The Spectrum of Light And Dark

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign (16 Days Campaign) is a United Nations campaign which takes place annually from 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day).

The world has a long way to go to address the issue, it isn’t only South Africa where gender based violence is prevalent but it is a huge issue here. Add in our high levels of poverty, HIV and drug addiction and it is a recipe for disaster.

Cape Town has a forensic unit at Victoria hospital where medical care, social workers, psychology and medico-legal assistance is provided.

My friend Bronwyn who runs Community Cohesion works there.

Recently Bronwyn launched an appeal for donations of instant oats for the rape survivors who are being treated at the forensic unit. Victims need to take post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent HIV transmission.

The reality is that many women do not have the food security they need to take the medication, which needs to be taken for a month, and is seriously strong. It cannot be taken without food.

This forensic unit covers over 50 different suburbs. Here is a map so you can see the high number of communities and the immense level of need.

All of the areas shown go to Victoria hospital for assistance with sexual violence. There are so many areas in the catchment with abject levels of poverty, so these oats will make a huge difference. Just having transport to get to the hospital is a huge challenge for many of the women.

Some women do not survive their attack to even make it to the hospital.

A friend told me a horrific story about a friend of hers who was strangled and stabbed in Hout Bay.

Christel was murdered by her cousin Andrew and her dead body was left in the bathroom of her home for days. Her family had been trying to contact her and they went to her home to look for her. Her mother, son and the father of her child discovered her decomposing body lying on the bathroom floor with a curtain covering her face.

Christel had shared the house with her female cousin whose parents owned the house. Her aunt and uncle lived in Hangberg which is another area of Hout Bay. When Andrew was released from prison for murder he pitched up at his parents previous home where Christel and his sister were staying. Andrew was a meth addict and when he came around he tried to rape his sister but his sister fought him off and then she went to stay with her parents in their home in Hangberg. Christel had nowhere else to go and stayed in the home.

Andrew returned and argued with Christel and he stabbed her several times and strangled her. Over the next few days Andrew tried to find a way to get rid of Christel’s body. He tried to borrow a chain saw from the woodcutters who live by the river. He tried to dig a hole at the cemetery but the caretaker chased him away. He bought plastic bags and an axe.

When the family discovered Christel’s body they found 4 or 5 used condoms which indicated that Andrew must have been violating her body after her death. He wore condoms as Christel was HIV positive.

Everything about this murder is just so horrendous but many aspects of it occur regularly in South Africa and in other countries.

There are so many women and children who are victimized by people they know or even by family.

A few weeks ago 2 teenagers were charged with the rape and murder of 14 year old Janika Mello whose body was found in her backyard. The half-naked girl was found lying among broken furniture, rubble and several condoms with a bloody concrete block next to her.

She had been bashed beyond recognition and her mother could only identify her by her shoes. One of the murderers was a distant cousin.

Or the story of Kwanele Fezile Zuma and her brother Ngceboyenkosi Minende Zuma, both 22, from Mpumalanga. They took a taxi back home late on Monday after they both went for interviews in Johannesburg.

The taxi had several men in it and one of them hit Ngceboyenkosi in the back of the head with a gun and threw him out of the moving taxi. Ngceboyenkosi had blacked out and only woke up in hospital the next day where he was told that his sister Kwanele was dead. She had been raped then murdered.

Another young University student was stabbed 52 times in her dorm room. 21 year old Precious Ramabulana was a hard working student and the shining light of her family. Precious was murdered on the eve of the launch of the 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.

It seems to never end.

If you would like to support the brilliant work that Community Cohesion do then please donate via the bank info found on their website.

Or if you want to donate to the Back A Buddy fund raising campaign for purchasing the oats, it’s available HERE.

Another ongoing drama in Cape Town is the attacks on our public transport systems and this week there were more train fires. In the early hours of Thursday morning 18 carriages were destroyed by fire and many of the platforms were closed.

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato stated that more than 40 train sets, with at least 140 carriages, have been burnt over the past three years “yet not a single person had been prosecuted”. This is despite a new security force being implemented.

My own Thursday was pretty good however. Our new HR system went live and the client provided champagne and Charly’s cake. 🧁 Charly’s Bakery is the best in Cape Town. They also brought in a portable coffee cart and a few baristas to provide us with free coffees all day.

They also gave us all a branded baseball cap and a nice big coffee mug.

Everyone else on the project was relaxing and making tons of noise but as I’m working on multiple work streams I was as busy as always, but I definitely scarfed some of that delicious cake. I had a meeting from 3 to 4pm then I dashed out quickly as we had dinner plans.

When I got home I had a few minutes before I needed to shower and decided to have a wee lie down, but Pixie was not having it. She insisted on trying to shove her tongue up my nostril.

Norm and I were meeting my daughter Caitlin, her beau Wes and our nephew Calum who is over from Scotland.

We all met in Hout Bay at Lucky Bao. As it was 34 degrees that day we asked for a table outside. It was a stunning evening and the recently redesigned patio and garden looked gorgeous.

As we were seated near the door the smokers in the garden did not bother us.

Caitlin has been ill for a few days and Wes has the flu so I was happy they made the effort.

Caitlin looked so beautiful and she was wearing a gorgeous pair of leather boots I had passed on to her as I can no longer wear high heels. I love it when I can recycle something to my girls, especially when it is an item I invested a lot of money in. I bought the boots from a charming little boutique in London.

Calum had been at a wine farm with his friends all day so he took an Uber. He seems to be having a great time on his visit.

We had a variety of dishes and all of the food was very well received. All of us had the Bao Chica Bao dish as a starter. It was a crispy piece of chicken in a fluffy fresh Bao.

Popeye’s Chicken sandwich better watch their back.

Norm and I both had the Lucky Wagyu Burger: 180g local Wagyu, kimchi, miso & spring onion aioli, bourbon, maple & soy glazed bacon, 8 month aged boerenkaas, toasted japanese milk bun, fries. It was R140.

The mix of flavours were brilliant together.

Wes had the Shio Ramen Pork Belly: Egg, double-soup and spring onion at R125. He said it was really good.

Caitlin had the Lucky Poké Bowl with salmon and black rice and said it was delicious.

Calum had the spicy chicken wings after his Bao.

We had a fabulous relaxed night.

At home this week Norm has been cooking some delicious low carb meals.

He tried the steak and zucchini noodle dish again, this time he used fillet steak instead of beef strips and it was so tender and tasty.

Tuesday night Norm baked chicken breasts and I made guacamole to spread on top. He grilled bacon to top it all.

He made fondant sweet potatoes and steamed asparagus to go with it. It was so delicious.

On Wednesday he roasted a pork fillet and made puréed cauliflower with cheese as a base and fried zucchini and mushrooms to go with it.

Friday we always do take outs and I had my usual sushi from K1.

It was sheer perfection this week. They got the order right and the salmon and prawns were tasty and fresh.

As we had gone to bed late on Thursday after our dinner out, I was a bit groggy on Friday. Traffic was backed up badly to get onto the motorway and after a very slow bumper to bumper journey to the next junction we were diverted off the motorway and into another suburb. I did not know the route and when I put on my GPS I received a message from my colleague telling me to avoid the motorway as a truck had lost its load on the motorway. Damnit. A bit too late to save me unfortunately. I eventually managed to find my way to the office but spent well over an hour getting there.

We had more treats from the client to celebrate the successful migration and they brought in a team of masseuses to give us all ten minute neck massages and there was more cake. The massage was amazing and she worked hard on my sore neck and upper back. I am still bruised but my neck is so much looser.

A few people rolled off of the project this week. One team member flew back home to India and another team member said ‘he was much better than most of the Indians I have worked with’. I looked at him with shock and called him out on his racism and otherism. I said to him it is like saying to a Chinese person they are a great driver as opposed to the ‘rest of their people’ or that someone is ‘sexy for a black girl/guy’. I actually heard both of these latter phrases on telly this week believe it or not.

My coworker was offended by me pointing out his stereotyping and racism. He said ‘Well I know what I meant’ and he just did not grasp what I was trying to explain. He tried to explain that all of the Indians he has worked with are fine if working from a specification document but will not apply independent thought on their own. I finally just left it.

The show I saw the Asian driver comment on is a new show I just started watching called “Merry Happy Whatever” with Dennis Quaid and Ashley Tinsdale.

It was quite a cute show but it also approached some interesting views on a variety of issues and showed the inherent racism and bigotry of some people from previous generations or those with extreme religious views.

On the complete opposite of that show I also started the series “Ghost Wars”. I love anything about the supernatural so I love this show. It is a tiny bit gory and a whole lot of freaky.

We had a longer lie on Saturday but Norm had to meet the rest of the security group from our suburb at 9. He got home late morning and made us a healthy brunch of scrambled cheesy eggs, bacon, Rosa tomatoes and avocado.

Norm worked in the afternoon and I relaxed and pottered about, relishing not having to be anywhere.

I went to Drumming this morning in Marina da Gama. It was our last session until next year.

On the way there I passed a large peacock just chilling near the forest edge. He appeared to be on his own, no peahen or other male nearby. He was so bright and beautiful.

While waiting for everyone to arrive, Frans read a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh.

One day the Buddha was sitting in the wood with thirty or forty monks. They had an excellent lunch and they were enjoying the company of each other. There was a farmer passing by and the farmer was very unhappy. He asked the Buddha and the monks whether they had seen his cows passing by. The Buddha said they had not seen any cows passing by.

The farmer said, “Monks, I’m so unhappy. I have twelve cows and I don’t know why they all ran away. I have also a few acres of a sesame seed plantation and the insects have eaten up everything. I suffer so much I think I am going to kill myself.

The Buddha said, “My friend, we have not seen any cows passing by here. You might like to look for them in the other direction.”

So the farmer thanked him and ran away, and the Buddha turned to his monks and said, “My dear friends, you are the happiest people in the world. You don’t have any cows to lose. If you have too many cows to take care of, you will be very busy.

That is why, in order to be happy, you have to learn the art of cow releasing. You release the cows one by one. In the beginning you thought that those cows were essential to your happiness, and you tried to get more and more cows. But now you realize that cows are not really conditions for your happiness; they constitute an obstacle for your happiness. That is why you are determined to release your cows.”

We could all benefit from releasing our cows.

We had tea after drumming as a few people brought some treats. I love that group of people, they are all so kind and sincere.

Later this afternoon we went to a braai at our friends Andy and Alison. There were 11 of us there and everyone was lovely. Andy and Alison have 3 Saluki dogs, one is a 11 month old puppy who is adorable. They are such elegant and beautiful animals.

The older two were constantly harassed by the pup and eventually wandered off to have a rest.

Alison made loads of salads and veggies and Andy grilled lamb, pork and steak.

In honor of so many people who eat low carb, Alison also made a peanut butter cheesecake and it was divine! Even Norm loved it and he hates peanut butter.

We had such a fun evening chatting and laughing. I really enjoyed it.

Lily messaged us to say that Calum made it to Mossel Bay and had dinner with Lily and Josh.

He is driving all along the Garden Route and then up to Johannesburg and on to a game farm. It was so great to see him.

Tomorrow I am back at work. We have a new person joining us on the team which will be great as we have far more work than we can cope with. Hopefully that will take a bit of stress off of me.

Have a great week. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

Soul Food

It is starting to feel a bit like summer is finally here, our weather has been stunning this week if a bit windy.

As my new client has a stricter dress code I have been digging into my cupboard to find clothes that are appropriate. Usually I wear jeans and a T-shirt to work. This week I wore a chocolate linen dress and jacket that I have had for over 25 years! Quality always lasts.

We have made a bit of progress on the project but it has been slow going. It is a rather chaotic environment. I was asked to go to a interview at another client next week but it is even further away from where I am working currently which has added two hours of travel to my day. I told my contract house that I was unwilling to drive even further. My last client also wants me back as the next phase is kicking off there but I am now committed to my current client. There are too many clients who want my skills but I can only be in one place at a time! It is a nice change from having several of us on the bench, I prefer to be busy and have something I can sink my teeth into.

Load shedding has kicked in this week and we have had several instances where we had no electricity. It is so much easier if it happens in the day time as you can always amuse yourself, but if it happens at dinner time or during the time of the evening when we are chilling out and watching telly it is rather annoying! It happened on Thursday night from 8pm to 10.30pm just when we were relaxing and it was so frustrating. Norm read to me while I played games on my iPad. I love the sound of his voice so I was OK with that form of entertainment.

Norm has been busy with work so wasn’t able to shop and cook every evening but he did his best.

Monday night he cooked a delicious pork fillet, fried sweet potato slices, mushrooms and brussel sprouts. This was another attempt of doing the sprouts in the air fryer and it’s the last attempt as they were not nice. The outside leaves get a bit charred and the inside remains too crispy for my taste.

On Tuesday he made chicken, spinach and feta sausages with cauliflower mash and steamed broccoli.

The rest of the week we had takeaways. On Friday I had sushi from K1 in Hout Bay and it was all very fresh and yummy.

I had salmon roses, prawn roses, king nigiri and cucumber roses topped with prawns.

On Saturday I met my friend Bronwyn for breakfast at Hout Bay Manor. First I delivered my Operation Shoebox parcels for the little girls as the Manor was the drop off point for Hout Bay.

It was a beautiful day and Bronwyn and I sat outside.

Bronwyn ordered the Eggs Benedict but with potato rostis as the base instead of an English muffin. She added bacon and it was R78.

I chose the El Pixo which was R75 and consisted of Sweetcorn fritters and feta, chilli, spring onions, avocado, streaky bacon, 2 poached eggs, grilled baby tomatoes and fresh coriander.

Bronwyn was meeting some other friends at 12.30 and invited me to stay and we ended up hanging out til 3pm! Bjorn works with Bronwyn and his friend was over from the UK.

The guys had lunch and Bronwyn and I had cake and coffee. Bjorn’s friend had a curry and Bjorn had a delicious looking duck breast.

We chatted about so many things, spirituality, astral traveling, anxiety, past life regression, gender based violence, the different beliefs of the many cultures in South Africa and so many other topics and the time flew by.

It was such a relaxed day spent with lovely people. It was good for my soul. I am able to vent and be myself with Bronwyn, there is no judgment or need for holding back my true feelings or my wacky beliefs.

After I went home I relaxed while Norm pottered about and then we ordered take away dinner from Massimo’s and we watched a bit of The Sinner. I had watched it ages ago with Lily but there is a second season available and as Norm had not watched it we started watching from the beginning again. I read that there is also a third season but that has not been released here yet. It is intense but very good.

Today I was due to go to my Drumming Circle but we had committed to go to a party at our Scottish neighbor Kate’s. The timing would have meant I was rushing around if I tried to attend both so I gave drumming a miss.

We had a bit of a downpour of rain late morning but it cleared up soon afterwards and it was bright and sunny after.

We went down to Kate at about 1.30pm and arrived to the sound of bagpipes.

There were many other Scots there so Norm felt right at home. We found a seat in the shade and grabbed a drink.

Everyone was asked to bring along a bottle and a plate of food to share. After the piper finished there were a couple of young girls who were DJing. There was lots of dancing and everyone had such fun.

Except maybe the doggy. He howled when the piper played. Everyone is a critic.

The view from Kate’s garden is the same as ours obviously just a bit lower down the mountain. She has a stunning garden.

We had such a lovely afternoon chatting to everyone, drinking and dancing. Kate is such a brilliant host.

We staggered up the hill just as it started to drizzle with rain again. Norm walked and fed the dogs then crashed. Afternoon drinking is not for the weak. As I have a long drive to work and an early start tomorrow I limited myself to just two drinks.

We had a bit of progress with the wedding planning. After last weekend’s wedding dress adventures Lily finally decided on her wedding dress this week. I wish I could show you but obviously I can’t but it is so beautiful on her. She is going to be such a stunning bride.

I’ve had such a delicious weekend and hope that you all have enjoyed yours too.

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

 

Camp Culture

Last week was a bit of a life challenge as we had load-shedding almost every day. To those who do not know, that means the city turns off the electricity to the grid in ring fenced areas at certain periods of the day. So you have to plan ahead, if it’s in the morning make sure to boil a full kettle of our precious water and charge your phone. I wasn’t sure whether our office had a generator so on Monday I went off to Now Now Cafe and got a large coffee, some oatmeal for breakfast and a bottle of water and got up to the 4th floor in the elevator before the 8am load shedding kick off time. I couldn’t face a 4 flight hike laden with my bags and I also couldn’t face not having a coffee. I park .4km away from my office at the moment so I cannot stair climb after the walk, I would literally have a heart attack.

All of these electricity issues are related to the collapse of 6 generating units, allegedly their collapse is related to the ANC’s lack of maintenance of the infrastructure that the previous government had built. Other people have insinuated darker forces are at play as the collapse of so many units at once the day after Ramaphosa announced the uncoupling of the 3 main Eskom business units smacks of sabotage. Here is a good article by the BBC summarizing the entire fiasco.

Whatever the root cause, the resolution must not be underestimated. It will require external input and re-governance.

Land expropriation without compensation is also an issue. The constant flip flopping of the ANC direction on this issue is head spinning.

SARS (SA Revenue Service) is also in a shambles. The ANC has made such a mess of South Africa. Tom Moyane even had the nerve to try and stop his suspension. The ANC criminals and the Guptas have ripped the heart out of our assets and pocketed millions in exchange. It destroys my confidence in the future of this country.

There have been two recent house break ins in my immediate area and a few more nearby in Hout Bay. The crime has peaked again. Post Christmas shopping? At this point we would consider leaving SA but only if my children would too. In the meantime I’m here to be near my children and we just do our best to live our best lives.

The new project has been good, I’ve been told I have to work on their desktop computer due to data security risks but it’s so less powerful than my laptop and keeps bombing out when I’m trying to chow through large tables of Data Warehouse data. I’ve lost hours of work a few times now as everything just crashes.

One day after much frustration I decided I needed a walk and I strolled around the city for a bit. I crossed paths with the SAPS police on horseback. I just love seeing them cruising through the city looking so powerful.

Another day last week when I needed to get out of the office I treated myself to lunch nearby at Nuri Sushi Factory. I love it there. I had the Dr Cara’s low carb salad with steamed prawns, carrot and cucumber ribbons, avocado chunks, sprinkled with sesame seeds and topped with Chinese mayonnaise.

It was delicious but was awkward to eat with chopsticks so I give it a 4 Kitten Star rating. If it was all in chunks rather than the curled noodles it would have been easier to manage.

Norm has been good about cooking this week but only from Wednesday as we had Xmas leftovers for most of our dinners at the start of the week.

Norm really spoiled me on Valentines Day. He made a lovely salad / side dish of boiled sliced pink beetroot, topped with goats cheese, on a bed of steamed spinach served with a pink fillet steak.

He made a white Lindt chocolate brûlée for dessert.

It was all so gorgeous.

He also gave me a lovely card and lilies, my favorite flowers.

I’m a lucky girl.

We exchanged the booking we had made to go to Beefcakes for NYE and couldn’t attend as we were in the States. Instead we booked to go to a burger and drag act night on Friday.

We arrived just after 7 and parked right outside the door. We were welcomed in by a bevy of good looking muscular bare chested men. Maybe they were wearing tank tops. My mind may be playing tricks on me.

Anyway.

We were taken to a table with tall stools. There was no way my back could cope with that so I asked to get moved and they put us in a charming little 50’s style booth with velvet seats. I was very happy.

We were surrounded by flamingos, gold lame and beautiful young men. I think we were the only people there who were neither gay nor out for a hen night!

I love drag artists. My IG feed is probably 1/3 hot bearded men with tattoos, 1/3 dogs, and 1/3 drag artists.

I’m a woman with varied interests.

Anyway. I ordered a strawberry daiquiri from our very sweet young waiter.

We ordered some nachos to share for starters. They were basically Doritos with thick cheese on top, very awkward to eat. The guacamole was not bad. I’ll give them 2 Kitten Stars.

Next time I will rather have chili poppers.

I had quite a few cocktails but Norm had one glass of wine then went onto water as he was driving. The way that the food works on this event is that you choose whether you want a beef, chicken or vegetarian burger and they bring a tray of toppings for you to add as you wish. There were 2 types of cheese, mushroom sauce, guacamole and chopped chilis to choose from.

