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Yours *TrulyJuly*

I do everything content.

 

So we’re post coronavirus!

 

On Monday 1st June also South Africa joins the ease of lockdowns around the world and resumes business – although it’s not going to be as usual.

 

It seems most countries are in a race competing with each other to restart their economy.

 

Justified by numbers of new Covid-19 cases and deaths declining.

But they’re declining from a castastrophically high number to begin with!

 

Europe’s coronavirus statistics would make us topple over.

 

For comparison: Total coronavirus cases per 1 million population by country on 27.05.2020

 

Germany: 2,170

UK: 3,939

USA: 5,247

South Africa: 438

 

Worldometer Coronavirus Update 27 May 2020

Worldometer Coronavirus Update 27 May 2020

 

#StayPositive

#CoronavirusSA

#Level3Regulations

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

#SocialDistancing

#StaySafeStayHome

 

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In order to be impartial I have to review all rivals equally.

 

So after getting a hiccup about Google’s translation fail I checked out Windows.

 

And yep, of course I’d be greeted with equal unprofessionalism:

My laptop is supposed to display everything in German. Yet English tech terms are popping up in the German copy everywhere, such as 'badges'.

My laptop is supposed to display everything in German. Yet English tech terms are popping up in the German copy everywhere, such as ‘badges’.

 

‘Badges’ has 18 possible translations in German.

 

None of them explain what ‘badges’ means in this context.

That’s because this is actually a digital badge, a tech term with quite a distinctive meaning.

 

I had to test out what it actually does to understand what this actually is.

 

Also ‘Aero Peek’ and ‘PowerShell’ mean nothing to me besides that Windows seems to be obsessed with trying to sound cool.

At least with ‘Show Desktop‘ and ‘Command Prompt‘ I can deduct from the words what it means.

 

In addition, let’s not forget these are displayed in a German copy.

So how must I understand this without knowing English, as only English definitions come up as search results, because this is an English tech term.

 

I just don’t think reading through English tech term dictionaries should be part of changing settings on a German notebook.

 

But with the current decline of grammar it seems everything goes anyways.

 

#TranslationFail

#GrammarNerd

 

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Come rain, come shine… I used to cycle to commute, but now with the coronavirus lockdown having cancelled all events, there’s nowhere to go.

 

After 5 weeks of staying indoors and only leaving the house for grocery shopping at the corner shop, I was amazed how much I had missed the outdoors.

 

That experience of filling up with green energy is still very vivid in me.

So now I made it a habit to go for a walk every day. There’s good reason to, with 4 dogs.

 

However I do this because I realised how I had not appreciated the simple joy of going outdoors, even if it’s just the streets of Woodstock, even if it rains, even if I get pulled around by 4 dogs who still have not let go of all the bottled up energy from 5 weeks lockdown imprisonment.

 

It is so odd, yet, that’s why I wanted to embrace the lockdown experience fully, without numbing myself down by stockpiling alcohol or smoking.

 

The only way to appreciate what we have is by not having it.

 

So if I have to go under lockdown for 5 weeks to rediscover happiness in going for a simple walk, then thank you universe for forcing this opportunity onto me.

 

Hopefully I can keep up in this daily exercise routine.

But for now I’m just glad I can do it!

 

And so are our dogs:

 

#StayPositive

#LoveCapeTown

#ILoveMyHood

#CoronavirusSA

#Level4Regulations

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

#SocialDistancing

#StaySafeStayHome

 

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In my ventures to find public green spaces around Woodstock while SANparks remain closed during lockdown level 4, I reached new heights:

 

Crossing over the bridge at Queens Park I take in the far views over Woodstock:

 

From there it’s just a short walk along Selbourne Road to stairs leading up onto the M3.

On top, there is a pedestrian walkway that a lot of people use during level 4 to go jogging.

 

Dog walkers rather want to stay out of their way, so this person casually crosses De Waal Drive before the M3 splits in two.

 

It’s actually quite a safe spot, as you can see far both ways and during lockdown there’s hardly any traffic.

 

So we followed suit and were rewarded with green pastures:

 

It’s a tricky spot of course, being surrounded by highways. So the dogs can’t go off leash.

But it’s also still a lush and green stretch that is just a shame to be so inaccessible.

 

Well, it’s odd times during the coronavirus pandemic, so even odd places look like an opportunity to explore.

 

#StayPositive

#LoveCapeTown

#ILoveMyHood

#CoronavirusSA

#Level4Regulations

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

#SocialDistancing

#StaySafeStayHome

 

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As we’re only allowed to walk the streets within 5km from our home during level 4, I encounter a lot of dumping!

What’s going on that so much dumping is happening during lockdown?

 

I’m exploring Woodstock for its hidden gem green spaces, but lately I see more and more rubbish piling up on the hidden corners.

 

This is at the Exit 5 Groote Schuur turnoff, actually one of my favourite spots to take the dogs for a walk:

One load of dumping quickly turned into a rubbish heap building up!

 

Further on, glass bottles, lots and lots of wine and beer bottles:

I collected these bottles into one pile, only for dumpers to add more bottles to it!

 

Since I started walking the dogs around the Woodstock streets, I have been collecting rubbish, especially plastic soft drinks bottles, along my morning lockdown walk.

Sometimes it’s so much I don’t know how to carry it all.

And sure enough, just a few steps on and I find a new plastic bag that helps me bring everything home to upcycle.

I only take one emergency poo bag with me, because I find so many toast bread plastic bags along the way that I need not worry about supply.

 

It’s getting ridiculous with the dumping! How can it stop?

 

#NoDumping!

#StopDumping!

 

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I was never a morning person until I moved to South Africa.

 

In Cape Town the clear light of the rising sun and the crispness of the fresh air in the morning certainly are incentives to get up early.

 

Every now and then I’d be lucky enough to catch the sunrise, which is always spectacular.

I even participated in a Facebook group to commit to taking pictures of the sunrise.

 

Currently under lockdown level 4 regulations, we are only allowed to be outside for exercise between 6am and 9am.

What a way to make people appreciate the morning hours!

 

Now I see the sun rising almost every day.

It has become such a familiar sight that I have to stop myself in my tracks, taking in the moment when the warm golden sunrays beam over the streets of Woodstock.

 

The morning has broken:

 

Getting up early is a great way to start the day that rewards us with early rising productivity.

 

If the coronavirus spread prevention is forcing us to pick up good habits like making the best out of the morning hours, then I’d say that’s a positive outcome of the lockdown!

 

#StayPositive

#LoveCapeTown

#ILoveMyHood

#CoronavirusSA

#Level4Regulations

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

#SocialDistancing

#StaySafeStayHome

 

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People keep on complaining about the lockdown level 4 regulations.

 

And it is true: Having the beauty of Table Mountain, the bays of all those Blue Flag beaches and the views of the plains and fynbos right in front of our nose, it’s tough not to be allowed to go.

 

But it’s also one of the easiest ways to save lives.

 

In the meantime, I use this coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to explore and get to know my neighbourhood better.

 

One lovely spot to walk the dogs is the commons above the N2, along where Roodebloem turns into Upper Roodebloem Road.

 

With recent rains and nature left to do what it likes, green pastures welcome me:

 

Nature didn’t go under lockdown and is thriving in the peace and quiet:

 

Thank goodness nature can keep it together under lockdown, as this tree’s roots are holding the earth in place:

 

The views are spectacular:

 

A piece of eden in the midst of the hussle and buzz of Woodstock’s highway turnoffs:

 

#LoveCapeTown

#ILoveMyHood

#CoronavirusSA

#Level4Regulations

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

#SocialDistancing

#StaySafeStayHome

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Cleaning is a b*tch: Without doing anything it gets dirty again.

 

That turns cleaning up somewhat into Sisyphus work: As soon as you’re done, you can start all over again.

It’s a never ending chore that has to be done, if we like it or not.

 

Yet, cleaning is also incredibly rewarding:

 

Benefits of cleaning up

 

–  Instant results

It doesn’t take much effort and you don’t need to know special skills to clean. Yet, as soon as you start the results show: A clean surface, windows you can actually see through, pots that look like new, floors that don’t feel sticky on your feet, sofas that don’t engulf you in a dust cloud, a fresh smelling home, a sparkly bath, a neat garden.

Whatever you clean, it’s an accomplishment and you can be proud of it. enjoy the rewards right away.

 

–   Healthy lifestyle

Having a clean home exposes you to less mould, spores, germs and bacteria, and thus saves you from allergies, asthma and irritated skin reactions.

In addition you’re less likely to catch a flu, as there’s less opportunity for viruses to linger.

Also pests like flies, fleas, moths, silverfish and bedbugs have little chance to fester.

Extending your cleanliness to the courtyard and garden areas means keeping away cockroaches, mice, rats and other unwanted guests: Leaving debris as shelter and waste as food is an invitation to any scavenger.
Remember: Pests are a symptom of your mess and dirt, not the cause. Never poison rats!

 

–  A free workout

Some people pay a maid to clean and then pay a gym to get a workout.

Guess what: Clean up yourself and you’ll have your workout included, for free!

Sweeping and mopping can burn 240 calories per hour, an equivalent to jogging for half an hour.

Just make sure you maintain a good posture and clean in a safe manner to avoid injuries and accidents.

 

–  A clear mind

Cleaning most often also includes decluttering, as it’s pointless cleaning around all that knick knack or removing it from the surface to clean and then putting it back.

Some think lots of pictures on the wall and lots of memories on the shelves is interior design, but really it is just clutter.

Clutter not only makes our homes look bad, it makes us feel bad, too.

Clutter has a profound affect on our mood and self-esteem: The more stuff, the more stress women feel.

 

–  Reduce risk of injury

The home is the most common location for accidents to happen.

Having lots of mess flying around is a serious health risk: You can fall over objects and slip on toys.

Anything that blocks doorways and corridors is a fire hazard: Clutter can easily catch and thus spread fire. Objects on the floor can hinder your escape or others getting in to rescue you.

 

–  A sense of pride

A clean and organised home is something to be proud of. After all, everyone can be lazy and messy. It speaks for your life attitude if you can stay disciplined enough to keep your home in order.

Enjoying your own home makes you more likely to invite friends over and welcome any surprise visit.

You never know what opportunity might knock on your door. But with a clean home, you can rest assured you are prepared.

 

–  A good deed of the day

Cleaning doesn’t just need to apply to your home, it can extend to your neighbourhood.

Leading by example, you can include the pedestrian walkway in front of your house in your cleaning routine: Keep it litter free and safe for passing by removing slippery leaves or ice and snow.

Pay it forward and organise or join a local CleanUp to uplift your hood. Wind can distribute rubbish in the streets that no-one feels responsible for, but invites dumping of more rubbish. A MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) Swoop helps keeping your neighbourhood clean and friendly and thus can even reduce crime.

 

 

#CleanUp!

 

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I always check my spam folder, many useful emails are wrongly identified as junk by Gmail.

 

Sometimes this mistaken categorisation is rather amusing:

 

Such as when this Democratic Alliance (DA) message ‘seems dangerous’ – at least according to Google:

 

This Democratic Alliance message seems dangerous to Gmail.

This Democratic Alliance message seems dangerous to Gmail.

 

Granted, I can’t recall how I signed up for these emails,
but I also cannot see how ‘Let’s make things easier for you’ could be a dangerous message.

 

Fair enough, Google thinks there is a suspicious link, but really the links in the email are just for YouTube and other social media.

 

Turns out there’s an embedded link in an image leading to the Democratic Alliance website, which Google classifies as ‘untrusted’:

 

Google identifies a suspicious link, as it classifies the Democratic Alliance website as untrusted.

Google identifies a suspicious link, as it classifies the Democratic Alliance website as untrusted.

 

Ah well, politics I guess, who can trust politicians, not even Google! 😉

 

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My laptop is in German which means everything on this laptop is by default in German.

 

In an attempt to change this, I have to go through every single programme on this laptop and amend the language settings. A lot of hard work!

 

The reason why I don’t want all these apps to use German as their default language is because the translations are most often appalling.

It is a disgrace to be insulted with such a sloppy job of bad translations.

 

And Google tops it once again, in their very own language settings:

 

Unbelievable: Google uses an English tech term in their German language settings. Total #TranslationFail!

Unbelievable: Google uses an English tech term in their German language settings. Total #TranslationFail!

 

Even in the Google Chrome settings language section Google confronts me with a major Translation Fail:

 

In the German copy I have to stumble over an English tech term abbreviation: UI.

 

So this is also a usability fail, as it should not be assumed that your everyday person knows what the abbreviation UI stands for.

Then the usability fail continues, because your average internet user does not necessarily need to know what User Interface is.

But to top it all, Google uses this English tech term abbreviation in a German copy.

 

An in-your-face lazy and disrespectful mistake, because this is in the settings about languages!

 

How arrogant must Google be to so obviously show they do not care about people who speak a different language.

 

#TranslationFail

 

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Table Mountain in walking distance and still we can’t go under lockdown stage 4 regulations.

 

Having 4 dogs – a social distancing measure by default – and only the neighbouring streets to go for walks means getting creative and exploring the hidden green spaces:

 

 

Where is this?

 

Yes, District Six, a sad reminder that this area still remains barren.

Bulldozed to the ground during Apartheid, it now offers vast open spaces.

 

The streets are in prime condition and hardly ever in use – perfect for skating.

On a slight slope up the mountain, the views over Cape Town’s CBD are fantastic:

 

 

During lockdown a welcomed escape from the narrow streets of Woodstock.

 

#CoronavirusSA

#Level4Regulations

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

#SocialDistancing

#StaySafeStayHome

 

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What gives people feelings of power - Bringing a plant back to life from the brink of death

What gives people feelings of power – Bringing a plant back to life from the brink of death

 

 

Growing food is possible for anyone and it is super fun.

 

Even in a relative small plant pot, you can get impressive yields.

 

And plants are not expensive to keep, it is even possible to grow food on a zero budget.

 

Yet, the reward exceeds the effort by far.

 

Benefits of growing your own food

 

–  You know what you get.

When you grow your own food you can be sure no-one meddled with it.

You alone control what fertilisers or pest controls touch your plants. If you prefer organic food, growing it yourself is the surest way of knowing you eat pure goodness.

 

–  It can’t get fresher than this.

As soon as greens get cut they lose moisture and nutrients.

There is no way of knowing how old the food at the supermarket really is. When you grow it yourself, it goes straight from the garden onto the plate, packed with all its natural nourishment.

 

–  Homegrown food tastes better.

Even a small deformed tomato from your garden tastes better than the big plump tomato from the shop. Looks can be deceiving.

It’s also because you put in a lot of TLC and care that makes reaping the rewards taste delicious

 

–  You get instant results.

Food grows faster and more plentiful than we expect.

And wow, it is exciting to see the first seedling sprouting! It’s like a miracle that a fully fledged plant comes out of that tiny seed. You might get overwhelmed with how eager nature is to grow and multiply and end up with a nursery jungle: Plants and seedlings everywhere!

 

–  You improve your health.

Eating this fresh and organic will give you a natural boost.

In addition, working with soil and greenery is a stress reliever: It takes your mind off your worries and brings you back in touch with nature. Growing your own produce fills you with a deep sense of accomplishment.

If you’re lucky and have a garden, working outdoors keeps you fit with low-impact exercise and ensures you’re soaking up a lot of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin.

 

–  You save money.

Even those superfoods that cost a fortune at the organic grocery store turn out to be very easy to grow. Rocket salad grows like a weed, yet even a small packet comes with quite a price tag.

You can save the seeds from your own produce and continue growing your food next season. Keeping plants indoors means you can grow food all year round.

 

–  You do your bit for the environment.

Buying local is lekker, but growing local is even better.

You reduce food miles and lower your carbon footprint. Your food doesn’t need to be packaged, so you create less waste for landfill. Composting means less rubbish goes into your bin. When you go green you become more aware of opportunities to recycle and upcycle.

 

 

#GoGreen

#UrbanGardening

 

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I always wanted a pet rat.

But my mom thought otherwise.

 

So when I moved into my own flat at the age of 19 to start out my life in the big city, I got a pet rat as a parting gift: Fitty!

 

#PortRATure: My first pet rat Fitty.

#PortRATure: My first pet rat Fitty.

 

I called her Fitty, because when she sneezed, it sounded like [ˈfyːt].

Rats make those tiny little cute sounds.

 

I got a book about how to keep pet rats, but I was in for a steep learning curve anyway.

Rats teach you a lot. And about yourself, too.

 

I had so many adventures with this very conniving clever one.

Fitty had her own will and I was in for a lesson about resilience, stubbornness and stamina.

She was very headstrong and did everything to get her way.

 

For example: When I went on holiday, I brought Fitty to stay with rattie friends.

 

Rattie friends here refers to friends I made through the unlikely and thus instantly connecting event of us realising we’re both taking our ratties out in public.

Because no, Fitty did not make friends with their rat.

 

In our blessed naivety we thought how nice for our pet rats to have a rat companion. So we placed them on a big kitchen table and wanted to see how they’d get along.

But there was no time for that: Fitty walked towards the other rat, who took one sniff of the air and turned and ran. Straight off the kitchen table.

 

Good thing we gave them enough space.

I had no idea Fitty was such a dominant rat that her mere presence could cause such a reaction in another rat.

 

I already feared that this would mean Fitty could not stay with them, but they were fine looking after her if she came with her own cage, so the rats could stay separately.

 

I guess they regretted that for a couple of days though, because when I came back they had this story to tell:

 

They got repairs done in the bathroom. Because one of the drains lay open, they made a point of always closing the bathroom door, especially when the rats had free roam time.

Obviously the one time they had forgotten, Fitty had already the better of them and went into the bathroom and disappeared into the drain pipe… Gone.

For three days, and she came back.

 

It’s a Rats! world.

 

Rats are not to be underestimated just because of their small size.

Pet rats are highly intelligent and might just outwit you.

 

I love that about these little critters, because life never gets boring with them.

And because ratties are so incredibly social, you can have a strong bond with them.

They love snuggling up on your shoulder and are absolute cuddle masters.

 

With a pet rat, you’re never alone.

The perfect pet, especially when you live on your own in a small flat.

 

#RatsMakeGreatPets

#CleverRat

#RatShaming

#EmotionalSupportAnimal

#gRATTIEtude

 

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A great idea to deal with abandoned plots is to turn them into a peace garden.

Often however there is a lack of funds to get going.

With a bit of good will and creativity it is possible to make up for missing resources:

 

How to grow food on a 0 budget

 

1) Plant:

–  Seeds are readily available from most fruit and vegetables we eat.

I deliberately rate the fresh produce I eat and keep the seeds of what tasted really good.

–  Where seeds are tricky, cloning is a great alternative.

When I came across some mint growing rogue in a flower bed gracing a street corner, I took a twig. Mint grows like a creeper and spreads far and wide quickly, so it’s best to keep it in a pot. This makes it ideal to pinch a branch and plant straight into the soil at home.

 

2) Soil:

–  Soil is being moved by wind and rain. There are places where soil builds up and is unwanted.

I’m regularly cleaning up the abandoned plots next door. Plenty of free soil.

–  Compost is so easy to make and means less garbage for landfill.

You don’t need much space or know-how to compost your organic waste. A wormery works wonders in really small places. It feels good to do your bit to reduce waste.

–  Used tea bags still contain a lot of nutrition and can be mixed into the soil.

I drink a lot of tea. I empty out the tea straight into the pots of plants who need their soil topped up or collect it to stretch soil for the next planting session.

 

3) Pots:

–  It is so easy to upcycle plant pots from plastic bottles.

Since I’m making my own plant pots I can’t help but see potential containers for my plants in any plastic item I come across. And my gosh, there is so much rubbish flying around on the streets, it offers me a great choice.

–  It is also easy to upcycle the outer cachepot.

The plant pots need at least a drip tray or, to match your interiors, a nice ornamental cover pot. Also this is easy to DIY upcycle.

Alternatively you can buy a Ranzani Design Ueberpot for only R100, thus helping to keep rubbish out of landfill.

–  Planters can be upcycled from styrofoam cooler boxes.

Styrofoam boxes make great planters: Light and sturdy, they insulate the roots and are ideal for salads and microgreens that can be enjoyed by the whole family, including pets.

If you have good design and handy DIY skills, you can build a wooden crate that looks great in your backyard.

 

4) Water:

–  Grey water contains more nutrients than water straight from the tap and your plants need less fertilizer. Your dishwater probably makes for the ideal bug spray.

I’m only using grey water and dishwater to water my plants. They are thriving on it.
Careful though: Don’t accidentally use salty water, hot water or water with vinegar in it.

–  Rainwater can be collected and stored for watering plants throughout the summer.

The drought crisis in Cape Town has made me very aware of water. I actually can’t believe we are so wasteful with such precious resource. Collecting rainwater has become the new norm and makes perfect sense to keep your plants green throughout the hot months.

 

5) Happiness:

Yes, as an extra bonus you’ll be rewarded with happiness for your efforts.

Seeing your plants grow is highly motivational. Nature is so generous, you’ll be amazed about the results.

Plus it’s deeply reassuring when you harvest your own produce. Growing food from nothing makes you realise no matter what crisis we face, coronavirus and all, we can do it.

On top of it you know that you’re consuming pure goodness. No-one messed with the food you grew yourself. It tastes great and feels like a spa day for your tummy, especially when you have IBS.

 

This Habanero chili pepper plant is gifting 15 fruits. How amazing is that!

 

#UrbanGardening

 

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So the lockdown stage 4 regulations allow us to go outside for exercise, but where to if parks remain closed?

 

Having 4 puppies– a total foster fail – implies social distancing by default.

So when we go for dog walks, I’m always looking for a quiet area where we don’t bother others.

 

This comes in handy now, that we can only go for walks in public spaces around our neighbourhood.

 

This is one of those green hidden gems in Woodstock I like to escape to:

 

 

Granted, this green patch runs parallel to the N2, but the closest road is a turn-off with generally little traffic and now during lockdown even less cars.

It’s peaceful and quiet:

 

 

Mostly I’m the only one up here, enjoying a great view over Woodstock:

 

 

So where is this?

 

It’s the stretch from the top of Queens Park Avenue all the way along the N2 exit 5 Groote Schuur turn-off.

On the map it doesn’t even show as green area.

 

Maybe a bit of an unusual choice to go for a walk, but then again, it’s unusual times during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

#CoronavirusSA

#Level4Regulations

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

#SocialDistancing

#StaySafeStayHome

 

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You’d think Table Mountain is big enough to accommodate walkers, joggers and cyclists obeying social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, but under Lockdown Stage 4 regulations this is not allowed.

 

Even the insider sneaky side entrances are guarded by South African National Parks (SANParks) staff who friendly, but determined remind you: All SANParks are closed.

 

We’ll have to make due with the few green patches around our neighbourhood and ease the wait with virtual tours of our beloved SANParks.

 

In the meantime stay fit at home for this will be over eventually and then it’s finally going to be back to nature!

 

 

#CoronavirusSA

#Level4Regulations

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

#SocialDistancing

#StaySafeStayHome

 

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I don’t do any exercise.

 

For me it’s important that exercise relates to a fun activity or a purpose, such as a team sport or cycling to commute or walking the dogs.

 

Being under lockdown for 5 weeks made me try out some exercises to stay fit.

 

Push-ups are great, as they can be done anywhere. Same for planking.

Both exercises can be quite tough if you’re not fit.

 

But here is the great rewarding thing:

 

You don’t need to exercise much, just regularly.

If you do exercise daily, it will get easier.

 

If you start with just 1 push-up per day or 10 seconds of planking every day, you will feel the improvement and notice how it gets easier every time.

 

A great lifehack: Don’t increase the number of exercise repetitions, but the number of sets.

 

Yes, reps how they call it in the gym simply means you do the same exercise again right away.

 

Instead do the same exercise at later time on the same day.

For example 2 push-ups, 1 in the morning, 1 in the evening.

Or 20 seconds planking, 10 in the morning, 10 in the evening.

 

Then you can rev up the number of exercises and create reps.

 

For example a rep of 5 push-ups in a row. Or 30 seconds of planking with no break.

 

Then it’s already easy to do 10 push-ups a day, as you do 2 sets of 5 push-ups. Or a minute of planking, as you do 2 sets of 30 seconds.

 

You don’t have to be into exercising to appreciate that even very little can go very far if done with consistency.

 

That’s why exercising is highly rewarding and I totally recommend it.

 

Just make sure you do it right!

 

The right technique to correctly hold a plank.

The right technique to correctly hold a plank.

 

 

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What a glorious morning Cape Town gifts us for the first day of Lockdown Stage 4!

 

Being allowed to go for a walk outside between 6am and 9am, we took it as a great opportunity to see the sunrise.

 

It was as if Cape Town rewarded its residents for the 5 weeks under lockdown with this spectacular sunrise:

 

Heavy drops of dew were raining from our roof, but just a short walk up the road and the view cleared. It felt like we were above the clouds.

 

With a blanket of mist covering Cape Town, the sun looked like it was rising above the ocean:

 

Sunrise or Sunset? With a sea of clouds reaching far to the mountains at the horizon, this photo could be mistaken for one of Cape Town’s famous sunset shots:

 

The mist is also enveloping Cape Town’s industrial harbour, which looks like sea monsters are emerging from the ocean and marching towards the CBD:

 

Nature is in full bloom and the clear skies give a fantastic light to capture the brilliance of nature’s vibrant colours:

 

It is always amazing to see how generous nature is: Wild figs in the plentiful.

 

After seeing only the own four walls for 5 weeks of coronavirus lockdown, this view over Cape Town was breathtaking:

 

I had not realised how much I had missed being outdoors. The fresh air, far and wide views, space to run and stretch, were invigorating and energising.

It felt like recharging with oxygen and green energy.

 

It is precious that we’re allowed to leave our home for a walk around our neighbourhood.

Let’s appreciate this new freedom by adhering to the social distancing rules, so we can keep the curve flat and still slow down the spread.

 

#CoronavirusSA

#Level4Regulations

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

#SocialDistancing

#StaySafeStayHome

#LoveCapeTown

 

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This Bird’s Eye Chilli Pepper plant grew so tall, I call it a tree.

 

It reaches over 1.2m and it’s only staying at that height, because I have to cut it down so it fits into the window frame.

Its leaves are thinning out at the top, because there’s not much light beyond the window.

 

Still, it sits in a relatively tiny plant pot, small enough to fit into the Ranzani Ueberpot.

 

It grew like this in a clay pot.

 

With a clay pot you can do very little wrong to your plant:

 

Benefits of growing plants in clay pots

–  Clay is porous but not permeable, impeding the flow of water. It absorbs water when there’s too much and provides moisture when there’s too little.

–  The pores of the clay allow for oxygen to aerate the roots, so there’s very little chance of root rot.

–  Clay transfers temperature changes slowly to the soil and thus protects the plant from a sudden heat stroke or winter freeze.

 

However, clay pots break.

And so did the clay pot of this Bird’s Eye Chili Pepper Tree.

 

So now it’s in an upcycled yogurt plastic pot and I have to place stones on it to keep it standing safely.

At least the Bird’s Eye Tree seems to have forgiven me, because it’s still producing a couple of chilies.

 

#UrbanGardening

 

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While styrofoam works well for planter boxes, they don’t look that great.

Especially when upcycling a second-hand styrofoam cooler box that shows signs of heavy usage and breakage.

 

Having some plank cut offs left over, but not enough to make a solid box, this is the resulting clever design to encase the styrofoam box in a practical way:

 

–  The few wooden planks we had left are efficiently meshed together to create a sturdy crate.

–  The planks are aligned with the structure of the styrofoam box to offer optimal support and protection.

–  As this is not a solid box, it’s not too heavy and has enough gaps to easily pick up and carry.

–  The bottom planks are covered in rubber for anti-slip grip and further protection of the wood and the surface this crate sits on.

 

#GoodDesign

#Upcycle

#Recycle

#UrbanGardening

 

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Responding to some banging against our entrance door, this styrofoam cooler box was wanting to get in:

 

Pushed by Cape Town’s strong winds, it almost came in by itself, and I did not say no to what I would’ve normally considered an unwelcome guest.

 

But I’m getting more and more into urban gardening and of course my mind came up with the thought: Planter Box!

 

Apparently styrofoam works very well as a planter box, because it’s light and it insulates the roots of the plants.

 

Maybe a salad box?

Can’t wait to try it out.

 

#UrbanGardening

#MoopSwoop

 

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If you fear population growth could lead to hunger (spoiler alert: overpopulation is a myth), do yourself a favour and grow some food at home.

 

I am always amazed how eagerly plants grow and how generous nature is.

 

This Habanero chili pepper plant gifts us 15 fruits:

 

15 Habaneros!

All I do is give it grey water and sometimes a bit of natural fertilizer.

The plant pot is upcycled, so is the Ueberpot, the soil is from compost, the seeds are from chilies a friend had too many of.

— You can grow plants on a 0 budget.

Yet, with a bit of TLC you get impressive yields.

 

Guess how many Bird’s Eye chilies are growing on this pepper plant:

 

24 Bird’s Eye chilies!

(Hint: Some of the chilies are still green and hard to spot.)

 

Nature is so giving, all we need to do is treat it with kindness to understand how plentiful Mother Nature is providing for us.

 

#UrbanGardening

 

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Growing plants from seeds is never boring.

 

There is always an element of surprise as to when and how the seedling will develop.

 

Plants from the same seed pod can grow very differently. It is fun to see what factors impact on the size and shape of the plant.

 

The difference can be minimal, yet the result can be puzzling.

 

All of these plants are habanero chili peppers, but the one in the middle has much smaller and mostly rounder leaves:

 

For a while I thought it was a different chili pepper plant. Given the variety, it’s easy to mistake one for another.

 

But I only had one type of seeds, so the plants must be the same.

 

It makes me wonder what other interesting ways of shaping a plant there are.

 

#UrbanGardening

 

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Upcycling plastic bottles means less rubbish in the landfill.

In addition, all bottles were found on the streets of Woodstock, collecting them means a cleaner neighbourhood.

 

Plastic bottles come in various different shapes and sizes and the plants grow accordingly:

–  The longer the bottle, the more room for root growth, the taller the plant.

–  The wider the bottle, the more room for branch growth, the bigger the yield.

 

After trying out different plastic bottles for upcycling into plant pots, my favourite is:

The juice bottle.

 

 

The shape of juice bottles is the most efficient and best suited for good plant growth.

Obviously a bigger plant pot would be better. But who’s got the space for that on their window sill.

The juice bottle plant pot is giving just enough room for the plant to grow quite a respectable size and fruit yield.

 

Plus, it fits perfectly into the Ranzani Ueberpot. 🙂

 

 

So, if you happen to drink Simpl juice, please drop off your empty bottles at Ranzani Design. 😀

 

#HoodUplift

#Upcycle

#Recycle

 

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So every bin day I do a MOOP Swoop and pick up rubbish that flies around Woodstock.

 

Now that I’m growing chili pepper plants, I desperately need plant pots.

Upcycling soft drink bottles works so well, that I’m simply on the lookout for plastic bottles amongst the rubbish.

 

The ususal sight on the abandoned plot at the corner of Greatmore and York Street: Lots of rubbish and plastic bottles.

 

It’s the weirdest thing:

What used to upset me, this stupid single-use plastic for stupid sickening soft drinks, is now almost a welcomed sight.

At least I’m glad I can do something with this waste to keep it out of landfill, and off the streets.

 

#MoopSwoop

#HoodUplift

#Upcycle

#Recycle

 

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It was back in 2014, when a group on Facebook 100 Sunrises Project inspired me to take pictures of our glorious sunrises in Cape Town.

 

I have never been a morning person, but South Africa is an early riser country and to my surprise this changed me to also get up early.

 

With sunrises as spectacular as Cape Town offers, clearly there is a great incentive to get out of bed in time to see it.

 

Now that winter is approaching and the skies are more often cloudy, we get to see these awesome sunrises as if as compensation for what might follow is a gloomy or rainy day.

 

Beat the winter blues by taking in the beauty Cape Town surrounds us with and welcome the new day drenched in hues of orange and pink the Cape Town sunrise inspires us with.

 

I for one can’t get enough of it: Woodstock Sunrise Collection. 🙂

 

#LoveCapeTown

#ILoveMyHood

 

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After growing plants in different types of pots I think clay works best.

It helps regulate the water intake and thus is very forgiving with any watering mistakes.

Plants just seem to thrive in a clay pot, even if it’s small they grow tall.

 

But it breaks, easily. And it seems, eventually.

 

Plastic is light and sturdy. Plants can topple over in a plastic pot and nothing happens.

 

However, I don’t want to add to the ever growing plastic islands in the ocean, so I’m not going to buy a new plastic pot when it’s so easy to upcycle it from soft drink bottles.

 

Plastic bottle as upcycled plant pot

I’ve been upcycling plastic bottles for a while now and they really work well:

–  With enough drainage holes it is easy to keep plants in plastic pots. I find a minimum of 3 drainage holes works for 2 liter bottles and 4 are needed for 5 liter bottles.

–  Often the plastic is see-through which makes for interesting root display. It also looks neat in an Ueberpot, as the rim of the plastic pot is almost invisible.

 

Testing them with Bird’s Eye chili pepper plants shows that the plants do well in any bottle shape or size.

 

It is so interesting to see how different the plants grow according to the different bottles.

As if the roots taking form in the bottle are mirrored in the shape of the stems and branches.

 

Keep this in mind when choosing a suitable plastic bottle for upcycling.

Or do it like me and try them all, which makes for a very motley and mixed together garden.  🙂

 

If you like any of the pepper plants in an upcycled soft drink bottle, you can buy them for only R150.

 

#UrbanGardening

#Upcycle

 

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Chili pepper plants are ideal pot plants.

The smaller the chili, the smaller the pot can be.

 

It’s easy to grow chili pepper plants from seed, which you can take from any fresh or dried chili you come across.

You can simply bury the seeds directly in the plant pot and soon leaves are sprouting.

 

In an effort to avoid plastic I’m looking for alternatives to buying plastic plant pots from the nursery.

Growing Bird’s Eye chili peppers, I’m testing different materials and shapes, upcycling all sorts of used cans and bottles.

 

Tin can as upcycled plant pot

Using tin cans as a container for plants is tricky:

–  Without any drainage, watering is a balancing act. It’s easy to overwater and cause root rot.

–  Keeping the soil evenly moist causes the tin to rust and eventually break.

 

I would recommend using upcycled tin cans for germination only:

–  For the seeds to sprout wet soil can be helpful.

–  The initial seedlings don’t need much space.

 

Be sure to transplant the seedlings in time though, or you’ll end up with Chili Pepper Bonsai:

 

These Bird’s Eye Chili Pepper Bonsais show it is absolutely possible to grow pepper plants in tin cans.

However, it’s a lot of effort and the yield of chili peppers is not that great. It’s as if the restriction of space for the roots also restricts the amount of chili peppers the plant will produce.

 

Nevertheless, the chili pepper plants look stunning, even more so knowing what a feat it is to grow them in such a small tin.

Only very little water is required, which needs to be applied daily.

In return you will be rewarded with beautiful delicate flowers and bright red chilis that are a real eye catcher.

 

Or, if you just want the plant without the effort, you can always buy it for only R100. 🙂

 

#UrbanGardening

#Upcycle

#NoPlastic

 

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Police Minister Bheki Cele announces that under SA lockdown regulations the sale of cigarettes and alcohol are banned.

Police Minister Bheki Cele announces that under SA lockdown regulations the sale of cigarettes and alcohol are banned.

 

We could’ve stocked up our liquor cabinet easily in time for the coronavirus lockdown, as I had done the stockpiling of essentials early and can’t say I wasn’t warned.

 

But I refused the urge to panic buy:

–  Smoking increases the risk of severe COVID-19.

–  Alcohol use, especially heavy use, weakens the immune system.

So why would I hoard more of the stuff that’s increasing the risk to fall ill from the virus.

 

However, with the SA lockdown extension we’re indeed coming to an end of our usual stock.

 

A moment to fully embrace the lockdown experience:

–  It is quite liberating to encounter scarcity and realise nothing bad comes from running out of a convenience.

–  Instead of buying more stuff and pushing it in front of the old, we’re actually taking stock of what we have and use up what we don’t need to keep any longer.

–  Whatever we can, we make ourselves. This feeling of autonomy can be very self-empowering.

 

The lockdown is long enough to form a new habit or break a bad one.

Why not take it seriously and see it as the opportunity to change and improve.

So what if alcohol and cigarette sales are banned, this is a great chance to quit.

 

We are experiencing a once in a lifetime global pandemic that forces the whole world to change.

What massive inspiration to lead a healthier life.

 

 

#CoronavirusInSA

#PreparedNotScared

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

 

 

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Have your say on the New Lockdown Regulations: www.dearsouthafrica.co.za/lockdown-regulations.

Have your say on the New Lockdown Regulations: www.dearsouthafrica.co.za/lockdown-regulations.

 

As lockdowns around the world are being extended, also South Africa looks likely to be under lockdown for longer.

 

Hopefully though, if we as citizens can be responsible enough, lockdown regulations could be amended.

 

You can have your say on this by actively participating in the policy shaping of the lockdown regulations.

 

Dear South Africa is a legally recognised and constitutionally protected non-profit platform which enables the public to co-shape all government policies, amendments and proposals.

Participation in decision-making processes means a possibility for citizens, civil society organisations and other interested parties to influence the development of policies and laws which affect them. We’ve made it easy for you as a responsible citizen of South Africa, to influence government decisions before they are made.

 

So, if you don’t like the way the lockdown is currently run and have ideas where to improve it, go to Dear SA and help draft the new lockdown regulations.

 

Have your say here: www.dearsouthafrica.co.za/lockdown-regulations.

 

#CoronavirusInSA

#PreparedNotScared

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

 

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Every now and then when I check the Coronavirus Worldometer or hear news about COVID-19 I get this ice cold fear running down my spine.

I can’t help it, my mind jumps to horrific images inspired by silly doomsday action movies.

So for a moment I’m overwhelmed with Coronavirus Anxiety.

 

There’s no point in indulging in the ‘What if?’ scenarios, as your mind enters a downward spiral into worry.

Instead, focus on counteracting these daunting thoughts.

 

It’s normal to feel helpless in the face of a global pandemic.

Concentrate on something that is possible for you to do.

 

For example: Do something healthy!

When I realise my mind is circling around the coronavirus in a panicky way, I stop myself and shift my attention on something I can do right here, right now to not get scared into freezing up.

 

Do some exercise.

Exercise is a great way to relieve some bottled up stress.

Do 5 push-ups. Or 5 sit-ups. Or skip. Or run on the spot for 5 minutes.

Release some steam, let go of that negative energy, and your mind will follow suit and calm down.

 

Prepare some nutritious food.

Boost your immune system with healthy food that’s easy to add to your diet.

Eat a fruit. Munch a veggie. Toss together a salad. Make a smoothie or a freshly squeezed juice.

Power up with some super food to put your mind at ease that your body can fight this virus.

 

Lift your mood.

Distract your mind from the worrisome thoughts.

Put on your favourite song and do a little dance. Listen to a funny comedian and have a laugh. Call a friend and talk about their life.

If you really can’t get the worry off your mind, write it all down. But try actively to not let your mind go into doom and gloom. Stop your negative thoughts and divert them to something that you know will cheer you up.

 

Clean up around you.

Get rid off that virus from your mind and your surroundings by cleaning.

Wipe frequently touched items with disinfectant. Clean surfaces properly. Declutter your room.

Cleaning is a great workout and you’ll be rewarded with immediate success of a sparkly home.

 

Take a deep breath.

Indulge in mindfulness with breathing exercises.

Learn a controlled breathing exercise you like and practice it every time a scary coronavirus thought pops up in your head. Or simply take a deep breath and notice how powerful your lungs are.

When we are stressed it is easy to forget to breathe properly. Take a moment to collect yourself and meditate on your breathing. Feel how the oxygen fills your brain and relaxes your mind.

 

Put your mind at ease by protecting yourself against the coronavirus: Do something healthy

Put your mind at ease by protecting yourself against the coronavirus: Do something healthy

 

#PreparedNotScared

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

 

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Happy World Rat Day!

 

Celebrating World Rat Day during SA’s Coronavirus Lockdown makes me realise how lucky I am to have my pet rats as companions:

 

Lonely during Coronavirus Lockdown?

Rats make great pets and can help as emotional support animal for lockdown loneliness:

They don’t need to go outside and are completely happy in the space of your home.

Still, ratties give all the love and affection one could wish for, being incredibly intelligent and social.

 

Bored during Coronavirus Lockdown?

Pet rats are fun to watch and make great entertainers during lockdown times:

If you ratproof your home you can give them free-roaming time and enjoy a hilarious rattie show.

Ratties are amazing acrobats, they can even climb up walls. They can learn clever tricks and enjoy playing with you.

 

Worried during Coronavirus Lockdown?

Pet rats are very emphatic animals. They are caring and altruistic, always ready to comfort you during lockdown:

Rats can’t wait to greet you followed by a thorough check-up to make sure you’re ok.

Ratties are so affectionate! As rats are naturally very shy animals, they have the most tender touch and humble approach. They enjoy being close to you and sit on your shoulder, which has a calming and reassuring effect.

 

#RatsMakeGreatPets

#WorldRatDay

 

Follow Rats Make Great Pets on Facebook and on Instagram.

 

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World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

 

World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised SA’s President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership as the vast southern African nation battles the highest coronavirus (Covid-19) infection cases on the African continent.

 

 

In a series of tweets, Ghebreyesus summarised the message by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the COVID-19 pandemic that was televised.

 

 

Furthermore he thanked health workers at the forefront.

