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Mental well-being.

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False Bay, Western Cape, South Africa.

Be positive. Be positive. Be positive…

Easier said than done. I can pretend I am positive all the time, while I’m screaming inside. What good will that do? Maybe if I pretend hard enough, I’ll actually become positive? Maybe. I doubt it though.

I’ve written before about how I do all these little ‘things’ to stay busy and positive and happy. It’s not working for me anymore.

Let me tell you why. (You might not be interested to know about my woes, but I’ll tell you anyway…)

I AM happy about the fact that we (my loved ones) are all still healthy, have food to eat, and roofs over our heads. I AM happy that we are comparatively free to live our lives and go about our business (the ones here in South Africa anyway. The loved ones in Ireland and Canada, are much less free.)

But the fact that all of us cannot see the end of these limitations that have been placed on us regarding travel, the fact that a lot of things related to Covid and vaccines are still unclear and uncertain, is really, REALLY getting my goat now!!! And I know I’m not the only one. And it is also not only for the sake of traveling. Thousands, maybe millions of people have loved ones living in other countries – children, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters – and we are forbidden to see them. What does that do to family relationships? How does that impact on people’s mental health? I can tell you – very negatively.

My shoulders and neck are sore and stiff all the time. I don’t sleep well. I’m irritated. I have difficulty breathing properly. And I cry at the drop of a hat.

Maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m just a sugar lump, that melts at the first few drops of rain. But I’m thinking there must be others out there who feel the same way.

Weekend well underway.

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My valley.

In the end, we did do something last night.

We decided that we needed to at least end the week on a positive note, so we went out to dinner at our favourite local restaurant. A good ending to a difficult week. 🙂

I’m not always sure how to psych myself up, or someone close to me, when things are really tough. Spewing out a few platitudes and mumbling a few well meant phrases of encouragement, really doesn’t mean too much in those circumstances. But it is mostly all I can think of. Once in a while I can come up with some advice, which is mostly a bit redundant, because I don’t always know enough about the real way things work in the business to offer any meaningful input.

I try.

Today was a beautiful day, weather wise. There is a definite chill in the air, but it was a clear, sunny day with blue skies. We pottered around the house, and then went for a lovely drive past McGregor and Bonnievale, two of our gorgeous neighbouring towns. Just what the day called for.

I’ve been craving a good bowl of curry for a few days now, so at the moment I am busy putting a mutton curry together. I am sitting at the kitchen table, glass of red wine close at hand, and the curry cooking away on the stove, while I entertain you with my thoughts. I might tell you more about that tomorrow, if it comes out the way I want it to.

At the moment I am very cautiously optimistic that this pandemic nonsense is slowly but surely moving in a positive direction. A lot of unnecessary crap has come out of it, like now South Africans suddenly need a visa to enter Ireland. I mean, COME ON!!! Really, and after everything has settled down that will not be changed back to the way things were before Covid, so why???? So many governments’ decision making makes absolutely no sense at all.

Tomorrow we might drive around and have a little braai (barbeque) somewhere. We’ll choose a route, and stop wherever we feel like it, and do a bit of a barbie. ‘Wors’ (sausage) and rolls – something simple and easy over the fire. We will have to be very careful where we do it, as the veld is very dry at the moment. All though we’ve had some rain, it has not been enough to change the fact that fires are a real threat.

I hope you have a lovely rest-of-the-weekend, and chat to you again soon. 🙂

End of the week.

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Pic taken on our walk yesterday afternoon.

My timing sucks.

I have been slack in writing the last while, and now I choose to write on a Friday afternoon, when everybody is busy making plans for the evening and the weekend! Typical.

We had a busy-ish week, faffing around with a lot of small stuff, mostly to with the guesthouse still. It has also been a very stressful week business-wise, especially for my SO. So it is a relief that the weekend is here.

We have no plans for the weekend. Yet. Normally we decide to do ‘something’ at the last moment. Like, maybe, 10 o’clock tomorrow morning, my SO will say: “So where are we going today?” And then we’ll go somewhere and do something. For tonight, though, we most definitely do not have any plans.

So after walking Daisy, I am going to take a shower, and then I’m going to get into my PJ’s, pour myself a glass of wine, and chill.

Have a super weekend, and if it can’t be super, be safe, at least. ✌️

So, what changed?

