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Tag Archives: life

Internet and warm winters.

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Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

I hate the internet.

Also, I can’t live without it. How can people cope without it these days? I would love to be able to do without, but I think once you’re on this slippery slide, it’s tickets.

My mom, for instance. Yes, I know, she is 85 years old, but she drives to the bank every time she needs to pay someone for something. She has to go to the bank to draw the money and then drive to the person or business and make her payment. She does have whatsapp on her phone, though, and uses it avidly. She has never owned a computer of any kind in her life, and she is happy without.

Do you think it’s possible to go backwards? So much of my life is ‘out there’ – no secrets anymore. It is scary, and I don’t like it. But it is too late. Even if I decide to ditch my laptop, and slim my phone use down to calls and sms’s only, all my ins and outs are already floating around in cyber space – name, birth date, e-mail address! You know that sinking feeling when Google sends you a mail to tell you that some of your passwords might be compromised? No? Well I do! And I never save my passwords to Google, I type them in every time, because I’m scared of them being compromised! So – how?

Ugh, I hate the internet!

We are still having unseasonably warm days here. It was supposed to start getting colder today, but it is still balmy and uncomfortable. I am hoping that we’ll get some cold weather and rain sooner rather than later. I am a believer in the good of a properly cold winter, like I’ve mentioned before. I think everything and everybody need the very cold weather, to be healthy and strong and robust in summer. So I’m waiting with bated breath for the cold spell to hit – I’m ready!

Time that flies and chicken biryani.

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Nearly all the spices that went into the biryani! Photo by Shantanu Pal on Pexels.com

Wow, I cannot keep up!

It is 5 days since my last post – time absolutely flies! I don’t know why I feel that way, since I’m really not busy at all – quite the opposite, in fact, and then normally time drags by.

Remember I said last time, or the time before, that I was going to try a few different Indian/curry recipes this winter? So yesterday I decided that I’m going to make myself a chicken biryani. I had some of the ingredients, like the chicken and the rice, the rest I went out and bought, because it is spices that I’ll use again.

Now it has been quite some time since I’ve had a good biryani, and I remember loving it, so I was hoping it will live up to expectations.

Once again, I’m not going to give the recipe since there are hundreds all over the internet. I chose my recipe on Pinterest.

I started off with marinating the chicken pieces for about two hours.

I then put some oil and butter in a pot, and fried off the spices and onion.

It looks like there are hardly any spices there, but remember most of the spices are already in the marinade.

I then added the marinated chicken, fried it a bit, and then closed the pot so the chicken can cook. When that was ready, the rice was added, with warm salted water. I closed the lid and left it to slowly cook. Remember it should not be stirred at all.

Of course, I forgot to take a picture when I added the rice! I’m sure that won’t be a bother, since I am not actually doing a step-by-step recipe for you anyway.

The result was very flavoursome – a good, spicy depth of flavour, but I have to say, a bit too dry to my taste. I’m not sure how I’ll change that, since you are supposed to cook all the fluids away so the rice is dry and you can separate the kernels.

Any ideas? I would love to make it again if I could just get it to be less dry…

Now it is time for Daisy’s daily walk, so until next time, keep the sunny side up!

Life with load shedding.

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Do any of you know what load shedding is? Because not many countries do, outside of South Africa.

Let me try and explain (Google’s dictionary):

noun

  1. action to reduce the load on something, especially the interruption of an electricity supply to avoid excessive load on the generating plant.

That is it, in a nut shell. Why is it necessary? And I’m talking specifically regarding South Africa. Again, as succinctly as possible:

Eskom chief operations officer, Jan Oberholzer, publicly stated that the primary reason for load shedding was due to a lack of maintenance and neglect over the preceding twelve years resulting in an unpredictable and unreliable system.’

Read the whole piece here.

Thanks to our present government, who does not believe in maintenance – they wait until something is so broken that it needs weeks/months to fix, IF there is money to do so, because the money has a way of mysteriously disappearing in this country…

So, life with load shedding… We have periods of load shedding, on and off, according to maintenance needed, or shortages of coal, etc. Those periods happen unexpectedly. Out of the blue, if you have the load shedding app (YES! – we have an app for that!) you get a message that says load shedding stage 1/2/3/4/5/6 will be implemented as from 14h00 today! Then you quickly scan the schedule so you can try and be prepared for it, as best you can. Different times for different areas. It can be two and a half hours from 16h00 – 18h30. Or 14h00 – 16h30. Whatever. I’m sure you get the idea.

A lot of people have installed solar systems, but not everybody can afford that, like me. Fortunately I do have a gas stove, so I can have coffee and tea, or cook while the electricity is off. We all have some way of creating a bit of light – battery operated lamps, rechargeable lamps, candles, etc. And then all you can do is wait it out, because the wifi also goes when there is no power. No TV. Which is all fine if it happens in daytime, because you can go for a walk, work in the garden, go shopping, but when it happens in the evenings, or at night, what do you do? Go to bed at eight?

I’m sure you can imagine all kinds of ways in which this system is uncomfortable. Businesses suffer – not all of them can buy a generator to keep going even when there is no electricity. Working from home becomes complicated.

We are all a bit fed up with this whole debacle, I promise you. But there is always the positive side to it, isn’t there – ‘It could’ve been worse!’

A Winter’s Tale.

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Not Shakespeare’s play, or the book by Mark Helprin, not even the songs by Queen or David Essex, although both are definitely worth a listen.

Just my own little Sunday story.

It has been unseasonably warm the last week or so. I’m a believer that winter has to be properly cold, to kill off bugs and other nasties, and I love winter, so I was a bit peeved about the warmer weather.

But today is colder, and I am not going anywhere, so I am doing the ‘slow’ thing today. I woke up, fed the cat and dog, made myself some coffee, and took myself and the coffee back to bed. Not to sleep, no. But it was the warmest place to be, so I read in bed for an hour before getting up and getting dressed.

I had to do a quick stop at a shop, unfortunately, but I needed one or two ingredients to make my and my SO’s favourite date and nut loaf. It is baking as we speak, and smells delicious. I am sorry that he is not here to share it with me, but I did make him one before he left to go back north.

I can not deny that I am feeling a bit out of sorts today. I had a wonderful long chat with my son in Ireland last night, but today I am missing him and my Canadian children fiercely. And even though I saw my son in SA about 2 weeks ago, and my SO as well, when the missing starts, it encompasses them all. It is in fact causing a pain in my chest and a constriction in my throat. So I am trying to rise above that by keeping sort of busy, but it will probably get the better of me sometime during the day… I will definitely go for a long walk with Daisy later, to get some good physical exercise too.

So that is basically my winter Sunday story. Not a very chirpy one, I know, but weekends on my own often result in these emotions.

But let me try and end on a positive note. Although it is colder today, the sun is shining outside, the birds sound deliriously happy because they are chirping away like crazy, and the date loaf is nearly ready to come out of the oven! I will be having at least two slices with some tea within the next hour – yum! I had a good night’s sleep, and I am still hearty and hale!

So all you good folk and gentle people, have yourself a wonderful Sunday, and be kind to yourself.

Heaven.

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Some days, nature takes my breath away…

I am blessed and very, very thankful to live in one of the most beautiful areas of our country. Whenever I am feeling down, all I need to do is to go for a walk in the mountains, or take a long drive around the area – it works every time.

I think that there is heaven on earth, you only need to know where to find it…

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
   There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
   There is society where none intrudes,
   By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
   I love not Man the less, but Nature more...
Lord Byron