I am so grateful that Biden has won the election. Norm and I were so relieved when the media announced that based on the wins of the states by popular votes Biden had exceeded the required 270 electoral votes. It saddened me that more than 72 million Americans chose fascism but I am so thankful that there were fewer of these voters than sensible voters who want to see an end to the decimation wrought upon the country by the wannabe dictator.
The announcement that Biden had won resulted in widespread protests by Trump supporters echoing the lies that Trump has been saying in the hope that he could cast doubts over the voting process and say that it was rigged. How childish and un-presidential to say that if you did not win then the other guy cheated, or that the whole world is conspiring against you. The man is a paranoid narcissist and his supporters swallow every bit of crap he spews. Trump has created a PAC (Political Action Committee) which is a means for him to raise funds for himself after he leaves office. He has billed it as an “Official Election Defense Fund” and has created a fund raising website.
Trump seeks to discredit the results of the election with baseless claims of voter fraud, his team has bombarded his supporters with requests for money to help pay for legal challenges to the results. All of his attempts in court have resulted in more humiliation for him. He does not know when enough is enough. I found this summation of the court proceedings pretty funny.
Thanks to his naïve but devoted followers he has raised millions and Trump has moved $2.3 million of the contributions into his private companies.
Since Trump took office, his campaign has paid Trump Tower Commercial LLC, the entity that owns his Fifth Avenue skyscraper, $1.5 million. On top of this the Republican National Committee also coordinated with the campaign to pay Trump Tower Commercial LLC an additional $225,000. The Trump Corporation, a management company that he owns, has now taken in $281,000 from the campaign since the president entered the Oval Office. Trump Restaurants LLC has gotten $117,000 since its owner became president. The campaign has paid Trump’s hotel properties $226,000 since Inauguration Day, according to the analysis of federal filings. The Republican National Committee and the president’s joint-fundraising committees have also paid millions of dollars to Trump’s businesses. Last month, Forbes reported on $4.7 million of payments from those entities since Trump took office. The president’s total haul from his campaign, party and joint fundraising committees now stands at more than $6.9 million.
Now that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are no longer allowing Trump, his children and cronies to spread lies and conspiracy theories the right wing are moving over to the Discord and Parler apps. (There is a lot of debate about the pronunciation of the latter, it was originally supposed to be pronounced ‘PAR-LAY’ as in the French word for ‘to talk’, but it seems the Yanks have now started calling it ‘PAR-LOR’.) The “Stop the Steal” movement which is supporting Trump’s false claims of election fraud and hoping to halt the ongoing vote-certification process is now finding a home on these smaller platforms and using them to organise protests and rallies. I heard Parler described as a neo-nazi circle jerk which pretty much sums it up. It is full of hate and insanity based on the posts I have seen.
It is just so ironic that these same idiots were shouting ‘You lost, get over it’ when Trump took the 2016 election by electoral vote but lost via the popular vote and now that Trump has lost to Biden on both the popular votes as well as the electoral counts they are crying foul. Of course I am assuming that the electoral votes from each state are cast for the candidate who won the popular votes as the electoral college voting has not been officially conducted.
I am not joining either Discord or Parler as it would be reading the same nonsense posted on all of my Facebook groups, on Twitter and on LinkedIn. The poison has permeated all social media so I spent minimal time online over the last weekend. The weather was dismal, pouring rain and howling wind. It felt like a weekend to just cozy up and nest which is just what we did. We watched several movies and series that were recommended on Netflix and Amazon Prime and snuggled with the kitty cats.
We watched a very bizarre film called “Blow The Man Down” on Amazon Prime. It is about two sisters in Easter Cove, a small Maine fishing village. It seems a bit superficial, as if we did not get enough of the backstory to be able to comprehend the present story. It had a bit of a surreal ‘Fargo‘ feel to me. I give it 2.5 Kitten Stars and that is being generous ⭐⭐✨
We also watched ‘The Lie‘ on Amazon Prime. It is about two best friends who tell their parents a lie and the ensuing drama which takes off in an unexpected direction. I do not want to tell any more and give it away. I give this one 3 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐
We finished off the last episodes of ‘Schitt’s Creek‘ on Netflix which was one of the best series I have ever watched. I loved everything about it, the comedy, the script, the characters, the acting, I just loved it. I was so sad to see it end. If you have not watched this series, you must do yourself a favour and watch it! It gets 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
We started ‘Queen of the South‘, a series which we had watched a few episodes of ages ago but we had not really gotten into at that time. A few friends have recommended it so we are giving it another go. I find it hard to watch, it is like a misogynistic version of Breaking Bad. The story follows Teresa Mendoza as she runs from a drug trafficking ring after her drug dealing boyfriend is murdered. Teresa ultimately takes the path to become a drug kingpin herself.
We also started ‘The Queen’s Gambit‘ which follows a young chess prodigy’s rise from her childhood with a brilliant but mentally ill mother to the world stage. After her mother dies she is sent to an orphanage where she is taught chess by the caretaker of the orphanage. Beth is eventually adopted by an alcoholic woman and her husband. Anya Taylor-Joy plays Beth Harmon brilliantly. If I had known the series was about chess I probably would not have even watched it, but chess is more of a subplot and what I find riveting is the complexity of Beth’s brilliant mind and her own struggles with mental illness and addiction.
The soundtrack is rather fabulous as is Beth’s adult wardrobe. The wardrobe is thanks to the designs of French costume designer Gabriele Binder. You can listen to the soundtrack via Spotify and immerse yourself in 60’s culture from the comfort of your home (and avoid the inherent misogynies of that decade).
Norm shopped for us on Monday so that I could cook this week. At least we can control what goes into our bodies.
Monday night I cooked fillet steaks. I marinated them in garlic, pepper and teriyaki and Norm cooked them. I fried mushrooms in garlic and then added a bit of cream and beef stock to make a sauce. I baked sliced sweet potatoes which I coated in olive oil and I took cauliflower and coated it in olive oil and parmesan and roasted it. It was all so delicious. I love cauliflower cooked like this.
On Tuesday Mzudumo was here to do the garden so we had the dogs barking all day if he came near the door where I sit when I am working. It does my head in. Mzudumo has been with us longer than the dogs have so you would think they would be used to him by now but Navajo is always protecting me.
For dinner I had chicken breasts to cook and I decided to cut up and fry the chicken with onions and mushrooms. Once it was browned I added chopped broccoli and a tin of coconut milk and popped it into the oven to bake. I then took the last of my cauliflower from the previous night and chopped it into popcorn sized pieces and roasted it for 30 minutes. We served the chicken dish with the roasted cauliflower on top of it. My poorly lit monochromatic pic does not do justice to it, it was so full of flavour and tasty. If you eat carbs it would be very nice over rice.
On Wednesday I fried chicken, feta and spinach sausages with red peppers and onions. I parboiled sliced carrots and then fried them off in butter and in another pan I parboiled brussel sprouts and onions in chicken stock and then fried those off to brown them. It was lush.
On Thursday I had mince and a few vegetables so I had to get creative. Gone are the easy days of a plate of spaghetti bolognaise in low carb land. I decided to just fry the mince with cabbage, a red pepper, a carrot and onions and add some spices. I added beef stock, tomato paste and passata and let it simmer for an hour. I roasted sweet potato rounds and it reminded me of a British hotpot so we called it a ‘Deconstructed Hotpot’. I made a yummy salad to round it all off. It was a very hot day so we needed the salad to freshen it up a bit.
Friday was a busy day. Norm took the dogs to the groomer first thing in the morning. They looked so clean and smelled divine.
Of course Panda was filthy within 5 minutes of arriving home.
The dog food delivery guy came midmorning as did a delivery of bits and pieces I had ordered online and then Michelle popped by and took Navajo to the doggy physio for laser treatment on his ankle in the afternoon.
Norm and I had booked to go to Hout Bay Manor for jazz and dinner. When we arrived our information was taken for Covid tracing and we were seated at a table with a perfect view of the band.
The singer had such a gorgeous voice conjuring up images of smooth whisky and cigar smoke. I do not like either of those things but I loved his voice so not sure why I chose that phrase as a descriptive….maybe his voice was carved out of those things? Suffice to say it was smoky, gravelly, soulful and smooth.
The band is called Sonik Citizen and the lead singer with that magical voice is Mark Fransman. Mark is a multi-award winning, multi-instrumentalist, singer, producer and songwriter. Mark was on keyboards last night but he is also a brilliant guitarist. Eugene Ackerman was on bass. The band had a guest appearance by the very talented Darren English on trumpet. Darren is also an award winning musician in his own right.
Here is a video from Sonik Citizen’s YouTube channel so you can absorb their vibe for yourself.
We ordered a drink and settled in and then we were suddenly overwhelmed by billowing clouds of cigarette smoke. The four people at the table next to us were all smoking and the wind was blowing it over to envelop our table. As we were going to eat dinner we could not tolerate that so we asked the manager if we could move. Luckily there was one other table and he kindly moved us.
We ordered dinner as we were both starving. Norm was very carb conscious and ordered the crispy duck which came on a bed of lettuce and vegetables with a black bean sauce.
Norm poured over the yummy sauce and got stuck in. The skin was crispy and the duck tender. Norm really enjoyed this dish.
When I saw the burgers going past to another table I could not resist having one. I ordered the chicken burger with bacon and cheese. It comes with 2 crispy panko covered onion rings and rustic fries. There were two sweet little shells with tomato sauce and a creamy chili sauce. As a carb compromise I took off the top of the roll and ate the rest. #EveryCarbCounts
We had such a lovely evening. I really enjoyed the jazz, the food, the cocktails and the time with my beloved sitting in the sun in a beautiful setting. Life is pretty good despite all of the dramas. We will make a point of going on a Friday whenever we are available, especially if Sonik Citizen is playing.
We had a long lie in bed this morning and then had our coffee outside on the upstairs balcony, surrounded by the animals and our beautiful view.
I love watching the animals interact, especially Lola and Navajo. Navajo adores her and she is the only animal who is not phased by him. If he is lying down the other 4 all walk around him with great trepidation but Lola just climbs over him. She does not like him licking her or thumping her with his giant paws so she is cautious and gives him a smack if he oversteps her personal boundaries.
It has started pouring with rain while I have been writing. Norm and I are going to the mall in a bit as I need to return some things I bought online.
Now for my weekly COVID update. South Africa has now tested 5,086,887 people and the latest stats are:
On a global scale SA has dropped to 14th for total cases. Last week we were 13th and before that we spent several weeks in 12th place, so we are steadily improving.
Even better news is that on the global count of deaths per 1 million people we deep dived to 36th after last week sitting at 32nd and prior to that remaining at 31st for several weeks.
President Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Wednesday night and told us ‘At the height of the pandemic, in July, we were recording around 12,000 new infections a day. For more than two months now, the number of new infections has remained relatively stable at below 2,000 a day.’
As a reward the government has amended alert level 1 regulations to restore the normal trading hours for the sale of alcohol at retail outlets.
They are also opening up international travel to all countries subject to the necessary health protocols and the presentation of a negative COVID-19 certificate. This will help our struggling tourist industry. Hopefully the lockdown in the UK will ease and Josh’s mom can come home for Christmas.
The president also said that ‘South Africa is collaborating with several multinational pharmaceutical companies to obtain a safe and effective vaccine for our people and is contributing towards the availability of the vaccine in the rest of the continent. We are working through the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to acquire and fund a vaccine for the African continent. It is estimated that Africa will need around $12 billion and 750 million doses of an effective vaccine. Earlier this week, in my capacity as a Chairperson of the African Union, I established the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team to lead this effort.’
The best news I have heard since this pandemic started is that Pfizer and BioNTech, a German company, announced this week that their vaccine candidate was successful in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 disease in the first interim analysis from the Phase 3 trial that includes 44,000 people across a range of countries. The challenge for SA is that the vaccine has to be kept to very cold temps and this may not be possible from a logistical point of view in SA. I hope that this issue is resolved and it is available soon worldwide.
For my musical bit of entertainment I provide a few videos from this year’s Country Music Awards (CMA Awards 2020).
First, here is the video of Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber performing “10,000 Hours”.
Next is a lovely tender performance by Ingrid Andress performing “More Hearts Than Mine”.
Until next time, please stay safe. If you can stay in please do, if you have to go out please practice social distancing, wash your hands and wear a mask.
Socially distant Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x