A Scotsman, an Irishwoman & an American walk out of a bar….

It has been three weeks since I have had the time to blog. I was signed off of work due to stress for two days just after Norm arrived back home from his trip to the states. We are under such time pressure on this project that I could not afford to have any down time so despite being signed off I worked from home both days. I made great progress at home with no distractions. When we are in the office we spend up to four or five hours of the day in meetings rather than designing our solution and documenting it.

I went back to work the following Monday and have focused on applying various tools to help me deal with the personalities around me. The work does not stress me, I am one of the few people who enjoy creating documentation, but I love writing so to me it is paying me to do what I love to do, as long as I have the proper level of understanding of the design I am trying to document. The stress comes from the people around me who cannot cope with their own stress and therefore displace it towards the team.

My friend Rosie has been over to visit us for the last 2 weeks. We have been friends for over 20 years.  I first met Rosie when I moved to the UK to live with Norm in November 1996. Norm and I still lived in Belfast when we got married in Scotland in July 1997 but I cannot remember when we left there to move to England, but we were probably living there about 18 months to 2 years. Rosie was part of the group I hung out with in Belfast, we went to the same pubs, went on weekends away and attended various other events as a group together. Rosie was also one of our friends who made the effort to come and spend time with us when we visited the UK in January 2017 on our whirlwind tour.

Unfortunately I was knee deep in my very tightly dead-lined intense project for the majority of her visit and Norm was left to be the tour guide. He took Rosie to the Cape Point Nature Reserve and they were lucky enough to see a pair of Eland, DassiesPenguins, Baboons and all manner of lovely things. He took her to the V&A Waterfront where she got to see the new Zeitz MOCAA museum and wander around the shops. She went to the Slave Museum and saw the Bo kaap and District Six.

We took her to dinner and lunch at some of the area’s nicest spots for either their vistas, their food or both. I will not do my usual blow by blow or it will bore you to tears so I will touch on the highlights of her visit.

Lily and Josh came down for Rosie’s first weekend,

and Caitlin and Wes also joined us all for dinner at my fave venue, Cheyne’s.

We had a lovely evening and a lot of laughs.

How funny is the photo bomb dude in the background?

I do not have a copy of the menu that night but I will try and remember the basic description of what I had. The beauty of Cheyne’s food however is the alchemy of the combinations he puts together and I will not be able to express that level of granularity. We all went for the Yum Cha experience which is any four dishes from his menu. His menu is divided into 4 themed sections: one with seafood dishes, one with carnivorous choices, one with ‘side’ dishes and one with sweet dishes.

I started with this dish in the pic below. It is baby shrimp tempura with a delicious sauce. I adore this dish.

For my selection from the Land section of the menu I had the Mumbai Chill Beef. It is always divine and nothing else tempted me away from choosing it again this visit. It was so yum, I love the combination of the raw coconut and the slices of chili.

I was delighted that the sweet potato fritters were back on the menu. I adore these fried dumplings in the rich peanut buttery coconut sauce. Rosie asked to swap one of her duck fat fries for one of my fritters and I threatened to impale her in the eye with my chopsticks. I think she got the message I do not share my food.

These are little balls of heaven.

For my fourth choice I had the peanut butter shake. There was a bit of drama when the waitress forgot our fourth course. She came around to our table after having disappeared for ages after our third round of dishes and asked us if we wanted anything else or should she bring the bill and we said ‘ummm yes, we would like the rest of our dinner’. Josh had just been about to give up and leave as he had a race the following day and was up really early so in order to get him to come out with us we had promised him he would be home by 9pm. But he had also ordered dessert as had the rest of the table except Wes and Cait who both had 4 savoury courses. Josh got home late but luckily it did not impair him as he still kicked ass and took home first prize.

He also loved his milkshake luckily!

We had a great evening and it was lovely having my girls and Rosie all together. They were so tiny when Rosie and I were friends years ago I wanted her to get to meet them, I only wish Trevor had been here too.

Saturday morning Rosie and I got up and headed out to the Hout Bay Harbour Market. We had a wander around the stalls and a tour of the food section and Rosie bought a hat and had a healthy salmon poke  bowl.

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Salmon Poke Bowl @bayharbourmarket ❤️

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It was too early for that for me as I was feeling a wee bit hung over from the previous night as my Cherokee liver cannot metabolise the fire water and I ended up being tempted by a plate of bite sized, fresh, hot, iced donuts.

Oh my gawd they were amazing.

I regret nothing.

We left the market and drove over to the actual harbour and had a wander around the stalls selling African artifacts. Rosie bought a little musical instrument at one of the stalls and then found some sunglasses to go with her new hat.

It was a stunning warm sunny day. We bought a gorgeous soft serve ice cream at Muriel’s and walked to the end of the pier, watching the variety of people strolling around us.

We are so blessed to live in such a stunning village.

The local man who feeds the seals and drags them out of the water to beg for tourist donations was around but we avoided him and I took a pic of the seal as he headed back out to sea.

That evening we headed back to the Harbour for dinner at the Lookout Deck as we went for their Saturday night kilo of prawns special.

We had our prawns and sat by the window looking out to sea, it was a lovely setting and the food was nice, the prawns were quite difficult to peel this time for some reason but once you managed to wrest it out of the shell it was lovely. A huge catch of tuna were being processed just nearby and we watched all of the activity with interest.

On Sunday we went to the stunning Constantia Glen vineyard.

It was a gorgeous sunny day outside with just a bit of wind to keep it pleasant.

Both Norm and Rosie had the flammkuchen. (That is just German for pizza.)

Norm had the Caprese Flammkuchen.

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Caprese Flammkuchen @constantiaglen

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I had the charcuterie and cheese platter.

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Cheese and Charcuterie platter

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I really enjoyed the Constantia Glen Two wine, it was a blend but was really easy on the palate and not too acidic.

I was back at work on Monday but Rosie had been struggling with anxiety since her Mom’s recent death and so I arranged some healing treatments of various modalities for her and Norm took her to them during the week. Luckily I knew who to make the first booking with and that person helped with the connections for the other treatments which Rosie managed to have. She went for Reiki, hypnotherapy and family constellations therapy which deals with how our past can affect our present. She also happened to time it so that she was here when my spirit workers group held an all women sweat lodge and she got a lot of benefit from that too.

I booked midweek for us all to go and see a singer we knew nothing at all about on Wednesday night at our fave music venue, Cafe Roux in town. Usually I watch a video to gauge whether the artists will be my type of music before booking but this time I was so busy I just looked for someone appearing that week and chose Lucy Kruger and the Lost Boys.

They were very talented, Lucy had a haunting voice and she called up various other artists she knew to perform with her. There was a guy next to her who she called Andre who was half genius and half irritating twat. He needed to be noticed and sometimes he just made a lot of noise, occasionally adding a positive element to the sound. Another woman sang with her and their voices were the perfect complement to each other.

However we had a brilliant night despite Andre and toddled home quite late for a school night. I was sluggish the next day at work, however I had promised Rosie a night out on the legendary Cape Town gay scene the following night. I asked a gay friend to recommend some options and she suggested we go onto the group Cape Town Lesbians on Facebook and look for suggestions. I went on to the page and saw an event posted for a singer called Janelle Botha who was performing at what appeared to be a small venue in Cape Town called the Cheeky Bean Cafe. It was a really cheap entry of R30 and there were only a few people saying they were attending so I thought it sounded like a nice cosy environment in which to gently dip our toe into the Cape Town scene. We thought we might meet some friendly women who could direct us onto our next venue.

