This is one of my favourite times of year in South Africa. The days are often sunny but there is a nip in the morning air. I love sitting at my desk drinking a hot frothy coffee with the door wide open and the fresh chilly air coming in. Simple pleasures.
Of course the weather is not always lovely at this time of year, it can be very rainy and/or windy and sometimes the mad weather can last for days.
Considering how much rain we have had recently I was surprised that we had 2 fires last weekend in Hout Bay. I would think most things are pretty sodden. We just discovered our guest flat carpet is soaked and moldy from a ceiling leak, but that is another story for another day.
First there was a fire in the middle of the night last Saturday in Imizamo Yethu (locally known as ‘IY’) the local township. It was reported that approximately 200 structures were destroyed and approximately 800 residents were left homeless.
The City of Cape Town’s Jermaine Carelse said hundreds of people have been displaced at the settlement near Hout Bay but there are no reports of fatalities or injuries. Carelse said a swirling wind meant that 80 firefighters from 14 different fire stations had to work together to extinguish the blaze. It took about 10 hours to complete the damping down process.
Then on Sunday we received notification of a second fire, this time at the Princess Beach apartments where a flat was destroyed.
I hope everyone is safe from both fires and I pray that those who have lost everything they own can get donations of what they need to get them back on their feet. For some residents of IY this is like Groundhog Day for them, this may not have been the first time they lost everything they own in a fire, some people have been through three different fires and had to start over multiple times.
Luckily for Hout Bay we have an organisation which is always on hand to assist those who need help. Thula Thula is usually one of the first on the scene when there is a fire, registering the victims. This week they announced that they have ‘invited the 429 families (1478 people) we registered after Sunday’s fire to collect toiletries, clothing, groceries and bedding.’
Thula Thula do amazing work in these crises. They rely on donations of food, home wares, cash, clothing and anything else a person would find useful to start over.
For those who would like to contribute financially, their banking info is: Thula Thula, FNB Hout Bay, Cheque account number 62589383836.
The fires we had pale in significance when compared to the fires on the west coast of the US. Several friends are posting some horrific pics of the fires coming near them or of the thick smoke in the air and another friend has been evacuated from Oregon.
I pray that the fires are doused very soon and that there are no more people who die. Typically Trump has been silent on this major crisis as it is only affecting the ‘Democrat states’. He is a evil toad.
This week there has been a furor over a racist hair ad put out by Clicks which pretty much said that African hair is dry, damaged, frizzy and dull but blond hair is the ultimate goal of glistening, smooth perfection. As less than 10% of people in SA are white and even fewer of that 10% are blond, this was a very stupid and thoughtless advert and has the element of hair shaming natural hair and promoting racist stereotypes about hair.
However the destruction that this advert triggered was out of proportion.
This is footage from only one of the stores which were attacked by members of the Economic Freedom Party (EFF). However the decision to run that ad was a corporate decision, what good does it do to trash the stores, terrify the employees and stop innocent people from buying their medications?
Clicks actually took the EFF to court and the judge ruled against the EFF being able to target their shops with violence, they can only peacefully protest.
There are so many issues in SA such as continued high rates of Gender Based Violence and corruption that this seems like a storm in a teacup but part of recognising my own potential unconscious racism is to acknowledge that I have no say in deciding what offends other people, if people found it offensive then that is their right. I have no right to say that they should NOT be offended. I however do not agree with their methods of intimidation and violent protest.
Last Sunday the dogs let us sleep in until almost 10! They had an early morning ramble in the garden for a wee and that must have serviced their needs until later.
I got up and put a pork shoulder in the slow cooker with loads of BBQ sauce and a box of organic vegetable stock and cranked it up to high to simmer for a few hours. Then late afternoon I pulled it out of the slow cooker and put it into the oven to char a bit. As this was my first attempt at a pork shoulder I was very pleased with the results.
I made warm and vinegary potato salad with fried onion and diced boiled eggs, cole slaw and popped some baked beans in the oven mixed with a bit of mustard, tomato sauce, fried onions and maple syrup.
I sliced up the pork and filled my plate with the BBQ Pulled pork, warm and vinegary eggy potato salad, coleslaw and oven baked beans ❤️.
It was a small pork shoulder so I only got one more meal out of it but it was so delicious and it satisfied my craving.
I cooked Kassler chops on Wednesday. I had frozen half a pack previously so I thawed those out and drizzled them in a bit of honey and baked them until the fat crisped up. I baked a potato and fried carrots in butter to go with it.
Norm did a bit of a shop on Thursday and he was obviously feeling adventurous and a bit near-sighted (despite his new specs which he most likely was not wearing). He meant to buy chicken, spinach and feta sausages but by mistake bought duck ones. They smelled so strong while cooking and I did not like them at all. He also bought the Woolworths creamed spinach which I detest. He bought pumpkin fritters which I love so I mostly had chips and pumpkin fritters for my tea. I am sorry that the ducky died in vain.
On Friday we had a friend who is a builder pop around to give us a quote on our leaky garage roof. It appears it was not built to code and he is going to take it off and replace it. Hopefully that resolves the sodden guest flat and leaky garage. We discussed replacing our downstairs floors with the trendy concrete screed surface and replacing the bathrooms and a few other bits and pieces we want done. We just need to slowly work away until we get the house the way we want it.
We had take out on Friday night and decided to try a new Thai restaurant that has just opened in Hout Bay called Bow Thai. Unfortunately for us, the rest of Hout Bay seem to have made the same decision. When Norm arrived there was no one taking temperatures or insisting on masks or ensuring the capacity of the venue was adhering to the lockdown requirements. As there were only a few people he did not stress too much, he ordered and went off to a corner to wait. After he arrived the place magically filled up and it was rammed. Unlike the other venues we have been to in Hout Bay, Norm did not feel safe. After a half hour wait the food finally arrived and Norm made his escape.
We both ordered the crispy wontons and phad mee leung with chicken and I also ordered the tempura prawns.
I know my pic does not have the best lighting but I was hungry and not in the mood to mess about. The tempura prawns were amazing! Big juicy prawns in a crispy batter. I will have those again. The wontons were a bit overcooked but still tasty. The phad mee leung was okay. It seemed as if they had cooked the noodle dish for us both together and only added the chili to my chicken as each bite of meat was beautifully spicy (if a bit dry) but the noodles had very little flavour. As they are new I hope the challenges they had were teething problems so we will give them another chance. Next time I might just have 3 portions of prawns and some noodles as they were that tasty! Overall I give Bow Thai 3.5 Kitten Stars. ⭐⭐⭐✨
Today Norm and I were on a cleaning mission and I scrubbed our beautiful Smeg cooker from top to bottom while he did the floors and dusted. I have put a beef and mushroom dish into the slow cooker for dinner tonight (or tomorrow if it is not ready by tonight). I am going to potter about in the garden after I finish my blog. I love lazy weekends.
Now for the Covid Scores on the Doors. In total 3,884,166 people in South Africa have now been tested. The overall figures are below.
The overall cases trend is looking as if it is starting to level out. This is a graph of the cases in the Western Cape Province where we live.
On a worldwide basis, SA is now 8th in total cases which is an improvement from last week when we were 7th (the week prior to that we were at the number 6 spot). This is an improvement for the whole country!
We are holding steady on the count of deaths per 1 million and this week we have stayed at 27th place. I have zero respect for the ANC but at least Ramaphosa (or NDZ) has kept us as safe as could be expected.
Meanwhile it has come out that Trump was aware of the risk of death from Covid and that he deliberately downplayed it. He claims it was to avoid panic, except every rally he holds he uses words meant to instill fear and panic. Shortly after using the panic excuse he tweeted out more words meant to incite anxiety ‘“If I don’t win,” the President tweeted, “America’s Suburbs will be OVERRUN with Low Income Projects, Anarchists, Agitators, Looters and, of course, ‘Friendly Protesters’.” He does not give a damn about anyone except himself and was downplaying the risk because he is an idiot.
For my musical treat of the week I give you Anne-Marie covering the Harry Styles song ‘Watermelon Sugar’ in the BBC Live Lounge. I love this song and think Anne-Marie has a lovely voice.
Navajo goes to the doggy physio again on Monday and hopefully she can help him, please keep him in your thoughts. They all went to the groomer yesterday so at least they smell sweet. Blue kitty went to the vet this morning as he had a ‘thing’ on his face. I thought it was a tick which we had removed but then it got bigger. The vet did not seem concerned but Blue Kitty was not a happy camper.
Until next time, I hope you are have everything that you need. Try to stay at home if you can and if you cannot, please wear a mask when you go out in public – if not for yourself then for other people.
Socially distant Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x