The renovations on our upstairs started on Monday. They are doing the main bedroom and our en-suite bathroom first. Norm worked like a demon all weekend moving all of our bedroom furniture over to one of the other bedrooms and has set up a nice little temporary home for us. This is the cleared out space before the builders arrived.

The master bedroom and bathroom were abuzz with the chatting of the workers and the sounds of drills, jackhammers, saws and other things I could not identify. It was a bit bizarre watching the toilet and shower and fittings be carried down the stairs to a junk pile outside. Many trucks full of rubbish are hauled away at the end of each day, the builders are very tidy, I never feel overwhelmed by the mess as it is contained in the rooms they are working on. They even have a machine which sucks up the dust and we have had very little mess to cope with.

They made brilliant progress on day one and at the end of the first day Norm made a video of the state of work.

This next video is after they had been working for 4 days. The bedroom walls have been plastered and the shower base has been done.

The builders are now off site for 3 days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) so that the plastering and concrete shower base can set and dry. They will be back next week to carry on and the bathroom tiles will be done next weekend.

I have chosen my paint colours for the walls and vanity.

We have chosen this colour for the walls for the 3 bedrooms and the landing.

This will be the colour we have painted on the bathroom vanity we are having made.

While Norm did all of the heavy lifting last weekend I painted. I finished my Fu Dogs / Lions.

I love the swirls of their manes and little bottoms so I used a metallic paint to emphasize the details.

If you missed the ‘before’ image you can see it here.

I also painted some stones and did the prep on a flower pot which needed a new coat of paint.

I finished it on Wednesday and I am very happy that it looks so much better. I have 2 other pots which will get the same treatment this weekend.

I had a discovery this week that the reason the mandala dots I am painting with a brush are so rubbish. People use tools!! So I have now ordered a mandala dot tool set and will most likely sand down the stool that I have done already and redo it. I am really enjoying painting, it is relaxing and de-stressing. I may have to go and buy a bag of rocks to keep me busy. Most women buy shoes, I buy rocks. I have always swam against the flow (is that a phrase?).

I have never really felt like I fit in anywhere and I find it very hard to make friends. I get paranoid that people only tolerate me out of politeness. Is that because I am an only child? The lockdown has made it even harder, I message people and if they do not reply I think they are annoyed with my messages instead of just thinking they are probably busy. Norm and I were chatting about it this week. He always tells me I am paranoid. Maybe it is my paranoia that puts people off rather than my personality?

On Tuesday night the SA president addressed the nation to inform us that we have been put up to level 3 due to the 3rd wave. The curfews have been moved to 10pm and alcohol is only to be available to be sold on Monday to Thursdays other than the wine farms and breweries which can be open on the weekends. It is a rather confusing level.

On Wednesday we were off work as it was Youth Day. This year commemorates 45 years since the 1976 Soweto youth uprising. It is a day dedicated to remembering the youth who stood up against apartheid and laid down their lives fighting for freedom and the right to equal education in South Africa.

I was supposed to meet up with my daughter Caitlin at Builder’s Warehouse but she was feeling unwell and as we are officially in a 3rd wave we did not want to risk it so I hung out at home and pottered about. I made a few pots of soup and did some painting and watched a bit of telly. If only we had a day off mid-week every week, how pleasant life would be. The builders came in to work so it was a busy day at the house.

On Friday after work I went with Norman to walk the dogs. I walked Pixie and he walked the rambunctious boys. Pixie and I took our time since I have not really been moving much since lockdown and my muscles are a bit under utilised to say the least. But it is a start, I will try and walk a few nights each week as I need to start moving my body.

Now for my weekly COVID updates. For total cases the rankings have not changed from last week. SA is 19th with 1,796,589, the UK is 7th with 4,610,893 and the USA is still 1st with 34,393,269 total cases.

The ranking on numbers of lives lost due to COVID has SA staying at 16th with 58,441, the UK has dropped one place and is now 7th with 127,956 deaths and the USA is still first with 616,920 lives lost.

For the more comparable ranking of number of deaths per million of the population, SA has moved up a place once again and is now in 51st position with 974, the UK has dropped 2 spots and is now 19th with 1,875 and the USA has dropped another place to 20th with 1,853. SA is moving the wrong direction due to our 3rd wave.

Vaccinations are continuing to be rolled out to health workers and people over the age of 60 in SA but as there are over five million people over the age of 60 years, it is going to take some time for everyone in this age group to be vaccinated. In SA 2,069,346 vaccines have now been administered. In the UK 42,460,632 first doses have been given and 30,898,467 second doses. In the USA 176,290,249 people have had the first dose and 148,459,003 people are fully vaccinated. I never thought I might be looking forward to turning 60 but Norm has said we will be going to queue for the jab on my birthday unless they manage to open up for the under 60s before September.

For my musical section I bring you ‘Highway Song’ by Max Jury. I heard the song on Spotify and I thought a woman was singing this track until I googled! Max’s voice is smooth and rather lovely.

While I am on the potentially offensive path of androgynous voices I bring you 19 year old new artist Charlie Houston singing ‘Things’. It is another relatively new release. The video is by tranquilo out of Toronto. Charlie is from Toronto as well. Again, when I heard the song I thought it was a lad until I googled the video.

So is it PC to call someone androgynous? As someone who is pretty old I try my best to be up to date with the correct terminology but it is a challenge! I saw that one article called Charlie ‘gender bending’? Is that the new term for androgynous? Fill me in people in the know!

As a bonus track I am also including a Mahogany Session version of ‘Broke’ by Andreya Triana. I love this song it is full of soul and has a wonderful groove. Her voice is husky and lovely.

I hope you all have a great weekend and best wishes for a smooth week ahead. Remember to check on your friends and family who are isolating alone.

Until next time, socially distant Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

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