The Occasional Blogger


Seriously, very occasional, but sometimes I just have something I really need to say or share with you.

Also, fair warning - I can't spell. And no, it's not because I don't read enough. You want 'authentic', this is me, warts and all. 


DAY 1 : Friday 27 March 2020
The first day of our national lockdown here in South Africa has been pretty ordinary for me. As I work from home anyway there was little change to my Friday routine.
A week ago I started a facebook group, Keep Calm and Create, when we were starting to self isolate. The group is a safe, virus free place for like minded creative folk to find peace and stability in the next few weeks. So we still had Makers Day, except we met online instead of in the Secret Garden at Jane Solo Tea & Bagel Bar. Tom was home so he made my coffee, and we chatted up a storm while working on our own projects in our own homes. 
Tom will be working on his Phd thesis and I will get stuck into some new designs and projects. I think it will be ok. Right?



DAY 2 : Saturday 28 March 2020.
I got a little more done today. I spent some time in my garden finally getting those tomato seedlings in. It's too late in the season now but I hope to get a few tomatoes off the plants so that I can try again next year.
 I'm just starting my vegetable plants now and it's all a little higgeldy piggeldy. I'm sort of making it up as I go along and hoping things grow. I am not a seasoned gardener and have had little luck in the past but I will persevere! I am making use of what we have laying around the house and I am sorry I didn't get more soil and seedlings before lockdown. It's one of those things I've been meaning to do...
Tom is home and working to finish his PHD thesis. As he can't go out wondering the shorelines, city streets or mountains to take photographs he is making do and has become the wildlife photography of our garden. The birds are not amused as he keeps sneaking up on them while they're trying to peck at their seeds. 



At this point I have no anxiety or cabin fever with regards to being restricted to our property. I am more than happy to stay here were it's safe. I worry about how we use the food we have so we don't run out . I don't want to be forced to have to go out to the shops for food any time soon. It is unlikely though as I have always had a good pantry supply and we managed to get a good haul of fresh groceries last week. 
So for now I will plan carefully and try out a few new recipes. I am usually very good at making do - now is my chance to shine. 
Stay home and stay safe friends.
DAY 3 : Sunday 29 March 2020
A little panic set in today. Not that I was locked in at home and couldn't go anywhere or that I was bored with nothing to do. No,  suddenly panicked that we would not have enough food if we didn't ration things properly. Too many movies? Possibly. But I don't want to go into town if we don't have to - there be cooties!

After an initial mini breakdown where I wouldn't let my husband eat anything in case we ran out ( yes, I see it now) I sat down with pen and paper and made some comforting lists and looked up some recipes. Because we have plenty of food, because I always have food in store. It's funny how fear and anxiety comes out in strange ways. 
Day 4 : Monday 30 March 2020
A much better day today. I did not try to do all the things. As I result, I got a lot of the things done. I baked, what was supposed to be English muffins, but what turned out a little more like really small pita breads. I made an apple tart and I got a bunch of jars of butter beans and chickpeas boiled up and in the freezer. 
Day 7: Friday 4 April 2020
It's been a full week since lockdown began. Things have settled into a routine. I spent the rest of the week in the kitchen mostly. I started a new project, loosely inspired firstly by Kantha style stitching but it has morphed into something closer to Sashiko. What ever you want to call it, I'm enjoying it. 


While I work my mind wonders onto thoughts of the future. Post lockdown. I think we will emerge after 21 days, maybe longer, into a new normal. I am not sure what my place will be in that new normal. After last year I was very behind with the business of Kisma Kreative. I was already questioning my relevance in the world. After this, with the highlight of what essential services, I don't know that making handbags and wallets will be something that can sustain even my simple lifestyle. There is however time to think on it and all will be well.
Day - I dunno - 20 April 2020
It's been a while since I updated this post. So many people are keeping up their online lockdown diaries daily and they're full of all the things they've done. My days have run the gambit of what-does-it-all-mean to everything-is-ok-because-I'm-a-fairy.  I have not been very creative in my Kisma work but I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen - which for me is very creative at the moment as I use what I have while also changing most of my recipes from traditional to vegan if I can. Some wins, a few failures, a lot of lessons learned. 
Sometime since last I wrote, we had a picnic in the garden. It didn't take long and Charley gate crashed and took the best seat. Cats, am I right?

I have managed to make up a garden bed with compost dug out from under the compost heap and a bag or potting soil I had laying around. I will wait for this hot wind to end and then I want to plant my left over swiss chard seedlings. I have some in a pot too. 
We have not left the house since March 26 and we're ok. Who knew?
DAY 29 - 24 APRIL 2020
It seems that some regulations will be lifted after 1st of May, I'm still not sure if couriers will be back in action. It seems though that there will be new normal for quite some time and we could well be plunged back into lockdown at any moment. It turns out that the actual staying at home with limited options for shopping is not that bad. The only real concerning is the earning of the money to pay for said shopping. And internet. We must pay for the internet. It seems that online is the only way to go, we can only hope that enough customers will follow us onto the interwebs. There will be not markets until at least the end of the year. I shall stay in hiding as long as I can, I am not going back to hospital anytime soon!

DAY 30-something - 1 May 2020
Today South Africa steps down to Level 4 lockdown protocol. The regulations keep changing but it seems that everything is the same except you can go for a walk early in the morning and you can buy winter clothes and blankets. 
I have perfected the basic bread recipe. I am proud to say I have baked four in a row over days, that have turned out perfectly. Bread making, in my opinion, is one of those recipes that has very little to do with the actual recipe and more to do with practice and knack. I even made a batch of perfectly soft hamburger buns the other day.