The Red Road

Last Sunday was taken up with showhouse visits as it has been for the last month. It is rather exhausting. At least it was a stunning sunny day and it was good to be out and about.

At least we had a long lie in bed watching the news and drinking coffees before we headed out. We had decided to stop for lunch at Greens in Constantia but when we arrived there the whole restaurant had changed! We just thought that they had done a reno and we remarked on how nice it was looking and that they changed the tables and chairs and we were pleased that there were seats available as it is normally rammed on a weekend. Then when we asked for a table the waiter said ‘we are closing’ and when I expressed surprise Norm pointed out that the waiter’s shirt was branded ‘BCG’ and the waiter laughed and told us that it is now yet another branch of Bootleggers Coffee Company. We were rather shocked as Greens was such a popular venue, it was always so busy. Why would they close? Regardless, we could not eat there as they were closing even though it was only 1p.m. We wandered off down the rows of shops and saw that Hartlief Deli had some tables available and so we went into there and managed to grab a table.

We ordered a coffee and I chose the German Salad. It was a salad heaving with shredded gypsy ham and grated emmental cheese. The ham was so delicious!

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Norm chose the Chicken Salad. His chicken was tender, juicy and very tasty.

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We both polished off every bite and headed out to go to our list of viewings we wanted to see. We viewed 6 different properties. Only 4 were on our planned list and 2 were ones where we saw the boards when driving around and just popped in.

The first one we saw I absolutely adored. I loved every thing about it except the location. It is on the corner of 2 very busy roads and the traffic noise is very bad. When we arrived there was a young boy roaming around in the car port and about to enter the gate which was left open. When we asked him if we could help him he begged for money however he was well dressed and clean so he is not a street urchin. I wonder whether if we had not disturbed him would he have gone in and taken a chance at stealing something. The agent was out back and did not hear us enter or even call out to her, she only heard us when we rang the bell.

We saw a few others which were not options for us for various reasons. One was a bit dirty looking despite the fact that their domestic was busy scrubbing the floors in the midst of the showing. There was a teenager watching rugby in one room, a child asleep in another and the house reeked of curry which was bubbling outside on a cook stove which was in a junk filled lean to by the kitchen. The pool was so green as to be a possible dwelling for a plethora of frogs. The whole house was so revolting and off putting I did not even view all of the rooms, I legged it after I walked in on the sleeping child.

WTF?? Who shows a house in that state?

We also went back for a 2nd viewing to a house which was on our list of maybes, but during the 2nd viewing we noticed things we had not noticed when we viewed previously so it is off the list.

We saw another one which we just drove by and when we saw the on show board we stopped and it was sheer perfection, however it was also 2 million above our budget so perfection is to be expected. However the agent there had another property which is in our budget and we made an appointment to go and see it this Saturday.

The search continues.

We got home exhausted on Sunday evening and after Norm walked the dogs he nipped out to get a curry from the Indian Oven.

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I went over my carb allowance as I also had a few cheeky vodkas to chill me out a bit.

We binged on Sons of Anarchy and wound down.

SOA

The traffic going into town on Monday was horrendous, especially as it was only 7a.m. I heard on the radio that there was a taxi strike going on and that is probably why there were more people driving. All of the taxi ranks were empty.

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Usually the taxi ranks are full of taxis, people and noisy chaos.

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The taxi drivers were preventing the buses from running, in fact they torched several buses. A Golden Arrow bus (below left) was set alight in Delft earlier this morning and a MyCiti bus (below right) was also set alight on the N2 at the R300.

 

As a result of the strike the roads were chaos. Many people could not make it into work at all due to intimidation by the taxi drivers. They stoned many other buses. Over 50 people were injured and more than 150 windows or windscreens were broken.

taxi injury

The next day the tea lady at our office said that there were men redirecting people around a corner to a taxi but when they went around the corner there were men with guns who then robbed them.

Later in the afternoon I read that the Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, and representatives of the SA National Taxi Organisation (Santaco), as well as a Taxi Task Team, had met to thrash out a leadership issue and the strike was called off.

South Africa is having such amazing weather that it seems rather ludicrous to hear that yet another hurricane is bearing down on the Caribbean. Hurricane Maria hit the already recovering area on Monday evening.

When I got in from work on Monday I saw that Norm had started painting the dining room. The dining room is open plan with the kitchen so when the kitchen was repainted it meant the dining room needed to be painted the same colour but he has not gotten around to finishing it until now. With the house going on the market we have to do all the little chores which have been on our list for a while.

Tuesday was a very busy day at work as it was my last day on the project where I usually work on Mondays and Tuesdays. We had a client meeting and I did my last handovers and updated all of the documentation on the shared repository. It felt very odd leaving there as I have been at that client on and off for the last 9 years. I am now full time at my client on the other side of town. I have gotten used to that environment and it does not quite seem so foreign to me now however I do prefer working in the CBD. For one thing, there are plenty of places to walk to easily for food. My new client has nothing at all except a KFC which is incredibly unhealthy. That will force me to be prepared and take in my lunch every day. I have stocked up on soups so that in a crisis I can at least take in a tin of soup rather than eating rubbish food or spending a lot of money on OrderIn as they charge a delivery fee and of course I always give a tip so this can quickly add up.

The other reason I prefer my CBD office is that it is peaceful and quiet most of the time. My new office is right by a taxi rank and the noise is deafening and continuous. The constant hooting of the taxis and the shouting and whistling of the taxi gaatjie (the man who collects the fares, opens the taxi doors and shouts out the vehicle’s destination to potential passengers as the minibus) is incessant. I find it hard to tune it out.

After my busy day I packed up all of my belongings from my desk into my car and headed home. Norm had been at Caitlin’s new flat grouting some of the new tiling he had done for her and painting and doing all sorts of chores at our house so while he was dropping off Cordelia I started cooking dinner. I saw he had also shopped and so I baked pork chops topped with peppers and roasted some chopped butternut in coconut oil. I fried sliced mushrooms in butter and garlic and steamed baby broccoli topped with lemon.

I woke on Wednesday to hear about another earthquake in Mexico which had killed over 200 people. This is just a week or so after a previous earthquake had struck off the southern coast of Mexico.

mex earthquake

The world seems to be in free fall. It is rather concerning the levels of destruction happening on a regular basis. We humans have a lot to answer for in our destruction of the planet which is the direct impetus for a lot of these issues.

I blame Trump for the others 🙂

On Wednesday evening I attended a talk by Michelle Reid on Shamanism. Michelle poured the women’s sweat lodge I last attended. It was such an interesting talk and the venue ‘Soul‘ is so lovely. There is a coffee bar, a sort of reading area and a gorgeous outside area surrounded by plants and a water feature.

As it was evening Norm kindly offered to drive me. We were a bit early so we sat out in the courtyard and had a coffee while waiting for it to begin.

soul me

As the talk was not going to last very long Norm just sat in the courtyard and worked on his book while we were listening to Michelle. Michelle took us through her own path to Shamanism and she and I have so many parallels in our lives – I find it so fascinating. She and I have birthdays one day apart and I feel a real draw to her spiritually, I feel that we have been connected in other incarnations in some manner.

I am booking to go on her Introduction to Shamanism course.

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I feel she has been sent to guide me on my spiritual path as she keeps getting recommended to me whenever I ask others for various areas of guidance or information. I asked someone about studying drumming & shamanism and Michelle was recommended but we did not connect at that time. I asked someone else about getting a drum bag made and she was again recommended to me. I then attended the Women’s Sweat Lodge and there she was, pouring the lodge. I had resisted attending that lodge and when Michelle sent me the protocols there was mention of White Buffalo Woman who I feel is my spirit guide, if not one of my ancestors. I feel that when the Universe points us towards a path we must follow that path.

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I will show up and do the foot work and see where this path takes me. I find it all very exciting. I know I am not fulfilling my destiny or my purpose, I hope this opens the doors to allow me to do that.

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Michelle told us the tale of Spider Grandmother whom I had never heard of. Folklore differs somewhat between the tribes, however in Hopi stories she is known as the Earth Goddess. Although accounts vary, according to mythology she was responsible for the stars in the sky; she took a web she had spun, laced it with dew, threw it into the sky and the dew became the stars. Some tribes claim she is responsible for the creation of dream catchers, used to filter out bad dreams and allow only good thoughts to enter. In some cultures she is so sacred that you cannot mention her name except in ceremony.

I find this all so fascinating learning about my roots and history as a Native American descendant.

On my way into work this morning I went past the site where the City of Cape Town has proposed placing the TRA (Temporary Relocation Area for the fire victims.) There was a protest just starting about the removal of the trees in that area. There has been no environmental impact study done to understand what may happen to that area if they remove them.

graveyard protest

Photo credit.

There is yet another peaceful protest planned today in Hangberg. I will be at work and cannot attend. This is to show support for the people involved in the protests last week.

hangberg peace protest

The whole world seems to be protesting.

This weekend is a long weekend. Lily and Josh came down and I made chili con carne. 


We have kept our house viewing appointments to a minimum for this weekend to allow Norman maximum time to do the bits and pieces he wants to do around the house in order for them to be able to come and do the pictures for our sales brochure.
When I got home I sat on my balcony staring at the clouds ove the mountains.

I’m going to miss this view. Even when grey and cloudy it’s beautiful.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend.

Kisses from the Kitten. xoxoxox

 

 

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Teach a Man to Fish

This week has been very heavy going for me emotionally. My heart is heavy with sadness and uncertainty.

Once again this week we have had protest action in Hout Bay. Starting on Tuesday there were roadblocks and riots going on in Hangberg, the opposite side of the Bay from where I live.

The protest was in relation to an announcement last week by the DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) that rock lobster quotas would shrink further this season. Many of the residents in Hangberg are fishermen. Other residents were protesting about ongoing service delivery problems and issues with communication between their community and the City of Cape Town.

The Hangberg protests started on Tuesday and carried on most of the week.

Photo credit.

hangberg protest

Image Credit.

As with most scenarios where there is a lot of chaos and confusion there was a big debate about exactly what happened between the police and the protesters.

Many people were saying that the police were being incredibly restrained in their approach, while others were saying that the police were firing at ‘the innocent’. I am not sure how you feel but if I was innocent and somehow found myself in the midst of a protest and the police arrived I would make my way home and try to avoid any trouble. For the protesters to call themselves innocent is a bit of stretch. They were clearly seen stealing property such as picnic tables from the neighbouring restaurants and setting fire to them in the streets.

The tables were sometimes used as shelter from the water cannons and rubber bullets that were fired at the protesters.

hangberg boy

Image credit.

The video below was filmed by Tin Dwarka who was on the scene. It is difficult to watch.

Very quickly after it happened a journalist had posted an article stating that the police had shot a child in the mouth. Then many of the people on our local Facebook group started asking ‘what was a child doing there?’ or ‘why wasn’t he in school?’. These sorts of comments are to me the moral equivalent of asking the rape victim what she was wearing when she was raped. There are no bad children, only bad parenting. The boy’s parents were possibly participating in the riot and he followed suit.

However the claims of innocence by the majority of the protesters and their attitudes that they were the victims in this scenario were ridiculous as there is footage of a bus full of tourists being robbed by the protesters during the protest. How does that represent your cause?

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Image credit.

Tourism in Hout Bay is down due to the news reports of our ongoing protest action and many of the residents of Hangberg will be employed by the tourist industry, so how do they not make the connection that they are only hurting themselves?

Later that night we heard on the Neighbourhood Watch radio that the protesters had resorted to looting and were doing damage to the nearby businesses. They broke into the Hout Bay Harbour Market as well as the other businesses nearby. They broke the windows out of local restaurant Fish On The Rocks.

It all seemed out of control.

On Tuesday evening we sat listening to all of this on the Neighborhood Watch radio and I made chicken Stir fry with spinach low carb noodles. It was yummy. I fried the chopped chicken and once browned added in lots of sugar free peanut butter to some chopped chili, soy sauce and coconut oil.

I’m trying to stay low carb and drop those kilos I picked up.

We woke on Wednesday at 6am when our house alarm went off as the city was putting in a new electricity supply of some sort in our neighbourhood. The power going off triggered the house security alarm which triggered the dogs going insane. We were without power for 12 hours. Luckily I was working so it didn’t impact me too much other than getting dressed for work in the dark. Have you ever put on mascara in the dark? I didn’t attempt my eyeliner.

The protests carried on all of Wednesday and Thursday. Houses were broken into and property was looted.

The protesters were shooting off flares, one of which landed on a boat in the harbour.

harbour boat

When I got home on Wednesday the power was still off. Once our electricity came back on that evening I started making dinner. We had fillet steak I marinated in balsamic vinegar, lemon, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. It was so tender it barely needed to be chewed. I steamed gem squash and fried cabbage and mushrooms to go with it.

I noticed that my birthday flowers are blooming. That is what I love about lilies, they change daily and last so long. This pic is almost 2 weeks after my birthday.

On Thursday night we had an ‘everything in the fridge dinner’. You know when you have lots of little bits left at the end of the week but not enough of any of them to feed three people? A few spoonfuls of this and a few spoonfuls of that, throw in an aubergine and you’re good to go.

We sliced the left over fillet steaks, fried the left over zucchini from the lasagna earlier in the week, roasted baby vine tomatoes in garlic and balsamic, creamed spinach, baked some aubergines, sliced up some avocados, made the last bit of cabbage into cole slaw, chopped up the remainder of a cucumber and made tzaziki, grilled halloumi, and fried some yellow peppers with sliced chorizo and it was a feast! All of the items went so well together.

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There was enough left for me to bring to lunch Friday which meant I wasn’t tempted to use orderin.

The protests in Hangberg seem to be over. Friday I read that a truce has been brokered between the Hangberg rioters and police after a meeting with MEC Dan Plato.

I then heard at lunch time that there had been a terror attack in the London underground. Luckily the device did not fully detonate and no one died. It’s getting so risky to be in Europe just living life. They arrested a suspect but the chances are there will be another coward willing to sacrifice themselves for their misguided cause. But if you think about the risk then the fear could paralyze you. If you let this stop you enjoying life then the terrorists have achieved their goal. 

It’s been a sad weekend for me as Caitlin has moved out. That’s my last baby now moved out and independent. The renovations on her flat are mostly done. She has some cupboards to finish painting then she’s all done but she decided to stick with her plan as she had booked the movers for early Saturday morning and so she moved her furniture and slept her first night there last night. 

I was up early too as Pixie and I were off to Noordhoek to the Chiro.


Afterwards I came home and Norm made us a yummy HFLC breakfast of cheesy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon and avocado.

We headed out in the afternoon to view more potential houses. We saw 3. I loved one of them but it’s massive. 5 bedrooms and a huge garden with a large pool and a koi pond. Norm thinks it is too large for us. We are supposed to be downsizing.

We also saw a cute small house but he thinks that one is too small.

It’s like viewing show houses with a Scottish Goldlocks. Hopefully we will find one that is ‘just right’.

Norm and I popped by Caitlin’s flat after we finished viewing houses. First she came home and we filled up her car and Norm’s truck with her desk and last bits and pieces and hauled them over. It is really a lovely flat now. She changed everything about it and did most of the work herself. She should be very proud of her efforts.

But now my nest is empty. It makes me sad.

After we left an exhausted Caitlin at her flat we were starving so we stopped off at Primi Piatti for dinner as it was on our way home.

I had a naughty Dacquiri.


We stayed as low carb as possible with our food choices however and had fillet steak in a creamy mushroom sauce and substituted the lower carb mashed butternut and sweet potato instead of normal mash.


It was delicious and after we came home, we watched an ep of Sons of Anarchy which is my new addiction. We hadn’t gotten into it before but now we can stream we have started from the beginning. I am hooked!

We have several more house viewings today. This whole exercise of house hunting and moving is very stressful. The nice ones go fast. I’m comparing them all to my current house and they all come up short in comparison. I love my home.

We just need to keep looking. The one that is meant for us will be found eventually.

I just need to focus on the present and keep my eye focused on the prize.

Wish us luck. ❤️❤️❤️

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo 

The Sisters Lodge

Wednesday was a Public Holiday in South Africa. It was Women’s Day in South Africa. I will let Wikipedia explain it for you: “National Women’s Day is a South African public holiday celebrated annually on 9 August. The day commemorates the 1956 march of approximately 20 000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country’s pass laws that required South Africans defined as “black” under The Population Registration Act to carry an internal passport, known as a pass, that served to maintain population segregation, control urbanisation, and manage migrant labour during the apartheid era.[1] The first National Women’s Day was celebrated on 9 August 1994.[2] In 2006, a reenactment of the march was staged for its 50th anniversary, with many of the 1956 march veterans.”

I had a very fun day planned as we had a Sisters Circle followed by a Sweat Lodge at my friend Gerri’s place, Eagle Owl Lodge. Lily and Josh were also driving down from Mossel Bay to spend a long weekend with us.

We woke up to the dogs insisting on breakfast as we often do on a day off. Pixie jumped up on the side of the bed until I picked her up and put her on the bed, then she proceeded to sit on my head and pull my hair.

morning pix

After Norm fed the dogs their breakfast he brought us a coffee to have in bed and Pixie came back up for a cuddle now that her belly was full.

Pix

She is the cutest thing isn’t she? It is impossible to resist that face!

Eventually we got up and I made us a simple but healthy banting breakfast of boiled eggs, crispy bacon, avocado and mature cheddar cheese. The fat in it would serve me for the entire day as I would not eat again until late that evening after lodge.

I showered and put a ton of oils into my hair as the heat from the Sweat Lodge would give me a nice hair treatment. Menopause has made my hair so dry and low carb life has made it thin so I need all the hair help I can get and I love multi-tasking. 🙂

Norm drove me over to the Lodge as I knew it would be dark when we finished so I would not be able to drive home as I cannot see at night. To be fair I can’t see worth a damn in the day time either!

It was the first lodge I have attended which was poured by Michelle, aka “Dancing Heart Spirit Woman”. Her husband Gordon was the fire keeper and he was assisted by Neo.

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The process started with us all circling the fire-pit and the fire being lit by the fire keepers. We then all took a pinch of tobacco to offer to the Great Spirit and we all stepped forward to put this offering into the fire while voicing quietly to ourselves our wishes. You can ask for what you want to receive from the Great Spirit (such as guidance or enlightenment) as well as for the things you want to be taken away (such as pain or emotional baggage which is not serving your personal growth).

The attendees placed items or offerings onto the altar. You can place anything you want to receive your prayers, blessings and energy onto the altar, such as a photograph, a personal item you cherish or beads or crystals.

Once the fire was lit we went inside to have a talking circle. There were 25 women attending and we all sat in a circle and Michelle asked us all to talk about what we thought was ‘magnificent’ about ourselves, what we valued and what we loved about ourselves. For many women loving themselves is not something that comes easily. We often doubt ourselves and have a running conversation in our heads telling us just how badly we are performing at life or what idiots we are. Another lovely exercise to perform in a group of women who know each other well is to have everyone go around the room and tell each other what THEY like about the other attendees, it really builds self esteem and highlights to you how others perceive you.

When the talking stick came to me I said that I admired my bravery. I hate change, yet I have moved about 50 times, I have residency in 3 countries, have traveled extensively and have a job that requires me to go to many new clients, sometimes on my own. I work across multiple client offices and have multiple roles, from project manager, data analyst, business analyst, data migration consultant to data quality consultant. My life has been all about change. I admire the fact that even though I may be terrified, I get up and I show up and I carry on regardless of my fears.

I strongly identify with the phrase ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’.

I was worried about attending the lodge at all, I am not good with strangers, I am not good with small spaces and I am not good with being very hot – basically all of the items which make up the description of the sweat lodge experience! The last lodge I attended was very full and I found it very uncomfortable physically not to be able to move about very much. But when Michelle sent out the lodge protocols it had a section talking about White Buffalo Woman.

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White Buffalo Woman has come to me in visions, she has come through with messages about ‘knowing who I am and accepting my role as a healer’ whenever I go for a psychic reading. I feel a deep connection to her. She may even be my Spirit Guide as she is so prevalent in my life. Maybe she is an ancestor?

Whatever her role, I took this as a message that I must attend the lodge and that I must put my fears aside. This is part of my journey of spiritual growth and I must just show up and walk the walk.

After the sharing circle we all changed into our lodge clothes and we went outside to get ready to enter the lodge. I wore a bikini bottom and a short swimming cover up which meant I had freedom of movement but still some modesty. (And that I did not step on my boobs while climbing on my hands and knees through the lodge)

We were organised into 2 rows, the first to form an inner circle (the hottest part) and then a second to form an outer circle. I asked to be near the exit so I could catch air between rounds as I find it hard to endure the heat. It was physically very tight on space once all 25 of us were in but I coped by wiggling regularly, however it is hard to get into a meditative trance state if wiggling about or uncomfortable.

There are 4 rounds, one to each direction as each direction has a different symbolism. 28 stones are placed on the fire, 7 for each of the rounds. The process of the lodge is divided into 4 rounds, where the power and spirit of the 4 sacred directions are called in along with the hot stones.

We started the 1st round and once the stones were in we went around the circle and called in our ancestors and spirit guides and stated our intention for the lodge. I called in my Cherokee ancestors and White Buffalo Woman. My intention was for healing of my physical pain and my mother’s physical pain and for less resistance to the emergence of my empath abilities and my healing powers for others. I asked to be more open and willing. I asked for patience and acceptance in my daily interactions. I asked for continued strength and love in my marriage and for protection over my children and their partners. I prayed for rain over Africa as we are experiencing a long running drought.

In between the rounds the doors were opened to allow in some of the cold fresh air from outside. In the other 3 rounds we sang songs and drummed and we prayed. In one of the rounds we all hummed loudly together, then we all made the Om sound and finally we all released our spirit animals and our inner child and we made all of the noises we wanted or needed to make, such as howling at the moon, ululating, shouting, singing, humming, whistling or just unleashing your inner voice. I loved that feeling of freedom and release. It brought me to a place of such pure joy in my heart. I often howl in my car when on my own to release both stress and joy. I identify strongly with wolves.

After the 4th round we all exited the lodge in a clockwise fashion and went out to cool off and change into normal clothes and then we came back to undress the lodge and pack away the blankets. We then all had a meal together of bread and soup made from ingredients grown in Michelle and Gordon’s garden. It was healthy and delicious and we were all starving as it had been a long & exhausting 7 hour process.

The energy that I absorbed from 25 women sitting closely together and singing, praying chanting and drumming gave me a boost and I felt like I made some strong connections with several of the women.  It was such a powerful lodge of energy from the women combined with the full moon.

After we all finished eating Norm came to collect me and we went off home. I got to spend a bit of time with Lily, Caitlin and Josh which rounded my day off brilliantly.

This entire month is Women’s Month in SA and yet there are still such levels of misogyny. There has been publicity over deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana for an alleged assault against a woman in a pub at the weekend. We often hear of women beaten by their partners, their sons, or random strangers. Many of these men act without impunity. SA, like most of Africa, is a very patriarchal society. Women here often struggle financially to survive. It is often a hard life for women in SA. It is estimated 1 in 5 women suffer some form of abuse in SA.

This sort of culture is so prevalent that our National Radio station, 5FM has no qualms with their DJs spouting out misogyny. The morning after celebrating Women’s Day I hear slimy pervy DJ Roger Goode blaming Angelina Jolie for Brad Pitt’s drinking problems and Kim Kardashian for Kanye’s dimished success. Then in the next sentence he starts calling Sarah Jessica Parker ‘horseface’ and whinnying continuously when she is mentioned. This man seems to have a lot of hatred for women. The only reason I was listening to him was that all of the other channels were reporting the news in Afrikaans and I do not speak Afrikaans. Yet the SABC moved my fave DJ Fresh off air to some obscure channel I cannot find? I do not understand their decisions to allow Roger Goode air time and to remove DJ Fresh.

Anyway, SA has a long way to go in many areas.

The weather turned from the heat & sunniness of the last week and it has now been raining for over 24 hours. I wonder if we women in the lodge contributed to that as I heard several others also praying for rain?

I had work on Thursday and after work I built a big fire and then Lily and I made Mexican food for all of us. It was really yummy and then we all watched silly videos on YouTube and then watched a bit of the IAAF Athletics Championships and had the excitement of seeing South African Wade Van Niekerk almost win the Men’s 200 meter race. It was so close!

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I am so proud of South Africa for how well they are doing overall in the medals.

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Yesterday the La Creuset mini ramekins I ordered for myself and my girls arrived.

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The boxes were wrapped so sweetly, I had asked for gift wrapping and asked for the card to say ‘Mommy Loves You’ and they printed it on the ribbon! Cute heh?

gift wrap

 

Tonight we are going to have a quiet night in as I have another hectic weekend in store. On Saturday morning I am going with Caitlin to a shop to view some flooring she wants to purchase for her new flat. I am then going to Cheyne’s for lunch with some girlfriends in the afternoon and then Norman and I are off to dinner and the theatre on Saturday night.

On Sunday I am attending a drum circle where we will awaken our new drums. I cannot wait to hear her voice, I have resisted trying her out as she needed to dry properly and undergo the ritual to awaken her spirit. She is looking gorgeous.

drum dry

I hope you all enjoy your weekend and I hope I have the stamina required for mine 🙂

xoxo

Thou Doth Protest Too Much

Navajo has still been struggling with his ear infection and as a result is not sleeping well. This means that none of us get any sleep as he sleeps by our bed and he is so restless. He went back to the vet this week for an ear cleaning and injection and is now also on tablets for the inflammation as well as the ear drops. We had to buy a muzzle to put on him when we put the drops in as he tries to snap at us and growls the most terrifying growl.

After waking at 4am from Nav I was a zombie on Wednesday and had a busy day at work so when Norm offered to cook us dinner I was so grateful. He did Banting food and wrapped chicken breasts in bacon, steamed broccoli and stir fried baby zucchini with mushrooms. He grated sharp cheddar to top the broccoli. It was delicious.

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While at the client site on Thursday we had a message come through that the protests had started up again. We have now had weeks of on-again, off-again protests which originated with people protesting the living conditions in the shacks which the government have arranged for them after the recent fires where 4500 informal houses were destroyed by fire in March‚ leaving 15000 people homeless. These conditions are not fit for humans to live in. They are in tin shacks which have no electricity or running water, only communal showers and long drop toilets. The field they live on is a flood plain and after months of drought the recent rains have resulted in the floor of their shacks being full of water. It is freezing cold at the moment and it is really unsuitable.

An update was posted onto a local Facebook group, Hout Bay Organised and the first post made at 11 a.m. advised us that “anti land invasion forces along with SAPS were removing illegal dwellings by court order in Dontse Yhake (DY). Apparently stun grenades have been let off to disperse crowds.

A court interdict has been in place and residents that have erected illegally and who are preventing the implementation of much needed infrastructure have been made aware.
Very large police presence containing situation in the DY area above IY. All main roads remain open. Hughenden Road is closed.”

I live off of Hughenden Road so this was rather worrying. I did not know if I would be able to get home. As Norm is part of Neighbourhood Watch I messaged him to find out what was going on and if our house was at risk but he did not reply. I found out later he was on the other side of the mountain having lunch with a friend. Later after he came home he told me the roads were clear but there was still a heavy police presence.

A house was invaded near the gates at DY and there were Nyala vehicles in place to deal with any further riots but they were being stoned and various battles were on-going between police and protestors.

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We read about children being subjected to tear gas from within their shacks, as the shacks provide little protection from any outside elements. It was heart-breaking to read about the innocent being caught up in this chaos that was being perpetrated by a few.

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Friday morning we woke to read there had been a night of violence in Imizamo Yethu. The ANC offices were torched and a community leader’s home was attacked, various businesses looted, and a young person was shot dead.

This is the second death due to these protests. Earlier this month, a probe was launched into the death of Imizamo Yethu resident Songezo Ndude, 26, who sustained head injuries during clashes between police and residents.

We heard that they cleaned out the Somalian shops and burned all the containers on the Main road in IY where the businesses operate from.

We then heard that the people who were behind the protests were the slumlords who had paid the local meth addicts to cause havoc and torch the buildings.

We also read that a body was found in the streets of IY. It was a 19 year old young man named Siyamthanda Betana and he was murdered in the cross fire of the shooting. He was at a friend’s house when he heard a noise. He went outside and was shot.

student murdered

His family are devastated and one of his former teachers has offered a reward to anyone who has information about his death. Everything I have read about this young man has said he was a clever, kind and talented young man. This is such a tragic waste of life.

All of this seemed to happen predominately under cover of night as do most acts of cowardice. During the day it seemed to get relatively calm however we saw a heavy police presence when we ventured out on Saturday morning.

Friday night we stayed in to avoid any potential conflict with the chaos. When I got home from work I built a big fire as it is so cold. I played games on my iPad and indulged my addiction of home improvement shows. I cooked a banting dinner for the three of us as Caitlin was at home. I made pork chops & free range chicken sausages with roast veggies and steamed broccoli.

I had bought a new device for streaming which arrived that day and Norm spent the evening setting that up so we can watch telly from our bedroom. We love spending the morning in bed with the pups and endless cups of frothy coffee on weekends.

Saturday morning our gardener Mzudumo arrived early and said that he had not slept all night out of fear that his home would catch fire if they torched the area community leader who has a shack near him. The drought has meant our garden is barely growing and we cannot wash our cars so we asked him if he would mind going to Caitlin’s new flat and helping Cait with sanding the base boards which need to be repainted when she puts down her new floors. He is just happy for the work and it meant he was inside on that cold day rather than outside in the garden so he was agreeable with the change in routine.

Norm and I first went off to look at bathroom fittings as that is our next home renovation project. We needed something to eat and so we popped into the Earth Fair Market in Tokai.

earth market

We spotted Gail’s Kitchen, a trader who was selling Banting products.


We grabbed a chicken sandwich, an Origin coffee and a table out in the sun.


Norm got stuck in. The bread was divine!! Normally banting products can be very dry and tasteless but this bread was moist and tasty.


We decided to buy a couple of bite size quiches, a loaf of bread and some tiny carrot cake muffins to take home.


We finished our bathroom ideas shopping at the places nearby the market and headed off to Caitlin’s flat, stopping on the way at Mr Price. I needed a basket for carrying wood from the garage to the fireplace. They had several and I found the perfect one.

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I also bought a new tin to keep my coffee pods in.

I found a clock for my newly renovated kitchen which goes perfectly with the cupboards we have installed.

We went to Caitlin’s flat and Norm pottered about helping her remove nails from the floor and walls and rehung her cupboard doors which were a bit skew. We hung around until Mzudumo was finished at 3.30 and we drove him back to Hout Bay as Caitlin stayed to continue working on the flat.

We were off to our friends Alison and Andy for a spit braai that evening and so Norm walked the dogs and we showered and headed off. Our friend Retha was also there so we had a lovely evening chatting to friends and hanging out.

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We had heard at one stage of the evening that chaos was happening again in the township but none of the security groups was posting any thing new, but still we did not want to stay out too late and we headed home about 10ish.

The next day Caitlin went hiking but Norm and I had a pyjama day, I cooked a big pot of spicy tomato, sweet potato and carrot soup and we built a warm fire. A perfect lazy chilled out Sunday.

We watched the film Going In Style with Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Michael Caine.

going in style

It was a perfect lazy choice and was a funny film. We really enjoyed it and give it 4 Kitten Stars.

The peace seemed to be across our valley as we read that finally there had been a Peace deal reached in Imizamo Yethu.

I hope this means that the re-blocking and building of more suitable homes can carry on and that the protests will cease.

Today I worked from home in the morning and I am currently at the hospital with Caitlin who is having minor surgery. Please send her your healing prayers and hopefully we will be at home soon.

Enjoy your week. xx

Rose Petals & Thorn Bushes

On Monday morning I woke early and when I checked my phone I saw a message from a friend telling me that our street was closed due to chaos from the riots. A fire had been started in the middle of the only street out of our suburb and a barricade put up. I then checked our local Facebook group and saw that the rioters had also cut down a tree and placed it across the road. We were totally blocked in.

The problem was that we had a flight to catch and I panicked that we wouldn’t get out to get to the airport. Our flight was at 10am and we decided to keep to our itinerary and hope the police managed to clear the roads by the time we had to leave.

Navajo was desperate to come along with us.


We left the house at 9am and when we got to the intersection shown in the top pic the road had been cleared and was being manned by Neighbourhood Watch members as well as the police. We got out of our road and then once we got out of Hout Bay we knew we would make our flight. It was so stressful! We also were worried about Caitlin being left home alone for a week but we knew she had a good support system what with the neighbours in our street, Neighbourhood Watch, Navajo and the police.

Later when we checked the Facebook groups we saw pics of the malicious damage done by the protestors. Offices were vandalized, cars turned over and torched. A retirement village was targeted and the residents terrorized. Bricks were hurled and rubber bullets fired.

We had not had any breakfast due to the stress and chaos of the morning so we stopped at Mugg & Bean at the airport for a muffin and a quick coffee.

Once we were on the plane I took an aspirin and tried to relax and get into holiday mode.

We arrived at Port Elizabeth airport, rented a car and drove 100kms to Kichaka, the lodge where we were booked for the first three nights.

The accommodation is in the actual game park so you arrive at the reception building and leave your car there and they put your bags into a Safari truck and drive you through the park to the lodge.


We saw a herd of buffalo on our trip to the lodge.


We checked in and they gave us a tour and took us to our room. It was rather spectacular.


We had an amazing view of the water hole from our room. There were 3 hippos swimming around.


We even had our own little swimming pool if we chose to swim, but when we arrived it was freezing cold.

We unpacked and changed into warm clothes for our safari drive and went for afternoon High Tea at 2:30pm.



It was served in the main lodge in front of a roaring fire. We were the only people in the lodge and we felt very spoiled.

At 3pm we were off on our first sundowners safari and we saw a Warthog as soon as we left the gate.


We saw more Buffalo (or the same ones which moved?), a lonely wildebeest and loads of different types of buck.


Then we drove all the way across the park and we saw a whole herd of Elephants including several babies.


Very near to the herd we saw 4 Rhino: a male and three females.


The drive finished at 6pm and we went back to the lodge. We went to our room to get ready for dinner and then we were treated to a local African children’s choir. They sang in Xhosa and did some traditional dances for us. They are the children of the hotel staff. I really enjoyed this special treat.


After the choir finished we went in for dinner. They have 3 choices for each of the 3 courses. You place your order for that night in the afternoon at tea time.

My battery on my phone had crashed so I did not get any pics but I had the Baked Brie with berry compote, the kingklip, and bread and butter pudding for dessert. It was all very nice. The fish was thick with a crispy coating and was divine, it was served with sweet potatoes and veggies. All drinks are included in the deal so I had a few cocktails and Norm had a few glasses of wine. We were both very tired so we moved off to have a last round of drinks in the main room and then went off to sleep.

Jonty our guide gave us a wake up call at 630am and we went to the main lodge to have coffee, juice, croissants and fruit before our drive.


Then at 7am we set off on another 3 hour game drive.

Straight out of the gate we saw a herd of giraffe.


We drove a bit and saw a large troop of monkeys grooming each other in the sun.

We saw another group of giraffes munching on thorn trees.


We saw more warthogs and various other animals and then headed back to the lodge for breakfast at 10. There was a buffet of meats, cheeses, breads, fresh fruit, juices, yogurts, cereals and all sorts.

Then they brought a menu to choose a hot cooked breakfast. I had eggs benedict. Norm had an omelette stuffed full with cheese, bacon and mushrooms.


After we ate we sat in the sun outside and relaxed by the waterhole.


While we were drinking we watched some warthogs drinking in the pond.

We were so full from three rounds of breakfast we went off and had a wee nap after we sat on the balcony for a while and decided to rather skip lunch.

We woke up and went down at 2.30pm for High Tea.


At 3pm we set off again on a Game drive. We saw some more warthogs and another group of giraffes. Then we missioned across the park as Jonty our guide had heard on the radio that there was a lioness hiding in the grass watching some buck.

We found her and sat watching her hoping that she was hungry enough to hunt.

We watched her for ages and then moved off a bit of a distance and Jonty served us cocktails and snacks on the plains while watching the animal world go by.

We then went back to check on the lioness and we stayed longer than we were scheduled to and the sun had started to set. I looked up on the horizon at the sun going down and saw a huge bull elephant coming straight towards us at a hell of a pace. We had our engine off and as he walked past a nearby land cruiser from a different camp which was full of people he stopped in his tracks. He turned and looked at the truck and lifted his trunk and sniffed the van. He was inches from them. He then just turned and sauntered casually off.

If I had been in that truck I would have peed my pants! By now it was pitch dark. In the bush when the sun goes down it is so dark you cannot even see your hand in front of your face. We rattled quickly back to the camp and just as we got near the gate we saw a tiny buck called a duiker. But it was too dark for a pic.

After every game drive we were always greeted on arrival back to camp by a concierge holding hot towels to wipe the dust off our hands and faces. Then when we got to the front door of the lodge another staff member greeted us with a cocktail or a hot drink. This night it was hot chocolate and amarula, it was so delicious.

We freshened up and went through to the dining room where there was the usual cosy fire waiting.

That night for dinner I had spicy prawns on curried lentils. This was my fave dish of the week, the prawns were done in a marmite coating which sounds odd but it was so tasty.

Norm had mushroom soup.

We both had fillet steak for our main course. I felt this needed something like some crispy chips or mash. Something…but the fillet was tender and tasty.

For my Dessert I chose the chocolate pancake stuffed with amarula mousse. The mousse had a touch too much gelatin and was set too firm. But it was tasty.

Norm had the Cheese plate which was served on such a cute platter with a silver meerkat lying chilled out on the edge.

We had a few more drinks then headed off to our room, that 6.30am wake up comes early and it is amazing how exhausting bouncing around in a land cruiser for 6 hours a day is.

The next day was our 20th wedding anniversary which was why we had planned our trip. We woke at 6.30 as usual and headed off for our fruit and croissant tummy liner before we went on the morning safari. We went straight off to where the lioness was last seen and were lucky enough to find her again.

I was ever so chuffed.


This time she got up and strolled across to sit and stare out across the valley.



We sat watching her for a while, she was such a beauty.

Then we headed off to see what else we could find. We saw zebra, various buck and some red hartebeest. We drove further and we spotted our friends the rhinos again!


We sat so close to them, listening to them graze and snort their way around. With so few of these magnificent beasts left in the world we felt very privileged to spend so much time with them.

We headed back to camp at 10am and the staff had set up our breakfast table on the veranda as it was a stunning crisp sunny winter day.


We both had some fruit and yogurt followed by a cooked breakfast of bacon stacked on hash browns, mushrooms, grilled tomato and two fried eggs.


We then sat by the waterhole for a bit and relaxed and at 11am I went for a facial and massage.


It was heavenly even if the massage was a bit painful over my always sore back. After the massage I went for a shower and Norm and I then relaxed until time for a late lunch. We opted to skip High Tea and rather have our lunch later.

I had an avocado salad.


Norm had broccoli and cauliflower soup.


We relaxed in the main lodge until time for the next game drive. It’s a stunning lodge.


We headed off at 3pm again. We tracked two large male lions but even though we could see them, we could not get very close to them.

We saw lots of other game from giraffe & hippos to a large solo eland and then we stopped for champagne and snacks on the plains again.


We continued driving and viewing and then just before we arrived back at sundown we saw a young caracal, also called a Rooikat. They are nocturnal and it was too dark for a photo.

When we popped down to our room to freshen up before dinner we were so surprised to find that they had decorated our bed with rose petals, ran us a bubble bath, lit candles and left a bottle of champagne for our anniversary.


We felt so spoiled.

We went down to have dinner. We had the butternut soup to start.


We then had very tender kudu fillet.


For main we had the chocolate fondant with ice cream.


After dinner we went back to the room to drink our champagne and relax in our bubble bath together. We could hear lions roaring across the valley and it was magical and ever so romantic.

It was a pretty amazing anniversary.

We woke up again at 6.30 for our final day at the resort and we had our croissants and headed off. We saw our friends the rhino and hung out with them for a while.

We then saw a gorgeous tiny giraffe with her mommy.


Then we heard on the radio that there was a pride of lion nearby and we raced off to see them. There was a large male and 3 young males.


We watched them for a while and then we searched across the park and managed to find a herd of elephants.


We then headed back very happy for our last breakfast and when we went to our table looked out and spotted a large bull elephant cavorting in the water hole!


He stayed for most of our breakfast. We went and packed and showered and then headed out to the main reception to check out and collect our car.

We headed off to Grahamstown where there was an arts festival on.

We found a beer garden and sat listening to reggae in the sun.


Then we walked around town and went to many art exhibitions where Norm bought me a lovely statue of a rhino.


We thought he was the perfect remembrance of our holiday.

We spent the day wandering about the festival and then headed off to Port Elizabeth late in the afternoon. We checked into the hotel and were so surprised to find more rose petals and champagne awaiting us!


The view from our room on the 15th floor was stunning.


As it was late and we were exhausted we just had dinner in the hotel restaurant. We then took a drink back to our room and relaxed. We had a slow morning the next day and headed out to the Boardwalk for breakfast.


We had breakfast at Mugg and Bean and then went for a wander round the waterfront.

We then went off to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum and after that we went to the mall where I bought some new boots and a few new tops as it was so hot and I had only brought heavy winter items. We went back to the room to relax a bit and then phoned an uber to go out to dinner.

We went to Fushin. We had such amazing food. The sushi was delicious. We also had prawn ‘toast’ on aubergines, crispy schezuan prawns, pepper fillet carpaccio, salt and pepper squid, dim sum, and tempura vegetables. It was all fabulous!


The next day was our last and we had a lazy morning then checked out and went down to the beach for a stroll and some breakfast.


I had jalapeño eggs benedict which was so nice.


After a leisurely breakfast we went for a walk then stopped for iced coffees.


We flew home that afternoon and got back to Cape Town about 4pm. The dogs went crazy with happiness when we got home.

We have had loads of rain since last night which Cape Town desperately needs. Today we have stayed in just relaxing. I made a chicken and butternut curry for dinner tonight which I served with cauliflower rice.


I made a chilli con carne for tomorrow as I am back at work.

I had an amazing week but reality comes soon enough.

