Staying In – Siege Day 4

Jacob was right all along – a good wash or shower will wash away all your problems. The WHO says so. Remember that incident between our ex pres and the daughter of a friend. Old showerhead has had the last laugh. That military doctor of his and Shabir is a bit of a miracle worker. Just look how long the Shaik has survived past his best before date and how sick our friend Jacob was just the other day and how good he is feeling now. That doctor should be put in control of our national coronavirus efforts. We will all live to a ripe old age.
Speaking of which.
This enforced practice for retirement is showing me just how difficult it is being old. My dad, bless his soul, always said being old is not for sissies. You were so right dad. I am so glad you could enjoy the garden right up to a few months before the end.
We began our day, Lovey and I, at the Café Sombrero sitting partially in the sun and enjoying the garden, the mealiepap (with honey, cinnamon, butter and milk) and the coffee and Kani Bran rusks. Excellent way to start the day. We topped it with a little stroll through the garden, picking some lemons along the way. Not a bad start to a Monday morning.
I have not checked the latest Covid-19 news and stats yet (never mind the Rand). That is all too real. The enormity of the situation only hit home last night. A bit of a slow learner you might say. Its just that although you know the theory – it is different in life. So, slightly sober this morning. We so love to look at the negative we often miss the bright side. It seems 90% + have light symptoms and recover fully. Our chances are actually quite good to make it through this. The glass is nine tenths full. Just don’t spill it or knock it over. And do not kick it.
I am loving the sounds of the children on their bikes and Mr D our trustee in charge of the watering busy with the sprinklers and struggling with a recalcitrant pump. I think that was a Spanish word or two I heard. The pleasant sounds of life.
Not hearing the cars and trucks going past is blissful.
Enjoy the peace while it lasts.
Viva Café Sombrero!

Staying Alive – Day three of Covid-19 lockdown #1

It’s proving to be a long start of a really long weekend. Peaceful, “rustig”, pleasant and relaxing it has been so far, but… for how long?
A cool breeze is pointing to the possible early onset of autumn here in the Cape. We were all hoping the warmer temperatures would chop the virus off at its suckers as was suggested early on in the episode. Not so sure about that any more.
Our garden is looking really good except for the patches of grass where the nineteen guinea fowl who reside with us in the complex have been decimating the lawn. My neighbour above me has had enough. Yesterday he grabbed a red towel and in his pj’s charged them like a matador. Confusion was the order of the day. They slipped back while we weren’t looking though. Tough fowls, these. Real survivors. I see a duel developing. With very fit guineas and a very fit neighbour.
My Lovey is spending a lot of time on her phone. This led me to think, what would we have done pre smartphone? The radio would have been on all day and we would have been on our phones whether cellular or landline talking to people, hearing their voices feeling their emotions. Now we seem more cut off than ever, as if it is a Survivor Virus reality type show. Don’t you feel its all a little surreal? Even dreamlike? As if we all discovered magic mushrooms at the same time. I find communicating via text is just not the same as talking to someone. Just chatting.
Lovey and I have just come back from a walk around the complex gardens which are quite spacious as the developer was generous with the space between buildings back in the day 30 years ago. We met a neighbour jogging and exchanged pleasantries at the two metre gap as required and chatted to another neighbour who was sitting in the sun reading. A real village feeling. A lucky village, as we have enough space, fair security and it is well kept.
On day three; puzzle number two. It is a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle of a dachshund. At least we know all the pieces are in play.
We have an issue with tiny ants which invade our house before rains or when their moisture in the air. Nothing is sacrosanct. As a result we now have ant flavoured cookies amongst other ant infused delicasies in the house. It s an acquired taste, but interesting. Wonder if this is a business opportunity. Ant infused gin. I mean, you can infuse gin with anything these days and make a buck.
Hang in there.

Running home – Day two of siege

Running home – Day two of siege

Made it painlessly through day one of the first SA Covid-19 lockdown. I expected the country to do it (easily) as we are experienced in stay-aways and strikes. Should have been a piece of cake. And it was, except for a few contrarian hold outs in traditionally revolutionary areas. Viva! Viva? Mmmm.

Looking back to Thursday and my experience of it, is interesting.

It hit me at about lunchtime on L-Day -1 that I could be short of my most important meds. We charged down to Clicks and Tops. My wife to find out about a Flu jab and me to stock up on a whisky, a couple of shumba quarts and a box of the sweet pink stuff for my Lovey. Mission possible, even went for a de-fleecing at my barber.

On the way back from filling up our water bottles at Oasis we noticed crowds of people queing up to get into the cash and carry. More than a hundred people with absolutely no social distancing whatsoever.

Really?

My Lovey was given a thousand piece puzzle of a typical Parisian street scene, complete with paintings on easels etc. We launched into the build with great enthusiasm. It is fun to build a puzzle together. Until you realise the reason the puzzle was given to you is that at least 10% of the pieces are missing. Bummer. So watched a bit of Bourne Supremacy for a while. For the third time, I think. The thing is the basic plot is good and the execution brilliant, both the acting and the cinematography is top class. I see all sorts of detail on the second and third viewing. Respect.

Speaking of viewing. Some of our local coverage of the whole “gedoente” is more than a little dodgy. Can our editors not train the junior reporters a bit before sending them out? As for the editing and programme construction. The less said the better. Some of the reportage is very good. Daily Maverick is doing an astounding job. They are curating the flow so as not to inundate the reader. That is good news management.

I did my parkrun 5 km this morning round and round the outer perimeter of our complex, on the inside if you know what I mean. A bit slower than I thought though. Strava does not lie. All of 36 minutes later I staggered into the flat for my second cup of Antigua French Roast. What a reward.

I decide mealiepap was just the thing for breakfast. Last week I had bought a packet of mealiemeal at Pick n Pay. A house brand of theirs called Livewell. I liked the packaging. Now I really should not be swayed by pack design. I have a degree in communication science and supposedly know all about the influence of design, packaging, colour on consumer behaviour, or should. No different to Iwisa. Dollied it up with a blob of butter and squirt of honey. Best survival food ever.

Its just as quiet here this morning as yesterday was. There is quite a plump cloud over the Dome of the Helderberg and a gentle breeze cooling the morning down. The doves are cooing and every now and then you hear the flutter of their wings. I am loving it.

I feel so sorry for the 1170 who have tested positive and their loved ones. With over 28 000 tests done so far it seems we are still below the curve.

Hope it stays that way.

#parkrun #root44

Staying home – a home trip

Staying home

It’s quite still this morning, Friday 27 March, two weeks before the first Good Friday of the new decade. More like a Sunday than the Friday it is.

The news we are hearing is not so good. The first two people have died here in the Western Cape and over a thousand fellow Saffas have tested positive. And this is only the very beginning.

All my alarms are switched off. I have invited nature back into my life. No deadlines, just the rhythm of the day. Bliss.

You must see how many birds and bugs share our garden with the cats and us. I am imppressed.

It is interesting that our government chose to emphasise that one of the victims died while being treated in a private health facility. The “us vs them” mentality so ingrained in our society needs to be flushed out, and quickly. I think most do not realise they are boxing themselves in like that. Self limiting. We are all in this together, whether we like it or not.

My cats are loving it. You can’t here cars, only bird song and chatter. The guineas are roaming the lawn, some say destroying it with their incessant digging others enjoying the sheer freedom the fowls enjoy. Both cats are near me, Gemmer half awake, eyeing the birds casually. Pebbles at peace with the world, doing what cats do so well, fast asleep on the table. I am more aware of the bugs and the buzzing around me. Life goes on.

Several older people live in my complex. They are a bit sombre and have been a bit more serious about it all.

Generation C starts today. The post Covid-19 generation will inhabit a different world to the one we knew. If their brains and tissue cells aren’t fried by 5G they will be caught up in a world of machines dictating their lives, or will they rebel? Say enough is enough. No more. The future will tell.

The youngsters born in the teen years are an amazing generation, better prepared to face the challenges ahead than most before them, I think. So maybe we will have better days ahead. Even the boys can multi-task up to a point.

Twenty-one days to go.

I am quite fortunate in that I have things to do. Hopefully some freelance work, a proposal for a remote learning system to develop, immersion in photography, building puzzles, sorting out the garage, just looking at the butterflies and the bees, working on my cooking skills, or lack thereof. Practice a bit for retirement. No time to be bored.

What will the 21 days bring?