Steve on Sunday
3 January 2021
Greetings my fellow law abiding citizens,
The temperature yesterday on the fringes of the Kalahari was 22 degrees celcius, cold enough for me to check if my blankets, jerseys and wind breaker were stacked in the cupboard and easily enough for an elderly fellow to grab quickly. To cut a long story short they are now easy enough to get at, but then so are so many other items not needed as everything is on the floor now waiting to be sorted. The soft rain has continued for two nights and a day now, lovely stuff and so reminiscent of the Inyanga and Vumba regions in Zimbabwe.
‘Kay, that’s the weather done and dusted so what else do us elderlies waffle on about? Oh yes, the brittle bones and the myriad aches and pains that no-one else appears to have but should hear about whether they like it or not. Being deaf helps too, as one cannot hear them begging you to desist. Toughie luckie, here it comes….only kidding!
Back in Lockdown again as I am sure you may have learnt as my one neighbour did. He went to the bottle store twice before asking when it was going to open. An incredulous car guard – can they be incredulous other than when you do not give them a donation – had to advise him that they may never open again in his lifetime.
One of the good things of this lockdown, and I know it’s for our well-being especially for myself and other fuddy duddies, is the curfew. Fits in perfectly with my sleeping patterns these days. In bed by eight pm and asleep by nine. Peace then reigns until six o’clock in the morning when the noise of thousands of joggers, runners, walkers and dog doing what they enjoy wafts through the windows to rouse me from my slumbers.
I wonder what runners talk about after the run? Are they like certain golfers who insist on telling their fourball about every single shot they have just played (and their fourball have seen)? Do they mention the sore calves, shin splints, the reckless car drivers and cyclists? The weather? The rocketing price of energy drinks? I suppose I shall never know unless I join them and that day has long gone.
Our dearly loved men and women dressed in blue have returned from wherever they went these last few months. Their task is once again to keep us off the beaches which are all closed except in the Northern Cape. Hey, that’s my province!! Sadly for me though, our beaches are 10 hours away from Kimberley whereas Durban and Hartenbos are between 8 and 9 hours driving time away.
I also prefer the warm Indian Ocean to the cold waters of the Atlantic.
Back to the men and women dressed in blue. They have a new and exciting task allocated to them and I am sure that they are thriving on picking on the weak, the infirm and the elderly. Not wearing a mask in public will bring you a fine with no warning, and repeated offences will see you sitting inside with the few genuine criminals that have actually been caught doing real crime.
The thought of sitting with one or two gang members in a dark and filthy cell has ensured that I now wear two masks. Even in bed. What I am concerned about is being halted while driving alone in my car when you do not have to wear a mask and being fined for such. An acquaintance told me it happened to him and the chaps and chappesses in blue were adamant he has to wear a mask. When advising them that they were incorrect he was told that his car was in a public place and because of that he has to wear said mask. I was going to write that they live amongst us but it reads better to write that we live amongst them as ‘they’ seem to increase in numbers as the plague rules and regulations increase.
Enough of that. Sorry. I was going to write about what I have learnt during the year that was 2020. This could well be a looooong story, so perhaps better I split it into two or even three parts. Herewith the first part.
The sun still rose and set every day in the correct areas of the sky;
To wash my hands a thousand times per day and not when only necessary;
To wear a mask that covered mouth and nose;
That one’s medical prescription was suddenly valid for twelve months; (This must have set the medical fraternity back in their planning for a new farm or Merk!)
That no-one obeys the law; not even those who passed such laws;
That refuse will not be picked up if it is raining that particular pick up day;
That potholes breed overnight; as do burst water pipes;
(The above only valid for Kimberley but the disease may have spread to other towns)
That potholes will not get repaired until Level Zero;
That Level Zero will never be reached, or rather will not be reached in my lifetime;
That since March 2020 the circus is permanently in town with no tent, one clown in charge, fifty ringmasters under the clown, and loads of elephant manure;
That a certain politician who wears a lovely hat loves threatening law abiding citizens and leaves the criminals alone;
That another certain politician dislikes quite intensely farmers that grow tobacco;
That those who illegally sold tobacco and alcohol products during the RSA prohibition made a financial killing;
That when it gets announced that the President will speak ‘tonight’ during the week, there is a frenzied rush on all liquor outlets;
That the once-upon-a-time daily newspaper the Diamond Fields Advertiser is now a weekly rag on Fridays. And when Friday is a holiday it just does not appear;
That the stories in the weekly rag have all been on the internet for some time;
That the Afrikaans daily Die Volksblad had some good stories but despite that closed production;
That many popular magazines also bit the dust;
That there were more people crossing the border at Beitbridge illegally than at the bridge customs houses;
That the million rand fence at Beitbridge does not work.
And to end with Part Two, a few more…
I also learnt this past year:
That you are never too old to learn;
That politicians tend to talk too much, and do too little;
That no matter how keen a volunteer is a few weeks prior to an event, on the advertised day there is a no show;
That local communities complain a lot, and that seems to be their entire input;
That residents in a retirement village bicker about the small things, all the time…repeatedly, and again and again;
That there is no more space for knives in my back;
That very few people will actually help you when you really need assistance;
That there are many more people worse off than you, but also that one tends to live in your own narrow world with blinkers on;
That some people are never content with what they have, ever;
That you have very few friends but many acquaintances. A friend will give up his life to save yours. How many friends have you? Count them on one hand I am sure. If you’re lucky!
One of the better things that did happen to me during the year is that I was weaned off watching sport. Cricket had already seen its rear end in my life some years back but I can assure you that my interest in rugby has also faded away. I cannot get any excitement over watching the sport on TV any more. Golf, soccer and the rest are also non-existent to me at this time.
Forgot that I am still following Leeds United in their first year back in the English Premier league, but then they’ve been in my life since I can remember.
Perhaps 2020 will be remembered as the year when we learnt once again that health, family and home life matter more than cosmetic coverings.
I thank you.