Morsels of Gratitude, part 1

Finding the positive in a dark world where negative is more comfortable

I’ve been experiencing depression for several years. I thought it was manageable but I was wrong and the pandemic has exacerbated it. It’s been building up for several years and is now a massive problem. This is not depression out of the blue, it’s linked to specific events and practical issues. The events of the past tend to fade with time but the practical reasons are always there and have, in fact, increased dramatically in recent years.

Then came the virus to put a real cap on things. Suicide, often on my mind, is not really an option but forging on seems impossible. So I’m stuck in a demotivated nightmarish rut.

Fight or flight? I have to choose fight but it’s easier said than done because negative has become too comfy. My therapist has urged me to keep a gratitude journal because apparently it really WORKS!! So, here goes. This is very difficult for me to do because I find it super-cheesy and reminiscent of Oprah-type clichés, but I’ll give it my best shot.

I wanted a special blog for this but I’m struggling with the newfangled functions of WordPress that have popped up since I created this very simple format years ago. I’ll work on it and then transfer posts, but for now this will do.

  • Grateful that my friend Michael has survived his hideous ordeal with Covid-19 and can be discharged from hospital as soon as his husband can get his hands on some oxygen for use at home. I’ve not met Michael in person, he lives in another city, but we have mutual friends and a few years ago he sent me a very gracious and old-fashioned friend request which I happily accepted. I’ve never regretted it because he’s wonderful. I can’t wait to meet him one day. We’ll drink exotic tea and eat fancy little cakes.
  • Grateful that my lung capacity has improved slightly. I was apprehensive to go for a check-up this week because no-one wants to visit doctors or hospitals these days, but it was necessary and I wanted to find out how my lungs are doing. I’ve had bad days lately so I thought my COPD might have worsened, but it turned out there’s a slight improvement and my ‘bad days’ are normal.
  • Grateful to have had a little brainwave that might lead me to earn a living again, while we wait for tourism to revive itself. Watch this space!
Photo by Hiu1ebfu Hou00e0ng on – Because these Gratitude entries are different to the normal things I post, I’ll use free WordPress stock photos.

A greatly redacted rant in the time of Corona

Day 7 of National Lockdown wherein this blogger has completely lost her shit and found it impossible to blog for several days.

Stats: 1462 infected and 5 deaths. These stats are still low. Either this is going too slowly or we will be spared what other countries have experienced. I fear the former which would mean the lockdown will be extended. However, the following graph shows our trajectory better than countries who did more tests than us at the same stage of the virus.


Personally, it’s been a rough few days. Very rough. The point of reviving this blog was to entertain or give pause for thought, or provide me with release, pass the time and document this horror we are all living. It was not to offload personal drama so when the tears come and it all gets too much, I don’t write.

Having said that, I’ve just spent two days raging and crying, and I am worn out. I have a supply of tranqs and sleeping pills but if I abuse them I can’t function, so I limit myself and leave myself open to my emotions and reactions

Many people have shown compassion and reached out to me because they know that, over and above the financial impact of this virus, I live with a specific difficult and exceptional home circumstance. They can’t solve it, but they thoughtfully reach out and check-in and remind me that they care. These are people who know they are not alone in this; they care and remember to ask how I am coping given my shitty situation, people who are not totally self-absorbed. I love you all for that. I really do.

Sorry to sound so needy, but it’s a highly sensitive issue; compassion and caring cost nothing and go a long way with me. I react hugely to even the smallest gestures of kindness and thoughtfulness but, when certain people make it obvious that they don’t, I am crippled. Crippling me right now is not going to help anyone, not you, not me.

So, last night as the sleeping pills kicked in and I was worn out from crying, I decided que fucking sera sera – if I come out of this on the wrong side, so be it. As one of my friends told me – the now, the present, is all that matters.

So that’s where I am right now .. hovering between anger and hurt and rage and hysteria and some good loving moments. And having a little rant.

I started walking today. Down my narrow driveway, back up again, around the garden, down again. Repeat and repeat and repeat. 750 steps today. Fuck, it’s boring … tomorrow I may sneak out the gate all the way to the corner.

Some photos of happier times and places where I would LOVE to be right now.


My son in a field of canola last spring.

clarence drive

The magnificent Clarence Drive along False Bay.

fynbos good hope


Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens

table mountain aloes

Aloes at the top of Table Mountain



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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