 

 

#CoronaVirusInSA

#PreparedNotScared

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

 

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The South African Department of Health has launched a free coronavirus information service:

Simply dial * 120 * 394 # from your mobile phone.

 

You’ll be taken to a USSD channel where a lot of burning questions are answered.

This is free to access from any feature phone, no smart phone required.

 

Dial *120*394# for free and read up on verified coronavirus info.

Dial *120*394# for free and read up on verified coronavirus info.

 

In an effort to curb a shockingly high amount of fake news around COVID-19, the Department of Health has launched dedicated coronavirus update channels:

Website: https://sacoronavirus.co.za

WhatsApp: https://wa.me/27600123456?text=hi

Data-free USSD: * 120 * 394 #

Toll-free Hotline: 0800 029 999

 

If you want to stay informed about the coronavirus make sure you check official sources with verified facts first.

If you’re unsure if some particular news is fake or not, check how to spot corona fake news.

 

#CoronaVirusInSA

#PreparedNotScared

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

 

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South Africans are known for their resilience and it was only 2 years ago that Cape Town came together to beat the water crisis.

Now facing the coronavirus pandemic, Cape Town yet again comes together, in form of Community Action Networks (CAN).

The Cape Town Together Community Action Network is a community-based response to COVID-19 to take action at neighbourhood level to educate and support each other and then share ideas and resources with other CANs across the city.

Join or start a Cape Town Together CAN: www.facebook.com/groups/CapeTownTogether/

It is inspiring how South Africans take matters into their own hands and come up with ingenious ways to help in times of hardship. There is always a willingness to spring into action.

It feels good to do something and be part of a network that helps finding suitable ways to contribute.

This is a novel situation.

By communicating with each other and participating in constructive discussions we can find best practices to deal with it.

By connecting with each other, we can share verified knowledge and assist those in need in an effective yet safe manner.

If you haven’t yet done so, join the Cape Town Together Community Action Network now:

Sign up for a Cape Town Together CAN:  http://cptcan.co.za/join

Join a CAN WhatsApp Group: http://cptcan.co.za/groups

Join the CAN Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/CapeTownTogether/

Map with Cape Town Together CAN groups: http://cptcan.co.za/map

CAN Starter Pack: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1VXoftlVUlfmVXW9zcr2jhqBbk5nrswhu

#CoronaVirusInSA

#PreparedNotScared

#FlattenTheCurve

#StopTheSpread

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Early on Friday morning the streets were so quiet, I decided to do a mini MOOP Swoop just so we don’t drown in rubbish during lockdown.

 

Quickly checking the abandoned field at the corner of Greatmore and York Street, I came across evidence that indeed, the coronavirus is here, in the heart of Woodstock:

The abandoned corner plot at Greatmore and York Street is a health hazard with medical waste dumped on it.

The abandoned corner plot at Greatmore and York Street is a health hazard with medical waste dumped on it.

 

Among the usual dumping, an N95 respirator mask is flying around on the abandoned plot, like a harbinger of the coronavirus.

 

The empty corner field has always been a health hazard and fire risk, now it also harbours medical waste.

 

#CoronaVirusInSA

#PreparedNotScared

#FlattenTheCurve

 

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So here we are! South Africa’s nation-wide lockdown has began.

 

A hustling and bustling panic-stricken bulk-buying lead-up to the lockdown resulted in very busy streets just yesterday.

 

In comparison, the morning of day 1 of SA’s lockdown was eerily quiet:

View this post on Instagram

#CoronaVirusSA #Lockdown: It's eerily quiet in Woodstock.

A post shared by TrulyJuly (@creativecommunications) on

 

But it turns out it was just a slow start to the day.

 

From around 11am the usual buzz of the neighbourhood sounds kicked in, with children playing, people chatting, repairing works, cleaning and scrubbing noises and also the birds started squawking.

 

The streets are pretty empty though, it seems everyone is busying themselves in and around their houses.

Someone is playing music and some others are singing along.

Kids are kicking ball on the front porch.

Neighbour’s are waving across the street.

 

All in all a rather peaceful and collected start to the lockdown.

 

#PreparedNotScared

#FlattenTheCurve

 

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As the lockdown of South Africa draws closer, everyone is doing their last minute stockpiling shopping.

Probably the exact opposite of what going under lockdown is trying to achieve…

 

We’ve bought all essentials when it became apparent that South Africa started to stockpile.

Since then we continued with our usual weekly shopping.

 

Last Tuesday morning however it coincided with the announcement of the nation-wide lockdown:

 

Supermarkets were full. While we were greeted with a free rub of hand sanitizer, it was very difficult to distance yourself from others in the narrow isles.

Already items were rationed.

Coronavirus: Baked Beans - only 3 per customer

Coronavirus: Baked Beans – only 3 per customer

 

The weird thing is that rationing items seem to trigger bulk purchases:

The Ritebrand Baked Beans had been on offer at actually quite a good price for some time, but just been sitting on the shelves.

Now thanks to the coronavirus Baked Beans have to be restricted to 3 per customer and are flying off the shelf.

 

I don’t even like baked beans, but the fact that they are sparse, makes me think if I shouldn’t buy some.

I did.

 

Well, at least it means I had some today and therefore did not have to go to the shops again.

Because, as probably expected, on the last day before lockdown, South Africans flock to the supermarkets with queues building up outside of the shops.

 

#CoronavirusInSA

#PreparedNotScared

#FlattenTheCurve

 

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Viruses are fascinating.

A virus can spread and put the whole world in fear, yet it is not even able to reproduce on its own.

 

With that it fails already one of the 7 characteristics of life, proving: A virus is not a living thing.

 

A virus is a piece of code (RNA) that needs to infect a host cell, so this host cell replicates that piece of code (RNA) to make new virions (complete infective viruses).

 

An influenza virus attaches to a host cell. As a result, the virus is engulfed by the host cell. The infected host cell replicates the virus' RNA and proteins and assembles these into new virions (complete infective viruses).

An influenza virus attaches to a host cell. As a result, the virus is engulfed by the host cell. The infected host cell replicates the virus’ RNA and proteins and assembles these into new viruses.

 

As a virus is not alive, it can therefore not be killed.

 

Instead, a virus is either infectious or not.

It is either viable – able to infect a host cell – or its molecules are not intact – rendering it ineffective.

 

Outside a host organism, the virus starts to deteriorate.

 

To protect yourself from infection, it is crucial to speed up the decomposition of the virus, so it is no longer working:

–  Wash hands thoroughly

–  Clean surfaces properly

–  Disinfect frequently touched items regularly

 

#PreparedNotScared

#FlattenTheCurve

 

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Fire fighters are hosing down a fire on the abandoned field at the corner of Greatmore and York Street.

Fire fighters are hosing down a fire on the abandoned field at the corner of Greatmore and York Street.

 

Rather than smelling the fire, it took us by surprise when we saw smoke wafting into our garden.

 

Opening the door to check what was happening on the abandoned field at the corner of Greatmore and York Street, putrid smoke engulfed us.

 

After four fires on the neighbouring plot, my automatic reaction is to call the fire brigade.

 

Then we proceeded to fight the fire with some rainwater we had collected.

 

Now the fire was reduced to smouldering with some hot ashes flying through the air.

 

We checked if we needed to pour more water on the fire.

 

Luckily it didn’t take long for the fire fighters to arrive.

 

The fire brigade made sure the fire is properly extinguished.

 

The fire fighters could not tell what had started the fire. But itjfzf 3’s clear that it was fueled by all the rubbish that is constantly dumped on the abandoned field.

 

#FireIsEveryonesFight

#NoDumping

#StopDumping

 

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Hey guys, listen to this: The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus a global pandemic!

 

 

No way! So that’s why all the events are being cancelled?

 

 

Yes, the updates are streaming in: All sports tournaments, all school and university ceremonies, all conferences and summits, all events are cancelled or postponed until further notice.

 

 

Oh no! This here right now must be the last gathering of 2020!?

 

 

#CoronaVirusInSA 

 

Coronavirus outbreak in South Africa: Map of provinces with confirmed COVID-19 cases (red) as of 16 March 2020.

Coronavirus outbreak in South Africa: Map of provinces with confirmed COVID-19 cases (red) as of 16 March 2020.

 

 

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SA Library Week 2020 is running from Monday, March 16th to Sunday 22nd.

This year’s theme is: Libraries: Your Partners for Life

#SALibraryWeek2020

#SALibraryWeek2020

 

It is also Fine Free Week!

#FineFreeWeek #ReturnYourBooks

#FineFreeWeek #ReturnYourBooks

 

So go on, return your books, it’s completely free, no questions asked.

 

Another service that is free is to get a new library card when yours got stolen or lost. Normally requesting a new library card costs R20, but during Fine Free Week it’s free!

 

#SALibraryWeek2020

#LibrariesYourPartnersForLife

#ReturnYourBooks

 

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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing the disease COVID-19.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing the disease COVID-19.

 

As the total of confirmed coronavirus cases rises to 7, panic buying starts in South Africa.

 

Speaking to our local pharmacy, South Africa is already out of stock:

Face masks are completely unavailable at wholesale level. That means pharmacies can not even order any more. It seems all face masks that make it to SA are reserved for hospitals only.

Hand sanitiser is out of stock with new orders getting in slowly but selling out fast. Pharmacies are unable to tell when they get the next order, advising customers to check back frequently.

 

With panic buying setting in, the question is how long it will take until other important products are out of stock.

Our big chain supermarket was out of tissue paper and running low on toilet paper. This has happened before, but how quickly really can they restock? Especially when everyone is buying extra much?

 

General advice is to have a 14-day supply of food for everyone in your household in case you need to self-quarantine at home.

 

There are plenty of lists what to stock up on in case there is a coronavirus outbreak:

How to prepare for coronavirus: The shopping list for your own home quarantine kit.

 

The good news is that the World Health Organization does not recommend medical masks for people without respiratory symptoms, as no evidence is available on its usefulness to protect non-sick persons.

 

Instead  we need to be more vigilant with our hygiene, wash our hands thoroughly with soap and avoid touching our face.

It is very important that we keep our distance to everyone else, at least one meter.

Some say: Social distancing is the only way to stop the coronavirus.

 

Sounds like #20Plenty is turning into a rather lonesome kind of year.

 

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Happy Women’s Day! 🙂

 

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (8 March) is,
I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”.

 

The generic symbol for gender equality combines the symbols for Masculism and Feminism in an equal way.

The generic symbol for gender equality combines the symbols for Masculism and Feminism in an equal way.

 

A very clear message that most pro-women initiatives are simply about equality.

 

UNICEF says gender equality “means that women and men, and girls and boys, enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities and protections. It does not require that girls and boys, or women and men, be the same, or that they be treated exactly alike.” 

 

When I voice women’s rights I’m often belittled as a feminist or I’m being accused of being against men.

 

It is astounding how some men appear to be fearful of women excluding them and how guilty some women seem to feel when they support other women – not excluding men, but not making the whole shebang about them either.

 

There seems to be an underlying resistance to give more power to women.

 

But women are not asking for more power.

 

Women are asking for equal power.

 

And in order to get to an equal balance with men, women still need more support from both sides:

 

–  About three-quarters of violent crimes against women are committed by males.

–  The majority of rape victims are female.

–  Women are still being paid less than men.

–  Worldwide 1 in 4 girls are neither employed nor in education or training – compared to 1 in 10 boys.

–  Women’s mobility is limited in many countries.

–  Women suffer more severe injuries in car crashes because safety features are designed for men.

 

… and the list goes on…

 

We’re still far far off from achieving gender equality, for example:
The global pay gap will take 202 years to close.

 

In times of #20Plenty, let’s make this a year of #20PlentyForAll and change this world to a better place for everyone.

 

#BeTheChange

#Vision2020

#20Plenty

#20PlentyForAll

 

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South Africa is coming to terms with the first confirmed Covid-19 case:

The Coronavirus is here

 

Already Google is cancelling events in South Africa.

Sadly, this means no International Women’s Day celebrations:

Google cancels its IWD Cape Town event because of the Coronavirus.

This comes just after Google cancels its flagship conference I/O 2020, banning all business travel except in “critical” situations.

After all the #20plenty excitement, will this be the year the world stops to travel and gather?

#COVID19

#CoronaVirusSA

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I like to go to the beach with the dogs at least once a week for a good wash. Our dogs enjoy running in the soft sand and even get the water zoomies.

 

January and February is the time of the year in Cape Town when the Cape Doctor is blowing with powerful gusts.

 

It’s great for kite surfers, but it means sand is blowing across the beach giving your legs an unexpected scrub and the wind howls in your ears.

 

Not an excuse for our puppies not to go. So also I am bracing the weather.

 

I quite enjoy the wind, it usually leaves the beach pretty empty but full of colourful kites dancing on the sea.

 

But this day I got a bit much of it:

A headache crept across my forehead towards the temples, squeezing my skull together.

 

It seems strong wind can trigger migraine.

I never had migraine, but this headache felt really bad. Furthermore I was dizzy and everything was spinning.

 

Apparently “Wind also triggers headaches partly because of the things that may be in the wind as it blows through but also because the wind blows in your nose and your ears and irritates the membranes and triggers a headache that way.” – Non-Food Headache Triggers

 

Oh well, next time I wear earmuffs to the beach then…

 

 

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Of course, it was about time that Facebook had an overhaul. Its interface stayed visually the same for many years.

 

Now Facebook got a fresh, simpler look

Change is here: Facebook is rolling out its new interface design.

A bit like Twitter.

Just like Twitter Facebook’s desktop interface now looks more mobile friendly, offers dark mode and is less cluttered:

Changing over to the new look: Refreshing my Facebook tabs results in displaying the new Facebook favicon.

But unlike Twitter the internet is rather favourable towards Facebook’s long overdue design update. Maybe because Twitter did a good job as a trailblazer.

So we’re back to different but all the same.

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Arriving at the beach is like finally getting a chance to breathe:

 

The vast landscape allows the eyes to relax with far and free views:

 

Walking by the waves, inhaling the fresh crisp breeze, simply invigorating:

 

Simply sitting on the sand in the sun, being:

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