A Trip Down Under

This week has felt very heavy emotionally. The news is full of flooding in multiple areas of the globe, raging fires, droughts both in South Africa as well as a lot of the rest of the world and of course there are still people dying from the pandemic. It gets hard to deal with and can completely overwhelm me if I allow the pain of those affected in, especially as much of it is due to the damage from humans to Mother Earth.

I am trying to focus on praying for the resolutions of these issues, asking the cloud spirits to direct their water towards the areas where the fires are raging, to ask Mother Earth for forgiveness for the damage we have done to her and to ask her to stop the floods. I try to say the Ho’oponopono prayer to Mother Earth every night.

The ho’oponopono prayer is simply: “I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you.”

The other thing which is causing a lot of emotion to rise up is the Capitol Riot Hearing. We listened to the testimony of the 4 officers involved in defending the capitol from the rioters and it was incredibly hard to watch. I wept through a lot of it. These men will all have PTSD for many years to come.

How Republicans can still deny that this was all instigated in support of Trump and continue to downplay the horror of the attack is beyond me.

On a personal level I have a many positive and happy things going on but I still feel a lot of grief over the loss of Navajo. It hits me randomly and unexpectedly. It has eased but it has not gone away and I am not sure it ever will. I heard from the swiss shepherd breeder we have contacted to get a pup and she is pretty sure that Sparrow (her female) is pregnant. We should know for sure next week and if so we will put a deposit down to secure a pup. The pup won’t replace Navajo but we need a dog for security and protection and we love the breed and hopefully it will ease our pain and fill the hole in our hearts a bit.

The other animals have had a poorly week. Pixie and Panda had to go for their vaccines on Tuesday and the vet said that Panda’s teeth were a mess. He was attacked a few years ago and the dog slammed his face onto the paving and broke off a lot of his teeth. An infection could affect his overall health so on Friday he went down to get sedated and let the dentist check him out. They did a good cleaning and said his mouth was in a right state (which explains his horrendous breath). The vet said that one of his canine teeth is quite loose but they did not want to remove it as it can weaken the jaw and that may result in a broken mandible with small dogs so he decided to leave it and just keep an eye on it.

It worries me so when they have to be sedated, he is so tiny and has had so many health issues.

Blue kitty came in with a squinty eye and sore ear on Wednesday so on Thursday Norm took him down to the vet. Of course by the time he got there Blue seemed fine. The vet checked him from head to toe and he was fine. No squinty eye, no sore ear, no swelling. The vet said he was maybe stung by a bee or insect as nothing else would have resolved itself so quickly.

I wish we had pet insurance. When we get another pet that will be the first thing we do!

Last Sunday evening we had another family chat with Uncle Cyril (the SA president) and he lifted our lockdown level a bit which means we are allowed to buy alcohol again. Not that I am an alcoholic but since lockdown I tend to have a wee vodka each evening just to calm my nerves and I was rapidly running out.

The other good news is that vaccinations are open to everyone over 18 from the 1st of September so my girls can now both get vaccinated. However this week the news said that the vaccine demand is outstripping the supply in our province. Hopefully they get the required number of vaccines available soon.

The other areas that Cyril touched on were:

I booked for my 2nd jab this week. I changed my location to the CTICC as I have heard that they are very efficient there. Norm went to a centre in Hout Bay for his 2nd one but he stood in a queue for 2 hours and I would rather drive a few miles than stand in a cold field closer to home for hours. My dodgy knees cannot stand that long.

On Monday the tilers came to finish off the family bathroom and the painting I ordered arrived. She is so beautiful. The size and the colours are just perfect for the bedroom. I am so pleased with my choice.

On Tuesday the builders cleaned up the excess grout from the tiles and installed the basin, the toilet and the bath. I was worried that the brown mosaics would not go as nicely with the other tiles as the grey mosaics did but my fears were unfounded, it looks great. Norm hung my painting in the bedroom and she is just so perfect! Sorry about the messy bed I will do a proper photo shoot once the builders have vamoosed.

On Wednesday I had a boost of positivity when I received an email from Crush Magazine to tell me that I won the Lancewood Piece’o’Cake Cheesecake Mix competition I entered and that I have a Hamper coming my way. I cannot remember what is in the hamper but whatever it is, it is something I did not have before so I am happy about that. I love freebies!

The builders came on Wednesday to do more painting and work on the pipes that go out of the bathrooms to the outside. In SA houses are not wooden so the waste pipes are not embedded in the walls. I found that really odd when I moved to SA.

They also did some touch up painting of the base boards (skirting boards as Norm calls them.) On Thursday they hung the new mirror and put up the towel rails in the main bathroom. I love this mirror so much! It is from Biggie Best in Cavendish which used to sell such granny fabrics but they have some lovely items now.

Today the builder removed all of the packaging from the bath and discovered a nick on the side of it which is very visible. I think this bath is cursed! I am not impressed with the lack of quality assurance from Tiletoria, first the wobbly legs and now the damaged side, neither of which should have resulted in that bath being delivered to a client.

There are only a few bits and pieces to be finished off with the house. We are waiting on suppliers to bring the glass shower wall and to etch the tiles in the shower so they are not slippery. The window in the bathroom has had the base coat done but still needs to be painted and there are a few other small bits to be done but it is so close!

It has been about a month of our lives but it is so worth it. It is like having a brand new upstairs. For those who are looking for a builder in Cape Town I can really recommend Mark Mc Namara from Platinum Building Projects, his work and attention to detail is beyond anything you would ever get with another builder.

I am sure I am not the only one who can watch something and completely forget it and only recognise it when you are well into watching it again. This happened last weekend when I decided to start watching an Australian series called ‘Wanted‘. It was not familiar to me but Norm came to join me and he said he had already seen it. I assumed he had watched it on his own until it got to the scene which showed domestic abuse and that made me remember it. I do not think we finished it as there were many episodes I do not remember at all, so I think it was one of those series that we started and got distracted and never finished.

The basic premise is that two women are falsely accused of murder, and go on the run across Australia in a car filled with stolen money. They are being chased by corrupt cops and various criminals. The women are polar opposites and this is part of the basis for much of the drama / hilarity. The series was created by Rebecca Gibney who also plays the jaded character ‘Lola’. The other female lead character is ‘Chelsea Babbage’ who is played by ‘Geraldine Hakewill‘.

I have not finished it but I am really enjoying it and give it a solid 4 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I often listen to the soundtracks of series and movies which I enjoy and I discovered several artists from the soundtrack to ‘Wanted’ which led me down an Australian / New Zealand rabbit hole to various other artists on Spotify.

I love the voice of ‘Sarah Blasko‘ and the jazzy sound of this song ‘Bird On A Wire’. Sarah is an Australian artist who has been around for a long time but I had never heard of her. In case you had not either, I hope you enjoy her.

The other artist I discovered is New Zealand based Tami Neilson. I had a hard time deciding which track to include because she has so many fabulous songs but I finally settled on ‘Walk (Back to Your Arms)’. I love the cook beatnik vibe of the video contrasting with the cool country soul sound of the track.

And finally, the bonus artist I am including is ‘Teeks‘ (aka Te Karehana Gardiner-Toi) a Maori soul singer from New Zealand. Teeks has a gorgeous, smooth, deep, husky voice which is perfect for soul. Every song I heard of his I was favoriting before I even saw that he was the artist. He is much younger than he sounds, his vibe is also quite retro which always speaks to me. This song is ‘If Only’. I recommend you check out some of his other tracks on his YouTube channel.

Now for my weekly COVID update. The global ranking this week is that the US has remained in 1st place with 35,688,506 total cases, SA is still 17th with 2,435,036 cases, and the UK is still 6th with 5,830,774 cases.

For the grim statistics of numbers of deaths, there has been no shift in rankings since last week and SA is still 17th for total deaths on a global scale with 71,679 lives lost. The UK is 7th with 129,583 deaths and the USA is 1st with 629,064 lives lost to COVID and related illnesses.

For the more evenly rated ranking of deaths per 1 million of the population there has been no shift for the UK which is 20th with 1,898 nor for the USA which is following very closely at 21st with 1,889 out of 1 million on average passing from COVID. However SA has jumped 2 spots to 45th with 1,192 out of a million dying from the virus.

The vaccine program has continued to chug ahead here in SA and there have now been 7,504,373 vaccines administered. This includes the collective count of 1st and 2nd jabs. 190,509,183 people in the USA have received their first vaccine and 164,184,080 people are fully vaccinated. In the UK 46,775,525 people have received their first vaccine and 37,962,407 people are fully vaccinated.

This weekend we are cleaning and putting all of the rooms back in order. It will be nice to not be wading through dust. Both Norm and I are coughing a lot and I am hoping that a good clean will resolve it.

My Grandmother’s antique chair that my mother recovered looks so perfect in the corner of the back bedroom.

My desk has been moved back to the front of the lounge so I have my lovely view again.

It is beginning to feel like our home again instead of a building site! Now I must get back to cleaning.

Stay safe and please remember to check on your friends and family, especially those who may be isolating at home on their own, even those who claim to be fine.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxox

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