Is There A Doctor in the House?

This past weekend was a lovely long 3 day weekend as Monday was Heritage Day in South Africa. It was made even better as Lily and Josh were down for the weekend. I cooked for us all on Thursday but on Friday night Lily was out with her childhood girlfriends for dinner but Josh had been working all day so he was happy to stay at home and chill with me and Norm. We ordered ribs and chicken burgers from The Kitchen Takeaway.

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We started watching a new show called ‘Better Things‘ which I really enjoyed. I thought it was very funny. It stars Pamela Adlon who is very cute yet sexy and quirky and odd and she is perfectly cast for the part.

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Of course she is one of the creators so that makes sense that she is perfect for the part. She collaborated with Louis C.K. who I am not always a fan of, I think he uses crudity in place of humour sometimes. But I am often edging onto the crude side myself sometimes, but then my prudish Virgoness pulls me back from the abyss.

We got up early on Saturday as I had an appointment at Skin in Hout Bay for a laser treatment. Norm and I popped in to La Cuccina for a quick breakfast before my appointment.

Norm then went off to do some errands in town and then he came back at 12:00 to pick me up.

Regular readers will know that we are downsizing and have taken the difficult decision to sell our beloved house and leave Hout Bay. After Norm collected me we drove over to Constantia to view a house which looked appealing on the brochure. We quite liked it but it does need a bit of work done to make it suitable for us, such as putting in a shower in the en-suite and removing some cupboards so my cooker could squeeze in to their kitchen layout.

After we had our viewing we went home and started on our plan to ‘house-doctor’ our home to make it more viewer friendly as the agent was coming to make the brochure photos on Tuesday. This is also called ‘Staging’ your home. Basically we removed all of the ‘personal’ items such as family photos and just did a general decluttering.

There were some items which I have kept for ages as they were gifts, or some which were mementos and had memories associated to them. Time to let that all go.

I had gone through a ‘Chinese’ themed decor phase a few years back where I had a bright red dining room and a lot of Chinese style artifacts and items, but this is no longer my style so out they went. I had other mementos of our past holidays such as a rusty little statue from Sardinia and a pottery plate from a trip to Portugal. The platter has a chip on it and I still have my memories, so out they went.

Lily had a look through the box and she took the Chinese artifacts and some of the other items. The rest will go to DARG to be added to their fundraising garage sales. I have another big bag of jewelry which will go as well once Caitlin has made sure there is nothing she wants out of it.

We packed up CD racks and gave away a CD player to a friend as we have several CD players and never play any of them. Norm took some winter jackets down to the homeless men who do car guarding in Hout Bay as they are outside in all elements and it is still cold at night. They were very happy that he thought of them. He is a good kind hearted man. I hope that it helps to balance out my own nasty selfish side. A couples group karmic score sort of thing.

The house is so empty it almost echos. But it looks so spacious.

That evening as we were on our own we decided to pop down to Woodcutters Arms for a wee bevvie and a pub dinner.


We are never very adventurous and we both had our usual starters, the jalapeno cheddar cigars for me and the scotch egg for Norm.


He does love these scotch eggs.


Norm was somewhat virtuous and had the Blue Cheese Burger on special and he had it with salad and did not eat his bun.


I was very naughty and had chips with my chicken burger but I also did not eat my bun.


I had an order of onion rings to make up for not eating the bun however.

After our dinner we headed home and decided to watch a film. I randomly chose ‘Nocturnal Animals‘. I do love Jake Gyllenhaal.

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That was one weird hard to follow film. I could never tell what was reality and what was part of the screenplay the lead actress was reading. I won’t even go into whether the lead was played by Amy Adams or the other one.

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We had more house viewings on for the next day but first we got up and carried on getting the house in a state for the brochure photos. Norm pottered about endlessly fixing and tidying. He is a demon when he sets his mind to a task.

Lily and Josh headed off to their hen party and bachelors parties.

