More That Binds Than Tears Apart

I recently heard on the radio that there is indeed such a thing as Man Flu. Apparently there is research which proves that men are more incapacitated by illness than women. That is the good news for you dudes lolling about clutching your tissues and Vitamin C and suffering with a case of severe helplessness. The bad news is that the reason you are so helpless is that men are the weaker sex. Women may tend to be weaker physically due to their size and musculature, but we are superior in every other way.

Hey, don’t blame me, it has been validated by science.

Dr. Kyle Sue, a medical professor at a Canadian university performed the analysis. Several studies he cited suggest that female mice have stronger immune systems than their male counterparts, and that gender hormones have a direct effect on the immune system.

A 2013 study from Stanford University found that women’s antibodies tend to respond more rapidly to an injection of the flu virus than men’s antibodies. The study also found that men with higher testosterone levels tended to have the weakest antibody response. As a result, the study suggests that testosterone suppresses the immune system, while estrogen boosts it.

This explains why the flu has decimated me and had such a strong effect. Menopause results in a decrease in estrogen and an increase in testosterone. I often joke that I have more testosterone than most blokes, based on my hirsutism and aggressive, snarky personality. Apparently this may be true.

I started feeling dodgy weekend before last and by the following Wednesday it was coming on thick and fast. I still made it to work that Thursday and Friday but on Friday I was not fit for thinking much less working and after our morning meeting I came home and went straight to bed. I spent Saturday in bed popping every medication possible in the hopes that I was well enough to attend my friend Melanie’s 50th birthday party which was last Saturday night, however it was not to be. I was feeling like death that night and knew I was in no state to be partying much less did I want to go and spread my germs and create some sort of epidemic. On Sunday I was due to go drumming but I was not fit for that either. I took both Monday and Tuesday off of work and barely left my bed for 4 days. Wednesday I worked from home but I did not make it for a full day, I crashed in the afternoon.

I had plenty of company, Lola never left my side and Panda popped in and out depending on how cold he was and where his beloved Daddy was at the time.

Norm brought me breakfast and lunch in bed.

I got up to go downstairs for dinner if only to give my back a bit of a rest. Norm has been cooking healthy banting meals most of the time. This was various squash, sweet potato and roast pork.

He made a delicious beef and bean curry with cauliflower rice and poppadoms.

He built a roaring fire each night, wrapped me up in furry blankets and settled me in with a tray.

Tonight he made fillet steak, perfectly pink inside yet crusty outside, exactly the way I like it. The man now has a meat thermometer FFS. He is Jamie Oliver in a kilt. He boiled sweet potatoes, fried red cabbage in balsamic and butter and steamed some mixed broccoli, green beans and zucchini. It was simple yet delicious.

He has been so good to me. I could not have coped without him as the congestion was making my vertigo worse so my head was spinning like a top. I walked like a crab for a few days, skittering sideways, holding onto the wall and bumping into things due to my dizziness. It was like drinking a bottle of wine without the happy part.

Thursday I went back into the office and then also worked Friday and today. After work today I finally gave up and went to my GP. He listened to my lungs and my cough and decided I have a chest infection and he has put me on antibiotics.

We did venture out of our nest for a wee bit on Saturday night as we were invited out to our friend Helen’s birthday celebrations at Quentin’s which is just up the road. We said that if it was the UK then one of the restaurants in that area would be our local and we would walk there, however to do that here in SA would require risking our lives. In fact, when Helen and her friend drove home from dinner that night about midnight they had giant rocks thrown at their cars and a lot of damage was done. They were driving past the township at the police station when it occurred.

Yes. This happened right opposite the police station.

Welcome to Africa.

If that was the UK there would be manned CCTV in place and if that horror did occur it would be nipped in the bud immediately instead of happening to at least 4 other people that night according to the number of posts from the victims.

It was a dreadful end to a lovely evening. There were about 20 or more of us and we had two tables. It’s a lovely venue and the winter special is on.

I chose the avocado ritz to start.

It was nicely done, the avocado was ripe but firm, the prawns were fresh and perfectly cooked and the sauce was light and nice.

For my main course I chose the Roast Loin of Kingklip. It was all Banting which was nice as my dessert definitely wasn’t!

The fish was perfectly cooked, very firm in texture. The sauce was lovely and the spinach was tasty.

For dessert I chose the dark chocolate pudding. I was so eager to tuck in I didn’t snap a pic. Oops. It was so rich and decadent. I would have liked a bit of ice cream to cut through the richness of the chocolate but it was really creamy and gooey and lovely.

We didn’t last very late we were home about 11pm. We were one of the first to go but I was still feeling a bit rough. Norm snapped a pic of Helen and I on our way home.

On Sunday Norm just picked up a roast chicken and made some salads for a late lunch. My friend Retha popped round for a few minutes and had lunch with us. Norm and I spent the rest of the day snuggled up on the settee watching movies. We built a big fire and the critters all gathered round.

Lazy Sundays ❤️

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One thing about being ill was that I watched a lot of Netflix. When I watch on my own I try to find things I know Norm will not enjoy and as a result I chose a documentary series called “The Keepers“. It is a heart-wrenching series and for any other survivors of sexual abuse, there are triggers galore in this story. I found it a very difficult yet riveting story to watch. Like a train smash.

It is based in Baltimore Maryland in the USA and it tells the story of years of sexual abuse and deviant behaviour by several Catholic priests charged with the care of children. It is revealed that not only did the nuns and various other people at the schools or churches know about the abuse, but so did the Baltimore Diocese who chose to rather cover up the abuse than to deal with the issue of negligence in their duty of care. In fact, after the abuse was reported in the ’60’s by an altar boy who was attending St. Clement Parish, Father Maskell was removed from the parish and put in charge of looking after young girls at Archbishop Keough High School which was a girls only convent school. This gave Maskell and his colleagues free rein to abuse these girls in some horrific ways. They even brought in other pedophiles to be serviced by the girls in the priest’s offices on the school grounds. The girls all remembered that they were raped by police officers and various other men and that even Dr. Christian Richter, a local gynecologist colluded in the abuse. Maskell was also chaplain for the Baltimore police department during that time and he was good friends with the police chief at the time. Maskell’s brother was a police officer. The breadth of the cover up reaches right to the level of at least a Bishop and goes down deeply into the seedy echelons of the people who worked as police, those who had a duty to serve and protect the community.

There were several murders which have been linked to the perpetrators of the sexual abuse, one was the death of a nun, Sister Cathy, who knew about the abuse and was thought to have confronted the abusers and was subsequently murdered. The other death was a woman who resembled the nun. There are other rumors of deaths which people now think could be related to Maskell and his deviancy. None of them have been solved.

One of the ‘girls’ who seemed to have been a particularly favoured target of their abuse has since recovered many of her suppressed memories about that time and even recovered a memory of Maskell taking her to view the body of Sister Cathy. This victim had gone to Cathy to ask for help in dealing with the abuse. The priest had told her when he took her to see the body that if she told anyone else about the abuse she would end up in the same situation as Sister Cathy.

The concept of Recovered Memories was quite new at the time the 2 survivors had taken their case to court. This as well as the long period of time between the abuse and the charges was used as a means to suppress the case. There should be no statute of limitations on abuse of a child.

The church representatives tormented the witnesses and tried to diminish and intimidate them. In the end the church and the courts colluded to stop the case going forward to trial. No one has been prosecuted for the death of the two women nor the dozens of sexual abuse victims who came forward. The Church has subsequently paid off several of the surviving victims of the abuse who incriminated Father Maskell. They call it compensation but we all know it was guilt money which they hoped would make it all go away.

They don’t realise it is never about the money.

The #MeToo movement has empowered many victims to come forward. Many of these people were victimized decades ago but have not come forward for various reasons. Many victims repress all memory of the abuse.

I did not remember being abused as a small child until many years later when I was a mother myself. An episode of trauma triggered all of the memories to rush in just after Trevor was born. It all came hurtling back. I fully believe that our minds can restrict us ‘viewing’ information which we are unable to process or endure. Complete escapism. It’s a survival mechanism.

I was in a conversation the other day with 2 other women. All three of us are survivors of an abusive first marriage. We all found it hard to believe as we are all really forthright almost bolshy women. I know that my past is why I am who I am. I am a survivor. I know that whatever life throws my way cannot be worse than the things I have already made it through. This gives me a sense of bravery I might not otherwise feel.

I have a strong bond with the underdog and my kids call me Mama Bear. Woe betide anyone who messes with my children. Even though my eldest is 6’6″ and just turned 32 this week I still feel protective over him. At some point I’ll have to hand over that baton I guess! For now I am happy being Mama Bear.

We are hoping Norm hears some good news about his ongoing visa dramas this week, so we will appreciate any good vibes you can send our way.

Until next time, kisses from the Kitten xoxoxox

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Letting Go

What is it about us that makes us self-sabotage? Even though we know how great we feel when we give up our vices or lose weight or eat healthy, why do we not adhere to these best laid plans? Is it lack of will power? Lack of self worth? Or is it just chemistry? When you eat sugar, you crave sugar. If you smoke a cigarette it makes you crave another one. These actions set up a cycle of dependency within our bodies.

I feel permanently exhausted lately. I do not sleep very much but I know that part of this is due to diet, based on how wonderful I felt when we were on 100% Banting. However getting back on track once we have drifted is proving to be a challenge for us both. Even Norm is slipping and he was always so stalwart that it helped keep me focused on healthy goals.

A poor diet also creates horrendous mood swings for me. (As if menopause didn’t throw in enough of those hurdles for me to surmount.) As a result I was a cow all weekend. The problem is, even when I know I am being a cow, there is nothing I seem to be able to do to snap me out of my cow-ness.

Then I go into a mental state of such anxiety thinking about why my behaviour is so horrid, maybe I am depressed? If not, then why do I feel so low all of the time, when I have so many amazing things to be happy about?

And then I go into a spin of anxiety about my mental health. I wonder if once a person has been diagnosed with mental health issues whether this then triggers it’s own issues? My mental health has been relatively stable since I moved back to South Africa, bar a few blips triggered by events such as our home invasion.

And then I wonder am I just thinking too much? The curse of the Virgo, we over analyse every event, every word and every action.

Anyway. Virgos.

On Friday, Norm had managed to sell our old couch and an exercise bike we had been wanting to get rid of for ages. We were rather short on cash due to paying to ship over the few items my mother had given me as well as buying the ‘new’ 2nd hand sofa, so I was happy we had cash to get us through until month end.

We had a quiet weekend. On Friday night Josh was home with us and we ordered take aways from Posticino and just had a quiet evening at home.

Josh was racing on Saturday so he was up and out of the house at dawn. Norm and I lay in bed until 8 when the dogs insisted on their breakfast. I had a hair appointment in the city and Norm and I decided to go for brunch before I left so we popped into La Cuccina.

As it was a last minute plan, Norm did not have time to shave. I love him with facial hair but he says it itches so it never lasts long.

❤️

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Phwaor.

I ordered my usual Eggs Benedict.

Norm ordered scrambled eggs and bacon. They make their own bread and he was unable to resist those carbs. I ordered my bacon well done and poor Norm also got his well done even though he likes his still oinking.

Afterwards I headed into the city to the hairdresser. I love the vibe at the new salon Pause, and I thought about how many different salons in how many different places that I faithfully trekked to just to continue with Leandra and how happy for her I am that she now has her own salon and shops. She is such a lovely hard working girl and I wish her every success with both.

After my appointment I headed home and relaxed outside by the pool for a while, tossing Pixie’s ball to keep her amused.

Pixie and the Pool Pipe #WeirdBandNames

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That evening we decided to go out for dinner and we went to the local pub, however it was rammed as there were several sports games on (she says vaguely) so we did an about face and headed back out again as soon as we saw how noisy and crowded it was.

We decided to head up to Constantia for a change and went to Primi. It was a very dark night, despite there being an almost full moon, it was difficult to see when traveling through the poorly lit wooded areas.

We eventually made it there and settled in and ordered a drink and some food. We got some of their delicious zucchini fries.

Zucchini fries

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I chose the Recco Classico pasta which was described as “A curry-infused Napoletana with garlic and fresh chilli, rounded off with cream and garnished with fresh coriander.” They serve it in 2 sizes. I chose the smaller option. The price for plain pasta was either 65 / 80, or With Chicken it was 80/ 95 or With Prawns it was 115 / 155. I chose to add prawns.

When my dish arrived it looked very yummy and I took a big bite of prawn and pasta but quickly had to spit it out as the prawns were still in their shells. I had to fish each prawn out of the sauce and de-shell it resulting in a right mess and burnt fingers. It also meant the first bite of prawn was pretty much lost in spitting it out. There were only 4 prawns in the dish which meant I paid an extra R50 for very little prawniness.

But the sauce was delicious.

Shortly after eating I had some sort of allergic attack and could not stop sneezing and my throat felt swollen. The only things I know I am allergic to is dust or iodine so it could have been the prawns but I suspect it was dust. My eyes were watering like mad so we did not hang about and we headed back to Hout Bay after we ate. Once home I took an antihistamine which seemed to calm things down but my throat still felt very swollen.

The next day I had planned on attending a sweat lodge but as I had felt so rubbish the night before I was worried it might be the beginnings of a cold and as I was so exhausted I decided I needed a pajama day and I settled in to have a day of rest.