The burgers were delicious. I used every one of the toppings. The patties had a lovely flavor and the meat was excellent quality. I think it was a kitke roll, but it was yummy whatever type of bread it was. I really enjoyed mine and I give it 5 Kitten Stars.

After we finished eating the acts came on. There were 2 artists. Vida Fan Tabisher and Samantha Knight were appearing and they were both absolutely brilliant.

Vida opened by teasing us with a leg and arm appearing cheekily from behind the curtain. She came out and serenaded us, but she was very in your face with her sense of humor, more of a bawdy style.

The second artist was Samantha Knight who was tall and muscular and lithe as the lithest thing you can think of. I googled her and found a video for you. Enjoy!

She came out in bright fur and stockings. She was dynamic. She had quite a few costume changes and looked amazing in whatever she was wearing.

Vida then did a funny routine where she criticized her ex and his small penis and I think her video starred her male self in it but I’m not positive. It was very funny.

Samantha did a sort of tribute to Freddy Mercury and she was so good, she is such a talented dancer with thighs to die for.

Samantha didn’t leave all the humor to Vida however, this skit was quite funny.

The finale was the waiters stripping off for our titillation.

I give the overall evening 5 Kitten Stars and recommend you book Beefcakes soon!

We headed home after I finished my drink and we got back to Hout Bay just before 11.

I had a lazy morning on Saturday recovering from all those cocktails. Norm was working and the animals snoozing so it was peaceful and luckily a bit cooler. Some of the days during the week it had gotten up to 40deg C! That’s feckin hot in Fahrenheit trust me. Ok it’s 104 F to be specific. We have no air conditioning at home so it makes it hard to sleep.

The rest of my weekend was somewhat more cultured than camp. If you can classify a musical as not camp and a wine sozzled day as cultured?

On Saturday we went to see Steven Sondheim’s Into The Woods at the allegedly newly renovated Theatre on The Bay.

We were running late and enroute we looked out and spotted whales in the bay! We only spotted them because they were blowing, the sprays from the blowholes are all you see sometimes. It was very exciting.

As is our preference we booked for the dinner and theatre package as it means you have a relaxing dinner timed around the production and you get parking as you are early. It can be a nightmare to park nearby as it’s all street parking and I have seen cars broken into that were parked too far from the theatre. Being by the beach there is nothing for miles when it’s hot. There is also housing tightly squashed in to the close.

Traffic was rammed so we parked down the road and walked around to the theatre. We went upstairs to the restaurant and were seated by the door so we could catch a bit of breeze and see a glimpse of the sea.

The restaurant has been redecorated and looks nice.

We ordered our food and settled in with a drink.

For my starter I had the tian of prawn and salmon.

Norm had the caprese salad.

I chose the beef short rib for my main.

It was quite nice but it was a wee bit dry.

Norm had the linefish, I think it was skipperjack.

He said it was excellent.

For dessert I had the chocolate fridge cake which was like a chocolate torte. It was very rich. I gave Norm half and took a bit of his ice cream.

I give the dinner 4 and the show 5 Kitten Stars.

I give the upstairs ladies loo only 1 star however. There are 3 cubicles, one was out of order and the second did not have a latch on the door and did not flush. The tap was broken on one of the sinks and the hand dryer had no oomph. It was not a pleasant experience at all. The queue was out the door for the downstairs ladies and maybe that one was renovated? I can’t say.

But we go for the shows not the decor. So, saying that, here is a little clip about the show.

I loved Zak Hendricks as both The Wolf / Cinderella’s Prince, and Kate Normington, the actress who played the witch but everyone in the cast was excellent. We had a great night. We got home after 11 and then Norm had a drink and we watched a bit of telly so headed off to sleep quite late.

On Sunday I went to lunch in Constantia with my friends Nicola

and Alison

We were seated outside under a brolly.

We went to one of my faves, Foxcroft.

Their current lunch offering is R495 pp and you get 2 tapas, 1 main course, 1 dessert.

Their online menu differs from the one we were offered so I cannot give details on some of the dishes.

I chose Yellowfin Tuna: 6-month kimchi, sesame, black vinegar for my 1st dish. It was so yummy. The tuna was so fresh.

For my second course I chose the mussels. I adored this dish. I liked that they used not only the mussel but the muscle that attached it to the shell.

For my main I had the Oak Valley Pork Belly: Pomme purée, apple mustard, walnut, cider jus. I’ve had it before and loved it and certainly wasn’t disappointed this time either.

For dessert I had the Strawberries: Compressed, semi-dried, verbena, bergamot. It was like a deconstructed strawberry shortcake and was delicious.

The food was amazing and I give it 5 Kitten Stars however the usually impeccable service was lacking yesterday. We had to wave down our waitress and had to top up our own water and wine. Our waitress was just nowhere to be seen for the majority of the day.

We had given Alison a lift to lunch and on our way home we stopped at her house for a drink and ended up staying for dinner and hanging out and chatting with the family. Unfortunately I wasn’t clever enough to stop drinking and I have been suffering all day today!

It was a very busy weekend but it was such fun and we had such a variety of events.

I’m a happy Kitten. A hungover Kitten, but a happy one.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

Home Sweet Home

As lovely as it was to see my family and friends and as sad as I was to be leaving my Mom, I am very happy to be back home in our own environment with our animals.

I also sensed that my Mom might have had enough of us being around as she got a bit snappy and told me all I did was boss her around. I did tell her to use her turn signal when driving which she never did and I would wake her when she slept late and suggest she went to bed at night when she stayed up late but that was so we a) survived her driving and b) spent more time together. But she is used to living on her own and seemed to struggle with getting into a routine. She also needs a lot more sleep than I do, but then most people do!

Our return trip was broken down into 4 phases: first we took a shuttle bus from Chattanooga to the Atlanta airport, we then had a 13 hour flight from Atlanta to Doha, a 9 hour layover in Doha, then another 10 hour flight from Doha to Cape Town. It makes it more manageable mentally to break it down like that rather than to view the 33 hour journey in its entirety. We celebrated the successful completion of each phase and got very excited as we neared the end of the final flight. We did not leave a car at the airport so we had to Uber home but that went smoothly and we were home quickly with no dramas. The only thing that marred our journey was the fact that we were surrounded by screaming babies and toddlers on the first flight. We were in the row behind the bulkhead which had 2 infants, one of them screamed blue murder for most of the flight. His brother was about 5 and alternated between playing full volume games on his dad’s phone and shouting and crying. He kept crawling up the aisles when the air hostess was trying to navigate her trolley. There were loads of men hovering around the children and the men wouldn’t sit down even as the plane was taxiing down the runway. They also kept moving seats throughout the flight. I kept hoping the pilot would slam on brakes so that we could watch the idiots fly off down the aisle. I was struggling with a headache and the screaming meant I had to take a tranquilizer to survive.

The second flight was uneventful as was our layover. At Doha we had a meal then found a quiet place to sit and rest. As I don’t sleep on planes I tried to sleep a bit but kept waking myself up by my snoring. Oops. Embarrassing.

We wandered about the airport being a bit silly and trying to keep ourselves amused.

Our last week in the US was busy yet relaxing.

We went shopping for the kids’ Christmas presents and I got some good buys in the sales. I got a pair of Levis for a bargain and they fit me perfectly. Norm also got a couple of pair of Levis but not as cheap as mine which I had unearthed in the clearance rack at TJ Maxx. His were from a posh men’s store but were still cheaper than buying them in SA.

We drove up to spend New Years Eve on Watts Bar Lake with our friends Joy and Tim. They have a lovely home directly on the lake.

We met my mom and Joy’s lovely friend Raven on the way so she could follow us as it is a twisty windy route which would be difficult if you didn’t know the area.

This is Raven, Joy and I.

Some of my Mom and Joy’s friends came up to see us too. Left to right is Tanya and her mom Evelyn, Joy, mom and I.

I probably haven’t seen Tanya in about 30 years. Evelyn came with my Mom to visit me in George when I first moved to South Africa in 1991/2. It was so nice to see them and spend time with them.

At midnight there were fireworks across the lake.

We were hoping to meet Tim and Joy’s giant pony of a dog Bo but he was put into kennels as there were a lot of people there for the party and the roof was being replaced early the next morning and they were worried the noise would stress him out. Little Pax was there however and he is so adorable.

Norm and he became great friends.

We had a lovely time.

We were hungry by the time we finally got organized and on the road the next day and so we stopped at Abuelo’s for Mexican food as we were going to a shop in the mall next to it.

It was bitterly cold that day.

We enjoyed their queso dip and chips and salsa. I was hoping for some really good carnitas and so I chose the carnitas enchiladas.

I was disappointed in the carnitas as well as the flavorless enchilada sauce. It was all rather bland. Mom had recommended the potato side dish papas con chile instead of rice but in my head I had expected patatas bravas which are Spanish spicy fried potatoes but instead it was cheesy creamy mash with peppers, onions and chilli topped with cheese. I didn’t enjoy that dish very much mostly due to the texture. I’m not a fan of mushy food.

Norm and Mom had the quesadilla.

Mom and my friends love Abuelo’s but I definitely preferred the Mexican food we had the previous week by far, the whole Abuelo’s vibe from the ‘hacienda style’ decor to the food felt a bit gringo plastic. The staff all looked incredibly grumpy and unhappy but I would also be grumpy if I had to work on New Year’s Day. I suspect Tres Amigos is family run and all staff seemed to be Mexican or Hispanic based on their accents and the food tasted more authentic. I give Abuelo’s 3 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️.

While home I had been trying to track down Peggie who was my bestie when I was in my early 20’s. We used to party hard back in the day and we got into all sorts of mischief. I managed to contact her and we met her at a local diner called Nikki’s Drive In for dinner.

Nikki’s has been around since the 1950’s and is a local icon.

Norm had a burger.

I ordered the shrimp platter and Mom ordered the fried oysters and we shared them.

We stayed for hours and chatted. Our journey there was a bit of a nightmare as it was pouring rain, we were traveling at rush hour and we ended up exiting via the wrong exit and so Peggie was waiting almost an hour for us. I was so glad she waited. When we got ready to pay our bill the waitress told us that it had been paid by a secret Santa! Apparently he paid the full bill for 3 tables!

We met my uncle Joe at The Boathouse Rotisserie and Raw Bar the following day for lunch.

It is right on the Tennessee river.

Joy and Tim drove down to join us.

We enjoyed getting to see everyone again.

Mom enjoyed it too and she treated us all to lunch.

Mom and Joe had the fried oysters and I nicked one and they were divine. Much better than Nikki’s.

Joy, Tim and I all had the shrimp.

It was really good. The shrimp in the south of the US are very different to South African prawns.

We all had a piece of key lime pie for dessert. It was just OK. I am not a fan of whipped cream and expected it to be topped with meringue.

I give the pie 3 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️ but my main course was a solid 5 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

Peggie came to Mom’s house to see us on our second last day and it was nice to spend more time catching up with her. She gave me a painting she had done, a feathered clasp she made as well as some stunning earrings.

On our last full day we had a lazy morning, packed our bags and then went to dinner at Fuji Steak House. I was craving teppanyaki style food and some friends recommended this venue. I used to love Benihana but there wasn’t one nearby. We were seated at an empty teppanyaki table when we arrived.

While we were eating our miso soup and salad 2 other groups joined us.

We all ordered our food and the chef got busy cooking.

One of the groups at our table was a family of 3, a young man and his parents and they were revolting to be near due to the way which they ate. There was a very sweet white sauce served with the food and they dumped 4 servings of the sauce all over their food and mixed it all together into a sticky sweet mess, running their fingers round the serving bowl then loudly sucking their fingers clean. They took huge bites and chewed loudly with their mouths open. It rather put me off of my food. I also found it odd that the father was wearing a trucker cap while eating. It is basic etiquette to remove a hat when dining. Almost every man there had on a trucker cap. What is that about?

Mom and I ordered the shrimp and fillet steak. As is traditional it was served with rice and vegetables done on the grill.

The food was good but I found the sauce quite heavy. The steak was tender and the shrimp tasty.

I give our dinner 3.5 Kitten Stars, the food was acceptable but the overall experience probably pulled that score down due to the finger suckers at our table.

Later that evening Warren and Anita popped by to visit.

He seemed to be minding his manners after falling out with Mom on his last visit. He chose to blame me for my Mom getting upset over his behavior during his previous visit rather than apologize for his being inappropriate. He loves to shock people and takes pride in having ‘no filters’. However if that is how he wants to present himself then he has to take responsibility for the impacts of that. I love him but he can be hard work.

Norm said to me that he understands me much better after this visit. He found it odd that no one was at all curious about our life in South Africa. Everyone mostly just talked about themselves. He also found it odd that some of my family made very little effort at all to spend time with me or even to ring to say goodbye. My religious and political beliefs are diametrically opposed to my family but that should not matter. Family is family. My uncle Joe surprised me in the efforts he made, he was sick but we still saw him many times. He even popped by on our last day to say cheerio. I really valued and appreciated the time with him. Much like our last visit to the UK the people we thought would make an effort couldn’t be bothered and the ones we thought we might not even see did make the effort!

As they say in the UK, ‘There is nowt so queer as folk’. I still am permanently surprised by the interactions I have with people and their behavior. Life is easier without expectations and then you are never disappointed when those expectations are not met.

But maybe I am a bit unfair today as I am incredibly hung over and suffering from lack of sleep.

We arrived home on Monday around lunch time and I showered and went straight to bed for a nap. I slept a deep sleep until 6pm when Norm woke me. We got a takeaway for dinner and I forced myself to stay awake until 11pm to get onto local time. I kept nodding off but we soldiered on. I slept really soundly that night despite my long nap.

On Tuesday I had plans to meet my friend Cathi for lunch as she was here visiting from Canada and it was her last day today. We picked her up in Constantia at 1.15 and headed to Bistro 1682 at Steenberg winery.

Norm dropped us off and we were given a lovely table on the patio.

To start they brought a complimentary platter of bread, olives, olive oil and raspberry vinegar.

For our starter we shared the Panko Crusted Cheese Fritter at R88: Tender greens, goat’s’ cheese mousse, charred courgettes, tomato & jalapeño jam. It was divine but I forgot to snap a pic before we wolfed it down.

I ordered 2 tapas dishes, Tempura Prawns for R110: Chargrilled pineapple salsa, coriander, chipotle aioli, pineapple syrup.

This dish only gets 3 Kitten Stars as it was a small portion of prawns for that price. Maybe I am spoiled by the giant American shrimp and portions.

I also had the Beef Tataki for R105: Seared beef, truffled corn, shimeji mushrooms, wild rocket, chilli, mayo. The chilli oil gave it a nice little kick. The beef was very tender.

This dish gets 5 Kitten Stars as it was a nice sized portion and tasted delicious. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cathi ordered the Sesame & Ginger Sirloin Salad at R185: Tender greens, red cabbage, onion, coriander, sprouts, aioli, chilli & soy ginger vinaigrette. It looked lovely and Cathi seemed to enjoy it.

We had just finished our meal when our friend Nicola arrived to join us.

We have all been friends for over 25 years. It proves that for true friends the passage of time makes no difference at all. We all chatted nonstop and laughed ourselves silly. It was a very long leisurely lunch and I consumed far too much wine and was rather tipsy when Norm collected Cathi and I at 7.30pm. We dropped Cathi at her mom’s and tootled off home. As we had eaten at 2pm I was drunk hungry and we stopped at Massimo’s for food to take home. Norm tried to get a lot of water down me as well but I passed out on the couch and woke at 11pm and got a second wind. He eventually persuaded me to go to bed at midnight but my snooze meant I was feeling the acidity of the wine and my hangover had started to kick in so I couldn’t get back to sleep for hours.

As Cathi was flying today I hope she felt better than I did when I woke this morning!

We are trying to get back onto our low carb eating and Norm made us a low carb high fat brunch.

For dinner tonight we got a takeaway from Spiro’s as we still haven’t done a proper food shop. I didn’t make it out of my pajamas all day much less to the shops.

I had crispy baby squids, grilled halloumi, vegetable medley and cucumber slices and creamy feta. There is breading on the squid but other than that it was mostly HFLC.

I’ve had a horrendous headache again today. I’ve had one on and off for a few weeks now and if it is still bothering me tomorrow then I will go to my GP.

On Sunday morning I have drumming in the morning and Norm and I have a lunch with friends afterwards and on Monday I am back at work. I have really enjoyed my long break but I will not be able to take off any time for ages now.

The girls are coming here for a belated Christmas lunch the following weekend and I am looking forward to seeing them. I wish Trevor could come with them but he only has a few more days with Amber before she goes offshore again so I understand that he cannot do so. Hopefully I can go down to see him soon as I miss him.

I hope you have all had an enjoyable break as well.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

High Times

It has been fabulous being off of work this week and I’ve mentally started to finally chill. Even the village energy seems relaxed and it feels like we are away somewhere exotic on holiday rather than roaming round our own town.

Tuesday was the start of my annual leave and I’m now off work until mid-January. I couldn’t have a long lie in that morning however as I had a doctor appointment in the northern suburbs and left home just after 730am to make it. Traffic was abysmal and it was pouring rain and foggy and I barely made it there for my 830am appointment.

After my appointment I collected Norm and we went to Allegria Cafe for breakfast. The tourist season has launched for sure as they were rammed! The owner was running round and keeping everything on track and we were shown to a table off in the corner. I ordered the Eggs Benedict with bacon and it was perfectly cooked.

Afterwards we had lots of errands to run and we went to RockChic to shop for my Mom. I narrowed it down to these choices and sent the pic to my Mom to choose from.

As it was the middle of the night in Georgia I decided to come back to the shop the next day to make my purchase after Mom had replied.

Norm and I did some shopping for our upcoming trip and for dinner and we headed home afterwards as Norm was busy writing his report that was due. On our way we stopped off to collect Norm’s car from the garage. The reason it broke down when we collected it last time was that the fuel gauge was broken and it had been out of petrol. They only discovered that when they dropped the fuel tank to check the fuel pump. The funny thing is I had told Norm I thought it was out of petrol and he said ‘don’t be silly there was a quarter of a tank’. Miss Witchy Pants was right. When will he learn to listen to my messages?

Never mind. At least it did not cost any additional money.

We were invited to our friends Tim and Nicola’s anniversary party that evening in Simons Town.

Nicola looked stunning as always.

Their house is directly on the beach of a nature reserve and they have an amazing view.

There were endless trays of delicious canapés making the rounds and a huge trough of bottles of wine and champagne. We met some lovely people and caught up with those we knew already. It was a beautiful warm night and we were all sitting outside on their veranda overlooking the sea. We had a great night but we were both up early the next morning and so we didn’t stay late.

Norm was busy working and I was up early and off to the city to Pause, the hair salon. I had a lovely relaxing session under the hands of the fabulous Thembi. My hairdresser Leandra snapped a pic afterwards.

Norm was in the city for a meeting and he rang after he finished to find out where I was but I had already left the city. We agreed to meet for lunch back in Hout Bay.

I went to purchase the bracelet for my Mom then walked to the pub and got a table in the beer garden.

While waiting for Norm I heard the clatter of tiny hooves on the roof and looked up hoping for a glance of Santa.

It was just a man cleaning the gutters and the magic was ruined. 🎅😂

Norm arrived and we ordered. He had his fave scotch eggs with chips.

I ordered the popcorn chicken starter with chips.

It was a stunning day and we had a leisurely meal then went to the chemist to see if I had a refill on my tranquilizer script but I did not. I prefer to use CBD oil for my anxiety but I cannot travel with that so I reverted to my script. I popped into my GP and they said they would email the script to the chemist for collection. Norm picked up something for dinner that night then met me at home.

We grilled out as it was a lovely warm night. I made a simple salad with lots of feta and Norm grilled sweet corn and fillet steaks.

Thursday morning Norm had a Skype call at 7am and I had a long lie in.

We were invited for Christmas drinks at the British High Commissioner’s residence that evening. The historic home is so exquisite and the old cape Dutch furnishings and interior are as well.

The gardens are so stunning.

I wore a dress Norman bought for me, it’s a few years old but has only been worn once before as I seldom dress up or wear short dresses.

We had a giggle trying to get a decent selfy with the cheetah in the background.

And again trying to get one with the house in the background.