Act Two

Considering that I was worried about being able to endure a full week, this week flew by! I find if you are out midweek it makes the week feel shorter.

The monotony of our week was broken up on Wednesday when we attended the Opera at the Artscape. It was organized by my friend, a lovely ex-colleague named Rob.

We left early and stopped at Col’Cacchio in the Foreshore for a quick bite. We chose them because of the proximity to the theatre and they do low carb options.

We were seated at the front by a large window.

There were only six tables of customers in that section of the restaurant and three of them had Americans sitting at them. What are the odds?

I chose the Zucchetti Verde Rosso for R95: zucchetti with chicken parmigiana. Zuchetti is zucchini made into a noodle format.

It was very tasty but I could have done with more chicken. Next time I will have a salad starter as I didn’t quite feel well fed up.

Norm had the low carb beef lasagna with brinjal (aka eggplant), bolognaise, ricotta, Italian parmesan. It was R100.

He enjoyed it.

We give our dinners 4 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

After dinner we headed off to the Artscape Opera House.

We saw the Opera ‘I Capuleti e i Montecchi’ which is based on the classic love story, ‘Romeo and Juliette’. We had a drink in the lobby prior to the show.

The opera house had a display of beautiful costumes from other versions of the opera.

It is such a beautiful opera. It was a Cape Town Opera production and they did such an amazing job.

Here is a link to a video of images from their Instagram account, hope it works!

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The young cast of rising stars and phenomenal creatives have given their all to this production of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. This eternally fascinating story of Romeo and Juliet with incredibly beautiful music opens tonight on the opera stage followed by performances on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May. Designer Michael Mitchell has done some extraordinary costume and set designs which look like renaissance paintings, it’s a visual feast. The contrast between the privileged and powerful Capulets, insurgent Montagues and the innocence of Romeo and Juliet’s ill-fated love is palpable and ultimately heart-wrenching. Tickets are between R100 and R300 to see this glorious opera with an orchestra, forty singers and superb set, costumes and lighting. Book today, link in bio! . . . . #AllThingsItalianCPT #capetownopera#music #art #classicalmusic #opera#theatre #singer #artist #operasinger#soprano #travel #fashion #teatro#concert #instagood #capetownopera#piano #style #capetown #dance#orchestra #architecture #makeup#theater #artschool #musica #priora#bhfyp #musicstudents

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Here is a clip of a version of the same opera done years ago, it begins with the scene between the priest Lorenzo and Guilietta where he persuades her to drink the sedative.

The opera was so beautiful and we were surprised to see a female actor playing the part of Romeo.

Apparently that is traditional. I thought maybe it was just the Cape Town version as it is supposed to be one of the top ‘gay capitals‘ in the world or something like that. Then we joked that the dramatic nature of Romeo and Giulietta’s relationship was just like some of our lesbian friends’.

The actress Brittany Smith played Guilietta in the show we attended, and she was beautiful and had an incredible voice. She was a pleasure to watch.

We were seated on the second row so we could see down into the orchestra pit as well. It was interesting to watch the faces of the musicians. Some of them just appeared to be doing a job, their faces lacking any animation. Some of them had such joy beaming from their faces that you could see their love of music. It gave us something to do during the set change breaks. The opera was 3 hours duration so was a bit long and tiring for a school night. But we loved it so much.

The Opera merits a full 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We had a bit of middle aged excitement this week when all of our things we had ordered for the house arrived.

We bought a new Dyson vacuum which is amazing. It is cordless so you can whiz around with it easily. It is made for managing dog hair and our house has never been cleaner. It breaks down into a little handheld version as well so you can quickly do a little bit if needed.

We also bought a Phillips Air Fryer. We tried it out the first night and used this recipe HERE. It was for pork chops and brussel sprouts. We followed the instructions in the recipe and then cooked a few minutes longer as the chops looked a bit anemic.

Norm fried halloumi in the grill pan to go with it. While we were eating the first chop we cooked the second for 15 minutes. It turned out much more golden.

They were good! I loved the sprouts. I used American mustard instead of Dijon and the maple syrup is not low carb but it was a teaspoon between us and most of it remained in the bowl where I mixed it into the sprouts. We will do this again but will cook one or the other in the fryer, the air needs to be able to circulate around the contents I think. Will keep you posted on our progress.

We also got a new bed for Navajo. He has so many issues with his back and leg and we hope it makes it softer than lying on the tiles for him.

He’s such a lovely boy.

Last Tuesday Norm cooked the low carb cauliflower cheese and bacon dish I loved so. With it we served the last of the chicken frikkadels leftover from Sunday lunch.

On Thursday night I had my usual Friday treat a day early and had sushi.

I had my usual crab salad, butterfly, salmon roses and cucumber roses with prawn on top.

It was delicious even if it contained a bit of rice and sugary mayo.

There was a horrific murder in the news in Cape Town this week and we all read in shock about the hijacking and murder of the surfer David Wolfromm. The hijackers shot him, stole the car after having thrown him bleeding into the back, then crashed the car and set it alight with him still tied up inside. That would be a horrendous way to die. From the first time I read about this murder I had a feeling that I had a connection to the victim. Even before they released his name, I felt it. Today when I went to drumming everyone was discussing David’s murder and several of the attendees had attended various memorials for him. I then realized that I had met David and his family at the song marathon I attended last August where various spiritual groups had all gathered in a giant tipi to sing and drum. People sang in many different languages and David was a follower of the South American tribe Huni Kuin or the Kaxinawá, also known as the Kashinawa who are an indigenous people of Brazil and Peru. He and a group of others sang in the native language and it was beautiful.

David seemed like a lovely happy man. He had a wife and 5 children so it is just so unfair that a good man was taken for no reason at all.

Today we did a few songs in honor of David. We sang The Wolf and we learned a new song in Huni Kuin called Eskawata Kayaway. We used shakers rather than our drum.

From what I understand the tribe does not have a written language so everything such as lyrics are just written down phonetically. I managed to find a video of a man I assume to be Huni Kuin singing the song we sang today in honor of David.

It seems odd that he doesn’t move his mouth but maybe it is cultural? At least it’s the same song and as it appears to be a rare thing to find online I am grateful I found it!

I am glad that we paid a tribute to David and maybe a bit of him will stay with our group and we may adopt this new song to add to our repertoire for the dance? It’s just so sad for his loved ones.

There were other crimes and various headlines around transport.

There were a few instances of local bus robberies in the news. A man was shot and killed on a bus into town this week. The Golden Arrow bus service has suffered more than 20 robberies on its buses in the last seven months. They say they are going to consider implementing a specialised unit targeted at dealing with crime.

The residents of Hout Bay are threatening another protest if the City of Cape Town does not deliver on their promise of adding additional buses to the existing routes to cater for the hundreds of residents who took taxis before they shut down the taxi route from Hout Bay to the City. People just stand and watch full buses not even stop because of over crowding. People are late into work and late back home to their families due to the lack of available transport.

There has also been ongoing issues about 5 hours up the coast in George near my children. The city is in the process of introducing the Go George bus service and buying out taxi routes has been full of drama with at least two assassinations, attacks on buses and numerous protests.

South Africa’s public transport system is in a shambles. You have read my many blogs about the train system, the taxi service and now the buses. I am so grateful I have a car and am not reliant on the vagaries of all the unreliable transport methods in SA.

We had a re-enactment of Caitlin’s birthday and my Mother’s Day celebrations on Friday night as Lily and Josh were down in Cape Town for a wedding.

We went to Hudson’s in Claremont on Friday for 7. I have always gone to the city branch or Green Point but Claremont was easier for Caitlin. Lily and Josh stayed with us on Friday night and we all went together in my car and arrived first.

The music was all rock and was incredibly loud. Even the kids found it loud so that opinion is not just because I am an old fart. It was deafening. You could not converse without shouting directly in someone’s ear. The table was so sticky that we asked them to wipe it but it remained sticky even after wiping and they told us it is always sticky. It was so sticky we kept the menus and put our arms and phones on them or they stuck to the table. It wasn’t a very pleasant venue and we found out that the food was far inferior to the other branches.

Norm and I both had the Original Royale.

It had onion rings, cheddar cheese, bacon and a bit of chili oil. It was R89 for the 180gram patty I had or R105 for the 250gram that Norm had.

Lily had the Shroom Burger with cheddar cheese and mushroom sauce, Josh had The Player with bacon, feta and avocado and both Caitlin and Wesley had the Tribeca Selection with 3 100g sliders: The Shroom, The Player and The Wiseguy (which has tons of chili).

You order your side dishes separately at an additional cost. I had skin on fries and bought dusted onion rings for the table to share.

The breaded rings on the burger were a bit heavy on the dough, I far preferred the dusted version.

Caitlin and Wes had truffle fries and Norm had sweet potato fries but he said they were ice cold. I ordered a vanilla milk shake and it was as thin as milk and super sweet. It was not nice. I’ve had shakes at both of the venues we normally go to and they are usually thick and delicious.

My experience at the restaurant was only nice because of the company. I give it 2 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️

After dinner we opened gifts.

Caitlin got both some cute fun gifts and some practical gifts.

She got a set of three books from me by the author Joe Abercrombie, the First Law Trilogy series.

Her dad bought her a slow cooker. Lily got her a set of cute notepads with sloths on them and a glass cutting board and a toy for her cats.

She set it up as soon as she got home and Mittens had a blast.

The kids gave me a set of painted stones. I have been wanting some of these for ages. I have set them out on the front porch.

The bird they also gave me is now flying over my succulent collection.

I love them all. I love any type of garden art.

It was lovely having my girls with us.

It was nice to see their fellas too.

We were up early on Saturday as Lily and Josh had to run some errands and then get to their friends house and get ready for the wedding and out to Stellenbosch by 2pm.

Norm took Pixie to the chiropractor in Noordhoek early in the morning and when he came home he made us cheese omelettes, bacon and avocado. I added a spoon full of onion marmalade to mine.

It was delicious. I am a lucky Kitten.

Saturday evening we decided at the last minute to go out to dinner and we headed to Constantia and managed to snag a table at the Cattle Baron.

We were seated out on the little patio area under a gas heater.

Norm ordered the 300g Chateaubriand: Fillet flambèed with brandy. Served with a Cattle Baron Bèarnaise & a mushroom sauce.

I ordered the 200g Sautéed Mushroom Fillet: Grilled beef fillet served on deep-fried rosti and topped with garlic sauteèd mushroom. It was R195.

We both had chips and shared an order of mushrooms sautéed in garlic butter. They serve a complimentary dish of mashed butternut and creamed spinach with the steaks. It was all so delicious, the steaks were both very tender and perfectly cooked.

I had the chocolate fondant with ice cream: molten chocolate cake with a crispy exterior and runny chocolate centre. It was R58.

Our meal was delicious and the service perfect so we give 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. This place is becoming my fave local steak house.

We went home and cosied up with the animals.

Panda tolerated Blue because it was so cold.

On Sunday after drumming I drove back from Marina Da Gama and collected Norm and we went for lunch at Woolworths before we did our grocery shop.

I ordered a bottle of still water and a chili omelette with bacon.

I was given sparkling water and did not notice until I took a swig. Blech who enjoys sparkling water and if you do, why do you hate yourself so much? It tastes like I imagine water tastes like when drank around a mouthful of rocks.

Then she finally brings our food and I get a few bites in wondering why I don’t taste chili when I got a mouthful full of salmon. Not what my mouth was prepared for.

Eventually a chili omelette was delivered and it was ok. It had a weird cream cheese and chive type stuffing that was a bit odd but it was ok.

But due to the long time it took to cook, the fishy first attempt and the weird cheese it gets 2 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️

Tonight Norm and I made low carb pizza, I used veggie pizza bases and topped them with mozzarella and Proscuitto.

First I baked the base for 5 minutes.

I made my own sugar free sauce from garlic, a tin of chopped tomatoes I liquidized, a small tin of tomato paste and a dash of Worcester sauce.i simmered it for about half an hour.

I topped the sauce with the ham and the cheese and baked.

It was good. Not as good as a real pizza, but for low carb it was edible.

We are wrapped up warm watching telly and listening to the pouring rain. Cape Town needs the rain.

Wishing you all a great week ahead. Until next time Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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The Kitten Bunny Hop

I have had such a lovely long weekend with the perfect balance of fun, fabulous food, family, friends and chilled out down time. Considering I had nothing much planned, it all fell perfectly into place with zero effort. I did miss being able to get away for the weekend to see Trevor and Lily however.

Caitlin has been looking at property for a while now and she has decided to make an offer on a flat. She had planned to meet the realtor at Tasha’s in Constantia on Friday so Norm and I went along for moral support and then the three of us planned to have lunch after.

Once the paperwork was done the realtor headed off and we ordered. Caitlin and I both had quesadillas.

Cait had the Brazilian at R98 which is strips of grilled chicken in a lemon, chilli & coriander marinade with cheddar, and is served with a side dish of yoghurt.

I had the American quesadilla with pulled pork. It costs R92 and consists of pulled pork, jalapeno peppers, coriander & slaw, served with guacamole. It was nice but more like what we would call ‘barbecue’ in the south. Either way it tasted of ‘home’ and I gobbled it up.

Norm had the chicken Caesar salad.

The Tasha’s Caesar comes either plain or with Chicken or Anchovy. If you order it plain then the half portion is R74 and the full portion is R98. The ‘plain’ version consists of baby spinach, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, croutons, boiled egg or cold poached egg, crispy parma ham & parmesan shavings with a Caesar dressing.

Or if you add chicken it is the following prices: half for R96 or a full at R128. Or if with the anchovy it is priced for a half portion at R86 or the full for R114.

After our lunch we headed home for a bit, Norm had to walk the dogs and Caitlin offered to feed them for us later that night as we were going out. I had a wee catnap while Norm was busy.

