Second Verse, Worse than the First

The week started off with President Ramaphosa addressing the nation on Monday evening. He confirmed that SA is now entering into a second covid wave. He has declared the Garden Route and Sarah Baartman District both hotspots which means they are subject to various restrictions.

He also declared a few national restrictions, for example, gatherings (including religious gatherings) may not be attended by more than 100 people for indoor events and 250 for outdoor events. The total number of people in a venue may not exceed more than 50% of the capacity of the venue.

In the areas with the highest rates of infection, beaches and public parks will be closed for the duration of the festive season (from the 16th of December to the 3rd of January). This will apply to all of the Eastern Cape, as well as to the Garden Route district in the Western Cape. In KwaZulu-Natal, beaches and public parks will be closed on 16th, 25th, 26th and 31st of December 2020 and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of January 2021 as these are traditionally the busiest days of the season.

The beaches and public parks of the Northern Cape and the Western Cape – with the exception of the Garden Route – will remain open to the public over the festive season. Festivals, live music, and live performances at beaches are prohibited. Beaches and parks that are open to the public will only be open between 9am and 6pm.

The President has implemented a national change in curfew with it starting at 11pm and ending at 4am. Non-essential establishments, including restaurants and bars, must close at 10pm. This includes Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The sale of alcohol from retail outlets will only be permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday, but wine farms may still do wine tastings and sell alcohol so as to not impact their trade.

He mentioned that South Africa will receive initial vaccines to cover 10% of our population in the early part of next year and I hope that they will manage to roll out to the elderly and the vulnerable in a swift manner.

His speech confirmed that Norm and I are doing the right thing by not travelling to the Garden Route for Christmas as much as it makes me sad to not be spending the holiday with the kids. We have since learned of several people we know who have it and have been badly affected.

This speech came on a day when we had woken to a lot of anger on social media about a live performance at La Parada which is very near our home. There are so many people acting as if there is no virus at all as there was no social distancing or masks worn which is insane when we are in the middle of our second wave.

Then on Wednesday we heard what sounded like a live performance somewhere in the valley and it went on until about 10:30pm. I hope they were applying social distancing but based on the shouting it sounded like there were hundreds of people in attendance. Then on Thursday there were pics published on social media of the public order police monitoring the beaches nearby. So once again it seems the police are being selective in what they choose to monitor and what they choose to ignore. Our crime rates are through the roof but god forbid you sit next to someone on a blanket.

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, sky and outdoor

Meanwhile Norm and I continue to isolate and try to avoid being in close proximity to other people. I am already an obsessive hand washer but now I am using soap or hand steriliser so many times a day I am surprised I have any skin left.

At least last weekend we were very productive. Norm decided to try and trim some of the trees in the garden which were looking a bit unkempt and obscured our view of the mountains. We mostly focused on 2 of them and I pulled the limbs down and he cut them off and I guided him on which limbs must go. It had started out as a cool day but by the time we were working outside the clouds had cleared and the skies were blue and it was very hot.

Norm ended up cutting off loads of limbs and it really opened up the light in that area of the garden.

Norm also hung some Christmas lights on the upstairs balcony over the weekend. It looks quite festive don’t you think? You can even see our tree glowing from the garden. Can you spot Miss Lola kitty on the steps?

On Sunday we had to go out to run errands. I actually put on proper clothes and make up which is so rare these days. I noticed that the colour of top I am wearing seems to be the colour of the summer as I have now bought 3 tops in the same colour.

We finally bought some blackout curtains for our bedroom as the light is so bright in there with the huge windows. We went to a few shops and ended up getting them at @Home. We opted for a neutral colour in a thick linen look and Norm hung them all when we got home.

After we finished shopping we went for a late breakfast at Tashas. We were given a table outside in the shade.

Norm ordered the classic breakfast for R122: two eggs, bacon, two italian sausages, mushrooms & tomato. I opted for the eggs benedict with bacon. It was an open english muffin with bacon, avocado, poached eggs and a hollandaise sauce. The sauce was overly lemony and not the best hollandaise I have eaten, ironically I preferred the lemon sauce on the breakfast royale dish I had last time we ate there. It was also very lemony but was lighter in consistency.

Tuesday was a bright warm day and Mzudumo came and did a bit more work on trimming the trees. He did a great job and we can see our view of the mountains and out to the street a bit better. My friend Michelle collected Navajo and took him to the doggy physio for a treatment. He gets so excited when he sees her and he loves to go out in the truck with her.

I had another delivery of the Christmas presents I ordered online and I wrapped those in the evening after dinner. Another shipment arrived on Friday but it was missing an item. Luckily it is an item for me so there is no rush. I also received a ring I ordered for myself.

Norm did a shop so I cooked dinner that night. I fried chicken sausages with a sliced red pepper and onion, roasted sweet potatoes and made coleslaw.

Wednesday Norm and I slept in as it was a national holiday so I had the day off of work. It was a gorgeous day and we had our coffees outside on the bedroom balcony.

The animals all joined us as they like to stay close by.

I needed to return some trousers to the shops and get a couple of other items so we popped down to Mainstream Mall and sorted that all out, then we decided to go to Dario’s spot for one of their delicious burgers. We got a seat outside on the patio.

It was a bit windy but it was bearable.

I ordered the jalapeno burger and Norm ordered a cheeseburger. There is no description of the burger on the menu so the egg staring at me was a surprise when my food arrived. I chucked the egg over to Norm, removed the upper bun and got stuck in on the rest of it. It was delicious and I wolfed down every bite.

We headed home so that Norm could work and I pottered about and watched a bit of telly. The dogs are so used to us never going out that they are really excited when we get home.

I was not very hungry that evening but a man has to eat so I cooked dinner. I baked a pork fillet roast with mushrooms in a teriyaki sauce and served it with roasted sweet potatoes and fried cabbage.

We had a chilled evening surrounded by snoozing dogs and Christmas lights.

Thursday I cooked a pot of chili con carne. I did include beans even though they are full of carbs, at least they are ‘good’ carbs right? It was a bit overly spicy and nearly melted your lips off but it was delicious. We added sharp cheddar and fromage frais which tempered the heat a wee bit.

At least I got to see lovely Lily as she had to come down to pick up Jackie (her mother in law) from the airport so she came to stay with us for 2 nights before hand. I paid for her to go and get a covid test before she came down so at least we know she was safe a few days ago, of course she could have been exposed after she was tested but the risk is minimised. She arrived on Friday afternoon and she can take back the presents for Amber, Trevor and Josh.

We chilled out on opposite sides of the lounge when inside or sat far apart from each other when in the garden. The dogs were so happy to see her.

They were constantly competing for attention.

The cats just chilled and did their own thing.

We ordered out for dinner on Friday evening. Norm and Lily got Italian from Posticino and I had sushi from K1. I was not terribly hungry as Norm and I had leftover chili for lunch so I only ordered prawn roses and cucumber roses topped with prawns.

Today we had a long lie then Lily and I sat on opposite ends of the balcony and had our morning coffee then moved downstairs and she sat in the shade of the trees and I sat on the balcony on my throne. The wind is blowing a bit but it is a gorgeous day.

Caitlin came around in the afternoon today. Norm had to go and get rid of more garden refuse and afterwards he went to the shops and bought some tapas type food for us to munch on. I heated chicken samosas and frikkadels and put out some bits and pieces like carrots, celery, goats cheese, olives, hummus and red pepper dip. It filled a gap and was so simple.

The dogs went to the groomer and came home smelling fab and looking so bright and white.

Pixie felt great and she looked so happy.

Panda was filthy again in 5 minutes.

The Covid Stats for today are that 6,051,986 people have now been tested in South Africa. This has resulted in the following stats:

On a global level SA is 18th for total number of cases for a second week which is a surprise considering the increase in infections.

Today we heard that Amber’s step-dad Ray has passed away from a stroke after he and Rose were both hospitalised from being infected with Covid. I feel so terrible for Rose, her and Ray adored each other and were at that point in life where they had the freedom to take off on his bike and explore places and seemed to have such an adventurous life together. She will be heartbroken.

Trevor phoned and begged me to stay at home and to be very careful as he is so upset about Rose and Ray so we have decided that the 2 bookings I made earlier this week to try and cheer myself up about spending the week of the holidays on our own will be changed to a take-away if possible. I had booked lunch at Hout Bay Manor on Boxing day and High Tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel on the afternoon of NY Eve. At least if we can have interesting food then I have some things to look forward to. Caitlin will come and eat Christmas Eve lunch with us and pop by to open gifts on Christmas Day so at least I have a few bits of happiness planned.

Norm and I started a few new series this week.

We just finished watching the documentary on Netflix called Room 2806: The Accusation which is about the 2011 sexual assault case involving French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

If you are not familiar with the case, French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn (also referred to as DSK), head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who was accused of having sexually assaulted a Sofitel maid, Nafissatou Diallo.

Nafissatou Diallo in Netflix's docuseries 'Room 2806: The Accusation'

It was the Sofitel hotel who called the police after Diallo told her manager of the incident. The police arrested DSK just as his flight was about to take off. A high-profile trial ensued.

If you are not familiar with DSK, in addition to heading the IMF, in France, he was foreseen as the most likely winner of the next French presidential elections, as the unpopularity of the then-French President Nicholas Sarkozy was growing. As the documentary shows, the case threw DSK out of the presidential race. This triggered a conspiracy theory that Sarkozy and the French secret service were behind all of this, in order to remove DSK from the presidential race. There is no evidence to prove this.

Diallo is an immigrant from Guinea (West Africa) who moved to New York with her daughter and then started working as a maid at the Sofitel hotel. DSK and his lawyers claimed that the interaction was consensual and Diallo was not even afforded a trial and discredited as unreliable. The team who were investigating even called Diallo a liar as they said that she claimed she was gang raped by soldiers in Guinea in order to gain refugee status in the US.

This all took place before the me too movement and it show very clearly how the justice system, and society at large, treated a Black woman who accused a rich and powerful white man of sexually assaulting her. In the end Diallo raised a civil suit and did win a hefty settlement, but that does not remove her trauma and humiliation. It is a very hard show to watch but it is worthwhile. I give it 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

We started watching a Netflix SA Original series called ‘Kings of Jo’Burg‘. It is based in Johannesburg and follows the Masire brothers who ‘come face-to-face with a supernatural family curse while a web of betrayal threatens to destroy them’ according to the Netflix description. We are only a few episodes in but it is interesting. The acting is not top notch but it is bearable.

For my musical section I provide a beautiful rendition of ‘Shallow’ from ‘A Star is Born’ performed by Garth Brooks and Kelly Clarkson. I am a huge Garth Brooks fan and this song is on his new album but is performed with his wife, Trisha Yearwood.

I finish up work on Wednesday and will be off until the 4th of January. I will try not to fret and to jus relax and enjoy the time in the sun (assuming it appears). I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas/Hannukah/Holiday/WhateverYouCelebrate whether you are isolated on your own or whether you spend it with family. Count your blessings and be happy that you are healthy and alive. Hope your loved ones close.

Until next time, socially distant Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0x

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