Corona Diaries

Lockdown Day 108 🔐

For my non-SA friends, our president just announced that the sale of alcohol is once again banned in SA.

With the last prohibition something that became wildly popular was homemade pineapple brew. I didn’t make any myself the last time, however one of my close friends did and was rather tasty. This time round I’m gonna give it a try myself…..

https://www.instructables.com/id/Lets-Make-Some-Pineapple-Beer/ 🍍🍻🍍🍻🍍🍻😁

The Comrades????

So like, from my contextual perspective the Comrades Marathon is the ultimate ‘marathon of marathons’. If you grew up in South Africa, I would call you a liar if you denied ever hearing about the Comrades Marathon (and Bruce Fordyce).

Be that as it may, as undeniably prestigious (and popular) as the Comrades Marathon is, it’s a 89km (translates to a whole day) marathon. A whole flippin day of just running! Seriously…. Oh goodness no…. I can just just barely manage 2 hours of running. Not for a damn second did I think I could manage 10 hours – never-mind the commitment and training beforehand to actually finish!

So as devastated (I’m not kidding – that was BAD), as I was when I heard that the Two Oceans half marathon in South Africa was cancelled due to COVID19, so elated I was when I heard that the king of Marathons in South Africa (Comrades) decided to have a 21km virtual marathon option (as opposed to their standard exclusive 89km 😖 😰 event)!!!!!!!!!

Hip hip hurrah hooray. Whoop whoop 🙌🏾💃🏽💃🏽💥👏🏾🙌🏾🤸🏾‍♀️🌸💥💥💥💥💥💥💥

Entered!!! I’ve entered a Comrades event! 🙌🏾I almost can’t believe it! As heartbroken 💔 as I was when I heard Oceans was cancelled, so exited I am about this event! Loving the universe. Simply loving it. Sending loving vibes to all. Namaste 🙏🏾🕉❤️❤️❤️❤️

Death of a Garmin

A birthday gift from Robin in 2014 and well known to all my friends as I have often sent them pictures of some of my best running times by taking a pic of the face of the watch, like the one featured below.

On my social media too, there are a few pics of me taken by others of me running where I am wearing it. Captured some of my overseas runs too, so naturally I was really so very sad when the strap broke two weeks ago.

It’s just such a cool watch, so I tried getting a replacement strap but a pink replacement strap would have cost a third of the price of a new watch! And so I started (online) shopping for a new one and I found a new one. Still an entry level Garmin, but an upgrade 😁

Garmin no longer makes iconic pink ones, but I’m ok with the new slate grey one that I got. It pairs to my iPhone so I can see text messages and it tells me my heart rate – I’m so stoked! No matter your age, getting a new toy always rocks!! 🤸🏾‍♀️💥💥💥💕❤️💙🏃🏽‍♀️🏃🏽‍♀️🏃🏽‍♀️🏃🏽‍♀️. Cheers to many happy runs with my new Garmin 🥂⏱

Dark Night of the Soul

As ominous as the title of this blog sounds, it is not at all dark. Tonight I’m feeling hopeful and light, I’m feeling a deep seated happiness from somewhere in my tummy, because I’ve come through the Dark Night of my Soul.

In the past few weeks, I’ve found the teaching of Eckhart Tolle and Kim Eng to be so incredibly inspiring and uplifting. It’s so strange, I’d heard some of it before – but even if you hear, the penny only drops when something in you is ready for it to come home. And that I did, I came home. I found home 🙏🏾

Some readings on Dark Night of the Soul: https://www.eckharttolle.com/eckhart-on-the-dark-night-of-the-soul/ As well as: https://lonerwolf.com/the-dark-night-of-the-soul/

It’s like an awakening. I’ve been here all along but suddenly I’m seeing things that were around me in a way that I’d never seen it before. I’m feeling a deep and rich sense of gratitude for everything, for life. These days my smile is genuine, my laugh comes from the pit of my tummy and I really couldn’t give a rat’s hoohar about anything around me that is none of my business. It’s like I found the kingdom of heaven, and it’s been inside me all along.

But moving on, …..work was fun and hilarious today. It started with some collaborative discussions with a university in Scotland. #WatchThisSpace in the next few months. This was followed by some avo, tomato and feta on toast for brunch.

Then I attended our first online Faculty Board meeting with a bunch of learned academics who struggled with technology – simple stuff like muting the mic. Someone else kept grabbing the chairperson’s screen and it took them 20 minutes to figure out what was happening. This was followed by some homemade chocolate brownie and ice-cream for lunch.

And then I spend some time looking at pictures of my adorable little nephew. Gosh he is so flipping cute 😍😍😍. I can’t wait to hold him once Lockdown is over.

Then I finished another task on my to-do list and engaged in some cool conversation with colleagues, and my children as well as some light hearted fun banter with friends about life, the universe and bullshit! Decided not to cook dinner and opted for an extra large bowl of popcorn in bed instead!

Today was a good day. Today I spoke my mind, I did what I needed to do, and I indulged in simple pleasures. I didn’t think too much. I was just ‘present’. Life is kind.

I wish everyone the Dark Night of your Soul. May it also give you that gift that no money can buy!

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Too many regulations, too little thought: Cape Town, a Tale of Two Cities. South Africa, a Place of ‘Haves’ and ‘Not haves’

A lovely conversation I had yesterday with a fellow blogger Stroke Survivor led to me articulating my feelings about Lockdown in South Africa (Thank you Stroke Survivor!). We’re on 39 days now, so by and large, the South African society are past the stage of feeling panicked or anxious (fearful mode), curious and intrigued (selfie-taking mode), and even angry or sad (grieving mode).

We’re getting used to our new normal, and many of us just want to go on with our lives – whatever form that takes on now! At the same time however we find ourselves questioning the validity of the regulations being imposed on us. We accept that we have a new reality but we’re tired now. Tired of being scared to breath, tired of being scared to live, tired of feeling like hostages in this passive aggressive pyscho-thriller reality series that is our lives!download

So below is an extracted part of the comment section of yesterday’s blog post “South African Gløgg” however reflecting on it today, I felt that it deserves its own space on my blog – although I’m not going to edit my original words. My response was authentic and not at all premeditated – and that’s why I want to share it.

 

Stroke Survivor asked me about the logic behind our country’s current prohibition of alcohol. My response follows:

“Gosh Stroke Survivor, I don’t understand our regulations myself! I have South African friends abroad in Belgium that are just as shocked.

Initially, as South Africans we were all behind our government’s strict regulations to flatten the curve, but it’s literally in very practical terms becoming unbearable for many. We are a society characterized by a large proportion of ‘haves’ and then an equally large proportion of ‘have nots’.

Without getting into politics, simply put, our very strict regulations, while well-meaning are f’up up and discriminatory towards the poor, the people who drink alcohol, the people who smoke, and the people who don’t exercise…. there may be others.

For example, no alcohol is sold in this time because the consumption of alcohol encourages gatherings and social activity – so No Alcohol whatsoever. No cigarettes, because according to our government- cigarettes are ‘supposedly’ synonymous with alcohol consumption. I’m not a smoker (anymore) but I can only imagine how difficult this must be for smokers.

I think inadvertently, our government is potentially facilitating ordinarily law abiding citizens to resort to non-law abiding behaviour simply because of their rigidness. They are turning ordinarily law abiding citizens into criminals, not because the citizens have changed – but rather because our regulations have changed. Grossly unfair.

Ultimately all the government is succeeding in doing is creating black market, because they are destroying the free market in South Africa. By imposing a billion illogical regulations, our government is successfully destroying all our citizens respect for the law. This makes me sad. But this is the way that it is.

Another example is those of a ridiculous law is all those who want to exercise may only go for a walk, run or cycle between 6am and 9am in the morning – I won’t go into detail about all the problems which crop out because of that – however the biggest one is arguably everyone, I mean EVERYONE with their dogs, cats and nannies are out in common communal areas that time because we’ve been confined to our houses for the past five weeks #PerfectRecipeForCOVID19Spread. ….Makes no effing sense.

No one is allowed to work (by implication earn money) without a ‘permit’ which confirms that you are performing an essential service, so people are really suffering economically. And these are people who were suffering before lockdown – the current regulations simply makes it worse! I think in South Africa we are no longer even scared of COVID19. After all the strict constraints on our personal freedom we want to take our chances with COVID19…. and that is primarily due to government enforcing crazy regulations.

But I shall stop bitching. The one thing that we all have in common is we want SA to get through this crisis as unscathed as possible. How I don’t know. I’m actually glad that my biggest problem is figuring out how much sugar to put in my mulled wine….

I have real empathy for the leaders of my country. At the moment I don’t believe that they doing a good job- but I hope they figure it out soon!”

South African Gløgg

And so the bottle of wine I opened on Friday night tasted terrible! It wasn’t off as in it wasn’t oxidized. It was still red and not even close to transparent or metallic, and it certainly didn’t taste like vinegar. It just tasted bad, like a really cheap blend. Maybe it was a cheap blend to begin with – it was a gift I got at a Secret Santa twenty years ago.

So naturally I was disappointed that it didn’t taste good and I discarded that first glass I poured. However, times are tough. And in level 4 lockdown in South Africa we aren’t allowed to buy any alcoholic beverages so even a bad tasting wine is better than no wine!

But then in a moment of clarity this morning, I decided to google ideas on how to improve the taste of bad wine, and the solution that appealed the most to me was mulling the wine.

So when I got home after doing my morning grocery shopping (first trip out the house in three weeks) a heated a concoction of that bad red wine, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, star aniseed and sugar….. and voilá …. magnificent 💥beautiful 👌🏾. Tastes a lot like glühwein, but soooo much better.

These days I’ve realized that I don’t have much more use for any thoughts from my past. It just has no value to me. But sipping on this lovely sweet beverage did however remind me of a special moment in time when I sat flat on cobbled road in Nyhavn in Copenhagen, just taking in the beauty of my surroundings and drinking sweet hot cider. I believe it is called Gløgg. Hot alcoholic drinks are foreign to us in South Africa. Our climate is just not conducive to it. It never gets so cold here as what it does in Europe so arguably most South Africans will tell you that they prefer an ice cold beer or draught as a drink of preference any day in the year!

However today we cannot buy any cold beers in South Africa due to prohibition in Lockdown! So today I say cheers to my European friends for coming up with this concept of mulled wine, and in essence saved me from throwing away my last bottle of red wine! 🍷