That night we had plans to meet up with a friend from back in the days when I lived in George 25 years ago. Jenny was over visiting from the U.K. where she now lives and I was lucky to get a bit of her time. I know what it’s like to be on holiday and want to see everyone but to have such limited time to fit everyone into. Norm and I said that next time she should try our trick of doing an open invitation night at a pub. Then whomever makes the effort can spend a bit of time with you. I always find it surprising the number of ‘friends’ who don’t make the effort and those ‘acquaintances’ who do!

We went to the Backyard Grill to dine with Jenny and her daughter Vicky and her daughter’s fella Roderick.

I was so surprised when Jenny brought out some gifts she had made for me. How gorgeous are these necklaces? Jenny is very talented. She makes the most adorable painted stones for the garden and all manner of cute bits and pieces.

I wasn’t sticking to Banting for dinner that night as I heard their potato salad was to die for. I had that and corn on the cob with 500g of ribs.

We had a lovely night, it was great to catch up with Jen. She reminded me of the days in George when we used to play strip Pass The Pigs when we were married to our ex husbands.


If you have never played, basically you toss the wee piggys, then depending on how they land you add or gain points.

Or clothes apparently.

The crazy thing is that I don’t remember this unclothed version at all!! I was very unhappy at that point in my life so I guess my memories could be fuzzy from that. But I was also tanned, thin and long legged back then so wouldn’t mind being naked in public.

Bitches, I was Baywatching before Baywatch.


*Sigh* I miss those lithe limbs.

And those earrings.

After a great night laughing, talking and chowing on BBQ Norm and I headed home and then we had a cosy late lie-in the next morning. It was the day of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon which means we cannot get out of our village as they close the roads for the race to use, so we could not have gone anywhere even if we wanted to.

Norm went downstairs to feed the dogs, then made us a coffee and came back up to bed. The OMTOM filming is done all along the beautiful roads in and around our village.


With our bedroom balcony doors open it’s quite surreal to lie in bed and listen to the bands and cheers going on outside and to also see and hear it on the telly. I love the bands who arrive every year to encourage the runners.


Image source.

People in the village also go out to line up along the route to cheer on the runners. However I think the best way to watch #OMTOM on such a chilly day is in bed with my love, my Pomeranians and the cats. Covet, coffee and my pets equals a Happy Kitten.

We stayed in our bed until the need for food drove us out. We had a low key lazy day and once the roads opened in the afternoon Norm went to do a shop.

That evening I cooked Parmesan chicken, fondant sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli and a sauce of mushrooms, spinach and cream.

It was so delicious. The Parmesan was really strong and the creamy sauce was a nice balance to the intensity of it.

To make the chicken I simply flattened some boneless chicken breasts with my rolling pin, dipped them in beaten eggs, then rolled them in finely grated fresh Parmesan. I put them on a tray in the fridge to set for about an hour and then pan fried them in butter and coconut oil.

We were very excited to see that SNL was back on DSTV. It is so exasperating that it keeps coming back on and off their play lists. I have sent in multiple queries to ‘DSTV Care’ – but ironically they don’t seem to Care! I’ve been waiting for about a month to the reasons why it keeps going on and off their schedule.

We woke to news that Imizamo Yethu here in Hout Bay had been hit by another fire during the small hours of Saturday night. Estimates are that 150 homes were destroyed and up to 400 more people are now homeless. I read that there was one fatality. It seems it will never end.

We were invited for lunch at my work colleague Darren and his partner Julie’s house on Sunday. They also live in Hout Bay.

Darren made the most amazing Burgers. Oh. My. They were so good. Impossible to eat without wearing a good bit of it, but they were so delicious.

For dessert we had Key lime pie brought by Darren’s friend Dave.


We had such a laugh over this wine label, typical of SA’s sense of humour.

Darren & Julie have just added this lovely entertainment area. It was such a hot day but the cool awning kept us comfortable.

When one of the couples arrived after us and came in to be introduced to me she and I realised we have actually met before as we attended the Girl Geeks Dinner together previously. Hout Bay is such a small village.

We had a lot of laughs and great food, it was not a traditional Easter lunch but we really enjoyed the afternoon, it is always nice to meet new people. As we are not Christian all of our traditions are around food rather than church or fellowship.

The only problem with having such a lovely wine filled afternoon is that the rest of the day and evening is a write off. So on Sunday night we were happy to settle into the settee and watch the evening film ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’


It required no thought or effort which was about the full extent of our abilities that night. It was a rather lame film, the presence of Liam Hemsworth alone is the only thing which brings it up to a single one Kitten Star rating. I am pretty sure I snoozed through a lot of it. The last thing I remember was saying ‘I cannot believe I am still awake’, then BAM I wasn’t.

On Monday afternoon Norm and I were booked for lunch at one of my favourite Cape Town venues, Foxcroft in Constantia. It was a very hot day.

