The Hypocritical Kitten

One thing about keeping a blog is that you often have moments of self realization. Before I write I always read the previous week’s blog to remember where I left off. Last week I was having a whinge about clients hiring a specialist (i.e., me!) and then not listening to my advice. Then I proceeded to note that I did the same thing at my hairdresser! My too short fringe taught me that lesson. Listen to the experts! Such a hypocritical Kitten.

Work has been full of the usual stresses. This week my colleague and I were called to a meeting with several C-level executives and neither our MD or the programme manager were in Cape Town to support us. We invited our other company director and on the morning of the meeting her partner was bitten by a bush pig and admitted to hospital.

Yes, that was not an autocorrect mishap.

A bush pig.

We toddled off on our own to the meeting and managed to get through it with minimal trauma. Basically they want us to pick up two additional work parcels so we are recruiting another developer to join the team. My friend Sakshi joined us on Friday so that will mean we will have a team of four on site. If we succeed this could result in more work in the future as they desperately need our skills.

When I left the office someone had parked so close to my driver’s door that I could not get in the car. I had to get in the passenger side and climb over. I was wearing a tight fitting dress and I am not very flexible or bendy and ended up knocking every dial or control enroute to the drivers seat so when I started the car the radio blasted, the windscreen wipers and turn signal came on and the high beam lights were knocked on. I’m too old for all that exertion.

Last Sunday night I woke up in the middle of the night and was ill. Something I had eaten was too acidic and had triggered my hernia and I felt dreadful. I had no antacids and I could not get back to sleep as the acid was burning my esophagus so on Monday I was a bit of a zombie.

Norm went away to the UK on Monday and is flying home today. My friend Michelle has been staying with me and helping with the dogs. The animals love her and I would struggle to cope without her.

I cooked for us every evening. I made a bolognese sauce on Sunday night and we had spaghetti and garlic ciabatta on Monday. I then used the rest of the sauce to make a lasagna for Tuesday dinner.

I just made some nice tempura hake, chips, baked beans and cole slaw the next night. On Thursday I stopped at Spar for a baked chicken and salads.

Thursday was Halloween and the first time I have not held a party in many years and it made me so depressed. I love Halloween and I love dressing up. I decided to dress up to hand out candy to the kids. My outfit is a bit of a hodgepodge but I was happy.

Friday I made good progress with documenting data rules for one of the new work parcels and I left at 3 and got home early. Michelle and I used OrderIn to have pizzas delivered from Posticino and they were delicious as always. We just chilled out with the animals that night.

The weather on Saturday morning was very misty and overcast. You could not even see the mountains.

I sat on the patio with the dogs all surrounding me and had my morning coffee.

Michelle went off early that morning and so I watched a Netflix documentary called “Tell Me Who I Am”.

I had not read anything about it, I just picked it as it came up on the screen as a suggestion. It was a very difficult film to watch. I don’t want to give away the ending so will just say that it is about identical twins from an aristocratic family. One brother, Alex, had a motorcycle accident at 18. His helmet flew off and he hit the ground with his head. He was in a coma for 3 months and when he woke he had lost his entire memory except that he recognized his twin, Marcus. He did not remember his parents, his home, his friends or any of his past history. The other twin manufactures an imaginary past to avoid telling Alex about their real, traumatic past. In the film Marcus finally tells Alex the truth. It is an emotional film but very good. I give it 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

When Michelle got home we settled in to watch South Africa vs England play in the Rugby World Cup finals. I had set up a UK streaming account using a VPN. Except we could not get the UK app to load. We spent about an hour frantically searching for an alternative but finally settled for listening on the radio.

It was so exciting when SA won! I think it is just what SA needs for morale.

The Boks get at least 5 Kitten Stars!

💫⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

However it does not mean that there aren’t still many reasons for despair in SA. More police were arrested for corruption last week. Three police officers, and an ex-officer were arrested on charges of extortion, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice for attempting to solicit a bribe from arrestees for the release of a panel van full of marijuana from Swaziland.

At least once a week we hear a corruption related story.

But we won’t let that burst our bubble of patriotism, pride and elation.

Last night Michelle and I decided to watch a film. Michelle had brought home popcorn and we chose to watch ‘The Laundromat‘ purely because it stars Meryl Streep.

Neither of us knew anything about it and both assumed it was your typical drama. It so wasn’t!

It also starred Antonio Banderas, David Schwimmer, and Gary Oldman with a cameo from Sharon Stone.

The film is a series of interwoven vignettes about various characters involved or affected by the Panama Papers. “The Panama Papers consist of 11.5 million leaked documents that detail financial and attorney–client information for more than 214,488 offshore entities. The documents, some dating back to the 1970s, were created by, and taken from, Panamanian law firm and corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca, and were leaked in 2015 by an anonymous source.

The documents contain personal financial information about wealthy individuals and public officials that had previously been kept private. While offshore business entities are legal (see Offshore Magic Circle), reporters found that some of the Mossack Fonseca shell corporations were used for illegal purposes, including fraud, tax evasion, and evading international sanctions.”

It was filmed in a fly on the wall, tongue in cheek manner. I enjoyed it but it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea. I give it 4 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When we woke today the mist had cleared and it was gorgeous.

Our drumming circle met this morning so Michelle and I went off to Muizenberg. The traffic lights near Gerri’s house were out due to protest action. The protestors had burned tires at the intersections last week.

Recently there have been several busses set alight in this area. I am not sure if the events are related but neither of these protests punish the government just the citizens.

Anyway. We did manage to get there with no trauma.

We were smudged in the back garden.

We did our calling in the directions outside then moved inside to drum.

Drumming was fabulous fun as always and I left on a buzz. We are performing next week at a Song Marathon so we needed to decide what to sing and to rehearse.

Afterwards Michelle and I popped home to let the dogs out to wee and then we headed down to the Harbour. It was a beautiful day so it was very busy. All of the market stalls by the ocean side were open. We managed to get a table right by the window at The Lookout Deck.

The view from our table was so breathtaking.

I was so hungry as it was almost 3pm. I ordered salmon roses to start.

And for my main I ordered the prawns. I love that they are served in a pan.

Michelle had the fish and chips.

There was live music on and so we hung out for a bit to listen to them. Eventually we fancied dessert and we both ordered the chocolate nut sundae.

The food was all fabulous as was the vibe. We left at 5pm so that we could get home for the dogs.

We strolled back to the car enjoying the beautiful bay that I am so blessed to dwell in.

We spotted the infamous seal of Hout Bay. There is a guy who feeds him and expects the tourists to tip him.

I snapped my pic and legged it as he started shouting at me. He’s a bit of a violent nutter.

When we got home Michelle took the dogs for their walk and fed them their dinner and now we are all relaxing. I am so grateful for her support and companionship this week.

Saying that, I am looking forward to seeing my darling hubby. He had a very successful trip and got some leads on other consulting opportunities so it has been great for him.

I’ve had a lovely relaxed weekend and hope you have too. I wish you all a wonderful week ahead.

Until next time, Kisses From The Kitten xoxoxo.

3 Roots

When I meet new people they often cannot place my accent as I have absorbed a bit of each of the places I have lived. When I first moved to Los Angeles no one could understand my drawl. I had to tone down the Scarlet O’Hara-ness of it just to avoid people taking the mickey out of me. Then after living in Northern Ireland I took away a bit of that accent, as well as bits from the various places we lived in England, a bit from Norm’s Scottish brogue and probably even a bit from my many years in SA. I feel like I have at least 3 ‘homes’, the US, the UK and South Africa.

It is rather discouraging that all 3 of these countries seem to be governed by the inept, the corrupt and the misled. I felt so sad this week when my favorite South African politician, Mmusi Maimane,  resigned as the leader of the Democratic Alliance.

I had such hope in his ability to change things for the better for South Africa, however it appears he could not even change his own party to align with what most South Africans hope for, unity and peace. I wish him well in his future.

Then when I read articles like this one it discourages me even more. “Four police officers were arrested by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) in Honeydew, for alleged murder and assault. The officers stand accused of torturing two men in holding cells at the local police station, one of which was killed. They allegedly punched and kicked the two arrested men repeatedly, while they were still in handcuffs. One of the men died from his injuries, and it is further alleged that the officers involved did not report this. The other man survived after being treated in hospital for his wounds.

“The police officers continuously kicked and assaulted the arrested people until one [died] and they didn’t report this to anyone. Only the family member came later on and insisted to see his brother and that’s when the discovery was made,” Ipid spokesperson Sontaga Seisa told EWN.”

How many others have these beasts tortured which went unreported?

The last week has been very challenging at work. Our reporting line is that we report to the Data Team Leader who reports to the Programme Manager. I provided a status report which has rattled some cages and caused some discord. Our overall project work stream status was Red. The Team Lead felt like we were reporting the wrong info and was upset as it made him look like he was not providing us with clarity and assistance. But I defended my stance and clarified the areas of confusion and eventually he seemed to accept what we were reporting. On Friday we provided a demo for our proof of concept and he obviously had no clue what we are doing much less how we achieved it. Regardless of his lack of support we managed to implement a process which has minimized the risks we had highlighted and resolved the issues we had reported. The Programme Manager respects our experience and skills and thinks we are exactly what the project needs and to me that is what matters. So despite the challenges we ended the week on a successful note and this week’s status report was yellow. Next week we should go green if we continue with the path we are on and hit no further snags.

It is so much easier when the client supports you and is not an adversary. I can never understand clients who bring a specialist on board only to be threatened by the application of those specialist skills.

The one bit of good news is that my friend Sakshi is also joining the project to do a Data Governance exercise so I will have her there from the 1st of November which makes me very happy.

This week flew by, probably because we are so busy. Norm has been working a lot of hours and is prepping for a new project too. We also had good news for Norm in that he has just bought a new car. It is a small truck with a canopy and will be perfect for his needs. We usually take my car when we go out together, his car is for hauling things to the dump or carrying the dogs around.

He collects it next week. I am so glad he will be getting rid of his 11 year old Zafira, I worry about him driving around in it as it has a lot of issues. Saying that we have spent a lot of money fixing most of them!

Norm only managed to cook a few nights due to his busy schedule.

He made a few recipes from our fave low carb website. He made the yummy low carb version of Mac & Cheese, Cauliflower Mac & Cheese. We top ours with crispy bacon.

We also spotted another recipe on that site and tried that one night. It was so simple, he baked chicken breasts, made guacamole and crispy bacon and layered it. The taste combo was divine. It sounded a bit odd but we loved it, this will be a regular menu item. He served it with sweet potato slices fried in butter.

He also cooked one of my favourite meals, fillet steak, fried mushrooms and steamed asparagus and baby broccoli. He also did some chips in the air fryer.

We went out to eat last night at Peddlars in Constantia as I was craving a burger and I am not a fan of any of the burgers that are served in Hout Bay. We went early so it was not too busy yet.

Norm likes to take pics of me but he always avoids my camera when pointed back at him, but that never stops me.

I chose the bacon and cheddar burger.

It is served on a platter with crispy fried onions and chips. It gets 5 Kitten Stars, it was tasty, juicy and delicious. A great standard of meat and just the right amount of toppings. I like a burger I can pick up and bite rather than have to cut with a knife and fork due to being too big for the bun to cope.

This week we finished watching Season 2 of The Sinner.

It was riveting viewing and I really enjoyed it. It had nothing to do with the Series 1 story line other than starring the same detective, Detective Ambrose who is in both. It is a similar sort of premise in that like Season 1, we know who committed the crime but we do not know why. The show then explores the background of the perpetrator and what led them to executing the crime. It gets a full on 5 Kitten Stars as it was really brilliant.

One of the subjects that was discussed in The Sinner was the concept of Lilith, the Night Hag archetype.

I have experienced a lot of episodes of sleep paralysis and am very familiar with the Night Hag, however I did not know that she is a well known ‘creature’! I thought she was the product of my imagination. She has been visiting me since childhood. I read up a bit about the concept and I think next time I will not be as terrified when she visits me. I hope.

I have also just finished watching Rhythm & Flow Season 1 and I also enjoyed that. It is a competition to find a new Rap performer and the guy who won was really talented.  The judges are Tip “T.I.” Harris, Cardi B and Chance the Rapper. I am a big Cardi B fan, she is so funny. A bit rude on occasion but always funny. There were some very talented artists on the show. I hope the winner becomes a big success as he has so much talent.

 

We have been having a lot of rain lately, drizzly misty days and then on Friday we had a downpour of note! We had a few places where the rain came in, we have a leak in the lounge ceiling and the rain water also poured under our patio door and onto the upstairs landing. It rained hard all Thursday night and then on Friday morning many of the roads were deep in water resulting in a rather hazardous journey to work. It was like white water rafting in a Nissan. It cleared up on Saturday and when I went into town to the hair dresser it was sunny if a bit chilly.

I always enjoy my visits to Pause, Leandra is a lovely girl and a great hair dresser and Thembi gives the best head massages ever. We decided to only trim my fringe as the rest of my hair was still falling nicely. Leandra had finished my fringe and I asked her to cut a bit more off as it grows so fast, but I should have followed her advice as I look a wee bit like I could have appeared in the film Dumb and Dumber.

Next time I will listen to Leandra. Luckily it grows quickly. Silly me.

Norm took Pixie and Navajo to the doggy chiro yesterday morning and it seems to have helped them both. Pixie is getting old and it breaks my heart to see her struggling. You can see the age on her face. It makes me a bit sad. If only our animals could live forever. Not in a creepy ‘Pet Sematary’ sort of way though.

Despite all of the challenges of our week, I have to count my blessings. Our home survived the torrential downpour, I have a job, we have food on our table, we have electricity and running water in our home, I have a wonderful husband, children and family and my Mom is still here with us. I have so much more than so many others and for all of that I am grateful.

Halloween is coming soon and this is the first year we have not hosted a Halloween Party. Cape-Tonians are just so unreliable, you never know how many people will arrive until the party is underway, so you do not know how many to cater for or how big the crowd will be despite people RSVP’ing. We decided to stop having the parties for that reason, it is expensive and stressful and that stress is just not worth it. It makes me so sad to not be dressing up or going out. But such is life. I was hoping a local venue might have a party we could attend but it does not appear to be the case.

I have a busy week ahead. It is pouring rain again today and I have had a pajama day. I hope you have all had a great weekend and that you have a safe and enjoyable week ahead. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x

 

Spirits and our Ancestors

Last weekend seems like it was a lifetime ago. A lot has happened. On Tuesday we were sitting in our office when we heard a series of explosions outside, it was so loud the building felt like it shook! We are on the 4th floor and we all raced to the window to see if we could see what was happening but we could see nothing from our offices. I went onto Twitter to see if I could discover what was happening and I read that it was the police firing tear gas and stun grenades at the MyCiTi bus strikers. The illegal strike continues and the bus company says they will replace those who continue to strike.

That night it was so hot I could not bear the thought of a hot meal and so Norm popped down to K1 in Hout Bay to collect some for sushi for me.

I had Prawn roses, Salmon roses, Prawn tempura, and Cucumber roses prawn. It was R123.

The temperatures this week have been shockingly high resulting in me being unable to sleep. Usually in Cape Town it is cool in the morning and evening and only intense during the day when the sun is up, but this week it is 30*C when we wake and still hot when we go to bed. It was so hot that our smoke detector was triggered and refused to be silent until I removed the battery. Norm had gone out to get our dinner and when it triggered Navajo started howling loudly like a baying wolf. I had to deal with his howling and the strident alarm while climbing onto a chair and wielding the extension of the vacuum hose thing which was the first thing I saw when running around looking for something suitable to reach the ceiling.

There was also a Full Moon on Wednesday night and the energy from a full moon strongly affects me and this one seemed to contribute to my emotional mental state. It was a Hunters Moon in the Northern hemisphere. I was so emotional, sad and weepy. This could be due to the combination of all of my stresses, compounded by the heat and the full moon energy.

I had drum practice on Thursday night after work as we needed to rehearse and show Grandmother Robin the songs we are performing at the upcoming Dance to Heal the Earth and agree on the order of them. We all arrived just after 7 and it was 9.30 when Norm came to collect me so between the physical exertion of the drumming and singing as well as the intense heat, you can add on the fact it was a school night and it exhausted me. It was wonderful to meet Grandmother Robin finally so it was worth the tiredness. She radiates such a powerful energy it could almost feel a bit overpowering it at times. I feel so strongly connected to Robin and as we are both part Cherokee maybe it is the soul connection memory of a sister from my tribe.

As it started quite early after work Norm and I just popped in to Mugg and Bean quickly to get a bite to eat on our way to Constantia. I had their delicious lemonade with buttermilk chicken and chips.

Norm had a burger. Mine was yummy but his burger seemed quite greasy but he said it was some sort of sauce. Whatever it was I found it unappetizing but I am very fussy about burgers and may be judging it too harshly.

Friday morning I had to go to the American consulate to get the documents notarised that I need to send to my Mom regarding her house sale. It meant I got into work quite late so I had to stay later than I usually do on a Friday. I was so tired.

On Friday evening I attended a Pipe Ceremony with Grandmother Robin. The event was described as “a sacred Native American ritual for connecting physical and spiritual worlds. The Sacred Pipe is one of the most sacred items and rituals of indigenous North America. Different nations have different stories, but most agree that at a time of suffering a spirit being came into our world in physical form and delivered the first Sacred Pipe. From that time on the Sacred Pipe has always been a bridge between our worlds to carry prayers and bring healing.”

Again due to time constraints we popped in to Constantia to grab some food. We went to Tashas.

I ordered the fried chicken burger for R112:
crispy buttermilk chicken breast, pretzel bun, roasted garlic mayo, iceberg lettuce, white cabbage slaw, coriander, gherkin, tomato & fries.

Norm had the Panko Hake for R128:
crumbed hake, homemade tartare sauce, fries, peas, lemon & parsley.

We did not hang about, we headed over to the ceremony as soon as we finished. Norm dropped me and headed over to the northern suburbs. Lily and Josh were down staying at their friend Mike as Josh and Mike had a race the next morning. Lily had bought a crinoline for my Halloween costume and I wanted to try it on so Norm headed over to meet them when he dropped me.

Robin brought her stunning hand carved sacred pipe for the ceremony. She passed it round and held it to our lips, we all had gone around the room first and stated our intentions, why we were in ceremony and what we hoped to get help with or to achieve and then we all had a toke on the pipe. Then Robin spoke to us about her path and how she had become a shaman or teacher of the red road. She was fascinating to listen to. I felt an even stronger bond to her when she talked about her family hiding their Native ancestry as it was a thing of shame in the previous generations rather than a thing of pride like it is now. Then we went around the room again and did our closing words of what we felt we gained or what resonated with us from the other people who shared or from Robin’s words. There were approximately 20 people attending, all were women except 1 man named Peter who is a Traditional Healer, or what is sometimes called a Sangoma in South Africa. Peter held the masculine space and balanced out the male to female energy in the circle. I met some new ladies and saw some of the ladies I know and really enjoy spending time with. It was such a wonderful evening full of love.

I snagged Grandmother Robin for a selfie!

When we finished I saw I had a message from Lily asking when Norm was coming and I  rang her to tell her he had left hours ago and I was in a panic something had happened to him. Eventually I got hold of him and he was a in a state, he arrived shortly after and explained that he could not find them and his phone had died so he spent 2 hours frustratingly driving around the northern suburbs. He had turned his phone on for a second and I rang at that very moment and his phone died completely after we spoke. He gave up looking for them and came to collect me and it was 10.30 by the time we got home and even later by the time we got to bed. Saturday morning Norm tried again and succeeded in meeting Lily and getting my crinoline which was perfect for my outfit.  He came to collect me and we headed out for brunch to Allegria Cafe and Life. I had a ham and cheese omelette with carmelised onions on the side.

Then we went to Pep to finish buying the bits and pieces we needed to complete our  Operation Shoeboxes of Love which will be the gifts from Santa for two little babies. I drew a baby boy and a baby girl. I put them into plastic boxes rather than cardboard shoe boxes as the mother of the baby can use the boxes to store things for the baby afterwards.

This initiative makes me so happy to think that a stranger will have a smile for Christmas thanks to my little boxes of love.

It was another very hot day and we came home to relax a bit after we ran our errands. We had to be at Spiro’s for 7pm for our Halloween party. As Norm is on antibiotics for his tooth he was not drinking so he drove us down. We snapped some pics with the kids before the guests arrived or we sweated off our makeup or messed up our costumes.

My daughter Caitlin was Carrie from the Stephen King film, Lily was Tiffany from Bride of Chucky and I was Jack the Ripper’s victim.

Norm was Dr Cannibal Lester, an invention of his own.

Our friends Karen and Scott were a Cereal / serial killer and her victim.

Caitlin’s beau Wesley was Wolverine and he was perfect for that costume.

My colleagues Joe and Debora from UCT looked fab as vampires.

My friend Kimi was the creepy girl from The Ring.

Her hubby Robert was the guy from Scream.

They looked brilliant together and they danced all night long!

We had a lot of laughs.

Caitlin’s friends all looked fabulous.

I did not get pics of all of the guests, once the party kicks off I seldom think to take pics.

We had such a fun evening, we booked a DJ who was brilliant and we ordered platters of delicious party nibbles for each of the tables and after we ate we all got up and danced. The dance floor stayed busy most of the night, a sign of a good DJ! My knees are now knackered however after a night of jumping about.

However as always happens with events in Cape Town people drop out at the last minute. Some people never even respond to the event, some people respond to confirm and then just never show, some confirm but then message with some lame excuse and some just never message at all. Even someone I had thought was one of my best friends just did not show or bother to send her apologies. It has really opened my eyes to who is my friend and who is just a vague acquaintance on the periphery of our lives. Some people you only seem to hear from when they need something. Users. I have removed several people as friends on Facebook and unfollowed even more, they have proven they are not friends as they care nothing about my feelings. It is hurtful, but sometimes we need these culls to regenerate positive energy in our lives. I won’t brood about it. Once I make up my mind someone is out of my life, that is it. They do not merit a thought.

Lily and Josh left in the morning as they had a long drive home. Before she left she dressed Pixie in her tutu and it was so cute.

Tomorrow a colleague and I start a new project at UCT and it will keep us busy for at least the next 4 weeks or so and I am looking forward to that. I am trying to arrange to go down to the Dance to Heal the Earth Dance next week but as Norm’s car has died and is in the garage I do not want to leave him home with no transport so it depends on a few factors.

Today would have been my Dad’s 83rd birthday. As he died at 49 it is hard to even imagine him as an old man. I so wish he was here to meet his wonderful grandchildren as he would be so proud of them.

Wish me luck on my new project. The heat is supposed to break tomorrow and we are due to some very welcome rain.

I hope you have a lovely week, until next time, Kisses from the Kitten. x0x0x0x0

The Count Down

I am stressed. I tend to not sleep when I am stressed which only compounds my stress. I am stressing over several things. I am struggling a bit financially and just do not seem to get on top of it. I am stressing over that as I hate being in debt. Norm is having issues with his very old car, we need to buy a new one but cannot at the moment. I hope repairing it will not cost too terribly much. It is what it is.

I am about to start a new project at work with a new client so I am stressing about that. We got approval on our proposal to UCT for assessing their Master Data Management maturity, we will start with a small pilot and then broaden our scope once we process prove our approach. It is not the best place to be based from a comfort point of view in regards to travel and parking and being near to places to get healthy food, but at least it is a project I can get my teeth into.

And finally on my list of stresses, this Saturday is our annual Halloween party and I always panic beforehand that no one shows up and that if they do the evening will fall flat. There is always a decent turn out, but this year there are many other events going on that weekend and so a lot of friends are not coming. We have the same DJ booked this year as we have had the last 2 years and he is brilliant at keeping us dancing so I should relax. But I can’t. I will only relax on the actual night of the event, once I have had a few drinks and I see that everyone is having fun. And then it is over for another year.

I have a busy week planned this week and that just compounds my stress levels.

As much as I was not looking forward to my Data Governance training last week it was actually very interesting! There were 4 of us getting trained, one was a client and the other 3 attendees were myself and my colleagues. We had some interesting discussions and we gave the client a lot of insight into what it is like to be a consultant. He was quite shocked when we told him some of the challenges we have with clients.

Norm had cooked most of last week since we are on a tight budget. He made a nice beef bolognaise type dish and he served it with sweet potato mash and stir fried red cabbage on Wednesday and on Thursday he served it over spinach noodles with steamed veggies. It was healthy and tasty. As it is so hot tonight he has cooked dinner on the gas grill, he made chicken and feta sausages and corn on the cob and then made a salad to go with it. It was perfect fare for the weather.

Last Friday night we had chicken burgers from the Kitchen Takeaway. These are usually so tasty but on Friday they were very average. One of the reasons they are so good is the roll, they are usually served on a kitke roll. A kitke roll by any other name is just challah bread. I love the texture and almost sweet taste and the sprinkling of sesame seeds is the perfect finish. However on Friday the burgers were served on a hard, stale, cheap burger bun. It was also missing the copious amount of pickle slices which are usually very prevalent (I love pickles). There was not the usual ‘sauce’ on the burger either. If this was the first time I had eaten their food I would most likely not go back. It was the quality equivalent of a KFC burger for twice the price. I am not sure what is going on at this restaurant but we have watched many venues in Hout Bay go under once they start cutting corners. I love their ribs too so I hope they sort their issues out and do not end up going under. That would result in unemployment for their staff and there is plenty of that in SAfrica already.

I have booked to go to the US Consulate this week as my Mom needs some papers notarised and posted over to her. She has just recently bought a new house in North Georgia and she had put the house she lived in with her husband just outside of Atlanta on the market months ago but has not managed to sell it yet. It is a big beautiful house in the countryside so I thought it would be snapped up instantly. It was originally listed with a family ‘friend’ who did absolutely nothing to help my mother prepare for the move. She did not help my mom pack up, sort the estate sale or even give her any discount on her commission. She did not even get her act together to take the brochure and website images when the house was beautifully decorated, she waited until my Mom had the estate sale and her draperies and decor were gone and then photographed an empty house. My Mom has now listed with a different agent and he has gotten things moving, however we just discovered that she had never had the house put into her name after my stepdad died. How the previous agent did not catch this I have no idea. Now the lawyer has decided that as the obituary had named me as Tom’s daughter rather than his stepdaughter, I have to send a notarised document saying that I will not try and lay any claim to the house when it does sell. As I am her daughter this seems so bizarre to me, but if that is what is required to help her get things sorted I will do so. In SA we get our documents certified at the police station which I did last week and sent to the lawyer, however the lawyer says this is not acceptable and I have to go to the US Consulate to get it properly notarised. The consulate charges $50 USD per document and there are 2 documents and I cannot afford to pay this as once you do the exchange to rands it is a lot of money in my currency. My Mom sent me the money via forex and I have made an appointment to go next week, it just means I have to take time off of work to do so. This process has been ongoing for weeks now, what a drama it has turned out to be!

It has been quite warm and windy the last few days with today being 38 degrees! The strong winds have continued and this has possibly been instrumental in several horrendous township fires this past week.

In the wee hours of Friday morning there was a fire in Hout Bay. This was in the township that is up high over the Hout Bay harbour and there were 2 deaths in the fire, a mother and her 14 year old son.

The firemen are so brave, I cannot imagine running into a scenario that most are running from.

The fire was finally under control by morning and from the pic made by The Aerial Perspective you can see the extent of the devastation.

Thula Thula were on site straight away sorting out donations of clothing and essentials to the victims of the fire. Hout Bay is so lucky to have them on their doorstep.

Then in the early hours of Saturday morning 342 informal structures were destroyed in Silver Town, Khayelitsha another settlement area a few miles from us. This has resulted in 1,355 people being displaced.

Later on Saturday night there was yet another fire in the Kosovo informal settlement in Philippi‚ Cape Town which destroyed about 120 dwellings and it is estimated about 1‚400 people have been affected by the blaze.

I hope that the government will rise to support these families, it is so tragic. I read that the Gift of the Givers foundation are assisting the victims.

On Friday afternoon after work I went to pick up my new eyeglasses. My eyes have deteriorated quite a bit which explains my deep frown lines earned from squinting at everything. My astigmatism has also gotten worse. Add to this my Posterior Vitreous Detachment which causes a huge amount of ‘floaters‘ and I am lucky I can still get about without falling over anything. These challenges are why I hate to drive on the motorway and why I cannot drive at night.

Saturday I was up and out early as I had drumming practice at my friend Gerri’s. Gerri is our drum chief at the moment, it is usually her daughter Jesse who is working in the UK but Gerri did a great job. We all practiced on the communal drum which will be used in the upcoming dance.

After we finished our rehearsal we stayed to make Prayer Flags for tying around the four gates of the arbour.

Prayer flags or prayer ties are sacred bundles of tobacco which are used as offerings of prayer in sacred ceremonies. Our drum group are performing at a 4 day dance at the end of the month, however I am not going with them. One, I cannot afford it and two, I think it will be too much for me physically. One day solid drumming pretty much finishes me off, add to this the sleeping conditions of being in a camp and I cannot risk challenging my arthritis to this degree at a time when I am starting a new project and cannot take time off. But Gerri offered to take my prayer ties with her and then a little bit of me will be there too. The ties will be tied around the dance arbour.

We smudged all of the items used to make the flags: the tobacco, the material and the ties. I offered prayers for each of the items. Tobacco is sacred in the NA culture and as much a medicine as sage. It is used as a spiritual offering. We placed the tobacco into the material and followed the prescribed method of wrapping and tying it.

I found a video which shows the process much better than I can explain it.

After I got home from drumming I collected Norm and we headed out for something to eat as it was 3.30 and I was ravenous. We decided to go to the local German restaurant Zur Holzbucht.

The Chelsea game was on so Norm was happy watching that on their big screen.

The wind was so strong down at the beach that we could barely get in and out of the car as the wind whipped the doors of the car so hard. It was worth the battle though as their food is always so delicious and we were not disappointed. Norm ordered the Goulash which was on special.

I had the pork schnitzel and chose to have it with chips and then I wanted to kick myself as I love German potato salad and missed a trick there! But my food was very yummy.

Norm had dessert but I was full up. He had the cheesecake which was a proper baked cheesecake.

We headed over to the shops after we ate and bought some bits and pieces to tide us over for the weekend. We had a quiet night in that evening and started watching series two of ‘Making a Murderer‘. We have not finished it yet so no spoilers! This is a brilliant series if you have not seen series 1 then you must must must watch it! I wish I could remember the details of the first series better but we watched it a few years ago when it first came out. This is a 5 Kitten Star series.

On Sunday we had a lazy day. Norm was working on a bid and I stayed in bed playing games on my iPad surrounded by the animals for most of the morning. Norm made us a yummy breakfast when I finally got up.

I had a long session of dog grooming as the dogs were looking a mess. I got enough hair from all 3 beasties to make a whole new dog.

When it cooled down a bit Norm went out to clean the pool with much assistance by the dogs who barked madly and chased the end of the pool net every time it was raised out of the water. Due to the wind,  the pool cover was littered in debris so he spent most of the time actually cleaning the cover rather than the pool itself.

All manner of insanity is going on around the world. The 2 items which I have been following in the news are firstly, the murder which occurred in the Turkish embassy, a place which is supposed to symbolise a place of safety. The news of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been a shock to many, other than the Saudis who murdered him of course. Trump thinks the Saudis are very nice people of course. He is such an imbecile.

The second item I have been following is the murder of Father Kuriakose Kattuthara who was a witness in the trial of Indian Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal who has been accused of raping a nun on multiple occasions over two years.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal was released on bail on the condition that he return to Jalandhar, and when he returns he is given a hero’s welcome. Within a week, Father Kuriakose who testified against the Bishop is found dead in a church in Jalandhar. He had complained of threats to his life and it appears those complaints were justified.

Sometimes the world is a sad place. Even THAT stresses me out if I lie awake and think too much about it. As an empath if I let all of that pain and sadness in, it incapacitates me.

Until next time, hold your loved ones close and count your blessings.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxo

 

 

Bats & Ninjas

We had the most amazing weather all of last weekend and it continued on throughout the week! It is as if it is suddenly summer. Of course with Cape Town the weather can flip quickly so we will see how long it lasts. Our office is freezing and I sit under a vent so I’m still wearing boots and a cardigan and only feel the heat if I have to nip out for food or when I leave to go home.

On Saturday I had to be up and out of the house early to drive Miss Pixie to Noordhoek to see the doggy chiropractor. As usual, we arrived a wee bit early and had a cuddle while waiting.

Currently Pixie is going every 5 weeks for a treatment but we are going to try and push it out to every 8 weeks as she has been coping well in between visits. We will just monitor to see how she copes. As I now have both her and Navajo seeing David it can get very expensive. We just ordered a new brace for Navajo’s leg and hopefully that makes a difference in his mobility which in turn helps his issues with back strain.

After Pixie and I finished at David I drove home and changed out of my doggy fur-covered clothing and collected Norm. We headed down to the village as we had a long list of errands to run.

First we needed some brunch so we popped into Allegria Cafe and Life. We sat outside as it was so warm.

I am starting to realise (after over 20 years of marriage) that the best way to get a decent pic of Norm is to sneak up on him and snap a furtive pic like a ninja (when he least expects it or when he is distracted by something else).

One of the things I like about Allegria is the lovely owner who is always on site to keep the orders moving along and to keep her customers happy. She was standing chatting to us when we ordered and when I asked for an omelette with bacon and emmanthaler cheese she suggested that I also add in carmelised onions for a bit of sweetness.

I loved the carmelised onions and was very pleased with my omelette, however there were a few too many onions for my taste. I will order this again and next time ask for my carmelised onions on the side and that will be perfection.

Norm had his favourite that he usually orders when he goes here: Scrambled eggs, bacon & mushrooms.

After we finished with our lunch we headed off to Tanya Seeber Optometrist to try on the eyeglass frames she had ordered in for me. I had previously posted a few different lenses for people to vote on.

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Help! Which ones should I choose?

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But the pair that almost everyone preferred was pair 1 above which are red and I cannot really cope with red frames every day. But I do love the cat eye shape. If I could afford it I would buy 2 pair and have the red ones for when they suit whatever I am wearing but I cannot afford 2 pair.

Instead I chose these in the pic below, they are black with a bronze coloured finish on the trim and the inside of the frame. They were about 2k rand for the frames alone, once they added on the cost of the anti-reflective coating and the cost to make the very thick lenses as thin as possible, the cost goes up to over 8k rands. Phew. I may have to sell off Norm or a kid to pay for them. Let me know of any offers for either parties. 🤭

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I ordered new specs today. What do you think?

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After we ordered my glasses we hit the chemist and grocery shop as we were out of everything from toothpaste to lipstick. Which reminds me, am I the only lipstick addict who finally finds the perfect colour, buys a few tubes and then when you run out you find they have discontinued that colour? Revlon, you do my flipping head in. Or is it the buyer at Clicks who is erratic in her purchases? When you ask the staff at Clicks for any colour not on the shelf the answer is always ‘that one has been discontinued’. Can anyone say ‘Annoying AF’?

Never mind. Here is me at work at 7am wearing the new lippy. I mention the time so you can give me some sort of bonus points for the earliness and I mention the venue so you can give me some slack for sitting under bright AF strip lighting.

Don’t look too closely at my roots either, I am at the hairdresser on the weekend to sort that out.

Anyway.

We decided to braai that night as the weather was perfect for it so we bought some fillet steaks and salad ingredients. I marinated the steaks in a bowl of whatever-we-had-in-the cupboard when we got home. I think it was Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, soy, garlic and a tiny bit of mustard. I poked some holes in the steaks so that they would absorb the flavours.

After he walked the dogs Norm fired up the gas grill and braaied the corn on the cob and steaks while I made a salad. I also made a salad dressing but it was dreadful so the less we mention that the better really! I need to find a delicious low carb dressing so any ideas will be gratefully received.

It was all perfect for the hot weather. My steak was bright pink inside but nicely charred outside, just the way I prefer it. I give Norman 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️😂😂

After dinner Norm and I watched a new series we have recently started watching called Somewhere Between. It is a very gripping show and we are quite enjoying it. It has that actor that no one can remember the name of but everyone thinks looks familiar? Apparently his name is Devon Sawa. We have not finished watching it all as yet but based on what we have seen so far I give it 4 Kitten Stars.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We had a very lazy Sunday. It was even hotter than the previous day and I sat staring at the pool, trying to decide whether I could be bothered to remove the cover and clean it as it has not yet been used this year so the cover is full of crud. Luckily our tube from the guttering down pipe has kept the pool topped up with rain water.

That reminds me, last week there was a very loud screeching sound outside the front of the house late one evening. I was convinced it was bats. Where I grew up in Georgia we had a lot of bats and they would swoop down and bomb your head. I was terrified of them as a child. I told Norm I was sure there were bats, but then I wandered off and did something upstairs and Norm ventured out to investigate. He discovered it was not bats at all but the pool sucky thing had gotten stuck and was having a bit of a squeaky tantrum.

However I did not know that and later I told everyone on Facebook we had a bat infestation.

We don’t.

It still makes me giggle that several people in the Hout Bay group were googling ‘bat sounds‘ and listening to the results thanks to my red herring.

Norm and I decided to tidy up the Halloween dress up box as we both needed to try and find some bits and pieces for our upcoming party. I found some things which I can use to create my outfit, Norm found the bits he needs and we also put aside some things Caitlin needed.

Lily needs a blond wig for her costume and so I tried on the 3 blond wigs we have and sent the pics to the girls. I made silly faces in each of the pics and Lily said I look like a rooster so Caitlin found a pic of my soul mate.

I have such a giggle every time I look at that pic.

Lily managed to find a crinoline for my dress for Halloween. I’m getting so excited, my outfit is coming together nicely!

Norm decided that as it was sunny he would paint another coat on the garage door he is refinishing. I settled in with the kitties and a cup of tea and watched The Good Place while Norm painted the garage door.

This is one I have chosen to watch on my own as I know it is not Norm’s type of show, but I really liked it. It is not earth shaking or amazing, it is just a cute little show with an intriguing concept. I did find the idea that we are constantly being measured by the ‘gods’ and that every thing we do accrues a score on our overall life tally quite interesting and frightening at the same time. Bad things drop our points and good things raise our scores. If my score drops every time I rant at someone who drives like an eejit while I am driving round in the privacy of my car then I must be way down in the negatives due to that alone. Actually, my Virgo tongue has probably dropped my points wayyyy down.

I give The Good Place 4 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It was still really hot Sunday evening and I fancied sushi and Norm agreed to pop down to K1 in Hout Bay to order a take away.

K1 has a Two for the price of One on the same colour of plate so my order of 4 different types of sushi was only R123 as I only paid for two! A bargain in my books. I ordered Prawn roses, Salmon roses, Prawn tempura & Cucumber roses with prawn. I do not eat seaweed so I have to choose carefully. I did not snap a pic of the tempura but they were really big prawns with a yummy coating and I really enjoyed my entire meal. In fact I will give them 5 Kitten Stars and will definitely visit them again when my sushi craving hits. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

On Monday night Norm and I had to go down to the cop shop as I had some forms I needed to get notarised. We went into the station and there was a Rastafarian dude going mental at the counter, he was wearing a tattered tank top, with matted thick dreads hanging down to the middle of his back. He was there with a woman who looked like she hadn’t slept in months and they were both loudly giving off to the staff. After a few minutes of agitated ranting they were both taken into the back of the station. We were not sure if they were being arrested or what was going on but it made for an interesting show while we stood in the queue waiting our turn.

After we finished at the cop shop we popped by Woolies and got some meat to braai as it was 27 degrees Celsius when I got in my car to go home from work.

The weather app said it was 32C (90F)! Considering we were still wrapped up in front of a roaring fire just last week it is hard to keep up.

Norm fired up his gas grill and he cooked corn on the cob, aubergines and a lovely pork fillet and I made a raw spinach salad to go with it. I love spinach in any form, raw, cooked or creamed. I added lots of avocado to up the fat content.

Later that night there was a bizarre mist that came rolling in over the bay and you could not see outside of the perimeter of our garden. This is perfect cover for the house breakers and sure enough we heard on the radio that some drama was underway.

On Tuesday at lunch time when we went outside we spotted that there was another fire at the Cape Town train station which is across from our offices.

This is part of the ongoing attacks on our transport infrastructure that I have mentioned many times. According to the rescue service, “two trains with three carriages each on platform 17 and 18 respectively were alight”, with reports of the offices above the station deck also being affected.

These fires are causing so much devastation.

Norm cooked again on Tuesday night, he made a chicken and vegetable dish in a cream sauce and made low carb spinach noodles to serve it on.

On Wednesday I had an appointment with my dental hygienist for a cleaning. I am very dental phobic so I had to take a anti-anxiety pill. As I have had a hip replacement I have to guard against any bacterial infections so I also had to take a stack of antibiotics before hand. I arrived a bit early and they took me in early so I did not even have a chance to sort of calm down from the drive (that is why I arrive early to center myself). But I am sure it would be seen as efficiency by any normal patient! As I lay back in the chair I could feel the anxiety meds taking over and I was able to endure it with only 2 hand waves to say ‘Stop!’. The hygienist is brilliant as she chatters to me the whole time to distract me.

However she told me that one of their dentists had been stabbed the previous week while running on the mountain. He was not alone, he was running with other people, however this did not deter the culprits. I have searched for the news article and I think this is it HERE. The good thing is that they caught and arrested the culprits, we just have to hope that the case actually results in a conviction. So many of our arrests do not even make it to court, much less gain a conviction. Not only are our crime levels shocking but our justice system is a bit of a shambles. On the crime stats page they prompt you to take a survey about whether you or someone you know has been a victim of crime in the last 6 month. I took the survey and it tells me that 35% of the respondents have either been a victim or know someone who has been.

Shocking.

Still, life goes on.

Well, if you are lucky it does! Last night Pixie stole a chicken wing from Navajo and tried to swallow it whole. We only noticed when I looked over to see her convulsing on the floor. By the time I got to her she had managed to eject it from her airway. Cheeky lil monkey that she is, she terrified me! She was quite blasé about the whole affair. She even contemplated trying again but I snatched her away from it.

Wednesday night Norm and I cooked together and we made mexican food.

We just made tacos and refried beans and topped the tacos with home made guacamole, salsa, cheddar, lettuce and fromage frais. It was rather delicious as I love tacos. The best thing is how quick they are to prepare.

Today Norm had a meeting at the waterfront so he popped by my offices for a coffee. Work is a bit busy as I have new data to analyse but I took a wee break to chat to my darling.

Tonight he cooked chicken sausage, sweet potato mash with gravy, the last of our sweet corn and fried red cabbage. It was delicious. I love him looking after me.

I’m looking forward to the weekend, I hope yours is full of happiness.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Shutting Down

We have had a bit of on and off rain this week with more water to fill our dams. However after our weekend last week of sunny gorgeous weather it was a bit disorientating to have some days of cold weather interspersed with the warm sunny days. Do I wear boots? Do I wear flip flops? Those are predominately the only foot wear I wear and the weather in South Africa can change from one extreme to the other as it has done all week. We have not had a fire in the evenings all week so that tells you the temperature has been manageable by just wearing a warm sweater and wrapping up in furry blankets. Then again today was 27 degrees Celsius and it was a glorious day (that is about 78 in F for my American readers who can’t be arsed to google and covert).

We had one morning this week where it was pouring with rain and on my way in to work I spotted a huge bird of prey sitting on a road sign. The bird was as tall as the road sign and really fat with fluffy brown and white feathers. I wish I could have snapped a pic as he looked so majestic but trying to shoot a one handed photo while hurtling along a curvy road in the dark while it is pouring with rain is maybe not the safest so I chose to rather not risk it. I love it when we spot random animals just going about our daily lives, there are a few little bucks which have been spotted in our suburb lately as well, I would have thought it could be due to the drought except our streams are full again.

On Tuesday night Norm cooked dinner for us. He chopped up chicken breasts and mushrooms and fried them, then added baby broccoli and made a sauce out of cream, chicken stock, fromage frais, and a wee squizz of tomato paste.

It was low carb and very tasty and it was nice to try something different as it is easy to get into a menu rut, especially when trying to eat low carb. One can only create so many different types of salad or make cauliflower into so many different potato or rice substitutes.

Tuesday afternoon after work I had to stop for petrol. The South African petrol price had a monstrous hike of a Rand a liter on Wednesday. This puts our petrol up to almost R17 a liter. If my math and metric conversion skills are correct, this translates to $4.50 (USD) per gallon. As everyone was trying to fill up before the midnight price change I had to visit 2 different petrol stations to fill my tank up completely as the first station ran out of petrol in the middle of filling my car. The hike is being blamed on the poor rand value, however the poor rand value can be blamed on the cluster feck of our government and the fact that most of the government’s funds have been embezzled in the State Capture fiasco. So the root cause is the government’s lack of proper governing without the ability to avoid sticking their hands in the taxpayers pockets. I was curious about how our petrol prices rank against the rest of the world and I found this info which tells me we are not the most expensive globally. However this link is NOT considering the average salary in that country so there is very little perspective on the impact of the price to drivers. If the cost of petrol is high as are salaries then the effect is negligible, however South African salaries are not very high and this will really impact all of us. No road trips in my future for a while and this will probably mean my kids cannot pop down for the weekend as often.

Later on Tuesday night I had a dig through our family dress up box. We are having our annual Halloween party on the 27th of October. I am still not even 100% sure of what I am going as but I found a dress which I wore before I met Norman. I was unable to fit into it for decades, but as it is such a lovely funky dress I kept it, if only for Halloween options.

I was so pleased to see that it fit me again! I will possibly use this as the basis of my outfit and just tweak it. It is velvet and I love velvet. I am on the hunt for a crinoline and then I will be able to create the exact look I am after.

Meanwhile, we have had plenty of turmoil in South Africa with multiple different protests occurring across the country. (Much like the US where many women are protesting the potential Supreme Court appointment of the petulant man child Brett Kavanaugh.)

I received a demonstration alert from the US Embassy notifying us that there was a protest planned in the city on the 2nd October under the Western Cape Total Shutdown banner. However I later saw an article saying that this was fake news so I am not sure whether the Cape Town demo went ahead on the 2nd or not?!

The Western Cape Total Shutdown concept was implemented to protest gangster-ism, violence, unemployment and crime in the suburbs around Cape Town. But I am struggling to find any details other than this link.

A march had taken place on the 29th of August where scores of Kensington residents shut down a large part of Voortrekker Road as they peacefully demonstrated with placards and posters. A similar demonstration occurred in Bonteheuwel a few weeks later on the 25th of September when there was another protest held about the crime in the Cape Town suburbs. Residents in areas including Kensington, Bonteheuwel, Bishop Lavis, Manenberg, Kraaifontein and Hanover Park took to the streets to highlight an increase in gang violence in their communities. A total of 13 protesters were arrested in Bonteheuwel and the police shot rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowds.

On Thursday in the Bonteheuwel area a man was murdered by a known gangster. This issue with gangs is part of the basis for much of the protests. the gangs rule these areas. The victim was not associated to a gang so the reason for his murder is so far unknown or at least not yet publicised.

Today the Total Shutdown protests continued, this time in the north of SA near Johannesburg. The coloured communities are protesting over the killing of a woman during alleged gang violence.

They also highlighted their dissatisfaction with what they believe is the lack of prioritisation of people who identify as coloured. The term of ‘coloured’ is not a racial slur, this is a term used in SA to designate a particular distinct group of people. The term may have originated during the apartheid era, however now it is part of every day terminology here and is used by the coloured community themselves.

Another protest which occurred this week is regarding the ongoing issues with the Train Services in the Western Cape which I have blogged about previously. The rail service has been targeted for attack with many fires being set and many instances of robbery due to lack of proper security on the trains. This protest was under the banner of #UniteBehind. We have had at least one death from the arson attacks and at least one death from the robberies. In July alone 32 coaches were damaged as a result of arson. The damage caused to trains and infrastructure came to a total of more than R50m.

#UniteBehind launched #DelayRepay, a campaign to demand better rail service and compensation in cases of continued delays on Thursday. The coalition of civil society movements held a rally at the Cape Town Train Station.

The #DelayRepay campaign is a response to the “disastrous” deterioration of the Metrorail service. The rail service, the organisation said, “robs commuters and the public of money and human dignity”. People have lost their jobs due to this issue when they were late on a recurring basis. Some people spend up to 5 hours commuting every day due to delays and cancellations.

On Thursday there was a collision between 2 trains in the northern part of SA and 320 people were injured.

The first train was stationary due to technical problems when it was rear-ended by the second train. Metrorail’s spokesperson said they were investigating how the second train driver was allowed into a section where the existence of a stationary train had been reported to the depot. They were using the controversial manual authorisation system at the time. Metrorail has said previously it is forced to use this method because of severe cable theft and infrastructure damage that has crippled electronic communication to the signalling network.

Yet another issue due to lack of policing and non-adherence to safety processes in our rail system.

I am so grateful to have a car and to be independent of this drama (and to have a valid license albeit a temporary one.)

Another huge challenge in SA is unemployment where the unemployed rate is over 26% and is as high as 30% for the unemployed youth. This equates to over 6 million people without employment according to stats from the last quarter. The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, rose to 36.7% in the first quarter from 36.3% in the previous quarter. The cycle of poverty can lead to an increase in drug abuse and crime. I am so blessed that my children are all employed.

Thursday night Norm and I cooked dinner together. We did a Mexican themed dinner of spicy mince and beans.

We just served the mince like a salad, on a bed of lettuce and topped with cheese, salsa, fromage frais and home made guacamole. It was really yummy and the best thing is it is so fast to prepare when there are two of you to chop and prep.

This weekend I have to take Pixie to the chiro for her 5 week adjustment. Navajo had a visit this week, Norm took him on Thursday. He is such a curious alert dog.

He is getting better about going to the chiro, he was a raging nightmare the first visit but he has gotten used to it now and still remains alert, but is more relaxed.

As for the rest of the weekend, it is open to possibilities. I hope you enjoy yours.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxox

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