I’ve always felt that I receive communications from my grandmother via things with wings. This week I had three unusual interactions with butterflies. On Thursday I was working at my desk and a butterfly flew into the lounge and hovered by my desk then turned and flew back out. When I was telling Norman this story we were sitting outside and as I mentioned ‘butterfly’ another butterfly flew up to our table, skimmed across the top of his head and flew off. Then that afternoon when we got home I noticed a strange shape under the rim of the loo. We have a lot of spiders so I asked Norm to investigate but instead of something scary it was just a large moth chilling there (OK technically not a butterfly but close enough for me!). These interactions always make me feel comforted. I do not know what the message is but I am sure it will be revealed, or it may just be a ‘Hi!’ to reassure me she is always near.
I am a big believer in symbolism and messages from the spirit world and living in Africa I know that many tribes and cultures have deep held beliefs about this too. Hence I was rapt while watching the horror film ‘His House‘ which tells the story of refugees from South Sudan who seek asylum in the UK. Their new start in England takes a terrifying turn when the house they’re made to stay in takes on a demonic spirit and they are haunted by a sinister force tied to the horrors they escaped in war-torn South Sudan. I am glad we watched it in the middle of the afternoon because I found it terrifying (of course I am a mega-wuss). It also touches on the challenges of trying to settle into a place which is very unfamiliar and the xenophobic ways that people treat refugees. It stars Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù as the husband Bol Majur, and Wunmi Mosaku as his wife Rial. I give it 4 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐.
Norm found a link on Sky News which gave a list of the films which were getting Oscar or BAFTA nominations and the article advised where we can watch them. We will work our way through them on the weekends.
As well as ‘His House‘ we also watched ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom‘ which is about the legendary Mother of the Blues, Ma Rainey. I discovered Ma’s music last year when listening to Bessie Smith and had blogged about Ma then, the link is here if you want to read it. I found her history fascinating as one of the first black women to know her worth and as one of the first openly lesbian performers. Rumours are that Bessie and Ma had an intimate relationship despite both being married. The film takes place on a single afternoon and tells the story of a recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await the appearance of Ma Rainey (played brilliantly by Viola Davis). If you think the film has the feel of a play that is because it is an interpretation of a play written by the brilliant playwright August Wilson. This is a very good film but is hard to see how poorly people of colour were treated in the 1920s even after the Great Migration to try and find a better life up North. I give it 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Viola Davis is now the most nominated Black actress in Oscars history and that honour is so well deserved. She is also the first African-American to achieve the “Triple Crown of Acting” (having won an Academy Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and two Tony Awards). She embodies any part she plays.
The late Chadwick Boseman who plays the troubled cornet player Levee is nominated posthumously for best actor at both the BAFTAs and the Oscars.
So far we have already seen The Trial Of The Chicago 7, Hillbilly Elegy, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, One Night In Miami… from the nominations list. I have embedded links to the ones I have previously blogged about.
Our future watch lists are split by streaming services. On Amazon Prime we have added Sound Of Metal to our list but The Mauritanian is not available in SA as yet. On Netflix we have added Mank, Rocks, Pieces Of A Woman, The White Tiger, Da 5 Bloods, News Of The World, and The Dig to our list. We have plenty to keep us occupied.
It was lovely having 4 days off of work last weekend. Norm and I had a relaxing weekend but got out and about so I did not feel so isolated.
Caitlin came around on Saturday afternoon and we sat outside on opposite ends of the pool and chatted. Panda was so excited to see Caitlin and stayed close by her the whole time.
I chat with my family via WhatsApp at least once a day but it does not compare to actually being together. I really miss seeing Lily and Trevor. Today was Amber’s birthday and I missed being there to celebrate with them all.
Norm and I had booked to go to Quentin’s for breakfast on Easter Sunday. We had emailed and asked for a 11am booking which Quentin confirmed but in his reply he said that they may need the table for lunch at 12. I thought that was a bit odd, and as he had advertised a 4 course breakfast which sounded like a brilliant feast to be enjoyed leisurely we did not want to be rushed so we asked to move our booking to 10am. However when he confirmed our booking change he also advised that the special was off, however it was still on his website. I found the whole experience a bit off putting to be honest. Surely he knew whether he was fully booked for 12 and would need the table, or if people arrived without a booking surely we would take priority as we had booked and were there eating already? Also to keep up the advert on his website for the special and not adhere to it? Not that I could have eaten all of those courses, but the whole booking experience felt a bit unwelcoming.
We dutifully arrived at 10am and were shown to a table out on the patio. It was very overcast but was a pleasant temperature, if a bit humid and muggy.
We had been salivating over the list of dishes on the special and decided to push the boat out and have 2 courses anyway even though it was ala carte. First we ordered the fruit and granola bowl with fresh coconut and honey. This was a meal in itself and was beautifully presented. There was a nice variety of fresh fruits, pineapples, apples, blueberries, raspberries, pears and bananas. The granola tasted homemade and had dried cranberries and raisins in it with many different nuts and oats. This was really delicious.
For his main, Norm ordered a spinach and gruyere omelette. Norm said it had a lovely flavour and he really enjoyed it.
I chose the eggs benedict but I asked for bacon instead of the greens, salmon, or beef fillet which were listed on the menu. They put the dish under the grill which worried me that the eggs would be overcooked but they were perfect, runny and just the way I like them. The bacon was well done which is also how I like it but it did get a wee bit burned on the edges, probably from being under the grill. The hollandaise was very lemony and a nice light texture. It was really delicious.
The service was great as well as the food and I give them 4.5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨. The food was worth 5 but the confusing booking process knocked half of one off.
After we ate I fancied a bit of a walkabout but it was just starting to drizzle with rain. We went to Valley Nursery which we had heard about but had never been to. It was not raining hard enough to be an issue and we parked up and had a wander around. They have all sorts of small animals, ducks, geese, a turkey, rabbits, parrots, guinea pigs and a proper big fat piggy. There are play areas for kids and a bike route and coffee house. It would be a great place to take small children. #FutureGrandbabyNotes
We asked about their nursery and were told they do not sale plants. Errr it is called the Valley Nursery? That baffled us. We left there and drove down the road to Earthworx which IS a proper nursery. We had a wander around and I bought some bright fuchsia coloured bougainvillea plants, some spekboom to plant at the back and some small blooming succulents.
The bougainvilleas are now planted by the wall and hopefully will grow nicely and make the place bright. I love the romanticism of bougainvilleas dripping with bright flowers draped along a wall.
After our breakfast and trip to the garden centres we came home to chill out for the rest of the day and decided to watch ‘Coming 2 America‘ with Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. It is the sequel for the original 1988 film Coming to America with much of the same cast but with the addition of the hilarious Leslie Jones. The basic premise is very similar to the original, boy needs wife, boy does not want the wife who is chosen for him sort of vibe. Saying that, we both enjoyed it for what it was, mindless nonsense and entertainment. I give it 3.5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐✨
This week I binge watched the reality series ‘Country Ever After‘ on my own. It is about the Anderson family which consists of black country singer Coffey Anderson and his hip hop choreographer wife Criscilla and their 3 precious children Ethan, Emmarie, and Everleigh with cameos by Coffey’s creole dad Stanley.
Maybe the show was renamed as I can only find a clip called ‘Country-Ish’ but it is the same show.
This is an easy to watch series and I went through it in a few days. You grow to really like the whole family and it is heart wrenching to see Criscilla struggle with colon cancer but inspiring to see how strong she is and how her faith in God never wavers. Their kids are very sweet but Everleigh Rose, the smallest one is so adorable you just want to eat her up.
The series ends with Criscilla’s cancer in remission but in January of this year Criscilla’s cancer scans had shown slight growth in her existing tumors, in addition to her tumor markers going up yet again. I really hope that she is able to win this battle for the sake of her family. Cancer really does suck.
Navajo has had a hard week with his arthritis. He was struggling to get up and about so Norm has taken him for 2 appointments with the doggy chiro and he had an appointment with the doggy physio on Friday. On Thursday night he could not even get up for ages, it took many treats and cheering him on. It is quite distressing when that happens. Yesterday Norm took him to the vet after he got home from the Animal Fitness centre and they gave him anti-inflammatories and pain meds and today he is so much better.
Thursday night Norm and I were about to go to bed when we heard over the neighbourhood watch radio system that there was a break in happening in the village mall. We heard the distress calls of security guards and later read that two armed suspects held the guards at gunpoint, while other five suspects broke the glass doors of the chemist to gain entry. A shoot out ensued between the suspects and the security officers. All of the local security companies sent out teams and the police sent out the K9 units and eventually all 7 of the suspects were apprehended. It was like listening to a cop show! We are very lucky to have the high standard of response teams we have in the bay and am so pleased these guys were captured, let’s hope they stay off the streets.
Today Norm and I got up and out early and headed back to Tiletoria where we tried to go on Easter weekend and they were closed then. Today we had more luck and we chose the bathroom suite we want for the family bathroom. Despite people telling me that the claw foot bath is a mission to clean underneath we decided on the claw foot bath with a art deco style pedestal sink.
For our master bedroom we will have a double vanity made by a carpenter we know. We chose some tiles we like for the bathrooms and a wood look laminate for the bedroom. Progress finally!
When we left we decided to stop in at The Wild Fig for lunch again as it was on the way and we enjoyed it last weekend. We were seated on the outskirts of the patio away from everyone else.
We were enjoying the music so we decided to order dessert. Norm had the oven baked white chocolate cheesecake with vanilla ice cream, a chocolate syrup and a big piece of chocolate as decoration.
Now for the COVID stats. In South Africa 10,086,459 people have been tested and 288,368 people have been vaccinated and 1,556,242 total cases. The Worldometer rating per country of total cases has SA now dropping to 20th (we were at 18th last week). That is great news.
The UK has had 4,365,461 total cases and sits at 6th place. Regarding vaccines, 31,903,366 people in the UK have had their 1st vaccine and 6,541,174 have had the second dose.
The USA has had 31,802,772 total cases and still sits in 1st place globally. The CDC reports that 114,436,039 people have had a single dose and 68,202,458 people are fully vaccinated.
For total deaths SA is 16th with 53,226 people who have succumbed to the virus, the UK is 5th with 127,040 people lost and the USA is 1st with 574,840 lives lost.
For the more balanced comparison of total deaths per 1 million of the population: SA is 46th with 889, the UK is 13th with 1,864 and the USA is 14th with 1,729.
Despite the slightly more positive stats above John Fraher has posted some scary stats for SA on Twitter. John is Senior Executive Editor at Bloomberg.
On the 6th of April only 0.5% of the population of SA have been vaccinated with at least one dose.
Based on the current vaccination rates it will be more than 10 years before 75% of us have been vaccinated.
That is rather terrifying. Hopefully the fact that we have a private medical scheme we will get the vaccine by September as their last communication. I really want to go back to see my Mom in the USA soon. I was hoping I could do so after my current contract ends in July.
A friend that I love dearly has Covid and her husband is in ICU with it and he is struggling a lot. If you could spare a prayer for them both as well as their children I would be most appreciative. They have a strong faith and many people are praying for his recovery and I hope that he is home soon.
I will end with a bit of music which speaks to my soul. It is by Anderson East and is called ‘Madelyn’. The song has that old skool Motown rhythm and blues vibe. I love his voice and the song.
Until next time, please keep safe. Remember to check in on your friends. Air Kisses from the Kitten x0xx0x0x