Norm had to take Caitlin to the airport that day and had a busy day chasing around trying to sort his visa (that is a blog all on it’s own) so he decided to have a chilled night at home. Rosie and I booked an Uber and set off into town in high spirits. We did not know exactly where we were going but once we got to Somerset Square the driver got out of the car and spoke to the guards and found the venue and dropped us right outside. There were less than 10 people there all of whom were sitting outside smoking, however all of the inside tables had signs saying ‘Reserved’ on them. We walked up to the bar and were approached by a very pretty and friendly member of staff who asked if we knew about the cover charge. I said we did but it looked like the tables were all taken. She said they would ‘sort something out’ for us. She told us to pay at the bar when Rosie offered her a R200 note for our joint R60 cover charge. I placed an order for a round with the bartender and also handed over R100. The barmaid then gave us a sour look and asked did we not have anything smaller. We dug around and came up with exact change which she took. We got our drinks and we asked the first waitress again where could we sit? She said they would ‘sort something out’. In the meantime we went to sit on the couch in the corner of the room. As soon as we sat the grumpy little barmaid stomped over and started ranting again about us not booking. We told her the invite said nothing about booking being required, besides which they took our entrance fee! You cannot make someone pay entrance and then tell them there is not enough room for them. We got up and moved to a table which had become available outside but it was a cold evening and I was dressed for being inside in a bar, not sitting outside. Besides which the smell of cigarettes was overpowering. I was freezing cold and very hungry. We again asked about a table inside for the third time when Rosie went for a new round and the grumpy barmaid shouted ‘I don’t know you!’ which seemed a bizarre thing for a manager of a public venue to say. We clearly were not welcome and she seemed to be rather angry about us being there and asking for a seat apparently! Why did they not just ask a group at a bigger reserved table whether we could join them? The singer was average but we would have enjoyed the event except that the manager was so unwelcoming and unpleasant that I phoned Norm and begged him to rescue us. He was not happy as he had driven all the way to the airport and had just arrived back home and had to come back to the city. He kindly agreed to come through and collect us and we all drove down the main road until we spotted a Hudsons Burgers and parking available just across the road and we were lucky enough to get a table with a stunning and friendly waitress who was very efficient and had us all munching happily on a burger in no time at all.

I was feeling so traumatised by the horrid experience at The Cheeky Bean Cafe that I even had a milkshake to cool me down.

Our waitress asked us where we were from and when I said ‘Hout Bay’ she looked perplexed so we had a laugh and explained how a Scotsman, a Northern Irish woman and an American all ended up together in Africa. She really was lovely. She proved to me again just how the waiter or waitress is such a big part of your overall experience.

When we got home we enjoyed relaxing on our new sofa which I bought second hand from a friend. Our old one was lovely but Norm hated it and I knew that this one was really well made and comfy and as I am a red freak I bought it spur of the moment.

I love it so much! It was a bit of drama getting it home as it poured with rain and it was being temporarily stored on a patio but luckily it did not get damaged. The dogs are baffled by the change as the back is not cushy enough for dogs to be draping over it and there are no blankets covering it like we needed with the creamy sofa so there are no hidey places for them under the blankets. It has just confused them terribly.

I was off work on Thursday as it was Freedom Day in South Africa and Rosie had booked to go to Robben Island. Norm and I drove her to the waterfront and put her onto a boat then we had some shopping to do and a nice afternoon together planned. We did the things we needed to do and then we went to the Zeitz MOCAA and were pleasantly surprised it was free as it was a public holiday. We went to the 6th floor and grabbed a table with a gorgeous view all around us.

We ordered a simple lunch of chicken and chips. We were a bit naughty and both indulged in the gorgeous looking desserts we saw being served. I had a piece of the Red Velvet Cake of the day.

Norm had the lemon meringue with coconut sorbet.

Norm and I had over 4 hours to kill in total. We wandered through the Zeitz after our leisurely lunch even though we saw most of the displays recently, but we saw some new items and noticed things we missed the first visit. Afterwards we walked about outside the silo and spotted that the Chavonnes Battery Museum had a sign announcing a Mandela Photography exhibit was on. It was R100 entry each but profits go to youth development so we decided to bite the bullet even though we only had less than an hour before Rosie was due to arrive back.