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On the edge of a precipice… Not the photographer’s caption – that is completely mine. Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

And with that I mean for you personally, in your life.

Because of the pandemic. Have you come to any profound realizations during this time? Important enough to change how you do things on a permanent basis?

I have realized that I need people even less than I thought before. I find that it is increasingly difficult for me to go out and cope with the ‘stuff’ that comes with people. So, when this pandemic has finally run its course, I will probably still prefer to go out as little as possible, deal with people as little as I can.

I have discovered that I need less clothes than I thought before. It is nice to keep buying new clothes, but have you ever sat down and thought to yourself how much of the clothes in your closet you actually really need? Especially if you don’t have to go to an office everyday. It is scary if you start doing a bit of research into how much money goes into the buying and making of clothes and accessories! Can you imagine how much resources (cotton, bamboo, silk, leather, etc.) are needed to feed that greed? Our earth will be so much better off if we can wean ourselves from the hunger to have closets full of the latest and best in fashion…

And food. Do you know more than a third of food produced in the world goes to waste? Why? Why are people so wasteful with food? Because it is too easy to just go out and buy more? Maybe it is because hardly anybody produces their own food anymore. To most people, it is something you buy in a shop. No thought is given to how it got there. Or what it is made of. So now because X amount of food is needed, and the population keeps growing, more and more food ‘needs’ to be produced, when actually a third less is really needed – if only people were not so wasteful.

But. Yes, there is always a ‘but’. But because of the fact that I need less people, I need more of the WWW. I do spend a fair amount of time on YouTube, Google and the TV, which is most certainly far from ideal. If I can get myself to do a whole lot less of that, I’ll be happy. I do grow more of my own food, not close to what I would like to do, but I’ll get there. Baby steps. And I’ll keep doing it. I’ll keep baking bread, and I will try to not buy any at all, in future.

Finally, I have realized that we have given away waaaaaayyyy to much of our personal autonomy. How did that happen? I will keep fighting it in my small way. I will not sit back and be passive about it. We are not puppets. We are not programmed by uniform micro chips planted into our brains (yet). I find it hard to believe how so many millions of people are happy with the fact that all decisions about their lives have been taken away from them.

What has changed for you? What realizations and conclusions have you reached? I’ll be interested to know. I doubt anybody will come out and talk to me about these things, but someone out there might just surprise me…

Done, and dusted.

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Ready for guests. Not quite where I want it yet, but soon… 🙂

At last.

Yes, it is done! I can at last say that the guesthouse is done. I’ve even had guests stay already! And a couple more bookings coming up. I am grateful and relieved. 🙂

I am also very, very broke after this little exercise, but hopefully that will be remedied by enough bookings pouring in over the next few months.🤞🏻 (From my mouth, to God’s ears…)

Of course, as with most reno’s, there are still things to be done, but those are minor compared to the big changes and building that is now done. I want to get/make some art for the walls, which are too bare for my liking. Some more/bigger area rugs to cozy the place up. And one or two practical things to add to make people’s stay here as comfortable as possible. And I definitely need to ‘prettify’ the space outside the second unit, which used to be a place where we put things that were in the way… But I need some money first, and for that I need bookings. We have cleaned it up and painted the walls, so at least it is tidy now. So please, hold thumbs for me, that the guests book both units regularly from now on.

I am still enjoying my SO’s company. He came down for a ‘quick’ two weeks to help with the building, and ended up staying quite a bit longer than planned. I am not complaining… 🙂

Winter is definitely on its way. I can feel it coming in the air – early mornings especially. Once again, I am not complaining. It is time. Our rainy season is about to start, so bring it on! Our dams are getting emptier by the day, so the cold and the rain can not come soon enough.

Can you see how empty this dam is? And this was taken about 3 weeks ago, so it is probably worse by now!

My last planting of tomatoes is not doing too well. Of course, they were planted a bit out of season, but I had hoped that I could get at least some tomatoes before the cold sets in. It seems like that is not going to happen. I am still hoping. I am going to enclose the plants in some thick plastic, and keep my fingers crossed that it will act like a hothouse.

I had a very quiet day today. It felt weird after the last while running up and down the whole time. I am just about ready to take Daisy for her walk, and then, that is that for the day.

So, Daisy was getting impatient, and I ended up taking her for her walk earlier than planned. Walk done and dusted. Now for an ice cold glass of wine, and feet up…