Norm and I headed out late afternoon and viewed 2 houses both in Constantia, just around the corner from the one we viewed on Saturday. The 1st property we saw on Sunday was perfect for us. It was in a quiet cul-de-sac and the only thing we need to do is add a shower in the master en-suite. A lot of the older houses do not have an en-suite at all and when they do it often does not have a shower. With our current drought one cannot even contemplate filling a bath to luxuriate in.

The 2 properties were just a few minutes away from Cait’s new flat and she had just returned from her weekend away with Wes and his friends so we popped by to see her. She has made a lot of progress with unpacking.

After we left Caitlin’s house we were starving so we popped in to Peddlars for an early dinner. Once again they have completely changed their menu. They have now opened up what was 3 different restaurants on the same site which previously had 3 different menus to be one open room and only 1 single menu. However it now seems to have lost it’s identity, decor wise. There are completely different styles in the 3 seating areas and it seems a bit of a design fail.

But I wasn’t there to enjoy the decor I wanted fed.

Norm settled in with a glass of sauvignon blanc.


We decided to have a cheat night (ignore I had one the night before *cough*)

I ordered the Panko Crumbed Chicken Breast for R98 which was described as Parmesan and herb crusted with chips. I chose to add cheese sauce for an extra R20 and was glad I did as it was a bit dry without it.

Norm had the Beer Battered Hake and Chips for R115 and he enjoyed it.


We decided to push the boat out and have a dessert to finish off our day of debauchery.

We decided to order 2 and to share so we had a Chocolate Brownie at R48 which came with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce as well as the Chocolate Nemesis at R65, described as a flourless chocolate cake, mascarpone and berries.

I preferred the brownie and Norm preferred the chocolate nemesis. But they were both delicious.

We headed home and Lily arrived soon after we got in. Josh was still of partying with his pals until later that evening when Lily went to fetch him feeling a bit worse for wear. The girls had a pamper party but the fellas had played footy on the roof of a building and he ended up with raw knees and a bruised rib.

His blood pressure has been very low so I was worried about him playing sport, but I am a bit of a paranoid mommy sort. He was fine, just a bit banged up.

We had a chilled out evening as we were rather knackered from the House Doctoring and tidying.

On Monday morning Lily and Josh were up early and off back to the Garden Route as they both had work the following day. Norm and I carried on pottering about.

I made us an omelette out of the bits and pieces in the fridge. I fried peppers, onions, mushrooms and chorizo and then made it into an omelette. I served it with avocado and tomatoes.

I reheated my left over onion rings and had those with my omelette.

After I ate I went out and started on tidying the garden. I worked at trimming all of the bushes around the pool as that is what you see when you are on our patio looking out and it was full of dead bits from the last time it bloomed. We do have a gardener but he seems to be busy doing other things….not sure what.

We set up our back garden patio area which was still in winter mode. We put the couches out and put on all of the cushions, we rearranged the tables and chairs and did a general tidy up.

We were so exhausted after it all but it feels great to get rid of clutter. Our house looks fab. Hopefully it will sell quickly and we will find the perfect house to move to which is smaller and without the stairs which are giving my arthritic knees such issues.

We were back at work on Tuesday and today I facilitated a client workshop delivering our first work item. It went really well and they are happy with my progress.

A Cosatu strike occurred today. The strike is in protest against corruption and state capture.

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Cosatu national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the country was struggling with a 38% unemployment rate and about 10 million people who were without jobs, while more than 17 million were on social welfare.

“This is happening while South Africa is losing roughly R147 billion a year from the money illegally taken out of the country,” he said.

There is such corruption across all political parties and branches of our government. It saddens me as South Africa is such a wonderful place, if only it was not being pilfered by our government. It is over 20 years since apartheid ended yet nothing has changed for the vast majority of the people here. Crime is prevalent, unemployment is rife and millions still live in shacks.

