Lockdown, what have I done?

In the second half of lockdown I stopped baking.

No I lie, I still baked in the second half of lockdown a little less but I still baked.

I continued to respond to the hadeda calls and to freak out the neighbours. I moved “office” a million times. It was so frustrating how the other humans in the house thought it was ok for me to move around all the time trying to find a table or quiet spot to work from. I really started missing the office.

Our team embarked on a virtual resilience coaching session which was a really good way to actually feel like you belong to a team. This was something I treasured because I had been feeling a little bit like I didn’t belong. Also my boss gifted me with 3 one-on-one sessions with a coach. What an experience! I only wish we could have had more…he affirmed a lot of what I already knew and gave me back some self-respect. We have some similar childhood experiences, we shared our stories with each other and laughed a lot, he made feel comfortable and understood and he gave me so much positive motivation. 

I bought a ticket to a Marc Lottering comedy show, which was a really fun Saturday evening for me. Virtual shows were popping up everywhere, it was amazing to see how entertainers continued to entertain during lockdown, people around the world supporting them. Oh I also watched my other favorite comedian, my cousin Barry Hilton, a live show.  

In the virtual world ‘care packs’ made an entrance. I received an awesome care pack filled delicious treats for a weekend movie night for the whole family. Even Charlie, our dog, was spoiled with some biltong!  

I went back to art classes when our lockdown levels were eased. Not a lot of painting going on, a lot more talking and catching up, but it was good to just be back in my little corner and to paint again. Food for the soul.

We also managed a family lunch to celebrate four missed birthdays, as lockdown new levels allowed for travelling. That was fun, there was lots to catch up on, the dessert table was overflowing as usual and we had more choices there than in the main meal. Nothing surprising for our family. 

And so lockdown has been good, a little frustrating sometimes, but good. And I enjoy working from home, but really miss interacting with real people and miss my colleagues. Zoom and Teams videos are not real enough.

Somewhere in this madness I opened a TikTok account! Yes I did, and I’m loving it! My videos are mostly embarrassing but everyone else’s posts are a lot of fun and some are even educational.

I got myself a new laptop Hubby gave me a Macbook Pro for my own personal use, and I don’t know how to use it!!! There will be tears next time I want to blog I’m sure, next post will come from the apple. 

Also we sold our house! We said goodbye to some of our favorite places in SA. We packed our sentimental things and moved. Hubby is in Ireland and I will be joining him soon. We are emigrating and while Europe enters its second lockdown we will be setting up our new home.

Yip we have done some interesting things during COVID times. I call it the art of adapting. Adapting to change, to uncertainty, to not knowing what tomorrow holds. Adapting to the unknown. Adapting to times when plans cannot always be made. This is our new norm….


What have I done during lockdown?

I baked!! And what did I do for fun? I baked some more!!

Instagram is filled with so many productive, inspired and inspiring people doing crafts, exercising, working, and learning new skills that I’m here feeling a bit left out. FB is filled with online exercise classes, and yoga and self-development classes of all sorts!!! So many online concerts and webinars that I purposely missed. What exactly have I done in lockdown season 2 episode 70 + something….

Let me explain how I’ve spent my time, while also trying to work from home.

Lockdown arrived at the end of March and with so many productive people out there I’m a little embarrassed to share my non-productive journey but I’m going to anyway…

I wasted less food, being home all day for all meals meant that I made myself breakfast, in two stages, and took it to the room or desk I was working from. Two stages meant that I had two breakfasts on most days or one long one. That’s the ugly truth. Fruit and cereal on some days, followed by coffee and that slice of cake I was busy making every weekend. I made one meal a day – lunch – and there was enough of the same meal for dinner. Shopping: because it was restricted to once a week only (our rule), I stuck to one store and I bought only what I really needed. I made a list and that was all that I bought. As the shopping spree didn’t just happen every day at any whim for any small little thing I think we also spent less money.

We spoke to family on WhatsApp and Facebook video calls from across the world. No, I’m lying, we didn’t speak, some of the family members spoke (loudly) and some of us just laughed at the confusion. It was exactly that, so many of us on one call that I had to go out of the call so my cousin here in SA could go in (FB only allows for 8 connections at a time) but this does not mean only 8 people, each connection or phone had at least two faces and voices to it. It was insane, funny and emotional.

Hadeda mornings!! Not rushing around and being preoccupied with leaving on time and arriving at work on time, and everything one does before leaving the house…maybe that is why the hadeda really stood out in the mornings. They are louder during lockdown than before lockdown! Or is it because we are home and not preoccupied with traffic etc that we hear them as if it the sound system was on stereo 30. I laugh every time I hear someone complain about their loud calls and how they going to kill the bird that wakes them up every morning. But seriously, the hadeda is a protected species, and killing is unlawful. Also I really do love them and their loud ha-ha haa haa sound. I am also quite good at imitating their call. I’m sure the neighbours don’t agree, but I always enjoy myself when I answer their calls.

Speaking of neighbours…..I think mine are sleeping through lockdown. The people on the left are strange, always have been, they are kind of creepy and we only hear their gate scraping the pavement late at night or early morning. Don’t know what the wife looks like, don’t know if she is real or a bot. The gate makes no sound during lockdown cause we have evening curfew so I’m not sure if they are still alive or if they moved out.

The people on the right are there sometimes and sometimes not. In the first weeks when the community police and ambulances used to drive pass for the nightly parade I would see them, we all stood outside together cheering….now that this has stopped, it is dark next door, at night there is no car in their driveway, but someone did cut their grass so I guess they still live there. Oh and they filled their huge pool with rubble and covered it up. Creepy shit could be going on there guys…..

The old man at the back that whistles at the doves and they come flying to eat the food he puts out is a mystery to me. I don’t see or hear them except on weekends, then there is some movement. I don’t like them much we have bad history with them. The other one behind us in the corner that has a poodle (I know that bark a mile away cause I had a poodle years ago) they are just dead quiet, I don’t hear the kids or the dog. They are also sleeping through this lockdown. What are the creepy neighbours doing, why are they so quiet?

Working from home…ah yes I finally found a spot that I call my office. I moved 4 times. But I now have a proper “office” I also found a routine, which I changed about 3 times before settling into one that seems to work best. So working from home is ok. I love the freedom of staying in my PJ’s and slippers all day long, no traffic, and time to have a real lunch break in the sun in my garden….I just miss the printer and really wish I had some work friends near me. Teams and Zoom does not fulfil me I miss people the most. I think it would be ok if we were visiting friends, or going to church or to family lunches, but because we don’t have any of that it makes missing human interaction even harder. Solitary confinement for all of us it’s fun in the beginning and now it’s just painful.

I have not exercised, I have not painted, I have not been reading. I tried to wash my hair only every second day but that didn’t last long I’m back to my wash every morning. I hate stinky oily hair. I shave my legs every week like I used to and I need to go for a wax, it’s orangutan armpits!!!! They better allow beauticians to open up soon. I’m fatter because I baked every weekend. This was abruptly stopped last Friday, 5 June. Enough of that nonsense.

I learnt that too much or too little tomato puree turns your food pink which is not a good food colour. The two ingredient recipe became the most famous thing in lockdown, with that I made vetkoek, pizza, bread rolls and naan bread. Moral of the story – I coming out of this F A T !!

Hubby and I had a birthday in lockdown. We passed by with no family gathering for Easter or mother’s day which was the saddest part for me.

Other than that lockdown has been good, a little frustrating sometimes, but good. And I enjoy working from home.


To be continued…..