My First Meat-Free-Monday: Mixed Pepper Pasta

I meant to post this on Monday, 3 May, but while I was cooking, the insane need to pee immediately gripped me and as I was undoing my pants, my phone fell out of my back pocket into the toilet bowl My need to pee evaporated instantly, and all I could think of was crap, crap, CRAP!!! (no pun intended!) and then silently thanked the cleaning gods that drive me to bleach the loo every second day. At least I didn’t have to fish it out of the bowl with my hands. Needless to say, I tossed the tongs away. Next my brain said get the phone into rice straight away to give it a fighting chance at surviving the water that was slowly infiltrating its innards. Thank the Pope a colleague gifted me a bag last month. Somehow I don’t think she or I thought that an expensive bag of brown basmati rice was going to end up in a plastic Tupperware trying to dry out a phone. Why don’t the cellphone manufacturers make water resistant handsets? Because, from what I’ve heard, cellphones and toilet bowls seem to have an affinity for one another. Next I went to Elizabeth’s house, panic stricken, and tried to dry the phone with the hairdryer on a low heat, and then it went to Chante, whose sister repairs phones. My phone’s board is okay, but the screen needs to be replaced. I don’t have the money for it now, but fortunately Elizabeth has lent me a phone in the meantime. Anyhow, the intended post follows…

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Dalene

Many years ago I wrote a piece about Daniel, an attendant who worked at the petrol station close to the house we lived in at the time. Today I want to share a similar story, also about a petrol attendant – her name is Dalene. She works at the station I pass daily whether on my way to work, or on my way home. I refuel there most often because I earn loyalty points with the bank if I do.

Her job is not a difficult one, but in a sense it is hard. As the seasons change, the mornings are chillier, darkness sets in earlier, and for a great deal of her shift, she is on her feet. That’s how we got talking one day – she was limping.

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My Lockdown in Review

I have been reading through some of my posts that kept me sane during the hard lockdown last year. If you want to take a gander at them, the first post is here.

Part of me can hardly believe it has already been as long as that, because those first three weeks feel like a distant memory. Sometimes I wonder if they indeed did happen, because looking back now, I realize that as tough as those first-three-weeks-now-more-than-three-hundred-and-sixty-five-days have been, I’ve adapted and grown.

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Declutter, or Hoarding WILL Happen…

I am extremely humbled; a psychotherapist friend in Bristol in the UK asked me to be a contributor for her practice’s website. My first article is available to read here. I shall write for her as required, from my own perspective as someone with depression, on various topics. It is a tremendous privilege to be part of a project like this, knowing that my stories may help others who are struggling.

As I was writing the published article, it got me thinking about other aspects of lockdown and how they’ve affected me.

I said to Eliza the other day that I am starting to hoard stuff, and it is scary. I know that hoarding is linked to certain mental illnesses, including depression.  To quote a short excerpt from an article I found online: “The term hoarding refers to a psychological disorder whereby an individual refuses to discard things that they own. The person holds a firm belief that they will eventually need these items for some reason.”

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