about the steampunk and leather stall. I could have bought all of the owner’s stock.

After the market Norm and I went into the town and wandered through a few art galleries. It was a really hot day and I had not packed much in the way of cooler clothing so when we saw a Mr Price we decided to see what I could pick up there to clothe me in the heat. I found a loose mid-calf length thin black cotton dress which was perfect for me and so I grabbed that and we headed back to the house to join the others.

Later on after we had some nibbles for lunch Norm and I decided to go upstairs for a little rest as we were expecting a hectic party that night. We had a lovely sleep for a few hours, then we showered and went down to join the group. While we were snoozing Dave and Lauren had arrived to join the party. They were spending Saturday night at the house too. The house was massive and had 5 bedrooms which would sleep about 14 people.

We sat chatting and waiting for everyone to get ready and then all 8 of us headed out for dinner to a local restaurant. Norm and I decided to drive as my arthritis is making my knees rather uncooperative, the rest of the group walked as it is just a wee bit up the road.

Lizette’s Kitchen is set in a grade 3B listed Heritage Farmhouse which has been lovingly renovated.

The decor is quirky and charming, modern yet nostalgic. I adored the vibe and the furnishings. When we arrived the staff offered us a choice of tables, we had booked in advance but they wanted us to be comfy. We chose a table at the back as it was very private.

The art was very amusing.

Every item on the menu sounded so tasty that I struggled to decide. Our waiter Gift made it even harder! I thought I had decided but when Gift came and lovingly described all of the offerings I changed my mind.

Norm and I both started with the Prawn Wontons. I had expected more of a mince texture like a standard wonton, but each wonton contained a whole prawn tail. The filo pastry was crisp and it was really tasty. It was served with a hoisin sauce.

Norm decided to go for the Moroccan Lamb Shank for his main. It was R175 and was described as ‘Slow Roasted for hours in North African spices, served with tabbouleh, almonds & Greek salad.’

I had been going to try something spicy and adventurous but the Fish and Chips is legendary (according to Gift) and so I decided to give it a go.

They served it with a little dish of soy sauce and vinegar and that combo is a life changer! Who would have thought to put those tastes together? Not me. Obviously Lizette did and I thank her for it! Hands down the tastiest fish I have ever had.

The chips were rather ordinary skinny frozen chips, I had expected a plate of thick hand cut chips and was a bit disappointed. But the fish made up for it.

We were all too full for dessert and so we paid up and headed off to the villa.

We played a bit more pool or hung about outside by the pool. Pool was the theme! We had a few drinks, and Norm and I even had a bit of a dance while some of the others were playing pool.

Norm and I were in the middle of playing a second game and the music was cut off and the telly was turned to the rugby. As there were several televisions I was confused as to why the music had to go off for those of us not watching, but the blokes pretty much just took over. As blokes do.

So they watched rugby.

Then they watched more rugby.

Then they watched people on telly talking about the rugby.

Then we all noticed that Retha had disappeared and we discovered she had gone to bed!

Norm and I spent the evening sitting outside by the pool chatting and drinking and then eventually we heard music inside and we drifted in to join the others as the rugby was finally over. But by now it was late and everyone’s energy was rather flat from drinking and sitting around so everyone just drifted off to bed. So much for our anticipated frivolities.

Never mind.

I woke up early on Sunday morning and did not feel terribly hungover as I had tried to make sure to drink plenty of water and less vodka than I had managed to suck down on the Friday night.

When I was making my first coffee I looked out the window and saw a gorgeous fat wee mongoose scooting along the edge of the bushes. I did not have my phone to snap a pic so I stole one from the internets for you.

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The next morning we were again treated to a bang up gorgeous breakfast. Norm was a bit grumpy as he was at the end of the queue and only got one piece of bacon but he did not starve as there were plenty of eggs and tomatoes.

After breakfast Norm and I went for a stroll down to the beach which was just outside the back door.

We sat watching the waves crash and enjoying the serenity.

We then walked along the coast a bit and saw a little lizard with an orange tail and legs scooting across the path and off into the bushes. He was ever so cute.

After we finished our walk we went back to the house and relaxed a bit before we got showered and packed, ready to make the excursion home.

We finally packed up about 12 and headed out, we decided to take a drive along the Whale Coast back home.

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It was a stunning drive!

We stopped for lunch at Spier wine farm. We decided to just grab a few picnic items and sit outside at the Farm Kitchen.

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They had a few prepared sandwiches so we picked a chicken and mayo.

I also indulged in a bit of potato salad.

For dessert Norm chose an apple cake type thing. It looked like an upside down cupcake. It was stuffed with bits of apple and had a sort of toffee flavoured icing on top.

I played it safe and got a couple of cookies.

The sandwich was not very nice, there was half cooked bacon generously layered on top and the fatty consistency was rather horrid in your mouth. I also found a large piece of bone in my chicken so I was rather unimpressed. The ciabatta bread was lovely as was the flavour of the potato salad.

The peanut butter cookie was nice, but the chocolate chip one tasted too wheaty and not chocolatey enough. Norm enjoyed his dessert.

All in all I give them 3 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️.

Considering it was a Sunday afternoon the place was rather quiet.

It was a really nice drive back and it was lovely to spend time with Norm and Retha and to make some new friends. I really enjoyed Lauren and Dave and think we could have a lot of laughs hanging out with them. We were planning our next event already when we left.

We had a great weekend and now it is back to reality.

However there is nothing quite like home.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

Please Forgive Me

Forgive me readers for it has a been a long time since my last confession. I do not think I have been doing any vast amounts of sinning, I have just been a bit busy.

This message is what is upper most in my mind at the moment however, the concept of the power of forgiveness.

Grandmother Robin Youngblood is the elder who has trained the ladies who I have been eagerly following to try and absorb some of her teachings. She has started a meditation which she wants to go world wide that is based on Hoʻoponopono (hoo-pono-pono) which is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. The purpose of this meditation is to tell Mother Earth we are sorry for the damage and harm we have done to her.

The video Robin posted on Facebook is included below.

Ho’oponopono has 4 steps.

Step 1: Repentance where you start by saying ‘I am sorry’. You can choose to specify why you are sorry, who you are apologising to or you can do a general repentance directed to the Universe and it’s inhabitants.

Step 2: Ask Forgiveness by simply saying ‘Please forgive me’.

Step 3: Express your Gratitude by saying ‘Thank You’.

Step 4: Express your Love by saying ‘I love you’.

As with Step 1 you can direct these messages to a person, a thing, a situation, the Universe or even just to yourself. The purpose of the prayer is healing.

To those who have never heard of the concept of ho’oponopono, here is a link to read more about it, but the art of Ho’oponopono gained attention when Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len healed a ward of criminally insane prisoners at the Hawaii state hospital with his cleansing meditation, without ever going to the facility or meeting the people he cured in person. He reviewed each patients’ files, and then he healed them by healing himself. He not only improved the prisoner’s behaviour patterns, but also the atmosphere of the ward personally over a period of four years. He did all of this by repeating the Ho’oponopono prayer.

ho oponono dr len

The meditations which have been done by the spiritual community that I have watched so far are all slightly different but the main message includes the Ho’oponopono prayer.

I have been practicing this daily by repeating this mantra to family members, to the Universe and even to drivers who cut me up in traffic.

This makes me feel at peace and calm. Whenever I think about the chaos in our world, the corruption of our politicians, the recurring hurricanes, wild fires and other symptoms of our disrespect to Mother Earth it makes me anxious. The prayers make me feel less filled with despair.

Another reason why I have not been posting for the last few weeks is that Norm has been away for three weeks and we always keep his absence off of social media for security reasons. He was in Budapest, the UK and Malaysia on work. I had Vanessa my manicurist and her daughter Robyn come stay with me to help me manage the dogs and to provide me with a bit of company at night.

I cannot be home to feed the dogs at 8am and to let Cordelia in when she arrives at 9 and still make it to work and home again to deal with the dogs in the evening. Also the dogs need to go out midday for a wee on the days when Cordelia is not there and Vanessa works in the village so she could pop home from work to let Navajo have a wander around the garden. She fed the dogs in the morning and waited for Cordelia to arrive and I dealt with them when I got home around 5-6pm. It worked out perfectly and Vanessa and her daughter are both so sweet so it was a great plan.

Norm came home this Monday and it was so lovely having him home. It makes me appreciate him when I have to do everything he normally does for me.

Usually when he goes away we have some sort of drama or catastrophe but this time all seemed to go smoothly other than a fire in our village which raged for days. It started behind a 5 star hotel on the coast road.

This meant that the road was shut during the peak part of the fire so that the firefighters could work without traffic obstructions. The road was closed also due to the lack of visibility for cars passing by. That meant the entire valley had to exit via the only other road into our village and it took me 2 hours to get to work.

Eventually the fire crossed over the mountain into Hout Bay due to the shifts in wind. It was on the opposite side of the valley from my house so I was safe but it was very near Retha’s house and the smoke was horrendous. You could see it from my house.

smoke my house.JPG

On Friday night it was raging very near Retha’s house.

fire jane ann

Image credit.

I stayed home mostly while Norm was away other than one or two ventures out and about. Retha and I went out for breakfast to Pastis last Saturday to escape the smoke from the fire.

pastis me

We both had the eggs benedict.

Pastis Eggs Benedict

After we had brunch we popped into Sacred Ibis to collect the drum bag that Michelle had made for me. I cannot say how much I love this bag. Birds are so significant in my life.

drum bag.JPG

The level of detail is so intricate. Even the zipper is lovely.

bag zip.JPG

When I got home I decided to pray and drum for rain to both fill our drought ridden dams and to put out the fire which was still raging. Later that afternoon the heavens opened and it poured with rain and extinguished the fire.

I hope that I helped to contribute to that rain.

With prayer anything is possible

I thank you Mother Earth.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxo