The Other Foot

Women often say that they hear the voice of their Mother emerging when they become parents. The other night I heard the voice of my previous abuser emerging when I got annoyed with Norman. Norm did something that annoyed me and I shouted ‘but you know it annoys me so why are we discussing it, just don’t bloody do it’. My anger erupted in a microsecond and the words were out before I could even absorb what I was saying. Blaming HIM for MY lack of anger management.

It is a known psychological phenomenon that the abused can become the abuser. This is in the instances of both mental and physical abuse (whether sexual or domestic violence). The previously abused have a feeling of lack of control or self worth left over from the instances when we were the victim. I know that my natural reaction is defense, I can attack at the least provocation. Hopefully being aware of the behaviour is the first step towards healing. Luckily Norm knows that most of my reactions are based on my past experiences, not his actions. He is a very evolved man. I am trying. (Not to be a man obviously, just to be more conscious and less reactive.)

Maybe my newly found awareness is all part of the interactions I have had recently  with other women who have suffered abuse. Maybe this is all related to my own healing as well as the support of other women and their own issues with abuse.

Maybe it is bigger than me…….or the other women.

There has been a bit of good news this week as the Constitutional Court has confirmed that Advocate Shaun Abrahams’ appointment as the head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is constitutionally invalid and has ordered him to step down.

Judge Mbuyiseli Madlanga found that the manner in which former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana vacated office was invalid and therefore it had a knock-on effect on Abrahams’ appointment. Madlanga found that former President Jacob Zuma was bent on removing Nxasana at all costs and effectively bought him out with a R17 million settlement.

The judge found that this compromised the independence of the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, which rendered his vacation of office invalid. The Constitutional Court has ordered President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint a new National Director of Public Prosecutions within 90 days. The court further ordered Nxasana to repay the R10 million he has already received as part of his settlement.

Sean Abrahams was the lapdog of the corrupt disgraced ex-president Zuma and I am so happy to see the back of him. I only hope that the R10 million is returned to the people and the deep levels of government corruption will be dealt with once and for all.

There was a meeting held last week at the Hout Bay Public Library where Zak Mbhele, the DA spokesperson on policing gave us some rather frightening news. I use the term ‘news’ but it was just confirmation of what most of us already suspected. ‘Mr Mbhele said there were good police officers in the force, but they were “islands of excellence in a sea of dysfunction”.

“The police are not well managed, and they are severely under-resourced and understaffed,” Mr Mbhele said. “The ugly part of it is that things won’t get better for a while, and the truth is that our communities are very much on their own.
“The Metro police are doing great work, but they have limited policing powers. For one, they don’t have investigating powers. The is a huge mountain of crime, but the channelling of crimes through the criminal justice system is not happening.”

Hout Bay, he said, faced four major crimes: taxi violence, crime stemming from protests, house robbery and burglary, and muggings and common assault.

“Crime intelligence in SAPS has become a shambles. Crime intelligence, for example, used to run the witness protection programme, but it was later found that (former Crime Intelligence head) Richard Mdluli and his friends were using witness protection houses for parties and braais (aka BBQs). When you have a situation like this, no one will come forward to assist police in their investigations.” The situation was exacerbated by a shrinking SAPS, and budgets being slashed across all departments.’

The protests in Hout Bay continued on Monday and as I came into the bay from work I could see the smoke from the fires being set by the protesters.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana has instructed the officials from his department to meet with the protesters urgently to try and quell the tensions.

There is still debate about whether the poacher Durick van Blerk was shot during the anti-poaching operation or whether he jumped into the water to evade arrest by Water Wing, the anti-poaching team.

The police spent days searching for the body of Durick van Blerk but did not find him.

One point was clarified about the search and the protest, the protesters were unhappy that the 2 poachers who were arrested were not released so that they could help search for the body as they knew where the incident occurred. Other rumours from various residents in the harbour are that van Blerk managed to evade the police and he is hiding out until the dust clears. I actually hope that rumour is true as he is about to become a father soon and it makes me sad to think that child could grow up without a dad.

The residents are not disputing that the men on the boat were poachers, they were caught with lobsters in their boat.

Fishing is a dying industry as we humans decimate the bounty of the seas, the community would be better served with the city redeveloping the harbour area and putting in shops, restaurants and other tourist draws similar to the V&A Waterfront. The construction would result in employment and once it is complete there would be jobs available in the new shops, restaurants and other new venues as well as jobs in security and the operational running of the premises.

This development would draw tourists and bring in revenue to the Bay while the protesting just results in loss of revenue and destruction.  One trader lost almost 500 pieces of stunning hand made silver jewelry.

These are the scenes of the devastation done by looters during the protest. Opportunists who jump on the bandwagon of destruction.

The long reaching results of this protest could impact the decision of future tourists when they are choosing what suburb to stay in and if they do decide on Hout Bay, it may then impact on their choice of accommodation, if they google Hout Bay they will see all of the bad press and run for the hills. Or to Camps Bay if they can afford it. They certainly may be hesitant to book anywhere near the harbour.

Compounding the issue of decimation of the fish by pollution and corporate over-fishing, the South African government has created fishing quotas which mean that the fishermen whose families have fished for generations cannot support themselves off of the profits they make. In some cases the quotas were halved. Once again, the government has cared more about filling their own pockets than about making the lives of their residents easier.

Norm as always has made my life easier this week. He cooked for us this week and he ventured out of his routines to try a stir fry. He also wilted some baby spinach, so I added a bed of spinach to my bowl and then topped it with the stir fry.

It was really yummy as well as being low carb and nutritious.

I did not get much sleep last night however as the owners of the guest house next door were playing horrendous music and shouting at each other until well after midnight. I wanted to go and have a chat but Norm talked me out of it.

I worked from home yesterday and for dinner we are having the chili con carne he made for us the day before.

Norm was a bit of a ninja superstar on Tuesday in fact. He had both Mzudumo and Cordelia there working so had to manage them, he had people knocking the door all day to drop off forms for the proposed SRA, he took all 3 pups to the groomer, the doggy physio came to see Navajo, he painted the garage door, cooked that night’s stir fry and the next night’s chili as well as all of the normal daily chores.

I do not know how I could cope without him or how single mothers do it every day.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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Leader of the Pack

Last week I had my 1st day alone with Navajo for an entire day, we have now moved over to feeding all of the dogs the raw diet the breeder had used for Navajo and her dogs. It seems a great idea but the actuality of having to handle everything from kidneys to sheep’s ears is a bit much. But 4 times a day I man up, chop veggies and fruit and make some mealy meal and mix it in the meat. The dogs love it! But it is a full time job almost.
Our lives have changed so much since we brought home Navajo. He is a lovely, clever dog but having a puppy, especially such a large lumbering puppy, means that you have to be there for him.

Friday was a public holiday here, and I had lunch plans and was very happy my domestic arrived as I did not expect her too and was in a quandary about what to do with Navajo while I was out. Paying double time was well worth the freedom!!

My friend Mandi and I went for the Women’s Day lunch at Pure at Hout Bay Manor Hotel. I love this venue, the décor is so lovely, the staff are so attentive and the food is always fab. The sun was shining and it was a gorgeous warm day so we chose to sit outside by the pool.
me at pure

We shared a salad to start, it was just a normal garden salad but a bit fancied up suitable for the venue.

Then for my main I had a fillet steak which came with these fancy wee mushrooms and roasted baby tomatoes and chips. There was a little puddle of the most divine sauce, very intense so only a drop was needed to accentuate the flavour of the beef. It was so tender and just melted in my mouth.

fillet pure

There is a special on during the month of August for cake and coffee for R20. That of course cannot be beaten it is so cheap. On Friday they had lemon meringue, chocolate cheesecake or brownies fresh out of the oven. We had a bit of banter with one of the managers about dessert, I told him that as an American I know my brownies. And outside of the USA they are never quite up to standard. He then tried to convince us to try the homemade olive oil ice cream. We resisted his charms and both ordered the chocolate cheesecake. He did bring us a little taster of the olive oil ice-cream which I did not enjoy – it was like olive oil mixed into butter. I found it very heavy and not to my taste. But the cheesecake was so delicious! We made the right choice there.

pure cheesecake

It had a thick topping of solid chocolate and was so rich and delicious. It had a bit of coulis – I think it would have been better with a bit more coulis as it was so decadently rich – the sharpness of the coulis lifted it to perfection.

We had a lovely day chatting over a bottle of wine from which is one of my favourite vineyards. My absolute fave wine is their Chardonnay and I do not even usually like Chardonnay as I find it too oaky and heavy. It is completely without any taste of oak and it is crisp and fruity and dry. Pure does not have their Chardonnay but the Sauvignon Blanc was divine.

Saturday we had to run errands and had a dilemma about leaving Navajo so off he went with us. It was a cool day luckily so he was happy enough going out with us. We went to Gabriella’s for breakfast and the staff were brilliant, they brought him a big bowl of water and I bought a treat for him at the pet shop so he was so well behaved. He lay at our feet and watched the world go by. A rather rude woman came past and complained that we had a water bowl for him as she said it should be under the table so no one slips. What a miserable old cow. I wanted to have a go but Norm restrained me.

Instead we enjoyed our Eggs Benedict.

egg
I resorted to shooting her daggers with my eyes instead of using my butter knife as an instrument of death. I am like a mother lion when it comes to my babies.

We had some friends come to visit to meet Navajo that afternoon. It was nice to see them and nice to socialise Navajo a bit. He is still such a baby and I want him to be comfortable around strangers.

On Sunday we had planned to go to the Hout Bay Harbour Market with friends. I have found that lately the market is just too busy to be enjoyable. I can cope with the crowds shopping but if you want to eat or watch the band it is impossible to get a seat, and as there were 6 of us it was nightmarish. We wandered round getting annoyed and then wondered why we even were bothering and went off to The Lookout Deck instead. We got a table right by the window and ordered some cocktails.

cocktail view

The Lookout Deck had a special on crayfish tails. For my non-South African readers, this is not a crawfish, it is the SA equivalent of a lobster. The deal was that you get 1 and a half tails for the price of 1. And it came with butter sauce for dipping and chips or rice.

crayfish

It was so yummy! The only issue was that 2 of our friends ordered sushi and it was not delivered with the cooked items for the other 4 of us, in fact we 4 had all finished our food and still no sign of their food. This is not acceptable – a table needs to be served at the same time, not in shifts. After we had a word with the manager the sushi not only arrived but was taken off the bill. That was beyond what I had expected and I was very impressed with the professional way the manager dealt with it. Big up to their response when dealing with it.

We had a lovely day and it was great to catch up with our friends. Life is so busy we often just do not make the time to do so.

We are waking up so early now and our routines are built around the dogs – Navajo is being crate trained and he wakes up and tells us he needs to wee, Norm takes him down and outside, then takes him for a long morning walk as he needs so much exercise, then they all settle down for breakfast.

We have had a bit of backlash from people about using crate training, but he was raised sleeping in one and it is familiar to him. Last night we realised he was nowhere to be seen and like a naughty toddler, silence is not golden when they are on the loose! We went upstairs to find him sound asleep in his crate. Obviously the family were too noisy for him to have a snooze in his giant bed in the lounge.

The cats are terrified of Navajo, but there is no need to be. He has never seen a cat in his life before he arrived here and when he did get a glimpse of Blue, Navajo screamed like a little girl and jumped in my lap whimpering. We have had to gently introduce them all to each other and I hope it works.

Navajo torments poor Panda. He nips him on the bum and the ankles and then Panda squeals or snarls and then they do it all over again and again. He slams his giant paw down onto Panda’s head trying to get him to play but Panda is not having it, he does not know what to do with this large beast. Pixie is doing her best to remain dominant; she even defends Panda and will sit between them if Navajo is being particularly obnoxious. However she does play fair and when Navajo whimpers or cries she goes over to comfort him. There are some moments of peace and bonding, or maybe it is just temporary tolerance.
bones

We are hoping that they do bond, that they form a pack and that he will become a brave little soldier to defend us – after all that is why we bought him.