I was a bit sad as I was looking forward to lodge. The weekend before last we had our drumming practice on Sunday at Gerri’s and afterwards many of us stayed to help build a new sweat lodge. Gerri had gotten lots of wattle from Greyton and had been soaking it in the pool to keep it moist.

Soaking the wattle

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The wattle all got classified by size and straightness.

Next we dug 8 holes and 2 poles for each of the 4 directions were placed on opposite sides of the circle and these became the lodge entrances. These would form the ‘doors’ to the lodge.

Then the wattle were bent inwards towards the centre of the circle.

This is quite physical and takes hours to finish. I was unable to stay til the end but Gerri sent a pic of it once it was complete.

When they want to hold the lodge they just cover the structure with thick blankets and this keeps the heat in.

So I was a bit sad I could not christen the lodge, but I have to remember to allow rest time and I feel as if I have been non-stop for months. The weekend before last was busy end to end.

Last weekend on Friday after work we had a team lunch at Col’Cacchio near our offices.

Note my colleague trying to garrot me with his dinner knife.

Charming.

The next morning Norm and I were up and out early as we took Navajo to see the doggy chiro that treats Pixie. As we could not leave little Panda home alone we took all three of them.

Navajo was a bit of a nightmare. He is not good with new situations and he was like a large, slavering bull in a china shop. David the chiro did not seem too sure of him and Norm had to hold Nav tight to stop him nipping David. Eventually David managed to treat Nav and we quickly scarpered out of there. We have put Nav on another dose of strong anti-inflammatory meds and will see if his ankle calms down. It is worrying as it has been months and he is still limping. David is worried his muscles will atrophy.

That night Norm and I had gone to Papino’s for dinner and as mentioned I was busy at the lodge until late on Sunday so I felt pretty knackered when Monday rolled around.

This Saturday I had woken to news that my cousin Mona’s husband of 25 years had passed away. It was their 25th wedding anniversary on the previous Wednesday and he died on his actual birthday.

Mona and I were raised like sisters as we both spent a lot of time at our grandmother’s house. I lived next door to my Gran and Mona lived with her father and siblings a few miles away. Mona’s mother Avene was my mother’s sister and she had died when her 3 children were tiny.

Mona was raised in a Christian church-going family, however my family never attended church, in fact my father was agnostic.

I was the naughty cousin once we got to be teens, I was partying, exploring tarot cards, Ouija boards and all sorts of things and I remember once involving Mona in my Ouija board antics and she freaked out and crossed herself and ran. Mona has maintained her life long bond with the church.

I never felt close to Christianity, however this did not stop Mona and I from being ‘sisters’. We may have drifted apart many times but we never stopped loving each other, so my heart is breaking for her and her daughter Stephanie. Stephanie was from Mona’s first marriage but was quite young when Mona remarried and so she saw Steve as a second father. As I have lived outside of the US for almost 30 years I had only met Steve once or twice but according to everyone who did know him he was a lovely man.

I pray that Mona and Steve’s loved ones all find the strength they need to get through this.

I am going to focus on changing my perspective, and yes I know I’ve said that before. I read in this post that “Happiness is accepting what we don’t control — which is everything outside of ourselves — and investing in what we do control, which is everything inside us.” Control is a huge issue for me, so I am still having challenges with that it seems. Maybe this is a ongoing life lesson…….letting go of trying to control everything so that I can find my own peace and be happy?

Thank you for reading and if you can spare a prayer for Mona and Stephanie I would be most appreciative.

Until next time, kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

Touched by an Angel

One more sleep.

That is, there is only one more sleep until my darling hubby is waiting eagerly at the Cape Town airport for collection.

All I can say is phew. I would say more but kids might be reading.

Managing a home as well as starting a new client and new project has almost done me in. Thank goodness we don’t also have small children, I wonder how single moms cope. Hats off to them. We have so much pressure just as women in general. Waxing and coloring and styling and making up. Feck it can be hard work. Add to that keeping a house functioning and it is a lot to keep juggled. It’s like a finely tuned machine, I used a calendar with color coded keys for each person, the domestic, the gardener, the pool man, the dog food delivery man, the house sitter and dog walker. If one factor shifted it all went awry. For example, Josh was planning on staying in Mossell Bay from Good Friday until the following Thursday so I had booked Vanessa a few nights to stay over and help me, but then Josh had to come back early for work so I ended up having all three of us here but that worked out ok. Luckily we had the new bed for Vanessa.

But then as I had originally cancelled Vanessa from Easter weekend I was on my own on Tuesday morning when I started my new project at our new client site. I had told our cleaner when she was here in person the previous week that I was starting a new project and was supposed to be in an 8am meeting and I also sent an SMS the day before to remind her that I had to leave by 7:30 at the latest and if she wasn’t there I could not wait. I was ready by 7 but there was no sign of her by 7:30 and when I rang her phone was off. Often when she goes to the Eastern Cape she is late coming back to Cape Town so I assumed she was not back and I left a voicemail and sent a text message to say I had to go to work. As she wasn’t here our gardener could not get in to work later at 9 when he arrived. It also meant the dogs were on their own all day. On the days when no one was going to be at home, I booked Vanessa who popped in to let the dogs out for a wander and a wee and filled their water bowls.

I had a meeting with a colleague on Monday even though it was a public holiday just to prep me for Tuesday but it was still exhausting sitting in workshops most of Tuesday. I left as soon as I could and raced back feeling so bad that Navajo was inside unable to go to the toilet from that morning but he did so well bless him.

We could not get our ID badges which meant I could not even go for a wee on my own, eventually that was sorted and yesterday I got access to the WiFi and network. Those niggly little details make such a difference when you get on boarded to a project. It’s lovely being in the city Centre with so many choices of food and a nice coffee place across the road. I’ve mostly eaten at Now Now which has a really great menu and delicious food and a few Banting choices. I have a coffee there every morning and usually my lunch is there too as it’s across the street and I don’t have time to faff about.

I had this Banting dish for lunch Tuesday, it has cauliflower mash topped with spicy chicken, sour cream and sliced almonds. Yum.

Peri Chicken Pot 👍🏼

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Josh and I were surviving off of OrderIn. This went fine most nights but one evening we ordered burgers from The Kitchen Takeaway and had a major drama. The order got stuck in the app. Eventually I noticed that it had been a long time since I placed the order and I had not had an SMS so I checked the app to make sure the order had gone through and noticed it had not been completely processed. I rang the call centre (I won’t call it a ‘helpdesk’ as it certainly NOT that) and after sitting on the phone in a queue for 5 minutes someone finally answered and when I asked her about the status of my order she then put me on hold and disappeared for ages, she then came back to say that the ‘restaurant had refused the order’ and when I asked her why she said she had to check ‘with a colleague’. She then put me on hold again. After another 5 minutes listening to an annoying call centre message she comes back to say that the restaurant was missing an item we ordered and had cancelled the order. I told her that we only ordered burgers – how many ingredients could be missing?! This sounded rather unlikely.

