Launch of the Season

Even though it is not quite December, the season seems to be fully launched. The week flew by and it was the weekend again before I caught my breath.

On Thursday night we had a work function in the city centre. I left my office in Mowbray promptly at 3pm and shot off to Hout Bay to leave my car at home and then Norm kindly drove me in so I could have a drink. The traffic was insane! The function was at The Park Inn at the Foreshore. They have a roof top bar and restaurant called Harald’s Bar and Terrace. The view of Table Mountain is spectacular from there.

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It was a bit overcast and at one stage the dark clouds rolled over the mountain and we actually got rained on and had to dash inside for cover.

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Our lovely office manager Tamarin and I raced off to the bar when it started to drizzle.

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I got a lift home with my colleague Darren so I did not stay terribly long. As it was a work night I kept to single vodkas and avoided the deadly wine. As a result I was able to function on Friday at work without too much pain, just a bit of tiredness.

As Norm and Josh were home alone Norm bravely decided to make low carb spaghetti bolognaise. I sent him brief instructions and he managed it all on his own. It was delicious. We had been given tidbits to nibble at the work function so I did not have any that night, but I did take some to work the next day.

spagbol

On Friday afternoon Norm messaged me to say that a truck had rolled over on Rhodes Drive. I did not think much of it until hours later on my drive home when I came up on a long queue of traffic. There was a traffic cop redirecting everyone. A cement truck had rolled over onto a car. Luckily (and unbelievably) no one was killed.

cement truck

Photo credit.

We were all redirected back onto the motorway and then eventually we could drive the long way around and get home but it added a while onto the journey, not what anyone wants on a hot sunny Friday afternoon. But I guess it is better than being under a cement truck! #Winning

Norm and I decided to just get a take away for dinner that night as it was hot and we were both rather tired. I had been going to go out with Retha for her birthday but her plans changed and quite frankly I was happy with having a night at home.

Norm popped down to Indian Oven, our local Indian food take away spot.

We started with a shared order of Spinach bhajees.

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I had my usual prawn curry but it was a bit spicier than usual, it was still divine. We also shared an order of saag aloo which is cubes of potato cooked in pureed spinach. It is so tasty.

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We had a quiet cozy evening in. The dogs were being ridiculously cute. Pixie was chasing Navajo around and nipping at him. He would jump on the sofa with her ball in his mouth and she was then unable to reach him. Then he would jump down and run around the sofa with her in hot pursuit growling and yipping at him.

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

It is such a stunning drive.

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We were lucky with the traffic and arrived early.

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Lucky for us he had a no show so we got to go in early and so we finished earlier than planned.

I was meeting the George Escapees NoBooksNOurBookClub members for lunch at 12. We have all been friends for about 25 years and meet up whenever we are all in Cape Town.

We were booked at Bistro 1682 at Steenberg Farm. Janine had already nabbed a table outside in the shade by the time I arrived.

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We had to wait about 30 minutes for Nicola who was late.

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The waiter helpfully suggested that she might be lost until I told him she actually lives on the estate! She had an exhausting week and after getting dressed had sat down for a second to just rest her eyes and fell asleep.

Oops.

We forgave her.

The menu at Bistro 1682 is mostly a Tapas based menu so we all decided to choose 2 starters. They do have main courses but it was a hot day and it was a bit too much to try and gnaw through a steak or something large and heavy.

I chose the Baby Patagonian Calamari for R92 which was described as: Avo pulp, tomato & jalapeno jam, aioli, coriander salsa. I loved the little phyllo pastry basket in the middle to add a bit of visual interest.

This was perfection! The tangy sauce and the coriander all joined together to create a celebration in my mouth.

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For my next course I chose their version of a “Caesar” Salad for R94. It was described as ‘Parma Ham, white anchovies, artichokes, marinated peppers, cos lettuce,
soft quail egg, curry oil’.

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Now regular readers know how calling a salad a Caesar just because someone chucked on some ‘Caesar dressing’ is a good way to wind me up. This one was adequately described so I did not really expect a proper Caesar. I found it a bit heavy on the dressing and not very much like a Caesar at all other than the anchovies. But it was tasty enough. I just found all of the sauces combined a bit overwhelming for what should be a delicate salad.

I did not take a snap of the menu on the day and the online menu only has this dessert dish which sounds vaguely like it could be what I ordered: Dark Chocolate Marquise R82 Raspberry Ice Cream, Chocolate Soil, Orange Foam, Chocolate Cigar.

However I do not see any raspberry ice cream or a chocolate cigar on my plate below, do you? Who knows what I ate but I can tell you I would have it again and again!

It was divine!!

Whatever it was.

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We did not stay out terribly late as Nicola was going to the Johnny Clegg concert so we wrapped it up about 2.30 and I rang for Norm to collect me.

We went home and pottered about getting ready for the open house on Sunday. That evening we had planned on going out for dinner but we decided rather to stay in and continue to get things ready for the show house.

Norm went to the fish and chip shop and bought calamari, prawns and fish then he went to the Thai place next door and bought salads. We split it all and had a rather delicious (low’er’ carb) dinner and did not miss the chips at all.

fish

On Sunday we got up and got moving with the cleaning and sorting of the house. I had a wander around the garden and decided to dead head my strelitzia. It was looking a bit straggly. (It is also known as a Bird of Paradise due to the bird like blooms.)

I got into the midst of it and tried to avoid losing an eye to the sharp leaves. I cut out quite a lot of dead growth.

Left pic is after, upper right before.

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Unfortunately I forgot that I am old and rather unfit and I put my back out due to all the contortions to avoid eye loss. I was in agony and this meant Norm had to do all of the rest of the show day preparation on his own. Not that I do much at the best of times, but still. I usually at least pretend to help.

I hobbled about until 3pm when the estate agent arrived then I took her on a tour so she knew where things were and what to promote to any potential sellers.

Then we bundled all of the dogs into Norm’s car and headed off to Deli Delish as they were so welcoming to us and the dogs when we went the last time. It was a terribly windy day and so we sat out on the patio area. This time Panda insisted on sitting in Daddy’s lap.

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We were both ravenous as it was 3pm and we had not had anything except coffees. As it was so warm I opted for a salad and had the soy-sesame chicken salad. It was OK but there was a bit too much sauce for me.

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Norm opted for breakfast.

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We even indulged in dessert and I had a piece of Pineapple tart.

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After we finished we popped over to drop off Retha’s birthday present. I gave her a voucher for Skin in Hout Bay so she can treat herself to a pedi or something nice. Norm took the dogs for a walk and I hung out with Retha, Paola and Philip chatting for a bit.

Just around 5pm Norm headed home to relieve the estate agent but I stayed a bit longer chatting.

I am still hobbling about with my back pain. Norm treated us to a lovely dinner last night, he made fillet steaks, veggies and roast pumpkin.

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There is nothing quite so nice as having someone look after you when you are not quite feeling yourself. I am very blessed.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

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Finally An Angel

This has been such a stressful week for me. Like most introverts I do not enjoy change or new situations. I know I do not behave like your typical introvert as I am bolshy and opinionated, but I cringe at people asking me questions about myself or trying to communicate with me if we do not have an existing relationship. My Mom has said that I just spent too long out of Georgia and too long with the typically stoic Brits and it made me snobby. Southerners will chat to perfect strangers, no problem. I can do so depending on my mood, so maybe I am just a moody cow?

This week I had validation of one of my ‘messages‘ from the Universe/Spirit Guide. The friend I recently ‘heard’ in my head was looking for a new job has resigned. It wasn’t a surprise seeing as the Universe had already told me this was going to happen. However it was a surprise because I DID hear it in my head. Crazy heh? I wish her well as she got a huge increase with her new job and it is a great opportunity for her.

I saw an interesting article about healers. It gave the following list as ‘Signs you might be a healer’ and I tick the majority of them, I have added comments on some of these:

  1. You are highly sensitive to energy.
  2. You feel other people’s emotions and physical ailments as your own (empath). (This really affects me – I absorb other emotions and it really stresses me out, this is hard for non-empaths to understand.)
  3. You are intuitive and can read others very easily.
  4. You are a “big picture” thinker and don’t concern yourself too much with the details. (Not this one, my Virgoness overrules this as I am indeed a details girl.)
  5. You have gone through bouts of existential depression. (If I allow myself to feel the crisis of our globe or the pain of the masses, it drops me to a place I struggle to get out of.)
  6. You have felt like an outcast for most of your life.
  7. You think differently from others. (One of my best skills as an analyst, I approach problems differently than the other people on my team.)
  8. You get overwhelmed in public easily. (I can panic if surrounded by too many people, if they are touching me due to crowding I go a bit crazy. Concerts can be a nightmare for me but I try not to let it impact my life.)
  9. You have struggled with anxiety or panic before. (Regular readers hear allll about this often.)
  10. You are the natural peacemaker between people. (Not usually, I might be the one stirring it up.)
  11. You are the confidant that people turn to in times of need.
  12. You experience digestive issues, lower back pain or gain weight around the stomach (solar plexus chakra disorders). (All of the above.)
  13. You feel drained after spending too much time around people
  14. Sensitive beings like animals and children gravitate towards you.
  15. Other people tend to “dump” their emotional baggage onto you to deal with. (refer to many previous blogs.)
  16. You think in shades of grey rather than in black and white.
  17. You are very aware of the interconnectedness of life and deeply respect it.
  18. You believe in synchronicity more than coincidences.
  19. You have a history of healers in the family, e.g. nurses, psychologists, massage therapists. (I do not – however I do believe I am descended from White Buffalo Woman, the greatest healer.)
  20. You’ve experienced a major trauma in your life, e.g. loss of your family, life-threatening illness, near death experience, physical/sexual/emotional abuse, war, mental illness. (I tick a lot of these unfortunately, but what did not break me has only made me stronger.)
  21. You’ve gone through a spiritual awakening. (It is happening NOW.)
  22. You’ve experienced the dark night of the soul.
  23. You tend to use the right side thinker more than a left side thinker. (I am a balance between the two.)
  24. You experience chronic pain in your body or an autoimmune disease (energetic blockages). (I work on energy rebalancing and unblocking.)
  25. You are EMF sensitive (electromagnetic hypersensitivity).
  26. You tend to attract people who need “fixing” but often get trapped in self-sacrificing roles. (Nope, I am not a co-dependant sort and have little patience for those who dwell in their misery or pain.)
  27. You’re an excellent and compassionate listener. (I need to work on this, my attention span is too short.)
  28. You are naturally drawn towards healing professions that help others experience balance and wholeness.
  29. You can feel, distinguish between and alter the energy within and without yourself.
  30. You have had numerous mystical experiences. (More than most for sure!)

I know I am going down the path that The Great Spirit and my ancestors wish for me.

Norm shopped for us and on Tuesday he cooked dinner as I was not feeling great. I felt so exhausted and achy.  As Caitlin was at Wes that night Norm made pork fillet as she does not care for pork but I love it. He baked it in coconut oil and covered it with peppers, onions and mushrooms and then steamed asparagus to go with it.

On Wednesday Cait was home and I cooked chicken as that is her fave. I wrapped it in bacon and baked it. I sliced zucchini and fried it quickly in butter til browned and to go with it I steamed cauliflower. I attempted a lazy Banting cheese sauce. I grated cheddar cheese into a pan with some butter and double thick cream, stirred like mad and hoped for the best. It was nice! We just drizzled a bit on the cauliflower.

As always my food pics are rather dire sorry about that lol.

I heard on Tuesday that I had made it to the next stage of the interview process for the job I recently applied for and I was expected to create and give a 5 minute presentation of my analysis results from the exam scenario provided to us.

On Thursday I arrived at the interview venue 30 minutes early. I chilled in my car for 15 more minutes, then walked across to the venue. I was still unable to wear eye makeup due to my eye infection which makes me feel a bit underdressed. I miss my eyeliner.

#InterviewCarSelfy

On my way there I had asked the Great Spirit for a sign that I was where I was meant to be and when I arrived they put me into a meeting room to wait. The walls were covered with indigenous art, horses, cattle and bushmen. Very much like this painting.

It was so similar to Native American rock art, it made my soul feel comforted and ‘at home’ and it instantly started to relax me.

I had rehearsed my presentation over and over to get my timing to less than the specified 5 minute limit. They finally called me in to a large room with a screen where a panel of 5 members of staff were waiting to interview me. I was very nervous but I started to relax when I got into my flow and I could tell that they were very impressed with my analysis and recommendations. However after my presentation, they went around the table for each of the interview panel to ask me questions. It was an experienced based interview where they expected me to give examples of various scenarios, for example, ‘can you give an example of how you had to win people over to your way of thinking and how you went about it?’ I went into a panic and can’t remember very much of anything I said for any of my responses. I gave a silly example for the first question and said ‘I just bully people into submission’. I laughed but it is somewhat true! But I get results in a project and hopefully that message came through. Overall though I felt the presentation won them over. They rang the following day to say that they want me to join them however it can be arranged via my contracting house. That made me feel great!

I headed home and worked from home the rest of that afternoon rather than drive into the city for a few hours.

For dinner that night I was craving chili con carne so I fried up mince with onion and yellow pepper until browned. I added a tin of red kidney beans, a tin of tomato purée, a splodge of tomato paste and lots of chili and spices and left to simmer. The beans are not allowed on Banting but one tin among a whole pot is acceptable by my standards.

To go with the Chili I made baked provolone ‘nachos’. I topped it all with grated cheddar, guacamole, salsa and fromage frais.

Caitlin had a couple of friends come down from Johannesburg to stay with us for a few days and they went out for dinner that night but when they came back Carmel gave us a huge box of Iranian candy in a lovely box. It looks like stained glass windows.

Carmel and her boyfriend had come down to Cape Town on the Shosholoza Meyl train. They said it was quite affordable and comfortable and was a cool way to see the country.


Lily and Josh also came down for the weekend, and on Friday Caitlin invited Wes around and I invited Retha which meant we had nine people for dinner. I was still not feeling quite myself and Norm offered to shop and braai for us all and Carmel made some gorgeous salads and I didn’t have to do anything except pour myself a cocktail.

Again, my pics are rubbish but in my defence it was dark outside.

It was also quite chilly outside and as I was not 100% well once Retha went home and Lily and Josh headed to bed I went to snuggle on the couch with the pups and watch a bit of telly.

The next day I was off to get a laser hair removal session at Skin in Hout Bay. It was 2 hours long but hopefully the torture is worth it. They have the latest equipment however and the pain is nothing like the previous salon’s machines which hurt so badly I needed pain meds beforehand and it ended up scarring my forearms due to burning me. I am going to try and see if they can treat the burn scars at ‘Skin’ after the hair removal is complete.

The kids were all off out for the day. Lily and Josh went to race his quad in the northern suburbs and Caitlin and her friends were off to the Hout Bay Harbour Market. Caitlin treated me to a small lemon meringue pie from the Nap stall and Norm to a banting chocolate cake slice.

In the afternoon I started watching “This is Us” on LookTV and 5 minutes in I was already tearing up.  This is such a emotionally raw show, I am really loving it. I am both laughing and weepy in every episode and it is so well written how the lives of these people all intertwine. It touches on many topics, such as homosexuality, obesity, adoption, body shame, rage, fear, spousal abuse and pretty much any family or human dynamic possible. This series gets a full 5 Kitten Stars. Watch it!


While I was being a couch potato Norm started painting the base coat on our kitchen walls.

Painting the ceilings and walls is the only thing left and then our kitchen renovation is complete! It has been a long haul. Next we are going to remodel our bathrooms, we were going to get some quotes on the bits and pieces on Sunday but I did not feel up to going out.

We had bought tickets a few weeks ago to go to Theatre on the Bay for a dinner and theatre evening. Even though I was not feeling 100% I had no intention of missing it.

Caitlin and her friends were having a night in after a day of beach walks and festivities and she snapped a pic of me and Norm when we got ready.

The drive along the coast road takes 15 minutes at most and it is such a stunning route.

The Theatre on the Bay is my favourite venue for shows and is quite pretty.


We had booked to have dinner at the Sidedish Theatre Bistro restaurant which is in the upper floor of the theatre building, it is so convenient! It is a lovely, elegant setting as well.

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We were the first people to arrive and they were playing Drake‘s music. I love his music and was disappointed when they looked at the 2 old white people and made an executive decision to put on Rihanna. But the Rihanna song ‘Stay‘ which they chose is one of my faves and I was not too upset. Then mid groove on that song they changed it again! I shouted to the staff who were fecking about, ‘come on guys, I loved both of those songs, just pick one’ lol. We all had a laugh and Drake went back on.

There were only a few choices of Sauvignon Blanc on the menu and I picked the first listed, the False Bay (Waterkloof) Sauvignon Blanc at R99 a bottle. When the waitress, Naomi, went to open it the top kind of came off in her hand. We took a sip and realised it was oxidized. It was foul. The manager of the restaurant came over and agreed it was off and suggested we try another brand. Norm chose the Lomond Sauvignon Blanc at R145 a bottle. It was divine and we settled in to relax and enjoy our evening.


The dinner deal is for 3 courses and we both started with the Calamari misto. The calamari was divine, but the salad looked a bit sad and the little piece of toast was so hard I could not bite it but I don’t need the carbs and was happy with my calamari.

Norm and I both chose the chicken for our main. It was crispy outside and stuffed with feta and spinach. It was nice but I would have preferred veggies rather than chips. I did not eat many of those as they were just your average frozen chips – I won’t waste my carb allowance on mediocre chips. The chicken was enough to fill me up though.

For our dessert course Norm chose apple mousse in a crispy phyllo pastry basket.


I chose the Decadent Velvet layer cake. It was indeed decadent, the topping was rich white chocolate and I could only manage a bite or two. It was tasty, just very rich.

The play we were going to see was called ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’.

It was brilliant!!! It was such a farcical bit of nonsense and the actors had to be on their game as there were so many physical challenges in the show. The lead female character was played by Nicole Franco and she had visible bruises on the backs of her upper legs due to being thrown about the stage (either that or she has a rather mad personal life). Sacrificing for her art I guess!

We laughed non-stop for an entire 2 hours. The play starts with one of the cast members roaming about and asking the people sitting in the first row questions. We were on the 2nd row and I was so confused as I was thinking ‘how unprofessional, what are you doing?’ But the other people next to me in the theatre told me it was part of the show after they saw my dropped mouth and confused face.

I give the dinner 3.5 kitten stars (the service was fabulous, however the food was just above average.)

I give the play a full on 5 Kitten Stars. If you are in Cape Town readers, you MUST book to see it if you can still get tickets. There are 3 weeks left of this run.

When we left the theatre it was drizzling rain which made us so happy, the drought in Cape Town is getting dire with us only having a few weeks of water left in our dams. We are desperate for rain.

When we arrived home, we popped on the news and I was devastated to hear that Gregg Allman was dead at 69.


I have loved Gregg’s music since I was a kid and in the 70s I was lucky enough to meet him in Daytona as my Dad’s cousin was his friend.

RIP Gregg, your music will be sorely missed. I know you were a kind, good hearted man and I do believe you are indeed finally an Angel.

On Sunday when Lily and Josh were packing up to leave, my doctor rang to say my lab results were back and that I have a bacterial chest infection which explains why I have been feeling so dizzy and rubbish. I had blamed exhaustion as I seldom sleep more than 5 hours a night.

He told me he was ringing in antibiotics and I needed to start taking them immediately. As I have had a hip replacement any sort of systemic infection can be quite serious. Even before I have my teeth cleaned I have to go onto antibiotics.

It was cold and damp outside and after Lily and Josh headed home I wrapped up on the couch and Cait made us all some broccoli cheese soup which was delicious.

That evening Norm and I watched the film Get Out.

Oh my word this is a crazy film!! I was on the edge of my seat and shouted at the screen on a few occasions, therefore just based on the emotions it generated I give it 4 Kitten Stars.

This week I booked for Norman and I to go and see the Scottish band ‘Texas’ who are appearing for the first time in SA in December this year.

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The show is at Kirstenbosch Gardens. It is such a stunning open air concert venue.

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Image credit.

I cannot wait to see them. This is my favourite of their old songs. Lead vocalist Sharleen Spiteri is so beautiful and has such a gorgeous voice.

I went into work as normal yesterday but my doctor emailed to say I was contagious and so I was sent home. I felt so dizzy and short of breath that I just went to bed and stayed there. Today I have worked from home as well and I probably will do so again tomorrow just to be sure my infection is under control. I am glad that at least I know what is wrong with me and hopefully the antibiotics will sort me out. I hope you all have a great week.

Much love to you all.

Choose Peace

From the time I woke on Monday I avoided anything political. I usually wake before my alarm goes off and I grab my phone and check my social media accounts and my Covet Fashion results. I’ve played Covet for years but I don’t spend cash on it like some women who allocate a budget each week for it. I would rather take my family out with the cash I would spend on paper dolls but I do find it relaxing and continue to play it.  I have made some great friends from the game as well.

Anyway, I digress.

On Monday I avoided Facebook and just updated my status. Everything else on my timeline was toxic other than a few friends who seem to be on a similar place as I am – heart sore and in need of a mental break. I know that this is the plan of the Fascists in charge of the US government, to keep pushing the boundaries until the resistors are too tired to carry on resisting and become numb to the pain. I am not down, I am just resting. I will continue to resist – maybe I should limit it to one of my social media platforms? I will decide on my approach once I feel a bit more balanced.

I drove to work with minimal swearing and did not overtake anyone. I made an effort and talked myself down off the precipice when I threatened to derail.

I facilitated a workshop that lasted all day. I had to rehash the same stuff yet again as it was a different audience. But I just kept calm and didn’t lose my cool too much even when people were being annoying.

And believe me, they are always annoying to a rapid thinking Virgo. Luckily I work with a very clever bunch of men and women. Much more clever than I am as a general rule.

Anyway…again I am rambling.

One of the Executive Orders that the Furher has signed this week has a parallel to my own life. We are building a wall. 🙂 However it is not to keep out any refugees, it is to keep in my dogs! Our wall had started crumbling as there was a tree whose roots were slowly pushing it over. We have had our friend Cyril come and knock down the wall, dig out the tree and it’s roots and then he will build the wall back (minus said tree of course).

The top photo is looking down from our house and the second is looking up from below our house.

build-a-wall

They have put in a temporary fence to keep the doggies in after they stop building at night, however it is not sturdy enough that it would keep any humans out. On Tuesday the doggies saw a gap and made a run for it. Navajo stood aside keeping an eye on the builders and Panda just danced around them hoping someone would feed or pet him, but Pixie pegged it down the hill as fast as her stubby little legs would take her. Norm eventually caught her but she loves escaping. When she runs away she will stop periodically and glance over her shoulder, waiting for you to catch up and then zoom! She is off again, laughing at your annoyance.

Monday evening I had booked for a group of friends to go to a Music Pub Quiz at Woodcutters Arms in Hout Bay.

woodcutters-quiz

We collected Retha on the way and our friends Scott and Karen met us there. (P.S. WTF is that guy behind me and Retha doing? Is it a magic trick? Did doves fly out of that napkin? Is he surreptitiously smoking a pipe? Some crack? Drinking from a brown bag? What IS going on? And why does Norm look so cross? And what am I looking at? So many questions.)

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We called ourselves ‘The Five Horsemen (and women) of the Apocalypse’.

Scott sings and plays guitar so we hoped he would be our secret weapon and great at music quizzes. It turns out we are all as rubbish as each other, but we had a lot of laughs. It is so frustrating to be able to sing an entire song but have no clue what the name of it is! For example, Steve Miller was one of the sounds of my high school years. Therefore I was able to sing the entire song from ‘I’m a picker, I’m a grinner, I’m a lover and a sinner. I get my loving on the runnnnnn.’ all the way to ‘I really love your peaches, wanna shake your tree.’ But could I remember the name? No. (It’s ‘The Joker’ for those who may be planning a quiz anytime soon.)

The pub offers a limited menu on a quiz night. We ordered a few bits and pieces.

I love their jalapeno cheddar cigars, these are chopped jalapenos and cheddar wrapped in a thin phyllo pastry. They are just divine.

poppers

Several of us had the Scotch Eggs. Norm is mad for these and Scott is also of a Scots background so he was ever so excited to try them as he has not had them in a very long time. They are hardly common faire in South Africa.

eggs

Three of us had the Chicken Caesar burger which was a chicken breast with bacon, cheese, an egg and Caesar dressing on top. It was yummy!

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We finished up around 10:30pm and Retha’s godson had just arrived into the village on the bus and unfortunately it is not safe on our streets for a young lad walking alone with an iPhone in his pocket so we raced across to collect him and take him home, dropped him and Retha and headed home.

Tuesday Norm did a grocery shop and made us all dinner. It was so yummy and low carb, high fat. It is a simple and quick meal. He wrapped chicken breasts in streaky bacon, steamed some gem squash and broccoli and voila!

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I put a beef roast in the slow cooker overnight so that was dinner for tonight sorted.

Every day I walk through the city and notice new people living or sleeping on the streets. There is a spot which is a bit of open ground that is over an underground car park. The city has put large bolts sticking out of the top of a little protruding box that gives air to the car park. I wondered why they would do so as it looks rather dangerous if you were to fall onto one of them. I had also noticed that it seems to be a gathering spot for the homeless. One day the ground around the box was covered in human faeces, another day there were many empty boxes of cheap wine lying around the base of the box.

This week it finally clicked. There will be warm air coming up through the vents, that is why it is a gathering spot as the nights are very cold in Africa, even in summer they can be brisk. The winds from the sea in the foreshore can be fierce. The bolts are put there to stop people sleeping on the boxes.

I can’t imagine what that must be like, desperate for a warm place to lay your head. I am so grateful that I do not have to worry about a safe, warm place to sleep.

My blessings are many.

Powerless

I’ve lived a nomadic life. I was born in Georgia, on the south-east coast of America and when I emigrated to South Africa the first time I had been living in LA on the west coast for 7 years prior, so I have many moves between the 2 coasts. I have lived all over South Africa: in various suburbs in Johannesburg, several homes in George, Knysna and various places in Hout Bay. I’ve lived in Belfast in Northern Ireland, hopped over to England and bounced around the East Midlands, West Midlands, Surrey and we rented here and there on projects so I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few across the UK.

I have permanent residency in both the UK and SA and a US passport.

But I can’t vote. 

This is so frustrating and makes me feel powerless. I never had any interest in politics when I was young and my family never discussed anything remotely political. When I left the States I had never registered. Now 30 years later I have no proof of last residence, social security card or any of the required documents they wanted when I tried to register to vote for Obama.

It was probably my marriage to news junkie Norm which got me interested, or possibly it evolved from my time spent in SA. I had never heard about apartheid until I met my first husband, I guess that started the awareness at least.

Today was a national holiday to allow everyone the time to vote. As several of us couldn’t vote, we decided to work and take off on Monday as Tuesday is Women’s Day and we get that day off as well. Now we have a long 4 day weekend.


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We went for a late team lunch at Vasco Da Gama Tavern when we finished work.


We walked as it wasn’t that far from the hotel where we park so had aimed for a closer pub but with it being a holiday it was closed, so ended up traipsing from the foreshore to Greenpoint. It poured with rain just after we arrived but luck was on our side and we were dry on the way there and back. I headed home with a relaxed Friday feel, except I have 2 days of work remaining!

I would have loved to vote, I hope that the DA can take more areas from the ANC. The ANC has become a farce of the type of party Mandela envisioned. “President” Zuma is an uneducated, lying, unethical, cheating, misogynist much like Trump. Neither should be in power.

I’m waiting excitedly for the results in SA.


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Mmusi Maimane is our hope.

He has been compared to Obama but prefers to align to Bill Clinton. If he can convince enough that he is the best candidate it will make such a difference. 

Let’s all hope for positivity and change for SA.

Under The Stars

This week was still intense at work, we had a data load which means stress and tension and late hours, but we hit our delivery.

Norm had his old friend Rowan come over from Belfast this week for a wedding, this was a guy Norm had coached over 20 years ago and had not really seen since then. Rowan’s wife is Cathy and we made plans to go to one of my favourite restaurants which is owned by an amazing chef. La Mouette is run by the lovely couple Mari and Henry, the food they conjure up is a treat to the taste buds.

Rowan and Cathy were lucky enough (or rich enough hahaha) to stay at the stunning Mount Nelson Hotel and we offered to collect them, so we drove through the gorgeous entrance and up the winding drive towards the big pink hotel to collect them.
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hotel n mountain

We arrived at La Mouette just before the sun set and the courtyard was all ready with the tables beautifully set, the fountain tinkling in the centre, and fairy lights strung in the trees. It is such a lovely oasis in the centre of busy Seapoint, but it somehow feels as if you are off in the countryside, you are unaware of any noise or chaos nearby. As the sun went down the candles were lit and the light was from the periphery of the courtyard.

