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Isolation days on………


Once at home, there are the endless tasks of disinfecting every purchase or sorting them into decontamination piles to be left untouched for days in the laundry. Once your hands have been thoroughly washed for 20 seconds to the tune of your once favourite song, it’s time to disinfect your cooking surfaces so you can begin the daily task of feeding your family. Fortunately, we have plenty of disinfectant as well as hand sanitizer because, many years ago, my father made hundreds of bottles of undrinkable wine and being from refugee stock, we never throw anything out! You never know when the need for something might arise. And they were so right.

Of course, hand sanitizers require more than pure alcohol. Mr Google assured us that Aloe vera will do the trick, and fortunately on our farm we have an abundance. You guessed it. We are now primary producers as well as a production line. Harvesting Aloe vera is not difficult, distilling alcohol is not difficult, but both are time thieving. Who would have guessed that being at home all day would leave you more time poor than when you ‘worked’. I turned the left-over cabbages from a corona-cancelled lunch into spicy sauerkraut (something I have wanted to do for years but never found the spare time). It’s a lot easier to achieve all of this when your bed, office and kitchen are all within 2 meters of each other. I’ve even experimented with some pickled zucchinis which actually turned out as good as the ones I ate in a restaurant two months ago. I’ve bottled more jars of honey than we can possibly give away or get through before the next honey harvest. Of course, with the scarcity of fresh vegetables in the stores, I’ve been prompted to grow some seeds, my father just happened to have. Ah, the country life sure is something! Enough of my farmly exploits.

My daughter and I have progressed to the letter box on our walks which are 1.4kms down the hill and, of course, 1.4 back up! We are doing better than expected; thankfully, so are her knees. Luckily, university has kept her busy, but we are struggling with some elements that I’m sure many others are as well. People with mental health challenges understand their need to socialize and leave the security of home but, suddenly, now they are faced with the exact opposite of this. So, we have good days and bad days. Days when my daughter feels so totally trapped, and anxious about spiraling down into a deep black depression that she just can’t function; but by trying to keep our lines of communication open we manage to push through. I keep trying to find different activities, something out of the ordinary. So, the other day, we had a spa, put face masks on each other, and watched a movie.


Often, I think it’s just about breaking the tedium of routine, especially, when walking is the only alternative to leaving the house. (Of course, there is table-tennis, swimming and gardening, not to mention cleaning, tidying, animal training and grooming, but for all these you’d need to be other than a teenager. The walks are good. We are learning about the many different trees on our route; and, we feel great when we can walk up the hill without stopping too many times. In fact, our walks reflect our lives—the ups and downs of existence. I think about courageous Abraham (Woven Threads -Stories from Afar) who was in refugee camps for most of his young life and walked thousands of kilometres to escape hardship and death. I think of all the people around the world now without a home, and I feel lucky that my family and I not only have a roof over our heads but also people who care for us and love us.

I do hope that you, too, have this. Take care.

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