The Fickle Mistress

Cape Town, the Mother City, is such a fickle mistress. Just when you think the weather is cooling off and winter is finally rolling in, we then get a few days of incredibly hot weather, then with no warning at all it turns so cold we have to light the fire.

Last weekend was incredibly hot but as we had shopped for flowers on Saturday, we needed to get them planted on Sunday. First I planted up the ones that went into pots as I can manage that on my own. The blue pots were painted ages ago by Lily but were sitting empty. I kind of like the rough, flaky look they have now.

Norm then brought around a few big pots that had been languishing at the back of the house and I planted the 2 white flowering bushes (yes I have forgotten what they are called already). Norm planted the ones which were going into the ground. He spaced out purple lobelia along the front edge and planted the ground cover he had knicked around the bird baths we have converted into planters. He also planted some flowering ground cover around Ganesh.

The dogs had to ‘help’ of course and were under our feet all day, sniffing plants and peeing on pots.

Norm also drilled some drainage holes into the white metal tins I have used for planters. Lily made them out of old coffee tins which she painted and was kind enough to give them to me when she moved but as they did not have holes the plants were staying too wet.

After we finished Norm was not feeling well and came inside to relax but I was so hot that I decided to have a swim.

The water was icy cold and so refreshing.

I mentioned in my last blog that Caitlin and Wes had made an offer on a house. On Sunday they had a response back from their counter offer and it was accepted! On Monday they had their bond approved and they will be moving in July. I am just over the moon for them! It is such a lovely spacious house on a quiet street.

On Monday we then had some bad news (the karmic see-saw of life). Norm went to the doctor for what he had originally thought were mosquito bites but which seemed to be increasing in number. He had lumps and bumps all over his head and behind his ear. It all started with an ear ache but as he is deaf in that ear he sometimes does get ear pain. Next were the bumps. He was diagnosed with shingles by the GP. He is not a happy camper and has to take pain meds to sleep. I hope it does not worsen but now that he is on antivirals we hope it will settle down quickly.

Then during the week we had news that Norm’s aunt Hazel had passed away at 92 years of age. She was his Mom Mavis’ twin sister and they looked exactly alike. I did not know Mavis was a twin and the first time I met Hazel we had gone to an event with Mavis and later I had wandered up to chat and after a while I noticed that Mavis was not wearing the same thing she had left the house in. I asked her why she changed and Hazel laughed and said ‘I am not Mavis’. With visions of pod people and body swapping in my head she told me they were twins. Now they can be together again but I am sad for Hazel’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as the rest of the family.

Then last night I saw on Facebook that one of my school friends, Donnie had passed away. I had known Donnie since we were about 12 years old and he was one of my first crushes, he was such a cute guy and had such a warm and friendly personality and all the girls swooned over him. We partied together in high school and he became friends with the man I was engaged to when I was at university so Donnie and his girlfriend of the week often came around to our flat to hang out. After school Donnie had an accident which left him paralysed and in a wheelchair and he struggled with his health for years. I stayed in touch with Donnie through Facebook and we often had discussions about religion. He was a devout Christian after his accident and he tried to convert me regularly but he was also open to hearing about my own beliefs. I am so sad for Donnie’s brother and the rest of his family.

On Tuesday we had planned on Mzudumo planting the remaining plants when he came in to work but he arrived with a very swollen hand after falling so we gave him breakfast and paid him for the day and sent him off to the clinic instead. He is now off on paid holiday for a few weeks visiting his family in the Eastern Cape so Norm will have another bash at finishing things off when he feels a bit better.

Meanwhile I keep shopping for plants and planters. I ordered lots of new succulents including some new types that I do not have in my collection already. I also ordered three new adorable planters.

I have this and another order arriving and that should be enough to finish the garden off. We just need the mulch / bark to go on top and it should look smashing.

Tuesday the weather took a turn in the late afternoon. A thick mist came up through the valley and as my neighbour had built a fire, the combination of the smell of burning wood and the mist tricked me into thinking there was a big fire in the bay!

After the sun went down it turned very chilly and on Wednesday I got up and put on a sun dress but as I work with the doors open for the fresh air and for the dogs to toddle about in the garden at will I ended up wearing my furry lined boots and a wrap over my sundress. I am sure I looked ridiculous but the cold is a bit bone chilling here so looks take second place to avoiding hypothermia.

The rains came in and the temperature continued to drop and on Thursday night we built our first fire of the year. All of the animals were feeling the cold too and huddled up around us.

It was still cold and raining on Friday so we built another fire that night. It is lovely having calm sleepy animals gathered around. Due to the weather they did not get a walk on Friday and they were a bit antsy that night but eventually settled.

Now for the weekly update on Covid. For total cases, SA is 20th with 1,592,326 cases, the UK is 7th with 4,431,043 cases and the USA is still 1st with 33,418,826.

For total deaths on a global ranking, SA is 16th with 54,687 lives lost, the UK is 5th with 127,598 and the USA is still 1st with 594,911 lives lost to the virus. On the more even comparison of total deaths per 1 million population, SA has dropped to 51st place with 912 deaths per million, the USA is 18th with 1,788, and the UK is 15th with 1,871 lives lost per million.

In regards to the vaccination roll out it is still plodding along in SA with only 381,171 vaccines administered. In the UK 35,069,641 people have now had the first dose and 16,764,720 have had the second dose. In the USA 150,416,559 people have had their first dose and 110,874,920 are fully vaccinated.

They are saying that SA is about to enter a third wave. I really hope not but we will have to see.

This week the gossips are all a-Twitter about the new Vogue cover by Billie Eilish. Billie has always been so boyish in her style, wearing comfy baggy clothing and crazy hair colours.

As Billie first hit our radar at the age of 13 it is no surprise she did not want her physical attributes to be what we focused on and she stressed that point of view both verbally and with her style choices. Now that she is 19 it is lovely to see her feeling free to embrace her femininity and sexiness. I love the tribute to the 1940’s style. But should Billie choose to go back to comfort dressing that is her choice, why do people feel they have the right to tell women what they should wear? Billie is a beautiful, talented young woman and should have the freedom to wear wtf she wants. Not every artist feels the need to show their bits and shake their arse to sell records (but those who DO should also feel free to live their best lives), I enjoy WAP as much as I do Billie’s new look. As Billie said, “It’s All About What Makes You Feel Good”.

Norm and I started a new series on Netflix this week called ‘Shadow and Bone‘. It is described as ‘Dark forces conspire against orphan mapmaker Alina Starkov when she unleashes an extraordinary power that could change the fate of her war-torn world.’ But I have to confess I was only half watching episode 1 and I am now a bit lost and not really sure what is going on but as it contains magic and some stunning costumes I am still enjoying it. There are a lot of made up words which I am confused by so I just create my own meaning until it is clarified. #WorksForMe

Jessie Mei Li plays the lead character of Alina. She is very pretty and quite a good actress. Archie Renaux plays Malyen “Mal” Oretsev, a handsome solider in the second army of Ravka and an orphan who grew up with Alina in an orphanage. Mal and Alina seem a bit like they have a brother and sister or best friends type of relationship but they also seem to have a bit of a spark so it could go either way. In episode 2 we meet the sexy Ben Barnes who plays General Kirigan (OK he may have been in episode 1 when I was distracted) and there is a spark of attraction between him and Alina as well so we will have to see how it plays out. I love the costumes designed by Wendy Partridge which are a hybrid between Imperial Russia type jackets and hats and Steampunk / Victorian top hats, skirts, canes and waistcoats. Everyone interesting seems to have a cape. I absolutely adore them all, they are visually enchanting.

As my TV show to watch on my own, season 2 of ‘The Circle‘ is available on Netflix. It has all of the things I love, a competition, drama, bitchiness and a bit of cat-fishing thrown in for extra saltiness. I am still watching this so please no spoilers as I do not want to know who wins! I do enjoy these type of nonsensical shows.

For my musical treats to end off with, I give you two live performances by Griff whom I just discovered on Spotify. First is a performance of ‘Black Hole’.

Next is a performance of ‘Good Stuff’ with Griff playing the piano to accompany her lovely voice.

She is a beautiful girl with a gorgeous voice who plays both guitar and piano, she writes her own songs as well as songs for other artists and even produces. She also designs and creates some of her clothing. In the music video for her single “Didn’t Break It Enough” the clothing worn was made by Griff herself. On 19 March 2021, Griff won the Brit Award for Rising Star. From what I have seen of her it is well deserved.

Remember to check on your friends and family, especially those who are isolating on their own. And for those of you who live in a country where Mother’s Day is tomorrow and are lucky enough to still have your mother around, PHONE YOUR MAMA! I am going for High Tea at Hout Bay Manor with Caitlin and Norman and will phone my own mama tomorrow evening.

Until next time, I hope you stay safe. Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

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