Grateful

I had a bit of an emotional, sad slump recently and to try and redirect my thinking in a more positive direction I decided to do a “30 days of Gratitude” exercise by doing a daily post on Facebook of some of the many reasons I have to be grateful. I’ve done this before (that was another blog Jerry) but it was long ago. It does help to focus your attention on your blessings.

I did not think in advance about what I would express my gratitude for, it is not like a “hierarchy of needs met” list. I also hope it wasn’t like an Oscar Acceptance speech where I forgot to thank someone important. I would just briefly close my eyes and then whatever popped into my head was put on my list! I decided to capture them all so…..Tah Dahh!

Day 1: I started a new project today and in the current economic climate I’m grateful to have a job in a career I enjoy ❤️

Day 2: I am grateful for my 3 wonderful children. They are good, kind, loving, intelligent humans. Beautiful both inside & out ❤️

Day 3: I’m grateful for my lovely, handsome and kind husband who loves me just as I am ❤️

Day 4: I’m grateful for my Mom and that she is still here to know my children ❤️

Day 5: I’m grateful for our lovely, cozy home. A warm, strongly built home that withstands the crazy Cape Town weather ❤️

Side Note: this one was written on a day when the weather was insane and the wind was howling.

Day 6: I’m grateful that I’m going to have a new daughter soon ❤️

Side Note: This was posted on the day I discovered my son proposed to beautiful Amber.

Day 7: I’m grateful that I get to wake up to this view every day ❤️

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Good Morning World 🌎😘

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Day 8: I’m grateful that I have a reliable, safe car and don’t have to cope with the train & bus strikes & dramas ❤️

Day 9: I’m grateful for my health (note I said health, not fitness🤭😂) ❤️

Day 10: I’m grateful for all of the wonderful people who have been teaching me my culture but I’m especially grateful to my friend Gerri who has been so generous & loving with me on my path ❤️

Day 11: I’m grateful for my 5 animals, they all have such unique, quirky personalities ❤️

Day 12: I’m grateful for Weekends ❤️

Day 13: I’m grateful for sunny afternoons in beer gardens with friends ❤️

Day 14: I’m grateful for the beautiful but bizarre little village I live in, full of odd quirky misfits much like myself ❤️

Day 15: I’m grateful for my cousins. As an only child your cousins are often your only playmates (especially when you live miles away from anything interesting 😂) ❤️

Day 16: My timeline is full of my friends’ heartbreak & tragedy so today I’m just grateful. Oh so grateful ❤️

Day 17: I’m grateful for my psychic and empath abilities ❤️

Day 18: I’m grateful my marriage is not constrained by gender norms. Aka I am happy my husband can cook ❤️

Day 19: I’m grateful for social media. I’ve still got many friends from my MySpace days and some of my ‘real life’ Cape Town friends I first met via Twitter events. Most of the women I share my most intimate stories with on a daily basis I met via Covet Fashion groups! ❤️

Day 20: I’m grateful that I’m going to be coming to the US to see my family for Xmas & NY! ❤️

Oops I missed a day! 🙈 In that case……

Day 21: I’m grateful for the water filling our dams.❤️

Day 22: I’m grateful for the drought in that it taught us all the value of every precious drop of water!

Mni Wiconi 💦 💧❤️

Day 23: I’m grateful for my amazing bed #MemoryFoamThingysFTW ❤️

Day 24: I’m grateful for the beautiful majestic mountains around me. ❤️

Day 25: I’m grateful for the beautiful oceans that surround us.❤️

I’m so lucky that I live in such a beautiful place ❤️

Day 26: I’m grateful for the arts and artists. Actors, Dancers, Singers, painters, sculptors and all of the other people who devote their lives to creating beauty ❤️

Day 27: I’m grateful for all of those who love me ❤️

Day 28: I’m grateful my husband’s flight made it safely home (eventually) ❤️

Day 29: I’m grateful to be alive ❤️

Day 30: I’m grateful for all of my Ancestors. Thank you Grandmothers. Thank you Grandfathers. Aho Mitakuye Oyasin 🙏

#30DaysOfGratitude

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To the left, to the left

The crime stats for South Africa were just released by the South African police department (aka SAPS). If you are a fellow data geek you can download them here. The poor grammar and spelling on this website tells you a lot about the state of our police’s attention to detail (or lack thereof). There is so much misalignment and lack of master data management it makes me cringe. For example the official stats are collated by station, yet the filter refers to ‘province’. They refer to ‘residential crime’ yet the stats have ‘Property-related crimes’ as the category heading. This can lead to misinterpretation and misallocation of data which is a huge issue if collating stats and providing Business Intelligence.

If you prefer to have your information already interpreted you can get a summary here. I have also extracted some of the more relevant stats for the Western Cape, where I live, from that site.

The overall crime stats for the province are in this 1st graphic. It would appear the criminals have reduced their attempts on car jackings and ramped up to truck jackings. Maybe they bought a ladder?

The stats for residential crime in my province are in the next graphic below. Residential crime is defined on the crime stats as:

  • Burglary at non-residential premises
  • Burglary at residential premises
  • Theft of motor vehicle and motorcycle
  • Theft out of or from motor vehicle
  • Stock-theft

 

My understanding of the difference between burglary and robbery is whether the items were taken directly from a person, or taken in their absence. For example, a mugging is a robbery and burglary is a house or car break in.

And finally, the stats for murder and attempted murder.

The stats for attempted murders went down overall, but is this because their skills improved and the murderers were just more successful at achieving their desired results?

Either way it can make one despair or it can make one take whatever protective action you can, be vigilant and hope for protection from our guardian angels. Since the cops are doing such a crap job at protecting us and resolving crime, some divine intervention is needed. This is one of our motivations in creating the SRA for our area, it gives us some control over our safety and environment as a collective entity.

However we must be careful not to buy into the scaremongering from the Alt-right who claim there is a white genocide underway and that the South African farmers are all being deliberately targeted and murdered. I have blogged about this recently and you can read that blog here.

This video was posted on Facebook recently which gives a view that aligns to mine, that we are being subjected to right wing propaganda. White South African residents are far less likely to be murdered than any other racial group.

This is not discounting the violence and horror of the farm attacks.

You can generally always find information online to support your views, here is a video from the alt-right. Note their constant use of the term ‘they’ – they do not see Africans or Coloured people as equal, this is evident in their terminology. This is also known as Otherism which can be defined as “the exclusion of a person based on their perceived diversions from an acceptable norm.”

Noting that the 2nd video is from Australia and Australia has a long history of racism which is similar to the American history. Australia’s mistreatment and repression of their indigenous people is as systemic and horrid as the US treatment of the Native Americans. The aboriginal people were displaced from their homelands and treated as inferior to the usurping white settlers.

The Australian press has recently been accused of racism due to their portrayal of Serena Williams and her tantrum in the US Open. My opinion is that her behaviour was shocking and unprofessional but no more so than many male players who have thrown wobblies in the past. The fact that the cartoonist then doubled down and refused to admit to racism says a lot about their lack of ownership of their narrow views and their unwillingness to change.

This week has flown by for me, I have been busy at work preparing for a workshop at UCT which was held today. It went well, we are putting in a proposal to bid for some work which could lead to a long term project. I really resisted going to University of Cape Town when I was assigned my previous project there as I always resist anything new but eventually I settled in there and was very happy and in fact was sad to leave. It will be good to go back there again. I popped in after my workshop to visit the team I worked with before. It was lovely to see them all.

Last night after work I went with my friend Retha to her new house to unpack her kitchen things so that she could bring back the boxes and bubble wrap to pack another load of things today as she is moving out of Hout Bay on the weekend. We have been living so close to each other since we met so it will be strange having her not in the same suburb, but things change and we adapt.

Norm has been cooking most of the week. He was adventurous last night and made the most delicious high fat, low carb dinner of chicken breasts smothered with cream cheese and cheddar cheese and topped with home made bacon bits. He served it with sweet corn and cole slaw. It was ready shortly after I got home and as I was starving by the time I got in I scarfed every bite.

I found the recipe on this Low Carb website which has some good ideas.

Norm had a meeting the previous night so we had take aways as he got home quite late. I made chili con carne on Tuesday night as I was craving a bit of spice.

Lily and Josh’s sister are at Comic Con this weekend. I am sure they will have such a laugh. Josh is so mad about comic books it is a shame he wasn’t able to go but he has a race this weekend and he and his friend are coming down to stay in Cape Town with us instead. At least the tickets were not wasted. It is the first official Comic Con event in Africa. There is an annual comic book convention held in Cape Town every year which is called Fan Con but it is nice to see the Comic Con brand come to Africa.

I set up the event for our own fancy dress event which we have every year for Halloween and we are all starting to get excited about planning for that. It is my fave time of year and I cannot wait!

I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend. I hope you all have a good one too. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0

Takers and Fakers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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

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

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Beef and veggie curry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

⭐️⭐️

I’ve got my eye on you Cyril!

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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.

braaiswim.jpg

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

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

braaipanda.jpg

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.

braaisalad.jpg

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.

braainight.jpg

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

Take it Slow on the Peace Train

Last weekend on Sunday afternoon we had a show day for our house which is on the market and after a morning of ferocious cleaning and tidying we were so exhausted we decided to find a quiet corner where we could grab a late lunch and relax with the dogs for a few hours while the agent was showing the house. It was a beautiful sunny day, but it was far too hot for my Scotsman to be out and about in the sun.

We arrived at Deli Delish and I asked if we were able to sit there outside in the shade with the dogs and the staff were so welcoming. It turns out the owner also has a Pomeranian so we had a lovely chat about the cheeky wee things.

Pixie spent the time glaring malevolently at pigeons and barking if they landed on the roof. Pixie hates pigeons.

I held Panda in my lap but Navajo was on high alert, watching carefully in case some marauding human decided to approach our table in order to steal a chip.

I thought the plan through and ordered something easy to manage with one hand. I had the calamari and chips.

Norm had a burger and fries and somehow managed to eat this with one hand while the other was busy trying to keep Navajo from chasing kids on bikes who were riding past en-route to the beach.

We finished lunch and we were so exhausted from a busy weekend and all that cleaning that we went home at 5, fed the dogs and crashed in front of the telly.

There were only a few people through for the show day and no offers were made. We will have to be a bit more patient but the right buyer should come along at some point.

I also had quite a busy week with my client. I’m trying to finalize requirements for our first work parcel but had a few stumbling blocks this week. Add to that there was a water leak on Main Road and they diverted traffic or had a stop/go in operation all week which made traffic a nightmare.  It added at least 20 minutes to my journey in each direction.

I had such a stressful day on Tuesday that Norm spoiled us with fillet steaks, fried mushrooms, stir fried spinach and roast butternut. It was so divine.


I cooked Mexican food on Wednesday night and kept it low carb. I made proper crispy corn shells for Josh but did provolone cheesy crisps for Norm and I. We had ours as a spicy mexican salad.

On Friday I left work early as we were off to see John Legend in concert at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World.


Norm was clever and had planned ahead and bought a roast chicken and salad so that we could have a quick meal at home before we left. That is always the challenge at GrandWest is getting pre-concert food. The venue is crowded on a normal weekend with gamblers and other day visitors, so if you add in the influx of concert goers it is a nightmare. It is always a hassle to even get a seat in a restaurant so you arrive at the concert with indigestion and high stress levels from rushing.

Instead, we arrived early, got parked and went to the piano bar in the casino area and settled in with a few drinks to get us in the mood.

me john.jpg

There was some annoying eejit who fancied himself as a good singer who started ‘performing’ with the pianist. He was dreadful and annoying and eventually stfu.

There is always one.

Eventually we queued for our armbands and went in to find our seats. We were on the 5th row from the stage and had such amazing views of the stage and performers!

As it was the Darkness and Light Tour John dressed in all black for the first set then changed to bright white for the second.

The concert was absolutely brilliant. John was probably the most professional entertainer I have seen. He arrived on time, he had a quick break to freshen up and he was back on stage quick. His production was slick and full of energy. I loved the clips of his beautiful and down to earth wife Chrissy and their daughter Luna.

Chrissy Luna

Image credit.

Mr. Legend gets a full on 5 Kitten Stars.

5 Stars

We were also seated in a prime spot for escaping the venue and getting out of the car park. The parking angels were smiling upon us. We were home by 11 and we had a drink and a snack and were asleep by midnight.

The next morning we had a lovely long lie in bed. Norm got up to feed the dogs at 8, made a coffee for us and brought them back to bed. The dogs and the coffees that is.

We put on sky news and each read on our iPads. It was rather heavenly.

The dogs love it when we hang out in bed as do the cats.


Eventually hunger drove us out of bed and Norm made us a low carb breakfast of streaky bacon, cheesy scrambled eggs, avocado & tomatoes.

We relaxed all day and then on Saturday evening we were invited for dinner at Retha’s. Her beau Barry was there as were her brother Louis and his wife Patty and the kids Robin and Naomi. They are such a lovely family and it was a great evening. The weather was still pretty warm and we sat outside for much of the night. Norm and Robin were making origami which was fun. Norm is so good with kids, I will be glad when we finally get some grandkids. 🙂

As one does at all good dinner parties, I both drank too much and ate too much. As a result I awoke at 6.30am feeling queasy. This was enough movement to wake the dogs and they insisted on Norm getting up and feeding them early.

However he came back with a coffee for us and we put the telly on and we lay in bed til late morning on Sunday. We were off that afternoon to yet another concert. This time to see Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens. The tour was called the Peace Train Tour.

It was being held in what must be one of the world’s most stunning concert venues, Kirstenbosch Gardens.

The gardens extend over many acres of land so parking can be a bit of a schlep. We had a plan to drop me at the gate with our bags and then Norm was going to park but there was no place to stop and so he just carried on with the flow of congestion and we ended up in the main car park. There were signs every where saying the parking was full, but the day visitors were pouring out of the car parks so we decided to risk it and once again our angels came up with a great plan and we got parking right outside the front entrance! We joined the queue into the venue and trudged up the hill with our cooler and blankets and picked a spot and got settled in.

me norm cat.jpg

I cannot imagine how many more concert tours Yusuf has under his belt, I felt so privileged to see him considering how long he went without performing at all. I have been a fan since I was a kid.

Just after Yusuf came on stage the clouds started to roll in over Table Mountain. It was a wee bit chilly as the sun started to set but we brought sweaters and a blanket to wrap up in.


We were quite far away but could just see Yusuf and the band from our seats. Eventually the sun dropped completely and it got very dark so the stage glowed brightly.

I give Yusuf a full 5 stars as well, he was brilliant. He told his life history in music and he obliged us with all of his old favorites and it was like an old time sing along. Great fun. 

5 Stars

After the concert finished we managed to skirt around the perimeter of the venue and get out quite quickly. We got our car out of the chaos and shot off home.

I was wide awake when we got in and so we only sloped off to bed after 12.30 last night, but what an amazing weekend we had.

I hope your weekend was just as enjoyable.

Kisses from the Kitten. xoxoxox

Not A Beige Life

I am so organized that I didn’t need to go to the shops or leave the house from Saturday until Tuesday. I’m normally so busy that I actually started to develop a bit of cabin fever.

  
That only leads to mischief. 

Norm and I decided to do ear candling which is defined as: 

Ear candling, also called ear coning or thermal-auricular therapy, is an alternative medicine practice claimed to improve general health and well-being by lighting one end of a hollow candle and placing the other end in the ear canal.

  
That’s me with no makeup on and wearing my PJs. Eek. Anyway, it helped my hearing.

Monday we were all home that evening, the girls and Norm had work that day. I had shredded up the remaining silverside beef roast I had done in the slow cooker for Sunday lunch. I made up a spicy BBQ sauce and marinated it, heating it that night and serving it up Southern Georgia style on buns, topped with coleslaw and served with crispy wedges roasted in coconut oil.

  
It was a taste memory from back home for sure. 

I had one more run round the shops planned on Tuesday to get fresh veg and other bits and pieces for Xmas eve and day dinners. Norm was worried the shops would be rammed and that I would drag him down so he refused to allow me to go with. He did a quick dash round on his own. Which is wonderful but chances are we are still missing some things.

Cranberry sauce! I just realized I didn’t put that on the list. 

See? If I walk round the shops then I think of these things. Never mind. Our deal was that instead he would take me to The Riverway Cafe. I hate shopping so I was happy with that. I got to relieve my cabin fever and I avoid the shops? 

Hell Yeah! 

We headed out and settled in to a lovely table outside in the shade. The riverbank was all abloom and the buddleia was attracting a few bees. 

We both opted for the chicken salad as we knew we wanted to try one of the milkshakes everyone has been raving about and wanted to save space. How cute are the sliced tomatoes round the edges? 

  I have had many things on the breakfast menu but only a few from this section. The chicken salad had a Mexican flavor to me. Norm disagreed as he detests Mexican food and he loved this salad. I adore corn and coriander.

   

We finished our salads and asked our server what milkshakes were on offer, he described several including strawberry and caramel but we both opted for the rolo.

  
Wow. It was unbelievably deliciously sinful. The milkshake was thick and the flavours blended perfectly.

It was so hot but we still decided to have a walk across the new bridge linking the areas together and as we were paying up we spotted Santa. 

  He greeted the kids.

  
We walked round the local shops and popped into & Banana and saw some stunning woodwork sculpture and lovely handbags, then into Rock Chic to drool over their stunning jewellry and crystals and finally we had a wander around the charming little nursery next to Ragafellows.

We headed back home and I had to sort the many bags of clothes and shoe donations we had collected as Thula Thula are too full to receive anything. My domestic goddess Cordelia is always keen on second hand clothes. I took out the expensive suits and designer labels and made a whole big bin bag full of items which we will give to Chic Mamas in Hout Bay. They can sale those and donate the cash to a charity.

I pulled out some of Caitlin’s donated cute items for Cordelia to give her daughter for Xmas and the rest we packed up in about 8 bulging black bags for Cordelia to slowly take home. She won’t take all at once as she doesn’t want to draw attention to herself as it can be dangerous. Last time we gave her loads at once she was robbed. She will keep what fits her or her family and sell on the rest of it to make money. Much better than gathering dust in my closet.

I relaxed in the shade by the pool the rest of the afternoon. I had made a beef stew out of the soup and veggies left from my roast so dinner was organized, we had bought a nice ciabatta to go with. Lily brought home Debra, a work colleague, to stay and we all chatted til bedtime.

Today I had a lazy morning, Norm brought me coffee in bed and I had a slow start, playing games surrounded by the cats and dogs. 

I sat in the shade under a tree by the pool for a while.

  
Pixie and the other beasties mooched around. 

  
But even in the shade it was so hot it wasn’t pleasant so I went to the back of the house and chilled under the patio. 

We finally have all of the outside patio couches and cushions set up, we had put them away for the winter.  It’s all creams and blues and beach themed as my girls redesigned the colour scheme.

  
I had bought bright pink, green, turquoise, red and all couloirs of the primary colour wheel in an African print.

  
I loved them, but then again I also painted my garden shed bright blue. I like colour. No surprises that fuchsias are my faves, mine are blooming beautifully.

  
I’ve never been the beige sort. I’ve never lived a beige life. I have few things I regret not doing as I’ve always been the sort who takes risks. Life is too short not to.

Our book club is full of adventurous women, we are all expats settled in South Africa, other than 1 who is local but married to a Brit. 

Today was our annual book club year end dinner with husbands and children included. We booked for 25 people at 4pm. Of course we were late, we are always late. We all rocked up just after 4.30 to Dunes Restaurant on Hout Bay beach.

  
The location is stunning.

  
We all drew names and painted our secret Santa recipient a piece of pottery at Clay Cafe. Today we exchanged them.

  
Dawn drew my name and painted a lovely red plate for me.

  
I love it!

The service was rather slack, my drink was missed on 2 of the 3 rounds with Norm finally giving up and going to the bar.

We ordered dinner and I had a fillet steak as the chef is a steak expert. 

  
The steak was perfect, the chips real- I.e. handcut and crispy and gorgeous. It was delicious. Veg was ehhh. Limp.

We had a lovely evening catching up and didn’t make it terribly late. Tomorrow I start cooking, we will have a roast gammon, potato salad and baked beans. I will do my cornbread for my stuffing and make my desserts, 

My son Trevor and his girlfriend arrive tomorrow, I’m so excited! Happy holidays to you and yours.

What’s Your Fancy?

Our family have an annual tradition of throwing a big Halloween party. We choose a theme and people can choose to stay within the theme, or even whether to dress up or not. We love dressing up and always make an effort. 

Some years more than others. The theme the year we wore this Kiss getup was “Rock Or Horror”. Anything Rock or Rocky Horror related.

    

This year the theme was “Come As Your Favorite Character” and I chose Miss Piggy. I’ve always loved her. I managed to find a pink headband with cat ears I could pass off as a pig, a plastic pig nose, a feather boa, long pink eyelashes, satin opera gloves and a faux fur wrap. I snapped a selfie before we headed out.

  
This year instead of hosting at home we booked Spiro’s in Hout Bay. Usually we have to spend thousands on security and a DJ alone, not to mention the cost and effort of sorting out all the booze and catering, it’s such a pleasure to just show up and have the wonderful staff at Spiro’s look after it all. We ordered 8 platters of food and put them on all the tables for sharing and there was a cash bar. The music was always great, some retro, some current, but they gauged the crowd well and kept people dancing, and music is the key. We always have a DJ and some years they are brilliant like the year we had 2 19 year old baristas who played an awesome show but got trashed on tequila and barfed over the pool fence.

Charming.

Then they didn’t have a car and we had to deal with them the next morning banging round the house when all I wanted was to curl up in bed.

But they made it a great party.

Or the lad we found on Facebook who fancied himself the EDM Master of Hout Bay or something. He sniffed with disdain at my pre-defined song list and said it was too commercial. Umm, pardon? I’m the customer so if I want to hear Mary Had A Little Lamb on repeat loop then he should bloody well play exactly that.

He ruined my party that year.

This year I had nothing to do with it, we just had Spiro’s staff DJ whomever that was! But he was brilliant and as the crowd was all ages he played retro and current music and had the place pumping. 

I snapped a pic with my bestie Retha when we arrived.

  
Caitlin went as the artist Frida Kahlo and looked stunning even with a unibrow.

  
Lily went as Princess Leia in slave girl mode. She looked amazing. This is her with some of her friends.

  
We had half a Seargent Pepper band.

  

And some cool makeup artwork!

  
 I loved these outfits.

  

We somehow ended up with 2 Bravehearts!  I am the haggis in the middle of this sandwich.

  
I spent the evening squinting through those eyelashes.

We had a pirate, Medusa, Poison Ivy, and a lovely looking young gladiator spent the evening fobbing off the advances of hoards of older women. 

  
Absolutely Fabulous lived up to their name and stayed in character all night! They made the party they were hilarious!

  
There was a yeti and an astronaut. 

  
We really had such fun. Maybe too much ummmm fun. Or vodka, too much vodka.

The before and after says it all really.

  
Sometimes you just gotta let the wheels fall off.