Conspiracies and Spirits

This week’s Old Fart Convo that I eavesdropped on at work was about Conspiracies and Spirits. First they said that ‘All Americans believe in Conspiracies’. No, no we don’t. Only some do. They touched on Flat Earthers and the people who are convinced the Moon Landing was faked.

Then the conversation drifted over to the subject of Spirits. They steadfastly denied that ghosts or spirits exist, then conversely almost crossed themselves and clutched their rosaries when one of them mentioned Ouija boards. When one of them asked the other two had they ever used a Ouija board they all said ‘NO!’ rather vehemently.

At this point I started giggling and they turned around to look at me but I did not attempt to interrupt their discussion. My expression and sniggers seemed to somehow unsettle them though and they shuffled off back to their desks.

Some of us do not need the assistance of a Ouija board to communicate with the other side, if anything we need help with blocking that communication!

My friend Alison shared a Light Language Activation image with me which is geared toward helping an empath disconnect from energy which is not theirs.

I have now started following Markus on social media and I enjoy his Light Activation images.

If I know that I will be around someone I need to protect myself from, then I do a protection ritual beforehand, but it is the experiences and interactions we do not expect that can get to me. My ability to protect myself is lessened when I am exhausted or stressed and I am both of those at the moment.

There is very little progress with Panda’s recovery and this whole experience has been expensive, stressful and exhausting.

Panda still sleeps in the bed with Norm and I as he always has, but he is most often wide awake alllll night. I do not go into a deep sleep as I have a possibly irrational fear of rolling over onto him in my sleep and smothering or crushing him. He can still only make a little growl and an almost soundless bark and cannot move away.

On Sunday night he had a very restless night but I still got up and managed to get to work and exist thanks to caffeine. The client had forgotten to send an email to HR to extend my contract another month and on Monday my access card did not work, but they let me in to the office using a visitor pass.

Panda was awake most of the following night too, so when my alarm went off at 6am on Tuesday I was still very tired and I hit the snooze button and went in for 8am instead of 7am. Tuesday morning they would not let me in to the building at all without an escort, preferably my manager but my manager usually only comes into work about 10am. Finally after half an hour of ranting and leaving annoyed voicemails on my managers phone, someone on the team walked past and I asked the receptionist if he could walk me to my desk and she allowed me in. One of the elevators is out of order and I had to queue forever it seemed for the one working elevator to have space as the queue was all the way back to reception. In between rants at reception I had nipped out and treated myself to a coffee and it was cool by the time I got to drink it and it was mostly foam rather than the coffee I desperately needed. I also realised I had left my lunch at home.

I just wanted to go back to bed.

Panda has become a 4am alarm as he wakes most nights looking for water or to be turned over. To be honest we usually have no idea what he wants, we have to go through the list of options until he settles. Much like a new Mom with a crying baby that you change, feed, water, rock and then finally when you feel like you can’t cope any longer you put them down in their cot and they immediately pass out, except it is barking and not crying.

Ironically Panda is looking healthier than before his illness in some regards. His breath used to be deadly and now is not scented at all. He had constant dark circles under his eyes which the vet had said were an environmental allergic reaction and those are gone. His eyes are bright and clear. He is still taking the tissue salts to boost his immune system and recovery. We grind them into powder, add to water and give him them in a syringe.

I’ve ordered some CBD products for him as well to see if they help with his healing. I will try anything if it might help. We will continue to support him any way we can.

Progress is very slow but we do get glimmers of hope. We do little Physio sessions with him, rotating his legs as if he is walking, flexing the ankle and elbow joints, then ending with a massage. It feels like he is pushing back against our hands with his back legs when we do the exercises. I hope that is true and it is not wishful thinking.

Norm cooked a few nights this week. He made a beefy bolognaise type sauce and served it with mashed sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli and cauliflower. The following night he made a pseudo cottage pie by layering the leftover meat sauce, mashed sweet potatoes and topping it all with cheese and baking it. It was lovely to have homemade healthy food.

On Friday morning I was checking Facebook notifications and I saw a memory from our anniversary a few years back. With all of the stress and chaos Norm and I both forgot. I cannot believe we have been married for 22 years! Sometimes it feels like we just met and sometimes it feels like we have always been together. We will always be there for each other, we are soulmates despite being compete opposites.

When I got home from work Norm had bought me a lovely bunch of lilies, my favorite flowers.

He also shopped and made us a gorgeous dinner. He grilled a fillet steak and I made a salad of spinach, rocket, pomegranate seeds, toasted pine nuts and grated parmesan cheese. He made fried sweet potato fries in the air fryer and fried whole mushrooms in butter.

We built a fire and settled in for a relaxed night surrounded by our babies.

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It was a big change from our last few anniversaries but we cannot leave Panda on his own so we are housebound for the foreseeable future.

Norm took Pixie to Noordhoek to the doggy Chiro on Saturday morning. I had to try and feed Panda. The vet and Norm have no qualms about shoving the large syringe down his neck but I can’t. I hand fed him.

Afterwards I started a big fire even though it was so early in the day as it was freezing cold and raining outside.

I watched a few episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Panda was in good form and watched it with me.

I mixed it up with a few episodes of the new season of Good Girls on Netflix.

Today I finished the last episode of Season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and have to search for a new addiction. If anyone can recommend anything please do!

Norm and I watched a documentary about the water crisis in Flint Michigan and then we watched a documentary called ‘Minimalism’.

It is about a movement of people who are trying to simplify their lives and get rid of all the clutter and unnecessary items we tend to cling to. I find that my need for ‘things’ has definitely lessened either due to age or due to the environment I live in where so many people have so little. I question do I need this item, or do I want this item. In the past I was into mass consumption as well but I realized pretty early on that things cannot buy you happiness. Many hoarders are that way due to some sort of traumatic loss, they surround themselves with things and fear letting anything go as a way of feeling more in control.

I am a control freak but on a conscious level I fully realize we have no control over anything.

This situation with Panda has proven that to me if nothing else.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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A Pyrrhic Victory

This week has been a week of lovely adventures and disappointing events. Or I guess under the circumstances some of them were non-events!

In my last blog I mentioned how excited I was about seeing Sam Smith in concert but Sam lost his voice and had to walk off stage in the middle of the first of the three nights he was booked to perform in Cape Town. We read about the cancellation of the Tuesday show on Wednesday morning but the promoters held back on making a commitment about whether the next two shows were going to be cancelled or not and in fact the news sites were still reassuring us that the Wednesday and Thursday shows were still going ahead.

Big Concerts finally made an announcement on social media at 2pm on the day of the show to say the remaining two shows were cancelled. They stated that Computicket would issue refunds to the same credit card we used to make the booking. As mentioned in my last blog, this is an issue for me because the card I used has expired and just getting the tickets printed was a major issue. As far as I was aware you cannot refund an inactive card? I emailed Computicket and their reply was to inform me they would refund the card used to book the tickets, which was the same info I had queried them about! I have tweeted Big Concerts and Computicket, raised a query via Facebook and raised a customer service query on the Computicket site. They finally told me to go to a Computicket branch and get my refund there so today Norm and I went to the offices at the Waterfront only to be told that the refund has already been issued and the bank will be able to route it to my account despite the card being expired. The bank holiday weekend appears to have slowed down the process but I will keep monitoring it as the tickets were almost 2k.

From the last minute confirmation of the cancellation to the responses to my queries, the customer service from Big Concerts has been abysmal.

On the night we were supposed to go to the show, as a consolation prize Norm suggested we go out for dinner so we decided to try a new spot and we picked the Cattle Baron in Constantia. We had not booked and they were very full but we were offered a table outside on the ‘patio’. The restaurant is in a little mall so the patio is actually inside the mall but outside the actual restaurant if that makes sense? We were seated under a gas heater so it was nice and cosy.

I chose the sautéed mushroom 200g fillet: Grilled beef fillet served on deep-fried rosti and topped with garlic sauteèd mushrooms for R195. It came with a choice of a side as well as creamed spinach and roast butternut and I also ordered onion rings (you all know about my onion ring addiction).

I am always torn about how to order my steak. I like it pink but not bloody. They had a little chart in the menu telling you what each ‘doneness’ meant in their terms and I went with ‘Medium’. It was utter perfection. The steak would melt in your mouth it was so tender. It was very garlicky and the mushrooms were very tasty. I enjoyed it so much!

Maybe not as much as I would have enjoyed Sam, but you gotta take your pleasures where you can get them.

Norm was brave this week and tried out a new low carb recipe I found online. He made cauliflower cheese topped with bacon and it tasted every bit as good as Mac and Cheese!

It was delicious and it was so cheesy that you could convince yourself that it was macaroni and cheese. I was so impressed.

He baked pork chops and roasted sweet potatoes, fried baby mushrooms and steamed broccoli to go with it another night.

I had a few lunches from OrderIn as I’m getting a bit bored with the NowNow offerings from next door to our office and OrderIn is so easy!

One day I had chicken strips and chips from Smak Deli.

The chicken was moist and tender and I enjoyed the panko crust. The chips were thin and crispy, more like crisps but they were very nice.

Another day I ordered a mexibowl from Tortilla Modern Mexican.

A mexibowl is your choice of protein, refried and black beans, corn, onion, sour cream, cheese, coriander and salsa. I had the shredded beef option as my protein and it was delicious.

One day I walked down to Nuri sushi for lunch. I had prawn pops.

I also had salmon roses.

It was as delicious as always. I love their food.

This week Woolworths released the products from their collaboration with Sir John. Sir John is Beyoncé’s make up artist. They all look lovely!

Speaking of Queen B, over the weekend I watched ‘Homecoming’, the Netflix documentary she has done about preparing for and starring in the Coachella festival.

She looks so amazing! The difference in her body from the start of rehearsals when she had not long given birth to her twins to the time of the actual show is unbelievable. She worked so hard to train and get her body back into shape. In my opinion she looks even better than she did before she had her children, she is so lean and toned.

I love that she brought on Destiny’s Child for a few songs.

There has been some chaos and negative events both locally and internationally.

Close to home this week we had a mugging near the graveyard where you turn up towards our house. This resulted in a chase by police and one of the perpetrators getting shot. Let us hope that deters the group who have been terrorizing Hughenden homeowners.

A church in Kwazulu Natal had thirteen people, mostly teenagers, killed on Thursday night. A wall at a Pentecostal church fell on top of congregants who gathered at the church for Easter celebrations. There had been heavy rain and there are rumors that lack of adherence to building regulations was the cause, however investigations are still underway.

After a bit of relief from train drama, it started up again this weekend when two Cape Town trains were set alight in the Cape Town city station.

The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Services received a call about a train alight at Cape Town Railway station at approximately 3.51pm yesterday and 8 coaches were badly damaged before it could be contained.

This weekend was the legendary Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon which normally routes through our village. It is an event of note with residents lining the streets and cheering on the runners. However this year there was a threat of protest action and the risk of violence was too great and the race was rerouted to avoid Hout Bay.

Many businesses in Hout Bay will suffer greatly as most of us park off and drink and eat and enjoy the vibe of the event. The restaurants will have lost this income. My friend Bronwyn called it a “Pyrrhic Victory” for the protestors and once I looked it up I totally agreed! (She’s a clever cookie) I do not know what benefit the cancellation will be for the protestors. Do they feel heard? Will it bring change? Will the City politicians listen? I just see another blow to our already struggling local venues and the potential for more layoffs of the very people the protesters are allegedly providing a voice for. I do understand the frustration of the protesters as their living conditions are abysmal, however I cannot see how moving the marathon benefits their cause.

There have also been multiple catastrophes globally.

The Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral caught fire this week and has burned. Luckily many of the artifacts were spared. Caitlin and I visited the Cathedral when I took her to Paris for her 18th birthday. I am so glad I was privileged to see it before the fire. Such a sad event and loss of history.

Jerusalem’s revered Al-Asqa Mosque was struck by a fire that broke out at the same time that Notre Dame was ablaze. Luckily the fire was contained quickly with no reported injuries or interior damage to the 2000-year-old building.

There have been multiple bombs detonated in Sri Lanka churches and hotels. At the time of writing the death toll is almost 300 innocent victims. Police found 87 detonators in a private terminal of the main bus station in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, and a controlled explosion was carried out on a van near St. Anthony’s church, one of three churches targeted in the attack. On Sunday evening, an improvised explosive device (IED) was defused near the capital’s Bandaranaike International Airport. There had been intelligence warnings received days before the explosions but they were not acted upon.

And for a bit of light relief from the drama, we have been told that the SA police force have a new instrument for testing drunk drivers.

That is our Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande. While amusing it is also pretty scary stuff. Was he tongue tied or is he really that ignorant? Hard to know really! It is even scarier that he was formerly the Minister of Education. You can see why SA’s education system is ranked as one of the worst in the world! I worry about the future of this country in so many ways.

I had another one of my sleep paralysis incidents this week. Norm was woken by my keening, a horrid noise even to my own ears. I have read so many different points of view on what is happening when this occurs. Some say it is astral travel. I believe this is correct as I am always interacting with people from my past but in a different relationship than in this life. There is always a sense of loss when I wake and I often wake in tears.

Both of the shows I am watching at the moment are both about life in multiple dimensions (Outlander and The OA). Many of us believe in reincarnation but is it a ‘new life’ or is it a parallel life? Whatever it is, it fascinates me.

There are so many things that our one dimensional minds cannot conceive.

Norm and I have had lots of relaxation over the bank holiday. We had no plans and just played it by ear. We had long lies in bed most days and had outings when we got cabin fever.

Thursday was the new Friday so that night I had my usual sushi fest from K1. Prawn tempura, crab salad, prawn nigiri and salmon roses.

On Friday we went on an excursion to Game to get some steam cleaner stuff (she says vaguely) and enroute we stopped in Constantia at the newish Botanicum Cafe and Grill for lunch. We had not been to this venue since it changed over from the Bootleggers brand. The renovation looks lovely.

Norm ordered a chicken and avocado wrap.

I ordered the open faced chicken and mayo on ciabatta bread.

We both ordered chips which came in a cute little flower pot.

They were proper hand cut chips. I give our lunch 4 Kitten Stars.

We just had a takeaway from Massimo’s that night for dinner and watched some Netflix.

On Saturday we had a lazy day. I played games on my iPad and was amused by the silly pooches.

That night we decided to have a date night and we took a chance on getting a table at Cheyne’s and we were in luck! We nabbed the last available table.

I ordered a Passionate Buddha cocktail.

We chose the Yum Cha dining experience at R280 for 4 dishes. I chose the Baby Shrimp Tempura with garlic truffle mayo and red pepper flakes as my first dish.

Norm chose the Crispy Hake Tempura with pickled shallots, miso mayo and unagi sauce. He raved about this dish!

We both ordered the potato and coconut dumplings with penang sauce and toasted nuts.

For my third choice I had the Mumbai chili beef with cardamon and ginger syrup and toasted coconut.

Norm had the chicken yakitori with togarashi chips and pickled pineapple.

For dessert I had the vanilla creme brûlée with toasted banana bread and miso ice cream.

Norm had the Fuji apple crumble with apple caramel and peach ice cream.

The service was great and the food divine. I give our evening a full 5 Kitten Stars.

On Sunday we decided to venture out of the bay and we decided to drive across Chapman’s Peak drive.

It is a beautiful scenic drive.

We decided to stop at Jakes. We arrived at about 3 so the lunch crowd were finishing off and we managed to get a table.

There was live music on and the singer was brilliant, I really enjoyed his setlist.

We both ordered burgers, Norm chose the Whatta Burger with sweet potato fries. His burger had cheese, bacon, gherkins, port & mushroom sauce, crumbed feta & crispy onions.

I ordered the Classic American burger. It came with mature cheddar, chipotle mayo, gherkin & onion rings.

The service was a bit dodgy, the drinks took a lifetime to arrive, then they brought Norm’s burger a good ten minutes before they brought mine. I give the service 3 stars at most but the burgers were a solid 5 Kitten Stars they were divine. They were awkward to eat and we were not given side plates to juggle the toppings but we managed. We really enjoyed the food.

I had a Kahlua Dom Pedro and it is only now that I check the menu I see that they charged me for a separate shot of Kahlua yet the menu includes the shot in the price of the Dom Pedro! How dodgy!

Oh well, it was nice even if I was overcharged for it.

We came home via the longer route through Noordhoek and around the mountain, it is also a stunning view out over the entire city.

When we got home we sat out on our balcony for a bit enjoying our own amazing view. This is my happy place.

Today our adventure was based around trying to get my refund from Computicket. We did that as soon as we arrived at the Waterfront as we were not sure how long Computicket would stay open on a holiday. Afterwards we were walking down the steps from the upper level to the lower level and there was a lone woman standing on the stairs faffing about with her tightly tied hoody. As she was stopped on the stairs I went around her and as soon as I got in front of her she started to move up close to me and reach toward my handbag. She obviously had not seen my bodyguard Norm who smoothly slid in between us, triggering a string of profanity and abuse from her, she started yelling “I am not a pick pocket” and ran off in the opposite direction. The waterfront is so busy and is full of tourists so is the perfect setting for opportunistic crime.

We were still a bit shocked but we carried on our way and went to Sevruga for lunch. We were given a table in the glass surrounded veranda so we could see the sea and people watch, but yet we were protected from the howling wind.

We love people watching.

Norm ordered the kingklip that was on special. It came with an orange beurre blanc sauce and was served on a bed of wilted baby spinach and was surrounded by cubes of fondant potato, wedges of grapefruit and orange and grilled artichokes.

Norm gave this dish 5 Kitten Stars and I must say it was a feast for the eyes as well.

I had sushi. I ordered the Prawn salad, chopped prawn, cucumber and spicy mayo. It had some slivers of avocado on top.

I also had 2 pieces of prawn nigiri.

I also had an order of Creamy Salmon Roses which is salmon roses with a lovely creamy sauce and topped with a large tempura prawn.

My food was also amazing. That was the best prawn salad I have ever had. The added bit of chili made all the difference and elevated it from bland to fabulous. The creamy salmon roses were hands down the best sushi I have ever eaten. I was literally moaning with pleasure.

We had such a lovely meal and then we went for a walk around the waterfront. There is a gorgeous view of Table Mountain from the waterfront.

We watched the Cape Wheel for a bit.

And we listened to a band playing who were really talented.

We had a wander around the shops and then headed home. I am back at work tomorrow so we are just relaxing this evening. I have really enjoyed my long weekend and all of our adventures. I hope you have had a lovely break as well.

Until next time, Kisses from The Kitten xoxoxo

Protected by Women

The last week or so the vibe in our village has been a bit tense after the recent protests that resulted in the roads in and out of our village being closed and 5 men being murdered.

Community Crime Prevention (aka CCP) posted an update the day after the 4 taxi drivers were shot to reassure us that our concerns over our safety were being addressed:

“6 Vehicle Control Points held in the course of the day and 8 taxis impounded. 14 traffic warrants served and 3 arrests made on outstanding warrants during vehicle stops. Strong Police presence along with Traffic/Metro/Law Enforcement continues.”

There has been a heavy police presence all week.

I have had a few of my international readers asking me about the background to the taxi violence and I have found an article to explain it which you can read HERE but in summary it is that there are 2 different taxi associations who are fighting over the right to use the lucrative Hout Bay to Wynberg routes. There are many people in Hout Bay who use the african taxis and the difference in cost between the government run MyCiti buses and the african taxis is supposed to be about R14 each direction per day according to the people I have spoken to. This is a lot of money to those who are paid so little.

Last Friday there was a meeting in Hangberg (a suburb in Hout Bay) which was meant to be a forum for all of the political parties to speak to the voters and it started peacefully enough but it erupted into a brawl and was eventually called off.

Today the police minister Bheki Cele was due to arrive in Hout Bay to address various issues. The police were out in force.

However I saw on social media that this visit triggered another protest. I later read that the protest was local students, specifically organised by the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) and I cannot find anything online regarding this protest in Hout Bay specifically, but the march was held across many areas in South Africa. The students have stated that they ‘want the Education Department to improve the school’s infrastructure and implement a safety programme to rid places of learning and South African streets of drugs.’  I also read that Cosas is raising concerns over the violence, the sexual assault of learners by teachers and the need for the provision of sanitary towels in schools.

Below is an update on the outcome of the meeting with the Police Minister.

Throughout all of the chaos and nonsense, the rest of us have to keep on with the requirements of living life.

I had a phone call from my gastroenterologist to tell me that the results of my biopsy were back and that it was all clear! Such a relief. The medication he has given me for the heartburn is working well and my reflux is minimal. If I avoid overeating then I am  mostly okay. If the meds do their job then hopefully I will be able to avoid having another op. I had a bit of dizziness on Wednesday when I went back to work but that has  gone away. I think it was from too much caffeine. I do not cope well with excessive caffeine.

Norm has been looking after me as always. He made a delicious dinner on my first night back at work last week. He made chicken sausage fried with mushrooms which he served with sweet potato mash and baby spinach. It was so yummy. Sausage and mash is such a warm cozy homely meal.

I cooked on Thursday night and made tacos, one of my favourite foods. They are so quick to make when late home from work.

We got sushi from K1 on Friday and I ventured out of my comfort zone and tried some different items.  I had salmon roses, prawn nigiri, crab salad and tempura prawns. It was all so delicious. This might become my new normal.

We had takeaways from Spiro’s one night last week, I had crispy squids and chips and Norm had chicken souvlaki. We love Spiro’s and it is one of our fave take away spots, the portions are big and the prices are reasonable and the food is consistently good.

We also had takeaways from Massimo’s one night, I had the creamy prawn and crab granchio pasta and Norm had the fritto misto that was on special and both were delicious.

On Saturday I had to buy a birthday gift for Bronwyn so Norm and I popped into Culture Box at Oakhurst Farm Park in upper Hout Bay to look for a gift as I wanted to support our local shops and designers. They had some lovely things and I finally settled on a gorgeous thick, soft black scarf which will be perfect for winter. They wrapped it in tissue paper and put it in a bag for me so I did not have to wrap it.

Norm and I then went off down to Hout Bay village to find some lunch. We decided to try the new Famous Bean Cafe which I had not yet been to.

It was overcast but still warm enough to sit outside and we found a nice shady table on their patio.

I had heard good things about their burgers and the menu said they are hand made patties so Norm and I both ordered the ‘Famous Burger’.

It arrived on a wooden serving board with a little bowl of fries.

The burger was OK, but only just OK. I far prefer the burgers from Dario’s personally. I also ordered a chocolate milk shake but it was not nice at all. It was more milk than shake and the ice cream used was not nice, it tasted quite artificial. Maybe I am spoiled by the amazing hand made Italian ice cream at Ice Dream? Hout Bay has some brilliant restaurants so the owners of Famous Bean Cafe will need to up their game if they want to survive. All in all I give my experience at Famous Bean 3 Kitten Stars and that is mainly due to the attentive and chatty waitress who served us and the free WiFi. I will give them another chance however, I will go for breakfast and see how their eggs benedict stand against the other venues in the bay.

Norm and I popped into Woolworths and did a shop of bits and pieces we could heat for an easy dinner as we had such a big lunch. We bought chicken samoosas, mozzarella arancini, sesame chicken, asian slaw, potato salad and beetroot.

We spent the evening relaxing surrounded by the animals. Navajo chilled at my feet with his head on the footstool. He is such a beautiful boy.

On Sunday I met up with Bronwyn and a few of her other friends to celebrate her birthday. We met at Kirstenbosch Gardens which is such a beautiful special place. It was a hot day and the gardens were very busy.

Norm dropped me off as I intended to have a wee vodka or two and I met up with the other ladies at the gate. We went into the gardens and managed to find this little secluded area under cover of the trees and we set up our little camp and put out all of the goodies Bronwyn had bought for us to feast on. She had brought loads of gorgeous freshly baked breads, salami, pepper ham, parma ham, brie and several types of cheese, lots of dips and spreads and pate as well as crisps and cupcakes. She really spoiled us!

I had brought a jug of vodka, apple juice, soda and passionfruit cordial and Bronwyn had brought wine and champagne.

We posed for some funny photos which had us all giggling like school girls. We did a cheesy album cover shot draping ourselves all over the giant trees that were sheltering us from the sun.

Then we straddled a different tree and did a sort of human centipede shot.

Several of us tried to master a group selfy but only Bronwyn had any measure of success.

We spent all day there and finally wandered home around 5:30pm, I for one was a little tipsy from my vodka concoction. We had such a wonderful day chatting and munching and I so enjoyed spending Bronwyn’s special day with her and such fabulous women and our one token fella (he was the photographer and is not in the pics I posted).

Our little spot was like a magical fairy garden, it was such a divine special area. I love the energy you get by being surrounded by ancient trees and I also gained energy by interacting with the less than ancient humans sharing the fairy garden with me.

We talked about all manner of things ranging from who would make up the perfect dinner party if you could invite dead people, to the ideal table of living hot men. We touched on the foolishness of the young, dissected the traditional gender based roles of men and women in society and how we ignore these stereotypes and apply our own rules in our own relationships, and we discussed the physical and emotional abuse suffered by so many women all in the name of what masquerades as love.

Angie raised a very salient point about how so many of the abusers are protected by society, by other women or even by the victims themselves. Society tells women they should be grateful that they have a man, any man, regardless of how he treats ‘his’ woman. So many african families will tell the wife that she must do as she is told and bow to the needs of the man. If the man wants a houseful of children, even though he is unwilling to work to feed or clothe them, the wife must accommodate his wishes. This pattern of subservience is also still prevalent in many Afrikaans families so it is not restricted to race. It is prevalent in most countries within many races and religions.

Silence may be the only protection offered but sometimes that is all that is required. Whether the silence is there out of fear of reprisal, or just due to the gaslighting that occurs to the victims, the end result is still men literally getting away with murder or with ongoing repeated abuse. Does this silence make the victim complicit in their own abuse or is it just a symptom of the victim hood?

Last week the mother and step father of a child who was systematically tortured and abused until he died were both sentenced. The courts have called the child ‘Baby Daniel’ for the sake of anonymity of the mother’s other children.  The step father has been sentenced to life in prison, while the child’s mother was sentenced to 20 years behind bars. The judge said that the mother was guilty in that she did nothing to remove the child from the reach of the step father. The report from a social worker states that the mother was a victim of sexual abuse and physical abuse as a child which resulted in her making poor relationship choices and violence was normalised for her.

As a survivor myself I feel some level of sympathy for her. I know that I also made many poor life choices due to the damage of my childhood and I also made poor relationship choices which led to more abuse, first being engaged to a man whose emotional abuse convinced me that I was so ugly and stupid that I was lucky to have him as no one else would be interested in me, all while trying to lead me down a path of drug addiction, a road he was very familiar with. I managed to get out of that relationship but then ended up marrying an angry, violent man. However I could never have stood by while anyone harmed my children. My children’s father did not abuse them, he only directed his violence towards me. Once my son was old enough to witness the abuse something clicked in my head. I still remember it very clearly, we were living in LA and one night while I lay on the floor having been thrown across the room, I looked up to see my son standing in the doorway. He was less than 2 years old and I was pregnant with my second child. I then realised that if I did not do something to change my circumstances that my children would grow up with this violence as the template for their own relationships. I stood up and picked up my son and put him back into his bed. I then calmly walked up to my ex-husband and I told him that if he ever laid another hand on me and did not kill me, that I would wait until he went to sleep and I would bash his head in with a brick. He later told me that he could see in my eyes that something had changed. He never hit me again after that. He still abused me emotionally and played power games with me but he never laid a hand on me until many years later after our divorce. I am proud to say that I stood up to him that time as well. Part of the issue with abuse is the loss of power, the helplessness associated to being a victim. Not everyone has the strength of character or the confidence to break these chains.

Obviously Baby Daniel’s mother did not. I feel so much sadness for Baby Daniel, for his mother and for the other children from that family. I hope that the other children are able to get counselling to help them heal from the horrors that they have seen or experienced themselves and can break that cycle in their own lives.

As for his step father, I hope that karma deals with him in the manner he deserves.

Hold your own loved ones close and tell them that you love them.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x

 

Toxicity and Acidity

This has been a rather eventful week in Hout Bay, but before I catch you up let’s go back to where I left off on my last blog because us Virgo’s are nothing if not methodical in our approach.

Last Sunday Norm and I went out for a pub meal at our local, Woodcutters Arms. As it was a bit late for a Sunday night in our little village, the place was almost empty so we took a nice big booth at the back.

I asked if they had any of their Sunday Roast left and the waitress checked with the kitchen and said there was one portion of the beef roast remaining so I happily ordered it. I love their roasts, they have delicious horseradish and crispy roasties.

However this time as I was last in the queue I got the end of the roast and it was full of fat. The vegetables were completely raw, not even blanched. The roasties were perfect as was the yorkshire pudding and sauces.

Norm ordered his fave scotch eggs: Smoked Paprika Sea Salt, Pea Puree and Pea Shoots for R45.00. He said that the coating was very thick and hard. Maybe there was too much breading but as the egg is so under-cooked I suspect maybe the oil was just too hot? He was a bit disappointed and he usually loves this dish.

For his main he ordered the Pork Sausages: Served on Mashed Potatoes, Buttered Peas, Brown Sauce Onions and Gravy for R78.00. He enjoyed this dish and it was such a massive portion he took some home for lunch the following day.

When the manager came to inquire about our food I said mine was ‘OK’ but she sensed the hesitation in my voice and she asked was I sure so I mentioned that the beef was very fatty. I did not make a fuss, and she offered to replace it with something else but I was pretty full from the bits I could eat so I declined her offer. But then when the waitress brought the bill she told us that the manager had taken my dinner off of the bill! That is a rare occurrence in South Africa, in the US it is commonplace but certainly not here.

I realised that I had forgotten to mention in my last blog that when my friends and I had our excessively long breakfast at Hout Bay Manor that the manager had taken off the  main courses from the bill due to the eggs debacle. Amazing customer service in both regards.

We love the Woodcutter’s Arms and will not be deterred by a once off bad meal, it is our local and we enjoy sitting in their beer garden on a warm sunny afternoon and their food is usually always good, I think it is a very high standard for ‘pub grub’.

On Monday I was back at work and had to rush home to meet Vanessa who came to give me a pedicure. She is such a lovely girl and we have such a laugh while she is working on my calloused tootsies. We sat chatting and watching the Brexit chaos on sky news while she worked.

While Vanessa was finishing up Norm started cooking our dinner. He chopped chicken breasts and fried them in mushrooms and onions and to go with it he puréed some butternut with lots of butter and stir fried some baby spinach. I helped him with the sauce for the chicken and added thick cream, a bit of bisto and a big spoonful of Richard Bosman bacon jam to add a bit of depth to the flavour. It was a quick and easy meal and was very tasty as well as low carb and high fat with the added cream and butter.

Another night Norm cooked a big pot of bolognaise sauce and we had that with sweet potato mash and steamed baby broccoli and the next night he topped the sauce with mashed cauliflower and cheese and baked it making it last two nights. It was all very yummy. I am a very lucky Kitten!

On Tuesday afternoon I had to leave work early as I had an appointment to see a gastroenterologist about my abdominal pain and constant acid reflux. He sent me for an ultrasound which checked my organs and aorta and when I told the sonographer that I was trained as a radiographer she happily announced all of the findings in my scan, ‘there is your liver and it is fine, there is your gallbladder and it is nice and clear, and there is your aorta and you do not have an aneurysm’. Bloody hell an aneurysm was the one thing I was NOT worried about but thanks for clearing that up!

My gastroenterologist is a very amusing guy. He told me about the difference in men and women in regards to their bowels. He said that women tend to be constipated and I asked him was that a control issue? He said it is a thesis on it’s own (he is a professor) and yes, part of it is about control. He said that women often have issues with using  public toilets whereas if a man needs to go he is happy to pull over to the side of the road, drop a squat and use grass to clean himself. I even have issues going in a posh venue and could never go in anywhere unsanitary. I would only go on the side of the road if I was in danger of death or explosion. As a Virgo I cringe at even discussing these things. But discuss them I will do as Prof B booked me in for a ‘top and tail’ as he so charmingly called it, aka a gastroscopy and a colonoscopy.

On Wednesday morning I got up at my usual early hour and headed off to work. As I got to the entrance by the first taxi rank which goes up into the township I had a taxi almost back into me when he came flying backwards, reversing quickly into main road with his lights off and no brake lights in the dim light. He was setting up a blockade on the road but I did not realise that, I just thought he was being an idiot so I drove around him.

I carried on towards the roundabout at the police station and I drove straight into a protest / roadblock.  The taxis had all formed a line end to end around the traffic circle by the cop shop and were in the process of closing off the roads. I have had this happen before and I did the same thing as I did then, I just drove on the wrong side of the road and put my foot down and shot off towards the coast road to the city. Until you have been in that sort of situation you have no idea how terrifying and intimidating it is. You never know if the protesters will throw rocks at your car or even shoot at you, whether they will allow you to drive through or whether they will hold you hostage. I did see one police van but he just drove around the blockade and down towards the village ignoring the blockade.

I rang Norm once I had gotten past it and he told me that he had just started to ring me as he saw on social media that there had been 40 shots fired in a shoot out between rival taxi gangs resulting in a death to one of the drivers. This is in a residential area with a school nearby but these idiots do not care who is endangered in their fights over financial gain. They fight over which taxis get to drive which routes. This week I had a taxi overtake a long queue of traffic by driving on the wrong side of the narrow curvy coast road, not only endangering themselves and their passengers but all of the other drivers who could be involved if there was an accident.

The taxi drivers ended up closing down the entire village, blocking all of the points of exit or entry into the village. I must have been one of the last cars to get out via that route. Eventually law enforcement and the security teams managed to clear the roads and get the taxi drivers to leave. Why they did not arrest them all for their actions I have no idea. You sometimes wonder who is in charge, the cops or the bad guys.

Norm and I had started watching the new Netflix series about The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Norm and I used to live in the village next to where the McCann family lived in the UK and we had followed it all when it was going on so many years ago. However due to the lies and publicity put out by the Portuguese police I had incorrectly come to the conclusion that the parents were somehow involved, whether this was a cover up because they overdosed her on a sedative when leaving her alone in the room or some other skulduggery. However now that I have watched this documentary and reviewed all of the facts I believe that Madeleine was most likely the victim of child trafficking. There were so many leads that hinted at this but none of them were properly investigated as the Portuguese police were too busy trying to implicate the parents rather than launch a proper investigation. They did not even set up a roadblock until several days after the child went missing. Goncalo Amaral was the head of the incompetent policemen from the Polícia Judiciária‎ in Portugal and he has been proven to be corrupt and was fired from his post. He has also been proven to be money grabbing by writing a book full of lies, ironically called ‘The Truth of the Lie’ which was banned and then reinstated in a court of appeal. He has recently been linked to a mafia crime ring. He diverted this investigation and I feel he is ultimately responsible for the poor performance of the Portuguese police. Based on the latest charges against him it makes me wonder if he was actually implicated in her disappearance and that is why he derailed it. We may never know the truth.

It was a heart wrenching story and I cannot imagine what the McCanns have gone through over the years. To lose a child is traumatic enough but to then have people blaming you must be horrific. However it is a very well done documentary and I give it 5 Kitten Stars.

We have also started watching Outlander. It is a show that people have recommended to me for years but when they mentioned the time travel aspect I thought, nah, not for me. But I recently joined a new Fashion House in my covet fashion game and they are all fans of the show so I decided to give it a try when we found it on Netflix and I love it!! Many of the women who are fans are all agog over the lead character played by the handsome Sam Heughan but he does not do anything for me, don’t get me wrong he is cute but then, so are puppy dogs. But I do love the sight of a man in a kilt, especially my own man. I give Outlander 5 Kitten Stars.

On Friday afternoon when I left work I popped into Woodheads to buy waxed string to finish decorating my drumstick. I had plans to work on it over the weekend but my days got away from me and I have not yet finished it. But at least I am prepared!

I could not decide on the blue or the red so I got a roll of both. I hope they will go nicely with the design I recently painted on my drum.

On Friday evening Norm and I had a takeaway from the Blue Lotus Chinese restaurant in Hout Bay and finished the last episodes of the Madeleine documentary series. We were both up and out on Saturday morning as Norm had to take Navajo to Noordhoek to the doggy chiro and I had a hair appointment in the city at Pause.

I love my hairdresser and her assistant, they make me feel so spoiled.

When I got home Norm was out so I sat on the patio while the pups had a run around, it was a cloudy misty day.

I took a selfy of my newly coloured hair while I waited, how does it look?

When he got home Norm and I went down to the village for a late lunch as it was after 2pm and I was starving. We went to Zur Holzbucht the local German restaurant and chose a table in the beer garden as it was not too hot for my delicate wee Scotsman who cannot tolerate the heat or sun (neither can this Cherokee for that matter).

Norm had a light lunch earlier that day while I was busy in town so he had the only dessert on the menu, the apple strudel. He asked for it with ice cream but it came with cream instead, he said it was just average, nothing special.

I was ravenous so I had the kassler roast with sauerkraut and pan fried potatoes. It was really yummy, I love their food and I am a sauerkraut fiend and they make their own. They have very rich yummy gravy and the potatoes were crispy outside and soft and fluffy inside. I give it 4.5 Kitten Stars.

Sunday we were invited out for lunch with some friends but I had to start my prep for the colonoscopy I was having on Monday so sadly we were unable to attend. I was allowed to eat up until 1pm and Norm kindly made us crispy bacon and cheesy scrambled eggs which he served on a fresh croissant he had picked up that morning from Oakhurst Spar. Their pastries and baked goods are top notch and always fresh. It was very yummy. We kept referring to it as ‘my last meal’ like I was a Dead Woman Walking and due for execution rather than just the indignity of a scope.

And then the fun started. I had to drink 3 sachets of the prep diluted in a glass of water, followed by another glass of water, with a glass of water every hour between them. I was allowed no solid food after 1pm and so that evening I only had a cup of strained chicken (noodle-less) soup and some jelly, but to be fair I was not hungry due to the overabundance of water slogging around in my system. The prep itself was not as bad as I had heard as I had imagined it to be horrendous. It was rather unmentionable but at least it was efficient in it’s function, albeit being a bit uncomfortable. Enough said about that!

I took Monday off of work for the procedures and when I logged onto Facebook I saw that the village was again on lock down. There was another shoot out between the taxi drivers, this time resulting in the death of 4 men and the injury of several more. The large white vans in the video below are what we refer to here as taxis, they shove in dozens of passengers and drive like lunatics resulting in a many road traffic accidents and deaths, but they are the only affordable transport option that many of the poorer residents have access to.

By the time we had to leave to go to the clinic the roads were cleared and we sailed through with no issues.

Today I read on the Community Crime Prevention Facebook page that “All calm in the area with large presence of SAPS/POPS, traffic and Law enforcement. Multiple road blocks and impoundments (sic) of taxis reported this morning with 1 licensed firearm confiscated for ballistic testing already.”

I just hope that they continue to monitor this ongoing issue and punish the lawless who are driving the routes without a permit and putting all of our lives at risk.  It is such a toxic situation. I wish they would just close down the taxi ranks in the village and put on more of the buses and sort out proper safe affordable public transportation. The buses are usually safe but they do not cover the entire city and some say they are too expensive. I do not know the comparative price between the African taxis and the MyCiti buses. Uber and Taxify are expensive and are not always safe and the trains are also a risk to your safety and are very unreliable. This country has so many issues. The elections are coming up so it will be interesting to see if anything changes and which party wins, but somehow regardless of which party takes power I just think it will be more of the same old bullshit.

Speaking of bullshit, back to my more personal dramas……we made it to the clinic in plenty of time for my procedures. I had told the doc I wanted to be knocked completely out and I was taken in to the exam room and asked to undress and the nurse attempted to put in an IV, however I have very poor veins and my arm is black and blue today. She eventually got the IV in and gave me something ‘to relax me’ and that is the last thing I remember until I was being shaken awake and my basket of clothes shoved at me. I stumbled around and managed to get myself dressed and wandered off to the loo. They then moved me over to the tea room and went to fetch Norm. He made me a cup of tea and gave me a biscuit but I was nodding off and did not manage to really eat or drink. I was in such pain that I was not coping so they gave me another injection for nausea and then due to the excessive cramps they gave me an injection of buscopan to try and stop the cramping but it had no effect. Prof B took me in to view the images and he confirmed that my hernia repair had reversed and my hernia was back. He also found a polyp which he removed and sent for biopsy. He also said I have a lot of diverticulum and a very tortuous colon and he struggled to navigate it. Luckily there is no inflammation and I should have no issues with it. I know that is probably TMI but my blogs serve as a diary and even as memory aids for me when I cannot remember things, at least I can look it up!

I came home and slept the entire afternoon, the anesthetic knocked me out. I told Norm that must be what it is like to be in a relationship with a heroin addict as I could not keep my eyes open.

Prof B has put me onto a new medication which is a PPI or a proton pump inhibitor. When compared to taking an antacid, I like to think of it as the PPI actually wets the forest down to prevent the flare up of fires in the first place and an antacid just attempts to douse the already raging flames with a bit of water. I took one of them last night and one this morning and I am not having any reflux pain at all. I did take another day off of work as my throat feels like someone drove a truck down it and my stomach has not settled from all of the invasive things which occurred *ahem* so I did not feel up to being in the office all day with a dodgy tum. I will go back tomorrow.

Hopefully there will be no further taxi dramas and life will continue as it should, toxicity and acidity free.

In the meantime, I wish you all a great week. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x

My Best Beloveds

This has been a week of highs and lows, excitements and stresses ending with a fun and busy weekend.

We tried to get back onto low carb eating from last Monday and we had a delicious high fat / low carb meal for dinner that night. Norm made pork chops, cauliflower mash, fried halloumi cheese, fried mushrooms and steamed baby broccoli.

Tuesday he cooked again and fried chicken breasts with onion and spinach, added in a container of cream, some spices and chicken stock and he served it over creamed sweet potatoes and with steamed asparagus to go with it. It was so delicious, similar to a cream pastry free pie.

Wednesday I met my friend Gillian for lunch at Nuri Sushi. I did not realise it when I made the decision where to meet but she does not eat sushi so luckily Nuri does prawn pops and ‘asian fries’ which are both divine so we had those. The prawn pops are like scampi in the UK.

The asian fries are sliced deep fried potatoes, like thick chips. They are really yummy.

That night Norm had a meeting so he stopped for take aways from Massimo’s on the way home and it was gorgeous as always but not banting as we both had schnitzel with mash and roast vegetables.

Thursday Norm made home made chili con carne and we topped it with cheese and sour cream. The beans are not low carb but the rest is and it was so delicious.

I started my new project with a new client a week ago on Friday but my first full day was this past Monday. I was panicking with insecurity at the beginning of the week as I always do, but by the end of the week I had my processes set up and was no longer worried. I am definitely challenged with the amount of work to be done but I think I can manage it. I was set up on SQL Developer but I have always used MS SQL so it took me a bit to get used to the different interface and language but I am going well now that I have my rhythm.

We also had crazy road diversions in the city all week because of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) so it made it just that little bit more stressful. Some of the roads I normally take were just randomly closed as I work right near Parliament. I panic when I get lost and there are a lot of one way streets so any changes from my routine get me off balance.

It has been really hot and windy this week and as it often does when we have that combo of chaos we had fires and this week we had several!

Regular readers may remember me telling you about the fire last year in the gorgeous Tintswalow Hotel, and on Tuesday there was yet another fire, this time in the main lodge.

Here is a link to some pics of the damage which the hotel posted on their Facebook page. It looks pretty bad.

On Thursday as well as the road congestion from SONA we had another fire on Camps Bay road near the Table Mountain cable car turn off. This was the second in one week in the same general area!

This fire meant all traffic was diverted around the mountain and my usual half hour drive turned into 2 hours of sitting in bumper to bumper non moving traffic.

I decided to amuse myself by taking photos and enjoying the beauty of the views.

I watched the choppers scooping up sea water to dump on the fires.

There was also a fire at Holy Cross school on Thursday. There was even a small fire in Hout Bay near the beach.

When I finally got home that night Norm and I had a swim. I was so grateful to have a pool.

I sat for ages with my feet in the water cooling off after my horrendous journey home.

On Friday it was hot already when I got into work and driving past the part of Table mountain where the fire had occurred the previous day, there were still fire engines in place and the area smelled like an ashtray, it was horrible.

Maybe that was why I was tempted by the peanut butter cronut from Now Now Cafe. It was worth every carbohydrate.

My playlist on Spotify that day was Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton, as I listened to it I thought about how much my Grandmother loved Hank Williams and still did not catch on to the fact it was her birthday, despite all of the obvious nudges she sent me. It was only later that evening when my cousin Warren messaged me to say it would have been Grandma’s 111th birthday that day if she was alive that I put two and two together and realised she had been contacting me to tell me hello.

Friday afternoon after work I went to the chiropractor and then was home before 5pm and Josh and Lily had already arrived at the house from Mossel Bay. We just had chinese take aways for dinner and Caitlin came over later and she had left over chili when she arrived.

We finally opened our Christmas presents. I got Lily and Josh some clothes from the US and they all fit perfectly. I got Lily a gift card for her birthday as that was what she wanted. I was not sure about Wes’s size and so I got him a shirt he could take back, it is just as well I did as it was too small.

Josh gave me a gorgeous wrap which will look lovely when drumming or even over a swimsuit. I wore it over my dress on Saturday for lunch. I wore it with turquoise jewelry. My hair is wet as it is so hot.

Wes game me a bottle of Vanilla spice amarula which was delicious.

On Friday evening the girls and I baked the chocolate cake and 2 pans of cornbread ready to prepare into the stuffing the following day.

On Saturday Lily and I got up and had a coffee then got busy cooking. I took puff pastry and filled it with chocolate chips and maltesers, snipped them shut, basted with melted butter to make them golden and popped them in the oven for our breakfast.

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Voila! #BelatedChristmas breakfast #breakfast

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That day we all pitched in and cooked with Lily and I first doing the icing for the cake, the cornbread stuffing and then later starting the veggies and the potatoes and putting the meats into the oven.

When Cait arrived she finished preparing what was left to be done and she and Wes cooked the veg and potatoes then Wes carved the hams.

We had so much food! We had 2 small hams cooked in pineapple, honey and coke. We baked a big chicken and surrounded it with mushrooms, basting it all with chicken stock as it cooked. Wes cooked some small pork chippolatas. We made cornbead stuffing, mashed potatoes as well as roast potatoes. I made a huge trough of gravy to go over it all. For veggies we had fried red cabbage, brussel sprouts, glazed carrots & broccoli casserole.

After lunch we went and lay by the pool to cool off and Lily braided my hair.

We lay around on cushions by the pool until we felt able to ingest more food and then we came inside and had chocolate cake and the vanilla Amarula on ice. As we had not been together for Lily’s birthday a few weeks ago we had a belated sing along.

We then all lay about on the settees like stuffed piggies and watched a bit of telly. It was so lovely to spend time with my girls, I wish Trevor and Amber had been able to come but hopefully we can pop down to visit them, I sent their gifts back with Lily. Hopefully they like them and they fit.

Today the sky has been a bit misty and it has cooled off a bit.

Josh and Lily were up and away about 11. Norm went to a triathlon for a bit but I have had a lazy day.

This week we finished binge watching Russian Doll which I really loved. It was very good.

Work has kept me on my toes and it will continue to do so for the next few months.

This week I have Valentines to look forward to, Norm is cooking and we are just staying in. On Friday we are going to Beefcakes to a drag show which should be a laugh. On Saturday we are going to Theatre on the Bay to see Into the Woods, a musical. We will have another very tiring weekend but you need to grab as much fun as you can out of life!

I hope you enjoy your week and wish a Happy Valentines Day to you.

Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0x

Bats & Ninjas

We had the most amazing weather all of last weekend and it continued on throughout the week! It is as if it is suddenly summer. Of course with Cape Town the weather can flip quickly so we will see how long it lasts. Our office is freezing and I sit under a vent so I’m still wearing boots and a cardigan and only feel the heat if I have to nip out for food or when I leave to go home.

On Saturday I had to be up and out of the house early to drive Miss Pixie to Noordhoek to see the doggy chiropractor. As usual, we arrived a wee bit early and had a cuddle while waiting.

Currently Pixie is going every 5 weeks for a treatment but we are going to try and push it out to every 8 weeks as she has been coping well in between visits. We will just monitor to see how she copes. As I now have both her and Navajo seeing David it can get very expensive. We just ordered a new brace for Navajo’s leg and hopefully that makes a difference in his mobility which in turn helps his issues with back strain.

After Pixie and I finished at David I drove home and changed out of my doggy fur-covered clothing and collected Norm. We headed down to the village as we had a long list of errands to run.

First we needed some brunch so we popped into Allegria Cafe and Life. We sat outside as it was so warm.

I am starting to realise (after over 20 years of marriage) that the best way to get a decent pic of Norm is to sneak up on him and snap a furtive pic like a ninja (when he least expects it or when he is distracted by something else).

One of the things I like about Allegria is the lovely owner who is always on site to keep the orders moving along and to keep her customers happy. She was standing chatting to us when we ordered and when I asked for an omelette with bacon and emmanthaler cheese she suggested that I also add in carmelised onions for a bit of sweetness.

I loved the carmelised onions and was very pleased with my omelette, however there were a few too many onions for my taste. I will order this again and next time ask for my carmelised onions on the side and that will be perfection.

Norm had his favourite that he usually orders when he goes here: Scrambled eggs, bacon & mushrooms.

After we finished with our lunch we headed off to Tanya Seeber Optometrist to try on the eyeglass frames she had ordered in for me. I had previously posted a few different lenses for people to vote on.

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Help! Which ones should I choose?

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But the pair that almost everyone preferred was pair 1 above which are red and I cannot really cope with red frames every day. But I do love the cat eye shape. If I could afford it I would buy 2 pair and have the red ones for when they suit whatever I am wearing but I cannot afford 2 pair.

Instead I chose these in the pic below, they are black with a bronze coloured finish on the trim and the inside of the frame. They were about 2k rand for the frames alone, once they added on the cost of the anti-reflective coating and the cost to make the very thick lenses as thin as possible, the cost goes up to over 8k rands. Phew. I may have to sell off Norm or a kid to pay for them. Let me know of any offers for either parties. 🤭

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I ordered new specs today. What do you think?

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After we ordered my glasses we hit the chemist and grocery shop as we were out of everything from toothpaste to lipstick. Which reminds me, am I the only lipstick addict who finally finds the perfect colour, buys a few tubes and then when you run out you find they have discontinued that colour? Revlon, you do my flipping head in. Or is it the buyer at Clicks who is erratic in her purchases? When you ask the staff at Clicks for any colour not on the shelf the answer is always ‘that one has been discontinued’. Can anyone say ‘Annoying AF’?

Never mind. Here is me at work at 7am wearing the new lippy. I mention the time so you can give me some sort of bonus points for the earliness and I mention the venue so you can give me some slack for sitting under bright AF strip lighting.

Don’t look too closely at my roots either, I am at the hairdresser on the weekend to sort that out.

Anyway.

We decided to braai that night as the weather was perfect for it so we bought some fillet steaks and salad ingredients. I marinated the steaks in a bowl of whatever-we-had-in-the cupboard when we got home. I think it was Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, soy, garlic and a tiny bit of mustard. I poked some holes in the steaks so that they would absorb the flavours.

After he walked the dogs Norm fired up the gas grill and braaied the corn on the cob and steaks while I made a salad. I also made a salad dressing but it was dreadful so the less we mention that the better really! I need to find a delicious low carb dressing so any ideas will be gratefully received.

It was all perfect for the hot weather. My steak was bright pink inside but nicely charred outside, just the way I prefer it. I give Norman 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️😂😂

After dinner Norm and I watched a new series we have recently started watching called Somewhere Between. It is a very gripping show and we are quite enjoying it. It has that actor that no one can remember the name of but everyone thinks looks familiar? Apparently his name is Devon Sawa. We have not finished watching it all as yet but based on what we have seen so far I give it 4 Kitten Stars.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We had a very lazy Sunday. It was even hotter than the previous day and I sat staring at the pool, trying to decide whether I could be bothered to remove the cover and clean it as it has not yet been used this year so the cover is full of crud. Luckily our tube from the guttering down pipe has kept the pool topped up with rain water.

That reminds me, last week there was a very loud screeching sound outside the front of the house late one evening. I was convinced it was bats. Where I grew up in Georgia we had a lot of bats and they would swoop down and bomb your head. I was terrified of them as a child. I told Norm I was sure there were bats, but then I wandered off and did something upstairs and Norm ventured out to investigate. He discovered it was not bats at all but the pool sucky thing had gotten stuck and was having a bit of a squeaky tantrum.

However I did not know that and later I told everyone on Facebook we had a bat infestation.

We don’t.

It still makes me giggle that several people in the Hout Bay group were googling ‘bat sounds‘ and listening to the results thanks to my red herring.

Norm and I decided to tidy up the Halloween dress up box as we both needed to try and find some bits and pieces for our upcoming party. I found some things which I can use to create my outfit, Norm found the bits he needs and we also put aside some things Caitlin needed.

Lily needs a blond wig for her costume and so I tried on the 3 blond wigs we have and sent the pics to the girls. I made silly faces in each of the pics and Lily said I look like a rooster so Caitlin found a pic of my soul mate.

I have such a giggle every time I look at that pic.

Lily managed to find a crinoline for my dress for Halloween. I’m getting so excited, my outfit is coming together nicely!

Norm decided that as it was sunny he would paint another coat on the garage door he is refinishing. I settled in with the kitties and a cup of tea and watched The Good Place while Norm painted the garage door.

This is one I have chosen to watch on my own as I know it is not Norm’s type of show, but I really liked it. It is not earth shaking or amazing, it is just a cute little show with an intriguing concept. I did find the idea that we are constantly being measured by the ‘gods’ and that every thing we do accrues a score on our overall life tally quite interesting and frightening at the same time. Bad things drop our points and good things raise our scores. If my score drops every time I rant at someone who drives like an eejit while I am driving round in the privacy of my car then I must be way down in the negatives due to that alone. Actually, my Virgo tongue has probably dropped my points wayyyy down.

I give The Good Place 4 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It was still really hot Sunday evening and I fancied sushi and Norm agreed to pop down to K1 in Hout Bay to order a take away.

K1 has a Two for the price of One on the same colour of plate so my order of 4 different types of sushi was only R123 as I only paid for two! A bargain in my books. I ordered Prawn roses, Salmon roses, Prawn tempura & Cucumber roses with prawn. I do not eat seaweed so I have to choose carefully. I did not snap a pic of the tempura but they were really big prawns with a yummy coating and I really enjoyed my entire meal. In fact I will give them 5 Kitten Stars and will definitely visit them again when my sushi craving hits. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

On Monday night Norm and I had to go down to the cop shop as I had some forms I needed to get notarised. We went into the station and there was a Rastafarian dude going mental at the counter, he was wearing a tattered tank top, with matted thick dreads hanging down to the middle of his back. He was there with a woman who looked like she hadn’t slept in months and they were both loudly giving off to the staff. After a few minutes of agitated ranting they were both taken into the back of the station. We were not sure if they were being arrested or what was going on but it made for an interesting show while we stood in the queue waiting our turn.

After we finished at the cop shop we popped by Woolies and got some meat to braai as it was 27 degrees Celsius when I got in my car to go home from work.

The weather app said it was 32C (90F)! Considering we were still wrapped up in front of a roaring fire just last week it is hard to keep up.

Norm fired up his gas grill and he cooked corn on the cob, aubergines and a lovely pork fillet and I made a raw spinach salad to go with it. I love spinach in any form, raw, cooked or creamed. I added lots of avocado to up the fat content.

Later that night there was a bizarre mist that came rolling in over the bay and you could not see outside of the perimeter of our garden. This is perfect cover for the house breakers and sure enough we heard on the radio that some drama was underway.

On Tuesday at lunch time when we went outside we spotted that there was another fire at the Cape Town train station which is across from our offices.

This is part of the ongoing attacks on our transport infrastructure that I have mentioned many times. According to the rescue service, “two trains with three carriages each on platform 17 and 18 respectively were alight”, with reports of the offices above the station deck also being affected.

These fires are causing so much devastation.

Norm cooked again on Tuesday night, he made a chicken and vegetable dish in a cream sauce and made low carb spinach noodles to serve it on.

On Wednesday I had an appointment with my dental hygienist for a cleaning. I am very dental phobic so I had to take a anti-anxiety pill. As I have had a hip replacement I have to guard against any bacterial infections so I also had to take a stack of antibiotics before hand. I arrived a bit early and they took me in early so I did not even have a chance to sort of calm down from the drive (that is why I arrive early to center myself). But I am sure it would be seen as efficiency by any normal patient! As I lay back in the chair I could feel the anxiety meds taking over and I was able to endure it with only 2 hand waves to say ‘Stop!’. The hygienist is brilliant as she chatters to me the whole time to distract me.

However she told me that one of their dentists had been stabbed the previous week while running on the mountain. He was not alone, he was running with other people, however this did not deter the culprits. I have searched for the news article and I think this is it HERE. The good thing is that they caught and arrested the culprits, we just have to hope that the case actually results in a conviction. So many of our arrests do not even make it to court, much less gain a conviction. Not only are our crime levels shocking but our justice system is a bit of a shambles. On the crime stats page they prompt you to take a survey about whether you or someone you know has been a victim of crime in the last 6 month. I took the survey and it tells me that 35% of the respondents have either been a victim or know someone who has been.

Shocking.

Still, life goes on.

Well, if you are lucky it does! Last night Pixie stole a chicken wing from Navajo and tried to swallow it whole. We only noticed when I looked over to see her convulsing on the floor. By the time I got to her she had managed to eject it from her airway. Cheeky lil monkey that she is, she terrified me! She was quite blasé about the whole affair. She even contemplated trying again but I snatched her away from it.

Wednesday night Norm and I cooked together and we made mexican food.

We just made tacos and refried beans and topped the tacos with home made guacamole, salsa, cheddar, lettuce and fromage frais. It was rather delicious as I love tacos. The best thing is how quick they are to prepare.

Today Norm had a meeting at the waterfront so he popped by my offices for a coffee. Work is a bit busy as I have new data to analyse but I took a wee break to chat to my darling.

Tonight he cooked chicken sausage, sweet potato mash with gravy, the last of our sweet corn and fried red cabbage. It was delicious. I love him looking after me.

I’m looking forward to the weekend, I hope yours is full of happiness.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

The Kitten Whisperer

 

This has been another week of turmoil in South Africa. There have been protests over a few different things. Rumours are that there is another taxi strike planned for tomorrow. I will drive around the village rather than risk getting trapped like last time.

Last Wednesday there was a protest against Gender Based Violence held in various towns in SA. It was an Intersectional Women’s March and included in this protest were people protesting the violence done against all women, inclusive of all non-gender conforming people, the LGBTI community and disabled women.

