Cockroaches & Criminals

This week was supposed to be the last at our client but we were asked to include integration into production so we had to extend our design and we are now running into 2 more days of work next week. Today I did my final slides for delivery, and sent out my document for review. On Monday I am in meetings all day yet we will be expected to finish our presentation and wrap up our documents for delivery so it is very tense at the moment.

I had the most revolting thing happen this morning. As I arrived at work I pulled back my chair and walked forward towards my desk when I heard a crunch underfoot. I looked down to find a gigantic brown cockroach. Just writing about it is making me feel nauseous. I had to scoop it up with a piece of paper and drop it in the bin. The men in the office only offered to intervene after I squealed for ages so bugger them, I wouldn’t accept their latent offerings of half-heartened chivalry.

Meh. I hated that I killed a creature even a cockroach, which revolts me to my core. How is that? And how is it I am such a carnivore? Complete denial. I suspect if I lived alone I might become predominately a vegetarian. I do not ever see me being a vegan. I eat a lot of eggs and cheese.

Anyway.

The Myciti bus strikes have continued on this week with the 4th bus getting torched. Conveniently, the taxis have been taking up the slack from the buses so they are coining it. The negative for us drivers is that the taxis (who all drive like lunatics) are rather abundant on the motorways. I hate driving on motorways but it seems to be saving me time. I think. It moves at least which I assume saves me petrol.

There was a taxi driver who shot one of  the local patrollers recently in Hout Bay. There are stacks of the taxis lined up all around the football pitch and it seems there was a run in between the drivers and the patrollers who walk the area and take care of the criminals before things get out of hand.

The other local news this week was that there was a vigilante group who cleared out the criminals from Hangberg in the Hout Bay harbour.

For several nights running the news on the street was that there was a vigilante gang who rounded up the known criminals and had the police come and get them. It happened several evenings this week. That is the only way that anything will change is if the communities pull the covers of the people hiding in their areas. Apparently they got in an uproar after a criminal stabbed a Rasta who tried to stop a criminal from robbing a tourist. The Rasta had his son on his shoulders at the time. One straw too many for that camel and the community flipped.

After the fire which happened in Hangberg a while back, several of the residents who were made homeless in that area are still living in temporary housing. We heard this week that the building of the temporary resettlement of the shacks for the residents of Imizamo Yethu near our homes will go ahead despite our objections. I cannot imagine the traffic impacts on the already struggling Hughenden Road.

Our new President has done a long overdue cabinet reshuffle. I am not very close to things to know who any of the new ones are but this video is pretty good, at least you will recognise them. To be honest they can’t be worse than the previous money grabbers.

Now that Zuma has gone I have focused my hatred towards Trump and given old Cyril a chance to sort out the giant spiders web of intricacy of corruption in regards to how many of our state funds get sent to the Guptas. I assume there is no chance to get any of the billions back.

The land expropriation thing is worrying. Anytime a ruling party wants to change the constitution that is a worry. What is their motive and is it purely self serving. But there is nothing one can do. I raised objections to so many political things and the city writes back and basically says ‘I recognise your complaint and choose to ignore it and go right ahead and do whatever illicit activity I planned to do in the first place’. I may have ad-libbed a wee bit but it is something like that. I think the Cape Town gang bosses run the City.

There was a new gang unit rolled out recently to try and address the issues with crime in the gang ridden areas around Cape Town. The unit was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Police Minister Bheki Cele this month in an effort to fight the scourge of gangsterism. Almost as soon as it was launched the South African Police Union raised an interdict against it operating. They did not approve of the methods via which the unit was staffed and said it violated their appointment processes. Like everything it seems, it has become a political battle.

The Rail Enforcement Unit was also finally launched apparently without the hitches associated to the Gang Unit. Let’s hope the criminals now leave the trains alone at least! It must be a nightmare not having a car in Cape Town. Norm is having to uber a lot lately as his car is still off the road.

Norm went to the dentist today and he has to have 2 teeth extracted and an implant done. He has had a recurring abscess and I finally asked him to go to our friend Andy who is a very good dentist, after his usual dentist saw nothing even on x-ray. But Norm can feel the abscess. (More money, eek. I may have to rob a bank.) But you must not mess around with your mouth.

I finished work early and went to collect Norm after his dental appointment, I picked him up at Dario’s. He had also gone for a coffee after his haircut and shave. My beloved beard is gone. Right before he faces the cold south when we go visit for the hols. Silly man.

When we got home I sat on my balcony and started writing my blog.

Norm has been pretty good about cooking for us this week even without his car to get to the shops. He grilled steaks and corn on the cob on his gas grill and I made a salad one evening.

And on Thursday he made an easy meal of steamed butternut, Thai fish cakes and cole slaw. He had a conference call and had left the butternut on to steam and forgot about it. He came racing downstairs to find my La Crueset pot burnt black. The house still smells like a forest fire.

He did end up getting a take away once or twice but sometimes you can only achieve so much in a day. He has been managing far better than I would without a car.

On Wednesday they held a memorial for Ant Allen at Bakoven beach. Norm went with his friend JJ. Norm said there was probably a thousand people there. It was a sad occasion. I could not get off of work at the moment.

I hope that it brought Anthony’s wife Bev some comfort to see how many people respected Ant. I cannot imagine what she is going through. Norm said it was a very sober occasion and he left feeling very sad.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the US. It is funny how many people wish me happy Thanksgiving when I live outside of the US. It was just a Thursday to me! Even if I was home I would of course be thankful for my blessings but I would find it difficult to recognise the day which honours the alleged settlement of the country my forefathers had already been settled in for centuries.

But I do love stuffing. I have already told my mother she must make an extra pan just for me to eat….huddled in a corner with a spoon. Yum. I cannot wait for a good old fashioned Christmas, maybe it will even snow!

I have to be up very early to drop Norm tomorrow, he will be back later that evening and while he is out I intend to catch up on my rest. I am so exhausted. A new project is very tiring. Even without cockroach wrangling.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten.

x0x0x0x0x0

 

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Cinder-Cinderella

The last few days really sum up what it is like living in South Africa. The highs, the lows and the chaos and calmness in-between these polar opposites.

We had plans this weekend to go away to the wine lands a few hours outside of Cape Town. We were invited to a charity function in Somerset West on Saturday night and we decided that as it would finish late and we would want to have a drink, that we should rather stay over. We booked in for the night to NH Lord Charles Hotel.

We had understood that the function was black tie and neither Norm nor I had sussed out what to wear by that morning when we needed to pack. Norm has a tuxedo as well as his kilt so he thought he would be fine. I had in my mind a long silver silk skirt and top I wanted to wear. When we got up on Saturday we tried them on. My skirt was too big and the top was unflattering. Norm’s tux jacket fit fine, but his dress shirt and his trousers were a bit big. The trousers also had an old fashioned wider cut than the narrow style of men’s trousers now. But as it is Cape Town, we figured there would be all sorts of attire there and we were not wrong.

I dragged a dress I bought many years ago for a black tie event in the UK out from the depths of my cupboard . It is tea length but it is heavily beaded and so beautiful that it is acceptable as evening wear. I had not been able to fit into it in years, but I kept it because it was so expensive and my daughters have worn it for several 1920’s themed events. I thought, ‘let me just see how tight it is’ and tried it on and it fit me perfectly! I think it is looser than when I bought it many years ago. I was really chuffed about that but that meant I needed tights and I had none. We needed to stop at a shop somewhere on our journey.

We had a coffee in bed and then got up and showered and packed to go. The dogs mooched around staring at us with big sad eyes, when they see a suitcase they know exactly what is coming and they do not like it one little bit. Even though they love Vanessa and Robyn our house sitters, they love us more.

We packed the car and hit the road, dropping off a house key to our house sitter and then stopping quickly for me to buy some tights and get some cash and then we were on our way. Traffic was not bad at all and we were there in no time.

After we checked in we waited in the room for the bellboy to drop off our bags and then we headed off to the lobby to get a bite to eat. We were so surprised to find that the pub was called St Andrews pub! Norm was born and raised near St Andrews so we had to snap a pic.

We grabbed a seat in the lobby and ordered a drink. The lobby was very stylish and bright with cool sofas and chairs.

Our friends attending the dinner also arrived and joined us and we all ordered some sandwiches to tide us over until that night’s dinner.

Little did we know at that time the sandwich was far better than the dinner we would have later.

We all went back to the room to relax for a few minutes and get dressed and then Norm and I headed off to find the ballroom.

The ballroom was huge and there were loads of large tables set up but it was very well organised and we spotted our names on the board outside and easily found our group. There were 23 tables of at least 8 to 10 people each so it was a large crowd attending. We got settled in and poured a glass of wine and waited with great expectation.

As it was a charity fund raiser for Gabriella Centre, there was both a loud and silent auction on that evening and Norm and I wandered around looking at the items available but most were a bit too rich for our blood. The items mostly ranged from leather goods, wine, art, makeovers, and trips. There was a trip for 10 people to go on safari, complete with 5 air conditioned chalets. You still had to get all 10 of you there but if you had the cash this was a bargain of a prize!

The dinner was served buffet style. Strike one as I detest a buffet, especially at a function where you end up queuing to dish up from a mauled over vat of what is often overcooked food. The food was not very good. The meat was fatty and tough, the pasta overcooked and the chicken pie had a crust that tasted like it was made of Plasticine (aka playdough to you yanks).

But this event was not about the food, it was about raising funds for Gabriella’s Centre.  Gabriella Centre is a Residential and Day Care facility for children and young adults with profound Physical and Intellectual Disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy.

There were 2 different entertainment acts booked. The first was South African icon PJ Powers.

PJ Powers is a name that most South Africans over the age of 40 all know. My kids had never heard of her, nor did Norm and I know much about her other than the ‘World in Union’ song she sang for the 1995 Rugby world cup.

The South Africans seemed to love her and really enjoy it. Norm and I thought she talked too much and in quite a rambling fashion so to those of us who are not familiar with her history it was hard to follow. But she has a great voice. She had a famous drummer called Barry Van Zyl doing her percussion. Barry lives in Hout Bay but he has a great CV and has played with some amazing artists.

We had understood it was black tie but today I see that it says the dress code is ‘Cocktail’. Well that explains the men there in jeans and trainers! In Cape Town whatever the dress code, there will be someone who rocks up in jeans. If summer you may even get some shorts. Fashion has predominately passed Cape Town by. This was also evident by the number of women with bouffant 1990’s hair. You know the slick down the front and bouffant up the back style that was horrid back then? It is even more horrid now.

Anyway, I am not being very charitable. Norm and I made the effort and he was in a tux and I was in my beaded frock. The lighting was pink and so all of us have a rosy glow in my pics.

After PJ finished performing they held the auctions. There was so much money raised, it was brilliant to see the bids climb so high!

After the auctions finished they had a band called The Rites come on to get us all up for a boogie. They were such fun. They played loads of party songs to get you up and on the dance floor. Norm and I danced and danced to most of them. They were not a band you would pay to go and watch perform as they were not technically perfect, but they had soul, heart and enthusiasm and so we had a blast.

The night finished after midnight and we all happily wandered off to our rooms a bit tipsy but smiling. We had plans to meet at 9am the next morning for breakfast.

Despite the many vodkas I had that evening I could not get to sleep. I watched 3am go by and think I slept about 4 hours in total. I missed my own pillow and my snoring Pomeranians I guess.

We went down and had a lovely breakfast with some of the group we had dinner with. There was a whole section of different breads and pastries, a section with yogurts and toppings, a section with fresh fruit and juices and even champagne. There was a chef to make an omelette or whatever egg variety you wished for and next to him was a whole counter of cooked foods being kept piping hot in bain-maries. There was scambled eggs, bacon, sausage, halal food, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and hash browns. The service and the quality of the food was top notch. If they ran out of anything you just had to mention it and it was promptly restocked.

After breakfast we packed up and hit the road. Norm and I had decided to take our time getting home and go for a drive as we do not venture to that side of Cape Town very often. We drove to Stellenbosch and had a drive through town looking at all of the historic buildings but most of the shops were shut as it was Sunday so we decided not to stop. We drove through a national park and then up a mountain pass and then headed to Paarl.

As we drove along we spotted the Franschhoek Wine Tram tootling along the road on the train tracks next to us! We have wanted to do this tour for a while now so we will plan that adventure soon. Basically it is a hop on hop off tour around the wine farms in the area.

Norm seemed to know where he was going so I just relaxed and let him drive us about. He did seem to be looking for some place in particular however and eventually he turned into Drakenstein Correctional Centre. I saw the signs and wondered where he was heading (is he going to lock me up?) and then I looked up and saw the statue of our beloved Nelson Mandela.

The prison is famous for being the location where Nelson Mandela spent the last part of his imprisonment for being a political terrorist. We showed our solidarity and support for Madiba and the horrors of apartheid.

We tried to take a selfy with us both in it but the sun was coming at us and I was blinded.

Yeah, that did not work out too well. Sorry Madiba, no disrespect intended.

We decided as we were so near to see if we could get a table at Fairview as we love their Goatshed restaurant and philosophy on food. We were given a lovely seat outside. It was cool but sunny and perfect weather for dining alfresco.

Norm was a bit in the sun but as it was cool he could cope. Isn’t he cute?

We had a perfect view of the goat tower where the goats can trundle over a bridge from their pasture to climb and cavort.

Norm chose the Gammon sandwich: Smoked gammon slices, pickled cucumber, sweet mustard, tomato for R84. This looked divine and when I saw mine I was a bit jealous.

I am a pulled pork fanatic and so I ordered the ‘BBQ pulled pork, baby leaves, tomato, pickled cucumber & fried egg’ for R88.

It was not at all what expected when it arrived. The fried egg was a surprise as I had not read past ‘pulled pork’ in the description and the pork was chopped rather than pulled. It was also covered in a sauce, so I guess that was the ‘BBQ’ part of the description.

Once I got my head adjusted to what I was eating I got stuck into it. It may not have been what I expected, but when I removed my expectations and just ate it, it was very nice indeed! The pork was more like gammon than pork roast and it had a lot of fat on it but it was very tender and cooked perfectly.

We were surrounded by nature and fabulous views. I felt a bit like Cinderella as there were squirrels climbing above and around us on the vines and there were loads of tiny birds hopping on the tables and drinking from the trough of water that runs around the patio. I would not have been surprised by the appearance of a Fairy Godmother or a pumpkin.

After we finished our lunch we had a walk around the farm and a visit to the notorious scarecrow.

It was a lovely day and a perfect end to a fabulous weekend.

On Monday I woke at my usual time and feeling a bit tired I headed into the city for work. As I got to the roundabout just outside of the police station I noticed some strange things going on around me and ahead of me was chaos. As I pulled into the roundabout a taxi pulled in behind to block me moving back out.

There was a large 4×4 in front of me and he obviously saw clearly what was happening and he drove over the centre divider and went around the roundabout on the wrong side of the road, entered the other road on the wrong side of the road and managed to escape the protest. I then cottoned on to what was happening and went into panic mode. Honey I was almost holding onto Mr 4×4’s tail pipe and I stayed right with him, shrieking and swearing loudly in my car, willing to drive over whatever or whomever got in my way. This is the same roundabout where they often throw bricks through driver’s windows so it is not a place to linger even in times of peace.

After I got to work I read this post: “The blockade at the Imizamo Yethu traffic circle is allegedly as a result of Hout Bay-Wynberg Taxi Association drivers being threatened with guns in the early hours of this morning, Monday July 30. Sources told the Sentinel that drivers from the Codeta-aligned associations threatened Hout Bay operators with rifles and other firearms. These operators then rallied other Hout Bay drivers, who immediately blockaded Main Road in an attempt to prevent the alleged perpetrators from leaving the area. There is a heavy police presence on the scene. Attempts are being made to bring a negotiation between the two taxi groups.”

By the time I came home, peace was restored again.

So in a matter of days my experiences ranged from fabulous to terrifying. That pretty much sums up life in Cape Town. Whatever happens, you will never be bored.

Until next time, kisses from the (rather bedraggled) Kitten xoxoxoxox

Light & Dark

Cape Town is one of those cities where the weather can be very unpredictable especially at this time of year. We were delighted with the sunny weather we have had recently after our bout of much needed rain. My garden is lush and green,  the lawn is mostly weeds but at least they are green weeds!

I was so tired on Friday after our busy week last week that Norm and I decided to just stay in and relax after I got home from the chiro. Saturday we had a lazy morning in bed drinking coffee and then Norm got busy with chores. He has been  sanding down the garage door so that he can re-stain it. It had a lot of sun damage and was looking a bit tired so Norm decided to freshen it up.

We decided to go out for dinner that night and headed to Constantia. We went to Primi. It is a chain so you know what you are getting and the food is generally always good. As we had gone out early we got a table, the place filled up soon after we arrived.

We ordered drinks and settled in.

We both ordered the Chicken Campagnola: Chicken scallops sautéed in garlic, mustard, mushrooms, rosemary, parsley, cream and white wine. Served with linguine and roasted vegetables. The veggies come in a separate bowl.

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Chicken Campagnola

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Norm ordered his with zucchini fries instead of pasta.

After we finished our mains we decided to treat ourselves to dessert. I ordered the  Crème Brûlée: Traditional baked custard with a crisp caramelised sugar crust. It was R48. It had a nice taste and lovely creamy texture.

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Creme Brûlée ❤️

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Norm ordered the cheesecake. On the menu as ‘Cheesecake: Thick and creamy baked cheesecake, topped with summer berries’. It was R58.

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Cheesecake

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Norm did not enjoy this dessert at all. The fruit on top was either heated too long or had too much gelatin in it or something else went wrong in the preparation as it was like toffee in texture, really thick and chewy. Very strange. He actually moved it off his cheesecake (with a thud) and ate around it.

We waited ages for them to clear our plates. One of my annoyances. We find the same issue often occurs at this particular Primi. The staff are very eager on arrival, your drinks order and food order is taken promptly, your food arrives relatively quickly, and then it is as if you become invisible. We always have to flag someone down to take away our plates. The waiter did not try to up-sell, he did not offer dessert or coffees, he did not offer bottled water or another round of drinks. When we asked to order dessert we had to shout our order at him quickly before he disappeared as he was running away while taking our order.

Anyway, we got fed and then we headed home.

Sunday I had a busy itinerary but on Saturday night I was up a few times in the night with a dodgy tummy, most likely due to all of the sugar in the Crème Brûlée. Hence I was not feeling strong enough to go to drumming that morning. It always disappoints me to miss my drumming as it soothes my soul.

I stayed in bed and Norm made us French Toast and bacon.

That perked me up and after a few hours my tummy settled down and we decided on going to the other engagements we had planned for the day.

We were off to a farewell picnic for our friends Hila and Jack who are emigrating to Germany. The picnic was being held in the Green Point Urban Park.

When we went outside to leave I was hit by a wave of heat and I realised it was incredibly hot. You do not feel the heat in our thick walled farmhouse. I went back inside to change my top but I kept on my boots (mistake) as they are the most comfortable shoes for walking and with my already knackered back I thought that should be my priority.

We arrived in the city and drove around and around the area of the park for ages looking for parking. It was so busy and crowded it seemed the whole of the city also wanted to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. We got a message from our friend Di who was meeting us there as she and I already had plans to meet for coffee before the picnic was arranged. Norm dropped me at the gate where Di was waiting and she and I wandered off to find Hila and Jack. Eventually Norm found a place to leave the car a few blocks from the lighthouse and hiked back to meet up with us. The park was very sunny and none of us pale faced oldies can endure the heat so we did not stay long. Me, Di and Norm walked across the park to the next gate and went to Newport Deli at Mouille Point.

We sat upstairs so that we could look out over the park and the sea views.

We all ordered a Freezerchino for R40 which is a delicious icy coffee, perfect for the hot weather.

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Iced coffees ❤️

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Norm had the cheesecake and Di and I had the carrot cake. Norm said that the cheesecake was better than the one at Primi but was not that nice. He gave it 3 stars.

The carrot cake was tasty and the icing was divine, however the cake itself was a wee bit dry. It may not have been fresh made that day.

Di, Norm and I sat for ages catching up and chatting. Di and I have so much in common and we both see the world with our eyes open – even our third eye! She and I both have the ability to sense things and see things that most people do not see. We both have extrasensory bullshit detectors as well and see things in people that most people choose NOT to see, those hidden, dark layers many try to keep covered. We see them.

After we finished eating and chatting we went outside to wait for Di’s uber to arrive and then after she was safely on her way Norm and I walked down along the seaside to our car and headed home.

Caitlin went to George for the weekend as it was her and Lily’s friend Jess’ wedding. I have such beautiful daughters.

Lily was one of the bridesmaids and the girls all looked so stunning.

Jess was such a beautiful bride.

I still have all of that ahead, however, Lily may be the only one of my 3 who opts for a proper wedding, the other 2 are making noises that they may have a registry wedding and a reception dinner and save their money as a wedding can be so crazy expensive. As I had 2 rather unconventional weddings myself I can hardly object!

Monday morning when I got ready to leave for work the gate key was not on the shelf where it normally is kept. As Norm had locked up I had to wake him to ask about the key. He got up and stumbled around (naked) looking for the key. He leaned around the banisters to see if the keys were left in the lock, took a misstep, swung round said banisters and tripped and fell down a few steps. This triggered the house alarm, which triggered hysteria with the dogs. The alarm was screeching, the dogs were howling, and a naked man was flailing about. It was one of those horrific yet hilarious moments. I was frightened that he fell right down the full set of steps and hurt himself, but the sight of a naked man bouncing around can be pretty funny.

He was not so amused. But at least he wasn’t injured (other than his pride).

This week I started watching a new Netflix series called Dark Tourist. I binge watched it and made it through the whole series.

Dark tourism has been defined as ‘tourism involving travel to places historically associated with death and tragedy’. The host is New Zealander David Farrier.  The show travels to various countries and either does proper tours where available or finds a guide to assist him in gaining entry to some of these nefarious places.

One of the last episodes was filmed in Africa and the last was filmed in America. Both of these episodes touched on people driven by fear, bigotry or religious fervor.

The Africa episode visited North Africa to experience a voodoo ceremony which looked very intimidating. A lot of animals are sacrificed to appease the gods which I found difficult to watch. The ceremony was quite violent, bloody and aggressive with those who are possessed slashing their skin with knives. But then Christian exorcisms are also sometimes violent so maybe regardless of your religion all removals of bad spirits involves this sort of physical battle?

The next stop on the Africa tour was in Orania, an enclave of right wing Afrikaners, the people who conceived and implemented apartheid in South Africa. The community started settling in the area in 1991 and after the democratic elections in 1994 it became evident that their narrow world was changing and many of the people raised in the apartheid era could not fathom living side by side with people of colour, or  people of colour having the same rights and privileges as they did, as the Afrikaners seem to view themselves as the superior race. The residents speak of ‘the good old days’ which basically just means the days when whites ruled and people of colour were treated like animals or inferior beings.

As inconceivable and extreme as this community is, there is another which seems even sadder to me. David interviewed a family who are part of the Suidlanders civil defense organisation group. This group seem a bit like a cult to me, they follow the prophesies of Siener van Rensburg, an almost illiterate uneducated Afrikaner who allegedly had visions, one of which was predicting white genocide. The founder and head of the Suidlanders is Gustav Zietsmann Muller. The family that were interviewed seemed to be verging on hysteria. The mother cried through every conversation and prayer. They held a rather chaotic cluster feck of an exercise where the community rehearsed an evacuation, packing their cars with the food, water and weapons they will need to stave off this imaginary attack and then moving off in their giant trucks as a convoy. They bumbled about, eventually realizing that all of the trucks were pointing towards the imaginary ambush rather than towards the planned escape route. After much negotiation they finally headed off on their pretend ambush. Eventually they all ended up around a campfire with a preacher shouting at them, instilling yet more fear and nonsense.

The final episode visited the States and went to Kentucky to visit The Ark. Yes, an ark. Obviously not THE Ark. Again, we see the levels of bigotry among the religious extremism groups. They talk about how being homosexual is depraved and that sexual behaviours such as infidelity and promiscuity were the reasons that their lord decided to drown everyone except Noah, his family and the dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. FFS. Words fail me. Do facts not matter at all to the religious zealots? They have other models of animals that they say were also on the ark, but I could not get past the dinosaurs. Read a book other than the bible people! (And yes I know the bible does not whitter on about dinosaurs, these eejits say it is the dragons that the bible mentions which are actually dinosaurs.)

The next visit was to other extremists, Doomsday Preppers. Many of the people who adhere to this belief also do so in the name of religion but all are driven by fear.

I found it a very interesting series and I will give it 4 Kitten Stars.

Norm has been great about cooking for us. He made baked chicken, brussel sprouts and roast sweet potatoes on Monday. On Tuesday he made chicken sausage, sweet potato mash and coleslaw. Wednesday night he had been busy working and had not shopped so we got takeaways from Posticino. I felt like I have been eating a lot of meat so I chose the melanzane parmiagiana and the caprese salad. No pasta and no meat = thumbs up.

It was really good and even though it was listed as a starter it was a huge portion, enough for my lunch the next day.

On Thursday Norm cooked again, pork roast, cauliflower mash, steamed broccoli and mushrooms cooked in butter.

This week has flown by. I’m happy Friday is finally here. We are invited to a charity dinner with our friends this weekend and we are both really looking forward to that. I will tell you all about it in my next post.

Until then, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxox

Pixie’s Adventure

It seems Summer may properly be on the way, or that Spring has properly sprung? Whatever is happening I’m loving the warmth & sunshine! 

