L Squared

I had a bizarre experience on Tuesday night. Before I went to sleep I was thinking that I wished I had a recording of my Dad’s voice. Just as I was dropping off into a deep sleep I heard a man say ‘Lisa’ loudly in my ear and I woke with a start. First I assumed it was Norm but Norm was sound asleep. I immediately thought of my Dad. The next morning my calendar notified me that it was Mom and Dad’s anniversary. My Dad was just checking in with me. I have had similar experiences with my Gran on her birthday. I am very attuned to the spirit world and I treasure these experiences to remind me that our spirits live on and our ancestors are always watching out for us.

Norm and I had a very relaxing weekend last weekend. The weather was gorgeous. Saturday Norm worked while I pottered about in the garden. Everything is blooming and there is so much colour. My air plant has grown huge and is full of bright pink and purple blooms. This plant just appeared on this tree a few years ago and I just leave it be and it grows and grows. Ever so often it treats us to this beautiful display.

My Clivias have continued to bloom, the first wave have now lost their blooms but the smaller ones are now full of beautiful orange flowers.

We planted wild irises by the pool a few years ago and they are all blooming too. Lola loves to lie in the midst of them. Can you spot her on the stone wall? She is a bit camoflauged.

On Sunday the dogs let us sleep in which was a nice treat. Norm brought me coffee in bed and then I went downstairs to do a bit of yoga. My back was very sore and the stretches sorted it right out. I got a glass of water and went to sit on the upstairs balcony to cool off. I could hear the mysterious neighbourhood girl whose voice occasionally rings out across the valley. She has such a lovely voice and I tried to record her but she was too far away to pick up this time.

We had lots of errands to run and so we decided to go for lunch beforehand. We love Allegria Cafe & Life but we had not been since lockdown. They had a table available outside so we popped on our masks and grabbed it.

I was happy to see that the staff were all adhering to protocols as well. Obviously you have to remove your mask to drink their fabulous cappuccinos. #MaskOnMaskOff

It was a warm day so we decided on a refreshing chicken salad they had listed on the specials board. It had pulled roast chicken, multi-coloured baby tomatoes, avocado, beetroot curls and carrot slivers on a bed of gem lettuce, rocket and other bits of green leafy things. It was sprinkled with dried cranberries and almonds which added additional texture. It was so fresh and divine.

We went round the shops and when buying groceries I wandered off to get something on another aisle and when I went looking for Norm I walked up to a random stranger & leaned around him to put something in his trolley but when I started to chat to him I looked up and saw utter shock from the man (and his wife) as it was not Norm at all. With my steamed up specs he looked like Norm with his grey hair, blue shirt and mask. I was mortified! I muttered something and shot off. After we made our escape we headed home giggling.

That night Norm and I watched the film ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7‘. It was an absolutely brilliant film. As you can probably derive based on the title, the film follows the trial of the Chicago Seven, who were originally dubbed the Chicago Eight, or the Conspiracy Eight. These men were a group of anti-Vietnam War protesters charged with conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intention of inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The eight defendants were political activists Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner and Black Panther Bobby Seale.

Seale did not have the same attorney as the other 7 men and his lawyer was not present as he had emergency surgery but the judge would not allow for the trial to be delayed so Seale was not represented. Bobby tried to represent himself and ask the witnesses questions but was repeatedly told to sit down and shut up. I found the way that Judge Julius Hoffman treated Bobby shocking. Hoffman’s racist leanings were evident when he ordered the bailiffs to bound and gag Bobby after one of Bobby’s outbursts. On November 5, 1969, Judge Hoffman sentenced him to four years in prison for 16 counts of contempt, each count for three months of his imprisonment because of his outbursts during the trial, and eventually ordered Seale severed from the case.

Abbie Hoffman was brilliantly played by Sacha Baron Cohen (of Borat fame). Abbie remained an activist for most of his life. He thrived on controversy and attention and was in trouble from an early age. I suspect this was partly due to his high intellect and love of satire. His daughter committed suicide as did he so there was a lot of tragedy in his story.

Along with Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin was one of the founding members of the Youth International Party (YIP) or Yippies. Later in life Rubin became a stockbroker and by investing in Apple he amassed a great deal of wealth. In 1994 he was struck by a car and while in the hospital he died of a heart attack.

Tom Hayden was played by Eddie Redmayne. Hayden was a handsome young social and political activist, author, and politician. He was married to Jane Fonda for almost 17 years and they had a son together. Hayden was a member of the California State Assembly from 1982-1992 and the California Senate from 1992–2000. He spent his life trying to instigate change for the better of humanity.

Bobby Seale joined the Afro-American Association (AAA) while he was at college, a group on the campus devoted to advocating black separatism. He met fellow activist Huey P. Newton through the AAA and together they co-founded the Black Panther Party. Bobby and Huey were heavily inspired by the teachings of activist Malcolm X, who was assassinated in 1965. Seale worked with Huey Newton to create the Ten Point Platform. The platform was a political and social demand for the survival of the Black population in the United States. The two men formulated the Ten Point Platform in the late ’60s, and these ideologies grew into the Black Panther Party. Seale ended his affiliation with the Party in 1974.

John, Rennie and Bobby are the only members of the original 8 who are still alive today.

Unfortunately not much has evolved. There are still political agendas which drive the criminal justice system. There are still huge issues with racism globally but particularly in the USA.

I give this film 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

On Monday I had an appointment for a nurse to come around for a medical exam as I have changed my medical coverage. I had been dreading it for weeks and had struggled to sleep the night before. I was not happy about having anyone come into my home and I was not happy about what they might do to me. There were 2 of them, both a male and a female nurse. Pixie loves everyone but Panda is very antisocial and Navajo generally avoids visitors and hides upstairs. They all 3 avoided the female nurse and made a beeline for the male nurse and acted like he was their long lost friend, jumping on him and racing around him with excitement. That immediately relaxed me. They had to draw blood, test my urine, take my blood pressure and then do an ECG while I ran up and down the stairs. They took my weight which was a shocker but I am trying to address that issue.

When they took down the chronic meds that I am on and I mentioned my anxiety / depression medication, the nurse looked at my arm and said ‘do you mind if I ask about that scar on your wrist?’. I had a laugh and said it had nothing to do with suicide or depression, just my bad kitchen skills as it is from a bad burn I had recently. My skin scars very badly.

We were chatting away and they thought I was English or Irish as my hodgepodge of an accent confused them. Then when I said that I was born in the US they had a million questions for me. They expressed how stupid they assume that Americans are firstly, based on the ‘man on the street’ type of interviews they see in the media and secondly on the fact that they voted in such an idiot and continue to support him despite his blatant racism, misogyny and denial of science. They talked about the decline of America on the global front, how it used to be an ideal and everyone wanted to live there but now no one wants to (so I guess tRump did tackle immigration after all in a round about way?). I wish I had let them continue to think I was a Brit.

I cooked on Monday and Tuesday since we did a shop on the weekend. I made chicken sausages fried with onions, steamed baby broccoli, cole slaw and roasted sweet potatoes on Monday and on Tuesday I made a Mexican low carb salad with lots of cilantro.

On Wednesday morning we woke to Blue hiding under the dresser in our room. Navajo is obsessed with the cats and has a special voice he uses to talk to them. It is so sweet.

On Wednesday night Norm and I met up with a new friend I connected with via the Internations Group. She and I have a lot in common: we are both named Lisa, we are both Virgos, both of us were born in the US and are now living in Cape Town. We chatted on line then decided to meet up for dinner.

Norm and I collected Lisa in Sea Point and we drove through to Mouille Point for dinner. We did not have a booking anywhere, we decided to go with the flow and see what venues were not terribly crowded and had outside seating. We chose Bobo’s which is near the lighthouse and right opposite the beach. We were seated on the balcony.

Our table had a gorgeous view of the sea. (There is a near naked surfer changing behind that wee truck but I am referring to the sea not the surfer *cough*.)

They had a Summer Special on: 2 courses for R225 or 3 courses for R275. We all 3 are avoiding sugar so we opted for 2 courses. Lisa and Norm both had the same starter, the salt and pepper baby squid with green chilli, almond, lime, garlic aioli.

I had the crispy prawns coated in puffed rice served with confit citrus syrup. There were 4 very large juicy prawns and the coating was really nice. I had not had anything coated in puffed rice before and it gave the prawns a nice texture.

For their mains Lisa and Norm both had the aged rump steak with summer green peppercorn butter, mint, basil served with fries.

I am not a big fan of rump steaks and I knew I would not be able to resist scarfing all of the fries so I opted for the grilled baby squid with a buttery garlic, chilli, parsley & lemon sauce served with citrus rice on the side. The sauce was divine and the squid was so tender it melted in your mouth. I just sprinkled a spoonful or two of rice over the dish to absorb that delicious sauce and left most of it.

We had a lovely evening. It was nice making a new female friend, I do not have that many female friends and Lisa and I have a lot in common. We both love travel and have lived in many different countries and observed a variety of different cultures which is unusual for the average American. It has taught us both gratitude for the little things which most Americans take for granted, like electricity, water, food and shelter.

Last night I cooked a pork fillet. It was so tender you could cut it with a spoon. I spread mustard and garlic onto the fillet added sliced red peppers on top and drizzled it with teriyaki and soy. I baked it about 40 minutes. I cooked the mushrooms in the same pan so they were full of flavour. I steamed baby spinach, pureed it and mixed in a bit of cream and some grated cheese and served the sliced pork on top of it. I also fried cabbage and roasted sliced sweet potatoes to round it all off.

Covid Stats for South Africa are that 4,633,671 people have now been tested.

South Africa is 12th globally for total number of cases. This is a drop after being at 11th for the last 2 weeks.

We have also dropped in the count of deaths per 1 million people and are now at 31st globally. This is very positive news!

The USA is still 1st for total cases and total deaths, the highest numbers in the world. They are 10th for the count of deaths per 1 million people.

For my bit of entertainment I have included a few videos from Miley Cyrus‘ MTV backyard sessions. I know Miley is not everyone’s cuppa tea but I adore her. I think she is so beautiful and talented. I love how she has carved out her own identity after so many years under the thumb of Disney as a child star who had to maintain a goody-goody persona. She seems to have no fear.

This video is one of her own songs, “Midnight Sky”.

Miley also did some covers in the ‘concert’ and this next song is a duet with her baby sister Noah performing Noah’s song “I Got So High That I Saw Jesus”. This has an echo of their Tennessee roots.

I am publishing early as we have a busy weekend planned and I want to do a separate post for our adventures and not overwhelm you.

I hope you all have a great weekend and I will catch up with you again in a few days. Until next time stay safe. If you can stay at home please do, if you go out then practice safe distancing protocols, wear a mask and wash your hands.

Until next time, socially distant Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

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