Butterfly Mode

I recently mentioned that Norm and I are tentatively starting to entertain again. That decision seemed to open up the doors of the universe as we are now getting so many plans our diary is back to back. That is too much of an extreme for me as I also need downtime to recharge but I am sure it will settle down.

Last weekend we had plans on Saturday and Sunday, both of which went a bit off course. On Saturday we had invited our friends Mel, Steve, Andy and Camilla over for drinks and we were going to order BBQ take out. Unfortunately, that afternoon Mel came off her bike and badly injured herself and ended up at the hospital for hours. She eventually had an x-ray and was pronounced bruised but not broken, then they toddled off from A&E and arrived a few hours late for our little soiree. Being late was no issue except that by the time they arrived the rest of us had been imbibing for several hours and trying to get our order for food together was a bit like herding excitable hungry cats.

I forgot to mention that our friends were due to arrive at 6pm and we were notified that load-shedding also arrived at 6pm, so the BBQ place was offline as they have no generator. We sat waiting excitedly for 8pm when the power was supposed to come on, except it took until 8:30 and by then the restaurant had gone offline for the night. We ended up ordering Chinese food and sending Camilla, the designated Andy driver, down to collect it as she was the only sober one. We all ravenously stuffed our faces and then sat talking nonsense and laughing until Home Heroes arrived to take Mel and Steve home at 11pm. Despite all of the chaos it was a good night.

Last Sunday we were going to meet Caitlin and Wes for lunch so that they could tell us all about their trip to Mauritius and for us to see Caitlin’s engagement ring in person. Caitlin was not feeling well that day and did not want to infect me with anything so we rescheduled and Caitlin and Wes came around on Thursday night instead.

Wes is a real foody and Norm was too intimidated to cook for him so I ended up cooking all of the dinner with a bit of advice from Wes. I steamed a crayfish tail for each of us, cooked a fillet steak in lots of garlic, roasted sweet potatoes in the air fryer and sautéed asparagus spears in lemon, garlic and butter. Norm even bought a hazelnut and chocolate dessert from Woolworths as a treat.

Caitlin delivered my belated Mother’s Day gifts of some gorgeous succulents for my back garden as well as a huge bouquet of flowers. I love proteas and lilies and she found a bouquet with both! They are so stunning.

As Caitlin’s birthday also happened while she was away I gave her 2 succulents in lovely planters to go on their patio. I had already bought a gel nail thingy for her main present and just wanted to give her a few extra bits.

We put their holiday photos up on our telly and went through them and they told us the cute story of Wes’ proposal and all about their trip. It was a lovely evening despite Finn feeling the excitement of the story telling and being wound up tight as a drum. He was a bit of a nightmare and kept biting us, barking at the poms and generally just being overly boisterous.

On Wednesday evening I went to Clay Café, a local venue where you can paint unfired clay pottery. They hosted a pizza evening and my friends Melanie and Camilla agreed to come with me. Mel brought her beautiful daughter Chloe with her too and they were kind enough to pick me up and give me a lift.

Camilla and I had a giggle over her multiple attempts to stencil a bird on her bowl as a round bowl and a stencil do not always make a compatible arrangement. She managed to do it free hand eventually and it looked lovely.

We ordered pizzas and the crusts were nice and thin and the toppings tasty. It was my first pizza in 5 months and I enjoyed every bite!

I wanted a simple plain serving dish so I chose a ‘wonky’ designed platter and I did 3 coats: first a white base coat, then a light coat of ivory and finally a top wash of the stone. I then did a random dot pattern around the edges. Yes I know the paint is not smooth and yes my dots are wonky as well as my plate but I still enjoyed making it and will find a lot of use for it. I cannot wait to see how it looks once it has been fired, the colours always change greatly.

It was great to get out and I always enjoy painting, regardless of my lack of skills.

Thursday we had the guy who trimmed our trees start work on re-doing our front garden. They trimmed our giant pepper tree first and then they lifted the existing ground cover (I will not dignify it with the title of ‘lawn’ as it was mostly thorns and weeds.

They finished up on Friday.

I am really happy to see a nice lawn again. It looks so beautiful. Now we just have to keep Finn from digging it all up, the big thug.

The progress on the back garden part of the project has taken a bit of a delay as Mzudumo has been sick and could not work for a few days but we will get there eventually.

Last night we joined our friends Mel and Steve and their daughter Chloe for dinner at beyond restaurant which is at Buitenverwachting Wine Farm just about 15 minutes away from us.

Mel, Chloe and I all started with a cocktail.

The blokes stuck to wine.

To start we ordered some of the ‘Artisan Breads’ for the table ‘Roasted sweet potato épi with Rosemary Cultured butter with rosemary infused oil’. Regular readers know that I detest rosemary but it was a very subtle thread running through the butter and did not get all up in my tater bread. The texture of the bread was so nice, slightly chewy but very soft inside.

We chose the 3 course meal which comes with a chef’s choice of amuse bouche to start. I did not catch the details of what was in it but I did hear something about kudu, arancini, curry and apricots. This was a divine little ball of heaven and the sauces and other bits all combined perfectly. There was a slightly sweet fruity curry flavour which always reminds me of the Cape Malay curries.

For my first choice I chose the 12-hour cooked free range pork, Jasmine glazed plums, onion, bok choy and black bean. The sauce on this dish was divine! The pork had the most gorgeous tasting char on the outside and was not at all fatty.

We waited a really long time between the starter and the main. A realllllllly long time. However it was well worth the wait. I chose the Wagyu beef fillet which came with sautéed spinach, mushroom & Boland rabbit cappelletti, chestnut purée with herb gremolata. The steak was so tender and full of flavour. I did not enjoy the little cappelletti which had a strong taste and I fobbed them off on Steve but the rest of the dish was amazing.

For dessert I chose Madagascan chocolate & hazelnut gateaux with caffé latte ice cream. It was quite similar in taste to the one I had the previous night from Woolworths but it was presented rather elegantly. I loved the ice cream but the dish was very rich and my sugar eating cells are easily overwhelmed these days.

I give our evening 5 Kitten Stars, ⭐⭐⭐⭐ it was exceptional.

I will really miss Mel and Steve as we always have such a laugh. We have not seen them much since the plague, but we have pretty much seen no one for the last two years. Now that we are spreading our wings the other butterflies are leaving the nest (cocoon? I think I cocked that one up but you know what I mean). I wish them the best in Malta, I know well how tough it is to start over in a new country, I have done it several times! But they are both fun, kind people and I am sure will settle quickly.

We finished dinner quite late and I was worried about Mark being kept up late so we rushed off to collect Finn who was still full of beans and racing around with Uncle Hunter like a pair of speed injected thoroughbreds.

We stayed up to relax a bit then got to bed far too late. I slept in this morning and in the afternoon I am going to a leaving party for my friend Geri. Geri has taught me most of the ceremonies and practices I have learned about my own Native American culture. I owe so much to Geri and I am sad to know she will no longer be in South Africa but maybe we can see each other again in the future when Norm and I are visiting the UK.

The weather for most of the week was abysmal, rainy and cold and it has continued today so stay warm if you are in SA.

I hope you all have had a great week and that your weekend is what you need (which may not necessarily be what you want).

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxox

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