The Smallest Measure

Timing is everything. The smallest millisecond can alter the course of a life.

It’s almost as if the universe has an expected daily target for how long I spend in traffic. And 15 minutes can make a world of difference. Thursday I decided I was going to leave by 7 and I was at my desk in 45 minutes. It takes about 10 minutes from the time I park to walk across the foreshore, dodging the homeless, the other workers and the crazy Cape Town drivers, 2 life risking crosswalks and waiting for 2 different lifts. Cape Town is a colorful city and you never know what you might see. 

But then when I left work at 5 it took an hour and a half to get back home. 20 min vs 80?? It’s insane. And Cape Town is all on a hill. Waiting in traffic can be vertical. Other than the foreshore, which was reclaimed from Table Bay. It’s flat. However the position of the sea, the skyscrapers and the mountain create crazy wind tunnels.

It’s been a busy week.

Sunday I baked a pork loin in low carb sauce. I made zucchini fritters and fried cabbage to go with it. It was a nice combination. 

I also made a Banting lasagna for Monday. It was delicious! I used the Real Meal Revolution recipe.

  
It turned out a bit soupy as I added too much stock, but it was still yummy.

  
There was enough for me to have some for lunch the next day. I’m always happier taking a small portion of something I cook myself.

On Tuesday I rushed home to shower and fancy up as that evening Retha and I attended an Xtraordinary Women event. 

  
We have been a part of this group for years, but neither of us are as involved as we used to be. It was lovely to see all the familiar faces. 

It was great hearing Sonja Kruse speak about her travels.

It was held at the CPUT campus Granger Bay Hotel School. Such a stunning venue.

  
There was a buffet so perfect for Banting. There were baked chicken breasts, beef stroganoff and veggies on a buffet. I just avoided the rice and I was fine.

The following day after work I went to David for Body Reactivation. I have been having some real anger outbursts and feel irritable and even aggressive. It is maybe menopause related, hormonal, or I’m just a irritable young woman who has turned into an even grumpier middle aged woman. Or it’s being Virgo. Who knows. Anyway, we worked a lot on that suppressed anger. I felt like this when I went in.

  
Well, not like a man. Just with my spine all collapsed. Unless the hormones affecting me are testosterone and then maybe that’s Freudian that I picked that pic! Ha!

I came out feeling like this.

  
Straight and light and regenerated. And female. ;D

I got home late so I needed a quickly prepared dinner. I had some chicken which needed to be eaten. So I put the chicken breasts in a casserole dish, piled on a packet of baby spinach, topped that with sliced mushrooms and then poured on a mix of half a tub of marscapone mixed with chicken broth. I baked it for 45 minutes – half the time covered with foil. I sliced a block of mozzarella and topped it for an additional 15 minutes. 

  

I served it with cauliflower mash. It was delish and the chicken is so tender when cooked like this.

 

Uni campus protests have been going on here all over the country.  Every day we hear about sewage poured in halls, art destroyed, people beaten at sports events, the list goes on. Meanwhile, to those trying to get an education it’s a challenge.

Thursday Caitlin and I made the chorizo, spinach and egg dish again. I had Parmesan out and so I grated a bit on the chorizo. Don’t do that. It made it stick badly. Oops.

It was still tasty. The spinach just went a weird texture. 

  
I had a few zucchini which needed to be eaten so I sliced them, tossed in olive oil and put on a baking tray. I loved them.

On Friday we went to the bank and paid off our mortgage. Norm had money sitting in the bank in the UK and the 23:1 exchange rate meant we would be mad not to bring that cash in as the interest rate increase and the SA economy hurtling towards junk status makes me uneasy.

We decided to go out for dinner to celebrate as Caitlin was out with friends and Lily is in George for a wedding this weekend. We went to Pescarne just 5 minutes from us in Hout Bay village. It was brightly lit up, full and looked really vibey.

We got a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, Professor Black from the Warwick estate.

  
We tried to keep carbs and sugar low, so for starters we shared the halloumi at R59,

  
and the Springbok Carpaccio, serving described on the menu as ‘rocket, parmesan, balsamic reduction, olive oil for R59.

  
I was disappointed that the halloumi was breaded and fried as it is lovely simply grilled and it is not Banting if fried in veg oil and breadcrumbs. It was also incredibly salty. But it was tasty, it just could have been better.

The carpaccio was only ok, primarily due to the ‘Parmesan’. I’ve never had commercially prepared ‘parmesan’ like that with carpaccio, it should be slivers of nice fresh REAL Parmesan cheese not dumped preservative laden stuff from a shaker. 

For my main I fancied prawns. I ordered the 12 Queen Prawns at R149. I opted for veggies as my side. 

  
Norm went for the fillet steak, 350g at R179 and wow what a steak! 

  
The service was impeccable. The mains were both exactly what we wanted. We had a great night.

  
We didn’t have a late night as Saturday was a busy day. Pixie was seeing the Chiro so I had to be in Noordhoek at 9.30 a.m. And then I came home, made breakfast and got ready. Caitlin, Norm and I headed to Cape Farmhouse Rocks in Scarborough about 1.30 as the concert was supposed to start at 2 and we wanted a seat under cover. 

We went via Chapmans Peak Drive.

  
We came into Scarborough just after 2.

     The Cape Farmhouse venue is a cool old farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere. They put on concerts in the summer. Families and pets all arrive, kids roaming round in the grounds, dogs trotting along after them. We arrived and the place was quiet, but that meant we got a seat at the front, a cooler of wine and an ice bucket quickly.
  
We messed round being silly waiting.

  
And waiting.

  

The bands were late starting, it was well after 3 before they got going.
First up was Mr Cat and Jackal. I enjoyed them, they were quite theatrical. They had a cool, eclectic, vaguely ska meets folk sound.

   
The dude stage left played so many instruments. Lots! The singer also played accordion as well as guitar.

 They were followed by The Rudimentals. They were brilliant. I danced myself silly to their music. They play reggae and ska. They get national radio airplay.

  
The last band up was Grassy Spark a local band from Cape Town suburb Grassy Park. They are very cool. A high energy ska sound.

  

Everyone was up dancing and it was such a fun day.

  

There is always a cool mix of people there.

We took the coast route home via Misty Cliff and the Cape Point coast.

    
 

  
The sun was setting en route.

   
 
Such a gorgeous drive.

We stopped for dinner at Spiro’s on our way for takeaways. I feasted on ribs and halloumi (neither breaded nor salty). 

We slept late today. My darling made me a late brekkie.

  
I’m lying round watching trash telly. Later I’m making dinner but for now I’m catching up on some much needed rest! All in all I’ve had a fabulous weekend.

I hope you have!

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A Consistent Approach 

When Norm and I lived in Europe we made a real effort to take the kids to a new city every year. As I was the one who did the bookings and it was summer, we always stayed somewhere near a beach with a pool. Now that we live in Cape Town we have those things year round. We live a 5 minute drive to several stunning beaches and we have our own pool. Hence when my annual break comes we tend to just stay in Cape Town. After all, we would just be paying to go away somewhere else to experience what I am so blessed to have at home. 

Most businesses in SA shut down for at least a part of the holiday. It makes sense for an employer if staff take their holiday then so I tend to take 3 weeks off. This year I took just over 2 as I want to save some time off for my Mom’s planned visit in October next year. 

The first week is always Christmas preparation, shopping and various other things. But this year was relaxing as I was organized. 

In my last blog I talked about how serene it was on Christmas Day and Norm pointed out that this was the first year the kids all pitched in voluntarily. Normally they help if asked but this year it was volunteered. Such a difference it makes to share the load. 

I decided that this week I would do nothing other than ‘be on holiday’. So I’ve spent my mornings out back chilling on the patio and my afternoons right by the pool.

  
Norm has been productive and hung my new Buddha on the front porch.

  
The butterfly that was there before is now on my crazy blue shed.

  
And my new dragonfly is now hanging on the wall out back.

  
I had such a lovely Christmas. The family outdid themselves with some fab gifts and my home looks so cozy.

After everyone left on Boxing Day we relaxed for a bit then went to Woodcutters Arms pub.

My handsome hubby rocking his Xmas clothes.    
  We had driven down to the beach but the wind was howling so we moved into town. We thought Woodcutters appropriate as we took Mom there last year on Boxing Day. 

That night Hout Bay has had another horrendous fire in Imizamo Yethu the informal settlement predominately made up of shacks. On Boxing Day, the 26th, a day symbolic of giving, so many instead experienced devastating loss. Many of the shack owners were away for the holidays and may not even know their homes are gone. 

   
We had just given away so many clothes as Thula Thula had no space. Norm managed to find several boxes of decent condition men’s clothes and some sleeping bags. He did a wee shop for food donations too.

Every bit helps.

Last night we decided we were so over turkey and stuffing and went out for dinner. I fancied prawns and Norm a steak so we went to Pescarne.

We often dine at Pescarne & have done so since they opened, however last night was like being in an episode of Fawlty Towers. It was a long list of issues, the staff appeared to all be in training. Norm had to get up and find the waiter himself on multiple occasions due to lack of service and his steak arrived blue, or almost raw instead of medium rare.

  
We sent the steak back. When it arrived it was dropped off with no cutlery. He had to ask twice for a fork while his steak got cold. The second steak tasted great as did mine. I ordered the Pescarne Special at R185.

  
It was faultless, perfectly cooked, the prawns were fresh and the sauce was light and slightly lemony.

We ordered a round of drinks which we chased up three times as they took forever to arrive. We also had to finally get up to find a waiter to chase up the bottle of water we ordered and once it finally was dropped off we were given no water glasses. It literally took 20 minutes to complete the process of ordering water. 

Despite multiple complaints to our waiter and then later to another waiter when ours disappeared yet again and we wanted to pay, the owner could not be bothered to come and apologise or have a word with us. Even after our waiter went to speak to him about our complaints. You cannot treat locals so poorly and expect them to support you in the winter. Simply shocking service. 

In their defense, when I complained on their Faceboook page their representative contacted me immediately to offer a free return visit. So will try again. The issue isn’t the food it’s the service. The waiter treated me as if I was invisible. The owner did too so that is the precedent he sets. 

Today my friend Retha came round for a chat. I then spent the afternoon by the pool relaxing. I’m having a fab holiday! 

Lazy Days

It has been rather exceptionally lucky to end up with 2 4 day weekends in one month. Even the work week flew by this week. 

Last Saturday we decided to nip out for dinner to Papino’s in Hout Bay. The Rugby World Cup has kicked off and SA were playing, so we tried to time it before the rugby viewers left the pubs and hit the restaurants. We were lucky that Caitlin was free and joined us. Especially as Norm heard a fellow scots on the other side of the restaurant and wandered off to join them.

Charming.

  
Norm and I ordered our usual, Hollandse Biefsteak.

  
That ^^ is from their website. Just for laughs, here is mine of my actual plate.

  

We ordered mushrooms to go with it and for a change I had Portuguese chips and loved them.

Pescatarian Cait had the calamari with salad and steamed veggies.

  

By the way, the SA Springboks got their arse kicked by Japan. The less said about that the better. We won’t even draw attention to the fact that later in the week my beloved Scotland caused some cherry blossom damage. 

We won’t mention it. 

   
 
Not a word.

Norm and I got up and out of the house early last Sunday. We headed off to The Riverway Cafe.

  
We grabbed a quick Retro Roll before we did our shopping.
   
Such attention to detail, I do love it here.

Then once our hunger was sated we did a quick run round Pic N Pay and that night for dinner I cooked a yummy pot roast with carrots and potatoes. For Caitlin I made giant black mushrooms baked with Camembert cheese and walnuts. She threw together some salad. 

  
It was all rather delicious. 

The next night I shredded the rest of the beef roast and added lots of spices, made refried beans and corn and Cait made up all the toppings. Mmmmm.

 Pulled pork or beef tacos are my fave thing. 

 
Trust me they were better than they look.

I had another letter left on my car by my crazed religious stalker. This interaction on Twitter when I had a whine about it all made me laugh.

  

I hope my crazy church stalker doesn’t have Dexter tendencies. 

Tuesday night was my book club evening. It was hosted by Chris and as it was my birthday month I was given chocolate cake and a lovely voucher to a local spa. I felt very spoiled and Chris made a delicious dinner for us all. 

I went to sleep quite late so I struggled a bit on Wednesday. But it was worth it.

As Thursday was a public holiday we treated Wednesday as a holiday and had takeout pizzas. As a family we are divided in our tastes so Norm did a visit to Cassarechio as well as Mimmi To Go. Lily and Norm love the ravioli at the former and I love the unique toppings from Massimo’s via the new take out spot. 

Thursday was National Heritage Day in South Africa.  

 We had a laid back relaxing day doing not much of anything.

We had our morning coffee on the bedroom balcony.

  
I did make dinner that night but we didn’t do the traditional braai I just threw together some bits and pieces as Norm hates to braai. 

Friday we had plans to meet up with some friends of Norman’s sister who are over on a holiday. We collected them at their hotel in the foreshore and drove round the city to Constantia. Norm wanted to get me fed as my blood sugar was low and I was being a pain in the arse. He suggested Green’s as the food is always good there, but I thought regardless of the food, we couldn’t take overseas visitors for lunch in a strip mall and instead suggested Groot Constantia Vineyards. There are a few different restaurants there and we stopped at Jonkershuis to see if we could get a table in the sunny outside area. We were in luck and settled in and ordered a bottle of wine and perused the menu. As I knew we were going to the market later I didn’t want a big meal so both Linda and I ordered the Caesar salad.

  
It tasted as dismal as it looks. There was no anchovy present (nor boiled egg which usually accompanies a SA version of a Caesar) it even had ranch dressing. The lettuce was past its best and was chopped so tiny it was more like slaw in texture. The bacon was overdone, the chicken underdone. It really was dreadful.

I was so embarrassed that I had taken the mickey out of Norm for wanting to take our visitors to a strip mall and they ended up eating that?!

The only saving grace was that the men had decent food, Norm had a burger and John had the dorado.

  
Luckily the wine kept us smiling.

 

After lunch we strolled around the beautiful vineyard. 

   
 

We even saw a guy propose to his girl.

  

So cute. I hope she said yes.

As it was Heritage Day we were allowed to tour the winery museum for free! That was cool, we have done it before but every time I notice new things. 

After we finished our walk about we went off to Hout Bay. We drove down along the beach while we waited til the market opened at 5pm. We then parked up and wandered round to The Workspace and saw the amazing sculpture there then headed to the Bay Harbour Market and had a wander round all the lovely little stalls then grabbed a cocktail and went outside. 

   
 

I love how they have made art from nothing all all. 

  
The painting of Mandela is surrounded by an old drain cover. 

We hung out here for a few hours then we headed off for dinner. Linda wanted seafood, but as John had dorado for lunch he fancied a steak so we decided Pescarne would be perfect.

There was no musical accompaniment thank god, our last visit was a nightmare. We settled in and ordered more wine (poor designated driver Norm). 

The men decided to go for the special on the Ribeye, R129 for 2 350gram steaks. What a bargain!

I had the 12 queen prawns on special for R109. 
  
My regular readers will know that Pescarne have had an identity crisis about serving their prawns. This time there was no lemon butter on the prawns, they were a bit dry. I wish they would settle on their preferred method so I know whether to ask for butter or not. But they were nicely cooked.  Just dry.

Linda had the baby platter which she loved. Hake, mussels, calamari and prawns.

  

I’ve had it before it is divine, just too much for me. 

Norman had malva pudding for dessert which the others fancied so much once they tried his they had then ordered another portion.  It was beautifully and ornately presented but my phone was uncooperative and I didn’t get a pic. But they all loved it.

We had ordered takeaways for the girls and Lily came to collect them so they also had a queen prawn treat, we had home heroes come to take our friends back to the CBD and we ended up home rather exhausted from a long, fun filled day.

Saturday morning Caitlin went climbing and Lily and I hit the Pic n Pay sale, I got a shirt, some cute men’s PJs with a warm fuzzy top and 3 new pairs of pumps for work. I had a huge bag full of goodies all for R350!

We hadn’t stopped home to have breakfast so we popped into Brot the newish bakery in Mainstream mall in Hout Bay. How cute is the presentation of their product when you buy it? 

   
 

We chose the peach cake and 2 donuts. We thought the donuts would be best so ate the cake 1st. We were so mistaken, that peach cake was so moist and soft and rich. Really divine! The donuts were ok, but oh that cake! Taught us both you can’t trust appearances, we should know that,  look at my own food! 😉

We chomped away on our way off to Sable Square where we went from one end of china town to the other. I was exhausted! I did manage to find all of my bits and pieces for my Halloween outfit. We then went to Sake Sushi for the R139 all you can eat sushi deal, however every timeI go I forget that I cannot eat that much sushi and I bloody hate seaweed. I couldn’t get the attention of the chefs and the waitress didn’t come near once we were seated. Otherwise I would have ordered what I like. I didn’t fancy a lot of the stuff on the conveyer. 

Meh. I didn’t enjoy it. But it was a lovely day spent with Lily. 

Last night we stayed in and rented Unfriended which was just dreadful. A really horrendous pointless movie. Don’t bother watching it.

We ordered pizzas again (don’t look at me like that I like pizza) and of course I had Mimmi. I had the salame with jalapeños instead of the mushrooms. 

  
We just had a relaxing evening at home, I was too exhausted for much more!

Today Norm was sweet enough to do a run round the shops for me. I am off now to roast a gammon for dinner and then put a curry into the slow cooker for tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your weekend all I’ve had a brilliant one!

Coffee Al Fresco

This week flew by even though I’ve reduced my hours at work. I’ve been so good about cooking every night until the weekend (no way I’m cooking all weekend). The Chicken dish I made last Sunday night turned out beautifully somewhat to my surprise. It was a complete invention and I worried the coconut milk would overwhelm it, but I forgot to buy sour cream and had to make a plan.

My food photos are dreadful. 

Oh well. 

Trust me it was better than it looks. I made mash and steamed broccoli to go with.

  

I made Mexican one night. I did cheese quesadillas and crispy potato wedges cooked in coconut oil. 

  
You can’t find refried beans in SA so I buy tinned sugar beans and add taco seasoning and blitz with a bit of water. Simple, easy meal.

We had a tomato and bacon pasta one evening but it would have been better without the bacon, I bought Eskort brand instead of Woolies. But the sauce was divine. I blitzed a red pepper, half an onion and a tin of tomatoes and it simmered away while everything else cooked. 

We had one night of a simple meal of baked potatoes in sour cream with pick n pay brand crispy bacon crumbled on top, mushrooms fried in butter, corn on the cob dripping in butter, and braised red cabbage and it was delicious.

I cooked every night until Friday and on Friday Norm was keen on Ragafellows except I was so tired I just wanted my jimjams and some chocolate. He offered to collect take outs for us and off he went. 

Lily and I both had the Bertram, this is a delicious beef patty, chorizo pulled pork, rocket, tomato. It comes with basil pesto but we both asked them to hold it. It really was so nice, the pulled pork juicy and the burger moist. 

We spent Friday night just playing games and watching rubbish on Telly. Saturday I knew I was in for a busy day. I woke at daybreak as always and lay in bed relaxing, it was a stunning, sunny warm day. 

Caitlin had booked us into Clay Cafe to paint. The concept is that you choose a piece of raw clay which you paint. You leave it and they fire it in the kiln. I’ve blogged about our many visits, previously. We love it there. It’s a stunning view and a chilled vibe. 

 Caitlin had her friends drive through to Hout Bay.

  

Caitlin, Lily and I met up with them and Retha. As always Retha made about 6 adorable little cat bowls in the time it took for me to paint 1 jug rather badly. 

  

But we enjoyed it as always. 

  
Not sure what’s happening with my sleeve or why I look so demented. 

    

I double booked my day, so I didn’t spend as much time as I wanted but my pitcher turned out ok. It will look very different once fired. 

  

I had to be at the hairdresser for 12.30 in the CBD so I rushed off to Mop Hair and had a cut and colour and then headed back to Hout Bay. Caitlin was out with her friends that night so Norm, Lily and I decided to go out. 

We fancied prawns so we went to Pescarne. As it was such a beautiful evening they had the side doors all open. There was a singer named Derek with a guitar slung round his neck and a backing track. It’s a small intimate venue and was very upmarket when it opened. Since the new owner took over it has become more casual. 

Let me just state that I’m the most awkward of people when it comes to social interaction. My idea of hell is being trapped in a dodgy cocktail bar with an oily lounge singer cruising around serenading the patrons while staring deep into their eyes. It’s different if you choose to see someone perform, not when they sneak up on you. 

Did I mention it’s my idea of hell? 

Well we have no pics of us as we made a point of getting out as quick as we could. It wasn’t fast enough to evade Derek. We even got up and moved as far away from him as possible. Derek walked up to our table despite our very obvious avoidance of any eye contact. He said “I can tell you don’t want to be disturbed…….”

Now who starts an interaction like that? If you can tell someone doesn’t want something, then don’t do it! 

He then asked us our names and what kind of music we liked via his Madonna-esque headset while lightly strumming his guitar. Lily, being a sweet young lady, answered him with ‘Beach Boys’ to which he curled his nose! We eventually muttered enough in his general direction to make him go away. Lily told us we are rude, but come on! 

We watched many people come and eat then go quickly. It was horrid. No one lingered.

Lily and I had gone for the prawns, but Norm doesn’t eat them, so he ordered the Hollandse Biefstek and Lily and I ordered 12 Queen Prawns. We ordered all 3 with chips.

  

As always the prawns were divine. However 3 portions of them arrived.  By this time what with the combination of Derek and Norman’s order being wrong, I had a very grumpy man. 

Eventually his steak arrived. 

  
It was R169 and 250grams in weight. It was average according to Norm. Oh dear.
We didn’t have dessert, we legged it out of there. 

We popped to the shop for chocs and headed home and rented a film. We watched Get Hard with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. It was quite funny but I love them both. It was slightly cheesy but on a sliding scale of CheezWhiz to Derek it was bloody brilliant.

Sunday Norm and I had a lazy morning and headed to Fish Hoek at noon as we had seen a cute little bistro table and chairs advertised on our local bric-a-brac page. We ended up buying it. 

We then stopped off at Steenberg Village to do our shopping and we popped into Vovo Telo for some eagerly awaited sustenance. I ordered the pulled pork piadini but they were out. Instead I quickly re selected and ordered the Corn Hotcake which is described as: Served with 2 poached eggs, crispy coppa ham, roasted rosa tomatoes basil pesto and fresh rocket for 60 rand. I didn’t notice it had pesto when I chose it but luckily it wasn’t too lavishly covered.

  
I enjoyed the corn fritters it made for a nice change. The poached eggs were more well done than medium, but I’m not concerned enough about an egg yolk to send it back. It was an interesting twist on the traditional version. So far this ranks at best as 4th in my Great Eggs Benedict quest. 

Norm had the Honey Mustard Chicken sandwich which had rocket and tomato and it was on a panini.

  
We were seated next to a large table with several very badly behaved children who danced round our table singing a loud song. The parents were oblivious until the kids stood on the chairs of the empty table next to us, shouting at the tops of their voices while leaping off said chairs. It was causing me dyspepsia. I’m too old for such nonsense. 😉

We did our weekly shop and headed home where I unpacked the shopping while Norm set up my table and chairs on the upstairs balcony.

  
It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. A place to have my morning coffee or read a book in the sun. And it’s heavy enough to not go flying in the crazy Cape Town winds. 

Sunday afternoon I made a curry to have for dinner on Monday and left it to simmer. Sunday night I made a cottage pie, Brussels sprouts and steamed broccoli and cauliflower. It was delicious if I say so myself. 

It was such a pleasure to come home to my curry simmering in the slow cooker and all I had to do to complete it was boil some basmati rice and fry some poppadoms. 

The weather is improving and tonight I kept it simple and toasted a fresh ciabatta and made a sauce of mushrooms and sour cream. We fried some halloumi cheese, braised some red cabbage and made a sort of open sandwich with fresh baby spinach leaves. It was so divine. 

  
I’m looking forward to this weekend, the week is already half way to George Ezra 😉

Back In Black

One of the few advantages of so much load shedding is that it gives me a legit excuse to go out for dinner. Not that I’ve ever needed an excuse, but still, it’s nice to be legit. 

We are in the middle of being load shed as I write this, at least WordPress is still available. We are without power from 10.00 to 12.30. The daytime outages are not so bad, unless you have a gardener in and an electric lawnmower and strimmer as we do, but he can just do the beds. Our garden is small but it is over full of plants and the trees badly need trimming. We gave Mzudumo that direction when we first moved in, but he decimated the vines and ground cover and bushes so I would rather get a landscaper in to do a proper cull for the winter. 

It is still a lovely view, that’s the back of Table Mountain in the distance.

  

And that’s Navajo our Swiss Shepherd contributing to the demise of my grass.

I do love him, but owning him is a bit of a culture shock for us Pomeranian People.

This is Prince Panda. My shadow who sleeps on my pillow.

  

And our old girl Pixie, the matriarch of the pack, just chillin’ by the pool.

  
Pixie and Mzudomo are great buddies, he tosses her up in the air and cuddles her and their ritual is that on arrival he settles down and has a smoke and a cup of coffee and grooms Pixie. We never asked it to be part of his tasks, he asked us for a brush and ever since they have a communal adoration session accompanied by grooming. It’s too sweet. 

As you can see, there is quite a size difference between my boys. 

  
We bought Navajo to train as a protection dog after our armed invasion, but his training has been rather sporadic. He is not keen on new people, he is very cautious and sometimes even aggressive. But with the family he thinks he is another Pomeranian and wants to sit on you and cuddle. He’s a beautiful boy. 

Navajo has unfortunately taken a strong dislike to Mzudomo. We have to keep him inside as he goes insane if Mzudumo comes near the house. Yesterday Mzudumo knocked on the door into the pantry from the garage to get car detergent and Nav lunged at him so I grabbed his collar just to pull him back, thinking he is bluffing and all bark and snarling teeth like always. But when Mzudumo turned to walk away Nav leaped past me and nipped Mzudumo on the back of his leg. He barely broke skin and Mzudumo didn’t even feel it, but still it is worrying in one regard and brilliant in another. 

Bad as we must keep him locked up when Mzudumo is here to keep him from biting again, but great as it confirms I can count on Nav defending me should the need arise. 

Saturday morning Norm took Caitlin to the airport. She flew to George for a long weekend to see her Dad and brother and Amber. Some of their other girlfriends are also in town so they are having a get together. 

Afterwards Norm came to fetch me and we went for brunch at The Riverway Cafe.

We were starving and asked if they would still serve breakfast and when given the thumbs up, ordered The Kitchen Sink which consists of 2 eggs, bacon, a beef and coriander sausage, fried mushrooms, beans, fried rosa tomatoes,toast. Everything except the kitchen sink. 

It was beautifully presented. Love the heart shaped cutting board.

   
 

But the details are always special with anything at Riverway. The array of stunning baked goods. Even when photo bombed by sexy Spiro husband to the owner, the lovely Julie. 

  

   

 The sugar bowl looks like you may have inherited it from your late Aunt Agatha. A proper heirloom. 

I could barely put a dint into all that food. I gave Norm a lot of it and I just had the toast eggs and bacon with a bite or 2 of each side. It was delicious.
We had a few errands to run, I needed my new glasses adjusted and we needed to go to the chemist and do a food shop. I bought a couple of pairs of leggings as boot weather is just starting and I love boots and big baggy tops. 

We came home and relaxed a bit and spent the afternoon doing bits and pieces until the electricity shut off at 18.00 but luckily the light was just fading and we had plenty of candles as that was the thing on my list which I forgot 😦 

The electricity was to be off until 20.30 so we decided to go out and get dinner. I had to get ready by candlelight so who knows how I looked. I still don’t. 

We headed to Pescarne as we heard they have a generator and I knew they had this special on.

  

It was nicely lit up which was so welcoming with the majority of the village in pitch blackness. We saw some friends outside eating and had a quick chat then we were seated sipping cocktails. 

I ordered the Queen Prawns special, 1kg at R199.

  
Regular readers will know that my only issue was the lack of lemon butter so I was thrilled that they had changed from the sharp dips they served the prawns with last visit and actually drenched it in a lemony butter which was divine! Great move, I hope they keep that up. Again I gave my chips to Norm and just focussed on the prawns but still couldn’t quite finish them. But I gave it a good go. 

Norm had a 350 gram fillet with chips.

  
 We really enjoyed it all and both of us had a delicious meal. 

Lily and Josh got home late last night and today they have driven back to George. We are waiting on the electricity to come on so we can watch a movie or something, I am still in my pajamas. It’s going to be a laid back mellow one. I hope you enjoyed yours.

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

I am so lucky to live in a fishing village where we can get amazing fresh seafood. My daughter Caitlin has just become pescetarian (eats only fish and seafood, veg and dairy.) The rest of us have sort of followed suit just as it is simpler.

We have had a week of Pescetarian Heaven.

I had such a brilliant Mother’s Day. I have a fat lady painting obsession and my girls got me a cute little serving stand and a lovely pyramid shaped storage box. I love them both!

The gifts and the girls :).

mothersday

My daughters booked lunch in one of my fave venues in one of my long standing most loved villages, Kalk Bay. This little village has a lot of memories for me; I have been going there since I first moved to SA in 1990.

I have many memories of drunken dancing to Ska music at The Brass Bell.

And memories of many shopping adventures there as we take every overseas visitor to Kalk Bay. It is also where my son, daughter and I all got tattoos before the tattoo place closed down there.

kalkbaytat

It was a cool shop and it is a shame it closed. I love my tat!

We drove along Chapman’s Peak Drive, one of the world’s most beautiful views.

kalkbaychaps kalkbaychaps2

We arrived a few hours before our lunch booking and had a wander through the art galleries, jewellery, knick knack, clothing and antique shops that make up Kalk Bay high street.

 

kalkbaymengirls

Caitlin chose a few things for her birthday and I bought a gorgeous lapis lazuli ring for myself at Oh So Boho.

I have a lapis necklace and earrings already to fill my Virgo matchy matchy syndrome.

ring

We had Caitlin drop the car at the harbour parking but had her first drop us at the far end of town, so she parked and then came to join us, we hit all the places we walked past and then we were thirsty and we stopped at Cape To Cuba for a cocktail. I love the décor there and the view right out onto the sea.

kalkbaycubacait

kalkbaycubalil

After our cocktail we continued our walk to Live Bait which is part of the Harbour House building, it is on the pier right next to the fishing boats hauling the fish in and we get to eat it!

kalkbayview

We ordered far more than we could consume as it was 2pm and we were starving. We ordered the seafood platter (at R300 or so, it was on the specials board), the platter of prawns @ R145, the masala dusted calamari at R95.

The platter has a crayfish, a piece of fish, mussels, prawns, rice and chips.

kalkbay seafood

It was all divine!! We feasted like kings.

Afterwards we were so full that we had to take a walk down the pier to digest a wee bit before we got into the car for the twisty mountain journey home.

kalbaywalk

We had the obligatory photo op at the end of the pier on the lighthouse.

kalkbaylighthouselily

kalbaylighthouse

We came home and watched movies and that night we had cake for dinner as we were too full for proper food.

That is our story for dessert but no dinner, OK?

Monday passed in a work filled haze and we made a vegetarian Mexican dinner of porcini mushrooms peppers and shallots made into burritos for dinner that night.

Tuesday was Caitlin’s birthday and we got her some workout clothes and a onesie and a case for storage with cute owls on it.

She was keen on trying the Pescarne seafood platter I had raved about on my previous visit since new owners took over.

She kicked off the night with a cosmo, it took 2 attempts to get this right, the first was pure booze! But in the end it was OK.

caitbdaycosmo

My daughters are so stunning.

caitbdaygirls

Lily had the  Baby seafood platter at R165 which consists of a piece of hake, prawns, calamari and mussels in sauce.

caitbdayplatter

Caitlin and I shared a platter of 8 King Prawns @ R189 and a platter of 12 Queen Prawns, @ R149.

caitbdayprawns caitbdayqueenprawn

We came home and had a bit of carrot cake Lily had made, I made the cream cheese frosting. It was yummy.

It has been lovely having both girls home this week, we have had a wonderful week. They went out last night to celebrate Caitlin’s birthday with her friends and I stayed in and chilled.

Lily is driving back today to George for a week, but will be back next weekend.

Life goes on!

I have another very sore sty in my eye, back on drops and no make up again. I have had to chuck out 3 lots of make up now, this is getting expensive.

Hence my desire to relax and do nothing this weekend and try and get some energy back, I suspect I am very run down if I keep getting these infections?

Anyway off to have a wee nap 🙂 Enjoy your weekends.

Back to Life, Back to the Mother City

Our arrival back in the Mother City last Tuesday was met with much excitement from the animals that we had not abandoned them forever and a bit of excitement from the girls over their new onesies and other little presents.
They both look very adorable in their onesies. But I am probably a bit prejudiced.

caitonesie
lily onesie

I had just the one afternoon to get back into Cape Town mode and then was back at work on the Wednesday. Even though there is only an hour difference in time it is still an exhausting trip and I was counting down until the following weekend which luckily happened to be a 3 day weekend! The only drawback was that Norm was working as the International Triathlon Union World Series event was on at the V&A (Victoria and Alfred) Waterfront.

