Day 32: Not-So-Much-Freedom Day

Waking up to the pitter-patter of the gentle rain this morning was a welcome surprise. It made me feel less guilty for a slow start out the blocks. Most of the days during lockdown have been sunny and warm – beach and ice-cream weather. I will never be blasé about living in a seaside town again, because even though I hate the sand, I wouldn’t mind just sitting on it, watching the waves break.

Breakfast was a cold pressed beetroot juice that I bought at Woolies a while back. It professed to have high levels of Vitamin B, and if I’m honest, I do feel a bit more ‘with it’ today. I will have my Herbalife shake for supper tonight.

Under normal circumstances, April 27th marks Freedom Day in South Africa. Under lockdown, it’s Not-So-Much-Freedom Day. The end of hard lockdown is in sight; the hope is that the citizens will adhere to the directives under level four so that we can then move to level three, and not back to level five.

There are still many people that don’t comprehend the gravity of the situation. I read a post on social media yesterday about a man being upset that the police had used force against him, his family, and a friend. While I don’t condone the way the police treated the people at all, my mouth is agape because the poster admits that his friend dropped him off at 01:00 after their last braai before Ramadan. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t this particular traditional religious festival start a few days ago? What made this man and his friend think it was okay to flout the law? What’s more is why didn’t their families appeal to them to obey the law?

From Friday we will have a state-imposed curfew. Between 20:00 and 05:00 there may be nobody on the streets, unless you are employed in an essential service, and/or transporting such workers to their place of work. The last time I had a curfew I was in matric, and even then it was midnight. I never broke it. I was (and still am) a Goody-Two-Shoes. I feel quite sad for our law enforcement officials – it must be dreadful trying to enforce the rules when there are so many lawbreakers and not enough resources 😦

Anyhow, on other news, I went to the shops to buy a few things yesterday. Pick ‘n Pay has a great special where you can buy four vegetable items in a combo for R100. I got potatoes, green peppers (more so I can try and cultivate them), gem squashes and tomatoes. There is enough for me, my folks and one of my colleagues who has always helped me out when I’ve been in a bind. There are other items you can make mix to make up the combo: carrots, butternut, and sweet potatoes.

I stopped in at Woolies too. The store has had a COVID-19 upgrade. There are screens at every pay point and the cashiers and floor staff all wear full face masks. I’m not sure their sanitizing idea for patrons of the store is too bright though. They have a dispenser close to the door. How many people press that thing before it is cleaned? I much prefer having my hands sprayed by a security person manning the door.

People appear to be eating a lot of chicken during lockdown. There was a reasonable variety of red meat at both the stores I went to yesterday, but all the chicken must have crossed the road when I wasn’t looking. Oh, and eggs – the price has almost risen with 50% for a dozen and a half in two weeks. It’s insane!

In keeping with my resolution made during lockdown to treat the environment better, I invested in some alternative cleaning materials for The Cave. As my conventional abrasives dry up, I will invest in some more greener alternatives.

I tested the drain cleaner as per the directions, leaving the drains overnight. This morning it is as if I have new pipes. The drain is unblocked, without noxious fumes taking my breath away and making my eyes water. When I ran water this morning to rinse a few things, I could smell the drain – it was fresh! The loo drops leave the lav smelling clean, and they help save water because there is no need to flush after every visit. Over the weekend I will try the oven cleaner, because once work commences at full speed, it will become a white elephant again.

On the subject of the throne, every time I do flush the one in the en-suite bathroom, I hear a drip on the floor behind it, but I can’t see where it’s coming from. My nerves are a little frazzled given that it is that toilet that flooded The Cave four years ago (with yesterday marking the anniversary). I feel stupid to bug my landpeople with it because it might be something minorly stupid. It’s times like this when having a man around is helpful. In the meantime, I am using the loo in the guest bathroom, just to be safe.

I baked a ‘bread’ today from a recipe I found on Facebook. Just because something is baked in a loaf tin, doesn’t make it a bread. My description would be a square Mediterranean quiche. Rich, delicious, and the only way to slowly get rid of the off-tasting bottle of my favourite Chardonnay. If I prepare it again, which is likely, I will make it in a rounder, shallower pan.

From May 1st, it will be mandatory for everyone moving outside of their home to wear a mask. I bought six from someone with whom I was at school last week – four of which went to The Toppie and The Bean, and I got myself another six today. They’re good quality and comfortable to wear because the elastic ties can be shortened or extended. I have figured out how to clip them behind my head when putting my hair up, so no cauliflower ears for me. The only icky thing about wearing a mask is that (as I learned yesterday) if you sneeze it’s grosser than usual. My advice would be to carry spares with you.

I’m not a sneezer – the incident happened while I was shopping yesterday. Another lady in the shop must have bathed in her perfume. Not only did my eyes start watering, but the assault on my olfactory senses was next level. Before I could stifle the atchooo, it was too late. Eeeeeuuuuuuwwww is all I am going to say about that.

Two more things I can add to my list of things learnt during lockdown:

If you’re excited to be going out, there is no need to use your entire bottle of Eau de Sneeze Activator in one go; if you store it in a dark place it will not evaporate, and you will get a chance to wear it again.

It is not necessary to wear lipstick because nobody can see you mouth. You will have to practice smiling (or scowling) with your eyes.

Tomorrow I will be going into the office for our long weekly conference call. If the weather is good, I’ll have a coffee afterwards in the garden. If it’s still raining, I’ll sit on the mat in front of the door which is covered by a small roof. The fresh air will recharge my body for the last few days of what has been the longest grounding of my life.

It’s fitting that as I end this post, the rain has started falling again. It’s a sign of renewal. Better days are coming.

Until my next post, keep safe and hang in there!

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