Day 97 – Beams

Do I stop the “Day n” prefix to these posts at 100, much like I stopped my daily photos at 50?

I have about… [checks notes…] 2 or 3 days to decide. The first thought is that I should keep them going until the actual end of the lockdown, whenever that may be, but it could be that the software can’t count that high.

These are the sort of things that keep me awake at night.
You can see that I am a very light sleeper.

Today has been busy. Lots of little jobs which I have managed to stretch throughout the daylight hours. I’ve now lit the braai and I’m planning on burgers for dinner. Quite what the rest of the family is going to do, I don’t know.

And so, let’s chuck up this morning’s quota photo, taken as a light mist descended over the back garden a couple of hours after sunrise:

There’s another one which you may have seen on Instagram already.

Some readers have suggested that faeries should be added (or perhaps just spotted), and I gave that a go, but my photoshop skills aren’t up to those of Elsie and Frances.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more words and pictures – including notes on how difficult it is to ‘tog garden birds when your beagle insists on immediately chasing anything that moves.

Especially if it has wings.

It’s no wonder I couldn’t get a faerie today.

Day 90 – Some interesting ideas about writing.

Spotted this earlier on twitter. Actually some quite interesting points. Don’t make your audience bored. Vary the lengths of sentences. Change things here and there. You need variety and diversity. Or things quickly get dull. It’s great advice for newbies.

These aren’t mistakes I make. I use many nice adjectives. And that keeps things interesting. Otherwise, it’s all rather pointless.

Have a really good evening.

Day 88, part 2 – Carrot cells

Yeah.
This wasn’t one of my finest moments, but I’m still hopeful that no-one will ever find out about it*.

I heard a song over the weekend and I liked it – a lot. I knew who it was by: Doves (you may remember them from such posts as Kingdom of Rust), but I was busy with other stuff and put it on the mental back burner to look up some more convenient time.

Well, this morning was that time as, while cleaning the kitchen (MOAR GLAMOUR!), Chris Hawkins introduced it. Yeah, the title was a bit weird: Carrot Cells, but this is the wonderful world of music and anything goes.

And who knows: maybe they are remembering their high school biology classes and the introduction of the microscope; Hooke, van Leeuwenhoek and all that. I mean, we used onions, but one plant epithelial cell is very much like another, right?

What I’m saying is that they can call their song whatever they want. It’s not for me to judge.

Anyway, long story short, it turns out that they called this song Carousels. Not Carrot Cells.

It is a memory, but of the local fairground – the one that they went to in the afternoon once they’d finished with the biology lesson:

I’m gonna take you down
Back to the old fairground
Open muddy fields spin round
Oh! Hey now is this a Sign?
I’m falling down deep with the Carousels in your eyes

And it’s got a weird, surreal video, packed with brutalist buildings:

Very, very nice. And (obviously) yet another addition to my InspiredBy6 Spotify playlist. Please share the wealth: I don’t make any money from it, but more people do get to listen to better music.

Whatever the title might be.

 

* oh.

Day 85 – Bergwind and dinner tunes

It’s been another busy day. Lots of little jobs, some school stuff, some IT cabling things, a piano lesson, a trip to the vet. (I’m fine. Thanks for asking.).

And all that with a bergwind backdrop.

Along the south coast the passage of a coastal low is typically preceded by a north-easterly wind driven by the South Indian Ocean Anticyclone. The wind then backs quickly through northerly to north-westerly as its temperature rises. This is the berg wind phase of the coastal low.
Berg wind (from Afrikaans berg “mountain” + wind “wind”, i.e. a mountain wind) is the South African name for a katabatic wind: a hot dry wind blowing down the Great Escarpment from the high central plateau to the coast.

And that north easterly has brought temperatures in the high 20’s all day. which has been very nice just two days before the winter solstice. It’s still 24ºC outside and it’s past 7pm.
Very pleasant, even if (as you will have read above), we’re in for some rather miserable conditions over the weekend.

It does mean that we went to the field to walk the dog and I almost forgot to blog. And to cook dinner. However, back to back bangers in the kitchen courtesy of Steve Lamacq made this evening’s curry preparation so much more enjoyable.

I will share these bangers now, just in case you’re slaving over a Tikka Masala like I was and you need some encouragement.

And then:

Diverse, yes. But both a whole lot of fun.

And the curry was actually rather good. Thank you, Mrs Patak.

The evening ahead may feature football and ironing. Probably simultaneously.

Day 83 – The WHO mask post

Much excitement online about this FB post from the WHO.

Here’s the image that came with it:

Apparently, this now means that [fictitious couple but we’ve all met them] Justin Whitebru and his obnoxious wife Karen are free to breathe all over everyone while they jog on the Sea Point Prom with their friends before breathing all over everyone at the coffee shop around the corner.

Actually no. Let’s unpack this for Justin, Karen et al. (Al is particularly keen to learn more.)

First off, a cartoon on the WHO Facebook page does not trump the local rules and regulations, which very clearly state:

And since the Constantia GreenBelt, the Sea Point Prom and all other public places where you might choose to exercise… are public places, that’s immediately game over for Justin and his “quick farve kay” buddies.

Let’s just summarise what we’ve learnt so far:

It doesn’t matter what you read on Facebook about not wearing masks while exercising, nor the authority of who posted it. The Disaster Management Act: Regulations: Alert level 3 during Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa state that you must wear a cloth facemask covering your mouth and nose while you are in a public place. 

Thanks for reading.

And because we’re clearly done here I should end it now, but like an irritating shopping channel, wait… there’s more!

Because I know that local rules and regulations don’t cut it for most people around here.

So here are some more words about this:

The main reason that we are required to wear masks when out and about is not to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us. No, sure, I know you know you don’t have the virus, Susan, because you washed your hands last Tuesday and you’ve been taking your supplements and all, but the fact is that you can be infectious while having absolutely no symptoms.

In fact, that’s one of the major problems we face in trying to overcome this pandemic.

Wearing a mask while you’re having your jog means that you are much less likely to spread the virus to other people. It’s been shown that your trail of aerosol droplets is likely to be far larger while you are running or cycling than if you were standing still or walking, and if you do have the virus, those droplets are likely to be full of it , just hanging around waiting for the next person to walk or run through it. Wearing a mask makes this cloud of nastiness much smaller.

Add to that the fact that we know that activities which involve breathing more deeply: singing, shouting… er… running and cycling, also tend to release more virus from an infected individual.
And that “one meter” that the WHO graphic suggests really isn’t going to help a great deal.

Thus, aside from being the law, mask wearing is also a moral obligation to protect the people you are running past. (Did you bring your morals with you today, Tamara?)

So that’s why you should wear a mask while exercising.
But let’s review the two main reasons that the WHO mentions above as to why you should NOT wear a mask while exercising.

1. “It makes it difficult to breathe” – Aww. Diddums.

“If you think that running with a mask on makes it difficult to breathe, you should try having Covid-19.”

Read the stuff I wrote above and get over yourself.

2. “It gets sweaty and promotes the growth of microorganisms” – wut?

Well sure, it will get sweaty and then you’ll simply wash it when you get home and it will be clean and ready to use again.

Yes, just like you do with your clothes.

If you don’t wash your mask when you’ve been wearing it (for whatever activity, but especially exercise), it will get nasty. If you don’t wash your clothes when you’ve been wearing them (for whatever activity, but especially exercise), they will get nasty.

You wouldn’t wear your running kit for n days in a row without washing it (although this may assist with social distancing), so don’t do it with your mask. And if you still want to try and apply this weird and feeble excuse for your not wearing a mask, then please also choose to run naked.

(But also, please don’t.)

The W in WHO stands for World, which means that they are trying to talk to almost 8 billion hugely diverse people in hugely diverse communities and situations around the planet about these things.

One size will not fit all.

I’m willing to accept that if you are dancing alone in the alpine meadows of Austria…

…you are less likely to infect anyone than if you are running through the heaving streets of downtown Manhattan; that if you are deep in the Patagonian wilderness vibing to your PsyTrance with only your camper van for company, you’re not going to spread the virus like you might if you were singing opera in a busy New Delhi marketplace. (We’ve all done it.)

And of course, the WHO can’t cover each and every individual situation. I do understand that. And for Maria, pictured above, mask wearing probably isn’t necessary. She can breathe easy and not get a sweaty face. But Maria is all on her own with just the meadow flora and mountain peaks for company, and first-world Austria is well past their peak of Covid-19 infections.

It’s not Cape Town.

And no matter what you may feel about the integrity and authority of the SA Government, and the WHO, scientifically speaking, the reasons given by the SA Government for wearing a mask while exercising are very good. The ones supplied by the WHO for not wearing a mask are frankly nonsensical.

So: if you’re exercising (or doing anything else), in South Africa right now – YOU NEED TO WEAR A MASK.

End of.