Embracing Silver, Gold and Onyx

I have been blogging since February 2014. That’s more than seven years, I now realise. It’s been an interesting journey that began, just focusing on food and recipes. Because of a chance remark on Facebook. It was not without trepidation that I registered on WordPress; it was at least a week, if not more, before my first post. Like with most first attempts, that’s a post best not revisited.


I have learned much, including about writing and taking pictures. That writing, when I’m into it, comes easily. I enjoy it and it can also be cathartic. I always knew the latter, but never felt confident enough to share it. That’s changing….

On the pictures, I’ve learned some techniques developed a lens. I’ve learned how to neaten and, to some extent, pretty up my photographs. I’ve learned that nothing is not a subject.

Something that, incidentally, applies to writing, too.

Grills on a window. Bespoke and beautiful.

Virtual communities

The pandemic, and the now ubiquitous existence, for many, of a life largely online, means that the concept of a virtual community is not entirely new. Anymore. I learned, back in 2014 that the blogosphere (as I learned to call it) is a microcosm of the world. It was a shock: I discovered trolls and bullies and which lead me to write my first piece about things other than food and fluff. I naively believed that all bloggers were nice people and had the interests of their peers at heart. That baptism of fire, if you will, and my own real life experience of bullying (about which I may still write), shaped my approach to the virtual world. It still does.

A fork* in the road

About four years ago, I joined a social blockchain and started crypto blogging.

*Yes, for my die hard blockchain readers, that pun was most definitely intended…

A social blockchain? Crypto blogging? What?

I’m so glad you asked!

It took me a while – like about a year – to work out what it is. I joined and fled for a while. Partly because I wasn’t in the “headspace” to make new friends, especially a new and foreign virtual space, let alone learning how to do basic mark down (coding). I was not in writing mode, either. Yes, writer’s block is a thing. Even if there is an endless supply of material.

Firstly, the social blockchain on which I play, is Hive. Secondly, because it’s a blockchain, you never lose your content, so you stake your claim to your intellectual property in perpetuity. It also means one thinks before one posts. Or should.

Thirdly, it has an underlying currency or token that can be bought, sold and, in my case, earned; hold it on the blockchain, cash it out or do a combination of all of these. I don’t even pretend to understand more than the principles, so you’ll find a more authoritative explanation here. For someone who doesn’t have any spare money lying around to invest in what many suggest is a dodgy world, I had nothing to lose, continuing to blog on this type of platform.

Hive, some in this new world space, suggest, is innovative and a disrupter.

Another driver behind my blogging

There’s another reason why I broadened my blogging purveiw. In addition to sharing recipes, and along with discovering that I enjoyed writing, it made sense to “monetise” it and potentially extend my capacity to earn. That is actually a very difficult thing to do. One needs to have both (a) voice(s) and a portfolio; one has to sell one’s self. Hard. Best of all, is finding one’s self in the right place at the right time. That last doesn’t happen often, so given the opportunity to build a portfolio, earn from writing what I like, without too much of the “sell”, and build a little nest egg was a no-brainer.

So how can one earn on a crypto social blockchain?

This is my still lay understanding of how things work.

The first thing to remember is that every action on the blockchain is a transaction that costs. One is allocated a certain number of (resource) credits that one “spends” on activities. Some of these activities, like blogging, commenting and voting, generate rewards. Saving the rewards from those activities builds one’s stash (wallet) and one’s status (power) on the blockchain. This is a summary from an old post (on the first iteration of this blockchain) of how to earn:

Create content (posts) and/or you curate by voting and commenting on posts.

  • These transactions come at a cost and with a return:
  • one earns and is rewarded in different proportions in three ways.

The first two are liquid and can be traded on and off the blockchain via exchanges:

  • Hive token
  • Hive Based Dollars (SBD) – these two can be used to buy
  • Hive tokens
    Hive tokens left in the blockchain, are known as Hive Power which is also generated in the process. To “power Hive (and draw it) down, is in itself a process and subject to delays – rather like a call account. Part of the reasoning behind this is to build the big asset using little people investors like me.

And then there’s more –

I don’t have a cherry to put on top, so homemade Malva Pudding will have to do.

The more Hive one has, the greater the value of one’s votes (likes), and to add to the complication, that, one gets rewarded for voting, sharing (re-blogging) posts on the blockchain, and by commenting on other people’s posts.

Silver Bloggers: “my” virtual community

I mentioned communities. The name, Hive, is apt. The activity on the blockchain and between people is analogous of those most social of insects, bees. Like a beehive, it also includes chambers or (sub)communities.

Communities began emerging, well, it doesn’t really matter when, but for me, I found them a challenge.

I don’t like to be boxed and pegged. I don’t relish being told what I may or may not think. I will agree to differ and respect different views.  I am happy to be persuaded into a new way of thinking.  With my eclectic range of interests and my penchant to warble on, I had difficulty finding a niche. I dabble, dip my toes and generally blunder about. I’ve made virtual friends (real ones) and developed a following (who would have thought?).  There was no community in which I really felt “at home”.

It’s only in the last while, and since fellow South African, Lizelle, started a community that I’ve begun to feel more comfortable. Part of this is because of the interesting, international and eclectic bunch of people who subscribe. We are all over 40 (and most with a lot of tax, too), so we’ve been round a block (or five). It seems to be a kinder and more embracing space than some that I have encountered. I think it’s because life has knocked us all around a bit. The rough edges are softer – mostly. I speak for myself.

Embracing change, innovation and the inevitable

The folk in the Silver Bloggers community, like most of the world, are encountering change all the time. Many of us are at the cusp of significant life changes and approaching what some like to refer to as our autumn years. Whether we accept that or not, is neither here nor there, it’s often foisted upon us.

We’re not digital natives.

I like to think that our capacity for embracing crypto blogging on a social blockchain shows that those of us who grew up with actual telephones and lived (and mostly still do) without smart technology, prove that age is merely a number; silver hair is just genetics – or like blonde often is – from a bottle.

Speaking for myself

My future does not include retirement, not being busy and not earning.  Besides the fact that not earning, right now, is not a choice, I enjoy what I do.  Mostly.  How I long, with thirty years’ life experience to “do” the twenty-somethings again.  My head and my heart are willing.  The rest, including the twenty-somethings, not so much.


The silver (gold and onyx) I embrace, are less about the changing colour of my hair than of the felines that rule our home.  Starting with silver: Gandalf the Grey who likes to think he owns me.

Gandalf has a shoe fetish

Gandalf regularly embraces me and his foot and shoe fetish.  Ahem…

Rambo the golden ginger

The golden ginger:  I have yet to physically cuddle Rambo, the ranging and still sort-of-feral tom cat that six months later, is embracing domesticity with aplomb. He’s not ventured on to a lap or a bed. Yet. We suspect it’s a matter of time.

Princess Pearli – collared in 2014

Princess Pearli, the onyx and black pearl arrived in 2014. Her arrival coincides with the beginning of my blogging journey, including an early foray into humorous writing, and brings me to why I’ve warbled on.

A last few words

I admit that I have more than a passing involvement in the Silver Bloggers community:  Lizelle invited me to join the leadership team. I accepted and it is a role I am relishing and in which I continue to learn. Every two weeks we announce a topic around which we encourage folk to create content. Anything goes – even tangential. I wanted to make that point and to mention two things –

  • I tend to keep Hive business on Hive, but there comes a time that the two connect, like now, so the second thing:
  • the crypto blogging social platform is no different from other parts of the blogosphere in terms of how people engage.  I tend to think of it as a combination of WordPress (or any other blogging platform) and Facebook on steroids, without ads and a better return.


  • Depending on the crypto market, one earns something and/or builds an asset (that’s not financial advice, it’s merely part of my lived experience).
  • One gets more eyes – I have nearly a thousand followers on Hive, but fewer than 350 on WordPress – with the connected “other” social media.
  • One’s work never disappears into the ether – even if your web host does. I learned that the hard way and which is why my series about Pearli’s Pickles and other posts are no longer here.
    As an aside: I am thinking about turning those (that are on the blockchain) into a “proper” series of stories…
  • If you think you’re too old to learn coding or markdown: you’re not. I have learned a lot – by osmosis. But now, four years down the line, you don’t have to because there are other interfaces with the blockchain that make it unnecessary.

