Succulents and Celebrations

After all of the sad and unhappy things that happened last week, the week ended on a much more positive note.

Last Saturday Norm and I decided to go to Dario’s, our fave burger place in Hout Bay for lunch. The sun had finally made an appearance but it was still rather chilly. The patio was full but the inside was divided by plastic panels to isolate everyone’s germs into their own area so we decided it was safe enough to go inside to eat. You can see the plastic divider behind us.

I ordered a jalapeno and bacon burger but asked them to give Norman the egg as I do not like the idea of an egg on a hamburger. I am messy enough without the addition of a dripping yolk.

Norm ordered a cheeseburger and they put my egg on his. When he squeezed it to take a bite the yolk went everywhere and it validated my decision.

Dario’s burger patties are so tasty and full of flavour and I never find any icky bits. I am a very fussy burger eater. They also serve them on gorgeous crispy rolls. After we finished our burgers the waiter obviously saw me eyeing up the lemon meringue in the fridge and since we were too full to have anything then he convinced us to get dessert as take away and Norm chose cheesecake and I chose a slice of the divine looking lemon meringue pie.

After lunch we headed home and Norm did some work and I pottered about the garden and checked on my plants which seemed to be thriving after the almost daily rain from the week before. We had our dessert that evening and that was the best lemon meringue pie I have had since my Grandma made one for me a million years ago. It was divine and rich and tasted of creamy condensed milk. I am not a fan of the lemon meringues which are dense and heavy with gelatin. The meringue was baked enough to give that chewy consistency on the outside and it had a sticky, gooey texture inside. The burgers are always 5 Stars but the dessert was also a perfect 5 star pie. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Last Sunday it was Mother’s Day in SA and the US. We had booked to go for a Mother’s Day High Tea at Hout Bay Manor. The menu is below.

Trevor and Lily were unable to come to Cape Town but I had Caitlin and Norman with me to celebrate and both of the kids rang me for a chat.

We had a lovely spacious table looking out onto the pool.

We kept our masks on until our food arrived.

I ordered tea and Norm and Caitlin ordered coffees and we settled in to chat. Our waiter Simba started bringing the food out quite quickly. The sweet items were on pretty cake stands and all looked so beautiful.

There was also a platter of savoury items.

I had such a lovely day and we all left stuffed to the gills with take away boxes of the items we could not eat.

Caitlin came back to the house for a chat after Tea. She brought the collective Mother’s Day gift from all of my kids. They always get me such thoughtful gifts, they knew I was busy creating a succulent garden and they gave me a huge planter, a spekboom as well as several other large plants.

They also gave me several more smaller but nice sized succulents.

These will look so lovely in my succulent garden, I am so blessed.

I rang my Mom that night which was midday in the USA. I had sent her a voucher for Nordstrom so she can shop online and buy herself something. I have found that is the best option, then she does not have to return something which does not fit or keep something she does not like. Sending flowers from SA is ridiculously expensive and they just die with nothing left but a memory and I like the idea of her having an actual gift.

On Monday my order from Takealot arrived. I had ordered some succulent clippings and some planters.

I had ordered a set of 3 matching planters and two of them arrived smashed to bits so I had to arrange for Takealot to collect them and give me a credit which they did very promptly and efficiently the following day.

After work on Monday Norm and I went to Stodels Garden Centre. This was where Caitlin had purchased my large birthday pot and I decided I wanted another matching one to go on the other side of the succulent garden. We also bought some clivias to add to my clivia garden, a huge blooming succulent with spikes of orange flowers which I had been wanting for a while, a water bottle for birds, some compost and planting soil and the bark we wanted to top off the succulent garden. The plants at Stodels are so healthy looking and they had most of the stuff we needed on special and their staff were ever so helpful.

We placed the pots into the garden and moved around the plants to see if we are happy with the placement, we think we will move the big white pots a bit but the rest of it we are happy with. Some of the plants will grow into large bushes so they are on the back or the sides.

I filled my new water bottle with sugar water and hung it in the big tree at front and I have seen sunbirds drinking from it.

Navajo was off to the doggy chiro on Tuesday. Panda decided this meant he had to be my stand in bodyguard and lie in between me and the door. He thinks he is such a tough guy.

Wednesday was Caitlin’s birthday. I bought her 4 books in the Miss Peregrine series which she had wanted, 2 boxes of good quality coffee pods and 2 bottles of red wine we had picked up at Cavalli estate.

We had loads of deliveries arrive this week. I ordered some new knickers from WW as I am now too fat for all of mine. I also ordered a lovely cape type thing. Norm had ordered some steps for Panda to get on and off of our bed as he gets hot in the night and jumps down, then gets cold and wants back up and barks until Norm wakes up and lifts him onto the bed. We tried them out with him on the sofa when they arrived but there was chaos with the other two barking and he was more interested in joining in on that. Hopefully he gets used to them.

My delivery from Rusty Rose also arrived. I ordered lots of plants and several pots as shown in last week’s blog. We planned to have a busy weekend planting but the weather has not cooperated.

Caitlin and Wes came to Hout Bay on Wednesday evening for a birthday dinner for Caitlin. We booked at Cheyne’s in Hout Bay.

We had a nice big table so we were as far apart as possible.

We all ordered drinks and then spent ages choosing our 4 dishes from the Yum Cha menu. Eventually we all settled on our choices. They brought out the items from the ‘sea’ section of the menu first.

Norm chose the hake and Caitlin, Wes and I all chose the crayfish tempura. (Crayfish is the SA equivalent of lobster for you non-locals.) Caitlin and I also chose the chilli salt squid with sesame mayo and green chili caramel and it was served at the same time as the crayfish.

Wes had the roasted Korean lamb gyoza with wasabi yogurt, pickled cucumber, and mint and it was served at the same time as his crayfish tempura.

Norm, Wes and I both had the potato and coconut dumplings with penang sauce. Norm’s was served with his order of chargrilled Korean lamb cutlets. Wes’s was served with his duck, lime leaf and miso croquettes with caviar mustard.

Mine were served with Mumbai chilli beef with cardoman teriyaki, green chilli and coconut.

Caitlin had the aubergine tempura with unagi sauce and lime aioli and the baby back pork ribs but we did not take pics of that. Only Norm had dessert as one of his 4 choices and as you may have noticed we had no pics of any of his food, he was too busy digging in. Oops.

We all really enjoyed our food, the kids said it was their best dinner ever at Cheyne’s. I give our evening at Cheyne’s 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thursday was Navajo’s 8th birthday. It does not seem like he has been with us for 8 years but at my age time hurtles past. It was a week of celebrations! Norm bought him a big crunchy treat.

That evening my neighbour messaged me to say she left something at the gate to say thank you for sending over some cold medication for her the night before. Norm went out to find one of the biggest bunches of flowers! There are some stunning white proteas which I have never seen before. I put them on my desk so I can see them all day because they make me happy.

On Friday Michelle took Nava to the doggy physio for laser treatment on his leg and when I finished work Norm and I went to the tile shop and made our final choices about the flooring we want for our renovation.

It turned cold late in the afternoon yesterday and last night it started pouring with blustery rain and the wind was howling. Today there is so much mist you can not see the mountains and the wind blew over all of the plants we had set out for planting today so there will be no gardening achieved. Hopefully tomorrow we have better weather and can get things done.

Now for my update on Covid. The SA stats for the week are:

On a global scale SA is still at 20th for total cases with 1,608,393. The UK is still 7th with 4,446,824 and the US is still first with 33,668,931 total cases.

For total deaths, SA is 16th with 55,124 lives lost, the UK is 5th with 127,668 and the USA is still 1st with 599,314. On the level comparison of deaths per 1 million population, SA is now 52nd with 919, USA is 18th with 1,801 and the UK is 17th with 1,872 lives lost per million of the population.

On the vaccination roll outs, SA has made good progress this week and have now vaccinated 474,318 of us. In the USA 155,251,852 people have had ‘at least one dose’ and 120,258,637 people are fully vaccinated. In the UK 36,115,955 people have had their first vaccine and 19,319,010 have had their second vaccine.

I see in the UK to get their ‘total’ they are adding these 2 figures together which is not a legitimate count as it should be counted at person level, not vaccination total as the same person is counted twice. The relevance is people who are ‘safe’ not how many jabs, surely? Or maybe it is only me who wants to know people rather than jabs?

South Africa has entered it’s third wave. On Tuesday, the health department pointed to an increase in new cases from 8,593 cases in the preceding seven days (26th April – 2nd May) to 12,531 cases in the last seven days (3rd – 9th May) constituting a 46% increase.

We are now worried about the anniversary trip we have booked in July but it is refundable so will play it by ear as to whether we need to cancel. We also stocked up on booze in case the hospitals are overwhelmed and the clamp down is put onto alcohol sales once again.

For my musical discovery this week I give you Jacob Banks singing ‘Chainsmoking’. This is not a new release but I had never heard it before and I absolutely love his voice and that gritty old school dirty blues sound. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I have also included this live performance of ‘Your Power’ from the Stephen Colbert show by Billie Eilish with her brother Fineas accompanying her. I like how they chose to wear colours which blend so well with their environment.

I hope you all have had a lovely week and that you have a good week ahead. Check in on your friends who may be on their own. If you are in SA wrap up warm.

Until next time, stay safe. Socially distant Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

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