The ruling government should be ashamed of this continued oppression.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week. I am looking forward to my Introduction to Shamanism course on Sunday. We are taking a break from viewing properties until we gauge how our house performs on the market.

Kisses from the Kitten. xoxoxoxox

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You Give Me Fever

Despite being back at work for a full week now, my life still does not feel fully back to normal.

The flu Norm and I contracted en route to Scotland is still creeping around in our bodies so that could account for my feelings of disorientation, maybe it is feverish delirium. My first day back at work last Monday resulted in my being in the office for about 2 hours until our Project Manager showed up, took a look at my red, drippy nose and watery eyes and heard me hack like a seal and promptly sent me home.

When I got home we had nothing at all to eat in the house. Norm offered to take me out for lunch and so we popped into Barney’s Artisan Deli for a spot of lunch.

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You can just see the sea if you crane your neck :).

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I had a delicious salad with chicken, cashews and mango and a rich peanuty sauce. The mango made it taste so fresh and light.

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Afterwards we went home and I took to my bed. I took it easy all week, we are still in end of year mode waiting on the clients to get back to ramp up our projects so we are at a bit of a loose end in regards to work.

We are also trying to get our diet back on track after my Mom’s visit and the holidays where I gave myself license to eat whatever I fancied and as a result I acquired back 4 of my previously departed kilos. But no biggy – it will come off.

Last weekend we were very busy despite our feelings of lethargy.

Lily and Josh came down for the weekend and I made a giant pot of chicken curry for her as I know she loves my curry. I did cauliflower rice for me Norm and Caitlin which was fine as Lily and Josh had made plans to go out with their pals in town. But we got a yummy curry so that was OK.

On Saturday Caitlin and I had booked to go to the matinee of the Peter Pan and Tinker Bell Ballet being shown at the Artscape.

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We were a bit slow on the go and as a result we had to find something quick for lunch and we popped into Osumo in Sea Point. Luckily we found parking right in the front and there were few other patrons.

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We both ordered the same filling, the 3-6-9, except Caitlin had it as a wrap and I had it as a salad.

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It was delicious and light and I really enjoyed it. Afterwards we shot off to the theatre and grabbed our seats just as the last chime was sounding. We looked around and realised that about 40% of the audience appeared to be children. I mean yes it is Peter Pan, but it is a ballet! I.e., limited dialogue to amuse the wee buggers. There was a child of about 3 sitting next to me and she asked her mother questions at full voice the entire show. ‘What is he doing?’, ‘I am the one over there.’, ‘what is she doing?’, ‘what is she wearing’, ‘why are they over there?’. You name it, she asked it. And Mom had no idea how to use an inside voice either, she spoke to her child as if they were watching CBeebies privately in their bloody lounge. At intermission they trooped off and bought snacks and then they spent the second half alternating between rattling the packet and fighting over who got the next handful of nuts. The only thing which stopped me killing them was that I was wearing a new white top.

And it had to be hand-washed.

However it was a cute production of the story and I enjoyed it (other than the noisy  feral sprog and its birther).

After the ballet we headed home as we were all going out for dinner that night in Constantia. We went to Peddlars On the Bend which is a Cape Town icon, it has been around in some form or another for years. They have recently reformatted their restaurants and offer a variety of menus to choose from. We had wanted to sit outside but it had gotten a bit windy in the late afternoon and so we opted to sit inside at the tapas venue Graciales. I had never been to this restaurant but she said we could order off the pub menu or their tapas menu so we decided to give it a go.

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Caitlin’s friend Sam joined us for the evening, as always it was lovely to see her, she fits into our crazy family perfectly. Norm was feeling under the weather still and decided to rather stay at home.

I ordered the Gambas Pil Pil from the tapas menu, a saucy spicy small bowl of prawns for R60.

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The sauce was divine and Caitlin finished off the sauce with my bread which I had avoided for the most part. When the waitress tried to take the plate Caitlin snatched it back and kept it to dip her chips into. Yes – it was THAT good.

