Bats & Ninjas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View this post on Instagram

Help! Which ones should I choose?

A post shared by Kitten In The City (@stresskitten) on

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

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

View this post on Instagram

I ordered new specs today. What do you think?

A post shared by Kitten In The City (@stresskitten) on

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

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

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

Anyway.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We don’t.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These fires are causing so much devastation.

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

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

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

Shocking.

Still, life goes on.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Advertisements

Queue Convos & Transient Relationships

Last week I had to leave work midday on Wednesday to go to collect Norm at the airport. On the way home I was starving so we decided to hop off the motorway in Constantia and stop for a quick lunch at Mugg & Bean.

Norm was a bit jet-lagged and just ordered a blueberry muffin. I was ravenous as I had not had time for breakfast and so I ordered a couple of items off of their tapas menu.

The top pic is the Mini Hasselback Potatoes, described as deep-fried Hasselback baby potatoes topped with melted cheddar cheese, bacon bits & chopped chives, served with a side of M&B salsa & guacamole. This dish was R38.90.

The lower picture is of the Buttermilk Fried Chicken: sesame-crusted buttermilk chicken strips served with a side of sweet chilli sauce. This dish was R49.90.

The hasselback potatoes did not even vaguely resemble a hassleback potato, other than the fact they were potatoes. A hassleback potato should be sliced across the top and fried or roasted in butter or oil so that the skin crisps up. Sort of like a potato wedge and a baked potato had a baby. HERE are some pics of what they should look like. The potatoes at Mugg & Bean were just boiled baby potatoes with some toppings thrown on. Granted they were tasty toppings, but they should just call them boiled potatoes with tasty toppings. The buttermilk chicken strips were crispy and nicely cooked and I enjoyed those. I also enjoyed the potatoes, but I would have enjoyed them more if they were crispy. I give my meal a solid 3 Kitten Stars.

I took Norm home to have a wee nap and I worked from the lounge with Lola kitty sitting in my lap. It was a rather lovely way to work. The dogs were insanely happy to see their Daddy and did not leave his side all day.

That night we had a quiet night in as Norm was pretty tired from his trip.

The following day Norm had a meeting at the City of Cape Town offices which are across the road from my offices and so he walked over to meet me for lunch after he finished. We went to The Lunch Depot nearby. I often pop in here for a quick bite if I am not getting a take away as it has a nice seating area. Norm ordered a breakfast wrap with egg and bacon and I ordered the salmon salad.

It was very nice, the salmon was fresh and the salad crisp and not overly doused in dressing. My egg was not over boiled. It was also nice to spend time with Norm after his trip. If I do not take a lunch in with me I do not often make the effort to eat something so fresh, I usually grab a toasted sandwich at the local cafe.

After work on Thursday Norm cooked us dinner and it was so nice to have home cooked food. He made chicken sausages, sweet potato mash and cole slaw. There was enough for my lunch the next day as well which stops me wandering off to eat unhealthy things.

On Friday I had to go to the traffic department to renew my drivers’ license that had expired back in April when I wasn’t looking. I was advised to arrive before they open at 8am and I was standing in the already long queue at 7:40 but there were probably 20 people ahead of me already when I arrived. Once they opened the doors we all moved to the appropriate window and formed another queue there. Out of boredom I started chatting to the people around me in the queue. I am not good with crowds or with people getting too close to me. I had already been annoyed by a woman smoking in the queue and had made a mental attempt to relax and let my tensions and stress go, just to avoid throttling someone in the queue. The cop shop was too close by for any nonsense of that nature.

There was an african man and a coloured woman behind me in the queue and the woman was chattering away to the man. He was pretty quiet. She was telling him that she works as a housekeeper in Gardens and that she only has a learners license and she had let that expire which meant she had no license at all. She said she had taken the morning off of work to sort it out. She tried to grill him on his personal info but he was very closed mouth and all she could get out of him was that he drove a ‘goods delivery truck’ which was pretty strange as he had no license. I know he did speak English as I had already asked him the time earlier. We started talking about expired licenses and how the police departments are so rubbish at managing their data. I told them the story about trying to renew my car license and the car license department sending me across town to pay off a fine which the traffic department did not even have down on their register. Of course I spent half a day queuing at various departments to discover that.

I joked about how I was so panicked once I realised my license had expired and how I had been driving extra carefully to avoid getting stopped and how I was worried that if I got stopped that I might get chucked into Pollsmoor Prison. Then I laughed and said ‘I am not even sure if they put women into Pollsmoor.’ My new friend then said ‘Yes they do, I was in Pollsmoor once’. She told us a story about once when she was younger and was protesting and was picked up and put into prison for 24 hours then released. She talked about the high number of mothers who are raising their children in prison. What a sad story that was. It is good that the babies get time with their mothers but sad they would spend their first months or years in a prison environment.

At the first window we gave over our documents and they were stamped and stapled together and we were given a new form and told to go to window 14. I thought she said window 16 and wandered vaguely around for ages looking for the non-existent window 16 until a member of staff realised my discombobulation and redirected me to 14.

I had gone to the effort of getting a letter from my optometrist as I had just been the previous week for an eye test. I had assumed this meant I could skip the eye test at the licensing center, however this form was not even looked at despite me waving at everyone who would listen. I had no choice, I had to press my eyes against the eye test machine. I have such germophobia and this was freaking me out.

There were 3 women working in this area testing your eyes and then taking your fingerprints. One woman was shouting abuse at the African man who had been behind me in the queue (he got ahead during my lost foray looking for the imaginary window 16). She kept shouting ‘do you speak English? do you understand what I am saying to you? can you not figure out which way the letter is pointing? what is your problem?’ in a constant stream. She had the poor guy so stressed out he did not know what was happening. She sent one guy off to see an optometrist. He obviously failed. The 2nd tester was coughing so much I thought her lung might land at my feet any minute. She was weeping continuously from hacking. She sounded like she was either very ill or about to die. Either way, she should not have been at work hacking her germs all over the testers. The 3rd woman was the one I ended up with and she seemed the lesser evil of the choices available. She was a miserable cow. She spoke to me like I was a simpleton. I passed and I managed to resist shoving that fingerprint scanner up her ample backside so it was a win win.

As they test both your actual sight as well as your peripheral vision I had to alternate between taking off my glasses to take the peripheral exam and putting them on to take the vision test. Eventually I managed to complete my test. The same woman who does the fingerprints asks you to move your chair back a bit and then snaps a pic when you are peering confusedly at her and looking your most unflattering. I had gone in with 4 decent ID pictures.

But they stapled the nice pic onto my temporary license and will use the horrid pic snapped by Miss Grumpy Pants where I look like I could move an 18 wheeler worth of storage in the bags under my eyes. Added to this virtual indignity is the fact that I ended up with itchy, swollen eyes the following day, most likely the start of an eye infection from the shared germs of all of humanity squinting into the exam thingy since 1943. I used a few hot compresses over the weekend and the pain has lessened but not gone away. My immunity is pretty rubbish it seems.

After we finished with the eye exam and fingerprints we were directed to ‘windows 4 to 8’ except there was only someone working in window 4 and so we all queued up again at this window. I then started chatting to a tiny Jewish woman, she said she was a researcher and I wondered if she was associated to UCT as I had done a project there for the research department. I thought what a small world we live in but I could not grill her for info as she was called up to the window and after that she left as she was finished. I can almost guarantee that I could have discovered a common acquaintance within few degrees of separation if we had continued our conversation.

I found the whole experience a bit stressful as I do with anything ‘official’. But after just under 2 hours I was finished and on my way to work. I have to go back to collect my license in 6-8 weeks which means queuing up again but hopefully that step in the process will be quicker than applying for the renewal of my license was.

On Friday night Norm popped out for fish and chips for us as we were both too tired to go out and I refuse to cook on a Friday. We built a big fire and started watching a new series called ‘The Good Cop‘ with the bizarre combo of Josh Groban and Tony Danza. They play a father and son combo and it is really corny but somehow it kind of works. It is very superficial and a bit funny so it is perfect background kind of TV, you don’t have to play too much close attention to keep up with it. I will give it about 3 and a bit Kitten Stars.

We had no appointments on Saturday morning and Norm had some work he needed to do so he went to the shop and got pastries and made us frothy coffees and I settled in bed with Lola on my lap and a still warm chocolate muffin to keep me amused while Norm worked. Later he finished up with what he needed to do and I showered and we headed off to Simon’s Town. I had been very keen on going to see the Tibetan Monks who were visiting South Africa.

They were going to be creating mandalas in the places where they were being hosted. “A Sand Mandala is a Tibetan Buddhist tradition involving the creation of a spiritual symbol representing a cosmic universe of celestial bodies made from coloured sand. Usually four monks work side by side to create this two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional ideal universe. This painstakingly time-consuming procedure is a very rare sight to see and the monks will construct the sand mandala design of Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion to generate strong compassionate and peaceful energy. To symbolise the transitory nature of life, the sand mandala is ritualistically destroyed once it has been completed.”

I have no artistic skills at all but I would find it hard to eliminate something which I spent so much time creating.

However the Buddhists believe that in order to be at peace we must let go of our connections to earth bound objects and the concepts of ownership. The mandalas represent the transient nature of the objects, people and places in our lives.

Our lives change on a continual basis, I have had a year or so of adapting to the temporary nature of ‘friendships’ which is something I have never really had to deal with as I have seldom lived in one place long enough to out live a friendship. Instead I have friends in all of the places I have lived or worked and maintain these long distance friendships however I can.

My lifestyle has changed greatly over the last decade as befits the shift from the mid-forties to the mid-fifties. A decade ago I still felt like a young person, ready to party the night away, however tipping over past the age of 55 has made a shift to the amount of energy and zest for life I can summon up. I am not bothered to go out most nights. I am quite happy snuggled up with my hubby, any kids who may be around and our animals. There are always at least 5 beings, even up to 8 of us just hanging around. That is my little world and all that matters to me. I have drawn inward.

We are terrible about inviting people around. If we are invited to anyone else’s we always show up, and if people were to pop in unexpectedly to see us we would be very pleased, as long as they do not mind witnessing us in our fluffy jimjams at 7pm. Ok, me, it is only me. Norm sits around the house in shoes and trousers. Shoes, for god’s sake!

Bloody Brits.

So anyway.

It was a stunning, sunny day with only a breath of wind on Saturday. We drove the long way around the mountain to avoid paying the toll at Chapman’s Peak. It is still a beautiful drive so it was not really a hardship. We spotted the sign for the Simon’s Town Museum and we pulled into the parking lot. There was a stunning view from the front of the museum.

We went through to the room where the monks were busy with the mandala and saw the altar they had set up on the side of the room, the room was smelling strongly of sage burning to cleanse and purify the air.

In the center of the area marked off with a divider was the mandala with only 1 monk remaining at work.

The mandala itself was well underway by the time we arrived as they had begun the ceremony the previous day. We sat and watched the monk work on the design until he broke for his lunch. I was mesmerized by the intricacy of the design and the skill of the monks in placing the coloured sand with the small devices they used.

The monks all began their prayers in another room and so we drifted off back to the car and headed to the habour for lunch. We went to Bertha’s and we were given a table right by the sea with a stunning view of the harbour.

It was a stunning sunny day perfect for dining outside.

I started out with a strawberry daiquiri.

Norm ordered the calamari.

I had the half kilo of prawns with chips.

I had the peri peri sauce with them and they were very nice, perfectly cooked and nicely seasoned. I really enjoyed them.

After we ate we went for a walk along the little pier by the harbour.

We then walked up through the shops and back to our car and headed back home. I was really craving an ice cream and so we decided to stop at the Constantia shops and also do a little shop of items we needed. On our way to Pic and Pay we popped into Tasha’s Waffle House.

Their ice cream was delicious and we did our shopping then headed home.

We had a relaxing evening and later when we felt a bit nibbly we decided to have an easy dinner and we made cheesy scrambled eggs, bacon and avocado and served it on the croissants that Norm had bought that morning when he nipped out for milk.

Sunday I was up and out by 10 as I had drumming at Eagle Owl Lodge. It was a lovely 2 hours of singing spirit songs and drumming. I always feel so energized from those sessions, I really love them. I drove back home and collected Norm and we went out for lunch. It was a stunning, hot sunny day and Hout Bay was rammed with visitors. We had been going to go to the harbour and have lunch there but decided it was too busy and rather just went to Woodcutters Arms. We grabbed a seat in the beer garden.

Norm settled in with a chilled glass of wine.

I had the daily roast, there was a choice of lamb or beef. I chose the beef.

Norm had his beloved scotch egg starter and a chicken caesar salad.

Norm only rated his salad 3 stars as he said the chicken was overcooked and it was all a bit bland. My roast was 4 stars, the beef was very tender if a bit well done for my tastes. The main issue with eating at this venue is that they allow smoking in the areas where they serve food which is a bit off putting. I also want to enjoy the sunshine sitting outside, I just do not want to inhale copious amounts of smoke while trying to enjoy my food.

To carry on with my ice cream addiction I had the white chocolate and oreo sundae.

I finished every drop of it and really enjoyed it.

After lunch we came back home and I sat outside with the pups enjoying the sunshine, it was a beautiful day.

View this post on Instagram

Little munchkins all in a row #dogs

A post shared by Kitten In The City (@stresskitten) on

It was a really lovely weekend and it was so nice to have Norm home with me again and our lives back to normal.

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Until next time, kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0

The Little Engine

Inevitably every time Norm travels there is a drama at home. I almost anticipate it happening and I wonder am I actually generating some of this energy with my thought processes? And each time there is a drama I begin my mantra of ‘I can’t cope’. Saying this over and over in my head almost embeds my feelings of dependency on Norm.

Even though I always cope. After all, what is the alternative? To just give up and rock in a corner while twirling my hair and crying? I am just not that sort of girl. I think a challenge actually galvanises me into action. I may have an immediate breakdown but I then rally.

And then afterwards I generally cry.

I am going to try and be more confident of my abilities. I have survived things that would break most people, but I am still here, still surviving.

I need a new mantra, something like from the Little Engine That Could.

I think I can, therefore I can!

It has been so lovely having Norm back home with us. The weather was dreadful over the weekend and we stayed in and snuggled with the animals in front of the fire. Panda did not leave his Daddy’s side.

View this post on Instagram

Daddy’s home ❤️

A post shared by Kitten In The City (@stresskitten) on

Pixie seemed fine after her drama on Friday. Maybe she was high on pain meds but she was bouncy and full of fun. However she wanted to sit in my lap and cuddle all weekend.

Navajo has regressed while Norm was away and we had to get the doggy physio back in to work on his back as he was struggling to even haul himself up off of the floor. Bless his heart, I am so worried about him. Norm is going to take him to the doggy chiro as well as his back seems to be his main ailment now.

It was so nice to have Norm home and looking after us all. I collected him at the airport on Saturday morning and we came back home and built a big fire and settled in.

We saw on social media that the roads in the village were flooded and it was recommended that everyone stay off the roads to avoid any issues.

We just got take away chicken burgers on Saturday night and enjoyed catching up with Norm’s travel activities and the latest UK family news.

We had a long lie in bed on Sunday and then when we got up Norm made us a delicious HFLC brunch of cheesy scrambled eggs, bacon and avocado.

Norm had to go out to pay Charles the dog walker on Sunday afternoon so despite the torrential rains he popped to the shop and got a gammon to cook for Sunday dinner. He glazed it in honey and wrapped it in foil and baked it. It was so tender and juicy. He also made corn on the cob, baked beans and cole slaw.

Monday afternoon after work Vanessa popped in to give me a pedicure. We built a big fire as it was still pouring with rain and freezing cold. Norm had a meeting about the SRA he is involved in trying to implement and then he popped down to get us a Chinese take away from the Blue Lotus in Hout Bay, I had crispy spicy pork and it was yummy. I also had sushi which got thrown about while en-route so I did not take any pics of it.

On Tuesday night Norm baked some fish in lemon and butter and made loads of veggies to go with it. We had fried zucchini and red cabbage, roasted butternut, cauliflower mash and cole slaw.

The dogs and cats were hoping I dropped my plate. Or at least dropped the fish.

We have had more crazy chaos in SA over the last few weeks.

Trump pissed off loads of people by poking his beak into an area about which he knows nothing, his education as always comes from his right wing sources. In this particular instance his tweet was triggered by a segment from the racist moron Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

Following the backlash received in the aftermath of the broadcast, Tucker Carlson has once again gone on another fear-mongering rant as he called his detractors out for supporting “whatever the corrupt and incompetent” SA government is doing.

SA Professor Steven Friedman has said that “Trump and the right-wing commentators close to him are responding to the South African non-governmental organisation AfriForum. Two of its leaders went to the US to campaign on the land issue earlier this year, where they met Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton.

AfriForum calls itself a “civil rights organisation” but is in reality a lobby group for white Afrikaans speakers who feel threatened by majority rule.”

US State Department Spokesperson, Heather Nauert had a press conference where she tried to clean up the mess made by Trump. Her statement was that “We encourage (?) an expropriation of land without compensation would risk sending South Africa down the wrong path. We encourage a peaceful and transparent public debate about this important issues that seems to be happening in South Africa.” (Sic)

“If policies are poorly implemented, there are potentially detrimental political, socio and economic issues.”

What I find ridiculous is her statement that after Zimbabwe had implemented land expropriation without compensation, Mugabe had a media shut down to stop the international press having any insight to the atrocities going on there. How can she mention this as a risk flag when Trump has done his best to discredit the legitimate press and to promote fake news sources such as the racist website Brietbart or Fox News. She seems to not see the irony or the hypocrisy. There is also no ambassador to South Africa since Trump took over so they hardly have their finger on the pulse, more likely they have it up their arse.

Carlson also had a second rant where he discussed Julius Malema. Local South Africans all know that Julius is radical and that he is anti-white. Luckily his party, the EFF, is not the ruling party but you never know what will happen in the next election. I think the DA is in big trouble, personally I do not see any other party which threatens the ANC dominance. If the EFF won the National government it would be a bad place for land or home owning people, Julius wants all property and land to be state owned. How he expects that to work logistically I have no idea. I never said he was rational. Clever, yes. But certainly not rational.

This week we had the dozy cow Theresa May here to chat to President Ramaphosa and do the robot dance with various South African groups.

Good Lord white people, just keep still and try not to look like an eejit.

May has stated that the UK supports Land Expropriation as long as it is “legal, that is transparent, that is generated through a democratic process,” May told reporters.

The other issue which was mentioned in Trump’s tweet was the white genocide or murder of white farmers which many say are being deliberately targeted for attack, whether motivated politically or from the point of retaliation. The reported statistics are inconsistent from the multiple sources about the numbers of murders, but you can see some of the stats here. I also found an article about fact checking the facts on this situation which points out why the data is unreliable. As a data consultant I want proper solid data and this appears to be lacking.

The roots of this dispute go deep. Someone very astute in South Africa once said: “The roots of apartheid are not to be found in the white cities, nor even in the endless tunnels of the gold mines of the Rand. They are buried deep in the red soil of the white-owned farms, where for some 200 years, before even South Africa became an urban industrial economy and the word apartheid was thought of, relationships were being forged between white master and black serf.” Unfortunately I cannot find a reference to who the quote is from but I think it was from Rosalynde Ainslie and has been excerpted from her book ‘Masters and Serfs: Farm Labour in South Africa’.

There have been decades of farmers abusing the farm workers and a history of very little being done about farm worker’s rights or conditions of employment. Much like my Native American ancestors, alcoholism was encouraged among the coloured farm workers as they were paid in wine by the vineyards. The living conditions of many of the workers is shocking.

This link is to an old article written in 1991 but the past is the past so it is as reliable as any, so you can read more on this history here.

However, regardless of the past, members of the white farming community are still being killed in armed attacks at an extraordinarily high rate. The prevalence of this type of murder in farm areas is clearly abnormal, the age profile of the murder victims is usually elderly and that is also abnormal. The horrific level of brutality is abnormal. That these high levels of farm attacks and murders have been sustained for decades is also abnormal. Why is nothing done to prevent them despite there being a strategy announced for the police to investigate it?

The age of the victims could signify that they still held the views of the past instigators of apartheid and believed that people of colour are inferior beings. If their attitude from apartheid had not shifted then their treatment of their staff may have reflected that past.

The judicial system is now starting to prosecute the farmers who do heinous atrocities to their employees. Recently a farmer was convicted of bashing in an employee’s head with a spade and burying the body on the farm. After Visser murdered Adam Pieterse, his body had been dragged behind a vehicle and then his genitals were mutilated after his death. There are many such stories.

The stories we hear of what has happened to the murdered farmers are also horrific and barbaric. One behaviour should not justify the other however and moving on from this situation seems to be a struggle for both ‘sides’ in the equation.

The difference is that the farmers who murder or torment their workers often get reported and arrested, however the people who kill the farmers often escape prosecution.

Most of us do not know the depths of the horrors visited on either of these groups, the police only report some of the crimes. All we can hope for is peace and reconciliation. It’s a tragic situation that the farmers are targeted. Food is the lifeblood for a country.

Some people are calling for white South Africans to be given special refugee status in the USA or Canada and this is supported by the right wing AfriForum group and their cohorts. But what about the black and coloured communities who suffer far more violence and crime than whites? Should this refugee status and policy exclude their emigration from SA? Basically, this would be a plan that would result in even more racism to be visited upon the indigenous population.

This morning we heard that there was another raid in Hangberg in the local coloured townships. They were looking for drugs and weapons and apparently were quite successful.

People are again up in arms about the police being successful yet there are just as many people moaning about crime. You can’t only allow the crime that suits you. The Broken Window Theory is the only sensible thing associated to old Rudy.

This weekend we have some fun things planned as it is my birthday on Monday. Trevor cannot come down for the weekend but Lily and Josh are due to come, however the kid’s father has had some health issues and has been in hospital so there was a chance they were going to need to stay to be with him.

Their father was supposed to be coming down to Cape Town for the weekend but then he ended up in hospital. Today was supposed to be his Uncle Bam’s 95th birthday so they have family here from all over the world to celebrate with him but last week he fell and broke his hip and then passed away the same evening. The family will all be attending his funeral instead of his birthday. They are having dinner later which will be the first time some have seen each other in ages.

Sometimes life has a cruel and tragic sense of humour.

If you can spare some healing thoughts for my ex-husband and comfort towards that side of my children’s family I would appreciate that.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten. x0x0x0x0x0

The Route is the Root

I recently blogged about how happy I am to see the back of Shaun Abrahams and this week President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Silas Ramaite as the acting National Director of Public Prosecutions.

Ramaite is the NPA deputy national director responsible for administration and the office for witness protection. He has served as deputy director of the NPA for 15 years. I have to confess I have never heard of him, but often in politics that can be a good thing! We often only hear of the scandals and dodgy deals. Here is some more info on him and his background.

I hope that Mr Ramaite will serve us well. Crime in SA is astronomical and the conviction rates are terribly low.

Saying that, on occasion you hear of a successful apprehension. Last week on the tail of the fishermen protests we heard there was a shooting in Hout Bay. You can view the video here.  It was allegedly also related to the anti-poaching campaigns which resulted in the missing poacher recently.

I have noticed this week that there are cops pulling over taxis which are illegally using the coast road. This route is supposed to be off limits for taxis as this is the MyCiti Bus route. This dispute over routes is what is allegedly at the root of the taxi violence. This visible policing should hopefully resolve some of the issues. However some say that these incidents of violence are being deliberately instigated to make the western cape ungovernable and that the ongoing issues with arson on the trains is part of the same skulduggery. Another train was torched on Tuesday. This makes 8 incidents.

This infographic HERE is not current but it is interesting none the less.

The other theory is that the taxi drivers are behind the train arson. The train is the cheapest means of travel and is direct competition for the taxi drivers. When the trains do not run the taxis increase their revenue greatly.

For those who are outside of SA I should describe the taxis in SA, they are not yellow cabs like in New York or black cabs like in London. They are minivans which the drivers stack the passengers into like sardines. This link will show you images of the types of automobiles that are used as taxis in SA, just to give you some perspective.

Now we hear the response from our useless Minister of Police Bheki Cele after MPs complained in Parliament that the police had “failed miserably” in protecting the trains in Cape Town.

He said that “PRASA (Passenger Rail Agency of SA) spends millions annually on private security firms to secure its trains and rail network. We have heard that R770 million was spent on such security services in one year, but yet the trains are still being set alight.”

According to Cele, PRASA and the Department of Transport must ensure that their trains aren’t targeted by arsonists, cable thieves and vandals. “It’s not the police’s responsibility,” said Cele.

However rumours are that we have no chance of PRASA sorting out any issues, they cannot even manage their own internal affairs properly. “The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa has not yet delivered its 2016/2017 annual report to Parliament – which has been outstanding for almost a year. However, on Tuesday, DA shadow minister for transport Manny de Freitas announced he would be taking legal action after documents leaked to him related to the outstanding report show financial mismanagement at the entity.” A leaked document from the Auditor-General’s office shows irregular expenditure totaling R4.4-billion. A copy of the leaked document can be viewed HERE.

The damage to the trains has been estimated at 64 Million Rand. Money better spent on helping the poor or educating the many children who want to study but cannot.

The crime continues on many levels as we also read about a 65 year old woman stabbed on Chapman’s Peak last week. She was out on her own, running on the mountain, when she was approached by a man who robbed her and stabbed her. From what I understand she handed over her goods, there was no reason for them to stab her, it was done purely out of evil motives. People were using the ‘blame the victim’ defense, asking what was she doing on the mountain on her own? However as some of you may remember, a group was attacked last year so numbers do not always protect you from the attackers. And why shouldn’t we be allowed to enjoy the nature and beauty around us without fear of attacks?

Another woman was mugged and stabbed this week by 3 men in a suburb near where we live, a 5 minute drive away. They managed to apprehend one of the men but 2 are still on the run.

I have written before about the high rates of murder and rape of women and children in South Africa. This week the trial of the murderer of Courtney Pieters has continued. She was raped and murdered by a man who was a family friend who actually lived with her family. I also read about the conviction of a man who raped and killed his own young son, so this issue is not restricted only to female victims, it is anyone who is vulnerable.

Alcoholism is rife in many of the marginalised communities in SA. According to the Inanda police station commander Brigadier Zwelihle Mnganga, alcohol consumption played a significant role in the perpetration of rape and sexual assault in Inanda, an area north of Durban. Police crime statistics for 2016/17 indicated that this police station had the highest number of reported rape cases in South Africa. It had 348 reported sexual offences cases, of which 309 were rape cases. The station commander also reiterated the common issue of under-staffing. The number of police assigned to each area is under control of the National Government, the ANC, but the figures are based on an outdated census which means that almost all stations are understaffed.

We also had another child murder conviction this week where a 52-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison for attempted rape and the murder of 13-year-old Rene Roman in Lavender Hill, an area just outside of Cape Town. Judge Robert Henney said he was concerned that over the past few years he had handled several cases where young girls had been subjected to a sexual offence before they were murdered by people known to them or who lived near them.

Henney mentioned the murder and rape of 11-year-old Stacha Arendse by neighbour Randy Tango in Mitchells Plain just outside of Cape Town. Henney sentenced Tango to three life terms in December.

The judge also named the case of Jerome Amerika, who raped and killed 10-year-old girl Shamonique Claasen in Paarl – a day before her 11th birthday in December 2016. He also raped his former girlfriend twice. Henney gave Amerika five life sentences.

“It is either a neighbour, or an uncle, or a family friend,” said Henney. “And that makes it so difficult to curb these types of offences. Because we always tell children to be careful of strangers. But I see that the perpetrators of these crimes are no strangers.” Henney said that in “99% of the cases” the child’s body was found buried in a shallow grave.

It is so important for parents to notice their child’s reactions to family members and not force the child to ‘give uncle a hug’ or other demands – if a child does not want to kiss someone, do not force them or you are telling them to deny their instincts or that their own feelings are to be subjugated to those of an elder.

The poor have so many challenges in South Africa, this week I saw this tweet by the Equal Education Movement. However when I researched to find the video as a stand alone link I see that wherever the news sites have written about this the video has been pulled from the news reports. Can anyone say suppression of news and promotion of propaganda? Welcome to ANC land.

Many of the rural schools still have latrines (long drops or pit toilets) rather than proper plumbing and there have been multiple deaths from children falling into these pits and drowning either at school or at home. In terms of the basic education department’s minimum uniform norms and standards that Minister Angie Motshekga passed in November 2013, a certain type of pit latrine was deemed acceptable sanitation for schools. She also promised that by 2016 all schools would have basic services as set out in the minimum uniform norms and standards regulations. Ominously, she warned that while schools without any sanitation would be prioritised, those using pit latrines may not be upgraded to flush toilets. However the pit toilets are still prevalent and the government are not meeting the basic needs of the learners.

The ANC are also responsible for the management of social grants and this has been so poorly handled and has resulted in many people not getting the money they are supposed to get each month due to ineptitude and what I suspect is underhandedness. I suspect that the Minister in charge is filling her pockets with back handers to encourage her to delay this process to allow the previous system integrators to receive maximum benefit.

The world seems to be governed by the inept and self serving as these issues pervade the UK, USA and SA, across all of the countries where I have lived. Now Trump is poking his beak into SA political issues which he knows nothing about. He is such an imbecile, he thinks we will be distracted with his bullshit. We aren’t.

Meanwhile, we stress and we carry on with our lives.

Last week on Thursday night my friend Retha came round for dinner as I have not seen her much lately. We also made a plan to meet up again on the weekend and we went for lunch on Sunday to Allegria Cafe and Life at Mainstream shopping centre in Hout Bay village.

We kept it simple and just had a toasted panini with salad. Retha had one with bacon jam and I had one with swiss cheese, ham and pickle.

I like the laid back vibe at this little cafe, Norm and I often pop in when we are out for a shop. The owner is always very charming and welcoming.

I popped into Pic N Pay clothing as I needed new slippers as the entire sole fell off of mine.

Cordelia took the old ones home to repair and I bought a new pair of grey ones. I also bought some black skinnies as mine are getting rather faded. I did a small shop for food as well and then headed home to the pups. I had been supposed to go drumming on Sunday morning but Panda was not feeling well that morning. He did not eat his breakfast and he followed me around looking very pitiful all morning but then he perked up a bit in the afternoon.

Saturday I had spent all day at home with them, it was a lovely day and we sat outside enjoying the sunshine.

View this post on Instagram

My pack ❤️

A post shared by Kitten In The City (@stresskitten) on

Excuse Miss Lolakitty licking her bum in the photobomb in the background.

On Saturday I had very little food in the house so I had to make do with what I had if I did not fancy getting presentable and going to the shops. I made bacon and french toast topped with cinnamon apples.

Sunday evening I put a small pot roast into the slow cooker and added some spices as I intended to make shredded beef tacos. It cooked overnight and then I had it for dinner on Monday night. I had included a few spoons of chipotle and adobe sauce my friend had given me as a gift.

Wow it nearly melted my face! PS, how do you like my new slippers?

On Wednesday we saw on social media that there was yet another fire in Hout Bay.

I have been delaying another closet clean out since my Mom sent me some new clothes so the timing is right to make a decent contribution to Thula Thula, our local Disaster Relief group ran by the lovely Joanne Chemaly. Joanne does so much for our community and Thula Thula has done amazing work in assisting those who have been impacted by the many township fires. If you would like to make a contribution, however small then please do, the details are:

Thula Thula NPC
FNB Hout Bay
Account no: 62589383836
Branch code: 204009
Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ

The SWIFT Code is only needed if you are overseas. Foreign currency goes a long way in South Africa so even if you pop in a tenner it will help someone to get back on their feet.

Norm has been away in Europe for the last 2 weeks. I have had my helpers all in place to support me, Charlie to walk the dogs, Vanessa to pop home and check on them on the days they were alone, Cordelia there 2 days a week to keep the house in order and Josh came down to stay with me the last week so I was not on my own at least. I was happy for the company.

I have kept myself amused watching all sorts of arbitrary shows on Netflix. Last night I watched a show where a psychologist called Michelle Ward interviews people convicted of murder. It is called ‘The Mind of a Murderer’. I always find these types of shows fascinating.

One of the episodes was about a woman named Janene Patton who had been found guilty of the murder of her 3rd husband. Michelle Ward used the term ‘Monkey Bar Relationships’ to describe Janene’s patterns of relationship behaviour. With each of her marriages she had already began a relationship with the man who was due to be her next husband while still married to the previous one, or she was unwilling to let go of one until she had another in her grasp. Michelle said that this is a pathological fear of being alone and feeling unworthy, so therefore these people exhibit an almost desperate fear of being without a partner. It was quite sad. I have read about women who do this out of a fear of being unable to support themselves, or out of a desire to not have to work. Particularly among both ends of the financial scale: the wealthy women need to remain wealthy, the poor and uneducated who have no marketable skills need to know someone is there to put food on the table.

It left me feeling quite sad but I thought it was an interesting series, out of the eps I have watched I will give it 4 Kitten Stars.

The other random show I watched was called Insatiable. It was insane but I found it quite funny. It was a bit of a predictable twist at the end but it was definitely worth a watch. I will give that one 4.5 Kitten Stars.

Today after work I dropped Cordelia and 2 of her pals who work nearby in the township. She walks to work but we drop her home. I messaged Charles the dog walker before I left to say I would be back in ten minutes.

When I got back I let the dogs out the front door and Navajo bolted out and he and Pixie had a tussle over who goes first, with him biting her then knocking little Pixie down the front steps. She tumbled over and over hitting each tiled step hard and eventually landed sitting down on her bum with her front leg stuck up straight in the air at an unnatural angle. I think her shoulder may have been dislocated but I think I popped her shoulder back in but she couldn’t stand properly on that leg.

Our dog walker arrived as I was flapping around hysterically and he drove us to the vet. Pix has a lot of swelling but they don’t think it’s fractured. She’s had anti-inflammatory and pain meds injected to help her. If she is not back to normal by Monday she must go for an X-ray. Typical, as always we had a drama while Norm was away.

I’m chilling tonight surrounded by all 5 animals. I stopped on my way home and bought some bits to make a pizza to make for my dinner, a crust from Posticino, mozzarella and pancetta from Richard Bosman.

Tonight is my last night without Norman, I collect him first thing tomorrow at the airport. I will be very happy to have him back home.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x

Protest on a Half Shell

We had thought we might go for breakfast or brunch to the Hout Bay Harbour Market today to mark the end of my four day break, but when I woke up this morning my wrist and joints were sore from yesterday’s tent excursion and drumming and as it was gloomy outside we decided to stay in and hibernate.

I ordered some wood to be delivered next week and played games and chatted online from the comfort of my bed and snuggled with the animals.

Winter is the only time the cats are friends. Even then, we caught Blue attacking Lola like a vampire yesterday, biting her neck ferociously.

Norm and I eventually emerged from our warm beds about 11.30 and Norm made us gorgeous French toast with maple syrup.

It was crispy and perfect. I’m a lucky woman.

Then I was sitting outside on the patio drinking a large cup of tea and looking at the misty mountain while Navajo had a run round the garden, as one does on a Sunday.

Then the Neighbourhood Watch radio burst into life and we saw on social media and via WhatsApp that there was a protest happening at the Harbour.

The road to the Market was blocked off and filled with burning tires.

We heard that they set the buildings at the market on fire and I was so relieved that the Universe protected me from being there. I read that they also torched the Department of Public Works store, two harbour master offices, one fisheries inspector’s house and another government official’s house.

We listened on the radio and followed via social media and WhatsApp and heard that the march had then diverted out of the Harbour and towards the village, up Empire Road, through Beach Estate heading towards the police (SAPS) station. Then we heard many sirens coming down from the Nek and into town. The Public Order Police (POP) were dispatched as were the fire department.

The protestors fired off many rescue flares and also set a house in Beach Estate on fire. They vandalized property all along their path.

Eventually the protestors were met with force by POP and rubber bullets finally stopped the madness.

I’ve heard several stories which are being claimed as motivations for the protest. I read that there was a police raid on the poachers and this resulted in the death of one of the poachers. Then we heard that a single diver had gone missing late Friday while diving off the Chapmans Peak side of the bay. Yesterday there were rescue helicopters and NSRI boats out searching but they did not find the missing diver. Then they said the protest was against the police not allowing them to search for the body.

The stories vary on whether the poacher was shot or drowned. We saw this posted online.

Finally we saw that the press had reported a few articles on the protest. “Residents of the harbour community claim that the protests erupted following the death of a young fisherman who was allegedly shot dead by a policeman on Saturday. The incident stemmed from an alleged poaching incident.” Another article said the boat hadn’t returned and the police wouldn’t search, an another said that the police shot at the boat.

So possibly the police raided a group of poachers and one of them died in the process.

The poachers in this area generally poach abalone or lobsters. There are quotas on the limits to fishermen but these limits are ignored by poachers. The poachers claim that the tight quotas mean they cannot survive if they adhere to them. Here is a good article about it. Far be it for me to sit in judgment from here in my big house sitting by my warm fire, resting up before I go back to my corporate job. I just don’t see the point of punishing people who are not responsible. What did the Market owners and traders do to deserve this?

We must not lose sight of the fact that a mother lost a son, people lost a friend. Whether what he was doing was right or wrong, a young man died.

We also saw on social media that a car had burned on the road out of Hout Bay late Friday night. The story on this is a bit vague too.

View this post on Instagram

Car burning in Hout Bay last night

A post shared by Kitten In The City (@stresskitten) on

The reports are that the car was abandoned. Maybe it was torched. Maybe the driver crashed it and ran. Who knows.

There is never a dull moment in Hout Bay.

We heard again of another friend who is emigrating. The list grows. Meanwhile in my typically backwards manner we are fighting for the right to stay, with Norm jumping through hoops to get his residency permit.

I daydream of having my kids, my Mom, and all of our friends and family all living on a big compound together somewhere isolated from the rest of the world. As long as it has my family, WiFi, peanut butter and Netflix I’d be happy. 😂🤷🏻‍♀️

Tonight we are staying in rather than deal with any possible dramas. Why put our beak into something that has nought to do with us. We are wrapped up and trying to keep warm. The dogs are being annoying because it is too wet to walk them.

I am back to work tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have a non-eventful drive to work. Wish me luck.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

The Fear of Loneliness

The fear of loneliness can be a motivator behind many decisions made by some people. Irrational sometimes to outsiders, these decisions can result in constraints to the lives of some and heartbreak to others. People settle for people they do not love, or stay in relationships with people they do not love rather than risk being alone. Loneliness is one of humanity’s biggest issues, often leading to despair. Isolation is even used as the ultimate prison punishment, it can affect people in many different ways, leading some people to behave bizarrely. As an only child of working parents, one whose home was surrounded by countryside rather than playmates, I grew up being alone a lot and I am comfortable with my own company. However nothing makes me happier than time with my family. My family is everything to me. But I do not mind being alone.

This topic came up this weekend when watching ‘Like Father‘ with the fabulous Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer. Kelsey plays the Father and that was his term, ‘fear of loneliness’, he used it when discussing a poor decision made by Kirsten (in the role of the daughter) and proposing explanations for why the situation may have happened.

Lauren Miller Rogen was not only the screenwriter but also the director and producer of the film and hubby Seth Rogen appears in it.

It was a good enough movie to amuse me on a lazy cold winters day. I give it 3 and a bit Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Thursday was the start of a four day weekend for me as it was Women’s Day in South Africa.

August the 9th is a Public Holiday marking the day of the national march of women in 1956 to petition against legislation that required African persons to carry the ‘pass’.

The ‘pass’ was an identification document which restricted a black South African’s freedom of movement under apartheid and only by having the pass were they allowed to enter ‘white’ areas. The ‘pass’ had come into force under the Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950.

On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women staged a march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against proposed amendments to the act. They left petitions containing more than 100,000 signatures at prime minister J.G. Strijdom’s office door. They stood silently outside his door for 30 minutes.

The women then sang a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! (This translates to “Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock”.).

As discussed in my last blog, women in South Africa do not have a lot to celebrate however.

Neither do many women worldwide. I loved reading this week about the increase of the number of women entering into politics in the US. The one thing we can congratulate Trump on is waking people up to the risk of letting racist, misogynistic bigots run the country and getting them to step up to vote or even to run for office.

This day also marks the anniversary of my first day at work in South Africa after I immigrated back here in 2007. We were given a fancy lunch at the Mount Nelson by my new company and I thought ‘wow’ I can get used to this. However I only lasted 6 months with that company and am now on my third contract house since moving back. If I am unhappy, I move on. Life is too short.

I had booked to go on a reconnection medicine walk on Thursday but I woke up so stiff and sore from the cold that I could barely make it downstairs and so I had to cancel. We have had a cold snap of icy weather in Cape Town and my arthritis is reacting badly to it.

Instead I wrapped up warm and stayed tucked in bed and Norm went to get us pastries and then brought me pastry and a frothy latte in bed, where I lay surrounded by cats and snoozing Pomeranian pups.

That morning a guy came to repair the cowl that blew off of our chimney and the animals and I stayed in bed while Norm dealt with that. As the guy said it blew off the chimney due to his fitting it incorrectly the first time he did not charge us! That was lucky.

I put together some lunch from the salads I had picked up on my way home on Friday. I bought them for the shared lunch after my walk but as I did not walk we had some yummy bits to choose from. We had Asian slaw, potato salad, pickled beetroot with chunks of creamy feta and roast chicken. It was divine, healthy and so easy.

On Thursday evening we decided to just stay in by our cozy fire. We got chicken burgers from The Kitchen Takeaway and just relaxed.

The joint pain I was having could have been due to the Wednesday night when I had gotten chilled to the bones while sitting in an assembly room watching Norm present to 50 residents and several members of the City Of Cape Town Council about the proposal to start a Central Improvement District, aka a CID. This is a private-public partnership formed by the property owners in the area to provide complementary services over and above what the City of Cape Town provides.

Our CID will cover 3 areas, Oakwood, Hughenden and Meadows, it will be called by the acronym ‘OHMCID’. The website is live and the process is busy following the regulatory requirements. We just need 60% of the property owners to sign up to it and we can start to boost our security and be more in control of managing our area.

The presentation finished about 8pm and we were starving so we headed into the village and stopped at the Woodcutters Arms Pub in Hout Bay.

Norm was tired after presenting that night as well as several other meetings he had for work that day. It was a relief to get into somewhere warm.

View this post on Instagram

❤️

A post shared by Kitten In The City (@stresskitten) on

We both ordered a few Tapas items which they served on platters.

I had jalapeño cheddar cigars, onion rings and popcorn chicken strips.

Norm had his beloved scotch egg with fries and hake goujons.

The food at that pub is reliably well cooked and tasty. We wanted something simple to share and nibble with our fingers. I give it four Kitten Stars for being exactly what you could hope for in a Gastropub. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ It hit the spot and we came home and crashed after.

We have both had busy weeks. At least the days were busy with work but our evenings were spent in front of a fire as it’s been so cold and drizzly outside. The animals were happy snuggling up.

The cats love it when we have a fire.

We had plans to go on a road trip on Friday as I also had the day off. We were going to drive across Chapman’s Peak to Imhoff Farm but it was drizzly, overcast and rainy so we fancied something a bit cosy. We needed to do a few errands so we decided to go to Peddlars in Constantia then pop over to the mall.

We quickly settled in to a table by the window after trying 2 others which were reserved (it was very empty so that shuffling around was all a bit bizarre).

Even Scots Norm was feeling the cold.

We decided to just order the pub platter to share.

It had calamari, onion rings, chips, chicken strips, pulled pork spring rolls and a few sauces. It was really yummy and hit the spot. We didn’t linger, we had a drink each then headed off to the mall. We got a human wrist support for Navajo’s sore ankle.

The doggy Physio has recommended it, so far so good, we will see if he wears it. We had a few other things we needed so we ran our errands then bought a few groceries and we decided to go for a coffee.

We popped into Mugg & Bean and Norm had a cappuccino and a slice of caramel cheesecake.

Norm gives their cheesecake 4 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I had an iced coffee and a chocolate chip muffin. They have divine muffins.

We headed home as Norm had to walk the dogs and take Cordelia home at 5. We popped into Hout Bay quickly first as I had inadvertently sat on my specs and they badly needed to be adjusted so we stopped by Tanya Seeber enroute.

We were still full from lunch so didn’t even eat dinner that night despite shopping for it. We just nibbled nuts, cheese and apples and such that night.

Despite our plans going awry we had a lovely day together. I feel very blessed that after 21 years of marriage Norm is still my best friend. We can make most things we do enjoyable.

On Saturday morning Norm cooked us a delicious breakfast to set us up for the day.

After breakfast Norm and Nav pottered about the garden.

I got ready while they were busy as I was signed up for a slot in a day of singing at a two day Sacred Song Circle Marathon event.

This is one of the songs in our repertoire and it is one of my favorite songs to sing. It’s such a happy lighthearted song with such a nice rhythm.

The lyrics are “waniskâ! pêtâpan ôma

âsay piyêsîsak kî-nikamowak

ê-miyonâkwan kitaskînaw”

This translates to:

“Wake up! The sun is coming.

The birds are already singing

How beautiful this land of ours is.”

Isn’t it a lovely song, suited for what turned out to be a lovely day. The event started on Friday evening and carried on all day Saturday. It was held in a house off the beaten track, in a remote area in the southern peninsula and it was about an hour from my house. I went to Gerri’s house, our drum circle leader, then she and I drove in convoy to the house.

Our drummers were supposed to wear red.

There were lots of people there, approximately 20 adults. There were also children of all ages and there were many places on the property to keep children occupied but the vibe was relaxed and they ran in and out of the tent too. The singing was held in a large round tent filled with rugs, blankets and pillows. There was a center altar with many items there for blessing. There were different rounds of songs, with the changing of song leaders every hour or so. When we arrived our friend Martyn was singing and then it was to be our turn. Martyn sang very lovely, soothing, soft songs and everyone was quite lethargic from the shared lunch they had eaten just before we arrived. Gerri brought our large communal drum and when it was our turn we stood up around it. We sang all dance songs so they were mostly quite energetic. Waniska is probably our slowest song and we really wail on the chorus even for that one. We woke the tent up and got the energy going.

After our round we stayed for one more round of South American native songs which were sung in Spanish or Aztec. Some of the terms were familiar from my North American song repertoire and some from my very limited Spanish. I left and drove Michelle back to Gerri’s house where she had left her car. I then headed home, cold and tired but happy.

Norm cooked us a delicious dinner when I got home. He grilled the fillet steak and we finished off the salads from the previous day. He also boiled some corn and sliced up an avocado.

He also made a roaring big fire to warm me up. It was a divine end to a lovely day.

We are having a lazy evening tonight and we do not yet have plans for tomorrow, we will have to see what the day may bring.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

#SheToo

I am beginning to think that someone must have a voodoo doll of me and that they are enjoying sticking pins into it as my body has moved from one ailment to the next for what feels like months now. The strange thing is that each ailment is corresponding with the symptoms of someone in my life who also has that ailment. Is this some sort of empathetic referral? Is this part of my exploration into spirit medicine work?

A work colleague was out of work all of last week with back pain. On the weekend I managed to put my lower back out ironically on the day when he suddenly felt fine.  I am in a lot of discomfort but I have not been to a chiro, I am stretching and trying to endure in the hopes it resolves itself. So far, no luck but it has gotten better. My whole lower back was locked the first few days but now it has settled into the one hip. Specifically my left hip which is the same hip I had replaced a few years ago. I will have to go to the chiro so I booked in for tomorrow after work.

Josh has been with us all week but he left to go back home to Mossel Bay on Thursday. Lily will be happy to have him home. I will miss him, every time he goes it is like empty nest syndrome again as he is as much our son as the 3 humans I gave birth to are. I wonder if Lily’s Spirit Guardian Owl is going to remain now that Josh has come back home?

Our family have a strong connection with birds. They send me messages often.

We have had a few days of really warm weather which was a nice change. We were able to go without a fire in the evenings to keep us warm. On Thursday the rain started again and it turned a bit colder.

The flowers that Norman gave me for our anniversary last week are blooming and are so stunning. I love lilies. The smell is so gorgeous.

Norm has been looking after Josh and I very well as always. On Sunday he had not shopped so we had a takeaway from Spiro’s.

On Monday Norm shopped and cooked for us for the rest of the week. He baked chicken with mushrooms and zucchini in chicken stock and then stir fried baby spinach and fried brussel sprouts to go with it that evening.

He made a pork roast and fried red cabbage and roasted butternut and steamed some cauliflower on Tuesday.

On Wednesday he did chicken sausage and sweet potato mash with fried zucchini and home made coleslaw.

Thursday he made Banting cottage pie with a beefy stock topped with cauliflower mash and a thick layer of cheese. He steamed baby corn and gem squash to go with and it was delicious. His cooking skills are so good he does most of our cooking now.

I had a conversation with yet another friend this week who has told me that she too has been the victim of domestic abuse and is ready to get out of this situation after many years of suffering. I am not sure why the universe has sent me so many women to talk to about abuse lately. It is like I am the Survivor Whisperer. Much of the conversation seems to be around reversing the psychological conditioning that has resulted in them blaming themselves for the abuse or for not leaving sooner. That conditioning is hard to escape when you have heard it for years from the man abusing you and the other enablers who may be in your life. Even if that enabler is a seemingly well intentioned parent who tells you that you should be thankful for a man who stays with you. The previous generation does not always understand the power we women possess and that we have the ability to just put our backs into it and push through to the other side. We can make a powerful foe once we decide to push back against our oppressors. I feel the female energy rising up in pacha mama.

I do not know my role in these women’s lives unless it is simply to share my own experiences and to listen to them when they need to talk. I am also trying to listen to the messages I hear from my guides and to do the footwork they suggest I should do. If my guides tell me that I have to say a specific thing to a specific person, I am trying to simply be the vehicle to deliver that message with no filters.

The hardest thing to ignore is the messages I get about the women who are still caught up in their own cycles of dysfunction. I get messages that specific women need help, but if they do not acknowledge that need, then what should I do? THAT part I have not figured out. I am still very new at this healing role which is being forced upon me by the universe. I am not at all sure of the path the universe has in store for me in regards to support of women who have been victimised. I will just keep being present and doing what I can until the Great Spirit makes it clear.

I do feel a universal energy shift. It is coming. I have been reading about this particular prophesy or potential energy shift.

“We live in a time of great change… a time which appears and reappears in the prophesies of many Aboriginal cultures from all over the world. The world is in decay, the systems man has built and valued for so long are falling apart… this is the time of the 7th Fire.

We must begin the healing now. We must live as flesh ruled by spirit, choosing compassion over greed … choosing love over fear. We must be the change we want to see in the world, if we are to become the Warriors of the Rainbow.”

The Anishinaabe people believe in the 7 Fires Prophecy. Each fire represents a prophetical age, marking phases. They seem to feel a change coming as well and believe that there will be a shift back towards Walking the Red Road. “It is at this time that the Light Skinned race will be given a choice between two roads. If they choose the right road, then the Seventh Fire will light the Eighth and final Fire, an eternal Fire of peace, love, brotherhood and sisterhood. If the light skinned race makes the wrong choice of roads, the destruction which they brought with them in coming to this country will come back at them and cause much suffering and death to all the Earth’s people.”

Walking The Red Road means living a consciously present life of practicing and honouring The Seven Sacred Values of the Lakota:

1. Wóčhekiya – Prayer

2. Wičákha – Honesty

3. Wahwala – Humility

4. Waúnšila – Compassion

5. Waóhola – Respect

6. Wawokiye – Generosity

7. Wóksape – Wisdom

I identify strongly with the people of these tribes. I have a deep connection to White Buffalo Woman and the Lakota believe that White Buffalo Calf Woman brought them the 7 virtues.

I am reading everything I can find to try and broaden my knowledge about my own heritage as well as the cultures and teachings of other indigenous people throughout the world. I am trying to be conscious and tuned into the universal energy and the voices of the spirits around me. I have removed the people from my life who impede me in that growth by tainting me with their darkness. I have learned many sacred songs and we sing them in their native tongues at our drumming circles. I still struggle with my own mind, keeping it positive and focused. I’m easily distracted.

My eyes are open. I feel the simmering sizzle of energy and I pray for the light which will emerge out of the ashes of this fire.

A’ho Mitakuye Oyasin.