We were given a seat on the patio when we arrived which was exactly what I requested on their website when I made the booking. Comparing this level of customer service to my recent drama at a local wine farm who had confirmed the specific table I requested weeks in advance and then pretended the discussion had never happened when I actually arrived and my table was occupied? No contest. Foxcroft is the dogs danglies when it comes to class. 🙂

Booking is a pleasure with Foxcroft, you can book online, you then get an SMS confirming your online booking and then a second SMS the day prior to your booking asking you to confirm.

And it is not my fave just due to the ease of access, the food is always so divine. I have been before and always blog about the fabulousness, here is a link to my previous reviews.

We decided to go for the full lunch special at R395 per person. That is just under 30 USD for those who want to compare.

We chose a bottle of Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc to share with our lunch.

foxy wine

My 2 choices of tapas were the Mussels and the Squid. The mussels were served with bacon crumbles, confit lemon & soubise. Soubise is a creamy, buttery stock based oniony sauce. The calamari squid is served with Chorizo, ajo blanco and wild garlic. There were little bits of pickled red onion and grapes.

For my main course I had the Chalmar Beef served with duck fat chips, carrot, brussel sprouts & a gorgeous rich café au lait sauce. I found it interesting to read about Chalmar Beef, the hyperlink will allow you to read about it too. I had assumed it was a cut of beef, but Chalmar is the farm that produces the beef.

For dessert I chose the Pineapple dessert. This was described as roast pineapple parfait, rum-braised pineapple, mango and coconut. This was so light and refreshing and a perfect end to my amazing lunch.

The only differences in Norm’s choices were that he had the Korean Fried Chicken instead of the mussels. The description of the chicken dish said simply ‘Buttermilk espuma’ which I assume was the sauce that came with it? Norm is averse to eating with his hands and would not have ordered this if he knew it was the wing of the chicken, but he said it was very tasty and full of flavour if fiddly to consume.

foxy chicken

For his afters course Norm decided to pay the R45 supplement and ordered the cheese platter. This was a cheese platter to exceed all cheese platters. The thin, thin slices of toast were an unimaginable feat of their own. How could they slice it that thin and not crumble it to smithereens when plating? It was served with apple and fennel chutney and slices of apple. Norm raved about this platter.

foxy cheese platter

I had decided to push the non-Banting boat right out and order some Macarons to take home without even realising it was #MacaronMonday! Foxcroft have a special on Mondays where if you buy 3 macarons you get one free.

I chose 2 of the Cherry and Tonka Bean and 2 of the Ferrero Rocher flavours. These are so light and delicious, crispy and sweet. I shared with Caitlin as I felt a bit nauseous later when I pigged out on 2 of them.

The food was so divine and beautiful as it always is. We also had an excellent server. It was faultless from start to end. A full 5 Kitten Stars.

We really had such a brilliant weekend. Today I was back at work bright and early and it felt like I had been off for a week at least. 

Poor Caitlin woke up with a dreadful tummy bug or food poisoning. She had planned to go to court to attend the sentencing of the 2 men who have been convicted of murdering her friend Carl Schoombie. I’ve just read that the sentencing has been delayed again due to a report from the social worker not being available. 

Please keep Carl’s family in your thoughts and continue to count your own blessings. 

 

 

Sugar Mama 

The older I get the more annoyed I get with noise. People chewing, people tapping pens or fingernails on desks, people who read their emails or code out loud. People who bang the spoon against the sides of the cup when they stir their tea as stridently as Quasi-bloody-modo ringing that bell.

 

I’m like that grumpy neighbour lady shouting at the neighbour kids. Even if it’s all only reverberating in my head.

There’s a lot of stuff banging round in there.

Also, people annoy me. 

It was the longest week ever considering it was a four day week with Monday being a public holiday. Sunday Norm seemed to have mild food poisoning and was not a happy camper. I cooked for us but he ate like a mouse.

I roasted a fat woollies chicken, rubbing tons of olive oil into the skin and packing mushrooms round the chicken to cook in the drippings from the chicken, turning sticky from the chicken fat. After half an hour I slathered the skin with butter and put a bit of butter inside the bird. The skin went so light and crispy. I made puréed sweet potato and I stir fried spinach to go with it.  I put the chicken on the cutting board and dished up the mushrooms and then I made the most amazing gravy in the roasting pan on the stove. I melted a bit more butter sprinkled almond flour over the pan and made a roux then added a container of double thick cream and blended. It was like Christmas gravy. 

You know that turkey dripping gravy?

Oh, lawd.

  

You would think all that fat would make me fat but I keep slowly losing. Some day I might look like this.

 

  

The weather turned suddenly and has been cold and rainy. 

Like, suddenly winter. Flip flops to boots in one week.