❤️💕❤️💕

Worlds Apart

I had such a stressful day at work on Thursday. I am usually part of a team, working with a technical resource who does the data extraction and performs the assessment and I get the output for Quality Assurance. However my current client does not have anyone to fulfill this role and I spent all of Thursday trying to download their analysis tool, connect to the database and get extracts for analysis. It was incredibly frustrating as no one was willing to help me or give me the info I needed to be self sufficient. I left work with my data eventually but my stress levels were off the chart. 

When I got home Norm told me he had shopped and was cooking for us all and I was so relieved, 

He made us a tasty low carb dinner. He made fillet steaks, grilled halloumi, roasted veggies in the oven, steamed cauliflower and then topped it with cheddar cheese and popped it under the grill. It was so delicious.


It was so delicious I didn’t have any left for my lunch on Friday. There is no canteen on site and it was pouring with rain so I decided to stay put and use OrderIn delivery service to get some lunch. The closest place to me was Fat Cactus. As I love Mexican food I decided to order the pulled pork quesadillas and some chilli poppers. 


It arrived hot and relatively quickly. I’m so impressed with their service. The food was really yummy. The pork was full of flavor and not at all fatty. 

We had a quiet night in on Friday and just stayed home and wrapped up to avoid the cold and rain and Norm built us a big cozy fire. 


We have finally finished all of the episodes of our addiction Breaking Bad and now we are watching the spin off ‘Better Call Saul’.


When we woke on Saturday morning Norm saw on the local security group that there was chaos in Hout Bay. The weather is freezing cold and damp and the people who have been displaced by the recent fire in the informal settlements were blocking the roads and hurling bricks and setting things alight to protest the fact that no progress has been made in returning them to a more permanent home. They have no electricity or water in their temporary shacks. They have to use portable toilets and communal showers. They are saying that some of the plots in the area recently cleared by the fire have been given to people who are not even on the list of original residents who were fire victims. The City of Cape Town had asked for patience while they reblocked the area but the field where they are housed is now flooding due to the recent rain. According to someone who spoke to a person at the scene, the protesters were setting up for a demonstration early Saturday morning when some guy trying to drive through swore at them for blocking the road and apparently pulled a gun. The protesters threw rocks at him and things escalated from there.


Photos sourced from the HBO group on Facebook.

We did not have to go out that morning so we stayed in, listening to the sirens and following it all on the Neighborhood Watch radio. 

Later around lunch time we heard the roads were open and Caitlin headed out to the northern suburbs to a friend’s baby shower. 

I decided to make pancakes and bacon for brunch for Norm and I. There is no stressful situation that can’t be improved by pancakes. 💕

Norm and I were booked to go out last night to one our favorite Cape Town restaurants, La Mouette. We were not sure if the road was open via the village so we took the long way out via Constantia. 

We were seated in the front room near one of their roaring fires. 

We ordered the Winter Special at R295 per person.


Norm was happy with the carafe of wine which came with the Winter Special as was I. I didn’t catch what label it was but it was a really tasty Sauvignon Blanc and wasn’t too acidic.

They served fresh homemade bread with little dishes of hummus spread, rendered beef fat and pickled onion.

The first course was the infamous cheese croquettes with a smoked aioli. These are so heavenly. The cheese is warm and liquid, the coating crispy and the aioli the perfect accompaniment to the smoky cheese filling.

The second course was Butternut Soup. It was served with a bowl of the accent flavours and the soup is then poured over the Parmesan, shiitake mushrooms, croutons and beurre noisette crumb by the waiter. The flavours all popped and it was such a gorgeous combination.


The Main Course was Roast Chicken, served with purée of root vegetables, crispy kale and triple cooked potatoes. A little pot of chicken jus was poured over at the table when it was served. This chicken was so tender it melted in your mouth.


Dessert was Beignets served warm with hazelnut praline butter and a dark chocolate sauce.

You opened the pastry and spread it with the praline cream and then dipped it in the sauce. I could have eaten a dozen of these they were light and the flavours so tasty. The meal was perfect for a cold winter night. We had a lovely evening.

When we left we reminisced about all of the parties we have attended there sitting around the lovely old fountain in the courtyard.

Driving home we decided that we would take the shortest route as we had heard the roads were all clear. However we saw lots of debris from the fires and lots of broken glass and rubbish littering the roads. As we passed by the main protest area our car started making a very odd noise, like it was dragging something. It was too dangerous to stop there so I was panicking that our tire was punctured but we kept driving. When we went over a speed bump the noise stopped. When we got home we could see nothing untoward so we are unsure what the sound was. 

We saw later that night that there was a group of 20 or so people out throwing bricks and stones in that same area where our car had issues and a guy had his side mirror knocked off his car when they tried to put a brick through his window. We were lucky we got through safely.

I woke at 3am last night and could not get back to sleep. The medication I am on for my ears makes me quite nauseous and once I was awake Navajo was making so much noise moaning and groaning I could not get back to sleep so I am rather tired today. I managed to go back to sleep at 730 but after Norm fed the dogs Panda came up and barked to get back into the bed. I love my dogs but sometimes I want to kill the wee buggars.

Today the protests started back up causing the village once again to shut down. There are only 3 routes into our village. One is shut due to landslides from our recent storms, in the protest the traffic lights were all damaged and the roads blocked on the coastal side of the village and the other was also blocked by protesters so all routes in have been compromised for two days. For those of us who have contributed to helping the victims of the recent fire by donations or financial contributions it is hard to understand. But then we have never had to sleep in a cold, damp metal box for months on end. I don’t think we ever can understand it. Our lives are worlds apart. The meal we had last night is more in cost than many people make in a day’s wages. We are part of the privileged few, educated, employed and earning a decent wage to enable us to buy our own warm, dry homes.

I hope the city now speeds up the rehousing of the fire victims, these people have suffered so much already. 

Late this morning I made brunch for me, Norm and Caitlin. I made cheesy zucchini fritters.


I made bacon and eggs and served it with avocado and rosa tomatoes.


We are now relaxing by the fire and Norm is busy on a bid for some work and Caitlin is painting her tables for her new flat. We have a busy week ahead so I’m having down time.

I wish you all a safe week ahead. 

Music & Cocktails

This weekend we really enjoyed watching Glastonbury live via our BBC iPlayer. We try to catch the key acts every year, however until this year it was only available once they were on YouTube. We can now watch real time via streaming. On Friday evening we  loved the set by The Pretenders, it is hard to believe that Chrissie Hynde is 65 years old, unlike many aged artists she has not lost any of her vocal abilities.

chrissie

We also really enjoyed Radiohead. They sound exactly the same as they always did too they just look a bit older (as do we all).

Saturday we watched some new artists and a few others, but my fave was Katy Perry. Her shows are always so fun to watch. Her dancers were dressed in all manner of silly headdresses which made it interesting. Sunday night we watched Ed Sheeran. I do love Ed Sheeran but am not a fan of his ‘rapping’. It does not sit nicely on him. I prefer his folky / pop songs.

It was freezing cold and I was wearing about 5 layers of clothes, a furry blanket and snuggling an animal or 2 while watching in front of a roaring fire. It felt funny to see people who were attending the festival in shorts and t-shirts looking hot and flustered.

Saturday I had a busy schedule. First thing that morning I had a follow up session at Skin in Hout Bay for the laser treatments I am having. It was a small area we are working on so I was in and out and back home quick sticks.

I had a bit of time before my next appointment so I made a HFLC breakfast for Norm, Caitlin and I. I added feta, cheddar and cilantro to the omelette. I love salsa even though it is not banting if store bought, but I added it to mine. The bacon was preservative free.

Norm was busy painting the pantry ceiling & Caitlin has been busy renovating some tables for her new flat so our house has a lot of painting going on. She had bought the tables on a local Facebook group where people sell off their bits and pieces of furniture and used clothing. She got them very cheap and they are solid wood. She sanded them down and is busy painting them white. She has replaced the glass tops with adorable wall tiles. Her furniture is all white, grey or blue so these will be perfect.

Cait Tables

Excuse my big boot in the pic, oops. They are not finished so this is a pic of them in the garage.

I then had an appointment at the hairdresser Saturday afternoon. My hairdresser Leandra has moved to a new venue in Cape Town city centre and I was not 100% sure where it was so I gave myself an hour to get parked and find it. I am glad I did as the street signs were very misleading. I cannot parallel park so I parked up a few blocks away from Church Street and walked down. I knew I was looking for number 66 and the street sign pointed towards the mountain for numbers below 84 so off I trudged in that direction. I got into the 1st bit of road which was quite dark as the sun was blocked by the buildings and I came face to face with a dude with his penis in his hand. I think he was having a pee, however I did not stop to find out. I crossed over to the other side of the road but he had already seen me and he shouted out to me and waved his willy in my general direction, looking rather disappointed that I was not keen on a close up. This was rather frightening as we were the only 2 people anywhere to be seen. If he had pursued me I would have been in a spot of bother. I kept moving quickly and he went off in the direction I had just come from and so we went our separate ways. I got to the main road and realised that I had ran out of buildings and was obviously going the wrong way, so I turned around and headed back in the direction I had come from but luckily he had moved out of sight.

Eventually I found the spot for the new salon and climbed upstairs and settled in.

 

I had my hair coloured and trimmed and then I offered the hairdressers assistant Thembi a lift home. Thembi shared with me that she is so excited that her daughter was coming soon for a visit. She has been living in the Eastern Cape with her grandfather and aunts. She had been getting in with a bad crowd when living here in Cape Town and so Thembi sent her off to school there. It is so hard for parents who work to keep an eye on their teens and all it takes is getting in with a bad crowd and then there is trouble. We discussed how her kids have been so much more privileged than she was growing up and how they take this for granted. I think if you have never been hungry, you cannot conceptualise it or appreciate how blessed you are to not have to worry about your next meal.

Norm and I had a date night on Saturday and went out for dinner to Papino’s which is one of our faves in the winter. They had a roaring fire and it was nice and cosy.


We both ordered our usual, the Hollandse Biefstuk which is a pan-fried beef fillet with mushrooms flambéed with brandy at R172. We had Portuguese chips with it which are like thick home made potato chips (or crisps to you brits.) We shared an order of their fried mushrooms.

We even had a bit of dessert and squeezed in a cheeky Malva pudding. Described as ‘Served Home-made, warm Cape pudding served with vanilla ice-cream or cream’ it costs R45.

On Sunday while Norm was continuing working on painting the kitchen I lazed about and finished the last few episodes of OITNB which left me emotional and wound up so I then watched a couple of films while slow cooking a pot roast for dinner that evening. I picked random films I thought would not interest Norm as I prefer to save those we both are keen on to watch together.

First I watched Brain on Fire which is based on a real life event.

brain on fire

It was pretty good, if a bit intense. I give it 3.5 Kitten Stars.

Next I watched Captain Fantastic just because I was intrigued by the cover pic.

capn fantastic

I did not even look at the cast list beforehand and I only realised the lead was played by Viggo Mortensen when he shaved his beard about 3/4 of the way through the film as he is thin as a whippet in this film and far from his usual handsome self. I really loved this movie. I laughed out loud, I sobbed with heartbreak and I sat amazed and breathless. It was riveting and very emotionally gut-wrenching.

I give it a full 5 Kitten Stars.

Once Norm finished painting he joined me in the lounge and he built us a big cosy fire.

By then my beef roast was ready.

I had cooked carrots in the sauce with the roast and to go with it I steamed broccoli and made fondant sweet potatoes. It was rather delicious if I say so myself.

The following night I started our dinner before Vanessa arrived to do my pedicure to save a bit of time later. I cleaned the fat layer off of the roast from the previous night and shredded the meat, chopped the carrots and put it with the sauce from the pot roast into a casserole dish and heated it in the oven. Norm peeled and thinly sliced the remainder of the sweet potatoes and layered with cream and mozzarella cheese and we baked this too. It was delicious and perfect for a cold night.

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It even stretched until lunch on Tuesday!

Monday morning I had an appointment to see the ENT specialist my GP had recommended. She is in the new Christian Barnard Hospital at the foreshore so I walked over from my office. It is about a 10 minute walk so was very easy. The new hospital is stunning, bright and clean. I hope it stays that way.

I liked the ENT. She was very approachable and seemed to find me funny. She did an ultrasound check of my ears and discovered my middle ear is full of fluid. She sprayed a bit of anaesthetic up my nose followed by a scope and discovered I have a deviated septum. She could see the scar tissue from all of my childhood issues with my ears. I missed so much school as a child due to chronic ear infections. She also noted the scarring of my oesophagus from acid reflux. It was like a psychic doctor asking about stuff from my past which I had not mentioned. She has given me a list of things to do twice a day. First I have to wash out my sinuses with a salt water solution, followed by a nasal spray to open my sinuses, then turn my head upside down and drop in a steroid and antibiotic mix which is actually eye drops. Then I must do the Valsalva manoeuvre. The Valsalva manoeuvre is performed by moderately forceful attempted exhalation against a closed airway, usually done by closing one’s mouth, pinching one’s nose shut while pressing out as if blowing up a balloon.

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All of this will be done twice a day for 2 weeks and then I must go back to see if it is resolved. It is a mission and rather awkward to achieve in the mornings before work as I leave so early.

After work last night we were invited to a cocktails evening at Retha’s. She has a friend Jennifer who is working on the yachts in Europe who wanted to practice her cocktail skills. Here is our lovely bartender with a round of cosmos.

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I was willing to be a guinea pig as I love cocktails.


We got to choose a few different cocktails for Jennifer to make and I asked for a pina colada. They were divine!


She made a few different ones. I am not a fan of mint so I skipped the mojito round.

We had been nibbling on cheese and nuts and homemade bread but eventually we decided we needed proper food and we ordered Thai food on OrderIn.

We ended the night on a round of chili chocolate tequila drinks.

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It was so delicious.

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Dunno what Norm is up to in the background? Trying to drag me off home most likely as he was driving and not cocktailing.

We did not stay late but all those different cocktails meant I suffered a bit on Wednesday morning. But it was worth it as it was a fun evening.

I have a few fun events coming up this weekend. We are going to the winter warmer special at La Mouette on Saturday so I am very excited about that.

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It is one of our favourite restaurants in all of Cape Town.

Sunday I have a drum circle to attend. I have booked to attend a workshop late July to make my own drum which I am so excited about. I have asked for a hartebeest skin rather than a goat skin as the colour is much richer. I thank the animal who shall give his skin to my drum.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and weekend. Much love.