Vintage Shadows

As lovely as a long weekend is, it seems to take a week to get your internal calendar back on track. Norm and I had decided to also try to get back on track with living a low carb life again after Easter and on my first day back at work Norm welcomed me home with a delicious low carb dinner. He wrapped chicken breasts in bacon, roasted sweet potatoes and steamed gem squash and baby broccoli. We added cheddar to the gem squash and sprinkled it onto the broccoli to increase the fat content.

On Thursday he baked a pork fillet and mushrooms in teriyaki, roasted broccoli, zucchini and green beans and steamed a gem squash to go with it.

On Wednesday night Norm and I booked to go and see his ex-colleague Mae Sithole perform at Cafe Roux in Cape Town city center. It is our fave music venue. They insist that the audience give the artists silence and the respect that they deserve. I detest people chatting when watching live music.

We arrived at the venue just after 7 as we intended to have dinner there.

I ordered the braised chicken fillet with mushroom sauce and steamed vegetables at R120 and it was really tasty! The chicken was tender, the sauce delicious and plentiful and the vegetables were al dente.

Norm ordered the tagliata: seared beef sirloin with rocket, roasted baby tomatoes, garlic, chilli, toasted pine nuts & parmesan shavings for R145.

We both were really happy with our meals and pleased that there were low carb options available.

Mae came on stage just after 8:30ish. She was supposed to be joined by her brother but he did not make it to Cape Town in time and so Mae brought several friends on stage to play with her instead.

First Mae had a musician called Mapumba who is originally from the DRC come up to join her. Mapumba had a lovely deep voice which sounded wonderful combined with Mae’s.

I found a clip of Mapumba performing to let you experience his voice.

The other artist she brought on with her was a guy called Nick Turner.

Nick and Mae also sounded great together. They sang a few tracks. I’ve posted the only video I can find of Nick performing in English but it has the whole album not just the tracks he did with Mae, so enjoy!

We had a great evening. The last song was one of my favorite songs that Mae does and Mapumba jumped in with a brilliant sort of reggae vibe and they rocked the house! I was almost crippled from dancing but it was worth all the knee pain! I do love this song.

In my last few blogs I have been discussing the dramas with getting refunded for Sam Smith’s cancelled concert and my refund finally came through this week. I saw that Sam also cancelled his appearance at the Billboard Awards so his injury must be quite serious. I hope he recovers with no permanent damage.

Speaking of damage, after more than a year of intermittent droughts in South Africa, several areas have been subjected to flooding. News24 reported: “The death toll in KwaZulu-Natal as a result of heavy rains and flooding this week has risen to 70, acting Premier Sihle Zikalala announced on Thursday morning.

At a media briefing on Thursday, Zikalala began by thanking government, communities and all those who have offered support in the aftermath of the devastating floods.”

Beaufort West has been suffering dreadfully due to ongoing drought and had a bit of relief this week with heavy rainfall, however it is not enough to break the drought or fill the dams to sufficient levels.

Climate change is having a severe effect globally, if only our governments gave a damn.

Speaking of ineffective governing, we woke to another service delivery protest in Hout Bay on Friday morning.

My drive to work was through the area protesting but this time the police were on site managing the commuter’s safe passage through. The residents in Mitchell’s Plain were not as lucky. “A protest in the Siqalo informal settlement in Mitchells Plain turned violent on Friday morning and roads had to be closed, said the City of Cape Town’s law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason.

Significant damage to electrical infrastracture was done. One transformer, two distribution kiosks and one pole feeder cable were set alight and destroyed.”

We heard that commuters were being pulled from their cars by the protestors.

Approximately 150 of the Hout Bay protestors returned to the township and marched to Dontse Yahke and started staking out areas of land in the environmentally protected area. The land removal authority had to go to court to get authorization to remove any structures built but I had heard that there were no shacks built, only marked out in preparation for building. The saga is ongoing around this area.

In addition to the protests, there were several busses set alight in Cape Town. A golden arrow bus was set alight as well as a MyCiTi bus that was heading into the city centre on Nelson Mandela Boulevard also caught fire. As with the train fires mentioned in a previous blog, it is the taxi services who stand to benefit the most from these situations as it results in more passengers for them if the other means of public transport are put out of commission.

SA has an election coming up very soon. I read this week that out of the top 20 best-performing municipalities in SA, 15 are run by the DA. This is according to Good Governance Africa’s 2019 ranking of municipal performance.

I hope the DA retain power in the Western Cape, as they seem to be far less corrupt than the ANC. Of course, that bar is not set very high!

On Friday evening Norm attended a charity dinner at the British Consulate’s residence so I was flying solo as it was a Rugby event and was R1000 a ticket so I decided to give it a miss.

For my dinner I ordered sushi from K1 in Hout Bay. I tried to keep my choices to items with minimal rice but failed somewhat, but at least it wasn’t all rice filled choices. I had a few new choices, one was called Butterfly, this was salmon wrapped around steamed prawns and cucumber. I also had Salmon cocktail which I did not expect to contain rice based on the picture on the menu but was basically a rice ball topped with a sliver of salmon. I will have Butterfly again but not the Salmon cocktail. I also had my usual crab salad and salmon roses.

I enjoyed it very much, rice included.

On Saturday we were up early, Norm was on a business call and I sat outside with the pups waiting for him. My wrap was a gift from Josh and the necklace was a gift from his Mom Jackie. They match perfectly don’t you think? #DressedByDavidsons

We went on a road trip to the Vintage Ideas Market held at the Simondium Country Lodge near Paarl.

Our friends Mel and Cyril had a stall there for their Potted Up business. They up-cycle containers found in waste management facilities or bought from charity shops or garage sales, thereby turning other people’s discarded items into beautiful water wise pieces of art for decorating your home or garden.

There were so many stunning items to choose from that I struggled to choose just one, but I finally decided on this one.

I absolutely adore it! It looks lovely on my porch with my other pots.

We ran into my friend Bronwyn who was there with her sister in laws and some other friends and we all found a cool spot on the veranda and settled in with a drink.

We were starving and so we ordered lunch. Norm and I derailed on the low carb plan and had pulled pork sandwiches with chips. I only ate half my roll if that gives me any credit in the willpower department? No? Oh well, it was yummy!

We spent several hours there chatting and drinking and having a laugh, all in all a lovely afternoon! We finally left about 4:30 and headed home.

We saw the Franschhoek wine tram tootling along next to us while driving home.

That is still on our to do list! It looks like so much fun.

We took well over two hours to get home as there were three major traffic jams on our journey home. One was due to a truck rolling over.

We saw three car crashes on our route, but the other two were not impacting traffic, so we were unsure what caused the other traffic jams but the roads around Cape Town were all chocka!

We had a quiet night in as I was knackered from the heat (and the 3 vodkas I consumed on the veranda!)

We watched the end of series 3 of Outlander and there are only 3 series available on SA Netflix and I’m so upset it’s over! I loved it. I hope the remaining season becomes available here.

We started watching a new series called Shadowhunters which is like a modern version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer with more attractive actors and a bit of technology thrown in. I’m enjoying it so far even though it is a wee bit cheesy. But I love anything with demons, vampires or angels in it.

Today I had drum circle. It was our first circle held at Gerri’s new house in Marina da Gama. I am directionally challenged and was worried about finding it but I had no issues getting there. Gerri’s new home is so lovely!

We had a soul nourishing day drumming on the communal drum.

We even learned a new song. It is a tricky one, but the chorus is easy.

After drumming I was ravenous and Norm was working so I popped into Allegria Cafe in Hout Bay for an omelette. It had Emmental cheese, bacon and caramelized onions.

It was just what I needed and was high fat and low carb. It was cooked perfectly.

Tonight we chose Indian Oven for a takeaway as they do not use flour in their sauces and they do cauliflower rice. I ordered prawn curry and Norm and I shared saag paneer and cauliflower rice.

It looks lovely but it wasn’t. The prawns tasted quite rubbery, like they thawed frozen prawns in the microwave. The spinach had way too much pepper. It was rather disappointing and I give it 2 Kitten Stars.

We have a few fun things on our calendar over the next few months. We are attending the opera iCapuleti e I Montecchi in May and we also booked to see Kinky Boots at The Fugard in June.

It is Josh’s birthday as well as Caitlin’s birthday in May. Cait’s is on the same day as Mother’s Day and Lily is coming down for a wedding the following weekend so we will all go out for dinner to celebrate then. Norm also booked for me to fly to George to see Trevor as it is Trevor’s birthday in June.

I love having things to look forward to. It gets me through the monotony of every day life.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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The Path of Peace

This was my first week back at work after my month off and it was a challenge to get back into a routine. On Monday I had a full day workshop on Data Modeling, on Thursday I attended a DAMA Conference and today I had a presentation to a potential new client and had to drive to Stellenbosch so at least I had a break from the usual monotony of being desk bound for 8 hours a day.

Last Thursday I finally bowed to pressure (pun intended) and went to the doctor and the chiropractor about the headaches I have been having for weeks. My GP told me I had a sinus infection and that my neck was out of alignment. He subscribed antibiotics and muscle relaxers.

I popped into Allegria Cafe and Life for a bite to eat after seeing the doc. I had the chicken salad with avocado and it was delicious.

I saw the chiropractor later that same afternoon but after a day or two of no pain my headaches returned and I ended up going back to the chiropractor again yesterday morning.

That day I shopped for food while waiting on my prescriptions to be filled and so on Thursday night I cooked for a change. I was surprised I hadn’t forgotten how! I roasted a pork fillet in a spicy plum sauce, and to go with it I made roast sweet potatoes, mushrooms and fried red cabbage in butter and balsamic.

It was rather delicious if I say so myself.

I had a lovely last weekend to round off my holiday.

On last Friday morning I went to Blue Route Mall to return some items, finish my last bits of Christmas shopping and pick up something for Lily’s birthday. After shopping I went to Jakura for lunch and had their crispy chili beef. It was delicious and spicy.

They also do yummy sushi and have one of the fun conveyor belts with the sushi on it. I don’t know why but that makes it taste better.

On Friday evening Norm and I had planned to go out for dinner but it had started pouring with rain, the windows were rattling like mad and the sky was really cloudy and misty so we decided to rather stay in.

Norm went down to the village to pick up a curry from The Indian Oven.

I had butter chicken and we shared saag aloo and cauliflower rice. It was OK but I have found their food is not as special as it used to be. I used to love their curry with prawns but the prawns now taste plastic and frozen so I moved to chicken dishes instead, but I invariably find a bit of cartilage or bone in my food which is very off putting. But of the options for curry in Hout Bay this is the best of the lot.

Last Saturday morning we had a lie in and then I made eggs baked in half an avocado and topped with cheese and bacon to go with them.

I found the avo to be a bit bitter when warmed but Norm loved them.

Saturday evening Caitlin popped by and we had our friends Mel and Cyril round for drinks and snacks.

We had a lovely night laughing and telling stories about all sorts. It was a relaxing night and stress free as we just did snacks so I wasn’t running around messing about with food.

On Sunday I had planned to go drumming in the morning but I only woke at 9.30 and it was too late to get there so we had another long lie in bed.

Later in the afternoon we went to La Parada at Constantia Nek to meet friends. They have live music on Sundays and it is heaving. Sharon had organized it and invited several others. Her friend Walter was there.

He managed to knock over 3 different glasses which had us all dodging liquids. Oops.

Our friend Delia was there as well.

We had a giggle about Delia being a mom of 5 yet she struggled to convince the bouncers she was of legal age. She is such a cutie and she is such a nice person as well.

Sharon and I had a good natter, it was lovely to see her. She is such a kind person.

We all ordered tapas to eat. Norm and Delia had the tuna tataki and I had the grilled calamari.

I also had the prawn croquettes.

The calamari was lovely but the prawn croquettes were overly cheesy and did not seem to contain much in the way of prawns at all. They also tasted a bit doughy. I won’t recommend those. The tuna tataki looked divine.

We had some German tourists sitting at the same table and I spent a lot of time chatting to Heloise who was sat next to me. She and I instantly bonded. She said to me that she felt like I ‘was a drummer whose heart was in rhythm with hers’. I hadn’t told her I was a drummer and that freaked me out a wee bit! We talked about spirituality and our pasts and beliefs and she said that I healed her with some of the things I said. I told her that I have been told I am a healer, I just do not know how to apply these alleged skills. Another friend told me that just my energy can heal people. I don’t question it, I just let it flow if I am speaking to someone on that topic. If spirit sends me a message I speak it and try to be a conduit and not block it by trying to be rational.

It was a latish end for a school night but Norm and I went home and relaxed a bit after. I managed to stay awake for my workshop the next day so it is all good.

Norm cooked a few nights this week. One night he stuffed chicken breasts with cranberry and cheddar cheese. He served with roast sweet potatoes and vegetables.

Another night he made spaghetti bolognaise with low carb noodles and topped it all with cheese.

Together one evening we cooked fillet steaks with spinach pureed with mature cheddar cheese and served it with roast vegetables.

My friend Cyril said that the spinach looked like a frog about to jump, I agree that it does! I am glad he didn’t say that before I ate it or it would have put me off.

This weekend we were supposed to have my kids here for a late Christmas lunch and to exchange gifts, however this has been a week full of sadness in that two of Caitlin and Lily’s girlfriends’ fathers passed away and one of Wes’ friends also lost his father. Touched by 3 deaths in one week. I pray for peace for their families.

I woke to an interesting message from a friend today who is a medium and psychic. A friend who passed away a few years ago came through to my psychic friend to tell her that ‘my Native American rituals’ (I assume he meant my drumming and prayers) has meant that he can no longer communicate to me. She said he was very dramatic and she even named him so there is no doubt who it is. I found it interesting that prayer has blocked him from communicating with me. I wonder what that means?

I know that I have a lot of peace when I drum and I feel very close to my ancestors and nature. I hope my friend finds the peace which still seems to elude him much as it did in life.

Caitlin popped around this afternoon to get her presents. She liked her presents and the kids gave Norm a lovely shirt and they gave me a gorgeous mermaid blanket. I love it so much!

We had sushi for dinner from K1.

It was so yummy.

I am off to the hairdresser early tomorrow and then we are going to a friend’s leaving party in the afternoon. We had a huge rainstorm today and as much as we need the rain I hope it clears tomorrow as the party venue is outside at the beach.

Either way it will be what it will be!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x

UTC 2 UCT

This week has disappeared in a blink of an eye. I guess the new project means we don’t have any time to waste and as we are focusing so intensely the days pass quickly. I have so many gaps in info from the client but I need to leave time to document it all so it’s a balancing act to take time to obtain the info and still leave time to knock it into a decent deliverable.

I had a ditzy moment last week when I set up my new client email account and was then confused when someone sent a meeting request for a slot in the past. The client heard the discussion with my colleague when I said I set my time zone to “UTC” time. The client pointed out I’m at UCT not UTC and that UTC stands for Coordinated Universal Time, not the actual University where I was. I felt a right eejit.

Then I realized that why I keep saying UTC instead of UCT is that I grew up near Chattanooga which is where University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is located. No wonder my brain gets dyslexic.

On Monday Norm only got to the shops after I got home so it was quite late and he wanted something quick and easy so he just grabbed some fish cakes and veg. He stir fried the veg and baked the fish cakes. He made fresh cole slaw to go with it.

Norm has also been busy with work. Not having a car has been awkward for him. On Tuesday he has both Cordelia and Mzudumo here working. Cordelia gets paid monthly so that is no issue but Mzudumo is paid daily as he only comes once a week. In addition to the cash Norm also has to come up with lunch for them both. He usually nips out to the bank and gets them chicken to cook or a pie and chips or something but this week he managed to put together a big plate of bits and pieces from fish cakes to left over veg so he coped without shopping. However he needed to get to the ATM so he trotted off to the closest shops with Navajo. It’s not very safe walking on our roads but Navajo is a great guard dog. Norm just had to make a plan and so he braved it.

On Wednesday we heard that there were some traffic issues near the circle and then we heard that the police station was shut. Eventually we heard that a policeman who was on duty had killed his wife then shot himself. So sad! I hope they did not leave any children behind as that would be so heartbreaking for the kids to lose both parents to such violence. RIP to them both, I assume the husband had to be mentally ill to do such a thing. Once again women are treated as property of their partner, with him feeling he has the right to do as he wishes.

That day we also heard that there had been a second bus fire. This time it was in Khayelitsha. If the buses are not being torched then the trains are! It is a nightmare in SA if you do not drive and have your own car.

Wednesday Norm was trying to piece together dinner from our almost bare cupboards. He had chicken and mushrooms and carrots. He opened the chicken to find it was off. As he had already chopped the vegetables he decided to pop down to get chicken rather than scrap it all for a takeaway. He bought noodles and a sauce and it was yummy.

One night we had takeaways from Spiro’s but I did not snap a pic. I had yummy little crispy squids. Norm had chicken souvlaki.

This week we discovered Norm’s visa runs out on Christmas Day. We toyed with the idea of going to see my Mom for Christmas but the flights were R40k so that’s impossible at this point. Norm will pop into the UK on his own sometime before the end of the year. It’s so annoying that we have to keep doing this while they mess him around.

I also received a text message that my drivers license is ready. Three messages in fact. The problem was that message 2 came hours before message 3 which came hours before message 1 so it was illegible nonsense.

Luckily I managed to decipher it once the other messages arrived. I’ll pop by next week to collect it. Dreadful prison faced photo and all. 🙄

Speaking of an inability to manage communications, I’ve had weeks of harassment by my bank, FNB. The law has changed so as an American citizen I have to submit a tax return, even though I’ve not earned there in 30 years. Not only that I have to go back and submit for several other years. What a waste of money for me to pay a US tax man to file just to confirm that with the exchange rate my salary is below the level which mandates filing. Nonsense.

Anyway the bank is sending me emails and text messages over and over telling me to complete the forms they sent me which I filled in and returned last week. I finally emailed to complain and they tell me I did not submit a different form! Nightmare.

This week I ordered lunch from Tigers Milk via OrderIn. First my order was ‘stuck’ for 20 minutes and finally the restaurant picked up the order. That is the one good thing is you can track it each step. Eventually it arrived. I had ordered taquitos. They were described on the menu as ‘TAQUITOS | (V) Crunchy tortilla fingers filled with nacho cheese sauce, guacamole, refried beans, sour cream and Pico de Gallo”

I lived in LA so I know my Mexican food. I expected something like

->See sexy tacquitos <-.

Instead I got this globby, cold, gooey mess:

The FLOUR tortillas were filled with microscopic amounts of cheese and not even heated, just rolled up and then the toppings were thrown on top. I expected them to be separate. Like fajitas. Or lightly on top of CRISPY corn tortillas. The dish was very sour, I’m not sure what that was about. I barely ate it. It really was exceptionally revolting. There was nothing nice about this dish.

It was a gorgeous evening on Friday and after I got in from my appointment at the chiropractor I sat on the balcony upstairs by my bedroom.

Norm and I fancied some live music and a bit of a night out. We knew there was music on at The Lookout Deck on Friday evenings so we went there once the dogs were walked and fed. They had a duo performing which we had not heard before.

They sang some very cool songs, but did not always get the right key. But they did ok. It was so beautiful there as the sun was setting.

We had seats right by the harbour.

I ordered a vodka with passion fruit cordial and lemonade. At home I have soda but when out I hesitate to order with soda as some places are light on the passion fruit and it’s too vodka-y for me. Our waiter says ‘that’s like a sweety’ and I wanted to tell him to bring my drink and hold the sass. Cheeky fuck. Annnyyywayy.

I fancied a bit of Sushi and ordered my usual salmon roses.

The salmon was fresh and tender. It was excellent.

I had ordered a prawn and avo starter but they were out of breaded prawns (which means they are frozen 🙄). I changed to the starter portion of fish cakes and ordered chips to go with them.

Norm chose the fish and chips.

We did not stay too late, we had another drink then headed home. We are such home bodies.

We have started a new series we are both really enjoying called ‘The Last Kingdom‘.

I love the visuals, the costumes are absolutely amazing. I tried to find the designer but googling just brought back a load of geeks moaning that the costumes were not authentic because there was insufficient embroidery on the tunics, or their swords were the wrong length, or the helmets were the wrong time frame. Give me a break. They were a visual treat full of fur, leather, chain mail, and all manner of interesting designs. I loved them! But I guess to a history nerd it would be as annoying as it is to me when medical shows do silly things like have a patient on a spinal board sitting up. To each their own bĂŞte noire.

On Saturday Norm and I left home at 10.30am and headed off to collect some fresh pastries from Martins Bakery.

We then headed over to Caitlin’s flat. We bought Banting pie and rolls, croissants, muffins, fresh milk for coffees and ham for the croissants. Caitlin put out cheeses, jams, butter and other bits and made us all coffees. Her friend Carmel was down from Johannesburg so it was nice to see her. After she left Norm got busy on his handyman duties. He put up a smoke detector.

He hung up 3 photographs and two mirrors in her bedroom.

The cats kept a close eye on things.

After he finished what she needed done we headed off to Constantia to the shops. We then came home to drop our shopping.

Around 4pm we headed out to Zur Holzbucht to pop in and have a drink to celebrate my friend Annie’s birthday.

There were a few people there whom we already knew and we met a few other interesting people. It was a lovely sunny day and we were seated out in the beer garden.

It was an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. Everyone was quite merry.

Things escalated quite rapidly.

We did not want to get stuck hanging around too long as that leads inevitably to drinking too many and Norm was driving. Later we heard there was a roadblock with a breathalyzer so I’m glad we were sensible.

We popped into the Indian Oven for a Curry on our way home.

We had saag aloo (aka spinach and potato), spinach bajees, cauliflower rice, naan bread and poppadoms. I had butter chicken and Norm had chicken korma. It was delicious.

We had a quiet night in and watched a few more episodes of The Last Kingdom.

Norm made us brunch today once we finally got out of bed.

He made cheesy scrambled eggs & bacon, he served it with some avocado and tomatoes.

We have had a somewhat lazy day with me doing admin, playing games and blogging and Norm has been working. I wanted to do some gardening (aka poking about in my pots) but it’s really warm outside so I’m lying low inside where it’s cool.

We just passed the halfway mark on the project so this week will be plugging our knowledge gaps and getting our deliverables finished and reviewed. Wish me strength as I think I’ll need it!

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxo

Launch of the Season

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

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

haralds.jpg

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

haralds clouds.jpg

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

tamarin

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

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

spagbol

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

cement truck

Photo credit.

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

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

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

We started with a shared order of Spinach bhajees.

indian oven starters.jpg

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

curry.jpg

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

dogs cute.jpg

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

It is such a stunning drive.

chiro view.jpg

We were lucky with the traffic and arrived early.

me pix chiro.jpg

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

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

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

1682 me janine.jpg

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

1682 nic janine.jpg

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

Oops.

We forgave her.

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

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

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

1682 calamari.jpg

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

1682 salad.jpg

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

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

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

It was divine!!

Whatever it was.

1682 dessert.jpg

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

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

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

fish

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

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

Left pic is after, upper right before.

stylitzia.jpg

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

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

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

pups at delish.jpg

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

delish me.jpg

Norm opted for breakfast.

delish norm.jpg

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

delish pie.jpg

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

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

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

steak.jpg

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

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

Festivities & Feathers

There is nothing quite like a birthday to make you feel special. Sunday was my actual birthday but I had a lovely celebratory weekend with time spent with my husband, my daughters and their fellas as well as a girly morning with my bestie and my daughters. My only regret was that my son and his partner Amber could not come down but Amber has been working away and only got home this weekend. Hopefully I can see them soon.

We started off on Saturday at Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia. It is a stunning relatively new wine farm with both a wine tasting venue as well as a restaurant.


Caitlin’s beau Wesley joined us.


Josh had a business meeting in Simon’s Town and by the time he arrived back to Hout Bay we were finished and he missed our lunch.

Aren’t my daughters gorgeous?


The view is stunning from the vineyard, it looks out across the valley.

The way it works is that you pair up for Tapas for Two for R650 for the full menu. The Menu for Saturday is below, it changes depending on what is fresh and available locally but you cannot make choices – you get what is on the menu.

The food arrives in 3 servings as shown in the groupings below.


The first set of dishes all arrived at the same time.

The tuna was very tasty in this dish – there was a strong cumin flavour, but I love cumin. A lot of the dishes throughout the day contained cumin. I really liked this dish it was fresh but had a deep earthy taste.

Out of the first round of dishes, most of us preferred the skirt steak with the soft taco, it was my fave for sure. The steak was tender and the spices came through nicely.

The linefish sashimi dish had a strong vinegar taste from the pickling so was a bit too tart for a few of us but the fish was very tender and melted in your mouth.

Then after they cleared away the first round of plates, the 2nd serving arrived, a risotto and a tart. I was not looking forward to either as I detest pears and am so-so about risotto. But I was very pleasantly surprised as both of these dishes were delicious and the tart was so pretty with the edible flowers decorating it.

The risotto was perfectly cooked and creamy in texture, the little cheese croquettes were divine. I loved the crispy kale and the leeks were nice and soft but full of flavour.

The pastry on the tart was light and flaky and still crisp (I hate soggy pastry). The pears were soft and full of the flavours they were cooked in, the cheese and the pears were a gorgeous combination.

The third set of dishes arrived after they cleared the 2nd round of plates and gave us a few minutes to recover.

The fish was stunning, I think the nuts were a wee bit overpowering for the delicate fish. But it was nice and the fish was cooked perfectly.

I do not usually eat lamb as it is too fatty and too gamey for me, but I did taste the lamb rib tapas and it was nice. The flavours were lovely and the meat tender, it was just too fatty for my personal taste. The blokes loved this dish and they had all 3 of our portions to share between them.

The Blesbok was divine, tender and moist. I enjoyed this dish a lot. I loved the black garlic cream.


As it was a special lunch several of us ordered dessert.

I ordered the bon bons.

They were all very complicated flavour combinations. Here is the list of fillings.

bonbons.jpg

Norm and Wes both had the ice cream which came with a delicious slab of honeycomb. I love honeycomb but the ice cream sounded too complicated to me.

I thought the day was fabulous, the venue stunning, the service excellent, but I did find the food a wee bit pretentious. If I compare this meal to a meal from Foxcroft, just a few miles up the road, I would prefer Foxcroft. I also prefer Cheyne’s. However this venue gets extra points for the venue and view.

All in all I give Chef’s Warehouse 4.5 Kitten Stars.

We went home to digest and relax for the rest of the afternoon. Norm had a little snooze before he had to take the dogs for their walk. Caitlin and Wes had gone to visit his Grandmother who was having her 80th birthday celebration. Lily and I started watching a sweet little show called Atypical.

atypical.jpg

It is predominately about Sam, a young lad who is on the autism spectrum. However it also touches on so many other family dynamics. I love Jennifer Jason Lee, I think she plays a great role in this series.

Later on in the evening we all started getting a bit peckish so we ordered sushi from K1 Sushi in Hout Bay.

It was fresh and lovely. I had salmon roses (as always) and bamboo rolls topped with prawn.

On Sunday, my actual birthday, the girls and I got up early as we had booked to go to Clay Cafe in Hout Bay. My bestie Retha came to meet us.

They have a lovely venue at Clay Cafe where you can go to paint pottery. There is a playground for the kiddies and they do meals or pastries. It is a large warehouse with lots of tables.

clay cafe venue.JPG

You choose your paint colours and your accent colours and the piece of pottery you want to paint. We chose 6 plates and 1 coffee mug for us all to paint.

First we all had breakfast. They serve their eggs benedict on a slice of sweet potato instead of a muffin or bread so it was low carb yet delicious. My eggs were perfectly cooked.

clay cafe eggs benedict.JPG

Then after we finished our food we got stuck into painting. Your table has a number and you all paint it on the bottom so they know which item relates to which order when you come to collect it after they fire it in the kiln.

The girls are so artistic.

We had such fun.


Retha is a painting machine, she can usually do 2 items to my one item!

Caitlin painted a coffee cup for me, I chose the slogan to remind me to stay in the present.

I chose the colours turquoise, yellow and white for my 6 plates, I hoped to match my kitchen. I chose the theme of feathers to go with my Native American background. We all painted our own interpretations of feathers.

The top plate is a pic of Lily’s and the bottom 2 are mine. I chose 3 feathers in one of the plates I painted. This was to represent me and my 2 mini-me daughters. And yes I know those feathers look more like fish bones than feathers. Like many things, I love to paint but have rubbish skills.

Much like my photography.


And in this pic Caitlin’s plate is at the top and Retha’s 2 are at the bottom. I find it interesting that Retha and I did very similar drawings without referring to each other.

After we finished painting Retha headed off and the girls and I all had a slice of cake to celebrate my birthday. 

It was very moist and rather divine.

Josh came to collect Lily and they headed off home to Mossel Bay around 12.30. Caitlin dropped me at home and then went over to her flat to work on her renovations. Her new floors are being laid this week so she needs to get the ceilings and walls done.

When I walked in to our house I had a big bouquet of my favourite flowers and a mystery box awaiting me.

I ripped open the box to find that Norm had bought me the metal pig I had been coveting for months.

Then Norm and I just relaxed for a bit as it was a stunning sunny day. I sat by the pool in the shade and thought about how sad it makes me to leave this house.

pool.JPG

Later in the afternoon we drove over the mountain to Noordhoek to view some show houses. One of them was perfect for us on paper, but as we arrived in Noordhoek the agent rang to say they had just received a cash offer from a UK buyer and the house was pretty much off the market.

I was sad for a moment but then I refocused myself and thought that what is meant to be will be and got over it. We then saw a different house which we both loved that was on show. All it needs is a pool to be perfect and there is space to put one in. It has a large garden for the dogs. It’s all on one level. It is in our price range but I do not think I can bear the drive in each day to the city. It would add up to 2 hours MORE commute time to my day. I would be able to walk to the beach from the house but there is no view of the sea. If I am going to drive that far every day I want to come home to a stunning sea view.

We circled around the city and viewed a few houses in Tokai and Constantia. I saw one I loved but Norm thought it was poorly built. He called it Mr Bodgit’s house. So that is a no. He is very keen on the Noordhoek home but he does not have to commute as he works from home or he travels to the client.

This weekend we are going to explore the northern suburbs as houses are much cheaper there and I can take the bus into work.

We finished off my birthday by going for dinner at our fave Indian restaurant The Indian Oven. It was a lovely relaxed birthday weekend. I felt very blessed.

I have a lovely family.

