Day 211 – No Marmite

Infamously, “you either love it or you hate it”. Or you simply can’t buy it.

I was shopping yesterday and I couldn’t find any Marmite. Four different shops comprehensively failed to yield a single jar of popular/unpopular spread between them.
And you can’t just replace it with Bovril, can you? Some of them might be vegetarians.

These things sometimes happen. I remember that time not so long ago that the Western Cape ran out of carbon dioxide (but how?!?!) and couldn’t make Coca-Cola. But Marmite doesn’t need See Oh Too for its manufacture, so what’s gone wrong here?

Well, I think I have worked out the answer.

Remember the whole Lockdown thing* when we weren’t allowed to buy alcohol and were all rationing whatever we had left? Well, because we weren’t allowed to buy beer, breweries couldn’t sell beer and so some breweries stopped brewing beer.

And the yeast that is produced as a by-product of all the brewing of the beer is exactly the ingredient that the Marmite people need to make Marmite. Suddenly it doesn’t seem so bizarre that we’re out of Marmite in SA. No beer, no yeast, no Marmite.

And we can all blame Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

You either love her or you hate her.


* we must be on Day 211 or something by now… 


Day 7 – Bit short of bread

I’m writing this at [checks watch] around midday, which means that I’m 3 hours and 47 minutes (thank you Google Maps timeline) from a week of being inside.

I’m going to have to venture outside into what passes from the real world soon. We’re running a bit short of bread. I do have the means to bake some more, so it’s not desperate, but that time is coming.

It’s struck me that the chances of me having caught Covid-19 are becoming smaller and smaller, as we have had zero contact with anyone now for those 7 days. And it also strikes me that the chances of catching it while I’m buying bread are still small, but also still increasing.

There have been a few well-publicised incidents of people jogging or walking their dogs in the suburbs, which is naughty and illegal, but I have it on good authority from several independent sources that elsewhere, the lockdown is being treated as a bit of holiday. This is not good, and effectively negates the effect of the people obeying the lockdown and staying inside. This is basically the equivalent of you recycling a small Marmite jar in your Cape Town kitchen to help save the planet while China builds another ten coal-fired power stations.
In turn, of course, this lack of adherence to the rules will simply lead to an extension of the restrictions, which then won’t be obeyed again… and around and around we go. With some deaths.

Still, you just do what you can, don’t you? I can’t stop the entire population of Rustenburg thronging in the High Street coughing and sneezing on one another, like ten dirty power stations, can I?

And so we just sit here making sure our Marmite jars are nice and clean for the glass people, because really it’s all we can do.