I am learning that even if others think I’m ancient, I am most definitely not too old to be part of the innovative and constantly developing world of blockchain and crypto.

Until next time, be well
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa

Photo: Selma

Post script

  • If this post might seem familiar, it’s because I’m doing two things:
    • re-vamping old recipes. As I do this, I plan to add them in a file format that you can download and print. If you download recipes, buy me a coffee. Or better yet, a glass of wine….?
    • and “re-capturing” nearly two years’ worth of posts.
  • I blog to the Hive blockchain using a number of decentralised appplications. From WordPress, I use the Exxp WordPress plugin. If this rocks your socks, click here or on on the image below to sign up.

Image: @traciyork
  • Join Hive using this link and then join us in the Silver Bloggers’ community by clicking on the logo.
Original artwork: @artywink
  • I also share my occasional instagram posts to the crypto blockchain using the new, and really nifty phone app, Dapplr. On your phone, click here or on the icon, and give it a go.

Last dance…

I can’t believe that it was twenty months ago that I wrote –

I keep on saying that I don’t “do” contests; and then I do. I claim I’m not competitive; by and large I am not, but I do admit to being happy to win – when it happens. So let me declare again that I don’t participate to win, but rather because the topic resonates for me. It also means that I won’t don’t always follow the rules….

It was the second of what became a 21-month run of fun contests in which, unusually, I often participated and it prefaced my first entry.  The team that launched the contest are entirely to blame, and it has been fun.  As they say, all good things must come to an end, and this is the last iteration of the contest – for the moment – I hope.

Going out with gold

I did think I’d make a point of having a final entry, but when I read the post with the final theme, I knew that not only would I “do” the competition, but I’d be hard pressed not to give it, what has now become known as “The Fiona Treatment”.

Oh dear…


Choosing one’s favourite Oscar-winning film is a challenge.  I confess that the first film to jump into my head, was Out of Africa, which I have seen more times than I can remember.  I even had it on VHS tape.

Then I had to go in search of a list:  to be sure that I was on the right track.

Oh, boy!

Childhood musical memories

The list is long and, of course, goes back to the beginning of time before I was born.  I was delighted and startled to see that films that I love, including some that bring back memories: those childhood days when we all went to see films in the cinema.  My parents were smokers (as so many people were, in the 60s and 70s) so we always sat in either the back third of the cinema or in the circle.  I never understood why it was called the circle.  It wasn’t.  Not even a half circle.  It was a balcony.

It was from that balcony that I watched Gigi (1959) and loved Maurice Chevalier’s singing “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” – because I was one.  Then.  In his top hat and tails and the pony and trap.  Looking at the lyrics, now, I have no doubt that in our suspicious, postmodern world, there would be suggestions of dirty old men and paedophilia…

While on children’s films, musicals and soundtracks, I cannot not but mention The Sound of Music (again) – also an Oscar winner – and which I will watch again; and again.  Even though I remember virtually every scene, including some of the dialogue… This was the era of big musicals, but given that I might either not have been born, or well, whatever, the only other one that made sense to the little girl was My Fair Lady.


I couldn’t wait to dance all night in a beautiful, sparkly frock ball gown.

High school Oscar memories

There are two Oscar-winning films that remind me of high school (in the late 1970s), and both of them pre-date that – and me.  One is the classic, Gone with the Wind and which I saw on television.  It must have been one of the first I saw on the box after it arrived in South Africa in 1977.  My favourite line, and which I use, often, is not Rhett’s famous, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” but rather Scarlet’s

I’ll think about it tomorrow…

The other, also not a contemporary film and one we were compelled to see, was the adaptation of Robert Bolt’s play, A Man for all Seasons., which we studied in year 10 (or in our parlance, Standard 8).  Its themes of integrity and ethics, and Paul Scofield‘s portrayal of Sir Thomas More, a man of both passion, devotion and stoicism, resonated for me as much in the film as did the character in the pages of the play.  I do admit that our teacher – Mrs Colqhoun – probably had a great deal to do with this, too.

