The Toothwhisperer

My week started out a bit badly as I was at the dentist on Monday but as far as dental visits go it wasn’t too bad. I took a tramacet pain pill for courage and Norm drove me. Dr Pretorius was great, talking me through every action before he made it and moving slowly. My tooth is still tender if I bite on it but it should improve. This was the last phase of my root canal.  I also had to take my car in for its 30k mileage service. Luckily that’s free with my motorplan. Norm followed me there at 730am and then dropped me to collect it late that afternoon after the dentist. I worked from home in between appointments. It was a hot sunny day at least. 

I was back in my main client’s office in the CBD on Tuesday. I woke to pouring rain, another rapid change in our crazy weather. This time of year in South Africa can be so unpredictable. When I got to the café where I usually buy my morning coffee there was a lady standing outside who stopped me. She said ‘I am not asking for money. Please do not judge me. But I am hungry.’ As both a mother and as a child of the American South, that is something I cannot turn my back on. I asked her to wait for me while I just put down my bags at my desk and I would be right back. When I got back outside she looked like she was so surprised I came back. She showed me her neck which looked like she had her throat slit at one stage as there was a dark scar from side to side. She also walked hunched over as if she could not straighten her upper back. She said in a gravelly voice that she has throat cancer and she is having treatment and can only swallow soft food. I told her to come with me to the café where she can sit inside in the warmth and I will buy her breakfast. She said that about the only thing she can eat is cereal with milk and could I rather buy that. I took her into the corner shop and bought her a giant box of corn flakes and a big bottle of full fat milk. The change was R10 so I gave her that as well as I tried to not get emotional. She broke my heart. There but for the grace of God go I. Or you. 

I’ve been pretty much homeless but for the kindness of friends. It can happen to any of us. So many people live day to day, paycheck to paycheck. Or they are dependent on their partner to provide a roof. Or they fall victim to anything which requires medical assistance. If you have no medical aid an accident can bankrupt you. You lose a job or a partner, what happens to you? So many, especially women, have no safety net.

Then that same evening when I left work a young man approached me asking for cash for the night shelter. But so many people are needy, how do you choose who to give to? But to anyone who approaches me for money while walking I will say no. It’s not safe opening your bag on the street. If they are hungry I will buy food. 

Work has been varied again which makes it less monotonous. I can’t bear monotony. I had so many different projects and clients demanding attention. I facilitated 2 workshops on Tuesday and hopefully that will result in a bit of new work, the client seemed very happy with what we showed them. I got home late but still quickly threw together dinner.

I made spicy mince with cumin, garlic, chili, chili powder, paprika and a bit of stock and cooked peppers and onions in butter. I served it salad style with butter lettuce, rosa tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, salsa and cilantro. I made taco ‘shells’ from baking thinly sliced smoked provolone until bubbly.

I had enough left for lunch on Wednesday, this worked out well as I ended up getting asked to dial in on a conference call as a Specialist Consultant for a new client which lasted til almost 1.

I got home so late on Wednesday as I didn’t leave the office til almost 5pm and then sat in stand still traffic for ages. I heard on the radio that there had been 3 casualties on the motorway in the southern suburbs. Three men who are part of the group of housebreakers known as the “Crowbar Gang” and were being pursued by security police.

This is what they mean by a crowbar gang.

They crossed over to the wrong side of the highway and rolled their car and 3 of them died and 1 of them went to the hospital but was in critical condition. He also subsequently died.

They hit a mother and her child in one car as well as a second car. The people in the other cars were injured but have survived thankfully. 

Luckily Norm bought us dinner and prepared it all once I finally got home. It was grilled fish, butternut squash and steamed broccoli.

It was low carb but not high fat.  I would have dipped the fish in coconut and fried it in coconut oil but I was so tired I was happy to be fed whatever and however Norm felt like cooking.

The #FeesMustFall student protests have gotten completely out of hand and incredibly violent across the breadth of the country. Here in Cape Town at CPUT, Lily’s alma mater, the protestors locked a couple of security guards in a closet and set the campus on fire. 

Several protesters have been arrested and charged with attempted murder.

At Wits in the North of the country a priest named Father Graham Pugin from Holy Trinity Church in Braamfontein bravely stood at the church entrance blocking the police riot vehicle from entering the church grounds to arrest protestors who were seeking sanctuary.

Image credit
Father Pugin got shot in the face by a rubber bullet as a result.

I received an email from the University of Cape Town advising that the Information  Systems Expo was cancelled due to the unrest. 

Those kids work all year towards presenting their work at the Expo, Caitlin was always proud of their work. So many people will be punished for the means of a few. People will be affected who themselves may not be able to afford a make up year. The poor affecting the poor. The year will be written off as a fail for most. The damage is immeasurable.

I am supportive of the desire for change. However some of the points they protestors make seem ridiculous to my western mind. 

Surely science is science?  Not that I don’t believe in black magic or witchcraft. I do. However this does not devalue science! Surely there is room for both the physical sciences as well as black magic? Even though black magic goes against the limitations of physics and science.

I am confident that this turmoil is being instigated by Zuma to distract us from his own issues and the investigations into SARS and other areas of suspected corruption. 

Zuma tried to stop our wonderful, brave, amazing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela from releasing her report on State Capture before her term ended. State capture is a type of systemic political corruption in which private interests significantly influence a state’s decision-making processes to their own advantage through unobvious channels that may not be illegal. In SA a family called the Guptas seem to be leading Zuma and manipulating government decisions. Parliament described the probe as an “investigation into complaints of alleged improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries relating to alleged improper relationships and involvement of the Gupta family in the removal and appointment of Ministers and Directors of State Owned Entities (SOES) resulting in improper and possibly corrupt award of State contracts and benefits to the Gupta family businesses”.

Zuma also had his fingers up another puppet’s backside in the form of Shaun Abrahams. Abrahams has charged Pravin Gordhan with fraud. Malema has had charges levied against him as well. The timing is rather suspect.

The light is shining on Zuma. Like most vermin he doesn’t like the light.

The same as the light is shining on Trump’s latest scandals coming out about his many abuses on women. Let us hope that the American voters do the right thing. Even if they vote for that moron who doesn’t even know what Aleppo is. He can’t be as dangerous as Trump.

Thursday I had a meeting in Canal Walk for most of the day then at lunch time I came back to the city for my main client after Norm and I went to the bank to move funds to pay for the kitchen renovation. It was a stunning sunny day with a strong wind coming off the sea and was a pleasant if blustery walk across the city. 

That evening when we were home relaxing Pixie started barking like a lunatic. We moved all the furniture looking for a ball or bone or what ever might be driving her so insane. Norm shouted at her and tried to distract her and then I heard rustling. It was a tiny shrew! 

We chased round with a shoe box for ages and finally got it. We are a catch and release house.

I had a day in office on Friday working toward my delivery of my main project. I had a yummy Mexican salad for lunch from Tortilla Modern Mexican

The chef there chops lettuce just for me as I don’t want the carbs from the chips, rice or tortillas. I do have beans however. This is my weekly treat. I never thought I would see beans as a treat!

Friday Josh and Lily drove down for the weekend as Josh has a race on. It was lovely to see her again so soon. 

We ordered in take aways and Norm took a break from dismantling cupboards to collect them. We had a curry and the kids had sushi. We had a chilled evening. I was delighted to discover that series 6 of American Horror Story was on playback so we watched an episode of that. 

I love that series! Norm is not a fan. We have opposite tastes in TV. 

The kids woke us at 6.30am so we got up and busy. We packed up the kitchen cupboard contents and Norm dismantled the cupboards. It was exhausting and my house is a mess! 

We knocked off at sunset and showered and the kids came home for dinner. We tried a new place, The Kitchen Takeaway. I had 100g of delicious fall off the bone ribs, Lily had the crispy chicken burger, Josh had the gourmet burger and Norm the Banting burger.  Due to the state of my kitchen I didn’t take any snaps but I loved their takeaway packaging, I adored my ribs, everyone loved their food. The chips were crispy outside and fluffy inside and covered in a nice spicy salt.  Gorgeous all around. We will be back!

Today has been working on dismantling the kitchen cupboards. Norm somehow managed to pull together a delicious Banting Brekkie. I was sitting outside and so surprised! 

Josh and Lily pitched in with taking down the upper cupboards as it was a bit much for Norm and let’s face it, I’m more of a hindrance than a help.

Pixie was so annoyed that she was not the center of everyone’s attention.

Monday the electricians come and sort out their portion of the project. Tuesday the joiner comes to install the carcasses and on Thursday or Friday the painter will deliver the doors and painted panels. The Quartz people cannot come until the units are in. There are so many steps involved in this sort of project. Timelines usually mean little in Cape Town. 

I just want to be functional as soon as possible. My Mom and Joy are due to arrive in 4 weeks. I just want it all done for their arrival.

My mom has her MRI this week then her op on her back as soon as possible. Hopefully they can inject the vertebrae with cement like last time as it has a quick recovery time. 

So if you can spare some good wishes please send them to Atlanta for my Mom and if any is left maybe a bit of fairy dust to my kitchen!

Have a fabulous week yourselves. Xx

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