This week we have had some severe weather in SA. Last night it hailed, we even had thunder and lightening. We have had some torrential rain and even flooding down the coast where Lily lives. We lit a fire today as soon as we were out of bed as it is crazy cold.
However, the weather was lovely last weekend, it was warm enough that we could comfortably potter about in the garden and I could paint outside.
I painted a few stones and put them into my succulent garden. I also finished my little ladybug rock. I forgot that ladybugs have black spots until I had painted them white so I did a mix of black and white. This little fella will go into one of my flower pots. His wonkiness makes me love him even more.
I also repainted the stool I had painted so badly the first time. I used a variety of blues to go with the pale blue background. One of the blues was too thick and so it painted badly so I will have to paint over those but overall I am happy with it. I will give it a gentle sand on the big dots to flatten them a bit and do some touch ups today.
To refresh your memory of the circus-esque version one compared to the updated one, I did a before and after. Not only were the colours horrendous but I did not know when to stop, sometimes less is more.
Painting really relaxes me and having things I create around me makes me happy. It does not matter if they are not perfect, the whole experience brings me joy. I am a firm believer in doing things which make you happy, regardless of how other people view the results.
While I painted, Norm played with his new pole lopper. I had never heard of a pole lopper until our neighbour brought his lopper and his chainsaw down for a boys playdate but they are fabulous! Norm had been in an online meeting that morning and was wearing a shirt and tie when he came out to lop which I found very funny. He trimmed off loads of bits and there are plenty more to trim, our trees are a bit out of control, but it made the big pepper tree in the front of the garden look much tidier.
Last blog I mentioned the issues I was having with my bird feeders and the interloping bees. I painted the feeder red on Saturday and the birds came right back to it! There is the occasional bee but they are not surrounding it and drowning by the dozens.
This week we got back the items we had left for framing or repair by The Framery. The elephant photograph by local photographer Freddie Child-Villiers that I won in a competition has been hung on the landing over Norm’s desk and looks amazing.
I also had this painting by Ana Kuni redone. The painting had slipped down into the frame and they repaired it for me.
I also had a print that my Dad gave me about 40 years ago which was painted by his friend Grady. It had gotten damaged in one of our moves so we had them put new matting around it which enhances the colours in the print and the wall. We will hang it this weekend in the back bedroom.
My bamboo bath caddy arrived this week. As the clawfoot bath has no surrounding ledges for your gubbins this works perfectly. It has a little holder for slotting in a wine glass, a stand for your iPad, and of course it has a spot for your soap and shampoos. It goes so beautifully with my bamboo soap dispenser and loo brush. I had a giraffe print brown spotted soap dish someone gave me years ago which goes perfectly in that bathroom and some cute little soaps the kids gave me many years ago that I never used. Sometimes it pays to never throw anything away!
That is all of the last bits and pieces we need for the bedrooms and bathrooms now in place. My bank account is heaving a sigh of relief. That did not stop me buying unnecessary frivolous things however. I ordered another bird feeder which looks very sweet. I put it out by the pool so I can see it from my desk.
Yuppiechef had a sale on Maxwell & Williams mugs and I ordered some which not only match my turquoise kitchen tiles perfectly but also have birds on them. #ScoreScore Many of our mugs are cracked, chipped and tatty so it is nice to have some presentable ones.
This week my oldest 2 kids received their 1st Covid Vaccine. Caitlin and Trevor had appointments on Monday. Lily went on Wednesday only to be turned away after spending hours in the queue as she recently had a rubella vaccine and they said she must wait 1 or 2 weeks after that to get the Covid vaccine.
Many in the rest of the country are getting their vaccines as well. SA has now administered 11,924,972 vaccines. This is not 1:1 against people, this includes counts of people getting their 2nd vaccines as well as those getting the J&J single dose vaccine.
In the UK 47,915,768 1st vaccines and 42,379,353 2nd doses have been administered. In the USA the CDC is reporting that the number of people getting vaccinated is finally moving up as so many people are dying and being hospitalised due to the Delta variant and 203,475,192 people have now had their 1st vaccine (61% of the population) and 172,646,952 have had their 2nd dose (52%).
On the global scale of comparisons of the total number of cases per country, the US has remained in 1st place with 39,540,401 total cases, SA is still 17th with 2,747,018 cases, and the UK is still 6th with 6,666,399 cases.
For the statistics of numbers of deaths, SA has stayed at 16th for total deaths on a global scale with 81,187 lives lost. For both the UK and the USA there has also been no shift in rankings since last week. The UK is still at 7th place with 132,243 deaths and the USA is still holding on to 1st with 653,405 lives lost to COVID and related illnesses.
For the more evenly compared ranking of deaths per 1 million of the population the UK has remained at 22nd with 1,936 out of a million dying. The USA has dropped down to 21st place with 1,961 out of 1 million on average passing from COVID. SA has dropped a spot to 42nd with 1,349 people out of a million of the population dying from the virus or from related illnesses.
For my musical tributes this week I have provided a Tiny Desk Concert from the Isley Brothers. Some of you young readers may not have even heard of them before but their songs will probably be familiar to you. The main members of the group are lead singer and founding member Ronald Isley accompanied by his brother Ernie. Their other bandmates, brothers Vernon and O’Kelly have passed away. Ronnie and Ernie are still as silky and smooth as they were decades ago.
Their Set List is:
“Between the Sheets”
“Footsteps in the Dark”
“For the Love of You”
Norm and I started a couple of new series on telly this week. The first is ‘Gotham.’ Hmmm….what to say about this. It is filmed in a dark cheesy comic book style of vibe. The story starts with young Bruce Wayne (played by David Mazouz) and his parents coming from an evening out when his parents are both murdered. The cops who are tasked with investigating the murder are the jaded and cynical Harvey Bullock who is played by Donal Logue, and the younger altruistic and moral cop James Gordon, who is played by Benjamin McKenzie. I am not into superheroes or comics and I find it a bit cheesy but I will stick with it for a few more eps to see if it grows on me.
The second series is ‘The Chair‘ with Sandra Oh, one of my favourite actresses. You will recognise her from Grey’s Anatomy and Killing Eve. Sandra plays the part of Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim who has just taken on a new role as the Chair of the English department at prestigious Pembroke University. It also stars Holland Taylor whose work I really enjoy as well. In this series Holland is styled to reflect her actual age instead of being styled as a hot cougar sex bomb type. It also stars Jay Duplass as Bill Dobson. We have only seen a few episodes so I have no rating as yet but I am enjoying the dry humour in it.
Next week’s blog will be delayed until Sunday as Friday is my 60th birthday. Lily and Trevor (and maybe Josh depending on his work) are driving down to spend the weekend with me and Caitlin will come and join us. It is the only thing making turning 60 something I am looking forward to. I can be depressed on Monday. Actually, I joke as I have so many blessings I have no reason to be depressed. Other than my sore joints I still feel like I am a young’un, my mind is quick and my mental acuity is still quicker than many of those who are half my age (the root of much of a Virgo’s frustration in life is ‘catch up FFS’).
I have planned a dinner out on Friday at the new Old Town Italy restaurant in High Constantia with my 3 kids, Josh, Wes and Norm. I booked a table outside so we may freeze our derrieres off but at least it will reduce the germ flows around us. I booked High Tea on the Saturday at Cellars-Hohenhort Hotel for my 3 kids and Norm and I. The grounds are stunning and we can have a little meander around the gardens after our tea. After High Tea we are going to pop over to Caitlin and Wes’s new house so Lily and Trevor can see it. At some point that weekend we are also going to do a little painting session at my house. Today I will prep some rocks for them and have them each paint a rock for my garden. I am so excited to see them all I may spontaneously explode.
Until then, stay safe and get vaccinated if you can, wear a mask and do not be an ass.
Much love, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox