Launch of the Season

Even though it is not quite December, the season seems to be fully launched. The week flew by and it was the weekend again before I caught my breath.

On Thursday night we had a work function in the city centre. I left my office in Mowbray promptly at 3pm and shot off to Hout Bay to leave my car at home and then Norm kindly drove me in so I could have a drink. The traffic was insane! The function was at The Park Inn at the Foreshore. They have a roof top bar and restaurant called Harald’s Bar and Terrace. The view of Table Mountain is spectacular from there.

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It was a bit overcast and at one stage the dark clouds rolled over the mountain and we actually got rained on and had to dash inside for cover.

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Our lovely office manager Tamarin and I raced off to the bar when it started to drizzle.

tamarin

I got a lift home with my colleague Darren so I did not stay terribly long. As it was a work night I kept to single vodkas and avoided the deadly wine. As a result I was able to function on Friday at work without too much pain, just a bit of tiredness.

As Norm and Josh were home alone Norm bravely decided to make low carb spaghetti bolognaise. I sent him brief instructions and he managed it all on his own. It was delicious. We had been given tidbits to nibble at the work function so I did not have any that night, but I did take some to work the next day.

spagbol

On Friday afternoon Norm messaged me to say that a truck had rolled over on Rhodes Drive. I did not think much of it until hours later on my drive home when I came up on a long queue of traffic. There was a traffic cop redirecting everyone. A cement truck had rolled over onto a car. Luckily (and unbelievably) no one was killed.

cement truck

Photo credit.

We were all redirected back onto the motorway and then eventually we could drive the long way around and get home but it added a while onto the journey, not what anyone wants on a hot sunny Friday afternoon. But I guess it is better than being under a cement truck! #Winning

Norm and I decided to just get a take away for dinner that night as it was hot and we were both rather tired. I had been going to go out with Retha for her birthday but her plans changed and quite frankly I was happy with having a night at home.

Norm popped down to Indian Oven, our local Indian food take away spot.

We started with a shared order of Spinach bhajees.

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I had my usual prawn curry but it was a bit spicier than usual, it was still divine. We also shared an order of saag aloo which is cubes of potato cooked in pureed spinach. It is so tasty.

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We had a quiet cozy evening in. The dogs were being ridiculously cute. Pixie was chasing Navajo around and nipping at him. He would jump on the sofa with her ball in his mouth and she was then unable to reach him. Then he would jump down and run around the sofa with her in hot pursuit growling and yipping at him.

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I woke up early on Saturday as Pixie had an appointment in Noordhoek at the doggy Chiropractor.

It is such a stunning drive.

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We were lucky with the traffic and arrived early.

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Lucky for us he had a no show so we got to go in early and so we finished earlier than planned.

I was meeting the George Escapees NoBooksNOurBookClub members for lunch at 12. We have all been friends for about 25 years and meet up whenever we are all in Cape Town.

We were booked at Bistro 1682 at Steenberg Farm. Janine had already nabbed a table outside in the shade by the time I arrived.

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We had to wait about 30 minutes for Nicola who was late.

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The waiter helpfully suggested that she might be lost until I told him she actually lives on the estate! She had an exhausting week and after getting dressed had sat down for a second to just rest her eyes and fell asleep.

Oops.

We forgave her.

The menu at Bistro 1682 is mostly a Tapas based menu so we all decided to choose 2 starters. They do have main courses but it was a hot day and it was a bit too much to try and gnaw through a steak or something large and heavy.

I chose the Baby Patagonian Calamari for R92 which was described as: Avo pulp, tomato & jalapeno jam, aioli, coriander salsa. I loved the little phyllo pastry basket in the middle to add a bit of visual interest.

This was perfection! The tangy sauce and the coriander all joined together to create a celebration in my mouth.

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For my next course I chose their version of a “Caesar” Salad for R94. It was described as ‘Parma Ham, white anchovies, artichokes, marinated peppers, cos lettuce,
soft quail egg, curry oil’.

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Now regular readers know how calling a salad a Caesar just because someone chucked on some ‘Caesar dressing’ is a good way to wind me up. This one was adequately described so I did not really expect a proper Caesar. I found it a bit heavy on the dressing and not very much like a Caesar at all other than the anchovies. But it was tasty enough. I just found all of the sauces combined a bit overwhelming for what should be a delicate salad.

I did not take a snap of the menu on the day and the online menu only has this dessert dish which sounds vaguely like it could be what I ordered: Dark Chocolate Marquise R82 Raspberry Ice Cream, Chocolate Soil, Orange Foam, Chocolate Cigar.

However I do not see any raspberry ice cream or a chocolate cigar on my plate below, do you? Who knows what I ate but I can tell you I would have it again and again!

It was divine!!

Whatever it was.

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We did not stay out terribly late as Nicola was going to the Johnny Clegg concert so we wrapped it up about 2.30 and I rang for Norm to collect me.

We went home and pottered about getting ready for the open house on Sunday. That evening we had planned on going out for dinner but we decided rather to stay in and continue to get things ready for the show house.

Norm went to the fish and chip shop and bought calamari, prawns and fish then he went to the Thai place next door and bought salads. We split it all and had a rather delicious (low’er’ carb) dinner and did not miss the chips at all.

fish

On Sunday we got up and got moving with the cleaning and sorting of the house. I had a wander around the garden and decided to dead head my strelitzia. It was looking a bit straggly. (It is also known as a Bird of Paradise due to the bird like blooms.)

I got into the midst of it and tried to avoid losing an eye to the sharp leaves. I cut out quite a lot of dead growth.

Left pic is after, upper right before.

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Unfortunately I forgot that I am old and rather unfit and I put my back out due to all the contortions to avoid eye loss. I was in agony and this meant Norm had to do all of the rest of the show day preparation on his own. Not that I do much at the best of times, but still. I usually at least pretend to help.

I hobbled about until 3pm when the estate agent arrived then I took her on a tour so she knew where things were and what to promote to any potential sellers.

Then we bundled all of the dogs into Norm’s car and headed off to Deli Delish as they were so welcoming to us and the dogs when we went the last time. It was a terribly windy day and so we sat out on the patio area. This time Panda insisted on sitting in Daddy’s lap.

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We were both ravenous as it was 3pm and we had not had anything except coffees. As it was so warm I opted for a salad and had the soy-sesame chicken salad. It was OK but there was a bit too much sauce for me.

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Norm opted for breakfast.

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We even indulged in dessert and I had a piece of Pineapple tart.

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After we finished we popped over to drop off Retha’s birthday present. I gave her a voucher for Skin in Hout Bay so she can treat herself to a pedi or something nice. Norm took the dogs for a walk and I hung out with Retha, Paola and Philip chatting for a bit.

Just around 5pm Norm headed home to relieve the estate agent but I stayed a bit longer chatting.

I am still hobbling about with my back pain. Norm treated us to a lovely dinner last night, he made fillet steaks, veggies and roast pumpkin.

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There is nothing quite so nice as having someone look after you when you are not quite feeling yourself. I am very blessed.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

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It’s All Relative

Last week was one of those weeks where you feel like your life is one monotonous rotation of work, home, bed, and then the cycle starting over again the next day. But this week was packed full of all manner of random diverse activity. 

Work was again hectic with me going off at 7am and getting home about 7pm so we had a few nights of take aways. I was delighted that my favourite pizza appeared back on Massimo’s daily special menu. 

  
The John Wayne is one of their many delicious sounding daily specials and consists of pulled bbq beef, smoked mozzarella, red onion, and huge pieces of jalapeño peppers. It’s my happy place. Oh Lordy. Their tomato sauce is so full of flavour. The mozzarella is thick and creamy, it is proper mozzarella. Not that plastic rubbish so many places try to pass off as mozzarella. It’s just amazing. My only slight suggestion would be to cut the jalapeños a wee bit shorter but that’s more about my untidiness while eating than anything else. But it is all of my favorite things all on one pizza.

Caitlin got the Happy Valley Calzone – stuffed with ham, mushrooms, mozzarella, feta, caramelised onions & cacio cheese, served with sliced avocado.

   

Norm was supposed to ask for no ham as Cait is trying to be pescatarian but he forgot. 

We liked the idea that R10 of the cost of it goes to Watchcon. She said it was delicious and it certainly smelled divine. 

On Tuesday night Norman and I attended the meeting of the Hout Bay Community Policing Forum. There was a huge upsurge in attendance from the usual numbers of attendees and they ended up moving it to the local elementary school. There were over 200 people in attendance with many people expressing concern at the increased level of crime we are experiencing in Hout Bay. 

A young lad spoke to the group, a tall good looking guy who is the head boy at Silikamvas  a local school in the informal settlement. He spoke passionately and eloquently about the fears the students have traveling back and forth to school. Another guy spoke about the issues he has living right next to the township gates, about how unmanageable crime is. The crime stats were read and a very dry presentation of a mind map was spoken through.

The issue is that police distribution is driven by the census results and the census takers just lay about in the shade. No one was willing to let strangers into their home to take stock of all their belongings in a society where people regularly rob you of said belongings, therefore they submitted incomplete figures and our area’s population was stated as approximately 30k, however based on the analysis done by a local pilot the real figure is closer to 66k. The informal settlement alone is estimated at 30k, so in reality our entire police force should be allocated only to one of Hout Bay’s informal settlements, Imizamo Yethu, not to all of Llandudno, Suikerbossie, the harbour, and the rest of the valley. Even if we didn’t have such a high level of crime we would be under-resourced. 

We had promises from our representative in charge of Safety and Security  JP Smith.  I for one feel neither safe nor secure.  He even had the nerve to try and joke about the Burning of The White House.

Tempers were boiling and words were flying, but the usual level of lack of care was exhibited by our councillor Marga Haywood, she is so unimpressive and ineffective. At least JP Smith talked the talk, as to whether he will actually have any effect will remain to be seen. Hout Bay is such a beautiful place it breaks my heart that it is so full of violence. How many stabbing victims and raped children will make the government wake up to this crisis? 

I felt like the group meeting was still rehashing the same points as always, nothing changes except the crime stats. Rape has gone up 200% but only the National Crime commissioner can know the number, we can only be told percentages and statistics. They tried to reassure us that it’s ‘only in the single digits’ but one woman raped is one woman too many and 9 is still a single digit, and 9 is way too many.  

Sometimes I get discouraged by the way we are forced to live, looking over our shoulders. I had to pop into the ATM to get cash and as the guard was nowhere to be seen, I took my pepper spray. I would have taken my tazer had it been in the car. Yes, I have a tazer. Next on my list of desired acquisitions is a paint ball rifle adapted to use pepper balls. 

We left the meeting and went off to grab dinner at Cassarechio which is Norman’s favourite Italian restaurant and I got a nice winter tummy warmer of a dinner of spaghetti bolognaise and we headed home. 

Wednesday I had the nurse pop round work to test me for a new policy, they need to take blood and urine etc to test that you are not about to drop dead before they insure you.

I left work a bit early as my pedicurist Vanessa popped round. It is so cold I kept my socks on til the last minute! Brrrr. But it is so nice to have her come to the house. 

Thursday we had a team lunch booked at Borage Bistro.

  
 I had heard great things about the restaurant and the chef since it opened and was so excited to try it. Norm dropped me off that morning so that I could have a drink to celebrate with the team.

   

   
 The team took a few bottles of a nice Spanish red with them and I ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc which comes from the Almenkerk winery. It was lovely and light and crisp, I loved it. 

  
We all ordered our food from the specials menu.

  
 I ordered the pork tacos, I love carnitas so I was expecting a lot.

I was disappointed on many levels. 

The service was sporadic, not because of the waitress but because of the kitchen. They were passing over the dishes a bit slow. We told the people served not to wait for us as their food was getting cold. 

Lizelle had the pasta, we were joking it looked like pot noodle. She said it was nice. 

  
It looked dry.

Guy had the chicken salad at R65 which looked nice. He said if he made it at home he would had added more chicken but it was sufficient. It was chicken, bacon, tomato, avocado, honey & mustard. 

  
The pork tacos were nicely presented in a big wooden bowl thing.

  
I’m not sure if they make their own tortillas and then fry them or buy commercial flour tortillas and then fry them. Or were they poppadoms?  They were impossible to eat and the shells shattered as soon as you tried to bite into one. You need the heavy texture of a corn tortilla for a taco, not flour. The flavours were nice, I enjoyed the sort of fusion of a pulled pork sandwich topped with coleslaw and then served in a taco. I just think it lacked something in its execution and delivery, 

The meat was riddled with large blocks of fat. 

  
You had to do a quick sift through the taco for fat blobs. It makes me want to heave a wee bit to think about it now. Sorry you have to look at it but I wanted to show I wasn’t exaggerating. 

I expected dry shredded meat like carnitas. This was very moist. 

It had white bean purée instead of the traditional borlotti/pinto beans which might work, but they needed more flavour, maybe a wee bit of cumin or some chili to lift it. 

The portions for the salad and the risotto were tiny. The pork tacos were the largest of the choices we all had. The men who didn’t have tacos were still hungry after we ate and so we ordered 4 of their Food Boards.  

 
They were lovely. That seemed to fill the gap. 

Charlton had the brownie. He said it was good.

  

 

Norm collected me at 4 after far too much wine with my lunch. I was being collected at 6 for the Launch of the Xtraordinary Women Inspirational Evenings

  We had a lovely evening, it was put on by the students at the other campus to the same school my daughter Lily attended, CPUT. It was all very professional and well done they should be proud. I would never guess it was first year students. 
It was lovely to see everyone. It seems my bestie Retha and I have no time to see each other as we are both so busy with work.

  
The wine sponsor was Bon Courage who provided a lovely rose sparkling wine.

  

I got home late and was so tired but Friday passed quickly. Lizelle and I took advantage of the midday sun and walked over to The Foodlovers Market and had their salad bar for lunch. 

We had so many days of rain and howling winds it was nice to have a sunny day yesterday and today. It is sunny but still bitterly cold. It is about 12 celcius every day. 

This morning it was bright and sunny but cold, all of the book club girls were meeting for breakfast at La Cuccina to celebrate Dawn’s birthday. It was so delicious. I had the Eggs Benedict with crispy bacon which is R58.

  
They serve the cappuccino with a charming little shortbread heart shaped cookie.

  
We had a good natter and a nice meal and then I came home to collect Lily and we headed off to Blue Route Mall. There were still some sales on and I got several tops and a pair of jeans, several jackets and a pair of trainers. Lily was lucky to find everything on sale. She got a great buy on a warm winter jacket.

We had a lovely day but the entire world seemed to be there as it was the 1st Saturday of the month. Never mind, we survived. We stood about half an hour at Mr Price. Very poor show. How can you not realise you will be busy on that day? 

The girls are out tonight so Norm and I are relaxing at home. Tomorrow we are out at a jazz event so we are taking it easy tonight. 

I do hope you all enjoy your weekend everyone.