Paring down the list:  keeping it on the stage

Looking at the list of more contemporary winners, there are so many from which to choose.  Two I have seen on the stage in South Africa.  In some ways, those performances made greater impressions on me than the film versions:


In my second year at Rhodes University (1982), and when I was working at the National Arts Festival, I saw a Pieter Toerien production of the Peter Shaffer play.  The South African actors, Bobby Heaney* and Richard Haines,  who played Amadeus and Salieri, respectively, were outstanding.  I can still picture them in my mind’s eye:  the evil, cold, ailing Salieri, and the apparently flighty, inordinately talented Mozart.  When I subsequently saw the film, for some reason, it simply didn’t live up to my expectations.

*This reference says that Ralph Lawson played Mozart, but not in the version that I saw.

Driving Miss Daisy

Looking at the dates of the stage production at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg – the same year that the film was released (1989) – it would have arrived in South Africa in 1990.  I would have seen Driving Miss Daisy on the stage – the same year that it was released.  I am an unashamed John Kani fan.  I first saw him on stage when I was a twenty year old, and in Athol Fugard‘s Master Harold and the Boys.  Also in Grahamstown, at a National Arts Festival.  It is a brutal play and made an enormous impression on my young mind.  Eleven years later, Hani played Hoke Colburn, making an equally indellible impression.  I have also seen him in other stage productions, including Othello.  He plays a stupendous Othello.

Sorry, not sorry, Morgan Freeman.

Another aside (or two)

Nineteen eighty three was the height of apartheid and the beginning of what became known as the total onslaught.  It was illegal for folk of different races to share a stage – anything – for that matter.  Fugard’s play reveals the complexities of relationships between, not just masters and “servants”, adults and children, complicated by a system that demeaned black Africans.  These dynamics that were as relevant then, and as they are, now:  themes very similar to those in Driving Miss Daisy.

Fast forward to 1986, and I’m working in Johannesburg. A regular Friday night “thing” included partying in Soweto.  One of my fondest memories is talking the evening away, playing music, with Kani’s co-star from Master Harold, Ramalao Makhene.  I’ve never seen him since, other than on stage in Sophiatown in the 1994 production with Patrick Shai, also there that evening.  I followed his career and have warm memories of whiling away time discussing music with an interesting, gentle, articulate man.

Top 3

There were a few contenders for my top three Oscar winning films.  The deciding factor was whether or not I’d watch them again, and why. Two have African or South African connections.  All are biographical.


Even as a child, Gandhi fascinated me.  My British parents were very colonial having met and married in Uganda in the 1960’s and as I was growing up, Indira Gandhi was India’s Prime Minister.  This film came out and arrived in South Africa at the cusp of my political awakening.  Gandhi and his family have long and strong political connections with South Africa and there is a scene in the film, set on a train in South Africa, and where he’s asked to vacate a compartment. Because he (a practising attorney) is not white European. It’s not apocryphal.





Ask me to select three individuals who’ve made an enormous impression on me, Gandhi would be on that list.  With Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa.  My meeting her is a story for another time.

Out of Africa

Yes, this is a chick flick.  And a whole lot more.  Karen Blixen‘s story is one of resilience, friendship, bravery, love and loss.  Universal themes.  I’ve not watched this for a while, but even so, I recall thinking about the strength of the woman who defied the social mores of the time and who was, at the same time, their victim.

I rue the day I lent my copy of Out of Africa to somebody.  It has never returned.




Another story Blixen story, she wrote using the nom de plume, Isak Dinesen, made into a film and which won an Oscar (best Foreign Lanugage Film, 1987), is Babette’s Feast.  It’s a classic and worth watching.  Again.




The King’s Speech

This is one of the few films that didn’t disappoint in the reading of the book.  While the book gives more insights into Lionel Logue – himself a fascinating man – the film gives insights into King George the VI and his struggle as monarch following the abdication of Edward VIII.  It’s a period that fascinates me.  Perhaps because my parents remembered the abdication;  perhaps because my father told stories of, as an apprentice at Kew, having to shoo a young Prince Charles from a teasing fish in a pond.  Perhaps because they disapproved of what “Mrs Simpson did”…

I’m a conflicted royalist and as I get older, I have greater and greater sympathy for the fact that the people that are royalty often have to sacrifice so much in a paradoxical world of so much.




This is probably Colin Firth’s best ever role, and I’ve seen him in a few.  Including as Mr Darcy which, I’m afraid, did not live up to my teenage imaginings of the dashing, devilish rake.


QJust in case he was asking

Of the films that have won best picture, my top three, in no particular order, are

    • Out of Africa
    • Gandhi
    • The King’s Speech

Last Dance

I began, saying that it’s twenty months since team of @gaz, @foxyspirit, @plantstoplanks and @nickyhavey launched the monthly “Top 3” contest.  I haven’t “done” it every month, but when I have, I’ve gone at it hammer and tongs.  I’ve loved the way the topics have made me remincisce, reflect and flex forgotton synapses.

It’s no mean feat to dream up  topics and manage contests – let alone every month.  They have done it with aplomb.  It’s been fun.  I shall miss it and hope that Q (@yourtop3) will return after a well-deserved break.  #nopressure #justsaying.

At the risk of beating a boring old gong, this Oscar-winning song had been one that was on my list of possibles for that first entry – and possibly some others – but as I was spoilt for choice, and could only choose three, it just didn’t get a mention.

So, from the Queen of Disco, this is for the team and for us all…

An apt way to dance into the sunset.  For the moment.

Until next time, be well
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa

Photo: Selma

Post Script

Looking for that gift for someone who has everything? Shop with Pearli in my evolving Redbubble shop

And then there’s more:

  • If this post might seem familiar, it’s because I’m doing two things:
    • re-vamping old recipes. As I do this, I plan to add them in a file format that you can download and print. If you download recipes, buy me a coffee. Or better yet, a glass of wine….?
    • and “re-capturing” nearly two years’ worth of posts because of this.
  • If you’re interested in a soft entry into the world of crypto currency and monetising WordPress blog, use the fantastic plugin to post directly to the Hive blockchain. Click on the image below to sign up –

Image: @traciyork

  • I also share my occasional instagram posts to the crypto blockchain using the new, and really nifty phone app, Dapplr. On your phone, click the icon below, and give it a go.

In yet another aspect of my life –

English writing, research and online tutoring services
writing – emails and reports, academic and white papers formal grammar, spelling and punctuation more information here

Those Ice Cream Days

Summer’s heading our way.  Although it doesn’t feel like it today as a galeforce wind howls around the house.  Having a foretaste of summer earlier in the week, it feels as though winter’s returned.  One of the things I really enjoy about summer is a frappé. No, not the Greek one, but the one that, on a hot summer’s day, The Husband will rush home when he returns from the weekly shop in Robertson.  If it’s not too late.  That caveat is because I have a problem with cafeine.  Strictly Coffee describes it as an iced latté, but as fond as I am of a latté, and theirs, too, the name doesn’t do them justice:  they are more like milk shakes.  Thick creamy and made with Strictly Coffee’s own roasted beans.

First Ice Cream Memories

My first memories of ice cream go back to when I must have been about five.  We lived in a flat (apartment) on the Quigney in East London, South Africa.  In summers, and on a Sunday, my parents would pack us in the old (well she wasn’t then) Anglia, and head out to Buffalo Pass.  We’d spend the day in the sun, under trees wearing little more than a pair of shorts.  One of the things I remember (don’t ask me why), was that I had a little red Matchbox bus.


My bus did things buses of that vintage and design were never intended to do.  It traversed dust roads, man Fiona-made mountains and branched up and down trees.  By the time we headed home in the late afternoon, the bus was covered in dust.  As was the child.  It became a ritual to stop at The Friesland on the way home.


The Friesland Milkbar is now an East London institution and even then, was known to produce the best ice cream on the planet.  My mother always had rum and raisin.  I think I had cholcolate.

So added to the the dust and grime, were the sticky dribbles of ice cream.  Once we got home, the children were dunked, clothes and all, into a bath of bubbles from – I kid you not – Softly washing powder.  My mother reserved it for her “unmentionables”, woolies and children.

Back to the Friesland for a minute:  long time friends who return to East London – even more than fifty years later – make the not negotiable pilgrimage for ice cream.

Still in East London and then in Grahamstown

When we didn’t head out for the day, we’d be at home and the parents would have an afternoon zizz.  With hindsight, it was probably a necessary nap after a Saturday night.  I am never been one for an afternoon kip, so I never understood my father’s fury when the ice cream cart came calling.  I can still hear him:

If the ice cream man rings that bell once more, I’ll wrap that bell around his neck…

Or words to that effect.

I have no real memories of buying anything from one of those carts in East London, although I do remember doing it – quite often – after we moved to Grahamstown.  My favourite was a mint ice cream dipped in chocolate on a wooden stick.  I remember sucking the minty, creamy liquid through the hard chocolate crust which melted far too quickly.

The modern iteration of my favourite ice cream from fifty years ago Source

I remember doing this when the cart stopped at the end of the drive way and I was able to persuade my mother to part with 12c.


Ice Cream and Dad

Two of my fondest childhood memories of my father was not long after we moved to Grahamstown.  Both were on Saturday afternoons and are associated with ice cream.  The more frequent, and occasionally with Mum was at a little café in the High Street which sold soft serve ice cream.  One could have plain (vanilla), strawberry or chocolate or a mixture of the two.  It didn’t take me long to realise that plain was best, but better when wound around a Flake and dipped in chocolate.  That didn’t happen often.  Still doesn’t.  The second was also a little café, most definitely not in the High Street, but across the way from one of the two town cinemas.  The Olympia Café made its own ice cream.  It was served in cones and in balls on which one had one (for the children) or two (for the grown ups) scoops.  I still remember how creamy it was.  It had a unique flavour, and as I think about it, it was probably a slightly caremelised vanilla.  My mouth waters at the memory.

Grown up Ice Cream

I rarely now have ice cream, and when I do, it’s as a dessert and often shared.  Three are memorable.  The first because it was decadent, enormous and well, just completely and unexpectedly over the top.  The Husband and I were on holiday in our favourite seaside spot and decided to have dessert.  The house special was recommended.  I cannot tell you anything about the rest of the meal because it was forever eclipsed by what landed on our table.

It was served on a dinner plate.  It was a pavlova of fresh cream, ice cream, fresh strawberries and lots of red sweet stuff drizzled liberally over it.  It would have served ten let alone two.  It was delicious.  We did our best.  Did we finish it? I have no idea.

The second and equally memorable is the honeycome icecream we often shared at a little restaurant in McGregor started by folk who are now friends.  It is not overly sweet and a shared bowl is the perfect end to a meal.  I remember one cold winter’s evening, after a leisurely meal in front of their fire.  We were the last in that part of the establishment and they were tidying up.

Stay, relax.

Can I bring you?

There we sat, with our chairs pulled up to the fire, my feet on the The Husband’s knees, sharing a bowl of icecream, whiling the rest of the evening away.

It’s no wonder we moved to McGregor.

If I have to choose



Regular readers know that I occasionally participate in a contest that has us choosing our three best, worst or something things.  I wasn’t sure I was going to, this month, but reading other entries got me thinking.  Then, it’s also the penultimate month that it will run.  The team is taking a well-deserved break.

Thank you

Before getting to my choices, thank you to the team of @nickyhavey, @plantstoplanks, @chees4ead and @foxyspirit.  Hats-off to a group of people who have been consistent and dedicated to running (very smoothly) a contest that, if one delves into it, is complicated.  Necessary to keep things fair and above board.  They’ve done all of that with aplomb.

Q will be missed and I hope he returns, well rested, at some point.

Top 3

Now, I’m grown up, and if I occasionally must include ice cream in the grocery shop, it will either be vanilla or blueberry.  And if Kurt and Andre have their honeycomb ice cream on offer, it will always be gratefully accepted.

Feature image

Until next time, be well
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa

Photo: Selma

Post Script

I am doing my best to post every day for November as part of @traciyork’s twice yearly #HiveBloPoMo challenge. This is my third attempt. All my posts are to the the Hive blockchain, but not all from WordPress.  Details about the challenge (on the blockchain) are here and on WordPress, here.

Looking for that gift for someone who has everything? Shop with Pearli in my evolving Redbubble shop

And then there’s more:

  • If this post might seem familiar, it’s because I’m doing two things:
    • re-vamping old recipes. As I do this, I plan to add them in a file format that you can download and print. If you download recipes, buy me a coffee. Or better yet, a glass of wine….?
    • and “re-capturing” nearly two years’ worth of posts because of this.
  • If you’re interested in a soft entry into the world of crypto currency and monetising WordPress blog, use the fantastic plugin to post directly to the Hive blockchain. Click on the image below to sign up –

Image: @traciyork

  • I also share my occasional instagram posts to the crypto blockchain using the new, and really nifty phone app, Dapplr. On your phone, click the icon below, and give it a go.

In yet another aspect of my life –

English writing, research and online tutoring services
writing – emails and reports, academic and white papers
formal grammar, spelling and punctuation
more information here

Lockdown survivors’ guide

In the last two weeks I have written two long and very serious pieces about how people and the world are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. I will write another – to keep a promise. The first was ahead of the lock down.

Half way there?

South Africa is halfway through the period initially set for the country’s lock down. It’s not impossible that we might be forced to stay at home for longer than the 21 days that take us to just after Easter.

Last week, I reflected on how learning to live alone (again) and working from home can be applied to an enforced stay at home.

Ahead of our shutdown and all over the world, it seems, people’s brains fell out of their heads. I know mine did. I went shopping to discover no chicken to be had and when I got home, I added another packet of cornflour to the two (!) already there, among other crazy things…



Anyhow, as I said, we’re half way through our compulsory stay at home and the weather’s turning.

It occurred to me, now that we’re settling into a rhythm, to follow-up to my survivor’s guide to load shedding with a kinda, only half, tongue-in-cheek survivor’s guide to an enforced stay at home.

Fiona’s lock down survival guide

  • Pray the Internet never goes down.
  • Save toilet paper.
  • Ration the wine. *
  • Cut your own hair. If you must. But don’t do it in anger.
  • Stop smoking when the ciggies run out. *
  • Every time you see an item is nearly finished, put it on the shopping list – just in case you lose your brain again when you shop.
  • Save toilet paper.
  • Learn to make natural yeast (see the last but one point).
  • Send your friends virtual flowers.
  • Share a virtual toast – only one sip – with the guys and gals who are independently locked down.
  • Learn to cook without wine.
  • Hold a virtual dinner party: sharing pictures of one’s food is a sure fire way that they visit (or stay away) after lock down is lifted.
  • Try not to kill mother. Uncle Richie died. Auntie Doris is still alive.
  • Save toilet paper.

* In South Africa, the regulations prohibit the sale of alcohol and tobacco.

Until next time, be well
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa

Photo: Selma

Post script

  • This is my cheeky entry into this month’s @yourtop3 contest – now on Hive.
    And before I get into more trouble, here is the list of my actual three must-haves while staying at home: Internet access, toilet paper, and, of course, wine! No explanations required….
    Read more about this month’s contest here
  • I’m participating in blogpal @tracyork’s April challenge of sharing a post every day during April – on the Hive blockchain. I succeeded last year – on Steemit from which the new blockchain “hived off”… and…
  • It seems a good way to constructively use the time during a compulsory lock down, right? For more about this initiative, please check out Traci’s post.

  • If you’d also like to both join the challenge and post from the WordPress platform to the Hive blockchain, sign up here.