Saturday I went off on an excursion with my friends Retha and Pierre. We headed over Chapman’s Peak drive into the Noordhoek Farm Village and went to the Toad in the Village for a late lunch.

I was in carnivore mode and decided to try a burger. I chose the Popper Burger which is topped with 2 cheesy ham filled chilli poppers with sweet chilli sauce R90. Their burgers come with both fries and onion rings so I was a happy kitten – like most southerners if you take most things, dip them in batter and fry them and I will eat them. toad burger

The meat was delicious, I am a burger snob and cannot bear nasty grisly meat or those compressed burgers from the shops where you can use them as a spare hockey puck if required.

I will definitely go back for another meal there.

We then toddled off to the garden centre, I am looking for a fairy or angel fountain for my garden, or else a cute statue. Something like her…
sitting-fairy-bronze-01-600
We had a look round, and both bought a few bits and pieces then we decided to have a coffee, which of course led to dessert.

We asked about their cakes, and the waiter gave a long list of all sorts of varieties, one of which was ‘lemon meringue cake’. I confirmed whether he meant cake or pie, he said definitively ‘Cake’. As I love lemon meringue pie I thought a cake of that nature was worth a try so we ordered the ‘lemon meringue cake’.
piecrop
As you can see it is just lemon meringue pie. But Oh what a pie! It was so sweet and creamy and the meringue so light. It really was divine. It was so big I could not even finish it.

Sunday I decided that I deserved a pyjama day as Norm was working and I was rather tired still so I just chilled and played games on the ipad and generally pottered about. That evening when Norm was home we ordered take away sushi. The new place in Red Sail Centre in Hout Bay does a buy 2 get 1 free offer on Sundays so we got a huge assortment of sushi for a good price and I always enjoy their sushi.

Monday was a national holiday and Norm was finally off work. We had intentions to go looking for a new car for me, but we both had major motivational issues so by the time we got out of the house it was already late afternoon. We decided just to go for a long leisurely lunch. We stopped first at my fave which is Ragafellows, but they were closed, so dejected we toddled off to find an alternative.

We decided to try for a table at Pescarne as we had heard they have a new lunch menu and wanted to try it. I didn’t realise that you can ONLY order off the lunch menu, I had assumed it was specials in addition to their existing menu. They just had a handful of items on the menu – ranging from fish and chips at R55 to a seafood platter for 1 at R159. I was keen on the crayfish curry at R139 but the waiter said it was shells and all – and I cannot see the point of eating a messy curry dish with bits of shell or bone in which either requires digging about with your fingers, or else ending up with curry all over you and the spitting out of inedible bits. Charming. Not.

So I opted for the Fish and chips. It was a rather unappetising looking piece of fish, the batter was not a solid tempura type of batter like we get in the UK, it was more of a pancake batter texture, very thin.

pescarne fish.
The first few bites were full of bones and I nearly gagged. But once I got through those first few bites there were no more bones. But there is nothing worse than taking a big bite of food and having to ferret round in your mouth for bits to expel. I think the only positive thing I can say about it is that it was well priced.

I did have a very delicious strawberry daiquiri to keep me amused.
pescarne drinks.

Norm ordered the trinchado, I had thought I was jealous until it arrived and I realised it was basically just a bowl of meat stew. No veg, no potatoes, no rice, nothing except a stale Portuguese roll. If the only side accompaniment is a bread roll then make bloody sure the bread roll is baked that day!
pescarne trinchado

I tasted the dish and was even happier I did not order it – the meat was very tough, and the sauce was very intensely flavoured. It tasted as if it was heavy with rosemary, or tea tree oil. It had a very antiseptic taste to me, really unenjoyable and overpowering. Norm was hungry and is nowhere near as fussy as me (I prefer to say I have a delicate palate rather than that I am fussy) and he ate every bite.

This visit to Pescarne was a bit of a test. I’ve blogged about several of my previous visits there. The 1st visit we had amazing food, amazing service and an amazing experience. The 2nd visit was mediocre, the 3rd was good and the 4th was good. This visit was so poor that I cannot see us going back again – there are too many excellent venues with better prices right on our doorsteps. I do not mind paying high prices for excellent food – but for average food I find it objectionable.

Quite a few people predicted that this venue would not last the winter but I was really pulling for them after my 1st visit, but a restaurant is only as good as its last meal and my last meal there was very average.

Yesterday was another public holiday and I spent it shopping with Lily. I managed to get my pressies for Caitlin’s birthday, Trevor’s birthday and Josh’s birthday so I am a very happy kitten! I hope they like them.