Leaving it Alone

All of my Facebook memories coming up from this time of year are of Norm and I with my Mom so it is a bit odd to be celebrating the holidays at home on our own. It was lovely having Lily here for a few days and Caitlin here for a few hours last weekend. Lily took back the presents for Trevor, Amber, Josh and herself.

I put a large ham / gammon in the slow cooker before we went to bed on Wednesday night and let it simmer away all day then took it out to rest an hour before we wanted to eat. I baked a big platter of cornbread for my pan of cornbread ‘dressing’. If you do not know of that concept it is just stuffing served baked in a pan rather than shoved up a bird. Norm peeled and parboiled potatoes and we fried them in vegetable oil for about 45 minutes to get crunchy roast potatoes. We made a broccoli casserole and sliced carrots which I parboiled until soft then fried in butter.

We decided to eat our main meal on Christmas Eve and then have leftovers on Christmas Day. I wanted to eat outside so Norm placed cushions on the benches and put up an umbrella over the concrete table.

The weather was lovely and warm and I counted my blessings to have such a plentiful plate of delicious food, a rather delicious man to share it with me, our gorgeous view, our cozy little garden and lovely home.

On Christmas morning the dogs were given stuffed animals that squeaked, tennis balls that looked like Christmas puddings and a bow tie for Panda.

Panda was not impressed.

Pixie could not decide which of the squeaky toys she preferred but did not want anyone else to touch them.

I mentioned in a previous blog that Norm and I had chosen some items I loved when we were out shopping. First he gave me a ring with a beautiful stone called a orthosaurus fossil which matches a necklace I already have. I have been looking for a ring to go with the necklace for ages so I am delighted. It was from Rockchic in Hout Bay.

He also bought a stunning black agate and silver beaded necklace with a Vintage Tuareg Cross. I have had my eye on this beauty for a while, it is just so special.

Norm also bought me some surprises. We love games in our family so Norm bought Bananagrams for us to travel with. Our family scrabble game is really old and musty so I am happy he chose to replace that too. He did well with choosing my handbag as it is very cute and I love red!

On Christmas Day I wore my Resting Grinch Face shirt with the hat the children gave me for Christmas. I did not bother with makeup.

Along with my hat the kids also bought some cute little buddha heads to go in the garden and Wes got some Amarula liqueur filled chocolates for me which are were divine.

The kids bought a lovely hanging plant with succulents in it for me which I love.

Norm wore his new cheeky Christmas T-shirt on Christmas Day.

Norm also received almost a whole new wardrobe! He badly needed clothes so I gave him some summer clothing. The sun wreaks havoc on your laundry in SA. I gave him several short sleeved dress shirts, some nice Tees, shorts, boxers, flip flops and socks (P.S.A.: the latter two of which must NOT be worn together).

The kids gave him another nice dress shirt and Wes gave him a gorgeous bottle of white wine so we were very lucky!

We had left overs on Christmas Day which were brilliant still, it is not the sort of food that spoils and I loved having a Christmas Day where I had nothing to do. That night we had a family Christmas zoom meeting. It was so nice to see everyone’s faces.

Everyone said their Christmas clothes all fit and they were happy with them. Lily got some very cute dresses, Caitlin got some nice jewelry, both girls got a nighty, Trevor got a lovely long sleeved black denim shirt, some shorts and tees, Wes got vests and shorts to wear around the house, Josh got a golf shirt, a spider man Tee, some shorts, socks and he and Trevor both received cool beard products. I got Amber some small things but she won’t get hers until she is back so I will keep those quiet. Lily has one dress which needs to go back to change for a smaller size but that is the only issue with fitting. That is especially amazing as I only physically went into one shop, the rest was all done online and a lot of it was bought in the Black Friday sales.

I sent Mom a shopping certificate from Nordstrom’s so she can shop online and get something she fancies. I had already bought her a gift but as we won’t see her I quickly came up with an alternative plan.

I changed the Boxing Day lunch that I had booked for Norm and I at Hout Bay Manor to a take away High Tea instead and Norm popped down to collect our goodies at 1pm.

I put together some serving dishes and Norm set up the table and umbrella outside in the garden.

We have such an amazing view, we are so blessed with the beauty of nature surrounding us.

It was so hot in the sun but it was just tolerable in the shade of the umbrella.

I pottered about the garden this week and one of my projects was planting a long planter Norm had moved from the back garden to the front. I used some of the clippings he brought back from his walk that he found lying in the streets.

I also planted some clippings from my existing succulents in the painted coffee cans Lily gave me when she moved house.

I cancelled our NY Eve High Tea at Mount Nelson Hotel. Norm and I will probably just do tapas and cocktails in the garden together on NY Eve. It feels a bit antisocial and I am sure I will have massive FOMO when we hear the parties nearby but I’d rather be alive next year and alone this year. Well I am glad I am not completely alone as it might be a wee bit depressing but I am happy being trapped with my handsome hubby. We will play a romantic playlist from Spotify in the background, enjoy our amazing view with minimal effort, make it low budget but try to add in a wee bit of class. No drinking out of a brown paper bag and sleeping under a bush this year, no sir!

Hopefully we can find a countdown online somewhere that is aligned to an SA timeline for a midnight celebration, if anyone knows a good one let me know.

For this week’s stats on Covid 19, there have been 6,378,007 people tested in South Africa, with the following results.

The test centres posted a notice that they are very busy and overwhelmed. They are not doing travel certificate testing. I have seen long queues of people trying to get tested and heard of people queuing for hours.

On a global level SA is still at 18th for total number of cases for a third week so even though we are struggling with numbers, the rest of the world appears to be as well. SA has held onto 45th place for total deaths for 1 million population.

For telly viewing we have watched a lot of Christmas movies, much to Norm’s disgust. But he is being overly tolerant of my whims as he knows I am missing having my family with us. None of the films were remarkable and I fell asleep in at least a few of them so I just safely assume the guy gets the girl, one of them is actually rich or very successful, they break up and hate each other then realise they are really in love and then it is the end.

I finished watching the series ‘Nashville’ this week and I am very sad that it has ended. It was a definite 5 Kitten Stars show ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Other than that there is nothing worth mentioning really! We have mostly listened to my Spotify Quirky Christmas playlist all week. Norm said he has never heard ‘Jingle Bells‘ sung so many different ways by so many different people.

For my musical video section I have provided an NPR Tiny Desk Concert by Hayley Williams. Hayley was previously the lead singer for Paramore. Her set list is “Pure Love”, “Taken” & “Dead Horse”.

Meanwhile, I will be here at home, with my husband, on our own, slobbing about and thanking the universe for all that we have. We are so blessed. We just have to keep ourselves safe for a bit longer.

Wishing you all a healthy and prosperous 2021.

Until next time, socially distant kisses from the kitten xoxoxoxoxoxxo

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