  
All of the greenery has flourished, the roadsides and gardens blooming. It’s been fabulous to go to work in bright light and come home with a few hours of sunlight remaining.  I had been waking in the dark and rushing home before complete darkness hit each night. 

Caitlin and I were keeping us all meat free early this week, we made fresh veggie burgers from chickpeas, coriander, sweet corn, an egg and cumin. We floured and fried them in coconut oil until crispy and brown. We bought fresh rolls from our local Oakhurst Kwikspar which has an amazing wee bakery, we have their savory and their sweet pies often. We did the shopping for our entire dinner from there! 

Caitlin made a tzaziki from the Greek yogurt and cucumber we picked up and I made fresh salsa from a yellow pepper, tomato, red onion and fresh cilantro. I made crispy fried potatoes, pepper and onions and we topped the burgers with slabs of fresh avocado and cheese, a creamy Camembert for Norm and the girls and a sharp pungent cheddar for me. 

 
Caitlin went for the no bread option. 
  
Norman had also picked up Malva pudding and custard so we had that for afters and we watched a movie, the last in the series of Night at the Museum films, it is sad to see Robin Williams making us all laugh and now knowing with hindsight just how broken he was. I think of his poor children left to live with that burden. It’s so heartbreaking. 

I can’t discuss the movie itself as I mostly snoozed. As usual. 

I never follow recipes, I just wing it. Hence I’m crap at instructions and used 2 tins chickpeas instead of one, and a whole tin of corn instead of half so we had a lot of mixture left so the next night we went Mediterranean! 

Again, that Spar sorted me with the extras I needed. I picked up some small auberines (eggplants to you Yanks 😉). I also got pita bread and a few other bits and pieces to feed us for a few breakfasts and lunches. 

I cut the aubergines in half and baked them for a bit then topped with crumbled feta and popped them back in the oven to melt the cheese.

 
Caitlin rolled up the chickpea mixture and we covered the balls in flour and deep fried them. We toasted the pitas and filled them with tzaziki, salsa, onion and feta. It was so yummy! 

Wednesday I hadn’t prepared for dinner and got home late so I chucked in the free arriabita sauce I received in one of my Girl Geek Dinner event goody bags and chucked in some crispy grilled bacon and served with pasta. It was edible and it was cheap! Sometime a girl just has to go for function, without the frills. One can’t always live the caviar lifestyle. (Any local Hout Bay readers will get the tongue in cheek jab I’ve made.) What a load of bollocks exists on the Internet. 

Thursday afternoon I had a meeting in the northern suburbs which finished after 430pm. The only benefit of sitting in traffic in Cape Town is the views. You are driving parallel to Table Mountain.

  
As I only got back to Hout Bay at 6.30 we decided to get take aways. Lily and Norm had cassarechio ravioli and Caitlin and I had pizza from Mimmi To Go. I opted for a half and half. I got half Salame – tomato, mozzarella, salame, mushrooms, olives and half Manuel – olive oil, mozzarella, cooked Parma ham, avocado, basil. 

As always it was divine, I so love their tomato sauce, you so seldom taste it on a South African pizza but it is a thick base for the slabs of proper creamy mozzarella on a Massimo pizza. 

  
Luckily after 2 hours in traffic munching that pizza and vegging out with my dogs and family saved my day. And possibly me from death row if anyone crossed me. 

  
I finally remembered to email the doggy Chiropractor David Black that I had Read about on a random blog. I was delighted when he rang me on my way home and we made an appointment for the next day to take Pixie to see him. 

Friday evening I finished about 4ish and headed home. Caitlin was out and Norm and I fancied a curry. We are so blessed to finally have a decent take away since Indian Oven opened in the bay. We got our usual, a portion of saag aloo with soft potato cooked in creamy spinach and a buttery garlic naan bread to share, I had prawn curry and Norm the chicken korma. It is so divine.

As Lily only eats mine or her mom in law’s curry she asked for a chicken chow mein from K1 sushi. Norm came home ready to scream as they were so disorganized it took 3 attempts to pay. Luckily their food is so good you forgive their idiocy. But they will drown in season if only 1 dude can work the bloody card machine. FFS.

Saturday Lily and I got up and had a lazy morning and then scooped up Pixie to head around the mountain to Noordhoek. The house is in San Michel and love this area and if I didn’t have to trundle into the city every day would love to live here.  Such stunning views.

 

We were taken in promptly at 12 and Pixie looked so anxious. She kept giving me the side eye on the drive there.

  

But  she wasn’t stressed once she saw David was only going to rub gel on her with an ultrasound device she relaxed and enjoyed the attention. He thinks a few treatments will help with the spasms. Bless her. She struggles lifting her lower body and falls over at the slightest touch since her accident.
We brought her home and headed to The Riverway Cafe for lunch as we were starving. We grabbed a table outside and ordered their delicious lemonade.
   
 
How cute are those bottles? For lunch we each had the special and we shared a portion of their homemade chips. It was fresh prawns wrapped in bacon and grilled and served with warm bread and salad.

  
We thought the riverbank looked lovely.  All the wildflowers are blooming.

  
We finished up and headed to Pep Stores to shop for Operation Shoebox the charity we support every year. We bought almost all of it at the one stop! This year we chose a 3 month old girl and a 6 year old girl. 

  
We got lots of goodies and some clothes, a soft, soft stuffed animal for the baby and 2 Polly pocket sets for the 6 year old as they fit easily in the confines of a shoebox. I love that we make a child happy who might otherwise have nothing for the holidays.

We were so efficient we decided to go and hit the spar again just as the rugby was starting so there were no crowds. We got a filet, potatoes, mushrooms, a bag of spinach and an avo.

We settled in and watched the South Africa and Wales game and then Lily and I made hassle back potatoes, mushrooms fried in garlic and butter, a spinach salad and a yummy sauce. We had blue cheese dressing which was perfect. The steak melted in your mouth and the potatoes were nice and crispy.

  
We had brought home a lemon meringue pie from spar. It was so creamy and tart. Perfect for a warm evening. We rented the new Jurrassic Park but of course I fell asleep. 

Tonight I’m going to roast the other fillet half in the oven but I’m enjoying having nowhere to rush off to. I’m off now to see what Norm is up to, I saw him wandering off with a paintbrush.

Enjoy your weekend all.

Lights, No Camera, Action!

I seem to have slipped into a pattern of hurtling through life for a week, then blogging on the weekend and this week I will be adhering to that same pattern.

I did try to keep to my vow to cook at home this week but had mixed results. On Sunday I had sliced up the fillet left over that night after I grilled us each a steak as I had bought a huge whole fillet. It’s expensive but it serves us for at least 2 meals to buy a whole roast. I fried onions and peppers and liquidized it for Lily, and fried the mushrooms and left over fillet cubes. I mixed in the pepper and onion mix and some cream and served with pasta. It was divine. A vegetarian can leave out the fillet and it would be just as yummy.

The next night I took fat boneless chicken breasts and wrapped each in two slices of back bacon and cooked in a deep glass dish. I rolled them halfway so they semifried and they were delicious, the best I’ve ever made, the chicken was very moist yet the bacon was crispy. I made baked potatoes and a simple salad of raw baby spinach, avocado and feta. So easy after working.

I had my manicurist Vanessa around to do my monthly pedicure on Wednesday. As we finished so late Norm picked up takeaways for us all. We had Thai Cafe. Norm said they have a new guy front of house and he is fabulous. That makes all the difference,

I finished early on Thursday as I had an appointment with David King the guy who does my Body Reactivation technique treatments. He is brilliant. He worked on my shoulders, low back and did a lot of energy clearing. I felt like I was walking on clouds after.

As I was so late we had pizzas from Mimmi To Go they are just so delicious, thick with real creamy mozzarella and this time I had my latest obsession, the meaty salame with olives and instead of mushrooms I substitute jalapeño. 

  
Rooowwwrrrr it makes the kitten purr.

Friday rolled around quickly and we had take aways again (oops) from Spiro’s. We decided to rent a movie and chose Life Of Crime with Jennifer Aniston. I chose it as it said it was a comedy. 

It was mayyyyybe at a stretch a comedy noir. The twist at the end generated a legitimate guffaw, I laughed a few times…all in all it was just odd. And the evil protagonist nazi dude is one of the most revolting humans imaginable. 

So…..yeah, don’t bother. 

Saturday we were all looking forward to an evening at Kalk Bay Theatre where we were dining and then seeing Dragging 30. Lily and I had a lazy day but Norm worked hard with Mzudumo all day. He pressure hosed the back patio and they took a giant clump of agapanthus and divided them up and planted them on the little hill of bare earth. 

  
There was a little clump of something there until last summer but it died and has been looking sad. Our new gardening consultant Melodie gave us some suggestions.

We had our garden cleaned of overgrowth this week by Melodie’s company Ladybird Landscapes it took 3 days to get rid of it all but it is now stripped back to the basics. Now we can see where we can plant things and what is thriving. We will just fill the gaps with some color. I’m hoping Melodie will suggest some things to fill the gaps. 

Everything is blooming already.

  
After Norm dropped Mzudumo we all watched Scotland and Samoa in the Rugby World Cup. Scotland won which put us all on a high! 

We were unsure how dire the traffic might be as Kalk Bay has had road works forever and I’ve spent hours there previously, so we left ourselves an hour to travel as we were also not entirely sure where it was. Just as well we did as we went to the wrong theatre in Muizenberg. Not sure why some of us thought the Kalk Bay theatre would be in Muizenberg, but well, I wasn’t driving. 

We ended up at the right place finally which is right on Kalk Bay Main Road by Artvark. I love that little spot, it was closed of course as it was evening but it is full of lovely little pieces and some stunning art.

Anyway we arrived at 6.10pm as there was no traffic as we came from the Muizenberg side instead of the Fish Hoek side. We were advised to come at 6.30 to give plenty of time for dinner. 

We took selfies.

   
 
And then it started raining so we trooped inside only to be told it was too early to be allowed inside.

So we stood in the lobby and took more selfies.

  
The host let us pick our seats as we were so early. I think he just wanted us out of his hair.

It’s a charming, rustic little theatre. We nabbed front row centre.

  
Finally just before 630 we were told we could be seated and we climbed up the stairs to the upstairs dining area. There was a charming little area and I wondered why they didn’t seat us there and offer us a drink when we arrived early, especially as it was raining. But never mind. 

  
We instantly spotted our table.

  
I loved that personal touch.

The tables filled up quickly and the place had a great buzz of energy as it was booked solid. 

  
  

  
We were seated and given drinks and the menu to peruse. 

   
We all 4 ordered the Camembert to start, it was really delicious, but could have used another second or two in the oven as it was not that hot. I like mine melting and oozing. But the fig and sticky syrup were the perfect accompaniment.

   
 
All the carnivores had the fillet steak. 

  
The steaks were so delicious! The meat was tender and cooked to perfection. The potatoes were thoroughly cooked (that’s my pet peeve is underdone potatoes) and the sauce was divine, just a touch of chili balanced perfectly by the cream. The fresh Roma tomatoes and the spinach were perfect with it.

Caitlin had the fritters which looked delicious and she really enjoyed it. It’s nice to see an interesting vegetarian option on such a small menu. 

  
Usually when you dine at the theatre you only dine there because it convenient as it is at the theatre. The food is a necessary thing to do quickly before the show. This is different entirely. The food really was amazing. 

After we finished we dashed down to our seats as the show was starting. The show was about 2 thirty something women played by Genna Galloway and Natasha van der Merwe who stumble onto a fabulous drag queen. It was funny and well played. The drag queen Cadenza Jones played brilliantly by Alain Fleischmann is fabulous. 

  
All 3 have great voices. 

  
We all really enjoyed it.

 The theatre and restaurant is in such a gorgeous old building, it obviously was originally a church.  

  
We left before 10pm and as Lily hadn’t had a drink she drove us all home. I really had a great evening, we will definitely try this gem again. The theatre tickets were only R125 each so it’s a reasonable night out. The dinner was about R250 per head for 2 courses and a few rounds of drinks.

They had no coffee machine so we were all unable to have a coffee, that was the only disappointing thing about the whole dinner that night. And those who read my blogs know how critical I am and how easily I’m disappointed so that says a lot. 

All in all the whole night was definitely a 4.99 stars so it is to be recommended for sure. I think the shows change frequently so keep an eye out for something that intrigues you. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 

If you are not a southern suburb dweller (sorry for you) then you could always make a day out of it and shop, and hang out all day then have dinner and the show before trudging back over the mountain but for us lucky enough to be in Hout Bay it was pleasantly easy and a brilliant evening. 

Winter Chills

I feel like I haven’t blogged in ages, but work has me so exhausted that I haven’t had the energy to go anywhere interesting enough to want to tell you about it. On Tuesday I had promised Norm that I would go to Spiro’s open mic night but by the time I finally got home after a 2 hour round trip drive and 9 hours or more at work the weather was icy cold and it was pouring rain. All I wanted was a blanket and my pjs and to veg out in front of the Telly.

Lily went to work on Fathers Day but Caitlin made us all delicious maple and sugar apples and French toast.

 
And that evening Caitlin made us all a dinner of organic veggie bits and pieces. 

  

Fried potatoes and garlic, fried onions and  sautéed cabbage, fried mushrooms, and fritters made of carrot and kohlrabi. It was delicious. 

They also had shopped for lots of goodies for Norm for Fathers Day. He received lots of things he loves like a bottle of wine, chocolate chip cookies and quality street chocolate as well as things he needs like warm winter socks. He was very pleased.

  
My back was still a bit fragile at the beginning of the week and luckily the girls stepped up and fed us. Particularly as it’s month end! Lily made pork chops and I made up a sauce of mustard, Heinz tomato sauce, dark soy and maple syrup. We made fried potatoes in coconut oil, mushrooms, and organic locally grown cabbage and spinach sautéed together.  It was so yum. 

The next night Cait made a mix of things from our last box from Harvest of Hope Project.it was not only tasty but it was also a beautiful looking meal. 

 
She made a flavoured couscous, roasted organic locally grown butternut and porcini mushrooms, stir fried spinach with lots of garlic and topped with crumbled feta and sun dried vegetables. The couscous was much larger than the finer version we  normally buy, it was like risotto and normal couscous had a baby. It had the creamier consistency of risotto somewhat. The sweetness of the roast butternut and the bitterness of the spinach were a perfect balance. It was like a winter version of a salad. 

My back steadily improved and I had to park in my work sponsored car park and walk rather than pay R100 a day to park nearby. We still started early and worked late averaging 46 hrs a week minimum. I’m tired.

I did nothing last night except eat pizza and snooze on the couch. It was divine.

Today I slept in and then Vanessa my lovely manicurist came and gave me a pedicure while I wore my pajamas. Panda sat in my lap. Navajo was very curious about it all. 

I’m wrapped in a blanket watching ‘stupid way to die’ videos or whatever it’s called and playing games on the iPad. Happy kitten am I. 

Norm is out again trying to help some lady who was robbed. It wasn’t a HBNW call. He saw it on social media where someone prioritized bitching on Facebook over phoning Watchcon. Else he might have been more effective hearing over the radio had she phoned when she saw it instead of 45 minutes later when he saw it by chance on FB. People amaze me.

When we are home on weekends he spends a lot of time popping in and out on radio calls. I feel it’s something that makes him happy and a way to payback what they do for our valley. 

Yesterday was my Mom’s birthday. I hated she was so far away. I’ve bought some pressies for her online but can’t tell you about them on the off chance she reads my blog. Soon, my precious. I’ll share all. 

I hope you have a lovely weekend. 😘❤️❤️