Hellos, Goodbyes & All That Jazz

Due to safety risks I did not want to mention it in my last blog but Norm was away last week for 3 days and as per usual, everything went haywire. Even Facebook and Instagram crashed! I mentioned in my last blog about the lock jamming in our security gate resulting in us being locked in upstairs and that was the first thing to go wrong but he was still here to resolve that. He ended up using a bicycle chain to lock the gate shut. Quite innovative really as I would have just said to hell with it and left it open.

I also mentioned the dramas with the electricity knocking out the downstairs WiFi and trying to resolve that after much poking about. I spent one night with no telly and much frustration.

The one thing I did not mention was that Pixie had developed a hot spot on her back leg. It was on her inner leg and within a matter of 48 hours she had gnawed it raw to the point that it was bleeding and very gooey and starting to go septic. She would not eat and was so lethargic that she worried me so. Pixie loves food and if she is not eating then you know she is very ill indeed. As I had to come home early due to the issues with the dog sitter and the alarm I decided to take her down to the vet on Thursday afternoon. The vet noticed that she had little patches of eczema all over her body and she said I had to leave Pixie behind so that they could sedate her and shave and treat her wounds. I was already so worried about her that this set me over the edge and it took all of my self control to not start sobbing. I did have leaky eyes and the vet was comforting me and telling me that Pixie would be fine. I felt a right wuss.

I went back home for a bit and soon after I got home Norm arrived back from the airport. He settled in a bit but then it was time to go back and collect Pixie. The vet said that they had to keep giving her more meds as she kept waking up, the little crack head. Eventually they managed to shave her and give her a dose of anti-inflammatory meds, cortisone and antibiotics. They also put on a cone to stop her chewing her leg.

After we collected Pixie from the vet Norm drove me over to Constantia to my friend Gerri’s house. She was moving out of her house and we were having a drum session to say goodbye to the land and the ancestors of the land. I cannot see to drive at night so Norm was kind enough to take me there.

We dug a hole in the spot where the lodge used to be and we put the prayer ties from the lodge into the hole and we burned them. We gave some tobacco to the ancestors and thanked them for all of the beautiful ceremonies we have had at her home. It was at Gerri’s home that I had my first sweat lodge in South Africa and where I started to learn about my Native American roots and to start to follow the red road so I felt very emotional.

We sang the Cherokee morning prayer song We n’ de ya ho to each of the directions.

Gerri prayed and said thank you to the spirits, the trees, the ancestors and the beings who all supported the teachings and learnings that have happened at Eagle Owl Lodge. When she called in the spirits and the ancestors the wind picked up and starting blowing a gale. The birds started flying around overhead.

We then all settled around the communal drum and sang our hearts out and drummed with great enthusiasm. While we were drumming an owl came and settled in the tree overhead and hooted along with us. The hadedas flew over and raised their voices in unison with us. A load of frogs started chirping along with us too. As we were smack dab in the middle of a housing estate this was quite magical. I could feel the energy of the beings showing support and making their presence known. I could feel the love of the land surrounding us.

We were oblivious to the dramas going on inside the house as one of the neighbours came over and just walked into the house and started going insane and calling us satanists and all sorts of vitriolic poison. Norm had unfortunately arrived in the midst of her craziness and when she was asked to leave the house she started attacking Norm and taking photographs of him and the car and when he asked her to stop she called him a Glaswegian Git. A) He is not Glaswegian and B) he is not a git! She is crazy AF. Nevermind, she will not have us there to harass any longer.

We did not let it spoil our night however, I left on a high, despite the sadness of knowing I will never go back to that house where I learned so much, I know it is time to move on. I always absorb so much energy and positivity from drumming and singing our prayer songs.

I have started praying on my knees, I have always had bouts of praying but never on a consistent basis and since I started following the red road I try to give gratitude regularly but I had never really knelt to do so. I met a really lovely woman a while back at Gerri’s and she said to me that I needed to get on my knees and since then it has been niggling at the back of my mind and I have finally started to do so. If I forget to kneel and pray before I leave in the morning for work I pray on the drive in and listen to NA music to try and keep me centred and to put me into a calm state. It really does work.

On Friday it was 32 degrees and it was so hot walking from the office to my car after work. I worked late to try and make up some of the hours I had lost dealing with Pixie and when I left my office the town was chocka with young people. There was a global student protest about climate change and many of the student must have been hanging around afterwards. Here is a link to a video of the Cape Town protest but it was all over the world.

As it was so hot Norm popped down to get us sushi for dinner from K1 sushi. They have a buy one get one free offer so all of this loveliness was only R123! That is $8.50 USD. I had salmon roses, prawn roses, cucumber roses topped with prawns and prawn tempura. Can you guess that I like prawns?

Friday night we had load shedding and it continued all through the weekend, occurring 4 separate times on Saturday. Load shedding is to protect the stability of the national power grid during times of severe strain. When Eskom is unable to meet the nation’s demand for energy it implements power rationing – load shedding – which reduces the load on the grid by cutting electricity to suburbs, towns and villages. In this way, Eskom is able to manually reduce demand to match its capacity. It is not too bad when it is in the day time as you can amuse yourself doing things, but when it happens in the evening you have to wait for it to finish in order to go to bed or you are likely to be woken when the lights all come back on. It went off at 4am and I woke up dripping with sweat as the fan was off. It was so tiring being woken all night by this nonsense. We were at Stage 4 of load shedding all weekend but it has dropped back to Stage 2 at the moment. We are due to be without power tonight from 8pm to 10.30pm which of course is right when we are usually getting ready for bed. It is exhausting remembering to prepare for it and trying to function.

Eskom has said that one of the reasons why it has been so intense this week is due to cyclone Idai in Mozambique and Zimbabwe knocking out the supply there which we are dependent on.

However insiders say that it is due to a number of issues, mainly poor maintenance of the infrastructure.

Whatever the reasons, it is a pain in the arse to deal with.

On Saturday morning I had plans to meet my friend Bronwyn for coffee at Hout Bay Manor but it was closed for a wedding so we had to quickly regroup and we decided to go to Delish instead as we could sit outside there. We had coffee and scones.

We chatted for hours and realised that we have so much in common and I decided we are basically twins. I had been told by several people before we met that we looked alike and had the same mannerisms and even communicated the same and when we talked we realised it is so true. I left feeling so relaxed and yet energised as you do when you really connect with someone. Women need female energy in their lives and I had been missing that. I hope we manage to spend more time hanging out as I think it would be good for both of us.

Bronwyn had a lunch date with her family and so we headed off just after midday. Norm and I were taking Caitlin and Wes to Hoghouse Brewery for dinner that evening.

We collected them and drove over to Ndabeni arriving for 6:30. We were seated upstairs.

We were warned that they were due for load shedding at 8 so we quickly made our choices and ordered. You order the food for the whole table and share it.

We ordered 100g of Korean burnt ends and 100g of normal burnt ends. These are the ends of a beef brisket which go a bit burned. We also had 300g of pulled pork.

We ordered 300g of pork ribs, 200g of beef brisket and 200g of pork belly.

For our sides we had big fat chips, onion rings and mushroom arancini. The fellas had the chorizo scotch eggs. It was quite a spread!

I finished it off with a pasteis de nata, I adore these little gems.

We literally waddled out of there with big fat bellies, the food there is so divine. There was nothing that we had that was not tasty and delicious. It was nice to be able to hang out with Caitlin and Wes, they are such a lovely couple. Wes is a really nice lad and I am glad Cait is with him, they are very well suited.

There was a famous rugby player called Siya Kolisi also there. He is a huge bloke and very handsome.

I felt sorry for him as everyone wanted to take a pic with him and he just wanted to hang out with his adorable son. He was very polite to his fans however.

We left before load shedding kicked in and dropped the kids at Caitlin’s flat then headed home. It was a restless night with the power going on and off. I was a bit groggy when I woke on Sunday and I had a lazy morning. Norm made us bacon and eggs for brunch and then Caitlin came to collect me at 4pm as we were going to see the musical Chicago which was on at the Artscape. Caitlin had won a competition on CapeTownetc and she invited me to attend with her.

We went to the city and drove down Kloof Nek looking for a restaurant with easy parking as the show started at 6pm so we did not have much time to mess around. We saw parking outside of Van Hunks and so we grabbed it and went in. They sat us outside on the balcony and we had a nice mountain view.

But when the wind was blowing in a certain direction it reeked of urine. There are many homeless people in that area and that area is also a bit of a party place so I assume the street is used as a urinal by the masses. Charming.

We asked to move and were put on the other side of the veranda where we were much happier.

We were even happier when we saw that there were two for the price of one burgers and we ordered the Parmesan crusted chicken breast burgers with chips and onion rings.

We finished our dinner and headed off to the theatre. Parking was a bit of a mission and we had to race up to collect the tickets, get a bottle of water and have a wee. We made it just in time to our seats only a few minutes before the curtain came up.

It was a brilliant production and we really enjoyed ourselves. It was nice to have a weekend full of female company and time with family.

When we got home it was load shedding and so Norm and I stayed up until the lights came back on but then it was so late when we got into bed and I was really tired today. However the positive energy I gained from drumming and the time with people I enjoy bolstered me up and kept me buoyant. Pixie went for her check up at the vet who says she is doing really well and that has also helped.

I hope the load shedding settles down soon as life is enough of a challenge without that. Thursday is a public holiday so it will be nice to have that day off. I do not have any annual leave left or I would also take off Friday but I am grateful for the one day I will have to relax.

I hope you all have a great week surrounded by happiness and love. That is what makes the world go round after all.

Until then, kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x.

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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.