Day 76: At Least That’s What I Think It is…

I’ve lost count; I think it’s day 76 of the lockdown, or as I’ve come to realize, the new normal. It’s been challenging, but slowly I am beginning to get used to it. I’ve pretty much given up wearing my specs when I go out because they constantly fog up when I wear my mask.

My cooking skills continue to improve. I made an amazing Thai green chicken curry a while back which was beyond delicious. As I become more confident, I will experiment with spice mixtures myself, rather than the readymade ones. The Amish apple loaf is something I can make with my eyes closed and it is an absolute hit.

I also tried my hand at making a vegan tropical rice pudding. Oh my word! It was so delicious, I at the entire pot all by myself.

Tomorrow I plan to make chicken a’la king and somewhere in between then and Monday, I want to try a Jamaican banana bread. Yes, I’m finally climbing on the bandwagon. I also want to try making pizza dough in the breadmaker.

Staying in the kitchen, I finally used my juicer. I made an amazing mix of beetroot, cucumber, apple, pineapple, and orange juice. I stored it in a Douw Egberts coffee bottle, but it didn’t last. I drank it all. I felt spritely afterwards. My body must not have known what hit it – such freshness! I made some for Elizabeth and when II went into work, I took some for Carla and Rowena too. Carla is quite keen to try anything that comes out of my kitchen. I feel bad for all the pulp that goes to waste, but I will freeze it next time and use it in waffles, soup, cakes, or even try to make vegetarian patties of some sort.

On June 1st, the ban on alcohol was lifted. People queued for hours to get booze. I waited until Tuesday, went to Woolies and bought a bottle of Diemersfontein Chocolate Shiraz there. In and out in under ten minutes. Elizabeth and I drank it on Friday night while sitting a great social distance apart from each other.

There are rumours doing the rounds that some MEC’s are requesting a reinstatement of the ban because abuse cases are on the rise, as are accidents. Just last week, someone posted on a local Facebook group that a visibly drunk man knocked her son over – this while the inebriated prat had three children in his own vehicle. Apparently, he was let go, because under COVID-19 regulations, he couldn’t be breathalyzed. The question begs, why wasn’t he detained and taken to hospital to have his blood drawn? What if the child he hit had sustained serious injuries? The mind boggles…

On the subject of blood, I went to donate a pint yesterday. It’s been over a decade since I last made a donation. Turns out my details were still on record after the extended hiatus, and yesterday was a milestone donation: number 25. I got a nifty picnic blanket to mark the occasion. My hope is that when a modicum of normality returns to life, I can convince our management to host a clinic once every two months. I broached the subject in March, but then lockdown happened.

Last Wednesday, Lily-Rose celebrated her crown birthday. I could unfortunately not spend the day with her, her parents and her Nanna because I had work but took a drive out to the farm on Saturday. The great thing about the farm is the wide-open spaces, so visiting with social distancing in place is easy.

They have a few orphaned lambs that are bottle-fed which is always a highlight to me. I can confirm that Ba-Ba Black Sheep is indeed real. And he is a glutton for milk. If I didn’t have a tight grip on the bottle, he would have pulled the teat clean off.

Apologies for the bad quality pic, but the little bugger is lightning fast…

I also got better acquainted with the chickens.

I’m seriously not made for selfies…

 One thing I love about going to the farm is t a drive down to the river. The reflections on the water are always magnicient.

My heart is always happy when I’m close to the water
Another photo for Reflections of a Misfit, by the Reflective Misfit herself

Rachel the Rocket continues to grow, giving me hope that I might be able to cultivate other edible indoor plants after all. I don’t have the right set-up at The Cave to grow plants outside, and with the way the wind has been destroying things of late, even if I could, I wouldn’t.

Tonight, a ridiculous wind storm is expected, bringing with it a cold front and freezing temperatures. I fortunately still have some Cape Ruby Port left from last year, and The Bean gave me a pair of warm slippers to wear, on the proviso that I buy her another pair that simply slips on.

The one thing I do enjoy about the winter is the sunsets (I just hate that the sun is down by 17:30 already).

Work continues at a reasonable pace. The lockdown has changed many things and there is a ripple effect as a result. It can be extremely frustrating at times, but I’m still fortunate to have a job, and even more so, to still be able to work remotely. On cold days, I’m extra grateful because I can work while sitting under a blanket, with an unlimited supply of coffee.

That’s all for now. I promise my next post won’t be weeks away.

Until next time, stay safe and keep warm! And remember:

Day 41: Movies, Veges, Gutter Dogs and Moods

I watched Contagion on Monday night. What a stellar cast! The movie itself was spooky in a sense – how a work of fiction released nine years ago is so close to what’s happening today. I keep wondering if any of the clever people have checked the DNA sequence of our novel virus with the fictional one. With the truth being stranger than fiction, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a match. Anyone who hasn’t seen it, should watch it. It puts things into perspective.

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Day 38: Weekend Summary

I’ve been a bit quiet, I know. I’ve not felt much like anything save for drinking copious amounts of coffee and sleeping.