Last night Norm shopped and started dinner and then I finished it as he had a work call. We baked chicken breasts and aubergines and steamed some broccoli. For a sauce over the chicken I fried some sliced mushrooms in butter, then removed them from the pan and fried some baby spinach and then pureed it. I added the sliced mushrooms back to the pan as well as a handful of cheddar cheese and a large dollop of fromage frais and gave it a good mix together. It was rather delicious.

spinach dinner.jpg

I have been rather sporadic with my low carb lifestyle for a few months and as a result have put about 4 kgs of weight back on. My knees are killing me and my legs feel full of fluid so I need to get back onto the low carb track.

Dinner tonight was ‘noodles’ made out of spinach topped with bolognaise.  All low carb, high fat. 


So far so good this week.

Wish me luck though, this kitten has no willpower at all.

Kisses from the Birthday Kitten. xoxoxoxo

Weekend at Woodies

The last few weeks have been riddled with chaos and filled with both natural and unnatural disasters both near and far.

Terrorism and the alt-right hate groups kicked off on Saturday the 21st in my home country, the USA. There was an alt-right rally in Charlottesville Virginia which resulted in a battle between the good guys and the bad guys (i.e. Nazis, skinheads and your generic racists). This resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, murdered in another of the cowardly ‘murder by automobile’ incidents which are becoming so prevalent.

We then heard about the same thing happening in Barcelona on Thursday, this time a multi-pronged Islamic extremist attack resulting in 14 deaths as per the last article I saw. This was well planned and had many different terrorists involved. The most deaths occurred again when a van drove into a crowded pedestrian area and mowed down loads of innocent people.

These acts of cowardice and hatred sicken me.

We then heard about the floods in Sierra Leone and that over 400 people have died, many bodies have not been found and some of those who were found were never identified and were dumped into a mass grave.

Again another flood occurred in India where almost 300 people are dead or missing.

Yet millions of people do not believe in Global Warming?

The levels of ignorance astound me.

However the most revolting news item in SA is the story of the group of cannibals who have been discovered in Durban. The case is still under investigation so they are not sure if it was a ritual or what the hell is going on.

The mind boggles.

It has been rather chaotic closer to home as well.

Tuesday there were protests  over the re-blocking which the city is supposed to be doing in the township where the fires were months ago. The progress is very slow and the victims of the fire are still living with no electricity in tiny homes which keep flooding when it rains. Their protests were at least directed to the government and the appropriate people this time instead of towards the other residents of Hout Bay as they have been in the past!

reblocking protest

After I got to work on Friday Norm messaged me to say that there were more protests going on, this time in Hout Bay by the harbour area of town. The protests were regarding lack of service delivery in Hangberg, one of the townships in Hout Bay.

Image credit. Image Credit.

The police started using stun grenades to push back the protesters. The protesters blocked the roads and stopped people moving about the harbour. They tried to charge tolls to people who needed to pass by the roadblocks. It carried on for most of the day. Luckily I was on the other side of town at my client and missed being in the middle of any of it.

Then we woke this morning to news that there had been yet another fire in IY. I read on Hout Bay News that Thula Thula, which is the fire relief NPO in Hout Bay, has reported that there was a fire in Madiba Square to the Hughenden side of Imizamo Yethu and that another 20 homes were destroyed. The area is not part of the previously damaged area and does not have electricity but it is super-blocked so the fire trucks could get to the blaze before it ripped through the entire township. Super-blocking means that the dwellings are laid out in a grid pattern which accommodates vehicles being able to pass between the structures.

Residents reported that the fire was started by a cooking fire that was knocked over in a ‘domestic scuffle‘.

On a more personal level, this week has been very busy and seemed to go by in a blink. After a weekend of lovely weather last weekend we had a lot of rain that followed and then it has gone full circle resulting in a gorgeous bit of warm sunny weather this past weekend.

We have had ongoing drought so it was a relief to get the little bits of rain. The news this week reported that our mayor is planning on implementing some desalination plants to mitigate the risk of the dams drying up completely, one of them is supposed to be built in Hout Bay. Why they have waited so long to investigate this option is beyond my understanding.

I had a bizarre thing happen last Monday night. I was sitting on the couch and I tilted my head forward to look at my iPad and my left ear started cracking and pinging and I suddenly had a severe bout of vertigo so bad that I was almost ill. I sat up and held on to the couch until my head stopped spinning and then after it stopped I could feel stuff rushing down the back of my throat. (Sorry I know that is rather gross but it is elemental to my story.) Luckily I had a follow up appointment with my ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat specialist) the next morning. When I told her what had happened she seemed very concerned. (I had thought it was a good thing and that it meant my middle ear had ‘unblocked’ but what do I know? Nothing it appears.) She was concerned my eardrum had burst.

She wanted to test my balance due to the intense vertigo episode and so she had me walk heel to toe along a straight line which is taped on her floor, then she had me stand on a cushion with both of my eyes closed. I felt like I was having a test for DUI! I have always had terrible balance due to my vertigo but I somehow passed all of the tests.

She tested the pressure in my ears and said that both eardrums are still ‘flat’ which means they are still full of fluids, but the left one was improved. Then I had to do a full on hearing test in a wee booth with headphones on. The smallness of the booth triggered my claustrophobia but I managed to keep myself together and I got through it. I have some hearing loss on the right ear but she said it is not too critical. It could be due to all of the deafening concerts I attended when young or from shooting rifles without headphones as a kid.

I had not realised it was raining so hard when I went into work on Tuesday morning and I wore fabric boots to work, however the ENT is about 2-3 blocks away and it was pouring so on the walk over there my boots got soaked. My socks inside my boots were sodden and I spent the day with wet feet after my morning traipse across the foreshore.

When I got home on Tuesday I built a roaring fire and put my boots by it to dry. Norm made us a delicious dinner of low carb noodles made from spinach and coconut cream chicken with baby spinach to go over it. He served it with broccoli and it was so yummy.

On Wednesday morning I had an appointment to see the dental hygienist to get my teeth cleaned and Norm had to drop his car across the road at the garage so he came with me. I am not very good with dentists. I survived it however and we went to the shops to get something for dinner that night as he would be without transport once I went off to work. We had a quick breakfast at Mainstream and then I dropped him home and shot off to the client.

In the afternoon I worked over to make up some of the time I lost that morning and when I got home Norm had again made us dinner. He made fillet steaks for us and an ostrich steak for Caitlin as she is not keen on beef steaks. To go with it he roasted a mix of sweet potato and pumpkin in coconut oil and steamed some baby broccoli.

steak.jpg

I have been very spoiled by my gorgeous man as usual!

