Locking down in the time of Corona

Day 1 of the National Lockdown for South Africa, wherein more than 60 million mostly disobedient-by-nature and outdoor-loving people across a region of 1,2 million square km are told to stay at home for at least 21 days, unless they are providing an essential service.

Stats: On first day of lockdown we learn of the first deaths – 2 women in the Western Cape, both under 50. It has begun. As the global number passes the half-million mark, South Africa has 927 people affected, 7 in critical condition and 12 recovered.

19 grapes

The harvesting of grapes has been declared an essential service. Anything else would have been a disaster – this virus does not respect the fact that the Cape winelands is a very important wine-producing region and is slap-bang in the middle of harvest.

As people complain of streets and minibus taxis not as empty as they should be, my neighbourhood has been quiet. It makes a pleasant change to not hear the trains, the speeding cars, the sirens. I fear for the homeless in my suburb because I suspect the City’s proposed homeless arrangements have not gone much further than the centre of the city. Of course Hillbrow was the first suburb in the country where the cops had to move in with teargas to disperse boozing and partying crowds. It’s not the naughtiest suburb for nothing.

So .. 20 days to go … my first day was a bit of a mooch around, doing nothing much, walked around my tiny garden taking the pics below. Seriously, it doesn’t feel any different to my usual days between tours working on admin from home, except I have no choice now and the admin is very minimal.

Because I think one should try new things in these times of Corona, my venture today is to make lentils and ham. Delicious and simple. I cooked the lentils as per the packet instructions in a broth, with stock. I used pork neck for the ham, cut into small pieces and fried with chopped onions and a dash of soy sauce.  I added the ham to the lentils and it’ll all be reheated at supper time. Tasted by two us already and deemed excellent. I envisage an early supper.

The Kiffness – local musician with sense of humour is today’s Covid-19 musical interlude, with The Beatles Yesterday. Kiff = South African word meaning cool, as in ‘This lockdown is not kiff”.

I’m starting to regret not having bought a few things to plant in my garden so I’ll have to faff over what there is and use as much water as the restrictions allow. Sadly, the virus does not change the drought situation but I think this lockdown will allow me to sacrifice a few showers for the sake of the garden.

 

About Francoise Armour

I run a small touring company (Tours du Cap) at the bottom of Africa, to show visitors the beauty and vibrant culture of the country I have lived in since my parents brought me here from France as a child. I enjoy taking photos and wish I had learnt to do it properly. I enjoy writing but don't do enough of it. I enjoy walking in the mountains that surround me and I marvel over the views and the flowers and the amazing rock formations. I have a small, cute, clever, black dog of indeterminable breed, named Vida, who reminds me regularly that walking and getting out is not only for when tourists want it.

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Disclaimer

A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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