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Mandela photo exhibition

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After that we sat by the water at the arrival point waiting for Rosie, it was a moody and dark and somewhat gloomy day inland but when she returned Rosie said the weather was gorgeous at sea.

On our way home we drove up to the top of Signal Hill so that Rosie could see the beautiful view of the city laid out below but as we drove up the mountain, the already dreary weather turned worse and a thick mist rolled over the city. Rosie hopped out and tried to snap some pics, I snapped this pic of her snapping a pic which I thought looked quite cool.

That evening we took Rosie to Papino’s for dinner, one of our fave venues which only locals have discovered. Norm and I both had our usual, the hollandse biefsteak but Rosie had lamb shank and raved about it. Ours was as divine as it always is.

On Saturday Rosie attended the sweat lodge I mentioned so Norm and I dropped her off and then popped out for lunch. We stopped in at Pastis in Constantia as it was a lovely sunny day and it feels like you are in a pub garden in Europe when sitting there outside under the vines.

We had two of the items on special and shared them. We ordered fishcakes and Portuguese calamari. The fishcakes were a bit gooey for my taste and the calamari was a bit chewy despite the coating being a bit insipid in colour. It was OK but nothing amazing.

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Calamari and fish cakes

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We were enjoying sitting in the sun however so we decided to linger and have dessert. I had the lemon meringue.

Norm had the cheesecake.

We woke to a sunny morning for Rosie’s last full day and Rosie and Norman headed off early to catch the cable car to the top of Table Mountain. After they returned home Norm dropped Rosie and I at Dune’s on the Beach for a late lunch.

The venue has a gorgeous setting of simple picnic tables under umbrellas with a sand floor. We got a seat under the shaded area at the back of the restaurant.

I ordered the chili poppers for us to nibble on as starters.

Rosie and I both ordered the mussels with fries to share.

They were delicious! We both really enjoyed every morsel of our food, the bread was fresh, the chips crispy and the sauce on the mussels was moreish.

We had a gorgeous afternoon chatting and munching and drinking. I had to be back at work on Monday so I took it easy and only had a few ciders and we did not have a late night.

On Monday I shot off early as always and arrived at the client site about 7.30am. I knew the client was not going to be in the office as they had all taken a day’s leave as Tuesday was another public holiday. I did expect my team to be in the office though and when I discovered they were all working from home I was so annoyed. What a waste of petrol just because no one seems able to communicate in a professional manner. I packed up and drove back home and started working from there. I was using our Bluetooth mouse and when working my screen suddenly flipped upside down and my spreadsheets started closing down. I lifted my hands up but the typing in front of me continued as if my laptop was possessed by a demon. I quickly pulled out the USB thingy (what the hell is that thing called?) and tapped furiously on my laptop mouse rather than the Bluetooth one. The crazy activity all stopped. I restarted my laptop and Norm googled to find out how to reset my screen and then I managed to retrieve all of my documents. I assumed it was a virus of some sort that caused it and then carried on working. A bit later my wrists started aching so I asked Norm for the keyboard which goes with the mouse. Norm went to rummage around to find it and when I came back into the room he confessed that while rummaging around in that same box earlier he had bashed around the keyboard which was linked to my laptop and that was what had resulted in my bizarre pseudo-possession. I think he only confessed in order to shut me up going on about bad juju and muttering about doing a spirit cleansing on the house.

That afternoon we drove Rosie to the airport and went in to have lunch with her and send her on her way. She has now messaged to say she has made it home safe and sound. I have had a lazy pajama day today and have a pot of chicken curry on the stove bubbling away. It will be a 3 day work week for the remainder of it, our project ends at week end and then I move offices back to the foreshore. It has been an exciting & busy few weeks for both work and our social lives, I could do with a bit of quiet now really! We have a few weeks until the family all go away for Caitlin’s 30th birthday. I hope I have some peace until then.

One thing that having a visitor highlights is just how beautiful my home and country is and just how blessed I am.

