The Spokeswoman 

The week started off so gorgeous, so sunny and  hot! We had a lovely 27 degrees Celsius on Monday and Tuesday was even hotter, allegedly hitting over 30 degrees. As I work in an air conditioned office I often have no clue what is going on outside. It’s like Antartica in my office, we freeze. 

I wondered will it finally stay warm, can I actually now move from boots to pumps? “Pumps” is another of those words which seems to mean a different thing in different countries.

In the US, a pump is a sexy, closed heel.


In South Africa a pump is flat.


I get so confused. Maybe it means both? Since my hip replacement I can no longer wear heels. I miss them, I never feel properly dressed up without a sexy pair of stilettos.

But it’s been so many years since I wore heels it would be hilarious to watch I’m sure. 

And then Thursday arrived and in typical Cape Town fashion,  I reverted back to boots as it was storming so badly it sounded like the house was going to blow in when I was getting ready for work. Once I got into the city the heavens opened and as well as icy cold wind and drizzle it started pouring giant splodges of rain. I have a long walk and I just zipped my jacket and put on my hood and plodded and splashed across town, dodging people running and went to my office. It’s impossible to use an umbrella in Cape Town.

I looked like a drowned rat when I got to work. I shook off and put what bits of me I could manage under the hand dryer. At least my thighs got dry in front and the back of me didn’t get as wet as I was walking into the downpour. 

drowned-rat

But that is Cape Town for you! Crazy daisy weather.

On Monday evening I had a phone call from Washington from a woman from Democrats Abroad asking if I had submitted my ballot. When I told her I hadn’t registered before I emigrated and that I left the US so many years ago that I can’t even remember my last address or Social Security number in order to register she said she would see what she can do. Maybe I can vote after all! That would be fab to vote against the Donald. I never answer my phone, the fact I answered an unknown US number is a real exception.

I then received an email from someone and she was zero help, suggesting I ‘figure out how to open the pdf’ that I told her wouldn’t open. Gosh why didn’t I think of that! She sent a link to a website which provided no guidance at all. So I’m back to square one, unable to register without proof of tons of info from 30 years ago. I’ve moved over 40 times, no chance will I know an address from when I lived in LA! Bugger.

I cannot face another president coming into the mix where I am going to be quizzed on ‘WTF is America thinking??’ every time a random stranger hears my Yank accent. I had to endure this for all of the years that Bush was ineptly banging around the White House. I cannot explain how a moron gets elected. I assume it is by the support of other morons but I am not the International American spokeswoman on moronic behaviour. And no I also cannot explain what is going on with the blatant murder of blacks by police in America. I am as horrified by these recurring deaths as anyone – I cannot explain it to others. But still I get quizzed. Luckily I’ve been out of the US and lived so many places my accent is a hodge podge. I escape scrutiny on occasion. 

Meanwhile life goes on. 

This week was over in a heartbeat because I was so busy. 

Norm was working on Monday evening so Caitlin and I ordered a Thai cafe order for home delivery. But as we took so long to make a plan then had to await the delivery dude, it was very late by the time we ate and it was time for bed soon after we finished.

As a result of having no leftovers, the next day I decided to take some smoked salmon to work for lunch so I walked to Food Lovers Market and visited the salad bar and made up a simple salad but they had no ripe avos so I bought a tiny perfect avo at the corner shop for only R3 and I took it all back to the office kitchen to construct it. It went so nicely together. It also meant a nice midday stroll out  in the gorgeous sunshine.

The drama continues over the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng into yet another executive position after being deemed unfit to serve as the COO. Now several of the SABC board have resigned and the parastatal is in deep trouble. The blatant disregard by the ANC of the findings by the Public Protector had already led to some resignations but the latest shenanigans has resulted in the last few members who seemed ethical to finally jump ship. The company is in a mess as is everything the ANC touches, Mandela must be so disappointed.

The medical infrastructure is barely functioning.  The incompetencies in the hospitals mean you don’t want to get injured in an accident. If you go for surgery where you select the hospital and surgeon yourself then you are generally ok. But you don’t want to be injured and especially not out in the remote areas.

Norm has started with getting the kitchen prepped for the renovation project. He has packed up a lot. 