I had the starter sized pork tacos as my main. These were divine! The pork had the proper crispy taste and flavour of carnitas, the cilantro was plentiful and I can easily say these were some of the best tasting, authentic tacos I have had outside of Mexico.

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We didn’t stay out late as poor Norm was home, so we headed home to hang with him.

Sunday Lily and Josh had to head home to George and Cait had plans with friends. Norm and I were off to the lovely Kitima restaurant.

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We were going to hear a band play with some of our pals.

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We had fabulous seats right in front of the band.

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We ordered the sampler platter which was the only food available for the event. It was R275 per couple.

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The food was lovely quality but if we had been hungry it would not have sufficed us for dinner, lucky it was just snacks as we had a bowl of left over curry before we headed out. The event finished at a reasonable hour for a school night.

This weekend we had a lazy one. Friday night we stayed home and Norm collected take aways from The Indian Oven. Saturday we had plans to meet up with friends for drinks and we went to Woodcutters Arms in Hout Bay. We met our friends in the pub garden and had a few drinks and then they headed off and we moved inside. I ordered the Jalapeño Cheddar Cigars (V) at R43.00, described as ‘Pastry wrapped cheese and jalapeño, served with tomato & onion chutney’. I love these.

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Norm ordered the Scotch Eggs as he loves these things as much as I love poppers.

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I ordered the starter Popcorn Chicken at R49.00 for my main, described as ‘popcorn breaded chicken strips, lightly fried with peppadew jam’. They were nice.

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Norm had the fish and chips and seemed to enjoy it. After dinner we had a drink and enjoyed the pub vibe we had been missing since Belfast and then we went home to crash. Sunday we just spent the day chilling out. I cooked a lovely banting lasagna and we just had a quiet evening.

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That evening Caitlin and I rang my mom on her new video phone which was hilarious. It was like The Blair Witch does a House Tour. Mom alternated between burying the phone in her hair (aiming for her ear) and flashing the camera at the ceiling. Caitlin and I were laughing ourselves silly. Technology makes life so much easier in some regards.

I hope that you have a lovely week – I am just trying to keep up with life!

 

Itinerary of Gastronomic Delights

The girls came back from George for Norman’s birthday and we planned a few days of casual celebrations with friends and family rather than a big birthday party as Norm didn’t want a fuss.

Thursday was his actual birthday and he was taking me to the periodontist so we got back to Hout Bay quite late so we popped into Pirate’s Steakhouse which was his choice for takeaways. We went home and ate and he finished a bit of work, then we watched a movie and had chocolate mousse cake.

Friday after work we met our friend Greg at Peddlar’s On The Bend for dinner. When we arrived we saw that half the room was decorated as if for Christmas. We were told there was a ‘Christmas in July’ theme and some large group was having a party. We asked if we could sit further away as I didn’t fancy the chaos but I was told that they had no other table available, despite there being many empty around us at that moment. I should have been advised they had rented out half the venue when I booked as it was incredibly noisy and annoying, I would have booked elsewhere if I had known.

Anyway, as always the food was excellent. You can count on a consistent standard of food there since the restaurant branded as Volare.

I had the Caesar salad, I can honestly say this is the best I have ever eaten. They met all of the criteria of the traditional Caesar but added a few twists, they made a sort of bowl type arrangement with the cucumber slices, even though a traditional recipe doesn’t cater for cucumber, it worked. The creamy dressing was nicely distributed, there were crunchy small bacon tidbits, boiled eggs, small homemade croutons and some smooth bone free bits of anchovy. And proper cos lettuce. Really, just perfect.

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Norm had the Caprese Salad and Greg had the Prawn Cocktail. Both looked fresh and lush and the boys enjoyed them.

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For our main course Norm and I both had steaks and chips and ordered a side of their delicious garlicky spinach to share.