Josh had subsequently rang the restaurant on his mobile who told us that A) they had not refused the order as they had not received the order and that B) there were no missing ingredients, they had all that we asked for. This can only lead me to the conclusion that the call centre agent was not being truthful. This has happened before where OrderIn agents blamed the restaurant for the issues in delivery and when I rang the restaurant they told me that the story I was given by the call centre agents is not true. They are obviously told never to admit a glitch on the app however the damage that they can do to a restaurant’s reputation can be terrible.

Petrol went up this week and I missed that memo. By the time I got the message I was home and in my PJs and not a chance was I moving. It is already taking twice the petrol driving up the mountain now that I drive the coast road.

I was presenting very tedious information to the client in workshops twice this week and both days I had such a sore tummy. Presenting stresses me out especially when I have not written the documents myself. I hate surprises. But both days went well and I have my rules confirmed. I’ll package for sign off next week.

Driving out of the city yesterday a car stalled at the traffic light in front of me. The large truck behind me got annoyed at the delay & overtook the queue of traffic & drove around us & cut in front to turn left at the same time the poor dude got his car to start resulting in a major collision right in front of me. It was rather shocking and loud but no one was badly injured. I was then starting to shift into victim mode and think “why me? Why are all of these stressful things happening to me?” And then I pulled myself up for languishing in egotistic self pity. I needed to shift my focus and say Thank You! Thank you spirit guides and protectors and ancestors for keeping me safe in that accident. Thank you for a job. Thank you for a job where I get to talk to people all day about a topic I love, data and data quality. How lucky am I that I get paid to write, even if I am writing technical approach documents, at least I am doing something I love to do and getting paid a cracking good salary to do so.

I need to refocus. Maybe being without Norm has made me more appreciative of what I have. I just know I can’t wait for him to get home and I’m feeling renewed in how I am approaching this project. Life is good. I’m a lucky Kitten. I just need to focus on those positives and keep myself in gratitude mode.

This morning I was up early and took Pixie to the doggy chiropractor. We were a bit early so we canoodled in the car.

I put a ham in to bake when I got back.

I baked a gammon ❤️

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I then popped out to Spar and bought some veggies so I will do roast butternut and cauliflower, corn on the cob and serve those with the ham.

I’ve just been chilling outside with the dogs and relaxing. Feeling blessed to have this view.

And feeling pleased the plants I repotted are thriving.

The view from my happy place ❤️😍

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Enjoy your weekend and until then, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Bedfellows

This week I was invited to a Town Hall meeting at the American Consulate. I am not one of those expats who feels the need to gravitate towards a collective gathering of my home boys and girls. I am the sort who tends to try to assimilate into my environment. However this is the first Town Hall that our new consulate general has put on and I thought it would be interesting to attend.

I arrived very early as I always tend to do, I have a rubbish sense of direction and get a bit panicky if I get lost so even though I had been to the consulate a few years ago I left plenty of travel time. It was really hot outside so I parked in the shade and waited until I saw them opening the doors and a queue forming. You have a lovely view of the mountains from the car park so I did not mind waiting. Once inside I went to the front of the room as I am blind as a bat and I could see that they were doing a presentation. I strategically chose a chair on the aisle on the second row. I noticed that everyone had sat down and I remembered that I wanted to get some forms to register to vote and so I got up and went back to the other side of the room. I debated leaving my sweater on the seat to hold my place but there were no more people arriving so I could not imagine that anyone would deliberately get up and scoot over to that particular chair which had no one near it. When I came back a little old lady had magically appeared in my seat. I moved around her to the front row and sat on the corner seat thinking this would mean I would not be annoyed. I could feel the woman one seat away checking me out and looking for any opportunity to launch into a convo. I desperately avoided meeting her eye. It is like being on a plane when you just want to be left alone to read your book and you have an enthusiastic, bored person next to you slavering over you like a Labrador. I am far too anti-social for that. Meeting strangers is my worst as it inevitably leads to a gazillion personal questions.

I had forgotten the amount of noise a room full of Americans can make. It was deafening as there were at most 50 people there. But at least I avoided eye contact and thus avoided getting the third degree.

As soon as I got comfy in my new seat a very large lady with massive amounts of long thick obviously unwashed hair came and wedged in next to me. She swirled around and threw her clump of hair over her shoulder and smacked me right in the head with it. (Strike One)

She then shoved her arm over the arms of both chairs and impaled me with an elbow. (Strike Two)

She then chucked what appeared to be a parka made especially for Arctic travel over the chair arm and it landed fully in my lap. (Strike Three).

At this point I stood up, lifted my chair and banged it onto the floor a few inches away from her hair, wardrobe and various appendages.

She then decided to heave said parka out of her chair completely and it landed on my crossed legs. I simply kicked it across the floor.

She was all out of strikes.

There were various speakers, the session was opened by a new guy who only recently joined the Cape Town consulate, I think his name was Tom. He seemed very nervous but he was quite amusing. He then handed over to the Consul General Virginia Blaser who arrived in Cape Town in August last year. She chatted to us about the duties of the Consulate and some of the various functions they perform and some of the contributions that the US Government make to other countries, including SA.

Next we had a presentation from the City’s safety and security executive director, Richard Bosman. He gave us the good news that Day Zero has been moved back and is not expected to hit in 2018 at all. He gave us an overview of the City’s Disaster Plan. My personal opinion is that the management of the drought has been a clusterfeck of note. But I did not tell him that of course. (Luckily I was sober)

It was all an interesting event but it felt very odd to be surrounded by so many American accents.

The annoying lady next to me was a ‘positive listener’ in that she made either a grunt or a ‘mmmm hmm’ noise or some sort of vocal response to every single thing that any of the speakers said while bobbing her head in the corresponding direction. WTF woman this is not a private phone chat, STFU.

Anyway, I did not do her any harm, so go Kitten! (No strikes)

This week the news has been full of the Gugulethu, Nyanga & Phillipi township protests. Demonstrators are protesting evictions by the city’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit who removed illegal shack dwellings this week. The protests were over the evictions as well as the fact that the protesters do not have proper housing. This chaos spills onto the motorways & results in road closures which creates danger and havoc for commuters. The protesters torched the post office. However living in a tin shack would make one want to protest, I cannot blame anyone for protesting, but there is no need for violence and destruction of property. I guess their frustration has led to this however.

