“We are living through a global pandemic.”
This was a tweet from Pontsho Pilane that really made me stop and think. Sometimes I forget about auntie Rona for a little while, I wear my mask, I sanitize my hands, I have my temperature taken (often my temp is so low, I am clinically dead but that’s another story), I fill out my contact details as I go into a restaurant, it’s all just become part of life.
And when I see how people are STUPIDLY protesting against wearing masks in other countries, I am so grateful that we understand the importance of them and just get on with it (Ps…except for that person on our flight whom despite being asked EIGHT times to put on their mask kept removing it. You, sir, are a douche.)
Yes, I am typing this on a plane from PE to Joburg. (There is a *huge storm expected in Joburg which I’m really hoping is over and done with by the time we land.) Our month at the beach has finally come to an end and we have had SUCH a wonderful time in Plett, I wanted to share some of the things I have loved:
- Along with the magical view, and the proximity to the beach, I’ve loved the gorgeous baths, the heated towel rails and the awesome tumble drier in the massive holiday house. Yes, I know these are odd things to love but I have loved them (We stayed at 22 Sewell Road. Contact Robberg Estates for more info).
- I’ve loved getting my coffee from Old Town every morning before I walk on the beach. On Sundays, although I felt like I was being unfaithful to Fournos, we got their almond croissants. To. Die. For.
- The fabulous bookshops.
- Drinks at the Deck. The Lookout Deck is a Plett institution and we were there so often during our stay that we became part of the furniture.
- Bubbly by the glass. The wine farms around Plett produce fabulous bubbly and you can get it by the glass here at most restaurants. Ditto for really decent red wines. I LOVE that. Can we please start doing this in Joburg more?
- The utterly gorgeous beaches with their fine white sand and the crystal clear water. Have adored walking on the beach every morning.
- Enrico’s. Remember Roma in Melville? He moved to Plett quite a while ago but this is the first time I got to go there. Roma had a very special place in our hearts because it was kind of our local when we lived in Melville so it was SO lovely going back there and seeing all the old favourites on the menu. Plus it is a stunning location on the beach at Keurbooms. We went there on a weeknight and it was PUMPING.
- The whales and the dolphins and even the sharks which brings me to…
- Surf lessons for the daughter with Paul (from Learn to Surf Plett). He gave us the mate’s rate because we were in Plett for so long and the daughter attended surfing lessons using one of his boards every Mon, Wed and Fri afternoon. Except for last Monday when there were sharks around. She has now officially had two (distant) encounters with sharks where she had to promptly exit the water and was given the nickname ‘Shark Bait’ by the surfers.
- The way everyone greets you on the beach and in town in the mornings. Gave me the warm fuzzies.
I’ve been thinking quite a lot about mate’s rates this month, it’s something we got used to when we visited Vic Falls.
They would charge you in pounds if you were from the UK, dollars if you were American and in SA Ronts if you were from South Africa. We need to get a similar system going here to encourage locals to get out and about and spread the news about all that SA has to offer.
BUT as people start visiting and we start travelling more, let us remember that we are still trying to recover from Lockdown. Which means we all need to exercise quite a lot of patience together with a large dollop of compassion. Let me give you an example: we went to a wine farm over the weekend. Actually, more than one. The first one we went to, the people were lovely but we were freezing so we moved on to the next one.
At the next wine farm, we sat around waiting for fifteen minutes without being offered a drink and eventually got ushered to a rather vast and unfriendly table. It was all very uncosy and we eventually decided to get up and leave. But we didn’t do any stomping around or “do you know who I am?” nonsense (mainly because we’re not anyone particularly important and no one would know who the hell we are). No. I could see that the manager was harassed, that she actually wished we would just feck off because she was run off her feet. And that’s the thing.
As a country, we’re not up to speed yet. People can’t afford to have as many staff as they did before. Restaurants don’t have the extensive wine lists or menus they had before and guess what? It doesn’t matter because at the risk of repeating myself…
We are in the middle of a fucking pandemic, friends.
Which means that we all need to pull together and give each other a break. Things are not going to be perfect. Planes will be delayed. Your uber might not be on time. It’s okay. We have to suck it up. Pull ourselves towards ourselves (as my ma would say), FHB. This is not the time to bitch and moan and not do your bit. This is the time to get on with it. Practise gratitude. Help those with less than you have. Do what needs to be done. Don’t waste energy moaning, it doesn’t help. Assume that everyone is trying their best and is not going out of their way to irritate you. You’ll be surprised how different your experience will be if you take that as your starting point.
Thus endeth the lesson – which is as much for me as it is for you.
TV recommendation for this week: The Social Dilemma (doccie on Netflix). Kind of sobering although it wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t know. Also, social media is now part of our lives and we have to learn to manage it. What I do know about social media is that if you overuse it, it can be both depressing and a gigantic waste of time. It has to be managed.
Book recommendation for this week: I have just discovered the books of Linda Green and I am LOVING her writing. I’ve read One Moment by her and it was heartbreaking but wonderful. After gobbling it up, I promptly downloaded her next book. I ADORE finding a new author that I haven’t read before and then binge-reading all their books.
In bookish news, I see that there is a book fest happening next weekend in Kalk Bay – The Little Local Launches Festival. One of the organisers is the fab Shelagh Foster (organiser of the Franschhoek Lit Fest) and there are some wonderful authors appearing including the divine Eva Mazza so check it out if you’re in the area. Sue Nyathi’s latest book A Family Affair is out now – happy pub day, Sue (I also thought this had something to do with going to the pub. It doesn’t. It means happy publication day.)
That’s it for this week. I am excited to be back in the Big Smoke, it’s jacaranda season in Joburg which is the most beautiful season of the year here and I CANNOT WAIT to start going to book launches again. If you’ve never been to one – they are great fun, you don’t pay anything (although it is good etiquette to buy a book) and you get a free glass of wine and some gorgeous snacks plus you get to listen to a very entertaining interview. If you are a book lover, put it on your to-do list to get to a local launch. My favourite spots are Love Books at Bamboo in Melville and Exclusive Books at Rosebank and Hyde Park. I’ll see you there! Happy Reading xxx
Ps…we bought FAR TOO MUCH wine and our hand luggage was too full to accommodate it, so we couriered it back to Joburg from Postnet for R299. Such a useful thing to remember if you fly. Thank you, Brad Cable for the tip!
*THERE WAS NO DAMN STORM!!