We were asked which sauce we wanted and were given a long list of options, and we both chose mushroom. I was surprised to see a charge of R38 for sauce, I hadn’t noticed it was extra and the way it was offered by the waitress made it sound as if it came with the steak. At R165 a 280g fillet I think it should come with sauce. Especially such a tiny portion of sauce.

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For dessert we chose to share the Banana and Chocolate beignet: chocolate centered banana donuts with cappuccino ice cream. These should have been more donut less banana as they were slightly stodgy. A beignet cooked properly is light. We couldn’t finish them.

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The best beignets in the city are still from Beluga in my opinion.

The noise really made us want to exit so we had a coffee and made our goodbyes rather than lingering.

Saturday I had a hair appointment so I trundled off to the CBD to Mop Hair in Bree Street. It’s such a lovely venue.

20140720-171231.jpg Thembi gives amazing head rubs so it’s a pleasurable day, I had a relaxing cut and colour.

That night we were doing our main celebration and as you can see I’m so happy I popped a leg.

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Lily’s and Cait’s beaus Josh and Vic were joining us at Cheyne’s Hout Bay my favourite venue of all. Cheyne is a master.

We ordered a bottle of La Motte Sauvignon Blanc and settled in. We decided to pair off into 2’s and share 2 starters each pair. We ordered the Firecracker Crayfish, it is lobster in a crisp tempura batter. I always have this I adore it, it’s wonderful.

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We ordered a new starter we have never had, pan fried line fish on a bed if cucumber and basil noodles.
Oh.
My.
God.
This was divine. Tender and moist, solid piece of fish with a nice firm texture. Just amazing and I loved the noodles! It was an exceptional piece of fish perfectly prepared.

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We had ordered 3 portions of our favourite potato and coconut dumplings with hot and sour coconut cream but Cheyne gave us a few complimentary ones. They seemed a bit doughy last night, they are normally really light and fluffy. They seemed just slightly undercooked. 3 seconds difference. Fragile little bites of heaven, I’ve gone on about these before!

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Aubergines tempura were also plentiful as I ordered 2 but I’m sure we had at least 3!

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For our second course we shared pulled lamb teriyaki pie. I’m not a lamb fan but Norm is and I knew being pulled lamb it shouldn’t be fatty and I was right, it was delicious and almost crispy, like Mexican carnitas. It was so tasty.

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We had family favourite crispy chili beef. We love this dish.

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We had a dish of chicken wings as well and the kids had a few other things which I didn’t take note of, it was too chaotic!
Cait and Vic went off to a party and the rest of us ordered coffees and desserts. The birthday boy chose the Apple Pie with Sour Cream ice cream and Lily had the blonde chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream and a chocolate truffle. I had the banana brioche which was a toasted brioche with sliced banana and drizzled with toffee sauce, topped with a scoop of peanut butter ice cream. So so delicious.

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Norm loved his pie as well.

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You can see for yourselves that Lily enjoyed hers.

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The fellas had a few whiskeys and then we headed off home designated driver at the wheel.

It was a stunning night. It was the first time we met Caitlin’s fella so it was notable. We had good conversation and a lot of laughs. Norm noted that none of the men are tattooed and between the women we have a total of 9. Funny how the world can be upside down from the conventional.

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This morning was the final in our itinerary of gastronomic delights. We had lunch bookings at Ragafellows our tried and true fave. The lovely Julie greeted us at the door and we settled in, ordering a round of cocktails and beers.

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For starters we ordered a few things to pick at, the crispy calamari with chunky aioli, the kofta meatballs and the fish croquettes, all of which were perfectly cooked and flavored.

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For my main I had the cheddar, bacon, pickle and jalapeño burger and Norm the pulled pork chorizo burger,

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We were so over saturated with food, but it was exceptional as always and the potatoes were great, brown and crispy. Lily had dessert which everyone helped her eat and Cait and I had Kailua Dom Pedro’s while the men had coffees. We had a lovely weekend.

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