Day 365 – One year of SA lockdown


Was it the right decision? Too lenient? Too draconian? Were the bans on alcohol and tobacco correct? Or even legal?

I’m not getting into those discussions, simply because the views are all already so polarised and entrenched that whatever I write (or anyone else writes), no-one’s mind is going to be changed. So what’s the point?

We’re now a whole year on from that initial plan of three weeks, and we’re still in a National State of Disaster and a level 1 lockdown, with promises of a third wave of infections and a harsher Easter sanctions on the way. And we’re also a whole year on from my very first “Lockdown Diaries” post; something I’ve kept going with at least one post a day ever since. Of course, not all those posts are specifically about coronavirus and the lockdown: sometimes you want to get your mind far, far away from all the nonsense. Sometimes you don’t have a choice.

The last year has been pretty awful for everyone. Very few people have come out of it wholly unscathed, and now we’re living in this new, weird world – but at least we’re still here.

Plenty aren’t.

I don’t see myself being vaccinated this year unless something changes dramatically. And that basically means that we’re not going to go anywhere for at least another 12 months, prolonging my personal lockdown for another year.

See you on March 26th 2022 for some better news?


Shumi elinantlanu.

It’s fifteen years today since I moved from the UK to South Africa.

A lot has happened in those fifteen years, including (but not limited to): one marriage, a few jobs, two kids, some houses, a beagle, an awful lot of braais, many litres of Castle Milk Stout, and several thousand blog posts.

No, I’ve never really thought about going back.

Sometimes we celebrate this anniversary, sometimes it passes us by and we only realise after the fact. Today, I marked it by smashing out a ridiculously vigorous workout at the gym, which will mean that I won’t be able to walk tomorrow.

Lovely. See you again in 2034.

Ten Years

Yep. Today marks 10 years since I emigrated to South Africa. In that time, a lot has happened, probably the biggest things being my marriage to a wonderful woman and the arrivals and growth of our two wonderful children. [And this blog, of course – Ed.]

Yes, and this blog, of course.

South Africa is home for me. It has been for a long time. And yes, it has its difficulties and its quirks, but then so does everywhere and one learns to adapt and live with the stuff that the place chucks at you. Life is rarely dull, and perhaps that’s one of the reasons that I’m so happy here. Yes, I still miss friends and family back in the UK, but there’s technology which lessens that, at least to a certain extent.

I’m not sure if this anniversary is a thing that one celebrates – I mean, do people mark anniversaries of moving within one country? – but I’m always game for anything involving a steak, so that’ll be what happens this evening.
Maybe a little understated, but tender and pleasant. Just like me.

In the meantime, here’s to the next ten years.


Special Day

Today is special for a number of differing reasons. Firstly, it’s my… our… wedding anniversary and therefore we will be leaving the kids at home with some able babysitters tonight and heading out to celebrate with a posh meal somewhere posh. Well done to me for finding such an amazing wife and… erm… “well done” to her for putting up with me for eight years (and counting).

Secondly, I am neck flippin’ deep in admin at work, and the FDA are to blame. This isn’t particularly special in the way that number one was, but I’m proud to announce that I have just broken a new record for the amount of paperwork generated by a single test in the lab – and outstanding 56 sheets of paper – and that’s surely something that should be recognised. When that champagne cork pops this evening, a small part of me will be celebrating this achievement as well as those cited above.
Never be fooled by anyone who says that “Big Pharma” (or even “Little Pharma”) (or in our case “Ever So Tiny Pharma”) are given an easy ride by the relevant¬†regulatory¬†authorities¬†worldwide. I am frantically chopping down entire forests left, right and centre in order to keep up with the amount of documentation that they now require.
Some bits are required to be provided in pentalicate. And that’s not even a word. That’s how hectic things are. They are making. up. words. to keep us regulated. Which is also protecting the patient, allegedly. Unless the doc gets so drowsy reading all the warnings that he mistakenly injects 14 times the theraputic dose, of course.

Fortunately, the irony of having a public holiday to mark Workers’ Day awaits us tomorrow and I can hide from the mountains of filed A4 paperwork for 24 hours. We have a family day out planned and it looks like the weather will play ball, which, considering we’re heading into May now, isn’t at all bad.

Anyway, I’m digressing and I’m procrastinating, but those results aren’t going to email themselves so I guess I’d better get back to it.

And yes, that is the sound of soft weeping you can hear. And no, it’s not my wife.


Today marks nine years since I arrived on these shores as a refugee, immigrant, expat, comeover, whatever you want to call it.

While I can’t say that it’s been a smooth ride throughout each of those 3,288 days, I’ve never regretted making the move. Now I find myself with a beautiful and supportive wife, two amazing kids and a view of Table Mountain each day.

And I don’t think anyone could really wish for more than that.