On the public holiday Norm and I made a lot of progress on our succulent garden. We moved the Ganesh statue my kids had given me out there as the centre piece. He looks so lovely in the sun.
We moved a lot of my existing pots from the patio and from other areas in the garden to the newly cleared area.
That meant that the front porch is far less cluttered as it was getting a bit out of hand.
I planted up the new pots I bought recently, including the new lady’s head. I grouped the white pots together on the other side of the patio and I think it looks very nice.
Today we went to Earthworx, our favourite Hout Bay garden centre, and bought a few more bits and pieces. It is too hot today to plant them so we will do so tomorrow before it gets too hot.
Before we did our plant shopping we went for lunch at Roots Farm Shoppe for a bite to eat. They are located on the grounds of Earthworx.
We ordered a cappuccino while we decided what to eat. They have the best coffee in Hout Bay in my opinion.
Norm chose the soup of the day, a Thai chicken curry. He also had a toasted cheese sandwich to go with it. He really likes this soup and always has it if it is on the menu.
I had the Deluxe Croissant with brie, cream cheese, bacon, avocado, fig jam and rocket. It was divine.
We then went for a stroll around the nursery. First I treated myself to another Buddha. She will keep Ganesh company in the garden.
When we got back home Norm went up our road to a place where there are a lot of succulents spilling into the road and knicked a few clippings.
These will be added as ground cover with the hope that they spread out and fill the empty spaces. If they bloom, even better but I am rubbish at identifying one succulent from another. They are either the ‘pointy’ ones or the ’roundy’ ones to me.
We will add some bark on top to finish it off but they did not have the one we wanted at Earthworx today so we need to try another supplier. Our little garden is a work of love and will grow at it’s own pace but I will keep you updated on our progress. It brings me so much happiness.
On Friday my Mom had a coronary angiogram. They were looking for any blockages that may require a stent, taking a closer look at her heart valves, and measuring the pressures inside her heart. They were concerned that her recent “fall” where her leg was shattered may have actually been an episode of passing out. They had also noted a leaking tricuspid valve on her recent echocardiogram. That could have been caused by the car accident she had a few years ago. As always I was very worried about her during the procedure but she came through like a trouper, I just wish that I could be there to support her for these situations. The doctor must decide how he wants to deal with the leaking valve but that could be what is causing her atrial fibrillation issues.
Caitlin and Wes put an offer in a gorgeous house this week and it went into the counter offer process as there were several other people who put in offers on it as well. As I am writing they have not had their counter offer accepted and we are all waiting with great anxiety! It is in Lakeside on a quiet, lovely, peaceful street and is about 20 minute away from us. It will be a perfect starter family home for them as it has 3 large bedrooms so will have space for kids when they arrive. It also has 2 lounges/family rooms, both with wood burning stoves so it will be warm in the Cape winters and the whole house is tiled throughout so it will keep cool in the hot summers. It has a nice sized well established garden and a beautiful lawn for any future grandbabies to play on and borehole water and 3 JoJo water tanks to capture rain water to keep the garden economically watered. I am so excited for them, this is such a nice time in their new lives together.
Norm and I started a new series called ‘The Serpent‘ this week and as it stars Tahar Rahim who was also in ‘The Looming Tower’ which Norm and I finished last week so I will review both series this week.
‘The Serpent’ is set in the mid-1970s and tells the seemingly far-fetched story of Charles Sobhraj, a French serial killer of Indian and Vietnamese descent. Charles drugs and robs travelers, particularly young backpackers, traveling through Bangkok, Thailand. He steals his victims’ cash, passports and identities to travel the world and sell stolen gems with his French-Canadian girlfriend Marie-Andrée Leclerc (played by Jenna Coleman). Charles used the name ‘Alain’ and his girlfriend went by ‘Monique’ when running their scams. In the series, a Dutch diplomat, Herman Knippenberg, begins investigating the murders of Dutch tourists and uncovers clues leading to Sobhraj. Tahar Rahim does a brilliant job portraying Charles/Alain as cold, dead and unfeeling as you would imagine the real man to be. The only complaint I have about the series is the skipping around of the timeline which makes it hard to follow.
We have not finished ‘The Serpent’ yet but it is gripping and I give it a preliminary score of 4.5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨ .
‘The Looming Tower‘ is a miniseries which originally premiered in 2018 but has now been released on Amazon Prime.
The Looming Tower traces the “rising threat of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda in the late 1990s and how the rivalry between the FBI and CIA during that time may have inadvertently set the path for the tragedy of 9/11. It follows members of the I-49 Squad in New York and Alec Station in Washington, D.C., the counter-terrorism divisions of the FBI and CIA, respectively, as they travel the world fighting for ownership of information while seemingly working toward the same goal – trying to prevent an imminent attack on U.S. soil.”
It stars Jeff Daniels as John O’Neill who was an American counter-terrorism expert who worked as a Special Agent in Charge in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In this series O’Neill is the chief of the New York FBI’s Counterterrorism Center known as “I-49”. He is convinced that the United States has been targeted for attack by al-Qaeda but is faced with hostility from other federal agencies, particularly the CIA. As mentioned it also stars Tahar Rahim who portrays Ali Soufan, a Muslim Lebanese-American FBI agent on John O’Neill’s I-49 counterterrorism squad who eventually becomes his protégé. Soufan is infuriated by the perversion of Islam by enemies of the United States and goes so far as to go undercover in terrorists’ gathering spaces, in order to hunt al-Qaeda and prevent attacks.
O’Neill butts heads with ‘Martin Schmidt’ played by Peter Sarsgaard. Martin is the chief of “Alec Station”, a section of the CIA Counterterrorism Center. Schmidt butts heads with O’Neill after deciding to withhold information from him, believing that the CIA is the only agency prepared to combat potential terrorist threats. The character is based on former CIA Officer Michael Scheuer.
It is quite unbelievable the levels that the CIA went to in order to maintain their dominance in the investigation into al-Qaeda and terrorism. The tragedies of 9/11 may have been prevented had there been open sharing of information.
I give The Looming Tower miniseries 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
The Covid stats this week for Total Cases are that South Africa is 20th globally with 1,581,210 total cases. The UK is 7th with 4,416,623 total cases and the USA is still 1st with 33,104,377 total cases.
For the counts of total deaths, SA is 16th with 54,350 lives lost, the UK is 5th with 127,517 and the USA is 1st with 590,060. For the more evenly balanced measure of deaths per 1 million population, SA is 49th with 907, the USA is 17th with 1,774 and the UK is 14th with 1,870.
For the vaccination counts, SA has administered 317,656 vaccines. The UK has given 34,216,087 people their first dose and 14,532,875 their second dose. The USA has given 144,894,586 people their first dose and there are 101,407,318 people who are fully vaccinated. Norm and I both registered on our medical aid site for the vaccine but I cannot register on the government site as yet as you must be 60 to do so.
For my musical treats I give you a beautiful song called ‘Crosswords’ by Olivia Dean, I love her voice.
Hopefully you enjoy them both.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend and that you keep safe. Remember to check on your friends and family, especially those who live alone.
Until next time, socially distant Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxox