Forget Manic Monday, it is Wobbly Wednesday. My COVID-19 diary update

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"Be kind and be courageous". Anne Frank. The Diary of Anne Frank

 

 

Mentally, this week has been a tough one for a variety of reasons…some of which I have shared in this posting. Then along came THIS video, with a song written by a South African and it made me happy and my heart soar. For someone that can barely walk and chew gum at the same time, I am in awe of these dancers who can eat a plate of food without missing a step. I believe that this was shot in Angola and has been replicated around the world.

 

This is the REAL face of lockdown! And I thought that we had been keeping our house relatively clean. Obviously I was mistaken. This was just from one room and I was so disgusted by what I found that it turned into a 4-hour cleaning marathon. Floors were swept, carpets vacuumed and shelves dusted.

 

Once again our President popped up on TV, this time on a Thursday and not his usual Sunday slot to talk to us about corruption. Well, to talk to us as if WE were responsible for the looting of COVID-19 funds that is already the norm. I found it disrespectful to be spoken to like a child who is about to be grounded. It is not the public that is stealing, it is elected officials that are being caught out on an almost daily basis. And, in my opinion,  nothing seems to be done to bring the alleged perpetrators to book. But, mark my words, while we the people are being dazzled by the theft, SAA will be given the R10bn that they have been begging for. I hope that I am proved wrong!

 

Thursday saw the 2nd anniversary of the death of my assistant. It was a tough day as he is missed so much. I lit a candle in his memory and shed a tear as I re-read this email that I wrote on the day that he died. It might be self-indulgent to re-print it here, but 1] it is part of how I am feeling this week and 2] It is MY posting

“My assistant has left us!

It is with a heavy and sad heart that I write this email.

The mood is a sad and sombre one here at 114 today.
After months of trying to help Chaggy, he finally chose to let go today.
Yes, we did make the ultimate decision yet it was he who chose to let us know that it was time for us to say goodbye.
We have had 12 wonderful years with him, considering that we almost did not get him when we went looking for a cat.
Jayne and I chose a black and white cat, while Carolyn chose the boy.
Over the years, Miro, the black and white, became Caro’s cat…and still is.
While the boy chose me to be his side-kick.
I will miss him running to the car when he heard the gate open and the crunch of tires on our gravel drive alerted him to the fact that either Caro or I were returning home. Tail held high and rolling over to invite tickles and interactions.
I will miss him “talking” to me as he did in no uncertain terms, whether it was to greet or chastise me for returning home late and waking him from a nap.
I will also miss the hours that he spent with me lying on my desk while I tried to work.
And his head-butts and paw-to-the-face to get me out of bed to open a window or give him food.
(You are not a certified cat owner until you have been head-butted awake in the early hours of the morning).
Over the past few weeks, as he declined, I have been sleeping with him in a bean bag in our lounge and those nights of him lying on my chest will be part of my memories of him forever.
In the final hours that I shared with him, it dawned on me that although I have lost animals in the past, I have never been there when the inevitable happened.
He has offered me the opportunity to hold him and be with him as his body grew cold and his soul left.
I handed our vet the final syringe and I was able to look into his eyes as the plunger was pushed, with reticence.
Yes, Caro and I have argued about taking this final step, but that too has been a learning curve.
We both wanted the best for him but chose to express it in different ways. But thanks to Chaggy, those differences have been resolved and we can stand united as we bid him farewell.
Our vet Reka, who has loved and cared for him for all of his life, and who brought him back from death’s door three times AND helped to cure his diabetes was here at our home to help him make the final transition.
Also, my daughter Jayne, whose hug was instrumental in helping to cure his diabetes. Munch, it was a combined effort…you, Reka and Chaggy!
A huge debt of gratitude goes to all the staff at Victory Park Veterinary Clinic who loved and cared for him during his visits to the clinic. Your kind and gentle caring did not go unnoticed.
He was helped on his journey in our garden with the warm winter sun shining down on him.
He slipped away without a twitch or any resistance.
 It was his time.
He is at peace, with whatever ailed him is no longer an issue.
We are on the other hand, have begun our grieving and mourning process.
Even though it has been only a short while since his death, already our home feels different. But that is to be expected and is part of the grieving process that we here at 114 will experience.
We allowed our black and white cat to see the body before he was laid to rest…she was not too interested but we are hoping that at some primal level she will understand that he has gone.
And in the spirit of all the medical TV dramas that I have watched with him on my lap or in the room:
Time of death: 11h12
Date: 23/07/2018
Travel safely my boy…perhaps you and my Dad will finally get to meet.
Chaggy, although you did not meet him, Spunky(Caro’s previous cat) shared this home with us before you arrived. Perhaps you will find him to share stories with.
You were both loved so very much.
Goodbye my beautiful boy”
With all my negativity there was a highlight…The new Sasol Birds of Southern Africa was delivered to my gate. This is the latest update of this iconic bird book, and what an update it is. 5 years in the making and well worth the wait. New illustrations, added bird calls and a variety of other additions which makes this a must-have…even if, like me, you have the other 4 editions.

YES, I AM! This week saw a small lockdown victory for me. It might not seem like much, but for me, it was like getting to the top of Everest. Lockdown, for some reason, has produced a stream crockery and cutlery that either takes up space in the sink, in the dishwasher or on the table in our kitchen, waiting to be packed away in order for the cycle to begin again…

HOWEVER…

This is how I have managed to keep the kitchen for the past few days. Nothing in the sink, and certainly nothing on the table in the kitchen. The dishwasher is another story as, in order to keep the sink clear, I need to make certain that all the relevant items are loaded into the dishwasher, ready for cleaning once it is full. As I said, a small victory, but I am claiming it as one…and it made me happy!

Gary Larson, one of my favourite cartoonists hits the nail on the head. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I do know that this is how I feel currently.

 

I don’t believe that lockdown has prepped us for any type of Apocalypse. We need to be armed and ready to fight off insurgents and all we are currently doing is complaining about no alcohol, no smokes and the fact that we have to wear masks in public. The Zombies WILL kill and eat us with ease…

 

Once again, while we have been distracted, this iconic chocolate has vanished from our supermarket shelves. No word of warning, no time to say goodbye. Here one day and GONE the next. And what an outcry from the public. I wonder if they had been offered the trade-off to get this back IF they are seen to be wearing masks, would that have been acceptable? Somehow I think that the public would demand it back with no string attached.RIP Chocolate Log. Thanks for all the great times that we shared.

 

How I long to watch a sunrise/sunset while out in the bush. And perhaps one day I will again. But that does not look like it is going to be any time soon.

 

Well, that is it for another week. I decided that I needed to dress for this posting, hence me putting on a collar and tie. But the more important question should be am I wearing pants. Much like the anti-vaxxers, there are now those who are anti-mask. I wonder if those who say that masks are an invasion of their Constitutional Rights are wearing seatbelts or for that matter obey any of the other enforced rules and regulations. If YOU are one of those, then I would rather NOT be in your company as I do not wish to place either myself or those that I love in danger. And I ask that I be respected for my decisions.

Until next week, stay safe, stay healthy and be aware. If you feel that you need to talk to someone, then contact SADAG at the number below.

 

South African Depression and Anxiety Group.

011 234 4837

 

I spoke to Isabella Holden the Director of LifeLine Johannesburg. Use the link to watch the “In conversation with” chat that I enjoyed with her as a guest. She shared with me her perspective about the mental aspect of the current lockdown and the ongoing mental health issues that it might cause. https://youtu.be/Lp1dQneYSI4  Be gentle and be kind to those that you come into contact with, as you have no idea how they are dealing with the pandemic.

 

LifeLine Connect number.

011 728 1347