I am such a lucky woman. Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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Holiday Squared

We continued our Sunday tradition last weekend and I made a gorgeous roast beef for dinner. I cooked it American style as a pot roast rather than baking it. I cooked it in broth, onions and garlic. Once cooked I strained the sauce and added cream to the rich broth. I made crispy, buttery fondant sweet potatoes and steamed long stem broccoli. 

 

That meant the next night was destined to be Tacos. I shredded the left over beef and seasoned with cumin, paprika and whatever else was in the El Paso spice packet. Haha. 

I made my own salsa however so at least that contained no sugar or carbs. We served with a simple, crispy salad.

We bought sliced smoked provolone at woollies this time and that is the magic bullet to the cheese taco success.

  
After my previous attempts it made such a difference in both the effort it took as well as the consistency of my results. I overlapped two pieces of cheese and popped onto baking paper and baked til bubbly and it worked perfectly!

  

I even had leftovers to take for lunch on Tuesday.

Tuesday was a pseudo-Friday as last Wednesday was a Public Holiday. I arrived home and sat on the balcony outside my bedroom to destress. The sunset was amazing! 

  

We got take away crispy calamari squidlets that night for dinner from a local restaurant but they must have changed their supplier as they were not nice, they were very rubbery and chewy. Neither Lily nor I could eat them. Normally they are tiny and crispy and delightful but these were the size of a flippin tarantula and wouldn’t even fit in your mouth. Meh.

The public holiday which was on last Wednesday 27 April commemorates the day in 1994 when the first democratic election was held in South Africa. South Africa celebrates Freedom Day to mark the liberation of our country and its people from a long period of colonialism and white minority domination (apartheid).

But are we free? We have an uneducated, embezzling, unethical government led by a buffoon. Corruption and crime is at an all time high. 

As a result we residents have to do all we can to defend ourselves. We have several groups of men in Hout Bay who are unwilling to allow the underbelly of society to win the battle. They patrol our streets at night.

These are the pics of the highlights of one of these groups’ Freedom Day morning.

  
A knife of considerable size was taken off of a man who was spotted skulking about in the wee hours of the night.

A car was stolen and crashed by the thieves into another person’s house while racing away, catching the house alight. 

(But damn that house has some stunning doors!)

Some mornings we hear of 4-5 families being attacked in their homes at night. One family spent 2 hours tied up and locked in their bathroom. Another lady lost 5 teeth and suffered a broken jaw. People will say ‘Thank God you are safe’  to the survivors but I get so angry that it even happens. 

This country has such potential, but it has so many challenges. I don’t see the infrastructure put in place to support the change needed to address those challenges. 

Many African women especially still suffer from years of suppression both culturally and politically. I see this in many young women who have not yet found their voices. They are hesitant to speak up in a group until they gauge the temperament of their audience. Racism and sexism and bigotry can be hidden behind smiling faces. That is the worst racism or bigotry, the kind so ingrained the bigot is unable to see it. The people who put people into stereotypical boxes of their own narrow minded views. Those who say “I love gay people” or “I don’t like Germans” or generalise any stereotyped characteristics of a particular group or race. 

There are fabulous people who also happen to be gay. There are plenty of miserable arses who are gay. The same as any group of humans.

Even Germans. *giggle*

There was another protest at the City of Cape Town offices next to my office on Tuesday. It was the residents of Dunoon protesting over lack of housing. We have on average a protest a week. But people keep voting for their oppressors and those oppressors keep blaming history. At what pace should change happen? I have no doubt that the DA led Western Cape is better managed than the ANC led provinces. But even in the Western Cape change is slow.

On Thursday I hurried home at 4 from work as I had Vanessa coming round to do my nails. We had a good chat and a giggle as always. 
On the holiday I had been a busy bee and prepped food for a few dinners, so after Vanessa left I heated up the chicken curry I had made.

  

To go with it I made normal basmati rice for the girls and cauliflower rice for us low carb peeps. I just chopped up onion, cucumber and tomato and mixed in a bit of fromage frais. I had all manner of veg in the curry and in my bowl I added lots of green chilis as well.

 On Friday Lily and Caitlin got up early and went to the courts for a bail hearing of one of the alleged murderers of their childhood friend. Carl’s mom Carla needed support and my girls went. I am so proud of what kind thoughtful girls they are. 

They chatted to the bounty hunter who had managed to track down and catch accused Juane Jacobs. He was the size of a wall, a huge bear of a man bulging with muscles. He also captured a recent well publicized rapist, word on the streets is that the raper has become the rapee.

Karma is a bitch.

After court Lily had to go to SARS to sort out her tax number and as it is right by my office she joined me for a quick lunch. The weather was overcast and grim all week. 

After I got home from work we were all having a wander round the garden and Norm was working on the pool, but we were not outside for long and when we came in we saw that cheeky Panda had jumped onto the couch he normally pretends to be too feeble to reach on his own. Then he had opened my bag and gotten into a zipped compartment and opened up a closed box to steal my sugar free gum and was subsequently whisked off to the vet. The vet made him vomit. He brought up tons of gum. 

According to the vet the issue with xylitol is that the dog has a blood sugar drop and their body can’t regulate it, so the vet said after 4 hours to keep an eye on him and if he seemed especially tired to give him honey and take him to the 24 hour vet. Except 4 hours later was his bedtime and little dogs sleep lots.

We watched him and kept waking him up and making him walk sleepily around the room like a movie overdose victim.

He was fine thank goodness!  
That night we had the third of my midweek holiday prepared meals, bolognaise sauce. Norm picked up Butternut ‘noodles’ and we had those with my bolognaise sauce and fresh grated Parmesan.

  

We had a lazy morning on Saturday then headed out to Easy Life Kitchens in Tokai. We booked for them to come and give us a design and quote for a kitchen refitting.

  
We ran our errands and finally got a new clock for the kitchen.

 We need bedside lamps but I didn’t find what I wanted. We hit Builders Warehouse for various bits and pieces as welł as the chemist. By then we were starving so stopped on our way home at Greens in Constantia.

I had Eggs Benedict which was cooked perfectly other than a single strip of almost raw bacon.

  
But the eggs had perfect runny centers, it was topped with a rich hollandaise,  it was yum yum.

Norm had a cheese and bacon frittata.

  
On Saturday I hit 14kgs down in weight since I started the low carb lifestyle in January. Just over 30 pounds in U.S. terms. Amazing to me still to lose it so easily if I only make the right food choices. Fat is good but sugar is bad is a new concept. I’m still having a big bowl of Banting ice cream every night. We stock up every week at Ice Dream in Hout Bay.

We eat well and yet we just keep losing, it boggles my mind.

Saturday evening Norm and I decided to go out for dinner and went to local venue Papino’s.

 We had a bottle of Diemersdal Sauvignon blanc which was delicious and crisp,

 
We both had the same main, Hollandse Biefstek with extra mushrooms and vegetables. The steak was so tender. The veg was al dente and fresh.

  

We were not out late and when we came home Caitlin wanted to rent a film and we decided on The Hateful Eight by Tarantino.

Thanks to the fact my brain doesn’t shut off I had been awake since 5.30am and having had a few glasses of wine I passed out, missing the end of the movie.  

 This morning I woke at 4 and could not go back to sleep due to passing out mid movie last night. So I lay in bed playing games on my phone until the dogs finally forced Norm up to give them breakfast. 

I got up and made a giant milky coffee with our new machine and settled in to watch Hateful Eight again. This time with my eyes open. 

I loved it! I am such a fan of Tarantino’s films. The acting was great. I can see why Jennifer Jason Leigh was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. Michael Madsen is one of my faves and he brought his sexy back in this film. The last film I watched him in he was rather bloated and corpulent. But he was sleeker and less red faced, or just potentially had better makeup in this one.

Norm made breakfast and I had a mooch round outside with the dogs, happy to see a bit of sun.

  
  
My flowers are finally blooming from all this rain.

  
Today is crisp and sunny. I’m pleased to have an extra day off as Monday is Workers Day, I hope you have a great weekend. I’m enjoying the fact that I have no obligations! 

A Day For Freedom

Today is Freedom Day in South Africa so we get a 3 day weekend. Freedom Day celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994. The elections were the first national elections where everyone of voting age of over 18 from any race group was allowed to vote. Even women 😉.

It was no surprise to anyone that Nelson Mandela became our president as a result of that election. I was living in SA at the time and was able to be a part of the transition that the country went through as apartheid ended. 

 

I do not think that Nelson would be pleased with the lack of progress that his political party has made in raising the standards of living for most of its constituents- the unemployment rate is still approximately 1 in 4, officially its at 24% but experts say in reality is is more like 40%.

 

 

Half of the country live below the poverty line. What exactly does that mean in actuality? That means that 27 million people live on approximately R775 per month.

That is the equivalent of about $65 USD. 

Many people still live in shacks within an informal settlement. This usually means they have no infrastructure in place for basic human needs such as toilets, running water or electricity. 

 

The crime rates, and that is including violent crime such as murder and rape  are one of the world’s worst- this includes rape of children and even infants. GHB (date rape drug) is used in bars and clubs on both men and women. 

The rates of addiction seem to be ever on the increase with the scourge of crystal meth contributing to the crime rates. Here in SA it is called ‘tik’ due to the noise the glass pipes make when cooling off. 

  

Meanwhile our presidential Nero fiddles in Nkandla while our beloved country deteriorates around us. 

The president has been accused of rape, of various other unsavory and unethical crimes. He has been caught red handed embezzling money to renovate his home. 

I am sure Mandela is crying for the people he devoted his life to freeing from the shackles of apartheid but the word ‘freedom’ rings false in my ears. How free are you when you are starving, when you have only a bit of tin to protect you from the elements. When you have very little education? When your future consists only of hope that your children can achieve what you never managed to achieve? So many children go to school with no breakfast or lunch and possibly even no dinner the night before. How can you learn when your stomach is empty? 

The government party that we all celebrated 21 years ago as representing hope for SA is now representing nothing but corruption. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am still grateful for a day off. I still woke at 6.30 as there is no chance of a lie in with 5 animals staring hungrily at you. 

It is a stunning day, sunny and warm. I was going to go out but I think I will just relax in the shade by the pool. 

Last night Cait and I were on our own so we cooked. We had a meat free, carb free meal. We made gorgeous home made fish cakes but with cauliflower mash instead of potato. To go with it we made some pea purée and roasted peppers and beet root. All organic as well. We felt very proud of ourselves. 

It’s been a lovely relaxing weekend. On Saturday Norm and I went to our fave Indian restaurant The Indian Oven. We had the vegetarian starter platter. 

   

The platter contained Samoosas, aloo paratha, onion bhajee and aubergine bhajee with sauces and cost R65. It would easily feed 3-4 people as a starter, it was huge! I do love the onion bhajees. 

For my main I had prawn curry (R125) and onion fried rice, Norm had lamb korma (at R90.00 and for the non-indian food fans consists of cubed lamb cooked in a creamy cashew nut gravy with a delicious blend of traditional Indian spices) and egg fried rice.  We also shared saag aloo (R60) which is spinach and potato in a curry sauce. It was all so divine. The prawns tasted fresh and it had just the right amount of spices. Hot but not face melting hot. The rice dishes are approx R20 each. 

   

They also do amazing naan bread, thin and crisp and dripping with butter. All in all a brilliant dinner.  

But put against the comparison of what most people in SA have as a monthly amount to spend, we spent more in one night than many people have budgeted for a month. 

I’m always aware of this divergence, but with the current government I can’t see how this will change anytime soon. 

Despite all of this, I do love SA and I hope that somehow things will come right and true freedom will be the right of every person here. Freedom from hunger, from poverty, from crime, from hate, from persecution. 

   

South Africa – my heart home.