Tuesday Norm collected me and we went to Home Affairs to try and apply yet again for his residency. The visa office is near my current client so we walked across. 

  
Despite having an appointment we waited an hour only to be told Norm had applied for the wrong visa. We were told what to fill in and left. What a waste of time. He managed to get an appointment later that day and went to a cafe and started over. Luckily I didn’t have to go back.

We were both tired and stressed. We had luckily bought ‘carb clever’ ready made pizzas at Woolies.

  
We fried onions, peppers and chorizo and added that. The base was ok, but it didn’t taste like the cauliflower ones we had previously. Maybe they had added another ingredient, they were rather cardboard like. 

I got home late on Wednesday as I went to David King for a Body Reactivation session at the V&A Waterfront. I wasn’t feeling too bad this time, I think he is getting to the bottom of my angst. Usually by the time I see him I’m twisted like a pretzel. When I left work it was pouring and I trotted to the car but still got rather drenched.

As I was late home Norm went to drop Cordelia and then picked up dinner from Spiro’s in Hout Bay. 

The pups went to the groomer on Thursday. They look and smell gorgeous for about half a day, then they are sticky and smelly again.

  
Thursday was my usual creative dinner night. AKA what’s in the fridge? Let’s eat it. This time I ended up with giant mushrooms which I fried in butter and garlic then stuffed with crispy bacon, onions, yellow pepper, garlic, Parmesan and topped with cheddar. I had a few zucchini left which I sliced, covered in fresh grated Parmesan and baked. I roasted pumpkin in coconut oil and fried some thick slabs of halloumi. It went well together luckily! 

 

Also on Thursday, we had some bad news. Norman received his redundancy notice along with many of his colleagues across the world.

There was a termination of a major contract which has left his employers with no choice but to file for insolvency and close down. 

Fortunately, he has some consultancy work lined up as well as some other opportunities so we are not panicking. His role came with excellent medical aid however. Medical aid for two oldies like us will cost a fair chunk. 

But we will be fine I’m sure.

Friday finally arrived and Lily and Norm headed out to Stellenbosch to view a couch and were still out when I got home as I left work at 3. We just had a quiet night in and we were all snoozing on the sofas by 10!

I had a long lie in bed then Lily and I made brunch.

  
I did a cheese and tomato omelette with avocado and crispy bacon. For Norm and I there were fried onion and pepper, I didn’t add to the omelette as Lily is not a fan. 

We have been lazy all day and I will do my best to spend as much time in my pajamas as possible. 

I hope you enjoy yours.  

Keeping it Spicy

Last Sunday it got up to 33 degrees but as I took Saturday off from cooking due to the heat I had a lot of cooking to do. 

I popped a small gammon in the slow cooker. Usually I cook my gammon in coke, brown sugar and pineapple but none of those are allowed with Banting. Instead I coated it in mustard and olive oil and then topped it with vegetable stock and cooked it til tender. I wanted to have it for lunches and snacks.

Norm had bought some lovely hake earlier that week which needed to be cooked so I cut them into pieces, dipped in egg and breaded by rolling in a mix of almond flour and coconut. I steamed mixed veggies and added a bit of coconut cream and curry. I roasted crispy sweet potato wedges in coconut oil to go with.

  
The third meal I cooked on Sunday was to go in the fridge for Monday, I made the family fave Banting cottage pie. I was so glad I only had to heat it as I had another traffic nightmare spending 1.5 hr on a 20 minute trip. I came home and had a swim to cool off, it was so hot again it was 33deg C.

My cottage pie with caulimash and cheese was divine. I made a salad topped with Parmesan shavings and avocado to accompany it.

   
 

Tuesday I got up at 6am to avoid the stop-go traffic jams but got stuck in it on the way home so only got home exhausted at 7pm so we got takeaways from Spiro’s again. We avoided chips and instead of the sweet, sticky ribs I craved chose to go with the chicken kebabs and we shared an order of grilled halloumi with their Greek salad.

I awoke from a dead sleep at 4am due to the heat. I eventually became aware my fan had stopped. At first we thought it was that the electricity had run out but Norm noticed the plugs were on and was kind enough to go down to get my downstairs fan to stand in til we could get a new one but I struggled to get back to sleep and my alarm went off at 6. 

Wednesday again I sat in traffic for hours. At least I have great views.

  

  
Photo credit.

I came up with a new meal, I cooked woollies chorizo and mushrooms in a knob of butter and then removed them from the pan and browned chicken breasts in the leftover spicy oil. I put it all in the oven, but next time I won’t bother precooking the chorizo so much as it will cook enough in the oven. I will just cook it long enough to cook out the oils to brown the chicken. We just served it with red cabbage which I cooked in butter and balsamic til a good crust formed on the bottom of the cast iron pan then added a bit of boiling water to soften the cabbage and get a nice sauce by scraping the bottom.