I had recently written about the school secretary Gill Packham who was missing and the burning car that was found with a body in the boot. It has now been confirmed that the body was Gill’s and her husband Rob has now been arrested for her murder. Her head had been bashed in at the back, she could have fallen, but why put the body in a torched car? What is he hiding? There are some rather seamy articles being posted about his sexual proclivities. He had allegedly undergone treatment for sex addiction and was into bondage. Maybe her death occurred during some sexual game and afterwards he panicked and put her in the boot and torched the car, or maybe her death was as a result of domestic abuse. We may never know the real truth as he is claiming it was not him. I feel such heartache for their two daughters. To lose your mother is bad enough but to lose her to violence at the hands of your own father and to then have the country gossiping about their sex lives must be the worst possible scenario. I pray for their peace.

Norm took all 3 of the dogs to the vet on Friday.

Navajo has been limping again on his back leg, but it is on and off. The steroid injection he had last time did help but only temporarily. Today they drained fluid from his ankle so I hope that brings him some relief. Pixie and Panda were both due some injections. Panda yelped and Pixie tried to hide as she probably remembers the last visit where she was left to be sedated on her own. Owning dogs is an expensive adventure but I would rather go without than have my dogs suffer.

For lunch on Friday I used OrderIn to bring some food as we had nothing to take for my lunch. I tried a place called Knead and I was ordering a Caesar salad when I saw that they had kitka bread. I love kitka bread and switched my order to the Classic Chicken Mayo Toasted Sandwich @ R56.00 with Square Kitka bread.

I’ve only had kitka rolls and had expected that, but the bread was sliced from a loaf but it was nice but not the density of the rolls I expected. There was a lot of mayo on it but it was tasty enough. It contained big chunks of chicken which I prefer to minced chicken. It also had lots of pickle and I love pickles.

I am so relieved it is finally the weekend but I have been busy already.

I got up early and set off for the hairdresser just after 9. I encountered a million cyclists preparing for the Cape Town Cycle Tour and several tourists tottering along goggle eyed staring at the sea. Therefore I was surprised to get parked on Long Street just after 9:30. I went into the salon to wait. It’s normally so busy but was really quiet.

Leandra looked a bit confused but I assumed it was because I was so early. She called me over and said “I’ve got you in the book for next week” I checked my diary and so did I! OMG I was a week early. Luckily she had a client cancel and I fit in perfectly. Silly me. Anyway my hair feels fab!

After I finished I went to collect Norm as we needed to buy a bed for our guest room as we are expecting a friend over from Belfast soon. We went to 3 shops and found a bed that fit my budget and then hit the mall as it was now after 2 and we were starving.

We popped into Mugg and Bean at Blue Route Mall and Norm had a stuffed croissant with ham and eggs in it. I had a few items off the tapas menu which Norm shared with me.

I had the buttermilk chicken which was very tasty but needs bigger pieces of chicken. I also had the wedge of salad which is a wedge of iceberg lettuce with bacon and blue cheese and we also shared the fritters which had jalapeño and corn with a chipotle sauce. Th fritters were doughy and needed another minute in the fryer.

We then found the perfect headboard, simple and plain.

You can see it HERE

All we have to do is buy bedding to match my chaise loungue which is in that room and it will look fab. It will still be Norm’s office but when we need a third bedroom it means our visitors do not have to stay in the garden flat.

Tomorrow is the Cape Town Cycle race but we are not sure if we will watch it from the comfort of our home or join one of the parties on the main road cheering them on. I find I need one day on a weekend to recharge, preferably in my pajamas.

Next week I have booked for Norm and I to go to see Odwa Bongo perform at the city branch of Cafe Roux. I found a track he has released on Soundcloud if you would like to listen – click here.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0

Takers and Fakers

I mentioned that the Budget Speech was done last Wednesday. I also discussed the failings of the current government to adequately plan for the number of children in the Western Cape province and how 10k children have no placement in a school. I found it rather ridiculous that the ANC blamed the high levels of uneducated Africans solely on the past years of apartheid when the ANC have been in power for over 20 years. From what I have seen the ANC have done very little to better the cause of their constituents during those 20 plus years.

Unemployment in January 2018 was 26.7% as compared to the official unemployment rate in 1994, as recorded by Statistics South Africa, which was approximately 20%. The ANC have failed to improve in this area either and the two issues are intrinsically linked. Education is one of the paths out of poverty and unemployment.

Statistics SA calculates an “expanded rate” of unemployment which includes people who do not have a job and are available to work but have not taken active steps to look for work. Calculations using the expanded rate put unemployment at 31.5% in 1994 and 35.6% between July and September 2013. So either way you slice the data, the ANC is failing to progress the living conditions of the voters.

It is estimated that 53 million girls do not have access to education. This can be due to many different reasons but some of the girls are too isolated to be able to attend a physical school and so a proposal was made to the African Union (AU) Summit by the ONE foundation which suggested digital learning could be a way to reach many children. Globally there are so many challenges to getting access to education and this needs to be addressed strategically, hopefully the new first lady will help to further that agenda.

Another issue compromising the rights of young girls is the high incidence of sex trafficking and child trafficking and other ways of suppressing these young girls from living their best lives. A crazy situation has just literally blown up in South Africa. This oppression was done in the name of religion.

Back in February 2016 a raid was done on the Mancoba Seven Angels Ministry church where 18 kids between the ages of 7 and 13 years of age were removed from the care of the church. This was after months of investigation into the practices of the church where it was identified that none of the children there were being allowed to go to an external school and were also not being educated by the church. This is illegal to not educate a school aged child and so the police removed the children on the instructions of the Social Development MEC.

A report by chapter 9 institution the CRL Rights Commission was presented to Parliament’s portfolio committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs in October last year where they warned it was a disaster waiting to happen.

Commission chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva told City Press that she interviewed the cult leaders in 2016 during her investigation into church practices and made the parliamentary committee aware of her “serious concerns” however for some reason this case seems to have slipped through the many governmental cracks and the predictions by the CRL report were realised when the cult leaders ran out of money and then decided it would be a good idea to go on a crime spree in the hopes of topping up their coffers.

The cult members ambushed a police station in Ngcobo on the Eastern Cape. There were 5 police staff killed as well as an off duty soldier. Three of the SAPS members were shot on site while two additional members were kidnapped before being killed and left on the side of the road. During the attack, ten firearms and a police van were stolen from the police station, and an ATM a short distance from the police station was robbed.

Investigations into the raid on the police station led the police to the doors of the Mancoba Seven Angels Ministry church yet again where another shoot out occurred, this time the interaction left seven people dead and resulted in 10 arrests. Further exploration of the ‘church’ premises revealed that there were approximately 100 girls here who were being kept as sex slaves. These children ranged in age from infants to teens. The adults who lived on the premises were not allowed to leave the compound either.

If only the government had acted on the report they could have saved those girls from years of sexual abuse and gotten them into a school so that they could get an education.

There has been some rather horrid news over the last week.

There was a post going around social media regarding a woman who went missing on her way to work on Thursday, a notice was put out by the Pink Ladies organisation. 57-year-old Gill Packham‚ a teacher at Springfield Convent in Wynberg‚ was reported missing by a relative on Thursday morning. On Thursday night a burning BMW was discovered at the train station in Diep River and a body was discovered in the boot of the car. It is feared but not confirmed that this body is the missing teacher. I pray that she died prior to them setting the car alight as that would be a horrendous way to die. I feel so sad for her children and loved ones. Such a senseless death.

We also heard on the radio that there was some sort of taxi war going down on Thursday night in Hout Bay, very near our home. There were reports of gun shots from multiple people.

“Hout Bay police have now confirmed that a 22-year-old man was killed during a shooting incident outside the OK Mini-Mart in Hout Bay on February 22.

The shooting, which occurred at 9.30pm, is believed to be related to a taxi war.

“Another victim was shot inside the OK Mini Mart and sustained injuries to his head. He was transported to Groote Schuur Hospital,” said Warrant Officer Tanya Lesch. “A murder case and attempted murder case were opened. No arrests have been made as yet. All leads are being followed up to establish the cause of the incident.”

Rumours were circulating that this incident was linked to the most recent fire in the township. The fire is rumoured to have been caused by a fight over taxi routes. The man who allegedly started that fire has gone into hiding and the way things work in the community is that if you are not there to pay the price of your actions yourself then a family member will be given your punishment. The rumours are that one of the victims was the brother of the alleged arsonist.

The local Driftwood Restaurant & Pub in Hout Bay was reported to have been robbed by 4 armed men the morning after the shoot out. This was potentially an inside job as the takings from the previous night were all on site. There are various gambling machines in the pub which also would have been emptied. Who knew the patterns of the bank deposits? This has happened before at this same venue.

I had a relaxed weekend at home despite all of the chaos swirling around the village. Norm was away from Friday morning when he flew to Zambia at ridiculous o’clock in the morning. He left the house at 4.30am but I did not hear him tiptoe out, I only woke when Josh left for work.

Friday night Josh and I stayed in and ordered a curry from the Indian Oven and it was ever so delicious as always. As I had been awake so early that morning and Josh was working the next day we were both asleep by 10pm.

Saturday I had a friend pop by to drop off some cleaning products that I bought, but other than that I had a lazy day just doing not much of anything. Of course everything I do is accompanied by my shadow.

I started watching a new series called Retribution on Netflix. There were only 4 episodes in the series and I binge watched them all on Saturday night. It was such a great show, I really recommend it and give it a full 5 Kitten stars.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sunday I had to emerge from my nest and go shopping so I showered and went down to the village. I did not bother to put on make up so of course I saw so many people I know. Typical.

I decided to cook a beef curry for that evening and I put in loads of veggies and lentils and some cannelloni beans. It cooked all day and we had it that evening for dinner. I forgot to buy any cauliflower rice so we just had it as is with some poppadoms and some chicken samoosas I bought at woolies.

Beef and veggie curry

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

Norm arrived home late on Sunday night so I waited up for him to get in. I am never sure who is more excited to see him, me or the dogs. Navajo has barely been eating while Norm was away and he is also limping on his back leg again. I am not sure if this is just amateur dramatics or whether he really has a problem. He is a bit of a drama queen.

On Monday Vanessa came around to do my pedicure and after she left I made dinner. I had cooked a bolognaise sauce on Sunday afternoon. I sliced up a couple of aubergines and fried them to make sure they cooked properly. I then created a sort of Lasouka or Mousana. (What you get if a Moussaka and a Lasagna had a baby.)

I layered the meat sauce in the bottom of the pan and topped it with a layer of the fried aubergines.

They were not as burnt as they look trust me, I am a Mousana Master. I then added a layer of ricotta cheese and topped with a layer of sliced mozzarella and baked it all for about 30-40 minutes.

It was very rich with all of the cheese, it would have been fine without the ricotta. But it was rather tasty and was a nice change from my usual low carb lasagna.

We have had a bit of rain here and there as well and the current estimate for Day Zero is July 9th.

Our new president has announced his new cabinet and I am rather disappointed to see that it is littered with Gupta owned Zuma supporters. His choices are driven by what is good for the ANC, not what is good for the country.

I am most disappointed in the retention of Bathabile Dlamini. Her incompetence has been proven many times over. David Mabuza will be sworn in as the Deputy President of South Africa which is also a slap in the face of all of us as he has been surrounded by scandal and corruption charges. A few of the ministers who did get moved out were a relief so it is not all doom and gloom. However this was a missed opportunity to do a proper clear out of the Gupta-ites and Zuma sycophants.

Ramaphosa only gets two kitten stars for this new cabinet. And that is me being incredibly generous.

⭐️⭐️

I’ve got my eye on you Cyril!

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

The Sacrificial Kitten

I feel like I should have some sort of large neon flashing light counting down to when the water runs out in Cape Town on my blogs. “It is X amount of days until Day Zero” announced in some deep ominous voice when it opens, a bit like all the silly nonsense we had on our MySpace blogs. Day Zero is a moving target which is based on our consumption, the rainfall and the dam water levels. I did mentioned that the City of Cape Town (CoCT) does have such a countdown. HERE is the link again and you can see that the previous date of 12 April has now been pushed back a few days to the 16th of April. This is as a result of people conserving more and that tiny drizzle of rain we had this week, so we gained 6 days.

I also discussed how Day Zero will only impact some people in Cape Town. An article about township residents and water has confirmed these views. If you have lived most of your life with the restriction of ‘use only what you can carry’ then you are already water conscious and far less precious than most of us are. Many people do not even have a bath or a shower in their home so they are not worried about not being able to do either of those things when Day Zero arrives.

Now we are watching the infighting at the governmental level and blaming of each other regarding taking responsibility for the water crisis. The National government (the ANC) are responsible for ensuring that the provinces have an adequate water supply and the local government (the DA) are responsible for ensuring the water is distributed to the residents.

Both are pointing fingers at each other and neither seem to have a clue what to do to get us out of this mess. National government is saying that the residents are wasteful and do not look after our resources rather than acknowledging that the population has outstripped the supply as discussed in a previous post. Local government is trying to ride that same old pony to the bank and is trying to put the financial burden onto the citizens. Neither of these actions are helping.

It is amazing how little water one can use when being very aware and cautious. I managed to wash up about 4 sinks full of dishes on the weekend using one small pan of water. I put a tiny bit into a second pan for rinsing and I washed them all in the same pan of wash water. It is not ideal but it is what we must do.

