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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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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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