We opted for the Spring Tasting Menu which consists of 6 courses for R295, or if you opt to have the wine pairing it is R475. Instead of the wine pairing we chose to go with the Warwick Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc at R225 a bottle.

The 1st course was Roasted cauliflower soup accompanied by Gruyere cheese scones, truffle Chantilly and red onion jam.
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The soup was creamy and tasty, the cheese scone was gorgeous with the truffle cream and onion jam. A lovely way to kick off the night.

Next was the course I was least looking forward to as I am not a fan of celery or celeriac. But I have now learned to not question Henry’s seemingly bizarre combinations as somehow the chemistry just elevates the food to another level.

The Celery panacotta was creamy and smooth and only lightly flavoured with celery and it came with Hazelnut crumble, Grilled asparagus, and an apple and celeriac remoulade and it was all just divine. The nuttiness of the hazelnut was a perfect balance to the other flavours. It was light and refreshing and perfect for the heat of the evening.

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Next was a choice of either:
Peas, ham and eggs: Glazed pork belly, lomo, peas, parmesan cream and egg yolk emulsion.
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Or
Salt and pepper squid: Roasted corn, puree, pickled cucumber and caramelized onion ketchup.
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I opted for the squid. It was breaded with a light crispy coating and the combo of the corn and the other items was perfect, but then I have a slight corn fetish, I blame my Native American heritage, we invented that stuff didn’t we? 🙂
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Or was it the pilgrims? Whatever the history, it was damned good.

Norm had the pork, he has a bit of a pea obsession. Not sure why, did the scots invent peas?

The next course also had 2 options:
Either the Springbok ‘pie’ Bitterballen, medallion, spring baby vegetables, smoked mash and crispy pastry,
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Or the Franschhoek trout Tartare, cauliflower cous cous, quinoa, crispy calabash, pickled pumpkin seeds, spiced chicken jus.
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All of us had the springbok other than Cathy who tried the trout. The springbok medallions were really tender, the bitterballen like mini schnitzel balls, crispy outside, tender and delicious inside. The mash had a delicious flavour, maybe truffle oil? Not sure but it was so creamy and flavourful. It was so delicious I wanted to lick the plate.

The trout looked very nice and Cathy polished it all off and said she enjoyed it.

The next course was Eton mess which consisted of Meringue, lemon curd, strawberries, vanilla cream, cassis gel and strawberry sorbet.
Clever Cathy called it Eton tidy as it was so delicately arranged on the plate, it was a visual treat as well as one for the taste buds.
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It was tart, and very refreshing. I really enjoyed it.

Memories of sweets by the seaside was the final course, this consisted of a donut, ice cream and a mock up of a bit of rock which had a jelly type outside and a creamy filling.
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For you Americans, rock is a traditional British seaside treat,and this is what we always just called hard stick candy, we used to always buy it when we went to Gatlinburg for some reason.
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The evening was fabulous, it was a hot evening, the food was perfect, and I really clicked with Cathy, we had such a giggle over everything, she seemed to get my odd sense of humour and we chatted the entire night while the fellas caught up. It was just magical.

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We only got to sleep at about 1am which was a killer for a Monday. It didn’t help that I had bookclub on the Tuesday and another late night, but it was good to see my girlies and catch up. We celebrated Camilla’s birthday and chatted and laughed for hours, it was lovely.

Norm and I attended the CPF (Community Policing Forum) meeting on Thursday evening and there was a new board elected, I am looking forward to the changes they will implement, they are all young and as devoted to Hout Bay as Norm and I are and we anticipate a lot of energy coming in to make a difference.

Last night after work I went for a cocktail with 2 of the lads on my team. We went to the Park Inn at the Foreshore, they have a lovely lounge on the roof, it has a pool and a DJ and cocktails with a view of the mountain. Did I mention cocktails?
me park

As I was driving I just had 1 and made it last for 2 hours 🙂 that meant I avoided brain freeze so it’s all good.

We had a lot of laughs talking nonsense and then we all headed home.

Tonight we have 2 events to attend, so it is definitely the end of year craziness starting. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend, the sun is shining and life is pretty fabulous.

http://www.lamouette-restaurant.co.za
http://www.belmond.com/mount-nelson-hotel-cape-town/
http://www.parkinn.com/hotel-capetown