Men were not welcome in the march. There are people of all genders who perpetrate and experience intimate partner and or sexual violence, however men are most often the perpetrators and women and children the victims. Despite the march clearly stating that men were not welcome, until men step up and support the initiative to prevent this violence, there is minimal chance of change or success. Men need to be role models to their children, showing them by their behaviour that violence or abuse of women and children will not be tolerated in our society.

Are you aware of these statistics provided by Safer Spaces?

  • More than half of all the women murdered (56%) in 2009 were killed by an intimate male partner.
  • Between 25% and 40% of South African women have experienced sexual and/or physical intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
  • Just under 50% of women report having ever experienced emotional or economic abuse at the hands of their intimate partners in their lifetime.
  • Between 28 and 37% of adult men report having raped a woman.
  • South Africa also faces a high prevalence of gang rape.
  • Most men who rape do so for the first time as teenagers and almost all men who ever rape do so by their mid-20s.
  • There is limited research into rape targeting women who have sex with women. One study across four Southern African countries, including South Africa, found that 31.1% of women reported having experienced forced sex.
  • Male victims of rape are another under-studied group. One survey in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape found that 9.6% of men reported having experienced sexual victimisation by another man.
  • Non-partner Structural Violence is particularly common, but reporting to police is very low. One study found that one in 13 women in Gauteng had reported non-partner rape, and only one in 25 rapes had been reported to the police.

Structural violence is “where violence is built into structures, appearing as unequal power relations and, consequently, as unequal opportunities. Structural violence exists when certain groups, classes, genders or nationalities have privileged access to goods, resources and opportunities over others, and when this unequal advantage is built into the social, political and economic systems that govern their lives.” Sadly this is a leftover of apartheid and colonialism and is still prevalent in South Africa.

I think that the concept of a Blesser is reflecting these same patterns of patriarchal hierarchy and behaviours. A “blesser” in South Africa is kind of like a sugar daddy. He’s an older man who often has multiple girlfriends he lavishes with gifts, in exchange for sex and companionship. A woman allowing a man to look after her in exchange for sex. The behaviour of women culturally conditioned to not value their body and dignity due to many years of being devalued by a nation. It is heartbreaking.

The current ruling political party does little to change these statistics and despite the ANC being in power for decades, they have not done very much to improve the lives of the poor and uneducated masses in general. A few South Africans benefit greatly from their rule and most benefit not at all.

In fact some people say that not only have they not benefited the constituents in the areas where they govern on a provincial level, but they have also done their best to make the western cape ungovernable.

Many people in the outlying areas rely on trains for getting into the city for work. There has been a rash of fires on the routes going into the city with multiple fires occurring at or near the station, fires people say were deliberately started in order to cause transport chaos as it coincides with the ongoing taxi strikes. More of an attempt to cause turmoil.

This week in a shock address to the nation, President Ramaphosa officially confirmed that the ANC-led government will change the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation. That is pretty horrendous, that the president used a public broadcast to air his views but that this is being treated as a done deal without going to court.

This means that your private property – your home, business or land – could be taken away from you without payment should the government decide that it is in the public’s best interest (whatever that means!).

Meanwhile life goes on, I get up in the dark and go to work hoping I get through to my destination with no dramas.

Norm has been looking after us and trying to keep us healthy. On Monday he cooked a yummy dinner of chicken breasts wrapped in bacon, corn on the cob, green beans and baby spinach.

On Tuesday for dinner he made fishcakes, coleslaw, mashed sweet potato and baby zucchini. That was a nice change! We tend to get into a rut and eat the same old things quite often.

Work has been busy. On Wednesday I had a workshop that lasted most of the day. It exhausted me but we were off that night to Caitlin for dinner so I perked myself up and off we went after work.

When we arrived at her flat we went in to look at her new bathroom cupboard which Norm was going to sort the handles for. While we were in there her boy cat Scout kept going into his litter box. Caitlin said ‘I think he is a bit constipated’ and without thinking I said ‘I think he has a bladder infection and we need to read about it as it can be dangerous for boy cats as they can get crystals in their urethra’. As I have never had any issues with a cat having a bladder infection or crystals I have no idea where this information came from. It kind of startled me that I said it! We then googled it and read that a bladder blockage can be fatal for a male cat and then I rang the 24 hour vet who said she must take him in that evening rather than wait overnight. Caitlin was so grateful that I was there that very night and that I directed her to the vet as she would never even have noticed his behaviour most likely.

Another of my healing whisperer moments. I am no longer questioning them. My hairdresser is Christian and she also gets The Voice and she said that she treats it as the voice of the holy spirit. I have decided to treat it as The Voice of the Great Spirit. I am still learning how to deal with this gift.

Caitlin had already made our dinner of delicious chicken curry and cauliflower rice so we quickly had dinner.

Cait then popped Scout into his carrier and shot off to the vet and Norm and I went home. Scout is still not completely well, his bladder is very inflamed. We would be happy for any prayers and healing you can send him if you are so inclined.

Driving into work on Thursday morning I had loads of police cars passing me, I think they are visibly policing to deter the taxi violence. There were rumours of a protest by the Khoisan over fishing rights being planned, but I did not hear of any evidence of it happening.

On Thursday there were lots of helicopters flying over Chapman’s Peak and we read later that they were searching for the body of the missing woman who was last seen there and had not returned home. They found her body so at least the family have some closure, I do hope it was not suicide but the rumours are that was exactly what transpired. So sad for her family regardless of how she died.

We had another long workshop on Thursday which I was facilitating and mid-workshop the fire alarm went off and we all evacuated. I took my laptop as it is my own, not my company’s. It was so hot and we were standing in the direct sun and I was wearing a giant woolly jumper and boiling with heat. After we were allowed in I ran up the 3 flights to our meeting room, wearing said jumper and carrying my laptop. I thought I might keel over by the time I got back and then had to quickly recover and start leading the meeting again.

Thursday night Norm had a meeting and had cooked chili con carne for us so I ate while he was out. He is getting to be as good at making chili as I am. I was very impressed.

Friday after work I had a hair appointment so I finished work at 3pm. I was home about 6pm and by then Lily and Josh had arrived at our place for the weekend. We let them choose the take away and as Josh was racing on Saturday they opted for Cassarechio so Josh could carbo load. We had a night relaxing and watching serial killer or murder TV shows as Lily loves that as much as I do.

Her and Josh were up and away early on Saturday and I was off to take Pixie to see David the doggy Chiropractor in Noordhoek. I rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth, gulped a coffee and threw on some clothes without showering. I would just get full of dog hair anyway.

When I left there was a wee french bulldog who was waiting to be treated and he had such an awkward gait, I felt so sad for him. There was a dachshund being treated while we were waiting our turn and David said the dog was paralysed when he started treating her. He is a miracle worker. He has transformed Pixie’s life.

After I got home I showered and Norm and I headed off to meet our friend Annette for lunch.

She moved to Johannesburg a few years ago. I was so excited when she said she could see us.

I brought Norm along but we barely let him get a word in edgewise.

We met at The Lookout Deck which is at the harbour in my village.

It is so beautiful there even on an overcast gloomy day.

They had a special on for 1/2 a kilo of prawns with either chips or rice for R165. It sounded nice and both Annette and I ordered it.

The prawns peeled easily, were moist and full of flavour. We both got stuck in and covered in sauce and made the most of it. Yummy. Norm had the hake and chips and ate every bite.

We all fancied a sweet and ordered dessert. Annette had the creme brulee, Norm had the baked cheesecake and I had the chocolate nut sundae which was massive! I love soft serve ice cream and ate it all though!

We spent most of the afternoon there catching up and then Annette went home to spend her last evening in Cape Town with her son and daughter in law.

When we were chilling out that evening in front of a big fire, Norm heard of an issue on the radio, strapped on his bullet proof vest and headed out with the Neighbourhood Watch group as there were 6 men seen trying to enter a property. That has become a normal part of our lives as it happens several times a week. It is a strange way to live but it is necessary to help in the defense of our neighbours and boundaries.

Norm has just left now to go to another attempted break in.

Today we have been very lazy, Josh and Lily drove home and we built a big fire and have been snuggled up with me writing and Norm working until when he had to go out on the call.

I am delighted to read today that Patricia De Lille has finally resigned and the DA can start to move forward in a positive manner.

Navajo sees the doggy physiotherapist on Tuesday and hopefully she can help him with his gamey leg. Hopefully Scout improves as well and both of our babies feel some relief. I have a 4 day week at work and all manner of fun things planned which I will tell you about next time.

I wish you all a great week ahead. Until next time….

Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0