You know how buzz words bubble up and everyone then adopts them and becomes an expert on something they had never heard of a week ago? The term “Love Language” is something I have seen flying about for a while now. It just means that even if you may express affection to your significant other regularly, you need to make sure you’re communicating it the way your partner wants to receive it for it to be the most effective. As if we do not have enough stuff to worry about? Basically there are either 5 or 7 different ‘languages’. No one has time for 7 so I am sticking to 5.
Words of Affirmation: frequent “I love you’s,” compliments, words of appreciation, verbal encouragement, and frequent digital communication like texting and social media engagement. Norm and I both apply this one daily. Not a day goes by when we do not say ‘I love you’ and I always tell him thank you for doing the shopping or the other errands he does without complaint. I try not to take him for granted.
Quality Time: People whose love language is quality time feel the most adored when their partner actively wants to spend time with them. They particularly love when active listening, eye contact, and full presence are prioritized hallmarks in the relationship. This means putting down your phone!! This one resonates with me, if I am talking to someone and they are staring at their phone rather than me, it can trigger me to detach.
Acts of Service: This is where your partner goes out of their way to do something kind or helpful for you. This can be anything from bringing them a coffee in bed, to making them soup when they are ill, to running errands for you. Norm performs this demonstration of love to me all of the time. I get a coffee in bed on the weekends and he runs all of our errands to save me risking exposure to the virus.
Gifts: This one is pretty self explanatory, it is where the person feels valued most when they receive gifts from their partner. I think we all love gifts though, don’t we? Simple things like flowers when there is no special occasion, just because they thought of you and wanted to make you smile. Norman is an amazing gift giver, his gifts always reflect that he knows my taste and are always perfect. I love jewelry and he knows my style is not diamonds and the cost is not relevant. I like big chunky statement pieces.
Physical Touch: This can be any physical sign of affection, including kissing, holding hands, cuddling on the couch, and sex. Norm and I still hold hands after 25 years. Touch is Norman’s primary love language. He loves his face touched whereas I pull away from anyone going near my face or neck.
Some people may have multiple ways that they want their partner to express love to them. Here is a little chart to help.
The most important thing is showing love and appreciation to your significant other, how you do so is up to what speaks to each of you personally.
Last weekend was a long weekend in SA and on Sunday we decided to get out early to take Finn for a walk. We chose Silverhurst hiking trail in the Constantia Greenbelt which is only about a 15 minute drive from us. The distance of the trail is just under 2kms and there are various gentle hills and slopes. It is mostly shaded but we still wore our hats. I did forget to put sunscreen on which was a bit silly but there was enough shade that we did not get sunburnt. My new trekking poles would not lock into place, so we abandoned those and I just used my cane. It really helped on the slopes and uneven ground.
As soon as we started on the trail, Finn spotted his puppy class girlfriend Ava (he has a few) and bolted off to meet her and they rolled around in delight until we forced them to leave each other.
The trail runs along a river but the river was mostly dry. There was a little pond which Finn made a dash for and tripped and faceplanted right in the mud. It smelled of sulphur and of course, so did he. Everyone who went past us had a laugh at the state of him.
Finn is so good with other dogs and he had a play with all the dogs we encountered. We all really enjoyed the fresh air and getting out in nature.
On the way home we saw signs that said ‘ROMANCE‘ which were pointing in a different direction than the way we were going and I jokingly quipped ‘so that is why I never get flowers, we are avoiding the road to romance’.
We stopped at the local shop for milk and eggs and I waited in the truck with Finn while Norm went in. He came out with some gorgeous proteas for me!
After almost 25 years of marriage he still manages to surprise me. My love language is usually chocolate but in our new low carb life, gifts of flowers are a perfect alternative. I love flowers and I especially love proteas. They are sitting on my desk where I can gaze at them all day. Lola loves sniffing them and uses them to hide from the rather obtrusive Finn who has no regard for personal boundaries.
When we got home I went straight into the pool because I was so hot. I figured it was as good as any way to cool off and it meant I could get another 30 minutes of exercise in.
I met the squat challenge of 150 squats last week and with my hike and swimming I was feeling powerful! This week’s challenge was 175 squats over the week and I only have 25 left to do before Monday so I have that one in the bag too.
As Monday was Human Rights Day it was a public holiday, so we decided to go out for dinner on Sunday night. We obviously have to take Finn as he cannot stay on his own. We knew that Massimo’s is dog friendly and it is 2 minutes from our house and we love their food so it was our first choice. We were happy to get an outside table off in the corner on our own. It felt nice to put on make-up and a dress and be out in public with my love (and Norm 😉).
The server brought Norm and I a couple of carafes of sauvignon blanc and a big bowl of water for Finn. She also brought over a pup menu! I was so happy to see that Massimo’s offer a variety of treats for dogs and we chose a frozen hoof stuffed with chicken and butternut which Finn got stuck into very happily.
We decided to get a variety of tapas dishes to share with each of us getting to choose or agree on. I chose the baby calamari. It comes with a tangy aioli and their calamari is lightly breaded, tender and always so delicious.
To share we chose the seared beef carpaccio served on a bed of rocket and topped with grated parmesan cheese. The beef was perfectly thin, tender and so tasty.
Norm chose the polpettine (beef meatballs) which came in a lovely rich tomato sauce and was topped with parmesan. To also share we chose the mozzarella cheese bites, and a side salad which was simple and delicious. The server brought us an order of fried artichoke hearts in error which we were just going to eat rather than hassle her to return them but then she realised they went to the wrong table and quickly took them back. Oops. I thought they looked great and as we have had them before we can tell you they are divine even though we did not eat them that night.
We had a very enjoyable evening and it was so nice to get out of the house. I give our experience 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
Monday was a lazy day with Norm complying with one of my love languages and bringing me multiple coffees in bed and other than feeding my birds and a bit of gardening I did nothing at all other than have a swim. It was heavenly. My succulent garden is thriving and makes me so happy.
On Tuesday Norm started feeling unwell and he has been a bit ill all week with a bad tummy. I had it for weeks and it has been going around for months. On Wednesday he took Finn to puppy class and then stopped off at the shops.
That night I cooked chicken breasts in a bit of olive oil and garlic and then about 10 minutes before they were cooked I wrapped a slice of prosciutto around each bit of chicken. I am weird about textures of food and I am not a fan of squishy squash so I sliced the zucchinis long ways and tossed them in olive oil, parmesan cheese and garlic and put them on baking paper. I sprinkled the remaining piece of prosciutto over them and baked them. I wanted to get some nice grill markings for my baby bok choy so I tried to use my grill pan but it did not work well so I gave up and put them in the oven. I think they need a bit of something as they were a bit bitter.
On Thursday night I made my fave Mexican salad with home made guacamole.
Last night I just had leftovers from the night before since Norm did not feel like eating much of anything. I did make a nice simple deconstructed ‘salad’ for lunch on Friday.
Finn has been his usual naughty rambunctious self. He has now devoured 2 of his beds and has started on Pixie’s beds and the communal bed they all lie on (the 2 black ones are the same pattern but different sizes). He even ate one of my couch cushions I have had for decades. You can see why I call him a terrorist (especially noting that he was born on 9/11).
Panda has been unwell and has been coughing so the vet gave him meds but they make him barf. He can stomach the cough syrup and the petcalm and that seems to have helped him. He always seems to have some ailment but it never slows him down, he keeps on going like a yappy little energizer bunny.
For two years now I have had so little variety to spice up my life. I love having things to look forward to and this week I have organised lots of lovely outings. I booked a weekend away for Norm and I to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The house sitter is booked, as is a lovely apartment right in the centre of Franschhoek which is a gorgeous little village a few hours away. For the Saturday night I booked a very posh dinner at La Petite Colombe, which is nestled in an outstandingly beautiful venue, in the midst of vineyards and manicured landscapes, offering views of the Franschhoek Valley and the Franschhoek Pass. It is a tasting menu of lots of little delicacies and flavours. You can see it here. For lunch on the Sunday before we drive back I booked at Reuben’s. Their menu is ala carte which is just as well as we will probably still be stuffed from the night before.
April kicks off Restaurant Week in South Africa where restaurants offer discounts on their usual meals or they offer a multiple course tasting menu at a special price. Last year I pondered too long due to the virus and ended up with only a single booking and this year I decided to push the boat out. I deliberately chose places which had high ratings where we have never been.
I booked 2 evening meals with Norman. One is for a 5 course Autumn Menu at COPA. The other is for a 3 course dinner at KONG Bar & Grill. We have to get someone to look after the terrorist while we are out and Uncle Mark is having Finn one evening and Vanessa is coming here for the other night.
I also booked 2 weekend lunches as a treat for Caitlin and Wes. Norm can stay home with the beasty. I let Wes choose the venues as he is a foodie. (Is food his love language? You’re welcome Caitlin!) We are going to Chapter One for a 4 course meal which includes a cocktail. The other venue is Pilcrow & Cleaver where we are booked for another 4 course meal. It makes me happy to be able to spoil them.
The remainder of the month of April I will have to keep very low carb and get in lots of exercise but I will indulge in what I fancy on those 4 excursions and hope it does not derail my weight loss efforts so far. I have now lost 10.8 kgs (23.7lbs) in total and have built up my strength. I am very proud of my success.
For my musical section this week I am introducing you to a young lad named Sam Johnston. He is a Texas native and he is tearing up the blues circuits. I love blues, especially that unique southern blues with a twang of bluegrass or country and a lot of soul in the depths of it. I can only find a live version of this track with Sam performing ‘Postcards’ backed by the Happy Camper Studios house band live in Nashville, TN. but it gives you a feel for his sound and I hope you love him as much as I do.
I predict big things in Sam’s future. I think he is fabulously talented.
Last night we started watching Season 2 of Bridgerton. I had forgotten just how much I loved this series, especially the sound track with current pop tunes set to strings and the whole classical vibe. I loved the entrance to the ball set to a revamped Madonna’s Material Girl.
We only indulged in 2 episodes as we do not want to devour the whole thing at once and be left wanting more so quickly. It seems that this season will primarily focus on the pursuit of a wife by the very eligible Viscount Anthony Bridgerton who is played by Jonathan Bailey whom we see naked quite quickly in this season, are they trying to make him the new sex symbol as they did with the delectable Regé-Jean Page?
A love triangle inadvertently forms between the Viscount and the Sharma sisters who are fresh off the boat from Bombay. Simone Ashley plays Kate Sharma and is the female lead for season two. She is a ‘spinster’ at the tender age of 26 and is the daughter of a shop keeper. Her step mother is of society and had created a scandal by marrying a man who was a father and had no fortune and running off to India. The younger daughter is played by the beautiful Charithra Chandran who is pursued by all of the eligible bachelors in town after she is chosen by Queen Charlotte (brilliantly played by Golda Rosheuvel) as the ‘Diamond of the First Water’ of the season.
I will not give away anything else but so far we are loving it and tonight we will watch a few more episodes.
I hope you all have had a great weekend and that you stay safe.
Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxox