The Certainty of Uncertainty

One certainty about living in South Africa is that everything is often uncertain.

My current project has been full of uncertainties. We have been asking for a plan with priorities and it was finally presented on Wednesday. We felt confident and charged off with our top 5 priorities. Then on Thursday the plan changed. It is so frustrating! I feel like we are trying to build a house on sand and everything keeps crumbling under our feet.

The weather is the same, this week started off really chilly, misty and drizzly. I could not even see the mountains.

I was working in pajama pants and long sleeved tops and wrapping up in a blanket to watch telly at night. Even my big boy was chilly so he decided he needed to park off on my lap.

The cold meant that I was unable to swim for several days of the week so I did a few stretches and some step exercises in the house. The trekking poles and the hand weights I ordered arrived this week so I could at least work my arms.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I braved the pool but the water was freezing cold. I have heard that exercising in icy cold water is good for you so I just toughed it out. Then on Thursday the heat ramped up to the other extreme. Today is supposed to be mega-hot. It is certainly beautiful and clear.

One thing that is consistent is my attempts to stay low carb. We ordered a take out last Sunday and I was craving curry so Norm popped down to Indian Oven to get a prawn curry and saag paneer for me. It was so delicious! I did not have rice, my usual bhaji or pakora starters, nor did I have a naan bread or even a poppadum. I had plenty to eat without the carb laden extras, it is just a change in habits.

Norm was supposed to go away last Sunday and come back on Monday but the trip did not happen. He had already booked a dog walker to come and take Finn for an outing and rather than cancel he let her take him on a long walk by the river.

He had a great time and was really tired afterwards and slept all afternoon.

On Wednesday Finn had puppy class and was his usual outgoing, rambunctious, social butterfly self. He has a great time but comes home filthy dirty.

Norm did a shop on Monday and that night we had fillet steaks, fried halloumi cheese and red cabbage fried in butter and balsamic. Norm over-charred the outside of the steaks but they were still pink inside and tasted fine.

On Tuesday I fried some beef mince and made guacamole and served a Mexican salad. There is a big pile of spicy meat in the middle of the salad. It is such a quick and simple meal and is very filling.

On Wednesday I baked a pork loin fillet in butter and teriyaki and it was so tender it melted in your mouth. I steamed a head of cauliflower and pureed it with a blob of butter and a splash of cream until it was smooth. I sliced and fried some mushrooms and added a bit of bisto granules, some chicken stock and a splash of cream and let it simmer to thicken as I did not start with a roux or use any flour. I sliced my brussel sprouts and parboiled in chicken stock, chili, pepper, lots of garlic and a sprinkle of onion flakes. Once they were softened I fried them off in butter to get a bit of colour. They had so much flavour!

On Thursday Norm went to collect a take out from Casareccio in Hout Bay. I ordered the calamari with vegetables and a side Caprese Salad without Basil. I was very disappointed in my meal. The calamari seemed to be mostly the heads of the squids with the little fin things included and it freaked me out. They are edible but it still was not something I could bring myself to eat. Yuck. The last time I ordered their calamari it was divine! Now I do not know which was the off night, the excellent night or the revolting night. It’s not easy being picky AF.

As for the Caprese, it was average. The mozzarella seemed to be slices of slightly melted mozzarella. By far the best Caprese I have had from our village is from Massimo’s. Their mozzarella is pukka.

On Friday we had a meal delivered from Spiro and Julie. Their website described it as “Sticky Oven Baked St Louis style Pork Ribs, accompanied with a hearty roast pumpkin, goats cheese and honeyed walnut salad.” The meat just fell off the bones and the salad was divine! I will recreate this side dish myself as I love walnuts and feta.

Today Julie and Spiro sent out a mail to say that they have closed their kitchen for good. They both have had job offers they could not turn down and hopefully this means a less chaotic life for them as I am sure running a professional kitchen from home as well as a delivery service was exhausting and life consuming. They are both such lovely people and I wish them all the best.

It was great while it lasted. I guess I need to buy a cookbook or two now that I have to feed us myself!

I try to keep my midday meals light and very low in carbs so I can save my carb allowance for my evening meal. I usually toast 2 pieces of the low carb bread Norm discovered and alternate between no added sugar peanut butter when I am busy or 2 boiled eggs with a bit of mayo if I have the time to prepare it.

Norm bought some yummy fresh smoked salmon ribbons at the shops and for lunch on Thursday I halved an avocado, filled it with a tablespoon of cream cheese, chopped some cucumber and baby tomatoes and served it with the salmon. It was so light and fresh and as the temperature had risen to 30℃ it was perfect for the weather.

Yesterday afternoon I went out for my swim and as I went to put down my towel on the lounger I looked up and I came eye to eye with a chubby squirrel swinging from my suet ball bird feeder right in front of me. We both froze in shock and then he leapt up in the neighbouring leafy tree and scurried out of reach. I was sad that I scared him and went on to the other side of the pool to swim. He waited a few minutes then he popped back down to continue chowing the suet balls and he stayed until he had his fill. It was so sweet to be so close to him and be able to watch him. I bet he is the one who has chowed the seed heart below the suet feeder.

We just watched the series Pieces of Her. I have loved Toni Collette since I first saw her in “Muriel’s Wedding“. I think she is really under-rated and she is a brilliant actress who can play any part she attempts.

Toni plays the part of Laura Oliver, a speech therapist who lives on Belle Island off the coast of Georgia. Laura is a widow and her daughter Andy lives in a cottage on her property. Andy recently came back home to take care of her mother who was recovering from breast cancer. Andy is played by Bella Heathcote. Bella was so familiar to me but looking through her work I did not watch any of the movies or series she has appeared in so maybe she just reminds me of someone else?

Young Laura is played by Jessica Barden whom you may remember from various series, particularly the very bizarre ‘The End of the F***ing World‘. She always looks so sulky and deadpan and has a very adolescent face.

Anyway…. ‘Laura’ has a mysterious past which is slowly revealed by scenes from her youth and young adulthood. I do not want to give anything else away. I really loved this series but Norm was so-so about it. I give it 5 Kitten Stars and he does not get a vote ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

I discovered a couple of new artists today on Spotify. Well… not ‘new’ to the industry, just to me.

The first song is ‘Broken Bird’ and this is a live version of the track. The singer is Daniel Docherty. Daniel is a Glaswegian and we know that all the best things come from Scotland 💜💙🧡. I hope you enjoy the song.

The second artist is Lily Moore and again the song ‘Nothing On You’ is not new, it is a few years old. I think she has a lovely husky but sweet voice. Lily is the daughter of one of the world’s best guitarists, the late Gary Moore who played for Thin Lizzy and released several brilliant albums on his own. I hope you enjoy her voice as much as I do.

So today Norm is working and I am here trying to keep the dogs from running rampant. By dogs I mean Finn of course. He has been for a swim, tracked water all over the house and sofas and harrassed his siblings.

He has eaten two of Norm’s socks. When I went to check on him I discovered he was also destroying his new bed.

Let him have it, I am tired of chasing him around in the heat like a fool. Just when I thought I might have a nervous breakdown our friend Mark and his dog Hunter arrived to tire him out. The boys played and played for ages and now Finn is a mucky pup but at least he is chilled out.

I am now off for a swim to cool off and then I will catch up on RuPaul’s latest episodes. I hope you all enjoy your weekend and upcoming week.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

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