We had a moment of panic this week when we rang to check progress with the company we paid to produce the cupboards and discovered the guy whom we were dealing with no longer works there. OK, to be perfectly honest, in reality I panicked and Norm just regretted telling me. 

He rang them the next day and confirmed that all was in order and the cupboards would be ready on Monday the 10th as planned. However as things often pan out, when Norm followed up with the painter she said that she wanted to get a full sized door to use as the demo piece for approval. When she drove to the site to collect a door they showed her one which was the wrong design! She had heard the whole story directly from me about the design so she agreed with them that they would pay her for the doors and she will produce and paint them! Thank goodness for the painter who seems so switched on. She should have a sample available on Monday for us to approve. I’m excited beyond measure. 

Norm has started chipping away at the tiles.

Meanwhile on Facebook, one of my Mom’s friends posted some of the cutest pics from January 1992. This is me and my children a year and a half after moving from LA to South Africa.

Caitlin would have been 3, Lily just turned 1 and Trevor was 5. So tanned and golden. Like a negative of them now, they never go in the sun and have dark or black hair. 

How did I have 3 children under 5 and have painted nails?  This was Africa, there were no nail salons. 

Norm is on a mission to grow his own tomatoes. His seeds have sprouted.


 His mom always had a load of her own tomatoes, as did my Grandmother. There is nothing better. I was not thinking properly as we chose rosa tomatoes which I love, but if we had planted large tomatoes we could have had fried green tomatoes, I miss those! 

I found this low carb recipe on a blog I want to try: Low carb fried green tomatoes.


The #FeesMustFall protesting is still going on with the university students. The University where Lily attended was full of chaos on Thursday. The protesters threw human feces at the police and in return the police fired rubber bullets. The government have sat firmly on the fence proving ineffective at controlling the situation.

I worked on 4 different projects this week, doing data analysis, project planning, created a presentation and reviewed someone’s document so it was varied and the week flew by. 

Caitlin flew to Johannesburg for a few weeks leaving on Thursday evening. It was unfortunate that Norm had work and they both were away. 

Early Friday morning Norm also flew away to speak at an event. Here he is having dinner with the parents of SA Gold medalist Wade van niekerk and SA Athletics officials. 

Meanwhile I was attending the launch of my friend Darryn Clark’s new location for his business Time Menders with my friend Annie. Darren is an artisan who makes and repairs clocks. It’s a stunning venue full of classic cars, bikes and various bits of Americana and memorabilia. 


It is a fabulous space with good clear energy. Some of those old spots can have a lot of bad juju hanging around. I hope it’s going to be a successful venture. They want a pseudo Biscuit Mill vibe with a coffee shop and maybe restaurant or cafe but with artisans occupying the stalls not just selling the usual same old tat you see at so many markets. 

In typical SA fashion, the blokes stayed round the fire and the women all sat comfortably round the lounge area and didn’t mingle. Of course we did talk about menopause and abusive men all night soooooo I can’t blame the blokes really. It was a man free zone.

We went very early and so we left early too and got home by 8 as I wanted to go spend time with Lily and Josh who had arrived just after I got home from work. I was so glad I wasn’t on my own that night. The wind picked up again and the rain was intermittent. The garden is loving it. 

Saturday it again poured with rain in the morning and we woke to overcast misty mountains.

I had a lazy day on Saturday and Lily and Josh were off to the track for training on Josh’s bike. He is racing next week so they are coming back again. Norm flew home from Bloemfontein late yesterday afternoon. 

I wanted to cook something for dinner but we had nothing much in the fridge and I was too cozy to shop.  I thawed out a bag of frozen raw prawns. I fried 3 small peppers, red, yellow and orange, 4 red Birdseye chillis, an onion and 4 cloves of garlic. I then added a bag of chopped butternut. I added double cream, coconut cream, 2 cups chicken broth and 2 tins chopped tomato. I flavored with chili powder, cumin, fresh coriander and paprika. I let it simmer until the butternut was soft then used the hand blender to make it all smooth. I cleaned and tailed the prawns and cut them into small pieces and washed them and added to the soup. I then added provolone to a sheet of baking paper and cooked til bubbly.

I topped the soup with fresh cream and chopped cilantro to serve. The provolone ‘crackers’ added a bit of crunch.


That soup was to die for. So much flavor and bite. Mucho caliente baby. We just relaxed the rest of the evening, I was happy to have Norm home. The animals were cozy too.

Lily and Josh drove back this morning and Norm and I headed out to do errands. It was sunny but there was a bit of chill in the air. My flowers were looking for the sun.


We went to Hirsch’s and bought a stainless steel extractor hood to go with our new cooker.


That is another thing sorted. We tried to find lighting and a bar fridge but no luck.

We were starving by the time we left the shop so we went to Mugg & Bean for a bite to eat. I had the Cobb salad.

Norm had the low carb Eggs Benedict. Instead of an English muffin it had mushrooms.


We did a shop for toiletries and bits and bobs at Clicks then decided to go to Constantia to do a big grocery shop, we were out of everything. On our way we spotted a huge fire. We never saw what was burning.


We then did a Pic n Pay shop for basics, then got our meat and veg at Woolworths. 

Norm walked the dogs and we relaxed a bit then we made dinner together.

We stuffed chicken breasts with spinach and marscapone then baked it. It was soooo tender. 


To go with we made mushrooms, gem squash and steamed cauliflower. 

The weekend has flown by, tonight we are watching Creed, the Sunday movie. Tomorrow my car goes in for a service so I am working from home and then in the afternoon I am at the dentist for the second phase of my root canal treatment. Hopefully it won’t hurt as much. 

I get to see my painted sample cupboard door tomorrow, I’m so excited! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead. Xxx

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Hot Child in the City

 I am a firm believer that tempestuous weather leads to tempestuous actions and it’s been a hot week in both temperature and temperament in South Africa. The temps were high and the wind was howling a few days. Add to the mix the movement by the University students protesting the high cost of university education and it’s a volatile situation.

The marching and protests were at all of the universities and across all cities. There was even global support with London and NY marching. On my way to the car after work a cavalcade of police cars raced past and then the next thing I was in the midst of the march.  There were probably a breadth of 10 or more young people striding past shouting, blowing whistles and dancing. They were marching to the Houses of Parliament but were met with very aggressive police action. 

The students were angry at the Universities themselves until a sneaky video was released on Wednesday of the moronic uneducated Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande saying ‘if the students don’t accept this, we’ll start our own movement. Students must fall’ before he burst out laughing. This video was published and went viral. This resulted in drawing the attention to the governing party the ANC rather than the Universities. The ANC have been our governing party since Mandela led the Revolution and defeated apartheid.

  
The thing that most of the anti-ANC people can’t understand is why people who vote them into power yet who are struggling with poverty do not vote in another party.

  
The majority of voters are afraid to turn away from the party that freed them from the shackles of apartheid, but they are questioning why the promises made by the ANC are still out of reach, dangling like a carrot on a string held out to keep them voting. 

The people are hungry, they want that carrot. 

Add to the lack of life changes for the majority of the SA population post apartheid, the ‘born free’ generation has a 40-45% unemployment rate. Many companies out source their labour. The high cost of tertiary education means that only 7% of people in SA have a university degree. 

This is the generation to have complete unity in SA, where the kids have grown up in multicultural classes. They had a rainbow assortment of friends, were exposed to many cultures and religions. These students stood together regardless of religion or race. The students made a wall of people to protect the Muslims who had prayers on Friday.

   
 

And they held hands in unity.

  
They were successful of sorts in that they had promises from the government that there will be 0% fee increases next year. However that doesn’t provide a viable solution the the problem of inaccessibility to education for the majority of South Africans. 

  
A long term goal of free education is needed. The good thing is the people now have their eyes opened to the bloat and greed of the ANC. Let’s hope the DA can win over enough trust to be our chosen government.

Education of our youth is our only hope. 

Of course Nzimande has stated he has no idea how to fund this 0% increase. The ANC really demonstrate they are incapable of governing.

It was a busy week but I popped by and did a bit of a shop on my way home from work last Monday in order to try and make sure I cooked at home at least a few nights. Monday I made pork chops in a rich spicy tomato sauce, baked potatoes, fried mushrooms and artichokes with melted butter. It was really yummy.

Tuesday we had book club at Dawn and she served chicken with wraps and apple crumble. I had already planned our dinner for Wednesday so I ended up having Mexican 2 days in a row. In fact after you add in my usual Friday lunch time treat with my friend Helen at Tortilla Modern Mexican by my office and I was on Mexican overload. But as I love Mexican it’s not a complaint.

Thursday night we had brinner (breakfast for dinner) so I made southern fried potatoes, grilled bacon, an omelette stuffed with spinach leaves and sharp cheddar cheese, and mushrooms for Caitlin. It was a heart attack on a plate but damn it was tasty. 

On Friday morning Lily took Pixie back to the chiropractor again and she seems to be benefiting from it.

  
Afterwards all 3 of the doggies went to the groomer so we have a few days where the house doesn’t reek of dog. But it doesn’t last. Oh well. I love my beasties. 

Speaking of smells. As you may remember the dogs are on a raw diet. This week they got duck egg omelette when we picked up their food and ohhhh my word we have nearly died of dog fart inhalation syndrome.

Jeez Louise. 

Anyway. The joys.

Friday we just chilled at home after a busy week, Josh came down for the weekend so we ordered pizzas from Mimmi To Go. Norm and I were both pretty much snoozing in front of the telly, I was very tired. 

The dogs hoped a bit of crust might come their way. 

  
Saturday we had Mzudumo in so we popped into Earthworx Nursery and bought some plants to go in our newly tidied front garden area. 

  

Of course the dogs were a big help.

   
 
It looks nice and soon we hope the flowers will spread a bit and the empty bed fill in with some colour. This was R500 worth of flowers, a whole trolley full, but it all just disappeared in the big bed. We still have to cover it with mulch.

  

  
Saturday afternoon we watched the South Africa Vs New Zealand Rugby World Cup game. I expected the boks to do much worse, but they seemed well matched as the scores stayed even, despite the boys losing in the end. 

Today we had a long lazy morning in bed and headed out for a late breakfast about noon. We decided to try the new Allegria at Mainstream Mall in Hout Bay.

   
  It’s such a relief that the road is now open! The roadworks is still in place but traffic can flow.

We sat outside as there were no ashtrays so we hoped that meant they were going to adhere to the law and not allow smoking. That was why we stopped going to the previous venue, Gabriella’s. If you sat inside you smelled of bacon frying and if you sat outside you were surrounded by smoke. 

Today was a muggy but cool day and perfect for sitting outside. The intense heat of last week has eased up. As always in this wee village we saw quite a few people we know and Norm ran off for a few chats.

We were attended to quickly and we ordered a cappuccino while we looked at the menu. The coffees arrived quickly and were perfection, not burnt, not bitter, just creamy and rich with a sprinkling of cocoa. A really excellent cappuccino. Yum. I almost ordered 2 but I’m so sensitive to caffeine I would have been able to levitate round the shops.

Norm ordered the Grande at R68 which was 2 eggs done as you preferred, bacon, a tasty beef sausage, a fried tomato, fried mushrooms, toast and jam.

 
I had my usual Eggs Benedict. It was R65 with bacon.
  
My eggs were done exactly as I asked, soft centre and no slimy whites. My bacon was perfectly crisp. I was interested in how the sourdough bread would work as a base but I really liked the dense texture and it was toasted nice and crisp the way I like my toast. It was as if I made it myself and that is a compliment in that it was exactly how I liked it, not a boast as I would never be able to achieve that perfection myself! I loved the hollandaise, it had a lightly lemon tang, nice and creamy and rich. So divine. 

The owner or manager came over and said hello and made sure we were well looked after, she was a great host.

We really enjoyed our meal and as we were parked there decided to do a shop at Woolworths rather than Pic n Pay. We did a huge shop as we were out of everything and headed home. 

Norm has had a day of ticking lots of items off of my honey do list, on top of all of the gardening he has changed 2 locks and hung a mirror and put up the mask the girls bought for me. 

  
We will watch the rugby later on as Australia and Argentina are playing. 

I’m going to roast a silverside roast and veggies. I got sweet potato instead of the usual delicious normal potato roasties as I’m going to try and reduce my carbs and exercise a bit as I need to get healthier. So the family must support that and suffer with me.  😉

This weekend has flown by as always – life marches on. Enjoy yours.

Blessings

Today i had a moment of such deep gratitude. When it is our life we just accept it but today I had a moment where I just felt so blessed. I was sitting by the pool while the animals all chased each other and Norm repotted some plants. I just felt like I could not think of anything I need in life. I may not be rich but I certainly have all that I could need or want. 

We loved having Lily here all week as she was down for a job interview. We sent Norm out hunting for fish and chips on Monday and he ended up bringing home grilled kingklip and chips, oh wow it was amazing! I did not snap a pic but trust me if you fancy fish, Spiro is the man to fulfill that need! 

We cooked a bit this week and we really enjoyed eating organic fresh food. I’m getting quick at making these delicious eggplant / Aubergine babies. 

  

This plate doesn’t allow you any reason to miss meat, we did breaded aubergines and we mixed Parmesan in with the breadcrumbs, we did sweet potato mash, spinach, and fried green peppers and shallots. We added a bit of roast onion marmalade and it all meshed gorgeously. 

We woke on Thirsday to load shedding, this is where the electricity company turns off areas of the grid. That meant I went to work with wet hair. And dressed in the dark. Lovely.

Thursday night my manicurist did a home visit. It is such a pleasure having Vanessa come to my house. We had mexican food after my pedicure,  with mushroom burritos for Cait and mince tacos and burritos for the rest of us, it was really yummy. Norm did his usual and put his mince in a burger bun. Odd man. 

Friday was Lily’s graduation from CPUT with her receiving her honour degree in Event Management. We arrived and ran round sorting out tickets, gowns, seating and photos so had no time for lunch. I saved a seat for her Dad so we could watch her together. She looked so gorgeous as always.

 

We only finished after 5pm and then we had to drop me to collect my car at work and she had to drop her Dad to meet his wife. 

But we had a wee moment of celebration for Lily.

 

 

We went home and Lily rang the recruiter about her job she had interviewed for and they made her a good offer so she finally has a definite job and start date. And to happen on the same day as she graduates was very cool. 

Lily and I got into comfy clothes and with Norm we all went off to Papino’s as Lily fancied a steak. We sat down and the waItress said that load shedding was scheduled in 30 minutes! We had thought it was due at 10 not 8! We ordered our steaks and a drink and settled in. 

Our drinks arrived and we poured in the mixer and took a sip and gagged. Instead of vodka, passion fruit and lemonade we had been given vodka, soda and lime, yech! Too acidic and bitter so we sent them back. We had replacement drinks quickly so no damage done. 

Lily ordered a plain fillet steak at R150 with extra pepper sauce at about R15, and Norm and I had the Hollandse Biefstuk. This is a Pan-fried beef fillet with mushrooms flambéed with brandy and it was R165. They both come with veggies and we all ordered chips. 

 


They managed to get us all fed and we only had about 15 minutes of relying solely on candle light. It was quite nice in the dark! 

We headed home just after 9 and we couldn’t remember if we had latched the door and therefore would be unable to get in with no electricity as the garage was electric. We decided if we couldn’t get in we would go to the pub. 

When we went outside we were told that a Mercedes had backed into our car, the driver got out and looked at the front of my car then drove off! How slimey, to know you do wrong and to run. 

It put a dampener on what had been a fabulous day. 

Yesterday Lily drove back to George and Cait was off with her Dad. Norm and I had a lazy day then decided to pop out for dinner. We managed to get parking and a table at Ragafellows. We ordered a drink and a burger it was the usual standard of fabulousness. We had an early night and came home to watch a film. I was asleep in 10 minutes as usual. Oops. 

Today we wanted to replace the big pot plant which had gotten broken recently by the kids so we went to Earthworx Garden Centre and had a wander round. 

  

We finally chose a big creamy pot and a few petunias as well as a vine. I adore vines. We had a bit of lunch and a cappuccino. Not the best poached eggs as the bacon was a bit half cooked and the egg yolks were overcooked. But it was edible.

 

 

We placed the new pot with the replanted old plant next to the pool. It’s the big spiky one in the corner.

  

We put the vine by the patio at back and we hope it climbs up the rail or the drain. 

 


Pixie helped of course.

 

  

We have had a busy week but it has been lots of fun. I hope you had a good one?