We have now found out his car is going to cost about R16k to repair it so we will be on a bit of a budget for a while. His car is about 10 years old so we may need to look at replacing it.

 

Last Friday morning the dogs woke me up a bit earlier than I normally get up for my client which is based on Mowbray so I decided I might as well go in early as I still had time to make up from going in late due to my dental appointment on Wednesday. However I forgot that when I go to work in that direction, leaving early just means I get stuck in the school traffic so my drive was a bit of a nightmare and took me an hour and 15 minutes instead of the normal 45 minutes. An extra 45 minutes I could have lain in bed!

I had no lunch to take to work on Friday so I decided to give OrderIn another chance after the last fiasco and I ordered from Sakura Sushi Bar.

I ordered a variety of stuff, I was so hungry. I ordered:

  • 1 X Salmon Roses @ R64.00
  • 1 X Golden Roll @ R48.50
  • 1 X Open Prawn Tempura @ R48.50
  • 1 X Veggie Spring Rolls (2pcs) @ R17.00

It was all delicious! OrderIn pulled through this time and my smiling driver arrived with hot spring rolls and intact sushi.

sakura-all2.jpg

It was all delicious and I will definitely order from there again – it gets a full on 5 Kitten Stars!

Friday night we decided to have a relaxed night so we went for dinner at Woodcutters Arms, our local pub. There was sport on telly so the place was buzzing and had a great energy. We have had so many restaurants close lately it is good to see one of them succeeding.

I had my usual fave the jalapeño cheddar cigars.


I then had a Cajun Chicken Burger which comes with onion rings and a jalapeno sauce.


Norm had the Fish & Chips and said it was lovely.

Early on Saturday morning Pixie and I were off to the chiropractor in Noordhoek. I slipped a few weeks ago and jammed my knee and it has been very swollen. As a result my back is a bit out due to my limping. David the chiro worked on me and got me back in alignment and gave me a script to get my knee x-rayed if it does not improve. Pixie has a lot of swelling in her back and I have noticed she is struggling with the stairs a bit. We are in the wars my Pixie and I!
After we got home I had to get ready for an appointment for a laser treatment and a facial later in the afternoon at the salon Skin and so that Norm could use the car he decided to come with me for breakfast at La Cuccina which is next to the salon and then come back to collect me after. It was a stunning, sunny day so we sat outside on the balcony. We ran into a couple of friends, that is one thing I love about Hout Bay, every where you go you see a familiar face.

Regular readers know about my Eggs Benedict obsession so of course I opted for that.


After I finished with my Laser torture and relaxing facial Norm came to collect me and dropped me off at Retha for a visit.

Our friend Carol was there too.

Retha and Carol were doing pewter drawings and while they were busy we all had a lovely rum cocktail.

I stayed until after Norm had walked and fed the dogs and he collected me. Then we got a take away curry from Indian Oven, our local Indian food restaurant. Their food is divine. We had intended to go out for dinner but my sore knee was aching and so swollen I decided I should stay in and keep it elevated.

We watched a bit of telly and I ended up falling asleep on the sofa after my day of cocktails so when we went up to bed I was wide awake and lay there thinking and fretting about things I have no control over for hours. I finally got off to sleep about 4a.m. so when the doggies woke Norm for some food at 8 a.m., he tiptoed out and let me sleep until 10 which was heavenly. He came up with a coffee and we had a lazy day.

Norm and I watched the film Rough Night. I had not heard any reviews or anything at all about this film so it was a pleasant surprise. I laughed so hard!! It is just farcical nonsense but sometimes we need a bit of that to counter the challenges of life.

rough night

I give it 4.5 kitten stars.

Later that afternoon we showered and went to Retha’s for sundowner cocktails.

Retha drinks Norm

We chatted so long that before we knew it, it was too late to have a braai as we had planned and so we decided to all rather go out for dinner. We ended up back at the Woodcutters Arms again and had a lovely evening chatting and laughing.

woodies_me norm

We ordered all sorts of goodies to eat.

Retha and I shared the jalapeno cigars (I never get tired of those). Norm, Retha and Barry all each had the scotch egg.

woodies scotch egg

I had the Chicken Caesar burger which was on the specials board.

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Retha had the ribs.

Woodies_Retha ribs.JPG

And Norm had the sausage and mash.

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We ended up staying until last rounds and then we headed home. We were both exhausted and I slept like the dead until my alarm went off.

Today life resumes as normal, I am busy with both client projects and life carries on.

The weather has turned cold again so instead of grilling outside I decided to just chuck all the meat in with some peppers and onions and bake them.


I made a colorful salad and will grill some halloumi.


I hope you have a great week. Avoid the cannibals and terrorists if possible. 

xx

 

 

Fair Enough

When I left the U.K. I was just about to lose my driving license due to too many speeding fines. The U.K. system is points based and I was a ticket away from running out of points. This week I paid almost 2 thousand rand in traffic fines. Some behavior never changes. I’m a road raging speed demon. Hooting and swearing my entire journey. I need to chill out.

With this in mind I am so torn between the need to be aware of the travesty of the effects of The Furher’s decisions and my need for peace in my heart and the preservation of my sanity.


From tomorrow I am going to try and not share or read anything about Trump or to watch the hours of CNN and the BBC World News I currently consume.

Instead I’m going to try and reduce my stress levels. I’ll watch beautiful images and listen to soothing sounds to amuse me.

My heart needs a break.

This week work was all meetings and workshops as I’m working with a team on a set of deliverables. Saying that the week flew by!

We again tried to stay relatively low carb most of the time. The weather was hot so we cooked on the gas grill a few nights.  We did a mix of veggies or salad. One night I made a salad of mango, avo and feta, it was a great combo! Sweet, salty and tasty. Another night I steamed cauliflower and fried mushrooms in garlic butter. I chopped up brussel sprouts and cooked them in chicken stock then fried them in butter to brown. These are so tasty and divine when cooked like that.

Maybe it is because I am an only child and never learned to share nicely but I have a bit of an obsession with fairness.

This week I signed up to attend a dinner function at Pure Restaurant which is in Hout Bay Manor. It was a wine and dine event publicized at R425 per person with the food produced by Pure and wine chosen to compliment each course from   Eikendal Winery.


