Day 63 – Thursday thoughts

Day 63, eh? Into 10 weeks of lockdown tomorrow then…

Winter has certainly arrived in the Cape this week. A second cold front today with 13mm of rain already this morning (it’s 9:30am). I went out and had a run in the fresh air and the precipitation, but there were some issues.

I’ve never had a problem with getting wet. When you are born and dragged up in Sheffield, rain is a very regular thing and being annoyed about it would result in a very stressful existence. (Ironically, Summer has arrived in Sheffield this week and it’s lovely over there.) However, I’ve never run in a facemask in the rain before.

Not nice.

I would imagine that it’s something akin to being waterboarded. I don’t want to sound dramatic, but it really wasn’t very pleasant and I found myself involuntarily blurting out the coordinates to a clandestine terrorist base in network of caves in the Drakensberg.

I survived and made it back inside for a hot shower and a hot coffee.
Well deserved.

Talking of weather, we were one of many families who were watching the live stream of the first rocket launch from American soil in 9 years last night, until it was postponed at just “T minus seventeen minutes” because of a “strength of electrical field in atmosphere violation”.

One of the commentators mentioned “well, this is Florida in the Spring, and the risk of thunderstorms was always going to be a factor.”

And that got me thinking: why don’t they launch from somewhere else then – somewhere less likely to have a strength of electrical field in atmosphere violation?

Like Kazakhstan.

Right. I have quiz questions to write, some maths homework to do and I need to cook dinner (Uber Eats last night was such a treat – love me a night off cooking).
I think a slow-cooker sausage casserole will fit the bill for today’s ugly weather.

Day 61 – The Tale of The Broken Blog

The server that 6000.co.za lives in fell over today, and I had to write a blog post on Facebook, just in case I couldn’t write a blog post on here.

Fortunately, Germaine H came to the rescue and propped the server up with a makeshift scaffold fashioned from kebab sticks, dental floss and some clay.

I’ll probably delete the Facebook post now, but let’s preserve it here first, just because:

Howdy, readers!

There is clearly some issue at my hosting company and I’ve been on hold on three different platforms for over an hour now with no response. So – for the moment, at least – today’s 6000dotcodotza blog post will be posted on Facebook.
It’s a blog post about not being able to post a blog post.
You’re reading it right now.

So very meta. I hope your minds can cope.

I’m optimistic that the engineers at Afrihost will get their act together in the very near future and put the server plug back into the wall after the cleaning lady socially distanced it from its socket, although the fact that they haven’t responded to anything in a long, long time doesn’t fill me with hope. They don’t even seem to know that anything is wrong: head to their network status page and ‘hosting’ has got a big green light and the legend:

Everything is looking good!
There are no problems to report at this moment

But there clearly are problems, one of them being that there’s no-one there to report them to.

Please watch out for updates on here, and – if I get lucky (careful now) – on 6000.co.za as well.

Thanks for reading!

So now you’ve read a blog post about a blog post about not being able to post a blog post on the blog I wasn’t able to post on.

And with that, I think it’s high time for a drink.

Oh, and a gentle reminder to follow 6000.co.za on Facebook – just in case this sort of thing happens again.

Day 60 – Good morning

Not just a salutation, but also a description of how my pre-9am period has gone.

So let’s run through the happy stuff for once, shall we?

A really cool quiz last night. I’ve been quizzing for 25 years, and I played rounds I’d never done before – novel stuff. It’s made me look at how I’ve been writing quizzes during lockdown and thinking about how to break the mould. Some really good ideas, even for regular stuff like music and geography.

There was Cyril’s speech. He was on time for once, nogal. And finally, a meaningful relaxation on the lockdown, countrywide, from June 1. As predicted/hoped for here:

If the purpose was to ready the healthcare system, then whether or not we managed to do that, there is very limited purpose in keeping the lockdown on: even in Cape Town, capital of the African branch of the pandemic.

Alcohol, yes – under strict conditions. Tobacco, no – which still rankles, even as a non-smoker. Exercise when you want. Stay at home if you don’t have to go out.

But we’re getting there. This was overdue.

Overnight, the first decent storm of the winter season. Over an inch of rain, 80kph winds whistling around the house even now.

Love it. Not every day, obviously, but there’s something so cleansing about a good storm, washing away the leaves, the dirt and in this case – metaphorically, at least – the virus.

And I went out for a run in this.

It. Was. Amazing.

It may have been my favourite run ever. No worries about aresholes with no masks, because there was no-one sensible enough to be out in the gales and the rain, and even if there had have been, the wind would likely have dispersed all their infectious exhalations anyway.

Link I said: cleansing.

That fifth kilometre. Downhill. Fast*. Alone. Such a fantastic feeling of freedom.
I really needed that.

It feels like we’ve turned a bit of a corner. The virus is still wreaking havoc out there, but we are at least a bit more on top of the things that we can control.

 

* 4:32. fast for me. 

Day 59 – Another address

Not me. I’m very much still at the same address.

Quiz news: We quizzed last night (joint first after a disastrous collapse in the popular culture round) (and I was one day off on the date of the sinking of the Titanic earlier in the evening) (unforgivable).

I’m doing a friends’ UK quiz this evening.

I have a quiz on Wednesday.

As far as socialising goes, that’s it, but it’s valuable time with friends and we’re very grateful for it. We need that bridge to sanity, even if I did awake in a cold sweat at 3am dreaming about the 14th/15th April 1912.

As the worst of the pandemic hits Cape Town, the President is due to make another address this evening. 7pm, he says, but he’s not been on time for one yet. This is to announce (we think) a relaxation in the lockdown for some/most/probably not all of the country. The government has lost the faith and  support of the nation on the lockdown. It’s not going well.

The kids are 8 days away from a potential return to school, by which time the virus in Cape Town will be at the highest levels ever seen. The jury is still out whether this return is a good idea or not – or if it’s even going to happen. Maybe we’ll get some direction this evening. Maybe not. Probably not.

Our lockdown was meant to allow time for the healthcare system to prepare for the virus. Did we delay the start of the worst phase? Yes, probably. Has it made any difference? I’m not sure. We’re still being completely overwhelmed by the numbers. Would we have been more overwhelmed if this had happened two months ago? It seems hard to believe, but who knows?

But we can’t go back and do things differently: we don’t have a time machine, and even if we did, what sort of muppet would head back to late March and wait for the virus to hit SA? I know that there are some pretty stupid people out there, but honestly.
That would be like going back to the Grand Staircase of the Titanic on the 13th April 1912.

Safe for 24 hours then, at least. [swearword]

Sorry. I digress. Often.

If the purpose was to ready the healthcare system, then whether or not we managed to do that, there is very limited purpose in keeping the lockdown on: even in Cape Town, capital of the African branch of the pandemic.

Many people will be looking forward to being allowed to purchase alcohol and cigarettes again, but it’s doubtful that we’ll be allowed both – we might not even get either. Decent research shows that the prohibition on these items has been wholly unsuccessful and has generated a significant and structured black market which will likely continue after the lockdown and which will supply funds to organised crime.

So that’s good news. If you like organised crime.

Depending on what is announced this evening, tonight (and by tonight, I mean tomorrow, because we all need our sleep and it’s going be stormy and cold here this evening) could bring a huge celebration or widespread rioting.

Rest assured that I’ll bring you all the news from the streets with my bottle of petrol (or beer) in hand.

Keep safe. Keep well. Put a damn mask on.

Day 58 – Did my bit

I drank my SA wine last night.

But I didn’t drink all of it and so I still have some of my SA wine to drink tonight as well.

I chose a Journey’s End Shiraz to go with our roast. It was superb. It will likely be even superber this evening.

Yes, I made the roast, but I have to say that it was actually pretty decent as well.
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