Level 5 is over (for now). Friday morning saw the majority of the population out in the streets to exercise between the 06h00 and 09h00. I’m not sure if the virus is on a sabbatical between those hours, or if it is the COVID-19 happy hour. Photos on social media show that the social distancing that we worked so hard to maintain literally walked, jogged and cycled right out the window.

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Day 30: A Simple Saturday

Today I slept until something past 11. I don’t even feel guilty either. The last fortnight has been riddled with troublesome sleep and nightmares. My duvet has been so twisted every morning, one would swear I was sharing my bed with a Boggart.

I cooked yesterday. A Cape Malay curry – with the spice mix out of a packet. The smells emanating from The Cave (because the stove is virtually in the middle of the place) were amazing. My white rice was finished, so I had it with a brown variety. It was delicious – and, there are leftovers for supper tonight. I’m looking forward to it because curry often tastes better the next day.

Lucy the lettuce continues to sprout new leaves, so I am happy. At some stage, when I can get a pot and soil, I will re-home her. For now, she appears to be thriving on the sink. Once I have some kind of setup, I will start keeping my food scraps for compost too.

The streets are quiet. So much so, that I can hear the neighbour’s TV across the road. The voices sound like they have a Southern twang. Every now and then there is trumpet music too. If I have to judge by the snippets of the soundtrack, I think it’s an old movie.

I didn’t listen to the Ministers’ addresses this morning, but I got the gist of what’s happening. One thing I don’t understand is Oom Cyril said we will be allowed to exercise under strict hygienic conditions, yet according to Minister Whatever-Her-Name-Is, we’re not allowed to walk, or jog. Guess I’ll have to have the tyres of the bicycles pumped, even though I can’t sit on the saddle and reach the pedals at the same time.

Tomorrow Eliza, Carmen and I have a video call scheduled. It’s been a while since. The last few days I’ve been thinking about my friends that have emigrated. It must be incredibly tough being away from your extended family. One friend I was at school with, Lana and her husband, Robert moved to Australia, arriving about three weeks before lockdown was imposed. Their pets have been released from mandatory quarantine in SA, but are not yet able to be sent over. It’s heartbreaking for them. Consciously, I don’t think some people realise just how much pets do become family members.

Shayla-Rae’s Gran has also been on my mind a lot of late. The Old Dame turned 100 (yes, you read right) in October last year, which means she was alive when the Spanish Flu riddled the world, and she’s alive today with the Coronavirus. She’s in a local old age facility in town. The residents were locked down a week before the rest of the country was. I wonder how she is holding up – whether she even knows what’s happening 😦

I’m keen to hear how we will be working, with the allowance of staff only allowed to be at a third of full capacity. I imagine shifts will be the answer. Our management is extremely communicative, so I’m sure that by Tuesday we will have concrete news. Part of me is seriously looking forward to seeing my colleagues again, while part of me is going to miss the freedom that flexitime has afforded to get more rest and learn more about myself. I am indeed fortunate to be returning to work – some many workers are not yet able to do so.

We’re in for a tough few months; where you can, support your local businesses that are operational, share from your pantry stores if you can, acknowledge unhappy feelings (because they will come up) but don’t dwell on them, drink water, and remember that you matter!

Years from now, when we look back with the perfect vision that hindsight brings, each one of us will smile and say, “We survived a pandemic. We were part of history!”

‘Til next time…

Day 28: Of Life and Lucy the Lettuce

It’s all fun and games until COVID-19 touches you on a more direct level. One of my friends that works away was tested as part of a mandatory reaction plan his employers had in place. He tested positive, despite showing no symptoms. He didn’t fall ill during his isolation period either. According to the doctors, he is one of the very few lucky ones. He is now waiting for this third set of swabs and blood tests to come back negative, while plans are trying to be made to get him back to SA. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about him and his colleagues. It has me wondering though – how many of us may be infected, but are asymptomatic?

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Day 21: It Would Have Been Parole Day

Today marks the day the pre-extention-lockdown in South Africa would have been lifted. As many people have been referring to it, parole day.

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Days 9, 10 & 11: A Three-Way to Meeting my Jekyll & Hyde

Days 9 and 10, Saturday and Sunday, or in my case Eat and Sleep…and Day 11: Moanday…

Aside from the delicious ravioli that I prepared; I made a focaccia pizza in the slow cooker. I was on a video call with Eliza, and completely forgot about the bread, which burnt to a crisp at the base and along the edges, so it was kind of flop-paccia. I think the recipe is meant for a large slow cooker, because mine rose quite a bit more than the picture on the recipe. Still, it tasted delicious. I’ll make it again as it is a superb way to use leftovers.

Before: Dough, Canned Tomates, Bacon, Feta, Mushrooms, Green Figt, Jalapenos, Fresh Rosemary and Grated Gouda Cheese

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Day 8: Hippos, Ravioli and No Mona Lisa

Friday, Day 8 of 21.

I didn’t feel much like coffee mug traveling this morning. I woke up with a jolt and started working seconds after I opened my eyes. I only had my wake-up-warm-beverage an hour and a half after I woke up. This morning it was a Red Velvet Latte from Woolies. It has beetroot in it. Delicious!

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