I booked via the Manor email address which had sent out the above image advertising the event and I received an invoice to settle in order to book our seats and noticed I had been charged two additional line items on top of the advertised R425 per person so I was surprised and rather annoyed. There were surcharges for  gratuity and vat.


I was annoyed that the staff would not be incentivized to provide good service and that I could not use my own judgement to decide what their service merited in regards to a gratuity. I was also pretty sure it is illegal to charge VAT over and above the advertised price. I emailed back in response giving my opinion on their invoice and asking them to remove me from their distribution list. It felt so shady! I hadn’t gone to their events for a long time as I felt the energy of the place was dulled and I wasn’t a fan of the menu last time we did. I also find it incredibly bad practice to not publish the menu for a dinner event. What is it a lucky packet? The wine may be the cherry on top of a wine pairing but the food is what gets our attention and gets us salivating. I had to write to ask for the menu every event. this time I got it from the winery! I gave up asking them and therefore have not been in a while.

We are desperate for rain and when I woke on Friday morning it was spitting with rain as I drove in so I put on my rain coat to traipse into the city. It did not rain even a tiny drop on my journey across to work from the hotel where I park.

I left the office to go and get my coffee at the cafe and I didn’t bother with my raincoat and while there the heavens opened and it poured down rain, sheets of it.

There is a secret passage from the cafe to my office so I thought I would be clever & go through there. However I got lost in all of the dimly lit passageways which look exactly the same.

Cue panic attack.

I was hyperventilating when I finally saw a security guard in the distance, I ran to her and hugged her like I had been lost in the jungle for a month. She thought I was insane but let me travel in the freight elevator with her. All this happened before 730am. I worked and headed home early to get ready for the event at HB manor.

We arrived at the Manor promptly at 645pm and it was still quite bright outside. As I opened my door their staff was on hand to block me getting out of the car. Usually when you arrive at the hotel a parking attendant is swiftly there to open the ladies’ doors. He said hastily ‘Sorry ma’am but we are closed.’ I asked him whether he meant the event was not on? I told him we are booked and paid to attend the Eikendal Wime and Dine. He said ‘sorry I was told not to let anyone in.’ I finally convinced him we were booked and he let us in. Do I look unworthy for your establishment? It felt very unwelcoming.

We were welcomed at the bar with a giant smile however and we were quickly given a chilled glass of rose.

A few minutes after we arrived we were served an Amuse Bouche and it went perfectly with the beautiful light rose. It was Asparagus shavings and fig. There was a creamy base too but not sure what it was. I thought it was fresh and lovely. I adore figs.

Norm thought it tasted like grass clippings.


We had our glass of wine in the manor lounge and then went through to the restaurant and had a seat.


The next course was billed as Pork belly with apple gratin and apple salsa. It also had a crunchy little bed under the salsa. To me it was more of a sorbet, not a salsa. It was ice cold and to me the contrast of cold with the other items was odd. The flavours were gorgeous, I thought but I could not get past the cold sweetness combined with the pork belly. I adored the apple crisp. It was delicious pork belly, some of the best I have eaten. They served it with both an unwooded Chardonnay as well as a wooded Chardonnay. I’m not usually too keen on wooded so I concentrated on the unwooded and it was divine!

Oddly enough the next course was the one I was least looking forward to but turned out to be one of my favourites. It was Ostrich with red cabbage salad and smoked truffle aioli. The ostrich was so tender and it was not at all gamey which is what puts me off most ostrich fillets. This was served with a rich gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m not a huge red fan but I enjoyed it.

That truffle aioli was to die for!


Beef short rib was the next course, served with duchess potatoes and gremolata. There was a beautiful cluster of sweet baby tomatoes on the vine which had been roasted to perfection. The wine served was Charisma. This was my absolute favourite of the reds. It was delicious.


Dessert was a white chocolate semifreddo layered with strawberry jelly and topped with two little bits of delicious chewy almond nougat. There was a little quenelle of strawberry sorbet and crunchy ground almonds. This was delicious! I’m not a huge fan of jelly so wasn’t enamored of the texture of the jelly combined with the creamy semifreddo but overall it was lovely. The wine was a Pinotage.


We ended up tipping the waiters almost twice what they would have made had I given them the 12% requested on the invoice. The staff were attentive, polite, smiling and pretty fabulous. The singer was light and played some nice relaxing dinner tunes. All in all, despite the rough start, I give the evening 4 Kitten Stars.

The next morning I was off to the hairdresser in the city. I had my hair coloured but didn’t cut as it is falling nicely still.


Norm worked on the kitchen tiling all weekend. He finished a lot of the trim and the bit on each side of the extractor hood.


Once he stopped working he walked the dogs and we decided to go out for dinner. We spotted a table outside at Indian Oven and so we stopped there.

We ordered a few Starters. We had prawn pakora at R65 which had large whole prawns in a crispy batter and was so delicious! We also ordered our usual fave, spinach bahjees at R45.


We had our usual Mains. Norm had chicken korma, I had prawn curry and we shared the saag aloo.

On our way home I was so glad Norm was driving as he is so much more patient than I am, so when a big pick up truck almost pulled out of a stop street in front of us Norm stopped and waved him on.  I would have hooted, glared and sped past. Norm had to wait ages for the guy to pull off but when he did the dude rammed his petrol pedal and shot off down main road, I felt uneasy and said to Norm that I thought the guy was drunk. Next he veered left and headed for the cars which were parked in front of Cheyne’s and just before he hit them he jerked hard to the right, careening head on towards a Mercedes driving on the other side of the road. The Mercedes driver stopped and the truck jerked left just in time to avoid a high speed head on collision. The truck carried on so fast we could barely catch him, I wanted to get his car registration to phone into Neighbourhood Watch. The driver then turned right at the new roundabout up into Baviianskloof, narrowly missing a third collision with a car which was already in the roundabout, I cannot imagine how much this guy had to drink as his driving was off the hook. However I hope he made it home to his bed with no incidents as the roads up there are narrow and winding.

Today I have been so lazy. A total day of relaxation. I did make lunch for us. There is no food in the house but out of some wilted lettuce, a red pepper, pickles, tuna, egg and an avocado I managed a rather lovely meal.


Tonight we had take aways from the chippy and I’m about to watch the remake of Point Break. I hope you have enjoyed your weekend, mine has been rather lovely.