  

There was another fire, it started in Glencairn then moved to Fish Hoek Wednesday and Thursday.

  

I made a sort of gumbo out of the last of the roast gammon, chorizo, mushrooms and prawns and served it with zucchini spaghetti. It looks a mess but was so tasty! 

  
Friday night Lily and Caitlin had bought tickets for Norm and I to see Rodriguez at the Grand West Arena as a birthday gift. Lily and I snapped a selfie before we left.

  

If you have never heard of him then you must watch the entire documentary Searching For Sugarman. It is a touching, melancholy film and gives insight to why when the crowds yelled ‘we love you’ he yelled back ‘it’s mutual, you gave me a life’ which was such a goosebumps moment.

  

The show was opened by Alice Phoebe Lou. A local Cape Town girl with the delicate face of a fairy and the voice of an angel.

Crowds make me twitch and the show was sold out. There were more drunken Afrikaans people there than I have seen in one place ever. The group next to us were all very drunk and incredibly loud. Several people asked them to keep it down. The girl in the seat directly next to me clapped out of tune and incredibly loudly, you know that loud deep clap that sounds like someone clapped your ears?  Unfortunately she sang every song the same way. She also took a non ending stream of photos and her phone made a loud ching every time it snapped a pic as well as flashed a bright light and she held it with arms extended so it sat right by my ear. She was the only person in the stadium jumping up and down and dancing. It was chilled music not trance FFS.

  

My last nerve snapped when her hands went high and started swaying widely, going all the way right and all the way left which meant they constantly moved across my face. I shoved them hard back in her direction and told her to wind her neck in as she was the most annoying, attention seeking woman in the world.

When she heard my accent she went mental. 

“I’m going to take out a restraining order on you. You don’t even belong in this country, get out, go back to where you belong” and a long, spittle fueled litany of slurred drunken nonsense shouted at me throughout the best song with my back turned to her. I got fed up eventually and said “enough now child shut up”. The people in front of us also asked her to shut up. This was a red flag to a bull. She went crazy, screaming, shouting, cursing. I finally shouted, “enough, shut UP!”

Eventually Norm and Caitlin stood up and moved me down to sit by Lily. 

  

I could still hear her shouting and at one stage she got into another fight with the people in front of her. Caitlin said for a bit the silly cow was crying. Five minutes later she was loudly singing again. By the end her husband had left.

Barring that nonsense we had a great night.

  
We were home very late and starving as we didn’t have time for dinner so we just had some cheese and seed crackers. It was well after 1am when we finally passed out exhausted.

I had to take Pixie to her doggy Chiro in Noordhoek for 9.30 and rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth and dressed and left. I came back and made brunch for us.

  
I made zucchini fritters topped with fried eggs, tomato and avocado, it was delicious.

The girls had gone on the Franshoek Wine Tram tour and then had parties after so were not in for dinner.

  
Norm is so busy dealing with work issues so I was alone but did not want to fall off the Banting wagon due to laziness so I threw together some dinner with what was in the fridge. 

I used the remaining zucchini mixture and made more fritters. I cooked chorizo and prawns in chili and tomato and served it on the fritters.  

We had done a quick shop at Spar and bought a different brand chorizo than Woolies and I wasn’t keen on the new brand. The texture was more like a hot dog than a pepperoni. I like the pepperoni texture the Woolies brand has. This is lovely. 

  
I just chilled at home with the animals, so I rented a film I knew no one else would enjoy. I chose A Walk In The Woods with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.

  
Nick Nolte looks rough. Like high blood pressure and gout kinda rough. Robert Redford hasn’t aged that well either, all that 1970s sun worshipping messed with a lot of fair skinned people. But he looks like he’s in good physical shape as opposed to Nolte.

It was average at best. It felt too midlife crisis self-indulgent. Don’t bother.

Today I’ve woken to howling wind, we even got a little drizzle last night. It’s pleasantly cool for a change. I’m feeling very lazy but want to go and do a shop. I would like to put a pork roast in the slow cooker for Sunday dinner. But I’ll see if I make it out of the house! 

The Fragility of our Physicality

Pixie is slowly getting better each day, we notice new areas of weakness and we notice new areas of strength. She has finished her corticosteroids so I suspect she is a bit less mobile today as she seems a bit sad. She has the most emotion on her face of any dog I know.

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I realized she is now about 6 yrs old so it is not surprising she is not as spry as she used to be.

But I feel the passing of years with my own body – at my age 6 years is a huge difference. I’m doing a bit more walking as they have moved our parking to the CTICC but I am not swimming as the weather had turned cold and wet, but today it was incredibly hot! Summer raised her beautiful head again.

I wish we had this weather on Friday evening. I rushed home from work to get ready for the reception put on by the British Consulate held on the HMS Portland which was docked at the V&A Waterfront.

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The last time we went to one of these receptions was a very different vibe. On that night the sailors had not seen a woman in 3 months and had obviously been briefed by the captain ‘if anyone is seen on their own introduce yourself and be sociable’ as that was exactly what happened. Or maybe it was the former not seeing a woman thing….I didn’t notice them jumping to Norm’s attention with a tray of tidbits or a glass of vino. Now that I think back.

At this event the food was mostly scarfed by the hungry sailors. And the sailors mostly chatted up each other as there were loads of women sailors (umm sea women? sailoresses? Sailorettes? Dunno?!)

The captain was a woman which is fabulous. I loved it.

Nothing like a man in uniform.

There were some impressive war accoutrements on board.

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A very cool helicopter and several gunboats. I didn’t want to take many pics as I might be arrested as a spy.

The food was sparse and the wine warm, so we showed our face and met some interesting people and then toddled off to Balducci’s. It used to be my fave venue in Cape Town but my horizons have expanded beyond the tourist traps so we seldom go. However we were parked at that same entrance so it was the perfect venue.

I had a glass of the Doolhoff unwooded Chardonnay, one of my fave wines. Norm and I both had the fillet special, it was covered in portobello mushrooms and Parmesan slivers but was a bit rich for me. I could only manage half of it but it was divine.

We had a lovely evening.

Last night Norm shopped and I cooked, I just grilled some chicken breasts and did a mushroom sauce with boiled baby potatoes and nice chunky veggies grilled in coconut oil. I was eating it and questioning was the chicken overlooked? Was there too much pepper? Norm just said, ‘it’s delicious, stop analyzing it, just relax and enjoy it.’

That is such a lesson for me in all areas of my life. As a Virgo I analyse every nuance of life. Sometimes this analysis takes the form of anxiety. Sometimes I just need to chill the hell out, relax and breathe it all in.

Stay still in the moment. That’s not easy for me. I’m trying.

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Soul Connections & Sinns

This week my friend Retha and I attended the Girl Geek dinner which was held at Restaurant in Wembley Square. I had never been to Wembley Square and certainly not to Sinn’s. I think it is a good test of a restaurants’ skill to see how they cope with catering an event as plating and serving over 100 people must be a huge challenge.

The theme of the evening was ‘how to find and secure a job in digital’ and there was a panel of experts to ask questions.

One of the fab things about the Girl Geek dinners is the goody bag! They have some fabulous sponsors and we were greeted with a cupcake on arrival as well as the complimentary glass of wine. I am not sure who sponsored the wine but no one enjoyed the white – it was a sauvignon blanc but was so tart and sharp that even after a few sips my palate could not tolerate it.

So I ate my cupcake 😀

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The starter was a choice of a tomato and red pepper soup or a garden salad. As it was bloody freezing that night as well as a bit drizzly out I chose the soup. It was really lovely, full of flavour, a bit heavy on the garlic, but palatable. I would have like a tad more chilli but some of the women found it a bit too spicy so I understand they have to cater for all taste buds.

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The main course was parmesan chicken on a bed of butternut risotto and creamed spinach.

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The chicken was crispy on the outside and still juicy on the inside, very nice indeed. The risotto was very flavourful with big chunks of butternut, except my butternut was rock hard so it was shoved off to the side. The creamed spinach was divine. I could have eaten a bowl of just that! All in all I think the main was very good.

Dessert was described as Sticky Toffee pudding with custard (or was it Malva? I forgot to bring home the menu). There was a bit of fruit on the plate and a bizarre long thingy which tasted like a macaroon….ish. But it was nice.
dessert

The next day I had a friend coming through to Hout Bay for a meeting so we made plans to meet up for a cocktail. We went to my usual fave for sushi, the Lookout Deck. I ordered my usual frozen strawberry dacquiri and we started chatting.

I always find it interesting how you can find with some people that the conversation just flows, even if you do not know each other that well. Some people I have known for years I still struggle with keeping the conversation flowing as we just have so little in common. Or is it just a soul connection that makes some people feel as if you have known them your whole life?

We talked about Brian Weiss and past life regression, hypnotherapy, the present, the past, religion, I think we covered it all! And never in a debate of who is ‘right’ or who is ‘wrong’, just in a sharing of information and belief systems. I think that we have soul sisters – those women we meet and feel instantly drawn to, who always make you laugh, who make us feel valued, and we trust with our secrets. It is not about the amount of time you spend with them, it is the quality of that time.

I really enjoyed our little visit and chat, the fact it was accompanied by sushi and cocktails has no bearing at all *wink*.