Humans need to start thinking more on a global scale than just to the limits of their vision or the ends of their noses. We all need to think about our footprint on Mother Earth.  I saw that California is proposing legislature which will make it illegal for restaurants to offer plastic straws. After their one-time use, non-biodegradable plastic straws often end up in our oceans and waterways where they break down into smaller, micro-size pieces that are discarded into our environment. They are oftentimes mistaken as food by marine life. An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic garbage ends up in the world’s oceans every year and an estimated 90% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs. I rejoiced about the new proposed legislature while others I see online are saying ‘we have bigger issues like child abuse and crime to deal with here in Amuricah!’ uh yeah and that is why those are both illegal too you imbeciles.

People.

In Cape Town many restaurants have taken a voluntary pledge to not use single use plastic items which are not recyclable and to ban plastic straws completely.

We all have to make sacrifices for the good of others. Norm and I discussed on the weekend how much water it uses to make a frothy coffee. We have already had to feel the environmental guilt from using the pods, but now to realise that it takes a bowl of water to wash the milk out of the frother after each cup is making me give up my machine coffees. I will heat the milk in the microwave and try to avoid the resulting horrid little slimy bits you get from heated milk.

Sigh.

On Friday when Norm came home with the dogs from their walk Navajo was limping. He was right as rain when they left home but he came home and refused to put his back foot onto the ground and tucked his leg right up into his body. We all tried to keep him still to see if he had a thorn but we could see nothing. If we touched his foot he yelped.

When we got up on Saturday morning Norm took him to the vet. The vet could not look at it properly and due to the yelping when we touched it he wanted to sedate Navajo and do an x-ray to make sure there were no fractures. That is now over R3k we have paid at the vet this month. Norm had to leave him and so he came back home to wait for the call to say Nav was awake from the sedation. Norm went back to collect Nav a bit later and the vet had given him a cortisone injection in his foot and he seemed much happier to put it down to walk on it, but he was high as a kite and was rather amusing when trying to navigate round the house. The vet thinks he just strained it.

Today we heard that Lily’s Weimaraner Bacardi is unwell. I would appreciate a positive thought or prayer for his healing please.

My friend Melodie popped by for coffee and a chat on Saturday afternoon. It was really warm and windy out so we sat out at the back of the house, the patio there is really protected by the wind. Norm had bought some choccie biscuits and a small cheesecake for us to have with our coffees on his way back from the vet.

It was lovely having Lily down for the weekend. On Saturday Lily and Josh went to a Havana themed birthday party at the Grand. Norm dropped them off so that they could Uber home and have a few drinks.

The Grand is right on the beach and it is a lovely venue. They are such a cute couple those 2. Lily borrowed the dress from Amber and Lily bought Josh his outfit that day and he borrowed Norm’s hat.

When Norm returned from dropping off the kids he decided to pop down to The Kitchen Takeaway for something for our dinner as there was just us two eating. We ordered the Ribs and Prawns combo. Both of those choices tell you how much Norm loves me as he hates to eat food that he has to touch with his hands but I had ordered it as a combo and we only realised it was for 2 people when he arrived and so he sacrificed his own choices in order to share mine.

Awww.

It was delicious.

After dinner Norm and I sat down to watch a bit of telly and the next thing I knew Josh and Lily were arriving home. It was well after midnight and we had obviously both nodded off in front of Dragons Den. We all headed sleepily off to bed.

When we woke on Sunday Nav ran around and jumped half up on the bed. He had not been able to do that the previous day as it hurt to put pressure on that back foot but on Sunday he seemed much better. He did still yelp when we gave him a yogurt container to lick as he tried to hold it with a front paw which resulted in putting pressure on the back foot and he cried loudly and looked a bit sheepish at us. But once he got his balance back he was fine and spent the day without any further protests.

Norm and I hung out around the house until Lily decided to head back up the coast and then we showered to go out. I did my once weekly hair wash but still managed to keep the water usage to a minimum by not waiting on the cold water to heat and by having it drip down rather than pummel me with water. Norm is tracking our consumption daily to ensure we are below the current 50l per person per day targets.

As we were getting ready to leave Lily rings to say she has just discovered Josh’s truck keys were in her handbag. She was about an hour up the road and had to turn back, thus adding in so much wasted time to her already long journey. Poor Lily. She also left all of her dirty washing but we will keep that for her return. 😉

Norm and I finally headed out to hit the shops about 1pm. We decided to pop in for a spot of lunch at Tashas in Constantia and were lucky enough to get a table outside with a view of the mountains. It even had a bit of shade for my wee scotty.

Considering how hot it was outside we were happy for the shade.

We both ordered the Apple Goat Cheese salad for R114 which was described as: goat’s cheese served on ciabatta toast, caramelised apple, baby gem lettuce, micro herbs, walnuts, red onion & rocket tossed in a balsamic & olive oil dressing.

We just scraped the cheese off of the toast but I had a naughty nibble of the corners of the crispy ciabatta. It was a delicious combination of flavours and I really enjoyed it.

After we returned home Norm heard that another hiker had been stabbed in the St James area which is popular with hikers. The attacker had posed as a security guard and was wearing a uniform. This would have led the victim to think that the stabber was there to assist or to protect them, not to attempt to murder them.

Two weeks ago, nine hikers were robbed and stabbed in the St James Peak area, by two men who appeared to be hikers. The duo had joined the group and hiked with them for about half an hour before attacking them.

Obviously the person or gangs who are performing these robberies are planning their approach, it is not just opportunism which is the impetus for many of our crimes. This is deliberately going there with a plan to do harm. I do hope they catch these horrendous cowardly ‘men’ as they seem to target the older or more elderly hikers.

It doesn’t sound like your usual tikhead (aka meth-head).

Unfortunately this is yet another area where local government have thrown their hands up as the Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has washed the province’s hands of responsibility for the murder. He has pretty much said ‘Nothing to do with us!’ as technically any crime remains the constitutional prerogative of the South African Police Service (SAPS) which is ‘owned’ by National Government.

I guess that title of ‘Community Safety Member of the Executive Council’ is just a suggestion?

On Sunday afternoon after we got home from the shops I put a beef roast into the slow cooker. That made for a gorgeous roast dinner on Monday evening. To go with it I made fondant sweet potatoes.

Sunday evening it was still really hot so we bought some chicken kebabs at the shops to braai on the grill. Norm made those with grilled corn on the cob and I made a few salads to go with it. I even pickled some cucumber in vinegar.

Late on Sunday night we read about Cape Town fire fighter Ashley Kruger’s death while she was on duty fighting a blaze on Table Mountain. City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Theo Layne said 37 firefighters, a city-contracted helicopter, four fire engines and three water tankers were involved in extinguishing the blaze with assistance from Table Mountain National Parks. The fire fighter was a friend of a friend so it is particularly upsetting when you can put a face and name to the death of a hero. RIP to Ashley’s friends, her wife and her family, they at least have a bit of consolation that she died being selfless and heroic. The ultimate sacrifice.

On Monday when I got home from work I was so happy that I had put that roast into the slow cooker as I arrived home to no electricity! The entire valley was without electricity all day.

Luckily we have a gas cooker and so I could cook the sweet potatoes and reheat the roast. It was incredibly hot outside and a roast was possibly not the best meal for the weather but it was what it was.

When I left work on Monday it was 38 degrees C! That is 100.4 degrees in American.

Norm and I sat outside in the moonlight trying to catch a bit of a breeze. The dogs were baffled as to why we were sitting quietly in the dark and why we were on the front stoep.

Eventually at about 10pm the electricity was restored and we could put the fans on. The weather did finally cool off a bit about bed time and there was even a tiny bit of rain on Tuesday morning.

For dinner on Tuesday I shredded the remainder of the beef roast, added beans and spices and made chili con carne.

It was good, but not amazing because some of the kidney beans were still hard. I boiled the chilli after we finished and it was fine for lunch today.

I am attending an event on Sunday called “Dance To Heal The Earth – One Day Dance in Honour of The Water.” Dance to Heal the Earth is a profound focal point for discovery, initiation, healing, and manifesting our intention, in alignment with the Great Creation, Mother Earth and the Core of our Beings. Every movement in the Dance is a prayer of profound focus and intention.

“All living things will take part. Dance to Heal the Earth! Let your feet beat a healing rhythm into the earth. Let your feet beat a strengthening rhythm for those who struggle the hardest. Let your feet beat a life-giving rhythm for all peoples, regardless of race or national boundary, regardless of whether we’re human or whether we’re the trees, the air, the fish, the birds, the buffalo, the bear, the crow. Our dance is a prayer, and our songs, rhythms and our breath give life.”<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
i)

I will take my drum and sing to support the drummers. If there are not too many people who want to drum I will join on the large communal drum, but I’m not good with being crowded so I will take my own just in case. Either way I am really looking forward to it.

I read a quote today by Cheryl Strayed that reads:

“Our work, our job, the most important gig of all, is to make a place that belongs to us, a structure composed of our own moral code. Not the code that echoes imposed cultural values, but the one that tells us on a visceral level what to do.”

To me that sums up exactly what I am trying to achieve, to have my heart beat aligned to the beat of Mother Earth, to align my compass to the direction of what is right and just.

The Throne

I never thought I would get excited about a toilet. As a Virgo even the mention of a toilet makes me cringe. However the looming presence of Day Zero is a bit of a game changer and makes you think about things which we take for granted every day.

Such as elimination of waste.

Norm was tasked with getting us prepared for the very likely possibility that we have to live without running water to our homes. He went to several stores and all of them were out of stock of 25 liter water containers as well as ‘survivalist’ toilets. He put his name down to be contacted and they rang to say they had stock on Tuesday and over R3k later we have the containers we need as well as a toilet.

We are currently restricted to 50 liters consumption per day per person. To put this into perspective, here is a video from several months ago on what 87 liters looks like when going about your daily life. Imagine this being restricted to the proposed 25 liter per person per day.

Or to try and determine what you are personally using, there is a calculator page where you can input your consumption and it will give you an idea. I think you will be shocked at how quickly it mounts up.

Here is a more recent video which discusses the restrictions in US measurements but despite only being released a few days ago it also is out of date as the parameters change almost daily.

I already only wash my hair once a week and my ‘showers’ are more of a 2 minute quick, cold sprinkle of water than an actual shower. I use makeup remover cloths each night to avoid using water to wash my face. We have buckets in the shower to catch our grey water and this water is used to flush the loos or water the few plants which have survived the drought and lack of irrigation. We have pipes which attach to our guttering down pipes which route any rain water into our pool. We limit our dishwasher to when it is so full you cannot get in an extra spoon. As a result our pantry smells revolting. Anyone have tips for destinking a sitting dishwasher? We can’t waste water rinsing every dish so there is left over bits on some. It’s rather horrid, but we are doing what we can.

We have hand sanitiser by all of the sinks to reduce the water we use washing our hands. We try to avoid using much water to cook. Or we are clever about it. Last night Norm washed the spinach over the steamer then used that water to steam the broccoli. That bit of water will go into the garden today.

It made a gorgeous dinner too. 😍 He stuffed chicken breasts with Brie and wrapped them with bacon. He added a bit of cream to the spinach.

Back to whining about the drought after that brief interlude……

Meanwhile we witness other people using their garden hose to wash their cars. I have not washed my car in months and months. It used to get washed weekly.

However the panic only seems to be among certain residents. When I chat to my African colleagues about Day Zero they say ‘bring it on’. The point of view of some people is that it is only the people who live in ‘expensive houses’ who will be impacted by this issue. I was chatting to a colleague who said that the people who live in the informal settlements already have to walk 3 or 4 blocks to reach the standpipe at the location so they already conserve water. If you have to walk and carry every bit of water you use then you will value every drop.

When Mzudumo and Cordelia arrived at work on Tuesday, Norm had a talk with them about the water restrictions. Neither of them had a clue about Day Zero. They know to conserve water as Mzudumo isn’t washing the cars or watering the dead garden and Cordelia is asked repeatedly to not waste water.

Norm is now measuring our consumption via the water meter. He tracked how much we used on a day when Cordelia was in as she mops and does the laundry and dishes and therefore uses a lot of water. Norm has now given her a spray bottle of diluted cleaning product to use for cleaning rather than a bucket. We asked her to only do 2 loads of washing, one of whites and one of colours.

We will track our consumption daily and identify when we might be going over our designated amount.

Many people have wondered why the city doesn’t just apply the same principals to the water supply as they did to the electricity supply. From what I understand the water pressure fluctuations causes issues with the aged infrastructure and results in new leaks. It can also cause issues with the geyser etc from what I’ve heard but I know nothing about plumbing or building.

With all of this added anxiety and stress I am still trying to manage my crazy lady hormones and emotions.

#BabySteps

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It is not easy.

Traffic is my bugbear. I now listen to my Robbie Robertson’s CD Music for the Native Americans and practice my ho’oponopono prayers and that calms me.

But it takes a focused approach to living consciously and being aware of our emotions. I try and analyse whatever emotion I am feeling and then decide whether it is helpful or harmful and then let it go or use it to channel into something positive.

However not all frustration and anger are ‘bad’ emotions. I believe that the turmoil on Mother Earth is a catalyst for change. I feel a huge change coming, I hope that the  feelings of anger which so many people are feeling is building up to a positive transformation and bringing so many people into the light.

We just have to wade through the dark to get into that light.

Keep heading towards that light people. We will come through this, just as we come through everything that life throws at us.

That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox