From midnight tonight, South  Africa is on lockdown.

( a word first coined in this year…)

Meaning that unless we have to go out to buy food or seek medical attention, we have at stay at home. The full rules are here, but for the majority of us, that one sentence sums it up quite nicely.

Bizarrely, there will be no alcohol or tobacco products sold during the 21 days (not legally, anyway), and so huge queues – with no social distancing – formed outside those kind of shops this morning. It does seem bizarre to put the population into lockdown like some sort of guinea pig in some dystopian experiment and then not allow them to access any of their usual goto coping mechanisms.

This will not end well.

Not that it was going to end well anyway.

I went for a last (out and about) run this morning, and got some last minute chocolate in to placate Mrs 6000, just in case there was a late rush.

We managed a late afternoon family dog walk. With the family dog.
The school field was chained up already. We had to walk around the block instead. The beagle was disappointed at the lack of Hadeda-chasing opportunities.

And now, I guess this is it. We stay home unless we have a genuine reason to go out. The situation is changing every hour, every day. But as it stands at the moment, I can’t see three weeks being enough. Nowhere near. Six or eight, maybe.

But who knows? See you all on the other side*.



* blogging is classed as an “essential service” and will continue throughout the SA lockdown.

Temporary escape

I mentioned that I had had to leave Cape Town for a urgent trip before we lockdown on Thursday evening.

It wasn’t a decision I took lightly: travel is one of those things that needs to be curbed if we are to stop the spread of Covid-19. But it’s been two months since we’ve been able to get down to Agulhas, and I don’t think we’re going to be able to get down here for probably another two months now, and so I needed to make sure everything was ok at the cottage.

It was… it is. Well, just about. It wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t have come though. We needed electricity putting on the meter, the gutter had been damaged and needed some work. Nothing huge, but nothing you want leaving for however many weeks either. All the minor things that would normally have been done if we’d popped down for the weekend like we used to be able to before real life and sickness and now lockdowns got in the way.

And so the trip was worthwhile and we have had minimal contact with the locals: this is usually a pretty quiet place anyway.

But it was life as usual all the way through – restaurants are open (but quiet), Caledon and Bredasdorp were relatively busy and bustling with shoppers. But not in any way manic.
Struisbaai was also busy – lots of activity in and around the harbour particularly.
In Agulhas, we were the only customers in the 7/11. It was fully stocked, and the guys in there were stocktaking and getting their next order prepared. Nothing out of the ordinary. And that was weird, because normality is now weird.

We walked along the beach here (not Cape Town, so not closed). A few fishermen, same as always. Some birds. Sunshine, light breeze. You wouldn’t know that the world had changed.

Half of me wants to stay here, a million miles from anywhere and seemingly several weeks back from the present. But it will all change. It has to. And I don’t want to be here when it does. This place has always been a perfect escape from the stress of modern, daily life – something it’s proving again right now. I don’t want to see it polluted by reality.

Let me rather return when things have settled – however long that may be.

But right now, I need to get back to the braai. Because some things will never change.


I’ve had to make a quick trip across (a bit of) the country, so might not be able to get a blog post in later.

Nothing desperate, but really not ideal either: just some pre-lockdown admin. Got to be prepared, because I really don’t believe that three weeks is going to be enough…

Anyway, thoughts to follow if I get chance. And if not, at least there was this here today.

Cape Town beaches to close


And people aren’t happy.

Top tip: If you read Jeff Geffen’s FB comment in the slightly desperate, mildly hysterical drawl of a drunk detective from a UK 70’S cop TV series, it’s just perfect.

Also, try the voice of a knowledgeable wizard.

“This is over-reach, Plato” is my new favourite line of 2020.

A couple of hours later, the whole of SA got completely locked down by the President, and I can’t wait to hear what Jeff thinks about that.

Not right now

If ever there was a time to have a mild viral sickness with a low-grade fever and a sore throat, this really wasn’t it.

And yet, guess what?

I’m really not very sick, and I have absolutely no reason to believe that it’s… you know… that… but honestly, having had no health problems (other than damaged joints due to overuse, clumsiness and age) for a year, could this really not have just stayed away?

I’m still being careful – not like I am much of a social party animal anyway, especially now – but aside from anything else, I really want to make sure that this current malaise doesn’t open the door for anything more significant. For me or for anyone else.

Fresh air, fresh fruit, and a brandy gargle every hour.

What could go wrong?