Eyes on the Prize

Caitlin is my only child that lives in Cape Town but as she has been ill we did not have visitors for Father’s Day. Instead Norm and I had a day relaxing and watching films as the weather had turned very hot again and it was too warm to do any gardening. I did paint a few of my pots which needed some rejuvenation love but that was it.

Norm and I watched ‘Fatherhood‘ as it seemed an appropriate choice on Father’s Day despite being quite sad in a few bits. It is about a single father (played by Kevin Hart) who raises his child Maddy from birth after the death of her mother. The child who plays the oldest Maddy is adorable (well all of ‘the Maddys’ are but the ickle ones do not really do much except act as a straight ‘man’ for Kevin). I loved this little film and I give it 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

We also watched a random Christmas film starring Kristen Stewart as Abby, a lesbian whose parents died when she was 19. It also stars Mackenzie Davis as Harper, Abby’s girlfriend who has not come out to her parents, a fact she has neglected to tell Abby until they are en-route to the parental home for the holidays together.

The film is called ‘Happiest Season‘ but the movie shows that this time of year is quite often not very happy at all for some. Many people hide their true selves from their families, many people do not have any family and many people have families that are not good for their mental health. The film also includes Dan Levy (from Schitt’s Creek), the ageless Mary Steenburgen and the quirky Mary Holland. I enjoyed this film and give it 4 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐.

We also started watching 2 new South African series.

One is called ‘Penguin Town‘ and is filmed in the nearby beautiful Simon’s Town and stars the adorable little African penguins. The series is narrated by Executive Producer Patton Oswald. At first we were amused by his pronunciation of the ‘names’ of one penguin couple but we googled it and realised that we have been pronouncing ‘Bougainvillea’ wrong all of our lives. I have always said ‘BOO-gan-villia’ but apparently it is ‘BOW-gan-villea’. Oops. I will blame it on being American even though Patton is American too, so shhhhh. It is very cute and the scenery is stunning so I recommend this series for everyone.

We also started a paranormal series called ‘Dead Places‘. The author Will Stone (played by Anthony Oseyemi) returns to South Africa to write his new book. His research leads him to some of South Africa’s most haunted places and deadly supernatural creatures. Joined by Kelly (played by Shamilla Miller), a vlogger with her own dark secrets, and Joe (played by Rea Rangaka), a former cop, the trio fight for answers and their lives. I enjoyed it but it is not Norm’s thing. I have only watched a few episodes so cannot gauge how good it is, but it has that ‘made in SA’ sort of amateurish vibe.

Work has continued in our remodeling project and at the end of the day on Monday the builders had removed the terracotta tiles from the landing.

It came with a price however as there were 2 days of very loud machines and a great amount of dust raining down on my head on Monday and Tuesday. After being lulled into a sense of dust-free-ness we were shocked at how pervasive it was once it hit us. I had to move my desk and instead of my lovely view of the pool and mountains I am now staring at the shed and washing line and the occasional pooping Pomeranian. The one moment of excitement I had was that a big fat bushy tailed squirrel was scuttling across my garden en-route to a cat free zone. I have never seen a squirrel in our garden so it was very exciting.

The builders have made amazing progress in a very short time. Speaking to other friends who have had renovations done our builders are efficient, fast and brilliant at managing the chaos. They take away every bit of debris on a daily basis and they do their best to keep things clean and tidy, they even mop on their way out at the end of the day!

This is their progress at the end of work on Day 7.

One of the builders came in on Friday to do some prep and tidy up so there was no noise to cope with.

Our new bath was delivered and it is so pretty I want to cry when I look at it, how gorgeous is it?? It will stay in the lounge out of the way until Phase 2 when they are ready for it in the family bathroom.

The tile guys arrived today to do the tiling in the master bedroom en-suite bathroom and the builders are laying the wood effect flooring on the landing.

I cannot wait to see those things completed as it will start to show how the end result will look.

It has turned really cold and has rained hard most of this week.

Each night I build a big fire when I finish work and snuggle up with the animals.

South Africa always needs rain so I won’t complain about it too much.

Now for my weekly COVID tracking stats for South Africa, the UK and USA (my 3 ‘home’ countries). In the ranking of total cases, none have changed their spot, SA is still 19th with 1,895,905 total cases, the UK is still 7th with 4,699,868 and the USA has recorded 34,482,672 cases, a number which is unfathomable if you think about it.

For the more serious ranking of the 3 countries for total deaths due to COVID or COVID related illness, all have remained at the same spot as last week. SA is still holding at 16th with 59,621 lives lost, the UK is still 7th with 128,066 and the USA is still holding at 1st with 619,152 which considering the number of people infected shows reasonable management of those affected but there were still 2,232 lives lost in a single week.

On the weighted comparison ranking of deaths per 1 million of the population, there has been no shift from last week and SA is still in 51st place with 993 deaths per million people, the USA is 20th with 1,860 and the UK is 19th with 1,877 lives out of every million lost to COVID.

In regards to vaccines, SA has now administered 2,661,378 vaccines. The UK has administered 43,877,861 first doses, and 32,085,916 people have received their second dose. In the US 178,491,147 people have received their 1st dose and 151,615,554 people are ‘fully vaccinated’.

We read in the news this week that the SA government are opening up registration to those in the 50 to 59 year old age group. This is such amazing news. Once I can register I will go to one of the vaccination centres as a walk in and get inoculated and then I will feel comfortable seeing my kids. I have not seen Trevor since March 2020 and I have not seen Lily since this February and I miss them terribly.

Today we are sticking close to home since the house is full of workmen. Norm is battling the copious dust and I will be trying out my new mandala painting set which arrived this week. It is still bitterly cold but I will be working in the garage so it won’t be too bad.

I hope you have all had a lovely week and that your weekend ahead is relaxing. Today is my Mom’s birthday and her friends are all taking her out so we will have a family zoom call tomorrow to wish her happy birthday.

Until next time, socially distant Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxox

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