Ankers and Bikes

Last Sunday was the annual Cape Town Cycle Tour which is the biggest timed bike race in the world. There are now two races: the full 109km event and a 42km version which has been added to cater for young and less fit contenders.

The event saw roughly 28 000 contestants taking part in both races. It is great tourism for SA as cyclists from all over the world and the rest of Africa join the race.

If you are a fit cyclist it must be the most beautiful course ever! When the cyclists all gather at the start they have the beautiful Table Mountain as the backdrop.

Then the course goes along the peninsula, across the gorgeous Chapman’s Peak Drive, then through my village of Hout Bay, then along the coast road towards Camps Bay.

In the past we have gone down to Hout Bay to enjoy the buzz and have drinks or a meal, most of the local restaurants do great business on the day and some put on specials to entice the locals. This year we could not be bothered as the weather was a bit iffy. It actually rained at our house a few times so we were happy to snuggle up on the sofa and watch a film and have a chilled out day.

We (aka “I”) picked the hilarious comedy “The People We Hate at the Wedding”, which is about the dysfunctional American siblings Alice (Kristen Bell) and Paul (Ben Platt) who along with their ever-optimistic mom (Allison Janney), are invited to the wedding of their estranged half-sister Eloise (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) which is taking place in London. It is showing on Amazon Prime.

I love Kristen Bell and this film just reminded me why. The cast are all amazing in their own right and you may recognise ‘Paul’ as Evan Hansen. Or he may just resemble a puppy you had in the past. #PuppyEyes The beautiful Cynthia you may recognise from Chicago Med. Allison you know from basically everything. She is so funny and talented. The other actor who you may recognise is Canadian Dustin Milligan who plays Alice’s romantic interest that she picks up on a flight to London, he is the Ted the handsome vet from Schitt’s Creek!

I absolutely loved this film. I laughed continuously and cringed accordingly quite often as it can make you actually shiver imagining some of these scenes occurring in real life. I give the film 4.5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨ (half point lost due to excess barfing.)

One thing it made me think about is sarcasm and humour. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a teaser. I love to tease anyone I care about, it is my love language. However what I realised is that what passes for humour to me may be interpreted as bullying or cruelty to the recipient. Being married to a sensitive Cancerian shows me this often, but it seems to be a lesson I have to learn over and over. I never mean to be cruel, that is just my SOH? But is that just an excuse? Something else to ponder. I also speak to myself that way – so is that being cruel to myself? My humor is very self-deprecating.

The reason we were so tired on Sunday was that we had a very late night the previous evening. Last Saturday evening Norm and I met up with some friends who are over from St Andrews Scotland. We went in to the city via Uber so that we could both have a few drinks.

I booked for us to go to Den Anker, a Belgian restaurant. Our friends were staying at the V&A Waterfront , so it was handy for them to find the venue as it is plonked right in the center of the waterfront. The restaurant is in the midst of the areas where there are various types of musicians and even an African choir. Not sure why Norm’s hand was so shaky, try not to get nauseous, maybe just listen.

We were seated by a wall of glass windows with a gorgeous view of Table Mountain.

Our friend Stephen and his colleague Lesley arrived. Stephen is always a laugh and his colleague Lesley was really lovely.

The view is impeccable from Den Anker but the noise was deafening with the drums, marimbas and singing going on just outside. I know it is part of the atmosphere for tourists but for us geriatric auditory challenged locals it was a challenge to converse. We had to remind the server that we had ordered a second bottle of both wine and water and we had to keep our own glasses topped up as he was too busy. I do not think it was his fault, it was just hectically busy, probably because of the cycle race.

I ordered the cheese croquettes. They were full of a sharp, creamy, rich, cheese which melted when you cut into it. It was gorgeous.

Norm ordered the bitterballen. Bitterballen are little breaded, crispy fried balls filled with a stew thickened with roux and beef stock and generously loaded with meat. The bitterballen were served on a bed of hot English mustard. My eye had told my mouth to expect hummus and got a shock at the sharp bite of the mustard which was actually perfect with the intensely meaty little balls of heaven.

My idea was for me and Norm to share and I was glad I did as either of the starters on their own would have been too meaty or too cheesy and our split was the perfect balance. The bitterballen and the cheese croquettes were both divine. I give the starter course 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

Both Stephen and I ordered the prawns. I adore prawns and usually order if they are deshelled as the menu said these were, however no one mentioned the wooden skewers.

The prawns were tasteless and difficult to eat as they were so firmly impaled on the skewers that you either had to chew on them like a beaver gnawing on a stick, or risk launching them across the room when you forced them off of the skewer. There was no taste to the prawns so I dipped them in the sauce which was pure chopped chili in oil and it was too hot for even me to manage. Norm said he thought I was going to die when I cavalierly dipped the stick in to the chili and took a giant bite as I started to cough, wheeze and my eyes and nose both turned into faucets. Lawd it was hot.

The steaks were huge and perfectly cooked. Norm had the fillet steak with Béarnaise sauce and Lesley had hers with the pepper sauce. They were served with fries.

I ordered a waffle with ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert. I had ordered the prawns so I would have room for a waffle but little did I know I would be eating mostly chips for my main.

The waffle was light, crisp and a lovely texture, but it was cold. It was still nice and I devoured the entire thing but it would have been tastier if it was warm. I give my dessert 3 and a bit Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐✨

Load shedding has continued to plague us. On Tuesday it was load shedding from 6am to 8.30am. We got up and showered and started work waiting eagerly for the power to come on so we could make a coffee. Finally at 8.45 Norm thought to check our meter and saw that we were out of credit, for once it was not Eskom! We have had load shedding every evening. Last night we forgot to charge the device that runs the telly so we just sat listening to music and chatting.

We have had some intense weather this week with huge rainstorms and thunder.

We then had a day where the temperatures shot up and it was crazy hot and humid so Norm opened the pool for me to swim except it was freezing cold! Finn and I both gave it a miss.

Last week I showed you Mr Ratty whom I have not seen all week. This week we have Mr Squirrel pop in for a few visits and I managed to catch him on one video. I love all of the wildlife in my garden (other than Mr Ratty who must eff right off!)

Last Thursday I finally went to the plastic surgeon to have my cyst cut out. I mentioned my self-deprecating humour and I joked to Dr L that I bet he thought he had struck the patient jackpot when a human sharpei walked into his office, meanwhile it was just a ickle blocked cyst. He told me that was so horrible. I told him it is true. It is all about perspective.

After our appointment we stopped at Massimo’s to pick up dinner then went home and I crashed from stress exhaustion. I am so glad it is over.

The other film I watched this week was one on my own, not sure if it would appeal to Norm’s SOH. I roared with laughter and screamed with fright in equal amounts. I absolutely loved it and give it 5 Kitten Stars just for the amount of laughter ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ So here come the words I would never have imagined saying: ‘Cocaine Bear was absolutely hilarious’ – sometimes I think when it was not supposed to be so.

This film is definitely not suitable for children or anyone who is queasy. But I think people of all ages who enjoy over the top comedy or horror will enjoy this.

Today I have to nip down to the village to get the things I need for tomorrow and then tonight Caitlin is coming for dinner.

Tomorrow is our first meeting of the group who are going to study the Path of the White Wolf with Rev Tass Two Crows Flying. We were told to bring ‘a sacred object, that will be with you for lessons’. I put a lot of thought into what to take, a family photo, a crystal, a shell, a feather? I kept looking at the crystals to see if any called to me and this one did. Isn’t it a beautiful colour and pattern?

I looked it up to see what stone it was and saw it was Blue Apatite. “Blue Apatite is a stone of manifestation attuned to the future, activating psychic abilities and allowing expansion of knowledge. It stimulates intellect and allows you to dive deep into ones self seeking self-insight and inner clarity. Its vibrations attracts guides and other positive entities assising in communication. This is a great stone for meditation to help with realisations and communication.”

I think it is perfect. Today I will get a new notebook and I want a pouch to carry the stone in as well as some sage and tobacco so I am sending the universe that message – send me what I need.

Monday is supposed to be a National Shut Down march which is being pushed by the EFF political party. The protest is about lack of service delivery of electricity and a call for the resignation of our current president. If you are in SA just stay home and do not risk any drama.

I hope you have all had a lovely week and that the rest of your weekend ahead is fabulous.

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxxo

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