Plagues and Anniversaries

This month marks an entire year since we have been locked down. A year since we have had people around, a year since we have had a social life, a year since I had a hair cut, a year since I coloured my hair, a year since we have seen my Mother, a year of our lives on limbo. In some ways it seems to have gone so quickly and in some ways it seems to have dragged on forever. The whole situation is still so very surreal. Here in South Africa we have no idea when we may get vaccinated so it may even drag on another year. I have gotten over the panic I felt every time the President spoke to the nation. Last week he addressed us again and has now put us to Level 1. The curfew has been pushed from midnight to 4am which does not affect us. Nightclubs are still closed (again no impact on us oldies) and restaurants can now stay open until 11pm and can serve alcohol. Most public venues and places of entertainment such as casinos are open as are the beaches. Five international airports are now open, but without a vaccine I am not ready to risk flying. We are still required to wear masks when in public, but many do not wear them properly.

There are rumblings that we may have a third wave soon but I am hoping that will not be the case.

On a happier note, it is also one year since my daughter Lily and her Josh were married. Tomorrow is their first anniversary. If you were not following my blog last year, here is the link to the post with the story so that you can see all of the photos, it was such a beautiful wedding and I loved watching my handsome hubby walking my beautiful daughter down the aisle.

Josh looked so handsome and Lily looked so stunningly gorgeous, it was a magical day. They will make such beautiful babies (nudge, nudge).

Last weekend it felt a bit like Cape Town finally realised it is summer and brought out all of her heat in a concentrated dose. I spent a lot of time in the shade by the pool and felt very grateful that I had access to one. Apparently the beaches were all rammed with people trying to cool down and I would not have been comfortable in a crowded space (see above comment about a 3rd wave!).

Not that I am a fan of swimming in the sea.

Caitlin came over last Saturday and brought the satin masks and pillow cases we had ordered from DearDeer. Apparently satin pillow cases can solve the majority of the worlds issues, who knew?

I just want to sleep on a satin pillow and pretend I am rich but if it also helps with my frizzy hair then that is a bonus. I thought I would try the satin masks as they are supposed to be much less harsh on your skin and as it seems masks are to be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future I should make the experience as pleasant as I can.

Caitlin brought her swimsuit and she had a paddle while we chatted at an acceptable social distance. She had her chair on the opposite end of the pool so that we were safe.

It was lovely to see her, it felt like it had been so long as I last saw her at Christmas. I miss her hugs but at least I got to see her face. I wish I could see my other 2 babies but that may still be a while before it is safe for us to travel and meet up.

Sunday was even hotter and I put on my swimsuit and submerged myself into the cold water. I cranked up the music inside the house and I did a bit of water aerobics (aka danced around and swam in a flippy-floppy manner).

The animals all came and kept me company even though it was so hot.

Clever Pixie stayed inside in the shade trying to catch a non-existent breeze and played with her stuffed reindeer.

Lola even insisted on sharing my chair with me after I swam.

I wore my new bright yellow swimsuit cover and managed to snag and tear it on a metal owl in my plant pot. I can’t believe how long my hair has gotten.

On Sunday night the kids and I had a Zoom call with my Mom. Mom is still in the rehab hospital for her post-op care after her surgery. It was great to see everyone’s faces and we all had a laugh as we always do. I think it really cheers up Mom too.

It stayed incredibly hot all weekend and it was hard to sleep at night. The mornings were usually lovely and cool and on Monday the clouds came over and it thundered on and off and rained a bit but then swiftly disappeared into a haze of humidity. It has been hot most of the rest of the week and I still swam again on Friday.

This morning is very cloudy and feels humid. I sat on the balcony to drink my morning coffee and the clouds over the mountain were so beautiful and eerie.

It may rain today or it may heat up – that is the thing about Cape Town weather it can change frequently.

I ordered a few things online and this week I had a delivery from Hello Indigo Halo. I ordered this little gnome which hangs on a pot and he makes me so happy every time I look at him. Norman has forbidden me strewing proper sized gnomes all over the garden as he thinks they are creepy and horrid but I love their happy little faces and we compromised with this little cheeky one.

I also ordered a few items in their sale, a lava stone bracelet with a buddha head and a silver and turquoise locket on a beaded necklace. I have a black lava ring and my black beaded Christmas necklace will both look great with the new bracelet (should I ever leave the house and require clothing).

As I have written before, anything which brings us happiness in this pandemic is brilliant as long as it does not harm anyone else of course.

Norm had to travel for a project he is working on and he went away very early on Tuesday morning so he woke at 4:30am to catch his flight. He packed the night before so that all he had to do was shower and dress and sneak away. The dogs obviously slept through it all as I woke to Panda scratching on Norm’s office door. I got up and opened the door to show him Norm was not there and he looked devastated. None of the dogs would eat that morning because they are such daddy’s babies. Panda yipped with unhappiness most of the time Norm was gone and he and Navajo lay by the door awaiting his arrival.

My friend Michelle came each afternoon to walk them but Pixie refused to go with them, she hid behind me or under my desk and I never force them to go if they are not keen, especially the old girl. At least the boys burned off a bit of energy and had a bit of a diversion to their otherwise boring Daddy-less day.

Norm was away for 3 days and 2 nights. I always dread him going away because I miss him and I rely on him a lot but it is good for me to be on my own and realise that I can cope without him. I worried about him being on a plane with the virus also flying around but hopefully we will stay safe as he used as many protections and safety measures as he could. I contemplated making him sleep in the shed for 10 days but that seemed a bit extreme.

The dogs were hysterical with delight when he arrived back home. He took them for a walk and then came home to shower and change clothes as another safety measure. Panda was all smiles all evening, he looked so happy that Daddy was home and just sat staring at him adoringly.

My friend Michelle is house-sitting nearby and the home owners have a fig tree in their garden so she very kindly brought some delicious figs for me when she came to walk the beasties. I drizzled a bit of honey into Greek yogurt, added some sliced figs and topped with a bit of low carb muesli and it was so yummy!

Meanwhile life with the virus marches on. There have now been 9,077,479 tests conducted in South Africa which has led to the following statistics:

On a global level, the count of total cases has stayed steady and South Africa is still at 16th, the UK is 5th and the USA is still first.

As far as total deaths the ranking is similar: SA is 14th, the UK is 5th with 124,261 deaths, and the USA is still first with 535,563 lives lost. The most even measure for comparison is the counts of deaths per 1 million of the population and the ranking is: SA is still 44th with 845 deaths, the UK is 6th with 1,824 deaths and the USA has improved from last week’s 10th place to 11th with 1,612 deaths per million.

Last Sunday the Golden Globes was held virtually. The list of winners is here.

I love that the lead actress Anya Taylor-Joy and the series The Queen’s Gambit won for best Limited Series as it was a brilliantly acted and scripted series. It also delighted me that Schitt’s Creek took home the award for the best musical or comedy TV series and Catherine O’Hara won best actress in a musical or comedy series for her role. I loved that series so much, it made me laugh and cry and I enjoyed every episode.

I was a bit shocked that Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won for best motion picture (comedy or musical) and that Sacha Baron Cohen won for Best Actor in the same genre. I thought the film had a few funny bits but overall was a bit silly as are all of the Borat films. Oh well.

This week I did not want to watch any of the series that Norm and I usually watch together so I watched a lot of random stuff or just played games instead. I watched ‘The Map of Tiny Perfect Things‘ starring Kathryn Newton and Kyle Allen. It is a modern day ‘Groundhog Day‘ vibe with Mark and Margaret stuck in a loop of the same day repeating over and over. Whatever happens during their day it all resets the next day. I thought it was a bit lame and I give it 2.5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐✨

Together Norm and I have been watching series 2 of a very old series called ‘The Fall‘ with Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan. This is such a brilliant series and we love that it is filmed in Belfast and we keep randomly shouting out ‘there is the….’ when we see a familiar landmark. I have written about this one previously as we watched series one a while ago but we could not find the other two series for ages but we finally got hold of them and are really enjoying it. Gillian and Jamie are both brilliant actors. This show has some triggers to be aware of if you have any history of GBV or domestic abuse. There is one episode where an abusive husband chokes his wife, grabs her by her hair and throws her across a room and points a gun at her and this almost triggered a full blown panic attack as I experienced exactly this scenario with my own abuser. I felt like I could be sick but I talked myself back to the present and managed to calm my pounding heart. I still give the series 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, just be aware of the potential triggers.

For my musical section, I randomly discovered this video on YouTube and I loved the sound. It is a video by Cleo Sol and it is called ‘Butterfly’. I love her voice and her smooth jazz sounds. Cleo must have been surrounded by music as a child as her parents are both musicians and they met in a jazz band. Her mother, who is of Serbian and Spanish ancestry, is a singer who also plays flute and guitar. Her father is Jamaican and plays piano and base.

Carrying on with my dedications to Black History Month, I give you an NPR Tiny Desk Concert by Kirk Franklin. Kirk is a gospel singer but he has revolutionised the sound. I thought I would bring a different vibe than the usual music videos I include. Kirk’s set list is ‘Love Theory’, ‘Silver and Gold’, ‘Melodies From Heaven’, and ‘I Smile’. He is quite funny when he says “I know you’re at home right now, in your draws, listening to some Jesus music. It’s ok. Jesus loves you in your draws!”.

As a bonus I have included this last video not for the music but for the dancing. It is movie clips of people in various films dancing to the well known song ‘Footloose’. The time frame ranges from clips of old black and white movies such as Charlie Chaplin in ‘The Gold Rush’ (1925) through to several clips of Patrick Swayze from the 1987 film ‘Dirty Dancing’. It brought a smile to my face and I hope it does the same for you.

My Uncle Harley has gone back into hospital with a bladder infection and pneumonia so if you could pray for him or send him healing energy I would be most appreciative. If you can add my Mom to the list as well as Caitlin’s friend Jesse (who is recovering from a traumatic brain injury) I would also be most grateful. They all need healing.

I hope you have had a lovely week and that you have an enjoyable week ahead. Remember to check on your friends and family, especially those who live alone.

Until next time, socially distant, double-masked Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

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