2020-03

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30.3. 2020 Lockdown Day 4
The first 4 days flew by. If time continues to pass that quickly, i am afraid i might loose out on my forced holiday..
So far it was really not much more than a long weekend.
But we still have 17 days ahead of us.
We spend much time in front or near a tv so we can stay on top of things.
It is looking pretty bleak at this stage, everywhere in the world. But whom am i telling this !!

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Here is South Africa we are still doing relatively well with 1280 infections and 2 deaths. Compared to the rest of the world we are very lucky.
Or are we simply only in the very early stages 

Too weird that so far the virus seems to have preferences.
Why the Italians, Spanish and Americans, and other countries so much less ?


Is there something which attracts this virus particularly to the people in these countries ?
Let’s hope we are not just lagging behind the world…and get the full load of the fan when the rest of the world is already partying again…???
One day we will get all the answers.

Friday and Saturday we worked in the garden.

After i bought shares in the local bottle stores i went on to the local nursery and made their day.
So now i don’t only have enough booze for the lockdown, i also had plants, soil, pots and stuff to keep us busy making our garden and house beautiful.In the evening we made a braai like i do so often.
Afterwards we played board games which we haven’t done for so long. What a pleasure this was. Before we realised it, it was 22h00
Beulah and i are used to each other’s company. We work together, we travel and holiday a lot. So for us to spend time together is easy and nice.
Sunday we chilled.
Today, Monday i got up at 7h30, went downstairs to let the dogs out and got the coffee ready.
We sit outside and love the total tranquility around us.
We listen to the birds tweeting, the regular noise of breaking waves, the soft breeze going through the palm leaves….it is paradise.
After coffee and rusks we get dressed and had a proper 5 star breakfast.
Then it was time to clean the house.
My job was bathroom and bedroom upstairs, Beulah did kitchen toilet and tv room downstairs.
It was a bit of work but the results were motivating. And now that we know what it takes to clean it all, we will be a lot more careful not to mess unnecessarily.
Of course, 4 large dogs make enough mess without us adding to it.
After the cleaning i did 15 minutes on the stepping machine.
Damn, i wasn’t on this thing for years. Saw it standing there all this time but did my best to ignore it.
Today i had this idea that i really want to use our pool as much as possible.
As the weather cooled down a lot in the past couple of days, the wind and fresh air latched out the temperature of the pool water. So it is actually pretty fresh and needs a lot of persuasion to jump in.
With this stepper i can now build up a sauna like sweat and once done, falling into the pool is so, so pleasant. Besides this, i am sure a good workout everyday is no harm.
After the stepper and pool session i went upstairs into my favourite man cave on top of my roof.
Beulah went for a nap and i read my book. Another thing i haven’d done for a very long time….
So far, so good


27.3. 2020 Lockdown Day 1
On Monday the South African government decided to call for a total lockdown starting today, Friday 27.3. for 3 full weeks.
This is harsh, and in an African country definitely a proper challenge. But it is a wise move from our government with foresight and knowledge.
Alone 7 million people are infected with HIV here. Millions are suffering from TB and others have other compromises to their immune system. If the virus goes wild in Africa, it will take a lot of people down.
The only way to avoid this is a lockdown and hope, that during this time there is a solution in sight.
Lockdown means practically that we are on house arrest.
We are allowed to buy food, medicines and see a doctor if necessary. But we cannot go and spend half a day in a shopping centre.
We cannot buy alcohol or tobacco products during these 21 days.
So naturally, uncle Roland made a plan. All fridges are full with beer and wine, all shelves bend under the weight of lots and lots of Whiskey.
In fact, i fear, these 21 days are not enough for me to finish all my stocks…
It is so nice here today. Total peace.
No maid, no gardener in the house.
No phone calls, no e mails
If feels like Christmas without a present…
For years we were dreaming about one day enjoying our house and garden. Now we have no option but to enjoy it.
Initially i must admit, the thought of being confined to the house brought some panic up.
The thought of loosing my freedom was scary.
No walking the dogs, no visiting friends, no jogging…We seriously have to stay within our property.
But we love our ‘prison’, our dogs are mist excited and we are well organised.
We will do a bit of work in the garden, potter around the house with a bucket of cement and sand and fix every small thing left aside for a quiet day.
I will report here every couple of days and hopefully get a few nice photos to post.
Other than that, it is feet up time, crack a beer and watch a movie time.
I did weigh myself this morning. The needle shot up to 90.4kg
Will be interesting to see what happens….

23.3. 2020 South Africa in Corona Times
Maybe some of the readers from outside South Africa might be interested to hear what is going on here by us.
Our business and most other businesses have ground to a complete halt.
Everybody talks and worries about the old virus and nobody knows what to do.
Some are out panic buying, others try hard to stay calm and cool.
Wherever you go, people throw sanitiser liquid at you. Lots of people are sweating like hell behind their useless and ineffective face masks.
Our beaches are closed. This means, you can go to the beach but you cannot swim.
Nobody understands the logic in this but nobody cares either.
The beaches are busy and everybody is swimming or bodysurfing.
The pubs and restaurants are supposed to close at 6pm. Most people interpret this as stop serving alcohol at 6 but as for the rest, just serve under the counter and carry on.
Our Shabeen and Tavern owners in the rural areas openly show the middle finger.
They do not allow any government to take their bread from their table.
There are rumours of lock downs and all kinds if bullshit. I cannot imagine how the African people in their areas could possibly be locked down. They have zero infrastructure which means, no proper shops, no medical and hygiene facilities, mostly no running water.
The catastrophe is waiting to happen.
At this stage our infection rate stands at around 272. Nobody died yet.
But a tremendous amount of our people have compromised immune systems . Weakened by TB and HIV they will not be able to withstand an attack from the Corona Virus.
And what happens then is everybody’s guess.
Maybe we will manage to pull together and work ourselves out as one united nation.
Or maybe not…..
I can only hope that our big brothers in America and Europe will find a solution to Corona before it wreaks havoc in Southern Africa.

Interesting and potentially dangerous times ahead

21.3. 2020
So the old Corona is taking momentum here on the South Coast.
Everyday we get new rules as to where and when we are allowed to drink.
So far, everybody has taken it pretty lightly until we heard this morning that the owner of VW South Coast came back from Germany.
Although he had zero symptoms he was tested positive.
And the community went into freefall ….
Some friends, relatives and colleagues now questioned our health, also having returned from Germany about a month ago.
Besides, i have some mild cold symptoms due to extreme temperature changes lately.
So always doing the right thing, i decided to go for a corona test.
Shelly Hospital was the best address given to me for that procedure.
On arrival, a security guard asked me what my purpose of visit was.
I told her, i was here to get tested.
Ok, go to the desk at the entrance, i was directed.
Two chicky babes were sitting on a long table. I thought, this was the testing station.
Before i was greeted, i had to sanitise my hands.
Here for the test, i said.
Ok, we first have to take your temperature.
36.4deg Good.
I was given a purple dot and told to go to casualties for the test.
At the entrance to casualty i had to sanitise my hands again. No probs.
Inside the sister asks me, yes please ?
Here for the test, i tell her.
What test, she asks ?
Brrrrr….
Corona please.
Oh no, this is not done here. You have to go to the lab.
Where is the lab, i ask, expecting to be directed down the passage.
After a massive direction to the lab which was way away from the hospital i was furious.
I had to go back to the entrance and give them a wake up call.
Most irritated i told them what happened and that i was not at all amused by giving the runaround plus having to pay out of my own pocket for something which i do solely in the interest of my community.
I told them it was time to get serious. The country is under a state of emergency and the South Coast is completely incapable of doing the most basic job.
Calm down, i was told.The testing facility is closed on the weekend…..

This blew my top completely. The testing facility is closed for the weekend while the virus is dancing around the place.
Who can believe this ??!!!!
I am still furious about this and have sent my story to the newspapers and distributed it on WhatsApp.
This is not a joke. There is no bloody weekend when it comes to the health of everybody

16.3. 2020
Last week our Irish Setter Fergie had to be put to sleep. This is the most tragic event anybody could imagine. This lovely animal has been in our lives for 12 years. With Fergie an entire era of our lives came to an end. We are indescribably sad. Maybe more than normal people because our animals are like our children. They are everything to us.
Fergie has not been an easy pet. I bought her over the internet from an unknown breeder. She arrived and developed an incontinence problem at a young age.
Clearly we got the runt of the litter and clearly the dog was overbred.
But we loved our Fergie and put up with all her problems which were not her fault.
Although we have 4 other dogs, we all miss our Fergie and will take a long time to get over her loss. Very, very sad…
Besides this we had of course another disaster coming. It is called Corona.
Since today our dive business has come to a stand still.
Within a few hours this morning, virtually all our upcoming bookings were cancelled.
South Africa will close down its borders from Wednesday, all visas have been cancelled.
For us this means cleaning up, polishing all and repairing what is broken. At the same time we will have to watch our spending and cut down on all costs possible.
And then it is relax time. Watch movies, spend time around the pool, take the dogs for walks and just do what i always dreamed about.
Being forced into this situation, i often think, maybe the world needs this break.
Life has become too fast, too hectic, too stressful.
A dead stop might just be a good thing for everybody.
Puts everything into a different perspective…
Let us all make the best of this situation.

9.3. 2020
Thankfully the wheel turned in time to give Adriano’s Fun Divers a bit of a taste of the real Protea Banks.
On Friday the current started up again and by Saturday the water was warm and clean again and we had good shark sightings.
Same today, Sunday. We saw a tiger shark both on the baited dive as well as on the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks.
We played with bull sharks and while i only had one black tip on my baited dive, among other species , Steven had 7 on his.
Our group was happy. After they went through a tough time diving in really adverse conditions, this weekend they earned the reward.
Not one of the divers moaned or complained, no matter how cold the water was, no matter how rough the sea and how little shark activity we encountered.
Nobody complained !!!
These lovely people deserved the best. Almost all of them are now doing an extra dive or two tomorrow although they are departing for St. Lucia tomorrow.
I would be so happy if they could have one more proper cracker of a dive .
Lets hold thumbs for them.
Adriano gave us a great speech thanking our staff for outstanding work in very difficult conditions. He really found the perfect words to hit the nail right on its head. My guys were beaming and everybody had a massive lump in his throat.
So nice to get appreciated !!!
Needless to say, this was followed by a proper tip for all our staff which was well deserved and happens all so rarely…..

5.3. 2020
While were away in Europe and the whole February since we were back, the diving on Protea Banks was stunning.
We looked forward for great diving with Adriano and his Fun Divers from Krk in Croatia.
We met at the Friedrichshafen Expo 2 years ago. Adriano hat his stand next to ours and we got friendly with each other. So he came with 19 people, 16 divers on 1st March.
First diving day we had, no current…
But we saw tigershark, zambezi shark and black tip shark. Great start and everybody was happy.
The zero current situation stayed and with a constant, never ending North east Wind bringing upwelling from the deep the vis went worse and worse and the water colder and colder and more….
So now we have 20m of water which resembles sewerage and allows barely 2m vis !!!
Below 20m it is crystal clear. Easy 25m vis.
But ridiculously cold !!!
First we had 18deg
then 17deg
yesterday 16deg
and today 15deg
It feels like you swim in an ice bucket without a champagne bottle.
Why does mother nature hate me again ???
Seriously, if someone would force us to spend 40 minutes in 15Ëš water it would clearly contravene the Geneva Convention !!! And here we just do it…
Yes, these guys are real divers . Just after my heart. I love their company.
Nothing is too much , too cold, too hard, too whatever.
We dive. That’s what we are here for and i am highly motivated by them !!!>
I so much wish i could show them my beloved Protea Banks at its best. But it wasn’t meant to be this time.
We did a baited dive in 2m vis and to be honest, i was quite relieved that we did not see a shark. Imagine a 4.5m tiger would have wanted to play with us…..eish.
We had amazing formations of stingrays, we had a school of dolphins, lots of potato bass and all kinds of little treats. Steven even had a rage in the first cave today which is a huge bonus for this time of the year.
We have 2 more days together but not much change is in sight….
So we just dive.